Let Them Eat Pie

When I was 10, my family went on an epic road trip.

Heading out on the trail.

We took our time driving across the U.S., picking up my cousin in the Southwest, and continuing eastward. We did a little bit of sightseeing, but mostly it was a series of highways, roadside diners (we were on a quest for the best cheeseburger), motel pools and reading in the backseat.

Mule Ears and Rattlesnake Grass.

Maybe you can relate to this…there was often a point during the day, when I would wake up from a nap or dog-ear my page and look up to find a changed landscape. It was always a little big startling to realize that while I had spent all this time inside my own skull, outside the world had been going on…a present moment happening all around me while I was buried in oblivion.


When I think back on that trip, I still remember parts of it vividly, especially the freedom to relax and just float down river, or the highway as it were. It was like a period of dreaming, or incubation, and then we drove into camp and the best summer of my childhood began.

Petaluma farmlands.

I am right in that moment, the moment of putting down the book (that summer it was Watership Down) and looking out the window to discover that cornfields have turned to rolling green hills. I’m feeling a little shook up and disoriented and absolutely unsure of what may lie ahead. Unclear even of what my part in the game needs to be, or where I should be placing my focus.

Beyond the present moment, I mean.

Or on these two cuties. We gazed at each other for 10 minutes. I was very still so as not to scare them away. They were very still so as not to scare us away.

We have been househunting again, but I hardly even want to talk about it on here. Last year’s lost house fiasco taught me to keep my mouth shut. We’ve been looking, thinking we’ve found, realizing we have not. We are wondering about dates, about how to transition out of master tenancy, about the lines between sacrifice that is worth it and sacrifice that is just too much. If I write anymore about it, I just want to devolve into ranting about the unaffordable clusterfuckiness of it all. Meanwhile, we are living in limbo and it is unsettling.

As well, I am wondering about this blog. About just what it wants to be. I’ve been a little uninspired for it lately. I have the urge to write, but feel a little disheartened about this space. Not for all the loveliness that it has become, or the amazing friends I have made, but for a certain sense of arbitrariness that I get. Like, if I’m going to be spending so much time on something, couldn’t that time be better spent on writing for my professional blog and furthering my work? Or turning this space into a more appealing one by getting sharp on just what it is I offer here? There’s also this piece about all my various labors of love just turning into labor, and something is whispering in my ear that I really should be getting paid for more of what I do. I am also considering taking my botanical musings and ecospychology gleanings and saving that muse for my pro blog. But then, what does this space become? About family life? My inner world? Craft projects?

What I am realizing, is that my work IS terrallectualism. I do ecopsychology because of this. The two are inseparable. However, they MUST be kept separate, because of the ethical and legal considerations of the BBS. My clients cannot become privy to my private life. So I feel like my choice is to squirrel away in this little corner with you all, or go big and bring more of my heart to my professional persona and writing. I don’t have enough energy to do both. My muse is a sprinter, not a long distance runner.

At any rate, nothing is status quo around here right now. I have no answers. Let’s all eat pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Gluten Free Pecan Crust


For the crust, I made a variation of this crust from Oh She Glows. The only change I made was I subbed 1 cup walnuts for pecans.

For the filling:

3 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
3 Tb arrowroot or cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar + 2 Tb maple syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of cardamom

After the crust has prebaked and cooled, spoon in the filling. Back at 350 for 50 minutes. Let cool so it sets…or don’t. We stuck it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

First we had little artichokes, and then we had strawberry pie. We called it dinner, and it was good.

(Thoughts on times of transition with blogs, professional life or anything else?)


11 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Pie

  1. i get it. as i prepare to go back to work and know my other life will be seriously curtailed i know i have to choose. i can’t believe that you get so much done, actually. i do hope you will still blog, though, because we love your voice. maybe what you need to do (re the blogging) is not something huge, or transformative, but maybe even something like a small change: blogging less often here, for instance. listening to when you really want to share and when you feel sharing has just become a habit or a responsibiity, you know?

  2. I never blogged as much as you do, but I fell out of it and it’s really hard to get back to. The only purpose for me, however, was to laugh and share the ridiculousness of certain moments in my life. Your blog is really amazing. But I totally know what you mean about all the time spent could be spent doing something else. For me I lost the time I was using for writing to other things and can’t find the time again. Apparently I filled it pretty full.

    That was also my most favorite summer of all time. The. Best.

  3. it seems there is so much change/transition/growth in the air right now! I’m feeling it. and feeling it with my blog and writing and moving on the home/land ownership…. so many adult thoughts. I wish I could just camp us all out in an extravagant tree house… oh those petaluma hills. I lived in guerneville/monte rio for a summer and i’ve been thinking so longingly about it! your images always make me think of beautiful california memories… I really appreciate your blog and the energy you spend on it! I know how hard it can be to find the time/inspiration… xo m

  4. Please don’t stop writing in this space – I look forward to your posts so much! A friend was telling me that it is the year of the Snake and a huge year for change. I am witnessing it all around me, people leaving steady jobs to pursue dreams (my friend, and me too, sort of). People who previously seemed uninterested, suddenly going jogging (me!!) and changing their diet hugely (me again!). My husband and I are having more and more discussions about what we want to do and where we want to live and how we can make it happen. But change is tough too, and there are always huge things to consider when children are in the picture. I’ve just posted about a trigger for change that has propelled me into action, actually. It may lead onto other, even bigger changes, but it’s a start. I also fret about energy spent on some things that could perhaps be better spent elsewhere…

    mmmm… pie….

  5. Well, your pie looks fucking awesome.
    Reading this post makes me worry a little about you, you know. You’re in a tricky spot there; “There’s also this piece about all my various labors of love just turning into labor, and something is whispering in my ear that I really should be getting paid for more of what I do.” I don’t doubt that at all…you are so generous Mary, I’m totally confident you work for free, all the time; your natural concern and responsiveness to people….

    It’s kind of about knowing your worth as a person (what you can take without compromising your values and happiness) and your worth professionally (what you deserve by providing a service).

    Tricky, tricky.

    I love your blog. Blogging takes time and energy though eh. Go meet up with Kerri for lunch.
    Love and miss you

  6. I look forward to every post you write, and I’ve admired how you post so regularly and so frequently. I imagine it’s a lot of work. As your posts have started to spread out I worried (selfishly) that you were winding down the blog. A thought occurred to me about cross posting. Have you thought about posting the same posts on your professional blog and here? Then if you added other craft,
    recipe, and other personal posts in this space you would be lightening the load a bit as well as getting more mileage out of your work while still maintaining this space. It seems like you aren’t quite ready to let it go. Just a thought.

  7. Love, you know this space is so important to me. It’s the representation of you for me, a room in which we’re together, exchanging ideas and inspiration.

    Yet I understand the missing muse too, the time suck for an endeavor that generates to income, no visible mark in your everyday life. I feel you on the money part too, I do, in spite my leanings to the other side of it.

    The way I think of it, if nothing else (and it’s so so so much else!!!!) my blog offers me a fruitful ground to hone my writing, that translates into the real, working world. That’s what I tell my husband when he thinks I spend too much time on the computer, to myself when I spend hours honing and spell checking posts.

    However, for years, since I’ve met you, I’ve felt like eventually your blog should, WILL morph into something “more” a book, a more “professional” website, migrate to some as-of-yet-unseen herbal, holistic lifestyle network site, and I’d be so stoked. You need to share your talents with a ever widening audience, m’dear. You are such a guide. You are magic.

    So whatever happens, I’ll follow you. LOVE.

  8. follow you heart.
    you’re so so so good at it.

    this does seem like a tricky spot though.

    what is there to do?
    why do anything?
    or why not do something?

    don’t forget, june 3, yosemite.
    i’m thinking moonshinejunkyard should come too.


  9. Mary, I can’t tell you what path to follow or how to proceed. But I will say, some days I come to this blog and your words, your heart in those words, are just exactly what I need to read. You come through in each photograph and sentence, each blossom and recipe and outfit and expression. I too (and probably so many of us) am transitioning, wishing for more recompense for the work I do, uncertain what going forward looks like. The present moment is all there is but it can be so difficult to remember that. Anyway, thank you for the gifts you present here. I’m not a mother, I live on the East Coast, but so often you express what is roiling in my heart in a way that helps me get clear of the bullshit for a moment and feel alive. Good luck on this hard journey to your heart’s home.

  10. i think there is something key in the “must be kept separate” aspect of your two blogs. (i did not know about the other pro one! i just checked it out!) i have felt along my own blogging journey that i had to keep my pro life and my blog life separate, and i did that for a long time while i was doing my lab job (nobody there knew about my blog- for good reason, i spent more time than i’d like to admit blogging on the clock). but now that i’ve left that world, i feel more and more like i want to be able to be my whole self without having to hide parts of me from other parts of me. i was uncomfortable with it the way it was, and have gotten more and more comfortable as more of my real life peeps (mom, brother, sister in law, some local friends etc) have taken to reading my blog, because i no longer feel i have to limit who i tell about it. i would not feel uncomfortable if my yoga/diaper business/nanny people got wind of it. i feel completely comfortable blogging on the clock when my one year old nanny charge is taking his nap. 🙂 i guess i’m just saying, i feel you on that having to keep it separate business, and about how it can affect what you choose to write about just in case word got out. (gasp! they’d know you drop f-bombs!) and how it can feel like you can’t fully integrate your whole self in one space. i don’t have any wisdom to offer in this area. i personally get SO MUCH out of my blog, it truly feeds me to go there and write and post- i think of it as a journal of sorts, it’s for me, it’s for quinn when he gets big, it’s for my family, and whoever else is in the audience is fine but i’m not really writing towards an audience so much as writing for myself. so i never have felt i wanted to figure out ways to make money from an audience (of course i do make money online in other ways, and i advertise that part of my livelihood on my blog because, well, it’s convenient to do so.) but as far as the writing i do, i’m completely unconcerned whether i make money from that. maybe someday a book, which i know is what we all think. i find though that the more time i’ve spent writing my blog, the less effort i feel i have to put into it- i don’t feel like i have to work hard at finding inspiration for that next post- usually i am composing it in my head while i make dinner, waiting impatiently until i can sit down with my laptop and type it out. i don’t feel worried that there will someday be a scarcity of things to write about because i’ve already written them all and wasted them on my free blog instead of saving them for a book- there is always such an abundance of new things to say or new ways to say them. i also feel pretty unconcerned with what my blog offers, per se, though i do try to cover the bases of keeping my family and friends up to date on our lives (since many of them are far away). i’ve never been much for writing tutorials or recipes. so you know, i guess i’m just sharing my own thought process here, just to share, in case it gives you perspective or somehow answers any of the questions you are having as far as what this process is like for others of us. i can totally understand where you are coming from and it all totally makes sense, i too am selfishly hoping you’ll still be here but i am also one of those who will just go find you wherever you lurk, and there’s always snail mail. and also, i completely support you in whatever path you decide is right for you, for your blog, for this time and season of your life. big xoxoxo

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