Lazy Hippie Mama

One woman's attempt to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort

Visit (A Five Minute Friday Post)

I have two major projects in the works right now. The re-write and re-submit of my book is in the final stages. Fingers crossed everybody, and maybe this author will have a novel in print and in stores by the end of 2015 yet! Also, Handsome Hippie Hubby and I have embarked on a business adventure that has taken off faster than I ever could have imagined and I’m racing to keep up so we don’t lose that fabulous and all-important momentum. Apparently, two is the maximum number of huge projects I can deal with at any given time because this poor blog has been sadly neglected in the past several weeks. I miss it.

That said, each week I get the most lovely newsletter from Katemotaung.org. They are always well-crafted and encouraging and you should sign up to follow her! Part of her weekly post is a “Five Minute Friday” prompt.

I don’t have a lot of time, but I have five minutes. It sure did feel nice to write again! (Thank you, Kate, for the nudge.)  I hope you enjoy this tiny bit of my brain and I hope to see you back here soon.

The prompt:

Visit (Five Minute Friday) | LazyHippieMama.com

I have a vision of my home: clean and tidy, fresh flowers on the table, fresh-baked bread cooling on a rack in the kitchen, veggies from the garden in a pretty hanging basket. In my vision my children are playing sweetly in the sunshine-splashed yard and one of my favorite friends pulls into the drive. It might be one of the wonderful neighbors I’m blessed to be surrounded by, or perhaps my dearest friend from childhood. Maybe it’s the lovely woman I only just re-connected with on Facebook after losing communication, years ago.

My visitor and I slice some bread and slather it up with mayonnaise and juicy tomato slices and we sit on the porch drinking iced sun-tea and sharing our hearts with one another.

This day actually happens… once a year or so. More often my house is a wreck. There are dishes piled everywhere and stacks of laundry on all the chairs. The children are plugged in to their electronics and no one can sit on the porch because the chairs never got washed after the most recent storm blew them into the mud-filled flowerbeds (which I never did quite get around to finishing last summer).

Visits rarely happen at “ideal” moments. Still, a moment becomes ideal when a loved one comes to visit.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on Twitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!


Stop Calling Me An Idiot! (And Other Things Regarding the Vaccination Debate)

When it comes to the vaccination debate I don’t usually “go there” because I feel like the reality is, we are ALL trying to be informed and make the best decisions for our families in a world full of mis-information brought to us by people more interested in power and money than the health of the general public.

That said, this morning a friend posted this article that struck a chord with me.

There has been A LOT of back and forth over the whole vaccine thing lately. It always catches my eye and I’ve spent far more time than I probably should have reading the thoughts and opinions of everyone and their brother who cares to share. Maybe I just couldn’t resist the urge to throw my two cents in. Welcome to my corner of the blogosphere.

My child is not “officially” allergic to immunizations. He just doesn’t handle them well. As in, he stops breathing. So… yeah. We don’t do that anymore.

My son after being vaccinated.

My son after being vaccinated.

For this choice we’ve been called “idiots” and worse by the strongly pro-vaccine folks and been viewed with suspicion by everyone from school administrators to ER doctors. It has been said that we are “blindly following the advice of celebrities,” or, “trying to be hip.” Not the case. We actually stopped immunizing on a doctor’s advice after a year of dealing with very serious respiratory issues. Magically, when we stopped the shots our child’s life-threatening “asthma” went away. He hasn’t had a single whistle in his chest in the 2 1/2 years since then.

My son without any shots.

My son without any shots.

The article I’m referring to made a lot of claims. It said things like, “measles is just a rash,” and, “only people in 3rd world countries die from measles and it’s because of the dehydration.” It also made claims about the rates of autism, as it is linked to brain encephalitis and more.

I couldn’t take those claims at surface value from some random internet guy so I did two things:

First I read an article entitled, “This Is What Measles Really Looks Like.” Turns out it looks like a rash. A nasty rash, to be sure but, yeah. It’s a rash, just like the first guy said. This article also listed statistics and numbers. For instance, it explained that the measles vaccine has been around, basically eradicating measles,  since 1963. So, during the big outbreak in the late 1980s/early 1990s they found that…

wait…

what?

I thought it was entirely the fault of Jenny McCarthy and the idiot celebrity followers of the past 10 years that people are getting measles in 2015?

Hmmm…

OK, well, I don’t have any further information on that so I’ll just leave it be for now and move on.

When numbers were collected in the 1990s, (not sure why we’re working with generation-old numbers) statistics showed that about 8% of measles patients got diarrhea which COULD lead to dehydration. 7% got ear infections which COULD lead to deafness.

Uh huh.

OK.

Let’s think about that. There are about 73 million children in America.

During the last BIG measles outbreak approximately 55,000 children got measles. I’m not great at math, so I could be wrong, but I’m calculating that to be well under 1% of the kids in the nation.

Of that overwhelming number of children, 8 out of every 100 got diarrhea. 7 out of every 100 got an ear infection. That percentage did not die from dehydration or go deaf. They got diarrhea and/or ear infections.

My children and I have all had multiple bouts of diarrhea and ear infections over the years. It’s not fun but, so far, we are neither dead nor deaf because, like the author of the original article said, we live in the “first world.”

Do you know who DOESN’T live in the first world? The children in some of the saddest pictures in the article, “What Does Measles Really Look Like.” Look closely at the captions.

While we’re putting numbers in perspective, the recent, horrible, scary, big, overwhelming outbreak of measles involved about 45 people. This is approximately the same number of kids in my daughter’s band class. So, out of all the people in America, your odds of being affected by this outbreak of measles are about the same as your odds of ending up playing trombone in a grange building in farmland, MI. Yes, I realize there are holes in the comparison. Just making a point about the numbers. This is not something that is raging like wildfire through the countryside.

I needed to see something written by a source generally considered credible. (For those who would argue, I beg of you: let’s save that can of worms for another day. I’ve already got my hip-waders on, here.) I went to the CDC website and looked up the risks of the MMR vaccine.

Do you know what they are?

They are pretty much the same as the risks from getting measles. In some cases, the numbers are slightly different but… really… if you’re going on differences that slight… well… maybe you should bet this week’s whole paycheck on the Powerball jackpot. There’s a CHANCE you could win, you know.

As a little side note: While reading the CDC info I noticed that, among those who should NOT get the MMR shot, is anyone who has recently received any other vaccine. Yet, the vaccination schedule lists SEVEN other shots, many of them for multiple viruses, that should be given at about the same age as the MMR. That’s a bit confusing!

What does all this mean?

I can tell you what it means for me and my family.

It means that with or without shots it is VERY unlikely that the average healthy child would DIE from measles (or most of the other diseases that we immunize against). Of course, like any good mom, I don’t want my kids to suffer. I think anyone who takes even a moment to look at the world around us can see that vaccines have been, as a whole, a good thing. I don’t know a single child in an iron lung and I’m immensely glad for that. As the mother of a child who really can’t get vaccinated I am thankful that vaccines have lowered the chances of his exposure to serious disease.

I get it. I am not against all vaccinations.

BUT… when it is said that those who choose not to vaccinate are being selfish or that they are uninformed, following celebrities, or reading de-bunked data… well, that’s simply not true. In fact, most parents I know who choose not to vaccinate have done FAR more research than those who just blindly go along with the schedule. Those who don’t vaccinate generally understand that vaccines do not provide life-long immunity, nor are they 100% effective or 100% safe. They know that some of these viruses are beginning to mutate and that there are legitimate, well-respected researchers who are expressing genuine concern about that issue. They understand that EVERY drug has side effects and we should always weigh the risk of the side effect against the benefit of the drug.

As for calling anyone an “idiot” (or worse): it is not OK in your child’s classroom and it’s not OK in this discussion. For goodness sake! You want to present yourself as a well-informed, critically-thinking adult and the best you can come up with is name calling? Do better. BE better. There is no place for name calling in honest discussion and there is no chance for growth and learning unless we are able to honestly discuss the facts.

The facts:

Fact: Disease sucks. All disease. We all want all disease to be eradicated.

Fact: Modern medicine is helpful and science continues to improve. That’s why doctors no longer bleed their patients to cure them of anemia and most of us are happy when EMTs show up with a truckload of fancy equipment if our hearts begin to fail.

Fact: Modern medicine does not have all the answers and continues to evolve. That’s why my grandparents were urged to eat trans-fats to lower their chance of heart disease, yet my doctor now gives different advice.

Fact: Screaming, shouting, angry, inflamed confrontation rarely (if ever) accomplishes anything positive.

Fact: The next time you meet someone who feels differently than you on a topic you are passionate about, it would be wise to listen to WHY they feel differently. Maybe it won’t change your stance one teeny iota of a bit, but there’s a good chance that your kindness and respect will help make the world a better place.

Stop Calling Me An Idiot! (And Other Things Regarding the Vaccination Debate)

Here are the links I looked at and referred to throughout this article if you’d like to check any of them out for yourself:

https://leviquackenboss.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/dear-mom-who-thinks-i-need-to-vaccinate-my-kids-against-measles/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/virginiahughes/what-measles-outbreak-actually-looks-like#.nb24nRyln

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/should-not-vacc.htm#mmr

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/MMR/

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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The Book That I Never Get Tired Of Reading (Nablopomo Day 15)

*This post is Day Fifteen of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

The Book That I Never Get Tired Of Reading (Nablopomo Day 15) | LazyHippieMama.com

I simply couldn’t pass up a prompt asking which book I would choose if I had to read just one, year after year.

I read a lot. Books and magazines, websites, fiction and non-fiction, any genre, any time-period. Right now I’m reading The Fifteen Invaluable Laws of Growth, The Power of Positive Thinking, Jitterbug Perfume, Treasure Island and, if you count book studies/devotionals, Jesus Calling and Fingerprints of God. I don’t really watch TV. Who has time for that?!

When it comes to favorites, though, I love great fiction that sucks me in and challenges the way I see the world. If it challenges my spirituality that’s even better. How can I ever have true faith if no one ever questions what I believe, right? If a book teaches me something new about history or current events, geography or science that’s… like the hat trick of book scoring in my world. Anne Rice, Jan Karon, Stephen King, Dan Brown, Barbara Kingsolver and James Mitchner have all written books that have shaped the way I view life and the way I live it. I can only hope to write something a fraction as powerful and insightful and beautiful as some of the prose those amazing authors have published!

I have shelves and boxes full of favorites books that I just can’t seem to part with. They’re like dear friends. How can I send them away?

Having said all of that, there is one book that I love more than all the others. If I was forced to pick just one book to read over and over again it would be One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz.

Click on the picture to buy the book. It's not an affiliate link or anything. I just think everyone should read this book.

Click on the picture to buy the book. It’s not an affiliate link or anything. I just think everyone should read this book.

It’s a fun and exciting read. In typical Koontz style it’s a bit creepy and a bit mysterious. There’s an awesomely lovable dog and a hopeful ending. It’s a fun read. It’s funny. It’s exciting. It’s a page turner. But there are thousands of fun, page-turners out there. This one is special. It makes me wonder how big our world really is. It makes me curious about what’s behind the public face of the people I encounter. It taught me about a school of thought that I had not heard of before reading it and, in learning that such a philosophy existed I became motivated to educate myself further and I feel like I’m a better person for knowing what I now know. Maybe my family is a bit safer because of my knowledge as well. At least, I like to think so. The book encourages me and fills me with hope. It makes me want to be a little bit of a badass with a really big heart. I’ll always be more like Donella on the outside, but perhaps a Spelkenfeld lives in my heart. Again, I like to think so. (Trust me, if you read the book, that sentence will make sense.)

There is a character in the book who is fairly cracked, mentally, that keeps reading the same book over and over to be sure that she gets every tiny tidbit of meaning out of it. I am aware that I’m confessing to doing the same thing but I like to think I’m only a little mentally cracked. I mean, that’s… like… the ONLY book she reads. As I’ve said, that’s not the case with me. Plus I rarely ingest massive amounts of hallucinogenic drugs and tequila on the same day. JUST KIDDING, MOM!

How about you? If you had to read just one book, year after year, what would you choose?

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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Wordless Wednesday: Growing Up (Nablopomo Day 14)

*This post is Day Fourteen of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

Growing Up To Be A Man | LazyHippieMama.com

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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Lazy Hippie Mama: In Haiku (Nablopomo Day 13)

*This post is Day Thirteen of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

Sweet Hippie Daughter saw this on the “One Hundred Dollars a Month” Facebook page and has found it endlessly amusing for the past week or so.

Lazy Hippie Mama: in Haiku | LazyHippieMama.com

I was trying to think of something a little different for the blog today, having to do with the prompts centering on habits. I decided that since I’ve been in the habit of writing in prose for all this time, perhaps I would take inspiration from “A Winter Haiku.”

Here is the story of me, as portrayed in four verses of Haiku. Hope it gives you a little smile.

I seek to live green.

Sometimes it’s a lot of work.

Then I get lazy.

I seek to be thin.

Lazy eating makes me fat.

I can’t reach my toes.

I seek perfection,

in body, mind and spirit.

I am not there yet.

I am content now,

Knowing that growth continues.

Love this life of mine!

Lazy Hippie Mama: In Haiku | LazyHippieMama.com

Live on the wild side! Share the story of you haiku in the comments!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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On Boldness (Nablopomo Day 12)

*This post is Day Twelve of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

On Boldness | LazyHippieMama.com

I think, maybe, one of the lessons that I’m being pushed into learning in 2015 is to act boldly. I am not a timid person. I don’t shrink away from things, but neither am I especially assertive. I never have been. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t want to bring anyone down. I for-sure don’t want to end up in major confrontation with anyone. But there comes a time when the only way to make progress in life is by being bold.

In the Bible, in the book of Acts, it says, “…grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness…” (Acts 4:29)

In context, the disciples of Jesus are praying for the courage to continue to spread the message of Jesus, despite the potential consequences of being thrown in jail or even executed.

Would I be so bold?

I’d like to think so, but the truth is I honestly can’t imagine myself in that circumstance. People in America cry about persecution but the truth is we have no idea what it’s really like. Christians in Syria know persecution. People of faith in Tibet, China, Afghanistan and dozens of other countries know real persecution. By comparison we are living on easy street in America!

Perhaps I can take a step toward being as bold as those courageous souls by approaching a homeless person to talk with them and learn who they really are.

Maybe I can learn to assert myself a little more by standing up for another mom who is getting “the skunk eye” in the supermarket because her child is crying too much or too loudly.

It could be that this is the year I share some of the things I’ve been holding back about on this blog, for fear that I will start too much controversy.

What do you think? How important is it to be bold? Can you be bold and still keep the peace? When has boldness crossed the line into pushiness/bullying? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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This Totally Counts! (Nablopomo Day 11)

*This post is Day Eleven of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

This Totally Counts! | LazyHippieMama.com

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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Just A little Bit… (Nablopomo Day 10)

*This post is Day Ten of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

I

The hubs and I all dressed up for the dinner and presentation we attended. So much fun to go out on the arm of this guy!

Told you he’s handsome! I just love going out on this guy’s arm! 

I went to a business event with my Handsome Hippie Hubby this week and one of the speakers said this, “You don’t have to do much to get noticed. Just do a little bit more than others. Be a little bit kinder, a little bit more positive, a little bit healthier, willing to work just a little bit harder. People will notice. It’s inevitable.”

I didn’t think much, at the time about the statement but it stuck with me and the more I consider it the more powerful it gets to me.

I look at my life and I see what a HUGE difference it would make if I was just a little bit more organized, a little more generous to my neighbor, a little more patient with my children, a little more thoughtful about how I spend my money and a little more conscious of what I eat…

You don’t have to do much. Just a little bit could make a huge, huge difference.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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Five Questions That Make This Homeschooling Mama Crazy (Nablopomo Day 9)

*This post is Day Nine of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

5 Questions That Make This Homeschooling Mama Crazy | LazyHippieMama.comI don’t mind when non-homeschoolers ask me questions about our choices. I know that the vast majority are coming from a place of genuinely seeking understanding about a lifestyle they are unfamiliar with. I get it. It’s kind of fun to share and, often, I get ideas from the input of others.  But there are a few questions that make me want to bang my head on my non-existent teacher’s desk in our non-existent classroom. I try to be polite but… seriously…

1) What curriculum do you use?

What I think: Why do you care? Do you even know the difference? What curriculum does your public school kid use? I bet you don’t know! Do you even know what they taught your child in public school today? Who uses just one curriculum, anyway?

What I say: We use Khanacademy.org for math. In other subjects we vary our resources, according to our needs.

2) How many hours a day do you do school?

What I think: How many hours a day does a public school kid actually DO school? Maybe 3? 4? Assuming it’s not a holiday, or a snow day, or the day before a holiday when all the kids are wound up, or the day after a holiday when no one is in the rhythm, or someone’s birthday…

What I say: Some days are longer than others. We focus more on meeting goals than keeping track of hours.

3) Are you confident that your child is where they should be, academically?

What I think: Who came up with the idea that a person of a certain age should know a certain number of facts, anyway? Is every public school kid on the same page, academically? Does no one ever fall behind in one subject or excel in another?

What I say: I’ve seen my daughter really grow and flourish in exciting ways since we started homeschooling.

4) Do you worry about your kids getting into college?

What I think: I have one child who is in training pants at night and one who is still little enough to think that “fart” is the funniest word in the English language. I’m not too worried about college just yet. Are you worried about your public school kid knowing how to think for themselves when they graduate after being taught to conform for 13 years?

What I say: As they get older, there are a number of resources to help them prepare for continuing education if they choose that path.

And MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE QUESTION (directed at my child):

5) Do you know _______ insert random quiz question here ____________? (ie. Who the first 5 presidents are? What 1/3 times 1/8 is? The capitals of all 50 states? The name of the leader of Denmark? What year the cotton gin was invented? The moral of the book “Of Mice and Men?”)

What I think: Do YOU know any of those things?! Do you quiz EVERY child that comes across your path or are you specifically targeting MY child for some reason?

What I say: Baby girl, maybe you could go play with your brother while Mommy talks to this nice man.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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Wish in One Hand, Dream in The Other (Nablopomo Day 8)

*This post is Day Eight of the January Nablopomo 30-day blogging challenge hosted by BlogHer.

Wish In One Hand, Dream In The Other | LazyHippieMama.com

The prompt for today’s Nablopomo challenge is this: Tell us about the habit you wished you had. What stops you from building it into your daily life?

There are so many – too many to count. I have wished that I was more organized, more punctual, better at sending “Thank you” notes and keeping in touch with those I love. I wish I ate healthier food, exercised more, meditated daily. I wish that I was more intentional about being kind to others. I wish that I was better about setting aside time to be fully focused on my children. I wish I was more responsible with my spending.

I imagine my wishes aren’t really much different from any one else’s. I have wished to make changes that I imagine will make me a happier, healthier, more productive person.

What stops me is simply a lack of motivation.  I know how to lose weight and get healthier. If I ate less and exercised more the pounds would melt away and my body would get stronger. It always amuses me a bit how many books have been written on that topic. It’s not that difficult. More celery + less pizza = skinnier me. But, apparently, until now, my wish for yummy pizza has outweighed my wish for a flat tummy. (Pun totally intended) I can say the same thing about any of those other goals. I know HOW to achieve those goals but it would seem that when it came down to it I just lacked the motivation to do what needed to be done.

I have excuses. I’m terribly busy. I have bad knees. It’s hard to budget when unexpected expenses pop up.

They’re legitimate and true. They’re still excuses.

The truth is, when something is truly and honestly super-duper important to me AND dear to my heart I find a way to do it and making it a habit is virtually effortless. I write every day because I LOVE to write and I am absolutely blown away by the mere idea that someone would pay me to do this. I read to my children every single night because it’s a treasured time spent with each of them doing something that I think will be an immense benefit to them. Do I always FEEL like writing at 5am or reading stories after a 20 hour stretch of the madness of life? Pfffbttt!  No! But I (usually) do it anyway because it’s that important to me. Keeping my house dust free? A lovely thought. A nice wish. Not a priority.

Tonight I have a date with Handsome Hippie Hubby. I’m super excited about this time together because it’s not just a regular “dinner and a movie” kind of date. We are going to an event called “Dream Night.” It’s just exactly what it sounds like: People dress in their most fabulous clothes and share an extraordinary dinner together and then hear the stories of folks who have achieved their own personal goals, despite (because of?) whatever crazy adversity life threw at them because they had a powerful dream. The whole idea is that if you have a dream – not just a WISH but a DREAM – and you surround yourself with the dream and you submerge yourself in the dream and you cling to the dream day in and day out NO MATTER WHAT the necessary habits to make your dream come true WILL form in your life. There’s no doubt about it.

I feel like one of the best things that ever happened to me was meeting a man who understands the power of a great dream. He has taught me to dream big and with boldness and faith and, together, we get to experience the joy of our dreams coming true. And, you know, every now and then a wish gets granted as well. So, maybe someday, I’ll be thin and fit and my house will be clean after all. You never know!

What big, bold things do you dream of? I’d love to hear about it!

Wish In One Hand, Dream In The Other | LazyHippieMama.com

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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