ms. hickory nut ponders songs and places

ms. hickory looks cleverly in her book

if a hickory nut faced woman were to study songs and their places of origin, what would that look like?

songs and places, the study of

• antique camera found on travels • photo of traditional irish musicians, one known one unknown • arm of an uncomfortable couch • hickory nut woman from Grandma Dot’s old shelves • afternoon light from generous living room window


Tuesday, August 24, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . music, photography, sculpture, song, traditional music. Leave a comment.

Shout! Art by Women Veterans

Many thanks to Swords to Plowshares for putting together Shout, an art show featuring work by women veterans.  The show was held in San Francisco at The Women’s Building, a place that is its own work of art:


While meeting many amazing artists and interesting art-show-goers, I soaked in the experiences of live readings, excellent cake, and a woman-centered space.


here are several of my pieces displayed on an old grand piano


another view of the display piano

I shared three pieces at this show:

ruby red combat boots

ruby red combat boots

Ruby Red Combat Boots – glitter, acrylic paint, studs, and jewels on leather

By early 2003, 6 months from separation, I was ready to click my heels together three times and head home.  But how would I get there?  And what shoes would I wear?  They’re not as delicate as the slippers Judy Garland wore, but I like to think if Dorothy left the Oz-land of the military, these are the boots that would transport her to her next adventure.

basic combat training journal

basic combat training journal

Basic Combat Training Journal – paper, ink

In 1998 I hid a blank journal in my pants, sneaking it through boot camp shakedown.  Luckily no one discovered my contraband (ideas and the ability to share them!).  Every night, head under an itchy wool blanket, I wrote.  Readers may explore this journal by reading entries in order, opening to random pages, or selecting entries marked with color-coded tags.

vase, self-portrait

vase (self-portrait) plus display placard

self-portrait – clay, sand, acrylic paint, shoe polish, rub & buff metallic goo.

unglazed vase.  i do not see myself as glazed.


more photos of these pieces…

Sunday, March 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . feminism, sculpture, song, veterans, writing. Leave a comment.



a multimedia art show featuring works by women veterans.   it is open to the public and absolutely free.  everyone is welcome to come…


Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . feminism, midwifery, sculpture, song, veterans, writing. Leave a comment.

st. cecilia is in the woodshed

this is what music looks like   

this is what music looks like

i’m in the woodshed

haven’t visited for several years now –

been busy with bodies and babies, that instant high in the moment of birth

now st. cecilia, goddess of music, is tapping her foot impatiently

i’ve missed the feeling of her pine shavings under my feet

and the way she giggles at the sound of my fingertip stopping up a pipe to form a perfect note


everything i need is here –

quiet, cork grease, olive oil, string and beeswax for my one threaded tenon, cotton, metronome, water,  my hands

so we begin again

Saturday, November 1, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . flute, music, song, writing. Leave a comment.

internship at birth center

with fellow midwives, outside MLL

with fellow midwives, outside MLL


i spent the last 4 months here at Maternidad La Luz, a high volume birth center on the border of El Paso and Juárez, working as a student midwife.  under supervision i provided complete primary care including prenatal, birth, and postpartum services.  the schedule involved 24-hour clinical shifts every third day (sometimes every other day), and classes, peer reviews, and meetings in between.  along with the challenges of staying up all day and all night, i humbly learned the lessons of birth, studied midwifery academically, and spoke to all the clients in Spanish.  well, i did my best anyway.  🙂

first day of work

first day of work - tired from the long roadtrip, but at least i found some cute scrubs...

Sunday, June 15, 2008. Tags: , . midwifery, song. Leave a comment.

when you’re two

youre_two_todaymy beautiful niece essie turned two today. she loves to run and jump and holla. “when you’re two” is music for her and her tiny friends to hop around to.

when you’re two:

Sunday, April 1, 2007. Tags: , , . music, song. Leave a comment.

true nature

cottage in woodsMy feminist philosophy teacher, Shawn Doubiago, and John Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women” challenged me to consider the true nature of women, the unadulterated-by-society nature of women. Can we ever know this nature? Mill doesn’t believe we can, claiming, “What is now called the nature of women is an eminently artificial thing – the result of forced repression in some directions, unnatural stimulation in others.”

Maybe we can’t fully know the true nature of women, but I think that listening to women, taking time with/for them, and providing them a natural free space begins to uncover their true nature.

I found such a natural free space while attending midwifery workshops at the The Farm Community in Summertown, Tennessee. The Farm is saturated with decades of progressive truth and love, intentional freedom and equality. Through the energy of its powerful woods and the pure full moon, i began to feel….well, essence. “true nature” is about one essential woman, what she (in me) looks like, what she (through me) does.

Because the true nature of the woman can never be completely uncovered, one verse is written in a “foreign” language to respect the great mystery.

true nature:

“true nature” is dedicated to Wendy, Hannah, Beth, Beth, Sarah, Lisa, Charlotte, Zaina, Caterina, and Maria – the ten beautiful women who fed and inspired my vision of raw female.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006. Tags: , , , , , , . feminism, midwifery, music, song, traditional music. Leave a comment.



Since losing access to the wonderful Ding Dong Studios in Arlington, VA, I have been experimenting with multilayered home recording. Created with Garageband, “V” was my first entirely self-grown musical project. It was written in response to a guy who scorned any public broadcast of the word “vagina.” He said it was a dirty word, a swear word. To this my vagina reacted quite strongly, insisting on taking the mic and speaking the truth. You might say this song fell out of my lap.


Saturday, April 15, 2006. Tags: , , , , , , , . feminism, midwifery, music, song, writing. Leave a comment.


I recorded this album in the summer of 2005 after leaving the Army and taking an extended (and well-deserved) trip to Ireland.  It’s a solo work of original compositions inspired by folk, celtic, and modern sources.  Vocals, piano, Irish flute and fiddle combine haunting melodies and the powerful imagery of life and love.  An all natural unedited recording.  Featuring the awesome musical stylings of Jessica McFarland, Matthew Olwell, and Yuval Mann. Special thanks to Steve Tung for producing, recording, and shepherding this project.  Some sample tracks:


Spy Story:

Fairy Grove Polkas:

Yes, it’s organically grown! No artificial ingredients.  You can get a copy of Lockdown here for $15 (+s/h).  It’s also available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby.  I make my music available to people in all economic situations – please visit my recordings page for more information.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . feminism, flute, music, song, traditional music, veterans. 2 comments.