Pictures Of Things + Le Love List

October 2nd, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

coastline silhouette

Oh Santa Barbara. You’re a fickle mistress, you know that?

Earlier this week I had an experience with a new friend. A liberal fellow, I guess you could say, and he just casually – albeit a bit awkwardly – made a comment to me that could only be taken as, well . . . as racist. But not the white hoods and burning crosses-variety racism, of course not that. It was the more everyday, covert, subtextual, micro-aggressive kind of racism that’s somehow okay to share? I guess? Like, with other white people?

And it sent me in to a tailspin. Look, I know that I’m about as radically progressive as a person can get, and usually I’m okay with that. Usually I’m strong. But every once in a while, maybe when I’m feeling fragile (I was this week – school starting and all that), the weight of my differences from everyone around me can seem just . . . crushing.

Isolating. And on this morning, after that comment and after I was back home and thinking about my belief system and how it compares to the belief systems that I see and feel reflected back at me daily, I just felt so completely alone. Do you ever feel like that? Like a radical atheist feminist socialist vegan freak.

But instead of wallowing (I did a bit – thank you to the Twitterverse for your love and support, you are AWESOME) I did something I don’t normally do.

I reached out.

I texted a mama friend and said this : Hello! I am feeling super isolated and like the only radically progressive person on the planet. Would love to have a play date if you have any time? It would be nice to connect with a fellow liberal looney.

And do you know what she did? She stepped up. BIG. She invited all of her craziest, crunchiest friends over, and we had a potluck dinner that night, and we all gathered – 5 fearsome females, all of us single moms, with our many wild and wonderful offspring – and we ate and we drank, and we were merry amongst our beautiful bohemian selves, gathering in celebration of our unconventional families and our nontraditional choices and our radical, revolutionary beliefs.

And I mean, do I even need to write a Love List now? Needless to say, it was exactly what I needed.

It was a good reminder for me, too. About being willing to reach out when I needed help. About being okay showing vulnerability. And about leaning on the people who care about me. All of them incredibly difficult for me to do, and all of them so very important.

So okay, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Pictures? Pictures!

tropical flowers

Tropical flowers on a walk with Waits.

kid drinking wheat grasswagon at farmers market

Wheat grass shots, carrot juice shots, and lots of veggies at the Farmer’s Market.

running on beach
So many mornings spent on the beach.

tiny sand dollar
And one morning, the beach was covered with teeny tiny baby sand dollars. They were everywhere! I’ve never seen anything like that before.

wagon silhouette

sweet potato love
Sweet potato love.

pastel hair dye
Big changes.

Good times with this guy are always the best times.


And because there’s never enough love, let’s list some more! Le Love List:

Trying to garden with a reluctant 4-year-old. We needed to sow the buckwheat cover crop, which luckly only requires a 1/8-1/4 inch seed depth. So, we each took fistfulls of seeds and flung them in to the bed, and then we danced around on top to work them down. Hey man, a mama’s gotta do whatever works, right? // Being back home in my beautiful Santa Barbara. // This article on the ridiculous rental market in my beautiful Santa Barbara, which is depressing but also makes me feel better because geeze, it’s not just me. *Nobody* can afford this shit. // This video, a “Ray Rice-Inspired Makeup Tutorial” . . . actually, this is so good I’m embedding it:

// Self care (dry brushing + lots of green juice + getting enough sleep). // Peppermint tea. // The West Wing. // Meeting people and clicking right away. // Basically staying completely off Facebook – dang it’s good to be gone! // Exploration. // Downs. Downs are good because they highlight the ups. But downs are only effective if you *really* let yourself feel them. I believe that with all my heart, I really do. So this week, I am grateful for downs, and for my ability to fully embrace the entire spectrum of authentic emotion. Here’s to a well-rounded human experience! *cheers*

Alright guys, now it’s your turn! I’d love it if you share your Love Lists down on the comments below, if you feel so inspired. We all love to read them!

And of course, have the most wonderful weekend, y’all!

♥ ♥ ♥

  • Sarah

    I appreciate your honesty so much, and I just wanted to say that you are definitely not alone! I totally relate to that isolated feeling, when it seems as though no-one thinks the way you do or shares your beliefs, and it can be so challenging. Thank the gods for the internet – at least I know that I can always find a fellow weirdo there! :)

    My love list for this week: I got my PhD funding, which means I get to move to the beach in January to start my research! ~ Finally understanding that all the things I’ve lost over the last year and a half were just making way for something better ~ Silver linings ~ The incomparable feeling you get from reading a great book; I just finished We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, and it was incredible. For reasons I won’t spoil, it’s a particularly great read for vegans and AR activists ~ Vego chocolate bars – best vegan chocolate ever!

  • Angie

    Thank you for the reminder that it is OK to ask for help when you need it!
    This week I am loving: sisterhood/a break from my normal routine/perspective/eating right/hot yoga/steamed kale/essential oils.

  • WookieWifey

    I know exactly how you feel and I’m glad you had someone there to pick you up and tell you it was okay. I know we’re radical in mostly different ways, but I do know what it is like to feel like you’re the only one. People ask me quite a lot why I don’t have any friends, why I don’t go out, etc…Well…Pagan, hippie, kitchen witch, nerd, metalhead, Jacques Fresco supporter, and equal rights-ist **…and living in the South in the Bible belt…yeah. Check the list again if you’d like. Pretty much every subject of conversation is suddenly taboo because, in my experience, it all ends up with someone judging or belittling me for daring to have such a ‘non-Southern’ outlook on life. Anyway, you can hit me up if you ever need to cry about it, I’m here and I get it. :)

    **??I do not like to say feminist because, reasons…let’s just say the few I’ve met are probably (hopefully) a poor representation of the feminist community.

  • lysette

    Ha! Wookie, you basically just profiled me, except I’m living in the Northern Bible Belt – seriously, it’s called that in Canada, a conservative stronghold. I’m pretty confident we’d be friends ;)

  • WookieWifey

    Probably so! :)

  • Lisa B.

    I’m sorry to hear about your isolating experience. I have far too many of those, and they ain’t fun. A strong and like-minded social circle is so critical in those moments, and I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found one!

    I’ve mostly stopped responding to any racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory comments. If they’re subtle or seem unintended, I might ask a follow-up question to confirm (“I’m sorry, but do you mean to say X?”). If they’re a friend or seem otherwise naive, then I might try to sit them down and explain why X is wrong (and fucking racist!). Otherwise — particularly if the remark is blatantly discriminatory or is intended to be a joke — I tell ignorant and racist folk, in a variety of ways, to get lost. We don’t have to make friends with everyone, especially not when they hold beliefs that are hurtful, violent, and baseless.

    As for my love list:
    Revelling in the fact that it’s October, which is my absolute favourite month of the year // buying gourds and pumpkins to pepper throughout my home // roasting all the seasonal veggies (namely yams, carrots, beets) // discovering a bomb-ass raw cappuccino shake ( // reading horror stories in the spirit of the month // coming back from a month-long trip and falling in love with my partner all over again (distance can do wonderful things for relationships!) // checking out as many films as possible at the Vancouver International Film Festival // finding deals for some of my favourite yoga studios on Groupon, delighting my broke-ass student self (health and fitness should be available to all, not just those with deep pockets!) // crisp and brisk fall bike rides

    I hope you have a lovely weekend, Sayward!

  • Hope Hughes

    Oh hun! I’ve been there! I live in Georgia, and deal with garbage like that everyday My skin is so tough that it feels like armor…
    But, I get the whole isolation thing. I have never felt so isolated in my life until living here (ok, an exaggeration, but it feels like it because it’s in the here and now). Even the vegan community is separated – we have inside the peremter (ITP) and outside the peremeter (OTP). The vegan population of ITP really wants nothing to do with us OTP. It’s sad. I’ve gone to meet ups and groups only to find myself, my husband, and my bestie sitting in a corner feeling like pariahs….
    The good is that it really drives me to move out of the south and helped me decide to move my passion online. See,silver lining, but it comes with a jagged little pill…
    I’m really sorry you had that experience, but very happy you found an amazing support group of awesome people!
    Don’t forget you can always reach out to us in internet land! You got a lot of people you will life you up when you need it!
    Stay groovy!

  • Rebecca Carnes

    Just tried posting a comment…technical difficulties:) If it double posts then I apologize :)
    Just wanted to say that it totally stinks to experience what you did and feel isolated!! But really awesome you were able to recognize the importance of asking for help!! Is so so important to reach out when you need to…you never know what you’ll get in return, like surprise gatherings of like-minded women:):) That must’ve felt so freeing!!
    Love list: Beach days…especially overcast ones!! Cold Brew coffee! Watching Phoenyx walk into his class happy and with Pride (so much better than the 2 weeks of screaming transition:/)…on that same note…love his teachers, so caring and nurturing! Lastly, Halloween crafting!!! I’m obsessed:):)

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Oh, I love love love that book! I so want to gush about it, but I don’t want to post spoilers. And congrats on your funding!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I’m in the South, too. I can usually cope pretty easily, but sometimes it flat out sucks raising a mini vegan/atheist/equal rights-ist**/Whosian in a rural community.

    **totally co-opting this phrase!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    “We don’t have to make friends with everyone” – so true! Teaching this to my daughter has been tough, but I think it’s important that she realize there is a difference between garden-variety tolerance and putting up with hurtful/violent ideas and individuals.

    Your love list mirrors a lot of what I was going to list – October is my absolute favorite month of the year, I’ve also been making Gena’s raw shake, and I’m front-loading homework like crazy so I can carve out a little time for re-reading my favorite horror stories. Happy weekend!

  • Veronica

    I absolutely know the feeling. Sometimes being the ONLY vegan/intersectional feminist/activist/atheist is really isolating. It’s one thing to have internet-friends who share the same values; but it would be nice to have someone to get a cup of coffee with. Even nicer to have a work pal, or at least someone who won’t give me side-eye for putting coconut milk in my coffee.
    My Love List includes:
    -VEGANISM. I have never felt so wonderful and at peace with food, the world, and my body.
    -Podcasts. I have a long commute, so I’ve been enjoying (based on your rec) Our Hen House and Citizen Radio.
    -Halloween! I’ve got my decorations up and I can’t wait to finish my costume!
    -Planning my writing-focused stay-cation for the end of next month. Knowing that I will be away from work for six blissful days is hopefully going to get me through the next 8 weeks without losing my mind.
    -Daiya cheese. ‘Nuff said.
    -My wonderful boyfriend/partner-in-crime/culinary muse.
    -My adorable cats.

  • Veronica

    Just added it to my Goodreads, based on this recommendation!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I remember seeing your tweets that day – but I saw them several hours after they hit the Twitterverse, and I also saw that you had an outpouring of online support (of course!), so I didn’t respond. I’m so glad you texted that other mama! I need to remember to do that sometimes. I have a pretty tough bubble around myself, but it’s sprung a few leaks lately. Probably just a side effect from the positive stress of school, but still – it’s no fun feeling like a loner in a world that I sometimes don’t want to see Nina grow up in. Trying to teach tolerance and compassion at the same time is more daunting than I thought it would be.

    Anyway! This week I’m loving: October!! Aside from Nina’s birthday (New Year’s Day, aka Nina Day), the entire month of October is my favorite time of year. It is (1) the Month of Monika, culminating in my birthday and then Hallowe’en; (2) when the leaves start changing and dropping, even if it’s still 85 degrees outside; (3) that magical overlap of summer and autumn veggies, all just erupting from the garden and out of control; and (4) that sweet spot between the relief of midterms ending and finals still being just far enough in the future that I’m not obsessing on them. // Weight lifting – I only have time to run once a week and no energy to practice yoga at all – so I stopped ogling Christy, dusted off my dumbells, and fleshed out my plank routine. // hugging turkeys // Working up to the inevitable conclusion that I don’t want to attend Thanksgiving at my in-laws this year. // Scoring big at the thrift store today! // apple cider doughnuts, and maybe some cinnamon rolls, too // my dahlias! they are blooming like crazy, and they’re just so dang pretty

  • Lisa B.

    I am so, so looking forward to reading this book! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. :-)

  • Rachel

    You are not alone. Even in our sunny, liberal California, right!? Sending you all the good vibes for the second year of grad school. Are you doing a thesis or taking a comps type exam?

    Love list (maybe my first one on the blog, though I have read many of yours with joy!):

    // This! // Having friends who make time for you, even when they are super busy. // Loving and being loved by people who are SO different from you. // Eco-friendly wedding planning. // The new cohort of graduate students. // Scheduling qualifying exams. So scary, so good! // Exercise. // Weather that is right for soup! //

  • Jules

    Le Love List: OCTOBER (it’s my favorite month, in my favorite season, with my favorite holiday, and it houses my birthday). A love who understands when my brain is broke and doesn’t try to fix it but helps me make it better when I’m ready. My mama (she started a second round of chemo this week and I’m so grateful to the medicines and that the doctors caught the growth before it became unmanageable). Pumpkin everything. The kid I nanny for and how when I have days I don’t think I can muster the energy to get off the couch she just sits on my chest and plays with my hair while we watch copious amounts of cartoons.

  • WookieWifey

    Sometimes I forget how huge the South is for a split second I had this pathetic ‘ZOMG LET’S BE FRIENDS’ thought, lmfao.

  • Angela

    I totally feel isolated in my beliefs and by the way I aspire to live my life often. If you feel it in CA sometimes, I fear all hope is lost in the Midwest! I wish I even knew a group of like-minded individuals to gather with and revel in our amazing “weirdness” together. That potluck sounds dreamy and healing. Thanks for sharing, it does help to know there are others feeling the same and that it can be overcome!
    My love list right now can be summed up to October!

  • Sarah

    Thank you! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it too- it’s so hard to discuss it without spoilers! Veronica and Lisa, I hope you enjoy reading it :)

  • Lulu

    “If they’re a friend or seem otherwise naive, then I might try to sit them down and explain why X is wrong”
    Ohh, you sound like a delight to be around.

  • Lisa B.

    That’s not very nice!

  • glitterpenis

    Sayward, been reading your lovely blog since 2010 and I just love you. This came exactly when I needed to read it because, yes, I do feel so isolated as a radical sometimes. Add a marriage and two small children to the mix and it can make socializing downright impossible, which doesn’t remedy the lonely feeling much. Luckily I’m married to a fellow freak but we would both love to find our tribe of looney birds! You’re never alone even when it feels like it. Love your pictures too. SoCal looks gorgeous.

  • Rachel in Veganland

    I always so appreciate your honesty and authenticity here. It’s both comforting and inspiring because… Sigh… Don’t I know that feeling? The feeling of stripped down isolation. I’m often finding myself feeling like a queer/vegan/radical feminist/tattooed island and being in a new place has only heightened my differences in relation to new friends and colleagues. Whew. I get that. Which is why I’m so glad to have an awesome like minded online community to come back to when the going gets tough.

    Le love list:

    morning pots of french press coffee, the first few cool days of Florida fall, Oktoberfest beer, cheesy ’80′s horror movies, regaining my health after a nasty bug took its toll, looking around my apartment and seeing stacks of books everywhere…

  • sonja

    I totally hear you about feeling alone with your world view sometimes! So I’m, really thankful for having some friends which really understand me.

  • Megs1980

    I find being vegan difficult for exactly that reason. I feel like a freak. I know I’m not…but it is difficult being the ONLY vegan I know. I don’t have a single vegan friend or family member. I am also a Christian, and let me tell you….that can be a challenge itself as well. There are so many stigmas attached to Christians. Most people assume I must not know how to think for myself if I go to church regularly. They also I assume I must be judging them all the time for not being Christian. Neither of those things are true…but my faith is a HUGE part of my life and it stinks that most of the time people become uncomfortable if I mention it in any way.
    I think what makes people uncomfortable around veganism is similar to what makes them uncomfortable about faith…..if someone else is taking a stand for something then they are forced to examine their own thoughts and beliefs….I think this makes people very uneasy most of the time. Even if what I am saying is just “I” statements….and not “you should” statements. I think people fill in the “you should” themselves. :/

  • Krista

    This hit on so much that I have been feeling lately. My partner and I moved away from Portland to produce our own food, learn skills and live in SPACE. You actually helped me through my vegan pregnancy (9 years strong now). We moved to the country in hood river with wide open space, created a half an acre garden, share our space with geese, ducks and chickens, and my husband farms grapes organically- basically our dreams are realized. I moved into this wonderful life 3 weeks before giving birth. It’s everything we ever wanted. But we still feel alone. I have friends, but the same racist comments, or humor about veganism comes up. I can relate to the difficulty that comes from confronting friends. I need time to process and think about the best way to approach these topics, but then it feels like the time has passed.
    It’s clear that you have worked tirelessly to create a community around yourself and waits. He will be (and is) a wonderful person because of it. You’re a good mama. I hope for the same gifts for my daughter.

    All our love,
    Another small town radical feminist vegan family

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Sarah, it seems like most people feel that sense of isolation. I guess it comes with the territory in being a badass. ;-)

    Congrats on the funding! Thanks for sharing your LL. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It was a reminder as much for myself as for all of you – I’m so bad at that! But every time I do it, it feels good and good things come.

    So why is it so hard?! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I like “equal rights-ist”! It’s more inclusive. Although I like “intersectional feminist” for the same reason. It’s too bad you’ve met some feminists that have turned you off from the term. I know a few vegans like that (make veganism look bad), and it’s such a shame.

    All you southerners make my feel like a whiny baby. I’ve got it pretty good most of the time out here in California, I guess. It could be a lot harder and I could feel a *lot* more isolated. Perspective is good!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Lisa, I hope you had a great weekend as well. I loved your Love List (as always) and appreciate the input/insight on dealing with discriminatory comments. I actually really like the phrasing of “I’m sorry, but do you mean to say X?” – I’m totally going to try that out.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Ugh, yes, there’s a lot of that inner circle-outer circe stuff in the vegan community, for sure. It must be so hard navigating all that, and all the other stuff that makes you “different” in a place like Georgia. I feel like a weenie for even complaining from here in Cali! But yes, thank goodness for the online community. It’s so good to know there’s so many likeminded people here!

  • WookieWifey

    You shouldn’t feel whiny at all, even in a room full of people you know and love, it is still easy to be isolated. That’s why us weirdos need each other around, LOL

  • Tracy

    Your tahini dressing is permanently on my love list…as well as this. I think you will be as obsessed. Especially on a salad with your dressing.

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