I have missed several days due to a ridiculous work load and web site transition (yay WordPress!). I will extend my writing five extra days to make up for what I missed. This was inspired by a radio program I heard recently. I feel everyone would benefit from this. So much fun!

A letter to my 20 year old self:

Dear 20-year-old self,

First, please acknowledge that you are beautiful. Breathtakingly so. And, while this may shock you, you look roughly 10 pounds thinner than you imagine. Enjoy this. Please. Eat more dark chocolate and drink more red wine. When you are 80, you will wish you had done more of both and worried less about how you look.

You deserve to be treated with kindness and love. Please let go of anyone in your life that doesn’t practice this. And yes, thid means your mother, Jen, and all of the boys you could, and probably still will date from 20-28. Avoid the fisherman. Yes, he’s hot, but it’s not worth the heartache.

Follow your heart and let go of your head. Get out of corporate and continue to work for the non-profit for at least 2 more years. Go into the natural healthcare field afterwards. You are passionate about it and it will give you more creditability to write that big book. Oh, and skip the agent and the co-author. Both are more than you want to manage.

Marry him, but be okay with it ending. You are ultimately better off without . He’s important to your growth but will never change. Celebrate both the coming together and the splitting apart. Both are gifts. Don’t say you won’t date boys who play video games. You will. In fact you’ll fall in love with one. Let go of dating older men. Younger men are actually better for you.

Listen to that intuitive, but only with one ear. You know what is best for you more than anyone.

Most importantly, get up every morning, look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” You need to hear it more and if you start now, by the time you’re 25, you may actually believe it.

I love you. Seriously. Madly. Truly.

Have fun.

This is your life.

Be who you are.

And fuck everyone else who can’t handle. Well, don’t fuck them. But, you know what I mean.


-Heather Strang

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

The Shift

the earth is shifting, you know.
it is gyrating, plates grating on plates
mass movement, shaking the foundation we live on.
people are starting to take notice.
this shifting is more than in the earth – it is within.
do you feel it?
do you feel the call to live life, I mean really live it?
to wake up each moment choosing with certainly
all that you need and loving every minute of it?
the time is now.
there has never been another time.
the earth is shifting, you know.
it is calling you, demanding your attention
to see the truth of what is
the truth of you
the beauty of your undeniable, delicious soul.

-Heather Strang

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nestled beside you
my breath following yours
i am reminded of how easily
a life can change.
a life with all i ever wanted –
a lovely career, an ocean view, solid friends,
even more solid beliefs. and endless,
endless possibilities.
the only thing missing was you.
as the universe would have it
you were there all along
hidden from my view
tucked nicely in between friends.
then, fed up with dating and men,
i asked for a lover, a real lover
who could walk this journey
and love me through it. a simple request, really.
on a new year’s night my wish was granted
and now i am here, with you
in our bed, following your breath
tracing the steps i took to get to you.
knowing with certainty that nothing
will ever be the same.

and for that, I am forever grateful.

-Heather Strang

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it no longer serves –
the withholding
sideways glances
the fear.

it no longer serves
keeping the love inside
keeping our hands to ourselves
laying awake at night stewing
over inconceivable wrongs.

it no longer serves
for me to hate you for being you
to make you the enemy of my demise
to judge you for your supposed inadequacies.

it no longer serves
to feel separate for the sake of separateness
to act as though we cannot connect
simply because we are different.

it no longer serves
this idle wasting of human potential
the waiting for life to turn in our favor
when all it takes is deciding, making a choice
and then voila! it is done.

will you join me?
will you lay down your armor
your hardened heart, as i lay down mine?

will you enjoy this journey alongside me
whether here or miles away
knowing we are one in the same, completely connected
and that no amount of ridicule can ever make it untrue?

be kind to yourself.
and within kindness you will unearth more joy,
more love, more goodness than you can imagine.
in goodness you will find:

it no longer serves
to be anything other than love.

-Heather Strang

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The Tea

The tea will not keep.
It cannot, actually.
Instead it will disintegrate,
dissolve, disappear.
It can no longer bother
with indifference, rude chatter
and the isolation that only
being a sole tea bag in a huge,
boiling cup can bring.
The tea ponders its future
seeing no viable options.
It is done, it sighs
and bids the world good-bye.

-Heather Strang

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Ever thought about eating dandelions and brussel sprouts?! While I thought initially this might be a bizarro combo, I’ve learned that it’s delish. Dandelion is great for digestion too, so start tossing it into salads and other stir-fry dishes.

This is a light spring time dinner or lunch that has a hint of sweet. Pair with any steamed veggies (I love brussel sprouts now!) and sparkling spring water.

Dandelion Stir-fry
1 bunch of dandelion roots, chopped
1 c organic raisins
1 apple, chopped (Granny Smith is a great option)
2 c sweet potato, chopped
2 c celery stalks, chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped
2 c protein of your choice (I used organic chicken)
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Grill protein of choice (if using tofu, can add in with onion and potato), set aside. Saute onion, potato and celery first, until soft and golden brown. Add in apple, raisins and dandelion. Mix in protein. Once all cooked through and golden brown, cool and serve.

Brussel Sprouts
I never had brussel sprouts before and wasn’t sure how to cook them. But here’s an easy, no fuss way:

Place in small saute pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper. Cook on low with cover on for approximately 10 minutes. Take cover off and use a fork to make sure cooked through. When done, top with organic ketchup (yum!) or dijon mustard. Enjoy!

Happy Eating!
xoHeather 🙂

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Gods Be Damned

tying up loose ends
tattered, torn and broken
we depart on what is sure
to be a long journey, indeed.

unaware of how we’ll make it
we remain confident we will
it is in our bones
it is in our hearts

no other path is an option
it is impossible to know
the universe brought us together

and the gods be damned if we falter
our souls know more than we can fathom
and so, we feel around for the proper word
the right touch

the way to make this thing – this us
so much more than we’ve ever
made it before
we stare in wonder

red-eyed and clear
sure that this love, this love
will last.

Posted by Heather Kristian Strang in Uncategorized Read More

Your Perfection

No one makes you the victim
You, you choose it all on your own
Yet beautifully, you can also choose
To be the empowered, positive, delightful soul
You really and truly are.
Wipe your tears, stop telling the story
Of what has been done to you.
Instead, look in the mirror
Deep into your eyes and remember
Your perfection.
Nothing to be fixed or changed
Only an embracing of that which you already are.

It is that simple.
I promise.

-Heather Strang

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Tweed Cap

Your tweed cap
perched every so properly
on a tall, perfectly oval head
reached out to me tonight
amidst a sea of people it appeared
and instantly I thought it must be
I was sure it was
for who else wears a brown tweed cap
even in the spring?
for a moment the thought of you made
me smile and made me nervous all at
a second, maybe a millisecond later
I remembered
you crossed over
and the only place for me to see you
is in dreams or photographs
a moment later a lump entered my
and a wave of nausea swept over me
I hadn’t realized I missed you
until now, until now that you’re gone
and I cannot smell your grandpa skin
or feel your itchy, beige wool cardigan
or see your caps, your tweed caps
except in a sea of people
who can never be

-Heather Strang

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As a huge fan of Mr. Matt Love, I had to make you all aware of his latest book. It’s a must read! xoHeather 🙂

New Release: Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker

Nestucca Spit Press announces the release of Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker by Matt Love.

Frustrated with life, teaching, and the inability to become a writer, Matt Love escaped Portland in 1997 at 33 years of age and moved to the Oregon Coast. A year later he became caretaker of the 600-acre Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. During his decade (1998-2008) as caretaker, he helped restore the grounds to fuller ecology, discovered a love for teaching, and reinvented himself as a writer and historian who established Nestucca Spit Press and eventually won the 2009 Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award from Oregon Literary Arts. Gimme Refuge is his passionate 177-page account of his teaching career, experience as caretaker, and awakening as an Oregonian. The book also includes 17 original illustrations by Cindy Popp.

“Becoming the caretaker of the refuge was the biggest break of my life,” said Love. “I sincerely doubt I would have found my voice as a writer or developed my unique love for Oregon without this incredible opportunity. It also helped me return to teaching and to embrace and love that profession.”

Gimme Refuge opens with Love’s first teaching day in 1989 and moves forward to 1998 when he taught at Neskowin Valley School and simultaneously assumed the duty as caretaker of the refuge, a former dairy farm in dire need of restoration. The book concludes ten years later when Love left the refuge after losing a public fight to limit public access to the grounds. “I consider my role as caretaker as the greatest one of my life. I had a direct hand in planting some 15,000 trees on the refuge and it’s awesome to think that they’ll long outlive anything I’ve ever written,” said Love.

Praise for Gimme Refuge:

Matt Love is one of my favorite Northwest writers. Gimme Refuge tells his story as a free-spirited teacher, writer and accidental caretaker of a wildlife refuge on the Oregon Coast. At times, this memoir reads like a hip, modern Walden. At other times, with all its literary and rock ‘n’ asides, it may remind you of The Dead Poets Society or School of Rock. By its final pages, this engaging and uninhibited book should inspire damn near anyone with a passion for anything. —Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide and Border Songs

Love is the author/editor of The Beaver State Trilogy, Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon’s Sesquicentennial Anthology, Super Sunday in Newport: Notes From My First Year in Town and Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker. He’s a regular contributor to the Oregonian, Oregon Coast Today and Bear Deluxe magazines, and writes the “On Oregon” blog for Powells.com. In 2009, Love won the Oregon Literary Arts’ Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for his contributions to Oregon history and literature. He lives in South Beach with his dog and teaches English and journalism at Newport High School. He’s currently working on a book about the filming of Sometimes a Great Notion.

For more information about Gimme Refuge or to order the special edition, go to: www.nestuccaspitpress.com

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