It was shortly after I consumed my own organ that I realized that I was probably destined to live a life with vague or powerful hippie leanings.  Some call it “crunchy” but I prefer the older, longer skirted word of yore: hippie.

It all began when I was young.  And here, for your reading pleasure, is a brief list of the things I did as a child that prepared me for a life of home birth and composting.

1.  I would get excited about a carob covered “energy bar.”

(If you haven’t tried a Tiger’s Milk bar…well- you haven’t LIVED!) I still love carob and I don’t think this is a taste you can actually acquire as a adult. You have to eat carob as a young child to actually appreciate it as you grow older. There is a carob “window” if you will.  It involves deprivation from good tasting things like…well, chocolate.

2.  I have eaten many a rice cake sandwich.  Yes.  You can make a rice cake into a sandwich.  

No, they don’t taste good.

In fact, even as an adult I shied away from buying rice cakes for my kids because I knew that they were, quite frankly, disgusting. But my kids (ironically enough) simply ADORE rice cakes.  My daughter tried to throw some in the cart today while we were at the local co-op.

I was eating dry, crumbly, gluten free crap long before that was even popular. Gluten free wasn’t even a THING when I was eating rice cakes!  GMOs were not even invented yet.  Try competing with that!


3.  I never had peanut butter that you didn’t have to stir until I got married.  

In fact, I always found that thick, sticky, peanut butter with the thick film of oil on top of it to be quite repulsive.  So much so that when my hubby and I began our life together (he too having been raised on peanut butter that must be stirred) we swore never to buy that natural stuff again.

It was all JIFF or PeterPan or Skippy for us for some years.  Ahh…the soft, gooey, sugary goodness of hydrogenated, high-fructose-soaked peanut butter.

Then, of course, I had my first child.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy another bottle of that cancer spreading stuff that doesn’t separate.  I don’t want anybody to have a heart attack.  Hopefully my kids will never discover the temptations of Skippy and her supple cousins…

4.  I recycled before it was a thing.  

Of course, I grew up in northern California so lots of people did that.  We had numerous bins in our actual house for all the different types of recycling.  But some things didn’t even make it to the recycle because we re-used them or  made them into art before that even happened.  I have drank water out of so many concentrated frozen orange juice containers you would just freak out if you had to count them.

(Go ahead.  Make a comment about how your parents were such big hippies that they squeezed their own fresh orange juice every day with a wooden spoon.  I dare you.)

Anyway, when I moved to Texas and recycling was practically non-existent, I didn’t even know what to do.  How is that even legal to have no recycle bin at an apartment complex?!  Still kind of blown away by that.

5.  Compost.  It was a friend.

I told somebody I wasn’t really a hippie once.  She said I had to be- I had a compost bin.

I actually feel much better about myself as an adult since I started my own compost bin, just like mom.  (Although mom’s compost is much more impressive than mine since she has a real garden and stuff like that.) I actually feel a little pain in my heart if I throw egg shells in the garbage.

Reduce, re-use, recycle, COMPOST!

6.  I had a conversation about squatting birth before I was even a teenager.

My mother probably had no idea that this brief conversation would color my views of childbirth for the rest of my life.  But I just thought I would “squat my baby out” when I first got pregnant.  In fact, I thought EVERYBODY did that.  I was so wrong!

But it didn’t stop me from believing that birth was normal and natural, and something I could do.


I actually don’t think my parents were hippies and they certainly weren’t trying to raise somebody who got their news from NPR, but it happened.  Little things that happen around children, they can have a big impact.

So when family gags when I mention something repulsive I have done in the name of natural birth…it was actually a little bit their fault that I am that weird.

Photo by by Kristy Hall, creative commons license

One Response

  1. Jessica Latham


    You make me smile. I enjoy your humor, perspectives and way of life. Thanks for sharing this piece. BTW, LOVE rice cake sandwiches. I actually had one today!


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