#129 Lydia Willoughby of Sassafras Mercantile

Lydia Willoughby, Founder & General Manager of Sassafras Mercantile comes from a family of pine tree farmers and geologists in South Carolina. As shopkeep and general manager Lydia (she) has always been drawn to plant life and soil. With her Moon in the 12th House, and Sun in the 8th House, Lydia’s work revolves around exchange and nurturance in integrating the unknown and the mysterious into accessible platforms for transformation and resolution built on systems of care. Lydia offers tarot readings from a queer, trauma-informed perspective that engages the cycle of life, death, and rebirth through the collective human experience. She studied herbalism with Dina Falconi, and studied tarot in person with Lindsay Mack and Audrey Gilbert. Lydia completed a permaculture design certification course with Sowing Solutions in Shelburne Falls, MA. 

Sassafras Mercantile was founded with an interest in connecting community knowledge to personal liberation, and convening a beautiful, inclusive, queer, feminist, anti-racist space that asks questions with curiosity and answers with a full heart and a little bit of magic in the City of Kingston, NY.

Today we chatted about Lydia’s background and relationship to land and trees, how she got into the work she does today which is very multifaceted but also naturally connected and aligned. She shares a new project at Sassafras, the monthly wellness subscription box, how Tarot fits into her life and how she offers it to others, and a whole lot more. Stay tuned for more cool community collaboration and offerings from Lydia and her crew!

Today we heard music by Shana Falana including “Right Now is All We Know” from her most recent album, Darkest Light.

Today’s show was engineered Manuel Blas from radiokingston.org

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845) 481-3429

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#106 Comedians Jessieca McNabb and Perla Ayora

I managed to keep things relatively sane with these two comedians in the house today. Perla Ayora, Tech Coordinator at Radio Kingston and Stand Up Comedian talks about her roots in the Yucatan, Mayan culture, leaving for the States, the discrimination she faced and how she came to try stand up comedy about a year ago. Jessieca McNabb started performing stand up in the early ’90s and hasn’t stopped making people laugh since. Aside from splitting sides each week as co-host on No One Like You, she is a regular emcee of various comedy events all over the Hudson Valley. She’s been involved in community activism with Harambee Kingston and now co-hosts Harambee Radio, a weekly show on RadioKingston.

We get into a little of the personal and a little of the professional. Uncovering a bit of their process, why comedy is important to them, a transformational life experience each of them had, Black History month, empathy, building connections, breaking down walls, what they do to take care of themselves and lots more. I started this show thinking that doing stand up would be frightening, and I haven’t changed my mind. The fascinating thing is that they both feel the same way. They experience that fear before each of their shows yet they still get out there and do it. I am seriously impressed. Brava ladies!

You can catch them next on February 14th at the Valentine’s Day Love and Laugh Get Down. Lots is happening for Black History Month here in Kingston like Sip and Paint this Sunday, February 9th and Nubian Cafe on Wednesday, February 12th hosted by Radio Kingston’s SB. I’ll say it again here folks, Black History is everyone’s History so it’s a great time to think about what that means for you and how you celebrate your neighbors year-round. If you want to get involved or support Harambee, you can learn more here.

Today’s show was engineered by Maddy Bogner of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

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#101 Happy 2020! Be Good To Yourself!

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday MOM! I pay homage to my Mom and my Grandma before digging into the crates so to speak to spin many of my favorite Erika Wennerstrom and Heartless Bastards songs. Sorry to all you podcast listeners, you won’t get the music here, you’ll have to check out the show archive in its entirety on Radio Kingston, or catch the Spotify playlist for the show.  “Be Good to Yourself” comes from Erika’s solo album, Sweet Unknown.

In my birthday wishes to my Mom, I thank my Grandma who we lost on 12.3.19. At 91, she had overcome some big challenges in life, getting through the great depression and having to share a single pair of roller skates with her 6 siblings! I know, tragic. She was a bit of a strong willed woman, running away from home and skipping school, ending up in a girls school, graduated at 13 years old and went to work. Pregnant with my Mom at 18, she got herself out of an abusive relationship and went on to have two more children and a life full of lots of animal print outfits and furniture, colored contact lenses, fake fingernails, homemade jewelry, 9 grandkids, 12 great-grandkids and an always full freezer of homemade pudding pops. Thanks for all your strength grandma and all the memories!

I also share some thoughts about the calendar, how Jan. 1 is a bit arbitrarily the start of the year- at one point in history the beginning of the year was March 25th, “Lady Day” – how these systems which we exist within are deserving of a rethink, or at least an acknowledgement that they were often put into place by a power driven patriarchy so that we can reverse/undo the damage they’ve caused. This year, I’d love to move the conversation into how we feminize our systems. Yes, there’s still more work to be done with awakening and celebrating the feminine in human form, but let’s include in the conversation how we feminize the government, religion, economy, calendar, corporate structures, etc. etc. It’s not just about putting women in there. We need to be putting the correct type of feminine energy into the systems. Who wants to join in this conversation???

Today’s show was engineered by me at Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

In addition to Erika Wennerstrom and the Heartless Bastards, we heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

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#100 “Goddesses” with Musician & Bodyworker, Natasha Althouse + Artist, Entrepreneur and Community Builder, Stephanie Diamond

Episode #100!!!! Made it to triple digits!

Today’s special guests are the epitome of the feminine… creative, artistic, talented, nurturing, healing, and mystical. What a pleasure it is to share their stories.

My first guest, Natasha Althouse@musicbynatasha, is a musician, vocalist, wife, mom and holistic bodyworker whose healing practice focuses on postural imbalances, stress induced tension, injury care, and digestive and reproductive health. I met Natasha a few years ago for Mayan Abdominal Massage work and was blown away by the profound nature of what she does, blending massage, sound and energy work together in a very powerful way. We get to chat about life, how and why she makes music, the unique nature of Mayan Abdominal Massage, her connection to Ixchel and so much more. She’s in the studio NOW working on an album which she expects to be birthed into the world sometime in 2020. She even gifts us with a little song during the interview. I cry…again.

Today’s second guest is the multi-dimensional Stephanie Diamond, Artist, Entrepreneur and Community-Builder. She founded Listings Project — listings and other opportunities geared towards artists and creatives — 17 years ago and talks about how it has transformed over the years into a legit community building business! She also facilitates 5-Rhythms and explains how the nature of the experience of dancing 5-Rhythms so closely mirrors the reality of life. Before doing any of those things, Stephanie was and always has been an artist, creating, largely around community. Her Art has been exhibited at MoMA, MASS MoCA, MoMA/P.S. 1, Studio Museum in Harlem, Queens Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Project Row Houses, Philadelphia Mural Arts, SculptureCenter, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, to name a few. We talk about all this, plus the fact that she does not have a smart phone! I want what she doesn’t have!!!

Today’s show was engineered by Manuel Blas at Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello or let me know who you think should be a guest on the show: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

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#98 “Artists and Activists” Helene Richman + Judith “Zelda” Miller

My first guest today is Helene Richman, a mom, wife, artist and creative force behind @brandhelene (Twitter, Facebook) who’s been working with a group of girl entrepreneurs, the Start Up Squad, at the Hodge Center in Kingston, NY. She’s been helping them learn about and build a business. I got to hang out with the girls a few weeks ago and talk about how to create their own radio show. After some prep and a little training, they all got to interview one another. I play some snippets of their interviews during today’s show as well as talk about what the girls have done in the program. After meeting with several entrepreneurs in the area the girls settled in on t-shirts for their business which they will debut at @madeinkingstonny this Thursday! Helene also shares about her corporate business experience and how she’s transferring that in to more service oriented roles. This year she organized the Hudson Valley Design Collective, (Facebook) focusing on upcycling used tectiles in an effort to help shift the waste in the clothing business. The Collective will also be at Made in Kingston along with Helene’s other endeavor with BlocArt, selling upcycled wood made by living wage workers in South Africa. No wonder this lady has another cold!

Next up is Zelda aka Judith Z. Miller @artistsoulspeaks an artist, actor, aspiring shaman and healer who’s talking about her work-in-progress solo show, Que Será, Será: A Life’s Journey of Sexual Orientation & Gender Expression. This multi-media show chronicles the joys and challenges of navigating non-binary Queerness from childhood in the 1950’s to adulthood. Zelda will be performing a work-in-progress production of the show on December 7 @ 8:30 pm & December 8 @ 3 pm at the @lgbtqcenter here in Kingston. Zelda shares about how she got into theater, some of the more powerful experiences she’s had like performing pieces in a women’s prison in Virginia, or a short piece that helped her heal her younger self who was forced to wear dresses against her wishes. Zelda is a gifted, open-hearted, magical and mystical being who has stories to share that are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and most definitely think! If you can’t get to her live performance, Radio Kingston will be live streaming the Sunday show from their Facebook page which you can view any time ->->-> Check it out!!!

Today’s show was engineered by Maddy Bogner of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

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#97 “Keeping it Local” with Designer Sylvia Grieser, Jewelry Maker Rebecca Peacock, Artist Susie Ximenez & Cider Maker Kimberly Kae

Keeping it LOCAL! Look around you, support your friends and neighbors, buy local when you are able to! Joining me today live from Anderst on North Front Street, in Kingston, NY are a group of local ladies making things and doing things in the Hudson Valley. I did my best to edit out some of the technical hiccups we experienced with our remote broadcast so conversation does jump around a bit. Thanks ladies for joining in our talk!

Sylvia Grieser is an internationally renowned fashion stylist, costume designer and consultant for celebrities, films and design houses. After graduating with a Masters Degree in Fashion and Fine Art in Germany, she was invited to work for German Vogue,which led her to New York and a future in the Fashion and Advertising world. Celebrities like Diana Krall, Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald often consult her to style their appearances on prominent Award Shows or Album Covers. She has contributed to magazines like GQ, Details, Surface, VOGUE Goielli and VOGUE Pelle as well as MEN’S HEALTH, to name a few. On top of all that, she has created ANDERST@anderstny her boutique clothing line and store front located at 54 North Front Street in Kingston, NY,

Rebeccas Peacock  @rebecca_peacock is a fine jewelry maker based in the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY. According to the lore, she was raised by wolves in the woods of the Catskill Mountains only to be tamed by ten years in the California salt air. She is now back in the Hudson Valley, crafting her gorgeous pieces, renovating a 19th century farmhouse, and womaning her store front in Uptown Kingston, NY. Rebecca tells us a bit about the process of making jewelry, about why keeping the local community in mind when designing and selling is important as well as where she gets her inspiration from.

Kimberly Kae from Metal House Cider stopped by to talk about the process of making cider from tree to label and how pruning is her favorite part of the process because she gets to spend time with the trees. They just announced that they will be donating $1 per bottle sold on all their 2017 vintages toward the Interpretive Center being build on the reclaimed African burial grounds in Kingston, NY. Thanks Metal House Cider!

Midway through Susie Ximenez from Latinx Project joined our conversation. Latinx seeks to promote Latinx art and culture in the Hudson Valley. They invest in creative work that highlights the complexity, nuance, and beauty of communities who are often rendered criminal or invisible.  Art has the power to move audiences in ways that movement messaging can’t—through new narratives that relate to and transform their own experiences. Latinx is hosting it’s second annual Mercadito on Nov. 30th from 10-3 at BSP Kingston. This is more than just a market, this is an effort to bring the POC community of Hudson Valley together and empower makers of color – to reclaim our crafts and empower our community to shop consciously.

Lucky for us, the wise and caring, Celina Pipman, LCSW, also stopped by to join in the conversation. We all got to talk about working collaboratively with other women, how community is important to us, what we get from community and what we need from community, in addition to how we are taking care of ourselves.

​Today’s show was engineered by Nick Panken, host of Freedom Highway, and Maddy Bogner of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org. With special help from Perla Aroyo Darnell.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

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#96 “Sit & Spin and Physiologus” with artists, Sophi Kravitz + Jicky Schnee

Sort of speechless about the body of work that these women have created. Enjoy!

Sophi Kravitz is an artist and electronic engineer who’s always been fascinated with people, people she already knows and strangers alike. She believes that incorporating public art into a shared experience can be a strong conduit to the acceptance of the human next to you. She often collaborates as part of a larger collective as the construction of the work is highly technical, relying on the strength of both her background and love of bringing people together on collaborations. She believes in the simple magic of theatrical storytelling and works with classical sculpture, metal, code, and electronics to create beautiful playthings. Sophi shares her journey into making art and objects of play from her early childhood, to sculpture, electronic engineering, puppet making and most recently Hackaday, the company she now works for which serves up “Fresh Hacks Every Day” from around the Internet. Her previous collaborative art projects are inventive and impressive, and she shares how recently she’s begun making them meaningful in a deeper way by considering visitors’ reaction to current events to create deeper thoughts about the human experience. Check out her website for the elaborate and inspiring list of art she co-created.

Jicky Schnee is a mother, artist, actor and model, who despite the many different forms that it takes, is seeking to depict and understand authenticity and purity through her art. Jicky shares about her mother really helped to move her forward in life and career by pushing her to NYC and to connect with a key photographer boosting her modeling career. Jicky lost her mother when she was just 25 so we speak a bit about the uniqueness of the mother/daughter relationship and how she healed from the deep grief of losing her mother. Jicky’s interest in authenticity surfaces in many ways including our conversation about social media and the selfie phenomenon which seemingly places value on how people view us rather than how we value who and what we are. This aligns with Jicky’s new-ish appreciation of Crone Culture vs. Youth Culture, and she’s choosing to see and value the wisdom of those who’ve come before her over the priorities and actions of the youth which so often manifests in social media. We squeeze a lot into this hour including the physical and psychological challenges of acting, working with and admiring Joaquin Phoenix, studying psychology, raising daughters, and wanting to experience “the other side,” see her “Physiologus” work for reference.

There’s just not enough time in a two hour show I say! Hopefully these ladies will come back again. We have some unfinished conversation to be had.

Today’s show was engineered by Maddy Bogner of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

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#86 “Women Helping Women” with New Start for Women Program Director, Jordan Scruggs + Grief Coach, Claire Papell’

Writing from Espańa and after a little schedule mixup on my part, sharing the proper episode for today’s show. Don’t worry, Keiko and Claudia are next week, I promise!!! I am so excited to be sharing these interviews that I recorded with these two fabulous women who embody a big theme of this show, Women Helping Women!

My first interview is with Jordan Scruggs, a past guest with an exciting new job at SUNY Ulster as director of the New Start for Women Program. Jordan shares all the details about this program which to me is a great example of how one community is working to help lift up women who so deserve it. Jordan shares the fears and excitement of a career change and the lessons she’s already learning on her new job about the reality of what life can be like for these women. I can’t wait to have the women in the program on the show to hear about their experiences and the sisterhood they are already forming!

Midway through today’s show you’ll hear my chat with Claire Papell, a Grief Coach for Women holding space for women to heal and recover from the loss of a loved one. I was introduced to Claire by friend Amy Short and was so impressed by the meaningfulness of her work that I wanted to have her on as a guest. Claire is an advanced certified yoga teacher and a continuing student of yogic philosophy and spiritual wisdom which she brings into her work. Claire shares about her own past trauma and how it has led her to the work she does in holding space in a world that is often trying to push and pull us into places we are not yet ready to go. Thank you Claire!

Brava ladies!

Today’s show was engineered by Manuel Blas of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT 🙂

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#84 “Living Cooperatively” Evelyn Wright, Commonwealth HV and Julia Farr, Kingston Land Trust

Today I have a special guest host, MY MOM! In town for my big nuptials happening this weekend. We’re talking commons and cooperatives, economic democracy and sustainability with special guests Evelyn Wright founder of Commonwealth Hudson Valley and Julia Farr, Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust. The website of Commonwealth HV perfectly sums up the importance of the work these women do, "Economic stagnation and the impending climate crisis have provoked a global flowering of interest and activity in developing innovative, community-driven ways to address income and wealth inequality, meet people’s needs, and build more stable, just communities. Communities are using a growing toolbox of strategies including cooperatives, community land trusts, non-extractive financing, and collaborative processes to create good, locally rooted jobs, democratize community wealth, and rebuild local commons. Cities and regions are supporting these efforts by creating support ecosystems, mobilizing anchor purchasing, and building grassroots incubators." Both of these ladies are spearheading this type of transformation in our community, and we hope it inspires you to be more cooperatively wherever you are.

Today’s show was engineered by Ben Benton of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT 🙂

http://iwantwhatshehas.org/podcast

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#78 Endometriosis with Dr. Amy Novatt and Mel Toth

Wow, today was a powerful show of Mel Toth sharing her journey with Endometriosis. We start the conversation with Dr. Amy Novatt, Gynecologist and women’s health advocate, explaining what Endometriosis is, how to recognize the symptoms of the disease, why it’s hard to diagnose and treat, and how to manage the symptoms. Whether or not you suffer from this disease or are experiencing some other health concern, it seems there’s evidence enough for all of us to take the best care of ourselves as possible, reduce stress, eat nutritionally and prioritize our own health.

After this intro to "Endo," we get to learn about Mel, how she began her teaching career first instructing 4th graders and now teaching yoga at Shakti Woodstock and The Yoga House in Kingston. Mel openly and bravely shares the challenges that she’s faced with her health from painful and debilitating periods where she would often bleed for two weeks to the diagnosis of Endometriosis after discovering a large (22cm) mass on her ovary. After her first surgery, doctors warned her that if she wanted children she should begin to think about that as the Endometriosis could make it more difficult down the road. That sparked a journey to figure out what to do about children, leading to some time not worrying about it and then trying to get pregnant with the use of fertility enhancing drugs. Tune in to hear all that unfolds for Mel and her journey through fertility and surgery. She’s now on a path of deep self care, supported by a Canadian doctor and her practice, The Natural Endo Movement.

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Mel and was enraptured by her story. I hope to get her back on soon to go deeper into some of the big issues that she’s so gracefully navigating!

Today’s show was engineered by Ben Benton of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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