Female State of Mind

“So not every female human being is necessarily a woman; she must take part in this mysterious and endangered reality known as femininity. Is femininity secreted by the ovaries? Is it enshrined in a Platonic heaven? Is a frilly petticoat enough to bring it down to earth? Although some women zealously strive to embody it, the model has never been patented.” Simone de Beauvoir.

This seems like a good place to start. It may not be where we end because this is a big subject. One that has been studied and debated by many scholars and will continue to evolve as we evolve as humans and our society evolves as the collective of we humans. This discussion is not meant to reinvent the wheel or suggest that I have the answer that someone else hasn’t already shared. It’s not meant to suggest that this is the one and only definition of female, and that there can be no others. No, it’s really about establishing where my head is at so that you know where I’m coming from, so that we’re working from the same foundation in how we define the words that shape the work and the thoughts here.

Let’s start with some of the easier points. For our purposes, female is essentially the embodiment of the feminine. We’re using it as an adverb, not a noun. It does not mean gender although many women tend to embody female “characteristics” well, not always, but often.  However, we all have the potential for embodying both feminine and masculine qualities and many of us already do. Yes, let’s look for opportunities to recognize and honor the embodiment of the feminine in a male body hoping that one day, there will be no need to distinguish between the two. So for the purposes of this work, this philosophy, this opinion, female is the feminine regardless of what it looks like or what shape it comes in.

But what does it look like? How do we know it when we see it? This is the real work. This is where things get difficult and confusing, gender lines get blurred and challenged and emotions get triggered when identity is challenged or perceived to be judged. So let’s start with something less personal, the female in nature. From a Chinese perspective, the female is yin, and yin is described as earth, passive, docile, slow, dark, cold, soft, moist, and consuming while the male is Yang and represents the opposite. In Chinese mythology, it is believed that the world went from being formless chaos to what it is today because Yin and Yang at one point became balanced with one another allowing for creation to take form. Today, Yin is always dancing with Yang, sometimes they are balanced and in equilibrium while at other times there is more of one than the other.

Image by disoniador on Pixabay

While women and men may embody many of their respective Yin or Yang qualities, it’s more complex than that because of this dance between Yin and Yang within everything, even ourselves and how that interacts with our actions and interactions as humans. When we think of the feminine as embodied in human form it is receptive, it welcomes with open arms, it is inclusive, it is nurturing and it is love. It is community, it is the great Mother, it is the greater good over the individual, it is peace. When we see the feminine in action, we see a bountiful existence for all. We see equality for all. We see life.

Being feminine means being gentle but not necessarily weak. Being feminine means taking care of oneself in order to best serve her needs and not just the needs of others or the corporation. Being feminine means tuning into all wisdom not just that of the analytical thinking brain. Being feminine means living in harmony with our surroundings recognizing that we are all one sharing in this planet and not extracting from these surroundings in an imbalanced way. Being feminine means being capable of empathizing in order to prevent the mutual damage of otherizing. Being feminine is creating, tapping into that creative flow, in all it’s many forms.

As the Tao suggests, it’s not Yin or Yang, black or white, feminine or masculine? It’s questionable that we should even be using the words feminine and masculine because of their origin. They grew out of a need to describe the traits that were generally observed to be embodied by each respective gender or even imposed on each gender. As the world changes and the concepts of gender are becoming challenged and possibly even obsolete, we may serve ourselves better if we understand the characteristics that were once assumed to be gender specific to be gender neutral and therefore requiring of new terminology. Maybe that’s the best way forward after all. Until that time, I’ll still be talking femininity.

214 Tara Sanders “YWCA, Springwell, Self Care”

Tara Sanders is currently the Director of Community Outreach and Public Relations at YWCA Ulster County. Long before that, she came to her yoga mat to explore and heal. Having a strong commitment to serving the community and advocating for underserved populations, she has taught students at a mental health advocacy agency, homeless youth, and developed a therapeutic yoga & mindfulness program for a domestic violence shelter in Upstate NY. Since 2017 she has been working with the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Program in developing trauma informed yoga programming that is available for free to sexual assault survivors, anyone supporting survivors, and professionals working to support survivors with their healing. She was on the advisory board of Exhale to Inhale (2014-2020), a non-profit organization that brings yoga to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in New York and Los Angeles through free weekly classes at shelters and community-based organizations. She was one of Ulster County’s 2019 Raising Hope honorees, for her work in women mentoring women to success & Raising HOPE (help, opportunity, passion, empowerment) in our community.

Tara is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher, and has extensively continued her education with an emphasis on trauma-informed yoga, Yoga Nidra, children’s yoga, mindfulness, restorative yoga, adaptive yoga therapeutics, anatomy and bodywork, meditation, Ayurveda, and somatic healing. Working with adults and youth, it has been a dream come true to share the healing and grounding practice of yoga, and to be a conduit for the practices and teachings that have had such a profound impact on her life.

Today, Tara shared about the Y’s upcoming Springwell event happening on March 19th, the Building Resilience event happening on March 8th,  her trauma informed yoga classes sponsored by the Ulster County Crime Victim’s Assistance Program and the many more events happening at the Y leading up to their big fundraising gala happening in July, tickets go on sale in April. After the business talk, we then get personal with Tara, talking self care, boundaries, and living JOY informed!

Here’s the playlist from today.

Thanks to Ian Seda from Radio Kingston for engineering today’s show!

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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203 The Caring Majority and Herstorical Female Figures

Today I start out the show talking about Fair Pay for Home Care and the work of the Caring Majority Rising. They do such important work to raise awareness of the unfair labor practices for home care workers and also the impact the shortage of these workers has on those who need the care. There’s a big push here in NY State to increase their wages amongst other initiatives, and I am asking you to help support them!

Here’s the latest and greatest for ways you can get involved!

  • Call Governor Hochul! And let us know how your call goes! 
    • Dial: 518-474-8390
    • Sample Script: Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m reaching out to ask Governor Hochul to include Fair Pay for Home Care (S5374/A6329) in next year’s Executive budget! Fair Pay 4 Home Care is important to me because [XXXX]. Because NY pays poverty wages to home care workers, our state is the epicenter of a home care workforce shortage–forcing disabled people and older adults into nursing homes because they can’t recruit the workers they need to live at home.  Can we count on Gov Hochul to invest in women by including Fair Pay 4 Home Care in the executive budget? Thank you! 
    • Let us know how your call went here!     
  • It’s never too late to call, tweet and write letters to the Governor and Assembly and Senate leaders about Fair Pay! Here is our action toolkitIf you are getting together with your family or friends over the holidays, get them involved too! And send a message to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins asking them to pass the proposed legislation to increase wages to 150% of minimum wage.
  • Tues, Dec 21 at 5PM: End-of-Year Hudson Valley Regional Meeting! If you’re based in the Hudson Valley, we have an end-of-year celebratory meeting on ZOOM. RSVP here!
  • Tues, Dec 21 at 6PM: Phone banking Arizona and West Virginia voters for Build Back Better! Billions in federal funding for home care are still on the line in Build Back Better. It is currently held up in the US Senate by Senator Manchin and Sinema. On Tuesday next week we are joining our partners at 1199 SEIU to phone bank voters in Arizona and West Virginia, asking for them to call Manchin and Sinema to urge them to move forward with Build Back Better. RSVP here.
  • Monday, Jan 3 from 6-8PM: Phone banking for Fair Pay! We will kick off the new year by calling our most active leaders and inviting them to join us for crucial actions coming up in January. This is the best kind of phone-banking, you won’t want to miss! RSVP here.
  • Wed, Jan 5, TIME TBA: State of The State Watch Party! The Governor will be giving her State of The State address highlighting her priorities for New York and we want to be there together on ZOOM to witness and respond. As soon as we know the exact time, we will let you know! This will be in place of our usual 1st Wednesday meeting!
  • Wed, Jan 12 at [5:30]PM: Virtual Training on the In’s and Outs of the Budget with Advocacy Institute! As we head into an intense budget season, we have a very special training from budget expert David Ng from the Advocacy Institute. RSVP here.

OK, for the rest of the show I read from one of my favorite women who definitely has what I want in so many ways.  Maria Popova‘s lengthy yet delightful Figuring highlights the life and work of several truly inspiring women. If you like what you hear, then you should definitely pick it up for some perfect Winter hibernation reading.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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

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200 Annette Simmons and Areva Martin “Authors and Thought Leaders”

Today the show begins with a conversation with Annette Simmons, a keynote speaker, consultant, and author of four books, including The Story Factor, which is listed in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. She received a business degree from Louisiana State University, went on to spend ten years in Australia in international business, then received an M.Ed. from North Carolina State University, before founded Group Process Consulting in 1996. Her latest book is titled, Drinking from a Different Well: How Women’s Stories Change What Power Means in Action. Learn more at her book’s website. Today Annette shares her thoughts on the different narrative men and women have around power, how women can come to trust their own instinct, how to resist gaslighting, how women can insist on their own narrative and stick to it, why moral emotions are so important and lots more. I read her book cover to cover in about 1 DAY, so I highly recommend!

In the second half of the show I get to speak with Areva Martin, an award-winning civil rights attorney, advocate, social issues commentator, talk show host, and producer. A CNN legal analyst and Harvard Law School graduate, Martin founded Martin & Martin, LLP, a Los Angeles-based civil rights firm, and is the CEO of Butterflly Health, Inc., a mental health technology company. A best-selling author, Martin has dedicated her fourth book, Awakening: Ladies, Leadership, and the Lies We’ve Been Told, to helping women worldwide recognize, own, and assert their limitless power. Today Areva shares some of her own personal story as it relates to gender inequality, what she’s learned by listening to the stories of other women, the lies that women have been told that have held them back, and how to beat a system that’s (still) rigged against women.

Here’s an astrology report for Friday/Saturday’s New Moon! And here’s a link to register for my Virtual New Moon Circle this Friday, Dec. 3rd at 8pm Eastern.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston, 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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#183 Nina Isabelle – Artist, Thinker, Observer

Today’s guest is the profoundly talented Nina Isabelle. She is a process based artist working with perception, action, language, and phenomena. Her practice is a method to sort and solve the inconsistencies of language, memory, and form, and she makes paintings, drawings, photographs, video, sculpture, sound, performance and writing as inquiry into how sensory perception functions as the impetus for action, reaction, response, and choice making in art and life.

Her work has been presented at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City, The Queens Museum as part of Emergency Index Documentation Discussion, Judson Memorial Church, Grace Exhibition Space, and ABC No Rio in Exile at Bullet Space in NYC with Feminist Art Group, as well as at Para//el Performance Space and The Ear in Brooklyn, NY. Internationally her projects have been presented at Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in Gimpo, South Korea, The Unstitute in Catalunya, Spain, Bangkok Underground Film Festival in Thailand, and NA Gallery in South Korea. Nationally her work has been shown at The San Diego Art Institute, The New School’s exhibition at The Bushwick Collective, Roman Susan in Chicago, IL, and CX Silver Gallery in Brattleboro VT, among others.

In 2018 she founded Three Phase Center for Collaborative Art Research & Building in Stone Ridge, NY where she facilitates, collaborates with, and documents the work of process based conceptual and performance artists. She’s continually motivated to work, present projects, facilitate, and collaborate with artists and idea people of any sort.

Today we talk about her upbringing be tossed in the air lots by acrobats and gymnasts and how her childhood set her up for being unmotivated by external validation or approval. This made for challenges in school, but seems to allowed for a vibrant life where she is guided by what is fun and fulfilling. We discuss some of the pursuits of her art in solving inconsistencies in language, memory and form, how perception is imperfect and malleable and several intersections between her work and thought processes and quantum physics. I try to keep up!

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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

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#177 DeShannon Barnes-Bowens “Ifa-Orisa Priestess, Psychotherapist, Educator, Spiritual Counselor”

Iya Rev. DeShannon Barnes-Bowens, M.S. (Iyanifa Iwalewa Ifasalewa Fasina), is the founder of ILERA Counseling & Education Services, and works as a psychotherapist, professional development trainer, and spiritual counselor. Through ILERA, she offers workshops and programs focusing on: sexuality and spirituality, sexual abuse, vicarious trauma and wellness. Iya DeShannon received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Pace University. She has practiced the Ifa-Orisa spiritual tradition since 2001 and is an initiated priestess. Iya DeShannon was ordained as an Interfaith Minister through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in 2010 where she now serves as Co-Director.

Today DeShannon shares about her work, what it is, and how she got into it. She educates us about vicarious trauma, how to look out for signs of it, and how to take care of yourself. Part of our self care conversation takes us into thinking about what we value, and then making the choices to support what it is we want to value. DeShannon closes the conversation talking about the Ifa-Orisa tradition and how it found her.

Here’s the Charles Eisenstein podcast on “Burnout and Renewal.

I read from an article from the Baltimore Sun about the Ifa tradition, and we hear the songs “Ifa” and “Egunegun” by Asabioje Afenapa.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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

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#172 Ella Ray Kondrat and Jesse Scherer “Music, Love and Healing”

Ella Ray is a Kingston NY-based performer who completed her debut full-length album, Hum to Your Heart, released in August of 2019. Her self-generated genre blends her background in Eastern European acapella arrangements with the beauty of Cat Power and the heartache of Mazzy Star. Her preternatural voice sings over innovative acoustic chord structure as she details her romantic and sexual trials with painful memories of her past, vocalizing a strength which is tangible in her transformative music.

Also joining today’s conversation is Ella’s biggest fan and partner, Jesse Scherer, massage therapist and super volunteer who supports organizations like the O+ Festival and Health Care is a Human Right.

Today we talked about Ella’s creative process and stepping into her own as a solo musician, healing, Jesse’s thoughts on volunteering, love, heartache, relationships, and surviving COVID.

We listened to “Bringing Myself Back Home,” “Hum to Your Heart,” “i married Columbus,” and “Do You Mind” by Ella Ray Kondrat.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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

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#165 “Caliban and the Witch” Part 5 Book Discussion

Happy Women’s History Month! In collaboration with Women’s History Month Kingston, we bring the discussion of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch to a close this week, diving into Chapter 5, “Colonization and Christianization.” We went way off text, but had a very meaningful (to me) discussion about some vitally important topics. Sassafras has copies of the book if you want to read and revisit this in more detail. Let us know if you do. We can keep the conversation going…

Here’s Carolita’s event, Goodbye to All That Book Re-Launch + Virtual Celebration, happening on April 13, 2021.

And here’s the link to Rakel’s art show, opening May 8, 2021, “(s)mother 2.0 care in (a time of) crisis.

And here’s New York Caring Majority. Show them some love, get involved/donate, if you want to be a part of the change towards a more equitable and compassionate world. Their work is an integral part of the solution!

Rakel Stammer is an artist and teacher who primarily works in painting and drawing, but also dabbles in sound, installation, collage, writing, photography, printmaking and performance. Her work has been published in several magazines, anthologies and journals across the world and she has exhibited in Denmark, Sweden and the U.S. She was on the show before, pre-COVID in October 2019, talking about her series “The C%#& (C-word) Drawings” completed during a residency at Deer Creek Collective. Rakel speaks publicly and writes about capitalism, art, trauma, dominance and violence, seen through an anti-capitalist, intersectional feminist lens!

Carolita Johnson is a cartoonist (The New Yorker magazine) and illustrator from NYC. She spent 13 years in Paris, France, after graduating from Parson’s School of Design with a degree in Fashion Design. In Paris, she earned a masters degree in Modern Letters and Linguistics, and got some (admittedly very idiosyncratic) chops in pre-doctoral Medieval Anthropology, which turned out to be her gateway drug to cartoons and illustration. She is also a writer, has appeared on HBO and NPR, performed in various esteemed settings, is an alumnus of the O+ Festival, and most recently added teaching via SUNY New Paltz to her list of accomplishments.

See you on MOON-days starting in April!!!

Today’s show was engineered by Nick Panken, host of Freedom Highway, AND produced, hosted, and edited by ME, Theresa, so please forgive any hiccups.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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

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#163 “Caliban and the Witch” Part 3 Book Discussion

Happy Women’s History Month! In collaboration with Women’s History Month Kingston, we continue the discussion of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch. This week we’re discussing Chapter 3, “The Great Caliban:The Struggle Against the Rebel Body.” In Silvia Federici’s words, “[o]ne of the preconditions for capitalist development was the process that Michel Foucault defined as the ‘disciplining of the body,’ which in my view consisted of an attempt by state and church to transform the individual’s power into labor-power. This chapter examines how this process was conceived and mediated in the philosophical debates of the time, and the strategic interventions which it generated.” Lots of juicy stuff in this one folks! Next week, we dive into Chapter 4, “The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe.” Let us know your thoughts and questions!

Who’s in this conversation?

Rakel Stammer is an artist and teacher who primarily works in painting and drawing, but also dabbles in sound, installation, collage, writing, photography, printmaking and performance. Her work has been published in several magazines, anthologies and journals across the world and she has exhibited in Denmark, Sweden and the U.S. She was on the show before, pre-COVID in October 2019, talking about her series “The C%#& (C-word) Drawings” completed during a residency at Deer Creek Collective. Rakel speaks publicly and writes about capitalism, art, trauma, dominance and violence, seen through an anti-capitalist, intersectional feminist lens!

Carolita Johnson is a cartoonist (The New Yorker magazine) and illustrator from NYC. She spent 13 years in Paris, France, after graduating from Parson’s School of Design with a degree in Fashion Design. In Paris, she earned a masters degree in Modern Letters and Linguistics, and got some (admittedly very idiosyncratic) chops in pre-doctoral Medieval Anthropology, which turned out to be her gateway drug to cartoons and illustration. She is also a writer, has appeared on HBO and NPR, performed in various esteemed settings, is an alumnus of the O+ Festival, and most recently added teaching via SUNY New Paltz to her list of accomplishments.

Here’s the Podcast Beyond The Periphery: Reclaiming The Body Under Contemporary Capitalism w/ Silvia Federici that I referred to.

FEMINIST ACTION! Support NY Caring Majority’s efforts to increase the wages for home care workers. Call Senate and Assembly leadership and let them know that #FairPay4HomeCare is a win-win for all New Yorkers! https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfxBCAC…/viewform…

Today’s show was engineered by Nick Panken, host of Freedom Highway, AND produced, hosted, and edited by ME, Theresa, so please forgive any hiccups.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

** 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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#162 “Caliban and the Witch” Part 2 Book Discussion

Happy Women’s History Month! In collaboration with Women’s History Month Kingston, we continue the discussion of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch. This week we’re discussion Chapter 2, “The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women: Constructing ‘Difference’ in the ‘Transition to Capitalism'” and it’s myriad of topics including: Capitalist Accumulation and the Accumulation of Labor in Europe; Land Privatization in Europe, the Production of Scarcity and the Separation of Productions from Reproduction; The Price Revolution and the Pauperization of the European Working Class; The State Intervention in the Reproduction of Labor: Poor Relief, and the Criminalization of the Working Class; Population Decline, Economic Crisis, and the Disciplining of Women; The Devaluation of Women’s Labor; Women: The New Commons and the Substitute for the Lost Land; The Patriarchy of Wage; The Taming of Women and the Redefinition of Femininity and Masculinity: Women the Savages of Europe; Colonization, Globalization, and Women; Sex, Race and Class in the Colonies; Capitalism and the Sexual Division of Labor. Next week, we dive into Chapter 3, “The Great Caliban: The Struggle Against the Rebel Body.” Let us know your thoughts and questions!

Who’s in this conversation?

Rakel Stammer is an artist and teacher who primarily works in painting and drawing, but also dabbles in sound, installation, collage, writing, photography, printmaking and performance. Her work has been published in several magazines, anthologies and journals across the world and she has exhibited in Denmark, Sweden and the U.S. She was on the show before, pre-COVID in October 2019, talking about her series “The C%#& (C-word) Drawings” completed during a residency at Deer Creek Collective. Rakel speaks publicly and writes about capitalism, art, trauma, dominance and violence, seen through an anti-capitalist, intersectional feminist lens!

Carolita Johnson is a cartoonist (The New Yorker magazine) and illustrator from NYC. She spent 13 years in Paris, France, after graduating from Parson’s School of Design with a degree in Fashion Design. In Paris, she earned a masters degree in Modern Letters and Linguistics, and got some (admittedly very idiosyncratic) chops in pre-doctoral Medieval Anthropology, which turned out to be her gateway drug to cartoons and illustration. She is also a writer, has appeared on HBO and NPR, performed in various esteemed settings, is an alumnus of the O+ Festival, and most recently added teaching via SUNY New Paltz to her list of accomplishments.

FEMINIST ACTION! Support NY Caring Majority’s efforts to increase the wages for home care workers. Call Senate and Assembly leadership and let them know that #FairPay4HomeCare is a win-win for all New Yorkers! Let us know once you make the call here: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfxBCAC…/viewform…

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, (518) 455-2585

Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie, (518) 455-3791

SCRIPT: Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m calling to urge [THEIR NAME] to include Fair Pay 4 Home Care in this year’s one-house budget and ensure that home care workers receive a wage of at least 150% of the minimum wage. Because of the current low pay, New York is the center of a workforce shortage in this sector, with even more home care workers leaving the workforce in droves right when we need them most. This is forcing many seniors and people with disabilities to live in nursing homes instead of receiving their services at home. Assemblymember Dick Gottfried and Senator Rachel May are sponsoring this budget priority, and the bill number is S5374. Will you include Fair Pay 4 Home Care in the one-house budget?

Theresa and Ana’s New Moon Virtual Circle “Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother Crone” – Saturday, March 13th 7-9pm

Today’s show was engineered by Nick Panken, host of Freedom Highway, AND produced, hosted, and edited by ME, Theresa, so please forgive any hiccups.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

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

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