Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

live seasoned koh lipe blue hour-1

Sarah Here :

Happy Friyay! I’ve been having a week. It started off inspiring and productive as I worked through the whole weekend. I researched and formulated some plans for my Tulum retreat, I meditated more than usual and I bought myself a new camera, which means I have to update this post. Then Monday came around and I heard news that Otto Warmbier had died. This event led me on a dark spiral that continued through the week and culminated in me watching dozens of videos of black men being shot and killed by police. I don’t necessarily think my behavior is healthy, but I do think exposure to evil is a helpful way for me personally to cultivate even more empathy, compassion and love.

I’m hoping that I’ll find a way to make a meaningful difference, but for now I’ll just talk about my experience and feelings about Otto’s death. I wrote this immediately after I heard the news, before I had my morning coffee, while completely wrapped up in emotion, and now I’m hearing my college professor telling me to ‘take a seat,’ after having just explained so much about my writing before presenting it. Sorry Professor Trayes!

Walking up the stairs to my tiny bungalow yesterday, I thought back to a week previous when I had caught my roommate’s cat stealing a baby bird from a nest. I was mortified, I happened to look out the window at the moment when her mouth closed around the small bird. So upset with the cat, I stomped outside with rubber gloves on, picked up the tiny, mostly unharmed, chirping bird and returned it to its nest. I felt immense sadness for this single baby bird. ‘How could the cat do that,’ I thought, even though I’ve seen dead bird carcasses lying around for the past year and I’m well aware of instinctual nature.

Cut to ten minutes later, I wander into my room for something and again, looking out the same window, I see the cat steal the same baby bird. This time death was imminent. My heart felt tiny and hard. WTF. What the fuck. My friend helped rationalize it, commenting on the natural cycle of life, the food chain, the minute importance of a single bird when there are surely humans dying at the same moment… Yeah, I understand all that and yet something about this moment, about seeing the cat steal the bird, saving the bird and then seeing it being stolen again, I just couldn’t handle it. Wasn’t it enough that I wanted the bird to live?

It took me a couple of days to realize that really what I wanted wasn’t so much for the bird to live, but for me to not see the bird die. This cat has been murdering songbirds and small mammals its whole life and I knew that, never once did I feel such crushing sadness, it was only because I saw the suffering. I saw the momma and poppa bird circling overhead, chirping, terrified and angry that they worked so hard only for their baby bird’s progress to be stopped in an instant. I saw them return to the nest excited and squawking when the baby was replaced, I heard the shrieks when the cat came back.. I was a witness.

So often I try to act as a witness. Observing the present moment, aware yet detached and allowing each tiny event to flow by.. but the baby bird stuck. I was no longer in the present, it made an impact. I know this because I could not stop thinking about it and yet I knew it was uncommon for me to be that upset by the death of a single bird.

So back to yesterday, I’m walking up the steps, past the exact spot where I tried to save the baby bird a week previous and in an instant I thought, ‘okay, I’m finally over the bird incident, I set my emotions aside, I understand why I was upset and I’ve come to terms with witnessing suffering and the fragility of life,’ and it was as that thought was finishing that I see a fresh songbird carcass laying on the top step.  I let out a loud laugh from the bottom of my belly; the timing was amazing. At the instant I declared I was, over it I was challenged to face it again. Reality is truly absurd. Believe it or not, I felt better and I laughed a few more times that day about the second dead bird. It’s as if my self declaration of passing the test was enough for the universe to hand me another challenge, to ask, ‘are you sure you’re okay with it?’ And the answer was yes.

Then something else happened.. Otto Warmbier, the young American who allegedly tried to steal the propaganda poster from North Korea died. He’s dead. An American kid who might have tried to steal a poster is dead. Is it idiotic to steal something from North Korea?  Especially something with the dictator’s face on it? Yeah, duh, of course. Did an immature 21-year-old brain think for a second that it wouldn’t be such a big deal? Yeah, I’m sure. Was it? The biggest.

Even though we don’t exactly know what happened, I suppose the fact that an American abroad could be arrested, detained and returned home on the verge of death, is what’s absolutely terrifying to me. I understand what a privileged position I hold. There are citizens in our home country who worry about being potentially killed during routine stops and arrests on American soil. I get that and I don’t mean to minimize it.

Maybe Otto’s death scared me so much because I travel a lot. I think about being locked up abroad and I think about my poor parents. I think about the work they put in and how I could serve them a lifetime of grief with one stupid move, but I always imagined bribery, bankruptcy and jail time, not labor camps, comas and death. If nothing else, I expected accountability from one government to another. I expected my super power of a country to come to my rescue to at least ensure I wasn’t withering away in whatever imaginary jail I found myself in if the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

As an American abroad, I actually pretend to be Canadian. Seriously. I never offer up where I’m from and I’m the first person to criticize our country in a world that is U.S.A.-crazed. I always try to emphasize that America is not what everyone sees in the movies. I don’t live in Hollywood and not everyone is rich and beautiful, has a good education or even a full belly of food where I live. It’s a hard concept for some people to grasp.

As an American girl abroad, I’ve had at least a dozen serious marriage proposals and hundreds if not thousands of conversations about our politics and presidents. Traveling during Bush, Obama and now Trump, has opened me up to a range of discussions and reactions from folks on five other continents. After rolling my eyes and shaking my head and basically crushing the idea of the American dream to whomever I’m talking to, my cynical side starts to melt away, I back pedal and I admit that America is alright. I remark on our freedom speech, fair elections and general permission to do whatever the fuck we want, including buy assault rifles.. hopefully my foreign counterparts detect my sarcasm on the last bit, but even if they don’t, America doesn’t sound too bad. Apparently most people think it sounds pretty great (No need to make it great again, we’re already there!) and at the end of each of my trips, when I finally land back on American soil, I too agree. It’s good to be home. It’s nice to know I have this amazing country to be apart of, a place where I’m mostly free to be me without persecution.

I suppose I always assumed that being an American abroad insulated me as well. That I would always be saved by my country. I think Otto’s death rocked me because it flipped the script of what I knew to be true. If you’re an American, America has your back. Everything will be fine. The world is watching, but just like the baby bird, it doesn’t matter who is watching.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

Sarah Here :

first round-18

Happy Friday friends! I hope your week went well. Mine was off to a bit of a bummer because I hosted a dear friend all last week and then woke up alone on Monday morning. Who likes that? No one, that’s who. After a Monday morning pep talk, I cleared off my white board and made a plan for the week. As a self-employed person, this is pretty much my only strategy for keeping myself accountable and on track with the week’s or month’s tasks. It worked pretty well this time around.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

Sarah Here :

Hey there! What the hell have I been up to? Well once a year I kinda quit every single thing in my life, reassess and then see what I miss. I guess I had unknowingly did that with Live Seasoned when I became busy one week, too tired the next, traveling the week after that, etc, etc. I’m happy to report that I do miss showing up here on Seasoned so you’ll be hearing more from me in the coming months.

liveseasoned summer16 two bits camera-1liveseasoned summer16 two bits camping-1

In other news, I just returned from an epic road trip through the south.  It was quick (only 2.5 weeks), but packed with adventure and exploration. I’ve already posted quick travel guides to Philly and Chapel Hill – check ’em out! liveseasoned summer16 two bits schu family-1

After the road trip, I drove an insane 24 hours up to Pennsylvania to stay in the home I grew up in for a couple weeks. I was able to catch up with friends from high school, do some work around the farm house, and attend my middle sister’s wedding celebration. It was a whirlwind and although I’m happy to be back in NC, that visit stirred up a lot of nostalgia.

I have a feeling these next two months will be a little hectic.  I’m moving out of my apartment in July and to be completely honest, I don’t have a clear direction just yet. Never in my life have I felt something tying me to a specific place or person and now that I’m letting both place and person go, I’m a little lost, but I’m settling into this feeling, I’m not to worried about it. I’m searching for a cool community to join or a room in a house to rent, I’m even searching house sitting websites for a listing that will work with my situation. Ever have those days where you wander from website to website? I’m perusing through Craigs List to Idealist to House Sitters America and back again. Searching, searching, searching.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

live seasoned spring 15 office workers wind down yoga outtake

Sarah here :

What a week! The weather here was so so, but it motivated me to get a bunch of work done before my trip to see Kate in Colorado next week. I spent long hours in the darkroom and in my home office, developing prints, paying taxes and getting everything squared away. Nothing too exciting. I did listen to some interesting podcasts that I’d like to share here. If you like the suggestions, I’ll keep them coming in future two bits posts.

Stuff You Should Know – How Makeup Works – Wow. This one was eyeopening! Did you know makeup hasn’t really been regulated since around 1938?! Insane! That was the real gem of this podcast, just knowing that we are all rubbing unregulated chemical concoctions into the largest organ on our body.. not good. Just like we were surprised to find out beaver castoreum is sometimes used in artificial vanilla flavoring, there are some pretty curious ingredients in common makeup products. Kate has taken a few mineral makeup classes and we’re hoping to share some of that information and a recipe or two in future here on the blog.

Stuff You Should Know – How Perfume Works – Not as disturbing as the makeup podcast, but equally informative, it was cool to hear what exactly goes into creating a perfume.  I wanted to listen to this episode after Kate wrote the coolest post (in my opinion) on DIY perfume a few days ago. Check it out if you’re interested in making one of our custom scents, or maybe you have your own idea in mind?!

What else? We started the week reminiscing about a trip to Bali, Indonesia, shared our camera equipment mid-week and rounded it all out by talking about IUDs. Varied, but informative week here on Seasoned. Oh question, when learning new workouts and yoga sequences online, what do you prefer? Still images, videos, GIFs? We’d love to know. Happy weekend!

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

Katie here :

Confession – during Thursday’s happy hour, we were those parents with their kids in a bar. In our defense, it was a bar disguised as an arcade, and if the babysitter were free, you can bet I would have been playing skee ball by myself. But then I would have missed out on an amazing moment with Alex where he got his first ever gutter ball (after about 15 minutes of rolling the balls up the ramp only to have them roll back to him). You should have seen the excitement on his face the first time the ball actually went in the gutter! After that, it was just one gutter ball after another. The kid was on fire.

IMG_6537

In other news, I’ve been having one of those weeks where I want time to slow.down. and then speeeeeed up!  Luc turned one. How can that be? At least he’s a tiny one year old, so he still seems a bit more baby than toddler, but the walking is going to start any day now. Ugg. I’m not ready. On the other hand, I’m soooo ready for time to speed up so that I can get out in the garden and start planting. I have some big plans for our flower beds and pond this year, and I can’t wait to put everything into motion. But I’m biding my time, because I know the threat of frost is still strong in the mountains.

Slow down. Speed up. How are you feeling?

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.45.17 PM

Sarah here :

It’s 11:43pm – I can still contribute to two bits, right? In response to Kate’s question, I wanted work to speed the f**k up today while I worked a twelve hour day and now that I’m finally home and facing that same hurdle tomorrow I want it to slooooow down. No complaints here though, I promise. Today I shot possibly the coolest assignment of my short career! I worked in Henderson, North Carolina at the Girl Scouts Camp Graham Tree Houses. Yep, that’s the cool sh!t your cookies buy! These bunk houses are supreme and seeing two troops of little ladies running around and having a blast in them today made it that much more spectacular.

Other than the tree house shoot, I’ve been working a bunch of hours in the darkroom lately. Working alone with the ancient enlarger, hundreds of negatives, and all those smelly chemicals is an art form as well as meditation to me. I listen to podcast after podcast in that small space and these were my favorites this week:

Stuff You Should Know: How Dark Money Works – Holy shit. I mean, I knew, but this podcast just spells it all out. THIS SHOULD BE REQUIRED LISTENING. I had to shout that because I learn so much every week from podcasts and this one had me captivated, horrified and pissed off (in the best way) the entire time. Please listen to this, please.

Stuff You Should Know: How Nitrous Oxide Works – As always with these dudes, a funny, entertaining, and enlightening podcast. I had no idea what the hell was happening when I did whippets and now I know! Probabbbbly should not have done so many that one day, but at least it was only that one day…

Joe Rogan #646 featuring Dr. Dan Engle, MD a practicing psychiatrist, board certified in psychiatry and neurology as well as Aubrey Marcus a fantastic writer, entrepreneur, and adventurer. Engle and Marcus talked a bunch about drugs I’ve never heard of before – drugs that have the potential to treat addiction, which is what made this podcast so fascinating to me.

Joe Rogan #629 featuring Andrew Hill, PhD, a lecturer, scientist, explorer, and also the lead neuroscientist at TruBrain. This podcast focused a lot on neuroscience pertaining to the treatment and understanding of addiction, ADHD, depression, and other diseases and mental disorders. Extremely interesting and Dr. Hill is knowledgable across the board so just enthralling all around.

It’s now 12:02am, I’ve failed. Slow down time, geeeeze.

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

 Sarah Here :

I feel like I’m rubbing it in Katie’s Colorado face every time I say it, but SPRING IS HERE! For the past few weeks I’ve been lounging in the hammock reading, walking on the slackline, and taking this hound dog on hikes. Sometimes it’s sunny and sometimes it pours the entire time – like the hike shown below – but all warm weather is awesome weather in my book! We have a forecast full of rain for today, but I’ll take it 🙂 Oh and I shared a few words about the invasive Chinese Wisteria (that amazing purple blooming bush) on our Live Seasoned facebook page today.

Side note: see all that flippin’ pollen in the water?! I think everyone in the state is suffering from sinus congestion. I plan on staying in for the most part to start my taxes and sift through some photo editing work. Have a lovely weekend!

liveseasoned two bits 2liveseasoned two bits_DSC2377

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

 

Sarah Here :

haand insta-10

Hey, hey! I had the most fun work week as you can see.  We’re putting together a new hospitality and tabletop catalog at Haand, the ceramics company that I shoot for. I arrived at work on Thursday to this beautiful sight, all our matte white pieces snuggled together on one table with some spring blooms for an added bonus.  As the perfect follow up to shooting dozens of pieces, I drove over to Raleigh today to visit Provenance restaurant to see how our plates stand up in a fast-paced kitchen. It makes my heart happy to actually see chefs creating mini masterpieces on our dishes. Documenting artists and makers will always be a favorite subject of mine. Tonight I’ll head to the darkroom for some printing and this weekend I think I’ll edit, edit, edit the days away. What about you? Did spring visit you yet? I enjoyed temps in the eighties this week! I’m loving it. Enjoy the weekend – get outside!haand insta-10-2 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

FullSizeRender

Katie here :

What a beautiful week we’ve had! And I know it’s just a snippet of what’s to come. This week we spent every morning out on the deck before Calder would leave for work. We would drink our coffee and the conversation would always turn towards future projects and ideas. We talked about everything from the mundane, like cleaning the pond, to the more exciting, like what fruits and vegetables we want to try growing at home this summer. And then there are the more long-range plans, like what sorts of hidden nooks we want to develop in our wild mountainside (secret hammocks and benches for relaxing, rope and tire swings for playing, etc.). There’s nothing like a few warm days to make you think you can conquer the world.

Today our plans turned towards the weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this one for about a month now. Tomorrow I’m taking a class on how to make my own makeup using natural ingredients. I’m so excited! I don’t even wear makeup regularly, but it’s going to be fun, and I’m sure I’ll share some of what I learn on the blog!

Happy weekend*

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

_DSC4753It’s Friiiiday! We’re all looking forward to the weekend so just remember that on your commute home today – try not to angry honk at anyone even if they have bird brains 😉

Sarah Here :

I’ve been feeling way under the weather this week so I’m treating this weekend like the past few days, lots of baths (and bath bombs!), my favorite chicken soup, some good books and a healthy dose of relaxing. I can’t help but wonder if all the traveling and working (4 shoots in 5 days) over the past week is what knocked me off my feet, what a softie, right? Thankfully next week will be an editing marathon so I’ll be staying at home instead of out meeting clients. The flexibility of my job has me feeling seriously blue for those of you who are not able to take adequate time off for illness and other mental and physical problems that come your way. Remember to take it easy if you’re not feeling a hundred percent. Life can wait, it really can. Take care of yourself! XO

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

Live Seasoned Winter15 two bits-2

Sarah Here :

Friiiiiday! This week was pretty ho-hum, but today totally made up for it. I spent the afternoon photographing oyster platters and a staff lunch at Haand, the ceramics company I work for. The vibe at Haand always breathes new life into my soul. There’s no shortage of inspiring conversations about work and life in the studio. It’s never surface chitchat either, it’s always meaningful and usually motivational in terms of producing creative work and moving towards your passions in some form or another. Each time I pull out of the dirt driveway that leads to the studio, I’m feeling immensely grateful for the opportunity to cross paths with so many creative makers on a weekly basis.

I also had a chance to catch up with Haand’s artist in residency, Ian Henderson. After talking to Ian for a few minutes, I realized we followed a similar path of wandering through the arts. Ian is only at Haand for a week, but the studio time has allowed him to play around with a particular type of mold making that he’s been interested in for years.  Ian works full time at Penland’s metal workshop and in the evenings and on weekends he is grinding away in his basement working with cement. He creates massive tile installations that are quite breathtaking. The more I talk to folks like Chris Pence, Mark Warren and Ian Henderson, the more I want to surround myself with other artists and creative types. Are you surrounding yourself with a tribe you admire? I hope so 🙂

Live Seasoned Winter15 two bits-1  Live Seasoned Winter15 two bits-3 Live Seasoned Winter15 two bits-4

Live Seasoned Winter15 two bits-6 Live Seasoned Winter15 two bits-5

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone