Day of Silence

…I’m house-sitting and while I’m there I don’t have internet access anyway. A blessing and a curse. Perhaps it will turn ou, mostly a blessing. It’s a gorgeous setting and there are rooms and shelves full of books and movies, a cozy fireplace, and the prettiest hilltop views of the Valley. I like to peek out the window and try to find my friends’ houses, everything looking small and still like a ceramic town under a Christmas tree.

More importantly, I wanted to use this space to give my deepest condolences and warmest thoughts to Colleen of From Here Now (Colleen also runs the Bethlehem Co-op blog).

A few weeks ago, Colleen mentioned her cat Irie had to spend a lot of time at the vet after becoming ill. Irie was on the mend and in that time, her photo was submitted to a contest of “Holiday Pet Photos” through the facebook page of the vet. The rules were simple: the photo with the most “likes” would win a gift card to the vet.

Irie cat and her personal Christmas tree.

Between working more closely with Colleen once again via Co-op meetings, and helping find votes for Irie online, I feel like I learned a lot about this little precious cat. By the end of the contest, Irie had nearly 300 “likes” (and came in second by less than 10 votes – thanks everybody!).

The best part of the contest was reading the comments under Irie’s photo, people rooting for her and asking Colleen questions about her name and such. Seeing the “like” number jump every few days as more and more people, many whom Colleen never met, showed their small support to this cat in the hopes of helping to pay for medical costs.

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Yesterday I found out that Irie passed away. While I could go on about the loss of pets,or how meaningful and loving they are to us, this is a very personal thing for Colleen – so I want to share her lovely tribute to Irie the cat.

Read FROM HERE NOW: Everything Gonna Be Irie

I will end with this. After my first dog died when I was finishing high school, my mother and I contemplated getting another after some time. The sting of the death was still so raw, I told my Mom I didn’t know if I could do it again, knowing that some day all living things will die. She taught me a simple and true lesson that day:

“You can’t not love something just because you’re afraid one day it won’t be there anymore.”

(Thanks, Mom. R.I.P. Irie the cat.)


Day of Reflection on the Little ‘Fest That Could

 The past 48 hours have been a time of seeking out folks for feedback, constructive criticism, and overall impressions of Bethlehem Vegfest. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive, though I’m excited to continue to improve more aspects next year.

I am working on a post about my overall reaction to the ‘Fest. It’s long, it’s wordy, it’s emotional and it will  likely take me another day or two.

Until then, here’s two more blog posts to keep you satisfied:

Bethlehem Vegfest was featured on Our Hen House today – something really incredible because their work reaches a large audience, and I love that Bethlehem is continually showing up as a vegan presence to people in other areas. Jasmin and Mariann are activists that work endlessly on giving the people tools they need to empower themselves to spread the message of veganism and animal rights. (I was particularly interested in their thoughts on our Vegfest, as they have been to so many others across the country, and am excited to share some of our discussion with you in an upcoming post.)

Not only that, but their podcasts – which are FREE to download and a joy to listen to – will have a special Bethlehem Vegfest segment next week, including none other than superwoman Danielle Konya of Vegan Treats. I cannot wait to hear this episode.  Go check out their work, download a billion podcasts, and then take action.

(*** Also check out a segment of their website/work that ties in Gay and Queer activism, called The Gay Animal. These ladies don’t stop, and we are better off for it!)

From Here Now lehigh valley blog

A local lady new to the blogging scene (and a dear friend, at that) is Colleen Marsh with here blog From Here Now. Colleen writes a positive, inviting blog about all the little treasures found in the Lehigh Valley, places to go, businesses she supports, recipes she makes her own kitchen.

Colleen went to Vegfest and wrote a great blog about her impressions of it (positive!), followed by a billion recipes for everything she made for a vegan dinner that night.

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I am very happy to say that I just had a meeting this morning with some folks about a project that will be an all-vegan project, something the other folks involved had thought about for a while, but seeing the incredible attendance of the fest made them realized that now is the time to act! It’s still top secret, but once it gets rolling we will want all of your support to spread the word.

My heart feels all big and fuzzy. Thank you for being a part of something that quite literally has the power to change our community for the better.