I’m Losing Tons of Friends Fighting Racism. And I’m Totally OK with that.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. All the love to you ❤


Dual-Identity, Double Consciousness

As an Afro-American man in this nation called the United States, it is a known fact that at the professional level one must possess a dual-identity.  I don’t know too much about everyone else, but for me in these trying times maintaining such a thing is driving me to the brink of insanity.  Professional black man by day, abolitionist writer/speaker by night, there is a severe conflict within myself.  All of the micro-aggressions suffered at work.  All of the near-blatant racist ideas uttered by my colleagues.  How am I supposed to soak up, the notion for example, that a guy that I had Christmas dinner with would plow through a set of protesters with his 2010 Mustang?

riley-eyeThis is how racism works: you can have friends, people who hold you dear even, have outright racist ideologies towards your skin tone.  You can have girlfriends, boyfriends and…

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Admitting my Child Has Autism

This is a post many weeks in the making. In this time I’ve felt angry, scared, alone, depressed, and finally, acceptance. Two weeks ago, I joined a club I never asked to be a part of. Two weeks ago my child was diagnosed “on the spectrum.”

A part of me has always known. At 11 months he started rocking in his seat. At 2 years, he still wasn’t talking much. At 3, he was talking even less and jumping when he was excited. At first I was in denial. After all, big brother talked early, walked early, did absolutely everything ahead of schedule. And it wasn’t fair to judge one child on the actions of another.

Just before his third birthday, the preschool teacher approached me. The teacher was worried that he wasn’t progressing normally. At this point I got angry. How dare she question my child. He could count to 20! He was obviously not stupid! But I brought him to see the special education teachers anyway. They evaluated him for hours; determined he had speech delay; and setup an IEP for speech therapy. I thought I had my answers and that everything would get better from there.

Half way through the year and my child wasn’t progressing. She told me I should follow up with the pediatrician. Again I knew what she was thinking without her saying it. But I still couldn’t think it myself. Finally I made an appointment with the doctor. More half answers. “We think he has autism, but he needs to see this person.” We bring him to the therapist. Again, “We think he has autism but he needs to see a child psychologist.” There he receives 2 hours of testing, and 6 weeks of evaluation. Then and only then do we get a definitive answer. *Autism Spectrum Disorder with Severe Language Development Delay*

At this point I became depressed. How could I raise 2 children with special needs? I felt like I was not enough. There was no possible way that I can handle this. But, ever so quietly, I heard a small voice say “you already have.”

My son may have been recently diagnosed with autism. But this has always been the way that he is. He is the same person I know and love. And a diagnosis doesn’t change that. I can be enough, because I have always been enough. I am his rock. He has always looked to me. I will always be enough.

Things have changed for the better. We now have a plan, we have an IEP that will support all of his needs. We have avenues open to us that we didn’t have before. He will succeed. He is brilliant. He is beautiful.

If you’re in the same boat. If you found this post on google. You are not alone. You have support.

I am a new person. I am a spectrum mom.

EDITORIAL: What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege

Beautifully written.


by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chiefby Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief

Yesterday I was tagged in a post by an old high school friend, asking me and a few others a very public, direct question about white privilege and racism.  I feel compelled not only to publish his query but also my response to it, as it may be a helpful discourse for more than just a handful of folks on Facebook.

Here’s his post:

“To all of my Black or mixed race FB friends, I must profess a blissful ignorance of this “White Privilege” of which I’m apparently guilty of possessing. By not being able to fully put myself in the shoes of someone from a background/race/religion/gender/ nationality/body type that differs from my own makes me part of the problem, according to what I’m now hearing. Despite my treating everyone with respect and humor my entire life (as far as I know), I’m somehow complicit in the misfortune…

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Hello friends. City girl/Hippie mom has just surpassed 100 likes on Facebook  and that makes me want to celebrate. I’m going to give one of my followers a bottle of wild orange essential oil on Monday night. Share with your friends. 

Thank you to all of you that are on this journey with me. 

Save The Date


Please join Michelle Inciong Wenis and I as we co-teach an “Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Babies & Your Family” class on Tues, Aug 23, 10am, at Kids Kingdom in Brookfield, CT.

All class attendees will receive COMPLIMENTARY PARTY CONSULTS for: baby showers, children’s birthday parties, baptisms, confirmations, bris celebrations, bat and bar mitzvah celebrations, etc. as well as future oils class hosts/hostess gifts. For more information: http://labonnefetect.com/.

All pregnant women in attendance will receive a PRIVATE COMPLIMENTARY “VIRTUAL Relaxation & Birth Centered Exercise” class & Moms/Dads/Partners/Caregivers with Pre-Crawlers will receive a “Special Gift” for attending Michelle’s upcoming “How We Grow – LITTLEseed Program Songs” Instructional Baby & Me Training, Saturday, Sept. 29th in Southbury. For more information on Green Woman & Your Childbirth, LLC Prenatal Services programs, check out www.greenwomanyc.me.

Please RSVP to either Michelle Inciong Wenis or Chanisa Bottali and look out for the FB Event invitation to register.

Please Stop Sharing Brock Turner’s Face

(Trigger Warning – Rape)


Unless you live on Mars, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Stanford Rapist, Brock Turner, and his bogus jail sentence of 6 months. And if you’re a sensible person (which I know you are if you’re reading this), then I know you’re outraged. Which you should be. This case is the epitome of white, male, upper class privilege.  It outlines the total disgrace that is our court system and their handling of rape cases. It explains why most victims don’t even bother speaking up. But let me tell you something you may not realize. When you share that witty meme jabbing Turner with his smiling yearbook face in the background, you’re actually not helping.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that I was a victim of rape. And similar to this case, my rapist was the stereotypical jock. An all star athlete, and popular kid, no one even believed me when I talked about it. Now, 14 years later, thanks to the technology that is facebook, the occasional photo of him will pop up in my newsfeed. Tagged in the friend of a friends picture from a party for instance. And every time it happens it’s like being punched in the chest. I struggle to catch my breath; my heart rate quickens; my palms become clammy. The idea of seeing him happy makes my blood boil and extremely anxious at the same time. And I feel the same way EVERY. TIME. I scroll past Turner’s prim and proper yearbook photo.

When we close our eyes and envision a “rapist” what comes to mind? I think back to what I might say before my assault. A creepy older man, dressed all in black, hood covering his face in shadow. But that’s not the typical rapist. They are the boys next door, the star athletes, the Brock Turners. Turner is not the smiling boy in his yearbook photo. He’s not even the smug looking man in his court photos. He is a monster. And sharing those photos don’t portray his pure evil. So I beg of you, as someone who has felt this real pain before, continue to share your petitions for justice and your articles giving exposure to the issues. But please, please, PLEASE stop sharing that smiling yearbook photo.


Oh and trigger warnings are appreciated too.

Spring Time on the Homestead

 It’s that time of year again. When the hustle and bustle to get the garden going really starts. We were able to spend most of the holiday weekend just enjoying each other, swimming in the lake and playing in the sand. 

The drip irrigation installed
Red Romaine going strong

But come Monday it was back to business. We got the garden planted (again) and got the irrigation put in. Let’s hope the little ladies understand that it isn’t their personal dust bath and dinner buffet this time. I’m looking forward to sharing all of our progress with you this summer. Enjoy the beautiful weather!