Home » Archives for Heather Patton

Author: Heather Patton

Getting Active: 10 Actions, 100 Days

10 actions 100 days postcards

Even though the Women’s March on Washington is over, we have to stay active. The 10 Actions / 100 Days campaign is a great place to start!

Our first task was to write to our senators. We should encourage them to fight cabinet appointments, advocate for issues that matter to us, and show we’re not going anywhere. The people who represent us should reflect our values, and it’s important to remind them what our values are. We want to see our education system is in good hands, global warming is taken seriously, our LGBTQIA friends live openly and freely, Muslims don’t wind up persecuted, refugees can seek asylum, black communities can trust their police forces again, and women aren’t pushed back to being second-class citizens.

I wrote to both my current senators in Washington and former senators from Ohio. I’m lucky as hell to live in a state where Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are already doing great things. They are both outspoken about issues I already care about, and are in opposition to Trump’s cabinet choices. Instead of railing on them to change, I thanked them for the work they do – and let them know I recognize and appreciate it.

Writing to my former senators in Ohio, however, proved challenging. It’s hard to write to a senator who disagrees with you, but it was worth it. I think arming yourself with information is important for this exercise. It served as a reminder that our senators do good work for their state – yes, even the ones who belong to a different party than me.

For example, the Republican senator from Ohio does a lot of work with military veterans and bringing back jobs. Both Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman care deeply about the opioid epidemic in Ohio, an issue anyone living in Ohio is painfully aware of. While they disagree on some things, both senators work hard to make Ohio a better place to live. I can certainly respect that.

I started by thanking each person for their service to this country and the states they represent – and I truly meant it. Taking time to put it on paper, I thought about how thankless working in government can be at times. If this is the first time I wrote to them, how many others never bother? We vote for them, and trust them to do what’s best for us. How often do we truly thank them for taking on such tireless and thankless work?

It’s important to stay strong and loud during this fight. However, it’s also time to acknowledge and appreciate those who work hard on our behalf. We need to stay focused while being humane in all this.

If you haven’t written to your senators yet, I highly recommend it. Check out the Women’s March on Washington website for ideas and inspiration, and to find your senators. I also recommend finding something, however small, to thank your senators for. They work hard on both sides of the aisle – and showing appreciation, not just opposition, might encourage change. It can’t hurt, right?

Womxn’s March on Seattle

womxn's march seattle

I woke up Saturday morning after only a few hours of sleep, and with a nasty cold that wouldn’t go away. My body was telling me to stay home and rest – that it couldn’t handle marching in the Womxn’s March on Seattle.

Even as I sit in bed sick writing this on Sunday, I’m so glad I went anyway. I regret nothing.

Originally, organizers estimated between 50,000-75,000 people at the most. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a crowd that big (outside of maybe a sporting event).

I showed up 1.5 hours early to Judkins Park, only to find that there were already 50,000 people there! People came by foot, car, bus, ferry, bike – however they could get there.

By the time the march started, I was standing in a crowd of almost 100,000 people.

womxn's march seattle

(Marching down Jackson Street, with people stretching in front and behind me as far as I could see!)

I marched with 130,000 people, though organizers now say it may have been closer to 175,000. I honestly couldn’t tell you which number is true – both are equally nuts to me. We filled the entire 3.6-mile stretch of our march’s path. It was wall-to-wall people for the entire 5 hours it took to complete it. Every muscle in my body just straight hurt afterwards.

What I will remember most about Saturday was how positive and kind everyone was throughout the day. It’s hard to feel safe in a large crowd, especially given I went alone. I had a great time, and never once felt unsafe. Not a single person got arrested, and no one reported shoving/pushing that usually happens with crowds that big. We were there together, marching and chanting with the same mission – to show our solidarity and support for each other.

I spent the day chatting with women of all ages, sharing goldfish crackers with hungry kids, and taking in the amazing signs everyone made. It was poignant to see signs that young girls and boys made for the event. They sincerely expressed what their generation worries about – the environment, immigration laws, bullying, racism, science education, equality, and more. I was proud to see so many children marching and chanting alongside their parents.

womxn's march seattle

The number of signs with a positive and supportive message far outweighed the angry ones, which made me feel encouraged. Sure, it’s funny to see a “Queef on Trump” sign. It was more impressive to see signs from men supporting strong women, children supporting their friends, and women supporting each other. I didn’t make a sign of my own, but once I got there I kind of wish I had!

womxn's march seattle

(At the Space Needle, trying really hard not to look like sick and exhausted!)

By the time I made it to the end of the march, I was ready to head home. It was an amazing experience, but the cold medicine wore off about an hour before we finished, and I was physically shutting down hardcore. I was exhausted, but extremely happy to make it the entire way, sniffles and all!

When I got home, I told my husband all about it while he made dinner, and I watched television coverage from our march and others happening around the world. Not having cell coverage for most of the day, I missed a lot of what was going out outside of Seattle. Seeing millions of people show up around the world on Saturday was comforting. To know that so many others were just as supportive and kind throughout their own marches restored my faith in humanity that I lost in November.

Now, I’m working on what to do next – how to take what I felt Saturday and spread that into my everyday life. I’d love to hear how you plan to do so, too!

Why I’m Marching Tomorrow

 

From the moment I found out we were having a march in Seattle, I was all in.

I’ve never participated in anything this…big…before. I’m excited and a little nervous, to be honest.

When people ask why I’m marching tomorrow, the answer is simple:

I march for all of us.

I march for every woman who has been told that she shouldn’t or couldn’t do something because “good girls don’t do that,” or “women shouldn’t be like that.”

I march for everyone who told us men don’t like women who are too smart, accomplished, outspoken, or confident. (My husband would argue otherwise…he likes my loud mouth just fine.)

I march for Planned Parenthood, who helped me out when I was a poor college student without insurance. I continue to go there because they are amazing healthcare providers for both women and men. I hope you thrive for many, many years to come.

I march for every women’s studies student I poked fun at in grad school. I’m deeply sorry, and I understand now more than ever what you were all so angry about.

I march for every woman who has been told that how she dressed, spoke, or behaved led to her being a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence. For every woman who was told, directly or indirectly, that she was asking for it. You didn’t. None of us did.

I march for every time woman who feels the outside world is a dangerous, violent place for women. I hope that changes someday, and that we teach both girls and boys that they have equal right to occupy public spaces.

I march for the next generation of women, who I hope are watching (or marching) today and see that we all care deeply about the world you are growing up in.

I hope everyone marching tomorrow has a safe, positive experience. 🙂

Getting By

vonnegut_quote

As I sit in the warm sunshine at my favorite coffee shop, I’m finally feeling like a person again.

The past couple days were rough.

I woke up Tuesday morning full of hope and optimism, but went to bed drunk and anxious.

I woke up yesterday morning with tears in my eyes that still haven’t really left, and went to bed a little bit high and still anxious, though the weed did help a little.

(By the way, congratulations to all the states who legalized recreational marijuana. You won’t regret it, I promise!)

I woke up this morning still a little sad, but hopeful. We all seem to be clawing ourselves back up from rock bottom and getting back to it.

Online today, people are sharing their support for each other, and promising to do more. They are encouraging people to donate, volunteer, and raise awareness for groups like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, National Immigration Law Center, and many others. Even if laws or policies change, these groups will still be around to help fight the good fight – they just might need more of our help if they no longer get as much help from our government.

People are beginning the painful process of healing by taking action – and not just protesting or creating hashtags. They are hugging their neighbors, saying hello to strangers, and silencing bigotry on the street. They are coming together in prayer, in tears, and in little coffee shops like the one I’m sitting in right now to talk it out. Even here in Seattle, where people are known for being a bit…frosty…people seem a little friendlier and gentler than they were a few days ago.

So while I’m still lugging around a rock of anxiety about what the future holds, it’s a little smaller than it was yesterday. I hope that in time we can breathe easier, but not all the way. We still need to keep that pebble of anxiety in our pockets, a reminder that the next 4 years aren’t going to be easy for many of us.

It’s going to be a very hard road to keep the country going forward now that we have a president who is determined to set us back 50 years.

For the women reading this, keep trudging along. We’re used to doing twice the work for half the recognition – and unfortunately, that’s not going to change any time soon. Taking the high road might be harder and more dangerous, but the view at the end is worth it. Keep telling girls they can be whatever they want, and hold the women in your life to a high standard.

Now is not the time to give up and go home. Now is the time to teach little girls that yes, part of being a woman is dealing with setbacks. Part of being a woman is about getting your heart trampled on. Part of being a woman is enduring men in power who believe women should be pretty, silent, and obedient. Part of being a woman is being told no, but ignoring it and moving on anyway.

Show the girls and women in your life that we are strong, powerful, intelligent, and determined. We are not a reflection of what our next president thinks of us. We are a reflection of what Hillary Clinton thinks of us. She may not have broken this glass ceiling, but she showed us that someday one of us will. Someday a woman will be president, thanks to the sizeable crack Hillary left in that glass ceiling to help whoever she is break through, once and for all.

For the men reading this, keep trudging along too. We know you want a better life for your mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, and sisters – and we know not all of you voted for our new president (even if the news wants us to think differently).

Be a good example for the boys in your life who look up to you, and hold the grown men in your life to a higher standard. Don’t just tell the women and girls in your life that you respect and support them – show it. Show the world that you are not a reflection of our new president and his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, homophobic views. Show the girls and women in your life that you value us for more than how we look, or how submissive we are. Show the world that you’re hurting and nervous too.

Well.

This is where we are right now – where I am right now. Though it may seem bleak right now, we’ll get through it. Get outside, bask in the sunshine, and take care of yourselves. We have a long road ahead of us, and we’ll need all the strength we can get!

Pause

pause

(Image via Pinterest)

After taking a week off from blogging, I have decided that it wasn’t long enough.

This will be the last post I write for a while.

Reflecting on the blog this past week, I realized I’m no longer happy with the content I’m creating. The blog has turned into the same shit everyone else writes about, and that was never my goal. The design of the blog has also frustrated me since day one. No matter how hard I work to find a design scheme I like, it never felt right.

I also feel let down that for all the work I put into creating beautiful photos and writing strong, meaningful content, I haven’t gotten much in return. The blog’s readership hasn’t grown since the beginning. That’s not good enough.

I also stopped reading blogs this week, and found I didn’t miss most of them. I’m not alone in this. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for blogging? Lately I have found more enjoyment from reading magazines, books, and letters from friends than anything online. Maybe it’s a phase. I’m not sure.

I am going to take a longer break to figure out what the future holds for Afternoon Glow, and what the future holds for life in general. Maybe someday I’ll come back to this. Maybe I won’t. I might be back in a month, a few months, or a year. I don’t know.

For all of you who have been reading from the beginning, thank you for sticking it out for so long. I appreciate that you’ve been there to read, comment, and engage in whatever ways you did. Hopefully I’ll be back soon, but if not, thank you either way.

If you want to keep up with me away from Afternoon Glow, I’ll still be on social media (Instagram and Twitter mainly).

Goodbye for now. I’ll be back when I have something to say.

Welcome to October!

Welcome to October

October is here, and I can’t be happier about it!

Frankly, last month sucked. I was sick for most of it and am still not totally back to normal. Dealing with daily construction on our apartment building isn’t helping, either. It’s so hard to think straight with people hammering on your walls and shouting at each other all day long. I managed to get out more once I felt healthy, but even then it wasn’t enough.

Since I have a lot of work to catch up on, I’m going to take this week off of blogging. I need to focus on kicking this cold/allergy/stress thing once and for all, and work on some blog-related things I didn’t get to while I was ill. Hell, Friday was the first time I vacuumed in almost a month – and it was so needed!

I hope everyone has a great week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Friday Favorites: Fall is Here

Friday Favorites Fall

Happy Friday everyone!

This week has been so much better. I’m finally over being sick, the weather cooled off, and the leaves seemed to change overnight. Fall is officially here, and I’m excited to get out and enjoy it!

Since I haven’t done a Friday Favorites in a few weeks, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been loving online since then:

I’m looking forward to spending the weekend hiking, enjoying the cool weather and changing colors. It’s also football season, so I will hopefully get some time to read more too. There is nothing like getting cozy with a book, am I right?

What are your plans this weekend? How have you been ringing in fall where you live?

Beauty DIY: Face Elixir Spray

Beauty DIY Face Elixir Spray

Living on a budget often means giving up your favorite luxury products. One I miss terribly is Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir. It doesn’t do much for my skin, per se, but I love the relaxing, clean smell. At almost $50 per bottle, it’s an expense I can’t justify to myself.

Recently, I researched to see if I could make a face elixir spray comes close to the original. After looking at ingredients in the original elixir, I went to Whole Foods in search of the ingredients.

I am new to using essential oils, so I started with the main scents (rosemary, lavender, rose, & peppermint). I could go back and add the pricier oils later, but that defeats the purpose of a budget-friendly DIY. I spent around $30 on the ingredients, which will yield enough face elixir to last years.

After playing around with the recipe, I found a ratio of essential oils to come close to the original elixir’s scent. The rosemary scent is key – as soon as I took a whiff of it in Whole Foods, I knew that was likely the main ingredient in the Caudalie version. You can play around with the ratio based on what you like – just go easy on the peppermint. It can be irritating to your skin and eyes if spraying directly on your face.

For all you drugstore beauty lovers like me, check out this recipe for a luxury-grade face elixir that won’t break your budget!

Beauty DIY: Face Elixir Spray

Ingredients:

Small glass spray bottle

Spring or distilled water

Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner in Rose Petal

Essential Oils*: Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint, & Grapeseed

Directions:

  1. Fill your glass bottle 2/3 of the way with water. Add the rose toner until it almost reaches the top.
  2. Add your essential oils: 10 drops each of grapeseed, rosemary, and lavender; 5 drops of peppermint (You can always play around with this ratio – perhaps start with 5 each and go from there!)
  3. Place the cap onto the bottle, give it a good shake, and spray!

This oil isn’t just good for the face – I use it as a room spray, aromatherapy spray, and fabric freshener. Just go light on fabrics, since there is oil in it!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and let me know if you give it a try!

*Caudalie’s spray also includes essential oils like myrrh, wild/bitter orange, neroli, rose and others. They’re super expensive, and I’m not sure they add much to their spray anyway. I got around using rose essential oil by having it in the toner. If you use a regular witch hazel toner, add some rose oil.

4 Pretty Nail Colors for Fall

4 Pretty Nail Colors Fall

While I am painfully aware that trends exist, I don’t always follow them. So when it came time to choose some new nail colors for fall, I ignored what I read in magazines and went with colors I knew I’d actually wear. For example, I keep seeing pastel blue everywhere? It’s not a color I associate with fall, and one I probably wouldn’t wear anyway. To me, fall is about adding a little brown or gray to shades I already wear – nothing too far off my normal routine.

Since I am trying out some new colors for fall, I thought I’d go with the Sonia Kashuk line at Target. They’re only $4.79 per bottle, and they come in some on-trend shades for fall. Here are the 4 pretty nail colors for fall, whether you’re a trend-setter, trend-follower, or neither!

Mauving On Up:

I’m not a light pink polish kind of gal, but this one seems perfect for fall. It’s mauve with a grayish tone to it, which I think will look perfect with all the grays I wear in fall and winter.

Rich Girl:

I wear orange polish frequently, but the orange polishes in my collection are bright and cheery. This is a straight-up pumpkin shade that’s perfect for fall. It looks less pink in real life, and will be a great shade to add a bit of pop to my fall wardrobe. I would love to wear this on my toes instead of my usual red or pink.

Forbidden Fruit:

This is a deep magenta that I think will be a color I wear year-round! I looked for something similar for years, but most shades were too purple or red. This is a great in-between that would look great on toes too!

Gray Matter:

I have been wearing OPI’s “Metro Chic” for years, which is the perfect muddy gray-purple shade. It’s since been discontinued, but I do love the look of grey nails in fall. It’s a great alternative to black polish (which I wear a lot in winter), and this one has a slightly bluish tone.

So there you have it! Head on over to Target to check out this collection, and I hope you find a shade or two that are perfect for your fall nails!