Being a working mother=hard.

(Heck, being a mother, period, means you’re working. And it’s all hard.)

Being a working mother with kids at home=hard. 

Being a working mother with kids and traveling while working and taking care of children while navigating being a business owner during a pandemic=superhero level hard. 

Meet Laura Haffner (aka Wonder Woman). She and her husband Ryan own High Plains Harvesting, based in Park, Kansas. I was fortunate enough to meet her through the Virtual Farm Food Tour, sponsored by Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Farm Bureau, and Kansas Pork Association. After participating in the Farm Food Tour several years ago, I’ve been honored to continue partnering with these organizations to help tell the stories of our Kansas farmers. 

Meet Laura!

Laura and I sat down for a Zoom chat, …

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You’ve seen the puzzle pieces, the lighting it up blue, the walks…but autism is so much more than these well-intentioned, but sometimes harmful awareness campaigns. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful autism is in the common lexicon now, but I am very passionate about telling the rest of the story. Or rather, letting autistic people tell the rest of their story. In this episode, I interview Heidi and Victoria, two Australian women who are also autistic. Their new podcast, Aspies Etc., caught my attention, and I wanted to pick their neurodiverse minds on everything from how to better raise my autistic daughter and what it’s like to launch into the podcast world. I’ve been writing about my daughter and autism for years. I haven’t always done it right. But I’ve done it. And I have …

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“A third-degree burn to the soul.”

This is how my mom describes the pain of losing a son to suicide after revelations of clergy sexual abuse and a cover up from the Catholic Church. She’s a fierce advocate for survivors and their families, and I’m so proud of the impact she’s had. 

As our family lit the candle of hope this week of Advent, I knew I needed to interview my mom, especially after I experienced a fairly severe mental health recently. Hope has a distinct meaning to our family.

My mom was also a teacher for many, many years, and was happy to answer questions from former students. Growing up, I was known as “Mrs. Patterson’s daughter,” and that’s an honor I proudly carry.

There’s so much more to unpack here. Our family’s story is…a lot. But …

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“Risk is the tightrope that connects us to what we want.”

Those words. This woman. (Who took great delight in the fact that I’d gotten water stains and a honey crisp apple sticker on her memoir.)

This week’s guest is poet and author Irene O’Garden, who Elizabeth Gilbert calls a “walking, writing, beam of light.” And she’s right. Irene shares with us her wisdom on how gratitude can be transformational, and why, in spite of all that is falling apart around us, we should be glad to be human. We talk about her newest book, and about the memoir that brought us together. Enjoy this week’s episode, and let gratitude fill as much space as possible in your life.

Learn more about Irene at https://ireneogarden.com. 

Check out catpoland.com/podcast for all episodes and show notes, and subscribe on …

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What’s so hard about giving up Thanksgiving dinner with family? While it may seem like an easy decision, for many people, it’s really not. Rather than just simply tell you not to gather round the turkey in mixed company, I thought it would be important to carve into this issue and dissect it a little. Put the fear on the table, and instead of flight, fight or freeze…focus. This week’s episode is a monologue, just me myself and I talking it out. But I hope it helps. <3 

Stay safe. And please consider what “brave” really looks like during this time. 

“Bravery in this moment in our history looks different. Everything we’ve been taught about being brave just feels like it doesn’t apply here. And I want to call BS on that.” – Me

Also, I say “um” a …

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Art Coulson is a member of the Cherokee Nation and a fellow author at Raven Quill Literary Agency. His recently released book, The Reluctant Storyteller, is a coming-of-age story about Chooch, a young Cherokee boy who’s learning to forge his own path from a rich history and tradition behind him. We talk about his writing, the importance of diverse voices, and understanding more about our shared past. We also dig into the myths surrounding supposed Cherokee ancestry, and how we can better educate our youth on Native American history, culture, and presence in our society.

Learn more about Art at https://artcoulson.com

1940s Removal of Native Americans from Reservations (how did I not know this?!) I’m not easily finding info on this, I’m checking with Art.
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