Inspiration

What Fills Our Hearts with Gratitude

 

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It’s already here. Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. And we just want you to know that we’re incredibly thankful for you buds! We appreciate you not only as customers, but as friends. We all have so much to be thankful for here at Soul Flower, which is why we wanted to put pen to paper and take a moment to acknowledge the things that fill our hearts with gratitude.



What are you thankful for?

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A Soul Mate’s Romantic Wedding

Congratulations are in order as our Sculptor of Shadow & Light, Jennifer, married her best friend Bill, this past weekend! Jenn, you made one insanely beautiful bride with a gorgeous (eco-friendly) wedding to match! We’re so happy for you!!

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Congratulations to you both! We wish you all the peace, love and happiness your hearts can handle!

 Love,

Your Soul Flower Buds!

Photography by Stephan Hoglund Photography

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The Strength to Be Yourself

Hey Buds, here’s a thought:

Be yourself.

Easy enough to read and remind ourselves, but how many of us actually live it?

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New school year, new apartment, new classes, all opportunities to reinvent myself; who will I be this year? Do I even want to create a new persona? Everyone at some point in their lives has used different circumstances to create a new version of themselves, yet, do any of us truly have a grasp on who we are?

Let’s take my love affair with fashion, for example. Since middle school I’ve been flipping through pages of Vogue getting ideas for the next day’s outfit. I wore some crazy-wild-things trying to translate what I saw on the runway to my school’s hallway. Sure, I got some stares and snickers but most of the time I got compliments, some for the outfit and some for the guts to where it when anyone who wasn’t wearing jeans and a tee was fair game to poke fun at. I even saw some girls wearing the same outfit I had worn the day before. I used each day as an opportunity to experiment and reinvent the way people saw me through bold attire. Through the years, I’ve kept the boldness and tried to translate it into every aspect of my life.

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In high school, it was very…hmm, how should I say this…interesting going to a private school in South Orange County, California. I pride myself on being Latina and of Native American descent, and I never expected to be in an environment where diversity was at an all-time low. My freshman year some seniors decided it would be funny to yell across the PE field that all I would ever amount to was a maid, given my background, and that their rooms had better be clean before they got home. I didn’t care that these “young men” (who had a lot of growing up to do) were at the top of the social ladder, I gave them a piece of my mind and confronted the Dean of Students. “Is this really the perspective you’re allowing your students to graduate with?” Apologies and conferences ensued, but all I wanted to do is show my peers that I wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed of who I am or where I came from.

It wasn’t until college that I learned that I didn’t have to create a new persona every day, like in middle school, and that being myself – an insane mix of qualities – could be attractive. I owned up to my craziness, or as I like to call it eccentricity, and the more I acknowledged my little quirks the more confident I became.

Now, I take pride in my Latina curves and my insatiable appetite for clothes. I know that I learn through creative processes and doodling next to my notes, making songs, and listening to classical music help me do better on my tests. I know that I love learning and I’ll never satisfy my need to ask Why. I know that I love Elvis and John Lennon, even though those two did not see eye to eye. I know my values include peace, respect, and an overall love for our small fragile planet and those living on it. I believe that individually we can make a huge impact and together we can change the world.

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And I know that having the strength to “be yourself” gives you strength to stand up for what you believe.

This shirt is a little reminder that there are a lot of phonies out there and if everyone’s acting fake the real one’s are the individuals. So put on those colorful tights, wear your “Save Japan Dolphins” tee, write that controversial article, and sign that petition. Yeah, people will smirk and snicker but more importantly people will see you as an example, strong and confident, and no one can take that away from you.

Mahalo,

Lauren

 

 

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Dreamcatcher Origins – Sweet Dreams

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” ~Karen Ravn

If you’re a vivid dreamer, you probably have a fascination with the visions that visit you each night. Dreams can linger with us throughout the day and captivate us for hours, days, even years. Sometimes they’re so convincing we need to ask ourselves, did that happen? Did I do that, say that, live that? If you’ve ever possessed a dreamcatcher, you might even believe it’s possible to control the dreams that come to you.

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Originating with the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Tribe, dreamcatchers are in many homes today. It is believed that a dreamcatcher will filter good dreams through the web, while ensnaring the bad. A dreamcatcher is supposed to be placed near the bed in a spot that sunlight will reach. When the first rays of morning light hit the web, the trapped nightmares dissipate to nothing.

 

Actually, the dreamcatcher’s entire design is tied to the ideals of Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
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Tie-Dye Sun Tapestry

Earth holds our dreams within her all-embracing hoop

Air carries our dreams to us (the feathers on a dreamcatcher are also symbolic of air).

Water is believed to wash and separate our wanted dreams from the unwanted.

Fire burns away nightmares with its powerful blaze.

Commonly made of willow and sinew strands, the dreamcatcher is woven in a web-like manner that is much like the method used for snowshoe webbing.   Sometimes a dreamcatcher can have one or more beads: One bead is symbolic of the spider who wove your protective web, while several beads can represent the many sweet dreams that have been brought to you.

Soul Flower’s all about good vibes; we appreciate everything the dreamcatcher stands for. We have a few cool dreamcatchers to choose from. jewelry wise, we have the Sweet Dream Earrings and the gorgeous Dreamcatcher Necklace, and to match, there’s our Dreamcatcher Organic Tank or Longsleeve Tee. We figure it couldn’t hurt to wear a dreamcatcher all the time, perhaps it will guard against negative daytime thoughts – work as a reminder to catch yourself and think positive!

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Eco Tee and Sailing Around the World

I take my role as Hippie Mama Clothing Tester quite seriously. When I got the Nouveau Soulflower Eco Tee I put it through the paces.  I didn’t just wear it, I have been living in it. Here’s what happened. I put it on and fell in love. It was one of those shirts that made me say “ahhhhhhh” when I put it on. It’s so soft and fit just right on my mama of two kids frame.

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So I have been wearing it. And wearing it. And wearing it. And truth be told I don’t always wash it between wearing again and again. It’s my go-to tee these days and it’s takes a licking and keeps on looking fabulous. I have had baby spit on it, dead crab bits brought to me by my 7-year old son, I have spilled my kombucha all over it, I have been doused in sea spray, and I have sweat my fair share in this crazy summer heat. But this shirt still looks like new!

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Then for grins I went and read about how it was made. The shirt is 50% organic cotton and 50% recycled p.e.t.  Seriously, how cool is that? I am wearing old plastic bottles that might have otherwise ended up in the landfill. No wonder it’s looking so good! And now I feel good too knowing it’s made of all kinds of good things, especially since I have a little one right next to me and the tee all the time.

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Living in the small confines of a sailboat we cannot keep a lot of anything, especially clothes. But this little baby will make the cut and go around the world with us!

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Hometown Tourist – Hippie Dress

Hey Buds! Making the best of this wonderful sunshine?

So I got a little piece of the islands with me for the past couple weeks. My friend from school decided to fly out all the way from Dallas, Texas to hang out with me in Southern California.

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I have to admit, it’s a little exciting to be a tourist in your hometown. If you haven’t tried it, you really should! We tried heading out to the beach but it was so cold and the clouds were so thick we ended up turning around and heading straight for the pool. Not before getting an acai bowl, though! ;]

We went to Disneyland for a few days and normally I’ll go a little later, hop on a few rides, catch a bite to eat, and head out.

Not this time.

We woke up early and were one of the first people in the park! We spent all day there, only taking a small break for lunch and a quick nap at the hotel room then back to the Disney magic ‘til well after midnight. Needless to say I brought all my Soul-flower goodies with me so I was comfy and cool but still looking like the artist I like to call myself.

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Those of you in California know all about our beautiful missions. Most have somewhat dark histories and as a Native American I pride myself on learning the stories of my tribes as well as those around them. Any trip to Southern California is just not complete without a trip to the San Juan Capistrano Mission. All you flower and garden enthusiasts out there will have a ball!

To match this dazzling backdrop I decided to wear something captivating as well, my new Cutting Floor Hippie Dress. Just added a cute little sun hat and I was ready.

I think it goes without saying that I love airy and flow-y clothes because they’re lightweight and easy to move around in. I always want to be comfy! (I’ve been putting my pj’s on at three in the afternoon since I was in second grade.)

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As you know from my last posts, my legs are short. So when I put on the dress I was surprised to see that it hit about two inches above my ankle. Normally, I like when the length of my clothes are longer than the length of my legs but after I started moving around in the dress I realized it was a lot easier to move at this length. The colors are very bold and they don’t fade a bit in the wash (trust me I wear this dress once a week!). There are two loops at the back of the dress so you can tie it like a tank top, zig-zag, or even a halter. I suggest tying the straps in a bow before it goes in the wash, they’re a bit thin and very delicate. Each one is unique and I love that mine has a red and yellow border at the top even though the dress is very blue. The versatility is awesome; I can tie my hair back and wear it on a casual and laid back day or wear my hair down throw on some dressy shoes and go somewhere fancy!

Well, buds, have fun wherever the universe is taking you! Next time I post I’ll be back in Hawaii!
‘Til then,
Lauren ☮

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Groove Under the Summer Sun

In Minneapolis we’ve got some record breaking heat going on this week! And, to top it all off, this very moment we have some mad storm clouds filling the sky; pitch black out there, with a drum-like rain coming down. So, until we can make it to a sunny beach with cool waters, we’ll be chillin’ to this playlist of summer sunshine right here!

We love the songs you chose for the summertime playlist – thanks buds!

PEACE, LOVE & HAPPINESS
Your Buds at Soul Flower  =)

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Growing Up Organic

My love for these little onesies runs deep. Of course the messages on them are right up my peacenik alley. As a dyed-in-the-wool pacifist who wants her kiddos to spread love not war, I am proud to have my baby wear her “Pick Flowers, Not Fights” message. And that’s saying a lot for me because in general I am not a fan of clothing with words, but this is an exception indeed. And the “Let It Grow” onesie is just too sweet. If there is one thing babies do like crazy (aside from poop) it’s GROW!

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Sometime baby onesies are paper thin or rough and poorly sewn. I guess people figure because your kiddo will grow out of it so quickly, why bother? Not these though! The fabric is thick and soft and it’s very well made overall. It’s the sort of onesie that will take a lot of abuse as my baby scooches around the floor and will still have plenty of life left to pass the love on to the next little bud.

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~Cindy

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Happy Arbor Day from Soul Flower

Happy Arbor Day buds 🙂

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Along with Earth Day, this is our favorite “nature holiday” of the year. You already know we’re a tree-hugging bunch at Soulflower, and we have a sneaky suspicion that most of you are too. Living in the upper Midwest, it’s a blessing to see the trees go through their seasonal changes. It’s an amazing thing to see mother earth go from winter brown to spring green in a matter of a few days. As this is being written, I’ve counted 10 new varieties of birds outside my window that have returned in the last few days from their winter homes. It’s a busy time of year for nature, and whether you are in the city or the country it’s a great time to get out and take notice of the bustling life that is blooming all around us.

Trees play a leading role in supporting the fragile eco-system we all live in. There is a photo from Japan that shows one lone pine tree standing where there were once thousands – a sad sight for sure; however, the Japanese people have adopted that lonely tree as a sign of hope for the future. forest of trees - Happy Arbor Day from Soul FlowerAt Soulflower, we’re concerned about the future too, and we continue to grow our relationship with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant three trees for every one that is used in our catalog production. It’s a small gesture for sure, but if everyone planted just one tree this year there would be over 300 million new trees in just America alone! Grab those shovels and let’s put that tree-hugging, dirt worshipping power to work.

~Your Bud Mike

Photos courtesy of and © our bud Jenn

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Playlist: On the Road…

We asked our buds on facebook for some roadtrip tunes, and we got some awesome suggestions! So this summer when you’re on the road (headed cross-country, cross-state or even cross-town), hit play on some jams and enjoy the ride 🙂


On the Road… playlist by soulflowerbuds on Grooveshark

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Going forward

Hey buds! Thank you for being such great buds. 2010 was such a fun and exciting year for Soul Flower, and it’s all because of you. Like we often say, we are who we are because of YOU, & even though Soul Flower is online- and catalog-based, it’s still all about interacting with people.

It has always been our goal to seek out and welcome your feedback. It challenges us and helps us grow. So we thought it appropriate to create a spot right here for you to share your thoughts with us. No need to sign in or anything, just leave us a comment about…

How can we better help you shop and engage with Soul Flower?

How can the website or products be improved?

What types of subjects would you enjoy reading here on our blog?

What else should we do with our online media efforts (YouTube, blogging, Facebook, etc)?

What have your previous experiences with Soul Flower been like? And what would you change?

So please, leave your thoughts below: rant, rave, review, send ideas, gripe, groove, share the love … whatever it is you have to say to make us better, we want to hear it! Cheers to love, laughter & good times in 2011.

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Holiday playlist…

To help celebrate the season & keep our holiday spirits bright, us buds here at soul flower put our heads & music taste together to create this eclectically beautiful playlist of christmas tunes….

Holiday Music 2010 Playlist at MixPod.com

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Help us make a playlist!

We’re making a playlist of our favorite songs from the summer and we need your help! New or old, any song can all be included. If you had to pick ONE song – your favorite – from this summer, what would it be? We’ll share the collective list next week!

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For the Love of Trees….

Hi Buds…I think you all know how much we love trees (a quick search for tree on Soul-Flower.com brought back 43 different treehugging, branch-loving, leaf-hearting items…) And since today (April 30th) is officially Arbor Day, we thought it a good occasion to celebrate our love for trees & tell you a little bit about our efforts to help with reforestation here in the good old U. S. of A….

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Soul Flower has partnered with the Arbor Day foundation to help offset our paper use. We know we use it often in our business – invoices in packages, mailing supplies, and of course there is that one biggie -our catalog production. We always work hard to make sure we recycle & reuse paper. But specifically related to our catalog – we felt that since we were using so much paper, we should do something to offset that production. So starting in 2008, we began planting two (or more) trees for every one tree we use in catalog production. It just makes sense to replenish what has been taken – and the restoration of our natural forests is not just important, it is necessary.

In 2009, we continued our efforts with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant these “offset” trees by helping with an amazing project to plant 125,000 total longleaf pine trees in the Manchester State Forest in South Carolina. This longleaf restoration project is an effort to restore longleaf pine to its former natural range. Approximately 1/4 of the 258 acres was replanted in the winter of 2008-2009 & the remainder is scheduled to be replanted this year.

To find out more about the Arbor Day Foundation & its programs, go here. And have a happy tree day <3.

p.s. (added 5/6/10) Hi again buds! We just found out that our last contribution in 2009 went to Pine Plantings in the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, an awesome replanting effort in south central Florida…check out details here.

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Not all who wander are lost.

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LouDog’s Cool Nomad Sandals….

Hey there Soul-Flower pal’s. It’s loudog reporting to you today on the great Two Tone Highland Sandals, made by Nomadic State of Mind. If you have been to any large music fest in the greater US of A you have probably encountered one or more of the nomadic state crew – they happily promote peace, love and good times. And they feel that if you insist on wearing shoes, you must try nomadic sandals.

So if you think they look cool, but wonder how they feel on your feet, they feel great! These shoes are very light weight. It’s literally like your walking on air or nothing at all. They are the best at festivals, the mall, walking the animals, around the house, right out of the shower or at the beach and in the water! Plus they float. How cool is that?

These shoes are made of the best poly pro rope material and made thoughtfully . Which makes them so soft and easy to care for. No matter how dirty you get playing in them, you can hand wash or machine wash them. I would suggest just setting them in the sun to dry. They are held together with glue, so no dryer. They run true to actual size, so if your a half size, you can round up to the next size. Anyplace I were mine I always get compliments. Remember as well, Nomadic means Wanderer so wander away. Thanks again Soul-Flower for bringing us another great product!

Your Bud Loudog

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A few of our favorite things…

We hope you can take part in finding your faves on soul-flower.com – we will even give away a favorite this week. Simply go to our facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/soulflower) and post a photo & link on our wall to your favorite fall product on our website. Be sure to include a little reason why it is a fave…then on November 4th we will pick a random person who will win their favorite item. So start checking out the site – in the meantime, here are a couple of our favorite fall things to inspire you.

 

NME001 - A few of our favorite things...Our first fave is this mosaic reversible skirt.

 

This skirt is so versitile, it is hard to know where to start…

 

Is it that it can be worn on either side, mosaic or black? Or possibly that you can turn down the top waistband to give it a sweet lowwaist banded look? Or how about the fact that you can roll it into a ball, throw it in your backpack & still wear it that night without a wrinkle in site? No matter how you look at this one, it is a must have for this season & beyond.

 

Click here to check it out.

 

And now our second fave, the Big Easy Tie Top.

 

 

SOL095 - A few of our favorite things...This top is soooo soft & fun to wear. The artwork is intricate and so beautiful…when we designed this one we really struggled to name it so that y’all could tell how cool the artwork is. There is so much to see in it, it has a graffiti quality to it with a big of hieroglyphic Egyptian coolness plus the N’Awlins voodoo funkiness…maybe it is just one of those you have to see (AND FEEL) in person. So number two is the big ez tie top.

 

Click here to check this one out.
Trying to pick just one is the hardest part, right? So just jump on soul-flower.com, do a little window shopping & let us know your fave. That’s it, then you will have a chance to win on 11.4.09.

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Blissful Pictures – Our Customers

Hey Hey Buds, We have received so many great entries for the blog contest, we just want to share a few of our favorites here. Thanks so much for the great stories & the fabulous pictures (especially those kiddles). We are here because of you & just love the vibe of all these photos. Our winner will be announced tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures:

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Meet Lucy, the grandaughter of our bud Gloria. She is wearing her gauza dress, looking out “at all the wonderful sites that await her to discover”.

 

 

 

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This is Nolan, right after his mama voted for the 2009 election. He is sporting his not too young for peace shirt. (along with his I voted sticker).

 

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Not all our pictures we received were of kids, some were of our buds too – here is on on Jam Cruise. Wearing the Kingston Roots tee.

 

 

 

 

30 - Blissful Pictures - Our CustomersFrom Glen –
“Here is a pic of me in your pants … hmm that didn’t come out right !!
Peace and Love
Glen”

 

 

42 - Blissful Pictures - Our CustomersAdorable Siena twirling in our twirler skirt. This was one of our favorite skirts we carried….and so cute on her.

 

 

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And here is our bud Kim at Hueco Tanks State Park in El Paso, TX.
I will post more pictures & announce our blog winner tomorrow.

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Follow Your Bliss

28 - Follow Your Bliss Are you hitting the road for a festy or two this season? Do you have your soul flower threads packed & ready to go? We are so glad you are taking us along. But also be sure to bring your camera & join in our brand spanking new blog contest.

We want more of our buds’ smilin’ faces on our website. Wearing Soul Flower threads. So, email us a photo of you in your kindest of threads, along with a story of the photo, and you can win a $50 gift certificate. We will publish the winning story & photo right here on our blog in June. Be sure to get us those pics by June 18th & we will inform you via email if you win. We are going to add to our collage of customers using all the entries. Check out our current images here: http://www.soul-flower.com/feedback.htm. Now email your photos & stories to peggy@soul-flower.com.
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Three Songs

Hi friends –
It’s 3:30am and it’s the crickets and me that appear to be the only ones up right now. I really don’t mind, it’s a great time to let the thoughts just pass through my head. However, there’s this one thought that just won’t let, go so here I am writing…

Being in an introspective mood, this idea came to mind to try and define myself via music. Specifically, if you could pick three songs that define who you are what would they be? I’d imagine that over the course of several years the songs would change as your circumstances in life change – but wouldn’t it be insightful if you could keep a list that from time to time you could go back and reflect on?

So, here I go – if you feel like sharing your list feel free – this is an exercise that hopefully will bring you closer to who you are – a reflection in the mirror type thing. Anyways, here’s my list:

Song #1 is Bruce Cockburn’s Wondering Where the Lions Are. This song has always puts me in a good mood and it’s always had this sort of spiritual, uplifting, the world can’t get me down kind of message that I think is great. This song has been on my list all along and I don’t really see that changing.
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Song #2 is John Lennon’s Watching the Wheels:
This song is a reminder to me to live my life the way I see fit, and not get caught up with what others are thinking. I need to be reminded from time to time – we’re not hamsters on a wheel or cogs in a machine. Jump off, reflect, take a break, blaze a trail, just be…

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The third song is Bob Dylan’s It’s Alright Ma (I’m only Bleeding). To me, this is probably the yang to Bruce Cocburn’s Wondering Where the Lions Are. There’s as much darkness as there is light (in this world) – it’s how we choose to deal with it that defines us. Not everything in this song I relate to – but to me it’s like Nirvana’s Teen Spirit. It’s angst, rage, cynicism – but it’s also saying hey, I’m going to be okay.
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So, there you have it – probably know more about me now than you care to but that’s where I’m at right now. ‘It’s alright ma – I can make it!’
Peace and positive vibes to you all. I can’t believe it – I just finished this at 4:20 – some things never change I guess.

-Mike

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