The Marvelous Crumb

Follow Joy. Find Belonging.

Category: Joy (page 2 of 2)

The one thing I’m wishing for this birthday

Birthday Ice Cream

Chicory Pecan and Rose Matcha Marshmallow from my favorite ice cream shop in the world — so far.


I’m not one of those gals who keeps her birthday a secret for fear of disclosing her true age. I AM 35!!! And I worked for most of those years.

630 birthday cake candles blown
50ish trips to the dentist
4 cavities filled
29,260 hours dreamt
7 favorite books discovered
3 significant loves lost
4 grandparents passed
3 unforgettable meals
5 meditation retreats
4 out-of-country vacations
4 out-of-state moves
2 advanced degrees
Hundreds of articles written
1 career change
1 blog launch
Countless tears shed in joy and pain


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My Unconventional Wedding Toast

The Isuzu Sidekick got married last weekend. In true form her nuptials took place not in a chapel or backyard, but on a cliff overlooking a dizzying expanse of red rock cut by a winding Green River. Guests off-roaded it in their Sunday’s finest to sit on boulders and a few scattered lawn chairs under blue sky and an all-too-present sun and witness a commitment of love. It was perfect.

We then headed to the reception where I offered a toast. I’ve never given a wedding speech so I didn’t realize the key is to make them laugh, offer the groom some pointers and maybe celebrate the new couple. I probably should have Googled something before reading this:

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Notes from avoiding reality (also known as traveling)

My friends,

I’ve been traveling

My mind and body wandering to near and far off places

It’s been, exciting, good and lonely

And now I am home and feel more of the same

During a week of dharma art I discovered sun-crisped brown palm leaves, feather dusters, spiky flower shoots and a pumpkin-colored potato masher. Some of these tools were swirled in black ink and freely applied to pristine butcher block. Their darkened bodies splattered, dripped and snaked leaving curious and unexpected trails. Myself and others stood back, appraised our efforts and rode feelings of appreciation, disdain and indifference.

Art was born, some great, some greater.

Art was born, some great, some greater, some greatest.

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Where I’m Headed and How I’ll Get There

When she had hair.

When she had hair.


Yesterday I had the pleasure of being introduced.

I sat in front of a small audience while someone read about “my work” intending to capture their attention.

This was not the first time another has set the stage before I addressed a crowd, but it was the first time that “my work” was so unarguably all mine. Dancing, writing, meditating, blogging, this is how I make my way in the world. Some of these activities pay, most do not, but I get by.

Hearing another affirm that my existence is entirely what I’ve made it, felt, for some reason, entirely inconceivable. It was as if my secret desires and solitary aspirations were finally being recognized as actualities. Kelsey Blackwell is a full-time creative. Wait, how did that happen?

Riding this wave of affirmation, I awoke this morning bursting with ideas to make “my work” more fabulous, more important, more lucrative, starting with this blog.

Where to begin? SEO? An actual logo? More categories across the nav bar? And for that matter, what about all the things that need to be done? Why stop with writing projects? Don’t I need to go to the store? Should I throw in a load of laundry …

Naturally, this led to complete overwhelm. I slept in, started the day with a cookie, and went on a walk. Continue reading

A is for apple crisp (for breakfast)


These apples were sent from a friend in New England who delights in their tart crispness. While I also enjoy a good apple, I think they shine best in crisp form, (and honestly what’s a girl to do with 5lbs of apples) so that’s what they became this week. Let’s perhaps keep their fate a secret.  I included two neglected persimmons which obscured by the bananas had become a bit too soft for regular consumption.  This was a good idea.

Sweet cinnamon, crumbly, butter, apple, fall goodness. Several servings were inhaled before I remembered to snap this pic. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and my primary reason for getting out of bed. Recipe here.


The one thing that could fix everything

There was no way to prepare for The Parliament of World Religions. This every-five-years-or-so conference, which draws thousands of attendees from all over the world of nearly every faith, converged on Salt Lake City, my hometown this month. The focus this year, “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity,” promised speakers including: Jane Goodall, Michael Beckwith, Mother Maya Tiwari, Vandana Shiva, Marianne Williamson and many more …

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The evening we danced, made art and told awkward stories

I’m tired. I’m bloated. I’m grinning like a jackal in a pumpkin field.

Today was spent cleaning up the wreckage of last night’s birthday bonanza. Wine bottles have been recycled, cake sectioned into individual slices and frozen, and purple glitter removed from the jar of salsa–seriously, how did that get in there?

While some people may prefer to scoot past this yearly marker, I chose to celebrate with reckless abandon. That means today I’m paying in yawns and general dis-ease  but it was worth every calorie and polished off bottle.

Our mural of Love was posted in North Berkeley at the culmination of our evening. And …  this just in, it remained through the night and all day.  No neighborly contributions have been made–yet. Yes, that’s a mattress in the foreground for real-time viewing pleasure. Now I must hit the hay.

Upon its demise, I will understand


A mural taped to my kitchen floor is distracting me today.

It’s unfinished and will remain so until the eve of my birthday celebration when party attendees will add the finishing touches: messages of love, peace, prosperity and gratitude.

At dusk, we’ll parade through our neighborhood—the streets where Oakland and Berkeley tangle together—and tape our artwork to some to-be-determined neglected façade. There it will hang radiant and glorious until its more than likely rapid demise.

One section will be left blank for passersby to add their own messages of good will and inspiration.

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