Letters to a Nurse #20

All of her hair, it’s always been red and her lips, they’ve always been red. Her temper, her passion, has always been red. Her fists have always been made.

And I’m lost, when she lets her hair down. When our eyes meet, it feels just like coming home. Touch for touch, a new star being born,

Meet me in the night, morning comes too early, we haven’t got time to wait, we can walk through the fire, I feel like I’m forgetting parts of you my lips need to touch.

Will another year pass? How many hours are in a day? Everything burns blue when she is away…and it rains every day.

Everything in this house burns red when she is near.


Bleeding Ink #1,233

(image source unknown)

“Please keep writing. I like your penmanship and your poetry. Your words are beautiful.” She said.

She lived on the other side of the world. A place I had only heard of from people who had heard from someone who had heard…

Out here, we want to feel strongly about things that we borrowed.


We like what they give us. But – we don’t live in their houses…

We’ve never seen their shadows or their demons. We seperated ourselves from them with a body of water. And declared them our own.

She was a writer

She wrote about her questions and how she watched classmates disappear. Never knowing if they were alive. Growing up surrounded by fighting and being told they had to choose. Between fighting or an education.

She wrote about love

And growing

I felt so entirely separated from these things…

Time has a way of slowing us down

Graying hair

And speeding up…

Someone said the world would be better without a Jew

And someone else was crying because they read an article saying Maya Angelou died today…

I didn’t have the heart to tell them, she passed away in Twenty Fourteen…

I was standing outside a grocery store. When a girl wearing a Dupatta walked out. And a man turned and said “what the?? I don’t want to get blown up.”

A few days later , I was talking to an older man when he saw a couple walk by. A white girl and a black man. He erupted. “That’s unnatural. The animal kingdom doesn’t even mix species. It’s a sin. And disgusting.”

Time passes


It was just yesterday

Wasn’t it…

We borrow things.

We make them our own.

Without understanding the depth of what we’ve taken.

“Keep Writing please. I love your words.”

She was muslim.

sometimes I look for her and wonder where she went

How she is

If she, herself, continued writing…

If she kept her faith

And if I even kept mine…

Haunted October#3

I remember the first time I heard them. Walking through the house at night. Three am. The lights flooded through the windows. 

That was the night the neighbours house burned down. 

The following week they found the girl in the river. 

I hadn’t thought about it much, not until I was visiting a friend. And I saw the news. Another house burned down. 

The same street I grew up on. 

“Hey I’m sorry, excuse me.” I said. Stepping over this kid he was babysitting. She just kept looking at the tv. I went into the kitchen and asked them about the house. But they didn’t know anything. 

I decided I would drive out and look around.

“Hey what happened to the kid that was here earlier?.”

“What kid?” 

“The one that was right here.”

Both of them just looked at each other. “We don’t have a kid,man.”

Later that night I was getting ready for bed. Brushing my teeth, I got a cold chill while spitting in the sink. I looked into the mirror and saw the girl sitting on the washer behind me. Her hair was wet. 

The power went out just as I looked away.

Wet feet ran through the house. 

When the lights came on I couldn’t find anything.

Today they found another body in the river…

Talks with Women #7

Ethan: How has life changed since you became a mom?

(Photo by ethan bethune) 

Jessica: Well, it’s definitely been life changing. I went from being so care free and confident to lonely, insecure, and constantly worrying about how others looked at me. Motherhood is a beautiful thing. You get this mini human who you love more than anything in this world and would do anything for. It is a love you don’t  even understand. But a lot of people don’t see that. All they see is whether or not you breastfeed or formula feed, etc. A big comparison game begins, like new mom’s already don’t have it hard enough, here comes everyone judging you. I’ve learned to move past this, but it took me over a year. Motherhood is hard to explain because it’s the most joyous part of your life, yet the hardest part, mentally exhausting.

Ethan: How do you balance time for yourself and being a wife and a mother? 

Jessica: This is a tough one. I get up before my son in the mornings, and drink coffee, read, and workout. That’s my ME time, and it’s so important. For the longest time I never gave that to myself, and I was miserable, but I didn’t know any better in a sense. I thought that driving yourself into the ground was just part of motherhood. It didn’t help I was a perfectionist wanting everything to be perfect. I literally would FREAK out if a dish landed in the sink. 
(Photo by ethan bethune) 

Spending time with my husband can be difficult. He works 3rd, so our schedules are opposite, plus he works ALL of the time, but we do what we can. Friday’s my son goes to school, so we usually dedicate the morning to us until he has to go to bed. Saturday’s he almost never goes to bed to spend time with us. I’m not going to lie, I have failed my family lately in time management. When I began my coaching journey a couple of months back I was constantly on my phone! I was in fact dedicating more time to the coaching business than my family. I have improved though, with setting “work hours”” aka my son’s nap time. I try to double check everything before bed and call it a day. 

When I’m not cooking or doing household chores, I play with my son. We build things, we read, we go outside. We enjoy trips to the park and splash pad. I’m also in a mom group to schedule play dates. I have bad days like any parent where I’ll turn the TV on, just so I can get extra things done around the house, but for the most part I find making time for my son easy, because he loves to play, and I guess it brings out my inner child which makes me joyous.

I’m also reading a book on how to schedule dates for hubby and wife. Like making it a point to hang out, Because we struggle with it! 

Ethan: Tell me more about your health and fitness coaching 

Jessica: I’ve only been a coach about three months, and it’s been nothing but uplifting. I’m enjoying learning about others and their goals and working together to reach those goals! I was so scared to jump in the coaching world, but I have great desire to show women that it’s okay to take care of yourself. We often forget how to, or that’s what happened to me anyways.

I neglected myself for so long I was falling into a state of depression. I had been there before with the meds, etc, and knew that’s not the life I wanted. I started working out to keep my mind occupied. I had no idea it would change my life. Before I knew it, I had finished a program, and I felt accomplished for the first time in a really long time. I kept it up and felt better mentally and physically each day. I know now that I’m worth a little me time. Instead of focusing on everyone else all of the time, I think about me too. I’m happier all the way around and it has made me a better Mom and wife. No, I don’t have all of my shit together, but I’m trying, and I hope other ladies see that through me. That it’s okay to be a work in progress and to love yourself. 

Ethan: You mentioned you like art festivals…

Jessica: Relaxation…

I know this sounds like work and not relaxing, but I enjoy drinking beer in the sun and redoing furniture. I find it very therapeutic. Planting and caring for flowers is also therapeutic. I hope to become a decent gardener next summer. I only did herbs and flowers this year. I also love looking at others creations. That’s why I enjoy festivals with all of the arts and crafts. It shows who the people are. It fascinates me, really…people just making stuff and putting it out there for the world to see in hopes the world likes it. It’s bold and it is beautiful.

I love the beach and beer. That is true relaxation…my husband and I haven’t been to the beach yet with a kid, so I can only imagine it’s not as relaxing haha. 

Ethan: Thanks so much for doing this Jessica. 

Jessica: Absolutely! (Photo origin, Jessica) 

Jessica is a health and fitness coach, wife and mom, lover of flowers and Coffee fanatic. She lives in Alabama. 

You can follow her journey Here 

it’s okay to be a work in progress and to love yourself. ” 

Talks with Women #6

Hey guys! I’m really excited about this new series of Talks with Women. I recently talked with a long time friend of mine. Cora, a CVT living and working in Utah. Discussing her career, and her passion, animals.

E: So it’s been a while since we talked last. 
What have you been up to?

C: It has been a while! Sorry for being a crappy long distance friend. Well, we moved last August to Utah from Minnesota. So it’s been almost a year but I still feel really unsettled here. Alex proposed in December, so I’ve been (kinda half-assing) planning a wedding for when we move back. 
And then of course, work. I’m a veterinary technician at a GP Clinic in my town. Utah doesn’t regulate techs here, so I’m maintaining my certification in Minnesota. I work full time, and then some. I’m on call a lot for emergencies since there isn’t a local ER.

E: What made you go into this field?

C: Well, I was pretty lost for a minute there. Remember my waitressing days? I had no idea what I wanted for so long. Looking back, it seems like it should have been so obvious

E: I remember those days !

C: I’ve always been passionate about animals. If you asked my mom, she might say obsessive. I spent hours agonizing over my hamsters cages and husbandry, wanting to give them the best care I ever could when I was a kid. I loved animals. I empathized with all of them. I stopped eating meat/started dealing with that moral struggle in the 6th grade.

Anyways, I was working a shift at my restaurant one night. Alex was gone on a trip to do some field study for school. We were long distance most of the year at that time, but this trip was hard on me because he had no cell service so we couldn’t talk. I decided I would work extra shifts while he was gone since I was bored anyways, but by the end of the first week I was exhausted. I distinctly remember looking down the salad bar line at one of the other women working- a “lifer” is what we called her. Has worked there for years, and will until retirement.

I got terrified. Is that going to be me? I hate this job. That can’t be me. 

I had a minor breakdown and a co-worker took pity on me. She knew me somewhat well, she knew I was passionate about animals. She was in school, studying vet med. She was going to be a veterinary technician. She asked me if I would come tour her school. I went the next day. 

I was in awe. It was as if every puzzle piece fell into place. THIS would be my career. I registered that day. When I called Alex to tell him, he was nervous about money and that I was making a rushed decision. He asked if I was sure, I said yes, and never looked back. 

I learn more every day. The field is changing now, too. It’s very exciting.

A lot of my experience after I graduated was in wildlife rehab which I would say is a true passion, but I’m also enjoying small animal medicine.

E: Is it difficult to see how disconnected people can be from wildlife? Even pets?

Why is spay neuter important. Why is back yard breeding bad?

My county last year alone killed 2000 dogs and is going to double it this year. The shelter is over full with 400 animals and only 40 kennels

C: Yeah, it’s very difficult. Even for the pets. I’ve seen so many animals suffer because of their owners.

I could go blue in the face talking about all of the reasons to spay and neuter pets. First off, health reasons. Females who are unaltered run the risk of getting an infection in the uterus called a pyometra. Without a uterus, this doesn’t happen! There is also the risk of mammary tumors. Certain breeds are more prone to getting them, but no matter the breed, the risk is GREATLY reduced in a spayed female. And then of course there is the chance of testicular cancer in un-altered males. It’s very common. There are countless other medical risks, but those are the most common. And then there is the risk of accidental litters, as well. And as with any pregnancy, medical complications can occur. Pets who have been spayed and neutered have also been proven to live longer, especially males.

And that’s not even touching on back yard breeding, which is a subject I can go on and on and on about…The thing is, breeding should be for the betterment of a breed. Not for fun, not for showing your children “the miracle of life” (if I had a nickle…), not because you want to make more “Fluffys”. No. If I could express to you the frustration of seeing people breed their pets for fun, and the medical and behavioral problems that are passed down to the next generation…It truly breaks my heart, Ethan.

Not every pet is a good candidate for breeding, either.

There are so many test that *should* be run first. Brucellosis testing, OFA hip/elbow certification, bloodwork, genetic testing…and then being set up to make sure that the puppies are adequately cared for medically and behaviorally. Puppies need to be well socialized to a lot at a young age. Most backyard breeders have very little understanding of all of this, and are ill prepared. Money should be available for emergency C-sections, mastitis in the breast, and other complications. All of this information is true for both canines and felines.

And on top of it all, backyard breeders add to the crisis you mentioned. Thousands and thousands of animals across the nation need homes. Why add to that number?

E: They look to us to take care of them and we’re not even responsible

C: I have rescued both of my pets. Harvey is the most amazing dog, not without his problems due to being dumped at the shelter multiple times, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He is such a love. He required an ophthalmic surgery he never would have gotten at the shelter if I hadn’t rescued him. And my cat Dale came from a less than ideal situation as well.

I am lucky to know so many people who care for animals, both pets and wildlife, but the constant education to others can be really exhausting. I wish people listened.

E: Rescue pets are the best. They love you more than your own spouse. (Laughs)

C: Haha, it’s funny you say that

E: It’s true!

C: It is! Alex frequently walks in on me and Harvey cuddling and giving kisses and says I love him more

E: Simon is a rescue and he’s great. He waits in the window for me every day. 

C: I am the “ultimate resource” to my dog, just like you are to Simon. Not only do they love us, they need us. He’s such a cute dog. I love seeing his pictures, and Beagle in the City

E: He’s my best friend for life.

C: Yeah, they steal our hearts. I was making my bed yesterday and had my comforter tossed on the floor, and for a second I almost expected my childhood dog who passed away years ago to jump on it, because she used to love doing that.

E: I can’t even think about losing Simon. I don’t know how you handled that. 

C: it was tough. Oscar was the hardest I think. I miss him all the time! 

Simon is totally your companion!

E: Thank you so much for talking with me,Cora. 

C: Thank you! Maybe I wasn’t too long winded! 

Cora is a CVT. Working with shelters and clinics in Minnesota and Utah. 

Learn more about spaying and neutering 

The Humane Society 
And as always 

You can adopt or donate or learn more about your local rescues and  shelters Here


I heard a story of a man,

Loving what he loved,

He was rich and he was powerful. 

He picked his art,

His music,

His literature,

His theatre….

And surrounding himself with these

Banned all the rest…

His taste 

Was best

What else was there? 


In time his Musicians  

And  Writers


And Poets

Fell into depressions 

Their art was changing 

They couldn’t express it.

When he gathered them together 

Asking why they stopped…

They simply said

You took away our inspirations 

If all that is – is us – we will die out.

Art is alive and always changing 

There must be room for all of us.

He looked around his cities

And saw only a mirror of himself 

We evolve and we change together 

One heart beat 

One breath

There is no other way.