In the 70’s, the marketing power of the Humane Society was in its’ infancy at best. Spaying or neutering ones’ cat was almost unheard of. We grew up at the end of a dirt road and our house was veiled in the forest that surrounded us. At various times in my childhood, unthinking pet owners dropped litters of kittens ‘at the end of that dirt road’, which coincidentally, was the start of my driveway. My parents dreaded it…I was in cat heaven! I was a shy child and the gentle mewing kittens spoke directly to my heart. Their indulgent napping and kneading and purring were only bested by their incessant demand for stroking, and I loved everything about them. I marveled at their calming energy and felt honored when they decided to curl up around me. I always had a couple of parent-sanctioned cats, but at times had up to 6 non-sanctioned boarders residing somewhere between our basement and the garage. Without formal discussion, I think my parents and I had arrived at a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy about the number of illegal aliens I harbored, and I secretly knew that I would eventually grow up to be the crazy cat lady.
I surrendered my cat-lady dreams in order to run Faceplant Dreams (and maintain my marriage and family!) They say when you surrender is when the magic happens, and in surrendering, I found the true crazy cat lady and hired her! Our artist Anna (and her husband) are the saviors of stray cats everywhere and take care of up to 25 strays at any given time. She is a selfless, kind and generous protector of finicky felines and even prepares homemade cat foods to keep them healthy. The best thing about having Anna around is that it makes the rest of us crazy cat ladies look sane by comparison!
Our cats don’t come to work with us, but like loyal subjects to their royal eminence, we pay tribute to them through our cat-loving themed products. In honor of our feline friends and all the amazingly crazy cat ladies we know, we’re celebrating Decem-purr.
Thanksgiving is a time to feel gratitude for both life’s blessing and for the lessons we learn from its’ challenges. The past few years have been particularly challenging in my personal life. I stood by bravely with my Mom as Alzheimer’s slowly consumed her. Trying to be 100% available to her, left little energy, compassion or time for work, family or for myself. After she passed, I quickly recovered more time in my days. We’ve enjoyed long weekends with family at the beach and on the boat. I’m doing more yoga, more meditation and enjoying morning walks along the bay. With more time, I’ve been able to refocus on Faceplant. We’ve taken business trips in which we’ve discovered some pretty cool stuff to bring to the brand next year. With friends, we raised over $5,000 in the Walk to end Alzheimer’s. This all feels good. I feel more energized. I feel more love and compassion for myself and the world.
But in a weird way, I feel a little guilty for feeling happy, like I don’t miss her enough, and I wonder why. And the answer came in my dream last night…
I found myself somewhere looking for my Mom. I sensed and knew she was there but couldn’t find her. A small orb buzzed, and I could hear my Mom’s voice coming through it but couldn’t understand what she was saying. I pulled it closer to my ear and asked her to try another way of telling me what she wanted to say. Her voice continued but the meaning continued to elude me. Again, I urged her to try a different way of saying it. She stopped talking and I could hear her breathing. Her breathing was slow, rhythmic and consistent. I listened for a while and it comforted me. Just the simple sound of her breathing in, breathing out… breathing in, breathing out… at some point, as I listened, I realized that I had awoken from the dream and was in bed, and could still hear the same clear rhythm of breathing. The same breath, the same cadence, the same energy. Now, however, it was my own breath. Breathing in…breathing out...
This Thanksgiving will be my first without my Mom. I had to catch my breath as I wrote those words. But if I trust my Mom’s message, I know that she remains with me, her loving breath still flowing through me as we breathe in and out together.
In honor of Thanksgiving, may we all find the blessings amidst life’s challenges. May we forgive, cherish and share the blessings. May we all breathe in love, Breathe out gratitude.
While the winds were still blowing over the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian, we gratefully accepted the donations offered on GoFundMe and hitched our boat, loaded with the supplies were told were needed most.
We filled every inch of the boat including the diapers on the captain’s seat. There was no room to waste.
On Sept 6, we headed to Jupiter Inlet, FL where we launched and fueled the boat, hoping for smooth seas to make the crossing.
At the docks we connected with other boat captains making the Bahamas relief trip and generous locals who continued to load our boat with supplies until it was barely above water level. As the sun rose over a beautiful day in FL, we left Jupiter Inlet.
We were cautious of the rumors of pirates and ne’er-do-wells taking advantage of the Bahamian’s plight and intercepting boats like ours. We concealed what we could that looked of value, flew the Bahamian courtesy flag, and kept a good lookout.
We travelled east to the north end of Little Abaco Island. We’d heard the bridge was washed out so aid from major efforts wasn’t able to reach Little Abaco. With little local knowledge, it was a challenge to navigate the rocky barrier reefs surrounding Little Abaco and our trip went slower than we would have hoped.
Our first destination was Wood Cay on Little Abaco. Ted M., a well-known and respected member of the Wood Cay community was scheduled to meet us and help distribute supplies. When we arrived, Ted had left in a desperate attempt to find his daughter who was missing since the hurricane and rumored to be at Green Turtle Cay. In his stead, however, we met welcoming arms who gratefully accepted ½ of our boatload. We were the first boat to arrive to help the residents of Wood Cay. They had some water, but very little food. We were able to bring them food, baby supplies, water, generators and chain saws with gas to help them start clearing access through the streets and collapsed buildings.
Current Problem: En route to Wood Cay, we used our gas reserve trying to aid a couple on a sailboat which had been blown aground. With our fuel cushion gone, finding gas was becoming a priority. Locals had heard the only gas available was at Spanish Cay. Spanish Cay was on our way to Green Turtle, our final destination, so we headed that way and hoped.
Spanish Cay faired better than others. The owners were kind and gracious, but unfortunately, they had no gas. They had spoken with Green Turtle Cay and confirmed that they had gas (at least they had some that morning!) So now, with maybe enough gas to get home, we were heading another hour the opposite direction.
Along our way, we met other relief boats like ours. We experienced incredible openness and gratitude toward the relief workers and their fellow neighbors. The word that best demonstrates what we saw is COMMUNITY and it was a beautiful site to see it in action.
At first sight of Green Turtle Cay, our hearts sank. The picturesque island was devastated. The marina was empty and all the boats washed ashore. More than ½ the houses were completely collapsed and few of those that stood had full roofs remaining.
Green Turtle Cay, although physically ravaged, was receiving supply flights and indeed had (limited amounts of) gas.
Most importantly, In the midst of fear and destruction, we witnessed an incredible outpouring of community support. Anyone who had a running golf cart, truck or bicycle was removing debris and ferrying supplies from the docks to those that needed them most.
Two of the local churches survived the storm mostly intact. Using handheld VHF radios, locals were organizing clean-up and repair efforts so the churches could be used as supply distribution points. My partner on the trip, Pete, worked through the night with one headlamp only for lighting alongside a few brave locals to make solid repairs to the roof of the church to protect what little resources were left.
The islanders rely on rainwater cisterns for most of their water supply, sure they were filled with rain, but most were contaminated by the salt water flooding. Fortunately, a relief organization set up a desalination plant on the dock at Green Turtle so locals had drinking water.
Great News: The crew chief of the last helicopter supply flight of the night smuggled a few buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken on board and was instantly voted the most popular guy on Green Turtle Cay.
We never found Ted M at Green Turtle Cay but learned that he had been reunited with his daughter. Since Green Turtle Cay was able to receive regular supply flights, they loaded us up with what they knew Wood Cay needed most (including water) and we returned to our friends there with another boat load. We were met with a hero’s welcome as we were now the SECOND supply boat to arrive at the settlement.
Armed with local’s knowledge and stern warnings, we now knew how to navigate the barrier reef surrounding Wood Cay and made significantly better time on our return trip.
Land Ho! Jupiter Inlet never looked quite so inviting.
With just one flat tire to slow us down, we arrived back at home base, tired, but grateful for the experience.
We had dodged another hurricane bullet in Tampa and seeing the suffering of our Bahamian Friends was too much to ignore. There's a local legend about Indian burial mounds in Tampa that were blessed and forever protect our city from hurricanes. We don't know if that’s true, but with the outpouring of support we received on GoFundMe to help make this trip happen, it was clear that we needed to help share the blessing whether real or simply legend.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. Thank you for your contributions and support of our mission. You did something amazing and the people we met wanted to be sure we expressed their gratitude ten-fold. And so we thank you.
I've never lived without a dog. Ever. Often, two or more. And I’m not one of those “Big Dogs Rule” kind of girls. I love them all, from yorkies to mastiffs. Being a “Dog Lover” isn’t a prerequisite for being hired at Faceplant, but be it by planning or providence, somehow everyone here seems to have that skill set nailed!
To remain respectful of visitors, we try not to keep a full pack running around, but we currently have 3 ‘regular’ fur-babies who work most days: Zsa Zsa, Sasha and Blanche. I don’t use the word “work” facetiously… maintaining a comfortable and joyful work environment IS a requirement of working here, and nobody does it better than the three of them.
You’ll notice smatterings of ‘dog lover’ goodies throughout the Faceplant collection…We try to refrain from making TOO many dog lover items so as not to look like the crazy dog ladies. After all, we don’t want to alienate our cat lovers or wine lovers. But If you think of any great dog lover messages that you just MUST see on our products, please let us know. We love to hear from you.
I started Faceplant Dreams in 2008 because I was exhausted! I had worked and traveled too much and was struggling to find the emotional balance and relaxation necessary for true nourishing sleep. We’ve all heard the classic line that we “need our beauty sleep” and now science explains why!
After extensive studies, Dr. Elma Baron of Case Western School of Medicine says “Insufficient sleep is a worldwide epidemic. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency and inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and premature skin aging.”
Relaxation the first step to healthy sleep. The more stressful your life, the more important it is to relax before bedtime. Faceplant Bamboo® is the coziest and most luxurious fabric we’ve found and is the foundation of our classic Faceplant loungewear and pajama collection. It has the smooth finish of a silk with the soft drape of cashmere. It almost feels like being naked, only better! So, when you walk in the door from your crazy day, why don’t you slip into something a little more comfortable? You’ll be glad you did!