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About Nancy

I raise alpacas with my husband Curt, a palliative care and hospice physician. We live in Emmett, Idaho. I am an Interfaith Contemplative Minister, ordained at the Interfaith Theological Seminary in Tucson, Arizona, in 2000.  I have served as a hospice chaplain and spiritual director after ordination. My spiritual path is unique and encompasses traditional and non-traditional, western and eastern, esoteric and mystical approaches to life, being and doing.  Curt and I have three daughters, one son and four grandboys, ages 3,5,6, & 7.  In addition to over 100 alpacas and 2 llamas, we have 7 cats and 5 dogs.

I am an advocate for gay rights.

I have started a Democracy Circle in our very politically conservative town and county with the hopes of giving voice to the values that I hold so dearly.

36 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2010 7:14 pm

    I am glad our spiritual paths crossed in Santa Fe. It was to be as the say.
    I like the blog and your beliefs. Stay in touch, I know we are meant to intertwine .


  2. planejaner permalink
    March 26, 2010 9:31 am

    Hi, Nancy–you’ve been quiet over here lately…hope all is well.

    • nancy permalink*
      March 27, 2010 8:34 am

      Hi jane,

      Thanks for your blessings. I actually have been sick. I had a respiratory virus that lasted over 3 weeks and felt like do-do. My husband put me on antibios and that helped. Went to Arizona to an alpaca show and caught a stomach bug (thanks to the antibios) from my grandsons’ schoolmates. Am back and humming now. But way behind in everything. I have glorious things to say about taking 2 young alpacas to visit the kindergarten and 2nd-grade classes in Phoenix! Hope to get at least one post this week and some pictures.

      BTW, I’m loving your daily posts. They’re like having coffee with a good friend who loves life, kvetches like me, laughs a lot at herself and is deeper into life than most folks I know. Thanks for who you are, jane. And thanks so much for caring!


      • nancy permalink*
        March 27, 2010 8:38 am

        BTW, one more time . . . One thing I did while sitting on my larger 1/2 was plan my garden and start some old seeds I had hanging around. I have little teeny tiny lettuce sprouts! It’s like being a grandmother all over again! jane and abby from NCIS made me aware of the joy of seed and bug birth! I haven’t named them yet! Maybe I will.

      • planejaner permalink
        March 27, 2010 9:10 pm

        Oh, dear! Sick is no fun, and I am happy to hear that you are feeling better, by the by. I can’t wait to hear of your furry adventures with alpacas and grandchildren–an interesting mix to be sure.
        Your kind words encourage me, more than you can know…trying to find my path–I keep thinking it will be lit withbeautiful white lights from God, you know? That all will be easy…although, if I just stop long enough to truly hear…I DO know.
        ok, not making much sense.
        Glad to hear of your sprouting garden!
        I will look forward to your new posts!

  3. April 1, 2010 6:09 pm

    I just found your blog from a comment you made at PlaneJane.

    Your post so far have resonated within me. Your outlook and way with words move me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Both you and PlaneJane have a such a beautiful way of looking at life and seeing and expressing things I feel, but could never put to words.

    Thank you for sharing and expressing your amazing observations and reminders to see the beauty that surrounds us. I look forward to reading more posts.

    • April 1, 2010 10:07 pm

      Hi Crazyinthemaking,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad to hear that you felt a connection when you read my blog. Blogging is brand new to me, and I’m getting a real kick out of allowing myself to be public about writing.

      You know how you felt the things that jane and I talked about, “but could never put into word” these things. Well, that’s how I feel when I read jane’s writing.

      I have been studying for a number of years with a woman who believes and teaches that we women are the birthers of a new language–a language of the heart that is particularly feminine, as opposed to left-brain logical. It is gentle and expresses how we flourish in the world of beauty and tenderness. Until now, most of us have been silenced as women. And our very souls have been oppressed by language and actions that speak of power and fear.

      I’m so excited about blogging because it gives us women a chance to try out our new language in a vaguely anonymous way and take risks we might not take orally for fear of ridicule or belittling.

      I’m really happy to meet you this way, and I hope we can share our stories and personal beauty for a very long time.

      BTW, I hope Angel Cakes is over her fever and feeling much better.


  4. April 7, 2010 2:42 pm

    Hi Nancy:

    Just wanted to let you know I’m loving your blog…Jane told me about it!


    • April 8, 2010 5:33 am

      Thank you so much, Wendy. It’s so good to be a part of a group of women who write their own stories. It’s like having a group of safe friends who “get” you. I look forward to getting to know you via your blog, too. I hope there’s a place to subscribe. I’ll check back with you if there’s not. Thanks for your comment.

  5. May 1, 2010 7:00 pm


    I have been busy but let us keep in touch even if it is a stroke at a time.

    Bless You

    • May 1, 2010 8:52 pm

      I agree. Thanks so much for getting me started blogging. It’s a passion for me now. It does take a lot of time, though. I’ve got to check back in on yours. I have never gotten my Santa Fe pics up yet – on facebook or the blog. Just the original angel pics that I used to start the blog. There’s so little time with all these babies coming. Maybe I can make some headway this next week.

      How are you? I love the way we met. I will always remember our beautiful door and chance meeting in Santa Fe. You and your husband are such lovely people. I feel like we’ve been friends for a long time. Like a new friend of mine says, “There are no coincidences!”

      I know you are blessed every minute of each day!


  6. Stephanie Zilk permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:20 am

    Nancy, meeting you yesterday was a blessing. I try to be open with everyone I meet and hope for a connection, but folks are struggling as they face the abyss you mention. I am still enthusing about my visit to Hummingherd (all my coworkers are curious about alpaca kisses!)and I want to thank you for sharing your positive energy with me.

    • August 4, 2010 12:17 pm

      Thank you, Stephanie. I loved having you come visit. BTW, Juliana came out of her pen last evening to visit me while I was filling water buckets. She told me that she enjoyed meeting you and hoped you’d be back soon. She has lots of kisses for you.

      Sometimes, people are brave enough to risk stepping into the abyss (remember when Indiana Jones stepped off the ledge in Raiders of the Lost Ark?), and sometimes they’re not, and unfortunately, if they get too scared they retreat into a very small, safe place and never risk again. That’s really sad. But you and I keep luring them with the delights of connectivity and love. Hopefully, more will venture than retreat. We just keep shining our light and praying. That’s all we can do.

  7. Stephanie Zilk permalink
    September 13, 2010 1:27 pm

    Nancy, I know you’ve had alot on your mind lately with your family. However, it is September and are there any new crias? My husband and I have Friday off; we are going ziplining at Horseshoe Bend for our anniversary (crazy?!?!?) Would it be possible to stop by that afternoon to meet the alpacas?

    • September 13, 2010 4:51 pm

      So good to hear from you. Yes, we have lots of babies – one born yesterday, one Friday, and a passle of other children. I’ll put up some pictures. They’re the best!!!

      Please do come by Friday afternoon. I’d love to show them to you.

      Have fun ziplining, but be safe. Yes, it’s crazy, but sounds thrilling.

  8. Stephanie Zilk permalink
    September 14, 2010 8:35 am

    Thanks! I will call you before we get there. And I’ll bring my camera 🙂

  9. October 26, 2010 8:06 am

    Nancy, I attended a Sonia Choquette workshop in Chicago this past week end, and ended up meeting a lady that I know you can give some words of wisdom to. I sent her your blog. She has a very small piece of land in northern Idaho (I think!) and I suggested alpacas or maybe some goats. She wants to leave the nursing profession because of stress. Her name is Connie and she is at

    I hope it’s ok, but you immediately came to mind when I was speaking with her and your beautiful faced alpacas :~)


  10. Jennifer Barricklow permalink
    November 4, 2010 6:11 pm

    You’ve been awfully quiet lately, Nancy. I miss reading you. My prayers that all is well with you and yours.

    Just checking in…


    • November 9, 2010 8:10 am

      Hi Jennifer, Yes, I’ve been quiet on the blog, but not at all quiet in my life. Your email and the email I got from Michael Stillwater, pushed me back to myself, my Self. I’ve been “doing” too much, too fast, too crowded, too long. However, yesterday, on a long drive back from Colorado, across the wastelands of Wyoming, I read a lovely novel while Curt drove. For 12 hours I emersed myself in my reading. It was glorious and much needed.

      Thanks so much for your concern. I’ve lost myself in my doing. David Stendl-Rast brought me back. The Song is so glorious. How could I have not heard it?


  11. January 13, 2011 9:21 pm


    I have been thinking about my spirituality a lot lately, and find myself floundering and naturally you were the first person I thought of. I was hoping you could suggest a book or website that could help me in my search. I am looking for something more woman oriented that focuses more the what worship instead how we worship. Something that is about inclusion. With that fabulous description I’m sure you will have lots of suggestions for me. Guess my blog title was more accurate that I knew. Seriously though, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If you want, you can e-mail me at

    Thank you,


  12. Curtis and Beverly Miller permalink
    March 14, 2011 10:04 pm

    Hi Nancy. Yes, still alive and thriving after two spinal surgeries for me and surviving uteran cancer for Bev. Our faith remains strong and our gratitude for every beautiful woderous dawning day remains within us. Withy all love for you and Curt hoping this day finds you well.

    Curtis and Bev

    p.s. I don’t have a Facebook address but Bev does. I’ll drop you an e-mail with it.

  13. April 12, 2011 6:50 am

    Interesting and spiritual blog

  14. October 21, 2011 4:58 am

    Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italianglish writing blog I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to

    Good life and I hope to soon

    • November 4, 2011 2:10 pm

      Thank you, Jose. I’m settling down in a new city, state and home. Hope to be writing more soon. Thank you for the invitation.

  15. GR8WYT permalink
    November 4, 2011 11:14 am

    As ever, I try to keep up with Nancy and her musings. In this time of political strife and anxiety, I surely do not intend to interject intermedial thoughts. I’ve always loved this woman and wish only the best for her and her family. Life is too short to have nothing but hope for our friends. It is really cool that she is back in AZ.


    • November 4, 2011 2:09 pm

      Thank you, Tom. It’s wonderful to be in Flagstaff.

  16. December 10, 2011 1:11 pm

    Hello Nancy,

    A voice from your past..I’ll post my web and address below…Thinking of visiting Arizona again. The last time I did was when I stayed with you! I noticed that you lived in my homeland in the past few years…C

    • December 12, 2011 11:51 am

      Well, hello friend! You have no idea how many times I thought of you during the 12 years we lived near Boise. I remember giving you a hard time about being from Idaho and your telling me what a lovely place Boise was. You were right. I’m glad to be back in AZ – Flagstaff. Where are you? Thank you for reaching out. I’m so glad to be back in touch.

      • January 22, 2012 6:26 pm

        Hi Nancy,

        I hope you will appreciate this and laugh because I am. I found your blog added this post and then couldn’t figure out how I got to it or how to get back to it. I am still in Seattle at the UW and have my own little business Sacred Day Ceremonies. Here I am: You can see me. I just do this part time and still work in advising. I am a director of the department I began in at UW. You know administrative work in higher education, it has its challenges :). I do still love the students. I feel very lucky to work with the students I do and the people in my department. Thanks for responding and I bookmarked this so hopefully I can find the thread again…

  17. January 22, 2012 6:00 am

    Hi Nancy – found your blog as I was looking up info on why snow glitters. You sound like a great person – hope you continue to be visibly and vocally progressive, wherever you find yourself. Thank you! and hope you start posting again.

    • January 24, 2012 3:13 pm

      Dear writearoundnow (Nann???),
      Thanks for commenting on my blog. As you can tell, I haven’t been too current. My husband and I moved to N. Arizona in October and I’ve been getting used to having a lot of free time on my hand. So much so that I haven’t got any free time! You encourage me, though, to start up again. I love writing and thinking and helping people see the beauty in life and others.

      I thought about you this morning as I walked my husband to work in the fresh snow. I had a head lamp on because it was still dark and you should have see the light show! Twinkles all over everywhere. A very small evergreen was the most beautiful – like it was covered in glitter. I’m glad you’re interested in the sparkle of snow. It’s one of the world’s most beautiful wonders. It’s so easy to miss noticing, but once discovered, it explodes in light.

      Hope you enjoy the blessings of snow and cold and frost. And just think, when it’s gone, we’re in for a whole ‘nother batch of glories!

      • January 25, 2012 12:29 pm

        Thanks Nancy for reading my posts and for your comments – you are so supportive, I appreciate it. I do hope you find some time to write again so I can read your posts. Just briefly: it’s wonderful you’re so involved with hospice, and animals too (do you still have alpacas? If so you should write about them – I don’t know much about them, but they fascinate me.) Best to you in your new neck of the woods!

      • January 25, 2012 12:35 pm

        Yes, we still have about 55 alpacas in Prescott Valley, AZ . Curt and I just were down there halter training this year’s crop of show babies. They’re sooo adorable. Yes, I should write about them. I adore them. BTW, I just got news from friends in Idaho that there will be a gathering Saturday to place sticky notes on the capitol door asking for legislators to place the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the Human Rights Law. We have been trying for 8 years to get those words entered into legislation, with all sorts of stupid reasons why not and barriers to its passage. I’ll have the video up on my facebook, if you get a chance to see it and if I can figure out how to do it. So glad to have a new writing friend. Nancy

  18. January 30, 2012 10:17 pm

    Hi Nancy,

    I looked at the sticky note video and it almost made me cry. I know every one of those little towns in Idaho and found it wonderfully moving to see all of the sticky notes cheering on the rights of all human beings! It made my home state seem a little hopeful..Bravo to all who have done this work.


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