As a young child, I spent a lot of time in cars. Whether we were going back and forth between the Walla Walla State Penitentiary or going on a road trip, my mom and I listened to a lot of “books on tape.” We heard murder mysteries, educational books, and so many more. I remember listening to Dune traveling down the Oregon Coast and talk about our car being a mobile university.

Graphic showing a car and the caption Car-a-versity

Growing up in this way cemented my appreciation of the spoken word. I recently finished listening to From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want by Rob Hopkins for the Reverse Imagineering class I’m taking. If you are looking for an encouraging book under challenging times, this is a great one. We all need more imagination. I have also been making my way through Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series. Currently, I’m listening to Foundation and Empire. I love having gotten back into science fiction/fantasy books.

I also listen to a lot of podcasts. In 2014, I wrote Jump in The Stream, Favorite Podcasts where I shared some of my favorite podcasts at the time. I still listen to most of the podcasts on that list, but the number of different podcasts I listen to has grown along, and which ones get priority. Maybe at some point, I will write up something about my current listening habits. If you are looking for some great shows, I value the Relay FM network and all of the great shows.

A graphic of headphones and text - currently I have 21 shows With episodes I'd like to listen to... too many subscriptions
Maybe I’m subscribed to too many podcasts

I have also been trying to get my kids interested in listening to audio. We have listened to some audiobooks. They enjoyed The Wizard of Oz, which was one of the first books I got them to listen to on the way to a camping trip a couple of years back. They have also enjoyed WOW in the World and Circle Round. Lately, every time we get into the car, even if we are only going five minutes away, they say to put on the Mother Dearest Show. When I have put it on, they always get reticent and listen, but afterward, they tell me that I should make it less boring. They figure the way to make it less boring would be for them to be on it.

What is this, you might be asking yourself, how would they get on to the podcast? The Mother Dearest Show is a new podcast made with my mom (Judy Dirks) and me. It is actually so new that it’s not even listed in the Apple Podcasts directory yet. I recently submitted it for review, but it takes about five days to approve new shows. If you search next week, you should be able to find it there.

Show Art for the Mother Dearest Show
The Mother Dearest Show Art

So far, we have done two episodes, and it has been enjoyable. The general premise is me talking with my mom about a subject. If you know my mom, you know that she is a pretty amazing woman. She helped start a couple of non-profits. The last couple of years, I have had her come in and speak to the students in my Social Work Classes. She always gets them excited, and they tell about how great her time was with them.

Photo of Judy Dirks Teaching in 2017 at Heritage University
A photo of my mom presenting in 2017 for one my classes at Heritage University

To start each episode, we have been drawing tarot-style cards and connecting with the topic. The first card was from my Zen Deck and was going with the flow and the second one was from My mom’s Oracle Divination Cards and the Yang card. It has been fascinating to see how each episode how it connects with the topics. We have explored some counseling practices, my mom being in the convent, and some other interesting conversations. I figure the topics will range from areas that we have some shared interest or family interest.

The initial notes that I took when I was first starting thinking about wanting to do this project were dated October 2015. I had started brainstorming what it could look like and some possible topic ideas. I’ve considered it on and off again for years but have kept putting it off. I finally decided that this was something I’m going to start now. My intention behind this project is multifaceted. First, I want to have an excuse to talk to my mom. I think some of our conversations will be about her growing up, or maybe about my dad and all kinds of things I want to be able to capture and save. Second, I want to learn how to create a podcast. I must share that Relay FMs member-only podcast, Backstage, really helped me start learning the basics. I think it sounds ok so far, but I would like to make it better and know that going through this process will improve my editing skills and speaking skills. I don’t have any other projects I’m looking to start right now, but who knows what the future may hold.

Anyways, I’m proud to share these and would love for people to check them out. You see the episode at our website or right here… and eventually, they will be everywhere you listen to your podcasts.

Episode 1: Our First Episode - Tarot Cards and EMDR in Counseling

Episode 2: Connecting with the Divine - Spirituality and Systems Thinking