Simple Pleasures: #aprillove2015

poudretrailspringToday’s April Love prompt today is “simple pleasures.” My life is made up mostly of such things. Just one example is long walks with my dogs. Long walks with my dogs and Eric, talking about everything and nothing or staying completely quiet, both together and alone. A camera that fits in my pocket so I can easily take a picture of how green everything is, how the leaves are starting to open on the Narrow Leaf Cottonwoods. Being able to walk out my front door and if I go left, I’m at Lee Martinez Park in 20 minutes, and if I go right, I’m at City Park in 20 minutes. Getting to walk along the Poudre River any time I want for hours and hours on a route ranging from social dirt paths to carefully crafted paved trails. The wildlife we bump up against in the early mornings, like the heron this morning being chased by the geese that flew only a few feet directly over my head and whose wings were so loud they sounded like giant bumblebees. The memories of other walks with other dogs. So simple, and yet it’s everything.


When I was small and trees that are tall: #aprillove2015

springautumnApril Love prompt: “Spring/Autumn.” One of my favorite trees on campus at Colorado State University. The color it turned this past Fall was hard to even believe, and there’s something about the way it stands there all alone against the wall of windows.

meanddressyApril Love prompt: “When I was small,” I was so awesome — funny, sweet, smart, sensitive, and creative. All I need to do is remember her, know that she is me…still.

April Love prompt: “Trees.” I have my favorites. Not just kinds, but individuals, pairs, stands. I could take you on a tour where I live, walk you through my neighborhood, the parks, and campus, and show you them. Until then, there’s these two who rest across the trail from the river.

Gratitude Friday

gallery1. Breakfast with good friends that I don’t see nearly enough. Friendships that last decades without needing to try, love that lasts just because it does, women who are smart and kind and funny.

2. Feast with Rachel Cole and a whole group of amazing women. I’m grateful it was, and I’m also grateful it’s over now.

3. My Kindle, and all the books on it that I can read whenever and wherever I want. Don’t get my wrong — I’m not giving up paper books, but it’s nice to have another option.

sleeping4. My tiny family, my three boys.

5. Friday. Thank goodness.

Bonus joy: making it home from our walk before it rained, homemade ketchup, hummus and sweet potato corn tortilla chips, the grocery store stocking my favorite granola bars again, yoga teacher training, sangha, the Daily Dharma Gathering, the Open Heart Project, Season 4 of Girls on Amazon, funny people, smart people, the memory of peach pie, sleep, a cold glass of water, a hot shower, soft dogs, clean sheets.



#aprillove15: Home, Scent, Memory

ourmorningwalk05Prompt, “I live here.” Fort Collins, Colorado. I walk along the Poudre River with my dogs most mornings and am amazed that I can walk out my front door and be here in 20 minutes, am touched by how beautiful it is — always changing, always constant. Home.

sunseyepatchouliPrompt. “my scent.” Patchouli oil by Sun’s Eye. It’s the only thing I’ve worn, besides scented lotion, for 20 years. Eric wears it too, which probably makes me love it even more.

21yearsagoPrompt: “a happy memory.” 21 years ago. It was a foggy day in the mountains — Evergreen, Colorado. The elk were bugling because it was their mating season. We both wore green. Our roommate came and took a few pictures with a disposable camera. We had our “reception” at a local bar, pizza and beer, just the three of us. I don’t remember exactly what we vowed, but I do know we couldn’t stop smiling, looking at each other. Best decision e v e r, both the eloping and choosing him.

Something Good

1. Things I would like to do with You: the Book, a Kickstarter Project from the founder of The Elephant Journal.

2. Daily Dharma Gathering. This is how I start every morning. It began as a three month project, but Susan Piver and Lodro Rinzler have decided to continue it through the end of the year. “The DDG offers a new meditation from a great teacher every single day. Each session will begin with a short talk followed by a 10-15 minute meditation and a brief q&a.”

3. 10 Things You Must Give Up to Get Yourself Back on Track from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

4. Things I learned from my dad, in chronological order.

5. The Art of Motherfuckitude: Cheryl Strayed’s Advice to an Aspiring Writer on Faith and Humility on Brain Pickings.

6. 30 Days of Courage course with Marianne Elliott. It starts today and registration closes this evening, so go now! If you missed the series of posts leading up to the start of the course, you can find them here.

mycourage7. On being digital hoarders by Paul Jarvis.

8. Where Do I Even Begin? on Allowing Myself.

9. Just keep going from Caren Baginski.

10. The Doggy Dog Truth from Laurie Wagner.

11. Offer Your Depression, Susan Piver on Lion’s Roar.

12. Nadia Bolz-Weber’s good news by Kirsten Akens.

13. These two spaces showcased on SF Girl by Bay are so peaceful: One Fine Stay and The Slope of Things to Come.

14. Day in the Life — Camping, shared on Chookooloonks this was a good week.

15. Lessons learned from nine years of blogging from Susannah Conway.

16. Caitlin Gill at Snap Judgment LIVE! in Ann Arbor, “The Minivan.”

17. The Time When We’ll Be Present & Content from Zen Habits.

18. Good stuff from Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: the picture she used for the post is so dreamy, and this Chicken and Dumplings recipe, and this post on Elephant Journal, Why Sensitive Souls Need Rituals.

Sweet: #aprillove2015 and Wish: #aprilmoon15

littlemadmanApril Love prompt, “sweet.” This is a picture of my husband Eric at about six years old with his little sister Angela. They lived in Germany at the time, (their dad was in the Army and stationed there). Eric was on his way to a birthday party. He looks like a little Mad Man, except for the socks with sandals. It’s one of my favorite pictures.

April Moon prompt, “I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I wish…” I am acutely aware right now of the ways in which those who are sick, specifically those with various addictions, generate suffering both for themselves and those who love them. It’s so hard to watch someone you love be in pain, to be so sick and confused, and not be able to do anything about it, to have your support rejected, to know that the only way things will get better for them is if they choose to get help and you can’t convince or make them do that, to see them continue to resist, choose instead to keep going down a path of self-destruction.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I wish for suffering to ease. I wish that the confusion would lift and the truth be clear, that she’ll see how things really are and have the strength to make the right choice, that with the help of qualified professionals she’ll be able to save herself, turn things around. I wish that no matter what happens with her, those who love her will be able to find some peace, will know that they did everything they could for her. I wish for all those struggling with addiction the same clarity and strength, and for those who love them the same peace, the ability to be okay no matter what the outcome.

Catching Up: #aprillove2015 and #aprilmoon15

whenthingsfallapartThursday’s April Love prompt was “ten years ago,” which I skipped writing about here because I’d already written about something similar the other day when I answered the April Moon prompt, “Knowing what I know now, I would tell my ten-years-ago self…

Today’s April Love prompt was “Life-changing book.” Even though I love books and have many favorites, and there are quite a few that have been instrumental in helping me shift something that was stuck (for example, Brene’ Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are or Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything), there is one that was a complete life-changer, one that I come back to again and again, the book I would save if I could keep only one, read only one for the rest of my life — Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.

Thursday’s April Moon prompt was “sometimes I wonder if I will ever…” slow down, calm down, be peaceful and content, stop worrying, feel entirely comfortable in my own skin, take really good care of myself, write the books, have the life I’ve imagined since I was six years old but was never quite able to manifest entirely. Sometimes I wonder, and yet I feel more sure now than ever that it’s absolutely possible, if I keep wanting it and I don’t give up. Like the lines from Arundhati Roy say, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Today’s April Moon prompt is “this is what makes me feel lucky…” That I’m here, that I continue to try, that I haven’t given up, that I have big love in my life, that I’ve been able to do mostly what I wanted, that I have a good partner, that my dogs are healthy and here, that I don’t have to worry about money, that I have a sweet little house with a garden, that I’m healthy and strong, that I’m smart and curious, that I can be creative, that I can come here and write and then share whatever I want and people actually read it, that I have a good job, that I have time to practice and study, that I have good friends who make me laugh, that I am sane and safe.