Gratitude Friday


1. Fall color. I think we are heading into the last few weeks of it, with our first real freeze and the garden officially done. I was so ready for summer to be over, but I’m so not ready for the long, dark season just yet.

2. The last of the garden. The last watermelon, the last strawberries, the last of the tomatoes and the basil. Maybe if I plant some bulbs this weekend I’ll feel better? Every year I mean to and then forget, but this seems to be the weekend to do it.


3. Play. Ringo got to meet a new friend last week when she came over for a play date, and after she left, Sam came out and they played some more. After a rough summer, Sam and Ringo now play multiple times a day, and it’s just so good to see it. AND, bonus — we have a play date scheduled this weekend with some of our favorites.

mela postplaydate

4. Hiking season. This is the best time of the year in Colorado to hike, although I don’t always go with, (since the boys go 6-10 miles, and run at least some of it, and I can’t keep up with that, and I’m not gonna lie, I love the long mornings at home alone). I appreciate how happy it makes Eric and the boys, and all the good pictures he takes and lets me steal to use on my blog.

image by Eric

image by Eric

5. Work from home Friday. I am so lucky to have a job where I can do this. I skip yoga and sleep in, wear comfy clothes (sometimes a clean pair of pjs), maybe take a nap with the dogs, get the laundry done, and don’t have to drive anywhere if I don’t want to, don’t even have to leave the house.

Bonus joy: Wild Writing, clean sheets, San Pellegrino Soda, tomato gratin with rice, a good therapist, massage, good books, my Kindle, soaking in the tub, how Sam sneaks in bed with us in the early morning, how much Ringo loves sleeping in his crate, how much both dogs love lounging in the backyard in the sun, when something makes Eric laugh really hard (we are rewatching The IT Crowd, so it’s happening a lot lately), teaching yoga, a new yoga mat, walking the dogs under a full moon, sleeping in, going to bed early, TWO people I adore stopping by my work office just to share a hug, feeling good about a piece I wrote for work even though I’m not sure anyone else even read it.

Something Good


1. #Redrawthebalance. “When a real-life firefighter, surgeon, and fighter pilot drop in on a classroom, these kids have their assumptions turned around.”

2. “This isn’t about politics, it’s about basic human decency.” “Michelle Obama took to the campaign trail to call out the Republican nominee for President of the United States on his disgusting behavior.” Such a great speech from an amazing woman. In related news, Physically Attacked by Donald Trump – a PEOPLE Writer’s Own Harrowing Story, which reminds me of what Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” In other related news, Grab Her — “We are done.” And, It’s Not Okay, and The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About, and 6 Steps To Calming Yourself From Incessant Attacks Until The Election.

3. Penguin Bloom: how a scruffy magpie saved a family. I follow this Instagram account but didn’t know the whole story. Postscript: they recently rescued two more babies who fell 100 feet out of their nest.

4. Black Women Physicians Are Coming Together to Defy Stereotypes with #WhatADoctorLooksLike. In related news, Discrimination 30,000 Feet Above and Plane Crew Nearly Lets Passenger Die Because They Couldn’t Believe A Black Woman Was A Doctor.

5. The Italian cycling champion who used his hero status to save Jews during WW2.

6. Famed Ringling circus elephants arrive in Florida for retirement. Yay!

7. Students expelled after Facebook group calls for ‘execution’ of Jews, black people. This happened in Boulder, Colorado, “an ultra-liberal city known for its ‘hippy culture’ and tolerance.”

8. I’ve Experienced Fat Shaming And Thin Shaming And I Can Tell You Which Is Worse.

9. Excuse me. Having a puppy meltdown. From Meghan Tonjes. Welcome to my life: Every. Damn. Day.

10. Recipes I want to try: spinach and chickpeas and Slow Cooker Hasselback Apple Pork Loin.

11. Meet Emilia and her otter half, Olivia. “The 5-month-old otters are receiving treatment from our Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital veterinarians.” So cute!

12. You need to read what this woman has to say. It will better your life. from Yes Yes Marsha.

13. This portable robot can print your documents at any time. Cool.

14. This farm grows 50,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables – on top of a building.

15. This 10-year-old boy donated his hair to create wigs for young cancer patients.

16. Do What You Love For A Living Before You DIE!! from KevOn Stage.

17. this cup is already broken. A beautiful meditation on death, or rather: life.

18. Unhappy At Work: Why Midlife Makes Us Cranky. Seriously, y’all — I’m having a mid-life crisis.

19. You can rest.

20. Why I’m Voting for Trump, an interesting collection of the various whys.

21. The well of goodwill, great advice from Jamie Greenwood.

22. A Method for Dealing with Feeling Stressed & Overwhelmed from Zen Habits.

23. Amy Goodman Is Facing Prison for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All. What the fuckity fuck?!

24. Rescue dogs see their new four acre enclosure for the first time.

25. #wearemanystoriesproject with Sas Petherick. She posted to Instagram, starting this hastag with a post that made me say a “hell yes,”

Do you ever get readers block? I read A LOT of fiction and self-help (blergh, I know) and 99% of the authors are white. Most are women, most are just like me. And it just feels samey and dull as shit. I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and I’m embarking on a mission to read 100 books by humans not like me. I’m starting with Julia Ostuka’s The Buddha in the Attic – it’s about Japanese brides who immigrated to the US in the 1920s. It’s a prose poem and it’s made me cry twice. Unlike anything I’ve ever read before. This is going to be fun!

26. Cool art: Watercolor Cherry Blossom Animals and Floral Anatomy Embroideries.

Day of Rest


When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver



I love vintage pillowcases. I’m afraid to buy them at a thrift store now because of the recent bed bug scares, (probably not even a real thing I should worry about, but it’s made me cautious anyway). I have a few sets I’ve had for at least a decade. I love the patterns, the colors, the nostalgia, but the best thing is how soft they are, a soft that’s only possible after years and years and years of washing and sleep.

Eight years ago when the vet called to tell me Obi had lymphoma, that the lump wasn’t just cancer but a kind that was incurable, I was home alone with the dogs, waiting for Eric to get home from a work meeting. I ignored his phone call when he was done telling me he was on his way home because I didn’t want to share that information with him over the phone and then have him driving an hour on the highway in rush hour traffic, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to lie, hide it from him if I answered. I needed him to be focused, safe. I needed him to make it home to me in one piece so that I could tell him and then fall apart.

While I was waiting, I took out my sewing kit and started some mending. The hem of one of my vintage pillowcases had started to come unstitched. My hands and my mind needed something to do, something else to focus on. I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t spend more time on the internet, reading anymore about this thing that I couldn’t fix.

The trauma of that hasn’t really left me, along with many other traumas large and small. They still live in my body. Sometimes they are silent, heavy and stuck like dead things. Other times they are triggered and rise up, ripping through me like something sharp and hot, not just alive but murderous.

In an effort to release them, I’m starting EMDR work with my therapist. She told me at the start of our last session that she’s moving out of state by the end of the year, and gave me the option to wait and start with someone else, but I feel like there’s no reason to put this off any longer. She warned me that it can bring up a lot of stuff, be unsettling, but I told her that I feel like I’m in a place where something is going to break anyway, come unhinged, regardless of how or who starts it, and it might as well be under supervision, with support, and now.

Step one of the process is getting a general sense of the various traumas we’ll be working with. We started with my history of sexual trauma. We talked for our whole hour. She filled up an entire sheet of paper with her notes, front and back, and I wasn’t even done. No wonder what Trump said all those years ago and continues to say and justify has me so upset.

This morning as I was putting clean sheets on the bed, I noticed that the pillowcase I mended that day eight years ago has come unstitched again. Something about that seems right, perfectly timed.


Gratitude Friday


1. Fall color. I’m feeling grateful especially for the Ash trees, and grieving them at the same time. 1 in 5 trees in Fort Collins are Ash. Other than Aspens, they are the most beautiful of all the trees in fall. Because of a pest on its way, the emerald ash borer, in about 5 years they could ALL be dead.

2. Ringo and Sam. We had another training session with Amy of Trust Your Dog Training, (highly recommended) and they did so good and we’ve got some great ideas to work with next. I’m especially grateful that after a rough summer, they are back to playing in the backyard every day, being rowdy and wearing each other out.


3. Anniversary apple pie. Eric had written “love” across the top in bits of crust, but I’d already eaten the “L” and the “O” when he asked if I’d noticed. It has made for some delicious apply pie oatmeal for breakfast this week.


4. Good books. I’ve been in love with them for as long as I can remember, first being read to and then learning to do it for myself and then wanting to write my own. Reading is still and will most likely be one of my very favorite things to do, and writing is something I do every day almost no matter what — practicing, practicing, practicing.

5. Eric. For our anniversary, I gave him a jar of slips of paper, on each one I’d written something I loved about him. I’ve been working on it since January so there are a lot, but he’s only letting himself read a few a day, savoring them.


Bonus joy: anniversary flowers in the bathroom, roasted vegetables, sleeping in, physical therapy, a good resolution to a dumb situation and support from my boss about it, Wild Writing, poetry, meditation, my favorite long sleeved shirt that I forgot about but found yesterday and wore again, good TV, lunch at Whole Foods, Fax4Life Chocolate Brownie Mini Muffins (seriously so so so good, I don’t even care that they are supposed to be “healthy”), grapefruit soda (can’t remember the brand, but so refreshing), clean sheets, a warm shower, my new bathroom which is actually almost a year old now, walking with the dogs early in the morning.

Three Truths and One Wish


1. Truth: This post is actually supposed to get published on Tuesdays. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write one that early in the week. I feel like this tells you everything you need to know about how things are behind the scenes.

2. Truth: I’m giving one thing up for the next week. I’m going to stop trying to figure things out, stop trying to fix anything. For the seven days, it’s not my responsibility. I have no idea if I’ll really be able to, or what it will feel like, but in regards to this one thing, I give up.

3. Truth: I’m so tired. It’s like that quote from Mandeq Ahmed, “There are two types of tired, I suppose. One is a dire need of sleep, the other is a dire need of peace.” I’m both kinds. The stress of the upcoming election is exhausting and the change in the light doesn’t help one bit. “I want to sleep for a thousand years, then wake up in some other world where failure is part of the music, and seen to make it more beautiful.”

One wish: May we be gentle with ourselves, slow down and rest as necessary, find ease in our lives and peace in our hearts.

Something Good


1. Wisdom from Susan Piver,

Meditation is not a life-hack intended for self-improvement nor is it about stress-reduction. It is a discipline. There are no short cuts. It is the opposite of an escape. Practice leads, not to peace, but to clarity, fierceness, and gentleness.(These are not necessarily synonymous with ease. However, they are awesome.) PS I’m still not very good at it. Fortunately, being good at it is not the objective.

2. Funny Husky videos. This made me laugh, and miss my Obi, (our first dog, a Husky mix).

3. A Bank Wouldn’t Cash This Woman’s Paycheck Because They Didn’t Believe She Was An Architect. Seriously?! Blergh.

4. Elizabeth Plank on the latest from Donald Trump. “After more than a year of the Donald J. Trump campaign, should the recent audio leaks of Trump describing boorish behavior towards women really surprise anyone?” In related news, Women Across America Respond To Trump’s Groping Comments (TWEETS).

5. 7 Surprising Reasons Your Dog Should Sleep On Your Bed Every Night. As someone who has had a dog in her bed almost every night for the past 15 years, I am not surprised at all.

6. This musician helps NYC’s homeless get enough money to eat just by playing next to them.

7. Teachers Tell Individual Students How Special They Are, Tears Ensue.

8. An amazing Dad builds an incredible backyard Ninja Warrior course for his daughter.

10. Recipes I want to try: Slow Cooker Corn Chowder and Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts.

11. Renegade Healing with Dr. Vickie. “A modern day medicine woman for women who are in spiritual and health transitions.” A beautiful thing offered by a beautiful human.

12. Self-Doubt Is A Jerk, So You Should Stop Listening To It, wisdom from Chuck Wendig.

13. Don’t Fall For the New H&M Campaign. In what seems like related news to me, Looks Like “No Excuses” Mom, Maria Kang, Found Some Excuses.

14. The Birds of Fear from Jena Schwartz. There’s a particular magic to Jena’s writing — the detail, stuck to the present moment, tiny moments that call in the power of larger ones, reality that feels like the ordinary magic of a dream, the weaving together of multiple voices but so clearly her own.

15. Humans of New York and the Cavalier Consumption of Others. This makes me sad, because Humans of New York is one of my favorite things, and Stories is one of my “go to” gifts, a book I have given to so many people. I can’t figure out if this article means I’m stupid or confused, or if it’s just another perspective.

16. Changing Beliefs vs. Changing Ideologies (the core of the Non-Diet Approach).

17. A Letter to the Doctors and Nurses Who Cared for My Wife.

18. Why Black lives matter from Ben & Jerry.

19. 2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

20. How Libraries Save Lives. “One woman’s story of how a bookmobile transported her away from a deadly life and toward her human potential.”

21. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

You are a human being with a body and a mind and a soul…and all parts of us need rest just like we need food and water. It’s not a luxury…it’s not selfish. And it’s not something you can deprive yourself of day after day and week after week without becoming a tired and diluted version of yourself who has too much to do to ever do her best at ANYTHING. When you don’t stop to rest, to think, to recharge, to remember, to restore…you end up grouchy, tired, uncreative, angry, and numb to lots of life. And that’s not who you are, is it? Don’t lose yourself while you are trying to be everything to everyone. So STOP today and make a list, prioritize it, be realistic. Say no to at least three things today.

22. The Science of Meditation, another great (FREE!) offering from Shambhala Mountain Center. This is an amazing group of teachers, and the videos are available for 48 hours after their initial airing.

22. Guy offers to help strangers with anything.

23. Our future doesn’t have to be dismal. “Scientists analyzed sustainability projects around the world and identified overarching trends that can potentially help create a more sustainable future.”

24. How To Help Haiti Recover From Hurricane Matthew.

25. Female Chief Terminates 850 Child Marriages in Malawi and Sends Girls Back to School.