Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Peony season. Mine are blooming, and there are so many blooms! This year was also a good one for my roses.

2. Strawberry season. In these first weeks of that harvest, we can barely eat them fast enough. So far we’ve also made Strawberries and Cream Biscuits and Strawberry Cream Pie.

3. Morning walks. Ringo cracked one of his pads, so he had to walk for about a week with a sock boot his dad made him — so cute! At Sam’s vet appointment, we found out he’d lost FIVE pounds — when we had to restrict how much he walked because of his back injury, he’d put on a little extra weight, so we cut his food back, but then he also got back to his regular exercise, and now he’s down to his young man fighting weight. He also on the regular weirdly loses 3-4 pounds every summer and then gains it back over the winter.

4. Colorado sky. This was the view from our front porch yesterday morning.

5. My tiny family. It’s been really nice to be with just them, lazy like summer, taking walks and naps and hanging out in the backyard.

Bonus joy: Hanging out and writing with Mikalina, finally making some progress cleaning and decluttering the house, being almost over my cold, watching TV shows about tiny homes with Eric, knowing it’s okay to go slow, teaching yoga, aqua aerobics, sitting with Eric in the sauna, working out really hard and having my knees actually feel better as a result, good TV, knowing that even if I don’t actually sleep I’m allowed to go into a dark and quiet room and just hang out by myself for a bit taking a “nap,” that Ringo is the kind of dog who is fearful but totally compliant at the vet (because a lot of Heelers can be pretty grumpy and mean under those conditions) and how much his vet loves him (she has three Heelers herself), hearing back that his blood work results look “perfect,” clean sheets.

Something Good

From our garden

1. Meditation: Sitting with Your Basic Goodness from Zen Habits.

2. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: Is Buddhism a religion, philosophy, way of life, or science of mind?, and Where Buddhism & Yoga Meet, and How to Meditate Every Day, and How to Start a Home Meditation Practice.

3. On Trend: Make Mine Green on SF Girl.

4. How To Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negative Emotions.

5. On Whitewashing In Travel.

6. Nike’s Plus Size Mannequins Uncover the Truth About Weight Stigma from Dances with Fat.

7. 4 Struggles Of Being The Only INFJ In Your Family.

8. 7 Things Standing Between You and Joy on Be More With Less.

9. You Will Never Get The Truth Out Of A Narcissist.

10. I work in the environmental movement. I don’t care if you recycle. “Stop obsessing over your environmental ‘sins.’ Fight the oil and gas industry instead.”

11. 40 Rare Photos of Prince Defining Cool Through the Decades. “A tribute to the late music icon on what would have been his 61st birthday.”

12. Opting out of black trauma: Why I couldn’t finish When They See Us.

13. The Last Black Man in San Francisco | Official Trailer HD. This looks so good.

14. strawberries and cream biscuits, a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that I tried yesterday with strawberries from our garden — it was so good.

15. 5 Arrested After Homophobic Attack On London Bus. In related news, Five Arrested in London Bus Attack on Two Lesbians on The New York Times, and Parents Completely Disown Their Daughter After Discovering She Is A Lesbian.

16. UN official blasts US abortion laws as ‘gender-based violence against women’.

17. How Society Gaslights Survivors of Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths (A Guide for Therapists, Law Enforcement and Loved Ones).

18. Smash the Wellness Industry on The New York Times. “Why are so many smart women falling for its harmful, pseudoscientific claims?”

19. Watch this congressional candidate prove it’s faster to buy an assault rifle than a cup of coffee. (video)

20. Just So We’re Clear: Black Mothers Aren’t to Blame for High Infant Mortality.

21. American hunter in viral photo of slain giraffe is “proud to hunt.” IMHO, hHunting simply for sport, for trophies, is gross.

22. ICE Agents Left 5-Year-Old Children in a Parked Van for 39 Hours. “And the federal government will no longer fund English classes or legal aid for unaccompanied minors.” In related news, Trump Administration Cancels English Classes, Soccer, Ping-Pong, Legal Aid for Migrant Children in U.S. Shelters.

23. Trading the Noisy Gay Bar Scene for the Knitting Circle on The New York Times. “Many gay men in New York are looking for alternative ways to socialize. A look at the surprising revival of the knitting circle.”

24. Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress.”

25. The Case Against Hope from Roxane Gay on The New York Times. “I’m not trying to depress anyone — especially recent graduates — but things are really bad, and what we need to do is act.”

26. Students Come Up With An Ingenious And Funny Graph To Stop People From Feeding Their Overweight Campus Cat.

27. For farmers, record flooding and a wet spring mean many fields can’t be planted.

28. This woman’s hilarious video about ‘straight pride’ is so funny even straight people are sharing it.

29. As The First Black Woman To Own A Colorado Cannabis Dispensary, Here’s Why I’m Supporting Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Marijuana Legalization Plan.

30. Alabama Mayor Suggests ‘Killing Out’ the LGBTQ Community in Deleted Facebook Post. This headline is a bit misleading. What he actually said is “We live in a society where homosexuals lecture us on morals, transvestites lecture us on human biology, baby killers lecture us on human rights and socialists lecture us on economics!…The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but with out [sic] killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”

31. Swimming May Slow Down Aging By Decades. In what feels like related news, Gardening could be the hobby that helps you live to 100.

32. So, Sam Oosterhoff, you want to make abortion ‘unthinkable’? Here’s where to start.

33. Having a full-fledged conversation with Daddy. (video) This is so cute, I can’t stop watching it.

34. This transgender pastor started his own church in the South. (video)

35. German Circus Uses Holograms Instead Of Live Animals For A Cruelty-Free Magical Experience.

36. What do you see when you look at black boys? The cast of Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” weighs in. (video)

37. 30 Of The Funniest Dog Thoughts That Dog Owners Will Understand Too Well.

Gratitude Friday

1. Hanna Farm. It’s the name of our neighborhood, which in the 1800s was a farm where they raised rye and something else I can’t remember. This picture is the field at the end of our street. I love living here — so close to all the good parks and hiking, only about a mile from Old Town, only six blocks from one of my favorite humans, just down the road from Beaver’s Market, and super close to CSU (which doesn’t matter anymore since I don’t work there!).

2. Things that give me hope. I try to practice the Buddhist principle of letting go of both hope and fear, one pulling you into some imagined experience you believe will be exactly what you want and the other causing you to run away from something you think will be bad, both states pulling you out of the current moment, distracting you from what’s really going on, taking you out of your actual experience. That said, sometimes I need to hope. I read a line in a story in The Sun magazine yesterday that said, “just because it is all so very, very unfair does not mean there is not still great hope in the world” and it made me feel better about the state of things. Then there was a report of a swarm of ladybugs so big it registered on the National Weather Service radar, and then this morning in one of the ponds, this waterlily that typically produces 1-3 flowers has 11 blooms.

3. Morning walks. This morning will be our last along the river. It is rising because of snow melt and the flooding is predicted to be some of the worst this time around, but the real reason we’ll have to avoid this area until much later this summer is because of the mosquitoes.

4. The light this morning was extra special.

5. My tiny family. For some reason, I didn’t take many pictures of them this week.

Bonus joy: bird song in the morning, hummingbirds flying over our yard, my peonies getting ready to bloom, long naps, strawberries from our garden, hanging out with Mikalina and Chloe’, good TV, good books, good music, clean sheets, having nothing on my schedule so I can do whatever I want.

Something Good

1. Cry Today, Smile Tomorrow my new favorite song by Anthony Ramos. In related news, Mars’ Song From ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Season 2 Confirms That Anthony Ramos Was Born For The Stage.

2. Here’s What Gets Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type Red-Hot Motivated. What it says about my type, INFJ, sounds pretty accurate.

Nothing is more motivating to INFJs than making a difference in someone’s life. Like the ISFJ, they are drawn to help others in need, whether it’s just a friend having a bad day, or someone going through a true crisis. Where the ISFJ tends to focus on immediate care, however, the INFJ starts looking at patterns: How can we make things better overall?

This taps into an INFJ’s intuitive knack for psychology: They tend to quickly see why a person is doing what they’re doing, what they really want, and what they could do differently to get it. It also builds on their desire to see large, systemic change for the better — looking at the forest, so to speak, in order to care for the trees.

Together, these talents give them a reputation for insight and wisdom, and it’s when that can be of service to others that they truly feel passionate and at their best.

3. Animal Sculptures Comprised of Densely Rolled Newspaper by Artist Chie Hitotsuyama.

4. Who cares if I get anywhere? Wisdom from Austin Kleon.

5. Delay of Harriet Tubman $20 bill undergirded by racism, misogyny.

6. On Running, And Writing, And How A Little Becomes A Lot from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

7. The Central Park Five: ‘We Were Just Baby Boys’ on The New York Times.

8. I Spent Fifteen Years in an Abusive Relationship with Weight Watchers.

9. The Supreme Court’s Latest Ruling Makes It Easier for Cops to Arrest Black Lives Matter Protesters.

10. What We Know About The Virginia Beach Mass Shooting Victims.

11. Lab Owner Arrested for Falsifying Results of Drug Tests. Why?!

12. Protester takes mic from Kamala Harris while onstage at event. Fuck this guy, his privilege and his man bun. This thread on Twitter is great, includes a video that shows a black woman scolding him for what he did.

13. Toxic environments make people sick, make projects fail, and make best employees quit.

14. People-pleasing can be a result of trauma. It’s called ‘fawning’ — here’s how to recognize it.

15. What To Read When Women’s Bodies Are Under Attack. In other reading list news, An Antiracist Reading List on The New York Times.

16. Love Finds Ali Wong And Randall Park In ‘Always Be My Maybe’, which is streaming on Netflix. Every time I watch a movie like this I think to myself, “see, how hard was that?” I’m so glad there are so many new content providers, making movies with characters we want to see, proving the big studios wrong when they claim to make the movies people want as they make the same white male centered bullshit over and over again.

17. Put down the self-help books. Resilience is not a DIY endeavour.

18. Honoring the Roots of Yoga.

19. You may never know how your small gesture can entirely change someone’s day. (video)

20. The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less. “The degrowth movement wants to intentionally shrink the economy to address climate change, and create lives with less stuff, less work, and better well-being. But is it a utopian fantasy?”

21. Guy Takes Pictures Of Car License Plates Outside Planned Parenthood To Later ‘Educate’ Women At Their Homes. This is so violent!

22. The lies diet culture taught me that I no longer believe from Melissa Toler.

23. 10,000 Steps A Day? How Many You Really Need To Boost Longevity.

24. Teasing Kids About Their Weight May Make Them Gain More.

25. Trans activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera to get New York monument.

26. ‘Nap Bishop’ Tricia Hersey Is Spreading the Gospel of Rest. In related news, The Atlanta Nap Ministry preaches the liberating power of rest.

27. Why Judging People for Buying Unhealthy Food Is Classist. This article is a few years old, but still worth a read.

28. ‘It’s Okay to Be White’ T-Shirts Yanked After Being Accused of Promoting ‘Intolerance, Racism and Division’. What willful ignorance looks like.

29. #PicnickingWhileBlack: Pistol-Packing White Woman Pulls Gun on Black Couple. Because walking your dog or having a picnic where it’s not allowed is something worth shooting someone over?! People like this should lose their right to own firearms legally. At least she lost her job for it.

30. Partygoers left 20,000 lbs of trash on this beach during Memorial Day weekend. (video) This is why we can’t have nice things…

31. More Than Patriotism on Their Sleeves: Military Patches Sport Trump Likeness on The New York Times.

32. Extending ‘Zero Tolerance’ To People Who Help Migrants Along The Border.

33. So Far, $1.57 Billion for Wall Yields 1.7 Miles of Fence.

34. We Don’t Need Self-Care; We Need Boundaries. This is focused on the medical profession but applies everywhere.

35. Xeriscaping in Colorado: A Step by Step Guide.

Gratitude Friday

1. Lounging in the backyard. Right now is that magic moment in Colorado when everything is green and the sun is out, but it’s not too hot yet and the mosquitoes haven’t arrived. Maybe one day we’ll landscape our backyard a bit more beyond the three raised beds, the Golden Raintree, the clematis that covers one whole wall, and the roses we don’t really take great care of but they bloom anyway, but for now the green carpet is just fine for the dogs, all they really want.

2. Garden time! Eric has been working so hard on it — weeding, putting compost into all the raised beds, and planting. So far we have peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini, and tomatoes. We’ll get basil once we can find somewhere with healthy plants, and I’d like to keep trying to find that variety of watermelon we planted that one year that did so well but we forgot to save the tag. I am excited about all the potential blooms on my peonies and for feeling a bit better (I’ve had a cold all week) so I can start planting some more flowers and help with the weeding.

The yummy watermelon in question

Worm bins and all the compost they made this winter

3. Good food. I’ve been obsessed with cucumbers, spinach, hummus, and falafel on naan bread. I also made biscuits the other night that were super yummy.

4. Epic naps. Since I’m trying to get over this cold, and the lingering burn out from work, I’ve been taking 2-3 hour naps almost every afternoon. It’s so obvious how badly I need the rest.

5. My tiny family. The above picture was from the other day, one of the first days it hadn’t rained, the sun was out and it was warm. At some point, all three of the boys got too hot and hunkered down in the shade.

There was a squirrel on the neighbor’s roof he was very interested in

“Can we haz some of your snack, Dad?”

Bonus joy: Wild Writing with Laurie, Chloe’ and Mikalina, Booksmart at the Lyric with Chloe’, not teaching yoga this week because I knew it was what my body needed to recover, good books (I’m almost done with There There by Tommy Orange), good TV (She’s Gotta Have It‘s second season was really good, and I liked Dead to Me), good movies (I just watched Always Be My Maybe on Netflix and really liked it), a warm shower, pay day.

Something Good

1. 4 Ways INFJs Are Their Own Worst Enemy. Hi, my name is Jill. I’m an INFJ and I’m my own worst enemy. In related news, How To Deal With Negative Emotions As A Highly Sensitive Person.

2. Words of wisdom from Jamie Ridler: “It may be hard but you are strong. It may be scary but you are brave. It may be new but you can learn. You may have no idea what you are doing but you can find your way.”

3. Solitary Voices: Thousands of Immigrants Suffer in Solitary Confinement in ICE Detention.

3. A Mindful Method for When You’re Tired on Zen Habits. This is kind of my life right now.

4. The mob fears the truth from Seth Godin.

5. passion & purpose, a post from Karen Walrond with some really helpful questions at the end. “I encourage you to explore your own motivations, gifts and mission — they could be the clues to how to add more meaning to your life and your current career, or even what to look for in a new career or employer.”

6. “Booksmart” Is The Feminist High School Movie We’ve Been Missing.

7. No one owes you a flat stomach.

8. Washington becomes the first state to legalize composting of humans. Get back soil instead of ashes.

9. People Are Sharing the Kindest Thing a Stranger Has Ever Done for Them.

10. Meet Lee, he’s homeless and spends his time on the street reading. (video) I’ll be first in line to read Lee’s book.

11. Does being a Buddhist mean you have to be a vegetarian?

12. More than 300 people came together to throw a surprise retirement party for their neighborhood mailman. (video)

13. Summer Reading Recommendations from Favorite Authors on Goodreads. I won’t live long enough to read all the books I want to read but that doesn’t mean I will stop trying.

14. Recipe I want to try: ciambellone, an italian tea cake, from Smitten Kitchen. “A ciambellone is a simple, sunny Italian tea cake with lemon zest and a rich crumb typically baked in a tube pan, which gives it a torus shape, i.e. the appearance of a doughnut, which is, in fact, what Google Translate tells me is the translation of ciambellone.” I love chocolate cakes, but I might like lemon flavored things even more.

15. A Fashion Brand Aiming To Be ‘Inclusive’ Created A Separate Instagram Page For Non-White And Plus-Sized Models. Wait, segregation is inclusive?

16. Students Invent Bacteria That Eat Plastic From The Oceans And Turn It Into Water.

17. This woman saved a nest full of baby birds. (video)

18. Harriet Tubman On The $20 Bill? Not During The Trump Administration.

19. Toni Morrison Awarded Gold Medal for Fiction.

20. The Struggle To Hire And Keep Doctors In Rural Areas Means Patients Go Without Care.

21. Get Your Mind and Body Out of Crisis Mode. “Unchecked stress can wreak havoc on your well-being. These are the warning signs that you’re heading toward burnout plus six steps to manage your stress.” #whyiquitmyjob

22. Milwaukee County Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis. Will More Cities Follow Suit?

23. Not Just For Soldiers: Civilians With PTSD Struggle To Find Effective Therapy.

24. How Superstore got so good. One of my favorite shows, because it’s good and because I worked retail for ten years and this reminds me of that wonderfully awful time.

25. Teenager Is Latest Migrant Child To Die In U.S. Custody.

Gratitude Friday

1. I’m still here. Yes I’m retired. Yes I’m done with 500 hour yoga teacher training. Yes Eric is now on his summer vacation. Yes the sun is finally out today after a whole lot of wet, dark, and cold. And yet, as is pretty typical every year at this time, I’m kind of stuck to the couch, reading and watching TV and taking naps. Sure I’m also teaching yoga and going to the gym and walking the dogs and doing laundry and such, but I’m feeling the full weight of the burnout that comes after the recent years of effort and discomfort and overwhelm. It’s such an interesting process, and it seems like part of me is living it and another part is watching it happen. When people ask me how it feels to be retired, I think they expect something different, a relaxed sense of euphoria and freedom, but that doesn’t come immediately. There’s a lot to work through first.

2. I’m now a 500 Hour CYT. I’m probably actually an E-CYT, but I’d need to go back and calculate my teaching hours to be sure, (it means 1000 hours of teaching experience). I’m very proud of myself for finishing this, for sticking with it. One of my primary teachers said of me, “I love your insight, dedication, and inclusiveness! You are a great teacher!” That meant a lot to me because she is a really amazing human and teacher.

3. Lilacs in the bathroom. Our bushes were burying our mailbox, so Eric did some trimming and brought them in for me. I’m glad he did because the next day it snowed.

4. Morning walks. They were sort of a risk and a bit of a bummer the past few days because of the rain, but this morning was lovely.

5. My tiny family. My favorite part of retirement so far is getting to spend more time with them.

Bonus joy: nachos, a big glass of cold clean water, writing with Mikalina and Chloe’ in Laurie’s Wild Writing class, sitting in the sauna with Eric, having the swimming pool all to myself, good books (I’m reading There There by Tommy Orange while I ride the bike at the gym), good TV (I just finished the second season of Fleabag, and it was so good), naps, hummingbirds, taking my time.