Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Fall is here. We are still going to have some warm days (today was in the low 80s), but we finally got some rain and it was only 44 degrees when I got up this morning. Even though I love summer, all the blooms and berries and vegetables from our garden and the farmer’s market and not having to work, fall is my favorite time of year.

2. Teaching. Yesterday, I taught a yoga class, an open space writing class, and gave meditation instruction to one of my favorite humans. Then today, I taught another yoga class with the sweetest student. Now if I could get to the place where I had more time and energy to write, I’d be so happy.

3. Farmer’s market flowers. October 27 is the last summer farmer’s market, so I’m savoring these, the new ones in the bathroom and the leftovers from the week before on my writing desk.

4. Cooking. This week, I made sesame cucumber noodles again, tomato jam, bran muffins with dried raspberries, and black bean and sweet potato quesadillas. Yum.

5. My tiny family. I love them so much.

Bonus joy: how excited my primary physician was for me when I told her I was quitting my job, sick days, good friends, how when Sam is scared the two places he wants to be are right next to me or under my writing desk, how smart Ringo is, that a friend got good news about her dog, taking two naps if I need to, grilled cheese sandwiches, watermelon, a glass of clean cold water, getting all the laundry done on Thursday, clean sheets.

Something Good

0. Karma Yoga Class: Benefits Susan G Komen. I’m teaching this yoga class next Saturday. I know most of you aren’t local, so can’t come, but I thought I’d mention it because you can still donate. Whether you want to come or just donate, here’s what to do: Go to the site. Make donation, (search term ‘Om Ananda Yoga’). Register for class. You can also search to see if a class is happening near you.

1. Write to Get Free, a six-week writing course with Melissa Toler that starts September 23. “Over 6 weeks, we’ll be writing about truth, pleasure, and body diversity. We’ll explore our own feelings about the process of unlearning. We ALL have a lot of unlearning and re-learning to do when it comes to body size and weight. I believe that writing is one of the best ways to help us get free from harmful ideas about beauty, health, and the way we’re taught to value bodies, especially in health and wellness spaces. I believe writing has the power to heal us.” I really, really, really wish I had the time to do this class.

2. Defining Myself For Myself: Why I Won’t Be Selling The #MeAndWhiteSupremacy Workbook from Layla Saad.

3. Keep Going: A guide to staying creative in chaotic times, Austin Kleon’s book, coming in April 2019. The link is to a post about the new book, but it also shares the video for the talk he gave that inspired the book.

4. Acting ICE Director attends annual media event of anti-immigrant hate group FAIR. In related news, Border Patrol Officer Suspected of Killing Four Women in Texas, and Border Patrol Supervisor Arrested In Texas, Held In ‘Serial Killing Spree’. Also, Is Trump using hurricane relief money to fund ICE? Not exactly, and Trump Administration Transferred $9.8 Million From FEMA To ICE. Go ahead and tell me again how these units are “keeping us safe.”

5. 6 Reasons Why Introverts And Pets Are Perfect For Each Other.

6. 5 Ways Meditation Enriched My Creative Career on Lion’s Roar. “Artist and film director Ivan Cash shares five ways the practice of meditation has benefitted his life, creativity, and career.”

7. Classic English Kitchen Gone Rogue on SF Girl. Our hardwood floors have been waiting to be redone for about 15 years now. Last year, we got as far as getting a bid, but didn’t go through with it, got the outside walls insulated instead. I look at the floors in this kitchen and think to myself, once again, that maybe we just sand and oil them, leave it at that. I like the clean distressed look, and it seems so much more dog friendly.

8. A Guide To Cultural Appropriation Vs. Appreciation.

9. Nearly 150 people lined up to foster dogs displaced by Hurricane Florence. (video) In related news:

Picture from An Escape from the Noise

10. Halloween is coming! (video – make sure you turn the sound on)

11. Painting a different picture of homelessness. (video)

12. Woman destroys anti-abortion argument by proving men cause 100% of unwanted pregnancies.

13. The Dark Side Of The INFJ Personality Type. Yup, I’ve got a dark side. In related news, 5 Strengths Of The Rare And Often Misunderstood INFJ Personality.

14. 2 Different Versions of Amber Guyger’s Story Appear on 2 Different Warrants Related to the Shooting of Botham Jean. In related news, Botham Shem Jean’s Killing Reveals A Deadly American Lie.

15. Revolve Releases, Then Pulls Lena Dunham-Designed “Being Fat Is Not Beautiful” Sweatshirt.

16. 10-year-old Anose has been singing all his life. (video) “But after being traumatically displaced from Myanmar, his songs are no longer the same.”

17. Joe’s Violin (2017 Academy Award nominee) (video). “In this Academy Award-nominated film, a Holocaust survivor donates his violin to a local instrument drive, changing the life of a schoolgirl from the nation’s poorest congressional district.”

18. 7 of the Best Episodes of Levar Burton Reads.

19. White Artists Need to Start Addressing White Supremacy in Their Work on LitHub.

20. Naomi Osaka Tells Ellen DeGeneres What Serena Williams Whispered To Her.

21. John Bunn was wrongfully convicted of murder as a teenager, “and exonerated after 27 years of fighting for his freedom. He says the power of reading saved him. Now, he’s building libraries in prisons.” (video)

22. Writer Perfectly Explains Why Children Of Mentally Unstable Parents Overthink Everything So Much.

23. Eric Trump: Woodward earned ‘three extra shekels’ with CNN appearance. “Want to know why it’s important for social platforms to enforce their rules regarding hate and advertisers to stop funding shows that promote bigotry? This man just used a term (making “extra shekels”) only used by Nazis on the Internet on a show seen by millions. And he’s the president’s son.”

24. These college friends have no idea that they’re about to be reunited for the first time in 3 years. (video)

25. Dwarf Pit Bull Doesn’t Look Like Anyone Else In The World. (video)

26. This man flashed his gun while blocking a group of Black students from visiting a classmate’s apartment. (video) In related news, A police officer shot and killed this man during a traffic stop (video), and video shows a white Portland woman going off on a disgusting racist rant against a woman of color. Two out of three of these people lost their jobs for their behavior. Guess which one didn’t?

27. Police Accidentally Tweet Screenshot Showing That They Monitor Anti-Racism and Anti-Police Brutality Groups.

28. Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, comes forward in the Washington Post. In related news, The case for delaying vote on Kavanaugh gets a lot more obvious.

29. The State of Things – Weight and Health from Dances with Fat.

30. This queer teacher was suspended and reassigned after parents accused her of ‘promoting her lifestyle’ in class — now she’s suing the school district. (video)

31. Sheillah, the 9 year-old Kenyan artist painting from the heart. (video)

Gratitude Friday

Sunflower

Image by Eric

1. Sunflowers. They are a sign that the summer is waning, but I love the little birds who come around in tiny flocks to feed off them this time of year.
Sesame cucumber noodles

2. New recipes to try. The above takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber from Smitten Kitchen with Japanese cucumbers from our garden would have been perfectly delicious if I just hadn’t undercooked the rice noodles, (it was the first time I’d made them, and I always forget that because of our altitude things take longer to cook). I got more noodles and as soon as we get a few more cucumbers, I’ll try again because everything else about this recipe was so yummy. Today I’m trying this tomato jam recipe, since we have more tomatoes than we can keep up with.

3. Doing fun stuff with my favorite humans.  I went to see Andrea Gibson with some friends and went to Danielle Ate the Sandwich the next night with Eric.

4. Knowing that every day I work at CSU is the last one like it. For example, today, September 14, is the last September 14 I will ever work there. Now that I know I’m quitting, all the reasons why are just so clear to me. I’m so grateful for the privilege to stop doing that and start doing something else. I think my new title, besides writer, will be Contemplative Practice Guide – what do you think?

5. Farmer’s market flowers. Even though it signals the end of the season, these delicate pinks are some of my favorite. Not in the bathroom this week, since the grocery store mums are still going strong, but rather on my writing desk.

6. My boys. The way Ringo asks to be put to bed at night – he won’t just put himself into bed when he gets too tired, he needs the routine of someone telling him “go out and go potty” and then the run back into his crate where there are cookies waiting. When he’s ready, he stares at the humans until someone figures out what he needs. Sam got a home visit from his favorite vet, some new meds and acupuncture, and is feeling better this week. We might get him figured out after all.

Bonus joy: watermelon, good sleep, cortisone shots that have made my knees feel so much better, clean sheets, naps, good TV (just finished the Netflix series Sisters and noticed there’s a new season of Call the Midwife), good books (Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward was rough, but still worth reading), good music (I can’t stop listening to The Wailin’ Jennys), finishing the laundry on Friday while working from home, ideas for new classes, meditating and writing in the morning, swimming, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, the cooler and darker mornings, being able to maintain good boundaries.

Something Good

Blue Lakes Trail, image by Eric

1. Danielle Ate the Sandwich and Andrea Gibson. One writes folk songs and plays the ukulele, and the other writes poems and has the cutest dog ever, so why would I put them together? Because on Saturday night, I saw Andrea perform in Boulder, and on Sunday night, I went to Danielle’s show in Fort Collins, and it reminded me just how much I adore both of them, as humans and artists. So, if you didn’t already know about them, I felt compelled to tell you. They both have tons of stuff on YouTube, Danielle has a new album and Andrea just released a new book, so even if you can’t get to a show, you should totally check them out, (but a show is even better).

2. ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’ Final Episodes Trailer.

3. How to Establish A Home Meditation Practice – That Isn’t A Total Drag from Adreanna Limbach. In related news, What Meditation Isn’t and What Meditation Can’t Cure. Also, did you know I am a certified meditation instructor? I can help you start a practice, restart or deepen one you already have. We meet online for sessions using Zoom, so we don’t have to be in the same location. A session looks something like this: we “sit” together, me giving meditation instruction as necessary, for 15 minutes (shorter for sure if you are just beginning), and then we chat for 15 minutes about all things practice, and I leave you with a plan. We can meet once a week, once a month, once in awhile, or just once. My current rate is $25 per session. Send me an email if you want to know more, have questions, or want to schedule a session: lifewholehearted@gmail.com

4. Sometimes It’s Okay To Quit Writing The Thing You’re Writing from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

5. Colin Kaepernick Was Right About Us from John Pavlovitz. In related news, Here’s a refresher on what exactly Colin Kaepernick is trying to change (video) and The Real Patriots are the Protestors (video), and This Mayor Just Banned Nike Products From His City’s Recreation Facilities, and Nike Founder Phil Knight Writes a Million-Dollar Check to Republican Candidate for Oregon Governor Knute Buehler.

6. I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration on The New York Times. In related news, The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s his Republican enablers.

7. Bodycam Footage Shows Cincinnati Cop Scolding 11-Year-Old Girl He Used Taser On. In related news, This 11-year-old was handcuffed at gunpoint despite new police policies encouraging alternatives (video), and Black Teen Driving with White Grandmother Handcuffed by Police Because Bystander Said He Was Robbing Her, and School Resource Officer Uses Taser To Wake Up Sleeping Student.

8. Good stuff from Karen Walrond’s This Was a Good Week list: We Became McDonalds Poster Models (video) and Green Day Concert Crowd Singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

9. Why I’m Retiring from Personal Blogging. I get it, and yet…It’s mildly (or maybe more so) problematic to write a blog, use it to build an audience and get a book deal, etc., and then when you outgrow the situation and decide to do things differently, shift your position from content creator to critic of content overwhelm.

10. A Simple Technique for Launching Your Project in 20 Minutes from Zen Habits. I like the notion of feeling fear and doing it anyway, also doing things in small chunks rather than letting the full measure of it overwhelm you. This seems to be related news to me, How do you get people to notice your business?

11. The Meaning of Serena Williams: On tennis and black excellence. From The New York Times Magazine. In related news, Competition, Compassion and the Stories We Don’t Hear About Black Women Athletes, and J.K. Rowling And Thousands Of Others Blast Wildly Racist Serena Williams Newspaper Cartoon, and Serena Williams’s US Open fight with umpire Carlos Ramos, explained, and The World Owes Serena Williams an Apology.

12. The Plaid Shirt Guy From The Trump Rally Reveals His Identity.

13. The Debt. “When terrible, abusive parents come crawling back, what do their grown children owe them?” I’ve seen this work the other way too, good parents who end up with terrible, abusive kids who are grown, but still have expectations of attention and support.

14. Wanda James went from Obama’s financial aide to a dispensary owner after seeing the racial disparity in weed arrests. (video)

15. Newsflash––black labor built this country. Here’s your Labor Day black history lesson. (video)

16. Meet the table busser who’s worked at the same Wilmette pancake house for 54 years. You should be shocked what he’s paid after so many years. In related news, Her six-hour commute each day seems crazy, but her affordable rent is not.

17. White Baseball Players Kneel in the 50’s to protest Black Lynchings.

18. Karma Yoga Class: Benefits Susan G Komen. I’m teaching this one on September 22. Check out project:OM’s page to find out how to donate or find a class in your area.

19. Quitting My Job To Freelance Was The Right Move For This Introvert.

20. Nearly 90 Elephants Found Dead Near Botswana Sanctuary, Killed By Poachers. In related news, Poachers killed 87 elephants in a mass killing spree in Botswana. (video)

21. Roseanne Barr Says She’s Moving To Israel When ‘The Conners’ Premieres. Bye.

22. How to disagree well: 7 of the best and worst ways to argue.

23. Anicee was born with Brittle Bone Disease and raised in an orphanage. “At age seven she found her forever home when adopted by parents who are both diagnosed with the same condition. Now thirteen, Anicee truly understands the value of family.” (video)

24. Levi’s is taking a huge stand against gun violence. (video)

25. Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley Moves Closer Toward Becoming Massachusetts’ First Black Female U.S. Representative.

26. Why Black And Brown People Will Never Be Safe In States With ‘Stand Your Ground’.

27. This Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair On The Subway Is The Cutest Thing You’ll See Today.

28. She got a message at 2am and dropped everything. Her former student needed her help. (video)

29. Branson and his friends went to Breaux Mart for groceries. He was not prepared for what happened next. (video)

30. A white female Dallas police officer killed a black man, walked in to the wrong apartment thinking that it was her own. If the sight of a black person would scare you so badly that you’d shoot to kill, you need to do some serious work. If you do shoot and kill them, that’s murder, (not manslaughter, murder). And consider this, what is wrong with our culture that fear, warranted or not, is enough of a reason to KILL someone?! #BlackLivesMatter In related news, Family, Mourners Remember the Life of Botham Shem Jean, Killed in His Own Home by a Dallas Cop.

31. During the curtain call of Broadway’s “Frozen,” an actor snatched a pro-Trump banner. (video)

32. Women Share The Horrifying Things That Happened When They Rejected A Guy. In related news, Violently Fragile Man Stomps, Shatters Woman’s Windshield After Having His Advances Rejected.

33. Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family.

34. Why Do the Bad Men Think We Need Them? “As the ‘comebacks’ start, remember that we’re doing just fine without these guys.”

35. Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About. “He should be impeached, not elevated.” In related news, Science Does Not Support Claims That Contraceptives Are ‘Abortion-Inducing’ from The New York Times.

36. This Artist Is Reclaiming Black Crowns One Brushstroke At A Time.

37. To The Non-Racist White People, Please Just Be The First.

38. Florida Man Who Shot and Killed Black Man Over Parking Space Dispute in ‘Stand Your Ground’ Case Claims He Was ‘Very Scared’.

39. Michelle Obama opened up about the racism she endured as first lady. In related news (as in he’s related to her), If you still don’t think the midterms will affect you, Barack Obama is back to spell out just how important they are. (video)

40. Allegations of racism at Orange County high school football game underscore broader tension in the Trump era.

41. 8 Reasons Successful People Are Choosing to Wear the Same Thing Every Day.

42. Fidget spinners, weighted blankets, and the rise of anxiety consumerism.

43. Cutest 2-Year-Old Cake Baker. Seriously this is the cutest thing I think I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop watching it.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We are still on a slightly goofy route, since Sam can only go two miles and then we have to drop him off at home and go another 2.5 or so. The other day, we went a half mile out of our way just so I could see the river again. I miss it so much. Once we drop Sam off, Ringo and I usually go to City Park. In the above picture, you can’t really see it, but this murder of crows was having an argument with a hawk high up in the tree.

2. Colorado sky. I grew up in Oregon, where the sky was mostly gray. Maybe that’s why I’m so in love with the sky here.

3. Shifting. Doing less of things I don’t love and more of the things I do.

4. Flowers in the bathroom. This week it was mums from the grocery store because the woman who runs the flower stall that I love wasn’t at the Farmer’s Market this week. Even so, there were some leftovers from last week I could put on my writing desk.

5. My tiny family. Just know that whoever you are, however close we are, however much I love you, these three are still my favorite.

6. Mail. That being said, I got some awesome mail from my awesome Auntie T this week. Get me all the fresh bread and biscuits, stat!

Bonus joy: aqua aerobics, swimming lessons, Pilates, Open Space Writing (taught my first class today with some of my favorite people – this must be what it’s like to do work you love and get paid for it!), lovely email exchanges, texting, good books, good TV, sitting in the sauna after spending time in the pool, grilled cheese sandwiches (I might just have a problem), hanging out with Eric, weekend plans, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook (the part where I’m done, that is), clean laundry, crossing things off my to-do list, a glass of cold clean water.

Something Good

1. Alisha Sommer, in particular her Instagram account and her “Ten” posts — I usually read these when she posts them to her Instagram stories, but have fallen so in love with them, the simplicity and the depth, that I dove into the full set on her website. To date, she’s published over 400 of them. I found the very first one, thinking she might introduce them, explain where the idea came from, because as a writer they fascinate me, but there is just the first, Ten.One. However, not too long before that, in her first post to her journal, she says, “This space, SOMMERSALT, is meant to be a space to house the simple, storied beauty that is life. It’s for the small and bright ways in which I find pleasure,” and goes on to say, “I believe in simplicity and beauty. I believe in the holiness of dark and the illuminating fullness of light.”

2. You’re doing a great job from Alexandra Franzen.

3. No One Is Safer. No One Is Served. from Dave Eggers on The New Yorker. “Most important, how is the United States made better or more secure by throwing away this family’s eighteen years of law-abiding life in Connecticut? The answer is that we will be no better and no more secure. We will only be more callous, less compassionate, less fair, and we will continue to spin so far from the moral center that we may never find our way back.”

4. Louis C.K. Performs First Stand-Up Set at Club Since Admitting to #MeToo Cases on The New York Times. In related news, Louis C.K. and Men Who Think Justice Takes as Long as They Want It To from Roxane Gay, also on The New York Times and Thank god my rapist wasn’t famous and Against the Stream Closes Doors as Investigation Finds Misconduct by Founder Noah Levine. In better news, Here are 51 comedians who never forced women to watch them masturbate.

5. Do You Know Your True Face? “Lama Rod Owens says we all need to look honestly at who we are, in all our complexity — and that includes those who teach the dharma.”

6. Fearlessness: How to Stop Running from Space from Zen Habits.

7. Meditation, a 60 Second Doc in which a Mindful Moments instructor, Ramon Dwayne Brown Jr., explains how he’s helping kids process anger and trauma through meditation and yoga. (video)

8. The Forgotten Black Woman Inventor Who Revolutionized Menstrual Pads. “Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner was a self-taught inventor who created the sanitary belt and filed five patents in her lifetime.”

9. Prison labor is modern slavery. I’ve been sent to solitary for speaking out.

10. Bank Of America Is Apparently Freezing Accounts Of Non-U.S. Citizens.

11. Why Is It Hard For Introverts To Share A Home With Others?

12. Colin Kaepernick – 1, NFL – 0. In related news, 4 Out of 5 Kennesaw State University Cheerleaders Who Protested During National Anthem Cut From 2018 Squad.

13. 160 people arrested by immigration agents in Texas workplace raid.

14. Am I a Racist? (video) “Judge of Characters has been calling out racists for a year. And now, host Danielle Young is calling out the racists who think she’s racist.”

15. Why Trump Supporters Believe He Is Not Corrupt. “What the president’s supporters fear most isn’t the corruption of American law, but the corruption of America’s traditional identity.”

16. Detroit is shutting off water to its public schools due to concerns about unsafe lead and copper levels. (video) In related news, The Water’s Been Turned Off In All Of Detroit’s Public Schools After Tests Found High Levels Of Lead And Copper Contamination.

17. Step Up 46: Fighting Extremism through Contemporary Dance. (video) I love this, so much.

18. Texas School Officials Tell Teen Fighting Brain Cancer: Take Off Your Wig.

19. Five Republican candidates are administrators for a racist Facebook group that pushes conspiracy theories.

20. This journalist was taking photographs on a public sidewalk. (video) “Then police handcuffed her and told her to ‘act like a lady.'”

21. Hurricane Maria death toll was just raised to 2,975 in Puerto Rico. (video)

22. A Toddler’s Death Adds To Concerns About Migrant Detention.

23. Details of horrific first voyages in transatlantic slave trade revealed. “As the world ignores the ignominious 500th anniversary of the buying and selling of slaves between Africa and the Americas, historians uncover its first horrific voyages.”

24. This Republican gubernatorial candidate used the term ‘monkey around’ about his Black opponent. (video) In related news, Andrew Gillum just fired back at Ron DeSantis, who just warned Floridians not to “monkey this up” by voting for a black guy. (video)

25. Former Texas police officer sentenced to 15 years for 2017 shooting of Jordan Edwards.

26. 9-Year-Old Takes His Life After Being Bullied For Coming Out As Gay At School. Nine. Years. Old.

27. Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment on The New York Times.

28. Ashley Akunna on Lynching, Police Brutality, and Anti-Black Terrorism. (video) “Lynching and police brutality have striking similarities—both have driven terror into Black communities, and both deny victims the justice they deserve.”

29. She fatally shot an unarmed black man. Now she’s teaching other police officers how to ‘survive’ such incidents. Tone deaf.

30. Serena Williams Hits Tennis Court In Tutu Amid Catsuit Ban And People Love It.

31. Doxxing White Supremacists Is Making Them Terrified.

32. Things I’ve always wanted to say, but was too afraid to from Melissa Toler.

33. I just discovered The Wailin’ Jennys. So good.

34. 37 seconds of otters spooning in a hammock. (video)

35. She just discovered echoes. (video)

36. Best highlights from the snoot challenge. (video)

37. Woman drives more than 100 miles away to feed children in need every week. (video) “When a program that fed hungry school children didn’t service an area where many lived in poverty, this woman was committed to feeding them herself, regardless of the fact that it was 100 miles away.”

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. It’s staying darker later in the morning, which means we are back to getting to see the sunrise again, and seeing more creatures, like foxes and entire families of raccoons. We are still on sort of a goofy route, since Sam can only go two miles in the morning, and then Ringo needs another two or three after that. It makes walking by the river more difficult, limits us more to in town and City Park and lots of loops instead of straight somewhere and back, but hopefully that will start to shift as the season does.

2. I finally set up my new computer. It wasn’t super fun. An extra monitor cable my old computer needed made my new computer partially blind, but it wasn’t obvious until after almost an hour on the phone with someone from tech services. Then I still had to set it up! I was supposed to hook up our new (well, old cause it’s been sitting in a box for over a year) wireless modem, which is going to replace the two boxes we have with one that’s supposed to be better and faster. I’ve been putting it off for so long because with four computers in our house, one that we use to watch TV, along with two smart phones, that’s a lot that could get fugged up if I can’t get it set up right. And after the snafu with my new computer today, I just don’t have it in me to attempt one more thing. It’ll have to wait until tomorrow. The computer I replaced was at least eight years old, and with me quitting my current job to move to something that will take place at least in part online, I needed to have a new one in place. In that case, even though it was hard, it feels like another step towards the future I’ve been planning for so long.

3. Fall is here. Even though we’ve still had daytime temperatures in the 80s, you can feel the shift towards fall. And if you didn’t notice that, you wouldn’t be able to deny the giant pumpkins in our garden and all the grasshoppers flying around.

4. Farmer’s market flowers, which become flowers in my bathroom and on my writing desk. This picture is of her booth — can you see why it’s so hard to choose?

5. My boys. Sam is hanging in there, not much better but not any worse and just as sweet as always, and Ringo is being so grown up now that we’ve gone back to work. I worried he’d be bored, but I’ve been home most of the day, and he only bugged me once — when I was on the phone with Dell and their lunch was half an hour late. He’s been hiking on the weekends with Eric again now that the weather is cooler, so that probably helps.

6. Eric. Last week, there were three nights in a row we had other plans and didn’t get to see each other. Absence really can make the heart grow fonder, cause I was so happy to see him last night and can’t wait for him to get home today.

Bonus joy: swimming lessons, teaching yoga, watermelon, good TV (I’m almost finished with Luther, gonna try Shetland next), good books (reading Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward), good movies (went to 8th Grade with a friend last week, got kicked out of the theater because we stayed after, had so much to talk about, needed a slumber party after to process it all – puberty and being a girl can be so complicated and confusing!), aqua aerobics, breakfast burritos, my tiny writing class that starts next week, rain, naps, working from home, health insurance, a three day weekend, payday.