Gratitude Friday

1. Fall. The actual first day of fall is a little over a week away and we still have days in the forecast calling for the upper 80s, but yesterday I wore long sleeves, long pants, and socks all day, and this morning when we woke up it was 51 degrees outside, The chrysanthemums and clematis are blooming and our tomatoes are finally producing, so I’m calling it early — it’s fall!

2. Cooking. I am really enjoying doing more cooking, trying new recipes, eating good food.

3. Flowers in the bathroom. Eric brought me home flowers this week. I haven’t had flowers all summer, except for my peonies and a bouquet from Chloe’. They changed the farmer’s market hours to later which kept me from getting there all summer, and after two gnat infestations the end of last summer and the beginning of this one, I was wary because flowers just feed the gnats, ensure they keep producing future generations. I missed the flowers.

4. Ringo. Since I’ve been home more, he’s been so sweet to me. Since he’s getting older, he’s getting easier to live with and easier to love. Had to sneak this next picture through a dirty window so I wouldn’t wake him up. This kind of peace was a long time coming and hard won. Used to be this boy had to be constantly entertained and monitored, especially in the backyard. He got into stuff, ate things he shouldn’t, dug holes, and barked. Now, with six years old just a few months away, he can take himself out and lounge in the sun, with only the occasional bark or roll in a dead worm, and I don’t have to worry he’s out there killing himself.

5. Sam. I was so stressed out about him last week — he slipped and fell in the kitchen twice and threw up his dinner one night. He’s almost ten years old, as old as any of our dogs have ever been, and the awareness that he’s going to die is always right there. He was the dog that took me the longest to bond with, he felt more like Eric’s dog for the first few years and I was just missing my Obi and Dexter, but now he’s my sweet shadow and when he goes I’m really going to miss him.

5. Eric. All the things he does to take care of our tiny family, laughing with him, how he appreciates the things I do, how committed he is to his colleagues and students, his kitchen counter love notes (see a whole collection of them on Instagram).

Bonus joy: Glazed lemon zucchini bread, zucchini gratin, grilled cheese, breakfast for dinner, leftovers, clean sheets on the bed, all the laundry done and put away, excellent credit, money in savings, a whole day with no plans, good movies (the new Mindy Kaling one on Amazon Prime, Late Night, was really good), good TV (I’ve been watching a lot of tiny house shows lately), good books (I’m finally reading the rest of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies), hanging out with Mikalina and Chloe’ (having friends who make you laugh, but also who you can cry with and say “I love you” and fully trust with your truth is a big deal), morning walks, teaching yoga, writing, naps.

Something Good

From our walk

1. What is Minimalism? Maybe it’s not what you think from Be More With Less.

2. Mondo Beyondo with Andrea Scher. This was the course that started it ALL for me. I highly recommend it. Next 6 week session begins on Monday, September 16, 2019.

3. The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs. “Employers have become obsessed with improving the health of their employees. But does it do anyone any good?”

4. In Conversation: Liz Phair On being misunderstood, working with Ryan Adams, and the dawn of Girlville.

5. Mom hosting a BBQ. (video) This reminds me of this video and this one.

6. “Brittany Runs A Marathon” Claims Body Positivity, but Promotes A Weight Loss Fantasy. “The film markets itself as a progressive counterpoint to diet culture. It’s not.”

7. Linda Hamilton Fled Hollywood, but ‘Terminator’ Still Found Her on The New York Times. “Decades after the first sequel, the 62-year-old actress hesitated to return to her iconic role: ‘I didn’t want my neighbors looking at me differently.'”

8. The Book of Prince. “Prince had grand plans for his autobiography, but only a few months to live.”

9. Good stuff from Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, her this was a good week list: Hurricane Dorian – How Best to Help Right Now, and Strange Planet’s Instagram account, and The Atlas of Beauty, and Widowhood 101.

10. ‘Everything is not going to be okay’: How to live with constant reminders that the Earth is in trouble.

11. Transforming Overwhelm & Burden to Something Powerful from Zen Habits.

12. What Would You Do If You Had 10 Years Left? I am equal parts sad and angry to hear that Elana’s cancer is back.

13. Mindfulness vs. Meditation: What’s the Difference? An important distinction.

14. At Least 100 Bahamians Forced Off Boat Headed to U.S. Because They Didn’t Have Visas.

15. “Sometimes I hate everything and then I think about my dogs and I almost die from gratitude.” ~Heidi Randall. So true.

16. Another Tesla driver was caught sleeping behind the wheel on the highway. (video) This is a very, very bad idea.

17. 26 Too-Real Tweets For Couples Who Spoil The Heck Out Of Their Dogs.

18. #JewsAgainstICE Are Saying “Never Again” in the Face of Crisis.

19. Ijeoma Oluo: ‘I am drowning in whiteness.’

20. What Happens When a Highly Sensitive Person Grows Up with Emotional Neglect? In related news, How to Overcome the Biggest HSP Challenges, According to a Therapist.

21. This ‘honorary grandpa’ volunteers at his local YMCA, playing games like Jenga and four square with local kids. (video)

22. Veterinarians Are Killing Themselves. An Online Group Is There To Listen And Help.

23. For Healthy Kids, Skip the Kurbo App.

24. Missy Elliott Opens Up About Depression & How A 14-Year Hiatus Gave Her “Peace Of Mind.”

25. Trump Shows A Fake Hurricane Map Altered With A Sharpie, Inspires 30 Hilarious Memes.

26. The co-writer of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ turned down the sequel project after learning her white, male colleague was offered 10x her salary. (video)

27. What’s Missing From “White Fragility.” “Robin DiAngelo’s idea changed how white progressives talk about themselves—and little else.”

28. Victim Of Brock Turner Sexual Assault Reveals Her Identity.

29. Vaping appears to be making hundreds of people sick. Doctors have no idea why.

30. Pentagon to Divert Money From 127 Projects to Pay for Trump’s Border Wall on The New York Times.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. I keep waiting for my energy to come back. To be honest, I’m starting to worry that it won’t, that this is my new normal. And just when I start to freak out about that a little, I remind myself that healing takes time and I need to be patient.

2. My urge to teach may, at least in part, be me avoiding writing. I have so many ideas and plans for classes, and I realized the other day I was allowing them to take priority over my writing plans and projects. I’ve wanted to be a writer since the 2nd grade, when I realized it was a thing people did, a thing I could do, and I think now that I finally, finally, finally have the opportunity, I’m hesitant to start. I need to get out of my own way. This is helping: Elizabeth Gilbert’s free 10-step Writing Academy.

3. Every idea I have, my mind leaps immediately to how I can monetize it, share it, turn it into “something.” I have lost touch with my ability to create for the sake of creation, and it has me a little stuck. I need to simply make stuff for the sake of making — for joy, for insight, for release, for ease, for clarity…for nothing. Again, I need to be patient.

One wish: That we remember to rest, that we trust it takes time to shift things, that our effort doesn’t have to result in a particular something, that it can be nothing, that none of it has to happen quickly, and that our effort and ease don’t have to have value beyond our own experience of them. Be patient. Keep going. Don’t give up.

Something Good

Image by Eric

1. Reasons to be Cheerful. “Reasons to be Cheerful is a non-profit editorial project that is tonic for tumultuous times. We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful. Many of these reasons come in the form of smart, proven, replicable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We’re here to tell you about some of them. Through sharp reporting, our stories balance a sense of healthy optimism with journalistic rigor, and find cause for hope. We are part magazine, part therapy session, part blueprint for a better world. Reasons to be Cheerful was founded by artist and musician David Byrne, who believes in the power of approaching the world with curiosity—in art, in music, in collaboration and in life. Under the banner of Byrne’s Arbutus Foundation, Reasons to be Cheerful embodies this sensibility, applying it now to the future of our world. Through stories of hope, rooted in evidence, Reasons to be Cheerful aims to inspire us all to be curious about how the world can be better, and to ask ourselves how we can be part of that change.”

2. On Wellness, Nike, and Fat Mannequins.

3. Move For The Joy Of It: Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Work. In related news, headspace, not bodyspace from Karen Walrond.

4. Wabi-Sabi For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. “Lion’s Roar presents an excerpt from Leonard Koren’s gem, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers, considered a class statement on this Japanese aesthetic.”

5. Trump Shares Campaign Video With Image Used by White Supremacist Group.

6. Questions About Marianne Williamson’s Weight Loss Advice. “I read ‘A Course for Weight Loss.’ I’m fat. And I have questions for the presidential candidate.”

7. Op-Art: The Shame of Crowdfunding Health Care on The New York Times. “I fell off a bike into an outpouring of charity. But Americans shouldn’t have to seek out strangers to pay health bills.”

8. How to Draw Yourself Out of a Creative Funk on The New York Times. “Malaka Gharib, the author of the coming-of-age graphic memoir I Was Their American Dream, shares her tips.”

9. A female inmate was forced to give birth alone on a bench in her cell at Denver County Jail without any medical treatment. In related news, A woman says her cries for help were ignored as she gave birth in jail. Her story is one of many.

10. How Shift Happens in Our Lives on Zen Habits.

11. 14 Contradictions That INFJs Experience Every Day.

12. What Color Is Your Hamster Wheel? from Laura Simms.

13. Naomi and Coco Gave Us The Best Sports and Black Girl Magic Moment of the Year.

14. White Tears Attempt to Drown Out the True History of Louisiana Plantation: ‘Very Racist. If You’re White, Don’t Go.’

15. “It’s pretty amazing that a four-year-old has a best friend who’s 95 years old.” (video)

15. Valerie Harper, Who Played Beloved TV Sidekick Rhoda, Dies At 80.

16. Trouble in paradise: Trump attacks Fox News – and Fox News hits back.

17. ‘Where I’m From’: A Crowdsourced Poem That Collects Your Memories Of Home.

18. Stop what you’re doing and just watch this. (video)

19. The Great British Baking Show returns to Netflix this weekend. Woo-Hoo!

20. Jessi Combs, TV Host and Racecar Driver, Dies in Attempt at Land Speed Record on The New York Times.

21. NORPAC files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reaches deal to sell itself to Oregon Potato Company. This was my first real job at 15. I worked the graveyard shift three summers in a row. It was some of the only work available. “NORPAC was established as a co-op then known as Stayton Canning Company in 1924 in Stayton by a group of Oregon farmers and grew to include 240 farms from Portland to Eugene.” They’ll be closing the Stayton plant in October. I feel weirdly sad about it.

22. Brazil Rejects G-7’s Offer Of $22 Million To Fight Amazon Fires.

23. Help our family avoid homelessness. If you have something to give, this is a good start.

24. Meet The Teen Who Registered People To Vote While They Waited In Line At Popeyes.

25. Why Are Writers Particularly Drawn to Tarot?

26. The Thing About Safety. Author Ijeoma Oluo’s son was endangered when someone called police, pretending to be him, and said he murdered two people – and the harassment didn’t stop there.

27. Deadly Dieting Tools: Who Loses When Weight Watchers Sets Its Eyes on Children?

28. ‘Let’s do it now’: Greta Thunberg crosses Atlantic and calls for urgent climate action.

29. Fighting Burnout, Rest Debt, and Work as a False Path to Self-Worth.

30. 8 Podcasts for Anyone Nervously Facing Retirement.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. This morning on his walk with the dogs, Eric saw some of this year’s baby deer playing in the sprinklers at the park.

2. End of summer harvest. It’s zucchini, tomato, peach, and watermelon season right now. Yum. I made more zucchini bread, and this time I remembered the toasted walnuts.

3. Practice. While I was meditating this morning, Sam got up on the futon behind me and took a nap. I feel so much more relaxed with him there.

4. Being able to rest, do what I want. I am still amazed how much recovery is necessary, how lucky I am to be able to read a book or take a long nap or try a new recipe, until I remind myself I’ve been going nonstop for the past 40 years.

5. My tiny family. Last on the list, but not least.

His legs are SO long

Bonus joy: being able to say “no” to something that doesn’t feel quite right, getting all the laundry done and put away, clean beds for the dogs, that Ringo is finally grown up enough to just hang out most of the day instead of needing to be entertained constantly, hanging out with Mikalina, good movies (we watched Arctic last night), good TV (I needed something easy, so I started watching Jane the Virgin), reading in bed at night while my three boys sleep, cooler weather, pay day, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, the house smelling like something yummy after I’ve cooked.



Something Good

Image by Eric

1. 127 Morning Rituals – The Ultimate List For Your Morning Routine.

2. So You Want To Write? How Introverts Can Cultivate A Writing Practice.

3. 5 Superpowers Of The INFJ.

4. Austin Kleon’s collage archives. This is a practice I want to start up again.

5. Ethical Chocolate Companies, “a list of chocolate companies that only use ethically grown cocoa. Find out how you can tell if the chocolate you are eating is connected to child slavery.”

6. CSU professor’s poem in New York Times Magazine reflects on 1963 KKK church bombing. In related news, Conservatives rail against New York Times project on America’s sordid slave past, and Reading Guide: Quotes, Key Terms, and Questions for The 1619 Project.

7. 300 dancers showed up for ballet class this morning in Times Square in front of Good Morning America. (video) “This is what happens when you joke on TV about Male dancers. 300 dancers show up for a ballet class in Times Square NYC to show their support of our amazing male dancers.”

8. Amazon Fires: How Can You Help? In related news, Why the Amazon Rainforest Fires Are Absolutely Devastating, and How to help the Amazon rainforest: 9 things you can do during the fires and beyond.

9. This Woman Set Up A Photo Booth For Birds In Her Yard, And The Results Are Extraordinary.

10. 5 Questions for Thin People with Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating Brands.

11. Top 146 Recommended African-American Children’s Books.

12. The most effective ways to curb climate change might surprise you.

13. The Shaun King We’re Not Talking About. “When Clarissa Brooks questioned Shaun King about recent fundraising, King publicly threatened Brooks with legal action. However, Brooks is far from the first person to publicly question Shaun King, and she’s not the first Black woman to be disrespected by him either.”

14. Three migrant children die of flu in detention with US authorities refusing to give vaccines, as reports of child molesting emerge.

15. Sole Black Woman To Speak At Abortion Bill Hearing Has Mic Cut Off And Is Asked To Leave.

16. Flint Water Crisis Worsens, City Spills 2 Million Gallons of Sewage Into Flint River.

17. Energetic Southern White Rhino Calf “Charges” Around Safari Park.

18. Going against the decluttering craze: the book hoarders who defy Marie Kondo.

19. This 3-year-old sells lemonade to help buy diapers for moms in need. (video)

20. First-grader pointed loaded gun at student in school office. The gun belonged to the district’s transportation director. “Nelson was allowed to carry the weapon as part of the district’s concealed-carry plan adopted last year to arm administrators and select staff members to protect students from potential gun violence.” Guns In schools. What could possibly go wrong?

21. Variety to Forgo Annual Emmy Party for Donation to Planned Parenthood. This is what resistance looks like. In related news, Planned Parenthood Withdraws From Title X Program Over Trump Abortion Rule.

22. Daniel Pantaleo, Officer Who Held Eric Garner in Chokehold, Is Fired. on The New York Times. He should be in prison for murder, but this is a start.

23. WW Is Priming Our Kids To Become Lifelong Customers.

24. Virginia Boy Scout Recruits His Troop To Help Maintain The Legacy Of A Historically Black Cemetery.

25. We Fled the Gangs in Honduras. Then the U.S. Government Took My Baby. on The New York Times.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We are back on a regular, “back to school” schedule now, with the sky dark enough that I have to wear a headlamp to start. Still too many mosquitoes to get back close to the river, but that should happen in just a few more weeks.

2. Cooking. I love the process (when I have the time and energy) and having lots of leftovers to choose from. The zucchini bread I made last week, both “regular” and lemon (pictured), didn’t last very long.

My yoga props for when I teach

3. Practice, both teaching and doing.

4. Being content with not going back to work at CSU. It was move in day yesterday for the students who live in dorms, and the traffic was crazy. I told Eric last night that even though I’m not exactly sure what my “new life” will look like yet, I am completely sure that leaving CSU was the right choice.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

Bonus joy: writing with Mikalina and Chloe’, cooler weather, aqua aerobics (especially after the pool was closed for close to two weeks!), sitting in the sauna, hanging out with Eric, reading, watching good TV, napping, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and walnuts, writing, getting ideas for things I want to work on but knowing I don’t have to do them right away, “winning” in my Life class again because I worked so hard (although I’m not really competing with anyone but myself).

I was an animal