Gratitude Friday

1. Spring. It’s all so GREEN.

Part of why it’s so green is all the rain and snow melt coming down from the mountains. This is a picture of what should be trail, but the river is spilling over and flooding it out.

2. Morning walks. So far, we’ve kept to our regular weekday morning schedule and Sam still can’t go on longer walks, so two mornings a week it’s just me and Ringo (and the deer, raccoons, herons, ducks, geese, etc.).

Can you find the deer?

3. Gardening. Although, especially in the spring in Colorado, it can be heartbreaking. We bought vegetable plants and put them in the ground last week, then one day later we had the biggest hailstorm I’ve ever seen — 15 minutes straight of hail and almost a full hour of thunder and lightening. It destroyed about half of what we planted, which we’ve already replaced. It’s not the first year the hail has wrecked what we started, and we always start again.

That’s not enough basil

I finally got rhubarb!

My irises loved all the rain this year

Eric put wildflower seeds by our front step

I’m going to have a ton of peonies

This was about 10 minutes into the hail storm, when I knew for sure we’d be starting over

Spring in Colorado

4. Ringo and Sam. Ringo had his annual exam and shots at the vet. He hid under my chair. It’s so sad because his vet has three Cattle Dogs of her own, loves them more than any other kind of dog, even took off her white coat and sat on the floor to coax him out from under the chair. She loves Ringo so much but he can barely look at her he’s so terrified. Sam did really well at his physical therapy appointment this week. He’s off all his pain meds and we are increasing his walks and doing more exercises. There’s a chance that if he’s still progressing and doing well in two weeks, he might graduate from needing regular PT appointments. He still seems a bit stiff at night sometimes, so fingers and paws crossed that he keeps getting better.

5. Eric. He’s been doing so much of the hard work to get the garden going. I’m so glad he likes it as much as I do. I’m also glad that he’s happy reading books and taking naps and just hanging out. It makes for a pretty perfect summer.

Bonus joy: Melly is back in Wild Writing, I get to hang out with Mikalina tomorrow, aqua aerobics five times a week, teaching yoga, good books (I’m finally reading the novel The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and loving it, in that particular way you can “love” a book that is about women in difficult situations), good TV (I finally started Fresh Off the Boat and it’s the perfect show to binge during a lazy summer), flowers in the bathroom, the tiny dog that comes out to visit Ringo and I some mornings on our walk, Ringo doing nosework, Sam napping nearby always, toast with marionberry jam, cold clean water, a warm shower, sitting in the sauna, not checking my work email, clean sheets, grocery shopping, Chelsey’s birthday, leftovers.

Something Good

Fort Collins trolley, image by Eric

Fort Collins trolley, image by Eric

1. Enough already from Paul Jarvis. “Exterior mindfulness (some call it minimalism) only works when we solve for enough.”

2. 3 Beautiful Things I Learned When My 3-Year Old Daughter Died Of Cancer.

3. Upaya Podcast with Natalie Goldberg, True Secret of Writing (II of II) – “Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir.”

4. When Russian trolls wanted to divide America, they knew what to use: race.

5. Black Yale Student Wants White Classmate Who Called Police on Her Held Accountable. In related news, Nigerian Woman, Who Was Removed From United Flight After a White Passenger Complained She Was ‘Pungent,’ Files Lawsuit, and White Woman Calls Cops on Black Real Estate Investor Inspecting House Next Door, and #CommunityServiceWhileBlack: Cop Questions Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Members During Highway Cleaning, Says He Thought They Were Fighting, and California Starbucks Writes Racial Slur on Latino Customer’s Drink, and #GoingHomeWhileBlack: Rapper T.I. Arrested Outside His Gated Community After Misplacing Keys, and This is how the police should react when a white person calls 911 on a Black person for no reason (video), and White Hobby Lobby Manager Calls Police on Black Customer for #ShoppingWhileBlack, and Enraged White Man Threatens To Call ICE On Women For Speaking Spanish In A Restaurant, and Security questions Black dad deemed ‘suspicious’ for pushing sick son in a stroller, and ‘White Caller Crime’: The Worst Wypipo Police Calls of All Time.

5. Recipes I want to try: Barbecue Zucchini & Chickpea Tacos, and pasta salad with roasted carrots and sunflower seed dressing, and sweet potato tacos, and rhubarb cream cheese hand pies, and strawberry rhubarb crisp bars, and 4 Ingredient Spinach Tortillas. P.S. I love Smitten Kitchen.

6. Delicate Accumulations of Colorful Spring Flowers Installed in a Historic French Home.

7. 12 Things INFJs Absolutely Hate.

8. Is Yoga really for Every Body? “A guide to body positivity and falling in love with yoga, right now.”

9. He has millions of fans, multiple Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Oscar. So what makes Sam Smith unhappy? (video)

10. Three Black girls were awarded $4,000 for their scientific invention after being racially attacked online.

11. A Police Officer at My Public High School Told Me I’m Going to Hell Because I’m Gay.

12. Cougar Attacks Two Bicyclists in Washington State, Killing One on The New York Times.

13. This road trip was made for doughnut lovers. (video)

14. ‘Experts’ Said You Should Have Twice Your Salary Saved By 35 And Twitter Broke Out The Pitchforks.

15. Dana Falsetti lost nearly 100 pounds, but found she still wasn’t happy with her body. (video) “Then she found yoga. Now, she’s helping others find confidence through yoga classes that focus on body positivity.”

16. These are the 10 victims of the shooting at Santa Fe High School. (video)

17. Houston police are investigating alleged abduction of black teen by group of white males.

18. This white student thinks she’s the victim of racism because people got mad when she brought a rifle to school. (video) Hearing what she has to say makes me a thousand times angrier than the pictures. She graduates from college and still does not understand how racism and white privilege work?! She doesn’t understand why, of all the campuses, it would be so much more offensive on this one?!

19. This Alabama sheriff bought a beach house with money meant to feed people in prison — and he claims it’s legal. (video)

20. A mayonnaise and spoiler-free cut of my “Do Not Link To The Line Stepper” PSA from Jay Smooth. (video)

21. A deportation bus? This Republican candidate wants to track down “illegal immigrants” on the campaign trail. (video) When racists don’t even bother to hide anymore, when they run and are elected to office, we are living the fall of Rome.

22. This lad made his dog the happiest dog in the world with 5,400 ball pit balls. (video)

23. When you see black people get arrested for waiting in a Starbucks or choked for selling cigarettes on the corner, you’re looking at the racist history of loitering laws at work. (video)

24. Four years later, Flint still doesn’t have clean water. And yet residents are being forced to pay the highest water bills in the country. (video)

25. Black Dog Syndrome. (video) “Why do people pass over black dogs for adoption? Why do they cross the street to avoid them? It’s called black dog syndrome, and filmmaker Dara Bratt decided to find out what’s behind it.” All of my dogs have been black. I prefer them.

26. This designer created portable igloos to help homeless people survive the winter. (video)

27. Spike Lee rips Donald Trump because of his refusal to denounce the KKK. (video)

28. This Indian man single-handedly carved a road through a mountain. (video)

29. What It’s Like Being an INFJ Teacher.

30. Downsides of Diet Culture on Dances With Fat.

31. Months After a Brutal Day in Charlottesville, a Tender Wedding on The New York Times.

32. You, You, You Oughta Know: Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Is Now A Musical.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Everything is so gorgeous and lush right now. And everyone has babies — the foxes, raccoons, geese, and owls. The river is full and running fast from the snow melt.

2. Summer vacation. Just two days in, I already feel better than I have in months.

3. Space in my schedule. I’m filling some of it with as much yoga and aqua aerobics and Pilates and naps as I can.

4. Sam and Ringo. One friend lost a dog and another is about to and another is waiting and watching, and it SUCKS. I love them so much, almost like I forget I am going to have to let them go and it’s going to break my heart into a million pieces, again. I’m loving on my two a bit extra, so happy that they are here, that no one is a puppy and no one is dying, even as I know they will eventually.

5. Eric. He’s there, making me laugh and feeding me and checking in with me on the regular to make sure I’m okay.

Bonus joy: getting the garden ready, dog sighs, sleeping with the window open, the smell of lilacs, breakfast burritos, long naps, clean sheets, weaning Sam off his pain meds, Wild Writing.

Something Good

1. Pit Bull Who Loves Cats Finally Gets His Own Litter Of Kittens.

2. This is the world’s first collapsible and reusable straw. (video)

3. National bail out, a really great cause. “Over 60 percent of people in jail in the United States are being detained while they await trial. They’re not serving time as a punishment. They’ve been found guilty of no crime. Instead, in the majority of cases, money is the barrier to freedom. They languish in jail because the bail amount far exceeds what they and their families can afford. Their poverty alone imprisons them. The result is a two-tiered system of justice: one for those who have and one for those who do not.” In related news, This movement is paying bail for Black women on Mother’s Day. (video)

4. This is Black Twitter America: Glover’s Sunken Place, Kanye’s Broken Face.

5. 25 Influential American Muslims. “We asked American Muslims to name the most influential people in their fields. Here’s what they said.”

6. Colorado State University Tour Incident Is Nothing New for Native Students, “Our very existence as Native peoples in what is currently known as the United States is constantly seen as a threat.” In related news, This security officer said he was going to call the cops on a student. The reason? A Cherokee Tribal ID card (video), and Teens’ experience shows campus reality for Native Americans.

7. CWI Traditional Birth Center, Native American-Centered Women’s Health Collective in Pojoaque, NM. Another good cause.

8. True Secret of Writing (I of II), an Upaya Dharma Podcast with Natalie Goldberg.

9. Wisdom from Carl Sagan by way of A Design So Vast, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”

10. Why Meaningful Relationships Are Few and Far Between for the INFJ.

11. How I Discovered the Four Noble Truths of Love from Susan Piver.

12. The Eternal Question: What Should I Write? from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds. He shares two specific questions here to ask yourself if you are a writer, but it seems to me that these are very useful questions, especially for any of us who are following our own path.

13. #CookingOutWhileBlack: White Woman Calls Cops on Black People Cooking Out in Oakland, Calif., Park. The community’s response to this was so great: Black Oakland Electric Slides on Racism by Throwing Big Ass Cookout in Park Where White Lady Called Cops. In related news, Should I call the cops?, and ‘I Quit’: Georgia Officer Resigns After Dragging 65-Year-Old Woman From Car During Traffic Stop, and North Carolina Waffle House Customer Choked by Police Officer After Taking Sister to Prom, and Supermarket Employee Fired After Denying Black Couple a Money Order Over ‘Fraud’ Concerns, and A Black Yale Student Took a Nap in a Dorm Common Room. A White Classmate Called the Cops on Her, and How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour, and When she wouldn’t give her landlord an ultrasound photo, woman lost her apartment, and Manager Loudly Reads Store’s Theft Policy to Black Customers, Calls Security When Asked Why.

14. Dentists apologize for ‘free whitening’ ad that poses white dentists in cultural garb. In related news, North Carolina Dentists Apologize After Cosplaying in Native American, Japanese Clothing for ‘Whitening’ Service.

15. Dear Fat Feminists: Roxane Gay Doesn’t Owe Us Anything.

16. Toys R Us Workers Fight for Severance While Executives Walk Away With Millions. This is who we are, capitalism in action.

17. Lesbian teacher claims discrimination after showing class photo of future wife. If this school holds this standard for everyone, any teacher who shows a picture of their spouse or talks about them should also be fired for “promoting their lifestyle.”

18. ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Officially Revived at NBC. Woo-hoo!

19. Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance. “Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality. Now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called ‘black identity extremists.’”

20. I Honestly Thought White People Were Better Than This.

21. ICE raided this family home with full riot gear when they refused to let them in to arrest their husband and father. (video) ICE is the worst.

22. ‘I do not yield. Not one second to you. Not one second.’ — Rep. Maxine Waters will never stop reclaiming her time. (video)

23. Why It’s Not Racist When People of Color Point Out White Supremacy in White People’s Actions.

24. The whyte woman in this Twitter video calls what this little boy is doing, “adorable.”

25. If you’re really woke, you will listen when we call you out for causing us harm. In related news, Race, trust and friendship: Dear White Women.

26. Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Has Been Colonized. I have to imagine that Nicole Arbour and Tomi Lahren are besties. Neither one can keep their mouth shut about shit they know nothing about.

27. A Mother’s Day Poem for Humans from Jena Schwartz.

28. Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon Is an Epic Tale From the Last Known Survivor of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Gratitude Friday

1. Spring. Besides the green and the blooms, you can tell it’s spring in Fort Collins because the river is full up of snow melt.

2. Everything is SO green. It’s almost hard to believe.

One of my favorite spots on the trail

3. Morning walks. It’s so light out now that when we go, not only can I leave my headlamp at home, on Thursday morning I left at 6 am wearing my sunglasses!

4. Sweet Sam. This week at his physical therapy session, he went on the underwater treadmill. He did not love it. He also tried really hard to do some other stuff the tech wanted, but he was too excited/nervous to get it just right. He seems to be getting a bit stronger without getting sore, and I’m so grateful.

5. I finally saw the fox babies!!! This is a terrible picture, taken from far away, but that’s as close as I could get. When we first spotted them, all four babies and their mama were there, but by the time we were close enough to get a bad picture, only the bravest little one was still above ground. Ringo wanted to play with them so bad.

6. Eric. He’s been working so hard this week getting our front garden ready while I finish up my last few days of work.

Bonus joy: Hanging out with Mikalina, a friend coming back to town for the summer, getting all the laundry done on Friday, Pilates, sitting in the sauna after aqua aerobics, dark chocolate, clean sheets, good books (so good they make you stay up really late but you don’t even care that you are tired the whole next day), computer glasses, the smell of lilacs, sleeping with the window open, my new hooded sweatshirt with the picture of a cattle dog on the front that looks like Ringo, another fabulous massage, summer vacation just two more days of work away.

Something Good

Strawberries blooming in our garden, image by Eric

1. If You Think The World Is A Terrible Place These 20+ Wholesome Pics Will Change Your Mind. It’s up to 20+ pages of images now.

2. Carrying the Weight of How the White World Imagines You.

3. No, talking about women’s role in white supremacy is NOT blaming women.

4. Resources for good people who want to do better, a great list of good stuff.

5. What are the Eight Worldly Concerns? on Lion’s Roar.

6. Hush Puppy, also on Lion’s Roar. “Training her mind, training her dog—Mary Rose O’Reilley on the pleasures and pitfalls of learning to sit without barking.”

7. White fragility and supremacy and privilege out of control af: 3 women loading luggage in their car after a stay at an Airbnb are stopped by SEVEN cop cars, “The cops admit that the woman’s reason for calling the police was because we didn’t WAVE to her as she looked at us putting our luggage into our car from her lawn,” (video), and Off-Duty California Cop Pulls Gun on Guy Buying Mentos, and Cops called to UWS apartment for ‘burglary in progress’ but find black tenant, former White House staffer moving in. In related news, this bullshit that happened on the campus where I work: ‘They don’t belong’: police called on Native American teens on college tour, and Colorado State Univ. ‘deeply regrets’ Native American teens’ tour experience, offers reimbursement, and A mom on a college tour called the cops on two Native American teens because they made her ‘nervous’, and University of Florida is forced to apologize after black and minority graduates were SHOVED off stage by a white faculty member while they celebrated, and “STOP calling the cops on POC just trying to live. If you’re ‘nervous’ take that shit to therapy!” (video)

8. President Austin feeds homeless people. (video) I’d vote for him.

9. Eagles flying over the water at Aurora Borealis Observatory. (video)

10. Junot Díaz Accused Of #MeToo Misconduct. Blergh.

11. Ten years ago, former nightclub promoter Scott Harrison set out to solve the water crisis in his lifetime. (video) One of my favorite charities, and one of my favorite stories about a charity’s origins. Can we figure out a way to get him to help Flint?

12. When You’re in the Gray Area of Being Suicidal. #same

13. 3 Black Girls Competing to Win Trip to NASA Reportedly Hacked by Racists.

14. Lynching 2.0: White Family Charged With Murdering 2 Black Men, Dismembering Bodies. I’m only sharing this because it doesn’t seem to be getting much coverage.

15. Company Invents Gun That Folds Up to Look Like a Cellphone. The willful ignorance this reveals should enrage you.

16. On Racism from Leonie Dawson. In related news, Why White Women Terrify Me, and An Open Letter to Danielle LaPorte and all the other white women that will fuck up in the future, and Deleting Your Bulls*** When We Call You Out is a White Privilege Flex, and An Open Letter to Danielle LaPorte; or, The Stages of Realizing You Are Nonbinary, and On White Leaders Who Dehumanize Black People and Danielle La Porte’s New Program.

17. House Republicans nominate Trump for Nobel peace prize. Wtf?! No. Nope.

18. Five Female Poets on Protest and Resistance.

19. Got Toddlered: Parents Share Photos Of Them Before And After Having Kids, And The Difference Is Hilarious.

20. Friendliest puppy has friends of all shapes and sizes. (video) Good girl, Lou Lou.

21. Why the Waffle House shooting should get us talking about white privilege.

22. The wellness industry thrives on the fear of death.

23. Try Not To Laugh At These Conversations Between This Dad And His 4 Little Girls. Seriously, I dare you — try not to laugh.

24. Childish Gambino – This Is America (Official Video).

25. This man lost his dream job because of his felony record. (video) More proof that we don’t really believe in rehabilitation, just punishment (that in some cases never really ends).

26. How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Pursue Actual Health. “The real data behind weight loss research points to a radically different approach to healthy living.”

26. 13 Diverse Authors Nominated for PBS’s ‘The Great American Read.’

27. France’s Beloved Short Story Dispensers Are Coming to America.

28. Mashama Bailey is the first African-American woman nominated for best chef at the James Beard Awards.

29. Being a Friend When You Are Becky.

30. Mary Karr Reminds the World That David Foster Wallace Abused and Stalked Her, and Nobody Cared.

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Morning walks. It rained so hard on Thursday, we couldn’t go, and I still haven’t seen the fox babies, but taking a walk with the dogs in the morning continues to be one of my favorite things almost two decades after the very first one.

I love walking with both dogs, but walking just one is SO much easier

2. Living near the river and the ponds. I feel so lucky we can walk out the front door and be at the river or the ponds in just a mile, and that there’s so much flora and fauna to see.

3. Spring. With all the rain last week, things are blooming and super green.

4. Ringo and Sam. There will most likely be a day when I don’t have dogs, but I can’t even imagine it.

This is his “throw the frisbee, Dad” face

5. Eric. I can’t wait to spend more time with him once we are both on summer break.

Bonus joy: being afraid and knowing there is a risk but saying what I know anyway, good TV (I thought when I watched the last episode of season three of Call the Midwife that the series was over, but there were actually four more seasons!), good books (I’m reading Janelle Hanchett’s new book I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo), the sound of the neighbor’s lawn mower, the chaos of bird song in the morning, a warm shower, clean sheets, only 7 days of work left, brunch with a friend, orange juice, rhubarb, CBD oil, good smelling soap, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, writing, meditation, good people who are trying so hard, sleep.