Monthly Archives: July 2015

Gratitude Friday

ringosquash1. Garden season. We are starting to get tomatoes and have enough zucchini to make all the breads, zucchini and black bean pancakes, and have some left over to share. What we don’t have (like strawberries and peaches or enough cucumbers), we can get from Garden Sweet — upick strawberries this weekend!

gardensweetberries02tomatoseason02 2. Eric’s hiking pictures. Especially the ones of the dogs.

traildogs riverdogs3. Sitting down with a good friend I haven’t seen in a long time. If you want to know how much you’ve changed (or haven’t), sit down with someone who knows you really well after not having seen them for two years and talk about what’s been going on.

4. Sitting down with a new friend I’ve never seen. I’m heading to a Containers for Connection: 10 Letters Project event in Denver tomorrow, and I get to meet, have dinner, hang out, and go to the event with my friend Kirsten Akens, who I haven’t yet met face to face. I already adore her though, so can’t wait to tell her to her face.

tapefoot5. Physical therapy. I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot, so painful, so debilitating even though it’s a relatively small part of your body. I started physical therapy, and even though the dry needling is a level of pain I’ve rarely felt, kept me on the couch with a heating pad all night, it feels better today than it has in months. Plus the cool tape job makes me look like a cyborg.

Bonus joy: teaching yoga, zucchini bread, being able to rest when I need to, soaking in the tub, seeing an end in sight to my current round of illness and injury, pay day, the peaches I’m going to use to make Georgia Peach bread, fresh cucumbers (so good!), the beginnings of a bathroom remodel, being able to afford a bathroom remodel, finding a really good designer to help.


Three Truths and One Wish

mebeach1. Truth: This summer hasn’t gone as expected. It got hijacked by illness and injury, the need to set clear boundaries and rest. Taking care of myself, things at work, and our house was where my effort was spent. All the things I’d intended to do didn’t happen, had to wait.

2. Truth: I’ve learned a lot about boundaries and limits. My mind is overly optimistic about what’s possible, and my heart wants to give so much. I’ve had to accept that I can’t go as fast as I’d like to, do everything I want. I also understand that it’s okay, even necessary to tell others what is enough, to tell them no, that they won’t like it but that doesn’t matter if it’s what I need.

3. Truth: This summer shifted my rhythm. I have a sense of all the things that need done, all the stuff I’d like to do, but instead of going on attack, pushing through the day, I ease into it. I consider “what’s next?” in a much gentler way, more easily let go of what’s not going to happen.

Bonus truth: I love my little life, my sweet house and my tiny family. This space, the love, the comfort are home.

One wish: That we can bear witness to all the struggles and need, our own and those of others, and do what we can without doing too much.

Something Good

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

1. Dear Bare Heart: A New Advice Column with Isabel Abbott. This particular response is one I really needed to hear.

2. Dear “normal dog” owners… I could have written this.

3. 11 Things White People Need To Realize About Race.

4. Jesse Williams addresses Sandra Bland death over the course of 24 tweets. (thanks for sharing this, Shellie).

5. Jealous Boyfriend Texts Girlfriend’s Coworker And Instantly Regrets It.

6. Self-Care Sucks: Confessions of an Overachiever.

7. Black Women Matter and We Will #SayHerName, a heartbreaking video.

8. BatDad Vine Compilation 10.

9. The one thing every aspiring freelancer, college student or person with access to a time machine should know. Wisdom from Paul Jarvis, who says things like this,

I make a living on the Internet by being myself and sharing the things I’ve learned. But I’m also scared shitless to be myself and share the things I’ve learned.

10. Good stuff from Seth Godin: In search of your calling, and Opposition.

11. When Information Becomes Clutter and Noise and The Best Simplicity Articles (10 Most Popular Posts on Be More with Less) from Be More With Less.

12. Truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte, “Clarity creates simplicity,” and “Start with willingness.”

13. Creative Thursday – Season 1 Official Trailer.

14. Elizabeth Gilbert’s new podcast, Magic Lessons.

15. 10 Life-Changing Tips for Highly Sensitive People from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

16. The noun and the verb from Austin Kleon.

17. Wisdom from Francesca Reigler, Carlos Castaneda (thanks for the corrected attribution, Lori), “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” Oh, snap.

18. Why I really Do Yoga Every Day, shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list.

19. Dear Guy Who Is Mad Because I Wrote A Gay Character In A Book from Terrible Minds.

20. Pema Chödrön and Jack Kornfield talk “The Wondrous Path of Difficulties.”

21. The process of transformation and how we screw it up from Life is Limitless.

22. When you get through the big pain, this is what happens: Near-blinding radiance. By Danielle LaPorte.

23. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: Productivity secrets that I learned from a sexy chef, and This might help you stick with your fitness goals, and Just the right words. Just the right time. Three stories to inspire you to say them., and How hard are you trying, really? And this, from her newsletter (which you should really sign up for if you aren’t already getting it), “Transformation of any kind — big or small — begins with a personal choice.”

24. J.K. Rowling’s Tweet May Have Saved This Fan’s Life.

25. Onward Voyage, a new blog from my friend Kathryn.

26. After her best friend died of cancer, this woman adopted her four daughters.

27. #18: Transform your relationship with food (and yourself) with Isabel Foxen Duke, on The Brave Exchange podcast.

28. 7 Reliable Steps to Change Your Life at Any Age from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

29. Screaming at Fat People for Fun and Profit from Dances with Fat. Because this,

It is possible that a few of these people have become so deluded and confused by a culture where fat hating is rampant and encouraged (including by the government) that they think this is a good idea, or their sense of self-importance is so over-exaggerated that they think that they are being brave and helping those who are beneath them, but at the end of the day they are still bullying and abusing people and their behavior is still deeply wrong.

30. Rachel Cole is accepting applications for the next round of Feast. Rachel says, “There are just 30 spaces and they will be filled on a first apply basis. Do not wait to apply if you think you want to be a part of Feast. The deadline to apply is August 19th. I expect Feast to fill long before then.” I took part in the first session and loved it. Feel free to email me if you have questions about it,

Day of Rest


Invisible Work by Alison Luterman

Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don’t mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live

the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.
About the young mother on Welfare
I interviewed years ago,
who said, “It’s hard.
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,
and there’s no one
to say what a good job you’re doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache.”
And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself
because I am lonely,
when all the while,
as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried
by great winds across the sky,
thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing,
the way worms in the garden
tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe
and bees ransack this world into being,
while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon.

There are mothers
for everything, and the sea
is a mother too,
whispering and whispering to us
long after we have stopped listening.
I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world’s heart.

There is no other art.

Gratitude Friday

newroof1. A new roof. The install process uncovered corrosion in our furnace vent, so we also had that replaced — thankfully before it caused any real problems.

pie022. Pie season. This week it was berry and peach. My favorite way to eat peach pie is to mix a slice with some oatmeal and fresh peaches.

garden3. Our garden. We are getting tons of zucchini and kale and lettuce and basil, and the tomatoes and cucumbers are starting to come in.

4. Teaching yoga. I’m subbing some classes for my favorite students this week, and starting in September, I’ll have a regular Tuesday 7 am class at Om Ananda Yoga. My first class after not teaching in a few months was a bit bumpy, but I’m getting the hang of it again now.

5. Ringo Blue and sweet Sam. They drive me crazy sometimes, but I love them like crazy.

ringosplitsbigsouthsamBonus joy: People who are decent and fair and kind and do good work, being able to finally get some of the work done on our house we’ve been putting off for so many years, being able to tag team adulting with Eric, more good tv for when I’m too sore or tired to do anything other than lie on the couch (my latest favorites are Rita, a Danish series, and Velvet, a Spanish series), subtitles for shows in languages I don’t understand, Netflix on my phone, a night splint that will hopefully help with the pain in my heel, the softest set of clean sheets, naps.

Something Good

image by Eric

image by Eric

1. 40 Rituals that Make Relationships Last 40+ Years from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

2. Is Addiction A Habit Or A Disease?

3. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Licked Some Donuts? Don’t Blame Fat Kids, and Even if Weight Loss Would Solve Every Problem, and That Ridiculous Oprah Crop Top Thing, and What My Body is Not.

4. Wisdom from Freya Stark, “There can be no happiness if the things we
believe in are different from the things we do.”

5. Zucchini Parmesan recipe. If you are like me, you’ve always got lots of extra zucchini.

6. Artist Creates Impossible Towers Of Balanced Rocks To Meditate.

7. “That’s What Happened Between Me and Clark,” Revising Old Hollywood’s Greatest Scandal..

8. Proximity Leads to Understanding by Sharon Salzberg.

9. How we’re honoring the teen who died saving her friend’s life.

10. Scenes from the Weekend: Jacksonville, OR & Beyond on Rowdy Kittens.

11. Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism, Unconscious Racism, and Silent Racism. “FREE 4-Week Online Seminar: Online Readings, Live Conversations, and Interviews about Racism.”

12. For The Broken Ones, The Sad Ones, The Ones Who Are Falling Apart from Rebelle Society.

13. Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.

14. Obama, Confronted With Bill Cosby Question, Shares Message Of Zero Tolerance For Rape.

15. True Confessions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

16. Photo essay: Migrants share their most cherished belongings.

17. (sorta) Losing my religion on Rita’s Notebook.

18. things that don’t need explaining on A Design So Vast.

19. 8 things i’ve figured out by forty-eight on Chookooloonks.

20. Let Go. Say No. Be Awestruck. on Be More With Less.

21. Deeply Delicious by Geneen Roth.

22. california dreamin’ on SF Girl by Bay.

23. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

All of us have this precious human birth. We’re fortunate enough not to be starving; we’re fortunate enough to have food and shelter; we’re fortunate enough to hear the teachings and be given methods to wake up; we’re fortunate enough to have good intelligence and the luxury to explore and question why we and others suffer. We have a tremendous amount going for us, so this is the crucial time to practice.

24. Writing A Lot, Writing A Little, And The Power Of Failure on Terrible Minds.

25. The Year I Embraced Minimalism and Completed a Yearlong Shopping Ban.

26. Amid Devastation, Tig Notaro Searched For A Sense Of Humor.

27. This YouTuber Wants To Know Why It’s Only Plus-Size Women That Are Shamed For Eating Junk Food.

28. Periwinkle on Allowing Myself.

Day of Rest

Dr. Mulnix, image from

Dr. Mulnix, image from

Yesterday was a sad day. We found out that Dr. Mulnix, our favorite vet, had passed away. He had just announced at the beginning of the summer that he was retiring, and there were plans for an open house and reception in his honor. I was so sad he wouldn’t be treating our dogs anymore, but happy that he’d get to relax a bit — he worked so hard. But now he’s gone. I was surprised by how sad it made me. I burst into tears when I saw the post on Facebook. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t really get it together.

He’s been treating our dogs for 14 years. He calmed us when Obi was so sick the very first weekend he lived with us, our first nervous moments as dog owners. He was the one seven years later who had to tell me Obi had cancer and it was incurable. He most likely saved Sam’s life by identifying and treating something no one else could figure out. Even though we see four different vets at the clinic, he was the first vet we saw each time there was a new puppy. We loved taking our mixed breed dogs to him because the rescues were never really sure, but with all his years of experience, all the thousands of dogs he’d seen, Dr. Mulnix always could guess their mix. He was willing to entertain the silliest questions, to spend time with us over the smallest concerns. He was so patient and kind, and super smart. We trusted him with that which is most precious to us. And now he’s gone.
backyardviewIn an attempt to hit the reset button today, in the early morning before it got too hot, I took a long walk with Eric and the dogs, and then did yoga on the back patio listening to my favorite playlist to practice for the class I’m teaching tomorrow morning. When I finish this post, I’ll take a shower and have a bowl of peach pie oatmeal. I feel grateful for how green it still is even though it’s mid July, for my tiny family, for all the care and kindness Dr. Mulnix showed all four of my dogs and their humans, for the good human he was — all the while hoping that when I go, I will be as fondly remembered, as genuinely missed.