Monthly Archives: June 2016

Something Good

pacific

1. 15+ People Who Deeply Regret Shopping Online. So hilarious.

2. The Funny Parents Of Twitter On $#*! Kids Say. More hilariousness.

3. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: If You’re Concerned For Your Fat Loved One’s Health and Her Big Fat-Shamed Wedding.

4. How You Know You’re Done Dieting from Rachel Cole.

5. If You’re Scared Of Islam, Meet A Muslim, a great video from Refinery29.

6. Her friend was struck down by gun violence. Here’s how she made peace with his loss. A striking video, especially in light of resent events — that’s EVENTS plural, people.

7. Recipe I want to try: Roasted Veggie Salad With Avocado Dressing.

8. Minimalism on the Rise in Japan. “This man has 3 shirts, 4 pants and 4 pairs of socks. That’s all.”

9. He found a way to build mini homes at no cost, and he’s donating them all to the homeless.

10. Story Slices an online writing class with Laurie Wagner starts soon, only lasts for four weeks. “We’ll chronicle the odd and small moments of our lives with our phone cameras and then create small pieces of writing – a paragraph at most – to accompany them.”

11. The Unquestioned Pursuit of Weight Loss Had Us Eating Wrong for Years. “Our quest for thinness is actually making us far less healthy — even killing us — and not for the reasons you’d think.”

12. just call me bridget jones, without the massive knickers and hunky boss on wonderings & wanderings.

I guess what I’m saying is this, one journal doesn’t tell the whole story. If you feel like you’re in a rut, that you keep banging your head against the same old, tired wall, that you’re a failure, that you’ll never get to where you want to be, that you’re not growing… chances are you’ve actually come a long ways, kiddo. Give yourself some credit. But if you are stuck, start a journal today. Start with these words: I’m stuck. And write where you’re stuck. Then start getting unstuck. And keep writing for a year. If you’re still stuck, try again, try differently.

13. Pose harder. “Competitive yoga is catching on in America. But is it still yoga if you’re scoring points?”

14. The Hardest Part of My Eating Disorder Recovery Is the Part Nobody Talks About. #same

15. Renegade Writers’ Group: Where Excuses Die & Manuscripts Rise, a workshop with Janelle Hanchett.

16. Fully Appreciating Culture Without Appropriation: A Guide in 15 Steps.

17. JCPenney’s New Brand Campaign for Plus-Size Clothing Is SO Magical. Now let’s see if they can manage to make some good clothes.

18. Under Our Skin: What do we mean when we talk about race?. “Under Our Skin grew out of conversations about how we at The Seattle Times cover race at a time when national and local events — the furor over police shootings, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, protests on college campuses and charged campaign rhetoric — dominate headlines.”

19. Democrats End Sit-In After 25 Hours, Drawing Attention to Gun Control.

20. Felted Fido, on Facebook and Etsy. I want…

21. Why the “health” argument for dieting is kind of a moot point from Isabel Foxen Duke.

22. 19 Snarky Tweets That Prove #NoWomanEver Enjoys Being Harassed.

23. These Little Girls Totally Dominate In Awesome Dance Video. So much cute, and so fierce!

24. This too shall pass on A Design So Vast.

26. Jesse Williams: Read the actor’s BET acceptance speech in full. “The Grey’s Anatomy actor received a standing ovation for his empowering speech on racism in America.”

27. Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions In Texas.

28. James Veitch: This is what happens when you reply to spam email, a funny TED talk.

29. Buenos Aires to close 140-year-old zoo, move 2,500 animals to nature reserves.

30. Here’s Why Refusing to ‘See Color’ Doesn’t Actually Mean You’re Not Racist.

31. Syrian Refugees List Their Campsite on Airbnb. “In an effort to draw attention to their plight, refugees offer a stay in the ‘most unique neighborhood in Greece.'”

Day of Rest

happydexterI can’t help but think a lot about Dexter right now. Four years ago at the beach he had his first symptoms of the cancer that would eventually take him. The quilt in the second bedroom here still has the tiniest stain from that first nose bleed. It’s faded to gray, but I still recognize it.

Tomorrow is also the anniversary of his death, three years ago. One of the reasons we got Ringo Blue is because we guessed that Dexter was part German Shepherd, part Blue Heeler. Having been surprised by Sam’s DNA test results, I realize now that Dexter may have been something entirely different than we’d guessed, but I can’t help but see Dexter when I look at Ringo — his sense of humor, his athleticism and grace, his endless energy reserve, his smile — and I’m so happy to have the reminder.

Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver, from In Blackwater Woods

It’s that last part I have a hard time with, the letting go. For me the only thing that really does anything to ease the grief is the passage of time. With time, I get used to the absence. I’m still sad and still miss them, but that ache becomes somehow normal, incorporated. I allow other things to fill up the emptiness. I am comforted that they aren’t in pain anymore and there’s now space for another dog who needs a place to go, someone to love.

The thing I can’t get used to is never seeing them again, ever. I realize that some people have the comfort of a belief system that allows for some reunion at a later date. I don’t. That moment in time is over and will never be again, and I can’t quite get over that.

Gratitude Friday

waldportbeach

1. Being here. At the beach, in Waldport, in our favorite house, in Oregon, on vacation.

beacheagle2. Long walks on the beach. The closest access is only two blocks from our house and if you walk from one end of the beach to the other as far as you can go, it’s about six miles. There are seals that nap on the bayside and a pair of bald eagles.

pbandjandc

3. So much good food. Even just a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich is on a whole other level, (blame it on the marionberry jam and secret ingredient — potato chips!).

4. My tiny family. My three boys, and all the walking and reading and napping and playing and cuddling and couching.

threeboyscouchingringocouching samcouching5. Being close enough that I can visit with family, who I don’t get to see enough.

Bonus joy: quilts made by my aunt, a salad that was so huge it felt like it took three hours to eat it, clam chowder, veggies and berries from the farmer’s market, the very best pancakes, reading, sitting in the sun, watching bad tv with Eric, staying up too late and getting up too early, Ringo feeling better (YAY!), being able to afford a vacation, our new car, new flip-flops, the blister on my foot going away, sunshine after a day of rain, clean water, a warm shower, helpful customer service people, a washer and dryer in our rental, Depoe Baykery, naps, meditating with Ringo in the morning, knowing Sam’s breed (he’s 50% Border Collie and 50% Chesapeake Bay Retriever), the way Ringo ran around the yard like a mad man last night, texting with friends, pictures of our garden back in Colorado from the “farmer” we “hired” to tend it.

Three Truths and One Wish

Cummings Creek Trail, image by Eric

Cummings Creek Trail, image by Eric

1. Truth: When one of my dogs is sick or injured, I find it hard to think about anything else. Ringo has had a wonky gut for the past few days and while I’m not worried enough about it yet to take him to the vet, I’m concerned. He probably drank too much water out of one of the streams on the beach and will most likely work it out without any intervention, but it doesn’t mean I’ve been able to stop thinking about it.

2. Truth: I haven’t settled in any one place long enough this summer to work my way out of my funk. I was starting to feel okay, but then we packed up and headed to Oregon. We stayed with my in-laws for a few days, but not long enough to feel settled, and then we came here. It was only yesterday that I started to relax a bit, but there’s still the ongoing dilemma of my life: do I use this time to accomplish a bunch of shit or take a break? What am I “supposed to do”? What would it look like or mean to be content?

3. Truth: There’s a weird guilt that comes with summer vacation. It’s confusing. This time is a total gift and I absolutely know just how lucky I am, but that just adds to the weirdness. Part of me feels like I need to party and/or rest the crap out of it in honor of all those who don’t have this privilege. Then there’s a part of me that can’t help but feel like I need to earn this time somehow, like the nine months of hard work I did the rest of the year wasn’t enough, like I need to have something to show for myself at the end of this break to be worthy of it.

One wish: May I surrender to my confusion, find myself just where I am at, and open to joy.

Something Good

driftwoodbeachbench

Driftwood Beach

1. Why the Self-Help Industry isn’t Changing the World from Andrea Ranae. “To the coaches, healers, guides, mentors and overall do-gooders of the world who don’t want to bring ‘politics’ into your work, consider this: Your work could bring massive sustainable change to many lives, families, and communities, but it won’t if you don’t critically look at the social context that you’re working within.”

2. Because “love” is a verb on Rita’s Notebook. I didn’t write anything directly about what happened in Orlando because we were on the road heading to Oregon, so I’m glad Rita wrote something I could share. I’m also glad Aaryn wrote something, Numb, Cold & Stupefied. And I’m grateful that Jena wrote Dancing Boys + Red Poppies and We Were Strangers Once. In related news, The 49 Orlando Victims and Their Stories and The Unbearable Heartbreak of Club Music and Fuck Your Prayers for Orlando and Recipe For A Shooting and Sometimes It’s The Little Things and finally, thankfully, this: How To Help Orlando Shooting Victims And Their Families.

3. Life in a Magical Gypsy Vardo Style Caravan. The prettiest little tiny house.

4. California will now require high schools to teach consent as part of sex ed.

5. CDC confirms lemon eucalyptus oil as effective as DEET. This post is five years old, but it’s the season so I wanted to make sure you hadn’t missed it. This is what we use, and bonus: it smells really good.

6. Recipes I want to try: Kimchi Grilled Cheese and rustic rhubarb tarts. A recipe I don’t want to try: Typhi Superfood Smoothie Bowl.

7. Rima Baransi dancing in Trieste, Italy. “This is Palestinian dancer Rima Baransi with her family in Trieste, Italy. Her father Assad Baransi recorded this video while encouraging her to dance to the music. They were visiting the town as tourists.”

8. EveryBODY Yoga. Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga instructor “striving to keep yoga inclusive for ALL body types.”

9. An Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From “Go Dog, Go.”

10. How Privileged Are You? a quiz from BuzzFeed. (I scored a 62).

11. What A Photo Of A Muslim-American Soldier’s Grave Can Tell Us. “How one photograph prompted a Republican statesman to back President Obama.”

12. I Tried Whoopi Goldberg’s Medical Cannabis for Periods, and It’s Awesome.

13. Hilarious Emergencies Dogs Would Have If They Could Dial 911. OMG.

14. 3rd Times A Charm on Allowing Myself. Fingers and toes are crossed over here too, Justine (paws too).

15. Listen to Maggie Rogers’ “Alaska,” the Song that Brought Pharrell to Tears. Added to my Soundcloud playlist.

16. 11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism.

17. The 4 Questions To Find Your Life’s Purpose from Kute Blackson.

18. What Productivity Systems Won’t Solve from ZenHabits. Even if you only read the first few paragraphs of this, it will be totally worth it, helped me see what’s truly stopping me in a different light.

19. Letting Go of What “They” Think from Rachel Cole. “Being able to live our lives and make basic choices like what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat without factoring in what other people will think is essential if we are to feel free and unmasked—if we are to stay connected to the immense wisdom of our bodies.” Word. P.S. Rachel will be opening her next session of Feast for applications soon. It’s not an exaggeration at all to say that the program completely changed my life and I absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend it.

20. The Art of Trusting Yourself from Jena Schwartz.

Day of Rest

fallenroses02At one time, these wild pink roses were growing at the edge of someone’s yard. With erosion, they eventually fell over the side and slid down the cliff, but rather than being ruined or even destroyed in the fall, they hung on and kept going — you might even argue they are thriving. There seems to be a metaphor in that, something about not giving up, something about making the best of whatever arises (or in this case, whatever falls).

Gratitude Friday

welcometooregon

1. A safe, relatively easy trip from Colorado to Oregon. There was some minor chaos, but that’s to be expected when traveling with two dogs, one of which is Ringo.

Somewhere in central Oregon

Somewhere in central Oregon

2. Cooler weather for the road trip. There have been times we’ve made this drive when it was 90-100 degrees and we had two dogs in the car, and that’s not fun at all, for anyone. This time it was cool enough they were comfortable in the car, and we got to stop and walk around a lot because it was cool enough outside.

softpinkpeony

3. My peonies, which were still blooming and producing when we left, were so gorgeous this year.

4. My tiny family. Oh how I love my three boys, and the chance to spend more time with them in this beautiful place.

sambeachcouching boysonbeach boysrunningonbeach camoringo beachsam beachcouchingringo5. Waldport. It really is one of my favorite places on the planet.

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

Bonus joy: maple bars, a hot shower, getting here and getting unpacked, sunshine on a day it was supposed to rain, bay shrimp, clean water, a remodeled rental house, visiting with relatives, my new car, quiet, the sound of the real ocean when I’m falling asleep at night, the cool breeze coming in the window over my head, how happy this place makes Eric, that the dogs totally remembered this place and relaxed into it right away, the proximity of everything we need, a new book from Tig Notaro on my Kindle just waiting for me to read it, marionberry jam (I bought it at the grocery store just like it was a regular old jam!), how quiet it is here, the familiarity of this place, Sam trying so hard not to freak out about seagulls, Ringo so sleepy and sweet, a bed that is smaller than our own but still works, a washer and dryer so I can pack light, wi-fi, our not so new cellphones with cameras so good I didn’t have to bring another camera on this trip, a good friend I can trust watering and caring for our garden, three Farmer’s Markets, being able to stay connected even when I’m away.