Monthly Archives: July 2016

Day of Rest


You get home and there’s a thin layer of dust on everything, two dead spiders in the tub, a ring around the toilet bowl, a jungle of weeds in the garden, and nothing in the fridge but various sauces and spreads, two blocks of unopened mozzarella cheese, and one bottle of root beer. Was your house always this dark? Your calendars are all on the wrong month. Your neighborhood feels like a foreign territory. Were there always so many cars parked on the street, so many people and so much noise? You have new neighbors you’ve never met, and the ones in the back corner are burning such a big fire in their backyard that when you first see it you think their house is burning down. There are tomatoes and cucumbers and even a few strawberries, but the potatoes in the back died. You accidentally packed one of your father-in-laws prescriptions in the hurry to get back the road and need to add the Post Office to your to-do list that already feels too long. Later in the day, when there’s still things that need done and you aren’t even unpacked yet, you take a two hour nap.

You forgot to plug the alarm clock back in so you wake up and it’s starting to get light out and your dog is thumping his tail expecting breakfast but you have no idea what time it is. Your head still hurts a little because you are dehydrated. The only thing that felt familiar last night was your bed but only after you closed your eyes, after you finished the book you’ve been reading all summer. You had trouble falling asleep because you can’t forget the horrible thump the family of ducks made as you ran them over with your car that last day of driving. There was nothing you could do, going 75 miles an hour down the highway, cars all around, only seeing them the second before you hit them, so shocked to see a family of ducks on the road somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming that you barely registered what they were before you heard the thud. “There was nothing I could do” and “Where was she even going?” and you put your hands over your eyes as soon as it happens because you knew you wouldn’t be able to keep yourself from looking in the rear view mirror and you wouldn’t be able to unsee that. You try not to think about any of those babies left unharmed, alone, certain to be hit by one of the cars immediately after you, and you hope that they all died at once, that if you hit one you hit them all and it was over that fast.

Life goes by at such a terrifying speed. You make all these plans, agree to so much, sign up and register for things, are going so fast that you can’t avoid doing harm even if you wanted to, and really all you want is to slow down. You want to go through every room in your house, touch and clean every item, carefully placing each one back where it goes, clearing out what’s unnecessary. You wake up in the morning, already anticipating the heat of the day, wondering when you’ll stop feeling so tired.

Gratitude Friday (on Saturday)

The sky that greeted us on HWY 287, finally home in Colorado

The sky that greeted us on HWY 287, finally home in Colorado

1. A safe trip home. It always feels so good to see the landscape change just when we cross the Colorado border, feels so good to see those red rocks and pine trees and big sky — home.

2. A good book “on tape.” We almost always listen to at least one during the drive, usually science fiction or a mystery, and this time I got to pick — The Girl on The Train. It was perfect. The three women who read the parts of the three main characters were especially good, (that can make or break an audio book).

3. Our trips both ways, there and back, were good. This is something to be really grateful for, because being in the car for three days with two dogs during the summer can be kind of miserable, especially if you are tired and ready to get there already or something goes wrong. This summer we had a good run both ways.


Sam loves to ride in the car

Sam loves to ride in the car

roadtrip roadtripdogs

Being good boys in the hotel

Being good boys in the hotel


4. Finding a new trail in Waldport. It’s in the center of town and only two miles, but it’s like you are in the middle of the forest. The day we went, it was drizzling, but the canopy was so thick we didn’t even get wet.

waldporttrail02 waldporttrail5. One more week at the beach. We did a circuit of all our favorite things, walking on our favorite beaches and eating at our favorite places and seeing some of our favorite people. We also went back to Cape Lookout for the first time in about 15 years, and did a terrifying but beautiful hike. It was a good last week.

capelookout02 capelookout newportboats beachstump dandelionboys onabeach lastbeachwalk beachclubbluedoor

Our bedroom at the beach house, one of the most peaceful places

Our bedroom at the beach house, one of the most peaceful places

6. Eric, the reason why this is all so much fun, and why it’s okay when it’s so hard.

The day we accidentally dressed like twins

The day we accidentally dressed like twins

Bonus joy: eating tomatoes and basil and cucumbers from our own garden, sleeping in our own bed, having good neighbors that I’m happy to see after so long gone, a good friend who took such good care of our place while we were away, going grocery shopping, the heat not being as hot as I feared after spending seven weeks where it never got over 70 degrees, a cool shower when it’s hot, a cold glass of water, pay day, how well the new flowers I planted before we left settled in, my foot doing so much better, giving myself permission to take it slow, a two hour nap.

Three Truths and One Wish


1. Truth: I’m sad to leave, AND ready to go home.  I know I said the same thing last week, but it’s still true. The only difference is that I might be a little more ready to go home now than I was a week ago.

2. Truth: This summer may from now on be known as the “things aren’t always as bad as they seem” vacation. This trip was filled with a lot of yuck, some of which turned out to not be as terrible as first thought, and other stuff that seems hard now but might end up being for the best. In the moment, it can feel so claustrophobic and unworkable, but with some time and distance and a little more information, it might not be so bad after all. All I can do is keep trying, not give up.

3. Truth: I couldn’t do any of this without Eric. I couldn’t afford this vacation, I couldn’t drive for two days with two dogs to get here, and I certainly couldn’t meet any of the confusion and challenges of life without his support and good cheer. Okay, I probably could — but why?

One wish: Wherever we travel and whatever we encounter, may we meet it with good cheer and wisdom and compassion, and may we have friends and loved ones to support us along the way. And because this week seems to warrant an extra wish, I offer you this metta (loving kindness) practice from Anam Thubten:

May we be safe from inner and outer harm,
may we be free from guilt, shame, and hatred,
may we enjoy mental and physical well being,
may we live with the ease of an open heart,
may we go beyond our inner darkness,
and awaken to our radiant true nature as boundless love.

May we express loving kindness toward each other so that war, conflict and every form of strife come to an end, allowing peace and harmony to pervade the entire world.

Something Good

1. 40 Things Everyone But You Is Doing This Summer. As I spend the last few days of my summer vacation on the Oregon Coast, a trip that had its share of drama and yuck, I find this post especially hilarious.

2. Study Finds Drop In Prescription Drugs In Medical Marijuana States.

3. #FromDoubtToDone – A FREE 30-day challenge with Life is Limitless.

4. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week.

5. Recipes I want to try: Pad Thai Salad and Sticky Orange Peanut Chicken.

6. Just a panda enjoying his popsicle.

7. Twitter Bars Milo Yiannopoulos in Wake of Leslie Jones’s Reports of Abuse.

8. FACT CHECK: Donald Trump’s Republican Convention Speech, Annotated.

9. Roll Call: Are You Here? from Jena Schwartz. “Writing rambling blog posts like this one is one of my ways of saying, “I’m here.” This is a way of showing up and getting my ego out of the way, the ego and its wish to write something beautiful or smart, to add something, anything, new to the conversation.”

10. Managing the gap, from Seth Godin.

11. How Do I Put My Mind to Rest? by Karen Maezen Miller. “It can be painful to admit that we create most of our own suffering, but even more painful to deny it.”

12. The 4 Noble Truths of Emotional Suffering by Anyen Rinpoche.

13. The Bliss Station from Austin Kleon.

14. The August Break, 2016 with Susannah Conway. This is one of my favorite yearly challenges.

Gratitude Friday


The picture I took because my mom said, “that would make a pretty picture.”

1. Spending time with family. Playing cards, eating together, walking on the beach, talking on the phone and texting.

2. Long walks on the beach. The other day the tide was low enough that we walked all the way from Waldport to Seal Rock. We also walked at Ona Beach and there was a long stretch with no people, other dogs, or birds so the dogs got to go offlead for a longer time than before, and we saw a heron fishing. We also went hiking at Cape Perpetua.

onabeachbridgeducks onabeachshack rockhound sealrockbeach offleadononabeach cliffrocks onabeachheronmesamandbigtree3. My tiny family, and a partner who is there to support and help me. I’m not gonna lie, kind and gentle reader, we’ve been having a rough couple of weeks. I couldn’t do this without Eric.



4. Friends who can step in with help, even though they aren’t “here.”

5. Sleep. Getting enough of it, that particular kind of rest where you can relax and let everything else go is such a comfort, so essential.

Bonus joy: an amazing dinner last night at the kookiest little restaurant, leftovers, marionberry pie, clean cold water, a warm shower, coffee with a friend, beautiful weather, the color of the ocean this afternoon, the sound of the waves, a slight breeze, a long nap, dog crates, smart and compassionate dog trainers, an unexpected butterfly, Eric making me laugh.

Three Truths and One Wish

onatable1. Truth: There are some things I don’t tell you. Even though I’m pretty open, honest on this blog, there are a few things I just don’t write about here. Some are other people’s dis-ease, illness, and addiction, and some are my own. It seems like in the past year I’ve had to be quieter here than before because there’s been more of that going on behind the scenes. Take this vacation for example. Some major things have gone down that I can’t post about. I know that’s right, but part of me longs for the comfort of telling you.

2. Truth: I’m ready to go home, but I’m sad about leaving. We have one week left, and most of the time I feel simultaneously like I never want to leave AND I can’t get back to Colorado fast enough. It’s the strangest thing. I love it here so much — the beach, the ocean, the weather, all the green, the fresh berries and veggies and seafood, the long lazy days, two and a half hour walks every morning, naps, reading books, nowhere I have to be and nothing I have to do, family so close by. But I also love Colorado — the mountains, the river, the parks where we walk two hours every morning, my garden, my tiny little house with my comfortable bed and new bathroom, my friends, my favorite yoga teachers, my meditation cushion, my backyard, my physical therapist, the dogs’ vets, everything I’m used to and need right there. It’s confusing.

3. Truth: Just because something is the right choice doesn’t make it easy. I know it’s right to keep quiet about some things. I know it’s right that Eric and I live in Colorado, so far away from our families. I know that vacations have to end at some point. And just because something is true, inevitable even, doesn’t make it easy. I know that I can’t protect people I love or myself from bad things happening, that we are all going to get sick, lose our minds a little, make bad choices that have consequences, maybe even get old, and eventually die.

One wish: May we all get our version of whatever comfort and strength we need. No matter how bad it gets, may we find a way to keep going. May we find the magic and the medicine.

Something Good

1. How to compare ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ to actual hate groups, a video from In related news, What writers of color say we all should read now, and the Free Hugs guy at it again, and Black Twitter Countered Tragedy With These 6 Uplifting Hashtags, and A History of White Delusion, and Campaign Zero, and 13 Tweets Explain The Deadly Impact White Privilege Has On Black People, and Black Lives Matter Just Delivered Their 10 Point Manifesto, and This Is What They Want, and Black Lives Matter: A Reading List, and White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism.

2. GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests. “This land grab idea is just as ludicrous as denying climate change, just as detached from reality, and similarly comes at the expense of our public health and protection of our public lands and resources.” Blergh…

3. An Australian photographer created a breathtaking photo series that shows gender diverse and transgender children exactly how they want to be seen. I related news, this moving ad on transgender bathroom rights will air for Fox News viewers during the final night of the Republican National Convention.

4. Recipe I want to try: Sliders Four Ways.

5. A devastated French fan seen crying after his team’s ‪#‎Euro2016‬ defeat to Portugal has been consoled by a young Portuguese fan. I love this little dude so much.

6. The Responsibility Glitch. *sigh*

7. Read These 23 Books And Authors When The Injustice Is Overwhelming. #readingoals

8. Awake to the Pain. “Body terrorism, the targeting, blame and mistreatment of people based on bias, ignorance, hate and power differentials, requires our attention, voices and actions.”

9. For The Record, a post from Jennifer Aniston. “The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing.”

10. Santosha from The Cognitive Canine, the dog trainer who has talked me down from a ledge so many times, a good reminder about a practice that can benefit more than just our relationship with our dogs. #reframe

11. 12+ Kids Who’ll Restore Your Faith In Humanity. I don’t know about that, but some of them sure are cute.

12. Model Photographs and Shames Naked Woman at Her Gym and Things That Are Not Always Compliments For Fat People from Dances with Fat.

13. Buy One, Get One Free, wisdom from Rachel Cole. “I want to make something very explicit: food restriction (by any name, real or perceived) almost always leads to overconsumption (by any name, real or perceived). Buy one, get one free—like it or not.”

14. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup, “Generally, we go through life with little awareness of what we are doing, let alone the peaceful and joyful nature of our lives. We mostly think about the past and dream about the future while missing what is happening right now, in this moment. If we are not aware, we are not fully living. We are like sleepwalkers or zombies. To be alive and healthy, we need to wake up.”

15. Mary Lambert’s new video, Hang Out With You. Love it.

16. 3 Keys to Building a Successful Writing Career. I’d rename this to “3 Keys to Building a Successful Writing Practice” or “3 Keys to Building a Successful Writing Life,” because why do we always have to make the good things into our career? It can matter a lot without becoming our job, doesn’t have to be limited to our work.

17. You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice. This is an older post from Danielle LaPorte that I’ve shared before, but it seems worth revisiting.