Monthly Archives: August 2016

Something Good


We don’t have pumpkins in our garden this year, and I miss them.

1. Tears for Fears – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on hammered dulcimer by Ted Yoder.

2. 37 Times Moms Totally Owned Parenting Humor On Twitter.

3. “My three-and-a-half-year-old son likes to play trucks. He likes to do jigsaw puzzles. He likes to eat plums. And he likes to wear sparkly tutus.” Everything about this.

4. 10 MUTTS Comic Strips That Remind Us Why We Love Dogs.

5. He’s known simply as Mr. Happy, and he’s been delighting morning commuters for 30 years.

6. Leslie Jones faces constant abuse – because that’s how racism works. In related news, Celebrities Rally Around Leslie Jones After Vicious Internet Hack.

7. I created the burkini to give women freedom, not to take it away.

8. N. K. Jemisin on Diversity in Science Fiction and Inspiration From Dreams.

9. This Company Lets Kids Design Their Own Clothes. In related news, Custom Stuffed Animals from Kids’ Drawings & Art.

10. Grace VanderWaal blows the judges (and us!) away with another original song on “America’s Got Talent.” I shared this on Facebook this caption: “Dear Fame, please, please, please don’t ruin her. She’s a beautiful thing.”

11. One of my favorite writers started a blog.

12. Color film was designed for white people. Here’s what it did to dark skin.

13. This 9-year-old distributes handmade toiletry bags for homeless women in L.A with her charity Khloe Kares. #BlackGirlMagic In related news, Compassion you can hold on to: Khloe makes bags for homeless women in her neighborhood and fills them with supplies.

14. This is so disgusting: Pharma CEO gave herself an $18 million raise after hiking EpiPen prices and Big Pharma’s dirty secret: EpiPen was developed entirely with taxpayer money.

15. ZenPen E-Course. This latest installment is going to be so great, because “To celebrate the release of my book and card deck Body Cards: Insight from the Body, Wisdom for the Soul, I will be offering ZenPen for FREE this autumn! I’ve also recently re-vamped ZenPen to include wisdom from Body Cards, so you’ll be able to get to know many of the cards in this month-long experience.”

16. David Becker charged with sexually assaulting 2 women, only gets 2 years’ probation. The tagline for this link came up as “this is a problematic trend.” Ya think?!

17. A professional opinion: You don’t need a psychiatrist to know there’s something wrong with Donald Trump.

Trump should never be president, but not because he may or may not have a mental disorder. He shouldn’t be president because he disparages women, denigrates Mexicans and Muslims and mocks the disabled. He shouldn’t be president because he demonizes the media and impugns those who challenge him. He shouldn’t be president because he insinuates that his rivals might be assassinated and advocates the commission of war crimes. He shouldn’t be president because he rejects science and demonstrates a remarkable lack of knowledge or interest when it comes to foreign and domestic policy.

18. What the media gets wrong about Donald Trump’s voters. *Spoiler alert: Trump supporters shared fundamental confusion? Fear of other.

19. The Only Way To Respond When Someone Says They Support Trump. “What black people need is dismantling of white supremacy in all of its forms.” I’d go further and say this is what America needs. In related news, What we can all do to be better Americans.

20. Police pull their guns on a 5th grader. This makes me so angry I want to throw up. This poor kid! I keep thinking about where I was, what I had to worry about in the fifth grade. This can’t keep happening. We have to do better. I want to do better.

21. The Art of Humility from Jena Schwartz.

22. Writing Is Work, And It’s Art, Except When It’s Not. In related news, and also from Chuck Wendig, Longevity, Patience, And Shittin’ Pants.

23. Knowing What’s Best vs Doing What’s Best. “Make the appointment. Ask the question. Do the things you would do for the people you love, you are every bit as deserving of care as they are. You might be surprised by just how much your family wants to and is able to do for you.”

24. where should we start? a beautifully written piece about depression and addiction.

25. What Makes a Good Life: Revelatory Learnings from Harvard’s 75-Year Study of Human Happiness. *Spoiler alert: “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”

26. These cartoons hilariously describe the double standards women face at work every day.

27. Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up. I’ve shared this, probably more than once, but it’s worth another reminder.

28. Six Ted Talks for dog lovers.

29. SNL – Breaking Character Compilation, part one and part two.

30. Why Katy Perry Made Me Cry from Jamie Greenwood. “We are burdened by pieces of ourselves that make no sense.”

31. Are you hanging by a thread? from Danielle LaPorte.

32. What Are the Three Kinds of Suffering? from Lion’s Roar.

33. If You Don’t Get The Problem With Cultural Appropriation, Listen To This.

34. Recipes I want to try: zucchini rice and cheese gratin and Sliced Tomato Gratin and Baked Coconut Chicken Strips and Four Three-Ingredient Appetizers.

35. 7 Yoga Poses To Help You Sleep Better.

36. Why Starting Therapy Is So Freaking Hard.

37. Community Cleans Up ‘KKK’ Graffiti On Family’s Home Before They Return.

Day of Rest


I am…compassion. “Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.” –Andrew Boyd, Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the The Universe #augustbreak2016 #AwakeAugust

Gratitude Friday


1. My boys. Other than pictures for the August Break photo challenge and a whole bunch for work, the only thing I had time to take pictures of this week were these two. They are doing so well with their training, and continue to be such good company.

2. A new therapist. She’s good. I like her and I needed it. Bonus joy: since I’ve met my yearly deductible and she bills my insurance, it’s cheap.

3. Good books. Reading is one of the only true pleasures I manage to give myself no matter how busy or tired I am otherwise.

4. Cooler weather. I know I wasn’t even here for the worst of the summer weather this year, but I still had plenty enough of it to be over it.

5. Friday. There’s lots to do this weekend, but I’m still looking forward to a few days off from work to rest and have a bit of fun.

Bonus joy: coming home tired from work and Eric having dinner ready and dogs walked, clean sheets, soaking in the tub, a waterproof phone, my new car, seven applications for the internship position I’d filled at the end of last semester but had to rehire for at the last minute, knowing who I am, allowing myself to rest when I need it, sitting in the shade in the backyard, the sound of bees, a really good salad, fresh cucumbers from my garden, good neighbors, being able to say “no,” a good pair of jeans.

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: This is not sustainable. And by “this,” I mean the way I’m doing life. I am trying to do all the things, and then some. Even if I weren’t a highly sensitive introvert with an autoimmune disorder and lingering PTSD, it would be too much for me to keep up.

2. Truth: Even though I know that, I don’t know how to stop, or even slow down. My therapist asked me what I might be able to let go of, and I couldn’t think of a single thing. Not only that, what I started thinking about instead were all the things I wanted to add, needed to do in addition to what I’m already doing.

3. Truth: I hope the solution doesn’t arise from the ashes of a full on burnout. I’d really like to figure this out before hitting some awful rock bottom. I’d like to make choices about what I want and what to do from a place where I feel like I have options, not a place of chaos, panic, or collapse.

One wish: May my choices come from pure love and wisdom, reflecting sanity and clarity rather than fear or confusion or exhaustion.

Something Good


1. Prisma all the things! Seriously, it’s hard not to get obsessed with this app.

2. He was supposed to be a doctor, but decided to improve communities through dance instead. “If you are gifted in something, it’s probably a hint that you have a contribution to make to society that you’re uniquely positioned to make.”

3. Sisters Episode 1: Strawberries {The Kloons}. Two 30 year old guys lip syncing a conversation between two 60 year old women. So funny.

4. Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered. This is so creepy!

5. Blue Q Socks. Love these!

6. Internet helps girl with autism replace beloved shirt—150 times. “People are inherently good and kind, and I’m glad I’ve been able to be a recipient of that kindness.” In related news, “This lad’s grandparents couldn’t afford a new car when theirs broke, so he bought them a new one and surprised them with it.”

7. Wisdom from Susan Piver,


8. Two rival gang members came together to create an underground cooking movement.

9. Recipes I want to try: Sausage Pretzel Party Ring and Cheesy Chicken Balls.

10. Donald Trump is calling for “extreme vetting” of immigrants. Can his own supporters pass the test? These people TERRIFY me.

11. A Flowchart For People Who Get Defensive When Talking About Racism.

12. After 40+ years of teaching — what these students did for their retiring teacher will definitely make you cry.

13. Get fit using a chair. Or a bed.

14. Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors.

15. the HAES® files: I Heart HAES-Informed Movement Specialists: One Woman’s Journey Home to Her Body by Mikalina Kirkpatrick, one of my favorite writers.

16. Icelandic turf houses are old-school green with a Viking twist.

17. 14 confessions from people who were fat-shamed at the doctor’s office. “#FatSideStories is exposing a scary truth about going to the doctor while fat.”

18. KING: A tale of two face-eating men in Florida — one white, one black.

19. On Social Media, As In Life, White People Are Way Less Likely To Talk About Race.

20. Why Am I So Fat? “A man wrote to me to ask why I gained weight. Here’s my response.”

21. The lonely island: abandoned houses of the Hebrides – in pictures.

22. The Art of Staying Positive from Jena Schwartz, which I might say is more about “the art of not giving up.”

23. The Only Remedy for FOMO (fear of missing out) from Be More With Less.

24. Procrastination can be a form of intuition from Danielle LaPorte.

25. Enjoli. “I’m newly sober and dog-paddling through the booze all around me.”

26. To Cut Food Waste, Spain’s Solidarity Fridge Supplies Endless Leftovers. A cafe in my community is doing something similar with The FoCo Freedge.

27. Gold’s Gym Posts Stunningly Misogynistic Ad; Activists Shut It Down.

28. Looking into Laziness by Pema Chödrön.

Day of Rest


If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders.

This morning when I was supposed to be meditating, my mind started to wander. I started thinking about the jar of Obi and Dexter’s ashes on my shrine, then about the unfinished story I started in a Creative Writing class at Western Oregon University — “Ashes to Ashes,” about a young woman returning her father’s ashes to his hometown in Alaska, a place she’d never been, where she meets family she never knew she had. I thought as I wasn’t meditating about working on that story again, and flashed to meeting with my new therapist this week (yes, I have a new therapist), thinking maybe I might tell her that I’ve always wanted a particular life (as a writer), that I don’t have it and feel like I never will — and as I thought that instead of meditating, I started to cry.

In Wild Writing, when someone can’t read something they wrote without crying, we say it’s because it’s the truth. When you cut that close to the bone, it can surprise you, and the only possible response to that tenderness is tears, emotion that rises up before you are able to catch it, cut it off. That’s how you know for sure it’s the truth, and that you should consider giving that realization some attention.

And so today, I’m giving that truth some attention — that I know exactly the life I want, that I don’t currently have it, and the fear that I never will makes me deeply sad.

Gratitude Friday


1. Our garden. This week we picked and ate our first watermelon and we are still getting strawberries. I especially love the view of the front garden from our bedroom window. I’m so glad we decided to convert the front into garden space instead of keeping the lawn.

2. A successful first week back at work. I am SO tired though, and my job just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger, even though I’m the same size.

3. Some good training sessions with the dogs. We have a private lesson tomorrow morning, and Ringo and I start our Canine Parkour class on Monday. I feel reasonably confident that we can do this.

4. Sam and Ringo. This week I realized that they love me as much as I love them, in the way that dogs love humans that is.

samwithkong ringocloseup

5. Eric. This week I started getting kitchen counter love notes again, which almost makes going back to work worth it. I also am loving all the cool pictures he’s been making with the Prisma app.

ringoprisma02 samprisma

Bonus joy: free lunch, watermelon from our garden, a cold clean glass of water, a warm shower, clean sheets, weather cool enough that I have to put socks on, making people laugh, my new car, getting all the laundry done on Friday, walking with each dog alone rather than both of them together, going to bed at night and reading something good on my Kindle, ibuprofen, fresh peaches, peanut butter, texts from my brother, good friends that feel close even when I don’t get to see them that often, healthy babies, how my little friend Sam saw me today and wanted to crawl up in my lap, listening to a room full of English people (students and faculty) share their favorite words, the enthusiasm of freshman their first week on campus, the sidewalk repairs almost finished on our block, remembering to bring my umbrella on a day it rains, good poetry and the poets who write it, dresses with pockets.