Monthly Archives: August 2016

Five Years Ago


Five years ago. This was today’s prompt for August Break. I looked at Timehop first to see what I might find there, but there was only one thing — a Facebook post about how I wanted to “take a riverboat cruise in Europe with lots of old people and wine,” (still want to, btw). Next I found my journal from then and started to read through my morning pages. There was lots of the same old work and family drama, some about my struggle with my eating disorder, and other stuff about the dogs, (at the time Sam was just barely not a puppy anymore and Dexter was eight).

Then I realized that five years ago was when I started this blog. Five years and two days ago to be exact, a post titled simply, “Beginning.” The anniversary of that passed without me even noticing. I was distracted by coming back to work and WordPress didn’t remind me.

I’ve written 1583 posts in five years. A lot has changed in that time, and a lot has stayed the same. I’ve learned so much, cried so much, laughed so hard, and shared so much good stuff. This practice, this space, my kind and gentle readers, is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, one of the best things I’ve ever made happen. I can see how it might morph over time, the design and what I write about and what I have to offer, but I can’t imagine ever giving it up. Thank you so much for showing up. ❤

Three Truths and One Wish

A watermelon, from my garden!

A watermelon, from my garden!

1. Truth: I’m back at work at CSU. *sigh* Students are moving into the dorms today and tomorrow, but classes don’t start until Monday, so it’s still relatively quiet — unless you count the construction on the new stadium and elsewhere. I am always amazed in the first days back how tired I get working. My days are full up just taking care of the regular stuff — meditating, writing, blogging, walking and training the dogs, doing my physical therapy, going to the gym or yoga, doing laundry, paying bills, making and going to various appointments to care for my body or car, grocery shopping and cooking, cleaning and maintaining the house, tending the garden, cultivating a marriage, etc.  Add eight hours of intensiveness mental, creative, social work to that, and by the end of the day all I want to do is eat dinner and go straight to bed.

2. Truth: It doesn’t help that I take on extra things. This semester, I have a Wild Writing class, am getting certified as a meditation instructor through the Open Heart Project, am doing a Canine Parkour class with Ringo, got a trainer for both Sam and Ringo to come and do private sessions at our house and am doing lots of extra work with them in general, am subbing some yoga classes, got the crazy idea that I could do a Wild Writing, Crazy Wisdom class at my house once a month with a smaller group of women, am the officiant of a wedding next month, and want to start running and weight training again now that my foot is better.  And I need to paint our house and have a couple of smaller trees in the backyard taken out and hopefully plant a new tree before it gets too cold. *sigh*

3. Truth: Maybe rather than trying to refine my effort, I should consider surrender. There’s a calm, a confidence I generate during the summer, a certainty about what needs done and what can wait, about who I am and what matters to me and what I want, a general and overall well-being that is so clear and easy — and somehow begins to erode as the semester wears on. Instead of feeling bad about that, I’m going to get curious about it. I’m going to lower the bar. I’m going to ask for help. I’m going to eat and rest and exercise even if it means other things don’t get done.

One wish: No matter our circumstances or particular struggles, may we relax with what is, not forget ourselves, not give up, and most importantly maintain our sense of humor.

Something Good

Gentle breeze, image by Benny Jackson at Unsplash.

Gentle breeze, image by Benny Jackson at Unsplash.

1. Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure. Who cares about work or productivity, this is an important distinction for your life.

2. These Eerie Photos Show The Ghosts Of Olympics Past. “When the medals have all been won and the people leave, aging Olympics villages become otherworldly.”

3. Pioneers of Television: Robin Williams Remembered. You can watch the full episode online for free.

4. Kohl’s and Mudd – stop stealing the work of independent artists. Sign the petition. In related news, Copyright infringement by KOHL’S.

5. High rents force some in Silicon Valley to live in vehicles.

6. Aug. 8, 1971: Enchanted Forest Opens. I spent many hours here as a kid, and took my nieces and nephews there, still have such fond memories of it.

7. Martial Arts School Teaches Kids It’s OK to Cry. Good stuff.

8. Recipes I want to try: Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie, and zucchini parmesan crisps (cause we’ve got zucchini coming out of our ears, our garden is crazy with it), and Blooming Potato Bake, and all of these Simple Salad Recipes.

9. Flight attendant adopts stray dog after he waited outside her hotel room every night for four months. I’m such a sucker for these stories where the dog chooses their own human. Here’s a short video about the same, and one more.

10. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “There is a teaching that says that behind all hardening and tightening and rigidity of the heart, there’s always fear. But if you touch fear, behind fear there is a soft spot. And if you touch that soft spot, you find the vast blue sky. You find that which is ineffable, ungraspable, and unbiased, that which can support and awaken us at any time.”

11. Seasons from Austin Kleon, about how creativity has seasons.

12. The alchemy of grief from Andrea Scher. I can’t stop thinking about what she shares here that Francis Weller says, that we have “undigested sorrows.”

13. Mythical Beasts: Photographer Captures The Majestic Beauty Of Maine Coons. Beautiful.

14. Amy Winehouse: 10 Great Unreleased Songs. When I was in Oregon this summer, my 17 year old niece was listening to “Back to Black” and it made me stupid happy. But also so sad — she was so amazing and she’s gone.

15. eShakti, possibly my new favorite online store. Because this: custom sizing!

16. Giving beds to homeless dogs. The first one reminds me so much of my Sam when he was little. In related news, this puppy stalking a toy lion is ridiculously cute.

17. Love story keeps Rainbow Restaurant running. And, they have the best falafel.

18. Nurture Your Whole Self, “a 4-week program designed to awaken your truest expression of well-being.” This looks really good. Register by August 22nd and receive an extra 30 minutes of coaching FREE!

Day of Rest

Sunset on Waldport Beach, two years ago

Sunset on Waldport Beach, two years ago

I’m feeling melancholy today. I got an email from my mom, and that makes me miss her, (don’t stop sending them though, Mom!). I miss being in Oregon and so close. I miss the beach. I’ve been continuing to declutter the house and today I worked on a drawer full of the dogs things. There were various sizes of puppy collars and harnesses that I was finally able to let go of, along with a few old toys and prescriptions. One of Dexter’s collars was in there too and when I put it on Ringo, it fit perfectly, so I’m keeping that.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work after being on vacation all summer, and that always makes me feel sad. Summer passes so quickly and that reminds me how fast life goes. I also always feel a bit worried because I’m relatively sane during summer break, and go a bit crazy during the other nine months of the year. I just want to continue to be well fed and rested and able to maintain a reasonable speed. I’ve taken on a few extra responsibilities this coming semester, so the bar has to be lowered for just about everything else.

I’ve accumulated a lot, and I do too much. It makes me think of the quote from Rumi,

“You wander from room to room
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck!”

Maybe I don’t need to try so hard. Maybe the life I’ve been seeking, yearning for, working towards, chasing after is right here, right now.


Gratitude Friday

Foothills view on our walk the other morning

Foothills view on our walk the other morning

1. Being home. I’m still conscious of how nice it is to be home, even two weeks later.

View from our front porch

View from our front porch

2. Really great resources for dog training. I haven’t said much about it here, but the week before we were supposed to leave the coast, Sam and Ringo started fighting. It wasn’t super bad and no one got hurt, but it did mean some big changes and reaching out for help. We are now working really hard to get them back on track and they are doing so much better, (a huge issue was lack of sleep — we were on vacation, but were working them harder and letting them sleep less and didn’t realize the impact of that until it was too late). I’ll write more about this later, I’m sure, but for now I’m just glad to have help — human, text, and tool.

3. My dogs. So willing to start over, to forgive/forget my mistakes, to keep teaching me new stuff. So smart and so goofy at the same time.

summerlounging toohot patiolounging

5. My garden. Not producing as much as it has in years past, but still such a good thing.

tomatoes latestrawberries

Bonus joy: peaches, peach pie, cucumbers, cold clean water, a warm shower, my new car, clean sheets, good books, naps, cooler mornings, long walks with Eric and the dogs, how hard Eric and I laughed at our fortunes at lunch the other day (mine said “There’s a secret romance blooming! Go for it, in spite of your hesitation” and his said “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”), some good training sessions with the dogs, Ringo singing in the kitchen, Sam sleeping in with me, one more weekend of vacation, lunch with one of my favorites, the surprise storm, a dream in which the foxes came back.

Something Good


1. Introducing the 2032 Olympic Team, a cute video, except that there is only one girl. In light of that, I suggest these two in addition: 6-Year-Old Plays Basketball Like A Girl and Baby climbing indoors.

2. The heartwarming moment a man breaks down as his mother he’s not seen in a decade travels half way across the world to surprise him.

3. Boycotting Driscoll’s Berries. I’m in. I don’t need berries this bad, ever.

4. Ultramarathon runner Dion Leonard adopted stray dog Gobi after she followed him across China. I love this story so much.

5. Recipes I want to try: the browniest cookies and Easy Beef And Garlic Noodles and PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Guacamole Deviled Eggs.

6. Support Danielle Ate the Sandwich’s TERRIBLE New Album!

7. The Fitness Marshall on YouTube. So FUN!

8. Norway Prisons vs. U.S. Prisons.

9. 20+ Hilarious First-Date Disasters That Will Make You Laugh.

10. What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? Yeah, what if?

11. Naomi Shihab Nye — Your Life Is a Poem, an OnBeing interview which reminded me of some of my favorite lines of poetry: “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

12. Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience.

13. Beat Stress With Our 30-Day Meditation Challenge from Refinery29, but even better your practice is guided by the amazing Adreanna Limbach.

14. the struggle IS real: the ten tell-tale signs of burnout (and your new to-do list) from Sas Petherick.

15. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: How to Establish a Daily Practice Of Almost Anything, in Six Steps and What is the Eightfold Path?

16. Taking the long way home on Rita’s Notebook.

17. Here’s What Happens To Your Body When You Hike The Appalachian Trail. “Inspirational backpacking memoirs often paint a vivid picture of the ‘transformative’ effects of a long-distance hike. But here’s what those kinds of books too often leave out: Unless you’re diligent about creating a new life for yourself, when you get home, you transform back.”

Gratitude Friday


1. Morning walks. Soon it will be cooling down, getting darker in the morning, and all the people who come out for summer will be gone and we’ll have the park back to ourselves again, mostly.

2. Peach season. It’s the best thing about August in Colorado. Eric made a peach pie on our bbq grill the other night that is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.


3. Our garden. It’s maybe not as pretty this year and certainly not producing as much, partly because we were gone so long thus neglecting it and partly because we had close to forty 90 degree days this season, but I still love it so much.

2016frontgarden watermelon02 sunflower03 beeplantandbee

4. Movies with Eric in the “fancy” theater. The one with the reclining, reserved seats. We went to Ghostbusters a few days ago and had the whole theater to ourselves, and are going to the new Star Trek movie this weekend.


5. Being home. Of course, I miss Oregon — the beach, my family, the good food, the lack of responsibility. But I’m also so glad to be home, back in my tiny little house.

Bonus joy: Seeing friends, the Korean Sweet Potato Falafel tacos at Blind Pig, a glass of clean cold water, that the bee in my hair and the other one on Sam’s leg didn’t sting us, a few cool days in the midst of a string of hot ones, clean sheets, not needing to do everything right now, watching movies, peach pie oatmeal for breakfast, Eric taking the dogs running, one more week of vacation, reading in bed at night, being able to sleep at night because I remember a time not so long ago when that wasn’t the way it worked, selling our car to someone who can use it (win/win), gas prices dropping again, catching up on the laundry, going barefoot and my foot not even hurting.