Monthly Archives: October 2016

Something Good


1. This American Life – Seriously – Sara Bareilles and Leslie Odom, Jr. “This American Life asked Sara Bareilles (Broadway’s “Waitress”) to imagine what President Obama might be thinking about the current election and Donald Trump, but can’t say publicly. Leslie Odom, Jr., performs the song.” This is my new favorite song, seriously.

2. Recipes I want to try: potato pizza, even better, and Baked Apple Pie Dumplings, and salted brown butter crispy treats, and Leftover Halloween Candy Cookie Bars, and apple cider caramels. In related news, these meatless burgers taste, feel, and even bleed exactly like beef.

3. If you want to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, here are a few things you can do: sign this petition, or check out this list: The Best Ways to Support the #NoDAPL Protectors. In related news, Bernie Sanders’ letter to President Obama urging him to take action. And this, How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective, and this, Thousands of Wild Buffalo Appear Out of Nowhere at Standing Rock, and this, A Golden Eagle Lands On Standing Rock, Allows Water Protectors To Touch Him, and this, 3 Things You Need to Know About Indigenous Efforts Against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and this, Listen to Shailene Woodley’s passionate speech on why protesting the Dakota Access pipeline matters.

4. Wisdom from Michele Burmaster, How The Fitness Industry Stays In Business. In related news, These Facts Prove Everything You Know About Weight Loss Is a Lie.

5. How did the US deal with Native Americans? By forcing their children into boarding schools so they could become “civilized.”

6. When this man saw a girl being touched inappropriately on the bus, he took action. He put himself at risk, but he knew it was the right thing to do.

7. Shaun King on Upcoming “Injustice Boycott Initiative.” “On December the 5th, hundreds of thousands of us are coming together to boycott injustice in this country… not for a day or two days, but our model really is the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted for 381 days until they saw change.”

8. Academia, Love Me Back. “The entire field of academia is broken and erases the narratives of people like me. We all have work to do to fix the lack of diversity and understanding among marginalized communities. We all have work to do.” So good, such an important read.

9. Before European Christians forced gender roles, Native Americans acknowledged 5 genders.

10. The verdict for those armed militants who took over a federal building is white privilege in action.

11. The great failure of the Indians mascot debate? Thinking of it only as racism.

12. Groom Cooks Bacon In Cabin. When A Stray Dog Appears, She Leads Bachelor Party To Her Puppies.

13. Patton Oswalt: ‘I’ll Never Be at 100 Percent Again.’ “As serious fans of his comedy know, Mr. Oswalt has suffered from depression, but this, he said, was far worse. ‘Depression is more seductive,’ he said. ‘Its tool is: ‘Wouldn’t it be way more comfortable to stay inside and not deal with people?’ Grief is an attack on life. It’s not a seducer. It’s an ambush or worse. It stands right out there and says: ‘The minute you try something, I’m waiting for you.'” Word.

14. Sewing Hope. “12 year old Campbell spends his time making hundreds of teddy bears for sick children.”

15. How Harnaam Kaur went from bullied teenager to body confidence activist.

16. NY Times Prints EVERY SINGLE SMEAR Trump Has Tweeted Since Getting Nomination – Takes Up Two Full Pages.

17. Free Mandala Workshop. “Learn how to design, create and interpret meaningful mandalas in this free 5 day online workshop.”

18. How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains: Sara Lazar at TEDxCambridge 2011. “Neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s amazing brain scans show meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving our memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress.” Pretty compelling.

19. Heart Wide Open Hurts from Jena Schwartz.

20. Wisdom from Seth Godin, Fear of outsiders and On being irritated.

21. What’s underneath wishful thinking? from Danielle LaPorte.

22. A Cooling Mist Of NaNoWriMo-Flavored Novel Writing Advice on Terrible Minds.

23. 100 Must-Read Feminist Books.

24. Wisdom from Naomi Newman,

On every fourth step, you are meant to fall down. Not occasionally, not once, not twice, but on every fourth step.
The ground opens up, the wind blows, a branch hits you in the head, you trip on stones, your heart breaks, you’ve got to fold the laundry, and they’ve closed the two left lanes.
Here on the fourth step, all the forces gather together to stop you. And some people, when they fall down, they lie there for the rest of their lives.
And some people learn how to fall-down-get-up. That is one move. Fall-down-get-up.

25. White Feminists Gotta Go: Amy Schumer’s White Woman Foolishness. “By attempting to replicate Beyoncé’s “Formation,” Schumer is firmly placing herself, as a white woman, at the center of a story where she has no place: black women’s self-love and sexual freedom.” In related news, Yes, Amy Schumer Is Racist, And So Is Her Executive Producer.

26. I Didn’t Unfriend You Over ‘Politics.’ This is about humanity. “The entire Trump/Pence ticket’s platform revolves around making other individuals be made to feel less than. It is divisive. It is harmful. And it stands in stark opposition to every ideal this country was founded upon.”

27. Terrible real estate agent photographs, a hilarious collection.

28. Photographer Spends Hours on Bridges to Capture Colorful Overhead Portraits of Street Vendors. So beautiful.

29. Man Arranges Leaves, Sticks, And Stones To Create Magical Land Artworks.

30. The U.S.-Mexico border opened for 3 minutes. Hugs not Walls.

Gratitude Friday


1. Fall color. The sky. The leaves — this week it’s the cottonwoods turning golden.

falltrail02 morningfallcottonwoods

2. Morning walks with the dogs. It’s so dark when we leave, and for most of the walk, the stars are still out and I have to leave my headlamp on almost the whole time. I saw an owl the other morning, which you have to be out pretty early to manage. For about the last half hour, the sun is rising behind us, so I spend a lot of time stopping to turn around and look.

morningdarkwalk morningblackriver

3. Eric. Because, apple pie oatmeal and kitchen counter love notes.


kitchencounterlovenote06 kitchencounterlovenote05

4. Sam and Ringo. Playing, lounging, making me laugh.

playingfall whatmom

5. Good people. Ones who write with me, cry with me, listen, go on dates with me, send surprises, give gifts and hugs, make me laugh, care, let the world break their heart, don’t give up, don’t lose their sense of humor, keep trying to make things better.


Bonus joy: sleeping in with Sam, how good it feels to stretch, eating warm soup on a cold day, insurance for cars and bodies, sleepy dogs, clean laundry, clean sheets, my new car, flower bulbs, writing, good books, good tv, people willing to take a risk to do the right thing, the privilege and responsibility of voting, getting good feedback when I do good work.

Three Truths and One Wish

Maybe the last berry of the season

Maybe the last berry of the season

1. Truth: “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Depending on your age and cultural experience, you might not recognize that quote. It’s from a song written by Paul Williams for the Carpenters. As I was sitting here at my desk, wondering where to start this post, I looked out the window at the gray sky, and this line popped into my head. It’s true, seems to capture the discomfort I sometimes feel pretty accurately (the weather and work).

2. Truth: I need to take my power back. And yet, that isn’t entirely the truth because I don’t think I ever held my power to begin with — or rather it was so long ago that my own potential and strength and truth was internal, centered in me, that I can’t even remember it, barely got a chance to experience it before I gave it away. All I know is that it’s a shift that has to happen, even if it means burning it all down and starting over.

3. Truth: Step One is not worrying what anyone else thinks about it. If being myself, wanting what I want, doing what is the right and truest thing makes you uncomfortable or confused, too bad. I just can’t worry about that anymore.

One Wish: May we connect to our core truth and power, and be brave enough to let it lead us. May we have the confidence to show up, with confidence as Susan Piver describes it, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

Something Good

From our walk yesterday morning

From our walk yesterday morning

1. I don’t have it all figured out. Actually, I’m dealing with depression.

I don’t know the answer, but I want us all to be happy, healthy, and honest. I want to create a space where we can be real with each other. Knowing I’m not alone has been one of my greatest reliefs. There is nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong with you. Just like we take care of our bodies, we also need to take care of our minds.

2. An artist’s peaceful retreat on SF Girl by Bay. So dreamy. And, apparently I’m on trend, for the first time ever, on trend: jewel tones.

3. Transactions with Beauty. Karen Walrond shared this link on her weekly links round up, this was a good week, saying “I’ve become mesmerized by this beautiful new blog. I suspect you will, too.”

4. On Being interview with Mary Karr — Astonished by the Human Comedy.

5. 7 Qualities of a Conscious, Loving Relationship from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

6. 5 Ways to Disrupt Racism. “This short film from VideoRev offers five practical ways you can help combat racism and be an ally in times when people are under attack.”

7. Six Things Narcissists Say. Blergh.

8. Preview of an episode of NATURE, “My Congo.” Omg, so sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time.

9. Woman Packs Lunch for Son’s Friend. “This woman packed two lunches each morning: one for her son, the second for a child in need.”

10. How a Hashtag Defined a Movement. “The founders of #BlackLivesMatter on how it all began.”

11. Is Your Halloween Costume Racist?

12. Donald Trump, the Worst of America.

13. How I Promise You One of the Most Meaningful Days of Your Life. Such a great project. This is what rehabilitation looks like.

14. The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I’m late to share this, but who cares when you start — you are reading!

15. When Healthy Isn’t an Option: How I Learned to Love My Chronically Ill Body.

16. These teachers came prepared to talk about challenges they face in their classrooms, but they WEREN’T prepared for what we had planned next…

17. Mary Oliver Issues A Full-Throated Spiritual Autobiography In ‘Upstream.’

18. Charles Shaw Lives In Abandoned High School After Transforming It Into His Family’s Home. So cool.

19. Looking into Laziness by Pema Chödrön on Lion’s Roar.

20. Recipe I want to try: apple and cheddar scones.

21. More Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. With wholehearted practice comes inspiration, but sooner or later we will also encounter fear. For all we know, when we get to the horizon, we are going to drop off the edge of the world. Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s waiting out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.

22. Feminism Should Come With a Warning Label. “This shit is hard.”

23. A Gentle Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump. “Jesus was a lot of things. He was not a conservative.”

24. Who the fuck am I to think that I could write a book?

25. Drunk History Covered The Stonewall Riots More Accurately Than A Whole Movie About It.

26. Aimee Mann – “Can’t You Tell?” A song she wrote from the perspective of Trump. “Isn’t anyone going to stop me?”

27. 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings.

28. Wisdom from Seth Godin, Beating yourself up. Such good advice.

29. 10 Simple Reasons it’s Time to Let Go from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

30. The United State of Women.

Gratitude Friday


1. Fall color. I think we are heading into the last few weeks of it, with our first real freeze and the garden officially done. I was so ready for summer to be over, but I’m so not ready for the long, dark season just yet.

2. The last of the garden. The last watermelon, the last strawberries, the last of the tomatoes and the basil. Maybe if I plant some bulbs this weekend I’ll feel better? Every year I mean to and then forget, but this seems to be the weekend to do it.


3. Play. Ringo got to meet a new friend last week when she came over for a play date, and after she left, Sam came out and they played some more. After a rough summer, Sam and Ringo now play multiple times a day, and it’s just so good to see it. AND, bonus — we have a play date scheduled this weekend with some of our favorites.

mela postplaydate

4. Hiking season. This is the best time of the year in Colorado to hike, although I don’t always go with, (since the boys go 6-10 miles, and run at least some of it, and I can’t keep up with that, and I’m not gonna lie, I love the long mornings at home alone). I appreciate how happy it makes Eric and the boys, and all the good pictures he takes and lets me steal to use on my blog.

image by Eric

image by Eric

5. Work from home Friday. I am so lucky to have a job where I can do this. I skip yoga and sleep in, wear comfy clothes (sometimes a clean pair of pjs), maybe take a nap with the dogs, get the laundry done, and don’t have to drive anywhere if I don’t want to, don’t even have to leave the house.

Bonus joy: Wild Writing, clean sheets, San Pellegrino Soda, tomato gratin with rice, a good therapist, massage, good books, my Kindle, soaking in the tub, how Sam sneaks in bed with us in the early morning, how much Ringo loves sleeping in his crate, how much both dogs love lounging in the backyard in the sun, when something makes Eric laugh really hard (we are rewatching The IT Crowd, so it’s happening a lot lately), teaching yoga, a new yoga mat, walking the dogs under a full moon, sleeping in, going to bed early, TWO people I adore stopping by my work office just to share a hug, feeling good about a piece I wrote for work even though I’m not sure anyone else even read it.

Something Good


1. #Redrawthebalance. “When a real-life firefighter, surgeon, and fighter pilot drop in on a classroom, these kids have their assumptions turned around.”

2. “This isn’t about politics, it’s about basic human decency.” “Michelle Obama took to the campaign trail to call out the Republican nominee for President of the United States on his disgusting behavior.” Such a great speech from an amazing woman. In related news, Physically Attacked by Donald Trump – a PEOPLE Writer’s Own Harrowing Story, which reminds me of what Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” In other related news, Grab Her — “We are done.” And, It’s Not Okay, and The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About, and 6 Steps To Calming Yourself From Incessant Attacks Until The Election.

3. Penguin Bloom: how a scruffy magpie saved a family. I follow this Instagram account but didn’t know the whole story. Postscript: they recently rescued two more babies who fell 100 feet out of their nest.

4. Black Women Physicians Are Coming Together to Defy Stereotypes with #WhatADoctorLooksLike. In related news, Discrimination 30,000 Feet Above and Plane Crew Nearly Lets Passenger Die Because They Couldn’t Believe A Black Woman Was A Doctor.

5. The Italian cycling champion who used his hero status to save Jews during WW2.

6. Famed Ringling circus elephants arrive in Florida for retirement. Yay!

7. Students expelled after Facebook group calls for ‘execution’ of Jews, black people. This happened in Boulder, Colorado, “an ultra-liberal city known for its ‘hippy culture’ and tolerance.”

8. I’ve Experienced Fat Shaming And Thin Shaming And I Can Tell You Which Is Worse.

9. Excuse me. Having a puppy meltdown. From Meghan Tonjes. Welcome to my life: Every. Damn. Day.

10. Recipes I want to try: spinach and chickpeas and Slow Cooker Hasselback Apple Pork Loin.

11. Meet Emilia and her otter half, Olivia. “The 5-month-old otters are receiving treatment from our Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital veterinarians.” So cute!

12. You need to read what this woman has to say. It will better your life. from Yes Yes Marsha.

13. This portable robot can print your documents at any time. Cool.

14. This farm grows 50,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables – on top of a building.

15. This 10-year-old boy donated his hair to create wigs for young cancer patients.

16. Do What You Love For A Living Before You DIE!! from KevOn Stage.

17. this cup is already broken. A beautiful meditation on death, or rather: life.

18. Unhappy At Work: Why Midlife Makes Us Cranky. Seriously, y’all — I’m having a mid-life crisis.

19. You can rest.

20. Why I’m Voting for Trump, an interesting collection of the various whys.

21. The well of goodwill, great advice from Jamie Greenwood.

22. A Method for Dealing with Feeling Stressed & Overwhelmed from Zen Habits.

23. Amy Goodman Is Facing Prison for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All. What the fuckity fuck?!

24. Rescue dogs see their new four acre enclosure for the first time.

25. #wearemanystoriesproject with Sas Petherick. She posted to Instagram, starting this hastag with a post that made me say a “hell yes,”

Do you ever get readers block? I read A LOT of fiction and self-help (blergh, I know) and 99% of the authors are white. Most are women, most are just like me. And it just feels samey and dull as shit. I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and I’m embarking on a mission to read 100 books by humans not like me. I’m starting with Julia Ostuka’s The Buddha in the Attic – it’s about Japanese brides who immigrated to the US in the 1920s. It’s a prose poem and it’s made me cry twice. Unlike anything I’ve ever read before. This is going to be fun!

26. Cool art: Watercolor Cherry Blossom Animals and Floral Anatomy Embroideries.