Monthly Archives: June 2017

Something Good

Columbine, image by Eric Salahub

1. Fifteen Minutes from Jena Schwartz.

2. Lots of interviews and articles about Roxane Gay’s new book, which btw is so good: ‘Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body,’ by Roxane Gay, and A Lifetime of Aftermath: Roxane Gay’s “Hunger” Dares You Not to Look Away, and Why It’s Fine to Not Be a “Good” Fat Person, and Other Lessons from Roxane Gay.

3. This is the real me: This little girl and this one. (Video)

4. Cat doesn’t Understand what the kittens are for. Until they come closer and he knows it. (Video) Here’s another video of him trapped under a pile of kittens.

5. Dad Does Baby’s dread locks. (Video) The dancing in the tub though. #blackboyjoy

6. This father biked 1,400 miles to hear his late daughter’s heartbeat. (Video) I’m not crying, you’re crying. Be an organ donor!

7. This high-end fashion brand is getting called out for co-opting the Black Lives Matter message.

8. Toddler Leads Duck Army. (Video)

9. 10 MUTTS Comic Strips to Celebrate the First Day of Summer.

10. 15 Wholesome Memes Guaranteed to Brighten Your Day.

11. Fatphobia: 5 Facts and a Guide for the Disbeliever. This is from a few years ago, but it’s still worth reading.

12. These Alvin Ailey dancers are sharing their journey of love and dance, and it’s adorable AF.

13. White fragility is real: 4 questions white people should ask themselves during discussions about race. Another old one that’s still worth a read.

P.S. I knew I was forgetting one, and rather than wait until next week, I’m including it here now — 14. Creative Superheroes Podcast #14: Live Awake with Sarah Blondin. I shared one of the Live Awake podcasts a few weeks ago, have been listening to more and really liking them, so it was really fun to hear Andrea and Sarah talk more about how it came to be.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks with Eric and the dogs. There are so many mosquitoes by the river right now that we’ve had to temporarily reroute and walk through our neighborhood and around City Park instead. It’s a great place to walk later in the day in the summer because there’s lots of shade.

Sometimes when it’s hot in the afternoon, Ringo stops in the shade and takes a break (for being Australian, he does terrible in the heat)

The baby geese are so big right now that you can barely tell them apart from the adults

2. My tiny family. My favorite part of summer so far is getting to spend more time with them.

My view from the couch

3. Peonies. A few from my garden are still lingering.

4. Pie season. Peach, blackberry, marionberry, strawberry, and apple are my favorite. The first one Eric made is already gone.

So pretty it’s almost a shame to eat it…almost.

5. Eric. Besides being a master pie maker, he does what he has to in order to get great pictures.

The picture he took of Ringo

What he did to get the picture of Ringo

Bonus joy: breakfast with a friend, the first swimming suit I tried on being the one that worked AND it was on sale, naps, good books, good TV, fish tacos, coleslaw, fresh tortillas, pinto beans, clean sheets, being able to wear my pjs almost all day, some cool weather after too many days of too hot, good podcasts, teaching a surprise yoga class on International Yoga Day, clean water, a warm shower, nose work class with Ringo, sleeping in with Sam, laughing with Eric.


I am officially on Summer Break. This year I have two months off instead of three, and this is one of the summers we stay in Colorado rather than spend a few months on the Oregon Coast. I told Eric the other day that my favorite thing about vacation is I own my time in a way I just don’t when I’m working for someone else. The complication of that ownership is that I get to choose how I spend my time.

I could sleep in, have a lazy morning, take a shower but immediately put on clean pjs, get on the couch and binge watch television shows or movies, only getting up to eat and go to the bathroom.

I could get up early, do some laundry, walk dogs with Eric, go to the gym or a yoga class, shower, meditate, write, sit out in the back yard with Eric and the dogs, read or take a nap.

I could work on all the reading and contemplating and action from the various sources I’ve accumulated it.

I could plan some things to teach or get together with friends.

I could email Amy about using our last two training sessions with the dogs, answer those emails that have been sitting in my Life Wholehearted inbox for way too long, schedule some people to come give us a bid on putting in a new fence for us, recaulk the bathtub, go through the pile on my desk, get texture spray and paint to fix the places on the walls where they put in our insulation, paint the outside of the house, weed the flower beds, make an appointment with the dermatologist, buy a new swimming suit and bras, mail the things sitting on my desk, install the new modem they sent us months ago, clean out the garage.

Or, I could do nothing. No plan, just whatever I feel like doing next, even if it’s absolutely nothing.

I get to choose. I am fully aware of my privilege, and also my anxiety.

Something Good

Close up of a pink peony flower

One of the last ones from my garden

1. Notes from the Lower Level an essay from Camille Dungy. Her new book of essays is out now, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History, and is so good. I wrote a short article about it for work, and will write more about it here later because there’s more to say.

2. Bad things keep happening. The acquittal in Philando Castile’s killing makes clear that black lives still do not matter, and Muslim Teen Killed in Virginia After Leaving a Mosque, and Pregnant Seattle Woman Calls Police, Ends Up Dead. As we all know, this is not a complete list.

3. Young Photographer Highlights Every-Day Racism.

4. Little Boxes. This is streaming right now on Netflix, and is really good — the kind of good that is also sad and hard.

5. Diverse Bookish Instagram Accounts to Follow. In related news, Lena Waithe curates her favorite films by LGBTQ+ artists, and How Black Creators Are Breaking Barriers By Using Scripted Podcasts For Storytelling.

6. When my dog died, I didn’t understand why it felt like a human had died. Then I read the research.

7. Father’s day, Juneteenth, & Pride Bail Out Day.

8. Roxane Gay’s deeply personal Hunger explores relationship with her body. I’m reading it now, with all the feels. In related news, Roxane Gay Is The Hardest-Working Woman In Letters.

9. The Complexities Of My White Lady Friendships Post Election. In related news, White People Will Always Let You Down, and Beware of the So-Called “Woke” Allies.

10. 5 things you may have not realized are cultural appropriation. I posted this to Facebook this week, with the additional, “6. Using ‘tribe;’ to refer to your group,” and this clearly is an issue people have strong feelings about. For me, there’s still a lot of confusion about what is and what isn’t, but as I said on Facebook, for me it is a compassion practice. I listen carefully and deeply to native people and people of color, and if they say they feel harmed or oppressed, if they are suffering and I can do something to ease that, I will. Especially if it’s as simple, for example, as saying my community, my friends, or my people instead of “tribe.”

11. Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.4 Billion on The New York Times.

12. Getting Real from Sarah of The Cognitive Canine, a really great post about the highlights and the blooper reels of being a dog person.

13. Facebook Permanently Blacklisted Me From Their Site.

14. Jelanii Kabita’s message to families with LGBTQI kids, (Video). “Dancer Jelanii Kabita’s mother rejected his trans identity. After years of devastation, struggle, and growth, he has a powerful message for the families with LGBTQI kids.”

15. GAYCATION: Orlando (Full Episode). Watch the whole episode online for free.

16. ‘Gwyneth glows like a radioactive swan’ – my day at the Goop festival.

“You can’t honestly address ‘wellness’ – the things people need to be well – without addressing poverty and systemic racism, disability access and affordable healthcare, paid family leave and food insecurity, contraception and abortion, sex work and the war against drugs and mass incarceration. Unless, of course, you are only talking about the wellness of people whose lives are untouched by all of those forces. That is, the wellness of people who are disproportionately well already.”

17. Deported from Trump’s America, (Video). “This family has been split apart as deportations of immigrants without criminal records more than double under Trump.”

18. Tracy K. Smith named new U.S. poet laureate. In related news, Tracy K. Smith Is the New Poet Laureate from The New York Times.

19. Brit scientist could be about to CURE multiple sclerosis and provide hope for millions.

20. Burg’s Place still isn’t fully funded. When Amy made this page and the video, Burg was doing just fine and there was no reason to think that wouldn’t continue. Now that he’s gone, after everything happened so quickly, it seems even more important than ever to fully fund this request.

21. What your days look like from Austin Kleon. In related news, What Makes You Happy? from Kerilyn at Ancora Imparo.

22. How This “Fat Femme” Yoga Instructor Is Reshaping The $3 Trillion Wellness Industry.

23. Being in love and creating with Becky Chappell a new video from the Beyond the Gallery series.

24. Expanding Awareness: How Patterns of Interaction Support White Supremacy.

25. Start With a Flower: Alice Walker & Sharon Salzberg in Conversation.

26. Having a rough go of it? Dukkha, Baby. (Handle With Care.) from Adreanna Limbach.

27. #TheySaid Highlights Our Culture Of Body Shaming.

28. Dog photographer of the year 2017 – in pictures.

Gratitude Friday

1. Seeing all the animals on our walks. This week we saw a deer, a beaver, a pair of herons, this turtle (Eric wasn’t believing me that the swirly marks on the trail were turtle tracks, until he saw the actual turtle who’d made them), and two of this year’s baby foxes.

2. Wonder Woman at the Drive In. We try to go at least once a year, earlier in the summer rather than later because even then we can only stay up long enough to watch the first movie!

3. SUMMER VACATION! Yesterday I sufficiently bribed the person who’s going to water my plants for me while I’m gone, ate the last of the good chocolate, and put the out of office message on my email. I need this time off so bad.

4. My tiny family. One of the things I need most out of this vacation is more time with them.

5. Peony season. I just consolidated the six jars full I had in the house into a single one because most of them were starting to wilt. With the heat this past week, there’s no more new ones left to cut. They make me so happy, and I’m always so sad to see them go.

Bonus joy: my Siberian irises (they went crazy this year and had multiple blooms per stem which I didn’t even realize was possible; my friend Ann gave them to me, thinned them from her own garden the year she died, so they mean a lot to me), a cool shower after a long walk, sun screen, bug spray, fresh strawberries from our garden, a dream about Dexter, good books, good tv, good movies, good podcasts, clean sheets, a long nap, air conditioning, stretching, yoga.

Something Good

From my garden, on my meditation shrine

1. Roxane Gay Tells Us About Daring to Be Fat. I can’t wait to read her new book! “I did a lot of research about bodies, fat, fatness, that sort of thing. Even if I wasn’t necessarily going to write about it explicitly, I wanted to be informed. I learned some incredibly interesting things. The measure for Body Mass Index (BMI), for instance, is so fucking arbitrary. They decided on 25 because it’s a nice, round number. A bunch of generally white men are in a room somewhere making decisions about millions of people. That really was informative and infuriating.”

2. Recipes I want to try: Easy Salsa Recipe, and Easy Restaurant Style Blender Salsa, and Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bake.

3. My road trip through Trump country taught me that staying in the liberal bubble has its advantages.

4. One carry-on bag and one personal item by Camille Dungy. I just finished and highly recommend her new book, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History.

5. Aja Brown, Compton’s Youngest Mayor, Re-Elected For Second Term. “The 35-year-old received about 60 percent of the vote.”

6. Mr. Okra Of New Orleans // 60 Second Docs. (Video)

7. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week. “Sorry I can’t come to your thing I don’t know how to people.” #same

8. 10+ Women Share The Ways They Were Body-Shamed And It’s Just Too Horrible To Read.

9. 12 truths I learned from life and writing, Anne Lamott’s TED Talk.

10. 23 Body-Positive Women Reminding You to Go Ahead and Wear that Swimsuit.

11. Why I’ve lost faith in Tony Robbins (and most life coaches).

12. There’s One Big Catch With Gap’s New Ad Celebrating Diversity.

13. Don’t Yuck My Yum; My Eating Disorder Story.

14. To the Supporters and Enablers of President Trump: You Will Never Get Your Country Back.

15. 22 Books By Black Authors To Add To Your Beach Bag This Summer. In related news, 17 Books You Should Read in June.

16. Dr Christian Jessen: Clean eating websites like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop ‘indistinguishable from pro anorexia sites.’

17. The Summer Soundtrack that You Need (Trust Me) from Militant Baker.

18. Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Tale of A Progressive Professor Who Forgot To Hide Her Racism And Got Her Ass Fired.

19. Novelist Beautifully Destroys Those Who Don’t Believe in Cultural Appropriation.

20. Danez Smith – “Dinosaurs in the Hood”, a really great poem (Video).

21. This 6-year-old and her mom created a coloring book series to teach kids about black history, (Video). I love that Mom pointed out that Black history did not start with slavery, but rather slavery interrupted Black history.

22. “But What if it Works?”, wisdom from Seth Godin.

23. The American Woman site is live! “AMERICAN WOMAN is a multimedia portrait and documentary series about Black American women.”

24. Let’s Stop Apologizing for These 8 Things from Be More With Less.

25. 12 Signs of an Unhealthy, Underdeveloped INFJ. In related news, How HSPs, Empaths, and INFJs Can Protect Themselves from Toxic People.

26. Why Cookbook Clubs Should Be the New Way We Entertain. I love this idea!

27. Loving Day: The 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia. In related news, ‘We Are Not Unusual Anymore’: 50 Years of Mixed-Race Marriage in U.S. from The New York Times.

28. 27 Pulse survivors, family members and first responders share their stories. In related news, For Those We Lost And Those Who Survived: The Pulse Massacre One Year Later.

29. Nowhere in America can a full-time minimum wage worker afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

30. This is how to get the Pride emoji reaction on Facebook.

Gratitude Friday

1. Only one more week of work! Then, I get to be on summer vacation for two months. This past month has been about doing just the bare minimum, because even that was really too much, so a lot has slipped through the cracks or piled up. I’m looking forward to more space in my days, less responsibility, more reading and writing, answering some lingering emails, finally getting to some house projects that have been put off for too long, puttering in the garden, really taking care of my body, spending time with friends, long naps and walks with Eric and the dogs.

One of the house projects I need to get to: painting the house. It’s so faded now it looks almost blue when it should be a deep green.

2. Our front garden. We’ve been getting lots of strawberries and my flowers are all coming in so good this year.

3. Walking in the morning with Eric and the dogs. It’s one of the very best things.

4. Opportunities for learning and growth. The Social Justice Leadership Institute I attended the first part of the week, the Coaching as Activism program I’ve been in that has only one week left, the Creating Inclusive Excellence Program I’ll start in the fall, all the super smart and generous women (of color, in particular) who keep showing up willing to resist, write and teach and do their work in a way that I can easily access and benefit from.

5. Peonies. It’s that time of year, y’all. My garden is overflowing, which means so is my house. They just are so gorgeous!

Bonus joy: working from home, a meeting that went well when I hadn’t expected it to, clean sheets, a warm shower, clean water, a long nap, good books, good TV, good movies, some great shows coming up at the Lincoln Center so that I can go to concerts and shows at night like a grown up but still be home by 10 pm cause it’s only ten minutes from my house, bees, fresh strawberries, ice, pinto beans, good tortillas, meditation, yoga, writing, sleepy dogs with stinky feet.