Monthly Archives: September 2018

Gratitude Friday (on a Sunday)

1. Morning walks. Sam can go just a bit further now, but I also enjoy being with just Ringo. It’s pretty dark when we leave, but that means at some point during the walk, the sky will light up, and that’s worth seeing.

2. Farmer’s market flowers. This is officially the last week for them.

3. Cooking. It’s one of the good things about the weather turning colder – I don’t worry about heating up the house and cook more. Today it’s more bran muffins with dried raspberries and our last sesame cucumber noodles of the season with the last two cucumbers from our garden.

4. My dad is still here. He had a stroke this past week. Not being there was hard, confusing, sometimes frustrating when I couldn’t get a hold of anyone and didn’t know what was going on, and yet with this adorable baby around, I don’t think anyone missed me. Prognosis is he’ll recover. A good reminder of how fast things can change, and how lucky we all are for those who are there to help when we need it and for those who love us, keep showing up no matter what.

5. My tiny family. I don’t know what I’d do without them. They make everything better.

Bonus joy: another amazing massage from Dana, a cold glass of clean water, the laundry being done, clean sheets, a warm shower, a long nap, texting with friends, reading, teaching, Pilates, swimming, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, making Eric laugh, pay day, computer glasses, Sam’s amazing PT vet, rain (except that I’m over the gray sky already).

Something Good

1. The Tiny Project Challenge from Alexandra Franzen.

2. A Drive, a Dog, and a Question from Jena Schwartz. Also from Jena, Thoughts on Arriving.

3. What Trauma Feels Like—Then and Now from Carrie Lamanna. “Rather than add my political and social analysis to the pile of others, I decided to tell my story of how the trauma of sexual assault feels in the mind and in the body. How it can make some details bright and clear and obscure others—then and now. How the memory can return, unannounced and uninvited, and make you relive what you have tried so hard to forget. How it never goes away, but lives in your muscles and bones.”

4. #WhyIDidntReport, a powerful Twitter thread.

5. 8 Signs Your Yoga Practice Is Culturally Appropriated – And Why It Matters. I’m pretty sure I already shared this, but it came up again this week, and it’s worth sharing again.

6. Kombucha With A Side Of Fat Shaming.

7. I vow not to burn out. This is one of my favorite articles from this past year, in which “Mushim Ikeda says it’s not enough to help others. You have to take care of yourself too.” And, this:

When I get desperate, which is pretty often, I ask myself how to not be overwhelmed by despair or cynicism. For my own sake, for my family, and for my sangha, I need to vow to not burn out. And I ask others to vow similarly so they’ll be around when I need them for support. In fact, I’ve formulated a “Great Vow for Mindful Activists”:

Aware of suffering and injustice, I, _________, am working to create a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. I promise, for the benefit of all, to practice self-care, mindfulness, healing, and joy. I vow to not burn out.

8. How to Be a Bodhisattva.

9. White people are still raised to be racially illiterate. “If we don’t recognize the system, our inaction will uphold it. The question is not whether I have been shaped by and participate in the forces of racism, it’s how I’ve been shaped by them.”

10. Photos of Humans and Dogs Who Look Strangely Alike.

11. While I was doing them, I had no idea, a great quote from Neil Gaiman shared on A Design So Vast.

12. Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s. “Hollywood parents say not vaccinating makes ‘instinctive’ sense. Now their kids have whooping cough.”

13. Stop body shaming Jameela Jamil, and the rest of us. (video)

14. Death threats and doxxing: That’s what Christine Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, is going through. (video)

15. 2 Native American Teens Were Reported to Police for Joining a Campus Tour. Now We’re Stepping In. from the ACLU. Have I mentioned lately I’m quitting my job at CSU?

16. Wisconsin Assembly Candidate Had Police Called on Her for Campaigning While Black. In related news, Police were called on this Black candidate while he was knocking on doors to campaign. (video)

17. Trump admin moves $260M from cancer research, HIV/AIDS and other programs to cover custody of immigrant children costs.

18. Colin Kaepernick To Receive One Of Harvard University’s Highest Honors.

19. Man Who Strangled Woman Unconscious Won’t Serve Jail Time Because Judge Thinks It Won’t Happen Again.

20. Footage shows a Walmart employee’s Islamophobic rant after a Muslim customer asked to use a changing room. (video)

21. When you hear this 13-year-old sing, you’ll know why she got a FOUR-CHAIR TURN. (video)

22. Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong. “For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives. It’s time for a new paradigm.” P.S. Save yourself the heartache and DO NOT read the comments section.

23. The Botham Jean shooting exposes a major problem with discussions of police and black victims. In related news, Nine People Who Protested Botham Jean’s Death Have Been In Jail Longer Than The Officer Who Killed Him.

24. ‘It’s Just Draining’: 14-Year Employee of University Gets Cops Called on Him for Looking ‘Agitated.’

25. A Home DNA Test Told This Man He Was 4 Percent Black. Now, He’s Demanding To Be Recognized As A Minority Business Owner. He might have tested 4%, but he acts 100% privileged whyte male.

26. Supreme Court nominee faces sexual assault allegation. A collection of reporting from CNN. In related news, Ford is accusing Kavanaugh of a violent crime, not “sexual misconduct” and GOP woman on Kavanaugh allegations: ‘What boy hasn’t done this in high school?’ and Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years.

27. This veteran struggling with PTSD shared a heartfelt voicemail that Beto O’Rourke left for her to show the country his true character. (video)

28. ‘Survivor’ The Kitten Flees Hurricane Florence Floodwater Clinging To Man’s Neck.

29. Disrupting Systemic Whiteness in the Mindfulness Movement. “A Q&A with Dr. Angela Rose Black on the omission of the voices and wisdom of people of color in mindfulness research, teaching, and practice.”

30. Here’s Proof That Don Jr. Is Just As Vile As His Dad, as if any of us needed proof.

31. 13 Problems Only Highly Sensitive Introverts Will Understand.

32. Kevin Hart is terrified of Robert Irwin’s animals. (video)

33. Cat sees his owner who died years ago and can’t hold it in when he sees the video. (video)

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Fall is here. We are still going to have some warm days (today was in the low 80s), but we finally got some rain and it was only 44 degrees when I got up this morning. Even though I love summer, all the blooms and berries and vegetables from our garden and the farmer’s market and not having to work, fall is my favorite time of year.

2. Teaching. Yesterday, I taught a yoga class, an open space writing class, and gave meditation instruction to one of my favorite humans. Then today, I taught another yoga class with the sweetest student. Now if I could get to the place where I had more time and energy to write, I’d be so happy.

3. Farmer’s market flowers. October 27 is the last summer farmer’s market, so I’m savoring these, the new ones in the bathroom and the leftovers from the week before on my writing desk.

4. Cooking. This week, I made sesame cucumber noodles again, tomato jam, bran muffins with dried raspberries, and black bean and sweet potato quesadillas. Yum.

5. My tiny family. I love them so much.

Bonus joy: how excited my primary physician was for me when I told her I was quitting my job, sick days, good friends, how when Sam is scared the two places he wants to be are right next to me or under my writing desk, how smart Ringo is, that a friend got good news about her dog, taking two naps if I need to, grilled cheese sandwiches, watermelon, a glass of clean cold water, getting all the laundry done on Thursday, clean sheets.

Something Good

0. Karma Yoga Class: Benefits Susan G Komen. I’m teaching this yoga class next Saturday. I know most of you aren’t local, so can’t come, but I thought I’d mention it because you can still donate. Whether you want to come or just donate, here’s what to do: Go to the site. Make donation, (search term ‘Om Ananda Yoga’). Register for class. You can also search to see if a class is happening near you.

1. Write to Get Free, a six-week writing course with Melissa Toler that starts September 23. “Over 6 weeks, we’ll be writing about truth, pleasure, and body diversity. We’ll explore our own feelings about the process of unlearning. We ALL have a lot of unlearning and re-learning to do when it comes to body size and weight. I believe that writing is one of the best ways to help us get free from harmful ideas about beauty, health, and the way we’re taught to value bodies, especially in health and wellness spaces. I believe writing has the power to heal us.” I really, really, really wish I had the time to do this class.

2. Defining Myself For Myself: Why I Won’t Be Selling The #MeAndWhiteSupremacy Workbook from Layla Saad.

3. Keep Going: A guide to staying creative in chaotic times, Austin Kleon’s book, coming in April 2019. The link is to a post about the new book, but it also shares the video for the talk he gave that inspired the book.

4. Acting ICE Director attends annual media event of anti-immigrant hate group FAIR. In related news, Border Patrol Officer Suspected of Killing Four Women in Texas, and Border Patrol Supervisor Arrested In Texas, Held In ‘Serial Killing Spree’. Also, Is Trump using hurricane relief money to fund ICE? Not exactly, and Trump Administration Transferred $9.8 Million From FEMA To ICE. Go ahead and tell me again how these units are “keeping us safe.”

5. 6 Reasons Why Introverts And Pets Are Perfect For Each Other.

6. 5 Ways Meditation Enriched My Creative Career on Lion’s Roar. “Artist and film director Ivan Cash shares five ways the practice of meditation has benefitted his life, creativity, and career.”

7. Classic English Kitchen Gone Rogue on SF Girl. Our hardwood floors have been waiting to be redone for about 15 years now. Last year, we got as far as getting a bid, but didn’t go through with it, got the outside walls insulated instead. I look at the floors in this kitchen and think to myself, once again, that maybe we just sand and oil them, leave it at that. I like the clean distressed look, and it seems so much more dog friendly.

8. A Guide To Cultural Appropriation Vs. Appreciation.

9. Nearly 150 people lined up to foster dogs displaced by Hurricane Florence. (video) In related news:

Picture from An Escape from the Noise

10. Halloween is coming! (video – make sure you turn the sound on)

11. Painting a different picture of homelessness. (video)

12. Woman destroys anti-abortion argument by proving men cause 100% of unwanted pregnancies.

13. The Dark Side Of The INFJ Personality Type. Yup, I’ve got a dark side. In related news, 5 Strengths Of The Rare And Often Misunderstood INFJ Personality.

14. 2 Different Versions of Amber Guyger’s Story Appear on 2 Different Warrants Related to the Shooting of Botham Jean. In related news, Botham Shem Jean’s Killing Reveals A Deadly American Lie.

15. Revolve Releases, Then Pulls Lena Dunham-Designed “Being Fat Is Not Beautiful” Sweatshirt.

16. 10-year-old Anose has been singing all his life. (video) “But after being traumatically displaced from Myanmar, his songs are no longer the same.”

17. Joe’s Violin (2017 Academy Award nominee) (video). “In this Academy Award-nominated film, a Holocaust survivor donates his violin to a local instrument drive, changing the life of a schoolgirl from the nation’s poorest congressional district.”

18. 7 of the Best Episodes of Levar Burton Reads.

19. White Artists Need to Start Addressing White Supremacy in Their Work on LitHub.

20. Naomi Osaka Tells Ellen DeGeneres What Serena Williams Whispered To Her.

21. John Bunn was wrongfully convicted of murder as a teenager, “and exonerated after 27 years of fighting for his freedom. He says the power of reading saved him. Now, he’s building libraries in prisons.” (video)

22. Writer Perfectly Explains Why Children Of Mentally Unstable Parents Overthink Everything So Much.

23. Eric Trump: Woodward earned ‘three extra shekels’ with CNN appearance. “Want to know why it’s important for social platforms to enforce their rules regarding hate and advertisers to stop funding shows that promote bigotry? This man just used a term (making “extra shekels”) only used by Nazis on the Internet on a show seen by millions. And he’s the president’s son.”

24. These college friends have no idea that they’re about to be reunited for the first time in 3 years. (video)

25. Dwarf Pit Bull Doesn’t Look Like Anyone Else In The World. (video)

26. This man flashed his gun while blocking a group of Black students from visiting a classmate’s apartment. (video) In related news, A police officer shot and killed this man during a traffic stop (video), and video shows a white Portland woman going off on a disgusting racist rant against a woman of color. Two out of three of these people lost their jobs for their behavior. Guess which one didn’t?

27. Police Accidentally Tweet Screenshot Showing That They Monitor Anti-Racism and Anti-Police Brutality Groups.

28. Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, comes forward in the Washington Post. In related news, The case for delaying vote on Kavanaugh gets a lot more obvious.

29. The State of Things – Weight and Health from Dances with Fat.

30. This queer teacher was suspended and reassigned after parents accused her of ‘promoting her lifestyle’ in class — now she’s suing the school district. (video)

31. Sheillah, the 9 year-old Kenyan artist painting from the heart. (video)

Gratitude Friday


Image by Eric

1. Sunflowers. They are a sign that the summer is waning, but I love the little birds who come around in tiny flocks to feed off them this time of year.
Sesame cucumber noodles

2. New recipes to try. The above takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber from Smitten Kitchen with Japanese cucumbers from our garden would have been perfectly delicious if I just hadn’t undercooked the rice noodles, (it was the first time I’d made them, and I always forget that because of our altitude things take longer to cook). I got more noodles and as soon as we get a few more cucumbers, I’ll try again because everything else about this recipe was so yummy. Today I’m trying this tomato jam recipe, since we have more tomatoes than we can keep up with.

3. Doing fun stuff with my favorite humans.  I went to see Andrea Gibson with some friends and went to Danielle Ate the Sandwich the next night with Eric.

4. Knowing that every day I work at CSU is the last one like it. For example, today, September 14, is the last September 14 I will ever work there. Now that I know I’m quitting, all the reasons why are just so clear to me. I’m so grateful for the privilege to stop doing that and start doing something else. I think my new title, besides writer, will be Contemplative Practice Guide – what do you think?

5. Farmer’s market flowers. Even though it signals the end of the season, these delicate pinks are some of my favorite. Not in the bathroom this week, since the grocery store mums are still going strong, but rather on my writing desk.

6. My boys. The way Ringo asks to be put to bed at night – he won’t just put himself into bed when he gets too tired, he needs the routine of someone telling him “go out and go potty” and then the run back into his crate where there are cookies waiting. When he’s ready, he stares at the humans until someone figures out what he needs. Sam got a home visit from his favorite vet, some new meds and acupuncture, and is feeling better this week. We might get him figured out after all.

Bonus joy: watermelon, good sleep, cortisone shots that have made my knees feel so much better, clean sheets, naps, good TV (just finished the Netflix series Sisters and noticed there’s a new season of Call the Midwife), good books (Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward was rough, but still worth reading), good music (I can’t stop listening to The Wailin’ Jennys), finishing the laundry on Friday while working from home, ideas for new classes, meditating and writing in the morning, swimming, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, the cooler and darker mornings, being able to maintain good boundaries.

Something Good

Blue Lakes Trail, image by Eric

1. Danielle Ate the Sandwich and Andrea Gibson. One writes folk songs and plays the ukulele, and the other writes poems and has the cutest dog ever, so why would I put them together? Because on Saturday night, I saw Andrea perform in Boulder, and on Sunday night, I went to Danielle’s show in Fort Collins, and it reminded me just how much I adore both of them, as humans and artists. So, if you didn’t already know about them, I felt compelled to tell you. They both have tons of stuff on YouTube, Danielle has a new album and Andrea just released a new book, so even if you can’t get to a show, you should totally check them out, (but a show is even better).

2. ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’ Final Episodes Trailer.

3. How to Establish A Home Meditation Practice – That Isn’t A Total Drag from Adreanna Limbach. In related news, What Meditation Isn’t and What Meditation Can’t Cure. Also, did you know I am a certified meditation instructor? I can help you start a practice, restart or deepen one you already have. We meet online for sessions using Zoom, so we don’t have to be in the same location. A session looks something like this: we “sit” together, me giving meditation instruction as necessary, for 15 minutes (shorter for sure if you are just beginning), and then we chat for 15 minutes about all things practice, and I leave you with a plan. We can meet once a week, once a month, once in awhile, or just once. My current rate is $25 per session. Send me an email if you want to know more, have questions, or want to schedule a session:

4. Sometimes It’s Okay To Quit Writing The Thing You’re Writing from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

5. Colin Kaepernick Was Right About Us from John Pavlovitz. In related news, Here’s a refresher on what exactly Colin Kaepernick is trying to change (video) and The Real Patriots are the Protestors (video), and This Mayor Just Banned Nike Products From His City’s Recreation Facilities, and Nike Founder Phil Knight Writes a Million-Dollar Check to Republican Candidate for Oregon Governor Knute Buehler.

6. I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration on The New York Times. In related news, The crisis isn’t Trump. It’s his Republican enablers.

7. Bodycam Footage Shows Cincinnati Cop Scolding 11-Year-Old Girl He Used Taser On. In related news, This 11-year-old was handcuffed at gunpoint despite new police policies encouraging alternatives (video), and Black Teen Driving with White Grandmother Handcuffed by Police Because Bystander Said He Was Robbing Her, and School Resource Officer Uses Taser To Wake Up Sleeping Student.

8. Good stuff from Karen Walrond’s This Was a Good Week list: We Became McDonalds Poster Models (video) and Green Day Concert Crowd Singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

9. Why I’m Retiring from Personal Blogging. I get it, and yet…It’s mildly (or maybe more so) problematic to write a blog, use it to build an audience and get a book deal, etc., and then when you outgrow the situation and decide to do things differently, shift your position from content creator to critic of content overwhelm.

10. A Simple Technique for Launching Your Project in 20 Minutes from Zen Habits. I like the notion of feeling fear and doing it anyway, also doing things in small chunks rather than letting the full measure of it overwhelm you. This seems to be related news to me, How do you get people to notice your business?

11. The Meaning of Serena Williams: On tennis and black excellence. From The New York Times Magazine. In related news, Competition, Compassion and the Stories We Don’t Hear About Black Women Athletes, and J.K. Rowling And Thousands Of Others Blast Wildly Racist Serena Williams Newspaper Cartoon, and Serena Williams’s US Open fight with umpire Carlos Ramos, explained, and The World Owes Serena Williams an Apology.

12. The Plaid Shirt Guy From The Trump Rally Reveals His Identity.

13. The Debt. “When terrible, abusive parents come crawling back, what do their grown children owe them?” I’ve seen this work the other way too, good parents who end up with terrible, abusive kids who are grown, but still have expectations of attention and support.

14. Wanda James went from Obama’s financial aide to a dispensary owner after seeing the racial disparity in weed arrests. (video)

15. Newsflash––black labor built this country. Here’s your Labor Day black history lesson. (video)

16. Meet the table busser who’s worked at the same Wilmette pancake house for 54 years. You should be shocked what he’s paid after so many years. In related news, Her six-hour commute each day seems crazy, but her affordable rent is not.

17. White Baseball Players Kneel in the 50’s to protest Black Lynchings.

18. Karma Yoga Class: Benefits Susan G Komen. I’m teaching this one on September 22. Check out project:OM’s page to find out how to donate or find a class in your area.

19. Quitting My Job To Freelance Was The Right Move For This Introvert.

20. Nearly 90 Elephants Found Dead Near Botswana Sanctuary, Killed By Poachers. In related news, Poachers killed 87 elephants in a mass killing spree in Botswana. (video)

21. Roseanne Barr Says She’s Moving To Israel When ‘The Conners’ Premieres. Bye.

22. How to disagree well: 7 of the best and worst ways to argue.

23. Anicee was born with Brittle Bone Disease and raised in an orphanage. “At age seven she found her forever home when adopted by parents who are both diagnosed with the same condition. Now thirteen, Anicee truly understands the value of family.” (video)

24. Levi’s is taking a huge stand against gun violence. (video)

25. Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley Moves Closer Toward Becoming Massachusetts’ First Black Female U.S. Representative.

26. Why Black And Brown People Will Never Be Safe In States With ‘Stand Your Ground’.

27. This Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair On The Subway Is The Cutest Thing You’ll See Today.

28. She got a message at 2am and dropped everything. Her former student needed her help. (video)

29. Branson and his friends went to Breaux Mart for groceries. He was not prepared for what happened next. (video)

30. A white female Dallas police officer killed a black man, walked in to the wrong apartment thinking that it was her own. If the sight of a black person would scare you so badly that you’d shoot to kill, you need to do some serious work. If you do shoot and kill them, that’s murder, (not manslaughter, murder). And consider this, what is wrong with our culture that fear, warranted or not, is enough of a reason to KILL someone?! #BlackLivesMatter In related news, Family, Mourners Remember the Life of Botham Shem Jean, Killed in His Own Home by a Dallas Cop.

31. During the curtain call of Broadway’s “Frozen,” an actor snatched a pro-Trump banner. (video)

32. Women Share The Horrifying Things That Happened When They Rejected A Guy. In related news, Violently Fragile Man Stomps, Shatters Woman’s Windshield After Having His Advances Rejected.

33. Two White Moms. Six Black Kids. One Unthinkable Tragedy. A Look Inside the ‘Perfect’ Hart Family.

34. Why Do the Bad Men Think We Need Them? “As the ‘comebacks’ start, remember that we’re doing just fine without these guys.”

35. Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About. “He should be impeached, not elevated.” In related news, Science Does Not Support Claims That Contraceptives Are ‘Abortion-Inducing’ from The New York Times.

36. This Artist Is Reclaiming Black Crowns One Brushstroke At A Time.

37. To The Non-Racist White People, Please Just Be The First.

38. Florida Man Who Shot and Killed Black Man Over Parking Space Dispute in ‘Stand Your Ground’ Case Claims He Was ‘Very Scared’.

39. Michelle Obama opened up about the racism she endured as first lady. In related news (as in he’s related to her), If you still don’t think the midterms will affect you, Barack Obama is back to spell out just how important they are. (video)

40. Allegations of racism at Orange County high school football game underscore broader tension in the Trump era.

41. 8 Reasons Successful People Are Choosing to Wear the Same Thing Every Day.

42. Fidget spinners, weighted blankets, and the rise of anxiety consumerism.

43. Cutest 2-Year-Old Cake Baker. Seriously this is the cutest thing I think I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop watching it.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We are still on a slightly goofy route, since Sam can only go two miles and then we have to drop him off at home and go another 2.5 or so. The other day, we went a half mile out of our way just so I could see the river again. I miss it so much. Once we drop Sam off, Ringo and I usually go to City Park. In the above picture, you can’t really see it, but this murder of crows was having an argument with a hawk high up in the tree.

2. Colorado sky. I grew up in Oregon, where the sky was mostly gray. Maybe that’s why I’m so in love with the sky here.

3. Shifting. Doing less of things I don’t love and more of the things I do.

4. Flowers in the bathroom. This week it was mums from the grocery store because the woman who runs the flower stall that I love wasn’t at the Farmer’s Market this week. Even so, there were some leftovers from last week I could put on my writing desk.

5. My tiny family. Just know that whoever you are, however close we are, however much I love you, these three are still my favorite.

6. Mail. That being said, I got some awesome mail from my awesome Auntie T this week. Get me all the fresh bread and biscuits, stat!

Bonus joy: aqua aerobics, swimming lessons, Pilates, Open Space Writing (taught my first class today with some of my favorite people – this must be what it’s like to do work you love and get paid for it!), lovely email exchanges, texting, good books, good TV, sitting in the sauna after spending time in the pool, grilled cheese sandwiches (I might just have a problem), hanging out with Eric, weekend plans, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook (the part where I’m done, that is), clean laundry, crossing things off my to-do list, a glass of cold clean water.