Monthly Archives: August 2019

Gratitude Friday

1. I’m still here. I’m finding my groove during this “back to school” season, the first one in 20+ years I haven’t also been going back to school. I had a moment yesterday afternoon where I felt really lonely, but that had more to do with Eric having been gone for things three days and nights in a row. I subbed a yoga class that morning and two of the women came up afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed when I taught. I explained that I’d been given the opportunity to take over that class in the fall, but I wasn’t ready to add any other classes to my schedule just yet. I’m taking my time right now, allowing myself to go slow, to contemplate and rest. For the first time in a really long time, I’m not in a hurry, not rushing into the next thing. I don’t want to be distracted or busy. I want to really understand, on a deep level, the next right thing for me. I want to, for once, honor my energy level, my intuition, my needs and my longings. I’m not used to this, putting myself first, but I’d like to get really good at it.

2. Morning walks. This morning, we saw some things we don’t normally notice: a mama deer and her baby (still had spots), a tiny tiny toad crossing the trail, and a little brown field mouse. We tried walking along the river for a bit, but there are still WAY too many mosquitoes.

3. Recognizing that I haven’t just sat on my butt all summer. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I set the bar pretty high for myself. This summer, I had a huge to-do list of all the things I was going to accomplish. Then I realized how tired and burnt out I was and decided to honor that instead. That left me feeling like I haven’t really done much of anything, but the other day when I was putting away laundry, I realized I’d completely cleaned and reorganized my room, closets and dressers, the bathroom, and my practice room, and also made a start on my office and the garage. We also planted a bunch of new stuff in our garden, I’ve been cooking and reading a lot, and I’ve watched an awful lot of really good TV. I’ve practiced almost every day and have been teaching and have spent a ton of time at the gym, taking classes and such.

I “won” in one of my fitness classes for keeping up the pace and working really hard.

4. Getting clear about what I want to do. I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about how exactly I want to spend my time and energy, and even though I thought I already knew, I’ve gotten a lot clearer about it in the past few weeks.

5. My tiny family. Eric did the Tough Mudder last weekend and had a lot of fun. Sam continues to do really well after his back injury over a year ago and is a world champion nap buddy. Ringo can be so hard, needs so much, and I love him so much, am so happy he’ll probably be around at least another 10 years.

Bonus joy: doing box handstands in yoga, finding a Dave Matthews themed yoga mix to play for my small class (the two people there that day REALLY love Dave Matthews), working out really hard in my fitness class, subbing for two of my favorite yoga classes, sleeping in, taking naps, watching good TV, sitting in the sun in the backyard and lounging with the dogs, losing track of what day it is, cooking, reading in bed at night while the boys are asleep, grocery shopping, texting with my next door neighbor during a really unusual power outage and remembering I have really really good neighbors, helping Chloe’ clean, writing and giggling and crying with Chloe’ and Mikalina, the moments when I feel like everything is going to be okay.

Something Good

From our garden, image by Eric

1. RIP Toni Morrison: ‘The Most Formidable Mind of Our Times.’ Tayari Jones Honors Toni Morrison’s Work and Legacy, and 12 Must Read Books by Toni Morrison, and Ghosts in the House: How Toni Morrison fostered a generation of black writers, and Toni Morrison, Whose Soaring Novels Were Rooted In Black Lives, Dies At 88, and Toni Morrison, Towering Novelist of the Black Experience, Dies at 88 on The New York Times.

2. Wisdom from Ronna Detrick: “Do what your intuition tells you, what you can clearly discern as the right course of action. Trust-trust-trust that you know what you’re doing. And let everything else go – every fear, every anticipated reaction, even every expected risk and seemingly-certain cost. It’s all going to work out.”

3. 4 Ways Embracing Hygge All Year Round Has Changed My Life.

4. Good TV: Derry Girls on Netflix, and Plus One on Hulu, and Glow on Netflix, and the latest episode of Roman’s Cooking Corner on YouTube.

5. How White People Can Hold Each Other Accountable to Stop Institutional Racism.

6. Finding Groundedness in the Age of Anxiety from Zen Habits.

7. Eve Ensler: ‘Writing an apology to myself from my abusive father has freed me.’

8. They Died Shielding Their Baby in El Paso. Their Family’s Anguish Was Only Beginning. In related news, The Couple Killed Saving Their Baby In El Paso Had Just Found A Future Together.

9. Gay penguin dads finally get their own egg after trying to hatch a fish.

10. If Women Behaved Like Men in Bars. (video)

11. White Supremacy Has Never Been Fringe.

12. #GreenShirtGuy: How I went viral.

13. 10 Defensive Reactions to White Privilege That Make No Damn Sense – But Are Super Common.

14. Travel Advisory: United States of America. In related news, After Mass Shootings, Other Nations Issue Caution About ‘Gun Society’ In U.S.

15. Jeffrey Epstein Dead in Suicide at Jail, Spurring Inquiries on The New York Times.

16. You Can’t Have It All a poem by Barbara Ras.

17. Colin Kaepernick Is Reminding The NFL He’s ‘Still Ready’ After Being Blackballed For 889 Days.

18. Notes On An Uprising: Reflections Of A Ferguson Organizer 5 Years After The State-Sanctioned Killing of Mike Brown.

19. 10 Signs It’s Not Your Body, But Your Soul That is Tired.

20. U.S. Soccer hires lobbyists to argue women’s national team isn’t underpaid. Reality is those with poverty mentally will cause whatever suffering and harm neccessary to protect what they see as their resources, their treasure. They are like a toddler yelling, “no, mine, mine!”

21. The Mississippi ICE raids expose the biggest problem with US immigration laws. “They ignore the high demand for workers to fill low-skill jobs in America.”

22. Billionaire Trump donor explains he’s in it for the tax cuts, not the racism.

23. Fox News host Tucker Carlson thinks white supremacy in America is a ‘hoax.’ (video) Only a white supremacist would make this argument. And p.s. stop wasting your time feeling hurt and arguing against someone thinking you are or calling you a racist and BE anti-racist.

24. Hollywood’s favorite villain just helped save a baby from an overturned car. (video)

25. Black Muslim Family Told ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ By Orange Bigot While Trying To Enjoy The Day At Sesame Place.

26. Here’s How You Can Donate Bone Marrow—And Maybe Save This 29-Year-Old’s Life.

27. I Show The Contrast Between The Two Worlds That We Currently Live In By Combining Photos.

28. Children of undocumented immigrants arrested in Mississippi rely on strangers for food and shelter. In related news ICE Arrests Hundreds in Mississippi Raids Targeting Immigrant Workers on The New York Times. #AbolishICE

29. Stories Of El Paso Shooting Victims Show Acts Of Self-Sacrifice Amid Massacre.

30. How to Buy a Gun in 16 Countries on The New York Times. “Many Americans can buy a gun in less than an hour. In some countries, the process takes months. Here are the basic steps for how most people buy a gun in 16 of them. Many countries have exceptions for specialized professions, and local laws vary.”

31. Cyntoia Brown Is Freed From Prison in Tennessee on The New York Times. “Ms. Brown, 31, was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man while she was a teenage sex trafficking victim. She was granted clemency in January.”

32. Candice Keller’s Comments on Mass Shootings Prompt Call for Resignation in Ohio on The New York Times. “In a Facebook post, the Ohio lawmaker blamed ‘homosexual marriage,’ ‘drag queen advocates’ and ‘recreational marijuana’ for mass shootings.” It’s so convenient that all the things she doesn’t like or approve of are on her list of causes.

33. Obama Urges Americans To Reject Language That ‘Feeds A Climate Of Fear.’

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We walked the dogs at CSU this past Sunday morning. This is the view from my old office, from the outside looking in. I expected to be just a little freaked out at this point that I didn’t have a job to go back to in another week, but I was wrong. I’m content, happy with my choice, looking forward to what comes next — and SO happy I’m not going back there, doing that again.

2. Practice. Yoga, meditation, writing, and dog. Practice can sometimes feel like a contradiction. The intention is to become comfortable with discomfort, to accept that the ground is always shifting, and yet what practice offers is something like stable ground, a strong foundation, a soft place to land. Ultimately one has to be able to hold space for conflicting truths, both/and.

3. Writing, and the good books other people write. The love I have for these two things, the obsession, feels part of my DNA, something you couldn’t take from me no matter what or how hard you tried.

4. Our garden. The new flowers we planted attracted so many bees, moths, butterflies, and grasshoppers. We are also finally getting some tomatoes and a bunch of cucumbers — which is why I’m making these sesame cucumber noodles for dinner tonight.

5. My tiny family. Sam and Ringo like to “help” me cook.

Bonus joy: fresh peaches, zucchini quesadillas with grilled onions, writing with Mikalina, good TV, good movies, good podcasts, aqua aerobics, Pilates, sitting in the sauna, the fitness class I’m taking (and the fact that I can keep up with the 20-year-olds), yoga, clean sheets, getting all the laundry done, sourdough toast with marionberry jam, vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and walnuts, watching dumb TV with Eric, the way we laugh at the same dumb things.

 

 

Something Good

From our garden

1. Paisley & Hazel, an Instagram account where they paint pictures of adoptable dogs to help them get homes.

2. What the fuck should I do with my life? (A step-by-step process). I love that she ended with this, “Before wrapping up, I want to acknowledge that not everyone has the freedom to do what they choose in life and live out their desires. I’ve really written this article for those of us who are lucky enough to have that choice — let’s not take our freedom to do what we want in life for granted.”

3. Because of you from Alexandra Franzen. “Olympic athletes who claim the gold are very inspiring. But the person who comes in ‘last’ can be just as inspiring, if not more so.” Another good one from Alexandra, There is no rush.

4. Johnny & The Mongrels Debut Album, an Indiegogo project to help my friend Johnny make an album.

5. 500,000 Children Could Lose Free School Meals Under Trump Administration Proposal on The New York Times. What would Jesus do? He’d feed the hungry children. For that matter, he’d feed all the hungry people, unlike someone else we all know: Trump administration plan to kick millions off food stamps is ‘cruel and arbitrary.’

6. This was a horrific, heartbreaking week. 251 mass shootings this year. 29 people dead just this weekend. 2 separate shootings within 13 hours of each other. Here’s an archive of the specific locations and exact numbers. Of Course the Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooter Was a White Supremacist, and El Paso Shooting Suspect May Have Authored Manifesto Containing White Nationalist Talking Points, and Dayton, Ohio, Shooting: Victims Identified; Live Updates on The New York Times, El Paso Shooting: Massacre That Killed 20 Being Investigated as Domestic Terrorism on The New York Times, and State Officials Will Pursue Death Penalty Against Suspected El Paso Gunman, and The Gilroy Garlic Fest Shooter Plugged a White Power Manifesto on Instagram, and America Is Infested With Domestic White Male Terrorists, and Ohio lawmaker blames mass shootings on trans people, gay marriage and drag queens, and After Sandy Hook, we said never again. And then we let 2,189 mass shootings happen, and Stop blaming mental illness for mass shootings, and We Have a White Nationalist Terrorist Problem on The New York Times, and Terminating Service for 8Chan, and Apocalyptic Whiteness, The Scope of Right-Wing Violence, and Trump’s Stochastic Terrorism, and Dayton Police Killed Shooter Within 30 Seconds Of 1st Shot, Police Chief Says, and El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language on The New York Times.

7. Buddhist psychotherapist and “RAIN” champion Tara Brach on Lion’s Roar. “Western psychology and Buddhism—together they offer us a complete diagnosis of the human condition. Andrea Miller talks to psychotherapist Tara Brach, who works to combine these two disciplines into a powerful path to love and fulfillment.”

8. “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale,” a poem by Dan Albergotti. “Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait.”

9. The mindfulness conspiracy. “It is sold as a force that can help us cope with the ravages of capitalism, but with its inward focus, mindful meditation may be the enemy of activism.” In related news, How mindfulness privatised a social problem. “The £3.4trn industry encourages a preoccupation with the symptoms of mental illness, rather than their social causes.”

10. 3 (Pretty Simple) Ways to Remove Yourself from Drama on Be More With Less.

11. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “Everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up. We can use everything that occurs—whether it’s our conflicting emotions and thoughts or our seemingly outer situation—to show us where we are asleep and how we can wake up completely, utterly, without reservations.” P.S. this doesn’t mean we need to see our suffering and obstacles as “gifts.”

12. Wisdom from Andrea Gibson, “Even when the truth isn’t hopeful, the telling of it is.”

13. Frequently Asked Questions about Buddhism on Lion’s Roar. “Short answers to the most common questions about Buddhism.”

14. Colson Whitehead Opens Up. “In a wide-ranging conversation with The Nation, the author talks about political writing, zombies and horror stories, American history, and his new novel The Nickel Boys.”

15. Please Help Fund Keaton Shepherd’s Funeral.

16. A Heartbreaking Loss: “Tuca & Bertie” Gave Female Trauma Survivors a Road Map for Healing.

17. Here’s What Fat Acceptance Is—and Isn’t. “Sizeism is everywhere in our culture, from the workplace to the playground. It’s time to change that.”

18. 26 Responses People Had To This Anti-Vaxxer Proudly Wearing A ‘Jesus Wasn’t Vaccinated’ T-Shirt.

19. Why You Need to Make a ‘When I Die’ File—Before It’s Too Late.

20. These Ole Miss students were suspended from their fraternity after posing with guns in front of an Emmett Till memorial. (video)

21. NYPD Judge Recommends That The Officer Involved In Eric Garner’s Death Be Fired.

22. ‘We’re All Tired of Being Called Racists.’ “At Donald Trump’s rally in Cincinnati, droves of attendees made it clear that they stood with the president despite his recent comments.”

23. Stunning Images Show How Native American Fashion Looks Without Cultural Appropriation.

24. Innocent Man Released After 21 Years in Prison, Star Witness Confesses to Killing: ‘I Can’t Live With This on My Conscience.’

25. Car mechanic shifts gears, becomes a doctor at age 47 and helps address shortage of black doctors.

26. You Can’t Sweets Your Way Into Diabetes. “There are a lot more factors at play — all more complicated than ‘I had a cupcake at lunch.'”

27. Ethiopia planted a record-breaking 350 million trees in 12 hours to fight climate change. (video)

28. And now…a piglet eating grapes. (video) Make sure the sound is turned on for this one.

29. This flight attendant deserves a raise for this hilarious safety demo! (video)

30. “Did the Lion King opening and Nathan joined in with me!” (video) BTW, Nathan is a donkey.

31. “I wrote this song using actual comments I’ve received.” (video)

32. A Woman Tried To Sell Her Phone To A ‘Nice Guy,’ And He Went Nuts Asking For Her Address. In related news, Woman Left-Swiped A Man On Tinder, So He Started “Rebuking” Her On Instagram.

33. On Silence, (or Speak Again). “Elissa Bassist breaks her silence about everything she’s not supposed to talk about and comes out alive.”

34. Megan Rapinoe is in celebration mode. And she’s got some things to say on New York Times Magazine.

35. Border Patrol Detained a 9-Year-Old American Girl on Her Way to School for 32 Hours. “It didn’t matter that she had her U.S. passport with her.”

36. Brazil’s indigenous people: Miners kill one in invasion of protected reserve.

37. Father Tries to Grasp How He Could Have Left Twins to Die in Hot Car on The New York Times.

38. 9 Podcasts That Don’t Whitewash Race.

39. 6 Comments That Gaslight People in Conversations About Social Justice.

40. Ben Carr, Stepfather of Eric Garner, Dies at Daughter’s Wedding.

41. ‘I Know That They’re Cared For.” Why One Mom Has Chosen To Foster Migrant Children.

42. Burger King’s new Pride ad features an f-bomb, a burger diamond and 2 super cute hus-bears.

43. Better to have a few rats than to be one.

44. Footage shows the devastating moment ICE agents broke through a man’s window and detained him while his two young kids were in the car. (video) In related news, Trump Administration Moves To Speed Up Deportations With Expedited Removal Expansion. #AbolishICE

45. Tony Robbins Has Been Accused Of Groping More Women And Mistreating Vulnerable Followers.

46. The Crane Wife.

47. On Being with Krista Tippett: Ross Gay, Tending Joy and Practicing Delight.

48. $250 million lawsuit from Covington student against Washington Post dismissed by judge.

49. Recipes I want to try because as always I have WAY too much zucchini: Easy Scalloped Zucchini and zucchini quesadillas.

50. Indigenous People Demand an End to Detention on Stolen Lands.

51. Macy’s and Forever 21 got accused of fat-shaming this week — and experts say retailers are far from truly getting the plus-size market.

52. 10 ways your parents’ behaviors shape who you are today.

53. The Best-Directed Show on TV Is Better Things.

54. Yoga Reconsiders the Role of the Guru in the Age of #MeToo.

55. HARRIET – Official Trailer [HD].

56. Why a Gaslighting/Narcissist Relationship Is So Devastating.

57. Jordan and Andre Heroes El Paso, a GoFundMe fundraiser. “The family of Jordan Anchondo just confirmed they also lost her husband Andre Anchondo in the El Paso Shooting, leaving all three of their kids without their parents. Their 2-mos-old newborn, Paul, survived and will be released from the hospital today. Yesterday was also their 5-year-old daughter’s birthday, and they also leave behind an 18-month-old daughter.” This fundraiser is to help their kids and the family left to care for them. Andre stood in front of his wife and baby, and Jordan put her body in front of the baby when the shooter came for them. The baby survived; both parents were shot and died. They were at Walmart buying things for their 5 year old’s birthday party and school supplies.

58. “Write a Sentence as Clean as a Bone” And Other Advice from James Baldwin.

59. Mad Magazine Will Be Effectively Stopping After 67 Years.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. While Eric is still on vacation, we get to go all together, and that’s my favorite.

 

2. My “other” family. I was in Oregon last week visiting them – my parents, my brother and his two girls and one of their girls, and some aunts and uncles. It’s always good to see them, and then it’s always good to get back home to my own bed and my tiny family.

Mom and Dad. With them, I am simultaneously 51 and 12 years old, and they are both still younger than me and getting older.

Baby Lia (who’s almost not a baby anymore) and her grandpa, my big brother. She doesn’t like to eat bananas so much as she likes to peel them and throw the peel in the trash.

3. Our garden. We are currently getting tons of zucchini and cucumbers, but our tomatoes still aren’t ripe and our basil didn’t do too well this year. We went to a big plant sale and did some more work putting more flowers in the ground, to feed the bees and butterflies and keep down the weeds. Our goal is to eventually have plants everywhere with some paths winding through.

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Golden Raintree, which the bees love

4. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

5. Sweet things, in particular peach pie made by Eric on the grill and Mikalina and home sweet home.

Bonus joy: a safe and relatively easy trip, hanging out at Mikalina’s house and writing with her today, teaching yoga, long naps, good books, good TV, seeing Andrea Gibson with Carrie and getting to hang out with Beka and Tracy too, getting all the laundry done and bills paid and clean sheets on the bed, not having to go back to work in another two weeks, aqua aerobics, hanging out in the sauna with the good people, the little old lady who waved at us as she drove by on our walk this morning, the way Sam follows me around everywhere, the way Ringo only cuddles with me and not Eric, cooking good food, new recipes, a/c.