Monthly Archives: August 2019

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. This morning on his walk with the dogs, Eric saw some of this year’s baby deer playing in the sprinklers at the park.

2. End of summer harvest. It’s zucchini, tomato, peach, and watermelon season right now. Yum. I made more zucchini bread, and this time I remembered the toasted walnuts.

3. Practice. While I was meditating this morning, Sam got up on the futon behind me and took a nap. I feel so much more relaxed with him there.

4. Being able to rest, do what I want. I am still amazed how much recovery is necessary, how lucky I am to be able to read a book or take a long nap or try a new recipe, until I remind myself I’ve been going nonstop for the past 40 years.

5. My tiny family. Last on the list, but not least.

His legs are SO long

Bonus joy: being able to say “no” to something that doesn’t feel quite right, getting all the laundry done and put away, clean beds for the dogs, that Ringo is finally grown up enough to just hang out most of the day instead of needing to be entertained constantly, hanging out with Mikalina, good movies (we watched Arctic last night), good TV (I needed something easy, so I started watching Jane the Virgin), reading in bed at night while my three boys sleep, cooler weather, pay day, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, the house smelling like something yummy after I’ve cooked.



Something Good

Image by Eric

1. 127 Morning Rituals – The Ultimate List For Your Morning Routine.

2. So You Want To Write? How Introverts Can Cultivate A Writing Practice.

3. 5 Superpowers Of The INFJ.

4. Austin Kleon’s collage archives. This is a practice I want to start up again.

5. Ethical Chocolate Companies, “a list of chocolate companies that only use ethically grown cocoa. Find out how you can tell if the chocolate you are eating is connected to child slavery.”

6. CSU professor’s poem in New York Times Magazine reflects on 1963 KKK church bombing. In related news, Conservatives rail against New York Times project on America’s sordid slave past, and Reading Guide: Quotes, Key Terms, and Questions for The 1619 Project.

7. 300 dancers showed up for ballet class this morning in Times Square in front of Good Morning America. (video) “This is what happens when you joke on TV about Male dancers. 300 dancers show up for a ballet class in Times Square NYC to show their support of our amazing male dancers.”

8. Amazon Fires: How Can You Help? In related news, Why the Amazon Rainforest Fires Are Absolutely Devastating, and How to help the Amazon rainforest: 9 things you can do during the fires and beyond.

9. This Woman Set Up A Photo Booth For Birds In Her Yard, And The Results Are Extraordinary.

10. 5 Questions for Thin People with Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating Brands.

11. Top 146 Recommended African-American Children’s Books.

12. The most effective ways to curb climate change might surprise you.

13. The Shaun King We’re Not Talking About. “When Clarissa Brooks questioned Shaun King about recent fundraising, King publicly threatened Brooks with legal action. However, Brooks is far from the first person to publicly question Shaun King, and she’s not the first Black woman to be disrespected by him either.”

14. Three migrant children die of flu in detention with US authorities refusing to give vaccines, as reports of child molesting emerge.

15. Sole Black Woman To Speak At Abortion Bill Hearing Has Mic Cut Off And Is Asked To Leave.

16. Flint Water Crisis Worsens, City Spills 2 Million Gallons of Sewage Into Flint River.

17. Energetic Southern White Rhino Calf “Charges” Around Safari Park.

18. Going against the decluttering craze: the book hoarders who defy Marie Kondo.

19. This 3-year-old sells lemonade to help buy diapers for moms in need. (video)

20. First-grader pointed loaded gun at student in school office. The gun belonged to the district’s transportation director. “Nelson was allowed to carry the weapon as part of the district’s concealed-carry plan adopted last year to arm administrators and select staff members to protect students from potential gun violence.” Guns In schools. What could possibly go wrong?

21. Variety to Forgo Annual Emmy Party for Donation to Planned Parenthood. This is what resistance looks like. In related news, Planned Parenthood Withdraws From Title X Program Over Trump Abortion Rule.

22. Daniel Pantaleo, Officer Who Held Eric Garner in Chokehold, Is Fired. on The New York Times. He should be in prison for murder, but this is a start.

23. WW Is Priming Our Kids To Become Lifelong Customers.

24. Virginia Boy Scout Recruits His Troop To Help Maintain The Legacy Of A Historically Black Cemetery.

25. We Fled the Gangs in Honduras. Then the U.S. Government Took My Baby. on The New York Times.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We are back on a regular, “back to school” schedule now, with the sky dark enough that I have to wear a headlamp to start. Still too many mosquitoes to get back close to the river, but that should happen in just a few more weeks.

2. Cooking. I love the process (when I have the time and energy) and having lots of leftovers to choose from. The zucchini bread I made last week, both “regular” and lemon (pictured), didn’t last very long.

My yoga props for when I teach

3. Practice, both teaching and doing.

4. Being content with not going back to work at CSU. It was move in day yesterday for the students who live in dorms, and the traffic was crazy. I told Eric last night that even though I’m not exactly sure what my “new life” will look like yet, I am completely sure that leaving CSU was the right choice.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

Bonus joy: writing with Mikalina and Chloe’, cooler weather, aqua aerobics (especially after the pool was closed for close to two weeks!), sitting in the sauna, hanging out with Eric, reading, watching good TV, napping, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and walnuts, writing, getting ideas for things I want to work on but knowing I don’t have to do them right away, “winning” in my Life class again because I worked so hard (although I’m not really competing with anyone but myself).

I was an animal

Something Good

From our walk

1. The Tenderness Project, an experiment in radical empathy founded by Ross Gay and Shayla Lawson. My dear friend Chloe’ had a piece featured as part of the project recently.

2. I’ve been cooking a lot lately. Here are some of the recipes I’ve made this week, (all of them from Smitten Kitchen, the source of all things good and delicious): Zucchini Cheese and Rice Gratin, and Zucchini Quesadillas, and Ultimate Zucchini Bread, and Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber, and Broccoli Slaw. I also made what my family calls “funeral casserole” (because it’s what you take to a funeral if they ask you to bring something to share, and the rest of the time it just makes me laugh to call it that), the recipe written on a piece of scratch paper by my aunt over 20 years ago. And, I made some Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread, and want to try these Buttermilk Pancakes.

3. let’s talk about boobs, baby, some good advice from Karen Walrond.

4. Weight Watchers Is Harming Kids For Money from Dances with Fat. In related news, There’s a New Diet App for Kids, and That Scares Me, and Weight Watchers Defends Its New Weight-Loss App For Kids, and Weight Loss for Kids? Thanks to WW, There’s An App for That.

5. 6 ways to be antiracist, because being ‘not racist’ isn’t enough.

6. The Practice of Listening to Find Purpose on Zen Habits.

7. Trump ‘Embodies Nearly Every Aspect Of A Racist,’ Author Says.

8. In El Paso, Hundreds Show Up to Mourn a Woman They Didn’t Know on The New York Times. In related news, His Only Relative Died In El Paso. Now, Her Funeral May Draw Hundreds Of Strangers.

9. Arkansas Woman Charged Over Holding Four Black Teenagers at Gunpoint on The New York Times. “The boys were raising money for their football team. The woman, identified as Jerri Kelly, 46, is facing charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment.”

10. Hannah Gadsby Believes “There’s a Clear Path to Redemption” for Louis C.K. “But the disgraced comedian, Gadsby continued, is ‘not taking it. He’s being self-indulgent and he’s being a crybaby.'”

11. Migrant Children Are Entitled to Toothbrushes and Soap, Federal Court Rules on The New York Times. The fact that we need a court ruling for this says everything. #AbolishICE #CloseTheCamps

12. Ebola is Now Curable. Here’s How the New Treatments Work. Seems to me this should be bigger news.

13. Trump-inspired Hate Hits the Plaza. “Longtime Plaza vendors say they’re facing hostility from gun-toting man.”

14. De’Von Bailey’s family calls his death ‘wholly unjustified’ after Colorado Springs police release bodycam footage. This is not keeping us safe or keeping the peace. This is government sanctioned murder.

15. Barack Obama’s 2019 summer reading list celebrates a diverse group of authors.

16. A Prison Guard Drove A Truck Through A Group Of Jewish ICE Protesters, Injuring Several.

17. Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black mericans have fought to make them true on The New York Times Magazine.

18. New Mexico Women: Natalie Goldberg.

19. Almost three-quarters of Americans want undocumented immigrants to be able to legally stay in the US.

20. California’s Last Gray Wolf Pack Just Surprised Everyone By Welcoming 3 New Pups.

21. Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin: Stream Online (for a Limited Time) , a New Documentary Exploring the Life & Work of the Legendary Sci-Fi Writer. In related news, Ursula K. Le Guin Is Still the Radical Feminist We Need Today.

22. Still one of the best break-up/quit your job/I’m outta here anthems and videos ever.

23. Maiden, a really really really good documentary.

24. Wellness has come for your pets. “The $636 million pet supplement industry is fueled by the greatest suckers of all: millennial dog owners, like me.”

25. How To Cultivate Self-Love As An Introvert.

26. The anatomy of annoying.

27. Here Are 21 Free Resources for Teaching Social Justice in the Classroom.

28. Why It’s Immigrants Who Pack Your Meat. “What Trump has called an ‘invasion’ was actually a corporate recruitment drive.”

29. The 1619 Project, “a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

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.