Monthly Archives: February 2020

Gratitude Friday

1. The last bit of winter. I think I’ve mentioned it: as much as I love my garden and all the green and sun of spring and summer, living in Colorado I actually prefer the weather in fall and winter. We’ve been getting snow pretty regularly this month, but I can hear the birds singing in the morning and it is getting light much earlier, so spring is close. I’m savoring this last bit of cold and snow.

2. Good food. I made this Sweet Potato Salad with Pepita Dressing from Smitten Kitchen (my favorite recipe site) this week, added in some spinach because I had some that was wilting and needed to be used, and it was SO good. Pretty much anything with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and spinach is going to be something I like, and the lime really made this salad. I love trying new recipes, especially when they turn out well and are something I want to eat again.

3. Teaching yoga. This week in my regular class, I talked about “completing the stress cycle.” This is the time of year when people are getting sick and feeling fatigued by the dark and cold, and I had one person with a knee injury and another with a hurt back. I was also pretty sore from doing 120+ push ups in a fitness class the day before and extra tired from a people-y week, so teaching was a challenge, but also the best medicine.

4. Good TV. I watched The Stranger and Safe on Netflix this week. They are both based on books by the same author, murder mysteries with lots of interpersonal drama and intrigue, and even though it seems like those things would be triggering for someone with anxiety issues, they are weirdly calming in small doses. I’m also rewatching The Office, one of the only comedies that seems to stand the test of time, and there’s always House Hunters to round it out. I’m also reading some good books and listening to a bunch of good podcasts and good music. There seriously isn’t enough time to consume all the worthy content, let alone create some.

5. My tiny family. Last night while I was watching TV, Ringo got in my lap, and seriously there is nothing better than a warm cuddly dog on a cold night. Sam does his cuddle shift in the morning, in the hour or so before the alarm goes off.

Sam grows his own socks in the winter

Bonus joy: pay day, Girl Scout Thin Mints, napping, clean pjs, clean sheets, a warm cup of cocoa coffee while I write in the morning, writing with Carrie, hanging out with Mikalina, aqua aerobics, morning walks with the dogs, blue sky, good neighbors, my tiny house, sitting in the sauna with Eric, texting, therapy, grocery shopping.

Something Good

From our walk

1. 86-year-old comedian Lynn Ruth Miller, who started her career in stand-up at age 71. (video)

2. Mr. Prather is a Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher who created a “pamper day” for his kids. (video)

3. Tracee Ellis Ross talks with Oprah. (video)

4. Dogs Will Outlive Us All on Great Big Story, (video). “Dogs might have a shot at outliving us all, according to American Museum of Natural History scientist Dr. Jack Tseng. Look no further than inside their mouths to find out why they’re such evolutionary marvels.”

5. What About the Cost of Retreats? “Many Buddhist practitioners can’t afford to go on retreats. Pamela Ayo Yetunde says it’s time we start thinking about how to make the practice less exclusive.”

6. Why Trauma Survivors Shouldn’t Think They Are ‘Lazy’.

7. Why Veggies Won’t Save Health Care in Real Life. “Someone could be following the perfect diet according to our dominant wellness culture’s standards. But, all those antioxidants from fruits and veggies cannot stand up to the effects of systemic oppression, generational trauma, and, yes, even something as small as the chronic stress from nightly homework struggles.” Wellness and health are so much bigger than what you put in your mouth and how you move your body. The fact that we don’t acknowledge that truth is one of the reasons we stay so sick.

8. SmartPetLove’s Snuggle Puppy Could Be The Cure For Your Dog’s Stress. We had one of these for Ringo and I think it really helped him. It came with a battery operated heart and you could put a handwarmer inside. That combined with a small fleece blanket that smelled like his biological mama made him able to settle down and sleep so much faster and easier.

9. 14 Writers Choose One Book That Gives Them Hope in a Dark Time.

10. Good stuff from Dances with Fat: Does Being Fat Cause Arthritis? Does That Even Matter?, and Compassion From Doctors Isn’t A Substitute For Evidence-Based Care, and I Can’t Believe People Are Still Pushing Calories In/Calories Out, and Celebrating Black Fat Activists.

11. How to Practice Hugging Meditation on Lion’s Roar. “Nothing warms the heart like a loving hug. To make the experience even deeper and more healing, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us this practice of hugging meditation he created.”

12. A cheery and helpful guide: How to be happy. Make sure to check out the comments too.

13. 5 ways white allies can honor Black History Month all year long.

14. Adult Life Can Be Lonely, so Here’s How I Build Community as an Introvert.

15. Journaling Prompts to Relieve Stress: 10 for Morning + 10 for Evening on Be More With Less.

16. Upcoming Group Show at Beinart Gallery Celebrates the Intricate Art of Miniatures.

17. How would you feel after six years living in a converted school bus? (video)

18. Lab Experiment Accidentally Gave Students Caffeine Dose Equal To 300 Coffees. Whoa!

19. Malena Ernman on daughter Greta Thunberg: ‘She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness’.

20. Sweet Potato Salad with Pepita Dressing. Wanna try it.

21. 20 of the Best Book Club Books of the Decade.

22. The Danger of WW and Rebranding Diets as ‘Wellness.’

23. I Learned Yoga/Buddhism Through an Abusive Group. Now I Teach It. What Do I Do?

24. “I Fail Almost Every Day”: An Interview with Samin Nosrat. “The author of ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ on fame, veganism, depression, and writing a new cookbook.”