Author Archives: jillsalahub

Gratitude Friday

1. Spring. The days are so much longer, there is so much more light and green and life, and I only have another three weeks and three days left of work before summer break.

2. Morning walks. I am sad that Sam is on restriction, but it is SO much easier to walk just one dog!

3. Trusting myself to do the right thing. Even if I’m afraid, even if it’s difficult to explain, even if it will be hard, even if other people might thing I’m nuts.

4. Sam and Ringo. They are good company, keep me from spending all my time inside my own head.

There is a heron standing in the river that’s hard to see in this picture because it’s the same color as the water, but Ringo for sure sees it


“We’ll guard this lasagna with our lives, Mom.”

5. Eric. He loves me, takes care of me, cheers me up, makes me laugh.

Bonus joy: getting a massage, my new swimming suits (chlorine resistant), a warm pool (the heater was broken for almost a month), sitting in the sauna, clean sheets, kimchi, having all the laundry done and put away, the bright yellow of daffodils and forsythia and even dandelions, clean water, electricity, chocolate, Wild Writing.

Something Good

Image by Eric

1. Dear White People: If a Memorial Dedicated to Lynchings of Black People Makes You Uncomfortable, Good. In related news, This new lynching memorial rewrites American history.

2. RadioLab, Border Trilogy Part 1: Hole in the Fence.

3. Surviving the Ordinary: Why We Need Memoirs of Regular Lives.

4. Blackface Leads to Fraternity Suspension at Cal Poly on The New York Times. In related news (i.e. whyte people being stupid), Philly Starbucks arrests: What we know (and what we don’t) and Black Teen Who Missed Bus to School Gets Shot at While Trying to Ask for Directions and Teen with full ride to 20 colleges requests public apology from Fox affiliate in order to air interview. The foundation of the “American Dream” is white supremacy and racism. This is what DT and people like him mean by “Make America Great Again.” Bullshit like these stories is why #BlackLivesMatter is necessary. And don’t be confused or willfully ignorant about what’s happening – people are dying, being harmed and murdered. It’s real, true, and dire. The people living this experience have been trying to tell us and we haven’t listened, haven’t helped. It’s TIME.

5. The Last O.G. I watched the pilot of this show for free on the TBS app, and it was so good I immediately bought it on Amazon Prime so I could watch it. So far, it’s really good.

6. Charles Soule: On Finding The Joy.

Making a career in creativity is itself a hugely creative act. It doesn’t just spontaneously happen. You have to build it, step by step, just as you do the individual creations themselves. It’s time plus dedication plus skill – whether innate or cultivated, ideally both.

So…how? Who the hell would put themselves through something like that? More particularly, why, when there are easier ways to make a living, with more guarantees.

Because of the joy of it.

7. The Most Important Writing Advice You Need Right Now from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

8. The hidden crisis on college campuses: Many students don’t have enough to eat.

9. Almost all violent extremists share one thing: their gender.

So this is how it works: These young men feel entitled to a sense of belonging and community, of holding unchallenged moral authority over women and children, and of feeling that they count in the world and that their lives matter.

Experiencing threats to the lives they feel they deserve leads these young men to feel ashamed and humiliated. And it is this aggrieved entitlement – entitlement thwarted and frustrated – that leads some men to search for a way to redeem themselves as men, to restore and retrieve that sense of manhood that has been lost.

10. Easy as 1-2-3, a mediation on making art.

11. Even if you don’t feel ready from Alexandra Franzen.

12. 5 Books that Changed Junot Díaz’s Life. (video)

13. A Prince Tribute Bloomed And Gave The Late Singer The Crown He Deserves.

14. Devonte Hart’s biological mom: They gave my kids ‘to monsters.’ Just when you think this story couldn’t get any worse…

15. Love, Simon is not the only film depicting the lives of young, queer people. Here are 62 more.

16. Gemma the pit bull loved her little brother Elliott from the minute she met him when he was just a newborn baby. (video)

17. This is why dogs are THE GREATEST ANIMAL ON EARTH! (video)

18. Jack in the Box. (video) It seems like the way a child reacts to this is a good indicator of how they are going to handle the chaos of the rest of their lives.

19. Dismantling White Dominance in Women’s Entrepreneurship: Potent Conversations with BIWOC Countering the Narrative Right Now, a free masterclass.

20. I Feel Pretty, Not Delusional by Ragen Chastain from Dances with Fat.

21. Tank the pitbull singing his favorite song, Tennessee Whiskey. (video)

22. A Few Things to Know About American Sign Language. (video)

Gratitude Friday, on a Sunday

1. Me. I posted this picture on Instagram this week with the caption: “Not gonna lie, don’t know how I’m still standing. Five more weeks of work, then a whole summer to rest, find myself again, and consider what to do next.” The fact that no matter how hurt or tired or DONE I am, I keep going, don’t give up, is something I’m very grateful for.

2. Morning walks. Still just me and Ringo (Sam gets to go around the block once a day, but that’s it for now). This week we saw two owls having a chat, a giant heron, a huge bald eagle, and lots of deer.

3. Living close to the water. I still miss the ocean, but all the ponds and the river so close by make it easier.

4. Practice. Yoga, writing, meditation, and dog.

5. My tiny family. When the world and people are too much, too chaotic, too toxic, these three save me. Like poet Rudy Francisco‏ shared on Twitter , “Home is any place that makes you forget the world is on fire.”

Bonus joy: Sam still not limping which leads to the hope he can start some physical therapy and get stronger and continue to get better and one day go on a regular walk, lunch with friends, Wild Writing, naps, aqua aerobics, the sauna, clean sheets, no plans, sunshine, things blooming and getting green.

Something Good

From our morning walk, moon over Wood Duck Pond

1. Poems of Protest, Resistance, and Empowerment, a special collection from the Poetry Foundation. #NationalPoetryMonth

2. A white mob wiped this all-black Florida town off the map.

3. The Suffering of Busyness on Lion’s Roar.

4. How to keep going, a talk by Austin Kleon at Bond in San Francisco. “It’s a list of 10 things that have helped me stay creative in such chaotic times.”

5. Baffled by Conceptual Art? So Are Will Ferrell and Joel McHale in This Museum’s Short Film.

6. The Time for Art Is Now. “Art has the power to alter our interior selves, and in so doing to inspire, exhilarate, provoke, connect, and rouse us. As we are changed, our souls are awakened to possibility—immeasurable, yes, and potentially infinite. If ever there was a time for art, it’s now.”

7. “Do The Thing?” — An FAQ About Doing The Thing from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

8. I Revised These Popular Feminist Articles and Now They’re Troll-Proof, “A guide to spotting and dealing with tone policing.”

9. What I Tell Myself When I’m Feeling Down by the amazing Laurie Wagner.

10. The Internet Is Obsessed With This Puppy With Mickey Mouse Ears, And Her Photos Will Make Your Day. She doesn’t even seem real.

11. To The White Woman I Can No Longer Be Friends With.

12. Black Lives Matter Cofounder Patrisse Khan-Cullors Is Only Getting Started. “We talked to the activist about her new memoir, #MeToo, and the importance of self-care when you’re pushing for major change.”

13. Recipe I want to try, that’s actually from eight years ago, but still…spinach and chickpeas.

14. We can’t ignore race in the tragic story of Devonte Hart and his white adoptive mothers. In related news, Withering Under the White Gaze: The Hart Family Tragedy.

15. King’s Mountaintop, 50 Years Later. (video)

16. Protesters at NYC Stephon Clark Protest Discuss the Relationship Between Gun Violence and Race. (video)

17. Popular Life Coach Tony Robbins Tried to Mansplain #MeToo—and Movement Founder Tarana Burke Responded. She is an amazing woman. He is a tool. In related news, Anthony Robbins, where have you been?

18. “SNL”: T’Challa struggles to compete on “Black Jeopardy.”

19. A haunting underwater choreography, dedicated to all the women of the world. (video)

20. This too-relatable SNL commercial for Pro-Chiller Leggings makes us wish we could buy them for real. *tee-hee*

21. 5 Truths About White Privilege for White People from John Pavlovitz.

22. WATCH: “Out Again” | #ShortFilmSundays (video) “Cat visits her parents for the weekend and is confronted with her mother’s inability to remember one key detail. Written by and staring Robin Cloud.” Check out the rest of Issa Rae Presents YouTube channel. There’s some really great stuff on there.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. This week, they were under a full moon.

2. Feeling better. Not just me, but Sam too. He was pretty messed up from the sedation he had for his ultrasound and shot (whining and peeing everywhere he laid down to sleep that first night), but after that wore off, he was feeling so much better. We are weaning him off of some of his pain meds and will try a walk around the block in the morning. Fingers and paws crossed that he’s turned a corner, is on the upswing. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t been home with him that much in the past few days, but his limp seems mostly gone, which feels like some sort of miracle after almost three months.

Feeling punky on the ride home from the procedure, and peeing himself and the back of my car

Next day, feeling much better

3. Ringo. In particular the fact that he’s completely healthy and happy right now, being so good while Sam needs to rest and be calm.

He won’t look at me when he knows I’m trying to take his picture

4. Eric. He takes care of all of us. He even puts up with it when Ringo tries to take a nap, ON him.

5. Practice, in all the ways it manifests.

Bonus joy: they are fixing the heater in the pool so I finally get to go back to aqua aerobics on Monday (and show off my new swimming suit), sleep, clean sheets, getting all the laundry done and put away on Friday, barbecue, being able to pay for the help that Sam needs, dried plums, Kleenex with lotion, computer glasses, daffodils blooming in my garden (although, they are getting snowed on today), three new seasons of various HGTV shows on HULU, good books.

Three Truths and One Wish

Trees and moon

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: Some days I’m worried, and it makes it hard to concentrate. Sam is getting an ultrasound today to see if we can get a clearer picture (literally) of what’s going on with him. He’ll have to be sedated and if they find what they expect, he’ll be getting a platelet injection. The sedation is what worries me, always does. No matter how careful everyone is, there’s risk involved, and it makes it hard to focus on anything else while I wait.

2. Truth: While big things matter, sometimes it’s the little things. I’m thinking in terms of the negatives here, how a collection of small things adds up to something. Like maybe it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal that we shifted from paper forms to an online timeclock for student workers, or because of ongoing construction the closest I can park to my office is half a mile away, or they added chicken to the ingredients of something labeled “Peanut Butter flavor,” or it was windy all night and this morning and will be the rest of the day and tomorrow. Any of those by itself is so small, almost irrelevant, but somehow together they add up to some sort of omen, message, sign.

3. Truth: I love surprising people more than almost anything. Yesterday my nieces were posting on Facebook about Ocean Spray Cran-Pineapple juice, how it sounded good but you could only get it on Amazon. I ordered two jugs and sent it to them. No worries that I’m spoiling the surprise by writing about it here. They don’t read my blog. Another time, a friend was telling me about this Mary Poppins spoon that she’d saved box tops from cereal boxes and sent away for when she was a kid. She ate her cereal with it every morning, but then lost it somehow. I got on Ebay and found one, ordered it and put it in her mailbox at work, anonymously. The surprise didn’t last because when she found it, I was the first person she told, and the joy on my face gave me away. I always eventually confess, just so the surprise doesn’t seem creepy.

One wish: May our worry be eased and our aching hearts soothed by the sweet surprise of love and friendship.

Something Good

April Love Icon

1. April Love 2018, another photo challenge hosted by Susannah Conway. “This is a gentle photo challenge to ease us through the change in seasons (wherever you are in the world) and bring some creative mindfulness to our days…I’ve created a list of photo prompts to be explored throughout the month, a mix of straightforward things-to-shoot and a few more thoughtful prompts, so if you’re not sure how to illustrate the latter try simply sharing a moment from your day. Use the challenge as a way to give yourself ten minutes to notice your surroundings and take a breath. Keep it simple. Enjoy digging into your world with your camera and maybe spend a bit of time in your journal, too. Or not! Again I say: there really are no rules.”

2. The Children Treating Gunshot Wounds on Chicago’s South Side. “In a city home to a staggering amount of gun violence, Ujimaa Medics is teaching kids how to save lives.”

3. Stevante Clark Leads Protesters Into Sacramento City Council Meeting Demanding Justice for Brother Stephon Clark. (video) In related news, Stephon Clark’s family member speaks at rally (video) and Stephon Clark’s funeral in Sacramento, California (video).

4. The ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Is Funny. I’m Not Going to Keep Watching. From Roxane Gay on The New York Times. In related news, 9 Sitcoms Representing Today’s America To Watch Instead Of ‘Roseanne.’

5. These 25+ Cute Baby Donkeys Are Everything You Need To See Today.

6. 10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You.

7. 21st Century Colonization: Becky Came For Our Bindis and Our Chai.

8. Alleged Parkland, Fla., Shooter Has Received Sexual Photos, Fan Mail and Hundreds of Dollars in Donations While Awaiting Trial: Report. This is so offensive, I almost didn’t want to share it, and yet what matters to me more than my comfort (or yours) is knowing the truth, facing it, not turning away.

9. People Want To Know Why Brooklyn Museum’s New African Art Curator Is White. You can’t tell me that people of color weren’t as qualified, that they didn’t apply.

10. White people don’t understand the trauma of viral police-killing videos. I do, and this (and a few other reasons) is why even if I watch, I don’t share.

11. Did Fort Collins grow too big too fast? Short answer: YES, (and yet, as someone who moved here from out of state 25 years ago, I recognize that I’m part of the problem). “The Colorado city’s unwieldy expansion offers a cautionary tale for similar Western locales.”

12. Sweet Potatoes Four Ways, and a video of the recipes. I love sweet potatoes so much, I could eat them 100 ways.

13. This Italian grandma trying to operate Google Home is too adorable. (video) “Hey, Goo Goo. Okay, Goo Goo.” Seriously, she might be the cutest grandma ever.

14. Back to My Roots from Brittany Herself. “It’s like I got into this habit of being completely consumable, and I don’t know how to back up or admit that I don’t like it.”

15. Atlanta Charter School Apologizes for 2nd Grade Blackface Show in the Year of Our Lord 2018. *sigh* “Whatever that teacher was TRYING to do for Black History Month (in March no less), they failed miserably.”

16. 10 Women Over 50 Who Prove It’s Never Too Late to Change the World.

17. Oysters with Neil Gaiman.

18. ‘The Body Is Not an Apology’: Sonya Renee Taylor Is Leading a Revolution of Radical Self-Love.

19. Love Everyone: A Guide for Spiritual Activists, “Real political change must be spiritual. Real spiritual practice has to be political. Buddhist teachers Sharon Salzberg and Rev. angel Kyodo williams on how we can bring the two worlds together to build a more just and compassionate society.” In related news, Stand Against Suffering: A Call to Action by Buddhist Teachers, “Thirteen prominent teachers explain why Buddhists need to be be politically engaged at this crucial time in the country’s history, in this statement published in Lion’s Roar magazine and co-signed by more than 140 Buddhist leaders.”

20. From Mourning to Action: A Resource List from Jena Schwartz.

21. 100 of My Favorite Poets For Your Survival Pack.

22. A New Black American Dream on The New York Times.

23. Why losing a dog can be harder than losing a relative or friend.