Author Archives: jillsalahub

Gratitude Friday

1. You, kind and gentle reader. I got a lovely letter full of encouragement from one of you a few weeks ago and this morning I was thinking about how lucky I am that there are still people showing up here, even though I’ve written so much less often these past few years. Thank you for all of that — the love, the encouragement, the patience, the listening, the showing up.

2. Morning walks. This week, I did one without a headlamp because it was already so light out at 5:30 am. We tried to find the den of baby foxes, but it seems like mama may have moved them. We got more snow, but things are turning green and blooming and the river is filling up from snow melt higher up.

3. Flowers in the bathroom. I knew my remaining daffodils wouldn’t survive the snow, so I cut and brought them inside. My friend Emily sent me bulbs a few years ago, when she saw me on Facebook saying how much I loved them but always forget every year until it was too late to plant. Every year since, they surprise me first thing in spring, and I am reminded how easy and wonderful love and kindness can be.

4. Nine more days at CSU!!! This afternoon, there’s a celebration in my honor. Yesterday I found out that my last day of work would be the last day I’d have access to my email, so I started deleting everything, which felt weird but also thrilling. It’s officially now the moment where I don’t do anything new, but rather finish up what I’m working on and start clearing out. For nineteen years this has been a central part of my life. I was really good at it and loved most of the people I worked with but I also had one foot out the door for some time. It was never my “thing,” but rather the best job option “for now” and there’s a sense of excitement that I finally am going to have the space and time to honor and prioritize my own intentions.

5. My tiny family. They are essential.

Bonus joy: no I don’t have a new puppy but Chloe’ does!, sunshine, getting enough sleep (whatever that even means), a new therapy for my knee that seems like a particular kind of magic because I don’t understand exactly how it works but it does and I have easy access to it, teaching yoga, appliances that work, clean water, electricity, fresh good food, the internet, good books, TV that’s just good enough to keep me entertained but not so good that I have to give it my full attention, spring, blooms, bird song, saying “no,” massages, clean sheets, a good physical therapist, being able to email my doctor instead of having to call or make an appointment, the call to my insurance company being easy and fast, my “new” car, having dogs that are/were so awesome you still miss them like crazy a decade later, hummingbirds, the particular blue of robin eggs.

Something Good

1. Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy by Adreanna Limbach. “Using The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path as a guide, Tea and Cake with Demons guides us to meet all our most common demons—shame, perfectionism, fixation, and self doubt—all while myth-busting the cultural narratives that keep us stuck and revealing the unshakable nature of our inherent self worth.”

2. The Foxes, a photo album from Chuck Wendig. “These are shots of the foxes (whole family, this year) that live in the woods out front of our house, and just behind my writer shed.”

3. Eleanor Baker, a widow, was sitting alone at Brad’s Barbeque in Oxford, Alabama, when she was approached by three young men. (video)

4. “America, Reloading” by Andrea Gibson. “And that’s as happy as the end gets right now.” 💔

5. A new movie remembers the real Emily Dickinson — passionate, ambitious, and queer.

6. “Special” is a Comedy Where Disability Isn’t the Punch Line. In related news, Netflix’s Special stars Ryan O’Connell playing himself—a gay man with cerebral palsy. (video)

7. Trump Will Not Attend 2019’s National Teacher Of The Year Ceremony Honoring Rodney Robinson.

8. National Guard leaders in five states defy Trump and refuse to dismiss trans troops. It’s so important to remember that we can resist, we can refuse.

9. Aidy Bryant Knows She’s Good.

10. Sadeck and his daughter proving that dance is the key to JOY. (video)

11. PS22 Chorus kids perform with Andy Grammer. (video) I’ve watched this at least 20 times, and it’s my favorite Facebook account.

12. After her big sister got approval to wear a Frozen-themed costume to bed, this little girl in Alabama wanted to wear a costume, too. (video) She picked a hot dog. I have also watched this video at least 20 times.

13. A feminist glossary because we didn’t all major in gender studies.

14. Facebook is punishing Black people for talking about racism.

15. Gay Mag call for submissions. “Gay is a new publication partnership between Roxane Gay and Medium. Laura June Topolsky is the Deputy Editor and Kaitlyn Adams serves as Managing Editor. We will be publishing work weekly, covering a wide variety of topics. We will also assemble ambitious, compelling quarterly themed issues. We are now accepting submissions, on a rolling basis, and look forward to hearing from new and established writers who possess original voices.”

16. Recent HBCU Graduate Tyrique Hudson Killed By White Neighbor Months After Court Denied Request For Protective Order.

17. puppiespuppiespuppies from Broad City. (video)

18. Colorado Highway Crash: At Least 4 People Killed In Fiery 28-Vehicle Pileup.

19. A Bookstore, Finally, Comes to the Bronx on The New York Times.

20. How These Black Playwrights Are Challenging American Theater on The New York Times.

21. New Prince album “Originals” to be released in honor of his birthday.

22. DC Police Officer Faces Backlash After Handcuffing A 9-Year-Old Boy For Leaning On His Car. In related news, Policing the Police: Database of Corrupt Cops Opened to Public View.

23. Jimmy and Paul Rudd do a shot-for-shot remake of the classic 1985 music video “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).” (video) Ah, memories…

24. 3-Year-Old Found Alone at Border Is One of Many ‘Heartbreaking’ Migrant Cases on The New York Times.

25. Sri Lanka attacks: Who are the victims? In related news, After Sri Lanka Attacks, Islamist Group Blamed And Victims Named.

Gratitude Friday

1. 14 days left at CSU!!! Yes, I have officially started counting days rather than weeks. After being in this space with these people doing variations of this work for 19 years, I’m now down to only 14 more days. It feels great and awful, exactly right and weird. It’s also like a break up where even if it’s mutual, there’s some grief for the thing that’s ending. And I know how things go for me: any big change, (and this one is major), leaves me unsettled for the next three years. It has always taken me that amount of time to make the full shift, to complete the transition, so this isn’t actually “over” in 14 days. All that said, I’m ready to begin.

2. I got my car back!!! Seriously, it seems like some kind of miracle. One extreme hailstorm, four months, and $10,000 worth of repairs later — just in time to get my snow tires taken off. It’s weird how many people heard the amount of repairs required and thought they should have just given me a new car. Um, it’s only two years old and still worth $30,000, WHY would they scrap it and give me a new one?! That makes no sense.

3. Morning walks. Eric found a den of fox kits that I haven’t gotten to see yet, so that’s my mission the next few mornings I walk — find the fox puppies and see them for myself.

4. Taking care of myself. I am very lucky to have the time, the support, and the resources to be able to do what I need to do for the places that hurt.

Relaxing with some heat and “stim” after physical therapy

5. My tiny family. They are the best, my favorites.

Bonus joy: a smart and kind physical therapist, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, my infrared heating pad, writing with Chloe’ and Mikalina, clementines, everything turning so green, the sound of birds singing in the morning, computer glasses, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, wearing pajamas all day, having all the laundry done by lunch on Friday, lunch, fresh bread, sushi, good TV (finished Special on Netflix and started Ramy on Hulu), poetry, my daffodils coming back when I was worried they wouldn’t, coffee with Carrie, laughing with Eric.

Something Good

1. 3 Causes Of INFJ Burnout (And How To Get Relief).

2. Horse Goes On A Walk Alone Every Day For 14 Years, Receives Pets And Treats From Residents.

3. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: The Invisible Majority, You Already Have What You’re Looking For, and Impermanence is Buddha Nature.

4. US Airline Customer of Size Policies. This is a really good resource for anyone flying in a bigger body.

5. This Queer Ballet Company Is Putting Their Classes Online For Everyone. “Ballez is a ballet company opening dance to people of all gender expressions. Starting today, you can join their movement wherever you are in the world.”

6. How We Can Save the Honeybees. “A professional beekeeper shares some ideas for preventing the insect apocalypse.” In related news, Morgan Freeman Converted His 124-Acre Ranch Into A Giant Honeybee Sanctuary To Save The Bees.

7. 15-Year-Old Alabama Boy Commits Suicide After Enduring Anti-Gay Bullying.

8. Prince Memoir The Beautiful Ones to Arrive in October.

9. Lavina Gray Funding for SFAI Summer Program. She’s amazingly talented — can you help her? Every bit helps.

10. What Happened When the Dean’s Office Stopped Sending Emails After-Hours.

11. For Sri Lanka, a Long History of Violence on The New York Times. “After a civil war that dragged on for nearly three decades, Sri Lanka had been enjoying a decade of relative calm. That was shattered on Sunday when a coordinated bombing attack killed more than 200 people. Here is some context to help you understand the latest events in the small island nation.”

12. Go Green but Buy Black: 10 Black-Owned Cannabis Companies For 4/20.

13. Wisconsin coffee chain will change its name, apologizes to Native American tribes.

14. Mozambique starts the long process of rebuilding after cyclone Idai ravaged the country.

15. Another Warning Sign. “The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House’s interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning about how fundamentally unprepared our government is for a significant crisis or emergency.” In related news, Highlights From The Mueller Report, Annotated.

16. These seniors are turning to marijuana to treat a host of health conditions. (video)

17. Grown Ass Cop Pepper Spray, Beat and Arrest Black Teen for Allegedly Taking a Defensive Stance.

18. Meet the Buddhist monk leading a double life as a makeup artist.

19. How Tressie McMillan Cottom’s ‘Thick’ Affirmed My Years-Long Refusal Of Body Positivity Language.

20. Before Fisher-Price’s Rock ’n Play Recall, Safety Fears and Dubious Marketing on The New York Times.

21. American History: From Emancipation to the Present, a free video course available on YouTube. “The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present.”

22. African American Studies, UCLA, another free video course available on YouTube. “An intensive introduction to African American political thought that focuses on major ideological trends and political philosophies as they have been applied and interpreted by African Americans.”

23. African-American History: Modern Freedom Struggle (A Free Course from Stanford). “Taught by historian Clayborne Carson, the editor of the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., this Stanford University course–entitled African-American History: Modern Freedom Struggle–provides an introduction to African-American history, ‘with a particular emphasis on the political thought and protest movements of the period after 1930.'”

24. 25 Lakhs From 1.25 Acre: Rajasthan Woman Grows Pomegranates & Apples on Barren Land!

25. How to Survive Being a Teacher as a Highly Sensitive Person.

26. Artist Spends A Year In the Woods Making Magical Sculptures Out Of Natural Materials.

27. How to Lose a Diet in 10 Ways: Don’t Listen to Oprah & Other Good Advice.

28. Roxane Gay and Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom to Release ‘Badass’ Podcast Called Hear to Slay.

29. Aliza Sokolow’s Food Photos Could Change the Way You Think About Farmers. “The L.A.-based photographer has trained her lens on the growers in your local farmers’ market, showcasing the art and beauty of their hard work.”

30. Designer Transforms Arabic Words into Illustrations of Their Literal Meanings.

31. These retirees started swimming for the first time in their 50s and 60s. (video)

32. The Unbearable Weight of Fatphobia: A Conversation with Samantha Irby. “I don’t wanna have to teach a lesson on Health At Every Size just to get through every conversation in my day. I’m just trying to live my life.”

33. The Best Eating Disorder Recovery Blogs of 2019.

34. Navajo Nation buys back sacred masks at Paris auction after pleas for their return failed. In related news, Sacred Hopi tribal masks are again sold at auction in Paris.

35. Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind. “In three decades of advocating for prison abolition, the activist and scholar has helped transform how people think about criminal justice.”

36. A white dude’s definition of “ally” made me rethink educating folks.

37. The Health Iceberg, a really great infographic from holisticallygrace on Instagram that I can’t stop thinking about.

38. Flint Receives $77 Million to Fund New Water Projects.

39. This police officer has been fired after body cam footage revealed him abusing a 69-year-old Florida veteran. (video) Our police system is broken, and worse yet it attracts power hungry bullies.

40. We Interviewed 5 Cultural Appropriators at Coachella 2018.

41. One mom in McCall, Idaho posted this video of her kids Brooke and Branson Waite singing while cleaning the bathroom. (video)

42. Nestle Says Requirement to Report Use of Slave Labor Would Cost Consumers More Money. And, so?! Don’t lie, Nestle, you are worried about profits not our feelings about paying more for your crap candy.

43. White People Don’t Live in Flint or Puerto Rico, So President Sends Aid to France.

44. ‘Mama K’s Team 4’: Netflix Announces First African Original Animated Series.

45. The University Is a Ticking Time Bomb. “Treating nearly 75 percent of the professoriate as disposable is not sustainable.”

46. This is so cute! (video) I have watched this video so many times, because it’s ME.

47. An 8-Year-Old Boy’s Bone Marrow Donation Cured His Siblings Of Sickle Cell Disease.

48. Arizona Teachers Can Now Discuss LGBTQ Issues Without Worrying About The Law.

49. Research Shows Entire Black Communities Suffer Trauma After Police Shootings. “Police killings of unarmed African Americans have created a mental health crisis of enormous proportions.”

50. Trump vs. Mother Earth: Indigenous Activist Dallas Goldtooth Slams Trump’s Pipeline Executive Orders.

51. These baby foxes are more than excited about it snowing in April. (video)

Gratitude Friday

1. Spring. It’s officially here. I looked out into our backyard just the other day, the sliding glass door open because it was nice and sunny outside, and said to Eric, “our yard is so green!”

An older picture of my desk, back when it was a lot cleaner

2. Only 3.5 weeks left at CSU!!! Every once in a while, I catch myself thinking I maybe made a mistake quitting, that maybe I could have made it work, and then I immediately laugh because that’s just ridiculous. And then I have a day like yesterday where I worked SO hard, did so many good things, and then someone was shitty to me, and I thought “May 15th can’t come soon enough.” The only other time in my life when I gave myself permission to do what was absolutely right for me no matter what other people thought or whether or not it even made sense was when I moved to Colorado to be with Eric, so I think it’s safe to trust myself this time too. Can you imagine how awesome it will be if this turns out as good as my marriage?!

3. My last module of my 500 hour yoga teacher certification. It’s the vinyasa module, which everyone had told me was hard, but I’m really loving it so far. If you don’t know, to become certified to teach you do a 200 hour training, which is like getting your undergraduate degree. Then, if you want to keep going, you can do the next 300 hours and become 500 hour certified, which is like having your Master’s degree. You can go on to do another 200 and become 700 hour certified, but most people I know get 500 hour certified and then specialize in something. For me, that’s yoga for people in bigger bodies, adaptive yoga, and restorative yoga. I’ll have to teach a capstone at the end of this module that incorporates something from all the modules for this 300 hours, and I’m actually looking forward to it even though it’s a lot. During this session, I am obsessed with taking myself out to lunch at Slyce Pizza Co.

The ducks are easier to spot, but can you find the heron?

4. Morning walks. It’s getting so light so early again. On Thursday morning, I only had to have my headlamp on for about 30 minutes, probably didn’t really even need it, and the sky was amazing. We’ve been seeing the heron fishing in the river almost every morning, and the ducks and geese are busy getting ready for babies. Every once in a while we see raccoons and foxes or a beaver, and the herd of white tailed deer are always around even if we don’t run directly into them.

Heron fishing. Can you see it?

I tried to get a picture of the moon, but the camera on my phone doesn’t capture low light shots very well

5. My three boys. The two with four legs who are covered in fur, and the one who leaves me love notes on the kitchen counter.

Sam taking a nap with me

Bonus joy: lunch with Aramati, coffee with Carrie, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, sunshine, people saying nice things about me, good TV (this week it’s a season of Fixer Upper I hadn’t seen yet), good books, sort of new to me music (Sol Rising, whose tracks I’d heard before, but I didn’t realize how many full albums he had that I’d like and would make really good music for yoga classes), bran muffins with dried raspberries, getting the laundry done on Friday morning, physical therapy, robins hopping around on the ground, bird song in the morning, things turning green, a new puppy, saying goodbye to an old puppy — the way he stood there wagging his tail with a toy in his mouth before he gave up and got on his bed and insisted I pet his head for the entire hour long visit, how happy Ringo is when he finds something he can pick up and carry for part of the walk (this week it was an adult sized single ski glove and a stick), the way Sam always wants to be right where I am, how Eric gets mad when someone is mean to me, how good he is at cheering me up.

Something Good

From our walk this morning

1. Healing Crayon’s Art Store. “I combine protest, play and self care to make art that helps people find their happy place in their body. I have recovered from an eating disorder and am a parent, social worker, artist and intersectional feminist. All profits from this site are donated to the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association in Newton, Massachusetts.” She also has a really great Instagram account.

2. Set up a day that works and do it over and over again from Austin Kleon. He just released another book — his books on creativity are the BEST.

3. Dear Friends, I Love You, But I Just Can’t Go Out Tonight. Sincerely, An HSP.\

4. Cognitive load is real from Seth Godin. I feel the truth of this so hard.

5. To Know Yourself is to Forget Yourself. “According to Pema Chödrön, we might think that knowing ourselves is a very ego-centered thing, but by beginning to look clearly and honestly at ourselves, we begin to dissolve the walls that separate us from others.”

6. 10 Great Buddhist Books, Recommended by 10 Buddhist Teachers.

7. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach In Shadow Of Border Crossing.

8. This Vermont High School Is Recognizing The History Of Slavery By Raising BLM Flag For 400 Days.

9. 10 Tips on Receiving Critical Feedback: A Guide for Activists.

10. Learning to Let Go and Live.

11. 40 Acres and a Mule Would Be at Least $6.4 Trillion Today—What the U.S. Really Owes Black America, a very interesting infographic.

12. Saskatoon family loses everything in house fire.

13. The Pine Ridge Reservation is one of the most economically impoverished parts of the U.S. Weeks after major flooding, hundreds of its residents remained displaced. (video) In related news, Still reeling from massive flooding and without federal assistance, the Pine Ridge Reservation braces for another major storm.

14. Trump Assails Ilhan Omar With Video of 9/11 Attacks on The New York Times. In related news, Democrats Rally Behind Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Defense In Wake Of Trump’s Latest Attack On The Freshman Lawmaker, and Twitter Urged to Suspend Donald Trump After President Accused of ‘Sharing Propaganda Videos Trafficking in Hate Speech’ Over Omar Attack.

15. The naked truth about Jonatha Brooke’s new made-in-Minnesota record.

16. Author Damon Young’s Black Survival Glossary.

17. A South Carolina firefighter reunites with a puppy he rescued trapped beneath a pile of rocks, and gives his new best friend—Rocky—a forever home. (video)

18. This Border Collie saw a car coming straight for her Chihuahua friend. (video) “She bolted forward and grabbed the Chihuahua by the neck and ran out of the way of the car.”

19. Anybody want my job?

20. Kittens are so funny. (video)

21. MAGA-Loving, Colin Kaepernick-Hating Top NFL Draft Prospect Seems to Hate Everything Black.

22. Screaming off silence: Andrea Gibson, an interview with one of my favorite poets.

23. [White] Son of a Deputy Sheriff Is Charged in 3 Black Church Fires on The New York Times.

24. This 112-pound eastern black rhino was born on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. (video)

25. Dumpster Diving Reveals U.S. Food Waste Crisis. (video)

26. Settlers destroy 2,000+ Palestinian-owned trees and vines, backed by Israeli authorities.

27. 18-Year-Old Starts Having A Seizure On The Train, Receives Help From Total Stranger That Later Shares The Whole Story On Twitter.

28. Washington State Bans Free Books to Prisoners for No Logical Reason.

29. 11-Year-Old’s Gives ‘Blessing Bags’ to Homeless Population and Catches Obama’s Attention. (video)

30. The key to glorifying a questionable diet? Be a tech bro and call it ‘biohacking.’

31. ‘Shrill,’ Starring Aidy Bryant, Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu. Yay!

32. Gavin is 25. Julie is 76. They met by chance in a market four years ago and they’ve had each other’s backs since. (video)

Gratitude Friday

1. I’m still here. Which means I can keep trying, which means things can always get better.

2. Blooms. In the bathroom and on the streets.

3. 4.5 more weeks at CSU!!! It is getting really close, going really quickly now.

4. Snow. We got another “bomb cyclone” which led to another half day off work. We got about a foot of really wet snow that’s almost all melted already.

My view for another 4.5 weeks.

5. My tiny family. Eric was gone last night, went to Lamar, Colorado to give a presentation, but he’ll be home tonight. The boys have been really good for me while he’s been gone, are such good company.

From our walk this morning

6. It’s my mom’s birthday today! I’m pretty lucky to be in my 50s and still have both my parents still around, (all four, if you count Eric’s parents, which after 25 years are really mine too). This is one of my favorite pictures of us. I’m going to publish this post and try to call her. Neither one of us really likes talking on the phone, but we like talking to each other.

Bonus joy: the heron who has been fishing the same spot of the river most mornings, orange juice, going out to breakfast with Eric before he had to leave, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, sitting on the couch in my pjs watching good TV, going to bed early so I can stay up late reading a good book, Eric being able to figure out a fix for our refrigerator so we didn’t have to buy a whole new one, my three interns and in particular their sense of humor, getting the laundry done on Friday, laughing during Pilates, yoga teacher training. friends who try so hard to be better people, marionberry jam, breakfast for dinner, being able to video chat with Eric.