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Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. With the time change, we’ll have a few weeks of light in the early early morning again. The day it would have been muddy, the ground was still frozen, and later in the week when it was warmer things had dried up, so we got to go by the river and around the ponds. I was telling someone again this week that it’s not a punishment to walk so early; I actually love it. It’s quiet, not too many people out, and we get to see more animals and the sunrise.

2. Practice. Waiting for the election results has been hard, to want something so much but also know you have to prepare yourself for not getting what you want and having to wade through everyone else’s opinions and perspectives to get to some sort of truth, especially when some of them are triggering, requires a particular kind of effort. I am so grateful that I practice even when things are good so that I’m prepared when it’s hard and I really need the stability and kindness and strength practice provides.

3. Pool, sauna, and massage. A few months in to the pandemic, when it became clear that this would be an ongoing challenge, I had to make some decisions about what things I needed to maintain my wellness in the long run even though they presented some risk in the short term. These are the three things I couldn’t do at home, couldn’t do for myself, but were necessary for me to stay strong, to access some necessary ease for my physical body. I’m so grateful for the way they are supporting me.

 

4. Comfort food. Eric made potato, corn, smoked salmon pot pie and an apple pie on Sunday. Other go-to comfort foods during the pandemic have been Frito’s, Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips, onion buns, big salads, apples, and pancakes.

5. My tiny family. Eric has been going to his office on campus to work more often. That combined with Sam being gone means that Ringo is looking to me more for love and attention, and I am so happy about that. Cattle Dogs are notorious for selecting one person as “their” person and sticking to them like glue. For Ringo, that person is Eric, and that’s always made me a bit sad, even though I get it, Eric is more fun — he goes hiking and running and plays in the backyard when all I want to do is walk and hang out on the couch and cuddle. When Sam was here, I was his person, so I’ve felt a bit lonely and appreciate that Ringo is helping me with that. There’s still no one I’d rather stay home with than these two.

Bonus joy: Wild Writing with Laurie, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, giggle fest with Chloe’ and Mikalina, texting with my mom and brother, taking bags of Halloween candy to our neighbor kids, the cute thank you card one of them made, choosing to take care of myself on a day when doing so was hard, dystopian fiction, shows about murder, Eric and Ringo playing in the backyard, how happy Ringo is to have stuffed squeaky toys, podcasts, movies, poetry, being retired, pay day, having my car paid off, getting the snow tires on my car, a random surprise voice message of a friend singing to me, laughing with Eric, the weekend, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. It’s official. The last walk we took this week I have no pictures because it was dark the entire time. The first walk we took, we left a half hour later than usual and there was just enough light towards the end that I got some pictures, mostly likely the last set of true fall pictures because we are supposed to get snow this weekend and the wind has blown most of the leaves off the trees. We saw deer on all our walks, a beaver on one and two baby raccoons on another, which were all very exciting for Ringo.

2. All the people working so hard to put out the fires that are burning. This could apply to so much right now, but in particular those fighting the massive fires here in Colorado and those supporting them as well as all the people and animals having to evacuate. May the forecasted snow and cooler weather help. May everyone, animals and humans, get somewhere safe.

3. All the things helping me keep it together. This moment in time is fraught and there are so many things to make me feel scared, sad, tired. I am so grateful for all the things supporting me, comforting me, some of which are: the pool, the sauna, massage, good food, good podcasts, good books, good TV, naps, texting with friends and family, hugging Eric, cuddling and playing with Ringo, practice.

Ringo’s play strategy is first get the toy and casually drop it in front of the person, acting like he doesn’t even care. If this doesn’t work, stare intently at said person. If this still doesn’t work, start making direct demands to “play with me!”

4. Babies. There are two new ones in our family, and as I was shopping online for something to send to welcome them, I felt a particular gratitude for the way they represent a possible future, for the potential they represent, not to mention how stinking cute they are.

5. My tiny family. The kitchen counter love notes Eric leaves (that inspired a friend to try leaving some of his own), the chocolate cake he made me, hugging him, how the cold weather makes Ringo more willing to cuddle, that we are together and safe.