Monday, November 20, 2017

This is the Way

#1 - I added some photos of my niece's tool belt to this post and the last one.

#2 - I turned down the heat a little, so that when I came home, I could turn up the heat a little and engage in one of my favorite cold weather simple pleasures - relaxing by the heating vent, not just for the normal short heating cycle, but for an extended one.

#3 - Though when I got home from my community ed exercise class I had no need to turn it up. It was the last night until the class resumes in January and apparently our instructor wanted it to be memorable. We did a "hack" squat with weights and I literally got stuck in the bottom. It was little scary, but I also started laughing because I didn't have the muscle to push myself up again. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

#4 - I have another couple nights in an Iowa cabin on the calendar. Last year that plan painfully did not turn out as expected, but still ended up being filled with beauty with my sister-in-law and nephew. It's a precarious thing trying again - different park, different cabin, same man.

#5 - The second episode of a damn good podcast came out.

This is the Way: a memoir of poetry and heroin
By Chris Jansen

I already read the manuscript, so I thought I could listen to it while working. I was wrong, too riveting.

It is written from a world both completely alien to me and yet at the same time completely familiar. A world of drugs and pain, searching and loneliness, desperation and compassion.

I tunes



Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trials and Toolbelts

#1 - My niece's "toolbelt" which she created out of paper etc. It held a pencil, a small notebook (which she also made), a sword (which she also made), some rolled up "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS", and at least five other things that I don't know what they were. It was secured around her waist via velcro. I'll try to post a photo later.

#2 - We held the trial for my niece. I represented the "Fun Police" whose motto is "No Fun For Everyone". I had prepared in advance my testimony with all of her recent fun infractions and the community service that she failed to complete (making three fun police badges). The judge gave her the chance to complete the badges in 20 minutes before offering a more harsh sentence. She was able to complete the task in time. I'm not sure if the trial was worth the time I put into it, but she did say she wanted another trial later, so maybe it was.

#3 - Finding that my 2 year old nephew could be distracted from plastic toy guns by reading him stories. I am not a fan of toy guns at all and once he discovered them it didn't look like anything would distract him. But we were alone in the basement so I grabbed a book, and for a while at least, that was all it took.

#4 - Anger is a tricky emotion. It is so often misused, but in fact it has an important role, which is protection. I was annoyed at being angry again today in relation to things we are working through in my relationship. "How long is this going to keep popping up?" I asked myself. As I walked towards my soccer game a teammate asked, "How are you?"

"Good," I automatically said, then continued, "Actually I'm pretty angry but 'good' is the word that came out."

Which led to a simple, but supportive, conversation.

Then on the sidelines waiting for our game to start I asked another teammate if he'd gotten ahold of our mutual friend. He'd emailed a few weeks ago asking if I had this guy's phone number. I wasn't sure if I did, but I gave him what I had and it turns out they went to a play together last night called something like "Luther on trial." The friend is a Lutheran pastor and the play actually sounded quite interesting. For example, one of the witnesses is Adolf Hitler, because apparently, Martin Luther later in life said some pretty anti-semitic things.

#5 - I've had a lot to write about this past year, but I haven't done a whole lot of writing. Besides one weekend workshop this summer, nothing has jumped out at me. Just now though I received an email from a woman whom I did writing and meditation with two years ago. I love the two of those together but she did not continue because of a lack of interest. I just received an email from her looking for interest in a once a month writing/meditation group for next year. I told her I'd love to.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Exhibit A

#1 - The feeling of peace and satisfaction I felt when I opened the bottom right drawer of my dresser. I cleaned/organized 6 of the drawers of my dresser this afternoon.

#2 - Starting the day with a morning yoga class with a friend and after that having zero plans - thereby having time to do simple things at home like organize a dresser.

#3 - Being reminded of the Happy Cow website - I should use this whenever I go somewhere new to look for vegetarian/healthy restaurant options. I used it a long time ago but forgot all about it. I'm also reminded to use it when I fall into a restaurant rut at home.

#4 - Seeing Halloween photos of my niece as a pirate and nephew as an astronaut.

#5 - Ordering prints of those photos, as well as a few others, to use for the trial for my niece that I am scheming. She was assigned some community service by the "Fun Police" (the last few months she clearly surpassed the allowable fun threshold), and she has not completed it. So I have the thought to summons her for a court appearance. Those photos could be "Exhibit A". I consulted the guy I'm dating to play the part of either a judge or a lawyer today. I plan on asking his daughters this week if they'd be willing to play the other parts.

Friday, October 27, 2017


#1 - "Damn!" my freshman roommate from college has some serious arm and shoulder muscles. I was a bit in awe during her 5:30AM body pump class today.

#2 - She has four kids, and works, and teaches fitness, and is back in school...

I was happy, or maybe a bit relieved, to see her get a bit frustrated with one of her children on the way out the door this morning.

I'm trying to figure out why I'm grateful for this? I guess because it is relatable. I can't relate to all those hats she juggles in her life, and am a bit in awe of it in fact, so it is good to know that everything isn't always juggled perfectly.

#3 - Even though it was a quick - 16 hour - visit, I told my friend it was fun to see a snapshot of her life. She said it was fun to share it.

#4 - I used to always listen to music while I cleaned the yoga studio, more recently I mostly work in silence. Yesterday, I started memorizing a poem on a hike. I don't know if I've memorized a poem all year and it felt so good to give my mind something productive to stew over. I realized that while I'm cleaning later today would be a perfect time to work on that. I'd like to have it finished up for my monthly poetry group this week.

#5 - I thought that I was going to either miss poetry this month, or miss the first game in my new Wed eve soccer session. However the game time will work perfectly to attend after poetry is done.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Raspberry Leaf Tea

#1 - One of the reasons I had surgery last fall was because of my heavy menstrual bleeding - it had always been heavy but in the last couple years it had begun interfering with my life. On the heaviest night I couldn't even sleep through the night without it becoming an issue. So after my surgery I looked forward to this changing. One month after I didn't notice a difference, two, three, four, five...I asked my doctor about it and she suggested another ultrasound. My insurance was about to change and I wasn't sure that clinic was covered anymore so I put it off and she didn't push it. Nine cycles after my surgery - other things had improved, but this was the same.

In July I saw a more holistic health person I see on occasion. I mentioned it to her and she told me to start drinking raspberry leaf tea. I was resistant. I'm not a big tea drinker and she was asking me to commit to this everyday, long-term. I put up a fuss, but she said it was really important. So I began. One month later my period was still heavy but suddenly manageable. Two months later, the same. I'm currently on my 3rd cycle since I started drinking raspberry leaf tea and it is simply miraculous. I don't get up during the night at all and it isn't a problem. I am amazed and sold.

#2 - I sent a friend an option to try (Emotional Freedom Technique - Tapping) for some physical pain she is going through. It might not help, but it's free and non-invasive and worth a try and she is open to it, and for that, I am grateful.

#3 - My mind was racing a bit this AM. When I went outside to pick a few raspberries for my breakfast, I discovered how warm/beautiful it was so I did a few sun salutations with the fall leaves and the rising sun.

#4 - I wanted to make something that involved "kitchen twine" and not only does the guy I'm dating know what it is - he has some.

#5 - Warm Skillet Salad with Roasted Apples and Sweet Potato - my dinner - a recipe from Oprah's magazine

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


#1 - Having plentiful raspberries for breakfast, which I remembered to go out and pick last night, as it is now too dark when I eat breakfast to get them then.

#2 - I was reading one of Brene Brown's books when the guy I'm dating and I had our first real conflict. The passage I read that day was super helpful in opening my heart and asking me to soften. Last night I read an excerpt from Brene's newest book - Braving the Wilderness - The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone to that same man and this morning he emailed me an email from a year ago that he had a new perspective on because of Brown's words.

#3 - Kindness is the theme this month where I do yoga. I just emailed the owner my favorite poem on the topic by Naomi Shihab Nye

It's a poem I've always liked, but this year especially is meaningful to me.

#4 - We did a new move in barre class today. We started on our backs, lifted our feet up on the barre and then pushed up, so just our upper back and head were on the ground. Then we did "lifts."

It was tough in a really good way.

#5 - I love that I don't have any lights on as I type this and so my eyes are drawn outside to the sky and the changing colors in the sunset there - as they were drawn to the unusual plethora of birds that made an appearance as I ate lunch - robins, chickadees, nuthatches, hairy woodpecker, blue jay, red bellied woodpecker, sparrow...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017