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Showing posts from 2017

The Joy of Gardens...

It has been a great garden summer. I finally feel like our yard is shaping up to reflect the warm, inviting, but not overly manicured look I am working towards. I love the ease of perennials and hostas paired with the pop of color annuals add to pots and hanging baskets that our Iowa climate promotes. This year we finally got our veggie beds settled into a sunnier location that both I (from a garden design standpoint) and the plants (from a growing standpoint) like better, and in their place we purposed our swing set into a tent for hanging our hammocks.


We were also able to get a rain barrel set up, thanks to having new gutters put on our garage. I'm amazed at how little rain it takes to fill it up. And how quickly I can use most of a barrel thanks to daily watering of our pots and hanging baskets.

Our new trumpet vine, planted to provide some natural shade cover for the top of the hammock tent, has suddenly taken off here at the end of summer and I was so excited to give it some…

Do you still practice?

Normally when I make a new acquaintance, and we realize we both have yoga in common, and I share that I am a teacher of the practice but that I'm not currently teaching, somewhere along the line the question about my own personal practice comes up. It's such a hard question for me to answer, because how I am currently practicing my yoga, and what most westerners associate with the practice of yoga, are really quite different.

Do I set aside time everyday to practice a series of physical postures that is the vision of western yoga? No.

Do I have a dedicated meditation practice? No.

Do I still practice yoga almost every single day? Yes.

I was drawn to yoga all those years ago, 17ish to be exact, because of the physicality of the practice. I would say a good majority of yoga practitioners in the western world are drawn to yoga because of the physical/fitness component asana practice offers. I was drawn to yoga at a time when my body needed more care than I was giving it. I was fi…

Art Therapy...

I'm half-way through my summer art class and my creative space has seen more action in the past 3 weeks than the whole year prior! For that I am thankful.While the whole process of how this visual journal is suppose to work still has me a bit confused (at least how our instructor is teaching the process), I have enjoyed simply playing with a wide variety of art supplies to create a variety of background foundations on which to build my journal. I'm making good use of the gesso and acrylic paints that were left over from my canvas painting adventure a couple summers back.


I've dug out some old stamping supplies that were purchased many years ago when Scott's family went through their Stampin' Up craze. I've melted old crayons. I've torn paper. I've stenciled. I've experimented with creating color with coffee and tea. I've pressed leaves from around our yard to use as printing items and stencils. I've purchased some fun new watercolor inks, m…

So I signed up for this art class...

On a little bit of whim, while exploring summer activity options for Brea, I signed myself up for a summer art class, Visual Journal: drawing and collage, through the Des Moines Art Center. We love going to the Art Center, and when I listed some options for Brea for a "camp" activity this summer, an art class was at the top of her list. She is scheduled to go to a morning class in a couple of weeks, but my once a week evening class started last night. The supply list we were sent was both specific and vague as to what exactly we would need to take to class with us, and I was super nervous yesterday as I packed my bag in preparation. So naturally I grabbed a lot of stuff from my crafty space and hoped it would do for night one. It did. I'll be adding to it for nights two through six.


Class runs from 6:30-9:00 on Tuesday evenings for 6 weeks, and our class is just 1 of many going on at that same time, so as I pulled up and walked into the education wing I was far from alon…

Re-framing Success...

I've been doing a little soul searching and self reflection as of late. It's all been triggered by some changes and stresses that just seem to be part of this middle aged life. I might share some here. I might not share them all. One of the things I've realized in the process is that I need to be better at spending a little extra time taking care of me. Not just the physical me, but the mental me. I'm trying to spend a little time on Sunday afternoons  not just getting our house and family ready for a new week, but recharging myself for the week ahead. Self-care Sundays have begun. and I'm happy to say this, so far, has been one of my favorite views in that process.

And now, back to the planned thought for this post...

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"Change is the only constant in life," isn't that how the saying goes? For much of my adult life, change has been really hard for me. That fact is kind of ironic considering change was a pretty regular part of my childhood. I ha…

#whyimarch...

I recently spent an hour of one of my afternoons volunteering in our school's food pantry. It's open twice a month on a regular schedule, and by appointment if/when needed, as a local extension of the Food Bank of Iowa. One of the women waiting in line was a woman who I would guess is in her mid to late 60s. When it was her turn to gather items she had a few questions since it was her first visit. She also had some age related physical limitations, so I stayed near her to help her as she needed. Her eyes lit up when she saw the case of apples that were available that day and asked if I would help her by picking her out a half dozen or so of the not so nice apples so she could make an apple crisp with them. She said she wanted to leave the nice ones for families with kids who would eat them fresh. At one point as I was helping her, she apologized for having so many questions. She then explained that she was a survivor of domestic abuse and that until her husband's recent d…

A New Cup...

Many moons ago, when I worked for Grinnell College, I got this cup...


I love this cup. It's large. It's heavy. It's red. It's a shape that feels good cradled in my hands. Everyone in my family knows this is Mom's cup.

When we moved to Carlisle, this simple cup served as my daily comfort and connection to a place I had so loved. To a time in my life when I learned so much about myself and what truly nurtures my soul. Over the years it has become somewhat of a security blanket. My security cup.

Santa left me a new cup in my stocking this year...


My kids at school love books by Mo Willems. Mo's books are silly, and witty, and his Elephant & Piggie series are some of my favorite read aloud books. This cup makes me smile every time I pick it up. I have grown to love my little school library space, and although it can be frustrating and exhausting at times,  I'm glad to have a job to go to that I feel makes a positive impact on the students entrusted to my ca…