My heart is heavy after watching today’s session of Montana’s state House vote to censure trans Representative Zooey Zephyr. The vote was along party lines, 68-32. She is now banned from the House floor and not allowed to speak on legislation, and will only be allowed to vote remotely. Zephyr’s speech in her defense was powerful and brought me to tears. She’s on the right side of history. Those who silence the voices of those speaking on behalf of the oppressed? Nasty, small-minded fascists.
So here is a Bushtit photographed in September of 2021:
This darling wee bird was accompanied by a whole bunch of other Bushtits that day and I post its photo in honor of the lone Bushtit that briefly visited the feeder as I hoop-danced this morning. It’s exceedingly rare for a Bushtit to travel alone, and I’m hoping it’s only because the rest of the gang was nearby taking cover from the rain.
I receive the gift of this bird’s beautiful presence and now share it with you.
I just had a session with my therapist and feel really good!
July 4, 2021
Wishing those same feelings for everyone out there. Happy Monday!
You probably know that echinacea and its antioxidants are good for our physical health. It’s a widely-used herb with many applications.
Purple Coneflower aka echinacea. July 16, 2020.
What you might not know is that these vibrant plants are also what the doctor prescribes for cold, gray days. Guess you could say that echinacea is also an antigloom.
You heard it here first.
It’s been a rough week and I’m guessing there are others out there in need of a smile. Look no further than Zippy and Emma.
April 11, 2021
I’m not sure whether she’s got her tongue out at me/photographer or because Zippy is gripping her hind feet like he’s a pilot guiding a plane down for an emergency landing.
Doesn’t matter. Makes me smile.
March 19, 2021
Yesterday was sunny and warm. Today’s temperature is 41 degrees colder than yesterday and the sky is gray. That shift in the weather, plus a whole lot of other stuff, has dampened my overall enthusiasm.
But I aspire to Batman’s exuberant outlook. So, while I’m not heading outside to slide down snowbanks in my Build-a-Bear undies, my plan is to fake it until I (hopefully) make it.
Worth a shot, anyway.
April 27, 2020
Writing is an amazing place to hide, to go into the rabbit hole, and pull the trap door down over your head. ~ Ann Patchett
Note: I didn’t have any rabbit hole photos so opted for this hole in the neighbor’s crab apple tree that hosted a pair of chickadees last spring. (Photos by Zippy)
I cling to the sunshine each day and when the sun drops behind the foothills, my heart immediately feels dark and heavy. That abrupt loss of warmth and light is incredibly demoralizing.
January 5, 2021
January isn’t my friend.
Did the healthy thing today: got up and out of the house. After walking Emma in our neighborhood, Zippy and I went to Clear Creek in Golden. This time, I brought my camera. We sat on the boulders lining the creek to eat the lunch Zippy prepared, listening to the rushing water and the geese honking as they flew overhead. An absolutely stellar mental health strategy. 10/10 recommend.
Ice, snow, and water rushing over a rock in Clear Creek. January 12, 2021.
I’m going to make Clear Creek a habit.
I took this photo last March, at the beginning of the quarantine.
Western/Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, March 20, 2020.
Little did I know what was in store for everyone. I’m quite sure I stood at the window that day, focusing on the scrub jays and bushtits visiting the feeders, knowing the best and healthiest path forward was to seek out beauty and moments of quiet joy.
I hope this scrub jay is still alive and well. I hope the forecast for snow this weekend comes true (because Colorado needs moisture). And I hope I never stop seeing the beauty around me.
It’s Monday, with a whole new week ahead of us, and for some reason I’m feeling a sense of anticipation. There’s gonna be some kind of shift, a welcome change or gift. It feels delusional to write those words in the year 2020. But there you have it. I believe something’s coming and that whatever it is ,will be positive.
Eurasian Collared-Dove, September 6, 2019
And even if I’m wrong, at least in this moment I’m leaning into good feelings. These days, that’s a huge win.
Each morning, I play loud, upbeat music to help me get going (one of my go-to songs is What’d I Say by Ray Charles) and yesterday it worked like a charm. I was singing and dancing as I washed my face when suddenly, the reality of what we’re enduring hit me. I froze, staring at my tear-filled eyes in the mirror. I felt a crushing weight, the despair pressing down on me as I remembered all over again that we’re truly on our own. Then I blinked away the tears and sang more loudly. When one day at a time feels like too much, I take it one breath at a time. That’s how I cope.
Squirrel friend out my window. November 20, 2020.
Please take care of yourselves and hang in there as best you can. My enduring hope is that we the people will rise up together to demand better. In the meanwhile, sing, dance, or do whatever carries you through those especially tough moments.
This morning I dodged another dental bullet. After nearly two months of dread, fear, and anxiety hanging over me, the endodontist sent me on my merry way without any invasive procedures. Woot! Woot! Woot! (or Quack! Quack! Quack!)
Clearwater, FL. May 5, 2019.
I am one very lucky duck.
I’m struggling to focus today so it feels very appropriate to post an out-of-focus flower from my garden last spring.
Cranesbill. May 23, 2020
Even though it’s not a sharp image, the bright pink and the various shades of green are soothing. And I have nothing but admiration for a bloom that stands tall while others hunker down.
I haven’t gone for a run in months, mostly due to the unhealthy air quality from our wildfire-filled summer and autumn. But we got snow on Sunday and Monday, and the air is better than it’s been in a loooong time, so I got Zippy to join me on a run.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
We look nothing like this couple. And our workout was nothing these two incredibly fit individuals would do, but that’s okay. We drove to another neighborhood that’s flat (ours is a constant up and down) and ran for 5 minutes then walked for 1 minute. Repeat. Our pace was slow, our muscles felt tight and heavy, but we were out on a beautiful blue-sky day. Moving. Breathing hard. Feeling (mostly) alive for a grand total of 3.45 miles. Woot!
Today I’m grateful for clean air and running once again!
May 15, 2019. Cave Creek Canyon, Chiricauhua Mountains.
. . . I should stop looking at and thinking about the world at large. At least for a bit.
So today I offer this Painted Redstart which is a species of warbler we saw while visiting Cave Creek Canyon in May of 2019. Such a cheery little bird.
It’s one of those days in which the overwhelm is so great, I can’t make a decision about which of my photos to post. So I’m finally admitting defeat, and going with this fun image from Pixabay.
Because crying is also/always allowed.
I keep meaning to write a funny post about magpies and the neighbor’s dog, complete with lots of photos I took several days ago. But my energy level’s still not there (in large part because we haven’t been able to open windows today due to wildfire smoke which means the house is approximately two hundred degrees).
Instead, I went to Pixabay and found a photo that made me smile.
I hope these little pigs also bring you a smile.
This spent phlox is a pretty accurate representation for how I’m feeling today.
August 6, 2020
But just as this hardy perennial will gather its resources in order to bloom again in the future, so will I. Hopefully, it won’t take me until next summer to do so.
Today I’m grateful for the music of Jim James, specifically “Tribute To” which I’ve started listening to while doing yoga.
Jim James aka Yim Yames. Image from Wikimedia
The gentle music plus the gentle motion brings me peace.
May 14, 2018.
Mood: Unfocused and less-than-amused.
Whiskered Screech-Owl. Cave Creek Canyon. May 14, 2019
Eyes closed to the world
moment of calm solitude
a truly wise owl
Presenting . . . A Brief Exchange Between a Mother and Son
Me: Hey, if right now you said, ‘Mom, let’s go run,’ I would run.
Son: Really? You’d run?
Me: Yep. (Immediately feels a weakening of resolve ). Or, I could have an edible and a beer, and get in the tub.
Son: Oh, do that. That sounds way better!
Narrator: This concludes our straight-forward story. No twist, no surprise ending.
Okay, I’m tapping out. Sleep well.