Tag Archives: birds

Ideas for Renewal

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 18

This week’s focus is RENEWAL.
The root of renewal (renew) is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

  • (1) to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor or perfection
  • (2) to make new spiritually
  • (3) to begin again

So often in our culture we go – go – go without taking the time to slow down enough to look inside and see what is really going on. We work hard, play hard, overeat, over-exercise, indulge, imbibe and repeat. Taking time for renewal regularly is one way of allowing ourselves to listen from within and to restore to maximum efficiency. Renewal can take many forms, depending on your temperament and likes. Consider these:

  • Spiritually – spending time in devotion or prayer, reading, conscious breathing, mat time, attending church services, connecting deeply with friends and family, writing, journaling, spending time in nature
  • Mentally – meditation, journaling, mat time, reading, writing, conscious breathing, praying, sleep, yoga nidra, restorative yoga
  • Physically – yoga, running, hiking, kayaking, playing with children, playing a sport, biking, swimming, working out at the gym, sleeping

My idea of renewal: A writing, meditation, or yoga retreat (I’ve never done this), a birding road trip to Malheur Wildlife Refuge, a day-long hike in a new place, or somewhere I haven’t been for a long time, taking up a new sport, floating the river (for some reason, this intimidates me, although we did it all the time as a family growing up—maybe it’s because somebody manages to die on the river every year), learning a new art (like mosaics, which I did a few summers ago). Learning drawing, painting,or crafting techniques.

What I really need right now, though, is a professional renewal. This has been a rough year in that respect. I need some time to renew, re-craft, and decide what comes next. Time, time, time. Something has to change, something has to give. Some days I’m confident that something fantastic is going to happen. Many other days I feel defeated and hopeless. My only comfort is knowing that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

A Natural Disconnect

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 17

Nature. This week as you contemplate nature, think of all it has to teach us. Think of how it provides for us. But move beyond that to realize you are a beautiful creation of nature as well. Move beyond the thought of nature only being outside of us. What is the nature of your Self? How can you be more in tune with your inherent nature? How can you allow your beautiful self to just be? How can you be in a state of allowing? How can you inherently shine?

I feel very disconnected from nature lately (and from my natural self). I’m barely spending any time outside and I’m letting my work and family responsibilities overwhelm me. Every time I look outside at my garden which never got off the ground this year, and I think of the days I used to spend hiking, birding, and traveling, I feel disappointment, disconnection, and even shame, for not doing what I love to do. It was so much easier when 1. It was just me, and 2. There was money and time to spare—for taking days off for hikes, volunteering, travelling, supplies.

It feels like I have so much less time this summer. Last summer I went mountain biking, did yoga (in the beginning, anyway), grew a garden, painted a house, hung out with my hubby and animals, and worked. This summer I’ve… worked on the radio show, hung out with my step-kids, hubby, and animals, and worked. What’s missing? Nature, outdoor exercise, time to myself, time for contemplation, time away from the computer, non-stressful work. I need to find ways to resolve this before I lose myself.

What I *should* be doing

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Sometimes I just need a long weekend to check out and do nothing but re-henna my hair while getting a little sun (a little too much on my legs—oops—was careful to sunscreen my face, but not my haven’t-seen-the-sun-much-this-year legs), watch the odd documentary, and catch up on some reading, while for the most part staying the hell away from the laptop.

I still manage to beat myself up a little, though. Do you ever feel guilty for taking it easy? I should be working on my garden, I should be hiking, I should be making a grocery budget, I should be birding, I should be mountain biking, I should be working on the radio show, I should be looking at those training materials, I should be cleaning the house, I should be leafleting, I should be finding a yoga studio, I should be blogging, I should be figuring out a way to take a vacation someday or do some traveling again, I should be figuring out a way to make some extra money, I should be calling my Dad, I should be calling up that old friend, I should be reading that book, I should be writing, I should be taking Ruby to the dog park, I should be finding us a new bank, I should be… {fill in the blank}!

I’ve heard those voices this weekend, but so far I’ve been able to acknowledge them and then let them go. I do believe that I need time once in a while for my mind to reset and regroup. {But even knowing that I need down-time, I still feel guilty about taking it—we all hear stories about the most “successful” people who only sleep 4 hours a day and are constantly creating and building fabulous things.} What is the secret to success, or creativity, and which should I work towards? What is the truth that I’m looking for? What do I want from this life? Will I find it in bursts of frenetic activity punctuated by rare moments of doing (almost) nothing? Somehow I have a hunch, that if I find it at all, it will be during the latter time.

Sapolsky, Bonobos, More Sexy Baboon Biologist, Rhyming Events, Light Boxes, and Trader Joes… My blog’s top 20 search terms of all time

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I’ve been in a stats mood the last few days. It’s fun to take a look behind the scenes once in a while, even on a low-traffic personal blog. As I mentioned yesterday when I shared the top 20 most visited posts from my site, I’ve been blogging (nearly) daily for about 8 months.

Robert Sapolsky & Baboon Friend

Robert Sapolsky & Baboon Friend

Here are the top 20 search terms that people used to get to my blog, Memory Monster. Who knew that Robert Sapolsky was so popular? I mean, he is kind of a sexy baboon biologist, and he writes well and is really funny, but 75%?! Yes, searches on his name account for about 75% of my blog traffic, if these WordPress stats are to be believed. One of my three posts that mention him is the most visited post on my site, the other two are in the top 20 here, and here.

 

 

 

  • robert sapolsky
  • bonobo
  • sapolsky
  • rhyming events
  • shane jones light boxes
  • trader joes bubble bath
  • trader joe’s next to godliness
  • sapolsky robert
  • warwak
  • rhyming event
  • french lentil chili
  • engine 2 meatloaf
  • trader joe’s mandarin orange dish soap
  • engine 2 diet meatloaf
  • smokey bear ashtray
  • next to godliness soap
  • coconut breaded tofu
  • trader joe’s next to godliness liquid dish soap
  • engine 2 meatloaf recipe
  • how to make friends with birds

Sun Dogs, wildlife sightings, and field markings of aging hippies

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Sun Dog

Cool flat ripply rainbow in the sky this afternoon, after coming home from a few hours on a hike along the river at Twin Bridges (in Tumalo) with my dad and the kids. My dad called it a sun dog. I caught this pic with my cell phone.

Along the river, we saw a doe, a large red crawdad, several grey lizards with blue bellies, black-capped chickadees, some sort of warbler? with a yellow breast, robins, red-winged blackbirds, a magpie, lots of pretty wildflowers and riparian plants, and thankfully, very few other people.

The kids and I spent the evening at KPOV’s Beatles Sing-A-Long. We spotted quite a few people there, mainly a large flock of aging hippies which we identified both by vocalizations and by field markings of peace signs, tie-die, and funny hats.

Houston, We Have a Problem… Yes, this is Community Radio.

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Arrgh. Frustrating problems at the studio tonight. We’ve had problems with the equipment before but not both IN the studio AND on the phone patch.Unfortunately, we had an important dual interview tonight for which we needed both. After an hour or so of troubleshooting, we had to postpone the interview, hopefully just until tomorrow. Rats. Rats. Rats.

On a good note, a few of us (me, my All Things Vegan co-host Judy, and Scott Beckstead of HSUS) stopped by the Park Board meeting just to say thanks to BPRD for not killing the geese this year. It was one of those things I just didn’t have time to do, but I did it anyway. I think it was the right thing to do, and was appreciated.

Good news: No geese will be killed in Bend—this year

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Today, good news: Bend Park & Recreation District announced in an abrupt turnaround that they will not kill any Canada Geese this year in Bend! I’m sure we don’t know everything that precipitated this decision, but we hope the constant pressure we put on BPRD to give humane methods a chance had something to do with it. A small, but important victory for Goose Watch Alliance. As I’m sure you’ve heard before:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

– Margaret Mead

Note: They are going to relocate an unspecified amount of “juveniles,” which will be traumatic for parents and young, breaking up families, and which will not affect the population in the long run because there are lots more geese in the area ready to move in to the parks. But the young are resilient and hopefully adult geese at the Summer Lake refuge will mentor them. And maybe as BPRD learns even more about humane methods of Canada Goose management, even this will not be necessary next year.

BPRD press release.

My friend Foster has tirelessly advocated for the geese, collecting 500+ signatures almost single-handedly, jumping through all the hoops for freedom of information act document requests, and fearlessly putting respectful but relentless pressure on the park board. This is the quote that came to his mind today:

The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.

– Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957