March 2023

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As a Whole

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.

Malcolm X


Hiya! A little bit of everything for you today. First, some lovely morning light illuminating our hang up your hat station. The beautiful tree print on the left is one of the treasures we bought from Lezle Williams at Laughing Crow Studio during our stay in Albuquerque. I love how it harkens back to Gustave Baumann.

I made delicious chocolate cupcakes with torched marshmallow frosting to celebrate a visit from Jeff. We ate at our favorite 503W, walked the Juper-dog, played Firefly (two by two, hands of blue), and this cool-looking city building game whose name totally escapes me. Always a stellar time!

I spent Thursday, Friday, and much of the weekend clearing out the house, Marie Kondo style (this item brings no joy!), building IKEA furniture, organizing both of our offices, and a couple of kitchen cabinets. We have a mega pile of boxes to cart off to various charities and chests puffed with pride at the state of our spaces.

The above photos are what it looks like when you take nearly everything out of a 9×9 room in order to make it marvelous!

A peek into my office closet, reorganized and rather dandy.

The view from my wheelie chair is a goodie! We bought the desk at Crate and Barrel in Pittsburgh, and it mostly did nothing in the basement since moving to Colorado Springs. Then, I got a bee in my bonnet to clear the clutter off my much larger desk and realized the smaller one, with an actual drawer and little storage nook, would suit me better. It really, really does!

It is a heart-filler to stand in the door and see this view! I’ve got my favorite portraits of our dearly departed kitties, a very girly trash can from Grandma Tess, and my desk cycle. I attach a velcro “leash” between it and my chair and am prolly last place in the imaginary races but feeling the burn!

The shelf is another IKEA find and perfect for my highly controlled magpie tendencies! It makes for a lovely display. The cute stuffed animals on the chair are Greg’s. I’ve added my yellow ducky and may take a picture of the cheery trio at a future date.


A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.

Madeleine L’Engle


Hi there! Legit silver lining moment up yonder – so darn pretty, too. I suppose that is precisely the point, as they are not called mustard or gross or beige!

I have a personal one, too. For my whole life, my brain has been a maniacal over-thinker. If it has the opportunity to go off on a tear about an emotionally fraught situation, it is absolutely on board. Giddy-up. 110%. Pick a moniker, overachiever style. It probably goes without saying that this is highly problematic, particularly when I desire peace and rest.

This past weekend, one of said fraught situations occurred, and of course Colleen Louise’s brain was first to board the train. So, until the wee hours of the morning, I struggled. But the good news, I was 99% peaceful (only imperfect beings in this house!) with myself about it. I did all I have learned that works for me and felt proud. Whatever it is may still gnaw at me, but I can use these techniques for more calm, less fear. Absolute silver lining, indeed.

Here they are if you need some of the same, along with their source, if I could remember it.

From Pema Chodron – Instead of focusing on the details of the situation (that sucks, she did this, he did that…), drill down on the feeling associated with it and where it occurs in the body. Given the opportunity, say the words out loud. Mine are usually anger and rage and radiate just below my heart. Maybe skip this if you’re at work or around people who don’t get you. Sometimes I say them ten times. Others, I lose count. On a very good day, I finish the exercise failing to remember what the anger and rage were all about. Then I laugh!

Yoga Nidra – There are a few versions of this out there, so I am only going to discuss the one I learned. While sitting or lying (better) in a relaxing position, and starting at the top of your body, release tension, stressful thoughts or icky feelings until you reach your toes. I often whisper: “I breathe in light, every cell is filled with light. I relax and release any stress, tension, or feeling from my chosen body part. This body part is soft and yielding: like a cloud, butter, a wet noodle.” Choose your object. Depending how wound up I am, I may go through every body part: top of head, forehead, eyes, lips, really get into it. Other times, I go section by section. Head, neck, shoulders, arms, torso, etc. Most times, I don’t make it to my feet (poor little piggies) before I am peace and off to dreamland.

From Stephanie Foo’s What My Bones Know – She got the technique from someone else, but I don’t remember her source. Sorry. Name objects, names, cities, plants, whatever strikes your fancy from A-Z or Z-A or both! The other night, I did fruits and vegetables, male and female leaning names (always open to gender fluidity!), cities (Just looked up xerophyte (edible) and Xochimilco in Mexico, for obvious reasons and to save you the trouble), and the streets of the neighborhood where I grew up (Ames, Benton, Chase, Depew…).

I don’t remember where I learned this one. Name an uncomfortable feeling or problem, then put it in an imaginary box, or if your’e really upset, a cage. Then, tell it you will attend to it at later because now is the time for rest. If your brain wanders back, and it will if it is anything like mine, do it again. With love for yourself, every last bit you can muster.

Be well…


“What happens when people open their hearts?”
“They get better.”

Haruki Murakami


Heloise Christa, Sculptor


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