Tag Archives: Things Are Good

All Decked Out


springyardThe dog kennel is de-pooped, for now. Those maple tree helicopter things are still hovering down. Chris has been valiantly blowing them off the deck where they are not wanted, then sweeping and carrying them off into the new spring compost bin. The mushy leaves which we use to cover the hosta jungle on the shady side of the yard have been raked up and also added into the compost oven. Hey, we’re not scholars from the Rodale Institute or anything, but compost really rocks. And so do rocks – the back yard has been totally Fred Flintstoned. A pond-with-3-tiered-waterfall project became Chris’ answer to losing a huge tree in the back of the yard; instead of removing the huge tree trunk he just added huge boulders and began the waterfall. It’s his baby which needs tending to occasionally; the pond portion has little leaks from time-to-time but generally we’ve been pretty happy with it. The birds, especially cardinals, seem to love to take little showers in the waterfall; they hang out there for hours sometimes. In early spring a couple of mallards stop and visit as though they’re looking at real estate – “honey, I know it’s just a one-bedroom but we wouldn’t have those damned Drakes next door causing all that racket.” (That’s me, anthropromorpholizing our duck visitors.) Then they see that we have two big dogs, and the sale goes south in a quick hurry.

We hardly travel for a variety of reasons; it’s expensive, we never have enough time, we’re not good planners, we’ve got two big dogs. So for us, our little plot of South Minneapolis is our retreat. Sure, there are the sounds of cars,  trucks and motorcycles whooshing by down on the street, but we pretend it’s the sound of waves crashing on the Northern Pacific shoreline somewhere (ok, I do that, Chris isn’t quite there yet). There are the occasional shouts, firecrackers, those crotch rocket things that I don’t even like to call motorcycles, and sometimes dogs who have been left in their yards who won’t stop barking, but it all comes with the territory. We have plants that attract butterflies and even hummingbirds; squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and even possums like to hang out in our sanctuary.

We’re city folk at heart, I guess. Summertime, and the living is easy. So here’s a slooomooo moment. It’s one of those reminders to live in the present.


Do I Mind?


No, I don’t, actually. Keeping in mind that I’m talking about mindfulness, which I am dutifully learning about and thinking about trying on for size. Do I mind? Well, maybe I could… Could I meditate? Could I stop my busy buzz buzz noggin and settle in for a quiet sit? Maybe after an hour of walking, swimming or yoga – but that’s so hard. Oh there you go with the negativity, buzzy noggin. I’m working with a Zen master who could certainly teach me how to quiet things down up there, but I’m worried that my eyes will start twitching and watering, or I’ll start laughing or something. Do I have to quit coffee to do this – cuz I don’t want to give up coffee – it’s like my last addiction and I think I’m allowed to have my last addiction, come on! Maybe “unplugging” one day a week would be advisable…I could be getting a wee bit stressed from being hunched over this laptop to which I’ve become enslaved. No, I’m fine. Really.  zencoffee

I can’t even calm down during massages, and I’ve got a super massage therapist. At least I feel comfortable with telling her I can’t relax. I’ve been to massage practitioners where I felt I had to act a certain way during the massage, lest they judge me – now that’s just wrong, isn’t it? Jesus, I’m paying them to relax me and I’m worrying about what they think of me. I am one mixed up puppy. So now I have a regular therapist with whom I can say anything…I’ve been going to her for years and it’s like finding that one person who can cut your hair right – you need to foster and nourish that relationship just like your best friendship or even your marriage.

My typical exercise for relaxation is taking my two dogs out to the dogpark, letting them run and I walk a couple of miles. I’m on edge out there, too; what if I don’t catch Egor pooping – he sometimes runs way ahead and does his business where I can’t see him. I bring bags and clean up after them if I catch them, but, you know, shit happens. There are “poop police” out there, I swear, waiting to find the terrible, terrible dog owners who didn’t pick up. They even try to shame you on a Facebook page. Another anxiety is 95 pound Iggy, who occasionally likes to bark at guys, especially if they are wearing a hat and carrying one of those ball-throwing things – they just piss him off and he expresses himself to them. He just barks a couple of times, but it always hurts the barkee’s feelings and I always feel the need to apologize for Iggy’s insensitivity and explain that he’s just saying “Hi” in a really loud voice. Then I walk away, embarrassed.

Am I overly concerned about things? Maybe so. But maybe I’m already mindful…how about that? Maybe I’m not a nervous nelly ~ I have already reached a mindful, Zen state; I am just not aware of it yet. Yeah ok, I thought not. A mindful practice is just that – practice – and I know it takes a certain amount of discipline to do that. I’m not good with discipline – the word reminds me of Catholic school. Could we find another word for discipline? The words “obedience” and “regiment” come to mind, never mind. I need to just bite the bullet and try some guided meditation. So what if my eyes twitch and water? I will just have to accept that with loving kindness towards myself. See, I can do this.

Madame Presidente Queen of All She Sees Kiss My Ruby What What


Was it Groucho Marx or Woody Allen who said he’d never want to be a member of a club who’d have him as a member. I’m kind of that way, ‘cept I’m actually the president of that hair club for men now. I have never been the president of anything (someone asked me, “Oh you were never a class president?” “Yeah, right.”)margaretdumont

So yeah this is great, we have our board meetings on the top of the IDS with fabulous banquets and fine wine, making our terrible plans for the little people who serve us at our whim. Bwahahahahahha. Another glass please, garson.


A song for every feelink


I simply can’t get through the day without emoting in musical form. Today it’s been courtesy of the Davies brothers (and yeah, us Americans HAVE been mispronouncing it incorrectly for all these years…it IS “Davis,” not “Davees,”) and The Kinks. I keep telling my spousal unit about certain songs I want at my funeral; he thinks that’s morbid, but I think it’s good to be prepared. I’m not dying or anything, don’t worry. But when the time comes, I know I’ll be listening in, I mean, I’m fairly certain, and I want control of the set list.

I don’t usually think of myself of inspirational, but gee, thanks!



Thanks so very much to The Undomestic Goddess at  http://unfocusedsecretbeautee.com/ for nominating me for Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Gosh, I’m really honored. Or honoured, for my Aussie and British pals…. I love the extra u’s sometimes.

Now I need to get down to business.

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Now for the seven facts:

  1. I was born in Newark, New Jersey and we lived in Bergen County NJ until I was 12, when we moved to Detroit, Michigan. I went kicking and screaming, not wanting to go and afraid of Detroit.
  2. I wound up in Mpls after living in Houston, Texas, for 7 years. That story is far too long for a numbered list here. Keep reading popforunpop, it’s liking to emerge at any time.
  3. My husband and I have refurbished our 1908 Dutch Colonial – every room – since 1993 and now want to go back to the first project and begin to undo our mistakes.
  4. I love my dogs, Iggy and Egor, sort of like they are my doggie children. Ok, maybe that’s apparent from my blog, and not a great revelation.
  5. I got bullied as a kid for having red hair and freckles.
  6. I own about 3,000 lps, 45s, cds and cassettes, and I am running out of room in said 1908 house in which to store them. I keep buying vinyl, and Machinist Man thinks I’m a lunatic for loving that format. He’s a digital guy and thinks it sounds better. The argument continues.
  7. I believe that music has the power to connect people and transform society and the world.

And I nominate:

  1. http://dysthymiabree.com/
  2. http://you-monsters-are-people.com/
  3. http://journalthroughdepression.wordpress.com/
  4. http://gavin8r.wordpress.com/ 
  5. http://catsholiday.wordpress.com/
  6.  http://musingsyouwontlike.wordpress.com
  7.  http://reallyintothewords.wordpress.com/
  8. http://rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com/
  9. http://thebipolarbum.com/
  10. http://beautifulcrazynaturalme.wordpress.com/
  11. http://josephmark1979.wordpress.com/
  12.  http://beccatheflower.wordpress.com/
  13.  http://insidebrutallybipolar.wordpress.com/
  14. https://heartlectics.wordpress.com/
  15. https://hellokalykitty.wordpress.com

Notes To Myself.


I discovered the last vestiges of my most recent law firm job. I was cleaning and organizing the house today, and I came upon this box. It sort of made me sad. The rubber finger thingy, especially. I feel like I’ve misspent much of my work life doing stuff I didn’t want to do. I’m certain I’m not alone in this feeling, but I feel really duped. Mad at myself, mostly. Why did I have to wait to get laid off and get a federal grant to go to school for free to change careers? Seems like cheating, somewhat. Naw, not really; I earned this! desk

I am what you might call a late bloomer.

First World Problem


I downloaded something or other this week and a very, very nasty bit of malware attacked my ‘puter. “Patti, what exactly did you do?” Machinist Man demanded. “I don’t know,” in my weak little 8-year-old Patti-Ann voice. “Can’t you fix it?” He worked on it for hours. It beat him. He asked me if I had stuff backed up. Amazingly, I did. So, total wipe-out of everything. I’m having to set everything up again. What a bleeping pain in the ass.

“How awful!” said Fartun, the founder of the organization I’m working with. We help Somali refugees. I had to stop and just say, “Oh shit, first world problem, really, isn’t it?” She cracked up.

Anyhow, here’s a song dedicated to my poor laptop.



It means “women who can take care of themselves,” and it’s the name of the organization for whom I will be interning beginning next week! Isuroon (isuroon.org) is a three-year-old nonprofit which advocates for Somalian women’s healthcare issues, but also educational, societal, and cultural issues unique to Somalian women in our community. The organization is well-known throughout our large Somalian population here in the Twin Cities; I will be focused on helping to get the word out to other parts of our society and ensure that Isuroon becomes familiar to all.

I’m super excited to get started on this new venture. Bonus – their office is only a few blocks from my house – I can walk or ride my bicycle to work.

I’m Crabby Today.


I feel sorta like This Guy

And sort of vexed. No, nope, I don’t really know why. This is a Machinist Man sort of mood; the kind where there’s no rhyme or reason for it – it just is. I will get over myself, eventually. I’ve been watching cute dog viddies – dogs trying to be friends with cats. Stuff like that usually sets me right; but no, not today – I’ve still got the crankies.


Oh no, she’s got her Irish up.

I had a great doctor check-up this morning – I’m very healthy! What, did I want for there to be something wrong? Geez! I was complaining to my very nice doctor, “Why do I need to come in here every 3 months – this is ridiculous!” And she goes, “Well, it’s been 7 months since you’ve been here.” I said, “Oh, well, ok, then.” And then she’d say stuff like, “Wow, you’ve lost 15 pounds! That’s great!” And I’d grumble, “Well don’t praise me, it’s nowhere near my goal!”

I know that if I take the dogs out to the dog park and get some fresh air (not sunshine – there’s been no sunshine for I don’t know how many days now – oh, there’s a clue there) I might get nudged out of this snarliness (is that a word?), but it’s way better than getting depressed. Is this progress for me? I don’t know, maybe? M’Man thinks it’s way, way healthier his way; that is, express stuff outwardly rather than inward and getting low down and blue. Taking all the problems in, feeling guilty and ashamed.

Maybe I’m learning. Hmmmm.

My Inner Dork


So this is how I feel the majority of the time. I am Doofus Supreme. Don’t even look at me. I am a goofball.

Best Picture of Me, Ever.

But you know what? I look at this little girl with fondness and I guess I love her, finally. She’s kind of cute and she’s not dumb. Yes, she always feels like a dork, but she gets over it, and she, well, she is all kinds of ok, actually. Probably a little more than ok, a lot of the time. No, she rocks.