Four Full Weeks


I did it. Four weeks of daily posting – starting and ending with artists I love, an unplanned coincidence that makes me happy.

I’ll tell you why I gave myself this challenge. I needed (wanted) to get back the rhythm and habit of writing every day. Strict deadlines force my ego to get out of the way – if I’ve committed to sharing something every day, I do not have time to analyze and overanalyze and reanalyze if what I’m putting up is good or who and how it might offend. The only way I could stick to my commitment was to ignore those questions, ignore the ego, and just be quick and dirty and real. This four week exercise got me out of the habit of caring whether what I was doing was good or if it would offend. I desperately needed to break that habit – particularly, in order to move forward with another book. I had to stop caring about the quality of a first draft. A first draft that sucks can be improved; a first draft that never gets completed due to perfection paralysis is just dead.

After surgery, and after getting my meds and supplements regulated to a point where I could do more than blob in bed half the day, I made myself go out on walks in the BLM every day. I didn’t particularly feel like going on those walks because I was still weak and had gotten out of shape. But I made myself go out each day, and I didn’t judge the quality of the walk. I didn’t get down on myself if the walk was really short, or really slow, or if I walked for ten minutes, sat down in the sagebrush for thirty, and then walked home. By doing it every day, no matter how poorly, I got better. The key, for me, was not focusing on how much endurance I had lost, and not caring how drastically my present self paled to my past ability. I started looking forward to going out on those walks, to being out on those walks; they became a highlight of each day, a happy habit. And now they’re filled with hills and sprints and I’m in better shape than I was before surgery.

I wanted to do something similar with writing. To do it, without self-judgement. To get into a happy habit, in service to a new book. And it has worked! I’ll be tapering off a bit, here – still posting regularly but not daily, also in service to the book. Thank you for the notes, comments, and emails. They – you – matter to me, a lot.

Fav Artist Friday: Stephanie Buer

A photo posted by Stephanie Buer (@stephanie_buer) on

Stephanie Buer is one of my favorite artists – I have this print. I loooove this print.
The original is not a photograph, it’s a painting.

Some people live in the city and have nature on their wall; I live in the country and have urban graffiti on my wall.

You can see more of her awesome work on her portfolio site, HERE.

I think I’ll share links to some of my favorite artists each Friday. What are some of yours?

Image link, in case the instagram embed isn’t loading for you.

Q’s from the other day + A’s

What do your neighbors think of your Bernie support? You live in a red state.
You know, I haven’t found one Republican rancher willing to trade their BLM pasture leases (for which they pay $1.65/AUM*) for my private pasture leases (for which I pay $20/AUM*). I guess there are a lot of closet socialists in these parts?

*AUM stands for Animal Unit Month. A cow with her calf is one animal unit. So, if you have a $1.65/AUM pasture lease, you pay $1.65 per cow/calf pair per month. For example, 100 cow/calf pairs = $165.00/month. With a $20/AUM pasture lease, you pay $20 per cow/calf pair per month, and 100 cow/calf pairs = $2000/month.

If you could change just one thing, one event, one decision in your life, what would it be, and why?
This gets dicey for me, because to answer that question with any detail, I’d have to talk about another person – and not just talk about them, but talk sh*t about them! Which, as tempting as that is, I don’t do on this blog. I’m saving all such stories for a whopping work of fiction I’ll write at age 80. But I can keep it vague and distill it to the part that has to do with me, which is the only really important part, anyway. I wish I’d trusted my gut about someone and acted immediately on those perceptions, even if it meant detonating a bomb (metaphorically), instead of trying to compensate and make things work nicely. Because it didn’t work, and when the bomb finally went off on its own, I lost a lot in the explosion.

Edited to add: Please don’t try to guess who! Why would I ever answer? I’m erasing guesses in the comment section because guessing is grossing me out! And since I post so little about my life relationships on this blog, guessing is also quite futile.

How/when did you find your love of photography?
End of elementary school or beginning of middle school? My memory is foggy and I don’t know how I “found” it, but once I did, it was true love 4 eva. I remember buying my first camera, a used Canon FTb, at Glazer’s in Seattle when I was a tween, with money saved from allowances and odd jobs. I can still remember the sound of the shutter on that camera.

Do you have an all-time favorite picture of Charlie?
Impossible! I was going back through the blog the other day, and was just so glad that I’ve done this, that I’ve taken pictures this entire time (we’re a month away from nine years!), and that I have this catalogue of memories and moments. So much comes back for me, when I look at our old pictures. I remember so much I’d forgotten. And I remember the surrounding life stuff, too – memories about relationships and work and internal reckoning and life events – simply from looking back at pictures of Charlie.

The one question I have always had is in regards to Charlie. If something happens to him (God forbid) would you raise another coyote pup, or do you find it too restricting?
Acknowledging the impossibility of saying anything absolute, it’s very unlikely I would. A) I didn’t seek out a coyote to raise with Charlie, and wouldn’t seek it out in the future; B) this incredible experience with Charlie is because of Charlie, it’s not something I think about replicating because how can you replicate an individual? That said, I don’t find it too restricting, in fact, I’ve created a whole life from those restrictions – being tied to home for Charlie is what allowed me, mentally, to get Daisy, and the rest is history Farmily. So, if there was a coyote in need… and considering I have the space and understanding…. ok, maybe it will happen ^.^

What is your favorite indulgence now that you are living in a rural area, and what was it 10 years ago?
Acupuncture! My first time was late last fall, in a desperate attempt to feel all-the-way-right after surgery (which had been in February). It did (and continues to do) amazing things for me. And, miraculously, I can have it done here in my rural area – just down the street from the grocery store. Ten years ago, I was broke. Buying cheese was an indulgence.

Do you still have your vespa? If so, do you take it out for a run now and then?
Yes! No… I live on a dirt road, it’s more fun and more comfortable to be on a horse than a Vespa. The Vespa is still very dear to me and lives in my office. I’ve willed it to my niece.

Just gonna leave this here –

It’s Almost Time….


….for babies!

{{Daisy and Fiona, 2011}}

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