19 September, 2016

Mindfulness Yoga Classes

Autumnal Equinox YogaMindfulness
September 21 and 28
5:30 pm
Mindfulness: Thinking about what you are doing right now. Living in the moment. The benefits of being mindful are endless, yet, it is increasingly difficult living in a society of mindless activities. Step away from your screens and begin a new life practice. Seize the Power of Now.
Mind Your Body
234 S. Main
Pocatello, Idaho

16 September, 2016

Rabbitstick- Primal Skills Rock

One week of primal living taught me that-  Primal living IS living in the moment.
I love creating, and I also love functionality.  So carving wooden utensils so I could use them to eat with this week was very rewarding.  
I learned so many great skills this week-  and made some amazing friends.

Starting fire with a bow drill.

Death Cafe

Brain Tanning hide
Carving Wood Spoons

Making a Osage Orange Bow

28 August, 2016

Glenwood, Alberta Canada

Uncle Mel at home in Glenwood
with Ruby Catherine.
We love you!   
We love Canada.  
Thanks for your kindness.

19 August, 2016

Mindfulness is...

 Thank you Jon Kabat-Zinn, for your research, dedication and gifts in sharing Mindfulness.
I am grateful.
Watching the clouds,
Observing a flower,
Feeling the sun on your skin,
Making eye contact and connecting with another,
The joy in your heart when your dog is glad your home,
Mindfulness is living in the present moment.

Mindfulness is not…
Chatter in your mind,
The thoughts you have of your annoying neighbor,
The things you say in your mind about others,
Worry about things that may go wrong at work,
Fear about things that will NEVER happen to you.

Our whole life is made up of moments. 
How will you spend your moments? 
All we ever have is the current moment that we are in- 
It is a gift.  Are you at peace with your Present?

Lizzy's 1st Birthday

I began my journey in Mindfulness 6 years ago, as I read Geneen Roth's,  Women, Food and God.
As with most things if life, learning to be mindful is a process that takes effort over time.  I have put much effort into practicing mindfulness- living each moment.  It is not easy, I am human, I still have to kindly reminding my chattering mind to live rather than anticipate, or fear.  Kindly, non-judgmentally bringing myself back to the present is something I work on everyday.

And now after losing my daughter, Elizabeth (Lizzy) in 2014, I see even more clearly the value of mindfulness.   All of  my efforts to live each  moment are a blessing.  Before she died-  I strived to be present with her, to love her (verb), to enjoy her.  And now that she is gone, heart wrenching and difficult, I have used mindfulness to brave the darkness.  To be in the moment with my pain.  I have let myself grieve rather than bury it deep inside.  Is this difficult?  Absolutely.  I brave darkness everyday, I feel pain and hurt, and longing.    Yet somehow, I also feel peace.

What is the alternative?  Burying my pain.  Not allowing.  Pushing it away.  Pretending it doesn't exist.  This just creates underlying fear and  anxiety- the opposite of peace.  And no matter what the pain of losing my baby girl exists.  pretending, pushing it away, only creates fear. The opposite of peace.  I choose peace.   I choose to live in the moment.

16 August, 2016

You Are My Sunshine

Grandma Ardy and Elias 2006

Grandma Ardy died at her home today after suffering a second stroke.
She was a light in my life, her kindness will be remembered. Her mother sang her the song "You Are My Sunshine",  she then sang it to her children and grandchildren.  Years ago I rewrote the lyrics as a birthday gift to her.  And then updated them again for her funeral.

You are my Sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
And now you know dear, how much I love you.
We’ll be together again one day.

I love you so, Sweet Grandma Ardy.
Your kind heart stands supreme. You fill my cup. It runneth o’er.
You are remembered in my dreams.

We are all blessed to know and love you.
Your sweetness fills the heart.
We feel your spirit, and know you’re near us.
May your love from us never depart.

Your gentle kindness it overcomes me.
I am so grateful for your love.
You are a blessing sent straight from heaven.
For you, I thank God above.
Happy Anniversery to my best friend.  My life partner.  I love you.

02 August, 2016

Māori hangi - a real taste of culture

The Bean Family invited us to join them for a Hangi-  or Haangi
We love the Beans-  
Māori honor the earth and recognize that the earth is the giver of all life, from the soil came food and that same food was cooked beneath the earth.
Our food was burried with hot coals-  Here Eric lifts out the feast basket-  Pork, Chicken, Potatos, Sweet potatos,  Good people, good times.

01 August, 2016

One Month on the Road

We're in Idaho.  One month on the road went by quickly.  Lots of events.

-We said good bye to Grandpa Henry

-Grandpa Henry died

-Grandma Ardy had a stroke, we spent time with her at University hospital in SLC

-On our drive to get on our ship to AK, our truck broke down in Burley, Idaho.

-Grandpa Cory came to save us and brought us his Prius

-We stayed with our dear friends from old days in Kansas-  Mat and Karin Bean in Gig Harbor, Washington

-We made it to our port and set sail to Alaska

-Alaska, green. therapeutic.

-Canada-  Vancoover, BC Harker-Armstrong Family Fun

-Olympic Peninsula, Yurt Camping Cape Disapointment Harker-Armstrong family

-Astoria, Oregon

-Portlandia, OR- VooDoo Donughts

-Back to Idaho to get truck fixed

25 July, 2016


25 July 2016-  I love the Pacific North West
Jimmy Cunningham, a master mason, dedicated his life to the construction of the seawall from 1931 until his death in 1963 at age 85.
The seawall in Vancouver, is a stone wall and bike path that was constructed around the perimeter of Stanley Park to prevent erosion and create a marvelous site seeing bike, hike, skate path.  The path is about 30 Kilometers.  We rode our bikes about 10K- and found many beaches and adventures along the way.  Including Ruby Catherine's quest for mussels. 

Vancoover, BC Stanley Park beach
It was a hot day in Canada.  The sea breeze was helpful.

23 July, 2016


Creek Street, Ketchikan, Alaska
Art Credit :  MA Clare
I am not much of a shopper, but I love walking on Creek Street- and all over Ketchikan for that matter.  As I strive to live minimally (less stuff, less clutter, less stress) and focus on the moment (what matters most)  I rarely shop-  except for groceries.  With that said chinookandcompany.com is pretty awesome.  Gourmet groceries.  Antiques.  Kavu sports wear.

Last summer I bought a blue Kavu skirt from Linda at Chinook&Company.  I now call it my uniform, because I wear it everyday. Chinook&Company is a small one person operation run by Linda Meuter, yet another tough and talented Alaskan woman.

This week I bought a case of this amazingly

delicious Sockeye Salmon.

           Elias coming out of Totem Bight Lodge

21 July, 2016


We  took a ride on the rail Thursday afternoon, went back into 
Yukon, Canada-  Exquisite views.

19 July, 2016

The Friend Ship - Disney Wonder 2016

Alaska is a place of healing for me.  I am so thankful for the opportunity I've had to go there these last three summers.  Temperate rain forests, green, ocean, sea life, hiking, green.   Green is a color of new growth.  I have grown, and I continue to grow.  Growing hurts, yet, knowing pain has taught me to appreciate true joy.

The Friend Ship
The Disney Wonder really is an Amazing Friend Ship.  

Even these two rascles are Friends on the Ship.
We love to make new Friends.
Our trip wouldn't  be complete with out Ruby Catherine's
 dolly - Lizzy.  Lizzy (the doll) has been everywhere we go- 
or at least every where Ruby Catherine goes.
 We carry our Lizzy (daughter) in our hearts and think of her so often.

12 July, 2016

SGA's Stroke

Sweet Grandma Ardy had a stroke a couple of days after Grandpa's funeral.  She was taken to University of Utah Hospital.  She has lost her ability to speak and some control of her body.  Bless her sweet heart (seriously the sweetest).  She is a strong woman, 85 years and counting.  I love you SGA.
My Mom with SGA.

05 July, 2016

Road School Homeschool

Double Down Dog
Ruby Catherine and mom chillin at home.

We started school in June when the kids school year ended.  For the next year Eric and I are solely accountable for their education.   There is something really extraordinary about taking on that responsibility.  It is daunting, certainly not easy, yet, so rewarding.  I am excited and  nervous, but mostly excited.

As I work to create mindfulness in my own life, I am finding that as I engage in listening to the kids read I am really "in the moment", not distracted by my phone, or NPR, or anything.  Just listening.   There is something really amazing about the power of now,  I don't necessarily enjoy the content of  See Spot Run or  Pokemon comics, however, it is pretty wonderful to hear the sweet voices of my babies,  take in the sunshine, see their expression, and (my favorite)  their response to praise.  I can't think of a better feeling than seeing confidence and pride twinkle in the eyes of a child.

    So, living in a tiny space with minimal resources, spending your time working (teaching) for which your already paying taxes for someone else to do.  It isn't for everyone... Did I mention tight living quarters?  Well, surprisingly,  I am not alone.  I've found a whole community!

This is just one site that has been a good resource.

We spent a week in Idaho-  Elias studied Lewis and Clark's expedition through Idaho,  the Teton Dam disaster of 1976, and made DIY quivers to hold his arrows.  He is a pretty good shot these days. We had school lunch at the park most days, and played with cousins and friends everyday.

Ruby Catherine read 20+ books, chased many chickens, and played with numerous babies- her cousin baby Henry most of all.  She even got to assist in changing some diapers (her favorite thing in the world). For the last two Christmases she has asked for only one thing:  Diapers.   I have never known a 6 year old to be such a motherly type.  She engages with babies, plays with them, keeps them safe, and of course changes diapers.  Sometimes I wonder if she is the real mother of the family. We already know that she is the boss. And I love this little woman more than words could ever express.

03 July, 2016

This Is Not The End

This is not the End
But a separation temporary.
Grandpa Henry is still with us, but in another realm. 
He is in a state of paradise, happiness.
No longer suffering or feeling pain, his faculties fully intact. 
Grandpa’s  watching out for his family especially for Sweet Grandma Ardy.

Loves light shines far beyond this mortal world.
And if we mindfully observe we can see the fruits of love, the blessings, the gifts produced by love.

Grandpa still has many gifts to share.
We can still see the blessings of his generosity, find humor in his wittiness, and follow the example of his kind heart.
I love you Grandpa.

When I was a little girl, Grandpa often gave me the job of rubbing his head in
exchange for a quarter.  This was his last head rub.  On me this time Grandpa. 

29 June, 2016

Good bye Sticks and Bricks.... Hello USA, Canada & Mexico

29 June 2016  Our last full day at home.
For the next 14 months we will be living in our Fifth Wheel - Bunkhouse Trailer seeing the USA (and a little Mexico).  The great Yoga tour-  or as Eric says The great X-wing tour.  The truth is that it is a sabbatical for research.  Eric will be compiling his research and writing most of the year.  I enjoy helping with data collection and I might help with some of the data analysis...  Might.

I love traveling and I love seeing new places, yet, it is a bit of an emotional good bye.  I am closing a chapter of my life that I will not experience again.  I am working to center myself and live in the moment, enjoy the beauty that surrounds me right now.

Our old home and our new home.
We have rented out our house- sold much of our stuff, and stored some things too.  I am becoming a minimalist, so tiny living really intrigues me.  I plan to post every Thursday.  Stay tuned.

23 June, 2016

Portrait of Mama

Art by Ruby Catherine
Ruby Catherine drew this lovely picture of me... when she gave it to me she pointed out that she too is in the picture (lower left).

"Mom, this is me, I'm growing in your heart."

I love this girl.  She continues to grow in my heart everyday.

24 May, 2016

Happy Birthday Elizabeth~

At sunrise today
A rainbow appeared
Light shining through
Darkness and fear.

This is the day,
May twenty forth,
My baby girl would have turned 4.
I miss her hugs,
Her smiles, her eyes.
Yet I still feel her peace
Her spirit is wise.
I keep looking on
Each day is new
Each moment a gift
I soak in the view.
I love you Lizzy,
I am blessed by your peace.
I find hope in your love.
May you presence ever increase.

Until that day
When I can hold you again
I'll try stay focused
And let the present Reign.

May 24, 2016
Happy Birthday baby girl~

03 May, 2016

Two Years

Two years ago my light went dim 

Now my now takes courage 

I travel the dark, the grim. 

Your spirit is near me, yes its true. 

Still, I long to hold you baby blue, 

To look in your eyes, to kiss you goodnight 

It’s in a different realm, I feel your light. 

You’re not dim. 

You’re flame is not dark. 

I endeavor to see every spark. 

The gifts you bring, 

Help mend my soul 

Add peace to my being 

Make me Whole. 

Before I knew your gentle love 

I was partially empty. 

A cup half full. 

I am a better person 

because of you. 

Though, your Earth life short 

Your spirit lives on, 

Your light shines through

Peace, Love, Support 

As I’ve watched others suffer losses deep 

I wondered as I watch them weep. 

Is it really better to have loved and lost? 

I know now, Love is worth the cost. 

You teach me to honor my dreams 

Your light burns with hope 

Reminding that Jesus redeems 

It is only through Him we can cope. 

So, when I long to hold you. 

When my moments are grim. 

I try to remember we’ll be together again. 

I love you Madison Elizabeth. 

And still I thank God for you everyday. 

Love, Mama

02 May, 2016


Grateful for friends who get me through.

26 March, 2016

Cello Practice

Elias and his Cello.  A learning experience.

12 March, 2016

Trailer Remodel- TheSheepCamp

Carpet has been removed.  I am prepping for paint.

I am begining to paint the cabinets.  Swanky Grey.

30 December, 2015

Christmas in France 2015

We lit a candle for Lizzy.  She is always with us in thoughts and spirit.  

Strausborg, France town center-  Christmas Market

Strausborg, France

Church in Paris

Brandon the elf followed us to France! Keepin an eye on everyone.

Selestai, France-  Home to the first Christmas tree in 1521

Christmas Market, Strausborg

Highspeed train to Paris-  Wow that was FAST.