15 November, 2017


Today I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on  Mindfulness and Yoga for Children by Crystal McCreary.  Amazing workshop in Fargo, ND. 

Mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now, with kindness  and curiosity.  Dr. Amy Saltzman

And again I remind myself...   striving to live each moment. The good, the bad, the ugly. 

11 August, 2017

Pockets of Light

Pockets of Light

In the forest
Sun beaming down
Yet only pockets of light appear

As in life
Love transcends
Yet we see only hurt and fear

Opening windows
Opening doors
Allowing light to flow in

When the light reflects
In our hearts
Only then may the love begin

22 July, 2017


After months of house hunting and still living in our trailer, Eric and I walked into a home we love.  We loved it so much we didn’t want to leave.  It is right by University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
We scheduled a 2nd showing.  And before we could go inside we decided to take the kids by to look at the yard.  The owners were home, so I knocked to see if it would be okay to take a peek in the back yard.   The owners are a recently retired professor couple.  Carl answered the door.

We visited a bit, and he invited us inside.  Again we loved the home… and our kids loved their cat! We talked for sometime.  And when we were leaving I asked “Carl, what is your last name?”
“Barrentine”, he replied.

“I know a Barrentine”.

Carl looked at me quizzically.  “There are not many Barrentines”, he said.

“She was my first grade teacher back in Idaho”.

A moment of silence passed.

Carl's kind eyes became serious as he looked right into mine and asked, “Did you go to Indian Hills Elementary”?
Chills shot up my spine and tears filled my eyes.  We had not spoken at all of living outside of North Dakota/Minnesota.  How could he know?  With a quiver in my voice I asked “Is this Mrs. Barrentine's house?”

Indeed it was.  And we are buying the Barrentine residence.  I could not be more thrilled. 
Mrs. Barrentine was my Angel in first grade.  How I loved her!  She had long brunette curls and smiling eyes.  Her classroom was a happy and safe place for all who entered.  Her positive energy permeated her classroom.

Carl, dialed Mrs. Barrentine on his phone and soon we were speaking.  We met as soon as we could.  Picture albums,  memories, hugs and more tears.

It was a glorious reunion with my favorite teacher.
She shared her photo album of 1981-82 first grade class.  She is amazing.  She remembers names and told me stories.  We laughed and cried over these decades old memories.  What a treat to be in touch with such an amazing person.  What an impact she has had on so many lives.

Thank you Mrs. Barrentine (Now Dr. Barrentine).  What an a amazing legacy you leave.  

From top left:  Heather Christensen, Steven Rock, Jenny Anderson, Heidi Lamb, Heather Rademacher, Michael Lenroot, Lynisa Nalder, Rachel Benson, Jarrod Matthews, Nancy Grail, Jimmy Riley, Matthew Ormond, Ryan Grayson,
Next Row:  Joshua Fichel, Phillip Redd, Lance Berry, Benji Souza,
Front Row: Marc Schmidt, Michelle Gayhart, Whitney Gaved, Kristopher McGee, David Jensen, 

10 June, 2017

Ketichikan, Alaska

Creek Street
Totum bight
Banana slugs longer than
My child's height.
Saxman Village,
City park
Lake Perseverance
Hiked 5 miles
Before she made her appearance
Salmon berries,
Temperate Rain forrest
Ketichikans is where earths green is harnessed.

Our last day in Ketchikan was bittersweet. We love this rainforest city in Alaska. The salmon capital of the world.

28 April, 2017

Alley Alive- Grand Forks, North Dakota

Alley Alive was an evening of music, friends and fun.  I think it is a must do every spring.
Good Friends.  Good Times.

06 February, 2017

True Pain knows True Joy

I miss her everyday.
Sunrise beach clean up with my son Elias today was,  well…  Beautiful sunrise, amazing waves, and the remnants of yesterdays celebrations scattered for miles.  It is constitution day in Mexico.  We gathered 3 bags of discarded plastic and styrofoam.   It was an amazing, disheartening, beautiful, difficult, joyful, challenging experience.  For many reasons.

So, Ive been reflecting and asking.  How does one survive the tragedies of life?  How do we get through times of utter pain, despair, hurt beyond knowledge?

The thing is… pain is real.  Deep suffering occurs because something happened to you.  And you have choices.  You can choose how you deal with your suffering.  However, there are wrong ways to suffer.  Or maybe I should say there are ways to suffer that only lead to more suffering.

We all suffer.  We all experience pain.   And when we push the pain away, distract ourselves, pretend that it didn’t happen, we only create an underlying anxiety.  The pain doesn’t go away if you simply cover it up.  It remains unseen.  And the anxiety of hiding the pain is often more painful than the pain itself.

So, I do my very best to brave the darkness, allow the hurt and let my little light shine. Moment by moment by moment, Feeling it.  I’ve said it before… and I’ll say it again.  To know true joy, you must experience pain (we all experience pain).  So don’t cover it up- brave those dark moments. Cry.  Hurt. Allow.  Be.   If everything in life was rainbows and roses…  we wouldn’t appreciate it.  We wouldn’t know that rainbows are promising and special. And roses smell sweet and hold color and beauty.   We know this because we have seen stinky trash, land fills, pollution and more.

I am going to make some a bold statements here.  There is joy in pain.  There is pleasure in displeasure.  There is good in bad.  There is beauty in ugliness.
To know the good is to know the bad.
Love hurts.

As a parent who lost a child, as a woman who has suffered through an abusive marriage, as a mother of living children that I hurt for daily, I know pain.  And I have the wonderful, beautiful, amazing gift of knowing love.

And I conclude, one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is allowing them to suffer.  To suffer the natural consequences of ones own choices is part of the process to finding true joy.  


Today I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on  Mindfulness and Yoga for Children by Crystal McCreary.  Amazing workshop in Fargo, ND....