14 December, 2016

Schooling on the Road

Schooling on the road has gone better than I anticipated.  Before leaving I had concerns (not so mindful moments) about less than motivated children when it came to academic studies while living on the road.  I feel a weight of responsibility when it comes to providing a good education. I just want to help my kids to reach their highest potential.

Of course much of their education is simply the experiences they are having. One of the beauties of children is that they are always learning.  Whether we are spending a day at the beach or at the market great questions arise (eg how do Jelly fish sting people? How do I say "bathroom" in Spanish?, What kind of fish is that boat fishing for?).  Their questions lead to some fabulous educational dialogue-  and the best part is that they asked the question so they WANT to know (unschooling).

As for the more formal academics, we have gotten into a routine.  The kids do reading, writing, and math in the morning- then they have play time or experience based education- ocean time, or  their jungle fort, or mural painting.  All of which have created some great learning.

The Mural work is a refurbishment of some art that was fading and chipping away from years past.  We only have 3 paint colors to work with red, yellow and blue.  Mixing has been so educational and fun.  It is still a work in progress.

29 November, 2016

Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Grandma and Grandpa joined us for a visit.

Surfs up.

You better watch out.

Weathered in cold, rain and snow
Aged in the hot summer sun
Waiting to be reclaimed
We drift through joy and sorrow as one.

Our paint flecked off long ago,
Newness a fond memory
Cut down, worn, nailed through the heart
Then sanded smooth in new understanding

I’ve long had an affinity
For the provincial, rustic, yet firm
Helpmeet, partner, lover of mine
Did our love adapt, conform?

23 November, 2016

Beach Yoga

Yoga with kids is nearly always an entertaining experience.  I love their creative ideas and movement.

06 November, 2016

Apache Junction, Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona- Poetry

Not many things
Living Small
Life is good
We’ve really got it all.

We have each other
We have each day
Peace at our core,
Finding our way.

Creativity, Imagination,
Spontaneity, Meditation.

Hikes in the desert.
Feet in the ocean.
Sun on our faces,
Mindful motion.

I know deep within
I don’t need any “thing”.
Simply seek further light
And just practice being.


As time passes by
A reality sets in.
The fear I once had of memories fading…  is happening.

Simple things that I never wanted to forget.
Like when you climbed up onto the kitchen table and ate an entire serving bowl full of pineapple.
Oh my sweet baby.  You earned your nickname “fruit bat”.

As these memories are getting further away from the surface I sense a distance.
A distance that stings me at the very core.

I want you baby.  I love you.  I wish I could hold you even if just for a moment.

And-  then I remember to come back to now.  Back to the moment.  
Live.  Breathe.  Be.
Elizabeth is printed on my heart, and there you always will stay-  And I will keep living, breathing, being.

I am strong.  I am a warrior.  
I live.
I breathe.


26 October, 2016

4 Corners National Monument

Downward Facing Dog
In 4 States at once. <3 span="">

Adho mukha śvānāsana

A girl after my own heart. 

24 October, 2016

Arches National Park

United States of Yoga

Delicate Arch
04 November 2016
Pain in her eyes
Pain in her eyes.
Pain on her brow.
Living with out
her baby somehow.

Braving the dark
Seeking the light.
In Searching for truth
Her candle ignites.

“Life will happen,
No matter how I feel
Time marches on that’s the raw deal.
I will not waste my days
Stirring in thought.
I choose to be present
with all the wonder I’ve got.”

So, she keeps moving forward.
Honoring her bestowment
Relishing small joys
Living each moment.

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

University Park Bear- Dead

"I killed a bear today Oh What a man am I! We the experts knew just what to do When the bear did not comply." "...