Shake and Bake 26: The Books and Love Edition

… his push for happiness was out of sync with the world’s; his ambition was for safety, security, a life of enough food and shelter and money, books and love, the luxury of pursuing the truth by art. The luxury of looking deeply, of finding a direct path to empathy.  It didn’t seem unattainable.

– Bit (from Arcadia by Lauren Groff)

Greetings ole world… taken me a bit of time today to make it to the typer… but here I am.

arcadia_indSpent the day with a friend in Arcadia.

Thank you so much, dearest K, for the recommend.  A glorious read on a grey drippy day.

And hey – yay for the dripping and the snow’s slow retreat.

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

A wonderful day to round off a week of adventure! A week of new and interesting places and faces.  Yay.

The Quick Chicken (The Doings that help me with the Being):

  • Walks: 6/7

  • Guitar: ZIP
  • Yoga: ZILCHO
  • Meditation: 6/7
  • Work on NIP: 2/7  holiday daze


Twas…”To indulge in the company of friends.  To eat, drink and make merry.  To walk new streets and see new sights.  And to listen… hear and see…”

The Result:

Thanks for asking.

I had a great time “down south”…. much walking and watching the world, scribbling in coffee shops, and good good food with generous, funny, smart people.  I’ve come home tired and content.

And… the rest of the week?


  • –  still the tooth pain…. soon soon to be gonzoshake
  • –  the dreads emerging because of the “holiday” from working on the NIP. Seems that it didn’t quite go as planned.  I thought a break would be good/refeshing even –  but the dreads slammed up rather rapidly and INTENSELY. Good to know.
  • – and today… the sore throat and acheyness of some sickness landing…oh the bod the bod the bod… c’mon! But no… it’s OK.  A rest.  Not the worst thing. Honest.

…   Shhhhhh  …

Don’t even shake this…just let it lift off on it’s own… tis okay…

THE TASTY Delightful BITS:


  • + train ride with much gazing out at beauty and eating of tasty healthy snacks.  Mmmmmm fruit and sandwiches….YUM!
  • + a cozy comfy hotel with a spacious tub for soaking in.
  • + days free to wander and scribble and dream
  • + evenings full of wonderful folk and food and drink and laughter
  • + a smiling Raggedy Man with work going well and new adventures on the horizon
  • + the inching inching inching up of the temperature….oh yes please…come spring.
  • + a glorious view of the full moon that simply stopped me in my tracks.  So glad I looked up.
  • + another week of tasty meditations with Oprah and Deepak (yeah, we are totally buds by now)  Tomorrow is the last day of the 21 Day Meditation Challenge.  Bit sad, but looking forward to returning to my own silent sitting…. Yum Yum Yum.

What worked? (THE THIng to bake in)

Staying alert to my surroundings and offering help when I could.

Sitting in a crowded food court in a mall, I decided not to read while I was eating.  I often read or watch tv while I eat.  This week I was very much trying to just… EAT… or DRINK… and stay present to my surroundings.  Helped that mostly I was eating and drinking with other people, but on this particular day I was alone.

I got my food and sat and reached into my bag (out of habit) for my book. But I remembered that I wanted to practice just EATING.  So  I put the book back and tucked into my salad (which was mighty tasty by the by).

An older fellow came and sat at a nearby table where someone had left a newspaper.  He was reading the paper and he pulled some coins out of his pocket.  The coins went flying. He found one, but couldn’t find the other.  I got up and helped him.

It was “only a dime”, but he was glad to have it back.

Another man, who was sitting behind be at a different table had also gotten up to help.  He was an older gent as well.  A native man with a lovely Stetson hat on.  He said, “You are a very nice person.”

And I have been warm ever since.  It was just so nice to hear that from a stranger.

So… I’m glad I noticed that the paper reading fella lost a coin and that I could help him find it.

Next time I might…

Do the same.


I receive an email every week from Rick Hanson.  The email is news on what he is up to and also a JOT – which stands for Just One Thing – a simple mindfulness practice to explore. I love these emails and often put these simple practices into play.  This week the JOT is to “RECEIVE FACES“.

I love it.  I’ve mentioned before (in my post on BEING SEEN) that I don’t often look people directly in the eyes.  Even people that I know and trust.

This week, I will see if I can manage to really “Have a sense of receiving, of letting in, of registering the other person in a deeper way than usual.”

We will see what happens.

That’s it for me…

I think I need a cup of Oatstraw with honey to soothe this throat.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

And a big thanks again to K for the recommendation of Arcadia.  A fantastic book.

Anyone else have a grand book they’d like to recommend?  I have an ever growing, ever evolving list.  There are never too many books.

One last quote from Arcadia… a song actually …

“Swift to it’s close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; it’s glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changes not, abide with me.”

go easy, friends ~p

In homage to Havi’s Friday Chickens over on the The Fluent Self — This is the place I review my week – in an attempt to track some things – like progress on my novel and… living intentionally. I shake out my week and lay it out. Let the hard burn off and the good sink in. Call it an experiment in paying attention.

Comments are cherished here.  Discussion is adored.

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Because there's never enough time to do it right the first time but there's always enough time to do it over

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Cathy Standiford

Historical fiction, poetry, essays

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