Friday, June 22, 2018

June 22 Update

I've been doing great on exercise! I'm getting over 20,000 steps a day, playing some tennis with Storm, going on occasional bike rides, and doing yoga. Donna and I did Tai Chi for a few months, but we're not currently in any class for it. I am not drinking any alcohol this summer, which is saving me all those calories, but I'm still eating too much. I rarely go crazy and binge, but I'm eating too many desserts and chips and greasy meats to really lose weight. Starting now, I'm going to keep up with the same activity schedule, but cut back on calories and see if the extra pounds start to drop again (like last summer). Yesterday was my Fitbit anniversary, so it seems like an appropriate time to start obsessing over food in vs. calories burnt.

We've been busy with shows and events. I want to capture a few so I don't lose them by the end of year wrap-up:

ART: I have a drawing in a show called Bring Her Home, which was at All My Relations Arts, but is now traveling in northern MN. It is at Northwest Indian Community Development Center in Bemidji for a month, and then moves on to Gizhiigan Arts Incubator at the White Earth Nation. I was one of 5 artists on a panel discussing missing and murdered indigenous women before the AMRA show closed. I have three large drawings accepted for a show at Minnetonka Center for the Arts called Menagerie: Animals in Art. I'm planning to submit an application for Owamni Falling Water Festival, and submit art to the MN State Fair and the Mill City Museum call for art. I also applied for a huge Jerome Foundation Fellowship, but I won't hear about that one until next year. We've gone to Art-a-Whirl, Stone Arch Bridge Festival, MIA (frequently), the Walker, and Empty Bowl.

MUSIC: Donna and I saw Arlo Guthrie at the O'Shaughnessy. He never fails to deliver. Donna, Storm and I saw Faun Fables, Cheer Accident and Free Salamander Exhibit at the 7th Street Entry. Great show! Last night we went to Sondre Lerche at the Turf Club for an intimate solo show. It was amazing! We also met Sondre at the merch table after the show. Still have tickets to see The Posies and Julien Baker and Courtney Barnett.

THEATER: We saw great productions of Blithe Spirit and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Guthrie. Next up is West Side Story.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Quite a Day!

I had quite a day today!

Yesterday I sort of took it easy: still got my 20,000 steps, but also ate more than I should have. It was a decent day. I painted on my Foshay picture and did a lot of running around the house. Today I intended to get back on track. I started out with a LONG walk over Minneapolis bridges. Next I did a short treadmill run, but bailed early. Just not feeling it today. I went out to work on taking down the enormous buckthorn in the garden, and it was hot out. I sweated and worked hard for hours more. Late in the day, after a delicious Teppanyaki with my family, I was within range of earning a new badge for 40,000 steps in a day. So, I did it! My feet hurt, and I'm very tired out. Nevertheless, I accomplished a new goal.

Weight this morning was 211.2 lbs. I'm hoping to get under 211 tomorrow, but we'll see how much my feet hurt in the morning.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Art in a Traveling Exhibit

"Bring Her Home: Stolen Daughters of Turtle Island" has moved to a new location in northern Minnesota. This show features work by a group of talented artists exploring the topic of missing and murdered indigenous women. It is at Northwest Indian Community Development Center in Bemidji, June 12 - July 16 2018, followed by Gizhiigan Arts Incubator in Mahnomen at the White Earth Nation, July 20 - August 29 2018. 
Special thank you to everyone at All My Relations Arts in Minneapolis for making this traveling exhibit happen.

Monday, June 11, 2018


I woke up at 3 am and made coffee. I played guitar for awhile. It suddenly occurred to me that I could go to Silverwood to photograph the sunrise. I checked the time of the rise and I had 15 minutes to get dressed and drive over there. So I did it.

I had an insight there. I was rushing around the park, trying to get to several different places to be in the best possible position for sunrise photos. I felt like I was struggling to be in multiple parts of the park and not quite making it to any of them. I had the sudden realization that I was already exactly where and when I should be. I was strolling the beautiful park right before sunrise. The only other people there were a few early morning risers getting in their AM walk. Birds were singing. The breeze was blowing through the leaves. I began to tune into the moment and the immediate surroundings, instead of looking to some imagined ideal place that I was not getting to in time. I slowed down and connected. It was an amazing moment!

I came home and rested for a little while, and then got up to exercise. I did 65 minutes on the treadmill and sweated a ton. My weigh-in after showering was 211.0 lbs. I always weigh in after my exercise, though this one is a bit deceptive because of my major sweat, but I'll take it! Once again, it's highly motivating to see the progress being made. This is only the start of day 3 and my weight is down 4.6 lbs.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

La Presa

I have two poems in this new journal, La Presa.

NOTE: This is an older publication, but I never posted it before and it's a beautiful journal.

Day 2

Yesterday was a great start! I met my daily exercise and eating goals. After my 5 mile walk this morning, I weighed in at 214.0. That's a one day drop of 1.6 lbs! That won't happen every day, of course, but it sure feels good for my first day. After my weigh-in today, I rested on the bed for much of the afternoon and then got up to mow the lawn. I ate a slice of pizza, 2 plums, a hard egg, a banana, some sliced roast beef, and 4 packages of Smarties (3 different meals, so far). I thought I would check my weight again (6 or 7 hours after the morning weigh-in) and see how much ground I lost. My weight was still 214.0! I am enthused.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

2018 Exercise Goals

I know, I know. I haven't been using this blog much. We'll see if I can change that.

Today is officially my first day of summer break. I've been exercising a lot, but not really watching my calories, and the obvious result is that I've put on weight. As of today I'm weighing in at 215.6 lbs. I'm down 15-20 from this time last year, but I lost quite a lot of weight last year, and then put about 1/2 of it back on. I am setting a new weight loss goal for a 20 lb loss by the end of 2018. That sounds like a lot, but I lost close to 35 last summer. I can do it. I have upped my Fitbit goals for 20,000 daily steps, and 20 flights of stairs. Beginning now, I'm also going to track my calories again, drink my daily 64 fl oz of water, and sleep more than I usually do. Keeping up with blog posts is a part of my accountability.

This morning I went to the Mill City yoga in the park, alone because Donna was working. On the way there I felt anxious and growly (no breakfast), and I ended up bailing. Instead I walked for nearly 2 hours. It was great! Near the last mile or so it began to rain while I was crossing the Hennepin Bridge and I loved it! It is 4 pm now. Food intake reasonable. Exercise goals not yet met for today, but I'm close! Off to a good start.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017... It was quite a year!

I began the year with the plan to do a drawing everyday for all of January. I began working in a new sketchbook, and was successful in drawing a lot. I continued through February as well. I planned to walk a mile a day for the entire year, but started out by doing very little walking. I did a few treadmill workouts, and took a few photo walks. Donna and I started doing yoga and walking for fitness at Northeast Middle School. My weight at this time was hovering around 230-235 lbs.

Still drawing everyday. Continuing with yoga and occasional walks. At work I was nominated for MN Teacher of the Year (my second time). Near the end of the month, as I was being interviewed and filmed in my classroom for a news story, I received a phone call telling me that I did not make the cut for the finalists. Strange coincidence.

I went to Marshall to do a presentation at the MNWE conference. Storm drove with me and I really enjoyed spending the time with him. We shared the driving, drank gas station coffee from Hector, chatted, went out to eat, and played some fun tennis. In the midst of all that, we went over to Southwest Minnesota State University and I did a creative writing presentation to a tiny but enthusiastic crowd. I was quite nervous of course, but it was good to have Storm along. He advised me. He helped me. First bike ride of the year: 2 mile to Silver Lake.

Back to Marshall. I was keynote speaker at the Creating Spaces Creative Writing Awards Ceremony. Again I was nervous, but the very recent MNWE presentation helped me feel like I could handle it. Donna and I drove together and enjoyed the day. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people! There were many students and their families, in addition to professors and administrators from SMSU. My presentation went really well. I received quite a few compliments following the ceremony, speech, and presentation of awards. This month, we saw Sondre Lerche at the 7th Street Entry. Great show! At one point, Sondre came out into the crowd to dance. As he danced past me, I squeezed his sweaty shoulder. I wrote a poem a day this month.

Mayday Festival this month. I’d been making art, riding my bike, playing tennis, doing weekly yoga and drinking beer. Poem a day, second month of the year.

Saw Sunday in the Park with George at the Guthrie. It was beautiful and emotional and excellent! I started some major efforts to lose weight. More bike, tennis, yoga and walking. On June 21 I started with a Fitbit, recording calories in and out, daily steps, exercises, goals, sleep patterns, etc. Highly motivating! My weight had been around 235 lbs, and after a few days of Fitbit, I had already dropped to 226 lbs. Minneapolis Pride Festival this month.

Sunday in the Park with George again! Weight loss going great. According to my Fitbit, I was no longer considered obese by the start of July, and I was down to 208 lbs by the end of the month. I reached about 150 miles of biking by this point, but mostly stopped in favor of walking a lot. Better calorie burn! Fourth trip to Marshall. I had 2 photos in the MAFAC photo show. I brought home my mural paintings and 7 of my painted journals. I did my third Owa'mni Falling Water Festival with Donna and Storm. Invited to be a demonstrating artist at the MN State Fair. Marianne Murphy Zarzana invited me to a literary retreat event in northern MN near Canada. I had to turn it down due to Owa'mni. Poem a day, month 3. Honor the Earth Powwow at Lac Courte Oreilles.

I tried unsuccessfully to paint everyday this month. I was still focused on walking a lot, and had a lot of preparation to do for the Studio: HERE event at the MN State Fair. The event was amazing! I spent 10 hours cutting and gluing Cub bags, and drawing with charcoal while hundreds and hundreds of people streamed by, sometimes asking questions or making comments.

Weight loss goal achieved! I dropped below 200 lbs! In early June, I weighed 235 lbs and I intended to see my weight drop below 200 by the end of 2017. Once I got on the fitbit and started walking nearly everyday, the lbs just kept coming off. In no time I switched my goal date to my birthday in October. I planned to maintain this level through the end of 2017, but only managed to stay that low for about a week and a half. Nevertheless, I made it to 200 lbs for the first time in maybe 25 years! That was an accomplishment! YAY ME! Back to work with new students.

I turned 50 this month. Making art. Native American art display at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Native American Heritage Month art show at Community Grounds coffeeshop with Marlena Myles. Native artist residency at Kenwood Elementary.

Looking back at my 2017...

Lots of art...
  • ·      Two months of drawing everyday.
  • ·      Ahab - Digital manipulation of original painting . (Cover art for Carter Meland - Stories of a Lost Child).
  • ·      Owa'mni Falling Water Festival
  • ·      MN State Fair: Studio:HERE artist and "Juicy Fruit" shown and sold for $1000
  • ·      Shepherd of the Valley: Native American cultural display
  • ·      Kenwood Elementary: Native American Artists' Residency (with first graders)
  • ·      Community Grounds: Native American Heritage Month, show with Marlena Myles. (Sold: Stone Arch Bridge photo for $50 and Seven Crows ink for $100).
  • ·      One ink drawing accepted for 2018 Bring Her Home at All My Relations Arts 

Publications this year...
  • ·      Diaphanous Journal: Swoon, Cthulhu Alight in my Underpants, In the Long Stillness of Quiet Days, "...though this loft be of a blushy bent," Scrawl in the Herbal. "Pink James in Faux Knuckle" (digital photograph).
  • ·      Midway Journal: Thumb
  • ·      Texas Review: Therein My Slender Button, Of Misakakojiish.

Favorite memories...

  • ·      Spending time with amazing friends.
  • ·      Walking nearly everyday, often with Donna, Storm, Bette, Ikhlas, Kristin, Jennifer, Diane, Faye, Sharon or Dale. Mostly though, I walked alone and found out that I really enjoy it.
  • ·      Many trips to Marshall and Superior/Duluth.
  • ·      Losing quite a bit of weight. I had lost 35 lbs at one point and got below 200 lbs. I didn't quite manage to maintain that level, but I ended 2017 weighing about 25 lbs less than I did at the beginning of the year. That's where I start 2018 now.
  • ·      Making lots of new art and writing 100 new poems.
  • ·      Theater: Sunday in the Park with George (2x), A Christmas Carol.
  • ·      Concerts: Sondre Lerche, Bishop Briggs, Alt J.