Monthly Archives: November 2017

so simple

So simple – it seems – especially in our beautiful Coulee region where nature surrounds us, that we go out in it and restore ourselves.

That’s what Ecotherapy is all about – nature offering us a more peaceful, stress free life.

According to a weekend news report I heard, a doctor prescribed just this for a woman suffering from stress and depression.

“Go outside, to a park near you, for thirty minutes, five times a week.” her doctor instructed her. “Listen to the birds, the sound of streams and rivers and notice the trees and leaves.”

I’m no doctor, but I have been encouraging parents for a long time to take to the fields, the woods, the creeks with their children and let them run, climb, collect things, breathe in the fresh air. They will sleep better, eat better, get along better, be positively energized and rid themselves of stress that happens for all of us.

Of course, I know the reasons why this isn’t going to happen.  I get it – maybe not five times a week.  But how about starting out by aiming for twice a week – sometime each weekend day – could be the beginning.

A beautiful beginning.

And for all of us, so many choices.

Riverside Park, Myrick Park trails, Hixton Forest, Perrot State Park, Chad Erickson Memorial Park trail, Goose Island, Pettibone Park, Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge – to name just a few – all within such easy striking distance.

Try it – don’t let winter stop you.

See if there is less acting out, more focused play afterwards, less stress in the whole family, parents benefiting as well as children.

A new appreciation of this simple pleasure.

Remember – doctor’s orders.

Maybe I’ll see you out there.


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a riddle

“What did the ocean say to the storm?”

“Nothing … just waved.”

Someone shared this riddle at my exercise class last week and, besides a chuckle, it has continued to resonate with me.

I think of our day-to-day parenting lives, to the dramas that often set in when our responses are tested – most especially when our children easily provoke a storm.

I’m thinking toddler/preschool temper tantrums, school-aged meltdowns, teenage emotions and mood swings.

I’m thinking parental white caps, flooding, tsunamis.

But just as the ocean remains vast and powerful, deep and strong, able to accept the fury of the storm – certain in its depth and quiet response – so can we try to be the same.

When our children lose control, display their fury, their emotional outburst, their personal storms, they look to us to find our strength, our love, our calm, our trust, and our consistency –  measured and caring.

They look for a wave.

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percolating …

A daydeamy day – is it just me – or do others find themselves occasionally lost in thought?

Ironically, I think it sometimes happens for me when I have the most to do – especially the most planning to do.

Then my mind wanders to “maybe I should do” … or “oh, that’s a great idea” – or” I could do that too” or “oh, I love that”.

I guess it’s actually more percolating – bubbling and boiling with ideas and options before sorting out what is realistic, what works best.

It’s probably one of my favorite stages of any project or planning or decision making that I do.  One idea leads to another until a clear vision appears.

As parents, we could try this for our families, especially around the holidays.  There’s always so many invitations, activities, obligations to choose from .  And then we hear about another parent’s family tradition and wonder –“oh, should we do that too?”.

And heaven forbid – we go on Pinterest!

I like to think of this planning time as personal time, acknowledging what feels right to me – what feels like “enough”.

And when I finally reach that “enough” feeling, I know I’m satisfied.  I know it’s right.

Of course, everyone’s feeling of “what is enough” is very individual.  However, I know many parents I talk with feel overwhelmed with their choices and demands that today’s culture provides – and often insinuates are necessary.

This sorting out can be difficult and is different for everyone – but saying “no thanks”, crossing things off of your list, adding what you’d like, “feeling just right” about what’s left, “what’s enough”  is your personal privilege and pleasure to do – for real.



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better than this

My heart is heavy for the families and children in the little town in Texas that experienced such violence and heartbreak on Sunday.  It is an indescribable loss of innocence that unfortunately is happening far too often in today’s world.

Before hearing any of this devastating news, I had been leafing through a toy catalogue that had arrived in the mail.

Center fold of the catalogue was a display of toy assault weapons – more than ten versions we could purchase for our children to play with – to pretend with.

To pretend?

Pretend what?

With names like Rival Nemesis (fully motorized – 100 rounds), Big Shock Blaster, Doomlands Persuader, Elite Hyperfire, Elite Retaliator Blaster –  it leaves little to one’s imagination.

I know we can choose better than this for our children, for our families, for our communities, for our future.

We can choose to spend time in the out-of-doors – hiking and appreciating the natural world.  We can play together, eat together, read together, talk together, sing together, laugh together, BE together.

As parents, we can share with our children, not the strength and power of a big shock blaster, but the strength and power and wonder of life.

Heartfelt condolences to the entire community of Sutherland Springs



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