#mind #podcasts #Limetown

Tee likes to recommend new podcasts for me to check out.  Her recommendations are always good, but I have to absorb them one at a time; when I try to incorporate too many new podcasts into my podcast diet, I get overwhelmed.

My current podcast diet includes Happier With Gretchen Rubin; Podcast For America; About Race; Dear Sugar; Magic Lessons; The Total Soccer Show; Slate’s Audio Book Club; CNN Debates; Invisibilia; Serial (I keep waiting for a little red 1 to pop up on that one!); On The Media (which I only occasionally listen to); and Death Sex & Money.

I’m caught up on all my regular podcasts, so the other day I decided to check out my phone’s top podcasts chart.  A new podcast was at the top of the list, in the number one spot; it was called Limetown.  I decided to download it to see what it was all about.  Limetown-stories-podcast

I am totally hooked!

The first time I listened, I thought that Limetown was a Serial-type podcast, a reporter re-investigating an old true crime-esque story – in Limetown‘s case, the disappearance of over three hundred people from a research facility in Tennessee.  I got extremely excited listening to the first episode, and texted several friends telling them that another real life, true crime, suspenseful, intriguing, addictive podcast was now available for download.

Yeah – I was wrong.  Limetown is fictional.  My bad.  But – it’s still awesome!

Only parts one and two are currently available; the story will supposedly be told in seven parts, and my googling indicates that a new episode will be available every two weeks or so.  I keep checking my phone to see the little red 1 pop up.  (See?  Just like Serial!)  And I hope this new podcast continues to be as intriguing and compelling as its first two episodes were.  For now, Limetown definitely has a space reserved in my podcast diet.

Writer’s Note – As of 10/19/15, I am feeling a little down on Limetown.  I think the wait time between episodes – almost a month between episodes 2 and 3 – causes my interest to wane.  However, I’m going to stick with it and hope for the best! 

books + reading · podcasts · writing

#MagicLessons #ElizabethGilbert #soul #mind

There are days when I open up my blog to write, and I don’t really have anything to write.

What I do then, usually, is one of the following:

  1. Go through my “blog” folder and look at different images I’ve saved.  I have one folder, labelled “inspiration,” that contains images I find inspiring but haven’t connected with a specific blog post yet.
  2. Scroll through the Facebook pages of people who post inspiring quotes and pictures.  I have a few friends who fit that bill; I like to check the pages for Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert as well.
  3. Go through my “ideas for upcoming posts” list and see what sparks my interest.
  4. Go to my “stream of consciousness” blog draft and just write whatever random, ridiculous thoughts are streaming through my head.11890947_884456791636437_946288421562206663_n

This is all runway work; this is all creative play.  This is my time to dance and frolic and see what happens.  And it’s lovely #soul and #mind food.

I’ve been loving Magic Lessons, Elizabeth Gilbert’s new podcast, and it’s helping me to feel good about my creative playtime.  There are silly ideas in my head.  And even when they’re silly – I still need to get them out.  I need to take my creative thoughts and ideas and put them on blank canvas.  That’s a big reason why writing this blog has been therapeutic – it’s a way of getting my ideas out of my head and onto a canvas.  “If I am not actively creating something, then chances are I am actively destroying something – myself, a relationship, or my own peace of mind,” Gilbert writes.  I tend to agree.

liz gilbert


Choosing A Theme Word For Your Day #Happier #mind #soul #WordOfTheDay

I’ve still been enjoying Gretchen Rubin’s new podcast, Happier With Gretchen Rubin.  Last week on the podcast, they (she and her sister, Elizabeth Craft) talked about choosing a theme word for the year.

I love this idea.  Gretchen and Elizabeth each chose a theme word for their year, using the beginning of the school year as a fresh start and a chance to re-center and set goals.  Elizabeth chose novel – her goal is to finish her novel – and Gretchen chose vision, because she wants to develop a vision for her next project.  I instantly started thinking about what word I wanted to choose.

However, I don’t think my word is for the year; I think that my word is for the day.  Things-that-MatterI’ve been struggling a lot with the adoption wait, and I need a word to help me to re-focus and to center myself.  I need a word to help me to focus on the good in my life.  I need a word to help me appreciate everything around me, rather than living in anticipation of the moment to come.

Today, my word of the day is happy.  I spend so much time feeling sad, anxious, anticipatory, disappointed, worried.  I don’t like those words; there’s so much I have in my life to feel happy about, and I choose happy.



#mind #soul #podcasts

I had an interesting balance epiphany today.

My daily commute is about 30 to 45 minutes each way.  That’s about at least an hour a day that I spend in my car (affectionately nicknamed Howard) listening to podcasts.

It’s a great time for podcasts.  All my gurus have podcasts now – child Head.Children Learn to thinkCheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, Gretchen Rubin.  And Tee is always recommending new podcasts for me.  The two most recent additions to my podcast diet are Podcast For America and [Our National Conversation About Conversations] About Race; I’ve spent the last couple of weeks binge-listening, first to Podcast For America and then to About Race.  These two podcasts are somewhat similar in style – three smart people talking about things going on in the world, though Podcast For America is primarily focused on the 2016 presidential campaign and About Race is focused on (duh) conversations about race.

This morninmusic-feeds-my-soulg, I had my revelatory mind/soul moment.  I’d been binge-listening to About Race for approximately a week, listening to a new episode every time I was in the car or doing some mindless task around the house.  I was in the middle of an episode, and I had about 15 minutes left in my commute.

And all of a sudden, I was done, for that moment, with podcasts.

I switched from About Face to putting my music on shuffle.  The first song that came on was absolutely ridiculous – think Britney Spears, circa 2001.  I turned it up loud and sang along.  I listened to music all day – during my afternoon commute, at work, while running.

It was as if I’d been so cerebrally engaged in Podcast Land that eventually my soul needed to protest – to force me out of #mind mode and into #soimagesul mode.

I’m not a huge music lover.  I mean, that’s a weird way to put it – because I love music.  But I’m not one of those people who spends all their disposable income on concert tickets, or buys music as soon as it’s released .  I do, however, feel like music feeds my soul in unique and beautiful ways.

Our brains and our bodies sometimes give us signals for what we need.  Clearly, today, I was in need of some #soul food, giving my much-nourished mind a break.


#mind #heart #podcasts

I’ve recently realized how much I enjoy re-hashing something I’ve experienced.

For example, Tee and I are both really into this podcast called The Total Soccdas7LpU3er Show.  Generally, we watch either the USMNT or the USWNT play a game, and then the next day we listen to this podcast, with two knowledgeable and funny commentators talking about what happened in the game.  I’ve realized that listening to the podcast is almost as much fun as watching the game itself.  (I guess that’s why ESPN sports shows are such a big deal.  I’ve always wondered.)

Having a book club is another way to enjoy the re-hashing of a cultural experience.  I’ve been loving Wild Peace Book Club – it’s a chance to discuss one of my great pleasures (reading) with smart and insightful people, to hear someone else’s opinions about a book and to see how their opinion looks side-by-side with my own.

audio book clubThis weekend, I was scrolling through a list of podcasts on my phone, and I found that Slate.com has an Audio Book Club!  It’s been in existence since 2006, so I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it until now.  They’ve reviewed many awesome books – Station Eleven, Bad Feminist, To Kill A Mockingbird, Eat Pray Love, Gone Girl – so I am happily going through their feed and listening to great discussions about wonderful books.  (This is the first time that I’ve discovered a new podcast before Tee; I recommended it and she is now also addicted!)

books + reading · podcasts

#heart #mind #MyRequiredReadingList

Tee and I both love podcasts.  She does a lot of listening on the days when she’s out in the field by herself farming, and I listen often on my daily commute, which is usually between 30 and 45 minutes each way.  (Yuck.)  We have a good friend – and former Wild Peace Farm intern! – who has similar taste in podcasts, and we’ve spent many hours out on the farm discussing recent podcast episodes.  (The fall of 2014 was particularly exciting – thank you, Sarah Koenig!)

One of the podcasts in my rotation of favorites is Pop Culture Happy Hour.  I don’t love every episode, because their appetite for pop culture is much wider and sometimes very different than my own, but I love it when they’re talking about something I enjoy (Serial, Gone Girl, Parks and Rec).

A few months ago, they had a discussion about high school required reading lists.  And I got SO excited; I love lists.  (Why do I love lists?  Why do so many other people I talk to love lists?)  AND I love books and reading.  What if there was a list of required books for high school students that was exciting and amazing and inspired a lifelong love of reading and thinking and growth?

I go back and forth when I think about things like this.  I think there are some books that it’s good to have students read, merely for exposure to significant authors – I don’t think I ever would have read Jane Ey7572re or Wuthering Heights if they weren’t assigned readings in my high school English class.  Same with Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Faulkner, et al.  Every once in a while, as an adult, someone will mention a significant literary work or author – Dante’s Inferno keeps coming up, recently – and I have the thought, I wish someone had made me read this in high school.

However, if I were going to make a high school required reading list for my kids, these are the ten titles I’d include:

(Note: I limited myself to ten choices in the interest of actually posting this instead of just continuing to add titles for weeks and months to come.)

My High School Required Reading List

-Ishmael (Daniel Quinn)

-The Witch of Portobello (Paolo Coelho)

-Animal Vegetable Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver)

-Harry Potter, all the books, immediately (J.K. Rowling)

-Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

-The Baron In The Trees (Italo Calvino)

-Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (Tom Robbins)

-The Gifts of Imperfection (Brene Brown)

-Writing Down The Bones (Natalie Goldberg)

-The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera)