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This weekend we got to dogsit for a new family in Portola Valley. They have two gorgeous malamutes and a beautiful spot on a hill. So we headed to Palo Alto on Thursday after work and I got to work remotely Friday. 

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I’ve been working on my ‘work-life balance’, which this day meant working for a solid nine hours from this gorgeous forest. I’m very invested in my work and I have trouble turning off my work email outside of business hours, but I am trying.

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One of the things I love about dogsitting, aside from getting to hang out with wonderful dogs, is that I walk so much more with a dog. We did two 1.5 mile walks per day with these guys, and it felt great!

IMG_0011We saw these two from one of our walks.

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Summer time in California can be really hot in the afternoons, but it means warm summer nights, which I am all about and it means bright sunrises which are my absolute favorite. On Saturday morning I made my first cup of coffee and got to read the newspaper out on the deck in the sun.

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One of our favorite things in this house was the built-in espresso machine they had. It is now on our wishlist for our future home, second only to a gas range. Hey, good coffee is essential.

We are blessed to have delightful former clients/friends in the neighborhood who we stay in touch with and we got to meet up for brunch at Portola Kitchen. It was really delicious!

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Waking up on Sunday morning to the news alert about the Orlando shooting was heartbreaking. I woke up with tears in my eyes. This kind of horrendous violence is unthinkable in what was supposed to be such a safe and happy space. I was glued to the news for the day and just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

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At the recommendation of our dogsitting clients we checked out the Menlo Park farmers market for some fresh produce and it was good to get out of the house (and away from my NY Times news feed) for a bit. We picked up some delicious berries to snack on.

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I ended up freezing some of the berries to put in white wine after dinner. It was a nice treat while we watched an episode of Game of Thrones, which was actually less violent and depressing than the real world… which should not be possible.

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Whenever I am having trouble processing things around me, I need two things: to spend time outside and to read some Mary Oliver. Which I did. This was my quiet moment at Sunrise on Monday and I was reminded of the line “let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.”  from one of my favorite poems, Messenger. It has resonated with me over the years, in fact I posted it previously almost four years ago.

Messenger
by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Until next weekend!

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