Before I accepted my current job, I didn’t know if I liked kids or not. But now, I can safely say I absolutely adore them. They give out hugs freely and they always want to play games. Such a lovely set of souls.

There’s a lovely young girl in first grade that loves to call me “Mar Mar.” Every time she sees me, she yells, “Mar Mar!” and runs up to me and gives me a hug. It is one of the absolute best parts of my job. I love it so much.

✏️ #mbnov

Some snow has melted and the weather was a bit warmer. One of the students must’ve made this snowball and set it here on the table. They all leave for Thanksgiving break tomorrow and I will miss them, but I will enjoy my extended weekend, too.

When I first moved to Montana, all the provisions I needed fit in two bags. Now, when I look around and see all the new stuff I’ve gathered over the years, I feel a need to declutter and simplify. But I also a feel proud of how far I’ve come. Hmm.

✏️ #mbnov

It’s snowing. Coming from southern California where the weather was always 70º and sunny, the snow in Montana makes me happy.

Only the K-5 students are back today. I’m glad the kids can enjoy this short week with friends and in relative safety.

But we have a long winter ahead.

Toward the end of June, I drove down to the river and made this recording of the sounds around me. It was my attempt to expand my walls and embrace a moment where I succeeded in this goal. The summer feels so far away now, but I love that I captured a memory of it.

✏️ #mbnov

I’ve been vegan for almost four years, but I just recently started cooking with tofu. This is a mushroom and spinach tofu scramble that I modified from this recipe. This has been my goto weekend brunch meal for the past month and when paired with a cup of black coffee? So good!

Other than living within the borders of my country, state, and town, I’ve been living within my own mental borders, too. By living within my comfort zone, I’ve missed opportunities and let life flow by. One day I’ll travel again, but I can expand these other borders now.

✏️ #mbnov

I spent more time today tweaking my website. I updated my home page with a brief biography and I love it. The next things on my todo list are to:

  • Update the colors
  • Use new fonts
  • Revise my bio with a bit more information

I’m really enjoying this corner of the web.

Our first winter snowfall came last month, but it’s been nothing but rain since. More members of our staff are in quarantine after a possible positive case among the administrative staff, and I just hope we can get through winter safely.

✏️ #mbnov

I had a really good time talking to a friend yesterday about my dreams. I told her that when I first moved to Montana, the first few years were fun. The memories of that time had completely faded away, and my lust for travel increased even more. I want to have fun again.

✏️ #mbnov

I’ve been iPad-only since I bought the first 9.7” iPad Pro four years ago. The 11” iPad Pro from 2018 has been my main computer for the last two years, and the Magic Keyboard has been nothing but amazing. But goddamn if the new M1 Apple laptops don’t look sexy as hell right now.

I love the smell after a night of deep rain. The world feels cleaner, like a shower after a long day of work.

Temperatures have hovered in the 30s for the past week, but the snow in the mountains portends a cold winter.

I hope to see everyone safely on the other side.

My goal for the next few months is to lose at least five pounds. I know it’s possible because I’ve done it before. But I was younger then, and my body takes longer to recover now. Health is the foundation for everything else, so let’s do it.

✏️ #mbnov

Is iPhone dependence similar to alcohol dependence? Because I think I’m suffering through that. I wake up eager to check my notifications and I get sad when they’re not the right ones. My mind feels like mush, and I need to simplify, simplify, simplify.

✏️ #mbnov

A very foggy morning.

Back to work but all I can think about is the future. Is it wise to get rid of everything and spend the rest of my life on the road?

Maybe one day the fog will lift and the answer will be as clear as day in front of me.

I’ve been re-training my body the last few weeks, and I’ve never felt better. I gained some weight ever since I hurt my back, and I’m on the journey to burn that off. I’m meditating again with the goal of reducing my anxiety as much as I can. Slow and steady wins.

✏️ #mbnov

I feel like the art I love creating the most is the art of capturing a memory. I journal to remember my day. I photograph to remember a place or a person or a thing. I draw (sometimes) to remember how the world is designed and how it works (I need to draw more).

✏️ #mbnov

Before COVID, I had dreams of traveling the world and living life to the fullest. Today, I don’t want those dreams to be dreams anymore. After COVID, I’m going to travel far away and actually live my life to the fullest because that’s all I got, isn’t it?

✏️ #mbnov

Following Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th doesn’t sound very spooky at all. It sounds anodyne in comparison.

✏️ #mbnov

What a beautiful sunrise this morning.

If I had to guess the ratio of caffeine to blood coursing through my body, I’d say it’s about 50/50.

✏️ #mbnov

Good morning!

Coming from California, I never had to worry about not wearing enough warm clothes. Living in Montana, I’ve learned the value of a warm jacket and some tough boots.

✏️ #mbnov

Currently reading: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow 📚