Quiet Time - How to Teach Your Kids This Essential Part of a Healthy Life

Much to the initial dismay of my kids, I will occasionally declare that it is time for some Quiet Time in the house. Not as a punishment, not as a consequence. Simply because there is a vibe around that we’re over scheduled. Over revved. Over stimulated. And we all, as a family, need to stop. Simplify. Reconnect with ourselves.

Peacefully. Without siblings. Without words. Without You-Tube, Googles, Macs, Wiis or iAddict-o-products. A one on one with our own being.

This, of course, is about as popular as a flu shot in September. And as the kids stomp stomp stomp to their own rooms to begin their 60 minutes of self-declared “torture”, I hear their noises of grief and grumbling. But then, five minutes later, I hear the quiet. Maybe a little twinkle of singing from one of the rooms. And when I peek in to check on them, there is a soft glow of peace around each of them. My son reading a book, sprawled on his bed. One daughter creating a little home out of a shoebox for her teeny tiny, big eyed animals. The other pulling out her art box and smearing pastels with her fingers in swirly colors, around and around.

What an important lesson for these kiddos, and for me. This ADD way of life these days of constant stimulation and information load load load and overload, has our heads a-whirling. If I can teach my kids and encourage them to find the joy in Quiet Time, they will learn the skills of centering and grounding without them even knowing it’s a lesson. 

Such essential bits to a healthy life.

by Kathy Klein
Thanks to K in Boulder for inspiring this blog today by sharing the work of artist Kathy Klein, who creates flower circles out of natural objects inspired by the “golden sound residing within perfect silence.”   

Within silence there is creativity, inspiration. I find my Quiet Time on a hike. Just me, the mountains, and the sky. Where do you find yours? Take five minutes, find it. And then torture your kids with the info. Someday, they'll thank us.

Namaste & Three Cheers -OM


Does Your Doctor Make House Calls? I Do! or “What Next, REALLY!!!”

Just Another Day at the Yearout Medical Clinic

Looking back, I always thought I should have been a Pediatrician. And for years as a budding tween, I carried around multitudes of stuffed animals with toilet paper wrapped wounds on their bodies and cared deeply and seriously for them… as, of course, I was going to be a Veterinarian and a Professional Horse Person when I grew up.

Little did I know, however, that though I didn’t follow the medical calling as an actual career, raising a feisty, tree romping, dirt rolling, cartwheeling, baseball bat wielding, badminton birdie slamming family would basically put me through the same training as a first rate Medical School on the eastern seaboard.

Am I right, Mommies?

My friend Liz from Boston made me laugh out loud recently with a Facebook post describing her recent endless run of medical dramas and traumas in her household, finishing her post with a bleating and bleeding cry that every single parent on the planet can relate to: WHAT NEXT, REALLY!!!

I feel her pain.

My household has had the same recent run of medical trauma and drama – just read my posts! And last night I looked at my husband and said with wide eyes and boggled mind: at what point does this all STOP???

I am ready to put a sign on the front of my house that says: Yearout Medical Clinic – Just Get in Frickin’ Line…

In the last few weeks: ER visit (duct tape), food poisoning (bad eggs), blown out knee of  85 lb dog (who I carried), thus, Mommy thrown out back with acute shooting pain that makes me want to eat glass, more food poisoning different person (don’t know what) fever, diarrhea, etc etc. If an Ambulance showed up in front of the house right now and started unloading loads of sliced and diced up neighbors, I wouldn’t be surprised. Just get in frickin’ line, I’d kindly say and hand them a stuffed animal….

There are bigger problems in the world. But the constant, chronic, flaming atrocity of battling boo-boos that are, yes, essential to learning life lessons (as I’d mentioned before on a non pain-infused, dancing through the tulips day) but their non-stop aerial boo-boo bombing can start to wear the spirit down. UNLESS, of course, I look at it as free tuition to the most realistic, hands-on, down-and-dirty residency of my life.

And, that, my friends, is how I’m going to spin and survive this.

In the meantime, pass the first aid kit – I just sliced up my finger opening the plastic container of Blueberries. 


Namaste & Three Cheers. -a


Jon Stewart Takes on Two Headed Fish Makers: Are Two Heads Really Better Than One?

2 Heads Better Than One?

Jon Stewart Takes On Two Headed Fish Makers

(watch the above link!)

Thanks to a well meaning fan (love ya, Dad) with a fun sense of humor, I was sent this video from “The Daily Show” about curious looking – and pretty gross – Two Headed Fish showing up in the rivers of Idaho – the gorgeous state I called home for six years BK, Before Kids.

Jon’s reporter takes on big business and governmental agencies in their usual way. Making us laugh, and at the same time, making us say: REALLY???

Apparently the real news hit the waves back in February, but, in true form, “The Daily Show” helps broadcast the dry, depressing information in a exclamation point, eyebrow raising way that makes us take note.

How many hours did I spend splashing through those rivers? Hundreds….. and never hooked a two headed trout. Dang.

Sounds like the Idaho Chamber of Commerce may have a new spin on a sport to promote. And Orvis may need to get their people designing a new line of hooks… STAT!


Uh, I’ll have the chicken.

Namaste & Three Cheers. -a


Help Your Senior Adventure Pooch Stop Slipping & Sliding with Doggie Harness

Outside Magazine has a fun, new Guide to the Ultimate Outdoor Companion in their July mag. We’re talking man’s best friend and NOT, ahem, the guy on the cover.

Tho he might be snuggly, too.

Anyway, inside the mag they discuss the best breeds for the most adventure ready dogs. And they show all the cool gear that you can get for your active, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, rafting, trail running dog. Even a doggie First Aid Kit, a life preserver and a GPS Dog Tracker so fuzzy face doesn’t get lost in the woods (forget about the kids….)

As an owner of one of these breeds, the Labrador, I am excited to add another item to this list. However, I’d like to add it as the owner of a SENIOR Adventure Dog, as Ansel has been retired from mountaineering and his daily walk to the neighbor’s yard to secretly go doodle is his only Everest these days….

Ansel Modeling Fab Harness
It’s the Ruffwear Web Master Harnesss: “ideal for hiking, scrambling and mobility assistance.” And this is where the key comes in: for my wobbly, 85lb, Senior Adventure Dog, the spinning-out hind leg has really put a cramp in the squirrel chasing activities let alone getting up and down the 4 stairs to the yard and walking across our treacherous hard wood floors.

So I grab the handy Handle on top of the harness with one hand, which supports the back parts of his body as we walk along together over the dangerous parts of the trip. Me sort of having a little suitcase of Dog wheeling/padding along next to me until we get to steady, non-slippery ground.

It is a great solution to a very hard and heartfelt problem. And, boy does he look handsome and sporty in it!

Highly recommend it. Vets do too. Ansel’s not so sure, but this time he doesn’t get a vote.

Namaste & Three Cheers to you. -A


John Muir Says it Best: Summer Brings Freedom & Peace

The beginning of summer is an exciting time. When we breathe the fresh energy of sunshine and freedom into our families and let loose a little. Good for the kids; good for us. Essential.

So, today, I’ll keep it short and sweet. And send us off to our Here-Comes-Summer! celebrations with a QUOTE from John Muir from his wanderings through the Sierras the Summer of 1911. His passion is clear:

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings.”

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

n  My First Summer in the Sierra , 1911, page 110.

And on that lovely note, I bid you Happy Weekend.

Namaste & Three Cheers -- OM