my boys

Sep 29th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

Mental health and seizures can sneak up at any moment. I know this. I live with this. I live with my own precarious mental health that can slink up behind me and rob me of a day or more. Those bouts have become fewer and farther between, but they are there, and they are very real. . A night ago Gav had a seizure. I…


Sep 17th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 2 min read

I’ve never been a fan of how my hands look. I got the Miesner hands not the Schwartz’s hands. The ones that were made for farm work, kitchen work, heavy lifting, not the slender, graceful ones. I once tried to draw a hand and of course, I used myself as a model, I was happy with how that sketch turned out. When I took pictures…

the practice

Sep 16th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 5 min read

Writing can be frightening for me. It helps me process the world. It helps me see and understand what’s happening around me, sometimes at an alarming rate. It can reveal things to me I hadn’t seen or understood before. . Sometimes, I don’t want to process. . Sometimes, I don’t want to see what’s lurking under the surface. . I don’t want to know or…


Sep 15th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 5 min read

I talked with my therapist about my anger. How it’s growing and not shrinking. I want it to shrink. It’s bigger than I can hold. . I want to wake up and not remember this. . That’s false. It isn’t that I don’t want to remember, I want to move on, I don’t want it first or second thought, I want it last, least. ….


Sep 10th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 7 min read

I hear the word ‘master’, and I think high education, smarter than me, money. The world is crowded with people and for anyone to stand out and compete it feels as if they have to get a master’s degree or higher now. I hear it and I feel small, the bad kind, not the good kind. . It’s hard to think I could be a…


Sep 9th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 7 min read

I had a long talk and a long walk with a friend last night. It was good for my body and mostly my soul. I’m finding myself craving more people I can speak freely to. People I can see in my presence and not over a screen. People who we don’t run into the restraints of time and distance. They are such real, painful, hard…


Sep 8th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

We’ve been having deep, hard, big conversations a lot in the last month. Not just the dreaming kind. Not just the theological ones or eschatological ones. Although, there have been a lot of those, oddly enough. We’ve been having a lot of big planning type ones. . Learning how to create space. Learning how to make what space we have larger. I feel as if…


Sep 7th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 6 min read

My bestie and I really got into gardening this year. Last year, my dad and I built a huge garden area with three raised beds in my backyard. We did our planning and building in the fall and late winter. I wanted the garden space complete come spring, so I would be ready to plant, and plant we did. . Something about planting a garden,…

two years ago

Sep 5th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

I started this blog almost exactly two years ago. My first post came on August 31, 2018. In it, I announced the blog and the would-be book to come of it. I thought the book would be about something different back then. . I’ve sat on different porches over the last two years. Front porches, back porches, beach porches… I’ve sat on several metaphorical porches….


Sep 4th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

It shifted. We knew it would, we knew it was coming, I knew August would be hard. Then it came in with more moving parts, shifting, and changing, and being a jerk. . I have a hard time with transitions. I can pump myself up in the beginning. Rah-rah-rah-it. All that. Once I hit a few weeks in, I usually lose all capacity to function…