Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Muddy Shoes Production

Love A Big Top
Went to Circus Flora last night with the 'Fugee, the other 'Fugee and a staunch supporter of 'Fugees.

The show, from begging to end, was delightful. I really enjoyed the trained cats and immediately thought of Gingerzingi.

Went to a Farm to Yoga event today. Got up to check Yoga Buzz's Twitter feed and, despite early morning rain, the event was on.

Left the house with not a minute to spare and, of course, a huge chunk of the highway was closed. When I hit Ferguson, I slowed down and called Alison who told me that everything was fine. I was only five minutes after the fact and figured that I could catch up if they had started touring. Later on Alison told that she thought about the possibility of me getting pulled over...

Of course someone arrived at the farm at the same time that I did and we were not the last ones to arrive. Plus, the start was delayed because preparations had to be made for us to practice yoga out of the elements.

Farm to Yoga was such a special event and I learned a lot. Love Molly Rockamann's EarthDance story. Molly is the one who gave us a tour of the farm. I also love the language of different industries: root zone, predator prevention...

Had no idea that a cover crops existed. Ditto for the role of legumes. As I toured the farm, I thought about my grandfather and great, great, great aunts who used to grow their own food. Some of the apprentices told us about the projects that they're working on. I was so moved by the mud that covered one of the apprentice's hands.

As we stopped by the Garlic Project segment of the farm, we all spotted what looked like white butterflies but they were cabbage moths -- never heard of them.

Liked how Molly told us that nature does not like bare soil -- ergo -- weeds. I also liked it when she said that the more diverse an ecosystem is the more resilient it is, Makes sense.

Molly was surprised to see two dead hens.  She said that the hen house is an ideal environment  and she will have to investigate to see what's going on. Got a little sad thinking that the hens would be dinner at some point but those hens are exclusively for egg production. Molly took that opportunity to tell us that they have a lot of space and how a lot of people deceptively use free range labels.

House Is Bigger Than In Picture

Ruby -- Very Interested In The Residents

I think, at first, Molly wanted to shield us from the dead hens but she went ahead and gave a solid talk about the circle of farm/life. Molly had her well-behaved two-year-old dog, Ruby, on the tour as well. Ruby suddenly became animated around the hen house.

There was also a separate Farm to Yoga event for kids and the kids had us cracking up. When they got near our group, they wanted kisses etc. from their parents. Alison's son refused to make salad dressing because he thought the ingredients were weird but one of the kids was so sweet and shared the dressing that she made.

After touring the farm, we took off our muddy shoes and retrieved our mats. Nathan, our yoga teacher, is also an apprentice at EarthDance so he juxtaposed plant life with mat life.

Our Red Carpet

View During Practice

It got really toasty at one point and Nathan acknowledged how humid it was -- Sometimes people pay extra for this type of atmosphere. So true...

We did earth salutations and, for some reason, I forget how much I enjoy them. Gotta keep that sequence on my radar...

After practicing yoga, we had lunch provided by Whole Foods. The food was "uncomplicated" but so good. And the bread? I should have followed Alison's son's lead. He had the wheat bread with hummus and nothing else. That bread was ridiculously good...

I've been looking for an organization to donate money to and I plan to make a donation to EarthDance. There's so many things to like about the farm including the fact that they employ students from the area.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Next Up

No Zumba tonight. Instead, walked around the MO Botanical Garden checking out the Lantern Festival and I totally walked over 10,000 steps.

Before checking out the lights, our posse checked out the Chinese acrobats. The show was short and sweet. Loved the jugglers; no props -- just bodies.

I'm super tired now and also need to figure out what's going on with the air filter on my fish tank. Found a temporary solution but I have to get the environment right for the fish again...

Next up -- the circus.

Checked Out Asparagus Fern Before Light Switch Was Turned On

Dandelion Made Out Of Plastic Bottles

Made Out of Small Cups? and Saucers

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Usual

The usual -- yoga, bicycling etc.  my response to someone's question about what I would do with myself during the weekend.

The someone was a colleague that I don't often work with. This (our new building) would be a great place for yoga. She asked where I practiced yoga and wondered about how good the teachers are at my fitness club.

I reminded her about the donation-based outdoor yoga. What is it with outdoor yoga? My friend went and they took booty shots. Yes, booty shots do tend to happen....

I have a strong urge to document so I have mixed emotions about the designated photographers for yoga gatherings. Yesterday I went to a Yoga Buzz event that was part of a Mind and Body health festival. The photographer clicked and clicked and clicked.

Doing yoga can be a vulnerable experience so it's weird to have someone document the experience and I was glad when the clicking stopped.

Elle's class was good for me though because half the stuff coming out of her mouth was funny and I have been in the crabby zone.

After yoga spotted the big top of Circus Flora which made me smile. Remember the Far Side cartoon about two men who run away from corporate jobs to join the circus? I won tickets to see Circus Flora and I'm looking forward to going.

Went to Gloria's yoga class today then made a quick stop by her house since she wanted to give me a pair of sandals that were too big for her. We wear the same size but my foot is wider. The sandals fit like a glove but I was more excited about Gloria's garden. It was a little oasis of kale, beets, basil etc. and that cheered me up. I need to get to the MO Botanical Garden.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Binds and Whatnot

One of my neighbors asked me if I was tired of walking to work and also wanted to know if starting the day off walking made for a prolonged day.

When I walk or bike to work, I feel like I own more of the day. Same thing for setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to read. I could get to work earlier but...

Night three of dreaming. Can't recall Saturday's dream but last night dreamed that I was bicycling until I came upon a washed out rode. Spotted a semi-submerged grayish fish in the water when I had to stop bicycling...

Came home, cut the grass -- yadda yadda yadda -- showered then headed to yoga.

Believe it or not, I wonder sometimes why I'm sitting in a yoga class. Those thoughts usually creep up when eagle pose (can't stand it) or a bind is called for but despite eagle et al. Monday night is definitely a good night for yoga.

As savasana started, Joy said Every single cell of your body...soft, relaxed and disengaged. Seriously Joy? It's a mission that I'll accept again and again.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dreams Are Made of This...

Dreamed that I was covered in blood -- from head to toe. One wound was gaping which made blood drip from my fingers.

The 'Fugee and I watched Selma so there was no need to go to Dream Moods although I did... 

Could have stayed in the house today. Another weekend without bicycling because of the rain. Zumba wasn't particularly calling my name but it was more appealing than figuring out what to do on my own.

Because of a minor procedure, the regular Saturday Zumba teacher has not been there in about two months. Sub number three, Grace, was in the house. I was briefly confused when I saw Shannon, a.k.a. the yelper, who's subbed before.

After class I joked with Shannon that she didn't yelp nearly as much as a student and she told me that she got in a couple of yelps but it didn't seem right to do a lot of yelping since someone else was teaching.

It was kind of cool to have Grace leading and Shannon as her right-hand woman because, at one point, Grace went to adjust the sound system and I just followed Shannon's lead because she, of course, knew the routine.

Back to Selma...

As I watched the movie, thought about something Oprah Winfrey said a long time ago: Your ticket has already been bought and paid for...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Two Straps Left

I was about to finish my climbing outing when a leg strap snapped loose on my harness. My belay partner, Will, noticed immediately. Told him that I would down climb but he alerted a staff member who came to the same conclusion -- that down climbing would be the best option. Still, the staffer starting prepping the auto belay...

When I got down, the same staffer asked if I had double backed my strap. I was pretty sure that I had since the other straps were double backed.

I immediately thought about the weight that I had gained. Felt like I had broken a chair but, really, nothing was broken and the strap wasn't frayed. I do like to wear my leg straps a bit loose so I'll have to tighten them up more from now on.

My heart didn't even start pumping fast. Knew that I had two straps left and that I had to get to the ground. I'm pretty sure that my hours on a yoga mat contributed to my calm descent.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Rained Out

It pretty much rained all day long. Yeah, I know -- April showers.

I did a modest amount of uncluttering in the paper department. Came across two expired credit cards that I never activated and unpleasant work emails. Not sure why I printed those to begin with. Felt good to get rid that stuff. Can't imagine the energetic weight.

Also got around to washing clothes and sweeping the fish tank. Finished reading the Aha! April issue of Psychology Today. I've been thinking about Tania Luna, the suprisologist, for a while now. It was one of the first articles that I read days ago in that issue. There was also an interesting article, The New Survivors, about people with cancer.

Liked how Susan Gubar talked about gravy days and  there was a part of Ellen Stovall's story that was "funny" to me. Stovall went to a therapist to help with anxiety after a diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The therapist gave her a dog-training clicker and instructions to click it whenever she found herself ruminating about what might go wrong, then force herself to do something else, such as baking or taking a walk.(Pg 82)
I bet a lot of us need clickers...

Lost myself in the Viva el Capitalismo! issue of Newsweek. There's a psychology professor, Sandra Soca Lozano, featured in the story and she makes $30 a month and won't leave Cuba because she's an only child. When she goes out to dinner with Abigail Jones, the journalist, and others at a fancy restaurant, she realizes "...Working in my field (education) will never allow me to go by myself to places like that. I will always have to wait to be invited by someone else."

Reading Lozano's comments just made me realize (again) how so many of my days are gravy days.

In that same Newsweek, I enjoyed an article about yarn bombing. Would have loved to seen Steve Duneier's project up close and personal. I'm smitten with Duneier's new year commitment of having "Giving" and "Learning" resolutions...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Rewiring The Noodle

When Alison and I went to the Cinco de Mayo yoga event, told her that the camera had stopped working on my iPod with the shattered glass. Alison said that my iPod looked like roadkill.

Shattered glass, broken camera, malfunctioning home button and crashing apps -- it was time to let go of my refurbished iPod that I got in 2011.

When I opened my new iPod, I was shocked to see that Alison and I had purchased our devices in mid-March. Talk about delayed gratification. Can't believe that I waited so long to open it. The new bells and whistles gave me a little insight to why people stand in line when Apple products are released.

I'm missing a lot of music thanks to the virus that hit my computer so I'll have to break out the CDs and import music again. Maybe I can outsource this task?

My replacement Fitbit arrived. I christened it at Zumba yesterday and had, roughly, 6,000 steps from Shawny's beat down of a class. I asked Shawny what did she do before class. Take a nap, she responded. I need to try that next time...

This morning's pre-work reading was from the April issue of Psychology Today. I took note of the Is Your Smartphone Making You Dumb? article:
Because your phone doesn't even have to be in your hand to decrease your cognitive abilities, perhaps it's best to keep it hidden during tasks that demand your attention. 
I, at least, try to honor this idea during yoga. I don't have a smart phone and I don't really have a smart device when I carry it around unless I'm near a wifi signal but still...

I really like the tips for How To Coax An Aha! from the same issue of Psychology Today.

According to Roland Griffiths, meditation is a good way to ready the mind. However, he concedes that "It's not easy, and it can be really frustrating initially because the mind mutinies..." Yes it does.

Other tips include breaking a sweat and hitting the road.

Re: hitting the road, the author says: When we travel, we put ourselves in a position of receptivity to novelty: new ideas, new rituals, new perspectives. Thus do we make new associations, rewire our noodles, and effectively become different people.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Body Starts Telling On You

A new coworker thanked me for my attitude. This person is a bit of a schmoozer but as someone I know once said It doesn't hurt for people to "pretend" to be civilized.

Talked to the new coworker about yoga and she said that it's good that I go because if you don't do things for your body  it starts telling on you.

I wanted to go swimming and to Yoga Buzz's Cinco de Mayo celebration. As soon as the coworker said that about the body, I decided to do yoga. Swimming is relaxing but I'm trying to mix things up a bit and not get stuck on doing the same things on the same day just because that's the way I've done them before.

When Alison expressed interest in going to the Cinco de Mayo(ga), that just sweetened the pot.

It was a really nice yoga session with food and drinks afterward. I kept thinking that it felt like Friday but a good feeling shouldn't be reserved for one day...

Here's a picture of our time in savasana. Not sure who snapped the picture.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One Pedal At A Time

Turkey That Crossed The Tracks (Photo Credit: Alison)
Just getting around to drinking the coffee that I made this morning since Alison and I got together for a bike ride earlier than expected.

We stopped at the visitor center at mile three to say hi to the bike guide who then gave me the business about not wearing a helmet. He went on tell me that his daughter had been in an accident and her helmet split in two. He told this story in amusing fashion but he was serious and even told Alison to refuse to ride with me unless I had on a helmet.

We went out to mile eight then turned around. It was so windy on the way back. We kept telling ourselves to keep pedaling.

At some point after we left, Alison and I spotted a car in the intersection, a bike and a man curled into a C position. I knew, without a doubt, that Alison was getting out. I put my emergency flashers on and got out as well. The guy kept saying that he was okay, wanted to get up so that he didn't stall traffic and he also looked back to make sure his equipment a.k.a. bike was okay. The cyclist had scrapes on the front and back of his head and the driver's windshield was shattered in the corner.

Not sure what happened but the driver seemed nice and he seemed sober. There was also a lot of traffic downtown because of the Cardinals' game. After the police and ambulance arrived, we wished them well and headed back to our cars...

Saw that I had multiple messages when I got home. My nephew, who just got back from overseas, was making a pit stop on the way to his next assignment so I grabbed a few peanuts and headed to Illinois.

Came back home and took a rare nap. Feeling a little bit more human again but not a lot.

Photo  Courtesy of Alison, Riverfront Trail