Saturday, April 30, 2016


Alison recently got into kombucha so, as a part of her birthday gift, I singed her up for a kombucha brewing class and I also reserved myself a spot because I know that adventures are sweeter with friends.

Until today, I had never tasted kombucha and didn't think that I would like it...

As Alison and I and two other women followed the Dabble sign, we were greeted in the hallway by a cat. Hilarious! I knew that we were at the instructor's apartment because she had given us the heads-up about her cats. When the last two students arrived, Gus heard them, headed out the apartment door and went to greet them.

Gus, the Host with the Most
The instructor, Mary, stays in downtown St. Louis and the view, alone, made the trip worth it.

When I smelled the SCOBY, I still didn't think that I would like kombucha and I was also a tad bit concerned by something that I'd read but I sipped anyway and loved the ginger kombucha that we sampled first. Also like the blackberry ginger and what Mary said about adding cinnamon sticks instead of cinnamon or actual ginger instead of powdered ginger. You have to stay away from processed foods when brewing and flavoring your kombucha.

One of the Mothers
The kombucha class was fun and I'd like to take another Dabble class. Just wish that most of them weren't during Zumba time...

When class ended, Alison and I headed across the street to Bailey's Range and had veggie burgers and shared a fig salad which consisted of spinach, figs, pears, fennel. roasted almonds, blue cheese and a strawberry vinaigrette. Yum -- all the way around. Even yummier was hitting the door before lots of kids wandered in from the Robotics Competition.

Mary did a Tedx talk and said that she did 30 minutes of yoga to calm her down beforehand.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Re: Prince, the latest talk is about his not having a will which makes me think of a character in a Chris Rock movie who says "Black people don't leave a will; they leave a bill." Of course, that's not the case with Prince.

One of Prince's former lawyers said that the singer was so meticulous that if he had wanted to leave a will, he would have.

I was with a group of people discussing Prince and one guy said that, surely, probate court is not what Prince would have wanted. This same person is also the only one who has his papers totally in order.

As for me, I have mailed important information to my brother but my paperwork is not where it should be and I recently discovered my lack of documentation when my work place tweaked something with the life insurance. I don't want anyone to have to look frantically for anything when I'm gone so I need to correct that immediately...

Walked into Zumba and the sub said that she would be taking over the class. As Alison said, Thursday had become mystery Zumba teacher night. I'm in a mood and the one thing that made me perk up tonight was hearing Flo Rida say "...double entendre, double entendre..." I have no idea why that phrase amuses me but I'll take it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

And Quietness Ensues

Waiting for the Yoga Games to Start on Sunday
For the most part, the week started off on a good note with the Earth Day celebration at Forest Park. Many people attended the free yoga sessions including Alison and other yoga buddies.

I got totally discombobulated trying to find the yoga stage but knew that I was headed in the right direction when I saw the meditation flash mob which I'd thought about joining but was glad that I didn't because I would have felt too exposed...

After yoga in the park, came home and cooked and thought about Gingerzingi as I chopped and chopped and chopped.

Slept well last night and Monday night yoga gets the credit for that sleep session.

Went to the store after work today then cooked Tofu Fried Rice. Sunday's situation was Farmers' Market Quesadillas.

Went swimming tonight then ran a couple of errands. I'm getting stuff done and doing many things that I enjoy but I'm feeling a bit raggedy and rushed.

The mind chatter was off the charts as I started swimming but, at some point, my mind got quiet. Love that point in the program when I'm swimming or practicing yoga and quietness ensues.

I do like the gongs though. Below is Pati Pellerito at Earth Day with the flash mob.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Reasons

Lovely in the Backyard
Got up later than I wanted to but headed to the DMV anyway because it's time to pay the piper a.k.a. the Department of Revenue for my new set of wheels.

Haven't been to the DMV in ages but it was no surprise when I got there at 9:30 a.m. and the joint was packed. As I signed in via a computer wondered about older people and, sure enough, this one woman cried out for help because the touch screen was not cooperating.

Waited for 30 minutes then decided that I didn't want to miss Zumba so I headed home and made an appointment online. Didn't see the appointment option the first time I looked on the website...

While waiting for the Zumba party to start, I was looking at my iPod when this woman walked over to me and handed me a mesh hair wrap. I had asked her, during another class, about her wrap. She doesn't know my name and I don't know her name and that was just super sweet for her to think about me. I offered to pay for the wrap but she quickly nixed the offer...

Got a text to tell me that my DMV appointment was nearing. As I stood in the office, got another text saying that my appointment had been removed but if I still wanted to keep the appointment, I should respond but when I did, got a text saying that the office was closed. Ha-ha, not. Talked to one of the clerks and she helped me out. When I left the DMV, it was 15 minutes before closing time and there were still a packed house...

Ran errands then tackled the lawn. Last time I cheated by just cutting the front and even though that was two weeks ago, the front needed to be cut again.

Still have a lot to get done but that's the way it goes. Saw this quote today:
Life grows lovely where you are. -Mathilde Blind
Before watching Downton Abbey, the 'Fugee and I watched a couple of Prince videos (the clip with James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince) and one from the Dave Chappelle Show. Kept trying to think about why, out of all the performers, Prince is the one that really spoke to me and I think one of the reasons is that he gave space to women like Sheila E. I never tire of Glamorous Life.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

In Tune

Got in my 15-ish minutes of reading this morning and also got in six minutes of yoga in bed.

I usually check in with Gayle King, Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose to see what's going on in the world but sometimes the commercials get to be too much so, as I dressed, I decided to cast YouTube and listen to Prince. I kid you not. This morning I had the urge to listen to Prince but I knew, later on  in the day, when I saw someone post a music note with a purple tear that Prince was gone.

About a week ago, thought that I'd requested a Prince CD from the library but it turned out to be a book. Cannot believe how Prince has been on my mind but I have to say that I do feel more in tune with others -- not saying that this is the case with Prince but what a coincidence.

I remember going to a Prince concert and not being able to speak the next day because I had screamed so much. I'm not usually a big screamer...

I've been going through my CDs trying to find Prince songs and I did find a handful on an old MP3 player and that will have to do for now.

A photo posted by Heather B. Armstrong (@dooce) on

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Until I Get My Groove Back

Youth Team's Gear
Went swimming last night and the youth organization was running behind schedule so I paid the admission fee then walked over to speak with the wife/husband team in charge of the youth group whilst the youngsters finished.

The wife told me that their son, who looks like he's in his early 20's, had a heart attack. That whole scenario sounded implausible. Yes, yes, I'm the queen of denial.

The son in question swam last night and the husband told me what is heart rate was at the time practice started and he would later tell me that his son had been, pretty much, dead and he'd told his son the equivalent of God has something greater in store for you... Apparently, there'd been some tension between the parents and son but, hopefully, the medical emergency will heal some wounds...

Budgeted time for six minutes of yoga in bed this a.m. and I liked the sequence. Although I was totally digging the in bed part and was slightly disappointed when Tara Stiles called for standing up, it made perfect sense in that I was going to have to eventually stand up to greet the day and I might as well stand strong in tree pose beforehand.

Went climbing this p.m. and I'm not very good at climbing right now but no one is grading me so I'll keep plugging away at it until I get my groove back...

The intern in my office mentioned that she couldn't sleep last night so she and her roommate ordered Insomnia Cookies but the whole point of her store was that her roommate had only ordered milk and they had to wait even longer to get the cookies. The intern was surprised that we hadn't heard of the cookie company. Seriously, what will people come up with next?

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Good Story

Photo Credit: Alison
The weather has been stunning so it was only a matter of time before Alison and I decided to hit a bike trail. I agreed to bicycling yesterday but felt guilty when I told Alison that I didn't think that I'd be able to do yoga and bicycling. We've done that combo before but there's a lot of planning that goes into it and I also didn't think that I'd have the stamina or time budget.

It was my first bike outing since purchasing the Subaru and I made assumptions. At the last minute, I was looking for a way to secure the fifth door but there's nothing that you can hook a rope onto. Still, I tried to secure a telephone cord around the flimsy license plate housing as part of the bike was sticking out. As I strategized, I wanted to cancel but knew that it wouldn't be fair to Alison.

Headed out knowing that any serious bump in the road was going to snap the license plate cover and that's what happened.

I'd also bought a jump rope along so I pulled over to try to secure the fifth door and, minutes later, a fire truck pulled up. I thought that maybe I hadn't paid attention and parked in front of the fire station and, next, I saw a fireman walking towards me and I thought that he was going to reprimand me or give me a citation. Not once did it cross my mind that he might help me but that's exactly what he did.

The fireman was so calm and so cool. During "the class" that I took at Subaru, I was told how to pop out the house casing but I had forgotten. The fireman popped it out in two seconds and he also guessed that I had a quick release front wheel on my bike which I knew about but my apprehension about getting the wheel back on stopped me from even thinking about that as an option.

Even without taking the front wheel off, the fireman was able to maneuver the bike into the car which was such a relief. He made my day -- and a couple of more days. He was also pretty funny too. He likes to bicycle with his daughter but he doesn't think that he'll be able to get two bikes into his current car because it's not as big as the car that his daughter wrecked and, boy, does he miss his wrecked car.

I called Alison to let her know that I was running behind schedule. When we finally hit the trail, we were going at a nice pace and I think that it was total adrenaline.

Around the eight mile mark we took a closer look at Cementland. The area around the red, white and blue barrels is hilly and I tried not to think about the additional energy that I'd expended. However, I did feel grateful that my ankle is at a point that I can tackle hills and uneven terrain.

The bike ride back was windy and tough and even though I was knackered when I got home, I cooked but nixed the salt bath that I had planned to take. I didn't have the time since we spent three hours on the trail. Time well spent so I made adjustments to my agenda and moved on.

Outskirts of Cementland, Photo Credit: Alison
But the fireman, for real, I get emotional thinking about him. I was so moved by his act of kindness and it just made me resolve to continue my efforts to be steadfast in my kindness. The interaction with the fireman was also a lesson in staying calm and "feeling the fear and doing it anyway..."

P.S. I figured out how to take the wheel off which made getting the bike in the car so much easier. Not sure that it's on right but I'll take a look at it later.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How Things Work

Hit the ground running this morning.

Went to the library to return non-renewable items then went to fill up a gas canister so that I could mow the front lawn -- the back will have to wait.

Finished mowing in time to hit Zumba class.

Just got back from my first trip to the St. Louis IKEA which opened in September. Haven't been to one in years and forgot how there's one track to get through the humongous store. Even though they have arrows, started to feel like I should have brought breadcrumbs to mark my path.

Last night went to see a short play, Bosnian American: The Dance of Life, with the
'Fugee and another 'Fugee, Asmira. Bosnian American.. was sad but also funny at times. Afterwards, we went to a place that sells gelato etc. The 'Fugee and Asmira made good choices by getting coffee and tea. I went with the gelato but I totally feel like I walked it off in IKEA. Hope so anyway but I know "things" don't work that way.

Information Table at Play

Today's Numbers

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

So Real

Scene from "Nurse Jackie"
As dream worlds go, Gingerzingi, wish that I had been in Zumba class with you because I had nightmares. Dreamed that I was on the battlefield and several people got shot including one who looked like a famous actress. The doppelganger got shot through the neck and I could see a round hole; ugh, so real.

The dreams were weird because I'd been swimming which puts me a peaceful frame of mind. I've been watching Orange Is The New Black plus Fixer Upper and OITNB wasn't a violent episode.

In addition to Fixer Upper and OITNB, I've been watching Nurse Jackie which I didn't expect to be so intense. Having said that, I enjoyed the recent episode where nurse Jackie swims. It's a brief moment but I like seeing characters get their swim on including Julia Braverman-Graham on Parenthood.

When I submerged last night, noticed that the water was not as clear as it usually is and I paid the price. I was able to sleep but, at some point, breathing did not come easy. Hope that they fix the imbalance in the water.

Gingerzingi, for your entertainment, the yoga goat...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Tapping Out

Glass Bottom Boat, Negril
Had a great weekend including a three-hour yoga retreat reunion dinner at a Jamaican restaurant. Of course, I didn't get much done in the way of chores but that's the way it usually goes...

During the reunion dinner, talked with this woman, Emma, who hasn't been going to yoga lately because she's taken up Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. Emma will be glad when she's better at her activities so that she can stop wearing long-sleeved shirts because of scratches and bruises. She also talked about "tapping out" when the fighting gets to be too much. I also like how Emma talked about her goal was to get to two yoga classes this week. I love yoga goals.

Voiced my opinion about how we should have the equivalent of tapping out in yoga and Joy piped up to saucily say Child's pose is your tap out. So funny and she's right and I do have to say that the pose of the child is one of my favorite yoga poses. I like for my energy centers to be close to the ground.

I'm also craving more yoga. I've been averaging two classes per week but my other activities don't leave much room for going to a studio so I'm planning to get with the program and get more serious about a home practice. I'm not planning on an hour-long situation but it would be nice to get in 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Talking Myself Out Of The House

We had a mandatory drug awareness situation at work. Kind of ironic. So many of us have to come up with coping mechanisms for work and I wonder how many people have addiction problems because of stress at work.

I'm feeling depleted but managed to talk myself out the house for Zumba. I really wanted to take a salt bath and read more of A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me but moving my body is important to me. Soaking is important too but there's a time for exercise and there's a time for baths, LOL.

We've had a sub for the last three classes but the sub is in Jamaica celebrating her first wedding anniversary. As such, I hung back because I wanted to see who would be teaching. Well, it was Eileen and I was happy to see her and it's actually Eileen's class but she's been working nights.

I have a full-time job she said when one of my fellow Zumba mates started talking smack. I told her that all good immigrants have at least three jobs.

I'm glad that I went to class. My mood was better and I had a more energy afterward. Still didn't feel like taking a shower but with one more day of work on the horizon, it was totally the civilized thing to do. On the video, twelve seconds from class.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Sensible Route

New Wheels
Watched Family Feud after dinner yesterday and one of the questions in the final round was -- What's more broken down than your body? Car was the number one answer.

Speaking of broken down. Joy broke us down last night in a basics yoga class where the only thing that's supposed to be broken down is the first element or two of a posture but, in hindsight, that beat down was foreshadowed. I complimented Joy on some heart-shaped earrings that she was wearing and she said something about channeling compassion because sometimes you need to. Well, I think Joy was working something out and took us along for the ride but I digressed...

Bought a Consumer Reports Cars back in 2012 -- that's how long replacing my 2001 car has been on my mind. Well, I finally made a move which required a lot of trust on my part. First and foremost, I had to trust that my financial universe would not collapse upon getting a new car.

Still, I had to make a list of the reasons that it was time to let the car go. A Subaru was not even on my list when I started the car search but that's the direction that I ended up going in and, up until the day that I bought the car last week, I wasn't sure if I was going to get a four or five-door but I went with the five-door hatchback because I know that I plan to have this car for at least a decade and, in the end, I liked the color and spaciousness of the five-door better. For me, this was also a lesson in not settling. I often choose the sensible route or color or whatever and when I thought about how  much I enjoy driving and how many more cars I'll possibly have in the future, the decision was an easy one.

Here are things that I've learned:

1). Take someone with you when test-driving a car -- the more the merrier -- because all of those shiny cars are distracting and you'll forget to ask questions or to even take the dang car on the highway.

2). Pay Attention. Two salesman told me that they only had 0% percent financing for one car model although it was listed under every single car on the website.

3). Test-driving, although annoying, is a must. Also become familiar with the various editions. The Impreza comes in five models: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited and 2.0i Sport Premium and the 2.0i Sport Limited. For real? I went with the second in line -- the 2.0i Premium.

4). Even clouds look better in a Subaru's side view mirrors.

5). I was made to drive an Impreza wagon, yup.

I was going to take my car to the junkyard until my aunt Al spoke up and said that my cousin might want it so I sold it to him for $1 dollar. It was perfect time because my cousin has some important appointments that he needs to keep.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

As Many As You Need or Month-End Review, March

Wow, yeah, it's April and I'm days behind with my month-end review. I took two days off because I needed time away from work to relax, duh, and to buy a new car on the last day of the month. Mission accomplished but the mission was tiring. Racked up a lots of steps on the tracker today taking stuff from my fifteen-year-old car. My Mazda Protégé was like a second house. Hopefully, I can keep the new car clutter-free. More on the car later...

My ankle is still feels solid although I'm not doing anything aggressive like jumping because it's still sensitive... After Zumba today, Alison and her friend went to collect their kids and Alison's friend's daughter had on the kid version of a Fitbit. Alison joked that she was going to get one since her Fitbits malfunction all the time. I didn't even know that fitness trackers for kids existed and I have mixed emotions because if you let a kid play outside, no tracker is really needed but I really wanted to take a picture of Paige because she'd brought along about six stuff animals. The lesson for today? Carry as many binkies as you need.

Bicycling, 1 x

Climbing, 4 x's

Country Line Dance Party!
*Scoot Those Boots, 2 x's

Dance It Off & firm up!
*Rock It!, 1 x

Just Walk: 5 Mega Miles
*Mile 1: Classic Low Impact, 1 x
*Mile 2: Walk & Tone, 1 x
*Mile 4: Strength, 1 x
*Mile 5: Ab Walk, 2 x's

Just Walk: mix + match
*Short & Sweaty, 2 x's
*Walk, Kick + Jab!, 1 x

Just Walk: The Tone Every Zone Walk
*Upper Body, 2 x's

Just Walk: Walk to the Hits, Party Songs
*Mile 2

Swimming, 4 x's

Walking, 11 x's plus one brief stint on the Dreadmill

Yoga, 8 x's

Zumba, 7 x's

Paige and the Dolphin and the Tracker