Sunday, May 21, 2017

Zumba Interruptus

Left out the house at 10:40 a.m. yesterday with my mind set on going to Zumba. While I warmed up (30 seconds) the car, found a playlist so that I wasn't tempted to fiddle with my iPod while driving. Heard a thunk and looked to see this white car moving away from my car but not stopping.

Me: What the hell?

Turned my flip phone on and dialed 911 while trying to pay attention. The driver of the white car, at one point, put his car in reverse and I wondered if he was going to get aggressive. I gave the 911 operator a description of his car, a description of my car, my number then I was told to pull over once I said that I was following the person. However, when we got to a major street and a red light, the driver put his car in reverse again. The light changed and he didn't move and seconds later, his head tilted back.

By that time, other people got involved and this woman said that he was breathing rapidly. I had already made a second call to 911 to let them know that the driver had passed out. As a man started rubbing the unconscious man's chest, he told me to call back and let them know that an off-duty officer was on the scene and that it looked like an overdose. By this time, I spotted a cigarette lighter in the unconscious man's right hand.

The emergency personnel was able to bring the wayward driver back to consciousness with just oxygen. He had no memory of "hitting" me and, as it turned out, there was no damage to my car. One officer speculated that he got so close that there was some kind of noise generated from the close proximity...

Even though the experience knocked me off my game and looking at the city 911 call logs further knocked me off my game, I realize how lucky I was yesterday. A few minutes either way and the outcome could have been different. It was also not the best move to follow the car...

All of this reminds me of a blog post by Leo Babauta which reminded me of Sully which I was reluctant to watch but found myself moved when the first responders et al. went into action after the plane crashed. That scene was reassuring because it made me feel that there are trained professionals who are going to assist in a reasonable amount of time along with ordinary people who will come to people's aid.

The particular post by Babauta is called The Magic of Being Held By the World:
When you were born, you were incapable of living without the support of your family, who fed, clothed, sheltered you, changed your diapers, kept you alive every single day. They were supported by many others, and then you were educated by many more. You were raised by a village, no matter what your childhood was like...
I also really like this Instagram post:

"yo don't worry, I got you." -the entire universe .|• #manifestedminds

A post shared by Manifested Minds (@manifestedminds) on

Thursday, May 18, 2017


When I walked into work this morning I wondered how, if I chose to, working 80% would impact my life. I, simultaneously, heard my grand and great grandparents verbally scoffing -- like Do you know what we had to go through?

Went to my cousin's wife's General Education Development (GED) graduation last night and there were more graduates than I expected -- about 150.

The person who stood up the most last night, for awards etc., was a German immigrant who said that she was on the wrong side of the wall and didn't get the education that she wanted. The immigrant did very well in her language classes because she was one of two students who gave a speech and you could hear her passion for education.

The second student speaker was my cousin's wife and she talked about how many attempts she'd made to get  her GED and how her husband, who doesn't think he deserves any credit, was instrumental in her setting aside a day for studying and continuing on her path. She also thanked the school for never closing the door on her...

I hadn't realized that "K" had dropped out of school in the seventh grade due to family issues etc.

After the student speeches, I thought "It's never too late" but there was also part of me thinking that sometimes it is too late but then I remember the people who learned how to read in there 90's etc.

Out of all the graduation ceremonies that I've been to, I found this High School Equivalency one the most moving...

The Two
Talked to my aunt Debbie after the ceremony because my twin uncles just lost one of their half-sisters (heart attack at work). I found out last night that my aunt Debbie is the youngest on both side of her families. Didn't realize that she had just as many siblings on her father's side as she did on her mother's side. How did I not know this information?

Today I was talking with a contractor that I work with and she talked about how everyone rushes time but she believes that time rushes by at an unbelievable speed and has no desire to wish away certain days...

Two of my favorite pictures from last night.

Monday, May 15, 2017


When my mother and I left the repast on Saturday, she pointed out one of her childhood homes. We got our first phone there and we had a party line. Wow, we've come a long way -- maybe too long. I wonder how many homes my grandmother had to move in and out of raising seven children.

Although I haven't done much research on it, I've been thinking about StoryWorth -- heard about it while listening to a podcast. Wonder if my family members would participate.

I've also been thinking about how mother said that my aunt Girt has always had a mouth on her. No need to wait for old age; she's been saying what she has wanted to say since...

Alison and I were in negotiations on Saturday night about what activities we wanted to do and where we wanted to do them.  Knew that I didn't have much time to play with (a.k.a bicycling) so we decided to go to yoga and then breakfast after yoga.

Towards the end of class, I snapped this picture of Alison. Some people were doing headstands and because I don't do headstands, I watched. Alison said that she is trying to become accustomed to the idea of being upside down...

Guess I could have done downward-facing dog on the wall but I was ready for savasana and not wall play...

This woman that I used to work with moved back to St. Louis from California. She was hoarse and said that her voice has been that way since she moved back to St. Louis. She also said that she used to take allergy shots but doesn't have time to do that right now.

Got home from work, changed clothes, walked the yard to check for debris then mowed the lawn. Followed that up with pulling weeds for one hour. By the time I was finished, felt like I had little shards of glass in my skin.

I had been feeling better and less congested but I should have worn a mask because my stint outside has me nice and congested.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Your Lucky Day


I made it back to my yoga mat after a 15-day hiatus and it felt really good. I had read an article in Prevention magazine that was a reminder of why practicing yoga is so good for your mind and spirit.

In Other News:

Chiquita texted me sometime last week to say that one of our cousin's had died. No one, except for his mom, was surprised. Our cousin lived a hard life and alcohol got the best of him. I feel really bad for his mom who is not doing well herself. 

People have a lot to say about the town that I was born in. It got the first chapter in Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities. A lot of us did well but a lot of the black men did not...

Today was my cousin's funeral. 

I met up with my mother over at my aunt Girt's house and I wanted to drive because my mother often chauffeurs people around but I think that my mother is leery of my driving skills or, rather, she thinks that I drive too fast. At any rate...

Got to the funeral home and saw my aunt Debbie coming out. She had some gently used workout clothes that one of her friends no longer wanted...

One my of high school classmates officiated the service and one of the first things that he asked us to do was put up two fingers then feel our pulse. He went on to talk about the importance of breath, living etc.

When it was time to go to the graveyard, I rode with Chiquita. The service was a short one so when we arrived at the gravesite, there was still some final issues that needed to be addressed. I couldn't remember where my father's grave was at and, of course, Chiquita remembered the general vicinity and I was able to find it. Blew my mind that it's been almost 12 years since my father died. Really, where does the time go?

Chiquita In The Driver's Seat

I went to school with my deceased cousin's sister and it was not lost on me that she can hardly stand on her own since she has a bad case of arthritis...

Next, Chiquita and I went to pick up my aunt Alice and when she saw me, she said When did you two crooks meet up? I started cracking up.

We went over to another cousin's for the repast and I had fun watching Chiquita have fun while listening to my aunt Girt who said many funny things. It is also interesting to watch what happens between my mother and my aunt Girt. You would think that my aunt Girt is the oldest the way she likes to ask my mother to bring her things etc...

After the repast, I headed to get my glasses. I usually get them in Illinois at an "outlet" for $40 dollars. As I walked in, a pair of glasses called my name. Why didn't they call out to me two weeks ago? I wasn't crazy about the glasses that I picked out but I was overwhelmed by the choices and just went with something so that I could get out of the store. At any rate, the glasses are growing on me but I still might order a second pair.

After picking up my glasses, I treated myself to some scented, whipped shea butter lotion plus a few bath bombs. I also got Chiquita one because she needs to unwind...

Left home at 11:30 and returned at 5:30. Ate then I headed back out as I wanted to get this Trader Joe's popcorn that my mother likes but when I got to the shelf that holds the popcorn, it wasn't there. I went up to customer service and a young lady told me that the truck should have just made a delivery. 

It's your lucky day she tells me as she cuts open the box and I relieve it of four bags.

Flower Cupboard Almost Bare

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Another One

Had a weird dream last night. I was in a locker room and Michael Jordan was sitting next to me. A childhood friend was also in the locker room. I hardly ever see this friend unless there's a funeral and I'm thinking that she showed up because of the 100-year-old friend of the family who just transitioned because we used to play in front of her house. But Michael Jordan???

I was trying to take a selfie with Jordan but couldn't get my iPod to work and also couldn't find another device to take the picture...

Went to Zumba this morning then Alison asked if I wanted to go to an herb shop that I was trying to avoid because I'm having a love affair with essential oils. I somehow managed to walk away with just shampoo -- brownie point for me.

New Car Diffuser

Alison then wanted to go to lunch after our first stop and because I'd said "no" the last couple of times I said "yes" and we went to a nearby coffee shop then we ended up going to a new age store.

What's being served...
Got home and changed into yard work attire. Ended up being in the yard too long because I'd wanted to pick up my glasses in Illinois. Thought the place was open until five but they close earlier on Saturday. Oh well, guess you can't get everything done in one day.

On Friday, one of the contractors that I work with said that he had been swimming and I told him that I hadn't been swimming because of congestion and he said Welcome to the club; I take medicine all year for that. Ugh...

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Two dreams in one week about being in cars that spin out of control.

In the first dream, my father is at the wheel. Inexplicably, we spin in the direction going against traffic and before we hit the divider, I wake up.

Thursday, I woke up early then went back to sleep and, in a short time period, dreamed that I was driving and all of a sudden snow appeared on my windshields -- completing blocking my view. I tried to find the brakes before I ran into anybody. Woke up before colliding or being hit by anyone.

During dream three on Saturday, I don't spin out but there is subtle yet significant damage to the right door panels...

Let's see, slept through the start times of three yoga classes today. Didn't have too much hope for making the 8:30 a.m. one anyway. I've been a night owl for as long as I can remember and I have to drag my ass out of bed most mornings and don't like to do it on the weekends.

Because of the little monsoon, 10:00 o'clock park yoga was canceled...

Finally the rain stopped for a minute and I headed out to do grocery shopping which I usually do on Saturday.

Sunday is the new Saturday.

Went for a walk even though I didn't feel like moving. A barking and unleashed dog approached me and followed for a bit. I thought about what I could hit him with if it got to that point but his owner heard him barking and came out.

Had to rewind the podcast, Pick Up The Soap, that I was listening to because I didn't hear a word as I thought  about strategy.

The two days of rain have me feeling wrecked. Plus, I'm still dealing with congestion which is not as severe as it was but still present.

Yesterday's Storm Clouds
Went to Gloria's on Thursday and we had a Falafel Pie that wasn't a Falafel Pie because falafel mix couldn't be found. Gloria picked the flowers from her rose bush and sent me home with them. It's been a simple pleasure to look upon.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Leaning Back

My mother and two of my aunts were supposed to head to Chicago at 7:00 a.m. yesterday to say goodbye to a 100-year-old "friend of the family" but she transitioned on Friday.

What to say about Mrs. Dove?

  • She was one of my babysitters. 
  • She kept any balls that strayed into her yard when kids weren't careful. 
  • There was a manger scene on her porch through the seasons, throughout the years. 
  • If there is a heaven, she is there as she was a staunch believer who didn't hurt anyone with her beliefs.

During my last conversation with Mrs. Dove, she talked to me about her siblings and her parents and I believe she quoted that verse about obeying your parents and your days being longer. She also told me that she had just eaten so she was going to sit up as opposed to going to bed.

Her health was pretty good up until recently. In fact, she drove her car into her 90's. I will miss her presence in the world. As one of my friends likes to say, sometimes cliches say it best: they don't make 'em like Mrs. Dove anymore. Mrs. Dove's older sister,, by the way, is still alive.

Went to the Earth Day celebration at Forest Park yesterday. Did yoga and walked around a bit...

Muny Practice Stage Transformed into the Zen Den for Earth Day

One Million Faces Project
Today, Gloria had a yoga class in the park and I went.  We were a small group so Gloria did a lot of adjustments. When we did chair pose, she came to me and asked me to sit back on her thighs -- making it a pretty low chair. I was very hesitant because the ground is not even, duh, AND I weigh twice as much as Gloria.  She came by again while we were doing half moon pose and part of me wanted to move forward and readjust rather than lean back into her and trust that I would not bowl her over but I did lean back and everything was fine.

It was a sweet class as I haven't been in one in a long time where there were hands-on adjustments.

When I was in reclined pigeon pose, Gloria came over again and asked me to put my non-bent leg on her leg. Yummy! She told me that I could do that using the wall. Part of me wanted to tell her to hold on while I reached for my iPod. It would have been a sweet picture -- part of my leg, Gloria looking down and the sky and a tree behind her. I think that I must have been a photographer in another life...

Zoomed in on this cat when I returned home from Trader Joe's. He darted between the bushes but stayed long enough for me to go into the house and get my real camera.

So, to sum up, I went to yoga today then shopped at Trader Joe's, walked, read, cooked and I can't believe that the weekend is almost over. Didn't get nearly as much accomplished had I had hoped.  I haz a sad.

Friday, April 21, 2017

My House Is Clean

Monday, April 17th

All the neighbors had cut their grass; I had not because of lawnmower issues that I knew existed at the end of grass-cutting season 2016.

Tuesday, April 18th

I went to look at used lawnmowers but the employee told me that all of the 40 + mowers on the lot actually belonged to people and he doesn't have any used ones available but he does refer me to a gentleman who lives around the corner, behind a high school and has a gold Chevy Tahoe in the driveway.

Just call him when you pull up.

There's no need to call because he's in the driveway working on stuff.

I'm immediately captivated by the tidy, well-organized garage.

Evening of April 18th

I fret over whether to get an electric or gas mower. Also keep looking at Angie's List to see if I can get someone to cut the grass and, therefore, buy myself time to look around.

Wednesday, April 19th

I return to the guy who sells mowers out of his garage, purchase a gas mower, go home, change clothes, walk the yard and collect debris then cut the grass. I am relieved when I finish around 6-ish, take a shower, wash my hair. For dinner, I eat a big bowl of cereal.

Also realize that I forgot to pay a bill.

Thursday, April 20th

I take the lawn mower that is not working to the shop that buys broken things...

The retired gentleman that I bought the mower from also gave me a little class -- how to clean the filter, change the oil, store gasoline. He also gave me an extra spark plug. Deep down, I know that he has done a good job restoring the mower because he is a total geek about how mowers work and I feel good about buying from someone who is retired and enjoys what he's doing...

After getting rid of the problematic mower, I go to wash the layer of pollen off my car. As soon as my feet hit the ground, a woman approaches me.

My grandson had a cockroach in his ear -- not from my house because my house is clean. I need $14 dollars to get his medicine and I have two dollars already.

If I'd had anymore change, I would have given her a couple of dollars -- just for coming up with an original story.

Friday, April 21st

I'm in line at the grocery store and this woman with kids keeps telling them You better get a job in response to their pleas for candy.

I am shocked when the 18-year-old clerk wants me to identify the tomato and onion so that she can look up the codes. She says that her mom doesn't cook and that she doesn't have the time to learn how to...

Three weeks

The amount of time it takes me to get 342 pages into Freeman by Leonard Pitts, Jr.  I don't normally read historical fiction or, more precisely, I don't like to read tales that involve slavery because it puts me in a bad place but, here I am, on a back-to-back binge.

Went to the library after work to pick up another book because I know that I will be jonesing for the next read after Freeman.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Once-Over

At this point, this post is a week in review:

Patti and I changed our climbing schedule so that we could go to Ballpark Village's yoga series on Wednesday but guess what? Even though it's still a free event, tickets are required and it was sold out. I was bummed out but still had Zumba as an option.

Went to Gloria's on Thursday and we had a simple dinner of soy protein burgers from Aldi's but the toppings, caramelized onions...tomatoes...lettuce and condiments...took the simplicity to another level.

After dinner I attempted to make the whipped cream from one of the Thug Kitchen cookbooks but it was a bust. Supposedly, you take the cream from coconut milk, mix it with powdered sugar and vanilla flavoring but there wasn't enough creamed milk. There are other recipes with options and solutions but whatever -- it was an experiment...

Alison and I hit the Riverfront Trail for the first time yesterday. The ride out wasn't bad but we got pummeled by the wind on the way back and we dreamed of a sag wagon.

Alison caught me mid-selfie when we stopped to check out graffiti and, of course, I had to give my body the once-over or, more appropriately, scrutinize it when the picture landed in my message box.. I did think about that line in Sapphire's Push when Precious describes her mother and says that her arms look like animals; beavers, I think, but whatever. If I were to think in percentages, I'm about 89.9% satisfied with my body and enjoy when it's in motion and should be concentrating on the fact that my hands were able to hold onto handle bars and that my legs pumped for 16 miles...

Oh yeah, I was very congested after spending three hours (not all bicycling time) on the trail. Wonder what will be in store for this upcoming week?

Raymond, one of the riverfront turkeys....

Trail parking lot; car now covered in pollen.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Nth Degree

According to the Calm app, Wednesday was International Calm Day. Who designates these days?

At any rate, in honor of Calm Day, I had access to Calm Premium including a sleep story. I feel asleep on the sleep story so I guess it worked...

On Thursday I headed to Gloria's. She prepared everything since she was subbing for someone and wouldn't be home until around 7:30 p.m.

I'm thankful that Gloria has gone vegan and invited me over to witness the spectacle because I had really reached a point where I was stuck with cooking. If nothing else, I have new go-to recipes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook.

It's kind of like the woman at Zumba who told me that she doesn't go the bathroom closest to her at work -- makes perfect sense. Sometimes, you just need a reminder...

I don't go out of my way to eat celery but Gloria had it in our salad. For some reason, I thought that I didn't really care for celery but it was good -- especially with hummus on top. My taste buds have also matured and I didn't take that into account. Same thing with blackberries; remembered them as being too seedy but I didn't mind them on Thursday...

Alison and I have been totally out of synch of late. We were negotiating about which day to go biking and we really didn't reach an agreement. In the end, I woke up early then went back to sleep and when I thought about the mess in my trunk, I lost the desire to go biking so I went to  Zumba.

As I turned on the "Zumba Street" I saw this guy, who appeared to be homeless, giving drivers the middle finger salute. I laughed so hard. Just about everyone has been getting on my nerves lately. Oh, what I would give to salute a few... ;)

Later on Alison messaged me and asked me what I was doing. We decided to go biking so I guess everything does not need to be planned to the nth degree.

On our way out, a hawk landed nearby and several people stopped to watch him eat his snack. One bicyclist was not amused -- On your left, lady.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Twenty Five Days

I've been writing this post for about five days now -- starting, stopping, starting...

The congestion monster had all but faded then I decided to go swimming last Tuesday after a 25-day hiatus and... could hardly sleep because of chemical congestion. It was a TKO.

Ugh, I will probably need to look for a nose clip or give up swimming for a while until the outdoor pools open. It's a bummer since I like having a water activity but I am trying to look at it as an opportunity to do other things. Case in point, I'm going climbing tomorrow with an out-of-towner which will open the door for me to do Zumba on Wednesday with a teacher that I really like...

Spent a lot of time trying to figure out this song that I liked during another Zumba class. I referred to it as the "The Ponytail Song." Between a colleague and hearing a few lyrics on Saturday, I was able to figure out that it's a Britney Spears song, Slumber Party. I now find myself listening to songs that I would normally thumb my nose at.

Went to another Zumba class tonight. Grace doesn't have a regular class but when she subs the classes are packed and the atmosphere is electric. After class, you find yourself high-fiving people and sending them on their way with good wishes.

After tonight's class, I headed to the grocery store next door and overheard a Zumba classmate tell this youngin', who had also been in class, Don't text and walk; people have gotten killed like that. I thought that was so cool. No "please" -- just don't do it...

A colleague forwarded me an email from one of her friends with suggested podcasts for #TryPod week. Most of the podcasts are on my radar except for Kind World. I listened to episode #36, When The Sun Came Out, on the way to Zumba on Saturday and got totally teary.

When I walked on Sunday, listened to the rest of a That's So Retrograde episode and learned about CBD suppositories and "Beaver Butt Juice." Regarding the latter, who thinks of stuff like that?

I saw someone post her meditation stats on Instagram and learned that it was from the Calm app. You can do the seven-day challenge for free but for the rest of the meditations, there's a subscription fee. Wish that I had known that before I downloaded it since my iPod is starting to look like Deray's phone minus all of the notifications.

Love the Calm screen that greets you upon opening the app...

Speaking of meditative practices, I cooked the Vegetarian Pad Thai from one of the Thug Kitchen cookbooks. Loved it but there was a lot of chopping involved. I would definitely make it again. Just wished that there was more time to do stuff.

Final Product

Monday, March 27, 2017

The 32 Minutes

During Sunday's yoga class, we were congratulated for the 32 minutes of meditation that we have under our collective belts.

What I remember about Sunday's meditation was the advice to treat your wayward thoughts like salespeople who come to the door: Look them directly in the eye and say, "I'm not interested."

Everything and every move about Sunday yoga was on point and I hope that Gloria will continue with the meditation before practice.

I have been reflecting on how I had been going, going, going to the yoga studio and now I am doing gym yoga again. I have moved away from extremism but going to one place at the exclusion of another felt and feels extreme but I guess that there was something that I was getting from the studio and, because it was reasonably priced at the time, it felt good to go for a number of reasons, including that I didn't have to carry a single prop with me.

The gym  yogis are serious but it can be a bit annoying to have people walk into class, say, 10 minutes after it starts...and that's something for me to work on too -- being less annoyed.

On another note, I recently read Song Yet Song. Sometimes, I stay away from historical pieces because I find it hard to stomach them but James McBrides' book is stellar.

I am currently reading On Living which is really good but it's a short read and I'll need another book soon. I had no idea until a few days ago that Goodreads had swallowed up Shelfari. I wanted to recommend a few genre-specific books to someone but it was hard to do with my Shelfari bookshelf gone...

Talked to someone today who said that they'd been battling some bug for a month and then it had returned which is not an uncommon story in The Lou right now.

Not sure what I have but I'm glad that I feel better...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

What Works

Went to Zumba for the fourth time this week.

I don't normally go on Monday but Grace was subbing and since I'm not going to 7:30 p.m. yoga on Monday for the time being, that time slot worked.

Grace also subbed on Tuesday and since I haven't been swimming since the great mucus invasion, it was back to Zumba again on Tuesday. I also went Wednesday and today.

On Thursday I went over to Gloria's for a vegan dinner again. Maybe I should start calling these sessions Thursdays With Gloria...

Last time I contributed by making the Chickpea Artichoke Salad but since Gloria had to go to a meeting, she prepared the Quinoa Taco Mix which was very yummy by itself but even more so with red onions, lettuce and salsa on top. For dessert we had Aquafaba Strawberry Ice Cream. I had never heard of aquafaba...

Quinoa Taco Mix 

Aqua what?
Had another wild Friday night. Jessica, a former climbing partner, had a baby shower and, apparently, books are the new greeting cards so I went in search of a Mo Willems book but went with the Spanish version of  Good Night Moon (Buenas Noches Luna) since Jessica speaks Spanish. I also made a impulse purchase by the cash register. When I saw the Keep Calm... easel, I knew that I wanted it for my desk at work.

Speaking of calm, I saw a meditation for kids linked on Twitter and really enjoyed it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Super Calming

Went to Gloria's yoga class on Sunday. I am totally digging the eight-minute meditations we are doing before class. If there's a "downside," it's that the meditation exercise makes me super calm and long for savasana right away.

Practice was sweet too and I particularly liked how Gloria took us slowly through warrior I & II, reverse warrior and triangle poses...

In congestion news I mixed peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oils together with olive oil and rubbed it on my chest prior to bedtime and slept better last night than I've slept in a long time. Also bought raw honey hoping that it will help with allergies...

Walked as exercise for Sunday and listened to part of a Yoga Revealed podcast and the Julia episode of Heavyweight which I found intriguing...

Went to Zumba tonight and this teacher likes to throw all kinds of elements into the mix. Toward the end of class she offered us a choice between two songs. Who wants to do the plank song? One person answered and her friend ratted her out. She was like Shawna said "yes" and she is the only one who wants to do planks.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Short List

Consulted a doctor by phone and he said that it sounded like I'm experiencing hay fever and called in a prescription for a nasal spray and also suggested a 24-hour antihistamine.

Other stuff, Benadryl and decongestants, haven't been doing anything except for making my breathing feel even funkier. I was hopeful about Claritin and also suspicious. What could be in that little royal blue pill?

Took the pill on Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. and at 3:00 a.m. on Friday woke up itching like a madwoman. I've taken Claritin once, about 10 years ago, but it was not the 24-hour version but I'm adding all versions to the list of things that I'm allergic too...

Went to Gloria's on Thursday and she made Polenta Puttanesca and had also bought ingredients for a Chickpea Artichoke Salad which I put together when I got there. I didn't think that I would like the chickpea concoction but I did.

Chickpea Salad on Bed of Spinach

The Puttanesca

Fast forward:

Went to Zumba today and I felt just fine. One of my Zumba buddies told me that she'd had the flu for two weeks; lots of nasty bugs in The Lou...

I'd been wondering if I should cancel the massage that I had scheduled over a month ago. Yesterday, I felt pretty decent and thought that I'd turned a corner, wrong!

Ever had a massage while congested? It is not relaxing at all and there's something about having your head in a face cradle that makes the congestion worse.

I must have had about six cups of water during the first part of the day plus coffee and tea. The congestion would not ease up but it was too late to cancel the appointment.

Talked to therapist to let her know that I didn't have a cold but...

She was so cool and told me that she'd gotten sick right before vacation and started using essential oils etc. She discussed ways that we could deal with the congestion and told me if I needed a "nose break" not to worry and she also gave me some essential oil (peppermint and ?) to rub on my chest; it helped immediately and me start thinking about the theme song to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. ...It's a miracle.

Ended up not needing a nose break but I did need a bathroom break because of all the water that I had been chugging.

Looking for a diffuser is on my short list.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

But I Moved

Went to 11:00 a.m. yoga on Sunday -- not because I couldn't get up but because it took me a significant amount of time to clear out all the mucus that I'd accumulated during the night...

Gloria usually reads something before yoga class and her latest book is a meditation one. I don't ever remember doing a guided meditation in Gloria's class. Start meditating and the guide will appear?

If there were a superhero that produced massive amounts of mucus, I would be that person. I have a sinus infection or something. Thankfully, I haven't experienced any headaches or pressure but the itchy eyes are back. Plus, my skin itches a bit and my hand contact dermatitis is active.

So, yeah, no swimming tonight. This is the second day that I've had to put together a workout. I wanted to go to the gym for a group fitness class but Tuesday classes are weird.

I took the plastic off Dance Julianne and did several routines then did more 10 minute segments from other DVDs. Don't feel like I push myself enough when I workout at home but I moved my DNA...

Went to Sam's Club tonight and saw many interesting things, including a Segway, Gingerzingi -- all yours for the price of $599.00 (original price $799.00).

As I was checking out, the clerks were taunting each other and one said to the other: We're not the same person. I like that sassy sentiment.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Speculated that I had chemical congestion the last time that I blogged. Still congested but it's not a cold. One of my uncles is taking Benadryl. My brother took some while visiting and my mother was also experiencing congestion. I took Benadryl one night. Slept like a rock but it wasn't the solution...

Even though it didn't snow a lot today, there was the energy of the snow in the air so I had to convince myself to go to Zumba. Had so much fun when I got there.

I only know about popular songs because of Zumba. My coworker who sometimes goes to Zumba had to let me know that Rihanna is the one who sings Rockstar. I also like Fabulous by the Empire cast. Again, clueless about the origins of the song until I looked it up. Looking forward to watching Empire one of these days...

Haven't been going to the studio for yoga so I ordered a DVD from the library but was disappointed because even the gentle part of the DVD was not accessible for me so I did Tara Stiles' eight minute gentle routine and also tried the one minute meditation later on. There's also a short class on Do Yoga With Me that I like and, today, I did a 23-minute practice, Yoga with Adriene, that I also liked. 

I keep seeing things about meditation but maybe it's the same phenomena as buying a car which makes you notice all of the other same models on the road.

A post shared by Karin L Burke (@coalfury) on

“I’m bipolar. I’ve been in a psych ward more times than I would like to admit. I’m also in recovery. It’s been a few years since I’ve had a problem with either one. I’m not taking any medication because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. But since I am not on medication, I am high risk. In order to feel comfortable, being on no medication, I have to do certain other things: meditation, sleeping right, eating right, talking to people, doing leisure activities, and really just checking in with myself. I try to write every day, read every day. So, it’s a lot of different habits that guide my life. Sleeping, in particular, is a big part of my life. Some people think, ‘Oh, I can just stay up for a few days.’ Not me. I have to get a certain number of hours of sleep every day. And I can’t get over a certain number of hours of sleep every day.  It simply got to a point where either I was going to let my illness rule me or do whatever I had to do so it doesn’t. I’m very ambitious. I act and dance and I want to start a non-profit. To do that I have to take care of myself.” "Which of these things do you think is most important?” "Meditation. It brings me to all those other things. I might be running all day. I take time to meditate and I realize that my stomach is rumbling. ‘Hmm, I’m kind of tired. Maybe I need to take a nap.’ ‘Or ‘I have all these thoughts running through my head. After this, I should write.’ I focus on posture. Just mindfulness. I can’t imagine life without meditation.” "What kind of non-profit do you want to start?” "Mental health services for the homeless. Especially here, at Central Square, if someone is off their medication or is having an episode, the first called are the police, and the second is the EMT, neither of which has extensive mental health training. My big audacious goal is to create a program where you have some sort of a mental health professional, or even a mentor, either be there when the police come, or be at the hospital to calm them down. You can check the stats: the criminal justice system is the number one provider of mental health services in the US. It's sad in so many ways and it doesn't have to be like that."
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Monday, March 6, 2017

It's Okay

I'm getting over a two-day bout of chemical congestion. Went swimming on Friday and the second time in the pool was too much. Don't think I'll be swimming tomorrow... :(

My brother is visiting for a few days and I went into overdrive tidying up -- doing stuff that I should have been doing all along. I am not the world's greatest housekeeper...

The last time that I went to Gloria's house, I had an eye-opening experience. She had about 15 items of clothing in her closet and it made me realize that I don't need half of the things that I have in my closet and it's okay to not have an extensive wardrobe. In fact, there are some things that I haven't touched in over six years. It's time to let go of stuff....

Wasn't sure of what I would cook on Sunday but my eyes fell on a recipe for mushroom quesadillas and it seemed like an easy recipe and so I that's what I cooked and I also took care of my craving for spaghetti squash.

Quesadilla Filling

Saturday, March 4, 2017

When Parched

I miss Salzberg's Meditation Challenge and had I known that lessons would remain active for a month or so, I would have not deleted most of them.

We take an intentional posture... Lesson #21

For the peeps (meaning Gingerzingi) who are missing the meditation challenge, here's a lovely one...

Went climbing on Wednesday and Patti told me that she needed to do more stretching and was looking to take up yoga again but wondered if her husband would join her. Patti did say that her daughter told her: He climbs because of you. He swims because of you and he bikes because of you. He'll do yoga too. Her daughter's words made my heart melt.

On Thursday I went to Gloria's again and we roasted fennel, beets and carrots according to a recipe in Thug Kitchen 101. I excused myself to go to the bathroom at one point when I heard a noise so weird that I reversed my direction and called out to Gloria to see if everything was okay. The verdict?

The oven door had shattered into hundreds of little pieces. Gloria calmly sent me back in the direction that I had gone. When I returned, she said I'm glad that I do yoga then we cleaned up the mess. I've only heard of shower doors shattering like that. Prior to going upstairs, I had been sitting right by the stove.

I'm getting better at making decisions and not second-guessing a situation. For example, one of my Zumba teachers forgot his water bottle. At the end of a routine, he encouraged people to grab water then said but he wouldn't be able to because, wahhhh, he had left his water bottle.

At first I discussed "the situation" a bit with a friend and she belongs to the same tentative club that I do but then I thought about how much I enjoy this teacher's class and how nice he is and so what if class was almost over with; I went and got the water, a small act for a teacher who is not leading Zumba classes for the money... I also know how it is when you start a workout and your water is, say, in the car. It's no fun to push when parched.