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."
A post shared by Ivan Velinov (@portraits_of_america) on

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.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Steam and Time

Went to the pool this past Tuesday after a brief hiatus and one of the coaches of the youth team told me that he had been waiting five years for me to be one of their swim coaches and I politely told him that if I had more time and talent, I would do it.

I am, of course, flattered that anyone thinks that I swim decently...

The level of eye itchiness decreased gradually until about two days ago when the  itching stopped altogether, hallelujah...

Even though trees have been blooming and daffodils and crocuses have been pushing up through the earth, I was still surprised to see a fully yellow forsythia bush...

(Yoga) Gloria invited me to a vegan meal last Thursday and I felt truly spoiled. Everything was yummy and most of the recipes came out of Thug Kitchen 101. I decided to make the Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup from that book today.

Squash, Book, Vegan Parmesan

Tahini Fudge

Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup
In other news, I am exhausted. Yesterday I went to Zumba then ran many errands including picking up my bike and, later on, I went to visit my aunt for a spell.

Because I like to post things to social media, I took a photo by the bike shop's newly painted and eye-catching wall. Later on, I examined the picture.

I have more room in my clothes but haven't really dropped any weight according the scale but I thought Not bad... Although, a side view might have yielded a different response.

I wanted to go see Art in Bloom today but I totally ran out of steam and time.

In the words of Sharon Salzberg in Lesson 23 of the meditation challenge: May you be well. May you be peaceful.

Lesson 26: May you know physical happiness.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Goings-On, Part Deux

The day after my aunt collapsed, she looked better and threw me a smile. I can't even explain how ridiculously good that made me feel...

I've also been thinking about this tweet a lot.

Was on social media last night and saw a yoga class advertised at a studio that I've only been to once a while ago but decided that I would practice yoga then walk around Forest Park but got to the studio and the class was canceled so I went straight to Forest Park.

Listened to the rest of episode two, Gregor, of the Heavyweight podcast and then I listened to an episode of  Yoga Revealed. I'm really enjoying both podcasts.

How is it that I've never heard of Moby who was featured in the Gregor episode?...

I love taking on the trail at Forest Park; it's like an unofficial and short marathon route. I also have a lot of gratitude that I'm able to walk for that long with no real issues.

Police Horse Stables

Looks Like Winter but...

The Formerly Blue Shoes

A Record 18,000 + Steps (7.30 miles acc'd to Garmin)
One of my favorite #LastNightInSweden tweets:

Saturday, February 18, 2017


This time last week I had already received an urgent text from my cousin about my aunt who she'd found on the floor. My aunt refused to go to the hospital and even refused to let my cousin call anyone but me to help get her off the floor.

When I told another aunt of the incident, she said Of course it's hard to get off the floor...

After my cousin told me about my aunt, my heart chakra was so tight and I still am not sure what to do with myself.

My aunt is feeling well enough to tell my cousin and me to go somewhere and sit down but she is still not out of the woods... Are any of us out of the woods?

There were also two other family members having medical issues which made for a really "interesting" week...

I ended up using over the counter allergy drops for my eyes and, wait for it, I had an allergic reaction to the allergy drops. My eyes are still itchy but at least they don't feel like they are on fire...

I liked the part in Salzberg's meditation lesson (#17), yesterday, when she said imagine your worries are like birds in your hands that fly away...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

What Falafel Is Made Of

The watery part has subsided but I'm still waking up with itchy eyes. I usually give in and put two eye drops in and that usually does the trick for the rest of the day. It's like Groundhog Day.

I've been doing my meditation lesson at night a lot because I see the email then I forget. I like it when Salberg says Welcome back at the beginning of each lesson.

I really liked the body scan, lesson ten; those were the deepest breaths that I had taken in a while.

For the eating meditation, I did that one while eating a Cara Cara orange. These oranges are so amazing that I forgot about the whole pomegranate shortage or what seemed to be one anyway.

During the meditation, I squirted myself which was kind of cool because it was like the orange was affirming one of it's characteristics. It was also nice to take in the amazing aroma...

Today is my mother's birthday and several of us went to the Missouri Botanical Garden for Celebrate the Gospel.  We got into a conversation about Crazy Bowls and Wraps when my aunt Debbie asked me What is falafel? As I explained, she asked Where did this "child" come from? Haven't heard them ask that in a while.

One of my favorite Salberg Instagram post; I need a set-up like this one:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Back At It

It was good to get back in the pool and good to catch up with my swimming tribe. Apparently, there are new tribe members so I didn't get in a lap lane which put me closer to the pastor's wife who does a water aerobics kind of workout.

At one point I was resting and she said that if we were on a boat that crashed, I would survive and she would be shark bait. I told her No way, I'd do the side stroke and take you with me. I'm still surprised when people compliment me on my swimming.

Later on she told me that she'd torn her rotator cuff about a year ago while picking louse out of someone's long hair...

As I finished up my laps this other woman said Hey, girl -- I barely made it.  She told me that her sons, 16 and 19, do a lot of stuff around the house but she still cooks for them. After our exchange, she got busy and hustled down the lane...

Got an email from the Y the other day which got me thinking about taking an intermediate swim class. I dunno...maybe I'll just read the book about swimming that someone gave me and/or look at videos on YouTube to enhance my swimming skills.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday Shenanigans

Put coconut oil on my very tender nose a couple of days ago and, I swear, the healing seemed accelerated.

I've almost gone through a family-sized bag of Ricola but I feel functional again -- except for the watery, itchy eyes -- never had that before. Alison told me that when it's fall-like, her eyes do the same thing.

Why would anyone waterboard someone when they could just put them in a room with allergens?

Went to get Wal-dryl and couldn't believe that watery, itchy eyes is on the front of the box; I've never seen that before...

Opened up the window in my bedroom, again. Wiped down everything that I remembered touching, again. Stripped my bed, again, and headed to the laundromat...

All In: Decorative Pillow, Thin Quilt, Sheets etc...
I wasn't sure what to expect with the meditation challenge but, so far, Counting Meditation (Day 4 Lesson)  has worked the best. The lessons are short but I was still surprised when this lesson ended. Counting is definitely a technique I'll use again...

I've been walking a lot lately and, therefore, listening to podcasts again. Tara Clancy's Lesbian Babymaking 101 is so funny. It's one of those stories that I could listen to repeatedly. I also have Clancy's book, The Clancys Of Queens, on my to-read list.

Favorite tweet of late:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Arrivals or Month-End Review, January

I've been doing much better with water intake. If I can just get a solid night's sleep and shake this uncommon cold, I'll be in great shape.

Since I've been drinking more water and also trying to get in more steps per day, I've lost two pounds which seems like a drop in a bucket but it's amazing how a few pounds will give you breathing space -- clothes-wise...

During the chair yoga workshop, the woman across from me was taking many pictures and I hoped that they were at an angle that didn't include me. Imagine my surprise as I scrolled through social media and saw myself. I love taking pictures but I don't like to be in them but you really don't have a choice these days...

Here's how I moved my DNA this month:

Climbing, 1 x

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, 2 x's
*Mile 5: Ab Walk, 3 x's

Latin Cardio Party

Pound Class, 1 x

Swimming, 3 x's

Walking, 12 x's

Weight Watchers: 7 Day Tone & Burn
*Tone, 1 x

Yoga, 11 x's

Zumba, 7 x's

Here are a couple of 'grams from the chair yoga class. I told Alison that we look like gangsters or nasty women in the one picture.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Went to yoga on Monday* night even though I have large crowd fatigue right now. Four of the people that I know and who are in teacher training were sitting front and center. As I went to the lobby to put away my iPod, Joy said that she felt like a piece of the puzzle was missing and she just feels like I should be in teacher training.

Yes, there is a part of me that would like to do teacher training but...

Hell, what I would really like to do is get a Master of Arts in Yoga Studies. I've been listening to yoga podcasts which is how I even knew that there was an M.A. in that area. The person who talked about getting a yoga degree is actually my first teacher in some ways. When I ordered a DVD from Netflix, it was Sara Ivanhoe's Crunch: Candlelight Yoga so it was nice to hear the story of how she arrived at making her first DVD before yoga became so popular in the U.S...

Loved what Gina Murdock had to say during a Yoga Revealed podcast:
If you don't do the work, you're like a puppet; it's like what you say sounds like bullshit.
After Monday's class I went to visit with one of my colleague's new kitty. He is so freaking cute, well, until the moment when he went behind my back and starting scratching on my yoga mat. Luckily, my colleague knows more about kitties than I do and caught him in time...

I signed up for a yoga workshop in December and I made myself sign up then because I didn't want to miss out on visiting yoga teacher because of apprehension that I had over the level that a chair yoga class can be taken to.

Even though I felt that I was out of my lane and out of my league because the class had so many yoga teachers in it, including one that was super bendy, I just tried to remind myself that yoga is all about what happens on your mat. As Annie likes to say, have the courage to do XYZ -- if that's what you need during a yoga practice.

At any rate,  I survived -- despite toppling out of  my chair once. Sean Haleen, who led the workshop, is extremely knowledgeable about yoga. One of my favorite moments happened soon after the class when he splayed out on the floor. Sean had taught and demonstrated yoga for five plus ours that day. Sharon met him where he'd dropped and she moved his legs to one side and did other stretches and Sean said that no one ever touches him -- because they're afraid and I could see how that can happen because of his level of expertise but, of course, everyone likes appropriate touch.

Yoga Class!

Seven-ish hours down, two more to go...

Tweet of the week:

*Lots of distractions, including being TKO'd by the common cold.