Saturday, April 28, 2018

Too Much Rallying

Got an invitation to go to an Iyengar yoga class on Friday. I'd had my eye on the studio and wanted to go since I would have someone to go with me but I was feeling tapped out.

I know that yoga would have probably made me feel better but... The class started at 6 and I would have had to get to the studio 20 minutes early. It was just too much rallying for my state of mind so I went home, paused then siphoned water out of the fish tank because I was over a week behind on doing that task. Headed to the to the 'Fugee's after composing myself a bit. Unbelievably, I was sleepy but managed to make it through a short movie then I took a short nap.

As the 'Fugee and I exited, her neighbor came out and was startled. I chuckled and then it was my turn to be startled when her small dog ran toward me. I guess we are all jumpy, she said...

Alison and I went on our first bike outing of the year. It was h than the projected forecast and a little windy but we made it. Alison has such a keen eye. As we bicycled, she spotted two turkeys -- one fanning his tail. Later on, she spotted these tiny, roadrunner-like birds.

Tiny, Fast Bird
We stopped around mile eight to have a snack. I brought an orange and Alison brought a mango and we exchange a half. Both were amazing.


Slightly Obsessed with Bike Sharing Fleet

Monday, April 23, 2018


Went to the Earth Day Festival on Saturday where I practiced yoga, met a dog (while practicing yoga) and then a pig (while exploring the festival).

Sunday was a blur of cooking and attempts at cleaning.

Met my colleague's 13-day-old and got to hold him for a significant time while she did some paperwork. Pinky swear, I had the nicest Monday.

Went to Zumba and, at some point, thought that a Camelbak would be the best option for Grace's class and it also crossed my mind that her class should be titled Extreme Zumba or something. Several people's hair went from dry to damp. Sweat almost rolled in my eye and my colleague, Chelsea, said that even her ankles were sweating.

Bought basil from one of the international stores a few days ago which, of course, made me order basil essential oil and I couldn't just order one oil because the basil would be lonely so I also bought rosemary oil too.

The basil smells so earthy and it was kind of overpowering at first but it was such a treat each time that I got in my car and took a whiff of it. It's amazing how oils are able to help elevate my mood.

Monday facts: I got in the tub at 9:30 p.m. and I have made a little over 15,000 steps.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The kettlebell came out to play!

I was supposed to go climbing but Patti had a wicked paper cut. In addition to the finger throbbing, it took her a while to stop the bleeding and she was concerned that it would open up again.

I improvised on my workout. Went for a walk and then got a kettlebell workout that I had printed ages ago, grabbed my kettlebell out of the basement and headed outside. It had been so long since I'd done a kettlebell workout that I was stumped by the figure eight portion of the program.

After my little 'bell workout, decided to do a few errands and I might need to change my day for shopping because it's much more humane in stores on a Thursday. Came across this shirt and it stopped me in my tracks because it honestly describes work.

"Mom" Shirt
Recently, we've "formed" a relaxation group at work. There's a yoga teacher who comes in once a month and we also meet for yoga on our own. Once, someone forgot to notify us that the yoga teacher wasn't coming and we practiced yoga using an app that I have on my iPod. Yesterday, someone else picked a video from Do Yoga With Me. It's a small group and I like spending time with coworkers that I don't normally interact with. Having to come up with videos for the group is also allowing me to make my way back to yoga.

In fact, had I know that we weren't climbing today, I would have gone to the yoga studio after work.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Just An Observation

This intern came into my office and when I asked how her day was going, she said "You know how it is around here at times; it's like being shot out of a cannon." That's such an accurate description.
I told her that we sometimes sing circus music so the cannon would fit right into the circus.

What made me laugh, though, is when she told me that she overslept. She's supposed to be at work by 9 and didn't wake up until 9:45 a.m. I think it was so funny because I often feel like I am dragging my ass out of bed. Her story made me feel less alone in the struggle.

Went swimming tonight and I've shaved about 13 minutes off of my time -- just an observation because I'm still a slow swimmer and, overall, I just care that I moved, as people like to say, my DNA.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Stomping Ground

Alison reached out to me on Friday to see if I wanted to go to a soap making class. It was a 4.5-hour commitment with an early start time but Alison had been asking me about going somewhere so I said "yes" even though I felt like I was shirking my duties.

The reason that soap making takes such a long time is waiting for the lye to cool. I straight up did not know that, once activated, lye gets so hot. 

The instructor, Rebecca, told us that we would be working with three ingredients: lye, lard and color. We also added essential oil. My group let me choose and I went with lavender and rosemary. 

Photo Credit: Alison...That raccoon though...

As Rebecca talked about buffalo, pig and deer fat, I wondered about vegans and vegetarians... Told Alison that I'm grateful for all of the people who discovered things by accident or by trial and error. 

We spent the smallest portion and last part of class making lotion bars. Had I know about the workshop, I would not have purchased the lotion bar that I have in my possession.

I love lotion bars and I'll definitely make some but I won't be making soap. Having said that, props to the Soap Queen. We watched some of her videos in class.

During our break, I went for a short walk and ran into one of my former coworkers who wanted to know if I was still there. His wife, who I had never met before, said She's a lifer. We chuckled and talked a bit. The place that I work at is very interesting in that many current and former coworkers keep up with each other. 

No Mushroom Harvesting!
The soap workshop took place at a conservation place. There are three short trails and two of them have different degrees of steepness. I felt like I was home again as I used to walk there when I first started my weight loss efforts.

Love this picture from last ??? year's contest.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Working On It

In last week's episode, "we" were reminded that taking deep breaths when upset is beneficial.

On Monday, I remembered that it's hard to breathe when you're stressed out and upset. Today, thank God, was a less stressful day. I can totally see why, though, exercise made the top of the 99 Coping Skills list.

Went to Zumba yesterday and I was able to, for the most part, leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf. One of my coworkers is sometimes in this class and so, for a minute or two, I thought about work but the dancing quickly took over.

Swimming was on tap tonight and I got caught up in all the rituals -- swimming the laps, shower etc. so that when I opened the pool door, I was taken aback by the indigo sky which was stunning in its prettiness.

Came across an Instagram post that made me pause. I do not feel content or relaxed right now but I'm working on it.

This yoga meme made me chuckle.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Deep Breaths

There was a trauma-informed workshop at my job last week and I'm still thinking about several things, including the exercise that highlighted possible elements that might affect people who are living in poverty.

One of the presenters asked for two volunteers then she asked the audience about things that might affect someone living in poverty. As we gave answers she threw soft, stress balls at the volunteers that they were supposed to catch and hold; if they dropped a ball, they were supposed to pick it up. It was a very effective exercise -- especially since one of the volunteers was very good at catching and holding and the other volunteer's balls kept getting away from her and even rolling in wild directions.

I'm also thinking about several of the handouts. My favorite was the 99 Coping Skills. I also like the Ways of Grounding handout...and how one of the presenters said that if you're in a challenging situation, take three deep breaths...

On the way to Zumba last week, I saw that the water tower was going to be open for the full moon and I decided to go because I've lived in St. Louis for a long time and I've never gone to check out the water tower.

One of the views from the tower.
Asked my cousin if she wanted to go and tour the Magic Chef Mansion (MCM) -- also another landmark that I'd never been to. As I waited for my cousin, I saw these two women looking at woodpeckers and they stayed long enough for me to get a picture.

It's amazing to me that several families had so much money that they could build houses and go to Europe for, say, a year while the houses were being built. The woman who bought MCM stumbled upon a great venture. She bought the house, renovated it and now it's open for tours and rentals. She also has merchandise for sell and you are able to buy wine or beer while touring the house. It's cool that her home is her business.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Except They Go Backwards

Yesterday I went to a sound meditation instead of Zumba. It was a tough decision but the sound meditation event is only once a month and when it was over with, I made a silent vow to go to the next one which will be the last session before summer.

The meditation is 75 minutes but usually feels like 20; I slept well afterwards. Monday had been so intense that sound therapy just seemed like the right thing to do.

I was tempted to go to Zumba today but had to remind myself that it's not a very good experience trying to make it to a 5:30 p.m. class so I went swimming.

There's been a young boy taking lessons and I listened in.

Pretend that your legs don't bend; you want to keep your legs straight.

The arms are the same for the backstroke as they are for freestyle -- except they go backwards. 

Okay, I know some of these techniques but it never hurts to be reminded. When I saw the dive rings poolside, it made me think of Katy Bowman and it totally made me want to play with them.

I loooove swimming--grew up doing hours of it daily. I swam in the ocean and a very small community pool, and despite being on the swim team in high school, doing the same stroke over and over again isn't how I feel connected to water. Instead I prefer to swim in wild water, where the temperature, flow rate, shape and surrounding terrain dictates how I need to move through it. I like my strokes being a response to something. I like my strokes to constantly change. I still love pools but what I naturally do in them is swim along the bottoms, dive to the bottom over and over again--throw things to have to scout to find them. That's how I introduce variability into my swim time--how I use many strokes, many different body parts, while in the medium of water. That's how I swam as a kid and how I still swim today! #moveyourdna #alignmentmatters #springbreak #californiavibes❤️💦💪🏾👣
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