Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 18 Love

I woke up with an annoying headache today. I think it is due to sleeping funny cuz my neck was still sore last night. Could also be allergies. I sneezed about a hundred times yesterday. I opted out of a full yoga session and instead headed to the garden for some Nature Therapy.

Things are going well. I plan to make Borscht for lunch tomorrow with all the fresh veg I have growing. The potatoes are wonderful. Steamed and then drizzled heavily with full fat cream. Add some sea salt and a handful of torn dill. Heaven! The sunflowers are just finally beginning to bloom. They are over my head and well over Athena's reach. I planted Evening Sun, which flowers a deep burgundy. We have the yellow Mammoth as well. We also have many many volunteers from spilled bird seed. I was thinking about leaving the stalks standing over winter. Free built in feeders.

Anyway, when we came back inside my headache remained. Not only that but we were molested by mosquitoes. Yes we had spray on but not on my face. I am happy to report I have a quarter sized mark from a bite on my left temple. Awesome. I lay down in Legs Up the Wall pose for about 15 minutes, took an antihistamine and it got better. Good news because...

Today is our 26th Wedding Anniversary. 26 years. More than some of you have been alive I might guess. We were high school sweethearts. Married at 18 years old. Most thought it would never last. Some even had the nerve and poor manners to tell us straight out, including the Catholic priest who married us. We had 3 daughters by the time we were 20 and 21. Later on, we were given the gift of Athena. We have 3 lovely Granddaughters as well. Very very blessed we are.

I love this man. I don't think he knows quite how much. I further think that I take him for granted a lot. He has been a wonderful husband (most days ;)) and an excellent provider for our ever changing family. His hard work has allowed me to stay at home to raise our children. Truth be told, I don't think he could handle it very well if I had a full time job. He likes it the way it is. So do I. He is so so good at his job. Far surpassing others in his field. He is well liked by all those with whom he does business. More importantly he is trusted.

He is a good man. A man of his word. A man of honor. He is decidedly NOT a girly man. He is not soft and sensitive. He isn't the best listener either. This man loves fiercely. Cares deeply. Laughs easily.

Happy Anniversary Paul. I love you. M

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 17 Stop and Smell the...Asphalt?

Again today I did the beloved Yoga Practice for energy. Yesterday, I skipped out of Upward Bow, or back bend, and replaced it with Bridge pose. Today, even though my arms were already tired from Sun Salutations and I knew better, I attempted to push up into Upward Bow. I did it and I hurt my neck on the right side. I knew better. I didn't listen to the wisdom of my body. Darn it. I couldn't even lift my head after that.

I finished my practice, which was otherwise very good and went out of the studio (I love saying that!) into the kitchen and took a couple of aspirin. I told Paul that I hurt my neck so be aware of signs of stroke. Not kidding. In case you are wondering, he is a First Responder as well as a Fire Fighter so he would know what to look for and what to do. Minutes later, I got Athena bundled up (it was only 15 degrees Celsius with looming rain and strongish winds) and we walked almost the entire circumference of our town. We needed to pick up the mail, stop at the C0-0p and get milk and then come home to make lunch. That walk lasted exactly one hour.

Big town? Nope. Just so many flowers to smell. So many mysterious paths to walk down, so many things to check out, like the feel and smell of new asphalt. True story. Ever see anyone kneel down and smell the road? You would have today.

Every day for her is "The Best Day Ever!" She wakes up with a huge smile every morning. Life is good. Indeed it is. I hope she never loses the wonder of it all.

Day 16 Curry Anyone?

Oh yes. Back to my old stomping grounds. Back to my old stand-by Yoga workout. Rodney Yee's Yoga Practice for Energy. My all time favorite video.

I can't extol the virtues of this yoga practice enough. It is all encompassing for me. It has a great mix of vinyasa flow and hatha instruction. Enough Sun Salutations to make one sweat a bit. Lots of twists, back bends and standing poses. In other words, I love it.The whole tape is 50 minutes long. 60 with a nice Savasana. On a sour note, just as I prepared for Savasana not one but two neighbors decided to mow their lawns. Not too relaxing.

My focus for this week is again to practice yoga 5 times. You may have noticed this is Tuesday's post and I missed yesterday. Too much to do.

I got so much done today and it felt really good. All the laundry, all the ironing ( I really like ironing. Call me crazy.) and I finished the first of Athena's dresses. It is too big but not too big that she can't wear it. I'll make the next one in a size 5, which may be too big too but there is just too much effort and time put into these things that I want them to last as long as possible.

After that, and I am talking at 4pm here, I managed to muster up the energy to make a wonderful Indian meal. Beef curry, Chana masala , some basmati rice and Naan bread.

I wasn't too keen on the beef but the rest of the dish was good. The Chana masala was fantastic. So easy. I could eat it every day. Yum.

I really like Indian food but there is some effort involved. About 10 different spices for each dish but the flavour is beyond compare. Which reminds me, when I was 14 years old, gosh, that was 30 years ago, my family moved in to a townhouse complex for a few months until our new home was finished being built. My parents told us that Indian people lived next door and that awful smell coming from their house all the time was curry. I didn't know what curry was or who Indian people were either, but I do now.

Day 12 Close But No Cigar

After yesterday's funk I really needed to get with the program. I had very high hopes. Actually, High apple pie in the sky hopes. So... I put in an 80 minute extrasuperduperhard tape.

I fared better than I thought, in hindsight. Okay, okay. I only lasted about 45 minutes before I pressed rewind on the VHS and went straight into forward bending and Savasana. Still the belly in the way in Revolved Triangle. Still the belly flops in Chaturanga. Still the shaking thighs in an extended hold Proud Warrior. But... I ATTEMPTED THE THING!

Even though I did not finish the tape, and even though I faltered in some areas, I got on the mat and I pushed myself more than I had in over a year, possibly two. And for that, I was quite pleased with myself. Yes, thank you.

Shortly after I came out of the studio, (I now call it the studio cuz just how cool is that?) dear Husband asked if I wanted to leave a day early to Regina for the family BBQ. Yes, yes I did.

So we packed up rather quickly (forgetting some essentials) and headed off for the weekend

Tons of fun. Went out for supper with my Mother. Athena almost scarfed down an entire plate of Calamari herself. Went swimming in the hotel. On a bad note, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror with my bathing suit on. Not good. Visited my sister Keri and her family before they headed off on vacation. Then off to the party at my other sister Tamara's house where my brother Mike and baby sister Dana were also in attendance. Good food, good fun.

Headed home on Sunday to a cool rainy day which was just the right medicine for in Regina it was cooking hot. Not a fan. Not at all as previously posted.

I have good intentions for the week to come.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 11 What The Heck?

Today has been just dreadful. It gets worse. It is only 12:38pm.
It started off with a Breakfast of Champions. White toast with... get this... Cheez Whiz. Darn it that Paul ate the last of my yogurt! I wanted to get my housework done so after I talked with Jen on the phone, checked emails and my blogroll, I got right to it. I was interrupted about a million times by Athena who always ALWAYS says "Mommy, howbout you saw a robot and his name was Tiny" And then I have to say "Oooh, I see a robot. Is your name Tiny?' . I hate that game.
She does this every day with variation. Could be a deer, a dog, Davey or Goliath. Each time she says it to me I cringe, then I smile and do as she requested. Not today. I could hardly speak to her without some sort of annoyance coming through. Then I would apologize and the next thing out of my mouth was the same. I had no patience. None.

So, while I was cleaning on of our 3 bathrooms (I had the nerve to wonder why in the heck we have 3 stupid bathrooms anyway!) I wondered why I always had so much to do. Why indeed?

Every day I have a list of things an arms length long to do. I sill have not finished knitting my Mother's slippers. They were her Mother's Day gift for Pete's sake. I now have sewing to do. I did finish weeding the front beds but should really be weeding the back too. I have a stack of books up to my knee that I haven't even cracked open to read. I have the pantry to clean and the fridge should really be wiped up a bit.
It is not that my house is messy. It isn't. It is very tidy, very clean. Mess just drives me insane so I spend time cleaning it. I don't work outside the home, I don't go visiting friends all day, so why oh why do I always have so much to do?

I haven't practiced yoga yet today. I am expecting a call from my sister any minute now and the last thing I want to do is practice. And to top it all off, it is hot outside. Always good for another dose of grumpy. For me anyway. I would much rather live in Alaska. Add to that pile is the fact that Paul is away again. Agghhh! Why must I be married to a man who travels so much? It is getting hard to handle these days. I think I might just snap.

So there you have it. Miss Grumpy Pants. I hope the day gets better. I feel a little less irritated now that I ate lunch. I better smarten up though. I always say people who are grumpy are spoiled brats who don't get their own way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 10 Tranquility

I had my new regular breakfast today. I made a serving for Paul too. He very politely told me that it was "Bland and tasteless and could use granola and flavored yogurt". So sweet.

I like it anyway. And this is day 3 with that breakfast and each day it leaves me satisfied until lunch time. That is a huge bonus to me.

We left early for the city as I had to get some zippers from the fabric store for Athena's new dresses. I am almost finished the first one already. I'll post pictures when I am done. Possibly tomorrow. We also had to go pick up my "new to me" used 13inch TV/VCR combo for my yoga studio. Now all of my beloved old VHS tapes are accessible to me again. I am so glad.

We got home after lunch and after I did a few chores around the house I realized that I hadn't done my morning yoga. So, I went to the studio, grabbed a Rainbeau Mars Tranquility tape and popped it in.
Athena joined me upstairs but opted to use some modelling clay quietly in the corner while I practiced. It was so nice and only about 35 minutes long. Just what I needed. After I finished we went outside and set up her new splash pool in the yard and I sat on the deck and read my Country Living magazine.

Supper was fantastic tonight. Salmon cakes, Rice stuffed tomatoes and some bread, and of course, my beloved Cabernet.

PS I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be this morning but my dear husband stole all the covers last night so I did not sleep well.

PPS Athena has a bladder infection and is on antibiotics. Jen reminded me that I should give her acidophillous while she is on them. Thanks Jen. I would have forgotten.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 9 I Am Canadian After All

So you saw my breakfast yesterday and you saw my dilemma about the honey. Well, Heather suggested I use maple syrup. Maple Syrup people! Of course. I am Canadian and of course I have pure maple syrup in my pantry. What was I thinking, or better yet, why wasn't I thinking? This morning I doubled the fruit and added a small handful of walnuts and drizzled the plain organic yogurt with CANADIAN maple syrup. What a difference. I loved it. It is now my favorite breakfast. I told my husband that I was going to make it for him in the morning. He replied with "Will that be after my sausage and eggs?" Men.

I had a lot to do today so I really did not want to practice yoga. I made myself anyway. I put on a CD and rolled out my mat. I felt the need to do some Sun Salutations but today I did them super slowly. I mean really slowly. I was mindful of my body during each position. I was moving in unison with the breath. I made subtle adjustments that made each pose more accessible. I must have done at least 15 salutations. Each one more slowly than the last. It felt good. I also added more twisting asana than I would have liked. There must be a reason I hate those poses so I am determined to add more to each yoga session until I come to like them. I also worked on hip openers because my hips always have been oh so tight. Full lotus is a far away goal for me, but I am working toward it. Like I said before... baby steps.

Shortly after that I went outside to tackle the weeds in the front flower beds. I really wanted it to be a Zen-like experience. It was anything but. The ground was rock hard from lack of rain and way too much wind and the weeds seem to be outgrowing the annuals I planted. I was hot and windblown and I raked and grabbed at the weeds like I was a crazy woman. Crazy I tell you.

I was so tired and worn out by the end of this 2 hour weeding session that all I wanted to do was sit on the deck and have a glass of wine.

And that is exactly what I did. Again, don't judge me. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 8 Whining about Wine

Today is the start of a new week and another step in the new Me series.
This week my focus will be breakfast. I really need to revamp my breakfast.
Although I cook really healthy, tasty suppers, (dinners for you Americans) my lunch and breakfast menus lack... well, everything. I recently started drinking coffee again after a 5 year hiatus and I am not sure of its effects yet. I seem to get the same premenstrual breast tenderness again. I say premenstrual yet I had a hysterectomy last Sept yet my body still cycles because I kept my ovaries. How is that for way too personal?
Anyway, I have two cups of coffee every morning and I my breakfast of choice would be biscotti. Very healthy no? No. So this week I am going to focus on breakfast. Making it healthier with more protein and more good stuff.
Today I had some plain organic yogurt, blueberries, strawberries and a squeeze of unpasteurized honey. I also threw a small handful of raw walnuts on top. It was very filling and sustained me until lunch time. I couldn't believe it. I must say I am not too fond of the honey taste. Maybe I'll try some raw cane sugar instead.
I practiced yoga this morning as well. It was a 40 minute practice and it was a little tough. After a 2 day weekend break I didn't really want to do it. See what I meant before? I love yoga but if I don't do it regularly my body protests. I will practice 5 days again this week. I am feeling more relaxed in the shoulders and my legs are feeling more stretched as well so the positive results are apparent already.
Now, whining about wine. Yes, this part is not fun. Dawn recently asked if I meant in a previous post that I will have no wine. That is what I meant but that is not what I am doing. Instead I plan to just have one glass with supper. On weekdays. Not counting weekends. How is that for backtracking? Baby steps right? So when I said "Hold me to it." on Day 1, I only meant for a few days, or did I?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 5 Allah Is Noshin'?

It is Day 5 already of the new me program. I am very pleased with the results. I clocked in about 6 hours of yoga this week. 6 wonderful, blissful hours. Yeah Me! Still sore in the chest and triceps but feeling open and strong and ... just happy. I think in a previous life I must have lived in India, eaten curry every day and been a dedicated Yogini. I must be true.

Today was a busy day. Lots to do before we headed to the city. My little gal accompanied me in the studio today. For the first 2o minutes she followed my lead, aping every yoga asana that I did. For the last 30 minutes, she used her yoga strap as a leash and made noised like a rabid cat who was tied to a chair. That's the way it goes around here some days. I did have a CD on of sitar music but she asked for lyrics so I changed to Krishna Das. I love that CD. However I couldn't help but to burst out laughing during Sun Salutations when the lyrics seemed to say "Allah be noshing". How funny is that? No sacrilege intended for any Muslims who happen to stop by.
It was so funny I almost lost my breath during the salutations.

The wine thing... not so good. I have a hubby who loves his Pilsner (Saskatchewan boy, born and bred) and then a whisky or two so... what can I do but join him on the deck for a glass of wine? Tell me, what can I do? (Don't judge me.)

Next week I plan to work more on the wine thing as well as the food. I plan to set out a menu and let you in on what we are eating. The yoga will continue cuz it just feels so great to be back at it.

I enclose a few pictures of little A, still in her jammys, in the studio on her very own mat.

Happy weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 4 Rodney Yee Is In The House

As you can tell by now, the change I have decided to work on first is to rededicate myself to my yoga practice. So far so good. 4 days running I have managed around an hour practice, give or take a few minutes. I am so pleased with the way things have been going. The body has a memory to be sure. In some ways its like I never left the mat. In others, I feel like a complete beginner. My muscles are still very sore, especially the triceps from the dreaded yoga push up. I still feel a lot of tightness where before there was none. I am beginning to be more aware of my body and how it feels. I notice some progress already. So all in all the first step is going well.

I got my DVD set in the mail today. Naturally I opened it right away and got to it. I opted for the Core Yoga Workout section. I was very disappointed. I got the Yoga Now set with Mariel Hemingway and Rodney Yee. I guess I should have expected it with an actress involved . Mariel talked about how you can achieve a beautiful body and lose weight. Not impressed.

Don't get me wrong. I know I decidedly do not have a beautiful body (unless you ask my husband then I have THE most beautiful one) and I could stand to lose some weight but this is not my reason for doing yoga. I am more about the Body/Mind/Spirit connection than about the six pack abs and yoga butt. The workout was a little odd as well. Arm swinging, jumping etc... I am hoping the other two DVDs in the set are better. I really wish I could get my hands on one of those small TVs with the VHS player attached. They only make them with DVD now. I have so many great yoga tapes but they are on VHS. Anyway, on to other things.

The garden is doing well. I thinned my beets and got a whole load of greens. Nice tender greens. Paul asked if I would make Borscht, which of course I will. I really enjoy leftover borscht cold the next day. Yummy lunch on the deck with a nice piece of crusty bread. Can't forget a dollop of sour cream.

I put in a climbing rose last year and although it is little, it flowered profusely. In fact, most things are doing well this year despite some disappointing losses.

On a funny note, all my girls and their families were over for a Mexican feast a few weeks back and of course I made Mojitos. Everyone enjoyed them. This week I went out to the herb garden only to discover to my shock that I used... OREGANO for the mint portion. Can you believe it. Funny thing was, nobody noticed. I never mix up herbs. I was obviously totally distracted. We now have a new summer drink. Oregojitos. Try one for yourself. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 3 Good and Bad

Oh, yoga, I love you. I really do.

Today I practiced for 75 luxurious minutes. 75 minutes! When I think of it, it seems a little indulgent. Doesn't it? 75 minutes in my new yoga studio all by myself doing something only for me? I really need this. I do.

I managed ten Sun Salutations today. Yes, I said ten. I did them early on instead of after the standing poses. I must admit that moving into Chaturanga was more like a belly flop though. My arms and chest are still sore. My hamstrings, tight. Kai, if you are reading this, should I just keep practicing even though my triceps hurt pressing the ON button on the dishwasher? The practice was so so good though. I really love yoga. Did I mention that? I even mustered up the gumption to attempt shoulder stand after a long absence. One thing I realized is that I hate twisting poses. Hate them. I did quite a few today to see if my aversion to them is because they are uncomfortable. Oh, and Kai, if you are still there, I CAN'T BREATHE in camel pose. Why?

So, I got my haircut today. Not remarkable and no picture. I'll post one as soon as I can. It is short again and it feels good. It is my "go to" haircut and it suits me, my life, my "I don't want to spend time on something as silly as hair" attitude too. Part of me always wishes and tries unsuccessfully to grow long hair. I love short hair though. I comment to Paul wherever we are and say "Look at that beautiful woman!" and inevitably it is a woman with very very short hair.

I know it looked better on me 15lbs ago but I am determined to get back there.

I went to the city today for my haircut and for Athena's eye exam. She doesn't need corrective lenses...yet. The traffic was so bad and I had to make some extra stops and I was late getting home. And what did I do? Had some wine. Humph. Tomorrow is another day.

And lastly, lest I leave on a sour note, check out the picture below. It is an awesome "un-birthday" present from my oldest, who knows my taste well. I love Canada and I love nature and I love natural home decor. All three in one lovely gift. Thanks Jen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 2 Where Are You Rodney Yee?

Ouch! That was my first thought this morning when I woke up. My shoulders and chest were so sore. I guess 5 Sun Salutations was too many. My thighs felt so tight. Perhaps I held the standing poses too long? I ached all over. Athena thought if I just ate breakfast all would be well.

So, I made it yesterday without any wine. It was a lot easier than I thought. At 4pm I started thinking about having a glass. At 5pm I thought about it more. By 6pm I was in the back yard swinging on the swing set with Athena, walking around the yard pulling the odd weed and watching a storm roll in. After she was bathed and in bed I had totally stopped thinking about it. Phewsh! That was better than I expected. Only trouble was, apparently the wine worked well as a sedative. Sleep did not come easily. In fact I was wide awake at 10:30 pm, which never happens to me. Oh well. Maybe tonight.

Today I managed to get on the mat for about 45 minutes. I was not satisfied but I had to pick Athena up from her Summer Playground Program, which she calls SUPER FUN PROGRAM. I didn't do any Salutations but I did work on some standing poses, a few back bends and a couple of inversions. I am pretty sure I compacted my spine an inch or so in headstand. I'll have to measure myself later to find out. I had a small personal victory today though. It was the first time EVER that I was able to gaze at my upper hand in Half Moon pose. Yeah me! I was so inspired by this small accomplishment that I came down to the kitchen and dumped a full 235g bag of Old Dutch ripple chips right down the garburator. True story! I LOVE chips.

As I was practicing without instruction (my new DVDs have not arrived yet) I heard Rodney Yee's voice, giving me little modifications along the way. Rodney was my first great teacher. I went to his class every other day for years. I knew him well. His voice, ever present,was guiding me along through my practice. And now, he sits, in VHS form, downstairs in the TV stand, right where I saw him last. My new DVDs cannot get here soon enough.

In other news, tomorrow I am getting a new haircut. A long overdue haircut. Sorry Mom. I know you like my hair longer. I cannot wait. I don't know what I am getting yet or how it will turn out but I am excited and optimistic. I'll post a picture of the before and after tomorrow. Maybe.

I also have all this waiting for me:

To turn into something grand for this little one:

And then I plan to do a PM yoga tape tonight after Athena is in bed and afterwards have a long lavender infused Epsom salt bath. No wine again. I can do this thing!
PS Paul has been away for a few days but is back tomorrow!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 1 Here We Go

I have had many calls and emails about my Birthday present to myself. All are wondering what I mean, what I will do. I do plan to document my journey from day to day. More for myself and to monitor my progress. You are welcome to read along if you like.

Today is day one. Day one of the new me. Day one of authentic me.
I got a new Yoga room this weekend. We spent some time moving our Guest Room from upstairs to the lower level where Paul's office is. This worked out better than we thought. He moved around his furniture in his home office and we put the futon in there. Not only is it more private and quiet for guests but there was also room for an end table, lamp and clock for anyone who will be staying with us. Nice too for him as he seems to have more room now, not to mention a couch to take afternoon naps on.

Anyway, I now have about 90 square feet of our home all to myself. All for my yoga practice.

It looks wonderful. It will be always ready for me and it is all mine. So this morning, I managed a 50 minute practice. It was pure bliss. I was so happy.

Since I have been away from a consistent yoga practice for a while now, I noticed that things were different. Quite different.

I still had strength for the Sun Salutations. I did them close to the end of practice so I only had time/energy for 5 of them. But hey, 5 is better than none, no? I also noticed that my belly got in the way terribly for Revolved Triangle and some forward bending. Ughh. That will have to go. As I lay in Savasana at the end of my practice I felt hot and sweaty, my body also felt open and relaxed. I felt a smile begin to grow on my face as I realised how I missed this and how glad I was that I did this for myself today. So now that I have my own yoga studio, I plan to practice at least 5 times a week, no matter how short or long a practice. This is one thing I am going to do for myself.

Which leads me to the second thing. I am not going to have any wine today. Not a drop. Not tomorrow either. I plan to get rid of my belly by stopping my 2 to 3 glasses a day (yikes!) of wine habit. That will be tough but I will do it. Paul says I should just have 1 glass a day. I am opting to go cold turkey. At least for a while. So there it is. I've said it for all to see. I will not have any red red wine for a yet to be determined length of time. Keep me to it.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

How Long?

How many nights will I lie in my bed and say to myself "Tomorrow will be different?"
How many times will I say to myself "Soon I will change."
How often will I speak the words "I am not living my authentic life. I am not being my true self."?
How many mornings will I wake up and say "This day will be different" Yet repeat yesterday's day.

Well, I have given myself a start date/ A deadline./ A NEW Beginning.
That day is Monday July 13th .
That is the day I begin to be me. That is the day I start my TRUE life.
That is the day I start to take care of myself first. First!
Not selfish. Just necessary. And long overdue.
My birthday is July 09th.
I will be 44 years old.
This is my gift to myself.
Stay tuned.