Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Step at a Time

With the transition to a more academic life I have found the biggest struggle is grounding myself into a writing and research schedule and sticking to it.  As the weeks pass into months it has been easier to zone in on what I need to do and make realistic deadlines and stick to them.  That is until the past few weeks.  Between the holiday and the looming end of the semester deadlines I have found myself with more  work than I have time.  The next month is going to be a frenzy of writing, late nights and some finger crossing.  It's all new and each day is somewhat of a learning curve.  One step at a time.... one step at a time!  Wish my luck.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Goodness in the Kitchen

Wonderful Thanksgiving!  This year we had our own feast with many friends on Saturday.  Wonderful noon meal with lots of good food and good conversation.  As promised I am reporting back on the recipes I decided to try from old yoga journal magazines.  To begin, I once again tried a few recipes from a book called Thanksgiving, that I found a few years ago at the library and decided to purchase.  There are some great ideas in this cookbook, but none have translated (at least in my kitchen) into good eating.  Four different dishes all horrible.  I am donating the book away, perhaps someone else will have better luck with it.  As for the Yoga Journal dishes, the pumpkin pie and the cranberry relish  were the best I have ever made.   I'm sold and will be trying a lot more in the future.  I am so incredibly thankful this year for where my life is, and the direction its heading.  A good place, a good head space, and much gratitude.  
Wishing everyone well with much peace.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meghan Currie

Full moon madness!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Morning

A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves
with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, 
are as crisp as autumn air.
  Eric Sloane

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Overflowing with Goodness

It's holiday time!  I have an array of cookbooks, magazines and printed recipes spread out on the dining room table.  I've ordered the turkey and the shopping list is nearly completed.  Tomorrow, armed with my reusable grocery bags I'll make my way to the big market where I'll insert myself in  the endless  throng of others all doing there holiday grocery shopping as well.   Every other year our little home has two Thanksgiving feasts.  One on thanksgiving, and one the following Saturday, this is because logistically we travel in different directions for the holiday.  We enjoy a good home cooked holiday feast so this is our compromise.  It tricky and consist of a lot of meal planning, shopping and cooking.  Added into the mix, I don't eat meat, so the vegetable dishes, at least for me, are the most interesting part.  I can't stand Tofurkey.  I have tried it on several occasions and I just don't like it and either does anyone in our house, so its better to have a nice selection of vegetable dishes.  I have a few new recipes I am looking forward to trying out, including a cranberry relish from December 2008 and a vegan pumpkin pie, November 2011 Yoga Journal Magazine!  I'll let you know how it taste.  So here's to holiday madness but with a celebratory tone as things are much more peaceful and grounded this year.  Many blessing, much to be thankful for this year.  

Jai, peace and love to all!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall and Foward bends

This Autumn I have been deliberate and careful in my energy expenditure.  Every year around this time I begin to feel worn down, fatigued and usually take to my bed with a thermometer and box of Kleenex.  As Summer faded to Autumn I began to see tell tail signs, the leaves began to fall off the trees, peoples movements became a little more harried and the sneezing and sniffling has started all around me.  My calendar has been filling up fast and I'm feeling a little tired and overwhelmed.  

I have no intention of repeating last years fiasco of a life.  I'm all about self preservation these days, but even with the best of intention, deadlines approach and projects must be completed.  Added to change of season madness is the fact I am still working on some of the things I let go for so long.  I have made vast inroads in organization and ticking things off the list, but there's still stuff lingering  while embarking on new deadlines brought on by a thesis, and at the moment boatloads of papers to write. 

I'm not entirely sure what the best game plan is for keeping sane and healthy but I am working on a plan for some type of  healthy living schedule.  In the meantime I have a few ideas what I can do now to help me out and perhaps increase energy levels a little.

Neti Pot:  I find the neti is an excellent defense against cold and flu season. 
Echinacea golden seal:I have been using echinacea since I was a graduate student.  Echinacea bolsters the immune system and pushes out whatever might be trying to invade the system.  This one is full proof if I use it over the course of several days. 
Emergen-c:  It's a vitamin mix in powder form.  This is a popular one in the winter in our house.  I like to put it in hot water and have it as tea. Others pour it into water and drink it throughout the day.  I think of it as a little energy drink to help with boost levels throughout the day. kind of healthy alternative to Red Bull.
Vitamin C : There's very little proof vitamin C helps with the common cold, but I find it useful.
Paschimottasna or forward bend: Seated forward bend  can calm the brain and help relieve stress and mild depression. Paschimottanasana is also touted for soothing headaches, reducing anxiety and lessening fatigue.  It's an excellent asana for change of season and when the weather cools down. 

Other important tips include staying hydrated, slowing down, getting to bed earlier and staying warm. 

Be well and good health!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kates Mystery Book Store and The City Life Left

My Dad loved mystery books.  Kate's was a funky, funky mystery book shop located on the first floor of an old Victorian house.  Birthdays and holidays I would rumble around looking for something unique and interesting he might enjoy.  later when his old lion eyes needed a little help, I would go to Kate's and dig through old piles of books looking for large print mysteries, which she sold to me cheaply in generous portion. Kate was good people.

Quirky and a lot of fun, she had a thousand cat chachkas placed happily around her book store.  There was probably a real cat or two padding about somewhere, but I don't remember and I definitely didn't see any real felines the last time I was there.  On my way to a seminar today I passed her old Victorian which has been sold and she herself has moved on to a new life somewhere far away from the madding crowd.  I last saw her a couple of years ago.  It was the holiday season and she looked a bit tired with a diminished life drive. I must say we were in a similar place.  My Dad was very ill and I too was tired and had zero interest in celebrating the holidays.  She and I spoke briefly, I knew she had been trying to sell her old Victorian and my gut told me this was our last visit.   She talked about not feeling present in her urban living environment. She was not going out exploring restaurants, or attending social or cultural events. As she put it she wasn't taking advantage of what the city has to offer.  She packed up her life and moved away shortly after.  I myself moved out shortly thereafter, having found myself with zero interest for all things urban.  As I drove past the sign, which has been neatly painted over and now blank, I began to think about what I knew as a city when I lived there and what city meant to me.  Partly it meant what every city means, crowded, expensive and always moving.  But then there were individual aspects that were perhaps generational.  Things whose time has come and gone but made the urban experience special and fun. Places like this little book shop, or a Wiccan store I used to find herbs and esoteric books,  the acupuncturist whose office was in a funky old arcade next to a sex shop, the guy who rewrote my resume for a fee on an old typewriter when I was a newly minted undergraduate, the big all Latino grocery market, the lady who rented a room to one of my graduate students who supported herself teaching tap dance classes.  All special, all gone.  I don't need to list them all, but just as an example, the Latino grocery market is a whole foods store now.  I think that about says it all in a nut shell and perhaps explains in part why I have moved on. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Snowy Day

It's a snowy day this morning.  Time to pack up summer clothes, beach blankets and flip flops and take out the Winter coat, hat, mittens and scarfs.  Although its going to warm up later this week we're on a trajectory toward Winter so I suppose it's time to embrace it.  Time for hot herbal tea in the afternoon, sun salutations, inversions and grounding poses, and longer meditation.  New season, new discoveries to be made.

 Jai bhagwan and be well.

Monday, November 5, 2012


It's time to vote!  Every vote counts, Every vote matters!  Tuesday November 6th is election day, a fine time to get out and meet your neighbors.  Head on down to your local voting pole and make your opinion official!