Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The year the cat got involved in Halloween

This year Prada decided to "help" us carve the annual Halloween pumpkin. By help I mean give us the idea and then weave around our ankles whilst we had sharp items in our hands. To be fair, she also posed with her new pumpkin friend. Chris thinks the whole the time I was taking these pictures, Prada was thinking "my people are f***ing nuts to be carving cats into large orange fruit and then making me sit here." Evidently our cat has quite the potty mouth.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Our household is in a little bit of a panic tonight (okay, a lot bit). Not so much because we're getting married in 25 days, but because in order to get married we need our social security cards. I haven't seen my soc card since (the first) Clinton was in the White House. In searching for said card, I've gone through boxes of stuff and I've found articles I wrote in high school, a list of quotes we collected sophomore year in college, pictures from childhood, collages of photos I made in college, 2005 tax return info and many old birthday cards and notes. It just struck me that all that collected "junk" is who I am, not a string of nine numbers on a blue and white card. I wonder if I show up with my Tupperware bins of memories if they would grant me the marriage license? It's really me.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I've always been a big fan of Halloween. Who doesn't like dressing up and getting candy? Growing up, Halloween was a big event. We went trick or treating for hours. In our neighborhood, the Dads took the kids. We got candy, they got beer. Being the youngest, I was also the slowest and I must have walked (or been carried) my little feet off because we had quite the trick or treating route.

I was never the traditional little girl costumes. No princesses or fairies for me. The year I broke my femur, I was a mummy since I already had the body cast. I was Wonder Woman one year and got to wear my rain boots as save the world boots. In the the second grade, I wore the suit of a little person who had died (long story of how we got the suit). It was quite cute actually. One year my Mom made an intricate parrot mask out of felt. That was fun. Some where along the way, I stumbled into being a cat and would use that as the fall back costume for many years, including this one. All you have to do is wear black once you have the ears and tail. This year, I was the cat and Chris was the hat.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tea Time

While I was growing up, I thought there were only two types of tea. One was the kind at my Grandmother's house. She would drink it hot. We would make sun tea out of it in big pickel jars in the backyard on sunny days. The brand was Red Rose and the fun of this was each box had a little animal figurine in it. We drank a lot of tea and consequently all had whole collections of animals living on our windowsills. This summer I bought a box of this tea purely for the nostalgia. They're now on the Noah series. Still just animals though.

The other type of tea was reserved for night time or if I was sick (with some honey in it). Sleepytime tea, I was convinced at the time, was capable of knocking someone out and was not safe for daytime drinking. I still like this tea, in fact, I'm sipping a mug of it right now. This tea gets me because the box features a bear in a nightgown with a cat on it's lap sitting in front of the fire. What could be cozier than the bear, nightgown, cat, fire combination? Plus there are fun motivational quotes on the box. Enlightenment and a cup of tea, what could be better?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Remember when I was waxing philosophic about the autumnal equinox and my love of fall? Yes, well, in between the candy corn, brightly colored leaves and finding the Great Pumpkin, I forgot about some of the not-so-great things about fall. Namely the change from the hotness of summer to the cooling days of fall leaving me congested. My poor sinuses don't know what to make of the up and then down temperatures. My drying skin is scratchy and itchy and my lips are chapped. Even my poor tummy, is, uh, well congested. So I took the day off work to give my sinuses, skin and stomach a break from office life.

During my day off, I found a practice in last month's issue of Yoga Journal to help with some of these symptoms (evidently it's not just me who feels all out of sorts when the leaves fall). I drank lots of fluids. I ate a healthy and balanced diet. I slept in. It has been so nice and let me tell you, my pee hasn't been this clear in weeks!

All of this makes me think there might be something to living a Ayuverdic lifestyle. However, I just can't get past the one tenant I read about most often: getting up with the sunrise to let the rhythms mimic your own. I'll instead be a cafeteria believer in Ayuverdic principles. Pass the green tea and neti pot, please.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Welcome to the World

One of my good friends gave birth to her daughter, Allison Grace, this evening. I'm so excited for Sara and her family. The little girl looks healthy and happy and is already cute as a button. This is one of - okay - the only child who will be at our wedding next month and I can't wait to meet her. Sara is one of my bridesmaids and I think it will be special to have Allie with us as we get ready that morning. I was Sara's maid of honor when she got married a few years back, so I guess it is full circle.

So welcome to the world Allie, can't wait to meet you in person! You're going to have a great family to grow up with and lots of friends who already love you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't Listen Too Closely

Teaching yoga also teaches humility. I've mentioned I've become a better communicater (at least on the mat), but this week I've also noticed how helping others find their response to yoga is also quite humbling. Of course, there are still times my class laughs at me when I start teaching a new pose. They'll work with me for the most part, but some things just leave some students sitting on their mats saying no way, forget it. I thought this would bother me, but it doesn't really. I wish they would try, but I'm not the one to judge to that. Instead I just say, if it isn't work for you today, just sitting quietly on your mat and breathing. But they still laugh, and that really works to keep my humble.

I'm also saying things in class that just sound wacky. I've caught myself saying "swaying in tree and accepting that because all trees sway" and "coming into a fetal position, a place we've all been and where we feel safe." I can't say some of these things with straight face, but I say them as filler. I only hope my students don't listen too closely. If they do, they must be thinking I'm at total nut job.

My class must not think me totally ready for the asylum, because they are looking to extend my classes. I was only scheduled to volunteer for the month of October, but we're going to discuss payment for me teaching once a week through the end of the year. How exciting - I really have enjoyed teaching and look forward to continuing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


So the reason I don't ever seem to lose the 10 (or 20) pounds I have sticking around? I'm pretty sure I am obsessed with food. Living with a naturally very skinny guy hasn't improved this obsession. For example the last several books I've read, (Omnivore's Dilemma: Eat, Pray, Love; Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, and the upcoming Animal, Vegetable, Mineral) all have food has a central theme. After dinner tonight I started making soup, partly because we had chicken I thought would be good as noodle soup and partly because I just like making soup when it is raining. It's probably not normal to finish eating a meal and then begin to make the next meal.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Time Alone

My current book from the library is Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. This charming collection of short stories and essays recounts experiences of cooking for one or dining alone. It's fitting this is my book right now, because Chris is out of town whooping it up at his white water rafting bachelor party.

The book is interesting to me because it has so many different voices. Everyone reacts to being alone differently, some cherish alone time as a nice change of pace, some crave going solo, some have aloneness thrust upon them, some avoid being alone at all costs. I'm of the first camp, I like alone time, but I wouldn't want it for always. I get more done when I'm alone, I notice more things when I am by myself. This morning I was cleaning up the kitchen and washing my vase. The sunlight came through the window just in the right way to reflect a prism of shadow polka dots on my counter. It made me happy and I'm not sure I would have noticed it if Chris were with me - I also probably wouldn't have been cleaning the vase.

So what have I eaten in my alone time? Last night was leftover veggie soup and a pumpkin beer. Nothing special there. But this morning, started with my favorite almond vanilla tea (naturally served in a polka dot mug), and a piece of semolina toast smeared with just the right amount of blueberry preserves. I'm going down to make a large smoothie next. Cheers to being okay with being alone (for one weekend).

*Note: if you have a few minutes, go to the tea link above. If you click on Get Your Fortune, there is a cute little interactive tea leaves reading session. I was told I would be more successful if I had a plan rather than living moment to moment. I'll have to think about.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stay Away from the Collagen

I'm sitting here with a ball of very sad kitty on my lap. Last week we noticed Prada's lower lip was really swollen. This happened last year about this time also, something to do with allergies to new bugs. Okay, I'm not really sure what it had to do with, but she went to the vet, she got a shot and the lip was fine. Until about last week. It looked like my sweet little cat had gone all Playboy bunny on us and sneaked out for collagen injections. Chris wrestled her into the kitty carrier and took her into the vet yesterday. Now the problem might be allergies, but is more likely an out of whack feline immune system. She got a higher dose of the shot than last year (it evidently wore off) and we are to keep an eye on her lip. If it doesn't go down in the next 5 days, she has to go back to the vet for a biopsy. Turns out the lip isn't really swollen, but has some type of crazy cell growth.

Poor little kitty seemed fine last night, but she is just sad pathetic cat right now. I'm not sure if the medicine is making her out of sorts, but I hope she's feeling okay. We're going to go take a nap now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


That light is back, you know the one I mentioned when I said I feel a certain illumination coming from me when I'm teaching yoga. I know it sounds hokey, but I am really enjoying this experience.

It is making me a better communicator. I've been practicing for so long, I'm really tempted to just get into a pose and say you "just do this". But, most people can't "just do this" or that or even Triangle. So finding ways to communicate what Triangle is, how it feels and how to make it work for different individuals is all really just communicating. And I'm learning how to do that better.

A student came up to me after class today and asked if next time we could do alligator again, it's helping her build upper body strength and even though she struggles with it, she wants to keep trying. I said yes with a smile. Of course she meant crocodile, but I'm so glad the students I'm working with are finding their own favorite poses and their own personal nemesis poses.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Today I went on a guided tour of Columbus. I've lived here my whole life, so I didn't really need a guided tour of Columbus, but hey, it took up a couple of hours of the morning and we stopped at Cup O' Joe, so no complaints here. It's actually really helpful to me to know random facts about Columbus so I can parrot them to visitors and clients. Someone once told me the signs used in baseball for signaling base runs, etc, were developed in the 1800s at the Columbus School for the Deaf. Now, the park of that school has a replica of a Seurat painting made entirely of topiaries. Really.

Anyway, as I was sitting in the back of the van touring the city, I realized if I were to give the tour, my tour would be completely different than that of the tour guide. Instead of the proposed Scioto Mile plan, I saw the bike path where I rode past the Santa Maria with my aunt and her friends during a 27 mile bike ride. Rather than the once tallest building in the US, I thought of it as the building where Chris and I reconnected. I greedily remembered all the pages I explored at the Book Loft and how I used to fear getting lost in the maze of rooms and how I now welcome it. I grinned as we passed Helen Winnemore's, where my mom and I would explore the jewelry drawers. School field trips were brought to mind as the tour guide pointed out the Greek revival architecture of the Statehouse and modernistic Cosi. Near the Main Library, I noticed not this building made for learning, but the back of Egan Ryan funeral home where we have said goodbye to loved ones. And across the street, I didn't notice the insurance building, but rather pictured it as housing the huge nativity display it would house in a few months and has every year since I can remember.

All cities are made of history and buildings and legends, but each resident has their own story to tell within those city streets. That is what makes a simple city a hometown.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Practicing Teacher

I now have three yoga classes which I have taught under my belt, or mat so to speak. Considering how long it took me to get to the teaching step after taking the training course last year at this time, I am pleased with how things have gone. I've taken many yoga classes over the years, but I don't think I have ever given enough respect to the instructors. Teaching yoga is challenging. It's all trying to motivate the class, keeping them safe and properly getting them in and out of poses and reminding them to breathe is a lot harder than it seems. Not to mention keeping the left and right straight in your head. There are a lot of verbal cues I want to be giving the classes, but I don't have time. It only takes so long to stand up and I could say a whole paragraph about how exactly to stand. It's also hard to remind people to keep their heads down when your head is up because you are trying to see what the heck that guy is the back row is trying to do.

However, I am really enjoying the challenge. I feel like a better person when I'm helping others find the right posture. There are so many things I really love about yoga and I like sharing those. Not to be all corny and new age-like, but when I'm teaching I feel a light coming out of me and that warmth touching my students. I love that my students have come back three times now and my class is even growing!

There are a lot of things I need to work on, but this experience has so far been a good one. I also really like that I'm working with employees of a non-profit. If anyone needs the free stress relief I'm providing, it's these folks.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Colors Could be Blush and Bashful

Who remembers the opening scenes of Steel Magnolias when Julia Roberts has a blood sugar problem and Sally Fields says "No wonder with all this running around and wedding nonsense" or something to that effect? Let me just say, it is a good thing I'm not diabetic, because I've been doing a lot of running around and wedding nonsense. This weekend we had the last of the showers, which was so lovely. It was hosted by my mom's friends who did a superb job of getting things together. Here's a wedding shower tip which they did and I adored: buy the bride her everyday glasses and use them as vases around the dining tables with unique flowers. The arrangements were great and I kept looking at the glasses saying, how cute, not totally realizing they were mine. Adorable!

Saturday night we gathered a group of girls and my brother to do a little bachelorette party. I've got to be honest here, I didn't really want one of these parties. My idea of perfect bachelorette party was gather a few girls, get pedicures and open several bottles of wine. That proved too difficult to pull off and didn't exactly appeal to everyone else. So my brother, who is my man of honor, hosted a great cocktail party then we hit a club. It was fun, and happily rather tame.

Best of all, the invitations are at the post office! We had a couple of late nights this past week getting those bad boys stuffed and Mom had to spend several hours doing them while we were at work, but they are finally done. I told Chris I felt like we were sending our happy good wishes out to people via the USPS and the cheery polka dots that grace the invitations.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oprah Disclaimer

One benefit of getting DVR earlier this year is I now get to watch Oprah other than when I am home sick. Chris isn't a huge fan of hers, but say what you will, I like her and she has gotten plenty of people not only talking, but reading. On the backlog of my DVR, I finally got to watch her interview with Jeffrey Eugenides of Pulitzer Prize fame. Remember, what I had to say about Middlesex? Well, I think Oprah could have cut out a few commercials and gone into more depth in the interview.

I was a little dismayed upon the end of the show, to hear her new book club book is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've been waiting to read this book, ever since I read this article and I only picked it up from the library last week (the waiting list was more than 100 people long - I should have known!). Even though I now sound like I am jumping on the bandwagon, I loved this book from the first sentence! Liz Gilbert has written lines in that book which I just want to savor (much like she did with the fantastic Neapolitan pizza). She had me at pasta and yoga, throw in soul-searching and a love story, and I could be the book's biggest fan.