Monday, December 31, 2012

Hey, Happy New Year! Doors seem appropriate. Colorful doors even more so.

I've done my headstand letting go of attachment to the old year yoga practice. I've learned to do it fairly early in the evening on New Years eve otherwise I get too energized to get too sleep. It is a simple way to get a bit of a buzz. The cats love it when I practice at home.

Last year on this day I wrote in my paper journal that I thought I'd somehow get more spiritual this year, something to do with yoga. Ha! Little did I know how totally immersed I would get. It was interesting doing the same practice tonight I have done many New Year's eve's with a deeper understanding about how it works and why it does what it does.

This year I wrote that 2013 will be more about connections that work somehow, that I will be in the world more and enjoying the community I find out there.

My link today is a blog I'd like to spend more time on as it appears to be about writing called Brain Pickings. Cool.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I took this picture this morning. I saw the lace through the view finder but not the colored glass so it was such a delight when the picture came up. I like the imperfection of it all. That is how the light gets in. :)

I have my yoga graduation class worked up, now all I need to do is draw it. Very simple. I hope it works. I'll know by this time next week.

This quote resonated with me,"Suffering isolates us. Loving presence brings us back, makes us belong." It is from Maureen Dowd's recent column here.

I think the best weekends are the ones where one doesn't get anywhere near as much done as one thought one would and went for a walk instead. I had one of those.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another winter tree shot. The shape of this one is wonderful.

Besides some major lounging around and listening to Far From the Tree on audio book and basic procrastination I did do one small part of my yoga homework today and wrote a first draft of my "elevator speech" for describing what kind of of yoga I teach.

"I teach a breath-focused form of yoga that applies the ancient traditions from India and adapts them to the needs of our modern bodies with a specific focus on healthy appropriate movement of the spine."

Now all I have to do is quit tinkering with it and then memorize it.

My link today is a photo essay at Dave's Killer Bread Factory here in town. I don't eat much bread but when I do it is Dave's Good Seed all the way.

Oh, and I earned my Phoenix badge on 750 Words! It appeared just as I saved my day's post. That is so cool. I am a happy Phoenix.

Friday, December 28, 2012

So who knows why I take pictures? I am loading them full sized here so if you are interested you can click on them and see a larger version. This one is all about texture. I don't think I've shared it anywhere before but I like it very much.

Just because it is winter out there doesn't always mean it is winter in here. I am so happy it is Friday.

It didn't rain today and on the way to the grocery I saw a very snow covered Mt. Hood merged with a cloud.

Speaking of merging with clouds here is a link I borrowed from Fresh Air on Tumbler today of an article about an art exhibit where Berndnaut Smilde makes clouds inside big beautiful empty rooms. If you scroll down just a bit there is gorgeous shot in a church like space.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

We had some partial clearing and while it is damp and cold out we didn't have any significant rain today. I am holding out for some of these bright clear winter skies to help the adjustment back towards more normal days and less indulgent eating.

Speaking of eating, Stella ate about half of the first can of the fancy hypo-allergetic cat food and about a fourth of the second and now just walks away from it. The good news is that the cats both like the special dry food. Sammy surprised me by stealing the little bit I put out for Stella. It has been a week now and I have been giving them a mix of the food they are used to and this.

I'll see if tomorrow I can start them on this dry food full time and see what I can do about increasing the quality of their wet food. I am going to try some of the tricks here in this article on making cat food from scratch. I can take the wet food back if they won't eat it but if I can get Sam to at least try it, well that would be awesome. So far no go.

Parmesan!I can do that. I have a bag of shredded Parmesan in my fridge. In the meantime the meds are kicking in and other than being ravenously hungry all the time they are both not scratching and licking for the first time in about three months.

Ah, the exciting life of the pet owner with older cats.

I need to go to a movie or something.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

There is a rumor that the rain is going to stop sometime tomorrow and we'll get some winter light. I am looking forward to that. These ever so dark wet days do seem to come in clumps.

I enjoyed teaching my class today and was happy to have students. It turned my whole day around. At least work is quiet and the folks that are working are cheerful.

For my link today yet another short but absolutely amazing video from Cornell and the Birds of Paradise project. It is a wonder. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I took this seven years ago and I am glad I did because the sculptures aren't there anymore over in NW Portland. It is one of my favorites Christmas pictures and I wasn't even a birder then. The signs that I would become one however, were everywhere.

I am having a lovely day off. It is a bit too cold and a bit too wet to go for a long walk but I have been practicing yoga throughout the day. First for myself and then for the class scheduled tomorrow on that knotty tight place we so often get just below our shoulder blades. With the holiday I don't know if anyone is going to show up for class tomorrow but I'll be ready if anyone does.

This Really? column where they look at health myths scientifically is so interesting. Clearly I am going to need to start wearing sunglasses. Even on cloudy days. My excuse has been that not wearing them keeps the light and the colors true in my pictures. I guess I will just need to adapt to a particular pair of them when I am out and about with the camera.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I am posting this picture of my present pile just so I will remember on those down days ahead exactly how lucky I am. Those are Miss E's snowflakes.

I only had to take the two pieces of long curly ribbon off so Stella wouldn't eat them. She is much more interested in the canned human chicken I fed both the cats tonight.

Just in case some of us are regretting not having a tree this year here is Simon's Cat and his. Happy happy joy joy merry and then some. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I had a such a nice relaxing not yoga teacher training day yesterday that other than a few minutes of movement to keep my spine happy I didn't walk anywhere or challenge my body in any way. But I did a lot to make my intellect happy. And what does that lead to? A less than perfect sleep cycle with the cats crowding in to get warm.

I ended up listening to the second half of the Stuff You Missed in History Podcast about Juana of Castile.I completely missed anything about her in school so I enjoyed the story and the fact that the young women that create the podcast use the library to get books on whatever they are working on.

Today I did a full out balanced yoga practice and went to the gym and walked on the treadmill for an hour and read the long cover story in today's Times about the class disparity in terms of young folks graduating from college. It is very well done.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I never get tired of tree-scapes. This is a favorite evening roosting tree for crows over in NE Portland. Sometimes one can see over 50 crows here for their nightly trip home to roost.

A nice easy day. Memorizing Sanskrit, watched a documentary, listened to Far From the Tree (I'll be doing that for some time) and just basic domestic puttering. What a joy after being so busy for so long!

A silly link today Pusheen. Silly can be meritorious as Mr. Finch used to say.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I took this today on my way to pick up the special hypo-allergetic cat food from the vet. It is the big Cooper Beech up on the corner. I was thinking that might be a Cooper's Hawk up there at the very top but now I think it is just a wayward leaf.

Freddies was completely out of wrapping paper except for these huge packages of roles of paper with a snowman motif. I purchased a Christmas table cloth to wrap the big awkward present in. I have a few days to see if I can find a way to make it look good. And there were a few lonely gift bags left in with the birthday paper.

So here is the work of many librarians in Nevada building a book tree in time lapse photography. It takes just over a minute to admire their handiwork.

The shopping is all done. Ah. Now I can just relax...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

There is this big corner house maybe 8 blocks from here that has been extensively remodeled and has a cow skull over the middle door of a three car garage. It also has this little shop downstairs and out front right on the street.

I bet the shop has many wonderful stories to tell of the immigrant families that lived here in the last half of the 1800s. This is that storefront.

I am bookmarking The Millions author posts about their reading. I am particularly interested in Jane Hirschfield's take on Anne Carson's new sort of more than a book.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A bit blurry I admit. My phone didn't know where to focus late this afternoon down at Pioneer Square. I am happy to get a shot of our shared city tree as I have enjoyed going by it on the bus these last few weeks all lit up.

I was downtown to buy some new shoes to wear to my job interview tomorrow afternoon. I wanted some short boots that would keep my feet dry but look stylish as we have a big storm on the way in this evening. The first pair of boots I looked at in Nordstrom's were $445.00. Eek! I might be willing to spend that on the cats but not on a pair of shoes.

After three attempts to find something I liked over at Macy's I found a simple pair that are just what I needed for $50.00. Now all I need to do is figure out what socks to wear with them.

This article on reading speed and comfort as we age from The Times is interesting as we all in the family consider the possibility of compromised eyesight as we grow older.

Only two students in my yoga class today but it was fun and they visibly benefitted. One can't beat that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We had snow this morning, big wet flakes that didn't stick. There is a beautiful Snowy Owl at the Salem airport.

I see A Way With Words has an Android app here. I may have to get that for my Galaxy.

I am very fond of my phone. Today there were multiple calls from the vet's office about Stella's expensive and thorough senior exam. There are steroid-laced chicken chews coming from Texas and special hypo-allergenic food coming from a pristine factory. The things we do for our pets...

The only time today I could get the cats to calm down was while I worked my way through the class I am teaching tomorrow on my yoga mat. They love it when I practice. They lounge on their heated cat beds wrapped in soft blankets on the open couch futon and supervise.

Now if I could only figure out what is causing their allergies that would be a very fine day indeed no matter what the weather is like outside.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Remember last year the search for the snowy owl?

This Bird Note from last week made me laugh. I recognized a lot of the vocalizations. Slowly but surely we accumulate knowledge.

Right this moment it is not raining. I feel like running outside.

I am teaching side bends this week if anyone shows up for class.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Here is the Christmas tree from last year before the lights went on. No tree this year because of the Most Adorable Kittens. They are pretty festive in and of themselves, the handsome boys.

I see here that Far from the Tree is available in an audiobook format. I am going to download it. I know if I buy it, I'll start it and then get distracted by some fiction and it won't get finished. But I am really interested in what he has to say about those we live with who are not like us.

Today I have an initial private yoga consultation over at the studio with S. from Women's Circle and I am very much looking forward to it. I adore her and adore being around her and I believe this will be a positive interaction for both of us.

I have found myself crying periodically over the last few days. How can one not? I hope that the outpouring of support for all those affected in Connecticut can help lighten the load of grief just enough to make it seem bearable as the painful moments go by one by one.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

At lunch with Kes and Most Honorable this afternoon down in Salem we were looking at Tierney Gearon's photographs in last week's New York Times Magazine, which are very interesting and we saw this one of Amy Adams in the piece on current Hollywood Heroines.

What is funny about this is that on the drive down Most Honorable was telling me about his recent fascination with flashlights. There are some great new LED ones that last 79 hours which would come in handy during an extended power outage.

I had asked him while I was down there to take a portrait of me that I could use for the work IM and Intranet profiles and for Linkedin. I was carefully looking at the Adams photograph and said, "She is holding flashlights!" We laughed and I said we should try it.

So we did.

Friday, December 14, 2012

This was in Salem on a walk with Kes and Most Honorable this time last year. I'll be down there again this weekend to see the kittens. Based on the weather reports it sounds like it might rain all weekend so the only pictures I'll probably get are indoors.

Speaking of which, I am going to see if Most Honorable can take a picture of me that I can stand to use for various job hunting type social media sites. This is all about deep acceptance and letting go. Unlike so many people I know, I struggle with having my picture taken.

Yesterday was our annual Employee Appreciation event at The Kennedy School and I was truly a stranger in a strange land. The folks I work with currently are not of my tribe and I feel a bit like a duck out of water looks. Not graceful. The circumstances do not bring out the best in me. I have become one of those unhappy at work folks that I was so sad to see when I started there over 5 years ago. The message is very clear that I am not where I need to be.

But still, a job is a job, and I am grateful for mine.

Sammy once again had a bad night last night. He didn't throw up but well, he was not a happy camper digestively. It has to be the food. The wet food. I think there must be a quality control issue.

I stayed up late last night listening to a mish mash of NPR book reviews on Stitcher. I heard a review of a new book about Edwin Land called Instant that sounds interesting.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

We have a little sun in Portland this morning! Only eight more days until the blessed solstice. Yippee!

This afternoon we have our annual work holiday event at The Kennedy School. I will be expected to play games. Oh Joy. I have managed to avoid them the last few years but not a chance this year.

The good news is that I have a vacation day off tomorrow and have a facial scheduled in the morning. The facial I wanted to have for my birthday back in June but no one was available then. All good things come to those who wait.

And now for something short and very silly Jingle Kittens.

I am listening to Brahms Symphony No 3 in F, Op 90. So divinely melancholy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I took this a couple of weeks ago. It is across the street from my place. I ran out with the camera when I saw the light.

I finished reading the new Eliot Pattison book Mandarin Gate last night. It is the 7th in the Shan series. Although it is about the Chinese occupation of Tibet and is very dark there is a kind of sweetness and an interesting thriller twist involving the Tibetan Government in Exile in India.

A few days ago I started having trouble listening to Performance Today on my MacBook Pro and so am thrilled that I can continue to listen to it on my work computer. Don't know how I'd get through my work week without Fred.

Although still scratching, the cats are both back to normal today. Huge relief.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Someday I'll learn how to add color borders. Even though the Diary is functional again I think I'll keep adding small posts here when I don't have time to compose a full entry.

Sammy had a really rough night last night. Very sick. And he now has a chunk of hair missing behind one of his ears. Poor guy. He's eating and drinking and sleeping today. Stella appears to be doing fine other than some scratching. I am looking forward to getting some help solving this sick kitties mystery next week at the vet.

Last night I watched this 17 minute Tiny Desk Concert with Lyle Lovett. It is touching it its awkwardness and charm. Well worth a look. Lots of work stuff going on but no real clarification. I'm still in the running for the new job.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Moving Day (virtually of course)

So I am considering moving my diary posts over here. I'll miss the OD community very much but clearly with this latest outage it is time to make a change.

Everything is good here at Chez Noko. The cats have been more active today because I have been home and slightly frazzled by work but no throwing up by anyone and everybody is sleeping now.

I wasn't as tired as I have been in the past from my 20 hour hour weekend yoga teacher training extravaganza but that doesn't mean I am not tired. Just not as. That is nice. One more full weekend to go in early January and then possibly some private class time in reasonable 1 and 1/2 chunks and a bunch of homework, but I am very much on the home stretch. Knowing that feels great!

My big excitement tonight is a provisioning trip to the grocery and drawing up my yoga class for Wednesday. I am teaching a seated twist called Half Lord of the Fishes.

I wonder if the rest of the lord is Half Lord of the Birds or something?

Totally unrelated Olga actually taught us a practice that culminated in this pose yesterday. It is not easy because it is seated and one's frame is fixed by the arm on the ground and the lever of the other arm keeping the knee is place and one benefits from a set of preparation poses. And of course compensation afterwards.

Last week in my class we worked on our shoulders and necks so I thought this would be a nice add on because it not only helps realign the pelvis and the shoulders it is good for digestion.

Something we all need with holiday parties going on everywhere.

There is a method to my madness.