Thursday, January 31, 2013

I was reading this evening in the most recent issue of the New Yorker about Dr. Oz and the writer mentioned that he has this social networking element to his show that allows people to take a picture from anywhere on the internet and put it up to express how they feel.

This is how I feel today (i'm using my own picture). Like a wall on which the workings of time have left their mark. It has been a very intense and challenging week at work.

Oh well.

My link today is to some info on this dark looking new series that was made specifically for Netflix called House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey with this odd southern accent.

I also read somewhere yesterday that both Captain Jack and River Song are in a new Sci Fi series. I must investigate that.

But first I need to catch up on Downton Abbey. Slacker chick...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My guess is if I look hard enough I'll start seeing signs of spring soon...

Although he has been grumpy all day, Sammy seems to have forgiven me for all the indignities. He maneuvered his stiff old cat body into my lap rather pointedly when I got home this evening.

Speaking of cats, here is a wonderful photograph from National Geographic of a Meercat. All the photos are wonderful.

After a trying day at work yesterday I had a moment of sheer joy today when someone took away a problematic responsibility I've had to address for over 5 years that apparently I never should have had. Yippee! Even in the most difficult situations there can be moments of relief and joy.

I only had one student in yoga today so I moved her through a series of poses that dealt with the issues she was having at the time. It was very rewarding. And bonus I don't need to design a class for next week because I didn't use the one I worked up this week.

And it didn't rain vey hard today so it was not bad at all to be out and about.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I took this Sunday because there was actually some color in the landscape.

What a day for poor Sammy locked in a long narrow bathroom with four women sticking needles in him. Poor guy threw up. So I got the complete tutorial on giving fluids and drugs by mouth and injection. He's happy to now have me back all to himself. He and his sister and I are all hanging out on the open futon with the heated cat beds on it. Kes was here for the ordeal and took great notes and is going to see if she can come back up on Friday for the next round.

I am catching up on Performance Today and hope to maybe get to this week's episode of Downton Abbey.

Here is link to a just plain fun and cheerful photo as an antidote to winter.

Monday, January 28, 2013

This is how I feel today in the dark cold rain. A bit like I need sprucing up. I took this yesterday.

Getting ready for my first ever vet house call tomorrow right after work. So she can show me how to give Sammy fluids and the arthritis shot. I managed to get about half the Vitamin D supplement in his mouth yesterday and the other on his muzzle (do cats have muzzles?) but oh well, it was suspended in tuna oil so he just licked it off.

Off to Women's Circle. No clever link today.

Work re-entry could have been worse.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Went to church today. I am a Unitarian and haven't been to service for months because of the yoga training, the weather, and generalized tiredness...

I talked to the Adult Ed coordinator about teaching a seven or eight week class in stress reduction next fall. She says I probably wouldn't get paid and I told her that was alright. I'd love to teach liberal like minded folk most of whom are very bright. She wants to think it through and I understand that.

My guess is that I am going to have more private clients than I have time for once I get up and running.

I was reading last night in Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers that both the herpes virus and the varicella-zoster virus (that causes chicken pox and shingles) are so smart they contain a stretch of DNA that is sensitive to glucocorticoid signals, and when levels are up, the DNA sensor activates the genes involved in coming out of latency.

And the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (flight fright or freeze) increases the levels of glucocorticoids in the system. And socially isolated folks activate their sympathetic nervous system more than folks with a robust support network of family and friends.

So you see I go to church for scientific reasons. :)

It was great to be back.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I need to come up with some sort of checklist for all the meds I'll be giving Sammy to make him more comfortable. I bet there is an App for that. I'll have to look around. I suppose I could make a new Google calendar with alarms.

We are going to Pacific City for a long weekend late in April and I'll need to have it all down by then. My cat sitter is a licensed Vet Tech so if she has to give fluids she can but I'll try to do it before I leave.

It has been a very food oriented day. Made this yummy spinach saute with pine nuts and garbanzo beans for dinner.

Not sure if it was the full moon or the infusion of fruits and vegetables into my diet yesterday but I was grumpy and slept poorly.

Speaking of the moon...I need to draw out my class for next Wednesday, (I am going to introduce a modified half mooon Ardha Chandrasana using the tables in the conference room because we don't have blocks). It is good for many things including calves and hamstrings which is where we left off before I went on vacation.

Tomorrow will be a challenge because of anticipating re-entry to the world of work. I truly have had the perfect vacation for me at this time. Taking care of myself and the cats in a deep focused way. Something I haven't had the time for in years.

And I did at least start writing a poem...

Friday, January 25, 2013

I walked through the PSU campus this morning on the way to the library in the rain and not quite rain. Very happy it was above freezing out and I could move safely.

Last day of my vacation today though I still have the weekend.That will be full of chores I have been avoiding.. or not...

Getting all my Weight Watchers ducks in a row.

Sammy had a good day. He was much more comfortable and showed quite a bit of his usual spirit including attempting to sit on whatever it was I was doing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Back in fog land again but very is above freezing and safe to be out! Yippee. Yesterday it stayed between 34 and 36F all day and was very wet with cold gusty winds. I hung out with Sam and Stella all day and read the second in the Swedish mystery series called The Preacher. It kept me engaged throughout.

You can find a link to a very short clear video about what ingredients are really bad in personal care products here. I admire and support what the Environmental Working Group is doing.

And then here is a great article about natural soothing remedies for the cold/flu deal going around.

My vet is going to come over to the house next week and teach me how to give Sammy sub-q fluids. More Wow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today was all about this ever so handsome guy. My old man Sam. For a guy who was homeless for three years 16 or 17 is a good long life. He is starting to show signs of age, with kidney disease and arthritis. Today at the vet we did labs so we can determine how far along his kidney disease has progressed so we can decide what can help with the arthritis.

We took a cab to the vet and back and it was very reasonable. The drivers were both very nice cheerful folks.

But Sam got a little fed up with the tests and the sub q fluids and worked himself into a bit of a frenzy that was bad enough they had to give him oxygen. Wow. Kitty oxygen.

We are both resting comfortably at home now. What a ride it has been with him these last 12 years.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wind, we have wind. Never thought I'd be so glad but it has blown most of the gunk out of the air and we had a lovely cold day. Still some ice and frost on the ground though.

That and the holiday made it an at home day with the cats. Watched the 4th episode of The Weight of the Nation, the HBO series on obesity that we get 50 points for viewing for our Health Plan discount at work. The question we are required to answer is what is the percentage increase in the number of folks that drive to work in America since 1960? It is very well done, the documentary. As I am very much interested in food policy I might watch the whole thing.

My link today is to audio versions of some of the practices in Yoga for Emotional Balance. It is so cool that they offer these as part of the book.

Once it gets above freezing tomorrow it should stay up there for a week! Yippee. Freedom to move easily around the cabin will be restored.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

We had sun up here today but many side streets remain icy because of the 100% humidity and no wind.

Even in terms of my vacation so far I have been remarkably lazy today.

I watched a wonderful and sometimes difficult documentary from six years ago on American Masters about the choreographer Bill T. Jones and his piece on Lincoln. I've seen Jones dance a number of times and have often had mixed feelings about his insistence on picking subjects that are huge and complicated and often sad. But still it was a fascinating look at him and his work.

Last night I finished reading The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg (in translation). Today I am listening to the section on Autism in Far From the Tree in audio book format.

My first link today is about a place one can go in the U.S. in winter to see Great Gray Owls. Wow.

I made it out to the grocery and practiced some yoga but that is it.

The weekends are often what I call "The Isolation Chamber" for me as a person on her own. Yesterday with the family was an exception to that rule and sustains me through the quiet today. I renewed my membership at the art museum and made it a dual membership so I can take Most Honorable to the Bike exhibit this summer for free.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

No link today. I took this at 11am down in Salem in front of Kes and Most Honorable's place. We are having serious air quality issues in the valley and it was like this all day down there.

I did see a fabulous Townsend's Warbler and my first ever Brown Creeper while I was there. Very exciting. And lots and lots of Red tail Hawks along the way in the frosty trees ringing the farmlands and the highway.

It was a fun day playing with the Most Adorable kittens and just hanging out even if one's mucus membranes were all inflamed by the particulate matter in the air.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I was back in the old neighborhood today and the sun was out and at that very minute it was above freezing. This is the house I thought Sammy lived in when I first met him. He would sit on that porch and come out to greet me when I walked by.

The neighbors told me I was the only person that he ever did that to, the sneaky guy even let me pick him up. Ha! He used to live across the street but his owner moved away and left him there. Sammy picked the nice house on the sunny side of the street to pretend was his so the rake could seduce me into taking him home.

Not sure how his orange tabby coat would go with the new mustard paint job.

Now almost 12 years later he sleeps on his polar tech blanket with the heated cat bed underneath during the day and with me at night. This morning he nipped my nose because he wanted me to get up.

Slacker vacation chick that I am.

The whole reason my oldest sister had a brand new midrange Kindle with the new lighting system built in delivered to her as a gift this week was because she wanted to read this book by her friend who died a few weeks ago. The book is called Knowing Bodies. Such a sad reason to get the Kindle but if it helps make her feel closer to this important friend then it was worth it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I took this today on my way through the PSU campus on foot to go to the library and Office Depot to pick up some new ink cartridges for my printer. It is amazing how few things one prints out these days but I still find I need to print out train ticket confirmations with the bar code to scan at the station and forms with my name and contact information so I can draw yoga practices developed with private clients.

Olga my teacher is working on an app where you can drag and drop line drawings of poses into a sequence but in the meantime we draw the full practices out.

I found the picture hopeful, not the least of which is the transformation after a day where the heavy miasmic fog didn't clear all day to this stunningly beautiful blue sky but also the tree is completely bare (other than the moss) and the next stop on the way is leaf bud. We'll start seeing early signs of spring in about four weeks here, the crocus and daffodil shoots forcing their way through the hard packed ground...

Even though I am on vacation I find I am having trouble completely relaxing. I am habituated to being reactive based on my work life. And even a week out I am still so very tired. Tomorrow I am having a massage as a reward for making the December Monthly Challenge on 750 Words. I was amused yesterday to see that some folks were posting screen shots of their daily Stats on Tumblr.

I would have done that when I was younger if I'd had the capability. Sometimes one is relieved to be a grown up.

Our oldest sister was able to get her brand new first ever e-reader operational today. We are all thrilled as she is a voracious reader and we have not been allowed to buy books for her for years because of the space they take up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We had this heavy stagnant air today. I am not sure what the deal is with this tree. It can't really be painted because I mean who would do that? It has to be some sort of biological phenomena.

I picked up my state of the art transitional progressive lensed glasses this afternoon and I am in love. Scenes like the one with this tree just pop out so crisp and clear. Lovely.

I was walking to the store after picking them up going I am so lucky. I am so so lucky. I work. I live in a country where I (mostly) feel safe. No one is infiltrating my house or my town to hide from the armies of democratically elected governments who are trying to ferret said infiltrators out after they stole some of the arms that were cached all over Libya so that they can institute a form of Islamic law that takes all my rights away and turns me into a form of chattel.

Oh gosh. I expressed an opinion.

I bought an electronic version of this book Yoga for Emotional Balance today. I read the sample first. It will make a good recommendation for when I am teaching private sessions.

Anybody clean the ice with the Google Doodle Zamboni machine? I love ice rinks and have always thought the Zamboni breaks were kind of Zen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Birding out on Sauvie Island last February. Quintessential shot. Too cold to go out for very long right now.

So now Lance is going to admit to doping publicly and make it everybody else's fault? I guess it is too much to have him just fade away? Live an ordinary sort of life?

Last weekend I was talking to a woman who was setting up a display table of Stinger products at Whole Foods about the fact that Lance's picture is still on the packaging for their energy products. She said the company was just waiting to see. If he admitted doping she said they might keep his picture on them. She said that serious bike folks knew how good their product was and they weren't too worried.

I think going on Oprah to admit guilt is pretty disgusting. But of course I could be wrong, the interview hasn't aired yet.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Much to everyone's surprise the snow started to stick a bit mid afternoon. We weren't even expecting precipitation today. And now it is about to become treacherously icy as the temperature drops below freezing.

We canceled Women's Circle and I am glad because no one will take unnecessary risks but sad because I was hoping for some friendly human interaction that does not involve commerce.

I did go to the dentist (and the grocery). I need a new crown in a new place. In the end it will make a couple of things better but just having spent a chunk of change on mod new progressive transitional lens, I now need to spend a comparable amount here and then there are the vet bills for Sammy's kidney disease...

Oh well, no sign of cataracts or macular degeneration or periodontal disease. I am quite healthy and this is a very good thing. Healthy and on vacation!

This is a fun short audio essay on the origins of The Whole Nine Yards.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Quiet cold day.

I did manage to make it to the gym again. They've moved the basketball court so one doesn't hear the squeaking shoes and the grunts and yells and taunts anymore but this one grotty guy on the elliptical was making noises listening to some game on his headphones that made me feel right at home.

Both the cats will need further medication but Sammy had a much better day today...

If someone were to watch Downton Abbey online, this would be the place to go.

Ah the hazards of being on vacation...losing track of time. I picked this picture yesterday but got distracted by Sammy's not feeling well and watching dark Season 3 of Justified and finding a murder mystery to read and picking out the "right" Kindle for my older sister and listening to an interview with New York Times reporter Adam Nossiter. He is in Mali now and reporting from there.

This morning I am trying to find a creative way to get down to the poetry reading without crossing a potentially icy street with no traffic light. The one bus that would do it does not run on the weekend. I walked through the dark curvy tunnel that goes under Naito Parkway the other day and it had about a half an inch of water on the floor. I could risk crossing the Parkway with my new flasher, with my pointed walking stick and my studded shoe covers but I think I'll stay home and watch episode 2 of Downton Abbey instead.

I will miss seeing the folks I know but the whole point of being on vacation is not fretting.

Friday, January 11, 2013

We had some clearing today but was even better was that it was dry all day. I was able to sweep under the seed feeders, something I haven't been able to do for over a week. The cheerful finches spill millet everywhere.

This is a language link about the OED word of the year "omnishambles". Where I work seems a bit like an omnishambles at times. But! I don't have to think about it for two weeks as I am on vacation. Oh boy. There was much dancing around the place in anticipation today.

I am tired unfortunately but this too will pass.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Woke up way too early fretting about getting this big thing done at work and encouragement from the cats for a beforetime breakfast. Got it done! Just one day away from vacation.

I had to be a prison guard and keep the confused cats locked in the bedroom for the better part of the day because the whole hall and all the doorways were repainted today. They insisted on needing my front door to be open for hours. There was much agitation about this all through the day. But it is done and the cats are free now.

Poor Sammy is scratching again just four days after going off the steroids. Stella is still doing well though, her belly fur is growing back.

Hair cut this afternoon. Cold out there but it felt great to be out and about and moving.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Crazy crazy day at work. Wow. Then to the eye doctor where Kes helped me pick out some mod two tone frames. Haven't had new glasses in 3 years so it is time. I went for transitional progressives. This will be interesting.

So because I am just plain tired and listening to the piece Wagner wrote as a birthday present for his wife I am borrowing my link again from Fresh Air's Tumbler. The characters from Downton Abbey drawn up as house pets. Not hard to guess who this is.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Today when I was teaching yoga my students all turned themselves towards the floor to ceiling windows and as I was looking out over them all I could see were bare winter trees just like these.

I received an email from my power company last week that announced that the price of my renewable power is going down by about 30%. A few years ago I went to the 100% renewable option because I felt I could afford it. But still I am thrilled to see the price of wind power come down so more ordinary people can choose the option. (I do fret about the birds and the turbines but I know folks are working on that too.)

Today I walked the mile to the vet and back to exchange the one brand of hypoallergenic food for another. Fingers crossed Stella will eat this brand. We made it through two weeks of steroid treatments and Sammy is bigger (he has to have gained at least a pound) and much calmer. Stella is just a happy cat. I decided I am too depleted to be lugging 16 lb. of cat food around in the future.

Three more work days until my vacation. Oh boy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I took this not for the gray on gray but for the oh so subtle winter morning light.

Good thing I didn't have any meetings today. I was exhausted all day. I admit to a modest infusion of caffeine and chocolate after spending 45 minutes on the phone with Credo Mobile customer service doing a master reset on my newish beloved smartphone because it wasn't allowing anyone that called to hear me. I've been having this problem periodically since I got the thing. They are very nice at Credo and you don't have to wait. The annoying thing was I had to save all my contacts to Google before we did the reset.

I've signed petitions from Credo Action in the last few days on banning large assault rifle magazines and to fix the filibuster rules so things can get done in Congress.

I am not crazy about being locked exclusively into the Planet Google platform but I need a working phone... Oh well, now I have a back-up on the cloud.

It took me over an hour and some concerted effort to draw my hamstrings and calves class for tomorrow. I wanted to do it in the Viniyoga way of contracting-relaxing and then stretching as opposed to just starting out stretching as is often the case in leg focused practices. I need to stick a balance in there too. I know just where.

Running through the class on my own felt good though.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nothing but rain in the forecast. It is a long hall til spring.

Finished the classroom work for teacher training today. Have some practices to develop and a few essays to write and some private sessions with my teacher but the long 20 hour weekend intensives are over!

At least Sammy is feeling better. And I am through the two week course of steroids both cats have been on for their allergies. So maybe things will be a bit calmer around here. Only 5 days until my vacation!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Remember the Stone Angels in Doctor Who? If you blink they move closer until they eventually devour you.

Since I have been treating both cats for allergies with their specially formulated steroid laced chicken treats they have been doing the stone angel thing. Each time I blink they move closer to their food dishes. It is pretty funny. At least they are quiet.

Sammy is better today, clearly more comfortable. These good days are important.

Today's link is about how when it comes to fitness little things matter and will help keep me motivated to do something aerobic in the dark days ahead. Yoga is great but it is not enough to keep the heart healthy and the brain agile. The ancient yogis didn't have cars and computers and smart phones. One has to be realistic about this.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I have a collection of pictures of funky old garages here in Oregon and some in Washington. This one is over by the yoga studio. I took this shot last May. I am most interested in the working of time on things.

When I walked by late this afternoon it was gone.

I was past the absence before I noticed it and went by. Gone.

Just one board left on the ground and a muddy patch in the grass.

Sammy has had a really rough day. Dr. Anderson called to follow up on Stella and she says this is a sign of the kidney disease we knew was brewing in him. She recommended a very small dose of the human antacid Pepcid. I managed to get some during my dinner break at teacher training and he took it in a pill pocket. I hope it helps. Poor guy. Right his moment he is yowling at me in his nightly mighty hunter ritual with the old catnip toy I hide in a shopping bag full of tissue paper for him before I go to bed.

No link today. I am too tired.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

After a beautiful but brrr cold morning the clouds moved in. This is a tree in a patio well across the street where the beautiful architecturally designed and built condos are. It is a smallish building. I think maybe 8 condos, all different sizes all unique built into a hill. The same hill my place is built into.

I listened to a "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast on subterranean cities last night. I like the idea that Portland and Seattle were mixed in there with Paris.

My link today is of Leslie Kaminoff talking about his teachers. Leslie wrote the Yoga Anatomy book I am using and his teachers in India were the same as Gary Kraftsow's. I found this yesterday when I was doing research for my graduation class.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I actually kind of like the wires in from of this view of Mt. Hood I took this last weekend.

Pretty quiet day. Work, taught class, dinner and provisioning with Kes and Most Honorable. Lazy evening with the cats preparing for my big end of term yoga teacher training weekend. We are having four individuals come in and four of us, not me, are conducting private session intake interviews while we watch. Then I teach. With a bunch of stuff that hasn't been covered yet stuck in there somewhere.

My link today is a Buddhist teaching by Reginald Ray.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We had another gorgeous clear cold dry day. Wow! This is the Willamette from the west side facing south.

I drew out my New Year New Neck class for tomorrow. I am very excited as I am going to have a new student. I also drew out my graduation class for Sunday afternoon. I keep tinkering with my "elevator speech" to make it into something I actually say when someone asks what kind of yoga I teach.

My link today is another one about homemade cat food. Getting them to eat mostly raw food is a challenge Kes says Dr. Anderson mentioned.

I've been catching up on Performance Today too. Fred never fails to cheer me up.