Wednesday, August 31, 2011

random thoughts

I just finished reading a post on about touch/massage.  It was interesting, about how humans crave touch.  I often shrink away from being touched, and I remember as the parent of young children feeling completely overwhelmed by the constant physical contact with another.  I once had a student with sensory issues, and that student was tactile defensive.  When I did a little research so I could better meet the student's needs, it was like reading about myself.  And I find it interesting that while I often prefer to not be touched, I do go for regular massage, and I find petting my critters very soothing.  When I'm stressed, I can almost feel my blood pressure decreasing when I pet either the cats or the wonderdog.  And massage instantly reduces stress.  So I guess what I'm coming to is that touch is important, but the kind of touch is also important.  Effleurage type of touch makes me want to punch the toucher.  That is not exactly the point!

I'm feeling a little scattered this morning.  So forgive me as I jump to the next randon thought occupying my brain :)

I went to the ND the other day.  And through discussion, we decided together that I need to eliminate carbs from my diet.  Excepting vegetables, fruit, and legumes.  I can indulge in quinoa or brown rice from time to time.  But nothing milled or processed.  The wrong carbs are creating all kinds of unsavory responses in my body.  They just don`t really work for my body chemistry.  All of the yoga, running, supplements, etc in the world aren`t going to change that.  And even though in my allergy tests, glutinous grains weren`t highly reactive, they are likely the culprit for some of the things I find to be going on.  I did have a minor reaction to them, but compared to the others they were minute.  However, since I really don`t like some of the effects, I am going to give this new elimination a go.  I can`t say I`m thrilled, but I will hopefully be thrilled with the results.  *sigh*  She also prescribed chromium to me to help with the sugar cravings that my stressful life are causing.  And through a little of my own research, I realize that coffee likely has to go too.  Now that almost makes me cry!  I LOVE coffee.  I guess like a heroin addict loves heroin.  I know I`ve been drinking way too much over the summer (the darned coffee pot is right there!).  I`m supposed to be drinking green tea, at least 4 cups a day, so maybe that will be a nice substitute?  I highly freakin' doubt it, but I guess it's worth a try.  Getting and staying healthy is a full-time job!  So those who read this blog that live in the same house, and those who work with me--beware.  I will be a grumpy, headachy, gassy mess for a while.  At least until my body detoxes from the caffeine, and gets used to eating a whole lot of legumes.  I bet you are all really looking forward to that!

And on to the next topic...

My oldest chicky is getting ready to go to university.  And the stress level is rising.  Her body is out of whack from working midnights for a huge chunk of the summer, and with the stress the poor child is sleeping alot.  She's not enjoying her last week at home.  She finished at her job, and was hoping to have some fun this week.  The b****h of it all is that there's nothing I can do to lessen the anxiety.  I am encouraging B vitamins, GABA and Rescue Remedy, and being positive about how wonderful it will be, but that's really all I can do.  It doesn't help that this is a jam-packed week and I'm running around like a madwoman.  It's kind of difficult for anyone to relax in the circumstances.  Her aunt and grandma have showered her with some lovely gifts to make her room homey at school, and her uncle has asked if she's ok.  She's a lucky girl to have so many people who care so deeply about her.  And those are just representative of the whole family, because I know her grandpa and other aunt and other uncle care just as much.  We are all lucky to have a close family.  The collective children (all of the cousins) in this family are blessed, they have a caring, loving extended family that dotes on them all.

And that brings me to my littlest nephew.  It is his birthday today.  He is a whole year old!  Already!  Happy birthday River, we all love you to pieces!  I saw him yesterday, what a ham.  He's absolutely adorable, just like his boy cousins and brother and his only girl cousin.  We are a lucky bunch!

And that my friends is the end of today's ramble and glimpse into the randomness of my brain.  I could go on, but this is plenty for one day.  Oh, yeah, one more thing.  I still haven't heard from Sarah about yoga, so I've signed on for Tuesday evening yoga in Flesherton with a different teacher.  And I might still hit yoga in the barn on Thursdays.  I'm thinking of a project that would see me practicing for a small time everyday in between.  More on that later.

Namaste friends.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

back to school musings--again

I've been indulging in reading blogs this morning, since I've been up since an ungodly hour.  Soon I won't have time for blogging much.  I've been reading the blogs of mamas who are either celebrating or lamenting the beginning of the school year.  It's an interesting exercise, reading both sides of the equation.

Many mamas are struggling with sending their kids off to school, and there are many comments about desiring to homeschool.  These moms are heartsick about being away from their little one for the whole day, and often it's everyday.  I'm a teacher, but I understand that sentiment.  When you have spent day in and day out with this little person, and you treasure your discoveries and learning together, sheltered from the world, the thought of sending them out into that world is daunting.  And rightfully so.  The truth is that they are going to learn lessons from others (adult and child) that are undesirable to you.  But it does provide opportunities for discussion and learning.  Eventually we all have to go out into the world, and cope.  Having had the opportunity to teach your values and strategies for dealing with the world is priceless.

On the other hand are the mamas who are doing cartwheels and singing, "it's the most wonderful time of the world".  If you are not used to so much time with your kiddos, and it's been a long summer of "I'm bored."  and listening to sibling battles, then I guess you are ready for them to go back to school.  And I'm looking forward to spending my days with the ones that I'm lucky enough to have in my class.  I am concerned though, that children are getting the message that their parents don't want to be with them.  I do not judge, but caution that you let them know that yes, you are ready for them to go back because it's healthy for them, but also that you love them and will miss them.  I'm ready for my big kids to go back too, but I don't want them to think I want to get rid of them.  I think we adults forget how fragile kids can be, and I know I don't want hurt feelings about school to be a defining moment or memory for them.

And I'll admit I've been kind of whining about not wanting to go back to school yet (maybe really whining?).  It's not the kids I'm not looking forward to, it's the busy-ness of life that I'm not looking forward to, and the constant need to be "on".  It's what kids deserve.  My students deserve the best of me.  It's what I strive to give them every day.  But it takes enormous energy, and my own family sometimes suffers for it.  At the end of the day, I'm depleted.  I still have work to do for school that I take home, but I have my own kids sports, activities and things to get to, as well as helping with homework, signing papers and trying to fit in a little laundry, supper and getting ready for the next day.  I most days, collapse into bed exhausted, and feeling guilty about not having enough patience and energy for my own family.  And then all too soon it's time to do it over again.

I'm not asking for pity, only understanding.  Understand that when I'm doing the very best I can by a child, and the parents come in guns a blazin', or send a snarky note, it is difficult.  It sucks away my energy.  Understand that I too have a family, and I'm trying to give everyone the best of me.  And I love doing it, but I'm not perfect.  I am human and I am fallible.  

I love my job.  I don't have a doubt in the world that this is what was intended for me.  Education is a calling.  And I have been called.  But I still wish summer was just a little longer, that there were more long weekends, and our holidays were more often.  Not because I'm lazy, but because it would give me more time to recharge myself.  And I would be able to be better for everyone.  

I realize that probably those that read my blog are not the audience that needs to hear what I'm about to say next.  I'm not trying to be political.  I'm just putting it out there.  Really I'm writing it for me, because I need to say it somewhere.  So here goes:  Please don't badmouth teachers in front of your kids.  Your kids need to be able to demonstrate respect to the adults at school, and feeling that their parents will back disrespect is only going to make it more difficult for them.  Please don't tell teachers (or anyone else for that matter) that what we do isn't real work.  It is.  Just demonstrating patience all day long is work.  We only have students from about 9-3:30, but I don't know a single teacher who doesn't do hours of work before and after school.  Don't assume because we aren't at school that we aren't doing work.  If we stayed at work until it was all done, we would never see our families, we bring it home with us.  Recognize that our summers are often filled with courses and workshops.  How many other professions spend their holidays taking courses to improve their practice?  For that matter, how many jobs have situations in which you can't use the washroom when you need to?  I can't walk away from a room full of kids just because I have to pee.  No matter how badly.  Please be respectful of our breaks.  We get one "uninterrupted" 40 minute lunch (it's in quotation marks, because invariably it is interrupted several times by students who need us, just like when they need their parents at home).  By the time students are settled, 10 minutes are eaten away.  When we are stopped in the hallway for a "quick question" we often miss our opportunity to eat and use the washroom.  I want to have that conversation, but we need to set up a time.  I appear rude, and you could be offended if I can't talk on the spur of the moment.  I need to eat, I can't be an effective and cheery teacher if my stomach is growling and my blood sugar is bottomed out.  Realize that I want to work with you.  You know your child best, I know educational methods and the curriculum, it is best for your child if we work together.  We won't always agree, but I know you want what you feel is best for your child.  So do I, even if it is totally different from your idea.  If we work together, we will come up with the best plan for your child.

Okay, I'm done.  Thank you for the opportunity to put it out there.  I hope if it didn't interest you that you skipped over it.  That's fine with me.  Now I can face the school community and not say it when it would be better left unsaid.  You know that human fallibility thing??  It could get me into real trouble some day!

Those are my back to school musings for today.  As the day approaches there will be more.  And the few days before my oldest chick goes to university?  Oh my.

It's now light enough to go for my run.  Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I have been pondering the differing levels of resiliency in humans over the past couple of days.  What exactly is it that makes some people resilient, taking their problems, issues, traumas into stride, dealing with them and moving on?  What makes some people cast themselves repeatedly in the victim role, wallowing in similar traumas and life events?  Why do some people develop post-traumatic stress syndrome, while others having experienced the same things are able to move on?  Why?  What character traits allow this resiliency?  Some people develop very serious addiction issues when faced with trauma as children, others go on to be fabulously successful, great at everything they do.  This fascinates me.  I have a difficult time with the ones who cast themselves as victims.  I know that's judgemental of me, and I don't mean to offend anyone.  And I realize that probably a result of my upbringing.  I differ from the ideas of the previous generation in that I strongly advocate for getting counselling and dealing with your problems.  I do not advocate the "sweep it under the carpet and don't ever speak of it" school of thought.  Having said that, I must emphasize--counselling from a qualified professional, not yammering the ear off of anyone/everyone that will listen.  That is not the same thing.

And also I question--why are some events that have the potential to be traumatic relatively small to some, and yet monumental to others?  How can we even begin to compare what is truly a tragedy with some things that in perspective, are just minor annoyances?  It would seem to me that  the resilient don't make trivial events huge, but the self-pitying ones make every small thing a mountain.  Again this is merely my own observation, and not intended to insult or to hurt feelings.  I am not directing this post at anyone in particular, just reflecting because of some conversations/events of the past year.  

In my own life, I have been resilient.  I have dealt with a cancer diagnosis while parenting very young children.  I dealt with it and moved on.  I have dealt with infant loss, and moved on.  Both were extremely painful and stressful.  And I still have moments that I feel it was unfair, I didn't ask for it, I didn't deserve to go through those things.  But my guess is that even those that know me personally may not have known that those life-altering events had happened in my life.  I haven't swept them under the rug, but I have dealt with them as best I can, and I don't feel the need to dwell on them or burden others with them.  I only share with those close to me.  (and I guess now it's in the world, open to anyone who cares to read my blog...but sometimes it's easier to tell those you don't know than those who are close...anyway, it's out there now)

At the same time, I have never moved on from other painful events and feelings in my life.  Nothing of that magnitude.  But painful nonetheless.  And because I can't get past them, I do have some problems and if I'm brutally honest, an addiction that I have used to dull the pain.  No, I'm not secretly smoking crystal meth or drinking huge quantities of Jack Daniels behind closed doors.  My addiction is to food, specifically sweet foods.  There is a chemical reason for it--sugar boosts serotonin production in the brain, the feel good hormone.  Knowing that and being able to act on it are 2 very different things.  I know with my head that I should take my own advice and get counselling, but I don't feel ready to bring all of the pain to the surface.  And I'm not brave enough to confront those who have caused me the pain.  

But I do have an appointment with my ND today, and I'm going to talk to her about adding in a supplement that will help to blunt the sugar cravings that my body has, because it needs more serotonin.  And about some other hormone type stuff that isn't quite right.  And on the plus side, I benefit greatly from the endorphins that are released by running, and the other feel good hormones that yoga causes to be created and available to my brain.  Yay, running and yoga!  I actually just read that yoga increases GABA production in the body.  Yep, the same GABA that is an essential amino acid and neurotransmitter that helps to decrease anxiety and helps me to sleep.  The one that I should be getting a commission for recommending to anyone who will listen! 

This is a rather deep post compared to my usual more banal, attempts at humour.  It's not meant to be a complete downer to people reading it, but my working through some stuff in my mind.  As I've said before, inside my mind can be a scary place.

To all those who are dealing with traumas, of either past or present, my thoughts are with you.  I wish everyone the resiliency to deal with what life hands them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

back to school shopping....wish me luck

Since today is a no-work day for Rick, we are taking the dynamic teenage boy duo back to school shopping.  God help us.  As good are my intentions, these days typically end badly.  We spend way more $$ than we should/want on ridiculously priced trendy clothes and shoes, we argue over the practicality of "those" shoes, and overall I am deemed a mean, cheap, old hag.  Doesn't it just sound like soooooo much fun!? 

I am setting my intention for the day--calm.  Nice deep breaths, count to 10 (or 100 if that's what it takes) before speaking, and let them deal with the consequences of their choices.  Breath in, breath out.  Again.

I've taken my handful of supplements.  Including the adrenal support that is recommended for stress.  I have my super strength homeopathic remedy for stress in my purse, as well as my handy-dandy spray bottle of Rescue Remedy.  I had a big breakfast, so blood sugar lows shouldn't be a problem.  More breathing.

Did I mention I'm not getting in enough yoga?  I NEED to get to a regular class, and get in regular home practice.  My class I will have this year enjoyed classroom yoga when they were in grade 2, so we will be doing regular yoga for DPA.  Yoga should help with some of the running stiffness I've been experiencing.  And my still tight shoulder from the unfortunate waterslide incident (never go on a waterslide if you are over 40 and not a fan of rides....not good).  Tight hips from running.  But no IT band trouble, so the stretching/asana I'm doing right after a run is helping.  

I have a feeling that this evening would be a good evening for a long, slow practice.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

late August ponderings

It is getting to be very late in August.  Which leaves me wishing that summer could just go on a little longer.  And on the other hand, knowing that the restless, grumpy, out of sorts feeling that seems to be with me all day, every day will disappear once school starts again.  The anticipation kills me every year.  As I've said before, I love my job, but it means the beginning of the rat race again.  If I can't fit it all in now, how on earth do I when I'm teaching?  But it all works out in the end.

I mentioned in a post last week that I wanted to make a lavender eye pillow to help to deepen savasana.  Lo and behold, my friend and colleague Leone has lavender in her garden, and when I went to school on Monday to set up my room she brought me a lovely bunch.  It's hanging to dry in my classroom, and I have to say it lent a lovely smell to that corner of the room!  Once it's dry I will be making an eye pillow for myself, and of course I will be making one for Leone too.  Thank you Leone for once again sharing the bounty of your garden!  (Leone is my source for delicious rhubarb too!)  I planted 2 rhubarb plants by the fence this year, and I will be planting some lavender too, in the spring.  But in the meantime it's lovely to have a friend that shares.

We have been having quite the monarch adventures chez Bolyea.  Allistair Cookie (the kitty) is finding the caterpillars so intriguing.  And keeps knocking them over.  Over, and over, and over again.  And I keep cleaning up the water, the wilting milkweed and the frass (which is just a cool word for caterpillar poop!)  Believe me, there's an abundance of frass!  Yesterday when I got up one of the caterpillars was hanging in a `J` which is the first indication that it is ready to pupate.  I checked on it repeatedly yesterday, and when I got up this morning it had formed its beautiful chrysalis!  So exciting!  (remember, I am a teacher, and easily amused)  So soon we will have an adult monarch to release for its journey to Mexico.  I decided to hold off on collecting anymore eggs, larvae or anything monarch until just before school begins again, Allistair is just too curious.

On a more serious note, yesterday and into the evening our part of the world was under a tornado watch, which was upgraded to a warning around 7:15.  We kept an eye on the weather and headed to the basement for about 1/2 an hour, dog and cats in tow.  I felt guilty for leaving the caged critters upstairs, but really we could have been blown to Oz by the time we got the whole zoo to the safe basement.  We woke Jess up (she's on midnights) to come down with us.  I have never taken the kids to the basement before.  But the sky was green and the rain was blowing completely sideways.  I really didn't know if we would be safe or not.  The dog was very antsy, and pacing before we headed downstairs, and if you're smart you follow your dog's instincts (including whether or not people can be trusted, but that's another story).  She calmed down once we were all safe downstairs.  Is that not an indication that the basement was the right place to be???  Our neighbourhood didn't sustain any damage, and we didn't even lose hydro.  I don't know about the rest of the area yet, there was a reported touchdown in the neighbouring town.  I pray that there was no loss of life or serious damage.

On a much happier note, I put a deposit on a cruise for our family for Christmas!  I am so excited I'm beside myself!  This is the first trip we've ever taken together.  It's only been 20 years.  We either haven't had the money or the time off together.  I'm trying very hard not to think of the eco impact, and heartened that we will be driving to Baltimore for departure which at least helps a bit (no airplane impact).  Realistically this may be our only family trip ever, my kids are growing up very quickly.  We need to do this now!  And we are.  We will be spending Christmas on the ship.  Merry Christmas to us!  Of course the obsessive worrying about our pets, who will care for them, etc has already started.  But I'm sure it will all work out. 

I have decided that I need to start putting pictures on this blog.  It's very vanilla.  I read all of these other blogs (which I'm sad I won't have time for in another couple of weeks), and the photos that are uploaded really make difference.  Of course that means getting better at taking pictures.  Or getting my kids to take pictures for me.  Hello--Jess?!  So I will work on figuring it out.  In the meantime, I will be maybe add some internet freebie images.

Spike Lavandula latifolia

Lavender before

The after (or something that will resemble this!)

(lavender images taken from

Have a wonderful late August day everyone :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

IT band woes

Rick has developed some acute IT band troubles.  The IT band is a thick band of fascia that runs along the outside of the thigh, right from the hip to the knee.  And it is often the reason runners have trouble with the hips or the knees.  He is having alot of knee pain.  I feel so bad for him.  He had a great run yesterday, quite a good pace, but has been hobbling ever since.  He even iced his knee in the car on the way to Blue Rodeo yesterday (which by the way was awesome, more later).  There were 2 chiropractors who did a talk after our run clinic yesterday, and they had some injury tips.  But I think the biggest thing is he needs to go for some treatment to help it heal, and so it doesn't really screw up his knee.  He has been pushing through the pain for a couple of weeks, and now he's paying for it.   I have been saying for awhile that he should do some hip opening yoga, and poses/stretches that work the IT band.  I hope he rests it, and works on those stretches.  I also want to call Village Chiro in Orangeville and get them to help him with it.  It's a bummer with only a couple of weeks until the race, but even if he rests if for a couple of weeks, he should still be able to do the race.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

I had a great run yesterday, a little stiff this morning.  I didn't stretch quite enough, and I ran faster than I've ever done a 5.5k.  Which is still not fast, but I'm getting there.  Norm (run leader) told me I definitely won't finish last  in the race.  And that's all that I care about.  Humiliation can be a powerful motivator!  The race course doesn't have as many hills as we did yesterday, so I should be able to run it faster.  I hope.  But more important to me to finish the race, run well and not injure myself. 

Last night we went to see Blue Rodeo, who are FANTASTIC live!  I so enjoyed it.  I would definitely fork out the bucks to sit closer to the stage next time, even though our seats were ok, I would like to have been closer.  And Rick wants to see them again.  A smaller venue would be great.  The opening band was Steve Earle and the Dukes and Duchesses.  His sound sucked.  I couldn't understand a word he sang or said.  And I was really distracted but the twits walking around, talking, and generally being rude.  But his guitarist Chris Masterson was amazing!  I checked him out with Google and he has an indie album he released a few years ago, I might have to track it down.  He was the best part of the opening act, hands down.  So  Blue Rodeo and Chris Masterson?  Worth the price of admission. 

I was amazed during the concert at the dimwits who got up, walked in front the entire row of people multiple times to go for a smoke, or go get beer.  There were a couple of young guys in front of us who people must have wanted to slap (besides cranky pants me).  I'm not sure why they were there, it wasn't for the band.  And it's a very expensive place to go if you just want to drink beer.  And the lady who kept standing up dancing and blocking everyone's view?  Lady, you are a horrible dancer.  Maybe I'm super conscious of obstructing the view of those behind us.  If us tall drinks of water stand up, no one behind us is going to be able to see.  And they paid just as much as I did to see the show.  Not surprisingly, the lady dancing in front of others?!  Multiple trips to buy beer.  At least security told her to sit her butt down.  And really, if you want to dance, just move over to the aisle where you`re not interfering with the enjoyment of others.  Same to the very young couple slow dancing and making out in the middle of the row.  I did enjoy watching the security lady looking like she'd like to whack them up the side of the head with a big stick.  That was priceless!

I know, I know, I have turned into a middle aged old bag.  But I was pretty much the of the same opinions when I was young too.  Just younger.  Not very yoga of me.  Ahimsa--do no harm.  I didn't actually harm anyone, just thought about slapping them.  Guess it`s kind of the same thing?

Nice quiet, easy day today.  No running, Rick needs to keep his knee up.  I might take Chase the wonderdog for a long walk, maybe look for some more monarch caterpillars.  Of course, protecting them from my cat, Allistair Cookie is a challenge.  Maybe some easy yoga--craving some sun salutations and downward facing dogs.  And of course, in keeping with my pursuit of happiness, some tidying.  This place is a mess!

Happy Sunday my friends.

Friday, August 19, 2011

new yoga class

Last night I went to yoga in the barn.  It was a lovely setting, literally in the barn, with the evening sunlight peeking through the gaps in the boards, the sounds of the birds and critters outside.  Beautiful.  It was a very gentle hatha class, and was very easy.  Which is probably a good thing after not nearly enough practice over the summer.  It was very different, not a downward dog or sun salutation in sight.  We each chose an intention on a slip of paper out of a little bag, mine was "understanding" which was fitting.  It was kind of weird not setting my own intention.  And way weird being treated as an absolute beginner.  Only at first, once we started, and it was apparent I had done this many times before Lucy relaxed a little with me.  And used me as an example of how you should look during hero pose (my least favourite pose!).  I think she was surprised by my automatic ujayi breathing, and flexibility.  Sarah my sweet, you have trained me well :)

While I enjoyed it and will definitely go back, I also need to find a more challenging class too.  I know hatha is likely not as intense as I need after vinyasa.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was just not a challenging.  And I'm used to being challenged.  And I need to get myself a lavender eye pillow for savasana.  I loved that, it helped me to deepen my savasana.  I think I can make some, I just need to get some lavendar.  Wouldn't that be a wonderful gift?  Delightful.  But back to needing a challenging.  I am crossing my fingers that Sarah will offer a session again in Shelburne.  Change is good, but I am craving a Sarah class.  Craving.  If she doesn't, I may need to head to Buddha Rider to check that out.  Maybe I'll check out a class on the weekend anyway.

Although it was more relaxed and not as challenging as I'm used to, it has done wonders.  Sore shoulder/collarbone (from the scary waterslide incident, lol) much looser, the nice twists are helping my body eliminate toxins, and I slept like a baby.  Which is lucky for my nightowl children.  Their life was in peril.  I need to pick up some of my supplements that I'm out of, and I'll be like a new woman.

Biggest compliment yesterday?  A girl who used to babysit for me when my kids were small (Seamus was only a toddler), and who told me about this yoga class, said to me that I'm in really great shape.  She was kind enough to leave "for your age" unsaid.  But it did me a world of good to hear that to others, whom I don't see very often, that I am in great shape.  Especially for my age.  As many of us know, it does take more work the older we get.  And although I tell myself it's because I want to be healthy, the reality is that it's about outward appearance too.  I don't want to be an old, saggy, out of shape lady.  And I think anyone who knows me, knows that I want to be thin.  Being fat is not something I want.  It's actually a bit of an obsession (I know, really???  Who would have guessed?!).  And because I`m my own biggest critic, it is nice to hear from young'uns (that don't want something from me) that I'm doing pretty well.  I'm ashamed to be so affected by that, but there it is.  I'm honest.

So looking forward to my massage today, so overdue.  I can't wait!

Namaste friends.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

time to move on?

I have been perusing new yoga classes.  I'm going to try out a new one tonight.  This lady offers classes in her barn.  Which sounds awesome, but may be an allergic nightmare for me.  She sounds very nice on the phone, a friend told me about her, she's new to teaching.  So we'll see.  I've also found another class to try in September, by another local yogini.  Again, we'll see.  While both options are quite inexpensive, I would prefer to have class with Sarah.  But I'm not sure Sarah will be having a session in Shelburne, and I really don't want to drive more than 15 minutes for a class.  My life involves too much driving to activities for my kids, I don't want to undo all the good of yoga class by driving too far after a wonderful savasana.

I have to say, while I know I need to find some classes, I have some funny feelings about moving on.  I really like Sarah's gentle way, and considerable knowledge.  It's a trust thing.  It's difficult to build that trust with new people.  However, home practice is not working out how I would like (too many interruptions!), and I need yoga!!  These are both Hatha classes, which will likely be fairly slow compared to Vinyasa.  And that's ok, just a little different.  We'll see how it goes.

I went for a midday run today, it's my 2 minute interval day, so I took Chase the wonderdog along.  She had a great time at first, running and sniffing.  But it was kind of warm, and right before my last interval, she decided she was heading home.  Except that there's a busy road to cross to get to our street from the track.  So I ran after her, and she did wait on me before she got to the road, but she made it very clear she was done running, and we were heading home.  She's been vegging out all afternoon since.  Note to self--only take Chase when it's cool out so she doesn't get too hot and head home.  Poor girl.  I guess being all black and covered in fur really makes the heat intolerable!

On another note, I have a big surprise for Rick when he gets home from work!  Blue Rodeo is playing at the Molson Amphitheatre in TO, and I got us tickets as an early birthday gift!  So instead of hanging out at home watching a movie on Saturday evening, we will be at Ontario Place, singing along to Jim and the boys!  He's ALWAYS wanted to see Blue Rodeo, and I am scoring big time good wifey points by getting tickets.  I'd love to see them too, but he's a huge fan.  When we saw Jim Cuddy at the theatre in Orangeville a few years ago, Rick wanted to follow him to see where his Orangeville house is.  I persuaded him to let the man and his family have privacy, and avoid a stalking charge at the same time.  Some of the best concerts we've ever been to have been at the amphitheatre.  The Tragically Hip, James Taylor, and hopefully now Blue Rodeo.  I can't wait!

I am institituting an early bedtime for the kidlets tonight.  2 nights of disturbed sleep because my kids are night owls is enough.  We are all going to bed at a decent time, and no exceptions!  I'm hoping after a good yoga practice and savasana this evening I'll sleep like a proverbial baby.  If not, look out tomorrow!

Namaste  (and stay tuned for how the new class/instructor works out!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

summer is almost over

We've reached that time of summer, when it's waning, fall is approaching.  Rapidly.  It's the time of summer when I feel panicky, and think of all the things I intended to do before going back to school.  All of the undone projects, the messy corners that haven't been cleaned, the books that haven't been read.  Although to be fair on that last one, I've read ALOT of books, I just have a bunch more that I want to read.

I love teaching.  I love kids.  I just know that once summer is over and school begins my free time becomes almost negligible.  Life becomes a race, race to work, race to the kids sports, cram in laundry and housework (who am I kidding, not very much housework!), race to the next thing.  Weekends become a time of catching up the drudgery of life so that we can function with some efficiency during the week.  Dr appointments, dentist, ND, chiro, massage all become more difficult to fit in.  Running and working out become challenging to fit in.

It's so bittersweet.  I adore late summer, the beautiful days, the cooler nights, the bounty of the beginning harvest.  I am torn.  I look forward to school, yet reluctant at the same time.  Life becomes scheduled, which is good in some ways, and not good in other ways.  *sigh*

On another note:  when the heck did cupcakes become so fashionable?!  Cupcakes are no longer the homemade, slightly sloppy looking treats I made for my kidlets when they were little.  Cupcakes now look like something out of a Martha Stewart magazine.  Blogs about cupcakes!  TV shows about cupcakes!  Entire magazines devoted to cupcakes!  Does that not seem a little silly to anyone but me?  Cupcakes used to be a treat you could whip up quickly, when you didn't have time to make a cake because of the longer cooking time.  A treat just slightly more decadent than a muffin.  Not anymore.  I'm afraid to take cupcakes to anywhere someone else might see them, because my cupcakes are homemade, crooked, kind of messy little cakes.  And they're not decorated within an inch of their little sugary lives.

Ecoyogini blogged about body image and how women make themselves ill all in the name of making themselves thin(ner).  A serious topic that I think we need to delve into more deeply.  Just slightly more important than pretty cupcakes.  Certainly a topic that consistently plagues my life.  Thinking about taking a deeper look at how women (and some men) are affected by social "norms" and the body.  Just a little summer ending project?!

I need to get ready to go babysit my nephew, instead of rambling on anymore.  Wishing everyone who reads this a glorious, comfortable with themselves day....and even a cupcake, if that's what you're into.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I am my mother.

We went to my sister and brother-in-law's beautiful trailer for the weekend.  All 5 humans and Chase the wonderdog.  It was fabulous to spend time with my sister, her hubs and my fantastically cute nephew.  I worried about leaving my messy house, all of the critters (what if they ran out of food?!), I overpacked.  At my sister's I was a woman obsessed with tidying.  I washed dishes.  I probably drove them crazy, but I was just trying to help.  When you spend a weekend in close (yet fabulously beautiful) quarters, tidying up and doing dishes is really all you can do to help minimize the impact of having 2 adults and 3 teenagers in your space.  Plus one lovely, yet very hairy guest dog.  Chase is shedding.  Alot.  I did not want Brook or Ian to have to clean up after us, and regret inviting us for the weekend.  So I tried to pitch in.  And that's alot like our mother.

On the first day at the resort where they have their trailer, I was brave enough to go down the waterslides.  Now, I am not a ride kind of girl.  Motherhood took that urge right out of me.  But if my 3 year old nephew can do it, surely I can?!  So I went down once, it was fun and not too scary.  Tried another slide the next time.  Mistake.  I hurt my neck, the front of my shoulder and scraped my elbow.  And got a nose full of chlorinated water.  All while having my bathing suit crammed up my behind by friction.  Yeehaw.  Good times.  But I was a good sport, took some Advil and rubbed on some magic homeopathic cream.  And in a somewhat cruel fashion, had a belly-busting laugh at my husband's expense.  Uncle Rick was talked into trying the waterslide too, and it went about as well for him as it went for me.  When he got near the bottom (in our view), he had the most stricken, terrifed look on his face.  Poor man.  And his wife laughed her butt off at him.  

I still have a sore-ish neck and shoulder, but I keep rubbing the magic homeopathic cream on and it's much better!  Last night when I was getting ready to crawl into my own bed, I had the sharpest pain in the front of my shoulder, where I didn't realize I had a strain.  I kid you not, I rubbed Traumeel on it, and it's fine this morning.  I'm talking -couldn't even lift my left arm up to get my t-shirt off- last night, and this morning it's fine.  So really the whole reason for this post is to plug Traumeel homeopathic cream.  I carry to sports, I rub it on any kind of strain or inflammation and it works.  Better than any regular "pain" cream  that is full of chemicals.  It has arnica and other stuff in it, and it's made to reduce inflammation.  It is the best stuff in the world!

And  that is another reason I am my mother.  For one thing, she turned me onto Traumeel years ago.  But the biggest reason is because when we were kids, my mom discovered this wonderful salve at our local health food/deli/European gift shop (small town Ontario, most stores are multi-purpose).  It is a German salve made from horse chestnuts.  It's called Venostasin, but at our house we always called it "green salve".  It is made to help get rid of bruising.  And like Traumeel, it really works.  But my mom rubbed it on every little booboo we got.  She was a woman possessed.  It was like she was a  born-again green salver.   And like most teenagers, we made fun of her for it.  We laughed at her zeal to heal us with green salve.  But we did know it worked, we just took joy in winding her up.  Alot like my kids wind me up.  An awful lot.  You can't buy Venostasin here anymore, only in Europe (although I'm going to see if I can get it from the States).  I have the end of a tube that Mom passed on to me, she got a friend to buy it for her in Germany.  It is on my nighttable and I carefully hoard it.  It is green gold that stuff. 

I am a born-again green salver and Traumeel-er, just like my mom.  I recommend it to everyone I meet and who will listen.  I force my kids to rub it on their booboos (although, I dole out the green salve, that little bit I have has to go a long way!).  I take it to lacrosse and basketball when the boys are playing.  I carry it in my gym bag for sore muscles when I work out.  What's that?  You have a broken leg?  Rub on the green salve.  You have a sore neck?  Rub on the Traumeel.

Maybe some day I'll write a post about my love for probiotics.  You know they fix just about anything internally....

Yep, I am my mother.  As different as I am from my mom in personality, looks, life philosophy, in some ways I am just like her.  I'm sure if my siblings are reading this I have likely given them the best laugh of the day.  But if they dig down deep inside themselves, I'll bet they too are our mom.  I'd lay money on it.

In my best motherly fashion I am going to clean my messy house today.  And harangue my kids into cleaning their rooms.  And I'm sure I'll be rubbing Traumeel on my neck more than once today.

Have a wonderful Monday.  And if you get a booboo, get out the salve.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

running free, or at least running

Running clinic yesterday morning.  I was a little concerned, I missed Wednesday's run because I felt like I was getting sick (achy joints, scratchy throat), and couldn't make it up on Thursday because sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day.  So I went to the clinic, prepared for it to be painful.  But to my happy surprise, it wasn't.  The very muggy, close, heavy air made it difficult for my breathing and I actually used my inhaler (I haven't needed it lately!), and the hills that Norm was "kind" enough to include on our route were a bit tough, but it went ok.  I'm still not very fast, but I'm also not in the slowest bunch.  And even better, I wasn't dragging behind everyone else, being the caboose of our small group yesterday.  Not that it should matter, but because I have an issue or two with competitiveness (really?!), it matters a little to me.  And best of all, we have run far enough now that the race on Labour Day should be fairly easy!  Cooler temperatures (at least not as much humidity) will make it feel great!

I'm looking at a couple other races too, to help keep the momentum going.  Left to my own devices, I'm afraid that life and school will take over, and I'll not keep up with running 3 or 4 times a week.  I'm plotting and planning ways to keep myself running after the Labour Day race.  I'm hoping that the Saugeen Tri Club that I've taken clinics with before will be looking for leaders, that's one way I will keep going.  I could definitely run with the absolute beginner group who do a run/walk combination.  In my experience, I'm faster and have more endurance even before this clinic, so it shouldn't be a problem.  And I've heard about a running group for intermediate aged girls, that works on building self-esteem, that some schools run.  There are bracelets, it's a real club kind of deal.  If I can remember the name or find it using Google, that would be a club I could start at school, and it would keep me running too.  And heaven knows, intermediate girls need all of the help with self-esteem possible!  I'm sure Ted will start his running "club" at school too, and he only manages to keep it going for a few weeks before he peters out, maybe I can be involved with that too.  Another way to keep running.  I realize I sound like a nut, but I know how easy it is to be derailed by life.  And I don't want to start from scratch again next spring!

I'm missing yoga class like crazy, it's time to get going to a class somewhere.  A friend told me about a lady who teaches from her home near here, but so far Thursday evenings haven't worked out so well.  I need to call and commit to one class, then I'll likely be able to keep going.  And I'd still like to get to Buddha Rider in Collingwood for a class.  It's Anusara yoga, I'd like to give it a try.  But I keep having all of these conflicts with time.  What I'd really like is to have class with the lovely Sarah, in the studio in Shelburne.  I emailed her to find out if there will be a session, it may not happen very soon.  Which is ok, I just miss her classes, and her calm self.  Once you totally trust someone, and they know you and what your body can do, it's hard to go somewhere else.   I trust her gentle corrections, and helping me deepen poses.  I know she's not going to push me to the point at which I could injure myself.  And I just really like her.  I have been practicing a bit at home, but to be honest, not nearly enough. 

I finally made an appointment with a chiropractor.  My neck is not getting any better, and I think that I must have some misalignment going on in there.  I had to cancel my last massage, and I haven't connected with my MT to get another appointment.  And my neck is feeling it.  But I don't think it's very normal to need massage every 2 weeks, or have pain.  So I'm going to combine massage with chiro and see if that gets things better.  When your neck is too stiff to be able to get into fairly easy asana?!  That's not a good sign.  And it will only get worse once school starts again.

We're off to my parents trailer today, and of course, it's raining.  Sitting in the trailer is not exactly how I want to spend the day.  Hopefully the rain clears up and we can enjoy sitting outside.  It doesn't even have to been super sunny, just not raining.  I'd like to swim in Lake Huron, and relax, not get so pissed off at my parents that my blood pressure skyrockets and I almost have a stroke.  And believe me, if we're stuck inside the trailer (even if it's the Taj Mahal of trailers!) that's very likely what will happen.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, relaxing, lazy August Sunday,

Friday, August 5, 2011

August days

I thought August was going to be slower.  What was I thinking??  It has been a very full week.  I can't even remember all of the stuff we've done!  

Tuesday was a glorious beach day.  Seamus and I went to the beach for the afternoon, he frolicked in the water for hours, and I had the chance to hangout on the beach, reading and watching him.  I even ventured into the water to cool off.  Georgian Bay is warm!  And if you live in this part of Ontario, you know how rare that is!   Enough days of heat, and not too cool at nights.   Gorgeous.

Wednesday was spent in Toronto with Jackson.  Visited the dr.  Did some shoe shopping--it's really hard to find just the right pair of Vans when you're 15!  But it's not too difficult to make fun of your mom for an unabashed obsession with funky Birkenstocks.  I didn't buy any, but boy, I coveted several pairs.

Yesterday was a fabulous day.  I babysat 2 of my nephews (for a sad reason, their parents were going to a funeral of a man taken too soon).  Jackson came with me, we took him to a ND appointment and the little boys were wonderful in the office!  Charmed all of the ladies, "helped" me get my B12 shot and made their auntie sooooo proud!  We had lunch and met their parents afterwards.  
After babysitting, there was a family get-together at my Mom's cousin's house.  My siblings all went, and I was lucky enough to go with my sister's family, since no one from my house would come with me (teenagers!), and Rick was still at work.  Sat in the backseat with my other nephew.  That child can spin a tale!  
While I admit I was a little reluctant to go--probably my mother's presentation/insistence got my heels dug in a bit--I had a great time!  My mom's cousins are really nice people, and there was a cousin visiting from BC that I'd never met.  My brother and his wife met them when they were living out west, so at least they knew some of the "younger" generation.  Eventually some cousins that are my age that I spent time with as a kid came, and it was nice visiting and catching up with them.  My cousin Arden hasn't changed since we were kids.  The only thing that would have made it better is if Arden's sisters could have been there.  Especially Chris.  Chris and I were buddies when we were kids, and through the wonders of facebook, we've been in touch the past couple of years.  Her mom says she's coming up at Thanksgiving, maybe we can all get together then.
My sisters and I had a great time giggling together, I got to enjoy all 3 nephews, and my brothers were there too.  Teasing each other, laughing together, good times.  I wish my family would have come, but honestly, it's not really their thing.  Rick doesn't enjoy large groups of people, and teenagers, well, you know.  I have to tell you, it makes your heart swell when next to mom or dad, you're the one little boys want.  My littlest nephew reaching out to be held--it doesn't get any better than that.  And having the other 2 lean on you, snuggle up, ask for help with things, *sigh*.  I miss having little kids, and these little guys pretty much have me wrapped around their little fingers.  I love being an aunt.  To all 3 little boys.  

Luckily today is a pretty quiet day.  Some time for some housework (gag), some laundry, and some yoga.  I still have a sore neck, and I did miss a run on Wednesday.  I think mostly I just needed a B12 shot, I really didn't feel myself or have enough energy for running.  Even yesterday morning, I just couldn't drag my butt out for a run.  I may pay for it tomorrow, it's a long run day at the running clinic.  But I think my B12 has kicked in (hello!  Up at 5:30 for the day for no reason?!  Arden would be proud of me), and I should be fine.

And food journaling, knowing the ND is going to read it.  It's amazing how much that helps you to clean up your diet!  Yesterday wasn't too great foodwise, but the rest of the week has been pretty good.  And yesterday, it was really only the desserts.  I cannot pass up my mom's chocolate cake.  But it has helped me get back on track, and stop just eating too much.  Too much, even of healthy isn't a good thing.

And today is Rick's last day before another week of holidays.  Of course I will be at a workshop for 3 days of it, but he will be a little more relaxed.

Relaxed....isn't that what summer is for?

Wishing everyone a relaxing last few weeks of summer. 

Monday, August 1, 2011 & food and activity journaling

My naturopath has asked me to keep a detailed food journal.  I have to say, keeping a journal for her seriously makes me clean up my diet.  I am not going to send her a food journal that is full of crap food that no one should be eating, let alone someone with food allergies!  Summer has been a little hard on my diet.  I'm a stress eater, and it's been stressful.  As already blogged about!  But time to get serious.  Seriously.

Anyway, Lia suggested I use to log my food.  I checked it out and it's awesome!  I am not only going to log my food, but also my activity.  It's a great tool to use if you are looking for lose a few.  And of course, as I have for my entire adult life, I am trying to lose a few.  Or maybe more than a few.  Whatever. 

Part of my personal happiness project is taking a look at what's keeping me from being happy.  If I spend 1/2 of my waking hours obsessing about my weight, how much weight I want to lose, how my clothes are fitting, whether outfits are making me look fat....anyone who knows me, knows the could I possibly be as happy as possible?  Right, I can't be as happy as possible with all of that going on in my head, all of the time.  I want to be happy.  And right now, the biggest impediment to my happiness is how I feel about myself, my weight, and my body image.  So time to get serious about changing it, not just for physical health, but for my mental/emotional health. 

I'm happy to say, that no matter what's been going on, I have maintained my running schedule.  While away over the weekend for lacrosse provinicials, Rick and I did our long run on the treadmills at the hotel.  And it felt great!  This morning's run, well, I did it, but it didn't feel all that great.  Actually I felt like crap, but I did it anyway.  It did feel good after I finished.  I didn't felt very good while I was stretching afterwards either.  No run tomorrow, so I'm going to take the dog for a long walk, followed up by a long yoga practice.  I need to get in more yoga, as well as the running.

Hoping all of my Canadian friends are enjoying the last day of the Civic holiday weekend.  It's a hot one, make sure to stay hydrated.  Words to live by.