Saturday, December 18, 2010

This fall has been a whirlwind of planning for my new career as a yoga instructor. My partner, Linda, and I have spent more time than we care to talking to lawyers, accountants, realtors, landlords, contractors, and zoning administrators. It was smothering our enthusiasm for our practice and we were getting increasingly frightened of the financial obligations we were about to take on. So we stepped back and took a deep breath to re-evaluate our purpose. And now we have a new, better possibility in front of us. I'll tell you more as it comes together.

Isn't it amazing how you can be pushing so hard in one direction that you can't see another way? Kind of reminds me of my first marriage.

I invite you to check out our new, evolving website, and our new blog. On the new blog, Linda & I will both be contributing our thoughts related to yoga, reiki, and our other events and activities. I plan on keeping this blog for more personal posts. Now that I've resigned from the magazine world, I will have more time for recreational writing again.

I hope everyone is surviving the early cold snap and not letting the holidays overwhelm them.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I feel like the tin man at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz.
Oil Can!

I just completed my level one yoga teacher training:18 hours of yoga and talking about yoga in two days. It's hard to talk about yoga without doing it. That was a lot of yoga. My upper body is talking to me about it today!

My class was all women. I wasn't the oldest or the heaviest as I had feared, but I was definitely not in the same shape as most of the class. More than half of the 16 participants were already fitness instructors: Pilates, zumba, kickboxing, and a few were already yoga teachers too. They were expanding their skills and already in terrific shape.

I made quick friends with Dina who said yoga teachers scared her when she introduced herself. Our teacher was great, not taking her task too seriously. She put us all at ease and helped us learn a lot. Some of us were planning to take level 2 together at the end.

I have been taking yoga for about 4 years now, so I wasn't really learning new poses - just doing the basics over and over. In fact sometimes it was frustrating to limit myself to the 20 poses that they were reviewing in level one. We were learning more about common misalignments, how to modify poses for a variety of health issues, how to make poses flow together, and how to sequence a class.

So I'm excited about this new turn in my career. I'm still working for a local magazine, but I'm pulling away from that and heading in this new direction.

Have any of you made a big change in your career? Any advice?

Monday, November 01, 2010

I wish you could have been there.

I am so glad I went to the Rally for Sanity this past weekend - me and over 200,000 other sane individuals. Well, I'll use the word "sane" loosely.

The signs were hilarious - worth the travel hassles. There were political signs: "No Nukes", "Thank you 4 Health Care", "Pro-Choice because politicians make crappy doctors", "Separation of Corporation and State", and of course, "Legalize Pot."

There were many relating to Fox News: "Fox News stop scaring Grandma & Grandpa!", "Restore Sanity: Cancel Fox News" and my favorite was a guy dressed as a giant whoopee cushion with a sign that said "Squeeze me to hear the latest from Glenn Beck."

There were signs about Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert: "Jon Stewart for President", "Jon Stewart for moderator of 2012 presidential debate," and "Team Fear".

There were signs mocking the extremist on the right: "Not to angry to spellcheck", "Actually I'm quite content", "The kids are going to be alright" and "Jesus was a socialist."

Then there were the sillier signs: "This is a good sign", "I love bacon", "I come to rallies for the chicks", "My arm is falling off" and a little sign that said "I fear big signs"

The line to get on the metro in the morning wrapped around the parking garage. The trains were packed. The cell phone service collapsed on the mall. People were climbing into trees and onto the porta-potties for a better view. My view wasn't great, but here are some things I got on with my phone. I got some video with my phone, but blogger isn't letting me upload it. I'll try in a separate post.

Monday, October 25, 2010

There has been a lot of water under the bridge since my last post about the Golden Gate. No way I can try to catch everyone up. But I have missed my blogger buddies. I've been checking back in and am getting ready to make a comeback.

I've been thinking, should I just start fresh with a new blog? Does CG still work for me? But I think it does. I'm not a big fan of starting all over. I think my favorite CG is Cosmic Gypsy. I may lean more that way. But I am in the process of building something new, so Construction Girl still works. She was important to me. I am hooked on the election coverage - like the ultimate in reality shows, so Campaign Grist works too. I've still been practicing yoga, so I still have Chataranga Goals. And I'm now officially the mother of three teenagers, so Children Growing works.

So I guess I work best when my title is flexible.

I have missed you and hope you are all well. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Over Spring Break I was honored to travel with my daughter's high school choir to compete in a festival in San Francisco. I had a wonderful time and they took home top honors and an invitation to sing at Carnegie Hall. Have you been to San Francisco? Have you ever gone with 50 teenagers?

On the day we arrived, our tour bus dropped us off on one side of the Golden Gate Bridge and picked us up on the other. We walked across, me staying nearby enough for photography purposes, but not so near as to cramp my daughter's style. I was disappointed that I forgot my camera, but took many pictures with my phone.

Of course I was struck by the beauty of the sparkling bay surrounded by mountains, the soaring orange towers of the bridge against the blue sky.

In the middle of the bay sit the eerily intriguing ruins of Alcatraz. On the audiotour, a former prisoner described how the wind would often carry to them the sounds of music and celebration from the city, taunting the prisoners with the joys of liberty.

Then I saw this sign and remembered that this bridge is a suicide mecca; over 1200 people have thrown themselves to a beautiful, tragic end. The bridge was lined with these and emergency telephones, imploring the desolate to call them. They were ready to help.

It seems the greater the surrounding beauty, the more insurmountable the pain of our suffering.

I was with 50 teenagers walking across that bridge. I know of at least one who was in emotional agony. I wanted to hug them all. Life is beautiful and hard.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I was delighted to open my paper this morning and see that the House passed Health Care Reform. It is a triumph of democracy over corporate influence - passed in spite of the massive amounts of money and effort from insurance industries, their Republican congressmen, and Fox News.

The Republicans keep saying the Dems will pay for it in the next election. I think the shame is on every single one of the Republicans who voted against helping the poor. Every single Republican voted against it. Talk about peer pressure! I was hoping there might be one courageous soul on that side of the aisle.

I'm sure the vitriol isn't over. But as with the passing of Medicare that the Republicans strongly opposed but now couldn't live without, literally in some cases, so it will be with health care.

Our government may certainly be inefficient, but I personally am glad they run a post office, emergency services, schools, libraries, food inspection, and the military. Despite the huge task ahead, I'm sure all those who so vehemently opposed health care will soon find themselves or their loved ones in need of the benefits our great American government will provide them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Do you ever feel like you are the re-set button of your household, putting everything back into place so that it can be found and pulled out again?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

So here is the next step for America since the Supreme Court ruling granting corporations the same rights as individuals, freeing unlimited funds for campaigns.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I feel like God.
Last Sunday, I turned over my compost pile after my first full year, ending with a few dormant, snowy months. I was delighted to find enough rich black humus to fill a wheelbarrow. I made dirt!

I filled several pots and jars, whatever I could find around the house, and planted some seeds: cabbage, peas, carrots, peppers, tomatoes. I had plenty of humus leftover and need more little planters for more tomatoes. I think I'll try corn this year too. I even swiped Anne's good idea and planted some seeds in eggshells for easy transplanting later. Thanks for giving me the seeds earlier Anne!

I could have sworn I had a small pitchfork. That would have made the turning over of the pile so much easier. Mental note: next angry mob I'm a torch.

Monday, March 01, 2010

We had fun in Ocean City at the Reach the Beach dance competition. My daughter's team won two first places and one second. The beach was quiet and chilly, but still fun for a morning walk on the boardwalk.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How much does your effectiveness as a dissatisfied customer depend on your willingness to suspend your relationship with the business?

For example, I drive a Prius. I probably couldn't sell it now anyway, even if I wanted to, which I don't for a variety of reasons.

I suppose I don't enjoy speaking to people dissatisfied with my services, but I aim to please when things aren't right. I expect that from my service providers. Sometimes it seems they are unaware of the problem.

I feel like I've been complaining a lot lately. I'd love to hear any of your advice on how to be heard and maintain your relationship with the service provider.

And what if the service provided is to your children - their teachers, coaches, directors?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The kids are in school. I spent some time this morning washing socks and towels and hats and mittens left abandoned by the doorways.

I'm drinking a cup of Tulsi Tea, made with Holy Basil, that I bought this morning at MOM's, My Organic Market, that just opened in town. Yippee! Now I don't need to drive to Annapolis for my organic products. Linda gave me a cup of this tea last week and I loved it, but my grocery store doesn't carry it.

Speaking of Linda, yoga was fun last night, despite my embarrassingly squeaky old bra. (No wonder I hadn't worn it in a while.) There were only six of us in her cozy home studio. Near the end we all stood in a circle, holding hands while we did tree pose. Then we all bent forward into Brave Warrior. I'm sure we looked beautiful.

We stretched and meditated at her home studio because there was a pancake dinner at the church to kick off the Sue Cobb Memorial Scholarship Fund. Somehow, I think Sue would have loved this event happening on Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras fell on my birthday this year, giving me double the excuse to eat cake, and brownies, and margaritas. I was well-wished all day. My kids did the dishes and baked me a cake. Mark promised to build me three compost bins, which I've been thinking and thinking about since I've been writing an article on composting.

Tonight we are going to one of my favorite restaurants for their signature Crab Bomb. Mmmmmmmm.... We'll all feel my nephew's absence from the family dinner, but we wish him well in basic training for the Air Force.

My foot is doing better all the time. Now I just need the snow to melt and the sun to shine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The second wave of the blizzard had high winds, but we never lost power.

Nobody was really thinking about entering school anyway.

These icicles aren't mine, fortunately, but aren't they magnificent!?

My lovely tree tunnel...

Believe it or not, we did get mail.

Any front porch conversations will have to wait for the Spring Thaw.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It's still snowing. We had over two feet of snow that started last Friday and finally stopped on Saturday late afternoon. It started snowing again yesterday and this morning I woke up to see it snowing sideways in high wind. The storm warning is in effect until 7pm!

The roads are narrow with high frozen jersey walls of snow. The parking lots have whole mountain ranges, some with shopping carts plowed into them. The grocery stores have big gaps on the shelves, having not received all their shipments and everyone stocking up for the additional 10-20 inches we're getting now.

You would think that I would have gotten more work done: finished the articles I'm working on, begun chapter two of my ghostwriting contract, posted a new blog. But I've been cooking, picking up hats and boots, rubbing sore shovelers' backs, watching movies, playing Scrabble, doing laundry, restocking my fridge, drinking wine, and visiting with neighbors and friends on the phone. I have to get busy!

I'm not even sure what day it is. They're all blurring together into white.

My youngest daughter and a few of her friends worked on this wintry village. They built an indoor fort in front of the basement tv. They also set up a shelter on the front porch for any stranded kitties that might need shelter. (No takers so far as I can see.)

Today I'm going to make everyone clean their room. We're not going anywhere. I'm so grateful we have plenty of supplies and we still have power (knocking on wood.)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Did you see this ad from Partnership for a drug-free America?
I thought it was creepy and funny - and quite memorable. Can you relate?

Speaking of teenagers, my son played this song for me and I can't get it out of my head. I enjoyed the ballad quality of it. Many fans have acted it out on other youtube versions. I hope it gives you a smile at the beginning of the week.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I stayed up for the State of the Union address last night and couldn't help staying up longer to watch a bit of commentary. Now I'm sleepy today. Did he change your feelings about his plans, even a little bit?

Honestly I don't know what the Republicans want - except to have won the last election. I can't imagine that they think we should go back to the financial de-regulation that got us into this mess. I can't imagine that they don't want their own pre-existing conditions covered by insurance. I can't imagine they they want to keep buying oil from the region of the world that fights us the most. I thought they liked tax cuts, so why no applause about the tax cuts on small businesses and the middle class? And will the politicians in the next election wear patches of their corporate sponsors like NASCAR drivers? I just don't get it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

So did you guys read about the recent Supreme Court ruling that lifted all restrictions from corporate election spending? I find it depressing. If you didn't think elections were bought before, they clearly will be now.

The question is, do you trust the government or corporations to keep protect the best interest of the people of this country? Is there a difference anymore between the two? Clearly those bankers have money burning a hole in their pockets. I suppose they will purchase the candidate who will protect their multi-million dollar bonuses.

This ruling seems to be antithetical to the ideals of Constitution. Should we just have a CEO rather than a president? Do corporations have the same rights as individuals? I wonder if churches are considered corporations? Can they purchase a candidate too? Is this country simply going to the highest bidder?

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is me on Christmas morning with the loot from my stocking. I'm wearing a button that says "As Is." See the candy in the prescription bottles?

We still have some of this pre-Christmas snow on the ground. It's so cold! I'd go to Florida, but I hear it's cold there too.

Do you see the giant squirrel lurking in the shrubbery behind the Holy Family?

One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a used one. My mom passed down to me her mother's Dutch Oven. Here was the first meal I cooked in it. Easy & delicious. Thanks Mom! Thanks Grandma!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I need to replace my whiny post from the end of last year. Maybe I should've tried to end my blogoyear on a higher note.

My Christmas vacation was a bit different this year because of the foot surgery and requisite narcotics. I was easily exhausted and stressed, trying everyone's patience. We all managed to get through with warm memories. Lucky for me, Mark packed me up and took me to Williamsburg. My kids went with their dad & his girlfriend to see their Ohio friends and relatives. When we were all reunited, we appreciated each other much more and all the rush of the holidays was past.

(Warning: gross medical discussion coming in the next paragraph.)
My foot is healing nicely, although it continues to be annoying. The screw removal left a big incision and stitches that are out now and getting more comfortable every day. But I had that weird thing fixed with my toe which required a tiny surgical shishkabob skewer inserted into my toe. Here's the gross part. There's a little pull tab sticking out of the top of my toe, like a thumbtack. It's gross. I can feel it. If my sock touches it, or it gets cold, I can feel it, which is often. I can't walk normally with this boot on or without being able to use the tip of that toe. I walk a bit like Frankenstein. Mark said I should just put my hands out in front of me when I walk. The pull tab is there because next month they will pull it out - yikes! I'm afraid of wiggling my other toes. It's hard to hold your toes still - especially once you start thinking about it. My foot looks like it was caught in a bear trap.

Anyway, when I start to feel sorry for myself, I think of my friend Tom who is adjusting to a prosthetic leg. It must be exhausting, physically and emotionally. I need to stop whining.

And my kids have been helping out more and learning a lot. For expediency, I've been sending them into the store while I wait in the car. They've been learning all sorts of important things, like carts are helpful, and if you don't buy it, you can't eat it. Our Christmas decorations may be up until February, but at least the tree is pretty.

And Williamsburg was a fun getaway. It's not a hopping nightlife spot, but I wasn't in the mood for hopping night life anyway. We saw a play and heard a crystal concert and ate delicious food. I borrowed Mark's mom's wheelchair and let Mark push me around the colonial section, which was pretty, even if it was cold. I even managed to do a little shopping. Plus we saw Avatar and It's Complicated in a Movie Tavern that served beer & nachos and more. It was kinda weird watching the 3-D adventure and realizing the waiter in front of me handing me a beer was really there.