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Today is a nearly exhilarating day – we have canceled our subscription to “cable” (Directv)! I mean, yeah, maybe it’s kind of a nutty idea, but we are spending $150 a month for something we just never watch, in addition to our subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sling. If we sit in front of the tube at all, it’s always to watch one of those applications, never cable, so what is the point? It seems any time we even turn a television on, we spend more time bitching about how there is nothing to watch than we do actually watching. Naturally, I had to up our data package with the ISP, and they gave me a TON more data for less than I’m spending NOW! Total score! J

So, now I’m sitting here feeling quite smug (and I’m sure hubby will be slightly panicked, but has agreed that this makes the most sense for us since we’re not using it anyway), and thinking of what I can spend all this extra money on…grandbabies, most likely. Or shoes.

For many reasons, besides telling cable where to go, today is a good day.

Recently, I have felt ever-so-slightly left out in the cold. Vegan friends have looked at me, utterly appalled at my proclamation, so why stop with friends? I’m going to just throw it out here on the World Wide Web for all to see: I hate quinoa. HATE it. With an undying passion.

It isn’t a flavor thing at all – this loathing is based entirely upon appearance because apparently I’m just… that… shallow. I can’t help it. All those weird little squiggles that stick out of the round seed part…GROSS. I can’t get past it – every time I see it, I think of fish eyeballs and then I’m done before I’ve even started.

Sure, perfect plant protein and fiber and minerals and all 9 essential amino acids and blah blah blah…but…yech. I get it – it’s good for you but why does it have to look so wrong?

People who are fans of this heinous little seed throw things at me like, “Well, you haven’t tried it the way *I* make it!” or, “Have you tried cooking it *THIS* super groovy way?” and I’m all, “Hells no. I can’t look at the stuff, so maybe if you hide it in a smoothie, I can choke it down – otherwise, no dice.”

Rave all you want to, I’m not buying it. I guess I’m stuck outside of the cool kids’ clique on this one, because I don’t see me overcoming this aversion anytime soon.

 

 

 

Odds’n’Ends Juice

I was drinking one of my “odds and ends” juices this morning and while frequently I hit a home run with a crazy-random mixture, today’s was less… enticing. I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily call it bad, but I don’t think I will attempt to recapture the ingredients and amounts so I can do it over again. Today’s mishappish-mishmash of leftover misfits was: watermelon, apple, lemon, cucumber, red bell pepper, carrot, and kale. Not terrible, but not exactly special in any way either. The point is, when you’re trying to use up leftovers so you can buy new stuff, you should anticipate an occasional funk-fest (I’ve done a lot worse than this one, believe me). Drink it or compost it, but move on and don’t spend a lot of time obsessing. Who’s got time on their hands for self-defeating commentary – am I right?

As a complete aside, I went to a Mediterranean place for lunch and for some unknown reason, the kid behind the counter always gets really skimpy with the romaine lettuce. Now, I don’t know how anyone else feels about it, but this isn’t supposed to be sprinkles. Count the falafel if you must, but lettuce is cheap and good for you – go crazy.

I’ve had to drive to the office twice this week and honestly, that 4am wakeup call is kicking my butt. I shouldn’t complain – I have commuted a grand total of 4 days the entire summer – but whew. Thankfully yoga calls to me at any hour and it helps me to get the blood flowing to my brain so I can function at that unheavenly hour.

This morning, I was considering which adorable yoga outfit to put on (leaning heavily toward my “kinda classy kinda hood” tank top with totes adorbs floral yoga capris), when it occurred to me – there isn’t really a yoga dress code in my house. I could just wear my pajamas and get all bendy-stretchy without the help of sexy duds. Who would even know, besides me?

And so, I did – and it wasn’t weird. In fact, it didn’t seem to have any impact whatsoever on my focus or overall bendiness. I wouldn’t say I noticed any difference at all, other than I had one less outfit to wear and wash later. Hmmmm…I could be on to something.

I mean, what is yoga anyway? Yoga is spirituality and physical discipline. It’s getting your mind and your breath in sync, which helps you to focus better during meditation (and the rest of life). Yoga is building biceps and stamina and flexibility. But what yoga is NOT is a fashion show, especially when you’re all alone with your yoga mat at 4am.

So, who knows? Maybe I’m going to end up one of those wrapped-up-in-a-twisty-scarf-and-nothing-else yoginis eventually. Or maybe today was just a particularly lazy day when too many outfit options left me overwhelmed and so I just gave up… like a total quitter. I dunno. But I DO know that what matters is the yoga – not the clothes.

How is it that this summer is nearly half over? It feels like only yesterday, we were opening the pool (and grossing out over the olive-green algae bloom we discovered for the first time ever)!

Not much has changed – I have been faithfully administering my yoga/meditation/green juice daily “medicine” and really feeling better than I have at any other point in my adult life. We haven’t done a whole lot of camping/roadtripping (we took at 10 day hiatus to Wyoming over Independence Day), but it’s been kind of a nice change from last year when we forgot what our yard looked like – the bonus of having the RV parked right at our own house now, instead of in storage, perhaps has taken away our will to use it so often? Or maybe we’re lazy? I dunno. I’m not much for travel when the temperatures soar, anyway. Give us a few weeks when the sun cools down and the only part of us most people will see are our taillights.

I’m not feeling particularly eloquent today, but hey, it happens. At least I can tell my bullet journal that I reconnected with the blogosphere. 🙂 A girl’s gotta have goals, ya know?

I hope this message finds everyone happy, healthy, and appreciating the gift of another day!

Life is good.

Hey gang, sorry to have been MIA for a few days – I’ve been living life and, consequently, I’ve neglected writing about living life. 🙂 We’ve been camping and hanging out in our gardens and pool, and just generally doing all those summertime things that will be impossible to do altogether too soon, when autumn winds begin to blow winter our way. Hard to imagine in light of the current heat waves, but it’s coming – it always does.

I’ve found that when I’m feeling most settled and in a gentle, but happy, rut, I write less. Why is that? Maybe it’s because when I’m in the middle of a sh*tstorm or when I’m trying something exciting and new, there is more to talk about? Or maybe during those times, I just need help sorting out what I think/feel about things, so I start to pound the keyboard with more enthusiasm than I can muster when life feels “normal.” Hmmmm…something to ponder….another day….

It’s been 105 days since I started juicing every day, since I started meditating (nearly) every day, since yoga became a driving force and crow pose started looking less like an uncommonly torturous maneuver and more like a real possibility (I’m totally getting there – I can get my toes off the ground for a few seconds at a time, but I still keep chickening out when it comes to holding it for longer – there is a lot to be said for a healthy fear of falling forward and knocking all one’s teeth out). It’s been 105 days since I decided that “being vegan” wasn’t enough and started making healthier choices for myself, so that it didn’t feel like a silly, pointless word. Now I can call myself a “mostly raw vegan” and it feels meaningful to me – welcome whole plant foods that haven’t been created in a plant!

Gone are the chemical-laden cosmetics and household cleaners! Gone is most of the stinkin’ thinkin’ that could so easily hijack my day and send me into multiple mini-funks (I say “most of” because, hey, I’m human). Gone is the obsession with whether I’m doing life right – what does that even mean?? I have no idea, but believe me, I used to spend a lot of time worrying about it.

Life IS good. I hope this is true for you, wherever you are.

 

So, these past few days I’ve been noticing a rather unpleasant grumpiness inside myself, manifesting itself outwardly. I was thinking at first that maybe meditation was just not working, and that all this zen I’ve been filling myself and my life up with had somehow dripped and oozed away from me, like so much primordial slime. I mean, how does one know if there is actual progress and that they’re not backsliding into old habits, if they can’t actually feel something tangibly gorgeous all the time? It is concerning, when you think perhaps all the effort you’ve put into something has been a waste.

But.

Yesterday I read something; I don’t recall it verbatim, but the gist was this: it is unlikely the meditation isn’t doing its job – what is more likely is that I’m noticing, not having, unpleasant grumpiness more, BECAUSE I’m meditating and better in control of my thoughts.

That’s kind of an interesting way to look at it, right?

Looking more deeply at my mood, I realized I am not actually feeling more grumpy in general at all. Quite the contrary – I’m feeling so much more chill and happy these days that when I’m having a self-inflicted suckfest of major proportions, I totally recognize it and can much more easily flip the switch back to “normal.” See, meditation isn’t so much about feeling nothing but peace – it’s about noticing what’s different and being able to get yourself back to peace when you’re not feeling so zen at all (like when you’re stuck in traffic and swearing a blue streak under your breath and questioning the intelligence of everyone else on the road).

Of course we all fall back into old ways of thinking/being from time to time. Life is a whole lot of one step up and two steps back action. The thing is, progress is a lot more fun than perfection.

 

Pool Science

I opened our pool yesterday, and after such a smooth, clean opening last spring, imagine my surprise when I took the cover off this year and…yuck. The walls were speckled with mold, the water was an unappetizing shade of green/brown, and the walls below the waterline were slick with green/brown slime. It’s funny how sad it all made me, given I was just at the lake the week before and wading in fish poo and grody underwater lake plants.

Anyway, I got to work – I started to fill the pool from its half-way mark (about a 12 hour process, with our 25,000 gallon pool), removed the old patches from last summer when our cat, Charlie, dunked herself accidentally and clawed her way back out. I cleaned up those areas with bleach and rubbing alcohol, and replaced the little patches with fresh ones that didn’t have mold under them. Ick. Next year, we’re replacing the liner, but it seemed pointless this year, given the whole thing is only 2 official seasons old.

Then, the really disgusting work began. I mixed up a batch of general purpose pool cleaner, and grabbed a scrubby sponge and set to work cleaning all of the walls (above waterline), from outside the pool. There was nothing in me that was willing to hop into the murky, freezing water. A whole lotta elbow grease later, the upper portions of the walls were looking a whole lot better – blue, and without the black polka dots. As the water level rose – s-l-o-w-l-y – I began to brush the walls and floor below water level. This isn’t a super fun task from inside the pool, but it’s even worse from outside. The pool will telescope to about 18′, so even when it’s retracted, it’s a bulky 6′ long, and the only really effective angle to clean is to stand directly above the area needing a scrubbing, and then plunge the brush repeatedly into the water and out against the walls. BIG fun, as I’m sure you can agree.

By 9pm yesterday, I turned off the hose to the pool. It still wasn’t quite full, and I didn’t want to risk forgetting about it overnight. I probably could have gotten a jumpstart on running the pump and filter, but I was pretty much over it by the time the sun set.

This morning, just a few hours in and the pool was “full enough” to run the pump (and looking a whole lot like a duck pond, complete with cottonwood seeds floating that looked a lot like feathers). I turned it on and it was running, but nothing was happening with the water return. Hmmmm…oh yeah! The pump was set to “Closed” so nothing was coming in or leaving. Major “duh” moment. Anyway, I got it set to filter and everything was moving along, er, swimmingly. 🙂 After adding 4 bags of shock (enough to turn this brunette into a blonde, should I take a quick and chilly swim), the pool almost immediately changed color from green to blue – totally a win, right? I added about 18oz of algaecide, for good measure.

Now, yes, the water is the right color, but the filter is working overtime to remove the dead algae and whatever other particulate is still suspended in the water, blocking my view of the bottom. If someone didn’t know about the dead leaf in the bottom that they “should” be able to see, they might think it was ready to rock and roll – it looks that pretty at a glance. But since I’m in the the know, and I cannot see that leaf in the bottom, I know that the water is cloudy as f*ck and I shan’t dip the merest tip of my toe into that water until it’s all sorted out. I’ll have to vacuum and backwash it at some point tomorrow or Sunday, but need for the chlorine levels to abate before any skin gets exposed to the chemical landfill I’ve created in my own backyard.

I will say that when we close it all up this fall, I will double the amount of chlorine called for this size pool, just to make double/triple/quadruple sure I don’t have another springtime pool fiasco in 2018.

Goodness, gracious, what a whirlwind this past 7 days has been! We left for Wyoming last Wednesday right after our granddaughter’s kindergarten continuation, then up to the lake to spend (what we thought would be) 6 days, only to be called back Saturday night for my older daughter’s labor. 🙂 So, exciting, to have our new grandson delivered Sunday morning so we could spend the last 3 days of our vacation with him. He’s like a little pink wad of bubblegum, all squishy and adorable…

I’ve gotten over the “ick” of having eaten too much cooked stuff while I was away. You don’t realize how much grains can weigh you down until you have a several-day binge after not eating that way for over 80 days (yes!). Anyway, a few happy green juices and smoothies and my skin has stopped freaking out and I’m not feeling so sleepy.

While lakeside, I was able to do some ahhhh-MAAAA-ziiiing yoga to the sounds of howling winds and choppy waters (which is a lot more zen than it sounds). The only issue was finding somewhat level ground, since it’s super hard to do Tree Pose when your feet are standing on a bunch of weird bumpiness. Regardless, it was fun and surely the fisherman were enjoying watching the crazy Colorado hippie stretch it out in the crummy weather. 😉

I don’t have a whole lot of motivation today – funny how vacation zaps the will to work right outta me, but hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be feeling a bit more in charge of my own work ethic.

Well, we had an incredibly sweet ending to what was supposed to be a week long camping trip – our beautiful grandson, Sebastian was born today! We left the lake last night around 9, got home after midnight, hung out at the hospital until 2am when it became apparent that Bash was in no hurry to arrive. We took our little big girl, Joie, home so she could sleep while her brother  kept her mama up all night in labor.

Anyway, long story short, he made his grand appearance at 11:06am today and we have been positively enchanted ever since!

* on a side note, health-wise I am not feeling so hot. Too many days eating too many cooked carbs and not enough greens has me feeling about 50 years older and dragging ass (an issue exacerbated by the lack of sleep during the past 48 hours…) I’ll need to be better prepared for our next trips, so I can avoid all the yuckiness of eating bread with every meal, even if it IS whole grain and organic.

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