Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Frozen mud slide

Have you ever had a frozen mud slide?  It's kind of a dessert drink, like a milkshake with hooch.  If we lived in Europe where there's no drinking age it would be on sale at Friendly's or Dairy Queen.  When I was in college like the child I was I ordered one when a professor of mine asked me out on a date.  He was a journalist, slick and cool.  He ordered some sort of high-end scotch.  I felt really stupid.  I haven't had ordered one since.  I have had one all over my face however for almost two years. 

I recently had an ellipse done on my left eyelid and eybrow area as part of a scar revision process.  It was a simple v-shaped slice and reclose to relieve droop.  It wasn't a real lid-lift (blepharoplasty) but I am here to tell you it's made a world of difference.  Not in how I look but how I feel.  Since my first Mohs surgery in Feb. 2009 where I had a honking skin cancer removed that left me with 53 stitches across my forehead I have felt like I had a landslide of mud creeping down my forehead extending into my left eyelid. Scar tissue, nerve damage and the like. I didn't know how annoyed I was by it until I wasn't.  The minute my doctor pinched the skin on my eyelid together after excising the droop I wanted to celebrate with hooch.  I wish I had that frozen mud slide to drink.  I heard the professor I  had that drink with in Spring of 1990 died young about 10 years ago.  So what they say is true (and I know from experience)

Only the good die young.

I want to die good and old and with frozen drinks and friends nearby.  Dancing my way to the grave happy and centered.  I am planning on it but going with the flow of this beautiful life.

Here's me contemplating my trek to oldness right after my mudslide was removed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wanted: Surrogate Mother

Fluff, inspired words, clever sayings, wisdom, humor, informed valuable opinion and total charm.

And now for  today's post.

I need someone to step in and raise my children.  That's what I told them.

Set up:  Because of snowy weather our Christmas break started a bit early.  We've been in the house together for awhile.  There is an abundance of carb-loaded, sugar-stuffed finger food all about our house.  My children have been helping their darn selves anytime of day.  I am a bit of a freak about what they eat so I am so off-center and way controlling and hyper-aware of everything they put in their mouths.  I realize I need to let some of this go, it is the holidays for  6 pound 8 ounce baby Jesus' sake.  BUT, I HAVE MY LIMITS....

Keep in mind that last week my girls ate the hard as concrete Gingerbread House because "they were hungry".  I guess they forgot where we keep the frig full of nutritious food.  I mean I can never find the scissors, I get it. 

But THIS was nuts to me.

Today at 2:30 IN THE AFTERNOON as I am preparing to leave for my SURGERY on my eye (after I had been to a Bikram Yoga class and cut up fresh vegetables with dip for lunch) I ask "which one of you has brushed your teeth today?"  Each one of them (below) said, "not  me" with a giggle as if they were proud and waiting for the crazed response from their mother.

Note:  All their mouths are closed probably to hide their unbrushed teeth.
Here's my response:


Middle child, (teary):  do you know how bad that hurts us, Mom.
Me (void of maturity and reason):  well, prove me wrong.

Loving, patient, kind, compassionate, guiding, intelligent, gentle, wise, fun.

And now for the real me...

Grateful, trying, sculpting, learning, stretching, loving, asking, dancing, waiting, doing, planning, working, laughing, toasting every day.

Maybe I'll be their surrogate mother.  Doing my best and keeping it real.

Have you brushed your teeth today?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rockstar, Mass and Meditation

I know an IRONMAN finisher. 

2.4 miles swimming in frigid temperatures navigating a sea of strange elbows, knees and feet in your face. 
120 miles on a bike.  Makes my butt hurt to think of it. 
26.2 miles on her legs.  I've done that and can't even fathom it after two other major MAJOR events.  I am in awe of my friend Erin who in her mid-forties just finished her first Ironman competition in Arizona.  Needless to say, she's fit, hip, and a rockstar to me.  She's humble too.  Erin says:  anyone can do it, if she can.  You just have to want to train.  Stress fractures, early morning icy runs, and fear at the start couldn't keep her away.  The only time she got teary was when she was about to start.  Fear can do that.  How she got through? Her mantra.

God is with you.  You can do it.  For me, she made praying cooler than cool.

I used to think it was not cool if not impossible to be a Mass-lovin' Yogi until I had coffee with my Yogi-friend, Garland.

It isn't Garland (though it looks a bit like her).  She can do this on one hand. 

Once when I was a freshman in college a "friend" made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her foot.  You know how you get really hungry when....  (it was a very time ago.)


When I'm at Mass I'm a closet Yogi.  At Yoga, I am a closet Catholic.  Now I'm everything all at once.  Garland told me one of her favorite things to do while when was at Teacher Training in Hawaii was to go to Catholic Mass with her roommate.  Steel drums, the beach, and a good swallow of Kundalini God will convert anyone.  We are the same all at once to Him.

A few random thoughts on this, the feast of the Annunciation.  (look it up, after you meditate.)  Om and out.

What's your truth?  What's your mantra?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I bought this last week:

Starbuck's: nothing new.
Yoga Bread:  because I am a sucker.  I am a good one though.  It was delicious.  Sure you slap a label on cardboard with cranberries and I'd buy it if it said "Yoga".  This loaf was special.  (That's what he said about the sucker.)  Really yummy whole, raw ingredients.  Rush to Whole Foods and suck you some.  You'll be glad you did.
Earrings:  Because I have long holes.  I love my double pierced ears but  Irarely insert posts in my first holes.  They are over-used from the Jody Whatley days of HUGE LONG HEAVY ear bobbles.

Also, from Whole Foods this love discs make me very happy.  AND they help starving children from Kenya.  These are not ...

.... starving children in Africa.  They are two of my three souls.  God, am I grateful.  I think I'll go celebrate:
Wine and Yoga bread.  Out of the way, Starbuck's.  Jesus did it.

What are you doing this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hooters, head and marathons

What the...?

Nick:  Mom, guess where we are going for our end of the season (baseball) party?
Me:  (making dinner not really paying attention) I don't know, son - where?
Nick:  Hooters.
Me:  (astonished)
Am I being ridiculous?  I am not a prude.  But, please... twelve-year-old boys at an establishment where boobs are the draw (it is NOT the wings), men are the main target audience, and beer flows.  I love boobs when they aren't exploited.  I love men when they aren't oogling at boobs.  I don't love beer but I can drink me some wine.

I am open to being ridiculous.  Let me know what you think.

Onto to some head.  I got my stitches removed yesterday from my latest round of Moh's Surgery.  That's 4 in 20 months.  Do they give some kind of award for this?  Here's the progress.

I think it looks pretty good.  I am psyched because I am getting my left eyelid lifted for the droopiness from a prior surgery AND I get dermabrasion across my whole forehead to restore my former pre-skin cancer beauty.  I will look great from the eyebrows up.  Maybe they'll hire me at HOOTERS.  OOOPS, they start at the navel and go north when looking at resumes, my bad.

And now for marathons...

My amazing sister ran her first marathon on Saturday.  I am so proud of her.  She is my rockstar.  Did I mention she has varicose veins and five children?  She trained with a smile and sailed across the finish line strategizing for her next.  Living fully with her heart and her mind, body and soul.

Ever been to Hooters?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boulder Holder

Two funerals and one (more) surgery within 10 days validates therapy in my mind.  I am a big proponent of therapy in general so I mean no disrespect when I present you my $38 session:
I haven't bought a bra in 10+ years.  On November 13, 2000 I had breast reduction surgery and since then I have relied on the generosity of others for over my shoulder boulder holders.  That and my sports bras since I spend a lot of time in workoutwear.  My supply had gotten so pathetic I was wearing no pec slings at all if I could possibly get away with it.  I need therapy just for not taking care of my basic needs but I heard about PROFESSIONAL BRA FITTINGS and decided I needed one.  I had spent most of my life since puberty hating my chest.  Ten years ago - I got a new upper body and a new lease on life but old habits die hard and buying bras continued to be a hassle, something I avoided at all costs.  Then I met Tasha.  The kindest angel ever who made me feel like I had the body of a pole dancer and I should be proud of whatever I got packing - not matter what.  The trick was to pack it well.  And she knew how.  There was French lace in her department for north of 3digits but I needn't such a luxury.  This brand- Moderna is perfect.  I felt like I was wearing nothing but I was lifted, supported, cozy and ready for anything pitched my way.  Now that I have one that fits and does its job - maybe I'll get all saucy and what not. 

I am continuing my early morning spinning classes on Monday and Wednesday.  Here's my traverse back into my neigborhood on Monday.  My free therapy:

And so I had more Moh's surgery yesterday. 

That's not a marshmallow stuck to my forhead.  It's a pressure pack.  I feel pretty good.  I took a walk with my children and two dogs today after spending a quiet day at home.  My dear friend, Megan brought me a latte from SB for a morning treat then my sister brought dinner so I wouldn't have to cook.  I finished my Yoga Teacher Training homework caught up on a bunch of stuff and did it all in a bra that fits.  My therapy worked.  Life really is grand even though we need therapy at times to remind us.  

How was your day?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My King and I

RIP King James

I lost a dear friend this week.  Herbert L. James died very suddenly in a way we might all hope.  Mr. James, 81 shared a lovely meal with his wonderful son and most elegant daughter-in-law and settled in the den of their cozy home to watch a little news before bed.  He complimented Miss Charlotte on her divine fixins', fussed at his son for not hopping-to-it to clear the table.  After tidying up, he sat in his favorite chair.  Mr. James coughed, signaled to his son that he needed just a moment to collect himself and died.  Like his bright light was simply blown out. Easily, gently but with a deafening finality that weighs on my  heart like a cement block.

My friendship with Mr. James was an unusual one.  I met him about 6 or 7 years ago when his daughter-in-law, a lady I love dearly and I became friends.  He was a gentleman's gentleman and reminded me of all things stately and kind - paternal and grand paternal and friendly like we were connected from another time.  Mr. James dressed down in a button down and wouldn't ever be caught in God's house without a suit.  He had his military haircut sharpened once a week and drove himself in his mini-van to visit family and friends and live his very active life.  I love that burgundy caravan.  You might expect someone like me getting out of it with a gaggle of children instead of a 81-year-old fella with a twinkle brighter than Orion. 

I lost my Dad about the time  I met Mr. James.  They shared many qualities - reverence for their wives (both deceased), deep love for their families, manners and sharp blue eyes. 

My Mom had been gone for about 8 years when I met Charlotte who's beauty and grace remind me so much of dear Kathleen. 

A coincidence?  I think not.

I just saw Mr. James a week ago when we said good-bye to one of his grandsons, young Adam.  Though at a very sad event, I was uplifted to see my Mr. James looking so well and quite vibrant.  Like the true gentleman he was, he offered me his arm and escorted me around the reception like I was his queen.  I have never felt so honored.  When I got the call from Charlotte a few days later she said, "Clair, I'm afraid we've lost one of your biggest fans."  I think not.  I was his.

Rest in peace my dear friend, King James.  Say hello to my parents.  I miss you all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Buck, baby

I left my house at 5:30 this morning to catch a 5:45 spinning class at the Y.  I had my doggie pj's on over my bike shorts because it was cold I don't have any sweats that aren't running tights.  Not very exciting but that little tidbit lends to my falsely perceived notion of the  activity level at the gym at that ungodly hour.  I figured only crazies or police officers or my friend Ann (who is training for an Ironman and teaches the class) workout in pre-dawn hours.  She wouldn't mind the pj's.

As I was leaving my neighborhood I saw a Big Buck galloping through open space.  He looked so majestic and sure of himself and yet so fragile to me since I am married to an animal-loving hunter who believes in population-control and humane demise (i.e. quick shot vs. splat into the grill of an Escalade).  The hunting debate aside - and yes I respect many views - This buck was BUCK chiseled,  handsome and if I were a doe he'd be my boyfriend.


The Urban Dictionary defines Buck as a slang term for wild, ridiculous, extreme.  Used to describe something so amazingly fierce, it's almost not possible - in a good way.

At 5:40 in the morning the Y was Buck Wild.  Busy, buzzing with fitness minded  maniacs and I thought it was cool.  I forgot I had on my pajama bottoms but those nut bags didn't even notice.  I took my pj pants off and climbed on the saddle of that bike got busy.  Way fun.

Nothing like bucking in the early morning. 

Did I just say that?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why do children get sick?

I know a young girl very sick with cancer.  Things are not looking good.  I am not close with her or her family but I've seen her at Mass many times and had the pleasure of being in her company during Children's Liturgy.  She's a beautiful, faithful young lady always smiling with what seems to be very limited time.  I am sad and overwhelmed and inspired and confused and motivated and hopeful and determined.  My heart is cracking for her mother and father and family and close friends.

We are told that God listens very intently when children pray.  My children and I prayed for our friend last night.  Jane asks, "Is she dying, Mommy?"  I told her yes and she said "Why?"
Thy will be done. 
Thy will be done. 
Thy will be done.
Faith: to believe in something when you have absolutely no reason to.
Thy will be done.  Surrender.

In my faith I believe sick and dying children are a beautiful part if a plan I am not smart enough to comprehend.  Sick children are good and precious and potent purveyors of life's best deepest lessons.  It's our job to listen and to notice and to act.

Tonight we prayed for our friend from St. Paul's.  Tomorrow I will remember her and her family and my children will make cards for her and be still and quiet and faithful.

So I didn't get the job.  Thy will be done.
So I made a tough choice and am filled with questions.  Faith.  Thy will be done.
So I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  Patience.  Thy will be done.
So my children never met my Mother.  Surrender. 
And will hardly remember my Dad.  Trust.  Thy will be done.

Our friend might not see November in her body.  Thy will be done.  Thank you for letting me know her. 

Trust.  Faith.  Patience.  Surrender.  Lean on the love that surrounds us.  With these tools we can finish any race, competition, pose, project, or difficult process.  Ask any child you know to pray for Trust.  Faith.  Patience. Surrender.  The world needs it and our little sweet friend needs it.  Out of the mouths of babes...  Sadly, we lose some.  Hope.

Thy will be done.  It is good.  Faith told me that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rebellion is brewing...

So I had my surgery.  Here's me recovering

Here's me on day 3...
Here's my story.  I traveled to Bali to teach Yoga to a bunch of executives from E!  After I got my $3 million for the guest appearance during which I was worshipped and offered my own gig I went for a dip in the warm pool right off my bedroom.  Here I am meditating in gratitude for my great fortune.
Because I was buzzed from morning margaritas, I fell in by this lotus flower and a leech attached to my collarbone.  I'm home now and for the life of me I can't get it off.

I wish.

I will likely have a 'large, ropey' scar left from this round of skin cancer surgery since women make thicker more keloid scars on their trunks.  What the hell!?!?  Later I will have steroids injected into the scar to settle it down.  Does that make you squirm?  It does me.


I have to have more surgery on my face.  That cute round bandaid in picture 1 is from a biopsy that came back positive for more deep skin cancer.  Hopefully, THIS IS IT.  And I can move on to the plastic surgery to repair the scars on my forehead.  I will look fabulous from the eyebrows up.  It's something.

All this said.  I am feeling very rebellious now.  Looking for a respectable, ethical, moral and legal way to live out loud.  So yesterday I was at home alone - which NEVER happens and I cranked up the tunes and danced around my house like I was 25 again winning a dance contest which DID happen (unlike the Bali fantasy).  Chicken.  I was alone.  Next I need an audience.

In the spirit of living in the moment and being a little crazy - I was thinking about getting my belly button pierced.  I have done away with the tattoo idea (too much commitment involved).  What's rebellious to you and would you do it?   

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I do not have Munchausen's

However, I can't wait for my surgery.  In 2 days I am having this removed...

Not my collarbone but the quarter-sized pinkish blob of skin cancer.
(I wish I were having my neck trimmed and smoothed.)
I am also having a smaller area near my left eye excised for the same reason and a consult for scar revision from an earlier incident. 

This will involve an open wound, stitches and the smell of my own skin.  I can't wait.  Why?  BECAUSE FOR 2 DAYS NO ONE WILL EXPECT A THING FROM ME.  Yes!  I will have guiltless down-time.  This is not Munchhausen's but someone who needs to learn to sit still without a reason.  That it's actually beneficial to do nothing.    
 A person with Munchhausen's Syndrome  feigns disease, illness, or psychological trauma in order to draw attention or sympathy to themselves.  (Wikkipedia)
I don't want illness just stillness
For this opportunity to tune inward and check out for a number of hours, I am grateful.
I am also grateful for:
  • catching this rascal before it got out of hand.
  • my friends and family that have offered to help out.
  • my exceptionally good health. (save this little snafu).
  • the support of my husband and children to train to become a Yoga Teacher.
  • the love of my family and friends.
  • the world's best parents.  (Miss you, Mom and Dad)
  • you, for reading this post and any others you may have perused. 
I'll let you know how it goes.

Keeping it real...
Today's little confession:  I returned home from day one of my anatomy workshop on Saturday evening.  After six hours of instruction on body parts my brain was fried.  My children were glad to see me which is a nice feeling.  My scrumptious 7-year old was especially excited dancing all about my person, swinging on the arm of the chair I was sitting in - chattering a mile a minute.  I say to her:  "Can't you just faint for a few minutes?"  I thought I was being funny.  Not so much.  I need this little rest coming my way.
What is your confession?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

30-day wagon ride

I'm promoting clarity. Vibrancy, enthusiasm, peace and contentedness. 
How?  I am getting out of my own way.  Yoga is a major method to erasing the madness of cloudy living but other tricks toward clarity include:
Nasal cleansing.  Here's my very own Netti pot:

I am no longer a virgin.  Today I put the long end up one nostril and let water drip out of the other.  My breath is free and clear which is the point.  This practice is supposed to aid your Yoga practice making way for good, healthy big breaths.  I'll let you know how it goes.
Morning meditation without a hangover. 
As part of my YTT homework, I am to meditate every day.  I have found it so much more enjoyable without the leftovers from happy hour picking away at my eyelids.  I've never been a heavy drinker (1 to 2 glasses of wine a day) but I wine it out nearly everyday.  For thirty days I am on the wagon.  I am currently on day 10 and making it.  Again, clarity and vibrancy without anything in the way.  I'll let you know how my serpentine spine electrifies my very soul.  That's the plan.

Life is to be savored not withstood.  The only way to notice everything that's going on around us is to to experience it.  Having the senses unimpeded by anything in our control so we can  absorb the life within and around us.  Isn't the point of our humanity to stop and smell the fall foliage?

 What's in your way? 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yeah, baby!!

Prana (प्राण, prāṇa) is the Sanskrit for "vital life" (from the root prā "to fill", cognate to Latin plenus "full"). It is one of the five organs of vitality or sensation, viz.  In Vedantic philosophy, prana is the notion of a vital, life-sustaining force of living beings and vital energy, comparable to the Chinese notion of Qi.  (wikipedia)
In prana, a great big "Oh, baby!" sits in your throat ready to come out.
"Oh, baby!" just wants to come out.  It can happen when...
You are in perfect alignment during a Yoga pose.

You run a race

You set a perfect table for dinner with your favorite people

Maybe your hair  looks good today.  Or  your herbs are happy.

That counts.   Creating, writing, sailing, hugging, praying, dancing, looking in the eyes of a loved one all let prana flow.
It is accessible to all of us all the time, we just have to learn to cultivate and harvest it.  It makes us alive and as long as we have breath, we have prana.  Yeah, baby! 
In Yoga, we are taught to notice Pranic moments and let them  imprint.  We are trained not to react but let it be.  Soon it will be woven within us and we may feel the urge to "Yeah, baby" much often.  I like that prognosis. 
I must go feed my dogs who are circling me like they've never seen food.  If they could, they bark out a big "Yeah, baby" whenever they see their full bowls.
What fills your bowl?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Old School

 Jam on it.
If you don't admit you remember this song you are WEAK and a LIAR.
Three words to the whack, step yourself back
Just gettin' down, and you then you're givin' no slack
Like a Burger King with a sack of Big Macs
We're throwin' down with the radical sacks
On time, in your mind you see
You gotta boogie to your best ability
You gotta funk it up until it knocks you down
And when you're funkin' up, be sure to pass it around
Come on, let's go to work
We got what'll make your body jerk
Make you throw your hands up in the air
Shake your booty and scream, "Oh, yeah"
?Cause we are the Jam On Crew
And jammin' on it is how we do the do
We'll funk you up until you boogie down
So come people check out the sound
Check out the sound, check out the sound, check out the sound, check out the sound
Check out the sound, check out the sound, check out the sound, check out the sound
Check out the sound
This is not my Yoga Teacher Training class, but it could be. 
We are old and WE  HAVE HOMEWORK.
Like the student I used to be I started right away.
Only this time I'm not distracted by $5.00 pitchers of watery stale beer at JM's.  I actually want to do it.

Our YTT homework includes 5 minutes of mandatory meditating.  That's right.  Sitting still, visualizing, breathing and thinking about NOTHING.  It's much harder than it seems.  With the meditating comes chanting and I haven't brought myself to do it out loud yet since I get up early for this little solo party (no, not THAT kind). My family just may wonder even more deeply what up wit her?  Plus if they interrupted my flow I'd just say...

(Shut up)

And they'd KNOW I was old school. 

Come on.  You know you SO remember this song even if you've grown up be the head of six corporations, a doctor, a lawyer, a priest, a teacher, a writer, a mother, lover, a friend, a social worker, a soul mate or a rapper.  You all have newcleus and you'll all be yogis and yoginis when I get done with you.  Word.

i say hip hop
 hippy to the hippity hip hip hop,
You don't stop rockin
to the bang, bang, boogie
say upchuck the boogie
to the rhythm, to the boogie the beat
say we are the jam on crew and jammin it on is the best we do.

 That was my chant in the early 80's.  What did you chant then?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pull me, stretch me, heal me

So I can do the same to you.  As of Friday, I am a Yoga teacher in the making.  I started a YTT program through Yogaworks at a studio in Carytown.  Yogaworks blends Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Vingyasa styles of Hatha Yoga.  There's a strong meditative component to the curriculum too.  I am excited, overwhelmed, happy, filled, teary, nervous, vulnerable, thrilled over this journey.   I have 19 new friends and I think I love them all.  Doctors, cancer survivors, nurses, moms, grandmoms, dads, belly dancers comprise the group.  The process promises to be transformative. 

Alas, as indispensable as I think I am - my family survived just fine without me all weekend.  My 7 year-old daughter attended a wedding in the Outer Banks of North Carolina thanks to the kindness of our dear friends, Larry and Megan.

Mary Anne Kennelly Tysinger with Bibby, Maggie, and (my) Jane
Kathleen spent the weekend with my sister and her family and when I picked her up she didn't want to leave.  Love it!  Nicholas went hunting with Mike and watched college football (go JMU).  So you see, all that bending over backwards for them is not critical to any one's survival.  Except mine.   I'm up to 16 a day.

Finally, my hamstring is healed.  My Yoga teacher trainer, Jeanmarie Paolillo plugged my hip into it's socket with wild abandon and I have been pain-free ever since.  She is a saint and inspiring and beautiful and talented and funny and cool and so very good at what she does.  She is of service to her students.  I promise you, I will be too.  Let the healing begin!

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Alicia Keys

Septemer 11, 2010
 I am not eloquent enough to bring us to a moment of remembrance on this day. I have been crying a lot lately though.  Time of year.  Time of the month.  Or it could be this.
Alicia Keys and Jay-Z
Empire State of Mind
Yankess vs. Phillies
Go to itunes and listen to Alicia Keys' solo version of this song.  It made me so sad for New York, you know - the person.  We all know The City never sleeps, has character, is vibrant and scary and overpopulated and nine years ago it got a heartbeat.  I want to wrap my arms around her and hold on.  I've been to Ground Zero where the sidewalks and streets are rich with the life lost, life present, and life to come.  I didn't know anyone personally who died in or around the Twin Towers or The Pentagon or the field in Pennsylvania.  With six degress of separation, we all knew someone.  I am sad for everyone's someone. 

 In Virginia, like in many places there was at moment of silence at 9:39 the minute the plane crashed into the target in our state.  My older two children were too young to remember it and my third wasn't on the planet yet.  I said they should just sit still and think about their freedom.  I thought I might pray specifically in words since I am never at a loss for them.  Instead, only Todd Beemer came to mind.  Everytime I say "Let's Roll" let it be a tribute to my friends New York, Virgnia and Pennsylvannia. 

Listen to Alicia Keys, she might make you cry too.  Today's the day for it. 

Donate to your local foodbank!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Winner and I want a new body

I love Mollie and Carlee Berry. Mollie eats frosting from the tub.  (Duh!, who doesn't?) She goes the extra mile and adds peanut butter.  Love the rawness of it all.  Carlee Berry looks so happy with cute Mike.  She makes me want to feel young and cool.  Surely my young coolness is somewhere in here.  Besides these unique tidbits that make their blogs fun and compelling, they made me feel loved.  Thanks, ladies.  You did a good thing by commenting on my blog.   I have to spread the love to Kassi, however - my winner.  She ran 2 miles and is working her way up to a 10k and I know she'll do it.  I love to see the enthusiasm and shine from a new goal.  Tenacity and persistence and stick-to-itiveness.  They deserve $40 and much much more.  We all wish you well, Kassi.  Send me your email address and I'll hook you up with the folks at CSN.  Enjoy that Dutch Oven!

And now...
I want a new body.  Surely, you are tired of hearing about my hamstring/hind quarters issues after my ill-advised Party Yoga trick.  I ran 4 measly miles on Friday and I didn't even recognize myself.  I felt like I had no stability in my hip joints and that I might buckle at any moment.  I did not feel weak or hungry or especially hot - just not in my own body.  I couldn't believe I ran 26.2 miles twice in six months and 13.1 miles 4 times in the same year while teaching exercise classes at the gym. Who was that girl?  Idid get some relief with use of some gimpy looking black hamstring tape...
It sends some kind of pain relief signal up to your brain to trick it into feeling better.  I can still do most of the things I did before but not nearly like I used to.  The flexibility is coming back, my spine is stronger and I am managing to shuffle out some miles but the pain when I drive is still unbearable.  White-knuckles.  Grit-yer-teeth pain.  Where is the badass I fancied myself?  If you knew me then, help me find her.  I want to spank myself for losing my groove on.  Dawg gone it.

Return to center.  Return to Yoga.  It cures a lot.  Just taking it's time with my poor aching butt.  Recognize what is and let it go.  A celebration of the present, whatever it may be.  Change your mind.  Change your life.  I'm getting all greased up here.  Get out of the way of your own ass and live, baby live. Without judgement but with frosting and 10k's and goals and love and support.  And peanut butter.  Everything's better with a little peanut butter.  Where do you put yours.

Completely unrelated to my assinine problems...

You gotta love a seven year old who sleeps with a eye mask.  Now that's a good morning.  My peanut butter pumpkin with frosting on top.  Love to you all....

Yoga Championships coming soon. next up:  my training for life altering asana.  Thanks, Garland for Directing us.  We love you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fo shizzell!

Do you like free extensions
Fo shizzle my nizzle - Slang for "for sure, homey".  Though most people attribute it to Snoop Dogg, fo shizzle can be traced back originally to E-40 from Vallejo, California. Bay Area.
If you've never visited the urban dictionary.  Do it.  Especially if you have offspring even close to puberty.  Mostly its funny.  Can be disturbing. But it's reality. 
Here's where fo shizzle works...
Q:  You ready for the weekend?
A:  Fo shizzle.
Q:  You leave a tip for your favorite barista?
A:  Fo shizzle my nizzle.
Q:  You  want a Dutch Oven?
A:  Fo shizzle. 
Q:  How do I get one?
A:  Blow hard butt wind under the covers several times and build up stench while your old lady is brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed, then when she gets into bed, pull the covers over her head and yell "Dutch Oven" and let her enjoy the stench of your ass gas for at least 30 seconds.  OR
1. Comment (1 entry)
2. Send me your latest AHA! moment from training. (Ex.: a PR on a recreational run. Got your head to your knee, did backbend down a wall, got out of bed without limping) I want good news baby! - (1 entry).
3. Keep us all real. Send me one little confession (clean and comfortable) - You love the smell of gasoline (I do!). You must line labels evenly. You eat cookie dough, run the water while in the restroom. Something that makes you go hmmm.
4. Send a little good energy into the world to someone/something that needs it.  To Amy who's working hard and being an awesome friend.  Or to your sister in gratitude. Or to your parents in heaven because you'll forever be stunned you got them even for a short time. How did I get so lucky? (Quiet entry as many as you like, tell me about or don't but JUST DO IT!)  By Saturday.

Make him proud...

Yeah, dogg.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

$40 GIVEAWAY and huge moment

Even though Mary Jarvis says the Bikram Yoga room stinks because you leave all your stuff in it, please, no Dutch Oven in the hot room!  It's already hot and smelly... in a good way. - kind of like breast milk poop.  I used to love that from my babies - I know I'll regret that little giveaway in the morning.  But not this one:

$40 gift certificate to CSN stores.   Read to the end for details.  

So I went to Bikram Yoga yesterday with my hurt right butt cheek.  I was hesitant because of my bottom but hungry for that sweat and push and focus.  I told my instructor I was nursing a hamstring/piriformis injury and she said "Okay, take it easy."  Another student said:  "She should whip you if you don't step up."  Like "Who do you think you are?" - better make sure the instructor doesn't think  you are slacking. "  How silly am I?  What does she care about my hindquarters?

Everything.  Apparently.  Each word Briah uttered resonated with me and though I was tender with my ham I progressed in almost every pose.  Probably because I wasn't full-throttle and wanting to outdo myself and my neighbor in class.  I had a challenge to consider and everything else settled like the butterfly on my (patio) bush.  Though I was one-sided in triangle and standing head to knee, my full locust was the bomb.  

AHA!  Thank you God, Allah, Jesus, Shiva, the Universe, Love and my ass!  I feel better.  (That's my huge moment.)

Here comes contest for the giveaway...

1.  Comment (1 entry)
2.  Send me your latest AHA! moment from training.  (Ex.:  a PR on a recreational run.  Got your head to your knee,  did backbend down a wall, got out of bed without limping)  I want good news baby! -  (1 entry).
3.  Keep us all real.  Send me one little confession (clean and comfortable) - You love the smell of gasoline (I do!).  You must line labels evenly.  You eat cookie dough, run the water while in the restroom.  Something that makes you go hmmm. 
4.  Send a little good energy into the world to someone/something that needs it.  Like my friend Beth who's traveling to run with Dean in just 2 hours.  Go Beth!  Or to your sister in gratitude.  Or to your parents in heaven because you'll forever be stunned you got them even for a short time.  How did I get so lucky?  (Quiet entry as many as you like, tell me about or don't but JUST DO IT!)

Winner announced August 25!  Everybody needs a little Dutch Oven.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Addicts no more

What would you do for a butt?

On Monday I opened my freezer and saw this:
Frozen mud?  Marinade for another day?  I wouldn't put it past my sauce-creating husband to save his baste like so.   Turns out the girls were trying to make a chocolate bar out of Hersey's syrup.  Not a creative endeavor from some cute workshopie cooking camp.  In my mind, it's a desperate measure by a true sugar addict.  I've become militant and cleaned up our food act. I will never ever purchase another soda and sugar is a treat on a special occasion not a daily entitlement.  It appears my behavior is founded.

They aren't happy:

So I say to my son:
Wow, your sisters are like nicotine addicts searching desperately on the ground in a dark alley for some old cigarette butt hoping there's a puff or two left so they can get their fix.  So don't ever smoke.  What do you think?
A little dramatic. 
After a pause he laughed.
Good one, Mom. 
I was serious.

This is better:
My silly hamstring.  Slow to heal.  Like recovery from sugar addiction.  We'll do it though.  One day at a time.

No miles this week.  Yoga twice and 4 fitness classes to teach at the Y.  I can lead without full-on yowzah.  So I am resting a bit.

What have you changed lately?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fire and ice

Three and a half hours like this set my right leg on fire up to my rear end.

I kept my cussing to a minimum.  Thank you for all the great suggestions about propping, icing and doing shots. Surely you've been waiting to see that we all made it home in one piece.  We did.  It was the driving.  I'd go through fire to get to the beach and I did.

To alleviate some of the pain, I sat on a huge pillow and used my cruise control as much as possible.  To be sitting up higher than usual did nothing for my balance, proprioceptors and my fear of bridges/tunnels (another post).  Yoga breath, where are you?

I did not do shots but loved the idea, thank you Beth and Jon.  I did however get 2/3 deep into a bottle of white and it was good.  I sat by the pool with my limb on ice then went to the ocean to watch this and 2 other reasons for withstanding fire...

The next day and the next I hobbled out 4.67 miles and actually felt better which is good because the drive home took nearly 5 hours. 

We had a great time.  Beach, pool, surfing, and seafood.  Nearly heaven.

Only drawback - couple in pool thought they were at Hugh Hefner's.  THIS IS THE HILTON GARDEN INN.  Families and children and mother runners who are soon-to-be Yoga teachers with injured hamstrings are here.  Hello.  There aren't enough shots to withstand that. Put some ice on it.  The could've borrowed some of mine.  Luckily they took their tryst indoors before I got sick. 

Can't wait to do this again...

  That's me with a hair piece.
How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help! Intense pain coming soon...

It's not Cobra pose but I do have one leg - that works.  I posted earlier about my temporary insanity - sliding to the splits, no hands and no warm up after an 8 mile run.  (At least I didn't have a lamp shade on my head).  I heard a pop in my hamstring and haven't been right since.  I walked slowly with a limp well enough later that day and the next.  I've been to Yoga hot and not 3 times since and have walked several times 3 to 4 miles each.  I am functional. 

I WANT TO CRY WHEN I DRIVE.  My darn one leg hurts like a mofo, a bee-atch, and any other non-cursing supurlatives you want to fill-in. 

I have to drive 3 hours with my 3 kids to the beach later this morning.  Does anyone have any hints on making the drive more comfortable.  I'm going to prop til I drop.  Wiggle, wrap ice, take Alleve,  pray and focus on the road.  If you had any ideas on ways to make this more comfortable, I'd really appreciated it.

Oh, and it's my driving leg.  Son of a split!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How do you like your Jesus?

I like to picture my Jesus with angel wings singing lead vocals at a Lynard Skynard concert.  And I'm in the front row hammered drunk.

I like to picture my Jesus with a tuxedo tee-shirt.  You, know something kinda formal that says I'm formal but I like to party.
                                                                       --Cal, Jr. Talladega Nights.
It is with great pride that I confess that my 12 year old son can quote Talladega Nights on command and I laugh every time.  It's not Romans 8:12 but it still takes a good memory.

I coulda used some Jesus on Saturday when I pulled my hamstring. 
I was trying to do this:

On this:

 Oh snap.  Loser.

I had run 8 miles with my sister on a beautiful, unspoiled stretch of earth near her gawgus rivah house on the Potomac. I ccelebrated my run, my health and my pursuit of Yoga Teacher certification with a couple of glasses of  pinot grigio.  She started dancing on the picnic table and I will NOT be outdone I tell you.  I started with Warrior I on the bench and then felt called to slide down to the splits with no hands.  I hope no one else heard the snap because then my faking that I was fine would be found out.  I faked not limping.  Sounds like something our buddy Cal, Jr. from TN (above, left) might do.  But

I FOUND JESUS because I called.  Often I don't call Him but He just shows up like over the crest of a huge hill I'm sludging up or at the finish line of every race or in the face of my child or in the fresh veggies the earth births or in every single solitary Yoga class I take or in my dogs, my friends or yes friends cheesy crass humor that tickles me. 

 Jesus, Clair.  Raise your bar.  Just don't do the splits on it.

Lesson learned:  wine and Yoga tricks don't mix.

What have your learned lately?  Peace out.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Workshop review

On Saturday I participated in a Yoga Workshop led by the 2010 Asana Champions, Kasper Van Den Wijngaard, Brandi Winfield, and Griffen Peddicord at the Bikram Yoga Richmond Innsbrook location.
Here's how it went.  First Kasper (on left in photo) led a beginner Bikram class to a sold out crowd.  His Dutch accent and candence was mesmermizing and soothing and definitely keep my vomit inside, though it was knocking on my thoracic door.  Sold out in a 107 degree room when it's 102 outside means more than you think.  My toes actually touched the water bottle of the girl behind me, to my right (sorry cutie pie in pink).  I got touched by the toes of my neighbor in front. 
But they were champion digits!!  Griffen Peddicord (center) was right in front of me and ever so slightly to my right.  Surely he was so mesmerized by me he just had to feel me.  Even if it was with his toes.  I know you think I'm crazy but I could feel his energy even when his toes weren't gracing my forearm, or head, or.....

After class besides being grateful I was alive, I prepared for a 3-hour workshop.  I exited the Hot Room and hit Nirvana.  Our friends, Kara and Sam provided fresh fruit and home made slushies to us.  HUGE KARMA POINTS.  I saw the beautiful fruit and almost cried.  I went outside to the biggest heat wave in recent history in Virginia and IT FELT BREEZY AND COMFORTABLE.

Here, folks get high on slushies.
Yes that is someone's sweat print on the sidewalk.

Then we returned to the hot room with doors open and watch each champion demonstrate their winning routine from the 2010 Asana Championships in LA in February.  I was moved to tears.  Brandi, complete with flowers in her hair showed us her soul and it was hauntingly beautiful and real.  Then came the fun Q and A, my favorite part because my favorite thing is to talk Yoga and Life.  We learned a little the champions.  They each in their own unique way made me want to live a deeper more Yogic life.  And this is just the way to start...

I took my children to the James River and watched them play on God's green earth.
I know I should adjust my skirt but it was HOT out there. 
Just like the workshop.
What did you do over the weekend?


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Walking around naked

Alanis, baby.
When I was single living on Monument Avenue in Downtown Richmond in the mid 90's  I would belt out these words by my soul sister Alanis Morrisette...
I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone  (I had.)

I recommend walking around naked in your living room...(I wanted to.  Alone or not.  Didn't matter)
And then my very favorite line...

I recommend biting off more than you can chew.  To anyone.  I certainly do. 

So. last week I had a birthday.  In your 40's they come faster and mean more.  My daughter turned 7 the same day I turned 42.   The birthday girls at dinner...
To Alanis' point, I want my children to pusher harder.  Do more.  Explore ideas and interests.  Take that class, try that hobby, play that sport, run that race, love that lonely-looking child at school, eat that vegetable, try that dish, throw away all their trash, study longer, practice more, pray til they sweat, prove the nay-sayers wrong, smile til their face cracks, cry til their eyes are dry because...

You live you learn

You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn

You live you learn.

Can you tell I REALLY like that song.
This year...  I am getting my Yoga Teacher certification.  I might be biting off more than I can chew because it's a add-in.  I've wanted to to this for so many years.  I say bring it on.  I'll end up walking around naked in my living room because the laundry won't be caught up.

 Laundry?  Study Yoga?  Laundry?  Study Yoga?  Hmmmmm.
What's your favorite song?