Friday, September 23, 2011

George is my mother and heavy mettle

Last night I woke up after a fitful few hours sleep, got up to check on my son’s bad dream and crawled back in bed to my usual awaiting partner:.  George.


This doggone cat loves me and I hate cats.  We got him 5 years ago when I found a snake in my kitchen because we thought it would ward off skinny slithery things with tongues.  My children fell in love with him (so did I) and their petless selves suddenly had something furry to love.  He wasn’t leaving.  Now he doesn’t leave me.  It’s ironic because I am known to hate pussy’s.  Scared of them, bad dreams about them, run the other way when I see them kind of abhorrence.  Miracles never cease, I now have 2 feline frolickers.  But my husband said something last night that struck me.  As I climbed back into bed he says: 

'”That damn cat loves you.  I think he is your mother.”

I lost my mother almost 15 years ago and life is so hard without her.  Sure the day-to-day is easier and I have a lot wonderful things going on but I miss her to the core and life will never, ever be the same without her.  I have tried to make it so for 15 years but I have not the mettle.  But I do have George and a heartbreakingly loyal and supportive network of people she is certainly influencing to come my way.  Like, Amy (who has the spirits in her) and yoga and God and my children and my faith and yes, my pussy George.   Thank you Lord for my pussy and my mother:


Here, have a tree pose:


I am a dancer (pose):


I have heavy mettle.

I am a big person.  I wondered recently if I should enter races in the Athena division to place better in my age group.  I really am not that competitive.  But I pondered the Athena category because it’s about accepting who you are – perhaps not built like a runner but I run nonetheless.  I am not a pussy (I have one, feline).  I have mettle.  I have bootstrapped myself from a number of things as have all of us.  At the end of the day I am most blessed because I have my mother to cuddle with every night – even if she is white and furry.

  What’s your mettle about?

Friday, September 16, 2011


I started putting together a 'day in the life' post because I love to read them.  I want to know how your day started, what your barista at Starbuck's regaled you with and if you read blogs at work.  I want to know if your run was good, what you created for lunch and if your family showed you the appreciation you deserve.  We are after all one human family even if we've never met. 

A day in my life is like any other.  Unless I have one of the biggies (a death, birth, travel, doctors, PR, awards, or winning the lottery) most days are the same.  As are we.  It's my perspective.  Which right now is for crap because of this:

My daughter's room

And this:

These are triggers that put my perspective in the commode.  I will NOT clean my girls' room any more.  They will do NOTHING when they get home from school until that room is neat and picked up.  I left the towel on the floor because I am sick and tired of picking up other people's crap.  Whereas I can usually find the sacred in the mundane and see light in the dark, today I left the house feeling like this:
Irritated and unappreciated.
Until I had my coffee date with Megan.  She always lifts my spirits.  Megan has a calming effect on everyone she comes in contact with and I am grateful she lets me in her space.  I am continually reminded of how blessed I am even if my perspective is so out of focus.  My health, my opportunity and my Megan triggered the best in me today.  I am ready to work.

How do you dodge your triggers?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Please let me touch your hand

Life is so sly.  In the past several days I’ve been filled and mesmerized by it. 

On Saturday,

I taught my first class at Healthy Life Yoga.  Loved. Every. Minute.  Here’s the space:


And my mat in it:


And me in the dressing room as I await my students:


Whereas, none of us tied our limbs in a knot or experienced the mad rush of Kundalini up our spine, we shared space and time and intention to be healthier more grounded beings.  Nothing better.

On Sunday

My youngest daughter started her First Communion class and we went to Mass after a latte.  My girls and I (Mike and Nicholas were bonding in the woods somewhere) sat in a pew where I am sure my Mother and Father and I sat many times over the years.  I looked to my left and saw the most regal older couple I knew I knew.  I looked at the lady in a yellow suit and hat and saw a face I was sure I knew.  The face of her son – my first kiss, my first crush, my first memory of a boy who liked me in THAT WAY.  I learned a few weeks ago he died four years ago– a man of only 40 -  from a heart defect.  Track star, basketball star, salt of the earth family.  I was sitting next to his parents and saw him in his mother’s lined face.  I just wanted to touch her yellow sleeve.  I couldn’t wait for the sign of peace so I could touch her hand and look in her son’s eyes and smile.  I came home, held one of my daughters and smiled.


On Monday

Going through my inbox I found this from a cousin I had just reconnected with on Sunday:

hey clair this just came in today and of course i thought of you!!  happy Monday 

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: DailyOM <>
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 4:21 AM
Subject: DailyOM: Special Messengers

September 12, 2011
Special Messengers
Reconnecting with Friends

When fate brings old friends back into our lives, there is always a reason.

Every person that passes through our lives makes a contribution to our life stories. There are those who play large roles and make deep impressions, but sometimes a brief special appearance before life takes them in another direction creates a meaningful connection. It is a rare gift when they suddenly reappear in our lives after a long absence.
Though the world may seem full of more people than we could ever know, we are often drawn to people with similar energy, which brings us together time and time again. On first meeting, the characters in our life stories may seem familiar. We may know each other from past lives or perhaps we merely recognize the energy of a kindred spirit. But when fate brings old friends back into our lives, there is always a reason. They may act as messengers, reminding us of a part of ourselves we have forgotten to nurture. They might appear to give us a chance to react in a new way to an old situation. They may even bring up unresolved issues so that we may complete them, giving us the chance to move forward on our life path. Whether old friends, previous romances, or once and future partners, their reappearance is more than mere chance. They may never know what they bring into our lives, but the renewed contact is a gift.
If this hasn’t happened to you, maybe you are meant to initiate contact by seeking out old friends. If old friends come to mind or into your dreams, use their appearance as an excuse to get in touch. If an old song or movie reminds you of them, reach out to share the gift of renewed contact. Wherever you fall in the circle of connection and reconnection, be sure to look beyond the surprise of the moment to enjoy the deeper gift that this revelation brings


Pass it on to a friend.  And if I ever see you in person, please let me touch your hand.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Here, have a stomach

Please tell me some of you are in your 40's.  I recently turned 43 and changed - what seemed like overnight.  For my birthday this summer, I got a stomach.  I've never been a lean mean fighting machine and I've had 3 8lb+ babies, but I haven't had too much of a  pooch until now. 
Happy Birthday, Clair!  Here, have a stomach.
BTW, the line above my navel is the graveyard from my belly ring.  I had to let it close.  Dang!
Gee, 43 - I don't know what to say:
I am listening now when the belly fat commercials come on.  Seriously.  Help.  It's all 43's fault.  It had nothing to do with the raw cookie dough I've ingested or my addiction to carbs.  However this got there - I don't like it.

Makes me want to do this:
I usually take the cork out first.  But I realized how silly I was being over my new kangaroo holder.  I heart marsupials.  But for goodness sake, I am healthy and sound in mind (sort of) so my pooch shouldn't make me hooch.  In fact, my new boss at Healthy Life Yoga said I should embrace my stomach.  It means I'm aging and still here.

I am teaching a class tomorrow at this new wonderful studio and I can't wait.  I'll bring my heart in my pooch and leave a little of my soul.  And I'm leaving the carbs out.

Today I had cereal for breakfast.
I ran 3 miles and took a Yoga class.
Went to work.
Had a clementine.
Worked some.
Had a spinach and tomato salad for lunch.
Came home from work.
Had graham crackers and peanut butter (SINNER!)
About to have fish, salad and potato for dinner.
Drinking some wine because it's Friday after 5 and not because of my 43rd birthday present. 

I'll get it right.  Belly fat, self esteem and all.  I'm just glad I'm here.  What did you get for your 43rd birthday?  If you haven't reached it yet, i pray and hope and expect you will.  i love life.  Mine is just without as many carbs and hopefully as much belly.  Running the Suntrust Richmond Half in November and the Shamrock full in March.  That ought to help.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jimmy Buffett, Van Morrison, Larry Smith and me

I fancy my self a poet.  It's the nuns at St. Paul's fault.  I won a Poetry contest in the 4th Grade.  $100.00 and a little attention.  It was sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of the Confederacy (WHAT?!).  There were probably only 2 of us but money is money.  I love words and imagery and the power of the prose.  I am often moved by what I read but I have to be able to understand it at first blush - or it's nerdy.  Move over Robert Frost, bring on Jimmy Buffett.  Not a great vocalist.  A great story-teller and a ...umm poet of sorts.

He links tomatuh and potatuh/beer and steer like nobody's business.
Then there's Van the Man.  God do I love him.
He wants to rock your gypsy soul, into the mystic.
I'm not going to lie to you.  That line in that song makes me want to wear red pumps and dance on tables.  The imagery, moving me to action.  Poetry at its best.

And then there's Larry Smith.  A beautiful piece on contemplation from Yoga International Magazine
Walking a Field into Evening

For learned books, I read grasses.
For reputation, a bird calls my name.
I cross a stone bridge with the pace of dusk. 
At the meadow gate, six cows meditate.

For decades I ran with my mind up hill and down;
now idleness lets me see what is near.
An arrow of wild geese crosses the sky,
my body still, my feet firm, on the ground.

We age like trees now, watch our seedlings
take wind or grow around us.
I'm going to mark my books lightly
with a pencil.  When someone wants
to take my picture, I'll walk towards them
and embrace.  No more arguments
just heart sense, or talk about nothing.
Take walks in the woods at dawn and dusk,
breathe in the damp musty air,
learn to listen before I die

Really.  Darn.  Good.  As for me, one of my Yoga students told me I should be a poet or a writer because she loved the imagery in class.  I love the Yoga and the words used to describe it.  The funny thing, in Yoga there are no words.  Our bodies are the poetry - our own personal genre.

What's your genre?

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Irene Scene

I feel so bad for all the folks (who talks like that?) who are without electricity because of Hurricane Irene.  I admit I was a B-A-B-Y while our power was out.  For us it was only 2 days and there are always those worse off but dang it I didn't sleep much.  During Isabelle (2003) I had a 6-week-old, 2 toddlers and no way to flush.  So when Mother Nature called she really called me to her (my) backyard.  Sucked.  At least this time we keep our toilet (and our dignity) and our Pinot Grigio cold.  I heart generators. 

My children had a ball.  I watched them play with Irene just as she was getting going:
I could've been arrested for child endangerment since at any given moment a tree limb could've met one of their craniums.  Here's my struggle:  when do you corral your children from their frivolity when they are loving/living life in a risky situation (that wasn't all that bad - yet), getting along, and making memories?  I waited about as long as I could stand it and told them to come inside.  The still argued with me.  I felt glorious.  They need have wild abandon sometimes.  I was lucky they were safe and whole. Some folks weren't.  Why/how were we spared so much trouble and trauma?  Don't know but  I'm thanking my lucky stars.

I managed to kick out 6 soggy miles before Irene pounced and that was good.  This week I have run 15 miles so far, taught 2 Yoga classes and 1 Cardio Jam class.  Today I 'cross trained' by walking my dogs because I am sore as a mother.  Can hardly move but it feels good.  Tomorrow I run 7.  I am taking my training plan for the Richmond Half Marathon very seriously this time.  No substituting classes for miles.  There is nothing like being on your legs.  My children agree, it's even more fun in a hurricane.

It's Friday and 5 o'clock somewhere.  No hurricane to deal with this weekend.  Still getting aftershocks from the earthquake.  Still wearing good bras. 

Would you let your children play with Irene?