Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

25 days of my favorite things, #6: Happiness
I found this great quote on the Abraham-Hicks blog and I am in love.

“A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don’t allow the happy moment, because they’re so busy trying to get a happy life.” – Abraham-Hicks

Yesterday I had the most beautiful happy moment. I actually thought to myself “I’m so happy I could just cry!”. We (kids and me - husband has been out of town for 13 days now) were scheduled to get the venerable holiday photo yesterday morning. We tried last weekend but Anthony kept throwing up (which turned out to be strep). 10 minutes before we were to leave yesterday, Eden threw up too. It really makes me think we were never meant to have these pictures.

It is 2 days before Christmas and my baby is vomiting. I know at some point last week she actually had her brother’s toothbrush in her mouth so I suppose on some level I’d be surprised if this didn’t happen. I figured it would be best to just go get the strep test out of the way. I also had to go to the bank and the post office. So I loaded up the van and drove in to Shakopee (sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies by the way). Before our day at the MinuteClinic (minute my patootie) I went through the drive-through at Caribou Coffee to get a latte.

We are sitting in the car listening to Christmas songs. We are watching people bustling in and out of the shops in the adjacent strip mall, people shoveling the fresh snow off the sidewalks, and people generally moving about their business. There is an air of cheer. It seems so clichéd but it’s true. I think the stress of the holidays has melted into excitement now that it’s so close. You can feel it out loud. I looked over and saw a woman from the beauty shop shoveling outside. A couple walked up to her and gave her a card and a gift. I don’t know why (besides the obvious) but it was such a touching moment. In that moment I felt generosity, caring, human tenderness. I felt so happy I wanted to cry.

May you all be blessed with many happy moments, and the ability to allow the happy moments.

Friday, December 21, 2007


25 days of my favorite things - day #5 (random they are)
I love food! There is very little I don't like. Mayonnaise and Oreos, that's about it. Oh, and maybe Brussel Sprouts (ever since an unfortunate encounter in 7th grade Home Ec class). But I'm not here to talk about what I don't like, this is My Favorites already. The other day I was talking with some friends and I mentioned that I'm ahead of my time because I've never dieted. Mainly because I have no willpower. The other reason is I just love food.
So here goes, my favorite of the favorites (aside from #1, in no particular order).
#1 TIRAMISU - Italian-cream, rum-filled, coffee-flavored heaven.
Speaking of coffee - coffee. Good coffee with real cream or, hot-creamy-goodness-in-a-cup, as I call it.
Peanut butter. Chocolate. enough said.
You could put butter and/or capers on just about anything and I'd eat it.
Caprese salad (tomatoes, basil & real mozzarella, with or without balsamic vinegar)
Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.
Red wine - a good Shiraz or Pinot Noir. Does that count? that's not really a food, is it?
Big, juicy, right in season Pomegranates.
Big fluffy buttermilk pancakes with real maple syrup. Or better yet, fresh hot Belgian Waffles (the real kind made with seltzer) with strawberries and real, fresh whipped cream. ooh - ooh - how about Chocolate Belgian Waffles?
Did I mention peanut butter?

I could have a whole blog dedicated just to the food I love. I'm just not sure my computer keyboard could handle all the drool. Liquids kill them you know. Especially Pinot Noir.

I have to go now, I think I hear my peanut butter calling.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm sitting here... my computer, about to write about Yoga in my blog, looking at the Yoga Sutras, trying to find the one about Yoga being in ease (II.46: Sthirasukhamasanam). Then I have this thought,

"I could get to a place where I am peaceful and unwavered and not affected by anyone or anything or their actions"

I'm not sure if my sentence truly projects the way that thought felt. It is good and calm and peaceful and hopeful. It once again directs me back to myself, as the answers are within me. I like that place, that kind of peace. It's like a big juicy fruit (a pomegranate?) that is like liquid heaven and you could eat it all day and it never makes you full. I want to eat the fruit of that feeling, that kind of peace. All of the sutras are speaking to me now, suddenly guiding me, reminding me what needs to be done.

So instead I give you this, Sutra I.33, as poetically translated by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.:

"So many ways to still the mind,
make friends with those who live in joy,
have compassion for those who suffer,
delight in those who shine with virtue and integrity,
turn your thoughts away from those who dwell in darkness."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friends are Family - Part II

25 days of my Favorite Things - #4
I do have other friends besides my neighbors, I'd like to sing their praises now. First, there is my yoga advanced teacher training group, AKA, my therapy group. The most amazing, wonderful, helpful, non-judgmental people I have ever met. For the last 2 years we have met at least once a month (and often much more) to study and learn more about all facets of Yoga. In the process we've been through 2 births, several deaths, a move, many family dramas, and started a new company. They have changed my life for the better.
Then, I have friends from various other places - my best friend from college, friends from old workplaces, friends through yoga and preschool. The people who I don't get to see as often as I'd like, but when I do it's as if we just saw each other yesterday.
Like SE. Last Sunday I took my kids to the mall to see Santa. For 5 hours. After one look at the mile long line we went to have lunch. After that my husband left to go out of town and we were left to fend for ourselves. On the way back to Santa we ran into SE. After a big - haven't-seen-you-in-over-a-year hug, she exclaimed "I'm having the worst day!" She had also been there since the mall opened but after 45 minutes in line with Santa and one toddler head smack to the floor she went home. After dropping the toddler off for nap she came back only to find that Santa was going on break in 30 minutes and they weren't letting anyone in line.
To make a long story short, we spent the afternoon together and finally did get to see Santa. Both of us admitted we wouldn't have stayed had it not been for the other. And it turned out to be a pretty great day.
God loves a friend, especially when they turn up in the most unexpected places for the most necessary of reasons.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Friends are family - part I

25 days of my favorite things - #3
Not to discount my family, but right now so many of my friends and neighbors are my family. Many of my family live some distance away and even the ones we love we don't see often enough. I am lucky enough - knowing that I chose this place and these people, I still consider myself lucky and fortunate - to live in the best neighborhood in the world. My best friend since 1st grade lives 6 houses away and next to her is also someone who grew up in my hometown. I spend New Year's, 4th of July and many other holidays with my neighbors and we all have our "annual events" - the Weird Beer Party, Halloween Party, the Rocket party, camping, the softball team and the scrapbook group.
They are the people I call if my husband's out of town and I'm pregnant and sick with the flu and I just need to sleep - they take my kids for the day. They are the people I call if I promised my kids we'd make cookies that look like pizza and I just need 1 egg and my husband scrambled the last of the eggs yesterday. They are the people I call if I forgot to return the movie to the library and "hey - are you going into town today?". They are the people who call me when their daughter awakens at 1am with febrile seizures. We bring gifts and dinners to the new parents bringing home the newborn from the hospital - or Korea or Vietnam. And then we all call each other when one us finds a lump in her breast while feeding the 6 month old (he is now almost 5 and mom is doing great). I am eternally grateful for these people - my friends.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." - Anais Nin

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


25 days of my favorite things: #2
FRecycling, as in Recycling with an F. Oddly enough, that is what my 4 year old calls it - Frecycling. He is obsessed with trash, garbage, garbage trucks, compost. You name it. If it's associated with garbage he's a fan. His favorite book is Trashy Town and his favorite video is There Goes a Garbage Truck. When he grows up he wants to be the guy that drives the lawn compost truck. We're hoping he'll take that desire and invent a new and better way to dispose of garbage. Need I say more?
Which leads me to my favorite things for today. My husband calls me a pack rat, I call myself a recycler. In my house if it can be used again, it damn well better. I donate to Goodwill and the Veterans, I resell on Ebay, I tape up books and rent or borrow things whenever I can.
Last night I made bread pudding (to use up those old husks of bread that don't get eaten and that I in turn throw in the freezer for later use). Orange Raisin Bread Pudding on a cold winter night is yummy. Now on to those frozen brown bananas...
Here are some cool people who are doing the same and turning trash into trashion. Take a look, wonder at their ingenuity, then buy something for your sister or mother. (P.S. these are not advertisements and I'm not getting paid, these are just sites I found that I like and that have cool stuff) Happy shopping!
www. - of course the king site of re-use - trendy uses for those old tires, etc. - some new, some recycled, all sustainable - a new kind of bag - eco-friendly jewelry and recycled car metal art (a friend of mine!)
If you know of any other great sites the relate to recycling - please pass them on! I love looking at the wonder of what is offered via the internet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My favorite things...

I'm not feeling creative as of late. I think I went a little creatively crazy a couple of weeks ago and wore myself out. I know I have things to say - like they're on the tip of my tongue - but yet just can't remember what it was. Alas.
I'm musing on my favorite things. Partly because Christmas time makes me think of it, partly because I'm focusing very hard on positive things. My "happy place" if you will. That pretty much brings me to things I love, my favorites. We could call it the 25 days of Favorite Things.
Last night as I was flipping the channels (that's how uncreative I am right now) and came across a show whereby 3 people choose wardrobes for a 4th person. I'm not sure the dynamics but I'm guessing 2 are the best friends/sister/co-worker and the 3rd is a true stylist or otherwise fashion type person. While wearing a dress this "stylist" picked out the woman said the beads at the cuffs and hems were too heavy (it was a weird dress. period.) The man - yes man - replied "who cares how it feels as long as it looks good!" An off-hand remark, yes, but telling all the same.
Because she obviously cared how it feels. And I care how it feels. I might be miss-nerves-on-top-of-her-skin but I'm guessin' I'm not alone. Are you with me? Maybe I'm just getting picky in my old age but - good grief! Do all things beautiful have to be uncomfortable or even painful? Life is too short. I stopped wearing high heels the day I stopped working at a bank. I spend $45 on a bra so I don't have to know it's there (and it lifts and pushes together). Even then I take it off as soon as I know no one is looking. Thank GOD for tagless design so I can stop cutting them all out.
Final word: In our house we call our comfy clothes Gumby Gear. And its not because Gumby was rigid and inflexible.