May you all have a healthy, and prosperous 2009!
My niece, Ava, in the lucky bamboo grove in her yard in Florida
May you all have a healthy, and prosperous 2009!
My niece, Ava, in the lucky bamboo grove in her yard in Florida
Today, I made it to Sunday yoga. I even made it to the 8:30 meditation, barely. I started my car, but forgot to turn on the defrost, so scraping was in serious order. I do not like to enter the yoga room two minutes prior to class. Heck, I don’t even like to enter the yoga room five minutes prior to class! But it was OK, I made it and I needed it.
Today was a special day. One of my favorite local teachers (Beth) is opening a Yoga Education and Training Center (here in town) and I’m excited for her! I’m also excited to help teach some of the training workshops as well. Today was her last Sunday morning at our studio downtown. We had a large crowd of fourteen. Some of the regulars were not there this morning, so it had potential to have been a much larger class.
Beth is a chanter and a good one. So we opened up class with the 12 mantras for Surya Namaskar. This was joyful and energetic and prepared some of us (including yours truly) for chanting on New Year’s Day at the Yoga Mala for charity. We did a variety of sun salutations and I always dig the Jivamukti style salutes that she sometimes throws in. The locking of the thumbs always makes me feel as though I’m in water. Something that I truly love, being the avid swimmer that I once was! And still am, when I get the chance, I’m just not on a team!
In celebration of moving forward to 2009, we focused on forward bends and some back bends. Soft back bends, nothing too explosive. She mentioned the back bending as a way of leaving stuff behind, because we all know if we don’t leave stuff behind, it’s hard to move (bend) forward. So true. I tend to carry around a lot of totally energy draining and useless information from my past at times, so I totally appreciated this class, on this very day! Thankfully for yoga, I’ve been able to let go of a LOT of stuff that I’ve carried with me. Even some of the stuff that I wanted to keep, but didn’t need to!
I will miss Beth’s Sunday class at our little studio. She offered her teaching position to me. It’s a great gig, good crowd, decent money, nice time slot. But, I like attending the class on Sunday mornings, not teaching it. As much as I could always use the money, I turned it down. My friend Amanda, that took her first yoga class with me at the YMCA will be leading it. I’m excited for her to have a studio class! Beth will continue to teach on Sunday mornings at her new place and I’m sure I’ll drop in. I will also be there to support Amanda, as a new studio teacher. It’s nice to have cheerleaders (in a silent energy yoga code kind of way) in the room!
I left the yoga room today feeling much better about 2009. Not that I was feeling necessarily bad about 2009 when I arrived, but………..yoga’s cool like that!
The days between Christmas and New Year’s are some of my favorites. Even though we didn’t have a stressful, crazy holiday this year, I’m always ready for the day after Christmas. The relief, it’s over, the quiet excitement that takes place. Decorations come down. A little more organization happens (I hope) as out with some old stuff and in with some new stuff. The kids are out of school, days start to get a little longer and I enjoy hanging out with the kids and their new stuff.
Our son, got a driving permit. Whoa. How and when did that happen? When I moved in with Frank and Jordan, he was in the fifth grade, Lauren was starting Kindergarten. He doesn’t even look like the same kid, not at all. He’s tall, athletic and has a good head on his shoulders. I took him driving yesterday. We started in the cemetery by our house, he did great, so we took to the neighborhood park nearby. Since I didn’t have to work today, he wanted to venture out and get a protector cover for his new iPod Touch. It was 60 and storming like mad today. I woke up with a killer headache (temperature change I’m sure) took some drugs, and went back to bed for two hours! I have to make myself do that, to nap and I should do it more often!
I woke up feeling like a million bucks, it was just drizzling so we headed out. First stop, sporting goods shop to get him fitted for his letter jacket. It was a surprise, his birthday is the first week of March. We got fitted, I paid the deposit ($259 total – YIKES) we dropped off all the patches he’s already accumulated and headed to Target. They were out of all skins for all electronics, go figure. But, we scored some xmas candy for 50% off, candy that we did not need by the way. We were starving (caused by looking at all that candy) so we stopped in Culver’s for some lunch. Then, Best Buy. That place on the other hand, was insane as always and by now it was pouring rain. We were able to park close enough to not get soaked (I’m really not an umbrella person) and got skins for the iPod and Nintendo DS screens. He also spent some time on the electronic drum sets. He’s an amazing drummer and goes around drumming on everything and some days, it totally drives me crazy! If we ever have drums in our home (god help us) they will be electronic, headphones and all.
Since it’s rained all day, the water is up and the catfish will supposedly be biting, so he ran down to the creek behind our home to dig worms. He’s now out fishing with grandpa. Temps have dropped a little, but not too much. Not too many chances to fish in December, that’s for sure.
We had a great day. He’s a great kid and funny too. We try to do things with both kids one on one every so often. I think that’s important in a blended family, in any family for sure. Sometimes it feels too much like “me and Lauren” and “Jordan and Frank” so we take extra time out, like today. Frank has taken Lauren fishing several times without me. She caught her first fish with him. She even shot her first gun, a little .22 with him. As a matter of fact, her school has been to the shooting range several times and she’s one of 5 kids that won’t do guns or archery. But, she’ll shoot with Frank. Since the guys do like to shoot for sport, they also reload their own ammunition. Lauren loves to be out in the garage with Frank doing that. She’s learned to reload and can do it very quickly, it’s amazing to watch her. I’m not into it, but I do like to watch Frank melt the metal and pour the bullets sometimes. That’s OK. If we were all into the same stuff, it would be mighty boring around here!
*Note – Loveseat is slated to be out of here (SOON) so I can get my new, but gently used, furniture out of storage. $50 (or best offer) if you’re interested.
Our day was quiet, just family, no running, just staying at home. We celebrated the holiday with the in-laws on Monday evening. Today was just the four of us, opening gifts and hanging out. Super nice way to spend the day. We baked a ham and all the goodies to go with it. No over do though. Simple. We didn’t even do a dessert. There were enough cookies and goodies around, that we passed on that! We did invite the in-laws over for dinner. My dad (who lives in K.C.) also stopped by this evening for a little while. He made us a beautiful, large, bird feeder. I will be posting photos of it!
The kids made a haul. Lauren got a Nintendo DS and Jordan got an iPod Touch. Gifts from my parents. Lucky kids they are and what cool technology! I hadn’t held either one of those items, so it was all new to me as well. I’m not really a gadget/gizmo person. My cell phone doesn’t even have a camera on it and I just got a laptop this year! I gave Frank some cool tools and I got:
I’d seen these in the Sierra Trading Post catalog and then, someone came into yoga class wearing them. Same brand, Sorel. It was all over then. I checked them out (but I didn’t try them on) during relaxation. Shhh….I usually dig through people’s purses too…….just kidding. We ordered them online from Sierra and they were on sale, $74. They fit, they’re so comfy and I can get them wet, unlike my snuggly Ugg boots that I love! I like stuff that I can wear barefoot, easy to and from yoga classes! For all of those who are wondering, YES, the fur is fake!!
We also got this. An Omega 8003 juice extractor! I’m excited. We got this used (like 3 times so they say) on e-bay for less than 1/2 the price of a new one! It’s still in the box and looks totally brand new!
Now it’s back to stuff as normal. Frank will be doing the Mall thing early, it will be worse than Black Friday. I’ll be teaching a yoga class in the morning (I am so ready to get back on schedule) and the kids will sleep in I’m sure. Speaking of yoga, I’m blogging while I’m waiting on the Yoga Community group e-newsletter to go out! I have to do the reminder…..the New Year’s Day Yoga Mala 2009. We do 108 sun salutes to live drumming and Sanskrit chanting for charity and it’s really cool. This year, we’re collecting food to replenish the food pantry after the holidays. I think I’m helping in the chanting department this year, so it will be powerful, good fun! It’s always an exciting event and we have a great turnout! This year, we’re holding our event in the sanctuary of UU (Unitarian Universalist Church) it will be nice. PA system already there, windows, carpet, small kitchen…….
The newsletter takes awhile. There are roughly about 650 on our list. I do it in small groups and probably won’t finish it tonight. Doing stuff from home rocks. After I hit send on the next big group, I can wash my face and head to bed and just let it roll.
Hope your holiday was filled with family, fun, food and joy!
I admit it. I love Will Ferrell. I do. The film Elf is right up there with my favorite Christmas movies! Christmas Vacation is still #1.
My brother, can do the best imitation of this scene ever! I should’ve put it on youtube myself (my brother yelling “Santa’s Coming”) maybe next year.
Also, there’s a girl that works at the Starbuck’s by my house that looks exactly like Zooey Daschnel. When I see her, I always think of Elf and all the other cool movies she’s been in!
The Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the ‘Pathway of Peace’ represent the 50 U.S. states.
‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree’: Even in its humblest attire, aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany‘s Karwendel mountains, a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.
A token of gratitude for Britain‘s aid during World War II, the Christmas tree in London‘s Trafalgar Square has been the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947.
The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol is dressed for a party. Madrid‘s two-week celebration makes
millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a lucky citizen will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world’s biggest lottery.
Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost’s arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.
Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer Frankfurt‘s city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.
Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic. With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it’s no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall) can be found in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, Portugal. Thousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special enchantment of the city during the holiday season.
Illuminating the Gothic facades of Prague’s Old Town Square, and casting its glow over the manger display of the famous Christmas market, is a grand tree cut in the Sumava mountains in the southern Czech Republic.
Before the ball drops in Times Square, the Big Apple turns on its holiday charm with the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
In addition to the Vatican‘s heavenly evergreen, St. Peter’s Square in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.
A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo‘s nighttime neon display is projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.
Against a backdrop of tall, shadowy firs, a rainbow trio of Christmas trees lights up the night (location unknown).
1) What was I doing 10 years ago? Let’s see, December 1998. Lauren was almost one, I was getting ready to close my failing gift shop and I still owned the video store . I was married to Lauren’s dad, I lived in my dream house in a dream neighborhood, had lots of disposable income and was freaking out about becoming a mom. Thanks Rhonda, for correcting me! You’re right! I was not pregnant in Dec 1998…….man, I’m a flake!
2)What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
1. Drink an entire pot of flavored coffee. 2. Print out our holiday letter and decorate it with colored pencils with my daughter (maybe I’ll add a funny note that says “we’ve given up on getting anything out before Christmas.) 3. Wrap some gifts for my son, since he’s not home today. 4. Watch a movie with my kid while wearing the comfiest clothes ever! 5. Not venturing out anyplace, except the grocery store for stuff to make a small dinner, since my husband will be at the Mall until who knows when.
3) Snacks I enjoy: Toast, hot tea with honey and cream, yogurt, mandarin oranges, warm chocolate chip cookies, brownies, popcorn, ice cream….I’d better stop there!
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Help my family out as needed first of course. Make sure my kids had trust funds and plenty of cash for college! After that, I’d open a beautiful, green yoga studio, with an organic eatery, coffee/tea shop, and bookstore and the classes would be offered on a donation basis only. I’d definitely travel and maybe buy some land with a pond/lake to build a simple place to enjoy for the rest of our lives.
5) Places I have lived: Springfield, Missouri…..sounds really lame I know. But as long you take time out to visit other places, it’s all good.
I’m not tagging anyone, but if you would like to post this on your blog, it’s great fun!
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
–Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.
This knowledge was shared with me today thru an e-mail and I found it interesting and enlightening.
Now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…so pass it on if you wish.
Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths — some 5,000 — are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington,Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.
Change is not something we should fear.
Rather, it is something that we should welcome.
For without change nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom,
and no one in this world would ever move forward
to become the person they’re meant to be.
$61 for a new furnace igniter.
$192 for a new gas valve.
A husband that somehow knows how to install all this stuff?
Of course, this took awhile. Starting with a Friday afternoon run to the parts store. The igniter they sold us was bad, but it was too late, the place was closed. It was a new kind, they’d just got them in. Not the best thing to give someone to try out on a FRIDAY NIGHT!!
The weather wasn’t too bad over the weekend so we were fine. We could light our furnace manually with a lighter (not recommended by the way) if we had to use it. On Monday, new igniter was installed and the furnace fired every time. I can only imagine what the HVAC guy would’ve charged by the hour, and then there’s probably extra $$ tacked on the parts, I’m sure.
We don’t have a fireplace but we do have a really nice kerosene heater that we use sometimes as supplemental heat. Saves $$ on the gas bill. We’ve been checking out small wood stoves. Does anyone have experience with one? We would need ours to be free standing, not an insert (no fireplace) and I don’t want anything huge. We’ve got a TON of wood on our property from the ice storm(s) so purchasing wood wouldn’t happen for a very long time, if ever. If you own one, let me know. I’d like to know how you feel about it.