Friday Five: Questions I actually ask myself

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From google images

I’m entirely sure I’m not alone in most of these so I’m sharing questions I actually ask or debates I have with myself.

It’s okay if you don’t ask yourself all of these, but could we pretend you’ve asked (or debated with) yourself at least one of them?

It would make me feel better about the weirdness that seems to be inside my head.

  1. Do I have to go to the bathroom badly enough that it’s worth getting off the super cozy couch/futon? I’m really comfortable here…
  2. Do I wear the cute/great shoes that are uncomfortable? Or go with the ones that will let my foot heal?
  3. I wonder what Shemar and Matthew (insert famous person of your choice) have for lunch. Are they high protein salad guys? Burgers and a milkshake? Candy and Doritos? What would I make them for lunch?
  4. How many blueberries could I put in my mouth at once?
  5. Did I already wash my hair or just get it wet? I think I washed it, but I can’t be sure.

Maybe I’m not that weird.

What questions do you ask yourself?

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Thursday Three: Tasty Treat

It’s National Peach Ice Cream Day! Did you know that’s a thing? Me either. Tomorrow is Caviar Day. GROSS.

Back to the good stuff.

This afternoon I heard on the radio it was National Peach Ice Cream Day and made the executive decision that we should have some. Well I technically asked Frank, but I had pretty much made up my mind.

A quick trip to the store for peaches and dairy ingredients and I was in business.  I used the base from the Cherry Chocolate Chip and drained and roughly chopped a can and a half of peaches. It ended up more peaches and cream than just peach but…

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the rest is delicious history. (There are leftovers in the freezer if you want to stop by.)

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Laur participates in #julyoga and here’s what she has to say about it

I’m super duper excited to have Laur answering her questions today! Can I tell you that she has been one of my best friends for about 20 years now and I absolutely adore her? She’s not only part of #julyoga and a super talented, kind and funny person, but is a lawyer, yoga instructor, presided over our Picnic with a Judge and has been part of many a hi-jinx through the years. You can check out her Instagram for her crazy difficult poses and if you’re in DC you can take a class from her!

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  1. What drew you to yoga? I was a dancer as a kid and an athlete in high school and college. At first yoga helped me to stay limber but soon I realized it helped to quiet my mind and made me all around a happier person.
  2. How long have you been doing yoga? I have been practicing yoga for as long as I can remember…it became a regular part of my life in college.
  3. How often do you practice outside of #julyoga? I try to practice yoga every day…even if it’s just 5 min.
  4. Do you like yoga or tolerate it? Why? I don’t just like yoga, I LOVE it. I can be having the worst day ever but somehow getting on my yoga mat or teaching a class can turn it all around. The hard part is to not just practice the postures that I love but also the ones that are challenge to me. In that sense, I actually need to learn to tolerate yoga a bit more!!!
  5. Did anything about yoga surprise you? If so, what? I can’t believe how popular it has become. When I took yoga teacher training, in 2005, I was 25 years old and the youngest student in my training by at least 5 years. Now, there are so many teachers who are younger than me. It’s inspiring!
  6. What brought you to #julyoga? My dear friend Courtney Ryan!
  7. What do you hope to get out of #julyoga? I am trying to more consistently practice the postures that are hard for me (the hip openers). I also hope to talk some people who might be yoga skeptics into giving it a try.
  8. Do you have a favorite type of yoga? If so what? Anything that helps me to get out of my head!!! In that sense, I strongly believe that running, weightlifting, dancing, swimming, hiking…or just closing your eyes and breathing is yoga. If we are going a little more traditional, I would say that I enjoy a good vinyasa (flow) class. I like variety!
  9. What’s your favorite yoga pose or action? Why? Right now it is Firefly pose. I am a huge fan of the short-lived Fox TV series Firefly. At the end of the movie, there is a scene where the captain of the firefly-class ship, called Serenity says:

    Mal: It ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I’m about to say.

    River
    : I do. But I like to hear you say it.

    Mal
    : Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the world. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down. Tells you she’s hurting before she keels. Makes her a home.

    That scene sums up practicing arm balances and inversions for me. Thinking my way through those postures never does the trick…actually logic and muscle usually ends in face plants!

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    Practicing Firefly pose

  10. What would you like others to know about yoga? Everyone can practice yoga in one form or another. You don’t have to chant or learn sanskrit, stand on your hands, or make a pretzel out of your body. You might want to but you don’t have to…You just have to be able to breath and bring your awareness out of the past and future to what is going on right in front of you.There are lots of free resources out there too. Check out Tara Brach for free online meditations or YouTube and Yoga Journal’s website for free videos. A consistent practice, even a short one, can make a huge difference in your quality of life…it can keep you happy, help to ensure that you can tie your shoes when you turn 80…you name it.

Thank you so much for answering those questions! I’m sure I’ll have more for you soon. What can I say? It’s good having direct access to such a fantastic and talented person. If you have questions for Laur, leave them below or let me know and I’ll make sure she sees them

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Oh! Did we get Dirty with @godirtygirl

In Friday’s haiku post, I mentioned that I was headed to Jersey to see Robbie and participate the Dirty Girl Mud Run. I’ve never done one before, I don’t mind getting a little (or a lot!) dirty and it was what she wanted to do for her birthday so I said, sure, I’m in. What the hell, why not?

(Other “Why the hell nots?” for Robbie’s birthdays include two tattoos and a day at the horse track.)

My trip itself was about as you’d expect when I go on a road trip myself. I got lost a few times, found my way there and we had a delightful evening chatting, laughing and having a couple of glasses of wine. We had to be up early to get to the Poconos.

pre race

Before the race, aren’t we pretty?

We met up with the team of women Robbie’s niece had put together and we were off!

Sort of. My GPS decided to shut itself off so we missed the turn and the next exit was basically 15 miles away. Not to worry, we got there in time enough to join the wave before our scheduled one.

(I’d like to take a second to tell you that none of the towns we went through on 309 seemed to have public bathrooms in their gas stations. What kind of crap is that?)

I’d like to also go on the record and say that I’m not in the best shape (like my cousin Ar who dominated her Spartan Run the next day!) I can admit that and was not under any illusion that I could run this whole thing.  However, I’m not in terrible shape and I’m strong/have okay endurance. This run was billed as a “run for everyone” though and that was entirely misleading because it wasn’t. At all.

It was on a huge farm in the Poconos which is fine, but the roughly 1/4 mile hill at mile 2 of 3.1 that rivals the ones between the two levels of Troy? I almost cried when I saw it. I truly feel for some of the women who attempted to do this course. I can do hard things and enjoy a challenge, but this was really hard.  (I was chatting with a few of them as I walked to my car and they felt the same way.)

post run

We did it! I managed not to get quite as covered as the others which was good because omg the smell.

Without whining about it too much because I’d like to focus on the positives from the weekend, suffice it to say I didn’t enjoy the course as much as I thought I would, the farm mud smell really got to me, but I loved the quality time with Robbie and we finished.

After the race we donated our mud covered and soaked sneakers and waited in line to hose off.

While we were waiting, I realized that the dried mud was easy to flake off my skin so I got to work on that. My skin is super well exfoliated now if you’re wondering. And yes, I’m choosing to ignore WHAT it was exfoliated with…

Can I tell you how nice that cold water felt? It was really amazing.  We helped each other get as clean as we could standing in more mud with a garden hose and went into the changing tents. I didn’t bother changing because I had my bathing suit and yoga capris on and as such was already pretty dry. (Smart move on my part, I didn’t have to worry about stripping down to my skivvies, I was down to something I wear on a regular basis in public!)

post run snack

Post run snack. Yes, I’m wearing my bathing suit. The lighting is weird, my hands aren’t dirty still.

Once the group was changed we went about finding snacks and beer. I didn’t have beer because it’s not gluten free so I got a sausage peppers and onions in a dish (they didn’t have forks, I made do), a purple flavored snow cone and gave my beer to one of the girls.

After a bit of chatting I realized I needed to hit the road because I still had four and a half hours to drive home. The drive home is a story for a different day though…

Over all I had a decent solo road trip, a great visit to see Robbie but I’m not sure I’d do another Dirty Girl Mud run. It just didn’t meet my (even low) expectations. I can only imagine what we’ll do for her birthday next year. Thanks for inviting me Robbie!

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JG participates in #julyoga and here’s what she has to say about it

JG has joined us for #julyoga and she sent me this handy flow chart that you might find helpful. She and I do love a good flow chart :) Who knew there were so many types of yoga? Not I, that’s for sure. Anyway, she was great and answered a few questions for me.

Find-Your-Yoga-Style-Infographic

(to make the chart bigger, you can click here)

1) What drew you to yoga?
Initially, as an alternative form of exercise (my roommate had an Ali MacGraw yoga video and I thought, why not?). Then there was this follow-along TV show on the Oxygen network called Inhale, which was insanely difficult, and even though I failed miserably at keeping up, no one could see me, so I kept trying. I liked that it was a good cardio and strength workout, without being hard on the joints like running. I could do it at home no matter the weather or time of day, and all I needed was a mat and an open mind.

2) How long have you been doing yoga?
Sporadically since 1998, more regularly via videos since 2003, in a class since 2008.

3) How often do you practice outside of #julyoga?
Once a week in a lunchtime class, plus occasionally in the mornings or evenings.

4) Do you like yoga or tolerate it? Why?
I like yoga a lot. I like how many different forms and levels and depths there are. I like that it can be both calming and invigorating, meditative and sweat-inducing, spiritual and physical, mind-focusing and mind-expanding, a link to the past and connection with others now. See also #1 above.

5) Did anything about yoga surprise you? If so, what?
That it’s not just for hippies, Californians, celebrities and/or Hindus, and it’s not just for the double-jointed, acrobatic, and/or athletic.

6) What brought you to #julyoga?
My colleague next door. ;-)

7) What do you hope to get out of #julyoga?
To create and maintain a more regular yoga practice.

8) Do you have a favorite type of yoga? If so what?
Not really; it depends on my mood. There are too many types of yoga out there for me to keep track of, so I don’t usually pay too much attention to the type. When I take a class or do a video, I look at the description and choose depending on what I feel like doing. When I get into a daily morning yoga groove, it is a few rounds of classic Sun Salutations, and/or a series of five exercises called The Five Tibetans. [Edited: J says that the first time you do one of each so "1 x spin", "1 x leg lifts", "1 x camel", "1 x staff to table", and "1 x up dog-down dog" and then the second day you do 3x of each instead of one. The goal is to build up to 21 x of each. Here's a video I found.]

9) What’s your favorite yoga position or action? Why?
It’s a tie between Child’s Pose after a long Downward Dog (ahh, grateful relief), and a nice long Pigeon Pose (to stretch tight hip muscles after sitting too long).

10) What would you like others to know about yoga?
There’s a big world of yoga out there, and there’s probably a style or teacher to suit your needs. [Edited: See chart! Seriously!] I strive to better myself, and I know that there’s always room for improvement, but I don’t try to force my body to do what it resists. Just breathe, and try again next time.

Thanks JG! If anyone has any questions leave them below or send them to me and I’ll make sure she gets them.

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more friday-kus

sad moneypuppypaid first mortgage bill
thought i’d feel all adult like
really just feel poor

***

king james made choice
he’s going back to cleveland
who possibly cares?

when i hear “king james”
i think of the bible dude
cleveland needs bibles?

***

my office is cold
really, really fricken cold
turn fingers blue cold

outside? oh outside
the wall of heat that hits you
truly delicious

until start sweating
then it’s just gross; want AC
can’t have it both ways!

***

this weekend might have
too many plans, i’m tired!
will be fun, i’m sure

going to jersey
to hang with robbie et al
and do a mud run

hockey joe’s in town
hope i get to see him too
it’s been far too long

sunday we will paint
furniture, trim, touch ups
we’re in the home stretch!

how about you? big plans?
feel free to write me a ‘ku
whatever today

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Salad.

What kind of blog post title is that? Just, “Salad.” I could have titled this post many other things with snazzy adjectives, a play on words, or an amusing alliteration, but I didn’t because, well, it’s just salad.

But it isn’t.

Salad can be (and to me, usually is) interesting. It’s an opportunity to blend new flavors and/or textures, to get nutrients you need, and use up left overs. Sure people are opposed to “eating rabbit food”, to the texture of lettuce, or raw vegetables in general, but it doesn’t have to be a boring or miserable experience.

In my mind, salad is a base, toppings or add-ins, and a dressing. Just what those bases, toppings, add-ins, or dressings are? Basically unlimited.

saladWhen I think about salads, (What? You don’t?) I generally think of the one that has been prepared at Nanny & Pops house for my entire life: lettuce, carrots, red peppers, green peppers, cucumbers, banana pepper rings, tomatoes, onions big enough to pick out, white vinegar, whatever oil was handy, salt and pepper. A good, solid, vegetable based dish. Usually it was a leafy lettuce that I remember, but not always.

Daddy-O’s salads are made with iceberg lettuce, carrots, radishes, cheese and pepperoni, green olives and Italian dressing. Momma’s salads are of a dark leafy lettuce, red onion or chives, sometimes garlic stuffed olives, hard boiled eggs, and either bleu cheese or Greek or a Romano cheese Italian dressing. Frank doesn’t like salad.

Me? I make big salads. If it’s a vegetable I like, it gets added to the salad. Grains, meat, hard-boiled eggs, crasins, basil, mushrooms, etc? It’s all fair game in my mind. My only requirement is that it can’t be wilted or limp and has to taste good with my dressing of choice.

If I’m making it for a bunch of people, I put the base in a big bowl and then put the add-ins in their own little bowl so people can have what they want and they don’t have to pick stuff out.

Other salads I might bring with me if you ask? Ambrosia, pasta (which is different from macaroni ), antipasto (keep your anchovies, thanks!), German potato salad, tuna or chicken salad, broccoli, bean, or fruit salad.

Why am I talking about salads today? Who knows? It might have been the one I had last night at 10pm for a snack after I finished painting trim for the night but before yoga, or the fact that Daddy-O was telling me about the wonderful Greek one he had yesterday and that I would like to have today. You never really know where inspiration truly comes from.

So yeah. Salad. What do you put in your ideal salad?

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And then I missed a day of #julyoga

If you follow me on twitter or we’re friends on facebook, you might have noticed that I didn’t report my yoga activity for last night. I didn’t forget to report it, I just didn’t do yoga.

In a sense I feel that I failed July’s Challenge but in a sense I didn’t and that part might be more important.

Hear me out.

Every yoga instructor I’ve met, whether via in person class or through a video has said the same thing. (And I’m not talking about lengthening through your finger tips or standing strong which is a post for a different day.) The keep saying to listen to your body and make adjustments as you go. Not to do things if it hurts. Modify the pose so you can do it and then try to push a little more.

Well, last night’s modification to my challenge came from the fact that my shoulders were sore and didn’t want anything to do with  moving any more than they had to and my body wanted to sleep. So instead of forcing myself to get up and do yoga last night, I let myself drift off and get some sleep.

I feel a little guilty that I’m encouraging people to do yoga every day when I only got to the end of week one before I missed one, but I’ve learned the hard way that when I don’t listen to my body or fight sleep too long that it ends up being worse in the long run.

One of the instructors I liked very much said that yoga is about the practice, not perfection. Last night I practiced listening to my body (something I’m admittedly not good at generally speaking) instead of racking up a “perfect” score for this challenge.

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This is not a holiday weekend recap

Although I sometimes enjoy a good holiday weekend recap, I am sometimes left wondering why people bother writing detailed posts about their weekend in general. I do not begrudge them the opportunity to share what I’m absolutely sure was their “best weekend ever!” but unless something truly awesome happens or it was really one for the books I’m not inclined (anymore) to read a recap.

I don’t usually write them either, but I will tell you about the highlights from my weekend though because I think they’re moments that we can universally say were really good things.

  • Thursday I had great swimming lessons and then I got Five Guys. I really just wanted the french fries, but the burger was pretty good too. Five Guys french fries with a friend is a great thing.
  • Friday I didn’t go to work. Daddy-O came over for a bit and painted during the day, Sue came over for cheese chips and ice cream. Also, I already mentioned it, but I fixed my laptop (best I can tell so far). I hasn’t yet crapped out on my while listening to Pandora and editing photos and having facebook opened yet. (Knock on wood we’re good for a bit.) Turning a frustrating, hijacked day around is awesome. Having a day off from work is wonderful. Hanging out with a good friend is fantastic.
  • D’Lovely, Em and O came to meet me at the pool when I was done and we played in the park. It wasn’t the easiest day at the pool but seeing them cheered me up like you wouldn’t believe. O can now say my name and he said, “I luhoo Cookie” (I don’t know how to type how he says my name, but it sounds a lot like “cookie”. Em was quite delightful telling me stories and swinging SO! HIGH! “Higher Courtney! Higher!”. Good friends with surprises is wonderful. Hearing one of your favorite munchkins say your name and that he loves you is heart melting.
  • Frank came home and I got a hug. I missed him. Having that guy I like home is really awesome.
  • BBQ with lovely friends. I don’t need to tell you how nice this is!

So it wasn’t exciting, but my weekend had super nice things. How was yours?

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Today…It wasn’t what I expected or hoped for, but it worked out

Today got hijacked by a uncooperative laptop and crappy weather. It ended up working out alright because Sue and I made cheese chips w/ salsa, but I didn’t get anything close to what I wanted to get done completed.

Instead, I took my laptop apart, replaced the thermal goo and put it back together.

Not sure if it was brave or stupid. It’s a fine line you know.

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Taking it apart

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Before goo

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Reconnecting the Wi-Fi. It's important

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A billion tiny screws. Half a dozen left over isn't too bad...

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Done! Pandora works again

Its back together and it worked so at least I didn’t make it worse. That’s a win, right?

I suppose I should start looking for a new one. I can only do so much design stuff from my tablet.

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