Thursday, December 31, 2015

last thoughts

I have a yoga class and a brief run in my future today.  Yesterday, I went to a spin class and ran into Brie and then went running with Sara Jo.  Our half marathon is in a little over two weeks.  It is time to buckle down and commit to the training.  Hence the spin/run combo yesterday as well as the treadmill/yoga class today. 
Last night, I felt ease while running.  I have gotten over that hump of dread when thinking of running.  I suppose I should commit to another event this year to build on my desire to return to running.  I don't know if I will accomplish another marathon.  A half is manageable and something I would like to entertain.  And adding running to the regimen of yoga is giving me more time to reflect and create.  Moreover, meeting people seems to occur when running.  I think of how I met the Goddess while training for my first race and how that ended.  A life long friend.
Reflecting on 2015....well, it started in Santa Fe and concluded in Denver.  Many trips to Phoenix and Denver while figuring out how to make the move.  As you can see, I do enjoy the southwest immensely.  Any time I have considered moving to California or Oregon, I find myself wanting to stay exactly where I am.  In the southwest. 
I met some fantastic people in each place.  I can say that I have some lifelong friends from retail employment, yoga training and service industry.  I thought I would make it back to Santa Fe before the end of the year.  My friend, Libby, will be relocating to Hawaii soon and I had hoped to see her before her departure.  We met in Phoenix and bonded in Santa Fe.  It was easy as we both were new to the city.  She enjoys wine ( a must in my world to become friendly).  We enjoyed numerous lunches and coffee dates before I moved to Denver.
I must make an attempt to visit soon.  I had more success with visiting friends in Phoenix.  Of course, it's an easy decision to make.  Quick flight.  Yoga that I love and many friends that I can visit.  And the hiking.  Ample hiking that I love and look forward to. 
Returning to Denver has provided many opportunities to think about what it is I want to be doing.  It's all a process.  Choosing to be here and creating my niche.  Thankfully, I have a support network and place to build from.  Yoga has been moderately frustrating as noted in some posts and will continue to be so.  Each city offers a different mindset when it comes to what it promotes.  If only, I could transport the awesomeness of Phoenix and kindness of Santa Fe to Denver.  That would be pretty great.  Although, I know there is more to discover in Denver.  I have been a little impatient.  I want a studio that has everything that I want, immediately.  I don't want to have to wait.  Yet, what fun would it be if there were not roadblocks?  It is all a journey.
I am excited to be embarking on 2016.  I feel it will be epic.  I see travel and abundant productivity in my future.  Lots of fulfilling work and establishing connections.  Cultivating friendships while loving life.  Why wouldn't I be excited for the new year?
Cheers to 2015 and bidding it adieu!  Celebrate, enjoy and taste life, always~

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

best experiences of 2015

Making the decision to return home.  Ultimately the best decision/experience of this year.  Choosing to come home brought about multiple visits and spending time with friends.  None of which I could repeat.  From hiking at Matthew Winters Park with Shari in August.  We brought a bottle of wine to share while celebrating Brian's life.
Dinner with Tiffany, Dan, Shari and Warrior Prince.  New nickname which I will unveil eventually.  Delightful conversation, incredible food and wine. 
Spending time with Brandon at the parlor.  He and I have been friends since 99.  Through ups and downs of life, we have remained close friends and always managed a great coffee or dining experience.  Recently, he relocated to the West Valley and so meeting closer to him made my day.  I love that particular restaurant and met him in spite of my commute.
Completing yoga certification.  Finally.  No more complaining about crappy yoga.  I can devise my own version of crappy yoga, haha.  Not really.  I attended a class yesterday where the girl paid homage to the lineage of ashtanga and how she taught her classes, loosely, on that sequence.  It was just that.  A loose interpretation.  Her counting drove me crazy.  She would talk us into the shape, describe it, and then start counting.  After I had been in the posture for 2-3 breath cycles.  She would begin at one and go from there.  Craziness!
Introducing Cody and Justin to the amazing meatball sandwich in Phoenix.  They both seemed surprised at the awesomeness of this sandwich.  We all met while working retail and have remained friends based on our respective love of travel and/or food. 
Finding my voice when frustrated with service.  Instead of doing the cowardly thing and anonymously griping about it afterwards, I have confronted the situation head on and tried to receive a positive solution.  For instance, today, I called a company to relay my most recent experience and the displeasure associated with it.  The guy argued with me which further incited my frustration with the situation.  Again, I could enter a website and discuss my unhappiness or I can write a letter directly to them.  That is what I am doing.  I am beyond irritated but unwilling to not sign my name to it. 
Spending time with the Mini in Santa Fe.  She called me on a Friday to see if I would have lunch with her on Saturday.  WHAT?  How could this be possible?  Well, she was moving to Denver and Santa Fe was on the way. I always enjoy my time with Kristina.  She has unique ideas and a zest for life. 
Relocating to Denver.  I do miss aspects of Santa Fe and have many people I call friends there now.  I don't regret moving there.  It got me closer to home.  And, I chose to be here now.
As I ponder the upcoming year, I also think of the lesson of returning.  What it means for me and what I can do with the knowledge.  Being okay with being exactly where I am. 
I am so looking forward to what 2016 has to offer.  Potential, possibility, opportunity.  All of things I invite into my life.  I wish you the same.  Health, wealth and happiness~

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best meals of 2016

I fell in love with green chile while living in Santa Fe.  Thankfully, since you could not go many places without encountering it.  On burgers, in mac and cheese, and breakfast burritos.  I was spoiled in that particular category.  There was a walk up place that offered a gigantic burrito with bacon, sausage, chorizo or carne asada.  Typically, I preferred the bacon breakfast burrito with green sauce.  AMAZING.
I think I have slimmed down, a little, since relocating to Denver since I don't have access to the breakfast burrito on a daily basis.  Sure they are offered here.  I just haven't found one to replace the ones I found in Santa Fe.  My favorite meal in Santa Fe is hard to pinpoint, too.  I shared many meals with Melody.  We would meet for lunch at the local beer spot that offered homemade bread and insisted on a farm to table type of restaurant.  They had no microwave or can opener in the house and I can attest to the quality of the food.  Or, there was a salad place that was a little on the shi-shi side of life that poured the worst glass of wine.  Still I liked the salads and patio atmosphere.  I befriended a few of the bartenders which always eases the situation eventually.  I would dine with Teo, Marc or Melody.  I was not short of willing participants to dine with me there. 
Birthdays are presented opportunities to check out the restaurant scene.  I went to a French place two years running.  I loved the atmosphere in spite of the fact that they did not have a bar.  Small space where they utilized as much as they could.  They left the bar seating out.  Teo and I shared a cheese platter, roasted cauliflower and truffled French fries.  Melody and I shared octopus (yummy), cheese and steak frites.  I wasn't too thrilled about this choice but in the spirit of compromise we had steak.  I should have held firm with my lack of desire to eat steak.  Veiny cut--yuck!
Dining is Denver is always a treat.  Mostly since it involves dear friends that have known me for a while.  This past year was lovely.  I had the opportunity to dine with Sara Jo, the Goddess, Tiffany, Shari, Bryn and Maghan on multiple occasions.  The best meal was potentially with Tiffany, Dan, Shari and Maghan.  We checked out a new spot that sported exposed brick and a welcoming atmosphere.  We tried everything on the menu and shared it.  It was awesome! 
Shari and I also met with Sara Jo and my travel friend, Troy, for a meal in Denver.  We shared calamari, mac and cheese, paella and a cheese board.  I enjoyed the food but loved the conversation. 
Austin offered nonstop food options.  We did Thai, Asian, Italian and pork inspired places. Oh and food truck Friday.  Tacos, doughnuts, and eventually pizza.  I loved the food scene in Austin.  I think outside of food truck Friday, my favorite meal was Thai.  We sat around a table that had benches and we were placed near couples and a birthday party of ladies.  We watched them chat and drink wine.  A little too modestly really.  They were not 21 and so it made sense.  My friend, Vegas, insisted on buying them a round of saki.  After that point, they were super friendly to us, haha.
Chicago is another food centric city.  I had spent some time there in the past and knew of places that I enjoyed.  Maghan and I returned to a trendy Vietnamese spot for appetizers, hot dogs (a must while in Chicago) and had two meals at the purple pig.  Because, yes, it is that good.  Fortunately, we found seating in front of the cooking station.  The first day there was limited interaction with the kitchen.  On our return, they recognized us and so we were greeted and more than taken care of.  I think my favorite meal was the stuffed squid.  We ended up ordering two of these.  The next day we chose the waygu beef and marinated pork shoulder.  Awesome and another contender for best dish of the year.
While in Las Vegas, my friend had a random virus that limited our adventurous dining.  We did manage a Thai meal that was pretty incredible.  Located off Strip where they promised us no problem hailing a cab on the return (complete liars) she tried curry and I had some calamari and curry.  Of course no trip to Vegas is complete without a meal at Bouchon and Olives.  Too of my all time favorite spots to belly up to the bar.  While Jennifer recovered in the room I dined on tuna carpaccio and octopus.  Of course, drinks were included and I had befriended a bartender from previous trips so I was in good hands.
That night we had appetizers at a tapas place and concluded the trip with a meal at Bouchon.  It was delightful although I would have preferred checking out more of the food.  Jennifer still was nursing her virus and I am thankful that she rallied.  I would have been bummed had we not been able to go check out the food scene.
I have a friend from my brief stint of work at whole foods that dines with me whenever I am in Phoenix.  A fellow lover of food, I always appreciate dining with Justin.  We checked out a Thai place, I introduced him to the meatball sandwich at Bianco's (which I swear is the best and he agreed) and we checked out another local spot in Arcadia.  That time was a little disappointing.  I thought the kitchen was open til 10.  We arrived a little after 8:30. Talk about being rushed out.  I will not make that mistake again.
Of and while in Phoenix, I stopped by this family owned spot that offers breakfast burritos.  You can see the recurring theme of what I enjoy, right.  While living in Phoenix, I frequented this place and knew that the salsa bar was also a highlight of the experience.  Imagine my surprise when I drive thirty plus minutes to get there and they no longer have breakfast burritos.  Shock.  Dismay.  Disappointment.  The family that owns it is Mexican and the older couple speak limited English.  I know the woman could tell I was upset and so she involved her son who agreed to make me a breakfast burrito.  I explained that I no longer lived in town and had been dreaming of the breakfast burrito.  He suggested that I call ahead next time and that they would honor my request.  Now that is service.
For now, I must conclude this.  I have a date with a treadmill followed by a yoga session.  I will think more on my experience of food for 2015.  I know there is more to consider.

Monday, December 28, 2015

trips of 2015

As I approach 2016, I have been reflecting on the best of this year.  Best trip, meals, experiences.  I think I will continue to ponder this until the end of the year.  For now, I think the best trip was Austin.  I kicked myself for not checking out that city until 2015.  Amazing.  You can't walk down a street without finding a cool bar and/or restaurant.  Food truck Friday was pretty memorable, too.  Shari and I chose to spend the anniversary in Austin this year.  I casually mentioned this to my friend, Jonny.  I think we were texting. Next thing I knew, he had purchased a ticket to Austin with the intention of crashing our trip.  He did and it was glorious.  He found our vacation rental and scouted the local bar scene.  He definitely did good with both of those things. 
Las Vegas in July offered numerous fantastic meal memories.  My friend, Jennifer, from middle school met me there for a weekend.  We dined at a Thai place off the Strip and I managed to dine, twice, at Olives.  There was this Cirque show and a brief moment of checking out the pool.  Spending time in a pool in Vegas is similar to spending time in a pool in Phoenix.  Bath water.  Unappealing.
Phoenix was in my present on five separate occasions.  I flirted with the idea of becoming certified in yoga and finally accomplished it this year.  The school I chose offered intensives which enabled me multiple trips to Phoenix to finish.  Each intensive offered different classes.  Initially, I thought I had to take as many hours as possible so that I could finish.  Midway through the hours, I realized how foolish I was being.  The final intensive was the best.  I picked and chose which classes appealed to me.  I took two classes a day.  I was no longer concerned with finishing.  I really wanted to benefit from what was being taught.
I saw some friends and enjoyed the city.  I found that I missed aspects of being in Phoenix.  Yoga, pedicures, restaurants and up and coming wine bars.  Oh and shopping.  What I wouldn't give to have access to some of the thrift stores in Phoenix.  Nothing compares in Santa Fe or Denver.
I spent numerous weekends in Denver before moving back.  I wanted to be in Denver and I wanted to work the season in Santa Fe.  Finally, I found a yoga instructor that I liked.  My friend, Libby, and I were bonding over coffee and our love of the green chile.  I met Libby while living in Phoenix but befriended her in New Mexico.  Then there was Ojo.  I love the hot springs and tried to visit there on a monthly basis. 
My trips to Denver intensified as I neared my departure date.  I needed to pack my things and move them on my own.  I knew that I would not be able to convince Jan to move my things back from Santa Fe.  Instead, I rented a car and drove north.  Typically, I would stay with Sara jo, the Goddess or Bryn.  Dinners included wine bars, home made dinner and local spots.  I shared some incredible meals with Shari and Maghan too.  I now refer to them as reverse oreo, haha.
How could I forget Chicago?  Talk about food mecca.  So delicious.  I have visited that city in August, in June, in January and now in October.  Delightful.  I had a blast and loved every minute of the food venture.  We did some touristy things too.  Saw the art museum and the bean. 
I've been dreaming of New Orleans and think it will be part of 2016 somehow.  I don't know when.  Only that I would love to return to visit and see the latest and greatest.  It never disappoints. 
2015 has been about transition, change and travel.  I'm thankful for the year and what it presented.  The opportunity to go home.

Upcoming travel

Best way to celebrate a day off....sleep in til 11:30, be lazy and then perhaps hit a yoga class.  I am still undecided on that one.  I believe I am most productive when I actually greet the day in a timely manner.
Could not be helped.  I ate dinner at 1 am and then drank some wine til 3:30.  Seems like I am trying to relive the college days.  Speaking of college days, I inquired about some suggestions to stay in Bangkok and feel like the majority of kids that responded are just that, kids.  The first person said he stayed along a street that was like a frat party.  Pass.  I don't see Shari and I enjoying a good night of sleep, staying above a college bar.  We are heading to Vietnam and chose to fly in and out of Bangkok.  It is a great departure city and gateway to travel in Southeast Asia from what I have heard.  We want to check out the city, briefly, as the focal point of our trip is Vietnam and Cambodia. 
Still, I know that Bangkok is thriving with restaurants, bars and things to see.  I am excited to get another passport stamp and see the other side of the world. 
Initially, we tried to decide if we should fly in and out of Vietnam or do a multi-city venture.  The more we thought about it and talked to people, the more it became apparent that we should pick a gateway city--Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.  After checking available flights, we opted for Bangkok.  After arriving there we can fly anywhere in Asia.  There are still some things to work out--how long in Bangkok, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. 
I am thankful to be back in Denver and know that I chose to be here.  Things happen as they are supposed to.  I cannot rush what I think I should be doing.  My training with Sara has declined somewhat.  Her work schedule and mine are not aligned.  In addition, she is working too much which is further limiting our meet-ups.  I have been relying on the gym to supplement my training.  Thankfully, I am not anti-spin anymore.  Working in Santa Fe helped facilitate the enjoyment of cycling. 
I will manage to check out a yoga class this evening at a new location.  I know the instructor has a pretty challenging class.  Her background is from personal training and strength building.  I know I will have a challenging experience.  I have also scheduled a few other classes to attend this week.  Otherwise, I will find an excuse as to why I should not have to take a class.  I know it.  I am feeling vulnerable to not attending classes. 
I should organize my stuff.  In an effort to feel more settled here.  It is time.  Again, I chose to be here and want to make the most of it.  To establish roots and thrive.  I have loved every minute of my unconventional lifestyle.  I have many friends in different places as became more apparent to me when I inquired about lodging in Bangkok.  Multiple people had suggestions and offers to help me out.  It felt awesome.  I don't every want to lose that wanderlust or passion for life.  I only want to have a place to return to that I can call home.  It is Denver.  Always has been.
I suppose I had to work through a little bit of stuff and still am.  I have baggage that will always be with me.  It's lighter now but still there.  I will always have memories of Brian in Denver and associations of my life with him.  I value those memories.  I didn't understand how much would resurface after deciding to move back.  A few times I felt overwhelmed with my decision. I have physical abnormalities to further remind me that there is still stuff to slog through.  My shoulder has been a constant reminder that I have grief to address.  There were days were the ache never lessened.  Where I felt I couldn't get comfortable or relax.  I tried to pop it back into place countless times with little success.  I struggled to attend yoga.  Scared that I would aggravate it further.  Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and lived my life.  I want to be here and am open to whatever that means. 
Next year, I feel, will be more reflective and visible on my blog.  I won't take as many absences or be distracted.  I see the end of my transition and a start of a beautiful journey. Lots of travel and meeting people.  That is what 2016 holds for me.  What does it hold for you?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Key West past and future

Brian loved Christmas.  Every year he would shower me with gifts since this was his preferred holiday.  Even more than his birthday.  My birthday is my cherished holiday.  I love bringing the cupcakes, as Lindsay would say.  Haha.
I began traveling to spend Christmas as a way to escape my sadness.  One year I was in Australia.  A few others in Las Vegas, San Diego and in 2010, I spent the holiday in Key West.  Magical.  I flew through Miami on a red eye and arrived, weary, the following morning.  I figured I could ask the hotel for an early check in.  The worst they could do was say no.  I walked off the tarmac and into a blissful moment.  It was beautiful.  I was surrounded by beauty and extremely thankful for the decision I made to spend xmas there. 
That had been my second trip to Key West.  As a 20-year old, I drove from Miami with an ex-boyfriend.  Gorgeous drive there and terrible return. Being stuck in a car with someone you no longer like is not fun.  At any rate, it was a nice time while in Key West.
Next month, Sara and I are running a half marathon there.  We opted to arrange a vacation rental instead of a hotel.  Seemed like the best option and suitable to our travel needs.  I know there are spectacular restaurants and bars to check out.  And the Cuban coffee scene is amazing.  I will have to check out a few of the additional places that are in Key West.  I found one attached to a Laundromat and frequented it, daily.  Yes, it was that good.
I am excited to be on a beach.  Maybe go snorkeling.  Last time I went scuba diving which was troubling.  I was a solo diver on an outing.  I had not really bonded with any of the other divers and the water was choppy.  Probably my least favorite dive of all times.  I hope to never have a repeat of that experience.  The crew was kind of dicks about it, too. 
I am dreaming of pina coladas, sand and sunshine.  What are you thinking about today? 

Friday, December 11, 2015

being happy and making choices to achieve it

Gorgeous day to do something different.  I woke up and considered running.  The half marathon is in five weeks.  Although the training has not been stellar (I think we missed three weeks at some point due to family, sickness and lack of desire).  We returned to the plan and I believe we will be fine.  Maybe not P.R.  However, we can at least finish without a bunch of soreness.  I think of the last two half marathons that I have run with Sara Jo. Let's just say....we could have definitely benefitted from more training in those events.  This time, we are going to finish and finish strong.
So I went for a mock run.  Yes, I can say it.  I had thoughts of running for a half hour and then got side tracked due to what I need to do.  My friend is suffering from irritation on his pancreas.  Instead of going for a run, I ran to the nearest market to purchase lemon zinger and some other desired items for his recovery.  I had wanted to make lunch for both of us.  He is on the B.R.A.T. diet for the next few days.  I opted to roast eggplant.  I had picked up eggplant on a recent market trip. Sorta impulsive and sort of with intention.  I felt confident that I could make a delicious pasta lunch. 
This decision morphed into entirely something different.  I purchased mint, tomatoes, feta cheese and added onion, capers and already made angel hair pasta.  The dish I hoped to make was a non bread bruschetta.  Think, using the eggplant as a hearty base and be healthy.  I considered my options and chose to incorporate leftovers into this dish.  It worked very well and I remembered how underutilized eggplant is.  Silly.  What a great vegetable. 
Also, made me think of the where I am and where I want to be.  It's true.  I was committed to returning to Denver.  And, in all actuality, it's only been six weeks.  I cannot expect miracles to happen in that time.  The miracle, was choosing to return home.  And how I have been embraced.  Employment, shelter and spending time with friends.  I am blessed.  Even if I find the yoga scene challenging.  It's just another reminder that I can create a niche here for me.  I think I have two definite private clients beginning in the new year.  I want to expand and build on that.  In addition, I want to cook more and enjoy life.  I am capable of feeding others and I enjoy cooking.  I love entertaining.  Why not incorporate more of that into my daily life?
In the last four months, I know of three people who have experienced life changing events.  One had MRSA, another has aggressive cancer and last week, my friend in Phoenix experienced a massive heart attack.  I am most concerned with the latter as it is debilitating on his work and life in general.  I have known this man since 99. He's always lived the champagne life on a ramen budget.  A few years ago he went in for a check up and it was noted that he needed to make adjustments to his diet.  Out of anything, he was felt he was middle-aged.  That scared him.  We laughed about it while hiking Echo and planned another hike the following week.
And he did make adjustments to his diet.  However, he has always thrived on stress/drama.  I think it got the best of him.  He has a full schedule of being a teacher, pursuing his PhD and dating a partner that is in NYC.  Stress.  Yes, there is a ton of it in his life.
How can I help?  Well, of course, I will send him some money to help him in this moment of recovery.  I will send him kindness, love and peaceful thoughts.  If needed, I would fly down there to help him.  He's been a great friend to me. 
I work in an hour.  It is a gorgeous day.  If anything, I would love to go to matthew winters park with a bottle of wine.  Toast life, Brian and how thankful I am for today.  It is a lovely day.  Another reminder to enjoy it to the fullest!
My making of lunch helped achieve that.  Now, I will enjoy the remainder of my free time.  Maybe grab a coffee pre-work.  Think about what I can create tomorrow for a joyful lunch.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgivings past

This is me in 2007.  Solo trip around the Southern Hemisphere.  I had been traveling about a month at this point and found myself at odds of how to spend Thanksgiving.  It is a holiday that I attempt to celebrate annually.  I like the idea of being thankful and enjoying food with family, friends or a combination of the two.  And somehow, I have managed to work in places that agree with me that you should celebrate with family and friends.  For the most part.  There are exceptions.  Last year, for example, I worked every holiday.  It was part of working at the establishment.  No exceptions.
 I went wine tasting on Thanksgiving near Blenheim, New Zealand.  I arranged a bed and breakfast for a few nights and treated myself to flash packing as opposed to back packing. I didn't want to stay in a hostel for the few days around the holiday.  The bed and breakfast had a bike I could borrow and so I toured the vineyards.  It was awesome.  Gorgeous day and ample wine.  For dinner, I found a pub where I thought I would be able to  eat mashed potatoes or bangers and mash.  An English pub that would offer traditional fare.  I had nachos for dinner.  Unconventional and delicious.
In 2009, I decided to sign up for a half marathon.  I trained with three girls that were training for a full marathon and so I changed my race to run the full.  In the process of training, I started following run inspired blogs to see how other people dealt with the rigors of training.  I met this great girl, Morgan, who happened to be in Denver in 2010 to visit family.  I had made plans to spend the holiday at a gorgeous hotel in Colorado Springs with a guy that I was dating.  There were many red flags leading up to truly dating this guy.  However, not the focal point of this story.  It was wonderful to meet Morgan in person and sort of celebrate the holiday.  She ran a turkey trot and I met her afterwards.  It was freezing that day.  I did manage a light run later in the day at Garden of the Gods.  Amazing.  And it was great prep for one of my final training runs before the marathon I ran in Vegas that year.
While in Phoenix, I always spent the holidays with my friend, Lisa.  She always had amazing wine choices and catered the majority of the meal from an upscale market.  Cut down on a lot of the b.s. associated with the holiday.  There was always ample mimosas, burgundy, tokai and conversation.  I had a great photo of me and the Mini from my stint in Phoenix, somewhere on my phone.  I headed over to co-workers, post-Lisa's, one year and met up with Kristina.  I think that was the beginning of our friendship and understanding that we both love, love, love travel.
As noted earlier, I worked last year.  Although, we were treated to a lunch to kick off the shift which was lovely.  It didn't hold.  I was starving after the ten + hour shift and there was nowhere to sate my needs.  Everything shuts down early in Santa Fe. I think I had chips and salsa for supper.
This year, I will head to my aunt's house for a wonderful meal.  I have spent several thanksgivings with her family.  I have wine and cheese to contribute.  Afterwards, I might stop by Tiffany's for some brunello before picking Maghan up from the airport.  I have a few sides to prepare for his dinner.  And wine.  Lots of wine to inspire him liking the roasted cauliflower and haricot vert. 
However you choose to celebrate--with family, friends, combination of the two--take the time to enjoy the moment and create a memory.  In spite of the disaster of my Colorado Springs trip due to the guy, I still remember enjoying meeting Morgan, my run at the state park and even dinner with the guy.  I had a phenomenal meal.  He would have been happy with kraft mac and cheese.  It's not like I didn't recognize that his food choices were far more simple than mine as I experienced at a few meals prior to us committing to the thanksgiving trip.  He had this way of holding the fork which was interesting, too.  I should have seen the red flags and run.  Not treated him to a holiday with me.  Oh well, it's still a memory. 
Today, I am thankful for being home in Denver.  It took me a while to identify where home is....but I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving plans

Today is the day to go grocery shopping.  Not tomorrow and definitely not Thursday.  In all honesty, I probably should have went yesterday.  Possibly the best option of a quick in and out experience, complete with parking and little to no perceived stress. I remember working retail and how the week ramped up in intensity as the holiday neared.  We were a new location and so people came as lookie-loos as well as dedicated shoppers.  There was even a protest the evening before Thanksgiving that was memorable.  Loud, in your face and I watched the management scramble trying to get a handle on the situation that was taking place in the meat department.  I was safe in specialty talking about wine.  It was an interesting day that is for sure.
I have little interest in attempting to shop tomorrow.  I despise dealing with crammed parking lots.  That is really what I loathe about the shopping experience.  That, and the check out lines.  Typically, I know what I want/need to purchase and my intention is to be as efficient about achieving it as possible.  Even if I attempt to go at a reasonable time, there will still be obstacles to overcome.  Of course, there will be a stop to stock up on wine.  I am bringing wine to my aunt's house and cheese for savory dessert.  I was given the option of choosing what I wanted to bring and that made the most sense.  I can assemble a nice cheese tray for an appetizer and/or dessert.  I think I prefer the dessert course to offset some of the sweeter options.  They always offer coffee at my aunt's and it is perfect.  I know that I will enjoy my holiday there.
My plan is to arrive at my aunt's house, mid afternoon.  I can help with whatever is left of the set up and relax.  I have spent numerous Thanksgivings with her family and so I know it is always full of food, conversation and kindness.  Exactly what I am looking for this year.  And, since I am skipping the set up--cleaning, prepping, cooking--I will help with the clean up. Seems to be what I do at every function.  My role in the family gathering as a child was always the dishes and it has continued through adulthood.
Last year, I worked.  It wasn't really an option to not work and I was grateful to be productive.  I had recently moved to Santa Fe and so my friends mostly all worked with me. I did not have a bunch of offers to choose from in terms of how I wanted to spend it.  Everyone boasted of how great of an experience it would be. They fed us, prior to the shift and then we settled in to creating a memorable experience for the guest.  And it was.  If I were spending a holiday in Santa Fe, I would want to spend it in a gorgeous restaurant where I knew the food would elevate the entire dining experience.  As well as knowing that I would not have to clean anything up.  Hello, gratitude!
That was last year.  This year, I am incredibly grateful to not be working.  I texted a few of my friends from my previous job and told them how happy I was to not be working.  They concurred.  I have had a few offers of how to spend it--with family in Omaha, with family here or with friends.  I have friends dining out (and I know this is a welcome option to many as I just pointed out.  I get it.  It's awesome to not worry about the cleaning, prepping, cooking, clean up associated with entertaining).  I considered heading to Omaha to spend Thanksgiving there.  That was until I got a job and it became a moot point.  Sure, I could have flown to Omaha earlier this week and planned on returning on Thursday had I known my schedule a month ago.  I thought I would be working on Wednesday night which would limit my options.  My dad was not thrilled when I called to decline on his offer of spending the holiday there.  Timing would not allow it. 
Sara Jo will be celebrating in Fort Collins with her brother and Maghan is working at the airport.  After his shift concludes, I plan on celebrating the holiday with him.  He is indecisive on what he would like to do.  Steak dinner, go out, or have a few of his colleagues over.  That was new to me and I can roll with whatever he chooses to do.  Although, I would prefer the going out option or steak dinner.  I can drink wine. 
I do enjoy this holiday.  Mostly due to the food, conversation and wine.  I know that I will immensely enjoy it this year.  Cheers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

more yoga woes

I sought out a power vinyasa class this afternoon.  Ironically, there was one at 4:30 which worked with my schedule and happened to be at the one location I had not checked out. Determined to go, I armed myself with my mat, towel, water bottle and extra hand towel to use for the rush of sweat I was sure to achieve from the power class.  I was hoping that the studio would offer a heated class.  They do.  Just not the power class that I chose to attend.
Gorgeous inviting studio with a parking lot.  A first for this franchise, I think.  I have fought for parking spots in Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek, RiNo and the Hilltop area.  For some reason, they secured a studio with ample parking on Broadway.  For that I was grateful.  The locker rooms were clean and spacious.  Comfortable and the room, itself, was large.  Probably could hold up to 60 students easily.  I think there were 9 people in my class. Maybe ten.  We were all pretty spread out around the room.  It reminded me of a ballroom.  I could see dancing being taught in that room.  Or perhaps I am projecting what I would like to do next.  I saw a dance studio, somewhere today.  I think dance class is on my mind.
I digress.  The room was not heated and had a slight chill to it.  I took my jacket off to acclimate to the environment.  However, I still yearned for a heated class.  I know there are yoga studios that offer heated vinyasa flow in Denver.  I used to frequent one of them when I lived here the first time.  In addition, I have a friend that opened a studio here in Littleton that is based out of Phoenix.  I know that that particular studio is super hot.  My only concern is the location.  It is not very close to me at all.
There was music.  Albeit not what I wanted to listen to, but music helped.  I have not found anything remotely like I experienced in Phoenix or even the crappy covers that this chick used to play in Santa Fe.  I might actually contend that I would take a cover song over the elevator style that seems to be occurring in Denver.  When I see power yoga, I think many sun salutations, chatarangas and warrior poses.  Not an upward facing bow within the first fifteen minutes of class.  The instructor was fancy with her Sanskrit but it came across as elitist and unfeeling.  I want to be challenged not talked down to.  And I am sure that that was not her intention.  It's just how it came across.  I wasn't feeling her vibe and found myself being more resistant to the following postures.  When we finally got to the middle of the class (what I normally love), I was not warm enough to be adequately doing warrior C.  There had not been enough build up in the warm up portion of the class.  It was a disappointment.  I have one more class before my introductory pass expires.  Thankfully, it will be with my friend that I know her class is challenging.
I like the idea of this studio and the vibe of most of the locations.  A parking solution or alternative would be a welcome idea as well as ramping up what their idea of a power class is.  I will continue to scout out my options here.  There are many more studios to consider before committing to a membership.  I hope to return to ashtanga too.  My shoulder continues to irk me which is limiting my ability to fully commit to a mysore practice.  I recognize that I get a lot of benefit out of a daily ashtanga practice.  Strengthening and building endurance.  I had crazy ability before I arrived in Denver.  Mostly due to the practice I had in Santa Fe, discovering mysore and completing my teacher training where the majority of classes were physical that I attended.  I must return to that style of practice.  No more simple vinyasa classes where music is not offered and chatarangas are few. 
Tomorrow I will go to a class and then for a run.  The half marathon will not run itself.  And in my experience with Sara Jo, specifically, we must have a foundation to run the thirteen miles.  I have run two half marathons with her where I did not train.  I paid for it both times.  Never again...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Current physical annoyances

Downward spiral.  Everything started so innocent.  Work, drink wine, eat late, drink more wine and eventually go to bed around 2 or 3.  Wake up at 7, maybe 8.  Repeat. 
Repeat with yoga (obviously as I have been neglecting the run factor due to weather, laziness and now, a cold.  Hence the spiral comment).  I started sneezing about Wednesday and thought I could fight the cold off.  I would drink more water, sleep, and begin the initial ways to stave off a cold.  Swallowing garlic, more water, olive leaf pills.  I managed to pick up some of those and an alternate to emergen C to see how it would work.  I thought I was doing all of the right things.  I worked Friday night and when I returned home chose to drink whiskey.  Sure fire way to kill any cold left in my body or so I told myself as I drank a manhattan.  And it was delicious.  I stayed up late and woke up at 7.  Feeling off.  Immediately, I knew something was not right in my equilibrium.  A touch hungover and coffee did not taste all that great.  Obviously something was not right about that.  Typically I wake, daily, and make coffee or buy an Americano to start my day off right.
I called Sara to mention that running would not be available to me as a cold was settling into my body.  I hated to do this but felt postponing the run would be preferable to antagonizing my throat.  She agreed to go for a walk instead.  We discussed our upcoming trip to Key West and how we needed to figure out lodging and a flight.  Flights to Key West in January are not reasonable.  Either time wise, money or both.  I have little interest in flying to Orlando.  Then to Miami and eventually land in Key West which was one of the proposed itineraries.  We are still trying to decide the best route to Key West.
As my afternoon progressed, it became more difficult to speak.  I bought some vitamin C lozenges and cough drops.  I was armed and equipped to fully battle this cold.  I inhaled hot water with lemon and honey and waited to be sent home from work.  I thought I could manage the evening until it became increasingly difficult to speak.  I was losing my voice and knew I sounded like shit.  People's reactions to me were all similar.  I tried to not talk but that didn't really work out very well.  Eventually my shift came to a close and so I picked up Epsom salt to take a bath, local honey and hoped to find chicken noodle soup.  No such luck on that.  However, the bath helped as did the honey for tea at home.  My friend made me spicy soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Hit the spot.  I tried to stay up but knew my body wanted to rest. 
I have experienced laryngitis on one other occasion in my life.  I think back to the contributing factors of how that occurred.  While living in Phoenix and hoping to open a restaurant.  Lots of work, little time to do yoga and/or run, eating sporadically and not the most healthy, drinking and sacrificing sleep.  I remember working that first week and suddenly not being able to speak.  The owner looked at me and said--Why do you sound like such shit?  Go Home!
I think it took a few days to recover.  Rest.  Kindness.  No wine.
I googled symptoms and how to combat the laryngitis.  Avoid spicy food (I ate spicy soup last night and it was delicious).  Avoid coffee.  Well that is not going to happen.  I am drinking coffee currently.  Avoid alcohol.  Yea, I can do that.  Rest.  Absolutely determined to rest.
In addition to the not being able to speak thing, I have a phlegmy congested nose and slight cough.  Awesome.  Happy Sunday to me.
I am going to my aunts in a bit to realign my chakras and have some meridian work done. I am on the fence about how to spend the rest of my day.  I see rest involved and little talking.  Which is challenging! 
I recognize that I need to take better care of myself in terms of sleep, rest, hydration (essential) and working out.  I get in a routine of what seems decent until I completely shut down.  I think my immune system tried to rebel until it broke.  Laryngitis definitely side lined me.  I just want to sleep and eat soup.  Or take many many naps to counter the late nights and wine inspired conversations.
I will recover and feel better. Just a reminder to take care of myself.  I think of the shoulder injury which interrupted my yoga practice for almost a week.  Everything is related.  It's just about how you look at it.
Today, I will rest.  Drink lots of water and take care of myself.  Everything else will work itself out!

Monday, November 16, 2015

current yoga concerns

I never thought I would actually say this....I miss yoga in Santa Fe.  There.  Said it.  Admitted it.  It is preferable, ironically, to what I am encountering in Denver. 
The best yoga scene/community that I have found is in Phoenix.  Power driven, loud music (hip hop in most cases), hot (yes, super hot in addition to the 120+ degree days in the Valley of the Sun...they never back off the opportunity to increase the temperature in the room).  They offer set sequence classes that although does not resonate with me, is incredibly popular. I would bounce around a few studios mostly stalking instructors that I found challenging.  There are several of them there.  And, they inspired me to become certified myself.  I opted to get certified there since the style of asana resonated with me in Phoenix.  I would have loved having the opportunity to attend more studios that offered vinyasa flow as opposed to the sequence.  Ultimately, I miss the yoga in Phoenix.
Santa Fe has a yoga scene.  I found it more spiritual driven with chanting and soft music.  I struggled to not plateau or become uninspired with the experience I was encountering.  I wanted to make it work and so I attended instructor's classes that I enjoyed.  I forced myself to embrace chanting and tried to tune out the terrible music and instead focus on my breathing.  There was an instructor that I enjoyed her flow until she began playing covers in her playlist.  I considered bringing headphones in to tune out the shitty music but felt it would not be well received.  Eventually, I found mysore classes that pushed me physically.  As well as I discovered the best instructor in Santa Fe that really developed my practice.  Paige is awesome.  Her music I could overlook as she helped strengthen my practice and push my limits.  I was sad to tell her I would be relocating to Denver since I would have loved to continue to practice with her.  She is a badass! 
I return to Denver thinking that since it is a city that the yoga will be similar to the experience I had in Phoenix.  It's not.  It's slow going, not spiritual or chanting driven like Santa Fe and definitely not heat inspired like Phoenix.  The hot classes say they are 80+ degrees but it doesn't feel hot.  I don't sweat or detox like I anticipate in attending classes in Phoenix.  I am still searching for a studio to call home and I am sure that I will find it.  I'm just frustrated that I am having to start over, again.  I prefer power vinyasa classes.  It did take me awhile to find this in Santa Fe as well as Phoenix.  It's all a process.  I have found a few instructors here that are great.  Few and far between.  I had an instructor tell me that it was not available for me to kick up into head stand from a forward fold.  I was shocked and it immediately took me out of the present moment of the class.  No longer was I focusing on the breathing.  No, I was pissed.  I wanted to kick up into headstand since I was bored with the sequence they offered.  And, physically, it felt good.  I have been dealing with a nagging right shoulder injury where I have backed off a lot of the arm balancing to not further aggravate my shoulder.  I couldn't believe it.  During my training, a fellow instructor described vinyasa flow as a wild animal.  There would always be people who modified the poses or showed off.  You couldn't control it as a teacher.  I would agree and tried to exemplify that the other day but was stopped.  Curious.
I will continue to check out studios and hope to find a home.  I like the challenge of a vinyasa flow and know that I need structure from ashtanga.  I benefit from both greatly.
Today, I have an upcoming yoga therapy class.  I hope to address the shoulder injury and heal it.  I am ready to move forward.  That or find a chiropractor.  That might be the end result.  My stubbornness will only allow so much pain before I break.  Enjoy your Monday!

living life, fully, every day

Life is short.  As previously discussed in my world, it is something that I recognize from direct experience with it.  When my world changed in an instant, I chose to alter my life.  I chose travel.  Something that I am passionate about.  No longer would I wait to go experience other countries for when it appeared fiscally sound for me.  No, I would make it a priority to travel as my reality could change at any point.
When I get in a rut, or routine, of negative thinking or pattern building I am reminded of how short life is by seeing someone I know experiencing a loss or dying themselves.  I don't need a reminder.  I know how life can change in an instant.  This past spring an old boss went running with his wife and collapsed.  I found out about this from social media and reached out to people that were associated with Marc.  Since he was Brian's boss, as well as mine for a time, all of the emotions of losing Brian came back. I remember Marc speaking at the celebration life, how he helped spearhead a scholarship foundation on Brian's behalf and how much he loved his kids.  My heart ached for my loss and then, too, for his wife.  I was familiar with what her new journey would look like.  Hers differed from mine as she had kids to be strong for.  Hearing of Marc's loss motivated me to remember to be happy and fully engaged in my life.
The most recent reminder of how essential it is to experience life is a classmate of mine.  We had not spoken, in person, since the early 90's.  We were friends on social media and caught up, that way, seven or eight years ago.  I would see snippets of her life in my news feed and enjoyed the photos of her family.  I saw her family grow to four children and she appeared very happy in her life. 
I remember Lacey, most, from attending a baseball game with her when I was ten years old.  Her parents took us to Kansas City to watch a Royals/Rangers game.  I was so excited.  Her parents treated us to hot dogs, sodas, cotton candy.  We drove back to Salina and I was dropped off at my house later than anticipated.  My mom grounded me.  I remember that part, too.  Being in trouble and not caring since the baseball game was epic.  They lost but everything else about it was fantastic.  Seeing part of a city and feeling the energy of the stadium.
After college, I bolted from Kansas and hopped around the southwest (where I am still).  I like the desert and I love city life.  While in Phoenix, I worked in a bar where baseball was followed and I found myself needing to pay attention to what was going on.  Granted, this was in the early 2000's when Arizona was in the pennant race and won the world series.  I do enjoy watching the diamondbacks as well as the rockies.  I have spent ten years in Denver which would explain why I follow them.  Being a Kansas girl, at heart, I watched the Royals, too.  There was interest in their standings, over the years, and then, excitement in the last few years as they have emerged as contenders and champions this year.  After they won the series, I reached out to Lacey as she was one of the first people I thought of.  I knew she loved the Royals from attending that game with her as well as seeing her posts on face book.  One of her daughters is named after a previous player.  Lacey loved the Royals and was a true fan through the lean years she remained hopeful that they would turn it around. 
I posted something on her wall about the championship win and she responded.  I felt nostalgic of my childhood and glad that I had the opportunity to reach out to her.  Five days later, I saw a post that shocked me.  People were posting RIP on her wall and I was confused until I looked into it more.  A week ago she was visiting her father in law with her husband and was hit by a car.  Just like that, her world changed.  I called my sister, Michaela, in shock, to relate the news.  She spoke to my sister, Jade, and my mom found out and called me the following day.  She wanted to know if I would make it back for the funeral and if I would not be able to, if she should go in my place.  I asked her to attend and reach out to Lacey's family on my behalf.  It is tragic.  Beyond tragic what happened and for no reason.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity to communicate with her and that she responded.  I am greatly saddened by what happened.  She was a spunky girl and I am sure a vibrant, beautiful adult who loved life and all of those people in her world. 
I am grateful to my mom who went to the wake and expressed gratitude for the girl that I knew to her family.  I am thankful that I wanted to contact Lacey after the Royal's victory.  Take time to say what you mean to people who are important to you.  Be kind, everyday, and enjoy your life.  Celebrate, discover, explore, eat, travel, drink wine--do what makes you thrive!  And love those around you.
I hope your week begins on a high note.  I have yoga and a new perspective of life.  I choose being present and happy.

Friday, November 13, 2015

shoulder pain and what I think it is related to

For the last week, I have experienced shoulder pain.  Specifically, irritation on my scapula/rhomboid region on the right side.  At first, I chalked it up to sleeping on it wrong.  I tend to sleep on my right side regardless of how I begin the night.  Sleeping on my stomach is not really an option as it is not comfortable in my opinion.  I have been trying to find comfort in this position for the last week, believe me. 
In addition, I have taken salt baths, applied arnica cream, avoided yoga and instead did light stretching, complained about it and received some body work from my aunt.  She is a massage therapist and last Sunday, I needed to have my shoulder worked on.  She reiterated the importance of arnica cream, apple cider vinegar, salt baths and hydrating.  This irritation has persisted and I believe that stress (returning to Denver, work, car problems) have added to this condition.  I think about the emotions tied to the shoulder region and how I am carrying that stress on a daily basis.  Ironically, I had arranged a reading with a medium prior to my shoulder getting all wonky.  I wanted an idea of what the beginning of this journey would be like.  I wanted confirmation that I had made the right decision in returning home.  Of course, I felt confident that I had made the best decision for me in opting to move back to Denver as opposed to staying in Santa Fe or heading west. 
Denver is where I became an adult.  I found true love and it was a wonderful base for me to travel.  I managed 10-12 mini trips annually and I always felt the rush of love when I returned to the city.  I knew that I had made the right choice.  Recognizing that it is important to identify the love aspect.  I met the love of my life in 2002 while working at a catering company.  I spent the next three and half years with this beautiful man who adored me and our life together.  He was an old soul and always told me that he would die young.  He was right.  At 23 years old, he died and altered the course of my life.  It's almost been ten years since that terrible night I received the news that Brian had died.  I traveled and tried to grieve/heal in that way.  Grief counseling did not seem like my way.  I wanted to experience life and met many people along that time who had lost loved ones or directly dealt with sickness themselves.  I was sad.  Very sad for a long time.  I missed my heart.
Eventually, I relocated to break up with Denver for awhile.  Or that is how I like to look at it.  I had become comfortable in my routine.   Work, travel frequently, hang out with friends, repeat.  I was not interested in dating in spite of the fact that time kept moving on and people questioned my decision to not date.  I thought a new city would introduce me to something new, different and perhaps a desire to date.  Or make myself available to date available men. I did go that route for some time.  Seemed easier and protected my heart. 
Santa Fe brought me closer to Denver if nothing else.  It challenged me to grow and choose what I truly wanted out of life.  Inspired me to learn more and get certified for yoga.  Something that I had been thinking about for quite a while.  It motivated me to identify what I think I am capable of doing.  Which brings me back to Denver.  I am home, thankfully.  So grateful.  But it brings back all of these emotions (sadness, hurt, grief) and I have managed to lock away. 
Returning to Denver represents Brian, my life with him and the loss of him.  It hurts and as a result I have this nagging pain in my shoulder blades. I do believe that is truly part of the equation.  In addition to the sleeping on it wrong and work stress.  Today is a new day and I will return to yoga and embrace life.  I have a wonderful life and recently have been spending a fair amount of time with a great friend/companion.  I am ready to be whole again.
Reiki might be in my future or some sort of yoga therapy.  I brought up the medium as she touched on the grief aspect and suggested I speak to a counselor or someone.  Since Tuesday, I have been reflecting on love, loss and seeing that there is some credence in what Paige suggested.  From my yoga training, I sat through meditation, yoga therapy and chakra sessions.  Energy work to be specific.  I think I have been working towards this since choosing to become certified for yoga.  I love the physical aspect of yoga and forced myself to attend some of the other classes dealing with other limbs of the yoga practice.  I guess it is time to explore the energy work and meditative aspects associated with yoga.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

car emissions and frustrations

Happy Thursday!  It's a beautiful day in Denver.  Stunning.  I arrived in October, flew to Phoenix to finish teacher training, returned to Denver to settle my driver's license, car issues, etc.  The car overtook my life and livelihood.  Of course, I recognized that I was neglecting other areas of my life.  Fixing my laptop, finding a place to live, job in order to become a legal resident of Colorado again. 
In my mind, it was easy.  Take proof of address to dmv office that deals directly with driver's licenses.  Check.  Easy.  Drive car to emissions.  Pass test and proceed to tag office to retain the license plate.  I had it all planned out.  I had two weeks before my license plates expired which gave me plenty of time to deal with the car stuff.  I booked a trip to Chicago to celebrate my decision to return to Denver and thank Maghan for letting me store my stuff at his place.  Completely impulsive trip and again, worked into my time line.  I could pass the emissions test with a few days to spare if there was an issue. 
Let's just say I was na├»ve.  I should have dealt with the car the minute I returned to Denver instead of gallivanting in Phoenix and Chicago.  I went to the nearest emissions testing station and felt confident.  I had warmed my car up (as told by my Santa Fe mechanic) and gotten to the station early.  I waited in the designated area and paid when called to leave the station.  The guy let me pay and then told me I had failed the test.  He handed me some pamphlet with suggested mechanics and sent me on my way.
I had a plan.  I would call my Denver mechanics and arrange a service.  They were familiar with my car since they had worked on Veronica for six years.  I even had their number in my phone still.  I called them and connected with a no longer functioning phone.  Crap! 
At this point, I tried to calm down.  There was a solution and I could find it.  I would not have to seek out one of the mechanics on the pamphlet and be scammed.  I called my guy in Santa Fe and explained that I could use a recommendation from him of a mechanic here if he knew of some one.  He responded quickly with a name of a Volvo mechanic in Denver.  I called this place on Tuesday to arrange a looksee the following Monday. I was positive it would be a quick fix and so I focused on my trip to Chicago. 
Chicago was awesome.  Foodie friendly and fantastic.  And, I had managed to get a job prior to the trip that I would return home to.  Everything was looking up.  I drove to the mechanics the following Monday morning.  Introduced myself and told them I would wait.  My plan was to have them do some magic on my car and then I would drive to the nearest station, pass emissions and head directly to purchase license plates.  I was armed with my phone, head phones and a book.  Figured it would take an hour, maybe two.
I sat there with little interaction and waited.  I tried to occupy my time by reading.  I texted my friend, Jenn, that I would be needing to push our lunch date back.  It was not going as planned.  I sat at the mechanics for three plus hours before they offered me a loaner car.  I took the car and headed back to my place.  A few hours later, they contacted me that my car was done.  They suggested going directly to emissions and having my test performed.  I drove to the nearest station and watched the guys test my car.  I felt good and still had time to get my license plate. 
I paid the guy and he sold me my Vin verification that I knew I needed for the license plate.  Then he told me that I failed the emissions test.  I was furious.  Why sell me Vin verification knowing that I would not be able to get a license plate without passing the emissions test?
I asked the guy.  What do I do now as I just spent $300 on my car to prepare it for the emissions test?  Smugly, he suggested that I return to the mechanics and have them fix it more.  He made some comment that I would spend up to $800 before the state would waive the emissions test.  Jerk.
I drove back to the mechanics and expressed my frustration with the emissions system.  They agreed to look at my car the following morning and told me that they were at a loss.  It should have passed. They also told me that a loaner car would not be available as they were all spoken for. 
The following day I drove to their shop, hired an uber and waited to hear back from them.  I opted to go to a yoga class to distract myself and the car problems.  From yoga, I walked downtown to have lunch and wait to hear about my car.  I picked my car up and returned to the original testing center.  My mechanics told me to not turn the car off until I was told to.  I was determined to get the emissions test passed and move on with my life. 
The car failed and I almost cried.  I had no idea what to do. I asked the technician what I could do at this point.  My mechanics had had my car for almost 11 hours at this point and found nothing that would suggest not passing this test.  The guy handed me a pamphlet and suggested I call the state to see what they recommended.  I set up an appointment with a diagnostic for the following morning.  I called the mechanics to inform them that the car had failed again.  They were incredulous.  Told me to let them know what the technician said.  They felt confident that he would pass the car as it should have passed.
I drove to Lakewood to have my car assessed.  Arrived promptly at 8:00 am and waited in their office while they tested my car.  The man approached me with--it mostly passed.  How long do you intend to have this car? 
Then he proceeded to tell me he would not be passing the car. That I needed a catalytic converter in his opinion and that if I bought that, the car would pass.  I told him that the mechanics had looked at the converter the minute I brought the car in and they ruled that out.  He felt that they should reconsider and I told him that it was an expensive part that I wasn't interested in buying.  I was irritated by the process and frustrated that there was such little sympathy for my situation.  This technician told me that I could choose to direct my anger at him but I should remember that he had just conducted a free testing of my car.  He walked away from me after saying this.  I wanted to punch him in the throat.
I called my mechanics and we both spoke of how frustrating this had become.  They suggested getting my car tagged in the mountains to avoid emissions.  I considered it as I was at a loss as to how to proceed.  My car had been tested four times and each time the carbon emissions had decreased.  It wasn't the catalytic converter.  I had a new oxygen sensor put on.  It wasn't adding up.
I dropped my car off and waited.  I knew they were super busy from sitting in their waiting room on Monday.  Their phone had rung off the hook.  I knew that my car would be at their shop the majority of the day.
I waited til about noon to see the progress of my car.  I could have waited but I was impatient.  Of course, they had not yet worked on my car and so I went to lunch.  About 3 pm, I called the mechanic to see what my next step was. I knew that the loaner car was due back at 5.  The guy I spoke to told me that the mechanic had taken my car to emissions to have it passed.  Talk about going above and beyond.  I was shocked at their graciousness and commitment to my car.
I dropped the car off at five.  Hoping to hear that it had passed emissions.  Instead, it failed again.  The mechanic told me to ask for a waiver as I had surpassed the minimum repair limit of $715.  I could qualify for a waiver if I met with a state guy.  I called to arrange the appointment and expressed my frustration with this process.  I had oodles of hours at the mechanics shop, five failed emissions tests, uber rides, not being able to work and wasted gas from trekking all over Denver trying to pass my test.  The gentleman I spoke to did not care that I had spent time or money on this situation.  He only wanted to verify that I had the repair work done and that it was valued at $715.  Oh, and that the inspector would not be available to see the car until Monday.  This was Friday in November.  Meaning my car was now illegally driving in Denver.  My plates had expired.  I couldn't get a temp tag without emissions and I was screwed for the weekend.
I waited til Monday for the guy to contact me.  Thankfully, he did, first thing.  We arranged a meeting and I was thankful for his assistance.  He saw my car, had all of my receipts and gave me a waiver.  FINALLY.
I told him of my experience.  All of the jerks that I had encountered along the way.  He was empathetic and for that, he redeemed part of the bad taste I had in my mouth for the emissions process.  At least he saw that I was trying to do the right thing and I had committed to getting my car tagged in the best possible way. 
I did, too.  I am now a legal resident of Colorado with the license plates to prove it.  I have my license, insurance and can move forward with settling into life.  I am thankful for my friends who have listened to me rant about this for the last two weeks.
And today, I will focus on work and establishing roots here. I am back!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yoga fail

I chose to drive to Denver on Monday.  I could have stayed in Santa Fe and spent time with friends.  My departure tour could use some love.  Yet, I wanted to drive up, drop some things off and see the city.  I guess I wanted to remind myself of what I would be looking forward to.  I want to be home.
I contacted Maghan that I would be heading up with a car load of my belongings.  I researched some of the yoga studios in the city and found that I knew two instructors at a studio I was unfamiliar with.  My goal was to surprise one of my old colleagues/friends by attending a noon vinyasa class on Tuesday.  I remembered to pack my mat and clothes or so I thought.
Monday, I met Jenn for dip duo and wine.  Lovely way to spend an afternoon in Denver.  Overcast and patio dining.  I returned to Maghan's house and picked up a few things for dinner.  He was working and so my intention was to have a late light dinner with him. 
The next morning, I found coffee at a local shop.  Super cute space.  They offer coffee, beer and whiskey.  Semi-odd combination but works.  I mean, did I want a whiskey shot at 9 am?  I opted for the coffee. 
I knew there was a noon class near the RiNo.  I packed my bag and realized that I had forgotten yoga pants.  Silly!  I dumped all of the contents out of my bag, hoping, to find work out pants or shorts.  I have other clothes at Maghan's since I am storing my stuff there til I find my own spot.  I rummaged through those clothes as well.  I had multiple yoga tops, bras, etc.  But no pants. 
At this point, it was 11:10 and the studio was downtown.  I was too far east to make it to the target and the yoga studio.  I figured the yoga studio would have pants for sale.  Yet, do I want to spend $100 + on a pair of pants to attend a class?  I thought about the time and the stress that I would be embarking on.  Unnecessary traffic, parking, buying pants and attending a class.
So, I chose to skip the class.  I figured we could walk around downtown to enjoy the day.  Did I miss the yoga?  Absolutely!  I know that I would have benefitted, greatly, from attending the class.  Plus, the surprise factor would have been epic.  That will have to wait for another day.
Thankfully, I did manage to attend a class this morning.  Tomorrow will be a mysore class and then Saturday, I will attend a vinyasa class.  I recognize that I build so much more strength from ashtanga.  My practice has solidified.  However, I enjoy vinyasa classes with music.  Always have.  Probably always will.  I can completely let go and find myself lost in the music, breath, movement.  Especially, if the instructor is a talented sequencer.  I found several instructors in Phoenix that I enjoyed.  Thankfully, I will be in Phoenix in a few weeks to finish my teacher training and take in as many vinyasa classes as I can. 
In two weeks, I will be home.  I am excited for this new journey.  Nervous, scared, happy and mostly excited.  I enjoy starting over.  But, this is returning to a place I have called home and beginning again.  A little different.  I am super excited to see friends and what the city has to offer.  Definitely something new.
Yoga was an epic fail on Tuesday.  In its place, I walked downtown, discovered new eateries that I will become a regular at and enjoyed the day.  There is always tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

bike donation

Last month while in Denver, my friend, Troy, mentioned that he was heading up to Wheat Ridge to donate a few bikes to a shop there.  Ironically, this shop is about two blocks from where I first lived in Colorado.  Since he was in Denver, he met Shari, Sara and myself for dinner.  Lovely occasion with three of my great friends.  I had been waiting for Shari and Troy to meet for some time.  It was fantastic.
I started thinking about some of the items that I carry from city to city with me.  I have a bike that was Brian's.  It was his mountain bike until he purchased a newer model that suited his skills.  I gratefully accepted the mountain bike as my trek had definitely seen better days.  I think if I remember correctly, that bike, made its way to my sister's house to retire. 
At any rate, I wondered why I would take the mountain bike with me as I rarely ride it.  It has some fundamental tire issues that I could not correct on my own or with assistance from handy bike landlords of the past.  Believe me, I tried to have them fix the bike without me having to take it to a bike shop.  And, I purchased a road bike in Phoenix which felt more like me.  I brought both bikes with me to Santa Fe and the mountain bike has not moved since it arrived.
I went on-line and found a donation center in Santa Fe.  I chose to go this route as the bike is still in good shape and I believe will make someone extremely happy to own.  It's okay to let go of things.  I finally understand that part of grief.  For a long time, I wanted to keep his things with me, near me, close to me which kept his essence with me, I suppose.  The physical reminders or associations as opposed to the inherent knowledge that I had a love that was special.  Of course, when I left the bike with the center, I felt loss.  I remembered and missed him immensely.
Still, I saw several hummingbirds this week as well as butterflies.  I know this is the right thing to do.  When I walked out of the center, this man, stopped me to thank me.  It felt fantastic to give something to the community.  I know that it will make its new owner extremely happy. 
I asked the kid that helped me how long the center had been opened.  Ten years was his response.  I feel it is a great resource for any city.  Not only do they accept bikes, they also show you how to fix them, make repairs and build bikes.  Definitely something that Brian would understand.  He loved riding his bike and tinkering with it.  He had all of these tools and spent hours keeping his bike in good shape. 
I am off to work to enjoy the rest of this day.  Cheers!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Memories of today

Today is always a bittersweet memory for me.  I did not personally lose anyone to 9/11.  Still this day affects me profoundly.  My plan was to head to Greece on September 18th.  I had moved my belongings back to Kansas where they would remain for six months while I found myself.  Or so I told my friends and family.  I was restless in Phoenix and looking for adventure. 
Graciously, my older sister and her husband let me store my stuff at their home in Lawrence.  I was saying goodbye to my mom and my younger sisters in Salina on September 10th.  I had already made the rounds of goodbyes to college friends, high school and family.  Although, my family thought I was crazy to go abroad, they knew they would not be able to talk me out of it. 
I remember waking up at my mom's house.  Confused to what was being reported on the news.  Captivated by the events and scared for people that I didn't know.  In addition, my sister was stranded in Chicago and we were unable to contact her. 
I remember being gouged trying to fill my car up with gasoline.  I think it was $4.50/gallon.  My little sister and I went to see Rockstar that night.  It seemed like the most normal thing to do.  Sit in the dark and try to watch a film.  To distract from the reality that now was occurring.  The heart break, tragedy, unknowing of what tomorrow would be like. 
Suddenly, I had a choice.  Go to Greece as planned or make a detour.  My family at this point rallied to dissuade me from going abroad.  I stood firm in my decision.  I would be fine, I told them.  Then, I visited my mentor who suggested the traveling in the first place.  He was the only one that could reason with me.  He reminded me that I could delay the trip and go some other time.  The proximity of Greece to the Middle East might not be the smartest decision for a solo female traveler.  I returned to my sister's house with the news.  I would postpone my European adventure and remain in Kansas.  That thought lasted about two days.  I spent some time at local spots and knew that I had outgrown being a college student.  That eventually I would turn into an alcoholic or something of that sort due to the fact that I knew way too many people in Lawrence.  It would be too accessible to hang out on a daily basis.  The thought of returning to Phoenix didn't really factor in.  I had left and didn't want to return.  Sure, I could have returned and worked at the pub.  I told them I wanted a leave of absence and they believed me.  I left on good terms so I knew I would have a position with them if I wanted it.
I found myself heading to Denver to check out a beer festival.  My aunt lived in Denver and she told me I could stay with her while attending the festival.  Jan flew to Kansas City and we drove to Denver for a weekend.  It was great and before I left, I knew that I would be returning to Denver to make a life there. 
A year later, I met Brian and my life completely changed.  9/11 is a bittersweet memory.  Tragedy, loss, fear that turned into finding my soul mate in Denver. 
For me, I have found that I definitely want to attend a yoga class on this day.  A few years ago, I attended an extremely soulful class where the teacher chose the best songs to commemorate the day.  It was very emotional and heartfelt.  Last year, I attended a vinyasa class that also dedicated the music to NY style songs.  Again, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the beauty of that city, of life, of peace and kindness to all.  Today, I attended a mysore class.  Made myself get out of bed and practice ashtanga.  Extremely thankful that I did this.  I would have preferred a vinyasa with music class. It feels more ideal.
However you choose to remember, take a moment and breathe.  Kindness and peace to all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

last few days

Yesterday was a loss.  Complete waste of a day.  That is what happens when I overindulge the previous day.  Instead of enjoying both of my days off.  I end up recovering in one of them. 
I spent the morning at the yoga studio.  I could not avoid that responsibility and so I drank coffee and counted the minutes down.  I love the studio.  I was just tired and in desperate need of rest.  Not feeling like the most engaging person that is for sure.
Monday, I worked at the studio and followed that up with lunch with my friend, Lawrence and his wife.  Thankfully, I managed to do my laundry before beginning wine lunch.  We had a progressive lunch and continued on to a downtown establishment.  I wanted Lawrence to see what it was like before dropping him off at a concert.  I retired to my house and had a picnic dinner later that evening. 
All, in all, a lovely day surrounded by friends, food and wine.  I am realizing that I have a few weeks left before my new adventure begins.  There is still a lot that I would like to do while in Santa Fe.  I know there will be a return to Ojo since I absolutely adore that.  And, there are a few core restaurants that I want to check out before departing.  I call this time in my life, the departure tour.  I probably will not have a going away party as I do not have the space to do it.  The majority of my belongings are now in Denver.  The picnic dinner the other night was interesting.  Kitchy, charming, fun....but not something that I want to repeat on many occasions.  A few of my friends here are interested in a party of sorts but I think I am running out of time.  I believe my departure will have to be done on a one on one basis.  I saw Lawrence and Jenn, Monday.  I will more than likely see Melody at Ojo and Libby and I have an upcoming walk scheduled.  I might see Scooby Snack or not.  I haven't really decided. 
I know that I am on the right path and that I am ready to be home.  My time away has been lovely and eye opening.  I do enjoy starting over and meeting new people.  I thrive on it.  I have expanded my social circle.  When I visit, I will have more people to see and a few yoga instructors to hang out with.  Hopefully, I will be able to do a sample class for Mira in the future.  I started this journey to improve the quality of teaching here and realized that I wanted to deepen my practice first.  Then, I will focus on teaching others.  I have found that some of the recent graduates are not equipped to adjust students and I do not want to be that kind of teacher.  I want to inspire others to deepen their own practice and feel comfortable approaching me with suggestions.  I feel that I need more time as a student before taking the lead to teach.  My training will conclude in a month.  I am thankful for that.  Work keeps me busy and productive.  I am off~

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Scooby Snack

Working at the yoga studio has been lovely.  I have met a diverse group of people in addition to seeing people from the restaurants.  It's interesting to see them outside of work and in a different light.  Likewise, they see me in a very casual environment.  No bowties or black slacks in the yoga studio. 
I know the owners from attending her classes at a different studio.  Of course, it is easiest to work alongside her as we already have an established rapport and friendship.  The other girls I am getting to know.  I've been bonding with some of the other girls as we have worked together.  The office manager is a massage therapist by trade and organizing the studio in her free time.  Detail organized, thrifty and kind.  We have traded some dating debacles in the last few weeks.  Mostly mine.  There was the guy that took me to Ojo Caliente at night which is super romantic and couples are everywhere.  This guy did not try to kiss me on either of the trips there.  So, I kissed him and it was terrible!  Huge mistake.  No chemistry whatsoever. 
Then there was the guy that seemed normal, intelligent, attractive, kind.  Until he got super drunk and ranted that, don't I understand?  He's a novelist....and there are so many women chasing him.  Not exactly attractive in that moment.  What woman is excited that a prospect has many, many options.  At least according to the guy.
I walked into the studio yesterday and told her the latest.  There is a younger guy that I work with who has a crush on me.  One night at work, he told me that I had a dope vibe.  (I agreed and liked this).  He continued are kind of hostile (what?) and then asked me if I was Russian.  My response, no, I'm german.  Then I thought about it.  He praised and attacked me in one statement.  Another time, he asked me if I was 31.  With no context of speaking of age.  Just flat out asked me if I was 31.  I said no and that was that.  The following day I asked him why he asked me about my age.  He asked me if I was flattered that I asked him that.  Again, I was like--what?  Should I be?
At any rate, for the last six weeks, we have worked together and I am amused by his randomness. 
I began the story with--this young guy that I work with is meeting me for wine and dinner later tonight.  Her response, oh, a Scooby snack. 
I loved it and it was pretty appropriate.  This guy wears skinny jeans, dances by himself and calls in to work so that he can hacky sack in front of the restaurant.  Random, yes, and older than I thought.  I thought he was 22, maybe.  (Definitely Scooby snack at this point)  I found out the other night that he is older. 
We did not meet for wine which gave my liver a much needed break.  I've started my departure tour of the city.  Meaning I have been seeing friends and saying goodbye.  Translation, lots of wine is involved.  Last night, I went to a yoga class and relaxed at home.  No wine. 
I don't know if it will go anywhere with the Scooby snack outside of giving this guy a nickname.  I do like his wit in spite of his hackysacking at work and skinny jeans. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weekend in Denver

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Denver.  I thought about it for some time before committing or asking Shari to join me.  I knew that it would mean that I would have to ask off from work and hope that they would be willing to accommodate me. 
For a little bit of time I reflected on my options.  Either work and make some good cash or head to Denver to celebrate my aunt's 50th birthday.  Since I lead an unconventional life (always) I opted for the latter.  Why wouldn't I take the weekend to spend with my aunt?  She only turns 50 once. 
Her reaction to the party was priceless.  She had no idea that we were all meeting to celebrate her.  She walked in and was overwhelmed with emotion.  She looked around the room and continued to be awestruck.  It was amazing.  I am so glad that I was part of it.
I was able to chit chat with all of her siblings, her parents and some of her friends that I had not met.  What a lovely day.  Earlier in the day, we met Brian's grandparents for breakfast.  I have not seen them since 2007 at the fundraiser for Brian.  They were on a road trip which they seem to do frequently.  They have family all over the western States.  That, too, was pleasant.  Catching up and creating another memory. 
I feel fortunate to have the people in my life that I do.  Lindsay stopped by Bryn's party with her son, Wrangler.  Sara Jo wanted to attend the soiree but was held up at work.  Thankfully, I saw her Saturday night for dinner.  My friend, Troy, drove up from Colorado Springs and joined us for dinner, too.  I have been waiting years for he and Shari to meet.  His brother died three weeks after Brian.  He and I have always shared this understanding and I wanted him to meet Shari.  Finally it happened.
Of course we stopped by to see Steve for a chimay.   We had some free time to do as we pleased.  We opted to head to Matthew Winters Park and drink wine.  It felt right to visit the spot where we had released some of Brian's ashes.  People kept walking by us and were either jealous or shocked.  One family of four hiked by us with pizza.  If only we had planned on food and wine.  That would have been ideal. 
The first night we had dinner with Tiffany, Dan and Maghan.  New spot in a hopping neighborhood.  Small, intimate space that had a lovely vibe.  We basically tried everything on the menu and it was great.  The last night, Shari and I walked to a neighborhood Italian gem.  Sat barside and watched the cooks in action.  Burrata, zucchini and octopus enchanted our taste buds.  It was a celebratory focused trip as well as foodie friendly vacation.  I told Shari that I would need to detox for a week to allow my liver to rest.  Still hasn't happened.  I had dinner with Melody on Monday and managed to arrange take-out last night from another local spot of mine.  Initially, I almost aborted my itinerary due to traffic and parking issues.  Then, I remembered that I could park at work and walk over.  Bingo!  Completely worked out in my favor.  I know a few of the bartenders at this spot and so I was treated extremely well.
Today, I head to yoga to begin the detox.  I forced myself to go to spin last night.  I am not a huge fan of exercising at night.  I prefer the early day class and find it difficult to go to evening classes.  It interferes with my meeting of friends and drinking wine.  Still, I am healthy and have the opportunity to do this.  I should be attending classes.
I see Denver in my near future. Maybe an early Monday/Tuesday return.  Til then, yoga will occupy my time.  Cheers!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

romantic memories

I work with a guy that is entertaining.  Non-stop entertainment and most of the guests adore him.  He's kind, funny, engaging.  I enjoy working with him.  Initially, I found him challenging as he and I had not developed a rapport or work environment that suited us both.  They have bar tables and fifteen bar seats.  He prefers making all of the drinks while I cocktail the tables and counter (which is not what I consider bartending).  We have it worked out where we both perform both tasks and end up behind the bar together and co-exist in a healthy way. 
As such, we chit chat frequently.  Relationships, travel, livelihood.  I think Marc thinks of me as too serious.  Last night, he wanted to know what I thought of romance.  He asked me if I had ever experienced a truly romantic thing in my life.
I thought about it for a second and instantly had a rush of romantic memories.  I was involved with a man that loved life, loved me and had no regrets.  One of my favorite memories was celebrating Christmas in 2005.  I love my birthday and so I always would shower Brian with a huge birthday celebration as his birthday was the day before mine.  He, however, preferred Christmas.  Always a big celebration.  So, I was surprised when he bought me a cookbook for Christmas.  A cookbook that I had wanted to buy for him.  I couldn't find it and so I bought him an alternate book.  Imagine my surprise when I open my big gift and find that it is the cookbook that I had wanted to buy for him.  Shock.  Anger.  Disappointment. 
I fake joy and intend to continue with the day.  Meaning, drink more mimosas and enjoy breakfast before our hike.  Brian asks me if I had looked through the book.  I'm like, yea.  I read the covers and it looks great.  He keeps telling me to read through the book that had been wrapped in plastic.  I figure he wants me to look at the recipes and choose one for him to cook for me.  Instead, I find a confirmation of plane tickets to Las Vegas and reservations at Bouchon.  Talk about romantic and an incredible gift.
Marc was wowed.  He was impressed.  Then, I remembered another story of Brian surprising me with a romantic gesture.  Ironically, it was my birthday this time and I had just spent the weekend in Santa Fe.  Sara Jo and I drove back leisurely.  Brian had indicated that he wanted to see me and hoped that we would return efficiently. 
Sara dropped me off and Brian told me that he had planned a picnic at Lookout Mountain.  He picked up sandwiches and a six pack of beer and we headed west towards the mountains.  He exited near red rocks and I saw a plethora of people hanging out with signs saying tickets available.  I was still oblivious to what he had planned.  He parked the car and gave me tickets to the Norah Jones concert.  What a treat.  It was gorgeous and just one other example of how I was spoiled by romance. 
After telling Marc both of these stories, he goes--what happened with that guy?  He seems fantastic.  We were interrupted by tickets and customers and so I answered his question a little bit later.  I told him that he had died.  Marc said, now it all makes sense.  I think it gave him a little bit of insight into my life.
I thought about Brian the rest of the night.  How he loved life and was passionate about living each day to the fullest.  I had a wonderful life with him and am grateful for the memories and that we took the time to enjoy each other and travel.  I think this weekend will continue to be nostalgic. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grateful for friends

Lovely memory.  Night game at Coors Field with my friend,  Sara Jo.  It's been way too long.  This weekend I hope to remedy this.  I will be heading up to Denver for a quick warrior weekend.  Finding new shoes (since the selection here is lame.  I know.  I have looked several times.)   Seeing friends--Goddess, Sara, Jenn, Bryn, maybe Maghan.  We'll see.  I am ready for a little R & R in Denver. 
I think I am nostalgic due to the weather.  Overcast and inspiring of making plans.  Oh, and remembering fun experiences.
I do hope to accomplish a pedicure while up in the city.  I could use one and know there are many options of places in Denver.  Plus, I know Lindsay knows of a place that has a reclining chair that has always sounded incredible to me. 
Should be a lovely weekend and experience.  I always enjoy seeing my friends.


The yoga intensive was a wonderful experience.  Initially, I hesitated due to the lack of sequencing and physical classes.  The available classes focused on therapy, readings, posture meanings and crystal gongs.  I went back and forth with whether or not I would be able to attend the necessary hours.
In the end, I managed to attend 40 hours of class.  A little physical and the majority was lecture driven.  I prefer the physical classes. I thought it would be smart to attempt back to back to back ashtanga classes.  Midway through the third class which was vinyasa based ashtanga, I realized I was being foolish.  No, I was not a badass in this physical sense.  I could injure myself which would decrease my hours in the studio.  Foolish girl!  My intention is to finish my training not prolong it.
Ironically, I received the best benefit in the classes that I least looked forward to.  Yoga therapy, crystal bowls and another vision type of class.  All were meditation led where the mind wandered to where it wanted to.  In each of them, either I experienced a release of sorts or a vision of where I want to be.  Entertaining friends with wine and on a mountain.  I think I surprised the others in the class.  They had children and some of their visions had to do with making themselves a priority or being creative.  Mine dealt with being patient (I think in the present) and then expanded into the mountain image.  After the class several of the other ladies approached me and commented on what I had to say.  One girl saw a video and emailed it to me.  She said, I saw this and thought of you.  You must see it.
I think I was on a high after the intensive.  In addition, I met this couple while working and the man had traveled to 105 countries. Amazing.  Sort of stuck with me the last few weeks.  And my mini is off gallivanting in Central America.  I envy her ability to pick up and go.  She is wanting to visit 25 countries before she turns 25 and is almost there.  We plan on meeting in Vietnam in February.  Til then, she is discovering a whole new world of possibility.
I keep seeing advertisements for wine training in Napa.  Or, my friend, Lisa, asked me if I had ever considered relocating to Las Vegas.  She suggested I could get my som and work somewhere on the Strip.  So there is that in my sights along with the mountain vision.
Returning to New Mexico has been interesting.  I want to hold on to where I want to be while living in the status quo.  So there is some frustration in the present as such.  I enjoy the productivity of what I am doing and the people I am meeting.  I like knowing that I am providing service for people and that they enjoy my style of service.  I talk about things that I know--food, travel, wine, other restaurants.  It's enjoyable.  Or, I find it pleasant. 
Moreover my time at the yoga studio is uplifting and physical.  I find that I like cycle classes and am developing my yoga class on a deeper level.  Things are great and I am finding my voice.  Today, I continue to enjoy cycle classes and reflection.  Seems I am exactly where I need to be.