Saturday, May 30, 2015

How I am spending this Saturday

Working days gives me too much time to be distracted by wine.  Terrible issue, I know.  I love wine.  Talking about it.  Drinking it.  Pairing it with food.  Sharing experiences with friends.  There are times when it is in my best interest to take a day off.  I am forcing myself to take a day off today.  Easily, I could have relaxed for happy hour with one of my friends or some of the tourists thriving here.   The city has a different vibe.  Lots of energy and possibility.  I love it!
Still, I wanted a day off.  I would not be tempted to dine out again either.  I have produce from the farmer's market and a lovely table to dine at in my home.  I found arugula that is peppery and divine, green onions that are delicious and radishes.  Desperately, I wanted tomatoes and cucumbers that I found at the Saturday market.  On Tuesday, there are not as many local farmers as of yet.  I think as the season continues, this will change.  I stopped by TJ's to find cucumbers, tomatoes and mushrooms.  Perfect ingredients for a salad.  I had every item I needed to create a lovely meal at my house without wine. 
At work, earlier, there was not an opportunity or reason to sample a glass of wine or new liquer.  Lately, I have been trying out tequilas, mezcals, bourbons, sauternes and amaro nonino (love this stuff).  In my current job, I am asked, frequently, what spirits taste like.  I feel it is better to be honest, always.  Meaning if I have not tried something, I don't lie about it.  However, this is a disadvantage too.  I do have the opportunity to sample the spirit and/or wine which makes for a better experience for the guest.  I love nonino and understand why people choose to begin and end their meal with it.  Smooth, sippy, incredible.  I love it!
Or, limoncello to conclude a meal.  A few years ago, one of my co-workers and his girlfriend made me homemade limoncello for Christmas.  Such a nice gift and gesture.  Typically, I end a meal with another glass of wine or an Americano.  I do love espresso.
So, I have been more mindful of spirits that I tend to overlook or rarely try.  I am not a huge scotch aficionado.  Or tequila.  Yet, in the last four months, I have been more interested in these spirits and how they enhance a meal.  Mezcal, for example, is underutilized is what I now believe.  It's delicious.  Smoky, crude, powerful.  I like a mezcal margarita.  Yesterday, tried the royal tokaji that we offer to customers.  Just makes me more knowledgeable and capable in creating a memorable dining experience.  Of course, I can talk through the wine as I am most confident in that arena. 
I opted to not try anything today and hope for a pure night of sleep.  I am overdue.  I have been waking up at 4 or 4:30 on a fairly regular basis.  Unable to return to sleep, I stream shows on my laptop and fall back asleep around 6:30 or 7.  It is throwing off my ability to go to yoga or walk around the farmer's market.  That is more of what happened this morning.  I woke up late and reconsidered the market.  I still have ample produce to eat before buying more.  I hope that on Tuesday, I will find tomatoes and cucumbers.  I enjoy a green salad with onion, cucumber and tomatoes. 
I am hoping to frequent the market all summer. I want to support local farmers.  It does make a difference.  In addition the freshness of the produce is amazing when it is local.  There is no comparison to what I can find there or a supermarket.  I have not enjoyed arugula this flavorful ever in my life.  Absolutely incredibly full of pepper and flavor.
I finished my book about an immigrant girl in NYC and working with her mother in a factory.  I enjoyed most of the book but felt unfulfilled by the ending.  The narrator was a gifted girl who was able to receive several scholarships to private schools.  She went to school and worked alongside her mom in their uncle's factory to repay the debt of the expense of him flying them to the States.  Basically, the girl went to school and worked.  No fun was experienced by her as she was ashamed by their meager apartment and unable to pay for any extras.  Family obligation dictated that she excel in school and work with her mother.  Eventually, she finds friendship with one of the other factory kids who she grew up working with.  Of course, they cannot just fall into a relationship.  She has school and his mom is ill.  There is some chemistry and attraction and finally they choose to see where a relationship can lead them.  She is accepted to an Ivy League university and is insistent on going.  She wants to take the guy with her and he is resistant.  He wants to take care of her.  An impasse ensues.  Meanwhile she finds out she is pregnant. 
Traumatized by what led them to this point and terrified that she won't make it through school.  It fast forwards to 12 years later where they are apart and you are led to believe she terminated the pregnancy.  She finds her love involved with another woman.  Her and the man meet to have their goodbye.  Her last image of him is him kissing his pregnant wife.  She returns to her home and greets her 11 yr old son.  The end.
I liked the story until that point.  Just ended and in such a flat way.  The rest of the book was enticing and insightful.  Obligation, strife, struggle, true friendship and camaraderie.  Concludes in a very unsettling way.
Tomorrow, I hope to attend a heated yoga class.  Eat more salad and then work.  Probably revisit wine and/or nonino.  I am enjoying my newfound love of spirits.  Enjoy your night.  Cheers!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Salad, spaghetti or wine

I have been indecisive about how to celebrate the remainder of my day off.  I considered going for a walk, making a salad, meeting a friend, downsizing some of my wardrobe or buying spaghetti.  I hemmed and hawed.  Waited to hear from my potential coffee date and then opted to create my own night. 
My coffee date is a guy that I refer to as Japanese Cowboy.   It's a long story and the name came about after a series of texts where the name stuck.  Reminded me of a ween song too.  At any rate, this man works at a coffee shop and has traveled to Vietnam.  Yes, I find him attractive.  Yet, mostly, I want to know what he discovered in Vietnam.  He is elusive.  I am over it, I think.  Well, I know I am over it.  I was not that broken up when he canceled our plans.  He cares for his mother.  Still, I do not know the extent of her incapacity.  He has not explained how he is caring for her, nor, have I come out via text and asked.  It seems inappropriate to question that in that format.  I did ask him, point blank, last week when I saw him.  His response--she's retarded.  I am fairly certain that my transparent face translated my dislike of that word.  He backpedaled with, well, I am living here because she needs assistance and I am not married unlike my siblings.  So, I am still unaware of why he cares for his mom.  I don't know if I will find out either. 
I have wonderful arugula, radishes and green onions from the farmer's market.  I could make a salad.  Or, I could have a glass of wine and buy spaghetti.  Guess what option won?
Spaghetti with wine.  I wanted to check out a new place to me.  There is a place near the Plaza that I have not been too.  I found a parking space and walked to the restaurant.  Relieved that they had a bar where I could drink a glass of wine while waiting.  The guy poured me a generous glass of wine and I waited for my take-out.  There were three tables in use.  Lovely ambiance.  My food arrived and I waited for the check.  The owner handed me a check which was not mine.  I told the guy that and he said, yes, this your check.  You asked for the brie without this and adding that.
I said, no, I asked for the spaghetti and meat balls.  He seemed confused and wondered if I had been given the correct food.  I had.  He gave me the wrong check is all.
Upon returning home, I opened some wine and tasted the spaghetti.  Mediocre at best.  They did offer many other options that seemed interesting.  I liked the bar and think I could enjoy a glass of wine in the space. 
Tomorrow, I work the day shift.  I plan on doing some yoga before I work.  I will work and then figure out my downsizing situation.  Yes, life is grand.

day off

Beautiful day to get outside and explore.  Absolutely stunning day to enjoy the sunshine.  I do love the southwest with its ample sunshine and blue skies. 
Yesterday, I went to Ojo Caliente to celebrate Melody's birthday.  For her, it was free and I paid the week rate which is $10 cheaper.  We thought we would have no problem enjoying the waters on a Wednesday.  Apparently, we were not the only ones who thought this way.  It was packed and we barely found a parking space.  We feared that the tubs would be too crowded to enjoy.  The locker room was full of women trying to get ready to soak and/or leave.  It was the most full I have ever seen.  I did not know if we would find lockers to store our items.
We soaked for a few hours.  Glorious.  Afterwards, we had a late lunch at a new spot to me in Santa Fe.  A wine bar with a nice patio.  The happy hour was inviting--$6 for any glass of wine normally priced $11.  Many options and the fare, itself, was fine.  We snacked on a Mediterranean platter and a crab cake.  I love roasted garlic which was found on the platter.  Some of the items were subpar.  I was not in love with the tabouli, hummus or carrot/raisin salad.  It was lovely to check out a new spot that neither of us had checked out before.  I did enjoy the crab cake and waffle fries.  Who doesn't enjoy French fries?
In all honesty, I would have preferred returning to a local haunt.  Unfortunately, most of the ones I wanted to go to do not open until 5 or 5:30.  We were hungry now.   And, Melody wanted to spend some of her birthday with her boyfriend.  I recognized that, too. 
I woke up at 4 am.  I was unable to get back to sleep until 6:30.  As a result, I am exhausted.  Lazy.  I cleaned my house and plan on stopping by the yoga studio shortly.  I love this new studio that has opened in Santa Fe.  Heated power flow.  Need I say more?  My favorite type of class.  Hot, with music, and a challenging flow.  I feel that I get a work out and an opportunity to focus on me.   I ran into another lady that relocated from Tucson.  She had similar complaints about the yoga scene here.  She mentioned that she rarely sweats or feel she is getting a work out.   I completely understand how she feels.  I suggested she check out my friend's studio.  I think it will be a lovely addition to Santa Fe. 
I went shopping.  I found a couple dresses for my niece, Emma.  It's time to purge some of my older clothes.  It's summer!  I love the energy of it, too.  I feel inspired to be outside, meeting people and drinking wine.  Most days, I feel like enjoying wine.  Haha

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

sentiments of hump day

I worked last night.  Lovely vibe and a mix of tourists.  In a way it's inspiring.  They want to know places to dine, see, drink.  All things I enjoy chitchatting about.  My first couple hailed from Maryland, tri-athletes to boot, and in town for 10 days.  After figuring this out, I wrote down a list of restaurants and must see things.  Lovely conversation and I look forward to when they return to the restaurant to see me.  They said they would.  Well, before, they invited me to meet them out for drinks.  I suggested Thursday.
Afterwards, I had some locals and later two other tourist couples.  Again, I had a similar conversation--food, places to hang out, wine.  It was great.  And, I made some kick ass cocktails.  One couple was from L.A.  The other from Corpus Christy, Texas.  The couple from L.A. had been to Santa Fe before and interested in other places to dine.  They cocktailed, had one glass of wine, followed by coffee and a Ferrari--Campari/Fernet.  Surprising.  I want to make one to see how much of a digestif it is.
The other couple took my suggestion of a barbaresco and asked what I felt they should follow up with.  I suggested a Burgundy in the similar price range.  They, amongst themselves, talked about Napa Cabernets.  At this point, I let them tell me what they wanted.  They chose a Stag's Leap selection which required decanting.  In all honesty, the guy reminded me of George Costanza.  They came in and he made some comment about me being stuck with them.  Then, he realized how ludicrous it sounded and told me a story of him being a jackass when he was younger.  He redeemed himself is what I am suggesting.
We chitchatted.  They drank their respective drinks and I soaked up their stories.  I reveled in how great of a night it was.  I really enjoyed it.  I did the paperwork and headed out.  I  considered my options.  Stop by a local spot or go home.  I chose to have a glass of wine.  I figured I would run into a colleague, customer or friend.  Bar was booming.  Few spots left at the bar.  I sat down and the bartender came over.  I felt like a glass of wine.  I looked around me.  Four other singles ladies at the bar.  All on their phone. 
The bartender was busy.  Couldn't engage the guest.  I wanted to talk to someone.  Anyone.  The other people at the bar were eating or on their phone.  Everyone.  I thought about it.  How much further we are straying from interaction with our reliance on technology.  I am guilty of it too.  I know. 
Still, I had no conversation until one of the other bartenders talked about New Orleans.  Of course, I was intrigued.  He grew up there and moved after the storm.  I am curious as to what it is like now.  Or what it was like growing up there.  I told him I would love to hear more about it.  I do.
I am intrigued by what it is like ten years after the storm.  I've watched a few documentaries and fictional series.  I am interested.  I love the Crescent City.  Culture, music, many restaurants. Absolutely adore it.  I have not visited since 2008.  I feel a return is in order. 
Tomorrow is another day off and another opportunity to enjoy life fully. I have an excellent vinyasa class arranged.  Then a lunch with Melody.  LIfe is grand.  I am blessed to be here now.  Or maybe that is the wine talking.....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

whirlwind of days off

Ahhhhh.....Denver, how I love you so!
24 hours in the city I adore.  Awesome.  I rented a car and headed to spend time with friends.  I arrived at 1:30 pm and departed at 1:30 pm the following day.  Exactly 24 hours of fun.  I rushed back hoping to meet my friend for coffee.  Ironically, his plans changed and I could have lavished in the city.  Next time, I will not rush.  I could have made time to see Tiffany, Jimmy or Steve.  Or, I could have hiked at Matthew Winters Park.  Spent happy hour with friends.  Yes, lots of options.
I had a lovely 24 hours in Denver.  Saw Jenn, the Goddess, Wrangler, Sara, Maghan, Goose and the Mini.  Yes, it was a great day.
Oh, I forgot to mention the massage.  I do love izba.  Pure bliss.  Best way to greet the day.  I'll get back to that eventually.  Upon arriving, I met Jenn for a dip duo/wine date.  I didn't know what to expect.  It had been awhile since our schedules coordinated.  I've brought people to our meetups and she has, too.  Of course, I bring people she knows.  She hasn't always done that.  Regardless, we had a lovely afternoon.  I dropped her off and made my way to Arvada.  I had a date with the Goddess and Wrangler.  Such a cute kid.  He is engaging, friendly, smart.  Knows my name.  Love that.
We watched part of a softball game.  Lindsay's husband plays in a league.  Seemed super fun.  We left Wrangler with Jon and headed east.  Dinner date with Sara Jo.  We parked the car and met Sara at the front door.  The bar was packed.  Lively.  A little overwhelming.   We opted for a table and immediately I received a text from my friend, Maghan.  Something to the effect of--oh, I see how it are in town and didn't tell me.
I look around.  Think he might be there.  Respond to the text to see where he was and how he knew I was in town. Mentioned that it was an impulsive trip and that I didn't think I would have enough time to see him. 
He met us for dinner and it was grand.  I love my friends.  I love that they can carry on amongst themselves with little input from me.  I have great people in my life. 
Goose sat down with us and drank some wine.  Meanwhile, I was receiving random texts from the coffee guy in Santa Fe. Super random.  Such as--Although it was brief...I really liked such and such's actor from the 1980's.
I made some smart ass response.  Candid.  I was enjoying the banter and randomness.  Looking forward to experiencing it in person.  He's interesting.
Today as much as I looked forward to seeing him, when he canceled, I felt fine.  Prolong the awkwardness. It is the most honest either of us will be, I'm sure, wherever this leads. 
I hurried back thinking of food.  I didn't realize how little service I had once I entered this state.  Super splotchy.  I made my way to a local spot and ordered a drink while waiting for my carry out.  Ran into a girl that I have seen 3 times in the last week.  Super small world! 
I am thankful that I chose to make that trip. I missed my friends, wine bars, restaurants.  Plus, my friends are phenomenal.  I am a fortunate gal.  happy Thursday~

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Yoga thoughts

I had every intention of hitting an early morning yoga class.  My alarm went off.  I made coffee and lavished in bed for another ten minutes.  Received a text that asked for a rain check of my upcoming coffee date later today.  Freed up my day quite a bit. 
Options...go to early class that I know is beneficial for my practice or hit the vinyasa class at noon.  The early class is an ashtanga led class that I should frequent more regularly.  I am training for my certification at a studio that is ashtanga based.  I struggle in these classes as I do not have the sequence done cold nor am I as familiar with the Sanskrit names of the postures.  In my defense, I have maybe, attended twelve ashtanga classes in my life.  Vinyasa is based on ashtanga with more flexibility and music which I crave.  I also factored in that the early class had an instructor that I felt could do more.  I tried out her class where there were four other students.  She led us through the sequence by saying inhale, exhale as opposed to the more traditional way of counting to ten in Sanskrit which cue the pose.  Moreover, the class is an hour long which there is no way to achieve the primary series in this amount of time.  Typically, these classes are an hour and a half or two hours longs.   It's all about breath, movement and gaze.
She omitted the chatarangas during the sitting series.  I thought that was odd.  This definitely helps build strength and achieve the purpose of the class.  Honestly, frustrated with this teacher.  However, I do hope that she improves her style and sequence.
So there was that.  Or, I could go to the typical vinyasa class that I prefer.  And the class is at noon not 7:30 am.  Music.  Always a deciding factor.  I am inspired by music and feel liberated while practicing yoga.  Maybe this is not the proper way to attend a class.  It makes sense to me, though.  I am motivated by the physical practice with music.  I try to quash that desire/impulse to rely on the physical aspect of yoga.  I try to be more spiritual and embrace the Sanskrit.  Then I sit in classes and see how self involved people are.  Isn't that counterproductive to what yoga is?  What do I know?  I am focusing on what makes sense to me.
I figured that I could skip the early class and hit the vinyasa class at noon.  I will reschedule my coffee date for after my mini trip to Denver.  I am so excited to go see friends and swagger in the city.  Yes, I said swagger.  It's like having a different personality.  The anonymity of being in a city.  Love it.  Miss it.  Looking forward to it.
I am off to receive a facial.  I do love taking care of my health in that regard.  Yea, Tuesday!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday funday.....

Best day off, ever.....well, maybe not the best.  Definitely up there.  I met the lovely Melody for lunch continued with wine at another local spot, quick break for coffee and a flirtation with the barista followed by a stop into a beer driven spot near my house.  Yes, all, in all, a great way to spend the day off.
I began with a yoga practice in my own home.  My options are limited with classes that I enjoy and am challenged by.  Typically, there is a class on Friday, at noon, that I attend.  I had made lunch plans with Melody and so I considered my options.  Go to an early class, skip the practice completely, or attempt the sequence at my house.  I went with option #3.  I played music ( a huge no-no, but since I was in my own house, I played music).  It took an hour and 15 minutes.  I skipped a few postures and focused on becoming familiar with the sequence and my breathing.  I felt great afterwards and knew I had done the best thing for me.  Heading to an earlier class felt like I was forcing it. Forcing myself to do something that I would not truly enjoy.  Just doing it to say that I did yoga for fix straight days.
I showered and met Melody at a spot that I had been wanting to check out for some time.  My artist friend swears by this restaurant.  I met him for coffee one day and knew I liked the vibe.  The food was great.  Quinoa cakes and a budha bowl.  Delicious.  We shared wine.  Sat outside and loved the day off.  Melody rarely has a Friday off.  I was fortunate that she wanted to spend it with me.  We made plans to celebrate her birthday in a few weeks, spoke of our upcoming spirits tour and b.s.'d our lives in general.  I met Melody in 2004 while visiting Santa Fe.  I scheduled a massage and she was my therapist.   We have been friends ever since.
Onward to coffee...there is a spot that I frequent due to the proximity to work, good parking and a crush that I have.  For a few weeks, I faithfully went in hoping to run into this guy.  He seemed like the owner of the place but he wasn't.  I would run into him on random days and eventually he started a dialogue with me.  I was trying to figure out a way to get his name without being too obvious about it.  Or give him mine.  I felt like a little girl trying to make this happen.
Last week, he tried to guess my name.  Talk about comical.  Elizabeth, Beth, Sara?  Admittedly, I am asked more often than not if my name is Sara.  I know a lot of Sara's and my best friend's name is Sara.  I wasn't offended.  Just thought it was funny. 
Finally, I give him my name and his response, classic.  I never would have guessed that.
I had a feeling that he would be working yesterday afternoon.  I went in to see.  He was and so we had an interesting conversation.  I now sort of know why he is here and that he is not the owner of the coffee shop for sure.  I had had a few glasses of wine.  Think I was a little more willing to talk due to that.  He's been to Vietnam.  I chose to use that as my way of arranging to meet with him again.  I am curious to what he thought and would love some insight on places to go.  I hope to pick his brain as I am heading to Vietnam 2016.  Well that and flirt.  He's attractive and age appropriate.  I uncovered that during our conversation too.  He seemed indignant when I thought he was older.  Haha
We exchanged information--email and number.  I left on a high and then quickly succumbed to my foolishness.  I lost the piece of paper.  I had no idea how.  I was pretty annoyed by it.  I checked my purse, my book (where I swore I had put the piece of paper), my car.  No luck. 
I remembered his e-mail address as he made a reference to it.   This morning I returned my books back to the library and found the piece of paper.  Yes!  And, I was correct about the e-mail.
Today remains to be seen how I spend it.  I managed to get a day off again.  Had I known this was going to happen, I would have went to Denver.  Four days is superior to two days off.  Darn it!  Although, I would have missed my interaction with the barista/pilot/visitor to Vietnam.  There is that.....

Friday, May 8, 2015

days off and what to do today

Initially, I was scheduled to work today and tomorrow day.  For the season, they want to have a bartender available, daily.  It does make sense as the majority of servers do not know how to make our cocktail list.  Leading to a very inconsistent experience for the guest.  I do understand as there has not been time for the servers to be shown how to make the cocktails or how they should taste.  I agreed to being the day girl on Friday and Saturday days.
On Wednesday, I was called and informed that they would not need me on Friday day.  And to be patient.  That soon, this would change. 
In many ways, I was thankful for another day off and that they contacted me a few days out.  However, had I not been scheduled, I would have made plans to drive to Denver this week instead of attempting to make it a turnaround trip next week.  I am committed to making that happen.  Drive up midweek and be back to work at 10:30, Friday morning.  Quick, quick trip.  I reached out to Sara Jo and the Goddess to see if they were available and in town.  Still working on that.  I believe I will be able to stay with Lindsay and tour the city. 
In the meantime (my last few days off), I went to a few yoga classes, saw some friends for lunch, sent cards and in general, relaxed.  Soaking at Ojo will definitely fast forward that principle.  Relaxation.  I arranged dates with friends that I have not seen in a bit.  I enjoy reaching out and making this happen on a more frequent basis.
Today, I have plans to do yoga at my house and then meet Melody for lunch.  We are meeting earlier than we normally do and so my yoga class options are limited.  Typically, I would attend a noon class and then begin my day.  I want to see Melody and I need to be getting more familiar with the ashtanga sequence and names of the poses.  Midway through my intensive week, I realized that I had maybe attended 10 ashtanga classes.  Mentally, I was beating myself up that I didn't know the sequence while in class with these other teacher trainees.  And that the names of the postures confused me.  Of course they did.  I had not attended enough of these classes to have everything stick.  Sure, I am familiar with sun salutation A and B.  I know what a warrior one is, too. I can participate in these classes and get by.  However, my level of mastery is quite low.  Recognizing this has helped me immensely.  I am committed to practicing ashtanga in Santa Fe in the meantime.  Thankfully, I found an instructor that teaches and that I like.  It's challenging to improve the yoga sequence when there are limited available access to classes and/or teachers.  The majority of yoga, here, is not what I am looking for.  Slowly, I am finding a way to maneuver here and be successful.  Yes, things are looking up.
Lunch with Melody, ashtanga, and happy hour with my friend, Lawrence.  I will meet him for a quick beverage and catch up.  He and his wife had a little girl recently.  I have seen photos and she is adorable. 
Hopefully, I can walk through the farmer's market tomorrow and stock up on more veggies.  It's a recent find in Santa Fe for me and I am loving it.  Having access to fresh produce and seeing how it drives the community.  The difference in quality is remarkable.  Only takes planning to ensure commitment to it.  Of course, it is much easier to rely on convenience.  Shopping at a market and purchasing conventional or organic vegetables on a daily basis.  I forget to factor in the cost of shipping the produce to said markets.  Buying out of season, etc.  Yes, I will be frequenting the farmer's market on a weekly basis.  I am loving it!
Onward and upward.  Time for yoga and a start to the day.  Celebrate, enjoy & taste life~

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Picture July, 2012.  Overcast day with an afternoon rain while I am enjoying a sandwich and glass of Bordeaux.  Yummy!
I love traveling and enjoyed revisiting Paris.  When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to go on a class trip with my sociology teacher.  Myself and fourteen other students ranging from sophomores to seniors.  I think the only requirement was an essay and the determination to raise the funds to go.  I wanted to explore the world even then.  Our teacher was a young man.  Attractive.  I remember having a crush on him.  Perhaps that also inspired me to go on this trip.  Little girl dreams.  He was engaged when he put the trip together and his fiancée was going to chaperone us through France and England.  Three weeks before our departure, she broke off the engagement leaving an open spot for someone to chaperone.  Luckily, one of my mates moms' would be able to join us on the adventure.  She was great and probably a better fit than my teacher and his fractured fiancée.  I think that is why he chose to take a group of high school students to Europe.  Show his fiancée the world while "babysitting" us. 
That trip, when I was seventeen, we toured Notre Dame, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, a river cruise down the Seine River.  It was also my first glass of wine.  My parents were social drinkers but neither had a love for wine.  My mom enjoys crown and my dad is more of a beer drinker.  Wine is part of my life (obviously, the majority of my photos have a glass of wine in them).  I think, I found an appreciation for wine while in Paris. 
Anyways, three years ago, I had the opportunity to tour Geneva, Paris and Italy.  Lovely.  I had a blast visiting my friend, Agnese.  Realizing this also motivates me to reach out to her and see when we could meet up again.  I have spent several weekends with her.  Be it Denver, Europe or Santa Barbara.  She is a great friend and fellow traveler. 
Today, I am inspired to drink wine, do yoga and reflect on life.  Beautiful day to be outside.

recent random thoughts

Each day, I feel better.  Who know how magical apple cider vinegar was?  I drink it (begrudgingly, at times) and use it as a topical healing agent.  Love that it works and aids me in that process.  I had grandiose dreams of running a 10 k in Boulder over Memorial Day Weekend. By taunting the Goddess and Sara Jo, I thought I would be joining them for another lovely running inspired memory.   Joke is on me as I have not run in months and with the thigh injury, I am only focusing on healing and doing yoga.  I would love to meet Sara Jo and the Goddess for a weekend.  Maybe I will opt to do a midweek visit and go to a yoga class.  Or schedule a massage at Izba.  That would be so worth it.  And, I know from a previous visit that there is a sports oriented therapist that would work wonders on my thigh muscle.  Definitely could be an option.
Not to mention, I really enjoy being in Denver.  Seeing my friends and enjoying the city life.  I do miss having more options for grocery shopping, coffee shops, wine bars, dining at night.  Late night dining?  Doesn't really occur here.  Most places that are worthwhile close up shop by 9.  There are a few that remain open til 10 but then the food is stagnant.  Although, I did manage to frequent a few spots in Denver on a weekly basis without being bored or disenchanted with the food.  Perhaps I need to be more open minded with my current situation.
I do love the hot springs that are about an hour away.  I think I might spend part of my day off there.  Relax, rejuvenate, restore.  Or there is hiking nearby that would be a nice change of pace.  As previously mentioned, March was a bad month for me.  Lethargic, allergy ridden, stagnant.  I hope to not ever repeat that type of situation in my life.  I want to have no regrets for the choices I make.  I am reminded, unfortunately, that life is short too often.  The most vivid reminder is when I lost Brian in 2006.  My soul mate did not have any regrets in his life outside of dying way too young.  He showed me that it was important to say what I mean, feel, and do what I love.  Pursue my passion even if it meant that I would be misunderstood by most people in my life. 
Quick side note as an example.  This older gal stopped into my current job the other night and was chatting me up.  Where was I from?  Where had I lived?  Did I have a college degree?
Oh, you do have a college degree.  Why, may I ask, are you working in a restaurant?
Apparently, something must be inherently wrong with me if I had an education and chose to work in the service industry.  I told her I chose to work there as it was a flexible way of living my life.  I could travel.  See the world.  Meet people as I was unemcumbered.  I could choose to live the life I wanted due to my choice of work.  And, I enjoy meeting people, discussing restaurants, other cities, etc.  I still consider her decision to attack my job.  Perhaps attack is not the correct word.  However, I could see that she was disappointed in my choice as it would not have resonated with her. 
One of my old bosses recently went running with his wife and collapsed.  He was 42.  How does this make sense?  He was healthy, led a good life in that he was a provider, a father, a husband, friend.  He had always been active.  It makes no sense to me whatsoever outside of as being a reminder to live the life I love.  And be present. 
I sent a card to the woman that lost her husband.  I hope she finds some peace with it.  We all grieve differently until the process is complete.  I was fortunate in that my support system encouraged me to travel and heal.  I had the time to figure out what made sense to me.  Not that I would ever be the same.  It would be different but at least I could breathe again.
I hope to continue to reflect on life.  This hiatus was too long.  Silly me for not purchasing a new laptop sooner.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

the yoga injury

Last year, while attending my normal noon flow class, I convinced myself that I should be able to do a new balancing posture.  The instructor even propped me up, more, by saying I should be able to do it.  I was strong.  I forced myself into the posture and landed in an awkward position.  I felt something pop and finished the class.  Immediately, I sensed something was wrong.  I had difficulty putting my pants on.  Could barely lift up my right leg.  I had discomfort. 
I called my massage therapist and he tore apart my leg.  Told me he thought it was a gracilis injury.  A slender muscle in the inner thigh.  I tried to self diagnose by describing the pain on a medical website and feared it was a groin injury. Prognosis, rest and let heal for a few months.  Great, I thought, no yoga for the foreseeable future.
My therapist was correct.  It was a thigh muscle tweak.  I saw him for a few massages and returned to yoga.  Always favored the right leg, too.  Anytime I felt a twinge of vulnerability in my thigh, I backed off the posture. 
Fast forward to last Monday.  I had attended six solid days of yoga.  Monday, I did back to back to back flow classes.  A little tight.  Determined to continue through to the evening.  I had a dinner date with my friend, Cale.  I knew that I would not miss that.  Wine would be welcome after 9 hours of yoga.  The first class was a slow flow class.  I had attended the instructor's class in the last two intensives.  Knew that she paid attention to when I went into Warrior A and always suggested I lengthen the stance.  The next class was geared at baby boomers.  We did some intense stretching and lovely restorative postures.  If anything, I was tired for the previous days of yoga.  Tight, overworked, exhausted.
The third class was the only one I really wanted to attend.  This woman is a master sequencer.  Kind, gracious and a badass in my opinion.  I love being able to take her classes.  I always learn something.  This time, I learned that I should have gotten a massage before stretching myself so thin.  Julie plays music.  I also appreciate this.  Innovative flow, could this not be my favorite class of the intensive.  We warmed up and started doing a sequence which included a handstand with a chataranga follow.  I told myself that I should be able to do this. I had mastered (or so I had convinces myself) the handstand in the Friday class.  Basically, I was narcissistic.  Yep, I can admit it.  I was a jackass.
I kicked up into the handstand and when I tried to kick back into the chataranga sequence, I landed on my right hip.  Pain.  Lots of pain.  Immediate pain.  I knew that I had retweaked my gracilis to a certain degree.  I finish the class and force myself to leave the studio.  I needed to find a massage therapist and fast.  I wanted to have him adjust me and release some of the tightness in my quads, hamstrings, knees. 
The therapist was okay.  I felt better and realized that he could have done more.  I confirmed my dinner date with Cale, even bumped it up.  I then called Dr. Bryn to see what she thought of my situation.  Her response--don't get a massage yet.  You need to rest a few days.  Ice it, take some anti-inflammatories, rest.  Then get a massage.  I had arnica cream with me (Ironically brought it with me from Santa Fe) and could buy some apple cider vinegar and Epsom salt. 
I met Cale for dinner and then retired to the yoga house.  I woke up early the next morning and observed the class.  I was stiff and sore from sitting down.  Instead of continuing to observe at the studio which was an option, I called Jan and begged to stay with her.  I wanted to feel at ease while healing.  I had access to a bath tub and my own room.  No more waking up to my roommate snoring.  And, of course, day drinking was involved.  Jan is always up for that.
Thankfully, I have taken multiple salt baths, wrapped my leg in apple cider vinegar, used a heating pad and had a few massages to nurse it back to health. I have attended three yoga classes and am hopeful that I will be back to 100% by next week. 
My training suffered as a result of the injury in some aspects.  However, I have been rushing the training in an attempt to get it over with.  I don't know that this is the best move for me.  I intend to practice ashtanga in Santa Fe for the time being.  I found an instructor, really, that teaches ashtanga and is legit.
Tonight, I am in for the night and hoping to get a solid night of rest.  I know that I need it.  If not for my own well-being, than, to help aid the healing process.  Enjoy!

I'm back......

Okay, so I have been absent for a few months.  With good reason.  I lost all sorts of function on my laptop.  I was able to catch up on my desire to catch up on tv.  I caught the finale of a few must see shows and hoped that I would eventually figure out a way to use my computer again.  Did not happen.  I prolonged purchasing a new laptop until I could no longer stand it.  Yesterday was the day.  I marched in to the computer store determined to make the purchase and have a new laptop in my house by last night.  Of course, that did not happen.  My lesson here (one of them) is patience.  I recognize it over and over and over again.
I wanted to be able to watch something when I returned home from closing last night.  However, since I was still learning how to be patient that was not an option.  Instead, I met a couple co-workers for a quick beverage after work.  Seemed like a grand idea.
This morning I received another e-mail about how they were in the process of transferring data to my new laptop.  I wondered how it could take this long to take care of my laptop.  It is a national chain that sells computers, lap tops, ipads on a daily basis.  Still, I refrained from driving there until later this afternoon.  I stood in line and watched one clerk handle the customers in front of me.  Three total.  I try to force myself to be calm and stop looking around or on my phone.  Then, magically, my phone rings and I step outside of the line to answer it.  It's the guy from the store that I am currently standing in.  Kinda ironic. 
I have a new lap top.  Yea!  Finally.  And now, I am trying to figure out how to maneuver the new device.  After getting moderately acquainted with it, I realized that I had neglected my blog for way too long.  I apologize.
March was all about allergies, semi-depression and trying to figure out the best time to return to Phoenix for yoga teacher training.  I have never experienced allergies in my life.  They overwhelmed and sidetracked me.  Seriously.  Initially, my eyes were affected.  I could barely function wearing contacts.  After suffering for six days, I consulted a herbalist.  I explained my situation and he suggested some herbal pills that would alleviate the itching, scratchy, watering eyes.  Sure, that did work and focused the next allergy attack on my nasal cavity.  Wow, talk about overwhelming!  I could see but no longer breathe.  Never in my life have I experienced anything like the juniper berry in New Mexico.  I lost the battle, this year, for sure.
I think I was depressed too as a side effect of dealing with the allergies.  I did not want to work out outside because I was hit over the head with the juniper berry.  I couldn't wait for April to start.  I had yoga teacher training to look forward to.  After some serious consideration, I booked a trip for eight days.  I believed that would give me ample time to rack up hours and I would focus on yoga.  I did manage to arrange dinner dates with an assortment of my friends from the life in Phoenix.  My friends were great.  Met me all over the city and on nights that were not fantastic for them.  The yoga, well, I injured myself five days into the training.  Lesson here, maybe plan on six days of yoga, including travel days, to decrease the risk of injury.  Oh, and scheduling a massage before, during and after the training.  I should have known better is all I am saying.  Lesson learned.  Recognize tight muscles before forcing an unnecessary injury.
I have more to say and reflect on.  My intention, 2015, was to write more.  I have sucked at it thus far.  Yea, I think I had a bad month in March.