Archive | November, 2008

Drug of choice

17 Nov

Mollie’s inversions workshop yesterday was heavenly. I was functioning off of two nights of very little sleep and a sore and tight body. Put me upside down and I’m a whole new person. Handstand is definitely my drug of choice.mollie-sticks-handstand

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Dear Julie,

11 Nov

My dear, do you realize that right now in Chicago it is 37 degrees and feels like 30? I’m just sayin’…..

resist nothing

8 Nov

This morning was a typical Friday morning full of busy-ness. Honestly, mornings are pretty chaotic around here. I was so pleased though, because I left the house on time. I was half-way to school and work when Drew kicked up a fuss in the back seat, crying and sounding pretty panicked. I pulled over and this is what I saw:

drew-stuck5

One very unhappy, very stuck, very much in pain 4-year old. My first reaction was to get frustrated or panicked. After all, what was that girl doing with the extra seat belt and how in the world did she get her finger that stuck, and why did she have to do it when we had somewhere to be on time and we’re never on time? For some reason, today I just didn’t sweat it. I didn’t resist the situation.

I stopped the car and gave her little finger a tug and she cried. The harder I pulled, the more she cried. that finger wasn’t going anywhere, it was getting swollen and even more stuck and she was worried.  I laughed and she laughed back at me with worried eyes. We went home to get reinforcements. I tugged some more and that chubby little finger wouldn’t budge.  “Call the fire truck Mommy” Drew said. I treated the whole thing like a game or a science project and started looking through the house for possible remedies. After trial and error, we figured out that a combination of ice cubes and – um – a magic secret ingredient worked to slip her finger out of the seat belt in one piece. Drew was a trooper and I can honestly say that it was a nice, peaceful morning, emergency and all.

Right before Tolle’s enlightenment experience, when he was in the depths of suffering he heard a voice say “resist nothing.” Byron Katie’s definition of god is “what is” or “reality”. Learning to resist nothing, to accept every moment as god manifested – regardless of specific definitions – is so freeing. It has helped shape part of my new definition of faith. I have faith that everything that happens is happening for my benefit and the benefit of those around me. That doesn’t mean I won’t try to change things that need to be changed, or that I will stop questioning everything around me, it just means that I can tap into a little piece of zen on a crazy morning. That if I pay enough attention I can avoid wasting all of my energy and have enough to make a difference in the world. That sometimes when I least expect it, I can see through maya and recognize the divine in all her many disguises.

I swear - her daddy must have taught her this yoga mudra.

Now I'm sure her daddy must have taught her this yoga mudra.

To cheer or not to cheer

7 Nov
Don't blink or you'll miss him. He's super skinny and super fast! He also does handstands on the sidelines when he's timed out. Little yogi dude!

Kieran has an amazing soccer coach this year. Great kids, mellow parents, lots of hard work and no drama. Thus, his team is undefeated. We just played our first championship game and won. (Lord knows, after the dozens of lost games over the past seven years we deserve a season where the kids actually win.)

Yay! Go team!

Wait – that means I have to show up again on Saturday. Possibly twice. And if they keep all of this winning up, we’ll even have to be there on Sunday. This has been a fun season and all, but it feels like it will never end!

I have to consciously fight the wicked thoughts in my head, like paying my child to throw the game so we don’t have to drag the banner, the kids, the snacks, the water bottle out AGAIN. I’m so done with it.

But – once I’m there it’s so much fun!

But – now I have to miss the Yin workshop at my own yoga studio.

But – I wouldn’t miss Kieran’s big game for the world. Besides, Dan’s out of town this weekend and I’m all the K-man’s got. Lucky for him, I’m the loud parent.

Sigh. The duality of it all!

Quote of the day

6 Nov

I was putting sparkly clippies in Drew’s hair this morning and her eyes lit up.

“Do you think I look like a beautiful horsie?!”

So glad the girl’s got priorities. She’s my last hope of getting back in the saddle again someday.

Cock-a-doodle-doo

6 Nov

I never really understand those people who decide which way to vote on the morning of the election. Until now. I just keep wavering on Prop 2. I’ve done a fair amount of research and I’m really torn.
Years ago, pregnant for the first time, I did all of the research about natural childbirth, and the statistics involved with intervention versus natural labor. I was adamant that natural was the only way to go. I was judgmental and opinionated. Then, I gave birth! I clung to my principles and managed to go natural (with a lot of support from my good friend Julie M) and had two more babies sans medication.  After pain like that, I will never pass judgment on anyone choosing the ever popular epidural. I get it.
Same with meat. I’ve committed. No meat for me. This process isn’t easy, but I’m not making that decision for anyone else. I’m also fascinated with the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, the local food movement, and just generally exploring alternative relationships with my food and all things holistic.
Within the last few days, as my mind has been wandering around these issues, I found Emily’s blog. Emily is Lisa’s BFF and I enjoy my friendship by association with her. All of Lisa’s friends are super-fascinating, and Emily is no exception. So, below I stole one of her great posts for your reading enjoyment. It seems to me that we could all use a little introspection into what we’re eating, where it comes from, and more personal involvement with it. Emily is a great example of this. I don’t know what I’m most impressed with, Emily’s honesty, her sense of adventure, or the fact that she killed, plucked, gutted and butchered 10 roosters while her husband was gone. She also documented and wrote about it. You go girl. I hope you enjoyed your rooster dinner – you certainly deserve it.

Meat II: Eating My Words

Our first backyard ‘rooster’ dinner.

So, in a previous post I exposed my sentiments of, what Dustin and I like to call, skeptical environmentalism. In other words we are environmental because it’s practical. It makes sense that you should eat meat that comes from one animal and is raised in your backyard. Just as it makes sense to use “real” plates, instead of paper, because you have a dishwasher and paper plates cost money. So, to eat my words we bought half of the neighbor’s steer and to further make my point (and to get rid of half of the enormous monthly chicken feed bill) we slaughtered a dozen of our chickens (all roosters) on Saturday. It was, to say the least, an amazing experience. Katrina, the famous localvore blogger of Kale for Sale, came to join in the fun. I was grateful for her presence because she did bring a sense of order to the whole operation that Jeremy and I would have probably botched. Dustin suddenly had to “work” and so I was left to oversee operations on my own. The little kids were always near and interested, but not totally aware of what we were doing exactly, except that it must be fun because we were adults and seemed to be ‘playing.’

We started off with a prayer. It somehow seemed appropriate as we were about to extinguish living beings. I prayed that we were grateful for this experience, for the chickens who would provide sustenance, and very grateful that we didn’t necessarily have to rely on this as our only options for meat (read: COSTCO). I truly felt like Ma, only lacking an apron and a bonnet. Jeremy was the non-contested self-appointed chicken killer and did a great job. This time he held onto the chickens until they stopped moving…this was much less dramatic than watching them flip around without a head. We then blanched them in some almost boiling soapy water and Katrina and I began plucking. Whew, what a job. Nobody was kidding when they said that it’s time consuming to pluck a chicken. I was REALLY glad that Katrina was there then. She was great and even had a system to the plucking madness. The plucking was done in the heat of midday with our backs scrunched, most uncomfortably, over a plywood table. We had a great time visiting as we worked and Jane was good to help out. She really wanted to pluck her own chicken.


Here are the chickens–plucked but not yet gutted.

After all twelve of the chickens were plucked we began the cleaning and gutting process. I was a little nervous about this part, I haven’t opened up any kind of animal since the crayfish in seventh grade. Jeremy began with a tutorial and showed us how to cut the chicken open to pull out poop (by far the worst part), intestines, stomach, liver, heart, esophagus, to finish by scraping and cleaning any other residue that was left. At the end, they were looking like true “freezer” chickens. Katrina delved right in and was marvelous…I followed and soon began to like this process. It was kind of fun to be able to recognize the organs by touch as you’re pulling them out. Katrina and I had an easier time because our hands were smaller to get into the chicken. We then bagged and froze them. It was an exhausting, yet rewarding day.

So, I decided that we should eat a few of them for Sunday dinner. I made a brine of salt and water and let two chickens soak in it overnight. The next day Lily and I went out to the barn with some red potatoes, carrots, and red onions drizzled in olive oil and ranch seasoning. We stuffed the chickens with onions, rubbed butter all over them and sprinkled with salt and pepper. We placed the chickens on top of the potatoes and roasted them for almost two hours, rotating positions every 30 minutes. The barn smelled delicious and…the chicken was the BEST I’ve ever tasted. It just fell off the bones, was so tender and flavorful. I was so glad that, after all that work, the chicken wasn’t disgusting. We are definitely going to have roast chicken for Thanksgiving and you’re all invited. So far my experiment with eating meat out of my backyard has been successful. I’ll let you know how our first steer steak turns out.

Dustin got home just in time to see the chicken neatly lined up in the freezer, the kitchen scrubbed and disinfected, and all bloody remains carefully buried in the back. He only participated in the eating…I feel a bit like the “little red hen.”


The vegetables were delicious cooked under the chicken. The chicken drippings added so much taste.

The chickens prepped and ready.

Lily, rolling up her sleeves. She was a great helper. This is her stuffing the chickens with onions.

Barefoot Barack-ti

5 Nov

barackti-flow

Oh! My in-box is carrying an invitation to Rusty Well’s Barackti-flow class tonight (along with this lovely photos that I stole). I would call in sick for work tonight, but my boss is a real slave driver. Never fear, we’ll celebrate at The Dog today. What an election!!

Start now:

I’m desperately disappointed in Prop 8. Just because the majority got what they wanted, doesn’t mean it’s not discrimination. Judges have stepped in throughout history when the majority wasn’t able to see clearly. In 1860 the judges stepped in to over-ride the south on slavery, and in the 50’s they stepped in for equal rights again. Sigh. Looks like we have a way to go with equal rights. I’ll be louder next time, I promise. Maybe I should have worn that No on 8 t-shirt to church (it’s all about the fashion choices, right?), or snuck signs in front of my house when my politically shy/publicly neutral husband was gone at work.

Prop 2 is a surprise to me. 63% of Californians voted to give farm animals the ability to spread out their limbs and turn around in their cages. Sounds like a small thing, but the impact will be big. I won’t tell you how I voted, but I will say that if you’re going to make a mistake, make a big one. I may have just made a big mistake in my voting – we’ll have to see how it all turns out. Ironically, yesterday I was dying for some meat for the first time in two months.

So yesterday in California we dealt with the Presidential race, teen abortion, funding for hospitals and green projects and transportation, veterans neds, gay marriage and farm animals. So glad to be able to vote.

Here’s to HOPE!