Sunday, August 31, 2008

Praying for the Gulf States

Just a quick word of support and prayer for all who are in Hurricane Gustav's path.
You are in our thoughts and prayers during this time of uncertainty and fear. May the storm simply fizzle out and may you return to fully intact and healthy homes.

With love especially to my friends Lisa and Nathan who only just finished rebuilding their home after Katrina.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Waiting for the repairman....

Today is my cliche day. I'm waiting for the repairman to fix our phone line which keeps cutting out during telephone calls resulting in the inevitable, "Can you hear me now?" fiasco/scenario. (for those of you living outside the U.S. you can see the advertisements that spawned this phrase here). Actually, even as I am posting this blog someone called and said, "Can you hear me now?" because the connection was so bad. I started laughing but it was just too complicated to explain.

Today is looking beautiful outside so of course I have to stay cooped up waiting for the repairman. Grumble grumble. Izzy is drawing and painting today so she's happy enough, but I'd like to get out to walk and breathe in some sunshine while I can. I'm sure I'll find some time today to do it.

So mom has attended two of Simon's yoga classes with me this week and although she enjoyed them she felt nauseous afterwards. It's not hard to see that my apple fell from her tree is it? I think she needs to avoid forward bending because I think it puts too much pressure on her abdomen which has had extensive surgeries. She likes the class though so I think she'll persevere as long as I help her with modifications.

We're enjoying having family here and I'm certainly happy to have an extra pair of hands around to help me with Izzy. She loves being spoiled by her grandparents and they seem more than willing to oblige.

Well, that's all for today. I always seem to have great ideas to blog about until I actually sit down to do it. In any case, hope you are out soaking up the sun for me today.

Happy Thursday,


Monday, August 25, 2008

Family laughs

It was wet, gray, and cold down in Astoria and we had a great time. Izzy couldn't believe we went all the way there and basically just had lunch and a look around, but it was worth it. Astoria is enchanting even on a wet day and just traveling with the family is worth it anyway.

I was laughing so hard driving down that I was afraid I'd pee in my pants. We kept passing trucks going back to Portland with 2 giant chickens, 2 sharks, a carnivorous fish, and a balloon/bobble head person on them and I was the only one who saw each one of these things. My family thought I was hallucinating until they all finally saw a truck with a giant turkey on it. Turns out yesterday was the end of the Hood to Coast relay and those funny cars must have been related to the race. The turkey one was part of the Road Kill Grill team and I am so thankful that everyone saw it. For a moment there I began to think I WAS losing my mind.

Today I'm taking mom to Simon's yoga class and it should be interesting. Whenever I try to practice yoga with her she begins giggling and making funny noises. This should be fun.

Thanks for giving me your input on the giving and receiving blog. I'm thinking that giving feels better but being able to receive is crucial to good health. More on that later.

Happy last week of school-free summer to you all,


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Heading to Astoria...

Having lots of fun with my parents and setting off today to see Astoria, Oregon for the first time. Topic of the day: Is it better to give or to receive? Talk amongst yourselves.

More later... gotta run.

Happy Sunday to you too,


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun with the folks....

So the parental types have landed and the fun will ensue. My mom and dad came in last night, having driven cross-country for probably the 5th time in 3 years. They are seriously not into flying!!!

Mom and Dad arrived in time for dinner...a not too shabby chicken/ veggie stir fry I whipped up.... and then we went with them to help unload their luggage into their condo. To finish off, my mom and I went for a short walk at 9:00pm just to stretch our legs. More excitement at night than I've had for weeks!

Today will be an Izzy day I'm sure, and she will be spoiled and cosseted throughout the day by doting grandparents. She's already had one big dose of this treatment in Australia this summer so I'll have to watch to make sure she doesn't get too aggressive in her demands. You know like, "Can I have another Webkinz? I only have 300." If by some chance you have managed to escape Webkinz mania then you are truly lucky and probably much wealthier than the rest of us poor saps who keep pouring money into this endless obsession.
Come to think of it, my mom is the one who started this Webkinz nonsense a few years ago... it won't hurt her to buy the next round after all!

So that's what's up in our world today. Hubby and I continue our yoga training and he's still the driving force behind the nightly practice, so it must be doing him some good.

Take care and I hope you are having fun with your folks today too,


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yoga at home

So, I'm done with teaching for another 3 weeks or so until the Fall term starts. Actually I'm not really on hiatus because I've been teaching my husband every night after work and fairly intensively this weekend. He started out as VERY dubious about the efficacy of yoga to "help him get fit", but he is now yogi addict. He won't leave me alone in fact and today was even giving me ideas for this blog about "how yoga opens new vistas of self-awareness". Talk about a conversion! He's pestering me all of the time to work with him and I can't say I mind. It's helping me get in better shape and it's fun working one on one with him. I haven't managed to get Izzy into it yet, but my Mom and Dad are coming for a visit next week, so maybe I'll get them going as well. Then my blog can morph into the yogi family blog...;-)

Other than yoga I didn't put my nose out of the house because I'm reading an amazing book called The Lost A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn. I'm finding it both engrossing and emotional as I can relate so much to his descriptions of relatives and his childhood. I find myself going back in time to sitting in Aunt Ida's house eating Sunshine Lemon Cooler Cookies and trying to avoid her endless requests for this or that to be done for her. "Honey get the remote for me... then get me some water...honey my eyeglasses... honey my mail... can you bring me my purse... honey honey honey..." that was Aunt Ida. In The Lost it all comes flooding back to me and yet is still very alien because it deals extensively with the part of his family that was lost in the Holocaust. I'm sure we lost members of my family in the Holocaust, but it was never a family focus as it was for Daniel Mendelsohn. His story makes me regret that I didn't spend more time interviewing my relatives for their histories and stories when I had the chance. Now it is too late to recover most if not all of the history of my family before they came to America. My father has recently had some luck finding immigration documents but we've lost many of the stories forever. So, if you are interested in genealogic storytelling then this book is a great read and highly recommended.

I'm off to bed now. Hope you have some good reading in front of you too,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

A day of rest...

I've spent the last several days whizzing around from teaching yoga to screaming kids at pools and parties. It's been so good but I can admit I'm tired today and glad to have an unscheduled day to recharge my batteries.

Which brings up something that we touched on in the meditation class that I led yesterday. Giving and the act of giving in relation to ones own wellspring of energy. Many people in the class had an adverse reaction to the word "giving", as it touched on what I think is common for those of us who spend much time "taking care of" others. They felt depleted and taken advantage of by others, and therefore the word "giving" for them had a negative rather than positive connotation. I can easily see how people (and especially women) in this day and age could get to this point. We give as parents, friends, and even children to aging parents almost incessantly. In "taking care of others" we often forget to take care of ourselves.

Now, this was not exactly the type of giving I thought I was bringing into the classroom. I naively thought that if we brought forward acts of giving that we had experienced or witnessed, it would be inspirational and instructional as to how acts of selflessness have deep and lasting impact on others. Instead this resistance to giving came forward and was very real and emotional. I realize now, that the act of giving is so deeply tied to our feelings about ourselves and our own ability to give to ourselves first. If we do not take the time to heal ourselves, recharge our batteries, and set healthy limits for ourselves, then the simple act of giving becomes a mountain to conquer rather than a cool lake to refresh ourselves in.

I don't think "giving" need be tied an action at all though. To me, giving can be a state of mind. If I live in a world where I consistently exercise the muscle of "giving" then I don't need to work at this. By assigning value to the "idea" of giving and embracing it as an ideal, I release myself from feelings of guilt or oppression. If I begin to feel that I've missed an opportunity to give of myself in a certain situation, I can simply send feelings of loving-kindness towards the object of my intention and then move forward from there. Of course there is no substitute for action but a simple thank you is after all, an act of giving.

I must say that I brought the discussion home with me to my husband, and it brought up roadblocks for my husband as well. I now see how loaded this concept actually is. (Actually his problems had more to do with his whole-hearted belief in the necessity of revenge in order to attain justice, but that's a whole other matzah ball.)

So I thought I'd pose this as a topic for discussion and thought. If you'd like to comment or continue this conversation, please feel free to post below to share your ideas and wisdom with the rest of us.

Until then, a very heartfelt thank you for reading and staying in touch with me,



p.s. Good luck Simon cleaning up the mess I made with your class!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back in the zone...

Yesterday I subbed for Simon and taught 3 classes in a row. It was scary, fun, nourishing and energizing all at the same time. I started off slowly during the first class (my first teaching since early June) but found my feet again by the second one and was totally in the zen zone by the third which was luckily a movement as meditation class. I hope the students got as much out of the classes as I got out of teaching them. I so love giving back to people through my teaching. When I can just let go and teach fluidly from the heart, I feel that I have so much more left over than when I began. Learning through teaching. I was also able to use these classes as my guinea pigs for what I have learned from Yolanda and Lev in Oz. The ideas I shared were warmly received and certainly the nurturing that I brought back from Yolanda in particular added tremendously to my teaching style.

We stayed up to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing last night and I must say that it blew me away. I spent all night dreaming of the giant firework footsteps leading to the stadium at the beginning of the ceremony. It was absolutely magnificent.

Today is a lazy Saturday spent together as a family and I'm simply enjoying the down time.

Happy zone time to you today too,


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Simon's CD is available online!!!
Just a quick shout out to Sarah Dinsmore of and who has made the following Yoga Meditation CD of Simon Menasche available through CDBaby.
"One Breath at a Time" has been a project a long time in the making and it is finally coming together. This and hopefully a dvd will be coming soon to a neighborhood near you! Not to mention itunes!

Okay and yes, we did go berry picking but it was too hot to even think about horsing around and taking pictures. We picked at least 6lbs of raspberries though and my good friend Kristen is making the whole batch into the MOST amazing jam you have ever tasted. Even the pickiest eater in the world (my daughter) loves this jam!

Hope you have a berry happy day too,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Managing disappointment...

No cooking but will you settle for berries? The cooking lesson didn't happen because Izzy woke up "feeling puny", as my mother would say. So we will have to reschedule it.

Today we are supposed to go berry picking with friends and I will really try to take some pics and get them up here for you because let's face it.... my blog is getting boring. All of the other blogs have started to shun me and laugh behind my back. They are oh so hip and up to the minute, while this blog has started to get that old car smell. (funky and not appealing)

So with Izzy and friends in tow, we will be on a mission today to find fun and hunt it down in the interests of blogdom everywhere. As my little Jedi warrior would say, "May the force be with us."


Cheeky Petals

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trying new things

I have a Korean cooking lesson with a mom of one of Izzy's friends today. I'm so excited to not only learn about new sauces and foods but to give myself a new challenge. It's so easy to get stuck in ruts and not try new things.

We had the dinner party last night and the omaha steaks were okay. Probably better than okay but not great. The burgers however were awesome. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy them but I think they were definitely worth the small amount of shipping I had to pay for them.

The weather has already turned autumnish here with grey skies and colder temps. The sun is setting sooner and the kids are restless. Yikes, it's only the 2nd of August and school doesn't go back until Sept. 2nd. Izzy finished all six of the Star Wars movies and is now talking nonstop about which of the characters she wants to be for Halloween. I strongly suspect we'll have a little ewok running amok come Oct. 31st.

Okay then, I'm getting ready for my lesson and preparing myself to be a good student for the day.

Hope you are seeking out new challenges as well or at least enjoying a lazy day,


oops... I promised something exciting here today. Okay, I'll try to post some pictures of my cooking (whether flops or triumphs). That should satisfy the masses. ;-)

Also if you haven't already, check out this blog for a little light entertainment: I think it is hilarious.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just a quick one...

Had 2.5 hours of yoga and meditation with Simon yesterday and yet still my husband begs me to "do more yoga". Guess I'm wound up a little tight lately. I'm nervous about getting back to teaching after such a long break. I'll be subbing for Simon from the 8th of August to the 15th at Cedar Hills so I guess I'll get back in the swing of things quickly.

Spending today cleaning and cooking as we have friends coming over for dinner tonight. I had a free gift certificate for Omaha Steaks so we will be giving them a try tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.... I'm a little intimidated by them. (the steaks... not the friends. ;-) )

Okay, gotta run but I promise to put something good in here tomorrow! (yikes, I might have to do some creative writing.)

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are,