Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Morning Video

My Wilco Party Continues...

Love this song; the music, the lyrics, his tone, and the landscape of the video.

Sipping the first cup of coffee I've had all week, listening to the wind which is blowing in hints of fall weather, working on the logistics of this blog, and listening to this song, over and over. Perfection.

Hope you enjoy, too.

"Jesus, etc."

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Positve Makeover


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Best Music Ever To Help Get Me Through An MRI

An Open Thank You Letter to Billy Bragg & Wilco:

Dear Billy Bragg and Wilco,

While I'm quite sure you will never stumble upon this tiny, blog of mine, I still feel compelled to write and to use this as a forum to say "thank you." Although you will most likely never, ever read the words that I write, I hope that after I hit the "Publish Post" button below, you will feel a rush of warm, heartfelt energy coming to you both, where ever you are.

I just wanted to thank you for helping me get through an MRI that I had to have the other evening (stupid, dumb accident in which I hurt my knee...if, by the off, off chance you are reading this, you can go here and here to get some context) to help the doctors figure out the next step-no pun intended-in my course of healing. I do, indeed, very, very much dislike MRI's. I had the unfortunate experience of having an MRI in 2001, and found out the hard way that I am, in fact, claustrophobic. And, well, let's just say that being claustrophobic does not help one become relaxed while in an MRI tube. Right.

So, when I learned that I had to have an MRI--even, an open MRI--for my knee prognosis, I seriously wondered if walking on crutches, having limited mobility, and pain in my knee for the rest of my life might not be that bad?

And that's where you both came in. While reading the "How to Prepare for Your MRI" sheet that I was given--and being seriously disappointed to learn that there would not be a body double provided for me who would volunteer their injured, stunt knee and go through the MRI for me--I was relieved to learn that I could bring a CD of my choice to help pass the time during the 40 minute procedure. That's long, right? That's what I thought,too.

Honestly, I have to fess up and say that (while actively applying denial and avoidance) I forgot all about being able to take a CD with me, and at the last minute I had Aqua Man run to the car and grab our CD holders. I hurriedly flipped through all the choices, "No, no, no. God, no!" Wondering, 'What music does one listen to while in an MRI, while actively trying to suppress a panic attack? Nothing too fast, or too depressing, or annoying, for sure.' And, then I saw it, "Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue." Your CD. Perfect! Please don't let my last minute choice take away from the importance of your music. I truly, truly could not have made it through this procedure without it, and a lot of deep breathing and guided imagery techniques. All of which went very well with your tunes. Also, I have to say that I was amazed to learn that Jeff Tweedy, leader of Wilco, has been open about the fact that he suffers from panic attacks, and that this was the very CD I picked out to help me cope with not having a panic attack! Without this CD I truly may have left that room, never to have a proper diagnosis. So thank you to both of you for sharing your talent, your musical styles, and thank you to Woody Guthrie for writing such amazing songs.

Below you can find the songs that I listened to while laying "half way" in the MRI (BTW: Before going in, I was told that I would only be put in "half way." My definition of half my body is my waist; their definition of half my body" was just my chest. Quite a few precious inches of a difference!)...

"California" (Video has time delay-ok, you've been forewarned. Still, enjoy!)

"At My Window Sad and Lonely"

"Another Man's Done Gone Key"

"Ingrid Bergman"

"She Came Along To Me"

I had to ask the MRI tech to fast forward "Hoodoo Voodoo" and "Christ for President"-both great songs-because I was getting a leetle bit hyped up! She was a good sport about it all.

Over all, a brilliant CD for the occasion, one in which I hope to never have again. I do, however, look forward to when my knee is healed and I can take a long, proper drive, with all of the windows down, blasting this CD at top volume.

With Much Gratitude (and relief),
Yoga Grl

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Calling It As He Sees It

Over the years I've come up with a few enduring nicknames for The Kid and one of them is "bumps." He's always been a very physical child and although he is a movement oriented person with a sense of grace, he still collects a good deal of bumps and bruises, especially on his legs.

Last night I had to have an MRI as ordered by the Orthopedic doctor I'm now seeing about my knee. Aqua Man and The Kid drove me to my appointment, and when we arrived at the parking lot I said to The Kid, "Okay, bumps, we're here." I realized the irony in calling The Kid that nickname at the exact moment I was grappling with swinging my injured knee out the door with out smacking my leg or dropping my crutches on the ground.

So I said, "It's funny that I'm calling you bumps, when I'm the one on crutches."

The Kid giggled, and said "Yea, that's right Mommy!"

Adding, "You're the one with the STICKS!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Spectacular Wrench

Last Tuesday night I was walking into a local coffee house to grab a quick drink before heading home to get some more work done. I walked in, took about three steps off of the runner, and violently slipped and fell on the wet floor, twisting and hitting my left knee on the ground. Luckily, I was able to grab the hand railing with my right arm to help break my fall-and if I hadn't, things would have been a lot worse-but my left leg splayed out in front of me, twisted and hit the ground. Hard. It was a a total freak accident, and, frankly, I couldn't have been more surprised had someone thrown a huge bucket of ice water on me when I walked in the front door. Truly a spectacular wrench.

To make things a bit more-hmmmm, how can I put this? SUCKY!-the coffee house staff had just mopped the floors and had not put out any visible "warning! floor is wet" signs near the runner, the top of the ramp, or the area where the floor was soaking wet immediately after walking in the front door! Apparently, while coffee was flowing that night, common sense had run out. GRRRRRRRRRRRR.....

It is now Sunday morning and after coming back from an Urgent Care Center visit yesterday, where I spent a good deal of time waiting to see docs, nurses and getting xrays, I have an initial diagnosis of a sprained knee. Mercifully, they gave me heavy duty Ibuprofen, a leg brace, an ace bandage and crutches. I have been diligently staying off my leg as I never want to feel the level of pain I felt during the past few nights immediately following the fall. So, I'm laying in The Kids bed-he has the firmest mattress around here-leg on a pillow to help cushion things, with two packs of frozen peas on my knee blogging and trying to be productive on-line while Aqua Man and The Kid run around having a "guys day out," as The Kid puts it.

The next step is to follow up and see an Orthopedic Doctor to have my tendions and ligaments checked out. But, wasn't able to make an appointment yesterday as the offices were closed. I'm really hoping that while Aqua Man is home tomorrow for The Kids first, official (as deemed by us-more on that in a later post) day of Kindergarten I can also get chauffeured to an orthopedic doc appointment (Funny thing about a sprained, left knee-it makes driving a stick shift really challenging, and quite painful after wards. GRRRRRRRRRRR.....).

Overall, I know things could have really gone worse, so while I'm thankful nothing was fractured, it does, well, suck. My mobility is limited right now, and I'm prone to pain even while doing almost nothing. My biggest challenge will be staying off my leg as much as possible while managing my day-to-day with The Kid.

One thing I've learned from all of this, though? While looking down at all the endless, frozen bags of peas I've been putting on my knee I've learned that...peas have a lot of protein! A whooping 5 grams in each serving. Who Knew?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Note to Chin:

You are NOT 18 anymore!

Perhaps you didn't get the memo, but, ah, "we" have turned 38 years old as of last week. While the rest of the body appreciates your attempt at maintaining your youth, spreading acne all over yourself is NOT the way to go about it.

It looks bad on you, and the rest of us.

Plus, dear chin, it's time that you just accept the fact that we are a bit older now, and, frankly, you just need to begin to age gracefully. Let it go; you'll never be a teenager again! So stop breaking out like one!

With Love,
The rest of Yoga Grl's face/body

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's In A Number?

Just a few days ago I celebrated my birthday and turned 38. 38! Wow. Birthdays are a big deal for me. They are the time of year when I take stock of my life, my past year, and set new goals for myself.

In general, I'm feeling really comfortable with this new age, myself, and where I am in my life. I also feel a growing sense of excitement and a strong energy from within as I head into this new year-like I've been quietly heading towards something great, and I'm on the verge of putting into action some of the dreams I've had, but have yet to manifest.

This new age, and the larger context of being closer to 40 than 20, has afforded me a fresher perspective on the reality that time passes quickly. Not a mid-life crisis perspective, but rather a gentle and keen awareness that life, does not, in fact, go on and on and on. I've been really coming to accept this over the past few years, and often include these thoughts into my meditation time. These days though, I realize that, although I feel like I'm about 27, I'm not! It's great that I feel young, and healthy and strong; these are the things that, in part, yoga helps cultivate and support. And the fact that I'm not, chronologically, 27 anymore, is truly okay with me. However, feeling 27 can sometimes fool me into thinking that 'I'm so young I have plenty of time to get to that later.' This perception of time, I know, is an illusion. So this year I'm all about changing my motto to: 'Later is now!'

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Are We There Yet?

The Kid, Aqua Man and I all survived our 1,000 mile + car trip/summer vacation adventure. We drove-yes, DROVE-from Illinois through Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana to finally arrive on beautiful Galveston Island in Galveston, Texas. We had a great time with Aqua Man's family and it was truly one of the best family vacations yet. After our lovely four days on official vaca, we climbed back into our car and drove home again. Without. a. problem. (Let it be known, that if it weren't for our newly purchased travel DVD player, that none of this would have been possible. Best money ever spent. Period.) So, for those of you keeping track, we spent a total of three days on the road, and four days at our destination. Yes, we are wacky like that.

Throughout it all The Kid was an amazing little traveler and I think I see many travel adventures in his future. He hardly ever even asked the dreaded "Are we there yet?" On the drive out, when we first started crossing state lines, he thought we were entering new countries and kept asking, "Mama, what country are we in now?" "How about now?" We did our best to explain that while it may SEEM at times that we were in another country (especially when using certain "bathrooms" along the way), that we were in fact still in the United States of America. Once he began to grasp this concept, he was very excited and wanted to see all of the official state lines and get regular updates on the distance to upcoming states, etc.

My favorite quote from The Kid happened on our drive home. We had just crossed into Tennessee and let him know the state line update. He quietly processed this new information, saying nothing for about 10 minutes or so. Then he suddenly yelled out, "Wait! WAIT. Have we left Mister Sippy yet?!"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Heart My New Town!

Three things I really love about my new town:

1)Just discovered a just opened-as in last night-art gallery/store that supports local visual and multi-genre artists. So great, and it's with in walking distance to our house.

2)Just discovered that there is a bead store/studio within walking distance with a very decent selection of beads, supplies, space to make jewelry, and jewelry making classes, as well. Yippee!

3)The fact that I can WALK to my yoga classes, then walk to get a Vegan, Organic bite to eat afterwards, and then walk back home.

If I could only describe how hard things were for the past few years, and then to come through, to the other side, if you will, and be living somewhere that we truly feel good about, and can see all of us thriving in. Its just mind-blowing. I am very, very grateful, and really able to enjoy the good times while they are here.

On a separate note: tomorrow I take The Kid to sign up for Kindergarten. I have to confess that I am feeling a bit nervous about it. With all of the changes going on lately I've really just taken one thing at a time, as they come, and haven't really thought about the specifics of this new transition. Things like, The Kid may-or may not-depending on the schedule he is given by school, be taking a bus to another program. A BUS! By himself. Yes, this I haven't thought about much so as not to induce small scale anxiety attack. I know he will be fine if he does take a bus, and we've raised him to be independent of us, and he'll be with other kids. But, its just, well, he's 5! And it's going to take some getting used to, if this is needed, that's all.

Also, on a larger scale, I have to confess that I don't look forward to spending time in educational institutions, unless they are college campuses, preferably graduate programs. It personally kinda freaks me out to be back standing in a grade school setting. I am naturally inclined to be suspicious and leery of them; their testing and grading and such. And Aqua Man has the same type of orientation to schools, as well. Although, we did already meet the principle and she seemed really cool. Overall, though, me thinks this new phase will be a journey for all of us.

Friday, August 1, 2008

So Not The Present

Yesterday afternoon The Kid and I went back into our new town to walk around and explore. As we were walking by a decorating store-one that we had just passed by yesterday-we noticed that the front window display had been changed.

The entire window display was now one of Halloween accessories and decorations for the yard, house, etc. It had three white signs hanging in the front that read: "It's Coming, It's Coming, It's Coming." HALLOWEEN? HALLOWEEN! Had I hit my head and lost track of the time? Yesterday was July 31. Yes, it's coming, but its, ah, two months away. *sigh*

Seeing this, on some level, I felt a little bit sad. Sad because when I look around into the immediate external world the message is overwhelmingly telling me to NOT be in the present. I'm most often told to think about what's coming next, to force upon myself what's coming next, as a way to get through the now.

Don't get me wrong, there have been many, many moments, and, even long stretches of my life in which I did not want to be present. I just wanted to get through them or get them over with. There were even times when I wasn't sure I could get through things. And during these times, days passing, time accumulating behind me, felt like a blessing. A blessing to just have time pass and put distance between myself and hard times.

Since I've started practicing yoga, I'm learning to quiet my mind and body, to withdrawal my senses from over stimulation, and to go within. And when I practice, I find peace within, peace that was already there waiting to be discovered, tapped into. Through yoga, I become at peace to just be, now.

Also, I've felt less resistance to wanting to push away the present, and just as importantly, I'm cultivating self awareness to recognize when I am resisting. Not always, for sure, (those pesky life patterns) but, overall when I practice-when I don't resist practice-I'm learning to be more comfortable being present, even when things are really difficult.