hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Last summer, my sister's Rhodesian ridgeback mix died, just before she was scheduled to take a long vacation (my sister, not the dog, although the dog was going to have to go into the kennel). Sassy was a great dog, quite high strung, but an integral part of the family. None of us knew how old she was as she was a rescue. Towards the end of her life, she got all grey around her muzzle, but she never stopped barking at the UPS man.

It made me think about Toby. He turned 12 last autumn, definitely old for a cocker spaniel. Sassy's illness and subsequent death reinforced Toby's age, when last month Toby had a serious health scare. He went several days without eating, and was vomiting frequently. Instead of being content to sit in the house, he wanted to be outside, in my parents' back yard. My Dad could tell Toby was in pain, but there was nothing he could do about it. Toby also lost several pounds in weight.

After some veterinary care, it was determined that Toby didn't have any sort of blockage, but he did eventually recover. His digestive system is a little more fragile than before (my parents have started wetting his food down so he doesn't gobble it as quickly). Still, there's no doubt he's an old dog. When I was out at my parents' recently, Toby was more reluctant to go for walks (Dad and I managed to get him around the block most mornings, but Toby doesn't really like going to the park anymore). He's also mostly deaf, and my parents have had to start using hand signals to communicate with him.

How long will he last: six months? A year? When I think of how much fun I've had with Toby, the idea of the impending end upsets me. I took some fabulous trips to stay with him while my parents were both away and not away. I think the ones when they were away were the best. I had no other duties apart from to keep Toby occupied and to do the same with myself. I went to lots of yoga classes and took Toby for lots of walks. He slept on my bed and we generally bonded.

Toby isn't gone yet, but I'm afraid of the inevitable. Each trip back to my parents' makes me wonder if I will see him again.
hr_macgirl: (splash)
the swimming saga continues )


Dec. 17th, 2009 03:27 pm
hr_macgirl: (splash)
I gacked this from [ profile] schmoomom, and it seemed like a neat idea.

cut for Day In The Life )
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Tuesday: didn't even try and go swimming, but did make it to a yoga class with Marni Task. Her yoga style, unlike what I take at home, is "jivamukti with anusara flair", whatever that means! All I know is the room was hot (advertised at 82-85F), so I sat next to the exterior door and prayed for a draft breeze.

The teacher started talking about ayurveda and the three types, and used that as the basis for class. It didn't make alot of sense, I only knew I wasn't kapha (calm, heavy bone frame, slow eater, slow speaker, slow walker, have a hard time waking in the morning).

After yoga I dashed off (see? I'm not kapha!) to Skyline and ate a three way with milk and oyster crackers. Plus lots of hot sauce. Yummmm. My next stop was Half Priced Books (briefly) and World Market. I purchased a 1kg bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk at World Market, plus some tea for Dad. On the way back to work I stopped at Miles Market and picked up another pie. This was #3 (Mum had bought one Apple and one Fruits of the Forest before I arrived, but I knew that wouldn't last), and I chose Blackberry, which is my favourite.

I then spent Tuesday afternoon hacking on a Windows 2000 laptop trying to get it to talk to ancient CNC Hardware (after wiping the machine & the viruses it had accumulated). Vacation? Who needs vacation? Managed to get out of work at 5, stopped to pick up some dinner (Teriyaki Stirfry with chicken & veggies) and home.

I could have packed on Tuesday night but didn't; did that Wednesday morning instead. Note that aside from Monday when I planned to swim, I didn't set an alarm the whole time I was away. One morning I slept until 6, which was a shocker. The rest of the time I woke between 5 & 5:30.

Mum and Dad had a customer coming into the office to see them, so I dropped Mum off at work while Toby and I stopped for a Hot Chocolate then I took him for a walk. He was well behaved, and I only had to drag him a little ways before he realized he wanted to walk after all. We were back at the office for about 9:30, 9:45. We went out to lunch at a soup place around the corner just before noon.

My flight was due to go at 3:30, so Mum had me at the airport for 2:00. Through security, annoyed that the only good shop at Cleveland airport was gone (the bookshop), went to gate C16 to wait. I found myself an electrical plug and whiled away the time until flight was called at 2:50. We actually left a little early, and I was (predictably) asleep just after push back. Through diligence I had scored an exit row seat, but it was a non-reclining seat. Of course, I can sleep (almost) anywhere, so I wasn't too perturbed by my posture.

We landed almost half an hour early, and I took some time to sniff through a couple of duty free shops looking for yet more Dairy Milk chocolate. Unfortunately, while two shops had chocolate, one had some that was past date, and another had only Dairy Milk with Whole Nuts. I will need to find another source for my chocolatey goodness.

The trip home wasn't bad. Wednesdays are pretty good for travelling, it seems, as I was able to score seats on the Silver Li(n)e and Red Line. Once I reached home I ran out to the grocery store to pick up milk and figured everything else could wait until Thursday. I typically have yoga on Wednesday evening but I didn't get home until 6:50, and would have had to walk right back out the door again. I will have to wait.

redux )

off to see the nephew next week for his first birthday. So excited!
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I went to yoga last night, as I do almost every Wednesday. At the beginning of class, my teacher spoke about the change in seasons, and asked what people were doing to honour this time of year. I confessed that I was eating a great deal of pie.

The class (~8 students) then began an impromptu discussion of pie (favourite types, childhood memories, best methods of preparation), and we even had an informal straw poll over favourite types. The winner was strawberry rhubarb (not my fave, if I have rhubarb then I like it with another fruit like apple or even blackberry). One woman preferred banana cream, and I was the only person who liked neither pumpkin nor sweet potato (how could you not like pumpkin pie?? asked one class mate. Well, easy, actually...)

My yoga teacher said she'd never seen me smile so much as when I talked about pie. This week I've been working on apple crumb with pouring cream. Mmmm, pie.
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I've done better with food during the second half of the week, and pushed myself to go to different places and try different things (rather than just yet another chicken or turkey sandwich).

Wednesday I got up, went swimming, went to yoga (was supposed to be with my regular teacher, but she had a sub instead, my former regular teacher). The class was alright, a little too self affirming for me, which reminded me of why I no longer went to class with my former regular teacher. I ended up going to lunch at City Girl Café in Inman Square. The food was alright: I had a chicken parm panini. After I left there I went over to look in Bird By Bird (to buy something for the nephew) and went by 1369. I saw a woman eating a positively scrummy sandwich, and wished I'd eaten there instead. Ah well.

I had high(ish) hopes for cleaning on Wednesday afternoon, but they were dashed (reasons unimportant here), so I had a mostly lazy afternoon. I had my traditional Wednesday dinner, and went to yoga in the evening. Thankfully my regular teacher was there, and it was an awesome class!

Thursday. Swim early. I ended up going out to the Arlington Center for a yoga class with Liz Owen. I've had a class or two with her before. While the class was listed for "continuing" students, I found myself well ahead of most of the participants (and I was one of just two attendees under the age of 50, and the other one was pregnant!) in terms of knowing the poses. Some of it was my (seasoned) knowledge of sanskrit: when the teacher said eka pada rajakapotasana, I knew exactly what she meant, and how many blankets I would need. Mmmm, props!

I had lunch at Mr. Crepe in Davis Square (smoked ham & cheddar cheese, yummmmm), and then high tailed it home. Before I could get started cleaning/sorting, I got a call from my friend N who had been subject to a towed car, and needed a ride. Normally I would not be someone who would get that kind of call, but N knew what few others did, that I was acting as host to another friend's car. So I got into that car (well, BMW SUV actually) and drove over to Newton to pick up N and take her to the tow yard. I hung out at her house for a while after that before coming back to Cambridge. Dinner? Eh, I don't remember!

Friday: swim, dentist (just a checkup). Later I had lunch at Flour Bakery in the South End. Bread = yummmmmm! I had a turkey & cheese & cranberry sauce sandwich, and added a banana and slice of apple snack cake to boot. After I got home I used the BMW to cart a whole pile (well, actually, four huge garbage bags) of clothing to Goodwill in Central Square. In return for my generosity, I managed to score a parking space right in front of the store. Go me!

About the only other thing worth noting: I've had eight naps in eight days. I could live like this. But I do miss work.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
I'm on furlough from work this week (whole department is), which means I have lots of unstructured time.

Monday I woke up early (~0430), did a bit of housework (sorting DVDs), ate a snack and went to the pool. Wahhh, 25 yard lanes (hate, much prefer 50 meters). At least there were thirteen lanes open, because on Saturday there were only five. Oddly enough, I jumped in to lane 3, labelled "medium" (speed), did my swim, got out, and saw the lane speed had switched to "fast". I don't think it was me, because I'm not fast. Oh, and while I was in the pool, someone reset the (perpetually wrong) timer clock. I appreciate them resetting it, but couldn't they do it before anyone gets in? No matter, I had a timer going on my watch.

I got out of the shower and dressed, then hoofed it over to shrink. I had debated bringing my suit and towel with me, but I decided to go back to the Z Center afterwards, which I did. I then had to buzz home and hang up my towel before my 1000 yoga class. The class wasn't taught by my usual teacher, but by her usual sub, and was at my usual studio. The teacher is studying for one of her Iyengar yoga assessments (not sure at what level), so she wanted some students to teach while she practiced going through a sequence of six poses ahead of that assessment. The six poses had to be taught and completed (by the students) in 40 minutes. This seemed like a tall order, and indeed it was. The teacher had said the class would end by 1100, but it was 1130 by the time I got out the door.

Off to lunch, then home to do some housework. I filled up an entire recycling bin (not one of those puny blue bins, but a big wheeled toter. Junk mail, phone books, old newspapers, it all went in. And I'm not even done! I also put away board games and books. The sad things is, you can barely tell I touched the living room (aside from the toter sitting there).

I went to hide away in the bedroom to cool off, and soon found myself falling asleep. Zzzzz. Nap! Well, why not? After nap I had dinner, then looked at a couple of bookstores in Harvard Square, mostly to stay cool on someone else's nickel.

I slept through my alarm this morning, went to the pool, met up with a buddy and we split a lane (this is one of the pluses of 25 yard swimming, you can split the lane with one other person as long as nobody else hops in to disturb the setup). So yay for me for sleeping in, I wouldn't have met up with her if I'd shown up at 0600 as usual. Even worse, I might have had to swim with Mr Big Shot (grrr, he's a lousy lane mate).

Now home to meet landscaper, who is due here at 0930. Not sure what else I'm going to do today. It will be cooler, but just as sticky, so we'll see.
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At yoga last night, I told my teacher about my trip to Kripalu. She told me how proud she was of me for taking the trip. As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, she also said she saw an "aura" about me, and that I looked relaxed (!).


May. 3rd, 2009 09:27 am
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I booked my week at Kripalu. Now I have to work my way through my To Do list in the meantime. Laundry, etc. Gaaaaaa!
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This past week at yoga, my teacher asked us all to think about routine vs ritual. She defined ritual as something that you do with reverence, that you take the time to think about what you're doing and treat it as something precious.

Too much of my life is wrapped up in routine. 0515: get up, breakfast, shower. 0550: leave for work. 1150: lunch. etc. I run on autopilot and very rarely think about what I'm doing or appreciate my actions.

Wednesday night yoga can be an exception. I didn't write "is an exception", because sometimes I go to class and follow the motions but not connect with the feelings.

I've been trying to think about other portions of my life where I have rituals. Weekend afternoon naps, maybe. One could argue they're about reverence, but one could also argue they're just about catching up on sleep.

Often when I fly I put my headphones on and listen to Thich Nhat Hanh, specifically The Art of Mindful Living: How to Bring Love, Compassion, and Inner Peace into Your Daily Life. I was introduced to Thich Nhat Hanh before I took up yoga, and his calm voice combined with his message is powerful. When I find myself wound up and crammed into a small space on a plane, just listening to this recording helps me find peace. It's the most obvious example of ritual I have.

I am going to try and consider over the next few weeks what other rituals I have in life, and to try and increase and improve on them.
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I went to yoga last night. My teacher had been away since before the holidays having (another) hip replacement surgery and for subsequent recovery. She seemed to be in a good mood.

There were seven students, including myself, in class, which is just about the right size. More than that and we have to start putting mats closer together, and if there's one thing I value, it's my personal space. There was a woman next to me who I didn't know and had never been in class with before (that I can remember). Luckily we didn't have to turn to one side or the other and introduce ourselves; I don't like doing that.

We focused on chest openers, which I usually dislike, but I let myself flow with the class. The class ended with urdva dhanurasana, which is a pose I have done in the past but struggle with. When I pushed up into the full expression of the pose, I surprised myself (and my teacher!). I managed to hold it for several breaths, and then sank back down, content with my body's abilities.

I'm going to try and hold onto that sense of accomplishment today. It will be difficult, as I face the dreaded ***** later this morning. Breathe.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
woke up in the night when Dad left the house for work, then fell back to sleep. Woke up again ~0600 and went down for breakfast. I ate in front of the television (watching Miracle on 34th Street). Before too long, Mum woke up and we took Toby to the park for his first walk of the day.

After that we stopped at a local supplier for their business, then went to work. Mum gave me a company check so I could buy Dad's new iMac, then I dashed out the door to my 0945 yoga class. The class was good, I really like teacher and I've had her before. The only minus is that the class was in a 80-85F heated room. Yuck. I sweated; 'nuff said.

After class it was off to Apple where I was assigned to a sales guy who felt let down when I wouldn't let him try and use his "talents" to help me decide what I wanted. (I want a 20" 2.66GHz iMac him: errr.... do you need a printer? any other software? Do you have any questions? me: no, no, no). I didn't use the "I have 150 Macs" line, which is just as effective).

I left the Apple store and put the iMac in the car trunk (plus for the car, an Infiniti: it has an iPod dock built in, so I plugged my iPhone into the dock connector and was able to control the unit from the car's audio panel. A nice feature! The car also has butt warming seats, which wasn't as necessary, as it was 45F. I didn't even wear a jacket after yoga class, although that was as much from my internal temperature than anything else. After Apple I swung by a local organic café for lunch, then back to the office to set up the iMac.

I'd never really used Apple's Migration Assistant before, but it was great! I firewire targeted Dad's old Quicksilver PowerMac G4 to the new iMac while running Software Update (from 10.5.4 to 10.5.6). It took maybe 60-75 minutes to transfer the data and run the software update. I'm really quite impressed by the whole process. I even fixed Dad's printing issues; his MDD G4 (on Tiger) couldn't talk to the printer, but it can now.

After setting up the machine I decided it would be a good time to take Toby for a(nother) walk. Mum, eager to get out, volunteered to come along. We went to a local arboretum and trekked through the mud, finding ourselves eight feet muddier after the fact (two for me, two for Mum, four for Toby). Home afterwards, not for a nap, but we chilled out. She crocheted and I did puzzles.

Dad came home from work early, then we went to a local eatery for dinner. Toby was full of beans again by the time we got home, so I ran around the back yard with him for a few minutes. We finished watching the movie while I caught up with my email and everything else. I usualy don't bring my own laptop to Ohio, but did this time and really like having it along.

Tuesday: Toby walk, yoga, probably Skyline (again). Yum!
hr_macgirl: (Default)
friday: home for nap, nap, dinner with [ profile] ckd, then took him to gaming, came home and chilled out while watching The Sweeney, starring John Thaw (of Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC fame) and Dennis Waterman (currently appearing in New Tricks).

saturday: decided not to go to yoga class that I'd been attending for the last few weeks (before I went away, that was), in part because of the nasty weather. It rained in the morning. I broke in my new umbrella when I went on my morning errands. Went over to the mall after [ profile] ckd woke up, had lunch, and I bought a crossword puzzle book. Watched Ballet Shoes, a lovely British drama. Fabulous movie! It was pretty sticky & hot. Had nap.

sunday: errands. Lunch on my own, then a quick trip to Target to pick up some essentials. Now home in the air conditioning. It's not super hot, but the third floor of the house is always warmer than lower floors. I will take a nap later, I can guarantee that.

On the horizon: big event at work October 2-4, so lots of preparation currently ongoing for that. Have to make travel plans for turkey day & other. Was supposed to have user training for iPhone this week, but the other idiot who works in my department hasn't gotten me the list of users who he is transitioning. In some ways I'm not mad because I've done zero prep for the training, but in other ways I'm peeved because he hasn't got it together. Argh.
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I went to a yoga class today at a studio that isn't very close to home, but isn't too far away, either. The class began at 0930 and I was there by 0900, so sat in a nearby park for a few minutes.

I'd never taken a class with the teacher before, but I had met him, and my own teacher likes him, so I figured that was good enough for me. When I went in and paid up, the desk yogi said it was good I arrived early as the class fills up. And fill up it did, with approximately 30 students; one of the biggest classes I've been to in a while.

The teacher started out by announcing a workshop by Amy Weintraub called "Lifeforce Yoga: Yoga to Manage your Mood". I actually took a short version of this class some years back and really did not like it (one of the few yoga classes I've had an actual aversion to), in part due to the over-focus on kapalabhati pranayama aka "skull shining breath". The more I practice pranayama, the more I am glad that it is not a significant portion of Iyengar practice, as it's just not something I'm drawn to.

Today's teacher was very effective and guided the class through a long sequence of poses, mostly built around prasarita padottanasana (although the photo in the referenced link shows the head on the floor, which was not where we went).

My only gripe is that the session ran long. One reference on the website listed the class as running from 0930 - 1100, and another one from 0930 - 1115. By 1130 I was itching with anxiety (did I have anywhere to be? No. I was still anxious!). The teacher said this class always lasts for two hours!; I advised him to update his schedule.

Still, the focus on hips made a difference, and for the first time in a week I had no pain in my right hip. Blessed relief.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
my yoga teacher is back! I had a terrific class last night, which I didn't even realize I needed. I started class by just sitting in dandasana up against a wall, and I could feel the tension in my upper shoulders. At the end of class I couldn't feel much of anything. It was the most amazing relief.

It poured overnight, waking me at about 0400. I've been waking up around 0400 lately, but forcing myself to stay in bed until 0500, not that I know what's so magic about 0500 vs 0400, and not that I get any/much good sleep between 0400 & 0500.

I got packed up and left the house and was out the door at about 0545. I'd just passed Mass Ave when it began to drip a little. I kept walking. I'm waterproof, after all. By the time I passed Steinbrenner Field, it was pouring, so I stopped for long enough to get out my waterproof hat. I arrived at work soaking wet, and am currently sitting on a towel (more usually reserved for propping up my tilting pelvis).

During the walk my iPod played Al Stewart's Year of the Cat, Fleetwood Mac's Dreams and Sting's Fragile. There was definitely a "rain" theme.

you've thrown away your choice and lost your ticket, so you have to stay on. And I ponder Al Stewart's words as I sit here in my wet socks. you know sometime you're bound to leave her, but for now you're going to stay
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I've been in the new building now for nine days, and things are coming along. I've unpacked three out of four crates, had two awards (2002 and 2007) and one poster hung. I've also unpacked my two mugs (Starbucks "Seattle" and a ladybird-covered mug purchased in Munich). The 400 or so pens I had on my old desk remain in a large manilla envelope; I hope to keep them there as long as possible.

I managed to get to yoga this past week only to be the only student there! Obviously the rest of the regulars in my class had gotten the news that our regular teacher was away, and none of them were excited about having a sub. Neither was I, but I went anyways. I don't like private lessons, especially with someone I don't know well. I went through the motions, but didn't feel emotionally connected with my practice.

weekend details behind the cut tag )

Upcoming: Life is Good Festival Volunteer Orientation on Wednesday (so I can't go to yoga, but with a sub I'm not as bothered). I Volunteered to be a Volunteer Team Leader. Um, go me? I'm only happy when I'm in charge anyways. Hopefully they will assign me to the Guest Relations Tent; I have lots of experience with that!!

I still have blisters from my new sandals, but at least my heel bandaid has stayed on, and I bought some more blister bandaids, so I can apply one to my toe. Not that the blisters (or accompanying sensitivity) have slowed me down, mind you...
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day two: distributed all phones, set up printers. Movers had sent many printers to wrong location, so had to rescue & redistribute. Another long day, but managed to actually finish by 2000, so it was "only" a fourteen hour day. That's fifteen hours Monday & Tuesday, fourteen on Wednesday. The last time I worked 44 hours in a three day period, I was 17 and the job was more of a game (well, certainly a social situation) than a job.

Tried to set up my machine in my office. Note tried. Plugged power strip into wall, the fuse blew. Repeated, same experience. It turned out to not just be a problem with me and my office, but three other offices on the same hallway. I hung around waiting for the electrician for four hours, and got no relief until Thursday. In the meantime, I worked on lots of desk projects. Unfortunately, with no reliable power, it meant I had to use the laptop instead of my desktop.

In the evening there was lots of printer movement and phone distribution, plus setting up all of the machines that arrived on Wednesday. Boy Wonder left at 5pm (with my blessing) so he could see his girlfriend. Other Staff Member and I remained, but as I mentioned, only until 2000.

The late departure meant I couldn't go to yoga. Class started at 1915, and I didn't get home until 2030. Wahhh. My teacher is away now for 4-6 weeks because of surgery. It's going to be a tough one.

I was up early again on Thursday (0430), had breakfast, took shower, at work before 0600. Staff Member and I discussed & rationalized printers (where they should go based on need). Out of the 40 (non inkjet) printers we have, after reallocation there are six spare, and that's not counting the one going to printer heaven (eight years old, expensive supplies, unreliable).

I've spent most of today at my desk triaging issues and assigning trouble tickets. People keep finding me and sucking me away. Aghhhh. Ticket count is well over 100 (I'm only happy when it's less than 80). Most of the things are move related or backed up due to move duties, of course.

I just had a Klondike bar for afternoon snack. For some reason I remembered them tasting better.

Departure time tonight? To be determined. If I am lucky I will not have to eat dinner here tonight, but I'm not betting on it (and have food here just in case).
hr_macgirl: (Default)
three days away )

Home now. Laundry. Note to self: avoid Marathon on Monday. Safest to just avoid Boston altogether, I think.

I am very very glad I went on the trip. I actually allowed myself to relax. That doesn't happen very often, and didn't even happen the past few times I visited my parents. It was an unexpected surprise.


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