Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wannabe Yogi

I'm very fond of calling myself a 'wannabe'.  I have a nice little list.  Wanna hear it?!  Here it goes:

Wannabe photographer

Wannabe oenophile

Wannabe foodie 

Wannabe writer
(hopefully you don't need help visualizing this one, friends)

And, most recently, a wannabe yogi.  I know I must be on everyone's nerves with all of my yoga talk.  Sharing poses.  Sharing positive mantras.  But I'm sort of a yoga-geek at the moment!

What great yoga hair!

In my very first blog I mentioned that I'd like to go to counseling...to pay someone to listen to me bitch.  However, I think that I have found my 'inner' counseling in yoga.  I love the spiritual lift it gives me.  I love how it reminds me of what is important in my life and what is so unimportant.  I love that I can almost do the splits again!  I'm like...THIS CLOSE!

Marilyn...always inspiring to me

My dilemma lately has been with exploring different forms of yoga.  I'm really missing Bikram.  I think what I like about the "torture chamber" of Bikram is knowing what comes next.  I know that Pranayama Deep Breathing is always first, I know that Half Moon Pose comes next, so on and so forth.  I'm finding that in other forms of yoga I'm always looking around trying to figure out what this new/next posture is.  Maybe it just comes down to practice.  I'm sure I'll get it figured out.

I want to look this good doing yoga!!

I look forward to 'mastering' wall yoga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, etc.  However, at this moment my heart lies with Bikram.  I look forward to getting back to a Bikram class as soon as my wallet can afford it!

 Until then, Namaste, my friends!

 “Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lasagna For One?

So, Eric is back in Denver dealing with 'He Who Shall Remain Unnamed So That I May Avoid the Use of Extreme Profanity'.  While I do miss him, I also enjoy a bit of time to myself.  Sadly, most of my time has been spent cleaning.  But, I like a clean home so it's a win/win.

Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

I contemplated going out to dinner on my own tonight.  With all my traveling for my previous job, dining alone is something I'm used to and rather enjoy.  However, I thought it would be a nice gesture to cook something that Eric could enjoy tomorrow when he gets home.

EVOO and 4 cloves of garlic

So, lasagna it is.  

Eric's Garden


Fresh basil from Eric's garden

I don't cook on a regular basis.  And when I do cook it is QUITE rare that I use the same recipe twice.  I look at cooking as a challenge and I don't find it challenging to make the same thing more than once.

Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Fontina = Cheesy Goodness! 

So, while this is not the healthiest lasagna I've ever made, I'm hoping it is delicious.  It's currently cooling on the counter.  Therefore, I must make this a short blog...my tummy is rumbling!

Simmering tomatoes, basil, sausage, garlic 

Assembled and ready for the 400 degree oven

Eric...I hope this gives you FOUR things to look forward to tomorrow...me, Grace, Cyrus, and homemade lasagna with ingredients from your garden!

I hope it tastes as good as it looks!  Ciao!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

'When Harry Met Sally' and Other Reminisces

I was asked today if I had any male friends, and if so, if it was a problem for Eric.  My response?  "Yes, I do!  Er...I did.  Back in Indiana."  And in a saddening voice I replied that, to my knowledge, Eric had no issues with it.  And the sadness has gone on from there for the remainder of my day; missing my friends; missing my youth. 

Greg T and Me at Average Joe's
I suppose it's a combination of getting older (not OLD...just oldER) and now being across the country from my "first" friends.  The longer I am in another state, the further apart we grow.  Blame can't really be placed on anyone (for the most part).  Life happens.  Time differences hinder the matter.  And typically the once a month phone calls or weekly FB check-ins or bi-weekly e-mails suffice.  But then there are days like today,  where I would love to own a travel machine that could transport me to Indianapolis in the blink of an eye.

Robbie and Me at Average Joe's after Indy 500

What I wouldn't give to have the old crew back at Average Joe's, my local hangout.  Robbie behind the bar, Greg T and Greg D and myself bellied up to the bar with NTN boards in front of us...serious competition.  We would sit there for hours as others flitted in and out through the night.  Me and my boys. 

Robbie behind the bar on St. Patty's Day

Greg and I had been playing NTN and Lisa and Stacie joined us

I met two of my best girlfriends right there at that bar...Lisa and Angela.  Friends for life, I can promise you that.

Angela and Me at Average Joe,s (Robbie flipping us off!)

Myself and Lisa at Average Joe's

Everyone who worked there became friends to me.  Cowboy, Happy Lisa, Hot Candice, Dana, Bruce, Dave, Austin....too many to name.  We all took a trip to Vegas one weekend...I think myself and the two Greg's were the only two non-employees who went!  LOL!  It was my first time to Vegas and I couldn't have picked a better group to go with.

Angela, Kassie, Lisa, and Me at Average Joe's

Then there were the nights that my girls and I would get gussied up and go out dancing.  Curly, Lisa, Angela, Sandy, Pamela, Taylor, Blonde.  We had some WILD nights in Broadripple!  Oh, to be that age again...just for a weekend!  The secrets we all have on one another are so fun!!  Those were the best times of my life.  I wouldn't change any of it for anything.

Me...singing and dancing...so much fun!!

Me, Curly, and Angela celebrating my birthday at Average Joe's

Me, Sandy, Curly, and Pamela heading out on Halloween

Of course, I also can never imagine moving back to Indiana.  I love Arizona so much.  And I love the friendships that I'm (finally) building here.  Karen, Kristi, Jennie, and Danielle have been Godsends...true friends.  I really needed to find that here, especially after my horrible, unspeakable "friendship" with Randie.  That one about did me in on making real friends here.

Karen, Jennie, Kristi, and Me at Narcisse Champagne Lounge

Danielle, Karen, and Me on Spa Day!

I am looking forward to bringing (some of) these two groups of friends together in a couple of months in Napa.  I hope my Curly can make it!!  I look forward to creating new memories and sharing new secrets.  Wine country may be a far cry from the college bars, but we must age gracefully, right?!

As for my male friends back in Indiana, I miss being your little sister.  I keep hoping you'll come out for a visit.  I hope you know how much I love you Robbie and Talley.  And, to answer that age-old question, we were always 'just' friends.  Even better, we were/are family.

Me and my Big Brother, Talley

Just a few of my friends who came to my AWESOME going away party held at Average Joes

**And now, going through photos on my computer, I realize that most of my memories are printed and in albums...back before digital!  I must work on that!**

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I own a bag that says "I Love Not Camping".  I took it on my first ever camping trip...just a few short years ago. 

I still love not camping!  But I have come to dislike it less.  Okay, maybe I actually kinda like it.  Or aspects of it.  For ONE night...please...let's be clear.

Wine, camera bag, Betsey Johnson bag, crackers and fresh goat cheese...my camping necessities!

This weekends camping trip was actually my idea.  I wanted to try to capture some shots of the Perseid meteor shower.  We found the perfect camping spot just north of Pine and Strawberry that had an opening in the skyline to allow for great meteor viewing. 

Before setting up camp, we stopped at a little goat farm / creamery and visited the goats and llamas and bought some fresh goat cheese and crackers to enjoy by the campfire.

Goat Scratch Fever at Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry, AZ

Once settled, I set out to photograph the wild columbine and mushrooms while Eric prepared a wonderful salmon dinner.  The temps dropped enough to warrant sweatshirts and a campfire...a nice reprieve from the 90+ Phoenix nights.

My favorite flower - the columbine

Eric's salmon dinner

After dinner we crawled into our sleepingbags in our tent, Cyrus included, and slept for a couple of hours until my "meteor alarm" went off at 1:30am.  We got up and went to the clearing where I already had my camera set up.  The night sky is, I have to say, one of the very best parts of camping.  I have never in my life seen so many stars as when camping.  And we could hear the elk bugling in the near distance which just added to our little adventure.  Unfortunately, I didn't have luck with getting ANY good sky shots.  I did see 4 meteors streak across the sky, which was cool.


In the morning Eric made some coffee and I went to try to get some shots of the wild mushrooms in the morning sun. 

Mushroom or toadstool?

At one point, I was lying on my stomach photographing a mushroom and I heard a very loud snapping of branches.  I knew immediately there was an animal nearby.  I stood and looked and saw an unidentifiable black animal between two trees.  My first thought:  "Oh shit!  A black bear!"  My second thought: "Do I run or risk a photo?!!"  THAT should prove my dedication to my photography!  :0)  Third thought: "Are there even black bears in this area??"  And then, the black animal revealed itself:

Scary BearCow!

Yes, a cow.  But, seriously, it was a very large cow that COULD have been a bear!


I love not camping! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Learning to Walk...at the Age of 40

 Today's blog is accompanied by the photo theme of the weekend for the Photographers Adventure Club: smoke and fire.

As I near the end of my very first day on crutches, I think back to all of my close-calls.

To be fair, I wasn't given a great start.  From birth I have had one leg longer than the other.  As a baby I wore braces on my legs.  As a toddler and into grade school I had to "walk the line"...which consisted of two yellow lines of tape stuck to the garage floor.  I was sent out to the garage on a regular basis to walk with heels on the line, toes pointing out.

Campfire in Joshua Tree
My first recollection of falling was in the 6th grade.  It was the final day of school and we were having Field Day.  Do they still do this?  Little, "fun", sporting events held outside for the entire day.  We were doing the tire race.  The class was split into two teams and we each had to roll the tire down a small hill, around a pylon cone, and back up the small hill to our next waiting teammate.  I luckily got on the same team as my year-long boyfriend, Brett Bowers, who had just dumped me.  It was my time to impress him!  My turn came up, decked out in my white knee socks pulled as high as they would go (to best cover my chicken legs and ugly birthmark), I took the tire and began rolling it toward the pylon.  Along the way I hit a rock and bounced the tire, tripping on it and falling INTO the tire.  The tire, with me inside of it, rolled the rest of the way down the hill and landed at the pylon.  With a red face, I twisted my body out of the tire and ran it back up to my waiting teammate...making sure not to make any eye contact with Brett!

Glass Blowers in Venice

Since that time, I have fallen out of cars, off of a pair of shoes, down stairs, up stairs, in my living room, in restaurants, at work, in the mall, in the middle of the day, in the dark of night, wearing heels, wearing flats, drunk as a skunk, sober as can be.

I. Am. A. Klutz!

Some especially fun stories include going to a gorgeous Fourth of July party at the big, beautiful home of friends of a friend on Geist Reservoir.  We were carrying chairs down a windy set of wooden stairs built into a large hill from the house to the reservoir.  I tripped or spontaneously fell or something and went head first down the rest of the stairs, landing in the dirt on my teeth. The owners of the home begged me not to sue them, while I begged everyone not to remember me for my klutzy, unladylike behavior!

Then there was the time I was walking with Robbie and a few of his friends in Broadripple.  I had on kitten heels that were still tall enough to go down into a crack of the sidewalk and hang on, bringing me to my hands and knees.  The boys had to take me to the nearest bar/restaurant to bandage my bloody knee. 
Fire Tower in Northern AZ (no actual fire)

Or the time I came home from the airport to greet my waiting mother and aunt and forgot that my OWN living room has a small step down and went flailing into my aunts arms!

Yes, I provide lots of entertainment.  More often than not they are funny falls without serious injury.  Therefore, I had come to consider myself a professional faller.  Until last night.  Just walking along the sidewalk in the lead of a group of 6, I stepped off of the curb in the 'wrong' way and twisted my ankle completely to the side and landed on my arse.  As always, I rebounded quickly but took the rear of the group.  We finished our short walk to the bar where we sat and had a glass of wine.  I was in no pain...until I stood to leave.  My foot was swollen and I couldn't put any weight on it.  Today, I'm on crutches.  Crutches!  What kind of professional is that?!

Metal worker at Rawhide Wild West
And speaking of crutches...if anyone out there can tell me how I am supposed to carry ANYTHING while getting around on crutches...PLEASE share!  Eric has become my bitch; which he's handled with grace this first 24 hours...but I'm certain he will not put up with it for long!  Plus I hate having to ask him to do things for me...HATE it!

Okay, hope I made you laugh.  I'm off to ice my foot.

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Eric had this waiting on me after my Day 30 class!

Today's blog is accompanied by photos of some of my crazy adventures over the past few years.

Well, it has been 3 days since the final class of my Bikram 30 Day Challenge.  I wanted to sit on it a bit before blogging and I'm glad I did.  One thing I learned about this challenge is that my attitude changed from class to class, including the final class.  Some nights I would leave the studio feeling complete, at peace, elated, grateful, and thinking "This is the best thing I've done for myself in a long time".  Other nights, I would be in the class thinking "What the hell am I thinking?!  Why am I subjecting myself to the heat, the injuries, the 'torture chamber'?"..as Bikram Choudhury himself calls it.

It became quite the love/hate relationship, this 30 day affair between myself and Bikram yoga.  And, unfortunately, I had a pulled hamstring for the final 4 or 5 days of the challenge and was unable to do a few of the poses properly.  I think that is why I left my final class in a kind of lackluster mood.  I didn't feel the pride and the sense of accomplishment that I had expected.  And that led me to think that Bikram wasn't in my heart as much as I had thought.

Until Tuesday evening.

I felt a sense of loss not going to class.  I missed it...even though my body is sore and aching and I have a pulled hamstring.  The same thing happened yesterday; I kept thinking of class and of the poses.  After a dinner with the family (that included some of my much neglected wine!) I came home (yes...slightly buzzed) and proceeded to "teach" Eric all 26 poses of Bikram!  I've stated in previous posts that my balance leaves a lot to be desired in class...well, as you can imagine gravity was NOT kind to me while drunk-yogaing.  (yes, I think I just made up that word...go with it).
Helicopter ride over NYC

So I've determined that, love it or hate it, it's in my heart now.  I want to continue going and continue to reap the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits.  I just wish it weren't so darn expensive.  $17 per class, $125 for 10 classes, or $1350 for annual unlimited!!  Wowza!  But I'm going to try to budget to do at least 2 classes per week.  Eric even insisted that I find a way to make it work because he can tell it's something I really like (sometimes!).  And I found out through a friend there is free yoga in the park on Sunday's...not Bikram...but with our summer heat it will be close enough!

In the end, after 30 days of 90 minute classes at between 105~110 degree heat, after a pulled neck muscle and a pulled hamstring, after the tough classes and the great classes, I am very glad that I got this wild hair up my (now tighter) butt and took and completed this challenge.  Having never taken a Bikram yoga class in my life, I think it's a pretty great feat to have jumped right in to 30 straight days.

I have to say thank you to my family, friends, coworkers, and Facebook peeps for putting up with me as I pretty much made my life about Bikram yoga for the past month.  I'm certain I was annoying and incessant about it.  And I'd like to thank Eric for dealing with a very dull and uneventful July; I was always either at class, too exhausted from class, or had to go to bed early to go to an early class.  Not to mention the stinky, sweaty clothes and towels that were always hanging from the shower door.  Thank you my love.

And thank you to my yogi's at Bikram Yoga North Scottsdale.  There were times when I really struggled, but everyone at the studio was so kind and inspired me so much.  I certainly picked a great studio in which to learn.

I can now add this 30 day challenge to my list of adventures that includes (but is not limited to) zip-lining, rappelling, trapeze school, helicopter ride, X-Scream, Insanity, and the Big Drop.  Keep watching for what's next!

 Breathe and all will be revealed, love and all will be healed. This is yoga. -Seane Corn