Monthly Archives: August 2008

The eToys catalog came yesterday and reminiscent of the sears catalog joys of my youth, there was a special exuberance in our house. I remember so fondly pouring over every page of the newest Sears catalog, circling everything that I wanted, dogearing the pages to make sure my mom wouldn’t miss my favorites when Christmas shopping time came around every year.

No longer are we rushing down to the local sears and roebuck mail order store (yes, I grew up in a very small town and no I’m not that old it was just a really small town) to pick up our orders from the Sears catalog, but waiting for our latest online order to arrive at our doorstep. But the joy in a little girls eye as she eyes her next absolutely must have, are just the same.

Adas New Camera

We have been contemplating getting Ada a digital camera as she is almost impossible to take a picture of because she want to know what you are doing and comes running to you to look at the result almost before you have even taken the picture.

But every time we look at the kid friendly options, the price just doesn’t seem worth it, although a camera wrapped in rubber and able to be completely submerged like this one, just might be worth it.

Then we had an aha moment and realized we still had our old camera in a drawer somewhere (it’s no wonder our house is such a mess). So we handed it over and it is awesome.

She has taken at least 50 photos today, many of the TV and her toy planes, her brother and Pella the dog.

Is that you taking a picture of me taking a picture of you?

Upside? She is being wonderfully creative, learning to use a fairly complex piece of electronics (I have to say with surprising ease) and observing her surrounding in an all new way. I just love to see her little mind in processing mode.

Downside? If she flashes me or her brother right in the face one more time, I think I might have to scream I also can’t say that having so many mama just out of bed in the morning photos floating around is thrilling me.

The sacrifices we make

We just got home from a BBQ. This afternoon, after a full morning of working on the deck, I realized we were supposed to bring our own meat to BBQ and a side dish. Eeek! I hadn’t thought about it until just then and had no food in the house.

But then I remembered the pesto. I always have pesto and I always have chicken in the freezer. So, I cut the chicken into slices, added some oil and salt and the defrosted frozen pesto and we were on our way. Pesto is great for more than just pasta and can be easily made in big batches in the late summer when basil is abundant and cheap and frozen to be used the rest of the year.

Whenever I grow my own basil, I seem to end up with bunches and bunches of it that I am never able to use up quickly enough. This is a great use for all that basil.

I figured out the trick for freezing pesto many years ago after having dinner with friends. When they pulled their pesto out of the freezer it was black. It still tasted great, but it totally lacked that fresh green color that is so indicative of a great pesto.

I knew that there must be a way to preserve the pesto’s freshness and still be able to freeze it long term. So, I started to experiment.

The key is to freeze it without the oil and salt. It then keeps its bright green color for a very long time. I make large batches of pesto in the summer and then we have fresh bright green pesto all winter long. I put it on pasta with chicken Italian sausages and veggies and also marinate chicken in it.

Anyone have other great ideas for how to use pesto?

My Pesto Recipe

I kept this recipe on the smaller side so that it is easily manageable. This should make about four pouches. It can be easily multiplied to create more.

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
3 cloves of garlic

Put all of the above ingredients into a food processor or blender and spin until well blended but not yet a paste.

Take four little plastic sandwich baggies and divide the pesto between the baggies. The pesto should be just less than an inch all along the bottom of the bag. If you have enough for five bags use five, or if there is only enough for three bags that is fine too.

Roll the bags up tight and put in the freezer.

When you want to use them, just take out a bag and throw it in the microwave on defrost for 30 seconds. Then you can add it to a bowl of cooked pasta or in a bag of chicken to marinate with oil and salt to taste.

The best part of making pesto this way is that you have complete control over the amount of oil and salt that you use. You would be amazed how little oil you need.

When I learned of McCain’s VP choice, all I could do was repeat “The governor of Alaska?” over and over again. Who the hell is that? What is he thinking? I have hashed this over and over today. My take?

Of course he wants a woman to say ‘see, we can be historical too’ and try to play to women. I was surprised to hear today that the large majority of mothers vote republican. This blows my mind. How do they possibly think that the republicans are looking out for them and their children? I guess if your only concern is making sure that everyone in the country thinks the exact same way as you, then maybe you can overlook the rest. I don’t claim to understand it at all.

I would hope though that the Hillary supporters can see further than this woman’s gender. Would I love to see a woman in the white house? Of course. Do I want my daughter to know that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to and have opportunities available to her that were not available to past generations. Absolutely. But, not like this. This choice, this woman, has nothing to do with any of that.

McCain also needs to make sure that the conservative right doesn’t stay home and I think this is what this is really about. If this group doesn’t care about experience or ability to rule, but only care about their own social agenda then this is a great match for them.

Another interesting point I just learned about her is that she (as are almost all Alaskans) is pro drilling in ANWR. She has stated clearly (see the article discussed below) that she will push the Alaskan agenda if elected VP. Just another notch in McCain drill drill drill belt. Hasn’t he been touting his environmental prowesses? HA!

Although I could rant for another hour about all of this, the author of Mudflats (an Alaskan political blogger) has written an elegant and entertaining article about the lovely Palin (she is quite pretty, right?). You must read this, It’s great.

What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective

I took on the responsibilities and consequences of adulthood very early. I thought for a while that this made me grown up. But in reality am I still just a whiny spoiled child?

They talk about the entitlement issues with today’s youth and I see all the problems this causes and try very hard with my own children to instill a sense of responsibility and understanding of where things come from and working hard for the things that we have. I also want them to know that working hard is rewarding in and of itself. I feel that we model this the best we can to them and that this will become more and more important as they grow up.

But I can also relate to that entitlement. Not in that I shouldn’t have to work hard for it, but shouldn’t I be able to follow my dreams too? Must I sacrifice everything? Is there a middle ground?

I think that finding that middle ground is what being a grown up is about. Finding a place where I know myself well, do something I love and still have the energy and commitment to provide a healthy and happy upbringing for my children. This is my quest.

But will I ever be satisfied? Is satisfaction the goal? Oh, I don’t know.

Well, I have left my book club. There are many reasons for this, none of which I will get into here. Although I am sad to lose the monthly just for Karin activity, I have started going to yoga once a week and am hoping to increase this to twice a week in another month or so and this provides the away time that I need. I am also really looking forward to exploring new books and genres that I have been missing by constantly reading book club books.

One of my first stops was to an old favorite. It has been several years since I have read
From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz. One of the very few benefits of my checkered past is that my memory for books and movies is just not what it should be and so if I don’t watch a movie or read a book for a couple of years it is almost like reading it for the first time.

Sometimes when you love a book the first time and can’t wait to read it again, it just isn’t the same the next time around. I think that this might be due to the frame of mind you are in when you read it. Books resonate with us due to the context that we place them in in our own lives and sometimes we hit and sometimes we miss.

From the Corner of His Eye, I loved even more the second time around. Now, this is not a book for everyone. I have loaned it out to several people who just couldn’t get into it, even those who love Dean Koontz. This book intertwines the stories of several characters, who all end up having profound impacts on each others lives, even though the connections between them started out quite remote.

It examines and intertwines several of the Quantum theories from which physicists and philosophers alike are looking at our understanding of reality. This book always inspires to me to learn more about quantum theory, so now I am reading Quantum Reality by Nick Herbert to learn more about it. Although dense, it is quite fascinating.

Dean Koontz himself admits that he takes giant leaps from the truth of quantum theory for the sake of the story, but he does present a new way to look at our reality that I find hopeful and enthralling.

Quantum Reality by Nick Herbert

One of the theories intertwined into this story is the many worlds interpretation, where for each place that their exists multiple outcomes a new parallel universe, identical in every way to this one is created where the other choice was made. Does this mean that in the other places I am, that I am an Olympic equestrian? an engineer? a single mother on welfare? Hmm. Makes you look at all the choices we’ve made in our lives in an entirely new way huh?

This is definitely one of the more out their of the quantum theories, but it is backed by science and gaining recognition as something to look into more as it answers one of the major unanswered questions in quantum theory, the quantum measurement problem. Exactly what this means is still way our of my realm of understanding, but I am working on it.

This is a book that inspires that imagination and the scientist in all of us, but it also contains a great story filled with murder, psychosis, family, generosity, loss, grief and love.

If this review has peaked your interest at all, then I highly recommend you suspend your current understanding of reality and plunge into this great novel.

One of my many TV weeknesses is Making the Band. I have been following Aubrey and Andrea since their first season and am still enthralled by the day to days of this group of girls. The boys, I could take or leave, other than I am digging on the old school R&B sound.

Tonight Puff went off on Aubrey for her look and I have to say that I totally agree. I think what Puff is trying to get at is that she just needs to be Aubrey and quit trying to pose so much. She just looks like she is trying way to hard. The big hair and bigger cleavage, the fake lashes and whatever is wrong with her face. Did she have surgery or bad lip injections? I don’t know what happened, but something is just off. She doesn’t look like herself.

I get that she’s growing up and changing and still finding herself. I totally get that and I have all the love for Aubrey, but she needs to find the authenticity within herself. Maybe she needs a little break, some time by herself and some space from all the glitz and glam.

Aubrey – Do some yoga, find your center and respect yourself. You Rock! Own it, not show it. You just don’t need all that crap.

I love math, I have always love math. I love it’s gracefulness and purity. I also love how it brings whole new realities into possibility. To look at the world in entirely new ways just gets me off.

A mathmetician in France, who works in four dimentional objects, has created a set of videos to teach the average person how to see in four dimensions. See, our eyes are limited by their ability to see in only three dimensions. He claims that he has learned to see in four dimensions and that we can too.

Check it out!

I can’t wait to give this a try. I will write it up in full when I have completed the program. This is so totally up my alley.

UPDATE: I know, I know, I’m late. Family in town. Building a deck. Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his running mate.

If you just absolutely must be the first one to know who the Obama VP is going to be (like I do), then you must visit the Barack Obama website and sign up to be notified by either text or email.

They will send you a text or email before it is publicly announced.

I don’t know how much of a jump we are really going to get though. I would put significant money on the fact that every news organization in the world is somehow on that list.

Oh well, fun anyway.

Find out Obama VP first via text message or email

In general, I have been sleeping much better lately, but now and again I just can’t seem to shut my mind off and it just whirls around and around flitting from this to that or sometimes spinning down into oblivion.

I have found several ways of alleviating this that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. I was talking with my fellow classmates and my instructor before yoga class last night about this very phenomena. I was commenting that I was up at 3 in the morning last week, really wishing I new what moves would help me get to sleep.

Turns out there are several that are very helpful. It turns out that having your head close to floor is very helpful and touching the floor is even better. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) is very restorative and helpful for calming the mind, relaxing you and making you better prepared to sleep. Combining this with a concentration on your breath and clearing your mind might be very helpful.

Prasarita Tadottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend) is also a great move. If you can get your head on the floor, even better. Try using a block under your head if you can’t get all the way down. When completely in this pose, it is pretty intense and supposedly all of the racing thought will just flow out of the top of your head and leave you alone.

One way that I attempt to get rid of the thoughts is to write them down. This really helps when you have tomorrows to do list in your head or a great idea for a new blog post that you don’t want to forget. Don’t let it swarm in your head, just turn the side table light on, keep a pen and pad next to your bed, and write it down. Poof, done. And as I learned last night, it also helps when you just can’t keep your mind from spinning on something that is bothering you.

I was having a hard time settling down last night as I had been pretty worked up most of the day and I just needed a release, so I blogged it and read it and rewrote it several times and by that time it was done and I was ready to sleep. I actually slept really well last night, if not for the number of hours I would have liked.

Another topic that came up at yoga class was savasana (corpse pose). I too find this helpful but as my instructor was saying, when the mind is really whirling, savasana is most likely enough. This is really helpful after you have released some of the thoughts and I practice this in bed all the time to help me fall asleep.

The key to savasana and why it is considered by many to be one of, if not the, hardest yoga pose that there is, is to shut off your thoughts. This is a very difficult thing to do. They creep in even when you are actively trying to keep them out. The key is to acknowledge them and then send them on there way, returning your attention to your breath.

This is really meditation, so I did a little search on meditation and found the Change blog and his article on how to meditate. It’s a pretty good article and made me think about all the ways that I use to turn off my mind, reminded me of the conversation I had at yoga class yesterday, inspired me to learn more about meditation and ultimately brought me to writing this article.

But even better, the original author of this blog (it is now a multi-author blog) spent a year looking for change and has documented it in his blog and ultimately in an ebook, which I downloaded and look forward to reading. From the titles of his most popular posts, the same ones ultimately gathered into his ebook, it sounds like he has accomplished many of the things I am looking to accomplish on this journey and I look forward to his insight.

The links to the asanas (yoga poses) above were provided by Yoga Journal. For each pose you are given a good image (not always easy to find), a full description and how-to, and also a wealth of information about the benefits and uses for the pose. Really great stuff. In addition to their comprehensive pose gallery, they have a whole section on home practice section (I can’t wait to try this one), and a tool to build your own practice. Pretty cool.

Well, I have had another very emotional day.  It’s amazing what small things can bring me to my knees these days.  Just yesterday,  I was feeling so good.  I was feeling strong, I was sleeping well (well better anyway), I was having fun with the kids, I felt in control and like progress was being made.  And today, I am back to a puddle of tears and anxiety.

Why is it that I allow something so inconsequential to get me so riled up?  Probably because it isn’t inconsequential.  Not because of the specific situation but because of the feelings of loss that it brings up in me.  Loss is a very sad emotion.  It’s one that I’m not sure I have ever fully addressed.

The good thing is that I am feeling the sadness, boy am I feeling it.  And it is all muddled with anger and resentment and the need to slug someone in the gut.  The problem with this kind of emotion is that it interferes with everything.

It seeps into all the little crevices of your life and start to mess with you.  It’s just wrong.  But it needs to be done.  Opening a nest of pent up emotion is a scary thing and not always the most pleasant for those that you love, but it needs to be dealt with.  I have no choice to but face it all and look it directly in the eye.  Be brave.  Be brave.  Be brave.

I also know what needs to be done to put all this current messy business behind me as well, but doing it is also pretty scary business.  I am wired for flight and turning to face my fears is not something I do with ease.  I am a person who has walked through life in fear.    Not any more.

Sometimes what needs to be done, just needs to be done.  Sometimes there is no salvaging it.  And sometimes, even if you could salvage it, that isn’t the right or best thing to do.  I am done with situations that are not healthy for me.  I am done pushing my true self aside to please others.  I am done feeling bad about who I am.  I’m just done.  I want it over with.  I am ready to move on.  Too bad that all comes with a bunch of ugly consequences.

Just for the record, this has nothing to do with my marriage.  Karli is my rock and I would be huddled in a corner right now if it weren’t for him.  He is everything a husband should be and so much more.  I wish everyone had the opportunity to walk through life with their soul mate.

Someone told me something really important once and I repeat it to myself often.

I have everything that I need and I am getting better and better every day.

I am grateful and hopeful and full of love.