Category Archives: Beatrix

Day #28-Pink

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Day #17 – Home

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I Am Light….and so are you.

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This beautiful song by India Arie was performed by Dr. Wayne Dyer’s daughter, Skye, acapella, at the recent “I Am Light” seminar that I attended with my friend, Shannon Kringen,  here in Portland.  I thought of another of my friends as I listened to these words… and was grateful for his teaching and his loving light.  As I listen to this song, I am thankful for the love that I receive each day, and I am reminded again, of how lucky I am.  There is only one spirit and one mind, and we are all part of this collective intelligence and love.  We are one.

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Bow Ties for Dogs??!! (Straight out of Portlandia)

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Bow Ties for Dogs??!!  (Straight out of Portlandia)

I have written about the food cart “pod” that is a couple of blocks from our house.  It is an amazing gathering of carts that serve gourmet quality international food selections on the cheap.  We love it, both for the food and the low prices, as well as for the diversity of the crowd that gathers there.  In addition to the food carts, there are also a couple of cool shops, one in a double decker bus.

My daughter, Sarah, her daughter, Ingrid, and I took a stroll there over the weekend just to see what was going on.  They usually have music on the weekends and sometimes jugglers or acrobats or other types of free entertainment that Ingrid loves.  This week, we met a nice guy named Josh who had his sewing machine set up at a little table and was making bow ties for dogs.  Said he makes enough to support himself, which you have to admit, is very cool.

See?  This is what I love about Portland.  When people are broke, they don’t just sit around and complain about the economy.  They invent ways to make money.  This is my own way of thinking.    Here is a little video that I shot of Josh.  You’ll probably get a kick out of it.  Looks like a scenario straight out of Portlandia:

 

Day #24 – 12 o’Clock

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Original photography by Stacy Alexander, ©2015 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

When Someone You Love Succeeds

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When Someone You Love Succeeds

I have to admit it.  Personal success feels great.  Each time I accomplish something that sets me one step closer to my goals, I feel elated.  However, that feeling pales in comparison to the emotions I experience when someone I love achieves success, be it a friend or a family member.  That’s right.  I take more joy in seeing someone I love succeed than I take in my own accomplishments.  For instance, yesterday, I received this email from my husband, John:

 

My Dearest Wife,

Early this morning,  I received the news that my “The Merchant of Pittsburgh: A Comedy” was selected to kick-off San Francisco Dramatists Guild’s  spring Footlights, staged-playreading series on March 2nd.

Attached is the invitation that will be sent out from New York in a few days.

Love to you,

J

SAN FRANCISCO FOOTLIGHTS – March 2, 2015 presentation.

Please join the Dramatists Guild for a staged-reading of John Freed’s

 

“The Merchant of Pittsburgh: A Comedy”

 

on Monday, March 2 at 7PM
Tides Theatre
533 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA

 

Play Synopsis:


“The Merchant of Pittsburgh: A Comedy” is set in an Equity-based, regional theatre in the late eighties and concerns a fed-up Jewish board member who takes over as acting artistic director in order to stage a Shylock-friendly production of “The Merchant of Venice” while being forced to confront his own set of racial and ethnic prejudices.

 

                        “A brilliant mashup of Shakespeare and August Wilson.”   Arno Selco, Ithaca College

 

 

John Freed’s Brief Bio:
East Coast native by birth, the high point of his acting career occurred at age seventeen playing the lead in “Kiss me, Kate.” He received a standing ovation for his fireman’s carry off-stage of  his co-star after her slap nearly knocked him out at the close of Act One.
Fast forward to teaching dramatic literature, especially Shakespeare,  at Penn State as well as being the theater critic for the “Erie Daily Times” and film critic for New York’s “OneWorld Magazine.” He adapted Richard Wright’s novella “The Man Who Lived Underground” as a radio play produced by the local National Public Radio station and co-wrote “When Shakespeare Was a Woman” while functioning as pro bono drama consultant for the artistic director of the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.
His own writing evolved further from developing a series of creative writing and new media courses at the University of St. Thomas in Texas and at Brandman / Chapman University here in the Bay area.   During this time he wrote  “Love me, Fuseli: A Play about Mary Wollstonecraft and her Circle of Friends” and “Figaro’s Follies” – a new adaption of  Beaumarchais’ “Le Mariage de Figaro” which had staged-readings by the EastBay Players in the fall of 2014.

 

He is currently working on the book and lyrics for a musical entitled “All Hallows at Hearst Castle” with composer, Jeff Dunn.

John bi-locates to Portland, Oregon where his wife, Stacy Alexander, is a graduate student, a professional writer and a mixed media artist.  His playwright website is http://freed98.wix.com/johnfreedplaywright .

 

Dramatists Guild’s San Francisco

(end)

My response to John:

To My Most Admirable Husband,
So, once again, a public acknowledgement and congratulations in the midst of many, my darling.   What an honor for your play to kick off the season!  There are insufficient words to convey how proud of you I am.  Each play you write is better than the one that came before it.   I enthusiastically encourage you to continue with your play writing, just as you have always encouraged me with my own creative endeavors.  It is with great happiness that I  look forward to seeing what you come up with next.  Oh….and “break a leg”  (figuratively…not literally)  🙂
Your loving wife,
Anastasia

Day #18- Bedside

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Original photography by Stacy Alexander, ©2015 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Are Flea Control Chemicals Killing Your Dog?

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Are Flea Control Chemicals Killing Your Dog?

Do you dose your dog for fleas every month?  Most monthly flea products contain pesticides, organophosphates and a wide array of other  toxic ingredients that have been linked with thousands of pet deaths and diseases. In November of the year 2000,  the Nation Resource Defense Council (NRDC) Recommended that EPA ban use of Orthophosphates in Pet Products.  The report stressed that the pesticides in flea and tick control products needed to be eliminated because they were killing our pets and posing risks to the owners that were applying them. beebe headshot

Another reason to give up these types of flea control treatments is the cost.  I have been picking up a prouct from Beatrix’s vet each month that does not contain organophosphates, but it costs a steep $30!  That can add up over time, so I went on the search for a natural alternative.  I found the answer in lemongrass essential oil.

Every time I take Beatrix to my daughter’s house, she comes home with fleas.  Sarah has two indoor-outdoor cats, and while they are delightful animals, they do tend to bring fleas into the house.  Sarah is diligent about keeping them at bay inside her house, but they still manage to hop onto her cats and come inside.  Fighting them is a constant battle. When little Beebs picks them up, she becomes absolutely miserable, so I have to treat her right away.

I did my research and learned that lemongrass is a natural repellent for fleas and ticks.  However, it must be used more than once a month, especially at first.  I began Beatrix’s treatment with it by adding some to her all-natural shampoo.  Mind you, this is an indoor dog, and she does not require frequent bathing, simply because she stays clean and has no distinct unpleasant odor.  However, I do keep a gentle, all-natural dog shampoo on hand for those occasions when bath time is necessary.  I use one that has oatmeal in it, since this calms irritated skin, and simply add a little lemongrass oil at bath time.  (Chihuahuas are noted for their skin issues.  So far, so good, with little Beebs.)

I recently received a sample of Dog Logic’s flea and tick shampoo,  and because it had lemongrass in it, I decided to give it a try during Beatrix’s last bath.  The shampoo smells really good without the addition of artificial scents, and it made Beatrix’s coat soft and silky.  The trick is to leave the lather on for 10 minutes before rinsing.  Beebs wasn’t thrilled about this aspect at all, since she hates baths in general, but I must say.  The fleas are gone and she is a much happier puppy than she was.

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Ok….for the bad news….This shampoo is expensive.  At nearly $30 for an 18 ounce bottle, it costs more than any other pet shampoo I had previously purchased.

The good news is that it only takes a couple of pumps of shampoo per bath, so the 18 ounces will last a long time.  This shampoo does not provide a rich, thick lather, but do not be put off by that.  It works….and it works well.  The ingredients in this shampoo are exceptionally high quality.  As a matter of fact,  the ingredients and price of this shampoo are similar to that of the  Bumble and Bumble shampoo that I buy at my beauty salon for my own hair!  However, the high price is worth it.  I assure you.

Between shampoos, I add a little lemongrass oil to a washcloth and gently swipe it over Beatrix’s fur.  I do not apply it directly to her skin, and I do not use a lot of it, but it works very well to keep fleas away, which is why I wanted to share this information with my readers.

If you use an all-natural flea preventative measure, please let me know what it is and how you like it and I will update this blog with the information.

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Last Update of the Year

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Last Update of the Year

I have been trying to make it over here to do an update before the end of the year, but this has been my first opportunity to do so.   First, let me thank my 590  wonderful subscribers and other readers for your continued support.  I appreciate each and every one of you and hope you have gained something from being a part of my life through this blog.   I wish each of you a happy and prosperous 2015.

As I approach the end of 2014, I have made some big changes in my life.  First, I have eliminated some unhealthy familial relationships that were dragging me down,  and have grown closer to other family members.  Both moves proved to be freeing and healing.

I have begun a regular meditation and yoga practice.  I am making art again.  I still have a four point in grad school and am slated to graduate this summer.   As for friendships….every single friendship that I had at the end of last year is still in place.  One, in particular, is stronger than ever, and I feel so blessed because of this. (4).

r     Rene Best musician

Life here has been a December whirlwind!  I took a couple of fun little trips…some that I can talk about, and some that I can’t.  However, my break from school proved to be no break at all.  I had a difficult midterm that took an entire day to complete, two discussion papers to write, a paper on women in leadership roles and a psychometric analysis of a psychological testing instrument used to determine levels of creativity.  Eeeee!  I still have two papers left to write before the fourth, but I’m fairly certain I will be able to complete them on time.  I have also been finishing up a lot of work projects that I had to finish by tonight.  Those are completed and sent to my editors, so I feel great about that.

The good news is that John is home, and we have been having the best time!  We took Ingrid Christmas shopping and to Peacock lane.

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We spent a quiet Christmas together at home, then went to our daughter’s house for gift exchange and a delicious dinner.  My son in law, who makes THESE  gorgeous knifes and teaches black smithing,  hand forged an incredible cheese knife for me. I am so proud of it!  (I love handmade gifts best of all!)   For the handle, he used exotic wood that had some naturally-formed cracks in it.  He ground up turquoise, suspended it in resin and filled the cracks with it.  The picture does not do it justice.  This is a gorgeous knife! He also hand carved a beautiful wooden spoon for me and gave them both to me in a nice wooden holder.  So talented, he is! Thanks, Nate!

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John wanted to do something extra special this year, so surprised me with a trip to Sun Mountain Lodge   up in the beautiful Cascades. What an incredible trip! It was cozy and romantic, stunningly beautiful and gave us the opportunity to get caught up after spending a long time apart.  We loved it there and want to go back in the spring.

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Met some friends there, and were able to parlay the journey into a side trip Seattle where our granddaughter, Maya, is visiting from the East Coast.  We were absolutely thrilled to learn that she plans to return to the Pacific NW.  We have missed her in the 5 months she has been gone!

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We stayed with our darling friends, Sheryl and Dylan and really enjoyed the company.  Sheryl is like family to us.  It was high quality, beautiful family time.  We visited and took Ings to the park.  We went out for dinner.  We went to an incredible display of Christmas lights.  It was so much fun.  I feel so happy just thinking about it.

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Much, much more has happened, but I haven’t the time to write about it all.  Tonight, we are going to join our friends, Toni and Peter, as we did last year, for dinner, drinks and dancing.  We’ll start the evening off at a little wine bar known as “Arrivederci” and then meet other friends in another location to ring in the New Year together.  There won’t be any redneck bars and plastic cups in the mix for this year,  but as my friend pointed out, I’ve always been more of a crystal stemware type anyway, so it all works out. 🙂  I know I’m loved.  I’m happy.

I’m lucky….and I know it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Be safe and have fun!

My Unruly Toddler

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My Unruly Toddler

For the most part, my chihuahua is a good girl.  She is completely house trained.  She is obedient.  She is smart….She does tricks……but when I try to talk on the phone.  Watch out!  She is just like a mischievous toddler!

She is not allowed to go into our bedroom unsupervised…but today, when I was on the phone, she did anyway.  One, by one, she dragged shoes out of my closet…socks from the hamper….and her toys, and set them at my feet until she had accumulated this nice pile right in front of me!

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I probably would have been irritated with her if she wasn’t so cute.

Ah….but she is cute.  She most certainly is.

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I’m so happy that I have her.

Well, that was fast…..

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Tonight marks the end of my 8-day between-term break.  I should be thankful that I had a break at all, because last year, I didn’t. …but I am still tired.  A few stressful incidents occurred during this break and I didn’t get to rest up as I’d planned….plus, I worked a lot, which I shouldn’t have done.

Rest is difficult for me.  I push myself very hard and feel guilty when I relax.  This has always been a problem.  If not for my daily meditation, I’d scarcely get any rest at all.

This term, I am taking a Women in Leadership course and one about Psychological Testing and Assessment.  I’ve already jumped the gun a bit and have started work on the assignments for the week to come.  Looks as though the material is going to be very interesting, so I look forward to it, but I am still very tired.  I think I needed a couple of weeks of sleep.

I celebrated a birthday yesterday.  My sweet husband wrote a lovely piece of poetic prose for me…about our marriage.  My darling best friend was especially attentive and loving.  I love him so much.   I had many, many calls, emails and lovely Facebook messages, and my daughter and her husband prepared my traditional vegetarian “pulled pork” sandwiches for me for dinner last night, so it was a good birthday.  I enjoyed its being low key, simply due to the exhaustion factor.

The pulled “pork” sandwiches are made with a vegetarian product called Quorn.  I love it.  It is quite delicious and is far better for the body than meat.  Quorn products are made from Mycoprotein,  a nutritionally healthful protein that is  naturally low in saturated fat and high in protein and fiber.  Nathan simmered shredded Quorn in the oven, in a delicious barbecue sauce with lots of peppers and onions and made a delicious red cabbage slaw that he served in the sandwiches themselves, with yummy homemade rolls.   He also made me a gorgeous apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust.  It was the most delicious pie I have ever had in my life!

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I played the piano while Ingrid and her cousin, Madeline, sang, and we sat around and talked and had the most pleasant evening I could imagine having.  I hadn’t really felt like celebrating at all, but it turned out so well that I’m glad I went.  So sweet of them to do that for me.

Today, the sun was shining, but it was cold and windy.  Had a very good telephone conversation.  Beebs and I went for a good walk, but I spent the majority of my time finishing up some articles and preparing my discussion questions for my Testing and Assessment class.  Feels good to have a bit of a head start.

I’m going to turn in early tonight.  Still fighting the last remnants of a cold and it has really zapped my energy.  Still…it feels good to be alive, and I am grateful to the universe for giving me this good life.

‘night, all.  xoxo

The Only Kind of Drama That I Like

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The Only Kind of Drama That I Like

Apart from a good book or film, the only kind of drama that I like is that which is provided by nature.  This was a glorious day, one filled with dramatic beauty, fresh air, exercise, wildlife  and a sense of peace and serenity.  After 10 of the most intense weeks I have experienced in years, I went out to explore another of Portland’s many treasures today, Oaks Bottom.

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When John and I left the East Coast, before we lived in the San Francisco Bay area, we moved to Portland for the first time, and lived in a popular SE neighborhood called, Sellwood.  It is a hood located about 10-15 minutes from where we now live.  In that neighborhood, there is a parking lot away from which runs a trail that leads down a gentle slope to what is known as Oaks Bottom.

Oaks Bottom is an elongated park, that parallels the Willamette river.  It  includes a large shallow lake on the east side of the Springwater Corridor.   The Corridor is a hiking and biking path that also runs parallel to the river between Sellwood and downtown Portland.   A 1-mile  hiking trail wraps around the east side of the lake beneath the bluff. A side trail connects the east trail with Sellwood Park which is located a block from our old house.  West of the north part of the refuge are two islands, East and Hardtack, that belong to the Ross Island  group in the Willamette.  Ross Island is the site of a heron rookery.

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I walked the trail and back twice, snapping photos along the way, but mainly just drinking in the incredible beauty that I am so fortunate to live so near. It was chilly out, so I wore a light jacket, but I ended up taking it off and tying it around my waist.  I did a lot of thinking while I was walking, and I felt incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I found myself smiling a lot…at the ripples in the water, the eagles and rabbits and the meerkats that I saw.   I felt grateful for my wonderful family, especially John, and for my best friend…for my other friends. I felt grateful to be in Portland and to have such a comfortable (but modest) home.  I felt grateful for the friendly folks I met on my way down the trail, and for the woman that told me to be on the lookout for eagles.  (I saw 4!)

Midway back on the second trek, when there was no one else in sight, a mighty wind picked up creating a little bit of a fright, truthfully.  I was down there alone, and it was *really* blowing!  Branches, leaves, brush….animals scurrying about.  It made me pick up my pace a little bit, sort of laughing at myself along the way.

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When I got home, my organic produce delivery had arrived and I was famished from the brisk hike, so I made myself a very early dinner of roasted spaghetti squash topped with sauteed peppers and Chanterelle mushrooms, some steamed broccoli and some carrots in hot/sweet chili sauce.  Beatrix scarfed down a couple of broccoli florettes without complaint as I sat out on the patio and enjoyed my dinner.  It eventually got too cold and windy to stay out any longer, so I came inside and started on the first chapter of my Testing and Assessment text book.

Tonight, I shall spend the evening alone in front of the fireplace, and I look forward to being obligated to no one.  John is teaching in Fairfield tonight, and we will chat after he finishes.    I might read some more or I might watch a film.  Whatever I do, I will do so happily and peacefully, having experienced today, the only kind of drama that I really enjoy.

Going in to the Home Stretch….

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Inasmuch as I had a lovely time in San Francisco a few days ago, going was probably not the wisest of decisions with all the school work I had on my plate in this past week…but alas, I did go…and I had a lovely time…but man.  The grueling work that slapped me in the face when I got back was not fun.  I did manage to finish, albeit I could not solve one of my stat problems, to save my life…but all-in-all, I think I did well.  I am seriously sleep deprived, and do not even want to walk by my computer, let alone stop and type, as I’m doing now.  ugh.  So. Tired.

 

So this week is the final week of the term.  Throughout, we have had to work on milestones that we will put together into final projects this week.  Mine are in good shape.  I just need to do some tweaking (as opposed to twerking) here and there.  Graduate school is the most labor intensive endeavor I have ever undertaken (with the exception of raising my children).

My daughter is sick right now, so she dropped Ingrid off with me for a Saturday night sleepover.  It was good that I was forced to take a little break, as by that time, I had worked so hard that I honestly felt like my brain was melting.  Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, John was able to enjoy Ingrid’s visit via Facetime.  It was great for the three of us to be “together” with his face up on my big computer screen as she entertained us with song and dance.

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We gave the puppy a bath, made a snack tray and watched Rachael Ray (the child is a ‘foodie’ and cooking fanatic who is actually quite talented in the kitchen)…and we played dress up with the box of costumes that my Auntie G. sent.  We had a delightful time, and she reported to her mom that “This was the best sleepover EVER!”

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We got up early yesterday and went for a puppy walk.  When we got back, I cooked oatmeal and sprinkled fresh berries on top.  She loved that…and she also wanted some of my homemade applesauce.  She is a Johnny Cash fan, and in the midst of eating the applesauce, broke into her own version of “Jackson”…..“We got married in a fever…started by some applesauce….”  The kid cracks me up.

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So…today is another day.  I met two friends for breakfast at Lauretta Jeans, walked the Beebs…and am now going to sign in to my classwork and start knocking out those projects.  As soon as I’m finished, I will have a break until the17th.  YAY!!!

The Beebs is Haute!

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Last night, I mentioned to my friend that I walk Beatrix at least three times a day, rain or shine.  He informed me that in a rainy climate like ours here in Portland, that might not be such a great idea, because chihuahuas’ ears are especially sensitive to the rain.  Ya learn something new every day!

Well, I fixed that!

I created a little haute hoodie for her out of an old sock….and I must say, she DOES look smashing!  Don’t you agree?  This will look riveting with the sweater arm coat that I made for her! Very chic! 🙂

beebs haute

UPDATE:
After I snapped the above-photo, I made some adjustments to the garment and made is less snug around her neck.  Then, we went out into the rain to try it out.  She HATED it…tugging and pulling and shaking her head….so I just took it off of her.  When we got back, I phoned Beatrix’s vet and asked her about the whole chihuahua wet ears thing.  “Ridiculous,” she said, “Chihuahuas thrive in wet weather. They also love to swim.”  Oh, well….c’est la vie.  🙂

Yoga by the Dawn’s Surly Light

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Yoga by the Dawn’s Surly Light

As I type this, I have begun my first day of the oil pulling that I wrote about last night.  I am using sesame oil rather than coconut oil, as I am out of the latter….and I am incorrectly doing it after breakfast, because I didn’t realize I would be having breakfast with my yoga group until I was already there.  Tomorrow, I will do it first thing before eating, but didn’t want to procrastinate about starting it.

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I feel energized this morning…happy and good.  A new yoga studio opened about a block away from me to replace the one that closed there about a year ago.  I signed up for a one-time “a la carte” class because I have had so much work to do lately that I feel my muscles will soon begin to atrophy if I don’t get them stretched out properly, so I decided to try a Yin Yoga class.  I wanted to try it out before I committed to regular classes.

This type of yoga is a great way to start off a cool, rainy morning.  I walked there in the dark, and although I was soaked through to the bone by the time I arrived, I enjoyed a relaxed hour of floor postures that were held from three to five minutes at a time. I found that assuming the postures was easy enough.  I wasn’t in as bad a shape as I’d feared. However, at times, it could be quite challenging due to the length of time postures were held.

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Afterward, I felt quite energetic and happy.  My body felt good.  Hung out and socialized a little bit over an East Indian breakfast of fresh fruit, raw almonds, a type of rice porridge and some marinaded coconut-curry tempeh.  Had a nice chat with the instructor who is, herself, East Indian, and enjoyed meeting a few new folks I’d not yet met from the hood.  Breakfast is not the norm there.  This was some kind of pre-dawn grand opening occasion.

Gee, it’s only 7:10 a.m. as I write this, and I feel like I’ve already put in a full day.   Took Beatrix for a walk when I got back, but frankly, it was a little scary doing so in the dark.  Next time, I’ll walk her on well-lit Division street if I walk her before daylight.  She enjoyed it more than I did.  Still raining out.

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(Ok….this oil pulling is getting annoying already.  I am feeling impatient with it, but I will keep going for the full 20 minutes…)

Today, I have to write two articles for a client and work on two papers for my Leadership class.  When I get those in shape, I have to prepare 4 discussion questions for both classes, which are papers, in and of themselves.  Then, I will attempt to struggle with my statistics homework.  These last few weeks, I’ve not finished my stat problem sets until the last minute as I put them off as long as I can.  They are so hard!!  I feel I have learned the SPSS software and how to manipulate it.  It is the data analysis and interpretation written in APA format that slays me.  Ah, well.  I just have to finish up this week and next week and then I can kiss statistics goodbye permanently, I hope.  The new term begins mid-November, and I don’t think my testing and assessment class will have any stat.  If it does, I will be sorely disappointed!

Ah, but before I begin any of that, I have to clean out the refrigerator to get ready for this morning’s organic veg delivery.  The delivery guy is a Cherokee with shiny black hair down to his waist.  One of these days, when I have time, I want to photograph him.  Very interesting looking person.  Good photography subject.

Anyway…That’s all the news there is to tell this morning.  Nose to the grindstone.  Have a good one!

1yogapastels

 

It Smells GOOD in Here!

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It Smells GOOD in Here!

When someone walks into our  house, it is not uncommon for them to say, “It smells GOOD in here!”  because…well, it does!  I keep the place very clean.  Plus, I have long been a fan of the power of natural scents, and have made sure that my house always smells of fresh flowers or all-natural incense or goodies baking in the oven.  I strongly dislike overpowering, fake, perfume-y scents…but truly do love a soft, gentle aroma.  Lavender is among my favorites.

Since I have been under so much pressure with school this term, I have used a lot of lavender, thanks to my friend, Genie, who sent me a number of essential oil diffusers to try out. The one I like best looks like this one (see below).  See that band of blue light at the top of it?  Users actually have the option to change that to green or pink…or a number of other colors.  It looks so nice in my pretty bedroom.

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Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood. I find all of these things to be true.  I find that using lavender oil in my diffuser results in a much- improved sleep quality, a more stable mood in the face of distractions, better concentration, and reduced anxiety.  I have been using NOW brand essential oils that I pick up for a reasonable price at New Seasons, my neighborhood natural foods grocer and am very happy with these.

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I have also been testing the energizing qualities of orange oil.  In fact, sometimes, I add a few drops of orange oil to the lavender.  The combination is heavenly!  The scent of oranges is said to help reduce the symptoms of depression, and I also find that it has a nice energetic quality, when used alone.  However, when used in combination with the lavender, I go into very deep, dream-filled sleep.  I truly love it.

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I have other essential oils on hand, but these two are my favorites.   One thing, though.  I do not let my puppy into the same room as the diffuser when it is going.  Chihuahuas are particularly sensitive to a lot of things, and I don’t want to irritate her skin or eyes.  So far, however, she does really well, once I turn it off, even though the scent does linger.  I conducted some research that says it is perfectly fine to use these two scents around pets.  However, I don’t want to take any chances with her, especially since she is only a year old.

My family and friends all love how my house smells.  It is cozy, neat, relaxing, and a good place to hang out.  I think the essential oils add another layer to all that to make it especially pleasant.

Doctors Without Borders Auction Preview!

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https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?auctionId=208357702  <——-click here!

Here is your chance to preview all 141 STUNNING pieces of mosaic art created by artists from all over the world in the Doctor’s Without Border’s Charity Auction that will be coming up in November.  There are SO many beautiful choices!  Proceeds go toward a most excellent cause, so make your selections and get ready to place your bids!  dwb mosaic 2014Four René

by Stacy Alexander

© Stacy Alexander – 2014 – All Rights Reserved

Seattle Here We Come!

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Late this afternoon, I completed my final assignments for Personality Theory class and now have a 4 day break before the new term begins. Man!  That class was difficult!  I’ve never written so much in my life, but I’m happy to say that I have a 4 point and my professor just recommended I publish my last paper, so I’m pretty pleased that all my hard work is paying off.

Tomorrow, I shall turn off my computer and put my phone away and hit the road for a couple of days of sweet R&R!

My daughter, Sarah and I are going to take 4 yr. old Ingrid to Seattle for 2 of those 4 days, in order to see Maya, my 17 year old granddaughter, shown here at Seattle’s famous Pike’s Market, fiercely armed with a pineapple!

ImageRene Best musician                          Rene Best guitarist

 

We’ll be leaving in the morning.  She is so psyched about this, and so are we!   On Friday night, we’re going to have a “slumber party” at one of my best friend’s beautiful house.   Sheryl, (shown here with our mutual friend, George, who now lives in Mexico) and I have known one another since we both lived in Texas….20 years?  Something like that.  She and her partner, Dylan, are metal artists.  Sheryl specializes in patinas.  Dylan welds.  They both do amazing work!

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Sheryl and  Dylan, have created the coziest, most fabulous  living space.  Their house is full of plants and art and is …well, just perfect, really… Comfortable, beautiful and with much character.   It is in a remote-ish area and there is plenty of time to spread out and relax while we bask in the pleasure of one another’s company.  This is Dylan with their now-deceased boxer, Buddha.  Image

Sheryl and Dylan now have two beautiful black boxers, Ella and Able.  Our little Beatrix will be no match for these two big guys.  I’m planning to keep them apart.  These two dogs are like thoroughbred racehorses, and every bit as graceful.  They’re both brilliant, too, and have no idea that they are dogs.

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 It has been a long time since I’ve had the time to just hang out and have fun.   Maya is bringing a friend, and we’re just going to relax, eat pizza, play cards, watch movies and have a good time.  I SO look forward to spending this time with my family there!!

 The coming school  term is going to be difficult.  Two complex classes, lots of writing and much time and energy will be expended.  This will give me time to relax and unwind a little…to recharge, as it were.  My daughter Sarah needs this, too.  It will be good.

Can you see the smile on my face??     Can’t wait!

smiling stacy