Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I am a yoga-doer but not the super spiritual kind. I am also not a yoga-as-strictly-workout person either.  I walk the line between the two.  I don’t want to chant om-shanti but I do want to be reminded to be in the now and breathe and focus on what I’m doing in yoga and not on what I did before arriving or what I need to do after. 

So, I am flexible.  I’m not amazingly flexible though.  I’m not double jointed and I can’t even do the splits but I hold my own in the flexibility category, physically that is.  Lately I’ve been thinking about how I can create mental flexibility.  This is a real challenge. 

According to the great and powerful Googles, mental flexibility involves “approaching situations that allows you to adapt your behavior so you can achieve the best outcomes. Increasing your mental flexibility allows you to become a better listener, a keener observer, a more skilled thinker and a more effective problem solver.”

I might have to put this in the life-long goal category…

Now I’d like to offset this serious post with something Sandy saw on a car the other day.  I liked it so much I asked the great and powerful Googles if there was an image and voila!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Amazing Colorado!

This weekend my friend Lisa invited me to share her birthday weekend backpacking with her in the West Elks wilderness in southwest Colorado.  It was BEAUTIFUL!

We were parked, packed up, and ready to hike by 3:30 pm on Friday.  We hiked in about 3ish miles and found an idyllic camping site.  It was a small meadow of lush greenery and dandelions surrounded by aspens and tall pine trees. 

This was the tent and its backdrop as we viewed it from our spot at breakfast:

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The early morning sun made for a great view over breakfast.

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All the dandelions in the little meadow were lit up with the sun:

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The birthday girl enjoying her coffee:

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After our leisurely morning meal we got on our way.  Our goal was Storm Pass, which was about five miles one way from our site.  The whole hike was stunning though, so it made the length manageable.  We were treated to views of unique rock formations, waterfalls, valley vistas, and interesting old trees.

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The view from Storm Pass was fabulous.  We had an excellent view of the Castles and the clouds made the view all the better.

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We were also surprised to see a good variety of wildflowers!  This one is an avalanche lily, it grows as snowfields recede.  We saw gobs of them. 

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The white and blue flowers below are two kinds of campion (I think), they are tiny.

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This is a budding flower and I have no idea what it is.

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This is a tiny little flower that looks like an orchid.

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These little sunshines are asters.

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This is a red columbine!  It looks like a firework.

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We got back to camp with enough time after dinner to sit by a stream nearby and enjoy the evening sun and some beverages.  There were some flowers around us, Indian Paintbrush, that were awesome in the light of the lowering sun.

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We packed up and hiked out the next morning (today/Sunday) and, guess what?, the morning light was stupendous!  This is the two of us before we set off:

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These are two shots of Lisa on the trail through the aspens:

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This was a parting view of the rock formations:

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I forgot!  There were lots of cows!!  Cattle are allowed to graze on public lands with permits and graze they do.  On the way in we were literally herding cattle down the trail as they ran from us and mooed loudly.   On the way out we only saw a few:

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The only downside to doing a trip like this fairly early in the season is that the bar is raised pretty high in terms of expectations of beauty – many places will pale in comparison.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mirror fights and misc

I often have internal conflict but these wee felines really take it too far. These are short videos and made me chuckle. Perhaps you too will gain enjoyment from them.




Now this is a bit of kitty mom kitten abuse but it’s quick and the kitten probably won’t suffer long-term psychological damage.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Thank goodness!  The BBC just came on NPR , which signals the end of the day’s fund drive and the start of actual, uninterrupted news.  Colorado Public Radio (CPR) does something witty called the “warp drive.”  This is a short fund drive in advance of the actual fund drive.  Supposedly, if you contribute and they meet a certain goal, then the real fund drive will be shorter.  Well, darn it, we contributed during the warp drive and it still seems long! 


And they are not entertaining.  I have the feeling that the CPR staff running the fund drive think they are hilarious and entertaining the listeners, but they are wrong.  If only they put Cookie Monster on instead – that might be entertaining.


Speaking of Cookie Monster, there are some funny pictures on the interwebs of the CM. 

Like this one:


And this one:


I hope the fund drive ends soon…

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Messenger Born on the Fourth Passenger

This rainy weekend was fairly productive for me.  I got my hand wash laundry and ironing done.  I also baked some blueberry bread, ran errands, read some of my library books, went for two short runs, did “warm” yoga, cleaned the bathroom, and other things I can’t remember. 


Let me jump back to that “warm” yoga before I move on.  This yoga class was not just warm it was freaking hot!  The gym makes a distinction between warm and hot classes.  Anyway, I think someone hit the “hot” button instead of the “warm” button.


I also watched three movies.


1) The Messenger (2009):  Good – worth seeing.  US citizens are sheltered even from seeing the caskets of the dead coming back from the current “wars.”  This movie takes it a step further and actually shows you the reactions of the loved ones who must be notified, even though this is dramatized.  At the same time you hear and understand the story of someone who was there, injured, and returned in one piece – physically.  Oh, I also thought Woody Harrelson did a great job but that Samantha Morton was underutilized.


2) Passengers (2008) – Horrible, avoid it. I was surprised at the cast – Patrick Wilson (his role in Little Children was well done), Diane Wiest, Clea DuVall – why did they choose to be in this movie?  Anne Hathaway was not the right lead.  


This is the Netflix description:

After a plane crash, a young therapist, Claire, is assigned to counsel the flight's five survivors. When they share their recollections of the incident some of them say it included an explosion that the airline claims never happened. Claire is intrigued by Eric, the most secretive of the passengers. Just as Claire's professional relationship with Eric blossoms into a romance, the survivors begin to disappear mysteriously. Claire suspects that Eric may hold all the answers and becomes determined to uncover the truth, no matter the consequences.

I’m not sure what drew me to this particular movie but I wish it hadn’t.


3) Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – Yep, looks like a classic, though cheesy in several part (esp. the beginning 15 min).  I never saw this around the time it came out and it’s been on my list since I watched those Academy Awards documentaries.  Ron Kovic’s life was adequately portrayed as a long, arduous, and sad, but palpable, journey.


It was interesting seeing this movie so closely after The Messenger.  Totally different times and reactions to the two wars.  I kept wondering why there isn’t more reaction now like there was then, in the protests of the Vietnam War.  But, then, what have I done to protest the recent “wars”?


There was a big surprise though - Tom Cruise seemed to actually act!  He received an Academy Award nomination for this movie but did not win.  The cameos by Lilly Taylor, Willem Dafoe, and Tom Berenger, and others were interesting to see. 


Monday, June 7, 2010


I have had allergies since the year 2000.  I didn’t recognize them as allergies until 2006.  Until then I just wondered, golly, why do I get so many sinus infections and colds?  A mere 10 years later I finally took an allergy test and found that I’m allergic to most things. 


After the allergy test and after trying to affect positive change in my allergic condition through environmental factors (pillow covers, keeping bedroom windows closed at ALL times, not going outside between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, etc.), my allergist and I decided that “desensitization” shots were the ticket.  This involves shots 1-3 times per week until I’ve had 30 shots.  After that it’s just “maintenance” shots – one per week. 


I actually get two shots each time.  In my left arm I get all the pollens – trees, weeds, grasses – in the right arm I get the rest – dog, dust, mold, etc.  After receiving these shots I must remain in the allergist’s office for 30 minutes each time.  That is to make sure I don’t have a reaction.  A reaction, however, can happen anywhere from 5 minutes after to several days after.  I am now supposed to carry an “EpiPen,” which is an auto-injector that administers epinephrine.  This should be used in the event that I have an anaphylactic reaction.  If my co-workers find me on the ground passed out, not breathing or having difficulty breathing then they are to administer this EpiPen (see photo below – it can be self administered) and then call 911.



So, today I dropped off the prescription for the EpiPen and picked up some essentials of an allergy sufferer (as well as other random bits).  As I was emptying my bag of waxed dental tape (2 for $1.99!), gum, Zaditor, and Alavert, I started thinking about the strange names for these medications.  Zaditor is an antihistamine eye drop (works wonders) and Alavert is an antihistamine in general (for eyes, nose, etc.).  I am also on Palgic, which is a prescription antihistamine.  I’m sure it must have something to do with the chemical compound but, really, Alavert!


I never wanted to be on all of this stuff but suffering allergies is pretty debilitating.  I mean really – there is no way that I am going to stay indoors between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm all summer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Burning Plain

My man was camping somewhere last night and I took the opportunity to watch a movie that he may not be interested in seeing: The Burning Plain
The Netflix description:
Charlize Theron plays a depressed, sex-obsessed restaurant manager in this moody, fragmented drama -- screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut -- that weaves together four seemingly unrelated stories separated by time and space. A New Mexico housewife (Kim Basinger) begins a torrid affair, two teens mourn the death of their parents, and a young girl tries to mend her life in a Mexican border town.

I don’t recall this movie being in the theaters but I think it must have been.  I mostly enjoyed it.   The way that the stories melded into one was compelling.  It’s not a surprise from this writer, who also wrote 21 Grams and Babel, both of which involve tragedy and seemingly separate lives intersecting.

I learned that the cinematographer was the same as the one for There Will Be Blood, which explains how the locations were so full of life almost as to be a character themselves. The contrast of the soggy, ocean-side life of Charlize Theron’s character and the Kim Basinger character’s southwestern life spoke volumes about their situations. Basinger’s character was living a lie in broad daylight but also her situation was a plain, dusty old life that was breezing by her before the affair.  Theron’s character was confused, depressed and muddled.  The climates really complemented the characters well.

This movie was not well received by the critics but, as I think I’ve mentioned, I’m no critic.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GC Myers

I found out about this artist in Alexandria, Virginia, during a visit about 10 years ago.  Every since then a postcard of a tree painting by G.C. Myers has been on our refrigerator.  Though not as whimsical as some of the other art I’ve enjoyed, the bold, rich colors and elements of nature really draw me in.

I follow the blog and enjoy the art that is available online.  Here are a few I like: