Monday, June 29, 2009

Bikram Yoga kicked my A@#$!!!!

I drove to Seattle last weekend for a family BBQ. I had been looking forward to Friday evening because I planned to attend my first Bikram Yoga class. I have been intimidated by 'Hot Yoga' and so when my sister Carrie said she had started the classes, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to be gently introduced to this type of yoga. I started practicing yoga about 4 years ago when my friend Erica invited me to a class in Corvallis. The Yogi who taught the class had studied Iyengar Yoga in India and I was floored by how wonderful Yoga made me feel both physically and spiritually. It was actually those first yoga classes that made me wonder how I could provide that same feeling of centered freeness for people with dementia. It was life changing really. Thanks Erica!

Iyengar is my favorite type of yoga, but any combination of Hatha yoga moves and meditation work for me. I think hands down that meditation is the hardest thing I have ever tried. Even harder than Golf! We just aren't programmed to let go of our heads and concentrate only on our breathing sounds. It is tough!

Bikram Yoga is comprised of the following 26 poses. Pretty much you go through two sets of each of these poses in a really hot room-- 105 degrees hot-- over the course of 90 minutes.
So here is my opinion about Bikram Yoga: I was very happy to have some familiarity with some of the poses. It definitely helped increase my comfort level in a very physically uncomfortable environment. For about the first 30 minutes, I felt pretty good about the class. I was sweating, but not feeling bad and excited about how the heat was positively influencing my flexibility. Minutes 30 through 60 I was starting to feel like my insides were dangerously hot. I was focusing on my poses and in the meantime didn't realize how lousy I was starting to feel. The last 30 minutes were Hell! I was feeling dizzy, woozy, and remember looking over at my sister wondering how much longer we had left? I remember thinking, "Geez, this pose is much more enjoyable when I don't feel like I need to vomit"!   After taking a long break from practicing yoga, I always feel crappy after my first few times back, but the feeling I had from Bikram Yoga was about 100 times worse! Good thing my sister drove, because I had to go back to her house and lay on the couch for approximately 60 minutes before I could get my butt off her couch! 

Here is the funny thing-- the next morning I was SO SORE in such a wonderful way and I felt fantastic. I think I did sweat all those toxins out of my system and despite the extreme lousiness I felt the night before, I wanted more. There is a Hot yoga place in Sellwood and I think I might have to go soon!

Thanks Carrie for going with me (I'm a big wuss), paying for my session as a b-day present, and driving my sick butt home! I hope to go again with you soon!

prepare yourself for extreme cuteness!

Last Wednesday I made a trip to Corvallis to meet Miss Lauren Riley! I have blogged in the past about Beth and Robin expecting, and let me tell you, they have a beautiful baby girl! I drove down there for the entire day and was so content catching up with Beth ALL DAY LONG and taking my turns (several turns) holding her cuteness. She is so cute, and perfect, and smells like baby, and I loved every minute of my time with her, Beth and Robin. 
Her little baby legs!
Daddy and Lauren- Robin is a natural with this little one.Cuteness!!!!
Beth and Baby Lauren. They are two peas in a pod. They look just like each other and with Beth as her Mommy, this baby will conquer the world!
Big Blue Eyes.
Yeah, I was in heaven holding this little one. I'm hoping to make monthly visits to see her grow and also spend quality with Mom! Thanks for the great day (and the BBQ dinner Robin)!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

so tired.....

Last weekend I had a 3-day (Fri, Sat, & Sun) addiction pharmacology training for my substance abuse certification. The trainers were hilarious and the material was fascinating. I'm exhausted because I have been working several days in a row, and lately my program has been full of crises. I have tomorrow off and am going to drive South to Corvallis to meet Beth and Robin's newest family member, Lauren Riley. I can't wait to meet her and I'm excited to see Beth (and maybe Robin) too!

If I had more energy I would list the most interesting things I learned this past weekend. I'll get to it, just not tonight. Instead of using my brain, I'm going to get back to Last of the Mohicans on . Great Movie!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Horsey time

It is horse show time again! I drove 20 minutes south to Wilsonville to see Angie ride horses at her annual horse show. It is always a very busy time for her, because she is the go-to do-it-all girl. She makes the horses look beautiful by braiding their hair, cleaning them, medicating them, etc. and then she rides them in the competition. She's awesome!  

I couldn't resist. I had to take a picture of this cute little Jack Russell Terrier puppy. Her name was Grace Kelly and I played with her for about 30 minutes. Horse shows are great dog places. Baby is still on the skittish side, but she fits right in as a barn dog. 

It was great to see you Angie! See you in a few weeks!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Oh Geez.... How do I even start this post? Three words- SO MUCH FUN!!! 

I had the best time hanging with my brother, his son and all his buddies this past weekend at Sand Beach, Oregon. I completely understand my brother's obsession with ATV's now. I am so thankful that he was so generous with letting me borrow his ATV especially since he had the most desirable ATV of all. I felt like I was driving the Hot Rod.  His little engine had so much get up and go that I was able to easily catch up with other ATV's on the beach.. I can't really explain how exhilarating it was to ride on the sand. I ride my motorcycle almost every day, but there was definitely something more playful and unleashed about cuttin' loose, doing donuts, sprinting up a very steep hill.... I have been at work all day and all I can think about is how to get my next ATV fix. 

I hope this urge simmers down soon. I certainly don't have the funds to be adopting new hobbies. I guess I will just look forward to next years trip. I have posted some pics from this years trip. 

Dave and Will hitting the beach on day 1. Will and his little 'mini' ATV were so cute!My first ride on the ATV.
Dave's awesome dog Lucy. She and Baby spent some quality time together in the truck. 
I love this picture! Wish I could wiggle my nose and be there right now!
My brother is the best Dad! His little boy idolizes him and it was so great to be around both of them. Words can't express how cool I think my brother is. 
Baby and Lucy- in the truck again!!
Dave taking his boy for a walk down to the water.
We had bonfires on the beach each night after dinner. It was perfect.
My brother the cook. I don't usually eat bacon and the grease that accompanies it, but this weekend I had one of the best egg, bacon and cheese sandwiches I have had in a long time. I love bacon.
I had to capture this face!
Dave taking Will for a fast ride!
One of the guys had a motocross bike that I rode for a short while. It wasn't fun though. Trying to keep it upright was a real workout. I rode it for about 10 minutes and felt successful because I DIDN'T eat sand. I'll stick with 4 wheels in the sand.
My rad brother doing pop-o-wheeley, I mean a wheeley. 
It looks like he was going to fall off here, but he got it upright again. Scary!
Will sitting on a 'big boy' ATV eating an apple next to the fire.
This was me charging up a hill.
Loved this peek-a-boo sunset!
So the three of us slept in the same tent. Can I just say that I had so much fun with these two guys! It was also kind of funny because I don't spend a ton of time with my brother, but found that we have some of the same mannerisms and preferences. For example, we brought a lot of the same beverages and snacks. We also seemed to laugh at the same time with very similar sounding laughs. I love my brother and this trip made me want to hang out with him more. He is that quiet guy in the group that everyone looks to for guidance and answers, yet he can gracefully put someone in their place when they are out of line. He is humble and consistently fair with every decision. He is an amazing human being.
On Sunday I drove 20 minutes south to Pacific City (my favorite spot on the Oregon Coast). I made a pretty sorry attempt to surf on Sunday afternoon. *** Note to self ***  ATVing and surfing do not go well together. I was SO sore from riding I could barely lift my hands above my head. Turns out you need to hold on real tight to not fall off the ATV when you are cruising on bumpy sand and this causes great discomfort in the back and arm muscles. I surfed for a little while and then found that napping on the beach in the sun was a better way to spend my time. 

I have to stop with these fun weekends. They are making my workdays inch by at a slugs pace.  Oh to be a millionaire-

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two things--

First- it is 11:30 and I just got home from the Brandi Carlile concert. She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Did I mention that she went to Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, WA about 10 minutes from where I grew up? Yep! We are practically best friends... No, not really. But I love watching her sing. Amazing Lyrics-- Amazing Voice!

Second- I wanted to share a quote that I decided is a great motto for my life. I was at the gym earlier this week and caught about 30 minutes of Regis and Kelly while I was running on the treadmill. Alan Alda was on the show and he said this: "Life is uncertainty- so why not try to ride a board on it?" I don't know if he likes to snowboard, surf or longboard on smooth asphalt, but when he said that, my ears perked up and I felt a connection to Mr. Alan. The funny thing is that I never really had a fondness for *M*a*s*h*. Thanks for the inspiration Alan Alda!

Exhausted and ready to shut my eyes!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I really wasn't going to blog about this.........

......but, what the heck. Why not?

If you are offended by the male or female reproductive anatomy - please stop reading now. 

If you are comfortable with penises and vaginas, read on.

This post evolved from a little gag gift that Heather and I have put to good use since we moved in together. The magic gift was a baking pan in the shape of a penis. I know-- it is seems a bit childish, but we get a good laugh by creating different treats with our new bakeware. 

Our original plan was to have people over for a housewarming party with goal of using up all the food that we had both brought with us from our previous residences. You know, the boxed starchy side dishes, dried beans, ramen soup, canned vegetables, etc. We wanted our pantry back! Then we wondered which of those foods we could prepare in our new bakeware for a themed party? Heather labeled it 'the phallic foods festival of '09'. Then Erica suggest the P and V party with the idea of including the anatomy of both sexes. My goodness it got out of hand and before we knew it, we had an apartment full of people eating great food. 

I felt like I needed to post this because my roomie and her boyfriend make fantastic food with special attention given to the presentation. The following pic captures the detail Heather put into her cheese plate. 
This cheese plate included a Chevre, Colby and blue cheese. It also had olive tapenade, blueberries, dried figs and dried kiwi fruit. 

Erica and Dave brought strawberries and cream.
I prepared a veggie plate (I can't look at this pic without giggling**blush**blush**).
Heather was able to use the male inspired bakeware to make both angel food cake and a jello mold. 
We all sat around the table eating and having some good laughs.
Heather's boyfriend Matt made one of his delicious salads with dressing from scratch. He did manage to actually use something from our pantry. Hearts of Palm from a jar I bought at Costco about 2 years ago. Yay for freeing up pantry space!

So Yeah.... This post is a bit awkward, but it was all in good fun. and just so you don't think the V's were under represented at the party, we had bunt cake, red pepper vaginas, Pigs in a blanket with both body parts..... There were all kinds of human body creations. 

We should celebrate our body parts... right? I think this is part of the 30's thing. I definitely feel that I'm growing more comfortable with myself and my body as I grow older. At this rate maybe I'll be a stripper by the time I'm 50? Bad Idea.... I know.... I'll pass on the stripper thing!

Off to the beach tomorrow with my brother, his oldest boy and a ton of my brother's guy friends. Should be fun! 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Table Rock Wilderness

Yay for Backpacking! Nurse Betty (we work together with the oldies) and I embarked on a short two-day trip to Table Rock Wilderness. It is about 45 minutes south of Milwaukie and one of my new favorite outdoor destinations. Eventhough it was foggy and rainy for our ascent up to Table Rock, it was still a beautiful hike full of wonderful things to look at. Because I am obsessed with photography, I took the liberty of posting a bazillion photos..... all from a two-day one-night trip!
This was at the beginning of our hike.
The trail definitely had it's steep parts. The trailhead sign was missing, so we hiked more than we had planned- about 8 or 9 miles total and an elevation gain of 1500 feet. Not a super hard workout, but we over packed hoping to get some extra training in. There was also no water, so we packed in all our water, and wine of course!!! The trip down was MUCH lighter.
Loved these JuJu Bee Mushrooms!
I like bugs.
Baby posing at a viewpoint about half way up.
There was a huge landslide that we had to traverse across. It was full of snow and large boulders. We were happy to get passed that point....both times.
Once at the top, it was a bit disheartening. We knew there was so much to see, but the fog was just too dense.

I was imagining what my excitement would look like if Mt. Shasta was behind me in this pic. Apparently on a clear day you can see From Mt. Rainier (WA) to Mt. Shasta(CA)! We will be back on a clear day for a day hike to prove this theory.
I heart Mountain House dinners and wine from a cardboard box while camping. So does Betty.
Betty's camera takes awesome panorama photos!
Wish I could build a log cabin on this spot- What a view!
Happy Ladies about to hike down.
Say Cheese!
The trail down the begins.
Loved the fresh air.
This tree photo was taken especially for Dr. E.G.S!
Mini-pine cones.... I know I take too many pictures!
So these photos do not do this rock formation justice! The thick fog kept us from seeing the source of the major landslide we climbed over on the way up. Day two was much clearer and we were able to see the entire Table Rock. It was impressive! It is difficult to capture the magnitude of this rock. It was massive and the rocks fell so geometrically. I swear if I didn't love old people I would be a geologist. The earth is awesome!
Betty took this photo with me in it for perspective.
Another panoramic shot by Betty.
And of course, a cheesy shot to finish up with.  It was hard to go back to work today. All I could do was sit around and daydream about my next life as a forest ranger. Luckily, I'll be back outside next weekend with my Brother Dave and Nephew Will on the dunes on a 4-wheeler. Seriously- when did I get so lucky? Lovin Life right now fo' Sure!