Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blogger fail

I apparently never took a finished-pie picture...but I took a half eaten pie picture, does that count?!



I hope it counts...to make up for my failure at taking pictures WHILE baking. Because, let's be real, there's enough going on around the holidays to (hopefully) excuse not taking pictures!

Hope you had a great weekend! I'll be back with a new and exciting (?) post sometime this week!

Friday, November 28, 2014

I promised you pie...

So you shall have pie!

This year for Thanksgiving my cousin requested desserts, so I prepared three apple and black currant pies.

Personally I felt like it was a big deal because I'm not sure I've ever made a whole pie (of any kind) from scratch before. And I always hear about how laborious it is...so I put on my big girl pants and got to it.

Okay, confession. I was totally going to use a pre-made crust. When I make pie (usually not-fruit-pie) that's what I do. Then my mom was all, "Oh, you can use Auntie's recipe, I have it right here!" and I thought, '*grumble*grumble* okay fine I'll make the crust *grumble*grumble*'

So now I'll take you on this journey with me. We'll start with the filling.


My grandma gave me a peeler/corer/slicer a few months ago. This was the first chance I've had to use it! Yahoo! So I PC&S (peeled, cored, and sliced) 26 apples!

I just wanted to give you super detailed pictures of this process.

Almost there!

Yahoooooo it's done! PC&S'd then cut down the middle.

All done! Spices and thickeners added and left to sit for a bit (okay, I happened to need some other stuff for the pie - like currants - so it sat for like 6 hours. When I made the pies I scooped it in with a slotted spoon so all the liquid wouldn't come with).

Next came the crust! The *hard* part, if you will. Though I will say...many of the things people consider *hard* when it comes to baking aren't really hard...they're time consuming. Sure, knowing what pie dough should feel and look like can be considered a challenge. That said, I only know what I do from watching someone else. (And this dough turned out pretty scrumptious...)

As my mom suggested...I used my Auntie's recipe. This recipe is very, very old. And kind of hard to read. And kind of recipe-vague. Here:


So that's 12oz self rising flour, 4oz butter, and (you're reading that right) 2oz of lard. And then just add cold water until it's mixed. ;o
And yes. I used lard:


To find lard...go to an ethnic store.

But I got it made! Keep reading.



Flour and fats blended, time to add the water (and since that's when it got messy, that's when the pictures stopped :P).
***                               ***                               ***

Later that night (after seeing Mockingjay, which was awesome, btw!) I cam home and took care of the rest of the pie making. I actually forgot to take pictures when I first finished the pies - I had a guest over, so there's my excuse. This ended up not mattering (to me, anyways) because I made the pies on Sunday and didn't need them until Thursday, so I froze them immediately after assembling them. And that is where the story continues!



This is what I pulled out of the freezer. A nicely wrapped, frozen pie. It thawed in the refrigerator overnight, and when I was ready I took it out and preheated the oven to 375.

Ta-da! Here's what I'd done! Rather than mess around with a traditional top crust (and the dreaded fear of cracks!) I cut out some leaves and a turkey and slapped them on top. Very festive, I think.

This was after adding the egg/milk wash. I used an egg yolk and about a tablespoon of milk whisked together and brushed on. Then I sprinkled some sanding sugar on to give it a bit of shimmer.
Crust wrapped up and ready to go in the oven!

I baked this bad boy for 50 minutes - the first 30 with the foil on (rotating 180 degrees after 15 minutes), took the foil off for the last 20 minutes (and turned again after 10 minutes so things browned evenly).


Admittedly, the pie was difficult to slice. But it looked pretty and everyone got little pie-crust leaves so who cares ;)

It was very, very good.

Now if only I can find the picture of the finished product....

Hmm. I'll have to look for it and post it later (seriously, I'm so bad at this pictures thing!).






Thursday, November 27, 2014

I believe I believe I believe I believe no matter what you do...

Everything that you say, becomes the things that you do, remember what you put out there is building you up, or is breaking you down...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.




(Pie tomorrow, I promise.)



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Teddy Bear One

Today really started as a LOUD MUSIC day. Not good for your ear drums when you work in a cubicle. But sometimes I just need noise to drown out the thinking.

Fortunately, after a good conversation with my mommy, things are turning tides a bit. So I decided to post something a long time coming...my first teddy bear!

Alright, so it's not my FIRST teddy bear. In actuality, I have an obnoxious (and slightly embarrassing) number of stuffed animals. I have so many, and yet I can't fathom giving them away. If there is one thing I hoard, it is stuffed animals.

BUT...I've never made one (well...not beyond Build-A-Bear).

Then my godson came along. When I went to England in October I got to meet him FOR REALS for the first time. I wanted to give him something really special that I knew he would love, something he could cuddle with, and something with a lot of meaning to me as the giver.

So I made him a teddy.

Even better: I KNIT him a teddy.

I haven't done a knitting post yet, so I'll just say that I do really, really love knitting. Since getting a full time job I haven't had quite as much time for it (or rather, as much time to knit the things I want to knit) but I made an exception to get this little guy done.

I used the Caribou Critters Bear pattern using HiKoo Caribou yarn in Blue Jeans and Cream, held together with HiKoo Simplicity in Sahara Sand and Nile Blue (and yes, I got it all from Jimmy Beans Wool). I also gave him a cute little crocheted heart made from some worsted I had laying around (picture below).

So here he is...my Little Blue Bear, who I know has a wonderful and loving home, and little arms to cuddle him:




Hello, cutie! You look like you're ready for trouble!


This one is my favorite :)

I debated sewing on his facial features (eyes and nose) but opted to use safety eyes and a nose instead, and to not sew a mouth on. All great decisions, I think! I did consider that the recipient is under two and safety eyes are for children 3+, but I made sure my friend was aware of this fact!
Last but not least...his little heart. Proof that this whole little bear was made and stuffed and stitched and fluffed...with love :)
And that's him! I love him, and it was hard to give him away, but he's in good hands. Here's my Ravelry Project Page if you need more info.

Hopefully I'll have a Teddy Bear Two post to put up soon (because there is a second, unfinished bear of another making in my craft bin!).

That said, if not a teddy bear post there will very soon be a Minecraft pillow making tutorial. I just have to finish the darn thing! I would LOVE to have it done by Monday...but things like this never go to plan!

I think that's all for today! If I don't manage to post tomorrow (though there may be a little something about pie...) then I hope that whoever is out there reading from the US has a great Thanksgiving! Feel free to comment, I'd love to know how you like the bear, or if you've made something similar before!




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hey guys.

What's up?

You remember that rushing-river post from two weeks ago?

Feeling's back! But now?

I'm excited.

Details to follow, I'm excited to share!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Charitable Baking.

You know how I said I'm happier in the mornings? Well, the last few days on my drive to work I've being singing in the car. 

:-o

So out of character! But I secretly kind of love it.

Now to completely segue away from my early morning chipperness, it's time for me to admit...I am awful about taking pictures. Especially when I'm baking.

This is only important because last night I thought it would be a great idea to blog about what I was baking...and I all but forgot to take pictures.

It's probably because I'm a "marathon" baker and I know I have a lot to do without a ton of time to do it in, so stopping to take pictures never crosses my mind. I need to get better about it.

For example, last night I made some cookies for a bake sale at work today (to benefit the Children's Adovcacy Center) and I definitely meant to take pictures during the process and completely forgot. So here's what I have (and it's not much, please pardon the terrible lighting):


This was the dough for what I'm calling my "painted" Pumpkin Spice cookies. I wanted it to be fall colors, and so I dyed one quarter of the dough each of the following: maroon/red, orange, brown, and green. Then I separated each quarter into eighths before smushing them together to refrigerate. 
And ta-da! This is how the "painted" cookies turned out. They're sugar cookies with some pumpkin pie spice added, topped with sanding sugar before baking. Nothing crazy, but they tasted great!
Another picture of the painted cookies. I think the fall-color theme I was going for turned out pretty nice!

Another terrible picture, taken at my desk (just now). I made gingersnaps too!
Now I WISH I had a better picture than that, but these gingersnaps are delicious. Everything about them is wonderful. The dough is delicious (yes, I eat raw cookie dough and I don't care what you think!) the cookies are good straight out of the oven, or the next day when they truly live up to the name gingerSNAP.

I was smart enough to scan the recipe last night before I went to bed, and I have it for you now! Just one note - my mom specifically asked if I made them with margarine, and when I said no she said they probably wouldn't turn out right. Well, she was right. They turned out better (her words, not mine!). So here is Mrs Westergren's Ginger Snap recipe - the only recipe I have ever made, because why mess around with the good things that are just handed to you?


So that's that! Some charity baking, rolled in and sprinkled with sugar. And tonight I look forward to eating the few oddments I saved :)



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bumpy start, but also Yoga.

This is how today started (an IM to a friend at work):



I was kidding with that last bit (kind of).


It ended up going okay...my original problem meant I needed to self-submit something to IT, and when I went to do that it turns out I don't (yet) have access to the self-submission thing. The guy who helped me submitted tickets for both, woohoo! Less work on my part and only 20 minutes on the phone.

This also happened:




Clearly the two of us (my computer and I) have issues with one another sometimes.

Now, all that aside, I want to update on morning yoga.


I've been doing really well. I started on Nov 3rd, so that makes this the 3rd day of the 3rd week (I swear that was not intentional! I just now realized when I looked at my calendar!). I have so far only missed two days!


First, a round up:



  • I noticed I am happier and have a more positive outlook - I really am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, but I feel like I complain wayyyy less
  • I have more energy (generally in the mornings)
  • I'm less achey and tight in general (not that I was super achey before)
  • My flexibility is definitely improving, even when I feel "tight" I can just about put my palms on the floor from standing with slightly bent knees - during "Stretch and Flex" at work today someone commented on my flexibility (ego boost, haha).
  • I'm getting stronger. Not by leaps and bounds, but by enough that I don't fatigue so quickly. Hopefully this changes as Cam and I hit the gym, at which point I think focusing on maintaining flexibility and mindfulness through yoga will be my target goal.
  • Headaches are pretty non-existent - I had one from sleeping funny the other day, but that's it.
  • My blood pressure has normalized!
So if you recall my original goals (to lower my blood pressure and minimize headaches) this morning yoga thing has certainly helped!

To go into specifics (in case anyone is interested or looking to start something like this):

I kind of threw the established Ekhart yoga plan out the window. I like a lot of things about their site - there is a ton of information and access to a huge number of videos and routines. They also have multiple instructors - 13 "in house", plus guests. Now, I haven't done many of the beginner videos (I've been doing yoga long enough that I consider myself in the "intermediate" phase) but I feel like their instructors are used to a more experienced audience. Sometimes the flows go faster and with less instruction than I would like, and I don't always feel like enough time is allowed to get the full benefit of certain poses.


Another reason I gave up on the routines is that it works better for me and makes me happier to work on whatever I want, with the time I have (after running late 3 days in a row I had to readjust things). For example, today when I woke up my neck was stiff and sore. I did close to 20 minutes to alleviate the tension in my neck and upperback. I started with free flow, then did Sarah Beth Yoga's routines for Neck and Shoulder Tension, followed by her Quick Upper Back routine.

I need to rep Sarah Beth Yoga for a second here. First of all, I love her flows. I actually haven't tried one I don't like, and I've tried most of them. But I also love her instruction and techniques. She's a great motivator (which is crazy to think since it's all videos!) because she constantly reminds you to focus on personal goals, to work to achieve them, and to not get discouraged in the day-to-day, simply because your body will feel different every day. She also gives breathing cues and really teaches you "how to" practice. I love Vinyasa flows for this reason - it's all about your body and your breath and reconciling movement between the two. On top of that, I love background music she chooses (you wouldn't think that would be such a big deal, but it is).

Also, I want to point out that I really appreciate that she takes the time to record the routine and then overlay the sound (music and vocal). It is much less distracting because there are no fillers ("ahh, umm, you know" etc) - the routines are clear and concise as far as spoken instruction goes. AND she has an inset video if there is a way to alter a pose, which is fantastic and very helpful and thoughtful. Having followed along with a multitude of videos I can tell you this makes a huge difference for home/self practice.

If you're thinking about trying out a yoga routine I cannot suggest her enough. Most of her videos are great for all levels (if you're a beginner you're probably a ways off from the Arm Balance series...I know I'm still working up to it!). I have not found any yogi online who I like as much as her. She also ends almost every video with a really insightful definition of Namaste, and I love that. It has changed how I think about my own connection to people, but not in an overly hippie-new age way. (That's my way of saying she's pretty normal.)

So here you go...Tumblr - YouTube - Facebook - Instagram...for Sarah Beth Yoga. GO NUTS.

I also had this crazy (to me) realization the other day: The amazing sensation of stretching will never go away. It is something I will always be able to look forward to...I will get more flexible, but there will always be an endpoint at which a stretch feels really good. That is so amazing!

Okay, I'm done. I hope whoever is out there reading is enjoying!

Maybe please one day seriously I'm begging someone will gulp comment? Pleaaaase??


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miss Fix-It

This was my lunch break today...ages ago a friend asked me to fix the thumbs on these glittens. I started making said friend a new pair instead, but I haven't had time to do the second. So today I "finished" these during lunch. It was a nice way to spend a half hour, especially since it's brutally cold out.





Monday, November 17, 2014

Giving up!

I remembered what I wanted to post! And you'll probably laugh when you realize why.

Okay, so it may not be as great as I made it sound, but it's still something that is personally important, so here goes!

So Cam has this bad habit that I wish he didn't have. It's his bad habit to own, so I'm not going to say what it is, but it's definitely something I want him to give up. It came up kind of comically on Friday, and I told him he needed to enjoy it this weekend, because come Monday (today) that was it - he's done.

He pouted a bit, negotiated a bit, and finally said, "Well then you should give up drinking Diet Coke! That stuff will give you cancer."

Now, I felt like we were debating apples and oranges (not that Diet Coke is good for you or anything), scoffed, and said no. His habit is way worse.

But later on I started thinking...relationships are all about compromise (or so they say). And I decided that he's right. If I really want to him to give up his bad habit...perhaps I should be willing to give something (like a bad habit) up too.

That said - I love my Diet Coke. And caffeine in general.

I used to drink multiple coffees and at least 2 Diet Cokes a day, followed up with a red Monster every other day (damn friends, staying up so late). But ever since I got the concussion I've really cut down on my caffeine intake - ONE 16 oz half-caf coffee in the morning, and a Diet Coke at lunch...and I really look forward to that pop at lunch! It provides my afternoon caffeine boost so I can coast to the end of the work day without such a harsh mid-afternoon slump. (I bet now you're realizing why I wanted to post about this...that's right, I'm bemoaning the loss of my lunch time Diet Coke.)

But I told him I would give it up, so today starts Diet Coke-less days. And I have to admit, lunch is in an hour and I'm not super excited about the prospect of facing it without a cold shot of caffeine as well. I have a La Croix to make up for the missing carbonation, and will have some (ever so slightly caffeinated) green tea when I get back to my desk, but I think I'm really going to miss that Diet Coke.

But I suppose I love my boyfriend more than Diet Coke so I'll do it...*grumble*




To go along with this, yesterday we also discussed joining a gym so we can work out together (plus a friend or two, we hope). I've been feeling so much better doing yoga in the morning, and my headaches have almost completely subsided so I'm excited about this. Cam and I met doing martial arts (I stopped because of injury, him because of school), and both of us miss the shape we used to be in and the activity level we maintained, so tomorrow we're scoping out a gym near his house that has everything we think we'll need, and hopefully we'll be signing up!

How adorable, right?

I know.

We're that couple ;)

Also...I'm not sure why, but my page views seem to have jumped (like, a lot) overnight! This excites me...but I also want to know who's reading! Feel free to leave a comment with your name, if you like the blog so far, and how you found me. I'm really quite, quite curious!

Forgetful

I woke up at about 3 am with a great idea for a post. I was sure I would remember it when I got to work.

Annnnnnnd, I was wrong.

So until I figure it out, here's a picture of Ned, King of the Leezards:


Sunday, November 16, 2014

What a day it's been!

So here's a fun little picture profile of what's happened in the last twenty four hours (followed by something more thoughtful):

I woke up yesterday looking like this:



































I went and played with this little dude (blog people, meet Benjen!):




































I did my yoga, went to a friend's for lunch (and got to meet her adorable little baby!) and then at 2 pm I turned my hair into this:


































Then I grocery shopped, made a cake and cinnamon rolls, and headed to my man's. At which point Mother Nature had (very inconveniently) decided it should start snowing. It was a very slick drive all the way to my boyfriend's, and then this morning I woke up and saw this:


































That's right, folks. My crazy boy-fran (whose name is Cam, btw) walks out to the garage to get his drink of choice...in his feet. Because who needs shoes (or the sandals right next to the door)?!

Then I turned on our little lizard dude's lights (his name is Ned...Ned and Benjen! Points if you get it!) and I saw this face staring at me, clearly wondering whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy is it morning:



































So that is my pictorial version of yesterday (and this morning). The actual version felt much busier! And something kind of big happened. I suppose it's only a "thing" if I make it one, and I've debated whether or not to write about it, but I think I will.

First, preface: Last year I was supposed to be in a wedding for someone I had been best friends with for twenty years. Really long (and bridezilla nightmare) story short: I wasn't. I am leaving out a lot, here, but she said a lot of really horrible things to me, centering around the fact that I couldn't afford to attend her bachelorette party (I had just had surgery and wasn't working) and ultimately I told her to decide that - if all these things she felt about me were true - did she really want me in the wedding?


She decided I was being too selfish and no, I didn't have to stand up, if I "couldn't be there" for her. 


Needless to say, it's a shitty (pardon) way to end a friendship. But the friendship definitely ended. On my part, it wasn't just what she said, it was the fact that I had just had surgery and all she could ask me (via text...no speaking) was, "Do you have your teal shoes yet?" and nothing in the realm of "Hey I heard they cut you open, how are you doing?"


So anyways...yesterday when I was grocery shopping, I saw her. And she saw me.


For the first time in over a year.


Now, I have glasses and a much different haircut (great planning, that) so she looked at me for about two seconds before realizing who I was - and then she looked down, very fast, calling her husband over. At the checkout I could see her from my periphery, looking over at me and then turning away when my head turned ever so slightly towards her.


I'd like to think that means she's ashamed, and that she knows she was a selfish bitch. But she probably doesn't. (I'm sorry for the swearing, but I truly feel they are the only words that are strong enough.)


Now, I don't know how she really felt, but my reaction was visceral. Fight or flight. I felt angry and vulnerable that I was caught off guard. My heart was racing and I started shaking. I desperately wanted Cam - my love and protector - to be there. I wanted to feel safe. I wanted to punch something. Punch her. I wanted to confront her on what seemed like the busiest day that Jewel has ever seen, and ask her how she could treat someone she called a best friend for twenty years the way she treated me. Why had she asked me to go into debt for her? I wanted to be selfish, and say all the things I didn't say last year because, contrary to her opinion, I wasn't trying to ruin her wedding - I was just asking her to care about me, her friend, a little, and stop thinking about bridesmaids dresses and shoes for a few minutes.


But I didn't do any of those things. I just kept on walking, feeling my heart beating, and analyzing the situation.


And when I got home, I went up to my mom and said (after she told me how much she loved my hair) that my soul felt dirty. That I felt the need to ring it out with something happy and light.


Because, in spite of my surgery and the painful and frustrating cycle that was recovery and physical therapy, not working and then struggling to work (doing massage) for six months after surgery, the roller coaster of emotion and self doubt while trying to find a (desk) job, and being called so many names and having my character torn apart by a "friend"...this has actually been one of the best years of my life. I have been happy. I have become very good at "going with the flow" and allowing what happens to happen - because I truly believe that you cannot control some things that happen, but you can control your reactions. And for the last year I have adhered to that practice.


But I cannot stand that someone made me feel the way she did. I don't want to feel angry and violent towards anyone. I don't want to feel bitter. And it crushes a part of my psyche to know she has that power. It is so easy to say (or be told) to "just let it go", but in practice it is very, very hard. But it is just that - a practice. And sometimes the scars people leave on us go deeper than we think.


I feel like now I understand how deep this scar she left goes. It was so easy to throw out all the pictures of us I came across while cleaning the basement. It is harder when people talk about her. It was almost unbearable to actually see her.


But I hope that knowledge can guard me in case this happens again. And it has taught me that I actually need a plan. I can't just daydream about, "Oh, well if I see her maybe I'll say this." I need to know that I will speak up, and not be afraid, or let her think I'm ashamed.


Next time, I will put the ball in her court, and she will have to choose how to react. Because I will not leave it like this, and I will not feel like I did yesterday. The person I have become is too good to let someone else drag me down like that again.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Woohoo!!

Remember Wednesday's post about life being a swift running river? Well some of the good (and fun!) things I've been waiting on this week are materializing in results.

It's a nice feeling, but there is still some work ahead. I'll post more details about these things later. And my apologies for seeming secretive...I'm not trying to be evasive about things, I just wanted to have results before talking about them, and now I want the change to extrapolate on them as well. So we'll save that for another post.

Happy Friday everyone! Here's a picture of my super cute (and neurotic) dog for your enjoyment:


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Just a picture.

This is just a cute and funny little aside about today...my manager came over to my desk a few minutes ago and while looking for a file I've been working, on my desktop picture came up. It's this infinitely adorable picture of Hershel from just before I went to England. I thought I'd share it here too. I miss him, but I'm trying to remember that he was so fun and cute, and I'm glad I got to be his owner for a while...as short as it was.

So maybe this will add a little smile to your day:



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Swift currents

Today, I am going to compare life to a river.

Mine was moving about at a nice pace, not too slow, and not too fast...and then yesterday happened.

Yesterday was one of those days that suddenly made me feel like, if my life were a river, I would have been picked up by a swift, unsuspected and unseen current and swept along for the ride with very little control.

Of course, there's always some control, but yesterday I kept feeling like there is so little I can do, so many things I'm waiting for, and yet so much that depends on me.

I will admit, a lot of what I'm feeling is definitely down to me. This is what I get for putting myself out there!

That is not to say that things aren't good. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't hesitate to say things are great right now...there just also happens to be some confusion.

Always fun, confusion.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sore all over

Morning yoga did not happen yesterday. In addition to staying up very late on Saturday, the Boyfriend had to drop his brother off at the train station before we headed out to play paintball.

I have never played paintball before. I was terrified at first because when we got to the place there were people in fully camo gear (like straight up boots, cammies, helmets and crazy, intimidating face masks) and scary looking paintball guns. When the first round started (we went to an easy, kind of boring map just because it was the first one called out) I was anxious/excited. My heart was pounding and I could feel it in my throat, I was jumpy...but things kind of settled down after that. Except at the very end when some dude did a last minute surprise push and shot me. I was very surprised when that happened!

Most of the maps were one-hit-and-you're-out kinda things. So if you get shot (and the ball breaks!) you leave the map. I mention the ball breaking because there were probably a dozen that hit me and didn't break - so a dozen times I got hit but wasn't out (awesome!). We did do a few other maps that had respawns for 15 minutes and then the last 5 you were out if you got shot. Those were pretty cool because it was continuous play (kind of like Deathmatch in a video game).

With the first, your team had to find a planted bomb and get it to the other team's base. That one was a lot of fun because we got our bomb pretty quickly and spent the last 15 minutes in a push. I started to really get into it, and at one point our team was stuck trying to sneak up the side of the map because it was difficult to move around the blockades we were hiding behind because you would have to peak out in order to move, so I did what no one else thought to do...I set my gun down on the blockade (it was an old bumper car) and climbed over it. I was able to lead the push up so we could take the whole building to our left (which we kept for the rest of the game), and tagged three opponents out in the process. It was pretty awesome because I totally blindsided them since they literally didn't see me coming!

The second was definitely a team effort with planning involved. It was a Capture the Flag scenario with a neutral flag (both teams are going for the same flag, positioned in the middle of the map). We happened to have a friend who came "just to watch" and didn't bring his gun. When we found out this was the mission someone said, "It'd be great if we had a runner." And I laughed and said, "Well we do know a guy without a gun..."

And the plan was born. A plan to rush the middle of the field, guns blazing, with this friend in the middle of the pack to grab the flag. He got it, and then we ran a clear-and-conquer rush up the side of the map. We were victorious twice - once from each side of the map.

It ended up being a fun-filled 6 hours of fun with the guys (my boyfriend and a few of our guy friends), and when I got home I was tired, hungry, bruised, and shower-worthy. So I took a shower, ate dinner, and went to bed.

And this morning when I got up for yoga I felt it. All over. And I've felt it all day long. And I have no doubt I will feel it tomorrow too!

But for now - at 8:30 - I'm ready for bed again...though perhaps with a little knitting first...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Twenty One Mornings with Yoga.

I've been itching to write a post the last few days, but there have been a few things going on. First, it doesn't seem prudent to write a post at work (I don't think they'd appreciate it!), and every time I sit down to write one, the things I want to write go STRAIGHT out of my head. I swear, if I could blog while driving you'd have posts every twenty seconds.

But, that is not the case. So I'll give you the post I've been considering all week.

So a few days after confirming that I had a concussion I did some research about how soon I could return to running, and the answer across the board was basically, 'Moderate exercise can help concussion recovery IF elevated blood pressure does not cause concussion symptoms [headaches, nausea, vision problems], to re-emerge.'

Running is not moderate exercise - it is considered high impact. So that was immediately out. But even walking for too long, or using my elliptical caused my headache and nausea symptoms to get worse. I've also been having problems with light sensitivity and fatigue. So about two weeks ago I decided to lay off exercising altogether, and focus just on resting and eating well.

And after a week of that I still had head aches. All the time. And elevated blood pressure. But I feel the need to do something, especially because I'm 90% sure the stiffness in my neck is causing some of these headaches. So I (unintentionally) made a November "resolution" to do yoga every morning to see if it will help.

This has kind of morphed into "yoga every morning for three weeks" just because I stumbled across this online program through a yoga website I've been eyeing for about a year. In all, I've done 5 (soon to be 6) mornings of yoga, but have only done 3 (today will be 4) of these classes, simply because I didn't actually start this program until Wednesday. I think it's amusing that I made both a "month long resolution" and had a Monday-start for this. I tend to be annoyed with both resolutions and 'On Monday I'll start doing X' mentalities. But that's just what happened!

So after 5 days, here are my notes:
- I generally feel better in the mornings. I have to get up really early on workdays to do this (4:30ish) but I haven't minded because it's been "easy" sequences. That said, I'm very tired by about 7 or 8. Now, I think that's normal, but I wish I could stay up later.
- My attitude is more optimistic and I'm happier! Despite the chilly, gray weather, I'm more positive than usual.
- My posture is better, and I'm way more aware of it. For example: I sit back when I'm driving and at my desk. I try not to slouch and I pull my shoulders back. I tuck my chin while I'm working. I can feel the muscles in my back and shoulders working, but there will be NO FORWARD HEAD POSTURE for me!!
- My headaches are diminished. Tuesday and Thursday were my "best" days. I had mild headaches mid-morning those days, but not the all-day whoppers I'd been having prior to doing this yoga biz.
- (This has nothing to do with the concussion) My shoulder (left) is still horrendously weak after the surgery I had last year. Yoga has been stretching and strengthening it, and though it has been a bit achey, I can feel an improvement. I'll keep notes on this as days go on!

Also worth noting - I also practiced yoga during two afternoons this week. I'm trying to increase the time I spend moving around (since I sit at a desk all day) but I'm trying to do it in a no-pressure-at-my-own pace kind of way. In addition, I don't want it to feel like an obligation, or like I have to NOT do something else in order to do yoga.

Afterall...Yoga is all about finding balance in your body and your life.

And that is what I shall leave you with! Because now it's time for my morning yoga. Perhaps I should wrap up today by saying... Namaste. ;)