Gratitude

Last month I sent all of my dad’s students an audio recording of his yoga class as a thank you for all of their love and support last year. I received many wonderful replies of gratitude and today one show up in my inbox that I have to share.

I am so proud of my Poppa’s legacy, and I happened to wake up this morning feeling immensely grateful for the hundreds of hours I got to spend on the mat with him guiding me through a challenging and safe yoga practice. I have not maintained my practice since his passing, which I know he would make him want to kick my butt. My attempts have brought up so many powerful emotions that a couple of poses usually leads to a long bout of tears and I retreat from the pain I am now ready to set my intention to begin listening to the recordings, be uplifted by the joy and passion in his voice, and start healing my body and heart with the tools he gave me. Or at least, that is the intention I’m setting.

Dear Chyna and Susan,

Greetings, my name is Heather and I knew Albert from his teaching yoga at the MAC. I attended Albert’s classes quite regularly from about 2002-2004. I fell out of a regular practice when I had my son, Shiv, and by the time I returned Albert had moved on. I don’t quite know where to start, but because once you know Albert, a lot goes without explaining, so I guess I can jump in just about anywhere.

I have felt compelled to write ever since getting the initial news about Albert having cancer. I can’t say exactly why I didn’t, maybe because it’s so hard to know what to say in the face this kind of loss. With every update I’d revisit that intention… and then not follow through. When I received your latest email sharing Albert’s voice recording of a yoga practice, I knew I must respond. Maybe because it’s the start of a new year, maybe knowing that there could not be another nudge or opportune moment, definitely being given the gift of Albert’s voice guiding one through a practice was the clincher.

My husband, Punit, was born and raised in India in a Hindu family and as a result has a unique insight into certain constructs that have been popularized; for example the idea of ‘karma’. He’s much more eloquent than I am in explaining his understanding, but I’ll attempt to share it with you: Punit describes karma as the effect we have on others, and in turn, how that ripples through their actions and effect on others. Albert created very strong karma in his role as a teacher of yoga. While I never did find a subsequent yoga practice as fulfilling, I was able to take Albert’s teaching with me into every yoga class I ever attended afterwards. No matter how well intentioned, yet lesser of a teacher, whose class I went to, I could hear Albert’s voice ticking off the checklist of alignment, quality of breath to accompany moment, keeping me safe and focused. I am not alone. I’ve shared this same experience with other students who in turn, echoed that same sentiment. This is a remarkable gift to bestow and I am thankful to him for sharing it. I did not say this when Albert had the time to hear it, I am sorry for that. I can however thank you both for sharing it again, thereby growing that karma even more.

I wish you both the best in recovering from his loss, I don’t even know what to add to that. While physically not present in this world, the karma Albert seeded is still around you in all of us.

Namaskar,
Heather

Boomerang

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry that I abandon you for years at a time when I get really busy with life. Thank you for always being there to greet me with open arms when I return. The last several years have been full of ups and a few too many downs. I’ve become an expert at trying to make the best of whatever situation life happens to throw at me. My mantra has been, “If life keeps throwing you lemons, forget the lemonade stand, build a fucking empire!” Allow the difficult times in life to make you emotionally healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Despite my resilience and good attitude, my brain has so much to process after all the big changes this year. I decided it might help to return to my little corner of the web and attempt to document the experience of watching my beloved Poppa die of cancer last June. There was so much beauty and love, even in the worst of times and I want to capture all of it to the best of my ability. Maybe these words could even help someone else who needs to not feel alone in their experience with a chronically ill loved one.

I’m not ready to go into all the details yet, but during my dad’s battle with cancer I was responsible for sending health email updates out to hundreds of my parents’ yoga and dance clients to keep them posted on his health and help raise funds to pay for medical expenses. People kept telling my parents that I was such an amazing writer. I don’t do all that well with compliments, but every time my dad relayed another message about how moved people were by what I wrote, I saw his eyes gleaming with immense pride. Maybe it was just the euphoria of the painkillers, remember I don’t do well with compliments. He kept encouraging me to write more, about anything, knowing that I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing creatively, even though I chose a career in information security. My stepmom suggested I write about our experiences to help others navigate the dark and scary path of terminal illness. Forget any lofty goals of helping others or publishing a best seller. I’m going to be selfish, writing whatever I want to write about, when ever, and as much as I feel like writing. I suspect it will help process my grief and loss, or at least serve as a great outlet and distraction.

My dad had this analogy he used all the time in yoga classes to describe the journey from a state of inflexibility to flexibility in a seated forward bend. Imagine you have a giant book between you and your destination. Each day take out one page. Little by little the distance between you and your goal will shrink. It’s tempting to rip out all the pages at once, but we learn the most when we set our intention and make the consistent effort to get to where we want to be. So I’m going to go, one post at a time and see where this goes.

This is for you, Poppa, wherever you are now. I know you’d want to see me nurture this talent and myself in the process. This is for everyone who has lost a loved one to cancer.

Maui Birthday Funtimes!

This lucky gal just returned from six nights on Maui that by went way too quickly!! It was fantastic to get a break from the cold winter weather in Portland for a bit and celebrate my birthday in style with old friends. Every time I go to Hawaii I kick myself for not booking a trip for twice the duration. It was my fourth time to that particular island and I fall in love with it a little more each time. Very different from Kauai, and someday soon I’ll have to give the other islands a shot. As someone who grew up in the Bay Area of California, I suspect it’s the microclimates and laid back culture that make me feel so at home on Maui.

The trip started out on a nice note when the woman at the Budget desk decided that I needed a free upgrade to a Mustang instead of the economy Chevy compact I’d reserved. That was seriously awesome and unexpected. I had a ton of fun driving that sexy, black beast around the island. If only you could legally drive over 50mph anywhere on the islands! My rigorous daily schedule included a fresh fruit breakfast by the pool, an hour or two at the beach with a picnic lunch, and when the sun became too strong for my northern european heritage, I retreated indoors to spend the afternoon hunting for the best $3 Mai Tai on the island.  Once sufficiently hydrated, it was back to the beach to watch the sunset with the locals.  After the sun went down, it was time for gourmet meals, desserts, Oregon Pinots (ha!), dancing to Reggae, and burning the midnight oil catching up with my bestie.

My friend since the first grade and her friends treated me like royalty and made me feel so welcome.  It was a great time to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Traveling alone offers excellent opportunities to step outside your comfort zone, people watch, and enjoy some serious introspection. To my surprise I didn’t read a single book aside from the one I finished on the plane. Apparently this trip was all about writing and listening to the waves, birds, and breeze. I am proud to report this haole made it through the week without turning into a lobster girl!  I have a new love of real bananas and a nice golden glow to remind me of my lovely trip. I am so grateful for this new year ahead of me and the friends I get to share the adventures with along the way.



Dirty Lemon Chicken

If you’ve never tried preserved lemons before, prepare to discover one of your favorite ingredients that you never knew existed.  Commonly used in Moroccan dishes, these culinary delights are kind of like lemon pickles, though that description doesn’t do them justice, and they have an umami quality I wouldn’t ever expect from a lemon. I stumbled across them last year while reading a recipe for an autumn stew and next thing I knew they seemed to be in every recipe I came across. I began my first batch of preserves last winter and they are now a staple in my kitchen.  Meyer lemons are best for this and not as easy to find during other seasons, so if you want to try out a batch yourself, go scoop up some organic lemons and give it a whirl. I’ll happily give you pointers.  New Seasons recently offered a preserved lemon demo showing how to use them in various recipes, so you can probably find them at any high-end market these days as they become more mainstream.

I love adding them to pastas, stews, and salad dressings.  Heck, recently I even made a box of Tuna Helper a lot more special by chopping up preserved lemon peel and adding it as a garnish. Nothing like a gourmet white trash dinner. My latest experiment is what I like to call “Dirty Lemon Chicken” because the salt preserved lemons give it such a nice kick, kind of like a dirty martini. Hmmm, me thinks I’m experimenting with a preserved lemon cocktail next…stay tuned.

Recipe

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (any cut of chicken would work)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon preserved lemon brine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Tenderize the chicken breasts. Rinse the preserved lemon to remove some of the salt if you desire. Chop up the preserved lemon, including the rind, making sure to remove seeds. Mince the garlic and rosemary. Mix the lemon, garlic, rosemary, brine, and olive oil well. Pour the mixture over the chicken and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Place chicken in a roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Roast at 170 for 90 minutes then turn up the temperature to 200. Remove tinfoil and cook for 30-45 minutes until chicken and lemons are slightly golden brown.

Dream Big

Setting a goal or having a dream doesn’t make it reality, at least to date we haven’t discovered the teleportation method of getting from point A to B. So what is the magic formula that makes an athlete, artist, or entrepreneur tick? If you set an intention and neglect taking consistent micro-actions to make it happen, chances are, you will not get the desired results. In that sense, fulfilling your dreams is more like a cross-country trip by horse-drawn wagon than saying “Beam me up Scottie.” As cliché as it sounds, don’t forget the pursuit of your dreams is a journey and be sure to give yourself space to redesign the plan or take risks when necessary as things in your life shift.  I’ve also found it invaluable to tell other people about my goals and dreams. Articulating my desires helps me clarify my intentions and nothing is more motivating than the encouragement my loved ones offer when they see the warm glow of dreamy, passionate ambition on my face as I chatter through all the intricate details of my latest plan.

I distinctly recall sitting in a smoky bar one afternoon with a friend, it was the summer after I graduated from college in 2005. I bought our drinks using money from unemployment checks and the meager savings I’d tucked away for a rainy day. I graduated from college shortly after the dot.com crash and could not find a job for six months. During college I worked at two different local software companies. In the peak of the boom days the second company I worked for constantly tried to lure interns out of the classroom and into a full-time gig to snap up inexpensive talent, but when graduation came around, they were in a hiring freeze and I got the boot.  So there I am sitting at the bar with a friend telling him about how I’m going to buy a house in five years time. He smiled and nodded very politely, trying to figure out exactly how I thought I could carry out this lofty goal when I was broke and unemployed. He was the first person to congratulate me and remind me of that day in the bar when I closed on my house five years later.

My current big dream is all about creating a career that allows more temporal and geographical freedom. I’ve been day dreaming about it ever since my short year-long stint of telecommuting in 2006 came to an end. I’ve been fortunate to have some really cool employers over the years who allow for a certain degree of flexibility, but I want to work from my castle at least 60-80% of the time.  While there are many things about being a product manager that I really enjoy, having a regular cubicle job that keeps me locked in one place, on someone else’s schedule is not conducive to a happy Chyna.  I want to spend more time with my family and friends around the country, see new places, enjoy the company of my pets, and live life at my pace. I love working, really, I do, just not in a traditional office environment all the time.

After a lot of consideration, I left a great job three months ago to embark on a journey into the unknown. It was really hard to leave coworkers that I loved spending time with on a daily basis, a comfortable salary, and a job I am great at, but the sense of dissatisfaction I felt about life in general was growing at an alarming rate. I’d spent the greater part of the last six years on self improvement, kicking butt in my career, meeting all my life goals, and yet I still felt like crap. Something had to give.

Being unemployed, taking financial risks, and having an excess of leisure time are not exactly the most natural things for a go getter like myself, so it was a pretty rocky and emotional time for me at first, but boy howdy, do I have the hang of it now. For the first time since getting out of college I gave myself permission to consider anything and everything that might simultaneously earn money and make me happy.  I began to realize the possibilities were endless: Dog walking, buy a food cart, start a web design business, sell collectibles on Ebay, work in a retail shop, write, go back to school for interior design or that masters in information security I’ve always coveted. Perhaps many of the options would require changes to my lifestyle since my budget grew in proportion to my salary over the years, but no amount of extra money has increased my happiness quotient thus far.

I’m elated to report that after several months of playing, “Are you my mommy?” with my career, I am starting a contract gig next week that may lead to an awesome work-from-home job if we decide we like each other. The night before I received this awesome news, another contract came knocking.  Suddenly my little fantasy about splitting my time between Oregon and someplace sunny during the cold months doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.  From what I’ve learned so far, the role and company meet all the criteria on my dream job list.  I’m beginning to swoon a bit the way I might if Ryan Gosling showed up in my driveway with a DeLorean.  At the same time, I’m keeping it real and maintaining level-headed expectations because the important part is that I’m attracting what I want and it is possible, even if this opportunity doesn’t work out. I’m excited to see what happens over the next couple of months.  Whatever it is you’re hoping to accomplish in 2013 dream big and be sure to do it out loud!*

* You may want to refrain from doing it out loud while using public transportation or people might think you’re nuts.

Let There Be Light

Every once in a while I come across a story of innovation paired with compassion that positively sets my soul on fire and inspires me to apply that kind of thinking and intention to everyday life. This is a beautiful story about the power of simplicity. The inventors of the GravityLight had a task of creating low-cost, battery operated lights, charged by a solar panel, with a goal of replacing dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps in villages without power.  Instead of implementing the solution initially proposed to them, they took a step back and got creative with an old school approach that leverages gravity. Simply brilliant. Pun fully intended. This is the kind of love, inspiration, and thoughtfulness I want to cultivate in 2013.

A Little Facecation

I am proud to announce I completed seven whole days of staying off the Facebook, avoiding mainstream news, and avoiding advertisements as much as possible. It was a gloriously advertisement free Facecation!  This is a feat nearly as impressive (for me) as quitting cigarettes after two decades, which I am also resolved to do in 2013. I’m feeling inspired to reclaim my time and well-being by quitting cigarettes and changing how I interact with the web. Going cold turkey on Facebook for me meant temporarily deactivating my account, to avoid being lured back in by notifications. Now that I’ve spent a week away from Facebook, my goal is to limit my time on the site to 15 minutes or less per visit and no more than two check-ins per day, morning and late afternoon. Have you ever logged in just to check a message and found yourself lost down the rabbit hole for an hour or more? Yup, me too. I think Facebook has the same hypnotizing quality as watching the boob tube.

I’ve been madly in love with the Internet since the first time I sent a BBS message in the late ’90s.  I’m a zero Inbox kind of gal and engaging with the Internet is as compulsory as breathing for me some days.  BBS, chat rooms, instant messaging, forums, LiveJournal, Friendster, Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Jive, WordPress community…oh my, how I love interacting with people all over the world while juggling several other tasks.  Or at least, that is what I thought, until I slowed down and unplugged for a while, giving myself the opportunity to focus on real world interactions and the simple pleasure of doing one thing at a time. I definitely spent a lot more time walking, journaling, listening to music, or just sitting in silence doing absolutely nothing last week and that felt absolutely fantastic.

Social media became a mainstay for me when I moved 700 miles away from the place where I grew up. Having easy at-a-glance access to how all your friends are doing and what they are up to seems like a blessing at first. No more having to read long journal entries, write a letter, or pick up the phone for a conversation. I can get all the information I need from other people in 140 characters or less.  Imagine all the time I’ll save not having to actually engage with other humans in real-time, the concept works great with online ordering, right?  It’s no wonder businesses recognize the power of social and are racing to adopt the concepts in their software or use it for marketing to gain competitive advantage.  Yay social!

In Fall of 2011 when Facebook rolled out the “Ticker” my feelings began to change. It was a particularly active day on the site and the ticker was flying by me at an alarming rate. At first I found it mortifying to see so much detail about how my friends were interacting with the website. Inundated is probably the best word to describe the feeling I had that day, like someone from a very quiet rural place standing in Times Square for the first time. Since then I’ve wasted countless minutes fine tuning who and what I see to limit the amount of chatter. Not to mention the hours upon hours I’ve spent playing games, chatting, and perusing the News Feed. This time saver is turning into a massive time suck, and worst of all, it makes me feel crummy to see all the good news, munged with bad news, advertisements, and memes of that frowny faced cat. I miss the days when we heard about important news directly and engaged in live debates over beers on hot topics.

I’ve observed the same thing happen using social in the workplace where people are really excited initially about the connectedness it offers, but quickly feel overwhelmed by the chatter.  While I can definitely see appeal for large, globally distributed organizations, bringing social business software into a small company can create a culture where you speak to each other less and miss opportunities for collaboration.  At first the new social workplace was a shiny gem and everyone was posting like crazy to earn badges and titles for their participation. It seemed like the panacea for all the issues we’d experienced in the past not being able to share information easily and losing tribal knowledge. After a few months of frenetic activity though, try to find a specific grain of sand in the Sahara, tell me how that works out for you. People began to groan when yet another email notification from the system flooded into their inbox or someone stopped by their desk in a frenzy because a post on the social hub had not been seen. Marketers refer to this as social media fatigue and for obvious reasons they worry about this and try to figure out how to keep us engaged.

So what do you think, is all of our modern connectedness making you feel less connected with people in real life? What are your strategies for maintaining balance? What would you do with the time you could reclaim by eliminating habit X or Y?  I’m looking forward to smelling good enough as a full time breather to poke more people IRL next year. Cheers and happy new year.

Giving a Miracle

It’s been about a decade now since I’ve had a gift based Christmas. In my twenties I’d go broke every holiday season buying the perfect gifts for my loved ones and since then I’ve decided to abstain from the mass consumerism as much as possible and focus on donations. Like any kid, I always used to love being showered with gifts this time of year. Waiting anxiously for a giant pile of shiny, bow adorned gifts to appear under the Christmas tree my mom and I would cut down at The Crest Ranch in early December. Looking back, I realize that she broke the bank every year too, trying to make me happy by giving me more things. That cycle didn’t really make our family happy for very long after the Christmas buzz wore off when the rent and bills were due. In our culture these days debt and overspending is so “normal” that I think we tend to minimize the impact it has on our psyche.

A shift occurred for me when I heard about my dad collecting donations from his students for Heifer International and matching the funds instead of buying presents for Christmas. The more I learned about how their organization works, the more impressed I was by the idea of giving skills and resources to people who need them, improving their quality of life in substantial way, and empowering them to ultimately give back to their community. The first year I sent cards saying I’d donated a gaggle of geese or basket of bunnies in their name, a few friends and family members thought I was bonkers, but I’ve never let that stop me from doing what feels right, so I continue a tradition making an annual donation each year, omitting the ecards.  If this has you thinking you may have found a solution for your list of last-minute gifts, I also recommend checking out Kiva. They offer micro-loans to help end poverty by empowering people to start small businesses. Did you know that typically micro-loan programs have a 99% repayment rate or greater?

If you want to get more hands on, consider volunteering locally or bringing donations of toys, food, or warm clothes to neighborhood outreach programs. When you reach out and offer loving kindness to the homeless and mentally ill of your community, I can tell you from personal experience that you are not only brightening their day, you are also warming the hearts of their loved ones. During the height of the economic crash, one of my family members was homeless for a year and it was a heart wrenching time. At Christmas time she told me a story about a generous woman who showed up in the Palo Alto park where the homeless hung out with a dozen warm coats to hand out. In the pockets of the coat she discovered a pair of warm gloves and a single $100 bill.  Knowing my loved one had a warm motel room to sleep in on Christmas eve was the best gift anyone ever gave me and I can’t offer enough thanks to the volunteers who helped her get through that difficult time.  I will try to live by their example and keep paying it forward. I encourage you all to make a miracle for someone this year and wish you a very happy holiday season.

 

Sharing Your Toys

Last year I began listing my home on AirBnB to earn some extra income, and I have to admit that initially I was pretty uncomfortable with the idea of sharing my home with complete strangers from the Internet. I decided to get my toes wet by renting my house out while I was on vacation and while my first renter was a bit shady, I made a quarter of my mortgage renting out the place for 4 nights at a very decent rate for a whole house rental.  After returning home to find my house intact, I decided that while my first renter tried to pull a fast one on me, the other people expressing interest in renting my spare room while I’m around seemed like a good bunch of folks. Over the next couple of months I hosted six people in my spare room and sharing my space was really rewarding. It felt great to watch people make themselves at home and hear about the vacations they were enjoying. I was even lucky enough to meet a couple on a year-long sabbatical where they planned on traveling for most of that time, so it was a neat opportunity to pick their brains about their approach.  I also really enjoyed hosting two sweet girls from Texas who introduced me to candied jalapeños.

Yesterday on the radio I heard about a local car sharing program in Portland called GetAround and decided it seemed worth checking out.  More often than not these days, my trusty steed rests in my driveway, completely untouched for days at a time. I’ve toyed with the idea of trading in my fancy wheels for something more economical, or gasp, perhaps trying to live without a car for 3-6 months.  Black Beauty, as I like to call her, well, she’s my second biggest monthly expense next to my mortgage, emptying about $600 a month from my wallet once I total up car payments, insurance, gas to fill a 15 gallon tank, and annual maintenance expenses. While I love my car, I’ve really been questioning whether I love it that much, and yet, I’m not quite ready to let go of my first “brand new” car.

This is where car sharing may help me transition out of my fairly car centric lifestyle. What if someone is interested in using my car when I’m not and I can begin to micro-finance my car payments?  On the days I don’t have my car it will be a good opportunity to flex my Trimet muscles and mentally prepare myself to either go completely car free or at the very least begin detach from this notion that my sexy black leather seats say something about my personality and accomplishments. Perhaps I’ll like the experience so much that I do sell the car and leverage car sharing or rentals as needed. My excuses for needing a car always comes back to wanting the freedom to take roadtrips and a hassle free experience taking the pets to the vet, things I do maybe a couple of times a year.

I listed my car on GetAround today and signed up to participate in the ORTEC car sharing study.  They take a 40% cut to cover insurance and the system is fully automated so you don’t have hand off keys in person. While I’m a little nervous about the potential for accidents or hassles, I have to remind myself that it’s just a car, just another thing that I have become emotionally attached to like a child’s favorite toy.  While something bad could happen, it’s also entirely possible that sharing my car will enrich my life in ways I hadn’t expected, which sounds like a good bet to me. I think sharing experiments like AirBnB and GetAround are a great example of crowd sourcing and use of IT at it’s finest. While the potential for financial gains from participating in these programs is neat, I’m more excited about the refresher in kindergarten sharing lessons that it offers. I always loved sharing my toys as a kid, but somewhere along the lines I forgot how good it makes me feel.

A Penny Saved

I’ve been on a mission to reduce for the last couple of years. Reduce the number of miles my food travels from farm to table. Reduce my monthly carrying costs. Reduce my waistline. Reduce the amount of clutter in my house. Reduce the amount of hours I work to a reasonable, humane, and manageable level. Reduction is truly an art form. Given my current funemployed state, I have this abundance of time and unique opportunity to make progress on all fronts. Here’s what I’ve tackled so far this month, as I think through them it’s neat to see how inter-related all these actions are.

Reducing My Carbon Footprint

  • When you have time leisurely go about your grocery shopping, it’s much easier to take a few extra minutes to check labels and find out where my food came from.
  • Instead of opting for boxed foods, I now have time to make food from scratch.
  • I’ve harvested walnuts from the tree in my backyard instead of cursing it for crapping all over my lawn.
  • The dog and I are enjoying soggy walks to the grocery store instead of driving that handful of blocks. She’s even great at helping carry groceries back in her doggy backpack.

Reducing Expenditures

  • I brought my internet and TV bill down from $135 a month to $50 by buying a $10 TV Antenna and switching to a new broadband provider. I still get just as many digital channels as I did with basic cable, if only I’d known a year ago when I took my first stab at reducing that bill by killing my DVR service. Yay for smart TVs allowing me to stream shows on demand. I love the future.
  • As part of switching internet providers I learned I could get $10 a month off my cellphone billing for combining bills. Huzzah, paid for that TV antenna the first month!
  • Walking and using up old bus passes instead of driving to save on gas and oh, hey, there I go reducing that carbon footprint again.

Reducing Clutter

  • How much crap is in your storage area? I was aghast when I realized how bad my basement  had gotten in five years of living in one place. As I began looking around I realized there was literally money sitting around everywhere along with a whole bunch of crap that I simply have no use for anymore. I’ve been selecting any high value items over $50 and selling them on craigslist and eBay.   By the time I’m done I’ll have a lot more money in my pocket and way less stuff.
  • All lower value items, books, warm clothes, electronics, etc  were donated to homeless shelters and the Goodwill for a nice tax deduction and warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
  • As part of the great clutter reduction of ’12, I discovered an Oracle stock certificate for 10 shares I’ve had for 15 years. I poked around a bit on the web to see how the shares had split over time, but wasn’t ready to deal with it yet so I pinned it on the fridge and figured I’d check it out later.  Not one week later, completely out of the blue, the State Controller of California contacts me telling me that Oracle is trying to find me so I can claim what has gone from 10 shares to 40 shares. Not a goldmine, but wow, there really is money laying around everywhere.

Reducing Ye Ole Beer Belly

  • Another really nice benefit of trying to eat as locally as possible is that you skip a lot of the junk food and takeout that makes you fat in the first place.
  • Over the last few years, I have tried very hard to make time for exercise while working fulltime, but it goes in fits and spurts. While I haven’t been spending nearly as much time at the yoga studio as I’d like, my home practice is beginning to rock steady. Morning sun salutations and evening stretches to make myself sleep having been setting a good steady pace.
  • You may have gotten the point that I’m walking a lot more. When I do use my car I park at the farthest end of the parking lot.  With all the extra walking and calorie reduction I’ve lost and kept off 18 pounds so far this year!
  • Remember those walnuts, harvesting them is a great workout! Between the collection, shucking, cleaning, and shelling I’m pretty sure I’m burning more calories than I’ll get eating them, but they are tasty and I’ll take all the help I can get.