118: yoga yum

Last weekend I went off-Cape for one of my yoga training weekends. Saturday's topic was yoga philosophy, mantra and chant. The day ended with  an event called kirtan, which is  a kind of yoga-singing-prayer kind of a thing. It is really fun! It's a great way to pray- with other people and so joyfully.  My new cousin Liz is part of the group that came in to lead the singing, which I was just thrilled about.

Since I knew I would be seeing Liz, I made up a shirt for her in a design I thought she would like:

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and of course I had to wrap it up all pretty-like:

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I am a little bit nuts about having to save every tiny scrap of fabric. Lately I have been  using these thin little strips as ribbons to wrap presents with.  People love it and it makes me happy. ( See honey, I  use all this crazy stuff I save!)  Liz loved the shirt even before she knew that I made it for her! Yay! It is such a simple gift to make and so easily cutomizable for a person's individual taste.

Liz is a yoga teacher and a therapist and we just connected right away when we met last spring. She is actually my father's cousin. I call her my new cousin because I only just met her! But it feels like we have known each other for a long time. It feels so natural to be  together and reall share deeply, not just chitchat and small talk.  It is still hard for me to remember that she is an actual blood-related family member! She feels like an old friend.

I stayed overnight with her, which was absolutely lovely. It was like continuing the  learning from the yoga training. We listened to Indian music, she made home made Indian food for me!

Of course, being a total spaz, I had to take pictures of each stage of the cooking:

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 Aren't the colors awesome together?

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We blessed the food in a traditional  way that she has learned in her time with the kirtan group.

Watching Liz prepare all the spices was such a treat. It was like watching someone make a magic potion! I was ridiculously excited.

I couldn't resist:

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The spices and ghee cooking:

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Chana and spinach cooking:

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 The result:

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Isn't it beautiful?
We sat down to eat and talked yoga and food, philosophy and family.
It is such a new experience for me to have that kind of connection in my family.  I have to thank my Dad for hooking me up with Liz.  Last spring he urged me to contact her. He said she reminded him of me, that we have a striking resemblance, that we have similar interests and that  he thought we would really connect. Now, I have to tell you, I think this may have been the first time in my life that anyone in my family has urged me to do anything, so I really took note. I am so glad I  did! Thanks, Dad. You did a good thing there. ( I don't think he really reads this, but I just wanted to put that appreciation out there.)

And boy do we have a resemblance! Everyone in my yoga training was like, " Is that your mother? Is that your sister? Oh my god, the resemblance is amazing!"  I have to point out that they may have mistook her for my mother because she has long white hair, which makes us look like there is more of an age difference between us than there really is! Now I wish I had a picture taken of us together so I could show you. Next time!

In the morning, Liz made a super yummy breakfast, too. 

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Oranges, mango and kiwi . Yogurt in the cutest little dishes with adorable garnish.  Freshly grated nutmeg!

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French toast with toasted coconut and warmed craisins.

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A fully set table and some chai and oatmeal to boot! That Liz. She knows how to do it up, man.

It is so inspiring to be around her. Every Sunday she does breakfast like this for herself! The cute dishes, the pretty garnish, the set table. All of  it. It is her special day to really rest and take care of herself. I just love that.

Thank you , Liz for taking such great care of me!

I love to be cooked for. It makes me feel so loved. 

>sigh< 

113: pets, pillows, practice

 A friend of mine always comments on how I only show the feet of the pets.

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This is Riley. Isn't she super cute? Ri-Ri. Riley Roo.
Or simply The Roo, as in, "The Roo is humping your pillow again." 

I never had a girl dog before. I didn't know they humped.

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Look at her giant paws!

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She is such a love. That's one of the new pillows I whipped up the first day I got my new machine.

Here is another:

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100% unhumped.

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The windows are so bare because I took down the curtains with the intention of making some new ones to brighten up the living room. That has not happened yet. I've been busy, you know.

Tomorrow I head off-Cape for one of my monthly  two-day yoga training intensives. For those of you that are new to yummygoods, I am in month two of a 6-month yoga teacher training. ( We have class every week on Tuesday nights, and these monthly two-day workshops.)  I have homework that I have had a month or more to complete. Have I done it? Of course not, that's what tonight is for.

I have been practicing yoga on and off for many years, but I have never been able to get myself on a regular schedule of doing it at home.  I really want to develop a home practice, so a few weeks ago  I designated a space in my house specifically for it. For the time being anyways. Things are always in flux around here.

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This is a corner of a room that will eventually be our bedroom. Presently, it is part office, part storage and now, part yoga space. This is the only room that was "done" when we bought the house. Unfortunately, I don't really love the walls, so we will redo this room as we have with all the others.

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Yard sale-d garden table ( that's what I call it anyways) $5.  Estate sale lamp, one of a pair for $30. The mirror in the previous photo is one that we found in our old house when we moved in. I love it.

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Thor. His whole body, not just his feet, you'll notice. My honey found him outside of where we work when he was tiny enough to hide by cupping my hands around him. I really wish I had taken pictures then!

I have practiced yoga in this space exactly once, the night I took these pictures.

I'll get it, eventually. I'm in no rush.

little chairs and winter survival plan

A couple of months ago, I  found two cute tiny chairs at the Salvation Army (which  I sometimes call  The Sally Slermie or, for short: The Slerm. But that is a whole other story.)

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I am compelled to make tiny cushions for them.

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Even though there is actually a chair pose in yoga, I am not going to try to make a clever segue:
I am excited to finally have started taking my yoga teacher training course! We started Tuesday night- it was wonderful. You may remember that in July my best friend Jennifer arranged to have me take this course as a birthday gift . She is the best!

The course is a 200 hour basic certification approved by the National Yoga Alliance. For the next six months, we will meet every Tuesday evening for 3 hours , with monthly weekend intensives . I have been wanting to take a yoga teacher training (YTT from now on, ok?) since 1997 when I went to Kripalu and did a five month volunteer program. More on that another time! I don't know yet whether I really want to teach, for now I am just looking forward to deepening my practice.

I am one of ten women in the class. They are a lovely group- I can't wait to get to know everyone! I had never met the teacher before, but had heard of Diane for years. She is just a doll.

I am so lucky to have this opportunity! I think it will really help me get through the winter. I don't like the cold.
I keep saying that I need to come up with a Winter Survival Plan- the YTT will be a big part of that, as will the sauna at the gym. I need to get back into the habit of drinking tea, especially ginger tea. It's so warming.

Anyone have any  good winter survival tips? You know, besides going on vacation?