Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dojo No No Go Go

While I had high hopes of becoming warrior woman and renewing my martial arts skills, my last trip to the dojo proved to be a little disconcerting. For starters, the school has changed from what it was 12 years ago. There is much less emphasis on technique and form (which builds confidence in using those skills) and a TON of focus on sparring. I found myself too far outside my comfort zone with the grappling and sumo wrestling (like, wait, isn't this karate class?), and the final straw came when one of the students got his leg broken during some intense sparring (complete with screaming and being carried out to be taken to the hospital.) This, my friends, was the recipe to send this girl packing up her gee bound for the nearest yoga class. Ommmmmmmmmmmm.

How awesome is this picture of Keira Knightly in her role as Guinevere in King Arthur.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Remembering My Boy

Today is the one year mark since letting my dear, sweet Oreo go. In some ways it feels like a year, in others, just a few weeks. What an experience: his great, long life with me; the last days; this last year! I have grieved, bargained, denied, felt guilty, felt okay, felt his presence, changed my beliefs, and lived a whole range of other emotions. You learn just how desperate you can feel when you lose something you love so much. It was like losing my parents, but different in ways - it was the culmination of all the deaths into one big, crazy, multi-faceted heart break. The key thing that came of it all is my belief in something after this life. I believe it much more strongly now, because of my strong desire to hold the darling black and white bundle in my arms again - and also just that it does seem to make sense. I've read a lot about NDEs, talked to animal communicators, read cajillions of online reports, and most helpful, read the book called The Soul of Your Pet by Scott S. Smith. It was very comforting and hopeful. I know there is so much we don't know - even in this life that we live each day - and most certainly about the one that comes after we take the next step!

I love this picture of him all comfy and relaxed in the middle of the soft bed. Rest easy my dear one. I'll see you one day again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tabtastic Wednesday

Just about every morning, Kate goes into attack mode. Her target: the little mat by the front door. She kicks, bites, and scratches it for about 30 minutes, as we, of course, watch the show. A girl -- or is that a squirrel? -- on a mission!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weddings, Weddings

Alana and Danny are getting married in August and this weekend Judy C. hosted the wedding shower at her home in Carlsbad. It was really nice - lots of good conversation and ooh'ing and ahh'ing over the sweet shower gifts. The table was covered with goodies to eat. We also partook of some yummy peach-flavored sparkling wine. The cake was so good - from Flour Power. One bell was chocolate and the other a zesty lemon. Dee-licious! I had to sample each bell, of course. Izabel is clearly happy about the cake.

Judy and Jack are the family that have the turtles (and, I should add, two lovely daughters!!) - yes, these are the turtles that were evacuated during the fires to J.'s parents' house. This is a picture of their very nifty outdoor abode, complete with shady getaway at the very back. Happy turtle haven...where the livin' is slow and easy, and posh!, for sure. :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

In the Courtyard

The olive tree we planted when we first re-did the outside of the house is really growing! It did not come to the roof line when it was first planted! And it was skinny!

We also added this little dude a while back. He sends a nice serene hello to arriving guests.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Totally Tabular Tuesday...on Wednesday

Kate sends Tabby inspiration through the the back of the computer screen. Of course, it's just a stopping point on her way around to the keyboard where she will want to lay on my left arm and go to sleep. Fortunately it's not the mouse arm. Work? Who needs to get work done?

And heeeeeeeeeear she comes, around the outside, around the outside. Oh how stretchy you are!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Everybody was Kung Fu Figh-ting. . .

...even me. Yes, many probably do not know that over my lifetime I have taken about four years of martial arts training - back when I was ~28, again at 32. So, how did this all get started again? Well, I'm reading this book called Anxious to Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice. (This link goes to the book's authors' site.) I chose the book based on some recent self-reflection - not just for the obvious subject matter (chronic niceness!), but other things that the book lists in its table of contents. One of my favorite sections talks about writing down - even if it exists vaguely in your head - your personal ethic. I think the act of writing it down is what makes it different - seeing it all there in words. Might be an interesting blog challenge (can't think of that crazy word that sounds like neem, I think.) I enjoyed a milder version of an "ethic" here at this cool blog called Dacia Ray, which I found while lolling about at Craft Lolly, another fun blog. Anyway..........I find that when I don't consciously live my personal ethic, but rather ebb and flow based on other people's expectations and beliefs, that I feel like I'm bidding on bluegrass concert tickets and don't like bluegrass. Things get off kilter, disingenuous. While the problem isn't huge, I'm always looking to improve moi-self, so I'm taking steps. So, karate, what about the karate? In the book, it mentions the benefits of martial arts for nice folks. Not just because it equips you with ninja fighting techniques (hee hee), but because it increases your confidence (to live your personal ethic) and comes with the byproducts of better balance, fitness (I can barely breathe today after last night's class, I'm so sore), and overall feeling of self-sufficiency. Last night was my first class and I'm signing up for 6 months. We'll see after that. They "issued" me my white belt at the end of class, in front of everyone. Kinda funny because 12 years earlier I was issued one in that very dojo, which the sensei mentioned as he was tying it around my waist.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tabtastic Friday

Tuesday seemed to zing by so fast I hardly remember it. Correction: I do not remember it at all - not one minute of it! If this is what the aging process does, I'm gonna need a chalkboard on my chest by the time I reach 50 so people can write instructions like: you are Robin.

But without further adieu, Kate on a favorite chair in the living room being Tabtastically lazy:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Totally Tabular Tuesday (TTT) ... on Thursday!?

Hey, that camera strap looks fun to play with! ~swat, swat~

Even as the work siren sounds in the background (oh, I can hear it!), as I have a white paper due tomorrow (!), I must do a blog post. Because TTT must continue! Funny Kate story: So this morning she's all mournfully meowrrrrring outside the bedroom door. James got up a tad earlier and let me sleep, which meant closing the door so Miz K. couldn't come in an attack my feet! So, I lay there trying to sleep, letting her whine outside the door. Then, misguidedly, I think, "Oh, poor little thing, she really wants to come in and see me." So I get up, let her in, and jump back under the covers, and she jumps onto the bed. Not two seconds later, as I'm attempting to get more shut-eye, she ATTACKS my feet like a Florida panther, claws and teeth baring through the thin summer blanket! I yell, "Owwwwwwwwwww, Is that what you came in here to do????" James was laughing out in the living room. Guess it's time to get up!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Dawn Ward: A Simply Wonderful Gal

My dear friend, though for just a short while, Dawn Ward, passed away on 5-30-08 after battling Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I met Dawn online when I was grieving about Oreo and still researching his illness looking for what, I don't know, just answers. And there was Dawn, straight out of the universe to share herself with me. We shared many long IM sessions and even longer emails - me pouring my heart out to her, and her coming back with exactly the right words to help me process my sadness. She was such a light in this world and she will be dearly missed by me, and the many, many people she touched with her wit, humor, intelligence, and caring. This is her beloved Casper kitty who she cured of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. What a smart, great person.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Nicolefest '08

Jane asked me the other day if I'd blogged about Nicolefest'08 and I had to say no. This must be remedied! So, we made the trek: 9 of us took to the Big Easy for 4 fun-filled days and nights to celebrate Nicole's 40th birthday. It was Nicole, Jane, Paul, Mackie, me, Heather, Robin (another Robin!), Connie, and Connie's friend (I may need a little Aricept to remember her name. But, I can tell you we proceeded to spill our drinks on her at nearly every opportunity, poor girl, and she was such a good sport! The last night she did finally retaliate and spilled her drink on, I think, Connie. Finally!).

We stayed at the International Hotel on Camp Streeet - very hip. We got a good rate, but Nicole the negotiator was on that case. So, a few pictures, definitely focused on the rampant noshing that took place. Just know it was peppered with miles of walking, but still, lots of EATING.

Juan's Flying Burrito serves a dish I'd never seen: crawfish enchiladas. Of course, where else would you find these? They were really good. Wait. Were the margaritas better? Hm. Tough question. We settled in for pitchers of margaritas and food at Juan's after a hard day of vintage shopping along Magazine Street.

One morning we hunkered down to breakfast at Mother's -- the planetary epicenter of ham. Nicole had lots of interesting local spots on the agenda, and Mother's is legendary. It's almost funny that they have an online presence. They're soooooooo old school. The line goes all the way around the outside of the building, then in the door, then by the counter where you order. I love this picture of the back of Nicole's head - it shows her super-cute haircut. She's, of course, on the phone. Oh Mackie! Where are you?

This pic is from the first night - we ate at Deanies in the French Quarter. They start you off with boiled new potatoes. Quite yummy. Not to mention the bucket-sized Bloody Mary's. They were deliciously spicy and good. The second one was too. :P

More pictures to come!