Monday, May 31, 2010

Morning happens when I say it happens.

Where: Home
When: May 28, 2010

That's Pandora, rather than the more commonly photographed Kitten. Panda (our nickname for her) is more reserved, and is much less of a ham. And is serious about sleeping in, regardless of the often noisy morning activities of the creatures she lives with.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

We rented bikes today, and it was fantastic! Rode up the river as far as the bike path goes (which turns out to be 10.5 miles) and then back, in about 2 hours. I completely forgot how ridiculously fun riding a bike is! I was grinning like an idiot the entire time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Woman Is Walking

A Woman Is Walking
Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

Variation on A Woman Stares Out At The Sea

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kitten Coil

Where: London, UK
When: March 27, 2009

I just went to the gym. By myself. In the middle of the day. Which surprised me by how ridiculously decadent it felt. When I walked out reveling in the post-cardiovascular-plus-some-weights-and-a-nice-long-stretch-workout glow into the beautiful afternoon we're currently having, I felt cleansed, refreshed, and relaxed in a way that I haven't felt in months. It felt like I had just been on vacation for a week. Bliss.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Pack Puppy

Where: The drive back from the beach to Eugene, OR
When: April 23, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Land I Grew In

Where: Bradford, VT
When: November 7, 2009

The view from the house I grew up in, where my parents still live. That is the Connecticut River, and New Hampshire. The snow-capped mountain is Moosilauke.

One excellent side effect of the relatively disastrous climbing day Sunday of last week was that I got to see my parents one more time on Monday morning, and I also got to see my younger sister and give her several hugs. Today is her birthday, I wish I could be up there. Dad made waffles, and the weather is apparently lovely so they are going to set up the hammock.

They are also (re)engaging in the Sisyphean task of clearing out years of accumulation from the sheds, which have recently been outfitted with beautiful doors and windows, so I'd love to help with that too, you never know what you'll find in that kind of effort. I wonder if our old Castle Grayskull is still in there...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Where: West Village, NYC
When: April 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ah, weekends

I had a little more excitement this weekend than I was really anticipating. My friend and I, seduced by reports of good weather, headed up to New Hampshire this weekend to (the theory was) climb at Rumney and Cannon. Saturday ended up being rainy for most of it, so we headed up to North Conway and did a couple of climbs in the afternoon when the rain cleared out.

Then Sunday we decided to climb at Cannon, specifically, a route called Moby Grape. It's about 8 pitches. It took much longer than anticipated, and while my friend has had far, far more epic days, it was easily the longest, most mentally and physically trying day of my life. It involved 12 hours straight of climbing (well, periods of climbing followed by periods of standing still and shivering while belaying) that was frankly far too hard for my current level of strength, and we topped out at 9:20pm. Then we had to find the trail down by the light of head lamps, and not slip, fall, break an ankle, or accidentally step off the side of the 1,000 foot cliff we just climbed. It took us just under three hours to get back to the car.

We got back to the car at midnight, and still needed to somehow get the 6+ hours back to NYC on no sleep and far too much activity. After we have to reduce our speed to a crawl due to far to frequent moose encounters, and after I nearly fall asleep at the wheel, and my friend became suddenly incapacitated (thankfully just prior to taking over the driving) by vicious leg cramps that lasted for a horrifying 30 or 40 minutes, we gave up and drove to my parents place, which was much closer than home at this point.

We get to my parents place at 2 in the morning and I refused to scare them by pounding on the door or calling them at this hour, so we slept in their driveway in the truck in sleeping bags instead. I still ended up scaring them by knocking on the door at 6:30 when we woke up, but to be fair I thought Dad would already be awake by then. So after a few minutes of confusion and explanations, I had the best, hottest, most wonderful shower I've ever had, followed by a delicious-beyond-description breakfast in a warm and sunny room, and suddenly all the cold and fear and exhaustion of the day before didn't seem all that bad, and in fact started to take on the colors of a fun and exciting adventure.

And that right there is the sickest thing about this climbing business. No matter how horrible it gets, you end up wanting to do it all over again. I mean, LOOK at how glorious the day was!

cannon cliff
(I think I took this shot. My friend definitely took the rest of them.)
finger of fate
(That's me.)
pitch 4
(So's that.)
approaching the cave
(See how dark it is already? We still had two or three pitches to go at that point. I had just come to the realization that I was at the limit of what I could mentally and physically handle, and had realized that I had to keep doing this for at least another 4-6 hours anyway. The next pitch included a cave/roof that thoroughly broke me, in a way I have never been broken. I somehow managed to recover from the screaming, crying hysteria and figure out how to get up and over it, but it took a little while. But the point is - now it's over! And surely next time will be much better! What?? I don't have a problem.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kitten says: I can haz study?

Kitten says, I can haz study?
Where: Home
When: May 11, 2010

Ok so it's not the greatest photo but it makes me giggle every time I look at it, and that's not nothing. I was laughing so hard while taking it I could barely hold the camera straight.

She had been trying to "help" me all day with the studying. This help included: scattering notes all about the floor, so that I have to read them so I can put them back in order, sitting in my lap and bumping the hand with the pen as I'm trying to make note cards, and insisting on laying in my lap but also ACROSS one or both arms.

The main reason that her name remains Kitten is that she continues, at 4 years old, to participate in antics like this, and to have that wide-eyed kittenness in her approach to nearly everything in her world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And their necks crane

Where: Hudson River, from home, NYC
When: May 4, 2010

Title from Massive Attack's "Pray for Rain". T-38-ish hours until the concert!!!

I desperately didn't want to do my yoga this morning, I was feeling all cranky and tired and just wanted the interwebs and coffee, but thanks to the contract I did it anyway. I'm glad I did. And now I have coffee and interwebs anyway!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Salty Dog

Salty Dog
Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

I have a whole lot of moody black and white stuff lined up, so I'm going to try to break it up a bit with a liberal sprinkling of adorableness, otherwise known as Rufus.

I renewed my yoga/meditation "contract" for this week - I anticipate that Thursday will need to be skipped, due to the Massive Attack concert on Wednesday, but I might be able to do at least the meditation part. I am actually finding the reintroduction of meditation into my routine to be one of my favorite parts of this. Well, that and the gradual increase in flexibility. During the week, when I only have time for a few poses, I am concentrating them on the hamstring/low back tightness. Loosening these areas up make walking, and sitting in class with a straight back much more comfortable.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Bird's Way

Travel the bird's way
Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

"Now you can enter among diverse beings and travel the bird's way without hindrance, free at last."
-- The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi, "Cultivating the Empty Field".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pray for Rain

Pray for Rain
Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

Title from the Massive Attack song of the same name.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tree Me

Where: Eugene, OR (on the way up Spencer Butte)
When: April 25, 2010

I loved the woods out there. Here, the trees are more varied, and there tends to be a lot of undergrowth - bushes, smaller trees, etc. Out there, it was just big straight pines, and the undergrowth consisted largely of ferns and big rocks. It had a really cool, quiet, primordial feel to it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Someone else's feet

Where: Florence, OR
When: April 23, 2010

OH bare feet. These aren't my prints, but after taking this shot I took my shoes off too, since it seemed like such a good idea. I think a good 30-40% of my joy about the beach was getting to be barefoot. The sand was exceptionally soft, it was delightful. I got to be barefoot most of the time while outside at Kripalu this weekend as well.

Soft sand and thick grass underfoot make for the most deliciously sensual experience. It's wonderful for walking meditation as well, you can focus so intensely on all the different sensations on all the different regions of each foot. Plus you have to watch out for hurty stones and sticks, so spacing out is effectively discouraged.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nose, With Dog

Nose, With Dog
Where: Eugene, OR
When: April 22, 2010

This is Rufus, our friends' adorable puppy. There will be more pictures of his adorableness posted later on, don't anybody worry.

I'm posting tonight because I won't have time tomorrow morning, because I'm doing a week where I spend the morning doing meditation/yoga, along with breakfast without distractions. It's an experiment in a particular planning method which involves making a very specific, time limited plan for a change you want to implement in your life. You have to write it ALL down, and there are rules about what you write down - for example, you have to be VERY SPECIFIC about the change, and about the time frame, and about the conditions under which you are allowed to deviate from the plan. And then you have to sign it. I think the signing is a little silly, but Dave assures me there are studies about human nature and our unnatural obsession with contracts. Ok fine.

The interesting thing about writing it all down was that it took dedicated thought about what normally happens in my mornings, and what precisely I would have time for, and what I would have to give up in order to implement this. It really drove home the reasoning behind the plan, and also why most "I'm going to do xyz from now on" type plans fail so reliably - making a change is hard, largely because we've already filled up our lives with other things we value but don't think about, and then when the moment comes to make a choice, if we haven't anticipated and made a decision about the moment in advance, then we go with the habit rather than with the new.

For me, I realized that it's incredibly important that I leave the house with the dog at the same time that Dave does, so we can walk him to the train. So I couldn't leave earlier with the dog to make more time, because then I'd come home and he'd be gone and I wouldn't get to say goodbye and that would make me sad. It also didn't seem to make sense to do the yoga while he's getting ready and leaving, since saying goodbye (the main thing I value) and his getting ready would interrupt the yoga (which seems counterproductive).

I also really value having coffee and breakfast in a relatively leisurely manner. So I had to be very strict/realistic about the number of yoga poses I was allowing myself, while also deciding that the email/blog surfing makes the coffee/breakfast time far more leisurely than it had to be, and therefore nixing it in favor of meditation/pranayama/yoga time pre-breakfast.

Finally, the 10-20 minutes of yoga isn't really all the practice I want, so I also included in the plan one day - on Saturday morning - where I would go through all the poses I learned over the last weekend. And then Sunday I take off. And then I reevaluate the plan, and make adjustments as necessary, write out a new plan for the next week, and sign it.

So that's the plan! We'll see how this goes. I'm excited. I might need to make a similar plan for all the studying, today was the first day back at school and while I am super excited about the personal training course I'm taking in addition to the massage therapy, it's going to be a LOT of work to stay on top of all this.


Where: Home
When: April 20, 2010

My girl is finally starting to show her age. It was a stressful week for her at the boarding kennel while we were gone, it seems to have taken a lot out of her. Several days of rest have helped though, she's perking up now. This photo was actually taken just before the trip.


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New York City, United States

About This Blog

This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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