Monday, April 29, 2013

One Man Band - Mike Love

This dude gives "one man band" a whole new definition.

He's got blues, folk, island, reggae, ska, classical, Spanish, looping, digitricks and SO much more.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nia Flash Mob - Director Park

Yesterday, Jason and I headed downtown to participate in a Nia Flash Mob in Director Park! I've never seen a flash mob in person - much less participated in one - it was extremely cool!

All the Nia folks in the area joined in the park at 1pm on Saturday to dance 3 songs. StudioNia - the Nia world headquarters - is right across the street and looks down into the park. Jason and I went to the studio for a free 52 Moves class and then joined the group for the flash mob.

I danced and Jason videoed.

Check out the little kid swerving in and out of the mob - like Frogger!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


It's pretty fitting that the Johnny-Jump-Ups we planted last year popped up next to the "peek-a-boo" gnome!

Absolutely gorgeous and medicinal too. Check it out.

These flowers (and most of the flowers in the front bed) are from my friend Krissy's house. We've created a sort of "plant husbandry" program. We share plants from our yards or gardens with each other and get a great variety while saving tons of money.

These hyacinths are from the plant husbandry program. Fabulous!

I'm so happy spring is here and everything is blooming. It's like eye candy everywhere!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sitting is killing you!

I'm really feeling it today! Thank gawd for Nia tonight!

(click to enlarge)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Seven Big Fat Years!

Today, Jason and I have been married for seven big fat fascinating, hilarious, challenging, adventurous and love-filled years!

It doesn't seem like very much time has passed yet so much has happened in the last seven years. I can't even imagine what the next 7 will bring - much less the next 70! (Oh yes, we could live that long!)

We used to be Keystone, Jack Daniels and chicken fried steak. Now we're freshly juiced veggies and fruits and organic yogurt with flax and chia seeds.

Life unfolds in mysterious ways. I'm very excited about all of the chapters to come, in our story together.

Happy 7 year anniversary, sweetheart!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Innocence of Nature

Thought we could all use a little snapshot of the serenity and innocence of nature.

The Squirrel and the Beet Box

Not a care in the world but eating beets.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

2013 Bridge to Brews Results - we're still standing!

We did it! We ran/walked the Bridge to Brews 8k on Sunday! And we're still standing!

I have to admit, it was hard times waking up at 5:30 a.m. to darkness, hard rain and heavy winds. It was SO nasty outside. I looked out the window and mumbled something about being sadistic.

We had breakfast (yogurt, applesauce, juice), a sip of tea and got dressed in our five layers of clothes, donned rain jackets and grabbed a couple "emergency" bananas.

We headed to the MAX around 6:45am. The weather had cleared a little and it was just cold and windy - rain had subsided. None of the ticket machines worked so we hopped on the train ticketless. I'd already checked to see what time the next train was in case we missed the 7:04am - it wasn't until 7:45. There was no way we were getting off at the next station to buy a ticket - we'd risk it until we transferred to the yellow line downtown and explain our case if needed. Not necessary - no ticket check.

Fast forward to the race area - about 8:30 a.m. Weather is holding up nicely. Still windy and cold but no rain, just giant looming clouds. We hit the honey buckets and lined up and tried to stretch.  They were releasing in waves so we stayed to the back. There were SO many people - well over a thousand!

Jason was carrying his wallet, car keys, two bananas and other miscellany. Moments before we took off, Jason decided to pound a banana to make some room in his jacket. Two seconds later we were at the start line and 10 seconds later we were released.

Immediately upon making the first turn is the steepest hill EVER. It should have had stairs - it was like a 75 degree angle almost straight up. So we hit this first hill and calves are burning, thighs are screaming, lactic acid is building...and Jason's banana is trying to kill him.

I looked over and Jay wasn't doing so good. That banana was fighting its way back up and the hill was kicking our asses! The look on my dear sweet husband's face was the deciding factor of which "self*" was running today.

*In my last post, I talked about the ego self wanting a good score, the zen self wanting to "smell the moment"  and experience this adventure with Jason, survival self saying run for your life, it's cold. I said I would listen to the loudest self - and I did. *

It's funny because the self that screamed was the "partner" self. Not one I had really considered, but after one look at my struggling man and I knew I wouldn't leave his side. Not looking like that - he needed a partner - and that's what we are - so we worked our way up the hill, onto the Fremont bridge.

We were in it together -- like life.

(If you look hard, you can see the people on the bridge above.)

Once we got on the bridge, it was actually incredibly frightening. They only closed one lane of traffic and we were running into oncoming traffic. Huge trucks were screaming past us and we were on the lower level so you couldn't really see the sky. The noise was deafening. We both went inside ourselves and did a crazy sort of walking meditation. I had to block out the noise and Jay had to block out the Hollywood crash scenes going through his head. We both recollected on the bridge collapse scene in The Mothman Prophecies. Something like an 18 wheeler hitting 20 of us and blasting all of us over the rail - truck and all - into the Willamette River. Luckily nothing remotely close to that happened.

 (Look how close that truck is!! And it was hauling ASS!)

After that, we were in the Pearl District and Jason was looking good, moving good so we did some running. We played leap frog with a couple ahead of us. We'd overtake them and they'd kick it up and overtake us. We ended up finishing before them though ;-)

 After the Pearl, we crossed back over to the East side via Broadway Bridge. Much less scary than the Fremont!

(Doesn't he look like he's having the time of his life?!?)

One hour and 10 minutes from the time we started, we crossed the finish line. Proceeded to have two beers and watch an awesome band playing The Band songs (which seems to be the preferred music of race events). The rains came on hard but we didn't care - we finished! They were serving HUGE sausages on giant buns - but no way. After the banana debacle, we just wanted to get home and make a juice, which we did.

All in all, it was a great day. If nothing else, Jason and I now know that if nuclear destruction begins and we have to flee, we can make it 5 miles in a little over an hour. Very useful information, indeed!

We were pretty sore when we got home but we yoga'd it out and took it easy for the rest of the day. I had a bit of a "down" feeling yesterday. I think crashing from a running high is kind of like crashing from a drug high - it doesn't feel so great and dumps you off lower than you started. I rehydrated, meditated, yoga'd and finally got back to an "even" place by the evening. I thought this was an interesting side effect that I hadn't really heard of - maybe it's just me - not sure.

At the end of the day, we decided Jason will probably mark 8k off his bucket list and let it go at that. I kind of want to do the Mt. Tabor 8k in August. That will, literally, be a walk in the park compared to this concrete jungle bridge maze.

Here's a photo album of pictures from the race. Jason was snapping as he was going. He got almost every turn except that insane hill at the beginning. He was too busy trying to keep that banana in his guts!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Ready. Set. Go!

Tomorrow is the Bridges to Brews 8/10k race here in Portland. We are really excited about the special views of the city we'll be getting when we go over the Fremont Bridge. Did you know it has the longest main span of any bridge in Oregon and is the second longest tied arch bridge in the world (after Caiyuanba Bridge across the Yangtze River, China)? Amazing!

Here's a pic from last year's race. They close off the whole road! This is gonna be wild!

 That sucker is huge with a very steep incline. One of my Nia cohorts used to be a long-distance track coach and he gave me a few pointers for climbing the bridge:

1. Shorten your stride when you go up the big hills. You can take quick short steps but don't try to long-stride pump it up the mountain (which was exactly my plan - thanks for the heads up, Fred!)
2. Pick a point BEYOND the apex of the bridge. Focus on something 200 -300 yards in the distance (I'm thinking one of those houses up on the West Hills). This way you'll continue to breathe through it as you go over the hill and maintain composure while descending. If you focus on the apex of the bridge, you'll most likely stop breathing in  pace when you reach the top and then huff and puff on the way down.

Jason picked up our shirts and bib tags yesterday. Tech shirts came with registration - so we'll be all dudded up tomorrow!

Down side of this is that the weather is supposed to be typical Portland April weather tomorrow - mid 50s and rainy. Rainiest day of the week they say. Oh well, that's why we have layers! It'll be a true Oregonian experience.

My big dilemma (not really that big) is whether to run for a good race time and try to get myself "ranked" or to hang back and brisk walk it with Jason. He's planning to walk really really fast because running is very painful for him. Dude got tackled top and bottom (at the same time!) in high school football and it destroyed his knees. He basically has no ACL and his knees sound like gravel - but he still sign up to do this with me. What a wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have the best partner in crime EVER.

Anywhooo - back to the dilemma. I've never really been competitive so it's not natural for me to want to smoke everyone and get a phenomenal time, but I would like to know how I measure up. But I would also like to enjoy the experience with my hubs. 

The committee between my ears sounds like this:

My ego self says "Run - I bet you can do it in an hour. Validate yourself and your abilities. Make a statement about who you are by getting a good time."

My zen self says "Hang back with the love of your life. Experience this with Jason.  Take pictures. Smell the moment! What do scores matter anyway?"

I also hear my survival instinct self quietly saying "Run like hell or you'll freeze your ass off!"

We'll see how my selves are feeling tomorrow and I'll just listen to the loudest one.

Trust in thy selves...

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Before the rains came

We've had spectacular weather for the last week or so. The rains are back today but here are some pictures of those magnificent 70 degree blue-sky days.


Magnolia tree in Hillsboro

Crash and Jay (check out that dog's tongue!)

Bolting Bok Choy
Blooming Rosemary

Maple-chu has been resurrected! She was pretty much just a dead twig all winter so we cut her WAY back and hoped for the best. Today she's looking better than ever with new, strong branches and leaves coming out.

It never ceases to amaze me what nature can do if you just get out of its way!