Autumn Diversions Continued

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Hope you resolve what you're going to do for flooring with your DH roybird, and in a positive way. I don't think I would be fond of paper bags either, but I haven't seen them so I really can say absolutely. It just strikes me as rather bland and not the happiest of colors. Reusing Christmas wrapping paper would be more colorful. Also, go look up what linoleum is. Its not much different from margerine. Once realize that you can use just about anything. The hard part is getting it into a form that is socially acceptable.

Sorry about your kidney stone situation Katlian. Hope you are better soon. A toast to our kidneys with filtered water: "May they stay free of mineral deposits."

Good luch with your MIL on Thanksgiving pajarito. I like the idea of taking her a dinner from the restaurant (or wherever) and hope that if you do that she will appreciate it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

MIL's nursing home has unusually good food and will have a Thanksgiving buffet where we will join her. They are not sure she will be up for it, though, but we will join her for something then go to the restaurant. If it appears that she would eat food from her favorite restaurant we will definitely bring it. I sent her a personal size pecan pie from Whole Foods the other day and she really loved it, but she has taken a turn for the worst. We will be playing tomorrow by ear. I will try to move the reservations later in the day so we won't have one Thanksgiving at 11:30 and another at 2:00. But we can just snack at the first Thanksgiving. The point is to be there with her.

Thanks all for your good wishes!

Congrats, roybird, on reaching consensus with your DH on furniture! That is always a victory to be cheered. I am equally cheered about my DH's new electronics cabinet/stand. And even better he has agreed to sell his old one which was quite large and the latest think in 1982. For a while he wanted to put it in one of our bedrooms and I was groaning. Luckily one of his friends of questionable taste wants it and he agreed to let it go! Yea for marital agreement!
My new iron fencing arrives today, hopefully it will stop my dogs from wrecking at least part of my garden.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Thanks for yet another revelation, Paja. I need more friends with questionable taste.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I am delighted with the array and awry of ideas for redoing roybird's kitchen floor. Katlian I hope the tin foil hat is working. Paj swimming is a great de-stresser especially synchronized swimming where you get to wear very luvly bathing caps. Picante I have not been conducting any experiments other than to make suet for the birds and taste test it. I am very occupied with pouring over the maps of the great states of New Mexico and Arizona planning our trip. We fly into Las Vegas NV and are road tripping from there.

Santa Fe, NM

Dahlia, if you have time you could go from Las Vegas to Death Valley, Ca. pretty easily. It might be starting to get cooler there, like 90 or something. There are a couple of resorty places with palm trees and if you like rocks, it totally rocks! I've seen many rocks in my day and I give Death Valley a blue ribbon! The Grand Canyon is probably going to be cold and snowy in January. At least at the top. If you go anywhere near Phoenix the air quality and traffic will make you wish you hadn't. Though it will be warm. Santa Fe is cold and snirty in January unless you hit the famous January Thaw. Then, it is very pleasant for a couple of weeks, maybe, until it turns nasty again in February and even worse in March!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Well, if lucky, dahlia, you could hit a January snow in Santa Fe which is usually very nice. Here it snows a day or two, then the sun comes out and the whole place glistens until it melts which means a few days in January. Very pretty.
I agree with roybird on her Death Valley recommendation. Another one which is lovely and warm, but not as warm as Phoenix, is canyon lands -- Moab, Utah and Arches National Monument. Fabulous rocks and not too far north of the Navajo reservation. You might enjoy a trading post on the Navajo Reservation, say Kayenta and a fried mutton sandwich. The Navajo reservation is very sparsely populated and settlements are hard to find, but it is very interesting in its own way. The trading post in Kayenta sells magnificent rugs from nearby weavers -- at least they used to. Probably still do. Arches National Monument near Moab, Utah is also nearby and wonderful. Neither of these places is warm, but both are probably a good bit warmer than Calgary. It is hard to beat Arches for rocks. See:'
http://www.nps.gov/arch/photosmultimedia/index.htm?eid=400940&root_aId=602#e_400940
Just some suggestions. You can't go wrong traveling down from Nevada to AZ and NM. There is so much to see.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Paj, sorry to hear about your MIL's health. I hope she enjoys her thanksgiving.

It's too bad you are flying Dahlia, because I know some really great places in Nevada to find rocks that you can take home with you. That might be a bit heavy for your baggage though. I'm sure the airline would charge extra for rocks and it might freak out the people who work the xrays. We once got pulled aside at security because we had a big, scary grapefruit in one of our bags.

The urologist said that people in dry climates tend to get kidney stones more often because they don't drink enough water. Since the amount we lose to evaporation is so high it's important to keep track of how much fluid comes out, not how much goes in. It will probably be a couple of weeks till I find out what kind of stones they were but no matter what they're made of, more water will help.

Roybird, I think you and DH have the same taste in interior design. Every time we visit my parents (who are terrible packrats) he comes home and cleans out a closet or two.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

This is whole trip is about finding a retirement haven with druids and rocks and cactii (and maybe a dragon or two) in New Mexico or Arizona which is why we aren't spending time in NV or CA this trip. I will be dmailing everyone on our route when we get the timing finalized so we can get together and visit ^_^

Santa Fe, NM

That's funny, Katlian, because my D.H.'s parents are packrats almost to the point of being hoarders! They are emotionally attached to all manner of junk and truly feel they could not live with less of anything. I tend to hang on to stuff too long myself but periodically get rid of things. Especially after visiting his parents! We'll be over there for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Speaking of kidney stones and calcium deposits; I have heard that Americans take in far more calcium in our diets than we are likely to need. Interesting because doctors are always insisting women must have more of it. A friend of mine who had breast cancer went to a doctor in L.A. who believes American women are "becoming calcified" and hence the high rate of breast cancer. I take some calcium but not as much as my doctor would like. So far, no problem. I bet that part about not drinking enough water is right on the money, though, because it is so dry here.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I too think water as refreshing beverage is a very good thing however our water is very high in minerals so will give you kidney stones if you don't filter it. We, in Cowtown, have a reservoir but I still wouldn't drink it unfiltered. I'm sure it has something to do with the big rocks sharing themselves as the water passes through them. These are naturally occuring minerals and good for rocks but not good for peoples. Those around us are on well water. My dear bud jcpmm has well water that kills his plants :O He is totally relying on his rain barrels for his garden. I also ponder the calcium OD factor when I take my calmag every morning. There is an upside to the calcium intake though. Naturally tipsy peoples who fall off their buddy ladders all the time have less breakability ^_^

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I feel so fortunate that we have such excellent tap water here in Denver.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

You are very lucky, Jude. Ours is good here in Los Alamos, but has a lot of silica which, as far as I know, doesn't hurt people, but it sure does clog up your faucets and ice makers and dishwashers, and makes rings in your toilets.
I, too, am taking calcium at doctor's insistence and so is DH. I hope it is good for us. It is so hard to know what is good for us and what isn't these days because Oriental Medicine is now meeting with Western Medicine ( and I include foods in my mind as part of medicine) and we haven't yet sorted out what to keep and what to throw out among the two bodies of knowledge. And it will be a long time before we know.
But I do know that rocks, in general, are good -- but some aren't very helpful for humans -- like uranium and radium rocks. Also arsenic rocks aren't good in any large quantity.
I do save my rainwater for my plants, though. It is pure of most things. Unfortunately, I need more gutters, downspouts and rainbarrels. The one I have is hardly enough. And I need a pump to push the water out to my garden. Moving it in watering cans, though elegant, takes forever.
Have a great Thanksgiving or Accion de Gracias, as they say in Spanish speaking countries. Eat too much, just this one day and remember those who need our help.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj wrote: It is so hard to know what is good for us and what isn't these days because Oriental Medicine is now meeting with Western Medicine ( and I include foods in my mind as part of medicine) and we haven't yet sorted out what to keep and what to throw out among the two bodies of knowledge.

We think alike!
I do have a good idea how to blend both East & West in terms of foods, herbs & supplements and even most Rx drugs. But I went to graduate school for 4 years to learn how to do so (after a bachelor's degree in kinesiology/coaching/health which included too much human physiology and nutrition). It's still hard. I have to do a lot of questioning of my patients to figure out exactly what their _actual_ diet is like plus factor in all their herbs, supplements and drugs. People forget or don't pay attention to what they put into their mouth, or they "forget".

Santa Fe, NM

Hope everyone is enjoying Thanksgiving! I have washed dishes, showered and made cranberry sauce. Still need to peel potatoes and help with Waldorf salad. The turkey is in, up at the Folks'. S.I.L. is doing first shift and DH will do 2nd. Everything is going according to plan but about an hour late, so far.
On another subject, I've been going through some discussion with my brothers about Xmas "gifting" this year. Kids all get presents from everyone, but our adult exchanges have been Amazon gift certificates the past couple of years. I was trying to get them to go back to something more personal and one brother thought up a complicated gift exchange idea with a minimum of $75 to be spent per person. So that put us at $150 per couple. There are 3 couples. That seems excessive to me. But, I decided that as an alternative for us they could make a donation to our favorite charity, of Any amount. My D.H.'s family asks for gifts like a paper back book, or a c.d.; inexpensive gifts. D.H. has many relatives, though. One year his mother gave a young-just-graduated-from-college grandson a box of individually wrapped canned goods, presuming he would need to stock a kitchen. You should've seen his face as he unwrapped each can! ( He ended up moving back home with his parents. ) So, I am already being presented with opportunities for Holiday Stress. Please send me good vibes to handle all this gracefully! Time to peel potatoes, " chop wood, carry water. "







Santa Fe, NM

We crossed posts, Jude! Speaking of strange combinations in food substances, I dumped half an ounce of Drambuie in to my coffee this morning after the gifting discussion, and it tasted great! Wouldn't do it every day but I had already had my oatmeal and bananas so it seemed reasonable.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Coffee and Irish Cream is a very refreshing morning brew too roybird.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Jude, I've just recently received information that my 3rd chakra is very depleted. "It's like someone plugged in a large appliance and sucked out all the energy" is what she said. I know the 3rd chakra is associated with the earth element, so...

I take it that means I need to eat more roots, tubers and grubs, right?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Mudpies may be needed.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I'll happily send some grubs picante, my strawberry roots are full of them every spring. How about some rolly-pollies, I have lots of those too. We all want you to have a properly balanced diet.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Jude, how wonderful that you have such understanding of the human body both from the Eastern and Western point of view. Now I understand why you brought such wonderfully tasty, but healthy dishes to the potluck in Denver. You know what you are doing!
What my acupuncturist said is that my energies are upside down. I have no idea what that means, but she is now working on my feet. My neck and shoulders no longer hurt. She wants to have me totally healed before I see the neurosurgeon -- on Monday. She is getting close.
I am afraid I try not to remember what I have put in my mouth because I know it is always too much. But I am a terrible foodie.

Roybird, a Brandy Milk Punch is a New Orleans breakfast tradition. And now you know why. See recipe at:

http://blog.nola.com/dining/2007/10/nos_best_cocktails_the_brandy_1.html

It is especially popular during the holidays. I highly recommend it.

Family gifts are a terrible problem -- especially when you aren't near enough to the person to know for sure what they want or already have. And you have a lot of family to buy gifts for, Roybird. I would find it difficult, too, except for the kids. It is always fun to shop for kids.

Today we went to a movie after Thanksgiving with MIL at the nursing home. It was a Japanese movie called Still Walking and I highly recommend it. It is the opposite of a thriller -- just a close look at Japanese family dramas which aren't so different from those of any other country's but with different food, customs and mannerisms. Enjoyed watching the grandmother prepare a special Japanese meal for children and grand children. Very interesting.

There are some advantages to having a minuscule family and one of them is that we don't have too much holiday preparation and cooking. I didn't think I would like it, but actually I do.



Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Picante -
Chakras are not part of any theory in Chinese or Oriental medicine. I think they are part of the yoga traditions. I do know that the traditional Ayurvedic medicine of Indian origin has many things in common with traditional Chinese medicine and visa versa. I think (but am very unsure) that yoga originated in India as well and is more of a meditative tradition, but I know next to nothing about it. I picked up 2 or 3 useful stretching poses and that's about it.

Santa Fe, NM

I was wondering about all the chakra talk. We don't have chakras in tai chi or chi gung ( we do have tantiens ). I think India; I'll bet D.J. is right. I don't know much about yoga, either. I do know some tai chi students who also practice yoga and pilates, bicycling and skiing! As for the Xmas situation, look at the Good News, thread!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am an on-again off-again yoga practitioner. There isn't a lot of "knowing" in yoga. One simply practices the postures which are suitable for your situation. There are nice stories that go with some of them. Mostly the idea is to do the pose to the best of your ability and that will bring relaxation, strength, health, etc. I am no expert, but that is my experience. Different poses are for different conditions.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I know, Jude. The chakras are part of Indian tradition, but it's interesting to me that they seem to correspond to the tantiens, and both are defined as centers of energy. The lower tantien is approximately the same location as the sacral chakra. The middle tantien is in the location of the heart chakra. The upper tantien is where the brow (third eye) chakra is, I think.

The third chakra is at the solar plexus. I think it corresponds to spleen in TCM. An acupuncturist would say my spleen chi is deficient, or something like that.

I really don't know any more than basics, but possibly Mulch does. I wish I knew more about which foods to avoid and which to emphasize. I was doing fine with turkey dinner yesterday, and just before I left, I sampled the lemon tart. Everything suddenly went steep downhill: mental state, physical state, and I had gut pain all night.

I want to say hooray for your neck & shoulders, PJ, as mine always seem to hurt!

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

I am not a yoga expert, but there are several kinds of yoga. What paj described is the basic physical yoga mostly taught in the west, but there are other variants that emphasize meditation and breathing in highly advanced ways, etc.

I am also not an expert in oriental medicine.

Sent you a dmail, Picante.

Oh, and I forgot to mention in the dmail I did create a healing meditation called the Alchemy of the Singing Cells that works specifically with the solar plexus chakra. It has CCT built into it so it creates some really interesting results. The first time I used the recorded cd with a group of maybe 50 people in Minneapolis, I sat and watched to see if it was going to work as well as when I personally speak the meditation in a group. At the end no one moved and I eventually had to start talking to them to bring them out of it, certainly made an impact. That was fun!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yes, I know there are deep meditation forms of yoga, even the kind of yoga I have studied. I just never went very deeply into them. The teachers did and were willing to teach more. I just didn't get involved. But I never heard of anything in yoga that corresponds to chakras. But maybe they just didn't mention it to me.

My news is that my MIL died in her sleep early this morning. We are glad we had Thanksgiving with her yesterday. DH is kind of a mess. I have been too for the past two weeks -- forgetting important appointments, etc. etc. She died in her sleep, apparently peacefully. We are numb right now. She was a significant presence in our lives and we will miss her, though we all had issues with her. We are making funeral arrangements now, but she will be buried in Lampasas,Texas with her parents.
Sorry to dampen the cheer here, but thought I should tell you as you all have become sort of family to me. She was 89 years old, so her passing was not unexpected.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I'm so sorry for your loss dear Paja. Sending hugs to you and your true luv. Even though a passing is expected it still hurts the heart.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Thanks so much, dahlia. You are so right.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

PJ, bless you and your husband. Grief can make a person spacey. You've been tuned in to her immanent passing, no doubt.
Still sending you stress-reduction vibes. Go gently.

Santa Fe, NM

Paja, I'm sad for you and D.H. Even when not unexpected it is still a shock.
Picante, your comparison of the chakras and tantiens is what I have learned about in Taoist meditation. Chi Gung, as I know it, moves energy through the body and involves the spine, the tantiens and the mind. Not to mention various muscles, etc. The way I have been taught is that Chi Gung is meditative, but not necessarily meditation. Tai Chi is a martial art form that may ( and I think ought to ) incorporate what has been learned from Chi Gung and meditation. Tai Chi can be done as a health practice. I am not a D.O.M. but have some understanding of the principles. To me, the most important thing is to keep chi from becoming blocked and the way to do that is to cultivate awareness of your own body/mind/spirit. Which takes practice. It would be a lot easier to just turn it all over to a health care professional and not concern yourself - but probably not very effective. Darn! : )

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Paj, you saw a Japanese movie yesterday and we saw an Irish one: The Boys (and the Girl) from County Clare. It's one of my favs, so when we found the VHS video for $1, we bought it and took it over to my mom & stepdad's. It had us tappin' our feet. And afterwards, I couldn't get one tune out of my head (Whiskey in the Jar). The family dynamics and pure Irishness of this film are something to behold!

Roybird, we do a few Chi Gung exercises in our Tai Chi class. These days it's usually "gathering chi" or "swimming dragon".

I've never been terribly interested in the easy route to anything. We have many examples of people who turn their health over to the disease-care system. There is much money going in one direction, but health is not generally part of the result. Frustration is.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Paj, I am sorry to hear about your MIL's passing. To give her credit, she managed this pretty gracefully, since you and your DH were able to share Thanksgiving with her. Nothing ever really prepares anyone for the death of someone close to them, and I wish you and your husband well as you go through the grieving time.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj, I too send my condolences. Please don't be hard on yourself for missing some things, you have been going through a challenging and emotional time. I agree that when and how MIL passed on was graceful. Sending my love and breathing, peaceful thoughts to you.

Brenda

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey, ((((((Paj))))) hugs to you...... I am glad I looked in here just now to learn of your news, even tho it is sad news, still, I am wanting to know of important things in your life......

I have been so involved with getting set up here I have not had time to keep up with everything, but perhaps soon I can weave back in a bit more....... it is rather lovely here, I will say...... stories to tell but no time to tell them! Yow!

Dirt on the floor -- Dahlia, I used to have a boyfriend who would jokingly accuse me of potting plants in the bed! (I didn't tell him he was right, I did do that sometimes, but hey, it was a really small place I lived in then, LOL!)

Ah, love you all....... good winter company......

Greenjay, all weirdness may in fact hide deeper weirdness. Those who are truly weird know this.

;-)

Santa Fe, NM

Well, I wish you would weave in more! Tell or show us pictures of your new home. It hasn't been much like winter at all here. Very dry and not too cold. We might get a storm coming in Sunday. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Blizzarous YA! Mositure YA! Major car smashes BOO! Hope no ones hurt.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I have not even taken any pictures yet, my bad! And sadly, I was sick all day Thanksgiving, but it was a 24 hour thing, over now, thank goodness.

Just busy still, trying to get set up. For instance, just had a bed delivered Wednesday night, was sleeping on couch cushions! (they were quite comfy, but still.......)

Ooops, looks like I missed an important news bit in my scanning, major car smashes, Dnut? (we cross posted just there......) yes, no hurts, please! ;-)



This message was edited Nov 27, 2009 8:53 PM

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Thanks Kyla. Our version of the Super Bowl which is the Grey Cup is in Cowtown this weekend so crazy busy + blizzard. Major pileups are on the highways coming in. I hope everyone has way too much fun but stays safe! Our friends are all coming in tomorrow and the weather passes through tonight so it wll better. WHEW!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Oh, stay safe, Dahlianut! I'm hoping it snows here tomorrow for selfish reasons... nonetheless, snow fairies are welcome here tomorrow!

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj - so sorry to hear of your loss. Take care of you and yours and do the grieving that needs to be done. My best is with you.

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