Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Music

About one week before Halloween I try to start planning for the upcoming seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I find that if I'm not ready by Halloween then I'm already behind. And we can't have that, now can we?

I have this wonderful book by Barbara Rainey, Thanksgiving A Time to Remember. It is beautiful , incredibly well researched, and brilliantly done. The stories in this book will amaze you: the fortitude of the Pilgrims, the Hand of God upon them, the extreme conditions they barely survived, their unwavering faith. You can read about it by clicking on the title above. Even very young children can enjoy it by the clever way in which she wrote it. It came with a CD of Thanksgiving music as well, which I loved, but have lost. I may need to order the book again just to have the CD. I love the idea of having music for Thanksgiving.

Come Ye Thankful People Come
Now Thank We All Our God
We Gather Together
For the Beauty of the Earth

Each of these songs stir up feelings for me. Of fall. Of bounty and harvest. A great sense of appreciation and gratitude to the people who risked everything for the generations yet unknown to them.

Itunes has an eclectic little mixture of songs under the title Thanksgiving Dinner. They aren't exactly worshipful, but they are fun.

Go ahead. Go make your new Itunes playlist. Let me know what you picked!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Current Obsessions

Yoga. Mmmm, yumminess. Seriously, I don't know what I did before yoga. My body has completely changed in these last several years. My muscle is long and lean (not to mention, I actually have muscle now). My flexibility has increased 10 fold. It has also been an amazing mood lifter for me. Especially at certain times of the month... when normally I'm volatile at best. Yoga releases endorphins and makes me feel oh so much more stable.

Enchiladas. I don't know why, but I have been on a major enchilada bent lately. Especially this version from all recipes, which I have made every week for the last four weeks. Along with the yum yum yummiest salsa it makes me the hap hap happiest.

The Hunger Games. I don't care that it's young adult or that it is about kids being forced to kill other kids. It's good.

The Pioneer Woman. Truly, I love this woman. In fact, I'm not sure why I'm even writing this here, since I want her all for me (she has like a 30,000 person following so I guess the secret is out). She cooks, writes, photographs, herds cattle, home schools, refers to her husband only as Marlboro Man (this may be my favorite part), and gives away really fun stuff. You can link to her site from my blog: Confessions of a Pioneer Woman/Ree Drummond. Just remember I told you about her (I don't know why that matters).

Leg warmers. Because.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And did you know...

In TT (teacher training) last time we were talking about the lungs, diaphragm, and all that good anatomy stuff relating to breathing.
Pregnancy came up, and one thing led to another, and my teacher informed us that for 45 minutes after a woman gives birth you can push your hand straight through the stomach and touch the spine. Yiy!
All the organs had been moved aside to make room for baby and after 45 minutes they are back in place. Awesome.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The yum yum yummiest salsa

I LOVE restaurant salsa. Madly. Deeply. Love. And I have been madly trying to duplicate it at home for pretty much forever. I finally stumbled upon a recipe that has the secret. And the secret is not at all what I thought it would be: canned tomatoes. Yes it is. The secret is canned tomatoes. I tweaked the recipe slightly, because that's how I roll.

1 15oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1/4- 1/2 C loose cilantro (depending on how much you like)
1/4 yellow (or sweet) onion
1 clove garlic
jarred jalapenos (yes, I mean jarred) to taste

In a mini chopper (okay, it doesn't have to be a mini chopper, it can be one of those nice big food processors, that I don't have) combine your first four ingredients. Add a good squeeze of lime and some salt, and hold onto your sombrero. It's good. Restaurant good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Things that make you go Hmmm

I've decided that I should share some of the weird things that I learn in yoga teacher training. And by weird I mean, holy crap, please don't ever mention that again, weird.

In India swamis and yogis practiced something called 'tongue milking.' As if that doesn't sound gross enough, here's more...

The largest nerve in our body (so I'm told) is called the vagus nerve. It's name in Latin literally means 'wanderer,' which is fitting since this nerve winds its way through the length of our entire body. It has been found that by stimulating the vagus you can actually lower the heart rate.

Now, stick your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Do you feel the hardness of the palate there? Now reach further back with your tongue and you feel where it is softer. Way back there is the vagus nerve. Swamis and monks in India had the idea that if they could reach their tongues way back there and press on the vagus nerve they could induce a more relaxed state. But... your tongue isn't long enough to reach back there, you say? Yeah well, they found a way to solve that problem.

The yogi would pull out his tongue and with a knife he would slit the tendon underneath, pour turmeric on the wound and then wrap it. This would be repeated everyday until that tendon was completely severed. Once that occurred the yogi would begin pulling his tongue until eventually it was long enough to reach back and press on the vagus nerve.

I know.

Simple Things

Cookie baking with all or one of my girls falls into the simple pleasures category for me.

Today it was just Holland, me, and a roll of store bought sugar cookie dough. I pulled out the Halloween cutters, whipped up some butter cream frosting (that she turned orange and purple) and off she went.
Good stuff.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm not crazy. And my mail is truly that bad. When I walked into the insurance office yesterday (yes, I got the issue taken care of yesterday) Diane says "Oh Steph, it's so funny that you're here. I had a call from the home office just this morning asking for your new address." To which I replied "Huh?" Apparently, all the mail they have sent me lately has been returned to them.
Isn't that nice? To which I repeat: can you sue the post office?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have this weird 'thing' with getting certain things done. Things like making doctors/dentists appointments for my kids. Or when I have a bill issue (IE this week my life insurance lapsed b/c I thought I was on quarterly, never received a bill because my mail here is atrocious, and now I have to fill out an insurability form and mail a massive check. Isn't this the post office's fault? Can you sue the post office?).

I don't think you can call it procrastination, even though it does result in things being drawn out. It's more like I get feelings of dread and the overwhelming sense of not being able to handle it. In some ways it's crippling. Our 'well baby' visits are usually a month after the girls are due to be seen. At the beginning of the school year, when physical forms are due, I'm the mom calling to say that the appointment is on the calendar for October. Of course I fail to mention that this is because I didn't make the appointment until a week before school started. And often bills get pushed to the last minute, narrowly avoiding being late.

Yes, I realize this is very strange. I have dreams of using my yoga money, when I'm making some, to hire a sweet little personal secretary to pay my bills and take my children to the doctor. I might really have to do that, because I just don't see this changing for me.

I'm glad we had this little talk. Now I have to go find other ways to busy myself so I don't have to call the dentist's office.