If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Moving Day

Moving Day is here!  Please follow me over at my new digs: www.dirtandrocks.net.  Much will be the same but there are a few new twists and turns.

I don't want to lose anyone in the move, so please hold hands and update your RSS feeders or bookmarks or whatever you use to get to the House of Dirt and Rocks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Being Thankful

While I am generally grateful of all the things I have in my life, I am not one who usually celebrates Thanksgiving by actually giving thanks.  I am not a big Thanksgiving fan (although I'm married to one). For me it is a day spent cooking and eating food I don't particularly enjoy.  I'm also not a fan of shopping, so the whole Black Friday thing kind of wigs me out.  But this year, for some reason that I can't really fathom, I came up with a gratitude list while I was cleaning my house.

I am thankful:

  • for Angel's laugh.  It lights up the house whenever he's home and I enjoy falling asleep to it at night.
  • for a house that I both enjoy living in and can afford.
  • for a husband who, while cooking a huge traditional thanksgiving dinner of turkey and stuffing, will cook me duck because I really don't like turkey.
  • for a husband who does all the cooking.
  • for a chance to spend time with my sister.  I don't see any of them regularly and being with a sister makes me feel grounded in a way that nothing else can. 
  • for a visit from Pumpkin, who has her own large family to see but always makes time for us.
  • for Pupzilla's arthritis medicine that has given me my dog back.
  • for a gym that hires amazing yoga teachers and stays open on Thanksgiving so I can get my yoga on before the big meal.
  • for students who send me emails saying they miss me and want to get together for lunch.
  • for all you who read and actually care about these minor details of my life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Great One Has Fallen

Anne McCaffrey, RIP

It was Anne McCaffrey and her Dragonriders of Pern series that first hooked me on dragons.  I was 11.  At 46, I still believe.

In the world of Pern, when a rider died her dragon would immediately go "between" never to return. When a dragon died (or went between) all the other dragons would instantly cry out as one to honor their fallen sister.  I can hear the dragons crying tonight.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Holidays Have Begun

Even though I have to teach tomorrow, the holidays are officially here.

  • Angel is home for the week. 
  • I have baked cookies. 
  • The food shopping is done.  
  • My Christmas list is complete.

Life is good.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


With the semester winding down I can devote a little more time to yoga again. I've been attending classes regularly but I can't make all my favorite ones.  The classes are divided into levels, although most people at the gym seem to ignore this categorization.  I started at a Level 1-2 and was quite comfortable there for a while.  This summer I ventured into the Level 2 classes and really found my niche.  There I could get both a good workout and a lot of detailed instruction.  Some of my favorite teachers cover the Level 2 classes.  More recently I've started taking a Level 2-3 with my absolute favorite teacher.  It wipes me out every time but I love it.  This weekend I ventured into a couple of Level 3's and found, while difficult, they were not as hard as that one Level 2-3 class.  Suddenly the Level 1-2 classes aren't doing it for me anymore.

I love skill development. It is a wonderful thing to know that with time, patience and some concentrated effort, you will improve--no matter how bad you are at the beginning.  I'm much better at accepting my limitations in yoga than in other areas.  I totally buy into the idea that "this is where I am today" but it is nice when tomorrow brings me to a new place.  It amazes me that my body is starting to do things in class that were impossible for me a few months ago.

A few weeks ago a teacher described a particular posture as playful.  It was a posture that required considerable balance and I had been having some difficulty with it for a while.  Playful was not how I would have ever described it but I decided to take her word for it and find the play.  It's far from perfect but it is definitely better and lots of fun. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fun With Students

Today the students in my doctoral class looked burned out.  Several were busy on their computers as I entered the class and no one was talking.  This is unusual for the group as they are a friendly and chatty bunch.  As more students arrived, each one brought in their own dour looks.  The day was rainy and chilly and that wasn't helping anyone's mood.

It was the second-to-last class of the semester; the class before Thanksgiving, and the last class where we had to discuss some serious reading.  I knew it was not going to go well.  Instead of starting off with questions on the reading, as was my original intention, I asked them all about their Thanksgiving plans.  I let them go on a while and then encouraged us to go wildly off-topic. Somehow we got onto run-ins with small critters.  One student told a hilarious family story about fat squirrels.  Some of us laughed ourselves to tears.  I let it go a little longer after that and then started the class half an hour late.

We ended up having a good discussion and a great class.

For my undergraduate class I had prepared an activity, a group discussion, and a lecture. Sometimes the group discussions bomb and sometimes they are helpful but rarely do they extend past 15-20 minutes.  We were still on the topic of childbirth and the discussion ended up taking the entire period.  It was the liveliest and most interactive discussion we've had to date and I let it go a little astray.  This became obvious when I realized we were talking about eating placentas and someone started googling how to cook them.  It was the first class where they didn't all get up to leave as soon as the period was over.  In fact several stayed after class to talk with me further.

Some days I really enjoy teaching.