walking in the pre-dawn

IMG_4765I go walking with my son and our dog before work. Sometimes we are out the door as early as 4:15. Being out on a walk at that hour can raise suspicion with law enforcement. In our little city, we actually have officers patrolling neighborhoods on foot. And the Border Patrol is right down the block. That’s where the dog comes in. We learned (the hard way) that if there is a cute, well-behaved dog on a leash accompanying you, you are mostly above suspicion. And you can take a walk anytime of the day without fear of being questioned by law enforcement. Also, the dog loves walking.

My favorite is to walk around Fort Ontario. At this time of day it is creepy, thrilling, invigorating. We turn on 7th and go through the tunnel, walk past the old barracks and toward the Post Cemetery. Somewhere between the Army building and the cemetery it gets pitch dark because there are no street lights. It’s not scary though, because we grew up here and have made friends with the trees. We walk where soldiers once paraded. We walk through the battle grounds. We walk past the fortress and the canons and the ramparts.

The darkness starts lifting as we enter the parking lot. We can see grandma’s house. This early it’s safe to walk down  the middle of 6th Street. We see home. I start thinking about showering, dressing, and making my lunch.

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Yoga and I have a long history. I started as a 12 year old. On Thursdays, everyone in our family had somewhere to be after work/school, except for my brother Bill and me. Bill taught guitar lessons downstairs, and I was expected to stay in my upstairs room and be quiet. Instead of doing homework or reading, I practiced the yoga poses from a book my dad had bought. There was a series I practiced with on PBS airing on Saturday mornings, but no classes. I became very flexible and reflective, which (thank God) has stayed with me since.

During the loneliest time of my life, newly married and a young mother, I took a class with Janet Becker. We had the wrestling room in the sports complex of SUNY Oswego as our classroom. What a treat that was! Poses, peace, guided meditation, company of other women.

The next significant yoga relationship was at North Coast Yoga. I practiced there for a while, then my life fell apart and I stopped. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, off work, suffering and looking for relief from the treatments, I started there again. I did Yin Yoga as a bald, fat cancer patient. For free. During this time I also started studying with Janet Becker again. She was 84 (in 2012) and then teaching at the YMCA four times a week. She is still at it (now 86), I checked the schedule.

Now, as a healthy, crazy-busy, overworked teacher, I only have tome for Bikram yoga. 90 minutes of moving meditation at 106 degrees and 95% humidity. (I might be exaggerating about the humidity.) I go 3 times a week, ideally, and it keeps me very fit and sane. When my life gets out of control, I find myself missing class-that’s when depression, achy-ness, and eating too many m&m’s takes over.

Life got out of control in August and September. I missed too much yoga. Life got more out of control. It’s a cycle I want to step off of. No matter what, yoga 3 times a week, at least, in October. I went to yoga on October 2.

“You’re never too sick or too old, it’s never too late, to start from scratch once again!” ~Bikram Choudhury




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31 Days of moving moving moving


My challenge for October! I’m going to keep moving. I have been battling depression and spending way to much time sleeping. And popping way too many m & m’s.

Since I know exercise makes me feel better all ways, I’m going to get some form every day for 31 days. I’ll also be recording my reflections.

I have set some other goals for October, they will also be reflected on.

At dance class on Monday, my friend Ruth came to mind. It had been a while since we had seen each other, and I was missing her.  When I got home, there was a message from her, “Let’s go for a bike ride on Wednesday.” Perfect. October 1-walk with my son Joe and the dog before school, bike with Ruth after.

On the early morning walk, I found a daisy. A daisy! In October! My favorite flower. And the river, of course, was beautiful as usual.  How blessed we are, that beauty is normal where we live.

The bike ride  with Ruth was around and around Fort Ontario. We caught up on events, feelings, revelations from the past 2 weeks. We both have lived through cancer. We both have issues with our grown children. We both are teachers. And there are more connections. We have a lot to talk about. And then we saw Beth ride up. Years and years ago (15? 16?) the 3 of us worked together, and Beth had been Joe’s teacher. What a treat, seeing her again.

A daisy and Beth. My surprises. My windfall. My godsend.

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End of September


The last day of September. I wore this dress again, made from 1950’s fabric from a 1950’s pattern.

The gift I gave was a home made pot holder to Edna.

I prayed for John, yes.

And the photo prompt was where I’m from.

I did my best.


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I wore one of the OPOW skirts. It’s the same fabric as the pj pants. Now there are only scraps left.

The gift I gave is a surprise for a friend in Texas, something she asked for way back in April. It’s on it’s way, Spooky Rach!

I love the picture for today’s photo prompt, wish.

And I prayed for John. Still. Yes.

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My baby needs an angel


photophoto 2I made another skirt out of a discarded shirt of my son’s. I simply cut off the lower portion, turned it so the side seams were front and back, made a slight rise on the back, took in the waist a little, and made an elastic waist band. Really, this took about 17 minutes.  I wanted another skirt to wear over leggings. I wear leggings at belly dance lessons and to work out in the gym.  Don’t get me wrong, I can pull off the leggings look, I just don’t feel comfortable in public like that. so I wear a skirt over them, and take the skirt off when dancing or working out.

Oh, don’t forget the tag! And I made an orange one for this skirt.

photo 3

I can also wear the skirt sans leggings for a very casual look. A great choice when I’m off work and I want to be as comfortable as I am in my jam jams. Although this skirt may need taking in, it was a medium t shirt; I usually wear small.

photo 2

The photo prompt was game, my contribution was lame. But I did it.

I prayed for John to be redeemed and restored. Yes.

The gift I gave was a bag I made to my daughter’s girlfriend.  It is beautiful, inricate, with many cool pockets. But she doesn’t like it and offered, through my daughter, to give it back.  She said it was too big, thanks anyway.  Mind you, never talking to me directly. Uncomfortable. That never happened before, my bags have always been highly regarded and coveted. I told her, no I didn’t want it back. Gifts are to be graciously accepted, and then dealt with as the recipient sees fit. Not returned to the giver.


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photo 1 photo 2


This was another pajama day, so I made a new pair of pj pants. They have very wide legs and are saggy, baggy over all.  I like room, so I made them big. Here’s the tag:


Today, the gift was altering this pattern to fit Kelly and me, and to make a date next weekend to teach her how to make them. Leesa might also come. Anyone else? you’ll need about 1.5 yards of fabric. I’m going to make a fuzzy/fleecy pair.

I prayed for John, of course. Oh Lord, hear my prayers. Yes.

I’m proud of today’s photo, celebrate.

And. This song has been stuck in my head. I used the title for a tag-and it’s good advice. Shine on you crazy diamond. I mean it.


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