Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a meditative martial art based on softness and awareness rather than force and resistance. It is a series of movements practiced at a slow, rhythmic speed that promote relaxation, calm the emotions, focus the mind, strengthen the immune system and improve balance.

I have always been fascinated by this practice – and finally decided to give it a try. There are numerous reasons why now is a good time: namely I thought this would be a great form of physical therapy to continue healing after my surgeries! Also they were running a special deal on the first month’s membership – so I figured why not!

That seems to be my motto lately: Why Not!

Why not take a pottery class?
Why not go to Talkeetna on the train for a pie making class?
Why not pose for an artist?
Why not sign up for Yoga & Tai Chi at Spirit Path Yoga?

I am so enjoying myself! I’m sure I look like a complete idiot out there, since I have no idea what I’m doing, but I don’t mind. It’s fun and it gets me out of the house. My teacher keeps assuring me it will get easier as time goes by.

There were four other “newbies” when I went to my first class, but I seem to be the only one to come back for more. The rest of the class has been practicing together for several months, so they are very coordinated and look like they know what they’re doing.

Who knows, by the time I head off to Thailand for my archaeology expedition I just might be good enough to be able to practice on my own!

As an added incentive, the teacher mentioned something about her teacher going to Thailand himself to give a few classes over there: maybe I can stay over an extra day or two to learn from a real master? I need to look in to that possibility further.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Things Are Looking Up

My weekend-getaway to the Knik River Lodge has some further developments to report: I’m really getting excited about it!

First: I was talking to a friend about my plans and mentioned that I really would like to take a helicopter tour while I’m there but it’s just too darned expensive so cannot justify taking one. They charge $325.00 for the tour which includes a 30 minutes helicopter flight, glacier landing, complimentary hot drinks, and the use of non-slip overboots for the guided tour on the glacier itself. BUT – as luck would have it – I managed to find a Groupon special for only $159.00 (over half off) and thought “Why Not!”

So, now I’m going on a helicopter tour!

Second: I posted a link on my facebook page about it and my friend Marlene saw it and offered to go with me. Now I have a traveling companion to share this experience with! She is in Panama at the moment, but should be home soon so we can coordinate our schedules and book our cabin.

This just keeps getting better and better!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Painting My Birdhouse

At the beginning of March, as you might remember, I signed up for a pottery class at the Clay Owen Studios where I made a birdhouse. When I finished making it, Autumn – the owner – told me it would have to set awhile to dry out before it could be fired. She said she would give me a call within the next week or so to let me know when it was time to come in and glaze it before the final firing.

Well, life being the way it is, she forgot. Actually, I did to – until the other day, when I finally contacted her to ask what was going on. She apologized and said it was definitely ready for me – so I made an appointment and scheduled myself the perfect day to go in.

That was today! I headed on down to her studio after work and spent a very pleasant 2 hours carefully painting my creation.

There was one tiny little problem with my birdhouse, however: the roof fell off during the initial firing! Autumn wasn’t entirely sure what she was going to do about that, but said that more than likely the glazing will act like a glue on the final firing and hold everything in place for me. Otherwise, we’d have to figure out something else to do.

That actually made it easier to paint, truth to tell. I ended up with a blue birdhouse, green leaves, red berries, and 3 dragonflies: one orange, one yellow, and one purple. The roof is blue with red flowers.

Hey! I just realized something. I basically have a rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. That’s pretty cool.

Again, Autumn said she would call me in a week or so to come pick up my creation. Hopefully we both remember this time.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Continuing Down the Healing Path on My Own

I am very happy to announce that I no longer have to go to physical therapy!

It’s been a long and rather painful journey, but thanks to Carol, Marlene, Bill, Korey, and Kaz (my physical therapists at Alaska Health Quest) I am healed enough to be turned loose on my own!


On a brief side note here, I have to say that Premera Blue Cross has been just wonderful throughout this whole ordeal. They have paid exactly what they said they would, with no muss or fuss at all.

The final numbers are:
            Total price for the neck: $99,224.64
            Total price for the shoulder: $32,252.32
            Total price for physical therapy: $ $5,550.00
            Grand Total Billed to Insurance: $137,026.96
            My final cost: $12,732.76

Now that I’m on my own, I do still have exercises that I’m supposed to do – I’m not completely out of the water! But my sister-in-law gave me one of those big blue exercise balls, so I’m good to go.

I have also signed up for Tai Chi lessons at Spirit Path Yoga: I’m pretty excited about that. My first class is tonight: we’ll see how it goes. I also plan on taking their stretching class on Sunday morning. I figure between those two classes and my exercises at home, I should be back to 100% in no time.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Pet Peeves

One of my biggest pet peeves is being interrupted: I really hate that.

Invariably it happens this way:

I’m at work, talking to a coworker about an issue with the job at hand. The architect walks up and immediately butts in and starts talking about his issue at hand. He doesn't apologize, or say “Excuse me” or anything like that. He just starts talking like I’m not even there.

Yes, it’s almost always a man. I’m sure some women do it as well; I've just never encountered it.

No, it’s not always the same man. It can be – and has been - pretty much any man I've ever worked with.

What this tells me is either A. a woman’s conversations are clearly unimportant and aren't worth the air it takes to voice them, or B. his issues are way more important that anybody else’s issues and should therefore be moved to the front of the line regardless of what else is going on.

Can it be, perhaps, that the guys aren't even aware that they’re doing that? Can they be that self-involved that they don’t realize that other people have things to talk about?

Or am I just being over sensitive?

What do you think?

Some More ME Time

I had so much fun on my last two trips (Seward and Talkeetna) that I went ahead and booked myself on another weekend get-away: this time, I’ll be staying at the Knik River Lodge. This is actually quite near where I grew up, so it will be like old times: combing the riverbed for driftwood, hiking thru the forest, climbing trees and drinking in the gorgeous scenery. I am so looking forward to it!

From their website (www.knikriverlodge.com) it looks like I will be housed in my own private cabin with a king sized bed. The restaurant is a yurt, which will make it seem like I’m back in Mongolia for dinner. For entertainment during my stay, they offer helicopter tours, ATV tours, glacier dog sledding, and guided hiking tours complete with ice climbing. While I would absolutely LOVE to go on a helicopter tour, I really don’t have the money for that. So I will simply settle for hiking around on the trails by myself.

I plan to bring my camera, of course, as it will be July when I’m there and the foliage will be just beautiful. I will also bring my crafting supplies to work on, since that is very relaxing for me. As always, I will have my Kindle as well: my cabin comes with a private deck with unrestricted view of the glacier, so I can sit and read will into the night.

Don’t get me wrong: I would much prefer to share this and other such trips with Him, but I must admit I am really enjoying this ME time.