Om Namah Shivaya


Saturday, July 31, 2010

if this doesn't put a smile on your face...

I don't know what will! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

and so my 8th year of teaching commences...

First day of Band Camp today and it certainly was a hot one...I must say that it really did go well and run like a well oiled machine. Tevin, one of my juniors, said something to the affect that he felt like a seasoned veteran out there helping others find their place on the field and figuring it all out. That made my heart glad because I remember when he joined us halfway into camp his freshman year. I had told the Line that I was in need of a fourth bass drummer and that they needed to be a big kid cause it's the biggest drum. Jeff (BD #3) told me his friend, Tevin, wanted to be on the Drum Line but he had no experience because he had been in orchestra up till then...I remembered Tevin from 6th and 7th grade orchestra so I told Jeff to bring him in. This poor kid...I literally threw the drum on him, piled on top of it all his music and drill book (of which we had been playing the music for a while and had learned half the drill), gave him a big smile and said "Let's go!". So for him to tell me that he felt confident in helping out those around him and was proud that he really understands what's going on made me happy. Maybe I am teaching these kids something...not just about music but about being a good person as well.

We gathered in the band room at Ruskin (man it's smaller and more cramped than Hickman's) for the first full band rehearsal of the new school year. *Remember*...we consolidated school's this year...we've combined two different programs, two different philosophies; in essence two *completely* different ways of doing things and I think it's going to work. Oh there were a few balkers to be sure, and definitely one who couldn't hack it, but I think it's gonna work...Anyways...after the welcomes, announcements and reminders we headed outside. Instantly we were hit with a wall of heat. Whoo0buddy it was hot today! I swear I lost 5lbs in sweat/water weight alone.

We started putting them through the paces of the fundamentals: Forward March, Drag Step, Right Slide, Left Slide, Crabsteps, Glide Step, *DON'T MOVE AT ATTENTION!!*, Mark Time, Parade Rest, "STOP FIDGETING!"...Toes UP!, Chin UP! Hands by your sides, *Snap* the movement, About Face, To The Rear..."I don't care if someone comes streaking through wearing nothing but saran wrap, DO.NOT.MOVE!".

I think they got the point. ;)

After the fundamentals we moved onto reading drill and plotting the first song. I swear...this drill is so easy they better nail it! NO EXCUSES! We successfully put the first drill on the field from start to finish and yes even though there are a lot of rough edges to smooth out, there's a lot of potential there to build upon.

Did you know that there are smart, logical thinking young men and women in our band who did not bring water with them to an outdoor rehearsal on astro-turf under a 90 degree-plus sun? I'll never understand it...never.

After the break was the classic drill-down...I'm sure that was an interesting experience for some. :) Spencer Jones (senior...can't believe it!), trumpet player was the grand winner. Congrats Spencer!!

Finally make it inside for 30minutes of music rehearsal and sweet Jesus hallelujah for air conditioning! That blast of cold air as I walked through the school doors was the most welcome thing in the world after spending darn near 3 hours out in the sun...on astro-turf in case you'd forgotten. Have you ever had the experience of your feet burning while standing on turf in the hot sun? It's quite interesting, but I don't recommend it for the faint of gotta be tough to work through heat like that.

Finally made it too noon and it was time to eat then have Drum Line rehearsal. Never have I devoured my food with such a hunger; I'm packing more for tomorrow cause what I took today didn't cut it. Ha! We wound up losing a rehearsal together because I wanted everyone to get their uniforms fitted and get that task out of the way but let me tell you that when we came back together after about 20minutes of sectional time something magical happened. We played through the piece we're taking to marching competition and it was beautiful. Rough around the edges? Yes. Needs dynamics? Yes. Needs movement? *Absolutely* but to have the pleasure of witnessing one of those early season miracles where everything gels together and sounds damn good, that my friends is what makes it all worth while.

F*** cancer. As long as I have my family, friends, and Drum Line...that's all I need in this crazy world to keep me sane. Looking forward to tomorrow. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

summer is slipping away and I'm not ready yet...

The first day of band camp (which for me essentially is the first day of school) is rapidly approaching and I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready to wear a scarf on my head every day and answer the unending questions I'm sure students and teachers alike are going to have. I'm not ready to find out just how much these last 3 chemo's and my schedule of school are going to wear me out. I'm also anxious about doing a good job this year especially since I'll have the 8th grade orchestra as my own class...I'm just not ready yet...but I don't have any choice do I? 4 days and counting.

Currently I'm feeling: Not as stiff and sore but very anxious.
Procrastinating: Steam-mopping the floors again
Reading: Re-reading "The Concubine's Daughter"
Watching: The "O.G." Karate Kid
Doing to make me smile: Hell I don't know...go to the pool and clean the house I 'spose.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

talked to a guy about a new pair of boobs today...

Funny. I never thought I'd be one to have fake boobies....but come October I will be and the process is going to take a LOT longer than I had originally anticipated. *sigh* That's a bummer. I had thought that it would be "simple", ya know, remove the old, replace it with the new, give me a couple of weeks to heal then back to normal life! WRONG! Yes they will remove the old but the "new" will be tissue-expanders that I will have to have pumped up every week or so for six weeks in order to stretch out the skin to make room for the long-term implant. This just sounds *lovely*! THEN I get to have the surgery where they replace the expanders with the long term implant and I'll have to heal from that. All told SIX WEEKS of healing. Sheesh. Six weeks away from school? Anyone understand FMLA cause I'm thinking this is something I'll need to look into. This is all so damn inconvenient, frustrating,and anxiety-inducing. The myriad of questions that arise in my brain threaten to overtake me. I think I need to take a nap.

Monday, July 19, 2010

oy vey i hurt today....

I did get little excited last night when it seemed the body aches weren't going to appear but boy howdy was I wrong! Between my shoulder and chest muscles still being so sore and the body aches w/nausea of chemo...I'm a hot mess right now. Left this morning to go to the chiropractor then swing down to school to get the skinny on the waxing schedule at Ruskin so I'd know whether or not we could have rehearsal this week. That trip alone wore me the *bleep* out. Whew! Took a two and a half hour nap when I got home but I still hurt. Blah. Blah. Vomit. OH well...just a few more days and I'll be fine. But I still would like someone to rub on me for just a bit...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

a relaxing sunday to look forward too...

I'm starting to get the hang of this "relax mode" on the weekends. It still feels odd not having to get up and go to work on Saturday and Sunday, but not as weird as it used to feel. I've already progressed through a good portion of house chores that needed to be done, am downloading one of my favorite yoga practices so I can have it on my iPod and will venture out to GC to see everyone and have some champagne. Probably a nap later, and possibly in the sun if it stays out and doesn't rain.

Enjoy your relaxing Sunday everyone!

Currently I'm feeling: Not as stiff and sore today so that's nice. It's more in the muscles now instead of both the muscle and the ribhead.
Procrastinating: Steam-mopping the floors again.
Reading: Re-reading "The Concubine's Daughter".
Watching: The original Superman
Doing to make me smile: Getting the chores out of the way now instead of later.

Friday, July 16, 2010

halfway to the finish line today...

Chemo #3 out of the way today, *yay!*, only 3 more to go (Look Becki! I wore the scarf you gave me today!). It was non-traumatic again this time and I actually snoozed for a bit near the end as I gave into the lullaby of the muscle relaxer pill. Ahhhhhhh...cyclopedsabenzine take me away, or something like that.

I should feel fine today and tomorrow will start w/the nausea, then get hit w/the body aches and fatigue probably by Sunday night where it will go through it's regular cycle. It starts in my stomach w/the nausea which stays in kind of a "perma-nausea" state for the whole week, then it moves out to my hips and spreads across my lower back when the body aches it, then after a couple days it comes up into my throat and I get the "raw pukey throat" feeling along with the weird coating on the inside of my mouth. The final stage is when it moves through to my lips, which makes them feel swollen and super chapped. The throat, mouth, and lip stuff is definitely the weirdest out of all of them.

Oh well, at lest we're halfway through and I can kind of know what to expect now so that's nice. Find the silver linings where you can ya know?


Currently I'm feeling: Not as stiff and sore today so that's nice. I'm also a bit tired right now but I think that's the muscle relaxer.
Procrastinating: Nothing really, just chillaxin' after Chemo.
Reading: Re-reading "Eat, Pray, Love"...still them I'm going to re-read either "Various flavors of Coffee", or "The Concubine's Daughter".
Watching: Flipping between Fear and Catch and Release.
Doing to make me smile: Getting and taking that muscle relaxer. I should've gotten one of those earlier!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"i just can't do it today"...

Those that know me know that when it comes to my passions in life it's incredibly hard for me to say "No, I'm sorry. I just can't do that today/be there for you/help you with that/etc..." and never before in my life have I had to say this more than since this whole ridiculous journey began. I know I'm not letting people down, I know everyone wants me to take care of myself, but I hate having to cancel Drum Line rehearsal because "I just can't do it today". Whether it be due to nausea, body aches, fatigue, or this *really stupid* rib-head situation I absolutely hate it. It's taking the one thing I am extremely passionate about out of my control and making me say *stop*. Bastards. I hope my kids know that I wish more than anything that this wasn't happening and wasn't affecting me in this manner. I wish they knew how long it takes me to come to the decision to cancel rehearsal. The conversation, or rather, argument that takes place in my head and even when the tired and hurting part of me decides it's time to say "I just can't do it today..." the other part yells "YES YOU CAN! YOU CAN PERSEVERE! Push through it, come on Stout, you're tough, push thorough it cause you got a LOT to do in a short amount of time, let's GO!..." and the argument starts all over. It can get quite tiring really. I hope they know that I wish I could be there with every fiber of my being but, "I just can't do it today..."

Happy 47th Anniversary Jim & Karen!

Thank you for being a great example for Tim and I to follow. We can only be so lucky to make it to 47 years as you have. Thank you for everything that you have ever done for us, continue to do for us, and will do for us in the future. Love ya!

Monday, July 12, 2010

nothing much to say on this stiff and sore monday

Currently I'm feeling: Stiff, out of shape, sore and tired. This "out of whack jack" rib-head has really done a number on me. Whew!
Procrastinating: Pretty much everything because my body is so stiff and sore right now.
Reading: Re-reading "Eat, Pray, Love".
Watching: The dogs run after "my pitiful excuse for hitting" the ball.
Doing to make me smile: If I can get my house clean and get at least 20min of yoga in that'll make me smile.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to my *fabulous* friend Dana!!!!!

WELCOME TO THE FLIRTY AND DIRTY THIRTIES DANA!!!!! I'm *so* glad you're finally here! It's going to be a *fabulous* decade for you; I just know it. ;)

For Dana on her 30th Birthday

Everyone should have a friend like you...

You crack me up with your laughter,
You've let me cry on your shoulder.

You've given me a big hug when the world was too much to handle,
And you've been the swift kick in the pants when I've needed it most.

I thank you for that.

Everyone should have a friend like you...

You touch my heart with your support and kindness,
Time after time you've come to the rescue when life got tough,
You've brightened up the routine of my life with your smile,
And your laughter has healed my wounded soul.

I thank you for that.

Everyone should have a friend like you...

Because a friend like you is a mirror of the self,
Someone who compliments your own self,
And indicates who you are as a person.

In you I have found so much of myself including many of the same insecurities, likes, dislikes (do we need to talk about peep-toe booties?), and philosophies, but most of all I have found a genuine, caring friend whom I care for deeply and I thank you for that.

Everyone should have a friend like you.

Complete inner-peace and happiness. This is what I wish for you on this, your 30th Birthday.

Much love,

thanks goes out to the following...

So I've received numerous gifts from family and friends and would like to take a moment to thank them, so I hope you're reading!

Bill & Gerry: Thank you for the delicious chocolate (the lavender was delish!) and the prayers. the boxes were quite cute, you're very talented Bill! :)

Don & Sara: Thank you for the Willow Tree figure, Healing Grace. So beautiful. Thanks for thinking of me. :)

Becki & Abbey: Thank you so much for the beautiful scarf and Burt's Bee's mani/pedi set. So decadant! Can't wait to wear the scarf!! :)

Thomas: Thank you for my guardian angel. It hangs above my kitchen sink. Love having a piece of Thomas in the house. :)

Bob, Britney, Luke & Evie: Thank you for the awesome kickin' cancer shoes, which I blogged about, and for the manicure sugar scrub & lotion. That stuff is amazing; I gotta go buy some now!

The Bailey family: Thanks for everything, the hat, blanket, flowers, shaved heads, supporting me and pimping out my foundation's stuff. :)

To everyone who has bought a shirt so far: Thank you so much for helping me get this foundation going. It's going to be a long process to the finish line, but I'll persevere and your support will help me get there. :)

**If I've missed you, don't worry. As soon as my brain fires off the memory I'll add it in. :)**

Thursday, July 8, 2010

shirts are in!

here's what they look like for those of you who have been waiting for a picture.

Thanks to Happy Times T-Shirt Co in Claycomo, MO for the fabulous shirts.

$15 a piece. Please include $5 s&h. Contact me in whatever way you know how to order one :)

**whispers..."come know you want one"....**

hugs and kisses from the other side of the rainbow...

(Mom, Dad, & Thomas you will all have to make any corrections/additions to this memory of mine; admittedly it's kind of fuzzy.)


A long time ago from a country far far away came a strict Austrian by the name of Thomas. As the story goes, Thomas was a theater student from Vienna who was to stay with a family in Lawrence and attend the University of Kansas studying theater, set design, lighting, ya know all the good stuff that goes along with being in the "theah-tah", as my mother would say. Something happened after Thomas touched down in Kansas City and instead of staying with the family he was assigned to, he wound up staying with...that's right...The Unruh's (also known as "The Stupid's"). Oh Lord, help the man. ;)

Now, admittedly I do not remember a *whole* lot about Thomas's time with us, I was pretty little as you can see in the pictures, but what I *do* remember are the following things...

*Thomas fell in love with us, with Lawrence, with the Wizard of Oz, and with the lovely idea that rainbows
connect us and the ones that we love.
*We fell in love with Thomas.
*I have been told I took some of my first steps into Thomas's arms.

*I called him "Tom-eece".
*He traveled on a family cross country trip to Montana and loved the idea of "The Stupid's", "tinkle stops" and
"gift shopping". God Bless the man for driving cross country not only with my family with but with the version of my family that involved 3 children!
*He showed up in Kansas City a strict Austrian with very formal manners and dressed in a "3 piece suit" and left having been "Midwestern-ized" and "Unruh-ized" in flip-flops, cut off shorts, and a Wizard of Oz t-shirt.


I had the opportunity in college to travel to Vienna and see Thomas, his beautiful family, and his beautiful city with my family. It was so cool being there, seeing him, where he lived, his life; I believe we even spent Christmas in Vienna. *sigh* I wish I could do that trip again at *this* age/point in my life. I would have *such* a better time I know it.

No matter the distance of time or miles, he is always in our hearts and minds and I know we are in his as well.
He sent me this guardian angel to watch over me and I just want to publicly thank him for it...

THANK YOU THOMAS for the wonderful angel. It's fabulous having a piece of you in my home, knowing you and yours are watching over me. I hope someday to travel back to Vienna with my husband to visit. :) Till then, many hugs and kisses from across the rainbow.
"Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me."

-Thanks Kermit. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

*when* is the rest of it going to go?!

I'm really not trying to complain, really I'm not ;), I just wanna know when the stubble that is the remainder of my hair is going to fall out. It was traumatic enough having to shave it off because it was falling out and making my head hurt; and it sucks that there has to be *maintenance* of what's left at this stage in the game.

I mean, who would've thought that I'd be looking forward to having a smooth head? Ha!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

memories of my childhood...

So my folks are redecorating the inside of their house and in the process giving away a lot of stuff; books mostly, but some records as well including the ones you see pictured. These are 3 of my most cherished childhood memories. I *know* that I still have the words to the "limelighters" in my head ("B-A-Bay, B-E-Be, B-I-Biddty-by, B-O-Bo, Biddity-by-U-Be-O-Bu-Biddty-By-You-Boo-Boo") and I'm sure that "Fox & the Hound" ("Arooooh! I'm a Hound? What are you?"/"I'm a Fox!") are in there somewhere as well but what popped out of me as I was looking for my childhood photo album, was the dress making song from "Cinderella"...

"...hurry hurry hurry hurry got no time to dilly dally, we've got to make it pretty/there's nothing to it really/"I'll cut it wit da scissors" "and I can do the sewin'",/"Leave the sewin' to the women, you go get the trimmin'"/and we'll make a lovely dress for Cindarellie/"Whoo!"/We'll make a lovely dress for Cindarellie"

I remember singing this song with my sister, Julie, and using either her green blanket or my green blanket as "Cindarellie"'s dress. lol! My mom dressed us up as mice apparently (or maybe we begged her to do it) and took this picture. Brings a smile to my lips and warmth to my heart. Good times, Good times.


This picture is one of my all time favorites yet most hated picture that my sister, Julia, has ever taken of me. I vividly remember that I'd had a hissy-fit about *something* and had gotten yelled at, then my sister snaps this picture of me across the dinner table. See the tear? Ha! Priceless! I was *sooooo* pissed with her at the time, and now it's a picture that sums me up at that stage in life. I was *always* having hissy-fits, at least I feel like I did. Sorry mom & dad! hahahaha!


Even in at my 6th grade graduation I was stylin'....and yes I made that dress. Awesome!


Miss you Grandma!!!!


Love you mom!


Love you dad!


Love you Julie & Romanda!


Junior High School, the honor choir Excalibur. Me and my childhood next door neighbor Nat before our Christmas concert.


Sophmore year, first football game; when the love affair with marching band began...


9th grade graduation; dress is from my foreign-exchange student program. I think I bought it in Moscow.


H.S. graduation...oy....


I absolutely *love* this pre-school pic of me. Apparently that was my *favorite* dress and I wore it all the time. My mom sewed a piece of it into the lining of my wedding dress; how awesome is that?

Monday, July 5, 2010

nothing much to say on this rainy monday...

Poo on the rain. I have absolutely *nothing* to do this week except for what I want and it's raining. Blah. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of projects I can create out of thin air I just don't want it to be raining. :(

Currently I'm feeling:
Tired and stiff. I slept too long this morning and it's backfired on me
Procrastinating: My yoga practice. Need to eat which means yoga has to wait an hour
Reading: Re-reading "Eat, Pray, Love".
Watching:"The View", even though I despise this show anymore...need to change the channel
Doing to make me smile: Not sure what I'm going to do today to make me smile cause it can't involve $$ and all I want to do right now is go buy some canvas's and paints cause I have a creative bug going on right now. Maybe colored pencils and paper will appease the craving for a while.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

early mornin' fishing makes me smile...

In the spirit of doing something each day that makes me smile, we went early mornin' fishin' yesterday and it was fabulous; I don't know why I don't do it more often anymore...

515 in the morning the alarm finally breaks through my sleep and I jump out of bed with the anticipation of going fishing with my hubby and doggies. It was a gorgeous morning; a cool breeze, nice sun, just a few clouds and the scent of freshly mown grass blowing through the trees.

As we were loading up the truck, Buck and Lilly started picking up on what was happening and their excitement was palpable (it's not everyday that mom AND dad take them fishing). Buck was running around with the ball in his mouth trying to get one of us to play with him and Lilly was in the middle of her regular M.O., which meant she was running around and barking like crazy :)

We finally hit the road about 6 and headed up to Plattsburg to "our" little lake at the quarry. It was lovely taking that drive with my hubby in the truck. We got a chance to reconnect and talk, which is nice. He's such a busy guy during the summer and gets so worn out with work that sometimes we don't get the chance to *really* talk so it was nice to have that drive to reconnect with one another. :)

We rolled into Plattsburg and just *had* to stop at Larry's One-stop for some B&G. If you've never had Larry's B&G you are truly missing out. I *highly* *HIGHLY* recommend that you travel to Plattsburg just for the express purpose of having these biscuits and gravy. They are absolutely to die for and the little ladies who make them for you are just too cute.

So loaded up on good food and beverages we headed to the quarry. At this point the dogs were going absolutely insane with anticipation. Buck was drooling, Lilly was whining, and they were both working themselves up into a lather. We got to the lake and went about our separate tasks. Tim takes care of getting the boat ready and I entertain the dogs (otherwise known as keeping them out of Tim's way). Hitting the ball is always first up on the menu, especially hitting it into the lake so that's what we did and they were in heaven. They love a ball and they love water so putting those two together?! Fuggeddaboutit.

Usually I stay by the truck where I can be ready if Tim needs me, but this morning I decided to take a walk
across the damn, while hitting the ball of course, and record some of the beauty that is the quarry's lake. It's hard to believe that this is a little slice of paradise that we get to come to whenever we want and it's just us. It's so peaceful here it's ridiculous. I've decided that whenever it is I die, I want to be cremated and have a portion of my ashes sprinkled across this lake. It only seems right.

After my walk across the damn and back, Tim was ready to go so we told Buck and Lilly to "load up!" and we were off. We fished and talked, then fished some more; it was a beautiful morning spent with my family and it did nothing but make me smile. I can't wait to do it again. Enjoy the pictures and maybe if you're lucky enough we'll take you fishing with us sometime. :)


Currently I'm feeling: Fabulous but my head itches like crazy!!
Procrastinating: Steam-mopping my floors (this *will* be done today!)
Reading: Re-reading "Eat, Pray, Love".
Watching: "Batman Begins".
Doing to make me smile: Getting ready to go upstairs and do a nice long yoga practice then clean the house and make food for the festivities today.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I feel a lazy day coming on...

So I didn't sleep very well last night and have been up since 6am; no biggie really, it's just put me in kind of a lazy frame of mind. I've been surfin' the net and idling away these early morning hours on some of my favorite sites and I stumbled across a young lady's blog called "time to pretend" ( If I remember correctly she is 16 years old and loves everything vintage. Anyways, reading through her blog I stumbled across these two gems;

Sometimes I feel like I live my life in routine.
You know: get up, take a shower, eat, go to school, eat, come home, finish homework, read, write, eat, go for a walk, sleep.
And I hate it. I mean, I love everything I do there (except maybe going to school), but I just feel like I'm stuck in this limbo.
so here's my plan:
starting today, I'll do one exciting little thing every day.
It doesn't have to be big.
Just something that'll make me smile.
Join me?


Currently I'm:
Listening to: Microwave by Cocoon
Reading: The Catcher In The Rye (for the millionth time)
Procrastinating: My French Summative
Counting Down The Days Till: The sound Of Music Festival

I feel the very same way. I feel like I've gotten too stuck in my routine. I believe this is something the universe was trying to tell me. So, I am going to join this young lady in doing something every day that'll make me smile.

Join me if you like :)

The second gem I am borrowing from her I am going to alter to fit my style. So,

Currently I'm feeling: Fabulous. Today is a good day.
Procrastinating: Steam-mopping my floors
Reading: In between books at the moment. Any suggestions?
Watching: "The Devil Wears Prada"
Doing to make me smile: Getting ready to go upstairs and do a nice long yoga practice then head to the pool

Thursday, July 1, 2010

just like comin' home...

So I went to Lawrence today because I just couldn't face another day sitting around my house staring at the same walls, talking to the same dogs (yes I talk to my dogs), and laying at the same pool. Just couldn't do it. SO, I went home to spend the day with my folks and got the added bonus of seeing my nephew Thomas, my sis Romanda and bro-in-law Dan.

After a wonderful afternoon spent hanging at home having lunch, working on the computer, convincing mom to transform a dress for me, and helping Dad hang art in the studio (wonderful father-daughter bonding project :) I decided to wile away the lovely Lawrence rush-hour with a beer and some food at Free State Brewery.

For those of you that don't know, Free State is the *bomb-diggity*. Not only is the beer to *die* for (BRING
BACK THE CANNONBALL RED PLEASE!!!!) but the food is awesome as well (have you *tried* the crack dip otherwise known as Queso lately?); and according to the local guests (Greg) it is the "Finest Beer Cuisine This Side of the Mississippi".

This is my first home. This is where I spent almost 3 years of my college life working, drinking, and friending. Walking back into this restaurant is just like coming home. It smells like home, it feels like home, and it sounds like home. Many of the folks I worked with back then are still here and it's really that place where "everybody knows your name".

So CHEERS TO YOU FREE STATE!!! Raise a glass of whatever you're drinking (Wheat State Golden for me currently) and drink to your health.

"Here's to you, here's to me, if ever we should disagree *bleep you* here's to me! 1...2...3...!!!!"

yoga yoga yoga...i love yoga....

Triangle pose, downward dog, upward dog, mountain, pigeon, crescent, warrior I, II, III, reverse warrior, headstand, handstand, bridge, low lunge, high lunge, goddess pose, eagle pose, lord of the fishes pose, twisting sage, forward bends, backward bends, hip openers, shoulder openers, cow, cat, camel, plank, chattarunga, dolphin, side stretch, and savasana to name a few. Bikram, Vinyasa, Anusura, Hatha, Gentle Flow, Power, Yogitrance, Yogidance, I love it all.
Why do we practice yoga? Why do *I* practice yoga? Is it to become bendier than our friends? Is it to find peace, solitude and quiet within ourselves, or is there some higher purpose at work? Yoga, in Sanskrit, can be translated as "union". It originally comes from the root word of yuj which means "to yoke", as in to attach yourself to a task at hand with the discipline of an ox. The task at hand with Yoga is to find the union, *your* union, between body and mind; between our God and ourselves; between us and everything in the world.

I've read books on Yoga, and I've practiced Yoga consistently now for about 10 years, and I am still a work in progress and that's what I love about it. Following a Yogic path doesn't mean you become all natural running around in the woods eating nuts and berries, howling at the moon and twisting yourself into pretzel like shapes while wearing no deodorant. Far from it. In fact; following a yogic path is something that takes time, and something that can wax and wane in your life. The Yogis believe that within all of us there exists a supreme Self who is eternally at peace and when we are calm, quiet, focused and centered we can find it. The Supreme Self is our *true self*. The one we want to be, yearn to's who we really are.

One of my most favoritest (yes my English teacher friends I realize that's not correct grammar but you'll just have to deal with it ;) books is "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. If you have not read her book I *highly* recommend that you do. In a nutshell it is about her life's journey through a painful divorce to the other side. Whenever I am feeling distance from Yoga, distance from myself, I read through this book. One of my favorite passages is below...

"Yoga is the effort to experience one's divinity personally and then to hold on to that experience forever. Yoga is about self-mastery and the dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surroundings with poise. Only from that point of even-mindedness will the true nature of the world (and yourself) be revealed to you."

I leave you with my favorite meditation as I get ready to practice yoga this morning. I had wandered off the path for a while and now am ready to return. So this morning I will honor the divine that resides within me and be one with my Supreme Self.

Om Namah Shivaya

ॐ नम: शिवाय:
"I honor the divine that resides within me"