Bonne St Jean Baptiste!

Tuesday, June 24

Today is la fete nationale du Quebec--sort of a Texas Independence Day for French Canadians. It's been--gosh--nearly ten years since I've been able to celebrate the day on my native soil, and so I on this day I can usually be found listening to some rude and loud folk music in French and crying because I miss home. Then I have some beer, and feel a little better. Today I was able to calm myself down by reminding myself that I will visit Montreal this summer, the first visit since 2003 that doesn't occur over the holidays (read, in winter. Ugh.) D and I are driving up there in the fancypants VW RV that my parents are buying from a man here in Texas (road trip! road trip!) and are very excited about it. But still, I remain isolated from my (loud, proud & inebriated) kinfolk today, and so to feel less alone, I tought I would share some music with you. Enjoy!

Vive le Quebec libre!

Le Quebec aux quebecois!

The bands shown are Les Colocs and Les Cowboys Fringants, or The Roommates and the Dashing Cowboys.

This blog is so new I forgot I had it

Thursday, June 19

It's been a few days and I haven't given the littlest bit of thought to the blog. Here are a few things that have been on my mind in the meanwhile:

-Is it reasonable, given the price of gas and the state of the environment, to contemplate undertaking a 60-mile roundtrip commute in order to work the front desk at a yoga studio? It would be great for my career (such as it is) and for my betterment as a teacher and student of yoga, and I would get to work barefoot in hippie clothes and there would be NO evil processed snacks to tempt me (I'm looking at you, peanut butter M&Ms), and I would not sit bored at a computer all day. And I would get an iPod. But is it insane?

-Which iPod should I get?

-It's not like moving back to Canada is an option, but it sure is a tempting thought after shopping around for health insurance in the US. Ouch.

-I've been having trouble sleeping these last few nights in the heat, so we're contemplating moving the futon on the back porch, installing mosquito netting, and sleeping there for the summer. On the one hand, that would be really cool. On the other hand, it was 84 degrees on our back porch at midnight last night. (I know. I was awake. I checked. Lovely full moon.) Which, y'know, isn't very cool at all.

-Why can't I get my act together long enough to soak some alfalfa seeds to make sprouts? This incredibly simple task has had me stumped for a good two weeks now. The avocado-pepper goat cheese sandwiches are delightful on their own, but would be better with sprouts. Just sayin'.

-Should I keep my 9:30-11am Wednesday yoga class going for the summer? And do I need to change my attitude regarding the classes I teach at a local community clinic where I only make $3 per person? I enjoy the environment (the clinic is beautiful: exposed brick walls, old wood floors, pressed tin ceiling) and find the work that I do with the (very, very few) students meaningful, but I am a bit cranky about the compensation. Maybe I need to get over that. Maybe not.

-I need sandals. And more yarn. And the Vampire Weekend album. And all the stuff we'll buy at Ikea this weekend.

-My life is fully satisfying, wonderfully rewarding, immensely enjoyable (if a little hot & sticky right now.) I do not want for or need a thing in the world.

Weekend List

Sunday, June 15

-Peanut butter smoothie, duh.
-Reading & dozing in hammock.
-San Marcos river, though not enough.
-Homemade pizza.
-Eagle vs. Shark.
-D. in trees.
-Wake the Dead coffeehouse.
-A dozen 1-minute cold showers.
-Ravelry, always, forever.
-White linen pants (aka the Kundalini pants.)
-Homeopathic tea of nettles and raspberry leaf.
-Pedro the Lion, revisited.
-D. writing poems.
-Ice cubes.

This posts owes a debt of gratitude and inspiration to jcaitlinc. I heart her.

New love

Monday, June 9

I have dear friends to thank for most of the great, enduring loves in my life. Dave and Vlasta Booth introduced me to Over The Rhine. Toni Smith taught me how to knit. Matthew Davidson, of course, found my husband all the way in Texas through the net. And today I add our good friend Sean McMains to the list of those to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, for over the weekend he introduced me to my new true love... the peanut butter smoothie.

How come I never knew about this? Like any relationship that is truly meant to be, it felt right from the very first moment we met. I've been bored with breakfast of late, tired of toast and tired of cereal. I've also harboured an unhealthy fixation on Peanut Butter M&Ms. Making the smoothie solves both these problems--since, unlike my husband, I do not and will not eat peanut butter by the spoonful to get my kick.

Here's how I made mine this morning:
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen banana rounds
2 tbsp organic peanut butter
2 tbsp organic vanilla yogurt
a squirt of honey
a small handful of rolled oats

Place all ingredients in a tall glass and puree using one of these wonderful things.

Yum! Awesome. Next time I'll put a little bit more PB, a little bit more milk. I didn't find any wheat germ at the grocery store this weekend (WTF?) and so used the oats instead. Ground flax seeds would be a good addition, too. Healthy & fast.

In other health news... found this article today via the excellent blog Yoga Gumbo. Blogging--it's good for you!

Sweating & santosha

Saturday, June 7

The thing about no A/C is:

We're cheap hippies. It is preposterous to us to pay to keep the entire house cool all day, everyday, in order for us to enjoy during those few hours when we're not at work or on the back porch. (Note: our pets might disagree with our premise.) Also, carbon footprint, yaddi-yadda, and the like. And it's pretty standard hereabouts to care not a bit about spending the pretty months of the year in a sealed box--but, I am Canadian, to me nice weather= open windows. There are countless birds in our neighbourhood, and they sound pretty.

When we were contemplating the move to Texas I remember fearing the heat more than the gun-toting, God-fearing rednecks, but I guess how well you handle a situation has more to do with how you perceive said situation than with any parameters inherent in again-said situation, because as it turns out Texas heat isn't nearly as hot as I feared, and I seem to be handling it better than the aforementioned Texas-born rednecks. I swear, everyday one of them will walk into my office and whine like a little girl about how bloody hot it is, and I, former resident of Victoria, world capital of weather snobs, blink at them wondering what the hell they're talking about. Dude, I'd like to say, would you quit you're bellyaching, at any given moment it's bound to be 95 degrees or more in my house and I'm here to tell you IT'S FINE. A/C has turned you all into weather wimps. Why would we need A/C when God invented the people who invented fans. And watermelons.

And to someone (me) who spends a great deal of time reading/thinking about spiritual practices and India and how they relate to each other, the heat can be perceived to bestow some virtues. I'm not talking about hot yoga here (although it is hot, and I do do yoga). But wouldn't all this sweating and santosha create a sort of spiritual cleansing? Couldn't it be as easy as allowing both sweat and samskaras to pool around me as I sit? "Why yes, I'd love a little bit of delusion with my cold white wine. Thank you." Gather your tapas while ye may, and all that.

And while I wait for the rising mercury to soar me towards enlightenment, here's a few tips from the Priest household on how to brave the Texas heat without artificial air:

-Frequent brief cold showers. For extra bonus points, drip-dry in front of a tower fan.

-Watermelon. (Duh.)

-Half cold white wine, half Italian soda.

-Cold avocado soup.

-Foot baths with ice cubes.


-San Marcos river.

Notes about the Nest

Friday, June 6

Our beloved little toothpaste-green home is graced by the presence of many birds: Carolina chickadees, mockingbirds who delight with their song and infuriate when they steal tomatoes, grackles great and small, rock doves, titmice, cardinals, hummingbirds, and wrens. Some weeks ago we noticed a lot of wren activity around the back porch, which led to the discovery of a nest made in a black plastic gallon flower pot tucked on a metal shelf by the workbench. All manner of bits and stuffs were ferried via wren beak to this location, and soon, sure enough: tiny flecked eggs, out of which poked loud and hungry little wrenlets. Again with the ferrying, this time of whatever pleases a wren's young's stomach: bugs and whatnots. They had supper at the same time as us, we could watch the wren make her speedy deliveries, and hear the clamoring choir of chicks whenever she perched on the edge of the pot: memememememe!

Awestruck, dumbfounded, I even watched the small wrens, fluffy and inadequate, try out their wings, fly awkwardly, land unsuccessfully, and leave the nest forever, all in the matter of an hour or so. I miss their tiny, miraculous presence on the back porch, but do not begrudge them choosing the nearby oaks' branches to a plastic flower pot, no matter how cozy. I wish them good luck.

And so, this blog: made and fed with bits, stuffs, whatnots pulled from all corners of my interests and amazements, be they yoga, knitting, homesteading, loving, singing, lounging, and living without A/C in Central Texas. Wish me luck, too.

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