September 2011

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Namaste, gentle readers.  Unless you are new to Under a Red Roof, you know quite well of my fondness for yoga.  It truly has changed my life.  I know for many of you this might sound a bit precious, but it’s no exaggeration.  Everything is better with yoga, everything.  Even with a cat on my back.  How cute is my guruji, Paris?  Normally, she prefers to give her sage advice during savasana, but who am I to argue?

Anyhoo, I’ve got some more recommendations for videos and the like, even expanding my repertoire to include, holy crapper-doodle, works by people other than Shiva Rea!  I know, even I didn’t think it was possible.  This dog can learn new tricks, go with the flow, rhyme and steal…

However, since I do have such a longstanding relationship with Shiva and remain ever loyal, I’ll start with her.  A.M. Energy is a really dynamic and invigorating video, and a departure from what I consider typical Shiva style.  It contains four separate practices (about 20 minutes each) that can be linked via the matrix or done individually.  Each ranges in difficulty and in style, from lots of not super yoga feeling floor work that builds strength through repetition, flowing movement, and some extremely challenging standing postures.  I have much to learn and do here and continue to be dazzled by Shiva’s ability and grace.

Shiva’s Yoga Wave (thanks for this one, Mom!) is an audio only collection, though there is a booklet with photos, so I would definitely only recommend it to those practicing for a while.  It contains a Solar and Lunar CD, and with the help of an i-pod or similar device can be mixed up in a myriad of fashions.  Each CD has progressively more difficult waves of similar postures, building upon each other and kicking your behind.  The solar wave CD is like doing seventy-five minutes of sun salutations, which is great for heating you up and developing your legs.  The first time is a killer!  The lunar wave is mostly spent on the floor opening hips, back bending, and twisting.  This one is in a pretty regular rotation for the hubster, as it’s really great to counter the repetitive movements of bike riding.


Now for something completely different.  Completely!  My massage therapist, who has a beautiful and strong body, is as big of a devotee to Kundalini, Ravi Singh and Ana Brett as I am to Shiva Rea.  After hearing her raves, I decided to give it a try.  It is a real departure from the yoga I am used to practicing.  I think, and this is by no means a slight, because I really like it, it is like yoga that was created by a child.  Let’s grind our hips around while sitting on the floor, and then we’ll flap our arms, sit like frogs, dance, lie on our bellies and bounce, walk like we’re marching in a parade, and pant like dogs.  Oh, and one more thing, it’s gonna be fun!  And it is.  I can’t help but smile during and well after.  It must be all that good Kundalini energy!  For those who already find yoga a bit out there, this will probably be too woo-woo for you.  That being said, both of the videos are fun and challenging, especially all the arm flapping Gurmukh does.  Seriously, I could not do it all, and I’m in pretty good shape.  Sat nam!

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Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.

E.L. Konigsburg



Yup, them’s me boobs.  I’m putting them in your face (“Do you want a Christmas card?  Here’s your Christmas card!”) not to show off their perkiness or the pretty sweater, though it is a lovely color.  J.Crew has my number, to be sure.  No, I am putting them in your face in hopes of saving you a little anxiety.

I had my first mammogram last Thursday.  They squished my boobs good and proper.  Ouch!  Then, yesterday, in the midst of my tomato canning extravaganza (seven jars of chutney and nine jars of plain-old chopped – huzzah!), I got the call that the radiologist needed additional images.  Ugh.

I wasn’t exactly surprised.  The nice lady who took the pictures started acting different after that first picture of my right boob.  Though I certainly hoped it was my imagination.  I have a writer’s mind, you know.  I can make grand palaces of match sticks.

Luckily, they could get me in today, so I wouldn’t be sweating bullets and creating even more writerly scenarios in my fertile mind over a period of days.  As it was, I thought of hardly anything else, didn’t sleep very well, and then, when I did, I had a nightmare about being cut open while I was awake and could feel it!  Good times…

Anyhoo, I got there early and looked at Architectural Digest without really looking at it, biding my time.  Then when my name was called, and I got to the little room with the machine, I started to cry.  I did not want breast cancer.  One of my best friends just went through it, and it was no party.  No siree, Bob.  So, Diane, the technician, literally held my hand and walked me through, step by step.  It turns out my breast tissue is very thick and at certain angles doesn’t look so healthy.

She took more pictures, squishing my boob even more than the first lady.  It’s not like there’s much to squish, either, so it hurt even more than the first time. Double ouch!  Then I went back to the waiting room, had a cup of hot cocoa, wished for the hubster, and hoped for the best.

The next nice lady to help me was Kim.  She let me know that I do, indeed, have very dense breasts and with that often comes this business of double checking, but I am a-ok.  Relief!  I hugged her and cried again.  She also said to expect these kind of results in the future, so maybe I wouldn’t panic quite so much if I got a call back next year.  It’s just a precaution.  So a wish for me and you: Let’s not make mountains out of little dense boobs, shall we?



Sorry, I’ve got no Bowie picture, but how about Mr. Reynolds on a natural gas outlet?  Cheeky monkey…

Anyway, happy Monday, readers!  I hope you are well and that your week is off to a good start.  Mine was a little questionable yesterday after a hacker wreaked some havoc Under a Red Roof.  Thank goodness for my superstar hubster, or I would probably still be weepy and cursing the mean people of the universe, and you’d be seeing a giant HACKED message across the screen instead of my spin on the world.

As a result of all this business, I’ve decided to no longer have comments on the blog.  It’s been a long time coming, really.  Though you don’t see them, I get a lot more spam than actual messages from sweet readers, and it was becoming a hassle.  Then Mr. Evil came along, and I decided that I’d rather not deal with it, especially if it meant the black screen of death.  That being said, I do love knowing that you’re out there, so feel free to hit the Contact Me tab, and we can chat in a more personal fashion. There’s also the Facebook, Google +, and Stumbleupon buttons at the end of the post, for those of you who want the simplicity of a click.  Here’s hoping this is a happy medium and that we can streamline the buttons in the near future, too.  Like life, it’s a work in progress!

I wish I could stay and chat a while, but I’ve got a date with a box of tomatoes – chutney anyone?



A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.

Lewis Mumford


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