Monday, October 29, 2012

Ahhhhh! That Feels Goooooood Lloyd!

 I went for a massage today after work.  It had been months since my last visit and my neck and shoulders were tighter than a fiddle string.

Lloyd, all 6 feet 2" of him, solid muscle and a smile that makes your heart beat faster, is my masseur.  Yep!  I know how to pick 'em and Lloyd is the best. What that man does with his fingers and palms and elbows is nothing short of a miracle.  Lloyd is a Rolfer.  According to Wiki:

Rolfing is a therapy system created by The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration (also referred to as "RISI")[1], founded by Ida Pauline Rolf in 1971.[2] The Institute states that Rolfing is a "holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organize(s) the whole body in gravity".[3] Manipulation of the muscle fasciae is believed to yield therapeutic benefits...

Lloyd can manipulate my muscle fasciae anytime he wants!

I was reminded about going back for a visit with Lloyd when reading Georgia O'Keeffe's biography last month.  She was a rolfing enthusiast, knew Ida Rolf and practiced some rolfing exercises taught to her by Ida and son of a gun, if it was good for Georgia (who lived to the ripe old age of near 99), it's good for me!
I always walk out of a massage standing straighter and feeling taller.  The movement in my neck, shoulders and upper back is so much easier, loosey goosey kind of...

I am booked for another appointment soon as this technique requires repetitive visits.  Sitting in front of a computer most of the days is a killer for posture but Lloyd will set me straight, all 5' 1 1/2" of me!

Bonsoir,

Stella

Friday, October 26, 2012

On my Kobo


I have just purchased Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters. 

Indeed, I have been thinking for some time now, that I might be ready for this embracing my crowning glory au natruel.  My hairdresser is the one encouraging me to do it and as retirement and living on a pension and the odd contract are looming, I have embarked on the journey to apparently white hair.

Here is a photo of me with my new ash blond color.  My hairdresser is helping me along with a certainly painless hopefully seamless road to my natural state.



Bonne journée,

Stella


P.S. Check out Anne Kreamer's website here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Season of Oxblood

I had an extraordinarily good day today.  The kind that makes you stop and count your blessings. 

It was a series of fortunate events that ended with me coming home late and finding the outdoor lights on, the fireplace ablaze and dinner made with a bottle of red wine sitting in the carafe, aerated.

First time for V. who has been retired since end June this year. 

At my lovely hairdresser's when I came to pay for my cut and color, she said no, not this time.  Why? Because I did some translating of the descriptions of her 20 odd paintings for her opening this coming November 3rd.  I also got a new nail polish on the house in the new fall color: Bordeaux which pleases me to no end because dark red is a favorite color that I have not worn in a long time.

I'm all fired up about this color.  Am looking for a pair of shoes and maybe a purse to go with.  A royal treat because finally there is a color out there that I really love.

Claret, Bordeaux, Oxblood, all versions of deep dark red seen in everything from sweaters to boots.

I'm not the world's most ardent fashionista, but when I hear my song playing, I'm all in.  This season's Oxblood is going to be the punctuation in my fall/winter essay, a great way to thumb your nose at the cold weather...

Bonne nuit,

Stella

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's -8 Today

A part of me is mourning the mild weather we've been having till now, another part of me is saying: Yeah!, we can wear all the lovely woolens we have and make fires in the fireplace and make hot spiced wine, boeuf Bourguignon and pumpkin soup.

Cold weather, dark mornings and early evenings invite the usto gather in and reflect as late fall and winter are a time for tilling the interior garden of our souls. 

I learned from my acupuncturist last week that my Chinese element is Earth.  Not that I am surprised by this.  It rings very true in my case and may explain why winter is no big deal to me as long as I'm inside!

Most Earth-type people are trustful, steady, loyal and responsible. They are honest, religious, reliable, and keep their promises.


The characteristics of Earth are standing still, being slow and steady, and stationary. Therefore the Earth people don't like to move their body and change their mind too often. They are honest, trustworthy, and responsible. They also have good faith. They can sit in one position for a long time. They accept religion since they like rumination and meditation. They are slow to react. They like to collect things, and enjoy their collectibles at home, but not outdoors.

Time to make a dent in huge tomes we've been meaning to read and to take out the knitting needles...

Bonne journée,

Stella

Friday, October 19, 2012

Well I Never...

Breaking Bad

Recently, I have been watching a series that has been on TV for a few years.  This, on the recommendation of my sons.  After watching all of seasons 1 and 2 and two episodes of season 3 on Netflix, I think I am about to quit.  Why?

Because I have always been a girl who likes stories that finish on a more positive tone.  Because I have a hard time watching violence.  Because it breaks my heart to get attached to characters only to become really turned off by their behaviour.

Granted, this series is well written and has a good pace, characters develop certainly but when I have the feeling that everything is going down the tubes, I can't watch.  I have the same experience when movies go in this direction.  When I feel there is no hope for the characters, I am no longer motivated to watch the downward spiral... Know what I mean?

According to Wikipedia:
Hope is the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Despair is the opposite of hope.
When watching drama either on TV or the big screen, I don't need to feel despair.  Sure, I can do despair, but not for the duration, especially the downward spiral thing. 

Does that mean that I am an eternal optimist? Does it mean I need life to be sugar-coated? Does it mean that I live a life too sheltered from all the horrible stuff that goes on out there?

My Mom used to say: «I don't find this entertaining.»  Although I don't always require entertainment, I do like to be challenged, I like a movie or TV episode to make me think... just not to lose hope.

What do you think?


Stella

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Acupuncture


Yesterday, after a three month wait, I had my first visit and acupuncture treatment with Dr. Aung.

Insomnia, an underactive thyroid and digestive challenges prompted me to seek out this world-renowned doctor.

Upon leaving my workplace and walking the four blocks to his clinic, I felt calm and sure of what I was about to experience.  Stepping into the clinic, my feelings were confirmed by the friendly, professional atmosphere.  Fifteen minutes later, in the presence of Florence, who «needled» me, I again felt unusually calm and content to be there.  After another fifteen minutes, the needles came out and the small, slightly hunched doctor entered the room and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of loving kindness and knowledge that came from deep within me, that I was in the right place at the right time.

While studying my hands, ears, eyes and tongue, the doctor confirmed a number of truths about my general constitution as well as my nature.  As we walked out of the room together he said:  «I'm glad you came here today, you are a very special person.»

I fairly floated on the way back to work after booking my next five appointments with this wise, wise man.

I am blessed.

Bonne journée,

Stella

P.s.  Did I mention that I slept like a baby last night?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Turkey's in the oven

The turkey is dressed and tanning in the oven.  My sister D.'s potatoes are scrubbed and ready to be whipped into shape.  Brussel sprouts are showered and shaved.  Tomatoes are primping on the window sill.  All is well on this Monday October 8th, Thanksgiving in Canada.

Except that I have a sinus headache.  Have had for a few days now.  Have to stay drugged or else stay in bed and feel sorry for myself.  I'll have a Dristan thank you.  Fall and spring are no fun for allergy sufferers...

Yesterday at D.'s 19 people were seated to dinner.  Amongst them were 6 little ones who are so cute you want to put them in your pocket and bring them home.  They sang, they danced, they did yoga poses, they went on a treasure hunt, they played the piano and they ate "bunkin" pie. (pumpkin)

See this picture and recipe at Kitchen Chick's blog
Today, our son D. and I prepared the turkey.  We will be just the three of us for turkey dinner.  We miss T. who is our faraway one.  

So while the turkey is cooking and memories of times past impose themselves on my day, I am just floating through the day with no thought to undertake any major jobs that need to be done like: cleaning the stove, the fridge, changing the sheets and taking out the duvet, making a menu for supper with friends next weekend...

But I do have this pretty that I recently purchased from my friend Corey that is calling my attention and wants desperately to be made into a lovely necklace. 


Should it be dressed with a more subdued Bordeaux ribbon?

Or would a Marie-Antoinette pink one suit it better?



Bonne journee,

Stella


Friday, October 5, 2012

Masterpiece Theatre: Wallander


I don't know if any of you have been watching the series Wallander on Masterpiece Theatre.  It is one of my favorite crime series.  Every year I look forward to a few more episodes in the fall.  This fall we had a measly three episodes although, they ARE two hours in length...

Kenneth Branagh plays a maverick detective with the Ystad police.  He is a loner, recently divorced, most of the time estranged from his daughter yet he has a huge heart capable of enormous compassion for those who suffer at the hands of criminals.

I like this series because it is gritty, set against the background of a mostly cool, grey Sweden. I fell in love with Swedish drama with the Millenium series although films by Ingmar Bergman starring Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow had caught my attention long ago. Recently, As it is in Heaven moved me deeply...

You can read more about Wallander here and here.

In the new year, Masterpiece Theater will be coming back with the Crawley's in Downton Abbey.  Don't miss it!  If you have missed it, you have three months to catch up on the last two series.  You won't regret it.  This coming season, Shirley MacLaine plays Lady Cora Crawley's American mother.  I look forward to seeing Shirley and Maggie share the screen!


Just look at that (Maggie's) face!
Do you like Wallander and/or Downtown Abbey?

Bonne journée,

Stella

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gratitude Journal

Journal from 1998
I recently restarted a gratitude journal after a lapse of about two years.  When I have difficulty staying in the moment, when I spend too much time in the future or in the past, a gratitude journal makes me pause and think about the day that I've just had. What was good about it, however minute that can be.

Sunshine,  a comfortable bed, clean water to drink, kisses, a job, a smile from a colleague are all privileges of being alive that are too easy to discount.

A change this year: I keep the journal at work and before I leave at the end of the day, I inscribe the five things that I'm grateful for.  Being grateful at work, I find, is a little more challenging than being grateful in a warm bed at the end of the day.

No need to have a special notebook but I do like using Sarah Ban Breathnach's original Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude.  You can buy it here, here or here. I find that they make a great Christmas gift that keeps giving all year.  What better gift than to remind someone to be grateful every day?

Have you been grateful today?  Do you have keep a gratitude journal? What does it do for you?

Bonsoir,

Stella