Friday, October 2, 2009

I've Moved

Dear Friends,

I've had one particular problem with this BlogSpot and that was readers inability to easily post a comment. For that primary reason, I have moved AnuEssentials to the WordPress blog location. You can continue to keep in touch with me via

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birkie Girl

As the summer closes, my days of free-toes are drawing to an end. One of the things I look forward to when the weather turns warm is busting out my many pairs of Birkenstock sandals. If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a happy feet kind of gal. And with my Birkenstocks on, my toes are free, my arch is supported and I’m as happy as can be, at least my feet are.

I started wearing Birkies about 15 years ago. At the time I was still doing hair and standing on my feet for hours everyday. It was a no-brainer to realize that I really needed something that could support not only my feet, but also my entire body. The external design of the Birkenstock shoe has come a long way since those days. Today they come in an array of colors, textures, finishes, and styles. I’ve seen Birkenstocks that were designed by Heidi Klum (you know the fashion model married to Seal) that were nearly $400.00. After all, her homeland is where the Birkenstock Company was founded. They were fancy with rhinestones and all, but still…

I graduated from Fashion Industries H.S. with the esteemed title of Best Dressed in my senior year book. Who’d have thunk it that I’d grow up to be a Birkenstock wearing kind of gal? I remember a new friend of my a few years ago referred to me as a “Granola”. And when I balked at this description, she informed me that since I wore Birkenstocks nearly everyday of the summer, I could not refute her claim. Oh well, life changes doesn’t it?

I have a collection of Birkie sandals, but it’s funny, because they’re all the same style called Gizeh, just in different colors and finishes. I have Giza’s that are silver, bronze, gold, black, red patent leather, sea form green, blue with painted flowers, pink with rhinestone studded buckles, pewter, and orange. The pewter ones I’ve had for over twelve years. This year I decided that no matter what, I could not, would not purchase another pair of Birkenstocks. After all, how many pairs of Birkenstocks are enough? Considering one can have their Birkies re-corked and the soul replaced over and over again, two pairs are the most anyone ever needs at one time. But some people aren’t aware of this. In fact most young people have never even stepped foot in a shoe repair store and haven’t a clue the purpose of one.

Case in point, I know a guys who is a multi- millionaire and he seemingly only owns one pair of Birkenstocks. They are so old, and run down that the cork is literally non-existent, to the point that his Birkies look like they could grow mushrooms. They’re gross. But I believe he must have purchased them back in the 60's or something and he’s fine with that.

Where am I going with all of this, well actually I just wanted to pay homage to a shoe that offers me so much comfort and doesn’t receive the kind of play from media it ought to. You never see Birkenstock featured on the runways, or in your fashion magazines or on the red carpet (except when Whoopie’s around). Now Whoopi’s a Birkenstock wearing kind-of-girl who make no apologies for her fashion choices. She wears her Birkies proud and I’m right there with her on that! These days you might see a fashionista with Birkies on, like the time I ran into Jacquette at the coop with her silver ones on. Shocking. But as the summer closes and my feet have to go back inside of closed in shoes it’s really an adjustment.

I must admit though, I did purchase some Crocks this summer to wear indoors. Since I don't wear outdoors shoes in my home, I needed some supportive shoes for around the home. This is especially necessary when I standing on my feet for hours cooking up butters and the like.

How about you, do you choose fashion over comfort? I don't blame you if you do. I would if I could, but I can't so I don't...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Prius and me

When the economic crisis start getting really fierce in the last quarter of 2008, was around the same time the lease was ending on my Infiniti FX a.k.a luxury gas-guzzler. Don’t get me wrong; I sincerely enjoyed driving that car. Still, I felt guilty for riding around in a car that required so much gasoline. At the height of the gas increases I was spending over $70 to fill up my gas tank, every 7-14 days. The Infiniti is esthetically cutting edge, luxuriously designed and technologically efficient. But the Prius features many of the same technological designs as the Infiniti, like back up camera, smart key, and GPS. All the more reason to go with a gas saver because driving the Infiniti made me feel in my own way, I was contributing to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

It was now a definite, my next car would have to be a hybrid. My friends who owned Prius’s were all in love with their cars. People really raved about it. But when I saw the movie “Who Killed The Electric Car”, I wanted my electric car. I felt I had been cheated out of something very special that could have help save the environment. It was astounding to see how blatantly corrupt the car companies and the gasoline companies are. It’s clear they’re in bed together, which is why electric cars were taken off the road and destroyed.

Back to what is, and that is that the hybrid is the next best thing to riding a bike on going on foot. By the end of 2008 the dealership was calling me on a regular basis, wanting to know did I still want to purchase. Mind you, months earlier when I went in to put my name on the waiting list I was number 35 on the list. What had changed? Well first, there was the economic melt down of Wall Street and the economy and in addition to that, gas prices had plummeted. I zoomed to the top of the list of those waiting to get a Prius and therefore I was in the position to negotiate, which I took full advantage of.

When I picked my car up, I was in for a pleasant surprise; the dealer had filled the gas tank. So the first time I had to fill my car up, three weeks later, I gave the attendant my debit card and when the pump registered the grand total of $12.00, I was blown over. Twelve dollars?! “Hey I can pay that with cash straight from my wallet”! This was going to be nice. Half a year later and I am still enjoying my Prius. I gas up one and a half times a month. The car is able to fit in smaller parking spaces and it doesn’t use much gas. Though have you noticed? prices are steadily creeping up. I went from paying an average of $15.00 to fill up to now it’s over $28.00. Still it’s a far cry from the $70.00 madness of filling up the Infiniti.

I would recommend a Prius to anyone. It’s a great car and I have become a true believer and adorning fan like most Prius owners. Maybe one of these days I’ll be living a life where I can travel primarily by bicycle. In the meantime, I love my Prius.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Half Way There

A number of months ago I wrote a blog post commiserating about my seemingly overnight weight gain. I was determined to combat this weight gain as it crept steadily up from one week to the next. At one point it got to be a bit hilarious, as I would step on the scale only to see that yes, I had indeed gained another pound. Is Candid Camera in the house? I had never been over 145 and now I was nearing 160 with no slow down in sight. What the heck???

My friend Mireille suggested that I visit her doctor, Homeopath Dr. Salzarulo. Well that began a journey and an exploration that I hadn’t expected. What doctor Salzarulo’s plan for me made me realize, was that I had moved so far away from my original “clean” diet that it was no wonder that things were changing for the worse. I asked him, “Is it normal to gain weight in mid-life, during peri-menopause stage in life"? His answer was that if gaining weight during this stage in life were universal, then he could say yes. But in many places in the world this mid-life weight gain does not occur. He informed me that it was a matter of the body being very much out of balance, full of toxins and adjusting in the way that it could.

So here is some of what I had to eliminate from my diet, wheat (which many people are allergic to due to over consumption and like corn it’s in most processed food), sugar, including all alcohol, fruit juices, dried fruit, cheese, shell-fish and anything with cow’s milk. Thank goodness I can still have goat’s milk (its composition is closer to human milk) because I love yogurt as a quickie breakfast fix. Most processed (white, bleached food) bread, gluten, and corn and potatoes (that included my favorite, potato chips) and soy, believe it or not. I hadn’t realized how much cheese I had started consuming or sugar for that matter, a glass of wine here a glass of wine there… It all adds up!

What is allowed on this anti-inflammatory diet are most fruits, vegetables (except nightshades) whole grains (except the ones that are glutenous), fish and free range or organic meats.

I recently checked in with Dr. Salzarulo and since March, I have made many adjustments to my diet. I’ll tell you straight, it hasn’t been easy to refrain from all of the above each and everyday but I gave it the ole Girl Scout try. I have lost eleven pounds and I have about that much more to go to reach my target. My cloths are fitting me much better now and I feel better. I was shocked at how the pain of my monthly cycles decreased considerably.

Now he wants me to take it to the next level, which means cleansing in a myriad number of ways. First thing is green juice every day, half my weight in ounces of water consumed daily, body brushing before bathing, three baths a week to sweat and release toxins, of course exercise and if I could fit it in, jumping on a trampoline twenty minutes a day to help cleanse the lymph system. Whew! And that’s not all of it.

What is amazing to me is how we, resist what’s best for us on subtle levels. Like one of his requirements is that you write down everything you eat each day. I hated that! After two weeks of that, it became old, real fast. Enough already. But his theory is that it makes you present to what you’re consuming.

All this to say, I am headed in the direction I wanted to go in, but like with anything worth having it hasn’t been a breeze. But it has given me insight into things like discipline, perseverance, commitment, and rewards that can follow. I must admit, I am grateful for this experience as it has allowed me to see the course that I was on was not just something that was happening to me. Is that ever the case? I think not. Our choices determine our lives. I’m choosing to be at a weight that helps me feel in touch with my center. Let me know how you’re feeling.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A New York Treasure- 14th Street Farmer's Market

Despite the very strange weather that we’ve been having, the gardening season is officially here. A couple of weeks ago on Memorial Day weekend, my sister and I braved the Brooklyn Terminal market (and its pushy patrons) on a sunny and bright Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful that weekend. The kind of weather you expect in NY during the late spring. We were laser as we focused in on what we needed to fill our window boxes and planters.

We finally gathered all we needed and loaded up my little Prius with flats of flowers galore. You see, the terminal market is great for your basics and your fillers, petunia, impatients, marigolds, hibiscus, dahlias, evergreens etc. However, my plan had always been to get to the Union Square Market to scout the exotic and heirloom selections that they always have. But we've had so much rain, that I couldn't get to 14th Street until today. I admit it, I am a fair weather gardener and I make no bones about it.

Today the sun came out and so I finally made my way to that most hip happening in NY, Union Square a.k.a. the 14th Street Farmers Market. Being there is a festival for the senses, as all of your senses are engaged on a major level. I was so inspired that I pulled out my iPhone and started acting like I was a photojournalist. I noticed I wasn’t the only one that impressed. Other photographers there had “real” cameras and were taking it all in. It gave me one of those rare thoughts of “this is why New York is so great”.

Normally when I go to the Farmers Market, I try to get there early, around 8:00 or at the latest 9:00. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with the throngs of people. I arrived late today, around 11:00 so when I jokingly complained to the guy snatching up all the best roses, he politely said to me, “It's the early bird”… Still, I’m impressed with the photos I took because I managed to take these images without showing the hundreds of folks who were out there. When I say hundreds, I’m not exaggerating.

There all kinds of folks out there, like the preppie looking peeps who you imagined must have driven down from Connecticut or the Upper East Side, or the brother with two strand twist extensions (I would notice that) or the old guy who looked like he didn’t have a dime, but bought up all the best rose bushes, before I could even bat an eye. There were couples with babies in strollers, many dog owners with their pooches, and some folk who looked as though they lived right around the corner. I’ve heard that some of the best restaurants in NY, shop for their produce at the 14th Street Farmers Market, and it’s no wonder. Everything looks so fresh and vibrant. The colors don’t seem real; they’re so bright and amazing. But then again, who else but Mother Nature could create such color and abundance?

There were vendors selling everything from rare flowers and herbs, to exotic goat cheeses, organic wool, free range poultry, fresh fish, fresh bake breads, preserves, mushrooms and on and on. Then on the other side of the park are artist with their paintings and other hand made works, like Himalayan Crystal salt candle holders, vintage repros, hand painted tees etc. But one thing that stood out for me was an Obama tee shirt that had the look of “The Matrix” in the background with Obama in the foreground and a caption that read, “He’s the One”. New York, you don’t have to love it, but I must admit that some of what NY offers, will make even a “down on New York critic”, like myself appreciate NY, seeing it from perspective of the fabulous 14th Street Farmers Market.

Check it out!

14th Street Farmers Market

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jewelry Madness

My love affair with jewelry began innocently enough many years ago (when I was in my twenties) and then grew into a full-blown obsession. It got so bad that seven months ago I took what was supposed to be a year’s hiatus from purchasing jewelry. But recently, (seven months later) I fell off the wagon. I’ll tell you more on that topic later.

Over the years I have bought jewelry, out grown it, became bored with it and passed it on, only to acquire more baubles and beads. My taste in jewelry ranges from the subtle to the fierce and I enjoy the array of options. I just accept that on different days I have different vibes and I let my jewelry express the mood I’m in. I have jewelry that’s funky, artsy, romantic, and ethnic, inexpensive, expensive and so on. I can go from the ultra conservative to the wild and funky from one day to the next.

Most folks get dressed and decide which jewelry compliments the garment. I recently spoke with my jewelry mentor, (yes, I actually have a friend who influenced me many years ago with this madness) and she agreed with me that many times we decide which jewelry we will wear and then let that determine which garment blends with the jewelry. This bosom jewelry fiend also has a wide range in jewelry tastes, but loves to purchase her prize pieces at pawnshops. I could never get into the pawnshop vibe. When I’m in a pawnshop, I feel overwhelmed. They always seem to have so much stock.

So yes, I recently went back to purchasing jewelry. I didn’t quite make it through 12 whole months of abstaining, but seven months was a record for me. “What had happen was,” I went bonkers over jet black, crystal jewelry. It all started with a purchase of a lovely vintage, black, brocade dress from fashion stylist, Joan Van Hees at the Fort Greene flea market. Because of the draping neckline, Joan suggested that the dress was probably worn with a broach.

I was able to find a perfect broach after combing through dozens to choose from all around the market. I choose a jet, black, vintage crystal broach, because I wanted something that blended with the garment instead of contrasting. But the reflection from the black jet beads was just magical. I became fascinated by jet black crystals and then I found they can be purchased so cheaply on ebay. My goodness, help me! On ebay the jet black jewelry can be had for half of what it cost at the flea market. Who knew! And all this, after I swore I didn’t even like ebay!

Well enough is enough. I’ve done my regular and gone overboard. Purchasing jewelry is one clear way my obsessive-compulsive nature, rears its ugly head. I need help. If you can relate, please help a sister out. I need to get back up on that wagon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day Spa - Korean Style

As a birthday gift, my niece, Zauditu invited me to a day at a spa. Now normally, if you say spa I start drooling, but she said Korean Spa and immediately I had a whole different response, because I had heard these spas are like bathhouses. And personally, I don’t go in for “public bathing”. I start having all kinds of ideas about how sanitary can it be? But I decided that since she was so excited about the idea, I would just say yes. Amazing things happen when you say, “yes” in life and I’m definitely up for what’s amazing.

The services offered at King Spa Sauna, are apparently a system of self-care that is traditionally Korean, because you will see generations of Korean women together. You’ll see a grandmother, with her daughter and her daughter’s daughter. Everyone walks around naked, except there are some ladies that are in black underwear. I finally realized they were the practitioners.

We walked into a very large wet room that was covered from floor to ceiling with marble and tile and water everywhere. This one room had a row of shower stalls, a pool of really hot water, a pool with lukewarm water, a pool with cold water, a steam room and rows of seating with shower-heads where you could sit and bathe, wash your hair, brush your teeth etc. You go from one pool to the other alternately relaxing and invigorating your system, depending on the temperature of the water. The herbal steam room was divine; the scent in there was euphoric. Then there were the massage tables where you received wet services such an exfoliation and wet massage.

The exfoliation was incredible. The practitioners wear these mittens that are like “brillo gloves” and they begin rubbing each and every part of your body systematically with these mittens. I was astounded at the amount of black, rolled dead skin that came off of my body. It was like yuk, puke. You want to believe that ugly, gross stuff is coming from somewhere else, somebody else, but no, it belonged to you. Afterwards, your body is as smooth a silk.

Having had a lot of massages over the years, it didn’t seem these were professional masseuses. You get the feeling, they haven’t really been to an accredited massage school, but it still, it feels good and relaxing. The downside of that is that they use baby oil, (definitely not the best). Next time I will bring my own oil.

All is said and done and now it’s time to leave and tip your practitioner. But there’s a “recommended” tip. But in this case “recommended” means a mandatory amount. The amount is $25.00, which is pricy considering that’s double an 18% tip. Oh well, it makes me wonder (like I do in nail salons) if the practitioners are on payroll or if tips are their only source of income???

All in all, I would definitely go again. It's a very relaxing and wonderful way to bond with friends, family, or loved ones. Though I must warn you, that you’ll be wishing you had a personal driver to take you home, and you’ll want to head right home to take a nap. All that water submerging seems to bring your exhaustion to the surface. At least that’s how I felt. I was really out of it for the rest of the day. Maybe, next time, I’ll try it at night. There was a lot more to do that we didn’t get to (like the Amethyst room, mineral salt room, gold pyramid room) but check it out for yourself. BTW, we went to the one in Palisades Park. I've heard the one in Flushing Queens, Inspa World a.k.a. Spa Castle is far more fabulous. And if you’ve already been to one of these Korean spas, tell us your experience.

Thank you Z, for a tremendous experience and for spending time with your Auntie!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Peony Explosion

The first time I saw a picture of a peony, I feel in love with this gorgeous flower and it's been a mad romance since that day. And this began with a mere picture of the flower. Never mind the fact that it was the middle of the summer. I knew not much about gardening, except that I had just caught the gardening bug. I purchased the peony roots and proceeded to plant them in the dead of the summer. Of course since peonies are to be planted in the fall, nothing came of those efforts, except a loss of money and a great lesson learned. RIF, reading is fundamental. Had I read the package, I would have known this was not the right time for planting peonies.

Someone famous once said, "I never saw a flower that I didn't like". Well, I have some friends who, let's just say, they're flower snobs. Most of their garden is filled with small, very rare, and delicate types. They don't like peonies and consider them too big and showy. To each his own, I absolutely love them; to me they're bodacious and beautiful. When they're totally open, their texture reminds me of paper, kind of on the order of poppy flowers. And their transformation from that weird looking bud, to the show stopping, pink blossom, never ceases to amaze me.

Fast forward to today and I have been taking pics every year of my peonies, as if they were school pictures of my kids or something. This year I tried my best to get each stage of their development. But that's a tricky task. This past Monday one of the peonies was barely open, just sort of peaking out. You could barely see it. Two hours later when I came outside to take a photo of it, it had totally opened up (it was 89 degrees). I couldn't believe it! Imagine if I had had a video taping the entire opening, like a PBS nature show or something. It would have been phenomenal. But such is life. I missed that show.

I've been through this almost every year with my peonies. They will be locked up, closed tight, taking their sweet time to open and bloom. And then it's like, BOOM, there's a heat wave and they literally explode open. I would prefer a slow and steady opening, so as to drag out this fabulous show of nature. Because once they're all the way open, the next stage is the petals dropping one by one, to the ground. It's a beautiful experience regardless of the timing of the heat wave. And I am so blessed to have this enchanting experience year after year. Sweet peonies, my love, I'll await your return again and again.

2009 peony show.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bath time

When was the last time you took a bath? Yes, I know you bathe everyday, but I'm referring to actually sitting down in a tub of water, with bubbles, and candles and just relaxing. I use to have a weekly ritual of taking a bath every Sunday. That was one way to ensure I took a bath at least once a week.

Growing up in Virginia we didn’t have showers, only bathtubs. When we moved to NY in 1967 and landed an apartment in a beautiful pre-war building, I was taken by the bathroom. Not only did we have a tub, we also had a stand-alone floor to ceiling, art deco tiled, shower stall. I never wanted to take a bath after that. But of course my mother would insist we take baths from time to time.

As an adult I definitely realized the value in taking a bath, but I had an experience that caused me fall off my weekly ritual. I had some work done in my house a few years ago. One bathroom had a shower stall and the other had no shower at all, just a tub. Well for some unknown reason, my contractor took a year to return and finish the bathroom with the shower. So for a year, I had to take a bath every single time I needed to bathe.

You have no idea what it’s like to take a bath every single day unless you just love doing that. The first thing I noticed it that taking a bath really slows you down. No matter how much of a rush you’re in, sitting in that warm water just causes you to slow your roll, to relax, to linger a bit. I would get so pissed with myself, because I needed to get going, but it was cause to pause. I tried every approach to try to get my contractor over. I got angry, that didn’t work. I tried being sweet; no go. I even lied claiming I had an infection from too many baths; he didn’t budge. I gave up and tried to be patient. He still didn’t show up until he was good and ready.

Why did I put up with his absenteeism instead of just hiring someone else? Well my contractor’s work is awesome and his prices so affordable, that it boggles the mind. So that’s the pay off, you have to wait until he gets around to it. It’s either time or money…

Anyway, I didn’t take a bath for a long time after that. Now I mostly take baths only when I’ve strained a muscle or I’m just too exhausted to even stand up in a shower. But that’s not how it should be. Bathing in a tub, as we all know, is a chance to unwind, to luxuriate, and pamper ourselves. I’m going to get back to sitting in the tub on a regular. Although, I’ve recently noticed, that I receive some great light-bulb moments while showering. What about you?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Opening

What do I love about spring? Ha! Let me count the ways… I know I’m not special for loving spring, who doesn’t? Besides the promise of life, the flowers, the rain, I love the way my body, mind, and spirit responds to spring, especially as it relates to yoga.

In the spring, you can actually feel your body opening. Imagine that for just a moment, the feeling that you are expanding, ever so subtly, becoming more pliable, opening up to the cosmos. This happens despite the fact that it’s not quite warm out yet, something has shifted in the universe and consequently that shift also takes place within us. It's not only the flowers that are opening, we too are budding, blooming, opening.

There is a real difference for me. In the winter I just feel contracted when I practice, a bit tight and not as yielding. Perhaps that’s why so many are attracted to Bikram yoga a.k.a. hot yoga. The heat does helps you to expand, but it’s not the same as when the universe is behind you, opening something within you.

With that said, I encourage you to do a little yoga if you haven’t been practicing lately or even if you have never practiced. Just do a little of it to experience for yourself what happens. I actually find it magical. The great thing about yoga is, you start where you are. I know that sounds so obvious, but we humans like to compete not only with others, but also with ourselves. But with yoga, there should be no competing, just the practice of allowing. You allow your body to go at a pace that honors and respects its limitations and its possibilities, without force or strain. That’s yoga.

Some of what happens, I’ll refer to as squeezing and releasing, contracting and expanding, closing and opening, tightening and loosening. These opposing factors occur within and without as we go through our postures. For instance, when you’re in a spinal twist, the kidneys are squeezed releasing toxins. This squeezing is like a gentle massage for your organs. And your organs love it. In a forward bend the intestines are contracted pushing “toxins” down and out. In one of my all time favorite posture, the bow (and all postures that put pressure on the abdomen), not only do you massage the intestines, pushing toxins out, but also the reproductive organs receive a nice massage, forcing a new supply of blood there, increasing the strength and vitality of those organs. And the list goes on with each posture having its affect on particular organs, muscles, and tendons etc. Say nothing of the great affect all this has on the mind and spirit.

Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and see how you’ll naturally go ahhhh as your breathing deepens and the relaxation pours over you gently rocking you into a place of peace and calm. Stay there on that mat as long as you can. When it’s time to roll the mat up, consider the grace of being able to take that experience with you through out your day, or for as long as you can hold on until the next time. ahhhh!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Budding Into Existence

My, some times it’s so cold in March you're tempted ask the weather, “Hey don’t you get it, spring is here”? But despite the cold, I can still feel spring in the air. I see it all around me as the colors appear in my own front yard. I have some evergreen Vinca ground cover and it blooms tiny, little, five petal, purple flowers that seem to indicate, it won’t be too long now. There’s that Harbinger of spring, my puny, little, Forsythia with bright, yellow blooms on it. And of course I have my favorite of all time, a pink herbaceous Peony. Right now the only sign of the impending peony is a strange, dusty, burgandy bud. Yes, that’s the the weird looking thing in the picture above. My peonies are show-stoppers! They’re pink, one my favorite colors. And every year I wait for them to strut their stuff. They stop even the busiest person in their tracks to admire both their size and their beauty.

There's a flowering tree called a redbud a.k.a. Cercis canadensis in my yard. Unfortunately, that’s getting cut down this year. It’s just too big for the space. When I originally placed my order, I ordered a miniature, called Cercis Covey a rare, weeping, redbud which grows no higher than 5 feet. But I didn't check my invoice thoroughly enough. It said redbud, so I assumed they had sent me what I had ordered. They sent me the right species but the wrong genus. So each year it just gets wider and taller. I have one neighbor in particular who complains about this. It can grow up to 20 feet high and 40 feet wide! Way too big. The redbud only blooms for about three weeks, but man is it a beauty! The moment you turn onto my block you see pink in the sky and you wonder, “What is that pink vision in the sky”? But right now it has these tiny hard buds that look like pointed, purplish-red, peas.

There’s also some Helleborus out there. What a trip those flowers are! First they take three years to bloom and then the only thing you see is the tops of their heads. They droop. So you have to bend down and lift their faces, as if they were drunk or something to see their beauty. I bought them because they were on the cover of the catalog and they looked so exotic. They’re also shade lovers so when everything is in its glory, full and blooming, they’re literally hidden. But hey, that’s how it is sometimes in life; you have to go in search of beauty. The blessing is, it’s always there for those who seek it.

Last but certainly not least in my tiny yard is a Spiraea Japonica Shibori. That makes three Asian native plants, in my tiny front garden. Did you just notice that it went form being a yard to a garden? Anyway, this shrub has puffy, powdery looking flowers that bloom all summer if they have enough sun and light. But because of the size of redbud, my sunny garden has been turned into a shade garden and the Japonica suffers. Not good! What’s good for shade loving plants does not apply to what sun-loving plants prefer. Even my window boxes had been suffering until I realized that because of the tree shading the windowsills, I had to switch over to shade plants for the window boxes. Back when the tree was small and you could still see my window boxes, I did win awards two years in a row from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. That was really special.

It’s all good. I love the buds; they give me hope that despite climate change and weather debacles, some things remain the same. Come Spring, coy and innocuous little buds bloom into beautiful flowers. Ahhh spring!

Making My Way Back

It’s been 15 days since my fall in streets of Manhattan and today I feel better than I have in the last fifteen days. Walking around is no longer a painful experience. My ribs had been extremely painful since that fateful night. When I finally made it to the hospital two days after my fall, the Physician’s Assistant informed me that the only treatment for broken, fractured or bruised ribs are pain killers and time, all I could do was wait patiently for recovery. As anyone who knows me can tell you, patience is not my strong suit.

I did have some help along the way. First there was the outpouring of concern and encouragement from friends, which felt like a soothing balm to my spirit. Thank you so much to all of you who emailed or called to comfort me, I sincerely appreciate it. And did I mention help from my Honey Bunny...

The other means of remedy that I incorporated were Rescue Homeopathic Remedy, and with that it only took three to four days for me to fully recover from the shock and trauma. What a magnificent remedy to always have around. Another remedy I took on a regular basis was Arnica Homeopathic Remedy. Both of these natural remedies were very helpful. In addition, I popped
some Advil when it got unbearable, I can’t deny that. I continued to go to work every day, like so many others do everyday, in pain. Most of the pain now is primarily in the morning. I guess because as we sleep our bodies get a little stiff from inactivity. Once we get going, everything warms up and the pain can begin to subside. I’m slowly getting some aerobics in on stationary bikes.

When I consider the consequence of Natasha Richardson’s fatal fall, I realize how very lucky I am, it could have been so much worse; worse in ways I do not like to even imagine. Like when my friend Ruth told me how bad it could have been had I hit my face and all my teeth could have gone flying out my mouth! Crazy lucky I am!

Still there’s the realty of Natasha Richardson. I didn’t know her that well, really not at all; like most , I just admired her acting and thought often of her mother , Vanessa Redgrave when I saw Natasha performing her craft. I always felt Natasha’s voice sounded like some different kind of music, husky and rich. My heart goes out to her and her family. I am a fan of her mother’s work and it’s said, that one of the greatest pains in life, is burying your own child…

So again, I’m know I am very blessed and I would like to say again, Thank you to all those who sent their blessings my way. I’m on my way back to 1oo%. Thank you!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dreaming of a Kindle

I have been thinking about a Kindle (electronic reading device) since it first came out, I guess about two years ago. I saw the Amazon video featuring Toni Morrison on how she uses and appreciates the Kindle. Or was that just an ad? I can imagine for an author and a voracious reader as Toni, a Kindle makes a lot of sense. Imagine her toting ten books along with her on overseas journeys or she could just bring along one little Kindle on which she can store thousands of books.

One reason I didn’t immediately purchase a Kindle is I’ve been waiting for the price to come down. But now there’s the Kindle 2, the updated version that even reads to you and is about $50.00 less than the original version. You could use the speaking option when you’re driving or when your eyes are just too tired to read. I’ve also been trying to figure out how I feel about reading books on an electronic device? My friend Sujatha, is the only person I know of who has a Kindle and she really likes it.

When Oprah mentioned that you could look up a word instantly on a Kindle, that idea really appealed to me. I also like the fact that you can download a book from anywhere in less than 60 seconds. I almost convinced an elder who is an avid reader to consider the Kindle. She was sold on the idea at first. But she thought that the books downloaded for free. When she found out she had to pay $9.99 for each book download, she was no longer interested. She just recently gave into the idea of using the Internet and is intrigued with her new hobby of purchasing used books on Amazon for a fraction of their original cost. But I'm convinced that she will eventually cross over to a Kindle.

But hey, I’m not trying to sell you a Kindle; I’m actually trying to get one myself. So I just want to know what do you think about the idea? Do you have a Kindle? Have you considered getting one? Do you have a romantic relationship with dusty old books and can’t imagine cuddling up to an electronic book? Tell me your thoughts.

A bit of a set back

As you guys know, there’s nothing like setting a concrete goal for yourself and then having some event beyond your control come along and derail your intentions or at least your time line. That is what happened to me this weekend. I had a goal of doing 90 days of P90X because by the beginning of the summer I wanted to be able to fit easily in my colorful summer clothes and not look like it was a struggle to get them on.

Saturday night I was in mid-town Manhattan, off to meet up for dinner with a couple of wonderful Sisters I had met at the Landmark Forum. As I was crossing the street, I literally went from being up right to being face down in the middle of the street. The concept of a "slap down" took on a whole new meaning for me. I mean usually when you’re falling it kind of happens in slow motion. You see and feel yourself falling and all kinds of thoughts are going through your head about how you don’t want to fall, how can you break the fall etc.

I didn’t have that luxury. I was walking kind of briskly and the next thing I knew I was lifting my head up off the street to see if any cars were coming at me. It was amazing, it was like a movie set. Because there I was, in middle of the street, 8th Avenue in NYC on a Saturday night (8:30 pm) two blocks from Madison Square Garden, Port Authority, and not one car was headed in my direction as I lay splattered in the middle of the street. It had to be an act of divine intervention; had to be! BTW, I tripped when my foot got tangled up in my baggy legged pants… I didn't have on my MBT's. I was trying to look light and airy that day, so I had on a pair of Puma's instead. I keep wondering if I had had on my MBT's (the AntiShoe)if this would have never happened???

You know how it is when you fall in public and you immediately jump up thinking if I get up fast enough, I can minimize my embarrassment by pretending that I didn’t really fall, and that no one saw me fall and we can all pretend like it really didn’t happen. Well I was so utterly stunned, I mean seriously in shock and in so much pain I couldn’t make that leap up. I laid there looking towards the direction of the “should be on coming traffic”. I was thinking all the while though, I’m in so much pain and this is so shocking, I wish I could just lay here for at least five minutes or until the ambulance arrives. But at the same time, I began peeling myself up off the asphalt.

Finally one of the oblivious New Yorkers started coming towards me, a young man asking if I was okay. I was moving in slow motion as the pain was wracking my body, but still he wasn’t moving fast enough to help me up. It was as though he didn’t want to get to close, not close enough to actually give me a hand. He’s a New Yorker, he’s got to keep his distance, I guess??? I made it up and across the street, still no cars. That was weird!

It felt as though the majority of the impact happened in my left breast, as if my left breast had imploded. But when I put my hand in my bra it was still in tact. Long story short, no long story long I didn’t make to the hospital until today (day and a half later). Rocky suggested that my breast probably didn’t implode but that my ribs were possibly fractured. The Physicians assistant at the hospital told me that my ribs were probably just bruised. And even if they were broken, the treatment is the same, pain killers is all they could do for me.

My breast hurts, my ribs hurt especially when I move forward to get up or backwards to lay down. My back hurts, my left wrist, and my right fingers and my left knee has a knot of pain on it. In addition, I am short of breath especially after climbing the stairs. All this to say, “P90X” will have to wait but hopefully no longer than a week. I’m considering this little set back a test of my determination. I will be getting back to my P90X ASAP. I miss it already. Rocky is continuing to do it. He’s actually fascinated by the program. Stay tuned for the next chapter.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The P90X Challenge

I have been exercising all my adult life. But my weight has been inching up little by little despite the fact that I was going to the “Y” three times a week. Over the years I’ve done a number of things to stay fit. In my college days I used to jog and somehow wreaked my knees. So I moved into power walking and bicycling. During the cold months I either belonged to a gym or workout at home with videotapes and then DVDs. Throughout all this I continued to practice my yoga on alternate days.

Since the weight has become an issue despite my efforts I decided to ratchet it up a notch or two. A client told me her transformation was due to the DVD series called P90X (a.k.a. BEACH BODY). I less concerned about having a beach body. My interest is to be able to continue to wear the clothes I already have in my wardrobe! So I ordered P90X. It was either that or hire a personal trainer (which wasn’t fitting into the budget).

Apparently, P90X is for those who are already in tip-top shape and just want to pop it up to the top level. As I was reading the “Read This First” manual", (of course I hadn't read it first) it stated the best way to do P90X was to first complete one of their other series. Well good to know, after I’ve already spent my money. The website didn’t say that! Apparently, you’re supposed to start with P90 or Slim or any of their other programs, first.

I decided to go forward with what I already ordered. The premise of the program is built around the idea of muscle confusion. Let me tell you I was so worn out, after the second day, the muscle that was most confused was the one between my ears! There are 12 different DVDs and you do one each day in sequential order. You have one day off a week. After 90 days you’re either transformed, you’ve died or you’ve quit. Well the only option for me is transformation. I’m settling for nothing less. I’ve been actually making it through these workouts. During the sessions they do remind you to take breaks as you need them and use the size weight that will allow you to build muscle and have good form throughout. In other words, "don't over do it"! So with that and not allowing your ego to get the best of you, you can make it through.

The thing that had me wondering publicly whether anyone had died from doing P90X (I asked this on my Face Book page) is the segment called Plyometrics (jump training). Oh my God! It was so intense! But the thing was it was so much fun to do. It’s all these weird football training kind of moves. My heart was pumping so loud; I could hear it in my ears. So after each exercise I would put the pause button on, wait until my heart rate went back down and got back with it. I am loving the challenge, the simple but effective and very unique moves.

The other part of this is diet. They offer two manuals, which are pretty informative. One is all about a recommended diet. You don’t have to follow it, but you definitely have to make sure you’re getting the recommended nutritional requirements to keep up with this program. You’ll need to be ingesting plenty of protein and supplements. Of course they bombard you with advertisements about their protein drink and energy bars etc. I’ve decided I’m not buying any of their products at this time.

Before you begin P90X you’re suppose to take your measurements, take your resting heart beat, take your BEFORE photos. Then after ninety days you have something to compare it to. If I’m still alive I’ll let you guys know it goes. I’ll check back in at the 30-day mark. Check out some funny video about this on Google.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

High Tea

While in Miami recently, my sisters and I went to visit the fabulous Ms. Ruth. To know Ruth, is to love her. She is one of the most "larger than life" people I’ve ever known. She’s an artist, very smart, and a psychic who responds with quick wit that's always insightful and often hilarious regarding any and everything in life. She’s no joke! The first time I met Ruth was in 1979. I was living in Miami, braiding hair for a living. Ms. Ruth an art student at the University of Miami, decided she wanted to learn how to braid. I was braiding the hair of one of her friends and this friend called her up and told her to come over and meet me. Boy did we ever meet! She was damn near in my lap trying to see and learn my techniques! I was appalled by her overt enthusiasm. I wanted nothing to do with her. She was a pushy, up in your face, older lady (35 yrs. old). At the time, I was 23 and thought I was all that! She immediately set me straight right then… and many times thereafter. To my surprise we became fast friends. She would not give up on me, insisted on being my friend. I was too different at the time for anybody else in Miami to embrace me. I wore extension braids, East Indian clothing and did yoga, totally weird back then. And did I mention the movie “10” was all the rage at the time. Years later Ruth and I eventually became business partners and later opened a Khamit Kinks in Atlanta.

So this visit was long over due. I hadn’t seen Ruth in about three years and my sisters hadn’t seen her in over a decade. She asked my sister MK, what would she like to do if money wasn’t an issue. MK promptly replied, “I would like to be a lady who lunches”. A couple of days later we were invited to join Ms. Ruth at a spot called Hidden Tea Secrets and believe me it was hidden. We were so lost trying to find this secluded enclave.

The Hidden Tea Secret is antique Victorian, flowers everywhere, but very classy and beautiful. We were the only folk who looked like us there. The teas, the ambiance, the fine foods, the over the top fancy hats, it was simply delightful and the company was the very best. Of course I had to ask for honey and that’s when the heart rates went up. The waitress brings this very odd honey jar that has a saucer attached to the bottom. As Ms. Ruth is trying to get the honey to flow, the saucer releases itself from the jar, falls and shatters when it hits the floor. In this very quiet space, I swear the sound was so loud it could be heard in the next county. Ms. Ruth was so embarrassed. But the lovely son of the owner came over and assured us that it happens often… How nice was that?

I had never had high tea before and now I have, thanks to none other than Ms. Ruth. Of course Ms. Ruth topped it off by purchasing each of us a china teacup with matching saucer. I love tea and I must admit it taste so different in a china teacup as compared to a paper cup or a mug. I’m use to drinking out of big mugs, the bigger the better. Now when I really want a treat, I just get out my beautiful teacup from Ms. Ruth. Thank you Ms. Ruth, for yet another great experience. You’re the absolute best!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Looking for warmth!

I’ve had an usually difficult time with the weather this winter. It seems that I’m always cold, cold at work, cold at home, cold in the streets. I do all I can do to warm myself up. I wear thermals, layers, drink plenty of tea, wear socks to bed, you name it.

Although times are tough, funds are low; I recently took the plunge and went seeking the sun and warmth of Miami Beach for a few days with my two sisters. I was anticipating that feeling of thawing out. Weeks before we left, I regularly checked on the weather. Finally I had to inform my sisters that they should bring along spring clothing because the temps were ranging between 50-70 degrees during the three weeks I was charting the Miami temps.

I thought I was prepared as I had everything from bathing suits to a few lightweight, cotton sweaters. We arrived in Miami around 3:00 in the afternoon. By the time we checked in the hotel and found our way to a restaurant, it was approximately 6:00 pm and the temps were down in the fifties. And that was pretty much the scenario for the entire five days we were there; fifties during mornings until about 11:000 a.m. and seventies until about 5:00 p.m. I shopped around for a denim jacket and there were none to be found. Folks were walking around shivering during the mornings and evenings.

I kept telling myself, “be grateful”, seventies was much warmer than the thirty something temps in my home of Brooklyn, NY. But while we were there, only one day out of the entire week was really warm enough to be on the beach with just a bathing suit on. I have a vision of one day retiring to a city that’s warm year around, but it no longer seems that’s an option in the US, since for me, the desert states (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas) are not an option. Even Mexico was experiencing fifty something temps that week. I’d like to retire somewhere warm, but I’m no longer sure that will be a state side option??? Does this mean I'll have to become a expatriate to be warm?

It seems that global warming doesn’t mean that things will just be warmer. Ultimately, it means Climate change is truly with us and that can mean unpredictable and severe weather changes. I’ve noticed that the weather seems to be severe whether is torrential rains, frigid cold snaps, and blistering heat spells. It seems that the weather just swings to extremes or long spells of unseasonable temps.

Perhaps things will change for me when I start experiencing my own personal summers (menopause), in the meantime, I’m shivering right down to my toes!!! But despite the weather, I had a great time in South Beach hanging out with my sisters, visiting with our long time friend Ms. Ruth, and having nothing to cook and no dishes to wash! Holla!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sisters Create Love

On February 13th in honor of Valentine’s Day and in hopes of bringing understanding to the love thing, we had a small forum at Khamit Kinks around the idea of “Bringing Back Black Love”. Some times we called it Bringing Black Love Back! Anyway, I’m sure you get the idea. We had Love Dr. Karen Francis, bring her expertise on the matter to the floor. Karen has done a body of research on relationships, self-development and human behavior. She shared many insights and gave us some great advice, and it was obvious a great was had by all.

Usually after the main event, folks just book. But not at this event. What I enjoyed and what impressed me the most was the kinship and love I felt in our space when it was all said and done. Long after Karen finished her presentation, Sisters stood around in little groups of 5 and 6 and exchanged stories, gave insight, laughed and commiserated and it was beautiful! It truly touched my heart and I went home on a high from the experience. Yes, we had Champagne and Wine, but all I had to drink was Martinelli’s, so my high, was a natural high from Sister Love and bonding.

Many commented that there just wasn’t enough time to drill down deep. So stayed tuned for part 2. We’re going to see how we can continue to offer a space for learning, healing, growth, and the power of true love – love of self that attracts the right circumstances and the right mate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Self Seduction

During this Valentine’s Season I love to encourage my sisters to remember to love themselves, to get involved in fine art of Self Seduction. If you are without a mate at this time, that’s no reason not to celebrate this Valentine's Day. It is said, that if you don’t love yourself, appreciate and treat yourself well, why should someone else want to? It starts with you! Here are a few of my ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day, if your "significant other", hasn’t arrived in your life just yet.

What not to do: Whatever you do, don’t have a pity party! Do not engage in self talk that is defeatist. That’s definitely not the move for putting yourself in the proper frame of mind to attract that soul-mate who is headed your way.

#1-Sit down with a pen and paper and write out all the things you would do if that perfect person were in your life right now. You'd probably have your hair and nails done, you know you’d get out the pretty undies, take a bubble bath with candles, and put on your best perfume and lounge wear. There’s no reason not to do so at this juncture. So put yourself in the mood and do for yourself what you’ve done for others. Do those special things that make you look, smell, and feel delicious. Invite some friends over and have Champagne, watch movies, dish the dirt, cut up and have good ole time.

#2 – Some times eating out isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and [Valentine’s Day] is one of those times (unless you’re going top shelf all the way). I say this because on Valentine’s Day any descent restaurant is going to be very busy, thus making service and food somewhat lacking due to the volume of folks to be served. Instead, go out shopping for some of your favorite foods and cook yourself an exotic and delicious meal. Something you know you would do to impress someone else. Why not impress yourself?

#3 – Follow the steps in #1 but instead inviting over friends, have some reflective time alone. You may want to make a list of what you’re looking for in that special mate that has yet to come across your path. Write them a letter and keep it tucked in a special place. While you’re at it, make a list of what you have to offer that’s worthy and special. You know you have a lot to bring to the table, so what a great time to take stock of your worth. Read a great book , work on your art, create a vision, take a ride out to the ocean (yes even in the winter), stroll through a beautiful park, visit a museum, or whatever makes you smile inside and out.

#4 - Treat yourself to a body service – there’s nothing like having a great massage or facial to make you feel, "Oh so lovely and Om like".

#5. I love flowers and will buy them for myself any time I’m in the mood. I don’t wait to receive them from others. So buy yourself a bouquet of your favorite flowers and display them in that just right spot.

#6 Purchase Mikki Taylor's Self Seduction "The Path to Inner and Outer Beauty". She's done the research on how to be good to yourself.

#7 Visit Khamit Kinks! We know how to pamper and sprinkle the love and care.

Well, these are just a few of the ways I’ve given myself joy in the past. Until that right person comes along, you've got to get used to being treated in the best way and who better to do that right now than you? I hope it has been an inspiration for your own ideas of how to honor yourself. Remember, there's no better time than now to count your blessing and love you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Natural Remedies for Sleepless Nights

From time to time I’ll have a sleepless night. I used to just lay there stressed about not being able to get back to sleep. That certainly wasn’t the answer for getting back to sleep. Over the years I’ve come across some great remedies listed below.

What not to do: Don’t lie there thinking of a million things, thinking about “problems” and challenges, contemplating the next days events etc, that will not get you back into that lovely land of slumber. On the contrary, as they say in yogic philosophy the “Drunken Monkey” (mind chatter) will take you over and you’ll be on a trip that will last way past sunrise. If you’ve been lying there for over 30 minutes it’s time to get up and take action. I know, you’re tired and sleepy and don’t feel like getting up, but get up. I get up and here are some of the lovely things I do. Don’t do them all in one night, choose one or two of the following techniques per sleepless night.

Technique A – Make a cup of soothing tea like Sleepy Time or Chamomile and along with that take two Valerian capsules. It takes at least 40 minutes for the Valerian to kick in. The pharmaceutical drug Valium is derived from the Valerian herb. But taking pure Valerian capsules are natural and safer option. Avoid stimulants like violent television programs or getting on the computer. Instead, while you’re sipping your tea read something relaxing like a novel or spiritual text.

Technique B-
Another great internal natural sleep aid is called Rescue Sleep. Rescue Sleep is a homeopathic supplement that has worked wonders for many. It can be found at your local health food store.

Technique C – Aromatherapy -Put a couple dabs of Sleep oil on your pillow. This can be found at Enfleurage in Greenwich Village. The scent is soothing and you’ll be drifting off with this heavenly scent guiding the way.

Technique D
– Legs on the Wall – This is one of my favorite “get me back to sleep” techniques. If you have a head-board on your bed you can do this in bed instead of on the floor. Lie down on the floor on your side with you buttocks up close to the wall as possible and then swing your legs up so that your butt is facing the wall and your legs and resting up against the wall. While your legs are up like this all your organ are resting and receiving a great supply of blood that is nourishing and relaxing. While all the organs benefit, the heart is especially affected by this inversion. The heart doesn’t have to work that hard at all because the blood is flowing towards the heart instead of away from it. Leave your legs like this for as long as it’s comfortable for up to 20 minutes. To come down, please do so slowly and gently by bending your knees, bringing them to your chest. Then roll over onto your side and very slowly sit up. Lie back down to go to sleep and witness the calm affect over your entire body. Ahhhh…

Technique E
– This is a very effective technique but the one I find the most difficult to talk myself into at 3:30 in the morning, that is simple Hatha Yoga floor postures. Yes, yoga in the middle of the night will make you sleep long and deep afterwards. Avoid power yoga or Vinyansa at this time, those yoga styles require aerobic activity/movement. We’re going for restorative yoga, which is some times referred to as “Sleepy Yoga”. Sleepy yoga as it’s some times called, is practiced with 20 -30 second rest intervals between each pose. The ten basic postures I would recommend for the purpose of getting back to sleep are - Cobra, Boat, Bow, Camel, Forward bend, Plough, Shoulder Stand, Fish, - Half Spinal Twist, and Yogic Seal, and Corpse pose. For best results these postures should also be done in the order presented here.

Please be aware that I recommend this for only those who are already familiar with these fundamental yoga postures. Also be aware that at this time of the night, you will not be as flexible as usual so don’t strain or over extend yourself. Be gentle and loving and enjoy the results.

Technique F – Hot and heavy sex with yourself or a partner!

Sleep Tight!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A New Change -Weight Gain

My weight has fluctuated throughout my adult life. If I was really stressed out, I lost weight and usually received a lot of compliments. Gee, Thanks. And when I was very happy I usually gained a few pounds. But it was mostly manageable. My weight fluctuations were in a 10 pound range and I could easily cut back on something or another that would get me back to my target weight. Fast forward to the approach of my second year in my 5th decade and I have noticed a change. I had always welcomed change, finding it either a fun challenge or exciting. This new change Perimenopause falls into neither of those categories.

For the first time in my life, my clothes are no longer fitting! This is serious! I can get my pants on and with some effort I can zip them, but I can’t button them at the waist unless I relinguish the fine art of breathing. What gives here? I’m doing all the things I used to do, regular aerobic and free weight exercises, yoga, eating “right”, not consuming too many sweets and as usual a minimum amount of alcohol. Despite all that, the pounds keep creeping up.

I am of two minds about this. One side of me says, hey that’s where I am in my life, go with the flow and accept what is. Be happy and keep doing what you know makes you feel happy. The other side of me is saying, “Oh hell no, we’re not going down like this”! Maybe it’s just because it’s winter??? Blame everything on winter.

So what’s the solution? One thing I could do, would be to change my diet drastically, like go raw or something, skip meals, cut out most carbs. How about, I’ve been there are done all of that and more, many times before. I did do Weight Watchers for a little while. The counting got on my nerves. These days I can’t do [drastic] especially drastic that’s imposed on me by me. Heck no!

The other solution is to work out at a madding pace like some of the [young] ladies I see at the gym. They’re working out feverishly and it seems they’re on a mission and they look like they’ll kick your butt if you get in their way. Hey, my energy can no longer do that pace. Lately when I try that I find myself depleted. I drag around and it seems to take a week to recover. Welcome to your fifties, I mean, my fifties.

On the other hand I must admit I’m finding this a bit intriguing. Perhaps once the spring rolls around I’ll become inspired and find a workable solution. In the meantime, I’ll continue to try to be grateful, count my blessings, and seek realistic and reasonable solutions…

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Have Fun Improving Your Memory

Posit Science is a cutting edge company that's dramatically changing lives with their software programs that improve memory. I first heard of Posit Science when it was first featured on a fund drive for WBAI. I immediately called up and pledged to receive a discount on Posit Science. See, I knew I needed something because I was constantly looking for my keys, my glasses, trying to remember the name of the person I just met two minutes ago! Some times I would even forget where I parked my car! Now that’s pretty bad.

Some say that it's not that our memories are fading, it’s that we’re doing too many things at one time. We’re doing one thing while thinking about five other things. The light has been shed on multi-tasking and it’s no longer touted as something to be proud of. However, most of us are still multi-tasking despite the downside of this way of functioning. We’re driving while talking on our cell, composing an email while taking on the phone. These are not good habits for memory, because you’re not totally present in any one task.

The other reason for memory loss is that like any muscle the brain requires exercising. When I began using my Posit Science the first thing I realized is that you cannot do anything else while on the Posit Science program, it requires 100% focused attention. Let your mind wander off somewhere else for just a second and your scores will reflect this. But it’s not a competition. It’s about keen listening. And it’s really a lot of fun. So if you’ve been wondering how you can improve your memory, check out Posit Science. It is a great and fun way to improve memory at any age. Of course it’s not cheap, but what is your brainpower worth? Check it out, if not for yourself, perhaps for a loved one.

Winter Blues...

In the perfect world that I imagine, the seasons fluctuate between late spring and mid-summer and back again. You know, those times of the year when it’s easy to look and feel both beautiful and inspired. Those warm seasons that cause your skin to glow, you’re sun kissed, and all things wonderful seem possible. But alas, we have four seasons and we have to deal with each accordingly.

Back to life, back to reality, it’s winter. During this season one primary routine is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. During this season my skin can have the tendency to feel dry and look ashy. So I pile on my Anu’s Body Butter and chuck down lots of skin boosting supplements. Mulit-vitamins, extra A and E vitamins, Omega 3 Fish oil capsules and sprinkle on the flaxseeds.

I try to keep it positive. I make an effort to refrain from talking bad about the winter. I try to minimize the amount of times I say I’m cold. I wear skin clinging thermals, wool socks and layers of clothing and of course think warm thoughts. I carry lotion in my car and my handbags.

I know there are people that actually like and enjoy cold weather and the winter season. That’s beyond my realm of comprehension. I’d like to know what do you do the stave off the winter blues and it’s effects? Let me know.

Getting to the Root- Cellfood Silica

Contrary to appearances, I was not one the lucky ones born with really thick hair, strong nails, or gorgeous skin. I had to work on all that through diet, exercise, lifestyle and supplements. Despite all my work, one thing that has worsened for me over the years has been my nails. They were always thin and could tear as easily as paper. And as you may well know, hair, skin, nails are all connected, need the same nutrients to thrive and are very visible indicators of health or the lack there of.

But happily I have found something that is working to strengthen my nails and I suppose that my hair, bones, teeth and skin will benefit as well. I was desperate! I was at the point where I was considering trying to track down some Knox Gelatin. Remember that! Well you may be too young, but long, long ago, women use to drink this gelatin formula called Knox to grow long, strong nails.

However, I’ve come across a much better solution. What I’ve found is natural and can be easily purchased at your local Vitamin Shoppe. It’s called Essential Cell Food Silica. I’ve been using it for only a month and my nails have made quite a noticeable change. They are not tearing or breaking off at the quick. The ridges they once had, have disappeared, and if I don’t make to the manicurist within 7 days, they no longer look like I’ve been trying to claw my way out of a ditch.

At first I started taking Silica tablets. But I found that most people don’t assimilate Silica that well in the table form. The CellFood Silica is liquid and is immediately assimilated into the blood stream, making for instant absorption. This essential nutrient is good for hair, nails, bones, joints, teeth, muscles, flexibility etc. And as we age the amount of Silica stored in the body diminishes each year, now there's an effective way of replenishing this essential mineral.

Remember this is the hibernation season, the time that you pamper, nourish, and replenish yourself after the hectic run around of spring and summer. Get plenty of rest, take your supplements, meditate, do your yoga, so that when spring comes back around, you’ll have that bounce in your step you’ll need to carry out your plans. And try Cellfood Essential Silica to help your nourish your hair and beyond.

Head to Toes

I have always felt that a woman should look good and feel good from head to toes. Which brings me to the topic of toes. I'll admit, I have a foot fetish and this came about after many years of having a shoe fetish. But then it dawned on me, why should I have a fetish about something that hurts me? Where will Jimmy Choo be when you're suffering with with corns, bunions, and hammer toes?

Did you know that foot models don't wear shoes and they are carried everywhere they go... Ever notice that men never complain of their feet hurting (they wear sensible shoes), yet they are the primary designers of women's shoes! It is so sad that most women care nothing of their feet, only their pedicure.

Can I tell you? how many shoes I've given away over the years, because they hurt! Too many to count. A waste of money... Fast forward to present day, I am a real Birkie girl. Yes, Birkenstocks, and as my niece will tell you, I will wear Birkenstocks with a ball gown! These are my summer shoes of freedom. In the winter, I rock MBT's. Yeah, I know, all my shoes are ugly, but hey, my feet are happy. I've got Happy Feet! You know, those same feet that will be with me my whole life long.

I have many pairs of Birkenstocks some are up to 12 years old. They are all the same style, but in different colors and finishes; leather, patent leather, from pink to black and all colors in-between. Too many women in our society have jacked up feet and they weren't born with jacked up feet, they jacked their own feet up with ill-fitting shoes.

Ever notice that when your feet hurt nothing else matters? That's because your feet house hundreds of nerve endings that lead to all your major organs. In the over 300 bones in your body a quarter of them are in your feet.

What's my point? Take care of your feet so you'll be able to continue to walk tall instead of hobbling down the road in your latest fab do!

Camel Pose

In this pose known as the Camel pose there are endless benefits. Some of the obvious benefits that it offers is the opening of the throat, heart, and chest. Symbolically and literally these types of back bending poses have the ability to not only open you to the world but it also has the ability to engender flexibility towards change.Some times we need a change and just want to do something different - you know, switch it up. It may be something as simple as choosing a new shade of lip gloss, trying a new hairstyle, or something as big as changing our entire image! Perhaps you want a new beauty regime, need a new exercise program or vitamin boost. Or if you have any other questions related to mind, body, and spirit and you're looking for a concerned but objective voice, just Ask Anu.

Way Out False Lashes

Maybe it's me, maybe I'm crazy. Or perhaps I'm just extra sensitive to women and their persona; how they present themselves in public. Have you noticed lately, women of all ages walking around doing the most mundane things like grocery shopping and going to work, with 10 INCH FALSE EYELASHES? Okay I'm exaggerating about 10 inches, but that's how it appears. The thing that makes these lashes look totally ridiculous, is the fact that most of these women have on no other make up! If they had on some other make on, these lashes might not look so exaggerated and crazy. But they look like they have a shaggy rug extended from their eyelids! Carol Channing, Liza Minelli, Tammy Faye, these women accrued some fame and notoriety for their 10 inch lashes. In other words, they got paid for looking way over the top. They also wore a full face of makeup to go with the wind shield washer lashes.

And Lord knows, I hope years down the road, there's not some announcement about how using that lash glue causes some kind of eye problems, like blindness! This glue allows these lashes to stay on for up to a month! Kind of scary.

If any of these women are your sisters, friends, cousins, co-workers, neighbors, please pull their coat and let them know, they've missed the boat. Encourage them to go to qualified professionals like Khamit Kinks who has some sense of ethics and who will advise them on the appropriate length and thickness of lash, for not only their face, but their lifestyle.