Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia! THREE group classes a week!

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    Thurs 8:45 am

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Awwww! Nothing.

Posted by terrepruitt on December 18, 2014

I got nothin’!  Had a nice visit at Peet’s with my Nia students after Nia class today.  So, I didn’t forget about posting, I was just a bit distracted today.  Tis the season.  I have an idea for Saturday.  Hope you’ll be back then.

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Can’t Judge A Cow By It’s Color

Posted by terrepruitt on December 16, 2014

Did you know that beef from a grass-fed cow has to be cooked differently than meat from a cow that is not grass-fed? It is an interesting challenge. Last year we went in on the purchase of a grass-fed cow. When cooking it, you have to really watch it and learn the timing of how to cook it because it doesn’t LOOK the way beef from corn-fed cows look. It always looks raw . . . .at least the ground beef. Pictured here is an absolutely fully cooked burger. See how red it is? Why does it look like that?

The meat cooks faster, plus it never LOOKS cooked. So, as I said, it has to be watched and it is cooked by time not looks.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAThe flavor is so much nicer than the corn-fed meat. I am not really a beef lover. That is why we buy meat then marinade it right away when we get home. I like the meat to have soaked for a long time. I think the time it takes to freeze can be considered marinating time. Then as it is defrosting it is marinating. But with this meat I don’t feel the need to marinade it, or at least not marinate it for so long.

Same goes with hamburgers.  When we make hamburgers from corn-fed beef, I like to put chopped onions in them. I like to sauce them up. They need the flavor of sauces – at least worcestershire . Well, not these babies. A little garlic salt and garlic powder and it was good to go. It was soooo good.

Since we enjoy the flavor of the meat so much and we think a grass-fed cow is healthier and therefore healthier for us to eat, we went in on the purchase of another cow.

And, my tired ole refrain. I was not planning on posting about it, so I only have this picture – but after dinner I couldn’t come up with anything to post and I am wondering about the way this beef cooks so I thought I would put it out there.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAThis one picture I took to send to the person who researched and organizes the whole cow purchasing thing. I sent it to her asking the same question. Why does the perfectly cooked meat look raw?

I also took the freezer picture because we were not certain the meat would fit in our freeze, but we took, everything out that we could live with out in the freezer. Then my hubby packed it all back.  We were able to put back everything that NEEDS to be frozen.  I was relieved and happy at my hubby’s tetris job.  I took that shot to show the same person because the first cow was our cooler full, this one was the cooler and a box.  As we were driving home my husband said, “Looking at that amount of meat . . . I don’t think it would fit in our freezer even if there was nothing in it.”  Ha.  We under estimated the capacity of our freezer.  I am so glad we bought the big frigerator so many years ago.  Whew.

So, do you buy grass-fed beef?  Does it cook up like corn-fed beef (the color)?  If not, do you know why?  Does it taste so much more yummy to you?

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More Sparkle, More Shine, More Fun!

Posted by terrepruitt on December 13, 2014

I understand that Christmastime/the Holidays are a sad time for some people.  For those people I send light and say prayers, but for those of  you who love to let the joy of the Holidays in, I have some things I want to share.  It occurred to me as I was doing some things that what I  was doing made my Holidays super fun.  It made me think that, perhaps all that silly stuff is part of why I love the Holidays so much.  You  want more fun?  You wanna squeeze even more joy out of or into your Holidays.  Maybe some of these things will add more to your Holidays,  maybe you will think they are a waste of time or they won’t work for you, fine.  But they make me happy.  So here is MY list of things I do to give my Holidays more sparkle.

>>>>>>>Cleaning before decorating is awesome.

A few years in a row I was trying to clean at the same time I was decorating and that just really bugged me.  With the house all clean beforehand I can run from room to room putting up the decorations wherever I want.  I don’t have to clean one table or shelf and decorate as I go.  I know this sounds weird to some people, but putting my sparkly decorations on a dusty shelf next to some dingy dusty shelf item just doesn’t work for me.

>>>>>>>Shop all year round.

So this is one thing that does a lot of things for me.  I am listing them in no particular order.

–Shopping all year round helps spread the cost of Christmas out over the year.  The Holidays can be expensive so if I can spread out the bill that helps.

–When I see something and it makes me think of someone who I shop for then I might as well get it so I don’t have the stress of trying to find something for them when it is Christmastime.

–It is really fun looking at the stuff at Christmastime (when you go to wrap it) that you bought earlier in the year.  If you are like me,  you don’t remember all that bought, so it is so fun discovering it again.

>>>>>>>IF you shop all year round keep a gift log (in one spot) of what you bought for who AND where you stashed it.

I don’t know if you have ever bought a gift for someone then forgot about it or just forgot where you put it only to discover it later.   Well, I keep a list of who, what, and where!  That way if I see something I want to buy someone I bought for I can refer to the list instead of opening bags.  Having a list also helps keep me from “over-buying” for someone.  So there are a few reasons to keep a list.

>>>>>>>Consider decorations and ornaments gifts.  Enjoy the walk down memory lane.  To me opening my ornaments and all my decorations is like getting hundreds of gifts every year.  I love decorating and I love all my sparkly and glittery ornaments so unwrapping them or pulling them out of the boxes is super fun.  My mom gave me a lot of my ornaments!

>>>>>>>Saving beautiful cards.  I’ve posted before about saving Christmas cards we receive and using them as decorations.  Well, this year, I was in a rush and I wasn’t going to hang up the previous years’ cards.  But I decided it would just take a minute or two.  So as I was putting them up I was glancing inside at who they were from and that just made me happy.

>>>>>>>I let go of my desire for a perfect tree.  Not sure if I have mentioned this in a previous post, but I used to insist on buying one that was perfect.  Ya know, like on a Christmas card.  Well, as you know, those don’t exist and we don’t need a perfect one anyway. We do better with one that is kinda flat on one side and then slopes nicely on the other side.  The flat side goes toward the window and allows us to have enough room to walk by the tree.  If it is “perfectly” shaped it has to stick out into the walkway and just doesn’t work.  Plus by the time we get home and decorate whatever tree we buy it is “perfect”.  Yup, just like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree!

Ok, again, I know that the Holidays are a struggle for some people.  I hope those of you that struggle make it through. I know that you will not be helped by a clean shelf or unwrapping a beloved ornament.  You are in my thoughts and prayers, these ideas are for people who enjoy the holidays.  And perhaps want to eek out more.  Perhaps cause less stress and create a little more sparkle and shine.

Merry Christmas.  (It’s almost here!)

What do YOU do to get more joy out or your Holidays? 

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Turkey Tortilla Rolls Ups Lessons

Posted by terrepruitt on December 11, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCATortilla rolls ups.  An easy thing to make and bring to a potluck or serve at a party.  I brought them to our Thanksgiving lunch.  I wasn’t sure if we would be snacking beforehand or not.  Lately we have been so I brought them.  This time we did not and they were served with lunch, which is fine.  At the meal there were several names that were being tossed about and, of course, I don’t remember any of them because I just have always called them tortilla rolls.  I don’t consider it a wrap because it is sliced and not served whole.  I have also called them turkey rolls because I make them with turkey lunch meat.  I have made them often enough — which is just a few times — that I have learned a few things.  Well, this time I learned even more.  So I am going to share the things I learned about Turkey Tortilla Rolls Ups.

First here is the “recipe”:

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Turkey Tortilla Rolls UpsDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA

Tortillas (large), 5
Cream Cheese, a brick
lunch meat (I usually use turkey), 15 slices
cheese, sliced, 15 slices
onion, sliced
olives, sliced
lettuce

Before you start you might want to take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften.

I use the ingredients in the order listed.  I find that it seems easier to lay out cling wrap.  The size of the wrap does not have to be that large because the tortilla is going to be rolled.  So it can be as long as the tortilla, but the entire tortilla does not need to fit on it (say from top to bottom).

Lay out 5 pieces of cling wrap.  Then place a tortilla on each piece.  Then spread the cream cheese in a “band” across the tortilla about 1/3 of the way up.  Then put a little “ribbon” of cream cheese on the upper edge of the tortilla.  Place the lunch meat across the band, (at least 3 slices per tortilla).  Place the sliced cheese (at least 3 slices per tortilla) on the lunch meat near the bottom of it.  I don’t have pictures because, can you guess?  I really wasn’t planning on posting this because this recipe can be found anywhere, but what I found out made me want to share.

Put slices of onions on top of the sliced cheese.  On top of all that add the slices of olives.  Then put handfuls of lettuce on top of that.  The lettuce can be put on the tortilla from the bottom all the way up to — and even past — the band of ingredients you have across the tortilla.  So basically you can “fill up” the entire bottom half of the tortilla with lettuce.

When you roll, I find it works best to roll it has tight as you can.  You have to push the lettuce in and under the roll as it goes.  Roll it as TIGHT AS YOU CAN.  You will probably hear lettuce crunching!

Then roll the tortilla roll into the plastic wrap.  Then let them set at least two hours.  Before serving, cut into slices.  I usually get about 8 rolls out of a tortilla.  So this recipe will make about 40 little roll ups.

They seem to slice best with a serrated knife.

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My family got together AFTER Thanksgiving.  I made the roll ups on Thursday night.  I sliced them and served them Saturday.  When I made them I rolled them very tight.  When I sliced them they were very loose.  I was confused while cutting the first wrap.  Then by the time I got to the second one I realized that the lettuce had shrunk.  It wilted a bit.  It wasn’t really soggy and totally wilted, but it did lose a lot of volume.  So that is something I need to keep in mind if I make them in advance.

Also . . . people seem to love the flavor of cream cheese and olives.  Interesting the things you learn:

-serrated knife, the lettuce will lose volume making the wrap loose (and more difficult to cut), and olives and cream cheese.  Oh, and at the store I found THIN sliced cheese.  That helped a lot.

Do you like these?  Do you make them?  What would you put in your Roll Ups?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Clearing Up Death

Posted by terrepruitt on December 6, 2014

In addition to oiling my buffet in preparation for Christmas Decorations, I also took down all the “Death Cards”.  The top of the buffet was crammed full of cards I received because of the deaths that have occurred this year.  If you have read my blog for a bit you probably know about my mom dying.  She died in April.  It was sudden to me, yet it dragged out for 10 days while she waited, with a tube in her throat, unable to speak, for the doctors to take the tube out so she could die.  But then she didn’t die for another 11 days.  I have a separate page here on my blog for her.  You are probably aware of the death of our cat.  She was so sweet.  I like to think she was an angel and I will see her again.  I know she did a lot for the people she encountered.  But you might not know about my brother.  Yeah, he was the first one to die.  He died in January.  I got a call from my niece saying he was dead.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCANow, I haven’t mentioned my brother because at the time there was some legal issues or more accurately there COULD have been legal issues.  My brother was a widower and a single parent.  He and his daughter lived in another state and we needed to get her guardianship and all that stuff taken care of before word got out.  My niece has life goals so she wanted to finish her school year up where she lived before she relocated.  So she was top priority.  By the time everything was straightened out AND I felt like sharing about his death, my mom got sick.  I literally was going to post about my brother that week.

My mom was waiting to die for a long time (as I mentioned).  She went in the hospital for one thing, she was told they could “fix it”, but then they decided they couldn’t and told her she had to decide when to die.  Not an easy choice.  She picked a day and it didn’t go as they had thought.  So that was another process.  During all of this I was focused on her.  And I thought that (think that) the way people die in the United States is so horrific, I was writing posts about that.  I was dealing with all of that.  I was not sharing about my brother.

Then, our cat died.  As I have mentioned in other posts, I am not really a writer.  I had never really experienced the “release” people get from writing or journaling.  But with posting about my mom and the cat I kinda understood.  Plus, it is soooo amazingly helpful to get support from people all over, close-in-person friends as well as people who I have never met face-to-face but have online relationships with.  So I was supported by that.

Now my mom’s memorial is over.  People keep questioning me about getting another cat.  With life moving on, I feel I am ready to share.  I feel I need to tell the world about my brother’s death.  Since I shared about all the other deaths, his should not go unmentioned.

I thought it would be appropriate to share now, while I am putting away all the cards of love — because that is what they really are.  They are notes and cards of expressions of love ABOUT death.  It was so heart-warming to have received those tokens.  It is nice to have them still.

For those that want more details, because death makes us curious, my brother was 48, he was not in the best of health and he died of an aneurysm.  It is ok to be curious.  That is human nature.  You are welcome to ask more questions if you want.  I reserve the right to answer them in a reply on my blog or privately via e-mail, though.  There might be more posts in the future . . . but for now here it is.

My awesome neice has since been relocated and is doing well.  She is awesome because life at her age is “hard” enough without all the stuff she has been given to deal with.  We have yet to see how it all turns out.

So, take a moment, if you knew my brother or not . . . . . thanks.

Steven L. Bacho 06.18.1965 – 01.17.14

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Teach Others What You’ve Decided To Accept

Posted by terrepruitt on December 4, 2014

Someone posted this on Facebook. I agree with it.  I do feel that people need to set boundaries.  I think that sometimes people drain themselves or let others drain them (of time and energy) and don’t take the time to recharge or rejuvenate.  I think that sometimes situations like that can lead to “hard feelings” and resentment.  Not all the time, but sometimes.  I have seen relationships crumble because one person takes advantage of the other, but the one that was taken advantage of allowed it to happen.  Of course, when I see something I like, like this meme, and I want to use it as a spark for a post on my blog I want to give credit for the person that created it.  I appreciate it when all the information is there so it is easy to find the originator.  This woman, Anna Taylor, has an interesting story.  She is an international recording artist, a singer-songwriter, and speaker and radio host among other things.  You can hear her sing and check out her story on her site (click here).  I have seen this saying — or ones like it before, but this one ended up on my Facebook feed at a time when I was thinking the same thing so I save it for a future post.  Today is the day.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAOf course, everyone’s boundaries are different and there are different boundaries for different people, but I think it is important to set them and have them.  At times they can even flex and move, but that should be up to you.  Then it really is up to you, as the person setting, the boundaries to make sure that they are clear to the people you are dealing with.  If they don’t know what they are it is easy for them to disrespect them.

I feel as if some people don’t respect their own time and energy so then others don’t either.  That is a lesson taught and a lesson learned.  I think sometimes people are also afraid to say “No,” for whatever reason . . . perhaps they don’t want the person asking to “not like them” or the person asking is family so there is an implied obligation . . . or it goes back to the person being asked just doesn’t respect or maybe even feel worthy of time to themselves.  I don’t know . . . it is all very personal.

I just like to be the one that supports people when they share with me that they feel bad, but they just had to say no to whomever because “they just couldn’t do it”.  Then they go on to explain how it would cause them stress. Sometimes you just have to say no.  Sometimes there are already too many obligations on the schedule.  It is ok to say no.

Love yourself, respect yourself.  Understand that your time and energy are precious.  Especially this time of year when there are so many things pulling us in so many directions.  It is GREAT to say no to something so you can sit on the couch with your family and a mug of hot chocolate.  Or whatever . . . remember . . . you get to choose.  And you teach people by your choices.

Does it seem as if this time of year the demand on your time and energy is greater than all year long?

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A Good Coat Of Oil

Posted by terrepruitt on December 2, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAAhhh, it is December, and by the pure grace of God we are getting some rain.  We need a lot of rain.  Our state is dry and the water is pretty much gone, but every little bit helps.  And the latest storm is bringing in some nice rain.  This year the “storms”  we’ve had in the San Francisco Bay Area have not really been storms and have not brought rain.  Some have even just been “mistings”.  But this one is good.  It is an awesome way to bring in a season of Joy!  One way I like to bring in the season is by oiling my entertainment center and my buffet.  I don’t always have a chance to do it, some years are more hectic than others, but it is one thing I like to do.  I somewhat consider it part of decorating for Christmas.  Since I don’t really do “Spring Cleaning” I like to oil the furniture before I decorate at Christmastime.

It used to be that the oil came in a plastic bottle with a top like the ones that come on salad dressing bottles.  The oil had to be squeezed out or shook out.  But then someone got the brilliant idea to put it in spray bottles.  WOW!  That was an awesome idea.  It makes it much easier to get the oil everywhere.  I did use an entire bottle on the entertainment center.  I am not sure that I oiled it last year.  As I said, I like to do it every year, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.  So many factors go into what you time for and what you don’t have time for, as I am sure you know . . . different things going on make different things possible or not.  Sometimes you just have to let things you want to do, but aren’t that important (like oiling the furniture), go.

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I take everything out of the entertainment center except the TV, stereo, and what is in the cabinet.  (Yes, we still have a stereo.)  When I oil the furniture I put a good coat on so I like to let it dry.  I usually let it set for a day or two, to make sure it is dry and all the oil is soaked in before I put the items back.  And since it is Christmastime I will leave some stuff off so that I can have room for the decorations.  At least one whole shelf on the entertainment center is left empty for my nativity set.  With the buffet I take everything out of the cabinets and oil inside.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA

I was not planning – I know I always say this, but really – on blogging about this otherwise I would have taken a “before” picture so that you could see the difference in the wood.  The wood gets darkened by the oil. I think it likes it.  I think it helps preserve the wood.  This is really important since I’ve had the entertainment center for almost 25 years.

 

The buffet I got at a consignment store not to long after we moved here.  I do not know its previous story.

Getting this done makes me feel good.  As I said I don’t do spring cleaning, I clean for the Holidays and this is one of the things I like to do.  Helps get my decorating mojo ignited.  I love decorating for Christmas.  I like for everywhere you look to be at least a little Christmas!

Do you have any furniture that would like to be oiled?  Do you oil your furniture?  Do you use Old English?

 

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Thanksgiving 2014

Posted by terrepruitt on November 27, 2014

You may know that I post on Thursdays.  Thanksgiving falls on Thursday in the United States that means that I will post on Thanksgiving.  I say that every year.  Even though I know that the day is coming, I don’t seem to ever have a post well planned.  I am usually sitting at my computer at 11:30 pm trying to come up with something that isn’t just me being thankful.  But I usually just give in to the fact that I spent all evening eating and not thinking about my blog.  This year we had dinner a bit earlier than normal because the 49ers were playing and someone had tickets to go see them.  I was a bit resistant to the fact that we were having dinner at noon because of a sporting event.  But it turned out not to be that early.  I do believe the 49ers lost, though.  We had a very nice early dinner.  The group was smaller than it used to be due to the fact that a lot of the “kids” were off being adults.  Always so sad when the “kids” aren’t around, but so exciting that they are off living their lives.  Exciting they are off with other people who love them.  So, instead of sitting at my computer at 11:30 pm, I am sitting at my computer at 9:30 pm.  I just want to continue the gratitude.

I am very grateful for my family on my husband’s side who provide a yummy Thanksgiving dinner (or lunch) every year.  This year was very simple and very yummy.  It was perfect.  We even ran out of salad which hasn’t happened in YEARS!!!

I hope that you can tell from reading my blog that all year long I am very grateful for my family.  I am grateful for my husband.  I am grateful for my friends.  I am grateful for my students.  I am grateful for Nia.  I am grateful to have a job teaching Nia with the City.  I am blessed and I know it.  I hope that I show it.

I am excited to get started on decorating for Christmas.  I wish we had a week in between Thanksgiving and December (as I mentioned in my last post about a Christmas card Christmas tree), but that won’t happen until 2019.  We will have days in between in 2017 and 2018, and a whole week 2019.  But for now, Christmas is four weeks away.  I love Christmastime!

Well, I know, every Thanksgiving is the same thing regarding my posts, but really I do like to state it in case you can’t tell from my posts all year long . . . I am very grateful.

Ooooh.  Thanksgiving fact according to the website CNN Living: TV dinners came from Thanksgiving.  When someone at Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys they would sell in 1953, they decided to slice and package it up with the rest of a Thanksgiving dinner.  Desperation IS the mother of invention and they had to figure out how to get rid of TWENTY SIX TONS (!) of frozen turkey!

Also remember, there is tryptophan (the stuff that people blame being sleepy on) in protein based foods eaten every day . . . so it is probably not the turkey making you tired.

I hope you all had a very happy and safe holiday.

What did you do?  Did you celebrate?  Was it Thanksgiving for you or just another Thursday?  Pumpkin pie or pecan pie? 

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

CeCe’s Creative Christmas Card Display

Posted by terrepruitt on November 25, 2014

In January of this year my friend posted a picture of the Christmas cards she received.  I loved what she did with them and asked her if I could post her picture and idea on my blog.  She is super sweet and she said yes.  She created a Christmas Tree with her Christmas cards!  January is obviously after Christmas and I thought if I posted it in January we would forget about it come December.  So I told her I would post it closer to Christmas so that we could use the idea for Christmas 2014.  She had asked if I wanted a better picture because the one posted here I took off of FB.  I said no.  I do believe it is a bit blurry, but I think blurry is good so all the photo cards she received aren’t posted clearly on my blog.  It is about that time of year when we start thinking about sending out Christmas cards.  And here is a great idea of what to do with the cards you receive.  In the past I have posted about what I do with my Christmas cards, I do put them on the wall, but I really like the idea of putting them in the shape of a tree.  Thanks, CeCe.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCASuch a great idea.  A lot of people don’t get or put up actual trees for a multitude of reasons, but this is a great way to still have a little tree spirit.  It is also a great way to display the cards.  I love it.  I didn’t ask her how she did it, but I think if I were to do it, I would start with the top card and add a row as I receive cards.  But my rows would start from the middle so I would always have a trunk.  Yes?  Does that make sense?  Would that work?

Oooo!  You could also attach some flat ornaments to the wall.  Hanging them in between the rows of cards.  Yeah, That would be nice.  I might just do that.

I was a little sad last year because I estimated that we sent out twice as many cards as we received.  While we do not send out cards just to get one in return, I just love cards and I was a bit sad that it seems as if the tradition of sending out Christmas cards seems to be disappearing.  Although, it could also be that Thanksgiving 2013 was the very LAST week in November with no time after before December started.  That always makes for a super busy Christmastime and I remember having not received a lot of cards when that happened previously.  It is the same this year.  Thanksgiving is the last week in November.  Too close to Christmas.  It would be nice to have at least a week after Thanksgiving before December starts.  Or we should celebrate Thanksgiving in October, like Canada.  That would give us enough time to enjoy it more.  Anyway . . .

Last year we had a great Christmas tree.  It was severely misshapen, but after we decorate it, it looked beautiful AND it lasted a long time.  Even after we put it outside and my husband cut it up for collection, it smelled fresh for days.  This year we might have two trees.  A real tree and a card tree!

So there you have an idea of how to creatively display the Christmas cards you receive and have a “tree” at the same time!

What do you think?  What do you do with the Christmas cards you receive?

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Still Practicing Living In The Moment

Posted by terrepruitt on November 22, 2014

I sometimes think life is always trying to teach us lessons.  I admit that sometimes I am oblivious to the lessons.  But I also think that sometimes I can see them.  I also think that sometimes the lessons are a practice.  It is not as if I go through life, have something happen, see the thing I am supposed to learn and then – BAM!  I got it.  Lesson exposed, lesson learned, I’m good.  Nope.  Sometimes it is a practice.  Just like yoga and Nia or learning an instrument.  Continuous or multiple exposures helps you learn the art of it.  Last month I wrote about “The Art Of Letting Go“, where I went with a friend to an evening event called Paint Nite.  The idea is to paint something in two hours being led step-by-step by an artist.  My idea was to just let go.  To know that my painting was not going to look exactly like the original, but it would look like something.  It would bear a resemblance to the one I was taught to paint.  I liked it because it was blue.  Well, I have been doing things that remind me to concentrate and be in the moment.  Yes, I write about this often because it is something I need to be reminded of constantly.  I need to live in the moment.  I need to concentrate on what I am doing.  I need to enjoy what I am doing.  I need to fully sense and experience what I am doing.

I think my first post about this was me talking about brushing my teeth.  I stated that I brushed my teeth while doing a lot of different things — all the time.  I am better now.  I used to think that if I brush my teeth while doing something else I could save time, but what ended up happening was that I was concentrating on the other task so much so that I didn’t know if I brushed the upper left side so I would do it again.  Then wonder if I brushed the bottom right . . . the point is, I think I ended up brushing a lot longer because I was not concentrating on just brushing my teeth, than if I would have JUST brushed my teeth.  I am better at that now.  I start to step away from the sink and I remember that I will be done faster if I just get it done than if I go . . . do whatever.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAI did another Paint Nite and I really had to concentrate on what I was doing in order to keep up with the artist.  It is my opinion that she was going really fast.  I couldn’t keep up, so listening and talking and participating in what was going on around me put me WAY behind the instruction.  I just had to buckle down and concentrate on what I was doing so that I could listen to what she was saying so that I could do the next step she explained.  I was concentrating so hard on what she was saying that I took a swig of paint water.  YUP!  I was listening to her, I reached behind my canvas, grabbed the cup and brought it to my lips and took a sip.  I realized it tasted odd and spit it out – mostly in my cup, partially on my friend.  (Thank God, she is so understanding and forgiving.)  That was me not paying attention to the cup I was grabbing.

But I like this creation better than my last.  I learned so much from my first time, that I was able to do this one better, but I actually had the opposite problem.  I wasn’t using enough paint.  But I think — still not, sure it was the water I need more of.  Regardless, I learned some more and I really like this painting.  No, it is lacking the soft lines of the original, but I like it.

One of the other things I am doing that requires one to clear one’s thoughts is archery.  I wanted to see what shooting a bow was like.  I wanted to use a “regular” bow, but that is not the popular bow to shoot.  We were shooting one of those fancy things with what remind me of pulleys on each end.  We weren’t even using what they call a “recurve”.  Whatever bow you use the target is the target so learning how to get the arrow where you want it to go was the interesting part.  Not that my arrow always went where I wanted to go, but I was taught the premise.  But the instructor (Mike at Predator’s Archery) really emphasized concentration.  He shared his (award winning) techniques regarding targeting and shooting the arrow, but he emphasized again and again how you have to concentrate.  And you might be surprised on what you concentrate on, but that is not the point of this post, the point is you have to not think about distracting things.  Live in the now and focus on the task at hand.

Focusing and concentrating really goes a long way in getting things done.  We are always multitasking because that is just how life is.  In most situations you cannot not think about more than one thing, but sometimes just DOING one thing really helps you get it done quick and with focus so that you can move on to the next thing.  Things like to have your undivided attention.  I will continue to practice focus, concentration, and living in the now even though the world around me as a whole thinks I need to do fifty things at once in order to be productive.

What do you thing?  Do you think that less can be more?  Do you think sometimes if you just do ONE thing (instead of multitasking) you can get it done faster and better?

 

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