Sprouting wings

The countdown is on and I have SOOOO much to do before we fly back home on Saturday. Beyond excited!

Slade googled the path that we’re hoping to travel within the 8 days … 1000 km and counting. Egads! Trying to fit in birth celebrations, family reunions, long-lost friends and a wedding is tight … someone is bound to get missed.

Yesterday, I went to a fabulous new chiropractor in an attempt to garner some clarification about the bone and muscle / tendon issues behind my shoulder difficulties. Turns out, 8+ hours a day of sitting at a desk mixed with my side sleeping and my anterior dislocation, that resulted in poor posture and shoulder joints which move freely in only one direction. I’ve LITERALLY grown wings … my scapula has developed a condition called ‘winged scapula’ and the muscles have formed a protective set structure which is out of whack with proper alignment. Because of this, my posture is not great, I have difficulty with certain strength in certain shoulder rotations, and I have much work ahead of me to build up enough strength in the muscles to pull back the encapsulating joint and the surrounding muscles that hold it in place.

I’ve always dreamed of sprouting wings, but this is a bit ridiculous!

crazy about Sushi

sushi yuMEver since slaDE and I attended the Thai cooking class last month at the downtown food Coop, we have waited in luscious anticipation for this evening. The thought of a class that served up the delectable appeal of Sushi was too much to bear for our empty anxious stomaches.

After a chilly bike ride in the rain, we arrived at the Coop hungry and full of questions for our gourmet Sushi chef, Than (from Burma!). It was an hour of painstaking prep before we had our first sample, but alas, the divine simplicity of seaweed and fare were well worth the wait. Wasn’t too fussed on the tuna this evening, but the salmon melted in the mouth.

A Sushi party is in order, methinks! And now I’m craving the all-you-can eat Sushi in Kitchener.

Quinoa and Ed

Yummy quinoa saladWhenever I include quinoa in a meal, I think of my dear friend Eduardo … Ed has been a forever friend (or so it seems) and he is one of the best cooks that I have been blessed by with many of his home-cooked delectable organic meals. In fact, Ed was the first to introduce me to benefits and joys of organic living, and for that I’ll be ever grateful!

Feeling like experimenting with a new recipe on our yoga-off night, I stumbled across this vegan salad. To be honest, this chilled meal is divine (and perfect for lunch fare), but I must admit, I wouldn’t hesittate to bypass this for a sampling of Ed’s scrumptiously famous chicken quinoa dish :). I miss you and your cooking Ed!

INTERNATIONAL QUINOA SALAD

Quinoa:
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed very well
2 1/4 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

Vegetables:
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 medium-large tomatoes, finely chopped
kernels of 2 ears of cooked corn (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup parsley — minced
1/3 cup fresh mint — minced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (reserve a few slices for garnish)

Dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (NOT lemon)
3 tablespoons vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper

To cook the quinoa in a pressure cooker, place it and the water, garlic, and salt in the cooker and lock the lid. Over high heat, bring to high pressure and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Fluff the quinoa and allow it to cool.

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and mix well. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled. Taste before serving, and add more lime juice as necessary (you want it to be tangy). Garnish with avocado slices and serve. Makes about 10 servings.

The Secret

The secret to flying is to trip but miss the ground.
— Douglas Adams

Let’s see, how many times have I managed to accomplish this feat of tripping ‘gracefully’??
Without hurting myself, I’d say 1245 times, but who’s counting? :).

sKYdiVAThis morning slaDE is catching up on his logbook, and in the process of stimulating his memory, he has pulled out the video camera and is reviewing the skydiving footage from the past year. Glancing over his shoulder, I marveled at the sudden rush of emotions that overwhelmed me.
Oh how I miss jumping from airplanes!
Until that moment, I didn’t realize how ferociously I had banked those feelings, setting the desires aside for my whimsical flying dreams: I miss my passion way too much to want to consciously reminisce. Patience is a virtue, knowing that my shoulder injury is still a huge issue; a persistent process of healing. Breathing through the pain and yoga are helping immensely in gaining my strength, but my side-sleeping is not helping my dilemma. Do I jump at the Batavia Boogie? I’m hoping to ease into the saddle again by making a tandem (given that Joey will be there?!) with my birthday friends … sort of a ‘coming of age into my forties’ celebration. But will my body be ready for the challenge? Much is at stake …. I’ll probably make that decision once we’re back in Ontario for my Father’s wedding.

The secret to flying is to trip but miss the ground.
— Douglas Adams

The David Suzuki Nature Challenge

You can actually sign up at David Suzuki’s website for the Nature Challenge (and it’s easy as typing in your email address). But even if you decide not to go the digital route to receiving his newsletter (an e-newsletter full of tips and suggestions for making sustainable choices), you too can make a difference.

Each day you invent the future with the choices you make about food, transportation, and energy use. By joining the Nature Challenge, you’ll be protecting the environment and our quality of life for future generations.

Our choices at all levels make a difference to nature. Let’s choose wisely.

We’ve researched the 10 most effective ways to help conserve nature and improve our quality of life. Here’s how you can make positive changes:

1. Reduce home energy by 10%

2. Eat meat-free meals once a week

3. Buy a fuel efficient, low-polluting car

4. Choose an energy efficient home and appliances

5. Stop using pesticides

6. Walk, bike or take transit to regular destinations

7. Prepare your meals with locally produced food

8. Choose a home close to regular destinations

9. Support alternatives to the car

10. Get involved, stay informed

action now!

How do you adapt??

I’ll never forget that feeling, that sense of abrupt arrival, feeling like a stranger touching down into an alien world, or as certain secular interests might profess, a ‘civilized’ society. After returning home from both India and Guatemala (separate trips, disconnected entities), every move I made at first seemed like that from a slow-motion movie where my senses were on full alert, as if I had lost a sensory faculty in my travels and had suddenly regained it. I was immensely appreciative yet caught in a bitter dichotomy, guiltily awed by the excess and abundance and wealth of our lives, as we know it. Water flows so freely, consumption of our ‘natural’ resources is not given a second thought in our world, where excess is the tangible ‘right’ of every citizen that has access. Waste beyond comprehension is a standard of living in our rich full lives … the words “water conservation and energy efficiency”, at the time, belonged only in the debates of the politicians versus the David Suzuki‘s of our world.

Take Action Now!Slowly but surely, the environmental concerns which were once a myth are now bearing fruit, affecting every single continent on that which we live …. slowly, slowly. But not really. The change will be cataclysmic … no one will remain unscathed. The status symbol of civilized vs. third world now holds no boundaries limited to one country, per se. Our world is renegotiating the rules … where we have grown comfortable / adept at controlling with our power and money (same thing, right?), now is emerging a new truth in the reality of Global Warming (thank the stars for the likes of the Al Gores (politician, no?) of our world, bringing light to the critical crises at hand), slowly emerging are the abrupt and unsavoury consequences of our prolific actions.
Quite overwhelming, really.

So, okay, breath. Breath in the here and now, in the “I too can make a difference”.
It all starts with one. But where to start? The moment is here. {To be honest, it’s actually already past … shoulda, woulda, coulda}.

Here’s an environmental tip of the week

Save Water with Powder Detergents
With severe to extreme drought conditions affecting parts of the U.S. and Australia, as well as elsewhere, we’ve got to start thinking about our water footprint, not just our carbon footprint. There are numerous ways to save water, but here’s one simple way that might not have occurred to you: Switch from liquid detergents to powders. Laundry liquids are mostly water (up to 80 percent), with upcoming double and triple compact concentrates at best cutting that amount in half. It costs energy and packaging to bring this water to the consumer. So save three ways by using powder detergents to wash clothes. The same holds for dishwashing detergents, when there’s a choice, choose dry powders.

Oh happy day!

I am such a happy happy gurl today …
Photoshop CS3At work, I finally had the program installed on my computer that I’ve been waiting a month for. The new Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Yipppppeeeeee!

It’s really quite cool. PS CS3 has some rather wonderful and useful shortcuts that the other versions don’t have. I actually had to use it today to cre8te a good luck note for my boss. And I played and rolled around in the digital muck of it all .. my hands were happily down and dirty.

The bonus: a training DVD extra that comes with the Extended Version (I wasn’t expecting that!).

It’s amazing what little things will make a nerd happy :).