I [heart] Davids It helps me to say these things aloud, I think.

October 30, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 3:49 pm

We carved our pumkins on Sunday night. I like carving pumpkins. I had a vision for mine but I know it will require lots of planning and photoshoping. I didn’t have time last night so I went for it anyway, ill-prepared.

Dave’s happy jack-o-lantern in the back and Aladdin Sane up front.

Aladdin Sane detail.

Glowing faces!! Get ready for trick-or-treating!!

Cayce Stromboli!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 3:43 pm

Boy, does he ever look like a calzone. He’s not really this big, is he? He’s only 17 pounds.

October 22, 2006

Coffee-crusted Pork Tenderloin

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 11:46 pm

Dinner on Saturday was tre yummy!!
I rubbed a pork tenderloin down with fresh ground coffee and pepper mixed with brown sugar and a few other spices, then Dave cooked it on the grill to perfection. I made two vegetable dishes. The first was apples cooked very slowly with red onions in butter, spiced with white pepper. Tastes so lovely, if you’ve never had it, you have no idea! The other dish was parsnips and carrots braised in hard apple cider and maple syrup with cinammon and red pepper. I boiled down the cider/maple syrup into a lovely glaze. It was a really tasty dinner and I was so impressed with myself! 🙂

Lazy Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 11:41 pm

Today we were supposed to plant our flower beds but it was too rainy. Instead, we stayed inside and did chores around the house. We started our day with M&M pancakes! Dave read the paper, accompanied by the cats.

Thai Yoga Massage (Nuad Boran)

Filed under: Personal/Health — JeniQ @ 2:55 pm

I got my birthday present on Saturday. I have been wanting to try out Thai Yoga Massage after my yoga instructor, Cyndi Bulka, raved about it several years ago. I’d been putting it off because it was expensive but I decided it was time and treated myself for my birthday this year. At its most basic, Thai yoga is meridian line massage (think accupressure) coupled with supported yoga positions. Learn more about Thai Yoga Massage (Nuad Boran) here and here.

I met with Bob Haddad on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. in his studio about 20 miles away in Chapel Hill. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and the leaves were starting to show their fall colors. The studio is a small addition to the main house where Bob lives. It’s a fabulous space with stained wood trim, lots of windows, and pocket doors to both the bathroom and the massage room.

We spent about 20 minutes getting acquainted. Bob explained what nuad boran is, his experience and education, and how we would work together in the next two hours. I told him about my “sensitive” nerves throughout my body, and highlighted the cubital tunnel syndrome as the worst offender. He gently pressed his finger directly onto my ulnar nerve on the back side of my elbow and I said something like “Um, yeah, you can’t do that.” Then I began to tear up and had a little cry right there. I knew after our brief talk that the session was going to be pretty intense. I was already emotional at the anticipation of this very intimate method of body work. That pushed me right over the edge.

[He wanted to create some kind of a warm medicinal poultice to apply to my elbow but said we didn’t have time. He wants me to come back later to try it out. I let him know that the only medical remedy (besides not ever bending my elbows) is to ice my elbows three times a day. He said “You’re talking about allopathic medicine. Eastern medicine uses heat.” I’m willing to give the poultice a try, but my experience is that applying cold has really helped calm the irritated nerves.]

So, then we started the session. I had changed out of my sweat pants into a pair of bright orange Thai shorts that Bob supplied, and I had on a sports bra. I think I looked cute, if not somewhat scantily clad! 🙂 These Thai pants are very thin, lightweight and floppy, and when you tie them on, they tie tight right above hips, under the navel, so while they are quite comfortable, they’re pretty revealing. Bob wore a pair, too, and he was definitely flopping around! I think part of the strangeness of this bodywork is how intimate it is. I have no problem stripping down to nothing and laying under a sheet for a traditional massage (I’d recommend Meridith at Hands on Health if you’re looking). But in this modality, the provider is moving all around you, lifting you up, supporting you with his limbs or feet or hands. Trust is sort of a requirement; Thai yoga can’t be done well when you’re focused on guarding yourself. And there are many times when different parts of my body and his body intersected in unexpected ways.

My instructions were to be very relaxed and floppy. He wanted me to be in a place where I could just receive, physically and emotionally, what he had to give. I guess it’s obvious that when you get a massage, you’re receiving a gift of love from your massage therapist, but in nuad boran, it’s an even more important part of the exchange. The way the practitioner uses his or her body to move yours and the way they channel their energy to help yours flow, it’s really amazing.

We started on my back, and he used thumbs and other devices of torture (hands, elbows, feet, forearms, knees, etc.) to work along the energy lines of my feet, legs and hips. It was strong, very direct pressure and bordered on the edge of discomfort. He moved my ankles, my knees, my legs in the hip sockets. I could feel him moving around on the mat on all sides of me. I think my favorite move was when he extended his leg underneath mine and he rested my sitz bone on his toes and raked his toes upward along my hamstring. That was nice.

He worked on my stomach and that was really crazy. I had been doing a good job of breathing and being really relaxed, but I couldn’t maintain it when he started pressing on my stomach. My defenses kicked in and I tensed my stomach muscles to protect myself. My breathing got rapid and shallow and he kept putting his hand on the center of my chest to help me breath calmly. I trembled all over. He told me that I was releasing a lot of stuff. I couldn’t help but agree.

When he got to my arms and shoulders, I could feel him putting pressure on my brachial plexus on both the front and the back of my shoulder. My hands kept pulsating with energy, throbbing in response to the pressure on the nerve. He neatly avoided my evil ulnar nerve. He said there was a lot of release from my shoulders as well.

Then we did several seated positions and a number of supported asanas. I spent some time face down and on my side, where he worked the piriformis and the deep hip rotators, causing my legs to pulse with the pressure on those delicate tissues. We did a few more supported asanas, including cobra and some where I was hanging down by my limbs.

Here are some pictures of what it looked like. I had my eyes closed most of the time but I would have loved to have seen it – must’ve looked strange. I’d like to upload photos but Blogger sucks and won’t upload photos half the time. It’s just as well as the photos are all copyrighted so I had no right to post them here. This image shows Bob and the studio where I was at!

The session ended with some delicate facial massage combined with lovely scented oils, a gentle shoulder rub and lots of head scratching, which was just to die for. He placed a eyebag on my eyes and crept out of the room. I awoke sometime later (2 minutes or 12? I don’t know) by a little rat-a-tat-tat at the door. There was a cup of hot herbal tea waiting for me by my side, along with my glasses, how thoughtful! I gave up my comfy pants and got back into my sweats, then walked around the reception area and checked out Bob’s enormous world music CD collection. It turns out that Bob used to own his own record label, Music of the World. Then we spent a few minutes comparing notes about the session.

Bob felt that the left side of my entire body was blocked, that energy was not flowing the way it should be. He also felt that there is some “deep and hidden” stuff in my back and shoulders that he would like to investigate further. I think I was fairly guarded with my back and shoulders, as well as my stomach. I know that I have an at-times guarded persona, and I’d like to shed it, but I find it so difficult. It’s so much easier, somehow, to put up my funny, sarcastic facade, the one that makes people laugh and (I think) makes me look cool. But sometimes I want to be calmer, more centered, and more honest and open with people. Maybe one of the reasons I can’t seem to do that is I become a blubbery mess when I get open and emotional. My empathy is stronger than it needs to be and I think it makes me overly sensitive to even minor input. I think that if I go back and we work on releasing some of this blocked energy, it might have a cathartic affect. Perhpas I could shed my mental/psychological hamstrings? Would it be better than a good shrink? It’s weird, leaving a bodywork session consumed with thoughts of unloading emotional baggage, but it really makes sense when you get down to it.

I felt great the rest of the day. I felt like I could breathe into every surface and cavity of my body. In my yoga practice, I’m just learning how to feel both upward, lifting energy at the same I can sense downward, grounding energy. I’m not sure I felt the movement of energy through my body the way Bob wanted me to, but I did feel good. I realize now that I need to be more kind to the left side of my body, the yin of me. I also promise to give it more attention in yoga. And I’m going to give it a few more days to integrate, but I think I’ll go back in a few months for another session.

October 16, 2006

Idiot Disease

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 1:27 pm

I should preface this post with the following information:

  • Dave has flown 1.7 million miles. He’s an experienced airplane traveler who is always very prepared.
  • I haven’t flown nearly as much as he has, but I’m one of the more organized people I know.

That makes it all the more amazing to me that we missed our flight home on Sunday. We arrived at the Austin airport at 2 in preparation for our 3 PM flight, only to discover after a few minutes that we were supposed to be on a 1 PM flight. How embarrassing!

Amazingly, we managed to get home last night even though every flight we tried to get on was full. Dave’s Platinum status bumped us to the top of every Standby list and some very helpful gate agents managed to finagel us onto flights that were already too full. I am really impressed! I am also really tired because we landed after 11 and got to bed around 12, without any dinner. Ah well, at least we’re home.

October 12, 2006

Missing my Albita

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 11:49 am

Cayce’s Hematoma

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 11:44 am

Do you know what a hematoma is? It’s like an enormous blood blister. You nick a blood vessel somehow and then the vessel leaks. It fills up the area around it with blood and swells up like a grapefruit.

Cayce somehow has a hematoma on his back, near the site of the surgery. It’s totally gross looking but isn’t bothering him any and it’s not infected so we’re leaving it alone for right now. It may take weeks or months for the body to reabsorb all the fluid and the lump to disappear.

In this picture, you can see the lump from two different directions. The lump is not his shoulderblades sticking up, it’s a soft and squishy swelling about the size of a softball.

October 11, 2006

Spider Pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 11:39 am

The other morning I discovered a big spider who spun a very large web between a tree and the front porch. Man, they are industrious! Below is a closeup of the big spider.

This spider we found in the woods of Corolla this past weekend.


Filed under: Uncategorized — JeniQ @ 11:36 am

Nap time.

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