Showing posts from September, 2017

Day Off in The Valley

First thing I did when I woke up was chase the cockroaches out of the kitchen.  It warmed my heart as this was a tradition during the several years I was a valley guy.  It's something I learned to live with.  They seem to have an agreement that once day breaks, they all go back to their hiding places. And any food that I've left out overnight is fair game.

I had spilled a tiny drop of chili on the counter and there was one particularly persistent critter that kept feasting, even after I turned the light on and got my face really close to him so I could watch the fascinating creature. It almost seemed like he was so involved in his meal that he didn't notice me.  Until he did. And then suddenly, he bolted away and hid between the wall and the cabinets.

After having my coffee and walking River, I went into the office to pay for two more nights here. I had reserved my stay here several months earlier so I locked in what turned out to be an old rate. Last night was a last minu…

Needles to Van Nuys

We took our time getting out of Needles and pretty much drove straight through to Van Nuys. I stopped once to break up the monotony and another time to refuel, but other than that I tore up the Interstate.

When I stopped for gas, I was following CA-18, and I didn't realize it until after I gassed up and was getting back on the highway but I was at the junction with US-395, another one of my favorite highways. I didn't go off course, though. I only drove on US 395 for about 100 yards in between the gas station and CA-18. One day I still want to take 395 from one end to the other.

The main thing on my mind today was incredible tooth pain. It started mildly yesterday. So mild that I quickly forgot about it. But today it wasn't so easy to ignore and forget about. I thought I had something lodged in my teeth, so I fussed with it with my tongue and swished water around in my mouth, but nothing helped.

I've had my suspicions about this one spot in my upper right back molars. …

Santa Fe to Flagstaff

It was a beautiful day as I left Santa Fe, but by the time I hit Prewitt, NM the sky was filled with dark clouds. It was a beautiful sight.

It was raining as I crossed the state line into Arizona, but almost immediately cleared up and stayed pleasant; dry and windy in Arizona.

As I passed through Chambers, as I drove past the exit for Pinta Rd, my trip odometer read 8888.8.
And later on, as I was near Winslow, AZ my trip hit the 9000 mile mark.

The room at the Motel 6 in Flagstaff smelled so strongly of bleach that I could barely walk in. I turned on the two fans and left the door open before moving any of my stuff in from the car. I took River for a walk for an hour. I didn't walk for an hour; we hung out in the parking lot, exploring the grassy area and walked clockwise and then counter clockwise around the whole property.

It was tolerable by the time I got back into the room again. I sprayed all over with essential oils diluted in water and left the fans on. As I sat there, my…

Men of Nia at StudioNia in Santa Fe

The festivities kicked off with Adelle and Todd team teaching a Nia FreeDance class. That's always a good time as they really leave the student to do their own thing with minimal, unobtrusive guidance. I love to get lost and go on a journey in the music when there is no one pulling my attention away. Adelle is an adept veteran and master at guiding, and Todd is a tyro under her tutelage. Truth be told, he doesn't need to do much. His natural effervescent personality and the charming way he trots around the room dancing, connecting and sharing his joy with the class is enough to make us all want to dance. I felt so good afterward, like I had just meditated and gotten a massage and a workout all at the same time. 
They put us on the second floor, but with my new two crate system, and River's new calmness, it didn't really matter. I could park at the bottom of the stairs and the room was the first door at the top of the stairs. We flew …

Farmington to Santa Fe - Nia in Albuquerque

After publishing my blog entry last night, I took a walk to the water dispenser and River kept stopping to scratch himself on the way back. He doesn't scratch himself often, so it was really odd that he did it several times in the course of one block. 
So when we got back to the motel room, I decided we needed a spa day and gave us both a coconut oil rubdown and vinegar rinse. 
I got the lion's share of the coconut oil. I put it all over my skin and in my nose and I ate a spoonful of it and pulled another spoonful through my teeth. I fed River a big blob of it from my hand and then rubbed the residue all on his body, rubbing it down onto his skin as best I could. He doesn't care for being oiled. I love it!
I filled the ice bucket with warm water and dropped a quarter cup of vinegar into it and lifted it by the handful onto River's fur and rubbed it in all over. He doesn't mind that as much as the coconut oil, though I think he'd still prefer I didn't do an…

Shopping in Farmington and Navajo Lake State Park

Today is another day without obligation and no relocating. I started the day by stocking up again at Natural Grocers and then coming back to the room to eat breakfast.

Through experimentation, I learned that if you add Italian sausage to tomato bisque, you get something akin to pizza soup.  Yum!

Then, the plan for today was to visit Navajo Lake State Park. I'm not sure the place we ended up going was technically allowed.  The hill we climbed down to reach the beach was very steep and rocky and we both lost our footing a few times on the way down. It wasn't until we were finished thoroughly exploring the lakeshore that we noticed the staircase, which would have been a much easy way to get down, though not nearly as fun. 

Yesterday, I thought I heard Babe give me the sound she gives when I'm low on gas. But I wasn't low on gas, so I thought maybe I had imagined it.  But then I heard it again today and couldn't tell why.  Both times it occurred just as I was starting th…

Nia in Durango - Dolores River Trail Park

It is a luxury on these trips when I can stay in a motel room for more than one night. I appreciate and relish not having to pack up the car and check in to a new room.  So this week, I'm living like a king while I stay in the Motel 6 in Farmington, NM for four nights!!
The main reason I'm staying here is that I'm teaching Nia in Durango on Monday morning. 
Nia at Interplay Studio Smiley Building;  It was about an hour drive to Durango, so I got an early start. It was cold! This high desert weather... I forget how much the temperature drops when the sun goes down.  I was shivering as I parked in front of the studio and walked River on the dewey wet grass.
The class was delightful. The gang at Durango Nia are strong and playful and willing to try new things. Evonne has a strong group of devoted students and many of them remembered me from the three or four past times I had taught there. 
In the room, before class started, and also during the first few songs, the sun was st…

Hanging Out in Farmington

Today I had no obligations. Nowhere to drive and nothing to do. I decided I didn't want to go far, so I found the closest park and took River for a long romp. It was called Berg Park and turns out it was a really big park with lots of different stuff to do.
We walked in the River, which was really muddy.
We played in the lush green grass, chasing sticks and pulling on the rope toy.
We relaxed on a bench in the shade of the trees.
We played near a water fountain.
We watched a family playing football.
Then the sky changed, dark clouds formed and thunder started rolling in.
It was just starting to rain as we piled into the car and headed back to the motel room.
The rain never really materialized anything to speak of, but we stayed put on the motel property for the rest of the night.
It was great to have a day of total freedom.

Believing in Magic

There is a quote from a Roald Dahl story called The Minpins. It goes:

"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

I have seen people sharing this sentiment as a meme on Facebook and it always makes me so sad. Well, I have a few responses to it, but sadness comes first. I feel sorry for the people sharing it and the world of delusion they live in.

First of all, let's be clear, if believing in something is a pre-requisite for finding it, then it probably doesn't exist outside of people's imagination. If it were real, then someone who didn't believe in it could possibly one day stumble upon it, or you could show it to a non-believer and convince them.  But by their own statement, they assert that "those who don't believe WILL NEVER FIND IT."  That statement proves the case that magic is nothing more than a belief; it's not real. 

Taking the concept a step further, if someone does at one point decide to start believing in magic, th…

Amarillo to Farmington

My heart sank when I saw how long today's drive was. I really try to avoid giving myself seven hour drives, but for whatever reason, when I was in the planning stage, I thought it was important to get all the way to Farmington, NM from Amarillo today.  In retrospect, it makes no sense. I could have taken this trip in two drives because I don't teach again until Monday. I thought about that every time I passed a Motel 6 on this epic day of driving. But I kept going and made it all the way through. 
I gained an hour today, going from Central to Mountain time, so I adjusted the clock first thing. And then I got in a solid three hours of driving before making our first stop. I had some sandwiches already made, so stopping to eat was so easy. I don't know why I hadn't thought of doing this before; eating in the middle of a drive day used to be such a cumbersome ordeal, but now it's as simple as reaching into the cooler and pulling out a baggie. 

River lounged in the sun …

Irving to Amarillo - Nia in Dallas

Today's first order of business was Nia at MoveStudio.
I taught the Profound routine using the same focus I came up with in Houston (Active Recovery). It went over really well with the students whose bright smiling faces said it all after class. And at my invitation to give me feedback, I did get a lot of positive reactions to the class.

Something odd has been happening. In the past three days, three different people have reached their hands out to River, who responded by snarling and snapping. He didn't connect to anyone, thanks to the quick reactions of the people and myself. But it makes me wonder what has happened to my message that "River needs to be ignored."

I have distinct memories of telling each of the people in the past to please make no attempts to pet or connect with River as he cannot handle the stimulation and I have made a promise to him that I will keep him away from any undue stimulation in exchange for his patience and cooperation with all of the …

San Antonio to Irving

The day began by going back to Synergy Studio and co-teaching a Nia FreeDance class with Todd. Adelle had put the playlist together for us and we alternated leading every other song. Adelle had gone to Portland, so Todd was hosting me. We had an awesome class. Both of us were practicing allowing lots of silence between our cues, as it gives the students more of an opportunity to be self-guided and self-aware. I made a commitment to only giving three or fewer cues for each song, and it worked great.  And I hit the highway directly from the studio. I changed, but didn't shower, before getting in the car. But I don't sweat as much in a Nia FreeDance class as I do during a classic Nia class.
As always, before loading River into the car, I allow him sufficient decompression time from being so good, quiet and still in the crate during class. We made a few rounds around the parking lot of The Pearl. On one of our laps I saw this very strange plant that I cannot identify, but looks l…