Well, I made it through the Thanksgiving meal pretty well. Not too stuffed but feeling very, very satisfied. My pie came out beautifully from that morning. I got up at 4am to make that pie. Thankfully, I already had made the crust the night before and had it "resting" in the fridge, so, all I had to do was roll it out and then make the filling. I even made a double batch of crust dough and put the other 1/2 in the freezer for Christmas. Yah! Ha-ha! Watch 'em ask me to make 2 pies. Oh well, it is my specialty.
Actually, I'm still eating Thanksgiving meals from the left-overs. I had to get a pizza for lunch today at Costco for something completely different though.
It's Dance Week at work again. I've opted out of performing nor am I choreographing this time. It's just too soon and so hard to get everyone together, blah, blah, blah. Frankly, I just needed a break. I've already got something twisted in my mind for May so we'll have to wait & see.
Yesterday I was shot when I got home. I taught 2 dance classes and assisted 1 other 1. My knee was swollen to twice the size of the other 1. It's been awhile since I've had that many dance classes in 1 day. I took a nice hot bath when I got home, popped 4 - 200mg. ibuprofens, watched a bit of tv after walking the dog and went to bed. Sometimes you've just gotta be good to yourself.
I did manage to finally figure out what to get my brother B. for Christmas. He is not so easy to buy for and he won't help you with either. Ugh! Pain in my you-know-what. But...it's done and so is my shopping for the family & friends. Whew!
It's clear that I won't be able to wrap the gifts and set them out under the tree this year 'cuz of the kitten. He's almost killed a couple of my plants and I'm sure he'd have everything ripped apart & the tree down and all of the ornaments scattered to the 4 corners if I did. So, no tree this year. I might buy some poinsettias though and maybe put up some lights but no on the tree. He is still a constant source of astonishment and poor Putney is a constant reminder of patience in action. He is so wonderful with that crazy kitten. Oh lord, he's at it again.
The weather is changing rapidly this week, so I need to wrap up the pipes outside of my house so they don't freeze & burst on me.
Remember to get ahead of your celebrations, drink lots of water along with the fun stuff, watch your portions, and drive carefully. Time for defensive, aware driving skills. Don't drink & drive, select a DD. Bundle up so you don't invite the flu or a cold or Strep throat or anything else trying to take hold of you this season. Keep your workouts going. Even if you only have 15 min. to workout, it's better than skipping it all together, right? You can still do a pretty good weight routine with 1 exercise each for the chest, back & legs, 2-4 sets and be done in 15-20 min. and get your total body workout in. You can do 3-10 min. or 2 -15 min. cardio workouts/day. They don't have to be 30 min. at 1 time.
Lets make it through this season, happy, healthy & hearty. Let the parties begin! Fa-la-la-la-la...la-la-la-la!
By the Samantha, I missed the last 2 numbers of your phone number. They got garbled on the voicemail you left me.
Thanksgiving, I'd have to say it's my favorite holiday. I think it's because it has nothing to do with gifting, dressing up, war, religion or any of the other fluffy stuff typically associated with holidays. Well, maybe a little with religion, or the freedom to believe what you want and how you want, that is why the pilgrims came here right? anyway, it's about giving Thanks. Simple & to the point. Blessings shared with everyone from the community to the neighbors, friends & family. To whatever, or should I say whomever, whichever God you choose to believe in, if you believe.
With the holiday season comes not only parties, feasting and various forms of merriment, but over-indulging, sadness and depression. Missing those no longer with us, feeling lonely away from home & loved ones, and I'm going to say just this once, FAT.
How can we help to combat these feelings? One way is to reach out to someone or some folks who don't have anyone to be with over the holidays. You have no idea how rich you'll feel and so will they. Adding just 1 more place setting at the table can work miracles.
For those away from home, have what we used to call, an orphan holiday meal. Invite everyone without their family nearby to a pot-luck. A group get-together is so much fun and everyone can contribute something.
As for the over-indulgence, don't save up your eating calories for the 1 big meal of the day. Eat your usual breakfast, lunch and snack meals throughout your day. That way you won't gorge yourself with all of the candy, cakes, chips & dips etc. before the meal, drink plenty of water along with the libations, and remember portion control. Have a little of everything, eat only until you're satisfied, not stuffed like the turkey.
Hmmmmm, the biggie, depression. This is the tough 1. But try to get together with friends if you can't get with family. Or...go volunteer at a place serving the homeless, even better! Get outside, being outside really does give you a lift in the spirit much like sweets. Really, I'm not kidding. 30 min. of sunshine, even just being outside can release some serotonin, if I remember right, giving you a much better internal feeling. Call someone you miss. Chances are, they miss you too and would love to hear from ya. Visit a neighbor who might be alone and you'll see them light up and so will you. Try to keep up with your regular workouts, endorphins released will continue make you happy and you'll be proud of yourself.
Be present, be thankful for what you do have. You have this wonderful gift of life. Enjoy it.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Last Saturday after teaching my class in the morning, I went to take a couple of bellydance classes. I hadn’t gotten 100% better from the virus of the prior week. I made it through the first class which was a Beg. class, but clearly I wasn’t well enough to even attempt the 2nd one. Even my dance teacher asked me about ¾ of the way in the class how I was feeling. I said “pretty warm,” and she stated that I looked warm. I’d made it through the entire work week, even getting in a couple of strength workouts but I didn’t try to push it too hard. Oh well, I went home & back to bed. I did stop at the store on Fri. to get something medicinal to fight this thing. Back at work I did again manage a couple of strength workouts and a Tabata bike workout and even took a Cardio Combat class! Me!
It was fun to try something different. It’s good for your body too. Changing things up makes your body respond differently meaning, respond period.
Our body’s have this amazing ability to adapt to whatever we ask of it. So if we do the same workout day after day, week after week, month after month…you get the idea right? Well, when that happens the body just maintains itself, its strength, function, weight, etc. That’s why any trainer should tell you to change your workout routine every 4-6 weeks if you want to continue to effect a change in your body. That’s why your workout gets easier. The body has adapted to the challenge.
Have you done a particular strength workout and noticed that when you began it, it was tough to do? Maybe you didn’t make it through the entire set of reps, but after a few repeats of the workout for a few days or weeks, it’s easier. You are able to do all of the repetitions/set and maybe even add a set to make it tough again? Well, that’s adaptation happening. The body has risen to the challenge and has gotten stronger, leaner.
So, to continue to change your body, you, either, have to increase the weight, change the exercises, change the cadence or speed/rhythm of the repetitions, change something!
Where I work, it’s such a safe place to try new forms of exercise. We have so many amazing instructors who are masters in various types of fitness. Some dance, aquatics, strength, cardio so it’s a smorgasbord or cornucopia, if you will, of possibilities. If I have an open hour, which does occasionally happen, I’ll try a different kind of class. Hey you never know, you might surprise yourself and find a new format. A new & exciting challenge and your body goes,”Hey, what’s this?” And it has to work differently. Not a bad thing at all.
So Cardio Combat is based on MMA. Mixed Martial Arts. It’s boxing, kickboxing, cardio and strength & core work. It was fun. Apparently, I can punch & shuffle well. My speed isn’t so hot but solid. I found it funny that to do someone else’s workout is so much harder than my own. Duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do abs/core work, but this was different and made me struggle. I actually like that. It feels good to get out of my comfort zone. Push my boundaries, as it were.
Now naturally, I had to modify some things for my knee, but I basically managed the entire class. I still have to be smart about things.
Now does changing up your workouts mean you have give up what you like? No! I still take dance classes. That’s my love. But I will change my strength workout in another couple of weeks, I don’t always do intervals on the stationary bike, only occasionally. The other times, I’ll do a steady state ride or get on the rowing erg.
Basically, keep moving. If you want changes to happen to your body, you just can’t do the same thing all of the time. I’m not so keen on the “crazy” types of workout formats out there. Yes, they work but they can really lead to some injurious issues over time. I also believe that some continuity is essential to be able to see some sort of progress. Progress is a form of reward or gratification. Form & function. How often am I gonna need to jump up onto a 2-4’ box? But step up, maybe. Make sure the choices you make are sensible for you. Nothing should be cookie-cutter.
By the way, I posted my current workout on the "Workouts" page. It's not fancy but it works! This workout along with the extra cardio workouts are gonna help. Like I said, not too into the "crazy" stuff.
If you've noticed I haven't mentioned Christmas yet, I won't until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time, thank you very much. I'm going to try & get a shopping page on here so you can purchase things like the Dang Rubs I've mentioned so much. But not yet...
This was my worst Halloween ever. It was like getting a banana in my trick or treat bag instead of a Snickers bar. Are you kidding?!? Pretty much how I'm feelin'!
I love this day. I'm from San Francisco for heavens sake where Halloween is a city-wide celebration. I woke up with my throat killing me on the right side and my back (on the same side) seizing up with every movement. I had to call in sick to work. I love dressing up for work! I was so bummed. Then I only had 1 little "superhero" come to the house to trick or treat which is 1 more than I had last year. What has happened to this event? I get so sad now for all of the little ones unable or not allowed to go out anymore.
I absolutely hate being sick.
Well, fall season is here and along with it come the holidays, parties, sneezes, sniffles and coughs. I was checking out my friend, Barbara Appelbaums' website, www.appelbaumwellness.com
and she had a great blog about protecting your immune system as you manage your way through the seasonal and weather changes.
This is from her site;
"Here is a list of easy tips to help you stay healthy during the change of seasons:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Without realizing it, you touch your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands all the time. If they are not clean, you are spreading germs.
- When you sneeze or cough, do so into the crook of your elbow. This prevents your germs from spreading to those around you and exposing them. Ask your friends, family and co-workers to do the same.
- As much as you may think you are being loving, stop hugging and kissing everyone. You do not know who might be sick and this only spreads illness. (This one is hard for me, I'm a hugger!)
- Get enough sleep. When you sleep your body and immune system regenerate and repair.
- Stay hydrated. Consuming the proper amount of water keeps your immune system strong.
- Try to get fresh air whenever you possibly can. Even on a cold day, crack your car window just a touch to let in the fresh air and allow any germs to escape.
- Exercise and eat healthfully. This keeps your body in robust condition to ward off viruses."
I have no idea where I got this cold, I hope thats all it is, from but I'm thinking during jury duty. I was so chilled in the courtroom and then it was so hot outside. A couple of my fellow jurors where sneezing then. I didn't really start feeling weird until Tues. but I thought I'd won the battle. Apparently I hadn't, Wed. night I was down again, hard. I hate calling in sick but I didn't want to get anyone else sick either. I'd have been selfish to go in this way. I would've probably gotten worse anyway. That would not have done anyone any good for me to be there.As it is, I'm still sneezing and stuffed up but my throat isn't as bad as it was and my back is feeling better too. Not perfect but better. I wanted to go see my friend K. and her 1 week old 2nd son this weekend but that's also on hold now. Boo-hoo! I get nothin'!I did get in a couple of workouts this last week
, both strength & cardio. It felt great to move again after the previous week of sittin' and eatin' but I might've overdone it. Who knows? Just remember; pay attention to Barbara's tips above and stay home if you do get sick so you don't pass it along to anyone else.
Stay well and be active.By the way, check out the RECIPES page for my "Easy Chicken Curry" that I made last night. Yummy!
A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation to the Arthritis Foundation at the U of A campus on Posture & Balance. I really dislike public speaking and giving lectures but I had the most wonderful experience with these people. I spent some time researching a few facts and made up a little hand-out for the folks to take home with them. The talk/presentation was only supposed to be an hour long but we got to goin' & I was there from 10:45-12:20. The building was already locked up by the time we left! They had questions and I gave the best answers I had. If it was out of my scope I apologized and said so.
I'd asked for some tape to be set on the floor so they could do some minor activities to test and exercise their balance as well as showed them a few other pieces of portable equipment that could challenge their balance.
Did you know that 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 falls? And that falls are often, easily preventable? Balance can be improved but not by thinking about it, action is required.
I showed them how to effectively attain acceptable postural alignment and explained that the 2 do go hand in hand.
I don't know about you, but I've been tweaked on the back of my head, slapped between the shoulder blades and smacked in the butt by parents & teachers alike and told to stand up straight but no one ever told me how! I thought I had been standing straight so it would get very frustrating for me. Finally in the middle of a ballet class in my mid-30's I discovered the key. The " DIVA" position was born. Anyone whose taken my classes since has heard me say, " be the DIVA." It totally helps get you there. Gentlemen = Demi-gods!
As for getting to posture, you have to start with the feet, your foundation. Most of us don't walk, stand or move as we were designed. I know for myself, being flat-footed, I'm a mess. But I've learned how to move and work my foot bi-mechanically to improve my movement. I'm no longer being asked why I limp. By the way, I didn't know I was, it was a compensation made over much time & mis-use.
By the way, I did get to go to jury duty. Oh my heavens sake. I understand why the government is so broke now. Sadly, I don't think justice was served here at all. Three days at court for a DUI & BAC trial that ended up deadlocked 5-1 guilty. The 1 holdout was making up scenarios and "what if's" like there was no tomorrow. It was so frustrating. He never really dealt with the facts, evidence or the law. Therefore, mistrial. I had questions but when looking at the law * evidence the questions were answered. We even sent a question to the judge that I had. Oh well, it was an experience. My duty is done, I hope. But if there is anything you want to know about the Breathalizer 8000, let me know. Good grief!
My whole week of plans for my b-day were fouled up. Oh well, gotta roll with the punches, eh? The 1 thing that did work out was my dinner with my family Monday night. It was delicious. Many of my friends sent b-day salutations which made me feel fabulous! I thank all of you for that. I'd been a bit depressed 'cuz my bud D. couldn't afford to leave town overnight. I wanted to go to Rio Rico and visit Tubac for the day, brunch plans with my sis got smeared somewhat but salvaged beautifully, my housecleaning plans got botched by the maid service company, thats another entire blog in itself but I won't go into it and finally being called into jury duty on my final day off that I had taken and the next 2 days to boot! Really universe? See, I hate the 9's!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, I'm back to work today. Lets see the fun in store for me.
Dinner: Last night I had a hankerin' for my pasta sauce I had the stored in the freezer. I'd made it some time ago. But I didn't want pasta, instead I roasted some brussel sprouts w/olive oil, heated up some sauce, mixed it all in a bowl, grated some Romano cheese onto it and YUMMMMMMM! I didn't miss the pasta at all. I doubt I invented it but I just thought of it when I looked in the fridge. Give it a try with your favorite veggies.
Exercise: Have you tried a "graviton?" I love it. It actually works opposite of weight machines. It's for your back & triceps, much like a dip or pull-up machine. However the more weight you put on the machine the less you're lifting. The weight counter-balances your own body weight. Give it a try sometime. It looks daunting but it really isn't.
Keep moving everyone, and live!
Well, tomorrow I age 1 more year. I honestly don't mind aging, I worked hard to reach this age. I still do what I love for a living, I don't look my age (this according to my friends), I have some old & new friends, I love life, I'm still dancing, I still have my faculties, I'm relatively happy, whats not to enjoy?
My issue is that this is a year in the "9's." I hate the "9's!" They just sound so harsh to me. I know it makes no sense, just is what it is for me. Nothing I can do about it but I still hate them.
I've never been sure why so many people, especially women, are so afraid of growing older. We knew it was coming. As I said earlier, I worked hard to get here. I'm proud of my age and being here. Next year will be a milestone year and it'll seriously be party time. Get ready for that one Tucson. You've got a year to prepare. I'm smarter, gained more perspective, handle things less rashly, listen to my gut more (it's usually right) and get more accomplished. Be proud of your age people. I love each & every grey hair on my head that I earned. I've even had strangers compliment my hair and the grey in it. Wow! Although I think D. is going to want to dye it soon. Cutting it backed her off but I think she's eyeballin' it again. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it I guess.
It's been a crazy weekend for me. Went out Fri. night with my friend D., my brother, sister & I went to a classic car show all afternoon on Sat. Wow, such beautiful vehicles there. Including my friends' dream car, a midnight blue 1960 GTO with white leather interior. I took a couple of pics for him and texted them to him. He called me as soon as he saw them. OMG! He was so excited.Then D.& I went to a surprise 40th birthday for another friend, B., last night. Today my sis, G., & I are going to Five Palms for brunch, I love Sunday brunches and I rarely get to go to them since I usually work on Sundays but I took the next few days off. Tomorrow I'll get my teeth whitened, my house is going to get cleaned by 2 other people, I love that, then my family is taking me out to dinner. We're going to Armitage for dinner. It's sooooooo good there, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I took Tuesday off as well, but unfortunately I may have to go in for jury duty. Not nice! I was scheduled for last Tuesday but my group was postponed a week. I thought about getting it deferred but had that sinking feeling that I would probably be re-scheduled when G. & I are on our cruise which has already been paid for. Thats NOT going to happen. Gotta pick my battles, right?
Keep living folks, you're never too old!
I've been lucky to go to a couple of fun performances these last couple of weeks. The 1st being to see Kathy Griffin. G. * I drove down to the casino and laughed our butts off. I wish I could mean literally but I can't. I look back & it's still there loomin' large behind me. The 2nd was this last Sat. night to indulge in a night of Mediterranean splendor
. The 2nd Annual Mediterranean Nights
show. This years show beat last years by a landslide. There was an incredible flamenco guitarist and some wonderful dancers. My pal B. did a lovely solo after another group pulled out of the show. Well, too bad for them! They weren't missed. The 2nd half of the show was simply amazing. I just kept leaning forward in my seat with each performance. The 2nd to the last performance was Eva Fleming from Phoenix. Holy crap! Bea-u-ti-ful! She performed 2 pieces, the 1st accompanied by the guitarist
, Dr. Eduardo Minozzi Costa. So cool to watch. I later found out that that duet was not planned. Completely un-rehearsed. Then she did a solo piece. she was so amazing to watch. The control of her body that she displayed with what appeared to be, so little effort just can't be described. If you get the chance to see her perform, GO!Finally, Frank Farinaro performed. All I can say is "WOW!" His skills were incredible. He was still very masculine in his performance while still staying true to bellydance. I kind of got an Aboriginal feel from it too. Precision and perfection, though I kinda thought the accessories were a bit overdone. I, again, took my sis G. with me. I knew she wasn't thrilled with the thought of sitting through another night of this. I mentioned before that she's pretty, hmmmm how should I put it, out-spoken? with her opinions. After the show she was thanking me for taking her. She loved it! Now, if only I could get to go to a class with me sometime. I think she'd have a blast. We'll have to wait & see on that 1 though.My friend Barb Applebaum was in town this last week. I've mentioned her before and given her website here too. She's the Wellness & Lifestyle coach. www.applebaumwellness.com
. It was so great to sit down & chat with her. Check out her site and if she's speaking near you, go, go, go.Ok, ok, Drums Alive!
This is a fitness class utilizing physioballs, step risers to put the balls on and drumsticks. It's pretty cardio 'cuz you don't just stand or sit and hit the "drums." You're moving. There's choreography, rhythms you make and fun being had. It's ok to not have alot of rhythm in you but you do need to remember you have weapons in your hands and need to pay attention to what you're doing. So many different ways to do the class. As I said a few blogs ago, R. & I use some Taiko styles when we teach, others use rhythms and combos. But its a fun way to move, use both sides of your brain, and get some frustrations out to music. You can "youtube" it. I tried to put a video from youtube on here of Drums Alive! but my prowess seems to be too limited on this thing to do that yet. Some day... I will figure it out. Just you wait & see.So, give it a try and see if you don't come out of the class smiling and pooped! Cray-Ray alert...he's lying on my chest right now. He climbed up and is lying in my robe like a sling, purrrrring. He's so cute!Stay well & healthy. Get Moving People!
I know I'm supposed to discuss more drumming today, but I have to tell you about some of the events of this last week.
The first being a sense of closure in regards to my beautiful, missing Oreo, my cat. As most of you know, he's been missing for 5 weeks now. Well, last Tuesday evening there was a knock on my front door. There stood a man I didn't know standing there, He was holding a baggie and as he handed it to me he asked if it looked familiar. In the baggie was a blue collar. I said it was Oreo's. He'd put a paper with the streets where they had found it around and said he thought it looked as though it'd been there awhile. I told him how long Oreo'd been missing, he said he was sorry for my loss, I think I said "thank you." I honestly can't remember. I did close the door, took the collar out of the baggie, sat down on the couch and began to sob uncontrollably. This was the 1st time I cried since he disappeared. I guess I'd always held out hope he'd come home.
Putney & I did drive up & walk the area that the man had noted to look around, call out for Oreo and finally say our good-byes. It was tough but necessary for me.
I've shed some tears each day since. The outpouring of love & compassion from all of my friends has been amazing and deeply appreciated. I was blessed to have that silly cat, D.S.Oreo, in my life for 10 years. He will be very missed.
After getting my teeth cleaned Thurs. morning I went by the Humane society and spotted a funny kitten named Racer. He jumped up the front of his cage that he shared with his brother & sister and looked like a bug on a windshield.After some thinking, I decided I not only wanted him but needed him as did Putney and that he needed us too. Well, now Racer is part of our family. I've changed his name to Cray-Ray which fits him purrrrrrrrrfectly.I stayed home Thurs. & Fri. evenings, not going to dance class or the meet greet for Frank Farinaro (the headliner for the Mediterranean Nights Bellydance show. He was just too cute to leave. Putney's been amazing with Cray-Ray. Cray-Ray began by spitting & hissing at Putney whenever Putney came near. Understandable, yes???? Putney would just stop, cry a little and turns his face away. I'm assuming to not get his eyes scratched, and waits. When he follows Cray-Ray his tail just wags happily. Now they go nose to nose with no hissing & spitting. I've caught Cray-Ray playing with Putney's tail and belly fur for that matter. Putney just stands there & lets him play. It's so precious to watch this all go down. If only the Republicans & Democrats in office could take a lesson here. Wouldn't that be great?
Ahhhhhhhhhh, on to Taiko drumming this week. This is soooo fun and quite a workout too. Oh my goodness. In Tucson, there's a group called Odaiko Sonora that not only teaches the style of Okinawan Taiko but they also have a performing group and they make most of their own drums.
Taiko is very physical form of drumming. It's choreographed and just amazing to learn as well as witnessed in person. The timing, rhythms, movement are so spectacular to watch and tough to get down. Sometimes you're switching drums all while keeping this music going. Simply fab-u-lous!
There's an entire ritual that you perform at each & every practice, right down to bowing as you enter and exit the studio, greeting the Master or Sensai, the warm-ups, getting the drums out, holding the sticks, just everything. It's truly amazing. But it does give everyone a sense of unity as well as placement in the hierarchy of the group. And... believe me there is a hierarchy.
Again, you learn many of the rhythms by speaking a phrase or sounds which give you the tone or intensity you use to play the rhythms. When my friend & co-worker R. went to classes we had so much fun and laughed our butts off. She's from Okinawa and I grew up in Japan so the first phrase we learned caught us both off guard. I honestly, didn't quite get the phrase at first but knew I knew the words. I haven't even tried to speak Japanese in over 40 years so thats my excuse, but R. cocked her head to the side, gave me a puzzled look and as I began to figure it out, she started laughing out loud. I joined her, of course, and we were hooked.
Again a sense of community, and respect comes with the learning and playing of Taiko. Everything I stated last week in regards to the drumming circle are present in Taiko but with the added physical benefits of the choreographed movements associated with the drumming. You simply have to work together.
The word Taiko itself means "big drum" in Japanese. But there are many different sized drums played. It does have a vast & rich history and there are some amazing performance groups here in the U.S. so I would encourage you to go and watch one sometime and if possible try it yourself. You could find yourself smiling more, feeling a part of something special, less stressed, losing weight and having more fun than you could've ever imagined.
Beat On! Next week, Drums Alive!
This week I'm going to try some new salmon recipes this weekend. I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out.
Have a great week everyone. Peace out!
So, lets discuss Drum Circles. I do really enjoy being a part of 1. They're all different and completely depend on the person facilitating the event. I've been a part of 2 slightly differing styles. Both are fun and ultimately get to the same "calypso" rhythm, but where 1 leader just went directly to the drums, the other began with little "shaker" eggs and everyone starting with their own rhythm and eventually all coming together into 1 pulsating rhythm. Pretty interesting, but I'll admit, I prefer just getting to the drums. Both had various types of percussive instruments available for folks whose hands get tired of hitting the drums.
I've learned 3 different ways to hit the drum to make different tones or sounds on it. Where & how your hand strikes it can totally change the value of the tone. So cool! All ages, genders, sizes, coolness levels come together and play together. The drums used in the circles I've been in as well as in the picture here and djembe drums from Africa. There's various sizes of djembe drums and many places to get them. You can also buy drums made in the USA, some metal, some wood.
The first time I did a circle, my adductors (inner thighs) were soooooooooosore. I've since learned how to better hold the drum between them. I also take off my ring before playing to protect me & the ring from getting messed up. Have you ever done your strength training with your rings on and noticed that its basically squished onto your finger & difficult to remove/ Ugh!
Anyways, back to the drum circles, 1 of the leaders had us singing & playing at the same time in a foreign tongue no less. That was a pisser for me. But I did finally, after about 3-4 weeks, get the hang of it. I can separate my body parts but this was tough but I did get better.
I previously mentioned that there has been research on the benefits of of drumming which includes stress/anxiety reduction but here are some other benefits of drumming circles;
- blood samples showed an increase in cellular activity that kills bad cells or an enhanced immune system Alternative Therapies, 2001 (7)1, Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, & Ninehouser
-increased self-esteem and a decrease in anxiety & stress in 30 over 80 yrs. old depressed participants at Stanford University Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994
- an increased awareness or connection to loved ones in Alzheimer's patients
-other benefits include a sense of euphoria, community, emotional release (like anger!)and to learn to both lead and follow.
All in all it's a wonderful, fun thing to do and with all of the additional health benefits to boot I'd say a very valuable thing to do. Check your area and see if there's a drumming circle somewhere in your community and join from time to time. You see things in a whole new light.
Yesterday I made some marinated beef for sandwiches. I'd been having such a craving for them so I went to the market, bought some rolls, some thinly cut beef and Voila! I made a marinade out of soy sauce, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. I placed it all in a zip-lock freezer bag, added the meat & left it all in the fridge overnight. I pulled out my huge cast iron skillet, got it nice & hot after spraying with a canola oil spray, tossed the whole enchilada in the skillet, tossed it a bit and done. I hollowed out the roll making a little trench in each side to hold the meat, made a salad, sat down & ate. Yummy.
You can get the butcher at your market to thin slice any meat you want to your desired thick (or thin) ness so don't be afraid to ask.
We used to get these sandwiches in Monterey, Calif. at the wharf at a little place called "The Captain's Gig" but they haven't had them in ages. Too bad.
Well, I'll discuss Taiko drumming next time. Bang on everybody and de-stress!