by CJ on THE VINE
posted Mar 25 2015 9:46AM
About 10 months ago, my youngest came home from her first year of acting school ready to continue the growth and experience from the instructors. Try new things, they said. Stay limber, they urged. Get a job, her parents intoned. So she did all three. She signed up with a temporary agency in the Napa Valley and was hired at a wage higher than many and definitely more than what her previous position at Krispy Kreme had paid. She opened herself up to new experiences such as driving between St. Helena and Sacramento using the back roads all by herself and climbing Mt. St. Helena at midnight with a friend. And the first thing she did after coming home was to find all of the yoga salons that offered affordable rates … such as free for a week or $30 for the first month. That's where I come into the picture. For some time I had been thinking I needed to plug into some type of exercise to stretch my muscles. I do aerobics four to five times a week, but I could feel a tightness developing in my legs and hips, and realized it was time to do something about that. Being the supportive Mom, I volunteered to accompany her at the yoga sessions – as long as she promised not to laugh or make fun of me. Good thing I got that promise too … because after the first day it was clear that Caitlin (the daughter) was quite adept in this yoga thing … moving flawlessly into the postures throughout the hour. I, on the other hand, struggled to sit quietly even in the most basic position. But I could tell an immediate difference even after the first class. My legs were looser and the pain in my hips had diminished. My daughter is on to something, I thought and I decided to stay with the practice for at least through the summer. The $30 for the first month deal made that an easy decision. So even after she returned to school in early August, I continued attending the yoga classes … trying out different ones … from candlelight to yoga flow. As I continued to both run/walk and practice yoga my stomach tightened, my clothes fit better, and I felt better. Then September came, the prices rose, and I stopped going. Big mistake. I will say that the positive effects on my body stayed with me for a quite a few weeks. Longer than what I would have expected. But by December of last year, the pain had returned and I could feel that my body was aching for a good stretch. To my credit I kept checking various yoga salons for pricing … but it's not cheap, folks. My gym membership did include some yoga – mostly stretching, and mostly half hour classes, but I went anyway. It was better than doing nothing at all. Finally I discovered a discount membership price for students and seniors (you can guess which category I qualified for). It just happened to be at a wonderful hot yoga salon practically across the street from where I live. The one that offered the free week last summer. A month ago I finally took the plunge and signed up. The salon offers a variety of yoga – from the very vigorous to gentle yoga and my favorite, candlelight. It has taken my body much longer to bounce back than it did last summer. I've tried a yoga flow class, and that about wiped me out … and I was the youngest in the class! So for now I'm engaging in the yin yoga. The teachers are supportive and encouraging … and there are apparently myriad types of stretch poses … because even the same teachers introduce different postures from one class to another. I'm the type of personality that wants to push ahead … to meet the challenge. And while you are encouraged to move into deeper stretches, the instructors also caution you to not to push into pain. I can tell it's going to take a while to get my body back into shape … but it's getting there. But I won't be posting any pictures of myself anytime soon – instead I offer you this:
by CJ on THE VINE
posted Mar 4 2015 9:35AM
Last weekend - which started on Friday, the husband, son and I decided to take a trip to Pick-n-Pull. The son had been in a small accident, that bent the bumper and side panel of his car but fortunately didn't damage much else. So off we went to the Pick-n-Pull yard to see if we could find another intact bumper that matched his make and model. Now I just want to say right now that I have love Pick-n-Pull yards! I'm not a mechanic and I have really no experience in restoring vehicles, but there's just something exciting about looking out over the vast amount of cars that are just waiting to be examined and possibly re-used. It's like looking at potential with limitless possibilities and the hope of restoration, redemption even. True, some cars have been in terrible accidents; it's unmistakeable to miss when you see the damage to the vehicle. I have struggled with the idea of benefiting from someone else's tragedy. But then I think, well at least there's a chance that something postive can come from even this - if you find the part, big or small, that can help you out with your own car.
You might be wondering what A&W has to do with this. So here it is: We found a car with a bumper and side piece and removed them. We drove home and the husband and son set to work replacing them on his car. But ... sadly, they didn't fit. Apparently some sizes of parts do change from year to year, even with the same make and model. So on Saturday, the husband and I set out to another Pick-n-Pull, this time in Stockton and had the luck of finding the right size and color of bumper and panel. And by the way, did you know that Pick-n-Pull allows for exchanges? So we didn't lose money in picking up the wrong size the day before. As we drove back toward home, the husband reminded me that the owner of the St. Helena A&W also owned the one in Lodi ... and we were driving right past that restaurant. Why don't we stop by, he said. So we did. At first I intended to only enjoy a root beer float ... any size is just $2! But then I saw vegeburgers on the menu, and cheese curds ... and well we ended up ordering a full meal.
As we were finishing up, the owner, Pete Knight, spotted us and came over. We had a nice conversation ... and he reminded me that the A&W in St. Helena is accepting applications for employment - $12 per hour with flexible hours. So you should spread the word to your reliable friends to check it out! Just stop by their store on Main Street in St. Helena. And go ahead, indulge in a root beer float - they make the root beer on site ... and you can get any size for just $2!