Tag Archives: yoga

Hitting the pastry limit: a sad, sad day. Tocchiamo ferro that the limit gets reset.


(Uno) 1. If you haven’t already, please, please, please check out Mi Scusi! This blog is written about the same area of Sicily and the author is a wonderful writer who captures the heart of the moment in her story-telling. Her most recent post made my heart sing.

(Due) 2 e (Tre) 3. Two new Italian idioms:
“Incrociare le dita” = cross your fingers. This one crosses the language barrier.

“Tocchiamo ferro” = touching iron… This is a close relative of the English idiom “knock on wood.” You know how we look around and if no “wood” is there to knock on, many people knock on their heads in a light-hearted joke? Yea, well, the Italian men would look around and if there is no “iron” to touch…they, uh, well, they touch something else that they would like to *think* is as strong as iron. Ahem.

(Quattro) 4. Anais Nin. She has a mesmerizing spoken voice, and her writing’s not bad, either. She said: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” This is why I am constantly trying to carry a notebook around with me. Anybody have ideas for jotting down ideas in the moment?

(Cinque) 5. Hitting the pastry limit. I am not a big donut person (nor a doughnut person), I didn’t even really go for the pastries before we arrived here. You may remember my pastry ravings from Geneva, the ricotta donut song I was singing, or you can anticipate the amazing pastries I had at Escriba (Barcelona)…so all of us must be a little surprised when I hit my pastry limit at work today. It was a sad day for all involved: me, my stomach, and my throat (not that I barfed, just that it felt like my stomach was trying to push the pastries up my throat).


Celebrating my January yoga goal by adding a new element! I have been practicing yoga off and on since a former boss inspired me (Marcia) with the calming, soothing nature of the strengthening and stretching practice of yoga. My practice ebbs and flows; due to adjusting to Sicilia, I have been in a big ebb. In January, my goal was to do five sun salutations a day, for at least 27 days out of the month. I did it and am carrying my goal forward into February and adding an extra motion; keeps my blood flowing and my practice daily.

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Sun Salutation


A quiet Saturday morning moment…

Uno. Walking into the living room to fetch my book and looking up to see the rising sun kissing Mt. Etna.


Due. Stepping outside to take in the view and looking down at the first frost I have seen this year.



Tre. Wandering to the other side of the house to see the shining ball of orangey-red light burning on the horizon.


Quattro. Savoring a quiet moment of watching Panther make his bed as he faced the sun.


Cinque. Hearing Maki’s plaintive mews break the silence as he requested playtime outside.



The morning light called me out of bed. I rose up before the sun. I stretched my arms above my head and drew air deep into my lungs, creating space before I bent forward, reached to hug the sun, and ended with my palms next to my feet. My chest pulled away from my knees and then I kicked my feet back as I breathed. Measured pushes down, up, down, and up, and I was a vee. I felt more alive than alive can describe. I breathed out as my feet jumped back to my hands and I arose once again.


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1 (uno). Coffee. I typically drink green tea in the mornings. Yesterday I wanted a cup of coffee made from freshly ground beans roasted by a thoughtful roaster and grown Fair Trade. Lucky for me, Dave was able to brew me such a cup. It completely hit the spot!

2 (due). Wearing jeans. The weather finally warranted it for the whole day through.

3 (tre). Scrabble on Facebook. It is one of my M-F pleasures. Word play delights me.

4 (quattro). Realizing I am free. Sometimes I forget; I can make any choices that I want to. I am not bound by tradition or past choices, I can always walk down a fork in the road.

5 (cinque). Shopping. Normally I dislike shopping. But when I find a brightly colored shirt like this, what’s not to like?



Yoga is a favorite exercise of mine. I started as a piece of cross-training in my running regimen in 2003. It taught me about accepting where I am without accepting that as the end point of where I can go. Yoga affords me the opportunity to stretch my body, mind and soul. In doing so, I explore my personal interconnectedness of these realms as well as the community that arises during group practice. For the next several weeks, I am joining a yoga class once a week to reconnect with myself and to reach out to the yoga community here.



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“The Evolution of the Human Head,” and Homer (not Simpson).


  1. Science Tuesdays in the nytimes.com (especially this article about “The Evolution of the Human Head” by Daniel Lieberman (gift idea for anyone who’s interested; and amazon ships to FPO AE addresses)).
  2. Remembered latent memories of my dear friend Lester’s comments about how her iphone changed her life (for the better) – they convinced me to get my iphone and I’m LOVING it. Thanks, Lester!
  3. Mastered more functions on my iphone, and actually felt my position shift on the technological spectrum.
  4. I love the Sigonella library, it delivered the book “La Bella Lingua” by Dianne Hales into my eager hands.
  5. Used my new yoga mat; I have one coming in our household goods shipment, but I couldn’t wait and bought a new one this weekend. You can always use an extra yoga mat, especially when Bryan Kest is in the house. Power Yoga, holla! (Here’s a great blogpost about a BK training session this summer.)

To my U.S. sense of national history (200+ years), the historical culture in Italy is intoxicating (eons). Sicily has myriad historical reminders: ruins, landmarks, buildings and infrastructure that are hundreds of years old (and still in use!). One such landmark is part of Homer’s stories in The Odyssey (Homer was an epic poet). The Cyclops, Polyphemus (“Polifemo”), threw rocks at the departing ship of Odysseus (protagonist) as he fled modern-day Aci Trezza. Whereas I grew up learning stories of Lewis andClark (supercool, don’t get me wrong), Sicilian children grew up learning stories of Odysseus. That realization rocked my world.

*If you’re interested in Homer’s stories, check out a neat-o website that tells the stories: iliadodyssey.com.

The Cyclops Island and the three rocks he threw at Odysseus, in Aci Trezza.


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