Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 26 – La Dolce Vita


Day 26: la dolce vita ~ the sweet life

Later this week Mike and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. What a wild ride this has been growing into adulthood with another human.

I would say that this photo is a good representation of my husband – taking in life by the mouthfuls. He is a great balance for me and keeps me grounded in this life we have both chosen.

This next summer we will also celebrate the 10th year of his music festival in Italy. What a huge milestone for this brilliant and adventurous soul. I plan to be there cheering him on.

We hope lots of friends (old & new) will us for this 10th anniversary: music, yoga, delicious food & vino...and best of all – exploring what the Italians cultivate so easily ~ la dolce vita.

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 25 – Dust in the Wind


Day 25: dust in the wind

Driving home from Christy's house last night the Kansas song "Dust in the Wind" came on the radio. I had a serious dude moment in the car with the windows open, wind flowing through my hair, Kansas playing, and me nodding "duuude" with the lyrics 'all we are is dust in the wind' sinking in. 

I looked up the lyrics when I got home and found out the title of the song is a Biblical reference paraphrasing Ecclesiastes: "I reflected on everything that is accomplished by man on earth, and I concluded – Everything he has accomplished is futile, like chasing the wind"

Some people get this a little sooner than others. It's difficult in our money making accomplishment body years to see past this stage and I'm always looking to people who do. What is really important in this life? It is helpful for me to reflect on this daily.

photo: capturing a beautiful family photo of 6 people making the effort to be home together

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 20 – Quality of Life

This post feels like a confession as I'm always embarrassed to say this out loud, but here goes – Mike and I joined the Lawrence Country Club recently. Phew, I said it. He did take on a few new private students to offset the cost, but it is still a huge deal for us as neither of us are big money makers.


What it came down to was quality of life for Mike. This is pretty much the only exercise he enjoys (besides an occasional bike ride) and that made it an easy decision for me. When is it appropriate to override our sensible meter and do something that increases quality of life?

photo: my sweet husband and I walked the course yesterday and enjoyed a few hours outside together

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 16 – Hammert Building

Day 16: the Hammert Building (our new sign!)
~honoring those who have come before us~

Michael and I thought long and hard about what to name the building. We tried to imagine how to include Mr. Sam in the name, and then when my mom was in the hospital we thought we'd use Marie's name.

We were torn and had read up on the history of our building thanks to Ben with the Eudora Area Historical Society, and finally decided this building was bigger than our history. We wanted this building to be part of the Eudora community and hope any owners after us will feel the same way and want to stay connected with Eudora's rich history.

Supposedly it was built before 1873 and was first opened as a saloon. Bernhard Hammert started selling things like tobacco & stationary around 1897. It has been passed down through many hands and we feel honored to be caring for it now.

*thanks to Chad Musick & Shaun Musick with Metalneck Creations for yet another beautiful sign

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 14 – Meditation Practice


Day 14: group meditation practice

Yesterday, Vasuki, Anna, and I got together for the first gathering of our Eudora Meditation group at BlueJacket Crossing. Anyone is welcome to join us - with or without experience. We will sit together every Tuesday from 12-12:45pm, spending at least 25 minutes in silent meditation. No cost or obligation involved.

Meditation and Yoga are pretty synonymous for me at this point in my practice. I consider my asana (physical posture) practice to be the exercise & stretching I need to make my body feel comfortable to dig deeper into the science of the mind.

The second Yoga Sutra (योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः) says Yoga is the stilling of the vrttis of the mind. Most people translate vrtti as fluctuation or turning. Stanji (Stanley Lombardo) was sharing his thoughts with me the other day about this word, translating vrtti as a state of mind. It is helpful to cultivate a meditation practice to begin observing and understanding these mental states...but how do we apply this in our everyday lives? This is the true practice!

Photo: Vasuki has created a beautiful space and it was a joy to sit with these two in this gorgeous environment. The photo looks from their tasting room out to the vines 

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 12 – Drinking my Greens

green smoothie.jpg

Day 12: drinking my greens

I’ve been making lots of soups featuring the greens in our garden. As it seems to be pushing 100 degrees every day I decided to make a green smoothie this morning instead. It tastes pretty good!

2 handfuls spinach
1 Avocado
Handful of basil
Handful of frozen strawberries
Powerful blender!

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 11.5 – Spending the day with Mama

Food preservation class.jpg

Day 11.5: spending the day with mama

The K-State Extension Food Preservation Workshop was 9-4 today. Not only am I leaving with water bath / pressure canning / dehydration knowledge, but I got to spend the whole day with mama. I often limit her abilities and this reminded me that even with limited faculties she enjoyed being around a sweet group of people and learning something new!

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 6 – KOHLRABI!!!


Day 6: KOHLRABI!!! (cultivating awe & wonder)

Aman, James & I were standing in the garden oohing and ahhing over the kohlrabi pictured below. None of us have really eaten this intriguing cabbage-like vegetable.

We were standing in the garden asking each other who would try it raw and almost giggling when James decided he'd be the one. It is not often as adults that we have the opportunity to marvel at something as a child would. This seems important to cultivate in our daily lives to remind us how much this beautiful life has to offer!

I made a kohlrabi & greens soup yesterday that was delicious. It did take quite some time to get the kohlrabi to soften, but it made for a tasty addition to the soup :)

Project 40 & Figuring it Out – Day 3 – Punya ~the beauty of doing a little better than yesterday~


Day 3: पुण्य (punya)
In one Sanskrit word this sums up my catch phrase: 
~the beauty of doing a little better than yesterday~

I have been taught that this view permeates Indian philosophy. No finger pointing to what is right and wrong. You figure out what is best for you. This is Yoga!

For example, if you ate 15 donuts yesterday then a पुण्य might be to eat 14.5 donuts today.

I love this concept and it is this challenge. I also love the depth & beauty of every Sanskrit word. Instead of naming an object for functionality sake as is the norm, Sanskrit words are derived from verbal roots which give us a concept of the root action in every word. Then there are endless derivations of these roots that describe the qualities of the word.

For example, there are endless Sanskrit words for "water" to describe its flow, make-up, transformational cool is that! Contemplation on one Sanskrit word can give you a full experience of it. This is yoga!

*my पुण्य today was getting up a 1/2 hour early to cook for my mom and I. 5 greens from the garden make up this tomato-based soup. Mama can't eat raw veggies anymore so we will continue eating soup through the summer :)

PS I'm teaching another beginning Sanskrit class in July/August. Sundays 7:15pm - 8:30pm. Let me know if you are interested.

40 & Figuring it Out – Day 1 – Eat from the Garden

weedy garden.jpg

New Project: Forty & Figuring it Out
Daily posts about things I love and more importantly about the beauty of trying to do better than yesterday.

I was inspired to do this after watching “Love Thy Nature” on the plane ride home. A film about renewing our deep connection with nature. I highly recommend it - a beautiful documentary with Liam Neeson narrating.

I have always felt a little squeamish using words like Mother Earth and the Divine Mother as it didn’t feel authentic coming out of my mouth. After spending much time contemplating this concept in India with the highest form of worship being surrender to the Divine Mother, I’m starting to GET it.

Day 1: Eat from the garden. I’m going to do my best to eat only from the garden from now until Mike gets home on Sunday. Breakfast: spinach,kale,daikon,snow peas,herbs,olive oil

Photo of our very weedy garden which basically goes all the way back to the house. A huge undertaking for the 4 of us, but how cool that we have access to all of this beautiful organic produce.