13 July 2016


I love pasta.  I love it so, so much.  Whenever I scroll through collections of recipes, I always wind up collecting more pasta recipes than anything else.  It's easy, endlessly variable, and yummy!  I recently got to thinking about a new pasta mixing that I thought would be great.  Fortunately, Steve (though not big on pasta himself) is always willing to try what I cook.  Bless him for that.  Truly.  I finally got the chance to try it out and it was every bit of what I was hoping.

I call it an Un-Sauce because it reminded me of regular spaghetti sauce, but without the tomato sauce.  I've even been thinking of variations for the next time.

Here's what you need:

1 lb hamburger meat
1/2 white onion, diced
Garlic to taste
1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes (I only used one because I had some fresh grape tomatoes that I cut up too)
Bay leaves
Fresh basil
Fresh rosemary
Red pepper flakes
Louisiana Hot Sauce (Tobasco would also be good)

Super easy assembly.

1.  Brown the meat
2.  When the meat is almost done add in the onion and garlic; this is about the point that I put the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water; I did not drain the fat off the meat--I think if you wanted to, you might add some olive oil so the onion would have something to cook it
3.  Stir in your tomatoes and bay leaves
4.  Stir in your basil, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper, salt, and hot sauce
5.  Add to cooked pasta

Typically when I make pasta, I only cook what will be eaten because I'm not a huge fan of leftover noodles, and I'm a firm believer in everyone determining their own mixing to noodle ratio.  Therefore, the noodles went into the bowl, then we put our own amount of un-sauce on top.  I added some extra hot sauce and fresh grated parmesan.  But when I had this for leftovers, I didn't add either.  It was great both ways.

I also left the bay leaves in the concoction when I put it in tupperware.  Obviously, I'll pick them out when I go to eat the leftovers.

One variation that I am very excited to try some time is to use half a pound of hamburger meat and half a pound of Italian sausage.  Naturally, you could make this with only Italian sausage.  Chef's choice.

I meant to take a picture of this when I first cooked it, but I was so excited to try it that I forgot.

Anyway, it was really good.

11 July 2016

Yoga for When You're Angry

Yesterday I did a yoga stretch video, just to mix it up.  Then I did the Let It Go flow again this morning.  I sat and drank my coffee and tried to read, but I was still feeling a bit off.  I was able to (temporarily) let go of what I've been trying to let go of, but I developed a type of anger at myself and began feeling like a horrible human being.  Lots of negative self talk ensued.  I let myself sit and stew for a little bit, but then I decided to get back on the mat and work through Adriene's Yoga for When You're Angry.

I've done this video a few times in the past.  Whenever I come to the mat to do that video, I am always wanting do something really physical to get out my anger and frustration.  Yet, that's not what this video is about.  It has you do a lot of deep breathing in order to calm down.  You acknowledge your anger, your feelings, and then you really get yourself calmed down through the breathing, potentially leaving your mat with a new perspective.

I'm always grateful when I do this video that it's not a super physical sequence because I think that that would just add fuel to the fire.  Slowing down and feeling acknowledged is a much more peaceful and pleasant and probably constructive way of dealing with the anger.  Just like with the Let It Go flow, there typically isn't a whole lot that you can do to change a situation except changing your perspective.  When I get angry, I usually primarily just want to be acknowledged because there isn't a real solution except to change myself.

I love that this video exists because it feels like a lot of the time people act as though yogis aren't supposed to get angry.  I even find myself getting caught in this.  Recently I spent some time with someone whose yoga classes I've attended in the past and I found myself thinking that she never seems to be in a bad mood, that she's always so upbeat and cheerful.  But I'm sure she must get angry sometimes; she must feel wretched sometimes.  She's human--she must.  And that's OK.  The problem isn't in getting angry; the problem is in how you deal with the anger.  Doing something constructive versus doing something destructive.

I'm glad I chose to do something constructive, like getting on my mat for an additional 20 minutes.  I breathed it out and am at the moment feeling quite a bit better.  I may be wretched, but that's OK as long as I make the attempt to deal with my wretched moments in a more positive way.

In fact, I think I need to start doing the whole count to five before reacting thing, at least in certain situations.  Breathe in, breathe out, see the good in others and myself, and let it go.

09 July 2016

Let It Go Flow

Earlier this week, I had the great, great fortune to pass through Austin on a day when the yoga instructor I have been following online was teaching a class.  It was an even greater fortune because this was a class that she normally did not teach.  The live class was amazing.  I love going to classes and feeding off of the energy of others.  Adriene had been traveling quite a lot and finally came home, so her theme for that class was "home."  That really fit perfectly with me since I was on my way home.

Her theme got me thinking about all of the different manifestations of home.  Some homes are physical places--the home of my parents that I grew up in, the home of my grandparents that holds so many happy memories, and the home that Steve and I have created.  All of those are wonderful places.  But "home," I think, can be manifested in a person.  That absolute feeling of safety and surrender and love that you can get from be near, let alone embraced by, a person.

I left the yoga studio with a renewed sense of gratitude for my relationship with Steve and the physical home that we have made.

Since that day, I have made an effort to do a little yoga each day, something that I hope to continue.  Fortunately, Adriene has a ton of videos available online or through her subscription service, so you could do a different video each day for several months without repeating any.  I like to just scroll through her videos until one pops out at me.

This morning, the Let It Go Flow video got my attention.  It was a 20 minute video, which is really a perfect amount of time for me for an at-home practice (I really struggle to stay motivated to do a longer practice by myself).  Not that I have a lot of crap going on in my life, but there are some things that I wish I could change.  Or barring that, some things that I can't change, but I know could change my feelings and attitude towards--that's the thing you have to remember, you can really only change yourself most of the time.  Sometimes you're lucky enough to be able to change circumstances.

Anyway, the sequence of this video was fantastic.  But it was also the words that Adriene said that helped me and have inspired me.

"See the truth, speak the truth, feel the truth."
AKA--the three parts of the namaste.  I always knew that you put your hands at your forehead, mouth, and heart during namaste, but I never knew the three parts, so that was good.  Kind of a way of accepting and letting it go.

"In namaste, we acknowledge the best version of ourselves and in others too."
I knew this one beforehand, but it was nice to have it reiterated.  Acknowledging the best in others is really a big part of letting it go.  Most people have some redeeming quality and the challenge is to see that and focus on the good.

"Everything is as it should be."
I'm not the grand puppeteer in charge of the whole world or even my world.  Whatever has happened, has happened for a reason and that is beyond my control.  I need to let it go and accept that it is what it is.

"The universe is for me and so is everything else."
This one is a positive attitude/outlook kind of thing.  When things don't go my way or aren't as I like, there isn't some big conspiracy to keep me from being happy.  There is some lesson, most likely patience, that I should be learning from the situation.  The better I can accept it and let it go, the more peaceful I will feel.

Like I said, there are things about my life that I wish I could change.  But I just can't make some things go away.  So I have to learn to let it go.  I think I'll be doing this video fairly frequently until I get to that point.  Today, however, was a big step.