Testing the Ride – Promaster City

Testing the Ride

So off I go to PHX, then forward to LAS – all by car now – testing the ride in the Promaster City. On the way back stop by the Rez, lost a friend. Since Betty, a friend named her Betty because she’s white, was packed to the rafters there would be no overnight stay along the way. A good 10-hour trip, I forgot how much I love Arizona. I’ve gone from having a Civic sedan that I traveled/lived in to a Prius I couldn’t do that in, because I couldn’t straighten my legs, to a Buick SUV that I couldn’t straighten my legs out in to a Promaster City with a Wayfarer kit already installed when I bought it.

testing the ride I really don’t like the set up, difficult to get into. The kit wraps around to a very narrow entry, batteries installed on passenger side so I can’t move that without a lot of hassle. How can I arrange/rearrange to get it easier. This is the test. Table was warped already since it was not a good design. Bed has a fold out section that can’t work with the table down. Grr, fold out section makes it very difficult to get into the largest storage compartment. Ok, let’s get onto solutions.


Testing the Ride – Solutions

Table has been removed, we tried to modify it, but no go. Solution, ahh no table rattling for miles on end, the quiet is awesome. It was also very difficult to put the leg on without being able to see what I was doing. You had to have the table down and twist the leg in underneath, weird.

Testing the Ride - Storage
Storage drawers on top of one of the back boxes that has ripped off many chunks of skin! A friend took off the back door openings – big mistake since there is threaded string to hold the table in back up, oye. Sanding would have been my choice. I could not get the string re-threaded after the board was cut down to open and close without opening the top. Solution? A five inch block suffices and no chunks of skin gone. The door opens and closes even if I’m sitting on it! I can’t tell you how happy that made me!

Another solution. the storage drawers kept flying off the shelf so I jerry rigged bungies and a dowel. No more crashes, YAY!

The large storage compartment. Hmm, I’m considering taking it off completely or cutting holes so I can reach in and grab things without having to open the top. This one currently doesn’t have a solution, still mulling.

Possible solution – temporary…

You may also enjoy … the actual drive …
Colorado New Mexico Arizona and Nevada
or my YouTube Channel!

Enjoying the journey!

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Molasses Muffins

Molasses Muffins

Molasses muffins – oh yum, spicy and moist, these are just the ticket for breakfast, a quick snack or just any old time! The spices can be ramped up or calmed down to suit your taste. They are easy to make and easy to enjoy!
I used to take these to work to enjoy with a cup of Joe around 10am. Just enough to carry me through to lunch. Working at a desk is hard work! Well it’s also a lovely – low sugar snack for kids after school or for their breaks too. Many possibilities with this delicious treat.


Ingredients are shown above, but here’s a list of what you’ll need

Molasses Muffins

We’ll start by mixing the wet ingredients …

wet ingredients combined

Whip it up

wet ingredients Molasses Muffins

Then the dry …

dry ingredients, Molasses Muffins

Now we’ll mix them all together!

mixed together, Molasses Muffins

TaDa! Portion out and bake at 350-380degrees for 15-20 minutes!

mixed together, Molasses Muffins

Ready to eat – enjoy!
You can really add variety to this very easy recipe. Try adding nuts 1/4 Cup chopped up, sunflower seeds, you can even add up to a 1/2 cup of shredded carrots or squash or zucchini!
These yummy, spicy molasses muffins go well with just water, a glass of cool milk, a cup of tea…
You may also enjoy this easy finger food snack…
Protein Peanut Butter Balls
Check out my YouTube Chair Yoga Playlist!

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Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada

Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada #vanlifediaries

Woke up early in Colorado. I knew I’d have a 10-12 hour trip – #vanlifediaries. 4am. Let’s have coffee, finish cleaning up and hit the road. On the way down through Tres Piedras, New Mexico, the sun rose. So incredibly beautiful. Enjoying the hills and views, I was hoping to see some antelope – but none. Made it down to Albuquerque and onto I40. Heated up some bread in the wonderful 12 volt hot plate.

As I entered Arizona, ah Arizona, this place that was on my vision board – not Colorado. I forgot how beautiful the lower part of Arizona is having mostly been in northern Arizona the last several years to visit and participate. The first saguaro, tears welled up. Heading down the mountain, breath taking. On a mission to get to a friend’s house to leave some of my things. No place to sleep, packed full. The van, she needs a name was riding well.



For about 14 years I traveled all over Arizona. What was I looking for? What was so interesting to me here? Eventually, I found friends on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona. I still love Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff. Forgot all those years flying into Phoenix and renting a car, going as far south as Tuscon and as far north as the Grand Canyon. Nothing like a good road trip – #vanlife – Ahhhh

Leaving Arizona, heading to see family in Nevada, northwest Las Vegas. Joshua trees, how could I forget Arizona has Joshua trees? No I don’t go gamble, I go visit. Triple digits, I don’t like using air conditioning and I didn’t. Made good time, roads weren’t that busy. Still need to go back to Colorado, will travel northern Arizona that way! This time the van will have room to sleep if I choose.
Check out my YouTube Chair Yoga Playlist!
See also – Local Voyages to Taos and Crestone
Tours and Lore of the American Southwest
Peace, Love and Light!

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Local Voyages to Taos and Crestone

Local Voyages to Taos and Crestone

Crestone

Local voyages to Taos and Crestone. Two places I visited often while living in the San Luis Valley. Both are beautiful and mystical. I started my stay in Colorado in Crestone. Test, test, #vanlife

Crestone is a community of individuals, my experience. Fell in love with Crestone, remote, Sangre de Cristos Mountain right there. They really do turn blood red, so beautiful. Alas I was unable to make a decent living there so I moved to the bigger town south.


There are a lot of spiritual centers in Crestone. One I really like the Stupa and Shrine to Dorje Yudronma, a divine mother. This is a lineage in Tibetan Buddhism. Because the Stupa is outside, it is still open. Free Tibet!


With the pandemic, a lot of the centers are closed. A favorite of mine, Haidakhandi Universal Ashram is closed. Still stay in touch, but miss sitting with Ma, with Babaji. I’m very ecclectic in my spiritual beliefs. Haidakhandi is dedicated to the Divine Mother in all her forms and aspects. It hosts many events throughout the year. Om Namah Shivaya!

Taos, a place I did many spiritual practice. Lodge on Friday, Saturday, then Sunday at Hanuman. Neem Karoli Baba Ashram and Hanuman Temple is such an amazing place of sustainability. Many events throughout the year. I see no conflict between lodge and Hanuman. Once I was a firekeeper at a vision quest in Questa. I saw Hanuman running the mountain in a fit of JOY. This routine really helped me to stay clear for my work.

Ah broken arm, being hit by a drunk driver, routines change.

Taos

Boondocked. May as well do it locally to get the kinks out yeah? Lovely drive down, had to stay quarantined, so I pretty much hung out in the van and appreciated the view. Hmm, I think I need a fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detector. Check and check. I could really use 12v off the house battery. Check. I need bug screens. Check.

Crestone

I need more blankets. Check. Bug screens worked great except when the dust devil came through, just a simple adjustment. Magnets, who would have thought they’d be so hard to find. Finally did and they worked great! I sat at the Stupa for quite some time. A beautiful view, a wonderful energy. Getting organized in this small van has a curve. I’ve never been the neatest person, but I really need to get organized here.

Storage within storage – that’s the name of the game!

Peace, Love and Light!

New Beginnings – Life on the Road

Check out my YouTube

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New Beginnings – Life on the Road

New Beginnings – Life on the Road

Getting ready for new beginnings, of life on the road. #vanlife #vanlifediaries. Exciting, scary all up and down – courage, adventure where will this all lead?


Carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector, fire extinguisher, my new best friend magnets! So many details to think about. People say be safe, I guess that’s my way of being safe for life on the road.

As I began choosing a leave date, doors started opening. Walk through the doors that open easiest spiritual leaders say. Another invitation to another location in Arizona. Someone invited me back to Nebraska. How can I organize these choices to optimize gas, to save money as I begin life on the road?

A friend helped me to get some netting put together, she sewed the edges and we put a magnet strip in the top since I’ll only have two hands. This wonderful strip of magnet is just strong enough to hold it in place while I smooth it out and put the heavy duty ones on. Who would have known!

Flashing back

Flashing back, I think about the times I’ve driven cross-country, with and without others. Memories of moving Caroline to Massachusetts, hauling a trailer with a minivan. Good times. Another time, three of us going from Massachusetts to Arizona, we drove straight through since there were three of us to rotate. Seeing the beauty of a Texas meteor shower. I always say I don’t like driving at night – I don’t consider waking at 3am and driving, driving at night!


Do I have what it takes to drive long distances anymore? Sure I did it at the beginning of the pandemic. Traveling from Colorado to Nevada to Utah to Wyoming to Nebraska, across to Pennsylvania and finally to Massachusetts – then back. I was very leery about getting hotels with the pandemic, but I had no other choice. Now I have another choice!

Maiden Voyage

The maiden voyage – other than the 3 hour trip to get the rig – was to Taos. I love Taos. Luckily no major restrictions were in place. The ability to be self-contained and traveling was wonderfilled. Delivering leather to a friend, social distancing, visiting and reminiscing. Pizza with another in her beautiful yard.

This next voyage will be to Crestone, Crestone is where my Colorado experiences began. It seems fitting to visit there once again, to camp on the land. A lot of the spiritual centers are still closed to the public, but I will still be able to drink in the beauty of the Sangre de Cristos if the smoke isn’t too bad. Fires all around.

Peace, Love and Light

As Covid-19 Lingers

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As Covid-19 Lingers

As Covid-19 Lingers – Life on the Road?

As I take in the morning beauty at the dog park, geese are squawking, cows are mooing and the deer are grazing nearby. This idea of being a nomad has been with me for many, many years. Covid helped me take the leap. Could this be the answer to a prayer? Could this be the beginning of a nomad #vanlife, of life on the road?

sunrise

I was fortunate enough to find a trade for my car for a van that is equipped with a desk, electric and a bed. What more could a girl want? Yards and parking lots? A digital business to tide me over until I can find craniosacral and massage work? Currently I’m offering online yoga 4 days a week. Yoga ! with Pam

This San Luis Valley has held me, nourished me and taught me many lessons. A year or more ago, a family member had complications and I couldn’t get out of the valley to an airport. As a result, I decided to start looking for a place easier to get to an airport. I sold my house and planned an epic adventure. Off to Las Vegas to visit family, then to Utah to take a class – whispers of covid. Out to Wyoming to visit an old yoga teacher, then down to Nebraska to teach some workshops. Staying at my Uncle’s Big Covid Warnings.



Change of Plans?

Change of plans, second workshop cancelled due to weather, the places I was to visit in the East – closed. Visiting my parents was on the list, so I headed there to let this blow over. I stayed with a childhood friend in Pennsylvania, good times, then up to Massachusetts to weather the covid storm.

I began teaching online while at my parents. It felt like the least I could do – most of my “students” are over 60 – nice to be an anchor amidst the chaos, to have a purpose.  A number of people have continued to show up for the class, for themselves.

vanSo here she is, what’s her name going to be?

After about 7 weeks, it was time to transition back to Colorado, I had a summer job to get to and a cabin I was renting into the fall. Traveling and staying at hotels is a little intimidating. I really need something I can sleep in. Luckily I was traveling with my ozone fan to cleanse the room. Next! Summer job cancelled. All I need is something I can sleep in. Covid continues. No unemployment. Not enough work to pay so many rents. It’s time for #vanlife! Life on the road!

The Hunt for “The Van”

Prices were crazy high for all vans and RVs and watched the prices skyrocket, horrified. I had been watching “Cheap RV Living” getting some clarity. As I began to get clear about what I needed/wanted, a bed, standing up not necessary, electricity and a desk. Simple. I could not find anything I could afford already made, so I started looking at cargo vans – empty. I drove all the way to Centennial outside of Denver to look at a Chevy van. It was in terrible shape and expensive. So I started heading back, well might as well check out Colorado Springs as I go through … nothing, nothing, hmm what’s this? Already tripped out? Price seems reasonable. Let’s sleep on it. Three days later after haggling and back and forth I drove back to Springs. The rest is HERstory – nomad #vanlife a new beginning!

Practices that Helped Me – nomad #vanlife a new beginning

Making life decisions can be very stressful. One important practice that helped me to “get” clear and “stay” focused was this Conscious Relaxation

This helped me “clear out” … Ksepana Mudra – Pouring Out

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Conscious Relaxation

Conscious Relaxation Meditation – Begninners Meditation

Conscious relaxation is where we choose to relax in a methodical way, with or without an external cue. This is a great awareness to cultivate as a yoga for beginners practice. We have really become human doings – replacing human beings.
A lot of folks have high stresses in their lives and we’ve forgotten in our fast paced world how to relax, to unplug.

As we begin to train ourselves to relax and let go. It may take some effort initially, but over time, our body and mind will crave it. When I had a desk job and a lot of computer work, I set the alarm on my computer to go off every hour on the hour. After I became adept at a relaxation exercise similar to this one, I was able to scan in about 10 seconds, eventually I was able to notice as tension started and release it sooner rather than later.

Heart doctors and others have taken from yoga and mindfulness practices to help people with hypertension relax.

Here is a short relaxation exercise that is suitable for yoga for beginners and can be done any part of the day. I especially like it after yoga or before bed. Enjoy

Full Body Relaxation by Pam Williams

You may like this too – Mindfulness Meditation – Breathing

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Ida, Pingala and Shushumna

What you say? Ida is passive, feminine, on the left side and Pingala is active, masculine, on the right side. Shushumna (most gracious energy channel) goes straight down the spine to the tailbone (some say it goes up), Ida and Pingala create a dance up the body from the root chakra to the third eye (some say nostril right/pingala – left/ida) where they meet. Ida and Pingala move around each chakra. Chakra can be defined as a wheel.

Now there are schools of thought that say Ida and Pingala do not cross over side to side, rather they meet and stay on their own side. Since technology can neither prove nor deny, choose the one that works for you. I have experimented with both thoughts, I actually resonate more the the first description, but I have “experienced” the latter. So much is intention, if we intend, it is. So choose your intention, experiment with both if you like. Study the figures below. Enjoy an Ida, Pingala and Shushumna Meditation on soundcloud. after studying the figures.


Mudra


There is a mudra associated with these, Ida Mudra is pictured below, Pingala Mudra, reverse which hand faces up. Bring ring finger and thumb together, for Ida, left palm faces up; for Pingala right palm faces up.

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Opening the Rib Cage

Opening the Rib Cage

Years ago I was a rabbit mouth breather, short and shallow. Stress was the name of the game. I would often find myself shallow breathing or holding my breath in a not so good way and stressfully lifting my feet off the floor. I had a lot of myofacial pain and discomfort (all the tender points for fibromyalgia). Not surprising since I was starving my body of oxygen in an unhealthy way. I began exploring opening the rib cage …


I started going to a chiropractor and he recommended yoga. I looked at the book he handed me, it was a Shivanada style yoga. I hadn’t made peace with my body, mind, breath or God. I found a book that didn’t go into the spiritual aspect of yoga. Richard Hittleman had a book out Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan (1972 version) and I used that. I made a 28 day commitment to practicing yoga every day. Go figure – it began to change my life. The one thing I noticed was that there was no attention to alignment. I found BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga (1979 version). Mr. Iyengar went to the other extreme, total alignment, suggestions for helping to find comfort in the pose, but the language was very stern. I needed a teacher and had found enough comfort in my body that I was able to attend a class. I hid in the back, but I went. This started in the early 80s.

So – what was the first order of business? Learning how to breath. That’s right, I had to re-learn how to breath. It was painful at times, most times. As my rib cage began to open and unlock, a lot of pent up “molecules of emotion” came to the surface. Meditation began entering my life. I had been given a TM mantra as a child, I began looking at Thich Nhat Hanh’s work – talk about Pandora’s box. I was fortunate enough to find a local Vipassana Meditation Ashram. Meditation allowed me to create a safe place for the issues in my tissues to begin to release. It got much easier over time. I began to notice that when I stopped struggling, these issues resolved themselves effortlessly. That’s not to say I don’t still struggle – I do, but I have that memory of the release without struggle, allowing the sensation to arise, stay for some time and then pass into nothingness. The struggle is what causes us pain, not the issue necessarily, if we allow it space. Out of that place of allowing comes the nugget of wisdom, the light bulb moment.

CAUTION: Check with your health professional before beginning this or any new practice, especially if you have issues with your breath/lungs or heart.

Ways to Begin Opening the Rib Cage

Cat/Cow

Arrange yourself in a table position on your hands and knees, you can place extra padding under the knees and blocks under the hands if your wrists are tight.
Begin by INHALING – drop the belly and allow the spine curve – reach the head and tail toward the ceiling.
As you start EXHALING lift the belly – reach the head and tail toward the floor.
Do this at lease 6 breaths.

Mountain Brook

Take a couple folded blankets or towels and place them on your mat. You want two piles, one under the knees and one supporting the mid to upper back. Be sure to be above the floating ribs. Some folks will also need a rolled towel to support the neck. Rest in this pose following the breath in and out starting with working toward 5 minutes. If you can only do one minute, do one minute, work slowly and patiently to increase your time in this position.

Sidelying over a Small Bolster

Take the pile of blankets or towels that was under your rib cage and place it under your left arm/upper side rib cage, have the left arm in a T-position. Begin to reach your right arm over your head, take your time and move slowly. If you find an area of sensation, observe it for a couple of breaths, back out a little and then begin moving toward/over the head again. Breathe fully into your armpit chest. Start with 5 breaths and increase as you are able. Support your head with your hands to roll off of the supports. Rest and observe for a couple of minutes and then do the other side. This side can be very different from the other. Just notice the differences.

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Ksepana Mudra – Pouring Out

Ksepana Mudra – Pouring Out

The gesture of Ksepana Mudra pouring out and letting go. Allow this mudra to flush away toxins and negativity. See if you can allow positive to replace negative. What do I need to let go of? Is there something holding me back?

Ksepana Mudra

Begin by clasping the hands with the left thumb on top, then extend the index figures.

Find a comfortable position standing, sitting or lying down. Arrange the hands to have the index fingers point down if sitting/standing or toward the feet if lying down.

Key benefits are –
Aides in elimination through sweat (skin), exhalation (lungs) and large intestine.
Improves exhalation and removes unwanted gases.
Promotes release of tension.
Flows negative energies out allowing fresh and positive energy to replace it.

CAUTION: Hold only until a release is felt or 5 minutes. As you continue to practice this mudra the channels of release will open and you will begin to feel the effects. Practice once a day for 5 minutes or less is enough to encourage opening.

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