It’s official

I completed YogaWorks’ 200-hour Teacher Training this past Sunday, Easter Sunday. Interesting coincidence. The results aren’t official but our teacher Michelle assures us that we all passed. The last day of class was bittersweet as all endings are.

My YogaWorks class. From left to right: Kolesta, Parul, Shanta, Michelle (our teacher), Kate, me, and Courtney. We're wearing t-shirts I designed.
My YogaWorks class. From left to right: Kolesta, Parul, Shanta, Michelle (our teacher), Kate, me, and Courtney. We’re wearing t-shirts I designed.

I’ll stick around the Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952 a few more weeks. I’ve signed up for Chair Yoga Teacher Training April 8, 9, and 10. Lakshmi Voelker, creator of Get Fit Where You Sit, is teaching the class.

Being able to teach chair yoga will allow me to work with a wider range of students. In thanks for their hospitality to Roan and me, I’m offering a free chair yoga class to Elks Lodge members. I’ll see how many people sign up to sit down.

Apart from teacher training and yoga classes, I’ve spent my time…

  • Attending a fashion show at the Art Institute during Orange County Fashion Week courtesy of cousin Renee. Professor Renee, head of the Fashion Design Department at Fullerton College, helped judge the student show.

    Renee and me on the red carpet during Orange County Fashion Week, 16 March 2016
    Renee and me on the red carpet during Orange County Fashion Week, 16 March 2016.
  • Going to a Singles Dance Party at the Elks Lodge with Renee and her friend, Della. The Lemondrop Club hosted the dance. I had no excuse not to go since it was just across the parking lot. I danced like a fool.
  • Driving up to Los Angeles to meet and thank in person Christina at YogaWorks Santa Monica for her help, and to visit with Sue.
  • Designing a t-shirt to raise money for New Paradigm Multi-Dimensional Transformation™ .
  • Tracking down a missing vehicle registration renewal form for Pegasus. I learned that the Post Office doesn’t forward “official” mail from the Wisconsin DMV.
  • Surveying Battocletti/e family members on the possibility of a reunion this summer.
  • Drafting and revising a yoga-centric resume. Thanks to Cathy, Faun, Jeanette, Sue, and Tom for their excellent feedback.
  • Designing a logo for my new yoga teaching business. Sue gave me the name:  Have Yoga, Will Travel. I like it.  Thanks Sue.
    Have Yoga, Will Travel logo
  • Working on my 2015 tax returns, vacuuming frequently in an unsuccessful attempt to keep dirt at bay, and yes — dumping the tanks every six days. I’ve become quite adept at using the Blue Boy (Taking a dump).
  • Getting a tiny purple peace sign tattoo on my right hand to match the tiny red heart on my left. Thanks Jeff at Dr. Tattoo Studios.

So, the current plan — it may change tomorrow (Call me jello) — is to leave Garden Grove on Monday, April 18th. I’ll head back to Menifee for two weeks and then start the 636-mile drive north to Mt. Shasta.

Mt. Shasta has long been revered by the Native Americans of the area, who regard it as the center of creation. In recent decades it has also attracted New Age followers, who believe the mountain to be a source of mystical power.

I hope things are “mystical” wherever you are dear reader.

Happy Spring!

Six weeks in

I’m halfway through my 200-hour YogaWorks Teacher Training. Six weekends down, six more to go.

I’ve settled into a routine — training on Saturday and Sunday, off on Monday, yoga class Tuesday and Wednesday, off on Thursday, yoga class on Friday. Repeat. That was until this past Monday when I took a break and drove to visit friends in Los Angeles for a few days.

Sue and me. No, those aren't oranges; those are huge California lemons. Wow.
Sue and me. No, those aren’t oranges; those are huge California lemons. Wow.

I knew Sue and Jan from high school. Sue and I had kept in touch via email and Facebook.

So it was the 22 to the 405 North. No, no freak out on the Four-Oh-Five. It wasn’t much different than freeways I have driven in Chicago, Houston, D.C.

Traffic was heavy once I got past LAX but I stayed in the far right lane and crawled along to exit 55A — Santa Monica Boulevard, the former Route 66. The 42-mile drive took less than an hour. Sue followed me on Waze  and stood on the sidewalk as I drove up.

Sue gave me a brief tour of her L.A. — the Los Angeles California Mormon Temple, the Church of the Good Shepherd where she sings in the choir, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica, Fox Studio, Persian Hills, landmark hotels.

Me at Hot Dog on a Stick
Me at Hot Dog on a Stick

We ate at the iconic Hot Dog on a Stick at the Westside Pavilion mall; India’s Oven lunch buffet where we both had seconds of the sweetly spicy “carrot cake;” and a superb dinner at Da Pasquales, a family-run Italian restaurant owned by Sue and Jan’s long-time friends.

Roan enjoyed a hard-boiled egg yolk — his first and he loved it, refusing to eat his dog food afterwards — and popcorn and chips “accidentally” dropped by Jan.

But it wasn’t all about food. I took a YogaWorks Level 2/3 class at the Westwood studio Monday night; pampered myself with long hot bubbly baths; and Sue and I caught up on our respective families and news on high school friends.

Thanks to Sue, I now know about the discount shelves at Ralph’s and Sprouts grocery stores.  We bought Keurig coffee for $2.49.

On our last morning in L.A., Sue, Roan, and I took a two-hour walk through Cheviot Hills Recreation Center next to Rancho Park Golf Course and the location of her son’s preschool coop. Up and down hills through almost perfect green flowered neighborhoods.  Roan and I loved walk-friendly west L.A.

I’m home now at Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952. Over the next six weeks I have some decisions to make:

And then what?

I may drive north, hop-scotching across California, Oregon, and Washington, staying at Elks lodges and Thousand Trails campgrounds (where I can stay free for 14 days as part of my NACO membership).

Or I may take a detour south first.  I want to check out Jojoba Hills SKP Resort just east of Temecula wine country.  I may buy a lot there someday.

I’d like to settle down for a bit. I have an idea to use my new yoga teacher skills in hospice work, perhaps to benefit the clients and hospice workers and volunteers. I really don’t know what I’ll do with it yet.

I’m hoping for a sign or two or three to point me in the right direction. In the meantime, I’m back to a routine.

Until next Tuesday when I drive up to my cousin Renee’s in Chino Hills for ladies night. I’ve promised to introduce the girls to hot buttered rum. Yum.

Taking a dump

After class on Friday and an intense weekend of YogaWorks Teacher Training, I’m taking a break from all things yoga today. So, what am I doing instead?

Well, first it’s gorgeous here. Sunny and the 70s and I sincerely apologize to my friends back in the D.C. suburbs who got buried by two feet of snow this past weekend. I recall post-blizzard Sourwood cul-de-sac parties drinking mulled wine and coffee and Bailey’s as we tossed broken branches into a fire pit. Fond memories but I’m glad I’m not there now.

So, as my friends back east continue to dig out, I walked Roan, did a much-needed load of whites with bleach, checked my email, drank a few cups of coffee.

Hearing commotion through the front open door, I wandered out in my t-shirt and flip flops (I can’t resist) to see what was up. Monday seems to be “dump day” here at Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952. There are several approaches to dumping the black and gray tanks and all are used here.

Some folks simply pull in their slides, unhook their rigs, drive around the parking lot to the conveniently located dump station, use a standard 3-inch slinky sewer hose to dump, drive back to their spots, back back in, and set up things all over again.

Others, myself included, aspire to dump in place, without all the unhooking, moving, and re-hooking nonsense.

Flojet portable macerator pump
Flojet portable macerator pump

John uses a Flojet portable macerator pump. A macerator pump connects to the RV’s sewer outlet and grinds up sewer waste into teeny tiny pieces. Waste and grey water are then pumped through a 5/8″ or larger garden hose to the dump station. The macerator pump is powered by the RV’s batteries. John uses about 40 feet of hose which the lodge has. Cost: $203.59

Sewer Solution
Sewer Solution

Joe, on the other hand, uses a Sewer Solution to dump his tanks. The Sewer Solution uses water instead of electricity to produce a jet pump system. Like a macerator pump, it uses a garden hose to dispatch the waste and grey water to the dump station. Cost: $72.99

Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank, also known as a “blue boy”
Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank, also known as a “blue boy”

I’m asking a few RV technician friends which they recommend. In the meantime, Matthew uses the tried and true Blue Boy to dump my tanks. Cost: $10 and homemade baked goods.

Yes, I realize that such elaborate discussion about dumping sewerage is neither sexy nor glamorous but it is an important part of the full-time RVer’s life, especially when you don’t have full hookups.

Ok, so what else have I done today?

Well, Monday is “breakfast for lunch” at the lodge. I joined Jack, the RV camp host; Matthew, his able assistant; and neighbors and new friends Joe and Mary Frances (known to her friends as “MF”) for lunch. I had two eggs over easy, hash browns, grilled steak (for Roan), and waffles. Cost: $6.45.

Now I’m back in Pegasus, listening to jazz, writing this blog, and enjoying the beautiful Milwaukee summer day.

Stay warm everyone, wherever you are.  And whatever you do — don’t eat the yellow snow.

“Home” in the OC

Pegasus et al pulled out of Wilderness Lakes RV Resort in Menifee a little after 9 AM yesterday. We wanted to beat the rain and we did.

We took the 15 to the 91 to the 55 to the 22. Staying in the slow far-right lane, which was fine with me, it took us about two hours to make the 65-mile drive. Traffic was lighter once we got off the 91.  The Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952 is just north of the 22, the Garden Grove Freeway.

Pegasus at the Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952, California
Pegasus at the Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952, California

Jack, the RV host, got us settled into spot 8 and a nice young man (that makes me sound ancient!) helped me back in. About an hour after our arrival, we were paid through January, hooked up to 30-AMP electric and water, and shown around the lodge.

The lodge has a shower and laundry for visiting Elk RVers and a dump onsite. Jack told me that they have a 20-gallon “honey wagon” so you don’t have to unhook and move to dump your grey and black tanks. As my grey and black tanks are 65 and 45 gallons respectively, I made a note to dump weekly.

This morning I drove to YogaWorks Costa Mesa where I’ll take teacher training. As part of tuition, I get unlimited free classes at any YogaWorks studio.  I plan to take as many as I can.

I may also check out the Bikram Yoga studio in Huntington Beach; they’re offering a new student intro month price of $49.

Despite two GPSes, I had a hard time finding YogaWorks. The building was tucked in the corner of a busy shopping center with too little parking and too many cars. I took freeways there but found a better way back to the Elks lodge — Harbor Boulevard to Trask Avenue. Even with traffic lights it’s an easier drive. The 9.2-mile drive took less than 30 minutes.

Yoga teacher training starts this Friday evening with a welcome session, and then runs every Saturday and Sunday through March 27.

I don’t know what to expect. I’m certainly no yoga master (or would it be “mistress”?). I’m not a yogini hard body, or a pretzel, or anything remotely resembling the aforementioned items. I’m just me and that’s all I can be.

Apart from studying and practicing yoga, I’ll visit my friend Sue. Sue and I met freshman year at Dominican High School. I was sitting on a ledge in the chapel singing my heart out. A kindred spirit, Sue and I went on to audition for “Flower Drum Song.” It was unusual for freshmen to make the school play but we did. Sue and her husband live in Los Angeles.

So, we’re home in the OC for three months.

Anyone want to visit? Fly into John Wayne Airport (SNA) if you can.  Depending on traffic, it’s only 20 minutes away. LAX is about an hour.

Adiós Deming

After two months at LoW-HI RV Ranch, Pegasus et al will leave Deming, New Mexico on Tuesday, 22 December. We’ll leave behind lots of memories, both good and not-so-good.  The good:

  • Getting my boots cleaned at the boleria in Palomas, Mexico.
    Ruben cleaning my boots at his boleria in Palomas. Don’t ask for a bolero (shoeshine boy).

    Going to Palomas, Mexico almost every Tuesday for lunch and liquor hecho en México.  

  • Resurrecting my high school/college Spanish with the help of Ron aka Doc aka The Great Instigator, a “retired” professor if there is such an animal.
  • Wine tastings at St. Clair and Luna Rossa wineries
  • John at Jimmy’s RV Repair who tackled my long list of fixes methodically, skillfully, and with great integrity. Thanks to him, I have enough hot water to take a respectable bird bath.
  • Tracy fixing my parking job. "More gas!" he says.
    Tracy fixing my parking job. “More gas!” he says.

    ATVing with Tracy, Ted, and Judy on the Butterfield Trail, despite a run-in with a prickly holly bush and a less than stellar parking job.

  • Roan enjoys a birthday present from Ron.
    Roan enjoys a birthday present from Ron.

    Roan’s 7th birthday party with his canine friends. The doggie birthday cake I made was a great success and Roan made out like a bandit on the presents.

  • Winning $10 in the Packers-Cowboys game (Sorry Val).
  • And of course all the new and old friends Roan and I have made.

The not-so-good:

  • Having a cold for 10 days over Thanksgiving.
  • Freezing my butt and other appendages off due to “unseasonably” cold weather (who’s kidding whom?).
  • Burning through propane like it’s on fire thanks to the aforementioned “unseasonably” cold weather.

Our first destination is 650 miles west — Wilderness Lakes RV Resort in Menifee, California. Thanks to Uncle Jim and Aunt Gussie from whom I assumed a Thousand Trails (TT) membership, I can stay free at select TT campgrounds for up to 14 days.  Wilderness Lakes will be the first TT park I’ve stayed in.

Map showing locations in CA
(A) Wilderness Lakes RV Resort. (B) Chino Hills. (C) Elks Lodge #1952. (D) YogaWorks Costa Mesa.

Roan and I will spend Christmas with my cousin Renee and her family in Chino Hills. If I’m lucky, I’ll get in at least one long, hot soak in a tub — one of the few things I miss living in Pegasus.

Leonard has a walk-in Jacuzzi tub in his Blue Bird bus
Leonard and his walk-in Jacuzzi tub in his Blue Bird bus

My neighbor Leonard renovated a Blue Bird school bus; the first thing he put in was a walk-in Jacuzzi. Yes, the man has a Jacuzzi tub in his bus. He also has on-demand water heaters and heated floors. Color me chartreuse.

Then, on Wednesday, 5 January, it’s a short 60- to 74-mile drive, depending on the route and traffic, to Elks Lodge #1952 in Garden Grove. The Garden Grove Elks Lodge RV Park has electric and water hook-ups and a dump station.  We’ll be there for three months.

Yoga teacher training at the YogaWorks Costa Mesa studio starts on Friday, 8 January. The 200-hour program runs through March. Once completed, I’ll be accredited through the Yoga Alliance to teach yoga.

And so we bid Deming a fond “adiós.”  Until we meet again.