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Oct 11, 2001

Sheila’s Space

August 2007 in Newport, RIWelcome to my personal pages. You’ll find links here to the portions of my life that don’t include Spencer. At the present time those would be stuff about my body image and body work including yoga, my inclusion in the book Pride & Joy and both my 50th birthday party (Dec,. ‘99) and my 60th surprise party.

You may want to know more about my personal history to get you started. I was born in Newport, Rhode Island in December, 1949. My only sibling, Ric is five years younger then me and lives with his wife and three daughters in the house we grew up in. We spent a week together during our New England tandem tour in 2001. Mom was living in Del Rey Beach, Florida, where she and my Dad retired. Dad passed away in November, 2004. In February of 2012 we moved her up to Rhode Island so she’s close to family. She’s thriving there. I generally make a trip to visit Mom annually. We threw a family reunion and celebration of Mom’s life in May 2014. That’s my brother Ric with Mom and I when we visited her in Florida a few years ago after she’d fallen and broken a few bones. She’s well now.

I graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1971 with a BS in Textiles and Clothing. I never worked in the field, instead going directly overseas to serve as a Recreation Center Director for the US Army in Korea and Germany. After eight years overseas I returned to the US and worked for the YMCA in Arizona for a year and then in Seattle for five more years. After that I spent three years as Program Director for the Seattle Center, creating their Winterfest and annual Ice Rink (among other events). Then I started my first business, Community Events Management. I produced the NW Aids Foundations walk-a-thon in 1988 and wrote their operations manual. After several years of large-scale community events I transitioned my business to graphic design.

You can see samples of my print and web design work at my business website. Since 2009 my focus has been on building custom WordPress sites for clients and then training them so they can maintain them themselves. I love the flexibility of working at home. Though having one’s own business is always a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

Besides tandeming, I enjoy anything computer-related (I’m a geek) and of course I love doing yoga and reading. These images are of my first and only attempt at rock-climbing in December of 2002 at the REI Flagship store.

I was the first elected board member to the Braeburn condo board when we first moved in, early 2006. We are currently active founding members of the cohousing community on Capitol Hill. We broke ground in the fall of 2014 and anticipate moving in in time to celebrate our first Thanksgiving there in November 2015.

Aug 6, 2014

Family time in Rhode Island

Imom-ric-sheila decided a year ago to set a date to honor Mom while she’s still able to appreciate the gathering of family. She’s been thriving at the Grand Islander, very close to my brother and his family, where we moved her in February, 2013. At 88+ she has all her faculties which is amazing. I created a memory book to give to Mom and decided it was best to do so before the parties started so she could focus on it.

While not all the Levy cousins were able to travel to Rhode Island for the 2-day event we did have a lovely gathering including:

  • Iris Levy Maher from Amsterdam, Netherlands and her sister-in-law Barbara Levy from Maine and daughter Jeanette from NYC.
  • Karen Levy Kahn & husband Tom from NYC
  • Ken Levy & wife Paulette from Warwick, RI
  • Debbie Hoffman Darkow with husband Kevin and daughter Jenna from Tiverton, RI
  • And of course all of my brother Ric’s family, wife Lisa and girls Sarah (Tiverton), Shaina (Chicago) and Heather (NYC)

Saturday we did a reception at Mom’s place with slides, tributes, cake and ice cream and lots of visiting. Some of us went out for Thai afterward. Sunday we’d planned to do our cookout in Bristol but the weather was so on and off wet that at the last minute Sarah and Kurt offered to host at their lovely home overlooking the water. Everyone attended and we continued with the stories, photo sharing and lots of eating. Most folks had to go back to work or back home but Monday morning a few of us walked the Cliff Walk and went out to  lunch. It was a fabulous weekend.

Enjoy browsing the photos.

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Jul 7, 2014

Digital Pedometer Overview

jawbone-upEditor’s note: please read latest updates at the bottom.

To encourage more walking (10,000 steps a day to strengthen my bones) I decided to get one of those digital pedometers. I wanted one worn on the wrist. I thought I’d share my research.

FitBit is the most familiar name and has two models the Flex ($100) and Force ($130). The Force is newer, wider, syncs wirelessly and has a small display that serves as a clock. They actually had a recall due to the bands causing rashes.

Jawbone also has two models. The $130 one has to be plugged into your phone to sync data and the $150 UP24 now syncs with both Androids & iPhones. HOWEVER… it uses Bluetooth 4 (my phone isn’t new enough). But the Bluetooth sucks your phone battery dry.

Both have about the same capabilities. The Jawbone has significantly better customer service (American humans that are helpful vs no phone number at all for FitBit). And their app is far superior as well. Jawbone’s return policy is 60 days if you order off their website. I think it’s nicer looking and easier to use. It also comes in an assortment of colors.

Here is an article from Huffington Post about fitness bands and sleep detection. It basically concludes they can’t realistically tell whether or not you are sleeping, much less what stage sleep it is if they only rely on an accelerometer. And the New York Times did a whole feature section on this burgeoning category of consumer gadgets.

There are a wide host of apps to track your fitness both in conjunction and separate from a device. For tracking both activities and nutrition, including both macro and micro nutrients I found SparkPeople to be the comprehensive (free) website. It does sync with FitBit but not Jawbone UP.

I chose the UP (shown in the image) and have enjoyed it since January 2014.


Update (October 2014)
I’ve had to exchange my band twice since January due to the sleep button not functioning correctly. Both times they readily sent out a replacement with a pre-paid label to return the broken one. Also, I’ve been using a site called EveryMove that syncs the data and allows you to earn points toward purchases or donations to non-profits. Pretty cool to be able to donate money just for walking which I do anyhow.

Update (December 2014)
Jawbone has come out with UP3 which now includes heart rate monitor functionality. I also researched the online food tracking apps and found Spark People to be the best from the standpoint of being able to track micro-nutrients such as sodium and calcium and not just the macro-nutrients (carbs, fat and protein). There are many free choices and these devices generally will sync with them.

Update (January 2015)
It’s been a full year. This device has successfully motivated me to walk. The recommended goal is 10,000 steps a day and I nailed it! I felt pretty proud when I saw this. To be fair I did wear it on my shoe when cycling. But even so, I definitely got significantly more weight-bearing exercise last year due to this band.

BBC Article (June 17, 2015)

Do you really need to take 10,000 steps a day to keep fit?

NEW! Thanks to friend Arden Clise for turning me on to this great resource where you try 5 different bands for two weeks! Sweet.

Update (May, 2017) – Bought a FitBit Alta HR

While my UP24 continued to work, the older blue tooth technology was competing with my phone’s headset necessitating too many gyrations. After some comparative shopping I decided to get a new band. My priority was small size for my tiny wrist. I settled on the FitBit Alta HR. I didn’t feel like I needed the HR version which includes heart rate, however when I found a deal that made them nearly the same price and realized that the band on the original Alta was inferior to the new Alta HR model, I used a 20% off coupon and went for it. I’ve had it a month now and really like it.

Pros – I no longer have to look at my phone for the time or my number of steps. And it’s nice to also have the heart rate when riding the tandem. I’m pretty happy. The app allows a lot of customization in how the display looks, what’s included, etc. And there does seem to be some community built around it.

Cons – Everyone on the FB user group and on the FitBit forums is complaining about the lack of ability to read the device outside. And it’s true. However, on my old band I always had to use the phone app. So for me it’s still a huge boon to be able to see the time and steps when indoors and even outside if it’s shady. It takes about two hours to charge rather than 90 minutes and only lasts 7-8 days instead of two weeks. Some of that depends on the settings you choose but I think I have it maximized.

May 7, 2013

Focal Standing work station

If you haven’t already read my first post from last December about standing workstations you might want to start there. It includes the background and lots of links to resources. I found the saddle stool to be a bit too wide for my pelvis and didn’t use it much. I was coveting the newly discovered Focal workstation but couldn’t figure out how to afford it, especially with the expense of the original saddle stool I wasn’t using. In February, while I was in Rhode Island to move my Mom home, I stopped by their office to try it out. Because they knew I was interested, when the Ergo Depot in Portland (where I’d bought my stool) had a Focal “scratch-n-dent” available at 30% off I jumped at the chance. Especially after they agreed to only charge a restock fee for the stool (an exception to their 30 day policy).

So last weekend, almost exactly 5 months after the initial purchase, we returned to Portland and after some family time, returned home with a 100 pound box on top of the car! The setup was pretty easy with their great videos to guide us. Here are a few photos. Only time will tell how my body adapts, but so far, so good. I’ll report back again in a few months.

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Dec 11, 2012

Standing work station for better health


I sit at my desk, often without getting up, for way too many hours a day. Over the years I’ve tried setting alarms to get me up imagining I’d do a little yoga or climb some stairs in the building. It never lasts long. I’ve been aware of the standing desk movement for 20+ years but I’ve always thought it wasn’t for me due to the plate in my foot and my “bad back” (from scoliosis). Recently I connected up with a WordPress colleague who is a massage therapist and has a new niche called Office Fitness. He’s big on standing desks which got me exploring what’s out there.

The Whys

As it turns out, there’s a ton of new research out there and it’s pretty convincing. Mark Lukach‘s review of standing desks includes a host of links worth checking out. I’m not going to copy all he wrote but I do want to share a little in case you don’t head right over and read his whole article. Here are a couple of links and quotes from his detailed review:

The problem with sitting is essentially two-fold. AJ Jacobs, editor-at-large at Esquire, and author of the book Drop Dead Healthy breaks it down this way in his newest book:

The first part is obvious: We burn fewer calories when we’re sitting. The second part is more subtle but perhaps more profound: marathon sitting sessions change our body’s metabolism.

Jim Carlton writes, for The Wall Street Journal, ” A 2010 study by the American Cancer Society found that women who sat more than six hours a day were 37% more likely to die prematurely than women who sat for less than three hours, while the early-death rate for men was 18% higher.”

And the final info from Mark’s article was the most convicincing for me (as an exerciser):

No, really, exercise only helps a little bit, or not at all. Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist and research fellow in biology at Imperial College London who writes on the “influence of science and biology on modern life” for The New York Times, says,

It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.

My process

Suddenly I had a fire lit under me to do something about this. I decided to experiment. First I borrowed a “perching stool” from our cohousing friends at Schemata Workshop. I liked it conceptually but my desk was the wrong height and the stool a bit too uncomfortable for long usage.

Then I had good friend Bill W. create blocks to lift my desk so I could see what it was like to stand at my desk. Surprisingly, not too bad. In fact I found that just the very act of standing caused me to do more stretching and moving around which is great. BUT…one cannot (and should not) stand still all day any more than sit all day. The borrowed stool needed my feet on the floor which was no longer possible with the taller desk. So I borrowed a different one from Spencer’s school. It was too high and too hard. Sounds like Goldilocks doesn’t it?!

So I started looking on the web to see what was out there and stumbled on a nearly local expert on standing work stations, Ergo Depot “the healthy sitting experts”, located in Portland, Oregon. In case you’re doubtful why I even bothered exploring standing desks let me share their compelling video called  Sitting is Killing You:

After exploring stools that would work at my height-boosted desk for when I needed to be seated I decided I liked the idea of a saddle stool. The higher quality ones are the Bambach and the Salli. I needed to TRY them before buying online. Luckily Portland is only 3 hours by car. We spent my birthday driving down to try these two plus a couple of other options on the showroom floor. I came home the proud new owner of the Bambach (shown below). It’s not been a week yet so I’m still getting used to it. But I like it. It really puts my spine in alignment and feels good.

BambachI had hoped I could just use my desk on blocks for awhile but I’m already seeing that having an adjustable height desk will make a big difference. While I can both stand and sit now with my monitor and keyboard at approximately good heights, I’m already noticing that depending on my shoes everything needs adjusting. I do not want to trade back pain for carpel tunnel from having my keyboard at the wrong height!

So now I’m in the process of deciding about an adjustable desk. One interesting possibility was the Kangaroo adjustable height desk. However I decided for the money the surface wasn’t large enough. This Forbes review: Six Desks to Save You from Death by Sitting offers many other options. The best bang for the buck is clearly Ergo Depot‘s offering if you want something electrically powered. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. And they stock the best selection at the best price. I highly recommend them. They ship free so you don’t need to live nearby. I’ll be buying my desk from them in January.

The latest offering in this burgeoning category of furniture is from the founder of Keen who has invented an innovative combo solution called Focal. Check out their website’s article on Sitting Disease and their current list of what major medical research is finding out about the health risks of sitting to much, sitting disease and more.

For those on a tight budget you can skip the electric aspect and find many low cost standing desk options at this creative site called Ikea Hackers (search on standing desks). And for those who want something less static try treadmill desks! I’m pretty sure they’re not for me! But you never know, I didn’t think standing was either.

New links

Is Standing the New Smoking by Eileen Lonergan

Update: Brian Williams did a feature story on NBC January 10, 2013:
Obesity expert says daily workouts can’t undo damage done from sitting all day

Update: The New Yorker, May 20, 2013 Walking Alive,  an article on treadmill desks

Update: Another website called Just Stand offers a lot of research and facts.

Update: Just found this excellent post that includes video on posture and proper sitting/standing.

Update: Washington Post, Health Hazards of Sitting, January 2014

Follow-up: I returned the stool and bought a Focal!

FUN Option: Hamster Desk will keep you moving!


Sep 30, 2007

Body Image – Body Work

Click to enlargeIn our 1998 newsletter I set a goal to be “in the best shape I’ve ever been in when I turn fifty” (December 1999). Among other markers I would measure this by being able to do an unassisted handstand and backbend. Well, it’s three years later and a lot has changed. The first section below was written for our 2000 newsletter. Following that is an update on this topic for the  2001, 2002 and 2007.


In November 1999 I started doing yoga at home every day in addition to taking classes twice a week in a studio. I developed tendonitis in both elbows, both tops and bottoms. This injury slowed me down for a long time. I cut way back on yoga and had to adapt some poses. I iced many times a day and did physical therapy and took anti-inflammatories. It lasted so long that I became concerned that I might not be able to continue working on a computer, which was a scary thought! In fact I even investigated voice recognition software to minimize my use of the keyboard and mouse. That was a fun exploration. Fortunately my elbows are pretty much healed now. But I’m no closer to doing handstands or backbends! (see yoga article)

The ’90s have been hard on this body beginning with the bike accident in ’91 and then two whiplash car accidents (’93 & ’97). I suspect the elbow injuries were in response to my body compensating in yoga poses due to the earlier injuries. I’ve discovered an interesting program I’m just embarking on developed by Pete Egoscue called The Egoscue Method. He has two books. The reason I’m excited by it is that they fully evaluate the biomechanics of your body by observing it in motion and then prescribe an hour-long exercise menu based on exactly what your body needs. Every month I send a video of me and they adjust the program based on the changes they see! I’m hopeful that by the end of the eight-month program my biomechanics and posture will have improved substantially and that I’ll be able to stay active well into the second fifty years of my life. I am still hopeful that eventually I’ll develop enough strength and flexibility to do those elusive backbends and handstands.

Body image acceptance

You’ve probably often heard me talk about my weight. I wonder why I’ve spent most of my adult life wanting to lose just 10-15 pounds. I’ve never really been terribly overweight but I’ve always felt like if I wasn’t careful I could cross that line. Our meditation group has been pondering death this year (more about that in another article). I found myself wondering if on my deathbed I’d really be saying “gee it was a great life, IF only I’d lost that ten pounds!” I know it sounds silly, but it really does help put it in perspective. When we went on our annual meditation retreat I held this weight question in my mind. What I came up with was interesting to me. I realized that, just as the spiritual path we’re on is called The Middle Way, that is my way in the world. I generally don’t do the extremes on either end. So when it comes to my weight, I’m unlikely to ever become extremely overweight AND I’m also unlikely to become THIN. I’ve never been thin! Why would I suddenly be able to be thin in my fifties? I have my mother’s genes after all! (Aside: My Mom attended the residential McDougall Program more then a year ago in California and now eats a low-fat vegan diet in addition to doing stress reduction methods and regular exercise. She’s in the best shape she’s ever been in! A terrific role model.)

So, like my Mom, I eat right, I exercise and I do the best I can with the cards I’ve been dealt. I’ve come to accept this body and will continue to take good care of it so I can stay active and vital for another fifty years. I find that goals, like the horizon, keep moving as you approach them!

Fast forward one year…
What’s new with this old body in 2001?

Click to enlarge imageA lot! Last biking season we rode 2000 miles and I gained weight! That was discouraging. It’s possible that it was muscle, but I didn’t have a good way to determine that. And I didn’t feel like I was stronger or leaner (my new goals).

In the spring we had a tandem club booth at the Bike Expo and I met a woman named Emily Cooper, MD. Dr. Emily, as we fondly call her, has a clinic called Seattle Performance Medicine. They offer all kinds of testing and coaching. Since one of her staff is a vegan ultra-marathoner, I felt like I could trust her not to try to convince me I had to eat meat!

In early May we started with a measurement of percent body fat and a review of a three-day food journal. Dr. Emily informed me that I wasn’t eating enough food and particularly wasn’t eating enough protein. Next we did a sub-max test which included determining my resting metabolism, what my heart rate zones are and how many calories I burn in each zone. She recommended how long to spend proportionately in each zone to retrain my body to burn fat (all my body knew how to do was burn carbs since that’s what I mostly ate). I started using my year-old heart rate monitor a lot smarter! All this was especially useful when we were doing 5 hour plus tandem rides. You’d be surprised how much one needs to eat!

For some of you all this is likely to fall in the category of information overload. But for me…I love it. I set up an Excel spreadsheet and I use it every day to monitor my intake and expenditure. When I was re-tested in August I’d lost about 10 pounds and more significantly two percent body fat. All of my testing levels improved significantly and I’m now burning fat…HOORAY! In fact I’m burning twice as many calories in each heart rate zone then I was in May.

The other new piece is that I bought a small set of dumbbells and I’m doing about twenty minutes of upper body work three days a week. I’m starting to see the difference in some of my more challenging yoga poses and I know it’s an important step for osteoporosis prevention as well.

So while I still haven’t entirely learned to accept my body I think with each passing year I learn to love and respect it more. I think my goals are more health oriented and less driven by societal pressures. I want to be strong and lean and healthy. Doesn’t everyone?

2002 Brief Update

The year’s been good to me. We rode about 3000 miles on the tandem this season and I’m feeling great. I’m now maintaining my weight in the 130-135 pound range without daily tracking in my spreadsheet. I’d still like to be about ten pounds lighter but I look and feel trim and strong. I started lifting weights at the local Y at the beginning of the year and my upper body strength is improving. I’m much closer to doing push-ups now.

At this writing I’m about to turn 53. I do have muscular/skeleton issues due to my scoliosis and accidents that leave me with low back/hip and shoulder pain. Fortunately none of it keeps me from participating in life’s activities. I’ve been getting DexaScans every two years to evaluate my bone density. Despite the fact that I do everything “right” I’ve learned that my bones are in the early stages of osteoporosis. So I’ve been reading up on it and making informed decisions. I just started using a drug called Fosamax once a week to help rebuild my bones. After five years, I’ve stopped using the Ostaderm (topical natural hormones) for menopause and hot-flashes have resumed. I’m working with an accupuncturist and taking Black Cohosh to try to tame them.

2007 Brief Update

On August 10, 2006, a week after returning from our bicycle trip to Europe we were hit by a DUI while riding our tandem in Auburn. It was hit and run. Fortunately Spencer got the license and she turned out to be liberally insured as she was only back to driving a week from a previous DUI!  I broke the top of my humorous. After a year of physical therapy, massage, accupuncture, etc I’m still not back to where I was as far as the challenging yoga poses but overall I’m doing very well.

I’ve managed to get off the Fosamax (for osteoporosis), Ostaderm (for hot flashes) AND Imipramine (for microscopic colitis). I owe this significant change to our adopting a vegetable centered eating plan called Eat to Live. To listen to Dr. Fuhrman (author of Eat to Live) talk about Osteoporosis and learn WHY I got off Foxamax, download this hour-long 13mg MP3 file and listen now or right-click to save and load it into your iPod.  And here’s a recent, comprehensive look at the business of our bones…Alternative Medicine Magazine, 4/2007, Bones of Contention by James Keough or here’s a PDF copy of the same article.

I’ve found a great website with tons of great info on Osteoporosis. I bought one of these weighted vests and I’m using it regularly now. Check it out at:

Aug 29, 2010


First published in Seattle Yoga Arts newsletter, Fall 1998
Updates follow include photos from SYA Calendar

Click to enlargeYoga has been in the background of my life for a long time. I took my first class in 1971. My bookshelf includes such classics as Jess Stearn’s Youth, Yoga, and Reincarnation and Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan both dated in the ’60s. One of my first friends in Seattle was a yoga teacher. But it just never really came to the foreground until a year ago. I want to share my story of how that changed.

In 1991 I broke my foot in a bike accident. After that, I could no longer run or do some of the other activities I had once enjoyed. With the onset of menopause my body has been thickening and craving the stretching and strengthening of yoga. After a summer of trying to use yoga videos with no feedback from a teacher, I finally decided I wanted yoga in my life enough to actually go somewhere and pay for it.

Early last year I started at Seattle Yoga Arts with one class a week. About mid-year, after taking a weekend workshop at Community Yoga Circle with Elise Browning Miller, I decided to up my commitment to twice a week and found a tremendous difference in my body. All this time I hoped to develop a “home practice” but was still finding that I just didn’t make the time. The wide assortment of videos I tried was either way too slow with lots of talking, or too fast paced and difficult. I tend to get overwhelmed with the enormous number of choices to make: which poses (there are so many), what sequence, am I positioned correctly, etc. Also I end up doing the things I like the best without necessarily doing appropriate warm-up and preparation or counter poses.

Sometime after returning from Lisa Holtby’s weekend retreat in the fall I was laying in shivasana thinking about how much I liked the partner poses we’d just done and suddenly a light bulb went off! People have running partners and gym partners, why not a yoga partner?! So I posted a sign on the board for women with at least a year’s experience who wanted to do “contact” yoga in my home once a week. I had several responses. In January I set up a schedule with three different people each coming one time a week.
Click to enlarge
It does help that I have no kids and a living room with a wood floor large enough for two people to do yoga. Scheduling the same time every day for yoga has helped a lot too. When one person can’t make it I try to get one of the others to come over. Even though I’ll practice headstands alone or have Spencer spot some handstand attempts, I still don’t practice much by myself.

What we do is still evolving. We tried some of the videos and found that the ones that seemed too difficult in the beginning are actually great. And of course the pause button is helpful. We can always stop it and do more warm-ups, or repeat it or add a variation before going on. One of my partners has many years’ experience and she really enjoys doing whatever we think of. We each throw out ideas as we go along. It’s great to be able to give each other feedback on our positions. I’m actually starting to work out some flow routines of my own! Generally we tend to still do mostly independent yoga with an occasional partner pose thrown in as we remember them from classes. Now we’re also using a partner video.
Click to enlarge
During my first full year of yoga I lost the ten pounds I put on with menopause. In fourteen months when I turn 50 I hope to be in the best shape ever! To me that means losing ten more pounds and being strong enough to do handstands, back-bends, push-ups and many of the other poses that still seem beyond me. With the help of my yoga partners I think I’ll make it and the journey will be great fun! Having yoga partners has totally met my expectations. I look forward to seeing my partners and doing yoga together. And I know our relationships will continue to unfold with our yoga practice. I encourage you to consider looking for someone you can do yoga with at home, even once a week. It’ll make a huge difference.

Yoga update: 2001

Click to enlargeCurrently I’m taking yoga twice a week and don’t do any yoga at home (with or without partners). I try to take weekend workshops whenever good teachers come through town. I’ve done several with Rodney Yee, John Friend, Judith Lasater and Elise Miller. I also splurged and went to the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park in the fall of 2000. That was quite an experience. I can now do both handstand and wheel (backbend) however my form still needs a lot of work and I can’t hold either very long. The horizon keeps moving as you get closer (the goals just keep evolving).

I’m really pleased to say that Spencer started doing yoga a few years ago and it’s made a huge difference. He no longer gets any back pain. He doesn’t love it the way I do, but he knows it’s good for him. We try to do some yoga stretches when we’re doing long tandem rides.

Yoga update: 2002

Seattle Yoga Arts, where we study yoga, teaches John Friend’s style of yoga called Anusara. This year I took a weekend with John in Seattle and will sign up to do so again in ‘03. This style of yoga offers principals of alignment and a heart-centered approach. For my birthday I’m doing a weekend retreat at Brietenbush (Oregon) with Sarahjoy Marsh, an Anusara teacher.

Yoga update

I continue to take yoga three a week from Rainey and Bianca at Seattle Yoga Arts. I designed a calendar for SYA two years in a row and was featured on December of the 2009 calendar (first two images below). Here are links to PDFs of both calendars: 2008 SYA Calendar PDF and 2009 SYA Calendar PDF.

Yoga Asanas

Sep 30, 2002


If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, as Sheila has, and don’t want to take Fosamax, there is a new weight vest that can add to your bone density. By adding weight high on the body your bone gets stronger while you walk, exercise or do chores. There is a lot of great info and research on this site.

To learn more about Osteoporosis and why you might not want to take Fosamax, read this article from Alternative Medicine Magazine, 4/2007, Bones of Contention by James Keough. Here’s a PDF copy of the same article.

And here’s what Joel Fuhrman, MD has to say on Osteoporosis. He offers a simple 10 exercise video you can do anywhere without props to build strong muscles therefore strong bones. And this is a newer hour-long audio with Michael Klaper, MD doing a Q&A on osteoporosis. It’s targeted to a vegan audience but full of useful information.

your-bonesYour Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis & Have Strong Bones for Life Naturally by Lara Pizzorno

“The information is presented in a straightforward and easy-to-read style that will be understandable to lay readers. Consumer(s)…looking for [a] book about the natural ways to prevent osteoporosis would do well to choose this title.” —Library Journal

“Lara Pizzorno emphatically raises the red flag on conventional bone medicine…. Highlighting natural prevention and treatment strategies for different situations, Your Bones offers uncomplicated scientific advice for bone health.” —Spirit of Change Magazine

There are several good articles by Lara Pizzorno on the supplement AlgaeCal‘s website. is now my supplement of choice.


Related article of interest on Digital Pedometers.

Sep 29, 2002

Pride & Joy

Pride & JoyPride & Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children by Terri Casey

I am excited to tell you that my personal story has been included as a chapter in a book titled Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children by Terri Casey, published by Beyond Words Publishing, Inc., Fall 1998.

From the  press-release:
Pride and Joy is a collection of interviews with 25 women who have chosen not to have children. In lively stories and vivid voices, these diverse narrators talk proudly of their contributions to their communities, causes, and families, and they speak joyfully of intimate relationships with husbands and partners, of family and friends, work, volunteer and leisure activities, solitude, and connections with children. Their stories dispel the social myth that women must have a child to be happy, and they debunk the stereotypes of childless women.

Friends and family members are eligible for a special discount. The cover price is $14.95. You can get it for $12 with no shipping or handling by calling 800-284-9673. (In Oregon call 503-531-8700) or email them at Be sure to tell them you get the friends and family offer (good only in the USA). You can also buy the book from

As a teaser, here are the sub-headings of my chapter:

“Big fish in a little pond”
“I could be and do anything I wanted”
“Been there, done that”
“I could have a child x years old now.”
“Exploring our purpose in life”
“Creating a family”
“A model of something that’s working”
“Leading a fulfilling life”

If you’d like to read my chapter in full you may download a Word document or a PDF version. You’ll need the free Acrobat Reader to read the PDF version.


Dec 6, 1999

Sheila turns 50 in style

Click to enlargeWhen event-planning is in your blood, you don’t leave something as big as your 50th birthday to chance. So it was that the first weekend in December, 1999 we took over the entire Annapurna Inn in Port Townsend and invited Sheila’s closest friends to spend the weekend. It was an ideal opportunity to share quality time with everyone. While Sheila organized the invites and other logistics, Spencer prepared the food, and  Dianne Grob volunteered to create a special ritual for the occasion. For the ritual, we all sat in a circle and first everyone wrote down something we leave behind at 50. After they were read, we burned them. Everyone was asked to come with a story to share about Sheila that shows a trait useful in the coming years. Tenacity seemed to be a common thread. Unbeknownst to Sheila, Spencer had been working behind the scenes for more than a year to pull off a few surprises of his own. The first was being greeted at the Inn by a table full of 50 fragrant lilies (Sheila’s favorite). After dinner, the ritual, and singing happy birthday over the cake, out came the big surprise…a gorgeous handwoven shawl (woven by friend Bonnie Tarses and contributed to by many friends) and a bag full of birthday cards from friends all around the world.