I have been absent of late. November simply passed as one giant blur of activity with some added responsibilities that guaranteed blogging roadblocks. Not that I didn’t try. I made a very important discovery, however. After 9:00 PM my mind turns to mush. You don’t need the details on that.
But to stay on top of an expanding schedule of activity I was forced to develop some flexible moves. My yoga practice has been invaluable in maintaining calm–well, calm for me anyway. But lately I’ve had to add Ninja moves as a form of independent study.
Even my closest friends and family have yet to actually see me practicing my Ninja moves. I’m sorry I don’t have photos. And if I could manage video, I’d be a YouTube sensation.
Autumn in Southern California offers a very subtle shift between summer and three more months of summer before we enter a mild winter. The colors do change, but not in the riotous fashion seen in other regions. It’s possible if you were visiting Los Angeles you wouldn’t even notice.
And the temperatures do significantly drop at night, but if you’re already experiencing snow, you probably aren’t interested in hearing how we ate our Thanksgiving dinner outdoors.
Gardens are confused. Roses are still blooming, and in near perpetual sunshine, my mother’s zinnias are already sprouting in a false display of spring. Darwin is spending day after day without leaving his burrow. He isn’t eating. He knows it’s fall even if the temperatures still hover stuck in summer gear.
Well, endless summer temperatures don’t dictate length of days, and in our latitude twilight is 5:00 PM–just about the time I get home from work. Let the Ninja moves begin!
Do you remember our poor anxiety-ridden dog, Zena? Even with her twice-daily doses of more-expensive-than-I’m-happy-with prescriptions, we still can’t leave home without setting up a barricade to the back door. Here are photos taken before we figured that out!
We don’t know if she would continue to eat the door frame down to the metal flashing, but we barricade the door and set as many precautions in motion as we can. Each time we leave the house she’s given treats, toys, and provided shelter in our little backyard guest house. She’s treated like one of our children.
You know? As I hear myself, could it be possible that treating her like a child has created such a temperamental little creature?
Oh well. Too late for that. Back to my Ninja training.
So here’s how it works.
I get home a little before 5:00 PM and need to quickly change my clothes and head out to my 5:30 yoga class. I’m only home for a few minutes, but that’s long enough to get Zena all stirred up! If Jay isn’t home I need to stealthily sneak in and do what I came to do without drawing any attention to myself.
Step 1: I park about one house up the street, avoiding our driveway and being sure I don’t slam the car door or lock it and sound the little alarm.
Step 2: It’s necessary to approach the house with the perfect trajectory. Although the roses are currently about five feet high and quite thorny, I creep through the rose bed skilled at avoiding injury to skin or clothing. Ambling in this odd pattern to my front door, I’m sure my neighbors aren’t aware that this is a well-honed Ninja move. Perhaps they are concerned for me.
Step 3: Finally at the front door, I very, very carefully open the door without making a sound, then crouch and crawl in my best Ninja–or home intruder moves, crawl through the house to my bedroom, careful to avoid being seen through any windows.
Step 4: The house is dark and I can’t possibly turn on a light without my four-footed friend discovering her playmate is home, so out comes the iPhone flashlight and I, with great skill, impressively manage to change my clothing and sneak right back out the front door, totally undetected.
I’ve only been discovered once. That time I found Zena peering into my bedroom window and it was she who scared me!
Step 5 of “How to Train to Be a Ninja Easily” says I need to practice walking quietly, rolling my feet and using my hips to allow wide steps, and to breathe evenly. I do eat healthy foods, as suggested, but my tree-climbing days are over. I can, however, be sneaky.
Is it any wonder that by the end of the day I’m struggling to string coherent sentences together?
Oh, and another Ninja practice strategy suggests that I use nature to my advantage. Apparently being in tune with nature helps provide camouflage during dangerous missions and helps mask noise.
That’s easy. I do spend a lot of time outdoors. And I’ve enjoyed a beautiful Southern California fall. I can’t share photos of my Ninja-moves, but I can share some photographs I’ve recently taken. See if you can find any evidence of Autumn.
I have missed being more in touch, but December is looking hopeful. And for the last weekend in November, don’t forget your own Ninja moves–apparently breathing lighter is a key skill component. Be sure to exhale!