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Yoga Bites: Cow and Cat: 2 poses can help to keep spine supple

Yoga Bites appears every four weeks.

Yogis say that we are only as young as our spine is supple, and there’s a lot of truth to that.

I need not tell you about the rigors of life and the toll they take on your body, especially the spine. Yogis practice poses that decompress and lubricate the spine to create and maintain elasticity and durability, which is the pathway to a more youthful and energetic body.

A common warm-up and cool-down move in yoga practice is Cat’s Breath. This simple flowing sequence, or vinyasa, consists of two complimentary poses alternating fluidly back and forth.

Hey Ranger: A bounty of berries

Don’t pick blackberries until they’re completely ripe (above). For tips on making a picker’s pail, below, go to www.nps.gov/redw/forkids. Del Norte Triplicate file/Bryant Anderson
Remember when you were a kid and you came home after a long night of trick-or-treating? You dragged your dirty pillowcase behind you, loaded with the fruits of your labors. You staggered up the steps with a new respect for your own front door. You made it! You dumped your bag and watched in amazement as a mountain of candy formed in front of you.

Regardless of the fruits, be they full-size candy bars or the dreaded candy corn, it was your own labors that made them so sweet.

Summer marks the start of berry season in Del Norte County — a chance for kids of all ages to resurrect that trick-or-treat spirit.

Coastal Voices: ‘Fish out of water’ departs

In Hollywood, where we lived before we moved to Del Norte County in January 2010, this would be called a “fish out of water” story. Two Jewish gay men, married in the wedding frenzy that overtook West Hollywood for a few months in 2008, move to a rural county where there are not more than 20 Jews and where there is no organized gay community.

Maybe it was an act of faith. After all, the younger of the two was a rabbi, newly minted from rabbi school at 52 from the Reform movement, the most liberal of the mainstream Jewish groups. I am the older of the two. I had stopped working and was living off a small teacher’s pension and a bit of inherited money. I had been here a few years earlier. I remembered seeing a movie theater, a Safeway and a synagogue, so when Joe asked “Can we live there?,” I said “Why not?”

Joe had done an internship while at school at Los Angeles County Jail. He was not freaked out by the prisoners or the surroundings in the jail, and so, when the school suggested to him and his classmates to apply to the state to work in prisons, he did. The first full-time position for which he was interviewed was at Pelican Bay. They correctly didn’t ask his marital status, and he became Pelican Bay’s first rabbi.

Coastal Voices: Ask city to support Chamber of Commerce

On behalf of the Board of Directors for the Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce, I want to make you aware of the current budget discussions the City of Crescent City is having and how it affects your Chamber.

The Chamber receives funds from the city and the county for the operation of the Visitors Center and the Visitors Bureau. In addition, the city helps to fund the Fourth of July fireworks.  In total, the city contributes $87,000 annually to the Chamber, broken down as follows:

• Visitor Center, $36,000

• Fireworks, $11,000

• Visitor Bureau, $40,000

Artisan Cuisine: Fruit lemonade an alternative to all that soda

Weekend activities are going to include plenty of cold beverages this summer. Why not ditch the sodas and get creative with some gourmet lemonade?

Who doesn’t love going to a restaurant and being able to order a strawberry lemonade or maybe a watermelon lemonade? Well, they’re even better at home with real lemon juice and freshly pureed fruit.

Serve them in glasses (or mason jars for a country feel) and keep them cold with frozen fruit instead of ice cubes.

Vista Point: A rock’s view on reinventing Pebble Beach

Rocks are reticent. It’s not that they have nothing to say, only that they speak so slowly no one can understand them.

Fortunately, with the assistance of hard science and a vivid imagination, it is possible under the right set of circumstances to interview a rock.

In this case, the subject is jasper, which for conversational purposes shall be referred to with a capital J.

Yoga Bites: Yoga walking: A simple path to better health

Yoga Bites appears every four weeks.

Did you know that the best form of yoga is walking? By applying yogic breathing and meditation techniques to simple walking, one can practice “yoga walking,” which delivers even more benefits with each and every step.

When we incorporate yoga principles into walking, it becomes not only good for the physical body, but good for the soul.

The health of our powerful legs, which include the biggest and strongest muscles in the body, is very important to our circulation, digestion, bones, inner state, fitness, coordination, blood pressure, and much more. As we draw energy up from the earth into the body, our legs are our roots and our mobility.

Del Norte Gardening: What’s in your garden?

Del Norte Gardening runs monthly. Paul Madeira and Julie Jo Ayer Williams own Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick.

The farmer’s market season is under way and off to a great start! We were pleased to have a pretty diverse selection this time of year and enough quantity to serve most of your needs.

Fresh produce at the market is of course top quality, only matched by what your own back yard gardens provide. Where else can you get locally grown produce so fresh it was harvested well within 24 hours? Your back yard, and the local farmerʼs markets, Saturdays 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the fairgrounds, and Wednesdays on 3rd Street, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in Crescent City.

So what’s all in your garden? Some folks seemed surprised to see broccoli at our booth, but remember, broccoli likes cool weather.

Vista Point: Down the hill, through the fog, glimpses of DN

s you descend Highway 101 toward Crescent City from just south of town, a blue road sign points left to announce a “Vista Point.”

Those precious tourists we crave may pull off the road into a wide pull-out I know you’ve all seen, where a view of Crescent City in all its splendor lies before them: its wide crescent beaches, its harbor and jetty, a lighthouse and, beyond, a playground of sea stacks, ragged ribbons of white seafoam and craggy cliffs.

House Calls: Ultrasound isn’t just to view babies

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Catherine Balck, an ultrasound technologist  at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Some people are surprised when their doctor orders an ultrasound exam, because they thought ultrasound was only used for viewing babies inside of mothers.

Actually, ultrasound exams are used to look at and evaluate almost all areas of the body.  For example, we regularly use ultrasound to see the abdomen, pelvis, kidneys, bladder, scrotum, breast, all sorts of blood vessels and of course babies at various stages of development.

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