Thursday, January 29, 2015

Still at the beach.     We've had windy weather but managed a couple of long walks on the beach, some lunches with good friends, and a successful shopping day.  We also spent considerable time glued to the he TV watching it snow in the north.  My son in Providence, RI made it through the storm and and he and his lovely girlfriend did turns shoveling to keep ahead of the snow accumulation at their condo.  I hope the other residents of their building appreciate their work.  I keep checking cinderellenspot.blogspot.com to see if Ellen has checked in from the Cape. Ellen, if you read this, please let us know how you fared.






Saturday, January 24, 2015

I keep having to remind myself that today is NOT Sunday

It feels like Sunday although why I can't really explain, especially since I'm at the beach and each day is unscheduled and interchangeable.  I arrived over a week ago and have made it to the beach only three times. My husband was here for the first week so we did other things, including a fun trip in his plane to St. Petersburg, Fl to the Dali Museum.  I enjoyed the trip and the museum - it had an interesting special exhibit where they had Dali and Picasso hung side by side - and the surprise was I ran into a friend from Virginia! She was in Tampa helping a grandchild with her first baby and had made the quick side trip to the museum.

Since he left I've done lunch, visited with friends, walked on the beach, read books and worked on knitting this cross between a shawl and a shrug - an interesting pattern but I may run out of yarn!  Day before yesterday my very good friend (my almost a sister) called and made hints about coming to the beach so she will be arriving tomorrow morning.  It's forecast to be cold - 60's - but sunny but we'll find lots to do.  I want spend one non-beach day at a local museum that is having a Frida Kahlo photo exhibit - "Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, an exhibition of photographic portraits of Frida Kahlo, provides an intimate look at Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist."  I'd like to see her work but this will have to do.

I thought I'd be a bit sad at losing my "alone time" but I think that this past few days has been enough and I'm recharged again to deal with more people. As an introvert who acts like an extrovert finding my recharge time is sometimes difficult.  I think that is why I value the beach so very much.

So, maybe if I start my Saturday chores I'll get myself back on the calendar.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Am I a pushover or is this just my way of redistributing wealth?

I live in a suburban neighborhood where the neighborhood kids don't bother to mow lawns, rake leaves, or shovel snow.  Their parents all have "people" for that so we don't rely on the kids for any of our jobs.  I usually do my own work, except for raking leaves which for some reason I just hate,  as I like the exercise and being outside.  My husband rakes, cleans gutters, and does general lawn clean up.  I mow and shovel snow. 

Occasionally I get a knock at the door and it is someone looking for work.  We live in a very ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood so I get people of all languages coming to my door.  Usually, through a series of limited English and lots of pointing we reach an agreement on what I want done. Usually what I want done is nothing that I even considered until the knock at the door but I want to encourage and help anyone that has the initiative to get out and find work.  In the few cases where I turn someone down I feel bad about and try to figure out what I should have done.

Today we had our first snowfall - just an inch or two.  I was just getting ready to go outside and shovel when there came a knock at the door.  A middle aged African American man with a giant coal shovel looking for work.  I first said no, I didn't need anyone to clear the walks and driveway.  Then I realized that he wouldn't be out here if he didn't need the money and I asked him what he would charge to do the walk and the driveway.  He responded that he would accept whatever I paid.  I offered $25 and he got to work. 

My husband will be both annoyed and happy when he gets home.  Annoyed that I had someone do a job that he or I could have done, and happy that he doesn't have to do it.  I would actually have enjoyed the bit of work but I also wanted to let this man earn some money.  It's a puzzle for me each time this happens.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Holiday wrap-up

Everything is now put away and I only have left to throw out all the stale cookies (my husband somehow thinks he will eat them so keeps protecting them from the garbage can).  It went by way to fast and lasted way too long.  Isn't  that how it is with lots of grand events?

Son and lovely girlfriend spent Christmas with us.  We missed having our daughter with us but it is also nice to have them one at a time occasionally.  Lovely girlfriend really is lovely - beautiful and nice and you can tell cares so much for our son.  I hope to spend many more events with her.

The holidays started with Noche Buena where we had a nice small crowd, around 20-25, so it was easier for me to talk to people instead of just be the master of ceremonies.  We had some new folks this year which really added to the event.  It's always funny that our Noche Buena party is looked forward to by so many of our Jewish friends!  And it love it when people meet new people and find they have so much in common. This year it was two artist friends who discovered one another and common interests.  (and I love saying "artist friends" as I have no artistic talent but these people both make their living as artists - one in mixed media and the other in jewelry and gold design.)

Next morning was Christmas which was the traditional unwrap gifts, eat breakfast, fix dinner, etc, a family time that was actually pretty low stress.  Christmas dinner is always a problem as I'm tired of cooking and servings etc and get totally stressed about getting dinner on the table.  This year I fixed boliche (cuban pot roast) which made my husband happy, but I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans, which made my father happy.  A win-win!  and boliche is so easy.  You just season it, brown the eye of round, and pop it in a pot with wine, tomato sauce and bay leaves, and let it slowly simmer.  I'm keeping that as my new Christmas tradition.

Son and lovely girlfriend spent the 26th seeing some of his favorite parts of our area, places that were special to him that he wanted to share.  A family dinner that night and then they were off to a party and they left the next morning.  The visit was too short but just the right length of time.

For New Year's Eve we attended a beautiful wedding downtown.  Actually the wedding ceremony was tasteless and awful (more like a comedy roast than dedicating your life to someone) but the venue was spectacular and the food was a total WIN!  Definitely gets the prize for best appetizers - tuna tartar, baby lamb chops, individual shrimp cocktails, etc.  We danced and ate and had a wonderful time. The view from the reception was quintessential Washington.   Yes, that is the White House with the Washington Monument just behind it.

Now we've put it all away and I'm looking forward to three weeks at the beach.  Things on my to-do list for 2015 include more yoga, more exercise, and cleaning out my linen closets. We'll see how it goes. 

Happy New Year everyone.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

When my kids were growing up the rule for dinner was "I fix dinner, you eat dinner. No substitutions."  We didn't allow to the children to fix a peanut butter sandwich if they didn't like what was served or to complain about what was served.  This has now led to a conundrum when they return home and I want to fix meals that they like - I have no idea what they do or don't like to eat!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Taking a breath

I've been plowing my way through my list and am almost done with Christmas shopping, and it's really too early to start cooking so this weekend is when I stop to take a breath.   Some years I've gone to the beach for a long weekend but this year my husband wanted to be there for the boat parade which meant having a party (since we have a spectacular view of the boats from our condo) and I just didn't want to add another activity to my schedule.   I put him on a plane to the beach this morning (he's going to throw the party by himself, chips and dip and beer.  It will be fine.) and then I finished up my last minute chores before I leave tomorrow for Yogaville . I think it will be the perfect interruption in my schedule.  As I explained to a friend, you have no decisions to make for the whole weekend as there are no shops, no restaurants, no activities from which to choose.  You get up to the sound of a violin, do meditation, hatha yoga, eat breakfast, attend a lecture (or not), eat lunch, rest/think/walk/read until you do meditation, hatha yoga and dinner.  After dinner we will have chanting and a short program on Integral Yoga and then it is quiet hours until we start it again the next morning.  It's nice to have this break in the busy.  So until Monday -

Om shanti,shanti,shanti

Friday, December 05, 2014

we end this miserable week with a spot of bitching

This has been cold, wet, miserable week in my part of the country and I have spent large parts of it driving back and forth to my father's house, in and out of his house, in and out of the grocery store, and in and out of appointments for him.  For reasons that I cannot fathom he decided that he wanted all of his routine appointments scheduled before the Christmas holidays so being the dutiful daughter I scheduled them for him as requested. Appointments begat additional appointments - a dental filling, a follow-up at the dermatologist, etc - until we had more than five appointments this week, some days more than one.  In addition, he usually has a ride to and from band practice but this week his friend was not going to the practice so I needed to squeeze that in, too.  Then we had the special "My TV isn't working" visits  - he'd pushed the wrong button - and the "my hearing aid needs batteries" and the "I need bananas" trips.

Today, Friday, was an eye doctor appointment (which begat a follow-up right when I was planning to be in Florida in January so I need to reschedule my trip), then after I returned him home I went to the grocery with his list in hand.  His list was short - apple cider.  I did my shopping and then stopped by his house with his cider.  I knew he would be disappointed since I couldn't find any fresh cider and bought a bottled cider.  I also bought him some egg nog since I know he likes it and since I knew the cider would be disappointing I wanted to do something to make up for it.  It was a fail on both counts. As I pulled the cider out of the bag and explained that the fresh cider was seasonal and apparently the season is over and this was the only cider they had at the store, he made a face and said "That's no good."  I said "I'm sorry.  This is all they had."  He said "That's not real cider".  I said "It isn't apple juice, it says cider on the label."  He said "I don't want it."   OK.  So I put it back into the bag to bring home.  Maybe I'll use it on Noche Buena as a non-alcoholic option.   Next, I said "I thought you might be disappointed in the cider so to make it up to you I bought you some egg nog.  I know you like egg nog."  His reply was "No."  "I said "I thought you liked cider."  and he replied "It's too early.  I don't want it."  So, back into the bag to come home with me. My husband might drink it or I might just pour it down the sink as I've always hated the stuff.  It never occurred to my father that he could have said "Thank you." and then he could pour it down the sink if he didn't want it.   Or that he could have been somewhat more gracious when it was pretty clear that I tried to do something nice, even if it fell a little off the mark.

Next we went through the mail and paid the bills.  As I was leaving I asked him what time he needed me to be back to take him to church tonight.  He said 6:20 pm.  and then I asked what time approximately he thought the program might be over and he said he'd call me.  I asked if he had any idea because I'd like to plan my dinner so as to not be interrupted to pick him up. If he had any idea I could schedule around that.   His response was "I'll call you."  So my Friday night is now not the tapas night my husband and I had planned but it is "waiting around on my father night".