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 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.