Thursday, October 13, 2016

Good Vibrations: Visiting Esalen

What a fabulous place! No wonder it has been on my bucket list for all these years. We arrived on Friday and were totally captivated by the view from our deck. Perfect.

 And the view from the dining deck was pretty spectacular, too. 

 The garden-to-table food did not disappoint. Shown below is the delicious pasta with marinara sauce that was dinner, and there were gluten free lemon bars for dessert. I had three! By far my favorite food item appeared at the first dinner there: celery root, battered and fried to a crisp, golden brown. 

I took a mindfulness meditation workshop, lazed in the hot springs, and enjoyed coffee surrounded by the beauty of Big Sur. Amazing.

It was relaxing and enriching. I didn't come away with any new knowledge, but it was a powerful refresher course in what life is all about.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Last Hurrah

Before the school bells start to beckon students to class, we managed to squeeze a little fun into the dog days of summer. Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park was our first stop, and we took advantage of the canoes and paddleboats.

A visit to the lovely Sonoma Coast was also on our agenda, and Salmon Creek became our destination for a end-of-summer picnic. 

Perfect weather. Perfect day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Feeling Seventeen Again

Yes, another high school reunion. For some reason, these folks like to meet every year these days, not exactly my "cup of tea." This was only the fifth time I have attended, not a very good record considering I was secretary of my class.

However, the setting was wonderful and the weather perfect for dining al fresco. But -alas- the Mean Girl was there. Again. I wonder if she attends EVERY reunion? 

Cocktails commenced. Right off the bat, she managed to get in a dig, her specialty, by commenting to a large group  that one of our mutual friends was "three sheets to the wind" at a previous reunion. Later, at dinner, she reminded everyone at our table that she and I had both been up for the same part in a school drama production...and that SHE won the role. The Mean Girl's worst remark, of the ones that I witnessed, was to inform a classmate that she was her prom date's fourth choice. Yes!  After receiving three refusals from other girls, he finally invited her. She heard this for the first time at the reunion. Really.
 I guess some people don't change: and, though I hate to admit it, she is still capable of "pushing my buttons",  just as she did when we were teenagers. So much for growth and maturity. Ha.

But I had a nice time at the reunion, in spite of the Mean Girl.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tapas, Anyone?

Preparing for my tapas party, I consulted a tapas cookbook and discovered that tapas can really be just about anything! How nice to discover there was so much variety. I decided on a first course of spicy gazpacho, and it turned out to be pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. Way too much chopping, however.

Deviled eggs...yes...they're tapas. Who knew! The green olive gives these a bit of an edge, I think.

Grilled shrimp with a spicy tomato sauce. Divine!

This dish was the hit of the party. It has a fancy Spanish name but is basically a potato omelet. Gone in a flash, and I had been hoping for left-overs.
The table looked lovely, if I do say so myself. I love, love, love these plates from Il Fornaio. I know...Italian, not Spanish, but the look worked for me.
A good time...with good friends to make it even better.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello, 2016!

How did I get to be so old while still feeling so young?
Why do the years fly by so quickly now?
That's the way it is, I guess
When you reach that 70ish place in your life.
I'm glad to be here, enjoying the moments (or sometimes  not),
Seeing the sights,
And being.
Just being. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Seeking a More Perfect Union

Today is a good day to reflect on how far we've come as a country. Weirdly enough, the founders of our nation would most likely be considered sexist, racist, and homophobic by today's standards*. Yet these men deserve credit for inventing  a country constructed to allow us to continually seek "a more perfect union", a job that will never end since perfection has no finish line.

With the Supreme Court's recent decision to give same-sex couples the right to marry, we've heard the predictable howls of outrage from the gatekeepers of yesterday. We've heard the refusal of some Southern states to accept the court's ruling, just as they did during the civil rights years. As our nation moves forward seeking the dream of "justice for all", this is to be expected. This is the way change works.

So, this 4th of July 2015 is a bright day, a day to look back and see how far we have come. Yes, we have! The work continues as we strive for that perfection that will continue to elude us. But isn't it grand that we keep trying? 

See, Mom...I was listening.

*Thank you to Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald for this startling thought.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lighten Up!

 I am sending a mental memo to myself: keep looking for the proverbial silver lining when a rough patch comes around. I believe it is always there, somewhere...and will eventually appear. I want to see the glass half full. Not half empty.