Monday, September 1, 2014

2 day pass

after a week of much togetherness, coach and i enjoyed friday to ourselves.
we traveled north to port washington
where we walked along the water, shopped a little and had a nice dockside lunch.
the rainy forecast was errant...
it was a bright and breezy day.

lil returned from her waterpark birthday party
and the three of us went for happy hour at a local biergarten.
it was very family friendly -
there were more kids and dogs than beer drinkers.
we enjoyed sitting beneath the tall trees and beside the river at this quaint spot.
and also a couple games of spot it, and a giant pretzel too.

saturday this beauty had a back to school salon visit.
all the swimming this summer had taken a toll on her locks.
she was just happy that her hair is still long.

 we did some shopping at our favorite east side shops
to stock up on sciortino's rolls, glorioso's pizza fixings and whole foods homemade tortilla chips.
the chips accompanied miss bit's guacamole and my choriqueso, which we took to a badger party that eve.
we made sandwiches for the beach the next day on the rolls.
our neighbor declared his turkey sandwich a-m-a-z-i-n-g and wanted me to give his mom the recipe.
that is the second of ted's friends to say such a thing.
we woke to a sky of haze on sunday morning and worried that it wasn't the kind of day that screamed beach.
but a little fog and a few clouds do not deter this crew so we headed north to the sheboygan lake michigan shore.
the beach looked otherworldly ensconced in low lying clouds.
the grey blue sky melted into the grey blue water in the most magical of ways.
the water was numbingly freezing, but before too long we were all declaring it r-e-f-r-e-s-h-i-n-g!
we stayed long enough for the fog to lift, the sky to brighten and then the fog to return.

after all that swimming, we worked up quite an appetite.
while the dough rose for pizzas and the fire smoldered for smores, we chilled on the patio.
coach spotted this arachnid (spider just does not do him justice) in a beautiful web, peanut spotted a wee toad and i spotted a very fearless hummingbird moth.
our neighbors stopped by to get their son, and stayed until monday morning.
now they want to invest in coach's pizza palace.

today we woke to rain.
a few sprinkles cannot keep teddy off the course - he and a friend are golfing as i type.
miss bit is worrying about what she will wear to school tomorrow and when i will get off the computer so she can get on.
it will be a relaxing day spent close to home.
at the end of it, we will enjoy the last family dinner of the summer:
strawberry cream crepes for them and chicken marsala for us.
we'll say goodbye to summer vacation a tad begrudgingly, and hello to a new school year with a hint of excitement.
it's been real.
it's been fun.
it's been real fun.

On My Mind Monday

Food is memories.

Hundred Foot Journey


Friday, August 29, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

A week of vacation.  Staycation is what, I guess, would best apply since we stayed close to home.  That is just how things worked out, and I think it's for the best as I am happiest at home these days.  Not to mention, there are so many experiences to have in our own city in the summer that it seems rather silly to leave. 

We visited lakes, quarries, ponds, rivers, forests and prairies.  Spending so much time outside in so many beautiful places was just what I needed.  It truly helps me put all things in perspective, and let's be's all about perspective.

We had an idea for each day and then depending on when we woke and what kind of weather we woke to, we went forth into the day knowing that we would be flexible and our time fluid.  We didn't get to do everything we planned, but we enjoyed the things we did do. 

And the weekend's not over yet.  We have hopes to visit one more lake and plans with friends on two different nights still to look forward to.

We have several friends who have taken their oldest sons to college.  I felt the massive shift in their lives and families from afar.  T. Bone isn't even in high school yet, but he is a teenager so he had more social engagements than the rest of us this week.  Often, it was the three of us while he was off with friends.  I got a little glimpse of what it will be like when he is grown and gone.  It will be OK.  I will be OK.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

On The Whir of a Hummingbird's Wings

The time had come to make a rather weighty decision.  Please allow me to clarify: weighty in my own little world.  I'm a hemmer and a hawer.  Despite the fact that I almost always have an opinion or a feeling, I like to shilly shally.  I tend to fudge and mudge.  I often back and fill, which is all to say I'm rather prone to doubt and double thought.  I lack trust in myself and I give too much power to others.  Then the other day as I weighed the pros, cons and angles, I realized that none of that stuff mattered when measured up against the lingering feeling in my gut.  My instinct has rarely failed me, although I have most certainly failed it, and so I went with the feeling.  Before I could even sabotage my decision, which I was just about to do, a hummingbird came to visit my streptocarpella.  I recognized her rare presence as an affirmation that I had done the right thing.  Her quick, timely visit was an all's okay from my Mom who sends me the hummingbirds just when I need them to remind me that she is still with me, and also that I got this.

Monday, August 25, 2014

2 day pass

1.   enjoying beautiful birthday flowers and thoughtful gifts from loved ones.
2.   getting in on the green and gold tradition in green bay.
3.   decorating and organizing her middle school locker.  already middle school and already back to school.
4.   tigger glamping.
5.   they told her they will protect her if she needs it.  it's all about who you know.
6.   last movie night at the pool for the summer.
7.   mexican cobb salad with avocado cream dressing is perfect late summer dinner.
8.   my dad was a little excited for his first time at lambeau field.
9.   ted and jack were ready for some packer football too.
10. i saw not one but three blue herons during my walk the other day.
11. gloaming at big bay on my birthday.
12. what a treat to party (and play football) at this house with a close view of the stadium before and after the game thanks to my bro and sil.
13. peanut on siesta.  zzzzz.
14. rocking the pastel polo for his friend's bar mitzvah.
15. meatball subs...the way to everyone's heart.  and i mean everyone!
16. enjoying thank you flowers.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Up In The East Down In The West

(And another orbit also known as 365 days or a new year.)

I decided I wanted to usher in my 45th year watching the sun rise.  It is the very first thing that made my list of 45 in 45 so it seemed inspired and fitting. #Sunrise was also the day's prompt for the Instagram challenge I dabble in.  Mere coincidence?  Or a powerful invitation?  I thought I was having one of those divine moments where the universe is talking to me and I am all ears.  That is until the weather forecast was for once spot on.  Mother Nature be damned...I woke to a perfectly cloudy day yesterday.  I was awake before dawn, albeit briefly, and I contemplated going to my favorite nearby beach on the shores of Lake Michigan despite the cloudcast.  Then I drifted back off begrudgingly and also greedily.  I was unhappy about the fate of my best laid plans and also still not sufficiently rested.  So I missed the sunrise.  That sad fact set the tone for most of the rest of my waking day.

It was not my best despite the many lovely texts, calls, voice mails and even a delivery of the most spectacular bouquet of South American red roses.  I was cranky and still sour in mood from the day before, which was one of the lowest of all of my 44th year. It was also a stressful day at work as I was wearing several hats and none of them particularly well with almost two weeks of vacation dangling like a carrot in front of starving moi.

When I got home, I crawled into bed and begged Mother Nature to let the rain fall from the still saturated sky.  You see earlier in the day I may have mentioned a swim at our favorite little beach to my favorite little girl.  Earlier before my mood went from gloomy to gloomier.  Said little lady does not take such promises lightly, and I knew her fury would be worse than Mother Nature's if I even tried to back out...unless lightning was involved, perhaps.

Jess came bearing wine and a French silk pie.  And a bathing suit.  Jack, my honorary second son for the week, returned at the end of his day wondering when Teddy would be home from football practice or when we were going swimming.  In other words, I'm already bored.  Apparently, I got him all excited too.  So after a glass of the best rioja, I corked the bottle and said to the beach!  I said to the beach! and I meant to the beach!  That exclamation point is very important here because when I committed to acting the way I wanted to feel, I felt it.  I was suddenly excited and empowered.  When I was searching for a safety pin for Jess (wink wink), I found my Mom's O' Shit button lost since St. Pat's Day, and then I knew the universe was still talking to me and I better get on. At that point I may have even been eager.

Apparently, not quite as eager as Lily and Jack who flew down the slick stone stairwell and headed straight for the water that is still feeling palpable effects of last winter's stubborn polar vortex.  As I dipped my toes in and thought no way, I remembered a similar night last summer when I think I referred to the sensation of being submerged in the icy water as electric. And it was.  So I started to wade in.  It took me a little while to get to my waist, but I knew I was going all in because I knew what was in store for me.  I put my mind to it and willed my feet to carry me forward as I said my intentions for this new new year.  It was a  inspiring and symbolic moment for me.  Almost holy.  Like a baptism if you will, and certainly a cleansing.  I swam forward into the grey water with my eyes on the grey horizon and prayers in my heart.  Water and air were one and I felt such a surge of hope as I took a deep breath and dove under.  My tears ended where the water began, and I took a deep breath out of awe as well as sustenance.

I felt so blessed to behold such a beautiful, meaningful place.  Beautifully meaningful.  I don't really know how to adequately express how grateful and humbled I am to know that even the grey gloaming is full of incredible magic.  It is subtle and soft.  It is muted and mottled, but it is awe-inspiring in its own right.  The eastern sky is just as showy as the western sky in the golden hour, and that realization recharged my staggering spirit.

Jess and I finished our rioja in the lake while Jack, Lily and our old friend Darla the dog splashed around us. Coming to this place on this night was the best gift I could have asked for on my birthday. That and finding McGurk's O'Shit button.

We stayed until twilight reluctant to leave.  Then as we ambled up the path on the moonless night, the fireflies lit the way.  I was water logged and sandy, and most certainly ready for another year.