Friday, September 8, 2017

some travel dreams and other ways I spend my days

I guess I have been on another break.
Not a great excuse and I have been a little uninspired.  Unwilling to share my current follies or travels.  I managed another trip to Santa Fe and a week later, I flew to Spokane.  Talk about whirlwind and work.  I went from seven straight days to a four day break in Santa Fe which was awesome--Ojo Caliente, dinner with Lawrence and his wife, some shopping and of course, seeing Melody.  I rested at the airbnb and contemplated life.  No service there so little interaction on social media.  It was glorious.  I returned to work six days.  Lot of hours and really exhausted.  Caught a flight to Spokane to assist at a drag race.  Check that off my bucket list!
Next month, I am heading to Puerto Rico to attend a wedding and then will road trip it to Kansas for my sister's wedding.  So there is upcoming travel.
I keep dreaming of Greece.  I think of buying my tickets to Athens in 2001 and how that trip derailed after 9/11.  I was able to get a refund after initially delaying my trip.  I believed that I would be beginning an adventure in Greece and traveling for six months before starting real life.  I suppose that begs the question--have I ever really grown up?  Or done the traditional thing?
My intention was to go to Greece in 2002.  Instead, I found myself adjusting to life in Denver and creating my life here.  Greece seemed like somewhere I would go at another time.  Maybe 2003.  or 2004.  And, now I am at 2017 with no stamp that says Greece.  I that it will be rectified in 2018.  I have finally made an appointment with a dentist.  Probably one of my most dreaded tasks.  I take care of myself--pedicures, massage, yoga.  I visit the eye doctor to keep my vision healthy and I have been to the lady doctor more frequently than the dreaded dentist.  I have been thinking about it all year and finally decided to be an adult about it.  Two of my friends go to the same dentist and I think that was the sign for me.  I need to suck it up and find out what needs to be done.  I blame it on genetics from my father's side.  I know that I grind my teeth, have hurt my enamel and have fillings that need to be handled.  Oh the joys of dental health.  Of my dental health.
I am meeting my trainer in thirty minutes.  Courtney is awesome and I look forward to my sessions with her.  I feel that I am getting stronger and want to increase this trend.  I do have slip ups.  I would like to think that I am not the only one who has or does.  Last week, Courtney game me homework--portion size and decrease my intake of wine.  Yesterday, I went to lunch with Tiffany and had a major cheat day.  Wine at lunch and the dip duo.  I love this appetizer and have not eaten it since I started training.  I was with Tiffany and since she is moving to Puerto Rico in a month chose to go with the flow of lunch.  I walked to and from lunch and went to a yoga sculpt class was my justification for the decadent lunch.  After the sculpt class, I thought about having wine with dinner.  I went back and forth with it and finally decided to walk to the corner store.  I chose to leave my phone charging in my apartment since the bottle shop is two blocks from my apartment.  I shut my door and began to lock the dead bolt.  I watched as my key bent in the luck and broke off. CRAP!!!
I knocked on my landlady's door.  She wasn't home.
I went to make a call and then remembered that I had intentionally left my phone in my bedroom.  Crap!  I walked down to the maintenance guy's apartment.  Classically in the basement.  Think boiler room.  I could hear him and his brother talking but they didn't answer the door.  I was impatient trying to figure out what to do.  No phone, key broke in lock.  No landlord.  Where could I go if I couldn't effectively break into my apartment?  Sara is overworked.  Jenn seemed overwhelmed with the weekend plans (from our texts earlier that was implied) and my other typical go-to that saves me is not an option currently but that is another story.
I went to their other door and knocked furiously.  Thankfully, he heard me this time and I explained my quandary.  I told him that the key had broke in the lock.  He considered taking the dead bolt off if necessary.  I returned to my apartment door and waited.  I noted that the key was sticking out.  The guy arrived and I showed him the piece of key that I had found.  He had pliers and pulled the key out.  Relief!  Then he had a spare key for the dead bolt and unlocked my door.
I laughed then.  This is one of the this could only happen to me moments that I find myself in.  Sometimes frequently.  It all worked out and I did manage to buy some wine to accompany my dinner.  I abstained from further imploding my day by not getting take out.  I had a craving for spaghetti and meatballs.  I really thought about the place a few blocks from my house that has massive meatballs.  That would have wrecked my weigh in for sure today.  Not saying that it won't be in my future today.
The only other noteworthy item of my day was purchasing clothes from a consignment store.  I have realized in the last 6-8 years how much I do enjoy shopping.  Being a Libra it is one of the highlighted qualities that I have always felt did not apply to me.  I hate shopping or so I thought.  Nah, I love buying new clothes.  At any rate, I went to a cute consignment store in Cherry Creek.  I wanted to buy yoga pants or a dress for Tiffany's wedding.  Instead, I found a black dress that I probably don't need but I wanted!  I was checking out and the cashier asked me if I was a teacher.  And I replied, no.
Then, she asked me if I was over 55....wtf?  I almost leaped across the counter.  In my mind, I think I did.  I calmly replied no.
Her next inquiry was if I was a student.  No.
At which point, she said, well I was only trying to get you a discount.
Sure, I get that.  The asking me if I was 55 was ridiculous.  I almost said, actually, I'm 60 and just look good for my age.  I'm still irritated with that woman.  Lol.
I am off to spend the rest of my day either reading or outside.  It is glorious!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

memorial celebration

After lunch and pedicures with Jasmin, we headed over to the memorial for one of my former classmates and friends.  I knew some of the people that would be attending and wanted to see them.  I also had fond memories of Brian. 
We went to middle and high school together.  We shared latin and one year of being band nerds.  I moved on after our trip to Orlando and focused on school, work and finding a way out of Salina.  He continued with band and a different path than mine.  We both ended up in Lawrence for college.  He was one of my best friend's roommates in an off campus apartment.  Like me, we wanted to live off campus instead of in a dorm or sorority.  After that first year, we drifted apart.  I was always consumed by work and creating my departure from Kansas.  He had friends, other interests and ultimately, a different path.  We lost touch and eventually found our commonality on social media.  I could stalk his photos and see what he was interested in in a very public way.  Returning for his memorial it was nice to look through his childhood photos.  I am a sucker for family photos.  So much innocence and camaraderie.  Of course, there were senior photos and photos of his life.  I arrived later than anticipated and interrupted part of the speeches.  It was nice to listen but I wasn't interested in contributing to the stories in a public forum.  That is not really my thing.  I remember when my Brian died and letting his friend/boss speak.  Marc was charismatic and had the best stories of Brian.  He was compassionate and illustrated some of Brian's essence.  Afterwards, they opened it up to anyone else that wanted to say something.  Quickly, it declined into weirdness and randomness.  This one lady spoke of how kind Brian was for always returning her lighter. It seemed odd and pointless and we cut people off and concluded the speaking portion.  I didn't speak that day.  I don't think I would have done it any differently either.
After people were finished speaking, we broke up into small groups, naturally, and caught up.  That was interesting.  One guy immediately approached me and wanted to know what I had been doing for the past 10 years.  I responded that I bartend.  He goes--really?  You were the smartest person in our class, I thought you would be doing something else.
I didn't really know how to respond.  When I was younger, I thought I would be a lawyer.  I have a great life and it is unconventional.  It's not traditional or what is considered success in some people's minds. Initially, I was pissed that I would be judged in such a manner.  But, then I forgave him as he has not changed.  He has always had turrets.  Speaking first thinking later.  I have a few other examples from last Saturday that would support this belief. 
Another guy I ran into I have known since kindergarten.  It was great to see him and see where life has taken him.  He was a quiet introverted guy all through school.  He has blossomed into a rambunctious lover of life.  He is a pilot and travels the world.  It was wonderful talking to him.  I wish I had had more time to catch up with him. 
I am glad that I made the effort to return to Kansas.  Next time might be longer or for happier circumstances. I know that I will see Jennifer in the next few months.  She is one of my childhood friends that I do see on a fairly regular basis.  I am grateful for that.
I am off to dog sit, attend a barre class and greet the day!  Until next time---cheers!

Friday, July 14, 2017

midwest trip

Vacation to the Midwest was successful.  Of course, it was not long enough.  I would have preferred another day to spend time with my niece, Emma or more time with my high school friends.  I woke up on Thursday and headed east to Omaha.  I have made driven this road, before, but I am not nearly as familiar with it as driving thru Kansas.  I called my dad to let him know that I would be arriving in a few hours and that, yes, I had directions to his house compliments of gps.  Ironically, I realized that I had put in Omaha as my location instead of his actual address.  I texted him to ask him for the address about twenty minutes from Lincoln.  I veered off to put gas in my car and potty and ended up in a 25 minute departure from my arrival plan.  Next time, I know, to stop at main exits and not head into small towns that I am unfamiliar with, lol. 
My dad's house is comfortable with a large backyard.  I enjoyed spending time with him and his wife.  They are well suited--similar outlooks on life and personality.  We drank a few beers before meeting her daughter for dinner.  They chose a cute Italian place nearby.  It was nice and the best part of the restaurant were the half price bottles of wine deal offered on Thursdays.  Of course, they let me choose the wine!  I loved that part.  We took dessert with us and had bailey's and coffee at home.  All, in all, it was a quick lovely visit.  I woke up, early, on Friday and headed south to Lawrence.  I had two options to arrive in a timely fashion.  I could take the interstate through K.C. or a highway to Topeka.  My dad and Joyce both preferred the two lane highway.  They claimed it was a straight shot and good road.  Getting out of Omaha was a little challenging since I didn't have service at my dad's house.  I didn't want to return to ask him how to get to the interstate so I drove around til I managed to find a gas station.  I thought I would go old school.  Armed with a map, I was prepared to ask an attendant the best way to 1-80.  Thankfully, my service returned and I was able to be guided to the highway.  There was some construction which was annoying.  I followed 1-75 south and missed a turn, somehow.  I found myself entering Iowa, lol.  Thankfully, I knew that was incorrect and found my mistake quickly. 
The road was fine for the most part.  There was more traffic than I imagined and of course, people that were unwilling to follow the rules of the road.  If you are not going the speed limit, do not drive in the left lane.  Moreover, when you are gifted a truck lane *which opens up the road to two lanes and enables passing* please either get over if you have no intention of passing or drive with the flow of traffic.  Do not continue to drive slow and follow the car in front of you.  It was frustrating to only be able to pass in the right zone and drive behind people that are unfit to drive.  I managed to make it to Lawrence with a few minutes to spare.  I had a lunch date with a friend from college.  Julie had not changed at all.  I last saw her in 2009 on another visit to Lawrence.  She now has two girls and we caught up on our families.  I knew all of her brothers and she knows my sisters.  We all attended her wedding in Lawrence.  Always fun to see her and catch up!  And dining at Free State is always a treat.  I saw three people that I used to work with back when I was in college. 
Afterwards, I drove to Manhattan.  Quick drive and I made it to Jasmin's house fairly easily.  I was surprised that her daughter was not there.  I had hoped to spend the weekend with my niece.  I had hoped that Jasmin would be able to convince her ex that Emma should spend the weekend with us.  It was nice to see Mason, my nephew, and also spend a little extra time with Jasmin. We got pedicures and had lunch at a Mexican place in Manhattan.  I wanted to try a new restaurant in the Little Apple and the only qualification was I wanted wine.  Jasmin mentioned a Mexican restaurant a few times and so I knew she was interested in chips and salsa. 
I forgot to mention my yoga class and the farmer's market I found on Saturday morning.  I have been to the yoga studio on a prior visit and so I knew where it was and that it was a clean and welcoming space.  Upon arrival, I checked in to my class and greeted who I thought was the instructor.  This girl was fiddling with the music and so I approached her about props.  She directed me to a very pregnant girl who would be leading the class.  Initially, I was anxious that the class would suck (honestly) and then was pleasantly surprised when it was decent. Better than decent.  Better than the majority of classes I have attended in Denver.  It was challenging, mindful and had great music.  I was happy.
I had driven by a farmer's market on the way to yoga and so I stopped before returning to Jasmin's house.  I wanted to scope the produce and find coffee and maybe a breakfast burrito.  That is one reason I enjoy perusing farmer's markets.  This one was full of produce, some goods, but no coffee.  I was surprised that there wasn't a pop up coffee stand.  They did have beignets, though.  I purchased some for Chris.  I also found beets, tomatoes and sweet corn.  I thought the corn would be a nice addition for our bbq that night.  It was.
I will conclude this for now.  I have a training session to mentally prepare for.  Ahh...Fridays!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

new month and current likes

Hello, July!  What a month this will be...more reading, TRX training and some travel.  I might be able to maneuver another road trip at some point.  Definitely heading to the Midwest next week to see family.  It was inspired by a memorial that I had hoped to attend.  I wanted to be able to do it in the proper fashion which meant that I would need to take an additional day off from work.  Also, that I would arrange a brief stay with my dad in Omaha and my sister in Kansas. 
I reached out to my friend, Jennifer, in ABQ to see if she was making the journey back for the memorial.  She told me that she was flying into KC for 36 hours or thereabouts.  After confirming with my sister that she would be in town, I decided to commit to the trip.  From there, I sought out a college friend that lives in Lawrence to see if she would be interested in meeting me for lunch when I drive thru.  Everything is falling into place and, I believe, it will be a great quick trip.  I wish I had more time to see my friend, Carol, who is in Lindsborg.  My return to Denver on Sunday will be early and without much flexibility for time.  I work at 3 that day and must be back ready to work.
The personal training is going well.  I like my trainer.  She pushes me to do more and make mindful choices.  I can hear her voice in my head when I am considering eating more cheese, lol.  I want to be consistent with my training and think that three sessions a month are adequate.  I have been teaching more yoga and will increase the frequency and students.  My friend, Danielle, is interested in meeting me for two sessions a week.  We celebrated our practice by dining at Fruition last night.  What a treat!  It's been awhile since I have last dined there.  Mostly since there are so many new places that I had wanted to check out.  Danielle and I both live near 6th St and so it seemed like a great choice.  We wanted wine and a great meal and both needs were met.  Danielle is a vegan and so going to Luca seemed out of place and the other spot, I mentioned, was too casual.  The wine list is decent but I knew that the food was not what either of us would want. 
Our server was great.  Very attentive and able to guide us to a lovely meal.  The chef created a lovely vegan meal for Danny.  The only drawback to the restaurant is the lack of bar or waiting space. I would have loved to have had some bubbles or a cocktail while waiting for our table.  Not a huge deal.
I have been reading more and love it.  Currently, I seem to enjoy reading about family dynamics.  The Nest was interesting and thought provoking.  I enjoyed my stint with narcissism by reading Harmony.  And, I have read quite a few John Irving books in the last few months.  Hilarious and always interesting.  I have another one to read but want to take a break from his style for a bit.  In the meantime, I have two books to enjoy and several more on hold at the library.
I'm still open to suggestions for my birthday.  I am tempted to go to wine and Chile and it is on my birthday week.  I looked at rentals and the rates are good and I know that I would enjoy the festival again.  But, do I want to spend my time there or go elsewhere?  I am still on the fence with it.  I could definitely enjoy a three day trip to San Diego.  Or a yoga inspired trip to Phoenix. I still have some time before committing to anything.
Yoga, healthy eating and reading will be my focus this summer.  I like that it is something different and thought provoking.  I spend too much time watching tv and prefer expanding my reading base.  Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated!  I am off to a yoga class.  Hoping this girl incorporates more astanga in her practice today.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Celebrating and books

Random Friday night off thoughts...I had the best day.  Mostly, due to the weather.  Amazing after two nights ago when I woke up, multiple times, due to marinating in my own sweat.  I had to do the Sara trick.  As a child, Sara lived in Florida.  Her parents were unwilling to turn on the a/c since they had a swimming pool for them.  Her mom always suggested putting a cold cloth on her forehead and belly that would cool you down.  It does.  But, it isn't that comforting to think about as you wake up, endlessly, due to not being able to sleep.
I have multiple fans in addition to a ceiling fan that should be more than enough.  Yet, two nights ago, I thought I was going to die of heat exhaustion.  Okay.  So, I am exaggerating a little.  I knew that I wouldn't die but it sure was frustrating to wake up because I was hot. 
This morning was delightful!  I woke up, cold.  I turned off my fans.  It was that cold.  I met my trainer after going through my morning ritual--lemon water, coffee, protein bar.  Sometimes, vitamins...sometimes, not.  I shower and then walk to my gym. First thing she does is put me on the scale.  I see that there had been progress.  That making some sacrifices had resulted in positivity.  She asked me how I felt.  My response, great and then I continued with....and I didn't wake up hungover, once.
She laughed.  I was being completely honest.  I didn't drink remotely excessively in the last week.  I dined out more than I anticipated and still was able to tone up.  I feel good and I feel that Courtney feels I will be a success story.  I feel that I can commit to this and make progress.  I have been more aware of what I am putting in my body.  For example, I met Jenn for dinner last night.  Initially, we talked about checking out a new place in Stapleton.  A female chef that was trying out her own place.  I was excited to check it out but location wise, I wasn't thrilled.  I was thinking about a way to either cancel or change since I was uninterested in driving to Stapleton.  For some reason, Jenn had ESP and she mentioned that she preferred something more casual.  She was craving sushi (her go to).  I asked if we could go elsewhere.  Her next suggestion was her typical response.  I vetoed that as well.  I suggested three or four spots around our area which did not interest her.  She mentioned Mexican at which point, I caved in.  I wasn't thrilled about loading up on cheese, chips and guacamole the night before I met my trainer, but we were getting nowhere and fast.  I agreed that I would meet her at a spot I had dined at many times with most of my family.  It was a place that I would meet Brian for lunch.  I love it.  Very nostalgic.
However, I didn't really want margaritas.  I arrived to find a carafe of margaritas.  They do not make a good margarita.  It's shitty.  And, I was wrecking my diet for this.  Terrible drinks and a taco salad.  In all honesty, I refrained from eating the fried taco shell.  I tried to be good.  I was aware that I was choosing this food to be kind to my friend and make the most of it. 
After meeting my trainer, I felt that I could have made better choices and fared better.  Yet, when she asked me what I would like to do for next week, I realized that I am thankful for making some mistakes that I can maybe take care of in the next week.  I like wine.  I like cheese.  I will not cut them out of my diet as I am learning tonight.  I am celebrating my success with wine and the remainder of my spaghetti and meatball.  I feel full, sated. 
I found a book that I feel like a narcissist.  Harmony, by Carolyn Parkhurst.  I found her years ago when perusing books at a Barnes and Noble.  The dogs of Babel intrigued me and captured my attention for the length of the book.  Harmony, also appears to take me in.  It reminds me of what I am currently re-watching.  How great of a show was Parenthood?  Seriously!  I find myself emotionally overwhelmed.  The dynamics of family and things that happen in their lives. 
Back to Harmony....a couple has two daughters.  The older of which falls somewhere on the autism spectrum and has been kicked out of multiple schools.  Distraught, the couple try to figure out what is best for their daughters and opt to attend a family camp in the woods.  The perspective alternates between their younger daughter who does not have autism and the mother.  It's funny, honest, genuine.  I put it down to have dinner and blog.  
I appreciate how honest it is.  I am looking forward to how it concludes.  I requested additional books that I plan on reading the next few weeks.  I feel like this is my summer of reading.  And self care.  Did I mention my thai massage today?  Or that I went to a matinee?  I was disappointed in Beatriz at Dinner. They could have done so much more.  It was like an amuse bouche with no finish. Most of what you see in the trailers are key moments.  There was no conclusion.  It just ended. 
Very simplified synopsis, I know.  I don't feel like putting any effort into it.  It was dismal. 
I did see a preview for the Big Sick. I am a big fan of Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.  I think this film is going to be great. 
I am done.  I need to return to my book.  It is that amusing!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

post 108 salutations

Done.  Completed.  Wow!  108 salutations attempted and completed.  I knew that this was something that I wanted to do after the first time I heard about it in Phoenix.  One of the instructors had live music to accompany the greeting of the solstice.  I wanted to attend but work always stood in the way. 
This year, I decided to do it at my house.  I had increments of 10 mapped out near me to keep on my target.  I knew that it would be challenging to remember where I was in the sequence without some assistance.  My mind tends to wander and I lose track of were I am.
I understand more and more the importance of being present while performing this task. The first ten felt good and I began to get in a rhythm.  Around forty, I started confusing which number I was on.  I tried to think of how many more and that also confused me.  I realized that I needed to stay on the number I was doing to make it easier.  Almost meditate on the number and the breathing.  I kept thinking I would want to stop jumping forward once I felt tired.  Then, I was determined to finish all of them by jumping forward.  Around 81, I think, I completed the best jump forward and time-wise, I was doing well. I didn't want to lose my momentum for fear of wanting to stop.  Actually needing to stop.
94, I started slowing down.  My arms were wobbly and I could tell I was tired.  I could tell that I was ready to stop.  But then, I thought, there is only fourteen more.  I can do this.  I had music playing the entire time which helped and hindered a few times.  I didn't like a particular song and so I would struggle to continue through it.  Breathing helped and knowing that I set out to do it and I did.  I had positive thoughts propelling me through the 40's, 50's 60's....then I turned on myself in the 90's. I could tell that I wanted to stop and the negative thoughts creeped in.  I managed to finish in spite of my negative thoughts.
My arms will be mush for a few days, I think.  I am going to a Barre class in a bit and that should be interesting.  I don't know how much I am going to want to do free weights of push-ups if they are required.  Maybe just core strengthening or cardio.  That would be a nice change.
The salutations were challenging and I believe in a classroom setting, the energy would be incredible.  I had candles lit and felt some radiating energy at the end.  I fell into the corpse pose and didn't want to get up.  I could have remained in the position for an hour due to the exhaustion.  I know that I should rest and chose to eat some yogurt to help the recovery process begin.  I don't want to be too annoying with this food thing.  I don't want to create an obsessive behavior over what I am and am not eating.  Small changes will help. That is what I want to focus on. 
It feels great to be making this decision on my own.  Instead of traveling, nonstop, I will remain in town to build a better base for my health.  Consistency is key.  Of course, in August I will head to Washington State.  Maybe another trip to Santa Fe.  Or I always try to visit AZ in July.  Maybe I could push it back a few months.  I love the shopping, yoga and friend factor.
All these things I thought about after the salutations.  That and I could be doing 50 a week in my practice.  I wonder how quickly I could do the 108 salutations if I had a base of 50 salutations or more a week.  Maybe for the winter I will address that issue.
Enjoy your day! I am off to get some coffee before Barre class.

attempting 108 salutations

This will be an interesting feat.  Attempting to greet the summer solstice with 108 salutations on my own.  I had asked Danielle to join me.  Her response, it's on the 20th.  I have seen a bunch of studios and fellow teachers offering classes around the solstice yesterday and this weekend.  I figured that I would join in.  I am curious about whether or not I will accurately keep count.  I prepped myself with notecards in increments of ten to keep me on track as much as I can.  We shall see.  I figure, if nothing else, my arms will benefit from the 108 pushups that I am about to endeavor on.  Then there is a Barre class at 11:30.  I don't know how much I will love the arm sequence in the class.
It has been nice to focus on things that are good for me.  I look at the personal training as a substitution for bodywork that I like to receive.  Massages, pedicures, facials--things in that realm.  In order to fully make it work, I do need to change some of my habits.  Make time to do more fitness and alter some of eating preferences.  It is doable and necessary. 
I want to figure out my next trip too.  I know that I will be heading east to Kansas in November to celebrate my sister's wedding and Puerto Rico for another friend's wedding in October.  Ironically, they are a week apart.  I know that my work schedule will enable me the time off as long as I am willing to help others out in the meantime.  Of course, I am and I will.  It will all work out.  Maybe a return to Santa Fe is something to think about in August or September.  I would love to attend Wine and Chile, again.  Always a great festival to check out.  Plus, it is near my birthday which is another reason to celebrate with travel.  My friend, Jean, wants me to visit Spokane in August which I am waiting to see if I can manage this.  I have a colleague that may also be out of town on a few of those shifts.  I think it is manageable for both of us to be gone.  I am still trying to figure it out.  I would love to visit Jean and help her out with their race car event.  Something that I have never done and why not?  Could be epic fun and another great experience with Jean.  She joined me last year in Oregon to attend my niece's graduation.  Talk about the full family experience. 
I'm off to celebrate the solstice.  I will hopefully update after this task is complete!