Lessons on a skating rink

Fancy skates that took me for a ride

Fancy skates that took me for a ride

Roller skating has a way of humbling you.

Today I spent the afternoon on roller skates. It’s been decades since my feet have been inside a skate, but nevertheless, there I was, celebrating the birthday of two lovely people (who are both nearing the big 4-0). Skating was our hopes to reconnect with our youth, but turned out to just make us feel our age more effectively.

While I was never proficient in skates, I could make my way around a rink back in the day.
But today, as kids the size of my four-year-old niece whizzed by me, my knees ached and my toes cramped while I hugged on to the side of the wall and inched my way around the rink.

After a few rounds, I could skate without death-gripping the railing every time I felt a draft. I was doing it! Just like old times! Then a small child would breeze past me, leaving me flailing in their wake.

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During the couple hours rolling around on my skates, (not without numerous breaks to rest-my-weary-bones), I went through the stages of grief: denial that I was as old as I was; anger at how time has stolen my identity as a derby darling; bargaining that I could become a better skater if God would let my knees make it; depression that I missed my calling in the Olympics skating arena, and finally acceptance that I was not getting any younger.

In an effort to embrace that final stage, upon leaving the facility I decided to return soon to tie on some skates. I realized that while I was not the best skater around, heck I’m not even a decent skater, I did have a great time. Feeling the wind in my face and floating around on wheels was exhilarating. It had been awhile since I had fun like that and as time does go by more quickly with age, I want to make the most of it.

And after a good time of rock and roll, what better way to end the day than with a cold glass of sangria.

Ice cold sangria. the best in town - compliments to the mermaid in seminole heights.

Ice cold sangria. The best in town – compliments to The Mermaid in Seminole Heights.

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A dog’s tale: a story of love, companionship and hanging out the car window

Hello there. It’s been awhile.

A lot has happened since the last time we met.

I can’t believe this year is over the halfway mark. It is true what they say – time goes faster as we get older. It’s a damn shame too, cause there’s so much more to miss.

Over the past few months I have lost one of my greatest treasures.

My dog, Samson.

He was my sidekick, the Thelma to my Louise, the Super to my Woman, my itty bitty buddy.

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For the past thirteen years, he has been my unconditional companion.

Through late night study sessions while I was finishing my degree.

Through my divorce and unsteady settling into my new life.

He watched countless episodes of Law and Order with me,

and never turned down an opportunity to go “bye bye” in the car,

albeit to put his head out the window.

Something about dogs and car windows that delight me so much!

Something about dogs and car windows that delight me so much!

He was just shy of 14 years old when my ex-husband and I had to say our goodbyes to him.

We had a going away party for him the day before,

allowing Samson fans far and wide to come give him a little pet and let him know he was adored.

And he was. Proficiently. Immensely. Completely. Achingly.

The morning of, we gave him turkey bacon for breakfast and swung on the tree swing outside

taking turns hugging him and reliving wonderful memories.

And then we took him to the vet and said goodbye.

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The pain of that goodbye still brings tears to my eyes as I write this.

I can still hear the click-click of his toenails on the kitchen linoleum.

I recall the smell of sunshine on his oh-so-soft fur,

and how his paws mysteriously smelled like buttery popcorn.

If I listen carefully, his little “brrr” still tells me to get out of bed in the morning,

or reminds me that he is right behind me before I step on him.

I can still feel him lick the water off my legs when I get out of the shower.

Physically he may not be here any longer,

but his tenacious spirit still accompanies me each and every day.

My itty bitty buddy.

 

Green goodness and other semi-vegetarian thoughts

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So, I decided a few weeks ago that I have not been eating well. (According to me and to the 10 pounds I gained over the holidays…)

In an effort to become a healthier, happier me, I decided to make veggies a part of my daily life.

Some people call it “rabbit food”…

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I have always been -that kid- who loved her greens. Gimme a vegetable over meat any day. And while I don’t omit meat completely from my diet, I could almost sustain myself on a vegetarian diet and be happy. Almost. I love my seafood and can’t imagine life without sushi!

That’s not to say my meals are perfect. Far from it…

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Yes, that’s a diet Dr. Pepper in there. Don’t judge.

I believe in eating well and enjoying what I eat. I will never push my dietary beliefs on anyone, because what’s good for me may not jive with the next person, and that’s ok in my book.

Life is meant to be lived and if you enjoy food as much as I do, then live well, be healthy and find balance in what you enjoy!

It’s gonna be a lovely day

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I took this picture from a lovely woman’s garden who grew and made her own essential oils for aromatherapy. Such a peaceful place.

My go-to soundtrack when I need a lift is from the movie Hitch. You know, Will Smith, Kevin James… the music is upbeat and fun with one of my faves being “Don’t worry about a thing” performed by John Legend (written by the great Stevie Wonder of course!)

It is coming up to a year that I have been on my own. Having left a 20-year relationship, this past year I have found myself, well, looking for myself.

Learning to stand on my own two feet – although wobbly it has been and still is, I haven’t fallen over yet.

Discovering deep recesses in myself that I never knew existed. Aspects of my personality that I thought were dormant.

That I am stronger than I realized.

I have read books about women who have come through divorce, separation and life transitions and these things I am describing seem to run through their stories as well.

Fear. Doubt. Uncertainty. Resolve. Determination. Acceptance. Grace. Strength. Freedom.

I read hoping to find answers, but in fact I find a similar thread running between me and them. Although each story is different, there is a  common ground I have with these women I have never met. A community of women who make it daily. Who learn for the first time how to budget. Who find new careers. Who learn they like poached eggs over scrambled.

When I feel I am alone and fear that this world will swallow me whole, I grab my books and read about others. Many others. And I remember…

No, I am not alone.

So long cable TV

So, I disconnected my cable. It wasn’t a difficult decision. In an effort to give my budget a little more breathing room, I turned off my cable, and thus my TV sits dark and silent in the corner.

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While it was a monetary decision, I’m realizing how little I really need television in my life at the moment. There never seemed to be enough time in a day to do what was important to me, i.e. writing, reading, art projects, exercise… all to say the least.

My morning routine consisted of me waking up and turning on the local news channel, seeing what I missed overnight as I drank coffee. Now, I enjoy my morning coffee sitting in my favorite chair next to my bedroom window and read or write and prepare for my day.

Some days I can even fit in a morning walk before getting ready for work.

It’s peaceful, actually.

Me, the birds, the smell of coffee and a quiet peace.

I’m living without TV for now. And it suits me well.

to poach or not to poach

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Today I discovered the glory of a poached egg. Well, that’s to say I made one for the first time… I have already enjoyed poached eggs are numerous ocassions. But to say that I made one on my first attempt and it turned out pretty darn good feels amazing! I wouldn’t consider myself a cook, per se, but I do enjoy cooking at times.

So my first step was to google a quick how-to for poaching an egg and I came up with some easy directions. The directions mentioned adding a small amount of vinegar to help the egg white congeal better. I used apple cider vinegar because that’s what I had on hand. I then cracked the egg onto a small plate and slid the egg carefully into the just-under-boiled water and waited the four minutes and voila! Out came a poached egg! Simple as that. And healthy, too, since there is no oil or butter to cook the egg in.

The lil beauty ended up atop a piece of whole grain toast and was accompanied with a glass of fresh squeezed oj (courtesy of Bearss Groves Market). Perfect way to end my day! And yes, I do love breakfast for dinner! Next time I will have to add some veggies to give it that extra something. I foresee this becoming a frequent meal in my future.

What’s your favorite way to eat your poached egg?