Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grace Issue 44

  1. Too many interesting things to read at once.
  2. Mint Milanos after doing without for way too long.
  3. Meeting of the minds with people at work.
  4. Lightening the load for a coworker.
  5. Looking forward to a tea party with "the girls" on Saturday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Delayed Gratification

As bulbs burst forth each spring, it's one of the most heartening things you can catch sight of, bleary from a winter of icy-cold temps and gray skies.

Each spring, my heart lifts as the green shoots peek out from under the mulch. And when the flowers appear? Smiles every day.

Having planted tulips and hyacinths (and weren't there a few daffodils?) probably more than 10 years ago, they're getting a little more peaked each year.

So I"m putting in my calendar for October to gather more bulbs, stock up on knee pads, break out the flannel shirt and get cracking.

The hard work you put into it is definitely worth the reward.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Grace in Small Things: Issue 43

  1. A city park dotted with people catching some rays, a bride and groom getting photographed, football-tossing dudes and many, many dogs.
  2. Those little pink petals that swirl around off the trees, dotting the sidewalk, letting you know it's spring.
  3. Good natter with a friend I haven't seen in way too long.
  4. The first al fresco lunch of 2009: an Arnold Palmer, a strawberry and field greens salad drizzled with sherry vinaigrette, and a jumbo lump crab cake.
  5. A cup of Capogiro's blood orange sorbetto, before driving home to the 'burbs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leave Your Worries in the Trees

Finally got to a yoga class last night after weeks of "meaning to," and it was just what the doctor ordered.

It's not until I get to yoga class that I realize how much I forget to breathe on a daily basis. Of course, I'm walking around, so I'm breathing enough to sustain life, but I mean breathe.

Consciously. Deliberately. Following its path on every inhale and exhale.

This being a very gentle yoga class, the emphasis was on meditating the cares of the day away and out of one's mind (which was my goal, too, of course). This instructor always comes up with a different metaphor that makes it easier for me to disconnect from whatever's been vexing me.

Last night, in celebration of spring and all the petals bursting forth, she led us on a walk down an imaginary road, surrounded on both sides by trees. Each tree that you pass is diferent. As you pass a tree, imagine yourself draping a thought onto it, a thought that's crowding your brain and basically disturbing your bliss.

Keep walking until you run out of thoughts to drape onto trees. There are no more trees, and no more thoughts. Just your breath. With your mind clear of thought, just be.

It works. Try it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grace: Issue 42, The Easter Feaster

Boy, did we have fun yesterday!
  1. Pirogis, procured from Krakus Market, along with the last of the shop's kielbasa on Good Friday.
  2. A bite of that leftover potato pancake Mr Spandrel was enjoying, from Syrenka, a no-frills luncheonette that makes delicious Polish fare.
  3. An Easter egg hunt for the kids in attendance -- with the added challenge of more undersized eggs hidden away in little pocket spaces around the yard.
  4. Ham from Wegman's, which made grocery shopping oh so much easier.
  5. Carrot souffle, a buttery, sugary fluff that barely qualifies as a vegetable.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good Golly

Somehow, I'd missed that a lovely jazz singer that I've admired passed away in February.

My first brush with Blossom Dearie was a Target commercial a few years ago. And ever since, "They Say It's Spring" has been my definitive mini-soundtrack for the season.

There's something about it that's joyful, lilting and a little wistful at the same time.

We could all take a lesson from Blossom Dearie.

In a time where we're roiling from all the pursuit of excess, rather than excellence, why be overblown about things when a soft touch can do the trick?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grace: Issue 41

  1. Looking forward to the full moon tomorrow--things are so zany, already, who can predict what will happen!?
  2. Realizing work will never be done. It's just that one can momentarily hold back the floodgates for a time, hopefully long enough to squeeze in some creative thinking.
  3. Whimsically purchasing an Elle magazine, only to find quirky layouts, inspiring articles and colorful, uplifting imagery, for once. (And I admit, I even like reading the numerology and horoscopes -- and in other news, watch out, as apparently I am a force to be reckoned with this month!)
  4. Getting ready for Easter, with ham, pirogis and carrot souffle on the menu.
  5. Trusting my instincts, and feeling like I finally know more than I give myself credit for.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Grace: Issue 40

  1. Waking up earlier than expected and having an extra two hours to think and plan the day.
  2. Sunlight bouncing through the guest room, spilling out into the hallway.
  3. Getting errands done in record time.
  4. Realizing one of my favorite areas of the city now offers free lot parking.
  5. Eating 6 tiny little tea sandwiches for a Saturday snack including:
    * egg salad
    * chicken salad
    * cucumber
    * salmon cream cheese
    * asparagus
    * three-tiered ribbon ham, watercress and chopped egg.

Graceless Under Pressure

Oy, what a week. Deadline upon deadline. Challenge after challenge. Confrontation and exhortations.
And through it all, did I maintain my composure? Keep my cool? Roll with it, baby?
Um, no.
I ranted. I raved. I bitched and moaned. Enough with keeping it all in. I let it all out. (Well, not all. But to my shocked and surprised cohorts, it must have sure seemed that way.)
Frankly, I am sick and tired of bottling everything up...
Of taking one for the team...
Of being a trooper, a good egg, a team player.
It's not good for my health, my heart, my creativity, my mind.
But I'm looking at the crazy-windy weather we're experiecing today as blowing away all that negative crud, breezing in new energy, wild ideas and upbeat moods.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grace: Issue 39

  1. Receiving long-awaited beads in the mail (now my fingers are itchy, looking for something with which to string them up).
  2. Eating more peanut M&Ms than is advisable.
  3. Resting my weary head.
  4. Being determined to get a complete night's sleep.
  5. Realizing a heat-and-eat "leftovers dinner" is on the menu (And after the week I've been having? Quick and easy never tasted good!).