Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: thanks

Road Trip, Day Three

Today was probably the hardest day, even though it was the shortest.  The traveling and driving is really getting to me.  I just want to sleep for a long time and not have to drive!  But I’m only about halfway through.

Itinerary: Chicago, IL to St. Louis, MO.
Miles driven: ~300 miles.  That’s nothing!  I used to drive that distance and more to college, by myself, with a car full of stuff!
Highlights: Nice time hanging out with friend E, meeting her son T and having a delicious brunch at M. Henry.  Eating Andy Cap Hot Fries!  Getting to the halfway point of this journey!
Food eaten: fried egg sandwich at M. Henry in Chicago; Hot Fries and peanut M and Ms; amazing ribs, slaw, and ginger ale at Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis.

As stated before, this journey has been really food-focused and we’ve been having an amazing time filling our stomachs with good eats.  Thanks to all my friends near and far for their food recommendations.  Yelp can only be so reliable.  The ribs were a suggestion from an old co-worker.  The brunch was with my friend E and it was delicious.  Definitely no complaints from my stomach.  Hopefully we won’t be gaining 10 pounds!

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I’m feeling blessed to have such good friends:

  • like S who’s driving with me halfway!  What a trooper.
  • like E whom we stayed with in Chicago
  • like L who recommended the amazing Reuben at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor
  • like J who took us to eat buffalo wings in Buffalo
  • like R who recommended Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis
  • and all my amazing friends and family who’ve been reading my blog, commenting, and also sending along well wishes on email, Facebook, and text.  I don’t have enough time to write everyone back, but if you’re reading this, know that I hold ALL of you in my heart and am sending mental hugs and thanks back to you.
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N is for “Notice”

Two days in a row of yoga practice– a new personal record!  And oh, so wonderful!

Today what I got from the teacher was the word “notice.”  She asked us to notice our breath, to notice our thoughts when we were holding a pose and when we were meditating in the beginning and the end, to notice how parts of our body felt before, during, and after poses.  I’ve taken more efforts over the years to notice little things.  That was one of my efforts at the beginning of this blog when I was taking pictures everyday for my “streak.”  I would take photos of things I noticed in my everyday life.

And here are some things I noticed today:

  • My mind and body feel great after practicing yoga two days straight.  If only I had the time and money to do it everyday!
  • Glassblowing is hard!  I had a groupon for a class today and went with a friend to give it a try.  It was quite challenging, but we were able to make some things to keep!  I was reminded about the value of craftsmen and artists, people who use their hands to make things and who hone their skills over many years of making, doing, and practicing.  In another life, I would love to be a craftswoman.
  • Fresh fish is crucial to enjoying sushi.  When the fish is really fresh, it almost melts when you chew on it, and there’s no fishy taste, just the texture of butter-like meat sliding down your throat.  Yum.
  • Electricity is an important part of everyday life.  The power went out tonight, and I was sitting in the semi-dark (it was just after dusk), sweating because it was hot and humid and my apartment retains hot air and humidity, with nothing to do other than text with friends.  It was nice, though, to hear the quiet outside (no AC’s running, mainly).  And it was nice just sitting in the dark and the quiet, fanning myself, trying not to wish too hard that the electricity would come on.  Just trying to be in the moment and let myself be.
  • Clouds are beautiful. They make the sky so interesting.  And when it’s sunset, they’re especially breathtaking. Here is a set that I noticed on my walk down at the beach this evening prior to sunset and took from a few vantage points in my walk:

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(Hey, this slideshow option is cool– WordPress did it automatically for me– I didn’t need to know any HTML for it!  If you notice, these are four photos of the same set of clouds, just in different settings.)

I want to notice more things on a daily basis:

  • my breath.  Feeling the in and out.  My lungs filling and rinsing out.
  • the graffiti on the walls, sidewalks, buildings.  To see if there are interesting messages for the world to see.
  • the things I take for granted.  Electricity.  Running water.  Fresh air.  A car and a driver’s license.  Family that loves me and is functional (but not without its quirks!).

What did you notice today?

Stunning Sunset: One of Life’s Blessings

This is the first summer in a long time (at least within my memory) that I can remember appreciating the change in rhythm of the summer.  Things slow down a bit.  People are a bit more friendly.  I feel a little looser about things.  And this summer, I’m really feeling the “break” aspect of summer.  Even though I don’t get a break myself and summer is actually busier at work, I can feel the “vacation” spirit in the air.

I’m loving the later hours the sun stays up.  I’m also loving living near the beach where I can take a quick walk or drive down there to see beautiful sunsets like this (can you believe the reflection in the still water?  it’s intense!!!)

and this  (a bit ominous with the sign, but it sets an interesting story.  plus more amazing reflections.)

and this (that’s the Boston city skyline in the far distance)

I’m so lucky to be alive and living where I live!  I am counting my blessings more and more and this has been such a joy– to see all the amazing aspects of my life’s blessings:

  • having a steady job, skills, and the ability to make a living where I am comfortable, not in debt, and able to even afford luxuries like travel, my techie gadgets, and dinners out.  So even after I leave this job, I’m pretty confident that I’m going to be able to make a living doing something else.
  • my amazing friends and community of people whom I love and who love me just as I am.
  • my quirky and wonderfully unique family.  My parents who’ve never pressured me to be something or someone that I’m not.  My brothers who are doing their thing and being wonderful role models for their kids and loving husbands for their wives.
  • my health.  My only weakness there is my eyesight.  But other than, I have good health!
  • a wonderful place to live for now.  With fresh air, lots of space, and a happy “welcome home” feeling.
  • the ability to cook and clean, without it being because I’m a woman but just because I love to do it, and I love the effects after I do it: getting to eat good food, getting to live in a clean environment.
  • confidence in and love for myself.  I haven’t always felt this, and it’s still a challenge to remember that I AM good enough for myself and those around me.  Keep riding that wave of confidence and love, I have to keep telling myself.

I’m feeling blessed today.  And even when life gets difficult or when I’m feeling fearful and uncertain of what lies ahead, I know that I have all this to provide a safety net in case I fall.  I’ve been fortunate enough not to fall too hard in the past, and it’s because of these amazing blessings. Sending out thank you waves to the universe for all that has made my life possible.

#22: Anthills

What is it about anthills and this time of year?  I’ve been seeing masses of anthills everywhere!  Kind of interesting and fun to look at.

Working hard today.  But not feeling like I’m making much progress.  Kind of like an ant.  It was one of those days where the emails pile up, my meetings keep introducing more things to my to-do list, and I just can’t seem to see any end in sight.  But at the end of a long day, I had a nice visit from one of the youth I’ve worked with whom I hadn’t seen in a long while.  It reminded me why I do the work I do.

And then on my way home, I heard this song, which I put on repeat because it was making me feel all emotional-y

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

It’s the first part of the song that I listened to in its entirety, thinking of the people in my life that I’ve met these past 13 years living in Boston. It was really amazing how many lives I’ve touched and been touched by.  And I really wouldn’t be the person I am today if not for these people– old and young, mostly young.  I’ve been incredibly lucky and blessed to have met all the amazing people I’ve met. I had in my mind a slideshow with this song as the soundtrack– the candid shots and group photos of all the people I’ve worked with, become acquainted with, loved and lost, and who came into my life here in Boston.

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