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Wednesday, September 10

Here’s how my day started.  I had to take an allergy nighttime pill last night, which knocked me out.  I mean to say, when I woke up this morning, my sheets were still tucked in – it was like a corpse slept in that bed!  I was very groggy all morning long.  I went over to the Coffee Cottage across the street, and while I was waiting for my cinnamon twist coffee, I found a used book that looked really interesting to me.  It’s called Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century by Jennifer Marshall, a woman who speaks and writes on cultural issues as director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, the Washington, DC based think tank. 

The back cover read: 
“8 out of 10 young women say they’re hoping for marriage, but 3 out of 10 women are still single at 30.  The difference between life here and life hoped for can be disillusioning – and cultural changes have made single life in the 21st century more confusing than ever.  Now and Not Yet offers guidance for navigating this new territory with purpose and contentment.  Make sense of life in the gap between expectations and reality.  Singleness may be an unexpected in-between, but it’s much more than a holding pattern.  Now and Not Yet is about making the most of the time between now and the future for which so many women hope.”

I kind of laughed at that last statement, but, whatever.  Something appealed to me.  Maybe it was the “it’s much more than a holding pattern”.

Plus, it had a nice cover, see:

 

 

A young, independent woman with a background of Paris and New York.  I was convinced it would be a relevant, engaging read.

So, I bought the book.  I thought, this could be some positive reinforcement, which I needed.  And so I walked back to my office, sat at my desk, flipped through the first pages and read:  I found myself asking Why?  Where are we going, God?  What makes us think we can demand concierge treatment from God, as though He needs to consult us about whether we’d prefer the direct or scenic route?

(Insert scratch on the record).  Huh?  God and He, what?  I flipped the book over and in very tiny, fine print it reads CHRISTIAN LIVING / WOMEN.

No good sex stories and reasons to sleep with as many men as possible before tying yourself down?!?!?!?  I’m KIDDING.  But…I just bought a “Christian Living” book??  I put it down, annoyed.  Only, there’s a pale halo of hope.  If you muddle through some of the God speak, there were some good messages and lessons.  So, I’ve decided not to return the book.  I’m still going to read it, but take it with a grain of salt.  And I am Catholic, after all.  It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I learned a good spiritual lesson or two. 

But, here’s the thing.  I decided I would focus on love for my last entries, as much as possible.  As I sat and wrote tonight, my latest issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, was sitting next to me on the sofa.  In fact, my cat Capri, one of the loves of my life, was sprawled out over it.  Just below her curved paw were the words:  

Getting Good at
LOVE
How to
– find it
– risk it
– let it go
– make it grow
– Live It Every Day

That last bullet point had my attention.  If I were to focus on the art of living love every day, I think I would be exponentially happier.  It’s simple, yet so challenging to do.  It’s truly a state of mind.   It’s all about perspective.  You can choose how you are going to feel each day.  You can let things fester and get to you, or, you can choose love.  Love your cat, love your dog.  I don’t know.  Love your tea.  I really love my tea.  But, you can really turn things around if you really try.  Really.  John Lennon got it – all we need is love; love is all we need

So, I’m gonna get good at love.  Thank you, Oprah, for the reminder of the necessity of that action.  You gotta put love into action to be good at it.  And that starts with loving and respecting yourself.  How to find it?  Well, again, start within.  Then ask yourself what kind of love are you looking for.  I suspect if you can answer that, you’ll soon find it.  How to risk it?  I suspect you can risk love that serves you by choosing love that serves another.  That might be a good risk.  How to let it go?  Well, think of that lovely Richard Bach quote:  If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.  How to make it grow?  Just like anything else: find fertile, rich, healthy soil; plant the seed; nourish it, shower it, give it plenty of sunshine, but let it weather every storm so that it can grow stronger; don’t over-care for it, give it a little challenge so that a little struggle will make the roots dig deeper and the branches stretch higher. 

I am no love guru.  And I know that I have a lot of work to do to live it every day.  It ain’t gonna be easy.  But maybe that’s what my journey has been all about this year.  In seeking love in all of its manifestations, my catchy, hopeful tagline, perhaps it’s more accurate to say I am learning to live love every day.  This means the responsibility and action for having love in my life is not dependent upon someone else.  That takes most a whole lifetime to figure out.

Tuesday, September 9

In moments of self doubt, sometimes the unthinkable can happen.  Sometimes miracles can happen.  Okay, maybe I’m going a little bit overboard.  But, I have been a little bluesy over the past few days.  Got my celiac rash bach.  So, I knew the negative, despressed feelings were my symptoms returning.  After I wrote yesterday’s entry, feeling so down and exhausted, like I’ve been running like hell on my treadmill but going nowhere, I realized I was being entirely too hard on myself.  I don’t want to patronize myself and suggest, sure – all my dreams will come true.  I need to re-evaluate my dreams and why I have them.  This will help me figure out how I can reach them.  I caught a flickering light of reason at the end of that entry, with my consideration of the Shakespeare quote – strong reasons make strong answers.

So, by the time I did my skincare regimen, sprayed my room with a soothing sandalwood and cinnamon aromatherapy, and pulled back the sheets, I felt relaxed in the sanctuary of my room.  I have made it a temple for sleep.  And at the end of every day, I am able to lay down, have two sweet kitties snuggle up next to me and fall with ease into deep, restorative sleep.

When I woke up an essay came to me.  I took out one of my notebooks and wrote feverishly.  In twenty minutes I had the skeleton of some really good content.  When I closed the notebook and finished getting ready for work, I took a mental note of where to submit this.  Top of my list are River Teeth journal and Seattle Concious Choice magazine.  My essay was about what it feels like in moments of succumbing to anxiety and depression, as experienced through malabsorption of nutrients from celiac disease.  I mustered some humor in the midst of such a heavy subject.  In the end, I thought and felt that it was well written.

During my lunch break, I wrote down some lines about the ineffectiveness of the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), how it has become nothing more than an advocate for one issue (abortion, as if I really need to state that) and how disturbing it has been to watch the organization sit back and do nothing while sexism had smacked both Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin in the currrent election.  I then highlighted the more current and relevant organization that better supports women, irrespective of party or issue.  It’s an organization that promises to protect all women running for elected office.  It protects in a way that N.O.W. has terribly and erroneously neglected.  That new organization is called WomenCount.

I was energized with good essays to finish and submit for publication.  And I need to give credit where credit is due – this blog.  It has forced me to write daily, to think and write in essay form.  It has helped me to hone my skill of writing narrative nonfiction. 

What a difference a day makes.

And this evening, I went for my first real run outside in years.  I broke free from the treadmill.  And, it’s not that the treadmill is a bad thing, per se.  During inclement weather, a gym and treadmill is better than nothing at all.  But, this evening, I ran free.  I ran through my neighborhood, with gorgeous houses lining the streets and tall trees to admire.  I ran up-hill, around bends, down-hill.  And I only ran for twenty minutes, but I was satisfied.  It’s a different kind of energy running outside than on a treadmill.  It felt good.  And I made a goal to be ready to run the Jingle Bell 5K Run this winter.  As long as I can help it, I’m no longer going nowhere.

Monday, September 8

Satisfaction.  That is what I felt when I printed out a holiday catalog I put together for the winery.  The pages looked clean, the photos I selected were beautiful.  It flowed seamlessly.  I printed the pages on matte photo paper, used the paper cutter, then taped the edges for the front and back pages, and finally stapled the mini book I created.  I was content with this.

That set the tone for my day.  Which was nice.  I was busy, proactive.

But then, it quickly turned.  I had a moment of feeling overwhelmed when I got home.  I went to the gym to run, and I thought it was ironic that I ran on a treadmill.  It’s like going in circles – you go nowhere.  Perhaps I should get outside and run.  Perhaps I should sign up for 5Ks.  But it wasn’t just the running in the gym like a hamster on ia wheel.  It was the analogy of going nowhere.

Last night, on PBS, I watched The Last Lecture again with Randy Pausch.  He talked about this allegorical brick wall that he’d often run into when trying to reach his not-so-short list of childhood dreams.  He said the brick walls are signficant.  Because most people never get over or break-through that brick wall.  But, for those who are dogged and don’t give up easily, for those who do get over or break-through thier brick walls, that means they were meant to achieve their dreams.  Thus, the brick walls serve as a test to see how badly you want it.

And, while running on the treadmill, going nowhere, all I could think about was the harrowing number of people who never reach their dreams.  Is it just that they didn’t try hard enough?  Is it fair to reduce their failures as, well, those so-called dreams were never meant to be, else, they would have come true.  This made me sad.  Frustrated.  Concerned.

Was I running on my life treadmill going nowhere?  I thought – what are my dreams?  Am I even remotely on the right path?  I wondered about the concept of when paths cross.  When you meet that person when you’re not looking.  Everyone always says you find that person when you’re not looking.  Yeah, but when you’re in your mid-thirties and you’re still single, like hell you’re not looking!  I keep seeing examples of couples who meet out of passion for the same things.  They seem meant for each other.  Okay.  I love wine country, I want to eventually make wine or grow winegrapes (or both), I want to publish literary works, I love to play golf, do yoga, run, hike, cook.  Where is he???  The latter statement an echo from a Sex & The City episode when Charlotte, exhausted from being single, exclaims those very same words in her princess past expiration desperation.  And then there’s the dream of making wine, growing winegrapes, and getting published.  In some ways, I am closer to those dreams than ever.  But, I am facing a bunch of agonizing, tall, wide brick walls that are keeping me from getting there.

And then there’s the question of destination.  Is there, in fact, a final destination when it comes to our dreams.  Or do we design new dreams for ourselves?  Surely, my childhood dreams did not include making wine or growing winegrapes.  I dreamt of being a singer, a ballerina, a firewoman.  I dreamed of travelling to space.  I dreamed of having my own castle and unicorn.  And when I outgrew those dreams, I dreamt of being the first woman to play in the NBA after I watched, along with my basketball team, Lynette Woodward, the first woman on the Harlem Globetrotters, play at George Mason University in 1985.  And of being a politician to make the world a better place (I was in student government and grew up in the Washington, DC area, after all).  Yeah, I dreamed of stupid stuff, like marrying The Karate Kid when I was in fifth grade, and then moved on to Patrick Swayze when I was in sixth grade (after his part in the t.v. mini-series North & South).  The only childhood dream that I seem to be loosely following is my dream to be a writer.  But, I’m barely on that path.  And, thus, I am running on that treadmill going nowhere.  

I have run smack into the brick walls of my dreams:   Writing?  Hasn’t happened.  Making wine or growing wine grapes?   Nope.  That hasn’t happened, either.  Buying my own home?   Okay, no jokes about building that brick wall into my house.  Getting married and having kids?  Uhhhhhh, not even close.   And using my gifts to make this world a better place – my desire to make a difference?  I did help coordinate wine donations for a very good cause that benefits people in need (William Temple House).  At least that’s progress.  Brick by brick, right?

Am I not working hard enough?  Am I not aggressive enough?  Am I not worthy?  Or have I just become too cynical?   Are there patterns to my running on that treadmill going nowhere?  Is it possible that I just don’t know what I want?  Is it possible that I am to just be grateful for my blessings and forget my dreams?  What would Randy Pausch advise?

Before bedtime, I made a cup of Good Earth organic Sweet & Spicy tea.  Another quote on the tag.  This one read:  Strong reasons make strong actions, William Shakespeare. 

I looked up the quote and it’s from his play King John, at the end of Act 3.  Which led me to another blog – Making Change Happen by Jane Northcote.  She wrote: If we are going to make change happen, we must know what we intend to achieve and why. This is profound and difficult.

Aye, me.  It’s not a coincidence that I got this flippin teabag message today.   What would life be without a little serendipity?  I decided I was too tired to figure out my strong reasons.

Sunday, September 7

A nice morning to sleep in.  I got up around 10:15 and immediately got to work.  I sorted laundry and put in a load.  I stripped my bed and put the sheets in the warm water pile.  I cleaned the toilets.  I cleaned the bathroom sinks.  Then I was hungry.  And, for whatever reason, I was in the mood to cook.

It was late enough for brunch.  So, I whipped up one brown, organic free range egg.  I added two good pinches of shredded mozzarella cheese and scrambled over medium heat.  I then heated up a slice of gluten-free corn bread from the Whole Foods bakery.  I sauteed an Italian pork sausage, and I sauteed broccolini with olive oil and garlic.  I purposed undercooked the broccolini.  It was pretty good.  I didn’t have polenta, so the scrambled egg and cornbread went perfectly with the sausage and broccolini.

I enjoyed this with a cup of Yogi Goji Berry tea, a Tibetan treat.  I also had a small glass of organic orange juice.  I was content.  But, I still wanted to cook or prep.  I had music going (Lisa Loeb, Abra Moore, Shannen Worrel), the sun was coming in from the window, I had some great stuff in my fridge, I couldn’t stop.

So, I made a killer organic Pico de Gallo. I used a large, green heirloom tomato, red onion, two small cloves of garlic, a half a lime (for the juice), fresh cilantro, a small yellow sweet pepper, fresh jalapino, I cooked up a half a cob of sweet white corn, and then I used a secret ingredient I won’t share.  I mixed all of this stuff up and made a gorgeous, bejeweled Pico de Gallo.

I decided I would have to make fish or shrimp tacos for dinner.  So, I cleaned up the kitchen, put the PIco in the fridge and ran the dishwasher.  I wiped down all of the counters and the sink, using an environmentally friendly cleaner.

I poured a glass of water and went into the living room to do some work.  I got on my computer and worked on a promotional piece in Illustrator while watching the Seahawks game.  My cat, India, curled up on my leather sofa and, so cute, I had to take her photo:

Just then, Capri jumped up on my red Ikea sofa right next to me and posed for the camera, which was hilarious:

God forbid I give one cat more attention than the other!  I worked for a couple of hours on my project.  I wanted to get it off of my plate soon so that it could go off to the printer a.s.a.p.  I have a lot of projects in my queue and they all seem to be due within the month.

I then worked on collecting my archived blog entries for the skeleton of my next book.  I have a lot of work to do with my writing, so I gave up spending a beautiful day outside for getting this critical stuff done, or as much of it as possible.  I am about half way done collecting the entries.

The Seahawks lost the game.  The score was 34-10.  Both of my Washington teams lost this week – the Redskins and the Seahawks.  My boys better get their acts together.  I don’t want a crummy, lackluster season.

I finished my laundry and then went upstairs to get dressed.  I wanted to do some kind of activity outside this evening.  I had hoped to corral my friends for an afternoon game of tennis, but to no avail.  So, I decided to go to the driving range.  I had a nice run, working on my drills from my last lesson, last summer.  I hit every club well.  There were two large wooded buckets about 75-100 yards out, one with a McCain cardboard cutout, the other with a Obama cardboard cutout.  Each had a sign, place your vote.  I hit two in the Obama bucket.  I tried to send a few over to the McCain one, too, but I didn’t get any in. 

I met a nice, really cute guy named Jeremy at the range.  We played a few games.  And I won!  And he didn’t let me win.  It was a fair and true win.  And, he watched me hit my 3-wood about 200-250 yards, five times in a row.  I got a margarita out of it.  Which shocked me.  He’s from the east coast, which didn’t shock me.  The men out here simply do not ask women out.  It’s very bizarre.  It was refreshing to spend time with a guy who knows how to court a woman.  He asked me for my number.  I am not counting on ever hearing from Jeremy again.  And I’m okay with that.  I was happy to just have a really fun afternoon.

After, I went to Safeway to pick up some groceries for the week, including white corn tortillas for my shrimp tacos.  When I got home, I went to work.  I sauteed shrimp in olive oil, garlic, jalapino-lime smoked salt, white pepper and fresh lime juice.  I heated up three taco sheets on the oven rack.  I cooked up rice and pinot beans, and then sliced a radish, a jalapino and I chopped the ends of green onions.  I put a small scoop of the rice and beans on each tortilla.  I then put three large gulf shrimp, with the garlic-lime sauce on the rice and beans.  Then, I topped with Mexican finely shredded cheese.  I put a nice spoonful of my homemade Pico de Gallo on top of that, followed by shredded white cabage and cilantro.  Here’s the final plating:

 

I was happy.  I had a margarita earlier that wet my palate for my sauteed shrimp tacos with my killer Pico de Gallo.  Life was good.

After I ate, I cleaned up the kitchen and then went upstairs to make my bed with fabric-softner fresh sheets.  I had bought a new tea at Safeway – Good Earth brand Organic Sweet & Spicy Herbal tea.  It’s caffeine free and a natural source of antioxidants.  It was super delicious.  It’s a Rooibos base with no added sugars.  It’s full bodied and smooth.  And it came with a little fortune tag, like Yogi brand.  This one was a quote.  It read:  “The first duty of love is to listen.” ~ Paul Tillich, 1886-1965.

 

Saturday, September 6

Wow.  Ten days left and I am done with this.  I have no plans for a party or celebration.  But, if I get a book deal and get my narrative published, based on this blog, then I will definitely plan some sort of gluten-free party in a vineyard here in Oregon. 

Anyway.  I didn’t really sleep in.  When I got home from the movie last night I went right to bed, which was around 12:45.  I was feeling a little off, and have for about a week or so.  First, there’s the moderate congestion.  It’s not requiring a decongestant just yet.  But, rather, is uncomfortable.  And contributes to my being drowsy.  I realized I could use a multi-vitamin injection, as I must have had some gluten intake over the past week or so.  I’m feeling some of my celiac symptoms.  And I think I’m dealing with malabsorption again, meaning, my small intestine isn’t able to absorb nutrients from the foods I have been consuming.  It’s so complicated.

I worked all morning on the holiday catalog I had begun for work.  I’m basically doing layout design in Illustrator.  And I really like the way its turning out – I have some great photographs to work with and it looks really elegant, so far.

Finally, at around 3:00, I needed to shut down the computer and get ready for a concert.  I was going to meet friends Kerry and Renee to see G. Love & Special Sauce at Edgefield, a McMenamins property.  They have a really cool outdoor concert venue.  Opening for G. Love were Tristan Prettyman, touted as the female Jack Johnson, and then the John Butler Trio.

I got dressed, grabbed one of my straw cowgirl hats, and a bag with a blanket it in.  We met at Renee’s house and then carpooled to Troutdale, just 25 miles or so down I-84 East.  It was a quick and easy drive and we parked in a small field and headed into the roped off area.  We grabbed a drink, beers for the girls and a Lemon Jack cocktail for me.  We set out our blanket super close to the stage.  It was amazing.

Tristan was very good.  Her music is very sunny and light.  When her set was up, we walked back to the concession area and ordered Thai curry dinners.  I got the chicken.  It was pretty good.  We sat at a picnic table, which was nice.  There were trees all around.  Like a little tree village.  After we ate, we went back while the John Butler Trio was into its set.  Their music is amazing.  John Butler cut off his long dreadlocks.  He looked really cute.  He’s a great young singer-songwriter born in California, but he grew up in Australia.  He began the song “Zebra” when we got back to our blanket.  We started dancing with the rest of the crew.  There was a ton of pot smoke around us, which was actually upsetting my stomach.  And, a young woman passed by us in a long tie-dyed sundress.  She smelled of poop.  Renee and I looked at eachother quizically.  I asked her if she smelled the poop.  And she did.

JBT’s sound is a blend of reggae and Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Great guitar rifts and rockabilly sounds at one moment, then hard rock and roll the next, then folksy-reggae beats.  It’s upbeat and fun.


Here’s John Butler addressing the eager crowd.


Here we are between John Butler Trio’s set and G. Love’s.

And then, G. Love & Special Sauce hit the stage.  He was seated, playing guitar and harmonica.   He’s brilliant.  He’s really a blend of surfer folk meets Philly hip hop, with a lot of rhythm and blues. 

G. Love got everyone up and dancing.  I missed dancing like this.  Like a bunch of hippies without rhythm.  Only, me and my gal pals, we had rhythm.  We were totally getting into the groove.

Then, the highlight was when G. Love called John Butler back to the stage to sing a couple of songs together.  They basically had a killer jam session.

After the last song, we headed back to Portland.  It was pretty easy getting out of the venue and Troutdale, which was a relief.  I dropped the girls off at Renee’s and drove home.  I was tired.  It had been a full weekend, so far, and I was looking forward to sleeping in and having time to myself tomorrow.  I’ll do more work, to get ahead on some of the creative projects in my queue.  But, all in all, I was looking forward to some down time.

Friday, September 5

Today I realized I have a ton of marketing projects I’ll need to work on over the coming month.  It’s a lot of work, actually.  As I spent most of my morning in meetings, I kept thinking about big picture stuff and my goals, what I wanted to accomplish and how I would get there.  It was good.

I left work around 3:00 in the afternoon to pick up several cases of donated wine I helped organize for the William Temple House fundraising benefit and auction this month.  I spent most of that time driving through the Dundee Hills and then out to McMinnville.  Instead of bringing the wine home or leaving it my car, which would be totally inappropriate because of the temperature, I dropped the cases off in my office.  I left there around 4:45 and headed home to change.

I met Susan and Kerry up at the tennis courts by the International Rose Garden up in Washington Park.  It’s so beautiful there.  We had been talking about playing tennis for months, but hadn’t been able to make it happen. 

It was a pretty evening.  The scent of roses was intoxicating!  Susan and Kerry arrived and we had so much fun!  We were rusty at first, but got in some really good volleys.  If we practiced more often, we could be pretty good, actually.  Because it was Friday, and we were tired from the week’s end, we were really silly.  We kept cracking up over ridiculous stuff.  Kerry, in particular, was quite hilarious with punchy commentary.

We loved how the roses just grew into the fences and made the tennis courts even more beautiful and fragrant.  Tres manifique!

After an hour and a half of chasing wild tennis balls, and cheering each other on for any contact with the ball, we were hungry.  We drove down to the northwest and headed over to Cha on Everett Street.  We first had a drink at the bar.  I ordered the Pepino, a cucumber margarita.  I really, really love these summery refreshing cucumber concoctions.

We then had a table outside.  We shared the sampling of three cevices to start – which was really delicious.  I then ordered the braised pork carnitas tacos that came with a side of divine, rustic black beans.  I ordered another Pepino.  We loved this place – the decor, the people, the energy, the cocktails and the food.

We dashed off to the Fox Theater on the other side of the 405.  We missed the Woody Allen movie we were going to see, the one with Scarlet Johansson, and went to see the 10:00 viewing of Bottle Shock, a movie loosely based on the events leading up to the famous 1976 “Judgement of Paris” wine tasting, mostly covering the story of father-son Jim and Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, whose 1973 Alexander Valley Chardonnay won, beating out pedigree Burgundies.  It’s a charming wine country story, an indi film, one that was featured at Sundance, and one that will probably not do for Chardonnay what Sideways had done for Pinot noir.  But, who knows??

Allan Rickman and Bill Pullman were great.  It was an entertaining film.  Parts were pretty cheesy.  The intern Sam, which was added to the film for more drama, is reduced to a chick in daisy dukes screwing around with Bo Barrett and his best friend, the assistant winemaker Gustavo.  Turns out there’s a lot of fiction thrown into the story.  But I guess it makes it work better for the cinema.  I found it odd that the real winemaker, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, was left out of the movie.  Ah, well, you can read about his victory in making the wine on his own winery website:  http://www.grgich.com/about/mike_grgich.cfm

As I drove home, I giggled at how the young Bo Barrett reminded me of other young winemakers I knew both here in Oregon and in California.  There’s something romantic about a soul that is bound to making wine or growing wine grapes.  Many women crowd the tables at wine tasting events when the winemaker is there to pour.  Especially when they are single.  I saw this a couple of years ago when I poured wine at an event at the Hotel Beverly Hills and my table was next to The Bachelor, Andrew Firestone.  All these shiny L.A. women in their sequined tops, mind you it was 4:00 in the afternoon, were hoarding his table like bees on honey.  I felt sorry for the guy.  I witnessed it again in Montana at the table next to me.  It was the subject of many punchlines we had shared that weekend. 

Anyway.  I wondered, as I drove home, if I was fully following my passion with wine.  Would I ever take a leap and head off to New Zealand or elsewhere to work a crush?  I thought I would have done that by now.  Do I want to learn how to make wine?  Do I want to be in the vineyard, caring for the vines?  I don’t have a green thumb at all.  As much as I love the idea of growing vines, I think my creative spirit would fare better in the winery.  Will that ever happen?  It’s hard for me to say.  Perhaps that can be a goal for my 40th birthday.  Once I’ve published a few books, saved some cash and laid down more groundwork for such possiblity.

 

 

Thursday, September 4

Dark, overcast skies vanished and just like that summer was back!

It had been an unbearable short run of fall like weather.  I’m not ready for that just yet.  We had such a late start to summer this year, I want to hold on to every sunny moment while it lasts. 

But, the coming of fall is undeniable.  The most obvious warning sign, aside from the cooler, overcast days, was the shortened days.  It’s already getting dark out at 7:45 p.m.  Now that’s depressing!  I love my longer days of summer on the west coast.  There’s nothing like early July and sun still shining at 9:45 p.m., slowly melting and not yet dark at 10:00 p.m.  It’s delicious.

The other warning sign – football season.  And I love football season.  I just can’t believe we’re already there.  I left work early to learn more about my new lease situation at the property management office where I rent, then grabbed my Redskins ball cap and headed over to Upper Deck in the Pearl District.  I ordered a margarita and watched my hometeam lose to the Giants. 

I then met some friends at Park Kitchen for a cocktail and appetizer.  I had the Summer Sazarac and cold melon soup.  We then walked back to the Pearl District for the First Thursday art walk.  Kerry met us in the middle of what looked like a street faire.  Not quite as wild and random as the Alberta Arts.  But still mesmerizing. 

I ended up seeing a painting I really wanted to buy at Last Thursday for the Alberta Arts walk last week.  She wanted cash.  I didn’t have any.  So I didn’t buy the painting.  But, as fate would have it, this artist had a booth this evening, she still had the same painting.  And, I had cash.  She went down from $125 to $75.  It was a sign.  Everything happens for a reason, no?

I bought the painting. 

Kerry and I walked toward Olea.  I put the painting in my car and we grabbed a table outside.  It was a glorious evening.  We had views of pretty trees.  The scene reminded me of Paris.

I looked up at the beautiful leaves and thought – wow, soon they will all fall!  I wanted to capture a shot of the foilage, in its full greenery, while it still lasted.  I guess I was feeling sentimental.  I love trees, afterall.  I often paint them and write about them.

Again, a scene not too far off from Paris:

Well, my photos don’t quite give it justice.

At Olea, I just had a glass of water and a salad.  It was a Caesar salad minus the croutons.  Instead there was quinoa.  It was interesting.  I was mostly delighted by the pleasant evening, which was cooling considerable.  I was excited to get home to hang my new painting in my meditation room.

And that’s just what I did when I got home.  The colors matched perfectly – shades of nectarine and aquamarine make up my Tibetan-inspired mediation room.  The glare on the painting photo is unfortunate, but I was too tired to figure out my tiny digital camera.  It was an issue with the flash.

Yes, trees have been indeed on my mind.  The growth.  The beauty.  The cycle of life and death.  The roots.  The branches.  The leaves.  Am I an Aspen?  A Cypress?  An Olive tree?  A Cherry Blossom?  Or a Dogwood?  A Palm?  I’m not sure.  What tree am I?  A good question, I ponder while I sip on Yogi Bedtime tea and read a little more of my book.