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Monday, February 23, 2009

In pursuit of balance... what am I talking about?

I haven't spoken much about the partial name change of this blog....

I wanted it to be a bit more positive...I'm a firm believer in creating my own reality (or my own excellent life, really for the goal), and as much as possible focus on what's good. A friend recently mentioned that this blog reads pretty much that way...upbeat, positive, and the question was posed..."how are you really?"

Truth be told, I have as many ups and downs as the next person, and with the major events in our lives this last 6 months, particularly the sudden death of Patrick's mother, there has been a lot of heaviness in our home and lives. Some of it, I would say, somewhat inevitable, some, maybe not.....

But spring is around the corner, and spring is coming into our lives again too. I can feel it....

I have gripped somewhat in this blog, but for the most part, I talk about the good things, things that are lovely, things that are working, things that I'm working out or working on, and finding ways to improve.

I have strong perfectionist tendencies, hence, the use of the word BALANCE in the title. In my life what I want most clearly right now is a sense of balance. A balance of work, play and rest, a balance of order and relaxed disorder (chaos?), a balance social time and quiet time, a balance giving and receiving, a balance of fun and of reverence.....the list could go on indefinitely.....

I'll post more about some of the ways I achieve these balances, as they evolve. I'll try to keep this blog balanced enough in terms of ups and downs to feel authentic, while still knowing that what I ultimately want to focus on and send out over the miles to those who read, is a sense of what is good and positive more than what isn't......

Happy Monday world!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Happy Valentine's Day....

We had a mellow Valentine's Day weekend. Patrick ran errands for much of the day, including finally selling our Red Dodge Truck!It has been a real albatross. Helena and I hung at home and played and I tried to unwind after hitting the ground running our first full week back, which included a Drs appointment with shots for Helena and the Valentine's Theme Feng Shui Class I taught at our local food Co-op (and had to prepare for last minute because I hadn't squeezed it in earlier).


Helena & I had our morning tea in our favorite cups.....


We shared a few simple Valentine's treats...Organic Dark Chocolate, mmmmmmm!



On Sunday Helena spent the day with Meema and Papa (grandma and grandpa, for the lay person) while Patrick and I had a rare date out, doubling with good friend Tony and new good friend Kim (Tony's lovely lady!).



We drove up rt 89 along the west side of Cayuga Lake, did some wine tasting and had brunch at the Crystal Lake Cafe at Americana Vineyards.

Kim & Tony @ Brunch....


Tony & Patrick outside Thirsty Owl Winery....backed by Cayuga Lake

I actually had no idea the Finger Lakes region of New York had a wine country prior to moving here, and it's something we haven't availed ourselves of nearly as much as I would like. There's a small micro climate along the lakes that is conducive to growing wine grapes, particularly for the German style sweet wines (not my favorite, I'm a dry wine gal myself). Lately they've been venturing into growing some of the dryer wine grapes, with mixed results. We tried a nice wine whose name escapes me at the moment (hmmm, maybe some more wine will jog my memory) made from a new hybrid that Cornell's Ag department produced. The challenge seems to be to produce a dry wine with substance, as a lot of those we tasted seemed rather weak in flavor, although some were quite good. Some, oddly (at least to me, who knows nothing about wine making) taste rather skunky, for lack of a better description.


I think we tasted at 4 vineyards in all, although I skipped the last one....I'm a lightweight and was also already familiar with the lovely wines at Sheldrake Point, which we visted when good friends Dave, Mel & Solaris came to see us last summer.


It was a gorgeous, sunny, clear day, and although this bare time of year is not my favorite, the lake drive is always lovely.


Cherrio, and happy Belated Valentine's to all of our lovelies!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I can almost smell spring!

Ground hog day is just past, and I guess the verdict on Spring depends on which groundhog you believe (and I always thought there was just one!) I think Dunkirk Dave is closest to us, although I haven't actually verified the mileage. He did not see his shadow, which hearlds an early spring here, and this morning I can almost believe it.

It's not warm, but at 30 degrees it's comfortable to be out walking in a coat and mittens. The sun is shining, there are some light snow flurries, but most of our snow melted with last weeks warm snap, so the bare ground is peaking through. I can't wait to see the tulips and hyacinths we planted last fall popping up.

This morning my bedroom began to lighten as I was waking, and by that I can tell that the days are getting noticeably longer. Technically, they have been since Dec 22, but now I can tell.

I have loved winter more this year in years past, but could learn to appreciate it more, I think. This tends to be the more challenging time for me, when the snow doesn't seem to fall as heavily, and therefore isn't much fun to play in, but it's still to cold to do much outside. But at least it's warm enough to enjoy some fresh air, and for that I'm thankful.

Happy belated Valentine's Day to all! We had a lovely weekend, and I'll post some photos soon, but don't have them accessible from work (sshhhhh, I ought to be, well, working now).

To everyone we didn't connect with this time in San Diego, please accept my heartfelt appologies and know that you are loved. I went into this trip some completely burned out and spent that I just didn't have the energy to organize or coordinate. I'm finally feeling a bit rejuvenated though.

Monday, February 2, 2009

From San Diego

We're in San Diego, got in later Friday night after having our flights cancelled on Thursday due to bad weather.

It's beautiful, warm, sunny, a nice break from the freezing pipes and fridgid weather we left behind. And I'm Really Crabby.

I love and hate coming to San Diego-it's a very ambivilent experience for me. It's comfortable and homey, I lived here for 32 years. And I'm still at times unsure of the wisdom in my choice to leave here. But, after 6 years, although it feels homey, it's not home anymore.

This is the 9th time we've come back to visit since leaving, so we visit fairly often, considering the distance. Deaths, births, a wedding, and a few pleasure trips have brought us back here, and it's without fail, despite my best plans and intentions, a frantic and ultimately exhausting attempt to see the dozens of people we know and love. This time I really want it to be different. And I just don't know how to do it.

We've drastically shortened the list of people to see, at the risk of hurting the feelings of people we love. And yet, already, at the dawn of the 3rd day here, I'm really frazzled and frayed, and ready to go home. Patrick seems to be faring a bit better, but then again he seems to feel the pull to please much less than I. Helena is at moments cheerful and funny, but much more tired and cranky than is her normal little self.

I believe that the change that is needed is within me. This pasy year and a half or so has been a period of fairly rapid growth on my part, and I'm weary from it. I love so many people here, and indeed have said and meant feverently that half my heart still lives in San Diego with all those I love so much. But coming here, at a time when I feel really ready, finally, to commit to the choice we've made to leave, seems now to be perhaps not the wisest for me.

I'm just beginning to get solidly on my feet in Upstate, to forge connections to people, and my community, to out forth effort to be the person that I want to be in the work world. And when I come here, beyond the sadness I feel because of the physical distance I have now from so many I love, underscored by the changes I see that happened while I was absent, I also feel strongly tempted to rush back to where it feels warm and safe, to where I know people know and love me, especially when I forget to love myself.

But I also see that despite my questionning of my own choices and motivations, there a lot the reasons I chose to leave still stand, and it's time to move forward and give those dreams and goals a chance. To trust in my own worth and strength and know that I can forge the life I want, wherever I am. And being here, now, because of my inner turmoil, isn't perhaps the way I could have best supported myself in all of this.

So, for this morning, Helena and I are off, while Patrick rests as he needs, to the ocean for a morning in the sun and air. I'm going to pretend for a few hours, that I'm in Florida, or the Carribean, or somewhere other than my home town, where the goal is simply to relax and refresh and play. And perhaps, just perhaps, I'll be inspired with how to make this more the experience that I need.

On a completely separate note, I've edited the name of the blog a little. I think it more accurately reflects me and where I'm going, at least for the moment.....