Friday, May 22, 2009

What I'll Be Doing Next Week

I'm taking a week-long vacation to spend some time with my family and friends. It has only been a few months since my trip to Arizona, and yet I feel a deep need to step way from my life here in Baltimore and enjoy some simpler things. I've mentally tallied a list of things I'm hoping to do while I'm away. It's not a to-do list so much as an if-I-feel-like-it list. I want to unwind, relax, revel in the presence of some of my favorite people—which means I want to be open to opportunities, events and experiences that might not be on this list. I also want to make time for the things I truly enjoy and don't spend enough time doing during my normally hectic and over-scheduled days.

If time and the Universe allow, I'd like to:

  • Eat a dinner alone with my mother, catching up and really BEING with one another.
  • Spend time sorting through at least one room with my father, who is preparing to sell his house.
  • Practice yoga by the lake at sunrise.
  • Write. Write. Write. Whatever strikes my fancy.
  • Read.
  • Visit my favorite parts of my hometown and journal about my experiences there.
  • Have dinner at Niagara Falls with family.
  • Take pictures of everything.
  • Notice the beauty around me.
  • Take quiet walks by myself.
  • Breathe in the clean, fresh air.
  • Work one day on The Book Proposal.
  • Be present wherever I am and whatever I am doing.
  • Watch the parade and enjoy a barbecue.
  • Run into old friends and talk like we never skipped a beat.
  • Eat mindfully and consciously.
  • Take my nephew to a movie.
As you can see, I have high hopes for my time away. No matter what is on that list, my real goal is to refresh my spirit. It's been a long winter and a hectic spring. This vacation is meant to be a cleanse of sorts, a time to reconnect to my body, mind and spirit in a way that has seemed impossible over the last several months. I think some sun, fun and family is just what my heart ordered.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. While you're enjoying parades and picnics and backyard barbecues, as I will be, please take some time to remember and recognize the sacrifices of our service men and women and their families. And take some time to reconnect with and rejuvenate yourself, as well. You deserve it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Another Local Summer

This week I saw the blog post I'd been waiting for: One Local Summer is back! After a really successful OLS last year, Farm to Philly is hosting this event again and I'm all signed up. I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to build at least one completely local meal a week all summer long.

In fact, while the challenge hasn't even started, I spent the morning walking around the farmer's market looking for local meal inspiration. There's not a whole lot to be had this early in the season, but there were plenty of herbs, greens, lettuces and two of my favorites: rhubarb and asparagus.

Unfortunately, I didn't go with much money, so I ended up spending what I had on seedlings for my containers--three different varieties of basil, some dill and a lettuce garden. I'll be doing some planting this week to get my container garden going. I need some soil and a couple more containers to make room for my lettuce varieties. I'll also be cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer of any perishables to make room for what I bring home next week. I won't be caught short on cash again!

Part of my excitement about the CSA, farmer's market and my own little garden comes from the fact that I haven't felt very good about my diet lately. For several months now I've been eating crap, moving very little and paying the price. My mood has been "blah", my energy has been low, and my body...well, my body isn't happy. With the return of spring and the promise of fresh fruits and vegetables, I'm getting motivated to be more creative in the kitchen and start enjoying my food again.

Here's to a long growing season and healthy, local food! If you're interested in joining in, the One Local Summer Challenge starts on June 1st, so go sign up now.

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