Archive | October, 2012

Award Alert

26 Oct
Beautiful Blogger Award

Blogging Award, bestowed by other bloggers

I honestly came into the forum of blogging as a means to keep my extended family and friends (though the two are truly one) abreast of how our family is coping with the new life we have come into.  The new life began with the diagnosis, on March 12th 2011, of a hemorrhaging mass on the brain stem of our, then, twenty year old, newly home from a tumultuous combat experience with the United States Marine Corps, son.  Of course we know now that he was enduring the extreme weather conditions and the extreme conditions of combat in Afghanistan, while his body was fighting its own battle…within the brain.

Fast forward to today.  I am now formally inducted, by way of being bestowed a kind gesture of an award, into the blogging world and recognized as a viable presence within this cyber forum.  With the granting of the title, Beautiful Blogger, comes a responsibility to respond in a manner appropriate to the occasion (basic good manners remain a requirement, no matter the space in which one dwells).  And so I dedicate this page to thanking the two bloggers who thought my prose, poetry, and nonsense keen enough to recommend, “Fly on the Wall” http://flyonthewalljamyd.wordpress.com  and “Prego and the Loon” http://pregoandtheloon.wordpress.com  I am truly grateful, thank you both.

Now as required with such an award, some responsibility must follow.  I am to write seven facts about myself…uuuggg…

  1. I like my coffee strong.
  2. If perchance you brew me a pot of joe that resembles, in taste, dirty water, I will not refrain from telling you so.
  3. I like to grind my coffee beans into a fine powder, even when not using them within an espresso context.
  4. Point Break, hole in the wall cafe, on Shelter Island, San Diego, has a very good tasting, regular brewed coffee.
  5. Café Madeleine, in South Park, San Diego, serves the traditional Italian latte, in a glass cup…yum!
  6. Starbucks, though a beacon of comfort for me–a link of sorts to home–does not serve great coffee.
  7. Writing personal information, within a list, is an area in which I need to rebel–remember, I am a rule bender! …so let’s keep it to coffee and me. 🙂

Again, thank you to Fly on the Wall and Prego and the Loon, Prego and the Loon and Fly on the Wall.  You ladies rock my world…and that is a very good thing! 😉

Now off I go, in search of the Velodrome…

 

 

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Frankie Goes to Hollywood

23 Oct

My title should actually be, “Relax…”; However, with that title I begin singing the song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood…”Relax, don’t do it, when you wanna get to it. Relax…”  I’m not exactly sure if the lyrics have sexual connotations (though I’m leaning toward a definite ‘yes’ on that one), which is why I utilize the ellipsis instead of finishing out the lyrics.  But the theme of “Relax” is where I’m at, though ironically instead of heading north to Hollywood, we headed south to San Diego.  We being my most benign partner in crime, my beloved, Brian.  He bears the title of benign because he is my anchor to following the laws of the ‘establishment’.  For you see, I do not imbibe alcoholic beverages, nor do I utilize mind altering prescription/non-prescription pharmaceuticals (drugs–for you street smart folk).  Therefore my “high” in life comes from the perpetuation of “breaking the rules”–or bending them at the very least.

My Brian does not do those things willingly.  And if he does, perchance override the system, his conscience hounds him mercilessly into the wee hours of the night.  Not so for me.  I am happy to trespass, go through a ‘do not enter’ door, run a red light when no one is around, ride my bicycle on the sidewalk when the sign says, “no bikes allowed”, and drop the moniker of my cousin, for personal benefit, though she is not the songbird one would think she is, etc..  And much to the dismay of my loving husband, I do not lose one wink of sleep as a result of my shenanigans.

So here we are, the grateful recipients of a private shelter, gratis and courtesy my prima, Suzanne Vega.  I will refrain from sharing a photo of her home, as I am sensitive to protect her loving abode from the bombardment of more hooligans, such as myself, looking for a free-ride of a vacation. 😉

We packed our bicycles (my Raleigh 1973 and his 5 dollar who knows what it is) into our 1956 Ford Customline vehicle and headed south.  We had intended to also bring along our 1930’s kookbox surfboards (modeled after a Tom Blake), but Brian strained his back, thus we decided the ‘water-loggers’ would better serve his recovery if left behind.  Now it was our intent to have a full two weeks respite from regular life, and by ‘leaving our nest’ our two not-so-little ones would also enjoy a break from the watchful eyes of their parents.  However, given how our vacation began–we were skeptical to the reality of the ‘two week’ dream.

The short of the story is as follows (skip if human feces, and the discussion of it, causes you a problem)…

For some reason, our plumbing likes to fail only on a Sunday.  Sometimes it will choose a different day of the week, but only if out of town guests are due to arrive on another day.  So on Sunday October 14th, our main sewer line decided to back up.  Brian and I were alerted to the situation at 6a.m when our daughter came running into our room to proclaim, “my shower is not draining and the toilet is overflowing.”  Since this exact issue caught us off guard two months prior, I was keenly aware that her news carried with it the undeniable truth that all of our toilets and showers (two to be exact), sinks and the like, were now ‘out of commission’.  And being it was Sunday, I knew our faithful plumber (and good friend) was also not available.  I did put a call into him, just to give him the heads-up of the situation, and ironically he and his wife were in San Diego for a weekend getaway…not courtesy my cousin.  There it is…fate.  It was fate my plumbing, my plumber, and my vacation plans were intertwined with each other.  For when he came on Monday, to clean out our line, he told me the stories of where he and his wife found enjoyment in the southern city–exact locations my husband and I intended to visit in the upcoming weeks.

Back to my story…

What to do in the event my bowels decided to move, as is customary for me after my morning brew (of coffee)?  Well being the intelligent woman I am, I borrowed from my experience with the portable head on our sailboat, and I covered my loo with a plastic bag which was, yes GROSS, but a better alternative to the non-flushing option my husband utilized after ribbing me of my ingenious efforts.  In fact, I do believe his exact apology came in the form of a cry from the bathroom…and it sounded like this, “GET ME A BAG…please!” 🙂 🙂 🙂  Those little emoticons showcase the laughter emanating from my being as I handed him the bag and he “ate face” in his own stubborn toilet-y mess.  Not exactly the best overall tone in which to launch an intimate, and relaxing, vacation–but it is how we started.  I promise, I don’t make this stuff up…life hands it to me in the bag! hahahahahaahahaha (oh that was bad)

San Diego at last, albeit the relaxing part is a work in progress.

Our first week was a trial in error, with our bicycles and extended family helping to keep us accountable to our ‘vacating’ frame of mind.  We were blessed with agreeable weather and the legs to pedal us forward.  The plumbing has been superb which proves complimentary to my freshly ground, morning cup-o-joe.  Brian and I are very much in synch when it comes to our interests in architecture, history, design, and culture (well I’m more of a culture buff than he, though he lends me his listening ear as I explain the “Dia de los muertos” influence and tradition, seen more rampantly here in the border-near town of San Diego).  Although his knowledge of history gives my cultural education a run for its money.  In other words, we are complimentary one to the other and enjoy tooling around investigating ‘new to us’ finds and locales.  So far our children are faring well…minus a trip to the doctor for my daughter’s ailing kidneys for which her brother foot the bill, and an emotional hiccup for my son who was grateful to have the nurturing comfort of his loving sister.  Given the circumstances of the last two mentioned, it is a wonder I am still here…on vacation.  I say “I” because my husband has found himself in the middle of an employment opportunity, right here in Little Italy, San Diego.  He has been commissioned to design and build a new office space for a creative firm.  Being we were already down this way, he took the position.  We trekked back home yesterday so he could gather his tools and such, paint a few paintings, and then head back down.  The timing was perfect because I needed to re-group as I ended up being plagued with a horrible migraine headache, which required my being home for a few moments to get it under control.  I dropped him off at the location this morning and returned to my little bungalow away from home…alone.

Today relaxing means to me, the opportunity to be quiet.  Do a load of laundry.  Clean the borrowed bathroom.  Remove the full trash bags and replace them with empty ones.  Eat lunch utilizing the leftovers from my cousins ‘main house’, and sit in silence as I write this blog post.  Relaxing to Brian means, creating and spending his time engaging his artistically fabulous gifts.  What a good life! 🙂

More on the second week of our journey next time.  La vie c’est grand…

Living Like the Queen I am

11 Oct

I had the BEST day today!

First I began my morning by waking up completely drenched with sweat.  For those who know me well, know that being cold is my absolute nemesis.  Thus awaking to warmth to the degree that I actually perspire is a welcomed experience, I assure you.  My son, Cole, likes to give me a hard time about the fact I do NOT break a sweat when relaxing in a 100 degree sauna (actually 104 degrees, & celsius).  It is true; the sauna has to be at about 113 degrees before I begin to feel ‘over heated’, when perhaps a trickle from a bead of perspiration will alert me to the idea that I might be too hot.  Oops, I have digressed; now back to my morning…  After changing into something dry I headed to the kitchen to start the morning meal.  Since Cole was still retired in his room, Esther at school, and Brian not in need of a morsel, I was able to conjure up a breakfast just for myself, the Queen!  I made myself an egg-white omelet, stuffed with Port Salut cheese from France, cooked in olive oil brought to me from Italia, and sprinkled with roasted kale which I had prepared the night before.  Yummmm

Omelet with Port Salut and Kale

Egg white omelet with Port Salut cheese, and roasted kale sprinkled on top. Yum!

I then ground my coffee beans and made a fresh pot of joe.  As I sat at the dining room table, by myself, with my delectable meal, I thought…”this meal is fit for the queen that you are, Rivka.” 🙂  And so I created my title.

And while masticating my last morsel, my boys emerged to the kitchen and were ready for the “royal” treatment themselves (though not exactly the queens portion).  They require a bit more goo for their palate.  But since Cole is beginning to meet with a personal trainer, twice a week, and the trainer has him documenting his diet, I ‘upped the ante’ to make sure Cole looks good on paper (and I look even better as the queen mother!).  Theirs was a 3-egg scramble with sauteed spinach, basil, scallions, and cream cheese.  I have decided, or learned from a dear friend rather, that keeping a basil plant on hand is a better choice than purchasing sprigs which tend to spoil quickly, even if kept in a glass of water in the refrigerator.  And mornings, such as this, proves her theory well.

With the completion of breakfast behind me, I pondered my next move.  Do I walk the dogs and then shower, or do I shower and walk the dogs eventually?  Amidst my pondering a rain, thunder, and lightening storm came upon us and forced the hand of my decision toward the shower now option.  I must say, I absolutely love it when nature or other factors, out of my control, guide my choices.  Sometimes I want to let go of being the one in charge, you know, the one who bears the burden of responsibility…you know, the queen.  And when lightening strikes and thunder rolls, and rain pours down, life is just that much simpler.

Post the upright bathing ritual, the storm began to move away.  The clouds were puffy and white, and the skies a beautiful azure.  I was ready for some real adventure, the only problem which presented itself is that I allowed my staff the day off.  A mid week holiday of sorts.  Okay, okay…I don’t have staff, but this was my “Queenly” morning, as my omelet could attest, and therefore within my royal delusion I had staff–only they weren’t around! 😉

HOWEVER, it seemed the good Lord was willing to tickle my fancy and allow me my fun.  I will explain…

As I hunkered down and decided to get with the ‘actual’ program and go out to the garage to get the empty laundry basket so I could begin tearing down the Mount Kilimanjaro looking pile of filthy clothes, I noticed four large trucks and one long white van, congregated within the area of our culdesac.  Bypassing the laundry area, I went out to the street to more easily check out the scene.  There were lots of men, in jump suits.  Some with orange, reflector vests.  And while the van was unmarked, the trucks showcased our city’s logo on the side of the drivers’ door.  Intimidated at first, I shrunk back and began to retreat to the laundry area where the empty basket awaited me.  Then all of a sudden my inner royal took the lead and urged me to investigate the scene further, more intimately, and to find out the issue which caused the congregation of men.  Lo and behold a city water main had broke.  The men, with their tools in hand, were shutting down the water for our entire neighborhood.

Well you can imagine their surprise when I jumped up and down with glee.  I was so happy!!  I even asked if they wouldn’t mind taking a week to complete the task–a forced vacation from the city was all I was asking for…it’s not like I was begging for the Taj Mahal!  The workmen laughed and looked at each other with an agreed expression of their happening upon  a nutcase; me.  No matter, not the first time I garnered such an expression from strangers.  I was too happy to care what they thought of me;  for once again, nature (or other causes out of my control) interfered in “my plans” and helped direct the day.

I ran into the house and told Cole to gather his things, we and the dogs were heading to the harbor.  Though he gave me a look of concern, I assured him the skies were clear in that direction and we were going to walk the dogs and enjoy the harbor facilities for we were “out of water!”  Or perhaps I responded to his scowl with the following battle cry, “obey your queen and get yourself into the car!”

Cole in action

Are you my mother?!

Which ever it was, I had a marvelous day and I thank the city, cheese imported from France, kale, and Italian olive oil for starting me off on the right foot.  Those are my servants, they are my staff.

And Mount Kilimanjaro?  It waits patiently beside me, knowing the water main is repaired and the time for conquering is drawing near.  Cheers! 🙂

 

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