Catching Up & More to Come… (with a recommendation or two)

I went to bed last night thinking I have four things to do today – Go to Whole Foods, get my hair cut, pick up Lynn at the bus stop, and attend Andrea’s Deep Resonance. I woke up around 0630 – my usual day at home wake up – and began the process of going in and out of sleep. When I woke to see 7:02 on the phone, I decided it was a good time for morning meditation before rushing to Whole Foods when they open at 8.

I love meditating in bed in the morning. I feel better all day long when I intentionally set aside time to just be in the present moment. Like everyone else, my mind can be restless and sometimes fierce. But in those first few moments of the day, I find my mind is less active than later in the day; meditation feels more relaxed. I confess that I sometimes fall back to sleep – and that’s okay too!

After meditation I thought about going to Whole Foods. I like to get there when they open. I usually have a conversation with Jonathon while I watch him place every stalk of celery and head of kale, collards, and lettuce, in perfect harmony; producing  a masterpiece of fresh veggie art. I have to be careful in the produce section as it’s easy for me to buy more than I can eat – it all just looks and smells so beautiful! I’m going to miss those conversations when Jonathon retires in a few months.

The thing is, I really wasn’t in the mood to get dressed and go out so early this morning. For some reason I felt like I needed to get my shopping done before I get my hair cut at 11:00. Sure, the store is less crowded and the lines short when I greet the Whole Foods crowd at opening, but lately I’ve been pushing myself and have clearly paid the price. So I decided to lay in bed a little longer, snuggle with Paz and Jax, and then come downstairs for a nice cup of tea.

Product Alert! This is a must share item… My favorite teas are Black and Rooibos. I have all sorts of tea accouterments but I’ve never been happy with any of my tea balls/strainers when steeping Rooibos – until now! I recently purchased a great strainer that is so fine, not a fleck of Rooibos floats in my tea! You can find this tea-infuser on Amazon Prime for only $11.64. IMG_1216I like that it also comes with a little porcelain dish to place the infuser. It’s all easy to clean and like I said – no leaves in my tea! If you are a fan of Rooibos, you know what that means.

So…I’ve been off the blog for well over a week and I’ve just given you five paragraphs to describe my current morning. August became a whirlwind compared to my usual calm life. I was out of the office for two weeks while I earned my certification to become a Sexual Harassment & Assault Victim’s Advocate. IMG_1203 The class was two weeks long and on the first day of the second week, the person sitting next to me came in with the cold that had been passed around class the previous week. I thought my immune system was strong and when I felt that first tickle in the back of my throat, I started sucking down Zinc & Vitamin C tablets – to no avail. By Wednesday I had a full-on cold.

Normally when I feel a cold coming on I take a day off to rest and allow my immune system to do what it does so well – fight off bugs and infections. But we were told on the first day of class that if we missed more than four hours of training, there would be no certification. My body was already dealing with the change in hours (8-5 workdays). I was barely  moving my body, sitting in a chair all day and eating out of a snack machine. I took my healthy lunch but inevitably grabbed a bag of peanut M&M’s or pretzels from the machine. My body really didn’t know what to do.

By the time the weekend came I was sucking down Nyquil  at night, avoiding any inconvenient symptoms of the cold and ignoring what my body really and truly wanted. I had company coming to visit and while she made it clear that a clean house and tourist outings weren’t necessary, I believed it had been long enough so ignoring what my body was telling me, I spent an entire day cleaning house and getting ready for a fun few days of showing Baltimore to someone who hadn’t visited before.

IMG_1208 When I first moved to Baltimore I asked the locals where to take company for Maryland crabs and seafood. Nick’s Fish House Nick's Fish House & Grill on Urbanspoon was the recommendation most received. I love the view and atmosphere at Nick’s IMG_1207 and most importantly, the food is good, even for a vegetarian like me. I always order the same thing – salad with organic greens. I always ask them to remove the tomatoes and add avocado which they do with no problem. Unlike most restaurants that don’t reduce the price when I ask for something without, and then charge extra when I ask for a replacement like avocado, Nick’s didn’t charge me for the additional avocado. I like that. And while it may seem like an odd combination, I love Nick’s Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. Salad and potatoes – the perfect lunch. Just as all my guests before, Lynn loved her seafood dish and we enjoyed the friendly service, water, boats, and view of the bridge. Of course by now though, I was thoroughly exhausted and ready for some quiet relaxation.

We decided to go over to Harbor East and watch The Butler with Forrest Whitaker. The movie exceeded both our expectations. Lynn mentioned that she didn’t realize Oprah is such a good actor. I had a different take. I’ve always thought Oprah is a good actor; especially in The Color Purple. But in this movie I just couldn’t get past Oprah being Oprah. Evidently (according to an interview with Oprah that a friend shared with me) Oprah worked really hard to avoid that reaction from the audience. I find it interesting that she worked so hard at it and that was the first time I had that experience with her acting. Maybe she should have just been herself – Maybe by trying so hard to not be herself, she was more herself! Or maybe it was just me. The movie is well worth seeing and I definitely recommend a theater viewing over the TV.

The next day we decided to go to the Inner Harbor for a water taxi ride over to Fells Point. I like Fells Point and can usually find a decent lunch. However this was not the case during this visit.

IMG_1210 Hot & humid weather returned to Baltimore and on top of that, the city is in it’s most disgraced (annual) state as it prepares for the hideous (I guess you know how I feel about it) Grand Prix race through the city. I was disappointed that this city I’ve come to love would be seen with large fences, bleachers, and blue plastic spread all over the streets and Harbor. But once onboard the water taxi, we found refuge from the heat and city blight. It’s always a nice ride over to Fells Point and you never know when an interesting (in a touristy kind of way) ship might pass by. IMG_1211 Once we got to Fells Point we started our walk around the shops. My favorite shop is Ten-Thousand-Villages where volunteers serve as store clerks and items from all over the world are offered at reasonable prices which reflect fair wages to the many talented Artisans represented. To my surprise I found a singing bowl that I had admired a couple of years ago.

I’m getting a little impatient as I wait for the Bengali Bowls I ordered from Peter Hess so finding this delightful bowl was just what I needed. IMG_1212 This is not a therapeutic bowl. It was handmade in Nepal of pure bronze. It has a nice ring to it and looks beautiful. I’m pleased to give it a home!

After a few more shops, I dragged poor Lynn to every restaurant in Fells Point but they were all the same; bars with bar food and little to offer a vegetarian or even a healthy omnivore. We opted to get back on the taxi and find something at the Inner Harbor.

My hair appointment is in 35 minutes and yes, I have more to share. So for now I’m just saying, to be continued…

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