Sunday, May 25, 2014

Silverwood Park

#1 – Coming home to a polenta crust and chopped vegetables. It was the dinner I started to prepare yesterday but then ended up going out to eat. Today I would have opted for something fast/easy, but since the meal was half way prepped I made it – Black Bean Polenta Pie AND while I waited the 30 minutes for it to bake, I made a strawberry spinach salad.

#2 – Having a strawberry-rhubarb bar with me as a snack/dessert this afternoon. Rhubarb is the easiest thing I know of to have in a garden, but it wasn’t until a year or so ago, that I found a recipe that inspires me to put it to use. The bars have cornstarch in them so then aren’t like the mush I often associate with homemade rhubarb bars.

#3 – I went for a jog with a guy from online dating earlier this week and he asked me if I wanted to go canoeing at a park I've been meaning to check out (Silverwood) this weekend. It is near his house and I had mentioned that I had been meaning to go. Our conversation had been pleasant and it was genuinely something I wanted to do so I agreed.

We walked around the park, looked at the art (the park has an arts focus) and went canoeing. After we went in one sculpture that looked like a beehive he said to me that he had wanted to kiss me in there. We were walking; I took a breath, allowed a little space, and then thanked him for the compliment. Then I took another breath and told him I did not feel the same way. He asked me, “Why not?” and then said he liked post date analysis which made me laugh (that laugh is going to be gratitude #3).

I said it’s not something one can explain, it’s just how we feel. However, the one thing I had thought about after our jog is how essential space is to me. One reason I like meeting people to go for a walk (or maybe now for a jog, this is the first time I’ve tried that) is that it feels more comfortable to allow spaces to emerge in a conversation. It feels much less awkward. So while we were jogging this was happening, though I didn’t notice until he said, “You’re not going to ask me anything are you? Well, I’ll keep asking then.”

After he said that I thought, “Should I be asking more questions? Am I being rude?”

But the fact of the matter is, I was comfortable with a bit of silence. I trusted it to allow the questions that really mattered to me to emerge. And after our jog I thought, this is not something that one can see online, but it is obvious when going for a walk, the comfort, or lack of, in the spaces in between.

I need that comfort.

#4 – So I’m grateful he verbalized his attraction, so I could verbalize how I felt and though it certainly wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, I think/hope I did it with kindness.

#5 – Finally, when I left this morning I brought a swimsuit and towel with because Memorial Day is when I start my once a week swimming goal. I knew there was no swimming at Silverwood, but I figured maybe I’d go somewhere else before coming home. But when I arrived I actually pulled into the “wrong” parking lot, which was for a beach! It must have been owned by a different entity than Silverwood Park. No one was swimming when I got there later, just wading to their knees, the water on the cooler side. By the time I was ready to go in, the clouds had come along with a breeze, so I was already slightly chilly. I decided I could just dive in and get out. However, at that point there was one mother who had fully ventured into the water and was playing with her 10 or so year old boys. They were obviously enjoying each other’s company which made me happy in itself but I also thanked her as I was edging into the water, for inspiring me to swim.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One of My Favorite Days

One of my favorite days of the year is the "Spring Work Day" at Clare's Well, a little retreat center near Annandale, MN. 

I've heard the phrase, "Respect Your Elders" throughout my life, but it is when I step onto this piece of land, and am welcomed by a hug from one of the sisters that I can fully embody that advise. The women who run this place shine with compassion, love and generosity. Every year I feel so blessed to give just a little bit to them in return. This year it was especially poignant as I've known they have been contemplating what will happen in the future, it is a lot of work and they are getting older. I overhead one sister talk about a couple that may buy it. They would still run it as a retreat center, yet no matter how welcoming the new owners are, they cannot replicate the feeling these sisters wrap upon the place. I also doubt they will match the price. For $60/night you get one these three hermitages.

Option #1 - House of Clare (brown building on the left)

Option #2 - House of Francis

Option #3 - The Dome

plus three delicious meals, a pond to swim in, labyrinth to walk through, woods, sauna and quiet. The Catholic church won the lottery when these women decided to align themselves with it. Women who have these bumper stickers like this

and chakra stones scattered on their grounds.

Yep, they're with the Catholic church and they are not afraid of chakras (or gay marriage for that matter).

Their strength is a beacon in this world. Thank you Jan, Paula, Carol and all the other people that have made that place a reality.

And thank you Jill for introducing me to it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Curried Onion Tart

#1 - The smell of the Curried Onion Tart baking as I write this.  It's 8 cups of onions and 6 eggs and it
is surprisingly yummi.

#2 - I am working at my local farmer's market this year and one thing we need to do is obtain musicians.  The board sent out a request to those who played last year and there are many people signed up to play multiple Sundays.  I was hoping to add a little variety.  Thanks to KFAI community radio I'm familiar with a few local musicians that may be willing to play something like a farmer's market.  I wrote a few emails and one I enjoy (Sarah Morris) wrote back and said she would be interested.  Yeah! 

#3 - We also wanted a kids event on the opening market day.  At the meeting yesterday I didn't have any ideas, but today I thought The Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater may have a traveling show.  I emailed them today and they do.  I don't know if it is in our budget, but that would be great as well.

#4 - Once a month we want to have a "special event".  The first month it will be "City Days", we don't know what July will be yet, August will be Health and Wellness day.  I didn't have any ideas for what to do in July, but health and wellness I did.  One of which is to coordinate with my yoga studio.  The owner wrote back today suggesting "Laughter Yoga ?  Or Family Yoga Fun time?" Yes.  and Yes.

#5 - You know how important birthdays were when you were a kid?  Which is probably why May 2nd is so easy to remember.  It is the only friend I've known since kindergarten that I maintain contact with.  The contact is sparse at this point, but I don't think I ever forget her when May 2nd rolls around.  Yesterday I thought about writing a card, but didn't.  Today I took time during breakfast to write her a card and put it in the mail.