Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kickin' back a bit

For about 5 days each spring, my clematis vine is at peak with a mix of open and opening blooms. Thought I'd share a couple of pics of it:

I had every intention of posting yesterday, but ended up having a crazy busy day at work that included a 911 call and other assorted dramas, followed by coffee with a friend, and then a pre-dinner nap! I feel totally out of the blogging loop and as I'm wide awake here at 4 a.m., why not jump back in the mix right now??!! Actually I've been awake since 3:30, but watched an episode of Frasier (one of my all time favorite t.v. shows) before deciding that I'm done sleeping for the night. So the washer is washing, eggs are hard-boiling, and I'm typing.

My weekend was really nice. Saturday I went to Avalon with 3 of my AA buddies for the one day retreat I mentioned last week. We left my house at 6:30 a.m. and were on the beach by 8:30. Saturday was possibly the most beautiful beach day I've ever had at the Jersey Shore. (I'm a beach snob, having grown up just south of Clearwater Beach in Florida, where there is real white sand and shells, but this site was as close to beach perfection as I've experienced!) The sky was impossibly blue and cloudless, the surf lively to watch, listen to, and be hypnotized by, and the air was dry and warm with a breeze that literally caressed the skin. I definitely need more beach in my life.

But I've digressed...the retreat was going to be 2 morning meetings on the beach, followed by a "covered dish" lunch at a local auditorium and then 3 afternoon meetings in the auditorium. Each meeting consisted of an average alcoholic gal talking about a topic for 15-20 minutes, and then sharing about the talk and the topic for an hour. The 2 meetings on the beach at 9 and the 10:30 were good, but as the group broke up to head on to the next venue, the 4 of us looked at each other and decided we were going to stay and enjoy the rest of the day at our leisure. 2 of the gals wanted to just stay and bake in the sun for awhile, and another gal and I were ready to get out of the sun for a bit. We went and got a burger at a local beach place, then found a place to buy tee and sweat shirts, then back to walk about 4 miles on the beach. It was just glorious to take our time and have no agenda. We left for home around 4 and had as much fun in the car as we did on the beach!

Sunday was another day where I suspended a lot of my usual agenda of frantic "busyness" in order to just chill (not easy as it was 91 degrees and humid!). I did some gardening and just about melted into a pool of sweat; then showered and spent the rest of the day reading, watching a stupid Lifetime movie and cooking dinner. I made a Molly Katzen recipe of pasta, greens and feta that is yummy. I healthed it up a bit by using WW pasta and have to say I like this recipe with traditional pasta better! If your interested in the easy recipe, let me know and I'll post it.

I tend to be an activity junkie, booking my non-work time into sequential chunks of "doing stuff". There is a Buddhist philosophy that counters my mentality of "don't just sit there...do something", with "don't just do something, sit there." I'm really trying to settle myself more. My chronic running around is yet another way I can not feel feelings or have any true gauge of where my heart is in the moment. It's similar to eating beyond what is necessary for nutrition. The cultivation of peace and quiet time is a challenge for one who has habitually run from herself for most of her life - often without a clue of what I was doing. And the crazy thing is I don't have much to run away from now...my life is great and has done a basic 180 over the course of my 18+ years of sobriety. I really believe that striving for more quiet and meditative time, even if just for 15-20 minutes a day, will also help with my eating.

Hubby is leaving today to drive to Georgia to pick up our youngest son from school and bring him home for the summer. I can't wait to have Mark home...this is basically his last summer "off" as he'll be a senior next year! Hard to believe the baby is one year away from college graduation. He's a great kid and wonderful to have around. He and I spar constantly and all in the effort of making the other laugh. The household will be noisier and messier, and I'm thrilled. Our other son who's living in Chicago is hoping to get home for a week while his brother is here. I love when the next fills back up, even if only partway. It may get in the way of my cultivation of peace and quiet, but with as late as they sleep, I can always find time before noon!

Here's to a day of clean eating, exercise and balance. That's not too much to ask for!


  1. Ah Leslie, that clematis is beautiful. I love it.

    I too need some meditative time. I love the way it grounds me and helps me make better choices when prioritizing my life. I hope you have fun with both of your sons, it sounds like a blast.

    Happy Mother's day if I don't get to your blog before then. I'm going to be out of town. May your boys shower you with love!

  2. I totally get keeping self in constant motion thing!

    Yoga was my slow down/clear mind teacher. And it was REALLY hard to just sit with myself in the beginning.

    glad your trip went well and you had good weather. I wondered about you all weekend as it stormed here. We are on a cycle of bad weekend weather and then beautiful weekday weather.

    how is your knee holding?

  3. The clematis is beautiful !!!
    I find it very helpful to do something called discursive meditation when you preform some mindless repetitive activity like walking or scrubbing a floor and letting my mind ramble. It helps me to stay in touch with me, work out mental dilemmas and so forth. I have tried traditional sit and be sorts of practices , but my monkey mind never focuses. If I allow my body to move, my mind centers.

  4. WOW! That clematis vine is gorgeous.

    Glad you are taking some time to just sit there. We all rush through our lives and never seem to sit and reflect on what's going on inside our heads.

    Enjoy your time with your boy. Time flies.

  5. That clematis is a stunner! Your beachtime sounds wonderful. I'm green with envy here! I know you will have such a fun time with your son home from school. What a fun summer to look forward to!

    I struggle with making the time to center myself, even though I KNOW it improves the quality of my life.

  6. You weekend sounds fab to me. The clematis is gorgeous and I hope Shelley gets over here to see it what with purple being her favorite color and all.

  7. Anonymous04 May, 2010

    Yes...growing up just outside of Sanibel Island...I too am a major beach snob :)

    Your vine is gorgeous. Enjoy your son. My oldest will be a senior in high school next year and I'm already getting weepy about it. Sheesh.

  8. Anonymous04 May, 2010

    Hey girl...yes I'm doing WW online. I just had to do something. I was getting bigger by the minute. So...I'll be giving a play by play of how it goes. I had emailed TJ about it. She is such an inspiration with her WW progress.

  9. Hi Leslie. Glad you had a brilliant time at the beach. Visiting the surf usually re-energises me too.

    Vickie's idea of doing yoga is great. Physically strengthening/ stretching AND quietening the mind at the same time.

    Thank you for the lovely clematis photos! Hope you're having a good day.

    Bearfriend xx

  10. Anonymous04 May, 2010

    I can't grow anything, so I am jealous of your gorgeous flowers!!

    The beach trip sounds amazing - how wonderful not to have an agenda and just walk!

    Glad your kids are coming home! It's so weird when my daughter isn't home, although I do enjoy the extra time with my husband! :D

    Have a great day!

  11. Leslie the flowers are beautiful. It took me back to when I was a kid as my mom had a clematis that was that color.

    I have been to Sanibel Island and we were amazed!

    I am so happy for you that your kids will be home.

  12. The flowers are beautiful! :) I say we all need more beach in our lives. I am so happy when I am at the ocean. Thanks for the reminder- I gotta go! :)

  13. it has been cold enough to wear a hat here lately...jealous of your warm weather.

  14. Such a pretty flower. And The beach sounds wonderful to me.

  15. You wrote:
    "For about 5 days each spring, my clematis vine is at peak with a mix of open and opening blooms."

    I am not sure this is a good thing to do - but I have been doing it for years. I cut my clematis back to about 18-24" after it is totally finished blooming. It then regrows and reblooms. I know it is important NOT to cut it all off - there is something like a secret message that the sun shares with the green leaves and then is stored in the roots for the next year (bulbs are this way too). you can tell that I was told that as a child by one of my grandmother's - and that is how I still think of it.

  16. Your clematis is the most beautiful colour! :o)

  17. Your pictures are gorgeous!
    Sounds like a busy busy few days for you.

  18. I am so with you on the "don't just sit there...do something" philosophy. It feels like a waste to just be doing nothing! I know it is good to take time to unwinde, meditate, chill out, whatever, but I usually have a lot to do and feel guilty if I'm not being productive. Which is why it bugs the heck out of me that my boyfriend has to be pushed to do stuff. <_< Anyway... Your flowers are gorgeous, by the way. :)