I must admit, the past two months have been a little rough for me. Getting to the end of this school year was tough, but I made it. School is finally out and I find myself officially unemployed for the next eight weeks. With this abundance of time laid out before me, my mind begins the arduous task of sorting through the myriad of possibilities…How shall I spend this precious allowance of time? What to do, where to go, who to see? And so the making of the lists begins. There are the To-Do’s, the Should-Do’s, the Could-Do’s, the Would-Like-To’s, the Need-To’s, the Must-Do’s, the Absolutely-Have-To’s and, of course, the I-Would-Really-Love-To’s. There is something about the making of a list that lures you into a false sense of control, fools you into believing you are organized and misleads the mind into thinking you are on top of things. Unfortunately, the reality for me is a cloudy mess of confusion. I seem to be suffering from some sort of attention deficit issue lately and I am experiencing some difficulty in focusing my priorities. Focus…I bet there’s a tonic for that. Some sort of elixir, a natural remedy to cure this particular malady? Naturally, I chose to begin my tackling of the To-Do’s in the kitchen. Lesson #1: When you find yourself in such an unfocused state of mind, it is best to stay out of the kitchen.
Sometimes I get the greatest satisfaction from the simplest of things. I often have this experience with food. I love those moments when you create something beautiful and delicious and it fills your body and soul with delight. I have not been having many of those satisfying kitchen experiences these days. Lacking excitement and filled with frustration, my healthy food explorations have been uneventful and devoid of delightful discoveries. So, when I unexpectedly experienced one of those increasingly rare moments of culinary satisfaction, I decided I better milk it for all its worth.
There are those moments in life when we find ourselves simply depleted. With diminished brainpower, devoid of energy, deficient in sleep and lacking inspiration, we feel spent, trampled and lifeless. In those moments I wish I could just step away, fence myself in and post one of those boundary signs: Protected wilderness area. Keep out. Stay back. Restoration in progress. Unfortunately for most of us, life refuses to stop, or even slow down, for those desperately depleted moments. So, we have to find a way, in the midst of the day-to-day, to breathe life back into the soul by creating our own personal restoration project.
A few weeks ago, I posted a little bit about a recent adventure my hubby and I had along the seashore at the southern end of the Oregon coast. For us, it was something different, to be sure. For many years, we have been very enamored and slightly obsessed with our Sierra Nevada mountains and the Death Valley desert that border the small, isolated town that we call home. This has not changed, of course, but taking this time and this opportunity to experience something new has stirred up a little something that’s got us yearning for the seashore.
About this time of year I usually find myself moaning about the unbearable desert heat, groaning about this ever-lasting summer season and wishing away my precious time. This year however, my husband and I decided to make an unlikely escape, taking a break from our typical summer Sierra adventures. We wanted to try something new, so we traded in the alpine lake with that picture-perfect campsite for a luxurious beach house with a never-ending ocean view.
My hubby and I are on vacation right now. It is an adventure, to be sure, but an adventure of a slightly different sort for us. An actual vacation. As in, a full week of rest and relaxation, meandering and wandering along the Oregon coast.
Yes, I know. The summer solstice has come and gone…old news, weeks ago, long since moved on. That’s the way it is with me…a little late, after the fact, better late than never. It has taken several years for me to come to terms with that, to accept it and embrace it, but I am at peace now with my belated and not-so-punctual ways. And now that Summer is in full-fiery-force, I am revisiting a few precious moments of celebration as we welcomed this new season with two of my favorite things: a sunset and a starry sky. From a tent, by a lake, with a waterfall, no less.
Well Summer has definitely made her way around and seems to be settled in for the season. With temperatures above a hundred we are beginning to wilt around here. Welcome July. There are many things I love about my summer season, but the heat is not one of them. I don’t know about you, but when the mercury rises, my appetite drops. I don’t desire much but sweet summer fruits, simple salads, smoothies and such. So, here are a few suggestions for healthy and refreshing ways to keep your cool in the midst of this summer heat.