My house has a lot of my grandmother’s furniture, including our kitchen table. Yesterday I made a grocery run, which has this way of completely draining me. Grocery shopping was never my favorite, but now with the masks and the one-way aisles, and the line outside and all the extra effort it takes, it just wears me out. But I decided to pick up a festive tablecloth and a few things to put around the house to remind us that summer is coming. And when I put the tablecloth on the table, memories came rushing back to me of my grandmother’s kitchen table in the summertime, out in the country where they lived. Memories of just lying in the grass by the pond behind her house, walking through the woods, visiting the cows, eating hamburgers at the table with the checked tablecloth and the little mustard & ketchup set. And I got a little bit sad. Nostalgia can do that. And it’s easy to feel sad, because this Memorial Day weekend doesn’t feel like the ones in the past. It’s not sunny, in fact it’s cool and rainy here in Northern Virginia. There’s no Viva Vienna, with its carnival rides and food trucks and live music. The pool isn’t open, my son isn’t starting his lifeguard job. But then I remember that none of those things were happening at my grandmother’s house on those glorious summer days. I ran around barefoot, and played in the creek and lay on the grass staring at the sky. I drank from the hose and we made lemonade and peach ice cream. And I can do all those things with MY kids. Maybe I'll even bake my famous Cole's Moveable Feast sweet tea cupcakes with lemonade frosting. We’ll walk in the woods, and splash in the creek instead of the pool. I’ll make my grandmother’s peach ice cream and we’ll do some laying around and staring at the sky. And it will be awesome.
Let’s talk about FREEDOM today. Sometimes my daughter puts on an outfit that makes me ... pause for second. I bite back advice about things that “go together” or about not tucking shirts into elastic waist pants. And then I remember. Remember when you were a kid? And what you put on your body was based solely on what colors you liked? Or how comfortable it felt? Or how easily you could play outside or jump in the creek? I remember, too. Do you know how many decades I spent picking out my outfit based on how tall, skinny and “in style” I’d look? Does anyone here relate to the closet crisis? Did you know there was a time I wouldn’t dream of wearing flats (or my glasses)? I nearly ruined my feet running around New York City for twelve years in high heels. How liberating it was when I started thinking like a kid again! Sometimes I even tuck my shirt into elastic waist pants! Now, I admit some of this freedom comes from reaching an age where I make decisions based on MY preferences, rather than others’ perceptions. And the struggles that come with being a human have a way of putting things into perspective. There came a time in my life when I realized I LOVE every part of me that I used to consider imperfect, because now it is healthy. But play with freedom in your mind’s eye for a minute, if you’re not already there. Think about how wonderful it would be to feel free. Because others’ opinions of you are none of your business. And you deserve to be happy and feel good. And when you do, every little choice you make will fall in line with that. You’ll nourish your happy, loved self with foods that energize and heal you. You’ll move that wonderful body like a kid again. And your spirit will thank you. And you're right, that’s not my daughter in the first picture. XOXO
Join us! We're running (and walking) the Vienna Business Association Caffe Amouri Feeding Families 5K ~ May 15th to May 31st. You guys, I can't say enough about how excited I was to hear about this event - I'm even donating a prize! Like many of you, I have spent many hours at Caffe Amouri working on my laptop. I've also walked many miles (with many of you during Wellness Feast walking club) on the W&OD trail, and my love of the Town of Vienna runs deep. How much I'll miss Viva Vienna this year! And you know one of my core beliefs is that we must serve our communities and help the undernourished. This is especially true now, in the face of this global pandemic. I hope you will join us for this wonderful event. I'll see you out there training (from a distance)! Register here!
There can be a dark side to all the Zoom happy hours and days that feel like Groundhog Day. I posted about it on social media, and then I started receiving lots of comments on my personal Facebook page, plus private texts and messages about how universal that slippery slope can be. So I thought it was worth re-posting here. And by the way, the recipe for the virgin margarita can be found here, and the spritzer was just half Belvoir cucumber mint lemonade and half seltzer, with a few slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint. Enjoy, and read on . . .
Can we talk alcohol for a minute? And bear in mind, this is coming from the wife of a man who works in the industry. But during the COVID-19 crisis, I have found myself pouring a glass of wine almost every night. Sometimes two glasses. And that is WAY more than I would like to be drinking, not to mention the fact that excess alcohol consumption has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and several other health conditions. And for me, a lot of the pleasure in a glass of wine is really about the ceremony, not so much the wine itself. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there’s a perfect glass of wine for certain meals. Sometimes, on a hot summer day, a cold glass of white wine or rosé just can’t be beat. And it’s Cinco de Mayo on Taco Tuesday during the coronavirus, for God’s sake. That just screams margarita! But today, I decided to introduce some new non-alcoholic options into my repertoire, so that I can still make a special drink after a long day of homeschooling and working from home. I even ordered some Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits to try out. So, let me know if you’re with me on this, and if so, share your favorite mocktails. And listen ... I’m not going to pretend I’m becoming a teetotaler, but I do want to be more intentional about how often I’m taking a drink. Are you with me?