Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lazy Death

It's been a while since my last post...June has been a month of travel and dealing with my dad starting his travel to his next "post." He had a few little strokes this month, and the last one a few days ago -- just a day after my departure from a little visit with him in Alaska -- is now affecting his cognitive reasoning. Today when the nurses asked him where he was he said England or Alaska, one of the two. Yesterday he was in Redding! In fact he is where he's been living since I was a mere 12 or 13 years old: Anchorage, Alaska.

He's sleeping a lot and in my experience with people who are in the death process, sleep tends to be a good deal of what is on their "to do" list. In fact, at the bedside of a few of my dying friends and relatives I've had the distinct impression that even though they were physically in the bed, they were travelling to the other side, dipping into their next stop of life/death.

When I talked to my dad this morning I said "Hey dad, it's your one and only daughter calling from Los Angeles." Thank God he recognized me. Thank God I'm an only child, so he didn't have to sift through a lot of offspring memories to find me. We actually had a nice little chat. These are the chats I will miss, the ones where I can tell he is on the other end of the phone all lit up just upon hearing my voice. No one will ever light up like my dad does at the sound of my voice.

I take solace in the words of my friends when they tell me they still talk to their parents who have gone and still hear their voices, as if they were hear. And, in the meantime, my Lazy Lesson for the Day, Week and Month is to stay in the moment. In this moment, he's alive. As he slips away from the dad he used to be it's like I'm mourning the little pieces of him. But, in this moment, he is alive, and this moment truly is all that matters.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- 30 Second GUACAMOLE!

I love avocados in every form. My favorite thing is sliced avocado with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of course salt. Deliciosa!

I also loooooooooooove guacamole, of course! Here is a super duper simple recipe for guacamole that takes 30 seconds to make:

Trader Joe's Shopping List

Veggie Section

Refrigerator Section
Salsa of your choice -- I use "Especial" -- but they have so many great salsas and literally any one will do because the salsa has all the tomatoes, onions and spices you need!

Instructions for making enough for two people to share with some chips and a couple of cold beers:
  1. Mash up two avocados.
  2. Squeeze juice of one lemon.
  3. Add a couple to a few tablespoons of salsa.
  4. Sprinkle a little course salt, or regular salt, to taste.

And, you are done! Go outside with a bowl of chips, crack a couple of beers and happy Nueve de Junio (as opposed to Cinco de Mayo)!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It's Trader Joe's Tuesday on Wednesday!!! Wooo Hooo!

This salad is in our book, and my friend, Kath, always refers to it at "The Bridget Salad" because I got her addicted to it many years ago in response to the challenge she uttered "I hate eating anything green!"

It's now a very hip salad that you find in most restaurants, but back in the day it wasn't everywhere, and generally it's a salad for which they use a vinaigrette dressing of some sort. I use lemon and olive oil only, and usually I get the question (uttered on bite #1 or #2): "What kind of dressing is this?!!!!"

Lemon and olive oil is one of the healthiest dressings you can make as both ingredients are good for you. Also, you tend to not overdress using these two items which is a good thing because used in moderation both ingredients enhance the flavors, particularly of the lettuce.

So, here are a few variations on the salad, which is just a few ingredients long, full of protein and unbelievably fast to make. The bottom line is it's 1) lettuce, 2) cheese, 3) roasted nuts, and 4) lemon/olive oil dressing.

Bridget Salad #1
Very American Salad Mix
Sharp Cheddar
Unsalted Dry Toasted Sliced Almonds

Bridget Salad #2
Organic Romaine Salad
Parmigiano Reggiano
Toasted Pine Nuts

Bridget Salad #3
Baby Lettuce Salad
Crumbled Gorgonzola
Toasted Pecan Pieces

YOUR Salad #4
Lettuce of your choice
Cheese of your choice
Toasted Nut of your choice

Dressing for all three variations: fresh lemon juice (1/2 to whole lemon, depending on size of salad) and a drizzle of olive oil, and some nice course salt to taste.

And, of course, you can add other things like tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced olives, avocado, etc. But, at least once, give the simple trio combo a chance with the lemon and olive oil. I think you will delight in the flavors like never before!

Buon Appetito!!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Learning to Love - The Lazy Way

I had the most delightful day today. I wrote an article for Pasadena Magazine about Jacob Maarse and his wife Clara. Jacob and Clara started one of the most successful florists in Southern California in the early 70's in Pasadena, Jacob Maarse Florists. Jacob hailed from the tulip capitol of the world, Alsmeer, Holland, and Clara from Iran. And, they have been in love since they met over 50 years ago.

I met them at their house this morning for the photo shoot for the article, which is essentially a tale of their long and lovely union as well as their mutual passion for roses. They have 3500 rose plants on their property. It's pretty stunning to behold.

But, more stunning is their love which seems as fresh and new as a young couple's. They were so adorable during the photo shoot, making each other giggle. The photographer said "I just have to fix the shadow on Mrs. Maarse's face" and Jacob turned to Clara and said "Your face is just as lovely as it always is..."

That kind of love is what I have been searching for all my 47 years, and the love that I have finally found. I really hope that after many years together, we can find each other as wondrous as we do now, and are as delighted by each other as the Maarses are.

Yesterday I was having a long chat with an old high school friend, Stephen, about my new love. Stephen had only weeks before I met my love told me "Don't worry, he's coming. He's just around the corner." So, I give huge credit to Stephen for opening my heart up a little more to the possibility, and for leading me by a cosmic rope out of the dark cave I was in where it seemed impossible to find my love. He said "You are reminding me of a quote I just came upon and wrote in my journal just two weeks ago .... 'The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love, and to be loved in return.'"

I had never contemplated the concept of learning to love. My learning is centered largely in the arena of trust and surrender. These are two things that haven't come easily for me. But, I am delighting in surrendering anew and flexing my trust muscles. Sometimes it's scary, but I'm learning. I'm learning and I'm loving the learning.

Boy am I one blessed Lazy Woman.