Archive for April, 2009

So much to do, so little time

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Okay, Jazz Fest this weekend – naturally, lots to do and see and eat and feel. But tonight Swirl is having a tasting, so an after fest event. And then tomorrow night, James Singleton and Helen Gillet are at Zeitgeist again – 9PM. This time we’re going to make this show.

On the big 5-0 – going to go do Yoga in the Sculpture Garden at NOMA, then slink back to the house for some slow moments at home, then Jazz Fest for Jon Bon Jovi among others, and then a friend is having a party. I’ll have my champagne in tow the whole time, celebrating 50 revolutions around the sun.

And Sunday, well Sunday, is another story.

Finding your breath and losing your breath

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I’m inclined to people, places and stuff that makes me lose my breath and I’ve always been a shallow breather. For years, I’ve heard from others that I should take yoga because I’m a whirling dervish and really need to relax, bring my energy inward, and stretch. 16 years in California and I hated every yoga class I ever took – bored me to tears – I’d much rather be swirling around a step, lifting heavy weights, or running, biking, anything other than trying to stretch and breath.

But that all changed when my back sent me out of pilates and into the arms of Michele and her style of yoga. Wow – what a difference a teacher makes. Today, I’d like to salute Michelle of Swan River Yoga, she also thankfully teaches at NOAC, and she has changed my life.

At two days shy of 50 years old, I can barely get into a teaser because of the stiffness in my back. But I’m finding my way back into my body through her challenging yet giving yoga. I almost got in a crow pose today and almost lifted myself up backwards – these have become big challenges for me.

When I look around and see what are my next steps in life, I see so transparently that my body is my friend and I’d better treat her right if I want to enjoy the next years ahead. Breathing deeply, flexing my body beyond its tight ball of a core, and balancing inside and out. These are the steps I am taking towards the next half century.

All the road running

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Today begins the second weekend of Jazz Fest – it’s local Thursday, when the music is a bit more subdued and the crowd is too. Locals love this day to go the Fest because it usually doesn’t have the 100K crowd that Saturday and Sunday attract. But I’m going later because there is one person I want to see – Emmylou Harris.

I’m a huge fan of hers and have followed her along many steps in her career. I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing her once though and that was in San Francisco at the Filmore when she was there with Julie and Buddy Miller opening for her.

The day started out a little bit better than ordinary – a nice bit of breeze but soon the clouds gathered and it rained and sent home B who was just getting started on the front doors.

Rain rain go away Emmylou is going to play…

Swine flu – to fear or not to fear

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

T’s family is coming for the summer – a young child and an elderly woman – now we have Swine Flu to worry about. Should they come, should they not? Was it just last summer we were dealing with the threat of Bird Flu? And before that Anthrax? And what about the fear of living? That seems to be an every day occurrence.

Summer wildflowers galore!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

There is an empty field by the post office, right near the hospital that has not reopened since Katrina. It is directly on the swath of land that is going to be developed into a green/bike corridor, which we are all so enthusiastic about around here. But right now, all I see is a large field of black-eyed susans.

Today I picked a nosegay for the table and the delicate stems and the rising heat outside presage the coming of a long, hot summer.

What goes around, comes around

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The yoga theme last night was about Karma and how we are all now weeding our way through past issues and trying to plant the seeds of progress for tomorrow. I have always wondered why I am so blessed in life to enjoy love, good friends, and work that suits me so well. Maybe I had banked up enough Karmic chits in the past to deserve all this wonder.

70 is the new 90, what is going on?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I took mom in for her blood work and I was holding the door for a woman who was walking in with a cane. I said to her, I wish my mother would use one of those. She said, “I’m trying to get off it. I have just recovered from breast cancer and now I have bursitis. Truth is, it’s kicking my butt.”

I said well, you look pretty good for having gone through all that.

Then she said, “Well, I’m 74.”

Again, I was shocked. I guess I’m maybe clueless but I’m surprised at how old 73 looks on my mother, how old 74 looked on this woman, and I’m scratching my head because I know women in their 80s and even 90s that are swifter and more energetic – my two grandmothers were in their nineties and still cooking for a crowd.

Very disconcerting and the reason why having missed my yoga class, I’m headed there right now.

Maintaining the LaLa

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The solid mahogany columns on the front had started yellowing but B came and sanded and sanded and refinished them and now they are their beautiful deep mahogany self. He told me I waited too long.

T came to fix the irrigation that J had run over with the lawnmower and then he fixed a couple of small heads around that had blown off.

The front doors are now being refinished – a product of the one two of Gustav and Ike – after those storms, it seemed the finished was almost stripped off of them.

Next it’s the windows – also mahogany – a light sanding and then refinishing.

The upkeep is gnarly, but when the house shines, it really shines. I’m getting to an age when I’m going to need more and more maintenance, yet I’d rather spend it on the columns then on my wrinkles.

Finding solitude and tranquility

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Yesterday afternoon, I wanted to hula hoop, walk Loca, go to the grocery, and finish a few projects that I had and instead, I just took the two chairs that T puts together to recline in in the morning on the screen porch and brought my Sunday New York Times and lit the candle and sat there and read the paper while I looked out at the already almost overgrown garden.

I curbed the desire to want to weed, to want to get the clothes out of the dryer, to do any number of projects that would keep me active, busy, on my feet, engaged, and settled in for just one thing.

A friend of mine is married to an Eastern European woman and we were both acknowledging how in the cultural differences one of the standouts is their ability to enjoy. The Germans have a name for enjoyment – it’s called gemutlich – which is actually the act of being cozy, comfortable, and at ease in a social setting.

The pleasure I found was more about solitude and quiet as I had been in a social setting for the entire weekend, but it was definitely cozy, comfortable and relaxing.

Americans have so much to learn about reaping the rewards – we spend a lifetime working for them – but so little time enjoying them.

Watching your life pass in front of you

Monday, April 27th, 2009

We were watching the Sea Inside last night and the part where Javier Bardem’s character is floating in the water was almost like a flashback this morning. I came to my desk, ready to put the weekend of Jazz Fest activity behind me and focus on work when I got a call from my mother that she had fallen and couldn’t get up (funny in a commercial and not so funny in real life).

I bolted out the door and got there only to unlock the door and find the chain lock on – the alarm went off, of course, and there was nothing I could do, I was trying to body slam the door and finally got the guys below to bring a hammer and claw the chain off.

Got to the bedroom and she was incapable of moving and didn’t seem capable of using anything – her hands, arms, legs – to help me get her back up in the bed and she didn’t want me to have the guys help. So I got in the bed and approached her from behind and got half of her in the bed and then peeled myself away and worked to use her leg to leverage a turn and roll to get the rest of her in.

She said I’d make a good nurse. Right.

After I got her in the bed, I went to call her doctor while she fell asleep. The police came, responding to the alarm, and I told them we were okay and then I picked up the basket that had fallen in the entry turmoil, the one she keeps on her front door for the pharmacy to put prescriptions in. There was a nest in it from a mourning dove.

I locked the door and felt like I was moving through jello – I sat down at the kitchen table and on her digital screen was a photograph of Arlene. Spread out on the table was yesterday’s newspaper open to the Obituaries. Again, thick thick Jello.

I took a deep breath and started the round robin of trying to get a doctor to tell me what to do next. Her primary care physician said he hadn’t seen her in over a year – funny, she told me she had seen him. The other doctor said she had Type II diabetes – I said really? I have asked her about this. Later, I questioned her and she said she did not.

Three doctors later, I told her I was taking her to the emergency room. She said, no way. We fought. I told her the only way she wasn’t going to the ER was to get up and walk to the bathroom by herself. I’ll be damn if in an hour she didn’t do it, shuffling like a crawfish and holding onto everything in her path.

So I told her she had bought time. I’m taking her to the cardiologist in the morning and then for blood work.

I repeat. 73 is not old.