Thursday, September 29, 2011

NYR 9-27-11 - the day that would not end

This morning I left home at 6:30am to pick up two other moms to make it to school for a 7:30am meeting. I don't need to be doing much at 6:30am, much less be up, dressed in my going-to-a-meeting clothes and driving a car. But we made it and learned all sorts of things about the overnight camps our children will be attending. Mac will be going here, and it looks so beautiful that I almost wish I could chaperone a group of 8 year-old children there for a camping trip.

Just kidding.

After the school meeting, I took these new ladies to the newcomers coffee at the ambassador's residence. I got an invitation to attend because of Jimmy's position, but whatever. I'll take coffee and cookies and empanadas any day of the week, no matter how the invite came in. I like good food in a beautiful house.

After the newcomers coffee, I attended a meeting of American parents as we prepare for the school's big-deal, annual international fair which takes place next Friday. The American kids are going to do a dance montage to music from Grease. Very Americana. But my involvement is minimal because do you remember how fast they hand jive in Grease? Watch it again and tell me if your 40 year-old body moves fast enough to teach a bunch of 10 year-olds how to hand jive.

Then I came home and CO.LLAPSED. This was one tired Moma.

Jimmy had a work function tonight so as soon as Mac got in the bed, I got in my bed, took an Ambien and drifted off to la-la land.

For busy days that thankfully have an end, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-26-11 - I can die a Colombian death now...

... because I have been in the society pages.

I was forwarded this photo (I'm on bottom right) from a public diplomacy friend at the embassy who saw me with her eagle eye!!

I'm sure I'd be in the pages much more frequently if I were ever invited to these events. Thankfully, my sweet friend (the girl on the other side of the photo)'s husband got me on the invite to the Queen's Birthday Party.

For my Colombian social debut, I'm so truly thankful (to be read with sarcasm).

Monday, September 26, 2011

NYR 9-25-11 - The Amazing Race

This afternoon, Jimmy, Mac and I went to our favorite little neighborhood Italian place for an early supper. When we walked up, they had all these Amazing Race props and decorations everywhere outside and inside.

We saw the manager when we walked in and I told him I loved all the decorations since TAR is one of my favorite shows. I also told him the new US season started tonight and so we were eating early so I could get home in time to watch it. He said that the Latin America season also started tonight and they were having a party to celebrate it.

We were waiting for our dinner when they started up the TV that was projected on this enormous movie screen on one side of the restaurant that I'd not noticed until then. By the time we were finished eating, the restaurant was hopping with people, all of whom knew each other. We had clearly crashed a party that we weren't invited to.

We paid the bill and on our way out, I asked the manager why they were hosting the viewing party and he said the owner of the restaurant was a contestant with his girlfriend in the Latin America version. WOW.

Last year my American hairdresser's daughter was a contestant on the US version and now one of my favorite restaurant's owner is a contestant on the Latin American version? I feel like I'm practically on the show.

Naturally I came home and googled the Latin American show. And while Juan Del Mar (the owner) doesn't have a linked profile, his girlfriend does. She's none other than Toya Montoya.

Doesn't ring any bells?

Yeah, it didn't for me either.

But it turns out she's a famous Colombian model. The first picture I saw of her online was of a photo shoot she did in the Galapagos Islands where let's just say she was one with nature. It was hard to concentrate on her face because there was so much of her shown in the picture.

Here's the official Latin American TAR photo. Juan and Toya, my new Colombian BFFs (HA!) who were both at the party, are on the upper left hand side in the red jackets.

For the ability to feed my TAR addiction, even in a foreign country, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-24-11 - another Carolina win

For another Carolina win, I am so deeply, happily, gratefully thankful.

NYR 9-23-11 - Italian heaven

Tonight we went over to our friends' apartment for dinner. She is from Rome and I knew the meal would be spectacular and it did not disappoint.

When we first arrived, she served this beautiful bruschetta with tomatoes that looked like they were straight off the vine in Johns Island. So beautiful and red and gorgeous.

Our first course was a divine risotto, after which I was stuffed because heaven forbid, I leave any on my plate. The next course was roasted pork loin, the most fabulous crunchy-on-the-outside/tender-on-the-inside roasted potatoes, and peas. Dessert was zabaglione with strawberries.

A meal totally to swoon over. In fact, if I were on death row, I might have Angela cook my last meal.

For a delicious meal shared with wonderful and entertaining people, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-22-11 - Brazilian capoeira

Yesterday morning I went to my weekly kick boxing class, but to mix things up, the instructor taught a capoeira class. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial arts that is really intricate and looks like a dance between partners. You can YouTube it if you'd like to see a performance of it. It's beautiful to watch.

I lived for four years in Brazil and never ever took a capoeira class.

And after one class of it, I know why.

You hurt like CRAZY afterwards.

There's a lot of squatting and core control so my legs and back hurt like nobody's business today.

For great exercise and a body that will still do some of these moves, even if it's not pretty and looks NOTHING like real capoeira, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-21-11 - school volunteering

I told Mac's teacher at the beginning of the school year that I would be happy to volunteer for whatever she needed done, but she's really Johnny-on-the-spot and doesn't need any help (except for the normal stuff like class parties). But then Mac saw some of his friends' parents volunteering in his friends' classrooms and put a major guilt trip on me about my not volunteering. So I, in turn, put the guilt trip on the teacher who said I could come for library time.

Now when I heard that, I thought that would be great. I'd just read some books or listen to the children read to me and that would be that.


Mac's teacher is super-creative and artsy, both of which I am not.

When I got to school today, she told me that I'd go over some of their reading responses with them individually and then we'd break into small groups. I was still with her at this point.

She said that we'd read one chapter of a book together with the group (there would just be 4 kids in the group but I'd do two different groups over the course of the morning).

Still with her.

And then, and THEN I'd work with the group to come up with a verbal way to present that chapter to the other group. It could be a poem, a song, a short play, etc.

And this is where she lost me.

Did I mention I am not creative and this is the sort of assignment that could cause me to break out in hives?

I got a great group of really smart kids. Three of the four, I think, are really left-brained and then there was the Brazilian girl - no offense to my dear Brazilian friends - who was totally, 100% right-brained Brazilian.

We whipped through the chapter, and they totally got the vocabulary and the comprehension but only the Brazilian girl had ideas for how to present it. Her first suggestion for presentation was that we write and present a poem that used similes and metaphors (which they've just studied). But we decided it's a little hard to write a narrative in simile or metaphor.

Then I suggested that perhaps we make a song.

To which Brazilian girl suggested we could dance like Jennifer Lopez. I looked at the three other students who looked stricken with panic at the thought of doing some Jenny from the Block moves.

Then I suggested that perhaps we could think of a song that we all knew the tune to and we could make up some words to the well-known tune. I threw out "Old McDonald Had a Farm" as an idea.

To which Brazilian girl said she thought a Britney Spears number would be more fun.

Another panic-stricken moment before I realized that I needed to grab this bull by the horns and lead her into less provocative territory.

I suggested the "Happy Birthday" song, we came up with appropriate words that involved no hip-shaking, sashaying dance moves. We really rocked it, if I do say so myself. I've set a pretty high bar for my creativity, I think.

For a really fun morning that made me laugh and for this adorable girl who took me right back to Brazil, I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the new tv line-up: the good news and the bad news

The good news: "Modern Family" starts back tomorrow night and "The Amazing Race" starts back on Sunday night. I really, really want to audition for this show with Jimmy because I know we could win, but I don't think he's terribly interested. Would somebody please be my travel partner and let's audition? I would be in it to win it with you.

The bad news: I don't know how I missed it, but I have just learned that "Brothers and Sisters" is done. And I am devastated.




I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED that show. We even named our GPS "Nora" after Sally Field's passive-aggressive character. When I think of all the dumb, silly, mindless tv that's allowed to stay on, my spirits sink even more to know that I won't get to visit with the Walkers every Sunday night. Sigh.

My trifecta of network television viewing is now down to two shows. (What is the double version of a trifecta? A dufecta?) If those two shows get cancelled, network television is dead to me. (Unless Carolina is playing, in which case I'll be forced to watch whether I want to or not.)

In the meantime, happy watching of "Modern Family" and "The Amazing Race". Don't call my house on Wednesday nights at 9pm EST or on Sunday nights at 8pm EST. I won't answer.

NYR 9-20-11: The Pioneer Woman, part 2

In my earlier post, I forgot to mention that I watched TPW on Food Network on Saturday morning, which is how I got turned on to her. She has a new show so you can see her in action instead of just reading her in action!

For Jimmy's breakfast today, I made him TPW's husband's favorite breakfast from childhood: egg-in-a-hole. For the full recipe, which is quite simply the fastest, quickest way EVER to make an egg breakfast (but you have to like a runny yolk), go here.

Jimmy is now a TPW convert, based on this single culinary experience.

I also hear from my Canadian contingent (that would be a single person and I'm not sure if contingent can mean a delegation of one??) that TPW has a great iced coffee recipe, which you can read here. The really awesome thing about this recipe is that you can make a humongous batch of coffee concentrate, keep it in your fridge and use it to make an iced coffee whenever you feel the urge. I like a girl who plans ahead.

For the successful introduction of TPW into our lives and for the egg-in-a-hole breakfast, I am truly thankful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

NYR 9-19-11 - feeling sooooo much better

It's been a long week of stomach illness. But today I woke up and didn't have any of that uneasy unsettled feeling that you have when you know you have a tummy virus and it could erupt at any moment.

I felt well enough to go to tennis, which I hadn't been to in a week, and then I went for a haircut and stopped on the way home by the cupcake place for some "Moma is well, let's celebrate" cupcakes and muffins.

I would like to digress for a moment and tell you that if I ever open a cupcake store, which I will never do because I hate baking, but if I did, I would send customers home with bags that looked like this:

Then they could get home and pull out this pretty peekaboo box with the little cut-outs so they could see their delicacies inside:

And then when they opened up that pretty pink box with the complementary brown ribbon, they'd see all these little pretty gems:

But since I'll never be a professional (or amateur) baker, I'll just be thankful today that somebody else is and that I am feeling well enough to partake of their goodies!

NYR 9-18-11 - Sunday school

Life in Bogota is about as easy as it gets anywhere. The one thing that's missing, though, is church. If you're a southerner, you understand that going to church on Sunday is pretty much ritual. It's just what you do for those two hours before you go to lunch at the local Sunday lunch restaurant.

We tried the one English-language, non-Catholic church here last year upon arrival and it was just not for us. I won't get into all the reasons, but we held out as long as we could and then gave up.

Thankfully, Mac's religious education isn't in jeopardy. Some friends decided to start a children's Sunday school class on Sunday mornings, and today was their first class. Mac loved it and was able to tell us all about what he'd learned when we picked him up. Now we have to work on that memory verse for next week!

For Sunday school, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-17-11 - another Carolina win

Although it wasn't necessarily pretty, we are so thankful for another Gamecock victory.

posts are out of order


I just posted Friday's NYR but it's showing up below The Pioneer Woman. Make sure you see it so you'll know what Mac's been up to!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Pioneer Woman

I have heard people talk about The Pioneer Woman, but I didn't think I'd dig her. I figured she was some holier-than-thou, "I'm better than you because I live off the land and you don't" kind of girl and let's be honest: who needs anymore of those people in our lives?

But she won me over and if you don't know her, maybe you'd like her too. Her recipes look good (but there was a lot of butter involved), and she seemed like the kind of girl you'd want to hang out with. After the show ended I went to her website and she is my kind of funny to boot. I'm a convert.

NYR 9-16-11 - school award

Today Mac's class had their annual assembly. Their assembly was one of the earliest in the school year, which put a lot of pressure on their teacher, but I'm happy we got it out of the way early! They put on a cute little play about adding/multiplication. I would link it here but there's really no need to watch it unless you're one of his grandparents in which case your viewing pleasure is mandatory and I will email you the video!

After the play, they gave out awards to Year 3 and Year 4 students. Mac is now a Year 4 (3rd grade) student. The awards included things like "best effort in Spanish" and an award to a new student for being brave in her new school. The last award given was the "Writing Award" to the Year 3 or 4 student who had produced the best writing since the last award was given. Mac won the award for his poem which you can watch him read below if you are so inclined (and really, you should be so inclined).

Seeing as how Jimmy and I are of the "roses are red, violets are blue" school of poetic thought and ability, we are so proud of his work. The thing about this award is that Mac gets to keep the little trophy until the next Year 3/Year 4 assembly at which time it will be given to the next student whose writing is selected as the best.

Watch this next video and see what Mac's response was to having to bring the trophy back to school (around 0:20).

I love this kid.

For our budding author who's got a great sense of humor, I am truly thankful.

Update to life in the BOG

While Jimmy and Mac are at tennis, I decided to enjoy the nice weather and water the plants on the terrace. While I was out there, I noticed Hugh Hefner, aka Rackosaurus's husband, in his kitchen (which looks on to our terrace which is why I made the bamboo trellis). He was looking all respectable in his Oxford shirt and navy blue cardigan, but you can't fool me. I've seen the other side, Hugh, I've seen the other side...

life in the BOG

1. Two night ago, Jimmy and I were co-playing Words with Friends (online Scrabble for those of you not in the know) when movement in the neighbors' apartment caught our attention. Turns out Rackosaurus's husband has decided to get into the action of exhibitionism.

He fully disrobed - FULLY - right in front of the window.

Full frontal nudity.

Thank the Lord we have sheers so it was blurry, but still. Then we watched him put on his pajama bottoms (with no underwear, I might add), a t-shirt and a bathrobe.

Does he think he's Hugh Hefner?

The lady who cleans our apartment building's common areas talked to our building administrator, who was supposed to talk to their building administrator about the need for respect in tight spaces, etc. Apparently either that talk didn't happen or it didn't take. We've obviously got to ratchet up the discussions.

2. Also two nights ago, I called the Arabic restaurant around the corner for takeout. I accidentally used our Vonage phone instead of the local landline. To my surprise, some little old lady in Charleston answered in English. And to her surprise, I asked in Spanish if this was El Khalifa restaurant.

What are the odds, really, of a restaurant in Bogota, Colombia having the same 7-digit local number as a Charleston number being called from a Charleston-based Vonage line?? Pretty slim. Obviously 7-digit phone numbers can be re-used in different countries, but to be the same as a local number so I didn't have to dial the US area code is crazy. Probably like a 1 in 40 billion chance or something like that.

Once we got on the same English-speaking page, I explained that I'd dialed a wrong number, knowing that there was no need to explain I was calling on a Vonage line from South America. I apologized and hung up.

And then, as our Vonage phone is sometimes want to do, the phone rang back. Now most times, when you pick it up to get it to stop ringing, there's nobody there and you just hang up again. But not this time. I picked up, there was no dial tone, so I said "hello...hello....hello?" until I heard that confused woman's voice again. Apparently it must have rung back at her house too because she thought I'd called her back.

Oh Lord.

She got kind of mad at me but again, I knew it wasn't worth trying to explain this internet-based phone system or that I was calling from South America because then she probably would have thought it was some scam that preyed on old people to get their money. I apologized again, hung up, and prayed the phone wouldn't ring back.

It was like an adolescent telephone prank call gone very, very wrong.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I just thought I'd tell you - since you're so interested in my gastrointestinal health, I'm sure - that the bug is back. It decided to revisit at 4am and it's been going strong ever since. It is not fooling around this time.

I do have exciting news to share with you, but Ruth is now on the scene and she has taken charge. I'm drinking hot water with a cinnamon stick and mint in it and she's making the bed with new sheets so I can get in. I love her.

More later.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NYR 9-15-11 - Daddy brought us a present

Jimmy was in Washington, DC from Monday until his arrival back in Bogota last night after I'd gone to bed.

This morning when Mac and I came downstairs ahead of Jimmy for breakfast, we found Krispy Kremes on the dining room table. We do love when Daddy brings us a surprise from the States.

For yummy, sugary goodness first thing in the morning, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-14-11 - the virus is back

Last night, my lunch revisited me in the form of vomit. Remember how I just told you how much I hate vomiting? Yours or mine, it makes no difference. I hate, hate, hate that violent act of expulsion.

So after a very bad night, I spent today on the couch. I watched more Food Network and HGTV than you care to know or I care to admit. I even watched What Not to Wear and realized how grateful I am that my friends like me well enough not to turn me in to Stacy and Clinton, although I would gladly have them dump my wardrobe in the garbage can for a $5000 shopping spree in NYC.

It was that sort of day.

I am happy to report that by the end of the day, I was feeling much better with the exception of some very achey legs which I had the last time I had a virus.

For short-lived 12-hour viruses, I am so thankful.

NYR 9-13-11 - meeting new people

One of the things I love about the Foreign Service lifestyle is that there are always new people to meet. There are people coming and going all the time.

The other thing I love about the Foreign Service lifestyle is that the longer you stay in, the fewer the degrees of separation necessary to figure out who you know in common.

Today I had lunch with two new women, one of whom has been at another post with dear friends we've served with at two other posts.

As the song says, it is a small world after all and for that, I'm truly thankful.

NYR 9-12-11 - a good day

This morning I went to a kickboxing class at 6:30am and came home to shower before heading out to a coffee. After an hour there, I rushed out to my tennis class where I was smoking hot on the court. It was probably the best class I've had all year. I think I was channeling my inner Sam Stosur who had just won the women's US Open on the weekend.

I have no idea whether it was loosening up in kickboxing or the caffeine rush of the coffee, but I'd love to repeat the formula every day before tennis!

For hitting unhittable balls and my legs moving like they never do on the court, I am truly thankful!

NYR 9-11-11 - reflection

On 9-11-01, Jimmy and I had been in Maputo, Mozambique for just a week or two. We lived three houses from the embassy and I remember Jimmy calling me to tell me to come immediately to the embassy. We didn't have our household effects yet, so no tv, so I had no idea what was going on. I remember getting to Post One where there's a small tv and arriving in time to see the second tower get hit. All I can remember thinking is that if I were watching that in a movie, I would think it so unrealistic as to be unbelievable, but here it was happening.

For a continued hope of peace brought about by dialog and diplomacy and not by war, for a continued hope of security in my motherland, for a continued hope of "normalcy" in my child's life, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-10-11 - and the football season begins

Today the University of South Carolina football season began.

Jimmy spent $70 for some internet service that would supposedly allow us to stream the game on the internet which we could hook up to our tv since it wasn't played on one of the 12 sports channels we have. (As a side note, ESPN 36 or whatever ESPN channel this game actually came on doesn't allow you to watch their channel in this way. We still needed to tell our internet service provider to get access and shockingly, Telmex of Colombia wasn't an option on the drop-down menu.)

So my boys had to listen to the game via the internet. I can think of nothing worse, but they were happy.

For the happiness and hopefulness that surrounds my boys during football season, especially when Carolina wins, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-9-11 - a sick puppy

This morning at 5am, Mac woke up vomiting.

I hate vomit.

Mine, his, yours, anybody's.

Really there's just something about somebody else vomiting that makes me want to participate. And I really don't have that reaction to too many other bodily functions. You know what I'm saying?

So we had some vomit, we had some lounging on the couch, we had some chicken noodle soup which came back up, we had some more lounging, and finally we turned the corner and my boy felt better.

For a healthy child which I must never take for granted, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-8-11 - lunch

For an impromptu lunch and a good gabfest with a girlfriend, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-7-11 - job interviews

The state of my recent unpleasantness has been because of a job situation. I interviewed for a job, was offered a job, was later told the interview had been contested (by my competitor) because of "unfair" interviewing practices, re-interviewed in what was the singularly worst interview experience of my 18-year professional experience, and spent nearly a week feeling sorry for myself and knowing I wasn't going to be re-offered the job that I'd already been offered.

Major funkdom.

And then last week I was re-offered the job.

But you know that awful part of you (speaking hypothetically of you because I'm really talking about myself here) that has to know whether they offered it to the other woman first and she turned it down and so now they're offering it to me, I mean you? Where you have to know all the details before you can make a decision? Well that awful part was pretty much leading the charge and I could not bring myself to take the job (again) without knowing the answer.

So I met with someone in HR today and found out the scoop. And yes, the other woman was offered the job the second time around. So that was a kick in the head. But I learned there was more to the story than what I perceived as a blow to me.

For reassurance and a vote of confidence, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-6-11- the return trip to the dentist

When Dra. Marcela told me last week that she needed to fill the chips in my tooth with resin, in my head I envisioned her taking a little paintbrush or even her fingertip and just dabbing the chips with resin. Sort of like spackling a hole in a wall.

When one spackles a hole in a wall, one doesn't drill out more of the hole.

When a dentist spackles a hole in a tooth, a dentist drills out more of the hole.

With no anesthesia.

Did I mention there were two chips?

I was only in the dentist's chair for 25 minutes, but by the time it was done, I was done.


For having that awfulness over and for having non-chipped teeth, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-5-11 - Labor Day

On this Labor Day holiday, which Mac also had off for a teacher workday, we decided to drive out to Guatavita to enjoy a beautiful non-Colombian holiday visit. After getting stuck in a terrible traffic jam caused by a three-TransMilenio (the enormous bus system here) pile-up, we finally arrived in Guatavita 2.5 hours later to find that they're closed on Mondays.


Well, really it was a bummer for Jimmy most of all because Mac went to Guatavita on his overnight school trip and I went for my 40th birthday. So Jimmy's the only one who doesn't know what he's missing. Which actually should mean it's less of a bummer for him than for Mac and me because we know how beautiful it really is.

But never mind.

We drove back a different route and stopped at our favorite empanada/pan de yucca place in La Calera to refuel.

But most importantly - for me - was that we stopped at two great plant nurseries and bought the necessary supplies for my little bamboo trellis that I wanted to make and plant with some trailing plants.

As you know, our building now has next-door neighbors (the famous Rackosaurus) and when we're outside using our terrace, the neighbors can and do stare right in from their kitchen. I explored some different options for covering up that side of the terrace.

I thought a nice bamboo screen would be nice.

You know those bamboo screens you can buy at Lowe's or Home Depot for $70?

Yeah, well they don't sell those here.

So then one of Jimmy's drivers contacted a bamboo supplier somewhere out in the country who could make me a bamboo screen to fit my specs, but it was going to be astronomically expensive. Plus I was meeting some resistance from our building administrator who I had to get permission from to put up a screen (which she obviously thought was going to be a wall).

So I did the next best thing. I bought some bamboo pieces which we lashed together and put into pots. I LOVE it. I don't think anybody in my house is nearly as fanatical as I am about it but I know once my plants grow (some trailing plant with little white and yellow flowers) and cover the bamboo, it's going to be a beautiful screen against Rackosaurus's kitchen and her staff of maids and nannies who are always staring at us.

Stick with me, ye people of little faith, it's going to be phenomenal.

One day.

The starter picture:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NYR 9-4-11 - horse riding lesson

Today Mac had his first horse riding lesson and he loved it. His hour-long class ended up stretching to 1.5 hours and I think he would have stayed on the horse even longer had that been an option.

For no spills, no tears, and only a sore back and bottom, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-3-11 - sugar and spice and all things nice

Today we attended our 6 year-old (girl) friend's birthday party. I love being a boy mom more than you can imagine, but there's just something about little girls that makes you smile. Pigtails, legs in tights coming out from under tulle ballerina skirts and stuck in pink rain boots, sparkly butterfly face paintings, etc. These are all things you don't get with boys.

For being a boy mom who occasionally gets a taste of frilly girl-ness, I am truly thankful.

NYR 9-2-11 - two great quotes

I read two great quotes for which I am very thankful.

1. "There is nothing more comfortable than a caterpillar and nothing more made for love than a butterfly. We need dresses that crawl and dresses that fly." ~ Coco Chanel

2. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh

Friday, September 2, 2011


We've been back almost two weeks and I feel like all I've done is cook dinner.

Which is what I said I wanted to do when we were on vacation for 7 weeks and it felt like all I ever did was eat out at restaurants.

And which is not really true because we have eaten out a couple times.

But honestly, a girl needs a break from the stove every once in awhile.

And tonight I wanted Mexican that was not cooked by me.

Even though the other 2/3 of the apartment's inhabitants didn't seem really excited about Mexican, they went along with it. (I think they were afraid to rock the boat of my newly reacquired steady emotional state and would have agreed to eat liver and onions if I'd said that was what I wanted). I think we all enjoyed our meals. I know I loved my tostadas.

For satisfying cravings and eating delicious food that required no cooking or cleaning up by me, I am truly thankful.

NYR 8-31-11 - the funk cloud has lifted

I will get into detail later why I have been living under a funk cloud since Friday, but I really fell down the rabbit hole of pity partydom. I had lots of encouragement to get out, but I just needed to wallow a bit more.

This morning I went to a kickbox class at a friend's house with an instructor who might be the devil. The class started at 6:30am, which suited me because I'd rather get that hateful little thing called exercise out of the way earlier rather than later. Heavens to sweet Betsy, did he make everything hurt.

After class I hobbled the 6 or 8 blocks back home and did what I never, ever do.

I took a short nap.

I didn't even shower first.

I plopped on the couch with my Kindle and the next thing I knew, an hour had passed and Ruth was coming in and I had to jump up on my aching legs to act like I'd been curing cancer instead of lounging the day away.

And when I woke up, I felt better.

Not physically because everything hurt like the devil himself had beaten me.

But emotionally, I felt strong and healthy and confident. I knew that everything was okay. It was like the black cloud that was hovering over me just got sucked away during that hour of rest. Really nothing short of a miracle.

I got up, showered, and went to meet a friend for coffee. Unbeknownst to me, this friend also had had a bad week and she had also taken a very atypical nap this morning and had started to feel better herself. We had such a great visit and I left feeling even better and stronger.

For the healing benefits of naps and good friends, I am ever so truly thankful.