Monday Musings: On moms, no TV and crowdsourcing.

Happy Monday to you.

This girl needs a vacation. At least a massage or three. And a facial. Maybe a nap. All of the above, really. One of my friends posted a picture last week of a Post-It note she wrote to herself at work. It said: “Do one thing at a time.” I so know that feeling — of being overwhelmed with work and life to the point that you just don’t know where to start. Paralyzed by the enormity of it all. This too shall pass, but for now I’m going to try to take that advice. And get that massage. That vacation — maybe.

This might be the first year in several that I haven’t taken a big, international trip … but who has the time?? It’s a vicious circle.

I had moms on the brain this weekend. First because I started reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, about her hike across the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother’s death. And because I was able to spend this Mother’s Day weekend with the two mothers in my life. I was also thinking yesterday of those whose moms aren’t with us and how incredibly painful that must feel every year (well, every day.) I’m blessed to still hug my mom, and Mimi in all her 95-year-old glory.

mothersday

I’ve been lucky enough to know both of my grandmothers into their 90s, as sharp and strong-willed and stubborn as ever. Aging is pretty rough, on the person and on everyone around them. But I love being able to sit with my grandmother, who can remember the stock market crash of 1929, newlywed life in Savannah during the war and the totally undeveloped Hilton Head Island of the 1960s. We should cherish our elders — my, the stories they can tell.

When I arrived at Mom’s this weekend, I learned that the cable was out and would be until this week. That meant no TV. All weekend long. You’d think I’d have gone into the withdrawal shakes, but it was actually fine. We cooked, we sat, we read and — quelle horreur! — we actually talked to each other. How refreshing.

While we’re (sort of) on the topic of vacation, let me try a bit of crowdsourcing. My family’s talking about cruising to Alaska next summer. Does anyone have recommendations? What line should we cruise? What passage should we not miss? Should we leave from Seattle or Vancouver? Send me whatcha got.

Have a good week, all.

Advertisements

Monday Musings: On Anglophilia and Fashion Week.

Good Monday to you. I’m getting this Monday Musings in at the eleventh hour, but here are some of the random, wacky things on my mind this week:

the_best_exotic_marigold_hotel

I just watched a terrific movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. When my mom raved about it a couple of months ago, I’d never heard of it. No idea why, since it is excellent. Even though it takes place in India, it fulfilled my every Anglophilic craving — primarily because it is chock full of the British greats from all your favorite movies. Think Judi Dench. Bill Nighy. Tom Wilkinson. Maggie Smith. In the same movie.

This weekend I went to Charleston with friends to send one of us off into the bonds of matrimony, and also to attend Charleston Fashion Week. I don’t consider myself especially fashionable, choosing comfort over suffering for the sake of art or beauty or whatever anytime. But it was a blast. As you know, Charleston’s a food city and we ate amazingly at 39 Rue de Jean and Poogan’s Porch. The show was flashy and glamorous and exciting. Plus, we met the Moonshine boys, who are young and cute and enthusiastic and smell like earthy, woodsy, clean gentlemen. Delicious. I hope they make a great success.

Someone might need to take away my New Yorker card. I subscribed this week to a magazine called Garden & Gun. I think that means my re-acclimation to the South is complete. Oh, and if you’re interested in picking favorites for a totally different kind of March Madness, go vote in their Southern Food Bracket. I don’t know what I’m going to do when Coke goes up against Cheerwine. Dilemma!

Have a good week, all.

Into the universe.

It’s funny. Sometimes when you put your ideas, hopes and dreams into the universe, they come back to you.

I first learned that a few years ago. Just for fun, I wrote a list of all the places I wanted to travel, starting with the ones I’d always thought about, and adding as I saw, read or heard about new destinations. One entry on the list was “Germany and Bavaria.” No sooner had I written it down than my dad called. My stepmother and her business partners were going to a trade show in Frankfurt. Wouldn’t it be fun to meet in Munich, drive down to Salzburg and take the scenic Alpenstrasse back through Bavaria? So we did.

In July, I started officially compiling, and publishing here, my Adventures list. It’s what many people might consider a bucket list of things I’d like to accomplish before I kick it. Mine is so lengthy that I had to divide it into a general adventures list of things to do and see (incorporating my trusty old travels list), a local list of places I want to visit right in my own backyard and my culinary bucket list of foods I can’t wait to eat.

I’m proud to report that in the few short months since publicly declaring these items, I’ve completed several already. Some were intentionally undertaken. Others completely fell in my lap. But that’s the way it happens.

1: “Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Elizabeth Creamery and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery” (from the Playing Tourist list)

There are few things more satisfying to me than crossing something off a list. So imagine my glee at accomplishing three items at once. In October, I took Dad on a long-promised trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, with a stop-off at the highly recommended Elizabeth Creamery, and we closed out the day at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. You can read all about it here.

IMG_0813

Continue reading