Ode to Moonlit hikes, Pterodactyls and Sushi

Thursday evening my friend Kat and I hiked under an almost full moon. This particular trailhead sits at the end of an industrial park.  While the parking lot is dark, there are street lights surrounding the nearby buildings.  As I sat in my car to wait for Kat, a lone coyote appeared under the light.  He seem to be frolicking in the grass.  A few minutes later, the sprinklers turned on.  What appeared to be play was most likely an attempt to get a drink of water.  There is something special about watching wildlife when they are out and about doing their normal thing.

night hikeKat arrived and we hit the trailhead.  I don’t think there are any pictures that could accurately describe the beauty of a moonlit desert at night.  Everything takes on a silvery tint.  We passed a few other hikers along the way but other than that we had the desert, and this beauty, all to ourselves.  We did a little over 4 miles and with the moonlight, we barely needed a light.  The mountain tops were silhouetted against the night sky, all aglow as if kissed by the moon.  I could have just sat on a rock for a good long while and just basked in all that wonderfulness.  It was so very peaceful.

We rounded one corner and heard the noise of an animal up on the ridge to our left.  We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from exactly.  It continued to squawk as we drew closer.   I asked Kat what she thought it was.  She responded calmly that is was probably a pterodactyl.  It was exactly what I would expect a pterodactyl to sound like, too.  I had this picture of a pterodactyl appearing up over the mountain with its wings darkening the sky.  Luckily these beings have been extinct for a gazillion years so the thought of this actually happening brought about fits of laughter.  So there was our run in with the so-called pterodactyl.  Ha!  We still never figured out what it really was.  Once we passed, whatever it was seemed to think the threat was gone and quieted down.  Dang pterodactyl.

We finished up our hike and headed out to a sushi restaurant that Kat enjoys.  It was a bit of a drive and an even longer drive home, but it was a really fun experience.  At this particular restaurant, you sit at a sushi bar while a conveyor belt moves around the perimeter of the bar.  On the belt are small plates featuring various types of sushi.  You grab what you want and then they charge you based on the color of plates you have left stacked up in front of  you.

In addition to sushi, they had deep-fried jalapenos filled with cream cheese (maybe because this is the Southwest?) and edamame.  I saw a pudding cup go by on a plate, as well as a single serving size of peaches in a plastic cup.  Bottled water was also served on a plate.  I’m assuming it was bottled water because the label was written in Kanji.

sushiYears ago I visited a restaurant in Cupertino, CA where the sushi floated by you in little boats.  A trough filled with water wound its way around the sushi bar.  I don’t remember the name of the place or know if it still exists.  We called it Screaming Sushi because one waiter would yell something and the rest would yell back.  I like this concept.  It was a good way to sample some sushi items that I would otherwise not order at a regular sushi restaurant.  It was very inexpensive, too!  Ten plates later and a bill around $10.  Not too shabby.

 

 

 

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A Night of Exotic Olive Oil Tastings

A little over a year ago, a shop selling the most wonderful concoction of olive oils and vinegars opened in my neighborhood.  One of the services they offer are tasting parties.  I did this back in the Spring with a few friends and it was quite a success.  The only ask of the owners is that each person in attendance make one purchase of their items.  Last night I hosted yet another tasting party and it was another success.  The owners are incredibly kind so there is this feeling of being around friends.

How this whole shindig works is that I bring lots of different foods that are devoid of any dressings or oils.  Oil and vinegar samples are set up on a tall table in the center of the shop.  So once my friends pick out the food items from the buffet table they are then able to go up to where the samples are and try the different oils and vinegars to see what they like best.

For food last night, I brought spinach salad, strawberries, apple slices, bruschetta fixings and of course cheese and crackers.  For desert, I had pumpkin bread slices, brownie bites and vanilla ice cream.  And yes, all of these items can be enhanced with different oils and vinegars.  That was the biggest surprise to me.

Both strawberry and blueberry vinegars went great on the spinach salad.  The pumpkin pie flavored vinegar was amazing on the pumpkin bread.  Believe it or not, the chocolate raspberry vinegar was divine over vanilla ice cream.  I also enjoyed a banana-walnut-caramel vinegar over the ice cream.  Definitely a bananas foster taste without the added calories.  Who knew?

My favorite ended up being a lemon flavored olive oil drizzled over apple slices.  With baking season ahead this could be added into a number of things.  And finally, here is a recipe using the oil pictured here.

Lemon Oil

Ingredients:

  •  1 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • lemon zest

Preparation

1.) Preheat over to 325.  Grease a 3″-deep round 9″ cake pan and the outside of a heavy 3″-deep 3″ ovenproof ramekin or bowl with butter, then dust with 2 tbsp. of the flour, tapping out excess. Put ramekin or bowl upside down in center of prepared pan.  Alternatively, grease an 11-cup Bundt pan with butter and dish with flour.  Set prepared pan aside (Guess you have two choices here).

2.) Beat eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 1 minute.  Add remaining 3 cups flour, lemon zest, oil, milk and liqueur and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Add baking powder and stir until thoroughly combined.

3.) Holding ramekin or bowl firmly in place, spoon batter into prepared pan around ramekin or bowl or spoon batter into Bundt pan, if using, and smooth out top with the back of the spoon.  Bake until cake is deep golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Transfer cake to a wire rack to let cool completely, in its pan.

Dream Big

Okay, so it’s been over a year since I posted.  It’s really started to hit me that I need to get back.  For the past year I’ve been in deep thought but didn’t feel the need to record those thoughts.  Sometimes you just have to let it be.  So here I am.  I’m back.  Hopefully to stay this time.

A little over two weeks ago I finally made the decision to end my marriage for good.  I had been separated for almost two years and in that time I kept waiting to see what he’d do.  Of course nothing changed.  It’s funny how we can fool ourselves into thinking that if we give it enough time that it will work out.  When I was done being angry about the situation I grew very sad.  Maybe these were the so-called phases of acceptance of the situation.  After all, no one goes into a marriage with expectations of things ending several years later.  I sometimes wonder if there were things I could have done differently.  I’m not sure.  He had an addiction problem.  I can’t fix that although, my gosh, I tried.  I often told him that it was no different than my trying to wrestle a knife out of his hands so he wouldn’t hurt himself.

When I first moved to Arizona 12 years ago, I remember passing a billboard for a sign that made a divorce look like it was so easy you could go out and get one as if you were running to the store for milk and bread.  I thought it was insulting to marriage in general.  How disposable our society has become!  But here I was, in the same business 12 years later, and it was as easy as it sounded.  Just a few signatures later and voila!  Over.  A girlfriend came with me that day.  We entered the building that looked like it hadn’t had an update since 1987.  I gave the pertinent information and they advised me to return the next day once the paperwork was printed up.  I went on my lunch break the next day with the same girlfriend.  We sat in a room in front of desk that showed no sign of any personal aspects.  Just a cold plain room with an old newspaper clipping from 1996 mounted on a faded frame exulting the business to be made off of divorces.  I found it a bit insulting.

After realizing the paperwork printed was incorrect and waiting for the correct paperwork to be printed, I sat in the room and had this feeling of dread.  There was a deja vu feeling.  When had I felt this way before?  I remembered bringing Monsoon to the vet for the final time a little over two years ago.  I remember holding her precious ill body to my heart for the last time knowing that at any moment the vet tech was going to come in and take her from me for the last time.  That is how it felt.  In moments a woman was going to arrive with the correct paperwork and would end my marriage.  Ironically enough, on the day of the vets the ex couldn’t be there because he was working.  So he said.  Finding a charge on the bank statement a few months later revealed where he really was that day.  Heartless.

The door finally opened and a too cheerful of a woman arrived and set the paperwork in front of me to review and sign.  She commented on our handbags.  When she left I told my friend that they were way too happy for this.  She agreed.  In tears I signed the paperwork.  My heart felt so broken but on the way back to work I started to feel like a weight was taken off my shoulders.  He received the papers this past week and he took it better than I thought.

Anyway, in these past two years I have discovered so much about myself.  I’ve become an avid hiker and kayaker.  My attitude is so much healthier and I have met some wonderful people.  I’ve also weeded out some negative ones as well.  It was time.  Perhaps beyond time.  I talked to my Dad this past week.  He told me he was proud of me and that it was time I dream BIG.  Sound advice.

I look forward to getting back to blogging and reading blogs.

American Potato Salad Recipe

After spending years purchasing the store-bought stuff I finally decided to make my own potato salad.  The women in my family have always made marvelous potato salads from scratch.  My grandmother made the best.  Afterall, her family had been potato farmers.  I recall that she won a ribbon at a fair for her potatoes.  I don’t know why I have been reluctant to learn to make this.  Maybe it has just been too easy to purchase a plastic bucket at the grocery store because I had a coupon.  I found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s website.  It was quite enjoyable, not to mention easy to prepare.

 Potato salad combines wonderful textures and tastes if done right.  There’s something about the tang of vinegar and mayo, the crunch of the celery and onion, and then the star of the show, the potato itself!

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: 

-4 lbs russet potatoes (about 8)

-1 tblsp, plus 2 tsps of salt

-3 tblsps cider vinegar

-3 large eggs

-1/2 cup plus 2 tblsp of mayo

-1/2 tsp celery seed

-1 tsp dry mustard

-1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

-3 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)

-1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice (1/2 cup)

-1 medium onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)

-10 cornichons, cut into 1/4 inch dice (1/4 cup) -(these are actually mini gherkin pickles –I had to look these up online because I had no idea what a cornichon was!  Leave it to Martha.  😉  )

-3 scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

-2 tblsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

-1 tsp paprika

1.)Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches.  Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tbsp of salt, and lower to a gently boil.  Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain into a colander.  Using paper towels or gloves to protect your hands, peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch dice while still hot.  Drizzle with vinegar; set aside. (I let the potatoes cool a bit and then ran them under cold water before handling –we don’t wear gloves in Arizona)

2.)Place eggs in a small pan with enough water to cover by 1 inch, and place over medium-high heat.  When water comes to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 13 minutes.  Drain, and place in a bowl with cold water to cover.  When cold, peel eggs.  Chop 2 into 1/4-inch dice.  Slice the third egg into 1/4-inch thick rounds, and set aside for garnish.

3.)Combine diced eggs, mayo, celery seed, mustard, 2 tsps sale, and black pepper in a large bowl, and whisk to combine.  Add reserved potatoes to mayo mixture.  Add celery, red pepper, onion, cornichons (gherkins), scallions, and chopped parsley.  Stir to combine.  Chill for 30 minutes before serving.  Garnish with paprika and reserved hard-boiled egg rounds.

 

Serves 10 to 12.

Just as a note, I omitted the celery seed and the scallions and it still came out just fine.  Enjoy!

 

Observation Mode

This, by far, has been the longest I’ve ever gone without posting a blog since my first Vox post in 2008.  Blogging is an activity I usually am chomping at the bit to get to but lately I’ve had a hard time making myself sit and do it.  I’ve figured out that I am in observation mode right now.  Here’s what’s been up:

Little Girl Grown Up

In early June I visited my sister and her family in Ohio for a long weekend.  My niece was graduating from high school.  Both my parents showed which was one of the first times they had actually been in the same room together and had a decent conversation.  The trip proved to be bittersweet.  While happy for my niece, it seem sad for the rest of us who had watched her grow up.  She is the first niece/granddaughter in our family and we definitely had a hard time letting go and accepting the fact that she is now a young woman.  So here is this young woman who I used to hold and comfort when she was hurt and now she is holding the hand of her boyfriend.  He seem to be a decent sort.  The first night there she had him painting her nails.  Wonder what his buddies would think of that scene?  The day my family was scheduled to leave and return to their parts of the country, niece’s boyfriend hugged us all.  “Be good to her,” I told him.

Or I will find you, is what I was thinking.

   That evening after dark, we all went out into the front yard.  My niece lit a lantern and we stood by and watched as it lifted into the night sky, where it competed with the light of the full moon.  My brother-in-law’s eyes filled with tears.  There was something so symbolic about watching this beautiful light slowly lift and gently move across the sky.  In all honesty I was a bit concerned about this thing landing on someone’s roof eventually and catching on fire, however, we had no indication that this happened, thank goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

The Abby Chronicles

Abby and I seem to be on better terms lately.  The changes that have come about the past couple of months have been hard on both of us.  I realized that most of my attention was being bestowed upon the weasel because that is how it had always been.  Abby belonged to the ex.  Smokey belongs to me.  The Cesar Milan magazine did arrive.  In fact I have received two issues so far and have only flipped through one.  It’s ok.  Lots of pics of celebrities with their dogs, etc…  a bit of advice but nothing so far that would be fitting to the situation.  I’d like to say Abby and I have called a truce and have become actual friends.  It seems the more I give her the more she gives back.  Her anxiety seems to have lessened and I am grateful.  She really is a good dog.

Observing Singles in Their Natural Habitat

Athletica and I have joined a hiking group that meets every so often.  We either brave the heat here in Phoenix or we head up to the mountains where it is a bit cooler (which is a relative term).  I’ve done so much watching of people lately and observing their actions.  Most in the hiking group are single and in their 40s or early 50s.  What I get from various conversations I’ve had with people is that they are pretty much all divorced.  No one is looking for anything but simplicity right now.  It’s been interesting.  Athletica received an email through the group’s website from one of the guys.  “I think he just wants to be friends,” she says.  “No,” I tell her. “A man usually doesn’t reach out to a woman because he wants to be her friend.  Call me crazy but I don’t think it works that way.”  Its been a while for me though.  Maybe the rules have changed in the past decade?

After a hike in Sedona a few weeks back, a gentleman walking behind me proudly announced that he had taken a picture of my butt and would be posting it on the group website.  Not sure if he was kidding or not but it was one hell of a pick up line.  Needless to say I won’t be contacting him any time soon.  Lucky for him no such picture ended up on said website.  Interesting times.

Saying Goodbye to a Trainer and a Friend

 I joined this gym back in February.  In that timeframe I never sweated, hurt or pushed myself so hard as I ever did in my entire life than at this gym.  The alarm would be set for 3:45am so that I could make it there by 5am.  B. was one of those people who motivated others to push themselves just a bit harder each time.  There were days I would puke and there were days when the work outs were so tough I wanted to  literally cry out.  Friday, July 6th was the last time I worked out with B.  On the following Monday he went missing.  Tuesday night I received a text from Athletica that read, B. is dead.   While I won’t get into it here, I will say it was very tragic.  I watched his dream come to life at their grand opening back in October.  His goals were written on a white board in his office.  Many were checked off but there were so many more to be achieved.  There is a celebration of his life this weekend and then the gym doors will be closed forever.  Rest in peace, B!

Life In Motion

Athletica brought a friend along to a hike we did a few weeks ago who I had met several times before.  Matteo is someone who had been interested in her for a really long time but I’ve known that feeling hadn’t been reciprocated.  After the hike the three of us went out for coffee and chatted for a while.  I had invited the both of them to come a barbecue of a friend on the 4th of July.  Athletica had plans already but Matteo didn’t.  He brought his two grandchildren who I immediately adored.  He had children young and so did his son so he is a very young grandfather.  It was an enjoyable day but the kids were getting bored.  They left before the fireworks started.  Later in the evening I received a text from him thanking me for a nice time and wanting to know if I’d be up for a motorcycle ride over the weekend.  Matteo rides a Harley.  So how do I describe how this felt?  Let’s see: scared, adventurous, wtf?, thrilled, and ‘what the hell am I doing???’.  I wasn’t sure.  First we were supposed to go Friday and I canceled.  (What a chicken, right?)  So Saturday I gave in.  Afterall, I’m usually the first in line for every puke-inducing thrill ride at an amusement part.  How hard could it be to ride on the bike of a motorcycle.  And a Harley no less!

So Saturday evening he arrived at my house.  I could hear that bike coming from two miles away.  Dang, those things are loud!  I had been instructed to wear jeans and boots (yes, perfect for 100+ degree weather).  I threw my hair up in a pony tail and listened to instructions on how to ride on this thing without tipping it over (or falling off), and then we were off.  We drove up Central Ave., which is a street I’ve traveled on millions of times, and everything looked so different from this view.  The buildings seem pasted to the skyline.  Everything seem to sparkle.  We went to a blues club and I laughed so hard at just various things.  It felt like hearing your favorite song from your teenage years or something.  I felt that happy.  Later we took a ride through the desert which was so much cooler than driving through the concrete behemoths of Phoenix.  We drove by Camelback Mountain, which was beautiful at night.  I took a million snapshots in my mind and have relived them during the week while I’m working.

 

Well, the observation of this strange and new life of mine continues. . .

 

The Dog Days of Whatever

In ancient Greece the constellation, Sirius, represented the dog. It was believed that when this dog constellation was closest to the earth (July and August) that milk would spoil, men would be become weak, plants would wilt and women would become aroused. I’d seriously have to question that last one. Incidentally, this is what we refer to as the “dog days of summer”.

While we are still a few months away from the “dog days of summer”, I couldn’t help but wonder over this past weekend if this dog constellation, Sirius, had some strange cosmic effect over a certain canine in my household, not unlike how those that believe in horoscopes are affected by the stars and the alignment of planets.

Friday after work I decided to take my bike out for an evening spin before hitting the hay. I changed into the usual garb; t-shirt, shorts, sneakers. Abby decided that she had to come with me. This was just not going to happen. I am lucky I can chew gum at the same time as walking, let alone ride a bike while holding onto a leash. Uh-uh. Nothing doing.

My usually pleasant pooch was not having any part of this. I was trying to get the bike out of the house where it had been parked in the living room (one of the joys of living alone –you can park your bike wherever you please) and she was bolting for the door like the place was on fire. I caught her with my leg and pinned her against the wall where she struggled to get away from me and into the freedom of the front yard.

Somehow I got the kickstand on the bike down without her sneaking by me. To enhance the mental image of this evening, I have sketched the following cartoon:

After literally wrestling with her, I somehow made it out of the house. I could hear her now in the backyard where she ran out her doggie door and was howling her disapproval. The neighborhood dogs all seem to howl back in agreement which made for the ultimate guilt trip. I made my way down to the canals quite frazzled after that display. Not sure what got into her but she was hell-bent on getting out that front door. After one glorious hour pedaling away in peace, I returned home. The neighbors were in for the night and all was quiet. What the heck, I thought. I’ll let Abby out for a few minutes of freedom. I opened the door and before I could get a word out, she flew by me, all 4 paws disappearing into a blur. I may have seen a few sparks fly out from behind her as well. She bolted down to the greenway. Meanwhile, I parked my bike back in the living room and went out to wait for Abby’s return. She usually runs down to the greenway and returns after a few minutes, having gotten the run out of her system.

Up until her return I had been standing in the walkway in front of the house. I was happily updating my Facebook status via phone when I heard the unmistakable sounds of dog nails on asphalt. Abby spotted something and was in a dead run towards it. Turns out my neighbors thought this would be the opportune time to also let their dogs out for a leashless run. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the other dog, a good thirty pounds heavier than Abby, is her all time nemesis. Suddenly my sweet little puppy with the seal pup eyes had turned into this snarling, vicious, hound of hell. I dropped my phone (suddenly posting about what a great bike ride I had had seemed severely irrelevant) and headed towards the commotion. My usually mild-mannered neighbor was screaming over the snarling already in progress.

Both dogs had each other down on the ground. I reached for Abby who slipped out of my grasp like a greased pig. all the while my neighbor is yelling, “Get your f’ing dog! Get her!!!” No, not yelling. She was screeching. It was complete pandemonium. Neither dog was backing down. Said neighbor’s husband is now using his foot to try to separate the dogs. Nothing doing. Neighbor and I are encircling the dogs like referees at a boxing match. Finally, neighbor’s dog runs into the house. This is the end of it, I’m thinking. No! Abby follows the dog into the neighbor’s house. Neighbor is now screeching again like a banshee. “Get her out of my house! Get that f*ing dog out!” Finally Abby cowers on the floor. She must’ve come to her senses and realized that hey, this isn’t my house. What am I doing here??? Now her ears were pinned back and she looked truly defeated. I scooped her up and headed out towards home, but not before mumbling an apology to neighbor and her husband. Nothing was said in return. The only sound is that of their door slamming.

As soon as I set Abby down inside the house, she ran towards her bed. I glared at her which resulted in more pitiful looks and the pinning back of one’s ears. Then she grabbed what was left of an old rawhide bone and headed out to the safety of the backyard through the doggie door.

I took a deep breath, still shaking after that incident, and headed back over to neighbor’s house. I rang the doorbell with my heart beating in my throat. Neighbor came out and I asked if her dog was okay. Luckily the dog was. This is how I found out Abby and her dog were arch-rivals. Something the ex never let me in on. She apologized to me for how she acted and then hugged me. It was a relief.

Before heading off to a well-deserved rest that night I texted the ex that he may have a new visitor in that frozen waste-land he now calls home. Either that or she would be shipped off to a country where dog meat is still seen as a delicacy.

On Saturday afternoon, while out and about, the ex texted me that he has something for me (paperwork for a quickie Mexican divorce perhaps? -No, one couldn’t be so fortunate). After reviewing my texts of woe, he had decided to sign me up for a subscription to Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer’s magazine, Cesar’s Way. At first I thought he was joking. No, this was no joke. I got the email to prove it the next day. Why not something I would actually read like, Women’s Running or Real Simple, or Is Your Ex Really That Clueless?

Oh, I am just waiting with bated breath for my first issue! Believe you me!

Abby seem to know she had done wrong. She sulked about the house for the rest of the weekend and didn’t give me a hard time again when leaving. I suppose dogs, like people, have their days. About 1am today I woke to the sounds of her nails on the tile as she entered the bedroom. Usually she doesn’t stray too far from her dog bed at night but last night was different. It actually sounded like she was tiptoeing in as not to wake me or the weasel. She leapt up on the bed, licked my shoulder and nestled down next to me in the crook of my knees.   A rare event in the Monsoon household.

Perhaps even Orion suffered through a few dog days with Sirius.

“Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky

On summer nights, star of stars,

Orion’s Dog they call it, brightest

Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat

And fevers to suffering humanity.”

-Homer in The Illiad

Respecting Fire by Air

This post has been brewing in my mind for a while now.  The hardest part is finding time these days to actually blog.  I no longer take breaks during the day which has placed a damper on my blog efforts as of late.

The ex left about a month ago to work in a northern mid-western town.  I took the morning off to have a final breakfast with him.   It’s funny how you don’t know how you are going to feel until certain events unfold.  I didn’t cry or get emotional.  My whole body breathed a sigh of relief that he was gone.  Not just down the street, but thousands of miles away in a town with a population of 97 people.

There are days when I am so angry I could punch holes in the wall.  Then there are days when the silence and peace in the house and just in my normal life is so prevalent that I could cry from the sheer joy, however, crying would mess with the peace that now sustains me, so I refrain.

In April, on my birthday, I made the final payment on my beach cruiser bicycle.  I’ve spent countless evenings riding along the canals which has turned into the ultimate secret to an amazing night’s sleep.  During the rides I think so much of the past insanity and again breathe a double sigh of relief that that particular door is closed.  I think a lot about marriage and what my thoughts growing up on marriage were.  I try not to be bitter by my past experiences.  Marriage has always been something I have held in high regard.  Back in my dating years I would never date a married man, although I have girlfriends that did.  I have a girlfriend now that insists that all married men will cheat.  Well, hell, if that is your attitude then what do you think is going to be attracted into your life?

While my own marriage hasn’t worked out it has not changed my view on marriage.  It is something precious.  When you are partnered with another person you are entrusting that person with a piece of yourself.  A big piece of yourself.   And vice versa.  It’s so important to choose wisely.  In my own marriage I would have been far better off trusting my dog, Abby, to guard my steak.  But I digress.   I still see it as holy.

More than a decade ago I dated a Parsi man of the Zoroastrian faith.  He told me about the fire temples in India and how they housed the holy fires that were started many years ago by a single lightning strike.  One such temple existed in Yemen.  I had to look this up online today because I couldn’t remember the whole details of what he told me.  According to the website, Yemen became a communist country.  It was decided that the holy fire needed to be brought to India as there was too much pressure to close the temple.  To make a long story short, many arrangements were needed to transport this fire.  Despite the dangerous risks, Air India flew the fire from Yemen to India after many negotiations between the two countries, mainly by Mrs. Indira Gandhi herself.  When the holy fire arrived in India, many Parsi families greeted the jet at the airport.  Only those of this faith are allowed to gaze upon the fire.

I only bring this up because when I think of the faith the Parsi’s have, it is in much the same way I view marriage; sacred, serious, holy.  I doubt I’ll ever marry again, however, my respect for the union remains.

Life has changed so much just within the past month.  I joined a group that gets together and plays board games every so often.  I have made a few friends as well.  It’s now been three months since I joined the boot camp gym and I see myself changing.  I feel so strong!

Races are done now until the Fall.  The last one was in Sabino Canyon in Tucson which was 7.4 miles.  By the last mile I could feel the curve of the street through my feet.  We returned to the canyon the next day to do some sightseeing.  Although this was my third year attending the race, it’s amazing how much you miss when you are running.  It’s such a beautiful place.  All the cactus were in bloom, too.

I’m trying to plan a trip to Florida this Fall with some Boston girlfriends.  There is a 10k going on right near my aunt’s beach house.  I sent a note out to the girlfriends in question and so far haven’t heard back yet.  Hopefully it will be something they will all want to do as we have talked about meeting somewhere to do a race for a while now.

 

So much going on and so little time to write!