Driving Camels Towards Water

Since returning back from vacation I keep dreaming at night that we are back at the ocean.  Last night I dreamt that Ruben and I were staying in a little hotel on the water. 

What I didn’t tell my husband was that there was no running water at this hotel.  It was an authentic experience I would later tell him.

So in the dream we arrived at this cute little quaint hotel that looked like something out of a 1950s movie; maybe something that would have been seen in a motel off of Route 66 complete with pink plastic flamingoes at the entrance and chenille bedspreads covering the full twin beds.

We unpacked our things and I waited for the right moment to let my husband know that there was no water.  Of course there was no right moment here.  He went in to use the bathroom and came out a second later to let me know there was no running water.  This just wouldn’t do.  I very matter of factly announced that he needed to take his camel down to the beach, with yellow bucket in tow (just like the one I use to mop the floor –isn’t it funny how these odd every day things come into your dreams?) and head down to the beach to fetch the water for the sink and toilet.  He stared at me as if I had lost my mind.  I mean, hey, doesn’t everyone take their camel down to the beach with a mop bucket to fetch water?  He asked if the shower worked.  Yes, that seem to be in working order, however everything else we needed water for needed to be forayed from atop of a camel.  Why was this so hard to understand?  Better to ride a camel down 72 steps to the water than have to walk down.

Ruben just stood and stared at me.  “You mean we could’ve stayed at the Holiday Inn and had running water for less money?” 

“Well yes,” I said.  “But this is more of an authentic experience.  How often do you get to ride a camel?”

“I don’t want to ride a camel,” he stated, with that incredulous look of annoyance.

“Fine,” I said. “I’ll ride the camel down to get the water.”  Gosh, I’m thinking.  This man appreciates nothing.

I woke up laughing.  I told Ruben about it and he laughed, too, not so much because of the unlikelihood of this happening, but quite the opposite.  It is totally something I would consider.  And yes, he would not be happy about it. 

He asked me afterwards if there were camels in Cape Cod.  I really don’t know.

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Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day – Week 5

Last night's weigh in was very discouraging.  I somehow managed to gain back 1.4 lbs.  I'm not sure how that happened.  Was it the half a shot of tequila Saturday night?  I think the culprit may be the fact that I didn't drink as much water as I should have.  Last night my rings were really tight.  I hope that's all it is.  I mean I ran Saturday morning and I was very careful about food choices at the barbecue.  What gives? 

Anyways, I'll be slamming the water today and every day going forward.  Last night I was getting ready to get on the elevator when I noticed a bunch of folks exiting through the staircase.  Don't ask me why I didn't think of that.  I'm only on the third floor but still –every little bit helps.

The 10 lbs mark may not be as in close of reach as I had hoped however, I've changed my goal reward.  Originally I said I would treat myself to some cosmetics but getting a new pair of running shoes just seems to be a better reward.  My knee has been sore since running on Saturday.  I was trying to remember when I purchased my current pair and I can't remember.  They may have been purchased back in Boston.  Have I mentioned that I've lived in Arizona for almost 9 years????  Yes, it's way beyond time!

So my goal for this week is to slam the water.


Here's today's breakfast.  It's a slice of Trader Joes low-fat french toast with sugar-free syrup and bananas.  I like this because I can keep the french toast in the freezer at work and then heat it up in the toaster oven.  Easy & yummy! 

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Fire, Water, & Gong Meditation

If variety is truly the spice of life then my friends would be the garden blend with a dash and a half of chili powder thrown in for good measure.


My friend Monica is very much into the whole New Age movement.  She is vegetarian, wears her hair shorn to a quarter of an inch long, and has been known to disappear into the Arizona woods with her dog and a tent for weeks at a time.  Over the weekend she and I met at an Alternative Health Center for the Fire, Water, & Gong Meditation.  I thought, what the heck.  It's different any ways.  The picture to the right is the fire and water portion.  Each person had to take a candle from the center and meditate on it.  Then the water bottles were to be concentrated on while thinking of compassion.    We had 15 minutes to do this until a guy named James struck the gong signifying the end. 

People sat around this circle on yoga mats.  They sat in the 'lotus' position with their palms up.  I sat Indian style and had a hard time keeping my leg from falling asleep.  Apparently I was the only one where I was most likely surrounded by seasoned professionals.

I would like to add that I don't so much as even read my horoscope.  I've heard of these things but this was the first time I had ever been to one.  Monica is very spiritual in an unconventional way.  Last year on my birthday she gave me a book called The Teachings of Abraham.  I was thinking it had something to do with the Old Testament of the Bible.  Silly me.  It was about invoking your spirit guide.  Um, well, let's just say it's still underneath the end table. 


After 15 minutes James hits the gong and everyone blows out their candles.  Mine tips over and spills wax all over the tile.  Everyone lays back on their mats with their palms up, thus beginning the 'gong' portion of the meditation.  I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into.  Basically I layed in a darkened room while a giant Chinese gong was hit over and over again.  It reverberated throughout the small room until I could feel it in my finger tips.  It had a haunting sound that at first made me feel uneasy.  Then I must have drifted into some strange dream state.  I felt like I was under a purple ocean looking up as waves of sound crashed over me.  I could see lines of color going by.  Then amazingly enough I started to dream I was at home and that I was yelling at Ruben to turn the TV down.  That was pretty funny. 

Personally though I could think of much better ways to spend meditating than to a giant gong for 45 minutes.  I once saw a cartoon where a cat (Tom from Tom & Jerry fame?) ran into a bell while chasing a mouse (Jerry?).  The wise little mouse rings the bell and the cat is left vibrating down the street.  That is exactly how I felt.  I literally had my bell rung!  (pun intended)  It was like trying to get a good night's sleep in a bell tower with a sadistic monk constantly ringing the darn bell every 10 seconds.  After 45 minutes of this we were through.  Monica and I emerged into the bright Phoenix sunlight.  She asked me how I felt.  My head was killing me!  A day later and it still is.  Monica said that it was because it cleansed me of my toxic energy.  Toxic energy?  I guess it was suppose to balance my Chaka Khan or my chakras, or whatever it is kids are calling it these days.  But it seems pretty obvious to me, energy or no energy, if you sit in a room with someone banging on a Chinese gong for 45 minutes, you will undoubtedly get a headache.  My Mother could have told me that.  Maybe I should have called her before leaving the house.  She would have talked some sense into me.  My headache was so bad last night that I actually ended up leaving a BBQ Ruben and I were at, and coming home to get sick. 

I think my days of guided meditation are over –at least the portions that involve large noisy instruments.  I don't mess with Monica's Buddha and she doesn't mess with my Jesus, but I'm glad though that I know her and that she is constantly exposing me to new trains of thought.  We have a mutual respect of each other's views.  My house must look like a shrine of sorts with my religious statues and collections of Mexican Catholic folk art.  Although I'm hardly the type to stand outside the state house wielding my rosary beads.  My house is a shrine and my car is a private place of prayer. 

Albeit a quiet place of prayer!  😉

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