Well, tomorrow is the first day of my new job! I got a new gig more quickly than I expected but I’m ready. I’m sick of being out of my routine, eating way too much food and not exercising enough. A routine will be welcome.
I spent Friday with my sister in Natchez. We toured Dunleith which was not a cotton plantation but a “townhouse” where people came to entertain and listen to music. We went to Fat Mama’s for tamales and then shopped a little downtown. Both of us had long wanted to visit the “Mammy”-shaped restaurant off Route 61 for years, and someone recommended that place for dessert. We stopped by Mammy’s Cupboard for a piece of pie and said our good-byes there. The next time we are in Natchez, we plan to meet at Roux 61 which is supposed to be an awesome restaurant and live music venue.
Saturday I stopped over to visit my friends Denise and Mark at the Memorial Day Ceremony at the State Capitol. Every year the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana host this event where American flags are placed at the foot of the capitol to represent each of the Louisiana lives lost in battle from the American Revolution to present day. Denise told me that 11,000 flags were placed out in the Capitol Gardens this year. Each year, the names of every fallen hero from September 11 to present day is read aloud while a flag is planted in his/her honor. It was a very moving ceremony, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a true Memorial Day celebration. The flags remain in place until 5 PM Monday evening when taps will be played.
After stopping at the Farmer’s Market and making myself a lovely lunch from my local score, I decided I wanted some ice cream. I needed to head into New Orleans to stop by Restoration Hardware, so I decided I’d find the best ice cream parlor in New Orleans to make my trip worthwhile. I settled on The Creole Creamery in Mid-City and had a hot fudge sundae with Mexican Hot Chocolate and Creole Cream Cheese ice cream. It was absolutely delicious and worth the trip across the lake. I finished the day with a nice long visit with my ex-teammate Jennifer. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and had no problem falling right to sleep.
This morning I felt very domestic and mopped my floors, hung some pictures for my newly rearranged bedroom, practiced yoga and took Ashok for a walk. I’ve started making homemade kefir. I saw an article on how easy it is to make, so I’ve been trying it out. All you do is add the milk to the culture (either a powder or kefir grains) and let it sit on the counter for 24 hours. I used the powder because I couldn’t find the grains locally, but I’m looking for the grains now. They last longer and actually reproduce themselves, so you don’t have to keep buying them like the powdered culture.
I made a delicious watermelon kefir smoothie after lunch today. No need for sugar with the sweetness of the fruit. Kefir is a bit like drinkable yogurt but has a much wider variety of probiotics than its thicker cousin. It’s supposed to have a ton of health benefits including helping with anxiety so I’m going to see if it works for me. Besides, I like the flavor. If nothing else, if I can have a kefir smoothie instead of a sweet treat, I’m cutting out a lot of sugar.
This afternoon I went to one of Stacy’s group readings at the Indigo Spiritual Center and had a great time participating in a group visit with souls on the other side. I had a visitor today. I found out that I’m going to be in Louisiana for quite some time so I might as well get settled, I have strong support for a not-yet-launched writing career, and my dog has arthritis in her back right leg. My visitor also informed me that Ashok’s arthritis would benefit from drinking my home-made kefir. And just so all the bases were covered, I was urged to get my tires rotated the next time I get my oil changed. So, I guess I’ll be working on those things in the near future. Ashok already had her first glass of kefir, and she is thrilled to have permission to have a new healthy snack. Now if she could just figure out how to get a rib-eye prescribed she’d be set.
As I walked away from the Memorial Day ceremony on Saturday, I looked at those 11,000 flags and thought of all the young men and women represented. What gifts would each one of those people given our world? I run around and get ice cream and make kefir and practice yoga only because someone else is out there making sure that I don’t have to worry about my life being snuffed out when I walk outside my door. I am blown away by that kind of sacrifice.
We won the lottery by being born here in this country. We are spoiled rotten in comparison to the rest of the world. For a moment, why don’t we each just take a minute and show some gratitude for all the good we have here instead of focusing on the problems? Those flags represent the lives of people who gave more than lip service to making this a great country. I would hate for them to look down here and feel that they sacrificed their most precious gift of life for a bunch of ungrateful spoiled brats who can’t see the forest for the trees. We are truly blessed.