Jul. 17th, 2011

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Two excellent recipe finds lately, courtesy of web searching to figure out what to do with the eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes in the last two local produce boxes. Last week was the aforementioned eggplant/potato curry and then today was a Mediterranean casserole in which I was able to use five ingredients from the local box: eggplant, potato, tomato, basil, and onion. Tasty, tasty. Both recipes were reasonably easy, though the casserole is definitely a weekend dish as it needs to bake for quite a while. Also, if I make it again, I would up the olive oil.

We've also been enjoying the fruit from the local box. I don't quite see how blueberries can be local as in my mind I have them firmly categorized as coming from cold northern places like Maine. But their presence in the produce box has come in very handy as C is fond of them. We've also had some really lovely local peaches. And this week we got some figs, though I haven't tried them yet.
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I have not really taken much time for myself in the last 10 months. I think I need to start doing that more. We're at a point where it's easier logistically. And I think I'm a more patient mommy when I've had some "me time". Also, as the mother of a little girl, I think it's important to model taking some time for oneself. The idea that the ideal wife and mother puts everyone else ahead of herself is still fairly strong in our culture. To some extent, I have drunk that kool aid. And I think it's not entirely healthy.

Yesterday I took two and a half hours for myself. It was lovely.

There is a meditation class every Saturday morning in the Japanese gallery at the art museum. I had read about it a while back but once upon a time 10:15 on a weekend morning seemed early to me. (Hah!) Yesterday I went to the class. I've done mini meditation sessions in my yoga class and guided meditations via my iPod. But I believe the longest meditation I had previously attempted was 12 minutes. The class was 45 minutes. We sat on our museum-provided cushions on the floor. There were six of us. The instructor asked me and another newcomer about our prior experience and then explained briefly that the idea was to focus on our breath and that she would ring the bell four times to start and once to end. There followed 40 minutes of silence. It was great. I sat. I focused on my breath. Inhaling. Exhaling. Thoughts wandered in and I tried not to follow them and to go back to my breath. Inhaling. Exhaling. I had a mental imagine of my brain as a monkey jumping up and down and waving its arms. Monkey mind. Hee. Inhaling. Exhaling. I had the occasional doubt about whether I could make it to 40 minutes. No way to know how long we'd been going. Probably we weren't even halfway there yet. Inhaling. Exhaling. *DING*

I made it the whole 40 minutes! And it didn't seem like nearly that long. And I felt very relaxed afterwards. It was excellent. When the class was over I went downstairs to see The Missing Peace, an exhibit of art inspired by the Dalai Lama and his work. Some nifty stuff in there. I liked the portraits of the Dalai Lama and the Buddhist-related art the best. I ended my morning out with a lovely piece of mushroom and brie quiche and a cup of coffee on the terrace of the museum cafe, overlooking the river.

I likely won't do that every week, but I definitely do want to do it again sometime.


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