Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can't Sleep

This is about the 7th night in a row that I have been unable to sleep, and I'm losing weight, and everything is fine. I am starting a new business... well three businesses in one.
First and foremost the name of the business is BREATHE.
But the funny thing is that ever since I took possession of the retail space, I haven't been able to breathe.
Life playing little tricks on me.
BREATHE will include a yoga/fitness studio (we are currently interested in talking to teachers), a small cafe/juice bar... (looking for vendors) and a retail clothing store specializing in comfy clothes for fitness and fun as well as some equipment for yoga and pilates and teas and other fun stuff to make your life more cozy and sweet.
So, now that I've written this blog, I'm going back to shopping for stuff and hoping that I get some sleep eventually again.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A little can be A LOT

Inspiration sometimes comes a bit at a time.
About 4 or 5 years ago, I began to practice Yoga. I have been more consistent about Yoga than any other form of exercise in my life. But still somewhat spotty. Off and on for the past 5 years, I have made an effort to walk my beloved puppies. But also fairly inconsistent and weather driven.
About 4 months ago, I began a meditation practice.
Soon after that, I decided it would be a good practice to do a few minutes of Yoga pre-meditation. Then I decided at some point to add walking the pups back into my day. And in the past twoish months, I realized, I can manage to do each of these activities for about 15 minutes each. So I began getting out of bed, throwing on clothes, walking the grateful pups for 15 minutes, returning home, doing about 15 minutes of breath and heart guided yoga and then slowing into a 15-20 minute meditation, either guided or on my own.
It felt simple and good.
So I kept doing it. Now my dogs are accustomed to it, so they get up and prod me each morning.
Even when I was sick, I only missed one morning.
Pretty soon, I realized I was doing this every day.
After a while, I did the math and realized that I was getting a gentle work out about 3.5 hours per week.
It sneaked up on me, gently, slowly and with joy.
Yesterday I added a slight twist. First thing in the morning, I'm going to decide on an intention for my practice, like in Yoga class and carry it with me through the walk, the Yoga and the meditation. Maybe through the day...
Today, it was JOY.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weird and Delightful Side Effect

I rarely write two days in a row, but the strangest thing happened yesterday, and I wanted to share it.
I have this rare and bizarre eye condition... it is stress-related... big surprise. But the more stressed I am the worst the vision in my right eye. It has something to do with the way my body reacts to the stress.
So the other day, I was eating and reading and my left eye got something in it, so I shut it and rubbed and suddenly couldn't see clearly with my right eye... with my glasses on.
So I took off my glasses to see if they were dirty, and realized I could see without them.
Of course I started playing around trying to figure out what was going on, and realized that my glasses just weren't working right, so I went to the eye doctor. She told me that my vision in my right eye was about 3 times better than a three months ago.
Knowing this was stress related stuff, I asked if a daily meditation practice might be what was doing it. She lit up.
She told me that yes it could affect my physiology and that I seemed calmer and more centered in general to her.
Ironically, I am slammed busy. Dealing with issues and not really stress free. But I am making a practice of meditation daily.
And I truly believe it is helping me.
My doctor agrees.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My favorite Olympia "Holes in the Wall"

Olympia is cool.
We live in one of the coolest places in the country or so says many a popular magazine poll.
One of the things that makes us cool are our homegrown restaurants or what I like to refer to as "holes in the wall." To qualify for "hole in the wall" status, a restaurant must be locally owned, have good food and be fairly small and simple.
My favorites:
1. Ramirez Mexican Grocery: Fresh food, well seasoned, clean, delicious and inexpensive. You feel like you are in Mexico. By Ace Hardware in Tumwater on Capitol Blvd.

2. Sri's Corner: South Indian food, delicious, reasonably price. Great buffet for lunch $7.99. This place opened about a month ago and fills up for lunch most days. Right next to Ramirez in Tumwater on Capitol Blvd.

3. Gyro Spot: Downtown Olympia on 4th Avenue. Amazing Gyros, great prices, absolutely worthy of my repeated visits.
4. Le Voyeur: Downtown Olympia on 4th as well. Best Philly Cheese steak EVER. But they call them Oly cheese steaks for obvious reasons. Little scary to go in, but once your inside, it's dark but clean. Interesting and   a real taste of downtown Oly. Highly recommend.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

10 minutes

I am contemplating life.
"So what's new?" you ask.
One of my favorite Yoga instructors, Karen Birbari of One Yoga in Olympia, WA,  held a meditation work shop, and I thought that it would be something I might like. I'm always looking for a way to calm my spirit.
I had no idea how much I would get out of this workshop. She told us that research had found that ten minutes a day would change your life.
So I thought, I could do anything for ten minutes a day.
The reason I have never tried meditation before is I can't sit still and focus on nothing. It's virtually impossible for me, but with a little help from the internet, my Ipad or computer, I found that a person could listen to innumerable guided meditations.
I find some of the ones at Deepak Chopra's site the best, but also Meditation Oasis for the Ipad is a good one too.
I am feeling more centered, calmer and happier.
My ten minutes sometimes turns into 30, but so what?
I have even caught myself writing more and doing more Yoga.
These are seriously good side effects.
Try it. 10 minutes OOOOOHHHHHHMMMMM....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Moments of Grace

   We all go through our lives trying to capture those perfect moments. Those few minutes when we know we are in the right place, with the right people, doing the right thing.
   Recently, I have been blessed with a huge insight.
   If I am with my children, taking care of them, talking with them, but more like listening to them... I get to choose to be in those moments.
   No more waiting for them, they are there for the taking.
   So one of the best things I've ever done, and I recommend it to one and all, I took my beautiful daughter on a trip to Mexico.
   It was an eye-opening, world-class vacation. We had so much fun, and I got to know my maturing young lady daughter on a whole different level.
   She is amazing.
   She is talented, brave and smart. She is sensitive, but tougher than nails. And best of all, she is resilient. For this I am eternally grateful because I know that that is the key to surviving in this life.
   Every night of our trip at dinner, I would ask her what was her high and what was her low that day. One day, she told me that her low was when we had an argument. When it was my turn to tell my side, I explained that my high was our argument. She looked at me with her teen-aged perplexed face. So I explained to her, that every argument and every conversation were opportunities for me to know her better and that that was a wonderful thing.
   Since our return, I have been blessed to find that we have not relinquished this new-found knowledge of each other and our closeness has continued. I am so blessed.
   So yesterday, I requested a few hours with my dear son, Nick, who is 25 years old.
   To get 3 hours with Nick is one of my favorite things in the world. We went out for a haircut, lunch and shopping. Again, a perfect moment. I found out where he was in his life, what he's been doing and how he's been feeling. I am so blessed.
   Nick is about to graduate from college. This is a HUGE milestone, and I am so proud of him. He has not taken the short route to this accomplishment, and it has never been easy. He has worked very hard and very long to get to this point in his life. And I can't say enough about Nick....

                                                   This is Nick at lunch with his new haircut!

    So lessons learned. The recipe for happy, fulfilling, perfect moments, spend them giving. Having children helps. But even friends, parents, siblings, partners, spouses or animals can make this happen!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

5 Rules

I have a wonderful, quirky, amazing friend.
I met him through business, but he, like most of my clients, has come to mean so much more to me.
I am not going to name him because I respect his privacy.
But the other day, he was in my office, and I mentioned someone who had treated me badly. He said, "Oh yes, Rule number 5."
I said, "What?"
He responded, "Rule number 5 -- Stay away from nasty people."
Later in the conversation he mentioned another "rule," so finally I asked about the rules. He offered to share all five with me, and they are so eloquent, simple and profound, that I will share them with you now:
Rule 1: Spend less than you earn.
Rule 2: Save the difference.
Rule 3: Outlast the bastards.
Rule 4: Live in the solution not the problem.
Rule 5: Stay away from nasty people.

Thank you, and you know who you are.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Medical Marijuana, Cannabis, Pot, Weed

I tried to think of every word for Medical Cannabis that I could for the title...I'm sure I missed some. This stuff is incredibly controversial here in Washington right now. And I have a pretty pragmatic view of the situation.
First of all, it has been legalized right?
Well, sort of. The Federal Government has not gone there, and this is what keeps the subject murky.
But yes, here in WA it's legal with a lot of strictures.
Every week, I get at least one call to help someone who has a "legal" cannabis co-operative as proscribed by the state of WA. They want a place to distribute the drug to patients.
Hmmmm, a place where you can distribute legal drugs to patients... does this sound like the definition of a PHARMACY to anyone but me????
I do not understand why we can sell heroin, morphine, sudafed, codeine, valium, percocet, etc, and so on over the counter at a pharmacy, but in order to sell medical cannabis, which is far less addictive and far less harmful to our society in general, we have to jump through all these hoops.
I just don't get it.
Do I believe the illegal trading of drugs is a good thing? NO. I am simply talking about the legal sale and use of a fairly harmless painkiller to patients under doctor's orders. Why do we have to reinvent the wheel to distribute this drug??? I don't get it. Seriously, it's legal, it's mild, and it's no worst for a person than alcohol, which is more than I can say for many prescription narcotics. Why is this not being sold in a PHARMACY?
Perhaps it's because the pharmaceutical companies don't like the competition? That's one theory I've heard. But what's to keep them from growing and selling? Nothing that I know of. Maybe it's because it's more like an herb than a chemical. To me, this is another reason to leave people alone.
I have a friend who had cancer, and this was the only thing that relieved her nausea after chemo. No side effects, and she could eat again.
OK, I've gone on enough.
And as my son would say:
I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong. About 3 months ago, Nancy, my business partner attempted to talk me into hiring someone to help us with property management. I fought this idea. It felt like a loss of control, God forbid..., but Nancy persevered and finally, I agreed to give it a go. Enter Jim. Jim has agreed to work with us on bookkeeping and maintenance and other tasks to make our lives easier.

Jim is, and I mean this, the best thing that has happened to my life in a while. He is organized and efficient and smart and best of all, he explains male mentality to me on a regular basis. I have more energy, I'm smiling, I'm dressing nicer and I am busier than ever. So Nancy, I was WRONG!!! And Jim, YOU ROCK and for that matter, so does Nancy!

I have even planned a second vacation this year...

And with this new help, my brokerage business has picked up. I sense the economy turning in a positive direction.
Happy, happy, joy, joy.

So today, I stopped for lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Ramirez in Tumwater and wrote this blog. Gotta love it! Happy 2012 everyone.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Down TIME!

This little old lady is finally taking a break. We got a lovely opportunity to visit with some friends in Mexico and then at the last minute some friends in California. So we jumped at the chance. However, the first three days on this lovely break, I am catching up on sleep and lots of it. When you are self employed, it is always difficult to get away, and you never can get completely away as long as you have a cell phone. But I was determined to get a break, so last week, I pushed and pushed myself to get as much done as humanly possible, and now I'm more or less paying the piper. I can barely move. But it's ok, I don't have to. I look out my window and it's quiet, and it's sunny. I'm breathing and trying to stop having worry dreams. Yes, the minute I get away, my lovely brain goes into overdrive trying to decide if I'm allowed to relax. It tries to think of all the horrible things that could happen while I'm gone. That's where the wine comes in. The more wine, the less my mind cares. LOL right? Well we'll see how it's going in a couple more days. Maybe my brain will let go after a bit. Maybe today, some yoga.
Look at that. Breathe. Let go.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Food Blog

So, I kept thinking about the spaghetti posting last night and realized it wasn't what I wanted to do with this blog. So I am spinning off (like a sitcom hunh?) a food/creative blog for that sort of thing. It's called http://LOLLOVESFOOD.blogspot.com.
I will post appropriately food and creative stuff there and continue to do my kvetching and discovering on this site.
Thanks for reading!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Awesome, Simple Spaghetti w/meat sauce

OK, so my first attempt to write about food and recipes, and I've already screwed up. I forgot to take pictures of the dinner. So the above picture looks like my spaghetti, but isn't. I'll add my pictures next time.
I am Italian. OK, not really, I'm actually 1/2 German and 1/2 Sicilian. But Italian is what I look, and it's easier to explain.
In my family making red sauce is an art form. The irony, though, is no one does it the same way, but we all adopt some of the stuff our mom taught us, and then we change it up.
I think my sister has mastered it, so I have adopted her strategies, mom's strategies and added my own twists.
I truly love meatballs myself, but my daughter has lately taken to meat sauce, so I've come up with a really good meat sauce that doesn't take too long.
Meatballs are another art form, and I will address them in a different entry.
Mama Lisa's Meat Sauce 
1 lb. ground beef, I use 85/15 
1/2 lb. Mild Italian Sausage
1 Walla Walla or Vidalia onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
A couple of cans of diced tomatoes
A couple of cans of tomato sauce
(both of these can be less or more depending on your tastes)
A Tablespoon or two of Garlic Powder
A Tablespoon or two of dried Basil
Grated Parmesan cheese in the can and fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Brown the ground beef and Italian sausage at Med High
2. Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft
3. Add the garlic and cook a couple minutes until brown but not burned
4. Add the tomatoes and sauce, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper and canned grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
5. Stir and let come just to a boil
6. Simmer anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours, I usually do about an hour.

This sauce always tastes better when it's reheated, so I will save even the smallest amount and add it to a new batch to kind of season the new batch.

Make any kind of noodles you like and put the fresh Parmesan on top....MMMMMMM.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heavenly new year...

As I just wrote that title, I realized I didn't mean it in just one way.
The past few days, I have heard dozens of people everywhere I've gone talk about how they couldn't be happier to see 2011 out the door... and don't let it hit you in the butt as you leave...
Joy. It's something that has been lacking for many of us in the past few years.
The reasons are numerous.
Financially -- we have all been suffering. As a result, many of us, myself included, have lost some good friends. Some people drowned in this sorrow and just couldn't bear to face another day, so they didn't. Others of us, just put our heads down and barreled ahead. People have suffered the feelings of shame and futility when they couldn't make their house payments any longer and when they couldn't buy their children the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed. It's been hard, sad and yes depressing.
Most of us who are alive today did not live through the Great Depression, but our parents and grandparents did. We heard stories of it. I grew up with a mom who was a food hoarder and a dad who buys every small luxury device that he can. Both survivors of Depression era parents and habits.
I inherited and have both these traits. I hoard food and small appliances.
I've always known why.
And not to be the endlessly annoying Pollyanna, but coming through these past few years, and still being alive, still with food on the table -- gives me hope.
2012 feels like a page turned. Everyone is pulsing with a bit more energy and yes... joy.
Hope runs through our bodies like a current. I have this feeling that if we all held hands around the world, the energy in our bodies would light up the sky. This energy is powerful and palpable.
Don't waste it. Use it. Let's really start again. Let's take advantage of this moment and take some chances, step out of our comfort zones and wallow in this sense of joy.
Or at the very least, smile at the next person you see. :~)