Feb 27 2013

Second Look.

The last fellow to look my way twice, three..four times, was 16 years younger than me.

That was a year ago.

Tonight it’s another long, late night at my Mac pushing out messages for a client.  On a powder room break a few minutes ago, I came face to face with a mirror. A very big mirror.

I could have said (and may have), “What the hell happened in just a year?”

Instead I’ve decided to think the reflection in the mirror was my Doriane Gray portrait.

Let the reflection age away. I’m still as young as I ever felt!

 


Aug 17 2012

The gypsy.

It was once said to me, “one travels through many villages to reach home.”

My mom said, “Home is where you hang your hat.”

Her borrowed expression best fit our ex-pat lifestyle of going from dessert to jungle to oil town.  Still, 67 years later, my mom calls Australia home. She was born there. She became a young adult there.

I was born while my parents and sister were traveling to NYC to catch a ship back to Venezuela.  Around Kansas City, Missouri it became clear we’d miss the boat.

The last 4 years I have called two cities home and at other times consiously avoided saying “home,” even casually. For as long as I can remember, a nest builder has cohabitated with a gypsy in my soul.

What I know is a sense of being able to fit in most places but always being, often feeling,  a visitor, a traveler – someone drifting a bit, as one would do without an anchor.

Some people belong to places.  I travel to places, exploring what each offers.  It is time to do more.

This fall I tweak my two-city monthly commute from Portland and Tulsa to live in Tulsa, where my livelihood is, where I know the landscape and participate the most in the community, where I have family and friends I’ve known longer.

Already I am plotting and scheduling returns to Portland. It may never be  home but it feeds my soul and imagination as I walk its streets.  This move will change my routine a bit and give me the opportunity to do what I especially like – building a new nest that, with luck, will hatch something beyond my imagination. I can always hope. And I do.


Jan 2 2012

Spanglish

My fingers can still fly over a 10-key with respectable speed but my math skills have gone to pot.  In the deli section of Safeway I had my iPhone in my hand, using it as a calculator to convert the price per ounce to price per pound.  I was contemplating once again hauling food 1600 miles to Tulsa.

The incoming text read, “ALL MEN ARE DAWGS! Any ideas?”

At the risk of seeming uncaring or flippant, I responded, “You are asking me??!  I am far more interested in a good price for Manchego cheese than I am in men.”

Manchego is a firm Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk.

“You are right to pair it with almonds,” a guest recently told me.  That night I was simply making due with the scant offerings of my pantry.  Right he was, though.  Manchego goes especially well with Marcona Almonds, (I have Urban Kitchen to thank for this knowledge) which are fried and salted (Blue Hour serves them peppered).  This morning I was again making do with what was on hand after discovering there was no yogurt in the icebox for breakfast.

Try this and tell me what you think….

Fill a blender with frozen peaches, blueberries and strawberries.

Slice up 3 small fresh ripe pears and toss them in, as well.

Leave to defrost slightly while you address thank-you notes (micro actions , such as just addressing the envelopes, help propel you through daunting to-do lists)

Return to run the blender until all is mixed but little bites of fresh pear are still visible.

Plate with roasted almonds and triangles of Manchego cheese.

Put on an Andre Ferinte recording.  Enjoy!

Always, Trix


Mar 2 2011

Too thin.

“You have no chest!”

True.  Like a drag queen with no hips, I fail the Barbie doll standard of a real woman, who either is a 36C bra size or has discovered Victoria’s Secret(s).

I was seated with my mother in the main dining room of a retirement village. She was commenting on my weight loss and stated her observation loud enough for everyone under 60 to hear.  Thankfully most diners hadn’t – hadn’t seen 60 in a decade or more.

At the time of my first love affair (with the fellow I married within months) the French measurement was in vogue: “Enough to fill a champagne glass.”  I understand why someone soon afterwards thought up tulip-shaped glassware to replace the traditional saucer shape; I was happily married by then. Ask me now. Would I rather be 164 pounds with a chest or 124 and fit in a size 2 skirt?

Take a wild guess.

Those of us around age 52 grew up hearing, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” Wrong.  If you are thinner than the one commenting on your slimmer shape, you are too, too. My peers now talk of the “divorce diet,” but I haven’t seen ads for it. Have you? Would it go something like, “For every year of marriage gain two pounds, loose it and earn one year of support?”

I once heard of a fellow who treated each new girlfriend to a boob job.  Kind of made my mouth twist sideways at the time but I had a passing thought recently.  “Could he be between projects and ready for a challenge?”

Of course I jest but I do need to shop for undergarments that fit.  It isn’t right having support garments that need support.


Jan 13 2011

Baggage.

January 10, 2011

“Is there something in the side pocket you can take out to lighten the bag?”

I avoided eye contact with the fellow asking the question.   He had watched me stuff my lined, hooded raincoat in the zippered compartment. I didn’t want to carry it on the plane, across half the country – the long way.  Nor I was in the mood for someone who lived excruciating by the rules.  Twice a month I weigh in for flights with two bags, often each just under 50 pounds.  Last Monday I arrived with one 52-pound suitcase.

Charming the agent was out of the question.  A fowl mood was lurking just below my uncharacteristic, neutral, quiet, matter-of-fact demeanor.  I was worn down by two days with energy-draining people, the type whose complaining isn’t an occasional venting but a character trait.  I had wasted energy, time and breath with both, arguing the half full glass wasn’t leaking.

Many hours earlier a telephone call had woken me at 5:30 am from a dream of being tossed around in a vast, dark, bottomless ocean.   Two men were near me (in the dream, not in the bed). We were all swimming forward which seemed to me to be further out to sea; no land was visible.  I had paused to tread water, to question our direction (the dream mirroring my waking life isn’t lost on me).

The men had more reason for concern.  We were in shark-infested waters, they explained. We maybe had minutes until all was lost. I challenged this conclusion just as I’d foolishly argued with my weekend naysayers.  Once awake I wondered if the swimmers or the sharks were my two grumpy companions of late.

In the movie Eat Pray Love, Liz Gilbert is nicknamed “Groceries” by someone she meets on her quest.

My nickname might be “baggage.” I am not a pack rat. I regularly edit, delete and prune.  But I have always been a homemaker, even during my heaviest travel years.  An itch to travel, to economize is now rarely more than a thought away.  I have two dogs, heavy furniture and treasured possessions.  Each unique and irreplaceable, like the many people in my life.  I have been trying to travel with all of it, everyday.  It is time to maybe store possessions and distance myself from people that weigh me down and don’t make me happy.

Lugging baggage stops now.   Moving forward is about refueling, less about being grounded.

Suddenly it makes sense. Fifty pounds of baggage is the limit if I want to fly.

Lighten your load!

Always, Trix


Dec 27 2010

Exhale.

December 26, 2010

Most probably wouldn’t listen to a yoga class CD sitting bound in sardine pose on a packed Southwest Airlines flight between Phoenix and Portland during the holiday season.  Big mistake on their part.  Lifesaver for me.

We had pushed back from the gate only to return; mechanical problems – more delays.  I thought of work- tasks piling up while I flew between Tulsa and Portland on my monthly compute.  I thought of the house sitter who would have walked my two Whippets for the last time as I boarded and then gone off to work for eight hours, unaware of my dilemma.  A new version of Home Alone was surely in the making before I would land in PDX.  Bliss eats books when rattled.  And Leo?  Well, he does three-legged dog to make his statement.  As I imagined what was ahead, the two little boys under three years old seated next to me were warming their vocal chords for a grand aria.

Acquiring a yoga CD was my answer to maintaining my new habit of regular exercise while traveling for over a week each month.  Postal delays got the CD to me just in time for my return flight so there I was, plugged in and listening to a yoga class with my seat in its upright position.

The audio instruction began with breathing – deep, calming, audible breaths.  Even with the instructor announcing his name and the class first, a  giggle welled up in me.  I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing, which is too often shallow.  As I continued to listen to the CD  I was led at just the right pace by a confident voice walking me through the process of inhaling to “fill the belly” and “exhaling to empty.” Instruction and encouragement were delivered with a minimum of words. Just listening suggested the  pace gave time to work in each pose, gave time to breathe. Standing poses came next.  Still the focus was on breathing. Nothing was rushed.  I knew, for the first time, I had a chance at a home practice – a practice guided by a voice that seemed to be in the room, reminding me to breath first and foremost and giving enough pointers about the poses that I didn’t need a classmate nearby to follow (or mistakenly compete with).

As the teacher spoke of mind traveling, fantastic voyages and returning focus to the practice my three seatmates demanded attention.   The mom allowed me to hold the 1-year old.  I walked the aisle of the airline.  Together  he and I interacted with other passengers unable to resist the wonder in a 18-month’s eyes.  He was a doll! I enjoy traveling.  The last leg of my recent journey was especially nice.

A few minutes of yoga turned a delay around – letting me be in the moment completely, thoughtfully contributing.

Breath! Take it all in. And get yourself a CD!

Trix

www.bradkeimach.com and on facebook at Beach Yoga with Brad.


Oct 18 2010

Dancing Through Monday

October 18th, 2010

Good and Monday in the same sentence?  You bet!  Not really a stretch today to say, “Great Monday!” when describing the 4th, 11th and today (each spent in a different city).

There is a lot of wisdom and good advise in fortune cookie messages.  I think. My last TWO promised the 18th would be lucky. “Expect the best and that is most often what you’ll get.” I carried that fortune in my wallet for YEARS.

At around 6 o’clock I went to the kitchen to get my purse for an OfficeMax supply run.  Hearing music from the corner by the window, I thought I’d left the stereo on.  When I walked closer, I discovered the music was coming from outside - 11 stories down and 2 blocks away.  I RAN to the elevator.

10.18 Dancing in the Streets Watch the video, if you’re in the mood to dance or want to get in the mood.

On my way south to OfficeMax, while there and even on the walk home I found more delights and surprises – JUST as I expected!

Expect Tuesday to be over-the-top!  And share the details with me.  xo, Trix


Jun 29 2010

Ask me on the third.

“Big plans for the 4th?!”  he asked, with a Cheshire Cat grin.

“Ask me on the 3rd,” I muttered, my mouth full of dental instruments.  It was Monday. I still had my head cold, was getting a silver filling replaced and my Match.com guy was interested – in someone else.  Did I really want to think of my first major holiday alone?   No.

But today is Tuesday.  The table is set for a madcap, potluck dinner with seven dear friends – or at least six. The seventh guest is my co-host for the evening, someone who “friended” me on facebook while he was traveling in Athens last month with his nephew. We are meeting for the first time at 6 o’clock tonight, roughly the same time my overnight guest and her dog Sofi arrive.

He has already written two poems for me. See if you can find me in this one:

Tulsa is where she says she comes from.

Really, she comes from everywhere…

Always, has, always will.

Creating her own sense of place

Each and every whistle stop of her journey…

You’d think she’d settle down by now.

Continue reading


May 17 2010

Good questions.

May 15, 2010

I picked him up in a parking lot.

That’s the story John and I tell when people ask how a fellow from LA (Glendale to be exact) and a woman visiting Portland from Tulsa got to be friends after the briefest of chance encounters one night in late September 2008.

Actually it was a valet parking/taxi line.   Once upon a time there was an elegant south Waterfront restaurant known as Lucier until a wicked restaurant critic wrote a poison pen review that closed its doors.

John is like a big brother, the best kind: Caring, wise, confident. He’s the kind of person you wish you could pop in your pocket and take everywhere.  From the lobby of the Wyatt, as I watched him getting out of his car on Northwest 12th Avenue,  I thought how I like everything about him, everything except maybe his choice in dogs (basset hounds) but I got used (even attached) to cats this year living with Judith during Tulsa visits.  All in all, John is pretty perfect.

One of the first things I learned about him is he has a practice of meeting at least 10 people a day, from which he’s sure to get a respectable quantity of quality contacts.  Want to go to the Oscars, looking for a hotel recommendation in Seattle?  You should have John’s number on speed dial.

“Were you falling short?  It was pretty late that Saturday night when I struck up our conversation. Had you not met your quota for the day?” I’ve asked him, when referring to why he emailed the following day.

After a couple of decades as a hospital administer, John now owns a search company, traveling the country interviewing executives for open management positions at hospitals.  Naturally, he is in the business of asking good (revealing) questions.  He even does it in a way that makes you feel you’ve found the answer without being asked the question.   I have an epiphany following each of our chats.

Late in April we were having breakfast at Lovejoy Bakery.

“I ask but I don’t know the answer.  They die on me.”  John said.  “But I have seen couples handle it lots of ways. Some make a firm rule:  no contact for six months.”

What John wasn’t saying is, “I’ve not really seen your approach before.”

John is happily into his second decade with a partner that still curls his toes, someone in many ways different from him… think classical music meets show tunes, scholar meets life of the party, pianist meets rower type pairing.   His is a “happily ever after” following the death of his first great love.

John was gently, but pointedly asking me about the wisdom of regular, social exchanges with Joel, and doubly so, but to a lesser degree, Jake.  Was it keeping me tethered to the past?  Was it having a negative effect on “moving forward?”  Friends come and go.  Many reconnect periodically.  I have never been involved in severing a relationship. I believe I’m still on good terms with everyone but the mean-spirited, incompetent school director that made Clay’s fourth grade experience a living hell for all three of us. Even we made no plan to never set eyes on each other again.  I’d actually like to see her once and slap her.  I can forgive injustices done to myself, never my child.

Acceptance, responsibility, appreciation and forgiveness.  When your brain and heart work together through these emotions I find anger gets crowded out.  And isn’t that the emotion that dictates harsh endings?

I have always recoiled at hearing a couple “spilt.”  With the intention of remaining whole versus fractured, maybe I have actually prolonged the healing process – removing the bandage slowly.   If I’d walked away sooner what moments would I have skipped?   Would important things have gone unsaid?

Thursday night after a closing tour of “Disquieted” at Portland Art Museum, I visited the gift shop.  There I came across a book titled “Dear Old Love.”  Compiled by Andy Selsberg from postings to his site of the same name http://dearoldlove.com ), the book features anonymous notes to former crushes, sweethearts, husbands, wives and ones that got away.

What has been left unsaid in your past?  Post it here. Maybe it will get read by the person it is intended for, maybe not.  I bet you’ll benefit from writing it.

Maybe these from the book http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Dear-Old-Love/Andy-Selsberg/e/9780761156055/ will inspire you:

Touchdown:  I root for the Giants because of you.  My husband has no idea.

Rocky Road: I got fat after we broke up, but don’t let that swell your head.  It was more because I was working at the ice cream store.

Near Miss:  I wish I missed you, so I could do that instead of just feeling empty.

Go Figaro:  Thanks to the tragedy of our breakup, I now love opera.  But I cannot find anyone who will go with me.

Pet Peeved:  I don’t care that you miss my dog.  When you cheated on me, you cheated on him, too.

Nude For Nothing:  Your tepid response to my naked pictures means we are never speaking again.

Not Quite A Regret:  On one hand, I should have kissed you.  On the other hand, I’ve had thirty good years imagining that kiss.

Whatever has gone unsaid, don’t leave today unlived.  As always, Trix


Feb 3 2010

Here we go.

Time to march forward and live a little. Thursday I depart for my first overnight spa visit and first time holiday traveling with women…9 of them! Last pretrip stop: REI. because my running and hiking shoes are in Tulsa. Have you traveled with a group of people? What has it been like?  Done the spa thing? Send recommendations!