Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meditation made easy: Just do it!

One of the things I've always thought I should do on a daily basis - besides eat wisely, exercise and enjoy a good hug - is meditate. But, I've never known exactly how to go about it. Do I sign up for a class in TM? Engage a yogi for private lessons by the hour? There are all kinds of experts suggesting that meditation is good for the aging brain, but none so convincing as Brian Johnson who puts it in plain old easy-to-understand language with no New Age nonsense. Watch the video here. (Click on 'Preview this class.' I love the bit about the 100% paradox.) After viewing Brian's presentation last week, I started meditating for 12 minutes every morning and am about to increase to 20 minutes. I still have problems taming my "mind monkey," at times (okay, all the time) but I really am noticing more clarity and increased feelings of calm. And, if it will fend off Alzheimer's, more power to me! Ommmm.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Morning at The Sorella with the President

The hubs and I woke up after a lovely night's sleep in the Presidential Suite and enjoyed one of the best complimentary continental breakfasts we've had in our lives. Toasted-to-order bagels with lox, cheese and all the trimmings, fresh fruit and pastries PLUS made-to-order cappuccino or espresso.  (There was cereal, too, for the kids.)
Then, after extending our checkout time by an hour, we went to the rooftop pool, snagged a cabana and enjoyed some fun in the sun before our presidential term ran out.
Looking not so presidential in the Breaking Bad shirt, but very relaxed.
The view of the infinity pool from the cabana. (Do all presidents have gnarly feet?)
As we lounged and the minutes ticked away to checkout time, he asked, "Do you think you could call me Mr. President for one more day?" I answered, "Okay, but you have to stop calling me Monica. It's gross and unbecoming." "Oh, alright. 'First Lady', then."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Presidential upgrade

Thanks to my media card, we received a rock star upgrade to the Hotel Sorella's Presidential Suite. 1500 sf of opulence. 1-1/2 baths. 5 sinks throughout. A private terrace that holds 41 people. A dining table for eight. And a bathroom to die for.  Regular nightly rate? Only $2500, a mere pittance for rock stars and presidents. (I paid 1/25th of that, for the record.) The nice young woman at the desk told me she wanted me to see "the best the hotel had to offer." For one night - and one night only - we were living like the one percent.
Looking presidential at one of the two wet bars in the suite. He made me call him Mr. President all night. 
Shower big enough for 12.
Check out the size of this bathroom in the mirror.
Luxuriously comfy bed and white leather sofa in bedroom.
Our private terrace.
We were tempted to call 39 of our closest friends for an impromptu soiree but decided against it.
The lobby of Hotel Sorella

Ciao bella, Hotel Sorella!

Bar Rosso at Hotel Sorella
Taking a break from the usual yard work this weekend at Kansas City's newest - and, I would argue, sexiest - hotel, The Sorella on the Country Club Plaza.  It's sleek, modern, Italian and, if I close my eyes while lounging in a cabana by the rootop infinity pool, it feels like a trendy boutique hotel in Rome.
Dreamy beds and decor
We'll be back to reality soon enough, but for now we're off the grid. Okay, maybe not completely. Wifi at the hotel is free.
Italian dining in Rosso on the top floor overlooking the pool.
Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Friday, July 18, 2014

When you start to look like your grandmother

The other day at lunch, my mother requested a suitable-for-framing copy of this picture, taken during my photo shoot with the jewelry artist a while back. 
"Is it the hat?" I asked. "Because it's so rare that I find one that fits my melon head? Not that I blame you. I'm putting that one on Dad." "No," she answered. "It's because you look so much like Kiki at that age." Kiki was my grandmother. "That's nice, Mom." This isn't the first time someone has noticed a grandmotherly resemblance. After my father's funeral, when I had gotten up to read a passage in church, a distant childhood friend remarked, "Oh, my God. When you walked up to that lectern, I thought it was Neva Belle!" Neva Belle (we called her Mere Mere) was my other grandmother.
I think Jamie Lee Curtis has the right take on this. She says: "Genetics are the key to aging. I now resemble both my grandmothers, where when I was younger I didn’t see them at all, and if I am now looking at myself with the eye of one who can look back at photos and movies and commercials and miss the good old days, that would be a wasted life. We are ALL going to age and soften and mellow and transition. All of us, if we are lucky enough to make it through this hard life into older adulthood."
Today, I will deliver the requested photograph to my 81-year-old mother, happy in the knowledge that when she looks at it, she will see her mother. No matter how old that makes me feel.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Just another day in Omaha

So, you know, I was just walking down the street and happened to notice a couple of familiar looking rich dudes sittin' on a bench. So, I snapped a selfie 'cuz I thought my grandparents would think it was cool. And, what else did I have to do??!
It really happened.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

City mouse, country mouse

It's hot and I've obviously gotten lazy on the old blog because, well, it's hot, I'm cranky and I haven't had much to say. But, today, I went for a drive to Bismarck Gardens, the best place to buy fresh field corn in all of these here parts and had one of those "How lucky am I?" moments.
Inside this unassuming little farm store you'll find pure gold on the cob
One of the best things about living in Lawrence, Kansas, is the ready availability of farm fresh food.  From my house, it's an 8- to 12-minute drive to the country in every direction where all kinds of great family farms offer fresh-picked produce.
High as an elephant's eye!
After I loaded up with corn, tomatoes and something called "Candy Onions," I hit the little Iwig Dairy Store on my way home for some fresh, ice cold milk in a glass bottle.
If I hit the lights, this little place is five minutes from home. You haven't lived until you've tried this milk.
The trip took less than a half hour.  How lucky am I?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

BoomerGirl Bird Resort: NOW OPEN

All-you-can-eat bird buffet: 6 wild bird feeders and 2 humming bird feeders. Come and get it, birdies!
I decided that if I'm going sit at my breakfast bar working by virtual commute all morning, I'm going to need more to look at as I gaze out the kitchen window. But, at what exactly? All of our wild roses are spent. Now, there's just bunch of prickly green foliage out there. Nice, but hardly entertaining. So, as our last holiday project, the hubs and I traipsed out to the shed and hauled out all of our bird feeders and their respective stands, hit the hardware store for a a few more and gallons of feed. (That's some cheesy yard art from the early 90s you see in the background...because class is in the eyes of the beholder, my friends.)  So far, we've had very few takers, but I know when our winged BFFs get a load of the spread we put out, they'll be tweeting and re-tweeting.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

You gotta have art

I've had more than my fair share of stress in the last couple of weeks. So, I took a drastic step on Monday.  I decided to go "off the grid" for four hours a day. That's four hours when I don't check Facebook, Twitter, my blog or email. (I know. Four hours isn't much but, for a gal whose laptop, iPad and iPhone have become appendages...it's a good baby step.) To fill the time, I'm trying things I've always wanted to do, starting with painting. As you can see, I'm just getting my brushes wet, but it's really very relaxing.
Watercolor and oil pastels. A reproduction of a Louis Copt oil piece hanging in our living room.
A Georgia O'Keefe that I started in acrylics and then stopped. (Note fine mess on far right. I got mad at the irises.)

"Abstract" flowers...which are much less frustrating that real flowers.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I have a dream of a jargon-free world

This wonderful article in Forbes describes perfectly my pet peeves about the corporate world. Lots of people "drinking the jargon Kool-Aid." Why? Why isn't plain talk good enough for business people? And why am I worrying about this stuff on a Saturday morning? I need to go to the farmers' market and leverage some low-hanging fruit.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dear Restoration Hardware: Stop it!

Right into the recycling. Do not pass go. Do not collect $100.
In 2012, I purchased one piece of furniture from Restoration Hardware. It was a discontinued (read: on sale) sofa that was almost destroyed by our then-dog, the day after it was delivered.  That transaction put me on RH's mailing list, making me the reluctant recipient of "The Source Book," a 12-pound library of monochromatic catalogs that's so pretentious, it's offensive. Attention RH: Do you really think this is a good idea in 2014? Seriously? This is what websites are for. You just added 12 pounds to my recycling bin and God only knows how many tons of shiny slick paper to the landfills of America because, even in this day and age, some people still don't recycle. But, that's another rant.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014