Sunday, April 26, 2009
That was a song, years ago. We still use the phrase.
And it is Carnival. Today is boat race day, and Pan-o-rama (steel pan jamboree) this evening. I walked along the waterfront this morning, as people were setting up tents with food for sale, or places to sit and watch the boats zooming around the harbor.
Music belting out from loudspeakers, Calypso and reggae and road march music.
As I walked along, I found myself bouncing to the rhythm of the music. It's infectious. Especially the road march music, for J'ouvert morning.
I enjoy Carnival!!!!!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I stayed at an all-suite hotel, and was upgraded to a two bedroom suite - yup, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a central living/dining/kitchen, and 3 TVs, all to myself.
Best giveaway - the Vincent van Gogh action figure, complete with moving arms and legs, an easel, a paintbox, pallette, and brush. My students loved it! I love how silly it is!
Tons of free samples for my students to try - air-dry clays, deluxe construction paper, all kinds of markers and colored pencils and pens and paint samples. We'll have a few product assessment days.
I attended probably 35 sessions, and only one wasn't helpful and productive.
I chatted with Judy Chicago, who discussed her new curriculum for "The Dinner Party," and remembered me from working on a few projects with her for "The Birth Project."
Time with my niece - both with her little 5 yr old boy and her husband, and just the two of us.
Networking with art teachers from all over the world.
It was great!!!!!!!
Friday, April 24, 2009
I just got back from six days in Minneapolis, plus pretty much two days travelling there and back. I actually lost weight in that week, after having been plateaued for a while now. And it's because I made conscious decisions to stick with my new Spark lifestyle. In spite of spending much of my day sitting in various conference sessions (which were fun and fascinating).
First, when I registered for the conference months ago, I made the decision not to stay in one of the conference hotels but to stay about a mile away, and walk back and forth. I did this, even in the rain, even in 35 degree weather, even after a full day of conference sessions and a few hours in the exhibit hall and with a backpack overflowing with goodies from the exhibitors. Other than from and back to the airport, I took one additional taxi (it was 10 PM and I wasn't too sure if the neighborhood was safe to walk alone).
Second, I ate mostly healthful foods. My hotel included breakfast, where I had a waffle with yogurt and a sliced banana every morning. I picked up an apple for a snack. If I had dessert, it was when I was dining with others and we could share. I avoided fried foods, fatty meats, and focused on fresh items like salads, vegs, fish, or sharing an entree. Even on travel days, eating airport food (since we can't take fresh fruit/vegs through Customs when we leave the VI), I made sure to get fruit/vegs at the airport concessions.
Third, I wore my pedometer everywhere and made sure I walked a minimum of five miles a day. When meeting up with my niece and her family, we walked through a park. Or through the museum's sculpture garden. Walk, walk, walk.
And, I bought a bottle of water, refilled in every day (or twice a day), and carried it everywhere, so I could get in my daily quota of water.
Did I eat things I don't normally eat? Well, yeah, I'd have an afternoon snack of a chai tea latte and a biscotti. But with skim milk, and I know the biscotti was better than a chocolate chip cookie. Did I miss meals, because there were so many interesting and fun sessions to go to? Yes, but with planned snacks, I never was so hungry that I'd eat things I didn't need. I also stayed in a hotel suite, so I had a fridge to keep snacks like fruit and low-fat cheese and crackers, again for snacking or a quick meal.
It feels good to know I've internalized by Spark skills, and can make smarter decisions than I did previously.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
DH and I spent 3 days in New York City. It was Passover and Easter weekend, so we couldn't get tickets to a show. But we could have gone to a museum. Or art galleries. Even shopped.
No. DH's idea of New York is a culinary tour of all his favorite spots. So we went to the Carnegie Deli, where he had a pastrami sandwich (and I had my taste, it IS the best pastrami in the world), I had matzah brei, and we shared a slice of cheesecake (arguably the best cheesecake in the world).
We went to a lovely little French bistro for dinner - my request.
We went to Jackson Hole, so DH and my nephew could have greasy burgers. (I had a plain waffle with fresh fruit - no butter, no syrup. I'm a Sparkie!)
We went to Sarge's Deli, so DH could have another pastrami sandwich - I had matzah ball soup. We shared a slice of cheesecake.
It goes on and on. His favorite diner for breakfast. This place for snack cupcake. On and on and on.
I will add, I did get in some Macy's time (with the wooden escalator I remember from my childhood), plus we walked everywhere in the city, putting on over 8 miles a day.
But still. My DH is a foodie, and I've gotten over that.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
It isn't that we bless the sun, per se. We say a blessing thanking G-d for the creation of the sun, for the opportunity to see this once-every-28-years event, when the sun is in the same position it was (supposedly) when it was created. Always on April 8, always on a Wednesday, the fourth day of the Jewish week (Yom Revi-i, Day 4).
We went to Mountain Top, the highest point on St. Thomas, and met the owner (Israeli and observant Jew). He opened up, we went out on the balcony, had a little coffee and multigrain bread (with sunflower seeds) made by myself - and watched the sun come over the horizon as the rabbi explained why we do this. We read a short service, and said the blessing: Praised are you Adonai our G-d, ruler of the universe, who performs the work of creation.
The sun rose red and glowing, breaking through the clouds on the horizon which reflected gold over the ocean and the distant islands. The sky went from lavender to pink to blue, the sea went from grey to turquoise, birds began to flit about, the world began to wake up.
I can't explain it. Something stirred in my soul. This was a simple, low-key service. But something that happens every 28 years, so it's also momentous. DH was rather underwhelmed. But I feel spiritually renewed. As if this was a symbolic acknowledgment of my own person re-creation, of re-creating and renewing myself in a healthier and fitter form.
I feel energized, excited. Or maybe it's two cups of coffee. I don't know. I just feel really good, inside and out.
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