Get me outta here!

Every Step I Take…

(Hiking the Akinase Ridge in the Mohave Desert in Utah, I huffed and puffed as I climbed 1200 feet up into the ridge but Nothing happened to my knees or joints. Oh, yeah, I did get some big blisters.  Blah!)01a3f2a534a25b7925ea667eb0b3c3ef31dfe113fc

August 30, 2016 I went to the ocean to enjoy the last weekend of August at one of the best beaches I know.  I’ve done it dozens and dozens and dozens of times over my life.  I’ve cut my feet on shells, razor clams and the like to no big concern.  This time while exiting the rough water, there were five feet waves and rip tides due to the Tropical Storm down south, I was feeling hesitant.  No one really swims at the ocean, you body surf or bob up and down in the waves just off shore.  I’ve walked, jogged and ran over sand many times over my life with no consequence.  This time however, I was left stupefied by the Popping sound heard coming from my left knee.  Was that my knee I said out loud?  What was that?  Like a champagne cork but no bubbly to be seen.  I stood staring at my knee and turned left just to get walloped by an incoming wave.  That wave knocked me over!

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A woman nearby came running over to me and asked if I was okay?  No, I said.  I heard my knee pop and was afraid to move.  Her daughter was bobbing up and down in the waves happily and carefree. She said ice it when I get home. I did get out of the water and another beach goer said to me, “I saw what happened are you okay?”  No, I heard my left knee pop but I can walk on it and there’s no pain.  “Use ice a lot,” said the stranger.  It felt weird but I could walk on it.  Took all my beach gear and went back across the wide sand to my car.  No, happy hour and last band of the summer for me!

The next day my knee was blown up swollen and couldn’t walk on it or bend it.  Ugh!! What followed was even worse. I couldn’t find a doctor, Orthopedist who took my New York Health Market insurance plan.  Or, the doctor did but was on vacation or booked.  I ended up at the ER the next day.  With an x-ray it confirmed moderate swelling.Really?  I had no bones broken and the ER doctor pulled my calf and bent my leg and pulled on it.  He thought my ligaments were strong. However, I told him of the Wiggly feeling I had and screamed when I felt my knee going sideways.  I left with gifts!  Crutches and the Immobilizer!  So, I left in a wheelchair with crutches and a brace that will  not let my knee bend!knee-sprain

Hence immobilizer.  They said the POP was most likely a Meniscus tear and several internet searches yielded the same conclusion.  Just got an MRI today and I have a visit with Orthopedist this Friday so will find out the results then. Until then, every step I take, is planned, short and careful.  Do you know how many steps it is back and forth in your bedroom to get ready in the morning for the day?  Seriously, more than I ever gave a thought to.

 

 

 

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The Final Week of CSA Veggies

Well it’s hard to believe but four weeks went by quickly for my free CSA (Community Share Agricultural Project) veggies!  These are all certified organic and were sooo good!  But, for a household of two more than I could eat.  I did get to share with neighbors, work colleagues and that was great to introduce others into the organic vegetable trend.

The best part of the last two weeks were the cantaloupe and watermelon!  So good, sweet and fresh.

If you ever get the chance to try organic vegetables through a food share like this or just from a local farm do it.  You will not regret it.  I even got to try veggies I normally would never buy such as Fennel which tastes like licorice, Japanese Peppers – not hot at all, and of course to have more of my favorites beets, eggplants, lettuce and scallions.  Thanks again to Sang Lee Farms for offering this experience and the Southold Public Library for their monthly raffle.

I WON A FREE 4 Week CSA (what’s a CSA?)

After 8 years of entering a monthly giveaway at my local library (for a $1) I won a four week CSA share.  What’s that?  It’s a veggie share at an organic vegetable farm near where I live.  #SangLeeFarms in Cutchogue, New York is the place to go for fresh #organic veggies.  From June through November they offer a choice pick of veggies, some herbs, and some fruit – cantaloupe and watermelon.  Why was I excited?  Well, to begin with I love fresh veggies and the cost.  If I paid for such a privilege it’s $30-$4o per week or $120 per month.  Now, for those who only buy organic you’d be surprised at the size of these veggies.

csa certificate

So what did I get?  For week one it was two corn, a bunch of scallions or green onions, a bunch of celery, a head of romaine lettuce, a bunch of beets, a white eggplant, tomatoes – heirloom, and something called a bitter melon which is not a melon but a vegetable, and a pint of cherry and grape tomatoes.week one bitter melon csa

Week two was a monsoon!  And, amidst the lightening strikes and torrential downpours, I didn’t take photos.  😦  But fear not I did pick up the veggies and made my way home through flooded streets.  Once inside my home and putting my veggies away I heard my cell phone have an annoying warning signal like you hear on your TV.  It was a tornado warning!  What? Where the heck was I living?  Somewhere in the tropics?  No, just part of New York state – huh?  Truly crazy weather this summer but when it yields great produce isn’t it worth it.  Next time, week three and four.  I know you can’t wait.  But, I did pan fry some grape tomatoes and zucchini from week two.  Aren’t they pretty?

csa stirfry action

 

The Little Tree, a Christmas Story

One day in early December a little girl set out to buy a Christmas tree. She wanted her family to have it for Christmas night. This was a special time in their home where they would decorate the tree together as a family. This year her mom had become ill and the family was not doing all the things they normally did at this time of year including buying a live tree. Sara, the little girl, went out to a few of the tree farms that set up shop during December to sell trees in her town. Trees For U was her first stop. Sara saw many trees but the price tags were expensive. $30, $40, $50 for a tree! Sara had only $10 to spend on this Christmas tree. She walked onto the next tree farm. XMAS TREES, said the sign at the entrance. She saw some smaller trees but their prices were high too. One of the workers on the tree farm came over to her to ask if she was lost. “No”, said Sara, I am looking to buy a tree.” “Great”, said Greg whose name was sewn onto the front of his jacket. “But, I only have ten dollars with me, said Sara, can I buy a tree for ten dollars?” Greg said, “That’s going to be tough. Why are you alone here, doesn’t your family want a tree too?” Sara looked down at the ground and began to feel sad. She told Greg how her mom had been sick this year and the family, her Dad and older brother were not doing the things they normally did at Christmastime. No one was decorating the house or the lawn. No one was playing Christmas music either. She used to dance around the dining room table to all the fun Christmas songs. So she said she decided to make everyone happy by going out on her own to buy the Christmas tree. “It will be a nice surprise”, said Greg. Sara smiled. He took Sara over to what he called a special row of trees. He said every tree in this row was $10. There were signs here that said the trees were much more, in fact, one tree had a $40 price tag on it. “Oh that was yesterday, today is a sale so choose one, and I will help you bring it home,” he said. Sara chose one quite a bit taller than herself but by adult standards it was still a small tree. Greg got Sam, another worker to load the tree onto a truck and he took Sara back to her house with the tree.

“How old are you?” Greg asked. “Eight”, said Sara.
When they arrived at her home her older brother Jim and mother were home and answered the door. At first they did not know what to think. After all, no one had considered buying a tree this year. “Sara, what have you done?” asked her brother Jim who looked surprised. Her mother, who was wearing a bathrobe, looked quite pale, thanked Sam, and offered him some additional money for the tree. “Oh no”, he said, “Sara paid for the tree.”
Sara’s mom helped her children and husband decorate the small tree that night. It brought a smile to everyone to see Sara’s mom helping in the decorating. Sara’s dad and brother could not believe little Sara had shown such independence in finding a tree on her own. “Sara, thank you for caring about everyone so much that you wanted to do this, but please promise me”, her father said, “that you will not go off alone again without me, your mother or brother.” Sara promised. After Christmas, they planted the tree in yard. The next year the tree was even bigger and they needed a tall ladder to put decorations and lights on. People all over the neighborhood got to admire the little tree that Sara had gotten for her family just the year before.christmas tree

THE END.

The Peace Walk – Utah Version

Base of snow canyon from Red Mountain Resort On the way up - Petrified Sanddunes, Snow Canyon National Park

When the stress of your day has gotten to you, fifteen minutes walking outside or if you must inside, can lower your blood pressure and give you a whole new perspective.  My offering is both physical and mental – take a walk.   I try to get out and walk about 2 miles four times a week.  Recently I got to travel to Utah, #RedMountain Resort and Snow Canyon National Park.  A lovely place to take a walk.  I walked from a mile to four miles a day out there.  Sometimes, hiking up petrified sand dunes.  Like stepping stones or paving stones in many ways. You should try it sometime. I call it the peace walk. First written four years ago.

We begin slowly, putting comfortable clothes on, sneakers or walking shoes,

We then migrate to the outdoors.  Gently flex your feet, stretch your calves and feel the tension ease.

We put one foot in front of the other and before you know it we are walking.  Bright sunshine welcomes us.

Breathing takes over where tension had locked.  Easy on the eyes, sights of nature bring us forward,

Birds are flying overhead, the wind is strong but warm, and the gentle waterway is near.

Deer can be seen on the lawns of homes as you pass them by, the pine trees bend in approval back and forth.

Finally we reach the waters edge, minnows still know how to swim, and already I am lighter in spirit and frame of mind.

The land across the water is straight ahead, the wind ripples the water as you gaze forward, breathing calmly.

Peacefully walking, you must try it sometime…

Why God Invented Realtors

Realtors have different roles in different states.  In New York State they are not allowed to write contracts – that is for the lawyers.  In other states, like California, Florida, Realtors do write contracts and money goes into escrow.  Regardless of which state you are in Realtors help people buy and sell real estate but they do so much more.  They help in a crisis, make people happy and sad, and they protect a home like its their own.

On the right path

On the right path

Realtors help people choose a home that maybe just a season, such as a summer rental but they can hold fond memories for a lifetime.  They hold peoples hands and allay their fears of choosing wrong.  They listen to sad financial or family tales that have affected the buyer, renter, seller in setting their choices.  Realtors become friends.

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Their dream home can be small, large or some where in between.  Everyone has a different dream home.  Sometimes it’s a first home, sometimes it’s a second home.  Sometimes it’s a retirement home.  Some people choose quickly, Realtors like those people best.  Some people take years to decide on a particular home, Realtors like those people least.

Confidante, business person, friend, one who helps fulfills the dream of buying a home -All these terms apply to Realtors.  Some clients are repeaters and others you never see again.  They all have meaning, not just financial, because each deal is a learning experience.

Dream Home

Dream Home

Get Organized! Feng Shui (fung-schwaay)

Feng Shui image balanceNow that Mercury is retrograde this is a perfect time to tidy up.  Review and revisit.  Feng Shui is the Chinese art of organizing a home for the right energy flow.  We all want good flow and balance is important too.  I took a free seminar at a YWCA several years back and then was placing mirrors and matches on different bureaus and desks for better flow in my home.
Recently, I met a woman who is a professional organizer and also certified in Feng Shui.  Debra Riva has been certified in Feng Shui for eleven years and a Professional Organizer for 20.  Prior to that she was an executive assistant. So I asked her what it was like to be both a professional organizer and Feng Shui certified.

KV: How did you get acquainted with Feng Shui and Organizing?
DR: I had been an executive assistant at Loews and was always helping in organizing something for years.  After spending many years in the corporate world I took my talents and skills and created my own organizing business called The Art of Order, transforming chaos.  I called everyone I knew and through word of mouth got my first clients.
KV: Are you certified in Feng Shui?  Is there a professional association for organizers?
DR: Yes.  When Feng Shui was becoming popular here in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I realized it was  a perfect match with my organizing work and I made a decision to educate myself and I got certified in the two year program at Long Island Feng Shui Institute in Oyster Bay, NY in 2004.

Feng Shui bedroomFeng-shui-bedroom-1024x759KV:  What’s it like working with clients?  Do you focus on a particular room or the whole house?

RV: It depends on what my clients’ needs are.  It can be one room or the entire home, or an office or a basement.  I ask the clients what their needs are.  Very often people have way too many material things than they really need and become overwhelmed with clutter.  I co-create with them to have a space this is supportive of how they are and what they want to achieve. One particularly memorable client was a hoarder. 

KV: That must have been difficult.  What did you do to help her?

DR: I hired an assistant to help me and we filled then removed dozens of garbage bags from her apartment in New York City.  If she didn’t clean it up she was going to be dispossessed. My assistant then became her caretaker for four years.  Frequently, there is mental or physical health issues that are part of the hoarding situation.

KV: These days as you wind down your working life what’s ideal for you in working with clients?

DR: Working virtually has made working with people at a distance very easy. They send me a floor plan, layout of the room or rooms and then I can email them back how to position furnishings, what colors to use.  I helped a man in Germany some years back and he just reached out to me again for help with something else.  I’ll be traveling to Germany in the fall too to see him and the space.

Thank you Debra Riva Debras photofor answering my questions.  If anyone has more questions about organizing or Feng Shui you can contact the National Association of Professional Organizers or NAPO, and  or, The International Feng Shui Guild, or IFSG.  Mercury turns direct again on June 12 so we all have some time to De-clutter and re-balance.  Namaste.