I am having issues with my blog. All of a sudden I cannot do my post the old classic way, I have to use Block. I predict some struggles ahead. So please bear with me while I learn and adjust.
These are the beautiful plants in my office. The morning sun here is glorious and the plants love it!
“Love and work are to people what water and sunshine are to plants.” ― Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson
“When you see a tiny plant, flower or tree in a dark stone street, be happy as if you saw a friend you love very much, and be even happier because this is such a friend that does wonderful things for your existence, it gives you oxygen!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
“Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Thank you my reader and friend for your likes and comments. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. Thank you for your time and energy!
Wishing you a wonderfully blessed thanksgiving. May you have health and peace. May your table be full and your home warm! May you continue to find more and more reasons to give thanks!
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” ― Henry David Thoreau
As I was deciding what to say if the attorney asked me on a 4th date, he kindly resolved things for me with this text:
I cannot pretend to feel something I don’t. If a date is paying attention they will know exactly how I feel without my having to say a single word. My body, my face, my actions and inactions betray my feelings from the get go. I am very transparent.
Although I imagined he had realized that there was zero chemistry, I still thought perhaps he would ask me out again. Some people are oblivious. I am grateful he wrote, so I didn’t have to feel I was letting him down.
It was fun being out with an old-fashioned gentleman. I hope he finds a nice lady. I am just a bit surprised that he texted and didn’t call. I guess he is not that old-fashioned after all.
“Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the Master takes action by letting things take their course. He remains as calm at the end as at the beginning. He has nothing, thus has nothing to lose. What he desires is non-desire; what he learns is to unlearn. He simply reminds people of who they have always been. He cares about nothing but the Tao. Thus he can care for all things.”
On Friday night I met the 65 year attorney at the Elgin Restaurant for the third date. I got there first and chose a table in the back, where was quiet and less drafty… as I thought to myself: omg, I must really be getting old, trying to be away from noise and cold air!
I had a drink called Lafayette 45. It was made with Empress Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup & Prosecco. He doesn’t normally drink, he had a diet coke. For appetizers we had fried cauliflower and also a Mediterranean platter with a trio of dips. For entrée I chose sirloin sliders. He had a salad with tons of stuff in it. We chose not to have dessert. I have been having too much sugar lately.
After dinner we headed to the Walter Karr Theatre to see Hadestown. I knew we were going to the theater but I didn’t know which show. I was happy it was a show I hadn’t seen it before. The theater was a small space, there was really no bad seat. Our seats were in the middle orchestra, about 10 rows from the front. It was close enough for me.
Hadestown is a musical loosely based on Greek Mythology story of the love affair between Orpheus and Eurydice. Overall, I enjoyed the show specially because I went in with no expectations. Since I didn’t know what we would be seeing I didn’t do any research or read anything about the show.
I really enjoyed it, but I found that the set/scenery could have been better. I have come to expect to be wowed any time I go to see anything on Broadway, specially musicals. Here, there was not much of it. I kept waiting for the set to change it, but it really never did. There was one setting change, but it was not really different from the original. I felt it could have been more creative.
I also had a problem with some songs. While I loved most of them, I felt that some of them were there to just fill space. At those times my mind would drift off, waiting for something to grab my attention again. At those times I wished the show was shorter.
While I really enjoyed the show I do wish the setting was more creative and some songs were removed. But looking back, I feel like that about a lot shows. I guess some song fillers are necessary. However the singers and dancers were all amazing. Some of the best voices I have heard. For that alone I would go back.
As far as my date, he continues to be such a gentleman, so thoughtful and kind. He would not let me take the train or an Uber after the show. He drove me 40 minutes out of his way to take me home. Again, when he dropped me off, I reached over, hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek when I said good bye.
The chemistry is still not there, and I doubt it will ever be there. I don’t think we will be going on any more dates. Unless he is okay with friendship only.
Up to now I have worked mostly on flat surfaces. I wanted to try something that had curves. I chose a beautiful golden vase that was almost too pretty to cover. So I chose not to cover it completely.
But now I am not sure if I should leave it this way or go back and cover the whole thing. While I decide, I started a new project that I am excited about. Well, I get excited about all my pieces.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend! May it be restful. May it be fun!
“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” ― Edgar Allan Poe
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ― Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.” ― Mary Oliver
“This is trouble with you. You think you want, you don’t think you want–always back and forth. Me, when I want, it is with whole heart. I look at wanted thing with eyes straight on. But you! Neither here nor there. Your looking always crooked, from side of eye. It has no power to hold. So wanted thing, it slip away from you.” ―Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meats
I sit here in the space between dates 2 and 3 with the 65 year old attorney. But before I get to that place, let me tell you about the second date.
He called me and asked me out. There is not much texting with him. He is old fashioned that way. I said yes to the date and to him picking me up. He didn’t say where we were going. He just said it would be a nice restaurant. I like surprises so I didn’t mind not knowing.
At 5: 30 on Sunday he picked me up. He had a gift for me. When I opened the small pack, it was a bar of soap (see the pic at the end). He saw that I was confused and reminded me that I had joked about taking a shower for the date, or something like that. I don’t recall exactly what I said, but I guess it was funny and memorable to him. Bonus points for originality. I have gotten flowers, books, chocolate, and even bread as date gifts, but never soap.
The drive there took us to the area where I lived with the Ex. Being in that area brought back some memories. I am happy to report, that I was totally indifferent to the memories. The memories came, I acknowledged them, and even mentioned it to my date. Then as fast as they came, they went. It was just the past, something I lived and it was over. I didn’t feel sad or nostalgic.
“Man himself is so buffeted by shifts of thought and mood, not knowing from one day to the next what he truly feels, that a shifting earth is well-nigh the last straw.” ―Beryl Bainbridge, Master Georgie
After 40 minutes we arrived at Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant and Inn in Chappaqua NY. It is a gorgeous place, that was a bit hard to find in the dark as it is nestled in a residential area and a golf course.
To drink I had a sugar cane and blueberry cocktail. He had diet coke. He didn’t overdo this time with appetizers and desserts. For appetizer we had 2 dishes. One with mushrooms, grilled plums, red cabbage and butternut puree. The other was a Tofu taco bowl, it had black rice, tofu, pickled onions and some other greens. For the entrée I had the hanger steak with fries and a side of arugula with feta cheese. He had a vegetarian Sheppard’s pie. For dessert I had a chocolate and peanut butter crunch bar with coconut gelato. Everything was delicious.
The drive back was equally fun, with no lull in the conversation. We talked about family, vacations, etc. There is always a lot laughs. When he dropped me off at my building, I just reached over and hugged him goodbye with a kiss on the cheek.
I didn’t feel any romantic sparks, but he is so much fun to be with. A combination of smart conversation and plenty of humor. I spent Monday thinking about what to do if he asks me out again.
“I don’t do anything with my life except romanticise and decay with indecision” ―Allen Ginsberg
In the evening the phone rang. It was him. He asked if I would like to meet him on Friday in NYC for dinner and a Broadway show. I immediately said yes. How can I say no to a Broadway show with great company?
I like to think that he is enjoying spending time with me even if there is not romance in the future. Could there be something else eventually? Should I continue to go on dates with someone even if there are no sparks?
I normally say that chemistry is either there or not there. There is no creating it out of nothing. But a conversation I had earlier that day is making me rethink it. Perhaps there is some merit to going on more dates even if there are no sparks at the beginning.
“By dawn he had surrendered, gratefully, to the old inertia, the product of always seeing both sides of every question.” ―Robert Harris, Enigma
Earlier in the day I had exchanged messages with a potential date. He complained that women seem to make up their minds too fast without giving the relationship a chance to develop. He argued that there should be more than a few dates to see if there is chemistry or not. There should be more time invested in getting to know each other before moving on.
I explained my opinion about it. To me, if I know there will be nothing else other than friendship, it feels somewhat dishonest to continue going on dates. I feel I am wasting the other person’s time and energy. If I know that I only want friendship shouldn’t I just say that and move on? But what if I am wrong? What if feelings can develop?
The potential date stood firm on his opinion that one should get to know each other over several dates before making a decision. I guess he feels women haven’t given him enough of a chance in the past. He is supposed to reach out to schedule a date for some time this week.
For now I figure that 3 dates and an honest conversation will be enough to see if there should be more dates or not.
“If you don’t know which way to go in the middle of a bridge, you better enjoy the bridge! Sometimes the solution comes only when you give up the future and enjoy the present!” ―Mehmet Murat ildan
“She paused and added seriously, ‘Isn’t it funny the way we’re talking, just as though we’ve known each other for years and years.’ He said easily, ‘Oh, I’m a great believer in instant friendship.” ― Betty Neels, The Little Dragon
I don’t like to drive too long for a first date, but when my date chooses Harvest on Hudson Restaurant, I will gladly drive the 25 minutes it takes to get there.
I got there a few minutes before he did. We met by the door and hugged hello. The hostess sat us at a table with a beautiful view of the Hudson River.
He is 64 years old. He works in real estate management and construction. Twice divorced, no kids. He looked better in person.
In most of my dates there is never a lack of conversation. And this one was no different, we talked a lot. He probably talked more than I did. He shared a lot, actually perhaps a bit too much for a first date.
He shared some details of his childhood that brought the mood down a bit. Nothing crazy, but enough to make the mood turn serious and emotional. I appreciated him feeling comfortable enough with me to share some painful memories, but I was glad that we moved on from that conversation and we could just have fun conversation.
First dates are supposed to be light and fun. But then again, there are no rules. I thought about my own behavior on first dates. I often feel I share too much as well, so I will try to tone it down in the future.
“There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.” — Hubert Selby Jr., “Requiem for a Dream”
The food was delicious. For appetizers we shared the Caesar salad, meatballs and cod fritters. I had cod for the entrée and he had the branzino. For dessert I ordered a chocolate torte, that I never touched and took it home. His phyllo gelato ice cream was enormous and so delicious, so we shared that. Even the bread and butter were yummy. I ate so much.
To drink we both had passionfruit caipirinhas. Just 1 each even though it was delicious. We knew we would have to drive home.
Afterwards we walked to our cars and hugged good bye. I texted when I got home to thank him for dinner. He replied, and also texted the next morning.
He is going away today for one week and wants to get together when he returns. I need to think about it. I didn’t feel any romantic vibes, mostly friendship. I don’t want to lead him on, but perhaps a second date wouldn’t be a bad idea. I will decide by the time he returns.
I feel blessed to meet some great gentlemen and go to some great restaurants, chemistry or not. If I get a friend I feel it is a win!!
In the meantime Mr. Sweet has been in touch every now and then. He injured his back but texted asking if I want to meet when he is feeling better. I said yes.
“…while finding true love was one of the most splendid things that could happen to you in life, finding a friend was equally splendid.” ― Félix J. Palma, The Map of the Sky
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” ―Helen Keller
On Friday I left work at 11am. My sister met me outside of our building. She got in the car and we proceeded to discuss the best way to get to White Plains, NY.
Should we avoid the highway and just use the local route? It would take a bit longer but we wouldn’t have the usual highway delays of lately. We chose local.
We were wrong. We encountered two road blocks due to construction. I feel the entire New York state is under construction. At one point my sister asked if we were near, as we ended up taking some back roads that she was not familiar with. I could feel her relief when I said that we were only 5 minutes away.
Finally we arrived our location. Now we proceed to the parking near it. I didn’t think there was any room on the first level so I took the curvy route all the way to the 6th floor. Getting out of the parking lot and into the street was another long story, as we kept getting off on different streets and had to go back and find the right exit.
By now it was 12: 05. She had to be there at 12:15pm. I pointed to a building in the corner and said: there it is. She panicked when she saw that it said: White Plains Library on the building. She feared we were on the wrong place. I assured her that the right building was just next door. Again, relief on her face on she saw the 111 Number sign on the building, signaling the right place: 111 Martin Luther King Boulevard, the address of the Westchester County Court.
We entered it, went though the security desk, and were pointed to the right courtroom. There was a big signed that said: NATURALIZATION.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ―Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer
On this Friday, November 4th 2022, my sister officially became a United States citizen. I have been a citizen for a long time, but still, during the whole event I was moved and had a lump in my throat. It was emotional to be in a room with 48 newly naturalized citizens and their families, with so many different cultures, languages, backgrounds and stories of trials and triumph.
Upon entering the courtroom, the new citizens to be first lined up to see the desk clerks to answer some final questions and to surrender their green cards. Then they sat and waited for the ceremony to start. When it started Tim C. Idoni, the court clerk and a previous New Rochelle Mayor, administered the Oath of Citizenship to the new citizens. Then the entire room got up for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Then the presiding judge spoke. I can’t recall her name but it was her first time presiding over the Oath of Ceremony. In her Congratulatory speech, she welcomed the new citizens and also added some of her personal history to it. She mentioned she was the granddaughter of Irish immigrants, and the first person from her family to go to college, law school, and now become a judge.
Then they called names, 3 at a time. The new citizens would go to the front, shake hands with the Judge and the County Clerk and be handed the Certificate of Naturalization. My sister came back to her seat beaming with pride. She was now focused on trying to get a picture with the Judge and the clerk at the end. She wanted to document the day in any and every way she could.
As soon as they declared the proceedings over, she jumped up and went to ask for a picture with the judge and clerk. They graciously agreed. I took a few pictures, then realized that a line started to form of people wanting to take pictures. She had started a chain reaction.
At first she loved the pictures I took, but later she took a closer look. Apparently, I always cut the feet off when I take full length pictures of people standing up. When she started to complain about it, I didn’t say anything. I am learning the virtues of silence in certain situations. Also, it was her day!
In the evening I treated her to dinner at Sergio’s in Pelham, NY. They have the best short ribs with risotto ever! Actually, my boss paid for dinner as congratulations to her.
After the ceremony, she called and emailed everyone she could think of. She wanted the world to share in her happiness and good fortune.
It took my sister 12 years to get a green card, and then another 5 years to get the citizenship. She is over the moon! She is proud, happy, and above all grateful for this amazing opportunity. I am all of that as well, and more!
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” ―Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
“your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” ― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
The date on Thursday evening was a lot fun. He likes to eat and wanted to try everything on the menu. It was a feast!
Place: Maria’s Restaurant in New Rochelle
To drink: He doesn’t drink alcohol. He drank diet cokes like it was going out of style. I had a delicious drink called Queen Margherita. It was made with Patron Silver, Passionfruit, Elderflower and lime. I had them use vodka instead of tequila. It was very tempting to have a couple, but I had only one.
To eat: He wanted to order everything, well except meat dishes. He is a vegetarian that recently turned vegan, but last night he made an exception and had cheese. We had 4 different appetizers. For entrée I chose the cod fish, which was delicious but I took most of it home as there was a lot food. He had some beans and potatoes that they made special for him. He also ordered some extra sides.
For dessert, even though he normally doesn’t eat sugar, he ordered 3 desserts for us to share (pictured above). They were all delicious, even though none had chocolate in it!
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” ― Erma Bombeck
He is a 65yr old semi-retired attorney. He is very smart and very funny. He talks a lot and so do I. He asked a lot questions and seemed genuinely interested in hearing my answers. He was very open talking about his life.
He has been divorced for decades, and has a good relationship with the ex-wife and his two married daughters. He seems to be well adjusted, emotionally stable and a good person.
One funny moment. Towards the end of the evening he fell down. It is hard to explain, he was returning from the bathroom and when he went to sit down he misjudged the seat distance and fell. He got up so fast, before I had the chance to try to help him. I started laughing, I couldn’t help myself. Luckily, he couldn’t either.
It was such a fun date with tons of laughs, but I am not sure about chemistry. I would probably go on a second date if he asks. We shall see.
In the meantime, there are more dates on the horizon. On Sunday I am going to a favorite restaurant in a gorgeous location for an early dinner date with a 60 year old businessman (not sure what he does exactly, will find out more on Sunday)
I hope everyone is having a blessed weekend!
“I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
Last month when I went to see friends in Philadelphia I brought back with me 8 different types of herbs that they had in their garden. They were: Basil, sage, oregano, rosemary, mint, tarragon, thyme and lemon mint.
I didn’t plant them right way, I kept them in the fridge until I returned to the office. That was probably mistake number 1. I didn’t have enough soil or vases, so I ended up using some Tupperware containers and borrowed some soil from my other plants. Probably mistake number 2. Four of them I planted on the same vase with a ficus plant. Probably mistake number 3. I overwatered the solo ones, mistake number 4.
Here are the ones with the ficus when I was planting them: On the bottom left you can see the rosemary.
They were going to stay here until I got planter box.
I was never successful with growing herbs but I figured the glorious sun that comes in the morning in my office would be my ally. The glorious sun was not enough to give them all life when I was so careless about planting them to begin with.
Fast forward to this Monday. By then only 2 seemed to look like it could actually grow: the rosemary and the basil. All others looked like they were dying a slow death.
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” — Martin Luther
The building sent a couple of guys to come in to apply a film to a newly installed glass window. When I saw them coming in I ran to move the plants out of the way, as some are on the window sill. I joked that I had to make sure they were okay.
They did the work, and as they were leaving I was in the kitchen. I thanked them and offered them coffee or a soda. One of them asked for water, and the other seemed in a hurry to leave. He seemed annoyed that the other asked for water and he had to wait. It felt weird. Something seemed off. I just figured he was hungry and wanted to get to his lunch, since it was lunchtime.
After they left I went to put my plants back on the window sill, and when I looked down at the ficus I noticed that the rosemary was missing. There was also some soil around the vase.
After they left, there was nothing where the rosemary used to be. And you can see the others are not doing that great either.
I asked my co-worker to come check it out to confirm I was not imagining things. We thought of different scenarios. One of them was that perhaps they accidently hit it with the ladder and destroyed it. But where are the remnants? We looked in the garbage and saw a can of some spray they used, but nothing else.
I immediately suspected the young guy that was in a hurry. Perhaps he was cooking pork or fish tonight. Rosemary is great on those. Or perhaps he is trying out some exotic cocktail. I just had a passionfruit and rosemary cocktail that was to die for. Or perhaps he wanted to smudge his house and confused it with sage. Or perhaps rosemary is the new weed. I pictured him sitting on his couch and smoking it that night.
All joking aside, whatever happened to it, I don’t know, and I guess I will never know. I just know that I had a tiny rosemary plant when they got here, and I no longer had it when they left.
My co-worker wanted me to get a hold of them and asked them about it. I didn’t want to make a big deal, and appear like a lunatic. Also, the did was done. No answer would change it. And, sad to say, it was probably going to die anyway. As of today only the basil still stands.
Next time I am getting the planter and soil first, and then getting the herbs. Also, I probably should read about how to plant them, instead of thinking I can just throw them in a pot and hope for the best. And last, I will watch anyway coming near my plants like a hawk now.
Tonight I have a date with a semi retired attorney. He sounds fun and easy to talk to. He texted to confirm tonight’s date and said: bring you appetite. I said: I haven’t eaten in 2 days. He also gave me his full name and business website. Turns out he has only 5 star reviews.
Stay tuned to see how many starts he gets from me.
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” — Thich Nhat Hanh