Dreams and the calls of the heart.

 

I recently turned 47 years old. I have a hard time even as I type that believing it. I don’t feel like I am a few short years from 50. My mind still believes I am somewhere around, oh say,  34 maybe. I like to believe I have so much time to do all the things I dream of doing.  Yet, there are very clear signs I am aging and not the young girl my mind would believe me to be.

This past week was a little chaotic. Just as I was having a moment of questioning can I do all of this, the universe, God, call it what you like, sent me some pretty clear messages. Even a dear friend of mine I am set to have tea with this weekend would be like who, your getting neon signs.  Some have been so perfectly timed I have to laugh as tears are rolling down my face. I then am able to breath in and push forward.

One recent “neon sign” was after a long day at work, I had locked up the kitchen, said goodnight to our porter and was walking to the front door. The night security guard was on and we had our usual small talk. I don’t see him often and he doesn’t know tomuch of what is going on in my personal life.  We were honestly talking about something mundane when suddenly he told me I needed to make my dreams come true and enjoy my life more. I had to catch my breath.  He gave me a short little talk and then laughed and apologized. Said he wasn’t sure where that came from but he had to tell me.  He’s a gruff older gent who is a Veteran who’s traveled the world.   So this was sort of out of character for him. I laughed, said no it was needed and confirmed something calling me deeply lately.  He smiled and said good I wouldn’t think he was a lunatic.  We laughed and said goodnight. I got into the parking lot and said “message heard universe”.


Another one that came was this quote from Elenore Roosevelt.  It was on the email from the Chopra Center’s 21 Day Meditation.  I laughed as I saw it. I was sitting on my deck on this lazy morning enjoying the morning sun and the sound of the birds.  I thought how beautiful are dreams. I also thought how loud mine are becoming as I get older. So loud I can’t ignore them.

I’ve read and heard that as we age, especially women who are close to or in menopause, that suddenly our desires, truths and dreams bubble to the surface and get in your face untill they can’t be ignored.  If you don’t listen they will manifest in health issues, aches, pains and good old emotional eating as we try to stuff them away and silence them.

Sometimes these dreams cause us to change as we realize we have to live them out or regret it deeply.    I can say I see it myself.  I use to wonder what the hell was wrong with me when out of my mouth came a truth but it wasn’t sugar coated and put nicely like I once would have said it.   I find myself taking inventory of my life and even my possessions and riding myself of things I no longer find use for. That dress I think I’ll fit into again one day, those craft supplies I will never use, books,  friendships that are one sided, toxic people , guilt, self doubt and feelings of not being enough.   I crave less drama, less chaos, and more tranquility.

I am happy to say that I have knocked a lot off my so called bucket list.  I hate that term to be honest. We have to come up with a new one.  sometimes as a dream unfolds I find myself so overcome with emotions I can’t help but have a few tears roll down my face. I use to think “sappy old lady, your letting your age show”.  Now I realize it’s my soul saying thank you. Thank you for working to make this come true.

Do your dreams call to you? Do they wake you up in the middle of the night? Do you stare at the stars making wishes? Are you too getting older and hearing them more loudly?   I’d love to hear your  thoughts. Leave them in the comments below.

Blessings!

Shelly

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Eating my way around Savannah 

I recently joked that I vacationed with my stomach on my recent trip to Savannah.  While true in the fact that we did plan out where we were going to eat there were other things I had on the agenda.  Seeing my Uncle , taking a haunted tour in an old hearse , a surprise visit with my husband’s uncle and some of the more typical tourist things. But it did feel like we did a heck of a lot of eating. So much so when I got home and check the old scale because my clothes were fitting funny, it confirmed we ate well.   Next post will be about my reset I am doing to shed that travel weight and he stress eating I did for a few weeks prior.

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Naan Appetit

102 US-80, Pooler , Ga

First, in Pooler Ga, just outside of Savannah there is a great spot for Indian food.  Naan Appetit is the name.   It’s a small spot in a sorta strip mall with what looked to be a small Indian grocery attached to it.  We stopped in at lunch on a weekday and enjoyed a really nice inexpensive (compared to my favorite placed in CT) buffet lunch.  I didn’t get any pictures of the food but trust me it was really good. What I loved is they use local fresh ingredients and you can tell. They have a tandoori oven that use too. I didn’t try the Tadoori chicken but my husband said it was delicious.  It looked moist and had that beautiful coloring you want. The naan bread was excellent and clearly in house made.  It was an amazing value for our money.  What did catch my attention was their blackboard painted wall with a bit old “Namaste Y’all” that made me giggle.

 

 
FIVE OAKS TAPROOM

201 W. Bay St, Savannah

Now while in Savannah we stayed most of our trip in the Hotel Indigo on Bay St. Beautiful renovated hotel but what I got very excited about was they had a restaurant/bar in the hotel that boosted it had an amazing executive chef who loved cooking with seasonal local ingredients with a menu that changes.  The Five Oaks Taproom is worth the visit if you are not even staying at the Hotel Indigo.  We ate a few meals there and often stopped at the bar part for a nightcap and snack before going back to our room.

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My first meal there was a kale salad with pork belly croutons , chèvre, dried cranberries , dressed with a vinaigrette.  It was may attempt to eat healthy.  Pork Belly is healthy right?

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The next morning for breakfast we stopped in before heading out on our adventures and I enjoyed croustinis with prosciutto with balsamic vinegar, grapefruit juice and coffee. I am not a sweets in the morning type of gal .  I debated a mimosa with this but decided against it. My mistake for sure. Vacation mode hadn’t hit me yet.

FLYING MONK NOODLE HOUSE

5 W. BROUGHTON ST. 

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Flying Monk Noodle House was not on my planned list of places to eat but after the one chilly day on our trip that it rained and we got caught in the downpour without an umbrella (who packs an umbrella for a vacation??) I was having a craving to slurp noodles.   This place fit the bill.  I got my iced Thai tea and ordered the White Elephant, which the chef’s chicken soup with a Laos flavor.  The house made thick noodles were amazing as was the broth. The menu had lots to choose from. You need to bring your appetite as the portions are huge. Also be prepared to get to sit very close to others. Not a bad thing since everyone was friendly and happy to be slurping noodles too.

Elizabeth on 37th

105 E. 37th, Savannah

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Last year watching Andrew Zimmer eat his way around Savannah , it was his experience at Elizabeth on 37th that caught my attention.  It was March when we booked our trip and as soon as it was booked I was looking this place up.  I read lots of reviews and decided how often do you get to eat in an old southern mansion?  I booked our reservation.  It was the meal that I looked forward to for months.  I am happy to share it was worth the wait.

I will say the mansion looks like it has seen better days and could use a little love on the outside. I am not sure if their historical society is anything like ours and it could be they are in the works but are held up by red tape.  The inside was beautiful. You could easily forget what year it is.  The waitstaff all wear crisp white shirts, black ties and black slacks. We had two waiters, lots of silverware on the table to confuse me, and a simple one page menu all again made with locally sourced in season ingredients.So don’t look online and plan your meal.  The menu might be different. Or you could do what happened to us. We ended up ordering completely of the chef’s specials that night.   Fresh baked bread was brought to the table and they had a beautiful wine list.    We ordered appetizers, entree and shared a dessert because before our appetizer we were surprised by a smaller appetizer of mussels with sort of chipotle seasoning and then a frisée salad arrived before dinner with watermelon and feta and a light vinaigrette.

My husband’s dishes I didn’t get pictures of but his soup appetizer is what stands out in my memory. He had ordered pea soup with crabmeat and mushrooms I believe. The dish came and we were able to see the crabmeat and mushrooms as that was all that was in the bowl along with some other things. It was beautiful but we looked at each other like , “did we miss understand it was soup?”  That was when our waiter came over and poured the pea puree over this beautiful plate. My husband loved it and we had a good laugh with our waiter.

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My scallop appetizer was incredible.

 

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For dinner I had a fillet of soul with morel and trumpet mushrooms and what caught my attention was a goat cheese flan.  Say what? To know me,  is to know I am goat cheese lover. Oh I eat canything goat honestly.  Let’s be honest here.  So this was a must try. It was heavenly. I can’t even share how light and fluffy but rich that was.

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Dessert was a cheesecake but with a twist, goat cheese and fresh strawberries. I’ve never had cheesecake with goat cheese and I am telling you I need the recipe.   It was rich and creamy but had a sweetness to it. Close to one of the best desserts I have ever eaten.

They offer a lovely dessert wine list as well as hot beverages.  I really didn’t want to leave but I left feeling satisfied and pampered.   I’d love to go back again.

THE ALLEYCAT

207 W. Broughton Street, Unit B , Savannah (entrance in the alley)

On the advice of a local who told us about this place and the next, (Thank you Brian) our nextstop worthy of mention was down an alley.  No really look.

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Then in a backdoor, down a flight of stairs and we arrived in what felt like to me a hidden gem of a bar with the owner behind the bar.  He asked us if we wanted to see a menu. My husband said he wasn’t looking for food , to which the bartender smiled an said , ” No food man, we just have 33 pages of booze”.  He put what looked like a newspaper in front of us and gave us time to browse.  It was set up by the type of liquor you like with all kinds of interesting drinks and stories to go with it. I’ve never seen such an extensive drink menu.

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What got me is I never once saw the bartender look up how to make a drink.  I ordered a elderberry martini and sat back , relaxed and read the boozy paper.

While I heard a speakeasy was opening up in a more touristy part of town, I really think this is a gem of a place if you like a good cocktail,  well worth the trip down that alley.

CHIVE SEA BAR AND LOUNGE

4 West Broughton Street

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After our trip the ALLEYCAT we walked a few blocks over to CHIVE.  This again was on the advice the same local , Brian, had suggested.   If it’s later in the evening I suggest you get reservation.  We came in a little early and they had a table open.   The decor is 1920’s Art Deco and has a real hipster vibe.  I loved it. If that’s not your cup of tea don’t let that scare you off. The food is worth it.  The menu is mostly seafood and has a sort of asian and southern comfort flair.

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After our oysters, I enjoyed a crab stuffed stripped bass that had a sort of curry like sauce on it, that rested on a bed of risotto. It was incredible.  No fake crab meat in that stuffing as I had a beautiful piece of clawmeat sticking out of my bass.   Lovely wine list, old fashioned cocktails, great staff, beautiful decor add to the amazing menu, you got a winner. You can walk dinner off by window shopping down Broughton Street.

TWO CRACKED EGGS

202 East Bay Street, Savannah 

No pictures but a great little spot for breakfast, which is served all day, or lunch.  I am going to say that htey had the best biscuits I have had in years and years. The waitress also boasted that their jam was homemade. I had to try it. I comapare all homemade jams to my grandma’s who lived in Macon , Ga and this was almost tied. It was really good. Great staff, fun relaxed atmosphere and a great view of the river.  I felt like i had breakfast in someone’s home. Chef even came out and talked with everyone.

THE DISTILLERY 

416 W. Liberty St. , Savannah 

I wish I had taken pictures of this place.  We went there twice and you’d think I would have gotten at least one picture. The place is all brick walled and is set in a pre-Prohibition distillery.  They have a big sign that tells you what theydont serve so don’t  go in there looking for PBR or Coors. You are not going to find it. What they do have is 20 or so taps of local good craft beers that change.  I had a peach beer the first visit that was so incredible but the next visit that peach beer had been replaced by another that was different by good.  Great food, many dishes cooked with local brews as well. I loved that.    We enjoyed a rather odd play on nachos. Wontons fried to be chips and then topped with seared tuna and wasbi. Sounds odd but really good.    A gentleman at the end of the bar ordered the only dessert they had. A deep fried moon pie with generous scoops of ice cream to go with it.  It looked incredible but a must share.

RAW ingredients 

18C 16th St, Tybee Island, Ga

Just to set the record straight, I stopped eating Sushi a few years ago after having nightmares several times after eating it. I’ve talked to other people and have heard a number of reasons but I just decided to my husband’s sadness, I was not going to eat it again.  Untill we went to Tybee Island.  We had walked around, gone down to the pier and it was hot out. My tummy was hungry and we had walked down 16th street and my husband said “Oh sushi!”  Then remembering wI wont eat it let me know they had bubble tea.  We kept walking.  The other suggestion we had from others was a place for fried seafood. The heat made that sound less appetizing.   Cold raw fish sounded way better.  Nightmares, eh, we were flying home that night and I am sure that alone would have me not sleeping well.    Besides, I really wanted sushi.  I said to my husband I wanted to go to Raw.  He questioned my sanity as we walked quickly back. A big smile on his face.

We did order some things that were cooked. so does that rules it out as sushi right? But everything we had was excellent. While you order at the counter this is not fast food, it’s made to order so be patient if you go.   The prices were amazing as well, or so said my hubby who eats sushi out with friends or our youngest daughter. I loved the flavors.  I am also happy to report, no nightmares.  Yay!!       Maybe for me it was eating next to the big chalkboard wall with all the Alice in Wonderland drawings.

 

ELIZA THOMPSON HOUSE- BED AND BREAKFAST

5 West Jones St, Savannah 

Not a place to eat, really, unless your staying there.  It’s a beautiful place.  I spent a good time relaxing in the courtyard.  They offered a wine and cheese reception at 5:30 that was delicious and had hot horderves as well as wined and cheese.  Later in the evening they offer an array of desserts with tea and coffee at 8:30pm.    In the morning we woke to only step out into the courtyard to enjoy a buffet breakfast with all kinds of wonderful things from fresh fruit to Georgia grits.

 

SERVICE BREWERY

574 INDIAN ST. 

I enjoy going to breweries with my husband.  When I saw Savannah had a few near where we were staying I decided it was a must on our list of things to do.  Then I read the laws these brewieres have to work with.  It’s insane.  Just trust me and google it. Now I was told by one of the guys working that day that laws are changing in the fall and they will be able to serve pints and will even have food trucks visiting. Apparently owing a food truck in Savannah is another nightmare but that is changing too.

 

What got me is this a Veteran owned and Veteran brewed company.  They are really proud of that and the product they are putting out.  If your able to try the Oyster Stout or the Savannah Banana do it.   Gunny Bunny was my other favorite. Actually don’t think I tried anything I didn’t like. I only wish I could have taken a few six packs back on the plane home with me or at least could buy it here in New England.

I am sure I missed something on our trip to Savannah that we ate. Like I didn’t mention the Six Pence that we stopped at halfway on our haunted Savannah tour. If you want a different view of Savannah definitely ride around the city in the back of an old used hearse. Like Spooky Steve told us the coffin rollers make for a good foot massage.

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Well, I think the picture of Spooky Steve’s hearse is a good way to end a blog. I mean sort of fitting for the the end.

If you have been to Savannah I’d love to hear your favorite places to eat. Just post them in the comments below!

 

Where has the pleasure gone?

Last year when my grandson was in the hospital, before he was diagnosed with SMA Type 1, someone said to either my daughter or myself the following:

“Some children are like dandelions, they bloom where ever they are planted. Other children are like orchids and need just the right conditions to thrive”

That saying keeps coming back to me even though we know he was even more special that an orchid.  I have since changed it to “some people”.   I personally know that I am more like an orchid. I use to like to think I bloomed where ever I was planted but some heavy stress in my life showed me other wise in my health.

As I type, the snow if falling at a nice steady rate outside my window. It’s the winter that wont seem to end. I laughed the other night as a commercial told me it was time to feed my lawn. What lawn? I am not sure I will see my lawn for several more months at this rate. Usually I like to plant my peas around St. Patrick’s day but it’s not going to happen with the couple of feet of snow covering my veggie garden box.

All of these are signs it’s still time to keep life at a slower pace for now and enjoy it while we can. My life has been filled with signs to take life slower. I laughed the other day as I was singing along to a new favorite tune on the radio and realized even the song is about taking your time.

Winter is a time of going in and reflecting. I sat reflecting on my life, the recent job changes I have made in my part-time gotta work for insurance job and even in my health coaching practice. How I am going back from the rush, rush, rush or trying to be super woman to simply being myself and finding pleasure in my days. Even if I have to carve it out for myself and tell people no.

Finding pleasure in your life is important to your physical, emotional and spiritual health. If you don’t believe me look around at those people in your life who are stressed out and then those who might be super busy but are happy and glowing with health. I am sure the key to it is pleasure.

So here’s my top 5 ways to find pleasure and slow down in my life to improve my health and well-being.

1. Savor my meals. Take the time to actually taste the food. Not just shovel it in.

2. Breathe.  We all breathe naturally but do you really take the time to take a deep breath and exhale. Mindfully breathing?

3. Stop and stare. Take a moment out of your day to do nothing. Stare out a window, stop at beach, sit on  a bench. Just take a moment to do nothing.

4. Gratitude. Be thankful for what you do have in your life.Take the time to journal it , write a thank you note and let folks know you care.

5. Me time.  Take time each day to do something you love or that makes you smile. If it brings joy to others bonus!

 

I’m not so sure our world is feeding us the message to take care of ourselves and find what is right for each of us. For a long time I was going at full speed, trying to bloom where I was planted and far to plugged in.  The cost as I mentioned before, was my health. It also stole my joy.

Where is your pleasure? What will you do for yourself today to being your joy?  Life it to short to not enjoy the one life we were given. Stop and really think about it.

Untill next time.

Shelly

P.S.  If you’re having a hard time with your health, weight or just being sick and tired of  being sick and tired, click on my health coaching link on the upper right side of this blog.  I’d love to help you on your journey to getting back to finding pleasure in your life.