Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adventure Wednesday

Yesterday was a long but cheery day spent catching up with my friend Sara, who I hadn't seen since we graduated from high school almost 14 years ago.  Good heavens how time flies.  I gave her the abridged driving tour of Los Angeles, and also introduced her to the wonder that is Slimmons.  We had much fun sweating and laughing at Richard's zany antics.  For a day spent on the road, food went surprisingly well.  I ate breakfast at home, and packed dinner for after class.  While out, we had Thai for lunch, where I ordered Tom Yum with Mushrooms (which is a clear and low-calorie soup as far as Thai goes) and some steamed veggies with ginger and cilantro.  I'm a big fan of coconut milk used in Thai cooking, but I wanted to stay within my planned calories, so creamy curry wasn't an option.

I was back to my regular schedule today, which Tom and I have been adapting as we discover what works for us and what doesn't.  Consistency is good, for instance, so although I used to swim the morning after a Slimmons class, I now swim in the evening so that our now-we-get-up-and-go-exercise momentum becomes part of our muscle memory at 5:00.

Part of the schedule I've developed is assigning a recurring goal for each weekday.  For instance, Monday is laundry and budgeting day, Tuesday is send-food-log-to-Richard day, Wednesday is try-something-different day.  Trying something different each week was part of my list of ideas for what makes a successful week, and to make that official, I give you Adventure Wednesday.

After our writing session (in which we finished our first draft, yay!) and before our gym session, we headed out for today's adventure.  We made our way to Barnsdall Art Park, a facility in our neighborhood that is a curious mix of public park, art center, theater and historical location (due to a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the grounds.)  It's only a few blocks away from us, but somehow we'd driven past it and never stopped in.  We spent a little time wandering through the various nooks and crannies - it's kind of an eclectic blend of grass and cement, art and trees, and varying heights and platforms.

We stopped into the art center to look at the upcoming art classes (there are many!) and take in the students' art in the gallery.  From there, we each went our own way, Tom to look further at the grounds, and me to find a perfect spot to gather some zen.  I'd been feeling scattered, and I needed some spiritual time in nature.  I found a sunny spot under some trees where I could lay back and look up at the sky, and I spent several minutes in quiet meditation, and then found myself noticing and then taking stock of all of the living beings within my sight line.  I watched a solo bee, a pair of butterflies in pas de deux, one very vocal songbird, and the biggest swarm of gnats I've ever seen.  Eventually, I outstretched my arms in the grass and said a prayer for the universe to open up for me, and for me to open myself up to the universe.  When I was finished, I felt very centered. And itchy. My skin has apparently forgotten how to deal with grass.  Ah, the perils of living in a metropolis.

At the base of the park was a Wednesday evening Farmer's Market, which was our impetus for visiting in the first place.  The produce seemed nice, and the market is apparently growing, so we may take advantage of it more as the budget allows.  I did have one treat while there, from the GastroBus,  a local food truck that makes all of its dishes from the produce sold at the markets where they set up.  I needed another serving of fruit for the day, so I tried something called a Blood Orange Rickey.  It's typically alcoholic (a relative of the mojito) but this version was simply fresh-squeezed blood orange juice mixed with sparkling water and possibly some herbs.  Apparently, the Rickey dates all the way back to 1883, as possibly created by Colonel Joe Rickey.  Thank you, Wikipedia.

From there we stopped in our local Goodwill store.  I had only been there once, on a saucer-purchasing mission, so I wanted to take a look at the kinds of clothes available.  (I'm on a hunt to reasonably replace my wardrobe as I outgrow - er, outshrink? - what I own.)  As it turns out, they sort everything by color, and not by size.  So if there were any plus size clothes there (and the clerks told me they doubted it) I'd have to dig through everything in order to find them.   I may thrift later on, but for now, I'll have to find other avenues for affordable clothes.  We did snag a new-in-the-box collection of magnetic spice jars, which I'll use to organize our very overstuffed spice cupboard.

It is becoming clear to me that Adventure Wednesday needs to be camera-required.  I left ours at home this time, but I'll be sure to lug it along next Wednesday, whatever we end up doing.  For now, I just have one video and one picture to punctuate today's entry.

The video is from yesterday's E! News Daily - the special segment on Slimmons, in case you missed it. 

The photo is of Tom, who has been working just as hard as I have on our journey.  When Mabel jumped up on his shoulders this morning, I snapped this shot of the two of them.  His weight loss is as noticeable in this photo as Mae-Mae is cute.   (Mae-Mae is not as cute as Tom, though.)


  1. Lovely post! I really love Barnsdall Art Park. My father and I explored it together when we went to see Shakespeare in the Park (which was wonderful and I think the troop puts on shows every summer). Later Erik and I visited for a little jaunt around the premises. It's an L.A. treasure.

    Happy to read about you being so happy. And the photo is awesome; Tom looks swell. xo

  2. Yeah, Tom looks great! And wow, haven't been to Barnsdale Art Park in decades. Love your Wednesday Adventure - and super love finding something new each week. How rad!

  3. Watched the segment- you guys are moving with Richard, holy cow. I don't think I could keep up. So fun seeing you guys in the background getting your Slimmons on!

    Love the idea of Adventure Wednesdays too- so crazy that there are so many things around us that we never take a moment to explore. Can't wait to hear about next week.

  4. I love this picture!!!!

    Adventure Wednesday- sounds like fun! I've seen it noted that if you visit a place for a week or so, you'll see a lot of things; two weeks, probably see everything you want, but if when you live there, you'll never see anything at all. So I think planning to explore is a great thing.