Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Orange Beach, Alabama, Oyster House

We were looking for a place to have a nice lunch on our way home, and I was sure we would go Mexican. AdventureMan felt so deprived of Mexican for all our years overseas that he is still catching up, and when given his druthers, Mexican will mostly be his first choice.

But today – and this is the POWER of advertising – we saw a huge billboard telling us that The Oyster House was THE place to eat.

“We’re going to eat there!” AdventureMan said, and I sure didn’t argue – I am a big fan of seafood. 🙂

We followed the signs. There were a lot of restaurants, but only The Oyster house had big billboards telling us they were THE place to eat. When we got there, a spot was available right in front of the front door – “RSP!” shouted AdventureMan as he parked.

It was a nice place. We got a table where we could see the Bayou:

The menu had so many good choices we hardly knew what to do, and, as usual, we ordered more than we could eat and we brought the rest home to nibble on for dinner:

I had the Seafood Gumbo appetizer while AdventureMan had the salad buffet:

Then our main courses came – and my gumbo had filled me up! I had the appetizer crab cakes as a main course, and it was still too much food! But oh, they had a lot of real CRAB in them:

These were really really good crab cakes – and Wooo HOOO, I still have one for dinner!

AdventureMan had the grilled MahiMahi – also delicious – with red beans and rice. Poor guy, can you see his hand there, just so eager to have his first bite of the MahiMahi and I am so rude as to insist on taking a photo before he takes a bite, LLLOOLLL:

Plenty for dinner for him, too!

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May 23, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Living Conditions, Travel | | 4 Comments

Healing Power of Compassion

From the time we were early-marrieds, we have subscribed, when we could, to Bottom Line and now that we are back in the USA, we have subscribed again. (When we lived overseas, we subscribed, but many of our issues never reached us; now they do!)

I almost didn’t reprint this, but then I saw a message included which said we are welcome to forward this information to friends, family, etc. Well . . . aren’t you my friends? 🙂

This technique is wonderful. Helps others, helps you as you practice it.

May 23, 2010

The Healing Power of Compassion

Charles Raison, MD
Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD
Emory University

Thinking empathetically about other people improves your own health, research shows. Regularly meditating on the well-being of others reduces your body’s inflammatory responses to stress — and that lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes, dementia and other stress-related health problems.

The goal of compassion meditation is to reshape your responses to other people by concentrating on the interconnectedness of every human being.

It’s easy: Try the following technique for 10 minutes a day, three to four times per week.

WEEK ONE. Sit comfortably, eyes closed, breathing deeply. Think about a time when you were kind to another person — for instance, helping a loved one through a crisis or simply holding a door for a stranger. Recognize your great capacity for goodness. For the last few minutes of your meditation, repeat, “May I be free from suffering… may I find the sources of happiness.”

WEEK TWO. Repeat the same exercise, this time building compassion toward a loved one. Think about someone close to you — your mother, daughter, dear friend — and focus on what a blessing she is in your life. Then think about any suffering she is experiencing… and what you can do to ease her pain. Recite: “May she be free from suffering… may she find the sources of happiness.”

WEEK THREE. Think about someone with whom you have only a minor connection — a bus driver, a waiter at your favorite café. How is he a blessing in your life? How might he be suffering? How can you ease his pain (for instance, with a smile and a sincere word of thanks)? Conclude with the recitation.

WEEK FOUR. Focus on someone you dislike — a whiny neighbor, a critical cousin. Identify blessings, perhaps as lessons you have learned about being patient or not judging others. Consider how the person may suffer… for instance, from being a quitter or having few friends. Finish with the recitation.

MOVING AHEAD. Continue to practice several times weekly, incorporating all four types of compassion into your meditation.

Bottom Line/Women’s Health interviewed Charles Raison, MD, clinical director, Mind-Body Program, Emory University School of Medicine… and former Tibetan Buddhist monk Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, senior lecturer, Emory University, and spiritual director, Drepung Loseling Monastery, all in Atlanta.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Charity, Community, Family Issues, Health Issues | 2 Comments

Victory at the Shrimp Basket

This is a moral victory. AdventureMan and I ate at the Shrimp Basket last week and we DID NOT eat fried food! We tried their non-fried platters, AdventureMan had the grilled fish and shrimp, and I had the blackened fish and shrimps. I took the photo before eating! (another victory, woooo HOOOO!)

Yes, I did dip my shrimp in the melted butter. I could not resist. This is one of the best seafood meals I have had in a long time, it was totally delicious.

On the table was this sign:

The oil has started coming ashore in Louisiana. It is thick and gooey, and it is sticking to the marshlands, clinging to delicate feathers on birds and suffocating wildlife. This is the beginning of a long, long, ugly process of trying to reclaim what nature never intended the oil to touch. It is devastating.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Eating Out, Environment, ExPat Life, Florida, Food, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Political Issues | 4 Comments

The Missing Piece

I have a beautiful wrought-iron etagere which I had bought in Tunisia. It has made it through so many moves, but this time, I haven’t been able to put it together. It has glass shelves, and two iron pieces that hold the braces together, one at the top and one in the middle.

We had the sides, the top and all the glass shelves. I couldn’t put it together. Well, I could, but without the one wrought-iron piece to keep it from slipping apart, the glass shelves would slip out and crash and break. I’ve gone through all the boxes. I’ve gone to the garage and looked and looked.

AdventureMan had a project this week; he wants our garage to be ORGANIZED. He wants to know where things are. (I fully support him in this and commend his efforts, especially when Pensacola is HOT and HUMID and he is out there in the garage toting boxes here and there, putting up shelving, figuring out what will go and what will stay – it is a BIG job.)

“I have something special for you,” he said, and slipped the wrought iron bar in my hand. He always knows what I like. 🙂

May 23, 2010 Posted by | Family Issues, Humor, Living Conditions, Moving | 2 Comments