Monday, June 30, 2008

Gone Fishing

When I was in business, my real estate office was across the street from the local breakfast/lunch restaurant, which I frequented daily. It was a great source of local gossip and news, which often turned into house listings and sales.

The owner, also a "townie" and friends of both my husband and myself, started his day real early "in the wee hours" around 3AM, to bake breads, muffins and rolls. His job was hot and sweaty, standing in front of a grill all day with waitresses barking orders endlessly.

My office became a refuge for him when he needed a well deserved few minutes of break time, just like his restaurant became my salvation when I needed to "hide" from my office duties, as well as keep up on who might be selling soon.

One day I was so stressed out that a little break across the street just wasn't going to be enough. I felt I had to get completely away from the stress and the only way to do it was by leaving town.

It didn't take much to convince hubby to close the doors and sneak away for a few hours.

It was not quite time for the restaurant to be closing, but as we were leaving I noticed that it looked like there was a lull at the restaurant. So I scooted across the street and talked our friend and his wife into closing shop early and hanging a "Gone Fishing" sign on the door.

Then we head up the coast to our favorite spot for some world famous Maine lobsters and clams. AAHHH!! The good ol' days.

The "Gone Fishing" trick was our little secret escape which turned into a habit that we used every now and then. It was a little mischievous way to have a fun break in our rather hectic schedules. And nobody was ever the wiser.

Gone Fishing
Gypsy Girl

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Enlightenment for Idiots"

I just finished reading Enlightenment for Idiots by Anne Cushman.

I couldn’t put it down. I laughed and cried and thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Amanda, the protagonist, on her search for enlightenment.

Entwined with wit and wisdom, it is sometimes hilarious, sometimes serious but always thought provoking.

It is filled with spiritual insights, and real life characters, warts and all. Some zany, some down to earth, even some that resemble people in my own life. They are sure to tickle your funny bone, as well as warm your heart.

Whether you are a yoga enthusiast or don't know a thing about yoga, and are looking for a good summer read, you'll find this book enjoyable.

Who knows you may even find enlightenment!!


Gypsy Girl

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pyscotherapists And Drugs For Health Nuts

You gotta love it. The pharmaceutical companies have been creating new diseases for quite some time now in order to peddle all the drugs they invent to bilk us of all our money and make us a life time user.

But this is going over the edge. I don’t even know if it is the pharmaceutical companies (or their cohorts the corrupt food and medical industries) that are involved here, but it sure smells funny.

The following is a description of Orthorexia Nervosa a new “disease” relating to those of us who pride ourselves in taking extreme care of health and fitness through food and exercise.

“Orthorexia Nervosa is an obsessive-compulsive process characterized by extreme care for and selection of what is considered to be pure 'healthy' food. This ritual leads to a very restrictive diet and social isolation as a compensation. Orthorexics obsessively avoid foods which may contain artificial colours, flavours, preservant agents, pesticide residues or genetically modified ingredients, unhealthy fats, foods containing too much salt or too much sugar and other components. The way of preparation, kitchenware and other tools used are also part of the obsessive ritual. People with orthorexia often have a history or features in common with anorexic patients. They are very careful, detailed and tidy persons with an exagerated need for selfcare and protection. Women, adolescents and those who practice sports suchs as bodybuidling or ahthetics are the groups at higher risk. A short test has been suggested as a screening tool and useful for early diagnosis of the disorder. Treatment of orthorexia require a multidisciplinary team involving physicians, psychoterapists and dietitians. In some cases, antiserotoninergic drugs may be required as part of the treatment. “

So, it seems if we are diligent about taking care of health, we are all sick and need treatment because we exercise with a passion, try not to ingest poisonous genetically altered foods laced with pesticides, food coloring, preservatives, unhealthy fats, don’t use aluminum pans, and only eat whole healthy, nutritious foods and try to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates from our diet causing us “social isolation“.

Well, well. We all must be certifiable and in immediate need of help. Thank God I found this all out in time!! Because there is hope for us after all!!

As the article states there is short test for early diagnosis of this “disorder”. And there are “teams” of physicians, dietitians and psychotherapists waiting to help us. YIPPEE!! So hurry up and get tested!!

And please add a little poisonous dead food to your diet and quit the yoga and meditation just to be safe. You don’t want to be too conspicuous, there could be a straight jacket waiting for you.

To Your Health
Gypsy Girl

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Five Things Meme

Alfia tagged me with this meme, which normally I would decline, but what the heck, here goes…

The rules:
1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What were you doing five years ago?

I think that was the year we discovered South America. If so, we took a few trips to South America that year and probably a few more to other places. But since I am always traveling, and am not very diligent about dating my photos I can only be sure that I took several tri[ps that year.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

Bridal Shower (outdoors and its is in the 90’s)

Groceries (never shop on weekends, but need food for beach. I talked my 2 daughters into letting my 3 youngest granddaughters skip school tomorrow, as it will be in the high 90’s, and we need to go to the beach….can you tell why my grandkids think I am the coolest Gram in the world!! LOL :)))

Laundry (won’t get done…too hot)

Gardening ( had planned to weed the garden…but thank God I had to go to the bridal shower…poor hubby stayed home and weeded all day… God love him!! LOL)

Reading (in the shade)

What are five snacks you enjoy?

Raw veggies
Dark chocolate

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

Build a sidewalk in my town from elementary school to new library(in the wisdom of our town fathers they build a new library and no sidwalk along the road to it. So the kids cannot go to the library from school anymore…how dumb is that!)

Build a park (next to my new sidewalk) with fitness and exercise stations throughout it. (I’ve enjoyed some really cool ones in Ft. Lauderdale and Honolulu)

Build housing for the needy in my favorite barrio(which is very poor) in Mexico

Start a scholarship fund for local high school kids.

Share my good fortune with family and friends.

What are five of your bad habits?


What are five places where you have lived?

New Hampshire

What are five jobs you’ve had?

Teachers Aid
Real Estate Broker
Spanish Teacher
Laundry worker
Factory worker

Rather than tag five people, I will let anyone who reads this decide if they want to play along.

If you decide to do the meme, please let me know! :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Contentment, Laziness or Age?

My daily yoga and meditation practice has taken me to new levels of contentment and tranquility. Or is it something else?

This feeling of contentment has overlapped into many areas of my life. Here are a few good examples that come to mind.

I am no longer easily provoked. Or should I say, when I am provoked, I am not as likely to react in a negative way. I look inside and see my anger or my judgment and more often than not I choose to be silent. I don’t have to be right, I don’t have to have my say. I find myself smiling inside and feeling a stillness and peace and saying “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is“.

I used to be unnerved if someone didn’t take off their shoes and left messy tracks in the house. And I would never miss scrubbing the house from top to bottom each week. Now if I miss my cleaning day and see a layer of dust on the furniture, I let it go. I find myself smiling inside and feeling a stillness and peace and saying “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is“.

I have always been an avid gardener and prided myself on my gardens being well groomed, pruned, weed free and perfectly organized. Now I “allow” them to be a bit more carefree. If there are weeds, so be it. If I don’t deadhead all the faded bloom, oh well! And if the deer have eaten 20 years worth of work on a boarder garden(this I recently discovered). Not long ago I would have been devastated to the point of tears. But I found myself smiling inside and feeling a stillness and peace and saying “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is“.

So what I want to know is this…Am I more content and tranquil or have I developed laziness? Or could it be that I am getting older and maybe a bit wiser and realize that it is true “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is”?

Gypsy Girl

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nature's Beautiful Gifts

The Holiday weekend was perfect in all respects. We had lots of family fun at my niece’s house, lovely weather, a great cookout and a hilarious kickball game that 3 generations of family members participated in.

It is a custom in this area of New England to plant during Memorial Day weekend. So yesterday we planted our vegetable and herb garden. I love it because I can view it from my kitchen window and watch the progress each day. In just a short time we will have an abundance of fresh organic veggies and herbs at our fingertips, just a few short steps away.

It is hard for me to believe that we have been organic gardeners for nearly 40 years. YIKES!! Where did the time go. We plant enough to give to family and friends and always have plenty to store in our root cellar for the winter months.

We have several families of birds nesting in various places in our gardens. This photo is of a nest that is built on a ladder hanging on the back of our barn. Today Ronnie needed a ladder to do some maintenance work and he remembered that we have a Mamma robin nesting there. So he had to borrow a ladder from his brother in order not to disturb the beautiful blue eggs.

I love to watch the birds as they carry grass and twigs and mud to make their little nests. Right now it’s pretty quiet, the hard work is done and moms are sitting on eggs. But soon it will be a busy time again when both mom and dad fly in and out with a constant supply of food for the hungry little mouths. Fun to watch!!

Isn’t nature grand? It always provides us with such beautiful gifts, if only we stop long enough to appreciate and enjoy them. It really is true…the best things in life are free.

Life Is Good
Gypsy Girl

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Praise for CRON Bloggers

In a recent post I had a little rant about disciplining myself to keep on track with my CRON(calorie restriction optimal nutrition) way of eating.

There is a whole network of CRON people out there blogging and ready to help with whatever is needed.

I found CRON through one of the yoga blogs that I read. Arturo, a fellow yogi, practices a CRON diet. So from reading Arturo’s blog about yoga I also found lots of nutritional and CRON information. He has given me lots of great recommendations from books to read about CRON to everyday CRON practicing tips. ( not to mention all the good yoga info). Arturo lives on the opposite coast and he was just in Boston for a conference. But unfortunately, we were unable to meet.

I read several CRON blogs that are packed with good information about nutrition and health.

I love Minicronnie , who lives on “the other side of the pond”. Her blog has info about getting the “most bang for your buck” (in this case nutritional value). Because she is such a wee thing, only 4’10.5” tall, she has to tweak those calories more than the average person to get all her nutrients. She does endless research about the foods that provide the most nutrition for the least calories.

Then there is The Scientific Psychic. Tony is a marvel. His blog is interesting on many levels, not just CRON.

Nennette is so supportive and helpful with CRON. Her blog reflects a lively, energetic and loving person.

Mary is somewhat of a CRON “pro” and has participated in calorie restriction studies.

The list is endless. The good thing is, they all live CR and through blogging they share their knowledge, support, tips and advice.

I have always practiced good nutritional habits. But reading these blogs and using the tracking software CRON-O-Meter
, has helped keep my focus and provided a wealth of information about staying healthy and living longer.

“Your Health is Your Wealth”
Gypsy Girl

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rituals and Core Power

“Keep your body as clean as possible and your mind as clear as possible”
Swami Satchidananda

My oldest granddaughter Brittany has just returned home from completing her freshman year of college. She called me the day before returning home to remind me to call her each morning so we could practice yoga together.

So today we practiced yoga to one of her favorite Baron Baptiste DVDs. She likes it because it has a great core strengthening portion.

After yoga practice we made breakfast together. She started cracking eggs while I scurried to the garden to pick some fresh asparagus for our scallion and asparagus omelets. And no visit with any of my grandkids is complete without a pot of tea.

Our tea drinking ritual goes back to when my grandkids were barely able to hold a tea cup. Those days they just liked pouring the tea from their little teapots and the milk from their mini cream pitchers, and sometimes making a mess. I have a whole collection of tea pots, creamers and tea cups and saucers of varied sizes. They all have their favorites.

Today as we shared our pot of tea the conversation was mostly about keeping our bodies and minds fit through yoga, fitness and good nutrition. We talked about how yoga is more than just a physical exercise and how through the focus and consciousness that yoga teaches us, it strengthens so many other areas of your life.

What a gift to have awesome grandchildren that are also my very best friends. I always remember to thank God each day for having been so blessed.

Gypsy Girl

Friday, May 9, 2008

CRON Idiosyncrasy, Discipline or Passion??

“Funny how I slacked off on keeping a food journal and put on several pounds in just a few weeks. Well, DUH!!
So, if I’ve learned anything at all, it is that discipline in eating, CRON, and weight control go hand in hand. AND keeping a journal of everything I eat is the best way to stay on track (for me, anyways).
So, today I am back at it. Measuring servings, keeping a food journal, counting calories, tracking nutrients, proteins and carbs.
So back on track again!!”
from my food journal in January of this year

I am not an obsessive person. My husband on the other hand is a tracker. He writes on his calendar each day the time he gets up, his weight and the outdoor temperature, along with a brief “weather forecast” by noting sunny, rainy, snowy etc. Now, to me that is obsessive….or could it be genius. Thomas Jefferson was obsessive in much the way my husband is. He had a thing about time and weather and writing things down. He also had over a thousand inventions credited to him.

But my brain doesn’t function that way. Take cooking for instance. I grew up in an ethnic household (Lebanese), taught to cook by my grandma, who made everything from scratch. Nothing was measured. Just throw in a bit of this, a handful of that, a pitch of something else. Sometimes she never even used a bowl. Just threw a pile of flour on a board, made a “well” in the center with her hand, threw in a few things and wallah…bread, noodles, pies. Who needs a cookbook!

Middle Eastern cooking (in our house) was all fresh vegetables, tons of fragrant herbs, olive oil, garlic, and lamb. Nothing ever came out of a can. I don’t think I ever tasted “white bread” till I went to school.

I was brought up on a more healthy diet than most health food fanatics eat. So the good nutrition part I have down. It just feels so unnatural to measure and track and write down everything. But it is a must if one wishes to maintain a CRON (calorie restriction optimal nutriton) way of eating.

A question for my CRON friends, or anyone else that might like to help me out.
Can a passion for healthy eating go from being a discipline to becoming an idiosyncrasy? And more importantly...How do you stay on track?


Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This Is The Truth-Vertigo

My husband's cousin just sent me this beautiful message and I thought I would share it with you.

If you want to feel good all day, take a look!!

I wish you peace, love and laughter

Gypsy Girl

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo

My Mexico days are fading. It's like waking up and only remembering little bits and remnants of an almost forgotten dream. It doesn't seem possible that time has flown by so fast. All the planning, waiting, then delays and the whole trip almost getting trashed. Then seven glorious weeks living in Mexico gone in a flash.

But now we are home. It was a cold and wet first few days back to reality, but today was a perfect spring day. I checked out my gardens and had a chance to see the first colors of springtime. And to take note of all the yard work to be done.

No travel plans for quite some time now. New England is coming into her best seasons. There is nothing as pretty as the soft greens of springtime, the birds singing before the sun comes up, the early blooms; all reminding me of the coming long summer days at the beach, followed by the magic of the fall foliage that New England is known for.

So we will spend time gardening, enjoying family and friends, and savoring the beauty of one of the prettiest parts of the world.

I wish you peace, love and laughter

Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mexico Maggie

Maggie has arrived!! She will spend the rest of our vacation with us here in San Miguel de Allende. She is a beautiful, lively 13 year old. And I am not just saying that because I am Grammy.

She has already worked as a hair model for a nationally acclaimed hair salon.

You only have to take one look at her luscious locks and gorgeous face to see why.

We travel a lot with our family, but we like to give each of our grandchildren a one-on-one trip when they are in the eighth grade, and then again when they graduate high school.

For me the "gift of travel" is a very special thing, which I wrote about here.

Maggie has started her own blog about her adventures traveling in Mexico. So if you are interested in taking a look at a fresh perspective on traveling from the point of view of a 13 year old, check out her new blog at Mexico Maggie. and don't forget to leave a comment. She will love to see that someone is reading about her travels.

Gypsy Girl

Monday, April 21, 2008

Eating His Way through Mexico

One of the biggest parts of any vacation for Ron is the food. He loves to eat, but not in regular tourist restaurants. We both prefer to be the only ones in the place from north of the border.

So when visiting the Lake Pátzcuaro area, it was delightful to pull into the town of Quiroga and find ourselves in a huge area of food stalls on the street in front of a beautiful plaza.

The fun part is strolling around the stalls, getting samples of the delicious offerings and then finally choosing what you want to eat.

Ron sometimes has a hard time deciding, so we end up eating more than once. We have learned to get small portions or just one order to split between us. Once you find what you want, you just find a spot amongst the locals and wait for your food to come.
Our second stop was at a seafood place. We each got a shrimp cocktail, but not anything like a shrimp cocktail back home. This was loaded with chopped onion, tomatoes, hot chile peppers, cilantro and a spicy cocktail sauce. YUMMY!!!

Beautiful plazas are bountiful in Mexico. No matter how small or large the town is, there is always a central plaza, which is always the center of activity. So, after lunch we spent sometime in the plaza in Quiroga enjoying an ice cream and just watching the Mexicans enjoy the slow simple pace of life as only the Mexicans can.

It is a shame that most Americans only know Mexico by its border towns, or the big concrete resorts like Cancun, where the only Mexicans they meet are the ones cleaning their rooms or cooking their food.

But there is another type of American that finds the real Mexico and the beauty of the Mexican people and their laid back culture. And it is not hard to see why so many from north of the border find themselves falling in love with Mexico and coming back time and time again and why some end up moving here.

May all your travels be happy ones

Gypsy Girl

Sunday, April 20, 2008


We stayed in the ancient town of Pátzcuaro that dates back to the pre-Christian era. It is considered to be the "crown jewel" of the state of Michoacán. What a delight with several beautiful plazas, impressive churches and cobbblestoned streets.

Pátzcuaro and the surrounding towns situated around Lake Pátzcuaro is home to the Purépecha Indians and still one of the most indigenous areas of Mexico.

They are famous in these parts for the wonderful crafts that they produce and sell in markets, shops and along the streets. The markets are always a great place to spend hours browsing. They are also filled with food stalls, which is always Ron's favorite part. He loves to sample all the different foods.

We are enjoying exploring Mexico more each day.
Gypsy Girl

Friday, April 18, 2008


We took another road trip for a few days to the beautiful state of Michoacán, which is south of us.
Some consider Michoacán to be Mexico's most beautiful state. And it is not hard to see why. We drove through magnificent scenery of fertile fields and plains with the striking mountainous landscape always in the background.

We passed by and crossed over several lakes to get to our destination.

During our trip we stopped and visited several towns that are inhabited by mostly indingenous people. It's quite different from San Miguel de Allende where the streets are always crowded with tourists and the huge American/Canadian ex-pat population.
We saw only one other tourist couple in our few days wandering the streets of 4 towns. It was nice to just enjoy seeing the little sleepy Mexican towns without the hustle and bustle of tourists.

We passed this Mexican who looked like he and his dog put in a hard day of cutting wood.

If you look closely you can see a long handled axe tucked into the pile of wood. Everything here is done by hand.

El Día de Los Muertos (The Day of The Dead) is a huge celebration in these parts the first 2 days of November. I have always been interested in this fascinating celebration, because it falls on my birthday. For more information on this beautifully spiritual event you can check out what I wrote about The Day of The Dead here.

We stopped in the town of Tzintzuntzan to visit a few of the famous cemeteries. And even though it is not close to the day of celebration, you can see by these photos that the Mexicans in this region pay homage to their departed loved ones all year round. Almost all of the flowers in the photos are real.

More to come about the towns we visited in the beautiful state of Michoacán.
I wish you peace, love and laughter
Gypsy Girl

Monday, April 14, 2008

Road Trip

Ronnie is not one to sit still, so now that he is back we are on the road. Today we drove to Bernal, to see the world's second largest monolith. A monolith is a outcropping of a single huge rock.
Read more about monoliths here

They say the town of Bernal can be quite busy on the weekends when climbers come from all over to climb this great stone.

The town of Bernal was a pleasant surprise. It was very quiet, we only saw one other couple walking around, other than the locals. Most of the shops were open and we poked around, had a bite to eat and just enjoyed walking the streets.
Even little Mexican towns like Bernal have beautiful central plazas and always a stunning church.

No matter where you go in town the giant monolith is looming in the background.

We also visited Tequisquiapan, which turned out to be a delight, with its expansive central plaza flanked by a massive church and a pretty garden in the center. The huge artesan and straw market was fun to explore.

Another fun day in Mexico, and we returned home just in time for what is turning out to be a nightly ritual and my favorite part of our day...enjoying another gorgeous sunset.

May all your days be filled with happiness

Gypsy Girl

Friday, April 11, 2008

La Parroquia - The Parish Church

If El Jardín is the heart of San Miguel de Allende, then the beautiful Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel has to be the soul. It has a commanding position overlooking El Jardín, the central plaza. It's striking pink stone towers can be seen for miles. The church is understanably the pride of the people of San Miguel de Allende.
Legend has it that it was the work of an Indian artensan of no training who had seen images of great European churches on postcards. He is said to have instructed builders by scratching his ideas in the sand with a stick.

The city is a treasure trove of steeples and domes and fine churches. Here are just a few.

No matter where you go in San Miguel de Allende you have some kind of a beautiful view of towering domes and steeples.

But the best view of all is the one I get from my balcony, where I can see them all.

Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

El Jardín - The Heart of San Miguel de Allende

El Jardín, (the garden), is not only the central plaza in San Miguel de Allende, it is the heart of the city and the center of life. It is lined on all sides with groomed Indian Laurel trees and has a gazebo in the middle.Enjoyed by locals and tourist alike, there is always something going on in this lively plaza day and night.

It is not unusual to see entire Mexican families, several generations of them, sitting in the park, chatting, relaxing, just enjoying the day.

It's a great place to get a shoe shine. One of Ronnie's favorite things to do, and he gets a free Spanish lesson at the same time.

It is also his favorite place to solve all the worlds political problems, while getting another free Spanish lesson.

Sometimes it is just a great place to just take a little siesta.

In the evenings it is always a fun place to sit and enjoy the Mariachis play.

Every day no matter where my travels take me, I always end up visiting El Jardín at some point in the day and more often than not I am there in the evening as well.

I wish you peace, love and laughter

Gypsy Girl