It looked like I had fallen back into the swing of blogging again, didn’t it? Sorry…again.
The winter blues did sneak up on me a bit, that awkward time when the winter just gets annoying and everything you do or plan just seems to be in anticipation of Spring. But there was one thing that we did not have to wait for Spring to enjoy, and that was a trip out to the coast to see our lovely friends Kudra and Porter.
Back in San Diego, when we first met them, we had heard from various sources about the incredibleness and the joy that is their St. Patrick’s Day Party. And this year we got to go. The evite went out and I said yes before I even knew if we had secured a couch or floor area to sleep on. When I did speak to her later asking for dibs on some square footage in the living room, she told me that one of their guest bedrooms was available if we wanted it. Uh, yes please! We also worked out that we would come up a day early so we could hang out and I could be her Sous Chef if needed.
A few nights before we left I started getting a bout of insomnia. I get it from time to time, there were many things that could have caused it, the time change being the most obvious. But as anyone who has had a few loss of night’s sleep can tell you, your personality becomes less than pleasant. The night before we left I went to bed early but only probably got 4 hours of sleep. I woke up at my usual time (6:30) and started making the two batches of scalloped potatoes that I was bringing for the party. Once I was done it was time to pack the car and myself to head down the road. I was a wreck, practically sleep walking but Honey drove and I caught a few hours of a nap on the way there.
When we got to Kudra’s and Porter’s I was a few more steps above sleepwalking, and they were cooking up a storm. At last glance the party was going to be around 30 people (hence the two batches of potatoes). Kudra had Soda Bread piling high.
Believe it or not this is not a staged photo, she was just piling up the bread so it would cool.
Porter was in the garage cooking up the corned beef. Honey kept him company and they discussed beer brewing and various other subjects, while I stayed with Kudra in the kitchen and helped in anyway I could.
We talked about what we had been up to the last few months. Kudra and I used to walk around The Lake often and usually would be talking the whole time. In the span of time since those walks I forgot just how much we used to share with each other. The first few times we visited each other’s new homes and cities, we all stayed in a group of four for the most part-so those talks didn’t happen. We realized it a little too late on one trip and while we were supposed to be saying good-bye we ended up in an almost three hour talk. Now we try to fit in at least a little walk to talk and catch up without the menfolk around. This trip we had the kitchen to ourselves for hours and lots of talking was had. I told her about the insomnia and she had some suggestions. She has been taken a herbalism course and gifted me with a lovely therapeutic oil blend.
As we talked over our cooking prep about all of things that were going on in our lives, I felt more at peace than I had in a while. My relationships in my new city are still relatively new and I know that I keep a good amount of my feelings and opinions to myself, it was very refreshing to put some more out there and to not be worried about how it would come across. Kudra always listens and more times that not completely understands. She has been very open with me, even from our first stroll around the lake and that has (I think) in turn made me more open with her. Perhaps I can use that logic to have others be more open with me.
When the guys emerged from the large pot cooking we put together a little dinner and chatted together. The plan was to participate in 5k walk the next morning, but since we were in town the rain had come to the coast once again. Around midnight we began making promises that we would not do the walk if it was raining (we had already made the donation, so it was no loss to the cause). We played chicken with time to see how long we could stay up and see if the rain had in fact washed out our early morning plans. A few hours later after much more talking and cooking, we hesitatingly got into bed. Kudra made me a vitamin mixture before bedtime and made sure we had some lavender oil burring in our room as we slept. Even though we only had a few hours sleep it was the best sleep I had gotten in weeks.
We all woke up the next morning, got dressed and watched as the sky opened up and rained on us the whole way there. But about ten minutes before the walk started, the rain stopped. We all walked quickly (trying to keep up with Kudra’s mother who was also there) and not a drop fell on us. Later we caught a late breakfast at restaurant near Kudra’s Mom’s place and it began raining again. It then rained for most of the day and throughout the St. Patrick’s Day Party. It didn’t seem to put a damper on the day and after all of the wonderful food I ate I was thankful to have had morning exercise.
The party was wonderful, it was a mix of her nearby family and their friends. The food was incredible, from the corned beef to the cabbage to the vegan shepherd’s pie to the homemade soda bread from a grandma’s recipe book. Then the guests all brought something, serious dents were made in my scalloped potatoes even tough there were four other potato dishes around. Someone brought around 50 “Irish Carbomb” Cupcakes and so many other delicious desserts I lost count of how many bites I took off of Honey’s plate. Porter served his incredible homemade Stout and another one of their guests brought his award winning Stout (I actually liked Porter’s more). I also had my first glass of Moonshine. I know, two years in the South and this is my first glass? You can buy the regulated ones in the stores but this was actual moonshine. It passed the the test without blue sparks and no one went blind. It was actually pretty good, sweet as all hell, but good in a small amount.
The people at the party were wonderful,l as I expected friend’s of theirs would be. They were warm and welcoming and tried their best to convince us to move to their town. Which was very tempting 🙂 We have offers of boat rides and staying at beach houses the next time we blow into town (with hopefully better weather next time).
The next day Porter made corned beef hash with what little leftovers they were able to hide away and the sun finally came out for us to enjoy breakfast on their porch with some Bloody Mary’s. The time went too quick and it after a while we had to pack our things to head home. Honey I talked a lot on the drive back. There has been a certain disconnect with who we feel we are here. Nothing weird between us as a couple but rather how we are here. Lifestyle stuff is different and while nature is more prevalent, the connection to it is not.
When we got back home we made decisions and plans regarding our reconnection. We somehow scored a composter like the one we had in San Diego at 40% off and already assembled (which was a pain the last time). We decided to say screw if it is “not allowed”, we can’t keep on living in a way we don’t feel comfortable with. It is hiding behind a bush where only one or two neighbors can see and one of them said they thought it was great. I picked up an oil diffuser and some lavender to help keep me having the same lovely sleep I had at their house. I also got the vitamin mixture she gave me and I have felt great. We grilled some fish in the backyard and ran into another neighbor who complimented the things we had done with the yard and agreed those cedars were horrible. I have been sleeping better, cooking better, and even communicating better since we got back. I didn’t realize how disjointed I felt before we left, but two nights among friends seems to have put us back into a more happy place. As being around such wonderful people has a tendency to do. 😉