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Year Two, Day 323: A Piece of Heaven at Fogo de Chao!

Today was a real, honest to goodness day off.

I allowed myself to sleep in. But then, of course, rebel that I am, my eyes popped open at 6:30 a.m. Wide awake.  Even though my mind was awake, my body was bone tired.

So I stayed in bed.  I played a little Words with Friends. I checked in with my Facebook friends. Then I dozed off for a bit.  A few hours later, my eyes popped open again. Still bone tired. I reached for my phone.  But it was not there.

I told myself to sleep a bit longer, it couldn't have gone far. But I knew it was on vibrate. And what if there was a family emergency?  My worries started to spiral. So I hopped out of bed.  Through off all the blankets, pillows and sheets. No cell phone.  I pulled the bed away from the wall.  No cell phone. But I found my missing library book!

There it was against the wall, my lost library book. I had looked through every box in storage, gone through all my things here at my new place. And there it was.

But no cell phone.

Don't you hate losing things?  My heart was thumping.  My mind racing. But then I took a deep breath. It didn't just walk out.  I had it at 6:30 a.m. when I was playing Words with Friends.  So I calmly started to put my bed back together. And there it was. On the pillow.

But I was most happy about the library book.  So I sat down and planned my day. First I would head to Starbucks and have a latte.  Then I would go to the library and return the library book and pick up a DVD or two for this weekend. Then I would go to the gym.

Only, it was a beautiful day in Portland at last!  I walked to the bus stop, and found that I had a 15 minute wait.

Usually I play Words with Friends. But as I have been saying lately, I have gotten rather obsessed with this game. And a little irritable and way too competitive. I had thought about uninstalling it. Perhaps giving it up for Lent. But I can't let go. It gets my blood flowing in the morning. And passes the time waiting for buses.

But today, I broke the habit.  At least for the morning. I took out my lost library book, The Postman, by David Brin. It is a science fiction novel about a man struggling to survive in a a post  apocalyptic world.  He finds an old mail truck and the skeleton of a mail carrier. He puts on his uniform for warmth.  He then wanders about finding communities that will trade food and shelter for his dramatic performances on stage.  Today, I read about him performing part of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Ironically, now that I found this book, I did not want to put it down. But it is a paperback, and I had renewed it a couple times when I thought I had lost it. So at Starbucks, I downloaded a loaner copy from the library onto my Kindle.

I spent so much time reading this novel, I ran out of time to hit the gym. My daughter and her husband were due to pick me up for dinner at 4:00. I did make it to the library.  While I was there, I looked for a book on knitting. In particularly baby blankets and booties.

I am going to be a grandma. A grandma who knits for her grandbaby. I am most excited about this!

Although, I really do not know how to knit. I have tried. But I have some trouble remembering which row I am on. Did I just knit, or purl?  My last project, started out as a nice rectangle, but ended up getting quite wide in the center, before it tapered back down at the other end.

But I am determined!

So, I got back home just in time to change for dinner.  We were meeting their friends from church. My daughter's birthday is tomorrow. And their friend's birthday was yesterday.

We went to "Fogo de Chao: A Brazilian Steakhouse" downtown.


Oh

My

Goodness.

The pictures do not do this food justice. First of all, I just took a picture of my first trip to the salad bar.  After that, I was too busy eating and making animal sounds to take  any more pictures. Especially when the meats began to arrive!

My son-in-law, who is not one to discuss his food, said at least three times:  "This is what I imagine heaven to be like!

The salad bar alone was heaven.  Hearts of palm, beet salad, salmon, asparagus, artichokes, fresh pineapple, kiwi, assorted cheese,  prosciutto, marinated mushrooms, Greek olives, mozarella, tomatoes, fresh basil...that is the tip of the iceberg. Plus fragrant rice, peppers, black beans, butternut squash with a hint of lime.  But the highlight of the meal was the young men who came to the tableside to carve slices of various meat: Lamb, prime rib, fillet mignon, bacon wrapped steak, ribs and my favorite: "Fraldinha" which is a special cut of beef popular in Brazil. The meat server at our table said that there is a special "marbling" of the meat that makes it especially succulent. 

They also brought us some traditional Brazilian side dishes, including fried polenta and fried, carmelized bananas.  They also brought some lovely sauces, including a horseradish sauce and a chimichurri sauce. When one very charming server asked if anyone liked especially hot sauce, I raised my hand.

"I have something for you", he smiled. My heart melted. My daughter rolled her eyes at me.

But the hot sauce he brought "especially for me" lol was incredible!  Again, a Brazilian speciality: "Malagueta" hot sauce.  Hot enough to bring tears. But so flavorful! They actually have the recipe on their website:

http://fogodechao.com/guide/malagueta-hot-sauce-recipe/

We all shared a most heavenly flan for dessert.

A trip to remember!

At home, I sat down and played a rousing game of "Balderdash" with my housemates. We had so much fun, got the giggles.  I had a bit of a pause when two of them had cake and ice cream.

Me with my stomach totally full. Not 80% full like the Okinawans do and like I have been attempting to do. Totally full.

I was looking longingly at cake and ice cream.  It is obvious and I am going to admit it right here, that I am guilty of eating recreationally.  I did not eat again this evening. I sipped on herbal tea.

Awareness is a good first step.

And I have been on this step for some time now!

But also occurred to me that a fine meal like I had this evening does not need to happen often. Perhaps just for celebrations. The rest of the time, eating can be for survival. Fresh fruit, cheese, a bit of lean protein, lots of fluids, vegetables, rice cakes.

But you know, even though I did dine like royalty tonight, it was mostly fresh fruits vegetables, cheeses and incredible cuts of meat.  No carbs except for a few bites of rice.

I think I did well.

And that meal will live on in my memory for the rest of my life.

Yes, I experienced a piece of heaven tonight!

Happy Friday!

Talk to you tomorrow!

Zita

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