How to Discover your Heart’s Desire

Focus the mind, body and spiritThe heart wants what it wants, and there’s no two ways about it.  To the extent that we don’t get what we want, we make ourselves unhappy and unsatisfied.  That may leave us feeling upset, frustrated, disappointed and deeply discouraged.

I think many people just give up. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Sad and kind of pathetic, right?

I don’t want to live my life that way and I don’t want you to either.  Most people try to convince themselves that they are happy enough (when they really aren’t).  It’s very easy to rationalize and make excuses for not getting what we truly want. Most people are expert at it and well practiced.  They can tell you instantly all the reasons why their life is not turning out as good as they hoped it would.

I hope you’re not in this camp, but if you are… maybe it’s time to stop making excuses and start making a change.

Based on many years of observation, education and personal experience I have a theory which explains the situation. Continue reading

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Santa Fe/Albuquerque

We left OKC the next morning and stopped in Amarillo to check out the Big Texan.  We had driven by it many times, but never stopped in.  If you haven’t been through there, this is the place that has the famous 72 ounce steak, which is free, if you can eat it in an hour or less (along with all the other sides).  It’s not something I would aspire to, but Anna wanted to stop and see it.  The place is really nice inside and they have a gift shop.  I notice on their menu that they accept gold and silver bullion for payment.  As we were leaving, a couple pulled in on a yellow Goldwing, and it looked like it could have been Roger and Jane Holm (which would have been the biggest and most amazing coincidence in the world).  It wasn’t Roger and Jane, but they were from Minneapolis (which is still an amazing coincidence).  I chatted with them about touring on the Goldwing, and they said they love it.

We finished the day’s drive and pulled into Santa Fe in time for dinner.  I had been looking forward to all the green chiles.  We hadn’t eaten all day and we were starving.  For part one of our dinner, we drove over to the Tune-Up Cafe.  Unfortunately I had run out of time when I was planning the trip and didn’t get a chance to watch the DDD episodes for New Mexico.  We we’re going to have to wing it.

The Tune-Up Cafe is a great little cafe which just went through an expansion.  They have a nice dining room in the front, a gorgeous bar off the back, and plenty of seating on the patio out front.  We got a cozy little deuce in the bar and drew a friendly waitress named Marquee.  We hit the jackpot with her because she is a total foodie, knows everyone in town, and is originally from Chicago.  So we had tons of stuff to talk about.  We ordered the green chile cheeseburger and a bowl of green chile beef stew.  She got us lined out for the Santa Fe tour.

Green Chile Burger at Tune Up

Green Chile Cheeseburger
at Tune Up Cafe

The food was outstanding.  The stew was rich and the flavors were very well developed and balanced with the heat of the chiles.  They make this dish with flank steak and it was melt in your mouth tender.  I thought for sure it was an all day affair, but other than the homemade beef stock, the chef says it only takes about two hours.  I couldn’t wait to get home and make some.  The burger was great too and cooked perfectly.  It was scrumptious and really hit the spot.  The fries were crispy crunchy delicious and went along well with the garlic aioli.  Part one of our dinner plans was a smashing success.

Anna and Piper

Anna and Piper at Back Road Pizza

Part two of our plan involved getting a pizza to go at Back Road Pizza.  We went inside and were lucky that there wasn’t a long line.  They have a very enticing menu and I had it narrowed down to two of their signatures pies.  The New Mexican features green chiles, red onion and pepperoni.  Yum.  But they also have my combo favorite which is called “Norm” and features house made sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives.  Tough choice.  I wanted to try them both.  The woman who took our order suggested that we get both on one pizza as a half and half.  Perfect.  That’s what we ordered and the woman happened to be the owner herself, Piper.  We chatted her up a bit and she was just as friendly as she could be.  She’s from Boston (where her parents still live) and so we raved about Sam LaGrassa’s Chipotle Honey Mustard Pastrami sandwich.

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Oklahoma City

We headed north out of Dallas and rolled up towards Oklahoma City.  We stopped short in a little town called Norman for our first destination.  The Diner is a quaint little restaurant in a charming little downtown area.  It’s a shotgun affair with an open kitchen on the right, booths on the left and a ten stool counter up the middle all disappearing towards the back.  The place has a lot of character and as well it should since the building is over 100 years old.  It was built in 1892 and was formerly a chili parlor.  Unlike other older restaurants that are small and tight, this one has a clearly defined walk-way/aisle up the middle.  There’s no clashing of faces, elbows and cabooses. Continue reading

Dallas/Fort Worth

It was dark by the time we rolled into Dallas, and since we had a little food with us already, we just went straight to my friend’s house.  We planned to be in Dallas for nearly a week, and it would take that long to get to all the places we planned to eat at (about 20).

Pecan Lodge

Pecan Lodge

On our first day in Dallas we drove to the Dallas Farmers Market for an early lunch at Pecan Lodge.  I had a cunning plan to arrive early, check out the market, and then saunter over to the Pecan Lodge about 11:00 am.  Right.  We got there about 10:15 and there was already a line! We got in it and started the long wait.  The time went by fast because we started a friendly chat with the people in front of us.  They were locals, but it was their first visit too.  We met another guy too, who recommended a burger place in Fort Worth (that turned out to be gold). Continue reading