Worrying, Lamb Souvlaki And Pollyanna

Pollyanna (1960 film)

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I’ve had way too many changes in my life in a short period of time and I feel unsettled. Anxiety attacks have crept up on me like the sting of bees approaching quickly, out of nowhere.  I feel anxious, on and off, and I am not too proud to admit it. A lot of people have feelings of anxiety, that’s why there’s medication and breathing, writing and music, and today, cleaning and keeping busy. Usually there are friends to talk to but my dear friend is in England having a great vacation and others don’t really make the effort or are just too busy with their own lives. My worry and I are together, we’re holding hands.

My mom has been sick and I am worried about her; her anxiety is fueling mine. My mother who was always seemed so strong and energetic seems  more vulnerable now, she’s had a horrible year and she’s scared, we both are. I’m “meeting worry half -way” as my old friend, ex-nun, lesbian and former boss used to say. That’s not doing anyone any good. I am scared for my mom and for me,  I think she is too.  My sister is usually the Pollyanna type in the family so I just wrote her and asked how she felt, maybe she can comfort me. I know she is not a worrier, and even though she is extremely positive about these sorts of medical situations I’m not sure it will rub off on me though I hope it does.

I have a wonderful husband, two great kids, a lovable, sweet dog; I have a home to live in and food on the table. So, why am I so unhappy? Better yet, why am I feeling so anxious lately?  I know I am worried about my mom but things have also been changing quickly.  My son graduated High School and is at his second home in Connecticut being a Counselor at his old sleep away camp. I’m told he’s very happy, we haven’t heard from him. I wonder if it will be the same way when he starts college in September but I am not ready to go there mentally yet.

When did fun flee from my life, like people racing out of the water at the mere hint of a shark sighting? What is happening? Last night was different and I was thrilled.  My husband and I went to an old, small, family -owned Greek restaurant, I ate Avgolemono soup (Greek chicken, rice and lemon soup) and pita bread, he ate lamb souvlaki, big, fat, french fries and a salad. Afterwards, we saw the new Woody Allen movie and ran into friends. Throughout the movie I did not worry, I was entertained and charmed by Midnight In Paris. Welcome back, Woody Allen.

Xanax is a prescription medicine that just takes the edge off of being worried, it doesn’t fix things, it smooths the sharp edges like green and blue sea glass. My feet ache, I think I have a broken bone in my left foot, it is hard to walk up stairs, it is hard to walk, it is hard to breathe. There is no way I can hobble around in the city, as planned, I will postpone it until after the X-ray next week and the results of my mother’s tests. More importantly,  I will  “talk” to my deceased father, sending messages and prayers into the dark sky like shiny, silver helium balloons. I hope you are right Pollyanna, I really, truly do.

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A Discontinued Product That I Want Back (FOR HIM)

Chocolate hills in Bohol, Philippines
  • A Discontinued Product that I Want Back (FOR HIM)
  • Bring Back His Chocolate Bar None Candy Bar
    I am psychic because just yesterday I asked my friends if they had heard of a product, a candy bar that my husband dearly misses. It’s called BAR NONE and life for my husband, has not been the same since it disappeared in chocolate heaven. My friends also found an on-line petition to bring back, Bar None candy bar. Hon, I’m doing all that I can. This is my gift to you.

The Object Of Being Left

Dandelion gone to seed.

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I sprayed after shave cologne on my wrists today, it was an old bottle with maybe an inch of liquid left inside it. I found it at my mother’s home, in an abandoned bathroom drawer, where she had hidden it after my father died. They were three odd-shaped bottles left, pushed back in a drawer like teenagers hiding beer or vodka. I took those almost empty bottles home with me and today I used one. The smell was so powerful and so familiar that tears immediately welled up in my eyes. I longed to see my father wearing his  soft plain purple and blue striped shirt and feel his  arms hugging me. I willed it to happen, almost believing it and then reality took over and left me alone with a sharp pain in my heart. I miss the one person in our family who knew me best with just a faint wink of an eye or a hint of a smile. I felt lost; I felt alone.

My dad died ten years ago and I don’t feel this way all the time but the pain goes away completely. I can feel fine for weeks or months and then some memory, a scent, the sight of his old shirt crumpled up in my closet will remind me harshly of my loss. When one is young no one tells you about all the pain you have ahead of you. When you are young you think you want to be grown-up and mature but you have no idea what that really feels like. There are times when it never feels good, not even for half of a single second of any one day.

I went grocery shopping today and met a friend whose son just graduated with my son. We talked about how their graduation from High School was hitting us both hard and in unexpected times and places. She said that once in a while she has to pull off on the side of the road to just cry and then, as if nothing happened, she puts her turn signal  back on and continue her journey. I have been on that road too. While I was in the grocery store I passed water guns and felt that same feeling of loss, I wanted to cry but I wouldn’t let myself. I thought about my son and his friends and the water gun fights, one tiny water gun pistol still sitting in the back of our old, big family car, moving from one side of the car to the other.

I came home and marched up the stairs to get to my room, as fast as I could hobble, to reach for my computer and for a bunch of tissues from a yellow box. The color yellow comforts me; it makes me feel happier. I thought about my son, who is a Counselor, away at camp. He left a week ago; I feel bereft. I don’t want to call him, though eventually I will. I’d rather wait to hear his voice on the phone, starting off with the same low-key “Hey.”I am being widely immature and over emotional, part of me knows that. He is not making the transition from home to camp to college easy for me. I wonder, if at college, will he forget about us as much? When he is at camp, his second home, we really do not exist and while I am proud of my independent son, today I feel sad and lonely. Here I am, at home, opening up the window of his musty room, surrounded by half eaten boxes of cookies. Pain, like accumulated  laundry that sits in the middle of his blue carpet, taunts me.

The Last Engaging Conversation You Had (Plinky Prompt)

A little gray mouse in crochet with a bell ins...

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  • An Engaging Conversation
  • Laundrymat My brother-in-law, Ron. He’s the younger brother I never had and thus, he’s the only one who can tease me about my advanced age (because he is a year younger.) We don’t talk often but when we do and have the time (like today) we can speak for over an hour easily. We talked about family, friends, trends (I need to fill him in on this stuff) our brilliant ideas that we have come up with together (hint: washing clothes). I ask him questions, he asks me; we delight at comparing stories, movies (the new Woody Allen movie) meals. Before I married my husband, Ron and I were good friends, we ate out, we talked, he always kept an eye on me when my soon-to-be-husband was still living in Maryland. I truly appreciated that back then and I have never forgotten it. More importantly, he helped keep a creepy, pesky gray mouse (and his relatives) out of the apartment that I was living in. I am terrified of mice (“Eek Eek A Mouse”) I still have the image in my mind of Ron, intense and hard-working filling in mouse exits and entrances with steel wool like he was working on a deeply important project. He was, I was hysterical. He has my back, I have his. P.S. I did have an image of a REAL mouse on here but it freaked me out so much I had to change it to the only mouse I will ever like, a fake one and Mickey.
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My Favorite Summer Drink- A Mojito, A Plinky Prompt

 Mojito

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  • My Favorite Summer Drink
  • I don’t drink alcohol much at all, the tiniest bit gives me a headache….but, if I did drink and they halved the amount of alcohol in it, I know what I would have. Without a doubt, I would have a Mojito. I love the sound of it, I love the taste, the smell of crushed mint and fresh lime and sugar. It’s refreshing and I know that just holding a glass in my hand would make me feel cooler. It’s definitely a hot summer night drink, I can’t imagine drinking it in the winter at all. What dish makes the perfect complement to this drink? Home-made guacamole with blue tortilla chips, sharp white cheddar cheese with whole-grain crackers that have a touch of sweetness, raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli and cauliflower with a ranch dip, a filet mignon grilled on the barbeque and small roasted potatoes drizzled with olive oil, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Yeah, that too, playing on the CD, Simon and Garfunkel, the oldies collection. Let the night begin…

I Didn’t Need To Know Mrs. Brady Had Crabs

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one

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Really? Does everything in the media need to be mentioned and discussed? Couldn’t I have continued picturing Florence Henderson as the sweet mom on The Brady Bunch without her releasing this IMPORTANT info that she actually got crabs from sleeping with some political dude? I know she has a book to sell but does she really think that image is going to make me EVER go out and buy the book? I have no interest in it anyway but now I wouldn’t read if it was free. Even then, I wouldn’t read it because I don’t want to know and I don’t care and because I think it’s so distasteful, I wouldn’t read it out of spite.  Gross factor: Very High. Advertising technique? Epic Fail.

I want to remember Florence Henderson just like the picture to your right. The sweet, simple, home-maker making sure that all her children and hubby were happy, healthy and safe and NOT picture someone scratching their private parts. I could gag. I may gag. Easily. Hopefully.

It’s bad enough when you see those photos that TMZ puts on (and believe me I am not complaining) about “Where are they now” or “Before and After” because the shock value is fabulous but can’t we draw a line somewhere, anywhere like “crabs.” Yo Flo, major image disaster. I don’t even think I could watch reruns now even if I wanted to.

At least leave Alice alone. We all loved Alice and I don’t want to hear a word about her. I don’t want to see articles written about her or photos that she doesn’t approve of. Mrs. Brady, you have ruined your reputation for generations of people. Please, Alice, don’t do the same thing. We love you. Keep Alice clean.

Larry And Lola (A Comfort Food Blog)

The Gerber baby, who appears on the packaging ...

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I have a weird relationship with food; in addition to just adoring it I name it.  Apparently, I started really young giving names to food based on the person I ate the food with or the person who introduced me to it. First, there was Larry. I was friends with a little boy named Larry when I was about 18 months. Larry consists of peach baby food (I have advanced to pears and fruit delight) and cottage cheese. Not mixed together. Ever. Eating Larry consists of a ritual dipping of a teaspoon into cottage cheese and then dipping it into Gerber and only Gerber peach baby food. (I honestly feel that I began to love babies because of the Gerber baby picture on all the jars.) Not only did I eat this when I was very young but still eat it on occasion. For freshness and sanitary sake, I now put the cottage cheese in a separate little bowl but eat the baby food right out of the cute, little, smiling baby jar. After all, nobody eats the baby food except for me. My children, when they were growing up did not have the same fondness for Larry as I did.

Lola. Lola is my mother’s best friend. She made a salad (of sorts) that I thought was absolutely delicious when I was a girl and now make it for myself (because no one else will eat it.) I don’t know why but when Lola served Lola everyone seemed to love it. Must have been her charm and charisma.  I made my mother ask for the “recipe” and then made it myself. First, buy a small jar of peas and carrots (go for the brand name, not the generic), drain the juice (or liquid as they say in America), and add mayonnaise (Hellman’s only) to the remaining peas and carrots. Stir. This is Lola and believe it or not Lola saved my life while I was on vacation in Spain because Lola, known as a Russian Salad in Spain, saved me from eating a lot of raw, wiggly fish that I couldn’t stand. In addition I attended a lovely Russian wedding last year and again, we were served a Russian salad that made me squeal with delight when I saw it;  it was, in fact, Lola with hard-boiled eggs. Imagine that. I don’t think Lola knows about Lola. I remember giving an old friend the recipe to make Lola and she burst out laughing uncontrollably when I got to the “drain the juice” part. Apparently she was guffawing because she said “as if anyone else would eat this.” I found that a little insensitive but we are all entitled to our own opinion. For someone whose comfort food was a plain hamburger, I say nothing.

My all time comfort food are soft-boiled eggs (peeled very carefully-this is critcal) in a dish with a teaspoon or more of butter and two slices of toast torn apart and mixed in. All you need to add is a little salt and there it is: ultimate comfort, it really doesn’t get better than that. My back up comfort food is always an American cheese sandwich on bread with butter. Scrambled eggs with Welch’s grape jelly or grape jam (depending on what consistency I want) and another comfort item called banana mush- mush, a dessert item, which is mashed up bananas (use a fork) with sour cream ( now plain fat-free yogurt) with sugar or sugar substitute.

I’ve taken a little survey and some responses to my question “what is your favorite comfort food?” are as follows: a black and white milkshake, brown sugar on bread with butter (rolled like a jelly roll,) buttered Saltine crackers with slices of kosher dill pickles on top, (the originality winner in my book), oatmeal with sugar and cinnamon, Swanson’s chicken à la king (on toast), Campbell’s tomato soup with (Kraft) American cheese and crumbled up Saltines, Yodels (peeled or unpeeled) AND… french fries dipped into an ice cream sundae. The last dish, definitely gets props in terms of combining sweet and salt.  Thanks guys for your help. I’m off to the grocery store now to see if there are new products to buy or to perhaps buy a new comfort food, borrowed from a friend.

my day by sherry

Hopscotch

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my dday waas verry diffrent from yesssterdat, funnyhow ur day cann be really bad andd scary and u  want to  just cry an cry. thaats what i felt like   today. mommy and pops were all tryin  to  preetend to b hapy but i culd know thaat its was just becaaause  i was stil their. i felt that in my bakk as i walked out the dorr so i culd catch the lellow school bus. my hair waz in 2 long braidss, my feet werr flyin in my new red lite up ssneakers witch ar so ammasing!!! andd i had a baloni and merican cheese sandwitch in my hello kitty! lunch boxx.i dont know whats goin on really but i know it feels kinda wrong and badand sad. i hav a brover who is just makin me feel jumpy and sad and mad andd that shouldnt happen. isnt family suppo two be nice tto family? no iguess thats not just so for some peepel, everyone is different i know.my teacherr told me that. i was sitting on the playground when  jessie came over to me and u know what, she didn’t do anythin but sit right down next to me and that was relly good. it was plenty, she asked me to play wit her like jump rop or hopsscotch or use   chawk but i didnt want to play or jump rope or hoppscotch.i just wanted someone to know who i wasss and what i was feeling like and jessie was all quiet and she put her arm around my neck and then we both smiled. smiled like we had won the lottery like on tvee or something cuz that is just how it felt. we both felt happy for no reason, well, no special reason at all. after that we held hands an went bakk incide. me and jess, we are best freinds now.

wen i gott home my brooter  said some  baad words and slamme the door an every ones voics were sso loud and screamin. my brother sam, i am, is 14 and hes in some kiind of badd truble, somes ttimes gronups dont listenn enuf but i no something was wronng and when i came baaak from skool, i was not  so hapy anymore andd at leaast i knew tht tmmrrow woud be sccool again  and i woud ssee Jessie aand she wood still be my bestest friendd. so i no thaats  really good an i donnt hav to say a word if i don’nt wan to.

Clarence Clemons, Rest In Peace

bruce springsteen e clarence clemons.

Image by micheleluconi via Flickr

It’s Father’s Day Eve, Graduation Day Eve, my son is at parties celebrating, my daughter is out eating frozen yogurt from the new local hangout. I’m home, feeling alone, and I just read that Clarence Clemons died. He really did die, I somehow thought that would be impossible. I don’t know why, I guess he had been through so much that I thought he would kick ass and fight back, but he couldn’t.

I’m shocked. I’m not sure why I am feeling this sad about someone I didn’t know. Some of my friends are Bruce Springsteen groupies. I’m a fan but not like they are, not even close.  If I feel lonely with my husband’s booming voice in the telephone and both kids having fun, how do they feel? They probably feel like me times 100,000. My friends Claudine and Flynn have an awesome photograph of beautiful, sweet-souled Clarence in the middle of the two of them smiling widely. I told them they should frame it and that I want a copy. Please.

These friends MADE me go to a Bruce Springsteen concert and I was so glad that I went. It truly was an experience. Springsteen is an artist like no other, that man can work a crowd like nobody I have ever seen. Well, except maybe Neil Diamond but that is such a different category altogether…..Clarence, you looked like a gentle, sweet soul; you looked like a cuddly big teddy bear and you radiated such great energy and love. You were an unbelievable artist who can’t be replaced. I can’t imagine a Bruce Springsteen concert without you. Can anybody? Rest In Peace.