Household Chores

I’ll Take Laundry If You Take Dusting

Dishwasher

Least favorite: the dishwasher. Particularly UNloading it. I can deal with loading it, not that I like it, but even then I get criticized for it not being done in a military precise way. Hey, it gets clean, stop complaining. Unloading dishes? I need my favorite music blasting in the kitchen to distract me, it’s really such a boring job and I just feel like putting them all in one place.

I LOVE to go grocery shopping and I like doing the laundry though sorting and folding and putting away I could do without. Maybe we could switch our dislikes with other people and it would be a perfect, blogging, household cleaning world! What do you think?

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Mellow Yellow Monday- Bananas

Yeasted Banana Bread.
bananas

Bananas are yellow and alone, I eat them as a snack. They don’t make me specifically joyful but many years ago when I started making banana bread, I made myself a hero. I’m not a great cook or a fabulous baker with a wide repertoire of things I know how to expertly make. I make a mean banana bread though. It got such rave reviews from my husband and son, my mother, sister, niece and nephew that it was now called “Aunt Laurie’s Banana Bread” and that made me proud. I don’t have many skills but when I start peeling those ripe bananas into the same glass bowl I always use, I know that in an hour, people will be clamoring for more. I don’t think I’ll ever get famous for “Aunt Laurie’s Banana Bread” but when I serve it,  I feel like a star.

It Matters (Carry On Tuesday – After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day)

Shandi-lee X {pieces I}

Image by Shandi-lee via Flickr

After three days of cold, grim weather and not wanting to get out of the comfort of my bed, today I saw the first suggestion of sunshine, still hidden behind the trees. It was a hint, a mere lighting of the sky but it gave me hope. I stood by the window unclothed until I saw lines from the white venetian blinds stripe my body as if I was a lioness; I threw back my head and laughed with delight. I marched straight for the shower, feeling empowered just by the light of day, not held captive anymore by the banal, grey, humorless me.

I dressed quickly, as if I had a purpose, and rounded my dog up, leashed her and took her outside for a walk. “Come, girl,” I said, “I know, it’s a surprise for me too.” She chose the route and I breathed in deeply for that first attack of the fresh, cold, crisp air, like the first bite of a fall Macintosh apple. We passed a tree that had small, round inedible, red berries on it and I stood there for a few moments looking at them through different angles of my cold hands through the frail winter branches against an intensely rich blue sky.

I thought of what I had been through the last year and the first thought that entered my mind was that “it matters.” People don’t truly understand that when you promise something, and you give people your word, they believe you. They may never bring it up to you again,  but, they do remember. It’s not some hazy questionable memory either, it’s with alarming clarity. “You must come for dinner” people told us when we had no place to live but a single hotel room, “I will call you this week” they said soothingly as I sobbed on the phone, feeling utterly helpless, my husband just having had surgery, believing them.  They never called, they never came through on their empty promises or the promises they made at the time, apparently off the cuff. Next time, busy people, try to think it through because for people who feel homeless or displaced, we cling to the thought of an offer of a home-cooked meal, an offer from your heart when we feel we have nothing left.

“We’ll miss you, we love you” said the young replacement friends in the temporary home and of course, I am too gullible. I am too sensitive and too thoughtful and I take things too seriously. I believe people and even at my old age, I still have not learned that most people, the majority of people say things that they do not mean. Even one of my best friends knew I was in trouble and yet she did what most people would do and pushed me off into a corner until she had more time on her hands. I know my standards are high, too high, but I could not do that and sleep well at night; actually I could not sleep at all. Even when I was crying out for help albeit weakly, people acknowledged it and said “after all, tomorrow is another day” and turned their heads away.

Be careful of your words, be careful of your intentions, be kind to one another. Don’t offer things unless it is with a true heart  especially if they are vulnerable and lost unless you KNOW you can carry through. We have all felt lonely and sad and desperate one time or another. Remember that feeling when you see someone suffering like a child gripping her mother’s hand in fear. Remember too, that it could be you someday, that it could be you.

Haiku Heights – Crimson

Dark Purple Rose

Dark, wilting roses

strike the romantics in life

Call them death flowers

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Opera curtains

Velvet, rich, lush, red

The sounds of sweet song

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Shy, young, blonde, baby

curls with red, hot cheeks

like a puzzle piece

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“Is That All There Is?” Carry On Tuesday

A black Labrador Retriever.

The Bartender (continued from previous post)

When she awoke the next day, disheveled, smelly and still in her work clothes she couldn’t even remember the past night’s events. Or should she say morning’s events since she did not know what time she had stumbled onto her bed, clothed and reeking of alcohol and various old food smells. She sniffed under her arm and could pick up: cilantro, hummus, bean dip, and something smoky and meaty, like short ribs. She started to remember someone had asked her late into the night if she could make them her famous short ribs and she had, using leftover sauces and serving it with a creamy polenta that was on the night’s special menu. It was the last night of her restaurant, the very last night, tomorrow it would be gone, forever.

Was it really the morning, was she really officially closed? Unemployed? ‘Shit,’ she thought, “Yeah,” she grumbled out loud to her black Lab, Lucy, “Fuck.” she said out loud. The television must have been on all night, there was a commercial on to help people stop smoking by chewing some stupid gum. She reached for her pack of cigarettes and lit one not even bothering to listen to the nicotine sponsor ads on television. “Shut-up” she croaked after she inhaled deeply. She threw her clog at the television but didn’t even have the energy to get near, her clog just landed on a pile of dirty laundry on the floor.

She had one arm around Lucy, her dog, a  black labrador receiver wearing a red bandana, and as she rubbed her own eyes from the smoke, her hangover and from the lack of sleep. She turned to her faithful animal and said, “Lucy, I’ve worked in a kitchen since I was sixteen, I’m now thirty-six with no job and no restaurant. Is that all there is? There’s gotta be something more because this shit is not gonna fly.”  Lucy just looked back at her as old, kind dogs do and licked her face. Dogs are great at unconditional love, of course there was no answer for Lucy to give but she knew that, she knew she would have to make a decision soon….just not now, not yet, she wasn’t ready for any new commitments.

She needed time and space away from everyone she knew in the restaurant business and her family. She tried hard to push people away, because in the past, she had learned, that letting people get too close, was like a personal invitation to heartache and she had had enough of that for a lifetime. She stood up,  head in hand, to the shower, muttering and groaning the whole way. She had no idea what she was going to do with her life; she just knew she had to take a step. One step at a time and give herself time to heal.

Mellow Yellow Monday – NEW – Lemons

Lemons.

There is something about seeing lemons that just makes me happy. I’m not talking about lemons displayed in a grocery store but lemons in a glass jar as a centerpiece, something as simple as that is lovely. You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to have an elaborate centerpiece when you have lemons or clementines in a beautiful, artistic bowl. I tend to like blue bowls and one color fruit. Lemons or clementines against blue napkins or in a dish is a lovely combination; it’s simple, it’s happy and so cheap. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

It’s OK To Be OK

Happiness

Image via Wikipedia

A friend of mine wrote a post recently about whether she should strive for stardom or just be satisfied with mediocrity, (my very loose translation.) It’s a subject that has been on and off my mind for years and one that I’ve never answered. After reading her very well written blog: (Phylorsblog) I had an answer for myself. I don’t need stardom or unbridled stress like that of a frisky colt rearing up on a smoky ranch. As soon as I decided that writing was for enjoyment and for my blog, I felt lighter, happier and clearer than I have felt for years.

It’s interesting that if I had asked myself the question I probably would have been inundated with anxiety and stress but that didn’t happen. I don’t know what her answer will be to the question she posed but I’m happy with my answer. Everyone dreams of being famous and making a lot of money, I’m content where I am. I used to dream of being “famous” and then realized I liked my anonymity a lot more than being surrounded by strangers, watching and criticizing my every move.

I’m fairly low maintenance, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, I get excited about little things and I tend to amuse myself. I’m definitely child-like and I appreciate my humor even when no one else does; that doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m sometimes too sensitive, true, but it’s who I am. I’m 55 and have less angst today than I did in my twenties; do we have a choice? I choose to not cover the few gray hairs in my brown, curly hair, I feel that I have earned them.

When the snow finally starts to melt and the soggy, mush of ice-water remains, I will hold on, when I can, to try to avoid slipping and falling with my loose bones. Not everything is perfect at 55, but then again, nothing was perfect at any age. I do the best I can each day, sometimes it hurts a little more, sometimes a little less. I’m fine with where I am now, I’m content. That’s as close to happy as I can imagine.

My Sports Teams

English: Boston Red Sox Cap Logo

Rah Rah?

Go ahead, BOO and HISS. I don’t root for any team really. Just not into sports, never was, never will be. When I moved to Boston in my young twenties I was lectured on who to root for so I tried to root for the Boston Red Sox and since I got married and we had our children in Boston, that’s the only time I felt somewhat of a connection to a team. I remember going to a professional cocktail party and making the mistake of asking who the Boston Celtics were? Someone almost hit me! So, I learned quickly but sports was never in my blood. Since then, we moved back to our hometown of New York and while here the Yankees rule, I secretly still root for the Red Sox because I do, in a way, feel sorry for them. They seem to choke at the last-minute and who can’t relate to that? I guess I’m for the under-dog…..

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Mellow Yellow Monday – NEW

Yellow daffodils - floriade canberra

Image via Wikipedia

My favorite flower since I was a child: DAFFODILS!!!

I know it’s the first hint of Spring when I see the daffodils sprouting from their winter nesting place. Year after year they pop their heads up from the murky mud to face the sun. There is a field near where I live where the daffodils grow each year and even though I have seen them for fifteen years, I drive that route every single day when they are in bloom. Just seeing them makes me happy. When their season is over I drive by once more to say “goodbye” and “thank you”for the happiness, I hope to see you next year.”