Haiku Horizons: Bones

Beautiful girl, love,

light from soul, not bones or weight

Spirit is within.


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#FWF, Kellie Elmore

Photographer: Zaire Kacz Model: Morgan Daye PayneLl

“Look Bitches, I so rock this dress and I don’t give a damn what you think. Not YOU, Mom, I WASN’T calling you a bitch, it’s just the other models can be so mean and no, you are not going to drag my tush back to Iowa in two seconds. I promise. Yes, I apologize. OK, fine, I’m calm.

No, it is NOT made out of feathers and no, MOM, damn you I have told for a thousand times it is not the friggin recycled New York Times. It’s a DESIGNER dress, yes one of a kind. I am so modeling it in a show and NO you can’t come to watch. Why?` Because you wouldn’t fit in. I mean you wouldn’t feel comfortable because you would have to stand on your feet all day, yeah, I don’t think there ARE chairs because it’s the runway. Why do they call it the runway? Sigh, mom, it’s just a term because the models go down a long place kind of like the place the airplanes land. No, mom, there will be no airplanes there, you don’t have to worry that they will crash and we will all be dead. I know “mother’s worry” and yes, if i have a child I will know what it is like but I’m not even sure I WANT to have children.

Okay, okay, calm down, I just meant I’m too young. You wouldn’t want me to have a child out of wedlock, right? There, see I told you everything would be fine. Now, daddy is over there in the corner and he told me he wants to take you out to breakfast. Yes, he did and I gave him money so you could have a really nice, long breakfast at The Ritz Carlton. What do you mean you won’t take my tarnished money, Jesus, mom I’m a model not a hooker. I’m sorry I took the good Lord’s name in vain but you have to know you hurt my feelings. Fine, apology accepted, now, just please go so I can finish the shoot and we will get together for dinner later, Ok? ”

“I thought they would never leave, and they are never, EVER, allowed to come back to any shoot, DO YOU HEAR ME, SHE SCREAMED OUT OF CONTROL?” The staff nodded quietly, they knew this model’s moods and her habits. She said she needed ten minutes and she surely did. She was a crack addict and went back to her trailer to shoot up so she might be able to get through at least half of the next shoot. They didn’t call it shoot for nothing.

Food Mess Up? There’s Always A Remedy

I’m not saying that I am the most conventional cook or baker, some would say I am very odd and quirky but I do enjoy my own recipes and remedies and basically that’s all that matters to me. I’m kidding!

I haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but I made a lovely baked ziti dinner for an elderly man in our community who is sick and needed food and at the same time I taught my college kid how to make her own ziti in the process. You can’t get easier than baked ziti.It’s just a matter of balancing the cheese, sauce and noodles. Once I made it and it was like a grilled cheese sandwich, another time I made it and there was way too much sauce. That is why bread was invented, to dunk into the sauce. No problem here. I would have liked to have added chopped meat to make it more like a sloppy lasagna but my daughter is a vegetarian so that was a strict no-no.

 

My husband has cooked dinner lately, I try to appreciate it every single time he cooks. But, he has a habit of sneaking ingredients in that he KNOWS I don’t like. Perhaps he thinks, that like a 5-year-old, I won’t detect them. WRONG.

He told me he was making chicken burgers which I was looking forward to, he was working and I ate by myself. The chicken burgers looked…interesting three of them looked like they had a special sweet sauce on them, one was plain. I stuck my finger into one of the burgers with sauce and  licked my finger, my mouth burned with fire. The heat of the diabolical sauce filled my mouth and I ran for a tall glass of water. I can tolerate spicy food but that was over the top .I guess I assumed (wrongly) it was sweet. We had peach salsa in the refrigerator and it was up in front so I assumed he used that but it didn’t make sense, I love that stuff.

I then assumed that he must have made the plain one. I took that one over to the counter, seated myself comfortably, took my favorite beverage ( no not a glass of red wine or beer) a Yoo-Hoo and with my fork and knife and

 

English: Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink; Ten (10) 6.5...

English: Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink; Ten (10) 6.5 fl.oz. drink boxes, in package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

eagerly took a large bite of my burger. Oh dear God, was it me or was my mouth burning ANEW? It wasn’t the old burn but a new source of heat. I contemplated very briefly if my husband was trying to kill me but I knew there had to be an easier way than this.

 

Since we live in the age of technology I texted him “What was in those burgers?” “So spicy I burned my mouth.” I got the usual male answer “Nothing special, a little salt and pepper.”There was no way that was all that was in those burgers I thought to myself. Really? I asked, are you sure, nothing else? There was a very long pause. “Oh yeah, I put  some Worcester sauce in too.” BINGO!!! He snuck the ‘ol Worcester sauce in, knowing I’m not a fan.

 

 

SOME? It must have been a lot because even without the spicy salsa, it was like a flame thrower heating up the top of my mouth and throat. Not to mention he knows, to put it gently, I really don’t like (personal opinion only) Worcester sauce. I was too tired to make anything else and there really wasn’t much in the house to make so I knew I needed to remedy this situation in my own, very special way.

 

I opened the refrigerator and after surveying the items I took out two things. Mayonnaise and orange marmalade. Yes, you read that correctly. Thank goodness my friend Maureen was out-of-town, she still hates the fact that I put grape jelly on dry pizza. What? Oh that, if you get a pizza pie that is not cheesy enough or too dry I recommend grape jelly or jam. It works wonders. (Don’t judge)

Believe it or not, this combo of mayo and orange marmalade was a nice contrast to the burning meat. It knocked the dreaded Worcester sauce to the side and had a soothing effect.Next time, if this happens again, I might substitute plain yogurt for the mayonnaise but the jam stays for sure. Nice touch.

So next time, if you’ve over spiced your food, remember this, there are always techniques to make things less spicy. More spicy is easy. Just be creative and open-minded. Like me.

don’t worry, georgia

 

A homemade chicken noodle soup with bread

i’m so tired that my eyeballs feel like they are about to pop out of my eyes and start rolling down the wood floor. i am not exaggerating either.  what I have done is the very same thing i tell all my friends with fibromyalgia or chronic disease: don’t over do it. guilty as charged. but it felt so good to have energy for one day and shop with my daughter and I knew that I would pay for it but you do have to make choices. i picked my girl.

I pushed my health to the background, like that second slice of banana custard pie, that you thought you could sneak in on your plate next to the fresh blueberries and raspberries. It was just a  little sliver anyway.  (yeah, who am I kidding.)  i’m under my blankets and will take a pain pill if I need one and I made a meal for an elderly man who needs my help far more than i need my own help. the fact that i could make someone a meal with snacks that was less fortunate than me, made me feel good. i don’t feel good that often.

I ate some of my own home-made chicken soup today that I keep in the freezer, with its restorative powers, with carrots and celery and all the good stuff to nurse me back to my relative health. sometimes this chronic disease just gets to me. but it gets to all of us once in a while and we always bounce back, there is no other choice.

one day of being normal, two days of feeling like crap. it just feels wrong. and unfair. but mostly i’m tired and need to go to bed early with about five covers over me so I am really hot and feel like i am in a cocoon, like a butterfly,

English: Butterfly, Vindula arsinoe. Français ...

a pretty, colorful butterfly.

i’ll go to sleep early, i’ll watch some junky tv, my dog will be near-by. my daughter was happy yesterday and so was I. the years pass so quickly, I may never have the chance to go “back to school shopping” with her again, she’s 20. But, I would make no changes, none. I would do it all over again in a hot second. moms, you understand. i know you do.

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The Comfort Of Comfort Food

 

An Orange Julius stall outside Liat Towers, Or...My old friend, Steve, told me that lately he was enjoying ice cream floats as we used to call them. Since then I have been obsessed at the thought of making one. I made one tonight but it was so disappointing. What happened?  I added vanilla ice cream to Diet Vanilla Coke. Maybe it was the substitution of the Diet Coke compared to the “real thing?”  It was nothing special, it fizzed a little and I drank it, but it held no nostalgia and no particular special taste.

I miss Orange Julius. Does anyone remember them? I used to look forward to buying a large Orange Julius when I was a teenager,  there was a stand in practically every mall. They were an icon, a bit of American History. Where did they go? Are there any stores left? I think it may be that if I drank one today I would not enjoy the taste as much as I did years ago. ( Who am I kidding?)  I remember them being sold in the city along with grilled hot dogs, the smell of the hot dogs blending with the sweet smell of Orange Julius. Those are some memories that last a lifetime.

I guess I could try to make one, orange juice, vanilla ice cream,? A melted creamsicle? I don’t know but it wouldn’t be the same as hearing the whirl of the blender and seeing the huge cup it came in with the plastic straw sticking out. I miss my youth, mostly the food. Nah, I miss my youth too sometimes.

Today, I heard a commercial for some chain store selling frozen hot chocolate. “Wow, I thought, how the mighty have fallen.” The frozen hot chocolate was a very special drink made many years ago in a lovely albeit expensive restaurant in New York City called Serendipity. I’d be surprised if they hadn’t patented that name, (a word to the wise Serendipity: check it out). This enormous, delightful drink was shared by my best friend and I for many years. It was our signature place before it was well-known, expensive and crowded.

Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity

Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity (Photo credit: Betty B)

When I moved to Boston many years ago,  my friend, Denise, set up her camera outside of Serendipity, had a table covered with a tablecloth and ordered a frozen hot chocolate; she took a photo of it and put it in a frame for my birthday. It was one of the most thoughtful birthday presents I have ever received. I still have it.

We don’t go there anymore, haven’t been for years. We don’t even see each other and our friendship has changed dramatically but I will always cherish that picture, that span of years when we treated ourselves to Serendipity and giggled continuously while munching on our over-sized chicken salad sandwiches on toasted buttery raisin bread. The last time I saw a photo of Serendipity (I think there are two or three locations now) Suri Cruise goes there frequently ( from the magazines.) I’m not sure I would want to go back anymore. We loved it when it was quiet, unknown and quirky.

I associate good times with food, but when things are down or bad I really can’t eat. Food repulses me. The only thing I can eat when I am very nervous or upset are my comfort foods, either an American cheese sandwich (on mushy bread with butter) and a Yoo Hoo or scrambled eggs, toast, butter and jam. No exceptions except in the winter for home-made chicken soup.

Lately, I’ve had a lot of comfort food and that’s alright. In addition there’s  pizza, which to me is comfort food on any day. Any season.

If it makes you happy, eat what you want in moderation and with respect to dietary restrictions. Even so, once in a while, have a bite of chocolate if you really want it. Just don’t have the bar. Live. Be as happy as you can be. Every single day. Be grateful for what you do have not what you don’t.

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Boomers Getting Older REPOST

It won’t be long now, you know that, right? it’s just about time to go, maybe not now but we have starting thinking about it. Soon enough to leave the town where my children grew up, where we still currently live. Not quite yet but I have a feeling that this will be one of our last Winters here, maybe one more. I think that will make me hate the winter less, knowing it’s one of the last ones.

That doesn’t mean I will live in a warmer climate but it will mean I will live somewhere else, maybe by the coast, so at least the Summer will be enticing instead of just making me jealous. And, of course, I will be sentimental about this little yellow house packed full of sentiment and nostalgia. I will slowly be going through clothes and junk as I have started doing to save, donate or toss. I admit, I’m not doing very well. I’m going to blame the beautiful weather instead of my own reluctance to part with things.

Now, I’m in our town’s farmer’s market, on a not too hot Saturday, literally a perfect day.

We don’t get many of these days, maybe two or three for the season.Tomatoes, lush and orange seem to be bursting out of their skins; piled up high in clumsy green cardboard boxes, smiling in the sun, beckoning us to buy them. Perky blueberries giggling together, plums and carrots, I can’t resist their beguiling charm.

A young couple sits near me their little boy wearing a bright red shirt, blue overalls and mismatched shoes, his stuffed animal, a silver shark is thrown in the air for him and other children to catch and throw, again and again with endless energy. Their youngest boy decides he doesn’t want to play anymore, listens closely to the band and starts dancing on his own. It is thrilling to watch his complete and utter joy.This child, will go far, I think.

I ran into an old friend while listening to the wonderful local folk band singing old favorites. Could this really be one of my last summers here.? I have no real answer. I do know one thing, we cannot afford to live here much longer. That is the hard truth. Feeling a little sentimental but it also feels that it will be the right time to go and the right thing to do. Preparing to move, not now but perhaps in the Spring. Where to? I have no idea but this is my gut feeling. I’m no longer sobbing or fear stricken, I went through those stages. I need for the opportunity to present itself, I hope we’ll know what the right answer will be.  I’m ready, our children are adults and It’s time to think about leaving and trying something new. I don’t feel conflicted anymore, it feels right, if only we knew where my husband would be working our lives would be so much easier.

It is time to go, funny how the Farmer’s Market lets me see it in a non-threatening and non-fearful way. We had our time in the sun when our children were three and five. Now they are adults, our son applying to medical schools, our daughter, a junior, wants to spend a summer in Spain and then study to be a lawyer.

We are older now, but not too old yet being among the young couples, we do not fit in anymore. Finally, it feels good. I struggled with this for many a month but now it feels right to entertain the thought of moving to a different place, living near water which is essential for me. It’s time for us to step aside. We will begin a new chapter of our lives feeling grateful for what we had in the past. I know, it won’t be easy, I will leave part of our souls here but change is good, it can be very good.That’s what I hope for, for my husband and me.

New times, new decisions, my voice will be heard. In the last twenty years, I have learned a lot, I’m a strong woman now. It’s my turn.

Overeating, Not So Anonymously

 

A STREAM OF BAD THINGS, HEARING ABOUT A WOMAN ATTEMPTING TO HURT HER CAT, A CHILD SCREAMING AND COULDN'T TRACE THE SOUND... AND EATING WAY TOO MUCH  FOOD, ICE CREAM, COOKIES AND CANDY. NOT MONITORING MY EATING AND EATING EMOTIONALLY.....UH OH.

The fact that I am ( trying to) stop my out of control eating tomorrow does not make me feel better tonight. In fact it makes me feel worse because no matter what I look like or how much I weigh, I will always be that chubby girl who hated going shopping, out of pure dread and embarrassment, with my mother years ago.( still hate going shopping.) I can't even put together an outfit. It's been jeans and tee shirts and sneakers for the last 50 years or so. I can clean up nicely when I have to but then I am in excruciating pain having no shoes that are comfortable for more than three minutes. My new glasses are absolutely adorable, I cut my hair and I'm in pretty good shape (such a big fat lie) but for the last week I'm eating way too much.

Those same old symptoms are rearing their ugly monster heads like those green goober monsters in the cold decongestant commercials. Not just a “want” for food but a “need” to eat. It isn’t pretty.

It’s sugar, yes, pizza too, but deep-fried mozzarella sticks?

These looked especially delightful and my daughter did ask for me to help her eat them? How could I say no? That’s my point. In the past, I could have said “No thanks” very easily but yesterday, the breading was not just bread crumbs it had texture far more refined than even panko bread crumbs. Little bumps, a crispy and soft combination of thick breading with an ample amount of melting mozzarella cheese inside and a delicious tomato sauce to dip in.

I could have refused. I didn’t.

We all know that I have to love my dinner on Sundays, that’s a cardinal rule but did I have to love it that much that I needed two or three desserts? A pre-dessert and two or three others? No, no, no.

What is going on here? I hate that my white pants are tight, starting tomorrow I’m exercising and eating only healthy foods. Ugh, true confessions: I forgot to mention the huge home-made jelly doughnut from the local bakery that I ate after the pizza, mozzarella sticks and salad with avocado, craisins, goat cheese and spinach. I live for these jelly doughnuts available (thank goodness) only on Sunday mornings.

I love food way too much. Tonight, the last night of our family being home together, the night before my handsome son leaves to go back to school, we are going out for Chinese food which is basically mostly vegetables and rice. Right? I like to fool myself as much as possible. Except that after watching one of the food shows with my husband we saw  a freshly made egg roll glistening on the television screen. I HAD to have it. For all the things I forget, this morsel was fresh in my mind.

I must have a little more control (tomorrow) to end this eating madness. I know I have no control over anything else in my life now, and I can’t change that so this IS one thing I can control. Eating healthier and getting more exercise???? I’m going to work on THAT NEXT.

 

PS I am not a fan of dark chocolate, I prefer milk chocolate so if I have a square or two of dark chocolate it is purely medicinal. That doesn’t count as dessert.
***Next day: I made it through the day without dessert which for me is a miracle. I am not starving myself at all, I am eating healthy foods and trying to drink more water. Eating smaller portions and eating sensibly is the way to do it. I hope I can do it for a week but I’m proud of just one day,

Crazy Looks Like Me, Crazy Looks Like You

It’s raining sheets, like unfolded plastic wrap falling from the sky. The clouds overhead are not dismally gray or black, nor are they white and cheerful, they are just the background for the rain, a neutral color of uncertainty.
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My younger sister, Shelly, sat at the kitchen table in the dining room, alone, her head down, her eyes unfocused. She had a tiny silver spoon in her hand and she was stirring her coffee, over and over again. I don’t think she even realized she was still doing it. I said “Good Morning” to her but she never answered.” She wouldn’t speak to any of us.

 

Shelly was wearing her same  blue striped pajama bottoms, the dingy white tee-shirt and a pair of thick, pink socks. She hadn’t brushed her hair, it seemed, for weeks. She wanted to just stay in bed and be alone, the only thing she would say was “I’m not crazy, do you think I’m crazy, because I’m not.” I bit my lip.

I wasn’t trying to be mean, honestly, but I had begged her to see a therapist and our parents forced to talk to someone and she went with them once, kicking and screaming the entire time. She never even went inside.

 

 

I didn’t know what to do, but I did know that this was not helping her. Staying in bed all day, getting up only for coffee or her one meal, a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise  that our mom would leave her in the fridge. Shelly told all of us “it was none of our business” but of course it was our business, we loved her and hated seeing her fall apart, a little more each day.

I didn’t know how long I could take looking at the shell that was my little sister, curled up in bed with the light off and no life coming from that room. She slept all the time. Once, I started playing music in my room, music I loved and thought she loved too. I thought she might enjoy it but she screamed and moaned for me to turn it off in such a violent, out of control way, that my parents immediately came and scolded me, they turned my music off. It was upsetting Shelly.

She needed help, she desperately needed help, she was getting worse and my parents and I couldn’t handle her anymore. Now, she was not sleeping at all and roaming our apartment at all hours demanding attention. I had a full-time job as a Customer Service Representative and I was already in trouble for missing too many “sick” days. Our parents were older and not in good physical shape and our little brother, Josh, was just eight, a mere baby himself and, of course, troubled and confused.

For a week we whispered among ourselves to arrange for an intervention, we knew something had to be done.  Time moved quickly, it was 4 pm on Tuesday and the day had come. I sat in the corner, biting my nails. I wanted my sister to get better but I did not want to be part of the intervention. My parents made me so II also felt like an accomplice and hated that feeling. I hated being in the middle of everyone.

We were all assembled in the living room, Shelly was in her room, sleeping. The people from Edgehill Hospital were waiting right out side the door. They decided that our dad should approach Shelly gently by first calling her name and asking her to come out of her room. She refused.”I’m tired” she murmured.”Maybe later.” After several more attempts and being exasperated, our dad asked her to come out again but I could hear the strain in his voice… Finally, in a fit of rage, he broke the door down, and started yelling at her. He screamed for a couple of minutes, his patience worn and suddenly stopped to find Shelly on the bed, still, not breathing, and cold. He called 911 immediately but we knew she was gone.

She died from an overdose of pills that she had accumulated for many years. We found two empty bottles of alcohol on the floor next to her bed. The note that she scribbled with a purple pen said this: ” I hate my life, it’s all black an” that was the end. She couldn’t even finish the sentence about her young life.

No one could speak after the initial gasp of horror, we each sat in our own corner, after the ambulance came and pronounced her dead. No one  spoke to each another, harboring our own guilt, our own excuse, our own irresponsible part we had in Shelly’s life.

All of us thought we killed her. I know I did, for sure.

 

 

 

The Day After Robin Williams’ Died

I sit in shock even as the news about Robin Williams’ death is sweeping the country on every possible news outlet. Shock moved to sadness and even though I didn’t know this marvelously talented man or his demons, I am feeling his pain. Everyone’s pain. The world is so fragile right now, you can feel it in the the heaviness of the air, the full moon,  in the tension of the world. For some of us, called Empath Intuitives, we feel more deeply, we take on other people’s pain as if they were our own but I am trying hard to separate this one.

I wrote this in response to my friend, the great Jenny the Bloggess, aka Jenny Lawson on her wonderful post about the death or apparent suicide of Robin Williams. Please take a look at Jenny’s site (I reblogged it here if it worked) to read the whole thing, if you don’t know Jennifer Lawson, you really should. My goal in life is to be mentioned on one of her side bars one day! She will cheer you up, crack you up and has been one of my inspirations. She has really creepy (sorry Jenny) habits/hobbies like taxidermied animals but she also does beautiful things for others and that makes you want to be as awesome as she is.

Not to mention, you have never really met the true Beyonce that we, in the Jenny Fan club know. “Knock knock Motherfucker.” You’ll see. It makes perfect sense.

Jenny wrote a heart breaking and heart warming post about suicide and mental illness and all of our challenges in life. This was my reply to her:

I’m usually good for a laugh or a witty response but sorry, I just can’t this time and that’s okay. I know I will get it back but Robin Williams’ suicide hurts in a place where childhood was, we grew up with him. WHY DOES MENTAL ILLNESS STILL HAVE SUCH A NEGATIVE STIGMA, IT SHOULDN’T. WHAT IF CANCER WAS SUBSTITUTED FOR MENTAL ILLNESS? I don’t understand. It is an illness like any other illness and needs to be treated by a professional. I have an anxiety disorder and take meds for it, like Jenny, and it is treatable. Sure, there are some bad days but there are some bad days for everyone. Isn’t it time that mental illness can come out of the closet and be accepted by everyone instead of being a hushed secret? Come on, people, give those of us who struggle with something different, ( I have an anxiety disorder) an encouraging word, a smile, a chance to say “I feel sad/anxious today.”

More money is needed for mental health providers but I’m sure Robin Williams could have provided that for himself. PLEASE, talk to each other or call a suicide hotline. If not for yourself, then for your children, your mother, brother, best friend, your partner, your pet, for me and for Jenny. There’s always someone waiting to listen. I promise. Signed, your friend, Laurie F. hibernationnow.wordpress.com

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

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  1. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

    “Because Hope Is A Marvelous Thing” by me.

If you need help…

The Bloggess

If you are considering suicide or know someone who is, please call a suicide hotline.  They can help.  They’re free.  They’ve saved and helped so many of us, including me.  Click here for a link to suicide crisis organizations around the world.  They listen.

I find it very triggering to talk about a humorist who has lost his battle with mental illness so I’m not going to write about this.   I’m practicing self-care by making an appointment with my therapist and avoiding triggers and watching bad tv.  I was, however, asked by a lot of people if I would share the post I once wrote about how the full moon makes me feel unbalanced and more willing to believe the lies that depression tells, and considering we’re dealing with a super-moon right now then maybe reading it will help if you’re feeling vulnerable yourself.  So it’s here…

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