My Top 20 (Food Pop, Pop Cop, Odd Cop)

English: A jelly donut that was bought at Dunk...

English: A jelly donut that was bought at Dunkin’ Donuts in Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 RANDOM THINGS I LIKE:

The year is slowly coming to an end, the weeks are flying by. I’ve put together a current list of things that make me happy. Life can be hard, you need to appreciate the little things, here are twenty of mine:

1) Alex and Sierra (From the X Factor)

2) Miniature Almond Joys

I love these and their cousin Mounds but here you get an added crunch of the almond. I LOVE coconut, the taste lingers on your lips after you finish it. Don’t tell my dentist but if I have one of these before I go to bed I “accidentally” forget to brush my teeth. It’s so worth it. The only reason I added Mini is because if I have the regular size I start to feel guilty. ( You can’t possibly feel guilty after eating one of those.) Win-Win.

3) My Christmas (Thanksgiving) Cactus

Every year at Thanksgiving our Christmas cactus starts to sprout beautiful, bright red flowers. I guess our cactus is always early (like my whole family) and shows up ahead of schedule. Seeing some bright red color when the winter is so gray makes me happy.

4) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (the movie) The one movie that divides sisters! I love it and my sister hates it.

5) The time 8:32. On the way to junior high school, I would always look out the window while I was standing in the overcrowded, adolescent, odorous teenage filled bus. We passed a bank near our school and there was a big sign with the time, every morning we passed,it said 8:32. For some reason, that number when seen, still makes me happy.

6) Believing in messages from those who have passed on and getting them for me or a friend. Powerful. Spiritual: “Love Does Not Die” ( Post)

7) I like the way my husband orders his french fries: “Can you make them extra crispy please?”

8) My friend Denise’s nut tarts. I have a friend who bakes the most delicious, bite size nut tarts, she could sell these professionally, they are like a work of edible art. Bite sized carmelized pecan heaven, I’m almost glad I don’t see her often. Addictive.

9)  Avegelemno soup, from our local Greek restaurant. Tangy, lemony with pieces of chicken and rice. Served with soft, puffy pita bread.

10) Goldfish (the living kind not the crackers) I had a goldfish named Frank that I loved dearly, umm, it died and it was all my fault. I overfed it. I still feel guilty and this was many years ago. I’m so sorry, Frank. R.I.P.

11) The sun and the color Yellow (see my weekly posts on Yellow Magic Madness)

12)  A body of water (any kind) ocean, lake, stream, pond…This is where I feel happiest, close to water.

13) Nature. As I get older I want to spend more and more time outside surrounded by mother nature. It was not that important to me when I was younger. Age gives you experience, wrinkles too but it also gives you wisdom. I like to be outside, weather permitting, as much as possible. Even with Fibromyalgia, I try to force myself outside when I can.

14)  Vacation:  For the last few years I haven’t had anything to look forward to in a major way. Sure, I look forward to see my friends or to go out to dinner but having something special to look forward to months from now is incredibly joyful. We are planning a trip with my mom in the Spring and I am looking
forward to that, more than I can explain. I definitely need something once a year, it will be my New Rule for myself. It doesn’t have to be anything big but it does have to be SOMETHING.

15) Jelly Doughnuts: We have them on New Year’s Eve, a European Tradition but I had one the other day while my husband had a Boston Creme Pie doughnut just for the fun of it. Delicious. Thank you, Dunkin Donuts.

16) Singing out loud (and off-key) to music streaming from my computer (classic 70’s pop rock, Bruce,

17) Listening to my husband whistle, happily. My father used to whistle happy tunes all the time, when my husband whistles it also reminds me of my dad, and that’s a good memory.

18) Pizza (There is no such thing as bad pizza, when it is leftover pizza and is too dry or it loses its taste, add strawberry jam.) I’m serious.

19) Books (Real books that I hold in my hand, no techno devices) Call me old-fashioned.

20) Flashlights.

English: Evening sunshine, Rutland Water. Just...

English: Evening sunshine, Rutland Water. Just to the SW of Lodge Farm, this part of the shoreline looks most inviting. It’s just a pity that the beach is mud and there is blue-green algae in the water! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Halloween, Trading WAS The Best Part!

English: An Almond Joy bar, broken in half.

English: An Almond Joy bar, broken in half. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Almond Joy,

I MISS YOU.

Sigh. I’m usually not THAT sentimental about my kids being in college (ok, stop laughing) but it’s Halloween and we have a big candy bowl out filled with chocolate and I am not outside with my little ones, holding their hands and talking to the other moms. I’m not complaining about the weather or seeing the joy on their faces when they can barely pronounce “Trick or Treat.” I’m also not at the door for them to stop by with their friends and for them to say “Hi Mom” and sneak an extra pack of candy for their bags too and I can’t even trade with my kids from our leftover stash for things that I love and that they hate. It’s just not fair.

We are home waiting for the little children in the neighborhood to ring our bell, for our dog to go crazy and bark (we put her in her cage) but the thrill is gone. We have perched the old light- up plastic pumpkin on a high table for another year so that the trick or treaters can see the lit up pumpkin smile face from the street. SCORE!  They know at THIS house, there is definitely candy to be collected.

For us old folk? Depressing. Why does there have to be an age limit on trick or treating and for those who know me, I am not kidding. I am very “childlike” fine, childish and I am the same height as my daughter, 5’3 and a half so basically if I had a face mask on, how would they know I’m a mom and not a kid? I think the trouble would be that I wouldn’t have anyone to trick or treat with me. Also, the fact that I am ACTUALLY considering this is quite alarming. I know.

Every year I have bought (too much) candy for our family to give out and of course to enjoy the leftovers. Is it necessary to even ask what I buy? Our favorites. Chocolate. Not to tempt me this year, I asked my husband to buy the candy because he always lectures me and says just buy one thing, just one type of candy that we don’t like and it won’t tempt us. “Okay, I said, you do it.” A couple of weeks later he did. He went to the grocery store and I thought for sure he would come home with licorice, something he detests. Nope.  Peppermints? No. How about lollipops? That works for me but he wouldn’t eat them. However, if they were Tootsie Pops that would be great, not fattening and a fun thing to have in your home. I’m going to use this idea for guests. “Would like some coffee,or tea, ice water, Tootsie pop?  Strawberry or Orange? (I’m keeping the grape ones for myself) I LOVE this idea!

Hubby comes home quite happily from the grocery store and shows me how HE handled the Halloween dilemma as if telling me he could do it the right way. He pulls out two bags of…assorted candy?  No. CHOCOLATE. All chocolate, different brands in two bags and not a Mounds or Almonds Joy in one of them, no Whoppers either. “Hello, what happened to the let’s get only one thing that we don’t like rule?” You know the one you said you could handle?” He laughed heartily, “Oh that, I just couldn’t help it, you know, I saw the candy and besides, we like these.” My case in point.

So now, I don’t even have my three favorites to trade (anyone have Whoppers, Almond Joy or Mounds?) because I have a whole bunch of extra Mr. Goodbbar, Snickers, Twix, Peanut M & M’s, Krackerl, and Milky Way Bars. But, don’t worry, we like them too; they won’t be here alone, we’ll try to help as much as we can. They won’t go to waste. I promise.

Which Would I Give Up? Easter or Halloween Candy?

marshmallow-y rainbow-y, uh, goodness

Image by McBeth via Flickr

Be serious. There is no way I would give up either one, ever. How could one give up Halloween candy, with those miniature size chocolates that we know DON’T count for calories or carbs. They are fun-sized. The choice too, is endless: Whoppers, and 3 Musketeers and candy corn, and Hershey’s nuggets, not to mention Kit Kat bar, Almond Joy, Mounds or Twizzlers. No, these are not going anywhere. Easter candy? You don’t seem to understand that I wait for those Cadbury creme eggs all year-long. I wouldn’t be happy without those yellow peeps either. While I know now that they sell peeps all year round for every different occasion in every color…that doesn’t make me any happier. It’s the thrill of getting them once a year, the fight to find them that made them so very special. Every year, and I admit, I am 54, my mom still gives me 2 Cadbury creme eggs and a box of peeps. I buy them for my own two children. I have introduced people to peeps who (gasp) didn’t know what they were, I have written about Peeps and Cadbury creme eggs. I’m sorry, I can’t play this Plinky game, Easter and Halloween candy are here to stay. If you’re talking giving up spinach or cauliflower, that game I could play. Spinach, out.

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*I’m Talking Fruit Loops

Going Loopy

Image by terren in Virginia via Flickr

Earlier today I met my friend Sarah for lunch at our local coffee shop.  I nibbled on a small fresh (?) fruit salad and ate a few bites of an egg white omelette. I felt virtuous for about two hours, eating only healthy food and grazing. We talked about everything, our kids, our maladies and the current stomach bug that was circulating through town and through the high school.

Once home, couple of hours later, I felt faint and nauseous. Just hearing the stomach bug going around made me reach for the Saltines. Later that night, for dinner, I had some of my absolutely divine homemade chicken soup, a soft carrot or two floating around, a piece of a turnip and parsnip, ( I have no idea which is which), a couple of crackers crushed into the soup.  I’ve heard of so many people getting some virus or another, ’tis the season, I suspect. So, I decided I must have the stomach bug or I am ABOUT to get the bug because my appetite was teeny-tiny, no more than a red breasted robin would eat at one time.

Then I went upstairs and started listening and watching You Tube songs on my computer.  “In the Arms Of an Angel” by Sarah Mclaughlin, “Vincent,” by Don Mclean and a beautiful, touching song I had never heard before by Josh Groban called “To Where You Are.” I got fixated on this song I had never heard and I listened to it about 20 times, over and over again.  I started thinking about all the people who I have loved that passed away. Holidays do that to you, you know. My dad, a dear aunt, my friend Janine’s father and mother-in-law, all the people I have lost and people who my friends lost.  I started getting depressed.

It’s the ho-h0-ho of the holiday season and many of us just can’t rejoice like we used to. There are so many factors: the economy, high unemployment, the kids are older, loved ones have passed and the world can be a scary place. I decided I needed something, I needed comforting, I needed…..cereal.

In the last two days by children decided that they loved cereal, not having bothered with it for about 5 years. I saw cereal, thought of cereal, bought cereal and had cereal on my mind. I crept downstairs to have two bowls of cereal. The first was a mixture of Honey Nut Cheerios, Grape Nuts (or as I call them Gravel Nuts) and two or three pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It wasn’t enough. I then came upon an individual box ( and we know those don’t count) of utterly charming, amazingly beautiful sugary Fruit Loops. I didn’t bother with the Mini Shredded Wheat with Bran, or the Flax seed cereal, or the Multi-Grain Mix. Nope, no way. I went straight to the hard stuff. Nothing talks mood elevator like Fruit Loops! How can you be weary and sad after looking at those darling purple, red, yellow, green morsels of edible jewelery.

All of a sudden I felt happier and of course fully distracted from my depressing thoughts and sad memories.  The Fruit Loops were the delightful high of my evening and not only that, I was cured. I was cured physically and emotionally and I felt happier. Cure of all ills, thy name is sugar. Amen.

*This post is not approved by Weight Watchers

Listen to the Josh Groban song, you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uIQp9Dqcrw

Chocolate or Vanilla? (Be Serious!)

09 Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream

Chocolate or Vanilla? NO, chocolate AND vanilla, in different forms. I’m an all vanilla girl with cakes, cupcakes, frosting and soft-serve ice cream. IF I had to pick one I would go with vanilla. Is there anything better than a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles? No, there isn’t, it’s the best combination. Chocolate sprinkles are not even an option, ever. However, at night when the sweet tooth fairy invades my body and soul, I reach for the snack size chocolate candies that are left from Halloween: Almond Joy, 3 Musketeers, Nestle Crunch, M & M’s. I don’t expect that I will have to eliminate one from my world of eating but if I had to eliminate one I would pick chocolate. I’d be “Vanilla Girl” as I have been called in the past, but it would hurt. Deeply.

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These Days

January stinks...

Image by Jinx! via Flickr

I have been feeling extremely discouraged and blue; I’m back to square one, for the sixth time, in my search for a successful treatment for both my Fibromyalgia and auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It’s been over 4 years since my initial diagnoses and I have been given drug, after drug, after drug.  I start a new medicine, each time, with hope and innocence and excitement like a flirtation with a possible new love. Two months go by and then I find out that it was, again, just a fantasy. Side effects are my enemy, I generally am the person that fits in the “possible and infrequent side effects.” Another dream deflected, another dream deferred. Back to the drawing board, again; I eliminate the medicine and so too my hope.

I’m drowning my sorrow in leftover Halloween candy and cookies:  Almond Joy bars, Kit Kat bars, Nestle Crunch, Heath bars, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Twix bars, Keebler chips deluxe  cookies and pretty rainbow cookies filled with marzipan and jam. For my anxiety attacks that wake me up at 3:00 am and keep me up until 6:00 I occasionally take Xanax, one prescription drug that I trust.

Yesterday, I started Savella for my Fibromyalgia and decided to stop using Arava (an immuno-suppressant drug). True,  Arava kept my energy up but my legs ached continuously,  like someone was squeezing them into a vice and wouldn’t let go. I don’t want to be on as many drugs anymore. I want to simplify my life, my body. It’s always a long stretch between taking the new medication ( 6-8 weeks) to kick in and likewise for the drug to leave my body.  My husband kept mentioning how the Arava gave me energy and he was right but at what cost?  It was only the other day that it occurred to me that I don’t have to live with the side effect of leg pain if I don’t want to. I’ve been on this drug for months and the thought just occurred to me. I have a choice but with that comes the acknowledgment of failure.  Am I so used to pain that I feel it’s acceptable, even normal, to have some?

I’m alone in my search because no one really knows how I feel except me and even I get confused, my symptoms blur together. It’s hard for me to describe pain that is not throbbing, jabbing; how does one explain “constant?” I go by hunches and I try to listen to my inner self. My body is telling me now to get rid of the different chemicals and if I have to, start again, reevaluate in the future. For now, I will try to nurse my defeat with sleep, and when awake, look bravely at the sun in the sky while it lasts. I dread winter; I always dread winter. My bones feel frosty and taut, my body aches with pain and my mood becomes as dark as the early sunset.

*These Days by Jackson Browne

Well I’ve been out walking
I don’t do that much talking these days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to

And I had a lover
It’s so hard to risk another of these days, these days
Now if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
Well it’s just that I’ve been losing for so long

Well I’ll keep on moving, moving on
Things are bound to be improving these days, one of these days
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend
Don’t confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them

My Favorite Candy

Anything with chocolate is dandy…….

 

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t….Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds don’t. This is not to say that I don’t like Kit Kats, Twix, M&M’s, and 3 Musketeers..but one bite of an Almond Joy or Mounds bar is a quick, easy path to heaven on earth.

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