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)

We Give Thanks For Many Different Things

Cake made of chocolate mousse.

Cake made of chocolate mousse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am the meanest person on earth, or at least the most honest and outspoken but I give thanks that Thanksgiving is over. Yep, I said it. You can judge me all you want but holidays can be stressful. Family dynamics,  emotional baggage, demons from the past, they all get rattled and those emotions escape. They slip from your unconscious like slithering snakes darting out without your permission. Filters don’t work, the id, ego and superego are all in repair.

Families members regress, the dysfunctional aspects of relationships become unglued, it seems like anything negative that you can rein in for most of the year just gets ignited during holiday celebrations. Forgive me, don’t judge me. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way.

I used to be the person who loved holidays the most, it WAS my favorite time of year. I sang along with every song on the radio, happily. I loved to shop for hours getting just the perfect present for each member of my extended family. Now, I beg my kids to tell me what they want, preferably with a link online. I don’t feel like celebrating, when did I become Scrooge?

I’d rather appreciate my family as I do, every minute of every day instead of on one particular day.  All the work you have done to prep and prepare and cook and bake is finally here; by the time you sit down to eat, you are exhausted and then the meal is over in literally five minutes. Tops.

You take a breather and move to a different room, everyone moaning about how full their tummies are and the tension moves with you like invisible cloaks. The young “adult” children text, the older generation talks about  people who have died or are very sick  and all I want to do is change into my soft flannel polka dot pajama pants and tee-shirt and climb under my blankets and go to sleep.

However, the chocolate cake with the layers of lighter chocolate mousse winks at me and soon we go back to eat dessert. A lot of dessert. That incredibly delicious chocolate cake with edible sugar ornaments, my vegetarian daughter grins as she eats a sugar “turkey.” There is also apple cake, strawberry-rhubarb pie, chocolate rugelach, banana bread, apple pie and assorted cookies. I’m ashamed to say that the fabulous chocolate cake, with an ice-cold glass of milk cheers me up. I can see the women of Weight Watchers “past” shaking their heads at me, tsk- tsking all the way to the scales. Sorry leaders, I haven’t gained any weight, in fact I lost more weight.

My daughter drives her grandmother home, with a care package that will last her at least a week to finish, complete with forbidden dessert since she is a not-so-so-strict-diabetic, it’s a treat for her, one bite or two at a time. The fact that my sister and her family aren’t here was felt by all, it just seemed empty without them. I missed my sister and the “cousins” being together. My husband’s parents are coming tomorrow, does that make any sense to you? Fill me in if you can figure it out, I can’t.

I see myself going away for a few days this year or next. This time I will go someplace different to be alone, to have some space, to smile at the sun and do some thinking.  It’s my turn now. I’m tired,  physically and emotionally. I need to get a good night’s rest and maybe when I wake up tomorrow morning I will feel just more hopeful. I give thanks for my family, my friends, for the food on the table. I give thanks that the holiday is over and for my pretty polka dotted pajamas. I am grateful for the sleep that is sure to come quickly. Good night.

Rediscovering Life, Self And The Magnificent Tracy Chapman.

Let It Rain (Tracy Chapman album)

Let It Rain (Tracy Chapman album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year I’ve learned many things, mostly about myself. Because this is timely I thought I would share this first: I will wear white clothes after Labor Day if I want to and if I receive a look of disgust I will throw my head back and laugh. If you dislike it that is your problem not mine.

Instead of pressuring my children to come home for their college breaks (which has never been my style) I want them to do what THEY want and whatever they want to do is fine. I do have expectations, I want to see them on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It would be wonderful to see them on my birthday or any other time but they are in college and have exams, I totally understand. Any other time I see them is icing on the cake.

Speaking of…No matter how old I  get, I can’t stop looking forward to my birthday, I’ll be 57  in October and my age doesn’t bother me, nor do the gray hairs that live with my brown curly hair in harmony. Or the laugh lines around my sometimes mischievous green eyes, I’ve earned them, I don’t try to hide them and maybe one day I will learn how to use make-up, but no promises. Lipstick counts, right? That, I wear.

Today I saw a brown bunny skip across the street and the leaves on one tree were starting to turn to that first blush of orange. That is the beginning of the end of summer. It’s going to be a very, very cold winter, it’s always a longer and colder winter than anticipated. I keep my eye on the future hoping we can move someplace warm in the future.

Today I saw my deceased dad’s initials on a white van in front of the drugstore and I couldn’t speak, his initials are signs from him to me, have been for eleven years. This one was a message to pass on to my mom and I will, at the right time. I’ll know when that day comes. Thank you Daddy.

I am not ashamed at all of my Psychic or my Empath abilities, I don’t brag about them, I don’t keep them a secret. They are just a private, integral part of me and I feel blessed to have them. I was a child when I had my first encounter walking down the street in my old neighborhood and thinking about how it would feel if you could read someone’s mind. It lay dormant for years until I was ready. I was always super-sensitive but it worked to my disadvantage before I could use it to help others. Empath intuitives, we understand each other. If anyone has more information about Empath Intuitives or can point me in the right direction, I’d love to hear about it.

I’ve rediscovered the joy of Tracy Chapman’s incredibly beautiful, soulful voice.  Her voice is one of the most amazing voices I have heard and I am sad that I forgot her or did she leave us on purpose? In any case, I’m glad I found her again. Her voice, simple, complex, made of velvet and silk.  Tracy, you get the feeling, would be a lovely friend, kind, maybe shy at first. The richness of her voice like honey. Here’s to the sad ending of the summer, for me, and the joyous start of winter, for others.

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Plinky Prompt: A Gift That Is Bittersweet And Nostalgic. What Is It?

  • An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...

    An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle holder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • You receive a gift that is bittersweet and makes you nostalgic. What is it?

    See all answers
    • A bit of nostalgia
    • A candle.

      My father, when he was alive, would buy me one red rose for my birthday every year and a candle each year for Christmas. He died eleven years ago and I still remember how special I felt with those gifts. You would think it would have gotten old but it never did. It was a tradition between a Daddy’s girl and her Dad.
      After he died, not right away, it probably took a year or two, my mom bought me the first candle. I wept out of sentiment and nostalgia. Every since then, my sister, my daughter, my son buy me candles for Mother’s Day or my birthday or for Christmas.
      Each one is bought and given with great love. They know I love candles but I think sometimes they forget why I really love them. They give them to me for the sole purpose to make me happy, I know that, but yet they forget that what made them so special was the relationship I had with my father and as much as I love each candle given to me, it does remind me of my dad who isn’t here. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. I know love never dies, I will always love him, as I know, (and I do believe in messages from beyond) he will always love me too.

    • For others who believe in messages from the beyond, you are not alone and no, you are not crazy.
    • Visit my blog at hibernationnow.wordpress.com for more posts about it. I do believe in signs and
    • have received them. You will too, keep your heart wide open and believe.
    • Tea Rose in North Garden

      Tea Rose in North Garden (Photo credit: bill barber)

Yellow Magic Madness #3 Candle

Candle-flame-and-reflection

Candle-flame-and-reflection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love candles, always did. I used to collect candles when I was young. My father, for many, many years before he died, would buy me a candle every Christmas. It was a tradition. Now, my mom, my sister, even my son have given me candles as presents. Not only do I love them, but it keeps the memory of my father alive. I think it’s sweet that my family is trying to hold on to a tradition I dearly loved.

The Scent Of His Cologne – REPOST

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. (Photo credit: Gwenaël Piaser)

IN MEMORY OF MY FATHER WHO DIED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, 11 YEARS AGO

I was sitting on my bed today, legs crossed, listening to music when over my right shoulder I smelled a fragrance. I sniffed several times and looked to see if I had put perfume on an item of clothes that I was wearing but since I was still in my monkey night-shirt and bear sweats, it was not even a consideration. I looked around, in front of me and behind, saw nothing and then I knew….my father had sent me a message for Christmas from Heaven. I haven’t had a message from my father in such a long time and it felt so good. I could feel his presence to the right of my shoulder. My eyes filled up with tears and I whispered “Thank you, Daddy.”

My father, when he was alive, used to have a “shaving lotion” collection or as most American men would say after- shave cologne. Some dads played golf, others collected stamps, still others played tennis, our European dad collected after shave cologne. He had a shelf built especially for these different sized bottles and he would go to different countries to add to his “hobby.” I’m not totally sure but I think he never had more or less than thirteen which was his lucky number.

Signs from the other side don’t scare me, as they do my mother, they comfort me and I appreciate them. Christmas used to be my Dad’s favorite holiday; the last Christmas he was alive I sat next to him, eleven years ago, and held his very, soft, hand. It was a softness that I knew I could not replicate. I knew it would be his last Christmas. He died New Year’s Eve, one day before my parent’s wedding anniversary on January 1st.

I received a gift from him today, one that means more to me than any present I can unwrap on Christmas Day. I know that love never dies, I’ve written about that many times before. I also know that while the physical body is dead, the spiritual one lives forever and that I never stopped loving him and he will never stop loving me. But, every once in a while, it feels so wonderful, and special to have received the gift today that is more precious than any memory.

I love you, Daddy.

As we used to say “Thanks for stopping by.”

The Dawn of Cupcakes

Hostess Orange Cupcake

Hostess Orange Cupcake (Photo credit: Kodamakitty)

Sometimes when I am fast asleep, my husband says I say random thing out loud; one thing I said was : “I’m a frozen banana.” I figured it meant that I was cold in the winter,  but as it turns out, it was the summer. Today, I woke up from a nap with the words “The Dawn of Cupcakes” in my mind. Why you ask? I have no idea.

Often phrases pop into my head and only recently have I forced myself to write them down. When I was younger,  I wrote poems in my dreams, damn good poems and then forgot them immediately upon waking. Sometimes words or phrases just jump to mind and if I go to my computer right away the essay writes itself.

I have been thinking about Hostess cupcakes lately, which as you know, are leaving us (she said with some hostility). Hostess Orange cupcakes were a tradition for my family for Christmas every year, except for this one. I had a wonderful idea of a bartering system.” I’ve got Yodels, how much for Orange cupcakes?” But, in this day and age, I’m jaded. Internet swapping somehow sounds dirty to me and those super-sweet Orange cupcakes were anything but dirty.

I’ll be honest, I can live without another Twinkie; I’ve had many in my lifetime, for a short while in college my nickname, started by my sister, was “Twinkie.” People have made such a fuss about Twinkies that it’s likely another company will do some sort of similar product. However, no one has mentioned the Orange cupcake, the one with the white squiggle of frosting on top. Forgotten by everybody except old baby boomers and my family? No one even mentioned them in the many articles written. You and the Snowball, pretty much got screwed. So, I am here to stand up for you, to mourn YOUR passing, to try to describe to new people, younger people,  something they will never know. Orange cupcakes, I will remember you and your friend, the pink Snowballs too. Nothing will ever be the same. It’s just plain sad.

p.s. I was going to beg for orange cupcakes but I didn’t think it would sound professional…(PLEASE)

Plinky: If You Could Delete A Memory, Would You?

  • Memory Erasure
  • Try And Delete Pain, You Can’t
    8560 – St Petersburg – Apartment If I could delete a memory from my past and all the pain that the memory caused, I would. However, I can’t change my history so even if I could erase the specific memory (sitting on the dirty steps of our old apartment building, sobbing in my nightgown, clutching two handkerchiefs, waiting for my older sister to come home one Christmas morning) I’m not sure it would do much good. There are bad times, bad memories and pain. Sometimes, there is not even a lesson to learn, not a single one. Many of us have had very bad experiences in our past, that leaves a trail of pain that follows you for years, or a lifetime. You can’t change what happened, all you can do is learn from other people’s mistakes. My sister and I were a team back then, united, against our parents, the enemies.

The In-Between

Malheur Bière Brut

It’s the week between Christmas and New Years, a strange time. You are not yet finished with 2011 and you can’t wait to say good-bye but New Year’s Eve is not in sight just quite yet. It’s always been a long week for me. In our town, it’s nice and quiet, people go away for the holidays; the town has lots of parking, the streets are empty; it’s a quiet, gentler period of time. Personally, it’s a struggle. I remember the last Christmas we had with my dad many years ago, when he went into the hospital and how he died on New Year’s Eve, a day before my parents’ wedding anniversary. It’s not a memory that will ever fade in emotion or intensity.

For many years now I’ve tried to say goodbye to the old year, hoping, wishing, EXPECTING the New Year to be better. Not any more. As I’ve gotten older it just seems to be a pattern that happens every year. There are NO long bouts of happiness, there may not be long bouts of depression, but there are problems, pretty much, all the time. When you have a day that is problem free, celebrate.

A lesson for us who are no longer young, but older middle-aged ( I refuse to say OLD) is that we need to accept that our lives have changed permanently. I talk about this with my friends. For some of us it’s being in the sandwich generation, having children and parents (or parent in my case) needing, deserving more attention and care. It’s scary every direction we look. We are responsible for our own children, now independent teenagers and our parents who are no longer as independent as they once were.

How can we look forward when we have no control over our lives? If I had to list the one thing that worries me most it would be the unknown, how life can change drastically in one second, for the worse. We have no control over anything, and the only way I can deal with that is not to deal with it at all. You have to try to live your life to the fullest every day, be thankful when there is a good day, ride the waves, bend with the wind. I don’t like the feeling of uncertainty and I know many others don’t either; we have no choice. We must try hard not to focus on it, remain engaged in things and people we love. Stay in the moment. Every moment.

So lift a glass of champagne or orange juice, chocolate milk or wine, for the good times, the ones we should treasure and try to remember. It’s the only way to get by.  To the Best 2012 that’s possible. Cheers!

The Best Holiday Gift – EVER

Our Kids Are Simply AMAZING

This year, when the family agreed NOT to exchange presents because of last year’s horrific mess financially…our two amazing teenagers totally surprised us. We didn’t have a clue that they were even thinking about giving us a present but on Christmas Eve at 11:48pm, our nineteen year old son started dragging a huge present from the outdoor shed, inside. Our seventeen year old daughter watched and stood next to him as he nervously spoke:

“I’m really nervous about this present, we wanted to get you something that was house related so that the two of you would have something new….we hope you like it…”. We were stunned at the mere size of the gift not even knowing the contents. IT was an outside fire pit for when the nights were chilly, my kids know that I love fire in the fireplaces on cold, snowy nights…this was just the MOST AMAZING, CREATIVE GIFT we have ever gotten. How incredible are our kids? The fact that they even wanted to give us a gift, something to give us happiness in our finally repaired house, is the most thoughtful gift I/we have ever received. Personally, I love everything about a fireplace, watching flames and now this…..To our wonderful kids, the best human beings I know, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. WE LOVE IT and as always, WE LOVE YOU MORE. Love, Mom and Dad

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