FWF Kellie Elmore

Source: We Heart It

Source: We Heart It

You suddenly find yourself standing alone on an unknown sidewalk in an unknown place. It’s night and snowing and the only other person around is walking away from you….

Everything looks different at night, doesn’t it? I turned to watch the back of Julia’s slim body walk away from me, in the snow one last time. For a second I thought I would run after her, tell her I would change. But, I had gone down this road too many times, that even I didn’t believe my own shit now.

I liked to drink, so what? We all drank, mostly vodka, sometimes beer, I did cocaine a couple of times.  Julia and I lived together in our first floor apartment in Soho. Those were good times, we had just graduated from NYU, we both worked to pay the rent and we hung out with a bunch of friends. Sometimes our parents would write checks to help us out with the rent or just to be nice which was awesome for us.

We would have brunch on Sundays in the Village with our friends, mimosas were free and I knew the bartender, he and I were buddies, so he always gave me an extra shot or two of vodka in mine. It felt good to be with my girlfriend, out on Sundays in the summer sun. This was Julia’s idea of perfection, she looked forward to it every week, I loved that she looked so happy.

I don’t know if she suspected that I drank more than what she saw but she did give me a few curious looks now and then. Since she didn’t ask me about it, I chose not to tell her. I wasn’t lying really. Our fights were always about me drinking and getting high anyway, I didn’t want to start something else. No way.

We both drank, maybe me a little more, fine, a lot more and we got high once in a while, listened to music. I don’t even know when things started to change, I can’t remember although Julia could probably remember ever damn fucking situation that she seemed to bring up and throw in my face as often as she could. “Of course you can’t remember, she would scream at me you were totally doped up, drunk and passed out.”

She was right but I would never admit to it. I’m an angry drunk and I took my anger out on her, I threw things, broke things, I crashed her light green plates across the apartment but I never laid a hand on her. Almost came close, twice. Real close but I didn’t, she had gone but she had always come back after a couple of days. Always.

This time, was different. She gave me an ultimatum, choose a treatment program or her. I told her I would try, really try but this time but I saw golden sparks coming out of her deep brown eyes. She kept standing and wouldn’t sit down even when I tried to pull her close to me. When I tried to kiss her she moved away. “C’mon baby, I love you, don’t you know that?” I asked. She said she knew “but it wasn’t enough anymore.” I just kept shaking my head  and mumbling “no, can’t do, no, no, no, not for you, no, no, no.” She turned around and abruptly left my apartment slamming the door. The noise hurt my ears.

Since when is love not enough? I knew she loved me too. For a second I thought I would run after her but instead I lit up a joint, poured myself  a stiff drink, a tall vodka on ice. After a while, I didn’t care that she was gone, I was probably better off. She was just a nuisance anyway, always bugging me to get clean.

I didn’t need her anymore. I didn’t need anyone. I was happy just the way I was. Damn straight, I refilled my glass of vodka to the top.

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New Year’s Eve Is Not Always Happy

Two Candles

Two Candles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For all the people dreading tomorrow night, I’m here. I’m dreading it too. There are hundreds of reasons to dread it and I’m not even going to bother mentioning them, because you know why? They don’t matter. You feel what you feel and no one can deny your feelings. You have every right to acknowledge how you feel, just please try not to cover them up and drink irresponsibly.

I admit, I wish I did drink, one cocktail or one glass of wine. I hate the taste of alcohol, always did, even in college when friends were trying to get me to drink watery, warm beer and I just couldn’t do it. The taste was awful. I didn’t “practice” drinking so I got used to it and I didn’t let my friends change my mind. They would go up to the bar and order two pitchers of beer and one glass of Coke.

To this day I will have a sip of someone’s drink to see if I like it but I haven’t been successful. The closest I have come is Amaretto mixed with milk or orange juice or a sour mix, sometimes I can drink a half of one of those drinks. Generally, if I take a sip or two of my husband’s wine I say “I feel it already” and I do. My adult children make fun of me but again, drinking to them is like chips and dips to our generation. Believe me, I’m not condoning it. Trust me.

Whether you go to bed at ten tomorrow night, ( I’ve done that plenty of times, ) or you and your best friend, your dog, your spouse, your life partner, relative, facebook buddy stay up till after midnight, I wish you all a Happy 2014. I don’t plan a thing on New Year’s Eve except a good dinner at a very early seating in a nice restaurant, with my husband and two grown-up children, this year with my mom because she had no plans.

I’ll be honest, at 10:20pm I will know exactly when to look at the clock, and I will remember all too clearly that twelve years ago my beloved father passed away in a hospital, with no one there by his side.  I talked to the surgeon, I asked him if I could come and I remember his gentle voice saying “No sweetie, don’t come it will be too late.” I was able to talk to the ICU nurse who promised to give my dad a message and I gave my Dad permission to leave us, telling him we would take care of each other.
I mentioned a special word that he and I used together. He passed away within minutes.

So, whatever your sorrow is, whatever your personal story is, I understand. I truly do. You can write them down here or to me privately if you feel like talking about it. Just remember you are not alone, there are people who love you and staying up until midnight is not such a big deal. Tomorrow will come, as it always does.

Happy 2014 to all my readers, to my friends. I wish you peace, health, happiness. I wish you joy.

My Banana Has Freckles

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee (Photo credit: lightmatter)

I feel like a monkey, somewhere, somehow I have evolved into a monkey from a human being, it’s the evolutionary theory backwards. All I have craved lately are bananas. Not just bananas but banana smoothies, made by moi. I LOVE THEM. They comfort me, soothe me, and make me feel happy. I’ve had one every day for about five days now. There are no more bananas in the house anymore, I must go shopping tomorrow but waiting for them to ripen is an exhausting ordeal.

When I want them to ripen faster I put the bananas in a brown paper bag with an apple tossed in because I once read this hastens the process. If it doesn’t at least I don’t have to see green edges, which in fact, is the only way my mother and son can eat bananas. Raw bananas? Ugh. There must be a science to banana eating and yes, I have also heard that you should peel a banana from the bottom like the monkeys do. I’m flexible, I do that once in a while but eating them while they are green? No, that will never do and don’t confuse green bananas with plantains because that is just entirely different. You need bananas with freckles, especially if you are baking with them, carmelizing them or using them in a yummy smoothie. I also make a mean banana bread but so far, that’s a family secret.

I am sharing my banana smoothie recipe with you, I only hope it gives you as much joy as it gives me:

In a blender put:

3 ripe bananas (RIPE is the operative word, not okay if they are green)

a  small container of yogurt (you choose) I have used strawberry/banana yogurt, cherry vanilla or plain yogurt (I use 0 percent)

a bit of crushed ice (many people like icy smoothies, like my daughter, so feel free to add ice cubes or more crushed ice-I like them more creamy)

a dash of vanilla and almond extract to taste

2-3 Tablespoons of vanilla ice cream or low-fat vanilla ice cream (optional)

one teaspoon of brown sugar (optional)

a peach, plum, raspberries, cantaloupe or any old fruit that needs to be used (again, optional)

Blend at High for about a minute.

Take a Tablespoon to taste, adjust as needed. Pour, serve and enjoy!

Plinky Prompt: Would You Ever Take A Cruise?

  • Cruisin’
  • “The Love Boat”
    DSC01216, Midnight Buffet, Celebrity Cruise Ship Century I have taken a cruise and yes, I would go again. If you are on a cruise it really doesn’t matter what the destination is, it’s the journey there and back that truly counts. I’m not sure I would do it again for a long time. Cruises, known for their gastronomical, orgasmic and plentiful meals are both aphrodisiacs and toxic for people like me. I’m not sure I could resist overeating and gluttony on a cruise (let’s face it: no way) and lately I have been eating healthy foods. That said, I think everyone should go on a cruise once. Being out on the water, is so peaceful, I can’t think of anything better than watching the waves from your deck chair in the sun. Take advantage of the shows that the cruise offers too, they are often very entertaining.
    As long as I am still able to travel and fly, I would like to go to another country and explore it instead of cruising to a destination for a few hours, shopping at a local tourist shop and heading back. Cruises can be magical, the midnight buffets with the ornate ice sculptures are overwhelmingly beautiful; everyone should experience that, at least once.

If I Could Star in any TV Commercial

A glass of chocolate milk.

Image via Wikipedia

Truth In Advertising: My Family and Chocolate Milk

Yoohoo or Nestle’s Chocolate Milk.

I’m almost 55 years old and have been drinking chocolate milk all my life. I still LOVE it. When I was a child and we traveled abroad frequently (for free) I was a very fussy eater and my mother dragged Nestle’s Quik powder in her luggage because I would not drink plain milk. I still love chocolate milk ( hot or cold) or Yoohoo, still drink either one as much as possible. Vanilla, banana and strawberry milk are okay but my first choice is always chocolate milk. The only time you will see me drinking plain (regular) milk is with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a piece of chocolate or vanilla cake with frosting. With those two items, I cannot drink chocolate milk…. Not that I’m fussy about eating or anything…..I just like what I like.
p.s. Dear Yahoo and Nestle’s Quik, I am available to be your spokesperson at any time. My mother and my kids could join in too, we could have a multi-generational advertisement. How cool would that be? Drink up!

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My Favorite Summer Drink- A Mojito, A Plinky Prompt

 Mojito

Image by TheCulinaryGeek via Flickr

  • 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…

Not Posting In Spain; Driving Me Insane

Roses - Spain - Spanien -  Abendstimmung

Image by Ela2007 via Flickr

-I am going to Spain, with my husband for ten glorious days. It appears things really do happen for a reason. We offered to take our teenagers to Spain, a place they have always wanted to go to and they declined. What? Yup, you heard me. When they politely (?) declined we were hurt and definitely confused about them not wanting to come. In the end, it worked out perfectly.

-Our son, the Senior in HS, didn’t want to be apart from this friends on their spring break and while our daughter wanted to go to Spain, she didn’t want to go without her brother. So, we stayed home while they had spring break (we are not stupid parents) and we left for Spain, just the two of us, three weeks later. Sometimes life is not only good, it’s great. I should have trusted that it would turn out this way.

-Our children have always left us to go to sleep away camp for 8 weeks each summer but we have never left them.We have talked to them, of course, and it sounds like things are going smoothly. I have no idea what the house will look like upon our return (silly me, of course we know how messy and dirty it will look like) but this vacation is worth pretty much anything.

-Today we left 3 days in Barcelona to drive to Roses, Spain. Honestly, I am not quite sure how we ended up here but I am glad we did. We are spending a few days at this little beach town.

-On the road to Roses from Barcelona we took a local highway. I noticed a woman sun tanning in a beach chair at the first exit. Soon, I saw another woman at another exit. Soon, my husband saw it too, how odd, I thought to sunbathe on the highway. A couple of exists further and the beach attire the women were wearing became skimpier and skimpier. Their poses were, shall we say, suggestive….. One woman wore a bright yellow warning sign on her lap. I read some place that they are supposed to have that garment too. Apparently the highway is notorious for having women sell their bodies at exit ramps. Is it legal or illegal? My husband googled it but we never came up with a clear-cut answer. Whether it is or not is immaterial, it happens. Hey, what do I know, I’m just a tourist!

-There is no happier place on earth for me than on any beach, especially one that has shiny blue-green Mediterranean water. There are flowers in the middle of every street, each street for the town has red roses in the divider. Sigh.

-We went out to eat at a local place where we let the waitress tell the cook what to make for us. We didn’t speak their dialect of Spanish and they spoke no English, but we smiled a lot and pointed and laughed and had a delicious meal. We ended up eating a beef stew, very tender meat in a brown sauce, a salad of lettuce and fresh, ripe red tomatoes and a white cheese platter served on a white plate, creamy and delicious. Of course, my husband sampled the local sangria (that’s a given.)

-We stayed at a hotel that we hated. It seemed like it was a geriatric nursing home and we were in the wrong place. Mind you, we are NO youngsters but we felt like teenagers at this place. The hallways were dark and it felt like we were underground. I clutched my husband’s arm each time we had to go there. It smelled musty and dank, the food was mushy and had no taste, the coffee was undrinkable. After two long nights, we left. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It had bad vibes written all over it, bad smell, bad everything.

-Our reward: I looked up another hotel that was about twenty minutes and closer to Barcelona for the way back. IT WAS STUNNING, it was also brand new. Things got mixed up but with our reservation but the hotel/resort was welcoming and beautiful. For our “inconvenience” they upgraded us to a suite overlooking the ocean. Ten minutes later, a bottle of complimentary champagne appeared at our door. We were in love.

to be continued……

The Color Of Spain

Y se hizo el color

Image by Zyllan via Flickr

Having been in Spain for over a week now, the color of Spain, to me, is burnt orange, terra-cotta.  I have pieces of smooth, slippery rocks that I collected from the beach. They capture the feeling in my heart, and remind me of this beautiful country and the interesting dialects and eclectic and interesting food from tapas to wiener schnitzel, pizza and kabobs, paella, different creamy white cheese served on a white plate.

We decided to first stay in the magnificent city of Barcelona for the first few days surrounded by a cacophony of French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and other languages we could not decipher. It’s fascinating to see and hear different people all the time, just walking down the busy streets you feel like you are in a United Nations convention. We went walking on the touristy streets in the big city, seeing people “statues” move and delight the crowds. Wait, is that a statue or….hey, it’s a man barely moving for minutes on end. A cup was available in front of them, for tips.

We ate tapas (tastings of many small things that you pick) ranging from something that tasted like cream cheese and jelly (perfect for me) to meatballs, fish, grilled herb cheese with tomatoes, sausages and crabmeat. We (ok, my husband) drank Sangria and wherever you go the drink is slightly different. Sometimes it had sugar in it, other times sparkling water was added to it, in a different place the sugar was not in the drink but on the rim with fruit bouncing happily in the red wine. Sangria was a staple and for me “Coke Lite.”

Just to be in another country was wonderful, breathing the air, seeing the different plants, colors, people, birds. When you are in another country you experience joy from just waking up in a new place excited to go on new adventures. After hours of walking you whisper good-night to each other across a king size bed. Traveling, to me, is a fantasy.  We spent three free nights in a wonderful hotel that included breakfast, croissants and coffee. The croissants have a very tiny sheen of sugar baked on the top, perfect in the morning. Coffee all the time, espresso, regular coffee, double espresso, cafe latte. There were different types of yogurt, cheese, olives, sausage and bread.

Children are running around with their parents pursuing them, excited screams for gelato were heard. Smiling in any language seems universal.

Coffee vs. Tea

19-century porcelain tea- and coffee-cups styl...

Image via Wikipedia

Coffee And Tea

Mmmmm. In the morning, when I first wake up, I look forward to very strong coffee that either my husband makes or that I make. We generally use about 3 scoops for a large mug and it is aromatic and strong. It is not for the weak or instant coffee drinker. Generally, I mix Cafe Bustelo (espresso) with some sort of flavored coffee to balance the taste. I’ve had coffee from the grocery store, like Hazelnut Creme or Vanilla Creme mixed with Starbucks (as a treat) or espresso.

I have favorite mugs as well, mostly thin-lipped, some classic like a Starbucks mug, some entertaining like a cow mug or a yellow mug with a thumb holder or a bull mug my husband bought me in Malaga that has a top to keep the coffee hot. If there ever is a morning that I don’t feel like a cup of very strong coffee, I am sick. Very sick. When I am sick, with a sore throat or a bad cold, I drink tea with honey and lemon. However, for a stomach virus I drink tea with milk and sugar only. In the fall and winter, when my daughter comes home from school, we drink a cup of tea together. My favorite tea-cup is one from my friend Sarah, a petite, red and white flowery design that belonged to her grandmother. I feel honored that she gave me that cup with a box of English tea she loves and now, that I love. I drink that tea every afternoon; sometimes my daughter keeps me company and she drinks green tea. I love those times together.

For me, it isn’t a matter of coffee or tea, it’s both, for different reasons, different times and different lessons to learn. I gather my thoughts with one cup and yet another one calms me down, and of course, in the early morning, strong coffee, a hearty roast, kick starts and welcomes me to start the new day.

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My Fitness Routine In The Winter

17 February 2007 10:11am

It’s winter time in the Northeast. Actually, it’s been winter time since Thanksgiving and it will probably last through April. We’ve had snow every two days; snow that does NOT have time to melt before the next 18 inches of snow comes piling up on top of it. We have been bombarded with wild, hysterical snowstorms and ridiculous amounts of snow for months.

My exercise during these long winter days and nights are the following: leaving my warm and cozy bed, wrapping myself with a soft, white, bathrobe, slipping on my beige UGG slippers and going downstairs on the carpeted steps to the kitchen. Once downstairs, I exercise my arm by opening the refrigerator, pulling things out, making something to eat: most likely fried eggs and cheese. I then exercise my jaw muscles to eat ambitiously, and drink YooHoo or flavored club soda.When I am finished I put the food items away back in the refrigerator.

I then prepare to go back upstairs, clutching the banister on the staircase, snacks now hidden in my plush pockets and pull myself up the stairs, take off my bathrobe, and climb back into bed. I cover myself with four comforters and then I use my fingers to: turn on the television, watch the Cooking Channel, reach for Raisinettes, check my computer and turn the lamp off so I can take as long of a nap as humanly possible.
Next day: Repeat.

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