Sweet Pleasures

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Three rubber ducks in foam bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, I will take a long, hot vanilla-sugar bubble bath and soak until my fingers look like large raisins. Afterwards, I will put body lotion on so my skin feels silky soft, maybe I’ll clip my toenails and paint them pink without rushing. I will do everything today at my pace.

I will drive to the diner in the next town to order the best tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread to-go. I have exceedingly high standards for tuna fish sandwiches and this is the only place that I will eat it in.

I will clean the clutter in my room just enough that I feel I have accomplished something, I am no neat freak but mountains of clean laundry (3 baskets) makes me feel uneasy. I will sort them and put them away. I hope. The worst case scenario is that I hide them, once again, which is a guilty compromise.

Maybe I will take myself to a movie, in the early afternoon. There just so happens to be a bakery on the same street that sells only cupcakes, yes, just cupcakes. I will stop in to buy a vanilla, pumpkin spice or banana cupcake with vanilla icing. The key is the vanilla icing.

I can’t decide which book to read next, there are two hardback books grinning in front of me. “Pick me” says one, “pick me” says the other and yet I have opened up both books, read a few pages of each and have stopped. Tomorrow, I will read the first fifty pages of both books and then decide. The rule, when I was growing up was to read twenty pages, but now, that I am older, I have changed the rules to fifty pages. How can you judge a book by a mere twenty pages?

When I am cold, in the afternoon, I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate and not the instant mix packages that are hidden in the pantry. Real hot chocolate made lovingly with milk that I stir slowly, and add melted chocolate or chocolate syrup, I am not that fussy. I will put many marshmallows on top. I will drink it out of my big, bright, yellow mug that my best friend gave me for my birthday, she knows that yellow is my favorite color.

Maybe I will take a nap, or meet my mother for lunch and if I can’t sleep I will cuddle with my dog on my bed, her body closely aligned to mine so we both feel safe and warm. Tomorrow will me “my” day and I will go to my local shops and browse. If I see something I love and can afford I will buy it as a gift for myself. Who says gifts have to come from other people? Who knows me best? Yes, I do.

More importantly I have a secret plan to do a good deed or as many as I possibly can, I will do some anonymous acts of kindness knowing in my heart that is the biggest gift of all.

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On Valentine's Day

Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day or Not?

Mini-rose

I remember answering this prompt last year and I wrote about the true love that my husband and I know we had for each other. We didn’t need gifts or mushy cards or expensive dinners (I still agree with the expensive dinners-I hate that restaurants jack up the prices like on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too) and I was pretty blase about the “holiday.” We would always say “Happy Engagement Anniversary” because we did get engaged (in Hawaii) on Valentine’s Day 25 (wow, really??!!) years ago.

For a few years we did nothing, no cards, no presents, just an agreement not to buy each other anything. When my husband got me the same card, two years in a row, we took a break from cards too; we didn’t need them and it didn’t matter. Or so I thought.

To be truthful, I think we stopped caring a little and that’s not good. It was too comfortable, too much like an old friendship that we stopped noticing each other as the love of our lives and not the parents of our children.

We went through a lot these past few years. Two years of unemployment, our house fell apart (literally) we were forced to move to a hotel room for three and a half months with our high school senior daughter and our nine-year old dog. To add to this my husband broke his Achilles Tendon in the city while running to catch a train to come home the day before we moved to the hotel. It was also the day that we were supposed to drive our son to college. I ended up driving our son to college alone. At first a little nervous, I was proud and thrilled that I did it and did it well! Other people were so sweet to offer, but I WANTED to go and while it wasn’t easy, it was okay. Life isn’t always easy, we know.

Now, we are back in our house and my husband has a job where he has to commute to different places for work so we have no real schedule together. This year, I wanted him to be my special Valentine, all over again, and I wanted to be his Valentine. We stepped it up a notch. We did exchange gifts and cards and kisses and hugs. We remembered what it felt like to have a partner for life and not just a friend or a companion.He is the love of my life.

Sometimes life gets too easy or too hard; you have to work on marriage as you do everything else; sometimes we get complacent. Happy Valentine’s Day to my one and only, true love. I love you honey. More.

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My Definition of Wealth

Automatic Pool Cover.

Image via Wikipedia

Fantasy Wealth vs Reality Wealth

Wealth, to me, is just a fantasy. It is an incredible amount of money that you win and don’t earn. A game I play if I drop a dollar or two on the lottery. In my mind I see big houses overlooking the water in different places, being able to redecorate without first looking at the price tag. Designing a swimming pool so that at night when I went to bed I could picture its beauty and smile into my fancy pillow. It’s not ever having to think about money for anything. Travel? No problem, I would have a private jet. Drive my car when I am scared to drive at night? I would have a driver. Lovely, original art on the walls, gifts to nice

Handkerchief

people who I don’t even know; giving to family and friends is of course, a given.

I realize it’s a fantasy, I know I’m never going to have the money to buy such things, ever, but for a dollar per dream, it’s worth it to escape reality. Wealth, in my fantasy, is never having to worry about money ever again. Wealth in my reality is everything I have, a loving family, some great old friends, my gorgeous nine-year old shelter dog and an old handkerchief that belonged to my father when he was alive, soft, thread bare but always with me in my pocket.

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ICD Jewelery Store – Meant To Be

This is a true story about how things sometimes work out the way they should. Oprah used to talk about that a lot.  Synchronicity, things happening because they are “meant to be.” Yesterday, I wrote a blog called “Saying Goodbye To Oprah” today I experienced what she has always talked about.

1) I had a new Doctor’s appointment and when I asked the new Doctor if she was ever in touch with the Doctor who had retired she said “in fact, I’m seeing him tonight.”  I asked her to please tell him about an article I wrote about the loss of my dear friend “Loving Dawn” that was published in a local magazine. She said she would but as I was about to leave I remembered I had copies in my trunk that I had just picked up from the editor the day before. I ran down and got the magazine, happy to show them.  No coincidence there.

2) I stopped by the florist to order my son’s girlfriend’s corsage, continued on to the library and decided to go to a shoe store.

3) I parked my car, (having no sense of direction whatsoever) where I thought the shoe store was. I couldn’t find it. It turned out that I parked in front of a store called ICD Jewelery. When I saw the name I remembered my son saying that he bought his girlfriend’s birthday present there. The door was held open and I decided to walk in and browse. In the past I had always assumed that it was just high-end stuff but it isn’t. It’s a wonderful combination of completely affordable jewelery AND beautiful expensive, sparkling pieces.

4) I  looked around keeping my daughter’s upcoming 17th birthday in mind, I even saw the lovely bracelet my son had bought. There were beautiful pieces in EVERY price range. After chatting with a nice woman named Sarah I softly said:  ” You are doing this store a disservice, you really should advertise more.” She smiled and said “can I repeat that?” I said “I guess so.” She called the owner over, an absolutely stunning and  beautiful woman (she should be a model) named Varda Singer and asked me to repeat my comment. I did, I asked where they advertised because I had no idea that this store sold things in all price ranges. I am the type of person that should live with focus groups. I try every new product, I can predict if something will work or not, I know “star” quality before others. If I really liked this store my friends would too. If I didn’t know about this store they probably didn’t either.

5) The owner, Varda, said “she pays so much in advertising in publications it’s sometimes not worth it.”  After talking with her about the jewelery, both high-end and inexpensive, she fell silent. She looked at me, took a gorgeous pink beaded bracelet off the display, handed it to me and said, “word of mouth: this is how I like to get people to the store.” Before I knew it she took the price tag off and presented the bracelet to me as a present.”If people like it and ask where you got it, you tell them.”  No one had ever given me a present like that and I was shocked.  I said “No, no, no, no… ” but she insisted and put it on my arm.

6) All she knew was that I was a mom window shopping for her daughter. She had no idea I wrote a blog.  We laughed and talked some more and out of the blue she threw in a Hebrew word that I recognized immediately.  The word “Beshert” it’s meaning:  “meant to be” or “destiny.”

7) I told them I wanted to blog about this experience (I am not a paid employee nor am I a sponsor or a PR agent and I am not getting any kind of kickback!)  I asked Varda if we could tie this special day in with my blog. If people read this blog and wanted to go to the store, perhaps they could get a $5 dollar discount? She thought about it, shook her head and said with a smile said:”please tell people that if they just drop by the store and mention your blog, they will get a free “bracelet” too.”

I will REPEAT THAT: Mention that you read this blog and get a free bracelet. Stop by there, look around, you won’t be disappointed.  They are located in the town of Chappaqua, NY, 75 South Greeley Avenue. You can reach them at 914-238-3646 or at ICDJLTD@aol.com. or visit:  http://www.icdjewelry.com/

Thank you again, Varda, for my pink bracelet.

My free gift from ICD Jewelery in Chappaqua, NY

Oprah, Please Reconsider, It’s Not TOO Late

According to Keirsey, Oprah Winfrey may be a T...

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Oprah,

NOOOOO, DON’T GO!!! The countdown of shows is really affecting me. I’m an ultimate, ultimate viewer and I’m not asking for a ticket or a vacation to Australia or a car or even the 3-pack of beauty products you had on today’s show. Just one thing, don’t go. PLEASE don’t go. Change your mind. ( It is NOT a sign of weakness but of strength.) I’ve gone through every part of my life with you, you were the only one who had the grace of mind and spirit to say “Stay at home Moms have the toughest jobs.” Thank you for that. When people looked at us stay at home moms with real attitude, I didn’t argue, I knew what the right thing was for me and my family, and yes, you admired it. It made me feel validated, it made me feel like a beautiful queen. I have two amazing children that I love and that I like, they are my gifts to the world. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the world will be a better place because of them.

I was your viewing audience every day from home. I was happy to just watch your “Favorite Things” shows because I loved watching the audience members get so happy. I can’t imagine how you felt, that times a billion, I’m sure. I know you are not disappearing and I have watched OWN but it’s not the same. I taped your show every day for years and when the kids were young and finally in bed I would watch your show, relax, learn, be entertained and I would feel better.

So, my teacher and friend from afar, I am trying to say good-bye graciously because you always want what your friends truly want. But, I confess, there’s a 5 year old inside of me that has thrown herself on the floor, kicking and screaming with disappointment and sadness and stubborness.

I can’t wait to see the final show and at the same time I really don’t want to. I’m obsessing that if I am away for a few days my DVR won’t record and there are only so many times I can check.  I will cry, probably hysterically, but I am not ashamed of that. There really is no such thing as the “ugly cry.”  But, you know that. The last few weeks I have cried spontaneously as my son decided on the college of his choice and while I know he will be so happy, it will never be the same after this. Change. I’m not good with it, I admit it. I know I have no choice to accept change; I’ve learned that I need 24-48 hours to adjust, but it’s just not working with your show ending. I’m having a hard time accepting it (can you tell?)

Oprah, I was always the one in the viewing audience that was totally confused when you said “Do what you love to do.” I spent years figuring that out, until I went back in time and remembered my love for writing in High School. That was a really long time ago and I had NOT written much since 1978. I took a chance and started a blog and I was so afraid. I did it though, slowly and while it isn’t bringing in the money (yet?) I am doing something I love. Because of you. You were a comfort to my heart, you were the teacher of my soul.

Goodbye Oprah. G-d bless you for all the things you have given us.  I don’t need to wait till the last show, I’m doing the “ugly cry” now, and that’s okay.

I will miss you dearly.

Love,

Your biggest fan

Hibernationnow

https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com

My Thoughts On Valentine’s Day (Plinky Prompt)

Heart-shaped cake with Roses

Image by Taariq Maruzook via Flickr

  • Kiss Me, Hug Me, Tell Me That You Are Mine……….

    February 14, I feel like I should be writing this with red kissy hearts all over the page. ❤ How I feel about Valentine’s Day depends on the year. When I was single, I hated Valentine’s Day, I thought it was overrated and commercial and totally depressing. However, my husband and I got engaged on Valentine’s Day in Hawaii, not at dinner overlooking the magnificent sunset (he didn’t want a scene!) but back in our rented condo, in the kitchen, sharing a Diet Coke. I am sentimental (sometimes) about Valentine’s Day but this year my husband has a meeting with his boss so we will celebrate it two weeks later. After his being unemployed for about 18 plus months, his new job is our joint Valentine’s Day present.
    My husband is NOT well known for his romantic side,(sorry hon, but you KNOW it’s true) I’ve learned to accept that. He’s a more matter of fact, computer/ intellectual person while I am pure, mushy emotion. Sure, I used to dream about red roses coming in a white box delivered by a florist but it’s not his style (and it’s expensive on Valentine’s Day too.) It matters more to me that he is always here for me when I need him, that I can count on him one hundred percent and that he is my best friend and companion. He brings me flowers other times just because he knows I love them, for no “holiday” at all except to make me smile.
    Romance, flowers, sweets are nice, so are red hearts and chocolate covered cherries, and cookies dusted with pink and red sugar. Deep down inside, I am married to the most wonderful man on earth and he is my ultimate gift and so too, I am his.

  • Previous Answer

Fake Oprah? FAUXPRAH?

Just tell me now. Tell me that Oprah is not a fake and that all these statements written in the book by Kitty Kelley (which I admit I am reading) are NOT true. But, if a die-hard fan like me is starting to doubt and question than I have a feeling a lot of people are. I consider myself the pulse of America and I am not bragging about it. I’m afraid to say that I am not only reading the book but devouring it. After 300 pages, I am beginning to be a tiny bit suspicious of my hero, MY legend, my spiritual leader, Oprah. Oprah, please say it ain’t so!

While I am reading the book, I find myself talking back out loud to the book, trying to ignore the book’s claims; but I can’t and I am not happy about it. If Oprah herself pulled a James Frey than the world, as I know it, will be over and that would be monumental; it would be huge. As my mom would say in her German dialect “it would be the “bottom of the pits.”

I’m starting to question everything: did Oprah decide to end her show because she knew the book was being published and didn’t want to deal with issues in the book? No, of course not. Maybe? When Oprah tells people to “think big” and “imagine yourself with your goal in hand” Oprah was MY goal. I saw myself shmoozing with her and becoming friends with her, cuddling her dogs, sitting in her lush sofas with my feet crossed under me. Granted I’m sure 30 million other viewers feel the very same way.  Don’t tell me she isn’t friendly, don’t tell me she made up “stories” or even “exaggerated truths.”  I refuse to believe that.  I think.

I haven’t give up on Oprah, I refuse to. It would be too devastating and I have not finished the book yet. I’m hoping for a happy ending where the author confesses she really does love Oprah and perhaps confesses her own exaggerations of the book but I am not feeling that.

Oprah, I’m still here, and I’m still rooting for you. But, I admit, I have a few nagging strands in my stomach and in my brain making me feel a little scared and apprehensive, maybe even a tiny bet annoyed. To me, you’ve always been “The Secret” the key to knowing what was right and what was wrong and I still look up to you tremendously. You have changed lives, you have housed the homeless, you build schools, you help millions by suggesting books (although some of the choices written by your friends are a little questionable)  you give away cars (ok, that one was a little over the top) and you give great gifts of the things that YOU love to others. Convince me that you are sincere and that all the literature written about you is total trash. Because, unfortunately, the book seems to make sense.  At times.

Oprah, give me a sign. Tell me to “live my best life” (copyrighted apparently by Oprah) and let me have my own “A-Ha” moment (also copyrighted by Oprah.)  Give me a “Harpo Hook-up” (ditto, see above) or an “Oprah Make Over” (same, copyrighted by Oprah). Invite me to come on your show and really talk to me. Please, make me a believer. Again.