Haiku Horizons, Circles

 http://youtu.be/QwOO4mjNw3U

Seasons pass, birds fly,

twinkling hues, circle of stars

A gift for your Soul.

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Love circles me, you

deep in swollen pink velvet

blush with pride, equals.

 

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In Search Of Purpose And Key Lime Pie

I’m a foodie and a true dessert lover. Last week I salivated every night while eating huge helpings of chocolate mousse cake with a hint of raspberry jam and thick fudge frosting. My new obsession is finding key lime pie. I’m dying for key lime pie. Why is it that I have not yet found a dessert I don’t adore? I’m strongly anticipating the “Sunday only” jelly doughnut, an almost weekly tradition…

I’m not a full-fledged foodie because I’m fussy about fish: I am a salmon-hater, the strong smell, the nasty taste, I wish I liked it for health reasons but I haven’t found a recipe that can disguise the flavor so I can even take a bite. I can’t get near the fish. ( I still blame Susie K. for forcing me to eat that horrid salmon mousse and telling me it was tuna.) Tonight’s dinner consists of homemade Nona’s meatballs and homemade tomato sauce. I forgot to buy the thick, crusty, multi-grain bread to rip apart and dunk in good olive oil. I’m too tired now to run out and buy it. But a salad of fresh mozzarella and tomato with olive oil and basil will have to do.

 

Key lime pie with whipped cream.

Key lime pie with whipped cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a child for my mom, a 57-year-old child, I could never understand that until my daughter turned twenty about a week ago. I am a wife, now going on 26 years and most of all I am a mom.

 

I’m a writer and blogger, I don’t care if blogging is the bottom of the barrel for some people. I love it and will keep doing it until I don’t love doing it anymore. Compiling them together? Maybe.

I was a traveler of many countries when I was young and traveled with my parents and sister on free tickets yet also a homebody who couldn’t wait to just get home.

I cried with happiness when I saw the lights of John F. Kennedy Airport twinkling at night when we were coming home to New York. Home is where I always wanted to be, home is still where I want to be. My older sister would also be crying but for her it was because she wanted to stay on vacation and not come home. Ever. Two sisters, as our parents used to say ” the sun and the moon.” I was lucky to travel with my husband on bonus points when we could, Amsterdam, one of our favorite cities in the world.

I’m both friendly and withdrawn, I need my alone time desperately. I don’t always get it and then I really feel stressed out. I need to walk outside more. Be in nature, appreciate things around me.

Nicolae Grigorescu - Peasant Woman Sitting in ...

I can be quick and funny edging on sarcastic but with no intention to harm or hurt. I’ve had more than one person say I should be a stand up comic. I’m not sure that I see that at all.

 

But, most of all, I am a mom of two incredible adult children, 20 and almost 22. A son, bright, warm brown eyes and ready to start his day early each morning. He never wanted to miss anything since he was two. We used to call him “The Farmer.” To this day, he is active every moment of each day, now on his quest to be accepted to medical school. His goal is to be an ER doctor, no Internist, he. He likes to keep moving. Strong, confident, first child syndrome.

My beautiful daughter, who used to be so shy, not anymore. I admire her, wish I had the same guts at her age. She will go far, she is unbelievably intelligent, intuitive,  sassy, beautiful and charming. She is also incredible courageous which I never was when I was her age. I am so glad that she is like that, I faked my own insecurities so that my children would not be like me. I did it for them. It has paid off in so many delicious ways. I can see her in a court room with her impeccable memory grilling someone on the stand with her quick mind.

I may not have completed a dissertation or an MBA, neither have I received any medals or awards. I have not yet published my first novel.  If I do nothing else in this world I feel accomplished and honored that I brought two amazing young people into this world. They are my life, what I am now and what I will leave behind in the future. My life will go on because of them. I don’t need anything more than that.  I love them more than anything in this world. When people ask me my profession, I answer “I’m a Mom” with pride. I think I always will.

Haiku Heights: Grey

A Macedonian girl in a traditional folk costume

A Macedonian girl in a traditional folk costume (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grey clouds, sniff contempt

from tan, crisp, chicken-fry, skin

We belong here too.

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Silver specks of light

pop, electrify, brown hair

Proud of who I am.

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Love, innocence, light

warm eyes see goodness, not grey

lips smiling, sweet one.

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And Now I Shake

ECG complex.

ECG complex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the last six weeks I’ve felt light-headed; I’ve often brought this up to my internist and she has always said that it’s my low blood pressure ( 80/60.) “Salt your food” she murmurs, “stand up slowly from a seated position.” Then she adds: “That happens to me too!!” (Now I’m SURE we can be best friends because we have so much in common.) My husband insists that it has been happening more often and he has nagged me to see my doctor for a few weeks now, I’ve refused.

Yesterday I had an annual physical with my gynecologist who I like but totally FORGOT that she’s a worry wart like I used to be. Notice the PAST tense. I casually asked her if she thought I needed to see my internist about this small issue. She said “yes” and “that it might be a problem with my heart “valve.” The only “v” word I expected to hear from her was “vagina”( if there are any guys reading now is your opportunity to run) valve did not make me happy. I finally confessed to my husband, tried not to look at his smug face and called to set up an appointment.

I described feeling light-headed, having to bend my head down to prevent fainting, feeling very warm, getting a massive headache but never passing out. I could reach a chair or a bed and sit down and I’d be fine in a few minutes. It never happened when driving and obviously if I felt weak, I wouldn’t go out. It did happen going up or down stairs but I always held on to the banister. It was NOT, in my estimation, dangerous.

Now that I had conceded, a nurse gave me an EKG which was perfect with the oddest exception. My whole body started shaking. Once or twice lately I have noticed that my body starts shaking uncontrollably and I can’t stop it. I have asked my husband if he could see it and he has always said “no.” I think it’s one of those “guy” things. The nurse noticed it right away, I’m sure a best friend could as well.

So now, I could add “shaking” to my long list of maladies. Along with Fibromyalgia, almost passing out, Thyroid disease, Auto-Immune disease of the thyroid,  impaired hearing, I shook. I felt like one of those bobble heads except it wasn’t just my head that bobbled, it was my body wobbling. A nurse took five or six vials of blood and then the doctor told me (wait for it…) I had to go to the cardiologist for an echocardiogram and even worse, a stress test. No, No, No! Ugh, this is sweat and embarrassment  in front of others and I hate that kind of stuff. I gave my husband the evil eye, actually two evil eyes. They scheduled me in six weeks, obviously not a crisis situation to them (Thanks, honey!)

My doctor used this new phrase at least five times during my seven minute visit: “due diligence. In my language that means ” I’m running these tests to cover my ass.” For someone who used to get anxious for days, even weeks, I only got anxious for about five minutes which for me is zen-like (and that’s when they  told me I had to see the darn cardiologist.)

As soon as we got home,  I made myself my old standard comfort food, an American cheese sandwich on soft bread with butter, some salt-ridden baked sour cream and onion Lays potato chips( for medicinal reasons only) and a cold Yoo-Hoo to drink. For dessert, nothing speaks comfort more than a dish of really rich vanilla ice cream, softly melting in a red ceramic dish. No drugs of any kind were necessary. No jelly on pizza, I required nothing else. Damn, I was proud. But, I still have to do those stupid tests unless, as my sister suggested, I cancel?! What do YOU think?

Woman in Café with Yoo-Hoo and Cigarette, afte...

Woman in Café with Yoo-Hoo and Cigarette, after William Glackens (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Haiku Heights – Pride

Old Couple

Old Couple (Photo credit: Up Your Ego)

Smiles brighten, eyes lit

Our sun, our kids, beam, sparkle

As we fade away

*

Old, wrinkles, deaf, pain

Hands, well-worn, lined with velvet

Earned gray, silver, hair.

*

We are all the same

A steady glance, a soft touch

Loving who we love.

Deutsch: Lesbische Zweisamkeit im Bett

Deutsch: Lesbische Zweisamkeit im Bett (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mellow Yellow Monday

English: Corn Chamomile - Anthemis arvensis Sh...
When my daughter was very young she took ballet lessons. She dressed all in pink from her tiny ballet slippers, her pink tights, pink leotard and yes, her very pink, fluffy tutu. I still have the image of her, so delectable, so sweet, ensconced in my brain.  My daughter always knew what she wanted and what she liked. There were dance recitals, even at the tender age of three and four where the little girls would perform and parents and grandparents would applaud as if the American Ballet Theatre had just landed in our small town. Our tears flowed and we tried to wipe them away as quickly as possible, but the rims of our eyes matched the little ballerinas outfits.

Relatives of the young ballerinas brought flowers to the performance. Everyone brought red roses for their little star. Everyone but me. My little ballerina did not like roses, her favorite flowers were daisies. Bright, cheerful, white and yellow daisies. While some parents looked at us askance, I knew when I saw my daughter’s face light up with joy and excitement that my precious ballerina was unique. I bought her a big bouquet of daisies and her face was lit up by happiness, her blond hair, gleamed in the sun, and her arms clutched her special flowers. My daughter, now seventeen, still knows exactly what she wants, she has always known. She planned her birthday parties four years in advance and while her blonde hair is now darker, she is as unique as ever, a vegetarian, a unique soul. Though she no longer loves daisies, she doesn’t know what her favorite flower is anymore and there’s plenty of time to figure that out, it’s perfectly alright.

For J.

The Moment ( HS Graduation 2011)

Cap Toss

Image by Herkie via Flickr

I never knew how high and wide the big white High School graduation tent was until I stood under it. I didn’t realize how massive it was until I wandered through it.  I walked through the aisles under the tent saying “Hi” and “Congratulations” to people I hadn’t seen in years.

I didn’t know how I would react when my son’s name was read over the microphone yet instinctively we stood and clapped and cheered and roared. I saw a young man walk back to his seat in slow motion; I didn’t realize it was my son; his face  looked so grown up. Teenagers age, I think,  once they put on their High School graduation caps and gowns; he looked six inches taller and six years older too.

It’s all a blur, the speeches and the people you smile at, familiar faces that you have seen in elementary school recitals or a middle-school play. The friends that you hug warmly are the best, closest friends that you have, that you have talked to all year, day in and day out, wondering anxiously if you and your child would ever make it to this grand day. We hold on to each other for an extra minute, sharing this surreal moment, not believing we are actually, finally, here.

They officials on the podium made an announcement to please refrain from clapping until all the students names have been read. Yeah, right. I felt sorry for the first few kids whose last name started with “A.” Those parents were very well-behaved; it just took one family to start…  There were further instructions from the podium to NOT clap for each student so I felt perfectly justified playing my silly game of selection. I did NOT clap for the kids that had ever been especially mean to my son (starting with kindergarten through 12th) and for the mean-spirited moms, dads and kids that everyone knew, were the culprits of spreading ill-will. It was like a silent victory lap for moms and dads; besides we all did the same thing.

I was proud of my self-control, all my sadness, tears, and sobbing began months before the actual event. On the day of graduation I smiled and laughed and was so proud of my son and the amazing young man he has turned out to be.  I was also filled with pride when his three best friends names were called, we shouted and clapped for each one. I will, undoubtedly, miss my son when he leaves for college but also, I will miss his friends, “the posse” as I called them or “The Entourage.” I have no doubt that they will see each other when they come home from college, but this long, lovely chapter of best friends and video games, parties, dinners, dates and diners has ended. I will miss that and my special group of “The Moms.”

Just when I thought the ceremony was over, the President of the High School, told the students that they had officially  graduated. The blue caps were flung in the air with unbridled joy and excitement. There was a deafening roar from the students and all my self-control evaporated in that moment; I burst out crying. It was so emotionally intense; it was captured in my mind and heart forever.

The graduates beamed so much that it looked like they were lit up from inside with joy and pride.  They were shining, like new copper pots or brand new pennies, excitement dancing in their eyes. Congratulations to my son and to all his friends and classmates; Congratulations to the Class of 2011!

The Incredible Shrinking Sensa Lady

Cover to The Giving Tree, depicting the tree g...

Image via Wikipedia

Every time I see the commercial for the  incredible shrinking “Sensa” lady on my computer I get agitated. I am like a 5-year-old child that wants to growl. I am Max of Where The Wild Things Are. I am a roaring lioness protecting her young. This stupid Sensa lady appears every day, first she is full-size (and there is nothing wrong with that) and then she diminishes on my computer to become a very skinny (too skinny) cartoon shadow of herself. The commercial comes on practically every time I turn on my computer and I want her to go away. Or gain weight. Or, most importantly, be happy with who she is without shrinking to a skeleton. I want to see her eating chocolate truffles, and fettuccine alfredo with garlic bread dripping with mozzarella cheese. I want to see her with a date, a lover, a friend, a husband, anyone. It’s time for “Single Shrinking Sensa Lady” to hit the road.

I googled “Sensa” and all I could find out is that it is something you sprinkle on food and, allegedly, you feel full faster, but don’t quote me. If it works for you, that’s fine. I am not judging the product because I don’t know it. (maybe I’m judging just a teeny tiny bit?) I’m sure you would get the same results without using the sprinkles and just using a smaller plate!   Brand recognition? Sensa, you win!  I recognize the product each and every time, but it doesn’t in any way make me want to buy the product, it just makes me groan out loud and roll my eyes. Wouldn’t that be negative brand recognition?

As one gets older your body changes naturally. There is not much you can do about it and really, why stress about it so  much. Try to be healthy but don’t hit yourself over the head if you have a slice of warm apple pie.  Life is short, enjoy it. As that great movie with America Ferrara says”Real Women Have Curves.” I’m happy with myself, you can be too. Feel beautiful for who you are not what you weigh. Weight gain, weight loss, isn’t it time we get over it already? Be comfortable in your own skin, be healthy, eat whatever you want in moderation and take a walk; maybe even try to walk a little more every day. Do what you can.

I am no Jillian Michaels (and  heaven forbid, I don’t want to be.) I don’t think people need abs like cement bricks nor do I think they have to be tortured if they don’t lose enough weight in a week (I know it’s a television show called The Biggest Loser, but still……)  Jillian, please stop screaming so much. People are trying as hard as they can; if I was at “The Ranch” your screaming would make me gain weight for the emotional stress you were putting me through. How about a nicer, softer Jillian..oh wait, his name is Bob. Tone it down a little, no tone it down a lot (and I don’t mean in a weight loss way).  Yell at me, bitch, just try. I am comfortable with my body and myself. I am not skinny, I’m closer to chubby, ok, full disclosure; I AM chubby and I am fine with it. Enjoy life, think things through, have dessert, have a big heart and give back to others. Read and reread The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Success is not always measured in pounds, it’s also measured in pride.

My Greatest Achievement

” There is night so we can appreciate day, sorrow so we can appreciate joy, evil so we can appreciate good, ‘YOU’ so I can appreciate ‘LOVE’ ! “

This is one post I hope my teenage children will skip. It’s totally sentimental and for lack of a better word, “shmaltzy.”(sappy?). I can honestly say, without a second’s hesitation, that my kids (sorry Dan, our kids) are my greatest achievement. I don’t have a Ph.d nor have I received the Nobel Peace Prize; Oprah hasn’t given me a free trip to Australia (or a new car) but I’m extremely blessed. I have a son who will be 18 in a few weeks and a 16-year-old daughter. I am incredibly proud of both my children. Of course I love and adore them but I also really like and enjoy them too. They are extremely different, as siblings can be, but they both possess qualities that make me incredibly proud. I have brought two young people into the world that are intelligent, polite, kind, charming, and most importantly, they care about other people. Both of them volunteer, work and are excellent students. Are they perfect? Of course not. Do I get frustrated and annoyed sometimes? You bet. However, there is no doubt in my mind that both of them will make this earth a better place in one way or another. These kids are my heart and my soul. I have a son and a daughter, a phrase from an old song comes to mind: “who could ask for anything more?”

I overcame infertility which, by itself, is a grueling and draining process, understood only by those people who have gone through it. Two and a half years of trying to get pregnant, 30 months of disappointment, tears and depression. I was meant to be a mother, it’s something I have always wanted and while not impressive to some, being a SAHM (stay at home mom,” Mr. L”)has given me more than just good kids; these kids are amazing. I’m honored to be their mom.

P.S. if they ever read this, I am so cooked, I will get an endless amount of grief!

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Relay For Life – Cancer Foundation

Tonight my daughter shined with the satisfaction of accomplishment and goodness but she couldn’t outshine me, her mom, who looked at her with the greatest of love and pride. She’s a leader though I am not sure she knew that until recently. She was always, ever since she was a baby, doing her own thing, to the beat of a different drummer; she followed her own drumbeat and didn’t care what others thought. When it was time to graduate nursery school with all her little classmates, Jillian insisted on wearing her blue Cinderella gown to the ceremony, there was no talking her out of it and in the end, I’m glad she knew what she wanted so strongly. She hasn’t changed.

When I saw my daughter tonight at the Relay For Life, Cancer Foundation Event, with her arms outstretched to hug me I wanted to hold her tight and never let her go. “I’m so proud of you” I murmured into her soft blonde hair. And I am. She collected over 1100 dollars to donate for cancer research but it’s so much more than just that. She has developed into a beautiful, strong, young woman with conviction and strong emotions, strong principles and an incredibly large heart.

If you’ve never been to a Relay for Life activity you are missing out. Everyone seems to know someone living with cancer or has lost friends or family because of it. This event is to honor and remember all friends, family, loved ones.  It is a such a moving ceremony and the kids in high school organize it. My daughter being one of those organizers.

There is a Survivors dinner and a Survivors walk around the track; it begins with Melissa Etheredge’s beautiful song, blaring over the speakers “I Run For Life.” Last year I bawled seeing my friends walk around the track. This year I was smarter. I clapped and shouted to cheer them on, I didn’t cry or let them see me cry this year. This was their night to shine, not mine to distract. I am honoring them in their fight, I am mourning the people I have lost to cancer.

At 9:30pm when it is very dark out, the luminarias are lit. Luminarias are white paper bags that you pay ten dollars for in order to honor or remember a loved one who has or had cancer. They are filled with sand and placed around the track with a candle glowing in each one. You can write an inscription on them or decorate them.   I didn’t see the one I bought for my friend I lost to cancer this year, but it didn’t matter,  I’m sure she knew, it was there. There were many bags for a friend of mine who is has been living with cancer for a number of years now. Her daughter, and now her son, lead the event. To see their whole family, arms around each other, walking together during the survivor’s lap was both heartbreaking and beautiful. I think of this friend all the time; I made her family dinner quite often when she was sick so she didn’t have to think about food. I tried to nourish in whatever way I could; in whatever way she let me in and allowed me to help.

Another vision in my head this year, that will stay with me forever, was a mom or a friend of the mom who take a picture of one of the luminaria bags that had been written by their children in memory of their dad. That image will stay with me forever. She kneeled down on the track and used her cell phone to take a picture of the luminaria, that was written with “I miss you Daddy” and covered with red hearts and yellow flowers.

I feel thankful and blessed that I can go to the event and when we leave, we leave with an emotionally packed heart and never with a dry eye. The girls on my daughter’s team  and all the other teams  sleep over in tents though sleep is a questionable word. My daughter swears she will pull an all-nighter and when my sweet, strong and amazing daughter says she will do something; it happens; no question about it.

I am in awe of my daughter and I admire her, for the person she is, the person she has become. A lovely and beautiful young lady with compassion and tenderness and yes, great individuality and strength; a star, whose life makes mine shine brighter.