My Dog Lexi And Me

Vanilla custard with raspberries, blueberries and slices of thinly cut kiwi fruit, a small chunk of fresh pineapple, flaky almond crust. Small bites spread over an hour with a blue glass of icy cold milk. A dessert fork, lights dim not glaring. A peaceful Sunday night dessert.

Fresh fruit tart with kiwi, raspberries, and b...

Monday is cold and biting, raining, sleet. No place to go, to rush out the door. My dog is downstairs curled up on the couch, she looks like a sleeping fox. She, apparently, has no energy today either, I try to take her out but she looks at me with disdain.


She will not go. We look at each other wisely, we agree we should all move together to a warmer climate. “Florida?” I ask her. “California she murmurs, less humidity.” I agree immediately.”Someday” we agree.

We sit on the coach as we do every morning. Her body and paws on my lap, my arm around her head softly scratching behind her rusty colored ears, in her favorite place. We talk together.  She tells me if we move she is scared to swim in the ocean, I tell her I totally understand. We will start very slowly until she feels comfortable or if not she can play in the sand. I wouldn’t force her to do anything, I’m not that kind of mom.

I never forced my children to do anything they didn’t want to do either, I just insisted on them having good manners and being respectful. They both are. I am so proud of your siblings, I whisper to the dog,and I am so proud of you.”  I let her in on a secret: “they will be home very soon to visit you.” The dog looks up at me, her eyes brighten with interest. She knows when her brother comes home he will rough house with her, she knows when her sister comes home she will get extra hugs and kisses, mostly in private.

Everybody says we should not feed the dog at the table

but we all do except for dad, he is the strictest of the family. I just need a soft, warm, mushy look and my hand is out. Sister sometimes slips too and gives in not to mention grandma who gives pieces of food all the time, even to the dog’s cousin where it is really NOT allowed. “But it makes him so happy” she says, calling the dogs boys when they are both girls. It’s a language thing.It makes us all laugh.

It is finally time to get out of bed and take a hot shower, whether I want to or not. It is so cold in the house, I am shivering. Nothing motivates me except the amount of days I haven’t showered. I have accepted/relented to Winter because I have no choice. I will stay in as much as possible, that is my coping mechanism. I can’t fight it, I may as well hide from it. I’ve given in.

Time does not stand still, not at all. It breezes past, its bitterness a step away from me. I like it that way. If I don’t have to go out, I won’t. If I can’t live in a warm temperature, I will make the temperature warm in my house. I will only go out when I need to go out. Tomorrow, I need an EKG, just a three-month check-up, no biggie. I will go and I will come back, happy to be home.  I will make a cup of tea with a spoon of honey

and I will appreciate that even more than usual. After that, I will sit once more, with my dog, lying on the bed and we will close our eyes, together. Nap time.

 

Advertisements

Yellow Magic Madness #18

Cheerful, bright yellow, play teapot. Would you like a cup of tea?

Big Yellow Teapot

Big Yellow Teapot (Photo credit: unloveablesteve)

Haiku Heights: Chivalry

English: Afternoon tea.

English: Afternoon tea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slight touch, soft elbow

guide me to high tea, my dear

No, please, after you.

*************************************************************

Sweet dove, soft petal,

May I kiss your pink silk cheek

With a quiet pause.

Yellow Magic Madness #6

I was so hoping to post a photo of yellow flowers or budding trees but I have to be honest, they are not out yet and I am being true to my self (even though I feel like screaming and pounding my fists this winter feels so LONG!). The cold winds are still blowing right through me and sometimes I find comfort in a cup of apple spice tea or plain tea with milk and touch of honey. Sit on a comfy chair, put your head back, throw a multi-colored quilt around you, join me in a cup of tea from my yellow teapot and slowly sip. Spring is coming, very, very soon. I promise.

English: A yellow ceramic teapot against a sto...

English: A yellow ceramic teapot against a stone floor, taken by CGS. Public domain. Commons:Category:Yellow Commons:Category:Teapots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daytime Dreaming, Hell Yes, It’s Weird

Scones with butter, jam and clotted cream.

Scones with butter, jam and clotted cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m supposed to write about oranges, sliced oranges in circles, thick peels attached and I’m not sure why. Also, sunshine hiding somewhere behind the thunderous rain clouds that have attacked us for days on end. You can’t see the sun, you don’t hear about it on the long-range, extended forecast but you have to believe it’s going to come back sometime. I don’t know when, I’ve stopped counting the days, the weeks, it will show up one day, probably when I stop waiting for it.

I see old-fashioned carriages, black with wide-spoked wheels driving crookedly on cobble stoned streets; maybe I lived here in a past life. This could be France. I see a friend, Delia, beside me laughing; I don’t know her but I guess we are experiencing the same thing together.  With Delia by my side I feel happy, we have always had adventures like this one, we have moved on and now we are in England. (in real life I think Delia is my friend Denise-before she got married.) I’m the one, of course, who is looking for a place for afternoon tea and scones with Devonshire cream. You can’t forget that creamy, sweet, delicious taste in any time period.

On some random, indoor, faded pink carpet there are small spots of dog poop stains (stains only, no poop.) Listen, I haven’t taken any drugs or smoked anything or am having any flashbacks or swallowed ANY alcoholic beverages. This is what is coming out of my weird, psychedelic mind. I don’t even know a Delia.

What does it mean? I have no idea. I just know that I’m supposed to write this gibberish down and I am doing that. Call it crazy, though the word scares me now, call it quirky, silliness, call it free-form writing. Call it what it is, commercials of junk in my mind, or artistic ramblings of a very tired woman. You never know, this could end up in a novel one day or a biography, in a junk pile, or a shredder. Who is to say?

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.

Powered by Plinky

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, Pick One And Just Eat That

Pancakes & Eggs

Image by Ben Ward via Flickr

I Pick: BREAKFAST, HANDS DOWN

BREAKFAST! Pancakes with sweet maple syrup and a pat of melting butter, English Muffins with cream cheese, butter or peanut butter and jelly, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, egg in a hole, bacon extra well done and crunchy, cereal…. Want more?  Scrambled eggs with cheese or an egg and cheese sandwich on a roll, French toast, sometimes with cinnamon, sometimes plain, cinnamon-sugar toast, a fruit cup, ripe red raspberries, plump blueberries, a sliced banana cut into “coins.” Strawberries and nuts and raisins and brown sugar in hot oatmeal. Your beverage order? Freshly squeezed orange juice, hot chocolate, coffee, tea? Toast or bread with butter and honey. I’m drooling here…….Breakfast is comfort food, I like just about everything. It’s warm, it’s a memory of your childhood, it is sweet cinnamon rolls with vanilla icing. Just one thing, please hold the sausage.

Powered by Plinky

Hey Ba, I Think It’s Now

a bird nest

Image via Wikipedia

I’m beginning to think that”these days may just BE the good old days” and I want to stop and appreciate them as much as I can. I want to  savor my children’s laughter, energy, and yes, even fighting. I want to enjoy family dinners served with a sauté of sarcasm and lumpy cheese sauce with laughter. I’m not saying that things are great but they are definitely good enough and  that’s just fine. My husband is still unemployed and our kids are just about to skip from home to college and I will be living in my own new reality, as an “empty-nester” which is both incredibly sad and exciting.

When I was in my early twenties, my best friend Barbara and I would alternate saying “Laur, when is it gonna get better?”or “Hey Ba, when is it going to get better?” I don’t even remember now what was so bad back then. We asked each other this as we were selecting French pastries from a small patisserie: the fruit tart or the chocolate mousse? Two Libra girls in an enchanting bakery meant only one thing: both. Now, thirty years later, back then seemed like it WAS better but it was just different. “Youth” is wasted on the young” my mother used to mutter. We laughed and knew she didn’t know what she was talking about. We have all said the exact, same thing to our children as they look back at us and roll their eyes. How can we expect them to understand what no other generation ever did before?

Rereading the book Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg is helping to keep me in the present. It’s a book about a woman dying of cancer and her loving friends. It makes you stop and think about your life. For me, these are the good old times. Are we silly enough to think that things will get easier as we get older? They don’t. I prescribe reading Ms. Berg’s book surrounded by tissues and as Oprah would say “a-ha” moments.

Now, while we still have our two children home, at least for a few more months I am relishing my time with them. I want to freeze these days like photographs on our mantel. My son, my first born, a Senior, is always running out the door, his black and orange sneakers barely trailing him. He has about four and a half months before he leaves home  for the summer to be a Counselor at the camp he attended for many years. Camp is my son’s other home; it is a magical place that helped shape him as a person. My first-born,  has the same temperament as I do; we understand each other with a casual glance. He’s waiting to hear from colleges in the near future. As much as I try to spend time in the present, I miss him already.

My daughter, a Junior in High School came home from “College Night”  and sounded like a newly opened bottle of soda; her enthusiasm and excitement was contagious.  “I want to go to college tomorrow, Mom” she chirped.  I will have a whole year with just her where she doesn’t have to share the limelight with her older brother. I am not even ready to think about what life will be like when she goes off to college. This beautiful young woman will always be my baby.

I would like the world to stand still so I can try and burn memories in my heart. My nine year old dog is sleeping at the foot of my bed. The children laugh, fight, shout and antagonize each other yet their love for each other is incredibly obvious. I know my husband will find a job eventually and I just want to hold on to this feeling of our family; for as long as I possibly can. Here is my life lesson: cherish each moment; it’s as simple as that.

The Joy Of A Lovely Cup Of Tea

It's Teatime!

Image by The Infatuated via Flickr

I’ve always been an avid coffee drinker, super Starbucks strength. I have a cup of strong coffee every morning, without fail, made the same exact way, with Fat Free Half and Half and one packet of Truvia. I’m hooked on coffee in the morning but only drink that one cup a day, which I am sure is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee if made by anyone else.

Why is that you can have a “good” cup of coffee but a “nice” cup of tea?  The only time I used to drink tea was when I had a stomach ache and then I would begrudgingly drag out the tea tin. Stomach ache = peppermint tea. A cold= Lipton tea with lemon juice and sugar or honey. That was it. I never enjoyed it, it was like a prescription for an illness or ache.

Just recently my son received a goody box from England filled with all types of delicious Cadbury chocolate and a small plastic bag with tea. He offered me the te so I decided to try it and made myself a cup. It was strong, earthy, bold. I didn’t use milk, or honey or sugar. I sipped it with delight. After that, I dove in the cupboard and reached all the way in to the back shelf to get the old container of tea which housed my own collection. I was pleased to find that I had an assortment of tea:  Lipton, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange Pekoe, Chai, Chamomile, Green and Black tea, Sleepytime tea and my new personal favorite, Jasmine tea. The scent alone of Jasmine tea is enough to ensure a great, big, smile of relaxation and a deep, soothing breath.

I find coffee drinking a sociable act but a cup of tea for me in the afternoon is quite solitary yet peaceful. It has become my new afternoon ritual. It gives me the opportunity to gather the day’s events together and gives me time to rethink and relax before  making dinner.

I still  use the one of the same mugs I use for coffee  but it doesn’t feel right. Tea requires a more dainty,  pretty cup. I need to buy one, a pristine, flowery tea-cup, perhaps one found in a thrift shop where I can imagine it was owned by a gracious older lady.  I drink tea differently too. While I happily slurp my morning cup of coffee, I sip tea, gently, lovingly and with more respect.

Now I have two things to look forward to each day, one in the morning when I am barely awake and one in the afternoon when I could use a break.  I sniff the scent of the tea container smelling rose, fruit,  nuttiness, a soothing peppermint. It can match my mood, it can comfort my soul.

In this world, that is scary and unpredictable, it’s comforting to have a new routine that gives me pleasure. We all need to make nice things happen for ourselves and appreciate them. I put my troubles aside, I sit down in a comfortable chair and I quietly sip my tea. It’s like sipping a little piece of meditation.

thank you Ghandi

Apple Store San Francisco - Genius Bar

so i went to the snooty mall today, all anxious and not knowing where to go. my sense of direction is what legends are made of. as in i have no sense of direction, never did, never will. and jill was not working. yes, jill our gps helper person.  of course, when I have to go to the complicated mall jill just shows me an hour-glass going up, going down. i had no idea where i was going. had to stop a car in the next lane  and scream to ask for directions. it was all so seventies.  there was bumper to bumper traffic, what should have been a 35 minute drive took me over an hour and ten minutes. I was all jittery and hot and flushed since I didn’t want to be late for my appointment and nordstrom’s doors were locked tight and it was like totally dark in there so we were all milling around in the parking lot waiting to see if someone would unlock the doors because eventually they had to. right? i mean it is nordstroms….

i had a 10:15 appointment with the genius ( i kid you not, that’s what they are called) at apple and I was all running over shlepping my computer because the dvd player which I tried at home at least 12 times, was all of a sudden working. surreal, i know, totally  really surreal, like going to the doctor with a complaint and then as soon as she walks in the room, it’s gone. cured. just like my computer when he, the genius, put the Ghandi dvd in it that had scratches and i swear that Ghandi himself healed the computer’s dvd. no seriously, Ghandi himself fixed my computer and saved me about 200 dollars.

while my computer  was given a free, yes free, new keyboard, i walked around the pretentious mall and wanted to get an iced tea. there was a specially tea store and I swear on my life, they wanted me to pay $4.95 for a small herbal iced tea and i was so “i’m so out of here” because starbucks is even cheaper than this and i have a gift card. i walked around the mall slowly until two people (two different people) accosted me, shoving samples in my hand. and I was all fine and happy that i got free samples until I looked at them and saw they were samples for people with deep, severe, repeat deep, severe wrinkles. now i had two wrinkle cream serums and I thought to myself, omg, I must look so old and horrible and I didn’t even have an iced tea to drink to keep myself hydrated.

i’m in all sorts of pain and my back is all sore especially the lower middle back and i am tempted to cry but am trying to hold myself together because yesterday was a horrible day and everyone was in a miserable mood. today was a little bit better because it must be that Ghandi sent some more healing powers although it seems the genius who worked on my computer did something wrong and now my computer sounds like an airplane on a runway about to take off. but supposedly the dvd player is still fixed, just not sure if i can hear it now.

i met a really interesting friend of my mother’s who is an artist and somehow she inspired me in some sort of creative, optimistic way.  i am now thinking about taking an art class even though i know i have zero talent but i’m talking myself into trying again. i failed clay once and i’ve never forgotten it but i was in my twenties then and at 54 i really don’t care all that much. so i need a new hobby and now i have inspiration and a sunnier disposition to think about it. so i will plug away and maybe get involved in something new or maybe i won’t and will be the lazy slob i always have been and dive under piles of comforters and dream of spring.