I Dream OF Cupcakes

Just the other day there was a persistent knock on our front door and a neighbor, who has cupcake1two young girls, was there holding out a plate of pink cupcakes. It was Valentine’s Day and school was  canceled because of yet another snowstorm so she was hoping to give them away to her neighbors.

My husband took two in and when I came downstairs and I saw these two mounds of sweet perfection I nearly wept. I wish I was dramatizing this but I am not. There, right in front of me were two vanilla (my absolute favorite flavor) with pink  icing and little white mounds of frosting on top  cupcakes. Shown to the right. I get happy just looking at the photo I took of the cupcake, yum.

I dreamed about them for the rest of the day, my saliva glands in overdrive, thinking about my pink cupcake, when I should have it, where I should have it but knowing for sure it would need an icy cold glass of milk to go with it. This was serious and I wasn’t going to muck it up for anything.

Sweets are very important to me and these, like angels from Heaven, gifts bestowed unto me, meant so much. There have been so many rough days behind us and I fear an equal amount of rough days ahead of us. These cupcakes were a respite from all that was bad and scary and unknown.

The randomness of a relative stranger, walking down the street in the snow to share her  cupcakes with her neighbors because she didn’t want to waste them was such a loving and kind thing.

Pink cupcakes. A random act of kindness. I will pay it forward…

Dedicated to A, J, and B

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Haiku Heights – Red

pink roses

pink roses (Photo credit: srqpix)

I saw blood, soaked, rags

flint made, exploding anger

Couple burst in flames.

***

The last page written

in smudged charcoal,  painter’s ink

news, her last good-bye.

***

Into the dark night

a bird whistle blows softly

Red and black beak cry.

***

A blush of pink rose

Happy Valentine’s Day, love

Just let me whisper.

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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Ordinary Days Are Magical

chocolate covered cherry

Image by circulating via Flickr

I woke up this morning, not to the shrill blaring of my radio alarm clock, or to a shaken shoulder but when my eyes opened and turned to the window.  It’s been a long few days and today I have nothing planned. I did a mental body check of all my ailments: Fibromyalgia aches and pains were present, my right leg still hurt  but was manageable. My knee still throbbed from my recent fall on the icy pavement but my mood was good. I had ten hours of sleep and while the sun was not shining it could have been. There was no snow in the forecast, reason enough to celebrate.

I started driving to the supermarket, because food, comfort and love equals nurturing for me.  I didn’t really need much except an idea of what to cook for tonight’s dinner and a destination. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the grocery store and new items celebrated my return. Marshmallow yellow chick peeps out the day after Valentine’s Day? Okay. A discounted box of chocolate covered cherries? I love those and I am not proud. Sugar cookies to make for my children and various treats for my dog, Callie’s, upcoming birthday in March. (shh! it’s a surprise party.)

I felt a little guilty because the simple, routine, “mom” things that I was able to do today, I did with less grief. As many of you know, my friend Dawn died on Friday night  and after the wake and the funeral and some time, today I woke up void of a dark, painful shadow. Then I remembered Dawn’s family, her father and mother, her husband, her siblings and her three children not able to escape the haunting grief. I felt guilty for being relieved and it pains me to write this.  I have been in their place before when my father died so I know, I truly KNOW what they are going through and how much it hurts and for how long.  I grieve for my friend, the twinkling green-eyed Dawn, but not the same way her children, her husband and relatives are grieving. Not even close. I feel bad that I have the luxury of distraction.

Strolling through the market I decided what I would be making for dinner, ravioli with a thick marinara sauce that I add a small can of tomato paste to, a store-bought fresh pizza, mozzarella and tomato salad with basil with drizzled olive oil and a multigrain loaf of Italian bread, still warm to the touch from the bakery. It’s rare that my family  eats at the same time these days but I feel happy with them just being home, together for a little while. Next year, with my son in college, it will all be very different.

That is why today, a simple trip to the supermarket and a walk through Target with a Starbucks gift card felt special. I bought a skinny vanilla latte with a shot of espresso to manage my afternoon weariness.  The simple touching of my dog’s fur, and playing with her outside in the snow felt like a gift.  An ordinary day at the supermarket felt, to me, like a five-day vacation to the Bahamas. It’s true that you don’t appreciate normalcy when you have been overwhelmed with an abnormal amount of grief and sorrow or horrible pain from any disease. A simple day that ends with a hot bath, sleepy eyes and a half-smile, is indeed, a miracle.

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

How I Am Liking 2011 So Far…..

Happy Valentine's Day Flickrites!

Image by Sister72 via Flickr

I’m Ready For February

 

One step forward, two steps backwards and on and on we go. My husband, after 18 months finally got a job! That was the sweetest day of the new year and he starts next week. Yes, there will be changes, a new schedule, new demands and adjustments but to see the old easy, grin on his face again is worth more than ten times his salary. At the same time because I have a chronic illness (Fibromyalgia) I know I will need to do more and try to handle my pain the best way I know how. It will not be an easy adjustment for me, especially when he travels, but I will find my way. Our children are now 16 and 18 and they are at the ages where we expect them to help us if we need it. They are no longer children and while they may not offer help indiscriminately, they will never say “no.”

The weather in the year 2011 so far has been as bad as the last month in 2010, snowstorms and blizzards every other day at times. This is the winter of our collective discontent when the only thing you could do is stay indoors. Hopefully, we will get a break and Spring will come early this year. (I know, I don’t believe it either!)

Creativity is high on my list not just with writing but I am planning to make a new collage and I haven’t done one in years. The last unfinished collage was on thick black paper with small pieces of broken glass glued to it. Not hard to interpret. My new background will be pink. Friends ask me what it is going to be about or how will it look? I laugh, because I never plan what I am going to write, cut, draw or paste; it puts itself together and I am looking forward to sitting at my old blue folding table and working, surrounded by music.

I’ve learned to define and understand something very important: “Friendship” know who your true friends are and accept what they are able to give you and not expect more of them. In the same vein, I know that family members are not my friends. I’ve worried about my mom’s health, had my own health scares but all is well and I am ready for February. Bring it on! I’ve got my boots on my feet and my brown winter jacket hugging me tight. I’ve learned, little by little, how to ride the waves, whether they are frozen or not.

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My Ultimate Keepsakes

:. via Flickr”]Zip

(Hey, Plinky: Is this a Plinky Prompt Repeat?)

Nokey. (Monkey)
This is the most sentimental item that I have. My father bought me this stuffed animal, a monkey, when I was two years old. I couldn’t pronounce monkey so Nokey it was. Nokey came on every trip with me, sat on my college bed and was there with the birth of my children. He now sits in my bedroom, wearing a Newton-Wellesly newborn shirt, the same shirt my children wore when they were born. He is barely stuffed anymore but still has his wide, open lipped, red smile. My father bought me Nokey at Lamberts; Nokey is now 52 years old. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me.

A ceramic, green 8
Eight was always a special number when I was growing up. It was significant to me as a child, a code between my father and myself. This is less about my dad and more about my daughter. She once made me a green, ceramic 8 when she was in sleep-away camp. I look at it every day and every night. The fact that my daughter made this for me means everything to me.

Photographs
I would scurry around my house ducking in and out of the flames so I could carry as many photographs as possible. A photograph taken on Cape Cod of me and my children when they were young, a photograph of my husband and I when we were first engaged, one of my dog, Callie, looking straight into the camera with a sweet, panting smile. A photo of my mother and I when I was a newborn, my sister and I when we were young and she was my world, my father and I hugging when I was pregnant with my son, pictures of family, friends, reminders of good times in the past.

A Wooden Heart
My mom gave me this heart many, many years ago. It says “I Love You” on it and it is very special. My mother, not an emotional person in any way, gave this to me as a gift. It was her way of showing me how much she loved me, I keep it to remind me that while she doesn’t always show it, I know she loves me deeply.

My Clam Engagement Necklace

My boyfriend (now husband of 22 years) and I went to Hawaii over Valentine’s Day many years ago. He proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, while we were in the kitchen of our rented condo, sipping Diet Coke. While he didn’t have a ring (he thought I would want to pick it out himself) he bought me a delicate gold, clam shell necklace. I call it my engagement necklace and while I have jewelery that is far more expensive, this means the most to me.

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