Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Beachside Cup

Well...the oldest boy is settling into beach-side life well.
 Already sending back those photos of the outside temp is 85 degrees...or "Mom, everything is green and beautiful here and I am outside in shorts and NO SHIRT." Making the transformation from Hoosier to Floridian.

Also only about an hour or so from our Middle son...and they have already exchanged calls and soon to get together. And yes...a visit after he gets situated is in-the-works!

Working out the details (CS, visitations,et al) with the kids and both Moms have assured me ample "Grandma Rose" time. Going to sit down with them and work on Valentines stuff...for both the Moms and Dad. Everyone agreeing that what is most important is the well-being of the kids. And a new photo-collage of both girls and Brenden sent by Donna.

Kelly sent the details of Dwight's funeral...including quite a few of the Texas members who were there...played music...they even had Dwight's acoustic guitar on a stand at the front by his coffin.

~The half hour before the service was a once-around 'circle': Mike, Stan, an MP3 of Al's piano song, Raf, Tom with Robert back-up, then Robert solo.  Then Sue and I joined, and the whole group did the opening song, Amazing Grace.  The pastor shared some words, then one of Dwight's daughters, and finally uncle Milton.  We ended with the whole group again, doing Old Rugged Cross.  There was some recorded music and then Mike did some instrumentals during the final viewing and exit of the casket.

I didn't get to thank the church's sound guy, Lance, but by all accounts, he made us all sound great.  

At the graveside, there were some more prayers and comments by the pastor, then several people shared their memories of Dwight.  I read some sent in by Cea.  Bev's sister (?), who has a good voice btw, sang two verses of I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.  We closed with an a cappella reprise of Amazing Grace.

I'm sure everyone felt the same as me: it was an honor, both to serve and comfort Dwight's family with music, and to represent all the RMMGA musicians who were so dear to him.  ~

 He was an amazing person and we will (all) miss him. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Snow-Filled Cup

                                        Mackinac Island in the Snow

  Woke to the dawn breaking pinkly on the fresh snow.

If pink snow isn't nice...well....as Vonnegut would say "I don't know what is."

E-mails and Funeral arrangements for Dwight. Although I won't be flying in...I am going to pick up a David Austin rose to plant in Spring in remembrance. Beverly pretty much on auto-pilot right now.
I've been there. Reality comes later.


There is a concept worth exploring, today. I remember the E.R.A. days...and the early 70's feminist movement. Equal Rights. Sounded like a noble cause. Until you really stopped for a minute and examined it up close.

I always had a problem with the Feminist Movement, anyway. You could BE anything you wanted to BE...as long as they agreed with it.

Career woman. OK
Stay at home Mom. Not Okay.
Happily Married and a Homemaker: Way Not Okay (...and you were being subservient/exploited...and possibly were too stupid to know you were being both.)

Corporate Suit: OK
Sexy dress and 4 inch heels: Not Okay.
Employment in any Venue of Adult Entertainment: Way Not Okay (...and the admonishment that you were being EXPLOITED and possibly were too stupid to realize you were being exploited.)

In short...they were keen on you doing whatever you wanted to do...as long as THEY approved of what you wanted to do.

 And if you were a Happily Married Homemaker or (heaven forbid) a Stripper...well something was obviously WRONG. 

For the record. I wholeheartedly support the Lily Ledbetter Act.


(...there is a point to all this...)

 We broke a huge glass ceiling this week. Only a fragment of the Equal Rights battle. And one (in my opinion) we will stop and rue the day it shattered.

Today we have sanctioned "Women in Combat Roles"...and can our daughter/grand-daughters (...exactly like our sons mandatory at 18...) registration be far off?
What happens if the draft is reinstated?
For the women who want to be in a combat situation...this is wonderful news, I suppose.

For the rest...this may truly be a case of "be careful what you ask for...because, well- you might just get it".

Friday, January 25, 2013

An Evening Cup

Lost a buddy late last night.

Sometimes there isn't enough words- or coffee.

 Dwight was a husband...a father...a teacher...a musician and an amazing friend. For the past year or so the doctors would give up on him, but Dwight would keep on going...bouncing back again and again. An inspiration to me. The Energizer Bunny. In the last few months he had gotten much weaker...very tired.  A group of friends from the Gathering who live in the Austin/Dallas-Ft. Worth area have spent the past couple weeks visiting at the hospital...bringing guitars...playing (both for him...and when he felt strong enough...with him.) We talked on the phone. Through it all he remained amazingly upbeat. Our last conversation centered around the music, Bill, "pot brownies"-(something he was sure was a cure-all), and ended with "I love ya, guy."

It would be our last conversation.

Al...who was the creator of the Texas Gatherings...and remains the organizer has proposed the beginnings of a Memorial Wall since in the last few years we have lost quite a few...Chris Rockliffe...Pete Gay...Ed and Sharon...Bill...Don Lewis...and now Dwight.

Ken (another friend) reflected on something his mother said when she was in her 90's...

                                  " ~all my friends are dead.~ "

And the older he gets (he says)...the more he realizes the weight of that statement.

                                     RIP Dwight. 

You will be missed...and remembered.

So our musical Family surrounds Bev now as she picks her way through the earliest fog of widowhood and grief...and going to be there to guide her to DS later...when she reaches that point. Softly blurring the line between my "families"

And "Family" we are.  106 of us, last count.

An incredible thing...morphing from a DS group and strangers to ties that bind almost closer than blood at times. Strangers who shared the most traumatic loss of their lives...chaos...and tears...until finally we re-emerged to the place where "life goes on"...only now we are brothers and sisters instead of strangers. Moving from DS to a private FB group. And Gatherings...seems like everyone is always heading somewhere for a mini-gathering of sorts. Iowa. Vegas. Chicago. Indiana. A long weekend in Missouri with Betty (...at her Redneck Training Camp...) A Cruise planned in April and West Palm Beach with Diane and Sal. A small group headed to Africa...where Gail proves how dodgy the electric can be as well as giving everyone an Introduction to the local wildlife that will take refuge in your house during the rains. Another group this week to Hawaii.  And I thought I used to travel a lot.

 The enormous Pennsylvania Gathering...and YES Vicki...I will be there with bells on... where a collection is being gathered for Dave in the UK...in Darleen's brilliant

"Send a Brit to The States"


His pub tab alone may single-handedly save our US economy! 

And since Ralph is making his way via Hummer from Colorado...I see brownie baking in our future :)


Nothing more wonderful than a Gathering of Old Hippies!  Now where did I put that damned Lava Lamp?

No book of the week...this. But definitely something everyone should add to their bucket list if you've never seen it. A theatrical production of Thornton Wilder's: Our Town.

This may be the pinnacle of playwriting.

Leaving all with a thought for today:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Rest of the Story

Because...well...there always is one.

The Matching Tattoos? The Timing?  The oldest son has a wonderful job opportunity. Hopefully, a career maker. Couple this with the fact that he has been wandering aimlessly (and at times self-destructively) since the divorce...and it makes perfect sense. Is wonderful.

The catch.

 An over 1500 mile relocation. Hard on the "grands". Impossible for their Moms to comprehend. And difficult for me, as well. So used to seeing each other about once a week...forever. With all the technology available to us...it still doesn't take the place of your kid's hug.


 The breaking news was chaotic. Met with anger on the part of the kids Moms...and disbelief (and yes...anger) on my part. Nobody accepts a big change with a smile.

 But we don't love our children just when the sun shines. In fact, the darkest days are usually when they need us the most. And they don't live their lives to meet our specifications.Perhaps, when the dust settles this will benefit the kids, financially. Perhaps, it will give them summer memories with their Dad in the ocean and on a beach. Perhaps, I will travel to see him later, as well. It is too early to know.

But for today, and for always...no matter where we are...we can look at the little trampoline dude...bounce him up and down a couple times...and remember the love and laughter of that afternoon together. And all of the others we spent over 25 years. A way of reaching acceptance. Of making an impossible situation a little more possible.

 Of saying (and meaning)

"I wish you only the best."

Hoping the adults (-my son included-) will all take a deep breath and say/do what is best for their children. Words in anger can be horribly destructive. And there have been many. We are all human. 

Knowing I will be there for my "grands" in any way possible.

And with a bounce or three of the trampoline...even smiling, again.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

                                                         Kahlil Gibran

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Cup of "Randomness"

Ok...so this is what started it all.

Posted it on my eldest's Facebook page this morning on a whim. We had been discussing getting a small "matching" tattoo for a while. And, whereas I have three small pieces (all hidden from view). He has chest pieces and back pieces and one full sleeve and a good start on the other. His tattoo guy is on speed dial...lol...
 And this guy is good. He could literally "tat" the Mona Lisa on your back (mysterious smile and all) and make her look spectacular.

Anyway after sharing the above Internet Poster...I immediately got this message back

"Let's do it!"

Me:   Really?

"I'm calling Kyle as I type."

Me:   Really??

And he must have him on speed dial because by noon there was a rap at the door...followed by James, Kyle and his entire "kit boxes" of equipment.

                                  "To Your Door Tattoo"

Okay...after apologizing to the tattoo guy for what must have been his most mundane request...ever...and promises to call him when I get my real piece done later...the buzzing began.

In minutes...amidst much laughter...and of course video of the little dudes "leaping"- we had matching palm tats. The little dude...the trampoline and each of them is holding a bright red heart!

A link (and a smile) for a lifetime.
                                    The little trampoline dude!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Month of Sundays II

And...we're back to Sunday!

The second now in our "...reclaim a day..." project, and I must admit looking forward to it last night!

Watched the sun rise from the snuggly warmth of my quilts...with the Tucker-cat still curled tightly in a ball on the pillow (purring) beside me. A hot cup of tea with honey and a 1937 leather-bound Italian novel "Cristo in Calcestruzzo"  (Christ in Concrete) recommended by a book club friend. And is there any sweeter smell to a bibliophile than worn leather and foxed pages. This copy bearing annotations in the broad borders from another time...making it even better.

Near Memphis, Angie says Spring is nearly there. Already enjoying temps in the 60's and sometimes even 70's. Putting together her Spring Box today...including many of the seeds dried and saved from last summer's garden. And Chocolate, of course. Who can garden without chocolate?

Still winter here. Expecting another burst of snow tonight. All of my gardening confined to paper and pen and catalogs at the moment. Still... ~dreaming~ and it is coming together nicely.

Today...not a to do day, though. Today is a to be day. Realizing that years ago I did not have the luxury of giving myself a day of "sweet nothing" for there were always obligations, needs, wants of others to consider. Not bad. Just a different stage of life.

This is the comfort stage.

And to go along with being comfortable wanted to share a recipe I found this morning:

Old Fashion Dark Gingerbread

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In small mixing bowl cream together 1/2 cup butter...2/3 cup sugar...and 1 cup dark molasses.

In a large bowl sift together 2 1/2 cups flour...and one teaspoon each of baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves.

Add creamed ingredients to flour and spice mixture with 2 whole eggs and 1 cut hot water.

Beat until smooth.

Pour mixture in 9 x 13 baking pan and sprinkle top with additional granulated sugar for a nice sweet crust.

Bake until center is set and springs back from touch.

Best served warm with real butter or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. 


Thinking of things that are amazing...check this out...

                  Presenting the 2014 Chevrolet (return to the Stingray) Corvette.
                                                One Sexy Beast
                                                        of a

And it's even in my colour!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Cup of Flu, Guns and Conspiracy...oh my...

The flu season is here.

And although the above picture made me laugh out loud...this year's strain is no laughing matter. As of this morning in Indiana 17 kids have died of this flu. These weren't kids that were sickly or with compromised immune systems. These were healthy, robust kids. One of them happened to be the daughter of an acquaintance/former co-worker in Rockville. Healthy and happy and fine one moment. Flu-ish and achy for a day. Extremely high fever and hospitalization the next day...and then gone. Just like that. 

Sometimes I wonder if the same vaccines we create in the attempt to thwart influenza are inadvertently causing the viruses to mutate...become stronger...in order to infect a host...resulting in a Super-Flu much like the indiscriminate/over use of antibiotics has given rise to Super Bacteria.

Frequent hand-washing. Masks. Avoiding crowds. Alcohol gel. And yes, perhaps even vaccination, seems to be the way to go this year.

Stay well.

On an unrelated note...it seems that our National Obsession with firearms (whether pro or con)...has recently given way to our National Obsession with Fallen Celebrities (now known as The Snipping of the Bright Yellow Bracelet Day)...and is vying with headline space for Newton...and a new (and fairly disgusting) Conspiracy Theory. 

Seriously, people?

Face it. President Obama was in a "...damned if you do...damned if you don't..." position to begin with.

If he has done nothing "THEY" would have screamed

 "Look at that...20 little children dead and he doesn't CARE."

Because he did act "THEY" are screaming  

"See...we told you...he is coming for your guns!". 

I am glad that he is attempting to do something.
No, it isn't the perfect plan. No, it won't drop the crime rate to zero...ever. But if it keeps one theater...one crowded school or auditorium...from turning into a massacre, I will consider it successful. I have a hard time understanding why anyone outside of our military would ever need/use a weapon that fires 30 or more rounds in 27 seconds. One of the Sandy Hook second graders was shot 11 times. Eleven rounds in ONE child probably less than 3 and 1/2 feet tall. Take a minute and imagine THAT being your son or daughter or grandchild. Then ask yourself- if it was...wouldn't you expect/demand that something CHANGE.

And because we do have the "attention span of high speed dryer-lint" (Thank you, Will Durst) in only days the National Discussion this week turned from Guns to Celebrities That Let Us Down (and the people who loved them- but now hate their guts) as Lance Armstrong revealed that he had been "doping" all along...right there on Oprah...Mon Dieu!  Is nothing sacred? So everybody...in an attempt to show him...or show disgust...or just follow the herd (pretty much the same thing they did when they started wearing the things) cast off their LiveStrong Bracelets in a flurry of great snips...because...by gosh it was never about the good that LiveStrong has done or the hope it has given so many cancer patients...it is about the connection to a now disgraced celebrity who must be treated like a leper.  Let's get our priorities straight. 

And lastly...and probably the most distressing...the rise of the Newton Conspiracy Theories.
 Seriously people, WTH?

And we've all heard them. The whole thing was a HOAX. The children were never killed. The Government staged the entire thing. It was a show and Emily's father was a paid actor. They did it just to get our guns. The guy that took the children in down the road was an actor/paid by the government/pedophile- choose one.


People...there are a lot of Conspiracy Theories floating around in our Nation.
Most of them are harmless enough. Nobody gets hurt. Maybe your friends roll their eyes at dinner...but they don't devastate people whose world has already been destroyed before their eyes.

Do you believe that THEY are hiding something out there in Area 52?   Fine.

Do you believe that we REALLY didn't land on the Moon?   Harmless enough.

Do you think the JFK Assassination was part of a much larger cover-up?  Why not?

Do you believe that Madonna REALLY has talent?   Sad...but still hurts no one but yourself. And maybe others you inflict her on.

But when you start attacking parents that have just buried the bullet-riddled bodies of their six and 7 year old children. Or harassing first responders or people who were just trying to help, through an inconceivable massacre...then you are WORSE than the person who pulled the trigger, in my opinion.

If you can't find a way to help out...at least have the decency to shut up.

Yeah...yeah...I know...breathe. 

The book this week: This Living Hand by biographer Edmund Morris. Best known for his biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. A 2012 Random house release- it is a series of essays. Although it had its moments, for the most part it was verbose and hard to read. Often found rambling rather disjointedly. This was a book in search of a decent editing.
Not recommended.

And a bright spot of news as Sir Elton John and David Furnish-John are parents again...to another bouncing baby boy Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John born in California on January 11th, 2013.

                                     ...yep...they're parents alright...



Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Sunday Cup

 Sunday morning...with a cup of coffee laced with cream and cinnamon-vanilla sugar. 

Joined a conversation this week about how Sunday's used-to-be...not through my lifetime, mind you...but back in the good-old-days. 

 Sunday was set aside as a day-of-rest. Businesses were closed. Church was attended. Sunday Pot-Roast was slipped in the oven. Friends and Families visited. Thick newspapers were enjoyed. A long afternoon nap was taken. An evening stroll, perhaps. Bedtime was early and people woke on Monday rested...refreshed and ready to rejoin the World.

A friend updated the idea by noting  that taking back "a day-of-rest" did not have to be bound to any religious ideal. Only a conviction to stress-reduction in life. As for me...I think that an extended Morning Meditation or Evening Meditation fits perfectly into the slow down and relax concept. And, of course, Church for many is still a comfort and an option. Another went a step further suggesting a weekly Sunday detox...taking fluid and broths only to give your body (internally) a day of rest as well. One suggested a day of silence along with the rest. Two suggested a hiatus from electronic gadgets.

  All in all...the consensus was that we needed to take back one day a week (not necessarily Sunday) to call our own.

Surely the world would continue to spin if we took a day off.

It is trickier than it sounds. We are almost programmed these days that relaxation is somehow wrong and rushing through life busy and at break-neck speed is the norm. Working 12-16 hour days admirable. Meditation a waste of time and yak yak yaking to fill any hope of silence.

Each of us...in our own way...determine to reclaim our DAY OFF.  An experiment of sorts...then to gather after a Month of Sundays and discuss how the project turned out, and whether or not we were going to continue.

Reaching almost instinctively for a load of laundry that still waited to be dried this morning...I realized this was going to require some forethought and planning of its own. Finishing up the week's work including household chores on Saturday.

 Still, Morning Meditation was good...and the rest of the day appears to be mine. Like everything- it is a process. Turning the phone off. Finish the Sunday Paper. Looking forward to the Afternoon Nap. Get creative with a lump of clay or a blank page. Enjoy silence or perhaps some classical music.

Relax and Recharge.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Rainy Afternoon Cup

Sipping an afternoon cup of tea and discussing tattoos...

Okay. Not JUST tattoos.

And what is it about passing 50 and leopard print anyway?

It started innocently enough...on eBay looking for deep cocoa brown satin pajamas...when these popped up from Victoria's Secret.

And yes...now I own them. They are by far the silkiest...most amazing pajamas...ever. They are pajamas to take a day...read a book...and sip tea in.

 But leopard print is insidious. It's like "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" for grown-ups.

Then, you have to have the matching Scrunchie. And, who knew, how many variations on a theme of leopard print there actually were? The next thing you know you are looking at your newly gold polished nails and reaching for the leftover black polish from Halloween thinking

                  "...hell I saw this on Pintrest...how hard could it be...". 

                                                     Totally nailed it.

Until, at last you are looking at things like this...

...and this.

And talking to your son's tattoo artist...


                                    Seriously, what is it about leopard print?

Monday, January 7, 2013

They're Back!!!

That's right.

Here in the midst of all our "good intentions" and "...this year I'm going to lose that extra 25 pounds..." and "I am going to eat healthier this year" they creep.
Knowing, of course, that January is the PERFECT time to display their wares.

They may be in cahoots with the Gardening Magazine people...
I'm just sayin'.

Thin Mints and Tagalongs and Chewy Caramel DeLites...oh my!

I've a Confession to Make.

After years of losing...gaining...losing...gaining...first deemed too thin at 98-112 pounds...later proclaimed too heavy at 150 pounds...and chasing the same 25 pounds...for at least 20 years...I'm done. I quit. I am embracing the muffin top. The muffins won...and they were so delicious.

I think Julia Roberts said it best:

" I’m tired of waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consumed so I know just how much self loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt."                                                              Eat Pray & Love

So here is the deal.

I'm going to continue to eat healthy. I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. I love whole foods. Adore soups and salads. I keep my soda intake and junk food to a minimum. My red meat consumption has dropped to maybe once a month. But I am not going to deprive myself of a thing. When I get the urge to eat a hot fudge sundae or a piece of gooey cake with icing this thick...I am going to enjoy it. The same goes for a thick steak smothered in mushrooms, peppers and grilled onions. And afterwards I am not going to think twice. I am not going to engage in the self-flagellating internal monologue about calories or weight-loss or gain. If I lose the 25 pounds this year...fine. If I don't...that is fine too.

At the end of your life nobody is going to look into the casket and say

"...yeah...she is dead...but her weight was IDEAL...and just look at how small her ass is..."

And if they do...well...you are hanging with the wrong people!

Now pass along the Thin Mints and nobody gets hurt.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Yiddish with Dick and Jane

Face it...you can't make this stuff up!

Enjoying an evening cup...spiked gently with Bailey's Irish Cream...and laughing out loud.

Inspired by Diane and Sal's new romance...goy girl meets wonderful wacky Hanukkah celebrating dude. And now the rest of us need a translator. Special Thanks to Carol and Vicki who are helping us navigate these lox and gefilte fish strewn waters. (...what do you mean you soak it it lye...and then you eat it...) by recently giving everyone an online Yiddish cheat-sheet.

Very helpful by the way.

So now I've learned that Diane will be a baleboste and someday maybe even a bubbe.  And I can kibbitz and kvetch over morning coffee with them without sounding like a putz. A dank. Turns out it is kind of a cross between Hebrew and German.  Think Fritz Goldstein.

All the Yiddish I have ever known was learned off SNL

Ready to celebrate my oldest's 26th birthday next week!  Every year it just gets harder to believe. I don't feel old enough to have a child who is over a quarter of a century old... ~laughing~

Oy vey!


Friday, January 4, 2013

The First Friday of the New Year

My Life...

I feel kind of like this today...okay...only with snow!

Out in the great-wide-open where it was a balmy 20 degrees out...picked up weekend provisions (...includng dark chocolate covered cherries which are now 75% off...yay!!!)  Offering the decadence of neck deep in a bubble bath with good music, a cup of hot tea, French Vanilla candles lit and one impossibly perfect dark chocolate covered cherry.
Bourgeois...no...just very very comfortable.

Home to a message from Tess...my friend/neighbor and the ersatz "other home" of my cheatin' Tuxedo feline- Tucker.  After we first moved to the Den...Tucker bonded with Tess. When I was gone or he had been out (by his estimation- too long) he would drift over to see her.

Face it. All outdoor cats "cheat". At least in our case he goes by the same name in both households. Many a tabby named "Tiger" is also called "Twinkles" down the street.

 Late last year we discussed his kitty arrangement...and she offered to keep him should he outlive me :)

She stopped in with her terrier Toby and we shared a laugh the other night as he came home after a lap and love-fest with her smelling a lot like her perfume. She replied that he often comes to her house reeking of Giorgio (...my favorite perfume...) And so it goes. ~laughing~

Occasionally, when I am out I will get a text message and photo of my wandering Tuxedo stretched across the back of her chair...or curled tightly in a wicker basket...sleeping blissfully unaware.

Have never understood why straying men are referred to as dogs...when they are so obviously cats!

Working on some soaps/bath salts this weekend. A Rum Creme Brulee'
Scent.  Inspired by the very same dessert.

Also was introduced to an amazing year savings plan (Thanks, Gail) that seemed too good not to share.

A great way to built a nest egg painlessly for those little extra wants...gifts or travel :)

Portabella Mushroom and Green Pepper soup simmering...Spiced Vanilla candle lit...and Tucker home, curled up in my lap...and listening to Chris noodling on his guitar.

Life is Good!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sleeping with the Enemy

And no...I didn't turn it on.

Proving once and for all that mankind isn't inherently evil!

Started the "Happiness Jar" as part of my NY's resolutions...and it is amazing. And all you need to join in is a fairly large screw top jar and several multi-colored square pads of Post-It notes...and a pen. Optional decorative touches include crayons, stickers, googly eyes, foil stars or glitter for the insatiably creative. 

At the end of each day...pick up the pen and one of the squares and write down one of the Happiest Moments of that particular day.

Do this for 365 days...opening the jar on NYE to appreciate how wonderful life really is.

                                                             My Jar

The funny thing about the Happiness Jar, is how much more aware through the day you are of exceptional moments...and how much they make you smile (again) as you sift through them to pick the one perfect moment...the best moment of the day. 

So frigidly cold here. The snow frozen where it blew. Stuck to the sides and limbs of the trees and firs. Tucker dashing out long enough to "do his business"
and hurrying back inside where it is oh-so-warm...and there is always a pot of something wonderful bubbling on the back burner. Stews and soups, and bread baking. Winter fare. 

Huddled over the seed catalogs with visions of Spring around the corner. A friend reminds me smiling haphazardly that it is only 70-some days away.

A trek outside has me lamenting seriously  "I WANT a beach!!!" 

Not this Spring though, I think.

The 2013 Trip set for Maine in the shoulder season. Think Acadia...Bar Harbour...a quick peek at the Stephen King Estate...Photographing the Rocky Shoreline and Lighthouses..The Appalachian Trail...Enjoy Maine Lobster...Whale Watch :) With Maine, I will have seen all the contiguous 48 United States. 

Picked up Yann Martel's 2001 Booker Prize-winning novel: Life of Pi    Wanted to read it before I saw the movie.  A story that is not what it appears to be- as the writer interviews the sole survivor of a sinking Japanese cargo ship. A ship carrying Pi and his family and their Zoo from India. Pi is adrift at sea in a lifeboat for over 227 days before rescue. His only companion a Bengal Tiger. The twist at the end is breathtaking. Definitely one of those never-saw-it-coming moments. The author writes that this book can make you believe in God. I will agree that it will open your eyes and make you seriously reflect on life and purpose.

I can only hope it made it through the cutting room floor intact and they didn't paste on a feel-good Hollywood Ending.

Quite possibly one of the most well written pieces I have ever read. And I read a lot.


A "Must Experience" book!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Rang the New Year in with my best friend and a toast of California Zin!

Angie...2013 is going to be The Best :)

A bit of fresh snow this morning and they are forecasting more throughout the day. It is a Winter Wonderland outside. Love it!

Enjoying the first "cup" of the New Year!
 (...caramel cappuccino...)

New Year's Resolutions?

1. To de-clutter. House/Computer/Spirit/Mind and Body. Organize and Simplify.

2. To Continue Zen Living. Mindfulness. Watch every sunrise and sunset. Notice and appreciate the little things in life. Gratitude.

3. To be financially pro-active. Have everything paid in advance. Enormous amount of stress relief in that.  Save toward a Maine Holiday this year. Engage in a monthly random (financial) act of kindness...whether it is groceries/gasoline or a $50. bill for someone who really needs it.

4. To Start a Moments Jar (inspired by a friend) an empty jar that you put in a slip of paper daily with one of the best moments of that day...to do over the entire year...then read them on NYE...
5. To be positive and happy and try to bring happiness to others. Gratitude for everything.

That is about it. 

Laughing, recalling a less than Zen moment with my middle son...lamenting the fact I had gained back five pounds from October until January...and his laughter as he rolled his eyes and said

"Mom...that is such a "First World Problem"


Thanks, guy!