Heirlooms

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It’s just a table, and currently it is sitting in my dining room flanked by chairs that belonged once upon a time to my husband’s grandparents. This table, this object however is more than just a table, it is part of history, made in days gone by in a style that is no longer made or seen, it is an heirloom, it’s my history…it is suddenly my reality.

My grandparents purchased this table in the late 1920s probably not thinking that 80+ years later one of their granddaughters would have possession of  it pondering the meaning behind its presence in her life. My grandparents are  2 people who I never met and whose pictures I might have seen once or twice..not enough to feel a connection to them and yet it is their purchase, their possession that enthralls me and challenges me at the moment. The table resided in the the kitchens of the homes my aunt Helen owned and most recently belonged to my cousin, her daughter and now it sits in my dining room..covered in stuff I might add and it makes me cringe to see it with the junk from my life on it because my aunt always kept the table clean.

You can almost smell the Sunday dinners served at this table, feel the warmth of the many cups of tea poured..hear the conversations that took place while drinking, eating and just gathering. The kitchen in my aunt Helen’s home was the heart of the family and for someone like me without much family to cling to, this table being here..this portal to my past has stirred up thoughts and emotions I either forgot existed or simply kept hidden away.

In reality, it is just a table…but in my reality it is not. This is where I admit, the past has caught me off guard and as a result I had somewhat of a break down/episode/or some other word I can not construe at this very moment. The day after it is was delivered, my loving husband set it up in my dining room for me to enjoy. What i was not expecting was the gut wrenching emotion that ensued.  Tears are not something that come easily to me, yet here I was sitting at my table with tears pouring down my cheeks, stinging my eyes, their saltiness burning my dry/chapped lips but over what? I was trying to figure out why I was suddenly flooded with emotions over an inanimate object and here is what I realized…

This table is more than just an object..I have so many memories of my life around this table. I was fed at this table when I was baby when it resided at the Vesey Rd house in Randolph, seated in the metal high chair with a gold quilted fabric seat that would be the bane of my existence until I was about 12 years old (tell you about that a little later), I shared meals with my family at this table, ate really amazing food to be honest…and I wonder is that where my love of cooking transpired? Was it sitting at this table watching, learning by osmosis that I developed a patience to cook and create, a desire to feed my own family I created? This table is where I sat on rainy days and colored in books filled with blank pages of clowns, of Scooby Doo etc..I learned to do connect the dots, and to stay inside the lines. I sat at this table and learned to play games such as monopoly and checkers..but more importantly I learned the nuances of winning and losing and my rather spoiled cousin John always changed the rules in his favor to get the advantage (winners go first after 11:00…losers go first after 11:15) he rarely beat me at anything strategic. This table is where I often sat on a chair and had my knees bandaged, my temperature taken ..my boo boos kissed by a loving aunt. I sat at this table and had wonderful heart to heart talks with my aunt who was more a mother and as I got to be older a friendship began developing (cut short when she passed away when I was 20) The kitchen and the table is where auntie confined the relatives when they came by to visit, but it also hosted those who stopped in just to say hello. The table always seemed to have room for one more and that is where we get back to that high chair..the metal one with the tray removed and the gold quilted seat. You see when we needed room for one more..they either got one of the chairs that went with the table or a chair from the dining room..as for me I was the tiny one and I had to sit in the high chair until about 12 years old. I hated having to sit in the high chair, I was already the baby (well until Meg came along) oh the indignity! Most days the high chair housed Auntie’s purse but when company came over..that was my throne.

So here in my home is this piece of furniture with history and memories attached that run deep. Still why the tears? Why the sense of overwhelming emotion that I simply can not put words to? It dawned on me..this is the first thing in my home that is mine. Yes there are many things I call mine in my home but none are like this. This is the first thing, the first memory, the first piece of me that represents who I am ..who I was before I became his Mrs., before I became their mother..this is me, my past, my present and even my future. Crazy that something that we take for granted while growing up that will just be there..that just exists can have such an impact on us later in life. I cherish my turn with this table..I cherish the memories and the feelings it is bringing to life..I cherish having my “mom” here with me again. This year marks 30 years since my mother died and 27 since aunt Helen passed and I am officially around the same age they were when they passed ..this table is building a bridge long thought blown up one memory brick at time.

 

 

Just another day…

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Rattled, that about sums up how I am feeling at the moment. Somehow, some way I managed to piss off the karma gods this week because they have placed a massive “KICK ME” sign on my back this past week. Where to begin ..I just don’t know.

Last Monday was my birthday..no real big deal it was not a milestone event..but it is my one special day out of the year and I look forward to the cake. Have I ever mentioned that birthday cake is probably my most favorite food ..even though I really can only eat a little bit of it at a time? Well back to last Monday..before I even opened my eyes I knew something was wrong because I just felt off. I was wondering if it was the increase in the dosage of the Imuran the rheumatologist has me on or the fact that the weekend before my ears felt blocked like I was on a plane..but I could not pop them. I sat on the side of the bed and the room was spinning. Thankfully, my husband was home for the day to be with me on what was supposed to be my special day..and he got up to help me to the bathroom. I thought a drink of water and and lying back down with my feet elevated would help..but things progressed rapidly and within minutes I was sick to my stomach and unable to open my eyes due to the room spinning as if I was on an out of control carnival ride. I told him take me to the doctor..then I I realized I would never make it to the car..so he called 911. You know, at this point I was getting scared. I could barely talk, I was feeling weak and unable to move..the world was spinning out of control..was I having a stroke? Turns out I had a nasty attack of vertigo that warranted a stay in the hospital, an IV instead of a birthday cake, a CT scan instead of a mani/pedi (which I really need desperately) and a vertigo cocktail of meds with an ativan chaser to calm everything down and make the dizzy go away.  The sucky thing was..3 days later I was still dizzy and not able to drive.

We move on to Friday..I call my OB/GYN ..no I am not pregnant that ship has sadly sailed off into the horizon….because I realize my appointment with her is quickly approaching and I have yet to have my mammogram done AND I have a lymph node that looks funky show up on both a chest CT scan and cardiac MRI  and I wanted to know do I go for the regular mammogram or do I go to the breast center? The answer was come in to the office. Well she found a suspicious lump at six o’clock and a lymph on the other side. Probably nothing…but WTF?? I don;t need this shit..I am just wrapping my head around the damn Lupus diagnosis. Made the appointment for the breast center..texted one of my best friends to remind me I am 47 and welcome to the lumpy boob club..B, as usual talked me down off the ledge (just like I did for her a few months ago when she went through the same thing)

Then over the weekend..I had a stupid melt down over a table. It is not just any old table thought it is the table that belonged to my grandparents, it was in my aunt’s kitchen all the years I was growing up..my cousin took good care of it for the past 26 years and now I have it. I realize it is the first thing in my home that is MINE. the first thing that I brought in that represents me and I am overwhelmed..damn hormones.

Now we move on to today..oh what can I say about today? Today I was all anxious because tomorrow is the day I go for my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Tomorrow they will tell me if I have to deal with more on plate than I can already handle. I planned to take it easy, I planned to do a few things that were going to keep my mind active and prevent it from perseverating on the appointment tomorrow..that got blown to shit. Enter neighborhood drama..

We are in the middle of a bathroom renovation. I am on my second contractor because the first one flaked out on me and took a lot of money. This new guy is in a nutshell..AWESOME. Contractor was here today installing board and batten to my walls ..all was good until I looked outside and saw a police car at my neighbor’s house. Her husband has multiple health problems including at least 3/4 heart attacks and heart surgeries. I did not see his car in the driveway..but I saw the wife’s and she was talking to the police officer. The first thought that ran through my head was ..I hope everything is ok with the husband. I have not spoken to this neighbor in close to 3 years..I don;t know why exactly except that the past 3 years have been awful. The last time I did talk to her was around the time that our beloved Uncle Jack passed away. I took his death really hard, and I did not talk to many people in the months  that followed. Grief does that to you at times. Anyhow …so I see the officer walking towards my house and my thought was are there break ins in the neighborhood? There is an opioid crisis in my state and maybe the officer was coming to talk about that. She walks over and asks if she can speak to me. She then asks if I am having issues with my neighbors across the street. I said no. She proceeds to tell me that the neighbor called the police to tell them that I was going into her yard and I was either throwing rocks or kicking rocks and destroying her plants…huh???? Apparently the neighbor says this has been happening in the middle of the night, she has not seen anyone but she knows it is me…oooooKAYYYYY.  I said to the officer..first of all I just got out of the hospital after a crappy vertigo attack..my town’s EMS took me there so I have not been out of the house  much in a little more than a week..next I have Lupus which has attacked my heart and lungs..I don;t have the flipping energy or lung capacity to walk across the street let alone pull those kinds of shenanigans..and lastly speaking of shenanigans…I just turned 47 years old the days of pulling crap have long passed by, and even when I was in prime shenanigans age I really was not that kind of girl. The cop was like ok. The officer says just avoid her and don;t engage..I said I don’t I have not spoken to her in almost 3 years.

Today was  also trash day, delayed a day thanks to a Monday Holiday here in my state..I went outside to put my trash out and all of a sudden the neighbor comes out and starts screaming at me “stay out of my yard you miserable bitch”. I said “OK” and she kept going on and on. UGH. My head knows it is more likely than not dementia or some kind of mental break on her behalf..the other side of me is rattled. Out of the blue she invaded my sanctuary..she invaded my home, my safe place. I could not shake this off..maybe in a couple of years I will laugh about it..but not today. Today I am triggered and totally on edge about what happened. I have never done anything to this woman..my husband and son shovel them out in the winter if need be ..my husband has moved heavy objects for her..she freaking stole my cats. No I am not exaggerating, she put out cream and meat scraps and took the cats in to her house and neither one would come back home..why would they? I offered dry food with an occasional can of Fancy Feast as a treat..my house has 2 dogs, tons of kids coming in and out and no one to dote on them. She renamed my cat and then screamed at me because she had to take him to the vet. My husband gave her money to cover the costs..but after a while why would we keep paying? We just ignored the cat issue after a while, I never called the police to say she stole my cats or when she was taking snow from her house and piling it at the end of my driveway..I just figured that is who she is and let it go. I am perseverating on the fact that I did nothing wrong to this woman and why would she single me out?

Today, this woman managed to make me feel unsafe in my own home, to feel accused even though I did nothing wrong ..problem is I let that happen. maybe if I was not recovering still from the damn vertigo or if I was not already a tad upset about tomorrow I would have blown it off..but I can’t and no one gets it. Maybe I am the one who needs to get it..but I am in the weeds of this and my home..my space..my security has been breeched and this is not a good feeling.

P.S…have I mentioned yet that this woman who probably has some dementia going on is still driving?

The Key word here is YES

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I am back kids…hope you missed me while my body and brain were on extended sabbatical attempting to get better. Last time I had the notion to write about the life and times of my family’s adventures I mentioned I was diagnosed with pericarditis and pericardial effusions ..leaving me all but bed ridden. To be honest….not much has changed except the plot thickens.

My last post was around the time I was feeling that it was time to take a break from the constant doctor’s appointments, wallowing in what was wrong and time to start focussing on the good stuff. The good stuff being my family, the fact that I did not have a fatal disease and I truly believed I did not need to pay the doctor to tell me to continue taking NSAID medication and to rest. So I cancelled my appointments, started focussing on my then high school senior’s college adventure and rested while taking loads and loads of Motrin. Can I just say that was not my most brilliant plan ever conceived?

Well Fast Forward to Summer of 2015..my high school senior has done all the senior year things…SATs, flipped out every time the mailman drove up the street, checked in online on the college admission sites..did her senior capstone projects, Her Irish dance team came in fourth place in the world at the world championships (yeah I went to this one..nothing was keeping me from being there with her)…  checked out/developed senioritis right after winter break..prom…graduation .. Her Irish dance team WON that’s right first place at the North American Nationals..she became a massive pain in the ass right on schedule. Life was moving along well enough..I could manage.

I am, still not better and at this point it is 18 months since my diagnosis and of all people, the OB/GYN is the one who forces me to go into one of the teaching hospitals in the city to see just what the heck is going on. While this is happening..I am starting to develop an ulcer from the high doses of NSAID medication I am eating like candy to ease some of the symptoms. Time to go back to the doctor..

Thanks to my amazing OB/GYN I get an appointment with one of the top cardiologists at one of the world’s leading hospitals and thankfully he gets it …but he throws a wrench into what has been happening. You see if this was truly just a virus he says, at almost 2 years post diagnosis..the virus would have run its course by now. What I have he believes is pericarditis brought on by something else, possibly a mixed connective tissue disorder and he is honest and says he thinks I have an autoimmune disease.He also tells me that my pain is real, that people with smaller pericardial effusions are often in the most pain and the previous doctor’s office was wrong to make me feel as if I should not be in so much pain. He orders blood work and a referral to a rheumatologist. His round of blood work comes back in a few days… my inflammation markers are off the charts high, no wonder why I can’t breathe and I am not getting much better. He wants to do a cardiac MRI but wants to consult with the rheumatologist so that I do not have to undergo multiple tests and whatever they do..they get it all done at once. I really like this doctor.

Rheumatology is quite a different story. I go to the appointment mainly because I see it as something I have to do and to rule out autoimmune diseases. The doctor I see is foreign, has zero bedside manner, intimidates the crap out of me and is actually quite brilliant. We talk about me..my miscarriages, how I avoid citrus juice and too many acidic foods because I get those nasty canker sores on my tongue, on the roof of my mouth or on my gums. We talk about how it sucks that I have been inactive because my joints are stiff and sore..worse since I kicked the NSAID medication to the curb to heal my gut. Then we talk about how I am always tired..well I am a mom it makes sense right? We talk about how I got a rash from the crazy sunburn I seem to still have form my trip to California In September and how I think I have rosacea but the dermatologist just thinks I have sensitive skin on my face and how I always have a red rash on my chest. We talk about how the chest pain and lung pain is stubborn and just will not go away ..more so about how I am over it and have tried diet, yoga, Reikki and psychotherapy to get over this. I tell him I don’t want anything to be wrong I just want whatever is making my heart and lungs hurt to just go away. He makes me feel at the end of the appointment as if I am a head case and once again I start thinking this is all in my head..just have to get positive. He orders a round of blood work and I go off on my way. 2 days before Thanksgiving my rheumatologist (to be known going forward as Dr. Personality) calls to inform me that my blood work all came back abnormal, he believes I have Lupus, he was putting me on a medication called Plaquenil to help with the symptoms, that Plaquenil can build up in your eyes and I will need to follow up with my eye doctor since it can cause some people to go blind..”any questions” he asked? Stunned into silence I said no (at least I think I said no..in my head I said no, the words were escaping me) so he says “OK Happy Thanksgiving” and hangs up. WTF just happened there????? Lupus? Wait…I am crazy, I don;t have Lupus. People with Lupus are sick ..I am not sick am I??? That was when the tears just flowed..and flowed…and flowed.

Lupus is manageable with medication and supervision..but this was happening to me and I had a bit of a pity party. the next thing that crossed my mind was..to tell people or not to tell. I simply did not and do not want to be the “sick” friend. I want to have the life I had before pericarditis, before my lungs were compromised, before..dare I say it Lupus. Lupus…this I was not expecting. I was expecting..you are nuts not you are sick. Thanksgiving came and went..I kind of have a love/hate relationship with that holiday,but all the  kids home with me is enough to make me count my blessings and realize this is not that bad. I did have to tell the kids what was going on and what the plan was. I decided not to share just yet with my friends or most of my family what was going on. I have a cousin, she is the sister I never had and she was the one I told. Lately she is one of my rocks..family is everything. It took a while to process both on my own and in therapy but I finally let the friends know and not many people can say this..but my friends are the most amazing people on this planet..like I said family is everything..my friends are my family too.

What also amazed me was Dr Personality called back..he said he connected the dots of my symptoms and thinks I have had Lupus for over 20 years and no one ever picked up on it..that is scary to be quite frank. The wrench in all of this is when I develop a rash..a nasty rash that blisters about 2 weeks after starting PLaquenil. I am it turns out VERY allergic to placquenil and because I was taking motrin with it and have a relative who developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome from ibuprofen..I am no longer able to take either medication. I looked like a freaking leper for almost a month..my legs still have scars from where the rash blistered..plan B is immunosuppressant medication..scary shit.

SO now the adventure is to live healthy and to live positively despite all this nonsense. Yeah I am still in my bed more often than not…yes I still have compromised lungs (did I mention I flunked the pulmonary function test? I offered the tech $50 to pass me..he did not find me funny) Yes this is not what I wanted to hear or have happen..but you know what? I have a diagnosis, I have some of the best doctors in the world on my team, I have a treatment plan..I have a wonderful husband and great kids (ok they are massive pains in my ass at times..but no one is perfect) I have 2 adorable dogs..I have amazing friends who lift me up and support me through everything..I have some wonderful family members who remind me that I was me before I was a wife and mother..that I have a tribe where I belong. I have so much ..and I do have lupus..and lupus is only a chapter in my story..Yes I have to rest and not overdo things but there is NO WAY I am allowing Lupus to run the show.

 

A New Chapter

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It has been a while since I have possessed the capability to string a decent sentence together and hence the result is a neglected site here. There is a valid reason for my lax in posting, you see six months ago (almost to the day) I went into the emergency room at my local hospital thinking I slept on my side the wrong way, and walked away with a diagnosis of pericarditis and pericardial effusion most likely caused by a virus. The easiest way to describe what is pericarditis is to simply tell people I caught a virus and it went to my heart…but it is a little more complicated than that. The best description I obtained is the following  from the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pericarditis/basics/definition/con-20035562.

In the six months months following my diagnosis (seven months almost since the symptoms started) I have been lucky to find not one but  two support groups on Facebook and have been able to build a decent team to help me through this ordeal. Pericarditis is an unfortunate illness in that there is not much that doctors can actually do for you except give high doses of anti inflammatory medications, prescribe rest and limited activities. If I had a heart attack there is a solid treatment plan and recovery timetable to know when I would be better..with pericarditis you get to hope it does not become chronic…personally I feel like I passed chronic 5 months and 3 weeks ago.

For me, this ordeal has been taxing physically, emotionally and spiritually. I find myself often asking why did this happen to me? How did this happen to me? Is this how I am going to feel for the remainder of my life? It is not easy to find yourself all but bed ridden, unable to walk to the kitchen from your bed, unable to sleep because no position is comfortable, to see your old, busy life become a fading memory. The days that are hardest are the ones when it hits that I am no longer the same mom or wife I was a few months ago. One of my children is a senior this year, it is college touring time..yet while she tours the campuses (alone with a tour group) I am forced to sit in the admissions office feeling guilty. When my child(ren) attended North American National Championships in Montreal for dance this summer I was home supporting from the sidelines..something I never did before. I celebrated my twenty fifth wedding anniversary this summer with little fanfare since we were grounded from traveling extensively (or any place that requires even some waking). While this looks like a pity party, and I admit to some degree yes this is as I mourn the loss of moments and experiences in my life and life of my family …I am also grateful that while painful and somewhat debilitating at times..Pericarditis is not life threatening just annoying. I am grateful that I am forced to slow down and participate in my own life, take care of me for a change…an even more difficult task was learning how to ask for help and to accept the help offered.

Normally, I am the mother who piles 7 kids into my seven seat SUV (yes I know illegal)  making mine sit on the floor. I always have room for one more, because I never mind helping out another person, thinking well if I ever need help they will be there for me. The insane part of my logic is I never asked for help, I always thought oh I do not want to burden anyone else by asking them to drive my kids. When I found myself so ill that things like closing the car door were beyond painful, staying awake for longer than 2 hours impossible because the fatigue was so intense, breathing in the cold air felt like a knife slicing into my lungs ..I knew it was time to ask for help. Much to my surprise I reached out and multiple people offered to help ..the hard part was saying yes I need you, but my husband was in California on a business trip and I was the only licensed driver in the household and I knew all I could say was thank you. We actually moved into a hotel closer to school and dance so I did not have to cook (can we say YAY room service) or clean for a few days. I learned that help is not a sign of weakness but allowing those who love me in and I am not a burden.

So if I can say anything..I am grateful to have a life altering experience that has forced me to slow down and write a new chapter in my life. I mourn deeply the loss of experiences these past few months, the burden my kids have felt watching their mother who once was super woman able to do whatever they needed..now was the one who needed..but I am alive and I am slowly getting better..look I can string together enough coherent (I hope) words to make this post..take some time this week to slow down even for a few minutes..you will never regret spending more time with those you love.

You Will be Remembered…

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Today has been one of those days when my faith is put to the test. My daughter’s fifteen year old friend is dying and the question has long shifted from “if” it could happen to when it will happen. When this dear girl leaves is out of anyone’s hands but God’s but I find myself praying that those around her stay strong and give her the peace and the strength to let go of her pain and suffering.

Twelve months and 17 days have passed since everyone’s worst fears were confirmed by a team of specialists..E’s headaches were not migraines but rather an aggressive form of brain cancer. The power of our prayers and prayers lifted up in E’s name around the world as she underwent surgery to remove the tumor guided us through those first few days.  A false sense of hope comforted those who know E, love E and pray for her well being when we were assured the surgery to remove the tumor was a success and by the fact she was able to return to school using only a cane for balance. Hope began to fade as the autumn drew to a close and winter was upon us. E was back in the hospital we learned, the tumor progressing, robbing E of her balance, her sight and her memory. Cancer is a thief that steals precious time and robs us of our faith if we allow it to..only if we allow it to.

I like to think that there is some beauty in this horrible tragedy. We are blessed to be part of a small school that is faith-based, a place where our girls are allowed to pray, to cry and express their faith in a community where they are loved and accepted. Our girls are there for E, there for her sisters, there for one another. Even the girls who do not know E intimately are bonding with their friends and realizing they need to support and lift up their friends and schoolmates who in these final days are struggling to find an answer to why this happened to a beautiful snowflake like E.

I like to think God gifted this small community with someone so special as E to help them to see the beauty in a moment. E is like a snowflake…unique and like no other, formed in Heaven and sent to Earth for a short time..her presence was a thing of beauty ..she is one in a billion and a part of the fabric of our community..her faith and her strength blanket us like the fallen snow. Like the snow, she was not meant to stay with us for more than a season, but her season was the best one of all.

I can’t help but to think of these lyrics ..

“Hold on to spinning around
Confetti falls to the ground
May these memories break our fall

Will you take a moment, promise me this
That you’ll stand by me forever
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine….

Singing, long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
And long, long live that look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered”
Bless you my little friend on your journey ..the world will be an emptier place without you..but you will long live in the hearts and souls of those who knew you

The Princess Trap

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Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 9.37.36 PM   Tonight’s premiere of Say Yes to The Dress Atlanta really pushed a few of my buttons. Actually just one bride on the show for some reason made me stop and think. Before I go on, this show and the original Say Yes to The Dress are my guilty pleasures. I love this show, you see brides choosing a dress for their big day, not too much fake about that (well except for the ones who really are there to get themselves on television by any means) and as an expert people watcher..I love to hear the brides stories or watch the mothers who just can not let go. However ba

ck to to this episode…tonight we met a bride named Tessie who at age 21 is engaged to the love her life, her boyfriend from high school. Tessie came along to the salon with her parents, sister and an entourage to help choose her gown. Tessie stated she wants to transform into a princess for her wedding.

Ok this is not a new story with brides…on every single one of these wedding shows you come across a bride who wants the whole princess experience. Like Tessie on SYTTD Atlanta most of them do not have Princess Diana or Kate Middleton as their ideal princess, usually  Cinderella is tops. They want the full ball gown along with the bling and I get it..every woman wants on her wedding day to be the most beautiful woman in the room.  She wants all eyes on her, she wants her moment of royalty.

Say Yes to The Dress’ format includes little snippets of interviews with the bride, her entourage and the shop’s employees during the bride’s dress selection and this was where I had my little epiphany..after trying on a few gowns in her price range that included a knock off of Duchess Kate’s dress, the stylist decided what Tessie really was looking for was not to be a real princess but rather a fairytale princess. Good old Cindy enters the picture once again. The bride Tessie finally decided on a big ball gown style dress that is all fluff and frills that brought out the water works and they showed her interview ..she said (and I am para phrasing not quoting here) I am so happy, I love this dress, this is what I have dreamed my whole life about, getting married to the man of my dreams, it is what every little girl wants.

Ok hold the phone…getting married is very exciting (and very stressful) BUT as the mother of girls I am really hoping that getting married is NOT the lifelong dream they are harboring. I feel like if waiting for prince charming to come and whisk them away is my girls main dream then I seriously did something wrong raising them. I think in this day and age every child, male or female, should strive to pursue their dreams…love weddings?..become an event planner, design gowns, get involved in the industry. Do not dear daughters dream of weddings and happily ever afters at such a young age. Dream of being strong, loving and independent women who leave their mark in this world.

I want my girls to develop strong girl relationships, to pursue their educations to the fullest, to dream about visiting exotic places, and to become strong confident women so that once the right man comes along my daughter is ruling queen to his king, not a fairytale princess waiting for her prince to rescue her. When the time is right and my daughters choose to get married, I pray they leave Cinderella in Orlando where she belongs

 

 

In Pursuit of a Dream

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ImageI think I am going to milk my California vacation for it is worth, especially the pictures, we only took like 700 of them. The other day I was saying I had two posts in mind to publish, well I actually got one published and the content of the other has completely left my mind, just as I suspected it would.

I am noticing this blog is nothing more than a hot mess with absolutely zero focus. Once upon a time in the beginning there was a focus, I was here to bitch about my family, you know let the world know how they did me wrong and crap like that. Well that material is still there, it just was not as satisfying to write about after a while and really to be honest, the material just kind of sucked the life out of my soul. So to compensate for the lack of bitching I have just let me adult ADD take over and write about any old thing that pops into my head and the result has been this hot mess.

I am kind of at a cross roads right now, trying to figure it (whatever “it” might be) all out. So much that made sense in my life is now kind of changing, I am kind of a new girl with new interests and priorities. For years life was all about getting stuff done, getting through one day to the next, but now well I am seeing things a little differently.

I guess I am tired of wishing I could do the things that interest me and am excited to start doing them. If you know me well, those words are shocking. I get stuck in my own little ruts, I never give myself any credit and the monster living inside a/k/a fear always destroys whatever initiative I feel to break out of the mold. I guess what I realize is my whole life I lived by the “rules”, my rules for getting ahead, doing the right thing, not ending up like my mother. While those rules got me out of poverty and away from the toxic surroundings I grew up in, they also held me back from branching out and pursuing what it is I love.

I can not explain to you why I love to cook, or why I get a huge a thrill when I successfully convert a recipe into a gluten free masterpiece for my daughter. I do not know why I feel so comfortable behind the lens of a camera capturing images but I can tell you I am beyond thrilled when others like my photos on pinterest or here on my other blog.

So as my babies continue to grow up on me and move on to pursue their own dreams, i know it is never too late to get back in touch with mine..it is scary to think about this but now it finally feels right

California Dreaming

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Today I actually have 2 posts in mind..the topics do not really relate to one another so let’s see if I can actually get them both written and published before I forget what I have to say.  I just got home from a much needed vacation to California.  I am a weird traveller, I HATE to fly with every fiber of my being, but I love to go to places that are far away and not accessible easily by car.  I also have this tendency to not believe that we are actually making it to our destination until the plane touches down on the tarmac. Literally, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never does but this crazy DSCN1999routine repeats itself every time..irrational and insane are my middle names.

We landed in San Diego on a day the locals considered somewhat cold (62 degrees for a high) and I considered simply gorgeous. I left my house on a miserable and cold morning with the thermometer registering a balmy 21 degrees outside so 62 was beyond acceptable to me! It is amazing how a little rest and relaxation coupled with a change of scenery can be enough to recharge the batteries.

We made the most of our limited time in San Diego by hitting the usual suspects for tourist spots…Balboa Park, The San Diego Zoo, La Jolla Cove and then we drove up to LA and Anaheim..gotta say after hearing so much about them, I also had In and Out Burger on the bucket list (and yes it was totally worth it…even found out about their secret menu)

How amazing is it to this east Coast girl that I found myself walking in the Pacific Ocean with the sun beaming on my face in late February? Back home while we strolled in the sun they were bracing for yet another winter storm and I simply thanked my lucky stars we were in the sun..and in 62 degree weather! My favorite moment of our California Adventure had to be watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs overlooking La Jolla Beach. Yeah I was sore and tired from all the walking we did during the day, but the experience is one that I will cherish for as long as my memory allows. I even snapped some pretty amazing shots with my handy dandy camera.  we ended our adventure with a trip to the house of Mouse..

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Semi Homemade Wonton Soup

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Semi Homemade Wonton Soup

on a cold day after the blizzard, what to make? Soup is always a good thing.. This soup is semi homemade at its best..a box of unsalted Swanson’s chicken stock, a package of frozen asian dumplings (these are Pork Gyoza from Trader Joe’s) scallions, 1 large clove of garlic thinly sliced, some fresh ginger, mushrooms, salt and pepper..I cooked 2 cups of water with the sliced garlic, 3 sliced scallions and brought to a boil and then added the ginger (about a tsp fresh) and the chicken stock and mushrooms along with the salt and pepper and cooked the mushrooms until they were just tender and then added the frozen dumplings in a few at a time and cooked for 4 minutes until they softened…the dumplings need to be added just when you plan to eat them as they will get soggy if left overnight..this soup was a little spicy but very yummy and filling

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