Sunday, November 30, 2008
I picked up a box of the Flax Plus (plain oatmeal with flaxseed - 350mg of Omega-3 per serving) at Foodtown yesterday.
This morning before adding hot water from the tea kettle, I sprinkled the dry oatmeal with Cinnimon & Brown Suger and added a couple of spoonfuls of dried Cranberries (Ocean Spray's Craisins), then I poured hot water in, a little at a time since I like thick, stick to your ribs oatmeal! Lastly, I drizzled 2 caps fulls of lowfat 1% milk over it. (I use Stonyfield Farm Organic milks).
My expectations weren't high (there have been many ag great oatmeal debacles over the years) so I was pleasantly surprised by it being DELICIOUS!
Since our Nephew's on an 'oatmeal at any time of day kick,' I've got to stash this so there's plenty left for me!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I bought all of these pictured above after last Christmas at Barnes & Noble, Staples and A&P and paid no more then $4 a box! BARGAIN not to mention a huge stress reliever for this year.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Having worked in retail for the better part of my life once I was 17 up through 29, I relish in the fact that I do not have to go anywhere today unless I REALLY want to! I love staying home, snacking on left overs and watching HGTV's Christmas decorating marathon all day! Usually, I'm home alone on Thanksgiving Friday, but with Sis and Nephew AND Vic home too, I had to out myself and let them all know last week that this is what I do today and one of the 3 tv's in the house is mine!
Unfortunately, I'm breaking tradition a bit and running out with Vic to EyesFirst so we can both have our eyes checked, but as soon as we're done, it's back home and I'm picking up right where I left off!
*My vision is "perfect!" The blurry-ness I've been experiencing is apparently a result of medications or dryness or eye strain from being on the pc or cell phone too much! They gave me eye drops (all natural so there's no drug interactions) to use when it happens to see if that helps at all and I don't need to come back unless the blurry-ness gets progressively worse.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I'm grateful for:
-Mom & Aunt Judy
-Brenda, Matt, Gillian, Warren, Michelle, Kathy
-the wonderful & amazing friendships I've made thru GoodReads.com/CoL
-my SSD being approved earlier this year
-a safe & secure place to live
-being better off financially than we were at this time last year
-my iv treatments working
-blogging & the satisfaction it gives me
-writing, even with the struggles, walls & blocks
-being able to cross things off my "things to do before I die" list
I know there are more but these are the first which came to mind.
Appreciate your blessings and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Usually Catholic/Christian Churches do one or two Memorial Masses throughout the year to honor those parishners who've passed away by reading their names, but the ones I've been to in the past only read the names once.
Tonight we heard T's name 4 times. Maybe 5. I was fine until his grandfather started sobbing during the second reading. What I thought was really nice was that all of the names were put on the outside of tall glass prayer candles that were about the prettiest shade of purple I've ever seen and each name was read so that parishners' candle could be lit. (The families took the candles home after Mass).
Afterwards we went over to our friends' home for a drink. It was good to see their other son being rowdy with his friend who was sleeping over and their daughter complaining about them, "They're not gonna be making noise like that all night are they?!" It was good to laugh with our friends after having shed more tears. But those quiet lulls in the conversation were horrendous.
They showed us their now 3 day old tatoo's, each with the kids names. They showed us the drawing of T's smiling face with angel wings for his headstone.
It was so good seeing them, we haven't since T's funeral.
I really like the Church T's funeral and last night's Memorial Mass were held at. I think I've finally found a Church I like, I only wish I hadn't found it as a result of their loss.
Last night made my heart ache for them and made me thankful for what we have.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I've not only been in the position where I've been unable to afford food but things are a little precarious right now with Vic being out of work - every day since 11/11 has been unpaid for him since he has no more paid time off for this year and while the NJ State Disability paperwork is completed as of this afternoon by all parties (him, his doctor and his job), it takes at least 2 works to process and unless he's out for a month strait, he doesn't get paid for the first 7 days.
I actually got a little nervous when we arrived at the foodbank! I started thinking about how things are for us now and while they could be worse, what if they get worse... (Almost a panick attack but not quite!)
I should be getting my SSD check tomorrow and thankfully we've got a fair amount in savings but, if I think about it and given the economy, it's scary! I thought maybe, just maybe, this holiday season would be worry free financially speaking.
I do hope what we were able to give to the foodbank helps ease some one's worries this Thanksgiving. The thought that it will gives me comfort and the hope that if we're in need (again), we'll receive it as well.
We stopped here for lunch on our way home from the food bank to drop off a turkey and a foodstore gift card. ShopRite was insane! Foodtown was fine, thankfully!
Monday, November 24, 2008
My cup no longer runneth over and the well may have run dry.
*Interesting article in yesterday's NY Times about blogging:
Can anyone explain to me why blogging articles appear in the NY Times "Fashion & Style" section???
What if I write a book? (Sort of did and it will be published in 2009).
What if we have a beautiful country home with lots of land where I have a huge gardening area (year round?) for flowers and veggies?
What if I do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Manhattan?
What if I finish reading Little Women, A Christmas Carol, The House of the Seven Gables, The Exorcist (did! October 14, 2007), The Honk and the Holler Open Soon (did! October 28, 2005) and The Amityville Horror?
What if we take an American Canandian Carribean Cruise line to all the small ports and cities the large ships can't get like we saw on that documentary on PBS?
What if I go back to the Canadian Niagara Falls and finally go to the Hockey Hall of Fame?
What if we own a farm with dogs, horses, maybe an alpaca, grow Christmas trees, flowers and veggies?
What if I ran a farm stand with seasonal flowers, produce, pies and maybe decorations?
What if I printed out my photo's, especially of the area, folliage and flowers, and set up a table at the annual flea market like I've talked about for a couple of years now?
What if I ran a seasonal/holiday decorating/merchandising service for homes and small businesses?
What if I work from home eventually?
What could I do in addition to writing at home?
What if we move from Matawan Village? (Did! December 15, 2005).
What if I explore why I am so drawn to souther fiction/authors, movies and family traditions?
What if we spend July 4th in a different place each year, like Washington DC, Gettysburg PA, Niagara Falls and Mount Rushmore?
What if I/we went to Salem Mass in October? (Did! October 2008).
What if I live in New York City from alte September through Easter or for one full year?
What if I/we travel the Mississippi like they did on that PBS documentary we watched in 2004 or 2005? (Can it even be done anymore since Hurricane Katrina?)
What if I go storm/tornado chasing in Tornado Alley during tornado season? (I have re-thought this given what happened to Greensburg last year - watching storm chasers ecstatic over watching that tornado while people died (I know they didn't know what was happening, but) and Victor's reaction was "Real nice assholes.")
What if I go to the US South Pole Research Station for "Winter Over"?
What if I learn to knit? (Did! Summer of 2006).
What if I learn to quilt?
What if I go ahead with my plans to turn the spare room into a cozy home office space for myself with a reading area along with a sleeping area for guests?
What if I were to create and open a Gardener's Retreat, sort of like writers, quilter's and zen retreat's, like the Elm Creek Quilter's retreat in the fictional books by Jennifer Chiaverini?
What if I go to France, Paris and Provence?
What if we go to Tennessee?
What if I got to Germany, to the village of Oppau where my Grandma was born and raised before coming to America?
What if I go to Ireland where my Nana was happiest, and visit all the places her long ago (and long gone) friends reminiced about in notes and letter to her before leaving for America?
What if I relearn French and learn basic German, Polish and even Gaelic?
What I/we go to New England in Fall? (Did! October 2008).
What if I go up in a hot air balloon for a foliage ride and NOT freak out? (This is the least likely to happen on this list!)
What if I visit G in Chicago? (By train not by air!)
What if I stop second guessing myself?
What if I get on that treadmill once a day?
What if I start yoga?
What if I act now and be scared later instead of the other way around which leads me to not act at all?
What if I do all (or most) of these things?
What if you do the things on your "What if?" list?
Click the following link for the article:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I've been to the point of having nothing in the cabinets, little in the fridge, no money to speak of & hungry. It's been at all different times of the year.
Tomorrow I'll redeem for a free fresh turkey and I'll pick up a $100 foodstore gift card, both of which I'll drop off to the foodbank Tuesday night, hoping it will help someone this holiday and perhaps make Thanksgiving happy.
I dream of snow blanketing everything, falling silently from a grey sky, crunching underneath our boots as we walk through the woods watching for deer who don't yet realize they can be seen.
I dream of Alaska and the Antartic, of cold unlike anything I've ever experienced, of the Aurora's in the night sky, of snow & ice as far as my eyes can see.
I dream of France, of Paris and Provence, of touching and feeling a country older than my own.
I dream of living here, where we are now, a place I never considered living before and have grown to love, but where we cannot afford to own our own.
I dream of water having lived near it my whole life, I cannot imagine living some place without its' calming comfort.
I dream of my daughter, of the day we will be reunited.
when I can finally hold her in my arms. If St. Peter doesn't grant me entrance into heaven, I hope he'll let me visit so I can see her.
I dream of not being terrified of having another child, of not being terrified of just trying.
I dream of bringing all of my creative outlets into one conclusive fulfilling life.
I dream of going to Ireland where my Nana was born & raised and was happiest (before she came to America) and to Germany where my Grandma was born & raised, feeling their roots so I can begin to feel my own.
I dream of...
What do you dream of?
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's been hectic as of late!
Vic threw out his back (or something) last Tuesday and is still home from work! He's on muscle relaxers & prescrip ibuprophren, has been to 2 dr's and is starting physical therapy today. Xrays this coming week probably followed by mri. He's going on State disability since he's got no paid time left at work.
Sis-in-law arrived this past Saturday evening from Texas for a 3 week visit and our Nephew arrived this Monday for her 60th birthday and to stay with us for awhile! (And he's decided to go back to not eating meat so he's on his own with making dinner for himself unless whatever I happen to be making is meatless - if I've got to make 2 different dinners each night, I'll lose my ever living mind!)
So I've been helping Vic with what I can around the apt complex since we were having 2 inspections today, an apt got evicted this week and pics needed to be taken since it's a wreck, paperwork...
Of course the hot water boiler sprung a massive leak yesterday am and an apt's tub leaked down into the laundry room and now the entire bathroom has to be gutted to remove the old tub & install a new one (thankfully management has other workers for each phase of that) AND we've got to do yet another Open House this Sat & Sun from 12p to 4p.
Throughtout this I've been writing for NaNoWriMo, doing laundry, constantly straitening up the living room (because Sis aparently thinks every surface of every piece of furniture is a catch all for her stuff!), constantly doing dishes, being a chef & dishwasher, knitting, reading and not sleeping well because Vic's snoring is still way out control.
I did take a break on Tuesday. I was exhausted almost to tears and couldn't think of even 1 word to write for NaNo. I went to AC Moore & bought new yarn and knitting needles (circulars - I'm going to try my hand at socks), then I went to Whole Foods and treated myself to a few things. Tuesday night I let them all go to bingo while I stayed home, finished straitening up my Seasonal bookshelf in the living room and then climbed into bed with a steaming mug of decaf green tea, last Autumn's scarf I'm trying to finish* and "Trail of Crumbs" by Kim Sunee.
I'm still tired bur overall have felt so much better, even now with an arthritis flare up coming on! That scarf is all but done except for the fringe, I finished reading "Trail" the other day and I've got over 34,000 NaNo words as of last count!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Myreview rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kim's journey from being adopted in Korea around the age of 3 brought her to New Orleans and a new world which she never truly felt apart of and this sent her on a long, diffucult journey, nearly around the world as soon as she was old enough. The one constant in her life, from her Grandparents, was food.
This far exceeded my expectations! The NY Times Review (or ad for it) mentioned some comparrison to Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love," which made me add this to my 'to read' list, but there's no comparrison! I initially reached page 60 and still didn't know if I liked it! I kept thinking "Why can't she just appreciate what she has and what she's experiencing...?!" and then remembered how her circumstances were drastically different than mine (and a lot of people's) and that things change as we get older.
So I decided to keep an open mind and pressed on! Around page 213, I realized I not only liked it & wanted to keep reading to find out what happened, but could relate to Kim on many levels! (My personal lack of heritage/roots (though as a result of a family who was just never interested in themselves and where they came from), having many of the same types of relationships with men, being overwhelmed by lonliness and restlessness, not knowing what I wanted, where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, putting everything & anyone before myself and my writing...)
Instead of flipping channels before bed or playing around on my cell phone, I stayed up late into the night reading until I nearly fell asleep with just enough time to put my bookmark back in and turn off my booklight! (Not like I can sleep unless exhausted anyway with Hubby's incessant snoring as of late!) I haven't done this with a book in so long!
View'>http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/834245?utm_medium=api&utm_source=blog_review"> View all my reviews.
*Please also see my previous posted titled "Haunted By A Country" which refers to this book as well.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Terminal C for Continental Airlines? HORRENDOUS!
I hate when my in-laws have my sister-in-law fly Continental! It is the most chaotic & hectic terminal in all of Newark Airport! (We've flown USA3000 and Jet Blue out of Newark and they were a breeze compared to Continental!)
We had her flying into & out of AC Airport on different carriers and it's a pleasant experience! Guess the other airlines aren't snooty enough for the in-laws! (It makes no difference to my sister-in-law).
Not the best pic - doesn't show the variations in color as well as I'd hoped!
I used James Brett Marble Machine Washable 100 percent acrylic in a color called "Dye". I can't recall the size needles though so I'll have to update that later! (* Size US 8/5.0mm needles).
It didn't feel itchy while I was knitting it but it has the few times I've worn it!
I love the colors in it! The dusty blue reminds me of an autumn sky and the yellows, oranges & browns, from dark to light, remind me of the first leaves beginning to change colors!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Yes, this is in addition to all the NaNo writing I'm doing. I'm nearly fried! (Or perhaps I am already, I'm just too fried to know it!) Writing this much (in general) is exhausting! Especially when your Hubby snores to the point you're about to lose your ever living mind! (Last night I nearly did and broke out the ear plugs! He woke me twice even still but that's better than previous nights where I ended up on the couch! And then the cats woke me instead of him!)
Anyway, I digress and give you my piece: (Huh, now THAT could be taken more ways than one!!! Sheesh! So could that! LOL!!!)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Haunted By A Country.
I realized the day before that I am currently reading 5 memoir style books which take place entirely (or just about) in France!
It started with "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less you Cry" by Kathleen Flinn. It practically jumped off the shelf and into my hands as I passed the book section on my way up to the registers at Target in September! Looking more closely at the cover, I saw the word "Paris" and decided I was buying it before reading the back cover! Turns out it's about Kathleen's decision to leave the U.S. to attend Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School after being laid off from a middle management job she didn't particularly like to begin with given that she really loved to cook and write but was dooped (like so many of us are) into putting those aside for the sake of the rat race. Interesting (to those who love Paris and/or cooking - there are details of cooking life at the school as well as recipes) and relate-able (to those who've thought of ditching the predictable for the un).
I got to page 24 (the end of Chapter 3) and the found "A Year In Provence" by Peter Mayle at the Sea Bright Public Library Book sale later in September. I bought this and 2 or possibly 3 other books for a whopping $2! It's a wonderful, older paperback from 1989 (signed by its' owner as of 1991) that's turned ivory with time and appreciation. So excited with this gem of a bargain (I've wanted to read this book for a long time!), I started reading it that evening while relaxing at the B&B in Frenchtown NJ Victor wisked me away to for the night, just because! (Yes, there were other things to do at a romantic B&B and they got done, don't you worry!!!)
"A Year In Provence" is so entertaining, with many "LOL!" moments! (And LOL I actually do!)
I reached page 39 and got distracted. There are times when I feel the obsessive/compulsive need to go to the libraries and browse for books to bring home (and attempt to read) and I did just that over the past couple of weeks or so. I hit 3 out of 5 libraries we have access to! Round 1 was Port Monmouth, round 2 was down town (Atlantic Highlands), round 3 was Middletown, round 4 was back down town and round 5 was back to Middletown. (I know, for this and many other issues I need therapy!) I blame this on the fact that I'm still looking for my next "Eat Pray Love" (Elizabeth Gilbert) or "Loving Frank" (Nancy Horan) or "The Knitting Circle" (Ann Hood), 3 phenominal books I finished this year and have yet to find any others I like half as much! (But that's another essay, already written!) And the fact that Vic & I took ABC Nightly News's "Read 1 book a Month" challenge and he's currently beating me!
During round 3, I found "Trail of Crumbs" by Kim Sunee, a book I'd read about in The NY Times Book Review and on my "to read" list. Kim chronicles her journey from Korea, to New Orleans, to Europe, to the south of France (Provence!) and I believe back to the US again. There are recipes at the conclusion of each chapter in this book as well. I am currently on page 60 and still unsure as to whether or not I even like the book so far!
Round 5 took place just yesterday - unintentionally! We had books to return, then Vic had to use the bathroom which left me time to wander...!!! During this trip, among the 6 books I brought home (I know, it's a sickness and I must stop!), I picked up "We've Always Had Paris... And Provence! A scrapbook of our life in France" by Patricia and Walter Wells AND "A Pig in Provence, Good Food and Simple Pleasures In The South Of France" by Georgeanne Brennan.
Is it me or is there a common theme/pattern forming here?! LOL! Ok, I get the hint! (Sometimes the universe is subtle - sometimes it's not!)
Sigh. I know where this is coming from.
High school. Junior year, I believe if memory serves me correctly. I was one of the French class students who signed up for the class trip to France during school break. It was the whole reason I signed up for French classes! (Besides not wanting to take Spanish!) My mother actually let me sign up.
Then when the cost went up for some reason I can't recall now, she got bitchy about it. I know she didn't really want me to go. My then boyfriend, my first 'real' boyfriend (meaning I was allowed to go out with him!) "didn't really want" me to go either. (Probably the only thing they ever agreed on).
My mother has always had a way for coming up with excuses to legitimize not doing things, which at the time seem perfectly reasonable. (Throughout my entire life until my late 20's - She's still making excuses only they no longer seem reasonable to me!)
In the end, I didn't go. I have regretted it since my classmates left for the airport. (Some were my "BFF's" back then too - 1 (Gillian) remains!
In the 1990's, after a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I became enthralled with The Impressionists, especially Monet, and their painitings of Paris were my favorite. On New Year's Eve 1999, the treshold of the new millenium, I watched the fireworks and celebration from the Eiffel Tower on ABC before going out and cried! When Carrie went to Paris on SATC, I went with her and cried again! When I learned about the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris on CBS News Sunday Morning last year or so I moved it to the top of my 'must see' list of things in France! (It's a bookstore which opened in 1951 that has not only hosted reading by published and not-yet published authors, but it's housed writers and authors upstairs, not asking them to pay anything and stay as long as needed!)
Now it seems as though France is haunting me. Or stalking me. It's on my 'list of things to do before I die' list. Perhaps recently crossing off "New England in Fall," "Salem Mass in October," and "Write/publish a book" from my list has caused France to wonder indignantly, "Hey! What about me?! You've wanted to see me longer than them! And I am more spectacular afterall!" (Got ya there on the book thing Frenchy, though, since I've wanted to write and been writing since I was a little girl! Okay, it's not published, YET, but it will be in 2009! So put that in your baret!)
The question is: When? When will I get the balls to go to France?! (I do mean that figuratively!) And, should I go with someone or by myself? Is it not safe being a female foreigner abroad? Could I go there by myself?! I'm not sure. Could I do things by myself once I was there? Yes. Could I fly there by myself? Let's not get crazy now! (I'm not a fan of flying, no matter the distance to say the least!) If I don't go to France before we have children, will I ever go? (I need to figure that one out quickly since I'd like to start trying for a baby once the New Year (2009) begins!) If I have deeply regretted not going on that trip for the last 17 years or so, how will I feel when I am older and unable to travel if I never go to France at all?
For now, I'm going back to "Trail of Crumbs" to see what details of France I can picture and absorb.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I have a deep affection for our Moon that's years old by now. I love it for its' beauty, its' comforting & reassuring glow, its' magic. Basking in her rays is a very spiritual experience for me. Our Moon has a presence, a protective guardian who sends love and strength when needed.
I don't remember exactly how or when my affection for our Moon started but I suspect it was back when I worked "shift work" as closing book keeper for a foodstore and went in at 3p, 4p or 5p and worked until 11p, 12a or 1am. When I got home, I did what people normally do when they get home in the early evening - eat, do a little gardening, straiten up or do dishes, etc.. When I gardened, I was outside, in the dark, many times by myself with our Moon to keep me company. Like I said, I suspect that's when it began but I'm not sure. I think I've always been fascinted with our Moon regardless.
Amaryllis are a favorite of mine, especially at this time of year when the gardens outside have pretty much wound down and are beginning their cold weather slumber. I like to buy them now (you'll find them trickling into the floral departments of your foodstores already) & get them going to have them blooming for Christmas and New Year's. I also go out right after Christmas to the foodstores to buy up whatever Amaryllis they have left (at 50 percent or more off!) and have them blooming until after Valentines Day!
Their huge trumpet like blooms in shades of red, white & pink (and white streaked with red or pink) make my heart sing and bring my gardening love indoors! Each year there are many many new Amaryllis & I do believe there's one for every taste out there!
They make wonderful gifts and are no fuss! Just put the bulb and the soil it comes with into the pot (also included) and water to keep it moist until it begins to bloom, then water about once a week. Keep in indirect light in a spot which tends to stay warm (not a drafty & therefore chilly area for instance) and there you have it! They can bloom continuiously for well over a month/6 wks once the first bud opens.
After it's done blooming, you can remove any stalks that are still on it, take the bulb out of the soil, let it dry out completely and place it in a dark, moderately cool area until around Thanksgiving the following year. Keep the pot & soil as well too! Then just put the bulb back in it and repeat the watering & steps stated above!
I love them and they get me excited anew every year now without fail!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I not only thanked my Hubby for his Service but I thanked a GoodReads friend for his Service (in the Marines) as well.
Whether or not you know a Vet personally, please thank him or her for their Service! Our appreciation of what they've done and do for our Country means more to them than you can possibly imagine!
Monday, November 10, 2008
He's 25 years older now and more handsome than ever! I thank God for him every day since our 1st date. He is a man in every sense of the word - loving, honorable, protective, respectful... I love him - "For now, for always and no matter what."
Today is the Anniversary of the day The United States Marine Corps was created and all Marines, currently active and no longer active, celebrate today as their personal 'second' birthday. If you know a Marine, you know they are a completely different breead compared with the rest of us and are truly deserving of this 2nd birthday in my book!
Hubby was unable to take off from work for it this year and I'm not sure if he will head over to The American Legion after work to meet up with fellow Marines from his Post to drink to all Marines, those who've died, those who are alive and to the future ones who have yet to join. It's VERY emotional for him and all the Marines I've seen on 11/10 in the past. (Last year, since he was able to go out, I was his designated driver!)
Lastly, if you love your Freedoms, please thank ALL Vets tomorrow as it's Veteran's Day.
It's a little daunting though with having to get ready for my Sister-in-Law to arrive this Saturday for 3 weeks. (Yup, 3 weeks! That fact alone is daunting enough, trust me!) Not to mention writing for NaNoWriMo '08 (I'm at 13,809 words & now technically behind!), editing NaNoWriMo '07, doctors appointments & the usual day to day!
Friday, November 07, 2008
County Living has been my favorite magazine for the past 2 years and will continue to be if it stays as great as it is! (My 2nd favorite magazine is Cooking Light and has been for many years now!) It never fails to fill me with joy from its' conversationally written articles to its' heart warming images. It keeps me connected to a place and ideal I hope we achieve one day! (Sooner than later!)
Thursday, November 06, 2008
|Massachusetts & New England! (And Hudson Valley NY too!)|