Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flowers for who?

I promise this blog isn't going to turn into a recount of all my dieting and exercising BUT I walked again yesterday about a mile because I walked to the Florist to order flowers. That's right, instead of getting in the car and driving over I walked, placed the order and then walked home. 19, who is the middle of exams, asked me to order some flowers for GF for prom (not a corsage) and flowers for GF mom and GM for Mother's Day. Of course, I'm thinking and what about me? No flowers for me? Oh well, at least he's making a good impression on the GF family. So, I walked over and ordered all the flowers and bought myself some hydrangeas. Some blue and white ones. They are beautiful. So big and full. I never buy flowers because they always seem like an extravagance and I think I should be spending the money on something else but I was there buying for everyone else and since I've been in a funk what the heck. I bought myself flowers.
So that you get how strange a happening it was when I got home hubby and 16 didn't understand how the 3 flowers that I had put in my vase were going to last until next weekend for 19 to give to them. Since I bought 3 flowers, they thought those 3 flowers were going to be given to GF, her mom and GM. What in the world?! What dunderheads! He's going to hand each of them a hydrangea! OH, for Pete's sake! The 3 of us went around in a circle of conversation the likes of which the 3 stooges made movies of until they got that those were mine. I bought them for me NOT for him to give away. Since planning ahead is a foreign concept to them, it took them a while to get that the other flowers were ordered ahead of time to be given at a later date.
Apparently, I still have some work to do on 16 but at least 19 is thinking ahead. Gimme patience.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

coffee and crying

With a headache and bleary-eyed I am drafting this before I head to work. I'm not sure how much I slept last night. I know that I dozed off and on but it feels like I only slept a few minutes before that dang alarm rang this morning.
Coffee with some girlfriends last night was serendipitous. Earlier in the evening to be honest I didn't feel like going but I was giving someone else a ride and felt quasi-obligated. Our conversation went around to paranormal and to funerals and the passing of ourselves and loved one - without me telling any of them about the funk I have been in nor of the correlation that hit me about my mother's death and age. I hugged them and told then that it had been cathartic our coffee time together. Truly I already felt a little better. I felt lighter, a bit at peace. I don't know why. There were no new revelations about anything, no insights garnered. Just talking and listening to my girlfriends. It was good. I was, and am, very glad I went.
I then went home and just let my thoughts wander and roam backwards and forwards in time (mostly backward) and I cried. And cried. I dozed. And I cried.
This morning. It's hard to explain. I am tired, drained but at the same time lighter. It's the oddest thing. My head is throbbing in pain but I feel relief at the same time.
When I got to the office I sent an email to advise that soon I was taking a day off for some more doctor appointments. As I typed out the email I realized the appointments are on the anniversary of my mother's passing. A chill went up my spine and then I started laughing, the irony is not lost on me at all. I think it is more on the freaky side of things but there ya go.
So, how this all explains the way I've been feeling? I dunno. How do I get past all this? I dunno. One day at a time, I guess. Gimme patience and thank God for my girlfriends who were there for me and didn't even know it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

and then it hit me!

I figured it out! I think I know why I have been so doom and gloom lately and everything is forced fun. I am turning 44 this year. I know not a milestone for most people. And it's not an age thing, it's just a number. Birthdays and the idea of getting older has never bothered me. Here's the thing: 44 was how old my mother was when she passed away. I think that nugget of information is wreaking havoc in my brain and my emotions.
It hit me yesterday when I was sitting at the Cuban cooking class talking with my girlfriends and their moms about their caring for their grandmothers and I could relate because I am dealing with the same issues with my grandmother and one asked me 'what about your mom?' I told her that she had passed away 22 years ago and it hit me right there. I had to go to the ladies room to shed a few tears and deal with the impact of the realization. I haven't thought about it a lot since then. I am trying to keep it under a lid until I have time to break down. I didn't sleep well last night. I kept waking up thinking about my mother and for the first time it wasn't comforting. It was stressful. I woke up with a pain in my jaw going up to my head from I guess sleeping with my jaws clenched.
I need to schedule a chunk of me-time when I can give this a thorough thinking through and cry uncontrollably without scaring anyone. Maybe tomorrow. It's got to be soon 'cuz well, just cuz.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


In case you haven't met me. I am overweight. Fine. I will 'say' it, according to the definition I am obese. There it is. Of course, I have known this for years. It's not like I can't see myself and I don't own a mirror. Regardless, it's not fun to say which means it bears saying again. I am obese. I need to loose weight. A large amount of weight. I am not prepared yet to put that figure in writing. Suffice it to say that it's a 3 digit number. Exactly. Ugh!.

So, here I am publicly saying these things because I need to force myself to do something about it. I have always been relatively healthy. But the past couple of years although my traditional Western medicine doctor said everything was fine my Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) said that I was borderline. His range is more narrow than the range western docs use and so I already knew that I was leaning towards the usual stuff that goes with my obesity such as high blood pressure and diabetes. I have not been officially diagnosed with either yet but this year my Western medicine doctor said that I was pre-all these things. So, I need to act now to see if its not too late to prevent them.

I need to eat healthier more importantly eat less and exercise. Now, I have been on a bajillion diets in my lifetime since jr. high and I can attest to the fact that every single one works. You loose weight on all of them. I have lost hundreds if not thousands of pounds. The problem is I keep finding them and a few more each time I stop said diet. I need to just eat less because even too much of a good thing is not good.

So, in that vein a few minor changes were immediately made. I bought 2% milk for my morning cafe con leche. I am cleaning out the cupboard of bad (starchy) veggies such as peas which I seem to have a lot of and get rid of the fruit juice. When given the choice I'd rather eat my sugar not drink it thank you. I even measured out the rice for dinner and in prepping the leftovers for lunch.

Now, let's not all get crazy here. I have done it for 2 days. WooHoo! I know. Talk to me in a week or a month and we'll see. Anyway, I have to start.

The big news is yesterday I walked. I actually changed my clothes when I got home from work in stead of plopping in front of the TV to absorb the A/C and walked for 45 minutes. My son says that my route was just shy of 2 miles. He's the runner, he should know I really didn't care. I was exhausted and gratefully absorbing the A/C propped up against the sofa on the cold tile floor when he was calculating. Actually, he was very supportive. He gave me his old iPod, loaded like 60 songs on it while I changed and showed me how to work it before I set out. He checked the time before I left and said he didn't want to see me for at least 1/2 hour that I didn't even need to take keys, he'd be there. Sweet huh?

Today is day 2 and I already didn't have my oatmeal fro breakfast (which really fills me). I had a bagel that someone brought in for the office. That's the bad news. I guess the good news is in the past I would have had 3, one for breakfast, one for snack and one with lunch. I have only had the one for breakfast and now I had the lunch I prepared from home. I have a banana for snack later and then only dinner to worry about.

I plan on walking again when I get home today even though there was a point yesterday I didn't think I'd make it but in my head I just keep saying, you can't just stop and sit down here, you have to get home. We'll see how far I get. It's hot out. It was hot yesterday but gratefully there was an occasional breeze that helped a bit. I may try another route. I think we need more shade trees in my neighborhood. I'm just saying the heat and the sun in these parts is brutal.

I have been thinking about setting some goals to keep me motivated and on track maybe a few big ones and a bunch of little ones. I don't know. We'll see. I need to think about it some more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hot hot hot!

As you saw, I had lots of plans for the weekend and as usual life is a moving target and so I did some and not others.

First, the Alvin Ailey show on Friday night was phenominal. It was like food for my soul. I had a wonderful time. It just made me feel all warm and fuzzy and good. It was beautifula nd awesome in every way. Of course, as usual it made me wish I could get up and move like that. Afterwards we went to get some food for our bodies at Versailles which yummy and fun, as always.

Saturday I ran my errands and did the birthday shopping for my niece, visited my GM but I did not go to the Farmer's Market because the one I planned on going to ended in March. I will find anouther one soon. Saturday night took us to The Palm for dinner. It was far but the food was good. I'm glad we went but is it ever pricey so really, if I'm paying I don't need to go again. If your paying, take me I'll sacrifice myself and eat something.

As an appetizer we shared an order of Lump Crab Cocktail which was lovely. With it came a basket of saltine crackers and what looked like a fish spread. Since I tend to like everything, I served myself a liberal amount of spread on a cracker and had at it. All oxygen was sucked out of me and out my ears and the heat went down to my core and then back up the back of my throat to the tip of my nose and my optical nerve making my eyes water. As quickly as I could I stuffed the second saltine cracker in my mouth and with great effort forced myself to move my jaw up and down in a chewing motion to down the cracker. When I could breathe again I took a small sip of wine and a deep breath. Hubby who is always leary of new foods only dipped the tip of the tines of his fork into the spread and his eyebrows shot up when he tried it. He asked, What is that?! I, still trying to collect bring my breathing to normal levels, calmly said, horseradish! Bwahahaha! Serves me right for diving in like that. It has been said before and that only proves the point. I will die by mouth. I swear if I would have exhaled, dragon fire would have come out of my mouth. I am telling you I loaded it on the cracker.

Next, was the salad course. Hubby had the ceasar salad which he said was good. I had a hearts of palm salad served with wedged tomatoes, hard boiled egg and some kalamata olives on a bed of green leaf lettuce and a dressing of oil and balsamic vinegar.

The main course was NY strip for hubby and Filet Mignon for me. Both were cooked perfectly medium well and medium rare, respectively. Mine was like butter. Very tasty. The family-style sides we ordered were hash browns and sauteed asparagus with garlic. The harshbrowns were nice and crunchy on the outside and sofe and tender on the inside. the aspragus was perfect and the whole garlic cloves melted in my mouth.

For dessert we shared a slice of key lime pie which was uber-rich, homemade with condensed milk. Fresh whipped cream topeed witha strawberry was on the side. I had coffee to help it all go down.

Again, it was all good but very pricey. Good steak can be had for less. I'm glad we had a gift card that covered more than half the bill.

Sunday was going to be lazy day at home but I ended up meeting SIL and MILs to go to her niece's house and look at photo albums of the pictures taken of her 15s back in December. It was a nice afternoon. then it was home to watch Tivo, fix dinner and relax.

Monday was a lot more of nothing stressfull, just TV and magazine reading.

I need more days like the past few, horseradish and all. LOL!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend things

Lot's going on this weekend to top off what has been a busy week.

I am super excited about tonight. I am going with a friend to see Alvin Ailey. I haven't seen them since I was a teenager and that was only a dress rehearsal not an actual show. I am really looking forward to that.

Saturday, I have some shopping to do for birthday presents, I want to go to a farmers market, I have to visit my GM, I want to make Mother's Day cards and then its dinner reservations at The Palm.

Sunday I hope to do some sewing, some photo organizing, some closet cleaning and some cooking. All home stuff that makes me happy. We'll see how much of all that I actually get done but for now I will look forward to Alvin Ailey tonight!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cool Quote

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.
-Victor Hugo

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax man cometh!

Hope you got your taxes in on time! This is not a good day for most people. But it's working for me. For the first time we filed electronically this year. Woo Hoo! This year we are also getting an unexpected refund. Can I head another Woo HOO!? Thank you son for going to college and getting us that needed tax credit. Woo Hoo!

So, now the money that we had budgeted to pay the taxes is sitting there. But have no fear we already found something to spend it on. Car repairs. OK, so this all worked out. I am grateful that we have the money to repair the car because it's the only car we have. The other transportation we have is hubby work truck which is not supposed to be used for personal use. So, the car needs to be taken care of and the previously set aside tax $ will be used to pay for it.

More good news. Today is my dad's girlfriend's bday. I always remember it because hey, it's tax day who could forget. I have to call her. Hopefully I won't forget to do that.

And even more good news. The car repairs seem to be all done and guess what the total cost has been less that what was budgeted for the taxes. So, it looks like we actually came out ahead there. WOO HOO! Now we get to think of what to do with the rest of it. Fun! I have to convince hubby to donate some of it in thanks for the refund and for the affordable car repairs. I have to think. Maybe I can find a cause that would interest him. Gotta think.

Also good today is that I am meeting up with a friend after work and we are going to a presentation about Cuban Art. I honestly know nothing about the subject and am really looking forward to going.

It's a good day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bus Stops & Crosswalks

I wonder if the county school department of transportation even knows what the definition of words like bus stop and crosswalk. On my way to work I occasionally get to witness a pet peeve of mine that well starts my day with my panties all in a bunch.

I realize that I grew up in a different era, that things change yadda yadda but pretty much safety measures only get more stringent over time not more lax. I also know the driving rules and know that not everyone follows them. I know that when a bus stops ALL the cars around it are supposed to stop too. Both the traffic next to and oncoming. Fine. I'm also going to acknowledge that children can cross the street to get on a bus. Fine. But, and here's the rub, they should be crossing at a valid intersection, a crosswalk, you know a place were it is correct, legal and safe to be crossing the road because the bus should be stopped at a corner or at a bus stop waiting for them not in the middle of the street right before the train tracks making them cross 3 lanes of traffic, two of them oncoming including crossing a median on a main traffic street! HELLO! Can you say JAYWALKING!?I don't care how old the kids are it's wrong.

I realize that jaywalking is not a stringently prosecuted but should the county school board really be encouraging it by designing bus routes that require it? Give me a break. I tried to search on the Internet the bus routes and any rules and guidelines but it was taking too long and I wasn't finding what I wanted so I came here to complain about it.

Let's see what is the definition of jaywalking? Well, according to wikipedia, its: an informal term used to refer to illegal or reckless pedestrian crossing of a roadway. Examples include a pedestrian crossing between intersections (outside a crosswalk, marked or unmarked) without yielding to drivers and starting to cross a crosswalk at a signalized intersection without waiting for a permissive indication to be displayed. In the Unites States, state statutes generally reflect the Uniform Vehicle Code in requiring drivers to yield the right of way to a pedestrians at crosswalks; at other locations, crossing pedestrians are either required to yield to drivers or, under some conditions, are prohibited from crossing.

OK. Fine. Technically the kids aren't jaywalking because they are standing there, yielding to the traffic until everyone decides to stop for them and then they cross in between intersections across 3 lanes over a median to get to their bus. Still, it's wrong. It shouldn't be that way. Go to the corner, cross at the intersection, the bus could always turn into their complex (oh, the horror) and simply have them cross the street in there.

OK. Enough venting for one morning. Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine. Hubby gets to hear it every time we see it happen. This is one time where he actually agrees with me. I'm taking a deep breath now and going to get my morning coffee. Gimme patience.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another New Project

I am not going list the piles of photos waiting to be scrapped or the stacks of fabric waiting to be cut and sewn into dresses and blouses not the stacks of magazines waiting to be culled or the bag of scraps waiting to become a quilt or needless to say the stacks and piles of book to be read. Instead I am going to ell you about a new project I feel must be done (read: started). Gathering and organizing recipes. Why, should this be done now? Because I lost or shall I say can't find because it's probably buried or attached or stuck in some cookbook somewhere a recipe. My carrot cake recipe. It was a photo copy of a handwritten recipe card of the wife of someone that hubby used to work with. I've had it and been making it for Easter for I don't know maybe 10, 12 years until this Easter. I couldn't find it anywhere. I spent 4 evenings looking for it. Nada. I remember most of the ingredients but not the measurements and so began my search on the Internet. Gratefully, I found what I thought was a comparable recipe. Crisis averted. The key to this recipe is baby food. It makes it sooo moist and yummy. I made it and am told that it was a success. I don't particularly like carrot cake but I tried it and it wasn't horrible so that would be good for everyone else.

Now, I realize I don't have babies and don't buy baby food on a regular basis but let me just say Boy! have things changed! I remember their being 3 stages of food and 2 maybe 3 brands. Stage 1 was completely strained, 2 was strained but a few little chucks to start giving them some texture and maybe learn to chew a bit but they really didn't have to if they didn't want to and 3 they had to chew if was babied down real food. Now there are like 1/2 dozen brands including organic and since its on the same shelf space the variety has been greatly reduced. I could not find my stage 2 carrots! I needed strained with little bits in it. Not happening! Only strained carrots were to be found. So, I ended up grating real carrots AND using the baby food to get the texture I wanted in the cake. More work than I had bargained for but apparently worth it.

I was given an altered composition book quite some time ago designed to put family recipes in but honestly I haven't used it because its so pretty. I have only stuffed it with the scraps of paper that I find recipes on after the family has tried and approved them into the pages of the book. It's like I don't want to mess up the book by actually writing on the pages. I want to leave the possibility for fantasticness. If I write in it then the magic of how great it could be will be gone and then what?! I had this same problem as a kid with my Disney princess coloring books. I would color the entire book except for the one introducing the princess in her dress. I could never bring myself to color the dress because I might mess it up. What if I didn't pick the bestest combination of colors, shade it right, color it even, make it beautiful enough? If I colored it, it would be a done deal. As long as it remained uncolored the possibility for unsurpassed beauty, creativity and the perfect princess dress were still an option.

So, I am going to bite the bullet and write in and put tried and true recipes in the book that was made for me with love for that purpose. At least that's the idea for the new project. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Packing for the Beach...

What do you need to go to the beach? My son is on Spring Break and met up with friends this morning for breakfast and from there they are heading to the beach.
The girls got up early and called all the boys to make sure they were up and going to be on time for the meet.
The girls went to pick up a friend and the grocery store to buy needed supplies before going to the meet.
The girls made sandwiches - peanut butter and jelly because it's Good Friday and they can't eat meat- with the jelly and bread they bought at aforementioned grocery trip.
The girls packed a cooler with ice for soda and water and cups (also just purchased).
The girls packed the car with chairs and a bag with towels and sunscreen.
The girls probably also packed other things, I am missing here but it was all on their list that they wrote last night and left on the counter so they would all be in sync and not forget any crucial items. The girls also had to get up early to get the list done.

My son got up (on his own, the girls called AFTER he was up-thank God for small favors), did his business in the bathroom, fed the dog, packed a sports bag with his wallet, a dry change of clothes, grabbed a beach towel, put on his bathing suit, t-shirt and sandals and was ready to go.

And us women complain that men are useless. I say we create these monsters and have no one to blame but ourselves. Alas, the cycle continues. I'm not saying its necessarily bad. I'm just saying, don't complain later.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A New Year

Hubby and I have been having some ups and downs or I guess it would be better described as down and ups with the ups never quite coming back up to speed. Anyway, I am exhausted mentally and emotionally this morning because yesterday we had one of those talks. You know the ones, the ones where you talk/rant/cry for hours. I'm so drained. I hope some good comes out of it. We've basically agreed to give it (read:us) one more try. He even set a deadline. One Year. So a year from now we will either be happy/content enough to be forever or we will separate and move on.
I realize that we have said this type of thing before. We have said that we are going to try certain things and it never lasts very long. But this time the difference is that there's a finite end, a finish line if you will at which time progress will be measured. See, hubby is a numbers guy and it may help if he has those concrete things, tangible goals, dates etc. Let's see how this experiment in us goes. You may hear about it, you may not. It depends on my mood.
I don't expect everything to be peaches and cream all the time. Honest, that's not my expectation of a marriage. I know that nothing can maintain a perpetual high. And I am not blaming hubby for the way things are. I acknowledge my part in this dance and so I am going to do what he asks and give it this year of reconnecting -- it takes two to tango.
Maybe I'll start this afternoon by letting him in on my words for the year: comfort & joy. Today I wish I had a few more hours of sleep to recharge from last night.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The gift of go out and do something.

I had so much fun this weekend buying things! I didn't buy things to clutter a table or closet. I bought things to go do things. I love it!

It was friend's 50th birthday. I didn't get him a shirt or picture frame. I got him a gift card at a great Argentine restaurant so that he could go out and celebrate with dinner. Love it!

Then there was a sale at the Performing Arts Center and I went to buy tickets for a show for MIL for Mother's Day and ended up buying her 2 tickets, hubby's aunt 2 tickets, myself 2 tickets for another show, Fuerza Bruta, on my birthday and 2 tickets for me and a friend to see Alvin Ailey. I had a blast just buying the tickets. Imagine how much fun I will have going to the show.
Plus all the tickets were Buy one Get one Free. Well, except for Alvin Ailey but the rest were. So, how could I NOT get them. I had to. They practically forced me. You weren't there honest. I just couldn't say no. I am so looking forward to it.
Woo Hoo!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Economic update!

Why we are were we are in this global economic mess has been blamed on many things. Bubbles bursting, unfunded mortgages, lack of corporate lending yadda yadda.

So, I have one question for the credit providing companies. WHY ARE YOU SENDING MY STILL DEPENDENT 19 YEAR OLD COLLEGE STUDENT WHO HAS STUDENT LOANS AND A WORK STUDY JOB CREDIT CARD APPLICATIONS? I'm sorry, I shouldn't be yelling. I know it's rude but really truly this week alone he got 4, yes four, applications. One of them guaranteeing him a $10k limit. HUH?! People, he can barely pay for gas and only covers meals when it's off the dollar menu.

And by the way, you can stop sending me mortgage refinance letters too. I thought there was a credit crunch. What the heck is going on here? Why are they throwing credit at him and not people who need it to make payroll, so that the employees can make their credit card payments?I have never said I was a numbers girls but these really don't add up for me. I am very very confused.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sad but romantic

Some friends of a friend. Really, I don't know these people, passed away over the weekend. A husband and wife. The husband who was 91 was the caretaker of his wife, 83 who was sickly. He was in perfect health. He passed away last week. He just up and had a heart attack and passed away. Their 12 children live all over the US and were all coming to Miami for their father's services on Sunday and then to decide how to take care of mom. Well, Sunday morning their mom died. She didn't even make it to the services. How sad is that? Her kids are consoled with the idea that he took her with him, that she had only been holding on for him, that once she realized he was gone, she gave up. They say she kept mumbling 'what's the point, why' for the last 2 days. It's as if she died of a broken heart. She couldn't bear living without him. I thought that kind of love was only in the movies but maybe that's just art imitating life.
I have been thinking about this story for a couple of days now, since my friend told me the story. It's really touched me. It's like haunting me. I don't think I wonder if many people have that kind of love. Maybe I'm just being sappy and romantic. Is it weird to romanticize their deaths that way? I'm not sure that I have that kind of love. It's just had me thinking a lot, so I needed to write it out. I think its comforting to think they are together for eternity.