Wednesday, November 30, 2005

bits and pieces

My left arm is sore. I had my flu shot today at Employee Health , got a tootsie pop for my troubles! I can't quite picture using this arm tonight (dance class). Dancing ain't just with the feet. I might even take a tylenol for it. People get your flu shots!! *a little public service announcement* After the jabbing, I attended a "Lunch and Learn" seminar on herbal/natural medications. Very interesting. I work in a hospital, so we have these types of staff events, grand rounds, learning seminars. I don't usually go to them, because I work at home, but I felt like going to this one. I think I'll make the effort more often. It was good. Told me all i need to know about the risks and benefits of natural substances, of which there seem to be far more risks. People who are allergic to ragweed shouldn't take ecchinacea! Did you know that? Willow bark should not be taken by those allergic to aspirin. Glucosamine, which I have been taking, is quite safe and is generally well tolerated by most people. I even learned how to take it and what the dosing schedule should be. I'm gonna see if it makes a difference for me. . my arthritic spine may thank me! It would be heaven to not have pain every moment of every day of my life.

Geez! you can't believe how sore that arm is. .*but don't let that put you off getting your shot!! that's one of the commonest minor side effects* Glad i offered up my left limb! I ended up taking 2 extra strength tylenol after all and having a nap. . every time i lifted the thing the pain increased. blah. . the tylenol kicked in and i went dancing after all. . glad i did - it was great, as always. cha cha cha!!!!

I'm starting to feel like maybe i should decorate my house for Christmas?! I'm off next week. . i'll get to it then. I want to wrap things up - so that i can de stress and enjoy the holidays. Gotta get in that kitchen and bake. . my family expects certain things every year. . and I'm happy to deliver! Christmas is such a time to celebrate!! I love it beyond the snowmen, santa, presents its become, i love it more than food, family, friends, etc. These are wonderful things, but I love it for the pure love story that it is. . God -- loves us, simple truth. We need him -- true - whether we believe that or not. Christmas is love. . it isn't Future Shop merchandise or Wal-Mart's toy department, its not turkey with stuffing or drinking lots of alcohol. Its just about love of the deepest kind. I love that, who wouldn't? Everyone i know grumbles about the stress, the commercialism, the debt, the rushing, the pressure. . so who wouldn't want to see things with new eyes?

I don't often watch Oprah. . but i caught the last half of today's show on porn-addicted men. . and to my surprise one of gospel music's 'biggies' - Kirk Franklin was sitting on the couch with his wife, sharing the extent of his pornography addiction. I mean I can't say i was in shock. . cuz anyone can fall prey to the smorgasboard of life's temptations, abuses and addictions. This guy though was singing about God, 'worshiping' Him, then getting his 'fix' of porn. Not the kind of example the world needs from 'the church' or "Christians". The guy's gutsy. He seemed very honest about his hypocrisy, not hiding it. His wife impressed me so much with her apparent grace and forgiveness. The statistics were staggering. . hits per day on porn sites, percentages of people 'consuming' porn, etc. I don't think the old "boys will be boys" cliche holds water here. The billions of dollars wasted every year - its shameful - what better uses could be found for this drain on the world's economy? That's only just the tip of the iceberg. . there are costs without dollar figures. . too many people are harmed by something that people wink and nudge away as supposedly 'harmless'. Maybe a trip to will yield the info, if you're interested.

Well, its been a mixed bag of stuff today. . I realize that i'm pretty random the last few entries. I'm hoping to be able to focus, but we'll see!

Friday, November 25, 2005

dance weekend!

I'm now standing on the edge of the week and getting set to jump into the weekend! YAY! Tonight is our work dinner/dance and tomorrow night is our nephew's wedding reception and dance! oooweeee this is gonna be a fun couple of days. I don't have much time now to 'talk', but i will come back with pictures, hopefully and a few details.

Sometimes it does a world of good to get shined up and do something fancy, you know? It makes you feel like you're escaping the often grubby clothing of weekdays/nights, the monotony that sometimes or often anesthetizes us and its just nice to wake up and do something splendid! Oh, I hope the DJs are good!!!!! WOOOH!!!

bye for now!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

first attempt at a short entry!!!! wish me luck!

ah, me. . . can i do this? I can do it!!! People do short entries all the time! Rob is downstairs, playing guitar and singing his heart out. . . he sounds so much better than most of the ca ca i heard on the American Music Awards 2nite. . at least what we saw of it. . BLECH.

I've been feeling strange about buying things this week, even though i need them - i don't like spending money on myself. .I work from home, so i don't have much in the way of a 'wardrobe'. . . I guess i live pretty simply. . i have far fewer clothes than my husband does. In fact, his clothing takes up about 90% of our closet space!! *though he buys his clothing by the bag at Value Village!!* With a couple of formal events coming up this weekend - 2 dinner/dances in fact - I was panicking!! a trip to the mall was unavoidable. blah.

In the interests of brevity, I won't expand much on the mall experience, actually 2 mall experiences - the first trip with KK (my youngest daughter) and the second trip was tonight, when I dragged Rob along with me, cuz I hadn't seen him very much lately and this was my only free night before the big events. Both trips were surprisingly stress free, aside from enduring the nightmarish Sears women's clothing department!!! Some seriously uncool clothing in that store - nearly gave me a polyester rash. Rob and I don't shop for my stuff together, so he tells me where he's gonna be and then we're both happy. I like to speed shop. . which he appreciates.

I'm actually the perfect woman for Rob. . i don't wear jewelry aside from my wedding bands and my eternity ring. . i don't get manicures or pedicures, i don't want lots of things, i seldom go to malls, i don't always need to be talking and i'll take out the garbage and do the yard work!

I've had to purchase things this week. . an evening purse , an outfit, dress shoes, dress coat, scarf and gloves. . I felt bad. . . but you know, they're all beautiful and when i put them on i feel like a million bucks and i didn't have to spend a million bucks. . though it seemed that way, cuz i almost never buy so much at one time like that!! I've always got that mindset. . "other people don't have anything, they're homeless, they don't eat." etc, etc. . I just figured. . as long as i only buy what i need. . and not buy more than i need and as long as I consistently help others in need. . i think that's okay. yeah, that seems right.

So, i bought some clothing items and accessories! big whoop!!! Slow news day??!!!!! it would seem so.

I have been thinking so much in the way of jangled thoughts these days. . i can't seem to have enough coherency to put much into a blog. My dreams have been absolutely crazed. . like flipping brain channels all night long. . lions sleeping in bottom bunks, swimming pools turning suddenly into trenches and warfare, me getting shot while trying to protect a young child from the barrage of bullets, that's all that i can remember from last night, but every night has been bizarre. . i wake up and tell Rob and he just shakes his head and says "Honey, you've got some strange stuff going on." I feel weird as i check out the computer news headlines every day. . all this random stuff always there before my eyes. . 25 million people have been killed by AIDS since 1981. . avian flu in this country and that country, missing people, murdered people, suffering people. . governments shifting and turning. . sometimes there's just too much going on. . too much to take in. . Maybe that's why i have such a jumble in my head? It all seems surreal. . you know? It registers in my consciousness, but yet it doesn't penetrate through - i suppose because these things are happening so far from where i am.

Anyway, that was really mixed up, but possibly the shortest one i've written to date?

must get some sleep. . wonder what craziness will ensue once i get into that REM sleep?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Happy Post!

Today I am willing myself to think 'happy thoughts'! The day is cold and shuddery, the naked tree branches look spindly and gnarled. Its not pretty out there! All the nice stuff is hidden by cloud cover and made droopy and drippy by the constant rain. My feet and fingers are cold. I keep having to cup my hands together, blow on my 'money makers' to warm them up so that i can keep working.

So, as I thought about the greyish, depressing quality of this day, I thought "There's a lot of things you can focus on that will make you feel like the sun is shining. So change your mind channel!!" Actually I'm gonna do some channel hopping to find some different kinds of fun, enjoyable scenes. Wanna join me?

"Im in my happy place, I'm in my happy place." I love this self-psych mantra. . its so funny and reminds me of the Juicy Fruit 'anger management group' commerical! The instructor 'tests' the angry guys by bringing forth a "Ken doll" with a guitar, who serenades the gang with the "Juicy Fruit 70s jingle". The guys are rocking back and forth, sitting on their hands, exhaling forcefully through clenched jaws, when ALL OF A SUDDEN the instructor snatches away "Ken's" guitar and smashes it repeatedly against the floor!!!! The first time I saw this I laughed for a good minute or two!!! MAN! that is funny stuff. See, wasn't that fun? Have you seen that ad? Have you seen others that make you laugh out loud?! Like the "Viking" one where the "Viking hordes" have to assume 'regular Joe jobs' because pillaging ain't what it used to be?! It is hilarious beyond belief to see "Eric the Red" grunting like a grizzly and operating a kiddie train!!

While we're on the subject of humour, there's something hilarious about seeing people's embarrassing accidents, etc. . losing their toupees in the wind, footballs in the groin, pets making a beeline to sniff a visitor's crotch. . its not nice to be the victim, but its so funny to see these little annoying types of things!! Its funny on video, but its even funnier live!!!!

There's nothing like your favourite sitcom to make you forget even the crappiest day! Thanx to syndication and/or DVD boxed-edition collections, you can always find something that will make you laugh. Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons, Friends. I don't remember much dialogue from these shows. Some people i know can recite a show's worth of dialogue in one breath!!! One line from E.L.R. that I do remember with clarity is Frank (the show's patriarch) uttering this disparaging comment about speech giving. It goes like this: "Jeezaloo, I could eat a box of AlphaBits and crap a better speech!" Why does that stay in my memory banks?! I LOVE IT! If its a crappy day where you are now, curl up when you get a free moment to watch something that will make you laugh! Or maybe a good joke will be just the ticket? I don't retain jokes either, they slip right through my brain, like water through a sieve. It frustrates me. I only remember this because I just got it yesterday. Employee calling employer: "I'm sorry, but I can't come in to work today, I'm not feeling well."**heh, maybe it was a Monday in November?!!** Employer: "I'm sorry to hear that. What's wrong?" Employee: "I have rectal glaucoma". . Employer: (puzzled) "What exactly is 'rectal glaucoma'? Employee: I can't see my a*$ coming in to work today." I don't know why this struck me so funny, but when I read it, i laughed out loud!!!! Maybe because its so sassy and ridiculously 'unmedical' and people like me who work in the medical realm always find these types of dumb things funny!

I've just learned that the clouds are here for the duration of this week. GREAT. I'm gonna need lots of ammo to combat the imminent November weather depression. So, I think i need to go through a few more things just to make sure I'm well armed!

Here are some mood lifters that work for me:

Comfort -- Clothes still warm from the dryer. They smell great. . they make you feel cozy, they warm you up. A great couch you can sink into (i have yet to possess one, but I hope to one day!!!) Lying down when you're dead tired. That's a definite 'AAAAAAAHHHH' experience! My theory on comfort is that every grown up in the world is always trying to seek out ways to feel like they're little children again, even infants!!! How do some grown ups sleep? In the fetal position! What do they call their sweethearts? Babe, baby. What do they want when they're lonely, sad, tired, etc. . a hug and a kiss, a verbal reassurance, sometimes people will even rock themselves back and forth when they're upset! What kind of chairs do some people have in their homes? rocking chairs! What do some people sleep in? heated water beds! Just a little observation!!! There are some people out there who will even pay someone to treat them like a baby, in giant 'nurseries', with giant baby accessories. . . oh boy! Okay that's enough about that!!!

Great smells work!!! Food, hair products, bath soap, laundry being laundered -- a big, long sniff of something fantastic is a transporting experience. *Notice I did not say 'snort" for anyone unknown to me who may happen upon this blog and instantly misconstrue this!* Crappy weather? Depressing even? Go smell something nice!

Taste -- depends on the mood too. . but can definitely help, as long as you don't go too nuts. Chocolate, fresh popcorn, a great plate of spaghetti, a cool little mint, something fizzy, a nice, tart/sweet apple, some nachos, a great mug of something hot. . tea, coffee, hot apple cider. . . mmmmmm. . .

Great memories! Nothing like doing an instant replay in your mind if you want to relive a particularly good moment. . maybe visualize something you've always wanted to do. . . *keepin' it clean, people! keepin' it clean!* how about thinking about a place you've always wanted to see? I've dreamed of going to the U.K (which means more than just circling London, waiting to land at Heathrow to connect to elsewhere), Egypt, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and lots more!!! I've pictured seeing my name on a book cover, I've dreamed of having my own little baked goods shop. I often relive my wedding, or the births of my children, my grandkids funny sayings, great vacations, funny situations. Good memories are just like 'uppers'! (not that I know what uppers are like!!!!) I'm really having to cover my you-know-what here today!!! Just making sure to clarify things.

Music. . . it has magical properties. Perfect for promoting happiness!! It does so much but I'm gonna focus on the happy side. It makes me wanna dance, it makes me feel positive and empowered, it makes me laugh (if its crazy lyrics like maybe BNL. . "Lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did. . " I LOVE that song! Fiddle music instantly elevates me, stirs me up and makes me smile, gets me up on my feet. How about James Brown if you need a lift?! wow! he'll do the job! Kool and the Gang. . "Jungle Boogie", "Ladies Night". .they were just so cool. . "Saturday Night Fever"!!!??? That's a disco boost. "Walking on Sunshine"?! yep! love it! I even like "Good Morning Starshine". . . because Rob loathes it and because its sheerly preposterous lyrics "glibby gloop, gloopy, nibby, nobby, newby, la la la, lo lo. ." make absolutely no sense and are certainly the audio remants of someone's drug-induced mental haze! Not to mention it reminds me of The Simpsons' Mr. Burns after he was injected with Morphine, during one of his crazy 'bodily overhauls' after which he would wander around in the woods, pupils dilated, addled and confused, softly murmuring "I bring you peace. I bring you love.", immediately following which he burst into a bizarre rendition of "Starshine". . Yes, music does all this and lots more!!

Movies and books: There is nothing like a good story, which also is a really escapist thing for those wanting escape! This is another one of those instances in which grown ups want to be like little kids. Instead of their parents telling them a story, they read their own, or they watch it on a screen. We still love our stories! I wonder if movie rentals go up in November? or book sales? it would be interesting to get the stats.

Well, that feels a bit better already! Mind over weather. . happy, happy, joy, joy! Glass half full. Don't worry, be happy. . November will pass and then the fun REALLY begins!!! (for all you Canadians, you KNOW what I'm talking about!) BRRRRRRR!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

thinking day

This is my thinking day. I had the chance to work for time and a half, I declined. The backlog will be waiting for me on Monday. Today, November 11, is a day to be quiet and think. I think about lots of things on this day, every year.

I am a granddaughter of WWII. I think of my grandparents today. They are no longer here with us in body, but my memories of them will never fade. They lived the war. . they survived and I am alive now because they lived. My grandfather was a soldier. . he fought for the liberation of Holland. He shook Eisenhower's hand when he departed for Europe and he listened to a pep talk for the 20,000 troops aboard his ship home, from none other than Churchill himself. He witnessed things that he wouldn't tell us. In my later years my grandmother told me the 2 reasons for his discharge from duty: 1. A large chunk of his leg was claimed by shrapnel. The crater left had not escaped my notice. When i was a little girl I remember asking : "Bop, what happened to your leg?" I don't exactly remember his reply, i think it was something like 'Oh, that's just a souvenir from the war.' He brushed it off. It always bothered me to see it, even though he tried to make light of it. 2. His fox hole partner was decapitated. When I heard about that, i tried to imagine what it must have been like for my grandfather to be hunkered down in that hole with his partner. I wondered what their particular job at that time was, what weapons they may have had. I wondered what they talked about. I wondered how nervous and afraid they were as they heard the sounds of war all around them. Of course I wondered how horrible it was in that dreadful moment and in the moments that involved my grandfather exiting that hole in the ground, leaving his partner and running for cover and sustaining his own wound. All these things I have to imagine, because these things were too painful for him to tell us. My grandmother didn't elaborate very much. I think it bothered her too to talk about it in any great detail. I wish I had asked more. I wish that now. . . as a middle aged woman, I wish that i could ask them so much. It saddens me to realize that I only knew a really small part of who they were.

For me, Remembrance Day, well its all about WWII, because I have a personal connection to it. My grandparents lived it, their children lived in the shadow of it, and I lived in the clear. My husband too, has this experience - being a child whose family lived through this war. His Opa dying in a Japanese-run labour camp, his Oma and his mother and uncles all separated, interred in several Japanese P.O.W. camps in Indonesia. How traumatic, how difficult, how strong they had to become to survive.

Rob and I have an intense shared "generational' thing. We are from the same generation, our families were war families. We have this need to stay connected to this time in history, i think because its part of our families' legacy and experience. Some of our favourite things to do involves checking out museums, historical sites on our travels, watching documentaries, movies. We have a huge interest in aviation history. . . which is something we both just seem to love so much. . and now our little grandson seems also to share this love. One of our favourite family places is the "Warplane Heritage Museum" in Hamilton, Ontario. *see link below* . Here you can climb into the cockpits of these vintage planes and imagine for yourself what it must have been like for the pilots and crew. On our last visit i even got to work the tail flaps and move the stick of the CF100 fighter. I felt the claustrophobia as the volunteer slid the canopy over my head. Everything's so close in that cockpit. The gauges and buttons, wow. . I really recommend this place to anyone who has an interest, or would like to cultivate one. The Lancaster bomber seems to have this special allure for our grandson, James. I have to admit, we also do find it quite special. You will see 1 of only 2 flying Lancs in the WORLD at the Hamilton museum. (I've had the privilege of sitting in one of the bomb crew's seats in the Lanc. . and it was something else. . my imagination was just running wild being in there.

Here are some links for some of the places we have visited, and wish to visit in the near future: Canadian Military Heritage Museum
Brantford, Ontario The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario The Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, Ontario Canadian War Museum Ottawa, Ontario The Lancaster Museum - Nanton, Alberta

And here's a link to the WarAmps of Canada. . which has a fantastic video and DVD series called "NEVER AGAIN!". I have watched a marathon of these videos today on TV. They are very well done. WarAmps Canada

I watched the ceremonies televised from our nation's capital this morning. A recent mini trip of ours to Ottawa this past spring made it so real, to see the cenotaph again, the tomb of the unknown soldier, the gigantic, statuesque monument to the great wars. The 2 minutes of silence was preceded by howitzer blasts, "The Last Post" and was followed by more canon blasts and "Reveille". The symbolic guards at the compass points of the monument seemed almost like statues. The faces of the assembled veterans. . . every line and wrinkle earned, their eyes communicating the memories turbulence and trauma that was uniquely theirs. . . haunting to see. I watched the laying of the commemorative wreaths from every conceivable people group in this land and the embassies of many others. . . I was struck by the importance of ceremony, remembrance, symbols, gatherings, parades. People need this. I watched the veterans' parade with gratitude and emotion. The salutes, the allegiance to flag and regiment, the purpose, the pride. I witnessed the Harvards fly by. . . 1 plane peeling off from the others, symbolizing those who were lost. What a day this has been. Solitary reflection and lots of remembering.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

the big con

Ina Garten IS the "Barefoot Contessa"! And why do i tell you this? Just because I want to!!!!

I love this East Hamptonite! She inspires me in a culinary sense, but not strictly in that sense -- I'm drawn to her boundless generosity, her huge hospitality gifting, her considerable prowess with raw ingredients and her imaginative use of these ingredients. Here: check out her website!

You know, when i think more about why i won't miss her shows, i think its because I wish she was my mother!!!!! *psychoanalysis needed here?!* She so huggy and bubbly and everything i would think a mother should be. Plus the woman can cook!!!! MAN! There are other able cooks on the Food Network. There's Jamie Oliver, with his frenetic bashing of raw goodies in his mortar and pestle and all his Jamie phrases *pukka tukka*, *easy peasy*, *Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt*. Gotta love this guy. . but I feel almost like I need a Valium after watching him. There's Nigella Lawson, another Brit who's handy with a cleaver. . but she sort of intimidates me and annoys me with her over the top descriptions of her ingredients. . "chartreuse shards of greenish goodness" *BARF* I think she's either a frustrated writer or perhaps a reformed porn star. She seems to play a bit too much to the camera with her 'va va va voom'. She's like the Jessica Rabbit of the kitchen?! does that make sense?! Don't enjoy that. . probably cuz i'm a woman! I wanna say to Nigella. . just cook for me and stop suggestively licking food off of your fingers!! And then there's Emeril Lagasse!!! Oh boy, what do i say about this guy, except BAM!!!!! food and toothpaste both seem to elicit this frightening response from this 'dees, dem and dose' Noo Yawker" I feel like instead of wielding a pastry bag, he could just as easily slip on some brass knuckles!! I cannot watch Emeril (though I do love the 'morning grooming' commercials in which he thoughtfully takes himself and his toothpastey toothbrush in a cab across town, to a remote location, where he can responsibly BAM to his heart's content without waking half of Brooklyn!) And there's also Mario Battali. . . okay, this guy - he's a true gourmand. . . loves his own cooking a bit too much, there Mario? He looks EXACTLY like the "comic book guy' from The Simpsons!!!! Spitting image!!!!! Rotund, like a Santa Claus with red hair, beard and a pony tail. . he even wears red clogs!!! Needs Clinton and Stacey really badly!!!! I know i'm being a bit superficial here. . . sorry about that. He's a regular on "Iron Chef America", which i only glance at because its a bit bizarre. . . they work with really, really 'out there' ingredients like sea urchins, eel, etc. BLECH. Mario also has a show which shows him eating his way across America!!!! Literally!!!!! Mario! how many points in that mountain of manicotti?!!! geesh! He's a great chef though. . . he seems to have an exquisitely sensitive palate and nose, this guy can go into some random restaurant kitchen and tell you if there's truffle oil in some else's 20-ingredient sauce!!!! Its so funny, he does 'the taste' then he smacks his lips and tells the camera everything that's in it. Yeah, he's that good!

Anyway, other 'food personalities' are some of the reasons why I love my Contessa!!! She doesn't annoy me or agitate me. I don't need to take mood stabilizing drugs after watching her show. . i don't feel intimidated by her. . she comes across as this fabulously nurturing, chubby, sweetie pie of a cook!

My family makes fun of her. . They call her "The Big Con". . (a jibe re. her 'well-upholstered' body) But as KK's' boyfriend Joel says "Hey, you can't trust a skinny cook!" Right on, Joel! I may have already talked about this a few months back. . . if i have, just humour me!!! I print out her on line recipes, cuz her cookbooks are $53 a pop!!!! too rich for my blood. . . On some of the first print outs, Rob had scratched out the "Contessa" at the top of the page and had scrawled "FATessa!" Oh! the nerve!!! But he has to admit that her recipes are fantastic!!

Now she does have a few 'tendencies'. . one being her lavish pouring of cream, her extravagant volumes of butter, olive oil, eggs and sugar. I do feel the need to book in with the Cardiologist, just watching the various fats get plopped into the Kitchen Aid mixer! Boy, its kinda disturbing. Her favourite phrase is "How bad can that be?" PLENTY, BAD WOMAN!!! But she does make me want to whip up a batch of brownies and eat them all myself!!! *no, i wouldn't ever really do that. . but i might have a few!!* And yes, she's a bit of a boozehound. She often demonstrates the making, mixing and consumption of various cocktails. She's got all the accoutrements, the corkscrew, the blender, the shaker with the holes on top, the pitchers for the sangrias, margaritas and other "Jimmy Buffet-worthy" beverages. Today, she made French Onion soup. I couldn't believe it. . .. the soup was made with 1. cognac. 2. medium dry sherry 3. chardonnay.???!!!!!! HUH?!!! sure there were some onions and stock, but who the heck would notice? They'd get tanked after one bowlful!!!! Her boozy ways do not go unnoticed by Rob, who says that she must immediately start downing all the 'demonstration cocktails' once the cameras stop . I say, "Give her the benefit of the doubt, come on!"

Never mind, I love you, Ina! Or at least I love your TV personna!!!! I have learned how to chiffonade basil, make pesto, strip thyme stems of their leaves, I have learned what a 'half sheet pan' is and how to make brioche. I have drooled over all the pretty, pretty baking!!! I have learned to decorate food with the foods that are in it. I have learned how to elegantly and imaginatively set a table. You've taught me how to make garlic, lemon and herb roasted chicken and how to slice it. . not to mention granola, orange yogurt, outrageous brownies, croque monsieur (French ham and cheese grilled sandwiches), brussel sprouts with pancetta, tabbouli. Oh, there's much, much more. . but that's enough. The people who read my blog, *i think their patience wears thin with my wordiness!!?*

Ina Garten IS "The Barefoot Contessa". Her shows make me happy. Her warm smile makes me smile and her recipes are excellent. She has made me a better cook. Well done, "Connie" I love ya!! You are my culinary heroine!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

a glimpse

I'm not sure why it happens sometimes, i only know that it does. Its always fleeting. Sometimes, while i'm participating in life, 'in the minute' like we all do, i see beyond what seems to be there. Today I had a glimpse behind the veil while i was driving under the gunmetal gray, rain-heavy sky. The wipers clicked and dragged the windshield clean. The glow of the instrument panel gauges lit up the van's interior. My thoughts were quiet, beneath the surface, you know? But I did think of my friend, whose dear aunt just passed away, as i drove past her house on my way to check out a home interiors boutique, or so i thought! More on that. . . .

I wasn't hurried for once. I deliberately drove the speed limit for the first time in i don't know how long. I actually felt calm behind the wheel, which seems fairly foreign to me!! The CD was going and the music was almost in synch with the windshield wipers. . i love when those serendipitous things happen. ". . . . and how could such a thing shine its light on me and make everything beautiful?" The irony of the words, i could see no light shining except maybe the glare of garish traffic lights, all smeary in the drizzled glass. . i thought about light as i drove in the dark. the simple acoustic guitar and single voice matched my mood. .

I listened and drove. . . "and you should hear the angels sing, all gathered round their King. . more beautiful than you could dream, I've been quietly listening i can hear them now . . . "
I could see this scene in my head - it seemed like something from Lord of the Rings. . you know, where the crowds gather around newly-crowned King Aragorn, all pressed in - their respect and gratitude emanating towards and encircling him, like some invisible crown, more valuable than the one they placed on his head. I pictured something grander than even this, something beyond heart stirring, something holy - a King. . angels I pictured the sound of legions of voices, surrounding this king. . . a hard to describe, supernatural sound. The King. . i thought of a king so different from any other and i thought "Yes, everyone should believe in a such a king. A king is good. A king is strong and just. A king will make everything right again. It may seem medieval, archaic at this point in history, but it feels right to me.

I had this feeling. . like something I can't even say. Was it the music? Was it the image unfolding within my mind? Was it the melancholy weather? Was it just that i was quiet and I was listening? Was it everything converging?

". . . how could such a king shine his light on me? and make everything beautiful? and i wanna shine, i wanna be a light, i wanna tell you it'll be all right, and i wanna shine and i wanna fly, just to tell you now, it'll be all right, it'll be all right, yeah. cuz i got nothing of my own to give to you, but this light that shines on me, shines on you. . . and makes everything beautiful again. .. it'll be all right. ." I wanted all this too. . the words were just too perfect -- I want to believe them. . . i do believe.

I felt so wistful as I drove down King street, which i thought that was so unbelievably appropriate. This moment was like . . like when you're driving down a dark highway and you're driving through this rolling, thick fog. Its hard to see, you keep going. You pray that you don't drive into anyone, you hope you don't drive off road and get ditched. Its difficult going, stressful. All of a sudden the fog rolls right out and you're in the clear!! Its so beautiful and you relax and unclench your jaw. . you breathe. The hidden becomes clear for a beautiful moment. . but as quick as your visibility became perfect, it fogs up and blurs again; but you keep going, because you want to see again and you want to be in the clear at last.

I wasn't expecting to be able to see better on a day with such limited visiblity. I didn't think a quick drive across town would result in a peek behind the curtain, but I'm glad it did. As for my intended destination. . it was just an expensive, pretentious disappointment! a gilded carrot on a stick. I had thought that was why I had jumped in the van. . but I really think it was just so that i'd have that glimpse of God and maybe to run an errand for him while i was at it.

As it turned out, i found another shop that felt just like going home. . it was beautiful and welcoming and affordable and so appropriately called "On a Whim", which is exactly why i went there. . .and spotted a beautiful, milk-white filigree candle jar, encircled with angels *wow*. . . I had it wrapped up for my grieving friend and dropped it in her mailbox on my way home down that same road, listening again to that gorgeous song, which didn't give me that kind of vision the second time but did give me the goosebumps and a feeling of gratitude.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

tired. . .

Image hosted by Photobucket.comi'm beat. i just noticed that i'm 1 post away from 80 posts on this blog. . I'll have to think up something special for the next one!!  Tonight was a dance night. . and i always find that i'm pretty fatigued a couple of hours after class.  Wore my belly dance outfit to class tonight! (i don't take belly dancing classes - yet! -*i'm teaching myself  b.dancing*  this class I'm referring to is a 'mixed bag' -- lots of variety) and NO i wasn't showing too much skin!!  I wore a camisole to cover my belly - cuz i was shy!  awwww!!! I did my eye makeup like i saw on one of the nicer tv 'makeover' shows. . It was easy and looked so nice. When i put on the gold-coined head piece i felt like a completely different person!! I should have taken a picture of that!!! duh!  another time. .   A whole bunch of the girls dressed up - cuz we had many away on Halloween night (taking their kiddies around trick or treating).  It was fun.  I felt pretty strange going outdoors in the full outfit, wearing flip flops! Every step i took i jingled!!!!*coin hip belt and ankle bracelet with bells*  I felt weird driving the van dressed like that!!  All i could think as i drove was "Now don't speed, cuz you don't wanna get pulled over and explain this!" What fun it was though, to get all prettied up and dance in my bare feet with 2 gypsies, a hippie, a couple of ladies with feather boas and 'deelie boppers' on their heads, a black and red jumpsuited lady with a cute, red 'flapper' wig. . and a bunch of other wussy girls  who didn't dress up at all!!   Its way more fun to dance in costume!!!  It really is!   I don't think i've ever had this much fun, fitness wise anyway.  Its a bit intimidating to sign up for something on your own. . but its been very rewarding and I have met many new and wonderful women!! They all seemed quite fascinated tonight with my get up and wanted to know if i could teach them something. . so i taught a couple of the girls how to do 'snake arms' and hip shimmies. They were giggling!!!  It was cute.

I continue on non-class days to keep working on  'the moves', instructing myself,  with my DVDs; still,  its not easy and i have so much to learn, but isn't that life? Its great, isn't it? . . .life, that is.