Monday, January 16, 2017

You've Got Mail

Happy New Day!  Here we are smack dab in the middle of a new month, the first month of a brand new year and I am not feeling the newness; I am not feeling optimism usually associated with a new year (particularly when coupled with a new administration); I am not feeling UP. 

Maybe because the cold hasn't fully left my body. My right eye is phlegmy and sensitive. However, it is responding positively to treatment. For that, I am grateful. 

Still, it is a new year, a new administration, a new drive to speak up, stand up, be present, and a re-commitment to that which brings me joy and hopefully comfort to others; writing letters.   A colleague of my son's was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I shared the Girls Love Mail program with him as a way to support others as well as his colleague. 

Happy New Day! for I am taking on this year, one day at a time; treating, acting, addressing, art-ing, writing, sharing, caring . . as the day presents, unfolds. 

Happy Birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. May his wisdom, words, and strength embolden us all to live out loud. 

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Monday, January 09, 2017

Family: Life Matter

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One of my weekend projects (in the midst of my recuperation from the head cold that won't go fully away) was to get personal business and household papers in order which also meant: purge. Out with the old, in with the new(er) and all that whiz.

Well, I got that done. Feeling somewhat energized and motivated to move on to another project (inside over outside given the air temps this weekend) I decided to tackle the main photo and other memorabilia cabinet;
stuffed so full of our lives that the door didn't fully close.

Soon after I began, the thought that I'd bitten off more than I could chew crystallized in my mind. The volume of items paled when factored against with the volume of emotional intensity.

And then my daughter came into the room. She looked through some of the items, marveling at the sweetness, invoking memories of sheer joy. She commented on how the images of she and her brother as young children illustrated how protective he has always been, how loving, how gentle . .  We laughed over the kindergarten writings, the sixth grade essay, the toothless grins, the "Garfield" necklace and earring set, and especially the images of a dad fully engaged, fully invested.

My ex-husband died just before Thanksgiving. His relationship with the kids was strained long before we split. The chasm grew with his re-marriage, a stroke, a move to a Mississippi nursing home after he and the second wife split. Our daughter (much like I did with my absent dad) tried to engage, tried to embrace, tried to include him in her life, and be included in his, with little success. The experiences of the past several years left her a little broken which of course, broke my heart as I recalled my own brokenness over my dad's distancing himself from my life.

And then, Saturday. She saw what she hadn't remembered, what she hadn't known about her dad, my dad, the whole of all our lives. And we laughed. We were able to say goodbye. We were able to uplift his presence in our lives and embrace the joy that was, that is, that will always be, our family.


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Scattered Not Gory

The Magic of Christmas 
The above image is one of the few family Christmas photos featuring me and my siblings as children. My older brother is standing next to me and the younger is barely in the frame. That is is elbow. This is a Christmas morning circa 1965 or 1966 with my mom as photographer. It was my intent to post this along with memory lane jog before the 25th of December but I was smacked with a doozie of a head cold that left me horizontal as often as possible. What little present energies were spent getting to (and attending to) work. Even still, I was sent home early one day and called off another. I've already burned some 2017 PTO hours.

Today is the best day of the last ten. The worst is over. Knock wood.

I've forgotten where this was going . . .     oh, nowhere really, except that Scattergories is one of my favorite games. Daughter and I played a couple of rounds between my coughing and sniffling. Some FB friends were passing around a Scattergories with a twist--using the first letter of your last name to answer the questions posed:

P    Animal: Porcupine.
      Girl's Name: Penelope
      Boy's Name: Peter
      Color:  Purple
      Movie: Poseidan Adventure
      Something You Wear: Pants
      Drink: Pink Lady
      Food: Pigeon Peas 
      Item in Bathroom: Pipe
      Place: Portugal
      Reason to be late: Pothole
      Car: Plymouth
      Composer: Puccini
      Author: Patricia Cornwell
      Singer: Paula Cole

I still don't know where this post was going, has gone, it is just . . well, is.    I hope everyone had a please holiday and if you had a break, I hope that too was pleasant.

Happy New Day!

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**published too late for Monday, but meant for Monday or at least earlier on Tuesday.  Yeah, still kinda scattered, operating at about 86% (generous).

Monday, December 19, 2016

Be Still

Pete in the Middle

When last we met Buttah was the featured feline planting himself in the middle of a project. Not to be outdone, here is Pete smack dab in the middle of a different project. Pete, unlike Buttah, isn't about offering any advice or wisdom. His motivations are: 1. feed me and 2. crank up the heat. He cares not what is going on unless he has determined the goings on are interfering with 1 and 2.

Pete, Buttah, and their canine counterpart, Cinnamon impact operations; most every task, most every project. How little or how much depends on the energy emitted into the atmosphere. The dynamic of the trio of fur has shifted in the last few weeks. We are still working through the newest normal. Winter (even unofficially) is not our signature season.

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Still Life

The last couple of weeks have been full of a mish-mosh of events, emotions, and more. While there are many things to say, I find myself devoid of fitting syntax to relate any of those things except this: wherever there is a project to be done, there is Buttah offering his sage advice and guidance.

Monday, November 21, 2016

POST E . .

My daughter's election day text, "seeing his name on the ballot blows my mind" perfectly illustrates the state of my mind every day since. It isn't just that he won and she didn't but . . . well, you know what all came next and what is likely to continue.  

I read a graphic some weeks ago: picture ear buds with the text, Listening to 5 to 10 songs a day can improve memory, strengthen immune system and reduce depression by 80%.  While listening to my 5 to 10 I re-discovered, "Land of 1000 Dances" and was instantly thrown back to my childhood, to one of the pockets of pleasure, and mom trying to teach some of the dances mentioned. 

The music does help soothe. But to brighten a body needs more. Well, this body does.

We have already read about and / or witnessed the unleashed hate.We have already had some previews as to the direction this new regime would angling to lead this "great" country. And we already know there will be people, groups of people who will need the help that organizations like Planned Parenthood, The ACLU Legal Defense Fund, The Trevor Project, Center for Reproductive Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center (to name a few) seek to service. Additionally, there are also petitions, protests, all manner and measures of support that may be offered.

So, in the spirit of being the change, this body is dancing to the tune of helping when and where I can.

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Monday, November 07, 2016

And the Winner Is

Some weeks ago I made an off-hand suggestion that daughter and I attend the 3rd annual Mac and Cheese Fest as it had been some time since we'd had one of our mother-daughter (good friends) outings. The $65.00 per ticket price knocked the possibility out of contention. And then, a couple of weeks ago, daughter mentions, not so off-handedly that her employer was going to participate in the festival, that we could get a deep discount on the tickets, and asked if I (still) wanted to go. For The Win. 

 We, along with hundreds of other visitors tasted offerings from caterers, restaurants, culinary institutes, and the like. We were asked for vote for our favorite/s. After the votes were tallied, the winner: Autumn Asiago Mac and Cheese (as pictured above) was announced.

Chef Lex (in the white coat, here with her wife, Lindsey) and the team took the first runner up trophy from 2015. And this year, For. The. Win. bringing home the coveted Golden Noodle. Yay Team. 

My daughter's words: It's funny how life works out. I had a job offer to leave Chicago and then I got the offer from Amazing Edibles and after being with them from Late spring I grew with them, and I didn't just like my job I loved my job. And making decisions is apart of life but this choice to stay and working with Amazing Edibles has been hands down my best choice since deciding to pursue culinary. I wish everyone could have a supportive, knowledgeable, loving, caring work environment. I'm so happy they chose me and I chose them back! Thank you ladies for always dealing with this silly Dani even at 6am!

Congratulations to an incredible team who contribute to make Amazing Edibles amazing.  FTW.

More Monday!