HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Much that I love language I find that I’m often stumped when feeling profoundly, as words lack enough “oomph!” to accurately capture what I’m feeling. To quantify the gratitude I have for both my parents is – also – nigh impossible, because neither is there an appropriate measure.  

I wouldn’t be where I am if not for both of them – no matter the crazy, quirky, dark or dreary, offbeat, or downright terrible things I’ve done along the way, they supported me wholly (sometimes they even join in – as evidenced below. 🙂 )  

They embrace and love me no matter what, and have demonstrated the ultimate selflessness time and time…and time…again in doing whatever they could to help me achieve my dreams…

They’ve taught me so many valuable lessons, allowed me the space to learn my own (equally as vital!), and instilled a sense of strength that has helped me through some horribly challenging times.


Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate what they have done, still do for me, and how much they accept and value who I am. I feel blessed and thankful that both myself and my husband can have such a close and happy relationship with them, and that we get a chance to see one another despite all moving on in life.  

Blessed and beyond. ❤

 

No Better Way To Say It

If you want results, you have to work – it really is that simple.  

It doesn’t matter if you are speaking about your career, your hobbies, your weak links / areas for improvement, your family… Whatever arena of life you choose, it takes work to create the life you want, need, and (frankly) deserve.  Moseying along at “mediocre” means staying in the same rut your whole life, minus the success and growth that “could” be.

Don’t lose heart, though – because of the hard work you put in across the board, the results have the power to be mind-blowing.  You are more incredible than you think – put your all into whatever aspect it is, and be prepared to amaze yourself.

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Strategies To Stay Sane, And Other Holiday Shares…

I’m partly surprised by the influx of inbox articles about surviving holiday negativity…and also, in part (and sadly) expecting it.  The GREAT news is, the articles are positive in nature, (though I’m still sorry to know that the sentiment is so widespread.  Seemingly more so in 2016.)  That said, I suppose it is more than evident in retail parking lots from December 1 through the 24th. . .

Thankfully, there is support – and commiseration – being shared to help you, your families, whomsoever needs it, to cope.

From Tiny Buddha, 7 Strategies To Stay Sane This Holiday Season, by Bridgid Elsken Galloway.

From Daily OM, The Gift Of A Positive Image, by Madisyn Taylor.

From Esteemology (great for Empaths and ESPs), Surviving the Dysfunctional Christmas: Savannah’s Holiday Survival Tips, by Savannah Grey.

Healthy, happy, safe…and sane!…holiday to all! 

What Christmas ISN’T

I saw this posted today, and I smiled for two reasons…

For one thing, I’ve always been a HUGE Grinch fan – anything of the monster-ish ilk was up my alley even early on.  I insisted we watch this each Christmas, and never seemed to tire even of the “fahoo forays, yahoo dorays.” 

As for second part, the Suess-ie blurb speaks to something that I really believe in – a reminder I want to shout from the Grinch-inhabited hilltops whenever December rolls around. Or maybe just in overcrowded, emotionally-charged retail parking lots. . .

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I’m a “giver” so I get the idea of wanting to share with others – it’s a wonderful feeling to give something that we know a person wants or. . .better!…truly needs.

At the same time, though…it is not NOT NoT about the gifts.  Everyone gets CRAZY around Christmastime.  WHY?! People have this immense pressure to buy, buy more, buy again…to wrap and deliver.  But that’s not what it’s is about…  I feel like I’m always left so baffled.

There are of course layers of religious meanings and importance surrounding mid-December (through to early January) depending on the culture and beliefs.  But I’m not even talking about THAT (far too great a topic, far too weighty!)

I just mean that this time of year isn’t about throwing material things around, so much as true, sincere giving.  I’m not saying I didn’t get gifts as a kid…or that I still don’t.  For children, especially, it’s exciting.  There are generally rituals built around Christmas morning, and I love seeing happy faces.  But there really DOES have to be a point at which it goes overboard.  

My favorite gift – the one I looked forward to every year – was my red snow shovel.  My parents didn’t know that for a long time, but it was the ONE THING I absolutely LOVED getting.  I would use it to help my father shovel the driveway…and to me, it therefore well transcended the “material.”  It was such a fun event, despite the work involved – the “shovel” represented time we’d spend together, outside, enjoying the snow and fresh air. 

As we got older there were years where my parents would have us all choose a charity and give to each one instead of getting each other things we wouldn’t use.  (I think the whole “wouldn’t use” part tends to happens far too often as we pass into teen and adulthood. And frankly, I don’t think there’s anything I CAN get my family and loved ones that they really want – we all kind of get what we want and need anyway!)

I don’t think gifts are a “bad” thing, don’t get me wrong.  It means a lot to some people to give, and in that way denouncing the whole thing would be denying them something that makes them feel great.  What I think is important, though, is that people don’t feel obligated and pressured to buy things.  Certainly not “BIG” things.  

The “holiday spirit” is more about the thoughtfulness above and beyond anything else.  And I’ve gotten to a point where time and connection with loved ones, HAPPY loved ones, and health for all of us, is – * yes, really * – all I want.  Those things are far more precious to me. The little things, like a random “I love you,” lights up my world with a brilliance no material item could.  Life is precious.

So even if gifts are part of the holiday “thing”…just remember that you don’t have to stress out about getting the latest and greatest.  There are ways to give, to share, to receive, without having to go crazy (no one needs an extra car accident, or angry retail exchange!) 

Enjoy the essence of the holidays while they are here – the gathering of those we love, and the blessings we already have.   Generally speaking, those in your circle will be happy no matter what. . .and if you want to reach out to those in need (people, animals alike!), there’s plenty room there too. ❤

 

Thanksgiving 2016

I’m not a huge “holiday person” (save for Halloween, which I daresay is highly evident given my posts!), but it’s always a treat to be with family…and to be forced to relax (admittedly hard for me BUT…much needed.)

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I’m grateful for so much, but of those many things…I’m especially thankful for those closest to me.  Food-centric gatherings are not really my thing – I am incredibly boring with my nutrition (though I enjoy my foods immensely!) so there is always extra care involved.  

My husband always makes sure that I have things I’ll like – always.  He’s never not aware , and will make certain clean foods are available for me (believe it or not, finding someone who wouldn’t think I was crazy for the way eat (like a zoo animal!) was a major source of anxiety for me.  For a decade at least!)  This year he made lobster and he made a few extra for me with nothing on them – at all.  Super clean, and wildly delicious! 😀

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As for the rest, we always have yummy sides – I have a few intolerances, so I stick to what I know works…and it never disappoints. 🙂  Once upon a time I had a really difficult time portioning, and feeling obligated to have everything – after a few bouts of making myself sick in the past, I’ve learned NOT to do that! *LOL*

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It was a wonderful few days…as I hope it was for everyone. ❤  

Bunnicula Pendant

PopEtiquette doesn’t appear to be selling this pendant anymore but it cropped up in Pinterest and – once again in anticipation of #thebestdayever / #halloween – I had to share…  

I’ve lived with the “Bunny” nickname for as long as I can remember – but only my mother gets to use it!  My father has some derivation thereof, but also makes full use of “Witchlet,” which says rather a lot.  

My affinity for all things Hallows, vampy, and otherworldly have earned me some fun designations in my family,and among friends.  During one Thanksgiving I recall my family and another, dear friends of ours, all playing Taboo – it was a HUGE group, jovial and in the throes of heated competition!  My brother drew a card and for a moment paused and seemed flustered…

He then blurted loudly “MY SISTER IS THIS!  To my surprise – which perhaps was entirely out of place – “VAMPIRE” was yelled in rapid reply.  My brother’s ebullient reaction let me know the nail was hit right on the head (not into the coffin, though you may think!)

We had a solid laugh about that and – in a strange, vampy way – I felt distinguished.  I appreciate that everyone indulges me in my quirkiness – I was, 1,000%, born that way.  

Appreciating Family and Fresh Food

I had the wonderful fortune to spend time with my parents, an uncle, and my sisters this past weekend.  My fiancé had not been to the island – ACK, to be clear – so it was a special treat to share a childhood haunt…and many fond memories and traditions…with him.

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A gorgeous ship in the harbor (prompting pirate accents when we saw it!)

We were there only two days and my heart really sank to leave – the combination of vivid memories from my youth, paired with having us all in one place (my brother and sister-in-law were missed!) plucked at my Empathetic heartstrings!  It is always jarring to swap realities for me, and always has been – not to the point I can’t do it, just that it takes a little adjusting (incidentally, it appears this is a common problem for folks – google it and see!) I truly, however, appreciated every moment while I was there.

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Harvested, fresh clams…er, the shells!

One of our traditions is going out to the harbor just before low tide, and taking advantage of the low water levels to snag fresh clams (in season, and within the regulations, obviously.)  I love that the restrictions are in place, lest individuals harvest with gay abandon and upset the ecosystem for their own gain.

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Fresh clams

Once we have a good bushel (or more!) we haul them back in and make two things – clams casino and clam sauce for pasta.  

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Clams casino

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Martelli pasta (the BEST!) with clam sauce

As a clean eater, I actually don’t have either dish (though, in my defense, casino contains cheese, which I – and my stomach – definitely cannot have!)  It is more important to me personally to maintain and achieve my goals, so I’m okay with abstaining.  I always have enough of my own goodies to not feel hungry (my fiance made stir fry chicken and vegetables! 🙂 and I know I will feel better later.

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Fresh candy from the local farm!

That said, I do enjoy the preparation, having all of us together…AND a few steamed clams in olive oil and green tabasco (my uncle’s favorite concoction!)  The most important part of the meal preparation, and devouring, is the time with my loved ones.

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When I reflected on our many summers together, my heart just glowed – sometimes Life goes  too quickly.  Or maybe we are young and aren’t thinking about time marching on as vehemently as it does… But since we all are at a stage where we DO have control of mindfulness, make sure to take the time to stay present (something I work on daily.)  Cherish the moments you have – they make for a mind-blowing tapestry of memories and love.

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❤