Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

November 29, 2013

Did anyone see the pictures of Macy's in New York today? Thousands of people crowded into the first floor! That store is congested on a normal day but today it looked like the last place on earth to be. Suffice it to say I am not into shopping in malls or large department stores. I get really crazy and disoriented and well, just plain crabby. If I have to go to a mall I usually go to West Farms and park in the exact same spot every time. In and out quickly. Or I have to go with Hilary or one of my friends so I can find my way back to the car.

I just got back from the gym and the parking lot in the Plaza was mobbed. I thought all those people were working out. I was wrong. They were SHOPPING. Running in the stores with their flyers and coupons. It made me thankful that I did not plan a shopping expedition for today. Just enjoying my day off.

I did stop at the liquor to get some bourbon for the coming holidays. I thought I would try a new drink so a few weeks ago I bought Laphroaig scotch, which I had tasted one night in a restaurant. I loved it that night but when I opened this bottle it didn't smell at all like the stuff I had. It didn't taste like it either. Maybe I should have gotten the 18 year old blend, but the one I got can only be described as vile tasting. So back to good old bourbon. Thankfully the liquor store was not involved in any black Friday sales!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Week 2013

November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday. The planning, picking out recipes, cooking for days and the actual meal. I loved everything about it. Until 2011 that is. A truly awful week filled with lies and deceit and tears. Last year was a little better although I did not cook any of my favorite dishes. I relied on the kindness of my friends to get me through the day.

This year I HAD planned on cooking the traditional feast but circumstances prevented that. I will join Jocelyn's family in New Jersey. It has proved very liberating to leave the major cooking tasks to someone else and just show up with a dish and a smile! And Howard, I know it is still YOUR favorite holiday, so thanks for inviting me along. I may never cook another Thanksgiving dinner again. Maybe next year I will be at the beach with a rum punch.

As I was told, time has helped heal the pain of divorce and new traditions have replaced the old. But as for Barbara Murcus' advice that the kids would "get over" it, I never thought that was true and I still don't. Even though HE has become "somebody that I used to know" for me, I don't think the kids will ever be able to feel the same again. Someone recently told me about his own divorce. His therapist said he should be prepared to be the bad guy if he left. And he is surprised he is STILL the bad guy years later. Why would that be surprising? And why would you disrupt your whole family to settle for a relationship that is "far from ideal" just because it is "what you have."? Or maybe that was just another version of the "my wife is frigid" line.

Anyway, I am actually looking forward to this week and the coming holiday season. I have Friday off, something that hasn't happened in years. Family and friends and parties. I'm even going back to the Red Lion Inn this year. And spending a few days in Vermont for New Years Eve. Slowly and thoughtfully, a new way of life is taking shape. Baby steps.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifteen Reasons To Date A Nurse

November 21, 2013

I just saw this on Facebook and had to share it with you. It really gave me a laugh this morning. I know all my nurse friends will love it also. My comments are in parentheses. Feel free to add your own.

1. Nurses are compassionate and patient, and are often great listeners. (  WE are mostly compassionate but patient?     Not if you work in the  surgical setting)
2. Nurses are super-smart. If you’re into both brains and beauty, your date can deliver. ( ALWAYS true!)
3. Tired of nursing that hangover? Let an actual nurse work his/her feel-better magic. ( ? ) 
4. Nurses have seen bodies of all shapes and sizes — and witnessed every kind of bodily function imaginable. Your    insecurities and body quirks will likely leave your date unfazed. ( Some things should remain a mystery.)
5. No waiting in line. You’ll get a quick diagnosis every time you feel under the weather. ( What you'll really get       is, "Suck it up. You're not dying." Unless of course you actually are.)
6. The uniform. It’s not just sexy on Halloween. (Translation: those scrubs just look so cute and comfy.)
7. Impressive nerves. Nurses remain calm and collected in pretty stressful situations. You want to be dating a nurse     in times of emergency and chaos. 
8. Nurses work long hours. So if you want a little alone time, a nurse’s crazy schedule might suit you just fine.
    (especially if she wakes you up in the middle of the night for a call shift.)
9. Nurses make great future parents. No pressure or anything. ( Why?)
10. You’ll be safe. Date a nurse and you’ve got instant access to CPR, safety advice and disease-prevention tips.
11. Awesome “How was your day?” stories. Nurses have endless tales of patient and/or doctor drama. (Totally            true.)
12. You’ll start to understand the medical jargon on your favorite medical dramas.
13. Nurses will love your thoughtful gestures. They give to others all day and can often feel unappreciated.
14. Nurses understand selflessness, one of the key ingredients to a healthy relationship. ( Finally, someone                   understands us!)
15. Your date saves lives. That’s brag-worthy.
Tell us, why else should one consider dating a nurse?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Come Fly With Me

November 20, 2013

It must be Frank Sinatra month for me. Maybe the holidays are making me nostalgic. I mailed my passport this week to be renewed. I didn't want to let go of it. All the stamps from the countries I've visited. Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Uganda, Columbia, Hong Kong and most recently BWI. What if it was lost? All those memories... But those I could never lose. The people, the food, the different cultures, the children I've cared for and their families. The mom who wrote us a letter in Vietnamese that said we were so kind. The grandmother that kept pinching my cheeks! The warmth of the Thai people. The people we laughed with and cried over. Those memories I can never lose. And of course, my most recent trip to that wonderful tropical island. My new "happy place."

I can't wait to get my new passport. A new beginning. Clean and untouched. New pictures, new trips and new people to meet.  New stamps in every country. I hope I have many more trips ahead of me. My first trip to Florence next year and hopefully more travel to Asia. And my personal dream destination to India. All ahead of me.

Come Fly With Me  by James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn

Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away 
If you can use some exotic booze 
There's a bar in far Bombay 
Come on and fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away 

Come fly with me, let's float down to Peru 
In llama land there's a one-man band 
And he'll toot his flute for you 
Come on fly with me, let's take off in the blue 

Once I get you up there where the air is rarified 
We'll just glide, starry-eyed 
Once I get you up there I'll be holding you so near 
You may hear all the angels cheer 'cause we're together 

Weather-wise it's such a lovely day 
Just say the words and we'll beat the birds 
Down to Acapulco  Bay 
It's perfect for a flying honeymoon, they say 
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away 

Fly Me To The Moon

November 18, 2013

"And let me play among the stars."Ahh, Ol' Blue Eyes. There is still no one that can match his voice and debonair demeanor on stage. Not that I can really remember that far back! But I always loved this song. Who does NOT love looking up at the night sky?

Saturday night when I left work at 6:30PM it was already dark. Dark enough to see the moon. It was almost a full moon. I looked for it again the next night but it was too cloudy and rainy.

The last full moon was on October 18th. A Friday. I was on call that weekend also. Maybe I'm going to be the full moon on call nurse! I was coming home at 1AM and the moon was suspended overhead like a big, milky white pendant. I knew I couldn't wake anyone up to share it with so I  just sat in the car and enjoyed the view. I wanted to take a picture to save in my phone. But in spite of my love affair with my iPhone, I knew I could never capture the astounding beauty of that scene. It looked close enough to touch. I remember when I was a kid and I thought the moon was following our car as we drove. I'm pretty sure my dad agreed with me!

I wish I could capture that gorgeous moon in a necklace to wear. It would remind me that even the darkest night holds a special kind of beauty.

Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery
Like the moon, come out
from behind the clouds


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Local Harvest

November 14, 2013

This year Josh, Jocelyn and I participated in a CSA (community supported agriculture) from Hindinger Farms. This is the farm a few streets away from my house and the place I always go to for fresh vegetables in the summer. I was really excited for it to begin.

Every week we share a box of locally grown fruits and veggies. In the beginning we got strawberries, lettuce and spinach. Then green beans and blueberries. Kale was a big thing but I never did much with that. Peaches and apples and tomatoes. Then I got a big bag of Italian plums. I wasn't sure what to do with them but I wasn't going to let them go to waste. I looked up recipes on the internet and found a plum cobbler. I had my doubts about it but I went ahead anyway. It was delicious! Definitely something I would do again. Who knew plums could taste so good.

But the real challenge was the eggplant. Jennie was the eggplant queen and she always complained about how much work it was to cook. But since she is not around to make it anymore I decided it was time to conquer that dish. I called Annie, who called her mom, and I made their version of fried eggplant. Flour instead of breadcrumbs. I'm sure Jennie used breadcrumbs but I did what they suggested. I had so much I had to freeze some of it. But the rest I made into parmigiana. It tasted almost as good as I remember. Next time I will try the breadcrumbs.

So the CSA was a success. I made spaghetti squash and this week I'm going to try turnips. We only have two more weeks of produce but I am already looking forward to next year. A really wonderful way to support your local farming community.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Goo Goo Dolls - Come To Me [Official Music Video]

November 11, 2013

I saw this video last week on vacation. I can't get it out of my head. One of the sweetest love songs I've heard in a long time. I know "Gorilla" is climbing the charts because I have to constantly change my radio station but I much prefer this song.

Friday, November 8, 2013

37 Degrees

November 8, 2013

"37 degrees this morning. Watching that snowstorm for next week." That's what I woke up to this morning. No blue sky, sleeping with the patio door open with the sound of the waves in the background. No white, sugary sand or the turquoise waters of Turks and Caicos. No breakfast by the ocean. No rum punch on the sand. The whole long day spent on the beach. Reading, doing the crossword, napping and 1PM happy hours! Being caressed by the warm, clear Caribbean water. Having to be persuaded to leave after the sunset to get ready for dinner. So decadent. I'm wondering how long I could be happy doing that? But not to worry.

I'm home now. Going to unpack, do laundry and get ready to return to work next week. Recharged. Ready for the cold weather. Preparing for the holidays, which I hope will be easier to get through than last year. And of course, planning my next vacation.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Trip Anxiety

November 2, 2013

I used to have a huge amount of trip anxiety whenever I was preparing for a vacation. "What if" was all I thought about. What if something happened to the house while we were gone? (Flood, frozen pipes, burglary) What if I left something vital at home that I needed? (contact lenses, glasses, underwear) What if something happened to the kids or my mother or sister? ( illness, accidents, heartbreak) What if the planed crashed, we were taken hostage, or got sick in a foreign country?

But my last few trips have been devoid of such worries. I have come to believe that I can handle almost anything. Having survived the fact that my life was completely altered has brought me a confidence I didn't think possible. I did have my doubts about survival at the time but I DID survive. And now I realize that I have coping skills I wasn't aware of before. I can take a step back and put most situations in perspective.

So this trip is mainly stress free. True, going to Turks and Caicos is not Uganda but that never figured into the equation before. We are leaving tomorrow and I'm still not completely packed but not worried about it. I have done all I could to take care of things here before I leave. Anything that happens while I'm gone will be taken care of when I get back.