Last week I received a phone call from D and my friend’s fiance.  When I answered she was full of tears and told me that she had called off their wedding.   All of her reasons were valid and while we were talking she confided in me that as the process moved along, she felt like people were tying the marriage up into the wedding and she had begun to loose sight of the difference.  I think she is by far, one of the bravest women I know and I hope with all my heart that some day I get a phone call saying that they just got back from city hall but for now, I think she making the best decision.  So, in honor of her, here are five differences between a wedding and a marriage, as I see them.  I am by no means an expert. 

1- a wedding is a day/ a marriage is a lifetime

2- a wedding is public/ a marriage is private

3- a wedding focus on all the little details/ a marriage is about the big picture

4- a wedding is a celebration/ a marriage is a commitment

5- a wedding starts your life together/ a marriage is your life together

Advertisements

Behaving Badly

July 29, 2008

Even including the labor, $721.00 does not bring out the very best in me. Here are the 5 things I may have done upon hearing from my mechanic on Sunday, I am not particularly proud of any of them.

1) Throw my cell phone at D and holler “You deal with this” while I run into the extensive bra section at Target.

2) Hide out in said bra section until I compose myself enough to try to carry on a reasonable conversation, or at least am willing to try to carry on a reasonable conversation.

3) Ruin a perfectly good day of chain store shopping, eating and going to see the new Batman movie by insisting we go home NOW.

4) Call my father on the way home and cry. Ask “WHY are car repairs so expensive” and refuse to listen to his answer. Cry more. Yell a little. Not at him.

5) Get home. Eat carbs until I feel sick. Take a nap to deal with carb hangover. Wake up and ask D if my car is really, REALLY going to cost me $721.00.

$721.00, including labor

July 28, 2008

Here are five things you do NOT want to hear from your auto mechanic.

1) “Funny, we just had that exact same car in yesterday. It is still on the lift”

2) “Well, it’s not your serpentine belt. Too bad… that would have been easy”

3) “We actually don’t even keep that part in stock”

4) “Don’t worry, it won’t cost too much more to have it special ordered from the dealer”

5) “I hope you won’t be needing it back anytime soon”

Not exactly the leisurely Sunday I had planned.

I found this recipe a few years ago in an article titled “chill out”, so I thought it would be perfect for Anna’s theme this week of cold or frozen desserts.  It is a little bit of work, but worth it and if you or someone you know has a wheat allergy (as I do) the macaroons offer a great alternative to a traditional crust.  It of course, has five fabulous ingredients . 

2 pt chocolate ice cream

1 pkg (13 oz) soft coconut macaroons

2 pt vanilla Swiss almond ice cream (Haagen-Dazs is really good)

1/2 cup chocolate shell ice cream topping

1 cup slices almonds, toasted

1. Remove chocolate ice cream from freezer, let stand 15 minutes until slightly softened.

2. Meanwhile, lightly coast an 8×3-in springform pan with nonstick spray.  Pull apart half the macaroons to make coarse crumbs.  Press lightly over bottom and 1/2 in. up sides of pan.  Spread chocolate ice cream evenly over crust.

3. Break remaining macaroons into coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over chocolate ice cream.  Freeze 45 minutes or until almost firm.

4. Soften vanilla Swiss almond ice cream as above. Spread evenly over top of cake and freeze at least 4 hours until firm.

5. Pour chocolate topping on middle of cake, tilt pan to cover top completely.  Let topping harden 5 minutes. 

6. Wrap pan with a warm, damp kitchen towel 1 minute to loosen sides.  Remove pan sides, pat almonds onto sides of cake.  (if ice cream is too hard for almonds to stick, leave cake at room temperature 5-10 minutes)

Note: cake can be made up to one week ahead (or whenever you have time). Wrap in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze.

Will you hold my hand, when I loose someone or something I love?

Will you be there for me, regardless of the bad choices I make or how many times I make them?

Will you tell me, when my clothes are unflattering, my hair needs to be dyed or I have something in my teeth?

Will you forgive me, if at times I am not as good of a friend to you as you have been to me or if my needs overwhelm you?

Will you believe me, when I tell you I love you and I need you and my life would not be the same without you?

D and I are house hunting. Actually, we have been in the market for a new house for over a year now. But, with my new job and a better understanding of where we want to be, and what we can afford… the hunt is in full swing. D is totally game. I am not. So, here are the five reasons, I don’t think I want to move.*

1) Location – As I have mentioned numerous times before, we live in a coastal tourist town. Granted, the freaks REALLY DO come out at night, but it is also a wonderful place to live. I can walk to delicious restaurants, fun bars and adorable coffee shops. It is home to wonderful shopping, beautiful beaches and reliably spectacular sunsets. At times, its irritating, but its hard to leave a place everyone else is paying to come two.

2) The neighbors – I mean this both figuratively and literally. A year ago a fabulous couple moved in across the street. They are fun, kind, easy going and they watch the cat any time we are out of town. We also live a few streets over from one of my college friends and a short drive away from another. We are surrounded by great people and the thought of having to travel to see the people I like to spend time with, stinks.

3) The Ick Factor- The thought of moving into someone else’s house with their dirt all tucked in the floor boards and in the bathroom grout grosses me out. I don’t know if it the houses we have been looking at or if I am just overly sensitive to it, but people are gross. The idea of living in a house that someone else just moved out of sceeves me, and the thought of moving into one that no one has lived in for months is even worse. no people = critter’s

4) The Amenities- I will admit this now: I am spoiled rotten when it comes to our house. We are living in a place custom designed and executed by D and it is truly beautiful. I have radiant heat, a book shelf designed just for me, a spa-like slate shower and hand made ceramic bowl sinks. It is sad to think about leaving the little things I love and my feet get cold just thinking about traditional heat.

5) The MOVE – There was a two year stretch around 2001 where I did not live in the same place for more than 6 months, and I lived in most for even less than that. I thought moving around then was a pain in the rear and that was before I acquired the book collection necessary to actually finish my graduate degree. Since that time, I have added a lot more furniture, a vintage textile collection (including, but not limited to, table linens, aprons, and gowns) and all of the stuff you think you just HAVE to have when you register, only to discover later that you were obviously high on store fumes because 82% of it stays in the box. I know that this is pathetic but I just don’t think I have the energy to pack all that crap back up again. And I really don’t want to unpack it in a critter house.

*Yes, I am fully aware that a lot of my reason’s make me sound childish, petty and spoiled and I should be grateful that we are lucky enough to have a roof over our head. But, this is my blog and I will be childish, petty and spoiled if I want to. Please try not to judge.

92 Years of Experience

July 21, 2008

I spent this past weekend in NY to be with my grandmother for her 92nd birthday.  In honor of 92 years of laughter, loss, love and life, here are the 5 things I learned from my grandmother.

1) How to properly boil and egg and make a pot of chicken soup. 

2) That one very nice and properly fitting black dress is worth ten ill fitting ones.  The same goes for the matching shoes and hand bag. 

3) No matter how casual the meal or comfortable the company, you never serve guests out of the pot and a well set table can make even the most basic meal elegant.

4) To be proud of your youth and unashamed of the choices you have made. To remember the hard years fondly and the easy years longingly. 

5) That there is no shame in crying for the ones you have loved and lost.  The tears that fall when you remember the way your friend wore her hair or the way your husband greeted you at the door every day for 48 years honors their life as much as it mourns their death.

Inspired by my friend Anna, here is one of my favorite five ingredient recipes.  I know the thought of soup this time of year can make you sick, but this one is served cold and is perfect on its own or with a salad for a light and cool dinner. 

 

2 cups water

1 1/2 lb peeled baby carrots

4 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 tsp salt

1. Bring water to boil in medium saucepan.  Add carrots and ginger; cool, covered, over medium-low heat 25 minutes or until tender; chill in covered saucepan.

2. Puree carrots and liquid in food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour into bowl; stir in buttermilk and salt.  Swirl in a little extra to decorate.

Serves 4. 

 

NOTE: You can use an immersion blender here, but be careful; the carrots can stain anything white.  Enjoy!

In looking over my past blog postings, it occurred to me that aside from my friends and family (and the occasional rant) I have been strictly talking about myself. So, I decided to share a little bit about some people out there who are doing great things for others. While it would be nearly impossible for me to pick my five favorite organizations, here are the five that regularly get some of my money (in alphabetical order). Check them out if you are interested.

1) AIDS Care Ocean State– Until dedicated medical professionals find a cure for this devastating disease; AIDS Care Ocean State and other organizations like it are providing support and care for people affected by HIV/AIDS. In addition to counseling, case management and medical care, they provide the only assisted living facility for people living with HIV/AIDS

2) JNF– My support of JNF is not about politics or religion or statehood. It is about planting trees in the desert and providing clean drinking water to people the who need it. It is about reminding myself not to take the green parks in my neighborhood or the water that comes from my tap for granted.

3) The Honor Flight Network– I first came to find out about this organization as I was waiting for a flight that had been delayed two hours in Baltimore. The terminal was full of World War II era veterans in matching t-shirts, some with war medals proudly pinned to their chest. I discovered that the Honor Flight Network is an organization that takes WWII veterans FREE of charge to Washington DC to view the new WWII monument. In addition to getting my money, this organization is presently getting some of my time (often more valuable). If the thought of proud men sitting together sharing stories of life, loss and their role fighting for our country is not enough to make you melt, all the volunteers wear shirts that say this: “We can’t all be hero’s. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”

4) Sloan-Kettering– I have had the misfortune of spending time praying for two parents in the waiting room of Sloan-Kettering, and had the great fortune of having them both walk out. This is due in no small part to the phenomenal medical and support staff at this hospital which specializes in cancer care. From the moment you walk in, as a patient or a family member, you are greeted by warm and friendly faces and you know that they are doing everything they can for you and your family member.

5) Susan G. Komen – My first experience with the Susan G Komen foundation was four years ago, when I signed up and completed the 60 mile breast cancer walk. That was two blissful years before a dear friend of ours was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I know that life is never fair, but in this case it seemed particularly unfair. Susan G Komen is just one of the many organizations trying to find a cure for this vicious and brutal disease. As long as women every where suffer through chemo and radiation and wake up every morning to keep fighting, I will happily keep sending them my contribution.

These are just five organizations that are important to me. What is important to you? Who (besides the federal government) gets a part of your money?

Bloggers Note- As many of you know I presently work for a non profit organization and sit on the board of directors for another. I truly respect and support both missions, but I felt it would be too self serving to mention them.

A Wonderful Weekend

July 13, 2008

This weekend my three college girl friends and I got together for a little girls weekend. For various reasons, we are only able to all get together about three times a year. which makes it even more special. Here are my five favorite things about the weekend.

1) The laughter -the easy joking, banter and giggles that come from years of friendship.

2) The updates- filling everyone in on what has been going on in our lives in great detail. Asking, and actually caring, about each others spouses, partners, in-laws, out-laws, family and friends.

3) The tears- It has been a tough year for all of us. We have changed jobs, changed addresses, made difficult decisions, ended and begun relationships and dealt with family members in pain. When we look back on what we have been through, and speak about how we have been there for each other, the tears fall easily. Not the emotional outburst that comes from a break up or an argument, but the slow release of emotion that comes like a sigh of relief when you are with people you truly love and trust.

4) The routine- No matter how long we are apart, as soon as we get together, we fall into the same comfortable routine. The same jokes are funny, the same symptoms cause concern, the same wallets are lost, keys are forgotten and we are all running around trying on clothes and asking opinions before we rip off any tags. I don’t know how I buy anything with out these women telling me it looks ok.

5) The confession- For the first time, this weekend I told my friends about my blog. I was not intending to keep it from them, but I think I wanted to give myself time to figure out what I wanted to write about before I started sharing it with some of the most important people in my life. When I first came out and said it, my only hope was that they would not laugh at me. True to form, my girlfriends love and support blew me away. They laughed with me and cried with me as I read some of my favorite posts and when it was all over, they said the one thing I had never dared to hope for. They told me they were proud of me, and they loved hearing what I had to say.