happy holidays December 24, 2008
our holiday party went well. many people packed into our house. cold outside. a few windows had to be opened from the body heat, wood burning in the fireplace and the food cooking in the kitchen. friends brought homemade hot cocoa. wine. red velvet cupcakes. cookies and brownies. salads. teriyaki chicken sticks. meat pies. cheese. crackers. and plenty leftover for us. thankfully, since we are broke. i was okay surrounded by many for the first time in a long time. no anxiety. no insecurities. i was just me.
my parents sent christmas presents and a few friends brought gifts. my parents also sent target gift cards, mostly spent on food but we were able to buy a few presents for each other. we will have a nice christmas morning under the lights. and then back to reality. how to pay the january rent? it will work out, i know. i must have hope. if you can donate, the button is still there on the right.
i hope all of you have a wonderful holiday. i hope you feel peace, love and understanding. i know i will. under the tree full of good memories from the past and present. decorated with my grandmother’s ornaments. the many ornaments given to me by my parents. and the handmade ones. colorful lights. all a delight. it’s the little things i treasure most.
it’s the simple things December 14, 2008
I’ve been using genius at itunes and really loving the feature. certain play lists bring back so many memories, both good and bad. i never listened to music as a child/teenager with the exception of Madonna, Michael Jackson and The Cars (oh, ok a little Tiffany, Journey and Pat Benatar) but over the past several years I have found comfort and happiness in so many artists (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Amos Lee, Tori Amos, James Taylor, Death Cab for Cutie, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Aimee Mann, Nick Drake, Ani DiFranco, Jeff Buckley, Arcade Fire, Pixies, Radiohead, Elliott Smith, The Cure, Interpol, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash,Tom Waits and Nina Simone to name a few…) I have a difficult time writing these days without music playing.
Last night I avoided going to a party-still not quite ready to socially interact. And yet, we’re hosting a holiday party on the 20th. I will spend this week planning a party (with no money) and luckily it’s potluck so I’m hoping to find something creative to make with items in our pantry and counting on friends to bring a variety of good foods. I will prepare myself to interact with friends and loved ones without breaking down. That’s the tricky part about medications, you never know how they might affect you on a daily basis. (I won’t get into why I really despise the antidepressants and antipsychotics tonight)
Tomorrow I will paint. Nothing significant or fancy. I’m painting the trim in our guest bathroom. I’m using the excuse that I need to do this before our guests arrive next weekend and liven the room up a bit. But in reality, it’s a form of therapy. Lining the floors with blue tape, paint splattering everywhere and all over me, shiny new trim and finally…a nice long, hot bath afterward.
Five years ago I was fortunate enough to befriend Joni Mitchell and she immediately told me upon our first meeting, “You need to find your center.” It was a powerful statement especially coming from her and I’ve never forgotten it. I think that’s what most of us living with a mental illness long for…finding that center. I have been working on it and have decided sometimes it’s the simple things in life that get me closer to that place.
And so I will paint, and listen to music. stare at our Christmas tree lights and our fireplace. shop for angel tree families with money from the richest of rich in our town. i will burn cinnamon sticks in water over the stove since I can’t afford one of my most favorite things in the world-candles. open holiday cards and smile. and i will dream of reaching that center… (more…)
happy thanksgiving November 27, 2008
it was a bittersweet thanksgiving.
i thought of my family most of the day.
we debated spending the money making a big dinner but decided the leftovers would last a week and would equal less than what we would spend on groceries. and thanks to the new trader joe’s in town, it wasn’t that pricey after all.
trader joe’s brined turkey
roasted sweet potatoes with maple syrup, orange and spices (via goop.com)
mashed red potatoes with garlic
pumpkin chocolate chip squares (thank you martha stewart)
happy thanksgiving everyone.
it’s the great pumpkin… October 28, 2006
if i had to list my top three holidays they would be in the following order: halloween, christmas and thanksgiving. for many reasons, but mostly because they fall during my favorite seasons, fall and winter.
halloween is near…and it’s time to carve a pumpkin…
the jack-o-lantern custom comes from irish folklore. ss the tale is told, a man named jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked satan into climbing a tree. jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree’s trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree. according to the folk tale, after jack died, he was denied entrance to heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to hell because he had tricked the devil. instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. the ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer. the irish used turnips as their “jack’s lanterns” originally. but when the immigrants came to america, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. so the jack-o-lantern in america was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.
i’ve spent halloween, alone, or with friends, the last fourteen years. tonight, watching my swain carve the pumpkin brought tears to my eyes.