Sunday, April 22, 2018

My Newest Little Angel

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. 

George Elliot
Received this little Angel as a Christmas gift from my son's wish to be girlfriend. Isn't she pretty?  They are still only friends, best friends for sure, but I have serious doubts it will go any further than that despite my son's hopes of a relationship.  It's been over two years now.  I just don't see it happening. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday Simple Thought for the Day





A wise man once sat in the
audience and cracked a joke.
All laughed like crazy. After a
moment, he cracked the same
joke again and a little less people
laughed this time.
He cracked the same joke again
and again, when there was no
laughter in the crowd, he smiled
and said, "When you can't laugh on
the same joke again and again,
then why do you keep crying over
the same thing over and over
again.

'Forget the past and move on'

Unknown

Wise advice indeed.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Mindless Eating

 A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. 

Douglas Pagels

Another week passed.  How quickly they fly by when you get older!  Had a wonderful time with friends yesterday.  Actually, this was a first for me.  Imagine that.  71 years old and this was my first luncheon with friends.  Oh, I have had luncheons with co-workers, but even though I thought of them as friends at the time, they were just co-workers.  We never did anything together outside of work. I had no idea what it was like to just have fun with 'just' friends.  (I look kind of chubby in this photo, but the blouse I was wearing was a wee bit too big and made me look heavier than I am).  Settled on an egg and spinach omelet.  Eggs and spinach are 0 points, and after the enormous cheeseburger I ate yesterday, I needed something a little tamer.  Now the home fries are another story, but who could resists?  Certainly not I.



Speaking of WW, good thing I don't have to weigh in more than once a month now that I am 'Lifetime'.  I've been doing a lot of 'stress' eating lately.  Having a pretty hard time dealing with this rodent problem.  Thought I was rid of them and felt at peace for a day or two only to discover that they are still here. Spoke to my neighbor, and she said she is having a rodent issue as well.  That's 5 people I know in my building.  Time for us all to get together and demand a professional rodent exterminator. 

My emotions pretty much rule over how much I eat and what kind of food I eat.  Sadness and hurt kills my appetite.  Stress makes me eat even if I am not really hungry.  Eating emotionally comforting foods.   Eating even after I am full because I want to 'finish my plate'.  How many of us were raised to think that way? Mindless eating.

WW will be hosting its first book club meeting early May.   Our first book to discuss is "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wanasink.  The book is great and should be an interesting discussion.  



Often our decision to eat is not a conscious decision, even when it seems like it is. Instead, we are driven by habits and behaviors. In short, Wanasink's book examines our tendencies with respect to eating: what makes us eat, what makes us enjoy food, what causes our eating habits. Wanasink demonstrates that almost all of our decisions about food and eating are psychological and even if we believe we control them, we don't. He presents many cases and analyzes many different scenarios, all of which are very interesting.  Opened my eyes up for sure.  Now to put it into practice.

Hope you all have a wonderful, fun-filled weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Is it Really Thursday Already?

How wonderfully these pictures have caught the look of tentative spring—spring waiting for a single day to burst into living green. 

Alice Morse Earle, "In Lilac Tide"

And a good Thursday morning to all.  Had a wonderful day yesterday.  An hour of Qigong and then an hour of Line Dancing.  We're actually making up our own dance...The 1199 Line Dance.  We've practiced all the moves, and now it is just a matter of sorting through them and chosing the order in which we will do them.  Then, we will be performing at the annual Christmas party in early December.  Long way to go.

Today I am off to my Weight Watchers meeting.  Haven't missed one since I started a little over two years ago.  I credit them with saving my life.  Blood pressure was sky high and medication wasn't helping.  Now I'm pretty much normal all the time.   Still on medication, though.  Doctor pretty much assured me that will pretty much be a lifetime thing for me.  At any rate, I learned a new way of living and eating through them.  Weight Watcher is more than just for weight loss.  Emotional and physical health are an important part of the program.   In fact, come May, Weight Watcher is changing its branding from a weight loss to a wellness program. 

Afterward the meeting, a bunch of us regulars are going out to our monthly lunch.  I never had any time for any kind of socialization while I was working....and that 50 years, so spending quality time with friends is new to me.   In addition, I've never had an easy time of it making friends and have always yearned to have at least ONE friend to go to coffee or lunch with, and now I have 5.  Retirement has been good to me.

Some pictures from the park on Sunday.  It's really a gorgeous place, especially during the summer when it is so green and alive.  The hill where I like to sit was once an old Indian burial ground, a sacred place that looks out over the river with a view of Staten Island.  This land once belonged to my Dutch ancestors.  My 9th great grandfather. Teunis Van Pelt was the first European to lay claim on this land.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ammonites

“But didn't everyone have a shell? Hard, external armor protecting the soft, vulnerable creature beneath?
Perhaps, she thought, people were more like ammonites than one would suppose. Perhaps they too built shells on a consistent, unchanging factor- some quality or circumstance established in your youth. Each chamber in the shell just an enlargement of the previous. Growing year after year, until they spiraled around and locked themselves in place.” 

Tessa Dare "A Week to Be Wicked" 

The name Ammonite comes from the ancient Egyptian god, Ammon, who believed that these creatures were Divine.  Now extinct, ammonites are fossils of the Cretaceous period; in other words, they are the fossilized shells of ancient marine animals who once inhabited the deep sea. They hold the energies of more than 65 to 200 million years and because they are so ancient, they are an earth healing fossil with its spiral shape symbolizing the constant change and evolution that takes place on our blessed Earth.  No lie, I am in awe when I hold this stone, close my eyes, and try to imagine just what the earth was like when this creature was alive.

It is believed that Ammonite brings stability and order in life, and eases spiritual growth and development by providing natural healing and cleansing energies.  They have the ability to use the Cosmic energy they have absorbed through the millenia to stimulate Chi, the life force within. As such Ammonites will help guide you through times of change or transition in your life. Natural filters, they can draw away any of your negative doubts and fears while instill positive thought processes.

Personally, I purchased these stones because I am very interested in past lives.  You will see that many of the crystals I purchase have common themes--past lives, spirit guides, angels, Mother Ocean, and inner child work.  Yup, 71 and my inner child still has residual childhood trauma. Ammonites are just what are need for healing and cleansing karma, as well as establishing a connection to Akashic energy, spirit guides, and ancestors of both familial and spiritual natures. May also  be used for  prophetic dreams as well as work or meditations pertaining to past lives.
 
Carry or wear Ammolite for good luck and financial abundance.  Place a piece of Ammonite near you at night time to promote prophetic dreams. When placed in your home, they attract prosperity, success, and abundance. Physically, they can help increase your stamina and vitality....and are especially helpful for blood pressure problems or issues with your lungs.  


 This is the inside of one of the Ammonite just below.  It is really more beautiful in person.
Sorry for the blurry picture.  My camera does not take the greatest pictures.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Soup's on.

Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.

 Auguste Escoffier

Good morning everyone.  What a day we had yesterday!  Rain and wind.  Over 3 inches of rain.  That's a lot.  So glad I decided to stay in.  Definitely going to get out today.  Need to get some fresh air....and a bit of walking exercise since I didn't get to my classes yesterday.   

Thinking about having some nice hot and spicy soup for dinner tonight. I love experimenting with spices and have become quite adept at throwing a soup recipe together.  The good news is that in January Weight Watchers started its new Freestyle program and increased their list of 200 0 point foods which includes chicken and all kinds of beans.  Bean lover that I am, I've discovered many creative ways to incorporate them into recipes.  Plus, since I am now only eating meat and poultry a couple of times a week with the rest of the week  a vegetarian menu, bean dishes add some much needed protein. These '0' point soups also allow me to get back on track when I've treated myself to some of my favorite goodies like this weekend when I not only had a slice of pizza, but an ice cream as well. That's the good thing about Weight Watchers though.  One can eat whatever they want in moderation. 

The following is one of my favorites. Made a huge pot and froze the rest for another day....like today.  Sorry.  The bowl was half empty before I remembered to take a picture.


Spicy Harissa Bean and Spinach Soup


Lots of ingredients and lots of great taste.  

1 can small red beans
Spinach (I used frozen, but you can use fresh if you want)
Carrots
Celery
1 can diced tomatoes
Garlic
Onion
Sweet peppers
Harissa spice
Thyme
Basil 
Oregano
Coriander
Red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar 

I can make up recipes, but I am not a very good recipe writer.  That's because I just add everything to taste.   I just provide the basics.  Amount of seasonings are up to you.  (Note:  All spices I used are dried.  You can use fresh if you like).

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday Morning This and That

 If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all thinking, damages his personality and makes him a landlord to a ghost. 

Lloyd Douglas

Good morning.  It's a rainy one here in Brooklyn. Talk about rain. My goodness. The rain and win woke me about 4:30 am. Heard a loud crash and something blowing in the wind. 40 mph gusts out there and heavy, heavy rain.   And wind?  Non-stop.  Not a day fit for man or beast. 

No way am I going out in this. Had my bag all packed for arts and crafts, but that will just have to wait until next week. It's a wait at 2 bus stops with no shelter and then a fairly long walk to the class. Forget about my fingers locking when I hold an umbrella. Arthritis.  Aging hasn't been so easy on me, perhaps because I never really kept myself in tiptop shape until symptoms set in, but I don't let it stop me from doing the things I enjoy.  Life is to be lived, and after working 50 years, I am definitely living it. In this weather. though,  you can't even open an umbrella if you tried.  Wind would blow it right out of your hand.

I have been going through it lately.  Been very stressed.  After 5 years I suddenly developed a mouse issue, and I am petrified of them...to the point of it being a true phobia.  I couldn't eat or sleep, and when I did sleep, I slept in my clothes with the television and light on (hubby drives a cab all night).  I kept hearing them surrounding me even though they weren't there, and the worst was when I would walk into the kitchen and one would scoot across the floor.  Tears would flow and my body shook so badly that I just wanted to run away.  And worst of it was, I couldn't seem to get any help.  I told the super and he said he thought the problem was to be taken care of by the tenants.  Building management told me to talk to the super.  I was using peppermint oil and it seemed to be keeping them at bay, but hubby, with his emphysema, couldn't breathe.  

So I spent over $100 on air tight containers for all our foods, even my spices, $25 on an electric trap, $24 on Rodent Be Gone spray, $30 on the pure peppermint oil, I purchased the poison, but hated to use it as much as I wanted it gone.  The last straw was when we discovered they had crawled through the vents of our microwave and destroyed it.  Hubby had to go out and spend $159 on a new one.  I called and DEMANDED help, and the next day the super came in and used a foam spray to seal all the holes.  Haven't heard or seen any in two days now.  Hoping that starvation drove them away and the seals will keep them from returning.  Needless to say, no matter what, I will never feel the same here again.  

We have been looking to move anyway.  Once the large building goes up next door it will block all light and air from entering my apartment.  I will  be living in 24 hours of night time.  So we have been putting applications for affordable housing. Not easy to get here in Brooklyn, but if I don't try, I will have 0 chance of finding something.

 The brown would is the distance from my kitchen window.  That's how close it is.  Now imaging an 8 story building going up right there. 
Another view of it.  The white building is the front part of my building.  The building will actually be built about one foot from my bedroom window.  Sorry, but I can't live like that.  

So, that's a few of the negatives that have been going in my life lately.  It never gets dull.