Feast or Famine

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I’ve been thinking about Ernest Hemingway a lot lately, which is noteworthy in that he is someone that I think of on a pretty regular basis anyway, so why the uptick now??! I’ve read all of his books, most of them more than once; I have delighted in visiting his Paris, and spending time swilling booze in his old haunts, imagining that the floppy-haired man at the next table might be the next Hemingway. I haven’t yet gone to visit his home in the Florida Keys, but I have planned the trip so many times that I could pretty much leave on a moment’s notice and have a crackin’ time while there. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for Papa, as I can count on his words moving me every single time. I’m rereading “A Moveable Feast”, and came across this gem today:

A girl came in the cafe and sat by herself at a table near the window. She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair was black as a crow’s wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek. I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited. I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere, but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone. So I went on writing. The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another rum St James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink. I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

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Gorgeous, right? Those words – I’ve seen you, beauty…it just kills me. There’s something so precious about a man who can express himself like that, and something so beautiful for a woman to be made to feel that way. Le sigh. Love this. 🙂

 

One other quick reminder of the beautiful life courtesy of Papa:

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway:

AT NIGHT, THERE WAS THE FEELING THAT WE HAD COME HOME, FEELING NO LONGER ALONE, WAKING IN THE NIGHT TO FIND THE OTHER ONE THERE, AND NOT GONE AWAY; ALL OTHER THINGS WERE UNREAL. WE SLEPT WHEN WE WERE TIRED AND IF WE WOKE THE OTHER ONE WOKE TOO SO ONE WAS NOT ALONE. OFTEN A MAN WISHES TO BE ALONE AND A WOMAN WISHES TO BE ALONE TOO AND IF THEY LOVE EACH OTHER THEY ARE JEALOUS OF THAT IN EACH OTHER, BUT I CAN TRULY SAY WE NEVER FELT THAT. WE COULD FEEL ALONE WHEN WE WERE TOGETHER, ALONE AGAINST THE OTHERS. WE WERE NEVER LONELY AND NEVER AFRAID WHEN WE WERE TOGETHER.

Love. 🙂

xxx

 

Hooray for Tuesday

In the spirit of sharing something positive, have a look at this piece courtesy of MindBodyGreen:

11 Encouraging Truths To Accept For A Happier Life

by Sonia Kumar
Life can seem like an uphill battle if we meet it with resistance. There are circumstances beyond our control and expectations that will be shattered. Rather than resisting life, if we meet it with acceptance, compassion, and an open mind, it will begin to flow more freely. Acceptance is the key that sets us free. Here are some truths I’ve learned on my journey that keep me on the path to happiness:

1. You are doing the best you can.

You are only doing the best you can with what you know. Once we accept this, we begin to be much more gentle with ourselves. There’s no point in beating ourselves up about past choices and actions, as we only did what we thought was best at that time. We are all a work in progress, and we are all constantly learning. Let go of perfection, and let go of harsh judgment.

2. Everyone’s journey is different.

Your path will be different from that of your friends or your family. Whether you put your career aside to travel or get married much later or earlier than your friends, there’s no need to compare. Your life journey is completely unique; it’s OK if not everyone understands it either. It’s about you, not them.

3. You can’t keep everyone happy.

This is a losing battle. Everyone has different likes and needs, and they will be different from yours. Not everyone will be accepting of you and your decisions either. And that’s OK. That doesn’t mean that you need to keep trying to please them or gain their acceptance. You could lose yourself in trying to do so.

4. You can’t change people.

Maybe you’ve been in a relationship in which you thought you could change the person for the better. Or maybe you have a friend or family member who you think needs fixing or saving. Most of us have learned the hard way that we cannot change people. No amount of pushing, preaching, or nagging can change a person. Change has to come internally from them. All you can do is accept them as they are and set an example.

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5. What goes around comes around.

Every action accumulates karma. Be mindful of your actions and how you react to situations—even when you feel wronged by someone. Wayne Dyer said, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Remember to think before you act and take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.

6. Age is just a number.

Age is just a concept created by our minds. It’s easy to let age-related expectations interfere with our lives. Some of us have arbitrary ideas of when we should have our career in a certain place or when we should get married. Life can’t be lived on a schedule. Do what feels right for you. Don’t let anyone else’s idea of what’s “right” or “normal” influence your choices. You’ll be much happier.

7. There’s no such thing as a right or wrong decision.

If we put too much pressure on ourselves to make the “right” decision, we may feel paralyzed and be unable to make any decision at all. Try to think less in terms of the right and wrong polarity. Even if we feel that we have made a mistake or chosen the longer road to get to our goal, you learned lessons you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Same goes for our career and relationships—even if we make a slight detour, we learned from it. There’s never a wrong choice.

8. Judgment only limits our minds.

Every time we judge a person for their actions or appearance, we only end up limiting ourselves. A closed mind is a breeding ground for ignorance. Try to foster an open mind. Learn to see others with compassion, empathy, and understanding. Likewise, if someone judges you, that is a reflection of a limitation in their mind. It may not have anything to do with you on a personal level.

9. The world is a classroom, and we are the students.

Life will give us many lessons—some more painful than others. Our job is to look for the lessons in every situation and every person we come across. We attract people that will give us growth. Next time you feel hurt or triggered by someone, look for the bigger lesson behind it. A lesson will keep repeating itself until it is learned.

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10. Setting boundaries is not a bad thing.

There are times that we will need to put some boundaries in place. We may have come across relationships or situations that feel toxic and leave us feeling depleted rather than refreshed. In situations like these, give yourself permission to say no or limit the time spent in draining situations. You are allowed to protect yourself. You deserve it.

11. If one door closes, another will open.

Try not to spend too much time grieving over lost opportunities, jobs, or relationships. If something doesn’t work out, take it as a blessing. Know that there’s something much more suited to you out there. When doors close, we are forced to think in new directions, and eventually we open our eyes up to bigger opportunities and healthier relationships.

 

I’ve written before of the stresses that I am currently having at work, and I am trying so hard to embrace this thinking as presented above – it’s just so hard. As my door closes here at my current job (who am I kidding???! That damn thing has been slammed in my face repeatedly!), I am putting it out to the universe, and hoping that a power so much higher than me will take care of me and put me where I am meant to be, as it sure as hell isn’t here any more. This makes me sad, as I have loved this school and community unlike any other place that I have worked – but it’s not the same anymore, and it’s time to move on. I doubt that I will ever again find the workplace joy that I once knew here, but perhaps I will find something even better. I hope so – I spend A LOT of time at work, so it’s best when it’s a place that you like to be. 🙂

 

What do you believe is necessary for a happier life, my friends? Whatever it is, I hope that you find it!! 🙂

xxx

Three Little Birds

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Watch this video of the looooooovely David Tennant reassuring the world that things are going to be okay – and remember, we can trust him…he’s a doctor. 😉

 

I love him – he’s awesome. 🙂

xxx

 

PS: I got this in an email this weekend, and wanted to share it – it’s nice to be reminded of the importance of gratitude and positive thinking from time to time:

1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

  1. Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”

  2. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade
    Center.”

  3. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.

  4. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job.
    I start tomorrow.

  5. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this
    more often.”

  6. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

  7. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.

  8. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

  9. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he
    said, “I hope you feel better soon.”

  10. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.” It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.

  11. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.

 

All Star

The best and the brightest from the National Hockey League got together over the weekend for their annual All-Star festivities – and some fool decided to let Justin Bieber come. Thankfully Chris Pronger took care of the Beebs – look at this hit he laid on him:

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It’s a toss up which is better: the look of agony on Bieber’s face in his helmet, or the sheer delight on Pronger’s…I believe some may call this divine retribution. 😉

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Another funny thing happened at the NHL All-Star Weekend, when my beloved Snoop Dogg DJ’d and played an uncensored song – oops. Only Snoop could get away with something like this and not have it turn into an international incident…check out the news story here.

Hope your Monday is off to a good start, and that you are finding some stuff to smile about – in these troubled times, we need to take the laughs where we can get them.

xxx

For Good

For Good

This weekend has been something to behold – as the man inhabiting the White House signs executive orders discriminating against Muslim people, protests are going on around the country, and his idiot daughter posts this:

This was posted as the protests against the refugee ban raged around the country - how insensitive and stupid.
This was posted as the protests against the refugee ban raged around the country – how insensitive and stupid.

I always thought she was smarter than that – guess I was wrong. How inconsiderate and rude – people are stranded and wrongfully detained, but you are wearing a fancy dress and going out. How friggin’ shallow can you possibly be? So disappointing.

 

What isn’t disappointing, though, is stuff like this:

Thank God that Canada is acting sensibly in these troubled times
Thank God that Canada is acting sensibly in these troubled times

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Diversity is our strength, Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted…and once upon a time, I believe that the United States embraced that idea as well. In fact, I feel confident in saying that diversity was still a positive as recently as about ten days ago…but look at the mess we are in now. Those of us living in the United States these days should be worried – who knows where this crazy, diabolical man will attempt to wield his power next. It’s frightening.

Instead of talking about him and his shitty behavior, let’s celebrate the lawyers around the country who showed up at airports and helped those that have been unlawfully detained – talk about real life heroes! 🙂

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Beautiful, right? And this was just the coverage from Chicago – this scene was played out all across the United States, as people rallied to help those being persecuted. The ACLU stepped in (thank God), and challenged this executive order, resulting in legal action which helped (and released) many of those being detained – but sadly, this situation isn’t over…it’s just getting started. I love hearing that the ACLU has received more money in donations this weekend than it did in all of 2016 – and, please, if you have the money to donate, be like Nike and JUST DO IT. The work that these people are doing is more important now than ever before – and every donation counts (especially when celebrities are matching your donations). I am still in shock that this person was voted in to office in this country, but I am hopeful that the epic shit show that is he will be the wake up call that people in this country who voted for him must need. He is not making this country great again – all he is doing is causing division after division….there is no unity. We need to stand up for what is right, we need to speak for all – not just those with piles of money, and we need to be better people. It’s for the good of all of us.

xxx

To Make You Feel My Love

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and love is (hopefully) in your air – here are some ideas of goodies to give to your lady love, your BFF, or even yourself. Happy shopping! 🙂

I want one of these! LOVE!
Parisian Love Lock & Key — I want one of these! LOVE! Available from Olive and Cocoa
I'm so taken with the simplicity of this necklace :-)
I’m so taken with the simplicity of this necklace 🙂 Available from Olive and Cocoa
Amethyst Air Plant - I'm crazy for these and want to get a couple for mi casa...maybe I can actually keep these babies alive! ;-)
Amethyst Air Plant – I’m crazy for these and want to get a couple for mi casa…maybe I can actually keep these babies alive! 😉 Available from Etsy

 

I will never get over my love for magnetic poetry
I will never get over my love for magnetic poetry. Available from Amazon

 

You can never go wrong with perfume - this is one of my all-time favorites!
You can never go wrong with perfume – this is one of my all-time favorites! Available wherever fine fragrances are sold

 

Another great perfume!
Another great perfume! Available wherever fine fragrances are sold

 

You will never go wrong with a Kate Spade purse - this lovely is on sale at Zappos for $209...or check out the sales at your local Kate Spade Outlet store!
You will never go wrong with a Kate Spade purse – this lovely is on sale at Zappos for $209…or check out the sales at your local Kate Spade Outlet store!

 

If jewelry is something you’re thinking is in the cards for you and your Valentine this year, how about giving a moonstone ring some thought?? I am WILD about moonstone – check out these stunning options (all available on Etsy):

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So. Beautiful.

Hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas for the lady in your life (or yourself!) — check back again soon to see my roundup of suggestions for the men you know and love! 🙂

xxx

Time Out

This whole farewell to the Obamas/inauguration/new president thing has taken a hell of a toll on me…I just can’t get on board with that man (he who shall not be named, and I don’t mean Lord Voldemort) and the things that he stands for.  I’m wearing mostly black like I’m in mourning (not that big of a stretch, as my inner French girl has me wearing black most of the time anyway), I’ve completely shut off from social media (can’t recommend that enough, actually), I’ve drastically cut my consumption of news – I just can’t bring myself to hear the tales of our lives and cultures being separated and torn apart. It’s depressing as hell – and I am just not feeling it. In his first week, Trump has targeted women, people of color, immigrants, transparency and our values – how could anyone possibly feel positive about this? Take a look at this article from the Washington Post:

The way President Trump tells it, the meandering, falsehood-filled, self-involved speech that he gave at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters was one of the greatest addresses ever given.

“That speech was a home run,” Trump told ABC News just a few minutes into his first major television interview since moving into the White House. “See what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming. … I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl, and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time.”

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I refuse to post pictures of Donald Trump – instead, we will use Voldemort images. Seems an appropriate substitution to me.

The most powerful man in the world continued: “You probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it. … People loved it. They loved it. They gave me a standing ovation for a long period of time. They never even sat down, most of them, during the speech. There was love in the room. You and other networks covered it very inaccurately. … That speech was a good speech. And you and a couple of other networks tried to downplay that speech. And it was very, very unfortunate that you did.”

The lengthy interview, which aired late Wednesday night, provided a glimpse of the president and his state of mind on his fifth full day in office. It revealed a man who is obsessed with his own popularity and eager to provide evidence of his likability, even if that information doesn’t match reality.

Trump insisted that he could have “very, very easily” won the popular vote in the election — which concluded more than 11 weeks ago — had he simply tried. He again suggested that Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote because of widespread voter fraud, of which there is no evidence. He hinted that he thinks voter fraud might have also helped elect former president Barack Obama, whose favorability ratings were higher than his on Inauguration Day. He justified some of his unsubstantiated claims by saying that millions of his supporters agree with him. He did acknowledge that his own approval rating is “pretty bad,” but he blamed that on the media.

Trump plugged an “extraordinary poll” that he said found that people “loved and liked” his inaugural address. He again claimed to have “the biggest crowd in the history of inaugural speeches” and accused the media of demeaning his supporters by underreporting turnout. Trump also took credit for the Dow Jones industrial average closing above 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, referred to a former rival as “one of the combatants that I fought to get here” and said that a recent visitor told him that their meeting “was the single greatest meeting I’ve ever had with anybody.”

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Even some of the discussion of policy seemed to come back to the fight for popularity. At one point, Trump summed up his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act by saying: “Millions of people will be happy. Right now, you have millions and millions and millions of people that are unhappy.”

Four times, the president referred to himself in the third-person.

The interview revealed just how preoccupied Trump is with two variables that are gumming up his claim of being widely beloved: Losing the popular vote to Clinton and hosting an inauguration crowd that was smaller than in previous years.

I would’ve won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote,” Trump said. “I would’ve gone to California, where I didn’t go at all. I would’ve gone to New York, where I didn’t campaign at all. I would’ve gone to a couple of places that I didn’t go to. And I would’ve won that much easier than winning the electoral college.”


And even without trying to win the popular vote, Trump has said that he did win the popular vote — if you don’t count the millions of fraudulent votes he believes were cast, although state elections officials say they have seen no evidence of that. On Wednesday, Trump called for a “major investigation” into allegations of voter fraud, but gave no details on how such a probe would be carried out.

You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals,” Trump said. “You have people registered in two states. They’re registered in New York and New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes, in my opinion.”

When pressed to back up his accusations, Trump pointed to a 2012 Pew Center report. When ABC’s David Muir said the author of that report found “no evidence of voter fraud,” Trump attacked that author.

Excuse me,” the president snapped. “Then why did he write the report?”

“Part of my whole victory was that the men and women of this country who have been forgotten will never be forgotten again,” Trump said. “We had a massive crowd of people. We had a crowd. I looked over that sea of people and I said to myself: ‘Wow.’ And I’ve seen crowds before. Big, big crowds. That was some crowd. When I looked at the numbers that happened to come in from all of the various sources, we had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches. I said, the men and women that I was talking to who came out and voted will never be forgotten again. Therefore, I won’t allow you or other people like you to demean that crowd and to demean the people that came to Washington, D.C., from faraway places because they like me. But more importantly, they like what I’m saying.”

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Shocking, don’t you think? With the state of affairs that we have going on these days, how on earth can his priority be his own popularity and being perceived as being “right”? There are so many issues that are considerably more important – yet this petulant, spoiled brat of a man wants to be right and wants to be liked. Pathetic. Instead of being right, perhaps he would be better served to focus on actually doing what is right for people. Rant over – I shall step off my soapbox now. 😉

 

Back to what I’ve been up to…I’ve been reading a whole ton, watching movies, and spending time on myself and the things that matter to me. I’m drinking mint tea like it’s my damn job, cuddling on the couch more than usual, and it feels great. I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking with my magical new crockpot (whoever invented the crockpot deserves a hug and a sticker – there are few things better than coming home from yet-another crap day at work to the smells of delicious food. Yum. Check out this recipe that I tried a couple of weeks ago – delish! 🙂

Orange Glazed Meatballs:

(Serves 8-10)
28 oz bag of frozen meatballs

12 oz jar of orange marmalade

1/2 small jalapeno, diced

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup beef broth

3-4 green onions, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1. In the crockpot, mix together marmalade, orange juice, jalapeno, onion, broth, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

2. Add meatballs and mix to coat.

3. Set crockpot on LOW for 4.5 – 5 hours.

 

Yummy!

 

I hope that your week is going well, my friends – Happy Friday Eve!! One more day – we got this! 🙂

xxx

PS: If you’ve got any kickass crockpot recipes to share, send them my way – yaa! 🙂