A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Archive for November, 2011

I Know It’s Monday, But…

Five Question Friday
 
1. Is there a special dish you prepare that you are famous for?
I don’t get to do much cooking these day. Babe and I are working with a one-burner hotplate at the moment. But hey! We got a gas tank on Saturday. We’ll probably get it filled in the next week or so. THEN, let the kitchen fun begin! Back when I cooked and baked a lot, I was known for nacho dip (which I haven’t made in over a year), chocolate cake of death (named by a youth in the organization I worked for), chicken fettucine alfredo, and Bahamian-style macaroni (baked with cheese, eggs, and milk).
2. Are you (did you) go Black Friday shopping ?
No Black Friday shopping for me. I hate shopping on a regular day. Dealing with the crowds mobs and standing in long lines are even less exciting to me. I do as much as possible online. And early. The only rush I wanna feel around this time of year is JUNKANOO. (Before the holiday season is over, I’ll post about Junkanoo. ‘Cause I love it.)
3. What are your strangest holiday traditions?
I don’t know if I have any…
4. Pecan or pumpkin pie?
I really really don’t like pie. Well, except for CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE, ’cause it’s freaking amazing. It totally doesn’t count as pie. The crust is oreos, for goodness’ sake. If I had to choose a pie, I guess I’d go with pecan? Because pumpkin is stupid. It does not taste. It is not tasted. It has no taste. It is just there. Who wants a pie that tastes like pumpkin nothing? Not me. Pecan pie sounds kinda weird though. It is like… A puree or paste of pecans that fills the pie crust? Are there crunchy bits in it? I don’t get it.
 
5. When will you put up your Christmas tree?
I was gonna do it on the weekend. That changed. We’re not gonna put up a tree this year. Thought it through, regrouped, prioritized… There are some other things on the go right now. Things that are a bit more pressing. So we’re gonna take care of some business instead. We have stockings though! Personalized. 🙂
 
What are your answers? You can leave them in the comments, or leave a link to your own post with answers.
 
In case I don’t get a chance to come back and post today, Happy Monday, y’all! Make your to-do lists, prioritize, get in gear, and enjoy! 🙂
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Are You Daft, Punk?

This is just too funny. Had to share!

Versatile Blogger Award Goodness

The Running Thriver, Thoughts From a Jaded Heart, AND She Wants To Write tossed this awesomeness my way! Took me a while to finally accept, but hey… I’m doin’ it! I’m really happy about getting this award. It really makes me feel good and confetti-ish to know that people like what they see when they visit my blog. 🙂

I feel super duper ridiculously special right now! I love this award! I think it’s awesome that it comes with rules, and recipients get to spread the love. The best part is that reader get introduced to new, awesome blogs. That is just… Too great. And there are so many blogs that I LOVE to read. I feel like I follow new blogs every day. *thinks* Yeah, I definitely do.

As recipient, I must link back to the givers (done), list seven things about myself (because you couldn’t possibly know enough already), and share it with 5-15 other awesome blogs.

Seven Things About Me:

  1. I recently started training for my first 5k. I’m really excited about it. I’ve done loads of research, and I’m even more amped up to do this than I was in the beginning. I started another blog to track my progress, adventures, etc.
  2. I love love love cake and ice cream. I do NOT like pie.
  3. My favourite cereal in Honey Bunches of Oats. I also like Honey Nut Cheerios. Raisin Bran is okay. I like it best a bit soggy with bananaaaaa. My little guilty pleasure cereals are Rice Krispies (with sugar and a bit of hot water added) and Corn Pops.
  4. Stereo Love never seems to get old for me.
  5. My shower has to be HOT. Really hot. Almost to the point of burning me. And I don’t like the least bit of cool air. I close the bathroom window if the weather is cool-ish.
  6. I’m finally getting back into writing. Hoping to produce some work that’s I’m happy enough with to send off for some competitions. Maybe win a little kizz-ash!
  7. I really, really like my job.
  8. I love taking pictures, but not when other people are looking. The only person that needs to watch me take pictures is the photographer.
  9. I’m over the whole Facebook thing. Twitter and blogging are way cooler. I just used FB for a photo dump. Mostly.
  10. I’ve weaned myself off of Cokes really well. I still drink them when I feel like it, but it’s not a daily thing any more. YAY, ME!
Some deserving blogs are:
  • Eat the Damn Cake – “Beauty. Body image. Womanhood. Dessert.” Kate’s blog is greatness. She echoes so many of my thoughts. Reading her posts often leads me to lots of head nodding, “Frick, YEAH!”ing. Check it out!
  • Ramblings of an Emotional Idiot – She’s funny. And honest. Two things that I really like to see. In people, AND in blogs. You’ll see it when you get there.
  • Bloom Anyway – One of my new favourite corners of the internet. Very fun, happy, upbeat, flowery… Ya know? It’s a feel good sort of blog. That’s not to say that all of the posts are super HAPPY-LADY-ish. Some are very heartfelt and raw, and maybe a little wrenching. Go see.
  • The Feminist Griote – The posts aren’t very frequent, but you can see the thought that went into each one. They’re not ridiculously heavy or full of research or anything. To the point, understandable, and worth the read. So read.
  • Up and Away – Fun to read. Sort of… Pleasant? Even when the topic isn’t super pleasant, the approach still kind of is. It’s nice. See for yourself.
  • 52 Kitchen Adventures – Recipeeeees! You knooow how I feel about food! This blog has some really worthy-of-trying recipes. If you like spending time in the kitchen, hop over there and see what you can grab.
  • Cupcake Project – Yeah. I know I didn’t need to say any more to get you to clicky the linky.

Weekends of Enjoyment

I tried to post this from my phone on Monday night. Clearly, it only saved as a draft. A few days late, here’s a late post. Lol.

Now that another weekend has come and gone, I’ll tell you about last weekend. Yeah. That’s how I’m rolling these days. LATE.

Babe and I registered for an art workshop at the National Art Gallery. It was supposed an abstract painting thing in the style of a Bahamian artists. The facilitator decided that we wouldn’t really copy any particular style. He sort of left us to do our own thing. The only thing he really showed us was a brush technique. *scratches head* ANYway, it was fun-ish. I was lost for most of the time, not really knowing what to do. I’m pretty thoughtful and calculated, so it was hard for me to just shut my brain off and do things. It was weird. I didn’t like it very much. I didn’t like the finished product either. Still, I think it’s something I’d like to explore on my own, without an audience. Maybe Babe and I will get a few canvases and some paint, and muck around at home. Oh. And Babe? SO good. SO SO good. The woman has serious skills. I keep wondering what amazing talent/skill will show up next. Her painting was/is AMAZING. She wasn’t crazy about it, but I convinced her that it’s GREAT, and HAS to go on our wall. I’ll share a picture of it once we hang it up. Halfway through the workshop, we had to do a collaborative painting. Babe and I did an elephant. Really, SHE did it. I sort of did background crap. And the eye. She drew it, outlined it, etc. It’s NICE. I like IT, and I like that fact that we did it TOGETHER (in whatever proportions). Wherever we go, I think we have to take that elephant with us. That will always be the only elephant in the room (because we talk far too much/candidly to have any others).

After the workshop, we went to a church fair. The Catholic Cathedral was having it’s annual thingy. I knew about it because a lady in the building I work in was selling raffle tickets and I bought two for Babe and me. The church just so happens to be right across the street from the gallery. We were just going to check it out, but it was really nice. Lots of stalls and lots of good food! 🙂 We filled up on junk and sat around for a while. When we were good ‘n’ ready, we heading to the bus stop, three painting in tow. We got settled in, and went to sleep. We overslept. LOL. We always get so comfy when we cuddled up for these little naps. We ended up having to rush to get ready for our dinner date with Vanessa. I’ve mentioned Vanessa before. She’s super cool, and a good friend of ours. We like hanging out with her. There’s always lots of talking, and lots of laughs. That night, we splurged on a Wine Dinner at a restaurant near where I work. Get ready, because I’m sharing the menu.

Champagne upon arrival

Korbel Winery California Champagne, Brut Rose, California’s Russian River Valley

1st course

Pan seared Curried sea scallops with caramelised pears and crème fraise –

Kendall Jackson Vinters Private Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Rosa California 2009

2nd Course

Apricot and Ginger glazed salmon filet over warm buckwheat soba noodle salad –

NOBLE Aconcagua ,Chardonnay, Mendoza Argentina 2009

3rd Course

Peppercorn and tarragon Beef tenderloin served over sweet potato mash and green beans

Sangre De Toro, Garnacha and Mazuelo, Catalunya Spain, 2009

4th course

Rosemary and vanilla slow roasted lamb shank over goat cheese stuffed portabella mushroom –

Telteca Roble, Malbec, Mendoza Argentina 2009

5th course

Dark Chocolate truffle mousse

 Henry of Pelham last harvest Riesling, Ontario Canada, 2008

 

You probably don’t need me to tell you that it was really good, right? Anyway, it was. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the wine. Even me. And I’m kind of discriminating and critical with food. I don’t even like salmon OR lamb, but they both VERY good. Actually, I think I’m warming up to salmon a bit. Weird. Funny how our tastes change, right? Someday, I’ll explain my aversion to fish. Not today. The wine dinner started at 6:30, and we got home around 10:30pm. We had a solid 4 hours of a nice, relaxing time with good company. We all agreed that we should make an effort to do it regularly. We’re thinking once per month. This makes me happy. I LOVE eating out, and I REALLY enjoy getting to do it with people I really love.

This weekend, we’re doing a potluck dinner. Vanessa is gracious enough to host it. I’m looking forward to it. The three of us always have a good time together, PLUS my cousin and friend recently moved to Nassau, and I’ve been wanting them to meet Vanessa. I like introducing cool people to other cool people. Widening the circle. Vanessa is also inviting a friend I haven’t met yet. The menu is looking good, there will be drinkage, and the company is sure to be deeelightful. It’s Monday and I’m already looking forward to the weekend. Hahahaha.

Yesterday, Ma cooked up a hell of a Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday here, but we DO tend to follow (US) fashion, so lots of restaurants will be preparing turkey dinners on Thursday. None will top the homemade dinner our family had yesterday. Ma is a HELL of a cook. We had white rice (most people will have peas ‘n’ rice, but we’re not big on that), mashed potato, (baked) macaroni, turkey, ham (which I passed on, of course), sweet potato, brocoli, carrots and green beans, stuffing… I think that was it. My stomach was very pleased with it. Ma is leaving for a cruise on Wednesday, and will be away for the next two Sundays. My aunt will probably take over the Sunday dinners, but I’ll be glad to spend those Sundays with Babe, having our own Sunday dinner.

Well, it’s time for me to get back to work. I just took half of my lunch break to do this post and eat my sandwich. The next half, I’ll spend trying to finish my short story. The deadline is NEXT WEEK! I want it done by end of day tomorrow so I can take a nice (two day) break from it before going back at it with my hatchet (editing).

And now, introducing Angelique Sabrina – a new, young Bahamian singer. She’s 13 years old, and she’s playing on the radio. The songs are cute/fun/catchy, and very age-appropriate, but somehow relatable?! ANYway, here’s one of them:

Speakerbox – Angelique Sabrina (I’ve been having issues with embedding YouTube videos lately. Anyone else?!)

Loser Blvd – Angelique Sabrina (This one is an actul video. I like it, except for all of the makeup and hair. Too old-looking, I think. Anyway, the song? I think it’s super cute. Reminds me of Avril Lavigne when she first came on the scene.)

What are you up to today? Wanna tell me about your weekend? The last one, the one before it, the one that’s coming… Take your pick, since I dished on all of them. LOL. OH! And are you working on any little projects?

It’s No Day Off

Not only is it Thankful Thursday today… It’s Thanksgiving Day. It’s not a holiday in The Bahamas. All together now: BOOOOOOOOOO! Yeah. It sucks. It would be nice to have an entire day at home to sit in the living room, watching tv, waiting for the turkey to be done. Or whatever people do. We don’t have ANY holidays in November. No fair! It’s annoying to think of some of our holidays. We seriously had a holiday called “Colombus Day” which became “Discovery Day” when clearly, Colombus is no hero, and he was NOT the first to set foot upon this land. He DID manage to enslave people. BRAVOOOOO! Anyway, I digress. The point is… Um… What was it again? Basically, I think it’s worth having a holiday to remind people to be THANKFUL. (Un)luckily, this counry is full of psuedo/wannabe-Americans, so we copycat. It’s not a holiday, but there are a LOT turkeys being eaten right now.

I liked Thanksgiving in Halifax when I lived there. Mind you, it was in October. That was fine by me. It was best when I worked for the youth organization. I had three young women living with me. There was also a male home and a co-ed home. For Thanksgiving, we came up with a menu, split it up among the houses, and had sort of a potluck. FUN TIMES! We had a great time cooking together, and then coming together to share the meal, as well as good times. I miss that. A lot. I look forward to having a house full again. A family of my own to feed and sit around the dinner table with. And laugh. And share stories. And love.

I wish for a lot of things. I hope for a lot of things too. I don’t talk about them too much, but they still ARE. And they come up from time to time, so people know. I just don’t harp on them. I know most people are going on about what they’re thankful for today. I won’t break that up by making a list of things I’ll be thankful for SOMEday, but just HOPE for today. Partly because I need to be thankful today, and partly because I don’t feel like crying over the things that have not come to be as yet. Okay, okay. I probably wasn’t gonna actually CRY. You get the point though, right?

SO! I don’t get a day off to do it, but I’m taking some time (on my lunch break) to be thankful. My thankfulness begins now.

I’m thankful for the tears. Every drop. Every moment of sadness. Every time that I could not find the words, and there was no action I could (see to) take. Those times when I just sat down, and let the tears roll. For letting go of whatever the problem was, even if it was just enough to let my body heave, let my eyes get puffy, and let myself feel whatever was going on, and releasing just a little bit of those  feelings in every single tear. Now that I’ve cried and allowed myself to feel sadness, I can appreciate the happiness that I now enjoy. I appreciate the smiles. The laughter. The good times.

I’m thankful for the people who did me wrong. For the hurt, the pain, and the unnecessary drama they brought to my life. Now, I can appreciate the beautiful people around me. The people who mean me well. The people who want to see me be happy, and they want it enough to contribute to my happiness. I can appreciate good relationships. Genuine people. Supportive people.

I’m thankful for my moments of weakness. The times when I made the wrong decision because it was easier than the right one. The choices I made because of pressure. The times when I felt that I wasn’t good enough, or strong enough. Now, I can appreciate the strength that I have. My hard-headedness. My resolve. My complete unwillingness to back down when I know that I am right. My ability to make the right choice. My ability to stand up when no one else will, and to be the only voice speaking calmly against the fury of many.

I’m thankful for the times that I was completely alone. The times when I was in relationships with people that were not right for me. I thankful for the people who have overlooked me, not recognized my worth, and did not treat me as I deserved to be treated. Now, I can appreciate the most amazing person in the world loving me without condition, and telling me what I mean to her. I can appreciated the love that we share and the life that we have together.

I’m thankful for my hungry days. No, I’ve never starved. I’ve never gone hungry for more time than it took to get to the fridge/counter/restaurant of my choice. But I have hungered. For love, affection, attention, purpose, a better life… I’m not hungry for those things any more. Now, I can appreciate satisfaction. Fullness. The love, affection, attention, purpose, and better life that I have today. And everyone and everything that helped to make it possible.

I’m thankful for the insane things that have happened in my life. The finanical difficulties. The abuse. The bad relationships. The stress. The hatred. The dread. The imprisonment. I can appreciate the story that my life tells. I can appreciate all of the little stories that lie within me. My ability to retell them. To write them. To help other people. To understand other people. The ability to let things go. To forgive, and to forget. To learn and to grow.

I’m thankful for the years that I was in complete bondage. When what other people thought of me was who I was, and what other people expected of me was what I did. When I limited myself. When all I could do was what was in the expectations of other people for me. When I was not defined by possibility or potential. Just by the people who treated me and spoke to and about me like a chicken. Now, I can appreciate my eagle days. I fully appreciate my ability and willingness to fly. To go wherever I want to do whatever it is that I want to do. The new eyes that I see through. The way that I am able to look at myself now. The goals that I set, and then achieve. They are not taken lightly, because I had to fight (even if the battle was partly with myself) for the freedom. I can appreciate that I am no longer enslaved. Or limited. Or bound by the thoughts, opinions, or expectations of anyone else.

I’m thankful the things I’ve lost. The pounds (not in body weight) I’ve shed. The friends I’ve dropped. The family I’m not in close contact with. The things I have forgotten. I can appreciate the things that take up all of my space. My mental space, my emotional space, my physical space. I appreciate and accept that things are as they should be. I have all that I need. What I don’t have, I don’t need. I’m breathing. And what’s more than that, I’m LIVING. What else could I ask for?

Today, I hope that everyone is thankful. If on no other day, think of the reasons you have to be thankful. You may not be thankful to anyone in particular. Maybe it’s God. Maybe it’s the universe. Maybe it’s chance. Maybe it’s just plain ol’ thankfulness. Gratitude. If you’re not thankful, it’s because you don’t have the right perspective. If that’s the case, I encourage you to go find it. Movement, colour, air, sustainence, technology, an active brain, the capacity to love, freedom of speech, friends, family, opportunity… Most of these are FREE. Some of them, we fight for. Some of them, other people have fought for. Some of them are luxuries to other people. ALL of them are things to be thankful for. But who am I to tell you what to be thankful for? It’s not my place. It’s yours. Take a seat upon the throne of thankfulness. See how good it feels.

Join the Thankful Thursday fun!

What are you thankful for today?

Be Beautiful

As you already know, I like sharing things. Little bits of happiness. Advice. Smiles. Jokes. Today, it’s something I think we can all stand to read at least once in life. I spent some time hanging out over at Bloom Anyway today, and came across a link to THIS (and you KNOW I’m highlighting things):

Here are 36 ways to start feeling absolutely beautiful right now:

1. Smile. It lights up your face. It triggers happiness in your brain. It makes others feel happy.

2. Remember your posture. Stand up straight. Hold your head high. Throw those shoulders back. You look confident, energetic, amazing!

3. Focus on the best not the worst. Stop staring at the wrinkle or the bulge. Quit comparing yourself to Patty Perfect. Let your “worst” features recede and focus on your best instead. You have far more beautiful features than you see!

4. Be amazed at the wonder of your body. No matter your size, shape, or age, your body is a miraculous temple. Observe how wondrously it operates to house the beautiful person you are.

5. Appreciate your flaws. You are part of the Great Community of Flawed Persons. Welcome to the club. So embrace your flaws as a reminder of your connection to humanity. Flawed is the new perfect.

6. Be expressive. When you are animated and expressive, the fullness of your personality shines through. What could be more beautiful?

7. Get excited. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic and excited about life. Don’t let your concerns about appearance hold you back from embracing the beauty of living. It will reflect back on you! <<< I admit that I struggle with this. Even when I get excited, no one knows. This was actually brought up one day at work. Co-founder said, “Are you going to show this much enthusiasm with everything?” *sighs* Must. allow. self. to get. EXCITED. Legitimately.

8. Break a sweat. Get some exercise. Put on that lovely spandex and move your beautiful body. Get an endorphin high. Let your hair get sweaty and greasy. Through the sweat you are shining like star!

9. Practice beautiful movement. Try ballet, tai chi, yoga or some other movement that is fluid and allows your body to respond in beautiful new ways. <<< This is my thing for today.

10. Acknowledge your inner beauty. Get pen and paper and write down all of the beauty that you do, that you give, that you create, and that you are. You are a powerhouse of beauty.

11. Show kindness. A kind person is exquisite in their beauty. It shines from them like a beacon of hope and peace.

12. Don’t try too hard. Don’t overdo it with make-up or clothes. Don’t spend thousands getting surgery. Don’t exercise yourself to death. When you try too hard, you look desperate. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you feel desperate. <<< This is my life. Easy.

13. Don’t act your age. Your age doesn’t define you or your capacity for beauty. In fact, age ripens you and provides a lushness to your bad, beautiful self! Live the age you feel.

14. Create something. Creativity is the handmaiden of beauty. Creativity is beauty expressing itself through you. Paint, write, garden, scult, cook, sew, decorate — be creative and you will feel beauty spilling out of every pore.

15. Inspire others. As the poet Rumi writes, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Do beautiful things. Live beauty. Be beauty. You will inspire others through your beauty.

16. Stop your thoughts. It’s hard to feel beautiful when your brain is whirring away like a ticker tape with negative thoughts about your appearance or age. When you are trapped in those thoughts, stop yourself and redirect your thinking.

17. See yourself through the eyes of a loved one. View yourself the way those dearest to you see you. Offer yourself the love they offer you. Feel the beauty they feel around you. <<< Now THIS is a REALLY good idea! Love it.

18. Connect with the beauty of nature. You are part of the natural world in all of its infinite glory and seasonal changes. As you experience nature, become aware of your connection to the beauty around you.

19. Listen to beautiful music. Certain music speaks to your soul. It touches and enlivens the most spiritual and beautiful parts of ourselves. Listen to Brandenburg Concertos #5 by Bach to feel your beauty come alive.

20. Make love. No explanation needed. <<< !!!!!!!

21. Wear clothes well. If you aren’t a natural at dressing to suit your body type, age, and coloring, find someone to help you find clothing highlight the beauty inside of you.

22. Hug often. Share loving physical touch with friends and family. It’s a beautiful thing!

23. Get enough sleep. You know what lack of sleep does to your appearance, not to mention your mental health. A good night’s sleep is a mini facelift!

24. Dance. Dance alone. Dance with a partner. Dance like no one is watching. Dancing makes you feel like a beautiful child, carefree and happy.

25. Update your make-up. Make sure your make-up doesn’t look dated, too heavy, or just wrong. Sometimes we get stuck in make-up ruts. An new look can highlight your most beautiful features.

26. Have a beautiful mind. Don’t corrupt your mind with ugly thoughts about yourself or others. Don’t dwell on unpleasant things. Don’t watch violence or negative programs or movies. Fill your thoughts with loveliness. <<< Good call!

27. Stop smoking. It ages your skin, it smells bad, it’s bad for you, and it doesn’t reflect self-love. Dropping this bad habit will instantly make you feel more beautiful.

28. Be outgoing, even if it’s hard. Initiate conversations. Show interest in people. Make introductions. Smile. Bridging the gap between stranger and friend feels beautiful.

29. Do physical work. If you have a desk job, sometimes you miss the beauty of a task completed with the physical evidence of your accomplishment. Do something physical like washing the car, raking leaves, gardening, etc. to see the fruits of your labor. Moving, working, accomplishing — that feels beautiful!

30. Take care of your teeth. Since you are now smiling often, you want your teeth to look their pearly best. White, clean teeth make you look ten years younger. Plus, it’s hard to smile if you are embarrassed about your teeth.

31. Create beauty around you. Let your surroundings reflect the beauty inside of you. Remove clutter. Clean windows. Add flowers. Let your home be filled with your beauty. <<< SUPER important in my life. I neeeed things clean. And neat. And clutter-free. Otherwise, I’m confused, unable to think clearly, unhappy… Not good. GOTTA keep the surroundings as I keep myself.

32. Cook a beautiful meal. Well-prepared, healthy, and delicious food prepared by loving hands is beauty for the mouth and the soul.

33. Reduce stress. Anxiety, a furrowed brow, a tense frown, hunched shoulders are all the physical manifestations of stress. Find the cause of your stress and do something to relieve it. Shine the light of your beauty on the situation. It might dissolve.

34. Exude self-confidence. Show the world that you know you are beautiful where it counts. Your self-confidence rises in direct proportion to your self-acceptance. Love the unique and beautiful person you are and share that with the world.

35. Dress up. Life has gotten increasingly casual. Dress up on occasion. In fact, be the best dressed person in the room. Wear red! Turn a few heads.

36. Express gratitude. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you have. The handful of complaints you have about your appearance is nothing compared to the cornucopia of blessings that surround you. Bathe in the beauty of your blessings, and it will transform you from the inside out.

 

Sweet list, right? What would you like to add to it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Wordless Wednesday: On the Bus

Can anyone tell me WHYYYYYYY?!Take a really good look at the seatbelt.

 

Look really closely at the seatbelt. It has been cut at the top (so there is no tension, and it just hangs), and it's not clicked into place.