Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"....the caged bird sings.....of freedom"

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Automatic Replies

The feeling has come over me. Hopefully you are aware of this feeling and have experienced it often.
It comes with the knowledge that you are about to go off the grid for a little while.

Oh I'm sure I won't go completely, I'll keep you posted a time or two with a beautiful picture of the turquoise waters of Mexico.

But I won't think about work. I won't think about anything stressful. I won't think about lists of things that need to be done in the future.

I WILL think about life and how wonderful it can be. How grateful I am to have real friends and having experienced true love. Having an amazing family and stories that make me belly-laugh to the point of crying. And I have to add that I am grateful for my job and for the fabulous people that I am lucky to be able to work with. I consider them friends, not just coworkers.

I will read. Voraciously.

I will write.

I'll kiss my fingertips and point them to the sky when I hear my friends say "I do" again, after twenty years of a solid marriage.

I will sit quietly near the shore as the lapping waves roll in.....and roll out. I'll breathe deeply, inhaling the delicious scents of the beach. Seagrass......saltwater.....

I'll watch the sun rise. And I'll watch the sun set. Both equally beautiful I imagine.

I'll collect seashells, while walking through warm sand, squishing it between my toes.

And then, of course, I will bring back the serenity that a week of these activities always brings.

And I'll share it with you.

See you soon friend!

PS I think Breakfast at Tiffanys beachside is my most favorite.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trust yourself....and the future

While the Rolling Stones were most likely addressing the major topics of the 1960s: love, politics, and drugs, I could very easily take this phrase and make it my own. I think we all do that at times. One song can mean one thing to someone, and have a completely different meaning for another.

Life can be so fulfilling, but oftentimes the reward comes in the striving towards, rather than the end result. I told a friend once that the hungrier we are, the harder we try. I've always believed this. If we were handed everything we wished for, without having to work for it, would the purpose of each day dwindle?

Then, disappointment abounds when we really want something, or we think we do, and it just doesn't happen the way we think it should, if at all.

A favorite quote that I have used quite often is: "Map out your futurebut do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi

Instead of saying, the older I get, might I say, the more mature I become, *ahem*, the better I can handle life's disappointments. I just firmly believe that there are solid reasons why what we want, doesn't always come to fruition.

The cool thing is, the aHA moment. Ideas morphing into a completely different picture and outcome, and then, oh yeahhhh, THAT'S why that didn't work out. Usually followed with, Well I like this much better!

So if you're ever down and out, or wondering why things don't seem to be going your way, just breathe. Trust the future.

Trust yourself.

It's going to be okay, this I know for sure.

See you soon friend,

PS listening to some great music is always helpful, breakfast at tiffany's begins that way every morning!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Nothing is impossible in 2014

I love that time of year when everything slows down a little after Christmas, leaving us with a week of enjoying the decorations and lights and gathering with family and friends. It can often be a time of reflection, of the year coming to a close and the promise of a new year on the horizon. Some see this as a clean slate, and a refreshed feeling comes over them. Others see it as the time to make resolutions, promises to themselves to be better. To do better. To live better.

"I resolve to....." they say. Thinking out loud in list form, all of the things that they want to change in the new year. I see nothing wrong with this. Even with lifes obstacles, it's always a good feeling to know that we can become a new version, better than before.  

But, I want to say that I think we're often too hard on ourselves.

You can't climb a mountain, you say? That's okay. How about just going for a walk first. A brisk walk where you can clear your head, breathe in the fresh air, and get the muscles moving.

You can't quit the job that you don't enjoy because you have bills to pay and jobs are scarce these days, you say? That's okay. You can pick a few things that make you dislike your job, and attempt to change them for the better. I know this is easier said than done, but it's worth a try, isn't it? Beyond that, keep your eyes open for new positions that might open in the field that you actually want to work in. Then, of course, be brave. Submit your resume. Try. You lose nothing when you try.

You can't travel to far off countries like you've always dreamed about, you say? Because it's expensive, right? I hear you, believe me. So try to put just a little bit of money away each payday. Even if the amount is tiny, it does grow over time. Eventually you may be standing under the Eiffel Tower, looking up at that glorious "tallest structure in Paris".

Nothing is impossible.

Just be kind to yourself. You first, then let the kindness overflow to friends, family and even strangers. Relax. Take a nap! Read a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Go swimming in the summer and camping in the fall. (if you enjoy that of course).

I know people that run on full cylinder every waking hour of the day. It's hard for them to unwind, or slow down, or relax. I myself would recommend yoga, but I know it's not for everyone. Have you tried it? Get a mat, put on comfortable workout clothes, stretch, breathe....give it a go. You may be surprised at how wonderful you feel after a yoga session. And the great part of this is, you can do it at home if you don't want to go to a structured class. Try.

I'll be spending the remaining days of 2013 in the Music City with my family. Nashville is beautiful any time of the year, but especially around the holidays. The last time I was there, (2012)  I ran into the King of Rock 'n Roll, maybe I will again!

I hope that wherever you may be when 2014 arrives, that you are safe and happy, surrounded by loved ones or friends.

Best wishes for the New Year friend, it's going to be a good one!

See you soon,

PS For the latest recipe I tried for Breakfast at Tiffany's, go here:

A Breakfast Strata so delicious it melts in your mouth!

Monday, December 2, 2013

"I played my best for him...."

At my last update I talked about a friend who became very ill. I'm sadly reporting that she is no longer with us, but in a much better place, so there's comfort in that. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

I realized recently that sometimes my want to post in here is few and far between, and other times I have something to say every day. Inspiration can come from the smallest source, or on a larger scale. Then, at times, not at all.

In listening to the Pentatonix version of the Little Drummer Boy, I was reminded of how I feel sometimes.
"I have no gifts to bring" (pa rum pum pum pum)
I want to at least bring a gift if I'm going to share with you, it's the neighborly thing to do. I'm sure we all have days where we feel like we have no gifts to bring.

I've always said that some of my most favorite gifts I've received are not the kind that I can hold in my hand, but more of a gift of talent or sharing of ones life stories. A song, a guitar playing melody, a poem or haiku that someone wrote, someones fingers dancing over piano keys as if they were born to play. Or....a drummer maybe?

"Shall I play for you? pa rum pum pum pum....."

Most of the time we have to pay to hear someone play, you know, a concert or a symphony, or even a small gathering at the beach (which is way cool I might add). Or,  you can walk the streets of New Orleans and hear jazz like none other, and it's up to you if you would like to contribute to the hat or box they've placed in front of them. New Orleans is on the rise, but these people are poor for the most part. Yet every day, they get out there and play their best. There's no guarantee they will get any money at all, it's completely up to the generosity of strangers.

"I played my best for rum pum pum"

The Little Drummer Boy felt that he should say, that he was a poor boy too. The best connections I've found with people are the ones where we find common ground.

"Then, he smiled at me pa rum pum and my drum"

If we can make anyone smile, with our talents, or sharing of stories, if only for a moment, isn't that what Christmas is all about? Aren't those the important and most cherished gifts?

I was worried that the Christmas Spirit would find me later than usual this year, but it didn't. I decorated the tree and scattered twinkling lights throughout the house, and listened to some of my favorite Christmas music. These small details bring a lot of happy for me, so am now enjoying this 2013 holiday season so far, and it's only December 2nd!
I am wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season, and best wishes for the New Year.
See you soon friend,
PS I'm learning how to make Challah Bread, so Breakfast at Tiffany's has smelled heavenly of late. Try it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The treasure lies in them, not the things....

When an old friend becomes very ill, I begin devoting a lot of time in my thoughts to them. Really hoping they get better, really hoping for the best. That they don't leave us too soon. I think about their family, where they've been, and where they are going, at least, before they became ill. These thoughts have lead me to memories of days gone by. Such fond memories too. Being so young, in high school, having the time of our lives if we had only noticed back then.

You know, 'stuff' doesn't really matter. The cars we drive, the amount in our bank accounts, etc. It doesn't matter that much. What matters is people. Who we have in our lives, the relationships we nurture, those we spend our time with, our given, and chosen families. The treasure, lies in them. Not the 'things'.

It makes me sad to lose touch with friends, to then devote an entire day(s) of my thoughts to them, because they're very sick, and we don't know the outcome yet. Why did we lose touch? Is what I wonder. I know how it goes. Life becomes extremely busy, we grow up, go to college, get new jobs, move away from home....and before you know it, years have passed. It's not that we don't love our friends anymore, not at all. Life just gets really busy, doesn't it?

I just think maybe it shouldn't get so busy that we can't say hello once in a while. It just takes a few minutes to ask a friend how they're doing, if they're happy in their life.

Well, these are my thoughts tonight, as I sit and remember some great times with an old friend.

This is for Beth. Rest well friend, and continue to fight the good fight. My thoughts are with you and your family.

To you, my reader friend: call a friend you've lost touch with. I bet it will make you feel better than it does them.

See you soon,

Friday, October 11, 2013

That's what I would call a beignet....

Today I'm thinking of some favorite things, in a very random fashion.

One thing that comes to mind is a book titled "If You Give a Pig a Pancake".

I can only describe this book as just delightful. It begins with "If you give a pig a pancake, she'll want some syrup to go with it.....", then the syrup leads to something else, and then something else again, and before you know it , you've forgotten about the pancake all together. The illustrations by Felicia Bond are brilliant, and yes, I know. I'm an adult and this appears to be a childrens book. Silly rules, I pay no attention to them. This is on my book shelf at home!

Something else I like: undefeated MO football teams. MIZZOU! CHIEFS! I love Fridays, that lead to Saturdays with Mizzou ball on ESPN, which lead to Sundays with Chiefs playing at home. (against the Raiders. sshhh. No jinxing. Let's just enjoy the 5-0 record, okay?) and let's not forget baseball, Go Cards!

I seem to have missed the boat on a few t.v. shows (what's new) that I hear I need to check out. I don't have enough hours in the day, and what little I do have I refuse to give to watching t.v. 100%. With that said, I've seen the first episode of the first season of Breaking Bad, see how behind I am?, I have not seen Scandal or The Walking Dead, or Downton Abbey. I'm sure there's more. I usually give it 3 episodes before I decide if it's for me or not. So maybe by next year I'll be caught up to the point where everyone is right now, and of course they will then be watching the latest and greatest and I'll be behind again. Ah well, such is life. My point is, I like knowing that there are lots of things out there for me to watch when the mood hits. Just like books waiting on my shelf at home, for me to read, that I haven't started yet.

October. Just the entire word. I love this month. Fall leaves. Pumpkins. Halloween. Decorations, orange and purple lights, crisp air if you're lucky. I'm getting a few pumpkins so I can roast seeds tonight, this is my favorite item on the "things I like" list today. I love the smell of roasting pumpkin seeds. AND watching scary movies!

I love this word: Serendipity
'the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way'
"In general, serendipity is the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it". I can't think of anyone that doesn't enjoy a a fabulous something that they were not expecting. Of course, it must also be mentioned that I love the movie too.

Speaking of movies, I like movie quotes. I've mentioned before that I can have entire conversations with my sisters (and cousins and friends) using movie quotes. Does this make us weird? I think not. I think we're cool people quite frankly.

Sara: "Um, favorite New York moment?"
Jonathan: "This one's climbing the charts"

I like New York. I specifically like Manhattan.What needs to be done about this, though, is that I actually experience it. I mean, BE THERE. I've never been to Manhattan. Until I am able to be there, I can still say, I like NY. I want one of those "I heart NY" t-shirts. I'm the best tourist you'll ever meet, I don't care if it's touristy, if I want it, I'm buying it.

It's that whole "when in Rome" idea. For example, I just got back from a four-day vacation in New Orleans. I'm not a sweet eater, I just don't crave sweets. But, I've never had a beignet at Cafe Du Monde. So of course I had to do this at least once. I think they taste like a funnel cake, but in the shape of a pillow. A powdery white, funnel-cake pillow treat. That's what I would call a beignet.


Cafe Du Monde is a cute little cafe that serves wonderful coffee and beignets, and that's it. You won't have to spend a lot of time perusing a menu here. Just as I like it, when on the move during a vacation when trying to see an entire city in four days (can't be done, by the way).

So I'll add NOLA to my list. I like NOLA. I don't really like humidity, but Tropical Storm Karen has to be blamed for most of that, this trip anyway. Walking the streets of the French Quarter in the early morning hours was quite good for the soul.

And the JAZZ! Oh man, it was everywhere and I loved it. These people have nothing but time, and musical talent, and a great big smile to give you. I really enjoyed moving along to the jazzy beats, and turning each corner and hearing even more Jazz playing. So fun.

Does this conclude my entire list of likes in my whole life? No way. But Friday afternoon is about to become evening and it's time to wrap things up and be on my way.

I hope you have a weekend filled with many of your "likes".

See you soon friend,

PS Coffee and Jazz make a perfect breakfast combo. No, really!