Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The best things in life are free

One of the most spectacular thing that happens every day in Key West is the magnificent sunsets that begins at 5:50 p.m.  It's free for the viewing and happens slow enough for the human eye to enjoy.  

We watched the sun set from two locations.  The first was on the rooftop of  the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Duval St.  They have a rooftop bar.  If you want a bar stool and table, I recommend that you go at 5:00 p.m. 

The second spot was at the pier.  There is a bar the length of the pier that caters each night to the happy hour sunset clientele.  Each night they have several bands that play for the crowd.  I recommend going at 5:30 and getting a bench along the railing.  The color of the tables and stools were painted in bright pastels.  I enjoyed the visual setting.  

While we were watching the sun set along the pier, there was a man on a surfboard weaving back and forth.  When he came closer to the pier, he told us that he was from Cuba and thanked us for allowing him to live in the United States.  Here is a picture of him.  I love how it became a silhouette.  

When we are in Maine, we often watch the sun set.  Infact, my husband makes it a point to sit by the dock and enjoy the spectacular colors of the sky.  Why is it that during the regular week, we don't take the time to watch the sun set?  

If you have experienced a fantastic sunset, let me know where and when.  I appreciate your comments.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Freebie Lovers

I just added a link under my header called "Freebie Lovers".  I post freebies to "momster.com" which is a beta site for Family Circle Magazine.  If you would like to get freebies, check it out.  You might have to sign up and get an avatar logo. (Mine is 3boysmom)   I check most of the freebies out as I personally do not like "spam" type lures.   I hope you enjoy the freebies that I find.  Click on the pink link above and enjoy!

Note: not responsible for the freebies posted by other members of momster.com

My Heart Beats

Waking up at 4 am to see the world around me being sprinkled with fresh white snow was not how I wanted to start my vacation.  Luckily for my husband and I, though there was only one runway open, we were able to leave the tundra within a few hours of our scheduled flight.
  Once we landed and saw the beauty of our destination, we were able to relax and enjoy the sights.  I saw, met and experienced so many wonderful things. 
 The one that struck me the most can be displayed by this statue in the heart of Key West.  This is how I felt vacationing with my husband. Larger than life.  The center of his attention.  Classy, elegant and special.  This is what our marriage is all about; the perfect dance partner.  A fairy tale with pages being written before our very eyes.  We share endless conversations, sprinkled with a lot of humor.  There is love and acknowledgement when we connect with our eyes.  We are blessed.

Hopefully, many of you have moments like these.  I would love to hear your larger than life moment.

I wrote this poem for my husband in July 2009.  After 24 years of marriage, my heart beats.

I am sitting at the other end of the table.
I turn my head to hear what you have to say;
Your blue eyes penetrate my heart and soul.
I smile.
You catch my eye and smile in half sentence.
You are mine. I am yours.
My heartbeats.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crab Fest Gathering

While out in San Francisco, my sister had Dungeness Crabs for dinner.  It was so good that she mentioned it in an e-mail to us and there spawned a saturday night crab fest.  

The crabs were purchased in Boston and steamed at my sister's home.  Our friend, May sauteed a few of the crabs with ginger and scallions.  The sauteed crab had a delicious aroma and taste.   The rest of the family chipped in and brought different dishes to compliment the crab fest.  I made egg rolls and a rice with spinach and chopped chinese sausage.  

For our family, it only takes an inkling to get us to drop everything and gather.  I love how everyone chips in and brings a dish.  On a night like today, there were many other savory foods for those that didn't want to eat crabs.  I realized that eating crabs is a very social experience as you have to have patients in getting all of the meat out of the body and legs.  There is room for talking as you are dismembering the crab.  My sister was deliriously happy with the crabs.  The meat was very sweet and tender.  May's husband said that when his wife heard that we were eating crabs, she said "I'm there."

Do you have a meal that you gather for, I would love to hear about your food fest.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One day rolls right into the next.

Have you ever been so busy that one day seems to roll right into the next and before you know it, the end of the week is here!   I had that happen to me this week.  Here it is TGIF and I haven't written in days. 

In the beginning of the week, I had to ponder on whether to apply for a job position that would have been a no-brainer for me to do. After speaking with my sister, I realized that though this job position would have been easy, it would not have allowed me to continue on my path of finding new beginnings.  The decision became easy, I chose to stay with my creative side.  

On that day, with simply speaking to my sister, my new business was formed.  I am in the process of building a business and will supply more information as soon as all of the parts and pieces are put together.  Each day, I work on a few items to get the business ready.  I am filled with excitement and the ideas are flowing through my mind, endlessly.

I have met many writers on gather that are working on their book/manuscript.  I know that when you are passionately writing from your heart, the days will roll into one.  

Have you ever worked on a project that made the days roll from one to another?  I'd love to hear from you on this subject, feel free to comment below. 

ps.  I just learned that I am being highlighted on Venusity's blog click here.  She appreciated the conversation of being a "skirt" kind of girl.  Check it out as she has highlighted other blogs that you might find interesting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm a skirt kind of girl

Picture on left: Ally MacGraw in Love Story

Today it was in the 20's, very cold with no wind.  Most mornings when I wake up, I chose to wear a skirt.  Today was no exception.  In the winter, I love wearing a skirt with a bulky sweater and thick opaque tights with boots.  Depending upon the wind factor and the amount of errands that I have to run, I choose my coat length accordingly.  

A friends husband asked his wife to wear more skirts.  She said she didn't feel comfortable wearing skirts.  It is all about the comfort and what makes you feel good.   I could be all dressed up and be cleaning my home or blogging on the computer.  
What type of clothes makes you feel comfortable? 

 What kind of girl are you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Technology at its' best

This weekend my sister went out to california to visit our youngest sister.  While she was there, She was able to set up a webcam on their home computer.  We were able to talk to each other using Skype.

This is definitely technology at its' best.  Who would have thought that not only could we see each other and talk to each other, but there would be no additional cost.  If you have not yet used Skype, you're missing out, especially if you have family that you do not see on a regular basis.   The best thing about skype, is that the program lets the people on your call list know that you are on line and available, even if you're busy checking emails.

Today, my son in Montreal skyped me to let me know that he had fun on his ski trip to Mont Tremblant.  I was able to see his face and know that he didn't get frost bite, (a mother's fear for her son's beautiful face) while snowboarding during the bitter cold weekend.

Even if you do not have a webcam, you can sign up for skype and talk to your friends and family at no cost through the microphone in your computer.  Skype has the ability to do conference calls without the video portion.  Here is the website link:  www.skype.com

Feel free to share your favorite technology?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reach out and touch, somebody's hand

Traditions create the most amazing life experience.  My son is in the process of getting his confirmation. Today, his class was responsible for greeting the patrons, collecting the offerings, bringing up the offerings and passing out the bulletin.  The confirmation teacher/leader and two mother's, myself and my friend were proud at how mature the teens behaved. 

In our family, we hold hands with each other during mass, while praying the Our Father.  Tonight, five teenage boys and two girls held hands during the prayer.  The teacher was surprised by this gesture.  She thought it was endearing.  I asked her if she does it normally with her family and she said, "no."   I told her that last week my son did this with two of his friends during mass.  In a world where it is not cool for teenage boys to hold their friends hands, it is an accepted gesture of bonding while praying.

Last week, I asked him why they dropped holding hands so quickly.  He replied that his friends' hand was sweaty.  Ok, so the gesture was there and the teen boy tolerance level kicked in also.

"Reach out and touch, somebody's hand, make this world a better place, if you can...." Diana Ross

Friday, January 8, 2010

Savor the Flavor.

Do you have a food item that you don't eat that often, but when you do, you savor the flavor?   My cousin makes a seven treasure steamed dessert that evokes this feeling.  When she brings it to family parties, everyone comments how much they love the dessert.

When I go to the mall, I stop in at the Godiva Store.  They have a wonderful program that allows you to sample their chocolate selection.  In fact, if you join their free club, you can have a free sample once a month.  The other day I went in and picked a praline truffle to sample.  I forgot that I had it and today, while I was doing errands, I saw the tiny Godiva bag in my purse.  The praline truffle (dark chocolate truffle rolled in chopped nuts) tasted heavenly.  

I've included the link to sign up for the club.  Hopefully, you have a Godiva Store that crosses your path, every once in a while.  Godive Store Club  Treat yourself.  You deserve it!

Let me know your special treat that you savor.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's all about Attitude with a Capital A.

Two days in a row, my sister and I shopped at various stores.  Two days in a row, we saw employees, visibly hating their jobs. I can't imagine the wear and tear that such unhappiness would have on your body and mind. One employee was disturbed that I interrupted her stare into space to ask about a price check.  Clearly, she couldn't help me as she was too busy focusing on air.   I won't dwell on the negative, instead, I'll share what I saw and experienced at lunch.

CheesecakesMy sisters and I met at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.    As one of my sisters and I were walking in from the Mall side of the restaurant, we saw my oldest sister at the hostess station waving us in.  When we approached her, the hostess said, "Lunch for three sisters, follow me" with a huge smile.   She brought us to the table and proceeded to tell all of the waitstaff that we were "three sisters" having lunch, as if, "three sisters lunching" was a novel idea.  Her cheery approach made me comment to one of my sisters, "Did you hear what she said to the staff?  Three sisters having lunch." I said with a giggle.

Our waitress was adorable. She was patient and kind as we were engrossed in each others conversation, instead of the menu.  After our bill was paid, we continued to talk as if we were in one of our own homes. I often say that my sisters and I don't have to go anywhere special to bond, we just love to be together, any where, to talk.  Note: For those foodie lovers, we shared the mini artichoke hearts and the Thai lettuce Wrap.  Unfortunately, I never get to order the cheesecake as I am always too full from the lunch.

The waitress came over to fill our water glass.  I looked up and apologized for staying longer than we should have and told her that we would leave in just a minute.  She said that it was ok that we stayed, and I commented that she was losing out on a potential customer and tip.  She looked at  me with a smile and said, "That is the cutest thing I've heard.  No one has ever said that to me or cared. You can stay as long as you want."  With that sweet little comment, we were able to wrap-up our conversation.  My oldest sister gave our  deserving waitress an additional New Year's bonus for kindness.

It is the smallest gesture of kindness and a wonderful attitude that will get you far in life.

Share with me your snippet of people with a great attitude that has made your day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waking up to the scent of citrus

There are certain scents that give you that good old feeling. I particularly love citrus scents as I am allergic to strong flowery scents found in perfumes and candles.  

 In the morning, I use a product from Origins, called "Gloom Away." Funny how the fresh citrus scent of grapefruit can take the gloom away from a hazy morning. I use the scrub and love how it makes my skin feel.  

I also love using the Origins shampoo, "Clear Head" that is fresh and minty.  Perfect for clearing your sinuses in a hot shower. This super large bottle lasts for a year. If you sign up on the Origins website, they will send you a birthday coupon that I look forward to using every year.   (note:These products can be purchased at www.origins.com or in a local Origins store.)

Other scents that are pleasing to me are the scent of a sweet baby, Johnson's baby powder and lotion, the scent of baked bread,  and fresh baked cookies.  

Feel free to comment on the scents that are pleasing to you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

30 degrees with no sign of snow until the weekend

I'm celebrating the fact that I went outside to do errands today and didn't feel the bitter cold that a 30 degree temperature could bring.  There was no wind chill, which helped to make the day feel bearable.  The icicles along my kitchen window were melting and dripping.

While walking to CVS, a few snowflakes fell.  One landed on my eyelash.  I blinked to see if it would move and it stayed on the same eyelash and then melted when I entered the store. One snowflake landed on my cheek and gave it a tiny sting before melting. It felt like a kiss from heaven.  In March, you will hear me complain about the snow and my dreams of it all going away, but today I relish Mother Nature's gift.   What makes them drop from the sky in different lacy patterns?  Why is it so much fun to collect them on your tongue?

If you have never felt snowflakes touch your skin while spiraling down from the sky, you should make it a point to visit one of the many states that has snowfalls in the winter/spring.  I heard this morning that a town in upstate New York has over 4 feet of snow and it has been snowing for 9 days straight.    I'm sure they are not "feeling" the beauty of snow, as I am right now.

The next time a snowflake lands on your cheek or eyelashes, stop and think about the beauty.  Hopefully, it lands while you are on your way out to meet friends versus on your way out to shovel snow for the 10th time of the day.

Share your thoughts about touch with me below.
Tomorrow, I will focus on the scents around me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Giveaway: Brand New Journal

Giveaway: Brand New Journal

For anyone that joins my blog and comments here as well as on my gather article: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?grpId=3659174697259029&articleId=281474977975895&nav=Groupspace.

your name will be entered in a drawing that will end on 1/31/10 for a brand new journal.  good luck.

Do you hear what I hear?

1/3/09,  It snowed all day today and I had the opportunity to enjoy the lazy day and take a wonderful nap.  When it snows, I often hear the crack of a tree branch in the woods as the snow weighs heavily on its arm.

I heard three amazing things today that I wanted to share with you.  The first was in church, during the youth mass.  The youth choir and band surrounded the mass with songs.  It was when the two young soloists sang, that I actually shifted my seat to take a look at the girls singing their solo parts, with angel like voices.  I fully appreciated their vocal range and talents in singing.  When you hear something so beautiful, it warms your heart to the point that you stop the world around you to take in the beauty of the sound.

The second was during the homily when the priest said, "To show up and be there is not the only thing in life, you need to engage.  Do something to help, to take part."  I heard this loud and clear.  Each day, I need to do one thing to help someone else.  I know that I do this on a daily basis with my family, but will make it a point to reach out to someone else, each day.

Finally, we decided to have dinner at a local diner, "Julie's Place."  When we entered the establishment, the waitress greeted me, with such warmth, brightness and happiness.  She said "Welcome back, it's been a while since you've been here.  I've missed seeing you. Did you get a new coat for Christmas?"  My husband made a joking comment about "She doesn't need christmas to get new coats."  I was taken back by all of this, not by the words that she had said, but by the fact that I looked at her face and didn't recognize her. ( A topic that I am sure will be shared in a future post about aging and memory.) When I was finally able to absorb the words that she said; I realized the importance of being kind to people as they will remember it and will return the kindness back in the future.   Her words and actions throughout the night made for a very sweet and memorable dinner.

Feel free to comment on something that you heard that you would like to remember.
Tommorow's goal is to find the beauty in Touch.

A bit of butter, salt and love sprinkled in.

Although, this is dated 1/4/10, the experience happened on 1/2/10.  I wanted to focus on Taste, to find something that I thought would be memorable.  Too often we go through life, flying from day to day without stopping to experience life's gifts.

I had sent an email to all of my friends and family with a free 4.00 credit to amazon.com video on demand. I suggested that they watch the movie, Julia and Julia.  If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest that you do.  It is light, funny, enjoyable and a feel good movie.  Be prepared to be hungry in the end.

My sister decided to have a potluck game night at her house.  She told me that she was making Beef Bourguignon.  I suggested that she watch the movie, Julia and Julia.  She should then make the Julia Child's version, as the movie made the recipe "to die for."  My older sister decided to make "Coq au Vin" to round out the french culinary meal.

Both sister's labored through Julia's recipe.  My sister that made the Beef Bourguignon shared these words with her guests, "Enjoy this dinner as I will never be making this again.  It had too many steps and was not easy to make."   The Beef bourguignon was tender, tasty and most importantly, made with love.
The Coq au Vin, was just as delicious and again, made with labor of love.  So, is it the taste or the love put behind a dish that is important in life?  I tasted the love that my sisters poured into their dishes that made it ever more so memorable.  It is something that I will remember forever in life.

Feel free to share something a memorable tasting moment.
Tomorrow's journey, will focus on Hearing.

A New Year Already

I had wanted to start a blog and thought that the New Year would be a good time to start.  Here it is Day 4 in the New Year.  Where does the time go?

A thought came to me about the New Beginning of a decade.  I wanted to be able to share some of my ideas with you.  I hope that you will enjoy coming to this blog each day, as I hope that my words will open your eyes and hearts to the gifts that I find in my journey. I hope you will, in turn, share the gifts that you have found.

1/1/10:  Happy New Year!  Being an artist, I find my senses are open to experiencing so many of life's gifts.  Today, my family and I went to have brunch at Henrietta's Table in Cambridge, Ma.  When we first sat down, my husband said, "D, Look at the adorable girl in the next table."  She might have been 4 years old, wearing a beautiful black and white party dress.  Black velvet on the top attached to a white organza skirt.  What everyone saw next was her bright red shiny shoes.  She was on top of the world with her pretty dress and bright red shoes, that made her feet want to twirl.    I captured two important messages with this.  #1 My family knows what makes us all smile with delight.  #2 Having a beautiful dress and shiny shoes makes you want to twirl at any event.

It is through this that I thought of how I want my blog to be shared.  It is through our five most important gifts, our senses (see, hear, taste, touch and smell) that I want to share this new beginning of 2010 with you.

Feel free to share something that you saw that lighten your heart.
Tomorrow, find the beauty in Taste.