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Showing posts from 2014

Happy New Year - Lessons Learned

It’s the end of the year when many of us do some self-reflection and see what the year has brought us.   Are we better or wiser for our experiences in 2014? Even if we aren’t particularly the introspective type and just want to move on, the media won’t let us. We turn on the TV and see news programs featuring the year in review. Magazines on the newsstand display highlights for 2014. Of course, we’re always reminded of the celebrities that died during the last twelve months. I just watched a news program that reviewed all the notable deaths in 2014. By the time the segment was over, I was huddled under a blanket under my bed -nothing like an overload of death to happily end the year. It saddens me every year to be reminded of my mortality and just how many notable figures of my childhood have taken their last curtain call. It all seems so melancholy as New Year’s Eve approaches and the festive holiday season comes to an end. I know

Discover a Christmas Frame of Mind

I was watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV the other night, and I started to think about the commercialism that disgusted Charlie Brown. I remember watching this cartoon every year since it premiered in 1965. The themes it portrays are still alive today. In fact, they are in hyper-overdrive. We’ve moved so far away from the original celebrations of Christmas, that it has become a whole new holiday. It is the Christmas of the 21 st century complete with LED lights and Apple Pay. It is the season of consumerism, consumption, greed and stress.   Celebrating peace, love and joy has been replaced by fighting in the mall over a parking space, punching out a fellow shopper during the Black Friday melee, and maxing out our credit cards buying gifts we feel obligated to purchase. We feel so compelled to have a Holly Jolly Christmas, that we lose the joy and beauty of the season.   Our style of the celebration of Christmas gets its origins in German and En

A Recipe for Tasty Memories

In 2001, my partner and his mother compiled a family cookbook comprised of recipes that were favorites and handed down from one generation to another. To keep the recipes together, instead of scattered in other cookbooks and personal recipe boxes – the book was created. I was asked to write the introduction to the book. I thought about traditions, special meals and how food plays a role in our celebrations. In the spirit of the holiday season and Thanksgiving, I am posting the introduction that I wrote thirteen years ago. Also, family members were asked to write a recollection of a certain meal or type of food that brought back special memories. I thought of my grandmother and how she introduced me to chicken livers at an early age. This story is also included. May the tastes and scents of your favorite foods contribute to your celebration and provide lasting memories - Happy Holidays! ____________________________________________________________________________

Candy Apple Nightmares

“Thank God for Xanax and alcohol.” That's what I tell myself as soon as I feel the air turn crisp and the leaves on the trees start to change to their bright autumn colors. It signals the arrival of fall, and memories I struggle to forget. My nightmares cling to those memories. I have woken many nights in a cold sweat reliving the fall of '67 when I was in fifth grade. I always loved the change of seasons and the cooler days. I looked forward to wearing a cardigan sweater or a jacket on my way to school, in the morning, as I kicked through piles of leaves on the sidewalk. It was exciting seeing mums blooming in vibrant falls colors and pumpkins waiting to be carved into jack-o-lanterns.   It was the beginning of the school year, and time for me to start thinking about my Halloween costume. I lived within walking distance of my elementary school. I had several ways to get there, and my mom knew the time it took to walk each route. Every morning when I lef