Monday Musings: Brussel Sprouts, etc.

Monday musingsTrying to get the ball rolling without reinventing the wheel, so to speak.  Back to my old staple Monday post of short blurbs that don’t necessarily focus on any particular theme.  I try to list 3-5 (or more) blog worthy thoughts that would make for a paragraph or two, but not quite a whole article.

Early start.  My Monday started out rather early at past 4am when my body clock (or the extreme heat in the room) woke me up.  I have a small fan beside me which is usually off and I switched it on and tried to go back to sleep without much success.  Perhaps it was my subconscious mind reminding me I didn’t turn the alarm on my phone on, or I could just be plain excited to start the week.  I loved the long weekend but sometimes a staycation tends to wear you down.  I did get a lot accomplished so I am happy, and I’m all set for the week ahead.  Besides, I always enjoy the quiet and the stillness of a sleeping house.  It actually helps me to focus on centering my thoughts and starting off the day on a more balanced footing.

Brussel sprouts, my new fave.  I was one of those kids who would refuse to eat vegetables but was forced to.  As I grew older, I developed an acquired taste for certain flavors, but I knew I would never be a vegetarian.  While I try to stay conscious of my friends’ dietary restrictions, I also tune in to likes and dislikes when I get the chance to dine with them.  Earlier this year, a friend turned me into loving brussel sprouts when I was deciding on my birthday luncheon menu.  I only had two sides, and brussel sprouts became one of them. I got hooked.  So this weekend I cooked up a meal of fillet mignon steaks and picked two sides from the grocery deli — one being the roasted brussel sprouts.  Even with no frills, it’s a filling flavorful dish to accompany any entree.  I swirled it in the pan juices of the steak to heat it up and it certainly made for quite the delectable pair to my choice cut.  Try it!

Slouchy beanie crazy.  I have a full post on this in the works on my craft blog, GothamChick, but I have yet to finish it.  Sometimes, waiting for the right graphics can really delay me, but I’m trying to get this going.  I’m on beanie number 4, this time for Jared, the son of girlfriend Lisa, and I am planning to start on beanie number 5, number 4 for me.  I finally have hair long enough to pull it off and I like the way a slouchy beanie will keep you warm without the threat of hat hair!  I’m currently adjusting needle size to the yarn used, and while I have been undoing stitches all the way to the beginning, it’s an easy enough pattern to adjust and play around with.  Temperatures are dropping and rising in NYC these days, so I always have my hat and gloves in the bag just to be sure I’m all set.

Reading on.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have been so bad with my goal to read 6 books this year.  I am still crawling through my first book, which was one of the gifts I got in April.  I’m hoping to finish “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro in the next couple of days and get that list moving, even with just little steps.

Another post to start the week off right.. keeping my fingers crossed I can keep this going..

Thankful (2016)

I have been floating around the web but not really quite here to finish a post.  I look at my draft box and see a slew of articles in the works, but none quite good enough to publish just yet.  So don’t be surprised if one day you find 5 or so posts published one after another.  There are as many and more in the works.  This time around, I am promising to hit “publish” in one sitting, graphics or no graphics– with on-the-spot edits.

I have been writing, but life in general has been grabbing me in so many different directions I have had a difficulty focusing.  Well, apparently, save for the annual thanksgiving post I usually get to write.  It helps that I had an instagram post on this which has inspired me to just expand on that, if only to keep with tradition.

I have never really been big on Thanksgiving, and being where I am right now at this point in my life has put major celebrations on hold — at least until that time when I can move on to the next phase unencumbered.  But while we don’t really celebrate this in my home, I can say for a fact I do celebrate it in my heart.

I have always been an advocate for everyone taking the time to stop and appreciate the blessings that one has in their lives.  I think a lot of people live in a perpetual state of unhappiness or sadness (two different things!) because they refuse to do just that.  One of the lessons of recent years I have taken to heart is that acknowledging that which you have will help you get over that which you don’t.  And here I speak both of material and non-material things, and yes, even people.

I skipped writing on Thanksgiving day itself as I got messsage after message greeting me with all these well wishes.  For all the messages I got, thank you.  The most heartwarming was the one that said “when I count my blessings, I count you twice.”  There are those people who shower us with so much love and affection that their very presence gives us reason to be happy.  And truth be told, sometimes a simple acknowledgment is all it takes to give that person a hug back.  For that hug to the heart, I am most grateful.. because that lets me know that though much is left unsaid, I am special.

And although I give thanks for having him in my life everyday, I am forever grateful that I have my (not-so) little guy to hold my hand.. who can hold me shoulder-to-shoulder now as we walk and who always looks at me with such love and affection, saying “Mama, you’re so sexy!”  

I am thankful for the scale that tells me I’ve been good (yay!) — ready to move ahead and try to push myself further to break my constant plateau.  Two vacations this year to Fiji and Manila made me gain over 10lbs each time, and trying to push that down back to my usual weight has forever been a struggle, and I’m happy my efforts have paid off.

Everyday, I am grateful for the family that may be on the other side of the world but whose love is just a heartbeat away.. for friends who make me smile and who assure me I’m okay right here where I am.  I have been lucky to have the right people in my life right now — who, even when we don’t see each other or keep constantly in touch, are always there.  I have selfies and photos galore, snippets of laughter and twitchy noses in my mind which surface time and again to remind me I have much to be thankful for.  People who will pop in with a sweet hello or a morning text with a virtual hug — which always helps me start my day right.  Or a simple “GM” before getting on with their own respective crazy days.

Being so far away from home (Manila) used to be so heavy on the heart when the homesickness crept in, but the past months have found me meeting new friends and reaffirming old friendships — making my place on this side of the world just a little cozier.  Be it through the sewing classes or through drinks or lunch, we connect and stay connected.

I celebrated my 50th birthday in April with a dozen guests who were the people who truly mattered– and who made my birthday a meaningful celebration.  It started a yearlong celebration of thanks for all that I have and continue to be blessed with at this point in my life.  There were those who weren’t here but who meant as much, if not more.  Their presence in my life continues to keep me going, even if they are just there– in my heart.

And I am grateful that there are people who have touched me in a myriad of ways that have helped me to know myself better– be it for words that were said, experiences shared, or simply for walking in ever so casually and changing the colors in the frame just by being in it.  For those simple acts of kindness like a message scribbled on a piece of paper,  or a warm and tender touch to say I’m okay, I say thanks.  It has made the ride more fun and interesting, and has given me something to truly smile about even if only but for a fleeting moment.

I am grateful for each day that promises me a new beginning, no matter how chaotic my world may be at any given time.  In the silence of each morning as I wake up before everyone in the house does, I try to frame it as a fresh start to try and make things right, or to continue to go on with whatever is good in my life.

And although I wish I had more time and energy to write, I am thankful for the gift of words to say thank you to those souls who make my otherwise ordinary life simply fabulous by being a part of it… I know I am blessed many times over, and every day I live I try to cherish that which I have and let go of the things I can’t and don’t– Thanksgiving or not.