Monday Musings: Unexpected Hellos, the Glass Half Full, Cheesecake Babka and I Pray..

Untitled Is it Monday already? Last night, I was transfixed watching these men on skates fight for their lives. And when they won, I felt triumphant and proud even if I am just beginning to understand this game. (And yes, I now know what a power play is.). I don’t know if it was all that excitement which caused me to stay awake for most of the evening, drifting off to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. There were just too many thoughts racing through my head preventing me from drifting off to dreamland. I think I even said my evening prayers thrice hoping the angels would listen and lull me to blissful rest. It was almost exhausting trying..

Sleep eventually found me. Then I just found myself being roused by my alarm screaming yes, Monday IS here. I don’t know if it’s age, but I managed to go through the day without skipping a beat. I know — or at least, I’m hoping — that tonight will be simpler when I lay my head down to sleep.

An unexpected hello greeted me from out of the blue just as I was getting ready for bed before midnight last night. It was one of those friends who pops in and out in the most unexpected times and just sends well wishes to let you know they are thinking of you. I figured he was up watching the game knowing he was a fan and I congratulated him on the win. A simple message, a warm hug to the heart. As if the universe paused a moment to remind me I have a sea of friends out there, who continue to bless my life with their presence and friendship. (I wanted to congratulate another diehard fan of the winning team, but was unable to. So I stopped myself before I could text. All the same, I’m sure he was ecstatic with the win.). This friend said we should chat soon. I don’t know that I want to unburden my heart, but reconnecting is always a good thing, be it over drinks or coffee and donuts.

Glass half full, it is. Part of what kept me up was the dilemma of a plan about to fall flat on its face. I was so looking forward to something this Tuesday which, unfortunately, just isn’t going to happen anymore. I used to have such a hard time dealing with disappointment, more so when it was something I’ve been planning on for days. When it became obvious that things just weren’t coming together to make it happen, I myself declared the postponement to next week. Disappointed, though I was— I thought to myself how fortunate it was that I have something to look forward to. There is the following week.. and we can plan again. There is some comfort in not being the only one who is disappointed with the turn of events, but what can we do— life happens. I try to appreciate the small things— like the effort and the thought. So lunch of cheese, Marcona almonds, quince paste or jam and grapes with a bottle of cab or Pinot noir will have to wait .. it wasn’t cancelled— just postponed.

Struggling to create again. Over the weekend, my illustrator-Fashion-creative inspiration/friend, Elaine, told me I should start creating pieces again. She wanted me to make productive use of my energy and time. I did get the stones and a necklace I wanted to alter out of storage and on to the table, but I got stuck with positioning the stone but not really getting to work on it at all. I think I will try to create earrings through the week to start with, and hopefully get the creative juices flowing.

Cheesecake BabkaThat elusive Cheesecake Babka from Breads Bakery— Finally snagged one. I am “partially Jewish” thanks to some friendly influence — more by way of practice and cuisine. My first Chief something boss and the next Chief of something who both observed the holidays introduced me to the important dates. Friends have since exposed me to actual observances and food. I wear a red string bracelet on my left wrist as a token of luck, a present from the so called Wailing wall. So one of my favorite Jewish oriented bakeries is Breads Bakery which I first got introduced to via their kiosk in Bryant Park. My niece, Julia, is a chocolate babka fanatic, so much so that I handcarry the babka home to Manila every time I head that way. When I heard May would see a cheesecake babka on their shelves, I was stoked. The only problem is that they always sold out by the time I came upon their store— until Sunday. Finally!

I grabbed my loaf and couldn’t believe my luck. Definitely well worth the wait! It’s their usual babka with swirls of light cheesecake that are hardly noticeable except for the flavor. This one’s a limited offering so try and get it while you can.

These days, I’ve been praying more. While I start my day by stopping by St. Agnes Church on 43rd when I can and end it with a simple prayer before I turn in, I’ve been stopping to whisper a few words more often these days. I’m not your cookie cutter Catholic who goes to Church religiously, but I do take my faith to heart. To me, it’s an ongoing conversation between me and my God.

So I pray for my ever changing list of friends and family battling health issues, special intentions for those grieving the loss of a loved one.. that He keep my son happy, safe, healthy and whole.. and that He keep a friend who runs into danger more often than most, safe, even if he’s no longer around. I call on Jesus to keep a Jewish friend in his care, even if he believes Jesus is just one of them.

There are things that I cannot pray for, so instead I ask that I be given the discernment and the wisdom of acceptance. To let go, and to accept the cards I’m dealt. When the words escape me, I have my prayer playlist to help me be quiet in my own space and I listen. I have always lifted up my troubles and while I do not ask for a specific outcome, I ask for guidance, and as much as I can, I pay heed when I am not otherwise distracted.

Sometimes it can be a struggle, but I try. There are times I pray to my Dad who passed some 10 years ago, and to my Aunt who was a second mom to me. I ask them to hold me in their embrace and help bring my prayers up to the heavens. I offer them these people I pray for and I know they hear. And so I pray… In Church, I lift the prayers of the smattering of the faithful dotting the almost empty pews. I say, I lift to You whatever it is they are praying for.

There are times when a realization hits me and I look up and grudgingly say “I heard You,” even when I am not too happy with the message I received. And so the conversation continues. Sometimes I am the hard headed child whining against a clear message to go a certain direction, and at times I am the meek one, quietly embracing His bidding in surrender. Amen.

It’s a balance of busy and calm this week— I just go with the flow. Maybe I’ll hear that familiar text tone assigned to someone who got me into emoticons and tea. Or perhaps not. I’m still trying to make up my mind about whether or not getting those texts is a good thing or a bad thing.. I’m waiting for what the universe says. There’s next week’s do over — fingers crossed it doesn’t get postponed again.

These days I’m always bracing for life to surprise me like it did in recent weeks. Just as quickly as I was swept away, I landed back on the ground. Still, I smile when I close my eyes in anticipation of life’s next surprise.

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Pinay New Yorker says: If this is your first time reading “Monday Musings,” this is a collection of blurbs running through my mind on any given Monday, hoping to give vent to a full blogpost at some other future time. Or perhaps it’ll just be my own personal list of short anecdotes that marked recent days. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday Musings: Listening to the universe, April greetings and morning tea

Untitled While Mondays are usually busy, this Monday was busier than most.. I’m not complaining.. I think I did good today, sashayed from task to task in my pretty dress. Sometimes it’s all in the outfit.. forget that the 4 inch heels sometimes make you feel like kicking the pumps off— you plod on. And I did and I’m rather proud of my day.. I try to start the week off on a good note and just hope that the positivity flows on to the rest of the week.

The universe said, let it go. And I did. A question was racking my brain and I got my answer hours later. Did you ever pound your head senseless trying to figure something out, until you feel that you’ve beat the question to death and you just up and go. I didn’t let it get that far. I breathed deep and closed my eyes and then let if go. The answers are not always obvious or within reach, but they will come. You just have to wait..

All these April birthdays! It wasn’t only me who celebrated a birthday.. my brother on the 7th, as well as a favorite nephew and godson.. sister in law on the 18th.. one of my forever besties on the 4th, another on the 23rd. A cousin who passed some years ago was remembered on the 13th.. and a kindred spirit who was a fellow legal eagle, fan of The Bard, and someone who likes elevators like I do, also on the 13th. If only for all these people I celebrate, I’m justified celebrating throughout the month. Who says it should be one day only?

I did my first shot on my birthday, toasting me.. and new beginnings and an even better year ahead. That was an auspicious way to welcome another year being me. and a few days later, splitting a bottle of my favorite bubbly and cake and all the sweet things I am, when my fangs aren’t showing, that is.

I’ll say it again.. I am grateful. My heart is full.

So if you missed greeting me on the 2nd, it isn’t as tardy as you think to greet me for as long as it’s this month!

Art journal in limbo. It’s almost May and I have to confess I haven’t gotten anywhere with the art journal. I am still hopeful because there is so much to write about and put on paper, if only so I can remember when it’s time to go back to today some day. When I find myself wanting to go back and remember the happy times and relive the warm hugs and the laughter. I have been showered with so many reasons to be grateful.

There’s the captain with my diet Coke, the lunch of cheese, saucisson, grapes and Marcona almonds with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Those mornings someone was sweet enough to make me tea, and coached me to switch trains and just follow the crowds to the right track. Each of those lines could be a page in my art journal.. if only I could find the time to write and draw and paint again.

Finally started writing those letters again. I am way behind answering the letters received from friends— more so the ones that came with postcards to add to my collection. My bad. I have started writing the replies and will hopefully make my 12 letter goal this year. I am trying. Writing used to be effortless. It used to come so naturally. I remember those days when I’d write on anything handy and send them off to friends, one time collecting quite a bunch from a former bestie. I’ve lost most of them, but some I’ve kept. I came across this card from BFF Donna from down under, written almost 30 years ago when we were still both in Manila. I took snapshots and sent it to her and even though she couldn’t remember, the song it referenced was a very special song to us even back then.

Letter from long ago

“How was your day? “ I often wish I could answer that question in all honesty and unburden my heart, or whine and just describe what went on during the day just ended. But I simply say it was okay, or that it was busy but it went fine.. not because I don’t want to let you know how it really went, but sometimes I feel all that might be too much to hear when you’re ending your day as well. Again, in time. Just hearing the question asked is enough for now: even if it’s followed right after by a simple goodnight. It helps to end my day with a smile,. And I sleep better because someone asked the question — until tomorrow’s morning greeting, at least. These simple gestures are a warm hug to my heart.

Mondays are happier these days for many reasons, and again, for each and every one of those, I am grateful.

Monday Musings: Keeping away from the “Nega” (as in Negative)

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I am surprised that this is already the second post I’m drafting today, although this gets published ahead. I lay down in bed just a few minutes after midnight Sunday, and I could’ve sworn that I didn’t really get any sleep until I climbed out of bed just before 6am. I guess it was a combination of the long and deep nap I took mid afternoon to early evening, followed by some caffeinated soda for dinner that did me in. What was even more surprising was that I didn’t feel tired at all — I just wanted to stay in bed because it was warm and toasty. It felt like I just lay down to rest, closed my eyes, and let the hours pass by. And when it was time to get up, there I was ready to start the week.

Another cold Monday, it is. I actually quite enjoyed the warmer days last week when I even managed to wear a dress to work. (I kind of cheated by wearing leggings during the commute, with my feet warmly insulated by my winter boots.. still, it’s a brave step when temperatures can dip to below freezing later in the day.) We walked out into just almost freezing temps today — and again, I’m calling out to spring to come running to me. I want to start wearing my transition coats and sweaters… wear more dresses.. wear the heels again and put the winter stuff away.

It’s all in the delivery. One of my colleagues here at work always says that no matter how trivial or difficult a request may be, it’s all in the delivery or how you state it. I had a rather challenging day with a request for a refill of a prescription from my medical provider. I knew that a refill would probably need to come with an appointment — so I requested for one. After a half hour on the phone working with a representative from the practice, I ended up getting an appointment for May with another doctor, and my prescription refill request in the system. I was looking to get a new inhaler as I had discovered the one I had was already past its expiration date. I thought everything was taken care of when I got a call from the practice’s office, and I was told NO, I CANNOT GET A REFILL BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG SINCE I SAW MY MEDICAL PROVIDER. The prescription I was refilling was issued in 2019 for my maintenance medication to treat my asthma symptoms. Between that visit to last year’s three consultations in January, February and April, I had already exhausted the refill for the prescription. But it was NOT true that I had not been seeing the nurse practitioner. And this was NOT for a temporary ailment, but a pre-existing condition that actually made me qualify for all medical exemptions I needed.

She did set me up with a virtual consultation which was earlier NOT available, but not until Thursday or Friday because my medical provider did not do consults except for those days. Still no refill. I could go to urgent care, she told me, (and pay $125 out of pocket which was the minimum for an Urgent care visit under my insurance plan — not that that was any concern of theirs.) And why was I seeing another doctor in May – “YOU MUST CHOOSE A SIDE. YOU CANNOT SEE THIS DOCTOR AND SEE YOUR NURSE PRACTITIONER.” It’s one or the other. Well, the nurse practitioner wasn’t doing in person consultation, and a physical exam, per their own system had to be in person. The only other nurse practitioner was an uber ride away — literally more than a hundred streets uptown — when all the doctors I saw under their hospital network was 6 blocks away from where I worked. ‘YOU MUST CHOOSE A SIDE. SO ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH US OR WITH THE DOCTOR? YOU CANNOT DO BOTH!” I said I will keep both, and my nurse practitioner can renew my prescription, and we can discuss my plan of care thereafter. Said in the calmest voice when I realized I had reached my emotional limit. (I told myself, Breathe..)

BlurbBeing the writer that I am, I wrote my nurse practitioner a total of 3 messages due to the character limit, explaining in brief my frustration over what has happened. I find it so disheartening that this Nurse Practitoner Group’s main page actually declares “CARE ABOVE ALL” as its mantra. I don’t think their “ALL” equates to everyone. Let’s see what happens.

So I kept my calm instead of riding on her negativity. I was actually surprised how I managed to retain my composure given that she kept talking over me. And yes, she kept repeating I have to take a side. I think she forgot that there are insurance plans (like mine) that don’t require a primary doctor. That’s why my deductible is higher — I don’t need a referral.

It’s sad because I do like my nurse practitioner. She’s smart and takes the time to listen and explain. Why else would I forego a Pulmonologist when she has ably taken care of me for almost four years now. When a specialist was needed, she patiently explained my situation and made referrals, but I always had the freedom to choose my doctors. In the thick of the pandemic, I consulted with her at least 4 times, and I always felt I knew she was in control even if we did it virtually. Sad indeed that it wasn’t even her who caused me all this aggravation, but someone who was supposed to be helping her take care of me.

Negativity begets negativity. I choose to stay away.

Monday Musings: Waiting on Spring

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I had about a dozen ideas lighting up in my head between the last post on February 7 until today. I decided I would spend my lunch hour typing away as spontaneously as I can, even if I’m not too happy about the fact that I’m writing about my Monday Musings again.

While most of the workforce is enjoying a long weekend, I’m here with that half of corporate America that doesn’t observe President’s Day as a day off. Luckily, I remembered to check the bus website to track my ride and made it in time to catch an alternative route which involved a longer —- but very pleasant walk—- down Park Avenue. I wish I had more time to spare, though, as I was just so taken by the sculptures dotting the islands between 34th and 42nd before I ducked into Grand Central station. I have quite the 30-second clip to upload to my Tiktok account later, and I have already vowed to take a more leisurely stroll down the avenue to capture all of the sculptures. (I had to skip some to make time to say hello at my favorite Park Avenue Catholic Church on 38th).

Park avenue

Kismet. Fate – or destiny.. or the universe speaking. Perhaps it’s simply age, but I’ve learned to be more accepting of what the universe lays on my feet. For example, if I am rushing out and find that I left something, I don’t fret about it or upset myself unnecessarily. I just say I wasn’t’ meant to be on that bus, or I have to be on the next one. Years ago, I would’ve run back to retrieve what I had left behind, and huffed and puffed my way to the bus stop to try to make the schedule work. Or I would be disappointed when something I thought would happen doesn’t happen. Just not meant to be – at least not yet, I tell myself. It leads to lesser and more manageable disappointment, if at all. And makes for a happier and less aggravated me. In no longer hold promises as a pact set in stone. It will come to be, in time.

My day in 30 seconds. Just as I blog for my own personal benefit (attempting to create a written journal to go back to at a later time), I’ve taken to summarizing my day in short clips I’ve been uploading to Tiktok. Why? Personally, it’s my way to appreciate or sum up the day. From my usual walk up to my perch in Midtown to maybe a lunch or dinner, a special project, or simply something that caught my eye on any given day – it’s a quick glimpse into what transpired. Those 3-second shots or longer clips actually serve a purpose and have a meaning only I really understand. It’s been fun trying to catch snippets of my day and weaving them together in such a short clip.

Palindrome Tuesday. Defined as “(a) word, phrase, sentence or number that reads the same backward or forward,” Tuesday, February 22, is a palindrome date. “2.22.22” backwards or forwards is the same. I participated in a group swap with the Philippine FB group and offered some to swap to a handful of others. I’ve slowed down considerably the last couple of weeks and have been doing other things. Time to start putting away the postcards? Not quite there yet, and don’t really intend to.

Palindrome postcard

Sewing away. So the fabric has been cut, and I’m searching for my interfacing. I’m trying to get this project going so I can move to the next. I still haven’t quite decided on the lining but I know I have more than enough to choose from.

Where art thou, Spring? One of my favorite parts about winter is actually putting away the winter gear and storing them until next year. We are nowhere near that as temperatures over the weekend dipped to below freezing yet again. But there are warmer days up ahead, even if uncharacteristic of the season. I will take any warmer weather I can get until spring finally makes it here.

Monday Musings: Rainy Days and Ice

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It’s another rainy Monday today and I’m watching the temps lest it drop again. So last Friday, it rained and temperatures didn’t stay at 39 degrees as promised, and instead plummeted to below freezing. Long story short, I went home a bit underdressed but still warm and toasty, but suffered the misfortune of slipping on the ice a few meters from my doorstep. I almost made it but miserably failed despite my lug sole winter boots. I’m lucky that I’ve always been good at breaking a fall, even if in the end, I have a scraped knee, tenderness at the palm of my hand and at times a sore bum. I survived. I think the temperature is holding above freezing today, so I am optimistic it won’t be as treacherous a walk home as Friday’s. Spring can’t come soon enough.

Rainy Monday

Do you ever think of those people who have drifted away and have stayed away? I have a very short list of once upon a time BFFs who now literally inhabit a different world. So here I was telling myself I’m in a good place and have enough friends that I don’t feel any void in my life — when the universe comes reminding me exactly that: those that are here are the ones that matter. I don’t begrudge those who have chosen to stay away for their absence, because my world has enough love to fill my heart many times over. Those are the people who truly matter.

Speaking of which, it’s a week to Valentine’s Day. For the last couple of years, my valentine has been my little guy who had complained why a box of chocolates with just 4 truffles cost $20, yet who upgraded me to the $50 box the following year. (I’ve trained him well.). It’s enough that his phone displays me as “Number 1 Girl”, even if I had insisted on that to assert my claim to the title. He’s taken to liking some of my personal creations which means a favorite set of stackable rings and a necklace that has traveled to many places overseas with me are now no longer mine. I’m hoping to surprise him with some new pieces and maybe I can get my favorite necklace back.

Picking up the needle and thread and getting the sewing machine going again. I have quite a hefty stash of embroidery skeins and yarns to knit or crochet with, but an even bigger trove of fabric waiting to be sewn into something to wear come Spring. The yarns have been put to good use with no less than 4 beanies added to my collection. I did resist the urge to crochet scarves this year, save for a multimedia scarf I am piecing together from knit fabric scraps. (Work in progress.). I’m piecing together the pattern for this jacket from MoodSewciety, and after some adjustments, hope to cut the fabric (also from Mood) to try my hand at finally sewing something I can wear to work.
Mood Sewciety free pattern

Sending the postcards and letters on their way. I have actually slowed down quite a bit with the swaps and the Random Acts of Kindness or RAKs, but continue to add to the collection. Postcard collecting can be quite a drain on my time, and I’m trying to focus more on My Postcard Shoppe over at Etsy, which finally has a couple of items listed. As my efforts to send out holiday cards this past Christmas was an epic fail, I’ve also decided to write letters sans the holiday cards to the people I meant to send cards to. (The few who actually got their cards should feel lucky their cards made it out!). I am hopeful that since that will be over a period of time, I might actually get it all done before next Christmas. (I am trying.)

Yes, I’m pulling together a “22 for 2022” list, even if it’s already the second month of the year. Surprisingly, I am whittling down the list instead of falling short on what to write as my personal goals for 2022. Reading more books, finding that rehearsal studio and sitting down with Bach and Beethoven, taking a solo vacation (finally), doing a postcard series and finally doing the podcast, to name a few. Maybe see Billy Joel again, and tracking down some old reliables who now perform in smaller venues in far flung towns.. Daunting and ambitious but I’ve always aimed high. (Previous lists have their own menu on the top of the blog front page.)

And yes, I’m still pining for home — and hoping this year, I finally get to go home again. Quarantine requirements in Manila have been lifted, but the flights are sparse, hence the higher fares. Some airlines of choice like Cathay Pacific aren’t flying yet.. Philippine airlines still isn’t flying daily and charging double the usual fares for the period I am looking to fly. I am trying to hold my excitement over the thought of the possibility at bay, but I am wishing very, very hard that I get to go. Soon.

And yes, I’ve been bitten by the Tiktok bug. You’ll find me there as Gotham_Chick (for the Etsy shop and crafting), PinayNewYorker for all things personal and unrelated to the business, and MyPostcardShoppe for the postcard collection and the new shop.

So for now I will ride out the winter and wait for the warmer days to find me. And I will hopefully get to write here more regularly. (That had become a mantra for the last few years that I hope I can finally live up to in 2022.). There is much to write about, if only I can find the focus to sit and write like I was able to today. Fingers crossed.

Monday Musings: Another Covid Fall

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Hello, autumn. Another fall and we’re still in covid country. I’m writing this while I’m on the bus, heading to work, wearing a mask. Not the most comfortable 45 minutes, but it’s necessary.

I’m currently mulling about my booster shot. And I need to think about the flu shot as well. This time around last year, I had gotten a flu shot and a colonoscopy, and was anxiously debating about what I would do if and when the vaccine became available. I eventually got the dual jab in the spring. But back to the booster.

I know I’m going to take it– it’s a matter of when. Why the reluctance again? I guess it’s the absence of an absolute mandate that I have to. But I will.

Stumped on the sewing. My free patterns have been cut and taped together and set aside, and I’m trying to make up my mind about which one to “attack” first. I was thinking of making a cropped blazer for a wedding I’m attending in a couple of weeks — then I found the perfect velvet kimono which I think solves my problem.

As of today, I haven’t gotten it yet so I still need a contingency plan. At the very least, I might need to fashion a light lining. I’ve been warned of chilly autumn evenings where I’m headed, so just getting ready for that. I am still hoping to do at least 1 coat this season, and retire my current outerwear wardrobe a coat at a time.

A wedding in November. I am definitely excited to go and attend the wedding of one of my favorite “nephews” who actually isn’t a blood relative. I’ve known him since he was a baby and he and the love of his life are tying the knot. I am so excited to be with him at this important juncture, more so since covid restrictions are preventing his immediate family from the Philippines from attending. And what’s more, Angelo is coming with me! Soooo excited! There’s something about weddings that makes it such a heartwarming thought, don’t you think?Then add to that the bonus of doing this with my favorite date..

And so another week begins..

Monday Musings: Wet start of the week

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It’s been raining in New York. I woke up to the pitter patter of rain and grey skies. So I’m grateful that today was a Monday that I had the opportunity to stay home, instead of schlossing my way into the city. It did stop for a bit last night, affording me a chance to go and walk in the evening. It’s not quite as easy walking in rain boots but I didn’t want to punish my sneakers. That pair has served me well since I started my 10,000 steps a year ago.

Focusing on the sewing. While I still wasn’t able to fully stay away from the postcards this weekend, I did devote a fair amount of time taping together sewing patterns for two pieces I hope to work on in the coming days. I almost succumbed to getting more fabric because of a sale on sale over at Mood Fabrics, but a glitch in changing passwords kept me from buying more. (What a relief!). I’m going to do some practice pieces and see how they turn out.

I’m working on free patterns from Mood Sewciety where you can pick up quite a couple of staples. These are essential pieces that can get you going as you try to practice your sewing skills.

I’m getting on with Tom Clancy’s “The Cardinal of the Kremlin.” I have been a lifelong fan of Clancy and can boast of an autographed book, and actually having met him in person before he died. It’s just surreal listening to this audiobook which is partly based in Afghanistan and set during that time when the Mujahideen was fighting their Russian occupiers. Although a work of fiction, the book gives an insight into that part of the war ravaged history of that country which is now in crisis. It is a very emotional issue even for someone who is just a spectator many thousands of miles away. I cannot imagine the sense of fear and chaos in that part of the world right now. I try to check on developments in the news at the beginning and end of my day, and I’m not taking sides. All I know is my heart goes out to the people now caught in the turmoil in that part of the world.

It makes me stop and think and wish that people who enjoy the freedoms that they are born with would appreciate that more. And that they would cherish and responsibly exercise it, but not to the detriment of others.

I don’t want to get political. I never have, or tried my best not to. Human lives are at stake here, and any human life in whatever shape or form, is precious.

So we are off to another week– the sun is supposed to come back and bring the heat back on.. in a few days, we welcome September .

Monday Musings: Hopeful

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It’s a cloudy day in New York today. I’m not complaining. It makes for a cooler day which I don’t mind at all. The day went by so quickly. The speed with which it went by left me exhausted at the end of it all, and here I am.

Postcards on hold. I know. Trying to wean myself from the load of the hobby, and almost succeeding. It actually takes a bit of time to send out postcards– from picking the cards, addressing, stamping and writing on the cards themselves. I’m preparing a special set of cards to send away via an even more special route, but work and other plans today put a dampener on my plans. I need to focus more on the collection than the swaps. Over the weekend, I sorted my newly acquired vintage postcards over the last couple of weeks and I have quite a heap to work with. And if I’m to pursue my other passions, something’s got to give.

Outgoing postcards
Trying to resist the urge to crochet. I’m really trying to focus more on the sewing, and hopefully start on the jewelry again, before I pick up another crochet hook. It’s helped that the project I’m thinking of will require new yarn, and the thought of buying more yarn is a big deterrent to beginning the project. I have quite a yarn stash and I would rather start on a project that uses up what I have, than begin a new one which will require additional spending.

Gothamchick, the blog, will be back soon. I am always saddened when I see how few and far between my posts are, but heavily disappointed that I haven’t written anything on that side since December. THAT has got to change. I am almost tempted to totally reformat the space, but that has been around for quite some time. Another major project that needs tweaking.

So there’s my Monday and I can’t believe I’ve been writing as much as I have. Maybe the meditation on creativity has indeed provided a much needed push. Whatever it is that has stirred my creative juices, I do hope it keeps coming.

Monday Musings on a Wednesday: Pre-Fourth of July

Monday musings in paper and ink

The good news, its been only two weeks since I last hit “publish”. The truth is, I started drafting posts and just didn’t get the chance to actually finish writing any of them. I’m hoping to rectify that this week, but allow me to begin with my favorite way to round up the thoughts racing through my head via my Monday Musings. (This post got stuck in my drafts so I am publishing belatedly.)

Summer blooms

I’m not even going to whine about the fact that the last post was under the same banner. I’ve always meant this to be a bunch of short blurbs of what’s going on in my life on the day I write it. Recently, this seemed to be the easiest way to get around writing a post.

Early start of the day. I found myself getting out of bed at 5am today, and that’s really early for me. I’m actually heading into Manhattan today to work on-site, so I figured I have around a half hour or so to chill and try to write a post. I’m not really a morning person but I find myself waking up earlier than my alarm on the phone. Excited much? I think not. My body has always had this way of waking up just before the alarm rings — one thing I’m glad she hasn’t thrown out of whack! I still thrive in the evenings better than these early hours.

Getting ready for the Fourth of July. I’ve never really been big on this holiday except when I have guests to bring to the fireworks display or what not. This year is different, though, as I’ve been invited by some friends to go on a holiday weekend road trip. I’m pretty excited because we’re doing something I’ve never really done before. It was a rather spontaneous invitation and acceptance that just saw everything falling into place, and I am “in the zone” and all stoked about this adventure. Finally hitting one of my 21 for 2021 goals of taking a trip outside of the Tri-State area. More about this later.

So I’m getting my gear ready and researching the things I can do where I’m going. That’s 5 days of “me”..

All these birthdays. The last couple of days saw some very important birthdays coming to pass which seems to tell me that I have an affinity with folks born during this month. Best friends in Sydney and Hong Kong and some new friends make for a very busy month of greetings. I am blessed to have you all in my life, whether as the friends who warm my heart or being one of the rare people who give me the warm and fuzzies. The latter still makes me smile impishly at the thought, but these days, any reason to smile is something to be grateful for.

I’m off to an exciting week with promises of many new firsts I am looking forward to. More to come..

Monday Musings: Of Busy Weekends and Rainy Mondays

Monday musings in paper and ink

It’s been a while, I know.

I have a blog post on postcards ready to see the light of day, but I’m trying to get some graphics in. I keep telling myself on Fridays and Mondays that I will start writing more purposefully again, and not waste this space I have here. My Monday Musings and Friday Five sections are, after all, supposed to be the blogposts that require the least effort, but it’s been a struggle. Well, today I write.

It was a busy weekend. Since returning to work (part of the week) in Manhattan in April, I’ve also returned to my pre pandemic routines. Certain people do my grooming best — and eyebrows are a tricky matter. So I hied off to the city to visit my nail technician. While there are nearby salons within walking distance from my home, I felt a sense of loyalty to Helen and wanted to help her out as she was still not working the full week at the salon. Little things like that can mean a lot to certain people in our lives, more so during very trying times like the ones we are currently in. The best part of the trip to Manhattan on a Saturday, though, was walking into a concert of the New York Philharmonic in Bryant Park ad I headed to the bus stop. I couldn’t stay longer than the time it took for me to get a quick bite, but I sat and I listened and it was just heavenly. This is one of the things I love about this city I live in.

Saturday with the NY philharmonic in Bryant Park

Sunday at the Postcard Club and show. After their regular monthly meeting had to stop because of COVID last year, the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York has resumed their meeting and I finally made it! I made it a point to try to catch the afternoon hours as I was afraid I’d get carried away with the postcards for sale, but I think I did good. Caught the last two hours of the very light crowd, but it was nice to see how things worked. I’ll write more about that in a full blog post another time.

Sunday at the postcard show

Reading with intention. I tucked my latest issue of TIME magazine in my purse and I browsed, coming upon the recommended summer reads. I was actually tempted to stop by Barnes and Noble on 47th to check out some of the recommended titles, but MUJI got in the way. (I am actually glad I didn’t go further than 42nd or else I would’ve totally missed out on the NY Philharmonic.). I’ve been reading more deliberately these days and I think it’s help to relax me and keep my brain alert. Still in the thick of a second pass at “Without Remorse” on Audible and the English translation of “El Filibusterismo,” I think I will be able to do better than the goal of chalking up 6 reads by the end of the year.

Reading El Fili

“Sew” happy to be sewing again. I started sewing again early last week, working on cut up fabric that were meant to be masks for the return to work. I actually have enough in my “arsenal” and NY is relaxing mask restrictions in most open space situations, but I’m not taking my masks off anytime soon out of an abundance of precaution. I‘ve decided to tweak my patterns and can’t wait to wear them in the coming days. More importantly, I want to go back to sewing garments — since that was the original plan of getting into the sewing classes and getting my own sewing machine. Plus, there’s the fabric stash waiting to be worked on. Baby steps, as I always say.

Paint my world. I have been doing an online watercolor class. I was not surprised to learn that everything I’ve been doing so far is wrong. Well, that’s the point of taking the class, after all. Thank you, Nikki Traikos, for setting me right. It’s been an enjoyable journey so far and I am grateful for being able to take the lessons virtually. At the start of the year, I had set the goal of being able to do at least one class. This certainly gets that off my to do. I’ll share more later.

Back to almost normal. I’m writing this as my express bus is crawling into the midtown tunnel. Every morning I go to work, one to two times a week, I try to take pictures of Grand Central to show how light the crowd is. It is still very far from what it used to be. The traffic that has us stopping and going through the crawl this morning, though, is normal. So I’m hoping this means that there will be more people in today. Perhaps. New York is hoping to go to 100% capacity by the Fourth of July. and while I don’t think the usual crowds of workers and commuters will be back by then, we are slowly but surely easing back in to as close to normal as we can get.

The bus is making its way to the first stop on 36th and 3rd, and I must head up to my perch. The pavement is wet from the morning showers. I’m hoping it spares me a wet commute later tonight, but I’m ready. The lady in the fuschia pink trench coat came with some plastic slides to walk in, if needed, and there are my short galloshes. Almost forgot to check in with my morning health app before I badge in! Off to start my week right in pink, indeed.