People are funny.  Not funny in the knee-slapping, bust-a-gut kind of way.  People are funny in how ass-backwards they treat their loved ones versus how they treat strangers.  A person may never say a negative word to a despised boss or co-worker to “keep the peace” at work, but when they get home “keeping the peace” is not on the radar.  A person can apologize to a stranger in a crowded mall for stepping on their feet, but wouldn’t dare think to apologize to their spouse, parent, sibling, or child for stepping on their emotions.

As a society, we made it okay to “hurt the ones you love” because it’s expected.  Self-help books are written for individuals to suck up the emotional abuse and transfer a more acceptable caption to the ugly picture that is the lack of respect and love in your life.  Some self help books encourage shell-shocked people to spend hard earned money to “talk” to someone who is certified to fix you in the name of getting along with your loved ones. Well meaning people will say it’s best to forgive and move on with your life, but with the best intentions, those emotional wounds run deep and will never heal.  Our children and grandchildren will carry the emotional scars to their graves in the name of “getting along”.  This distasteful future for our offspring is born out of the young looking at the elders and learning how to cannibalize themselves in the name of “getting along”.

We can walk away from toxic loved ones and paint our world rosy in the name of healing, but as soon as a casual conversation turns an unexpected corner, you’re in tears or you’re raging like a lunatic wondering why.  I had a conversation with a good friend about the simple things in life, then our conversation turned a corner.  Someone close caused damage.  There was bravado and strong words, but the mood changed.  The world was less rosy.  Then the conversation made another turn, and wounds that should’ve healed 15 years ago gaped open and oozed tears on both sides.  As the tears flowed, I tried to find a roadmap to take us somewhere happier, but the emotional abuse sat like a grim reaper as we pretended the world was rosy once more.

If you can’t get comfort, acceptance, respect, and love from the ones you are tied to by blood and law, then where do you go?

Go within.  The wounds may never heal and the pain may continue to throb until you shed this mortal coil, but in the end as you take that final breath, know that the loved one who never hurted you was you.

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That ache that clogs your throat

And makes you wonder

If you would ever be able to swallow

Without stumbling over that lump

That makes it hard to speak clearly.

Makes it hard to be made heard

By anyone who cares to listen.

They say that they care

But it’s what you can do for them

Not what you may need from them.

You speak but your words

Fall onto ears that have been deaf

For as long as you can remember.

You are not an individual.

You are an extension of them which

They can’t control

To their consternation,

But they try

and they try

and they try

Because you are not your own

Until they die.

And even then, you are just a fractured soul

Haunted forever because you were not them.

The greatest gaslighting

Done out of “love”.

I choke on the lump

As my unseasonal rains wash my face,

my body,

my soul.

Have You Ever

Have you ever woke up
On the wrong side of life
Ready to fight everyone
Wrapped in bitter strife.
Kicking down castles
Hissing at the moon
Making friends enemies
Raging like a loon.
Nothing makes you satisfied
Chocolate tastes like sand
Insincere platitudes
Baseless, bitter, bland.
You rip away the mask
And everyone sees you.
The blazing eyes and venom
That guide you to be true.
Then that one special love
Reaches for your hand
Societal norms envelope you
“Hello,
I’m fine.
How are you?”

A fateful Vegas trip

Brought you to my door

Someone thought you made

A perfect match for me.

She was blinded by height

And yellow contact lens.

She couldn’t see the truth.

I saw the truth,

But I decided to take her cast off

And invited you inside.

It was all about fun

And games.

A way to past the time

And distract me from reality.

I could pretend I was in a rom-com.

Then you needed money.

Then you had a story.

Then your damn dirty shoes

Needed cleaning.

And you used my white towel.

No sorry.

Just a sneer.

A symbol so powerful.

A lesson learned well.

She said she thought you were nice.

She didn’t know you.

She just liked your height.

And your fake hazel eyes.

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I woke up this morning with a fair amount of anxiety because I agreed to take this little guy to a doggie meetup.  My dog is 7 months old and he’s in the full bloom of puppyhood. Every dog he sees he greats with a sloppy and enthusiastic, “Hi, FRIEND!” He loves to play and he has a hard time realizing when the play needs to stop with his human family. So spending quality time with other dogs was a new frontier for us.

My friend, who took this great picture of my pup, brought her two female chihuahuas to the park.  My pup went into instant play mode while her mature dogs were like, “Back off, sonny.  Grown ups are trying to chill.” He handled it all in stride even though he couldn’t stop himself from sniffing the bottom of one particular chihuahua.

He got some clap back for his aggressive attention, but to my relief, it was all good.  He was able to socialize with other dogs and he didn’t exhibit a mean streak.  I would like to believe that in time the puppy grapes will turn into fine wine.  But for now, I weather the challenges and appreciate the goodness in my dog.  He’s a good boy.

On January 1, 2017 I began a self preservation odyssey that centered around yoga.  I have been practicing yoga off and on for decades.  About 4 years ago I jumpstarted my yoga practice to a regular part of my fitness program because of a knee injury.  The doctors prescribed painkillers and physical therapy for my injury.  I prescribed yin yoga and became pain-free.  Once I was rehabilitated, I continued to practice yoga twice a week with some minor stretching on the days I did not do a full practice.

On New Year’s Day, I decided to do yoga everyday for a month.  I used podcasts, yogadownload.com, YouTube, and my own routines to establish a consistent practice. That month turned into two months.  Now I’m looking back at nearly 7 whole months of yoga and my spirit is lifted.  I have done this before, but the goal was to heal myself.  This time, the goal is to push past my boundaries physically and build my boundaries mentally.

This year has been a challenging year.  Many times I have found myself feeling trapped, manipulated, and punished for just breathing fresh air.  My feelings are based on real and imagined offenses, and I recognize that with an open mind and heart.  I realize a lot of these conflicts will never be resolved and some will need time to either heal or be resolved.  No matter the conflict or offense, yoga allows me to rest my mind and focus on me.  As I type this, I realize I need to get dinner ready and prepare to walk the dog.  My office is hot and the air is humid.  A flutter of a migraine is resting behind my eyes and this monitor is assaulting my vision.  But I straighten my carriage, take a deep breath, and realize before the day is over, I will take my mental and physical struggles to the map and feel better for it.

Namaste.

 

My Pinterest baking adventure had hit a road bump after the first week of June due to an uncharacteristic heatwave in the midst of California’s June Gloom.  My youngest announced that I hadn’t made a Pinterest dessert in 4 weeks which I quickly corrected with a 3 week sabbatical.  Nevertheless, I tied on my apron (not literally) and got back into my baking.

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Lazy Cookie Bars was a great way to jumpstart the baking frenzy.  These chocolate chip cookie bars were easy to make.  Using a cake mix and a few ingredients I typically have on hand for all occassions, this delicious treat became a hit.  The pan was polished off in little over 3 days.

lemon

Lemon Mousse was my desperate attempt to use up a bag of lemons sitting on my kitchen counter.  This recipe was a little fiddly for my tastes, but the results were epic.  I like to make quick and easy things.  When a recipe calls for refrigeration, pre-frozen utinsels, and any other time consuming machinations for a food that will be consumed in less than 5 minutes, I typically bypass the recipe in exchange for something less involved.

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Cherry Amaretto Latice Pie was a not-so-subtle request from my husband.  I typically make pies around the fall and winter holidays, but for DH I made an exception.  I cheated a bit on this pie and used a premade cherry pie filling and crust from Trader Joe’s. I added amaretto to the filling and called it a day.  Everyone loved the pie.  Since the liquid ratio was a little off, the pie turned out a little looser than I would’ve desired, but in the end, the slices of pie were consumed with enthusiasm and no one was complaining.

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Devil’s Food Cake was made for my youngest birthday.  The devil is in the details of making this cake.  The recipe literally disappeared on me in the middle of making this cake.  I spent a great deal of time chasing this recipe down, but the server where this recipe was stored was down.  Being in the middle of making this cake, I had to search for a similiar recipe to complete the cake.  The recipe I used to finish this cake did not use sour cream and I didn’t want to guess on how much to use, so I left it out.  The cake turned out fine.  It was one of the better chocolate cakes I’ve ever made.

keylime

Key Lime Pie Bars are to die for.  I love key lime pie.  I bought key lime juice to have on hand for this receipe.  I had a bit of a mishap in warming the egg yolks to room temperature.  I used the microwave to give me an assist and I ended up cooking the yolks.  Yech!  6 eggs later, I managed to get it right and the results made me walk my dog for 3 miles to hopefully burn off the calories.  The only suggestion I’ll make is to add a layer of minimally sweetened whipped cream on top to balance the sweet tart taste.

Dark Chocolate Chewies by Yesterfood

Dark Chocolate Chewies were the best chocolate cookies I have ever made.  I will attribute the chocolate goodness of these delicious cookies to the quality cocoa powder I bought from Whole Foods.  The best results for anything are in the ingredients.  I’ve learned over time if you use the common ingredients found on the average market’s shelves, your results will be common and average.  When it comes to the staple ingredients, always go for the finer version.  These cookies compliments coffee.

To the joy of my family, I’m back on the Pinterest journey.  In anticipation of the hot days of summer, I will try to keep my adventure to cooler treats.  I see an eggless chocolate mousse

I did not become patriotic until I was a young adult watching the Olympics.  My childhood was spent taking a knee during any patriotic displays because the United States of America and my ancestors have never been sympatico.  The European settlers of this land robbed, killed, and made deathly ill my native ancestors while being viewed as savages.  The slave traders captured and enslaved my African ancestors.  While writing the Declaration of Independence and later crafting the almighty Constitution, the founding fathers were not including slaves and indigenous people.  Later through amendments due to societal pressures, the founding fathers’ vision was forced to include a marginalized population that had yet been recognized as…people.

For the past year and a half, the election cycle unearthed an ugly, festering cold sore sitting on the  botoxed lips of an aging supermodel named the United States of America.  To many, they can ignore the cold sore and call it a beauty mark.  For others, the cold sore is all they see and they are lead to believe that America is nothing but that cold sore.  It’s distressing to watch the cold sore grow unchecked.  The bloody pus dripping from the putrid sore is festering and becoming more than a temporary illness that can be cured with a prescription from the friendly, neighborhood pharmacist.  The sore is less blemish and more unchecked herpes.

As I write this, I listen to my children talk about fireworks.  I hear people near and far set off noisy bombs in the name of celebration.  I smell the smoke from my husband’s grill.  As I write this, I think about the American flag I planted in my garden and the row of flags my neighbors have planted in their lawns. Everyone in my neighborhood would have been considered less than the men the founding fathers thought worthy of the rights established in the Bill of Rights.  But everyone in my neighborhood is gearing up for the party to celebrate the birth of this country we call home.  

So as you tip back that beer and nosh on that bbq while listening to John Philip Sousa and watching the display of gunpowder and fire, be aware that you too love your home.  If you’re part of the resistance, you’re resisting because you love your home.  If you’re marching, you love your home.  If you’re still having hopes that your guy will grow up at the age of 70 and stop tweeting like a disgruntled mean girl, you love your home.  If you’re waiting in the shadows hoping that this new land will embrace you, you love your home

May God bless America, my home sweet home.

 

 

Dumbledore looks inept

He didn’t have a clue

To distract death eaters, like the media

But he had nothing on you.

Merlin is old fashioned

He cared about tables round

Your ways of manipulation

Makes alternative facts sound

Gandalf with his staff

Bolsters warriors to protect a ring

But you, sir, want to badly go back

When climate change wasn’t a thing

Dr. Strange was a real doctor

Medicine and magic, such power

But you, a Snakeoil Salesman

Makes mole holes out of a tower.

Can this mundane world hold you?

Will this democracy survive?

Will my children have a future?

Will our species continue to thrive?

Your finger is on the trigger

No wand, no cape, no spell

You, Masterful Angry Dark Wizard

Are creating a Masterful Hell.

The Sound of Bliss

Chit chatter 

Fills the void

With words worth hearing 

If you dare to listen. 

But busy minds

With cluttered thoughts

Insulate

Isolate

Negate the spoken word.

A venomous bite and arrogant slap

Cements destiny 

And births the sound of bliss

Silence.