Friday, July 31, 2009

Indoors All Day

I work in a somewhat corporate environment. I say somewhat because I work at a college, so the students save us from our truly corporate ways. However, we sometimes get stuck inside at meetings. These meetings can last all day, like yesterday. I'm not giving away any secrets by saying that all organizations pow-wow sometimes, plan for the future, take a look at where they are, etc. We pow-wowed yesterday. We were inside all day. It was a hot, muggy and rainstormy day, so it worked out, but I still miss the fresh air.

I assured myself that I will breathe this weekend.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whipping Our Butts at Scrabble

I really don't remember if I ever played Scrabble before last weekend. I grew up playing Monopoly, in fact, was schooled in winning at Monopoly. I loved and enjoyed Uno, Battleship, Poker, Clue, Trouble (with the pop-a-matic dice!), and Trivial Pursuit. However, somehow, I never learned to play Scrabble. How hard could it be?

Well, I just found out.

Our older daughter and her boyfriend teamed up against us and showed us how the game is played. Our demise was not a pretty sight. We were buried pretty quickly! However, I now understand the strategy and am ready for a rematch.

My sister Jenn plays Scrabulous, and loves it. I think I will get online and practice up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too Hot to Handle

I slip in and out of hot flashes. I just don't understand it. I mean, I do understand the physiology, but not the timing. I can be perfectly fine one moment and the next there is steam emenating from my back. I am not a cold weather person, but I found myself longing for a cold December day in the middle of this currently muggy and hot New Jersey July. I wanted to step outside and plunge my head into a snow drift.

To make matters more difficult, our office building is large and the AC flips back and forth between sauna to cold snap on any given day, or any time of day. I just don't know how to dress. I have begun to dress in layers, but how many layers can you realistically strip off in the middle of a meeting? It might be interesting, or alarming to some, more likely. I would rather keep the unlayering to home.

I console myself with the reminder that aging allows me to become the crone, the wise woman. But how wise do i look while fanning myself furiously or mopping sweat from my brow when the temperature for everyone else is arctic?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Week of Eating Pizza

I ate pizza three times this week....and i didn't just eat a slice each time, and I did it 3 days in a row. I promise I won't eat it again for a while.

Let me backtrack for a moment. During my last visit with my doctor last winter, he told me I needed to lose 10 pounds. I went to a nutritionist (Elyssa Hurlbutt of Joy Bauer Nutrition) and was wisely advised on how to eat and how much to exercise. I followed the rules and have managed to healthfully drop the weight and keep it off. I feel good, full of energy and have a sense of accomplishment. Pizza is definitely not on the list of preferred foods, though Elyssa has not forbidden any foods, as long as they are in moderation.
Being that I am a bit of a foodie, there are very few foods I would give up, but compromise is okay with me, as long as I get what I want, ultimately. I love Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, but figure ways to get the sugar and butter out of her recipes.
Back to the pizza. So, this week, I stopped walking the walk. On Thursday, I decided I would get a pizza; not to eat it all, but to have a little bit. Thin crust pepperoni - yum. My daughter Julia had some with me, and we watched the finale of The Fashion Show with Issac Mizrahi on Bravo network, sipped a white wine spritzer - just a fun girls night.
However, I ate 3 pieces of pizza. I thought, okay, no problem. I told my husband, who decided, the next night, that it is was his turn to eat pizza with me. This time, thin crust cheese. I ate 3 pieces again. I thought again, okay, get back on the eliptical tomorrow morning and get back on the straight and narrow.
Today, I got on the eliptical, had a small, reasonable breakfast, and went with friends to the Yankee game, where I had planned on having some nice ballpark item to eat that wouldn't be outrageous at the beautiful, new Yankee Stadium. No problem. Except, we were hosting friends. My husband offered to pick up some food at the concession and I accompanied our guests to our seats. I left it to him and guess what he brought me? Wonderful, Famous Familigia Pizza. I kid you not. Two pieces. I ate them. They were good, and not thin crust. Don't get me wrong. I know I could have tossed them. I did not toss them. They were just too good. You do not toss Famous Familigia pizza.
I do not blame my husband. I actually do not blame myself, but plan on enjoying the memory of the Week of Eating Pizza. It was worth it, but I definitely am not getting on the scale for a few days!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Refi - what a sweet sounding word!

I'm sure that many of us are feeling the financial pinch. We are lucky enough to own a home, and are signing the paperwork for a refinance today. After the financial craziness of the past couple of years, we wondered how we would fare in the refi market, but, remarkably, there is a bank out there that still thinks we are a good bet and a steady customer. A couple of years ago, you practically tripped over the deals that were being offered by just walking down the street.

We have friends who got tripped up in those and ended up losing their homes. What a crime!

For the time being, I am just glad that we will get our monthly nut down, even if just a little bit. With two big doggies to feed, every bit of kibble helps!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One man's take on his struggle with food from NY Times Food Editor, Frank Bruni

I Was a Baby Bulimic
Published by The New York Times: July 15, 2009

I have neither a therapist’s diagnosis nor any scientific literature to support the following claim, and I can’t back it up with more than a cursory level of detail. So you’re just going to have to go with me on this: I was a baby bulimic.

Maybe not baby — toddler bulimic is more like it, though I didn’t so much toddle as wobble, given the roundness of my expanding form. I was a plump infant and was on my way to becoming an even plumper child, a ravenous machine determined to devour anything in its sights. My parents would later tell me, my friends and anyone else willing to listen that they’d never seen a kid eat the way I ate or react the way I reacted whenever I was denied more food. What I did in those circumstances was throw up.

I have no independent memory of this. But according to my mother, it began when I was about 18 months old. It went on for no more than a year. And I’d congratulate myself here for stopping such an evidently compulsive behavior without the benefit of an intervention or the ability to read a self-help book except that I wasn’t so much stopping as pausing. But I’m getting ahead of the story.

A hamburger dinner sounded the first alarm. My mother had cooked and served me one big burger, which would be enough for most carnivores still in diapers. I polished it off and pleaded for a second. So she cooked and served me another big burger, confident that I’d never get through it. It was the last time she underestimated my appetite.

to read more of this article, click on the link or cut and paste:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CW Among 3 NY State Nominees for Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

3 New York Employers Named as Semi-Finalists for 2009 Freedom Award
3 New York employers have been selected as Semi-Finalists for the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the U.S. Government’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is significant because only members of the National Guard and Reserve or their family members are eligible to nominate their employers for the award.
Semi-Finalists from New York include Verizon, the College of Westchester and the County of Suffolk.
The 3 New York employers are among 131 Semi-Finalists from across the nation, selected from more than 3,200 nominations submitted by National Guard and Reserve members or their families for outstanding employer support. From this field, a national review board will select 35 finalists for the award. A national selection board comprised of senior defense officials and business leaders will then select the award’s 15 recipients. The Department of Defense will announce the 2009 finalists in June and the award recipients in July. The 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., September 17th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Center.
About ESGR
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. We recognize outstanding support, increase awareness of the law, and resolve conflicts through informal mediation. For more information, please visit
About the Award
The Freedom Award is a Secretary of Defense award which was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. Previous recipients include American Express, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Sears, Home Depot, the State of Tennessee and the Winner School District of South Dakota. For more information, please visit

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Changing Colors - Just Listen

Have you ever noticed how changing a color can change your mood? About a year or so ago, I worked with a very talented grad of The College of Westchester, Jessica Perilla, who has her own web design studio, JPD Studios, in designing my website. I love it and it makes me happy to look at it. However, I recently decided that I needed to change the colors. It is still the original colors, so if you look at it, you will see that the colors are all light and airy. However, I decided that I wanted it to be warmer, somehow. I decided it as easily as if I had wanted to change outfits. It was a deliberate and swift decision.

I love when inspiration comes quickly and definitively. I was glad, more than anything, that I was listening and felt it as certainty in my bones and in my heart.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Feeling Left Out – Out is a Good Place to Be

Melina, Catie, Julia, Jess and Chris outside of Uncle Wil's Pancake House

I walked into the house, beginning to consider writing a blog. I’m at the shore for a short bit, with my daughters and their friends. After we finished our favorite dinner of wings at Chicken Or The Egg in LBI, NJ, the kids (all in their 20s) decided to take a stroll, pick up some fudge, check out the local amusement park, etc. I drove home alone about a mile to my dad’s beach house, with a bit of time on my hands. On my way home I drove by my sister’s house and noticed flowers that were planted in her planter, that look so nice. (They have renters in right now so she is not there.) I realized that the flowers are the same as the flowers one of my other sisters had planted at my father’s beach bungalow, where I am staying.
As I arrived at my Dad’s empty place, where we all are lucky enought to take turns using his house during the summer, I mused on various topics I might consider writing about. Walking up the stairs to the front door, I was reminded of my brother who has repaired little things and big all around the place, and my brother in law, who is handy too. I thought of my youngest sister who has left her mark in the home too - the hot sauce in the cupboard. I started missing them all. My husband is driving down to meet us tomorrow morning, but for tonight I am left with my own thoughts.
I start thinking about my daughters, the oldest of the cousins. They are must a bit older than the rest of the cousins, and photos pepper the house – some of my girls when they were younger, and some photos of the rest of the cousins, all together. I can see that they are having some good times together. I know it is no one’s fault, but I’m feeling left out – for myself, and for my girls.
I’ve been hearing from my siblings that they have all been down visiting with each other, cousins on the beach together, enjoying the family. When my girls where little my mom was still alive. Mom and my youngest sister Jenn spent a lot of time at the shore, in this house. My next youngest sister Karen would babysit Jenn, and my dad would drive down on the weekends. I was working for my dad and rarely took time off. My girls and I treasured the little bit of time that we could come down to the beach, but it was so different. Now it is quiet. When we did manage to get down to the beach it was often when no one else was visiting. My husband travelled quite a bit so it was rare that he ever came down with us. My sisters had no children at this point so they worked all the time. Now the tables have turned, but they have each other. I’m really happy for them, but I do feel a bit left out. Also, I'm working at the office quite a bit more now.
On the other hand, four precious days to spend with my daughters is a treat I still savor, and from what they tell me, so do they. We have our own traditions and rituals of the summer. That’s enough for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wake Up to Yourself!

Do you ever have these moments of waking up? I hope so. Some people call them a-ha or lightbulb moments. We all have them, but are not always awake realizing that we are in our moments of clarity. This afternoon, I had one of those moments. I realized so much about what I truly need to take care of myself, why people are in my life as my healers. I need to stop living in fear and tentative self and embrace the love and assistance that is coming my way. I am on the verge of great things.

What does waking up mean? It means living in the present moment. We can only affect where we are right at this moment. Where do most people live? They live in the past or in the future, but we are powerless to affect only the present moment. We can overcome anything if we accept and embrace our innate healing power. We are meant to be healthy and whole.

How do these moments happen? I have found that when we give ourself space to meditate or be quiet, be on our own, hear our own voice, listen, that we are able to actually hear our truth. We truly do know what we innately need to live and thrive in this world. We can nurture our essence, which is our spirit. This nurturing of spirit is not the same as practicing a religion, though some people practice connecting to spirit in this way.

Wake up!