Friday, November 27, 2009

I need a turkey...

Just spent a great Thanksgiving holiday in Boston with friends. Usually I cook. I just could not quite pull myself away from the concept of having a bird, cooked at home. Dudley Moore (God rest his hilarious soul) said, in Arthur, "I love a chicken cooked at home". I love a turkey cooked at home, so, I will rinse and stuff the now brining bird with some aromatics, create a bunch of side dishes and serve it to my husband, daughter Julia and however many of her friends decide they want to eat. If you are reading this, you are invited. Saturday, 5pm. Yum.

A Different Turkey Day

We had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving at one of our daughter's boyfriend's parent's homes (how's that for possessive). It was a wonderful mix of friends, family and great food. It was very nice to be included, and a day for everyone to enjoy each other and ooohhh and ahhhh over the many wonderful dishes created by our hosts and each other. What fun! I know it must have been work for Chris' dad and stepmom, but they were mellow and smiling throughout. Apparently they have been doing this for almost 40 years, in varying configurations. What a fun crew. Our daughters Jess and Julia were with us, and Jim and I.
It was also interesting to be a guest instead of host. It was alien for me to stay out of the kitchen for most of the day (though I just had to help clean up a bit). I made spinach pie and pumpkin/banana pie which people raved about. This was a nice revelation too, as I guess we begin to take each other for granted year after year of pouring over a hot stove without much recognition. Not that I was looking for attention or plaudits - just nice that people notice when you put love into your food. There was a lot of love in a lot of this Thanksgiving's food.
I also enjoyed meeting so many new people. After so many years of spending time just with our extended families, this was an interesting change. I don't want to exchange experiences, but this Thanksgiving brought a fresh perspective on how we need to acknowledge and appreciate one another.
As I said in an earlier post, quoting Abraham, act as if... Act as if this is how you are already being treated. For me, that means to model behavior I most value, by truly appreciating the people who are in my life. I would like to make a list, but at the risk of outing all of my loved ones who may not want to be listed, you all know who you are! Husband, daughters, father, sisters and brother all, friends and coworkers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give Thanks for Adam Sandler Singing his Thanksgiving Song

When we think of all the things we are thankful for - I always add Adam Sandler to the list...enjoy (sorry for the Tide ad in the front - where is fast forward when we need it?)! And while we are at it - thanks for Charlie Brown and Snoopy too and for TIVO!

Monday, November 23, 2009

10 Years Since Jeanne

My mom passed away 10 years ago today. As I've talked about in earlier posts, she had breast cancer first, then ovarian cancer. She was only 61. She was first diagnosed at 53. She was a young woman, too young to go. I miss her every day.
Jeanne was one of a kind. If you were talking with her, she would draw you out and talk about everything that was on your mind. You would feel as if someone had finally heard you. I would see this in social situations over and over again. People loved her. This may sound a bit morose, but so many people filled the church at the funeral Mass that we barely fit, and the cars from the church to the cemetery stretched out 1/2 a mile, from hill to hill on Route 17 from Upper Saddle River to Ramsey. It was quite a sight.
Even as she was struggling that last day, she had a definite opinion and sense of dignity that she insisted be respected. She died on hers and my Dad's 42nd wedding anniversary. That morning she said to me, "has your father ordered flowers for our anniversary?...cancel them." Though it was so saddening, that was my mom. She knew she wouldn't be needing them. We even had a little smile about her deliberate decision to cancel, even while we knew why.
The day before she died, she was up in a chair, holding court with me and my siblings at the hospital. I always wanted to bring her food that she liked, but that day she just wanted to laugh and talk. We had a really good visit. Then, I guess, she was done. By the same time the next day, she had left.
My dad, siblings and I are really lucky. She worked hard to make the holidays and our birthdays special. She taught us well how to continue to do this for each other. Spirituality was very important to her, and while we all embrace the spirit in our own way, we all feel comfort in never being alone. In that way, Jeanne will always be with us.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Act As If

I don't usually post other posts in their entirety, but this one seemed especially, well, special. We are all about human connection, but so often we are disappointed because the connection is not quite the way we would hope it to be. Remember that we are all imperfect in our humanity, so we just don't always get it right. However, if you just let go of trying to control the relationship and just work on your part, that is enough. The positive feelings, vibrations, actions dominate and override the negative. Stop reacting and be proactive. Act as if....just give it a try and have patience with yourself.

Daily Law of Attraction Quotation

You don't have to worry about what their vibration is if your vibration is one of connection. Because if your vibration is one of connection -- you're going to dominate the vibration. This is the way you learn your relationships. The thing that most people do not understand, is that you get to control the way you feel, because you get to choose the thoughts you think. Most people think that they only have the option of responding to the circumstances that surround them. And that's what makes them attempt the impossible, which is to control the circumstances around them, which only feeds their feeling of frustration and vulnerability, because it doesn't take very much life experience to discover you can't control all of those circumstances. But you can control your vibration. And when you control your vibration, you've controlled everything that has anything to do with you.
--- Abraham

Excerpted from the workshop in El Paso, TX on Thursday, March 28th, 2002

If you are so inclined, check out the daily blog of Abraham, maintained by Esther and Jerry Hicks at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

After Miss Julie - After HIV

I unexpectedly found myself with a full day on Saturday. First some wonderful clients in NJ, then visiting with a friend in Peekskill, then visiting my daughter Jess in NYC. It was a bit of a gloomy day, and as I wound my way up to Peekskill via Rt 9A/9/9A (?), I found myself searching the dial for appropriate music. I settled on Jonathan Schwartz on WNYC 93.9, with Saturdays With Sinatra program, which fit the bill perfectly. The Sinatra performance that struck me most during the drive was "The House I Live In", about being an American, and how we help each other, the strength we have as a people, recorded at MSG in 1974. During one of the commercial breaks, a play called After Miss Julie was advertised.

After Peekskill, I skipped down the Saw Mill to Manhattan to visit Jess. We we wandered around midtown, 42nd Street, through the throngs, and found ourselves in front of one of the Broadway theaters just before dinnertime, and were able to buy rush (inexpensive, last minute) tickets for $21.50 each, have time for a bit of dinner and back in plenty of time for After Miss Julie. What a nice coincidence. The American Airlines Theater hosts the Roundabout Theater Company.
/aat/index.htm?gclid=CKbH2b6Ikp4CFUlo5QodhlYsoA After Miss Julie, based on Strindberg's Miss Julie, and written by Patrick Marber, is set in 1945 England, complete with class stratification and period music. Down and dirty little story about how class affects life, and worth checking out.

It is also one of the two periods of the year that Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids solicits donations for HIV/AIDs research. Give it up - we are making progress but have quite a way to go. Consider making a donation or shopping their online auction. It was interesting to me the parallel between class stratification then and now, weaving in the Sinatra songs, and the access that class gives to medications for HIV treatment, as well as the people who are the fastest growing population to contract HIV, improverished women of color. Help stamp out AIDS.

Friday, November 6, 2009

On the Bus - Or - Be Careful of the Bus You Board

I went to Disneyworld last week. Correction - I was in Disneyworld for a corporate retreat. The weather was nice. No complaints. I had a lovely room, great weather. But lets backtrack for a moment. Our organization had made special arrangements for Disney's Magical Express, a bus service that picks up your bags from baggage claim and takes you to the front door of the resort you will make home for the next few days. Sounds great, yes? And mostly, it is. It is extremely well organized. Everyone is very pleasant and Disney understands crowd control. Did I say crowd?

While still at the airport terminal, I was told to go to a special part of the terminal to board the bus. There were hundreds of people on line before me, however, in the usual Disney fashion, the crowd control was exceptional and they were able to put us all on lines for buses going to the individual resorts as fast as you could say Jiminy Cricket.

I found myself getting into that waiting on line mindset that happens when you really don't have much choice, unless you want to grab a cab and pay the $60 or so. I could have done that, but I had already resigned myself to the line. First clue to giving it up to a greater power - in this case, Disney.

On the bus itself, a version of Radio Disney plays. First Shania Twain, then The Police, then Brickhouse, of all things, then Michael Jackson. I was a bit confused by the musical selections, but figured it was the something for everyone version of music programming. I think that the confusion was a form of relaxing the mind to get it ready for the total Disney immersion. As an hypnotherapist, I know that when we occupy the conscious mind, the subconscious opens up and becomes more receptive. I could name a thousand things at Disney that could put you in that receptive mind-frame. Be careful of the bus you board, and what you become receptive to.