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Mid Life Crisis-sing

4 Oct

Just so you know, right off the cuff, I am not near my mid life, therefore I cannot be crisis-ing about it!  It so happens that the women in my line live forever.  Therefore at a mere, 42 years of age, I am not even close to the mid-line.  I am, however, in a mid-of-something cri-song.  No, I have not been studying Dr. Suess in preparation for this post.  I am, I suppose, a natural devotee, of sorts, to the great doctor and my method of thinking probably reflects my “Hop on Pop” view of things.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Not “Hop on Pop”, but worthy material just the same!

Now back to my Cri-song…  Within my not-so-mid-crisong is a new state of poverty (not an actual state, merely a line on a governmental census).  It is the happy reliance upon a benefit check which tides the family budget over, “just enough.”  This is not so bad, the state of “just enough.”  For I find, actually just discovered this morning, that my silver jewelry is shinier within the present state.  I even think I have MORE jewelry now that we qualify for assistance (not really, it is just that I have opened my jewelry box to investigate its contents).  In fact, I have re-discovered jewels that were previously considered, by me, not worthy of my standard.  However, they now present themselves within a new light.  And with this new perspective comes sparkly goodness upon my fingers, my ears, my neck, and my wrists.  Oh La Lah!

Silver and Crystal Necklace

I do believe this was a gift I received for my Bat Mitzvah, a sliver and crystal pendant.

In my previous jewelry wearing persona, I carefully and simply would only congregate like metals.  Thus, yellow gold with yellow gold, and silver matched only to other silver–or white gold with white gold only.  NO MORE…  The new Cri-song demands all sorts of metal be mixed and interwoven (or twined) with other metal.  And what I considered, beforehand, to be gaudy and overbearing, is now placed upon my appendages and worn with triumphant fervor.  I am resurrecting jewelry from my Bat Mitzvah days, and wearing it with the gargantuan Granny rings that have somehow made it into our repertoire after loosing Brian’s mom and Granny to the call of Heaven (through Brian’s mom we inherited a few Granny pieces).  I have even rediscovered a Cartier bracelet I was given “way back when”, which might boost me into a more affluent social class should I have it on.  You know, it might help the nouveau riche overlook the fact I carry around a vintage, patent leather purse which I recently purchased for $12.oo from the Discovery Thrift shop.

Vintage 1950's Purse

Nice and Shiny

Yes, the Cartier I must begin to wear again.  Which means I need to find the golden, flat head screwdriver which came with it (Heaven forbid I utilize anything other than the golden screw!).  Wow,  I did a Google search, just now, for a bracelet like I described, and I learned that the bracelet has “been seen on all the hottest celebrities”.  Oh no…and now I just looked up the value of said bracelet and my husband and I looked at each other and said, “MY oh MY, we must sell it!”  And then we laughed, for which is more important, to follow the example of “all the hottest celebrities”, or to have cash in hand to buy some fresh milk…  Decisions, decisions, decisions! 🙂  Ok, now that I’ve taken you (and me) for a ride, the truth of the Cartier, as I remember it, is it is a “knock off”, not the real thing.  Which means I would probably have to pay to have someone even look at it!  Aaaahhh more Cris-songing.

“So what is the point of all of this rhetoric?”, you may ask.  Well you might not ask, but as I write I am most certainly asking myself, “Rivka, what is the point of this post?”  The point of this post is to illuminate my best intent on blooming where I am planted.  It is merely one in a series.  For example, the post about my Raleigh bicycle and me, is to showcase my utilization of what I have, where I have it, and the fulfillment which comes from investing in my imagination.  As opposed to bemoaning the loss of travel opportunity I am currently enduring (used loosely, enduring is a bit too heavy handed an adjective).  Blooming where I am planted means waking up thankful.  It means my little world of Southern California can fulfill my hearts desires, if my heart and mind are in the right focus.

For instance, Brian and I went sailing about a month ago.  Out at sea, I turned toward our shoreline and the area south of us looked just like the photos of a little town in Greece I have always longed to visit.  And in the spring, when the hills are green and the air still crisp, I take a ride in our 1927 Oakland, alongside my beloved, and the picturesque beauty of nature is reminiscent of the green hills in Ireland I have admired from photographs featured in my favorite Atlas.  So you see, the jewelry bit is merely my funny way of having fun…not to be confused with “having funds!” 🙂  It is blooming where I am planted.  And the blooming part equates to:

  • an attitude of thanksgiving
  • utilization of current possessions
  • resourceful inclinations
  • perspective alterations
  • imagination expression

So practically speaking…

Today I will utilize the above formula and transform a “shit load” of ground beef, which was given to me by a dear friend (by way of a charitable food organization), into several, and I might add, very palatable, meal choices.  In all honesty, I have never…let me restate that…NEVER, purchased so much ground beef in one sitting, as I have awaiting my, “good attitude,” on my kitchen counter.  For it, I am most grateful.  And who knows, I might even have a moment to spare to head over to the Pacific Ocean, which if I do have time to do, will double as the Carribean Sea (this time).  Enjoying life, where I am…today.

1927 Oakland Racer P.s. I must give credit to Kana Tyler who, by way of her own blogging style, has inspired me to insert photographs into my posts.  Her blog, http://www.kanatyler.com, frequently has “eye candy” in between her prose.  And I find, for an ADD type girl like me, the photos help guide my way through the words.  “Thank you, Kana.”

Choosing My Stride

5 Jul

I had thoughts of writing a post about where I stand in the gluten-free diet regimen; the migraines, and how my junk science is panning out.  In fact, in the past week, I have concluded almost daily to write a new post with regard to the dietary subject–to no avail.  Yet, I ask myself (and you as well), how can I write a post on what now seems a frivolous subject when I have had heavier pressing matters before me?  I mean really, it doesn’t make sense to take to the black keys and formulate an anecdotal strategy for myself and share it with all of you when I have the effects of domestic violence present in my immediate path along with the continued health trauma of my son.

No, the glutton of the gluten must be cast aside.

My son?  Well, we meet with a specialist tomorrow who will hopefully initiate the diagnostic process to put him on his way to a better quality of life, within his newly disabled quality he is presently entertaining.  More to come on that as it pans out.

The domestic violence scenario?  A sad, and unfortunately, not so unfamiliar tale.  There are many a woman who have endured the tumult brought forth from the psychological and physical effects of brutalization within the home.  Not to mention the children who bear witness to, as well as endure, the cycle.    From my observation, if a woman (and offspring) can get out of the situation early on, she (and them) have a much greater chance of breaking the pattern and developing a healthy relational perspective.  The longer the lady is in the bloody mess, the deeper the damage–to all parties–and passing the sickness onto the heirs becomes more probable than had the violent interaction been eradicated within the formative years of the relationship.  And believe me, verbal bullying equates to violence; so let it be written that verbal and physical abuse share similar platforms of destruction.  I have been witness to this truth and will not back down on the statement.

So how can I come to my blog with tidbits about wheat when I have just left the office of a high profile criminal attorney who was referred to me through a connection from my friend, Tanya Brown (younger sister of Nicole Simpson)?  I mean who cares about grains when a childhood friend, and her children, have been subject to such despicable acts of violence that now, in despair, are requiring legal representation due to false allegations from their perpetrator.  …a story Tanya and the Brown family know too well and again, unfortunately, so does the criminal “justice” system.  To answer the questions (rhetorical though they may be), I can’t.  I can’t talk about my dietary functions or dysfunctions when there are these types of subjects crossing my path.

And because this circumstance is not new to my life, I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the organization, Human Options (as you can see on my home page).  Human Options does a very good job of taking the women (and children) into their safe house, protecting them, educating them, nurturing their bodies and souls, and advocating for healthy change within each life that steps over their threshold.  Their success statistics are compelling–90% of their “clients” never return to a violent situation.  Within the world of altruistic organizations, theirs is a statistic worthy of praise.  In other words, they are doing something right.  And yet the hardest task is getting the adult victim to risk a better life by giving up the comfort of brutality.  Make no mistake, the perversity of the previous sentence was intended because it showcases the “skewed perspective” which ensues the cycle of violence within the home.

My friend’s husband came from a home where his childhood was riddled with severity, or cruelty.  He knows only one way; his inheritance is being passed on.   If only she would have taken the risk for life sooner…if only.  Yet even for her, it is not too late, though I worry for her stability.  She has drunk the poison for so long now that the sickness has infiltrated her mind and her judgement is marred.  Her idealism is now her foe, and she needs help.  Though her circle of support is dwindling down to those of us who stand behind our vow of friendship, support she does have.  We are few, but we are mighty!

So here is where I ask, “Am I choosing my stride, or is it choosing me?!”  To answer, I think I will go and eat a gluten enriched bagel, an onion flavored one fresh from Western Bagel in Los Angeles (thanks Aunt Susie).  And in the meantime, please take a few moments to watch the attached video.  Let’s not let another “if only” slip on by.

The Sourdough Loaf

6 Jun

Since I have declared myself to be living a gluten-free life, I have craved (almost daily) a slice of sourdough toast.  Oh to have the crunchy texture of the bread dripping with butter, smothered with a slice of white, cheddar cheese, and crowned with a cool, crisp arrangement of sliced bread-n-butter pickles on top…  The thought of this particular concoction has been calling to me.  And while I’m sure there are sourdough recipes out there for the glutenless, I cannot fathom that the texture resembles the San Francisco style treat to which my memory calls.  Even to have an elongated slice from an SF round, with only butter, is a treat in and of itself; add in honey from a local hive and Utopia is found–(not that I’m so interested in such a place, but the commonality of the phrase is a useful idiom within the context here).

Sourdough bread is such a favorite of mine that when I was in need of a new toaster, I took careful pains to ensure I only purchased a unit whose slice holders were long enough to support my particular love affair–the long slender slice of a crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside–loaf.  Thankfully Cuisinart provided the match to my specifications.

My Toaster

Why talk sourdough?  Truly it is not the bread I am interested in discussing in this moment.  It is the longing.  The longing for something I have decided is off limits.  Now under normal circumstances, or let’s just say within groups where topics of discussion are probable, my desire for buttered toast and my self denial of it would incite the scoffer to aim his or her malice my way.  Understandably.  It is not as if I suffer a physical or psychological addiction to the favored munchie.  No, I am getting along just fine without it, though I smell and touch the loaves as I pass by them in the aisle of the supermarket.  I even pause to contemplate purchasing the two large, sliced loaves sold in Costco…but I keep walking, leaving them for another customer to consume.  But honestly I have to say, that having the desire for something that is ‘forbidden’ for whatever the reason, just plain stinks.  To make matters worse, tonight for dinner I made an old recipe from Bisquick called, “Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie”.  It is a favorite dish of my son and husband.  But tonight instead of using the, ever faithful, I substituted the flour mixture with a new, gluten-free, product.  And guess what?  My impossible pie was certainly that…impossible to eat!  It was awful.  And to make matters worse, or add insult to an already bad scenario, my potholder slipped and I burned my hand on the 400 degree, cast iron, pan.

So here I sit longing for something else, something like a real piece of sourdough toast…with butter.  But instead I am writing this meaningless fluff while applying and reapplying aloe vera plant to my wound.  Aaaahhh, the longing!

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