Twelfth Night

Something Bittersweet.

I Love Christmas!
I Love the Season and I Love Kindness and I Love all that is Celebrated!
I Love Baking and Holiday Entertaining and Playing and Fun with Friends and Loved Ones!
I Love the Tree!
I Love the Decorations!
Most of All, I Love the twinkle in my Partner’s Eyes and how he is all Aglow throughout the Season!
I Love the GiftGiving and the Magic and the Laughter and how awestruck people seem when they enter our humble little apartment and see it decked out on the scale of Rockefeller Center!
I Love that my Partner prepares Gifts for the Mail Person and the UPS Delivery Person, and the people who work in the LaundryMat and the Bank and the Diner across the Street…
I Love that he always makes sure I don’t leave the house without a few small chocolate Santas in my pocket in case we see a child or a train conductor or salesclerk who needs a smile!
I Love Grace, an Asian Woman at our Local Post Office, who was presented with one of his Chocolate Santa “Neighborhood Gifts” and was so overwhelmed that she held it up for all to see and began shouting to everyone with such Glee, “I Got a Merry Christmas!!! I Got a Merry Christmas!”
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Happy New Year!

A Meme from the Internet

New Year’s Eve.
I find myself in an effervescent state of Gratitude.
I see so many posts commenting on what a terrible year it has been — cartoons of taking this past year out like a bag of rubbish…
Much the same as what I saw at the end of last year
and the year before that
and the year before that
and the year before that.
I have never felt that one day on Earth was wasted time, let alone a full year.
Of course, we experience ups and downs and a range of feelings in any given year or day or moment… But not one moment of Life is a waste!
Quite the contrary,
I Believe with all of my heart in the Beauty and Possibility of every moment.
Every moment feels like a gift!
It’s all gift!

Now, close to midnight, another year comes to an end,
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Messy and Bright!

I saw a tchotchke of some kind the other morning — it was white with gold scribble, and upon first glance, it appeared to read, “Messy and Bright!”
I Loved that!
I almost bought it.
But then, upon closer look, I realized it was just the handwriting, and in fact it said, “Merry and Bright!”
Nope.
That’s not me.
I’m Messy and Bright!

This Holiday is Messy.
But it is also Beautiful and Bright and as Magical as Can Be!
Of course it’s Messy!
That’s how it is!
The other evening I was at MOM’s preparing Read the full post »

Simple

Getting the Hot Chocolate Ready — double checking the secret recipe on my phone

Not Feelin’ It? Create It!

It is ten days ‘til Christmas Day!
Not Feelin’ it Yet?
Me Neither.
And that’s OK.

I grew up in a time when Christmas Decorations were not for sale in stores as of Labor Day Weekend,
Christmas Music played on the Radio from mid December right through New Year’s Day — it didn’t stop when stores closed on Christmas Eve,
And the Commercialization of Christmas is something against which People railed!
We didn’t feel any pressure ten days in advance.
In fact, it was only right about now that excitement about the Holiday began to brew.
We couldn’t wait for it to get here and it felt like it would never come!
‘Twas a Simpler Time, although much can be learned from it…
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THANK FULL!

Sign on our Door

I am Grateful for Music.
I am Grateful for Laughter!
I am Grateful for Colors — Every One of them!
Purple, Orange, Magenta, Mahogany, Yellow, Mauve, Red, Green, Silver and Gold, Blue, Pink, Violet, Chartreuse, Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Indigo, Scarlet, Peach, Ruby, Azure, Cream and Crimson… and all those Colors in the sky that don’t even have names!
I am Grateful for the Sky
And the Ocean,
Every Blade of Grass
And Every Leaf!
I am Grateful for MOM!
I am Grateful for my BigHearted Partner!
I am Grateful for my Very Amazing Friends!
I am Grateful for my Education!
I am Grateful for the Challenges that Teach Me!
I am Grateful to Know.
I am even More Grateful to Question!

I am Grateful for Transportation, even though the MTA makes me Crazy most Days!
I am Grateful for my Meditation Process even though it’s messy and sloppy and I don’t really achieve a state of Nirvana, except for Fleeting Moments — I think that’s normal, and even if it’s not, I am Grateful for it!
I am Grateful for the Crazy Last Minute Jobs and my humble little Office in Manhattan and for the Gift of Work!
I am Grateful for Health — with its Second-Half-of-Life Challenges! We’re Here!
I am Grateful for Clothing!
For My Bed!
And for HousePlants
And Magic… So Much MAGIC!
And So Many MIRACLES!
And for the Miracle of the Day!

Such a Festive Plate! So Many Autumn Colors!

I am Grateful for Breath
And Being Born
And all of the sacrifices my parents made so I could have my Education
And Books
And Carfare…

I am Grateful for the Crazy amount of Cooking that this Holiday Entails!
So far, I have made Macaroni and Cheese (Not a usual dish at our GivingThanks Day Table, but I like to mix it up a bit!)
Ratatouille (It’s nice to have some Healthy Low Calorie Leftovers too!)
Fudge Oat Bars (It’s also nice to have some Treats and not worry about Calories!)
Homemade Cranberry Sauce (with no sugar — This year I cooked the CranBerries in Orange Juice with cinnamon sticks as usual, but tried reducing the Orange Juice, added a can of Crushed Pineapple in its own juice, and some tiny slices of fresh orange!)
HomeMade AppleSauce which reminds me of COUSIN ALICE!

Oh, How I Adored Her!
Such an Enchanting Human Being!
Such a Delight!
I remember once, as a Kid, saying to MAMA, “I Love Her!”
MAMA assured me with a smile, “She knows!”
I suppose I tend to wear my Heart on my Sleeve a bit.
When you would go to COUSIN ALICE’s House — she was in her Eighties —
She would have Cold Cuts and a spread of freshly sliced tomatoes, pickles, coleslaw — all store bought fresh for your visit.
And she would put out some HomeMade Apple Sauce.
It was Delicious!
I never got her recipe, and I expect she didn’t really follow one.
But I found one — some Awesome friends gave me The Comfort Diner CookBook years ago, and there was a Wonderful Recipe for HomeMade AppleSauce — simple, easy and Delicious, just the way COUSIN ALICE liked her Cooking to be!
Here it is:
Comfort Diner Apple Sauce

I leave out the sugar and the raisins, and I double the spices.
I try to avoid sugar in general, and COUSIN ALICE loathed Raisins.
I remember she once told us, quite cheerfully, “This nice young girl moved in just a few houses down here, and she knocked on my door and said, ‘I baked you a Zucchini Bread!’ I thought that was So Nice! So I thanked her and…” Here her voice dropped several octaves and her demeanor changed dramatically
“Wouldn’t you know it! Loaded with Raisins!” and she gave a big frown!

So I leave out the Raisins, and the Sugar.
But Giving Thanks Day is the Holiday that COUSIN ALICE always spent with us.
DAD adored her! (She was technically his Cousin, so my First Cousin, Once Removed.) DAD would drive out to Staten Island to pick her up on Wednesday, drive her back to the Bronx where we lived; she would stay with us two nights, and he would drive her back to Staten Island on Friday.

I miss her.
She is gone some ten years now.

A Meme from the Internet

And So, Today,
We Celebrate Giving Thanks!
That is the root of this Holiday.
As LINDSAY MCVAY writes on the website of the National Museum of the American Indian  about the Wampanoag People who celebrated with the Pilgrims what we think of as the First “ThanksGiving,”

“Like indigenous groups everywhere, the Wampanoag had a reciprocal relationship with nature and believed that as long as they gave thanks to the bountiful world, it would give back to them. Long before the arrival of the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag held frequent Thanksgiving-like celebrations, giving thanks in the form of feasts and ceremonial games.”

In honor of GivingThanks Day Today,
I made a Feast which includes:

GivingThanks Day 2017 with MOM

Turkey,
Sausage Stuffing,
Sweet Potatoes,
Homemade Cranberry Sauce,
Cranberry Mold (Another of COUSIN ALICE’s Signature Dishes!)
Stuffed Mushrooms,
Ratatouille,
Macaroni and Cheese,
Broccoli & Cauliflower Au Gratin
Apple Cake,
Oat Fudge Bars…

And HomeMade Apple Sauce.

Stuffed Mushrooms

I also learned today that when making an Apple Cake in a Tube Pan, if you plan to turn it upside down to cool, it is Better to let it cool and set for 15 minutes or so before you do that! 🙂 Whoops!

There is So Much for which to be Grateful!
How Blest we Are!
The LeftOvers will last for a week.
Let’s make sure the Celebration of Gratitude that this Feast represents lasts for a LifeTime!

The Complete Door

Happy GivingThanks Day!

# # #

So Much to Celebrate

Image from the Internet

Christmas is a Season, not a Day.
It is a State of Mind.
It is a Grand Arc of Unbridled JOY!
It is a Time for Unabashed Kindness and BoldFace Love!

It is too early to be talking about Christmas, of course!
The Street Decorations went up this week in my neighborhood,
And there are Ugly Sweater Cookie Cutter Sets available at the SuperMarket.
This is all about Commercial Retail Playing Us to get some coins from our purse.
Not for me.
However, the Season to focus on Spiritual Growth and JOY has already Begun!
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My First Diwali

Arrival in Delhi

Annnnnnd… I’m Here!
…In India
For my First Diwali.

In my last post, I talked about how exciting and Beautiful I find this Holiday!
Read about that HERE
And here I am!
And now, let us talk of Miracles…
About the power of Manifestation…
About all that can Happen for you!
As Abraham Hicks says, “It is as easy to create a Castle as a Button!”

Last April, a Very Special Friend was due to have a Very Special Birthday!
Her Husband, another Very Special Friend, told me a year before that he was taking her to India, and he thought it would be Fun to surprise her with a group of her friends showing up for Breakfast at the same hotel where they’d be staying.
This was all meticulously planned for last April,
But a series of events caused the trip to be rescheduled for Autumn.
A week before we left, my friend said to me, “By the way, you know it’s some festival while we’re there next week. There’s something going on in India then. I think it’s called, ‘Diwali.’”
I Gasped with a sound I had never heard come out of me before — It was some kind of Jubilation mixed with Blissful Recognition and AwesomeSauce!
“DIWALI!!!???”
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Diwali

Image from the Internet

Diwali, or in Sanskrit, Deepavali, translates as “Rows of Lights.”
It is the Hindu Festival of Lights.

It occurs in the Autumn, although the exact date moves around based on Lunar Cycles — it takes place on the fifteenth day of Kartik, the Holiest Month in the Hindu Lunar Calendar. Diwali lasts five days and the main celebration takes place on the third day.

Diwali is this week!

Diwali celebrates the Victory of Light over Darkness,
Good over Evil,
Awareness over Ignorance,
Hope over Despair…

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Masculinity

Coming of Age, the Young Men sometimes ask me about Masculinity,
Often wrestling with the Question: Are they “Masculine Enough?”…
I tell them to be careful of ever placing a Question Mark after that word, “Enough,” when referring to themselves — in the context of one’s self, it is a word best followed by an exclamation point.
I am Enough!
I have Enough!
I do Enough!
I give Enough!…
And to always align with their own Inner Being about how Truthful these statements feel,
in terms of how they are Showing Up for their Life
at any given moment.

What is Masculinity?
Masculinity is Gentleness.
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Surprises and Delights

Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

Earlier this Summer, my Partner and I took an Abraham Hicks Cruise to Alaska.
What a Wondrous Experience!
If you are not familiar with Abraham Hicks,
You might be interested in visiting http://www.Abraham-Hicks.com to find out more about it.
It is very much about Law Of Attraction Based Thinking,
And it is Fascinating and Life-Affirming in Big and Beautiful Ways!
To be somewhat immersed in these Beautiful Thoughts and Enlightenments in such a Beautiful Setting is an Experience I shall not soon forget!

One of the things Abraham spoke about was Read the full post »