I hope to be dreaming of wonderful things. I haven't stayed up to greet the New Year in I don't remember when. Tonight I'll be alone and sleeping by eleven or earlier. So while I'm awake Happy New Year's to everyone on Plinky, on WordPress and Facebook!
There are boatloads of things that I can’t do and I’m okay with that because it keeps me challenged. I am not musically inclined, I definitely need help with decorating during holiday season or anytime for that matter. I am not very good at decorating myself either, I prefer being comfortable over being sparkly. I love cooking and baking and the flavors are always good or sometimes they turn out great, the presentation always lacks the appropriate amount of skill. I am working on trying to make my culinary creations prettier. I am not creative in terms of writing poetry or doing arts and crafts. There are so many gifted handy people and I admire their skill and talent, I try not to be jealous and remind myself that I have my own little talents, they might not be as obvious but they are still there and they are mine.
I learned that taking deep breaths, counting to ten slowly disperses anxiety and with this year being uncertain economically it has been a valuable lesson for me and one that has helped keep my stress levels manageable.
I identify very closely with my culture as a French person. I know that I was born in this country and I am an American but I also feel French. I feel very comfortable speaking French, almost as comfortable as when I speak English. I am very close with my relatives over in France, my sister and I have been very fortunate in that our parents felt it to be very important to ship us off to France to stay with our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. My mother was especially relieved because she knew that we would be cared for, fed and would really get to know the family, and so my sister and I experienced daily life in France for at least two months at a time during our childhood. Those memories are a part of my identity, the love of cooking, the love of farmer’s markets and the sensory experience and its importance in life.
I could go on about my love affair with France and bore you, the smell in the air of lavender and rosemary in Provence . The sun beating down on the limestone hilltops, the sparse vegetation looking out over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. I could go on about the Atlantic Ocean as well, the powerful force of the waves crashing on the sand, the presence of clean hot sand everywhere framed by large stretches of aromatic pine trees. You can smell the sun’s heat emanating from the sand, the pine aroma mingling with the salty sea water from the Atlantic Ocean, that scent should be captured and bottled, the fragrance would make billions in sales all throughout the world.
I just read that Mitt Romney was going to compare President Obama to Queen Marie Antoinette in terms of how out of touch the President is with the American people. I don’t identify with Marie Antoinette when I think of France, I rather identify with the pastry shop owners, the market vendors, the gardeners and I identify with the workers who revolt and stand up for their fair share, not violently, but by taking a stand as we have seen with the occupy Wall Street movement. That to me is part of being French, when we are not being treated fairly then we stand up and make it known.
That I started writing as a hobby and I have written something on my blogsite every single day in 2011. I have said it before and I'll say it again because I am excited about it, this is the year that I started writing a book of historical fiction, I have written 95 pages so far. Hopefully 2012 will see me finish it and then who knows.
I seriously do not see that happening. I think that Hillary is tired and probably would like to spend the rest of her own time working for the causes that she holds near and dear to her heart, primarily women’s rights issues throughout the world. Joe Biden as Secretary of State sure why not. Does Hillary want to be President in 2016? I don’t think so, I think that 2008 taught her something about how much more we need to evolve as a society before a woman can be elected as President, heck women still get paid 70% of what men get paid for the same position. I would love to see a woman as President but if you listen to Bill Clinton during interviews, his wife is exhausted and wants to slow down. Perhaps he misses her and finally realizes what he has always had in Hillary.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Being kind, polite, patient and respectful is very important to me , these traits define me in part as a person as much as my passion for cooking and gardening define me. I try to treat everyone with patience, kindness and respect. One of the sayings that I learned in school that really meant something to me was, do unto others as you would have others do unto you. I also know what it feels like to be picked on and bullied and I would never want to be the source of pain and anguish for someone else. I don’t understand how to be purposefully unkind to a stranger or someone who I know, yet behavior like that does exist and that is too bad. I am not religious, I spent my youth with the nuns and Franciscan brothers at school and I learned about the Catholic religion, warts and all. When I say warts, I am speaking of the men and women who make up the church, they are human after all. I did learn and believe wholeheartedly in not casting the first stone, that one teaching needs more advertising throughout the world. The poor shall inherit the Earth, that is another that needs to be broadcast especially during these times. I rather enjoy all of Jesus’ teachings, much more than all the other disciples or apostles.
I know that when I donate to those who are less unfortunate than I, it makes me feel better, not only for myself, but also because I helped the general cause in some small way. Knowing that others are less fortunate than myself makes me sad and I realize that the little that I do, doesn’t seem to affect the bigger picture, but if I let myself think like that and it multiplied to other people and they felt that their contributions were too small, it would snowball into a huge loss for the less fortunate. So I realize that each and every contribution is important, just like every kind word is important.
As a family, we are gaga over dogs, early last year we had three dogs. An old dog Marshall, our little cancer stricken dog Tuck and our majestic German Shepard Rex. It was about June that our two dogs, Tuck and Marshall died, we were devastated and so was Rex. He became very depressed and old overnight. On the Internet, I came across the picture of a Jack Russell puppy, I and the family fell in love with the picture. We decided to take the risk and get the puppy for Rex. It was the best decision we ever made, Rex got a new lease on life and Jack has done wonders for us as well, he is a charismatic and charming little Jack Russell. We love him so much. His name is Jack.
It makes me so very angry when men decide if, how and when a women can legally obtain an abortion. Women are not chattel nor are they brood mares, and the ultra right conservative ideology unfortunately seems to believe that women are in that category. I know that I am going to be lambasted for the next phrase but I don’t see much of a difference between the misogynistic beliefs of the ultra conservative Muslims, the ultra conservative Christian Right and the ultra orthodox Jews. These beliefs are based on religious ideology and that is personal, do not begin to legislate the reproductive rights and the sexual rights of women based on your religious belief system, there is still separation of church and state in this country for now and hopefully it will continue to be so. I would never vote republican because their whole concept of the government’s role in society goes against everything that I believe in. I believe that Teddy Roosevelt’s concept of how government should serve the people and keep the playing field fair is the best one, it is definitely not like that today but perhaps one day we might strive to have a society that reflects the American dream.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I have always loved walking. Growing up in Astoria, Queens, just outside of Manhattan, made walking a way of life. My best friend and I would run rampant all over Astoria after school. Walking 10 to 15 blocks was a common occurrence after school, going from one friends house to another and then taking a detour to Astoria Park on our way home.
When I got older I started to view walking as an important part of exercise, I went out of my way to use my two feet instead of the subway or a taxi. During my nineteenth year, I went on a diet because during my freshman year of college at S.U.N.Y at Albany I had gained at least ten pounds, so not only was I miserable being away from home my freshman year of college but I felt fat as well. I planned to remedy both problems, I applied to N.Y.U for my sophomore year and luckily I had done very well at S.U.N.Y and I was accepted. I was so happy to be back home. That was one problem taken care of, now it was time to lose those extra pounds.
I went about losing weight the old-fashioned way through calorie restriction and exercise. I became an avid reader of Shape magazine and started to figure out various strategies to maximize my weight loss. I adopted the no fat weight loss regime and high cardio exercise on a daily basis. I was biking around Astoria early in the morning using my sister’s ten speed for 50 minutes at full speed every other day. I figured out that alternating different exercises would keep me from boredom so I began walking farther and farther. My strategy was working, the pounds were being lost at a steady rate. I gradually got to walking from my house on 27th Street and Ditmars Blvd all the way to the Queens borough Bridge, over the bridge and all the way down to Soho, way down in the village and then I would turn around and walk back home. I saved this walkathon for the weekend and it would take me about 4 hours. During the week what I did was get off the subway at 59th Street and 3rd Avenue and walk down 3rd avenue to N.Y.U at Washington Square Park. I was also taking advantage of the stairs at school and my job at Conran’s-Habitat, on my feet all day long walking up and down the stairs selling furniture after school and hauling merchandise up the stairs.
There are so many other instances of me walking crazy long distances, all in the interest of burning off calories and keeping my weight down. This gung-ho attitude towards walking is a by-product of my eating disorder, of which I am in recovery, and I am doing pretty well with managing my eating and how I feel about it. Whatever my struggles with my eating disorder, I have never regretted my love of walking, it is the best form of exercise aside from swimming that I can think of, you are outside in the “fresh” air, seeing whatever might be out there to be seen and getting your blood pumping, it is all good stuff.