Not Valentines Day Again….UGH

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit: ZazzlePlease tell me who invented the holiday that we call Valentines Day?  Because I, for one, would like to meet the barbarian, and politely punch him in the chops.  Who in the world hated mankind so much that they wanted to set aside a day just to make single women remember, once again, that they are alone.  Plus, we are forced to celebrate this horrid holiday in the middle of the coldest month, towards the end of winter.  Why not choose a date in spring when the flowers are blooming,  the sun is shining, and the animals are sashaying around the forest looking for mates?  But nooooooooooooo, some idiot plopped it a month when we have been cooped up for 3 months, and have reached the point that we have gained enough weight to sufficiently warm our bodies in the cold bed…..alone…..

A person can’t just ignore the date because the reminders are everywhere we look.  I remember when I was married, I would get the token flowers delivered to work.  I would show them off, and my co-workers were in awe at the wonderful gesture made by my husband.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them that in 2 weeks the bill would be arriving at my house, and I would need to figure out how to pay for the flowers with a budget that was already stretched to the limit.  It wasn’t his fault…he was doing what was expected of him.  If he was feeling really generous he would give me a slinky nightie…one that never seemed to get pulled out of the drawer because we had 4 kids and no energy.  Then he changed it up, and every year I would get a pair of matching etched crystal goblets, champagne glasses, or small plates that he got from the Avon lady.  Those are still featured proudly in my china cabinet.  Then the divorce happened, and Valentines day took on a new meaning. Now I am here to tell you that as a 50 (something), pleasingly plump, single woman….Valentines Day Sucks!

Forget trying to ignore the holiday, and go about your business.  There are romantic movies shown every evening leading up to the 14th, (fairy tales)…there are catalogs and magazine ads showing the latest in “barely there” nightwear (hurl)…there is a whole aisle dedicated to candy and chocolates at the super center (candy for one…not!)….there is a huge section of cards to mark the holiday (gag)…..and don’t forget the roses of various colors, the teddy bears with hearts all over them,  the chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne (burp), the cakes and cupcakes with the mushy love crap written all over them (great, more poundage on the rump) , and my personal favorite:  weekend getaways for the couple in love.

Me!So I guess I will pull up my big girl panties in a few weeks, I will ooohhhh and ahhhhh when my co-workers get their flowers, and I will continue to tell people that I am happy being a single woman.  I refuse to feel like the loser that I have portrayed myself to be in the photo on the left.  I will tell myself that while the holiday may  make a person painfully aware that they are alone, it only lasts 24 hours, and I can muddle through another one.  Because on February 15th I will treat myself, and will begin counting the days until spring…..when the sun will shine, the weather will warm up, the flowers will bloom and the animals will again be looking for potential mates.  And who knows…maybe next year I may be the one getting the roses…and candy….and chocolates…and teddy bears….and mushy cards…A girl can never shop hoping ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

Mini Ham and Colby Sanwiches

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 15 dinner rolls (about 3-inch diameter), sliced
  • 15 slices Colby cheese
  • 15 thin slices deli ham (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

  • In a small bowl, combine the butter, mustard, onion, poppy seeds and sugar. Place roll bottoms, cut side up, in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Top each with Colby cheese, ham and mozzarella. Drizzle with half of the butter mixture.
  • Replace roll tops. Drizzle with remaining butter mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 15 servings.
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I Cross My Heart

 

photo credit: equalparenting-bc.caThe magical evening was coming to an end.  It had been a wonderful night, full of laughter, and wonderful conversation.  Each of them sharing their hopes for the future. The decision was made, they would do whatever was needed to take this leap of faith.  They were soul mates, and the love was so strong that they knew they would be happy forever.   It was time for him to leave, and they stood face to face, both hating to part.  The music had been playing softly in the background during the candlelit dinner.  She knew he couldn’t stay, he needed to leave, but all she wanted was to remain safe in his arms forever.  The lighting  was dim, as a pair of candles burned softly in the room.  It seemed like it was just the two of them against the world.  As he turned to leave, something magical happened…a moment that she would remember forever…a moment that could never be repeated.  He held her protectively  in his arms, and they danced in the corner of the candle lit room, slowly moving to the song “I Cross My Heart”.  He whispered for  her to close her eyes and just move with the music.  She rested her head on his shoulder, and sighed as he quietly sang the words, sharing his feelings of love for her…..”Our love is unconditional,we knew it from the start….I see it in your eyes, you can feel it from my heart,  here on after, lets stay the way we are right now, and share all the love and laughter, that a lifetime will allow….I cross my heart, and promise too,  give all I’ve got to give, to make all your dream come true, in all the world, you’ll never find, a love as true as mine”…stopping to kiss her when he wasn’t singing.  Slowly they danced, willing the time to slow down,  savoring that moment of sharing what was to be the beginning of a wonderful life together…completely unaware that soon it would be nothing more than a memory…….

Authors confession: I have been reading quite a few romance novels lately…..so I thought I’d dabble in the fictional love story telling…see how it goes…♥

What About The Other Guy?

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

supportI just had a one hour visit with my ex-husband, the first face to face since his cancer diagnoses.  Sure, there have been phone calls and texts, but not a face to face.  He shared his fears about death, his fears about being a burden on his new wife and his family, and how he never expected to have cancer.  I am in a strange situation, on one hand we shared 27 years of ups and down, and on the other hand, he is now remarried and has a new wife and family.  Our divorce was anything but amicable, so this makes this whole situation all the harder.  Again, I am choosing to follow my heart, and will do what ever I can do to give support, and advice if asked.  He and I have now come full circle, and while we know we will never be able to live in the same house again, we can be friends.  It is funny how a life threatening event can cause many people to once again put life into perspective.  One thing I discovered when my mom, dad and sister were diagnosed with cancer, is that this diagnoses is often times harder on the loved ones.  I remember Kelly and Mom telling me that is was much easier to be the patient than to be the family member.  I shared this with Bill, and encouraged him to take time to support Mary (his new wife).  She is going through so many emotions at this time, as are all of us.  But it hits closer to home for her.  I can only imagine how she may feel cheated, in a sense, because she was alone after her divorce until she met Bill, fell in love and married.  Now a mere 6 months later they are facing one of the hardest challenges that life can throw at a couple.  Life is just so freakin unfair at time.  I can’t even begin to count the times that I have been slapped down by life.  Again, we have 2 choices in life…let it win, or beat it within an inch of its life.  It’s okay to challenge God, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to bargain, it’s okay to be sad, but it’s NEVER  okay to give up.  In 1968 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book about the 5 stages of death and dying, based on her work with terminally ill patients.   The steps are 1. Denial…2.Anger….3. Bargaining…..4. Depression….5. Acceptance.  That simple model has now become a reference for anyone going through a life changing events, from  breakups of relationships, to dealing with a terminal illness.  It is such a good read…and can be so inspirational to know that the feelings you are having are valid, and quite frankly okay to have.  Sometimes a person will start with one step, touching briefly on the following steps, and then ending with the last step.  Others will circle a few time, touching on a few of the steps, but hopefully landing on the last step, which is acceptance.  As person really can’t move on and be at peace until they reach that last step….even if they touch a tip of their toe on that step, and then stumble back down a few steps.

I personally went through a bad breakup a few years ago, and trust me, I stomped on every one of the 5 steps.  For 2 years I was like a child on the playground, playing  hopscotch all over those steps.  Then one day, I decided that the step proclaiming acceptance was the one I needed to land on, and stay there.  So my point here is that Bill needs to remember that while he is fighting for his life, he needs to always be aware of those around him, and support them as well.  Even if it involves reassuring that person that nothing will happen that they can’t get through together. He has been blessed with a wonderful woman, and I can assure him that she is scared to death.  There is nothing scarier than the unknown.  NOTHING!  These things can also cause you to challenge your faith in God.  Frankly, you can be pretty honked off at Him….and anyone in raised in the faith knows that is not the way to feel…but  He will wait patiently for you to work it out and come back to Him.  I strongly believe that God puts these challenges in your life, and then sits back and watches how you handle them.   I did suggest that they get into a cancer support group, and soon.  My mom, sister and I joined one when Kelly was done with her cancer treatment.  The wonderful thing is that you realize that you are not alone, your thoughts and fears are real, and that there are others out there that can help you to get over these bumps in the road.

So as I said before If God brings you to it, He will see you through it!  We just need to stand united, knowing that not one person is alone here, and it’s okay to be scared, angry or at peace.  Never be too proud to get the support you need, even if it’s through blogging, as has become my saving grace.  You are never alone ♥

Wanted: A Good Man

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

 In 2005 my ex-husband and I separated.  As anyone who has gone through a divorce knows, there are emotions involved that you don’t even realize you knew you could have.  I had taken a break from nursing and I was running our family business, Pop’s, in our small town.  Stepping into Pops was like a step back in time.  One one side when you walk in is a wall of candy, some that I remember as a kid, one side has a soda fountain and ice cream, there is seating in the back with booths, and one area was used to serve lunch during the week.   We sold the business after my dad died in 2007, but I have many fond memories of my adventure as a business owner. Maddie was in first grade, so it was wonderful to be able to pick her up after school and bring her to the store until I was finished for the day.  Pops became her second home, and my fellow co-workers became her extended family.  Every customer that came through the door knew Maddie, she is just that type of kid who doesn’t know a stranger.  My daughter Katelyn had left that fall for college, so it was Maddie and I against the world.  I soon found that I needed to return to my nursing job on a part-time basis to secure health insurance, so I was kept very busy running the store, working a few days a week as a nurse, and adjusting to life on my own.

My ex-husband began dating about 6 months after our separation, and Maddie and the new girlfriend seemed to get along well.  While he and I had a rocky relationship for a while, I supported him in his effort to move on, and Maddie knew he had my blessing.  I think it made it easier on her, because she had already had enough changes in her life at that point.  She was always worried about me being alone.  I would tell her over and over that mom was busy enough without worrying about dating, and that I had her and that was enough.  She continued to worry about my being alone, no matter how much I tried to reassure her.  It was so  hard to explain to a 6-year-old that meeting a man was the last thing on my list at that point.  One day at the store, during the rushed lunch hour, I noticed people reading something attached to the cooler as they picked up their food.  They would read this note and giggle, often times turning around to smile at me, some giving me a thumbs up sign.  I had no idea what was going on.  We were busy, so I forgot all about it until I was sweeping up after lunch and found this paper she had taped to the cooler at some point that night before.

That little stinker had become a match maker.  I laughed so hard as I peeled it off of the cooler.  You can see that it is all crumpled from being folded up in my wallet for 6 years.  I appreciate the slim body she gave me, and it was nice that she pointed out that only “boys” need apply.  I still smile when I think of the love this little girl had in her heart for me as she was trying to make me happy.  I don’t even know why I have kept this note all of these years, but I do know that Maddie was way cooler that any dating website that has been created.  You go girlfriend, I love you and your ingenuity. You are truly a gift from God ♥