Spring Cleaning

I confess, I watched the Royal Wedding…on DVR. This means I I was able to fast-forward through all time-wasting commentary and commercials and go straight to the good stuff.  And by “good stuff” I mean the dress and the ceremony. I felt obligated to watch it since I got up early in 1981 as an unemployed recent college grad to watch the wedding of Charles and Diana. You’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with spring cleaning. It doesn’t really, except that as I was finally unpacking boxes from our move 4 years ago I found the following picture.

Yup, that's me at the ripe old age of 26 on my wedding day on October 11, 1986.

Most people probably have a picture or two from their wedding lying around their house; if not the whole album. Guess what? I’m not most people. As a matter of fact, I have very few pictures of myself at all and I don’t have I a clue where my wedding album ran off to. This might mean I’m not happily married, but since I don’t know what “Happily Married” looks like I don’t usually worry about it. So I cried a few tears during Will and Kate’s wedding. I wished them well in their life’s journey and I moved on to more spring cleaning.

And boy am I glad I finally got around to this. Not only did I find this picture, but I found a family photo album from 2004 that was almost complete and all of my “lost” cookbooks. My family is excited as well since most of their favorite recipes have not been on the menu for quite some time. On Sunday I made the first of “The Lost Favorites” as my kids call them. The Lasagna from my 1986 version of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook did not turn out as we remembered it. I put my husband in charge of the ingredients and except for the Italian sausage from Jewel, he bought generic ricotta and mozzarella cheese. That will teach him to to not buy EXACTLY what I put on the shopping list.

Today, in between doctor’s appointments I managed to make Hungarian Goulash from the Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook. Since tonight is bowling and NJROTC night, I only made the slow-cooker portion of the recipe. Tomorrow I’ll heat it in the oven, add the sour cream and serve it with hot, buttered noodles. Another meal in the can, so to speak. If I can snap a picture of it before it’s devoured tomorrow I’ll post it with the recipe.

Time to head off to bed. But before I do, am I the only one who feel sad that Osama Bin Laden’s young daughter and wife were witness to his death? Let’s send a prayer to God or Allah, or whomever you worship that they will get over their trauma and be able to move on.

Easter Schmeaster

As many women in my age group may know, menopause is a bitch. Someone once asked me what it was like and I likened it to puberty with responsibility. Sad, but true. And one of the worst things about menopause is your inability to eat what you want in large, massive quantities. And I’m not talking about weight gain here. I’m talking about true and lasting pain. The kind of pain you had as a youngster when you drank  6 too many shots on a Saturday when your limit was only 10 to begin with.

That being said, I’ve recently been diagnosed with migraine headaches. Another unpleasant side effect of what I like to call “Menopause’s Last Stand”. Last week I was instructed to keep a migraine diary by documenting everything I ate and how I was feeling when the migraine hit. Really? I don’t think so. The last time I chronicled everything I ate was 5 years ago when I joined Weight Watchers and lost 30 pounds (which I have kept off plus or minus 2-3 pounds). And the last time I wrote down how I was feeling was…NEVER! I suppose as a teenager I wrote the occasional diary entry, but really? The whole thing seems so self-indulgent. And since I’ve been seeing a therapist every Wednesday since October, I couldn’t see where this would help.

Bottom line…I’ve done neither. What I can say I did was eat a lot of sugar in the form of cake and cola the entire Easter weekend. I also cooked for Easter which entailed a great deal of tasting and sampling. I also had coffee and cheese. Anyone who’s ever been treated for migraines knows that all of these things are on the “Not Allowed” list of foods. So on Monday I woke up with the worst migraine I’ve had in weeks. And the worst part is I went “cold turkey” on all banned foods. I’ve actually been very good at eating my yogurt, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. I had hoped to feel better by Tuesday, but this morning I woke up again with a miserable migraine.

But not to be too negative, I have also been unable to watch television or spend much time in front of my computer (except for work) which I supposed has been a benefit of these constant migraines. I’ve been forced to claw my way through the stack of magazines in my bedroom and I’ve had time to reflect. Reflection. Now there’s a word that should be on everyone’s to-do list. Reflect on the joys you’ve been given. Reflect on your abundance of loved-ones. Reflect on what you want to be when you grow up. Reflect. Isn’t that what Easter is really about? And Chocolate Bunnies!

Is It Just Me…Or Am I Getting Old

Last Thanksgiving I decided that I had enough of spending hours every month to color my hair, only to have silver/gray roots back in only a week. Add on top of that the aggravation of spending extra time in the morning to make sure my eyebrows (which were already silver) matched my hair. I received a lot of negative feedback on this idea from friends and family members alike. Maybe they just didn’t like the idea of being seen with an old broad.

My husband couldn’t decide if this was a good idea or a bad one. On one hand I think he didn’t mind the idea of gray hair on his wife. After all, who hits on gray-haired old ladies. On the other hand, he is 3 years younger than I am and still has a full head of (mostly) blond hair. Was it worth the $30 a month in savings to be seen with his “old lady”? He wasn’t sure. My friend Ann was upset because she has been cutting and coloring my hair for over 15 years and didn’t want to think about how much time she’d wasted on that project. My kids didn’t care since what difference does it make what your mother looks like when she’s already old.  That last quote came directly from my 15 year old son. Always the truth sayer  in our family.

So I colored my hair for the last time in November and a blog was born. OK, so it took me almost 6 months to get started, but with a full-time job, 3 dogs, 2 kids still at home and aforementioned husband it took a little while. But here I am, 5 months later with my first post. And unfortunately for anyone who reads this; this will not be my last. Although most of my career has been spent as a writer, I have only recently begun to write about or even express my opinion. But that is  6 months of therapy and a whole ‘nother blog post away. For now I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Easter! And let’s hope Spring gets to the Midwest soon. I’m freezing!!!

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