Cool Sculpting

So last week I decided to do something extravagant for myself. I decided to have my stomach cool sculpted. In case you haven’t heard, it is that completely safe procedure in which approximately 20% of the fat cells in a targeted area are frozen and they die a slow and painful death; this in direct contrast to the rapid rate of expansion that they seemed to have undergone during my 40’s.

Anyway, cool sculpting is suppose to leave you several inches thinner with a figure reminiscent of when you were a “way before kids” 20 something. The problem with all of this is that it is  hideously expensive… even with a coupon or two. But heading into my 56th birthday I decided I was tired of looking like a pouchy kangaroo and exercise just wasn’t taking care of it. Losing almost 60 pounds over the last few years also made my bad look worse in some places but exceedingly so in my stomach area. So I did it. I pulled up my big girl panties, added some glitter, and sauntered on in.

All I can say is thank goodness I took the mega strength aspirin an hour before check-in time. Who knew that your gut could be stuffed in something like a itty bitty frozen sausage casing and survive. As my belly went in the machine my toes curled causing massive cramping and I swear my head stood on end but after about 10 minutes my body slowly began to adjust to the pulling sensation. It was akin to wearing nipple clamps…or so I am told.

Finally after an hour of this self imposed torture, I was dismissed by the skinny blonde who has never had a weight problem a single day in her blessed life.

“Drink plenty of water,” said Debbie. “Remember, no strenuous exercise within the first 24hours (have I ever done anything strenuous?). And don’t be discouraged it will take approximately 3 months for the final results. Oh, and by the way you will have bruising and within a few days you will feel something akin to internal itching. Just ignore it. Eventually it will go away.”

So now, six days after the procedure, the itching has kicked in.Only it doesn’t feel like itching it feels like teeny tiny pinpricks are occurring throughout my abdomen. In addition, I look like a mule just kicked me. All of this is making me slightly on edge and somewhat discouraged…as if I wasn’t all ready!

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Have you ever had once of those times in your life when the stars aligned and you met the right person at just the right time? Well, it happened for me today and not one day too late. In an attempt to find my zen, I went to the gym and as I was telling my classmates that I had this done, one woman piped up and told me she had her flank, stomach, and inner thighs sculpted. I almost fainted. She is older than me and let me tell you she looks FANTASTIC. Sure she weighs about 30 pounds less than I do but she tells me that the difference between before and after is amazing. In fact, she shared with me that she never told her husband that she had done all this and one day while getting out of the shower he took a good look at her and said, “What the hell has happened to you? You look amazing!” Of course, then she had to fess up but he thought it was all worth it.

Now I know we are suppose to love our bodies like we love ourselves and I get the importance of all that.It’s vital to develop those inner qualities which draw people to you like a moth to a flame. But unfortunately, for most women, loving your body is much harder than it should be for all those nonsensical reasons thrust upon us by the media and men. So when I think about all those wasted years when I was a young woman wishing my ass wasn’t so big, that my boobs were bigger, my legs were longer and my stomach flatter; well, it makes me kind of wistful and sad. Why couldn’t I just appreciate what I had going for me then, which, in truth sounds kind of hypocritical of me now considering what I have just done. But as much as I hate to admit it, even at my age, my looks do matter to me.  Especially naked… so much so that I will no longer shower with B. And when I write that it makes me want to throw up…but it is the sad…sad truth. It is my reality. I know better but knowing it doesn’t make me feel better and it doesn’t make me want to skinny dip in the moonlight like I did when I was young. Frankly, as I age I miss those tiny pleasures in life and I yearn for that kind of spontaneity once more. And damn it I want to shower with someone again and have hot steamy sex while doing it. So instead of sitting along the sidelines, which I do a lot more often than I would like to admit; I want to throw off the those body images that are weighing me down. Obviously, this means I have to make some changes both inside and out to find the kind of acceptance that I have been lacking. I have been working hard at it. Discovering who I am but also who I want to be in this later part of my life and how I want to look.

But then one day I had an epiphany. It FINALLY dawned on me that being able to love my body at this age would be better than never having loved it at all even if that means being somewhat superficial and paying a lot of money to do it. Sculpting away my love handles and my kangaroo pouch is a gift for myself. It is something done just for me. Yes, it’s vain. Yes, there are more noble/worthy things to have spent this money on BUT at this age I’ve realized that feeling good about yourself is also important. Even more important…I finally feel like I am worth whatever it is I decide to do!

So damn the torpedoes I’m going full steam ahead in this life, no matter where it takes me!

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Flavors Of Our Lives

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Today, I went to this little drive through shop that makes the most incredible food bowls. I have had the pleasure of indulging in white bean chicken, acai fruit bowls and kale quinoa salads at this exciting food joint. Best thing… you never know what will be on the menu. Today’s dish was a tri-tip topping cabbage salad with jalapeno au jus over toasted baguettes. Never have I experienced such flavor combinations. And this place does it consistently. It pairs the right ingredients in order to bring out flavors that cannot be found in each ingredient alone.

As I was sitting here savoring this delight it got me to thinking. ..why is it that the flavors in our lives often lack the care and attention that are put into this salad or into our own daily meals?

One of my favorite desserts are lemon bars. I love the tart and the sweet combo. I love the bite of the zest and the comfort of the powered sugar. And as much as I go out of my way to make sure I have exactly the fresh ingredients that I need for this recipe I often wonder where is my own personal zest? What am I doing to put zest into my own life on a daily basis and if I were to what exactly would it look like? How does one consistently put great enthusiasm and energy into both food and life so it looks attractive to all who see it?

Another family favorite is a spicy beans and rice dish that I created by scratch. I pour in the proper amount of pepper, salt and chipotle spice and as I do I question why am I not pouring something spicy into the rest of my life. After all, we all need to spice things up at times! So how do I keep my life exciting and somewhat shocking with an occasional pleasurable burning feeling sliding down into my guts?

Recently I have been asking myself the question that if I were living my authentic life with the same artistry that I put into my food what ingredients would be important to impart into my recipes? How would these lush and bountiful items be presented on this gigantic plate that we called life? It certainly wouldn’t be take out with someone else preparing it and handing it to me in a brown paper bag. That much I know. But would it be….

Slow cooked to the perfect point into which I stir in the staples of live like a creamy and hearty risotto? A life in which the spoon is licked again and again to taste life a little at a time or do I just ladle it with gusto onto my plate?

Or maybe something French with it’s rich cheeses, sauces, and fresh herbs? If I was living as I would like would I be growing herbs in the backyard and pick them wet with dew; using them while fresh and at the peak of their flavor? How do I bring that sense of freshness inside my doors and into my life?

Somedays I crave both hot and cool like a good Thai Tom Ka Kai… Yummmm! The building blocks of protein, like the chicken which is found in this soup, are amino acids, which, when paired with the coolness of the  coconut makes for a flavorful dish. So what exactly are the building blocks that makes life warm, nutritious, and satisfying?

Today I have vowed to some spend time perusing my cookbooks in an attempt to create the perfect meal. I will also be looking for the ingredients in these recipes to add to my own life to reflect my own tastes and desires. This minute I have no idea what I will whip up but I have a feeling it will be something fantastic just like the life I am trying to re-make. Hmmm…something with only the freshest ingredients with a touch of spice will definitely be on the menu tonight.

 

 

 

 

*This post, as all posts put up by this blogger, are 2016 copyrighted and my not be used without express permission of the author*

 

 

 

 

 

The First Rose

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As parents we are always doubting ourselves when it comes to our kids. There are no manuals and every child is so completely different from the other especially when they have issues that other children never have to face. I know of what I speak. With six children I have learned much and each one has taught me in a completely different way. Yet, I also know about those deep, dark, slippery wells that you sometimes feel like you cannot climb out of  when things are tough which often seems to be the case when your children have life impacting disabilities. It makes you question yourself and all you are doing to an even greater extent than ever before.

Paul struggles. He has autism and several other medical issues but his social skills are pretty much on track. Until you are around him for awhile you would probably never guess the extent of his issues and how they impact him everyday. But impact him they do. And our family too. Constantly.

Sometimes parents whose children have a disability find it hard to let go. Sending them to the store alone, even though it is just down the block, is terrifying when you know that your child is somewhat gullible and naive. But when the older teen years hit you realize that holding on too tight is a hinderance and not a help so you start loosening the strings. So recently Paul has been walking to the store by himself which gives him a sense of freedom that any 15 yo boy needs.

On Sunday Paul asked to go to the store. He had earned some money and wanted to buy himself a special snack… so off he went, hands deep in his pocket holding on to his hard-earned cash.

About 15 minutes later he returned with a perfect red rose in his hand which he shyly gave to me.

“I know I haven’t been treating you very well lately so I bought you a rose to show you how much I love and appreciate you”

I cried. He smiled and I think he knew that in giving me that beautiful rose he actually gave me so much more than just a flower. He let me know, that despite my mistakes and frailties as a parent, I really am doing something right by my kids. And even more importantly, I see him growing into a lovely young man who is doing good things like every decent and wonderful human being does on his own and without my help.

God, I love that kid!

 

Sizzle

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The other afternoon B and I were stretched out on the sofa just enjoying the time spent together when all of a sudden he did it…one small touch sent sparks to my nipples and I groaned. Not one of the quiet as a mouse groans but the kind that radiate deep below your belly in that soft and slightly wet place that knows you are suddenly exploding into sexual awakening and just wants to help get you in the mood…quickly!

“What was that noise?” Andre yells down from the family room upstairs. “Did someone step on the dogs tail again?”

Oh, God, please …. NO. Stay upstairs. JUST STAY UPSTAIRS.

B reaches for me and all the struggles of the past year seem to melt away. I am happy that we still have this lovely hot connection. A place where we can “get into” each other once again and let our hurts vanish for awhile.

B starts to put the tease on me. His kisses yield my body and I melt into him. He begins brushing me softly and then with slightly more pressure, so that my back arches higher, wanting to him to reach those high places that often get ignored. Another audible sigh starts in my toes with its attending electrical current snapping awake those parts of my body that are still in “kid induced limbo” and escapes from my lips…”ohhhhh…myyyyy” I whisper with delight and a sense of impatience. To borrow a phrase from my friend, Marvin Gaye, “Lets get it on!”

B gets the hint and  whispers “Come on baby, lets go upstairs.” I consider the odds of completing this fantasia while our children are awake. One kid, the most perceptive one is gone. According to my calculations that gives us delightfully low only  661/3% chance of being interrupted or “caught.”  A bookie would faint with those odds at this house.  I quickly decide its a chance I can live with. I even let the dog in the house so he won’t be barking and whinning at the door surely killing this arson-setting spark that we have set of which has the possibility of setting this place on fire.

“Ohhhh…Myyyyy!”

This feels like the old days. The Lets See What You Are Made Of kinds of days. They are those raw, needy, urgent, life affirming, first coming together moments of young ferocious sex. That kind that shakes you down to your core and tears open you heart with the kind of lust that has enough energy to change to course of rivers and perhaps even part the Red Sea.

I would like to say we made it to the comfort of our bed but I can’t. The bathroom provided multiple view points and B is harder than the granite countertop that I laying across. My legs grip B like a cowgirl riding bareback, calves against his muscular flank. I must say I was tempted to make a dramatic sweep to clear the counter but I will confess that the thought of what it would cost to replace my Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (my ONLY expensive I WANT TO FUCK YOUR LIGHTS OUT scent)  and my favorite #242 lipstick made me hold back instead of sail. I was filled with him… all of him. My head.. with sexy “take me now” thoughts of him. My nose… with the musky scent of his body. My eyes… taking in the delightful naked sight of him taking in me, and well, those other parts too. It was hot but with a children-are-in-the-house type of seductive quiet. It was oh-so-sexy and desperately needed.

Everything was perfect…until the dog started howling. Loud, long, and off-key. A fingernails on the blackboard sound.

“Andre,” I manage to pant/yell from the bathroom. “Please go let the dog in.”

I hear the door slide open and the howling stops. But we continue on for as long as age, children in the house, and howling dogs let you. And I am reminded once again…this is why I married this man!

Later, in the evening Andre looks at me with a blush on his cheeks and a grin on his face. He is one of the smartest people I know and the autism just adds to it because he recognizes things and tunes into things that most of us don’t.

“Mom, did you and Dad have a good time this afternoon?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know this afternoon when the dog was howling.”

“I’m sorry I don’t understand”

“Haven’t you figured out yet that every time you and Dad have sex the dog howls?” he replies with a laugh. ” I’ve noticed he’s been howling quite a bit lately.”

Now it is my turn to blush.

Damn dog!

 

 

 

 

Words You Regret

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When we were young B was driving me to the airport and the engine in his car blew out in the middle of nowhere. He was mortified because at that point I was that dream girl he wanted to have. Forever. And a blown engine was not part of that equation of what to do to impress a girl. Nonetheless, he tried to remain valiant and cool so he put up the hood and poked around a bit, putting together this and that, in a futile attempt to get the car going again. As he worked I asked, “What can I do to help?”

“Nothing” he replied “Just sit there and look pretty.”

Being the 25 yo feminist I was, well, that just didn’t sit well with me. Sit there and look pretty. How dare he! What did he think I was, a piece of arm candy? And so I stewed about it a little before letting him know in no uncertain terms that I found that offensive and that I was more than just a decorative object.

Fast Forward 30 some years. Tonight B is cooking dinner and I ask him “What can I do to help?”

His response, “Nothing. Just sit there and look pretty.”

“Wow,” I thought. That sure sounds nice his telling me that I am pretty and all. And after all these years too. It really has a sweet ring to it.

“Remember you said that to me when your car broke down when you were taking me to the airport?”

“Yeah, I should have said it more but you got mad and told me you didn’t like it, so I didn’t think it was the thing to do.”

“I wish I hadn’t,” I said full of regret.

And with the benefit of hindsight I now realize how silly and hurtful that was to both B and I that I couldn’t accept his kind words. For 30 years I could have heard him tell me that I was pretty and I missed that opportunity. I could have heard him say “Just sit there and look pretty” with lust in his voice, with concern in his heart, or just admiring all that he saw and appreciating the complete package. Instead, I have missed 30 years of something that B could have said that was meaningful and playful to both of us. A shared memory of how far we have come and how far we could go because I was still his girl.

Regrets…I have a few.

Blessings In Daily Life

As I contemplate my life with or without B I have come to the realization that there are several things in my middle age that I am striving to recognize and hold onto in one form or another. These are the things that are important to me and I am learning to value them even more as I age. They are also what bring meaning and blessings to my life and I want to experience them with eyes wide open and appreciate the richness they add to my spirit.

The things I want to have/experience on a daily basis are: Peace, Acceptance, Connectedness, Joy and Love.

Peace-I want peace in my heart meaning a satisfied and content heart.  I want a peaceful life meaning tranquility rules the roost with harmony following close behind. Peace that is a quiet and calm state of mind no matter what chaos is swirling around you. This also means having to practice patience in order to achieve it along with Sitting In The Silence.

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Acceptance- Acceptance is probably best said in this way:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

It is also accepting my children’s autism and loving them for who they are. Accepting myself in a deeper and more true way. It is being accepted for who I am in my relationship with my spouse sexually, mentally and spiritually. It is just accepting the day for what it brings me and not always trying to change things about it.

 

Connectedness- that feeling that the bonds you have with others are real, meaningful and as valuable to you as they are to them.  It’s a feeling of coming together and being absorbed in all that we share and all we are doing. Its being vitally and mindfully in touch intellectually, in spirit, and in presence.  Its a form of oneness.

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Joy- I want to find joy in the journey…all of it. I want those fleeting moments of joy like the birth and a child to become more common place and easier to experience…like smelling a rose, watching your kids play soccer, and watching the moon rise on a hot summers day. Joy a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, and even more important, it is allowing ourselves to recognize and appreciate how good things really are on a daily basis.

Love- Probably the hardest to define but I certainly know that it encompasses and transforms joy, acceptance, connectedness and peace into something knowable and something better than when they are on their own. Its adoring, cherishing, infatuation, devotedness, and attachment too. Love is a many splendid thing…and much, much,more.

 

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These are the blessings of life and if we allow ourselves to recognize them we will see them at work each and every day. I am greedy for more.

 

 

Lost At Sea

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We are all sailors on the sea. We are told that we are captains of our own ships. We have the ability to sink our vessels or fight the high winds and 30 ft squalls to bring ourselves into port safely.I used to think this anyway. With this “maybe divorce” looming I am not so sure that I am my own captain anymore. Unfortunately, it appears that I let someone else take my wheel and they are slowly taking me down with my own ship.

For numerous years I have been lucky. The storms that have hit my married life have been small and few.They have been manageable and by hoisting a few sails we swiftly left those muddy ripples and sailed into calm waters. But should we have? Should we have taken every escape that came available to us instead of staying in the deep seas and bailing the waters that might capsize us? In fighting mother nature do you learn lessons about togetherness and working as a team that we missed by spending our time in spring showers rather than hurricanes? Maybe we would have known what to do when this single but mighty hurricane hit had we fought more side-by-side battles while at sea.

You would think I would know what to do. That surviving at sea would be in my blood; for I come from a long line of fishermen. Strong, brave folk who fought the weather and the ocean creatures to eek out a living stuffing cod into barrels. More than half of those men died young leaving young widows and children behind. Their names decay on plaques that dot the landscape in fishing towns throughout Canada and New England. They were Lost At Sea and so am I. Wheelless and rudderless I am sucked down into the riptides of a marriage that knows not where it’s going, but if it sinks, will ultimately leave the children behind and washed over by sadness.

Yet today, I refuse to abandon ship, standing by the captain as the waves wash over us. And I am scared, wet and shivering with buckets of tears rolling down my face, the saltwater stinging my skin, and I am, wanting for one brief second, just to feel the warmth that used to be an everyday part of my life envelop me once more.

Finally I pray… like most cowards looking into the eyes of the scary unknown…wanting some sort of guarantee that it all was for naught and there is some sort of salvation in the end.

“Our Father…” I begin, my teeth chattering…seawater filling my lungs as the waves toss me… separating me from the captain… slowly taking me under… and then… finally a long way away.

*All posts are copyrighted 2016 and may not be used without the consent of the author*

 

Why You Don’t Sleep Well Away From Home

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I remember a trip to Thailand in which I didn’t sleep all night long. It is often like that for people when they travel. So why is it we often don’t sleep well when we are not in our own homes? Scientists think they have the answer.

Researchers at Brown University looked into this phenomena and found that the left hemisphere of the brain stayed more active and awake during “slow wave” sleep on that first night away from home. In effect the left hemisphere”kept an eye open” during the night during that first night and scientists believe this activity is used as a sort of protective device.

Researchers noted this and began to electrically stimulated that part of the brain and noted that subjects where quicker to wake and get up when this stimulation occurred to the left hemisphere vs. the right on this first night.

Many follow up studies are planned and in the future it is hoped that the researchers will actually find a way to let us weary travelers sleep just a little better.  Wouldn’t that be a dream!