Hold up, wait a minute! Where did the time go?

There are times in life when you just have to say, “Hold up, wait a minute! Where did the time go?”

I’ve found myself saying that at least once a week over the last few months. I’ve wanted to write. I’ve needed to write. BUT, I could not bring myself to do it. Why? I haven’t a clue. I mean I do have somewhat of a clue, like the simple fact that by the time the end of the day hit, dinner was made, the house was cleaned, errands were run, people were visited, and life was in full swing…I was exhausted. Completely drained. And in some cases, in a lot of pain. I can put on a brave face, and try to look fine, and in most cases I succeed. Then there are days I just want to sit in my leggings and scroll the newsfeeds, get caught in the sickness of politics, life in the outside world, and forget what it is that’s bothering me at the moment. Hey at least I got out of my pajamas, and changed clothes, amiright?

Then there are the moments I have an idea, a spark of something to write about, and then I self censor. The critic inside my head has much to say.

“No one wants to read this or that. It’s not interesting. It’s not relevant. It’s not good enough. It’s boring. It’s not funny enough. It’s not thought provoking. It’s not timely. People don’t even see your posts. It just sucks.

That’s when I cave. I give in to the negativity, I give in to the inner critic. The critic that really sucks in it self.

Then there are the moments when I run into people and they ask me,

“How come I haven’t seen your blog posts? Am I not looking in the right place? Am I missing it in my newsfeed? Have you stopped writing? I haven’t seen you at the coffee shop, where you normally write from. Where have you been?

I’ve hit a wall I’ve often said. I feel there isn’t much to write about right now. Life has drained my energy level and I don’t have it in me to write anymore. But that’s not always true. I have it in me, but I feel it’s not good enough. I should just say screw it, put it to page, and let it happen. I’ve wanted to write about our vacations this summer and fall, the places we’ve seen, the food we’ve eaten, and yet when I go to write, I’m stopping myself.

That’s when it hit me. New Year’s Eve.

The ball had dropped, Mariah Carey had a meltdown of sorts ( I actually was enjoying our company and didn’t pay much attention to the Dick Clark Rockin Eve celebration until the last 30 seconds or so) and it occurred to me…

What the fuck am I waiting for? Nike slogan ran through my head…Just do it! Who cares who reads it. Who cares if it’s good to someone else. Who cares if it’s funny, interesting, relevant, thought provoking. It may not be today, but it may be in a few months, or weeks or even years. And then even if it never is any of the above, Who the fuck cares. It’s good enough for me, it’s good for my soul, it gives me lightness, it gives me peace and it’s good enough for me.

Now here we are on the brink of a new year. No resolutions, just go with the flow and enjoy the moment.

Happy New Year. Happy days of writing whatever the heck I want to write about, if I want to write about it. If you read it, I appreciate it and thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you don’t read it, I appreciate that as well, and thank you from the bottom of my heart. image

A little tug at the heartstrings

I’ve been MIA from the blog for a few weeks. Not because I want to but because life is just all over the place in good ways. David and I were away a few times, once with the boys and once alone. So my time to blog has been a little constrained for good reason. But I needed to share a little something near and dear to my heart.

logo_of_the_united_states_marine_corpsMost people close to me know that, David is a former Marine…let me add Once a Marine, Always a Marine, and he’s my Marine.

A few weeks ago he had an appointment and we ran into each other at the food store before he went to it, and would later meet up at home. While I was there, buying manzanella olives, and some pickles, I saw this older gentleman who seemed to have a little trouble reaching the canned vegetables. Now I’m a shorty, but I did offer my assistance to see if I could help him get what he needed. He was so thankful, and told me he was looking for the canned corn but couldn’t find it. It so happened to be on a lower shelf and I picked it up for him and he thanked me so much. I told him to have a good day and enjoy his dinner.

I finished up my shopping and checked out. When I got home, I made a little something to eat and cleaned up a little bit. David arrived soon after, and he had this look on his face. Something was off, but it wasn’t bad, it was just that he had a little sadness in his eyes.

What’s the matter? I asked

He then tells me before his appointment he went to the pizza shop to get a slice of pizza, and about 10 min later an older gentleman walked into the shop.

As David relayed the encounter he spoke as if he was the gentleman.

He walks in and asks the waitress “Am I allowed to eat there?” When she said yes, he then asks “Can I have chicken Parmigiano and do you have hot Italian bread?”. She said yes to both and she seemed a little shocked. He then asks “Can I sit here and eat it at a table? She tells him to go and pick any one he’d like and his food will be right out.

“I noticed right away he was wearing a hat, he was a WWII Vet. A Marine. I tried to get the waitresses attention, but she kept ignoring me. Finally I walked up to her and told her to add his meal to mine. And if he asked, Thank him for his service, from one Marine to another Marine”

 

David brought me to tears, and I’m sure he’s not to happy I’m writing about this, it’s personal, it’s at a level I didn’t understand, Marine to Marine, that is. But I do understand.

“He looked so alone, and as he asked if he could eat there, it just hit me.”

I asked if the gentleman was wearing grey sweatpants, and he said yes. I then told him my little story, it was the same man in the food store I had helped with his canned corn. We took a moment just thinking about it. I told him in his own way he made that mans night and I’m sure that he’d be grateful for the gesture.

 

Fast forward to yesterday, I’ve been having a few rough days, dealing with some stressful situations and finally got myself back to my chiropractor for a long overdue visit. It put me in a better mood, physically and emotionally. I had tried to meet up with my girlfriend for breakfast afterwards but being a new mom her little man was calling the shots. So instead I went to breakfast solo, and a little diner I haven’t been to in years. After my chiropractic session, I couldn’t imagine sitting at the counter on a stool with no back, so I asked the waitress if she minded if I sat at her 4 top table since there were 2 others available. She didn’t mind and I took the one closest to the door. image

I ordered my food, and table by table the place filled up. As I was finishing up my coffee and eggs, an older gentleman walked in, and he had a cane. I could see there were no tables left for him to sit at and so I took another sip of coffee and tried to get his attention. The waitress saw this and motioned to him, he turned around and I told him that if he would like he could have my table as I was finished with my breakfast.

“Thank you so much, it’s hard for me to sit on the stools with no back to them. These old bones don’t move that easily anymore. But I don’t want you to move or stop eating on account of me” he said

“Not a problem, I understand. And it’s not a bother, I’m finished and even if I wasn’t I’d just offer for you to sit with me at this big table. I always welcome company.”

He thanked me again and I moved my plate and cup to the counter. The waitress mouthed “Thank you” to me and I nodded. As I waited for her to take his order, it hit me.

Why not.

I caught her attention as she started to walk back around the counter, and whispered, “Add his bill to mine” She smiled and walked away to put his order in. When she got back around the other side of the counter she asked me are you sure. I said yes, add his to mine. When I paid her I told her if he asked to tell him, I wanted to brighten his day with a smile.

As I turned around to leave I saw him sitting in my chair and noticed his hat. A WWII Vet. A Marine. I touched his arm, fighting back tears, and said

“Thank you for your service, have a wonderful day, and enjoy your breakfast”

“Thank you, and thank you for the table. Have a good day” he said

I walked out the door, with tears welling up. I don’t really know why, except that I did. I’m an emotional person, always have been. Heck as I’m typing this whole thing I’m fighting back tears.

I don’t write this post to brag about, David (he’s probably not going to like this at first because he doesn’t like to talk about himself or what he does) or myself for that matter. I write it because what a small gesture as these may be, can possibly make someones day a little brighter, a little less lonely. It is ironic that both men, completely different, yet so similar.

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What I do hope you take from this post is the next time you see someone, pay it forward, just for the heck of it. Buy a coffee, buy a donut, buy a meal. I did it because he was an older gentleman and he kinda tugged at my heartstrings, I had no idea he was a Veteran.

Montauk, Musings.

imageThis couple right here, in a poorly, sneakily taken photo, over Dave’s shoulder while we were laying on the beach; is probably the best photo I took on our trip to Montauk, NY a few weekends ago for our Anniversary/Dave’s Birthday.

Why this? You might ask.

Because although it was a little windy, and the beach was fairly empty, these two lovebirds were all over each other, hugging, kissing, and snuggling up on their blanket under the shade of their umbrella. Without a care in the world of what others might have thought about their public display of affection.

Love. Some mischief, friskiness, and just plain I don’t give a flippin care in the world, I’m gonna love on my partner, vibe.

Yep, this picture sums it all up.

Here I was, dressed in my sweats, cause let’s face it, it was breezy and chilly out East about 3 weeks ago. We anchored our umbrella, laid out the blanket, plopped down our cooler that was filled with cheese & crackers, fruits & chocolate dip, and some drinks.

imageI was so embarrassed because over the last year, I’ve gained weight. About 16 pounds, fueled by love, and good food 😉 Nothing really is fitting, but at the end of every day, Dave sees me for who I am, even with the added weight. He was and always has been as affectionate as I could want, and even here at the beach with my sweats on he was as well.

I’m worried about the one family of 4 who are not too far away, seeing us kissing, not so much the adults, but the kids. But they’re doing their own thing, and then I glance over Dave’s shoulder and see this older couple. That did it. I was like whoa really, who cares what anyone thinks! Not that we got down to business at the beach haha, but I definitely let loose a little more and was more relaxed. Because seriously who cares what anyone else thinks, as long as we are happy.

And we are.

We had such a great time while away those 4 days, it was much needed escape from everyday life, and relaxing. We ate delicious food, saw many beautiful sights, spent time on the beach, and even chilled out in the suite watching movies on one of the rainy day/nights.

The Beachcomber Resort was beautiful. We had a one bedroom upper suite, full kitchen which helped for my food limitations, as I’m always worried about finding safe food to eat while out and about.

So it was nice to have a full kitchen to cook breakfast in or anything else for that matter. We would make breakfast each morning, and eat out on the deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the smell of the salty air, were just what we needed. We took walks each day into town and to the beach.

For afternoons and evenings we were tourists in our own backyard, so to speak.

One evening we had dinner while watching the sun set at, Inlet Seafood Restaurant. The view was spectacular, the food was superb, wait staff was extremely attentive especially when I asked about gluten free options. They had a special menu, which offered a large selection of options and I ate every last bit of my salmon with quinoa that evening. Plus we shared mussels in white wine sauce, and a sushi roll as an appetizer, so no desert for us, because we were so full from our meals.

The following day we were at it again. Spent some time at the beach in the morning after a nice walk into town after our breakfast spread. But it was a rainy day ahead of us and we made the best of it. We stopped in IGA food store and picked up a few extra things to hunker down for the afternoon. Then headed out to dinner.

First stop was The Hideaway, which when finally finding it hidden among the yachts in the boat yard, we had to walk right out because it was so crowded and nowhere to sit. Very disappointed in that fact because I was really looking forward to eating here.

Next stop and and just as quick to leave but because the service, and staff were not informed and sort of obnoxious was, O’Murphy’s Pub. I’m not even putting their link up because I’m not happy about the way they treated us. We called ahead of time to check on gluten free options as we did with all the restaurants we go to, and they assured Dave they had options available. So when The Hideaway wasn’t working out due to overcrowding we headed there. Huge mistake. We were seated between two doorways at a 2 top table, and were immediately asked what we wanted to eat before even being handed a menu. I told the waitress I needed a few minutes because I am gluten free, she abruptly said “oh you can have a salad without cheese on it” I half heartedly explained that it’s wheat (although of course it’s more extensive than just wheat) not dairy that I need to avoid. With that she said “Oh we don’t have gluten free stuff, you can have a salad.” Trying to explain how the person on the phone said they had options available was fruitless as she was oblivious to what I was saying. Dave asked to speak to a manager or the chef and I wanted to just leave. At that point I couldn’t safely trust my food to be safe. The manager told Dave a salad was my option as well. Needless to say disappointed in the exchange and lack of knowledge, although I know it’s not everyone’s responsibility to know about gluten free, just don’t lie and say you offer it if you don’t even know what it is.

On to the next stop which was, Harvest on Fort Pond for dinner. So glad we ended up here because the food was good and the staff was great as well. We had planned on eating here the next night but hey, go with the flow right. When we called ahead and Dave spoke to the host, who happens to have Celiac, she said I’d be more than happy with the food offerings and she would be willing to help me out choosing an item. Relief was in sight. We started with Mussels steamed in garlic sauce, and Dave had the Skirt Steak and I had the Pork Tenderloin. I admit my pork was a little over cooked, but still very good. The staff is attentive, knowledgable and the restaurant had such a nice ambiance.

Saturday afternoon we took a trip out to Sag Harbor for the day, and walked around the town for a while. Dave was looking forward to eating at iL Cappuccino, Italian Restaurant, but little did we know, they were only open for dinner, not lunch which is when we arrived. Luckily I thought ahead and packed a light lunch just in case we needed it. After realizing they weren’t open, and searching up and down the streets for a place we wanted to eat, we headed back to the car and ate our picnic looking at the water.

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Sag Harbor, Windmill (information center)

Once back to Montauk, we decided on eating at Gosman’s Dock Restaurant. Slightly disappointed in this establishment for two reasons, the food was phenomenal and our waiter was wonderful. But the host was less than pleasant when we entered and were asked if we needed a table for two, we said yes. She then informs us that “All water view tables were occupied and she would have to seat us somewhere else” As another host greeted another couple, all too friendly who walked in after us and immediately started to usher them to, wouldn’t you know it, a window view table. A little perturbed and feeling slighted because obviously they were “regulars” and we were not, we were seated at a 4 top table at the bottom of a set of stairs with a limited view of the water. Our table was less than stellar, and every time a server finished using the tray stand to serve food, they would prop it up right between my seat and the stair rail beside me. Talk about a hazard, because if I needed to get up quick I’d probably trip over it, and as it was everyone that walked by almost tripped over it. Not letting these mishaps get in the way, we had a lovely meal of Prime Rib, and wouldn’t you know, Mussels in white wine sauce. We do love mussels. We also had dessert. I had a delectable flourless chocolate cake that was served warm, with cappuccino ice cream and, Dave had the deconstructed key lime pie. Again like I said the food was delicious and our server was so nice.

Sunday morning was our last morning out in Montauk and we had as usual a great breakfast to start our day. After packing up the suite and saying so long to The Beachcomber and our lovely view, we headed out with our picnic lunch for some time at Camp Hero, and The Montauk Lighthouse.

The wait time to get into the Lighthouse was a little longer than we wanted to wait, so we opted for a drive by instead and a few photos. Plus I don’t believe I’d be able to walk the steps anyway.

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We then turned around and stopped at a scenic overlook for our lunch and then went to Camp Hero. I have a little bit of a fondness for oddities like Camp Hero, and wonder what really happened there all those years ago. Conspiracy theory’s much hmm. But seriously I really enjoy the mystery of it all and wish we had more time to do the full walk to the tower I captured in the distance. Looking at the bluffs, which I admit, I had NO idea that the island had bluffs. I’m used to an ocean I can just walk straight across to, not fear of falling off the edge of the earth kinda thing. But talk about majestic views! We definitely will be making a trip back soon, just for Camp Hero.

If you’re into time travel, and have heard of the Manhattan Project, you should totally check out information about Camp Hero.

All in all our Montauk Musings were Magnificent to say the least. A little adventure, not too far from home, an escape from the ordinary, and luckily before the Summer tourists descend upon the town like locusts 😉

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention on our way home I was craving and when I say craving I mean like a huge craving since I can’t remember the last time I had one…a lobster roll! We turned around and stopped at The Lobster Roll in Amagansett. Oh my goodness, they make an Udi’s Gluten Free hot dog roll taste so damn good. They had a separate Gluten Free Menu that was so huge, I couldn’t believe my eyes. But nothing was going to get me to eat anything but a lobster roll. And I was so damn happy. Yes food is my comfort I admit it 😉

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#AtoZChallenge X-Marks the spot

Life is a journey. We can all agree with that statement. One of wonderful possibilities, if and when we choose to embark upon it.

Often times we feel we are held back by obstacles out of our immediate control, or by forces that interfere within our life, kinks in the master plan if you will. But what if those kinks are all part of the master plan? The plan we are not allowed to know where X marks the spot. We don’t always know where our destination is, sometimes it’s not within our control.

It is, possibly… predestined. image

Life isn’t like your summer vacation, where you pick and choose the hotel, airline, food, entertainment, etc. Sure you can lay out an itinerary of sorts, but be aware that even within the best laid plans, things pop up and plans change. Kinks in the master plan on your way to buried treasure.

Throw caution to the wind, accept the changes when things go awry and move on to the next location. You will get to your destination within the right amount of time, and along the proper path, even if at times it looks like the worst path possible. Sometimes we need to go through the rubbish. Enjoy the process, even in the midst of the garbage thrown your way.

So, where does your treasure map lead you? Do you know the path with which you’ll choose? The easy paved road? Or the one with gravel, dirt, and mud?
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At the end of the day, which ever path you partake upon, have sturdy shoes, a strong will, and an open mind and heart. For whatever is thrown your way, handle it with pride and strength, it will get you through thick and thin. And for all the garbage thrown your way, you will appreciate the treasure at the end that much more.

Remember that rainbows need rain as do flowers to bloom.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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International Women’s Day

Slumber

When I got to Dave’s house last night, after I was greeted at the door by him and the kitties, we made dinner. Lilo has a habit that when I’m sitting at the kitchen table, all she wants to do is climb on my lap. Especially when I’m eating something. She finds a way to squeeze her little body between my not so little one and the back of the chair.

She always finds a way.

Then without fail, she attempts to climb my back, or wrap around my waist to see what’s on my plate. Sneaky little thing. She knows she can’t eat our food, so we nicely put her back on the tile floor and hope she finds her own food dish. Eventually she does, and then it’s her sisters turn. Stitch will try to do what her sister couldn’t accomplish. It’s a game between them. Let’s see who gets the dish of food.

Not gonna happen.

We decided to watch some NCIS last night. It’s not my normal show, but Dave likes it so I try to watch it with him. Hey, he will watch Doctor Who with me. He actually likes it too. So while we were relaxing on the couch all snuggled up with our blankets, low and behold little miss Lilo decided to join us. She jumped on Dave’s chair, and curled herself up in a ball right between his legs. How does she do that? Her tail so perfectly wrapped around her head. And almost instantly, she falls asleep.

Stitch decides she wants in on the action, but knows there’s no more room on daddy’s lap. So she jumps on mine and climbs up the back of the couch to perch herself above my head. I tried to catch a picture, but she wasn’t having any of that. No cooperation from her, plus the selfie wasn’t flying with me either lol. But as for Lilo, there really wasn’t any complaints. She continued to sleep quietly, for about an hour, when Dave needed to be rescued because his legs were falling asleep.

But how could you move this little love muffin? She was so happy, just laying there, all snuggled up in a ball. Who needs to turn the heat up when you have your own personal heater right there?