Friday, January 9, 2009

Fini and Begin Again

My stained glass angel ornament on my pink tree - that's Christmas to me
Life is what happens when you’re trying to write a blog. So instead of writing, I was living, but now I am back and happy to have some semblance of routine and normalcy. Nothing bad kept me from this personal task, all good with holidays to boot, but it did leave me snackered. Here are the top ten things that have transpired over the past 4 weeks. (In no particular order)

O Tannebaum
My perfect pink tree. Kitsche, I know, but aren't you jealous?
I just love my Christmas tree. It is pink with white lights and stands only about 6 feet tall (on a crate.) I have all kinds of ornaments on it even one that was crafted with my own wee hands when I was 3. I got the tree last year for $30 and the guy at the store said, “You’re goin’ to be the only person in Pinellas County with a pink tree.” My response, “I hope so,” even though I knew that there would be many folks in the gayborhood that would adore some pink plastic perfection. Even Guy was jealous. I wrap the bottom and its pedestal wine crate in a Santa-inspired, red and white faux fur skirt and even sans gifts it is a sight to behold. I hate the thought of taking it down and packing it away for another full year.

All the little children
Leilani having a blast at her recital. Her enthusiam was contagious!
It wouldn’t be a holiday without a children’s recital. I was invited to Leilani’s class’ Christmas program and had the honor of listening to three-year-olds massacre the old Christmas standards. It’s sort of like watching the auditions for American Idol, but not sad at all with kids forgetting their lines and waving to mommy in the front row, or those standing fear-struck as dad coerces them to look at the video camera. I just loved it. And of course Leilani stayed on cue and didn’t pick her nose nor lift her dress even once to the relief of her mother.
Noah, not to be outdone, does his famous rolling eyes routine. He's such a comedian.
I’ll be home for ChristmasA quick shot of my family during the gift exchange.
Since my family has developed into quite an extended posse, we try to make it for at least one day a year to be together, including spouses, mates, in-laws and kids. This year my niece Amanda hosted at her posh house. The food was divine with deep-fried turkey, pole beans cooked with bacon, Greek salad, butternut squash casserole and apple cobbler (my addition.) Plus it was great seeing the clan. My nieces and nephews are all grown with the youngest in his second year of college. Brian brought the girlies (his two divine daughters Madison and Sailor) and they are what really make the season bright. Even Laura, the actress, made it home all the way from LA and her Orange County-lifestyle. I miss the lot of them, but we just don’t seem to be able to hook-up much. Plus it is a nice time to catch up and do a simple gift exchange. This year was pretty weak though since my niece Erin left early and no one stole from anyone else, except me to try to get the ball rolling. Plus for me it’s all about giving so I was so pleased to see that Holley, Brian’s wife, got the afghan I made. She is so sweet and really appreciates things like that. My brother never makes it to these things since he lives in Michigan or something and I guess it is better to be there than with us.

Madison and Sailor Grace having a blast on Christmas Eve. They really make the holiday for me.
Sailor helping her mom with her new afghan. It was my first big project and turned out so sweet.

Feliz Navidad

You can't have black beans and rice without red wine vinegar!

And to balance out all the stress from driving to the family Christmas, I spent Christmas Day at Michelle’s and enjoyed my favorite meal of all time – Cuban roast pork, black beans and rice and baked ziti. Last year, she went to Ohio to visit family (why else would someone go to Ohio) and this left me beanless for the first Christmas in more than 10 years. It was painful. But I made up for it this year with double plates of food and a very sick belly that evening. Her family had done the Christmas Eve too so it was just us, Vivi, Ronn and her mom lounging around watching the Food Network and drinking wine. Mich and I recycle presents (meaning we usually take something we have and give that as a gift instead of buying something impersonal – except wine, that is good for all occasions.) This year I gave Vivi a Mary Poppins Barbie I had gotten about 12 years ago from an ex-boyfriend. It was still in the box with most of the accessories. I also shared with her half of my Hello Kitty collection (the other half goes to Leilani with her brother Noah gets my X-Men comic collection.) There was only a touch of drama, but it wouldn’t be a holiday without someone drinking too much and being all passive aggressive. (Vivi took the picture of her mom to the left, not too bad I thought. )
Vivi has already learned-leave the gun, take the cannoli!

Cause I’m a loser baby
Weight Watchers is a godsend. I am doing pretty well though I have fallen off the wagon a couple times. It’s the holidays and I let myself falter from time to time, but try to keep up with the exercising. I know that this is my time, and 2009 is all about me. I no longer want to think about my weight or convince myself that one day I will be thin. I am working towards my goal and I plan to be the hottest beatch at next year’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Now, I just need a hot guy to show me off. So far I have found a bunch of new recipes, including a vegetarian chili that so rocks, I just love a cup of it in the afternoon when I get ready to work out. I feel more alive than before and even when I am naughty (which I love being naughty) I can still be on track, a touch. I have vowed to not buy any new clothes until I get to the halfway point (which I am shooting for the end of April) and will be treating myself to exercise toys, accessories for my bike and cookbooks instead. I just love deciphering recipes, deconstructing them and making them more healthy. And that is what this is all about – it’s not a diet, it’s a healthy way to live.

I want to ride my bicycle
I just love, love, love my bike. I really do. I like to ride to the beach on Saturday morning, ride my bike to my friends’ homes, ride to the store and the library, and ride around just for fun. The weather has been great here and that only inspires me to get out and ride even more. My morning rides are the hardest to convince myself of, but when I do get peddling, the music in my ears and a fresh cup of juice or a smoothie when I get back really bring it all together. I feel so much better about myself when I ride. Since I can’t walk much, it is one of the only ways I can get mobile. My boss even gave me a harnessed pouch for Finnegan to ride in when I go out riding. I’ve thought about riding up to Georgie’s in the evening for cocktails since I will have to stick to one and not feel too guilty about the calories. We’ll see about that later. Future adventures include: the Saturday Morning Market downtown, visiting Michelle and Renee (both are just a few miles more) and maybe one day go all the way to Guy’s.
Santa baby

Made this when I was three - aren't you impressed???

Christmas was simple this year. I wasn’t able to give very much, if anything since money is pretty tight, but I was blessed with several treats. Ronn gave me a bottle of vodka accompanied by a bottle of deliciously spiced olives. That was my Christmas morning treat – a spicy martini to go with the healthy egg white omelet and tomatoes. Michelle shared with me a set of espresso cups and saucers from her grandmother and homemade marinara and cranberry sauce that she canned. Guy made it a Warholiday with a money tray in Andy style and a pink martini ornament for my pink Christmas tree. Heidi shared her generosity with my kids by getting the kitties some cat nip balls and Finnegan a squeaky toy. I just love how she always thinks of the pets during the holidays. Patty gave me a flask, though it only holds six ounces (HA) because she knows me so well. I know that will definitely get a lot of use. I always feel blessed when people share gifts with me, even if it is stuff that I never considered, I still am grateful since no one really has to do it. Plus, my friends are the same way since they appreciate anything that is given to them and they teach their kids this too, since just being kin is a gift.

Finnegan Begin Again
I waited 35 years to get a puppy for Christmas and it finally happened. Finn is still with his mommy and grandma since he isn’t weaned. It will be about 4 more weeks until he comes home to me. I have been visiting him at least once a week and even held him all night on New Year’s Eve. It was a quiet end to the year. Ronn joined me over at Patty and Jim’s where we sat out back, drank champagne and held puppies – what could be more magical? My first kiss of the new year was Finn with his sour puppy breath and newly opened eyes to see how much I love him. I am so excited to be a new mommy.

Kids in America

Dancing to "They Don't Know About Us" by Tracey Ullman

I ended the year dancing with my dear friends Patty and Tuttie to old 80s tunes and began 2009 dancing with Renee and Malika to reggae/hip hop favorites. I just love to dance, but don’t get the chance much. Being a goth kid in high school and college limited my dance moves though I have always loved dancing around the house. That is where it ended since I felt clumsy with my weight and lost with all the choreography. But that is all changing. Malika was showing me how to belly dance and Renee shared some of her Jamaican moves getting me up and running and I didn’t care how I looked, as long as I was having fun. So that is one of my new year’s goals – to dance more just for fun. Plus it is great exercise. Dexy's Dancing!!

Hot Hot Hot
For my new adventure in 2009 I got a new haircut. It isn’t too different from before and is even a recollection of a few years ago with short curls framing my face. I love it an am so excited with my new look. 2009 has so much possibility! Plus I have the perfect accessory for my new look - FINN!

And one sad note. On December 20, Jerry Taylor was murdered. Jerry and I worked together for several years. Though not close, we shared many laughs in boring meetings. As circumstances would have it, I spotted him a few months ago at my new place of business and found it a touch comforting to see someone from the old stomping grounds. He was an innocent victim of a deranged psychopath who also murdered Beth Evans, his ex-wife and a friend of Jerry’s. We weren’t close, but it still keeps me struck with sadness to think how this vibrant man and loving father will not longer be there to bring light into his daughter’s eyes.

1 comment:

misschris said...

Happy new year. Sounds like you had a nice holiday surrounded by friends. You look wonderful btw.