I got an impromptu text from my friend Mel to meet her and her kids at the Peekskill Coffee House
this morning. Who needs a shower to sip some java and eat a crepe with a dear friend? Not this woman.
My teens were still sleeping, so off I went to the land of a 5 year old and a 7 year old. Darling, adorable, happy and so fun. The barista hooked me up with a heart in my cup (foolishly I took a sip BEFORE taking the picture) without knowing how much I adore hearts. Karma.
Mel and I had a two and a half hour visit while these kids literally behaved like cherubs. It was fabulous.
We left and I went next door to check out my friend Roya's latest adventure. She is the new owner of The Coop
- a fabulous gift shop.
Then I came home to THIS and really, it'll put you in the Christmas spirit. I'm off to go decorate now...
I know I am not alone when it comes to music and how certain words can send me off into song. Case in point the photo in today's post. It cracks me up!
I also know I reach a maximum amount of times I can hear certain songs, for instance, "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus. I am SO done with that and I liked that song. They just played it too, too much.
Other songs I can absolutely hear again and again and yes, put on repeat in my iTunes. There are more than a few - "Feel Again
" by One Republic, "Longtime Sun
" by Snatum Kaur, "Maybe I'm Amazed
" by Paul McCartney and "The Cello Song
" by ThePianoGuys come to mind immediately.
Then there are my playlists - the playlists I made that even I get sick of. So I skip song after song after song until I get to something I love. I do the same thing on Pandora.
What are your favorites? What can you listen to on repeat? What are you done with?
I'm off to the salon - have an awesome Sunday!
And that folks, is all I've got for now!
The long line.
The many, many people on that line.
The emptiness from the pain in the eyes of a new widow.
A young woman holding onto her boyfriend as a life support.
Me, bending down to touch the face of my friend as she whispers, "Maggie, I have no more tears. I am dry." I kiss her cheeks and the top of her head and leave her with all the blessings I have in me; with all the love I have. Moving on to her daughter who is strong but oh so shell shocked.
Francie has extraordinary neighbors who I too am privileged to call friends. There is a protective border around her on all sides. I live in an awesome community. We are collecting money, because immediate needs always need to be met.
But as my friend Christine so eloquently pointed out to me on the phone last night, "The money is almost secondary. It makes US feel better. THE most important thing we can do is stand together as a community for Francie. She needs to know we're here for her."
She will see us. She will feel us. We will give her strength when she is empty.
Tragedies are awful.
THAT is what matters.
PS - THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by the salon, or sent me a PayPal donation or found me and added to the donations. As of this morning I am so proud to report I have $725 in hand. Giant, enormous, from my heart to yours, thank you.
This is a seriously beautiful instrumental version of the Ed Sheeran song. Take the time to give love to those around you who need it. xohttp://youtu.be/RqqEb4eISmU
Yesterday, one year ago, I wrote my first blog piece
, I started the web site, I created a Facebook page, a Pinterest board and a Twitter account for TGHR.
What a difference a year makes.
Certain pages need a face lift.
I still haven't gotten the knack of Twitter.
I did add an Instagram account, but haven't done too much with that either.
Oh, I updated LinkedIn...a year ago.
My favorite medium remains blogging and Facebook.
My mission remains the same, BUT, now I know what I want in greater detail and I am certain I am on the right track to make it all happen.
Basically, I want a B&B to function as a retreat center.
- I want to lead retreats.
- I want others to use the space to lead retreats as well.
- I want enough bedrooms and bathrooms for people to be comfortable.
- I want a room dedicated to massage/Reiki/acupuncture that can be used by a practitioner who may not have their own space.
- I want a room dedicated to yoga - maybe then I might practice it on my own...
- I want a room dedicated to arts and crafts.
- I want a working kitchen with a massive table for people to eat at.
- I want comfy, cozy couches and a fireplace and over sized chairs and rockers and 8,000 blankets.
- I want the whole place wired for sound.
Is that asking too much? I don't think so.
There is a certain level of calmness and serenity that is inherent in my Magic Basement. There is a comfort level that happens as soon as people come in. There is safety and warmth and wonder. The deep breaths, laughter, tears and shared experiences make this a great space.
Many people have contributed to the creature comforts down here and I love to tell the stories of how I got some of the items and I especially love when the people themselves are HERE and can see just what they have added to the place. It is inviting and marvelous and indeed, quite magical.
I have met so many people in this year and seriously, to have someone offer me their home for the first retreat is a HUGE deal. xoxoxo
THANK YOU for taking this journey with me. Some of you have been reading since the first posts. If you are like me and the blogs I read, you may skip some days and then play catch up. You may get it delivered to your mail. (Go up on the right and sign up.) You may find it via FB pr Pinterest. However you got here - thank you, thank you, thank you.
I can't even fathom where I'll be next year at this time!
#GivingTuesday results! It was a great day for a horrible reason, but I am thrilled to say the day's efforts brought in $437. HOW awesome is that?!
THANK YOU one and all for the visits, the conversation, the wine donations, the olive spread and crackers, the coffee, cider and LOVE.
I'll never give up
Never give in
Never let a ray of doubt slip in
And if I fall
I'll never fail
I'll just get up and try againhttp://youtu.be/VDEi5hJ76-A
Today is Giving Tuesday
; a day that began last year to overrule all the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The sole purpose is to look around and see where you can help. There are countless people involved all over America today sharing from their hearts. A little, a lot, a hug, a call, money, and in my case, coffee and wine.
You can give globally or you can give locally.
Do what YOU can today.
Yesterday in NY, there was a devastating train derailment
on our train line down in the Bronx. When I heard about it, I was concerned; when you board the train from our train station most of us tend to stay in the first four cars; they are the closest to the stairs and to the terminal at Grand Central Station so it makes sense to be in the front. The exception to this rule is if you are going uptown and want to go out the North Corridor, in which case, you want to be in the back. Seeing the first car so close to the Hudson, turned on it's side was disconcerting to say the least. Seeing more than one car turned on it's side was horrific.
I picked up some pizza at my favorite pizzeria around 4:15 this afternoon. It turns out a man I see in the restaurant all the time was in the 6th car of the train this morning. He was absolutely in a state of shock. Fine but shaken.
One of the kids who graduated from the HS last year was on the train. She has a fractured spine and assorted other injuries. The beauty of teens is that they keep their phones handy even when they are involved in an accident and as such we know she is in pain, but she has stood and taken a few steps and is alive.
As the day went on we got news that a friend, Jim Ferrari, had been one of the men who died in the derailment. He leaves behind his wife, Francie, and his daughter, Becca, who is a sophomore in college. Neither of the women in this family drive. I cannot even imagine what these next few days, let alone the next few weeks, months, or years will be like for them.
There is a hopelessness you feel. The community wants to do something, anything, to make the family feel better. Food is what we do in times of grief. It's our go-to thing. But seriously, how much food can two people realistically eat? They are going to need rides to places; taxi money, car service money - that's what they will need.
Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday (#givingtuesday). You can find out more about that HERE
. I had already moved Coffee/Wine For a Cause to tomorrow for just that reason. It's why I host it.
All the proceeds from Coffee
For a Cause collected tomorrow will go towards helping alleviate that bill for Francie and Becca. As you know, normally the CFAC monies are sent out to Amy, Jake and for a couple of months to my friend, Jen. For obvious reasons I made the executive decision to keep it very local tomorrow.
The fundraiser for Amy is always "on" and can be reached HERE
.Because you asked - Amy & Jake Update
Jake continues to thrive and be a twelve year old boy. He is cancer free!
Amy, on the other hand, is still a medical mess. (Sorry Amy...)This is from a post Amy wrote on November 20
:This is what I have. (
click on the word here
for the article)
Had no idea that only 16,000 people have them.
I cannot imagine wearing this thing for 8 years. Remember that song, "Take This Job and Shove It?" Some days I hum that song in my head. My lyrics are a little different.....take these batteries and shove it, I ain't wearin' them no more! :)
Seriously I am thankful every day for how well I feel with this pump
Amy has completed the necessary tests towards getting to the top of the transplant list. Now, it is a waiting game.
Jeff is sill unemployed.
Keep the prayers coming, the thoughts coming, the healing coming and if you can afford to, please consider donating.
I recently had a chat with a friend about getting all the "crap" out of their system regarding some people in their lives. I suggested writing vicious letters. Go batshit crazy in the letter. Write your heart out. Scream. Cry. Curse.
Then burn it.
It is totally cathartic to do this with a pen and paper.
You can do exactly the same thing when you type it. It doesn't have the same affect on your system as watching the pieces of paper burn though. I've done this exercise numerous times.
In addition, I have deleted many a text. I have gone to my contacts and just looked at a number and decided to NOT hit send. I have hung up a phone just before it rings.
It's good for the soul, good for the heartache, good for the anger and good for you. Go ahead...it's your turn now.
If you've been here awhile, you are not in the least bit surprised that love is the final word I picked from the book I've been using all month.
Naturally, in my email this morning I received this daily quote:
Being in love is so good for you. Often when people are newly in love, things that have been bothering them for a long time get better. Something wonderful is calling the majority of their attention, so they're holding themselves in a better vibrational place, so the stuff they've been wanting all along can now zoom in.
If someone could bottle the feeling of new love they would be a kajillionaire.
As we enter into the holiday frenzy, take some time to love yourself. Treat yourself to some pampering. Work off stress at the gym. Walk to clear your head. Get on the mat and do some yoga or Pilates. Meet a friend for coffee. Read a book. Catch a season of something on Hulu or Netflix. Listen to some awesome music. Take a ride in the car. Shop at small local businesses. Remember to breathe...probably the hardest of all of these suggestions.
I wish you all a love filled day.
If you haven't ever really listened to a phenomenal ukulele player, I invite you to check out Jake Shimabukuro.
In My Life
There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I'll love you more
We kaboshed the kickball game yesterday due to cold ...the kids still won.
We shared what we were thankful via 2013 paper - the kids and some adults texted me something and someone they were grateful for. I read them out loud.
Some of the kids and I watched "Home Alone." I had never seen it much to the surprise of many in the room. It was made in 1990 and it still made me laugh in probably all the same places it made people laugh 23 years ago.
We ate and laughed and smiled and I personally took zero pictures. We just sat and hung out together.
Today, EVERYONE in this house slept in. Peter just ambled downstairs and announced he will be eating nothing at all for the day. (I am hereby stating for the record this will be a false statement.) Bella heated up some of her Grandma Maria's foccacia and is in garlic heaven.
There was talk about hanging Christmas lights today. I believe it's been rescheduled for tomorrow.
If you had the wherewithal to go out at oh-dark-thirty this morning and brave crowds, go you. I did it once and that was more than enough for me.
If you feel like shopping from your seat and not your feet, may I suggest the beautiful jewelry of Meredith Jordan
. She has a gorgeous etsy shop and you can see some of her work in the short film below.http://youtu.be/dwKlkTyIqUs
We are now entering some of the most stressful days since school started in September. From Hanukkah to Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve/Day to Kwanza to New Year's Eve - it is a free for all of celebrating and it won't always be pretty. However, I am going to TRY to remain calm throughout the season and literally just take it day by day.
My brother texted me this morning after I thanked him for hosting:
"Was totally kick ass - family for the win :-)"
Here's to kick ass celebrations!
PS - It's Friday, so dance to the music! (Check out the 1970 look...)
Celebrate anything you want. Celebrate the start of something, the end of something. If you're still going after five years or ten years or twenty-five years, celebrate. String paper chains and hand-deliver invitations and bake a cake and break out the good stuff. Celebrate! Dance and sing, give speeches, take pictures, finger paint, play word games, and cut out cookies with sprinkles. Unfurl flags and spread torn quilts on the lawn and squeeze your own lemonade and bake a pie. Celebrate all the old holidays, and dream up a whole new batch of your own. Celebrate early, celebrate late, and celebrate often. Celebrate!