rosevalleygERL

make like a tree and leaf

Food Is Love

I have more love to give than I know what to do with. There are days when I’m frustrated and hurt because I have no proper outlet for it. And, there are days when I feel incredibly alone because I’m receiving little if none at all. I don’t always show it in obvious ways. You won’t find me posting quotes or poetry on a Facebook wall, misusing (and wearing out) those 8 (eight) letters and 3 (three) words. I am happiest when I’m in the kitchen proving my worth and showing my love in salt. To me, food is love.

To the employees at the Laurelhurst Whole Foods on Burnside and 28th in Portland, OR I owe you a thank you. I was having a rotten day…a migraine, impending birthday and lonely heart. Because of you, on this day, I felt loved. The individual at the deli meat counter, thank you for having a twisted sense of humor that snapped me out of my funk. You didn’t need to add those extra slices of turkey pastrami to my order but with cheese and crackers over lunch at my new job, giving me fuel to get through the second half of the day…I felt loved. The individual at the meat counter, thank you for helping me pick out a steak and being mindful of my budget, offering to season it and taking the time to make sure I knew how to properly prepare it. I had it for dinner the following evening along with fresh corn on the cob and with each bite…I felt loved. The individual that helped me at check-out, you were at the end of your shift on your ‘Friday’. When my total grocery bill was a bit more than currently in my checking account, you didn’t need to take $3.00 off but you did, you took care of me and…I felt loved.

I want all three of you to know it was paid forward, and I intend to keep paying it forward. An inspiring co-worker (out of the goodness of his heart) has started (once a month) putting together sandwiches and passing them out to the homeless downtown. Per a suggestion, he added in bottled water and bananas and I came up with the idea to throw some homemade cookies into the mix.

Oatmeal Cookies

I didn’t grow up with a great deal of money but what we lacked in greens we made up for in love. Sure, Oreos would have been the more popular food to have in my lunch sack but honestly, I’d take my mother’s homemade oatmeal cookies any day. I figure that when you are feeling ignored and alone, a few bites of a homemade cookie might just make you feel that you actually do matter. Because, to me, food is love.

Honey Maid: Love

May 20, 2015 It Happens

Love Is Letting Go

IMG_1434

Truth.

The weekend following the 36th anniversary of my life was not without challenges…a relationship that I really valued ended. But I tell you, as painful as it was, it was equally beautiful. I gave my heart to an amazing person and it was returned with the same amount of love and respect that it had been given.

A sweet friend of mine, someone I consider a sister, was asking me a zillion questions about how I ‘felt’. Sad for sure. At a certain point in life you pin a lot of hope on things, especially when you do away with the immaturity of your twenties. But I’m logical to a fault and I understood beyond any emotion, why things had to end.

I told her my secret to life was logic, compassion and a twisted sense of humor. And alcohol but I’m sure that’s not healthy.

So here I am…letting go. I learned a long time ago that control is an illusion. That hanging onto an illusion will only leave you empty and without grounding. With feet firmly planted in the earth I look forward. Let’s do this!

 

May 18, 2015 Life Happens

Cecilia

What is it about Cecilia?

On my way into work this morning I heard a new song on the radio. It reminded me of the montage of scenes that accompany a movie trailer where the casts includes a bunch of well known actors and actresses. The plot is one where the primary character goes through something profound in life (usually a crisis in adulthood) but with support from a quirky lot of friends and family. One might use the word ‘heartwarming’ when describing this film. Regardless it was catchy and I figured why not share.

Cecilia And the Satellite – Andrew McMahon

But then, I’m reminded of another Cecilia, someone I know a bit better.

Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkle

Cecilia, you’re obviously quite the woman to inspire such musical worship over the span of nearly five (5) decades. Do me a favor though, treat your men a bit better. Granted maybe you were young once and had your pick but at this point in life, if someone says:

For all the things my hands have held
The best by far is you

They’re a keeper.

April 14, 2015 Music for the Soul

Yoga – RosevalleygERL Style

 

February 9, 2015 That's Funny

In the Style of Boyfriend

Dear Adidas,

I have long worshiped at your house and will soon be purchasing the Somba Classic (or a close variation of) as a means of adding some comfortable urban polish to my everyday. Sadly, you do not make an equal of athletic grace in a woman’s shoe (what to heck with that I ask) but thankfully, I’ll order a smaller-sized men’s shoe and consider myself a satisfied customer.

I do have one small matter to bring to your attention, if you would be so obliging, and that would be the Boyfriend Shoes:

Boyfriend Shoes

Boyfriend as a fashion style is not a new thing per se and it pains me a bit to see you jumping off that particularly well known cliff. And, for such an unattractive, unoriginal, gender-bland product at that (say it with me now…got cankles?). Perhaps you were simply ribbing us the fairer sex? If so, then you go sell the shit out of your Boyfriend Shoes.  I’ll be over here admiring men in girlfriend-fit denim:

skinny jeans

Sincerely,

rosevalleygERL

 

 

 

 

 

January 27, 2015 It Happens

Quotable – Tyler Knott Gregson

“I would love to say that you make me weak in the knees, but to be quite upfront and completely truthful, you make my body forget it has knees at all.”

The sky was a thick blanket of grey and the cool winds that run along the river were kicking up my hair, inexpertly stuffed under a stocking cap. Bags of groceries and cooking implements in hand, I felt the straps digging into my weary shoulders. It had been a long weekend, one absent of the thing I wanted the most, and I had been silently miserable because of it. I stood there beginning to contemplate the recent things that had brought me to this moment but then I saw you running up the dock, your body moving in ways increasingly familiar to me. It isn’t so much that my heart stopped but paused in the most pleasant of ways. In moments you were on the other side, blackberry brambles, metal, wood, cracked glass and barbed wire between us. A deterrent to trespassers and a strange frame for the one I carry in my heart. I smelled you first, as I always do, something classic and spiced (I could happily drown in that smell). The sensation of your strong hands holding my face, the warmth of you a weather system of its own, your beard against my chilled skin – the perfect kiss sponsored by Portland Bee Balm and Burt’s Bees. What knees?

December 9, 2014 Quotable ,

Quotable – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

December 3, 2014 Quotable

Quotable – Cameron Diaz

“No matter how old you are, finding the guy who’s in the same place as you are and wants to show up is the only way a relationship works, period.”

December 2, 2014 Quotable

Don’t Forget the Stuffing

Of all the dishes being enjoying this Thanksgiving, there’s one in particular that I have little love for: stuffing.  Being that I am a celiac, for obvious reasons, I am at odds with this dish.  Beyond that, I am a texture eater and have always found that steaming mound of mushy bread on my plate unappealing.  Even the process of how it’s made is off-putting to me.  Bread, onions, celery, stock and spices (keepin’ it basic b*tch) are stuffed in what would be the rear end of a turkey carcass.  This serves as a sauna for said mixture, so that the marrow, liquefied fat and connective tissues don’t go to waste.  Yum.

In conjunction with the consumption (or avoidance) of stuffing are the holidays that seemingly call for it.  For better or worse, the holidays come with family. Those you are related to and those you consider as such, shared DNA mattering not.  From an outsider’s perspective I’ve watched my brother and his wife struggle each year with the holidays, their blended family, and in specific, arrangements needing to be made with regards to his daughter.  I know his situation is not unique as I have heard much from friends who find themselves in similar situations and have seen some rather disappointing things play out via social media (damned you).  It is always frustrating and hurtful for the adults involved but no one suffers more than the children used as ropes in a very real game of tug-o-war.  I say little when these unhappy situations play out as I am a childless, unmarried woman in her mid-thirties from a traditional nuclear family – what would I know?  Yet, my deeply logical self turns to my deeply compassionate self and says wtf is wrong with these supposed adults and their seemingly childish games?

Why, you  ask, am I talking about stuffing and blended families?  Because, this year, I had my own small taste of what being part of a blended family is like and realized the former is a perfect metaphor for the latter.

  • Everyone has their own unique recipe for stuffing and all blended families are unique.
  • As a child in a blended family, you swear to do everything different when you are an adult.  Yet, when you become an adult, you realize it was the original recipe that simply needed improving.
  • People have a love/hate relationship with stuffing, and the same could be said of blended family members.
  • Great stuffing and wonderful holiday childhood memories require the same ingredient: nostalgia.
  • You cannot take either family or stuffing out of the holidays…ever tried and seemingly ever failed people.
  • Plans for whom has who and when, will change last minute (especially during the holidays).  However, extra plates, chairs and stuffing will always be found.
  • Indoor pets of the dog persuasion tend to feel the same way about children and stuffing, the more the merrier.

DNA does not a family make, love does.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

November 27, 2014 Life Happens ,

End of the Line

Dad,

Yesterday would have been your birthday and as Max mentioned, there would have been pizza (Papa Pete’s) and beer but most of all, more laughter and love to go around than any of us would have known what to do with.  We miss you, there isn’t a day that goes by that this isn’t true.  There have been many changes around here, some of them harder to handle than others but we do our best in your absence.  We try so very hard to live our lives to the fullest, some days we’re better at it than others but it is you we think of when we need that extra kick in the ass.  You are, and always will be the voice inside our heads reminding us that life truly is too short and that it isn’t worth living unless we’re happy.

Your birthday always marks the start of the holiday season only because it is the first sharp reminder that you won’t be here for the festivities.  Thanksgiving, you and your empty legs and fourth helpings; then Christmas, the hunt for a ‘real’ tree and the trick we’d play on Mom regarding her Christmas gift; New Years quickly follows and the sound of you firing off the shotguns in the backyard is noticeably absent.  Then there’s January, such a hard (and let’s all be honest – shitty) month – there’s the day our hearts stopped, followed by the day that yours did and it ends with the day we had no other choice but to say farewell (but let’s be honest, you had a stellar funeral – all that was missing was a boat and some flaming arrows).

We miss you, we love you and we can only hope that when the end of the line (hopefully a long, long time from now) comes, you’ll be there waiting with a smile (oh that million watt smile of yours) and a hug from your skinny-ass frame (Lien butt anyone) and a beer (though let’s be honest Dad, Budweiser leaves something wanting – might I suggest another option).

All Our Love,

Eleanor

November 17, 2014 Music for the Soul