Purim, Spring and Oodles of Love

“Oh, Harper Rose Natalie I love you.”  That’s what I just sang to you while I changed your diaper and put you into bed.  “I love your stinky toes and your belly too”……we both laughed at that.  I sang, “ We love you Bubby, Oh yes, we do.  We love your messy hair and your sore eye too. When you’re not happy, I’m blue! Oh Bubby, Bubby, Bubby, we love you!”  You thought that was pretty hilarious as well.  Just a moment ago you were watching Cocomelon (your most favourite show) when you made a big yawn and looked at me and said Doh doh (that’s your soother) and you only get it at bedtime.  You pressed a key on the keypad and shut the computer.  You are like a clock, little one.  First you eat your lunch, watch a little bit of a show and you are yawning (often a big fake one) and off to bed you go.

We went to the park this morning and actually were around other people. Bubby is living on the wild side now that I have had my first Covid 19 vaccine.  This is our second time together at this park but Daddy told me he has taken you there about 4 times.  Guess how I found it???  You led me there.  I put you in the wagon and headed towards a park that I knew of.  To get there I would have walked straight from your house without turning.  When we got to the first intersection, you insisted ( and I mean insisted) that I turn left.  I said ok since it really didn’t matter where we went.  After a few blocks, you pointed left again.  I said ok but I didn’t think we could find a park.  Well, was I wrong!!!  You led us straight into the most magnificent park for children.  The best equipment – all exactly the right size.  You bravely went up every ladder and down every slide.  You had brought a doll baby with you and you sent her down the slides, put her on the swings and on the merry go round.  We went on the teeter totter together.  So much FUN!!  

We’ve got a little agreement going on.  You will take as much as you can get away with.  You will tell me no but once I count to 3, you know I mean business and you come with me without much fuss.  It took us a bit to get to this point but we have an understanding.  You’re pretty cute when you put up one finger and say one – as in one more.  Grandma told a story that you were playing last week with a neighbour’s dog and that they gave you a treat for her.  You put your hand out flat with the treat on it.  You learned that from Grandma’s dog, Murphy who you love a lot.  I am digressing.  You then put up your finger and said one? Apparently you did this several times and the little poodle got 4 treats!!

Harper you are only 3 months away from your second birthday.  Next month it will be a year since Mommy had to go.  You love to point out pictures of Mommy and sometimes I think I see you talking to her.  Daddy makes sure you say Good night and I love you to Mommy every night.  He shows you her photos.  Bubby loves him for that.  You are very, very clever.  You have a great vocabulary of more than 50 words and some have more than 2 syllables.  You are starting to count and one and two are very familiar to you.  You know a lot of colours now.  Blue seems to be your favourite to say and to choose. You are trying out your ABC’s too.

You love to video chat with Auntie Raya – the instant you see her face you break into a big smile.  Very soon you are going to spend time with her, Uncle Ben and Cousin Oscar.  You are going to be one very happy little girl.  Everyone around you is starting to make plans for summer.  Cottages, lakes, maybe pools, farmer’s markets, pony rides, amusement parks, and sunshine fun!!  You also love to chat with Great Bubby Kaye and Regine.  You grab the phone from me and start to show them everything including your Barbie House, your toys, your room -anything and everything.

This past month we celebrated Purim at Bubby’s home.  You and I dressed up in costume and we ate Thai food. You loved the spring rolls and ate a bit of phad thai and a wee bit of mango salad. This summer I hope to show you a world of food and someday, my sweet love, I hope to show you food as we travel the world!!!  So much I want you to see.  Your Mommy loved to travel and I know you will too because you are an Adventurer!  Back to Purim – we had a video party with Auntie Raya and Uncle Ben and Cousin Oscar.  Everyone dressed up.  Being Jewish is pretty cool because there seems to be a holiday around every corner.  With every holiday comes special food and music.  We are now singing Miriam’s Song (singing and dancing and laughing) and Dayenu.  The moment I sang it, you started singing it with me.  It was like you knew it already.  We are ready for our sedar with Auntie Paula and Uncle Peter.  Woot! Woot!

Queen Esther
Queen Vashti

Well I can’t end this letter without telling you about the fact that you often go into cat mode as your Cousin Oscar would call it.  You meow like a real kitten and you also paw at your thighs and take off crawling and meowing.  Daddy heard you the other night at about 11pm.  You cried out and then meowed!!  You went back to sleep.  When I come into your room in the morning, you say hi but then quickly start to meow.  Oooh I love you, baby cat.  

meow

I take a lot of photos of you.  I want a photo in all your outfits.  Now you aren’t running away from me but instead you stop to pose – your poses are more super model than candid shots.  You like to look away with an indifferent look.  One day you ran into the bathroom and sat on your potty and posed.  Hey, little love, I’ll photograph you anywhere.  

Super model pose
Super model on the commode
Super model in the kitchen

Spring is close.  You are loved. Meow!

Loving Yourself First

It’s Valentine’s Day and it is the 9th one I have celebrated with my wife. Actually I married myself on July 20, 2012 and we /I have been deeply committed and in Love ever since.  This Valentine’s Day I fell back in love with me.  In the past 9 years, we have had heartbreaking losses, celebrated many wonderful occasions and we continue to discover and uncover and excavate who we are together. This year has been horrific – I lost my precious daughter Tovah to cancer during this pandemic. I was buried in my grief, confused, angry, heartbroken, lost, found, held, alone, not alone, supported, unsupported, scared so scared and at the same time hopeful.  

At 58, I launched my website – 60 in the City (well almost) and now I am approaching my 65th birthday.  My dream 7 years ago was to motivate womyn to believe that anything was possible, to believe that we are not our victim story, that we find Joy in the simplest things.  I wrote about marrying myself, about a staycation in this fabulous city of Toronto.  I wrote about traveling for free by working as you go.  I wrote about my home – only 400 square feet.  I wrote about my struggles with weight and with health issues, I wrote about things that confused me like people who don’t cook or older womyn who think they are invisible.  I wrote as I traveled sharing my adventures. I wrote about my grief. This past year I have been writing letters to my granddaughter Harper Rose.  I’m writing her because it fills my heart but also because I am afraid that I will forget as I age – that I will forget the fun and the stories that we are sharing together.

This weekend I found my personal beauty again – pandemic hair, a healing eye and all.  I put on red lipstick.  I put on makeup.  I polished my nails. I got dressed just for zoom.  It is a weekend Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess) retreat. It has been a long time since I saw myself in that light.  Being able to look in the mirror and smile and see me as I see me – feeling beautiful, confident and content.  I have been looking in the mirror everyday for about 10 days and saying a positive mantra and a series of things that I am blessing including my eye and my medical situation.  For 2 ½ months I have been dealing with the retina of my left eye that has detached 3 times causing significant scarring. I had to position in bed for more than 3 weeks – first on my right side, next face down and this last time face down or facing right.   “Bless my left eye, bless my medical situation and ending with I am ALREADY healed, happy, loving, wealthy, successful, confident, physically and emotionally well.  This is my affirmation.”  Every day I felt a sense of joy and well-being returning to me. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart. I love you.

Must Love Dogs: Pet sitting is Awesome

For the past 5 days I have been pet sitting in a beautiful home in Puerto Penasco.  This is the kind of home you just move into – fall in love with the dog, then the house and the lifestyle.  I have enjoyed every minute here and it’s hard to believe that I got paid for the experience.  Yup, pet sitting is awesome.

First you have to meet Kaiser – he is an adorable, loving and gentle German Shepherd.  His hip hurts and he and I both take our time on the stairs.  I usually put my hand on his hip as he struggles up the stairs.  He patiently waits for me on the landing on the way down.  I have fallen in love. No matter where I am, he is nearby and it is the most amazing feeling.  When he’s bored, he comes over and gives me a nudge.  He might just want a pat and a little scratch, sometimes we go outside and walk around the property, sometimes I refill his water bowl (he drinks about 2 litres a day) – he just needs a little reassurance that he is loved and cared for or – maybe he thinks that I do. 

Kaiser was a rescue and he does get anxious sometimes.  Neighbours have been shooting off fireworks and there was also a big display over the water this past weekend.  I am not a fan of fireworks either.  He gets as close as he can when this happens and his parents also give him  a prescribed tincture of CBD oil.

I am starting to think that I would enjoy fostering a dog when I am back in Toronto.  Every house I have been in since September has had a dog or dogs and I find that I absolutely love being around them.  I drew an angel card the other day that told me to find my spirit animal – I am pretty sure it’s dogs.  They are so loving and loyal.  I am going to miss Kaiser the most and I am hoping his Mom and Dad will keep me abreast of what he is up to.

I am so grateful for this delicious experience in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.  This is what semi-retirement looks like.

Be Mine Valentine (committed to me)

 

I am no relationship expert.  Although, I have had many – I have had more failures than successes.  Well, I suppose many would sum it in that way.  I, however, look at back them as experiences, learning opportunities and mostly, a lot of fun.

Just days away from Valentine’s Day and I am getting excited.  My beloved and I have been making plans for weeks.  We’ve been married since the summer of 2012.  We?  Me and me.  I and I. Self-love.  I married myself and I highly recommend it.

I planned a lovely, simple wedding on the beach (my favourite place) in the evening.  The whole day was leading up to my ceremony was fun with a bit of shopping and a delicious meal.

July 2012 I promised to love myself.  I promised to honour and protect me.  Now as Valentine’s day approaches I see it as a day to recommit.  I want to have a day to honour Love, in general , and to honour a commitment to the one person who  will be with me until I die.  The one person who I want to love and take the best possi ble care of.   I am proud to say I love me. My commitment to my health, my safety, my well being and contentment is all part of my “marriage”.

I am also blessed to have wonderful people in life that I love,  my grandson, my daughters, their partners and my amazing friends.  However, my life changed the day I married myself.  Something flipped in me and a new contentment washed over me.  It has stayed with me over the years.  There was a moment when I realized I really wasn’t alone.

Whether you are in relationship or not, I invite you to explore making this personal commitment – to love, honour and respect YOU.

That’s What a Healthy Life Looks Like

Yesterday I retired from my position as the National Coordinator for Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.  I am ready for the change and so excited for the challenge ahead.

Today I am heading to Milford, Connecticut to cat/house sit.  Deb and I met in 2015 when I first visited as a Bed and Breakfast guest.  I love her home – cozy, clean, quaint and a block from the beach.  This will be home for the 2 ½ weeks.

I am back on a very healthy eating and weight loss program.  Although I am satisfied with my weight and how I look these days, I can’t seem to get my health in good order.  Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension (High blood pressure).  Both of these are hereditary on both sides of my family but that shouldn’t have made it inevitable.  I changed my eating habits, lost 20 pounds and worked closely with a practitioner of Chinese medicine.  I take herbs and have monthly treatments.  For 2 years, I was able to lower my blood sugar readings to normal and maintain a healthy blood pressure but then last year my numbers started going up.  No matter how much I restricted what I was eating, I couldn’t do it.  I dropped another 10 pounds but then the weight loss stopped and I have been stuck for several months.  I am seeing an endocrinologist ( a specialist for diabetes) and he has me on 3 different medications and they are all at the maximum  dosage.  I am not feeling any side effects but we are also not getting to the normal numbers that he wants.  The prognosis is that I will need a new mediation but he has given me until December to lose more weight.

That’s where I am today, one week later and magically 3 pounds lighter.   I am using the weight watchers program (pre 2010).  I know it and it has worked for me in the past.  In 2004, I lost 35 pounds and kept it off, and since then I have used it to lose another 35.  At least I have gained any weight in the past 20 years.  I have an ideal weight in mine – my lowest adult weight from when I was 19 years old.  That is another 35 pounds but my goal for now is 20 pounds.   Since my diagnosis a few years ago, I believed that I could beat this if I could reach that weight.

I am inviting you to come on this journey with me – keep me motivated, keep me honest, encourage me and maybe some of you will work at this with me.  When I want a change, I believe in going public!  Go big or go home!!

Here is the plan – stick to the old weight watchers plan, work at things that I love, commit to exercise a minimum of 3 times a week but trying for 5.  The next 17 days I want to kickstart it!  I am going to beach destination in Connecticut, on the beautiful Long Island Sound, a bicycle with flat roads and a state park, miles of beach and quiet.  I am going to bike every day with a goal of 12 kilometres per day.  I want to walk the beach at low tide everyday rain or shine soaking up the healthy salt air and the “negative ions”.  My diet splurges will be fresh lobster and quahogs and a glass or 2 of wine, maybe even a light beer.  Alcohol isn’t something I drink very often but vacation screams “Have a glass or 2.” Of course, it means giving up something else on the weight watchers’ plan.

I need to purchase lunch in the airport today and I know I could have chosen a salad but instead I picked a roasted vegetable sandwich and a coffee.  I ate one half of the bun and through the rest away.  For me, that is important to throw out what I shouldn’t eat otherwise it may find its way into my mouth an hour later.  I am only supposed to have one coffee a day but every now and then, I treat myself to an extra one.  Love the dark roast with a splash of lowfat cream.

An hour until my flight departs.  I feel that my whole life is about to lift off.  Fingers crossed.