menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Woman or Witch: True Story

Ever since I visited Kyteler’s Inn in Ireland, Halloween always brings to my mind the story of Dame Alice Kyteler. Alice opened this medieval inn in 1323. I just happened to stumble upon the inn while out roaming after visiting St Canice’s Cathedral and the ancient tombstones (this is a site which has experienced Christian worship since the sixth century). I knew nothing about the history of the inn when I stepped inside. I was drawn in because antiquity intrigues me. And this building is ancient.

So come to find out–there was something about Alice. 

Born into a noble family, Alice went on to marry four wealthy men which resulted in Alice amassing a great fortune. Well, each and every one of these men died and each and every one of these men left Alice and her son all of his possessions. Upon the death of her last husband, her step–children accused her of sorcery to murder each and every one of her husbands. The kids were impoverished and pissed and prayed that Alice would be arrested and they would gain her fortune. 

Alice was eventually accused of  amongst other things, rejecting the Christian faith, performing satanic rituals, concocting witches’ brews and heresy. Allegedly, she slept with a demon named Robin Artissen, who sometimes appeared as a cat, black shaggy dog or a black man who is sometimes depicted as Aethiops, the mythical founder of Ethiopia. I haven’t yet discovered why it was a black man or a black four legged animal.

Hmm. . .Alice was busy.

At the Kilkenny Witchcraft Trials, one of the first witchcraft trial to take place in Europe, Alice’s son William was convicted and ordered by Bishop Lederer to attend three Masses every day and to give alms to the poor. Pretty light sentence when you consider that Alice’s maid Petronella, who confessed to being a witch and a member of Alice’s tribe, was the very first person in Ireland to be tortured, whipped and finally burned at the stake on November 3, 1324. It is said that she screamed for Alice’s help, but Alice had gotten the hell out of dodge and fled to England and was never seen again. She was forty-four years old.

Alice was a savvy businesswoman, as a matter of documented fact, the most successful and richest business woman in medieval Ireland and her establishment was the most successful in Kilkenny. 

She left a haunting reputation which seems to emanate from the stone walls of the inn, where the food is quite good and you can sit for a spell and have some brew…

Alice. Woman or witch?

Where there is no imagination there is no horror, but THIS my friends, is a true tale.

Postscript: Did you know that there is a difference between  a cemetery and a graveyard? There is. The pictures of these graves were taken at the graveyard of St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, built in the 13th century.

Wanderlust: Day 2–3 Countries in 24 Hours–The Finale: The Torture Museum 

So, this is my final installment of Maria’s and my Wanderlust Bruges Belgium road trip. 

We left off last week with my exodus from the Basilica of the Holy Blood and messaging Maria to tell her I needed another half hour before I could meet her at our agreed-upon restaurant for lunch. There was absolutely no way I could sit and eat in peace if I didn’t see the Old Stone Torture Museum. With it being Halloween week, this is a perfect time to write about this place as it is indeed, creepy, spooky, scary –seriously, all of that. 

We, humans, have been depraved for a very, very long time. 

This former medieval prison, dating from the 10th century proves it. Observing the instruments of torture used for seeking justice and or to inflict punishment, one can’t help but wonder just what demon stirs within our core – that part of our soul that constitutes our mental ability for our capacity to reason; that part that supports our character, our feelings, and our consciousness. I cannot stress enough how absolutely horrifically creative these devices are. Nor can I  imagine how or where the inventors found the inspiration and the wherewithal to go through who knows how much trial and error to get to their destination of designing ways to inflict unspeakable cruelty on the human mind and body.

There are more than 100 execution devices on display including the wooden cage, the neck trap,  the breast ripper, the inquisition chair, thumb screws–all designed with real perverted ingenuity. These judicial lethal weapons were used in the name of God and the law as tools to extract confessions or to execute. People were imprisoned, tortured, and butchered in the name of the law. And don’t dare be homosexual…

As far as we can determine, torture was carried out in Europe from the year 1215 until the 18th century. And as we all know, devilish deeds are still perpetrated today–the difference being that they are now illegal. (We thank the powers that be for smartphones and their video and picture-taking abilities.)

The reflection on human rights reaches a whole new level when one ascends the stairs, takes the first step into the light of day, and exits this dark, damp, dungeon. You deeply inhale and exhale the pure unadulterated inhumanity of it all. The justice could not have possibly justified the means–unless you were a madman. 

Speaking of mad, Maria was waiting and getting hangry. Lunch was great. I love a good thrill, but when we nearly ran out of gas on the motorway in Holland with nary a gas station in sight, I was not thrilled. At all. We found a gas station just in the nick of time and arrived back at our points of departure safely. 

Whew!

Wanderlust–wonder where I’m off to next…

Wanderlust: Day 2 (Continued)–3 Countries in 24 Hours–The Basilica of the Holy Blood 

Here’s where we left off day before yesterday.

Fortunately, the Chocolate De Burg is situated near the Basilica of the Holy Blood. I checked my cell. It was 20 past 2. I had an hour. Would I see everything in time to get to Maria in an hour?

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

No. The answer was a resounding definitive no!

Why is it when you’re in a hurry some outside force has the uncanny ability to slow you down?

Inside the Chocolate De Burg where I wanted to purchase some truffles for mama, there was a group of 4 in front of me. They were being served and wanted to try nearly every. single. chocolate–for the grandkids, for the neighbors, slowly moaning and groaning over each and every mouth-watering delectable bite.

I thought I was going to have a fit. 

Sometimes life gives you no options so I excused (butt in) myself in English to the saleswoman and to her German customers in German and told them my situation namely, THAT I WAS IN A HURRY! Fortunately the group was kind enough to step to the side and continue their moaning and groaning over the free bites on a tray and I placed my order. Wrapped in a lovely box, I asked how long they would last and was told six weeks and to not refrigerate them. I expressed my thanks to everyone and dashed. 

I reached the Basilica and stood for a time before it: this 12th century (!!) church, no matter your religious belief or lack there of, is alluring, mysterious and intriguing all at once. I couldn’t wait to climb the dimly lit stairwell and see the happening. (Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the lower chapel dedicated to St. Basil the Great–next time.)

You know, some things are heaven-sent. Pun intended. I had arrived at a particularly fortuitous time. Inside, standing still and silent alongside a wall by myself, I took in the monumental history surrounding me; the drawings, sculpted statues, stained glass paintings. Sacred music streamed all around me. 

I looked towards my right. A queue of people waited to ascend a few steps to a small podium where someone was sitting behind plexiglass. 

Why were these people doing this?

I walked cautiously over to the other side of the podium and discretely watched the people mount the stairs. I observed what they did as they stood before the person behind the plexiglass. It looked like they all bowed their heads. One woman made the sign of the cross. I NEEDED TO KNOW what was going on so I crossed back over to my starting point and got in line.

I stood in front of the person behind the plexiglass. I believe this person was  female. She wore liturgical garb. She smiled at me. I hoped she could appreciate my smiling eyes– as I had my mask on. So, now what? I saw an offering box and dropped a few euros in it. I looked back to her. Okay, so now what? She continued to smile and I started getting warm because I didn’t know the WHAT!  And then I had a revelation: PUT YOUR GLASSES ON TRACIE! And then I saw the reason why everyone appeared to be bowing their heads: the Relic of the Holy Blood lie before me. This vial holds a piece of cloth with the blood of Jesus that Joseph of Arimathea preserved after he had washed the dead body of Christ. It is incredibly beautiful,  encased in a glass-fronted gold cylinder closed at each end by coronets decorated with angels. The date “MCCCLXXXVIII die III maii” (May 3, 1388) is engraved on the frame.

It just so happens that this particular viewing takes place daily after mass between 11:30 and 12:00 and from 2 P.M. till 4 P.M. I was there at 10 minutes before three. A fortuitous time for me, indeed! The Germans have a saying: “When angels travel.” Yep, that’ll work. 

Lucky me. 

I would have to send Maria another message. I needed another half an hour. The Old Stone torture museum waited.

 

 

Contact High!

Yesterday legendary rapper, songwriter, media personality, actor, and businessman Snoop Dogg turned 50.

  I want to thank you too, Snoop Dogg!  I want to thank all the pioneer artist I explored and encountered last week at our MoPop Contact High Visual History Exhibit.

This definition expresses Hip Hop best, “One of the most significant positive influences of hip hop music is that an entire segment of the population developed a way to relate their experience artistically to the world. Much of the style and the language used was determined by the lives and cultures of the artists.”

As a Menopausebarbee, I grew up watching Yo! MTV Raps.  In 1981, Debbie Harry rapped on the Blondie song, Rapture that Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody’s fly.”

Fab 5 was on hand at the opening of our exhibit seen here along with my crew.

There is such rich history on display for all to enjoy and experience.  From Tupac to Biggie’s suit.  As Snoop Dogg sings in your head, and you stroll through Hip Hop history, you will get a Contact High!

Biggie Biggie Biggie, sometimes your words just hypnotize me!

MoPop! MoPOP | Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle Washington

Plan Your Visit | Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle WA (mopop.org)

Wanderlust: Day 2–3 Countries in 24 Hours

Even though I had but a little shut-eye from the night before, I could not wait to get up the morning of our departure. I had arranged for Maria and I to take a tour at 10 A.M. We were to meet ten minutes before at Markt Square (where we took the horse and carriage ride) and look for the big yellow umbrella that our tour guide would be holding. We grabbed a couple of delicious cappuccinos on the way and were on time.

Even though it was our tour guide Christina’s first tour, she communicated effectively and knew her subject well. She told us about the history of Bruges, the legends behind the buildings, the myths, ancient stories, and the culture. In an hour and a half, we walked past many hidden gems in the city as well as the star attractions: the medieval Belfry Tower with its 47 bells and 366 stairs one must climb to get to the top; the medieval (12th century) St. John’s Hospital with its medieval medical instruments and herb garden–HAD TO SEE IT!;  Burg Square with the Palace of Justice, the Court of Justice and the Basilica of the Holy Blood where the relic of the Holy blood is kept–HAD TO SEE IT!!

At one point, I fell behind, entranced at the archaeological site “One Foot in the Grave’ outside of the Church of Our Lady. (See the picture with the circle. That circle is highlighting a human bone–if you look closely, you can see it. In the other picture, plastic is covering human remains.) Among the treasures that have been found here is a beautifully painted 14th-century tomb that was recently unearthed. 

I caught back up with the group and we carried on, ending our tour at the Monastery De Wijngaard (see http://www.menopausebarbees.com/wanderlust-3-countries-in-24-hours/). 

Ok, so the clock was ticking. I wanted to get back inside the monastery church and say a prayer for my family and friends, step inside the walls of St John’s Hospital (now a museum), light a candle in the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and hopefully be appalled inside the Torture Museum–one if the oldest prisons in Europe, enjoy a very late lunch at a  quaint little restaurant Maria and I discovered on our way to the tour and get back on the motorway/autobahn by 4:00 P.M. It was 12:30. 

Whew!!!

We had no time to dawdle. I tipped our tour guide and yelled out, “Have a great rest of the day everybody! Tip Christy well, she did a great job!” and we were off.  I told Maria to go do her thing and we would meet at the restaurant at 3:20. (Yeah, right.)

Monastery Church: check. I passed a gift/ lace shop and purchased a t-shirt for my son and a bobbin lace handkerchief for myself. 

I wound my way through the bridges and canals, and tiny roads we crossed tracing my steps exactly the way we came–I had no time to get lost. I  went first to St John’s Hospital.  

When St. John’s Hospital was built it stood outside of the city walls. This was in the year 1127. As Bruges grew, the hospital came to lie within the city walls. The main building, the formerly huge hospital ward is now a museum. Lowly lit, and quiet, one can really get lost in the going back in time of it all. There are steps that lead to one of the oldest, if not the oldest, preserved vaulted ceilings in the world. The massive oak beams are very impressive, to say the least. I’ve attached a few pictures of the ancient medicinal tools, the furniture of the time; a room with the master paintings of the apothecaries (some works by Hans Memling with painstaking detail), and inside the pharmacy with images of the 16th century medicinal jars. I’ve also attached pictures of the herb garden where herbs were grown for medicinal purposes. This was the site of health care for over 900 years, where a city cared for its sick, homeless, and dying. Imagine that.

I could have stayed there all day, but I had to keep moving. I passed Chocolate De Burg and stopped inside to buy mama some truffles. In a word: DIVINE. Here is the website: https://www.chocolateriedeburg.be You can buy online. Shipping is worldwide.

Fortunately, the Chocolate De Burg is situated near the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

Fortunately, the Chocolate De Burg is situated near the Basilica of the Holy Blood. I checked my cell. It was 20 past 2. I had an hour. Would I see everything in time to get Maria in an hour?

We’ll see in my next post.

 

 

Colin Powell… There are No Secrets to Success

May 1, 2009, I was working as Chief Marketing Officer for the Newark Bears Baseball Team.  The Bears under new ownership with Red Stripe Planes Group, and our visionary founder, Gary Veloric, who was also founder of J.G. Wentworth, could have invented the motto, “Go Big or Go Home!”  It was our opening night, and in true Gary fashion, we were going BIG bringing Colin Powell to throw out the first pitch and Patti LaBelle to perform the National Anthem.

The Red Stripes Planes Group hailed from all over the U.S.  Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Pittsburg,  Seattle and of course local New Jerseyites.  We out of towners were fish out of water, with one goal, bringing baseball and life to a vibrant, beautiful ballpark, which was the last minor league team affiliated with the Negro Leagues.

With it’s proximity to New York, we had faith that although Newark, New Jersey, was listed as one of the highest crime rates in our nation, we would prevail and bring America’s Favorite past time to a needed community.

It was truly a team effort, and I will never forget the moment meeting  Colin Powell, the American politician, diplomat, statesman, and four-star general who served as the 65th Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005. He was the was the first African American Secretary of State.

My son, an impressionable 16 year old joined me for this impactful evening.  I asked him his thoughts of meeting this great man, and he responded, he was kind, poised, and had compassion.

It was this chance meeting for a young man to learn that the son of  immigrants could ascend to greatness.

Thank you Colin Powell for your leadership, and this quote, ““There are no secrets to success. Don’t waste time looking for them.”

Wanderlust: 3 Countries in 24 Hours

Backstory:

“RiRi!”

“T!”

My girlfriend Maria (Riri) and I approached each other with arms spread-eagled and tightly embraced. She moved to America from Germany last year and was in town to finish some de-registration things. We sat down at a little table outside a little cafe around the corner from my apartment. She had our cappuccinos waiting.

She began explaining the trials and tribulations of all the paperwork involved with her relocating and wanted my thoughts on a few things. 

“So enough about me, what have you been up to?” she said.

“Ah, girlie, so many things with us heading towards the end of the year. But I’m thinking about going to Bruges next week.”

“Oh! I wanna go!” she said.

“Ok, good! We’ll leave next Friday–we’ll stay overnight. That’ll be my birthday gift to you.”

And just like that, we had a date for Bruges.

Ok, so, this road trip should have taken three and a half hours–maximum–even with the reduced motorway speed limits in Holland which Maria, kept reminding me I was exceeding. If you like to get on the autobahn and GO like I do, driving slower takes some getting used to. 

In any event, our journey lasted nearly six hours and not because of the speed limit. Something strange happened: the street address we wanted in Bruges is also an address in Holland and that’s where the double Dutch in my navigation system occurred. After nearly four hours, Maria recognized our error. We stopped for gas, cappuccinos and I reset the navi. We arrived at our destination just about 2 hours later. Fortunately, we were blessed with gorgeous weather and they say if you get lemons make lemonade, but I mean, just how tart is it when you can drive the motorway enjoying the sites of windmills, rivers, crooked creeks, and the sparse villages of the Holland countryside?

Now about Bruges. 

With all the canals and bridges (over 80) crisscrossing this beautiful city, Bruges is considered to be the Venice of the North. 

It was once the center of medieval trade in Europe and because the city elders have ensured the preservation of the original Gothic and medieval structures, including the Belfry tower from the 13th century (!) which looms over the market square, and the retainment of original street patterns and canals, the entire historic city center of Bruges has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I was told that there are 25,000 residents who live in the historic Old Town area and 130,000 live in Bruges proper. So, the Old Town center is small. And charming. And steeped in history. Countless legends. Fifty (!) castles.  Home to craftsmen/women who stitch the most luxurious lace in the world, and the artisans of some of the most glorious gourmet chocolates–often called the best chocolate in the world–and so much more! This is a medieval pearl and I wanted to step as far back in time as I could!

After we checked into our hotel room located in the heart of the historic center, we took off on the ten-minute walk toward the Markt (market square) which is where the pulse of the city beats.  This square has been used as a marketplace since 958, (no, that is not a typo); these days, Wednesday is market day with vendors selling an array of fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, meats, and cheese, and local handmade produce.

Here’s my tip for traveling to foreign countries: I always try to get as close to the “Old Town” or historic center as possible because that’s where the cultural heritage is preserved and you can expand your horizon from there. If possible, I hop on a double-decker city tour bus to see the city sites and get an overview of which places I’d like to further explore.

When we rounded that last corner and I first set eyes on the Markt, it was a jaw-dropper. There were no hop-on-hop-off buses, but there were horse carriage ride tours. So we did the next best thing and climbed into an available carriage.

The tour lasted half an hour. Here are a few interesting highlights: 

houses called ‘Godshuis/God’s Houses’. Our carriage driver said that that they were built by the rich for the poor, reasoning that this would get them easy access into heaven.

The Monastery De Wijngaard: This convent was built at the beginning of the 12th century. It was occupied by ‘beguines’, women who took informal vows of chastity. Informal because they did NOT give up their personal property. Evidently, during the Crusade in the year 1245, the husbands of many of these women went to fight in the Holy Land to recover Jerusalem from Islamic rule and naturally didn’t want to lose their possessions, so their women moved into this monastery (of which there are a few throughout Europe) to protect those assets. So, they assumed religious status without formal commitment-–which makes me beg the question: were they hypocrites? Hmmm…

Anyway, back to today, there are only ten Benedictine nuns who live here and they still wear the garb as they did in the Middle Ages.

We trotted past the magnificent Church of Our Lady which dates from the 13th century–and took 2 centuries to build. Its tower reaching 379 feet into the sky, is the third tallest in the world. 

Among the many art treasures in the church is a beautiful Carrara marble Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo–the only one of four outside the Vatican.

By the time we got back to the Markt where we started, dusk was settling. We walked in search of two highly recommended restaurants, but to avail, they were both fully booked. Not even sitting room at the bars. We didn’t really have a taste for any of the local dishes like Moules/Frites, which is served nearly everywhere, nor did we want anything too heavy to go to bed on, so we settled for a delicious Greek fish dinner near our hotel.

In case I didn’t mention, Bruges is extremely clean–I didn’t even see a chewed stick of gum on the ground, no graffiti, none of that.

In my next post, I’ll share what I saw in St. John’s hospital–one of the oldest hospitals in Europe, dating back to the mid 12th century; what I experienced in the Basilica of the Precious Blood and how I felt in the ‘Old Stone’, one of Europe’s oldest prisons where torture was used to justify the means. 

There are only so many hours in a day…

Wishing you all a great start to the week. Keep your eyes open!

VOTE SARA NELSON CITY COUNCIL POSITION 9

Seattle listen up!

As a lifelong Seattleite, I can attest, I’m saddened by the current state of our Emerald City.

I grew up in the C.D., and it was common to walk from my grade school St Therese to home.  Often, I would take a detour and head down Madrona Drive along Lake Washington.  As I entered the high school years, the number 48 bus would carry me to Blanchet, until I was licensed and could drive myself down the I-5 freeway. I spent many days on the Ave during my years at The University of Washington.  Thirty years ago, after joining our family real estate investment business, we decided to maintain a business post office downtown. We reasoned we could have an escape from our home office and enjoy the sights and perhaps sneak in a little retail therapy or have lunch at the Public Market.

Unfortunately, today, the sights of all my beloved neighborhoods are a distant memory of my youth.  The Central Area recently had a shooting in broad daylight where an innocent two year old little girl was shot outside of Walgreens.  Yesterday, my friend’s car was stolen from an auto shop.  After she posted the theft on Next Door, a video was captured of the thieves in a chase with the police driving her wrecked SUV into fences and over barriers in an attempted getaway.  Homeless campsites are rampant from the parks I used to frolic to the freeways which carried me to my destinations. Now on a walk downtown, be it on 4th Avenue or to the Public Market, the stench of urine violates my sense of smell as I pass homeless after homeless taking shelter in doorways of once vibrant store shops.  As a housing provider, I have to assuage my residents fears as drug addicts leave used needles and lurk the grounds seeking shelter late at night.  I personally witnessed one vagrant defecate on the steps of one of my properties. We have had to remove squatters from security interior entry halls, laundry rooms, and in basements of properties where homeless have taken shelter.   We have had to increase lighting, security cameras, and monitoring, however, inevitably, the clean up cycle continues.

It is depressing.

I know that I am not alone.  I have talked with numerous friends and community members who are fed up.  When you dial 911, it’s for real.  When my friend’s car was stolen or that innocent baby was shot, a call to the police was needed, not a social worker. When my team and I are forced often daily to pick up drug paraphernalia, we don’t want to risk our health.   When we go on a walk, we deserve the right to enjoy the scenery and not dodge homeless tents or constantly worry about safety.

My son and business partner, Brett and I were fortunate to have a Zoom call with City Council  candidate, Sara Nelson.  I immediately felt a sense of connectivity when we met.  Sara and I are near the same age, business women, mothers of two children and very concerned about the condition and future of our city.  Her platform addresses the facts:

The current approach on housing the homeless is not working. We need policies that provide housing to the unsheltered while restoring our public spaces.  Neighborhood small businesses are still struggling. We desperately need the return of clean, safe neighborhoods.

As a black business woman who houses a diverse demographic, including those at risk, some elderly, and  low income and as a life long Seattle resident, I couldn’t agree more!

Sara’s opponent is a proponent of defunding the police and believes the City of Seattle should create a fund to support people who use the parks for housing.

The choice is simple.

 

No one should live like this and far too many are.

The time to speak up is now.  We need our voices heard!

Sara Nelson is our only choice for City Council Position 9!

 

https://www.saraforcitycouncil.com

Please, share, donate and support!

Predators Prey…They Don’t Pray til they get caught

We were young, fierce, strong, and talented. We could arabesque, cartwheel mount from balance beams, and elbow stand or walk on our hands across an entire room.

I came across this photo of the other day our The Smith Tumbling Team.  Mrs. Smith, our devoted instructor/mom/disciplinarian instilled excellence in our young minds.  She was not above using her stick to correct our posture or our behinds when we were out of line.  However, the discipline always came from a place of love and it paid off in our hard work and numerous awards we received in traveling competitions.  The stick was the only thing we feared and it was more the shame of Ms. Smith admonishing our behavior with it, than the pain inflicted by it’s use.

As I studied this photo, I thought of the brave young, strong, fierce, talented gymnast who took their strength to another level and had to stand up against sexual predator, Larry Nassar. He is also a former osteopathic physician and former professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

I then thought of the brave, young, strong, fierce talented singers and artist who were dehumanized by R Kelly. Recently, the multi award winning performer was convicted in a sex-trafficking trial, found guilty of nine counts, including racketeering. Two people from his entourage also are facing charges in a separate federal case, accused of helping him meet girls. Kelly also is facing more sex charges in Illinois and Minnesota, with trial dates not set yet.

I was saddened by the New York Post report yesterday that London is stopping their investigation on Prince Andrew and the Jeffrey Epstein abuse allegations.

London’s Metropolitan police have dropped their part of an investigation into the sexual abuse claims that the Duke of York sexually abused a 17 year old on three separate occasions.

The statistics are frightening 1 out of 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of sexual abuse.

Former Penn State Defensive End coordinator, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty and convicted of 45 out of 48 counts, accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15 year period.

I had a high school friend, who was repeatedly molested by a priest and committed suicide.  The priest was an extended member of his family and his parents trusted him.

A doctor, an artist, a coach, a prince or a priest- A predator.

We joke that the Higher Power visits prison daily, because they all find Him when they go to jail.

Predators prey…they don’t pray til they are caught.

Protect our children.  Look at this photo…1 out of 5

Relish Today, Ketchup Tomorrow

The effect of this pun is perfect for this Monday morning blog which you’ll understand by the end of this post. 

I’m not sure what inspired me: perhaps the effect of the changing season; pulling out my warm and cozy sweaters; maybe the visuals of decorative gourds and pumpkins. But whatever it was, I felt like lighting some candles and cooking dinner for a couple of girlfriends last Friday night. I think I was having a sense of a nurturing and comforting moment. I’m not exactly sure, but whatever it was, when I cook I really don’t play. As a matter of fact, the last time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner when I was married, I cooked for over 40 people–everything from two turkeys to several pies. I really felt in my element then, just as I did this past Friday night with the girls.

Our evening began at 7:30. We started off with appetizers of deviled eggs, crab-stuffed mushrooms, and beat salads on sticks.

We eased into our main course of corn-fed chicken slowly sautéed in a coconut milk and tomato sauce served with Zoodles in lieu of pasta. I’ve never prepared Zoodles before and they turned out perfectly, so I was thrilled. 

During our meal, we spoke about everything that was on our hearts: our losses, our gains, how the pandemic has affected us, the state of our world, the things that really make us happy, the things that really make us sad. We talked about our struggles, our successes, and the supplements for the soul that we need to achieve them.

A seriously purposeful, honest, serious, and intimate conversation whereby we shared our individual tips and tricks, knowledge, and information.

We finally got around to dessert, a medley of freshly baked nectarines, peaches, and plums with thyme and an optional dollop of mascarpone around 11. By then, we’d concluded that we’ve all reached the age in life where we recognize how very important time is and that we must deal with getting over our fears because fear just gets in the way of our enjoyment which will keep us from living now. Now.

We are indeed sensitive about ourselves, the world around us and we recognize that what we see truly affects us; therefore, we sometimes just have to turn the news off.

There is stability in sisterhood. I mean if you think about it, what really is more powerful than the outstretched hand of one woman towards another to lift her up, to wipe away her tears, to make her smile, and to reinforce her belief in herself? 

Sometimes we really don’t need a reason to celebrate life, our light, and our purpose. We are blessed that we have our here and now–and so wait for it: we relish today because we know we can always ketchup on the other stuff tomorrow.

Have a great start in the week, everybody!