A Kissin’ Good Way to Fall in Love

rockin good waySometimes even the hardest woman has to let her hair down and fall in love.

 

Maybe I did that a little bit tonight, maybe I’m just fooling myself.

 

Either way, this is a good song for falling in love, or at least a glass of wine and some romantic dreaming…..

Enjoy ladies, and happy weekend!

 

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Remember the Prom?

A typical gathering, with boys in tuxedos, and...

A typical gathering, with boys in tuxedos, and girls in dresses with corsages on their wrists. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I was listening to one of my favourite radio programs on my long, construction-jammed drive to work, and they were playing songs from the movie 16 Candles. It got me thinking about all the wonderful emotions we leave behind as our youthful innocence slips away.

Do you remember…

1) Slow dancing at high school dances.

2) How you felt the split second before a first kiss

3) Doing your best friend’s hair before a double date

4) Staying up all night whispering into the phone

5) Being asked to Prom.

6) Dreaming about who you’d be at 20, 30 and 40

7) Trying new eye make-up

8) Reading a love note from your high school sweetheart

9) Your first pair of high heels

10) Believing you could have it all

A Woman Like You

Pin-up

It’s time to wind-down the weekend with a glass of your favourite spirit and a great song. Pour yourself  a glass, turn the lights down low, and click on the link….

A beautiful Sunday evening to you my darlings….

Popping the Question Again: Marriage At Middle-Age

I don't think I ever actually took a photo of ...

I don’t think I ever actually took a photo of them together since getting married last fall. Here they are. It’s a matched set from Diana Classic in platinum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where to start with this minefield of possible opinions? Likely a bourbon on the rocks and a direct prayer to the universe.

My first thought, when I look deeply into my sensitive feminine intuition is, “Why bother?”.

My obvious second thought darlings, is, “Why not?”.

A recent article in the Style section of the Globe gave a no-brainer instruction sequence to the young lad preparing to wow his girl with a surprise proposal.

I cant’ criticize the article, however, being a woman of a certain age, I got a  kick out of it. First of all, most marriages at middle-age are either a second marriage (or third, or….). Secondly a surprise proposal at middle-age, as romantic as it may seem, really wouldn’t be that surprising.

I mean, come on my cute little rhubarb custard pies, at this stage of the game no one jumps into a life-long commitment without doing their research and talking it into the ground. Nobody with an ounce of common sense anyway.  By middle age, we’ve all taken stock of our resources, have kids, or parents with failing health, and quite frankly, enough attitude to take a round out of a biker bar.

The article went on to discuss permission from parents. Not necessary at middle age. Permission from young adult children – absolutely not, but perhaps a courtesy call, as in , “Heads up dude.”

The Globe article discussed the importance of dressing appropriately. Quite frankly, I hope that by the time I meet a man with enough character to get down on one knee to pop the question that we’re somewhere that fashion doesn’t really matter.  Perhaps in bed. Maybe in the backyard reading the paper. At the beach.  Out for a walk. I’m assuming I will have the good taste to choose s gentleman who is aware of the no socks with sandals rule.

Planning the ceremony? Not such a big deal at middle age. Catered in the backyard. A short beach holiday with our besties. Perhaps at the park under a full moon.

The bottom line is, that by the time you’re middle-aged, you likely have the good common sense to have given your relationship the ‘live-in’ test drive it deserves, complete with flannel, flatulence, flu-bugs and sports vs. chick-flicks on the tube.  Well adjusted men and women  are pretty content with their own company by this stage of the game, so having another person around full-time is testament to their solid character anyways.

If a middle-aged (ok, maybe past middle-aged) man has the kahonas to pop the question, who really cares if he’s sporting the latest style, rehearsed in front of a mirror, or exhumed your father’s body to get permission.  He’s made an attempt at romance, even after the reality of a prince-not-so-charming has taken root.

My advice for popping the question to middle-aged gals;

1) If she criticizes you for your cutesy efforts take the ring back. Real women appreciate your effort, or at least a good laugh.

2) Size doesn’t matter. It matters that you know what style of ring she will look at and know you thought of her.

3) Make sure you two are solid, have talked it to death, and are committed before you pop the question. Don’t scare the hell out of her.

4) Keep it to yourself. No jumbotrons, no popping the question in front of a crowd, no telling the world. Tell your best pal if you need to shake off some of the nervous energy, but other than that keep your trap shut. Announce the wonderful news together.

5) Be near a phone. I know that my friends have a running bet that I will never get married again. If it ever happens, I will be on the horn faster than a mustang on a mare.

6) Be scrubbed and ready to go. Women of a certain age have an, um, er…..well, insatiable appetite. Be prepared, that’s all I’m sayin’.

7) Ignore #2. Go big or go home.

8) Do it on a day when she needs to remember how lucky she is. Crappy day at work – voila. Fixed!

9) Don’t tell her what you spent on the ring. Middle aged women don’t want a show piece that’s going to take you a year to pay off, we want you to have the deal sealed and be a gentleman about it. Shh!

10)  Smile. You’re about to wander into a lovely part of life with a woman who knows what she wants, and you’re him. Congrats!

10 Things I Learned Today

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Ok, maybe I didn’t just learn these things, but they  crystalized for me.

Whether it was during my morning read of the Globe and Mail, a chat with a friend, or quiet time reflecting on life in general with a glass of wine and a favourite soundtrack playing in the background, I realized that I must share these nuggets of wisdom with you, my sassy readers.

1) Teenage boys will always come home when they’re hungry (in adult time, that translates to approximately every two hours)

2) You cannot have it all. You can be excellent at only one thing at a time. I just so happen to be an excellent mom, business woman and writer at different times during the day.

3) Good things do not come to those who wait. Good things come to those who consistently work hard and don’t let failure or rejection get them down.

4) Being the perfect size, saying the perfect things, doing things in a conventional way are not priorities of mine, and I have an awesome life because of that. Go ahead, Zen-out.

5) Wine and fudge do go together.

6) Clutter makes me crazy.

7) It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Now, I’m not going to work in my writing duds with a glass of cheap hooch clutched in my hands my pretty petunias, but slight imperfections really just don’t matter when you’re being authentic.

8) We all procrastinate when it comes to the really, really important stuff.

9) You can spend too much time alone, and it’s always nice to have friends drop by for a visit and a glass of wine, mug of coffee, cup of tea, walk around the lake, chick flick or general chin wag.

10)  Freedom from fear creates success.

Savoury Sunday: The Best Burgers In the World

There’s nothing like a leisurely BBQ during a long weekend. At our house, we have one every day of the long weekend.barbeque

I prepare a nice bowl of couscous salad, a pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes and black olives, and uncork a lovely bottle of wine.

I suggest Strut Cab Couture – a delicious, chewy wine that makes you smile, ease into your  muskoka chair and offer up a prayer of gratitude to the universe. Thanks to my friend Darlene for introducing us!

This combination is a  simple, easy, way to relax with delicious food and wonderful company.

Trishy McDishy’s Best Burgers In the World

Ingredients

1) 1lb ground beef (extra lean)

2) 1 clove garlic – crushed

3) 1 egg

4) 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

5) 1 tbsp. BBQ sauce

6) Hamburger buns ( I prefer fresh-baked bakery buns)

7) Condiments; ketchup, mayo, thinly sliced dill pickles, hot peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, Dijon mustard, cheese

Method

1) Thoroughly ix all ingredients together using  your hands.

2) Shape into desired size patties. ( I prefer smaller patties, and this makes about 8)

3) Place directly on pre-heated BBQ grill, and cook as desired.

***Don’t worry darlings, I didn’t forget the music. Crank this and enjoy your dinner. I hope you bought two bottles of vino!***

May “Two-Four” For Grown-Ups

English: Petunias Petunias with trumpet like f...

English: Petunias Petunias with trumpet like flowers that come in many different colours. These can be found in the conservatory in Thornes Park formal gardens. Ref. 969164 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I grew up on the lake. We had beaches, freedom, youth and fearlessness on our side. The Victoria Day weekend was the first real celebration of Canadian summer, and it was aptly nicknamed May “Two-Four” for the numerous cases of beer that were consumed.

Everyone needed at least one ‘Two-Four’ for the weekend. In my tiny little Canadian town, the firemen held a pancake breakfast, and the Provincial park was full of the first wave of campers that would take over for the hot, summer months.

Fishermen came in droves, and the locals let it all hang out, with partying as their top  priority. It was a ritual celebration to welcome summer.

And then there were the adults. The gardeners. As a rule of thumb in my neck of the woods, you didn’t plant anything until the May ‘Two-Four’ weekend, as that was the magic date that made the risk of frost a mere pip-squeak on the list of natural threats.

Although life has changed and I’m a city girl in every way possible, I still like having my own small patch of dirt to call my own. I have a guerrilla-garden in the city, and this May ‘Two-Four’, I’m looking forward to getting some earth under my nails.

I hear the basil, mint, cilantro, tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini calling to me. My petunias are waving at me from their little plastic shell packs to let them out.

Ah yes, the May ‘Two-Four’ weekend, the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for gardeners across the country is upon us.

Rest assured, I will also be indulging in the Canadian tradition of cold brewskies as well darlings. After all, when you’re this fabulous you must celebrate daily.

Happy first-long-weekend-of-the-summer my friends. Enjoy!

Recipe For Disaster

English: A layered pound cake, with alternatin...

English: A layered pound cake, with alternating interstitial spaces filled with raspberry jam and lemon curd, finished with buttercream frosting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a self-diagnosed Facebook addict. It’s how I connect with my friends who are busy with, well, life.

It’s how I connect with the local businesses that I support, promote my own business, get wine reviews, and receive updates regarding my spiritual development.

It is also a place where people post delicious looking recipes. Delicious looking. Not delicious.

Last night I baked a batch of miracle applesauce-banana-oat-vegan bars that turned out to look and feel like a delightfully cushy, rubber, yoga mat. I managed to convince my teenager that they were special energy bars which would help provide fuel for the track meet today.

Last month I spent the day making a lemon cake with raspberry curd and lemon butter cream icing. A friend had posted a rather complex recipe that I couldn’t  wait to try.

I bought six precious, sweet Meyer lemons that have a flavour that’s out of this world. What I actually produced was a trifle-looking concoction. After juggling the layers, I picked up the caked, plunked it in a crystal dish and  smoothed it into something that looked edible.

My first foray into the it-looks-good-but-I’ve-never-actually-tried-to-bake-it was a batch of protein powder energy bars. Yah, they were great – for breaking a tooth. I should have stopped there.

My plea to you obsessive recipe-posting-fanatics; try the recipe before you post it. If it turns out, please share it. Be sure to include your tips, tricks and preferences once you’ve perfected the recipe. Had I known the banana-applesauce-vegan bars would have turned out the way they did, I would have tripled the recipe and created a mat I could share with my yoga pals after our next class. A little research in the kitchen goes a long way.

Living in the Moment

Singing Bowl

Singing Bowl (Photo credit: Jairus)

Ah…the sound of silence. Just the meditation bell bringing you back to the here and now. The present moment.

Sounds relaxing right? But forced silence, seclusion, and left to your own mind for days can be a scary things. No speaking, no phone, no texts, no internet, no tv, no radio….just silence. Nope. Not even a book.

My anxiety was knocking at the door of my fight or flight center as I pulled into the northern retreat. After six hours of driving, you’d think that I’d be eager to bounce out of the car and stretch my legs. Nope.

I live in my chattering head all day every day, and having nothing to distract me was a little scary. My darlings, I didn’t have a bottle of wine, glass of bourbon, or teeny-weeny-martini tucked away to take the edge off.

It wasn’t quite as bad as my spiritual forray into the world of the Native American Tradition of healing sweat lodges. When the elder asked in what direction I needed to sit  to heal, I said, “Whatever is next to the door.” In other words, I think I can make it through this if I know I have a quick escape plan.

The monastic community that guided us through our meditation process were kind and deeply insightful. The lay practitioners (yes, that included me, and there was no laying of yummy men to be found) were also gentle spirits with deep insight.

The first night I was there, facing a window overlooking a lake framed by evergreens, white birch and ancient rock faces, the vibration  of the bell and etherial chanting struck a hard blow to the wall I’d been holding up to keep myself strong. The sun set to a great release of sadness, anger and suffering.

Tucked into my bed, snug in the pristine white sheets, I listened to the rain outside and felt the breeze blow through the window. How long has it been since I slept with the window open?  I looked out at the black, overcast sky and realized that city living had cut me off from the sounds of nature.

At some point I drifted off to the sound of the rain, and woke in the early morning for 6:30am meditation, safe in the knowledge that I had a KitKat tucked in the bottom of my purse in case of vegan-enforced-diet emergency.

Settling back into the real world is jarring process, but when your perspective has shifted, when your consciousness has been allowed to vibrate at a higher level without mundane distraction, and your sense of your true self has returned, it’s no wonder.

I offer you a song that sums up the teachings;

***For Buddhist practitioners interested in attending retreats such as this please visit the websites for Plum Village, Blue Cliff Monastery and Deer Park***