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You know that old saying, the one that goes something like, be careful for what you wish, you might just receive it or some such thing.  I have never been a big fan of that particular saying.  As life seems to enjoy a good laugh or two, at my expense (or so it seems), this week I have heard myself iterating this phrase and then I suppose reiterating the same saying.  Because I did make a wish and I am, indeed, receiving said wish.

In fact, I did more than send a wish into the Universe.  I crafted an invitation.  An invitation to a celebration, a party if you will in honor of myself.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  I, as in me, myself and I.  A celebration of MY LIFE to coincide with one of my favorita days of the year Summer Solstice (the other favorita days of the year, Winter Solstice).  I crafted this invitation and then sent it out into the Universe to invitees both local and to those who live in what we fondly refer to as the Lower 48, even though there are 49 other states in the Union.  Some folks may be wondering what are we even considering here?  What’s the big deal?  Where’s the problem?  What is this post even about?  Well, read further dear blogging friends and I will further bare my fragile vulnerable underbelly of neurosis.

In sending this invitation, I was telling myself Number One, that I am valuable enough and could possibly be important enough to someone(s)’ that they would/will take time out of their lives to journey North to celebrate my life.  For those invitees from Outside there would/will be the travel expense, which is no small ‘taters.  The moment I hit the send button on my email invitation the anxiety that had already built to about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, hit about an 8.  That old and tired but loud whiny voice of who do you think you are little Missy and you are a selfish self-centered little girl aren’t you today blah blah blah took over.  Thankfully, before this part of me could overtake me and tackle me into the mud, I began receiving responses to my invitation within a half hour of its flight.

Thus, this week has been a life lesson of opening my heart again and again to the love that is there for me to receive.  Although overwhelming, I remind myself that I am a growed up woman, as my adoptive mother used to say about herself.  And a little or even a lot of overwhelm over receiving a lot of love from family and friends is some thing a growed up woman can handle on any given day.

My heart is full.

My heart is full and expanding.

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Life in the moment is good.  Very good.  Too good.  At least too good to wait until November to formally give our honor and thanks~giving for this abundant life. 

So my family and I are gathering this evening for a spring Thanksgiving Feast.  There will be the American dinner icons ~ turkey, mashed taters, gravy all served up with loads of yummy side dishes.  My daughter sparked the idea last week and the rest of her clan quickly climbed onboard. 

Life is good.  And when it is this good, one must eat.  Eat delicious homecooked food and sip a bubbly beverage, or two.  And you know me, who am I to swim against the tide ~ at least when it comes to celebrations.

Last night I ended up laughing.  A lot.  Out loud.  Hard.  Really Loud.  Knee slapping.  Reaching over to push the shoulder of my seat mate, laughter. 

 Ahh.  It felt so good!

All of this good time living sprang from my accepting a last minute invitation to attend a movie with a couple of work colleagues.  Doing so was out of character ~ doing something outside of work with co-workers, doing something on a work night and accepting an invitation the morning of the event ~ all, out of my character or might I say, my rut. 

The whole experience felt like a celebration of sorts.  Again, more than one-fold.  The first celebratory reason was the extra hour of evening light that springing the clocks forward gifted us Northern Dwellers.  Secondly, the growing realization that I am returning to life post-grad and licensure status; meaning that I actually have enough energy reserves at the end of a work day to engage with others and maybe, like last night, have a little or a lot of fun.  Cause for big old party if you ask me. 

The movie was hilarious, all about the human condition and relationships with a little projectile vomiting thrown in for a giggle or two.  I know.  You’d have to have been there…  Honestly though, the entire theatre was filled with loud raucous real laughter. 

So here I am.  Currently living the Good Life, one guffaw at a time.  It’s all good, my friend, it’s all good.

Stone after stone after stone followed by another and another.  Skipping.  Bouncing.  Springing off the surface of the deep blue ocean or the merrily babbling stream.  Stone after skipped stone bouncing after the next stone leaving only rings of water and a dollop of watery sound in their wake. 

Those are the daydreams of this snow-locked woman on this sun filled day in the Upper Regions of the Northern Hemisphere.  Daydreams of beaches covered with loads of smooth small to medium sized oval shaped grey and slate black stones left high and dry by the outgoing tide.  Each aching to be chosen by the best stone skipper on the planet.  Each yearning to be held, just so, between the index finger and the thumb, curled in the brief safety of the expert hand.  Each thrilling at the very memory of flying through the sun kissed air, hurtling toward the open ocean from whence they came ashore.  Each ready to do the dance.  Each vying to be the most skipped stone this side of the Pacifc. 

Daydreaming in the sun, my friend, is never over rated.

Last evening mi casa was filled to the brim with folks ready to fill their stomachs with hearty fare on their way to winning big time around the dining room table turned poker stake haven.  None of us sweated the small ‘taters such as only one-be gambler bringing their betting money (aka bag of change) or the rules to Texas Hold ‘Em being temporarily lost inside the Betting Brains of the operation (she quickly recalled and/or made the rules up as we went). 

Brew pub food was the menu of the evening along with this host’s mantra of keeping it simple, keeping it simple.  So grilled burgers and all of their accompanying accoutrements of cheese, thinly sliced yellow onion and bright red tomato, sour and salty dill pickles and assorted condiments ~ crispy tater tots, the food item fit for comfort and crunch ~ and, ice cold chunked up watermelon.  Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies rounded out the pre-betting battle game.

Monopoly money substituted quite nicely for the betting exchange and we were off for raucaus rounds of dealer’s choice poker.  We played 5-card draw, 7-card stud and the aforementioned (perhaps variation of) Texas Hold ‘Em.  Wild bets, excellent bluffs, transparently bad bluffs and begging for “do-overs” went round and round the rectangular stainless steel table.  And in the end folks, this host was the last one seated with a lot of cash in front of her.  And you know what?  Just for an instant it did not matter that the cash was fake.  I felt the flush of victory ~

Of course, I did not brag.  I was not a bad sport.  I did not crow.  Nor did I do the victory lap around this rectangular table, making the losers other players move out of my way.  No.  Of course not, did I act in any such way.  But if this host did, she would most certainly not post it on her public blog the next morning.  A-hem.

Fun.  Fun.  Fun. 

If you had been here, we could have high-fived or knuckle bumped or winked at one another.  But come to think of it, had you been here, I may not have been the evening’s winner.  Oh well.  Sometimes opening one’s heart and hearth to a different outcome is a risk worth taking.  I’ll let you know the next time the Queen of Hearts comes to visit.

Patti LaBelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese recipe has been a go to favorita recipe in my family for a few years.  Although I have dubbed it Somewhere Over the Rainbow Mac n Cheese, the ingredients are the same.  My grandkiddos and my daughter love this casserole and request it from time to time.  And what’s not to love?  This dish is all about kinship and comfort and the riches that come from being at home with loved ones. 

The cast of characters include four kinds of cheese, one of which is Velveeta (and yes, Velveeta belongs to the cheese family ~ ask any kid), lots of half and half, and eggs.  Last night’s version contained smoky bits of bacon and was topped with crushed Ritz crackers and more shredded cheese. 

The side dishes were comprised of green beans slow cooked with bacon and cold juicy watermelon chunks.  A southern meal for sure that was topped off with bite size red velvet cupcakes with a cream chese filling and frosting.  Can you spell L-O-V-E? 

So, once again Patti and I pulled off another scrumptious meal.  And with all of that fancy cooking going on up in my small kitchen, we didn’t say one cross word to one another.  I’d say that me and Patti did a right fine job of rustlin’ up the ole grub tonight.

On the morning of a big birthday party you are hosting, when you are feeling run down and are definitely not firing on all of your pistons (at least without a few back fires), one must most certainly do the following ~

get distracted, easily,
go from one task to another
with no apparent rhyme or reason
and under no circumstance, whatsoever,
must one fully complete any one of the
aforementioned aborted tasks.

At least before one realizes that it has been too daggummed long since she wrote a little sumthin’ sumthin’ on her beloved blog.

When I press the Publish button, posting this snippet of my world and happenings on this Snowy and Snow Over Flowing morning, I will have completed my very first official task of this day.

Ta Da!

Wish you could come join in the merriment this evening and stay for a chocolate dipped strawberry, or two…

I have tunes playing in my head. Tunes like ~

I got sunshine on a frosty day, when it’s a cold outside I’ve got the month of May

And sunshine on with wintry day after days of grey and snow filled skies, is sublime. Gets me hearing another tune, that goes something like this ~

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely. Sunshine almost always makes me high.

Plus, even though it is the height of winter in this Land of Almost Only One Season, the sun’s rays have that rich golden hue versus the stark white light that often comes around this time of year.

More snow forecasted tonight and tomorrow and the day after and yet, for now, I’m singing along to some mighty happy sunny tunes.

I went for a little visit over at http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/12/make-a-time-capsule/.   And since then, Joy’s idea of creating a time capsule has been popcorning around in my head.

Popcorning, careening, burbling and marinading

Since I have barely been able to stifle my creative self’s unmitigated joy and enthusiasm for this project, it looks highly possible that I will be fashioning a time capsule of my very own.

I love the idea of intentionally placing mementos and reminders of my life today into a receptacle that will not be opened or peeked at for seven whole years. In our short human lifespan, a lot of life and living is crammed into seven years. A whole of experiences, ups and downs, ins and outs, progress toward goals, shape shifting  and imagined dreams.

As well as a whole lot of forgetting of daily living, goals identified that prove to be so fleeting one cannot recall them seven years in the future. Yes, the body of what I remember is not as large as what I have forgotten in my conscious mind.

What a great project idea and the timing is impeccable. Don’t you think?
Let’s do it!
Let’s make our own time capsules!

Thank you, Joy, for the suggestion ~

Well not quite, decked and sparkled out, yet. But I’m moving in that direction and soon my little 1970’s ranch style duplex rental will be properly attired to welcome the holiday and solstice season.

No holiday tree for me again this year and I have had a moment here and there of bumming hard about the lack of the real deal greenery. It’s okay though. Soon I will be filling ginger jars and Mexican blown glass pitchers with glowing holiday lights and surrounding them with shiny and sparkly glass baubles. Yes, soon the home and hearth will be looking full on glittered up.

And then there are the handmade fabric stuffed Frosty’s, the lit from within ceramic holiday trees and other precious ornaments from yesteryear that will be so happy to be sprung from their packing crates. They will sit proudly on bookshelves, mantel, table tops and counters, awaiting the compliments and soft caresses sure to come their way ~ soon.

So I best get busy ~
As soon as I finish sipping this cup of spicy tea ~

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