Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Season's Eatings

chocolate covered panettone
I started this holiday week by indulging in chocolate covered, custard filled panettone with my coffee the morning of Christmas Eve. I had planned on said "breakfast" for almost a week, and I was not disappointed.

That night the meatless meal my aunt prepared included baked stuffed shrimp and salmon filet.

On Christmas Day my cousin Kristina prepared beef tenderloin that melted in your mouth.

detox salad
By Monday night I was craving salad. I needed something crunchy and green and fresh that didn't sit beside a pile of creamy mashed potatoes. I took myself out for a salad for dinner and enjoyed every wholesome bite. Yesterday I went grocery shopping for fresh produce so I could stay on salads for a few days in the comfort of my own home.

Which is not to say the season of indulgence is over. It just means that I have a strategy on how to get through the rest of the season's celebrations and excess: one salad at a time.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Last night I came home from my family's Christmas Eve celebration with a journal that Lindsay had put away for me from Donna's things this summer after she passed away. Donna had not had a chance to write anything in it; Lindsay thought I might like it. She gave it to me one afternoon I was there at her condo helping to sort through things and move some things around, but I left it there by mistake. Though I have seen Lindsay since then, she didn't have it with her at those times. Last night it felt like a Christmas gift.

When I got home I wondered how I might use it. What kind of journal should it be?

Still undecided this morning, I saw a piece on CBS News Sunday Morning--which I happen to watch rarely, if ever--about gratitude and mood, and a study in which people who journaled about gratitude were as a result twenty-five percent happier than those who journaled their gripes. At the end of the piece, the correspondent quoted Einstein who said you can live your life as if nothing is a miracle, or as if everthing is a miracle.

Yes. Exactly. What perfect timing, I thought, as I wiped tears away again for the umpteenth time in the last twenty four hours. Someone stepped in and told me to get happy again, to start to focus on all that I have to be happy about and grateful for.

For that divine intervention, and so much more, I am grateful.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Great Depression

It's been a pretty crappy year. It hasn't been ALL crappy, of course. I've had some happiness this year, too, but I've had more sadness this year than I have had in a long, long time. And I've been really sad lately--profoundly, sit-on-the-couch-and-cry sad. I don't talk about it much with people who didn't know Donna, and I'm afraid to reach out to others who loved Donna in case I happen to catch them at a rare moment they're functioning okay and not missing her. In a nutshell: it sucks.

Feeling bereft has left me without a lot of holiday spirit this year. Despite knowing that Donna loved Christmas and a text from Lindsay early in the week that said "It was mom's fave holiday. She'd want us to do it big!," when I woke up yesterday, on December 14, I still hadn't decorated for Christmas. I couldn't put it off any longer. I forced myself to go to the basement and eventually I decorated.

I'm glad I made the effort. I'm a little more in the spirit now and my house looks pretty. I changed things up a bit: everything is not exactly as it has been for the past few years... but I suppose it never will be. And maybe that was the lesson in this. 

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Photo Journal: Boston Offerings for the Bon Vivant

In Kenmore Square, Petit Robert Bistro:
crispy poached eggs with frisee and bacon salad
In the South End, Stella ("a SoWa restaurant")
(best) Bolognese (ever)

braised short ribs over pappardelle

  In the Back Bay, Legal Seafood


In the North End, Ducali Pizzeria
pizza with arugula and prosciutto

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photo Journal: Meteorological Winter (Snow Day Season) Begins

...and my lucky snowman has taken his place on my file cabinet.
Let it Snow.
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