Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin- in the movies.

I was about 16 when I saw “Amadeus”.

Wasn’t a big fan of classical music back then, although coming from a polish-Russian heritage, I was forced to “play” the piano for a few years -until I got the courage to say- “No” , but the movie left such an impression on me -that I began going to concerts.

I have to be honest and tell you I didn’t exactly understand what was going on, and many times just fell asleep during the concert, which -looking back- is a real shame, although I am a firm believer in the importance of good sleep.

Director Milos Forman (One flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Hair, the people v. Larry Flint) and the super impressive crew won 8 Oscars , and deserved-in my opinion- each and every one of them.

The music that accompanies the film was recorded by Sir Neville Marriner and the academy of st martin in the fields- the sound track- by the way -is available ( for free!) on You tube.

I don’t like going to the movies(told you- introvert), so I ordered the movie- along with the 2 following ones, on Amazon.

All together they cost me less than 30$ which is quite nice for the chance to watch them over and over- not that I did that-but I could- If I wanted to. (…)

Anyway-

If you haven’t seen the movie/ you’ve seen it- but have a teenager that suggesting this kind of movie to him/her would not result in a dismissing snort ( or- in my case- a condescending look from my 16 year old, and a dry reply in the lines of “oh- I don’t think so”)- then this is the perfect introductory to classical music in my opinion.

Because it’s engaging, and interesting, and colorful, and once you understand that classical music composers weren’t dry boring genius nerds-but exciting -complicated- full of emotions -genius nerds, then listening to the music they composed, is much more exciting.

Anyway- that’s my experience.

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While we are on the subject- 2 other great examples of tormented full of emotions and tragedy genius composers that were depicted in movies (because there are so many other composers that led a life fit for Hollywood ( Tchaikovsky, for one, and I know a movie was made about the trio-Brahms-Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann , but I haven’t seen it), are Beethoven and Chopin.

Here are the CD’s I got-

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I know music, like food , is a matter of taste, but- like food- widening your taste pallet can be fascinating. 

The miracle YouTube enables us to watch trailers of almost everything -so why not give a look. 

You might even get caught -who knows? 

Enjoy- the cooliflower.  

Enjoy.

The cooliflower.

I

When life gives you organic lemons-make “cheese” cake with them!

If there’s one thing everyone agrees on it’s that lemons are good for you.

I mean-

you can squeeze them over fresh salads.

you can squeeze them over boiled or pan fried veggies.

you can squeeze them into sauces (my simplest most effective salad dressing includes half a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, salt(pink Himalayan) and fresh ground black pepper- you don’t really need anything else). also tahini sauce, tahini’s friend-the hummus, you can even swap the vinegar in vinaigrette for lemons.

In the vegan kitchen lemons are a staple since they add (totally necessary) taste to good old tofu, but chefs and cooks around the world have been using this treasure long before veganism arrived .

Lemon tarts , lemony pasta (!), avocado with lemon- that’s just to name a few known staples.

Continue reading “When life gives you organic lemons-make “cheese” cake with them!”

While your’e waiting….

So I was standing in my kitchen waiting for the water to heat ( winter time- instead of forcing myself to swallow cold water , I pour 2 cups of hot water into my water bottle and add a cup of cold water-in case I need to drink right then and there- and a slice of ginger (pre-cut and stored in freezer for this exact use) and no cold water if I intend to sip slowly “enjoying the moment and being aware”. (!)

*Oh before I forget -I have this great tip for those of you who have to have their coffee boiling hot or otherwise they won’t drink it like spoiled bra&^-

Before pouring the coffee to your mug/cup- pour a cup of boiling water into the said cup-glass, and let it warm the cup for 30 seconds.

Then- and only then- pour your coffee into said cup. you can’t believe the difference this little trick makes in the temperature of the coffee! instead of meeting a cold cup -the coffee is glad to meet a warm and welcoming cup, thus feeling more relaxed and letting all its coffee qualities out .

(The water from the first cup can be poured to your sink- along with a little dish soap- to help unclog whatever is thinking of clogging your sink. )

Yes well that may have been a bit too poetic but the tip is worth it.

This of course is only necessary in winter time, and provided you don’t over heat your house at night .

If, by any chance- you are one of those people that can pour a cup of coffee, join a meeting, let the coffee just stand there on the table for 40 minutes, and then drink it as if nothing’s wrong- well then.

I guess this tip isn’t exactly useful for you.

I mean- to each his own. I have a lot of strange food related behaviors too, so who am I to judge?( and yet- seriously? either boiling hot or freezing cold- I can’t stand the “middle way ” coffee temperature).

So I was waiting in my kitchen, and out of nothing- started doing squats.

Squats in the middle of nothing!

This got me thinking-

I can tell you that while waiting for the water to heat I managed to get in 3 sets of 10 squats- and even a few leg raises, and felt really good about myself afterwards.

Next time I waited for my pasta water to boil- I started doing the dishes in the sink -thinking that the hot pasta water will help get rid of any sticky oily residue in the sink.

I also managed to clean the counters.

That way- while waiting for pasta water- a wait I can’t control or hurry- I made my kitchen environment more pleasant .

I know- there will be those dishes after the pasta is eaten- but I don’t mind- instead of going back and forth to check on the boiling water while trying to do something else half halfheartedly (your heart is invested in the pasta, naturally!) I stay in the kitchen and finish whatever it is I need to do there.

That could include making the pasta sauce, making salad, checking your pantry for future references, or taking that da@# broom and swiping the floor.

I mean- your’e up and moving in the kitchen- what’s the point of another phone screen scroll?

By the way the squats thing is a solid option since it needs no props and can be done properly standing up.

If you happen to be a warrior- get down and do 30 push ups too.

Can’t get any better than that.

This method can be applied outside the kitchen too, mind you.

Waiting for an app to download? squat.

Brushing your teeth? get in 43 squats. (tried it).

Waiting for a representative to answer the phone( in the rare instance you can’t use the best ever “gmail them and have everything on record too” method- squat again.

I think you get the picture.

Double using your time+getting in some exercise? amazing.

Thank you Pixels and Cottonbro for the beautiful image I used .

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

Spring cleaning my body? yep.

before I start-3 important disclaimers:

#1.It is NOT spring yet.

Oh come on- I know that. but soon it will be- and I may have told you before- I am one of those strange people that prepares for every situation.

I don’t appreciate surprises.

I don’t consider them “the joyous happy moments of life” or whatever.

I consider surprises a cause of unnecessary distraction, possible anxiety and a general disturbance.

Sure- I can’t prepare for everything- (oh yes.I can)but I can do my best to consider all possible “joyous little moments of happiness” in advance.

So the best time- in my opinion- to start spring cleaning- is right now, so that when spring actually springs on me- I shall be ready and in top condition.

#2. I don’t believe in “detoxing your body in 6 days” or things like that. In my opinion, the body should be taken care of 24/7/365.

So why am I spring cleaning my body?

Because I noticed I regressed to eating more sweet foods- that although containing natural date syrup, (and the cookies are home made oatmeal cookies!), still- I find myself craving that sweet taste more and more lately- and I guess you are all aware that many times sugar is hidden in the strangest places , such as vegan protein yogurt, teriyaki sauce, and soy milk.

This stuff is addictive for sure, and I feel like I want to get off this train that gets me going back and forth to the kitchen cabinet , to make “just one more of these really healthy nutritious buckwheat -rice cakes with natural peanut butter (and-naturally- a drizzle of date syrup). and while I’m there- can’t have that dry taste in my mouth -why not have some vegan yogurt with a nicely sliced banana, oh and that date syrup why don’t I.

You can see this is not going anywhere. or- might I say- it is definitely going somewhere I don’t particularly like to go.

So it’s more of a tweak than a detox I would say.

And I would. say. I mean, this is what I tell myself anyway.

#3. I’ve said it before but you know- do your own research on the subject of health and nutrition. because it is the most important research you will ever do, and because I am no certified anything in this field.

So why read this? (good question!)

Well because I do my research, because I care+ I have a ton of free time, being an early retiree and all that.

plus because I am true skeptic, I have a tendency for disbelief, after almost 30 years at a job that taught me well enough that everybody lies (so did watching a few episodes of “House” but anyway)+ I have no affiliated anything to keep me “in line” or anything like that.

So what does this “Spring cleaning” consist of?

#1. no more slacking on my intermittent fasting routine.

I can tell you that since taking my exercises up a notch, I ‘ve been feeling extremely hungry, and from time to time, a “small afternoon snack- only an apple! apples are good for you!” turned into quite a feast.

The thing is- there are so many benefits- in my opinion to intermittent fasting, that-by the way- include -so research says- detoxifying your body-that slacking is a shame, and “spring cleaning” is a chance to try and get there .

***I have to be honest and tell you that the day I wrote this post, I had this urge to defy all that good advice I am so generously distributing here, and couldn’t keep myself away from the fridge for the better part of my afternoon.I do wonder what that was about: do I have a self sabotage instinct? I decided not to get worked up about it, and try to understand where that came from, ( other than the obvious “I Jinxed myself by writing that post “).

#2. Enough with the cookies-cakes and stuff

even if they are made of healthy nutritious things- date syrup is still sugar, and in my personal experience- it gets my sugar craving kicking just like its white sugar distant relative.if this is not the case for you- keep partying !

#3. going back to basics: my good friends parsley and coriander!

These are just about the easiest thing to grow- just sow and water- wait a few weeks and there you have it- a bed of parsley.

Options?

Endless.

To the left- we have our parsley- tomato- cucumber- green apple(!!) with cooked wild rice, and a drizzle of tahini.

To the right we have our parsley-again green apple slices-onions- and cooked lentils.

You can always clean your drawers too.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

“You learn something from everything”- is that so?

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a wave of impatience towards everyone. and everything.

Personally, I tend to blame Covid -19, though let’s face it- I don’t go out much anyway and have a zero tendency to get close to people.

Maybe it’s the age issue- I tend to blame everything bad I do on my age:”what can I say- that’s the way it is when you reach 52.5!”

If, by any chance- you have no idea what this means- because you’re too young or too male-then this is a reference to hormonal instability that in professional terms is called “the change”.

Now that- if you ask me- is quite a scary name, for something that really should come as no surprise to any woman, yet, apparently, it does. that includes me, to be clear.

All of a sudden gravity is becoming the most powerful force controlling your physique- and although you might try to fight it ( working out like a maniac, botox, hyaluronic acid, retinoids, derma rolling and other tortures we expose ourselves to)-can’t fight it forever.

The thing is- gravity would be fine- if it weren’t for those mood changes!

This “change” is known to be adolescence all over again- mood swings and everything.

Anyway- this is a good excuse, especially since this “change” can last for up to ten (10!) years- I intend to keep using it until my partner discovers that the internet says there is a period of “male change” too and decides to act on it.

Back to topic-

(although I do have some things to say about botox and derma rolling)-

My recent intolerance for everything is actually not that recent.

I can hear someone talk for a short while- but if he/she doesn’t get to the point after 3 minutes- what’s the point in all of that?

I know this is rude, and not zen (at all!) but I can fight my inner impatience fiercely- for up to 3 minutes only. sorry.

Any longer than that- I lose that battle and run for the entrance before the evil force that won the fight takes over the conversation.

But!

Lately, there’s been some change in this atrocious behavior- due to a new mindset I adopted.

I decided that in the spirit of zen- I can learn something from everything.

What this means is- that even if I watch a (very) boring lecture on Zoom, about something or other ( french painting -for example) and get annoyed watching the lecturer read from slides in a monotonous voice ( people who read from slides should be banned from lecturing- in my humble opinion. I am well aware that not everyone is a gifted public speaker- but who said everyone should speak in public? if you are intimidated by the crowd- write a blog, write an essay, podcast, maybe a YouTube channel- if sitting at home in front of the camera doesn’t scare the sh%$ out of you. there are so many ways to avoid lecturing- because- the bottom line is- if you can’t overcome your fears and give a boring slide reading lecture- what will you gain? self-confidence? (0%)acknowledgment in your field of expertise?(0%) appreciation of listeners? (0%)headache and a desperate need for a drink? (100%). on the other hand- I discovered that people really like to laugh and engage in a lecture- meaning- that if you are less skilled in your area of expertise- but you are witty and funny, and give people real-life examples they can relate to on a personal level- you win. you can really give mediocre lectures with little to no preparation- but look them in the eyes and smile and tell funny little anecdotes- they will stand in line to shake your hand later).

Again -off-topic- what can I do? it’s “the change”-

So while a few weeks ago I would press the “leave meeting” button, now I breathe deeply and give the lecture another chance.

Because I decided I can learn something from everything.

So?

So in the end one of 3 options happens :

#1. the lecture takes a surprising turn , the speaker starts talking about a topic dear to his-her heart, and the spark is there- in his-her eyes, in his-her voice, in the way the lecture is going. it is interesting now!

Glad I gave that a chance.

#2. nothing changes in the lecturers’ tone-but the pictures in the slides are beautiful! I learn about a french painter called Berthe Morisot-here is a link to an article about her- worth the reading- it wasn’t easy being a woman painter in Paris mind you: https://mymodernmet.com/berthe-morisot-biography/

Good thing I gave the lecture a chance- I learned about Berthe.

#3. nothing changes+ no interesting slides:

I conclude that I ended up learning something important today- never take another course with that lecturer again!

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

How I became an optimistic pessimist.

An oxymoron (usual plural oxymorons, more rarely oxymora) is a rhetorical device that uses an ostensible self-contradiction to illustrate a rhetorical point or to reveal a paradox.”

(Wikipedia)

After many years of focusing on developing expectations- followed by an equal amount of years sent dealing with the disappointments – I believe I found the middle road:

I simply have no expectations.

Actually- that’s not entirely true-

I do have expectations

I expect everything to come out wrong.

Yep.

I never expect people to be on time, to tell the truth, to actually care about anything other than themselves, to be lazy, to be unwilling to learn anything new that demands them to change habits they’ve come accustomed to -although those habits are evidently harming them-

I expect every trip (back when there were such a things as “trips”) to be a disaster, every plan I make to fail, every conversation to be boring, every idea to end in the “I wish I did that” bin-

I think you get the idea.

“that’s terrible!” you probably think.

“this person probably suffers from chronic depression! never goes out of bed! and why would she? she never sees anything good only disasters run through her head all the time!”

Well-

Quite the opposite actually!

I think I’ve mastered the art of being happily pessimistic.

This is not my invention, you know. 

Seneca, the great roman philosopher- stated that :”one should hope for that which is just, and prepare himself for that which is utterly unjust”, or in other words:make yourself at home with the worst case scenario.

Here are 2 links to “the school of life” explaining in human language what stoicism is .  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu7n0XzqtfA&ab_channel=TheSchoolofLife

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOj5KLcymgA&ab_channel=TheSchoolofLife

How this works is:

#1. Something happens- or is about to happen.

Example: life.

Clearer example: I buy something. that can be anything- from groceries to household stuff, to yoga pants.

My regular reaction: anticipation. “oh those yoga pants are going to look great on me! they’l change my life! once I wear them everything will be OK !” (I am exaggerating. (no I’m not)).

Stuff arrives: not as expected. example: some of the tomatoes are too ripe. yoga pants fit- but there is the butt issue. slippers are a tad too tight. I think you get the picture.

*Mind you there is no need to mention that my life looks small , I am well aware, but I can tell you I had a “socially acceptable productive life” for 50 years- I like my current style much better.

 Automatic reaction:  getting annoyed. OK-let’s face it- angry.  “that’s outrageous!” nothing gets done right!” “what has become of this world!”. heart rate goes up. stress levels go up as well. I immediately look for something to eat.  because of stress- nothing really tastes that good. I regret eating it. 

Whereas:

The stoic scenario: I order stuff- groceries, apparel, household stuff. 

I take into consideration :defects, late arrival, missing items, bad fitting.

Being a pessimist -you just need to release your true inner self and worst case scenarios just fly by. 

I expect those worst case scenarios+ I accept them. 

I choose whether to make a plan B right away- or wait to see the actual results- and then use my plan B. either way- I accept that a plan B will have to be used. 

Stuff arrives : as expected- 25% missing/bad fitting etc. 

Stoic reaction: (smile to myself-I was right again!)“OK, that was to be expected.this was not done intentionally. these days supermarkets work double shifts because -well you know why- and I know to expect 20-25% damages/missing items.as for yoga pants- passing the crucial age of 45- gravitation is a much more prominent force in my life. I am well aware of that, expecting some pants to overcome forces of nature discovered by Newton- well that’s simply not realistic”

Dealing with the situation the stoic way: I write immediately to customer service, get credited for tomatoes. or better yet- make a super tasty tomato soup from them

*quickest tomato soup- dice onions and garlic, into pan with a drizzle of olive oil, dice carrots, celery, said tomatoes, herbs: freshly ground pepper, salt, cumin, parley, coriander, nut meg? don’t forget a sprinkle of sugar- that’s because of the tomatoes acidity- I mean a sprinkle- 1/4 tsp -not more- the soup doesn’t need to be sweet -it needs to be savory! a small can of tomato concentrated sauce- omit if you feel passionate about it being preservative free- I totally agree on the attitude- but tomato soup required -in my opinion- 1/4 cup tomato sauce to get to the right consistency. add veggie soup or boiling water and let simmer for 50 minutes. while waiting wash dishes +dust the house and vacuum it- this way when you sit down to eat- you’l feel like a queen. (king).  If you feel like it- add rice or pasta- not too much- towards the end of cooking. minestrone style. 

Or- 

Should everything turn out great- all groceries arrive, yoga pants lift high and above-

In usual scenario I keep on going as if nothing extraordinary has happened. 

In stoic scenario I rejoice in jubilation. “wow! that’s great! I have all the tomatoes and apples I need, and my rear end looks great too!I’m so happy- this is a good day!”

I asked myself yesterday- when standing in a crosswalk waiting for traffic to stop and let me cross– 

Do I stand there expecting every car to stop and let me pass- thus getting more and more upset if people ignore me- and indifferent if they stop-or do I expect everyone to be engaged in their own thoughts -thus taking into account a period of idle standing time, and being super pleased and wave a thanks for anyone who stops?

I am working on getting to option #2: because it is a known fact that stress can spike your cortisol levels- meaning those yoga pants won’t fit. again. 

Enjoy- the cooliflower. 

What about those avocados?

 

I always thought avocados were for those skinny people that need nutrient and fat dense foods, because they don’t get enough calories. 

Well- I happen to find calories wherever I go, no problem there, thank you very much. 

This is why I was never a big advocate for avocados.

But- 

I changed my mind lately- and started researching the subject of oils, and one thing led to the other-

So here I am, telling you why, and how, we now have 10 avocados in  bowl , waiting (very patiently) to ripen. 

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Should you be thinking- what is she going on about-there are no avocados here-

Well my dear Watson(s) -yes there are.

They are snuggled withing giveaway newspapers. here I was thinking  everybody read the news online? actually I was glad I got those free newspapers because newspaper is great for cleaning windows and stuffing inside wet sneakers- it has been raining here the past few days, and laws of physics say that running in the rain=wet sneakers apparently).

The reason the avocados are snuggled (separately) in newspaper, is that thankfully they arrived hard as rocks from the supermarket, which allowed for slow and steady home ripening-instead of buying ripe ones that end up being black patched and ill tasting. 

*The thing about those avocados is that their skin isn’t transparent as you would expect, so there’s a lot of guessing going on concerning the exact level of ripeness for a decent avocado. 

So tip #1- is get hand out newspapers, and save them for each of those 3 valid reasons. 

tip#2 would naturally be-buy hard as rock avocados , and ripen them at home wrapped in mentioned newspapers, 

and tip #3- would be- put them next to bananas. 

Apparently bananas release ethylene  while ripening , thus ripening their neighbors as well. 

This is the reason my bowl contains both. (yes that was kind of obvious. )

Anyway-you need to check on the avocados every day , not by squeezing the life out of them, but gently, making it seem as if you see a future together. 

But why eat them in the first place you ask?

Well- some can’t have enough of their taste- cut nicely, sprinkled with salt, a drizzle of lemon  and served over toast , some are those nutrient deficient people , some are health advocates that even put avocados in their smoothies (!) , and I even saw people make avocado ice cream-since they are neutral in taste and contain a lot of fat. 

Lets just say that the toast thing is as far as I go- seeing as I told you- I seem to have no problem meeting my caloric needs- and even surplus it , so no need to worry about me. 

By the way- my partner and my son are both avid avocado eaters, with or without toast, and I am mentioning this because they are both skinny (yes, it is frustrating to watch them eat everything and not overthink it, but I guess I got used to it, or maybe I didn’t- can’t do anything about it anyway, so no reason to get all worked up, told you I got wiser as I got older). 

Now to some facts, mainly to check why all that labeling is going on , calling canola oil and even olive oil (!!) “bad fats” (that’s a horrible name ) and avocados and peanuts “good fats”. 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

So: lots of vitamins, 2 grams of protein in 100 grams serving,no cholesterol (but 77% of it is fat- though monounsaturated fat- which is considered “good fat”-though undoubtedly- still fat), and  9 grams of carbs- bot 80% of them are fibers- (in case you are not in the loop- fibers are IT- but -since I am no dietitian as I’ve stated so many times- check me out on this. come to think of it- check me out on everything. come to really think about it- check everything you hear- that’s probably the best advice I would give anyone -should anyone want to hear my lectures, which is doubtful, yet possible). 

Oh- and all of this in 160 calories per 100 grams. 

I don’t have a kitchen scale- I have a tiny kitchen and never saw the reason to weigh everything I eat, by the way (I am resisting the strange impulse to write “by the weigh”. yes, I am old like that), I don’t weigh myself either. 

(I know well enough when I put on weight -it is quite clear in the mirror, and in the way I run-I feel heavier+my thighs get chafed. )

*(for a moment there I  had a thought about linguistics: I wondered how “gain weight” and “loose weight” survived our 21’st century culture that encourages the exact opposite, actually turned food into some kind of enemy. and yes- I read “Dietland”. and yes- I thought it was good). 

I have to mention that for the sake of this post, (or maybe because of writing it?), I just had to make myself an avocado toast and re check my feelings about it. 

I am so dedicated I tell you. 

The results were that I had a really good avocado toast, it was exactly ripe but not over ripe, and actually it tasted really good. 

Sprinkled with salt and lemon- otherwise a bit bland (in my opinion). 

*Should you be turned off by the toast thing- slice some next to your salad- on next to beans- the Mexican way!

*If you have something against salt- use freshly ground pepper- that’s another tip mind you. (tip #4 ). 

By the way freshly ground pepper is great for salads too. 

*I don’t know anyone who has a problem with lemons- and should any doctor say anything bad about lemons- well- I would get a second opinion -but that’s me.

oh- and I do have a tip #5- although admittedly nothing new here- if you slice your avocado and resist the urge to eat both halves- 

I guess you already know you simply cannot put that leftover half in the fridge as is and be surprised that next day it has gone brown and soggy. 

You can either not do that- or- not be surprised. can’t have both. 

Avocados- like apples- do not appreciate oxygen, (I looked it up for you- it’s because they have an enzyme called something or other. yawn. another yawn).

Therefore-

As in apples- drizzle lemon juice on the leftover half, and if you really want to be a stellar avocado eater- keep in airtight glassware. or keep the peel of the eaten half and use it as cover for the leftover one. 

Or slice off the thin brown layer the next morning. 

To sum this up- 

If you are looking for a super satiating +healthy spread -or side- that does have quite a lot of fat in it- but no cholesterol- you’ve found it.

I would say “use in moderation” but that’s something I can’t do myself- so no use saying it to anyone else. 

The upside is that even an eater like me can’t miss the fact that avocados are filling- and half an avocado is a generous portion that can keep you going for quite some time. 

 Enjoy- the cooliflower. 

 

 

Were our grandmothers right?

My grandmother was something.

She could make people squirm with her casual cross-examinations, and always- always -always- had the upper hand , at every discussion.

I used to tell everybody at work that she was my mentor when it came to interrogating people on the witness stand.

I loved her with all my heart.

She also had these sayings- I’m sure your grandmothers had then too- and I think the beginning of 2021 is a perfect time to check if those sayings are still valid, or did time and internet push them to the “irrelevant box”.

#1: always save a penny for a rainy day”

Wow, too valid.

If there’s anything we learned from Covid is that when it rains- it definitely pours, metaphorically speaking.

#2 . you are not rich enough to buy cheap”.

Well- this one is tough- since in my experience- not all pricey things are necessarily better quality, and vice versa. maybe take the time to learn the difference between good advertising and good quality?in any case- since sentence #1 is always true- maybe “when in doubt- just don’t” is better.

#3: “Never leave the house looking like roadkill”

Think of all those books/movies/TV shows where the heroine breaks up with her boyfriend and goes out “just to throw the trash” in her best “stay at home in comfiest ugliest PJ’s of them all ” and of course, as the universe would have it, her high school sweetheart happens to walk by (he has to walk, not drive by, otherwise what’s the point of the scene?)

Well- I think , with all due respect- that this one didn’t make it to 2021.

Seems all everyone wears is at home PJ’S, the comfier-the better- the jeans and dresses , let alone those stylish jackets and tailored pants- seem like they belong to another era.

Plus- seems like the attitude has changed (I’ve been waiting for this forever) and there are fewer and fewer sleeping princesses waiting in a corsette for their prince to save them.

I hope this is the situation, because ladies- we need to rely on ourselves only-and the only way to get up from a long sleep is to drink a cup of coffee and go fr a run.

#4:”never give unsolicited advice”

This is definitely true- always has been- is now-and will always be.

This is also the best advice I always ignore.

#5:”Mother knows best”

Well-

Emmmmmmm.

I’m not sure about this one, honestly.

I think many mothers want the best for their children, but we are all unique people, and need to learn to rely on ourselves and not on anyone else to make decisions for us.

I am aware that this can complicate relationships that are built on one party expecting the other party to automatically follow their advice- but- here’s to sentence #4!

#6: always make your bed first thing in the morning!”

Now this one, is the ultimate truth ladies and gentlemen.

Why?

Because-

Sleep is the most important activity your body and your brain needs, and a fresh , clean, made bed, is always more inviting and comfortable than a wrinkled up, haven’t changed sheets in a while, couldn’t care less about it-bed.

All I can say is that I believe in clean and organized surroundings as a method of simplifying matters, even deep unsolved issues of the past.

Plus- everything looks better after a good nights sleep- rest my case.

So change your sheets every week, make sure your room is clean and ventilated ( open window? try it- oxygen is not fake news), and try to get nice linens and a good , light blanket, and try to avoid watching the news before going to bed. .

I miss my grandmother.

I hope one day, when I have grand-kids of my own, they will love me as much as I loved my grandmother.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

Embracing the nerd within me.

I know a lot of people who have tattoos. some even have many.

Some are very close to me- 2 of my kids+my partner have them- the above picture is the tattoo my son had in honor of our beloved dog, Sirius, who passed away a few months ago. (still brings tears to my eyes to write about him, he was a true friend.)

The thing is-

Growing up, I never thought of getting one, because only the perfectly cool people had tattoos.

In case you were wondering- I was never, am not- and will not be-a cool person.

On the contrary I might add.

I am a nerd who can’t understand the point of fashion trends , of wearing the “right clothes” ,or the “right perfume”, going to the “right restaurant”, reading the “right books”, and generally looking and sounding “comme il faut”.

There were a few years- when I became “somewhat of a mini boss” at work, that I made an effort to blend in , and spent quite a lot of money trying to fit in.

I went to the right gym, bought the right clothes, even got some jewelry, definitely the right perfume, went to “it” places- and the whole time-felt like an outsider desperate to get back home, have a good shower and read a book.

Finally- it dawned on me that this is a total waste of time and money, and I’d rather put this money aside so I can retire early and get out of the race .

So I did, and I can tell you this was one of my finest moments.

I now wear mostly workout clothes, wear no make up, no perfume, eat my simple home made vegan food, go to sleep early and wake up at the crack of dawn (sometimes before), see no reason to do what everybody else is doing, and after many many years of feeling misplaced- I feel right where I am supposed to be.

So why not get a tattoo now and celebrate that profound understanding ?

Well-

Because I’ve reached a point in life where I can try to just relax.

I am about to celebrate 2 years of early retirement, and in spite of Covid , I find myself , for the first time in my life- actually having the freedom to decide what it is I want to do.

Don’t get all excited here-

I ‘m not dancing around the garden in a blue dress and straw hat picking cucumbers from a bush everyday.

Yes- Disney movies affected me .

I have my bad days, I have horrible days, I have all kinds of days-

But it’s OK.

These are MY days to feel angry and frustrated at something esoteric.

And I finally understood that no tattoo will take those days away.

Put this self empowering manifesto aside for a moment-

I think even if I were cool I wouldn’t get a tatto-

Why?

Because tattoos are forever, and I haven’t even decided which music streamer I prefer-Youtube music or Spotify.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

How I stopped complaining.

I don’t particularly like complaining.

Doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t do it- but I don’t enjoy it.

I decided on my 50th birthday that I am not about to spend the next 50 or so years , going on and on about things .

Either I can change the situation-or I can’t- either way- what’s the point of whining about it?

So-

I already told you I happen to live in a rural small village, which looks extremely beautiful between march 1st and march 31.

Other seasons are less agreeable , as it tends to be really hot at summer, everything is still dry in autumn, and winter can be quite cold.

But-

I do have a stunning running trail, and on many days I get to see cows and horses, and their young calves.

I took the picture above just to prove my point, as I come from the world of evidence rules the world.

But-

Just when you were contemplating getting absolutely and furiously jealous at me, here I come forth telling you about the strange habit of some people to slam dunk whatever garbage they have, exactly where they happen to be.

This sporty habit of theirs, caused me to frown and get upset -and complain about it- every friggin’ time I went for a run, and that’s a lot of times. (individual sports are allowed here, and I am using this permit as much as I can).

The A-HA moment came a few weeks ago, when reading David Sedaris’s “Calypso”.

In case you like to laugh (out loud) and then understand how perceptive that book was- go read this book. I got it on my online free library and spent a great Saturday reading, laughing and thinking.

Best way to spend a Saturday- in my opinion.

Sedaris tells about his garbage collecting hobby, (and how he became his fitbit’s slave, and more), and then came my A-HA moment.

“That’s it!” I understood.

Instead of frowning and whining and thinking “somebody should do some Thing about this! this is outrageous!preposterous!” ( loved that lawyer caricature Jacky Chiles on “Seinfeld”), I’ll get up and do it myself!

So-

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If you want to shoot- scoot (and collect garbage)- don’t talk.

This is my running pouch, super useful -I can put my phone, stick my corded headphones- if I feel like using them , or just pair with my Bluetooth earphones, if I choose, and- as I recently discovered- I can pack 2 plastic bags I save and re-use (often times my online supermarket wraps some products separately- though they generally use brown paper bags which eases my conscience).

I have no shares in the pouch business , honestly until recently I thought pouches were gone in the 80’s, but here I am, literaly running around with my pouch.

The thing is- as much as I don’t mind collecting the garbage I will not touch it with bare hands no matter what.

I thought of taking gloves, but the thing is I collect while running- I stop , pick up the trash, and keep running, and throw the bag as soon as it fills up-and there is a limit to everything- running with kitchen gloves is where I draw the line.

You might think- much like my partner by the way- that my efforts are hopeless, and the people that throw garbage will keep on doing it, but I believe that there is a lot to be said in favor of the “broken windows” theory- meaning- a pile of garbage is an open invitation for people to keep throwing , whereas a clean place might -over time- inspire those same people to think twice before starting a new pile.

Maybe.

I can tell you that since I started collecting- the streets look so much cleaner, I absolutely enjoy my runs, and people started talking to me about joining in and cleaning too.

I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t even know how long I can run and clean, but in my experience- it definitely beats complaining , mainly because I found out I pout while complaining, thus potentially creating new wrinkles, as opposed to smiling- which create crow feet wrinkles near my eyes- and those I am really fond of!

Enjoy- the cooliflower.