Coffee Chat · Random

It’s a big one this year! – Thoughts on turning Fifty

Fifty years ago, a new house cost $14,200 and the average income was $6,900.  Gas was only 32 cents a gallon.  A gallon of milk cost 99 cents and a postage stamp  only five cents.  A tube of Revlon lipstick cost only $1.25 and hairspray just 47 cents. Pampers made its debut and the Baltimore Orioles won the world series.  Why am I sharing that information?  Well,  the number 50 is a big deal very soon and that has got me doing way too much thinking.  I will be turning 50 this week and honestly, I was not too happy about this.

These past few months I did a lot of reminiscing trying to deal with my age, looking at old photos, cooking and baking many things from my childhood and sometimes spending hours remembering all I could of the first 50 years of my life.  My mom said she couldn’t wait to be fifty.  Me?  I would like to be 30 again, in all honesty.  But, I can’t.  But did you ever see that movie 30 going on 13?  LOL  I know… thats just Hollywood.

Seriously though.  It is not that I haven’t accomplished things.  Honestly, I have done more than I ever thought was possible.  From a vanity standpoint, I don’t like the wrinkles and the new middle age bulge that has decided to show itself.   But it is not just that.

I am so thankful that I am going to be 50 years old.  I have been so blessed!  Some never reach that age.  My health is good.  I am living my dream of one day living in Europe.  I get to travel.  I am more in love with my husband than ever and my children are good, happy adults making the most of their lives.  I finally starting writing, something I had put off the first 45 years.

I thought by now I would have these accomplishments, a big house in Grosse Pointe, have that Louis Vuitton bag or wear Louboutan shoes, drive a Jaguar and throw lavish dinner parties.  That was something I really did want to have by 50.  Yep, I am being serious.   Funny thing is that now I don’t want those things.  Living out of the United States has really changed me, made me more humble and finally, have stopped having so large of an attachment to material things.

I hate to admit this but I always thought that 50 was old.  I think I thought that because in the 1960’s, the life expectancy was 70, so I thought that 50 meant you were getting up there in age.  I don’t want to be old and I know, I am not.  My Mom is going to be 85 this year, which helps my thoughts on this subject a lot.  It is time to stop being so serious.  Life can be so short so why spend it worrying about getting old?

pic14270I have earned every wrinkle on my face and I am learning that the more makeup I wear, having wrinkles really does make me look old.  I have stopped spending so much money on products trying to hide them, firm them and conceal them.  Just so you know, don’ waste your money like I did, they don’t work anyways.  I plan to smile and laugh more, not take things so seriously.  Stop planning and writing down every detail of my day and just live.   (This could be an adjustment as I am a list making junkie.)  I plan to spend time outside every day, rain or shine.  Breathe deeply and enjoy every moment spent with my incredible husband and traveling.  I want to watch even more baseball – is that even possible? 😉   I would like to Blog here more.  Organize my home quite a bit more.

Talk to my children a bit more, but I find the older they get, the busier they are.  Living overseas shouldn’t make a difference in communicating.  I am thankful for technology making it possible to stay in touch.  (It sure was not like that when I lived in Belgium in the 1970’s, letter writing was about it.)   I really need to learn to use technology more.  I am hoping one day to have a phone that actually has wi-fi or internet, don’t even know what it is called, so I can delve into the world of Apps.  I hear some of them are a good thing for communicating and sharing.  I would love to do that more with them.

It’s strange, I feel like the act of turning Fifty, means I should be making new years resolutions or goals.  My husband is taking me away to celebrate this monumental occasion.  I will have much travel time to think about this but then again… I might just enjoy the journey.   One thing is for sure, when you have lived as long as I have, made the mistakes I have, seen the things I have, you acquire a bit more wisdom. Just like Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day!”   I am ready to greet the “Fifty” with much passion! Bring it on!

So to wrap up… when I get back from our travels next week,  I hope to have much to share and so on…

I am looking forward to my next 50 years after all, it is just a number and isn’t 50 the new 40?

 

Merken

Books

Book Nook – Don’t Tell the Boss

002Hello my friends!  It has been a while since I shared a book that I really enjoyed. Remember the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic?  That led me to discover the author of that book, Sophie Kinsella, I have been loving reading this new genre (for me), romantic comedy.  Honestly, with all the serious craziness in the world right now, it is nice to just escape for a bit into one of these type of books.

Last weeks visit to the extremely small english section of our library, led me to discover another author, Anna Bell.  She has written many in this genre and the one I read, Don’t Tell the Boss is part of the “Penny Series”.  On a side note, last night I downloaded all the Penny books to my kindle, which will be perfect to read while traveling.

I absolutely adore the main character, Penny.  Here is a glimpse as to what this book is about.  “When newlywed Penny turns her hand to some casual wedding planning, she only wants to help other women afford the big day of their dreams.

But taming bridezillas turns out to be a full-time occupation, and what began as a hobby becomes a personal and professional nightmare.

Soon Penny is struggling to keep her day job and prevent her own marriage from collapsing under the strain: tired, stressed and knee-deep in ivory satin, is Penny’s life and livelihood hanging by a thread?”

Honestly, if life is a bit to serious at times or you are a bit stressed or have a hard time unwinding in the evening, or are taking a 9 hour flight or  train trip, I highly recommend this author as well as Sophie Kinsella or Lindsey Kelk.

This book is truly funny, happy or I like to call it a “feel good” read.  I am newly hooked on this genre.

If you know of any other romantic comedy authors, please share their names with me!  🙂

Save

food · Recipes

Cream Garlic Dressing Recipe

This is another “old” recipe of mine, which just means it is one that was passed down to me.  I love the versatility of this dressing.  You can control the consistency for use in a salad.

004-6

Or thicken it for a great chip or veggie dip.

002-6

Either way, if you like creamy garlic I am sure you will love this dressing.

You will need:

1 3-ounce package of cream cheese, softened.

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 teaspoon onion powder or finely minced onion flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove finely minced

Dash of lemon juice.

To make:  Blend ingredients well until creamy.  Allow to stand over night before serving.

Note:  You can vary this recipe by adding Roquefort or Blue Cheese chunks.  If thinner consistency is desired – increase sour cream.  I like to add a dash of pepper  if I am using it on a salad.

Merken

Life Abroad · Random

Turning loneliness into healing solitude

737Loneliness is something that many deal with, especially those that live in different countries, cities or states, far away from their loved ones.  I suffer from this too at times.  Happily, it is much less now.   Sometimes it is just hard to tone the thoughts down when you are by yourself.  The past is what creeps up often for me.  The good living in the eighties,  my childhood, all those mistakes I made in my first marriage.  How things used to be during the happy and not so happy times.  Once those memories start bombarding your thoughts, it can be hard to make them stop, but you have to.  The past is just that.  The past.  Even though it may have some bearing on where you are now in life, it is over.  It has to be let go of.  The time is now to be who you truly are and be present in everyday life.   Once we stop dwelling on things we just can’t change, the loneliness tends to diminish.

One misconception I find is knowing the difference between solitude and loneliness.  Just because a person may spend time by themselves or isolated even, doesn’t mean they are lonely.  I enjoy quiet moments.  Especially out in nature.  I have a few favorite places to walk to and take in my surroundings and just breathe and let my negative thoughts fly away in the breeze.  I used to think  in those times when I was feeling a bit down and missing my kids and parts of my former way of life that I should make myself busy.  This would actually make me feel worse.  When I stopped  ” being busy”,  the feeling of loneliness was even more overwhelming.

Now, when I start to get that sinking feeling, I find gratitude in my life.  Thank God or the universe for things, moments and people I am grateful for.   I stop to smell the roses, if you will.  If I feel like crying, I just cry now.  Not because I feel sorry for myself but it is a way to cleanse your soul.

I like to take in my surroundings wether it be the warmth of the sunshine, or the calming sound of rain falling, the song from a bird.  Even the noises of the traffic passing by can be soothing or the chatter of the kids walking home from school.  Wherever you are there will be some sound or smell even that will be soothing.

Though some of my days are long and I am by myself, I am not so lonely.  I have routines, projects, work and friends, yes.  When I think of a memory  now, it is one that puts a smile on my face. I have made a habit of  taking time to enjoy a bit of solitude and just be present in the moment.  I realize that I have always done this, even when my kids were young.  I found a time, early in the morning before anyone one was awake, to just sit in solitude with a cup of coffee and just be present in the moment.  Feeling the wamth of the cup in my hands, breathing in its fresh aroma.  No distractions.  Simply, being.

If you turn that feeling of loneliness or sadness into a moment of being present and grateful  in solitude it can be life changing.

 

Merken

Merken

Life Abroad

Six years ago today…

…I packed up my whole life into 2 suitcases, a hockey equipment bag and 2 small boxes and moved to Germany.  Newly married and having no knowledge of the German language let alone the dialect used in my new hometown.

734I left sunny Detroit, a city I still love, to live in  sunny Germany, Bavaria to be exact.  It was love at first sight.  My “new downtown” area reminded me of Cinderella’s castle.   It seemed so relaxed and quiet and so “old-world.”039-2

I don’t think I suffered from too much culture shock as I was groomed at a young age to live abroad.  Who knew then that living overseas for 3 1/2 years in the seventies & eighties would have helped prepare me for the challenges that lay ahead in my life.  I am so thankful for that time, it truly made things a little bit easier.

On the other hand, some changes weren’t so easy.  A lifestyle without a car, dryer, Tylenol, Farenheit, Imperial measuring system (ex. ounces & gallons), TV in English,  A/C, ranch dressing or Cheese-It crackers, to name a few.  No family or friends, no job and the realization that English is not spoken or known even world-wide.  What in the world was I doing here.  Can true love be that strong to get me through the challenges I now faced?

Thankfully, my husband was so patient, caring, loving and helped me along the way.  Not only introducing me to his own culture and the “how-to’s” but to new and beautiful cities throughout Europe.  Also he showed me a simpler lifestyle which I find to be very satisfying now.  He is my best friend and I love him more than I ever thought it was possible to love another.

Now, I don’t think of my life as different, but normal.  I finally have accepted that things are different.  We celebrate not only German but the American holidays that I love.  I have learned to re-create my favorite American foods as well as make his favorite German dishes.

My language skills? Yes, I feel I can finally say that I speak German.  I can go to the doctor and dentist by myself.  Pick out a cut of meat at the deli area in a market.  Order a meal in a restaurant and discuss shoes with a saleslady.  I can watch a movie in German but…. the thought of an actor like Brad Pitt not speaking English, I have a hard time wrapping my head around.  Writing German is a whole other subject which I don’t do well…yet.

I feel settled now, it took a long time.  Even though, it is a harder lifestyle and takes more effort than life in America, I am happy.  I have learned so many important life lessons along the way.  I have been asked by many if we plan on moving back to America.  Of course, I would like to, I think my husband wouldn’t mind either.  But jobs and health insurance are the deciding factors which at this time don’t seem a possibility there.  I don’t know if I am ready to go back to that fast paced lifestyle and Iphones quite yet.

For now I will just live in the present moment, happily and proudly as a stay-at-home wife.  Enjoying every new day with my soul mate, living the Bavarian life with a touch of American flair.

Merken

Merken