Spice-a-holics Anonymous

Two words-

Pumpkin. Spice.

The two most highly anticipated and dreaded words to tickle the ears of a compulsive spice-a-holic.

The two words that signal the beginning of the delectable holiday season.

The struggle is real.

It starts on October 1st with pumpkins, and ends in a peppermint flavored melt down that torches any illusions that I will be wearing anything other than regret come January 2nd.

And the Pumpkin Spice Faerie is the first harbinger of the impending onslaught of the spice inducing carnage.

She is the tell tale Dickens-esque ghost of holidays past that triggers my inner warning light and sends up my hazard flares.

Her appearance reminds me to tread carefully through the spice laden mine fields that lie out stretched between me and the first of the year…

And me and my pants.

“Hey, does this spice make my butt look big?” Continue reading Spice-a-holics Anonymous

Bad Candy

Not for the faint of heart, I give to you this cautionary tale of one little boy’s brush with fevered regret, that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that one tiny voice of reason can indeed save the day.

But first, we have to go back, way back…to the story before the story of that fateful day…

I love Halloween.

And back in the day, when I was a little girl, Halloween was always a big deal at our house. Trick-or-treating was something that was looked forward to with great anticipation. 

Every year, my sister and I would go to great lengths to come up with inventive and elaborately bewitching costumes. We would painstakingly plot out our route through the neighborhood to get maximum candy canvassing, and stake out the good stuff for a second hit.

One year, I even attempted to lock my sister in the bathroom, and carried an extra pillow case with me and told a sad story of her suddenly falling ill, and being the nice sister that I was I was, I was collecting candy for her as well. 

Of course, it was a total fabrication, and after she escaped, I was questioned by a neighbor who had inquired as to why then, had my poor sick sister already knocked on her door? My poorly executed farce had been exposed. I did briefly entertain the idea of abandoning my life of criminal mischeif, but then I decided that the next year I would just go to a different neighborhood, where nobody knew me.

Muahahah! Diabolical, I know, but I take my candy very seriously.

Growing up in Arizona, it always seemed like right around Halloween was when it would finally start to get chilly and I would always worry that my mother would force me wear a coat over my costume.

This was not acceptable.

I mean, who wants to see Wonder Woman wearing a zip up windbreaker?

You can not effectively fight crime in seasonably appropriate outerwear.

How ridiculous would it be if I had to peel off a hat and a scarf before I could jump into my invisible jet and race off to save the world?

Nobody in their right mind would take Wonder Woman seriously if she was wearing a winter coat over her kick ass wonder woman outfit, or if her lasso of truth was all tangled up in her poncho.

But sadly, most of the time my pleas of protest would fall upon deaf ears, and I would end up angrily stomping down the street, stewing in my own juices, while toting my empty grocery bag, and grimacing with distaste as my winter wardrobe eclipsed my Wonder Woman awesomeness.

It was then, that I swore, that when I became a mother, I would never humiliate my children in such a way as to force my overly protective motherly whims upon them. And if my son wanted to be Superman, then he would be Superman in a cape… and not Superman in a parka.

I was going to be the one to finally break the cycle of crimes against Halloween.

Now, we are back to where we started, when my son was 3, and we had attended a Thanksgiving family gathering.

My grandmother always had fantastical treats and petite fours laid out along with truffles and assorted candies galore. It was a difficult task trying to keep my young son away from all of the eye level temptations in his path.

At one point, my Aunt Wendy had picked up a perfectly wrapped Almond Roca and was admiring it’s shiny golden wrapper. And as she began to delicately unwrap it to reveal the delicious treat that lied within, my son, who had been watching her very carefully, began to seem uneasy.

He pulled away from my grip, and in what seemed like slow-motion started sprinting across the room towards her. He shouted “Noooooooo!” as he approached her, which in my mind’s eye sounded like a long drawn out exclamation of impending horror.

It all unfolded in such swiftness that I think my mind slowed it down in order to comprehend what was happening.

She blinked and turned towards him as he raced in her direction. She had finally unwrapped the delicious delight and was raising it to her lips when he arrived.

He reached up and smacked it right out of her hand post haste, in an effort to stop her from placing it into her mouth. And again he shouted, “Noooooo! Bad candy! Bad candy!!!!”

He was visibly upset, and quite insistent that she NOT partake in the aforementioned “bad candy”.

I was terrified that he was about to embarrass me beyond belief.

My stunned Aunt looked so perplexed after having the candy literally slapped out of her mouth, and I jumped up to scoop him as quickly as I could into another room.

The poor kid was hysterical and I kept trying to ask him what was wrong but he just kept sobbing and saying “bad candy, bad candy”.

After about 30 minutes he had cried himself to sleep, and I had tiptoed out of the room to back out to the party to apologize. Of course, everyone had inquired as to what could have possibly come over him, but I just said that I had no knowledge as to the origins of his sudden outburst.

Later that night as we were walking into the house, and I was following behind my husband as he was carrying our sleeping son. And as we paused just inside the door to drop all of our belongings, our little guy slightly awoke for just a moment, and pointed his tiny finger down towards the floor. 

Then he raised his head, and in his exhausted little baby voice he once again softly uttered the words “bad…candy…”

I followed the direction of his finger as he pointed towards the cat’s litter box, filled with a plethora of cat poops covered in cat litter.

Bad candy…? 

And then, as I made notice of the resemblance between the Almond Roca’s and the cat box offerings, I finally understood.

As soon as I put two and two together, I realized, that this brave little boy had at some point “sampled” the treasures in the kitty cat treasure chest, and had not only found them to be most disagreeable, but also quite offensive. 

Clearly, he had all but confirmed for himself that they were quite foul and had lived a life of fevered regret ever since.

And upon witnessing another hapless victim nearly falling prey to the lure of the bad candy, he had felt compelled to act. Because even though he had made a terrible decision and paid for it dearly, he had still tried to save a clueless Aunt Wendy from making the same horribly regrettable mistake.

He had valiantly taken one for the team.

He was a tiny hero.

And now, every time I see an Almond Roca, I think about the bad candy, and how much it looks like something very unappetizing. And pretty much ever since, it has been unable to render any more of its magical powers over me, all thanks to the selfless sacrifice of one brave little boy.

So the next year, when our little superhero wanted to be Batman for Halloween, I made sure he had a right and proper cape, so that he could go out there and save the world…

One piece of bad candy at a time.


Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Sometimes when there is no known word for how you feel, you have to invent one…




-a defeatist state of mind achieved by a downturn in critical morale

Ex: The fat(ish) took over.


-having the characteristics of; or outwardly resembling one’s perceived fatness

Ex: She could no longer happily wear that dress because it made her feel fat(ish).

Verb (archaic):

-to make or become fat(ish) by falling back into old habits

Comparative synonyms

-Busted can o’ biscuits

-Sausage stuffed into a casing

Antonyms: Skinny•ish


Our mind/body link is a force of nature.

How you feel on the inside is directly connected to how you present yourself on the outside. And it becomes harder to manage it the worse you feel. Often times it’s so involuntary that it evolves without notice.

Having dealt with weight issues even as a child, and having been overweight/ morbidly obese my entire adult life, I had adjusted to my state of being in a way that found me complacent to its challenges.

I had “adjusted” to my limitations and found a certain level of comfort in it.

But once my weight loss began…

Once I started feeling differently in my body…

Well, I started to feel “skinny(ish)”.

It was a state of mind that was created by a boost in confidence that had allowed me to picture a new reality for myself.

And even though I knew that I still had a long way to go, the tide had turned, and the feeling was palpable.

With every pound lost I began to feel thinner. Even when nothing physical was noticeably different, I felt the change manifesting from within.

I knew I wasn’t “skinny”, but I was skinny(ish), and that was a million dollar feeling.

But, once I reached my weight-loss goal, and the hovering began, I noticed that that feeling was harder and harder to hold onto.  Continue reading Fat(ish)

The View From Here

Seeing yourself from the inside-out can be challenging.

Sometimes, seeing who you are in a multitude of perspectives can give you a much more comprehensive view of yourself as a whole, and give you much-needed insight as to what you’re made of, down a deep, where it really counts.

When I started my weight loss journey it felt like I was standing at the base of a monolithic mountain and looking up to the summit and thinking “That is impossible. I cannot climb that.”

But sometimes you’re not aware of what you’re capable of until you have to be.

Until you step up to that plate and take your swing, you may not even  know if you can hit the ball.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision, and to corner yourself into a narrow way of thinking that does not allow you to see outside of the parameters that  you have established. What’s not easy, however, is to harness the ability look at yourself differently than you have become accustomed.

Viewing the world in a different way can open you up to ideas and practices that you may have never entertained otherwise.

As a parent, I have had been privy to a multitude of refreshing moments and perspective changing conversations with both of my boys, and sometimes you can forget that the world can be viewed in many many different ways.

But every once in a while, as a grown-up, you have a particular moment where you get a glimpse into the mind of someone that redirects your own thinking. And on this particular occasion it was through the “fresh eyes” of my seven year-old son.

While driving by a local bookstore, we had stopped at a red light, and my son, who had just learned to read, was peering out the window.

There was a large banner in front the bookstore that read, ‘Giant Book Sale!’

My son, after reading it aloud, then turned to me with a perplexed expression and asked, “Mom, why are only the giant books on sale?”

It caught me a little off guard, but then I realized that to him, it was a valid question.

And after trying to explain to him that it was the word “giant” was referring to the size of the sale and not the size of the books, I stopped myself, and just tried to look at the sign from his perspective.

I suppose it would have been less confusing if the sign has simply stated “giant sale on books”. But because most things in this world are left to our own interpretations, and the English language in itself is fairly complex, we are left with our own deciphering of the world around us to help us make sense of our surroundings.

So rather then correcting him, I gave him an answer.

I told him that perhaps they had too many giant books, and had run out of room, so maybe they needed to sell more of them to make space for the smaller ones. He seemed satisfied with that answer, and that was that.

That particular encounter had prompted me to begin thinking about the value of true perspective.  Continue reading The View From Here

The Directive

It was like my own version of Fight Club.

Me, fighting with myself about everything.

Every decision was up for negotiation.

Every boundary was ripe for a breach.

I was indecisive.

I knew this about myself, and yet sometimes I would still need the reminder.

Some days it was easy to be strong, because some days I didn’t want ice cream at all. But other days?

Other days, it was all I could think about.

And it was on those days that the conversation would go like this:

-No. (Very firmly stated)

-Well….maybe just a bite.

-Ok, yes, but just a single serving.

-I will stop when I’m full.

-I can’t stop. (Why can’t I stop?)

-I’ll start again tomorrow.

-Why didn’t I just say no? (oh wait, I did)

-Why did I not follow through when I first said no? (I wish I knew)

-Tomorrow I will say no (and follow through)

****and repeat from top****

But I was never specific about how I was going to achieve that. I never set a well thought out plan in place to facilitate that outcome. I invariably left myself twisting in the wind with a destination, and no route mapped out to get me there.

And I found out that if I gave myself an inch, I would take a mile.

I needed to stop treating what needed to be done as “optional”. Continue reading The Directive

The Turning

As the pendulum swings in measure,

The hands of time have moved once more-

For the shift has come from cadence,

The sway that unlocks this temporal door.


The equinox chimes in balance,

All things equal of day and night-

As soon the darkness gathers,

With the fading of the light.


The change is now upon us,

That which revolves, comes back around-

By letting go of olde,

We gain strength to stand our ground.


You can feel the weather shifting,

When an icy chill comes in the air-

And with the summer quickly drifting,

Autumn’s bluster comes to bear. Continue reading The Turning

The Maid in the Mist

Niagara Falls.

I had always wanted to see it for myself.

Several years ago, while visiting the East Coast and getting ready to leave Baltimore, we found that on our way to Philadelphia we still had three days before we were expected at a family get together.

So we sat in the parking lot of the Civil War Memorial near Antietam Maryland and tried to decide where we would go.

The Captain and I have long since practiced a little something we call accidental tourism, where we will just randomly pick a direction or destination and head out without so much as a reservation and the fervent hope of seeing where the adventure will take us. 

So we started looking at the map and trying to decide which direction we would head.

And there I was, waiting for some kind of sign from the universe, when a delivery truck drove by with the logo for Tim Hortons donuts emblazoned on the side.

*cue slo-mo montage…

It was like that moment when the clouds part, and a ray of sunshine breaks through to a chorus of euphoric accolades.

What? We love Tim Hortons! I did not even know that they had stores in the US, I thought they only had them in Canada! Living in Washington State, we were frequent visitors to Vancouver B.C on the western side of Canada, and sometimes we would even go across the border just for a coffee and donut run. Lemon crullers for me and apple fritters for The Captain. And then, we always got a box of assorted TimBits donut holes with a few extra cherry chip ones for the road.

This might be a game changer.

I started feverishly looking on my phone for the nearest Tim Hortons, and found that in upstate New York they had one in Buffalo.

It was decided. We would be heading north.

I looked at the map. I had wanted to see the eastern side of Canada, and I had always heard about how beautiful upstate New York was.

Done. Let’s go.

And then I spotted it. Right there on the border… Niagara Falls.

And as it so happens, that one was on my bucket list. Continue reading The Maid in the Mist

What Happens in Vegas…

You know the scenario.

The all-you-can-eat-buffet binge hangover scenario.

The one where you wake up face down in the carpet asking, “What the hell happened last night, and why am I holding a half eaten turkey leg?”

I tried to focus on the light coming in from the hallway that was flooding in from under the crack at the bottom of the door.

I blinked my eyes a few times to bring everything into focus.

I had been awoken by the hum of a vacuum cleaner and with a strange taste in my mouth.

The room was dark, and my head was spinning.

I sat up and looked around, and I noticed that there were a handful of tiny hotel soaps scattered about.

I was alone. Thank goodness.

I’ve seen enough movies to know that I could have woken up to any number of embarrassing predicaments, including a most regrettable encounter with an angry monkey in the bathroom wearing a shower cap and pelting me with hotel soaps.

I checked the bathroom. No monkey, but the soap said Caesars Palace…

The buffet. I remember a buffet.

I wiped my face.

Was that blood? Oh my gawd, was I bleeding?
Oh, wait…

Nope. It tasted like barbecue sauce.

What the hell had happened last night?

One minute you’re having a few cocktails, and headed to an all you can eat buffet, and the next….you’re waking up from a all night binge covered in hot mustard, with indigestion and a death grip on giant turkey leg.

The last thing you may remember was trying to plot out your strategy, to decide if you needed one plate or two, and figure out if you could discreetly tuck the extra pork chop under your arm while you put the gravy on your mashed potatoes…. Continue reading What Happens in Vegas…


Image courtesy of clipartpanda.com

Countless inspirations,

From a myriad of souls-

With the strength of an army,

All reaching for goals.

We are flowers finding sunshine,

And blossoming with room-

All sharing the same garden,

Helping one another bloom.

Like a game of Red Rover,

We link hands in kind-

So send the next one right over,

To this family they will find. Continue reading Connected

The Happiness Jar

Find 365 days of happiness.

The idea was simple enough, and it seemed like it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to follow through with.

The challenge was, to find one thing, every day for a year, that made me happy, then write it on a piece of paper, and put it in the jar.

Piece of cake, right?

Challenge accepted.

But what is happiness, really?

Could it truly be that simple?

Is there a difference between being happy, and experiencing happiness?

When I started this challenge at the beginning of this year, things were going well, and I had no trouble finding a happy thing in my life to contribute to the jar each day.

But what became very evident soon after, was that happiness does not necessarily come in days… it comes in moments.

Moments that can get lost in a sea of negativity if you don’t snatch them up.

It’s easy to lose perspective when things go awry.

It’s easy to string a series of unfortunate events into a general sense of disappointment.

But even when you’ve had a bad day, if you take a step back, and look at the entire day, it breaks down into many thousands of individual moments. And somewhere, in there, despite the overwhelming initial negative take away, there is bound to be at least one moment of happiness to salvage. Continue reading The Happiness Jar