Friday, March 2, 2012

No Quiet Places Today

But I am more sure than ever, they are out there, filled with wonder for me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quiet Your Mind and Listen to the Small Voice

A handful of years ago one of my spiritual teachers spent a month listening to her inner voices of guidance.  I joined in the party.  With everything I did, I worked to hear my inner guidance to steer me through.  It was rewarding.

This March I intend to quiet my mind and listen to my guidance within.

And lately I've had a feeling that this is where my writing voice lives.

I have several posts in my drafts folder.  With each of them I have felt that if I just made a little more time to quiet myself, then I could really make then out to be fine essays; well thought out, with flow that moves logically through what I want to say.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Relative - Father

This one is tough.  Not so straight forward.  I have always been a daddy's girl, but we've had our ups and downs.

There was a 15 year period during which we neither saw each other nor spoke.  When I got the news that my Uncle Russ died, my dad's older brother, I called him.  Its been quite a road back, but I think we are both committed to treating each other better than we had in the past.

You know, I am reminded of another death that brought back the most important person in the world to me.  But that story is for another day - probably this month, if the writing prompts cover husband.

The teenage years were tumultuous for me.  I don't think my dad understood.  He had his own "stuff" to deal with.  His Big Blue Career, his girlfriends.  He put me on auto-pilot, which, I felt was working rather well. 

I wasn't a complicated person, until that day on the airplane.  The lady next to me asked if I was headed into Manhattan and could we share a cab?  I told her my dad was picking me up and that we could drive her too.

How as I supposed to know he'd marry her 6 months later?!?!?

And how as I supposed to know how complicated step-hood would be?!??!

And how completely 2nd I would be from that moment on...

It culminated with my hasty exit from home 2 weeks after my 18th birthday and by the time I was 20 or so, our relationship was over.  We were disappointed and hurt.

Then Uncle Russ died.  I called.  Dad sounded happy to hear from me.  We arranged to meet for dinner.  We were working at the same large tech company and didn't even know it. 

We've stumbled a few times since, but its going all right.  We are going to the Grand Canyon together at the end of March, with my kids and maybe my husband (if he can complete his current consuming project). 

I don't feel like I did yesterday, when I wrote about my mom.  I could go there.  But I feel like I am not going here.  I am not sure why.  Is it more difficult?  Or is there really nowhere to go with this one?


In other news, I bookmark this...  which I found through Judy who was kind enough to drop by this morning.  I checked her out.  I like her.  And I like this that she participated in last month.

This writing thing, its here for me.  Its a physical feeling - an altered state when I really get going.  I like that.  I want to spend more time there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lets Try This Again

So, I failed at blogging each day in January.  Okay.  Fine.  I give myself permission to try again...  I hope that's okay with you.  And if its not, I guess you'll be going now...

For those of you who are willing to try with me again, thanks.  Some things, like brushing your teeth, need to be done no matter what else happens in a day.  For me, blogging is a little lower on the list of things that can't, under any circumstances, be missed.  Perhaps with such an attitude I distance myself even further from my Nobel Prize for literature, but I am willing to live in this way.  And my family needs me to keep my perspective, too.  They need me more than my blog.

But, I do want to give this a serious try.  So, I start anew...

This month I will try to keep up with the prompts - it might keep me a bit more on track so that I don't deteriorate into just flat-out drivel...

This month:  Relatives.  Today:  About My Mother...

My mother has strength few can imagine.  She's found her way back from two attempts at suicide.  Can you imagine the despair she felt that would lead her to slit her wrists while her 5 year old slept in the next room?  That is unimaginable despair - at least for me.

She's 70 now.  And Happy.  This can be attributed to two people and one miracle drug. 

When I was five, things were tough.  My mom was home trying to raise me.  My dad worked in high tech and was completely immersed in his career - climbing the Great, Big Blue, corporate ladder.  Now that I have children, I know how difficult it is to raise them.  Being a stay at home mom means she's working night and day.  With no time off.  And this was in the 70's, when women actually still did their own cooking and house keeping.  So she truly worked, physically and mentally. 

My uncle was coming to visit from DC.  My mom's younger brother.  It was late in the evening.  I was in bed, listening to my "dancing record" - Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.  My dad was off to the train station to pick up my uncle.  Something was wrong.  Suddenly I heard lots of voices - men, and Mr. Yankwit was in my room, plucking me from my bed.

"Why don't I carry you next door to our house and you can have a sleep over with Ian?" he said. 

The Yankwi's took care of me for a few days. 

The next three years involved long hospital stays, shock therapy, another suicide attempt, and divorce. 

I remember mom was in the hospital for my birthday, and they said we could take her out to dinner, but when we arrived, she wasn't having a good day.  We visited with her for a few minutes, but it was awkward.  There was shock therapy that day. 

You know, as I write this, I am not so sure I remember all this correctly.  The only person who would really remember, would never talk about it.  My dad and mom ended up divorced at the end of these fuzzy three years. 

Fast foward beyond a decade of languishing...  My mom had been living with her parents in Michigan while I lived with my father in NYC.  I was visiting for the summer.  My mom wigged out.   My uncle and grandfather wrestle her into the station wagon and carted her off to a mental hospital...  Where we meet our first savior. 

Dr. Oriano.  Somehow, this man gets through to mom.  My guess is that he was as good with medicinal cocktails, as he was with the talk therapy.  Over the course of the next 5 or so years, she somehow learns to stand on her own two feet.   She faces her depression head-on.

This is hard to write.  My body feels strange.  I want to cry and my forearms and fingers are tingling.  I want to weep.  My heart hurts. 

How could she survive all this?  I could not.  I could not.  She was so mis-used.  So un-loved. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Food Glorious Food

Yesterday we went out to lunch.  Chinese Buffet. 

I have only one word for this experience.  Heavenly.

The food was amazing.  Fish, chicken, egg rolls, and the piece de resistance...

Sesame Seed Balls.  Gorgeous, perfectly round balls covered in sesame seeds and filled with sweet read bean paste.  Beyond yummy!  I had 4. 

I have looked up recipes for these jewels and I won't say its going to be easy, but I am willing to give it a shot.  I need to clean my house this weekend, so I think I'll try a cooking project instead.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Babel No More: Unraveling the Secrets of Superhuman Language-Learners | Brain Pickings

Babel No More: Unraveling the Secrets of Superhuman Language-Learners | Brain Pickings: - Sent using Google Toolbar

I just started reading this. And I am struck by the second sentence:

Hungarian hyperpolyglot Lomb Kató, who taught herself Russian by reading Russian romance novels, insisted that “one learns grammar from language, not language from grammar.”

I know this is true. I have, all my life, felt that I had little or no facility for language. I studied French and Spanish is school, but don't speak fluently. Although, I can follow along if people don't talk too fast or use fancy words :-) I have always sort of felt like a failure for not developing fluency. I would have loved to. But I thought I couldn't. I have felt this way my entire life.

Anyway... Now I am trying to learn Urdu. I have listened to Zeus speak it for more than 20 years. Well, the learning is actually going really well. Having listened to it for so long, I naturally get the grammar. And with the help of Mango Languages, which I use through my local public library, I am having fun and learning. I may actually become fluent! At least I hope so.

Language is truly fascinating.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I was thinking about it yesterday.  And again today.  Spirituality is something I think about.  A lot.

And I realized I was hearing Big Daddy Weave

I was listening to a Pandora station - The Gorillaz...  Go figure.  Sometimes things find you.  This found me.  I've never heard this song, nor of this band before.  It spoke to me.

I think a lot about the here-after.  I can't imagine we are all here so that we can suffer for all eternity.  There are a handful of folks who, in my mind, deserve such a fate, but for the most part I don't think most people will meet with a negative situation.  What's the point?

With a Thankful Heart,
I am,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

It Can't Be Thursday Already

Where did this week go?  UGH!  There's so much to be done and no time left to do it in. Plus, Monday is a holiday.

Thanks goodness for the holiday!!!   I am totally looking forward to relaxing.  Keeping up with the laundry and not having to run out of the house at some ungodly hour.  Yep, good times ahead.

Had a 2 and half hour meeting this morning.  Then we all went out for lunch together.  Love my colleagues, but, seriously, it makes for a day where nothing real gets done.

Deeper thoughts:  Keeping up with laundry really takes a load off my mind :-)  I am to a point where I do a load or two every day or so, and it does not feel like I am drowning in a sea of clothes that either need to be washed or need to be put away.

Maybe tonight is the night I'll get those cupcakes made.  I want to test drive the recipe.  We are doing January birthdays this weekend, and while officially a chocolate cake has been requested, I would like to take the vanilla bean cupcakes, too, because my little family isn't big on chocolate cake.  And I have been fantasizing about making the ganache with nutella. 

The littles have their skating lessons today.  I get to stand around in the freezing arctic for over an hour, freezing, while I watch them having fun.  I wish I could take lessons with them.  At least then I wouldn't be freezing.

With a Freezing and Thankful Heart,
I am,

(Hey, that freezing heart part didn't come out quite right... :-)  )

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Found Something Coooollll...

Okay, maybe its not cool to advertise some other blog thingy, but I think this is kinda cool.  And I think its a lot more private.  I percieve the focus to be different.  More day-to-day...  at least for me.  And I don't think people can search and find and read it.  Just me.  And if I am going to do day-to-day, I like the privacy.

I worry about stuff...  I worry about stalking and other scary internet behaviors...  I don't mean to overstep, but, in my mind, there are bloggers out there so naive I just want to run to their homes and change their locks and disconnect their internet before something ugly happens.  And they are so transparent I could find their homes in less than half an hour of poking around...  And it wouldn't even cost me a dime.  If I spent the dime, I'd have the information in seconds... 

Look, I work in high tech.  I know hackers.  I understand corporate level computer/data center security.  Its my business.  I trust no one but Zeus.  Truly. 

And f*%#book?!?!????  Seriously...  SERIOUSLY?!?!?!  One giant fishbowl for stalkers and wierdos. 

For those of you who haven't abandoned me after the above mentioned, inarticulately voiced opinions, you are the people who get it and I applaud you.

Baby its a Violent World...  Coldplay

Tomorrow I'll try to be more cheery and less opinionated.  FWIW:  There's hardly a staff meeting in our group where someone doesn't turn to me and say, "Tell us what you really think..."  Its a huge deal if I hold my tongue on an opinion.  It means something is beyond wrong.

With an Opinionated and Thankful Heart,
I am,

(Love me our hate me, but don't call me late for dinner :-)   )

Monday, January 9, 2012

2nd Monday

What a busy weekend!  I didn't even unpack my lap top!  I got the stuff for the vegan cupcakes, but there was no time to actually make them.  Maybe later tonight.

There was a lot of cooking, though.  People are coming to visit later this month, and I want to have a bunch of meals ready to pull out of the freezer so that we can enjoy each other without worrying about food. 

Today we took a field trip - me and my colleagues - up to the Facebook campus for one last look around.  We took some old signs off the walls as keepsakes.  I worked in the building for almost eight years.  And now its over.  I won't go back up there again.

It was a beautiful corporate campus.  We all had our own offices.  We had a beautiful lab.  The new lab they built us is just awful.  Its designed as a data center - which does not at all meet the requirements of a working QA HW lab. 

I am sad. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

And She Goes VEGAN!

Well, not really, but I'd like to.  Ever since my first pregnancy I can't stand chicken.  Raw chicken is, by far, the nastiest thing on the planet.  I really don't each much meat, unless its hamburgers, or a fine fillet... 

Well, I found Isa Chandra about 1.5 years ago, as I was suffering around the net, and now I read her blog.  And I've decided that, while I just can't go vegan because I am a conoisseur of cheese (among other un-give-up-able dairy products), I will endeavor to at least bake like a vegan.  Except for the milk and eggs part.

So far I suck at this, huh?

But her recipes just look soooo good.  Perhaps I should choose one per week and give it a shot.

I think I'll start here.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

I love to cook.  I think I said that before.  Its a powerful thing to produce good food.  People adore and admire you for it.  I admit it, I like that.  Zeus loves that I took the time and interest to learn to cook Pakistani food.  Did I mention my beloved is Pakistani?  Makes for gorgeous children, when mixed with my western European heritage...  But I digress about my gorgeous children...

I was making vegan cupcakes this weekend, right?  Yep.  I think that's what I'll do tonight or tomorrow.

I am all over the map today.  Litterary stream of concisouness at its best.  Right here.  Right now.  Get it free while you can.

With a Vegan and Thanksful Heart,
I am,


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Planetary Alignment

I am very powerful.  The planets were completely and utter out of alignment.  It started last night at about 5:59PM local.  It was awful.

This morning I asked the Universe to put things right again, and by 11:23AM local it was so.

Ask for what you want, the Universe will give it to you.  The Universe loves you.  That's my power.  Knowing I am loved, Universally.

With a Loved and Thankful Heart,
I am,

gypsy, enchantress

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More Begininngs

So, about 3.5 years ago I had a conversation with someone.  The theme of the conversation was attitude.   And then yesterday I read about choosing 3 words for the year:

Three Word Theme for 2012

So I have been working on choosing three words.  And as I've been thinking about this, I just can't shake that unshakable conversation.

So far I have:

Confidence, Simplify and Prioritze

And I think I need to attack that with and attitude of Fearlessness. 

Many years ago, someone I admired at work very much, mentioned to me that she was a recovering alcoholic.  I was stunned.  I had absolutely no idea.  Anyway, she went on to say that she lives her life by the 12 steps.  And she was trying to figure out how to do more.  I used an analogy that life if like a pie, and that no matter what was going on inside, the crust on top that holds everything together are the twelve steps. 

But I think life is like a layer cake.  You start out with some yummy cake, add filling, maybe frosting, then more cake, and you can just keep layering.  But you gotta be careful as you add layers, so that it doesn't flop over.  And fearlessness is kinda like the frosting holding it all together...

I'll have to work on the metaphor some more...

With a Fearless and Thankful Heart,
I am,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Little Zen

I wrote a terrible post about two hours ago.  I deleted it.  I am glad I did. 

I made Nutella fudge yesterday.  Its delicious.  I love to cook.  Cooking is fun.  Its zen.  I create and then its gone.  And I find myself completely satisfied. 

Grease an 8x8 Pan  -  You may line it with parchment if you wish

1.5 C   Sugar
1/3 C   Evaporated milk
6 T      Butter
1/2 C   Nutella
1 C      Marshmallow Creme
1/2t      Vanilla

Mix the sugar, milk and butter together over medium heat.  Keep stirring so that it does not burn.  Bring it to a rolling boil.  Turn the heat down a bit, so that its still boiling but does not boil-over, and continue to stir for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add Nutella, Marshmallow Creme and vanilla.  Stir to fully incorporate.  Pour into pan and place in fridge.  Let set for at least two hours. 

Voila!  Delicious!

With a Zenfully Thankful Heart,
I am,


Monday, January 2, 2012


Why Gypsy?  I always wanted to be a gypsy.  The romantic idea of roaming from place to place with my extended family has always stuck with me.  Funny, too, since I am an only child and even my cousins are either *way* older than me or *way* younger.  And there are only four of them.  Nonetheless, this is my blog and I can be who I wish to be here.  So I am Gypsy.  

The day has started off well.  My kids actually have school today, so I got them out the door for school - on time!  <Insert wild cheering and back-slapping appreciation here!>  I am doing my domestic goddess routine today (laundry, house cleaning, cooking, organizing, prep'ing...)  Getting the beginning thing off to a good start.

The love of my life, Zeus, is home today too.  Actually he's home every day.  He's a hermit.  Makes the gypsy wandering-about thing difficult, but he's worth it.  About two years ago he decided that actually going into his office to work required too much socializing, so now he's home full time.  I love it.  He helps me a lot.  And since I *have* to go into my office every day, it makes life easier to have him home doing a fair amount of the little stuff.  So, after 12 years of courtship, and another 9 of marriage, he remains, absolutely, the love of my life.  

And to round out my merry little gypsy band, I have Tinker Bell and Iron Man.  Masha 'Allah they are my twin hearts.  They are my raison d'etre.  They are why I push harder than I ever thought I possibly could.  Just a smile from one of them and I am complete mush.  

And yes, I am a stream-of-conciousness type of blogger.   I don't have a lot of time, so I go with what comes out of my fingers without much re-reading or editing.  You may call me out on it if you wish.  In fact, if anyone out there is, in fact, reading, I'd love to hear anything you may have to say.  And I will take the time to check you out, too.  Hey, we could even get to be friends!  You could join my band of gypsies, even.  But, perhaps I get ahead of myself.    This is the time of year for enthusiasm!

With a Thankful and Enthusiastic Heart,
I am,


Sunday, January 1, 2012


I am starting off on a strong foot! And I'll tell you more about it tomorrow when I can do this from a proper computer.

Suffice to say, I have not felt this optimistic about beginnings in a long time.

With a Thankful Heart,
I am,