Movie, movie, movie…

This morning was shaping up to be a great day for a variety of reasons. This morning, when I found myself wide awake after only a couple of hours of restless sleep, I decided this within the wee hours of the dark night, and so far it is. I mean, sure, I am feeling pretty tired. By 7 a.m. I’d already done half of our weekly laundry, watched an episode of Jane the Virgin, caught up on emails, had breakfast and coffee with my husband and done a little writing. Also admitting that my entire To do list is more of a hoping to get to list, and have a little grace for that.

As an avid movie lover, 2016 has been a bit of a let down for me. I am wondering if this is because I am just getting older… Or maybe it is that 2016 has been such a hard year that suddenly (*gasp*) movies felt less important than before… (truthfully, this last one just doesn’t feel true, but I guess it is still a possibility.) More often than not, these days, we sit here and feel unanimously like there is nothing worth going to see. Despite these less feelings, there have been some really great movies that I loved, come out this year. One of my all time favorites was Storks. I know, I know. This sounds ridiculous, especially since I am not an animated fan typically. I took my grandson to see it, and then my husband. And then my best friend. And in the wee hours of this morning, when apple alerted me to the fact that my pre-buy was available- I very nearly curled up on my couch to watch it alone.

Today was a pretty good movie release date, through Apple. Hillsong, Let Hope Rise is waiting for me, along with The Hollars. Both of which were also films I loved this year. (there will be more on Hillsong LHR, closer to the dvd release date.)

I was thinking, this morning, about classic Hollywood vs current. One of my favorite modern Christmas movies, The Holiday, touches on how back in the day, it was a big deal that a small handful of movies opened in a quarter. Now, a dozen plus movies open each month, and three months later we are watching them at home. It is fascinating really, but if you look at so many of those old movies in comparison to so many of our now films, it is easy to spot a difference in quality. Sure, special effects are better, images are sharper and sound is more layered, but it takes more than some software to make a story come to life. While there are movies I still fall in love with, I am admitting that (even for this die-hard movie obsessor) quality trumps quantity every time…

In honor of Award’s season beginning and the Golden Glob noms coming on Monday I wanted to leave a little list of the 2016 releases I actually loved. Feel free to share what you’ve loved!

The Hollars

The Finest Hours

Hello My Name is Doris

Money Monster

The Meddler

XMen Apocalypse

Free State of Jones

Ghostbusters

Bad Moms

Imperium

Greater

Hillsong LHR

Storks

Arrival

I have seen a ton more but these stuck with me… Some because they were crazy funny, some because they moved me and some because it’s just thought-provoking… Have you seen movies lately, you love?

With mama in her ‘kercheif…

Sleep and I have never been good friends. Even as a young girl, I remember laying awake for hours, just watching the clock. I would tell my mom about this, because she was a grown up and could therefore fix all problems, but she just told me I was lying and should stop.

This laying awake for hours, each night, became a thing that would last for the whole of my life, most nights. The imagine can be  in those dark, quiet nights. Though I was not a fan of working the graveyard shift, I learned that my mind is at it’s wildest, most productive time, in those hours. Later, when my husband worked nights (well, until 3 a.m.) I realized that these hours meant I would sleep the most and be the most productive.

Alas, now I am a real grown up too. My schedule is that of normal hours and my sleep is the same mangled mess it has always been. During the time that I was alone in Idaho, earlier this year, I got into the bad habit of falling asleep to tv. I think that it was because I didn’t feel so alone.At any rate, now there are nights when I simply can not shut my mind off without a tv show. (the unexpected downside to this is that it may take me 6 nights to actually get through an episode because I fall asleep.) The issue I am having, sleep wise, as of late is that I am having the most bizarre, vivid dreams. It is like they speak in screams, they are so bold. I am not getting quality rest and am waking up completely exhausted. While I am a big believer in dreams being my psyche processing what I am dealing with subconsciously, these dreams are so utterly ridiculous.

Every night, these past few weeks, go a little like this:

  • go to bed.
  • an episode of tv.
  • fall asleep for about 20 min.
  • wake up, tv off.
  • lay awake for about an hour.
  • sleep fitfully, for a few hours.
  • wake up for about an hour, lay there and pray.
  • fall asleep into deep, weird dreams for a few hours.

It’s awful. I am so tired.

As a result I have been thinking a lot about REST. What is rest? How can I achieve this when my nights are working against me? And, question of the hour: what is it that is psychologically causing this?

This week, with a fresh (loosely knitted) blanket of snow on the ground and a peace dangling ornamentally from the sky, I am on a quest to answer this question… Any wisdom to share?

It was an odd day…

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I was walking with a friend when I happened upon a flyer advertising a Halloween town display. Apparently Jack Skellington would be there, and it would transition, as you walked through, from H-town to Christmas town. I LOVE Nightmare Before Christmas and thought this was AMAZING. Tim Burton had apparently designed the set and I was so excited. Tickets to walk through would be $75.

Ouch…

As I was talking with my friend, Nev Schulman approached us and told me about how he was managing the inner city Target through Christmas and that employees of that Target could get tickets for $10. He asked me if I’d like a job there. What?! A job at Target, cheaper tickets, AND Nev would be my boss? (I mean, who doesn’t love Target?! And Nev! Could I meet Max? This was turning out to be the best day ever!)

This is how I became a seasonal Target employee.

The Target was odd. It was in an old, renovated home. The home was two stories and Target’s home decor items and furniture were all displayed in the way that kitzy little shops-in-old-houses display things, which was fun. I felt it was a little confusing though, because, what if I needed toilet paper? Where was that? Or peanut butter? Tampons? I was puzzled.

As it turned out, I was not cut out for the Target life. I messed up, day one. The incident was something random that I am still confused by, so I won’t get into it… Not the point, anyway, Nev had to let me go. Fun fact! Apparently seasonal employees have “send off’s” when they are let go. You are given a Christmas onesie to put on, and you have to walk around the house/store so that employees can stick candy in your onesie. I still got my cheap tickets though, so it was worth it.

And on a side note- what the heck was happening in my psyche to have a dream like this???

Dearest Mr. Kringle,

In my November/December Newsletter I shared a gift list with suggestions for people you may be shopping for this Holiday season. I am a stickler for details and observant, to a fault, so throughout the year I collect ideas for things. It brings me great joy when a subscriber emails me to tell me they purchased one of the items for a loved one. (this has happened about a dozen times since my newsletter went out!) I love helping others and often dream of being a personal gift shopper because, let’s face it, giving gifts is THE BEST!

My daughters were begging me to get a list together for Chw. He’s kind of the worst at making a wishlist. When I pointed this out to him, he said that I hadn’t exactly presented him with one. We aren’t really exchanging gifts this year and my daughters both know what I would like, and wouldn’t, so the idea of making a list myself seemed ridiculous. Then, as if by magic, a long time reader emailed me and asked when my wishlist would be up. Weird right? See, every year, around December 1st, I tend to post a “dream wishlist”. It’s not a big deal, and it’s just for fun. We all have those things we’re dreaming of getting, but know we won’t. Well, apparently she looks forward to this list at the start of the holiday season, which is super cool and pretty funny, to be honest.

At any rate, after careful thought, I’ve decided this place could use a light-hearted/fun post so here it is…

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1.) Drake Tufted Sofa I mean, seriously… is this not the most beautiful sofa? This color… The tufting…
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2) If I haven’t complained on here about my current kitchen, please be amazed. It is my least favorite kitchen in all of the kitchens. This little kitchen set is SO adorable though and whenever I see it, i just grin from ear to ear! My kitchen needs some love.

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3) THIS recipe box. Do I need a new one? No. Not really…  But recipe boxes tend to be among those things that are typically pretty ugly and never really “fit in”, but this one… Well. :)

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4.) This Vase is gorgeous. Among my favorite things, in all the world, are fresh-cut flowers. I love them. I imagine this vase filled with flowers and my domestic little design loving heart soars…

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5.) These food prep boards… I mean, imagine the love these would bring to my kitchen. (remember my woeful kitchen confession above? *sigh*)

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6) This PTR face mask sampler is something I drool over every single time I’m in Ulta. PTR is my FAVORITE “something essential, yet special” skin care line, and with my Mask Monday stuff, this is PERFECT!

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7) I have been on the hunt for this Palette for what feels like ever. I have dreamed of it… Someday. (maybe. Hopefully. If only…)

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8) It is amazing. Enough said… 65-loews-spa-day-massage-or-facial-reg-125-2250482-regular

9) A spa day, complete with a facial, deep tissue massage, pedicure and glass of wine.

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10) a private jet. I miss my kids like crazy and soon Gen won’t be home either. (college) my closest friends live insanely far away and sometimes a “quick weekend” somewhere warm sounds perfect…

So there you go! Of course, I don’t need any of these things. The best parts of Christmas, for me, have nothing to do with what I unwrap. It is all about who I am surrounded by and the joy that lights up their eyes, along with what I can possibly do to make that a reality… What are you “wishing” for?

P.S. A quaint little Inn, in Cape Cod, Ma… :)

One foot in front of the other…

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To my right a thousand little lights twinkle. Armed with my second cup of coffee, this morning, I open up this page and begin. I have not been spending much time with this blog of mine for a hundred different reasons, many based upon heart issues. I am sure someone reading this can understand issues of the heart. The heaviness, the frustrations, the aches, the loss, the less, the more…

Two thousand and sixteen has been my least favorite year and one of tremendous growth. Every time I admit this truth I am reminded of the nights spent in agony, in my bed, from leg pains. On a scattering of those evenings, my mother would be there massaging them to bring me relief. Those were among the good childhood moments, fighting through pain and not alone. While I was mostly a normal child, I did have a disorder which caused the pain to be a bit more than that of a typical childhood growth spurt. Growing hurt just a bit more. Even through the pain, which at times felt unbearable, those times when my mother was there comforting me and validating the pain I was in where among the small list of happier childhood moments. It took me decades later to realize that growth will always hurt, but people do have the ability to make it beautiful, despite the pain.

During those seasons of my life there were hospital visits, hotel stays (the most magical bits of the journey. Even as a small girl, I understood the sheer wonderful that was a hotel room.) painful exams and my mother. It was clear to me what a burden, in every sense of the word, I was to her. And the massage nights, they would likely be the kindest things she ever did for me. It does not matter that for every 25 pain ridden nights, there would be one with her sitting there helping me. Somehow, for as far as I could remember, I knew to be so thankful for that one. (I also knew never to ask her to do it, but that is a different story.)

Throughout my young years, my mother often told me to massage lotion into her feet. I hated doing this. Of the two things she asked me to do the most for, (foot massage and dumping her ashtray) thoughts of both still have me recoiling. As an adult I now live with my own feet which ache more often than not. (sidenote, my mother went on to have some serious foot issues needing multiple surgeries and there are moments when my own pains lead me to fear that is my fate as well,) Despite the tumultuous relationship I have had with my mother, i was flooded with something like peace and relief to know that maybe I had brought her something good. Maybe in those moments, with Vaseline lotion in hand, I brought her the comfort she was mentally/emotional incapable of bringing to me.

A couple of weekends ago I went to visit my mother. I had not seen her for one week shy of a year. I was wary of how it would go. Sitting down for a visit with a severely bi-polar woman who is in the early stages of dementia can be unpredictable. The 120 minutes were filled with ups, downs, confusion (hers), empathy (mine), guilt (also mine) and a precious 10 minutes where I grabbed the bottle of lotion from the table which sits next to her lift bed, and gently rubbed her feet. She argued at first, but in time she relaxed.

My mom has dementia and is in a home 45 minutes from my apartment. This is the closest I have lived to her since I was 12. Between us there is so much and it has been very hard on me, in a complicated and layered way. My dog, who was my closest companion, died. This broke the tiny piece of my heart which was still in tact and, three months later, I still miss her terribly. My marriage was in shambles and felt irreparable and hopeless. While the word felt is truly appropriate here, past tense and all, I won’t lie: it still feels that way sometimes. (I do appreciate that sometimes is a lot more manageable than always.) I went through a lot of hurt and due to a situation, have harbored a lot of flat-out hatred for a few individuals. I have spent seven long months waiting to matter, waiting to be worth something to my husband and waiting to have my heart fought for. It was in my thirty November days of gratitude and reflection that I finally had to admit this will never happen. My husband loves me. He used to love me more, and differently, or at least he pretended really well. Now he loves me this way, and that is simply how it is. I have some semblance of worth to him, though others are worth more. They have done nothing to earn this position, and honestly are really horrible women, but that is not the reflection of my worth that I have allowed it to be. As much as I may imagine a confrontation which leads my husband to proclaim his choice of me and force each of them to face the awfulness of themselves, I do not need this. I no longer harbor hatred towards them. I no longer expect my husband to love me the way I once believed he did, simply I accept that he does not. While I do not like the esteemed position of these women within his heart, this realization does not make me less valuable or worthy. It simply means to my husband I may be, but he is not the end all of my appraisal.

I am the daughter of a woman who had loving parents who worked really hard for her. They were not perfect, but neither was she. She has mental illness which, untreated, really made a mess of her life. She caused immeasurable amounts of pain and for the forty years that I have known her, she has harbored hatred and bitterness to extreme degrees. Despite everything, I will always be her daughter. I may end up with marred and pain riddled feet. I may cry in the occasional sappy Hallmark movie, melt into a puddle whenever I see a puppy and have unrealistic ideals of what my daily productivity levels should be, but beyond the little details I do not want to be like my mother. I do not want to harbor ill will to anyone. I do not want my perception of worth to be based on a man’s perception of my worth. I do not want to spend any amount of time tormenting my children, causing them to go any amount of time terrified to see me.

I will however, take any foot massage offered to me. (that being said, I am probably always going to be way too scarred to ask for it.)