Un-unrequited Love

Un-unrequited Love

(quite requited or reciprocated love)

By Dahni

Un-unrequitedLove

Unrequited love like leaves blowing in the wind

Unrequited Love is almost an oxymoron. My dreams and desires centered around love coming and staying; returning if not greater than what I gave to it, at least equal to it! Yes, I was looking for— “the one!”

Most of us can relate to what many call “first love.” I am happy that some bravely or foolishly endured their choice to continue, despite, “unrequited love!” Going into it and staying to it, despite ‘no return,’ may be brave or foolish, but it certainly has defined who I am and marked me with scar-treasures, that do NOT fade in time nor has memory failed nor have the feelings ever been lost. But surely, there must be a better way??

For me, my situation, my understanding and my beliefs began, for ‘first love,’ when I was 16. I have carried those scar-treasures, for over forty years, through three marriages and who knows how many things and how many others have been affected, perhaps some positively and I’d venture to say, mostly negatively. How wrongfully has my subconscious driven me to trust or not to trust or to judge others, compare others because, they were not her? Forty plus years? That’s a long time to hold onto a fantasy and that’s really what it was!

Like ANY addiction, was I addicted to her or to unrequited love? Unrequited love is like plucking all the petals, hoping for a flower.

Un-unrequitedLove2

wordage’ by Dahni © 2016, all rights reserved

It was only around four years ago that I was finally able to get this resolved. OK, I’m NOT very smart, pretty dang slow, too sensitive, irresponsible, unrealistic or however you would like to define me. I do not regret my scar-treasures. They are mine and they have richly added to my life. But if there was one thing I would have changed is that someone, anyone, could have/would have taught me the relationship between emotions and chemistry (coursing hormones) and sensual stimuli (five senses) and HOW to handle my emotions!

Emotions make a horrible master to reason, but reason without emotions would just be a lifeless life. I might have a reason for something, but would I do it— IF, there was no passion? Can there not be some beautiful balance? Can we not teach our children what to expect and how to handle what will come or is life nothing, but trial and mostly error?

Perhaps this is too much to ask of those that were never taught, HOW to handle their emotions? Would our newly independent youth, fearless and reckless, ever seek advice from those aged mostly by fear and made weak from letting all turn to dust because, we no longer try to move or build? Is it time to do things differently, in pursuit of un-unrequited, requited, reciprocated love?

Oh fear to lose! Oh fear to let go! Oh fear that I will never feel again! Oh, fear to be so forever bound to thy chains and to the sweet poison paralysis of your lips! Oh fear to flee in haste so slowly! Oh fear, forlorn I, for so long to find you comfort in my misery or merely the company that I kept in my misery?

Come ye who love me! Come and teach me self-love, for by it can I love another! Come love and teach me it is no sin to self-neglect, but patience to be full that I may reciprocate! Come let me in self be replete, until love find me and complete! Come love, teach me!

Un-unrequitedLove3

wordage’ by Dahni © 2016, all rights reserved

But until if and when that time arises with dawn in its eyes, I thank God for my scar-treasures! Without Him, they’d just be scar-reminders of pain received and pain caused, for the perceived pleasures of the fleeting moment, that just might still hurt, and could thereby with all its repetition, repeat this through my future! Surely, surely, there is a better way?!

Un-unrequitedLove4

wordage’ by Dahni © 2016, all rights reserved

Oh, love of miracles, Oh, my lover miracle maker, love sought for I’ve never found, but found me— have you! Cannot I change the past and the present is, my gift. And to the future let this my gift be wellness to you maintained or as a wounded healer, to those that need a physician.

Oh, poem this, Oh ye poets! Oh, sing this, Oh ye singers! Oh, love this, Oh ye lovers!

“Train up a child in the way he [or she] should go: and when he [or she] is old, he [or she] will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 King James Version (KJV)

 

From the collection: ‘Sing in the Key of Me’
by the same author
© 2016, all rights reserved

Categories: Family & Friends, Flowers, Ideas, Inspiration, Life, Love, Making Memories, Poetry, unrequited love | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments
 
 

Not Yet

NotYet

Photography by Dahni & TheFlyPhotography.com © 2016, all rights reserved

 

Though clouds cover the setting sun
The Farmer’s work is not yet done
As they both so soon, seem to disappear
Over yonder in the sunrise, there to reappear

 

From the collection: ‘Re-collection’
(the collection of poems by Dahni that never had another name for the collection)
© 2016, all rights reserved

Categories: Inspiration, Life, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Ode to My Missing Socks

By Dahni

MissingSocks_picture

“Darn it, hurry the heel up, I can’t stand to hear “sock it to me one more time!””

I’m sure they went in the wash, but were missing in the dry
I’ve searched high and low, it made me want to cry
Some say the Sock Monster ate them, but I’ve never seen a one
Or evidence of sockfuzz poop, No there’s never, ever— been none
The ones remaining were lonely, lamenting inside their drawer
Some got mad and I could hear them, yell and scream and roar
What happened to them, could they just never cope?
Was it just the hard water or did they not like the soap?
Oh why, oh why, did they all just suddenly disappear?
Was it an Alien snatch, through the atmosphere?
Was it the Sock Gnome— That took them home?
Or was it tutu attired and hairy,
The twink of the Sock Fairy?
I ran an ad that they’d be found and quickly returned to me

“HELP, Missing Socks, Footloose and Fancy Free”

Well, that didn’t work— I felt like such a jerk
So, I tried to help and made a sign and tried to get them dates

“Single, Clean and Lonely Socks, Looking for New Sole Mates”

Well, not either nor neither did that work, Oh forlorn am I, alas
And every time I walked by their drawer, they tried to kick my ass
I tried to find something useful, for the singles all to do
But they all just stared at me, as if I had no clue
No, they did not take too kindly and they’d all moan and gripe
If ever I wrapped them around, some stupid leaking pipe
I’d turn them into friendly sock puppets and then to my surprise
The next time I saw them, they were missing all their eyes
I’ve tried decorating them, so they’d feel more cool
And every time I did, they just called me a fool
So I’ve learned to sleep with all their complaining and their noise
Stuck in the drawer the single socks— both girls and boys

MissingSocks_profile2

Sock Puppet? Heel No! I’ve got feelings!!

MissingSocks_profile

Sock Bird of Paradise

But long l kept inside my heart, what truly was their missing fates?
Yes, what has befallen, all those missing mates?
Then I noticed, my bank account was overdrawn,
Little by little and for a long time, this went on!
For food and drinks and beachy stuff, the charges read
Oh my conundrum and Oh— the grumbling of anger shed!
Just when I thought they were dead and buried in the sockyard,
Out of the blue and in the mail— a postcard
But adding insult to injury, it was NOT addressed to me
Oh no, it was to all the single socks,

“Footloose and Fancy Free”

It went on to say, “No Worries Be Happy, Will Send for You Soon,”
And now, all my single socks, dance and sing a different tune.
Well, at least now I know— Where the missing socks all go
Some tropical paradise, with cool ocean breeze
Warm sunny rays where nothing will freeze
Lakes and lush and green is the highland
Basking socks on— Missing Sock Island!

MissingSocks_cover

Posted: NO NUDE FEET ALLOWED!

These are the major, missing sock myths: The Sock Gnome, The Sock Alien and The Sock Fairy

from the collection: Sing in the Key of Me
by the same author © 2016, all rights reserved

Categories: Family & Friends, Life, Live Laugh Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Punk

by Dahni
© 2016 all rights reserved

Punk under blanket at our home 2016

Punk under box at home in Australia

Punk under box at home in Australia

There is a final revolution for all, in this circle of life. And the day comes when it seems that circle no longer turns. But not only does it continue to turn, it never stops turning!

It hurts, when we lose someone we love. It hurts when those we love, lose someone they love. And it hurts, when we meet loves of those we love and lose too, those we come to love as well.

To those that never have had nor may ever have a pet, you may never understand how a pet could ever become one of your family. And they may never understand how their loss could be, as one as any other member of your family. But I suspect, all can understand hurt and its opposite, wholeness and well being. We love in part because, in some measure and in some sense, someone gets under our skin, is absorbed into our bloodstream and goes directly to the heart.

I could have wanted to have written this yesterday 1/22/16. I could have grieved or shared something with those to whom this event first came to know and feel its sting, first. But it was difficult (if not impossible), for me to have done, when I was surrounded by three grandchildren, full of life and joy that were contributing to my wholeness and sense of well being, for most of that day. And now, I am mindful, not of the hurt so much as, remembering, wholeness and well-being!

Such for me was Punk, not my cat, not my care and concern, but a cat I met in Australia, just a few short years ago, that got under my skin.

He was unique in that he only had three legs and it took me an entire whole 24 hours to figure that out, that he only had three! He was unique in that he moved as well as, if not better than, most cats with four legs. He was unique in that he would just make himself at home on your lap or where you slept and right into your heart. He was unique in that I had never before or since, met a cat that loved so much to get underneath the covers! He was unique in that he loved most everyone. He was unique in that his curiosity usually always, resulted in some very imaginative and creative play. It is not always what we’ve not, but how we use what we’ve got that really matters the most!

Having Punk get under my skin the way that he did, surely could not linger because, my time with him at his home in Australia was just a month, How attached to someone could we become, in just a month? After all, he was not my cat; not my care and concern. He was there and I was here.

Then— Punk came to live with us. And he came to get under my skin, again, and into my heart for days and months. Almost daily, we’d talk about some things and often just about nothing that mattered at all. The conversation was mostly non-important, the ‘hanging out together’ was really all that mattered. While most cats love to crawl up and lay upon a blanket on your lap, Punk would crawl up and get underneath that blanket or under the covers of our bed and sleep this way through the night, under the covers, under my skin, into my bloodstream and into my heart.

Punk was a survivor! He survived the loss of one leg and thrived with three. He had a heart condition and he survived that anyway. When he came to live with us, he survived and thrived in a new country, with new people and in a new environment. He survived the many run-ins with our one and only cat, Bella. To her discredit, Bella is a scaredy cat and pretty darn anti-other-cat-social. To Punk’s credit, he usually won all arguments! 🙂

Punk even survived me! 🙂

Punk survived surgery here, for Hodgkin lymphoma. He never complained about all that was done to him, before and after his surgery.

Punk survived to be returned to his immediate family; his ‘first family,’ here, after they came home to NY.

When I first knew that Punk would be coming to live with us for awhile, his human father Jonathan, said to me, “Your’e never going to want to let him go!” My only edit to that statement is, I never will!

Cats are curios creatures, but Punk found such creative ways to enjoy his joy, from the simplest things as a ‘cat pillar,’ a box or a bag.

Punk 'sunny side up' at our home 2016

Punk’s ‘sunny side up’ disposition, at our home 2016. Notice, Punk uses the window for the full effect! 🙂

Yesterday, Punk’s heart gave out, but not before imparting it to many others. Yesterday, Punk left a hole in many hearts when he left this life. I would have loved to have seen him one more time, but he left me some things that I’ll never forget and they remain with me still!

Love is NOT a measurement of how much, how long; how much stronger or deeper one loves over any other. It is something that either gets under your skin or it doesn’t. It survives anything and everything! It enters as a contribution to one’s wholeness and sense of well being, which are opposite of the hurt we experience, throughout our lives. Yes, it comes and gets under our skin, enters the bloodstream and goes straight to the heart. And when we feel its loss and grieve and mourn, we should be mindful that what we got under our skin, that entered our bloodstream and that got into our hearts, still remains! Memories are the token reminders of wholeness and well-being. Thank you Punk, for so entering me and for your ever reminder to—

Be WHOLE – Be WELL!

Punk – Mr. Punkle Pants – January 22, 2016

A sense of wholeness and well-being is, in the bag! :)

A sense of wholeness and well-being is, in the bag! 🙂

Categories: Animals, Aussie, Australia, Home, Inspiration, Joy & Sorrow, Life, Life & Death, Live Laugh Love, Love, Missing You, Pets, Punk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

How Was Your December

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How was your December? We just got home yesterday on December 30th. After unloading the car, and putting most everything away, some laundry, checking in with family that we safely made it home, catching up on the mail and news and some dinner and a great amount of joyful reflection, we realized that there are many whose lives living or lost, have not had the same joyful December as we have been blessed with. And I feel their woes and pains, truly I do. But isn’t this an apropos time to share some good news? I believe so!

This true life story began with just a bunch of notes.

Just a bunch of notes in a jar presented to the new Mommy 12/25/15

Just a bunch of notes in a jar presented to the new Mommy 12/25/15

Just a jar of nine months of notes in Joshua's room

Just a jar of nine months of notes in Joshua’s room

For us, December has been fraught with birthdays, announcements of coming births, a new born little bundle of miracles from eight years of trying, meeting new family, making new friends, celebrating Christmas with family with before mentioned new baby boy, enjoying culinary delights made possible by many participates, enjoyable and safe travel with conditions made perfect by the unusual warm December and even passing by the World Headquarters of Duct Tape! 🙂

Duct Tape World Headquarters, near Cleveland, OH

Duct Tape World Headquarters, near Cleveland, OH

Scatter2

What is more cooler and useful than duct tape except, for one this large? LOL 🙂

For 40+ years, I have been cooking and particularly, holidays meals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the very first time (this past Thanksgiving) was I able to not only enjoy the cooking, but to actually enjoy the service that I always seek to serve others. For years, I have forewarned and warned others, NOT to come into the kitchen or even speak to me while I am cooking, less I bite your freaking head off! At a meal prior to Thanksgiving, I tried something new. I played some low volume classical music in the background while I cooked, hoping it might take off the edge. It worked, but I didn’t know why at the time.

Having some success, I hoped this was no fluke and I wanted to repeat the classical music thing at Thanksgiving. By then I understood why. When we were growing up, us, three chil-ren, listened to what our parents liked, Big Band, Swing, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis and so, but certainly NOT classical music. However, coming home from school and after homework and chores of course, we were allowed to watch cartoons in the afternoon and on Saturday mornings. From Walt Disney, Hana Barbera, Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker), Warner Brothers and everything else, they all used classical music.

When I grew up, I knew nothing about this music or who wrote it, but when the music played, I sure recognized the tunes from the cartoons. So, in my adult mind, I equated happy times as a child and when the music played, my little old heart just thumped and fluttered happily while cooking! 🙂
Besides the music, there were two more things never done before, I started the actual cooking. I cooked the dressings or stuffing the day before and my wife had beautifully set the table, the night before, Thanksgiving. I was organized; everything was set. The results? Not only did everyone enjoy the food and the fellowship, so did I! I was determined that this would be my new normal and it would be repeated at Christmas! It was, but with another first.

Our Christmas dinner was actually on the 26th. I started out a little tense because, we had to open stockings and presents before the table could be set. The table would be in the living room. The dining room was used for delicious breakfast cinnamon rolls and scones and mimosas, all lovingly prepared by others. I had the low classical music playing in the kitchen as I prepared the turkey and got it in the oven, set and ready to check again in ninety minutes. I made coffee and eggnog lattes, before my cappuccino/espresso machine literally blew up. No one was hurt and no damage was done and no one other than myself and my wife knew. We heated the eggnog in the microwave and I made espresso in the brew coffeepot. No one knew and they still loved the results.

So, after breakfast, stockings and presents, the kitchen and dining room were mine. Our host and hostess reminded everyone that there was “a force field” around the kitchen and to not go in. The word was out, don’t come into the kitchen and talk to me. The first person I allowed in was my bother-in-law Lenny, the husband of my sister. I wrote “allowed,” but better words would be, ‘OK with,’ as I don’t think he would have accepted NO as a response from me. 🙂

But Lenny became the de facto kitchen manager, keeping everything clean and organized, even though I told him I clean as I go. He just smiled and kept doing his thing. I had only two choices, to freak out or just accept his help graciously. He later carved not the one turkey, but both, yes, two turkeys. I wanted everyone to have leftovers. The next day there were leftovers. Then our sister made incredible soup. Yesterday, she made Shepherds pie with all that was left. This all as she wrote was, the turkeys’, “delicious history.”

The first of 2 turkeys, the beginning of its "delicious history"

The first of 2 turkeys, the beginning of its “delicious history”

A couple of people came around the corner and asked if they could help me do anything. I kept my peace and politely said no. Then they proceeded to just have a conversation in the kitchen while I was cooking. I had to laugh because, I was totally OK with this. Then I discovered, I was not playing the music in the background. Still, I was OK. Later, I found out that one of the ladies that had asked me if she could help, has great difficulty in staying out of the kitchen because, she loves to cook too.

Say what? Tree people in my kitchen away from kitchen? :)

Say what? Three people in my kitchen away from kitchen? 🙂

I gathered everyone in the living room and made an announcement. It was something new to me and I was going to give it a try. I asked anyone that wanted to help, to help me!!! OMG was this a big deal to me, huge! It’s not so much that I was a control freak, but I suppose I was. Everything has to look good, be hot and served at the same time. It has to smell good, taste good, rekindle fond memories and promote good conversation before during and after. There is a reason for everything I try to do. It’s a lot of work and I take it seriously. So, instead of doing everything myself as I’ve done for years, now I was going to allows others in. How was I going to pull this off?

I have everything any chef in the world has, except for the paper, the certificate from a culinary institute. I am confident in my ability. I have cooked and prepared this menu countless times for countless people and have perfected my own recipes as much as a perfectly imperfect being can perfect anything. Still, I brought my own notebook of my recipes. I had previewed this not-my-kitchen and knew where everything was. I was set and nothing was left to chance. I was prepared, for any unforeseen thing.

I am not about praise! I am results oriented and happy to be in the background, to work behind the scenes and to SERVE and spatter joy! But others wanted to do the same thing. I just wasn’t until this moment sure, who would be found in the kitchen, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? Well, I opened the front door and kicked Mr. Hyde in the rear and out, never to return again! No matter how great the conductor, it’s all about the music. One can conduct all day long, but people want to see the musicians play and hear the music swell. Other people wanted to spatter joy too!

Our Table

Our Table – Japanese theme plates, Christmas Tree folded napkins, Chrisitmas Tree butter pats and even a nice warm crackling fire on TV in the background 🙂

Christmas tree napkin folding was done by my wife Susan and Quin, the mother of the husband of my niece. My sister peeled and mashed and made the potatoes. Others set out the pre-made Christmas Tree pats of butter I made and brought and they set and decorated the table.
Everything was being taken care of, lovingly, graciously and happily! As I watched, there was no classical music playing. I was watching a beautiful symphony played out on their faces and by their hands of service and all before my ears. And the finale?

Comments from those that did not like turkey was, “I loved it” and “it was good.” A comment from one that did not like dressing or stuffing was, “I loved it.” Other comments were, “the Best Christmas Ever!” For myself personally, this was the best meal I have ever HELPED to prepare and have so thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish! This is HOW to cook! Spatter Joy!

Though I have tried to source the following quote and I believe its origin was Ralph Waldo Emerson, I have not been able to corroborate it. But it fits here.

“A true man (or woman) is absolutely confident in their own inspiration (or ability).”

unknown

Now, I have not only permanently kicked out Mr. Hyde from my kitchen, and now understand, not only the science and art of cooking, but the heart. Now, I can honestly teach others not only how to cook 5 star culinary delights— anyplace and at anytime, but NOW, I can show HOW it can all be enjoyed from start to finish! I highly recommend a movie we watched in Ohio, ‘The 100 Foot Journey’

How was your December? Mine was just getting started! The draw of the figurative centerpiece of all the festivities was a brand new baby boy, born on December 19th, 2015. He could have been born on the 18th, but that date remains the birthday of one of our sons. And he could have been born on his due date of the 29th, but that date remains our brother’s birthday. So each have their day and were born precisely, right on time. But this brand new little baby boy, named Joshua, is the first and only Great Nephew to my brother and I. He is our sister’s first and only grandson and grandchild. Babies draw people together.

Proud papa and baby Joshua in his camo outfit

Proud papa and baby Joshua in his camo outfit

My sister and her husband came from Raleigh, NC. My wife and I came from NY. My brother and his wife came from IL. We three all, came to Ohio and at different times of arrival. That’s a big deal. There were long drive times, costs and other matters involved for all of us to get there and I for one, am deeply appreciative and will forever appreciate their efforts! For myself, I only could get in three hours of sleep before we made the (2nd) 7 hour trip to Ohio. One has to stay awake somehow! Well, I am a mischief magnet, TRE (a Target Rich Environment), a silly man, an Unky (uncle), a Gunky (great uncle) and probably only about, fo-yeer-ohd (four years old). 🙂

Chef Dah-nay from Paris/Macedon, NY in his Red silicone spill-stopper beret :)

Chef Donnie-nay from Paris 🙂 OK, Macedon, NY, in his Red silicone spill-stopper beret 🙂

Me and My Minion

Me and My Minion

My Minion from Joshua

My Minion from Joshua

My parking ticket in this life has been validated and acknowledged, revealing in a comment, “the secret to my success.” A single image and a quote confirms this—

Silliness

And just so you do not misunderstand, it is confirmed again by a single video—

Dancing with Dahni

If it’s still not clear, try this—

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh, but there’s more, much more. And if you think this is about me, or my family or December or the holidays, keep reading my friend, KEEP READING!

On December 29th, 2015, we took my brother and his wife out to dinner and our family treated them, to celebrate his birthday.

From left to right Baby Joshua, Daddy Larry, Mommy Sierra Lee, Nanny Grandmother Carol Lee, Popi Grandfather Lenny, Susan Great Aunt, Donnie Great Uncle, Susan Great Aunt and sitting on the floor, brother Richard Great Uncle and birthday boy

From left to right:
Baby Joshua, Daddy Larry, Mommy Sierra Lee, Nanny Grandmother Carol Lee, Popi Grandfather Lenny, Susan Great Aunt, Donnie Great Uncle, Susan Great Aunt and sitting on the floor, brother Richard, Great Uncle and birthday boy. 🙂

All these many events culminated with something that has not occurred in some thirty+ years around the holidays. Our brother, and sister and I were all together, TOGETHER!

Richard, Carol Lee and Donnie

Richard, Carol Lee and Donnie

The craziness, silliness and love and heart remains after all these years and though the time was short, it was FULL and it was as if, we never missed a single beat.

So, as this month and this year comes to a close, I will raise a glass to our grandparents, Lilian & Stanley, Papa & Nanny, all our ancestors before them and to our parents Calvin and Jean, from which all those we have been touched by and whose lives we touch, has been made possible!

And this is the purpose of the Gathering Place. Though it is our home, we were not here, we were in Ohio. The Gathering place is not just a place, it is a heartbeat, where ever and with whomever it may beat. Though many could not be there with us and many had not the same kind of December or year as we have and many suffer, this is how life is supposed to be, should be and for us, it was, it really, really was this way! So, much has spilled over, into so many, many lives.

So, to you for the new year and forever, SPATTER JOY!

Scatter12

 

Dahni

MySig4WP_withBackground

Categories: Birthday, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Holidays, Inspiration, Life, Live Laugh Love, Love, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Spatter Joy, The 100 Foot Journey, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Turkey

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Turkey_title4WP

by Dahni

© 2015, all rights reserved

Turkey_pic4WP

For me, turkey at both Thanksgiving and Christmas is just something that I do. It was our family tradition. Then, after I was grown and on my own, I realized one day, it was not about the turkey, it was everything else that went with it that made it special. Besides smoked turkey or fine deli sliced turkey like you get from the store or that is pre-packaged in the meat section, I cannot say that I was ever particularly fond of turkey! It is doubtful that I would ever roast a turkey at any other times than for these two holidays – until NOW!

I once wrapped a turkey with pastry dough and it was pretty good. I have stuffed one once and will not do that again. For one thing, I like dressing or stuffing and I have never seen a turkey cavity big enough, to make enough for my liking. For another, once you stuff a turkey, it is likely to spoil much more quickly than if not stuffed. So, after the meal, you really need to cut and remove all the meat from the bones as is possible and/or boil the carcass for soup stock etc. Leftovers are good too!

I have tried all manner of turkey – fresh, adult, wild turkey, smoked, deep fried and frozen. For consistency, I have mostly, always relied on frozen ‘young’ turkey from the Butterball® brand.

If you try the recipe to follow, I will venture to say that there will be those that do not usually like roast turkey that will like this!!! For me, it is mouth watering and flavorful throughout, even the dark meat and I generally do not eat dark meat. It is juicy and tender and so tender in fact, the meat nearly fell off the bone. Pulling the remaining meat from the bone after dinner was the easiest I have ever experienced. The secrets are the salt (which tenderizes the meat), lemon (adds moisture and flavor), rosemary (adds flavor) and the last secret to tender turkey is, slow-cooking.

Turkey_Holly_but4WP

Turkey_but4WP

 

 

 

Dahni’s Roasted Turkey Dinner (cont.)

 

Rosemary Citrus Salt:

• 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves chopped (fresh is more expensive, but worth the extra expense)
• 2 tablespoons of lemon zest (remove zest from 1 lemon see: lemon under Turkey below)
• ½ cup of coarse salt (use coarse salt substitute if desired and if you can find it)
• ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Combine rosemary, lemon zest and salt in small bowl
2. pour olive oil into separate small bowl

Turkey
• 13-18 lb. whole young turkey (mine was around 13 pounds)
• 2 large carrots cut lengthwise
• 2 celery stalks cut lengthwise
• 1-4 springs of fresh rosemary (I used 1 sprig about 6” long)
• 1 lemon (zest has been removed = about 2 tablespoons for your salt rub above) cut lemon in half

Note: So your guests don’t have to fight over the drumsticks, you could vary this recipe with (2) smaller turkeys or even (2) 8-10 pound chickens, but add another ¼ cup of olive oil and more springs of Rosemary and another lemon cut in half (one for each turkey/chicken).

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325° F.
2. Remove giblets and neck from both sides of turkey cavities and set aside in a large size pan on the stove
3. Thoroughly rinse and pat dry turkey inside and out.
4. Coat outside of turkey and inside with the olive oil (there will be some left in the bowl when you are done) Look for and use culinary disposable gloves to keep your hands from getting oily and prevent any transfer of plastic taste which can happen with ordinary disposable gloves.
5. Place the 2 halves of one lemon into the breast cavity of the turkey.
6. Place fresh rosemary sprigs into the breast cavity of the turkey
7. Season the outside of your turkey with the rosemary citrus salt, pressing it in to adhere.
8. Lightly spray cooking spray on the bottom of your roasting pan (I used Pam® brand olive oil spray
9. Arrange halved carrots and celery on the bottom of your roasting pan to set the turkey so that the bottom of the turkey does not touch the bottom of your pan.
10. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the outside of your turkey.
11. Lightly spray cooking spray (Pam® brand olive oil spray) on the interior side of enough foil to completely cover the turkey.
12. Completely cover turkey with foil and wrap the edges. Note this is not a ‘tent’ it is a cover.

Note: If using a foil roasting pan, you might want to place a pan underneath just in case it leaks to catch the drippings. Or, just put one disposable aluminum pan into another. Why? Because 9 out of 10 times, one of the pans will have a small hole in it. Use one pan and the juice could leak out into your oven and cause smoke. Use two pans and this won’t generally happen. I suppose both pans could have holes, but it’s not likely. It like the adage, if you don’t use two, you’ll need them. If you use two, you probably won’t!  🙂

13. Place covered turkey into pre-heated oven.
14. Set timer for 90 minutes. When timer goes off, uncover and remove as much of the drippings as possible and place in a bowl to add to dressing and/or gravy. (this is very salty so use sparingly)
15. Re-cover turkey and set timer for another 90 minutes.
16. Re-check turkey and remove as much of the juice as possible for your dressing/gravy. Test interior temperature of turkey with a meat thermometer. When it reads 165° F. it is done. Mine needed another ½ hour.
17. The last 15 minutes of your cooking time, raise your oven temperature to 425° F. and remove the foil covering so the top browns.
18. After 15 minutes, re-check the interior temp. with a meat thermometer. When it reads 165° F. it is done.
19. Remove turkey from oven and allow to ‘rest’ for about 15 minutes before carving. While turkey is resting you can finish making your gravy.
Cooking time is 3 – 3 ½ hours at 325° F. I used 3 ½ hours for a 13 pound turkey. (For the correct amount of cooking time based on the pounds of turkey, just follow the instructions included with every Butterball® brand turkey.) The last 15 minutes uncover the turkey and raise the temp. to 425° F. to brown top. Remove from oven and allow to ‘rest’ about 15 minutes before carving. You can vary this recipe by doubling the ingredients for say a 20-30 lb. turkey and so on. After you first place the oven into the oven to cook, you can work on the first part of your gravy and on the dressing or stuffing.

Gravy

• 2 small onions peeled and quartered
• 2 carrots cut in half
• 2 celery stalks cut in half (use the leaves as this makes the broth more flavorful)
• 2 quarts of chicken stock, broth or even bullion cubes/granules with a quart of water is fine (non salted stock is preferred)
• ¾ cup of unsalted butter
• ¾ cut of all purpose flour

Directions:

1. Into a large size pan on the stove, place turkey giblets and neck.
2. Add carrots, celery and onion.
3. Pour 1 quart of chicken stock or broth over this.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Once it boils, reduce temp. and simmer until it cooks down to about 2 cups.
6. Turn off heat, strain and set aside. You will use this liquid later when your turkey has finished cooking and is ‘resting.’
7. While turkey is resting, place a small skillet on the stove.
8. Melt ¾ cup of unsalted butter (1 stick), in a pan on medium heat.
9. Slowly add ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
10. Whisk over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until a smooth blond colored mixture (rue) is formed.
11. Add mixture to your reserved strained turkey mixture that you set aside on stove.
12. Add 1 quart of chicken stock or broth and pan juices.
13. Bring to a boil over high heat and let simmer until thickened and ready to serve. Season to taste. ENJOY NO LUMP DELICIOUS GRAVY!

Dressing or Stuffing:

• Chicken stock or broth as needed to moisten bread
• Turkey pan drippings as desired and needed for flavor and moisture
• ½ to 1 stick of unsalted butter melted.
• 1 large white onion diced.
• 3-4 celery stalks diced (use celery leaves if you like, but I prefer not to)
• 2 loaves of white bread – open the bag and leave the bread in the bag stacked over so that air can pass over the tops – 1-2 days before, to dry the bread.
• 1 loaf of wheat bread – open the bag and leave the bread in the bag stacked over so that air can pass over the tops – 1-2 days before to dry the bread.
• 1 box of Jiffy® brand corn bread mix.
• Seasonings to taste – I just remember the line from the Simon & Garfunkel song and use: “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.”  🙂
• Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Remember, your turkey pan drippings will have salt from the Citrus Rosemary Salt mixture so take care when adding more salt. Some people add dried cranberries and/or chopped walnuts to their dressing and I have heard it is really good. Adding apple and mild sausage to your dressing is also, excellent. Some people like oyster dressing, but I do not. I have tried adding roasted chestnuts once, but did not like the texture of the chestnuts, so I do not recommend this. To each their own, but the mix of white bread, wheat and cornbread really makes this special!

Directions:

1. Prepare and cook corn bread as directed on the Jiffy® brand corn bread mix. Prepare this the day before you need it and leave it out to dry.
2. Gently tear bread into pieces. I remove most, but not all the crusts as I believe too much crust makes the dressing or stuffing too tough.
3. Crumble corn bread and add to bread crumbs
4. Mix bread crumbs and corn bread together in large bowl.
5. Sauté diced onions and celery with butter on stove, on medium heat until the most of the water cooks down from the vegetables.
6. Pour sautéed vegetables over your bread crumbs and cornbread.
7. Add some chicken broth and pan juices as needed.
8. Add your dry seasonings (“Parsley – Sage – Rosemary and Thyme”) and salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Remember, your turkey pan drippings will have salt from the Citrus Rosemary Salt mixture so take care when adding more salt.

9. Mix dressing/stuffing until well combined and taste. To your liking, add whatever you think it needs.
10. Transfer stuffing to a lightly pre-sprayed (cooking spray), long rectangular shaped Pyrex, glass or metal deep pan.
11. Cover with foil.
12. Place the dressing into a pre-heated oven.

Note cooking time will vary depending on how and when you cook your dressing. If space and ovens are minimal, you can always make this ahead of time without pan drippings and then just heat it up later to be served when everything else is ready. If you are fortunate to have two ovens or a double oven, cook at 350° F. for around 45 minutes to one hour. The last 15 minutes of your cooking time, raise the oven temp to 425° F. to just lightly brown the top. For mine, I placed the covered dressing/stuffing into the same oven next to the turkey in the oven at 325° F., 1 hour before the turkey was uncovered and the temp was raised to 425° F. for the last 15 minutes. It was perfect!

End Notes:

The recipes used have been tested with many people and even those that do NOT like turkey. All have wholeheartedly agreed that this is the best turkey they have ever eaten! This is not to be braggadocious, but so you may be confident, your guests will say the same thing about your turkey dinner!

These recipes have often been requested, for me to make them and for others to make them, themselves. It will warm your heart when people ask you, “Would you please make your turkey,” or “Could I PLEASE have your turkey dinner recipes!”

I do not mind sharing them with those that ask, but please remember, these are just some of the featured recipes of my not yet published book, ‘The Gathering Place’ (Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining). Please do NOT share them with others without my permission. They are copyrighted and unless I have given you specific permission to use them and share them, would make anyone in violation of Copyright infringement.
Once ‘The Gathering Place’ is published, it is my heart’s desire that anyone will be able to prepare, cook, present and serve 5 star restaurant quality food and ambience, for all holidays and special occasions entertaining at home, for their family and guests!

Again, please honor my request and not share these recipes with anyone, without my permission. You do have my permission to use these for yourself! For additional permission, email me: dahni1@gmail.com

Here is a PDF file of these recipes you may freely download.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Dahni

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The Gathering Place –
Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining, by Dahni © 2013-2015, all rights reserved

Categories: Cooking, Food, Holidays, Homeward Bound, Ideas, Inspiration, Pursuit of Happiness, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Real Facetime – Making Memories

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

As you recognize that you are becoming older, one of the first things often noticed is that the memory just might not be what it used to be? I’m not one that likes to take that lying down and along with my curious and inquisitive nature, I want to know why. Somewhere in my hoping heart, if the answer to WHY is known, then maybe, just maybe I can fix it or at least, do something, anything about it!

I do not have a photographic memory. I used to have a lousy memory, but still, there are some phone numbers and other vividly detailed things I recall. To my surprise, the more I became interested in something; the more time I put into it and then, all of a sudden, my memory got trained and I was able to recall a lot of things. It was just like building up a muscle. Instead of exercising muscle, I was exercising my gray matter (my brain). With the advent of and as it seems now, the pervasive technological wonders of the modern age, we mostly all use today, working our brains, apparently, has not become something we do or do much anymore. Why should we? If we want to know something, well, Yahoo, Bing, we can just Google it! 🙂

We don’t need to go see anything, we can YouTube it and stream it. Yep, we can travel the world without leaving home. And we certainly don’t need to dress or undress for the occasion. 🙂

We don’t need to read, speak or write. We can can do all that by just clicking on or speaking into our devices to ‘Siri’ or our digital assistant and AutoCorrect aside, these will do it all for us. Why develop a relationship when we can have tons of followers and friends on social media?

And we don’t need to actually go somewhere and talk to anyone, I mean, physically see them. We can Facetime, Skype or video chat. Besides, who wants to get dressed and if you are a man (or bearded woman) why shave? 🙂

Maybe this seems all a bit too much for you, but face it, we all have become more and more dependent on or at least we frequent, trust or rely on our technology. For myself, I came to the startling discovery that it seems like I, CRS (can’t remember s__t) anymore. 🙂

OK, I’m getting older, but I can’t handle C.R.S. and I don’t just accept that, that’s just the way it is. Then I had an epiphany or remembered something I heard all the time growing up and in context of Gym. Coach after coach said, “Use it or lose!” I’m sure they are referring to exercise and strength training for good muscle and tone. But, hmm, I wondered if this could apply to my decaying memory? Oh, I googled and did some research and the consensus is, YES, if we don’t exercise our brains, we will become more and more dependent on technology. It’s kind of like an old cartoon I watched as a kid, The Quick Draw McGraw Show – Hana Barbera (1959 – 1962).  Quick Draw McGraw was a talking horse and he had sidekick, Baba Looey, a little talking donkey. Quick Draw was actually kind of stupid and Baba Looey didn’t speak English too well. He would often question Quick Draw with something like, “Don’t you thin…”, (his pronunciation of the word “think”) about something to which Quick Draw would quite often say…

Quick Draw McGraw & Baba Looey – Hana Barbera

C.R.S. of late makes me feel pretty stupid. I have a smart phone and I’m starting to think that every time I use it, I actually am getting dumber. Use it or lose it right? RIGHT! Instead of asking myself why should I exercise my mind, the most important question is, can I or can I still? What if, as a society and maybe after many years of non-use of our brains, what if we were born with parts of our brains missing or underdeveloped, since they were not used and therefore, not needed anymore? That is a scary and a possible thought to me!

So, I have been thinking of late for ways to shutoff ‘techie world’ and try to ‘de-volve’ back into the former world of really. I was considering something like a day with technology followed by a day without ANY technology. OMG, would this be like weaning a pup from its mother, or an addict denied their daily ‘fix!’ Would I be able to handle it? How would I be able to live without my smart phone, email, the internet, our WiFi, TV, and how will I be able to remember anyone’s special day or appointments, or phone numbers!!!!! How will I know what’s going on in the world, my state or locality without technology! How can I do simple math without the calculator on my smart phone! How can I connect to anyone without Facetime, Skype or video chat! Oh, the conundrum, but I was willing to give it a try, for the sake of my brain, USE it or Lose it!

Well, to my surprise and delight, I really didn’t have to think about it, it just all kind of fell into place. Our weather recently, was more like summer than late fall, perfect temperature and humidity. My wife had a couple of boneless pork chops so WE, yes WE, decided that I would grill them. I had a recipe for pecan crusted pork chops that I had been almost salivating to try. The only problem was that it was for 12. I had to actually divide it into 12 in my head and on paper, to get the correct amount of ingredients per chop. While I grilled outside, Susan was doing her work in the kitchen.

When the chops were done, I came back into our home and there were candles lit everywhere and Baroque music was playing on the radio. Susan had set the table (decorated is more like it) and had prepared roasted Brussels sprouts and brown rice with cilantro, onion and lime juice and had made a nice salad with home-made ranch dressing. I poured us each a glass of some local Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, what’s the difference?

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the exact same grape variety. It is a white grape, with a grayish / brownish pink skin (hence the name gris, or gray, in French).

The grape originated in France (it’s from the Burgundian Pinot family), and is known as Pinot Gris in France, where it is most cultivated in Alsace. Across the border in Italy it is known as Pinot Grigio. While French in origin, it is really the Italians that we have to thank for bringing such huge global recognition and fame to the variety. The grape is the same, but the wines are different.

While they are the same grape, the two names have come to infer two different styles of wine.

  • Immensely popular, the Italian style Pinot Grigio wines are typically lighter-bodied, crisp, fresh, with vibrant stone fruit and floral aromas and a touch of spice.
  • In contrast, Alsace Pinot Gris wines are more full-bodied, richer, spicier, and more viscous in texture. They also tend to have greater cellaring and ageing potential.
FaceTime1

Pecan crusted boneless pork chops, roasted Brussels sprouts, cilantro/onion/lime brown rice, salad with homemade ranch dressing and wine of course 🙂

FaceTime2Oh, my, a FEAST as if dining in a five-star restaurant and only for us, just us two!

I only mention the wine, as we talked about it, comparing it to other wines we had shared together in the past. The food and the ambiance and the music were just a token or a taste of, what was to come!

No TV trays parked in front of the TV. No smart phones in our hands and our eyes focused upon them with fervent desire to not miss anything that might be going on in the world. At that very moment in time, neither time or the world seemed to exist. We were the moment in time and we were the whole world. Nothing or no one else mattered for the time.

Our only plan was to have some grilled pecan crusted pork chops. Everything else just came together, but we worked together, unbeknownst to what the other was doing, until it became time to share our individual contributions with one another, TOGETHER. We toasted and we ate and listened to music. And then, then we began a conversion about the music.

We both like many different kinds of music. Susan was professionally and classically trained in voice, piano and flute. She can read music. She taught music K-6 +,  for over 25 years. She has a gorgeous voice! All these things I knew, but in all the years we have been married, I never knew until this night that her favorite music is, Baroque!

A conversation ensued. Yes, we had a real conversation, in real-time and with real, face to face time. It was discovered that we did not share the same opinion or fondness or love for Baroque. Susan was able to articulate why she loves it so with its structure. She finds it relaxing, peaceful, ordered, safe and sure in the midst of a world full, of the oceans of uncertainty and the seas of speculation.

I conveyed my feelings about the music as what I tend towards is, more fluid, spontaneous, spur of the moment, inspirational and etc. This is the type of music I play and it affords me the same emotional release and reception as, Susan gets from her’s.

We discussed, we conversed and neither of us tried to defend our position, but rather just said how we feel about the music which was playing during dinner. Neither of us were right or wrong. We listened to one another. Now, I must confess that for the same reasons Susan loves Baroque are, (were) the self-same reasons it is (was) not my favorite. I was in for a big surprise! 🙂

Baroque was popular in the 1700’s and I had some mental reservations or images in my mind, whenever this type of music was played. Things like silk stockings, powered wigs, the minuet and etc. By age sixteen, George Washington, our first president, had copied out by hand and committed to memory, ‘110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.’ They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595.

I had studied much about the American Revolution and thought all this so-called structure, civility, rules and orders were, unnecessarily fastidious, pompous and kind of arrogant. The music itself, made me think that none of these things had anything or little to do with us ever becoming the United States of America. George Washington and most everyone that fought in the American Revolution referred to England or Great Britain as their, “mother country.” It must have really been difficult to stand against your own country that you loved so much! But, WE the People of then KNEW, we had little to NO chance of even holding out and surviving against the then, most powerful; most trained and equipped military force on the face of the earth! WE had to hope France might help with ships and a navy and some money and some training. WE had to fire from behind trees, and threw rocks because, most of the guns we had were cobbled together from parts of others and often blew up in our faces. WE went to sniping officers at a distance. WE developed long-range rifles, mail and communication networks, relied on cunning and stealth, covert operations, invisible ink and a host of other innovative things to give us even a fighting chance of, little to nothing at all! In fact, ‘guerrilla warfare’ was started during these times and many of these procedures and methods are still used today by the military, all over the world! Structure? This was anything, but structure, order, civility and such. They had to be ‘fluid’! And the British? They despised those rebel colonists, for not knowing their place, not honoring ‘tea time’ or being cowards, for not facing them in the field of battle, and being so uncivil and so dishonorable! But, Oh NO, WE the People of then, were not about to participate in their rules of engagement where whomever is left standing wins and get our colonist butts beat, facing them man-to-man!

Then, after all those things and more and WE won our independence, what do you suppose WE did then? We went back to structure, order, rules of civility and politeness, powdered wigs, silk stockings, dancing the minuet and Baroque music!

So, all of this came out while my wife and I conversed. My wife, whom I say if there were such a thing as luck, I am a lucky man to have found my soul mate and the love of my life! And just when I thought it was not possible, for me to love her any more than I do, I found myself this night, loving her more! Not only did I discover, for the very first time that her favorite music is, Baroque, there was, I believe, some give and take between us. For my part, in listening to both my words aloud and hers, I was able to evolve my opinion about her favorite music. Isn’t this what a conversation is to do; to be for? It is more than agreeing to disagree, but a learning; an evolving where both come away from such a conversation better individually and together, than when it began!

So, more than just a fabulous meal and a couple of glasses of some nice wine, some great ambiance, some nice music, learning something new about my wife, learning from her, seeing myself change and evolve from my own opinions, shutting down technology for a time, making a new memory, popping neurons and actually exercising my brain, real face time with a real person (my wife), I actually grew as a person, along with another person, together! You just can’t get these kinds of benefits from technology! They only happen when we decide to make and let them happen!

Sure, there are many advantages and benefits of technology, but just remember that they all came about from real people, real conversations, real thoughts, real discussions and all in real-time, really — face to face!

In the digital world, it is good to get some real-time, every now and again! After all, that’s what The Gathering Place is for!

“The Art and Science of Building Strong Minds is, participating in Making Memories!”

Donnie

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Categories: Building Strong Minds, Fall, Family & Friends, Home, Inspiration, Making Memories, Things that really matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Sometimes

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

Sometimes, you just can’t capture it, email, message, text, post it, YouTube it or share it!

Sometimes, it is just too big and too far beyond technology or even your expertise to capture and to share. Sometimes, it’s not like if you miss it, you can watch re-runs or just see it again. Sometimes, it only lasts for such a short time and will not be experienced again, for many, many years. Sometimes, the brevity of your life is clearly understood and a very, very simple choice is set before you. Do I take a chance right now or do I take a chance that I’ll even be here tomorrow? Will I take the chance that I will be here after eighteen years, from the time the gift first became available?

Sometimes, if you love and care about others, you let them know in advance that they might have the same opportunity; the same choice as you.

Sometimes, you don’t mind being alone and neither are you lonely, but sometimes, you want to share something so much, you want to shout it from the rooftops! Sometimes, you might live on top of a hill in the middle of the country and there may be no one to hear you anyway or you do not want to disturb your neighbor’s peace.

Sometimes, like I did, you ask your wife to join you and to share it with you, just me and just she and I. So, I turned off the television and my Susan set aside another, new baby blanket she had started today. She opened a window on our front porch for Bella our cat and left a light on for her, so she could be close to us and hear us outside. Outside, I moved our outside patio cushioned wicker love seat and coffee table to our driveway and arranged it like our own personal living sète to view the heavenly movable feast. I turned off all the outside lights. I set a Bluetooth speaker on the coffee table and paired my phone to play some nice instrumental relaxation music. Susan poured us a couple of scotches and brought out a blanket. And there we sat, wrapped up warm in the cool breeze of the night. And we chatted, and cooed and snuggled and laughed and said such memorable things as, “WOW,” “awesome,” and “I love you,” for over two and half hours.

I only mention the time that we shared this movable feast together, in comparison to turning off the television or being so engrossed in a movie of this length because, time seemed to have had no meaning. We could hardly believe, we actually sat outside this long!

It was like we were at our own personal drive-in theater and our screen was the night sky. We watched the full moon, a super moon become as if so close we could touch it. And it was so bright, this super moon filled the whole night sky. As the moon rose higher it seemed to shrink and it danced in and out and through thin vaporous clouds. Sometimes, the clouds were lit with an almost rainbow of color. Sometimes, the clouds themselves seemed three-dimensional. Sometimes, we could see stars shining and twinkling through the clouds just below them. Sometimes, through the clouds, we could see a great depth of stars. Moon and clouds and stars and breeze and music and our awes and our hearts, each played an equal part in this heavenly ballet. Then the moon began to grow dimmer and a dark crescent appeared and moved across the moon until the center was completely dark. It was encircled by, as if it were, a ring of fire. And then, the moon turned blood-red. We watched and waited and could see the moon coming back to its brilliant white. And then, the clouds mightily moved in and the moon disappeared with no trace of its reflecting light.

Sometimes, the variables are too numerous to count. Sometimes, what we saw, others did not or not exactly the same. For these reasons, sometimes— Sometimes, you just can’t capture it, email, message, text, post it, YouTube it or share it!

Sometimes, it is just too big and too far beyond technology or even your expertise to capture and to share. Sometimes, it’s not like if you miss it, you can watch re-runs or just see it again. Sometimes, it only lasts for such a short time and will not be experienced again, for many, many years. Sometimes, the brevity of your life is clearly understood and a very, very simple choice is set before you. I am so thankful that I took the opportunity and was able to share it together, with my wife Susan!

Sometimes, you realize that you just might not be here tomorrow or eighteen years from the night, now that night, when those gifts were first available?

Sometimes, because of the many variables and the impossibility to capture and share with others, you think, maybe, just maybe, it was for my eyes only? Sometimes, your heart just races with all its inexplicable fullness, knowing that all you saw and felt and heard and experienced , and awed over, and laughed with joy over and shed some tears over and chatted about and will never forget was, exactly the same as the one sitting right next to you!

Sometimes, you realize, what really and truly matters is, right now and who you have the grace to be with, for sometimes, you realize that all any of us have is—

some time!

Mike Mezeul II Photography – composite image over Dallas, TX 9/27/15 Each image was shot 10 minutes apart. Image has been cropped by me to remove the Dallas skyline. Image is used by permission from the photographer.

 

Donnie

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Categories: Fall, Family & Friends, Home, Inspiration, Moon, Things that really matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

My Pillow

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Today marks Day 3 of my experience with ‘My Pillow.’

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My Pillow logo

For months now, I have not slept well. Sometimes I sleep in a recliner with straight wooden arms. I usually wake up and my arms are numb. Sometimes, I try to sleep in bed and cannot. If I do fall asleep, I wake up with my right arm extended over the side of the bed and it’s stiff and hurts like hell. And I have a horrible headache. I move to the couch, fall asleep and still wake up with a horrible headache, un-rested and certainly NOT refreshed. I was willing to try almost anything! I heard about ‘My Pillow,’ checked it out and saw great reviews and bad reviews. I delved deeper and found most of those complaining, had not followed simple instructions. I was convinced to give it try when I read the following, from the inventor of ‘My Pillow’:

“Years ago, like you, I found myself extremely frustrated, because every pillow I used went flat. Most pillows are designed to break down. I would wake up in the morning with a sore arm, my neck would hurt, my fingers would be numb, and I would toss and turn all night long not knowing why.”

Inventor, Michael J. Lindell

I mean, I could have written the above myself! Just add in horrible headaches! Well, I was convinced and decided to try it. After all, they promised a 60 day (night) trial or your money back. I thought they were expensive, but they did have a 10 year warranty. Ten year warranty on a pillow? That’s unheard of! As an extra incentive, it was a 2 for 1 deal. I ordered. When the FedEx guy brought to me the package, I thought it was so small that not even the pillow cases (that I also ordered), would fit? Where’s the rest of my order? Well, that was it.

I opened the package and inside was one package with the pillowcases and the other one had both of the ‘My Pillows’ ordered. Unbelievable! Now what? I opened them and pulled out the pillows. The instructions said to place these into the dryer on the Tumble setting HIGH heat, for 15 minutes. This removes most (if not all the off gases from the new foam material and fluffs the pillows to their normally intended size.

So, I placed the pillows and the pillow cases into our dryer. We have dryer balls that are made out of 100% wool that do a fantastic job of drying our clothes and without chemicals usually found in dryer sheets and fabric softeners etc. These woolen balls help dry, cut down on static cling and help make your clothing soft, naturally. Click on my wife’s name— Susan, on how to get these.

I added a drop of pure lavender oil to one of the wool balls. Lavender has a relaxing/calming effect. Right, I sure needed that!

Well, after 15 minutes of  drying, the two queen sized pillows were all nice and fluffy. They and the pillow cases had a nice calming/relaxing and subtle scent of lavender. But these pillows inside their pillow cases weighed like, nothing! How in the world could they ever provide enough support? Only sleep or another lack thereof, would tell right?

Night 1

I miss my bed and my poor wife misses me being beside her, so I decided to try out ‘My Pillow’ in our bed. “Yay,” said wife! There were two more instructions. I was to fluff the pillow then tuck it under my neck to where it seemed the most comfortable to me. I am a side sleeper so, this is how I started out on my first night.

The following morning, my right arm was still sore, but I slept through the night, my wife said I did NOT snore and I did not have a headache!!!!!!! YAY!!!

Night 2

After ‘fluff and tuck,’ I started out on my back and tried the couch. The next morning, no sore arm or headache, but I had a stiff neck. I believe this was due to the fact that the pillow was too close to the arm of the couch and was more elevated than it should have been for me. I had no dry scratchy throat so, I assume I did not snore.

Night 3

After ‘fluff and tuck,’ ‘Fluff and Tuck’? Are you getting the point that this is a new habit I need to make each night? Yep, ‘Fluff and Tuck.’ The other nice thing is that these pillows are completely washable. It is recommended that they are to be washed and dried and re-fluffed about every four months. Like mentioned before, they have an unbelievable 10 year warranty and it even includes laundering every four months!

I tried sleeping on my side again in our bed only this time, I put another pillow under my knees. I slept great. I awoke with no sore arms, headache or stiff neck and my honey said I did not snore. So far so good!

I have also tried taking a nap on my back after a ‘fluff and tuck’ of ‘My Pillow’ and this seems to work for me.

So far, ‘My Pillow’ is working for me. I just need to tweak it for me and get used to sleeping normally I guess. 🙂

Personally, if I did not have to EVER sleep, I probably WOULDN’T. I have a lot of energy and would prefer doing other things, instead of, sleeping. But I do need sleep, for me, about 4-6 hours. But it needs to be consistent, deep and rejuvenating sleep. With ‘My Pillow’ I have been getting more of it.

If this continues and I decide to somewhere between tonight (day 4) and anywhere from 4-56 more days (nights) to keep it, I will definitely look into more of their products and try them as well.

They have pillows— standard, queen, king, a body pillow (for you pregnant ladies), pillows for children 3-8, pillows for even our pets, pillow cases, round pillows for your knees and even travel pillows. I don’t know about you, but my wife and I always take our pillows when we travel, so we might try out their travel size.

I sleep hot. Before we bought a new bed that is much better in keeping me cooler, it was not uncommon for me to wake up drenched in sweat underneath my whole body and under my head from the pillow. I’ve not had this issue with, ‘My Pillow.’ Yay!!! I do believe their 100% high thread count cotton pillow cases is most of the reason along with the cover over the crushed foam. I still find myself kicking off the covers in the night due to the warmth our bed seems to absorb and hold. And maybe part of the reason that I am a side sleeper is because, I’m hot and my wife is like a heat seeking missile. 🙂 Maybe I sleep on the side on the edge of the bed to stay cooler, just in case she rolls towards me or draws towards my heat like a magnet? Also, I can stick out some appendage from under the covers to help ventilate. 🙂

But anyway, My Pillow’ also, makes a mattress topper that supposedly keeps one warmer or cooler as needed by the occupant. As soon as and IF I’ve decided to keep ‘My Pillow,’ I would sure be interested in trying their ‘topper.’

And rest assured, IF ‘My Pillow’ becomes my pillow, our pillows, we will be getting additional pillows for our guest room and etc. just for YOU, whenever you come for a visit at, The Gathering Place! Nothing but the best for the best (you) right!

Heres the link to their website, should you be interested in more information.

http://www.mypillow.com/

Well, sleep is to, sleep well. Sleep well! 🙂

Donnie

MyAussieHatwBkg_sm

 

 

 

 

P.S. This review has neither been solicited or compensated! 🙂

 

Categories: Family & Friends, Gift Ideas, Inspiration, My Pillow®, Sleep, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Good Morning USA

Short url to this post: http://wp.me/p4jGvr-Cs

 

by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

GoodMornUSA

Good Morning USA,

What’s offending, You today?

 

Is it that these three, barely exist

or that a remnant, still persist?

Is it that WE do NOT know each other

or WE are impatient, for it all to smother?

Is it that WE were ever united

or the fire has been ignited?

 

From 1776 and 1789, for 239 and 226 years respectively

Through hell and back, these three have stood collectively

Are all just separate relics of the past, WE’d just soon forget

Are all meaningless scraps of paper and cloth, We surely and sorely regret?

 

Good Morning USA,

What’s offending, You today?

 

Is it that WE’ve traded, for all our wants and security

or that we deserve NOT— Life, Happiness and Liberty?

 

Good Morning USA,

What’s offending, You today?

GoodMornUSA2

Categories: 4th of July, Declaration of Independence, Holidays, Liberty, Life, Poetry, Pursuit of Happiness, The Constitution, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, WE the People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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