Microblogging Monday: Mothering a photo and a song

microblog_mondaysMy eldest son came to visit this past weekend.  It’s not the first time but it seems special this time.  Currently he’s working on his first single. He had me listen to the track. While I was listening I reflected on a photo of him when he was born.  Listening and reflecting was very emotional for me. You see I gave birth to him when I was 22 weeks pregnant. He weighed one pound two and a half ounces at birth.  That was 31 years ago!

While I was listening to the song I bowed my head and rested it in my hand, covering my face.  My son thought I was asleep.  After I remained quiet for awhile, he asked me if I was sleeping. I looked up with tears in my eyes and told him how beautiful the song was. I also told him what I was thinking about while I was listening. He looked at me, obviously touched and said that my reaction said it all.

My son 20 days after birth

A daughter’s wisdom

2014-07-22 14.20.43I was watching a DVD of Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdon on FMTV.com the other day. Actually, I really do watch it almost every week. She is so insightful and very funny.  Anyway, in listening to her, even at age 50+, I felt I was listening to a mother speaking lovingly to her daughter.  I realize that I never had a woman sit me down and tell me anything about how to be a woman, let alone how to be a wife and mother. There were no “birds and bees” talks and no preparation for even simple life events such as my monthly cycle. I can’t even remember anyone giving me even a tiny anecdote about life as a woman. I therefore stumbled through life as a teenager and bumbled my way through three marriages.  Not that there are any guarantees even with wise, motherly grooming.

Dr. Northrup also mentioned a personality by the name of Mama Gena and I decided to look her up and see what she was about.  In reviewing Mama Gena’s website and reading her book Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, I was “violently” struck by how clueless I had been, growing up as a young woman without female adult leadership.  I do not agree with all her points in the book but some parts lead me to wonder what my life would have been like if my mother had taught me how to deal men and their “MARS-tian” behaviors.  Would I have gone through three marriages and divorces if I was clued into any of life’s little secrets some mothers share with their daughters? Would some gentle hand holding when I was heart broken over some young prince, help me to deal maturely with my future relationships? Who knows for sure?

What I do know is that by listening to Dr. Northrup (I also read her book “The Wisdom of Menopause”) I’m keenly aware for the first time,  what missing the experience of having a mother fully engaged in my life really means.  For instance:

  • there have been brief moments that I felt pangs of envy when I see a mother and her daughter shopping or discussing their upcoming vacation together.
  • I have been mildly jealous of a daughter gushing about how much she was looking forward to having a gab session with her mother.
  • And, there have been too many times when I wistfully admire a mother/daughter team participating in an event — even if they were just shopping for a home on House Hunters.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), I do not have a daughter.  There is no one to bond with in that special and unique relationship.  I’m not sure however, if I would have anything to offer her, especially in the area of communicating with men.  I certainly would not want her stumbling in my bloody footsteps — footsteps bloodied with the effects of too many mistakes.

Overall, despite having to figure out life for myself, I did not turn out too badly. Miraculously, I managed to turn on the inherent, motherly charm, hawk-like protection, and love for my sons with no thought of what I did or didn’t have. As a matter of fact, maybe I do go overboard sometimes just to make sure they aren’t “missing out” on life.  Fact is since I recognize that a mother can never take the place of a father, despite her best efforts, I seek to find positive, male role models for them.

So maybe in hindsight, life turns out for me exactly the way it should have. Truly I have no regrets or disillusions about what life should or shouldn’t  be. Through forgiveness and self love, I have learned to own my life and to take responsibility for my own actions, regardless of how well prepared I was for this game called life.

My Favourite Cookbook

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This post is in response to NaBloPoMo’s prompt: “Tell us about your favourite cookbook.” I have fallen behind on my posts but trying to catch up this weekend.

With delightful recipes like Hunan Lamb Stir Fry, Greek Beef and Mushroom Pizza, and Pear Scented Butternut Squash Soup, the Weight Watchers Power Foods cookbook is one of my favorite. Add the fact that each recipe carries a PointsPlus rating, Weight Watchers signature weight loss points system, this book is one delicious way to eat well, while maintaining a healthy weight.

This is not a diet book.  Neither is it a deprivation cookbook.  For anyone who has participated in Weight Watchers program like I have, you know that the program stresses portion control.  In this cookbook, there is something for everyone:

1.  Scrumptious meat dishes like Grilled Korean Steak in Lettuce Cups

2. Amazing seafood dishes like Vegetable Stuffed Sole with Dill Butter

3. Vegetarian delights such as Wheat Berry and Apple Salad

4. Open-Face Chicken Burgers with Tropical Salsa

5. Raspberry-Rhubarb Cake

However, what is pleasantly surprising about this cookbook is the wide assortment of breakfast recipes.  People who want to eat healthy may find it difficult to find enough to eat over and above oatmeal and scrambled eggs.  The Weight Watchers Cookbook delivers mouth-watering breakfast recipes that won’t leave you bored.   For instance, can you imagine waking up to Smoked Salmon Scramble with Potatoes and Creamy Dill Sauce? Also, Whole Grain Breakfast Porridge will take you away from plain old oatmeal to a pleasant mouthful of barley, bulgur, apricots and maple syrup, to name of few of the nutritious ingredients. These breakfast recipes are a great complement to green smoothies, for sure.

In addition to a wide array of easy to follow recipes the book also contain a useful dry and liquid measure comparison chart as well as a handy food guide preceding each section. For example, if you are a vegetarian, the food guide suggests various foods that can be eaten, where in the book those foods can be found, as well as protein options to consider.

Whether you are looking to maintain a healthy weight or to lose a few pounds, the Weight Watchers Power Foods Cookbook is a healthy, delicious and fun way to cook.

Still Blogging in 10 years? You Betcha!

Do you think you’ll still be blogging 10 years from now?  That is the question we are answering today for NaBloPoMo.

Absolutely.  I hope I will still be blogging 10 years from now.  I really want to blog everyday for the rest of my life.  OK so I can’t do that now but when I retire from full time employment I could definitely see myself blogging every day.

For me, inspiration to blog comes from so many sources.  A fleeting thought. A conversation I overhear.  Even a small experience like trying to get to work on the dragging No. 3 train.  There is no shortage of blogging material and I love to blog.  As a matter of fact, one of my dreams is to travel throughout the Caribbean and possibly a few other countries around the world.  I am so looking forward to blog about my travels and to post photos I plan to take.

Also, I have three sons. None of them are married yet. My hope is that they will eventually marry and have children.  Then I will be a grandmother!  So much blogging material to look forward to, I can’t contain myself. I know, crazy!  And wouldn’t all my years of blogging be a great chronicle to pass down to my grandkids?

Yes. I do believe I will be blogging for a very long time to come, God willing.  Way past 10 years from now.


Better Because of Blogging

Today’s NaBloPoMo question is: Does blogging bring out your best or worst self.  The theme for the month is “Self” hence the emphasis on myself.  I think this is a very good theme.  It allows me to remove the mask.  Because, if I don’t know myself, how am I going to get to know my audience? Also, how can I ask my audience to share with me honestly if I don’t want to reciprocate?  So, does blogging bring out my best or worst of myself?

I have to say the very best in some ways.  One of those ways is it help me to focus on something: With long hours at work, church and different classes, I tend to just flop down on the sofa and watch TV when I get home in the evenings. That is what I often did before I started blogging.  Now I can’t wait to get home and work on my next post.  Blogging has helped me to become more:

Engaged.  I have become more engaged in the blogging community.  I used to read blogs and may offer the odd comment or like.  But I did so half heartedly without much focus, sometimes merely skimming through posts.  Now I take the time to read those posts that peak my interest.  I also will leave, I think, a meaningful comment which really comes from my heart.  I reblog and repost not only posts that I find interesting but also those that I think others might find useful.  I am now reading for others as well, not only just for myself.

Attentive to social network connections.  Before I started blogging, I tended to rarely visit sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  For instance, I can’t even remember the handle to two of my Twitter accounts.  Now I try to log on daily, take note of what my connections are talking about and more often than not, participate in conversations.

Open — maybe even vulnerable.  Although not quite as open as what I write in my journals, I tend to be more open in my writing now.  Blogging has allowed me the privilege to share with strangers, who actually take the time to read what I post. I appreciate that and hopefully can show that appreciation by revealing more of myself in future posts.

Blogging has really brought out my better self.  It has allowed me to be more open and socially engaging.  The practice of writing daily, gives me a platform to manage my time more efficiently while learning from others and sharing with the online community.

My Writing Voice

2014-03-04 21.52.48I’m trying to keep up with NaBloPoMo.  Today we are ask to tell “How is your writing voice like you?” and ” How does your writing voice differ from you?”

This one is difficult for me because I don’t even know if I know my writing voice. Sounds daft I know.  I think my writing voice is more me than not me.  It’s sincere, I believe. I try to write what I feel from my heart.  I listen to my heart before I write and if what I write does not feel right I will change it.  I think about what readers will understand from my writing..how they will relate.  I do not want people to be offended by what I write so I will try to be diplomatic.  I want readers to understand the point I’m trying to make. However, I will not lie to get a point across.  This I think is the real me.  Careful about offending because I prefer to show love and kindness, even when I lose the argument.

My writing voice differs from me in the sense that I’m more private. Things I divulge in my writings I would not normally tell others.  Maybe because I am under no obligation to share with others. However I feel I should be honest when I write and not hold things back to look “clean”.  And it is not that I hold things back in my verbal communication with others , it’s just that I operate on a need to know basis.  Have you ever met someone on the train or in the mall and you know their entire life story in less than an hour?  Sometimes really intimate stuff that embarrasses you?  I’m not one of those women.  I have been accused by friends of hiding things but I feel I should be loyal and trustworthy and not go blabbing everything I know, just to prove I “know”.  In writing though, when I decide to broach a subject, I feel I should write in a way that readers will understand what I am saying — get the full picture of my story.  Also, I think because I am new to blogging, my writing voice may be a bit awkward at times. I have no such issues personally.