If my mother was still here …

… she’d be excited as hell today. It’s her birthday, and she loved celebrating them. She loved celebrating anyone’s, but she’d start anticipating hers weeks in advance.

It wasn’t about the gifts. She never wanted gifts. She did like getting cards, the more mushy the better. She saved them all, every last one. She wasn’t a hoarder at all — quite the opposite in fact — but she kept cards.

But mostly for her, her love of birthdays was about the cake and blowing out the candles — and the Continue reading

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Not a day goes by …

Sunday was Mother’s Day. I’ve dreaded it ever since my mother passed in 2007. But this year was a bit different. I realized that the “official” Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, is just one of 365 days in every year when we can, and should, honour our mothers, thank them, appreciate them and love them.

Really, the only difference between Mother’s Day and any other day is, the florists and restaurants are super busy and Hallmark does a booming business.

I think of my mother every day. I miss her every day. I miss her belly laugh. The glint in her eye. Her sunny Continue reading

If at first you don’t succeed …

There was a lovely story in Sunday’s New York Times. I laughed out loud when I got to the part where the author wrote, “my mother used to track me down in the event of my untimely murder; lord knows she has imagined plenty of gruesome ends for me. I can’t tell you the number of times that public safety officers showed up on my doorstep in college because I hadn’t returned her calls swiftly enough.”

She could have been writing about my mother.

While she never went so far as to call the police, she did manage to convince a friend of mine to become a search party of one. She (my mother) was convinced — because I’d been working late and was alone in the office — that I’d either been attacked, killed and shoved into the coat closet or was lying helpless, bloody and injured at the bottom of the elevator shaft, the result of an accident involving snapped cables. Yes, Continue reading

On a positive note …

Whew! We survived 2017 and that’s all I’ll say about that. We’re being positive, right? So Happy New Year to you, to us, to all those we hold dear.

When I was thinking about what I’d write today, I remembered something my mother used to say (and do) every time I moved into a new house or apartment.

“Fransi,” she’d say, “remember to bring a piece of bread, some salt, some sugar and a new broom with you the first time you go in. And make sure you enter with your right foot first.” It wasn’t enough she’d Continue reading

Still miss her after 10 years …

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and, even after all this time, it’s tough — not that I only think of my mom once a year. Truthfully, I miss her everyday. I can’t tell you how many times a week I reach for the phone to call her.

It’s still an automatic reflex whenever I’m unsure about a recipe, or I’ve got news to share, or I’ve seen a movie I know she’d have loved, or some silly antic of hers pops out of my memory bank and into my consciousness.

She was a hoot. Feisty, funny, up for just about anything that didn’t involve elevators or heights.

In the summer of 2000 I became one of three founding Continue reading

Let there be cake and lots of it …

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday. Unfortunately she’s not around so I couldn’t celebrate with her.birthday cake She loved birthdays. Unlike most women who, once they’ve turned 30 or 35, don’t admit to how old they are, my mother told you before you asked.

She was proud of it and gloried in the fact that no one ever believed her because she looked, and acted, so much younger. She was a spunky one, full of piss and vinegar. She didn’t mince words, that one.

But she was also sentimental and her favourite cards, for all occasions, were the mushy ones. And she saved them all. After she died I think I found every birthday, Continue reading

Pick your battles

As you know if you read my blog I’m writing a book. It’s about my motherbattle and, to a lesser degree, me. I loved her and we were always close. But what’s fascinating is, in dredging up these old memories, I’m noticing aspects of her personality, her character, her being I wasn’t really aware of before.

Maybe I’d seen it, known it all along, but it never registered with me, most likely because I Continue reading

Life, tortillas and Antonio Banderas

Right now you haven’t got a clue where I’m going with this, do you?  Patience my friends, all will becomeguacamole clear.

But first, let me start by saying that Isabel Allende is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read all but one (her latest and it’s on my list) of her books, many of them multiple times. She takes you on magical voyages, not all of which are fiction.

Knowing this, last weekend a friend sent me a link to a Ted Talk she gave in March 2014: “How to live passionately — no matter your age.” OMG!  You owe it to yourself to watch it here.

Of course, given my recent post on meditating, avoiding negativity and embracing happiness the timing was absolutely impeccable. Allende’s  Continue reading

What a treasure trove I found (metaphorically speaking) …

Back in September I wrote about how I was finally attacking my closets and drawers and cupboardsmother's recipes and pantries and shelves and papers.  Long overdue it was.

Well I’m happy to say I’m done.  Mission accomplished.  And you may find this hard to believe but I actually enjoyed it.  So much so I seem to have become obsessed with order.

I now wake up in the middle of the night and go through stuff and purge.  While I’m watching TV or reading a book I suddenly get the urge to reorganize what I’ve just organized; and I do it!  In slightly under two months I’ve gone from thriving in chaos to being OCD.

Clearly I am channeling my mother who is, of course, loving it.

Speaking of my mother, when I moved her out of her apartment and Continue reading

A weekend filled with memories …

I am not someone who has ever enjoyed cleaning out closets and drawers.  Mine have always been Tidyingover-stuffed, out of control and dare I say, messy. Eventually, though, even I have had enough and I put time aside to attack them.

This past weekend was just such a time.  I’m particularly motivated for two reasons:  I have lost weight and I  knew I’d find clothes in smaller sizes and also, I want to move.  And there’s no way I can even think about moving until Continue reading