Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Waking Up with Brandi Carlile

I wake up with Brandi Carlile every day. She makes me smile first thing every morning. I wish I could say that I sleep with her, too. But, the fact is, it is only her voice on my wake-up CD that brings me into every new day. And, her version of Bryan Adams’ Heaven is my song of choice.

We all have people we admire. People we crush on. Those we can only dream of meeting. Like those on your Hollywood-Who-Would-You-Do? list. Besides my old favorites of Jodie Foster and Angelina Jolie, Brandi Carlile is a relative newcomer that has joined the top 3…and they are in no particular order.

One of my album covers. Lots of great tunes.

As far as an ideal woman goes, Brandi seems to be very ideal. She’s so easy on the eyes, she just melts your insides (well, mine anyways). She has a smile that, well, melts my insides. She’s funny and personable. Gosh, can she sing! With a voice that also melts my insides. And, to see her play guitar and piano is just a bonus.

I’ve seen her 4 times in various venues. Biggest was at LL Bean in Freeport, Maine when she opened for the Indigo Girls. I was also lucky enough to see her perform a few songs with just a handful of people at WCLZ’s Studio Z in South Portland. I was so close to her, I know I breathed her air.

This is my one clear photo of Brandi leaving the WCLZ studios.
She didn't have time to stay for photos and we couldn't take pics during the performance.
For a slide show of that performance, click here.

Even though I had the biggest grin every time I saw her, I am not a stalker. Brandi, if you’re reading this, I am definitely not the stalker type. I rarely get all in a tussle about celebrities. I’d like to think they are just ordinary people like us. As an outsider we don’t know what they are truly like; what makes them tick. I like to think that I’m a good judge of character and can see the good in people. She seems like good people.

Anyway, back to waking up with Brandi… with a soft and almost haunting guitar, she sings Heaven to me every morning. It starts off with ‘Oh, thinkin’ about our younger years, there was only you and me, we were young and wild and free…’ until the chorus of:

Baby you’re all that I want
When you’re lyin’ here in my arms
I’m findin’ it hard to believe
We’re in heaven
And love is all that I need
And I found it there in your heart
It isn’t too hard to see
We’re in heaven

It’s a song of love. Of hopeful love. Of love that is so true and caring. Like being in Heaven on earth with the one you’re meant to be with. There is that one special person out there for each of us. The one, that when we find them, we feel like we can live on just the feeling of love alone with them. So, until she comes along and until I can wake up with her everyday, I’m just going to keep waking up with Brandi Carlile. For now, she's my little piece of Heaven.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chewy Coffee and Other Such Palate Pleasers

Sometimes things don’t happen the way you think they will, but you just go with them anyway. Why not? Why not experience something different? Something out of the norm?

Like today. I had chewy coffee. Something went awry with the way I used my French Press coffee maker. The first hint should have been when it shot wet coffee grounds all over my kitchen counter. But, I just cleaned it up and moved on.

Love the morning ritual of  making coffee in my French Press.
Poured my hazelnut creamer. Poured my coffee. Noticed a few floaters that sunk before my eyes. All was most enjoyable and yummy until the bottom of the cup.

Hmm. Coffee with a bite? Literally. I found myself chewing my last few sips (can I even say “sip?”) of coffee. It caught me off guard, but instead of spitting it out, I found myself experiencing it. Why? Why not? I’ve chewed on coffee beans before to sample their flavor and I’ve eaten chocolate covered espresso beans for the kick. Not a lot different. It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

The unsuspecting cup of coffee.

 I’ve had other beverages before, too, that haven’t been typical. Alo makes several flavors of juice with chunks of aloe vera in them. Juice with chew.  And, I’ve tried carbonated milk. A supposed Persian treat. Not so much in my world.

Day in and day out, we have expectations of things being a certain way. If they aren’t that way, how do we deal with them? Do we rebel or roll? Today was my day where things weren’t exactly as I expected. I had chewy coffee. But, in the big scheme of things, it was something so small. How you handle the little things can say a lot about how you handle the big things in life.

So, how do you chew your coffee?


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dating Butterflies or Attack of the Locusts?

I was talking to a friend about dating last night. She hasn’t been on a date since her husband died six years ago. I’m trying to coax her back into the dating scene. If you haven’t dated in six years or even six months, it can be scary.

She remembers back to her dating days and how hard it can be. You make connections. Maybe from an online dating site. You email. You text. You might talk on the phone. You go on a date. Maybe more. All in hopes of meeting someone who would be compatible with you. And you with them. Isn’t that the hope? Finding happily ever after?

Sometimes, it seems to work. You have that feeling when you first meet someone and find yourself instantly attracted to them. This could be the one, you think. Your heart races. You feel warm all over. Your stomach flips. You feel butterflies.

Aahh...those pretty butterflies...

So, you go on more dates. You spend more and more time together. Things come up. Good things. Bad things. Little red flags may appear. But, they’re little. You overlook them. You focus on the good that you see in that person.

Things may get serious. There is talk of the future. But then, as my Six Years Single Friend described it, those initial butterflies turn to locusts. And not the few in your belly. We’re talking like the plague of locusts here. Get the can of Raid out and get the heck out of Dodge!

Plague of the locusts.

It’s a wonder why we try it again after we’ve been subjected to the locusts. I think it’s just part of human nature to want to be with someone. We all want to be loved, appreciated and have companionship. So we keep at it until we find that perfect someone who will make it all worth our time. That someone who gives us butterlies.

Sometimes the bugs in our lives are bigger than we want.
This is actually a giant bug sculpture at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA.

 So, go out there and find some butterflies, my friend! Just run like hell if the locusts come to town!

Have you experienced the locusts? Care to share? Comment below!

My Chick Read

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blonde Word Problems

I realized again after helping my Youngest with her math homework just how much I despise math word problems. It may really be math in general, but I just don’t get the purpose of some of those problems. (I need to apologize to all my coworkers who teach math. Sorry. I like you. Just not your subject). They always sound like such jibberish to me and I honestly can’t come up with one time when I’ve had a real life reason to solve one since learning them in school.

I know there are a few Calvin & Hobbes cartoons by Bill Watterson where Calvin had to solve some of these word problems and I’d try to solve those right along with him. His answers made complete sense to me. But, he’s Calvin and he rocks.

Calvin rocks.
I painted this silly picture over 20 years ago
 when I had a "southwestern theme" going.

It got me to thinking about word problems. I came up with one. Maybe you can help me solve it? Here goes…

Six of my friends and I are each driving from various parts of Maine with the intention of meeting in Portland. We each have 3 to 6 various baked goods in our possession. Half of us have cookies. Half of us have cupcakes. And half of us (insert a ‘wtf’ here if you aren’t blonde) have scones and puff pastries. We are in our cars traveling somewhere between 35 and 65 mph. Some are listening to the radio. Two are listening to iPods or CDs. One is listening to NPR. Four have their windows cracked for the fresh air. Five have sunglasses on and 4 have their visors down.

Who doesn't love baked goods?

Where would we meet? At what time and how many total baked goods would we have?

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking we’d meet at a great place just in time for Happy Hour. We’d all be smiling because of what we were listening to and because it was a sunny day. And there wouldn’t be any baked goods left because we are all sugar-addicted women and because we’d need something in our bellies to soak up the Happy Hour beverages that we’d immediately be partaking in. How’s that for math?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Art of the Half Bath

When I moved into my place almost two years ago, one of the things I knew I wasn’t going to be crazy about was the bathtub. Not that I’d ever been a huge bath taker, but when you want to soak and relax, it’s nice to have the option.

In my mind, in my dream home, I have a large, spacious bathroom. Warm with natural materials. Asian-influenced. With a large, deep tub. Large enough for two. And, maybe with jets.

So, back to my place. I do have a tub. It’s kind of weird, though. The length is standard (well, short standard but the same length my parents have in their bathrooms). Problem is, when you look at it, it seems like it should be a normal depth tub. But, when you step into it, you step up. My tub is an optical illusion.

Even when you're little, your tub may only cover you half way.

My home was built in 1972. Maybe people didn’t take baths in 1972? No, that’s about when my parents built their house. We took baths growing up. My mom still takes one every day. It has always been her place to read with a good book.

Well, since I’ve been here, for the most part, I hadn’t taken a lot of baths. Until recently. I finally accepted that my tub is what it is. I’m trying to be grateful for what I do have in my life. At least I have a tub. I have friends who only have showers in their apartments. They don’t even have a tubbing option. I appreciate what I do have in my life and I’ll make the best of it.

If my toes are up, my knees are under. If my toes are under, my knees are up.

So, I’ve begun a nightly bath ritual. I fill my tub (which I almost over-filled last night because I had a blonde moment and got busy doing dishes and chatting with a friend on the phone while the water was running and I don’t have an overflow valve). I add either Epsom salts or baking soda and essential oils. My favorites are a combination of eucalyptus and lavender. I light candles. I put on music. Usually something relaxing like Madeleine Peyroux or Norah Jones. And I climb in. I scootch in as far down as I can. And I relax.

It really isn’t as bad as I joke. Sure, it isn’t super deep and my knees can’t soak with the rest of my body, but it is relaxing. I’m thankful for all that I have in my life. I’m thankful that I can make a ritual of taking a bath. Even if it is only a half bath.

Tell me about your tubbing rituals… Are you a bather? What kind of tub do you have? What would you like to have if you don’t have your ideal? Leave your thoughts and comments below!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Woman Seeking Woman

Just my funny side kicking in today...

Yea, it's similar to that man wanting the fishing boat thing that went around years ago, I know. But, I woke up thinking about coffee. And women. The perfect woman. Is there such a thing?

Please leave comments below! Thank you.