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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Calm Seas with Sis

I'm in a quiet place.

A clean, streamlined place. No dust bunnies lurking in corners. No piles of dishes. No clutter.

It's nice to have several calm days with my Sis.....she is still recovering after her May mastectomy...and now the reconstruction process, which is gradual......the surgery for that, to finalize it after a series of "fills" with fluid, is September 3. I'm hoping to be there and back home in time for Punchy's first day of middle school that Thursday.

Dan working at an event in Boston....Punchy will be away for a full two weeks....it's really long....I miss her. She has been texting me fairly often from Mimi's phone or her own iPad, when allowed to use it. Dan and I driving down Thursday to Mimi's and Poppy's, stay over one night in little cottage on lake next to their house, drive back with Punch on Friday.

Inevitably, we will hit a speed bump in life and emotions. That typically happens when Punch returns from a visit at Mimi's [her paternal grandma's; Mimi is 55] or, a rarer occurrence, her birth mom's. Even if we love her with all our hearts, and our home is her home, it has to feel like a bounce.

It's been so hot, Sis and I have been taking it slow. We did little things, like cash in $132 worth of coins in the supermarket coin machine, grocery shop, return a library book, drop something off at Goodwill. She doesn't want to swim and it was hot as hell, too hot to go out on a chartered sailboat....it's just good to see each other and talk. Tomorrow, we are invited to brunch at her friends' house. We hope to walk to and from 9 a.m. Mass.

I walked Buttercup today and we were both so hot...she barely wanted to proceed. But I picked her little self up and carried her over the hot blacktop parking lot, and we covered a little ground by the marina.

TCOY
  1. Talking to Sis. This has not been an easy process for my sister. I'm glad I can be here.
  2. Had veggies at lunch and dinner. Sis makes sure I eat veggies. It's caring.
$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET TODAY IN STAMFORD, CT:
  • Little Buddha Thai restaurant, took Sis to lunch, with tip, $35.62.
  • The Paper Store, a navy cross-body bag [purse] because the zipper broke on my older one on Friday; one great little Cape Cod-theme notebook; and a card Sis bought. She had a 25 percent coupon off the bag--so $17 savings. $65.93.
  • Oo La La, large iced coffee and 3 chocolate-covered pretzels for us, $8.24.
TOTAL DAILY SPEND: $109.79.
RUNNING TOTAL FOR MONTH AS OF JULY 20 [AND STARTING JULY 5]: $1,010.67.
AVERAGE DAILY SPEND SO FAR: $63.16.


Big-ticket firecracker items in July: *Marcel bkfast w Punch and loaf of bread, $29; *Tory Burch sandals, $111; Starbucks Camp day, $94 [I subtracted the Bear Mountain pickles and peaches]; Punch bday gifts for friend + tiramisu w Elaine, $37; Joyist to write, + Punch drop-in, $30; one day of Joyist Reset Meal Plan, $35; Elixir of Love body creme, $30; Kings, groceries to make Bobbi Brown website chocolate-chip cookie dough, plus candle holder and votive, $32; and Nest Fragrances candles/lip balm website order, $82; took Sis to Thai restaurant for lunch, $36; and The Paper Store, cross-body bag, notebook, etc., $66.






Friday, July 19, 2019

Dog Day Afternoon 

So hot and humid! But Sis and I took a 30-minute walk at 11 a.m. And we brought dinner to the deck at Greenwich Point with her friends, Margaret and Walter. Steamy hot there tonight, but oh so pretty. Seagulls stood at the ready nearby.
Going to sleep.

$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET
  • Liquor store, rose wine in a box to bring to beach deck, $22.43.
  • Snack shack on Greenwich Point deck, cup of ice, bottle of water, etc plus $1 tip, $8.45.
  • Gelato place in Cos Cob, cups for Sis, Walter and me plus $1 tip, $16.42.
Total daily spend: $47.30.
Will update monthly stats tomorrow.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Big Screen: Marianne & Leonard Words of Love


Oh, this documentary! Punchy is with Mimi on vacay--a big breather for us and fun for P.--and I went to see this alone at the Clairidge in Montclair Tuesday night. [Dan and Fig chose a horror movie.]

I mean I was really alone--the only one at the 9:40 p.m. showing. Private screening.

It was so good. I love Leonard Cohen--the pacing of his beautiful "So Long, Marianne" and "Suzanne," and of course, the moving, soul-stirring "Hallelujah." The references to angels, a choir--I didn't know he grew up in a well-off Jewish family in Montreal. That his mother was "mad as a hatter." He also lived in a monastery for five years in the 1990s, serving his guru. What a remarkable man and what a remarkable life.

The footage and interviews in this documentary....amazing. Click on videos at this link to see. I've read about Leonard as an older man, but what a good-looking young man. Crush. And Marianne--his beautiful muse, and inspiration for the song by that name. Their lives intersected from youth, when they met on a Greek island in the free-love 1960s, until they died 3 months apart in 2016.

I love him even more now. Filmmaker Nick Broomfield, you have a keen observer's and editor's eye. And the idea that all of this footage even exists!!!!! Wow.

The film is about 2 hours long. Hard not to settle in with Twizzlers or dark chocolate Raisinets, but I #resisted.

Signing off from Sis's in Connecticut. Came for a summer visit!

TCOY
  1. Got to 7 a.m. support group.
  2. Walked around the block when I got back, though it was pouring rain and Sugar wouldn't join me. Want to exercise more, for body and soul. Paused to look at rolling brook. Held umbrella high.
  3. Walked from Port Authority to Grand Central with about 50? lbs. of luggage on my back and shoulder, counting CPAP machine, books, etc.
  4. Had healthy salad at lunch with Sis at Pershing Square Cafe, across from Grand Central on 42nd Street. I had never been to that well-known spot before.
  5. Our cousin Linda and her husband, Joe, were driving back from Maine and stopped to see Sis and take us both out to dinner. So good to catch up. Lin and we cherish the memory of our dads, 2/3 of the Garbarini brother trio.
  6. Drank lots of ice water today.
  7. Short walk with Butter.
$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET
  • DeCamp bus ticket from Montclair to NYC, about $7.60.
  • Kreuther Chocolate, handcrafted 71 percent cacao dark chocolate in pretty wrapper for Sis, with tax, $9.80. I haven't tried it, but hope it's good.
  • Le Pain Quotidien on Canal Street in Stamford, large cold brew iced coffee plus $1 tip, $5.78.
TOTAL DAILY SPEND: $23.18.
RUNNING TOTAL FOR MONTH AS OF JULY 18 [AND STARTING JULY 5]: $857.18.
AVERAGE DAILY SPEND SO FAR: $61.22.


Big-ticket firecracker items in July: *Marcel bkfast w Punch and loaf of bread, $29; *Tory Burch sandals, $111; Starbucks Camp day, $94 [I subtracted the Bear Mountain pickles and peaches]; Punch bday gifts for friend + tiramisu w Elaine, $37; Joyist to write, + Punch drop-in, $30; one day of Joyist Reset Meal Plan, $35; Elixir of Love body creme, $30; Kings, groceries to make Bobbi Brown website chocolate-chip cookie dough, plus candle holder and votive, $32; and Nest Fragrances candles/lip balm website order, $82.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Better to Light Just One Little Candle

I follow @LauraSlatkin on Instagram. I love her beautiful hairstyle, her fashion sense and her tabletop photos. She is the founder of Nest Fragrances and co-founder of NEXT for Autism. She has two beautiful kids, a young adult son and daughter. Her son has autism.

When I went to Atlantic City for a quick overnight with Punch during spring break in April, I blogged about the little blue Nest candle I bought at Blue Mercury down there in that casino mall on the boardwalk. In a city past its heyday, a bit down on its heels, and overall, pretty unfamiliar to me, this candle was a luxury and a comfort. It smelled sooooo good. It transported me to another place. Oh, the power of that little flickering light, that intoxicating Blue Garden scent. I have been wanting to get another, and now Nest makes lip balms and body care, too.

So...I worked at home today and applied for another job and washed my dresses and skirts in Woolite on the delicates cycle--and I spent some money on Nest, with 15 percent discount code and free shipping. The votives have 20-hour burn time; the classic, 50 hours. Trust me, these will bring beauty into our home and on our Cape Cod vacation in early August. This was truly a serenity investment.

Good night to you.

$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET
  • NestFragrances.com. The company donates 10% of the retail price on all items in the Blue Garden Collection to Autism Speaks. Ocean Mist & Coconut Water Lip Balm SPF 15, $16; same scent votive candle, $16; Blue Garden votive candle, $16; Blue Garden classic candle, $42; and two free samples: mini Blue Garden votive candle and Ocean Mist wet & dry wipes, plus $5 tax and with $13.50 discount, $81.57.
 TOTAL DAILY SPEND: $81.57. 
RUNNING TOTAL FOR MONTH AS OF JULY 17 [AND STARTING JULY 5]: $834.
AVERAGE DAILY SPEND SO FAR: $64.15.

I'm having trouble cutting and pasting now but this Nest spend definitely goes on my list of big-ticket firecracker items in July.




Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Arctic Blast at Home!

Dan went out Saturday and got a big A.C. for our dining room. We are loving it, and I even worked at home today, mostly in comfort.

TCOY
  1. Biked to 7 a.m. support group. Found comfort there.
  2. Made a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough--you roll it in balls and eat, unbaked, as a snack. Almond flour, unsweetened coconut, Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips, no cupfuls of sugar or sticks of butter. It's vegan and calls for Bobbi Brown's EVOLUTION_18 Overnight Vanilla supplement [don't think that is vegan] but I didn't have that; it's on back order. I added some pure vanilla extract. Nor did I have home-soaked or store-bought cashew butter. I substituted peanut butter. I think it would be much better with cashew butter. Next time. My cookie monster verdict: Might be better with the vanilla supplement, too. The treats are not very sweet. And photo of dough on website looks much lighter than mine, due to my PB vs. purer, paler cashew butter. Fig working at campus lab so I don't have her verdict yet.
  3. Worked; writing a consumer/health piece for Brain & Life Magazine. Enjoy donning reporter's visor.
  4. Private Benjamin appointment. Life feels lighter when I talk to my therapist about depression, money, job hunt, parenting, marriage, most everything.
$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET
  • Kings supermarket, Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips, Bob's Red Mill almond flour [pricey $11.99 per lb. bag], 2 cans Bumblebee tuna, 1 blue glass candle lantern to hang from our dwarf apple tree tonight, and one votive candle to put in it, about $32.
  • Uber to Private Benjamin 4:30 appt, plus tip, $9.82. [Dan drove car to Clifton Public Library to write there.]
  • Uber back from appt, plus tip, $9.63.
  • Yet another Uber home from the movies [Dan and Fig went to a horror movie, they like those] and I went to a great documentary I will write about here. $10.
TOTAL DAILY SPEND: $61.45.
RUNNING TOTAL FOR MONTH AS OF JULY 16 [AND STARTING JULY 5]: $752.43.
JULY AVERAGE DAILY SPEND: $62.70.

Big-ticket firecracker items in July: *Marcel bkfast w Punch and loaf of bread, $29; *Tory Burch sandals, $111; Starbucks Camp day, $94 [I subtracted the Bear Mountain pickles and peaches]; Punch bday gifts for friend + tiramisu w Elaine, $37; Joyist to write, + Punch drop-in, $30; one day of Joyist Reset Meal Plan, $35; Elixir of Love body creme, $30; Kings, groceries to make Bobbi Brown website chocolate-chip cookie dough, plus candle holder and votive, $32.



Monday, July 15, 2019

Rounding the Bend

Remember I prepaid for a day of the Joyist Reset Meal Plan on Friday? So I enjoyed it today, when I went to write at Joyist. It was a lot of healthy food--and a tall organic iced coffee, too--and I even brought some of the meal home.

Rounding the dark bend in the road--feeling better.

TCOY
  1. Weeded garden for a while.
  2. Walked to town, 20 minutes.
  3. Ate that healthy Joyist food.
  4. Made scallops and steamed asparagus for dinner.
  5. Dan and I walked Sug around the block tonight.
$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET
  • Sun Graphics, two copies of Punchy's multipage dr. visit/immunization report for upcoming week of camp [July 29]. For this one, I mailed in hard copy. $1.50.
  • Post Office, biz-size envelope w postage to mail Punch dr. report, 69 cents.
  • Joyist, one "Natalie" pink velvet/beet root blend to give to lovely Maddy, Patsy's teen daughter, who popped in to see me on a visit to Montclair from Colorado, and one mock/healthy Twix bar, $13.
TOTAL DAILY SPEND: $15.19.
RUNNING TOTAL FOR MONTH AS OF JULY 15 [AND STARTING JULY 5]: $690.98.
JULY AVERAGE DAILY SPEND: $62.82.

Big-ticket firecracker items in July: *Marcel bkfast w Punch and loaf of bread, $29; *Tory Burch sandals, $111; Starbucks Camp day, $94 [I subtracted the Bear Mountain pickles and peaches]; Punch bday gifts for friend + tiramisu w Elaine, $37; Joyist to write, + Punch drop-in, $30; one day of Joyist Reset Meal Plan, $35; Elixir of Love body creme, $30.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”

I'm devouring a book called The Shack and at the beginning of each chapter, the author has a quote. The one in this post title, from Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran, reached me, went straight to my head and my heart. I kept thinking the words over and over again...a wall between two gardens...beauty and growth on both sides....sadness is but a wall. It really propelled me....I weeded, took long bath, leisurely walk with Sug, enjoyed Dan's salad for dinner and we talked.

TOTAL DAILY SPEND: ZERO [though I did look at Bobbi Brown's website and want to order her chocolate and vanilla powders for smoothies and recipesboth products were out of stock, though, and so was my purse].
RUNNING TOTAL FOR MONTH AS OF JULY 14 [AND STARTING JULY 5]: $675.79.
JULY AVERAGE DAILY SPEND: $67.58.

Big-ticket firecracker items in July: *Marcel bkfast w Punch and loaf of bread, $29; *Tory Burch sandals, $111; Starbucks Camp day, $94 [I subtracted the Bear Mountain pickles and peaches]; Punch bday gifts for friend + tiramisu w Elaine, $37; Joyist to write, + Punch drop-in, $30; one day of Joyist Reset Meal Plan, $35; Elixir of Love body creme, $30.