Tuesday, December 27, 2011

3 gifts! (but no...gold, frankincense and myrrh)

Tis the season to be giving! I've decided that I'm going to give all of you, some of my wisdom this festive week! To give away that which you don't have much of... oh BOY! that's truly a special gift! So get ready to jot this s**t down!! Some of our wisdom is passed down to us from our parents. Some of our social graces as well! For instance, it was my mom who instilled in me, that if you EVER visit someone without at least a piece of cake in your hand, you better prepare yourself for a visit to the bowels of hell as well. She also taught me to say please and thank-you and to send a thank you note when you receive a gift. HOWEVER, What she never taught me about but what I want to 'gift' to you today is... 'the day after phone call'. It was my friend Flora who passed on this warm social grace to me about 10 years ago! Many of you may already be practicing this one,(Your mom may have been one up on mine!! ) Good for you! (hopefully you will enjoy my other fabulous gifts...smartiepants!)

Any time we're invited to a home for a celebration (cake or lasagna in hand!!) Any time someone has us over for a dinner and especially a HOLIDAY dinner, where you know your hostess has killed herself to make this lovely visit possible... it's SO considerate/lovely/gracious/loving/friendly..... to make sure you CALL her the day after!!!
SO often, you sit with your significant other, reflecting on the day before .... "AWW Flora went to sooo much trouble, wasn't her shrimp scampi delicious? and she even used the good china!" so how wonderful is it to pick up the phone and TELL HER this!?? it's freaking wonderful! trust me! I can't believe HOW many years it took me to begin this crucial ritual!! I used to just say thank you as I hugged myself out their door. Whenever I host as I just did this past weekend and I DON'T get the day after phone call, I usually feel a bit disappointed until I remind myself that not EVERYONE has been gifted this amazing bit of kindhearted wisdom!! (so pass it on!)
Trust me... and try it next time! you will make your host feel so GReat!! (and great things you do ...always come back to you!) (If they're smart enough to learn from you doing it!!!)

GIFT #2!!- the easy knot!!! when my kids were too little to tie their shoes and their shoes were always untying, I learned how to do a knot that UNlike that damn DOUBLE knot that always frustrates and makes your nails split... will EASILY Pull apart when YOU'RE ready to untie!!! GREAT stuff here at Lucy's petals, NO??
step 1- make that first loop
step2- wrap the other lace around the first loop as you normally would but here comes...
STEP 3!- when you pull the lace around the first loop and into itself... CONTINUE until it's ALL the way thru! NOW....
step 4- make a loop with it (bunny ear for those still raising babies) and tie the two ears together!!! Unlike just tying two bunny ears together.... doing it my way allows for you to just pull One lace and it will ALL untie!!! (i bet NOTHING in your stocking was equivalent
to this one!) everyday as you do this NEW better way of tying...my name should fondly pass thru your brain!

Gift 3- OHIO. my acronym for ONly Handle it Once! Bills, thank you cards, thank you CALLS, dr.s appointments, replying to emails, rebate slips, filing, refilling scripts, following thru on anything!... GET IT DONE the first time you touch it, talk about it, THINK of it! If I didn't follow my OHIO rule, my life would be even more unorganized than it already is!

So...begin tying the lucy way NoW! then hurry up and call your Christmas hosts! OH... but wait! don't think you're popping back here later tonight...that never happens.... FIRST...drop me a comment!! and in case I don't get back to blogland (OHIO)Wishing you all a VERY healthy, fun, loving and FESTIVE NEW Year!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

the JOY in gift giving ;)

Having small children can really limit a couples intimacy time. When our boys were young, active and ALWAYS within earshot... mr. petals and I found a crafty way to grab some... eh hem... Alone time!
We happened upon it accidently... We were locked up in our bedroom frantically rushing, wrapping the kids Christmas gifts one sunday afternoon. Within a few minutes the boys were knocking and asked... what are u doing in there? Mr. Petals replied... 'We are wrapping presents and If you stay in the den and play nice together while we are in here, we will give you ONE early Christmas gift when we're done! Excitedly they complied and excitedly we stole some extra time to unwrap each other, rustling a little foiled reindeer paper here and there, in case one of those little monkeys decided to listen by the door! So began our little genius charade to rendezvous!
After the new year, we decided to collect tiny, inexpensive treasures and keep them in a shopping bag in our bedroom closet. Fun erasers, plastic soldiers, pogs, fancy pencils, yoyo's, pokeman cards... ALREADY wrapped, READY to go! Sexy mr. petals (also, always ready to go) adopted a new 'line' when he wrapped his loving arms around me... "want to go wrap some presents??" It was Amazing how quiet and well behaved our boys would stay when they thought we were 'wrapping gifts' for them! Quite an innocent fib and small price to help keep our marriages love light burning!

The boys are grown now. No more excuses needed for alone time for us, We are empty nesters! But during Christmas time I often get nostalgic so with a wink and a smile I cuddle up to mr. petals and ask...
"Want to wrap some presents??"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A vote... for the importance of family

Today I read in the paper that the man who wrote "itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow Polka Dot Bikini" passed away. His name was lee Pockriss, he was 87. How many of you remember that song? I was only 1 when it was released but I have SUCH a vivid, wonderful memory of it.

When i was little, it was such a treat when we took (what had seemed like) the Looong trip into Queens to visit my cousin Terri's family.
Terri was born 4 years before me on the very same day. I always felt that gave us a special connection and I Always idolized her! As was very typical in Italian families, My Aunt Marie entertained in the finished basement of their Queens home, Not to Dare rustle the plastic on the 'good' furniture upstairs! The basement had a full kitchen with a dining table equipped for (what had then seemed like).. 52 people. The sauce was always simmering, the love was always brimming, the laughter...bountiful. Terri's dad, My mothers Brother Joe, always made me feel very special, very part of his beautiful family. Not having a dad of my own, I think that is part of the reason, those rare trips to their home always made me feel so warmhearted... yet afterward, so lonely..... longing for all that they shared.
On one of our trips to Uncle Joe's house, Terri asked me if I wanted to go 'UPSTAIRS' to the living room, to hear some records. I remember thinking she may get into trouble to venture to the 'forbidden' part of the house. Even though I was her younger cousin, Terri Never made me feel it was a chore to entertain me. She was always so kind to me, always with that gorgeous big smile! When she played the record 'polka dot bikini', I was sooo excited and thought it the most fun song I had ever heard. I think she must have played that song for me, at least 10 times! ( It was also fun to peak into the actual kitchen, across the way, to see what it looked like!)
As I grew, Terri and I became pen pals. Through her letters to me, I followed her career, her crush on the boy down the street, their dating, their engagement! When I was 16 she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids at their wedding! You can imagine how exciting that was for me!
Through the years my husband and I became close friends with Terri and her husband and even though they moved out of our state a very long time ago and we don't get to see them often... My heart will always hold a very special place for them. For All of them... uncle Joe who passed 5 years ago Aunt Marie , thoughtful and sweet.... and for Terri....for the beautiful memories that stir up.... with a song title or a pot of sundays spaghetti sauce.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bird Dog Molly


Monday, April 18, 2011

'Follow Your Bliss....

Hard to believe but April 20th marks 5 years since I began this blog! It all began when my friend Ann mentioned she had a blog and I asked her WTF is a blog? After hearing me complain that I wish I had MORE to do with this expensive computer than just dust it, she began explaining it to me and encouraging me to start my own. First I questioned her ... What do I have to write about? Since her blog had a knitting theme, I knew I had NO theme at all. She encouraged me to write about the funny experiences in my salon, my life, day to day stuff. Second, I said... I would NEVER be techie enough to know how to even begin, but being a good egg, she talked me through it step by step, H T T P this and mumbley jumble that. A blog was born! (thanks so much again Ann!)

So here I am, 5 years later! 683 posts under my belt (or finger tips.) Nearly 25,ooo views. I've written about a lot of this and that including stories from my hair salon and some of my wacky/lovable clients! The thing about blogging that I had never expected when I began? I've met such wonderful people through this forum, including one very special soul sister, who I treasure and I know I will be friends with forever! Blogging seemed to open other doors as well. For me, it seemed to help take me out of what I now view as a 'comfortable BLAH'. Maybe it was depression? I am in such a social job and talk and laugh with (mostly) women all day, but I felt I wanted to socialize more, I wanted to surround myself with More outings, more of my old friends, also make new friends but I seemed trapped in this unfulfilled yet totally unmotivated mode of .... "eh, I'm not in the mood!" Not in the mood to call a friend, plan a lunch date, have more company, Meet more people, initiate friendships, PUT MYSELF OUT THERE! I worked and raised my kids and occasionally went out with couple friends, gathered with family but inside I just wasn't feeling ..... complete. My husband constantly encouraged me to make more friends, one way being... get friendlier with the clients that he knew I really loved. I always said 'nah'. I don't want to.

The changes that have happened to me in the last 5 years are amazing. Little by little, with the cathartic outlet of writing, I got back to the friendly, outgoing Lucy that I always used to be. (I swear NO meds either!! haha) I am so lucky to have many amazing women in my life. Women NEED women. I don't care if your husband is your best friend and a gem, WE NEED OUR GIRLFRIENDS too!!! Many who at one time were my clients! I think of how many of them I used to turn down when they asked me to get together with them. Thankfully I turned that social leaf or I would Never be living the life I am currently living. Key word- Living! I feel so much more fulfilled and happy.
About two years ago, One dear client/friend came into my salon ALL excited because she had just tried a New thing called.. Zumba! She rushed in and said...I know how much you Love to dance...You HAVE to come to zumba with me!! the old me? I would have made some half ass excuse but the new me said... I would love to! I think of that and how far I've come with this as well, and I still can't believe that I've embarked upon teaching DANCE/FITNESS classes at my stage of life! I feel this has been an amazing accomplishment and I've never felt this proud of myself.... EVER!

I didn't start this post with a clue of what to write about this anniversary or even a POINT to make! but I now know what my point is.... GET OUT THERE! DON't be afraid to get your ass out of whatever blah comfort spot you're in. Open doors! One thing leads to even better things! First blogging and now through Zumba, I've met even MORE wonderful, dear friends, who I treasure and who I will be friends with forever. I can't imagine if I wouldn't have ventured out to that first class and from there ventured out to that first workshop to become a certified zumba teacher. Don't get me wrong...EVERy step of the way, I second guessed myself, my abilities, my SANITy!! but I DID it! Life is so freaking short... it's NOT a dress rehearsal.. we can't keep thinking...'another day' 'another time'. Open new doors, DO New things and open new paths! THIS is it! Your time! What are you going to do to make it more blissful? It would be a great anniversary gift if you share with me... what your desire is and HOW you're going to MAKE it happen!! thanks for listening!
" the doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The word angel comes from angelos which is the Greek word for messenger

I haven' t blogged in such a long time but just like that treasured longtime girlfriend that You always know will be there for you, no matter how much time has passed between lunch dates with her... my blog too, is here when I need it to be. There is something comforting about this outlet.

I feel I need some comforting this week, my heart seems extra heavy with the weight of so many significant concerns and on top of them so many odd things triggering the pain of many memories of sooo long ago. It's worrisome for me when I find myself STILL pained by memories that are so long past and usually SO long forgotten. I imagine I have these heartaches hidden away in the darkest corners of my being, being guarded behind a locked, darkened window by some type of keeper. Lately though, it's like this little keeper has been a mischievous girl, prying open the window, allowing random, silly triggers to blow in and stir up all those dusty stored piles of hurt feeling, neglect and unfulfilled needs and allowing them to flow out. They flutter up up up, around and around and land heavily on my heart and mind.

Yesterday, I found myself wondering if this keeper is a little rascal or is she perhaps more a messenger Angel of sorts, pushing me to do something about all this antiquated, unwanted clutter.

THREE times this week, a book that had triggered much trouble from this messenger when I had originally read it, was brought up in conversation to me. 'A tree grows in Brooklyn.' I can't even write, read or hear the title, without it evoking the same heavy heart that reading it gave me. When I had read that book, I found myself taking out my old worn out notebook of notes, that I occasionally gathered in my life, notes that I had put up on a shelf and forgot about. Feverishly writing memory after hurtful memory, deliriously intending to one day organize it into some kind of book about my crazy life story! But now, Three times in one week? Along with hearing many emotional songs that are acting as triggers like the poignant song 'farmers daughter' by Crystal Bowersox, which has a few lines that move me to tears. How can ALL these signs not be some kind of message?? Maybe my angel is messengering me to FIND the tattered notebook and take IT AND that 'crazy' dream of writing my novel off the shelf and like a good spring cleaning, open up the window and sweep up every messy corner of my soul.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


So my mom calls me crying yesterday. She has been 'fired' from her VOLUNTEER job!
My mom, who will be 82 this year, has dedicated 10 years of her life to helping at this hospital, 8 hours each week. EVERY time I speak to her she tells me that she LIVES for this job! Through these 10 years, She has been nominated for volunteer of the year, She has sent me copies of letters from people praising her kindness and help. She was even praised in the local paper after helping a patients daughter, who just happened to be a reporter. Mom sits in the surgery waiting area and is there to answer the phone and communicate with family members while their loved ones are having surgery. She is also allowed to call the recovery room and inquire about the patients condition if the family member requests that. Their reason for 'asking her to leave' is that the nurse (bitch?) in the recovery room claims my mom called one day 8 times. Mom denies it was that often. The same nurse also claims that she over heard my mom telling a family member that they couldn't have any more cookies. ( insert my 'what the F*** expression here)
I know they say there are always 3 sides to every story, yours, their's and the truth. All I know is WHATEVER the real story is... this is Bullshit! Are they aware that this woman has lost 3 husbands, buried all her siblings, lives alone, thrives on getting out to be kind and helpful to strangers, is extremely compassionate and completely Harmless?? I am so heart broken for her. I offered to call the director of volunteers to just convey my moms feelings better and question the problem. Mom agreed and actually was relieved to have someone step in. Well, I left a cell message yesterday,but have not heard back yet.
In all fairness, to try to tell THEIR side of the story fairly... they DID offer to send her to another facility to help out. Although that sounds nice, I didn't care for them wording it to her that it's 'Like a promotion". She is not 12. Please don't patronize my mother. My mother is so comfortable in her current position and location. She knows all the doctors and they all joke with her and hug her and this adds to making her days there delightful. Sending an elderly woman to a new location and calling it a promotion is adding insult to injury, in my opinion.
If this director doesn't call me back by tuesday (giving her the 3 day weekend). I am considering trying to contact the head of the hospital. I already searched the website and I don't see an email address for him, but I am hoping their main Number can connect me. Not sure if I can help my mom, but this fire in my belly is propelling me to give it my best try.
What would you do? Any suggestions or comments would be so appreciated!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Merry Stress-free Christmas!

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas! I am going to write myself an ecard and date it for december of 2011 to remind myself of how I was feeling THIS Christmas. What are we all doing?? We are making ourselves needlessly crazy, overworked and certainly Broke! I feel like I already have REALLy cut back on the materialism of Christmas over the years but we need to stop even the little bit of silly spending and needless shopping and craziness that we are doing. A few days after Christmas I was in Kohls department store, NOT returning thankfully, but checking if my sons favorite jeans were finally in stock. The amount of Miserable looking people that I saw waiting on the ridiculously long return line, feeling overheated in their winter coats and boggled down with bags of Unwanted gifts made my heart drop! I thought of the gift givers who were in the Same long line feeling the same stress BEFORE Christmas while buying these items. All that time, effort, money....What is it all for?
Jesus?? I don't think he would care for this! Love? Thoughtfulness?? I stopped and thought about the gifts I received this year and years past that were my absolute favorites...

A few days before Christmas, my middle son was telling his sweet girlfriend about HOW delicious my traditional 'ballie' cookies are and how much she will love them. I overheard him explaining how it's become a tradition to eat these as we open our gifts Christmas morning. I felt so bad to inform him that this year with HOW crazy work and getting ready for Christmas was, I wasn't going to get the time to make them! He looked so upset! Meanwhile, this was all said, only a few minutes after they were racking their brains to think of WhAT to get my husband and I for Christmas. I kept saying ..'Don't spend money! we don't need anything".... So then it dawned on me.. I said..
do you both want to get me the absolute BEST gift?? Make the ballie cookies!!! I'll give you the recipe! ( and I'll give it to you at the end of this rant) So his girlfriend said... Oh, we can do that and then i can buy you a beautiful dish or tin to put them in!!! I said..
Honey, I have too many freaking dishes too many freaking tins!! JUST MAKE THE COOKIES!!!
Well.. they did!! and they were more beautiful than mine (which I usually rush through!) and they were delicious and allowed us our tradition!

The same thing happened with my eldest son,
Like last year, on Christmas eve day, he spent 3 hours in his apartment making two huge trays of his DELICIOUS eggplant parm. for our company. Afterwards, as he put his wrapped gifts under our tree he said... Mom, I didn't know what to get you this year, and picked something stupid. I said.. Sweetheart... you didn't need to get anything.. you just gave me the greatest gift in the world! Your Eggplant!!! Your talent!!! and I truly mean it! These WERE my best two gifts!
I know this is far from a NEW concept, most of us do a little of this. But, Compared to what we usually do at Christmas, wouldn't it just be a walk in the park and SO meaningful if we ONLY give gifts of ourselves next year? cooking, baking, knitting, painting, babysitting, crafts... whatever your talent or ability. Give of yourself. No wrapping necessary! Make it last all year, with notes like... I owe you a day of babysitting each month in 2011! From my husband, I'd like a note that says... 'I gift you an hour foot rub each week!" what do you think??
No return lines to torture your loved ones with! What better way to show them how much they mean to you? I would love to hear from those of you who HAVE already adopted this tradition!
enlighten us with any ideas you have! Happy Healthy 2011 blog buddies! xox