Holiday Blahs

Ho Ho Ho, and all that jazz. It’s not quite bah, humbug, but it’s not that far off either.

My seasonal depression keeps me from fully embracing the spirit of the upcoming season, and this year feels a bit worse than any I can recall from recent memory. There’s no mystery as to why I’m feeling low–it’s knowing I won’t see my kids and grandkids at Thanksgiving or Christmas that’s weighing me down. It’ll just be Studly and me for both holidays.

The Christmas just after my mom died in late October, 1997, was worse than this, though. I still feel the weight of her loss during the holiday season more than any time of the year.

Some days it feels like a block of anguish around my neck, dragging me down, forming an insurmountable barrier to getting out of bed. Other days her absence is just a touch on my forehead, a reminder of what I miss most–my mother’s ability to make the pain go away.

The Christmas season comes with so many expectations. We should be happy and joyful, surrounded by the ones we love. But many will be alone and some will be depressed even in the midst of a happy crowd. If anyone needs a hug, I’ll send a virtual one.

Based on my previous experiences, I’ll manage to pull myself together before December 25, but until then don’t expect my happiest self. I’m just bah humbugging along for now.

Peace, and hang in there, people.

My Famous Pecan Pie

Yesterday I posted a true story of a heart wrenching encounter I had with a woman at Walmart in Tallahassee. I won’t retell it here, but I want to thank everyone for their comments and for sharing their own tales of times they’ve either confided in a stranger or had a stranger confide in them. I feel fortunate to have friends and followers with so much compassion for others.

Now, within yesterday’s post there was a casual mention of my “famous pecan pie.” Out of all the comments I received only one person, my cousin Elaine, inquired about the pie. I felt sure everyone would need my secret recipe for the perfect pecan pie, but I guess the heart-wrenching part of my story overshadowed the pie part.

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for any length of time know that I’m a zero in the kitchen. For awhile I regaled readers with my culinary escapades in a series of posts I called “Cooking for Studly.” For almost a year I planned meals and had dinner on the table every single night. Then one day Studly came home and relieved me of my chef’s hat.

“Honey,” he said, “I’ve decided I don’t want a big meal for dinner. From now on I’m having cottage cheese and fruit.”

Some women might’ve taken that as an insult. Some women might’ve felt dejected. This woman lifted her arms to heaven and said, “Thank you Lord, for answering my prayers!”

In spite of my ineptitude in matters related to cooking I do manage to put together a good holiday meal. My turkey usually turns out tender and juicy; although, there was that one year that each bite of turkey required one drink of water or wine or tea. My cornbread dressing generally turns out to be sufficiently savory and my green bean casserole is boringly adequate.

It’s my pecan pie, though, that brings me a sense of pride. In all the years I’ve made it, it’s never failed. I’ll share the top secret recipe in this post and I hope you’ll all let me know how yours turns out.

Okay, so it’s the recipe on the Karo Syrup label. Shhhh!

Peace, people!

Mr. Tarentino, I’m Ready for my Closeup.

 I was blaming the holidays and a weekend visit with friends from Indiana for my sudden and startling gain of ten pounds. Long gone, it seems, are the days when I could inhale an entire pepperoni pizza and not gain a tenth of a pound. Nowadays if I even look too longingly at a Cinnabon sign I find myself in need of a new pant size.

Then I saw this meme on Facebook:

And I knew what a much better story it would make.

(Ring, ring!)

Quentin Tarentino: Talk to me.

Me: Mr. Tarantino?

QT: Yes? 

Me: Hey! This is Leslie. Leslie Noyes? You know the kind of hefty, middle aged female lead for your next film, The Overweight Eight?

QT: I’m sorry. There must be some misunderstanding. We just released a film with a similar title, but….

Me: I was really counting on this role, and I’ve already gained the weight. Are you sure…? I can be at the studio tomorrow. Samuel L. Jackson is going to love me!

QT: Look lady. I’m sure you’re a real groovy chick, but I don’t know you. Never call me again, or I’ll have you arrested. (Click!)

I guess I wasted all that money on my SAG card, too.

Peace, people!

First World Problems

Studly Doright handed me a catalog for a local store that carries a myriad of manly man implements and tools. Like a small child he’d gone through the catalog page by page and circled things he’d like to receive for Christmas. In red crayon. Seriously.

“What do you want?” He then asked.

“World peace, stricter gun laws, an end to hunger, equal pay for equal work, paid leave for all new parents, a $15 living wage, single payer health care, fully funded Planned Parenthood, a case of Shiner Bock, and a bottle of Cakebread merlot.”

“Ok,” he said. “I’ll vote for Bernie Sanders and give you a gift card for the booze.”

Now that’s a shopping list, right?

Peace, people!

John Scalzi Presents Your Day to Promote Charities!
Friends, so many of you are passionate about charities you’ve started or organizations you support. Today is your day to submit information about your charitable organization to John Scalzi’s Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide.

Go to the link posted at the top of my post and carefully read the instructions for submission. Do it. ‘Tis the season. 

Peace and gratitude, people!

Irrelevant photo of me and either a baby brother or cousin. It’s all about me anyway.

John Scalzi Presents Day 3!
Are you the artistic type? Do you create art for others, either photography or paintings or any other item that the public needs to know about?

Here’s your opportunity to get attention on a site that receives literally thousands of views every single day. I’d like to say that describes my blog, but no. It’s John Scalzi’s “Whatever” blog site. 

Scalzi is a science fiction author who has followers all over the world, and who at this time of year accepts submissions from writers and creative types who want to get their work in front of a wider audience. Go to the link above and get your name out there. 

He explains the submission criteria in detail, so go. Tell him I sent you. That won’t help your chances of being accepted because John Scalzi has no idea who I am, but if he reads my name often enough he might just remember me next year when I have something to submit.

Good luck, and as always, Peace, people!

Irrelevant photo of me in Guatemala
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