Category Archives: Musings

Adoptee Gives Thanks During Thanksgiving

pumpkin pieI always made the pumpkin pie. My mom never made a pumpkin pie. But she taught me how to make a great turkey. (I don’t eat turkey anymore, but I still have my memories.)

The first time I ever helped Mom make a turkey, she told me to go ahead and clean the bird. She kept busy doing other work, making stuffing, preparing the vegetables, making the sweet potatoes, while I went into the kitchen, alone, to prepare the bird. At twelve years old, this was a milestone. Being trusted with the bird.

I went into the kitchen, carefully removed the packaging from the frozen turkey, pulled out the neck and the “guts” like I’d seen Mom do many times,  and I washed it. Thoroughly. When I told Mom the bird was ready, Mom told me how to season it. Her secret ingredients were soy sauce and paprika. My dad being Hungarian, Mom used paprika a lot.

The turkey came out beautiful. Mom proudly carried it to the table where Dad was prepared to carve it. Oh, how Norman Rockwell. Everyone watched as my Dad, the butcher, went to work. Until he stopped. It was at this moment that I learned an important lesson. There are two cavities in the bird. Mom pulled out the giant plastic bag from the turkey’s tush and began to laugh. Everyone laughed. They didn’t laugh at me, they laughed with me.

The year after my dad passed away, my mom came to my house for Thanksgiving for the first time. She cooked and carried a turkey on the airplane. Way before 9/11. Both Mom and Dad are gone now. And my birthmother passed away before I ever met her. I like to think she would have also had a good laugh when she found a plastic bag in the Thanksgiving turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Enjoy your loved ones while you have them. By birth, or adoption, family is important.

I can’t wait to see my out of town family soon.

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Good in Bed

Good in bed:
-Infant sleeps through the night.
-Toddler falls right to sleep.
-Child stays put in bed.
-Teen in bed by curfew.
-College student practices safe sex.
-Newly married enjoys great sex.
-Young parents take turns with baby throughout the night.
-Middle age partner doesn’t snore.
-Senior citizen sleeps a few hours without having to get up to go to the bathroom.
-Elderly relies on Depends to sleep like a baby.

Who Moved My Cookies?

cookies cover 3Jessie Newman was a smart, sexy, successful Weight Watchers leader, who had it all, until she caught her cheating husband, in the act. After tossing him to the curb, she had to quit the part-time career she loved and wound up stuck in a dead-end job, watching her butt grow. Now, married to a prominent and handsome neurosurgeon, who happens to think she’s cute, cellulite and all, Jessie is ready for a change.

Although it kills Jessie to leave her family, when her new husband, Dr. Tad Newman, gets offered a job in our nation’s capital, this former weight loss guru, still reeling after her failed first marriage, considers this the opportunity she’s been waiting for to quit job she hates, drop the twenty pounds she’s packed on, and embark on a new career.

Happily married at last, Jessie looks forward to letting go of her former life and embarking on a journey of self-improvement. In Who Moved My Cookies?, Jessie sets out to start a new career during a time when companies are downsizing, not hiring. In between tackling online job applications, Jessie works on figuring out the perfect diet while fantasizing about fitting into those clothes she’s been saving since shoulder pads were the height of fashion, even if it means giving up meat and cookies. But not M&M’s. She has her limits. Most importantly, Jessie is determined to make this marriage work, in spite of the many hours her husband is now spending with his sexy new assistant, who just happens to become the subject of the murder mystery she is writing????

As a former Weight Watchers leader who helped thousands lose weight on the Weight Watchers program, I know what it is like to stand in front of the freezer, sneaking a few bites, licks and tastes from the half-gallon containers of mint chocolate chip ice cream and tubes of frozen cookie dough I kept hidden behind the frozen broccoli.

If you can relate to Jessie, or just want a really fun Bridget Jones- type of read, please take a look at Who Moved My Cookies?

Food Porn and Weight Watchers

Did you ever notice how packaged ice cream is at its peak of perfection the moment you bring it home from grocery shopping? OMG…Stop me now.

My sixteen-year gig as a Weight Watchers group leader in the Cleveland suburbs was like doing eleven shows a week at the Improv. Standing in front of a packed house— 20 to 100 members on average— I would mime sneaking a taste of my newly purchased 1/2 gallon container of Pierre’s chocolate-chocolate chip. Opening the lid immediately after placing it on the kitchen counter, not even caring if my other groceries spoiled from neglect, I would attack the carton like a vulture going after his prey. I just needed one taste. One perfect mouthful. I’d swirl my plastic, (yes it had to be a plastic spoon so as not to give a metallic taste to the ice cream), around the top, savoring the creamy goodness at its peak of perfection. I would glance around the room, noticing my members at the edges of their seats, living vicariously through my experience. I’d watch their eyes tearing up, their lips quivering, as if they were watching pornography. In a way, this was our pornography. Food porn. And we loved it. We craved more. We needed to hear other members’ experiences to learn how to deal with our own issues with food. And to know we were not alone in our struggle with our weight.

During the sixteen years I taught Weight Watchers, I feared that if I no longer had to do my weekly/monthly weigh-ins, I’d put back on the weight I had lost years before. That was scary.

Eventually I had to give up my meetings and I have been struggling with the scale ever since.
I’m sharing some of my weight challenges, along with many experiences members have discussed in thousands of my meetings through the voice of my fictional character, Jessie Newman, in my novel: Who Moved My Cookies? available now on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G3Q91CS.

Hold Tight to Your Dreams

20130423-231947.jpgThe will to keep striving
It comes and goes
Sometimes we’re strong
Other times, not so.

Raring to pursue
Through thick and through thin
We often just hang on
And sometimes give in.

Life’s unpredictable
Often a challenge
We push and push harder
We might lose our balance.

Grasp tight to the dream
Beg, steal or borrow
What’s out of our reach now
Might be our tomorrow.

All is not lost
When turned down by some

A door will then open
Out comes the sun.

A brighter tomorrow
Is within our grasp
If we just hang on
Our day will come at last.

I will get mine
And so will you
If we just hang in for the long haul

And not be so blue.

They say just smile
And act really charming
Pretend you are happy
It’s not so alarming.

What’s the alternative?
Pouting you say.
Laugh at your problems
That’s the best way.

Hang on to the moment

Hold tight to your dreams
You will be happy soon
If you just believe.

Good things are worth
The time and the wait
Your moment in the sunshine
Will come, if you have faith.

 

One Day You Wake Up

One day
You wake up
And notice
Little lines
Criss-crossing from
The corners of your eyes.

One morning
You wake up
And notice
Your breasts
Are not quite as perky
As they were yesterday.
Or was that last month?
Last year?

One day
You wake up
And notice
A deep groove
From your nose to your mouth
As if it’s begging for attention.
Look at my smile!
Notice me.

One day
You wake up
And see that groove on both
Sides of your mouth
Has deepened
Reaching down to your chin
Parenthesis
Is what the ad for cosmetic filler calls it.

One day
You wake up
And read your favorite magazines.
Not for the articles
Not for the fashions
But for the ads
Promising to restore youth.

One day
You wake up
And smile.
You no longer care about the changes.
Not as much anyway.
You realize the eye crinkles
Are from smiling at your children’s graduations.
From sharing their joys. Planning their tomorrows.

One day
You wake up
And realize the parentheses are from laughing at your mistakes
And laughing when you see your children making the same ones.

One day
I woke up
And was happy to
Get another day
To enjoy all I have
And be thankful
That I woke up.

Tomorrow’s Diet

I will give up
My favorite treats
From food made with sugar
To food made with wheat.

No more spaghetti
Or tart lemon drops
No more sandwich cookies
Or Tootsie roll pops.

No more ice cream
Or crispy French fries
Or buckets of popcorn
Or even fried rice.

No more lasagna
Or BBQ food
No more large pizza
Unless I’m in the mood.

If I get too hungry
Or get really mad
I know I’ll succumb
I know I’ll be bad.

So forget my new plan
It’s way way too crude
I’ll just be more sensible
When choosing my food.

Veggies and fruit
Fresh, no cans
I’ll be good tomorrow
Tonight, I have plans.

I’ll clean out the fridge
The pantry of Pringles
Polish off the cookies
The ice cream, with sprinkles.

Once all the goodies are
Out of the house
I’ll face my new scale
And so will my spouse.

How to Get Published

If you were an actor
A star on TV
Or movies or films
Or videos you see.

Your words would be quoted
Your photos displayed
Your scent set in perfume
They’d publish your play.

They’d market your book
Your poems and your thoughts
If your name was famous
Your work would be bought.

Just say you’re a Kardashian
Or Hilton already
Or Clinton or Streisand
Or even a Getty.

Your words would get noticed
You’d sure get a bump.
If you were a Seinfeld,
A Bloomberg or Trump.

Or Rowling or Baldwin,
Obama or Carter
A Kennedy, a Kotb
Or famous globe trotter.

It’s not all about
The writing you do
It’s just who you are
The name you’re born to.

Still, never give up
Write every day
When you become famous
They’ll hear what you say.

One More Try for Love

Courage is fleeting
I don’t know why
I’m stuck in the corner
Afraid to try.

Tears are a waste
As night passes slowly
I’ll go out tomorrow
Forget feeling lonely.

Men come and go
Dates seldom work
I’ll wait for right one
Instead of a jerk.

Forget the diet
Bring me the bread
And chocolate and wine till I’m
Light in the head.

Keep my chin up
There’ll come a time
When singing and dancing
And fun will be mine.

Love don’t come easy
That is no lie
Yes, I have the courage
To give it one more try.

Who will win Super Bowl?

Ravens and niners
Who’s gonna win?
Tacklin’ ‘n kickin’
Bashing heads in.

Throwing the ball
Direct to a hole
In defensive lineup
To score a goal.

Pepsi or Coke
Audi or Ford
I choose the Bud ads
In between, I’m bored.

Some like their hot wings
Chips and some beer
I’ll take my ice cream
Thank you dear…

Score’s getting close now
Too close to call
Watching the scoreboard
Who’s got the ball?

Down into history
Who will win?
Tension is mounting
I’m nervous, and all in!

No no he dropped it
Fumbled the ball
Big interception
Ref makes the call.

It’s the last quarter
Which team will win
They’ve got my attention
????

You fill the rest in….

Who were you rooting for?