A sign from a loved one in Heaven…

Signs from loved ones in Heaven are powerful. We know without a doubt exactly “who” the message is from! We are overcome with emotion. I received a sign. I’m still in awe of how this occurred.

The holidays can be a roller coaster of feelings/memories. After Christmas, where we had below zero temps, I was anxious for a walk and fresh air. I decided to go downtown, it was still festive with the lights up. The display in a toy store window caught my attention. My desire to go in was strong.

It was joyful, families shopping for deals. As I continued to the back of the store, I saw the puzzle area. I enjoy puzzles, so stopped to explore. I sighed, the usual puzzles of flowers, Monet, etc. Disappointing.

However, on the bottom shelf, behind another puzzle, I found FLORENCE. I smiled -> F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E. My mother’s home town in Italy. Of course, I had to have it. I clutched it close, it was mine!

Walking home, I kept thinking how strange it was to find this puzzle. Why, what was the meaning? I was overcome with memories of visiting my grandmother in Florence. I thought, perfect timing. Long weekend for New Year’s Eve, I would do the puzzle.

I started with the Duomo. Proud when it was done. As I continued, I found yellow and green pieces. Putting them together, I looked down and got teary-eyed. What a memory! Take a look at the photo. The pieces of this particular puzzle area, looked exactly like my grandmother’s building. Amazing!

Back then, we did not have cell phones. When I would go out my grandmother and grandfather would rush to open the window. I would hear the green shutters crackling as they opened them. They would yell down to me in Italian (they didn’t speak English), Ciao, baci (kisses), a presto (see you soon). I felt so much love every time they did this. There are more memories, of course.

So, a sign indeed!

Don’t forget Nonina and Nonno!

We are with you. We LOVE you! Go back!

Health – Weight Lifting, getting organized…

January, time for health and goal setting, right! One goal I had in December was to organize my weights. I was tired of seeing them in a pile. I looked up weight racks and it took me “forever” to decide on one. Why? I started reading reviews.

Responses went from hard to assemble, product had a terrible lead smell, heavier weights take up a lot of space, so weights don’t fit perfectly, etc.

You see, a simple task turned into hours of research.

Before I knew it, I was watching YouTube videos on how to assemble the weight rack. That turned out to be critical. You needed a wrench, not included AND muscle power. Laughing, it’s true. The muscle power was for holding the nut in place while you turned the screw through the nylon steel nut.

I’m not going to lie. You can see, it seems easy, but it was exhausting. Like putting together an IKEA cabinet. Not hard, but just takes time. My heart sank when I saw “one washer” on the floor. Oh NO! Did I miss one? I checked and double checked. Looks like they gave me an extra one. Next time, I would count them out. Since I don’t do this often, I forget these tricks.

Mission Accomplished!! It sure saves space.

Anyone else work on a project over the holidays?

Holiday Health — The Pharmacy! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year — almost! It’s the holidays and with that comes stomach issues. Eating foods we don’t normally eat. Visiting friends who say, “Come on, it’s Christmas, have some!” Our brain says, “NO, don’t do it, you will suffer for it! However, we cave in to the festivities and end up in stomach pain.

For me, lately, espresso coffee/alcohol does not agree with me. I spoke to my mother. She’s been having stomach issues too. In fact, 83 years old, she had terrible stomach pains and ended up in the hospital having her gallbladder out. We both talked about having the same kind of pain. Interesting, right!

THIS IS FUNNY — I went to the pharmacy. They didn’t have what I needed on the shelf. The pharmacist said I needed to press the Customer Service button, then someone would come to assist me.

I innocently pressed the button. I thought a light would flash and someone would come over. NO, worse, I hear on the loud speaker, “CUSTOMER SERVICE NEEDED AT STOMACH REMEDIES – repeat – Customer Service needed at stomach remedies.”

Why is this funny? Imagine if I was in the tampon or condom isle and the loud speaker goes off. Certainly, no privacy in trying to make a purchase. A teenager would be mortified that’s for sure.

I could see this as a comedy skit on Seinfeld. Miss that show.

So, moral of the story… Be careful what you eat / drink on New Year’s Eve. Don’t over indulge; otherwise, you will be pressing that Customer Service button.

I wish you a blessed and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Merry Christmas – The Holiday Puzzle!

It’s the Christmas holiday, it’s cold and snowy. Time for a holiday puzzle, right! I found this one with the vintage red van, made me think of California, surfers, and Lake Tahoe.

At first, I wasn’t enjoying this puzzle. A few things… The puzzle pieces are small, they don’t stick together, so if you want to move a group of them, they all fall apart. Then they have some strange shapes that don’t click in place, they just sit side by side. Some pieces had me fooled, they looked like they were for the border, but NO, they go in the middle somewhere. Chuckling, I guess that’s why we do puzzles, we want to be challenged, right.

There was a huge surprise. I found three special pieces. The cardinal, the snowman and a reindeer!

A special THANK YOU to fellow blogger, Danny Watts: Chronicles of a Fountain Pen for recommending the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. I’ve been listening to the audio of the first book in the series.The narrator, Orlagh Cassidy is fabulous! What a wonderful story!!

Five more days, then Christmas Eve!

Got to focus, get the puzzle done. I might be on book 2 at this rate.

Happy Holidays!

Special Christmas Gift — Tea time!

Every year, my sister and I send each other a little Christmas present. This year, she sent me some tea cups. They are so pretty. By chance, at the Antique Shop, I found this tea pot. I loved the bright colors.

The shop owner was a good saleswoman. She happened to walk by and saw me analyzing the tea pot and said, “You are the second person who was looking at that tea pot.”

I smiled and thought, maybe she saw me 10 minutes ago holding it, and didn’t realize it was me. Of course, MAYBE another person WAS looking at MY tea pot. She sold me on it. I couldn’t let someone else have it, I would be thinking and thinking about it on my long 3 hour drive.

Don’t they always say, “Someone else’s junk is another person’s treasure!”

Since the weather is so dreary now, wet and rainy, when I look at the tea cups and tea pot, I smile. My sister is the greatest! Those tea cups are beautiful, they remind me of Spring time.

Time to make tea!

Holiday Decorations – Great marketing idea!

This was an interesting Christmas display. I had a funny marketing idea. The only one missing from this photo is Goldilocks. They could put these three bears in the bedding department with each bear standing by a mattress. The baby bear could still be hiding behind the Xmas tree and find Goldilocks in HIS bed.

The marketing message would read…??

I have to say, I would probably try out the three beds!

We need some humor in sales!

Antique Shopping

This weekend I was driving home from Michigan and I saw an Antique Shop. It was on the other side of the road, I had to make one of those “quick” decisions. Stop or keep going. I decided to take the extra time, stop in.

Glad I did. I found this painting. I really liked the vibrancy of the blue color of the lake with sailboats.There were a lot of interesting things to see.

Some booths had such old things. I immediately thought of a movie set director needing some props for a WWII movie or something like that.

Antique shops are interesting by area too. What you find in Indiana would be different from California, Texas or New York for example.

An enjoyable outing.

Do you NEED that much cheese?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve bought this parmigiano reggiano (parmesan) cheese from Costco. We’re Italian, it lasts a long time and we like to have it on hand. So, my daughters grew up thinking nothing of it. Doesn’t every house have parmesan?

UNTIL… my daughter’s boyfriend opened her fridge and saw this HUGE hunk of cheese and acted horrified. Why do you need that big piece of cheese, it’s ONLY you? What are you doing with that?

My daughter said her first reaction was to become defensive. Grab the parmesan. YES, protect the parmesan! She started to explain, than thought, “WAIT, it’s normal, what’s HIS problem! Why shouldn’t I have this?”

I didn’t know this happened until the other day. I was heading to Costco and asked my daughter if she needed some parmigiano reggiano cheese. It used to be around $12.99, now it is $17.99. We need to treat it like GOLD. Inflation is real.

That’s when she said, “I have a funny story to tell you about my hunk of cheese.”

We both laughed!! I said I was PROUD of her for defending the parmesan.

Lately, I’ve been in a pasta mood. I found this pasta noodle, I love it. It’s called, “Fusilli Corti Bucati.” If I go for a different noodle, other than spaghetti, I go for the bow ties or orecchiette. THESE are so wiggly, just a fun noodle shape.

If I had this noodle when I was young, I could see myself flinging one of the noodles at my twin brother. When he would get angry, I’d say, “It’s not my fault, the noodle flew off my fork!” Now, that would be FUNNY! We did goofy stuff like that.

So, here’s to pasta, Italian heritage and defending parmesan!!

We ALL have our pantry staples, right! What do you have that we might laugh at?