Filling the Void – Walking, Watching, Waiting

owl coloring book art
This was soothing and fun – Colorama Coloring Book. I always loved to color as a kid!

The Void

This is rough. One day blends into the next and home projects continue to be undone for no good reason.

While life as usual has been completely disrupted by coronavirus, my personal struggle and biggest void has much more to do with losing my sweet Oscar on March 2nd. I considered a dedicated tribute post, but just can’t seem to bring myself to do that quite yet. Suffice to say, we are heartbroken and saying goodbye was not and has not been easy.

To that end, what do you do when stuck at home, sad and in need of distraction?

Walking

I’m a big fan of walking and have been uplifted seeing so many people doing so. The more I walk the better I feel, both physically and mentally. So, while gyms remain closed, I walk on my treadmill or outside with responsible social-distance in mind, of course.

Watching

If I’m a fan of walking, I’m certainly an even bigger fan of TV. I’ve been filling the void with some pretty good shows and came to the conclusion that I love British television. If you like suspense, definitely check out The Stranger and Broadchurch (I was so excited when I realized there were 3 seasons). Both set in England and really well done.

Other British Shows I’ve Binged and Liked…

After Life – Ricky Gervais – Kind of heartbreaking, but good.

Derek – Also Ricky Gervais – quirky and good.

Crashing – watched a while ago and found interesting.

Gavin & Stacey – James Corden, cute.

Kath & Kim – Actually an Australian show, but similar kooky British humor. Silly, but funny.

Other Shows I’ve Liked…

Northern Rescue – good.

Virgin River – good.

Dirty John – creepy, but good.

Broad City – outrageous, super silly, funny (if you like absurd humor).

High Fidelity – cool, interesting, different.

Do you have any show recommendations?

Waiting

And so now we wait. What more is there to say or do? This is, by far, the strangest time in my life.

I hope you are doing well and filling the void as best you can.

Wishing you all good health and sanity.

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Fresh Food For Fido (or should I say Oscar )

fresh food pet food

If you are a pet lover, you are probably aware of the fresh food trend as it relates to pet food. There are a number of providers out there who will ship fresh, all natural pet food right to your door. All for a hefty cost, but a nice alternative for those furry friends who have trouble with kibble and canned foods.

Oscar

Licking his chops waiting for his next meal.

I had never considered the fresh food route for Oscar, since he’s been on prescription dog food for the majority of time we’ve had him.  He had always done well on his prescribed food and that sweet boy will eat anything, so I never saw a reason to change. Until, one day in August Oscar did the one thing I’ve always said would be a sure reason to worry – he refused his food.

Wait

Let me back up a bit and explain. All had been going well on his prescription food, until a new bag was delivered.  I noticed the smell and kibble shape were different. I double checked the bag and indeed had the correct variety. However, the print on the bag noted a new and improved taste. No big deal, a change in flavor shouldn’t impact anything. Boy, was I wrong. After several days on the new formula, I noticed Oscar becoming lethargic. Truthfully, he’s old and diabetic so I thought he was simply have a few bad days. It happens now and again and it was August –  he hates summer. A few more days passed and he continued to decline. Then, one morning he snubbed his food all together. NEVER, I mean never, has this happened. Panicked, I ran to the fridge to see what else I had that he could eat. I threw together a bowl of chicken, rice and sweet potato that I luckily already had prepared. I set it down and he gobbled up every last bite. My poor baby had been sick for days and, in that moment, I knew it was the food. Something in the formula change was making him sick. Of course, I spoke with his vet and informed the dog food company, but I knew what I had to do. I couldn’t feed him his old food again, so I began making his own fresh food. I could’ve purchased fresh food, but with his diabetic condition I couldn’t be sure how he’d respond, so better to make my own.

Oscar’s Fresh Food

fresh food pet food

Oscar will be 14 this month – he has good days and bad days. But since making his fresh food, I have seen noticeable change in him. He seems more satisfied and content, his insulin dose has reduced, he sleeps more soundly and he enjoys his meals soooo much. After several trial runs, I settled on a combination of ground turkey, brown rice, hard-boiled egg, cut green beans and carrots. Once in a while I’ll sprinkle in some shredded cheese for an added treat. He loves it and I feel good about giving it to him. I stock up on ground turkey when it’s on sale and cook in batches. Cooking Oscar’s food myself is more cost-effective. It also gives me control over the ingredients. It’s a lot of extra work, but he’s happy and I’m happy to do it for him.

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Positive Daily Intention – Bring it on 2020!

positive daily intention 2020
One can only hope!


It’s easy to slide down the slippery slope of negativity. We are barraged with a lot of challenging issues, situations and unwelcome realities. Often times, it’s hard to “look on the bright side.”

Over the past several months, I have begun practicing the art of setting a positive daily intention. I have followed suggestions from this link to help go about being a more positive person.

Additionally, I read that it is helpful to write down your intention. I found this to be the most valuable piece of advice. I have actually chosen to text my daily intention to a “buddy” who is also interested in embracing a positive mindset. By texting my intention, I’m not only writing it down, so to speak, but I’m inviting accountability by sharing my goal with another person. This has been helpful and uplifting.

The idea of living a positive life and setting daily intentions may sound overly optimistic, if not a bit delusional. I can only tell you that for those of us who have tried it, and compared notes, it really has worked. While the negative things that surround us have not changed, the way in which we respond to them has.

I firmly believe that we can rewire our brains to the positive. Throughout this process, I have begun following The Power of Positivity both on Facebook and Instagram. My Aunt first turned me on to these short affirmations and I marveled at how many spoke to me at times when I really needed an encouraging word. For that, I thank you Auntie Carolyn. I continue to follow and enjoy the Power of Positivity every day.

We all have a little Debbie Downer in us…

 

If you’re in a funk and feeling the winter blues, setting a positive daily intention may be a small step toward keeping Debbie down and out of your life!

My Daily Intention

My intention for today is to prioritize and stay focused on what’s most important.

A Few Favorites from The Power of Positivity on Instagram

positive daily intention fear positive daily intention peace positive daily intention patience positive daily intention greener grass

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RePost-Winterlights at Stevens-Coolidge Place

REPOST  – this wonderful event is happening again NOW through DEC 29th. An illuminated grove of trees and an interactive children’s section have been added. I can’t wait to get there. Read my post from last year’s event, below.

Purchase tickets HERE.


I was so happy to be invited to the opening of Winterlights at The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. There is nothing like the twinkle of holidays lights to get a person in the holiday spirit. To have a wonderland of lights spread throughout the beautiful grounds of a historic home was nothing short of magical.

I snuck peak of this spectacular display  at dusk last Thursday night. I felt so happy to be frolicking through the luminaria lit paths and all I could think of was how wonderful this experience will be for little kids and their families.

The opportunity to walk the various gardens, identify each of Santa’s reindeer, stroll through the poinsettia filled greenhouse, warm my hands by the firepit and discover Santa’s den, where you can leave Santa a letter or meet him in person on December 15th, was quintessentially kid-like in the best way possible.

In addition to The Stevens-Coolidge Place, The Trustees have introduced Winterlights at their Nuamkeag property in Stockbridge, MA. Don’t miss the opportunity to brighten your season at either location.

Winterlights runs through December 30th and opens in Stockbridge this Thursday.

FYI

OPEN THURSDAYS – SUNDAYS through December 30th

Entrance to the gardens is ticketed in 15-minute increments between 5-8PM. Purchase your tickets in advance here. Choose your preferred location for your ticket options.
Members: $12
Nonmembers: $17
Children 12 and under: FREE

Fun For All Ages

While I know that little kids and their parents will love this, I fully intend to go back with my teenage daughters and husband. This is a family event that everyone is sure to enjoy.

More Information

For more detail visit thetrustees.org. and be sure to check out each Winterlights night’s featured entertainment such as Tetra-Fire performer, Crispelli on December 9th or Ice Princesses on December 29th. Full calendar of events here. Choose your preferred location to see the performances and activities near you.

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What Now?

blog photo

I cannot believe that my “summer break” from the blog has now landed me smack in the middle of holiday season. I think saying middle is appropriate seeing every store I’ve been in over the past two weeks has Christmas décor on display. I had every intention of resuming posts in September, but time simply got away. To those who kindly inquired about the blog, thank you! It’s so nice to know that 3 Olives was missed.

Where I’ve Been

My summer was spent readying Julia for college (she is doing great at Fordham in NYC) and keeping tabs on Ally, who is busier than ever (her junior year and college search are in full swing). Tony spent a good part of the summer (who am I kidding – nearly all of it) golfing and Oscar kept me on my toes with his growing, elder dog, demands. That sweet Schnauzer is a full-time job!!!

Of particular note this summer, and fall, was how much I enjoyed the escape from social media. A big part of my hesitation getting back to the blog was the realization that posting drew me into the blogosphere and social media world, in ways that I didn’t particularly enjoy. Every time I thought about blogging again, something held me back. I just wasn’t ready.

Writing is an art form and sometimes the motivation and creativity wanes. Following a fun year of book promotion, my creative spirit and energy needed time to reset and recharge. While it took a little longer than anticipated, I am, once again, excited to reconnect with my keyboard.

Where I’m Going (I hope🤞)

So, what now? While I do plan to resume the blog, on a much looser schedule, I’m also excited to begin a part-time job search. This isn’t so much a reinvention as a continuation of my path as a writer. My dream is to find secure, steady work in a creative space. I have workplace visions in an art gallery, a design studio, a radio or television station. But, no matter where I land, I long to return to a team environment where I can collaborate with others. I miss that.

I look forward to something new and to reconnecting here at 3 Olives & a Twist.

What’s new with you?

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