Monday, April 26, 2010

If Only.........

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will have heard me mention and promote my good friend Cindy - aka - Halifax Broad and her absolutely hilarious blog. I continue to support her blog and encourage all of you to read it, if for no other reason than to be entertained and hear what it's like to be able to truly say what you feel like saying without any fear of repercussion from anyone. Cindy says what most of us want to say but are afraid to say. It pisses me off. I want to enjoy that kind of freedom on my own blog. But I can't. I can't because I have an employer that might fire me for speaking my mind, a husband who gets his feelings hurt easily, a daughter who would kill me if I embarrassed her, and family who would find it hard to take the truth if I started spewing about them. So what does that leave me to talk about? Diddly squat, most of the time. I have volumes of good material that is stored up in my brain but I can't use it. She laments the fact that she is single, estranged from her mother, self-employed and broke, but without all those labels, she could not write with the sheer and utter reckless abandon that she does. She is like the Don Rickles of bloggers. She does not care one iota who she insults, how politically incorrect she is, or who is offended by the things she says and that is what makes her soooooo worth reading. Sometimes I am envious of her freedom of speech. I was the one who encouraged her to start writing her blog in the first place. I had no idea she was going to produce the award-winning blog she does (Marketing Magazine's winner of the Creative Face-off award for 2009), nor did I expect she would become a contestant on CBC's Canada Writes, but she has and I am so happy for her success. As for me, I'll have to wait until I am unemployed, widowed, old enough that my daughter doesn't give a shit what I say anymore and all my relatives are dead, before I can really say what I want to say. Maybe by then, I won't feel like saying anything anymore. Who knows? I do know, I wish I could be more ruthless, throw caution to the wind and just fire off thoughts and expletives, willy nilly until I was blue in the face, but I won't. Not now. Maybe not ever. In the meantime - kudos to you Cindy - for having the balls to do what I wish I could. You go girl! Decomama xo

Friday, April 16, 2010

Finding the Perfect Pink with my BFF

Over the years, I have spent many an evening with my best friend Peggy drinking wine and indulging our taste buds in some very very lovely restaurants in cities all over North America. We have been friends for a long time. Over 30 years. Last night we were clinking glasses right here in Toronto near Yorkville at a lovely little restaurant called Malena. We sampled a variety of wines before the wine steward finally found one that pleased both of our palates. The wine list was extensive, but contained a unique number of wines we had never heard of or tried before. Most of the labels we might have been familiar with were absent. He managed to remain patient and cordial with us while we turned up our noses at his first 4 attempts. On his fifth try, we finally both smiled and said, yes, that's the one. That set the tone for the rest of our dining experience and by the end of the evening we were completely satisfied and happy with the recommendation of the hotel concierge who had sent us there. It helps that my long time friend works for The Four Seasons and whenever she is in town, we manage to squeeze in a little "girlfriend" time there. They rarely steer us wrong and had in fact done a similarly stellar job the night before as well. Our "girlfriend" time has meant more to me over the years than you can imagine. We may live miles and miles apart, but we are never really that far away from each other. We have met up on average about once or twice a year for these adventures for the last 25 years or so. We have walked the magnificent mile in Chicago, shopped til we dropped in NYC, cruised the California coast from LA to San Francisco, teed it up in Texas, hit the beaches in Miami, discovered New England from Vermont to Boston, ferried to Nantucket, and hiked through gardens and rain forests from Vancouver to Seattle. We have covered a lot of territory. We have indulged ourselves with spa treatments, plenty of retail therapy and many room service breakfasts. In the early days, although I have always been grateful for these getaways, I don't think I really "got" just how precious these times were until more recently. They have always represented complete breaks from my day to day life. Hers too. For a few days each time, we are catapulted into a different world. A world of luxury and decadence that some people could only dream of. For a few days, we feel different too. We shop in stores we really cannot afford. We spend too much on dining out. We rub elbows with the rich and famous and when we see them, we pretend we really don't notice them. (Kate Hudson is even prettier in person - don't ya know). Every outing creates a new memory. And every outing gives us a chance to re-hash the memories of past adventures. Our story book keeps growing and growing and we never seem to tire of the tales. There is the "underwear incident in Nantucket", the "paper thong incident" in West Palm Beach, the "miracle face cream" incident in Miami, "the Guy Fieri" incident in New York, the "Bonnie Raitt, Cadillac and smoking" incident in Santa Barbara, and a new one to add after yesterday - "the white jeans, Hermes scarf" incident in Toronto. We have always been there for each other and I see no reason for that to change.....not ever. So thanks again Peg for yet another "peak" experience. See you in Austin later this year. Love ya. Decomama xo

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Triumph over Tragedy

And so another Master's Tournament comes to a close. The Master's is like the Wimbledon of golf. It's the one to watch every year. The course at Augusta is surely the most beautiful golf course in the world and the tournament itself is never without a little drama and this year was no exception. My schedule did not permit me to actually watch as much of it as I normally would have, but I followed the leader board in the news and caught the highlights every night. Instead of sitting glued to the TV all day today watching this annual spectacle, I spent the day golfing myself. A participant in the sport versus an armchair spectator (always preferable in tennis or golf as far as I'm concerned). I still managed to catch the last few holes when I got home, so all was not lost. I didn't have a fave I was cheering on, I only knew I didn't want Tiger Woods to win. I'm not ready for him to golf his way to glory yet. I haven't forgiven him yet. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Instead, it was heart-warming watching Phil Mickelson marching up 18 toward his birdie putt, knowing the difficult year he had been through with his wife Amy. Here was a man who we felt deserved to win. As he sunk that putt on 18 and headed toward the arms of his loving wife and family, it was as though karma had played out it's magic right before our eyes...our very tear-filled eyes. These are the emotional moments in sports history that one never forgets. Forever more, the camera-shot of a lone tear trickling down the cheek of the champion as he embraced his cancer-stricken wife will be etched upon our memories. Reality television at it's very best. Nothing scripted about a moment like that. These are real people with real-life problems. The contrast of one families jubilation amidst potential gut-wrenching tragedy brings us all one step closer to our own personal struggles and victories. A reminder there are no guarantees in this life and how important it is to try to live in the moment - every day as though it could be the last. It's not easy, but it's not a bad goal. Lofty perhaps, but better than worrying and fretting about a future that may never transpire. It lifted my spirits watching Phil and Amy celebrate his moment in the sun. It far surpassed the negative and disappointing Tiger Woods saga. Given the choice, I'd rather share in someone's personal triumphs over someone's failures any day. I'd rather my soul be fed. Phil and Amy fed my soul today. Hope I'm not alone.

Friday, April 2, 2010

This Picture Says it All

I just took a moment to read my fave blogger's blog and she talked about exactly what I was about to talk about......time......or rather the little spare time I have. Since I started working for someone besides myself last fall and became accountable to a "boss" I have had to completely re-prioritize my life. When I had my own business, I called the shots, and things like tennis and golf and lunch with the girls were pretty much always scheduled in before work. That may have had something to do with the reason I no longer run my own business as I can see now that I was not as devoted to the success of my business as I was to my social calendar. I now find I have little time leftover in the day to barely keep my life running with a modicum of order. I look back on those years and realize now how lucky I had it. Why is hindsight always 20/20? Day's off are no longer day's off of anything. They are jam-packed with a list of errands, appointments and chores with the odd pleasure thrown into the mix like tennis or a golf game (thank god, or I would go insane), but I never have the luxury anymore of a "do nothing" day. You know, the kind of day where you hang out in your pajamas til noon, watch TV, muck around in the kitchen or the garden, read a book - stuff like that. I haven't had a day like that in months. I am beginning to feel like a rat on a wheel. I hardly ever have time for this blog anymore and I miss it. When I do get some time to blog, I am so tired mentally and physically, I can barely muster up an interesting thought or topic to blab about, so I don't bother. I have even considered giving up this blog lately, but I am reluctant to do so. Once in a while, I feel the need to blog about something. It is as simple as that. I hit the links today for the first game of the season. If you live in Southern Ontario and you are reading this, you don't have to imagine how awesome it was spending half the day golfing in the warmth and sunshine of one of those rare freaky hot days in early spring. It made me realize how important it is to make the time for this sort of activity. Not that I ever have to be coaxed into a game of golf. One of the things about golf is how it totally removes your mind from work or anything else you may have been dwelling upon. It is the ultimate escape - like a good drug without the nasty side effects. It is addictive however, make no mistake. I could have easily gone on for another nine after eighteen today. Maybe it was the weather, but I think it had more to do with the euphoric feelings it created. On the back nine, a turtle made it's way across one of the fairways and I stood for a moment and watched him stretch his neck out soaking up the early spring sunshine. He looked as happy as I felt. He was on the golf course on a sunny spring day and so was I. We were both lucky.