Winter moods

Hello! to all my snowed in friends! I hope you are staying warm and healthy. The foot of snow that beautifully landed on Long Island, actually lived up to the media Hype! I put up a big pot of soup and watched the flakes swirling around. I photographed some pretty moments. I felt gratitude for my warm and cozy home.

I figure with all this quarantining and a blast of super cold air, I would need a big project to propel me through the long, freezing February days. Honestly, and for the 100th time, I am ONCE again, errrrr.. DE cluttering all my stuff. None of it ever appears as “junk” to me! I think I secretly hoard things that spark sentimental vibes (not necessarily JOY! OK, so thank you Marie Kondo!) As many of you know, we tend to hold onto objects and “things” when a person dies. It’s a part of them and hard to part with. Over the last decade, I have parted with some things of my parents. I took on a huge project last March. I took months and months sorting through the family pictures. Bins and bins of photos, memories, our entire childhood. I just focused on organizing five bins for each sibling. Then I organized all my own photos and made albums and scrapbooks. I decorated my scrapbooks sorta like Martha would. My dream trips and all the memories that were made, labeled and all gussied up. Then I thought… who will want to schlep these around for the next 100 years? I still completed it. It was important to me. I sat alone and stared at 1000 photos of my son. We didn’t have cell phones when he was born. It was camcorders and cameras. He, my Michael, was a bright, happy, delicious child. His energy and enthusiasm, his love for life, his SMILE…it all jumped into my heart. He was the first grandchild in a large family. A prince for sure! He was a BIG deal. Adored by everyone. God, I miss him so, so much. Be grateful today for what you have and hold. I am grateful that love remains….even after they are gone from here.

My next project is super exciting. I am decorating and making a new nursery for my Granddaughter to be! My baby is having a baby! My beautiful daughter, who resides in Spain is having a baby girl. We are all over the moon and anxious at the same time. Spain, yep, Europe! All I know is, I have to get there by May! I have stayed positive and determined. We have been separated over a year. They frequently came home for long visits. UGH… Homesick is a real thing now. So, I allow myself to have a good pandemic cry every now and then. I highly recommend you let those emotions surface. It’s real, isolation and anti socialization effects all of us. Also, this “pandemic”, is nothing anyone EVER could have predicted. I also stand strong in remembering the most important part. This Pandemic will NOT last forever. With that being said, I need to acknowledge and send love, condolence and compassion for anyone that has lost their loved one due to COVID 19. As of late, 422,000 Americans have died due to COVID 19. I am so very sorry for your loss. I send you love and healing light as you mourn your loved one. Our world has changed, this is a fact. The vaccine will be helpful for so many essential/front line workers. Thank you for ALL you do, everyday for US. We have not forgotten YOU. I hope that by this summer we see the light and businesses and musicians can perform again and stay afloat. I pray we see a decline over time. Allow yourself to do your part. A little something. If everyone shows kindness and compassion, imagine how healing that can be!

Now, onto the nursery. I dream about it everyday. I love design and decor. I love transforming a room and repurposing items. I was feeling brave and decided to freshen up some plain old furniture pieces. I watched a ton of YouTube videos and decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did! The painting process was much easier than I expected. A couple of coats later and it transformed into a beautiful piece! Easy peasy. I am totally enjoying myself. A new baby! What could be more exciting? She is already loved and I can’t wait to meet her.

Find the miracles in your world today. Even the tiniest ones matter. Take good care and stay safe.

Love & Peace

~leelee

January thoughts 2021

So, it looks like WE made it. Through the 2020 uncertainty and this year of struggles, strife, eruptions, protests, violence, and a pandemic, chaotic, elections and an eruption of extreme emotions, making our world sometimes unstable, divided and unsafe. COVID 19 is not over. 2020 is, but, the virus is very much here. The vaccine has been approved and they are plugging along as best as they can. I sincerely hope we can thank Pfizer for eradicating and saving lives one day. I saw my town numbers quadruple in the last couple of months. I now know many families that have gotten COVID 19. I am just laying low. I really am avoiding contact and exposure. I cooked meals for a neighbor for two weeks while she recovered. I try and do my little part. Yesterday, I avoided taking down my twinkly Christmas tree…just a week more! and then I thought…Well…why NOT? I quickly went about my Saturday, cleaning, cooking and COVID crafting! It’s become a big favorite of mine. Occupy your mind for a few hours, focus on art and creating a new wreath or sign. It’s simple fun. It’s relaxing and therapeutic. I gathered all my hearts and Red and Pink bows, flowers, ribbons and went to town. I enjoy creating whimsical decor. Valentines day is inspiring and romantic and it also stirs up my serotonin! Bascially, I glue and attach shit together and I feel loved! Be good to yourself this year. Do things that Make you feel Happy. Try new projects and hobbies. We all have time to expand our horizons. I love baking for my neighbors and dropping off a special treat. Remember, it’s the little things that wind up being so Important. So many pantry’s need food items. Make a small donation to your local churches and food pantries. We all need to take care of one another. I believe, hope & kindness will see us through.

I take time to write. We tend to let the most important priorities fall off. Like, self love, self care rituals In 2021, these are so important, now more than ever before. It’s ok, we humans are easily distracted! What is important is that you get back to it. Writing is a HUGE release. It is a tool for healing, a tool for anger, grief, and it can also help you process and start to heal your pain or grief or trauma. Perhaps you have pushed down childhood trauma? abuse? Start to write it out. Burn it if you want! Just get it out. If you can spare ten minutes a day to journal your thoughts, what you’re feeling.. or not feeling, try it. Take a month to write about YOU. It can be a gift of releasing sadness and grief after a break up. It can motivate you to start that project, paint that room, tear up the rug, finish a floor or redecorate your living space. It can help you clear out feelings of loneliness, insecurities, self doubt, guilt, self loathing. If you are feeling depressed, writing can open up the soul. It hurts to write sometimes, it hurts to remember sometimes. What is important here is to just Write it OUT… get it out, release it. I promise you.. you will feel a lightness inside. Another act of self love, self improvement.

So, take small steps. This isn’t a race. Life isn’t a race. We hold many chapters of our lives deep in our soul. Peeling some of the layers exposes us to find our new self. Our authentic self. Our world is forever changing and evolving. So should we. You’re worth trying something different or new. It’s ok to change your course. You can heal pain and trauma. Small steps. Most importantly, remember that you matter. Get OUTSIDE in nature. Gods gifts allow us to appreciate simplicity. Fresh air, tall trees, trails and waterfalls. Gardens and places that make you smile and feel loved and supported. Finding your very own gratitude and nourishing your soul. Let that be your mantra and motivation for 2021. Our new 46th President, Joe Biden said; Our country is in desperate need of healing and hope. I think he “gets it”! For that, I am hopeful too. Peace and Love to all of you in 2021.

~ leelee

December thoughts….

I was hoping to open with… “We’re in the final stretch!” errr, meaning, we had the Pandemic COVID virus under control or something like that. Truth is, we don’t. Yet. I am hopeful that the new vaccines will eradicate a lot of the anxiety and worry and deaths that COVID-19 has caused. So, the “hoax” virus is estimated in total could be close 500,000 deaths! One half a million lives lost due to complications of COVID-19. No Hoax there folks! So, young, middle or old. There is no rhyme or reason to this virus. Since Thanksgiving, the CDC, WHO, President Elect, have all pleaded with our nation to not “mingle”. Do not gather in large groups, do not throw big house parties, or meet up with a crowd of people to celebrate with cocktails. I know, some break the rules. I know teens and college kids are invinsible. They are now ordered to virtual learning and home schooling and stay in orders per state. What a combination! Who can juggle that? Emotionally? Finacially. The world had to shut down. Did we have any other choice? Since March, COVID has devastated hundreds of thousands of people. Loss of job, 50% loss of sales, business. Who can truly survive? They certainly can’t thrive this winter. The liquor stores will. Congrats! Liquor was immediately deemed essential to survive the pandemic. If I see one more meme or TikTok video with day drinking Mom’s…not a good look Mama’s. AA is going to be super busy next year for sure. White Claw (spiked seltzer) are Billionaires now. I don’t get it! Churches were shut down! You could not go in and pray or sing. I’m still baffled and frightened by our President ignoring or not addressing this nation over the last 10 months! He mocked Masks and he and his family all had COVID. It’s a tragedy, truly. I was so happy when my church figured it out and our pastor held service outside every perfect Sunday all summer long in our vehicles. It saved my heart and soul. Praying for those less fortunate, volunteering and donating meals and clothing to the ones that need it so badly now. Prayer and hope, that is what church taught me. Everyone needs to help each other and take care of each other. So, when the local casino opened BEFORE churches were approved to open, well, I started to see the world differently. Priorities, humanity, homelessness, hungry families, unemployment…it’s A LOT. I see it everyday. I found immense gratitude, each day for my warm home and nourishing food. The least I can do is give. Donations, food, an ear to listen, baking, cooking, volunteering. Healing comes from the simple act of giving back. No matter how small the gesture is. It is appreciated and can make someone feel loved. I see hardworking people with two jobs not making the rent. Hungry children at our schools, domestic abuse and child abuse rise as people fall silently. A pandemic. A scary, unstable time in our world. It runs a vicious, deadly course. It does not discriminate or choose who will live or die. We live in America. We have the ability to heal the sick, just not all of them. The only saving grace is the world statistics. Less than 1% of the population will die from COVID-19. I pray for the less than 1%. I know what grief tastes and feels like. I can’t imagine, saying goodbye on an IPAD to your parent or grandparent. Emotionally, the medical healthcare workers are at risk 24/7. You rarely hear ANY of them complain. They are robots, numb and overworked and underpaid. Yet, they sacrifice everything to save lives. I’m in awe of all of you, truly.

I haven’t seen my daughter since 2019. It will be a year soon. I haven’t seen my Granddaughter in 18 months. I miss her terribly. She now resides in Greece. We gave her a beautiful wedding last year. Love is beautiful. She had an elegant reception with 100 people who love her. Joy and happiness were in abundance. I was thankful and overjoyed for her. Now! She is expecting a baby in May. They live abroad. I realized this Thanksgiving was the first time ever that I did not have my children with us. It’s hard. I get it! I haven’t hugged my daughter in almost a year. We spend hours on Face time. (Thank GOD for that miracle) and talk many times a day. OnThanksgiving morning. She cooked her entire meal while I was on Face time with her. Lessons learned. This is truly what Thanksgiving means. To be with the ones you love always. I felt close to her, proud of her and grateful to be her Mama. I am certainly missing her near me, next to me. I made a turkey for 2 this year. It was the first holiday in over 40 years that we were alone. IT was certainly….. Different. Not terrible. It’s just the reality of 2020 right now. I have learned to accept and make something GOOD out of it. I delivered the leftovers to our nephew who lives alone. I’m sure he enjoyed a hot meal. It’s the love we share. The love we are able to give without expectations. It’s the little things that still matter. A Christmas tree with sparkly lights. I awake everyday and smile. Some people have no tree, no presents, no home this year. It’s picking a child off the Angel tree at church and buying a special toy for them. It’s baking and delivering food with Love. It’s not hard. It’s not a fortune to cook a meal. It is important to spread that love and ask that everyone just do something. If you buy someone a hot tea and donut, or a happy meal or a sandwich, a pie…it doesn’t matter what it is. It matters that you care enough to help and give back. As our president elect so beautifully said. Our nation is in need of Hope again. Healing again. Let’s get there together.

I have taken advantage of all the extra stay at home time to do many projects. I took up photography and expanded my gardens with beautiful flowers and shrubs. I took little trips to photograph bridges, barns and flowers. I escaped the news and incessant political venom and hate. I, instead, watched the season ofspring roll into a beautiful summer. I noticed each bloom, bulb, leaf, birds nests and all that nature has to show and give to us. I was introduced to exotic birds and sweet sounds of nature flowing and buzzing. If or when I felt smothered, I would drive out to the east end of Long Island and gather shells and rocks to paint and hide. Gratitude, just kept blooming inside my soul. I finally finished a project or read book that I just kept putting off. I wrote my story and hope someday it helps someone. My Mama left me a check once. It was written to herself for “Simple Abundance”. Thank you Mom for reminding me. Lately, my most fun and exciting projects is that I pretend to be an artist. I make crafts and repurpose stuff and relish in the simplicity of creativity and imagination. I redecorated with the things I already have and organized closets, basement, etc. and then I donated my “stuff”. We all can clean out the attic and basement and garage and donate things we don’t use or need. One man’s junk is another’s treasure. I donated half of all my Christmas decorations to a family that had a house fire. I just felt that the children would appreciate a touch of home for the holidays. Again, it’s the little things. I think I may sound a bit like the Coca Cola song. I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. Harmony is not such a bad thing. I miss music outside, concerts, hugging and laughing with no mask. I zoom weekly with my support groups, it helps so much. I yearn to read and learn about humanity and how Kindness is spreading. I also acknowledge that many are suffering. Depression, addiction, alcoholism, suicide all on the rise because of life, and our current circumstances. Many have no tools, no therapy, no insurance, no contact, no love. I urge anyone suffering in silence to find online support (if possible). The 12 step recovery meetings are free. They work. Just make the call. Toll free Hotlines are still working. Reach out and seek help. Everyone deserves to NOT Suffer. I have also had to face and accept that our own family members are suffering and dealing with all of the above. They are hurting. They are sick and addicted. They are angry and emotionless. To be honest, I had to accept and let them go, gently. They don’t want any help because they are unwell. I cried many times for them, for me, and accepting where they are right now. I cried for us.I miss “us” the most. I told them all how thankful I am that they are all alive and we didn’t lose anyone to COVID. I recall my youngest brother on our one and only Zoom call in March. He said, he was sick and tired of the BS and hoax and honestly, he said.. I think we should just all get it and get it over with. I was in shock, really? He was angry at the Pandemic Hoax and forced to shelter in. After all, it was fucking up his social life and his ability to earn money, blah blah blah. I wasn’t being honest with myself or with him. For years, I watched addiction change someone completely and what was once fun is now non existent. No wonder they had no ability to love and support me over the last few years. It cut deep and I let it torture me in my darkest days. You shouldn’t have to beg for support or love. Today, I just have to remember.. I can’t control, fix or save anyone. I can only live and control how I live and who I choose to spend my time with. Lessons learned and some are harsh.

I know who I am. Where my heart is. I figured out what heals me and propels me to keep on. It doesn’t appear or happen overnight. Grief takes work and patience. Time is a great healer…it is true. I am guilty of wanting to share it with the ones I love. I wanted to make a difference in their lives. I wanted to share my story and how I recovered. I tried many times. Years later, I finally had to let go and move on. Painful still. What I do know is you must find your tribe! Seek out support and love. What I found along the way is Faith and Gratitude. Finding your own inner peace. Priceless. Planting your own seeds and taking the time to love yourself in whatever state of being you are in currently. I still chase waterfalls and flower gardens and oceans and shells and rocks. I know what matters. I try and be a loving, kind, human. I’m a work in progress, finding my path and my purpose here. My sister calls it, “God’s work”. Perhaps she is right. I am so grateful and thankful for her love & support. I am constantly trying to be understanding and supportive. Sometimes, that is all someone needs, just to be heard. I learned, some lessons can’t be taught. I do know a few things. I chose not to suffer anymore.

As we head into 2021, I am filled with hope. I am excited about a new life entering our world and hearts. She will be loved beyond the moon and the stars. I see my cup is full, brimming over with limitless possibilities! Just take it all one day at a time.

Love, & Peace, stay safe!

Leelee

We’re never too old to learn a few things

Good Morning My Lovely:
I hope this post finds you smiling and relaxed. I awoke to a heavy rain shower and smiled. Rain has been pretty scarce in the north this summer. You won’t hear me complain about it, because, beach days are abundant. I met my sis in law yesterday at her private beach in Babylon. The vibe there and energy is instantly uplifting. We had a cool breeze, partly cloudy and comfy. I sit there in my beach chair, surrounded by beautiful, strong, women and I am filled with gratitude. I live on an island that sometimes feels like paradise. I have traveled up and down the East and West coastlines and I am fully aware that I live on a tiny island of paradise. I grew up close to the bay, boating, fishing, clamming, crabbing and camping and beaching it. It was simple, organic and I am very much attached to it. We have a saying on the Island… I am 20 minutes from the bay and 20 minutes the other way is the ocean. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate it more and more. I often sneak out east early and explore and photograph all the beauty that surrounds me. There is an abundance of it. I have yet to explore the entire long island… but, it is what I thoroughly enjoy doing. I snuck out and drove alot when COVID 19 landed. I found the beaches empty and loved it. Throughout my exploration and self explorations; I have found beauty all around me. I think it’s one of the reasons I started a blog. I wanted to share my “leelee” moments and record them for my children to read, long after I am gone. I wanted to share my heart and a few of my favorite things. I originally planned on blogging about FOOD. I love to cook and create delicious dishes, however, it is time consuming to blog it all! Maybe, one day, when I slow down….maybe.

I see we are approaching the 5th Month of COVID 19 Pandemic. The virus that changed the entire world. Has it changed you? Did this anger you more than scare you? Did you feel panic, face financial loss? Did you lose someone you love to COVID 19 Virus? I have been observing and listening and praying. I chose NOT to listen to the news. I believe there is a level of brain washing. The media, and its hype. I just try and follow the rules. I do read the totals and tallies daily. I can see the flattening of the curve….I do feel safer out in public, but, we still wear masks. I often think about our masking. How Long? I wish I knew how to sew! I realize it is an added thingy. You leave your car.. you now have to account for keys, phone, wallet & MASK! Everyone laughs at themselves for having to return to your car for the MASK. It’s OK! For what IT’s WORTH, we are all still healthy! I find the population is much more relaxed about it now, and the numbers are holding, so all that is a good thing. We live in a world of uncertainty and panic for some. We all need to do our part.

This paragraph, the one that hurts me to write the most about is our current situation with protests, riots, hate, racism and the great divide. I have seen the hate and abuse. I sadly witnessed a group of kids destroy a police vehicle. The rage…it hurts my soul. I felt fear for the first time since COVID 19. A different type of fear.Now it is Fear of violence. Fear of hatred. Thousands gathered to protest. They did not end peacefully. This is not the 60’s… There are no peace signs. No one is singing the Coca Cola song. This pent up, built up, Rage, Anger, Frustration & Hatred. These emotions have saddened me. Does it really matter if I were to play ping pong with you? This one is right. This one is wrong. I see his point and I see yours. What I DON’T see or hear is peace. Our president doesn’t even address it! He doesn’t seem to care to get involved. That hurts me even more. I don’t hear the words peace & harmony. I must be naive. I live with inner peace and acceptance. I do not relate to violence in any form. I want to understand this insanity. I want to believe we can overcome. Can we?

In the meantime, our church will pray for all of you suffering. We will support our police. We acknowledge there is good in the world. We also acknowledge, there are bad people in the world. Cops too. But, mostly, I want to respect them. I want to support anyone who lays their LIFE on the line everyday for You and I. My father was a NYPD Cop. He was tough, rough around the edges. He had a career that he LOVED and adored for 25 years. He would come home and tell us stories about where he was working and the people that impacted his life. Racist or not, he would always share details about saving someone’s life or finding a baby in the street wandering around, or delivering twins in his squad car. He once cried telling us of a “hardworking” family he knew for years in a rough neighborhood. They beat him half to death and robbed him. He cried for that man, I remember. Real moments that meant something to him and us. Like I said, he was tough, old school. But, he was always fair. That is what people are screaming FOR! Yes, they are destroying, hurting each other in the process. They don’t have coping skills, they grew up hard. They scream for: Equal rights, humanity, fairness, justice, to be heard! to be recognized and respected. Don’t we all deserve that????? Let’s hope we get there someday. There is always hope.

Part of me is sad that this had to happen. George Floyd died. I watched it and cried. It was enough to wage the war on bad cops. I get it. I think every human knows he was a bad cop. I can’t stand that the other 5 officers did NOT stop him. Perhaps, from that day forward, they now will. Change comes. It’s part of living life. Stop hurting innocent people. Stop hating the Blue, they are trying to do their job now. Perhaps, one day, they will save your life. I know respect is earned. I wish we could call a truce and let it be. Like War, it solves nothing.

So this Pandemic has opened my eyes to many things. I did not expect to deal with this level of Racism Protests. I hope over time, there is some resolution some change, some healing. Until then….I will be at the beach…counting my blessings and thanking God for one more day.

Peace*…~

leelee