Celebrate! Your Life is a Special Occasion

Have you missed me? If so, I am sorry for my lack of communication. You see, I have been down in the dumps and unable to dig my way out. If you follow along regularly, you know I suffer from depression and well…the past 6 months have been a fucking gut punch. My Dad passed in October, and the holidays were tough to enjoy and celebrate. I couldn’t even really celebrate LeAnne-uary because I was gearing up for major surgery (knee replacement). Since then I have been in vortex of physical therapy, pain, and doctor appointments to get well enough to travel.

Grab on to Joy

I have been trying to grab on to joy, and learn to celebrate the small stuff. It’s been a rough road, full of potholes and pit stops. I had to start somewhere, so  I started with the glitter makeup in my cosmetic drawer. Those things I bought and said, “I’ll use these for a special occasion.” And the special occasion never materialized. There I was at the beginning of December beginning my purge to downsize my house, perusing my stash. I came to the conclusion that my LIFE is a special occasion, dammit! I decided then and there that I would wear something from my glitter collection every damn day until it was all gone.

Spring Cleaning?

Like many of you, I started the new year by cleaning. You can’t really call it “spring” cleaning because it wasn’t spring yet, but it’s a deep clean nonetheless. All the leftovers, that mystery sauce in the fridge and the weird shit that’s sitting in the pantry. You know all those gorgeous teas, jellies, jams, oils, and seasonings, bought at craft fairs, boutique stores, and on vacations? Why wasn’t I using them?

I bought them “for a special occasion”, but the special occasion didn’t come. So, the stuff sat there…and sat there…and sat there until I had to toss a bunch of it because it was expired. What a fucking waste! My friends are special enough for the luscious apricot jam I brought back from Austria! My husband is special enough for the Tom Douglas Rubs I brought back from Seattle! I am special enough for the fancy Persian tea flavored with bergamot! I’ve been drinking the special teas, using the fancy jams, and generally using all of the gee whiz cool spices and seasonings I have lying around.

Avocado Toast with Furikake and Tajin
Mom stole a corner of this and she was hooked – see notes below.

When I have good avocados, my new favorite breakfast is avocado toast with Tajin and either Japanese Furikake Rice seasoning or zaatar; sometimes one slice of each flavor. I am relishing the fragrance of beautiful herbal teas at night (mainly because I am trying to lay off the booze) instead of saving them for a special occasion. These beautiful chili threads from Spiceology are being sprinkled on eggs, pork roasts, just about anything, including avocado toast, just because they are surprising and pretty.

Spiceology Chile Threads as surprisingly beautiful as they are tasty.
Everything I have tried from Spiceology is fantastic and you should hit them up too! This photo is from their website.

For the love of all that is fun and spectacular, use the good plates, the good flatware, and the special glassware. Lay out the linens and just KNOW that you and your people are worth the “Special” stuff! And that goes for booze too! C’mon, you know you have that bottle of bourbon or Scotch or whiskey that you’ve been saving for a special night. Well guess what? Tuesday is a special night!

Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Fun with a “dummy bottle” at a Woodford Reserve bartender competition

Use a Reward System

If it makes you feel better, use a reward system to enjoy the treats you have squirreled away for a special occasion. Got out of bed and worked out? Enjoy whole grain pancakes with a drizzle of real maple syrup from Vermont. Passed an exam? Got a promotion? Hit up that bottle of special booze. You can also create a special occasion. Host a real tea party and use up the fancy teas, lemon curd, and cool sugar cubes you have in your secret stash. A tea party would even be a perfect time to learn to make scones or tea sandwiches. Hmmm…now there’s an idea.

Host a tea party of your own...

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

A Couple of Notes:

  1. On Avocado Toast – it’s such a simple thing and I can’t believe what restos charge for it! Unless their bread is something truly special, you should just make it at home. While Mom was here helping me rehab post-op, I got her totally hooked on Avocado Toast. She prefers hers without the furikake and calls it the fishy stuff. She insisted she can’t get Tajin in Florida and bought a jar to take home and gratefully accepted half of my zaatar before heading home so she could make it for herself.
  2. On travel mentioned earlier – As I type I am ruminating on packing…for 2 weeks in Egypt. I have my clothes laid out and I have tried everything on, but there are some additional concerns for me. Namely being culturally sensitive. I’ve been told, “Women should dress modestly” not showing their cleavage, not wearing anything too form fitting, and not wearing sleeveless shirts. Um that was most of my warm weather clothing. Stay tuned for postings from Egypt.
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