Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year End - 2014

I made some huge moves this year, one being moving out of the Bronx. To people who aren't from The Bronx, this isn't a big deal, because those who didn't grow up there only think of the borough as bad, ugly and ghetto. The Bronx can be all of those things, because every borough has its dirt, but there is a culture and a love that can only be appreciated by those who are from the Bronx.

I could say that I'm not a real Bronxite because I was born in London and didn't land in the BX until 1987 when I was 8, but I lived in the Bronx most of my life and longer than I lived in London, so I count!

I can't explain my attachment to the Bronx in this post, because I'm trying to keep things short, and I'm long winded when I get to writing, but I will dedicate a blog post to the BX because the borough deserves a piece dedicated straight from my heart.

I always knew that one day I would leave, but still, I wasn't prepared for how I would take it when I did. I cried. HYSTERICALLY! Multiple times. And although my move wasn't a mistake, but a step in the right direction of my life, I'm probably still not done shedding tears. My tears aren't just about the borough, I'm sentimental. My life was formulated there. I met one of the loves of my life there; she and I walked those streets daily, chased & kissed boys and both dreamed of the day we left, but still, I can't believe I actually left.

Most of my tears were shed for my apartment. That apartment held many many awesome memories and I loved that place so much! But there will be lots of memories to be made and different phases of life to experience in this new chapter.

New home, new borough, new year.

Have a happy one!

- Louise

Follow me on Twitter @ LouiseCazley

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4th, 2014

The past several months have been filled with dreams. Dreams where you are with me, dreams where I tell people of you and dreams where I realize that I've lost you all over again.

These past months, you have haunted me daily and nightly.

Once, in the beginning, I tried to escape you with the hazy way that wine makes everything just a little softer around the edges; but at times alcohol, especially red wine, can have the opposite effect where it only makes your existence more real to me. Instead of escaping my thoughts of you, you and the pain of losing you are magnified in me.

Your existence brought me such miraculous joy. Every day, I woke not quite believing that you were with me. Your presence made me so happy that at times, I felt like I was having an outer body experience because it was unbelievable that you were with me! But you were with me, and I was overjoyed!

The second that I learned that you were with me was one of the most remarkable, breathtaking days of my life, of which I will never forget. And I loved you and I loved what having you with me was going to mean for my life. I grieve that you aren't here when you were supposed to be. But God is good and He has been good to me. And, although it’s extremely hard, I trust that if you were supposed to be with me you would have been.

Sometimes saying that to myself makes me feel better, but feeling better about you not being here when, in my mind, you were supposed to only lasts for a moment. Even as those moments of sadness become fewer and fewer, they are not few enough. When those moments catch me they sometimes catch me off guard; and when those moments come, they come hard like a brick.

My lose of you hits me harder than anything I've ever been hit by in my life. And when I’m hit by the grief of losing you, no matter how hard I try to reel it in, I can’t take it back and I can’t control it. My grief of losing you consumes me completely; mind, heart and body, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. It’s as if everything around me has been paused and all I see, all I feel, all I breathe is my lose of you.

I thought I was strong, but the physical and emotional pain of losing you brought me to my knees. I’ve always tried to be strong, because life just isn’t easy, and the only way I could think to move through life’s unpleasantries was to put one foot in front of the other even when I felt like collapsing to the ground. Even in those times, I’ve always been able to dust myself off and move forward. I wasn’t entirely whole to begin with, but you broke me, Dear Angel.

The way I was after you left me, Dear Angel, made me afraid. Who knew darkness could last for so long? I didn’t know that I could lose myself in such a way. I didn’t know that I could go to such a dark, dark place and I was really scared that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back to myself. I’m mostly back, but I’ll never be the same again.

You’ve changed me, Dear Angel, you changed us forever. With your existence, two separates became one and we'll never forget you, because you were our first. Even when the others come, we will still think of you.

I told myself that maybe I shouldn't write this because what if I lose who comes after you and who comes after them? I don’t think I could bear it, but I’ll cross that bridge if, God forbid, I come to it. Life is unstable and the truth is that I will have worse things than your lose to face. The reality is that there's no getting around life’s instabilities.

Those who haven’t experienced this type of lose might think I’m dwelling, but my lose of you isn’t something I can shake. I am a thinker, been a thinker since the day I was born. I think of you every day and even when/if the daily thoughts of you fade you will always be in my heart and on my mind.

You changed me, Dear Angel, when I lost you, I lost some of the fight in me. Some of the fight in me was immature and unnecessary, but some of the fight in me is what kept me motivated; a lot of the wind has been knocked out of my sails and I just don’t have the energy, the oomph I had before you came along. Now, I’m utterly exhausted.

The only thing that continues to save me is God and Jesus and our Edward-Angel who continues to pull me out of the darkness with his love. Getting through losing you would have been a million times harder if God didn't show him how to rescue me.

The only thing that saves me is the happy, loving images projected from my heart to my mind that I can only hope will be fulfilled.

At this time, of this year I would have become someone new because of you. I would have entered a role that I feel I was born to live. I was glad and ready for the sacrifices I would have had to make because of you. Because for you, it would have all been worth it. I like to know, need to know everything. I like to have answers, but there are no answers for why I wasn't allowed to have you in my life.

I wish I could keep you to myself, because some things are supposed to remain private, but I can’t because I’m a writer and my words aren't only for me. There’s a stirring that happens in me right before the words come and I couldn’t ignore it. I live for stories. I just wish I had different stories to tell about you and about all of the joys you were bringing us because you were here. We’re sorry that you aren't, but we can only trust that there is a reason why.

~ With all of my love.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homemade Buttermilk

Brunch and breakfast are the things I live for on the weekends, so a few years ago I searched high and low for a recipe to see if I could recreate IHOP's buttermilk pancakes. I didn't find the exact recipe, of course (it’s their little secret), but I did find an extremely close match which I've been making ever since; the pancakes are so yummy and fluffy that I cannot, will not revert back to boxed pancake mix.

The problem with making buttermilk pancakes from scratch is that buttermilk is not sold in small quantities and I always end up wasting about ½ of the container because I didn't make enough pancakes before the buttermilk expired. I could have used it for baking so that it didn't go to waste, but I didn't think that far ahead.

I also searched around to see if buttermilk was sold in pint size quantities, but it wasn't, so I did the next best thing, which was to see if I could make it on my own.

I found a few different ways to make it but the recipe I went with consisted of:

¾ cup plain yogurt (I used Fage plain Greek yogurt and it worked fine)
¼ cup milk
½ tsp white vinegar

I really wasn't sure how these yogurt based pancakes were going to turn out, but DAMN! They were delicious! And I enjoyed hearing the satisfied grunting noise that came from Edward after he took his first bite. No words needed... I feel you, Boo!

Strange things get me excited so the fact that I was able to make my own buttermilk was the highlight of my weekend. As I skipped through my kitchen, I probably repeated the ingredients to Edward about it three times, even though he heard me the first time and he really could care less about ingredients.

Here’s to never buying buttermilk again!

~Louise

Follow me on Twitter @ LouiseCazley

Friday, April 4, 2014

Racing Old-Dude, Guillermo

I run into this old dude in the elevator of my apartment building some mornings when I’m leaving for work. I don’t know his name, but I’ve given him the name Guillermo (emphasis on the ‘errrrmo’) because it seems fitting. He is a grumpy old man but his wife is social enough to make up for his grouchy demeanor. When we see each other in the mornings, he is always alone; frown on his face, wearing a black hat & long black trench coat. I may or may not say good morning and he may or may not grunt back a response.

We walk in the same direction for a short while after we leave the building and I’ve suspected that he doesn’t like it when I pass him if I’m walking at a faster pace. I feel like he always speeds up so that I can’t pass him. I thought I was imagining things, but this morning I was feeling mischievous so I decided to put my theory to the test. I made this decision while we were in the elevator so once we exited the building I let him get a few seconds of a head start and observed his normal walking speed, then I picked up the pace, closing in on him.

The second I came close to passing him, Guillermo began huffing and puffing, his left arm swinging out at an awkward angle as he used it to gain the momentum to keep me in the dust. Guillermo is tall, like 6 1/2 feet. I’m only 5 feet tall, so I had to take two steps to match one of his, but I kept up and walked faster. And he walked faster.

By the time Guillermo crossed the street away from me, I was out of breath and I know he was too, because of all the heavy mouth breathing coming from him during our unofficial race.

Now I know I wasn’t bugging out: Old dude, Guillermo, does not like it when I beat him at his walking game. I know I shouldn't mess with old people, but next time, and there will be a next time, I’m breaking into a run.

~Louise

Follow me on Twitter @ LouiseCazley

Friday, February 7, 2014

35 Shares for 35

I turned 35 a few weeks ago. That number feels so wrong to me because when I think about the past 10 years, it feels like it was just yesterday. In no time, I’ll be forty and it’s so insane to think that one day I will be fifty and sixty years old. And if I make it to and past all of these ages it will be a blessing because tomorrow isn't promised, life isn't guaranteed, so I am happy to have celebrated thirty-five years of living!

In honor of my thirty-five years, I have thirty-five random shares from my crazy life.

1. I look the same as I did when I was 25, as do most of my friends. It’s awesome and something I hope to be able to pull off in the 10 years to come. Whenever I see someone who is my age or younger, I always wonder what kind of life trauma they must have endured to look as old as they do, because more times than not, I ALWAYS look younger than them. And it surely isn't because I've had an easy life leaving me with less worries - therefore less wrinkles, because my 35 years certainly haven’t been easy.

2. Although I look the same as I did 10 years ago, I now need makeup. My 25 year old skin was luminous and moist even without the help of facial moisturizers; especially in the summer. People would ask me what makeup I wore when all I had on was a natural layer of my very own glisten (aka oil). Now, I need to work at getting the appearance of luminosity that I had 10 years ago. I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I have been anti-makeup for years, but makeup has become one of my BEST FRIENDS.

3. I’m obsessed:

a) With personalized items. I must buy anything that has the letter “L” imprinted, painted or sewn onto it.

b) With my home. I don’t have the money or the handyman help to do what I would like with my home, but I am obsessed with collecting ideas that will one day make my home into the home of my dreams.

c) With buying things for my cat. She has no idea that she has a set of bowls that match the d├ęcor of the kitchen, but when I saw the bowls (All three sets of bowls. She has a clumsy mom), I just knew that she had to have them.

d) With lotion. Face lotion, eye lotion, body lotion, hand lotion and foot lotion. Does deep conditioner count as a lotion?

e) With Lysol wipes.

4. I’m getting better at letting people go. People grow apart and that’s okay. I no longer have the energy for things I used to tolerate.

5. Sometimes I fantasize about what life would have been like had I not had to become an adult as early as I did. But then, I wouldn't be the woman I am and I love her, so scratch that.

6. I still find it weird when I refer to myself as a woman.

7. Being independent is awesome, but it isn't all it’s cracked up to be because people always think you ‘got this’ when in reality you could use a little help. Maybe I need to stop acting like I ‘got this’ and allow people to help me.

8. Would I enjoy coming to work as much if I didn't like the people I work with?

9. The Roomba has changed my life for-ever!

10. I fantasize about owning my own business; a bookstore / coffee shop with a kid friendly section including wooden toys, children’s books, and a nice rug that I bought from IKEA and free wifi for the grownups. I’d host weekly book club nights, knitting nights, wine tasting nights… but how do you get something like this off the ground without going broke first? Me and broke don’t go so well together.

11. I wanted to be a mom by the time I was 35, and I was, but it was very short lived. Although I would prefer for my baby to be with me, God has my baby. Pregnancy was the most joyous, miraculous, special experience and I’m so honored to have experienced it. I just wish things would have ended differently. I've experienced and overcome many obstacles in my life, but losing a baby undid my togetherness and changed me forever.

12. People. I don’t like them. Sometimes I want to shank them. But I won’t because I’m too cute to go to jail and eating vagina just isn't my thing.

13. I appreciate having a best friend. One who has lived the past twenty-five years with me. The word ‘best friend’ doesn't even come close to defining our relationship because we are sisters through and through. Everyone isn't fortunate enough to experience this type of relationship. I've struggled with the term best friend over the years because I have lots of best friends, and because my best friend has, at times, made me want to strangle her and she me (although I doubt it; wink). No relationship is ever perfect. But we’ve matured and we've learned to accept each other. Although at times she is, she has no reason to be jealous of my other best-friendships, because there isn't anyone else on the planet (besides my mother) who has shared so many years of history and paralleled their lives with me.

14. I would love to write for a living. I have lots of characters and story lines roaming around in my head, yet to be released onto paper. But writing doesn't pay the bills and I’m a fancy girl, who likes to have fancy things. And fancy things cost money.

15. I love food. I think about food on my way to work, on my way home from work, when I’m at the hair salon, when I’m sitting on my couch watching television. I’m constantly thinking about the meals I am going to cook and how good they’re going to taste when I’m eating them. Before going to a restaurant, I sometimes salivate over the menu and get excited about what I’m going to eat before I get there.

16. I have many amazing older friends. They are actually the ones who have less judgment and more compassion than any of the friends my own age.

17. I’m impressed with how my selection of wines has developed. Thank. You. Beatrice.

18. The people in my life think I’m nicer than I am. They have this weird idea that I like to help others, and I do, but sometimes when I do help, it becomes expected and then I don’t want to help anymore and people get angry. They have a hard time accepting that Louise doesn't do anything that Louise doesn't want to do.

19. I hope to own a home soon. If I had saved all of the money I've spent on clothing that I've given away I would probably own my own home by now.

20. Real adults drink water and eat servings of fruits and vegetables. And I am working on it.

21. I've had the same glasses /contact prescription for the past 10+ years… maybe, just maybe it’s time to get a new prescription.

22. A quote from my friend, Clarissa: “If there was a degree in television watching, I would have a PhD.” Ditto, Clarissa. Dit-to!

23. Scary movie trailers. I rebuke you.

24. People think that they would enjoy living with me because I am responsible and I know my boundaries. In reality, the only people who would enjoy living with me are those who are using my vagina; either for pleasure or to come into the world. Also, please refer to line # 12.

25. I wish I could think before I speak when I’m angry. I frequently say things that I shouldn’t and my use of the F word is unladylike and disrespectful.

26. On the other hand, I wish I said what needed to be said, at the time it needed to be said so that people understood where the fuck I stand.

27. I’m a semi-private person. I’m private with things I should share and I share too much of the things I should keep private. (Shrug) Whatever.

28. “Good things happen to good people.” This philosophy has fucked up my expectations and sense of reality. In real life, things happen. Period.

29. If you don’t like to have sex with your husband, get a new one or take a class. Life is too short. (I’m kidding, don’t get a new husband… but take the class and touch each other inappropriately afterwards.)

30. I hate that I love all of the Real Housewife reality shows. It’s embarrassing, but I can’t wait to watch them.

31. A smile and some cleavage can get you things if you use them in conjunction with each other.

32. I don’t think of myself as a risk taker, but I've taken plenty of risks to get to where I am.

33. Last week, a very awesome dude took me to my first concert ever: The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I literally almost cried when they sang Under the Bridge. I touched him inappropriately afterwards.

34. Although you don’t hear so much about bedbugs on the news anymore, my phobia still lives. I know they are still out there because America didn't do enough to eradicate them.

35. Life is AMAZING and it’s been made amazing by the awesome people who have shared it with me. I always end everything the same way because I have to. What is life if you don’t have anyone to share it with? And I've had some of the best human beings to ever walk the planet as my friends, family and lover. I am a very lucky ‘woman’. I can’t wait to see what the next 35 years has in store for us! Some of us will have walkers, arthritis and dentures by then, but getting old isn't what it used to be so let’s try to do this with style! Here’s to the next 35!

~Louise C.

Follow me on Twitter @ LouiseCazley