52, It’s Not Nice To Meet You

One year ago today, I decided to take advantage of restaurant “freebies” that are offered to customers on their birthdays (I am becoming my mother-in-law.) My plan was to go to a Mexican restaurant to eat my free birthday burrito and then hop over to an ice cream establishment to get my free sundae…because I’m me and I love food.

I was quite pleased with my grand idea and did not mind one bit that I was doing this on my own without anyone to share the experience with.  Isn’t that what blogging is for?  Some of you may remember that post detailing (TMI) how wrong the whole thing went.  Let’s just say I never made it to my free dessert location due to the fact that the burrito grounded me stuck on a white shiny porcelain fixture at the closest Target Store. Lucky for me, I was able to enjoy many other scrumptious birthday meals once I recovered.

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Although I am very tempted to give the freebies another chance (check out the personalized invite above), I think I will pass and just stick to stealing sugar packets from restaurants and consider those, my freebies.

This year, due to my ailing stomach and aging intestines, I will most likely have a less than remarkable birthday meal/s.  I have been cutting back on carbs and gluten, not necessarily by choice but out of an attempt to ease the increasing daily abdominal discomfort.  It this what 52 looks like?

Let’s see, the birth-day meal possibilities are…endless.  It will most likely consist of a small bowl of cottage cheese with a handful of blueberries as my late breakfast, a round piece of cardboard (I guess they call them rice cakes?) with peanut butter and cucumber slices on top as my snack.  A cheese stick (“I can’t wait to eat my cheese stick”, says no one ever) will be my second snack followed by a salad topped with home-grown acidic tomatoes (that hurt my stomach) from my garden, chicken or fish, more flavorless fresh cucumbers also from my garden, a handful of almonds with some type of blah dressing.  I will then eat two whole bite size dark chocolates for dessert before I begin weeping.

My point being that pretty much anything I eat these days causes me pain and bloating.  I have reluctantly called my doctor to see if we can figure out what is going on THIS TIME.  I am NOT at ALL bitter that my body keeps failing me, really – I am NOT!  What would a year be like without some kind of illness or health challenge?  I wouldn’t know.

All is not lost, however.  I am still very blessed and fortunate for what DOES work and particularly for my family and friends and all that shit…

Thanks to my little sister (who just turned 50 – Thank GOD), the month of September promises to be a month of celebrations even if no good food is to be consumed by me.  My crazy cousins and I are taking her for a girl’s weekend in a couple of weeks to celebrate her being almost as old as we are. WOOT! WOOT!  It should be a weekend filled with lot’s of laughter, happy tears, incontinence (we are old) and lot’s of celebratory liquid gold!  I will sacrifice my abdominal discomfort to make sure my sister has a great time and is as drunk as a sailor!  Did I mention she finally turned 50?

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, our dear mother surprised my sister and I for our birthdays, with a trip to Monterey, CA where she lives for half of the year.  We are leaving mid September for 12 fabulous days of complete bliss!  See how happy I am that she turned 50?  We are two years apart and our birthdays are one day apart so by default, I get to tag along and get spoiled for HER 50th celebration.

So, 52, I guess it’s a little nice to meet you. 

Hasta La Vista, 50!

highwaysafetyshop.com

highwaysafetyshop.com

I cannot believe that one year ago,  I was suffering tremendously at the thought of turning 50.  I lost a lot of hair and sleep worrying and anticipating the big 5-0.  I even started a blog to help me cope with this cruel reality.

Truth be told, I had fun celebrating (the parties were non-stop), talking and writing about it.  Was it as bad as I imagined it would be?

 Yes and No.

No, in that I am still here and have enjoyed… oh so thoroughly, not caring as much about what others think of me or what comes out of my mouth.  A stronger sense of freedom has blossomed.

Yes, it was as bad as I imagined it would be, in that a lot more than freedom has blossomed.  My arms have blossomed, my belly has blossomed, my thighs have blossomed as have the brown spots on my face.  In addition, I can see NADA without my readers, my hearing has faded and my breasts have migrated to the deep, deep South, but I digress.

I am more than ready to say goodbye to this eventful (to say the least) year and welcome in new adventures and food  experiences.

Speaking of food, in pure brickhouse fashion, I spent this birthday weekend by the shore with Mr. B, eating some delicious treats.  One being a succulent lobster roll from a very popular harbor café, as well as my favorite deli sandwich made with turkey, swiss cheese, alfalfa sprouts, pesto mayo, tomato and avocado.  Yes, I did.

We also tried a new restaurant which serves the most orgasmic brick oven pizza topped with arugula, prosciutto, pear and a balsamic glaze.  Enough? No. Can I tell you about the juicy pan seared native scallops sautéed with bacon and shallots? Need I say more? I better stop because I am starving, again.

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brickhousechick.com

tablespoon.com

tablespoon.com

 

They looked like this goodfoodfreshingredients.com

They looked like this
goodfoodfreshingredients.com

We also did plenty of walking, laying on the beach, shopping, talking, resting, laughing and planning for the year ahead.

*****A big shout-out to my all-time favorite Washington DC brothers-in-law and of course, BFFs, for the use of their beautiful home.  It was another spectacular birthday getaway in this elegant farmhouse on the coast.*****

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Bring it on, 51!

Seize The Day, And The Next And The Next…

SURPRISE!

morgue files

morgue files

On the tail end of an eventful two weeks of celebrating my daughter’s high school graduation,  Mr. Brickhouse and I headed to a birthday party this past Friday evening.  We were to celebrate two family member’s birthdays.  One who was turning 84 and the other 70.

We were told to dress for a cocktail party.  We dressed up and arrived with birthday gifts for the guests of honor.

Once seated, my loving cousin who was hosting the event, toasted to her devoted father who was visiting from Puerto Rico and turning 84 that day.   Birthday songs were sung in both English and Spanish, tears were shed and the ceremony continued with more toasting, this time to the guest turning 70.  

morgue files

morgue files

The man turning 70 was my cousin’s boyfriend/significant other.  They have been together for a couple of years and have built a wonderful life together. She shared stories about him as did other guests and we toasted to this special milestone.

This is when things got crazy.

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Good ideas always appear to be crazy.

P (my cousin’s boyfriend) grabbed the microphone and called my cousin over to  the dance floor.  In front of all the guests, he asked her what she wanted to do during the next year.  She responded with a simple yet deeply meaningful answer, “I would like to keep on living”. 

To most, wanting to keep living is just a given.  We take it for granted and is not an answer we give to that type of question.

 To my beautiful cousin however,  that answer means the world to her and to those who love her.  A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with a rare condition called, Cadasil:

Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy), is an inherited condition that causes stroke and other impairments. This condition affects blood flow in small blood vessels, particularly cerebral vessels within the brain. The muscle cells surrounding these blood vessels  are abnormal and gradually die. In the brain, the resulting blood vessel damage (arteriopathy) can cause migraines, often with visual sensations or auras, or recurrent seizures (epilepsy).”

“Damaged blood vessels reduce blood flow and can cause areas of tissue death (infarcts) throughout the body. An infarct in the brain can lead to a stroke. In people with CADASIL, a stroke can occur at any time from childhood to late adulthood, but typically happens during mid-adulthood. People with CADASIL often have more than one stroke in their lifetime. Recurrent strokes can damage the brain over time. Strokes that occur in the subcortical region of the brain, which is involved in reasoning and memory, can cause progressive loss of intellectual function (dementia) and changes in mood and personality.”

(courtesy of  http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov)

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This condition is extremely difficult to diagnose because it is so rare and often mimics other brain disorders like, Multiple Sclerosis.

She has already suffered from some light episodes and lives not knowing when the next one will  occur.  There is no cure or medication for this rare condition and no way to stop it from happening.

So you can imagine our surprise and tears of joy, when P got down on his knee and asked her to marry him – on his birthday.  She is like a sister to me so I was feeling incredibly happy for them both.

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P then grabbed the microphone again and asked if there was a priest in the room.  A man raised his hand and stood up.  

OMG!  

It was all planned!  

Were we on candid camera?

Were we being punked?

We were now attending their wedding.  

It turns out that only a few people other than the bride and groom, were in on this surprise.  Most of us were in complete shock.

This surprise is only a small example of the way my cousin lives her life.  It is precisely what I adore about her.  The admiration I have for the way she attacks life, is monumental.  Now 52, she has always lived her life in the moment.  Appreciating and stopping to notice the little details that matter.  There is no opportunity she does not take and make the best of.  

For her, No is simply a word that does not exist. She continues to be a dreamer and a doer, only now, after her devastating diagnosis, the wish to take it all in and enjoy herself has only intensified.  

Life has not been all peaches and cream for her as there have been plenty of large bumps along the way and things she probably wishes had never occurred.   She has made peace with what is and vows to get the most out of her years on this earth.

*******

So we went to a birthday party and had wedding cake instead.

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Felicidades mi prima querida.  Te quiero mucho!

I’m 50 and I know it…

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TODAY is D day!!

Thank Goodness because I was getting exhausted from all that swimming! After much rest and partying, I will continue my swim THROUGH my 50s rather than TO my 50s.

I better get the day started because I have to:

*Figure out 50 ways to leave my lover

*Unleash the “inner goddess”
in me and set my “hard limits” thanks to 
50 Shades of Grey.

*I’ve got to figure out WHO the 50th president of the United States is.

*  Watch my 50-5 inch TV

* Remember the 50th episode of Seinfeld

* Listen to Fiddy Cent

* Look through the 50th best asses in the world by, Elite Daily  

http://elitedaily.com/envision/girls/asses-world/

* Say my ABCs, including the 50th letter

* Go 50/50 with you on any lottery winnings today

* Watch the 50  40 Year Old Virgin

* Dream about vacationing in the 50th State

*Not climb the 50th highest mountain in the world, Ismoil Somoni Peak

*Share 50 Scorpion Bowls with my fellow bday buddies like Mark Harmon, Keanu Reeves and… I guess I’ll invite  my husband’s and Andy’s from

http://ourlifein3d.com/

REAL LOVE

Salma Hayek  (a beatch beauty)

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*Dance to Brick House 50 times

And last but not least,

I think I will thank the heavens above for the wonderful life I have and the amazing friends and family I am so blessed with. For my beautiful and loving kids, my ok health and for the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with the man I so adore, who is my everything.

Thank you all for being in my life and for reading my silly words week after week.

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*I’m LMFAO (Laughing My Fifty Fat Ass Off
So Let’s Dance to I’m Fifty Sexy And I Know It
Wiggle WIggle Wiggle!