cure for insomnia?, blogging

I knew that once my daughter recovered from her health issues, and I recovered from mine, my brain cells would be on the move once again. At least I hoped. You can imagine how elated I am to be at my keyboard, virtually nonstop within recent, very recent, days. A writer, even one who dabbles like me, never wants to experience “writer’s block,” or worse, come to a virtual standstill. But while my faith might have wavered, I’m certain my family never doubted that I’d be back as “hugmamma.” Correction, let’s just say they were praying for my speedy recovery.

When my daughter was younger, she and my husband teased me about the multi-tome collection of books which I could pen, entitled “Life According to Mom.” That hasn’t happened, YET, but it’s for sure they don’t want to return to the days when they were the sole beneficiaries of my diatribes on life.

But aaahhh, how glorious it is to have my “grey matter” back working at almost tip-top capacity! Words that have been bottled up for too long are happily tumbling over one another, excited to be free, exhilarated to find their voice once more. And I’m only too thrilled to get them out of my overstuffed pantry of a brain. I love the little buggers, but they can be a real pain in the butt when I’m trying to doze off at midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m.

The last words I consciously will myself to think are “Thank you God for all your blessings.” And then I try a few “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee”s, since I don’t count sheep. But chiseling away at the furthest corners of my mind, with stealth and unrelenting determination are words, words of all sizes and meanings, infiltrating, and ultimately undermining my attempts to sleep. The battle wages on for hours, until exhausted, my brain and body give in to some much-needed “zzzzzzzzzzzsss!”   

but not this morning,… i’ve already posted 4 pieces, this being the 5th…hugmamma. (WRITING AND BLOGGING EMPTIES MY BRAIN OF WORDS, SO I CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT!)

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“good samaritan #10,” a Thai restaurant

During the holiday season the media tends to focus more attention on acts of kindness. My ears perk up whenever I hear of small town heroes who, in the course of their daily lives, show compassion for others. On local news, Kiro 7, just such a segment ran about a Thai restaurant in Ballard, a suburb of Seattle.

Thai has become my favorite Asian food, since I’ve found several local restaurants which offer delicious fare. It use to be that Japanese food was my very favorite, followed by Chinese. Unfortunately, those local restaurants which I use to visit with regularity, have been disappointing of late. And as I’ve remarked to family and friends, “Don’t eat calories you don’t LOVE!” I know I can’t afford to waste calories on “so-so” food.

After learning about the enormous generosity of the Thai Siam Restaurant, our family will be dining there very, very soon. For 23 years, it has been the site of a free Christmas turkey meal to those in need. This year they served 400 meals in-house, and sent out another 400 meals as take-outs. The website tells their sweet story, beginning with a video of owner Vhanthip (Nancy) Phokayasupatt, who had been an ovarian cancer patient many years ago. Perhaps that motivated her to reach out to the suffering, or perhaps it just coincided with her already compassionate spirit. Following is the open invitation for their annual Christmas dinner.

FREE CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR THOSE IN NEED  

If you know someone who would not be able to have a festive dinner on Christmas Day, Thai Siam Restaurant would like to extend our invitation to a free turkey dinner.

 Also written on their website is their mission statement, as a member of their community. More businesses should follow suit in giving back to those who not only support them, but to the less fortunate in our society. The world would be a better place, for sure.

Thai Siam is not only a place for wonderful dining, but is also a place for community building.

Our mission is not only to give all customers, their families and friends the best in quality and healthy food, but also to be involved in the community as much as we can. We believe that community is the heart of all things. That is why for 19 years, we have used our restaurant to help raise funds for local charities that serve our neighborhood, such as Seattle’s Children’s Hospital, Union Gospel Mission, Boys and Girls Club, The Masha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, Cancer Lifeline and many, many more. Also, we have hosted a yearly dinner to provide warm food for the less fortunate every Christmas.

Food is a source of life, and we are thankful to have been blessed with this gift that we can share with the community. Thank you for the continuous support you have provided us. We are encouraged to know that you are standing with us.

  

for Nancy and her elves at Thai Siam Restaurant, huge hugs…hugmamma.

  

  

 

our “menagerie,” our “family”

Wanted to introduce you to family members who love us unconditionally.

Mocha’s our terrier-beagle, southern belle. Her beady eyes peer out from under long lashes. She’s irresistible; we smother her with hugs and kisses.  

Sunkist, a Persian, is the grande dame, at 15 or 16 years of age. She has little patience for tomfoolery, which pretty much means she avoids all other critters, including her siblings. Only her human family gets her undivided attention, and adulation.

They make us smile, even laugh! They want our attention all the time, but they’ll take whatever they can get, whenever they can get it.

Sitka and Juneau are brothers, Maine-coone-mix, adopted from the animal shelter. They love, love, love to be loved, loved, loved…all the time. Our daughter recently recommended we buy a baby carrier for Sitka, who wants to permanently attach himself to our bodies.

They’re not fussy. In fact, they’re downright accommodating. Juneau doesn’t mind being a footstool, when we lovingly rub his tummy with our feet. Guess he doesn’t mind the smell either. Or does he? 

Misha, our daughter’s “son,” a pure-bred, Maine-coone, loves being at grammie’s and grampie’s. It didn’t take him long to assert his dominance over the others, Juneau especially, Sunkist not so much.

Misha can be goofy at times, as in these photos.

 But our daughter loves goofy guys. So they make a perfect pair.

God bless them all, our “family” of pets and yours, and bestow them with good health for a long, long time. Amen.

can’t do without our little buddies…hugmamma.

christmas wishes, more than

Received a wonderful letter from an older sister today. We’ve not maintained regular contact over the years; life happens, even to the best of us. One of the great side effects of my blog is that siblings, and other relatives, with whom I’ve not been in touch consistently, have been regular readers. Having been the youngest of 9, at home alone with my mom when the others had gone on to live their own lives, I often felt like an only child. Friends with whom I’d grown up, knew me better than my own kin. Even through college, interaction with my own brothers and sisters was sporadic. And because I was dating my husband then, his parents and siblings were more like my own family. This isn’t a unique scenario, for sure. Jobs, relocation, children, friends, in-laws, can all cause families to lose touch.

It’s not in my nature to regret and wonder “what if.” I’ve lived my life “in the moment,” making the most of each and every one. My priority became my husband and daughter, because my own family was not close-knit. I wanted to make sure mine would be, and it is. Friends filled in the gaps, sisters, brothers and the like. Of course they weren’t the real thing, but I was content. Forcing kin to connect is not my style. Forcing anyone to do anything, has never been my “modus operandi.” Must be because as the youngest, I couldn’t force anyone to do anything.

Age equalizes. It makes me accept life as it is, tweaking it here and there as necessary. Living my best life is what I strive to do, and what I wish for others, including my relatives. Receiving my sister’s lovely letter, let me know that she’s enjoyed getting to know the me she’s not really known for nearly 40 years. And that’s good.

Happiness for me is found in the small pleasures, and among them are my sister’s Christmas wishes.

Not going to make this a lengthy Christmas letter. Just to let you know how much I enjoy your blogs. I continue to be impressed with how well you express yourself and with the wide coverage of subjects you write on. …I especially look forward to seeing what’s cooking in your kitchen. The coconut cream cake is absolutely out of this world. I baked the first one for my sister-in-law’s 84th birthday, and she couldn’t get enough of it. I’m baking a couple of them this weekend: one for a Christmas block party, and another as a gift for my girlfriend. …several people have already asked me for the recipe. One of these days I’ll try the oven-baked pancake.

   everyday words from one sister to another…special christmas wishes…hugmamma.

“exercise and pastries,” oxymoron, or balance?

On the last Friday of the month, our exercise class usually meets afterwards for coffee and conversation at a local Starbuck’s. Once in a while we patronize another local “coffee” house…mine. Since it’s decorated “to the nines” for Christmas, I love having people over for a “look-see.” And my exercise buddies always love  to look and see, how our household rings in the holidays.

Since our personal computers are still without internet connection, thanks to Comcast, I’m still blogging gratis my husband’s laptop. Because of this, I’m not able to share photos of this year’s decor, which I can only access on my computer. Hopefully service will be restored tomorrow, and I’ll be back in “my office.” When I am, you’ll get a peek inside what my daughter calls our “Christmas explosion!” Meanwhile, the photo at the top of my blog is of last year’s decor, partially of course.

Somehow preparing to entertain is an all night affair. I almost never get to bed until the wee hours of the morning the day of the party. I crawl under the covers, only to get up a couple of hours later, put on my “new day” face, and proceed to rush about on pure adrenalin. I should be napping right now, but I always get sucked in to blogging. It’s my time for personal pleasure. And writing gives me a “high,” like trillions of endorphins flying around inside my head, wearing happy faces. Blogging is one “detour” I can never seem to bypass.

Unfortunately preparing for today was delayed last night, because I wanted to first write and publish a post on tinnutis, or ringing in the ear. Writers will agree, I’m sure, that we have to continually write to be taken seriously. And I’ve a long way to go, since I’ve only been writing consistently for 5 months. 

Knowing my penchant for delay, I bought a few items for today’s coffee with the ladies. If you’ve a nearby QFC, you can purchase some of the goodies that were a hit. Dutch Country’s Homemade Red Velvet Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling (made from scratch). “Thaw and Serve. Ready to Eat.” Dutch Country also makes a Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling, again “from scratch.” The other pastry I bought from QFC was a Danish Kringle, a “Traditional Danish Pastry.” It looks like a large pretzel in the shape of a heart with an “x” in the center. Its crust is sooo flaky and its center is laden with a thin custard layer. Hmmm…yummy!

My homemade contribution was an “Overnight Breakfast Casserole.” It’s very easy to make, and lent something different to a table of sweets. Actually, a friend brought another egg dish that included mild peppers. It was flavorful, and not spicy as expected. Here’s the recipe for my casserole. Next time I might try it with hashed brown potatoes, instead of bread. I’m certain that would change the taste and texture of the dish. Bon appetite!!! 

OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST CASSEROLE     

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter, 6 to 8 slices bread, 1 to 1  1/2 lbs link sausage, 12 eggs (beaten), 3/4 cups milk, 1  10 oz. can cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper to taste, 1 to 1  1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese..

Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down in baking dish. You might have to cut each slice into quarters so all slices can fit in the dish.  Brown sausage in skillet, drain. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Beat eggs with milk in mixer bowl until foamy. Add soup, salt and pepper; mix well. Pour over bread; sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Chill, covered, in refrig overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour or until center is set. You may add fresh sliced mushrooms, and use mushroom soup, or vary cheeses and substitute hashed brown potatoes or tater tots for bread.

If you’re nowhere near a QFC (or Kroger) market, here’s the manufacturer’s information: Dutch Country Apple Dumplings, Inc., P.O. Box 603, Orrville, Ohio 44667, (330) 683-0646. Larsen’s Original Danish Bakery, 8000 24th Ave, N.W., Seattle, WA 98117, (206) 782-8285, www.larsensbakery.com.

You must be wondering, or maybe you’re not, how women who make it a point to “bump and grind” in exercise class three mornings a week, can return to indulging ourselves once a month. Partly because it is once a month, but more importantly because of the camaraderie we share away from class. Socializing is an important factor in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. Those who are getting on in years, including myself, must make a concerted effort to remain connected to people, to our community, to society. The fact that my friends and me exercise, socialize, and eat sweets, now and then, demonstrates how normal we are in trying to live balanced lives.

wishing the same for you, a balance of exercising…socializing…and pastries…hugmamma.

made my day, “footloose”

We all have one of those days now and then, maybe even more now, than then. I went to exercise class bright and early this a.m.; would’ve preferred remaining warm under the covers. As I age, Hawaii, its warmth and sunshine, beckons ever more. Like sirens of old, it calls to me, “Come lay your weary head upon my white sands, and let the warm waters of the Pacific wash away your concerns.” If I could only bottle the sun, releasing its warmth and light, as needed.

Of course exercise class always gets my endorphins moving, and my heart rate up. When I returned home, I spoke with my daughter, who agreed, that Kristina, the instructor, gives one fierce workout. Only time, and body, will tell how long I can keep pace with the younger women, those in their 40’s and 50’s. While I can always “take it down a notch,” as my daughter reminded me, I never see that as an alternative. I always challenge myself to do everything 110%, or at least 100%. I don’t usually drag myself around after working out, but I could barely register enough energy to get up out of the chair to fix a bite. But I did. Then I ran a couple of errands, returned home and plopped myself back down in the same chair, the one in front of my computer. That’s when my day took a turn, for the better.

A good friend must’ve read my mind, and knew I needed a boost. Dancing and rythmic music levitates my spirit like nothing else, well…almost. Watching my daughter dance gives me a tremendous “high,” that lasts and lasts. But I smiled nonstop during the following video which my girlfriend emailed, moving my head from side to side. The movie “Footloose” was great, but this version combining pieces of 40 movies or so, should be awarded a prize of some sort. Congrats to its creator, whoever he or she might be. Of course, I’m thrilled that an excerpt of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” was included. That was like “icing on the cake.”

So I share my friend’s gift to me, as an early holiday gift to you.

huge holiday hugs…hugmamma.

blogging, still mind-boggling

With our recent spate of inclement weather, blogging has not been smooth. My Comcast connection has been operating in “fits and starts.” Is that the right cliché? I can never nail those. One minute I’m typing away, churning out the words, then “poof,” I get kicked off the internet.

Lately I’ve been running between my laptop upstairs, and the household computer down here in the “bowels of the earth.” You’d think the exercise up and down stairs would’ve lost me a few pounds. But no luck, with the holidays comfortably ensconced upon me, there’s no let up in shoveling tasty morsels into my eager mouth throughout the day. Frustration only increases the number of times, and the portion sizes.

I’m writing to forewarn you about the regularity with which my posts may appear. I’m still here, but most of the time I seem to be blogging in isolation, that is until Comcast gets me back out into cyberspace. I do plan to call them today, and ask if there might be a problem. I wonder how many buttons I’ll have to press to get through their programmed customer service menu, to actually ask my question? I just wish the darned computer would work without any hitches. At times like this is when I feel like flinging it through the nearest window.

The other item I wanted to mention is the modification in my blog’s title. For regular readers who know that my site was known as “Hugmamma’s Attention to Detail,” you might have wondered “Whaaas up?” My lovely daughter and I put our pretty, little heads together is “whaaa happened.”

Maintaining a blog is an ongoing challenge, especially if I want to continue attracting readers. All bloggers face this dilemma. While remaining true to its core message, I must tweak my site every now and then, until it finally evolves into a product with which I’m fully satisfied.  I’m not there yet. Much of it is to do with my limited computer skills, like uploading photos and videos. Yes, I can learn; but no, I haven’t the patience. I simply want to write. So as soon as I established the basic platform from which to launch my passion, I stopped wanting to learn. And so it’s my fault that all the “neat stuff” still eludes me.

While I do congratulate myself for coming this far in 4 short months, I’m itching to go farther. Long story short, I felt that the previous title of my blog was not helping to get my “voice” further out into the internet community. The title needed words which were more likely to be “clicked on.” But I didn’t think too hard upon the subject, only mentioning it to my daughter in passing.

As if waving a magic wand, my daughter immediately proclaimed that the title of my blog should be “Hugmamma’s Mind, Body and Soul.” She explained, very eloquently, that my posts already fell under these 3 categories. Pet topics like Alzheimer’s and bananagrams involve the mind; food, and all its subcategories, as well as alternative health practices involve the body; and my travel commentaries and philosophical ramblings are “food” for the soul.

Like me, “Hugmamma’s Mind, Body and Soul,” continues to evolve. I hope you’ll stay with me as I continue sharing my thoughts and feelings about the minutiae of every day life, mine…and hopefully, yours. 

huge hugs as we head toward 2011, when we’ll all bloom…hugmamma.  

 

“thanks giving,” or “giving thanks”

Time with our daughter while she’s home on sabbatical for a few months, is precious beyond words. She started her journey towards a professional career when she was 11. When she wasn’t doing schoolwork, she was dancing. Serious hopefuls know they must train all the time, like any other athlete, from gymnasts to basketball players. 

At the performing arts conservatory where our daughter was enrolled as a high school student, academics began at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 12:30 p.m. each day. Throughout the rest of the afternoon, she was in dance classes, ballet, jazz, modern, character and Spanish. If a performance loomed large, rehearsals extended a long day, into an even longer one. Where our daughter may have normally finished at 6:30 p.m., rehearsing easily saw her at the studio until 9 or 9:30 p.m. And then, of course, there was homework to be done, which regularly kept the midnight oil burning.

Summers saw our daughter dancing in programs around the country, even Canada. Her first year away from home, ever, I traveled with her by plane, then bus to Banff, Canada. I settled her in safely for the 5 week dance workshop, where she was the only American chosen to participate. At the time she was 15.  She did so well, they awarded her a scholarship to return the following summer. She opted, instead, to dance in NYC with American Ballet Theatre. She’s since thought better of her decision, wishing she’d returned to Banff, where the training was more individualized. “Water under the bridge,” as the saying goes. And while the dancing wasn’t as great as she thought, our daughter wasn’t disappointed with The Big Apple. She would return there to dance, again and again, in the future.

As she grew older, our daughter’s summer forays increased in number. The summer before moving to train with Atlanta Ballet, she danced in Mississippi, Atlanta and NYC. The programs differed, affording  her varied experiences. The first was a competition that occurs every 4 years in Jackson; the second was with Atlanta Ballet; and the third was with Paul Taylor’s Company, for contemporary dance.

At 16 years of age, and a senior in high school, our daughter moved to Atlanta. I accompanied her, remaining until she turned 19.  While training with the city’s ballet company, she finished her academic studies online, with a teacher from the conservatory. She graduated in June, having returned home to participate in the ceremonies. Because the state recognized the school’s dance credits, our daughter received a 4.25 grade point average on her final report card.

Our daughter has felt it important for her to continue training in the Company’s off-season, which usually coincides with the summer months. Our daughter has done so, traveling to NYC,  Chautauqua/New York, Martha’s Vineyard/Massachusetts, Portland/Oregon, and more recently, Irvine/California. While continuing to hone her craft, and keeping physically fit, she has also benefitted by growing her network of instructors, choreographers, artistic directors, and fellow dancers. As with other careers, “who you know” does help. 

My husband and I have supported our daughter in her quest to become a professional dancer. She has the talent, the discipline, the work ethic, and the drive to forge ahead in her career. Fortunately for her, and the Company with whom she now dances, theirs is a mutual “love affair.” They look forward to her return in the New Year, as does she.

Meanwhile, my husband and I feel very fortunate to have our grown daughter home with us for the holidays. Not since before dance became the focal point of her life, have we had the luxury of time, to just enjoy one another. She’s my “BFF,” best friend forever, girlfriend, that is. My husband’s my male “BFF.” Having our daughter share the minutiae of our daily lives is the best gift we could receive this season. So when we celebrate Thanksgiving later this month, it will be with hearts full of loving gratitude for our daughter, and for parenthood.

counting our blessings…hugmamma.

“charism,” a call to serve

The other evening my family and I attended a lecture by a visiting priest. We’d heard him preach during Sunday Mass, and liked what we heard. Wanting a little more spirituality in our lives, we were open to hearing more of what Father had to share.

At 7 p.m. we’re usually settling in for the night. After chores, errands and work, we’re not inclined to venture out again on a week night. But after a hurriedly prepared dinner of scrambled eggs with sliced turkey kielbasa thrown in for added protein, we made our way to church. God must’ve been smiling down upon me, because sitting quietly on a hard pew, one day a week, is more than enough for me. Remember an earlier post when I mentioned that my mom would pinch my butt, as it slid back to lean against the edge of the pew? Happily, I can now repeat the same offense without repercussion. It’s one of the benefits of old age. I can also catch “40 winks” behind closed eyelids, while the Mass drones on. I don’t do it often, but as I’ve said before, my mind does tend to wander.

About 35 parishioners were assembled in the pews at the front of church. Father stood before the group. As he spoke, he would refer to what we were seeing projected onto the screen situated near him. While I can’t remember all he said, I do recall that Father spoke of “charisms.” The word isn’t in my paperback copy of Webster’s Dictionary, but perhaps it’s the root for “charisma – a personal magnetism that enables an individual to attract or influence people.”

According to Father, God has bestowed us with “charisms.” These are unique “gifts” that make us feel good, when they are shared with others. Ultimately they bring us the fulfillment we seek. This is our vocation as Catholics, disciples of Christ. Each of us, according to our own “charism,” is called to serve others in our daily lives, out in the secular world. Priests are not the only ones who are “called” to serve. As an illustration, we listened to Jan Vallone tell her story, up on the screen.

Having grown up Catholic, Jan always did what her parents wanted. It was her dream to teach, but she became a lawyer because that was her father’s desire. During the 18 years she worked in law, Jan felt neither happy, nor fulfilled. When the firm she was with downsized, she took the opportunity to apply for a teaching job. To her astonishment, her application was accepted. As a high school English teacher, Jan’s spirits soared. It meant a great deal to her that she was making a difference in the lives of her students.

In addition to teaching, Jan began writing. Her memoirs caught the attention of a publisher. But because marketing her manuscript consumed so much of her time, she felt distracted from her true calling, teaching and writing. So she plans to return to both, leaving the selling to someonelse while she teaches the high schoolers she loves, and begins writing her second book. Jan feels fulfilled, knowing her “charism” is helping others, something which neither practicing law nor marketing a book could do for her.

I think I’ve found my “charism” in Hugmamma’s Attention to Detail. In my blog, I’ve been able to combine my passion for writing with my desire to be a voice for compassion and positivism. In sharing my experiences, thoughts, and feelings with others, I hope I’m able to provide a ray of light in a darkened corner of someone’s life.

My husband’s “charism” has always been as a role model of integrity and compassion in the business world. He “climbed” the corporate ladder without chicanery, or “brown-nosing.” Solidly committed to his principles throughout a 40 year career, he has garnered the loyalty and admiration of peers and employees, as well as business associates. I’ve even suggested that I’d be a great hire, to which my husband has always replied “I already have a CEO and President at work. Thank you very much.” I guess he’s right. Better that he leaves work behind, when he leaves the office.

Dance has always been our daughter’s “charism.” Beginning with her first performance as an 8 year-old tap dancer, she drew the attention of the audience. Afterwards a father approached me to say, he thought our daughter had tremendous “stage presence.” We’ve always been told that, and often by complete strangers. People have also said they can’t take their eyes off her; that they track her throughout the performance; that she’s their favorite dancer. Our daughter has always said that she feels blest with a gift that she wants to share, in the hopes that it will touch someone.

As Father put it, God would never set us up for failure. Our “charism” is what He has called us to do, as his disciples in the world. 

your “charism” calls,… will you answer?…hugmamma.

      

 

putting a “face” on the “unknown” (an update)

I received information that requires I update my previous post, the “unknown,” put a “face” on it.

My nephew and his partner were married in San Fransisco in 2009. The happy news is that he was the one who had nursed my nephew back from a near fatal illness, that must have been a nightmare for all who love him, especially his parents, my sister and her husband, who then cared for my mom years later, during her decade long bout with Alzheimer’s. I’m not sure they’d agree that God only gives us what He thinks we can handle. But I’m certain their reward is their children and grandchildren. 

My nephew’s 2 daughters had been in the L.A. Social System before their adoption, and they now attend the school where their dad teaches 5th grade. Writing these words brings a lot of warmth to my heart. Two young girls, one 12 and one 6, were rescued from a system, an orphanage of sorts, and restored into the welcoming arms of a loving family. I would hate to imagine where those youngsters might be today, if not for their dads. From my perspective, the product of a dysfunctional, straight family, 2 fabulous dads who love 2 “broken” children, deserve a lot of thanks and support, in their efforts to create a normal home in a society too quick to judge. My great-nieces, young innocents, are another couple of faces of the Human Rights Campaign.

the “unknown”, less so…hugmamma.

wins the contest, and the girl

Two videos of the “guy next door,” Michael Grimm, the first of his win on America’s Got Talent, the other of his commitment to red-headed Lucie, his girlfriend of 3 years. This young fellow may be the 21st century Renaissance Man all women have been praying for, talented, enterprising AND faithful. Can we clone him? Putting in an order for a son-in-law. And 2 major corrections to previous posts, Grimm is from Waveland, Mississippi (not Memphis), and the other semi-finalist Jackie’s last name is spelled Evancho (not Ivancko).

hugs for grimm, and his lucie…hugmamma.

live life large, in the moment

Live life large, in the moment.

Goofy…wallow

Serious…focus

Meditative…serene

Soulful…pray

Laughter…belly-fulls

Proud…revel

Humble…quiet

Jealousy…selfless

Anger…channel

Negative…positive

Depressed…reach out

Joy…celebrate

Happy…immerse

Fun…total

Love…cherish

Life…large

Kisses…savor

Hugs…huge

In the moment…totally present

i am, are you?…hugmamma.

“hugmamma,” where from

Thought I’d explain the choice of “hugmamma,” as my username. Have had viewers to this blog who may have visited, not understanding its content. Among other things, my primary goal is to share information that might be useful in parenting, in finding solace, in looking for spirituality, as well as for practical purposes like recipes, medical tips, books to read. 

“Hugmamma” was derived from an 80’s or 90’s children’s TV series featuring a dinosaur family. One day my daughter and I had been reminiscing about the show, during the preliminary stages of my decision to blog. We were laughing about the antics of the baby dinosaur who always reminded her mama and papa to “Hugga the baby.” The proverbial “light bulb” moment occurred. And so the name was born, ” hugga the mamma,” which was my username on another blog site, which quickly evolved into “hugmamma” on a second site, which I retained in this, my final attempt at blogging. 

As I’ve been writing, I noticed that many of my blogs dealt with “parenting,” probably because it’s an issue near and dear to me. As a result “hugmamma” took on a second, more spiritual significance, it became an homage to my mother whom I always called “mamma.” She was perhaps the stereotypical Hawaiian in her warmth and friendliness towards all. Her ready smile and hardy laughter greeted friends, as well as strangers. She always lent a sympathetic ear, and offered heartfelt advice, genuine tears flowing on occasion. She really did exemplify the “Aloha Spirit.” 

“Hugmamma” may have originated as the result of a child’s show, but its use has taken on a sweeter, more personal representation. For good or bad, I believe daughters become their mothers, for they are our first role models. While she was not perfect, for she had human failings, my mom exemplified someone who cared about others, a true Christian at heart. She left me that legacy, and I hope I can pass it along to my daughter, a generational gift to be shared.

hugs for…my mama…hugmamma.