Monday, January 31, 2011

With A Little Help From My Friends

We get by with a little help from our friends.............

Friends who love us, no matter what......

Friends who make you laugh so hard, your troubles disappear for a little while.

Never be afraid to ask for help, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make you laugh. If you have true friends, you have everything.

And this is my Daily Cyn...............

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." -Mother Teresa

I truly believe, if we took all the love we have in our hearts and poured it out on others, no one would ever go hungry again.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Girl in the Road

This is me.  This is exactly how I feel.  Yesterday, in just a matter of minutes, I was reduced from a 48 year old strong and powerful woman to a little girl.  A little girl who is not old enough to be out there on her own.  

It's funny how this happens. One bit of bad news can rip apart our hearts and lives and make us feel completely helpless.  Our secure little world is suddenly spinning out of control and there is not much we can do about it. I am reminded of that old song " To everything there is a season". Right now, I am in a season of change, of uncertainty, and I must admit, I am scared. 

Take another look at this photo. Yes, this little girl is alone. There is not another person in sight.  Yet, she is tough.  Her hands are on her hips as she surveys her surroundings and the road ahead of her.  She knows she has no choice but to walk.  It's impossible to turn back.  And the line down the middle of the road that separates one path of traffic from the other abruptly ends. To me, this means no one has gone beyond the point of that painted line. What lies ahead is undiscovered territory. 

I can't stay here. Circumstances and situations will not allow me to do this, even if I wanted to.  So I will be just like this little girl, hands firmly placed on my hips, and muster up all the strength and courage I have within.  Every trial, every test, every experience has lead me to this place. Now I must put everything I have ever learned and all the faith I claim to have into practice. Not by choice, but by force.  It's time to take the first step and walk down that lonely road.

And this is my Daily Cyn...........

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Competition

The only real obstacle in life is ourselves. We fight and compete against our own fears, limitations, our  mistakes and failures. We fight against our own needs, dreams and desires. We try to fit into boxes that were never intended for us. We become someone other than who we are just to experience a sense of belonging.  Deep inside, our soul cries out for authenticity.

The only competition is against yourself and when you win that battle--you can conquer the entire world!

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New York, Baby! Long Island to be precise......

If you are fom Long lsland, grew up on Long Island, live on Long Island, or spent any kind of time here, you will LOVE this!

Something fun for my fellow Long Islanders....

Your Point of Inspiration............

Points of Inspiration.  These are special places set aside by a majority who think a particular view is beautiful or exceptional.   Flocks of people gather at these appointed sites hoping to find the same thing- Inspiration.  They gaze at the view, they snap photographs, take videos, or sit for hours sketching the magnificent site before them. Others stand there for what seems like an eternity but see absolutely nothing and walk away with nothing but the feeling of wasted time.

What inspires some, does not always inspire others.  We all have our own point of inspiration--something that drives us, something that stirs up passion within us.  If you know what your point of inspiration is, you are one of the fortunate ones. Tap into it, keeping visualizing it, and your hopes and dreams will become a reality. is my question. What is YOUR point of inspiration?

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mood Enhancers........

Relax..........take time to chill, sit back, close your eyes, give yourself some "down-time" to do absolutely nothing or something that brings you peace.

Breathe.......when you feel stressed, angry, sad, anxious, frustrated....take a few deep cleansing breaths.  Inhale. Exhale.  Imagine peace and love with every breath you take.. With each exhale, let go.  Visualize your cares and troubles being carried away with each exhalation.  Repeat as needed.

Smile...........even when you don't think you have anything to smile about, do it anyway. There is always something you can think about that will bring a smile to your face.  A smile makes you beautiful,  it makes you radiant.  It makes everyone wonder what on earth you are smiling about. A smile is universal.  A smile is contagious.

Do you feel better now? haven't solved all the problems of the world but you have just improved your mood without drugs, without alcohol, without food, and without spending one penny of your hard earned money.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Step Outside of Yourself...........

Step outside of yourself and be inspired by something gorgeous today.  A sunrise, a sunset, a garden, the beach. If it's too cold to actually get out there and sit on the beach or walk through a garden, then find a photo or a painting and meditate on that.  Or...just visualize it in  your mind.  Take as long as you need. Stay in that place as long as you want. All your troubles, cares and worries will disappear for awhile.  When you come back to them, they might not be so overwhelming.  You will see things clearly and be able to resolve your issues. You will have peace within to deal with whatever you must endure or you might even discover that most of your troubles, cares and worries no longer exist.

And this is my Daily Cyn................

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Broken Heart.............

Do whatever it takes to mend your broken heart. Even if no one agrees or supports you. Do it anyway.   
And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Important Lesson I Learned

I learned an important lesson this week.......
I don't know what is in my own heart sometimes.  I have no clue how I will react in a certain situation until I am actually "IN" it.  What works for others might not work for me.

Give yourself permission to grieve, no matter how trivial, no matter how insignificant, no matter how much opposition you receive from others who don't understand.  When the tears flow, they are flowing for a reason.   Your heart has been broken and it bleeds. This is how we know we are human. This how we know we are not hardened.  This is how we know we love and still have the capacity to do so, no matter how many times our hearts have been shattered.

Take the time you need and never apologize for your tears.  When you say you are sorry for your emotions and tears, you actually admitting it is wrong to care. That's crazy!  When you stop caring, you might as well stop living. 

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I love the Snow...........

I love the freshly fallen, untouched snow.....a blanket of pure white covering everything I see. The world looks clean and brand-new. It's like God's way of saying, " DO OVER!!"

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


For those of you who don't know, this past weekend was a very traumatic one for me.  I had the whole thing all planned out in advance--going out for some fun with friends on Friday night, a trip into the city for the Annual Boat Show on Saturday, and then a relaxing Sunday with my guy.

When I stepped off the train on Thursday evening, excited to start my weekend (I work from home on Fridays) I was greeted with a very bad report concerning the health of a loved one. I spent a very restless night and most of the next day trying to process the discouraging news.  Combine that with the sudden and tragic death of my beloved cat, Sambo on Friday afternoon, and I was literally a mess of emotions.  My plans for the weekend came to a screeching halt and I spent the next several days crying and mourning the loss of my faithful little friend.

I am not usually one to fall apart so easily.  Don't misunderstand me. I loved my cat.  He was such a great companion.  He gave me friendship and unconditional love.  I have so many very happy and funny memories of him.  His crazy antics have been posted all over Facebook (complete with photos) and friends who never met Sambo were fond of him just because of the stories I shared.  Sambo gave me a reason to come home at night.  Before him, I never wanted to come home and would stay out until ridiculous hours of the night just to avoid an empty house.  I am single and my son is grown and no longer lives with me.  That was a tough adjustment for me so I simply chose to not go home. The silence and emptiness was too much to bear until Sambo came to live with me.  I was responsible for him.  I had to come home to feed him by a certain time each evening and he demanded my love and attention from the moment I walked in the door after work until I left again the next morning.

My little house is empty again.  I have to force myself to come home now because it is not good for me to stay out all night.  I need to come home, relax, cook a healthy dinner, and get a good night's rest.  These things are crucial for my health and well-being.  Having Sambo around contributed to my healing, and helped me find pleasure in the simple things like being home, relaxing, and getting into bed at a decent hour.  What most people do every night like second nature was completely foreign to me.  I was a 24/7 Party Girl before Sambo.  Perhaps now you can understand how much he meant to me. Sambo was not just a pet.  He was, in many ways, my salvation.

When we buried Sambo in his little grave beneath his favorite window in the backyard, my dad put his arm around me and whispered, " Darlin', this is life."  I stood there, sobbing uncontrollably and I knew he was right.  The reasons why I was crying so hard were not just about Sambo.  You see, it was my dad who had to pry Sambo's limp and lifeless body from my arms because I refused to let him go.  It was my dad who went outside to dig up the frozen ground for Sambo's final resting place.  It was my dad who gently laid my little buddy in his grave with his favorite toys.  I was completely useless. What was really going through my mind as I stood there was, "Oh My God. What am I going to do without my dad?"

Sambo's unexpected passing is my first real experience with death.   I sat beside him completely helpless- watching him die on my bathroom floor. It was sudden, it was shocking, and that feeling of helplessness is the most heartbreaking experience I have ever endured. Until Sambo's death, your sheltered host had never experienced the pain of great loss.  I lost a grandmother, aunts and uncles, a cousin.  I loved them, of course, but I was never extremely close with any of them and they were not involved in my daily life nor  was I in theirs. My brother and I had a dog when we were growing up.  She had been with us since we were infants.  When I was 17 years old, she just wandered off one day and we never saw her again.  We never watched her die or found her lifeless body.  In our hearts and minds, she is still alive and will live forever.

Some people are angry at me because I am so upset over a cat.  My own boyfriend yelled at me and told me to stop crying. "If you fall apart over a damn cat, what are you going to do when you lose someone you really love?" he said. Unfortunately, he just doesn't understand me at all.  I am turning 49 this year and Sambo's passing is just a shadow of things to come because everyone is getting older.  That is a sobering reality and the real reason why his death has hit me so hard.  

I hope you can understand my heart.  Some of you have lost parents, brothers, sisters, and even children and I never take that lightly. The only thing I have really lost, so far, is a cat. But I know my day is coming.  As my father said, "Darlin', this is life." Life is about loving and loving always ends in some kind of heartache.  There is no way to avoid that heartache unless we stop loving. As human beings, we always love.  It is how we were created.  Even the hardest, angriest, most miserable person has something or someone they love.

I am going to get another cat in a few weeks.  I just don't like an empty house. I could harden my heart and tell myself,  "No more pets because I don't want to love and lose again or feel that pain." I am smart enough to know that attitude will only hurt me in the long run.  So, I will take all the love I have for Sambo and shower it on another sweet little creature who needs a warm, happy home.  That will be my tribute to my to Sambo.  I really don't think he would mind. In fact, I believe that's exactly what he wants me to do. 

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Monday, January 10, 2011

Two Versions of Creamed Spinach

I received this recipe on Twitter from "You Can Cook This". It sounds delicious and suprisingly simple.  It contains cream which makes it rich and tasty.  Go ahead and enjoy it occasionally-it is quite an extravagant side dish. Most people serve Creamed Spinach like with red meat, like steak or a roast but it's just as delicious with grilled chicken or fish.

The Ultimate Creamed Spinach Recipe

For those of us who don't want or need all that fat and dairy; here is a Vegan-ized version of Creamed Spinach which is just as good.  You can serve this version alot more often and with alot less guilt. Don't forget the nutmeg in this recipe. It makes this dish so delectable!

12 cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup plain gluten-free soymilk, unsweetened

2 teaspoons orange zest, finely grated

2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated

2 teaspoons vegan margarine

1/2 cup yellow onion, minced

Pinch of nutmeg

Sea salt, to to taste

4 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Steam spinach with a few tablespoons of water until just wilted. Squeeze out excess water and coarsely chop.

Place soymilk, orange zest and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by half.

Heat margarine over medium heat in sauté pan and add onion. Cook until onion is translucent. Add spinach and cook until most of liquid has evaporated.

Add reduced soymilk to spinach and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and sea salt to taste. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Regardless of which recipe you choose, serve it with love and enjoy!!

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Sunday, January 9, 2011

To live abundantly...............

To live a rich and abundant life, ask not what life can do for you, ask what you can do for the lives of others. --Gary Amirault

And this is my Daily Cyn...............

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rustic Spinach and Cornmeal Soup

Something a little different for a cold day.  Reminds me of peasant food.....but rich and satisfying. Make it the traditional way or Vegan-ize it!! Serve with crusty whole grain bread or a tossed salad..... the perfect lunch or light supper!


•6 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth

•3/4 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)

•3 tablespoons all purpose flour

•3 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance Vegan Spread

•2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

•Coarse kosher salt

•8 ounces baby spinach leaves

•Ingredient Info

Polenta is sold at some supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Italian markets. If unavailable, substitute an equal amount of regular yellow cornmeal and cook about half as long.


•Bring 6 cups broth to simmer in large saucepan; cover to keep warm. Whisk polenta and flour in heavy large pot. Add 1 cup hot broth; whisk over medium-high heat until smooth. Stir in butter and garlic; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Gradually add 5 cups hot broth by cupfuls. Boil gently over medium heat until polenta is tender and soup is creamy and thickened, whisking frequently and adding more broth to thin, if desired, about 25 minutes. Stir in spinach by handfuls; simmer until wilted, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Season with more coarse salt and black pepper.

•Ladle soup into 6 bowls and serve

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hearty Greens Soup

On a cold day, it doesn't get any better than this.......and we get to use our veggie of the month- SPINACH!

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

2 carrots, chopped

8 cups water

1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped

1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 pound), stemmed and roughly chopped

1/2 pound dried  whole wheat bowtie (farfalle) pasta

1 (3-inch) Parmigiano Reggiano rind, plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish **

1/4 pound baby spinach

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Add carrots and water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Stir in Swiss chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano Reggiano rind, reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard bay leaf and rind from soup then ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.

** Make it vegan. Substitute the Parmigiano Reggiano rind with Miso Paste. The miso paste will provide that sharp, slightly salty taste you want. Here is how: once your soup is cooked, take a cup of the broth from the pot and mix in a tablespoon of miso paste until it is dissolved. Add it back to the whole pot of soup and stir well. Sprinkle each serving with grated Vegan Parmigiano cheese, if desired.
And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Plant Your Own Garden..............

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of expecting someone else to leave you wilted flowers.

And this is my Daily Cyn...........

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Get excited...........

~ Get excited and enthusiastic about you own dream; This excitement is like a forest fire - you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away. ~ Dennis Waitley

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What I see

I see the end of a journey
I see a journey beginning

I see the view beyond what is actually seen
I see a stark cold and lonely place
I see a place of rest
I see darkness
I see light
I see peace
I see hope............

And this is my Daily Cyn..........

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Is Your Love Bank Empty?

I was still living at home when I was 18 and got my first office job.  I was earning about $120.00 a week.  Rather than charge me rent, my dad insisted that I deposit $40.00 from every single paycheck into a savings account.  He demanded to see my bank book each Friday.  I didn't want to do this. All of a sudden I had money and I wanted to spend it on fun things, like dinners out, fancy clothes, a really nice car, and nights out on the town with friends.  However, I obediently did as he said and in one year, I had saved over $2,000.00.  Each year I was at that job, I got a raise and was able to put even more into my savings account. This wasn't really all that difficult to do.  I was surviving just fine and very comfortably on the money I had without the annual increases. A couple of years later, after faithfully depositing a portion of my paycheck into the bank each week, I had about $10,000 saved. I was so excited about this so I kept going.  I have dipped into this account occasionally.  I prefer to pay cash for major purchases rather than take out loans or buy things on credit.  Right now, I am not earning as much income as I used to, and I have had some huge expenses over the past couple of years that I didn't expect. I have been making withdrawals from my saving account more often lately.  I keep putting money back in every chance I get. This is my cushion, my retirement.  I have no husband, no man to rely on to support me in my old age.  This is all I've got in the world and I am not about to lose it, waste it, or spend it foolishly.  I have the security of knowing it's there when I need it and it will carry me into the future when I am old and can no longer work or earn an income.

This is not a lesson about saving money, however, I sincerely hope each of you does have some kind of security when when times get tough, if you find yourself without a job, or no longer able to work. If you don't have this, I highly suggest you start putting aside a little bit of money right now.  Even $20.00 a week adds up if you just leave it alone and let it grow.  It will just keep growing and will be there when and if you need it.

Every single person has a love bank deep within their heart.  If you are in a relationship, you share a love bank in which each of you should be making regular deposits all the time. The balance just keeps growing and growing, the interest compounds and when things get rough, you make withdrawals together in order to keep going.  There might be times just one of you needs to make a withdrawal, and that's ok.  You know there is something there for you and enough left over for the other person or for both of you.  As long as each of you are making regular deposits, this account will never be empty, no matter how much you take. The evidence of a true healthy, loving relationship is a big, fat love bank that never runs out.

What happens when you discover you are the only one contributing to this love bank? Day after day, you faithfully make your deposits and don't ever make a withdrawal.  You are happy, confident, secure and you know it's all there should you need it but so far you haven't needed to take a thing.  You never check the balance. You just assume it's all there and that your partner has been making regular deposits as well. But then a crisis hits. It's time to dip into that account and when you do, there is nothing there. Your partner has never made a deposit, in fact, everything you have been putting in over time, is gone.  He or she kept taking and taking without ever replenishing and now you have a zero balance. Now what? You are empty, the love you need  is not there for you, and all the security you thought you had is gone. It was never there to begin with. It will take time, energy, and great sacrifice to build up that account again--time and energy you might not have now because you are so emotionally depleted.

We balance our checkbooks and go over our bank statements each month.  Hopefully, if we see our balance is getting low, we cut back on certain things. We eat out a little less often, put off buying a new pair of boots until the following month, and take a little more from our weekly paycheck and save it.  If we don't do this, we will be unable to pay our bills.  We could be homeless and penniless in the blink of an eye. It happens all the time, especially in this economy.  It's crucial that we keep checking and balancing our love bank the same way.  When you see the balance is getting low, then you need to put more in and demand that your partner do the same.  If they are not willing to do this and are perfectly content with you making all the deposits so they can keep withdrawing until there is nothing left for either of you, this is not a good sign. I am not just talking about love relationships here. Every partnership, friendship, or love affair we have should  be constantly growing because both parties are giving, taking and investing. If this is not the case, you must walk away before you are completely destroyed.

It is more blessed to give than to receive, however, it is a law of nature that the more we give, the more we get.  If this is not the case for you, perhaps you are investing everything you've got in the wrong person or to the wrong cause. I pray this year, you would take the time to pour over every relationship you have and check your balances.  If there is more you can give, give it.  If someone else needs to give, insist they do the same.  If your accounts are empty, you alone need to decide whether or not your are willing to do the work to rebuild them again.  You must evaluate which ones are worth re-investing in and and which are not.  Drop the dead weight and all the accounts that do not yield returns.  Invest in yourself for awhile and don't give your love away again until you find the one who shares your values, ideas, and passion for life.  This is not being selfish, this is taking care of YOU.  You need to love yourself completely before you can ever love anyone else or before they can truly love you back.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......