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All posts for the month February, 2013

At Work, Rest or Play, Animals are the Best!

Published February 27, 2013 by Maryanne

SexyeyesDerickMy Derick 

Monday I started working at the home of a new client (who will probably use my services once a week).

Within minutes of working, her beautiful, fluffy black cat with big green eyes, jumped on my lap and stayed there for almost the entire time I was in the client’s office.

This kitty cutie was a big fluff ball and it made me a little homesick thinking of how my Derick is always on my lap while I am working at home, knocking the mouse out of my hand when I’m working so I could stop and pet him! How cute is that?

And it made me realize — I think all my clients are pet lovers! That makes me so happy. Clients, friends, family, almost everyone I know loves animals. These little creatures are just too much, too adorable, too cute. All they want is to be fed and a lot of love.

When the kitty jumped in my lap, my new client said, “She knows you’re an animal lover.”

That is so true. They tend to gravitate to those who love them. But it’s also funny when they go to the ones who don’t love them. It’s as if an animal can sense the goodness in a person’s soul and knows deep down that someone who isn’t an animal lover may have it in them even in a little, tiny way.

I can’t imagine living in a home without a pet. All my life I’ve had: cats, dogs, a ferret, turtles, a guinea pig, fish, a snake and hamsters. The little that we do to take care of them, and all the love they give back to us.

Every day should be “bring your pet to work day” — the world would be a happier place.

And every night should be snuggle with your babies night.

I have just two cats — Billy and Derick. But if I had just one, or if I had 101 — they are all welcome on the bed to sleep with us!

Readers and fellow bloggers — tell me about your pet! And post links to pictures!

(Even if your pet is deceased, you can tell me about your pet and we can honor him/her and say a little prayer).

I Don’t Do Facials

Published February 26, 2013 by Maryanne

Maryanne -- December 2011Me, late 40s (Photo by Darlene Foster)

I don’t do facials.

The other day someone said to me that if I don’t enjoy facials I haven’t received a good one.

Wrong.

I received many “good” ones. I don’t like them — period.

First of all, except for my husband, I don’t like anyone touching my face (especially women with creepy long nails). Facials aren’t relaxing to me. They take too long and I can think of a million better things I’d rather do with my time. And if the person giving me a facial is a talker — forget about it! Nothing is more irritating than senseless chatter.

Mind you, I have gotten facials in amazing health spas that are classy, clean and have a very spiritual atmosphere. But if something is not your bag — it’s just not your bag! I will not pretend to be into something just to keep up with the Joneses (unless it’s a very sexy Jones like Tom Jones in the 1970s!)

Yesterday I was in Whole Foods and one of the women sampling products commented on my “beautiful skin” and how I looked like I was glowing. Mind you this woman was at least 10 years younger than me. So to hear how great your skin is from a much younger woman is truly a compliment.

When I told her that my beauty regimen is just slabbing coconut oil over my face first thing in the morning, she couldn’t believe it. Then she added, “Coconut oil seems to be the latest thing.”

I’m not one to follow beauty fads. My love for coconut oil came by chance. A few years ago I realized my skin got a little sensitive in my old age and it would turn red with regular beauty products. (Mind you, for the past 20 years I’ve only used all natural products that don’t test on animals).

So coconut oil seemed to be the purest thing I could use to keep my skin soft and it works! (I prefer Spectrum brand).

I do not sleep with the oil on my face, but I put it on every morning. I work out and then relax and have breakfast. Then I take a hot shower and the oil gets into my pores.

I did not read about this routine anywhere, I just figured it out on my own.

I also think eating clean, organic, natural foods attributes to healthy skin.

Bernardo LaPalla is 109 years old and eats a pretty clean diet. I also read somewhere that he puts olive oil all over his skin. This man looks amazing! More like he’s in his 70s than 109! Of all I read of him, I never once read that he gets facials.

I honestly think facials are unnecessary and a waste of money (and worse, a waste of time).

109

Bernardo LaPalla — age 109!

One of the tips Bernardo gives in regard to staying young is “Don’t be an uptight fanatic.”

I totally agree with that because being a fanatic about your health is very stressful. And I know when I’m very stressed, I’ll get a blemish. So when people say beauty is from within, they are correct. Stay positive and happy and your skin will look great.

So two cheap tricks that don’t take up a lot of time and cost much:

1. Be a nice person

2. Coconut oil or olive oil

ENJOY!

Published February 26, 2013 by Maryanne

Maryanne's Jukebox

Johnny Cash

Happy Birthday to the late Johnny Cash!

Unfortunately I don’t have a Johnny Cash story to share, as I never got to see him perform live. But he was a pretty big hit in our home, growing up.

One time I did get to DJ at the Knitting Factory in NYC after his death for a Johnny Cash diabetes benefit. Whenever I deejayed I always threw some Johnny Cash in the mix (although one uptight goth rocker didn’t dig it and I got flack for it — screw him, ha-ha, how could you not love JOHNNY CASH?!)

Here are a few amazing tunes from the legendary JOHNNY CASH!

It Ain’t Me Babe

One Piece at a Time

Folson Prison Blues

Jackson

And Johnny Cash’s impersonation of Elvis! (Perhaps the first Elvis impersonator ever? This is hysterical!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G8jeVrzJ9U

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I’m Bringing Nosy Back!

Published February 25, 2013 by Maryanne

old-fashioned-service pear tree

Me, wishing people would take the time to communicate properly! (Photo by Darlene Foster)

For those of us in our 40s or 50s, we may have had a nosy aunt who asked us all kinds of annoying questions like, “When are you going to get married?” “Why do you wear your hair that way?” or “Did you gain/lose weight?”

It may have been so annoying back then, but nowadays having a nosy person around would be like a breath of fresh air. Seriously.

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times — people today are just too self-absorbed. We should all learn from our elderly aunts of yesteryear — asking each other questions isn’t a bad thing!

Now, I don’t mean going overboard. There is a type of prying that is totally uncalled for. I would never, ever ask someone when they’re getting married, if they plan on having kids, or how much money they have in the bank.

But sometimes a sincere “And how are YOU doing?” would mean the world to a lot of people.

Give and take is called a CONVERSATION.

There are just too many people in this world that choose to babble on, about themselves. When I was in therapy, my therapist said to me, “You’re right. You know one time I was talking to a friend and I got off the phone realizing I talked about myself too much and never even asked the other person how she was doing.”

Yeah, bingo!

One too many times I’ve been trapped in conversations where people just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on, without coming up for air. I have a relative who once talked for 50 minutes non-stop about a simple operation that could have been told briefly in less than 10 minutes.

This is why I dread events. It drains your soul when you’re stuck listening to someone and not getting a word in edgewise.

But what is even worse, is when you DO talk and the other person either: 1. changes the topic back to him/herself or 2. has to one-up everything you said.

URGH!  KILL ME NOW!

I get in situations like that, and I’m secretly imagining the old episodes of “All in the Family” where Archie Bunker is pretending to take a noose and strangling himself when Edith goes into yet another one of her long-winded stories. But the sad news is, not everyone is as charming as Edith Bunker!

This saying is so true, “If you are doing all the talking, you’re boring someone.”

Do you want to stand out from the rest? Do you want to be truly unique? Then ask questions. Good ones. That is how someone will remember you as a “good person” and not someone to be avoided or dreaded.

In all my life as a journalist, I’ve never had an interviewee tell me they didn’t want to answer a question. No one ever said to me, “No comment.” Because my questions are thoughtful and non-intrusive. In fact, many famous people told me some great stories “off the record” because I have a welcoming attitude that makes people feel comfortable and want to share! And that is definitely a good thing.

No, no one wants to be that nosy aunt, but let’s all make a little more effort to make conversation what it should be, so everyone involved feels a sense of win/win.

I feel that we need to bring “nosy” back in a similar fashion — an upgraded positive, modern way. When you ask someone a question about him or herself, you can make him/her feel like a star! Remember being a child? We’d ask each other cool things like, “What did you dream about last night?” or “What is your favorite color?” or even “What zodiac sign are you?”

People should be able to leave an event feeling refreshed, happy and ecstatic, and a sense of friendship/family. Not drained by a know-it-all who doesn’t know when to shut up.

Take some time today to ask others questions. You may be pleasantly  surprised by the results!

Published February 24, 2013 by Maryanne

Maryanne's Jukebox

Sister Janet MeadSister Janet Mead

Here’s another 1970s hit, “The Lord’s Prayer” which was actually sung by a singing nun named Sister Janet Mead.

I’ll never forget when this song first came out. I was a little kid and my little sister’s hamster just died. When this song came on the radio, she sang, “My hamster who walks in heaven.” Too cute!

ENJOY (I love the footage where she’s actually singing with her band. Too cool!)

The Lord’s Prayer

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Published February 24, 2013 by Maryanne

Maryanne's Jukebox

MocedadesMocedades

In the 1970s Mocedades was the only group to have a hit song in the Top 40, sung entirely in Spanish.

The name of that song was “Eres Tu.”

It’s a most gorgeous song, check it out:

Eres Tu

And here is the English translation:

Like a promise, you are, you are
Like a summer morning
Like a smile, you are, you are
Like that, like that, you are

All my hope, you are, you are
Like fresh rain in my hands
Like a strong breeze, you are, you are
Like that, like that, you are

[Chorus:]
You are like the water of my source
(Something like that, you are)
You are like the fire of my home
You are like the fire of my bonfire
You are like the wheat of my bread
You are

Like a poem, you are, you are
Like a guitar in the night

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Cult Blogger

Published February 24, 2013 by Maryanne

DJMareIdol3

My blog … it’s not for everyone

Why do I blog?

I started this blog a year ago as a creative outlet to write about things I like, mostly positive and inspirational because that’s how I am. But I also like to share about my life because writing for an audience, I write better than what I write in my private diaries. So, this blog is a wonderful document of my life.

Also, being a professional writer since 1995, even though I choose the topics I get paid for writing and I just ADORE writing as a profession, I do have a quote about journalism:

“It’s journalism, not creative writing. You’re writing a format. It’s like being in a cover band.”

— Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

So I blog!

Now, not wanting to go by formats, I mentioned before that I’m not a “tit-for-tat” blogger. I don’t spend time “liking” every blogger that likes me. I find it to be phoney and that’s not my personality.

I am not in this as a popularity contest, or to get a million followers.

I am in this to, as I said earlier, document my life and any friends I make in the meantime is a beautiful bonus.

That said, I have to point out that I stop following blogs if I’m not connecting with a fellow blogger.

For instance, if I make a sincere comment to a fellow blogger and they don’t respond; if I email a fellow blogger and they can’t be bothered answering; if I’m always reading someone’s blog and I never hear from them or if they are just pressing “like” all the time in my blog without commenting.

There are so many great blogs out there and so many great people, I like to spend my time with the BEST. Those with the best personalities, those with the best insights and those that make me laugh and make me think of them during the day.

No, I’m not making blogging like “American Idol” by making “cuts” (as someone once said to me when I made Face Book cuts years ago). It’s just that time is precious and limited. So, let’s be honest. I don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs every day and I’m not going to be phoney and press “like, like, like” if I just skimmed through something and didn’t look at it.

That said, I highly doubt I’ll follow a blog that has several hundred followers already, especially when blogs with fewer readerships are even better!

So many times, early on, I’d read “Freshly Pressed” and be like, “What did I read that for? Well, that was a boring waste of time.” When someone that has maybe 50 followers I’m like, “WOW, this person should be known worldwide — this is fantastic!”

I think my blog is pretty versatile if I do say so myself. It offers music, spirituality, fun, animals and health. But if my blog is kept at cult status because I’m not playing  the game of re-blogging others, liking everything, interviewing other bloggers and giving out awards — SO BE IT!

What the hell — my art was once called “punk art,” so keeping it real, I don’t mind being a cult blogger. In fact, I’m quite enjoying my cult status.