I have lived on Long Island (again) for 20 weeks. But, hey, who’s counting.

Commuting is intense. My skin is revolting, new patterns of bumps and redness are having a party. On. My. Face. I’m 30 and live with my parents. I am in the same room (although freshly painted) that I lived in when I was in the 9th grade. There are no perfect commuting shoes. The city is dirty. And smells. Sorry, just telling the truth.

For the first time, in a long time, I don’t have a specific goal. For as long as I can remember, there was Thea and her goal. And then I would make it happen with dedication, energy and pure will. So it’s time to get going on a new set of goals. Pronto.

On the plus side… There has been a great project with EatDrinkJobs keeping me busy. An amazing organization – StupidCancer – that has helped redefine my “cancer survivor” card. I’m even guest co-hosting the Stupid Cancer Radio Show tomorrow night! Finding a local sushi joint, Yuzu. My sister’s childhood best friend has become my train, gym, food shopping buddy. More importantly a built-in friend. Thank goodness for small miracles.

No one said adjusting to Long Island (again) was going to be easy. No one said it was going to be this hard either, but at least the waterworks don’t run every night.

“Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul” 
~ George Harrison

If nothing else, the last few weeks have taught me that the “stuff” I had to put into storage is not the only thing being kept away. There is an incredible defense system already built into our “how and I going to deal?” thought process. And just as my “stuff” was put away, so were my emotions. I am no where near the opening of that floodgate, but do know that it has to be sorted into the same piles as all of the other “stuff” – keep, throw out, giveaway and store.

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“The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. The less you have, the more free you are.” ~ Mother Teresa

I moved out of the house in the country 77 days ago. Since then, it has felt like pulling off a Band-Aid connected to every piece of hair and skin under it.

Some would say that a slow process allows you to feel all of the emotions (sadness, confusion, anger, resentment, etc.) and others (all of the people who know me) know this has been incredibly hard for me. First, I emptied my room of all of my ‘things’ I needed to bring to Long Island. Then, I started to pack boxes of other less needed things. Then, there was the full day of packing and organizing the kitchen. And most recently, a three-day sorting, packing and selling everything else.

I am tired.

Two things made the three-day binge bearable. My amazing, ridiculous, fabulous, lovely and funny friends – especially two AHmazing ladies who loved me, fed me, sorted, priced, moved, schlepped and cleaned up the moving sale. And my roommate. In the midst of packing and sorting we did all of our normal roommate-like stuff. A tuna stack, sushi and a shared slice of pizza all in one night, just because we are grownups and we could. A trip to Walmart that allowed wandering around aimlessly. A trip to the bagel store, where we complained about the service and wished for our own place with bagels and good service and ice coffee under one roof. Sorting boxes side-by-side because company is always better when you are doing something you don’t want to. And a final Sunday night dinner with our closest friends. The very friends that had spent a lot of the last two years in that house, too. Fourth of July BBQs, birthday parties, dinners, breakfasts the next morning, laughing, dance parties, Passover for thirty-two seats, cooking, Halloween, cider and eggnog, football, cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches, hook-ups, break-ups, drinks on the patio, star-gazing in the middle of the night, fireworks and a masquerade ball all happened in that house with those very very special people.

I know the next trip up to the house in the country is the day I put all of my furniture and kitchen into storage. I don’t want to. I understand that I have to and it’s the next step for me in my mind, but the heart is speaking an entirely different language.

I never knew the most colorful walls I had ever seen in my whole entire life and “I found this house online that I want to look at, but I don’t have anyone to go see it with me,” would change everything and everyone.

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” ~ Maya Angelou

A few weeks ago, over Memorial Day weekend, my dear friend Noel and I cooked up a storm for a local music video shoot. You remember Noel from our City Mouse Country Mouse cooking demo last year.

Local ingredients and meeting multiple needs (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc.) was quite the challenge. And at the same time, awesome and creative.

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When amazing things happen right in front of your eyes, your imagination starts to work on overdrive.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

It’s a Hudson Valley treat making a guest appearance on a Long Island dinner table.

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I moved out of the “country” house five days ago. And for most of the days since, I have cried my self to sleep. It’s like a bad break up with out the hopes of really good make-up sex.

I knew I was attached to the house, in all of its colorful glory. I knew that I had fallen in love with “the country.” I especially knew how important my “country” friends had become. They are my family, even more so than some blood. We chose to be together.

A series of unfortunate events left me without a lot of choices. And at 30, one has to decide to put some things first. As an unattached babyless renter, your career tends to be the right choice. So I decided to pack up my things and move back to Long Island. For a reorg. A proper job search back in the city. And maybe even a recharge, refocus, regroup.

Dear friends in San Francisco insisted on a visit once the move was over. Smart move. I’ve been in the other coast for a few days now and I for the first time last night I didn’t shed a tear when my head hit the pillow. I was okay. Maybe the bedtime tears have run out. I know the talking about the roommate and the house tears have not. They are still strong and uninterrupted.

So, as the many many many decisions still need to be made as to what is next, there are a few things that are certain:

  • My heart is fuller than it has ever been before.
  • I am absolutely in love with the Hudson Valley.
  • I will carefully look into all career moves with diligence and the emphasis on the right fit.

And I will absolutely continue to believe in my Nana’s words of wisdom, “Thea, you imagine it and then you make it happen.”

 

So far in 2012…

I turned 30.

Winter was lame in the Hudson Valley, no snow, no sleet, no ice. Weirdness.

I influenced the lives of Hofstra undergrads for eight week in a Public Relations Copywriting course. Like whoa.

I taught social media workshops for the continuing ed program at Ulster Community College.

Spoke to inspiring NYU alumni / women / friends who are changing the world. One day at a time. Keep going ladies.

Saw amazing world change start.

Welcomed spring. Thank the good lord.

And continued my journey on being good to the people around me. Through their stomachs.

As a young girl my mother made this dish. Then it was a special treat. Now it is one of my most favorite comfort foods. Peas, onions, chicken, sour cream, salt, pepper and egg noodles.

That is a stark difference from the “health” eating that has been happening.

The weather, another screwy thing around the Northeast lately, has provided some lovely sunsets.

The season of birthdays is upon us. Most recently we have toasted my incredibly talented work husband, my best friend’s fiance, my most favorite wingwoman in the entire word, my baby cousin who can’t possibly be 18 and his smarty pants sister who just hit the mid twenty mark, hopefully  to be her best years ever.

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.” ~ Sheila Graham

All I want to do is stay home and make soup. In sweatpants.

Broccoli Apple Soup
Tortellini Soup with Beans and Chard
Crunchy Kale and Coconut Bowl
Vegan Lentil Chilli

And  then make sweets. Still in sweatpants.

Buckwheat Baby with Salted Carmel Syrup
Fruit Leather
White Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
Triple Layer Carrot Cake

And then watch Glee, the Kardashians and New Girl on the DVR. Shockingly, in sweatpants.

The end.

This year I hope to…

Increase DIYing,  from sauces and breads to time capsules, pasta and rooster sauce and maybe even some coffee liqueur.

Travel.

Conquer everything on Bon Appetite’s 25 things… thinking the biggest challenge is going to be Tasmania.

Be comfortable in a bathing suit on my 30th birthday.

Step out of my comfort zone just because.

Learn how to type on t he new iPhone with only minimal auto-corrects.

Conquer my first class… as a… professor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take more pictures.

Enjoy and get to know Pinterest, Hipstomatic and my google reader better.

Get published in a food publication, online version would suffice.

Limit the people in my life who don’t value our friendship as much as I do and practice what I preach, all relationships have to be mutually beneficial at some point or another.

Accomplish at least five of these financial tips.

Dance around in my underwear [more].

 

Make parmesan crusted goat cheese with basil oil, spiced chai concentrate, vanilla bean syrup, and pork crown roast.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

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