Today I Wake With Purpose…

 

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Today I wake with purpose…

The dark night is still looming.

And though morn has broken,

I spy two stars still twinkling in the sky.

 

I start the coffee brewing, bran flakes piled high

Prepare the omelette, toast and biscuits.

 

I walk towards her suite.

My pace slows down, assuming.

Relief…

She turns her head, good morning!

I thank the Lord for giving

Us one more day in union.

 

I ask her how she passed the night

Knowing she’d say that all was right.

Put on her brace, her shoes and robe

A little stiff, but there is hope

Today will bring a better day.

 

A limp, a shuffle, the role of wheels

I hear her following at my heels.

To the kitchen brightly lit

On her walker she will sit.

 

I bring her toast, the flakes and coffee.

I serve her first…

 

With shaking head her thank yous break

The silence of the morning.

I love this blessed time together

When all is new and fresh and hopeful.

 

Today I wake with purpose…

To savour every moment left.

I know the value of my treasure

And hold it dearly to my breast.

One Happy Woman!

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Funny how a photograph can be so revealing…just look at me – I am definitely one happy woman! I see no stress lines. I see a smile that stretches across my entire face. I see joy in my eyes. I see contentment beyond measure. I am glowing. I have a secret!

Ever since I can remember Sunday has been my favorite day of the week.  Its very name is joyous…Sun-day! What is more glorious than a day associated with the sun? Even when the sun is hidden by clouds that eventually burst into rain Sunday will always be Sun-day!

As a child I loved getting dressed in my Sunday best –all reserved for that special day. On this day I usually walked almost twenty-five minutes with my dad to Sunday Mass at eleven. We did not own a car. On our return we enjoyed a special family lunch.   When I married I still loved going home for the family lunch on Sundays and this continued when I had my children.   Going to nonno and nonna’s was special.

Two of my children were married within months of each other. A standing invitation went out to both inviting them to Sunday lunch. They were not obligated to attend; all that was required was a confirmation.   To this day, all three of my children, my five grandchildren, along with my youngest son’s fiancée attend Sunday lunch at our house on a regular basis. We now number fourteen in total.

The menu has not changed at all over the years. I confess that I did try to alter it once but was quickly admonished by my toddler grandchildren; they are now seventeen. They refused to eat because it was not their usual – meatballs. It goes without saying that nonna aims to please.

I awake around six, bathe and dress my mother; we enjoy our leisurely breakfast and go our separate ways. I put on the chef’s apron she passed on to me; I now understand the feeling of empowerment my mother talked about that comes with this gesture. I begin by seasoning and prepping the roast.   Then I start making the largest stock pot of homemade sauce, keeping in mind that there must be leftover sauce for take home. My famous meatballs are next on the agenda; like every nonna, I have a secret recipe for the meatballs. Recipes are usually a combination of ingredients and technique…but there is always more to it; it’s a secret.

I then move on to the salad. All the usual ingredients go into it…lettuce, red peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cashews, pumpkin seeds, avocado, feta and dried cranberries. My grandchildren love my special dressing and ask for the recipe. I laugh because I know the secret; I quickly tell them that it’s good olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.

Since my grandchildren were toddlers, I knew that they would fill themselves up with pasta and leave no room for protein. My solution was to serve the meatballs first. I usually watch them load their plates with the meatballs, a little sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. These are followed by pasta, the roast, salad and dessert…all very simple.

I watch them eat as they catch up on the week’s events. My heart swells. My husband usually takes over and serves them the roast. He is overjoyed. My mother always perks up during lunch and quietly takes everything in; she sits among her great grandchildren. Make no mistake – we are a loud Italian family.

What better way is there to de-stress after a hard week’s work than to come home and enjoy a meal with your family. It’s the perfect time to get together and share what’s been happening. You are never judged; you are fed, revitalized and prepared to tackle the week ahead.

Have you figured out the secret? I believe every mother knows. Love! Love is the secret. It is contagious.

 

“I Am An Audacious Woman…Audaciously Made”

I’m frequently asked how the name Audacious Attitudes came about…such an awesome name for a business. It must have taken considerable thought and deliberation. Fact is it evolved easily and neatly.

Over the past seventeen years in the retail industry I’ve had the privilege of assisting women make countless selections complementing outfits for almost every occasion.   My approach was always the same.   I offered several solutions, and all worked beautifully.

“How do you feel? “…my first question. It was important to me that the customer owned the piece, that she was comfortable wearing it and that she loved it. She had to be confident. If she wasn’t, it was not for her.

I hated hearing… “I love it on other women but I don’t think I can pull it off!”

Why Not!! You are not less than. Wear it with joy.

By definition audacious means showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks:  bold, daring, fearless, intrepid, brave, courageous, valiant, and heroic. Attitude is individuality and self-confidence as manifested by behavior or appearance; style.

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Combined these words describe very desirable traits possessed by beautiful, confident, intelligent women of all ages. That’s how I’ve always seen my customers, and when they failed to acknowledge their innate strength I always tried to coax it to the surface.

The colors I used in the company logo are yellow and black with a dash of red. The color black represents strength, seriousness, power and authority; it creates an air of mystery. Yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. Red is the color of blood and fire. It is associated with sensitivity, joy, radiance and determination. Can you identify? I am sure you do.

When it came to the face I have to admit that my original image sported a stylized black, edgy full banged blunt cut. Two young women at the printer’s office refused, stating that the image should reflect the person behind the company. They won!

I would like to put this forward. “I am a phenomenal woman, phenomenally made”…Maya Angelou. I totally agree.  Would it be plagiarizing to declare “I am an audacious woman…audaciously made” – Oh well, I just did!

A Moment In Time

Graceful stance, shoulders back, head held high. Her warm, brown eyes looking fearlessly into the camera….I can see a smile about to break through.

Her dress and full length coat belongs to her sister who wore it on her wedding day; the fox stole and clutch to the photographer. She is hopeful and proud, gentle and determined. She is in love.

The photograph celebrates a new beginning…her seven year engagement to Olinto, my father. Pia is seventeen.

When I look at this picture I wonder if she could even imagine that she would have the strength and courage to leave all that was dear to her and embark on the adventure of her life. Her present mode of transportation was on foot or on a bicycle. There was only one car in her home town and she had only seen it from afar. Could she even dream that one day she would sail across the Atlantic Ocean?

There are many phenomenal women in our lives just going along living everyday lives, powerhouses of strength and undying commitment to nurturing and keeping their family units strong.   They find strength from deep inside their being. Their language is kindness.  They own an ever-expanding capacity to love. Their attitude is of gratitude.

The young woman in this photograph is calm and aspiring. She has stepped outside her comfort zone, venturing into a photographer’s studio, facing a camera for the first time in her life. She finds solace in the warm familiarity of her sister’s wedding outfit, dons the fox stole as other young women she knows have done and confronts the unknown with confidence.