Dreaming…. A Short Story

Thirty years ago, in the month of May, my sister Maggie married Gary. When they met, Maggie was a postal worker delivering mail on the streets in central Phoenix. Gary was a police officer working the same neighborhood. He recalls seeing her one day walking her route from house to house delivering mail and it was love at first sight for him. Two years later they married. Blending their families together with adult children and a teenager still at home to raise, they went through the adjustments of matrimony and committed to each other for life.  

After their wedding, Maggie stopped working to manage their busy home life and Gary left the police department after his parents relentlessly insisted he leave the department. They worried about his safety. He then followed his lifelong desire to become a master woodworker. With a skill for large, complex wall sectionals, cabinets, and furniture, including our Pluma Studio custom cabinetry, he has an eye for detail and spatial configuration with anything wood related. He is talented.

Maggie and I talk and text often. Our baby sister Connie passed away two years ago, and our mom passed five years ago. Our mother was ninety-one and died of elderly related illness and our sister died of cancer after fighting the battle for several years. During the last years of her life, Connie would often ask Maggie, “Aren’t you tired?” Maggie, a high energy, busy and healthy, and matriarch of our family, would always answer, “No, I’m not tired.” I sensed Connie was projecting her exhaustion toward Maggie, voicing her own tired state of mind after years of cancer treatments and setbacks.  

This year, on Monday, the day after Easter Sunday, while talking on the phone, Maggie had a story to share with me. That night, on Sunday evening, she had a disturbing dream. In her dream she was lying in a bed with both mom and Connie, she lay between them, laughing and joking with each other, not uncommon for the women in our family. We have always been very close physically and emotionally. 

In her dream, while lying between them, Connie turned to face Maggie and asked, “Sis, aren’t you tired yet?”  Maggie came out of the dream, sat up startled and anxious. The dream was so real that her heart was pounding. Quietly, not to wake Gary, she got out of bed and went to the kitchen.  She had a panic attack and waited to calm down before going back to bed. She could not stop thinking that Connie was coming for her. A frightening thought in the middle of the night. 

She went back to bed and tried to fall asleep again. In the morning, going through their usual routine, Maggie and Gary sat on the family room sofa for their coffee. She had decided not to mention her dream to Gary. She was over the fear and had concluded it was only a dream. Within a few minutes of sitting beside her, Gary said he had a dream that evening and wanted to tell her about it. 

He began; “Last night I dreamed about my father and brother Phil.” (His father passed away years ago and brother passed a couple of years ago.) He went on, “I was sitting in a chair somewhere when I saw my father and brother walk by me. Dad was walking in front of Phil. I stood up to follow them and walking behind them I put both my hands on Phil’s shoulders. Phil stopped for a moment, looked back at me, and smiled, and then they both kept walking away from me.”  

They sat on the sofa as Maggie shared her dream with Gary. What were the chances of both dreaming of their deceased parent and sibling on the same night?  Maggie and Gary have a strong commitment to each other. Their marriage is a partnership to support each other, and they do most things together. They know what they are thinking and at times they finish each other’s sentences. And in this case, dream together.  

A dear friend recently said not all of life can be measured. How does one assess or evaluate a moment in time that is out of our sphere of understanding? There are no coincidences and there are many approaches to interpret dreams. And life continues to be mysterious and full of wonder. 

There is so much in our lives that we cannot measure. But we can wonder beyond the limits of what we think we know. 

Love you Sis,



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5 Myths about CHOCOLATE – Prevention Magazine, February 2024 on Wellness by Kate Rockwood 

Fact: You 100% deserve it and need no excuse to enjoy this sweet sensory delight. Just don’t kid yourself that it’s the new kale. 

MYTH #1: Chocolate is a wonderful treat, but not a health food, says JoAnn Manson, M.D., Harvard Medical School, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. To get the anti-inflammatory benefits, such as lower blood pressure, 27% reduction in risk of cardiovascular death, you’d have to eat close to 700 calories worth of dark chocolate or more than 5,000 calories worth of milk chocolate each day. And when you eat all that chocolate, you’re consuming a lot of sugar, fat, and calories. A moderate amount (think an ounce or two) can be part of a healthy diet.  

MYTH #2: You don’t have to worry about the caffeine in chocolate. It’s true chocolate has less caffeine than coffee or cola – 24 mg per ounce for dark chocolate versus 95 mg for a cup of coffee and 40 mg for a cola. But caffeine intake is cumulative and can take about 5 hours for half of it to leave your system. ‘If people complain about trouble falling asleep, I always ask them to think about caffeine-containing foods and beverages they had that afternoon or evening,’ says Christine Rosenbloom, R.D.N., author of Food and Fitness Ater 50. Sensitive to caffeine? Avoid chocolate in the evenings or stick to an ounce of mild chocolate—that shouldn’t affect sleep. 

MYTH #3: Chocolate is an aphrodisiac. Despite its long, sexy history, studies have not found chocolate revs up people’s sexual response. In fact, one found just the opposite—women who ate chocolate more often reported being less interested in sex. That said, chocolate may play some role in the boudoir thanks to its phenylethylamine, a mild stimulant that can improve mood and increase energy. There is a research-backed habit that may help improve levels of desire: Regular physical activity boosts brain chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins, improving overall health and well -being, says Dr. Manson. And don’t forget a healthy diet of fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and fish. 

MYTH #4: Dark chocolate is dairy-free. Not always. Not only is milk a permitted ingredient in dark chocolate, but even brands that claim to be dairy-free may not be. A 2017 study found 15% of dark chocolate bars labeled lactose-free or dairy-free and 25% labeled vegan contained some milk. And a 2018 – 2019 FDA test of 119 samples of dark chocolate found 13 had dairy-flour, enough to trigger a severe allergic reaction. Dr. Stefano Luccioli, an allergist with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a release, The presence of milk in dark chocolate products with dairy-free claims is a potentially serious health concern since individuals allergic to milk are likely to consume these products. If you’re worried about a chocolate treat truly is dairy-free, the FDA recommends contacting the manufacturer directly. 

MYTH #5: Period hormones make women crave chocolate. A hankering for chocolate during that time of the month may be less of a hormonal issue and more of a psychological and cultural one. A PLOS One study revealed that there’s nothing biological going on during your period to make you crave chocolate, but nearly a third of women born to American parents and 41% of second generation American immigrant women said they craved chocolate at the start of their periods. The more closely connected someone felt to American culture, the more likely they were to report period cravings for chocolate. Chocolate can make us feel better during a cranky time of the month, likely due to the mood-boosting flavanols and theobromine in the cocoa plant. ‘So, there may be some craving for that, especially at stressful times,’ Dr. Manson says.

Enjoy your chocolate at Pluma as we support making any cranky time a time for chocolate!


Quotes of the Month

“When things go wrong, we should not ask; why is this happening to me? But where is this taking me?” -Author unknown

“Not only is change possible, but it’s also as vital as breathing.”   -The Mighty Macs – Movie 

Yes, We Wax!

Are your eyebrows a little out of control? A nicely shaped eyebrow adds lift to your face and makes the eye appear larger and more youthful. Contact us for an appointment.


The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict 

Good Energy, The Surprising Connection Between Metabolism and Limitless Health by Casey Means, MD

Culinary Creations by Connie

Recipe of the Month

Add a little "spice" to your summer with Connie's

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. (healthy of course!)

Click here for recipe.

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