Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

addictions, Russell Brand and yearnings

February 21st, 2013

Just another glorious sunrise

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Russell Brand on addictions and 10 years clean (from an interview with Ellen DeGeneres): “Certainly it’s true, Ellen, that there are challenges. It’s just a tendency. If you’re naturally inclined to take drugs, or have problems around food, or problems around ‘How’s your father?’, it sometimes seems like it’s a solution. I think people that have those addictive tendencies, you feel a bit sad in your tummy, or a bit down. And you think, ‘I can’t feel this feeling, I must have some booze, I must have some drugs,” (gesturing with hands) “I must have a cake, or some sex.” (Thinks it over.) “You can’t probably hold sex like that in the palm of your hand. Unless you’re really attracted to mice. You must never do that!”

On February 24th (that is three days from now) I will have gone 22 months without booze. Feels good. Two years in April.

xo

wm

Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, Dave Moore, the beautiful Ms. Iris DeMent and the lovely Pieta Brown

October 6th, 2012

We went to hear Bo Ramsey and Greg Brown at the Aladdin last night. The guys were great; the audience was not. Steve: “Portland audiences may be obnoxious, but at least they’re enthusiastic.” How diplomatic of him. Here’s a song for you, and it kinda sums it all up for me:

“Where’s your wife?” one heckler yelled. Greg Brown’s wife being the beautiful and talented singer, Iris DeMent. “She’s at home cooking!” Brown yelled back.

“Get her out here to sing with you!” the same guy yells.

“She won’t sing with me. She’ll only sing with… John Prine.”

It’s true. Or maybe if you’re Josh Turner, she’ll sing with you.

Can’t blame her there.

Also, i’m in love with Pieta Brown, Greg’s daughter:

Now, since this is basically a love letter to Iowa and all the good musicians I’d never heard of ’til I married Steve:

And I don’t want to overlook Bo, so here he is, too.

Love you all, thanks for the music.

– nancy

bumperstickers on some old man’s truck, as i drove out of parking lot at doctor’s office today:

October 4th, 2012

It’s a Child, Not a Choice

Romney/Ryan 2012

Keep Portland Beered!

Yeah, Gramps. I’ll go ahead and stay preggers, barefoot and in the kitchen, and you go on to the bar. Jeez, no wonder white men are having issues in this country right now.

“But we liked it the way it was!”

lol.

Thursday Thirteen, back from the dead…

May 24th, 2012

Busy Beavers

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Nan wrote a Thursday Thirteen about all the things buzzing around in her head, so I will, too. (I didn’t know Thursday Thirteen was still around :) Happy about this!)

If you write one, too, leave me a note so I can go visit. This one is kind of serious, sorry. It just came out that way.

love,

wm

1) My husband took that picture. He takes all of the incredible pictures you see on my blog. I just write. Ha!

2) Looking forward to a four-day weekend! The schools here (Washington Co., Oregon) dealt with budget issues by declaring “furlough days.” Next school year, we’re looking at massive teacher lay-offs. Bad, bad, bad. But we live in a country that likes to spend money on bombs and fighter jets instead of kids, food and health care. We also live in a state where people don’t think they should have to pay property taxes, so there you go. I personally would opt for the kids, food and medical, but what do I know? I’m just a woman who doesn’t believe in war and hunger. Anyway, the district figured out the schedule very nicely. Since we have Monday off for Memorial Day, they gave us Friday off, too.

3) Whenever I start writing anything nowadays, I always tell myself, Keep it cheerful. Fact is, that’s difficult most days. This is the world we live in — where people who speak out against war are seen as freaks; where drug/alcohol abuse are the norm; where it’s OK that kids can’t afford to go to college, and are terrified to take out loans to pay for it. What is wrong with this picture?

4) OK. I planted a bunch of flowers in the yard — they look nice. We had some gorgeous, sunny weather, then a lot of rain, so the new plantings are soaking it all up and thriving.

5) Every day at around this time, I can hear the hawks shrieking as they fly overhead. It is a gift. Thanks, Mother Nature. My son was telling me on the way home from the library, Look at all we have out here! Bunnies, snakes, frogs, coyotes, hawks, ducks… wow!

6) My kids see every day as a gift. This is a good way of looking at life.

7) We checked out a ton of movies and a couple of books from the library: Hepburn & Tracy, “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Ides of March.” I finally re-started reading “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel. It’s awfully good. Next up: more Dickens.

8) Recipes? OK. Here is an oldie but goodie. Crepes… mmmmmm… crepes…

9) The windows are open — I can hear the neighbor kids hollering. It’s almost summer… summer break… my birthday (48, damn! Two years from 50, woo-hoo ;)… our garden is already flourishing — herbs, potatoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries all coming on, along with the peas that we planted too late but are doing wonderfully, in spite of our negligence. Radishes… green onions… and tomato and pepper starts waiting to be planted. I love the Pacific Northwest for a lot of reasons, and gardening is always at the top of the list.

10) My daughter just finished up her spring session of art classes. She made some beautiful work this semester. She, like her Dad, is quite the photographer. Our house has turned into a showcase for their work.

11) My novel is trucking along. I’m hoping we wrap up my Grandma’s cookbook/memoir soon, and a friend is going to put together some illustrations for the children’s book I wrote. All good.

12) I am psyched for all the TV season/series finales that have been on. (No spoilers! I promise.) I have never watched so much TV in my life, not even when I was a kid. “Desperate Housewives” is over and done. Not everyone liked the series finale, but I thought it worked, especially the last ten minutes. “Revenge” had a great run — looking forward to seeing where they go with it next season. “American Idol” and the Stanley Cup hockey play-offs are both stressing me out in different ways. It’s only a game! (Music and sports having more than a few similarites.) (So why am I on the couch, holding my breath?)

13) If you’d like to read any of the other Thursday Thirteens I’ve written, head over to the sidebar — they have their own category, and apparently this is the 89th entry! Whoa.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

oh that poor little sucker

May 17th, 2012

I’m speaking, of course, of the kid and his mom, whose picture ran on the cover of Time. I’m not giving Time a damn link — go look it up if you haven’t seen it yet. Talk about Ways to Traumatize Your Kid.

Here’s my problem with the cover: The kid is 3-going-on-4, or 4-going-on-5, who knows, but looks like he’s 8. Just call him Milkman. His mom has the most defiant look on her face, it’s a little creepy.

I call it “We Are the World/We Are the Parents.”

“If you can breastfeed at 4, why can’t you breastfeed at 36? The age I am?” — Russell Brand on the Ellen show, 5/17/12

The whole mess reminded me of this post, the aptly-titled, “Unless You Push It Doesn’t Count,” wherein I tell other mommies “get off your vaginal high horse and shut the f#!k up.” You know when you need to criticize another parent? Pretty much the only time? If you see them hitting their kid. Or if you see them forcing the kid to do meth or something. Seriously. Those are about the only times you should say something. Tell them to knock it off; intervene if you can; call a cop.

The end.

Sunday Recipe Club: Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

May 13th, 2012

man, steve is a sweetie.

exercise, weight, Carnie Wilson and me.

May 13th, 2012

Meanwhile, at the haunted rink

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

i kinda love that picture. Happy Mother’s Day, to you mothers out there ;)

I thought today I would write about a subject that’s near and dear to Americans: morbid obesity. Oh, wait… we like our french fries and beer in this country, so very, very, much. Along with our weight loss surgeries. So is weight truly an issue that can be described as “near and dear” to us? Discuss amongst yourselves — I have reality TV to move along to.

I’ve been working out pretty much every day for a long time now. Months? A year? Who knows. I walk on the treadmill and do yoga, mainly. Go for hikes and walks with Steve and the kids, and sometimes make it to the rec center for aqua aerobics. (Zumba! Shake those ta-ta’s, ladies…) I tivo a lot of stuff, but I still run out of crap to watch. Which is why I ended up watching the new TV Guide (?) reality show, “Wilson Phillips, Still Holding On.” Carnie Wilson (daughter of Beach Boy Brian) hates exercise, she sez. Carnie and her sister Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips (daughter of Michelle and John, Mamas & the Papas) are always in a fight. They have their children to raise, their husbands to try to pressure into getting vasectomies, and also? They live in California. It is stressful there, apparently, with all the driving and birthday parties.

Plus they’re trying to make a comeback, and they’re all in their 40s now.

Girls, I feel ya. So Carnie decides to get another weight reduction surgery done, even tho she’s already gained back 2/3rds of the weight she lost with the last one. Girl, i don’t feel ya on this one, but que sera, sera. Just go for some long walks; it’s easier. I’m not into running — i blew out the ACL on my right knee, skiing, and it hurts when i run. It also hurts when i have extra weight on my bod. But unlike Carnie, i f*&@!ng hate surgeons, doctors, hospitals, and i think i would have to be unconscious and toted there before you’ll get me near one again.

it must be tough when weight is something you’ve struggled with your whole life. Chynna Phillips was being quite rude and giggling about going to visit Carnie at the “fat farm” when they were kids. With “sisters” like that, who needs enemies?

i was lucky enough to not experience being a heavy kid. also lucky to have two skinny parents, who ate right, exercised because they liked to move around, and weren’t weirdos about food. I’ve never been more than 30 pounds overweight, and by American standards, I’m svelte. Ha. American standards need to be revised. Thirty extra pounds is uncomfortable. Two extra pounds is uncomfortable. I’ve lost about 20, gained back 6, whatever. I love sugar, and if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know i love to bake, especially when i’m stressed out. Chocolate therapy.

i danced as a kid, always rode my bike, hiked, backpacked, swam, have done yoga since I was 17. i’m not a jock, but i like to move. Even so, it was hard for me to get enough exercise because i was having health problems and the kids were little. We lived in a cruddy neighborhood before, and i had all these visions of taking the kids and dog out for walks and oh! lovely exercise! Yeah. That worked until the dog kept getting attacked by shepherds, pit bulls, boxers and various other doggie fiends. I had a pit bull lunge at me once when i was alone and just about had a heart attack. The neighborhood was polluted (lots of industrial traffic) and my asthma sucked and it was a total hassle to get to the gym because 1) we didn’t have a lot of extra income to pay for a membership and 2) while everyone was pretty happy to dump their kids on me, no one seemed all that keen on babysitting my kids. Even though, hello, my kids are mellow and your kid just trashed my house are you f&@!#ng kidding me?

But i digress.

i was scrawny for years — 5’10″ by the time I was 15. I remember walking home from school (theme in my life ;) I’ve always walked a lot) and having my hip pop right out of the socket. I took my hand and popped it smack back in and kept walking. Ouch. That happened more than once. I was growing so fast, everything was loose and limber. I’ve had thyroid problems (hypo and hyper, so alternating between being exhausted/unable to sleep, restless/listless and go-go-go). I didn’t realize my calcium and potassium were messed up because my doctors were quacks and no one bothered to refer me to a specialist. I didn’t even know what an endocrinologist was until years later. I had my throat cut the first time when i was 14. I had my throat cut for the 2nd (and hopefully, last) time when I was 27. i had my tonsils out when i was 6, c-sections when the babies were born (they were both 10-pounders) and had a long-needed hysterectomy a few years ago. Along the way i had to have a bunch of “procedures” and “bloodwork” and “tests for cancer” (i’m good, thanks) and all kinds of other invasive shit.

so let’s stop for a moment to ponder all that. I hate the health stuff.

But you know what hurt the most? My sister, screaming “You’re a fat f!@#$ng cow!” at me in my own kitchen. With my own kids right in the next room.

1) Am not fat f!@#$ng cow, thank you.
2) If someone is, you think they don’t already know that?
3) Not helpful, and kind of destroyed our relationship, along with some other crap.

So Chynna, that’s nice that you’re skinny and blonde and all, but sweetheart? Please don’t lord it over people. Work on the humility a little bit.

what has helped me (please talk to a doctor, though, i’m not a professional here):

1) drinking more water

2) getting enough sleep

3) the kids getting older, so I don’t have to arrange care for them in order to work out

4) having a treadmill in my office. I get up early sometimes, use it while i’m watching TV, or late at night, even, if i can’t sleep. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, a full hour, whatever. I go until I unwind.

5) working my yoga practice so it’s just mine. I can’t stand “competitive yoga” and haven’t done an inversion in years. I get dizzy, have extremely low blood pressure, and get embarrassed by how stiff I am. So i do a weigh-in on the scale in my bathroom and the Wii every day, do yoga and work-outs with the Wii and my favorite TV yoga teacher, Priscilla Patrick. I do it how much I want to, when I want to, and I customize it every day so it suits me.

6) I try to walk on the treadmill or out in the neighborhood for an hour a day, but if it’s less, who cares. If it’s more, that’s fine, too. All of this can be hard to start, but once i got into a routine i was okay. Now I know if i’m stressing out it’s cuz i need to stretch or go for a walk. Usually the endorphins kick in after 20 minutes or so, but damn. Sometimes it’s an hour! Then i think, That was a lot of stress to release, but it’s gone now.

7) eating right. my cousin taught me the “take 6″ trick. She fills up a platter with pea pods, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, asparagus, whatever she wants. Makes a dip out of BBQ sauce and Thousand Island dressing and puts it in the middle, then tells my little cousins to take 6 pieces. It works and is really pretty to look at, too. I like protein shakes, but i don’t drink them every day. I try to have one meal a day that’s just a protein shake (with yogurt, fruit and lots of ice), OR soup (if it’s cream soup, a lot of calories, with a handful of croutons, no i do not care. (and sometimes it is just a simple bowl of vegetable soup, which has, what 40 calories? ha, and that’s fine, too) OR cereal (i’m like a 6-year-old about cereal) (non-fat milk) OR a salad. I’m not into bacon or bleu cheese dressing, but I do like chicken, or taco salads (plain yogurt, usually, instead of sour cream).

That works, if you just sub out a few meals. Don’t torture yourself, life is too short.

8) I stopped drinking any and all booze. I’m hypoglycemic, on verge of diabetes. The mixers and the white wine (with its sugar) were doing a lot of damage. I didn’t drink very much, and have always been a lightweight, but even that small amount was doing damage. I also was having a hard time working out because even 10 or 15 minutes would make me dizzy as hell and sick. Duh, it was low blood sugar, along with the damn low blood pressure. So now i stop and have yogurt, a banana, a rice cake or an orange, and that helps. Sometimes I just say forget it, eat a real meal and then work out half an hour later.

9) i feel good. mainly because anybody in my head, screaming at me? I imagine that I’m putting them, their words, their put-downs and all the rest, into a big manila envelope. I seal it shut, and in my head, walk it out to the trash and put it in there. Then I shut the lid. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Because you wouldn’t want to take something out of the trash and keep it, would you now? So the next time it starts to run through my head, I remind myself, Naw, that’s trashed, remember? It works, try it sometime.

Carnie, I love you.

– nancy

these are the kinds of books that are selling:

March 15th, 2012

The Moon and Mt. Hood

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

from today’s Publishers Lunch, under New Deals:

Richard M. Cohen’s I WANT TO KILL THE DOG, a humorous memoir and countercultural ode about living with his wife Meredith Vieira’s animal menagerie and the havoc the pets create; and Scratch and Peck blogger Lauren Scheuer’s illustrated ONCE UPON A FLOCK: Adventures with My Backyard Chickens.

Make a stand for fiction. Go buy a copy of my novel.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

– nancy

new new newness

February 16th, 2012

Author Blog, by moi.

to those of you who are asking, When’s your cookbook coming out?!?!?

February 12th, 2012

How ’bout you go buy a copy of my novel to entertain you, in the meantime? Righteous.

xo,

nancy

« Previous PageNext Page »