Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Magic in Music - Another Trip Down Memory Lane

A few weeks ago, I took you for a trip down memory.  This trip back in time triggered a few music memory favorites.  I have been going on to play various “silly” and “fun” songs for my youngest.  Come on, admit there’s nothing quite like “Safety Dance” to get anyone moving around.  As I reflected further into my music library, I realized that music is an emotional place…and some tunes are definitely a safe place for me (or a happy place, a manic place.....  )

Certain songs bring me right back to THAT moment:

….my first serious boyfriend and our phone fight whilst  Roxette’s “Listen To Your Heart” bellowed in the background.

….my traveling (and moving) across country with my parents as “Convoy” and C.W. McCall propelled us down the highway.

….my first tween giggles to sexual innuendo as Elton John belted out,  “rolling like thunder, under the covers” in his “Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” ballad.

…my many memories with my bff to the various Grateful Dead tunes; but especially to “Alabama Getaway” as we drove around in her Plymouth Duster.

With that, I decided to have a fun Thursday Top Ten……I am going to open up my own personal Pandora’s box and share with you my all-time Top Ten favorite songs (oh boy, this is going to be tough)!

10.  “Annie’s Song” - John Denver.  Makes me think of my dad.  It also contains all my favorite things (ocean, forest…. You fill up my senses…..)

9.  “Beautiful Day” - U2.  Seriously, every day is a beautiful day – regardless of how “bad” it may seem; we are alive.  That’s beautiful.  How can you not scream along to “It’s a beautiful day!”

8.  “A New Day Has Come” - Celine Dion – this song got me through my darkest cancer days and helped me anticipate the New Day after with my newborn, Reece.  “Let the rain come down and wash away my tears……touched by an angel in the sky……”

7.  “Sunday Morning” -  Maroon 5.   Adam Levine is singing this to me.  Yes, I have a girlie school girl crush on him.  So what?  I can canoodle with him in my dreams.  (Yes, Doug approves.  Or maybe that’s in my dreams, too?).

6.  “In My Life” – Beatles.  This one is my grammy.  It’s a long story, but when I visited her grave in Akron, Ohio (I was not allowed at her funeral), it was a snowstorm and I could not find her grave.  Finally, amidst a break in the storm, some rays of sunshine, I found my grammy – and said my peace.  I entered my car to leave and this came on. 

5. “One” – U2.  One love.  One blood.  One life.  Sisters.  Brothers.  ‘Nuf said.

4.  “Hole-Hearted” – Extreme.  True love.  What can I say?  Doug used to serenade me with this song as we were dating.  How could I not melt to his off-key, “There’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled by youuuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

3.  “He Lives In You” – Lebo M (from the “Lion King”).  If you have never heard this, you really should:  Again, for me, it references family members long departed but still within my heart.  I used to dance Riley to sleep with this song as an infant.  I do believe I have someone that lives within me and someone who watches over me. 

2.  “Let It Be” – Beatles.  I used to just like this song a lot.  Now it’s very relevant with each year of maturity and with each passing adventure in my life.  No drama, just “Let It Be”.

1. Every terrible 80s music song that makes me want to dance…….I could do another entire blog on these songs alone – any by Culture Club (please don’t groan), any by Michael Jackson (has he really been gone 3 years?), any by Rick Astley (I asked nicely – please don’t groan), Duran Duran (you know you’ve been hungry like the wolf), any by Whitney Houston (Oh, yes, I wanna dance with somebody)……

Music is deeply tied to our emotions, as evidenced from my very short list above.  My tastes are so eclectic, ranging from Phantom of the Opera, to Skid Row, to Debbie Gibson (there’s that groan again), to Bob Dylan, to Frank Sinatra, to Nirvana……and it's all very depending upon my mood.  What songs take you back?  What songs bring out your emotions?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Curvy Fit

As I type this, and perhaps as you read this, my sister in law is swimming the English Channel. Yes. Swimming it. 
She swims daily. She leaves my parents' house in Cape Cod for hours at a time in the summer to train in some body of water. She swims in pools, ponds, lakes, oceans, rivers, and...apparently....the English Channel. I can't even fathom this as the doggy paddler I am. She will be swimming for an estimated 17 hrs straight. She can tread water to drink and eat her goo pouches handed off to her from her boat, but cannot touch the boat. She cannot touch my brother for a rest bit. Which is fine. He gets weepy and would cry if she did. (Irish lug).

I am astounded by what her body can do. That she can train for this feat and accomplish it (as I know she will unless Mother Nature gets in the way). She is so very strong, but still very humble and very hard on her self about her body. How can this be? That body can swim from England to France. Friggin' nuts.

I, meanwhile, am amazed at what one day of moving boxes and hauling furniture can do to me. My lower back is screaming as I lie in bed and type. My legs are all restless and my cat is all pissy with me because I can't get comfy. I can't fall asleep because my body has lost it's strength as my size has dwindled a bit. So here I am at my more familiar size, and I am incapable of some of my givens from days of bulk. That goes to show that number aren't everything. My trainer, Donna, told me that every week, 2-3 days a week. Let the numbers go and see how you feel. It is true. I must add some strength. 

Oh, don't walk away thinking that the moral of the story is size means nothing, numbers mean nothing. We all know they do mean something to us, "right" or "wrong". I am not playing you for a fool. But they don't mean everything when moving a train table makes you wish you hadn't packed the Tiger Balm. And they don't mean shit when you can swim the English Channel. At least for those 17 hrs at the very, very least.
Go Eileen. So freaking PROUD of you!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Blogger: Maryellen Brisbois

Zero to twenty two at the speed of light or sound (whichever one is faster!)

I never really believed it would happen to me, although I had been warned more times than I care to remember.  I would be walking along, or more like lumbering along, with a baby (or two or three) in tow when someone would inadvertently stop me and say, “Make sure you enjoy every minute with your children…they will be grown before you know it.” 

Those words never rang more true than last Saturday morning when I looked up from my morning cup of tea and newspaper (yes, I still read the paper) as my oldest son lumbered into the kitchen sleepy-eyed, smiling and looking for some coffee to brew.  My recent college graduate.  Where did the time GO?

Travis was born on a chilly March afternoon as an episode of the ‘Three Stooges’ blared on the hospital television.  He was a bruiser of a guy at 8 pounds and 14 ounces, with a pair of broad shoulders that I couldn’t wrestle into the baby blue outfit I had packed to take him home in. Instead we wrapped him up tight in a blanket to strap him in his car seat for our inaugural ride home as a new family. I can remember thinking the doctors and nurses were reckless to assume Brian and I had any business taking home a baby, never mind raising one. We drove away from the hospital like bank robbers following the world’s greatest heist. We were beaming.

 Travis made it easy. And when his brother and sister were born, they never once suspected that we were rookies with the whole parenting thing. Or at least they didn’t let on. We only wanted the best for our family.  So we read to them and spoke to them like they were thirty years old before they could even sit up by themselves. When we told them what all parents tell their children, work hard and be nice; they listened to us. When they went to school and learned not everyone was kind, we told them there were more good people in the world than bad; they believed us. When we told them to dream big; they showed us.

On Saturday, I stood back and took a deep breath as family and friends arrived to celebrate Travis’ graduation. I was hoping for a Polaroid moment; one that I would never forget. Travis stood tall, proud, and confident. He is a man who appreciates the simple things in life: a good book, three square meals a day, spending time with his grandfather and father, having lunch with his brother, hanging out with friends, a contentious political conversation, a firm handshake, and a strong cup of black coffee (extra large). 

Travis heads off to graduate school in the fall. He has paved the way for his brother Tyler (a college junior) and sister Mackenzie (a high school senior). They have carved their own notable paths. I find myself bracing for another round of college applications and college graduations.

Maybe the doctors and nurses knew something we didn’t. As much as I hate to admit it, when I see a mom with young ones in tow, I always say, “Make sure you enjoy every minute with your children…they will be grown before you know it.”  It’s a fair warning after all.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Phee Phi PHO Phum

Yum.  Surprisingly, it's very easy to get addicted to Pho!  Pronounced as "FUH" - not "PHO".  I made this for breakfast today and the family was very receptive.  I love getting it at a local Thai place, but this was an easy meal to prep and despite the blazing temperatures - this was refreshing!  If you want, add shrimp or thinly sliced chicken.  I simplified the recipe below for what I had on had and it was simply fantastic - a melody on the tongue!

Vegetarian Phở (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
Serves 2
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles (known as bánh phở; use 1/16", 1/8", or 1/4" width depending on availability and preference)
Toppings (optional)
Protein such as fried or baked tofu, bean curd skin, or seitan
Vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, or broccoli
1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 chile pepper (Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño), sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, culantro/saw-leaf herb
Hoisin sauce, sriracha (optional)
For the broth
Char onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.
In a large pot, dry roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When spices are aromatic, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.
Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.
For the noodles
While broth is simmering, place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)
For the toppings (optional)
While broth is simmering, prepare toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, etc. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.
To serve
Divide noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into each bowl. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Potato. Po-tah-to.

There comes a point in our lives when we literally stop and say, “Wait…….Whaaaat?”

You know, for example, when we hit that “middle age” and things start happening.  I am not sure if I am in denial or disbelief or…..or…..or…….naive?  Dumb? 
Like when did hair start growing on my toes?!  What IS that?  Hasn’t my body ever heard of EVOLUTION?  We are so far removed from the apes, why on EARTH would I need hair on my toes?  And it’s not on all of my toes (well, peach fuzz, I’ll give you that) but now, after a recent self-pedicure I realized that I obviously missed a spot shaving and I had giant big toe hair that had escaped the razor.  Eeew. 

Since we are on the topic of hair, what’s with the ONE, spirally, random, occasionally growing chin hair?!?  Is that the one ounce of testosterone I have in my body trying to mark its territory?  (Yes, we women have testosterone, albeit a teensy bit).  Seriously?  Of course, as soon as it breaks the surface of my skin I annihilate that sucker with tweezers (okay, it’s so short it takes me a while to get a good grasp to yank that sucker).  I remember my mother having chin hair and thought, “Ugh, how disgusting!”  Geesh.  Did I just announce to the world I have a single, lone, random chin hair?????? 

Let’s not even go down south.  Let’s just say the older we get, more maintenance is required in our grooming efforts; particularly when it’s 98 degrees and bathing suit weather.  I will NOT risk utter humiliation by an escaped pubic hair. Although, lately, the idea of Kate’s previously mentioned blogged about pantaloons is becoming more and more enticing. 

With the annual emergence of my pasty while New England legs, I’m realizing that I have more broken capillaries.  NO.  They are NOT spider veins.  And those are freckles and beauty marks…..NOT age spots.  But I cannot tell you what those white spots are….between the brown spots and white spots, I figure I’ll be a gorgeous cheetah by 60.  Those dimples on the backs of my legs – they don’t match my dimples on my face?

What do you mean I can’t wear a bikini at the beach this summer?  My stomach is even whiter than my pasty legs but it deserves some sunshine too?  What?  The flabalanche is socially unacceptable?  I would never snicker at anyone who had anything hanging over a bikini.  Never.  <snicker>.  And we all know social acceptance is an entirely different blog post.
I am not prepared to accept that as we age that certain things just sprout off our bodies.  I have never quite likened myself to a potato, sprouts and all…..but dang, doesn’t everyone appreciate a good potato?  (And now I’m off to shave my toes……).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cooler Safety

Ahhhhh, Summer vacation. It is true I will be surrounded by 3 children non stop, but with a pond to plop ourselves at, well placed road trips, reading and school work incentives, and this whole moving to a new house, we shall be fine. I think the big issue will be our safety....

Yes, Summer safety. We know to watch our children while they swim. We know to sunscreen, wear hats, use bug spray. We have learned to check for ticks when we come in at the end of our day- there are posters about that in our schools! But will no one teach us how to leave the cooler away from our sides? Will no one take the moment to say:

"HEY! Sorry! Didn't mean to, but that cooler is reeeaaallly kind of close to you right now. You may want to move it to the picnic benches. Or you could it behind you and out of reach! Out of sight is out of mind. And if you keep thinking about it, it will be too out of reach to get at. Then if you obsess about it you will have to try and get up from that little beach chair. THAT will be awkward. And you will have those angry red chair marks on the back of your thighs. You don't want to go sharing those, right? Sooooo....just scooch that cooler a ways behind you and grab your water and enjoy the kids frolicking in the water."

Of course, I always have dry goods next to me in my beach bag. I am going for almonds. I am. But I can't help it if I reach in for the nuts and come out with Fiddle Faddle.

So, maybe next time, we need to discuss Grocery Shopping Safety.

See you at the beach.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Everything Will Be Alright

Everything Will Be Alright

It’s true.  It really is true. 

Dreaming of being a princess and owning a unicorn in a world filled with rainbows may simply seem a distant childhood memory.  Savoring the long and sultry days of summer; days that never seemed to end during the freedom of youth, and carefree adventures while making memories.  Spending generous allowances on vast amounts of true penny candy; savoring the sticky, the sweet, the pick the goo out of your teeth.

Somehow, many of us are thrust into that thing called adulthood at some point or another; after all, it’s inevitable.  For some, the premature act of growing up prances upon us in our twenties; for many of us we find the weighted burden in our thirties; and for a lucky few, the shackles of aging responsibility await until that ripe decade of our forties.

The days of singing, jump-rope and hopscotch have escaped us and we have catapulted into new days; days of structure, monotonous routine and constant time monitoring.  Calls have come in announcing drastic health turns of beloved parents.  Cars have died mid-commute.  Children have fallen and required that umpteenth broken bone ER trip.  Lumps have turned into that worst nightmare diagnosis.

Most women deal with an abundance of “drama” each and every day.  More fascinating is the varying degrees in which drama may be handled by different women.  You see, sometimes, for some women, a bad hair day is enough to ricochet negative emotions throughout their day.  For other women, only that call, the one message with the death of a family member is enough to bring them to their knees.

There are gals who have to drive themselves through hardship, maybe only a handful of times throughout their entire lives.  Yet, there are other gals who face adversity and struggle on a daily basis, year after year after year.

Despite the obstacles, we cannot change many of the circumstances that happen in our lives.  We can only control how we cope and most importantly, how we react to the challenges, the trials, and the tribulations of adult life.

Personally, in a desire to learn to cope – I have returned to days of silliness.  I sing loudly (and quite badly).  I jump rope (and quite well).  I dream of owning a unicorn.  I envision sliding down those rainbows (perched above cotton candy clouds nonetheless).  I laugh heartily (the kind where snot flies).


There will be milestones.  There will be heartbreak.  There will be adventures.  There will be death. 

But, in the end, I know......everything will be alright.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

News From Curvy-land

In case you haven't heard the news, us Curvy Girls are working on a top secret project.

Fine, I will tell you all about it.

We are currently collaborating on an e-book of sorts -- a COOKBOOK! So if you like Foodie Friday, stay tuned for the longer and more intimate version. Our goal is to have it out before Christmas so you can gift your favorite Curvy Girl with a download she can dig. A read she can relish. A book she can bappreciate.

You will be able to download it to your iPad or Kindle, set us up in your kitchen and cook our favorite foods. As you cook, we will spin a tale about the food.  You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll probably gain 7 pounds, which makes us genius businesswomen because you, dear readers, will be curvier than ever and unable to escape us.

And we will be kitchen friends.

As such, I am going to be taking a summer vacation -- a step back from the internet in general and leaving this blog in the capable hands of my Curvy Compadres, Kate and Rebecca, while I live the life of an e-recluse and write to my heart's content, strategizing and formulating ways to make this blog bigger and better and bolder.

I like to think of it as a Summer Sabbatical.
And I look forward to seeing you all -- and oversharing the intimate details of my life -- in September!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Oh wow.
Hey look.
The beach weather is here.
Isn't that great?
About the beach weather?
It is. I mean, I love swimming. I love the picnic. The Pringles that are a part of our beach days. I love the warmth and my kids' golding hair. Watching them swim and play and enjoy.

But I wonder.
I ask you.
What happened to this?

To this bathing suit?
Where did it go?
I am not sure it should have gone away.
Not in June.
Not in June with Irish skin and aging elasticity.
I think it would work well in June.
I get not wearing it all Summer.

Like for July, maybe:

My friends and I could add this number to our beach rotation. 
That is OK with me. 
And we could take this fun picture all together? 
Who wants to? 
Want to get some of these bathing suits and take a fun picture? 
AND save our skin the WHOLE time? 
Yes, me too.

Look at August! 
We are sharing a little more thigh. 
Look! A little more chest. 
That makes sense. 
Gather the last bits of vitamin D on the double Ds. 
(Or A minuses. Whatever.) 
We can end the summer in these outfits and have a real fun photo again. 
We can share it on Facebook with tags and location. 
It can read JCC! or Wingersheake shake shook whatever beach. 
And we could write it wrong like that! 
How funny to write it wrong while covering our thighs with these suits?!?! 
Let's do that.

I can't do it alone, guys. I can't old timey swimsuit alone. I will go too far. I'll be all 1850s and shizzle. With pantaloons. (Yes. Pantaloons.)

Beach weather. Awesome.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Guest Blogger: The In-Betweener

 Confessions of an In-betweener

What happens when your rectangular shaped body tries to become plus size after children, you become an in-betweener!

If I had a waist, maybe I could call myself full sized or curvy.
If I lost some weight, maybe I could go back to being rectangular bordering the wedge shape.
My weight isn’t evenly distributed, I’m top heavy, even more challenging.

Buying clothes is horrendous. 
In order to get the pants to fit in the waist, the thighs and butt end up being too baggy.
In order to get the pants to fit in the legs, I end up with muffin top.
I can forget most tight fitting shirts, the closet full that used to suit the rectangular shape.
Buying empire cut shirts makes me appear pregnant.
Buying baggy tops makes me look twice my size because of the broad shoulders.
And I can forget layering.

If I were curvy I could embrace it, flaunt it.
If I were rectangular, I could call myself athletic.
But instead, I’m stuck in between. 

Lose five pounds here, gain five pounds there. 
Being healthy and fit is a life decision, some say. 
I call it a money decision, if I don’t get the post-pregnancy weight off I’ll just keep buying more (larger) clothes.
(I’m kidding myself it’s so post pregnancy it’s just fat now.)

I’m tired of thinking about what I eat.
Or if I miss a week of exercise I gain back all the weight it took me a month to lose.
I’m tired of looking at cake, and gaining weight (so it seems).

As of now I’ve only had one child, what happens after the second one, I’m a little afraid.

Thanks for your contribution, Danica!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Foodie Friday: Fakin' It

My husband has a lot of wonderful qualities (and Lord I love that man), but a sense of culinary adventure is not one of them.
Which is why I have several seafood husbands.
I am lucky to have lady friends who lend me their husbands when I feel like making crab cakes, sushi or the following dish, which true foodies will cringe at because of my shameless and liberal use of imitation lobster…but fur realz, get off your pedestal and come join the bottom-feeders. Don’t judge.
Unlike real lobster, or crabmeat, the imitation stuff is not only cheap ($2.99 for a package, and for this recipe you only use half) but can be tucked away in your freezer with no consequence.
When I am craving a hearty – and not too indulgent – seafood pasta lunch or dinner, I can make this in 10 minutes flat. It is nowhere near as elegant as a restaurant meal but it is damn tasty, full of protein, fiber and veggies, and a great value.
And my kids and husband hate it which means… got it! More for me.
SEAFOOD (sort of) PASTA – serves 1 or 2 depending on whether you want leftovers ;-)
4 ounces multi-grain pasta, I like angel hair
½ package imitation lobster or crab, crumbled into bits
1 cup 1% milk
1 T. butter + 1 T. flour
½ cup shredded/grated fresh parmesan
Veggie veggies veggies
* Boil the pasta and throw in broccoli florets toward the end before you drain it
*While the pasta boils, melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour until a paste forms. Add the cup of milk and whisk it all together, bringing to a mild boil.
* Add the parmesan...feel free to add any other cheeses you like, you are basically making a cheese/cream suace.
* Throw in the "lobster", adding also a cup of chopped up tomatoes and some baby spinach if you have it. Carrots, scallions and any other veggies you have lying around would be a nice addition. Simmer this sauce until its time to drain the pasta.
* Toss all the yumminess together.
* Consume while reading

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Friendship: It’s when someone knows all about you, but likes you anyway.

v  I have friends that have never left my side.

v  I have friends who have known me the longest.

v  I have friends I have farted with on the phone for hours of giggles (yes, we were 13 and yes, I know for fact that she still farts).

v I have friends that when a certain song comes on, we break out into our crazy dance and off-key singing.  Or we simply time travel back to that moment in time….with that memory, forever etched into our brain (if you find out what these songs are, I am sure to instantly start singing and dancing.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!).

v  I have friends that compliment my character in the best manner possible (even when my character may be less than stellar).

v  I have friends who inspire me to be a bigger and better version of myself every day (Smart teacher, devoted mom of a child with cancer, to name a couple).
v  I have friends who are content to let me lead the way, yet, they will support me in any way, shape or form.
v  I have friends who share my fears, embrace my dreams, and help me reach my goals.
v  I have Ya-Ya Sisterhood friends.  I have Sisterwife friends.  I have neighborhood friends who are the sisters I wish I could have picked for myself.

 v  I have Facebook friends.
v  I have friends who are now legally my family.

v  I have friends who will share a cup of tea, a thermos of coffee or a bottle of wine with me.

v  I have friends who have seen me naked; and yet, I have friends who will NEVER see me naked.

v  I have friends who know the song in my heart and sing it to me when I’ve forgotten the words.

v  I have breast cancer friends.  Forever bonded and connected over a terrible disease that cannot break the strength of super women.

v  Friends are like a good bra, supportive, hard to find, and always close to your heart!  - Unknown

Take a moment and reflect.  Reflect on all the friends you have had in your walks of life.  Truly admire the blessings in the form of each and every friend.  Tell your friends how much you love them.  To each and every one of you, I love you. 

What's YOUR superpower?

It has never much mattered to me that my children think so highly of me they can’t recognize my humanity. I never planned to their best friend or their superhero. I just wanted to be a decent mother.
I have been unsure what my legacy to them will be, how they will have perceived their childhood, but my interest, above all else, was in being true to myself, of radiating what is in my heart outward…even if it is burning hot rage or crippling regret. To be honest and real and present instead of trying to maintain the exhausting façade of being perfect and wonderful and happy; this has been my only desire. Anyone who has ever been within 12 feet of one of my bad moods has felt my honesty, like it or not.

Add to this the fact that I am one of those Janes of all trades – proficient at nearly everything but excellent at nothing. I am a decent painter, a pretty good singer, an okay housekeeper. I am of normal intelligence, an excellent taker-of-tests but an awful public speaker. I am a genuinely terrible dancer and an incredibly slow runner. It all averages out to being pretty average.

But according my daughters, I am really, really, really good at one really important thing.

“Mommy loves people,” said my 5 year old at dinner as I made goo-goo eyes at my husband of 13 years. “She is good at loving.” My other kids – who in their infinite pre-tween-dom are deathly allergic to openly praising me – nodded their heads while they chewed. A consensus. I love people. What’s your superpower?

No amount of weight loss (or gain for that matter) or reduction of body fat percentage are ever going to mean any more than that. So in many ways, I have found the pot of gold, discovered the key and unlocked the door. My kids think I am really good at loving people, and if they can remember that always, we are all going to be okay.

I felt it last weekend at my sister’s house, watching an old VHS tape of her wedding, sitting next to her and her husband, people I loved then and love now -- so much that sometimes I awake in a panic that I have lost them. And I think of all the children I have loved “like my own” when others would tell me “that’s impossible – you can never love someone else’s children like you do your own – you’ll understand when you have kids.”

I have kids and I can now say they were wrong. I guess I really am abnormally good at loving people.

I can’t tell you how many kids have sacked out at my house, lovable little puppies huddled under blankets for sleepovers complete with a bacon breakfast in the morning. And those kids – even the shy ones or the hard-to-love ones – get a hug and a kiss at bedtime because I love them, honestly, truly, each and every one.

I felt it at a friend’s wedding earlier this month. Seeing old friends I hadn’t in years upon years, friends who came of age with me. I stood in line at the bar next to my friend Denise and when she ordered her drink, the love rushed through me and I wrapped my arms around her neck and whispered it into her ear.
I almost wept with the relief of it, of having people at whom to direct this raging river that rises up over the banks of me so high I can’t contain it. And sitting with more friends, at that same wedding, puffing on cigars in their sloppy wet disgustingness, chatting about this or that and being unable to stop the rush of words. I love you guys, I am so happy to be here with you. Yeah yeah, enough of that, they joked with mild discomfort, resuming socially acceptable chat about jobs or TV shows or other things. But I was overcome with it, an unstoppable force.

Even friends that have come and gone – through time or misunderstanding or a simple act of growing apart – I love them too, still, because I once did. And it never fully dies if it was there, it just settles a little bit at the bottom of me, a dark well to draw from later if our paths should cross again.

So maybe I am not the best at losing weight or getting to the gym every day. Maybe I eat a few too many Doritos at barbecues and maybe I appreciate a good cream sauce or a fine Pinot Noir a little a lot too much.

It doesn’t matter, because I have a rare talent: I love people. My kids know this instinctively, and today at least, I don’t really need anything more than that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No Restrictions

Have you ever read about foot binding? It sounded so horrific and cruel. I am reading a beautiful book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, that talks about it. What amazes me is that this was a rite of passage and little Chinese girls, starting around 5, were made to feel that they should be proud to have it done. Toes broken. Feet oozing with puss. Sisters dying.Then, in some African and Asian cultures, little girls start around the age of 2 to wear neck rings. More and more rings are added to elongate their necks and give them a giraffe like appearance. If they are ever removed, the woman would die of a broken neck. How about lip plates? The bigger the lower lip, the more cattle were paid for an Ethiopian bride. And let us not forget the corset! To give us the "correct body type".

As I write and sit here and think about all these forced changes and mutations that were placed upon a girl in history- and I am not even going to go into the more horrific stuff, some of which still goes on, I am so relieved that my daughters do not have to go through any of it. I watch them run and cartwheel outside during this reprieve in the rain and am grateful for their free moving forms and comfort in life. I just make many tight eyed whispered wishes that they never feel the binds, pain, and pinches of their own self restrictions that comes with looking in the mirror and hating what you see. I want their flowing and care-free minds to see their personal shape, their gorgeous skin tones, their small girl muscles and funny little freckles and claim it as their own! Not one thought of how they can change it and improve it. Save that for their minds. Save that for their generosity. Improve on those things and accept the beauty that thousands of years of genes created that stares back at them before they take off into a sprint again, in a childhood cloud of bliss.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Calling all Curvies....

by Hafiz
translated by Daniel Ladinsky

I don't want to be the only one here
Telling all the secrets -
Filling up all the bowls at this party,
Taking all the laughs.

I would like you
To start putting things on the table
That can also feed the soul
The way I do.
That way
We can invite
A hell of a lot more

Always looking for guest bloggers here at Curvy Girl! That way we can invite a hell of a lot more friends!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chicken Pita With Tzatziki w/ side salad

Easy lunch for dinner....or dinner dinner....


  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • 1 cup Tzatziki sauce (sold near hummus)
  • 1 cucumber peeled and chopped small
  • 4  Joseph's whole wheat and flax pitas, warmed
  • small romaine heart, leaves torn if large
  • cherry tomatoes, quartered


Shred and or cut up chicken from the rotisserie chicken and divide among the 4 warmed pitas. Add the cukes and lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle sauce as you wish!

Now with this, you can go ahead and make a nice greek salad! MMMM! For that you will need....


1 head of romaine lettuce

1 small bag of baby spinach

1 large tomatoes

1/2 cup of feta cheese

1 cucumber

kalmata olives and red onions if you like them 

greek dressing

OH NO!!!! Turning this into the possible main dish by......

Adding a cup of hot orzo pasta! Bringing out the flavors of all

the salad shtuffs, making the cheese kinda melty, and wilting

the spinach down a bit. In fact, double the baby spinach and

lose the romaine!!

Oh, I could go on. It is a kaleidoscopal world of meals when 

you hit the Greek Yumsins.