new blog site

17 Sep

Hi there, if you’re following me here – please take a minute and visit http://www.uncommom.com where the blog now lives.  Thanks so much! 

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A Party With Hats

29 Apr

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there was a Royal Wedding today. It had all the pomp, circumstance and extreme hat wearing as one would expect.  It was lovely.  Gorgeous, tasteful and appropriate for the future King of England and his bride.

A Hallmark Moment

I say that, as I wait – patiently – for my attorney to send my divorce papers over for review.  I also say that without bitterness or regret. I too was 29 years old when I got married, albeit the circumstances were a bit different.

What would I tell Kate Middleton as she becomes Princess Catherine?  Not a damn thing. They’re gonna have to figure it out for their own royal highnesses. 

It’s easy to get swept up in the magic of it all. It’s all about you, your day, your love (choirs sing) and starting “forever’ off. No one really talks about taking time to lay the foundation of your marriage house. Do you have the same values? Are there things in your relationship that work against each other? How will those things play out? How do your families and friends feel about the union? How does your partner feel about your family and vice versa?  Who will have what role or duty in the marriage? When you say you will stick together in times of sickness, health, better, worse, in good times and bad – that means you’ll stick together – not go running off or take a firm “avoidance” stance. You’re actually signing a contract to that effect.  That’s something you have to really do the work on, to ensure you’re reading from the same book, on the same page. That’s not so magic.

I believe in love. I believe in marriage.   I am disappointed that mine didn’t but not regretful that we made the decision to end it.  It’s a healthier and happier life for all of us. I have witnessed many healthy marriages that work including my mother and step-father + my father and step-mother, proving that sometimes your choices get better with age, wisdom and experience.  I’m making better choices now. Even better in the future. I’m all for a party with hats, just thinking the Kentucky Derby might be a better reason to wear one at this point.

I'd like a side of toast with the hat please

Yard Envy

28 Apr

An ode to Ahmed Hassan

Ahmed Hassan please let me know,

Why you can’t find me at Home Depot?

I’m there quite a bit, fumbling about

Knowing not the difference between spickets and a spouts?

I’d graciously accept your invitation,

To make my back yard a celebration

of pergolas, fire pits and tree stump tables

Even stamping concrete steps if I’m able.

I’ve watched your shows with envy and lust.

I know protective eye gear is simply a must!

Hours I’ve spent hoping it would be one day me,

Rambling aisles at the store whether or not need be.

Oh please Ahmed, Miami Shores beckons,

Make my back yard lush and fecund!

Why can't it be me?

I’m Not Normal

26 Apr

My mother told me. The other day. And she’s right. I’m not.

As we’ve discussed here, I have had Type 1 Diabetes since childhood. That means my body does not produce insulin on its own. My pancreas is probably about the size of a quarter from lack of activity. As a result, I have a metabolic disorder that does not allow my body to properly metabolize carbohydrates and sugars. People like me, with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump like me, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening.

There it is in plain English. People with Type 2 Diabetes still produce insulin, just not enough for their bodies. Any questions?

Nick Jonas and I have something in common, and it's not our rockin' tude.

The thing is as the fab Nikka Costa says, “everybody’s got their sumthin.” So what makes me less normal than anyone else? Not a damn thing.

My pump occluded the other day, which means the teeny tiny catheter bent and insulin wasn’t being delivered appropriately. It happened the second I sat down to have Easter brunch. Should I have had an extra set and insulin with me, yes. Did I? No. So, I left my child with my father and stepmother, went home, changed the pod and met them afterwards at their house missing the brunch and subsequent madness. I’m not gonna lie, it ticked me off. I recalled the story to my mother and that’s when she said “it’s just a reminder that you’re never gonna be normal.” And I heard the mother-branded pain and sadness in her tone. She wasn’t singling me out, she was telling me – you’ve LIVED with this disease for 35+ years. And that’s just it, I LIVE with it and I am thankful that I can.

Some people have harder times at it, with other afflictions, disorders, dislikes, etc. My friend Jenna has to drive the car every time we go out. No negotiating. My friend Dylan is Autistic. My friend Stephanie has a child with Cerebal Palsy.  I’ve got friends with hormone disorders, developmental issues,  asthma, allergies, aversions to clowns (well they’re scary). Countless friends have had Cancer. Countless friends have succumbed to that disease.  Tolerance and compassion people – it’s the only way.

Everybody’s got their sumthin.

What the Jesus?

25 Apr

I was listening to Madison on the Alt Nation Sirius XM radio station the other day and she said something really funny, and true in my life at least. She said (and I’m mostly paraphrasing ’cause who can remember everything?) “All these church people are all up in arms about Lady GaGa’s Judas. Who even is Judas? Seriously, I’m not even kidding.”

Hey Judas

She’s a hoot regardless, but today she was on point for me. I was not raised with much organized religion. I went to a a few parochial schools as a early elementary schooler and then to a Jesuit, then Dominican college, but really have only a rudimentary knowledge of these bible stories. To me, they’re stories created to organize and manage a community without rules, codes of conduct and mores. Providing values where there were none. A rule book of sorts. When my daughter asks me about religion I ask her right back. “Well, what does that mean to you?” I do believe that every single person alive is allowed to make their own decision about what they believe and what they don’t and that’s where my stand ends.

So when Easter came up and Zoe and I talked about the quantum leap from “Jesus dying for us all” her words, taken verbatim from her Community Church School no doubt; to the Easter Bunny, there was clearly a disconnect. One so big, even a six year-old could spot it. From space. So we did what any modern family would do…we googled it.

On http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org and I’m not even kidding that’s the url, they talk about the crucifixion and all that business. The interesting part is they also talk about Pagan rituals pre-dating Christ. Shocking! “The feast day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated in the early spring, it honored the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre. “

Now that’s something I can buy into.  So bunnies are hopping around because winter is over. They’re so thrilled because it’s warm and there’s jellybeans. Makes perfect sense.

Peep Peep!

Zoe was satisfied with the answer. I gravitate towards the celebration of renewal and rebirth at the essence of my being. I’m a PR person for goodness sakes, I can sell a renewal, renovation, rebirth – no problem! Plus, there’s Peeps!

What are you doing to renew, renovate get reborn this Spring? Me? I’m taking note from a book I’m reading now called “Gone With A Handsomer Man” by Michael Lee West (charming Southern Lit, easy to read on the elliptical machine). The protagonist, Teeny Templeton, says in a moment of reflection “Oh, how lovely it would be if self-forgiveness was one of man’s basic needs, something we did automatically, like breathing.”  I’m letting go of unproductive self-judgement and subsequent suffering. I don’t have to prove I’m the son (or daughter) of God. I just have to be the best me I can be.  And there’s no apologies for that. Do the best you can, be the best person you can and go forward. It’s the new, new testament.

Delish by Design (District) Crumb on Parchment

22 Apr

Given that I may or may not have snuck into the Kitchen Club in high school, definitely supported the long-lost Power Studios in the 90’s and have a table designated for my family at Fratelli Lyon, one could say that I am proven, die-hard devotee to Miami’s Design District. That said, I have found in the last year or two, an area in need of improvement. A casual place to pick up a soda, sandwich, afternoon coffee – something quick and good – to go. The Buena Vista Deli is an awesome spot for just that, but it’s too far away. If you’re at Emena Spa and you need something quick to snack on, it usually involves calling, placing an order, waiting 20 minutes and getting a whole meal. Not any longer!!!

The BLaT sandwich at Crumb on Parchment

Miami chef phenom Michelle Bernstein has opened the bright and comfortable Crumb on Parchment inside the atrium at 3930 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137 (inside the building that the MARNI store is in). The vibe is Provincial/modern chic with thoughtful yet low maintenance amenities like a brushed silver tub of beers and communal ice tea decanters, so you can serve yourself whenever you’d like and a bigger than life chalkboard (or two) with the menu perfectly scripted. 

What's for lunch?

Crumb on Parchment is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, which is really almost a shame because this place screams Sunday.  The menu features sweets, soup of the day, sandwiches and salads with extra room for beverages of choice including select wines. Remember this place belongs to Michelle Bernstein, so the wines, are good. And, most importantly, Michelle’s mother Martha does most of the baking… I had the $5 Southern Tomato Salad w/ red onions, corn, arugula, avocado, tomatoes and blue cheese and the BLaT sandwich. The Tomato salad was delicious with the arugula’s bitter bite cut nicely by the mild and delicious Florida tomatoes, buttery avocado and blue cheese. The BLaT sandwich $6.75, is a simple treat of bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato. The bacon was outstanding and made the entire sandwich worth lusting after.  Simple food, exceptionally prepared, at a very reasonable cost. Yay.  

My divine lunch companion, David, who suggested we try out Crumb on Parchment, also had the outstanding idea to share a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. You know that as a Type 1 Diabetic, sweets are not usually my thing. I like to bake them, but prefer to “cheat” with salty stuff. This cookie was great. I can only imagine for sweets eaters, this place is like winning the lottery. 

Some things you should know about Crumb on Parchment – as I said, it’s only open Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:30 pm. It only takes cash. The phone number is (305) 572-9444. There’s   Wi-Fi available for free. Login info is on the big blackboard. Everything is baked fresh, so daily selections will vary. There also might very well be some reality show filming in the space as there was on the day we visited. Very hip. Very Delish. Very affordable. 


Earth Day – Dig it!

21 Apr

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer. Zoe, Taters and a Bonsai money tree my friend Louis sent me years ago,  are the only living things I have been able to sustain. That said, April 22nd is Earth Day 2011 and there are 100,000 ways to commemorate the day.  Despite my black thumb, Zoe and I have been planting fruit and veggies in our yard to create a micro-food shed at the 148 estate. We were thrilled to hear that her kindergarten class was going to plant a garden on the school’s property as their Earth Day 2011 initiative.

For years, I have lusted after Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard program. A visionary, Waters has lead the localvore movement for 30+ years. Starting a trend, when there was really no trend to be started. This program has brought the appreciation of cultivating food from dirt to dinner table, to middle school kids. Genius! Hook ’em when they’re young, and they’ll be life-long devotees.

Edible School's in Session!

From the ESY website:  The Edible Schoolyard (ESY), a program of the Chez Panisse Foundation, is a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom for urban public school students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. At ESY, students participate in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious, seasonal produce. Classroom teachers and Edible Schoolyard educators integrate food systems concepts into the core curriculum. Students’ hands-on experience in the kitchen and garden fosters a deeper appreciation of how the natural world sustains us and promotes the environmental and social well-being of our school community. You can explore the Edible Schoolyard here: http://www.edibleschoolyard.org/

(As a side note, for my 40th birthday, my dear friend Marideth Post took me to Chez Panisse for lunch and it was exquisite. )

I don’t know about your kid, but mine eats about 6 things in rotation. And none of them particularly great. Getting her hands in the dirt and giving  her some ownership of what she puts in her mouth, is sorta working. It also gives us quality time together and lets us commune with the outdoors.  All it takes is a shovel or two, some seeds, sunlight and regular watering. Easy breezy. If that’s to pedestrian for you, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ace Hardware all have “Kitchen box” kits that are easy to assemble and some even come with all the soil and seedlings.  Go ahead, get dirty.

Speaking of getting dirty, a fun way to celebrate Earth Day that’s sweet too. Make a Dirt Pie with Worms. That’s right, I said it.

Dirty pie

Dirt Pie with Worms – This is originally from this great website/blog http://www.TSGcookin.com  http://www.tsgcookin.com/2010/09/d-is-for-dirt-pie.html to it.

2 to 3 qt. flower pot
1 dirt trowel
1 bunch plastic flowers
1 pkg. gummy worms
2 pkg. vanilla pudding
2 lb. Oreo cookies
3 1/2 c. milk
8 oz. cream cheese
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 1/2 c. confectionery sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the pudding and milk, then whip in the cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla. When mixed, fold in the Cool Whip. Crumble cookies in processor. In the flower pot, put piece of foil in bottom to block holes. Then put a layer of cookies, then pudding and worms. Repeat until all the ingredients are used. Top layer must be cookies. Put bunch of flowers into pot. Serve with the trowel. Oreo cookies can be substituted for sugar cookies; make a sand pie, you can use a pail and shovel.

How will you celebrate Earth Day?