Change that Station Now!

I equate life sometimes with listening to a really bad song on the radio.  You’re agitated from the noise, the intensity, the monotonous head- banging clatter. Then something prompts you to change it.  And it’s at that moment you realize just how bad that song was.  You now have peace.  Your body relaxes. What made you listen to it in the first place?  And for so long?

I love analogies.  They have the ability to clarify and simplify the most complicated situations.  Have you stood up close to a Georges Seurat painting?  His beautiful technique of pointillism uses millions of little dots of color to create a masterpiece.  Up close, his Grande Jatte and Circus is just that: millions of tiny dots.  When we stand back, the painting takes shape; becomes real.  We see the big picture, literally! When we stand back from our life, that too takes shape and we notice all nuances, both good and bad.

Seurat's Grande Jatte and Circus

Seurat’s Grande Jatte and Circus

For me, I stood back a few months ago and wow did my eyes open!  I couldn’t believe what I saw before me.  I had answers, clarity.  How had I missed all of this? I had been so close to the situation at hand, I was clouded by what was going on.  All I could see were those little dots.

Next time if you play your music loud, make sure it’s your station.  If you want peace, turn it off.  Marvel at your decision.  And stand back.  Clarity will bring strength.

Tammy

“Darling, when things go wrong in life, you lift your chin, put on a ravishing smile, mix yourself a little cocktail…”― Sophie Kinsella

“There is a secret in our culture, And it’s not that childbirth is painful, It’s that women are strong.”― Laurie Stavoe Harm

folie a' deux

   Wine Pick of the Week:

Folie a’ Deux

2010 Cabernet

Sonoma County

Elegant with layers of fruit and spice

$24

Sipping Wine through a Straw

The question begs to be asked: Is it bad when your eight year old daughter brings you, not just your wine without you asking her (which admittedly goes against the grain of some parenting, unclear why), but shows up proudly with a straw in it? Clearly she sees the value of a glass of vino for mommy and the ease at which it needs to be consumed. I say increase her allowance!

Then something miraculous happened.  Unsolicited.  My little angels cleaned out my car.  Together. They pulled out water bottles, dirty shoes, a science project that had been growing in the third row, about three loads of dirty clothes, six hairbrushes, and a Justin Bieber folder.  They removed mats, washed them, vacuumed the car.  I was speechless. My photogirls working in tandem in any other arena other than fighting, is, well, not all that common.  Then it occurred to me:  They had been abducted by aliens and little carbon copies were left.  They got along and did something that can only happen when the mother ship beams down: they shared! I sipped my cab through my straw, ate my grapes in awe of these specimens, too afraid to move from my fold-out camp chair only feet away. The rest of the night continued without stress and love flowed like water.  They hugged each other goodnight; even shared  “I love yous”. I got cavities (and whiplash) witnessing this.

You’ll be happy and (oddly) relieved as I was to know that they woke up fighting over the same pair of pink and black socks, who got to use the toilet first, and my favorite: “Mommy, I wish I had a different sister!” They’re back.

Tammy

“Either give me more wine, or leave me alone.”                                                                        Rumi, circa 1200’s

Book Tip:  Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls  David Sedaris                                     Wickedly, laugh out loud funny!

Look Mama! It’s Cheese in a Can!

Recently, I was perusing the aisles in Ralph’s, as I do on average twice a day, with my two little angels trying to ignore their feuds over who gets to stand on the end of the shopping cart while I push (neither, as I can hardly steer it but I was too damn tired to yell).  All I could focus on was getting my last five items, which were neatly written in my head, three of which were already forgotten.

Then, my ten-year old exclaims “Mama!  Look!  It’s cheese in a can!”   Sure enough, on the top shelf (In NC it would be placed at eye level, the optimal spot) were three neat rows of aerosol cheese.  How had this been an oversight all these years?  “What is that?  Can we get it?”, she asked in pure wonderment. Then my eight-year old said, “I don’t understand. How do you get it out?”  Bless their little hearts. I forget sometimes that my children haven’t had the same wonderful childhood culinary experiences as I did where viscous cheese products such as Velveeta, Cheez Whiz, and Easy Cheese were a staple atop saltine

Golden Goodness

photo: courtesy Lisa Hall

crackers.  Those were the days when no one read ingredients, and that more was better.  I remember my dad opening a can of Vienna sausages (he pronounced them vi-EENA with his thick Southern accent), and stabbing them with a toothpick and handing me one. They were snug in their short little container surrounded by a light brown flavor-packed gelatinous substance.  Their tender smoked taste and mushiness was delectable. It was hot dog pate’ and I loved it! Though oddly enough I don’t care for any form of pate’ today. Go figure.

I let them each hold a golden can and marvel at the sheer oddity of it.  I looked around for a second, I admit, to see if any mom from the junk food protection program witnessed this.  After a few “pretty pleases” coupled with the excitement of holding a new puppy, I tossed a can under the toilet tissue and organic apples.

When we got home, they fought (of course) over who could find the golden can first, similar to the Golden Ticket in Willie Wonka, (pause….Johnny Depp flashback….deep breath…). After I pried it from their little fingers, I pulled out a box of brown rice crackers.  Alas! A healthy snack! After a quick tutorial as to the right angle at which to ‘spray”, they were on their way! Quick learners, my children.  They were amazed at the electric orange color and the crinkled pattern as it left the can. Even I couldn’t wait to bite into that little mountain of velvet tanginess, trying to remember the last time I did.  My ten year old loved it.  Her eyes opened wide and she eagerly grabbed the can to spray her second one.  My eight year old? Not so much.  “This isn’t cheese mommy.  What is it?’, she said with a deadpan voice and languid expression.  “Why honey it’s a cheese product!”  I sounded like Joan Cleaver.

The remainder is in my refrigerator right now aging to perfection in its metal cylinder.

I’ll wait a while before I introduce them to SPAM, (and I don’t mean the unsolicited electronic bulk messages).

Tammy

“Life is great, Cheese makes it better,”                                                                                           Avery Aames

A Simple Act of Kindness

About six months ago, I walked into a small wine shop in Malibu to grab what else? Wine.  I remember how I felt that day, but not why.  Just one of those days the wind was out of my sails and my feet were full of lead.  I wandered down the short aisles aimlessly staring at labels, nothing registering.  A man appeared in front of me and asked if I needed any help.  He may as well have played a Hallmark commercial for me as my eyes welled up and I thought for a moment I was going to break down right there in front of the Bordeaux. It must have appeared that the complexity of choosing a bottle of wine could actually bring a woman to tears.

As I quickly tried to gain my composure, he goes, “Wait.  You like chocolate?” That did it. The puddles of salt water overflowed.  “I-is that a ‘yes’?”  I couldn’t even nod.  In an instant he handed me a giant bar of Godiva and said, “Take this. It’s on the house.” He smiled and I handed him my credit card to pay for a mystery bottle of red that I managed to grab (my priorities were still in tact even if my emotions weren’t). I choked back more tears and whispered, “Thank you.”

I felt lighter when I left. It wasn’t the wine. It wasn’t the chocolate.  It was the fact that a stranger went out of their way to be nice.  And I’ve thought of it ever since.

I’ve gone back in the wine shop a few times since but never saw him again.

Tammy

“A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect.”                           Robert Louis Stevenson

Educated Guess wne 

Wine tip of the week:                                                                                     Educated Guess Cabernet                                                                   Napa Valley 2011  $22                                                                             Rich and complex for the money                                      

Old Friends, New Life, Good Cab

Hey Ya’ll!  Welcome to my blog.  As I pondered names for this blog, I had a few in mind:  Fucked Up and Starting Over, Suddenly Single and Done with Men, Cracked Wide Open and Searching for Me…. to name but a few.  Hear any anger?  Maybe a teeny bit. Bitterness!  Uh huh.  Resentment?  You bet.  But at the end of the day, all I’ve done is create maybe another (tiny) wrinkle and added to my brewing ulcer.  Not attractive girls, I’m here to tell you.  No one is worth ruining your mascara or your good soul. At the end of my day, all I really want is to unwind…unWINEd and pour a good Cabernet. Hence the birth of this blog.

As a newly single mom in my 40s opening not just a new chapter, but a brand spankin’ new book of my life, I’m trying to maneuver through unfamiliar, sometimes scary pathways.  And oh, I’m making mistakes along the way! But, the best part is, I’m figuring it out too. And it’s good stuff!  To coin the most cliché phrase ever, “it takes a village”. I certainly haven’t done this alone.  I have a group of the most clever, beautiful, intelligent, strong, insightful, dedicated girlfriends on the planet who have picked me up, fed me, ‘wined’ me, scolded me, dusted me off, loved me, and helped me regain me in this utterly difficult time.  I like to refer to them as my “emotional stylists”.  Talk about before and after photos! These girls are geniuses and I love them to pieces.

When I started going through this breakup almost a year ago of my nearly two decades long marriage, I was in shock girls!  I came completely unhinged! I thought I was alone, that no one could possibly feel the pain I was experiencing.  Boy, was I wrong!  It was just like buying a new car and thinking you are the only one who has it, then you hit the freeway and they’re everywhere!  Maybe a few different colors, but the same damn car.

I want to invite you to go through my new journey with me and I will share in yours. Everyday is a new day, not necessarily a better one, but it has potential. And there is something good in every single day.  You may need to look a little harder, but it’s there. Can’t wait to get to know you and bring you along for the ride!

Tammy

“Drink freely the wine life offers you and don’t worry how much you spill.”

Marty Rubin