Hot town summer

Is this a poem?

So  far from what I can tell.

This is the sizzling
summer of the hot and the buggy.
(Who you calling buggy?)
It’s been…
Muggy.
Yuggee.

I mean yucky.

Okay so.

Let it go.
Imagine snow?
Live in possibility.

I am the possibility of Jo’ie de Vivre

(Francaise for joy in life thanks France for that)
July 14, 2012
Nancy in New York

FancyNancy and Magic Mark on the boardwalk.

on
Bastille Day.

For you. Miracle Makers. Happy New Year 2012

http://ow.ly/7GbTJ    Please Donate to Cycle for Survival NOW.  100% of your dollars go to rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Fund clinical trials for: Pediatric, Pancreatic, Ovarian, Kidney, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Sarcoma, Melanoma, Brain and too many to list here. Go to website and dedicate your donation to someone you love today. Over 50% of cancer diagnoses fall into “rare” and “Hard to treat” category.

Remember, Nobody beats cancer until we all beat cancer.

http://ow.ly/7GbTJ   Thank you from the bottom of my heart.   Hugs and kisses for health and Happiness.

Frozen Banana Sorbet

When my niece Sarabeth came to visit from San Francisco she shared this delicious easy treat.
It’s from Aunt Eileen and works especially well if you happen to have a banana shaped dish like this one from Pier One Imports. But that is not necessary.

Take a banana and mash it thoroughly.
Press the banana into a freezer safe cup or bowl.
Put the cup into freezer until frozen.
Remove bowl from freezer.
Turn bowl over and run hot water over the bottom so the banana pulls away from the bowl.
Eat and enjoy.
Optional add: hot fudge sauce or whipped cream or peanut butter.

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When the weather calls for soup

Extra carrots make it heartier and sweeter

It’s been raining all day here in NY and when that happens, it’s feels all damp outside and kind of raw inside too. Weather like that says to me, “it’s time to make some soup.” I like soups because they are warming, healing and filling. The ones I choose to make are usually pretty easy as well. At one time I used to like to create complicated meals with lots of steps. Over time I learned that I can make something just as delicious in one pot. Less fuss, less muss. Usually what I do these days is find a recipe that I like and then adapt it by adding or subtracting flavors or foods that would make my soup just right for my household.
Like how the Three Bears would like to find it. Just right.

I have many cookbooks that I go to for ideas and inspiration.
On a rainy, raw day, there is one that I enjoy reading as much as I enjoy following, (and adapting) the recipes and that is Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings by Edward Espe Brown which I picked up at a Borders Books Sidewalk sale when it was first published in 1997. Luckily I managed to get a first edition of this beautiful book for a very happy price. It is now out of print and I saw that there are still some available on Amazon which is lucky for you if you want to get a copy.
Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings

Edward Espe Brown is a wise man and a good cook. A Zen priest first ordained by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1971. Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachingc combines Zen teachings and cooking to create a wonderful interplay between abstract philosophy and everyday life.

Today I made Lentil Soup with Cumin, Coriander and Lemon
I added Kale and extra carrots to the recipe so here is my version of his recipe found on page 7
As Ed Brown says, “This is a fine soup for getting to know the ingredients by tasting carefully before and after each one: tasting the lentils, then lentils with vegetables and garlic, then with the cumin, with coriander, with lemon and finally with parsley. See what you think.”

1 cup organic Green Lentils (washed and sorted to remove stones, debris)
8 Cups water
Bay leaf
1 medium yellow onion
2 tbs olive oil (optional)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks celery diced
6 large carrots sliced
1 cup cleaned cut up kale
1 tsp cumin seed fresh ground best
2 tsp coriander seed fresh ground best
Peel of 1/2 lemon grated (organic)
Salt to taste (optional)
Flat leaf parsley a few sprigs minced for garnish

Place sorted,washed lentils, water and bay leaf in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes until the lentils are soft. The lentils could also be pressure-cooked. When they are soft see what they taste like.
Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, cumin, coriander and kale to the lentils and cook an additional 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the lemon peel.
Before serving check the seasoning and garnish with parsley.
Yum! Hearty, healthy soup.

Divine Yoga Fall Cleanse Ends

News Flash:
The Divine Yoga New York Fall Cleanse has ended as of Weds November 8th.  http://www.divineyogany.com
It coincided with the coming new age of Aquarius on 11-11-11 which made it a perfect time to cleanse and refresh body mind and spirit as we move from the age of ME to the age of WE, the age of FEAR to the age of LOVE.

What is: Ultimate Energy Cleanse led by Coach Judy Griffin
http://www.uecleanse.com/
http://www.nourishingsolutions4life.com

1. We work in a team. We cook cooperatively. Each participant is assigned one or two recipes to be prepared for all other participants. Each participant picks up his or her meal(s) at one specified location.

2. Participants are encouraged to practice yoga or some other activity. http://www.divineyogany.com

3. We use organic foods only.

4. Cold showers and non-chemical toothpaste and soaps are recommended.

5. Our coach is Judy Griffin http://www.nourishing solutions4life.com

6. We make juice daily. I use a Breville Juice Fountain.Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juicing Machine

7. We make a master cleanse drink. Yum.

Challenge: Time crunch to make my juice, pressured by self to make master cleanse drink, make side dishes. Why was I always running around? What am I doing wrong?
Opportunity: Let go of perfection. Slow down, take time to enjoy process. The “cleanse police” were not going to check and see if I was getting it “right”.

Here is a recipe from the Kristina Turner’s Self-Healing Cookbook that I make on a regular basis. A twist on mashed potatoes without the potatoes.
The Self-Healing Cookbook: Whole Foods To Balance Body, Mind and Moods

Millet Mashed Potatoes
1 Cup millet
2/14 cups water
1/2 medium cauliflower
1/2 tsp of sea salt
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp Umeboshi Plum Vinegar
sea salt and pepper to taste
handful chopped parsley + 1 cup of other chopped green uncooked. ( Swiss chard, spinach, kale)
Wash millet. Bring water to a boil. Add millet, cauliflower, garlic and salt. Turn down to simmer covered 20-30 minutes or until grains are cooked and water is absorbed. Turn off heat and leave covered for 5- 10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients except greens and mash with potato masher or mix till smooth in food processor or blender. Add parsley and other greens sprinkle on top.
Eat and enjoy.

Now may I have some Haagen Daaz?

My beautiful niece Emma at Haagen Daaz

Cleansing body, mind spirit

Today is day one of the Divine Yoga team cleanse. How we at Divine Yoga do this is working with coach Judy Griffin of Nourishing solutions 4 Life we cook one meal each over the course of the 7 days for the 14 participants.
I was up first and made a Fall Root Vegetable Soup with organic turnips, parsnips, carrots pearls onions and quinoa in organic vegetable broth.

As I prepare my meal I clear my mind of extraneous negative thought and read aloud a prayer from Guru Nam found in The Chakra Mantra Cookbook along with this very hearty, healthy recipe.

The prayer is for healing, grace and good energy being sent to my cleanse teammates by way of the meal I share as my contribution to our journey.

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The Gift of A Lesson: 9/11/2001

1 World Trade Center (North Tower) as seen fro...
Image via Wikipedia

Life is a series of lessons. The lessons often offer us a gift.  The gift may come at a price.

I would like to share my lesson with you.

My husband Mark and I met in the summer of 1984 in the summer beach town of Fair Harbor on Fire Island. One of the very first things he wanted to know about me was if I knew how to roller-skate. I told him I had red clip-ons when I was a kid and wore them everywhere. Even in the house, even when I rode my bicycle.

On our first date Mark took me to the Roxy roller-skating rink, New York’s home of roller-disco a members only club where Cher, Diane von Furstenberg, Andy Warhol, Liza Minella and Steve Rubell, the great Bill Butler and Elie Tahari also skated.

For our date, I wore a pair of red carpenter pants, white sleeveless tank top and my Suzy Chafee sneaker-style roller-skates that I bought at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street on sale in 1980 when I lived on East 32nd Street. My neighborhood was a furniture district by day, a red-light district at night.

It was the 80’s. Most of the women at the Roxy wore spandex, some from top to bottom. No one but me had on those red and blue Suzy Chafee sneaker skates.

Our relationship was seemingly founded upon our twin passions of roller-skating and watching the World Financial Center and Battery Park City being built. The complex  was built upon the immense landfill created from the debris and dirt excavated to create the great underground city beneath the World Trade Center. At first there was just a bunch of building skeletons on the site and we drove by so often as we left the Roxy on 18th and 10th.

As the months went by we saw the dawn of a city within a city. On a beautiful day Mark and I often liked to put on our skates and venture out to the ever-growing bike paths which were beginning to snake their way uptown past Art on the Beach and what would become Chelsea Piers.

On October 27, 1986, the day the Mets beat Boston to win the 7th game of the World Series Mark and I got married.

Shortly after our wedding   (that ended with us at the 7th game at Shea Stadium) I left my  job, went back to college to finish up a dangling 9 credits for my BBA, and applied to a Wall Street Temporary Agency that sent me on jobs in both the World Trade and World Financial Centers.

For 18 months, I watched the unfolding of a neighborhood and enjoyed New York at its most glorious with new restaurants and store openings and jazz Wednesdays in the Twin Towers Plaza, Kodo drum concerts under the palm trees in the Cesar Pelli designed Winter Garden, Alvin Ailey recitals, Norman Rockwell and Blue Dog exhibits, strolls to the marina for lunch, or to enjoy the sculpture and beauty of the space. It was the perfect place for me. Since I was a student again I worked with investment bankers who actually enjoyed helping me with statistics and International Finance.

One balmy summer evening in August  (2001)*, Mark and I skated along the Esplanade and had the place all to our selves. As always, we enjoyed the wonder of the complex anchored by those gigantic  Twin Towers with the Statue of Liberty across the Harbor watching over us.

It was a lovely moment with music playing in the background from a party boat docked at the World Financial Center marina.

Saturday September 8, 2001, was another of those delicious –end of summer-of-2001 days and we really didn’t have any commitments or plans, and we both wanted go into the city in the early evening because there was a free Twyla Tharp recital in the WTC plaza at 6:00 p.m.

And yet:  When friends called and wanted us to join them at the beach, it wasn’t that we didn’t love them, we’d just spent much of the summer at the beach and a week in Fire Island yet somehow felt we “should” go meet our friends.

But something kept telling Mark something different. He wanted to go to the World Trade Center Plaza to see Twyla Tharp.

Neither of us committed ourselves to it. We didn’t make a plan and we

were wishy-washy at best.

Then my brother called to say he wanted to meet us at the beach and have dinner with us.

Instead of saying “thank you, we’d love to see you, however we have other plans, we tried to figure out how to make everyone else happy.

We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or appear selfish, or something.

We went to the beach and then had dinner at home with my brother.

We had a “nice” time.  We both felt dissatisfied with our indecisiveness.  But we figured we could go another time.  We resolved to go the following Sunday  (9/16) to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the World Trade Center Plaza.

Then it was September 11th.

When we didn’t go to the World Trade Center Plaza we let it go by thinking it would still be there tomorrow.

Now we know tomorrow might never come.

Okay so he didn’t speak up.

What about me?

I asked myself what kept me from getting what I really wanted?

Old habits? Needing approval? Wanting to please everyone?

All of the above?

Yes and Yes!

Yuck!

I let old stories and tapes remove me from having what I wanted and I was being totally inauthentic.

There I was, not living in the moment. Not honoring what I value most.

Here is the gift of my lesson.

Get out of your own way.

Do it now.

Is there a life situation that you are holding onto that you no longer enjoy?

Take action and move yourself forward to having the life you want.

Do you say “yes” when you mean no?

Be present to You.

Who do you get to be? Right here. Right now.

Honor your intuition.

Pay attention to what the whispers of the heart are telling you, “go, do, be” and seize the moment because you truly never know the impact of not doing it.

Every action or inaction has consequences and what you make of your life is up to you.

Carpe Diem!

~Nancy Mindes, January 2002

A BIG Audacious HUG and KISS to you!

Originally published in the Fashion Group International Bulletin Special commemorative September 11th 2001EditionJanuary 2002

Homegrown tomato takes shape

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I love how fruits and vegetables just grow into all kinds of shapes. This tomato depending on which way you turn it has many possibilities.

Like life. It all depends on how you look at things.

What if company drops in and it’s time for dinner?
Here is a very and quick tasty dish
Simple pasta recipe with garden fresh tomato and basil

You can adapt this. I made it up so make it yours.
Take a pound of pennette rigate cook till al dente. Or any pasta you like.
Drain and rinse
Add 1/3 cup olive oil
Fresh garlic minced to taste
Large garden fresh tomato diced to bite-size or handful of cherry tomatoes
Add 1/2 cup fresh basil tear into bite-size pieces
If you like Sicilian olives add a few either pre- pitted or tear off pits and add in.
Toss.
Have locatelli cheese ready on the side.
Serve with warm bread.
Wine of your choice
Or water with lime and fresh mint
Iceberg lettuce wedges drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Enjoy!

How to manifest a miracle when waiting on a long line

July 31, 2011

“People don’t want to see clothes, they want to see something that fuels the imagination.” ~Alexander McQueen

I love how Eric Wilson in his opening paragraph of the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times, says this about Alexander McQueen, “considered one of the greatest fashion designers of his generation, admired by his peers for his astounding technical ability and idolized by students for his near-fearless risk-taking. “

And he is not kidding.

With one week to go at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is a must see.  And according to Wilson, “for the first time ever the Metropolitan Museum is staying open until midnight the last two nights of the show, August 6th and August 7. ”

One solution to standing on a three- hour line is to join as a member. I just did but that was AFTER Eva joined first, I’ll explain if you keep reading.

Last Thursday, July 28th my friend Laurie, whom I first met when we both worked at Elizabeth Arden in the 1990’s, her 14 year old daughter Lauren one of Lauren’s BFF’s, Daniela, whose birthday we were celebrating with her first trip to the Metropolitan Museum and I went to see “Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty” Exhibit.

Prior to our visit, Laurie called the Met with a few questions, “Was the museum air-conditioned? What is the best time to get to there to see the exhibit?”  We were wondering are really going to have to wait 3 hours to get in to this exhibit?

Yes, the museum is air-conditioned though I can’t even imagine what kind of system they must have after all it’s a pretty big place.

But I digress.

So the museum person on the phone said that people were lining up at 7:00 a.m. to get in to see this exhibit.  Okay, that seemed a bit early so we thought we would try for 10:00 a.m. The museum person also suggested that we buy our tickets online to avoid waiting inline for the general museum admission once we got there.

And so we did.

Although we agreed to meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Met, getting everyone out the door and into cars and onto trains proved more of a challenge than originally expected so we adjusted our meeting time to 11:00 a.m.

Laurie drove from Dobbs Ferry, I took the 9:42 a.m. train from Rockville Centre to Pennsylvania Station on 34th and 8th, got on the E train and changed to the #6 Lexington Avenue line and got off at 86th and Lexington and walked to the Met a few blocks away.

When I arrived at the Met a few minutes before 11:00 the place was already a beehive of activity. The steps at the Met are a well-known gathering place. There were some live mannequins in cocktail dresses about halfway up the steps taking photos and offering a summer discount at a dress rental company by the name of  http://www.renttherunway.com

There was a live Doo-Wop group singing Frankie Lymon’s, “Why do Fools Fall in Love?”  I called my husband Mark so he could hear them singing, Frankie Lymon has a special place in Mark’s musical life so I thought he would like to hear them sing Lymon’s signature song. There were about 100 people sitting on the steps taking photos of the girls in their dresses and listening to the guys in the Doo-Wop group.

Since I was wearing a white shift dress, I was not about to sit down on the steps so I found a nice shady spot under a tree.  Or so I thought. Standing near me was a woman who just lit up a cigarette right there in front of the Met on a city street in a public place!

Smoking a cigarette, isn’t that against the law?  A thought crossed my mind, do I call the cops on her or just let it go? After all, She WAS breaking the law.

She also was speaking Italian to her friend and I surmised that they were tourists from Italy.

Another thought crossed my mind, am I going to be the person who gets them arrested for smoking in front of the Met?

Do I want to end up on the 6 0’clock news for being a jerk to a tourist?

Hell no. Let her smoke. It’s a free country. Except if you smoke in New York City.

I decided to let it go and find another tree to stand under.

While it was hot outside, it was nothing like the past week: unbreathable, H-H-H and I was thankful as I stood there for less heat and humidity.  Laurie was running a bit late and I noticed for a moment I found myself annoyed because I was concerned about the lines for Savage Beauty.  But really would it matter if we got on the line at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00?

Then I remembered that if I really didn’t want to wait on a long line I could have gotten here at 7 a.m. or joined as a member and walk right to the front or purchased the special $50.00 Monday morning and way-less-crowds-tickets when the museum is closed.

I decided to just see what happens.  How bad could it be I thought?

How long could a 3-hour line be and I wondered and what will we do for 3 hours? Well for one thing there is art in the museum maybe we will pass some while we wait.

Then I started to think about my feet, what if they get tired or start to hurt, then what? Or my lower back might tighten up from standing so long on a hard marble floor and I might have to do some yoga stretches to be able to stand on what I imagined to be a very long, long line and then be able to see the exhibit.

This was all running around in my head and I was still standing under a tree up front!

Finally, Laurie and the girls arrive and we meet at the top of the steps and go inside. After we go through the bag search, I go to the checkroom to get rid of my big tote bag and just take my little bag with all my essentials: Lipstick, iPhone, credit cards, money, Ricola cough drops and a hand fan just in case it is a long and warm wait.

Next stop is my mother’s now famous “Never pass a bathroom rule” being invoked by all four of us. We make our way through the Egyptian sarcophagi and bejeweled treasures of gold from the year 500 to find the closest loo and then speed our way back to go upstairs and get on the end of the line.

As we headed in the direction of the end of the line, I noticed that as we got closer we found ourselves weaving in and out of the slower moving visitors perhaps we were each hoping that the quicker we moved, the sooner we got onto the line, somehow the wait would be less.

As we stood there, the girls were madly texting their friends which is just what 14-year-old girls do.  I was happy to have the booklet “McQueen line Trek the Taming of the Queue” in hand so as we moved along I could take advantage of seeing the artworks around me and getting a little education and maybe avoid the mind chatter that goes with standing on a very long line.

The sign said that from the point we were standing expect a wait of 21/2 to 3 hours.

Now I was wishing I had brought my lunch.

As we slowly inched our way around the gallery I struck up a conversation with the woman next to me a petite gal with black hair, she said she kept putting off coming because of the lines, but that she really wanted to see it and it was ending soon.

We were laughing at ourselves for being on this long line and wondered just how long it really was, what exactly did a 2 1/2 – 3 hour line really look like?  How far would we have to travel on your quest to see this exhibit? We decided we would know that when we got to the end of it.

Sometimes we took big steps and said hopefully, “this line seems to be moving pretty quickly.” We were really deluding ourselves into believing we would somehow be transported to the entrance to the McQueen exhibit quicker.

We turned the corner and just ahead while slowly passing the ancient Japanese ceramics I noticed there was a bench. I observed that people would sit 2 and 3 on the bench checking their email or texting a friend and then, they would move on.

Soon it would be my turn to sit and I could get a little back – stretch and rest my feet for one moment before having to move on.

Right then I was lost in thought and doing a few surreptitious Sufi grinds for my lower back when Lauren came over to me and said, “Come on we are going. Hurry up let’s go.”

“Going? Going where?”

Laurie says to me, “this woman right here, what’s your name,”

“Eva” she says

Laurie says to me, “Eva just became a member and can take in four people and she came over to me and said, let’s go you are my guests.”

What? Wow! Are you kidding me? Who is this Eva? She is an angel sent from above, a nice woman doing a kindness, paying it forward, tapping my friend Laurie on the shoulder and boom we are going to the front of the line?! This is so deluxe I cannot believe how lucky we are.

As we are practically running along with Eva, I tell her she is doing “a mitzvah,” and she laughs and says “yes, I guess I am.”

The line,  it turns out is way longer than we have imagined. It snakes all around the building through hallways and passages which explains why the Met called their brochure “McQueen line Trek -The Taming of the Queue” they were not kidding.

Even at the pace we were moving along flying past all the people we were now leaving behind because of the kindness of Eva and the good fortune bestowed upon us, it took us more than 5 minutes to walk all the way to the front of the line.

As we walked into the exhibit it occurred to me that it would have taken at least three hours to finally get inside. I tried to keep up with Eva because now I wanted to take her to a fancy restaurant for lunch and thank her for her generosity.

Eva disappeared into the crowd that was moving ever so slowly through the exhibit, it was obvious no one wanted to miss anything everyone seemed to want to savor every morsel of the 11 rooms of Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty.

It would have been worth the wait though I don’t know if my feet would have agreed but instead I am most grateful to Eva and I made a promise that I would look for ways to do the same for another person when the opportunity presented itself.

On the way home going through the subway turnstile, I saw a young woman with a handful of Metro cards, frantically swiping each one, each one saying “insufficient fare” which meant she would have to walk all the way around and go get a new card.

Without thinking I handed my Metro card to her and said, “Here use this one,” and she swiped it and said, “thanks a lot” she had to get home to the sitter.

If you want to see more images of the exhibit and read more about it and buy tickets, go right to the Met blog here:http://blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen/

You can read Eric Wilson’s piece from the NYTimes go here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/fashion/mets-mcqueen-retrospective-is-expected-to-break-records.html

Oh and if you become a member you can go to the front of the line and bring some people with you too.