An Idea Comes of Age in My Own Head

I’m in the Pacific Northwest today where I planned to blog about vacation pleasure like hunting for agates and arrowheads, learning to pick nettles and digging for clams. But I can’t get that image out of my head. The open cavity where her nose once was haunts me. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about because it’s likely that you can’t forget it either.

Flickr CC 2.0 Comedy

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Writing Down the Bones – or the Butt

You already know that Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones is a favorite book of mine. In it she speaks of filling spiral binders with her words consistently – one notebook per month. She writes that her efforts to get her thoughts on to paper actually translate to greater mental health for herself. I began blogging as a way to get myself to write more consistently and while it has done that, I also find myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading other blogs, commenting and analyzing traffic stats.

Sushi Ina's food journal

My friend Preston, a personal trainer, recently suggested that I begin writing something else down on a consistent basis. He recommends that I start keeping a food journal. All I have to do is write down what I eat all day long and add a few other ancillary comments about how I’m feeling after each meal or snack. That’s simple enough since I’m a healthy eater and of course I’m easily drawn in because it sets up a structured framework for me to operate within. (more…)

The Girls You Wish You Knew

It’s Mother’s Day and even if you aren’t a mother, we all have a mother – a woman who blessed us into this world and for most, someone who has nurtured our very existence. Oh, I could write a long and sappy ode to motherhood but as I look around my house at baseball cleats, smelly socks and gum wrappers, I choose to use this day instead, to celebrate women.

I’ve been extremely fortunate over the last few years to meet extraordinary females. Some of you read my blog about meeting Sandra Day O’Connor. My early writing instruction came from Australian author, Kate Grenville. I’ve dined with Jay Parry, Esther Dyson, and Janet Napolitano and thousands of other women family members, friends, work colleagues, and amazing acquaintances.  So without driving myself into an analytical frenzy, I’ve compiled a short list of 10 living women I’d love to meet. I can tell you with certainty that the moment that I hit the publish button, I’ll think of 20 more but right now, these women regardless of their politics, their religion and what sometimes appears as ill-fated publicity are women I’d love to take to lunch.

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Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ideas for Poetry to Enjoy

As another tribute to National Poetry month, I’m offering up ideas of places to start in order to “taste” poetry. I hope you’re moved to grab one  and give it a try. And in full disclosure, let me admit to pirating a few choices from the lovely list compiled by Nancy Pearl and given out in her interview with NPR earlier this week.

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The Green Deluge on St. Patrick’s Day

There are times when I can’t stand the thought of one more batch of sauteed swiss chard. Arizona winters produce an abundance of leafy greens; kale, chard, spinach, arugula, mustard, mizuna, collards, and the green tops of kohlrabi, beets, and turnips.

I do enjoy them and the fact that they’re an immense reservoir of calcium and vitamin C places them high on my personal consumption list. I sneak them into lasagna, roll them into tortillas, mash them into potatoes, use them as wraps for interesting appetizers and seek out other family-friendly recipes. Regardless of my own preference, week after week of greens is challenging for me and for other CSA participants. (more…)

Getting Back to Our Roots

Another election season is firing up. I know because of the steady stream of email and calls coming in “a strong candidate for the District 3 Congressional seat” “support my reelection so I can further work that I’ve begun” “conservative democrat who will bring change”.  Each one is attempting to define their personal brand as they enter the political contest.  I don’t get terribly involved but I do watch with interest. In one particular election, an incumbent is fighting hard to reestablish herself as a strong local leader. She’s a dynamic woman with vision and talent and during her first term, that often led her away from the community to larger state and national platforms.  Exposure that was good for her political future?  Hopefully, but also exposure that took her away from the citizens that had put her into office. Now, she’s working diligently to remind others of the reasons she was originally elected.  She’s trying to reclaim her roots.

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My 1st Month – Sharing Lessons in Blogging

I might’ve called this post “On Being Grateful”. Every week, with my CSA delivery, farmer Kelly provides an adventurous recipe that uses fresh produce. She’s passing along her learnings.  Over the past month, I’ve received countless warm and welcoming encouragements from readers and stoppersby. I can’t thank you enough and so I’m taking a moment to share what I’ve learned during blogging. (more…)

Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Books on Food and the Food Industry

Some of you have asked about my inspiration for Community Supported Agriculture. Here is my suggested reading list of books about food and the food industry.  Some light and lyrical and some with stark depictions of slaughterhouse waste. Regardless, they will change the way you view your next meal.

1. Coming Home to Eat by Gary Nabhan.  This is where it began. When I heard Gary’s interview on NPR in 2001, I was immediately drawn to his philosophy of eating locally. Though I’ve still never supped on roadkill, Nabhan inspired me to harvest mesquite trees, eat tepiary beans, and pick cactus fruit.  And in keeping with local preference, he’s an Arizona guy.

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The Beginning

I’ve been taking writing classes for several years now and the reason I do it? Certainly not to add to an already abundant schedule. I take writing classes in order to write. The presence of a syllabus and an instructor create discipline for me. It requires me to spill thoughts and ideas onto paper or into Google docs. The assignments offer a framework for me to operate within and being one who needs to understand the rules, I find freedom within the structure.

Another place that a structured framework works well for me
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