Mar 17, 2011

Re-new-again-still

I know, I redirect my blog more than a Mumbai traffic cop...The new blog can be found at micheleniesen.blogspot.com and our new website for the Hacienda for organic events is HERE



See ya there.

Feb 25, 2011

High Ate Us

In my ongoing desire to unplug, get real, be grounded and stop energy leaks, I'm going within even further. This blog will be one of those things. It no longer serves me and I want to put my energy into other things. And with a zillion tons of free content out there...most of it barely more interesting than the shredded newspaper and cellulose I blew as insulation in my attic last week...I sorta don't want to be part of it. But if I'm going to write, it's going to be to a direct person. An audience. You. The "internet" is too vast. It's too tree in the forest for me, and my need to communicate ideas is in part fueled by the being heard part. Of course there are readers and subscribers to this as it shows on my status page, but I think I'd prefer more conversation. Or, frankly, to be paid would be nice. If nothing else, just to validate things. I'd prefer a subscription based audience. But in this market one has to say, but who am I but a cow to ask for money when there are rivers of free milk flowing everywhere. But most people blog because they are selling something else. Intangibles and ideas are my widgets.

Facebook was another energy leak. I'm not comfortable with wondering who in the hell would want to know what I had for lunch nor comfortable with my inner Id that felt the need to think someone cared. To quote my friend Jen, "Surely there are more productive ways to spend my time than thinking of a clever status update for my Facebook page..." and she pulled the plug too. I don't miss it and I'm sure no one misses me either. That's the cold reality of "social networking". No one gives a shit about anyone but themselves. And if you're going to eavesdrop you're probably going to see what's going on with Charlie Sheen. The rest of us just aren't that gossip worthy.

So this will be the last post in a while. Maybe forever. Dunno. I'm still working on a book, still will cater your funky cool organic farm wedding at the Hacienda, would love to help you clear up your living room and get your Wabi Sabi going. I can help you clean up your diet and teach you how to cook. So if you'd like to contact me directly you can email solfood@mindspring.com.




Feb 14, 2011

Out in the Open

This will be quick because I'm filling a hot water bottle and holding it over my abdomen. Yes, it's 2011 and I'm dealing with cramps like the 1800s. For all the guy readers out there...I'd apologize but nah...we have to go through this so you should at least be able to read about it. Empathize. Or just listen, yes? I'm sure my male readers are happy to. Sensitive, intelligent lot that you are.

But I just forwarded this link to a friend who is a busy, vibrant, successful, smart, funny woman. Who has turned into a hot, ornery, scatter brain (her words). She's nearly 50 and is having the real menopause. I am 43 and having peri menopause (anything that comes before the actually cessation of menses) Could be 10 years of a whole host of other symptoms that aren't the usual fare of PMS, zits and bitchiness and bloat of our 20s and 30s. Nooo, these are all new. And you still might get the bitchy zits. But hey, we can handle it. We're modern women.

But here's the thing. Talk about it. I'm surprised at how many women my age are baffled by the fact that one more damn hormone thing is slowing them down. (I am one of them. Have we NOT gotten the technology to BEAT this??) but synthetic hormones are dangerous. Wreak havoc. Not for everyone. Take a long time to adapt to and you may find they make you worse. Alternatives? Many.

The queen of wise woman care is Susun Weed and of course Christiane Northrup but the last thing she needs is more promotion. But if you haven't checked out her books, do IT. Now. It's the Webster's dictionary of women. And doesn't suggest you cut it out, sedate it and fake it at every turn. Sheesh.

And while we're at it, I will NOT have a "happy" period. Nor will I buy the panty liner that coined that lame ass slogan. Clearly not written by a sister. And maybe it was, but not checked out by those of us who have extremely NOT happy periods who want to rip that thing out of it's wingy sticky packaging and paste it to a copywriter's forehead and write...BITE ME. HAPPILY.

I don't let it slow me down but someday I'll tell you about all the tricks I used to employ while pulling 10 hour shifts on the stove at my restaurant to deal with the flooding and the pain. Oy.

Anyway, if you're feeling like you're nearing the end of your days of cycling and are considering getting on hormones (or the completely hairbrained idea of "going on a low dose birth control pill" in your 40s or 50s...!? the same shit they've been suggesting since I was 14...tried it. Bled for 3 mos straight, um, no thanks) Buy the Susun Weed book. Try some of the $10 remedies that won't take 6 weeks of Pharma fantasy to kick in. Sometimes it is just a hot bath, some Liferoot Tincture and a Yoga pose. We've gotten so used to throwing morphine at a sprained ankle that we actually think there is something wrong with us.

Nope it's a completely natural, cycle of life that only we experience. And I for one, am sick of going full tilt 110% when I have it. It is a time to reflect. Go within. Nurture. And if you have a partner, don't milk he/she dry for the sympathy but it would be okay to let someone else cook dinner tonight right? (I'm negotiating with the dogs as we speak), and I'm looking for the tequila.

Acceptance, not control is the window of freedom...

Feb 5, 2011

Tidbits

I don't know about you but I'm tired of current events. And weary of national vernacular. Facebook.  Television for teens. And frankly, this weather.

So it's that time of year again. Mental vacation. I've been digging for creative stimulation outside of anything that's being offered. It's kind of a lot of work when you are doing the daily life thing, so I'm sharing some of it here in case you don't have time to dig.  Maybe you'll be interested in unplugging and wandering some different halls.

Radmilla Cody a Navajo/African American woman who sings in her native language but with the soul of an R&B singer. It's mesmerizing traditional music. Good background for contemplation or activity. Found her like many others of historical significance on the wonderful NPR 50 Great Voices program.

Second only to my very favorite economics program which breaks down all the global economies into bite sized chunks. Understanding cycles and how it happens and how it regains momentum gives me faith that this has happened before, it shall happen again and I understand it. Knowledge is power. Ignorance breeds fear. NPR's Planet Money  is well researched, wonderfully delivered by a small group of regular host/commentators who come from different backgrounds (ie. not a bunch of confusing economists) whose curiosity breeds this informative program twice a week. Good stuff.

Back to music. Which is for me the only way to change my landscape when I can't change the view. Maybe it's the 6th day of rain and fog, but I definitely turn to music from sunny hot culture when it hits February. Brazil puts forth so much talent it's hard to keep up, but I'm really enjoying Rosa Passos' airy sunny lilt from Bahia. A larger departure from Bossa Nova is Luciana Souza who is based in LA from Brazil and who collaborates with a lot of American brilliance. Each recording is captivating and fresh but always has a strong root in her native land.

And when I'm not asleep on the sofa by 9pm (renovation is taking the wind out of my physical sails) I read. I'm enjoying the tropical indie spirit and wonderful phrasing of An Embarrassment of Mangoes. It's probably five years old, but New Releases hold little appeal. I got it used for $3. It has wonderful recipes as well and food is always a hit with me.

And that's my Saturday. Think warm thoughts, everyone.

Jan 30, 2011

Snuggling with Change

Embrace Change and Empower Yourself.

I had this inscribed on the side of my ipod shuffle a few years ago. I'm not sure what I was going through at the time but I'm going through it again. I guess. I'm a Taurus and I always read of the stubborn ways and the fixed nature of this sign and I don't get it. I get the sensualist tendency to want to eat cream sauce and French cheese all day with a young foreign guy with an accent who pours me wine, sure. But stubborn?

Opinionated, yes. But I'm the most address changing, commitment phobic, let's try doing this a different way, okay this isn't working I'm moving you out... person in my circle. I'm not jumping out of airplanes mind you but I'm not afraid to paint the walls orange and move the bed in the center of the room. Or cut all my hair off. Or move. Or take up with another young foreigner. Or leave when it gets lame. Ever.

But I'm cycling quicker these days. This makes some folks nervous. Meh. Settle down. I'm getting older and wiser and I know a tool when I see one. I can tell a good opportunity from a scam and I don't have to beat my head against the wall for a month about my bad decisions.  Which I make.  But I don't put them on like pants. If it doesn't fit, I leave it on the dressing room floor. Don't be afraid to leave things behind. Abort mission. Just stop what you're trying to do and about face 180 degrees. For example, after three tries of three different locations in North Georgia looking for a commercial space for what would have been my third restaurant in my career, all deals fell through. Too much build out, too much money, too ridiculous to deal with. Being older means being able to see into the future. And changing it. Message: Not the time, not the place. Next.

There seems to a rumor out there that the more steadfast you are, the more 'normal' or even healthier you are. This is what the Pharm Co. would have you believe. It's a bit of enslavement, no? Everyone remain calm. Don't change your minds. Your plans. Your lover. Your job. Just keep an even keel. Later we'll teach you the lock step march as we trot you all down to the plastic surgeon to make you all look identical. And boring. If you LOOK happy and ACT happy you'll be HAPPY dammit.

Well here's the rub. WE'RE ALL BROKEN. There. Say it with me. It's okay. We're all frustrated at times. We're all trying to figure it out. What's next?

But it's okay to lose it. It's okay to change your mode. Entirely. Somedays we wake up and feel sexy and bouncy and smart. Other days kind of suck and our faces look like Picasso paintings. But that's the journey we're on. And if something isn't working for me these days I don't feel like I have anything to prove. There is no need to shove the elephant through the keyhole.

And as I try to reinvent and set the stage for my next big Thing...it's sort of okay to let it unfold one kooky petal at a time. Maybe there isn't a Thing. Maybe it won't show up until I'm 50. When you're 20 you think you'll pick a major and that will be IT for the rest of your life. By 30 I knew that wasn't the case, but then I really really figured it out. By 40? I know I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. And it doesn't unsettle me any more. It does make it a little tricky to pick a wardrobe but other than that it's exciting. I'm starting to see that contentment is a state of mind. Not a situation.