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New Naturally Nancy Recipe

If you’re looking for healthy and easy cooking, check out Naturally Nancy. The newest recipe is barely a recipe, that’s how easy it is! http://nancywriteon2.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/stir-fried-2/stir.fry.2

Boo Hoo

teen.momI don’t watch reality shows unless they involve contestants who are singing, dancing, or cooking. Or possibly losing weight or designing something. The shows I avoid like the plague are the shows that cater to the lowest common denominator and our basest instincts. We’re talking shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of (pick your city), Duck Dynasty, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Add to that list the show about dating while naked. And the one about teen mothers. The list goes on and on.

Since I have never watched any of the aforementioned shows, I can’t talk in great detail about their Titanic_struck_icebergcontent. I can only generalize, based on things I have read about them. But I don’t think I’m too far off the mark in saying that most of them are the equivalent of waiting for the Titanic to hit the iceberg.

The people on these shows are chosen because they can put on a show. Not, like a classy Broadway show. More like the battles in the Roman Colosseum. The people on these shows are willing to get drunk. They’re willing to curse and start fights on camera. They’re willing to show the world things about themselves that most people don’t want their closest friends to know about them.

angerSo, is anyone really surprised when these “reality stars” implode? Do we really need to sit and wonder how this could happen? Are these people anyone’s role models? Our society as a whole has gotten baser and crasser as limits, privacy, and good taste disappear. The Internet, hundreds of TV stations willing to buy any kind of programming, cell phones, and parents who find their control and influence eroding when faced with all these challenges are the parts that add up to the whole problem. And I have no idea what the solution is, except to stop watching these train wrecks.

The latest, and in my mind, most disgusting implosion is the end of Honey Boo Boo. Not the little girl, honey.boobut the whole circus surrounding her. The fact that her mother has decided it’s OK to date a convicted child molester is horrifying. To then read that this woman’s oldest daughter had been molested by this man when she was a child makes me want to throw up. And the oldest daughter says she “would feel hurt” if her mom was dating this vermin again? She goes on to add “I would not feel betrayed, but I would feel hurt.” She should feel betrayed! She should also feel furious and angry and horrified. What kind of mother would even consider dating the man who harmed her child, instead of wanting to rip his heart out? And these are just two of the people who make Heaven knows how many thousands upon thousands of dollars while appearing these shows.

starI’m sorry, but maybe people who teach, or save others, or rescue animals, don’t make disgusting spectacles of themselves, and therefore don’t merit the large viewership of these shows, because no one is throwing raw meat to the lions. But surely, they deserve the recognition and monetary rewards that the saddest examples of humanity have showered upon them them for debasing themselves – and in the process those of us who watch this drek – in their desperate pursuit of celebrity.

 

 

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

 

Losing It (on Naturally Nancy)

If you’ve struggled with eating healthy foods, especially when you’re ravenous, we’ve all been there. In my new Naturally Nancy post, Losing It, I talk about how I learned to avoid the traps of frozen meals or fast food, and how I’m actually finally losing weight! (Plus, there’s a bonus recipe!)

Hooray

If you’re interested, here you go: http://nancywriteon2.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/losing-it/

Naturally Nancy

For those of you who enjoy my take on the world, I thank you for sticking with my thoughts and observations over the years. One thing I’ve mentioned more than once is the issues I often have with food and eating well.  After being invited by an online Farmers Market called Backyard Produce to do some blogging for them in exchange for trying out their food delivery service,  I invite you to take a look at my new blog, Naturally Nancy, hosted on this site at https://nancywriteon2.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/fresh-and-delivered/.backyard.produce

I’ll be writing about healthy eating, recipes, and anything even remotely related that strikes my fancy.

I hope you’ll stop by and take a look – if you like what you see, feel free to leave a comment and sign up for more!

Thank you for sticking with me!

Nancy

In Search of Middle Ground

Head in HandsI’m aware that I’m lacking patience, particularly recently. There are things that I used to let slide, or maybe even laugh at, that I just don’t want to put up with anymore. Our lives are filled with lots of things that are annoying and frustrating, and most of them don’t need to be. I know we’re supposed to learn not to sweat the little things, but when things that used to be enjoyable now become nerve-wracking, I find myself biting my tongue so that my true feelings don’t come spewing out.

So, I did some walking in the mall this weekend, and stopped in at what used to be my favorite lotion and hands.1potion store, thinking I might buy some hand cream. I used to love shopping there, before they remodeled and turn it into some kind of harsh, futuristic nightmare. There is nothing even remotely relaxing about shopping there these days. It used to be enjoyable, stopping and checking all the soaps, gels, and creams and trying all the samples until I either smelled like a fruit orchard or a bakery – either way, delicious. But now, everything is very white and sterile-looking and not fun-cluttered, just difficult to navigate.

But stepping through the open portal into that glaring world was just the beginning. Within the span of approximately one minute, I was approached sequentially by four overly cheerful salespeople, asking what they could help me find. I told them, one by one that I was just browsing. For some reason, that stumped them. I guess browsing is no longer encouraged. In fact, it seemed to be frowned upon. How could I possibly not have a purpose upon entering this store?

One girl couldn’t let it go. She pulled out a sample of one of the creams I had just checked out.

“How about this one?” she asked. “Here, it’s my favorite. Why don’t you try it?”

Why do salespeople think that if it’s their favorite it must be my favorite? Is the ringing endorsement of a girl younger than my children really going to influence my decision? But I tried to be nice.

“Oh, thanks. I checked that one out already, and I’m still trying to decide,” I told her as fake-nicely as I could.

puppies.playingBut she followed me, like a playful puppy. I do love puppies. I didn’t love this girl, however. She didn’t know how to take a hint. “Well, what do you like?” she asked.

And so began the tongue-biting. There were a lot of things I felt like saying. But I just told her I was still in the midst of the decision process, and I turned around to check out the samples again. I guess she got tired of looking at my back, so she moved on to more welcoming customers. Now please understand. I have worked in retail. I have had to approach people and offer services the store provided. And 99.9% of the time, I got a palm held up two inches from my face. So I have empathy for those who have been instructed to do the same. But in a tiny store, they should not have every person on the sales floor going up to every customer who comes in and persistently insist that they can help them find what they need.

I was approached by another salesperson. “So, have you decided what you like, or can you use some help?”

I don’t know if these people now work on commission or they’re just instructed to be as annoying as possible. But I promise, I was not feeling happy or relaxed at this point. I let my teeth show in an approximation of a smile.

“I’m fine, thank you,” I replied through said teeth.

“OK, just let us know if you need anything,” she said cheerily.

beach.blogAnd so it went with the other two salespeople. Finally, I found a beachy-type of scent that I liked and I went to stand on line. The salesgirl carrying around the samples obviously misinterpreted this as a signal that she could once again approach me. I tried to avoid eye contact, but she barreled over, anyway. “So, you found something you like?” she asked, smiling approvingly at the tube in my hand.

I nodded. “I did. Thank you,” I said, attempting to match her enthusiasm. The fact that I was holding an item I was planning to buy seemed to be code for letting her know her job with me was done, and she walked away. Like magic. I tucked that nugget of information into a deep corner of my brain for future use, as if I might actually remember it.

But then I thought about the choice I had made. Maybe I liked the cherry scent better. Or the citrusy OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAone. Or even the tropical one. So I left the line for a moment to make sure I had chosen wisely. I thought about switching, since I really did like the cherry one. As I picked the sample up in order to try it, I turned around. In the few seconds since I had abandoned my place in line, there were now at least 15 people who had taken my place. Pretty much like everything else in my life. You snooze, you lose.

I knew then what I had to do. I put the hand cream down, turned around and left the store. In my mind, the salespeople were waving me back, assuring me they could help me. That they had all the answers.  While it’s nice to not be ignored, it is not nice to be bombarded by both sensory input and overly eager salespeople who make it impossible to enjoy the experience of just browsing.

maze.blogThere are some stores where you could jump on the tables and do a song and dance while stripping off your clothes, and still, no one would bother to ask if you needed help. I do appreciate a little attention. I appreciate being asked – one time – if I need help, and if I say no thank you, just let me know you’re available if I change my mind. But walking through a crowded, shiny maze while being jumped at by multiple people who won’t leave you alone is like navigating a nightmarish video game.

Boing boing boing – no, thank you. Really, I mean it. Have a nice day.

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

9-1-1

This is a poem I wrote in September of 2001 as a response to the attacks on our country. Never forget. september-11-2001-1

 

On the last day of life as we knew it
Madness rained down from the sky
Horror took over our lives
The heavens let out a great cry

Mountains of glass and of metal
Once towered so proudly, so grand
Watching over a glorious city
Monuments to our great land

In one moment of terrible evil
The earth shattered, blow after blow
Now a skeleton teeters above
The abyss gapes madly below

Paeans to hope and to dreams
Lie mangled and so cruelly lost
Shrouded in blankets of ashes and dust
At such an unthinkable cost

Our hearts are burning and tortured
Our souls fill with torment and pain
The ache is so vast and unyielding
A kingdom where anguish now reigns

Life upon life upon life now gone
So suddenly, cruelly no more
We cry out in anger in fear and in rage
Our beings shake to the core

Our tears flow freely in torrents
Transform into rivers of pain
Wash over our land in the knowledge
That what was will never be again

But we see the heroes among us
Who emerge from the darkness so bleak
They light the way to find healing
And deliver the pride that we seek

For we are the steel
Though twisted and bent
And smoldering in the ruins
Our wills are of iron
Our souls filled with pain
No bandage can cover the wounds

But breath shall once again lift us
Like the Phoenix, we too shall rise
As we grasp onto our precious memories
Of our dear ones and silent goodbyes

Let our spirits lift up now in chorus
Let our voices reach to the heavens above
Let us be one nation united
Instead of breaking, we will heal now through love



Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

The New Normal

rose I lost my mom last week. I write these words knowing this is true, but finding it to be unbearably impossible to believe them. My mom was full of life, active, followed a healthy lifestyle, and up until about two months ago, losing her wasn’t even on our radar. Unfortunately, by the time we all realized she was sick, it turned out that it was already too late. But up until a day or two before we lost her, I still believed she could rally, fight it, and stay with us for at least a few more months.

This new normal means that I am a motherless child. There is no one to be my unwavering cheerleader. Or my no-nonsense critic. Mom had high standards, and the way to earn praise was to live up to them. As I said in my eulogy:

She was proud of all of our achievements, but you had to earn that pride. And that was fine, because it made us want to excel and be the best, for her. Because we knew when she told us she was proud of us, it wasn’t empty words. She meant it. And we had earned it.

My mom taught my sister and me about charity and compassion and honesty and living a righteous life. Although in years, she might be considered old, no one who knew her would describe her that way. She not only danced, exercised every day, and was the first to help others, but she audited college classes and continued going to see shows, always enjoying her trips into Manhattan.

My mom gave me a love of literature, culture, and reading. Conversations revolved around world events, the theater, and interesting things in the news that we could share with each other.

Her illness came upon her so suddenly and with such ferocity, that none of us was prepared for this. Not that you can prepare for losing your mom. There will never be anyone else who knows you the way she does, who would lay down her life for you, or who will stand by your side even when you push her away.

Nothing can prepare you for having to choose your mom’s coffin. Or to speak at her funeral. Or to hear the thud of the shovels dropping dirt on her casket at the cemetery as you say your last goodbye.

I am aware that we were lucky to have our mom with us for as long as we did. So many of my friends lost their moms years ago. And I’ve been asking them how you find your way in this surreal new existence. But everyone has their own path to travel, and there is no road map for this journey.

But as one of my friends said, losing your mom is primal. The hole in my heart is always going to be there. The desire to pick up the phone and call her to tell her of something funny, or something that would make her proud isn’t going to go away. The hope of getting some kind of sign from her that she’s doing OK now is overwhelming.

As you might have noticed, I still can’t bring myself to say the “D” word. In some ways, I’m still stuck in the hospital a few weeks ago, with the nurses trying to tell me the reality that I wasn’t ready to hear. I’m still not ready to hear it. But I’m grateful I got to see my mom and tell her how much I love her. And have her tell me the same. I just wish she could tell me how I’m supposed to go on in this strange, new normal.

 

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

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