Today I am a guest on the NBC Mid Day Show w/ Holly Thompson here in Nashville. I’ve cooked before on TV and I’ve always loved the process, getting it all done and in within a couple of minutes. Today’s show moved at a rapid pace, and the host has mad skills at moving through segments as she is an award winning journalist and producer; not to mention incredibly kind & graceful.
Again I felt as if I was learning an entirely new set of skills, I’m totally amazed that this is the path that life is taking me on, never before did I see myself COOKING let alone in front of 1,000′s of people.
When I was a kid Audrey Hepburn caught my eye, not the glamorous version seen on the big screen but the older more humbled woman cruising through Africa helping those with less. I knew in that moment that she was someone I wanted to emulate. I thought for so long that I needed to leave the country to help others, travel abroad sinking my hands deep into foreign soil. Funny how life brought me right back home to a neighborhood similar to the one that grew me, arms full of food.
For sure yesterday every character in my head was running wild, ’cause these folks all come from fear and judgment, I heard my grandfather “If you ever feel blue or afraid, ask yourself how can I be of service today”. I still do this, and when things feel too big, I pull it all back close to me and ask “How can I participate?” Every time I do this an opportunity appears for me to get out of my own way.
I’m excited to watch today’s show and see myself learning to do something new…Because every time I think I know I find out that I don’t and then I have to step up and learn…
I’m thinking a lot about family and what this word means, ’cause you see my non-blood family has been filling up my house for the past two weeks. Our kitchen reinvented itself as a disco/sing off center!
We’ve been cooking and singing and dancing for days – all of us – lee, kids & guests. I’m thrilled by it all, you see as a child my amazing “blood” family filled the kitchen with music and dancing, my Uncle Mike & Aunt Mel brought the beats home playing the guitar, harmonica & mandolin – Friday night Bella led our living room in a concert and we all sang along – I smiled ’cause I brought the sound of my childhood into the ears of my children; passing it down y’all.
I truly believe that food and its ability to heal depends on the amount of love put into to each cut, toss and stir. This week I’ve been feeling great, maybe because I’ve been laughing and loving so dang much.
Ted & Peggy arrived from the Bay Area and Fonso flew in from NYC; Fonso is my BFF for the past 20 years – we met at the University of Maryland and the moment I sat next to him I KNEW I’d found one of my “Persons”. I’m really quite lucky ‘cause now I KNOW how to distinguish “my people”. If we ain’t “peeps” then I keep it sweet and move on.
It’s really quite easy to recognize my people now, we giggle about the same things, we bounce back, hold a line for one another no matter how often we speak and like I said last week “we see each others greatness.” A sure sign you ain’t my kin is if your sniffing fo’my sin.. ’Cause shor-tay them sins are there and trust you me I knows about them.
Ted & Peggy have been lovin’ on me and recognizing my greatness since my early 20’s when I was floating around LA young and lost, they grabbed a hold of me and held a space in their home where I came for Sunday dinner and shared my life. You see they never had kids and now they know why – I was coming and dang it was gonna take all four of their arms to hold me tight. They were both working as life coaches and in truth they have been the best possible guides that I could have ever followed. Ted a fantastic graphic designer and owner of Raess Design, is the artist for this site – bringing PKIA to her cartoon form!
Fonso, is just a giggle fest, he is my brother from another mother, we are like two little kids – seriously funny stuff goes down when these folks all come to town. Ted & Peggy got to know Fonso when he moved to LA and next door to me when Bella was a baby – I needed my best friend and he came, he moved to LA just after finishing law school –he was also my “Man of Honor” in my wedding – I didn’t have a maid of honor. Fonso has filled my life & living rooms with laughter and dancing, when the babies were little we would dance with them for hours; I’d read that a person learns rhythm from exposure to movement at a young age. My momma said that if I could dance that I’d know how to find the beat when life losses it’s tempo – I think she was right. This past weekend the two of us looked at each other with that “dang” they are grown and dancing on their own, and WOW they’ve got style.
Saturday was all about Cheekwood for a celebration of the Day of the Dead, WOW more music & dancing this time it was Salsa, once again we were up and dancing! What a great time – plus Chihully was there in the back ground, reminding me that when we are creating nature is moving through us.
Sunday Halloween happened, we have had some great Halloweens in the past, living in Malibu for years “The Colony” a neighborhood full of celebrity and movie makers take Halloween to a fabulous level, last year we trick or treated in the Venice Canals and that was pretty awesome too, we’ve spent a Halloween in the Jungle – Sayulita where folks gather in the town square dressed up and parading. However this year was a show stopping topper! Lee and I organized a gathering and before I knew it there were more than 30 folks on my front lawn ALL dressed up – adults included, so guess what this means y’all – we have created community here in Nashville – I can NO longer complain that I have NO friends – ‘cause that ain’t true – I sho’do…..
We live in a super cool area, a REAL neighborhood and neighbors that we LOVE, Bella and Lee were Avatars, Lola the lady bug, Fonso – DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba, Peggy – the fat chef, Mary Alice – The Naughty Nun- Ted an old rocker from the ‘80’s and of course I was a gypsy – something not to far off from Mee. The real costume couple award went to my friends Jeremy & Stephanie who arrived as Diego & Frida!
Fonso left early yesterday morning, Ted & Peggy leave tonight and I will prepare the house for our next guests that arrive tomorrow from Arizona – “The Witness & The Professor.” Yes, I get tired out but I love a house full of folks…. I’m holding on to time and storing as many memories as possible ’cause what I KNOW is that MY life is about my relationships with “Mee & My People.”
It’s hard to imagine but just two years ago we were living in the Mexican Jungle and my girls were marching in national parades for the Mexican Independence Days!
It was 200 years ago today that Mexico was free of Spanish rule and 100 years ago today marks the Mexican Revolution!
Whew, they are having some parties down there.
This year is especially heart felt, Mexico is coming together to clean up after terrible flooding that has completely wiped out villages and towns. My own sweet home town of Sayulita has suffered great loss, and Senora Gina is gathering lists of needs from some of the poorest families. The one thing I know is that Mexico will come through these tough times that it is facing, Mexican people are strong and capable and most importantly united. I miss it there so very much, I have moments when all I want to do is put my pen down and head back home. I know that I am not done with my Mexican life, it is awaiting me in the wings and in time I will return. At night I dream of her, Mexico my Mango Momma….
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