Monday, April 25

On Noticing Purple

Some incredibly desirable things in life are connected to our physical senses. Oh, sure, the most desirable things are intangible: love, peace of mind, abiding faith. But some of the delicious bits are sensory-related. In the book The Color Purple, Alice Walker has the character Shug tell us, “I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it.”

I agree.

I think it probably does piss God off if we don’t notice the existence, let alone the intensity of that purple. Or for that matter, the sheer deliciousness of pork fat, the silken texture and slight burn of Cuervo 1800 as it slips down the throat, the heft of a perfectly weighted rocks glass in the hand, the sweet smell and warmth of the sheets out of the dryer, the softness of that pillow under the head after a day of hard work or – even more decadent – hard play, or the beauty of well-assembled words on a page.

I’ll give you some of my examples. Hey, it’s my blog, right? Right.

To me, the smell of real lilacs is olfactory heaven. My friend Keith had a huge lilac bush in the yard at his old house, and each spring he’d bring some to work every couple of days to put in a big ugly plastic cup on my desk. (That’s love, people.) Whenever I see a whole rack of lilac bushes in bloom, I pull the car over, get out, and smell them for a while. Don’t care how silly it looks – it’s perfection in nature, and I do it.

A new friend, Christian, and I were discussing how the existence of great coffee and the existence of great vodka each make the other that much more fabulous. You know what I’m saying? Vodka hangovers cured by coffee (or a Bloody Mary, whichever) are just that much more a sensual experience when complemented by one another. First sips of each render a contented, “Ahhhh.”

I don’t care how cliché it has become: pork fat really does rule. Several things, including a chef who is decidedly not Emeril LaGasse – but does appear on the Food Network – have, for me, recently re-emphasized this basic truth. I finished reading a book found on the bargain table at Barnes and Noble called A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, by Anthony Bourdain. Damn, talk about a wordsmith. If the man cooks anything like he writes, I’m going to find him, off his lovely bride, and keep him for myself. The entire book is his adventures with the indigenous cuisine and food culture of several countries, beginning in Portugal (the country for which I am a terminal sucker.) Just the descriptions of palatable pleasures made me swoon. And I don’t swoon often.

I did make a swooning exception for this, received in an email from my friend The Chef: “Herb encrusted New Zealand lamb, grilled to perfection, served with a red wine reduction over creamy bleu cheese polenta, with caramelized brussels sprouts. A wild mushroom crepe cake oozing with three cheeses and drizzled with truffle oil. Home-smoked duck breast on top of smoky, roasted poblano and chipotle mashed sweet potatoes on a pool of tart cherry sauce with roasted spring veggies and wild mushrooms. A whole apple, tossed with butter, cinnamon and sugar, wrapped in puff pastry and baked to a golden brown. Served with vanilla gelato and spiced pecans.” See? Oh. My. Damn! Not only that, but he can actually make this culinary art. (Copyright on the menu is strictly his.)

Yes, there are SOME other things as delightful as good food.

My very favorite inexpensive, calorie-free, totally indulgent, completely innocent, sensual pleasure is clean sheets after a bath. There is no sweeter feeling than making your bed with sheets right out of the dryer and layering on the blankets and comforter. Then, you do the bath. The spa-like bath. Oil in the water, lighted candles on the counter. The whole deal. Soak, relax, listen to Mraz, read something wonderful, drink a glass of cabernet, shave legs. Get out of tub and, after drying off with a fluffy towel that also just came from the dryer, apply good-smelling lotion to entire body. Go lie down in freshly changed bed that doubles as nest. Read some more. Call Allison. How amazing does that feel? You’re going to have to try it for yourself. NB: If you’re a man, you may skip the leg-shaving portion of the program.

My visual pleasures are far too many to recount, but I’ll give some examples. The laugh lines around my dad’s eyes, the don't-be-a-smartass smile my mom does sometimes when we’re joking around, the way a swimming pool looks before anyone jumps in, the first ten minutes of fresh snow on the ground, plumeria blossoms, poppy orange, a picture of The Numbers, orchids, the black sand beach on Hawaii, the faces of my puppydoodles, a candle flicker on the ceiling, my paper star lanterns lighted, neatly stacked towels, martini glasses with olives left in them, shiny glass, the colors of the ocean that I’ve seen so far, my Christmas tree the first year I could really afford to give presents (I fairly shrieked with glee every night at the gifts!), the desert at my grandparents’ house in Bakersfield, the color purple.

Hmmm. It just occurred to me that attention to these wonderful, sensuous details may have actually improved my relationship to the more important things: love, peace of mind, and abiding faith.

What do you think? Would it do the same for you?

Friday, April 22

Pear Mojitos (Mrs. Cox's Cocktail)

This is the closest I can get for now! I adapted from a mojito recipe that I like, and added the pear liqueur I think would work. You may have to experiment a bit. I know this breaks your heart.

3 fresh mint sprigs
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 oz light rum
1/2 oz pear liqueur, like Marie Brizard
club soda

In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and liqueur and mix. Top off with chilled club soda. Add a lime slice and the remaining mint, and serve. Hell, make a pitcher of 'em.

Tuesday, April 19

Dig Down Deep

Me, with the lyrics.

I recently purchased some CDs, as I've been on a music-I-used-to-love thing and a music-that-comes-highly-recommended thing. One of the CDs I got was Marc Cohn of Walking in Memphis fame. (Aside: Christel, of True Companion fame.) When I originally got this music, shortly after Walking in Memphis was released as a single in 1991, the first thing I realized was that the rest of the CD is at LEAST as good as that single, if not better. The lyrics for the fourth cut, called Dig Down Deep, quickly became significant to me. If you know me well (and if you're reading this, you probably do, it's not like this is the front page of the Chicago Tribune) you know the path I've been down over the last few years. Doubt, confusion, and the occasional bout of denial have crept through occasionally.

I still believe these lyrics with my whole heart. I refuse to sleepwalk. Even when consciousness is painful.

Dig down deep, baby.

Written by Marc Cohn, from the album Marc Cohn (album).
Copyright 1990 Museum Steps Music, ASCAP.

Baby let's go below the surface
See what we can find
There's no reason to be nervous
'cause it happens all the time

I don't want to go up to the mountain
I don't need to go down to the sea
Gonna sit right here 'till we unravel
The mystery

While the lights of the city
Are shining below
Gonna hold onto you girl
And never let go
While everyone else is just walking around
In their sleep
Baby let's dig down
Dig down deep
I wanna dig down deep

And i don't wanna wait until tomorrow
'cause the fortune said that "the time is now"
It's time to find out what we're doing
What we're doing anyhow

Let's go out in the moonlight
And walk for awhile
Maybe stay up all night and we could
Talk for awhile
Kick off your shoes
'cause you've got nothing to lose
But your sleep
Baby let's dig down
Dig down deep
I wanna dig down deep

It's an open invitation
So baby don't you cry
It's a life long celebration
And i think we're right on time
It's a feeling in your heart
And a lump in the throat
It's a strange and lovely ride
Wanna dig down deep inside

While the lights of the city
Are shining below
Gonna hold onto you girl
And never let go
While everyone else is just walking around
In their sleep
Baby let's dig down
Dig down deep
I wanna dig down deep

Could you dig down deep
I wanna dig down deep

Saturday, April 16

Happy Birthday!

To My Very Best Friend
I love you a wholebunchlot,
and I am grateful for you
every day.

AS IF I'd pass up a listy thing.

  1. First Name: Stacey
  2. Were you named after anyone? Not to my knowledge.
  3. Do you wish on stars? Sheyeah.
  4. When did you last cry? Last night. I had a severe moment of lonely. Then it passed.
  5. Do you like your handwriting? Sure do. It's very pretty.
  6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Does cheese count?
  7. What is your birth date? 2nd Aug.
  8. What is your most embarrassing CD? I actually own a Barry Manilow CD. Long story.
  9. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? I sooooo would. WHEEE!
  10. Are you a daredevil? In some areas, yep.
  11. Have you ever told a secret you swore not to tell? When I was a kid. Yup.
  12. Do looks matter? mine? yes. anyone else's? not at all. (I really can't improve on Lola's answer, here.)
  13. Where is your second home? wherever my numbers are. (or on this answer.)
  14. Do you trust others easily? Depends.
  15. What was your favorite toy as a child? books. still is. (or this one.)
  16. What class in high school do you think was totally useless? Algebra.
  17. Do you have a journal? Yup.
  18. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Are you new?
  19. What are your nicknames? Aunt Tasty, Stacequah, Sexypants, #5IN, other variations on Tasty, Plus One (hehe).
  20. Would you bungee jump? Uh, no.
  21. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Nope.
  22. Do you think that you are strong? Yes.
  23. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Cake batter.
  24. Shoe Size? 8.5
  25. Red/pink? Both!
  26. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Not sure, exactly. I'm not real fond of my thighs, but, hey, they work.
  27. Who do you miss most? My numbers and VBF and kiddos.
  28. Do you want everyone you sent this to send this back? duh.
  29. What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now? N/A
  30. What are you listening to right now? Mark Knopfler.
  31. Last thing you ate? Mac n cheese.
  32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Silver.
  33. What is the weather like right now? Sunny and 75!
  34. Last person you talked to on the phone? Allie.
  35. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Lips/smile.
  36. Do you like the person who sent this to you? More than fried cheese.
  37. What is your Favorite Drink? This week it's pear-flavored mojitos.
  38. Favorite Sport? What's a sport?

Thursday, April 14

I LOVE it when I get like this! (But it will probably be real annoying to you.)

Perhaps you know these lyrics by India.Arie (please feel free to sing along):

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don't
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won't
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul.

I'm not the average girl from your video
and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie. (in my case, Stacey Leigh!)

When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it's supposed to be
And I know my creator didn't make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; I'm lovin' what I see.


Am I less of a lady if I don't wear pantyhose?
My mama said a lady ain't what she wears but, what she knows
But, I've drawn a conclusion, it's all an illusion, confusion's the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception
Something's gotta change
Don't be offended this is all my opinion
ain't nothing that I'm sayin’ law.
This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share wit y'all
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Clear your mind, now's the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
'Cuz everything's gonna be all right.

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I don't need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your caviar
All I need is my guitar
Keep your Kristal and your pistol
I'd rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Don't need your silicone I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine.



I LOVE WHEN I BELIEVE THIS! Yup, inside my heart I still have a little bit of that 14 year old girl who has no idea whatsoever that she’s darling and brilliant, but thankfully, that girl is looking around from the inside today and she’s pretty happy with her grown-up self.

My grown-up self is certainly different than what I ever thought I’d be. For example, I never, ever, thought I’d be divorced once, let alone twice. I never thought I’d do anything remotely technical for a job – I thought I wanted to be a newspaper writer. Never thought I’d still have NO IDEA what I want to be when I grow up! Never thought I’d live several states away from my parents, either. Never thought my best friend would be the one who has a bunch of fabulous kids, and I’d still have none of those at 35.

Never thought a lot of things.

Never thought I’d have this great a group of friends. But, thank God, I do. You know I could go on forever and ever about how much I love Beth (VBF), Matt, The Numbers, and all the stunningly great people I adore who allow me backstage access in their lives. I’m so beyond blessed in this area.

Never thought I’d like my parents as much as I do. They are truly great people, and hardly dysfunctional at all. Hehe.

Never thought I’d look in the mirror and see funny, pretty, and sparkling. Being 14 was so difficult that I thought I’d see “fat” forever. There’s no mistaking I still am fat; it’s just not what I’m puttin’ out to the world. If you’ve ever met me, you know that I’m putting out the fun, the sparkly, the overboard, the wheeeeee, the smart, the expressive, the damn pretty, and the sexy. Oh, and the terribly modest, obviously.

Never thought I’d be so comfortable with knowing so little. Never thought I’d feel so loved by God. Never thought telling God, “I’m wicked,” would result in the total acceptance I get from God. Never thought I’d be so comforted by honesty.

If you haven’t tried on this feeling, I encourage you to do it immediately! It feels AWESOME! When you believe you’re totally loved and really lovable, it makes being happy for other people so easy! (It’s at this point you’re asking yourself where I get my meth, but I assure you, I’m totally straight.) I’m thrilled for my VBF and the incredible children that she and her husband have. Thrilled. I’m thrilled that Christel has the Husband who is so freekin’ cute it makes me a little giddy. I’m over the moon that Matt has a great life and someone to be close to. I’m so happy for Judd I could almost cry. (But I didn’t.) I’m so happy for Dr. Mary that she’s getting her dream house and it’s so incredibly beautiful! I’m excited for The Fig because he’s going to go follow his dream – and he actually knows what that is. I’m excited for Allie that she can have puppydoodles(es) in her house! How totally cool.

And I absolutely believe I’ll have the day-to-day meaning and the spectacular love that my soul wants so much.

What a great day.

This entry is obviously for me alone. But, enjoy the happy and the silly, anyway. Then call me and ask me where I got my meth.

Tuesday, April 5

Something you may have seen, BUT:

Since I posted the thing about us girls earlier, today, I thought this was apropos. I got this in an email about the differences between men and women.

"If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara. If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy."

Apparently, unless you're The Numbers.

Annotated Numbers

This might help clear some things up. Below, please find a labeled picture of "The Numbers." You know, we talk about us enough, but for those of you playing along at home, in Seattle, for example, this might be a bit confusing. Sannyway, here we are, along with our respective and various nicknames. Oh, oh, oh, I almost forgot. We're all also called "Face." As in, "Hi sweet face." (Just shortened to Face.)

Image hosted by
For Lola, click here.
For Allie, here.
For Christel, here.
And for Dande, here.

Friday, April 1

Quotes for Today

"Yeah, we tend to ride the horse a little bit past the barn."

"I'm trying really hard to keep my head off of the bread."

"I can't wear this shirt. It makes me look too washed out. . . or washed up. Or washed around. One of those prepositions."

Each said after a night of far too much wine and far too little sleep. More later as I regain consciousness.

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