Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Another Great Time at Univision

Despite a massive cold that hit me only 2 days before, I made it to my early morning appearance on Primera Edicion and it was a blast!

The topic had to do with the pros and cons of being a working mom. As a working mom, I know firsthand how challenging it can be, but I came with a message of hope.

"There is no single solution for everyone, but the perfect solution is out there for you."

From my perspective, I've seen working moms wracked with guilt for not being home, but I've also met stay at home moms wracked with guilt for not being in the workforce. I joked with Antonio, the anchor on the show, that as moms (and Latinas) we're always going to feel guilty about something so just accept that and move on!

Long story short, here are my suggestions that I shared with the viewers:

1- You need to consider your child's well being and make sure she gets the best care possible. Is that from you or is that from a babysitter or is that with a licensed provider? Your instincts will tell you loud and clear when you find the right situation. Don't just settle. The intense development within the first 5 years needs to be nurtured and stimulated.

2- You need to consider YOUR needs. Yes, you! Put other people's expectations aside and take inventory of what you need to feel healthy in all aspects: body, mind, and spirit. If you aren't cut out to be a 24/7 mom, don't berate yourself. Maybe there is a part time situation that will work for you. You need to be honest with yourself and work towards the ideal situation.

3- What is best for your family? Can you financially afford the decision you've made? Life is expensive and unless you have a breadwinning partner in your life, staying at home is not an option for everyone. Talk to people, ask questions. See what other people have done in their situations.

Personal aside: There's nothing more damaging and divisive for us as women than getting judgmental and uppity regarding a woman's childrearing decisions. Just because something works well for you doesn't mean it will work the same way for others. So if your kids were fine in daycare, don't insist that everyone has to have their kids in daycare. Likewise, just because you can afford to be a stay at home mom doesn't mean that everyone is cut out for it. LIVE AND LET LIVE, OK?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Succulent Turkey, Cuba Hoy, y Mas

  • We Put the Succ in Succulent
    First of all, can I tell you that my turkey this year was a PERSONAL BEST! I don't mean to gloat or brag, but I did culinary victory laps around the casa. Brine, brine, brine people! Even my comadre Sarah Judson, potter turned painter, brined her bird this year to succulent results.

    Succulent. Let's just leave it at that. (I'm running victory laps in place while you read this. Just can't stop. What a great turkey!)

    Photo/Art Exhibit:Cuba Hoy!

    Who: Raleigh and Helena of Kiss of Light Photography

    Where: Martinez Frame & Design;
    205 N. Broadway
    Santa Ana, CA 92704

  • Tel: 714-835-5288

    When: Reception: Dec 3rd 6-10pm.
    Exhibit up through January 3rd

    Why: To be cultured and have fun: Also the rest of the galleries in the
    Artist Village will be open for the monthly Artwalk.


    It's a Mutual Love Fest for La Comadre y Crafty Chica!
    Kathy Cano Murillo, my crafty chica creative goddess comadre, wrote some very nice unsolicited words about me. What a nice surprise! That embodies the type of person she is. Super positive, always encouraging.

    For you sea-faring comadres out there, you need to get on board with Kathy's Crafty Chica Cruises next year. Can you imagine going on a Latina funky art cruise! Can't you just see this band of Fridas swimming up to the bar in DIY bikini tops that light up and tell your fortune all at the same time. I WANT TO BE THERE! I want to freak out the other passengers with some day of the dead jewelry, or redecorate the lido deck with sombrero mini lights.

    OK, I'm being for real.

    Cruises have childcare. In fact they have a total kid loving package. This is a brilliant idea Kathy and I'm hoping to be on board for at least one of these wild adventures. Got room for me and a vivacious 3 year old comadrita?

    Keep going to Kathy's blog for more info (her blog which is as juicy as my award winning turkey! I'm still doing laps, btw)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hey There Lil' Birdie

Well, it's 2 days before T-Day and I just got my shopping done, my menu is planned, and my 17 pound pavo sits in the fridge awaiting the brine spa treatment I have planned for it.

Couple of years ago my bro in law made a brined turkey which is basically a turkey that soaked in salt water overnight. Juicy, tasty, and seasoned to the bone, it is now my fave way of preparing el guajolote.

Click here for the recipe for best brined turkey. Trust me, it will rock your world.

One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving is that I get to make my grandmother Mama Keke's dressing. I channel her when I make it and it has never let me (or anyone else) down. This also is great in a chicken or with a pork roast. It is sweet and savory and vegetarian friendly.

This dish always turns out better if you talk to the ingredients. You can tell them stories, family gossip, the plot line of your favorite telenovela, or some sports scores.

Mama Keke's Fruit Stuffing
For every 10 pounds or so of birdie you'll need:
Unseasoned bread cubes (I make my own or buy the bag)
1 green apple, chopped
1 banana
handful of raisins
6-8 chopped Spanish olives
1 bell pepper
1 onion
salt and pepper
*turkey stock

Saute the onion and bell pepper in butter til tender but not overcooked. Remove from heat and add bread cubes, apple, banana, raisins, olives, salt and pepper to taste. Taste it and add more fruit or olives if you think it needs it.

**If you are cooking it inside the bird, rub the cavity of the bird with sage before you put the stuffing in.
*If you're cooking it in a casserole dish, moisten it up with some turkey stock. Don't overdo it or it will be soggy. Be sure to butter the dish and add lots of butter dollops to the top. When you cook stuffing in the pan you need to recreate greasy bird drippings, so don't skimp on the mantequilla.

Stuff into the bird and cook til done, or in the casserole cook at 350 til stock absorbs and fruits soften. Maybe 45 minutes?

I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving. Whether you're with your family of origin or family of choice, I send you big abrazos and lots of gratitude.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Vine Deloria, Rest in Peace

Native American scholar and activist Vine Deloria just passed over at the age of 72. His brilliant works challenged stereotypes and opened the doors for a deeper understanding of our original ancestors. His best known work was Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. We'll keep fighting the good fight for you Vine.

Read more about Vine Deloria:
New York Times article
University of Colorado News Center
Other sources

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tall Tales: My Very Cool Week Away

Just got back from a week in the Bay Area and I now present you with only the creamiest of the highlights.

Rock on Bono:
It all started with my first U2 concert in... 15 years? Dang. That's a long time. I was such a huge U2 fan in the 80's then I got really disappointed with their stint into superficiality around the early 90's. But last week I was reunited with the band I loved. My brother Mark and i attended together and he thinks that was our first arena concert since Thin Lizzy in 1981. Where did the years go? I am such a dork I even wrote a review on a fansite about the show. Here it is in case you must read it

Coaches A Go Go:
The purpose of my visit was to attend International Coach Federation Conference in San Jose and what a blast it was for me. Here I am with my podcasting partner Catherine Bruns. We really needed a photo taken of us and asked a total stranger if she'd oblige. She was writing in a notebook... I wonder if we intruded? After 5 or 6 takes ("Oooh, I hate that angle of my chin", "Our heads are too uneven") we released our photog prisoner back to her world of lobby journaling and went about our merry way.

I wore my big bad black boots that day and was about 8 feet taller than Catherine, so the part of this picture that you don't see are my knees crouching.

OK, if you're a coach, then this one ought to wow you. Here I am with C.J. Hayden, author of Get Clients Now! Now do you see what happens when I don't crouch whilst being photographed? I think the theme of this conference was "Damn, you're tall! I thought you'd be short!"

I don't have a photo of me with Suzanne Falter Barns, but I shout to the world that she's a tall chica too! We hung out in her booth and chewed the chit with Cami, author of the upcoming book Trolls and Bitches. (I gravitate towards the rebels)

I also need a photo of Denise and Patsi, the brains behind the coolest conference blog Blogsquad Live. I need to spend a whole post on them, they are so cool.

Family Matters:
If you've been eavesdropping on my life for a while, you may recall that my niece Kati was featured on HGTV's Design on a Dime back a year or two. They took her messy teenage artist's bedroom and turned it into a super cool retro lounge. Kati P is all about old school tattoos, 40's pinup girls, Betty Page... you know, wholesome subject matter. She is beyond great as an artist and made this freeekin bejeeezus coolshizzel jacket for Citlalli's 3rd birthday. Can I turn 3 so I can get one too? I see a boutique on Melrose for rockstar children, don't you?

And speaking of birthday peeps, here is Citlalli celebrating her birthday. This kid had the time of her life with my side of the familia. I let people know that she is into all things purple, hello kitty, and big girl chones and she got all that and then some.

I want to add that my mom is AWESOME. She watched Citlalli each day while I went to the conference and they had so much fun together. Thanks mom! She's 73 going on 30.

that's my big trip away. It was tiring, but great. I didn't even go into that it was our first airplane trip. Long story short, Citlalli did great. She's used to 10 hour road trips from LA to SF. A 60 minute plane ride was a walk in the park. Yet another thing to add to my gratitude list.

OK, last words because I know that people hate to read anymore so I'll be brief. At the ICF conference, I attended sessions that focused on intangible topics like spirituality and the hero's journey. Very moving and I had some very cathartic moments. You may see a different side of me coming out in my writing soon because I'm about to come face to face with someone I've been trying to avoid for many years now: My Shadow Self. More on that to come.

until next time,