My Head is in the Clouds

Written by Braiden on May 25, 2010

Five More Minutes With Clouds

On Saturday, we headed out in the car to do a little shopping at a mall about 15 miles south of Seattle.

Five More Minutes With Clouds

On the way, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful cloud formations lining the sky and couldn’t help but pull out my trusty new Leica to snap a few shots.

Five More Minutes With Clouds

As the light kept changing, so, in subtle sequence, did the clouds.

Five More Minutes With Clouds

Even through the windshield, the shots are triumphant.

Five More Minutes With Clouds

Brings new meaning to the phrase, “My head is in the clouds.”

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Announcing our Father’s Day Contest!

Written by Braiden on May 21, 2010

Chukar Cherry Co. Heart of Seattle Gift Basket

Today marks the arrival of our second exciting contest on Five More Minutes With—a Father’s Day contest to find the most inspiring story about Dad!

This year, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 20. And what better way to salute Dad and commemorate Father’s Day than to share his story with the Five More Minutes With community and other interested readers?

Those remembrances shared between today and June 19, 2010, will automatically be entered to win a Chukar Cherry Co. Heart of Seattle Basket shipped to your home with enough treats to share with family and friends while you reminisce about dear old Dad.

Chukar products have regularly been featured as the “Snack of the Day” on the “Rachel Ray Show,” and recently received a rave review in The Nibble, the Magazine About Specialty Foods.

The Heart of Seattle Basket offers four fabulous Chukar creations—a Chocolate Cherry Quartet Box, a jar of Vanilla Peach Preserves, Cherry Apple Slices, and Nuts over Bing Energy Mix—all packaged and ready to roll in a handy metal bucket adorned with a jaunty cluster of plastic cherries.

Many thanks to the good folks at Chukar for providing such an exciting and desirable prize for our Father’s Day contest.

Submittal Guidelines:

As always on Five More Minutes With, you are encouraged to explore the site for inspiration, then submit your own story to share.

Answer the question: What would you say if you had Five More Minutes With. . .Dad?

Stories can be of any length. But remember. . .you have just five minutes!

So I suggest keeping your story to anywhere from two to three sentences and up to 250-300 words (one to one-and-one-half double-spaced typed pages).

Photos are most welcome, and will increase your chances of having your story published and winning the prize.

Now put on your thinking caps, pull out your pens or computers, and start writing a tribute to dear old Dad.

Good luck and happy writing  to all!

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The Perfect Song

Written by Braiden on May 21, 2010

I’ve toyed with the idea of adding music to the FMMW Web site as inspiration when contributors are writing their stories.

But my savvy Web designer has cautioned me against it. He told me that if people are looking at this site at work, the music is a telltale sign to the boss and co-workers that they aren’t actually working!

And even if a button is added so that people can turn music on if they desire it, most people never go to the trouble.

But after I received a recent Five More Minutes With Google alert, I followed an interesting-sounding link and discovered a recording of a “Frank Sinatra – Five Minutes More 78 rpm 1946 factory sample” that is simply incredible, the PERFECT song to match this site.

The first 40 seconds or so aren’t nearly as compelling or to the point as the final two minutes, but the entire thing is a nostalgic romp through simpler times and softer days.

The words go something like this:

Give me five minutes more, only five minutes more,

Let me stay, let me stay, in your arms.

Here am I, begging for, only five minutes more,

Only five more minutes of your charms. . .

Give me five minutes more, only five minutes more.

Let me stay, let me stay, in your arms.

Awww, come on!

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Old “Smart” Phone

Written by Braiden on May 19, 2010

Carmel, California Beach Scene

I have a very old “smart” phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or whatever you want to call it.

My Palm Treo has been kicking around since 2004. Spencer says the poor thing is getting so old (not to mention woefully outdated by more-modern smart-phone standards) that one day it will just give up the cause and begin spitting little metal chips at me and die a slow and gruesome death.

In the meantime, I know I “should” get a sleek new iPhone (since I am a long-time Macintosh computer user and lover). But I have a hard time making the keys work, and it is so frustrating when I hit the wrong link and the darn thing takes me to Web sites I don’t want. Perhaps worse (and most embarrassing), I can never figure out how to get back.

I’ve recently ordered a new iPad as a possible solution. . .a conduit between giving up the Palm but advancing my technology. But they are currently out of stock of each and every model. So even when I try my best to modernize and join the “real” world, my best attempts, at least so far, have been thwarted.

All of this is a long preamble to what I really wanted to say today. One of the features I like best on my trusty, old Palm Treo is that it allows me to schedule ongoing appointments or obligations. So I have set myself a recurring reminder every day at 8 a.m. that serves as my back-up wake-up call in case my regular alarm clock malfunctions.

The wake-up call on my Palm first buzzes at 7:55, then again at 8:00, and at 8:05.

By now you get the gist. . .I receive a gentle reminder that it’s time to wake up every five minutes until I rouse enough to turn off the alarm.

Often, as I lie in bed between the alarm bells, I am reminded that the entire concept for this Web site rests on this five-more-minutes concept.

I especially treasure those extra five minutes, not only because I feel like I’m getting away with something, but because this dreamy state of mind. . .somewhere between half awake and partially asleep. . .is the perfect time to create and go over what’s happening in the upcoming day and to visualize how I want my day to turn out.

It’s also a very special time for Spencer and me, when I turn over and he snuggles me for five or 10 minutes, then he turns over and I return the favor for him.

How do you spend the first five minutes when you first awake? How could you spend them better?

What if  you had just five more minutes of waking time left in your life? How would you spend them then?

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FMMW Updates

Written by Braiden on May 16, 2010

Five More Minutes With Flowers

My editor’s notes were shorter than usual and fewer in number this past week, as deadlines in “other life” (as a Northwest food-and-wine columnist) took over the bulk of my working and late-night hours.

But I wanted to report that some exciting developments happened during that seven-day span.

°We got a fabulous partner (and prize!) for our Father’s Day contest, so I will be announcing that early next week. (Father’s Day is on June 20.)

°Our Web site is now recognized by the search engines! So that if you Google either of the phrases, “Five More Minutes” or “Five More Minutes With,” you can find us (and on page one, nonetheless!).

°I have been outreaching to like-minded writers and have discovered many more moving, heart-touching stories for everybody to read and share.

So thanks to all for watching, and waiting, and standing by as I find my way along this new path and journey of discovery.

Happy Sunday, and here’s hoping we all have a great week!

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1,000 Words

Written by Braiden on May 13, 2010

Kathy Renner Port Ludlow Photo

Sometimes a simple photo can capture so many emotions and moods (hence, the phrase, “One picture worth 1,000 words”). And here’s a beauty that my friend , Kathryn Renner, snapped over Mother’s Day weekend in Port Ludlow, Washington.

Kathy is the talented writer who submitted the Uncle Zozzie story when FMMW was first launched. It’s obvious that both her writing and photographic skills are at their height. Thanks for all you do, Kathy!

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Flower Festival

Written by Braiden on May 9, 2010

Market Flowers

Yesterday, as Spencer and I walked through the Pike Place Market enjoying all the beautiful blossoms that the farmers displayed as part of the second annual Flower Festival, I couldn’t help but think how much my mother, Julia Looper Rex, would have loved seeing them.

Mom grew orchids, fruit trees, peonies, and dahlias when I was a kid and truly had a huge green thumb. People used to laugh that she was the only person who could sweet talk a magnolia tree (which she’d imported from Georgia, the state where she grew up) to survive and flourish in the harsh winters of suburban Philadelphia.

At brunch, when I saw the mothers and daughters happily chatting, eating, and enjoying a glass of wine, my heart ached knowing that today is Mother’s Day and my mother is no longer here.

Market Flowers Two

So here’s a shot of my favorite flowers from yesterday, along with a huge thank you to you, dear Mom, for always being there and loving me.

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Aunt Jo

Written by Braiden on May 4, 2010

In a previous post, I mentioned that one of the highlights of life since I started FMMW has been getting back in more regular touch with my only aunt, Aunt Jo. She’s written the story of her son (my cousin), Lee, and shared two beautiful photos of him.

She has also been one of my staunchest supporters, dropping me encouraging (unsolicited) notes from time to time, and helping me keep my chin up through all the work and big dreams.

Here is her latest missive, which I wanted to share with you.

“I had time to read many more of your stories today and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed them. I think you have found a niche that allows many of us to express our love and thoughts for those who are not physically with us today.

“I loved Spencer’s story about Bo-Bo. I remember that he was dear to your hearts. Pets give us such unconditional love.”

Thanks, Aunt Jo. You are a fine human being and lovely lady.

More stories from: Editor's Notes