Girlfriends With Aging Parents

Written by Braiden on June 30, 2010

Something amazing happened to me a few months ago while talking to one of my long-time friends, Norma Rosenthal. When I told I’d just launched about Five More Minutes With and her face kind of dropped and she looked very surprised.

“I am in process of starting a new Web site myself along with my best friend, Toby,” Norma said. “It’s called Our Aging Parents and we invite our readers to share their thoughts, concerns, and fears as their parents get older.”

Since that “eureka” moment, Norma and I have been each others touchstones and sounding boards, comparing notes on the business aspects of starting a new Web site and also the more fun elements of writing and editing for one.

Please check out Norma and Toby’s new site. . .it offers a wealth of information and resources. On a highly personal note, Our Aging Parents hits very close to home right now for me, since my 88-year-old father was recently diagnosed with cancer. Sad, but true.

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Listen to Our FMMW Radio Interview

Written by Braiden on June 28, 2010

Five more minutes with radio interview

It’s always exciting to do publicity  such as radio and television interviews, as well as public appearances for my books in my “other” life of food-and-wine writing.

But nothing was as exciting as my first radio interview on “Chat With Women” for Five More Minutes With.

Thanks to Chris Prouty, my brilliant Web designer, you can now listen to the interview directly from the FMMW Web site.

Have a listen and learn more about the inspiration for FMMW!

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Frantic for Only a Few Seconds After an Auto Accident

Written by Braiden on June 23, 2010


A friend of mine who lives in New York City was kind enough to forward a link to a New York Times article entitled, Mandela Attends Relative’s Funeral, on the horrific death of 91-year-old Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great-granddaughter.

The accident was especially tragic because a close family friend, who had allegedly been drinking while driving and was just 23 years old, caused it.

Barry Bearak’s article is stark and detailed, somber and perfect in tone. But it’s the last few paragraphs that caught my friend’s attention and caused her to send it to me:

The funeral service followed an earlier private burial and it lasted for several hours. Mr. Mandela left early. Several speakers described Zenani and expressed their deep grief. A message from the girl’s bereft mother, Zoleka Mandela-Seakamela, was read aloud.

“I should have let you sleep longer when you told me you were tired,” the message said, according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “I should have let you wear all the makeup in the world.

“I should have given you more money, more hugs, more kisses, and I should have whispered more in your ear ‘I love you.’

“If I did all this would you come back to me, even if it was only for a few seconds? I want to hold you in my arms one last time.”

What would you do or say to a loved one if you had only a few seconds left?

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Thoughts on Last Suppers

Written by Braiden on June 14, 2010

Last Supper Photos

About 10 years ago I started writing a novel called “The Last Supper Club” whose protagonist was a female celebrity chef who made super-extravagant last suppers for people who knew they were terminally ill. The novel (like all of my fiction writing, at least so far) didn’t go anywhere; in fact, I never even finished the book.

Fast-forward to 2007, when a lovely four-color, coffee-table nonfiction book entitled, “My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals/Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes” was published.

I thought about that book, and portions of my own short-lived novel that were semi-autobiographical, as I hatched the idea for Five More Minutes With.

And just today (remember there are no coincidences!) I ran across a link to Celebrity Chefs’ Last Suppers while searching ProChef SmartBrief, a wonderful e-newsletter that comes into my “other” inbox (for my food-and-wine-writing life).

Here is the link to the Last Suppers Photo Gallery courtesy of Time magazine. I especially like the shot of Italian chef Lydia Bastianich in a “hat” made entirely of pasta.

What would you have for your last supper? Would it be something fancy and multi-course, as many of the chefs requested?

Or something simple and homey, perhaps a comfort food(s) from childhood?

Me? I’d keep it simple and homey with a sliced turkey-breast sandwich on whole-wheat bread with real mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato; a Honey Crisp apple, and iced tea (real, black iced tea–none of that frou-frou passion-fruit stuff!) with Sweet ‘n’ Low.

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More Crows!

Written by Braiden on June 10, 2010

Last week I wrote about Mrs. Crow, a female crow that made lots of noisy visits to our downtown Seattle condominium balcony.

We weren’t quite sure what was going on until an interesting article in The Seattle Times recounted the story of an attack crow who divebombed a mother and her child while they were walking in Ballard, a neighborhood just outside of downtown Seattle.

The article went on to explain that this particular time of the year (late May to mid-June) is fledge season, when anxious crows are watching out over their baby chicks, so become very territorial.

Mr. and Mrs. Crow

Our “Mrs. Crow” still drops by from time to time, sometimes accompanied by her mate, as shown above. She even lets me take their picture and doesn’t fly away. Perhaps she/they sense I mean them no hard and am, instead, fascinated by their antics.

Mr. and Mrs. Crow

Spencer and I love watching them, and speculate that the exhausted duo needs to take a breather from the young ones every now and then. Our balcony provides a safe and quiet sanctuary.

In today’s harried, hectic world, do you have a quiet sanctuary where you can get away from it all with your mate or significant other, even if for just a few minutes each day?

Do you take quiet time for yourself as well?

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“Echoes of Creation” on June 8

Written by Braiden on June 7, 2010

Alaskan Glacier

I know I’ll have my television set tuned in tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. to watch KCTS Channel 9’s “Echoes of Creation,” which is billed as, “beautiful images of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska set to music from David Arkenstone and spoken word from Karen Hutton.”

According to program notes, “The show moves beyond the discussion ‘about’ the natural world and instead becomes s a deeply moving journey ‘with it’ that is garnering the attention of leading health and wellness experts as a healing and transforming experience.”

The second in the Sacred Earth Series by Emmy Award-winning director Jan Nickman, “Echoes of Creation” takes the viewer through ancient forests, glaciers, and waterways of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The original soundtrack was written by Grammy-nominated composer David Arkenstone and contemplative spoken word by Karen Hutton.

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Mrs. Crow Comes to Town

Written by Braiden on June 4, 2010

Mrs. Crow

By now, many of you who read my writing here, or on my other Web site, Northwest Wining and Dining, know that Spencer and I live in a downtown condo a salmon toss from Seattle’s beloved Pike Place Market.

It’s a great place to live, but since our beloved feline companion, Bo-Bo, went to kitty heaven about five years ago, things have been lean on the companion-animal front since we’ve never gotten another cat or dog.

So late last week, when a rather ratty looking crow came a callin’ (literally–she’s VERY loud and caws at the drop of a hat!) along the iron railing that forms the border for our balcony, both SJ and I were intrigued by this unusual show of urban wildlife right outside our living-room and bedroom windows.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we were awakened by Mrs. Crow voicing concerns over an intruder or interloper. These are the best photos I could get of our avian visitor. . .once I drew the shades, she didn’t come back, or stay long enough, for the camera lens to capture her antics.

Mrs. Crow

She’s been back on and off this week, but doesn’t stay long. We are now wondering if her nest is elsewhere and perhaps she uses this bird’s-eye perch from our balcony to watch out over her brood.

If and when we can ever figure out where she is roosting, we may have to install our second remote camera, not unlike the Puget Sound Cam on my other Web site that records the activity along Elliott Bay from dawn until dusk.

Of course, we’d call this new one the “Puget Crow Cam” and position it within the Five More Minutes site.

The point of this post (bet you were beginning to wonder!) is that there can be magic in everything in life if you look at it in the proper way. . .even just the appearance of a raucous crow/raven outside your window.

Have you seen a crow or raven in your life today?

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