730 Days, and the Dropping of Shoes

Hello, my name is Nancy and it’s been 2 years since my last blog post. Oops.

Seven hundred and thirty days is a really long time to put people on hold. But I did it. What can I say? Life happens… unapologetically. And a whole lot of life happened to me, as I am certain it did to y’all too. So there.

I’m not quite sure why today is the day I’ve decided to dive back in. Nope, can’t say that, because it’s a lie. IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS, THAT’S WHY! Also, I’ve missed y’all, and my soul is longing to over-share. As usual, I am spinning multiple plates on several sticks with one hand, and juggling bubbles with the other. Don’t ask what my legs are doing. They have a mind of their own, and have been carrying me from coast to coast on a semi-regular basis for a bit.

About this life thing. If I’ve learned nothing else in the past 730 days, it’s that just when you think life is grand, and you prepare to kick off your shoes and relax. Don’t. Of course, one shoe may drop to the floor, landing spectacularly in a glorious spot.  It’s the other shoe dropping that you must be concerned about. Without going into much any detail, I’m currently barefoot–one shoe landed nicely, the other hit with a thud, bounced up and is hovering in a cloud of uncertainty above me and I’m–on my knees, praying for a miracle. Or to win the lottery. Actually, both if I’m being honest. All for truly selfless AND selfish reasons simultaneously.

Cancer sucks, is all I can say. And so does socialized medicine. 

No, I don’t have cancer, nor does The Man, The Beans or any of my blood-relatives, that I am aware of (hint: I’m always the last to know of any family business). However, two of my dearest friends, whom I consider more family than friends have the awful disease. One lives in Toronto and was diagnosed in early 2016, with Stage 4 tonsil cancer that had spread to his neck, shoulder and a couple of lymph nodes. Thankfully, not to his lungs, liver, or brain. He and his team of doctors immediately decided upon the most aggressive form of treatment: 7 weeks of radiation and 4 rounds of chemotherapy simultaneously. I went to visit assist in caring for him in April, during Week 4. What an eye-opener. I realized that week how very little I was told about what my parents endured while fighting their own cancers before they passed away. Feeling powerless is not something I enjoy, and I was rendered powerless, beyond simply being present and available to do anything necessary, making fun of him so he would laugh, and keeping his spirits up high on the most positive of clouds. But as of 6 weeks ago, I am happy to report that my Maple Leaf brother has KICKED CANCER’S UGLY STAGE FOUR ASS!! Just one more set of scans to go, in November, and he will likely be declared the Champion of Cancer Ass Kickers. You probably already know I like to fix things, and people. So I despise not being able to eliminate, or destroy utterly ridiculous shit that happens to good people whom I love with my whole heart. If I were a superhero, I would want my power to be the ability to cure those ‘incurable’ diseases that afflict so many…including my ‘sister from another mister’, Grace, who got both amazing and horrendous news within days of each other. She has breast cancer…and is expecting her second child, a baby girl, in January. WhatTheActualFuck?! A lumpectomy has been done, but the remainder of her treatment will have to wait until Baby Girl arrives. So at the moment I’m struggling with being mad at God. Yes, I said it. On January 10th of this year, the day after I turned 44, I was ordained as a ruling Elder at my church, and here I sit, madder than a wet hen at my Heavenly Father. What a conundrum. Praying for a miracle from above while wrestling with anger towards the very One who can heal. My apologies, God. I’m only human, and YOU designed me this way. Prayers please. Lots of them. Thanks in advance. I’ll be in church in 4 short hours, after I’ve napped and this is published, lest you think I wont be praying too.

Now let’s see, what else happened in the last 730 days? Hmm. A list might be the easiest to follow. Besides, I’ve heard people enjoy reading lists. Who knew?

  1. The Man worked on a crap ton of projects. Both big budget features (Concussion, The Hateful Eight, Joy), small indie films (Burnt; Trumbo) and a couple of cool tv gigs (Hello…BLOODLINE!!). He is currently working on another big one, set to release in March 2017. Think magical, musical, Disney….Beauty.  There, you’ve got it.
  2. Sugar Bean started a YouTube channel, turned 15 and we had a surprise party that we somehow managed to keep a secret from her. Then she turned SIXTEEN and we had not one…but two celebrations to mark the milestone. She also got her driver’s license. Which is nearly impossible to do in California, and basically turned me into a basket case for a bit. Now I totally dig it, because she is an enormous help whenever I ask her to run an errand or pick up/drop off her sisters.
  3. Butter Bean learned to play the violin and performed in several talent shows both at church and at school. She also turned 11 on St.Patrick’s Day while we were visiting New York City in March 2015. She had our traditional birthday cake for breakfast from Carlos’s Bakery…you know, The Cake Boss place. It had to be done. End of story. Then we spent the day allowing her to dictate where she wanted to go and see, as it was our first time in New York as a family. So we did ALL the touristy things. I went with an itinerary in hand, wearing an imaginary name tag that said “Julie-Cruise Director”. Little did we know, it would definitely not be our last trip to the Big Apple. She also turned 12 five months ago, but she was away on a school trip for her birthday, so we had to celebrate when she returned. All I can say is that she seemingly morphed into a tweenager overnight. Attitude and all. We’ve had the necessary talks about body odor, periods, boys, makeup, inappropriate attire, social media…you name it. To quote Glennon Melton, “Sweet Fancy Moses”….more prayers, please.
  4. Sweet Pea is still a mama’s girl. She turned 9, then 10, without much pomp or circumstance. And she is still my baby. THANK GOODNESS. She is girly, and sassy and loves to play PokémonGo with me. Yes, me. She also returned to gymnastics, took classes at the intermediate/advanced level for about 3 months, then took 6 months off, and is now back at it and on one of the teams at the facility where she trains. Watch for her on the Olympics in 8 years. Or at least getting a college scholarship based on her ability to flip and stretch like a human rubber band defying gravity. The Man and I would be super happy with that.

Now that you’re caught up on the basics of what the Tribe has been up to, I guess it’s time for a report on me, huh?

  1. I turned 43 and 44. Enough about that. Especially if you’ve read this post.
  2. I had major surgery 13 months ago yesterday, to rid me of a pesky little genetic issue known as diverticulitis. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Wait, do I have enemies?
  3. Before I had the surgery, and while The Man was basically working around the clock, The Beans and I went home to Bama for a visit for the first time in 5 years. We had a blast seeing family and basking in the sun on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores. You can check out some of our vacay adventures in this video on Sugar Bean’s YouTube channel.
  4. I successfully created, crowd-funded, co-exec produced and co-starred in a web-series entitled THE BAR, that premiered on September 15, 2015 and can be viewed here on YouTube. So much of my heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears went into this project. I would love y’all to pieces if you watched and shared it with everyone you know. Seriously. Oh, and there’s a blog about it here and a Facebook fan page here.
  5. I am currently co-authoring a book that is being considered for publication by a very well-known publishing company. Can’t say more than that without your signatures on an NDA at this point. When I can I will. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me and my co-author, Kit Wallace-Coblentz, owner of Blue Eyed Entertainment.  Big things are coming. Just wait.

    me and kit

    photo by FishyFoto

  6. I am also co-writing a feature script about my life as a teenager growing up in a small Alabama town. Based on true events. Don’t worry, you’ll recognize your characters once it’s made and on a screen somewhere 🙂
  7. I have been both a blonde and a brunette in the last 730 days. See for yourself.
Nancy_Minkler-88sm

photo by Tiffany Rose

               AC:DC headshot

WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

        8. We made a lateral move to a slightly larger house, as we had just outgrown the one we were in. The time it took from the moment we found the house, filled out the application, got the approval, and moved in, was exactly 2 weeks, and it was in the midst of all the end of school year activities, AND the deadline for the delivery of the first draft of the book I mentioned in #5 above. All of that nearly put me in the dirt. But God always has a plan, and I’m still here. Waking up breathing, day after day… blessed be.

        9. In the last 2 months, I have eliminated all dairy, red meat, poultry, white carbs, and alcohol from my diet completely. I do eat fish and shrimp on occasion, but mainly stick to a plant and fruit based diet. My body’s response to this? I’ve lost 20 lbs. No shit. 128 in March, 108 now. I’d post before and after photos, but I think I just did?

       10.  I shot swimsuit photos yesterday for the first time in 16 years, along with a ton of other head shots, including the one above, with Jamie Fisher from FishyFoto. No, I will not be posting them anywhere, as I have no desire to pursue a career as a swimsuit model at the age of 44, and the height of five foot one. They are for The Man’s eyes only. 

       11.  The Man, The Beans and I had our FIRST EVER family photo shoot also with Jamie, so I plan to send out Christmas cards this year. I know, I know. Several people will think they are being Punk’d when they get theirs. But here is a sneak peek 🙂

FishyFoto -MinklerFamily-15708 copy

12.  Since July 3, I have been to NYC and back to LA three separate times. Twice by myself and once with The Beans. Why? Because The Man is the chief of our tribe, and that’s where he’s working right now, on that big project I mentioned earlier. We miss him so much it hurts, and if The Beans weren’t in school right now, we would all be there together. Unfortunately, all we can do is visit. And FaceTime (Thanks, Mr.Jobs). So I am single-parenting…no, bi-coastal parenting I guess…until his return.

13.  Oh, and last but not least, I’m having a NYC love affair…. with The Man. Just check out my Instagram and search for the hashtag #kissingallovernyc. It’s among the best highlights of the past 730 days for me!

I guess that’s all for now. I’m not promising I will post regularly, but I promise I won’t wait 730 days before the next one. How’s that? 

I love dolphins. Really…I do!!!

Anytime the thought “Mama would have loved this” crosses my mind,  I know whatever it’s in reference to is a keeper. So when that was the first thing I said after seeing the trailer for “Dolphin Tale 2” I knew I needed to share it with y’all. In fact, I’m not so sure there wasn’t some sort of motherly, ‘divine’ intervention behind me being asked by GraceHill Media to sneak peek the trailer and give my thoughts. After all, the film IS due out on September 19, 2014, and that happens to be Mama’s birthday! If she were alive, I could take her to see it in celebration of her 82 years on Earth. Unfortunately, that’s not possible…so I’ll just take The Beans in her honor, and remind them how much she would have loved it 🙂 Although I haven’t had the privilege of  seeing the entire film yet, The Beans and I saw the original Dolphin Tale when it was in theaters back in 2011. All four of us were laughing, crying and cheering simultaneously. It’s just that kind of movie. So to say I am excited for the sequel is an understatement! And with the original cast (Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, and Winter the Dolphin) teaming up again to help save a new member of the Dolphin Tale family, –Baby Hope–this film promises to be just as wonderful as the first one! Don’t take my word for it though; watch the trailer for yourself below…. and check back here as September draws closer, because I might just be participating in a Dolphin Tale 2 giveaway of some kind!!

Dolphin Tale 2 OFFICIAL POSTER

 

Follow on Bloglovin

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter

If I made you laugh, please click the banner below to vote for me on topmommyblogs.com!

There’s no need to be shy – you can vote for me once a day!

THANKS SO MUCH…Y’ALL ROCK!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

I’ve got major mommy skills….or not.

Okay, I’m digging in the archives to bring you a list of reasons why I should be Mom of the Year. Or, perhaps have DCFS called on me for a series of Epic Parenting Fails, depending on your perspective–and sense of humor.

And also because I have a bit of writer’s block. Personally, I think this whole middle-aged thing is to blame.

This was originally featured over on Mom of the Year, back in May, but I wanted to share it again here, in case anyone missed it! And of course because I think Meredith is the bestest and deserves a shout-out 🙂  

 

Unlike the other Moms of the Year, I wasn’t invited to the party ….I ASKED to be included. Fortunately, Meredith–the genius behind this collection of kick-ass moms– decided I was cool enough. Or else she thought, ‘Wow, this gal is from the South? Seems like her manners have been replaced with giant, Hollywood-sized balls’ and that intimidated her enough to let me in the club. Whatever. I’ve got the prize.

Hell to the Yeah!!

hell to the yeah!

 

Now I need to tell y’all why I think I deserve it. I’m the youngest of 7 kids, so you get 7 reasons: 

1. I discovered I was preggo after an 8 day vacay to the Sundance Festival, followed by Super Bowl weekend in Vegas in 1999, with my then boyfriend-now husband, The Man. Ironically, I was on BCP’s, and my cycle had always been like clockwork. However, upon our return from a glorious 10 day stint filled with lots of partying like celebrities and rock stars (and some tumbling down snow laden hills with a board strapped to my feet) I realized I was LATE. Took a test: Positive. Went to the doctor: 5 Weeks Positive. So, clearly I was Mom of THAT Year. Mostly because I had been pregnant the entire time we were there, but didn’t know it….and Sugar Bean survived it all, making her healthy entrance into the world 8 months later. Cart before the horse? Check. But hey, when in Hollywood…. 

2. Now, I must preface this one by saying The Man is an eighth Mexican, and I’m part Cherokee Indian, so we are not pale people. Therefore, Sugar Bean has beautiful olive-toned skin as a result–a natural, year-round tan. So imagine my surprise when I took her in to the pediatrician for a check-up around 10 months old, and the doc asked about her eating habits. “Does she eat green veggies?” “Yes,” I replied, “but she prefers orange and yellow ones”. “I can see that,” she remarked. “What do you mean?” I said, puzzled. “Nancy…look at your child. She’s ORANGE. She has beta-carotenemia. Make her eat more greens before you have to change your last name to Oompa Loompa.” The only thing missing from the doc’s response is the word ‘DIPSHIT’ at the end, because that’s what I felt like. Clearly this is Mom of the Year moment #2. 

3. In June 2007, just days after moving into a gated community, I found my 3-year-old Butter Bean playing in the backyard. Buck nekid. Despite my suspicion our neighbors might think The Clampetts had moved in, I just let her be. For all they knew, we were nudists. What’s worse is, she was apparently in a phase.…and preferred being naked, to wearing clothes. I decided not to fight it, and she played naked in the yard all summer. Can’t really say I blamed her…we lived in the Valley, which if you know anything about Los Angeles….is hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock in the summer. So, allowing nakedness makes me Mom of the Year. I did remember to apply sunscreen each day, in case you were thinking I deserved WORST Mom of the Year. 

4. When Sweet Pea was 3, she accompanied me to do some “day of” birthday shopping for my then, 9 year-old Sugar Bean. While standing in line at Justice, she announced she needed to potty. There were 2 women in line ahead of me, 3 in line behind me, and I had an armload of stuff I couldn’t just abandon to go in search of a mall bathroom, as I was short on time anyway and wouldn’t be able to come back. So I explained to the Tart-in-Charge, that she was currently potty-training, and couldn’t hold it, asking if they had a bathroom she could use. No. Employees only. Upon hearing that, Sweet Pea unleashed a flood and peed in the floor, as we continued to wait in line to pay. I had a few choice words for the cashier as she rung me up, and stared like a deer in headlights. Oh, and the women behind me applauded my Mom of the Year skills as I walked out.  

5. As if we moms need anything else to make a big deal out of for our children, I came up with a whole new holiday deliverer of treats….The Valentine Fairy. She brings gift bags of goodies and small presents for The Beans to wake up to on Valentine’s morning. Sometimes she even leaves a trail of glitter from their bags to the window, depending on whether I want to clean the shit up or not. Of course, in their eyes, it makes me Mom of the Year, while in the eyes of the moms of their friends who inevitably know she visits our house…..I’m more like Overachieving Bitch of the Year. But that’s okay, because it’s the only area I don’t slack in. Besides, it sets the bar very high for their future loves, because they will have always been celebrated on the one day of the year designed to be dedicated to love. Gag, right?

6. Mom of the Year reason number 6 can be directly attributed to the fact that on every birthday in our household, we eat cake for breakfast. School day, weekend day, holiday….doesn’t matter. If it’s your birthday, you get dragged out of bed at 6am and have cake for breakfast. Or pie. Your choice. And you must endure having your early morning party documented with photos showing you looking EXACTLY like you do when you wake up. No primping allowed. Feel free to steal this awesome tradition and practice it in your own family. I stole the idea from my friend Sarah. 

7. I allow Candy Saturdays in our house. What’s that, you ask? No sugar AT ALL during the week, but The Beans can have as much as they want on Saturday. The word “NO”, as it relates to candy, is not uttered on Saturday in our family. It’s my way of making sure they gorge themselves almost to the point of sickness that day, so I don’t have to deal with the begging eyes, requests or tantrums in line at Target while they are standing by the candy displays. So far, it’s worked like a charm. They even FORGET about it from time to time, so they go several weeks without sugar. Oh, and our dentist….she thinks I’m a freaking hero! Or….Mom of the Year!

If this made you laugh, please leave a comment and let me know! And if you have moments like these to share….feel free!

I LOVE to know I’m not alone 🙂

 

On top of Forgiveness Mountain

Photo credit: HelloGiggles.com

Photo credit: HelloGiggles.com

Pretty bottles of poison, huh? Actually, I don’t know what the heck is in them, but given the nature of this post, and the quote I’m borrowing from HelloGiggles.com  I’m just gonna stick with the assumption they have poison in them. Besides, one of them has a skull on it, and another has a pentagram. That can’t be a good sign. So there.

“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.”

Honestly, that’s the best advice/reason I’ve ever seen about forgiveness, because grudges are toxic…even lethal…substances we carry around. They consume our insides and warp our sense of reality. And with 3 Beans and The Man to take care of, I’m already teetering on the verge of insanity most days anyway, so I’ll pass on the help. Thanks. Admittedly, I’ve fallen victim to grudge holding. Hell, I’ve dragged my family into it, and I’m not proud of that, to say the least. Sometimes being human really is an impossibly heavy cross to bear. 

Anyway, back to forgiveness.

Mama always told me, “Look for the good in people, even if you have to use a magnifying glass once in a while.” Pretty sage advice, I believe. She also taught me to be forgiving and compassionate, with the knowledge that nobody is perfect. Especially me. Despite the handful of times I mentioned previously…when I fell into the grudge trenches, grabbing those within my reach on the way down…I’ve always been generously forgiving. Sometimes to a fault. It also takes A LOT to make me angry enough to cut someone out of my life to the point of holding a grudge. And by a lot, I mean major betrayal, heaps of heartache, or life-altering actions….over an extended period. Usually. But I do have a breaking point, and it has happened. The good news is, as I’ve gathered life experience, resulting in more gray hair than I want, I’ve also developed a keener eye for people with agendas. Thus, resulting in a tighter circle full of loyal people whom I would trust with the lives of myself and family, rather than energy vampires who suck the life out of me or threaten to wreck what I’ve got going on. Must be true….wisdom comes with age, huh?

For the past few years, our little tribe has been on a seemingly never-ending hike over some very rough terrain. Let’s see…there has been betrayal by friends and/or trusted business associates, job related shake-ups, financial destruction/rebuilding, addiction and recovery, not one but two family moves, and the deaths of two beloved family pets. Clearly, our plates have overflowed with a variety of things. And that’s just the general Cliff Notes summary. Plenty of other less devastating, yet still significant hurdles have presented themselves along the way as well. But, in the spirit of my mama, and her wish to always focus on the good, and avoid shrouding the entire span of time in darkness, I will direct you to some positive times. Like thisthis and this. And this. OH… and this, of course. But, suffice to say, we’ve learned enough life lessons in the past 8 years to keep The Beans’ (along with their children & grands) karma cards free of a balance for quite a while. Just about the only things we haven’t had to endure are divorce and the terminal illness or loss of a family member. God-forbid any of those happen!! Seriously. I know The One in Charge thinks I’m a bad-ass already, as evidenced by the weight of what I’ve carried in the past. So I’d prefer not to be reminded again just yet. All good for now, and honestly…I could use a rest.

Did you hear that? (please say yes)

Fortunately, it seems that prayer has been heard, although I’m understandably hesitant to hold my breath, or sigh in relief just yet. I mean, you never know…right? However, I am happy to report….as we waded through the muddy water, and slid down slippery slopes into deep valleys at times…we also managed to simultaneously climb a mountain called FORGIVENESS. Mostly of those who betrayed us and of each other, but especially of ourselves. Oh and the view from atop, looking down at the distance we’ve traveled is a marvelous one indeed. The words “I FORGIVE YOU” have never felt so powerful and freeing as they do in my life today. I’ve said them before, but the sound of that phrase now is the equivalent of harp strings plucked by angels’ fingers. Oh, and the bottles of poison? They have been emptied, their contents replaced with the liquid of GRATITUDE. As the saying goes…“To err is human; to forgive is divine”. So so true. I’m proud of how much The Man and I have grown–as people–and the resilience we’ve had in the face of all sorts of things. The Beans will be stronger and smarter as the result of it, I hope.

And more appreciative.

And kinder.

But most of all, more….

FORGIVING.

 

Follow on Bloglovin

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, and Twitter

If I made you laugh, please click the banner below to vote for me on topmommyblogs.com!

There’s no need to be shy – you can vote for me once a day!

THANKS SO MUCH…Y’ALL ROCK!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

 

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

%d bloggers like this: