FORGET CHEZ PANISE I’M AT CHEZ NANCE

I’ve been home about a week and along with lots of love from my little family this is what Chef Nan has been doing…it’s unreal! Everyday is like a journey to raw and organic spas around the world. On my layover in Miami coming back, Justin’s mom Denise took me to the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm. It was amazing, but this, its kind of crazy. I could get seriously used to this.

Breakfast – Buckwheat Cereal with Organic Blueberries and Strawberries, Ground Flax Seeds, Coconut oil, Kifer and lotsa love.

Lunch – Organic Watercress, Spinach, Arugula and mixed greens with sunflower sprouts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, avocado, flax seeds, TURMERIC, green apples

Dinner – Organic Dahl and Forbidden Black Rice with lots of fresh ginger and turmeric with cilantro, lime and coconut on top. Some organic zucchini in the bg.

Unreal! I am blessed. Love you all, Mohawk Warrior (still sporting it)

Lance’s Homecoming

Lance’s return was nothing short of exciting. I was actually nervous! Like we were dating for the first time and how in the old days we had to travel from coast to coast and I would have that butterfly feeling in my stomach before seeing him. It honestly felt like that. Except this time around instead of spending all my energy on how I looked, I used it all up on making the house look great. Our garden looks amazing (thanks to Native Edge for choosing the plants, Krissy helping me get the plants, Justin for organizing about 15 volunteers to help plant, and Jen for the beer). The kids made a big welcome home heart sign with their Nana who also put lovely bouquets of lilac flowers around the house, and well, I did wear this new shirt to the airport which Lance noticed right away and asked where I got it (Target $15). The kids were so excited, they were hiding behind a post at the airport where we went as far as we could to meet him. They were giddy and giggling and basically ecstatic. When we saw him coming (we saw him before he saw us), I swear he looked like a rock star. Okay, I confess, I’ve always had a thing for rock stars. Lance had a furry face…goatee as bushy as can be (he hadn’t shaved in a month), mohawk, 3 necklaces on, his cute blue fearless shirt on, sunglasses, skinny (the rock star look for sure). I thought he was the one who was going to cry but no it was me that had tears in my eyes as I watched the kids run up to him and hug him endlessly. 

The kitchen has been ramping up again. My fridge is stuffed to the gills with vegetables. I’ve got flats of wheat grass growing, watercress in flower vases, turmeric, ginger, flax seeds, chia seeds is added to EVERYTHING. Blueberries coming out of our ears. Green tea up the ying yang. Chard, kale, spinach, arugula, romaine, lovage, cilantro, parsley is all growing in the backyard. Homemade kifer and yogurt daily. It’s a full on hippy house over here.

I did have a wild (literally wild) experience while Lance was away. I bought a bench for our front yard for Lance and I to sit on this summer while he has his wheatgrass/veggie juice and I sip my vodka/tonic and I was sitting on it and noticed a mound of mulch and Oliver (my dog) sniffing around. Turned out it was a half eaten raccoon and after my neighbor Ben removed the raccoon (thanks Ben), I called the wild life department, only to learn that Mtn. Lions are the only animals to “cache” (bury) their prey (so they can come back for more) and to never EVER remove it because the Mtn. Lion might be watching. They remove them with two guys, one holding a shot gun! So thanks for risking your life for me Ben. I would have felt horrible if you had missed that fishing trip.

Lance is back at work, and we are trying to figure out how to balance all the things we have learned over the past 4 months. How we incorporate it all, how we bring all these things into our lives but still keep life simple. It’s a challenge for sure and on that note, I wanted to thank all of you for so respectfully keeping your distance this past week as Lance eases back into life in Boulder. The phone hardly rang, there was no unexpected visitors and I am just so grateful for all of you and how understanding and gracious you all have been. Our life has been as quiet and cozy and hibernating as all this rain makes one want to be. I am sure Lance will be reaching out soon.

I also wanted to clarify one thing in case I have been misleading. I am not always this loving, doting wife, in case I have portrayed myself that way. I do get annoyed sometimes and of course in my opinion rightfully so ;)) So in case this has seemed like a flawless love story, we have our flaws. We are human. I don’t want people thinking I’m June Cleaver over here. I give Lance the big stare down when he doesn’t eat his vegetables. It goes without saying, he is my greatest love (along with my kids) but not without a few annoyances here and there.
Love,
Nancy

Meanwhile back in Boulder….

I don’t have anything profound and spiritual to say except to report back on life in Boulder since Lance went to Brazil but first a few things about Lance. I think everyone has figured out by now (if they didn’t already know) that Lance has always been the kind of guy who does random acts of kindness and from the beginning as people started posting, I was constantly reminded, “oh yeah, i remember when Lance did this or that for that person.” Then someone reminded me how Lance on one freezing weekend in the middle of winter a couple years ago, spent his entire weekend building a ramp for a woman in a wheelchair that he had never met. When I reminded him of that, he had completely forgotten but this is and has always been Lance. 

Lance and I tried not to speak too much when he first went to Brazil. I just wanted him to be submerged into his experience, to get the most out of it with no distractions, not even me. In fact, I strongly urged him not to take his newly gifted IPAD with him. (He didn’t). We decided we were going to write letters to each other. Something about the old fashioned way of communicating seemed so right and frankly kind of romantic. So i got a 4 page letter from Lance hand delivered to me by my sister when we met up in California. (The kids and I went to CA last week).  Anyway, we broke down last weekend (exactly 2 weeks since he has been away) and skyped. First time I have ever even skyped. Is there always a delay? Amelie kept making faces and was fascinated by the whole thing (it reminded me of the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy….a film about a Coke bottle that is dropped from the sky that becomes this fascinating and coveted object by everyone in a small African village) because we were all acting so strange like this was so foreign to us..because frankly it was!

What I have to report about Lance is he sounds and looks so healthy. I feel like I am getting back a husband that is the purest authentic form of himself and my sister reported that he was just glowing down there. She also said everyone loves him…surprise. surprise. She told me that one day they were walking through the town and he was wearing his white man dress (the galabeya!) with a big wide brimmed hat and someone walked by and said, “Nice outfit.”

So on the homefront since Lance left, in a nutshell:

First week: hard

Second week: in CA with Amelie and Zach for my Dad’s 80th bday.

Third week: My friends from afar have descended on Boulder and have been taking care of me. My childhood friend Colleen (Cook) flew back with me from CA. Then my friend Amy from my NY days came to visit and then next week, another friend from NY, Kate who I met in Paris when we were 19 is coming. In fact when Lance and I decided he was going to stay a week longer, I texted her and said, “I know this is last minute but do you want to come here next week?” and she texted back 15 minutes later and said, “Done! I’m coming!” I am so blessed with so many caring and loving friends who have been watching out for me constantly.

Zach and Amelie said to me tonight, “When Daddy comes home it’s going to be the best day of my life.” They have missed Lance A LOT.  We cross off the days on the calendar. In fact, when we got back from CA, they went straight for the calendar and were so excited to cross 6 days off! I think about how different their childhood is from mine. When I was little, my parents left every year for about a month. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration but I do know when I was 2 they went to Africa for a month (and we never even talked to them once). Mom, I am not traumatized by this at all, I swear, I promise. In fact, I kind of liked it because the people who took care of us took us to McDonalds. My kids have not been that lucky. We have kept to our little routine, including dinner as a family sans the main character, bedtime as usual etc..While I wouldn’t exactly say I am “relaxing” cause I still have a list a mile long of things to do, I have been offered all kinds of TLC, from facials, to haircuts, to pedicures, to Tibetan singing bowls, to Reiki, to Jin shin Jyutsu, to massages, to dinner, to some things I am probably blanking on right now. I am grateful to all of you who have been pampering me.

So now I really am counting down the days until Lance gets home. I am trying to have a few surprises up my sleeve. I am dreaming of his return. I am praying for his healing. I am hopeful.

Love, Nancy

From Lance in Brazil…

Hi Everyone,
I am doing great. Needing to be here so much that with some urging from Nan I´m staying an extra week in my `Spiritual Frying Pan` south of the equator.

I´ve realized down here that I talk way too much. I read one of the best books of my life, Nan sent me down here with `Kitchen Table Wisdom`by Rachel Remen (thanks to Sheeri). And I thought it was a food book! Ha!

Rachel says that judgement can stifle our life force and judgement does not only take the form of criticism but also…Approval. “When we approve of people we sit in judgement of them as much as when we criticize.”

I´ve realized that I´ve sought approval all my life. From my siblings, bullies and popular kids in high school, work peers, girls, etc. Hence my blabber mouth.  People like me down here for who I am not what I am. There is a great prayer here, I´ll paraphrase. Maybe you´ve heard it:

The Invitation

It doesnt interest me what you do for a living
I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow
If you have been opened by life´s betrayals
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of future pain

It doesnt interest me where you live or how much money you have
I want to know if you can sit with pain. Mine and yours.
Without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

It doesnt interest me who you know or how you came to be here
I want to know if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
And not betray your own soul

It doesnt interest me where or what or with whom you have studied
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
And if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when its not pretty every day.

What´s far more important to me here is not what´s happening on a day to day basis in the 3rd dimension of our physical reality, (the horizontal plane) but what is happening on a deeper level (vertically), how I respond to situations I don´t like, that I do like, frustrations, fears, all of that. And this started in Boulder with all of you. Your outpouring of help and thoughts and prayers really shook me to the core. “Wait why are all these people being so nice to me? I didn´t do anything to deserve this,” kept running through my head. Then I put my head aside and started leading with my heart for what felt like the first time in my life.

Thomas Keating says, `We seek relationship with the Ultimate Reality (God, Buddha, Allah, Universal River of Wisdom, whatever) through listening to the first language: silence.  Thomas Cahill also said this in The Gift of the Jews. He says in silence you can here the `still small voice`of God. So I spend most of my days here in meditation with hundreds of other people. Three hours straight no getting up, then lunch and three more hours non stop till dinner. Its really hard but equally fulfilling. Nan and I did a week long sitting retreat years ago and it helped wrap my mind around the process, but my butt and back hurt a lot.

So many disciplines push meditation: Hindu, Yoga, TM, Buddhism, Shintu, Judiasm, Christianity to find the ´seat of your soul.`

So that´s some of what I´m doing, besides desperately missing my beautiful family. I realize I jumped into the 3rd dimension a little bit here and there. Oh well I am human.

Everyone here is so amazing, I wish I could explain it in words. I saw a Toucan in a tree near my pousada. Just like Froot Loops. His beak was so big I couldn´t believe he could fly, but he did. Beautiful red and yellow parrots are flying always overhead in pairs. I think of Nan and I everytime I see them. They mate for life and never leave each others side. There is profound meaning in everything here for me. I wonder if it will continue when I come home. I hope so.

I love you all and am endlessly grateful for everything you´ve done for me and my family.

Big Hugs, Mohawk Warrior