Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cards, sent. Letters, written.

So my new favorite pastime is imagining I am on the Ellen show. I watch old shows of hers and get a quickened pulse as I imagine walking out onto the stage with some pounding bicycle song in the background. I laugh to myself as I imagine this, but isn't this what the Law of Attraction is all about?

Yesterday I found a list of a whole bunch of supervising producers and senior producers and executive producers and sent two postcards to each one of them. I also sent e-mails to the executive producers and have been asking everyone I know to write to Ellen if they think putting me on the show is a good idea.

From the moment I started this ride idea I felt that I would get on the Ellen show to tell her, and her viewers, all about my ride. For some crazy reason I still think it will happen. Everyone I know thinks its a great idea.

"She'd LOVE you!"

"You two would hit it off!"

"That's a PERFECT idea!"

And the more they say these sorts of things, the more I persist and allow myself to do things like writing and sending 30 postcards to people I don't even know, introducing myself and saying that I would like to be on her show.

WHY do I want to be on her show?

Well, the main reason is so that more people hear about those subtle early warning signs for ovarian cancer:
abdominal pain,
feeling full quickly
feeling the need to pee more than normal
AND - most of all
having something be wrong for more than a couple of weeks.

Early detection can be a life saver.

But also I want to be the very visible symbol of the story of survivorship. When I was sick it helped me a LOT to meet someone who was out there ahead of me, surviving longer than I had. 20+ years is a long time to be a survivor in this club and I want people to know that there is hope.

(Okay, and I want to meet her.)

So if you want, send something to her. Tell her how much she would like me! And then get ready! It WILL be fun to be on her show. Except today I started wondering if they would make me wear a lot of makeup.


Sunday, August 16, 2009


So, once again I find myself getting ramped up about the idea of appearing on Ellen, the Ellen DeGeneres show. I had this as a goal all during the ride, and before it too. The idea faded away as it became clear to me that I was not getting her attention. But now it comes up again because September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month and, well, this ride was largely about that and so, um, I'm going to give it another go.

Thinking about talking with her about my bike ride is, I admit, a diversion for me too. Work is hard. Things are hard. Thinking about talking with her is easy. In my imagination it is fun. And good. And I want to. I want things to be easy. I want to go tell her about my bike ride.

In the course of this week I am going to be putting together some packets of photographs and links to my video and some words and some ideas and I'm going to send them in. I'm also going to write to her and to everyone affiliated with her show. And if this sounds like a good idea to you too, well, I'd love it if you would go on her website and write to her telling why you think I would be a good guest. Her show starts up again pretty soon after her summer hiatus so the time is right.

My video is getting increasing attention. If you haven't seen it, please do take a minute to watch. Here's the link.


One really nice omen is that I have seen the Great Blue Heron almost every day recently. I say THE rather than "A" because this one is at the lake where I walk Tye. Tye loves lunging toward the graceful bird, scaring it and making it take off. I never see it until Tye does her lunge. But then I see it for the entire duration of my walk. It guides me, soothes me, beckons. This bird has always been a sign holder for me, a "it's all going to be fine" messenger. I need that comfort and so it's nice to see it. Tye doesn't need any comforting but she really likes the acrobatics. Sigh.

Anyway - if you're so moved, thanks for jotting the Ellen show a note.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Calm now

After the whirlwind of this past weekend things are feeling much more manageable. I've found a new fellow to work in the kitchen so my days of EARLY mornings are now numbered. I have liked being in the kitchen. I like kitchen clothing. I like playing kitchen dress up. I even bought new clogs since my old ones have a hole in them. And I like the early quiet. The turning on of the ovens. The glance at the day's list, the scan of what is left after yesterday's sales. I like going into the walk-in and seeing what's there. I like talking with the farmers and I like carrying in their boxes of picked-that-day produce. I like making food. I like this.

I have been almost keeping up with my own job too, curiously enough. It's not really sustainable for me in the long run, doing both jobs, but for now it's okay. Still fun. A spark of new in returning to the old place.

Tomorrow we have a dinner with some of our local farmers. I'm jazzed about it. I'm thrilled to introduce the guests to the farmers. The farmers to our guests. Both are my friends. It's like introducing one set of friends to another. And the farmers are excited, as are the guests. I want this to become a big thing. Sold out. Waiting lists. That's on my radar screen.

And I'm beginning to find the energy to imagine the "NOW what?" of this bike ride. I think it's a book. I want to put in parts of my trip log. I want to expand some of the days' entries to make them stand alone chapters. And I want to interview some people who inspire me. I'm compiling a list.

But right now I'm TIRED. So off to bed it is for me.

I'll say more soon.
For now -

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Nighttime now. Cicadas are singing away. Pup is sleeping. Cat is carousing. All is right with the night's life.

Today I served food to 420 people. Yesterday, 375. Big numbers. Big work. Pretty big fun. I worked hard and then dragged myself home, changed chef's clothing for nap clothing and crashed out. It was one of those all out, complete loss of consciousness, naps. I woke up dazed after an hour, took the pup out for a walk, stumbled around with her as she sniffed and poked and explored.

Then we went to hear some music at our downtown Saturday night music scene. I bumped into a number of people who all said, "Where's your fiddle?" My fiddle, I told them, was at home. It IS out of its storage spot. I HAVE been playing it. True, I only recently started playing it again. But I AM playing.

Similarly, when I was at Penland today doing that big party, I saw some glassblower friends. "How's glass?" I heard. Glass, I answered, is off the list for the moment. It's too hot. No one's studio is open right now. And I'm fully engaged at work. I'll get back to glass. Just not right this second.

And so, when I think of riding, and I hear, "How's the bike? How's your weekly riding going? How many miles are you riding these days?" I try to say, well, I am not riding a lot right now. My body is still sore. I need a bit of a break. And I also am, as I said, fully engaged in my kitchen. I'll get back on the bike. Just not right now.

So it goes. Off and on with the fiddle. Off and on with the glass. Off and on with the bike.

There IS time for it all. Maybe just not all of it all the time.

Right now it is time for bed.

I'll be in touch.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Video fever

My friend John came in for lunch today. John has an iPhone. And he is the one who made the video of my ride. He is a photographer. And he is the proud designer of an iPhone "app" which will tell anyone what kind of light to expect. I think anywhere in the world. He might, say, be flying to San Diego to shoot a project for someone but he wants to know about the angle of the sun at a specific time of day on a specific date. Well, he created a program to figure that out. (I think I have this right.)

Well ANYWAY, today he came in and I saw him as he was standing in line and he showed me that he has my Live. Love. Bike. video on his iPhone. I immediately grabbed it out of his hands and went prancing through the kitchen, showing it off. (I'm very pleased with this video. It feels like I'm bragging about my kid who just hit a home run or something. I forget that it is ME. And it's not really bragging about myself. I just love the Jason Mraz song. I love looking at the shadow of the biker (me) riding across the United States. I just love the video.)

Later I was supposed to go across the street to our Wednesday afternoon market to do some cooking demonstrating. But just when I was supposed to go, the skies opened up and it POURED. The demo, I decided, needed to be postponed.

It has been an odd week for me. I fired my chef. Caught him doing things he should not have been doing. He was a friend and it hurt. The whole thing hurt. And the other part is that that meant that I had to step up and get my cooking clothes on again and had to pull out my knife and get busy. As it turns out, I'm having an okay time - after getting over the hurt. I do LIKE cooking, after all. And it has been some time since I've been back in my kitchen for more than a few minutes, or hours. I'm working on a couple of new ways of doing some recipes and in the middle of the afternoon Martha looked up from her work area and said, "Are you having fun in your little laboratory?"

And I realized I was.

Funny about all this.

I came home to rest a little bit and arrived to find a deep pool of water in front of my downstairs area. So now I'm soaked because I got my red boots on and bailed out all the water so it would not run into the basement. And it's been awhile since I've been soaked by the rain and right now I'm enjoying being wet.

And being the cook.

And having this life. Even if I get hurt here and there.

Tomorrow I am speaking to a group of retirees. I'm the featured speaker. "You ARE the entertainment!" the hostess told me when I inquired about the program. Eeps! More talking about this wonderful trip and another chance to show my video.

And a day of cooking will precede all that.

Off to it I go.

I'll be in touch soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm on You Tube!

I've written a LOT of letters to Jason Mraz and I finally got a response from someone in some PR firm that represents him. They said I could put my video up on You Tube and it's now up!

Go me!

(Actually, I'm not sure if you can see it or find it (go ahead and try - I'm curious.)

It's listed under Live. Love. Bike. Of course, I just put it up here on this blog so you can easily scroll down one post and can find it and can see it (I think) right here. But I feel very smart - getting the video done and now posted on You Tube. It's kind of a rush, to be honest.

Things have felt kind of rough lately. For one thing, my left hip has really been bothering me. I'm trying to make it stop hurting and have been to my chiropractor and to my Pilates teacher and to my rolfer. Right now it's REALLY sore but I had to work today in my kitchen which involves picking things up and twisting and turning and standing for a long time. I hope it will all calm down. Right now it feels fiery and not good.

For comfort and inspiration these days I've been reading the blog of a woman who is rowing across the Pacific Ocean. Right now. Today. She already rowed across the Atlantic and already rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii. Now she is trying to row halfway to Australia. She'll finish the trip later on. Her name is Roz Savage and you can find her by googling her name. I'm finding her posts compelling and uplifting.

Today she was writing about taking a long view of things. From a close view, things seem very hard to her, like she is going nowhere and is just going in circles - maybe. Really she has rowed over 2000 miles and has been rowing for 68 days. She's made a huge amount of progress.

I've had a couple of extremely difficult days at work. I just discovered that one of my employees did a very bad thing and so I am now back in the trenches, doing the job of someone I trusted. I feel terrible, betrayed, hurt, sad, angry. Pissed off that so little consideration of me and of everyone else who works at my place was taken. And I'm worried about how I'm going to get through this latest situation. It feels impossible.

And I need to remember that it is not impossible, that I have handled much worse, that I can figure this one out, that I HAVE made a huge amount of progress and that this is merely an example of a stupid thing done by a thoughtless person. I need to remember that I have gone many miles on my adventures and there have been many days of peace and calm and there will be many more.

Roz's words today helped me pull out of a very dark place. I hope to get her to come to Asheville sometime. She's now saying she will. (She called me the Eco Champ of the day the other day for saying that I am going to stop selling water in bad plastic bottles.) She's my hero.

Anyway, see if you can see that video and pass it on if you like. I'm happy its there. I'm happy to remind myself that I did this big bike ride. And I'm energized and renewed by reading and thinking about Roz and hers.

For now -