My Whim is Law

…where a single parent in Portland still believes that wishing will make it so…

Betsy’s stuffed zucchini canoes

I received the baseball-bat zucchini below as a ‘gift’ from a co-worker, who is inundated with zucchini these days. I took it with me to #MrWhimGrin’s house last weekend and made the casserole below.

Then, my friend @StephStricklen talked about the 3 ‘toddler-sized’ zucchini she’d been gifted with last night on Twitter. I sent her my recipe in 140c bursts, but thought it needed deeper notarization – a point that #MrWhimGrin agreed with, as both he and his friends (who got the other canoe we made Saturday night) want the recipe as well!

As is usual for me, I’m not going to get proportions accurate here. Go with what sounds good to you! I also believe this was originally inspired by a recipe from one of the Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood cookbooks – which means it would have been vegetarian & probably contained rice, bread cubes/crumbs or other stuff. Finally – yes, it has cheese in it (which will make the Paleo people cry a little inside, I’m sure). Don’t like cheese? Don’t use it then…


One huge zucchini (mine was rather phallic-like, as you can see).The ingredients below made 2 canoes from the right half of said zucchini – use that as a reference when you look at the proportions below.

My little baseball bat!
Continue reading

Posted in Chef Whims | Leave a comment

“Hey, lady? I almost killed your kid yesterday…”

The little boy had to be 5 years old. Maybe 6.

He was clearly all excited about riding his ‘big boy’ bicycle. He had his helmet on, and a big ear-splitting grin on his face.

I remember seeing that grin – that helmet – as he went rocketing down his driveway and out into the road in front of me.

Missing my car by, oh, a foot. Maybe two.

I slammed on my brakes (easy to do – I was only going maybe 20 mph on SE Stark at the time). Watched as he made it to the other side of the road, so very proud of himself for going as fast as he was going. Without! Falling! Over!

And then I sat there, shaking uncontrollably for the next few minutes.

His mom? (Or so I presume, anyway.) Came trotting along – but she was a good 20-30 feet away. Started calling to him to stay where he was, up on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Flashed an apologetic grin or two at me, as I sat there in shock with my hands over my mouth.

(Did I mention that this wasn’t a quiet residential side street? Uh, no – Stark is one of several different east-west arteries through NE/SE Portland, in fact. There were all kinds of people on this road trying to get across town, and it was 5:30 pm – still rush hour.)

I finally thought to glance into my rear view mirror, to see that cars were lined up behind me (wondering what was up, I’m sure). Thought about pulling over to talk to the child’s mother – but I wasn’t yet in control enough of myself to have a rational conversation.

So – after making sure that the child was staying put – I inched off down the road towards my own house. Breathing deeply, trying to prevent the hysterical reaction I could feel bubbling beneath the surface, scanning every single side street, every single driveway.

What could I have said to her, anyway?

“Lady, I almost killed your kid. Where the FUCK were you?”


“At least he had a helmet on – but maybe you should have taken him to the sidewalk right across the street to practice riding (as opposed to the secluded 45-degree slanted driveway that serves only as an accelerant into traffic)?”

So instead, I went home and had a quiet nervous breakdown for 10 minutes.

24 hours later, I still shake every time I think about it.

I have the feeling I’ll have that reaction for the rest of my life.

Posted in Boss Lady | 2 Comments

Life is: Messy. I am: OK with that. Who knew?

Sure, friends know that there’s all kinds of Stuff going on with me right now.

And yes, I’ve talked about some level of it on this blog, or on Twitter.

(Some might say in a completely TMI way, but hey – it’s what I apparently do…)

But that’s still not the whole story.

  • In one window? I’m getting medical updates, hearing how well the DVD I sent was received & tentatively planning a trip back to Michigan to see my father, probably for the last time.
  • On the other screen? Am scrambling to stay ahead of a crazy-busy schedule at the office. Or manage an equally busy household, which included a birthday celebration for my now-19-year old son (yes, REALLY. I am: OLD) recently, along with regular #MomTaxi runs for both kids.
  • The next page over? Am trying to cram in physical therapy appointments, do my PT exercises much more regularly & develop a new #whimstroll habit in place of those former #whimstomps. (Yes, I am a multitasking mofo…)
  • And unexpectedly, persistently right here in front of me? In a ‘zooming in from out of the blue’ kind of way?

Well, there’s this guy. Let’s call him #MrWhimGrin for now. (No, he’s not the original inspiration for this post – but he’s definitely the much-improved 2.0 model, he is…)

When I’ve gotten some bad news about my dad? I get a message that says “get yourself home, take care of your kids, and then get your ass over here already, girl. I’m there for you.”

My list of PT exercises? There’s another copy posted on his fridge – and he’s going to make sure I do them when I’m there.

There are early AM wake-up phone calls, or calls to report that I’ve arrived home safely at the end of the night. Plans for dancing tonight to blow off some much-needed steam. A trip to the beach this weekend. A new walking stick for me so we can do more #whimstrolls through the nature preserve near his place. Lots of conversations about how best to introduce him to both kids.

And so much love waiting there for me. In between, around, behind and/or underneath everything else I’m juggling.

This really shouldn’t be a priority of mine right now. There are so very many reasons why this shouldn’t be working for either one of us – on paper, anyway. But I also know these three things:

  1. Life is messy
  2. Life is also short
  3. Don’t let the messiness stop you. Don’t live in fear.

So I’m not. He’s not. Or as he put it: “Already kindred. Where do we go from here?”

I guess we’ll find out, won’t we…?

Posted in Oversharing | 2 Comments

Green light to get back on the horse!

Saw my new physical therapist yesterday to more thoroughly evaluate the issues I’ve been having post-auto-accident.

It was mostly good news, coupled with exactly what I’d expected (AKA, the ‘not so good news’ part).

He likes the exercises I’ve been doing already to deal with what’s been going on (the nightly yoga + foam rolling work, for example), says I can resume #whimstrolls in a careful way – plus I can go back to the gym & pick up a weight or two, hooray! All in all, I’m instinctively on the right track already, he says. Of course, he gave me a few additional exercises to add to the nightly yoga routine every night to focus in on the problems he was able to verify for himself.

However, he also said that what’s going on is real, needs to be dealt with in a measured way, and is most definitely related to the accident – so while #whimstrolls are fine, #whimstomps are not. Oh, and he verified that my left leg is, in fact, shorter than the right leg. (Yep, I have the new, improved heel lift in my shoe. Yes, it seems to be helping some, but it’s too soon to definitively tell…)

Earlier, I said this:

Feel free to kick my ass if I’ve not been to the gym again (or, alternately, talking about doing early AM squats on Twitter at home) by mid-July, though – pretty please?

I’m getting started again this weekend – so am opening up the invitation to kick my ass. Got it? Good!

Now use it if warranted, please…

Posted in Boss Lady | Leave a comment

Wallowing hip-deep in the toxicity again…

…and it’s mostly my own damned fault.

(I wish I could be one of those bloggers who only talks about the good stuff & pretends that the bad stuff doesn’t exist in a ‘la la la la LA’ kind of way – but I’m not wired that way. Or else I like revealing my own flaws too much. Go figure…)

Mostly, but not entirely. The ‘hip-deep’ part? It’s due to the ever-present hip/back pain that’s the side effect of this pleasant event.

The toxicity? Yeah, that’s squarely on me. Let’s just say that I’m trying to self-medicate the pain with one too many nights out; am falling back on some old patterns that it’s hard to shake loose of. And yeah – I’m definitely doing the ‘look at the bright & shiny objects on the side of the road’ instead of dealing with the gritty truths that are sitting right in front of me begging me to just deal with them already.

Why don’t I? (Shrug) Don’t wanna right now. Wanna make something of it?

(Insert your own particular flavor of bratty three – or thirteen – year old behavior here instead if you wanna. I’ll be waiting for you to join me ———-> right over here)

And why have I reverted to a woman who lets a mostly-minor car accident totally knock me off my game? Or someone who will willingly put up with people who will happily walk all over her – and then ask for ‘more, please’? Or the grammar & spelling nazi who just used the word ‘wanna’ three times in a row?

Well, that’s where the ‘wallow’ part comes in.

See, it’s not the auto accident (or the resulting injury) that’s completely knocked me for a loop. It’s not the guys I’ve been toying with – not really.

Instead, it’s what’s now happening to the first man I ever fell in love with. The first man I walked away from. Continue reading

Posted in I'm *Serious* Here | Comments Off
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