So much beauty in the world: scene from the film American Beauty


I feel really beautiful today. My friend Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups told me I am beautiful and gave me an award to prove it. When Tanna received this award, she was modest and said she was not beautiful. She lied. She is gorgeous! If you don’t believe me, just go take a look at her blog and you can tell. She is smart, she is caring, she bakes a mean loaf of bread and she is beautiful to the core!

In order to accept this award, I have to tell you seven things about myself. Pull up a chair, get a snack, because I think this might get a little long:

I love red wine, I like the movie Sideways, I hate what the movie did to Santa Barbara’s wine country. Let me explain: I have been drinking local wine and following the local wine scene since the 80’s. In the old days, wine tasting was free. You tasted a good sample of what was available and they poured enough so you could really experience each wine (you needed a designated driver for this sort of experience). Later on as people began to discover wine tasting, the wineries began to charge a small fee for a souvenir glass. The small fee got up to about $5 or so. An outrage at the time, that was justified because the small handful of wineries were probably struggling to make a profit. In the beginning, they tried growing Pinot Noir. Except for a few pockets of acreage, it didn’t generally do well here. I remember at some point being told that it was being abandoned in favor of Syrah and Merlot. Fine with me, I love Syrah and Merlot.

Fast forward to 2004. The movie Sideways comes out. It’s like a bomb went off. Suddenly everyone wants to come here and recreate what they saw in the movie for themselves. My favorite winemaker who since the 80’s has made some of the most amazing red and white wines and an absolute stunning Port is featured heavily in the movie. We belong to the wine club and feel like we need an appointment to get in to our winery. The quality of the wines goes down, we cancel our membership. Nobody wants to sell Merlot, everyone wants to sell Pinot Noir (due to the main character in the movie commenting that Merlot was bad and Pinot Noir is good). Wineries seem to pop up like weeds. Everyone charges a minimum of $10 to wine taste, some ask up to $25.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the wine industry here. They are finally turning a profit and some amazing wine is being made here, but when I go wine tasting now… I can’t help but abuse the staff at the winery. I love to mention something controversial about the movie and watch the person pouring wine squirm. Why do they squirm? I suspect the real opinion about “the movie” is that they hate what has happened to the area too, but the politically correct answer is that the Sideways effect was wonderful. So, I am a sadist and I enjoy it… a lot. Especially when I have to pay $15 to try precisely 1 oz. tastes of a flight of insipid Pinot Noirs at a new winery who is growing nothing but Pinot Noir and they are growing it in the wrong place.

Side note: I thought I remembered the Pinot Noir thing wrong but was vindicated by the January issue of Sunset magazine: “There’s the rub: A wine is “discovered” by fans, gets planted in spades to chase demand, and loses credibility because it really shouldn’t have been planted in all those places”. They also interviewed Jeff Smith from Hourglass Blueline Vineyard in Napa Valley who had this to say: “Of course the true irony is that Miles’s Holy Grail wine (the bottle he chugs with a burger at the movie’s end) is Cheval Blanc, a Merlot-inspired Bordeaux! The fact that most people missed the irony highlights that we have a lot of educating to do.”

I have crazy hair and it’s not from drinking wine, it’s due to heredity. My hair has a life of it’s own. I have to buy gallons of conditioner just to make it look almost normal. It is five times as thick as a normal head of hair. It is curly. It used to be brunette, but it is starting to go gray which makes it look crazy because now that I don’t work, I’ve neglected to get it dyed back to it’s former color. It is long. The last time I saw my hairdresser, she shook her head and said, “I don’t know what I would do if I had hair like yours… I.. really…don’t.” Uh. Thanks. Just wait till she sees me now, lol! I’ll get her!

I have perfect teeth. I hadn’t been to a dentist in a long time. My new dentist was amazed by my teeth. He thinks they are the most beautiful teeth he has seen. I had a hereditary problem that caused issues with my gums. He sent me to an oral surgeon, the oral surgeon, loves my teeth and says they are perfect. Both dentists were amazed that there was not an orthodontist involved in their perfection.

If I were diagnosed with Celiac disease tomorrow, I would commit suicide by the next day. I think you already know this due to what I like to write about on this blog. To me, every meal is better with wheat. If I could live on pancakes, muffins, bread, pizza and pasta, I would. And then, I would have cake or pie for dessert.

Due to some health issues we had money issues and my Dad sold our car when I was around eight years old. He didn’t buy another car for years. As a consequence, I did not drive or acquire my first car until I was twenty three years old. We walked or took public transportation everywhere until then. I am not comfortable driving cars although I have loved every car I’ve owned. I just love them from the passenger seat. This poses a problem to everyone I know since I will usually be the last person to volunteer to drive and the first person to ask someone to drive me somewhere.

If I had a time machine, I would go back to a time somewhere between 1973 and 1990. I liked it there a lot.

Although I love pickles and I get extremely excited when I see them especially if they are homemade. I don’t really like sour foods so I can only eat a bite or two of them before I am completely overwhelmed. My sister loves pickles and can eat a whole jar. When she left home my Dad forgot who liked pickles and kept buying them and then wondering why I stopped eating them.

If you got this far, you now know that I am beautiful like a succulent or a sea creature. Thank you for being my beautiful reader (you are beautiful too!)

Now I get to single out 7 beautiful bloggers. The first rule of the beautiful blogger award was to talk about me. The second rule is to pass the award on. As usual, If I’ve tagged you, I want to let you know that you are under no obligation to treat this like a chain letter. If you don’t want to do this, I won’t care, I just want to let you know I think you are wonderful.

To my readers: I encourage you to click on these links. These seven blogs are where I have been spending a lot of time lately. These people are witty, smart, artistic, compassionate and altogether beautiful:

Stacy at Little Blue Hen: Vegetables are so beautiful when Stacey sees them through the eye of her camera. Go here to see what she is cooking and baking. Stay to discuss food related topics.

Peter at Cookblog: An artist, an omnivore and a wonderful writer. What a great combination. You’ll be drooling over pictures of the restaurant quality food, he served his family for dinner last night.

Tia at Buttercream Barbie: I don’t bake as often as I want to, so this is where I go to dream. Tia bakes constantly and I’m always amazed at how tiny she looks in her pictures. I gain five pounds just by looking at all of the wonderful treats.

A girl whose name I don’t know at Fatty Dumpling: Go to her about page before you start reading. This girl is the funniest writer I have ever encountered on a blog. I hope she ends up with a long and happy career in television and movies.

Jacqui at So Good, So Tasty: This blog is just beautiful. Jacqui is a graphic designer as well as a talented cook. Her blog has feng shui. Something about the colors and the design just make me feel so happy when I go there.

Beth at One Hundred Eggs:  Does anyone remember the blog called a bread a day? Beth is the remarkable woman who baked 365 loaves of bread last year. Now she has this new blog and it’s just so pretty. Great writing, healthy food and she somehow makes it more than ok that she is practicing her photography skills on her lunch every couple of days because the results are stunning.

Amy at Ohiofarmgirl’s Adventures in the Goodland:   A woman gets laid off from her job and rejoices because now she can pursue her dream of running a farm! Pure chaos from another talented writer.

I’ll be gone for a few days visiting my parents while my Mom has surgery. Please forgive me if I don’t respond to comments until I get back. My parents have the last home in the U.S. that does not have internet!



  1. April 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    that is so sweet of you. That little blurb you wrote about me totally made my day 🙂
    Thank you and I’ll be sure to check out your other favorite blogs right now. Take care.


  2. ohiofarmgirl said,

    April 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Seriously I’m shocked to my shoes… really, thank you. I put up some cuteness in your honor. I’m speechless so let me work on it…

  3. rb said,

    April 20, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    hey mimi
    you are beautiful!
    even if, unlike me, you never got in on the fun of that orthodontist chair.
    i’d go back to selected parts of 1973 to 1990 too- i wonder why…
    maybe a buddy o’ mine played a role in that

  4. April 21, 2010 at 5:31 am

    I love that you soaked in this opportunity to share with all of us some of the beauty inside of you… and then passed it on. I loved reading your mini essays. Very compelling…. especially with the music of the video playing in the background. Beautiful. Thoughtfulness is not so apparent as it was here today.

  5. drfugawe said,

    April 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Besides being beautiful, you are insightful, witty, and charming as well. And a damn good blogger and baker too.

  6. Peter said,

    April 21, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Thanks, Mimi- you’re very kind. The pictures in this post are particularly nice, especially the pot full of succulents.

  7. Jeanne said,

    April 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    You are beautiful, Mimi! And so are your photos, and everything that you bake and share with us. Thank you for introducing me to some wonderful new blogs!

  8. Joanne said,

    April 22, 2010 at 4:18 am

    I loved learning so much about you! You are definitely beautiful through and through.

    Good luck to your mom on her surgery!

  9. April 22, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Aiyah, thank you, Mimi, a thousand times over! I am blushing furiously, right down to my toes. I haven’t really thought of myself as funny before.

    And you are gorgeous as well, my dear ;] If your beauty can shine through your food, it shows through how you spit in the face of original recipes–they need to be perfected with the tweaks that my hands will provide! (You’d say)

    And I think that I would like your hair. I like big hair. I also like how you didn’t dye it. I wish my hair was poofy, but it’s as straight as a dry spaghetti noodle. And please call me Tina, ahah.

  10. April 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    My goodness Mimi, THANK YOU! Such wonderfully sweet things you say.
    Your 7 things are wonderful and show you beautiful! Your photos are gorgeous but the red chairs are my favorite!

  11. Mimi said,

    April 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for all of the kind words everyone!

    My Mom got through her surgery ok, she is still in a lot of pain but she’s doing pretty well, regardless. My Dad survived having me in his house again and I survived him and we still like each other. Altogether, I’d say it was a successful week!

  12. Jacqui said,

    April 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    You are so, so sweet! Thank you so much for mentioning my blog, and I loved reading this post and learning more about you. I really enjoyed looking at your other picks too! Here’s to happy cooking in the kitchen!

  13. lizbarrett said,

    April 28, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Well, hell, I feel more beautiful after visiting your blog! It’s really is beautiful, both aesthetically and literarily. It’s fun to read, as well. I will be back for more baking bits – I’m taking on French baguettes this weekend and can hardly wait! Thanks for the writing such a great blog. (Think I will also add you to my blogroll. 🙂

  14. Beth said,

    May 3, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Oh my goodness! How sweet! I feel awfully honored to be recognized in such a talented group, and by such a darling girl as yourself. I just love taking time to stop and think about all the beautiful things around us. Keep up the great blogging work!

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