Writing Portfolio, Travel Stories & Other Diversions

Month: November 2013

The Good Mommies Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters by Nonnie Jules

The Good Mommy On Everything Kids!

Hi Karen, and thanks so much for having me over today at Musingly.  It’s simply beautiful here!  I’d also like to thank all of your guests for stopping by to join us.

Let me get the small stuff out of the way first.  My name is Nonnie Jules and I am the lucky mom to two of the sweetest, kindest, loveable daughters in the whole world.  I am married to one wonderfully supportive DH, and grandmother to many 4 legged creatures.  We live in Louisiana, not the big, fun part that Karen’s always tweeting about, but one of the little not so busy parts (Shreveport).  It’s very peaceful and quiet here, which is why I love it so much.

I began writing at a very young age although I became a published author just this year, May 7, 2013.  After having  penned that book, along with all of the wonderful people that I’ve met via social media, I have often sat back and wondered “Why didn’t I start writing to publish sooner?”  We may never know the real answer to that question, but I will offer this bit, I’m sure Amazon had a lot to do with many of us long-time-writers finally getting published.

 My first book was appropriately entitled “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS”, 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!  I had such fun writing this guide and I did it in only 17 days.  Most have asked “how” I could write a book in only 17 days, and some have even asked “How could you write such a GOOD book in only 17 days?” (that’s the question I like to point out most).  Well, I wrote about what I knew.  I didn’t have to do much research at all, because I had lived that guide, I had taught that guide and from those teachings came two (almost) perfect daughters.

The Good Mommies Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters by Nonnie Jules

The Good Mommies Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters by Nonnie Jules 

In the book trailer to “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE… I say, “I looked around the world and what I saw, I knew I didn’t want my daughters to become.” I had seen such poor examples of parenting in girls before I had children, that I actually prayed GOD would bless me with daughters.  And he did.  I took that blessing very seriously and vowed that I would make my job as MOMMY the most important position that I had ever held my entire life.  Nothing was more important to me than raising children that everyone would notice, admire and would stand in awe of after having been in their presence for only a few short minutes.  So many times children are noticed because of the bad things they do and the poor choices they make, my two stand out for:  being kind, respectful, mannerable, loving and as one dad put it a little while ago at my teenagers birthday party, he said  “I just love her because she makes everyone around her want to be better!”  Proud Mommy?  Yes, that would be me. I gladly exclaim daily “Yes, those two are mine!”

Bullying, online and off has reached epidemic proportions.  I mean, our children are literally dying because of it.  It’s time that we stop talking about it, and really “be about it”.  Get up and actually DO SOMETHING!  A lot of folks say “My children are grown, that doesn’t apply to me”, or “I don’t have any kids, so why should I get involved?”  These attitudes make me fume.  Really they do.  Because these very people are close-minded if they think this is not their problem simply because their kids are grown OR because they have none.  Look at it another way members of the two categories I just mentioned:  What if one day your GROWN children produce children?  You become a grandparent and your beautiful, sweet grandchild is being harassed and bullied and hit at school.  Then would it be your problem?  And OK, you there, yes you, the child-less Parent, what if one day you DO become a parent or you have nieces and nephews that you love more than life itself, and they’re being bullied.  Then would it be your problem?  The goal should be to stop this epidemic from growing right now!  Why wait?  If you stand up and do your part right now, when you become a grandparent or a new parent or auntie/uncle to kids you love as your own, then the problem is gone.  Your kids are safe.  The kids of the world have been taught better, raised better, LOVED BETTER and there is no need for anyone to bully.    We must act now!  THIS PROBLEM BELONGS TO US ALL, NOT JUST ONE. Continued…

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Refreshing bourbon Buck at 1760

No Moldy Pillows: A Night in San Francisco

My husband and I were looking forward to our San Francisco date night – an early  celebration of my birthday — for a couple of weeks. Focused around my obsession with 1760, a new hot dining spot Polk Street, we wangled a 7:45 dinner reservation, nabbed an inexpensive Union Street hotel, and even scouted out a couple of street fairs featuring a plethora of local SF bands.

 As middle-agers with obligations, there are logistics in getting away from home – even for one night. Accordingly…

..the dog went to the kennel,

I packed an overnight bag,

made an egg-white omelet, and then….

…my dear Bob wobbled down the stairs in the throes of a very sore throat.

After he finished sipping a large mug of hot coffee and attempted to clear stubborn sinuses under a warm shower, he bravely decided to go forward with the Saturday night plans.

After a quick stop at the beauty store (where I got them to glue some fuzzy eyelashes on correctly) we headed straight for the Mission District, a thriving neighborhood that bustled intriguingly on a bright October afternoon. On Valencia Street we stumbled upon Bar Tartine. The bistro had been on my list of “to-dos” for a while, but I assumed we’d just grab a quick taco at the street fair. However, I was hungry, and Bar Tartine’s menu looked friendly and fun. The thoughtful hostess got us in quickly at the tail end of their Saturday brunch — and we were not disappointed.

Over drinks Bob recalls that, during the 1980s, he had success finding cheap apartments in the Mission. This luck scoring great living spaces was one of his prime attractions to San Francisco, and was in stark contract to his experience in Chicago, where, in spite of being a native, he couldn’t quite get launched.

And here we were, in a fancy lunch spot ordering a beet Mimosa and a Prickly Pear punch cocktail.

Well, Bob ordered the latter. My husband is one of the only people I know who picks a cocktail off a menu even when he does not recognize any of the multi-syllable ingredients. He sees the word “punch” and thinks a sweet pear-flavored party drink.  Not so with this prickly pear concoction. As I am quickly drinking my bright, pink, refreshing Mimosa, he grimaces after one gulp of his pale orange brew:

“Tastes like a moldy pillow that’s been in a basement for six months.”

The Bar at Bar Tartine San Francisco

The Bar at Bar Tartine
San Francisco

Because of his cold, and his vivid description, I did not try The Moldy Pillow cocktail—however, as I glanced over Bob’s shoulder, towards the bar, I saw a waitress toss the very same drink down the bar sink.

Nevertheless, Bar Tartine was wonderfully delicious in a welcoming spot in the heart of the Mission.  We split the Everything Sandwich, a hearty two-hander on freshly baked and toasted bread filled with lox, fancy cream cheese (quark), crisp lettuce, capers, fresh tomato and herbs.

Our tiny hotel was on Union Street not far from Van Ness Avenue, a great location for a low-key Russian Hill evening. Free parking in San Francisco is like manna from heaven, and $170 per night price tag is below average. So, although the hotel décor was shabby, and our wall heater inoperable, we rather liked the Pacific Heights Inn for its comfy bed, great location, and generous parking policy. Once in a safe spot in the Inn’s parking lot, our car stayed put until our ride home the next day!

Putting our feet up for a short respite, Bob quietly watches the World Series game while I read my novel about a pirate queen who kidnaps a gourmet chef.  Soon its time to walk the half-mile to 1760 Polk street, passing busy bars filled with baseball fans and Halloween revelers.

1760 has perfect modern ambiance with low-level lighting, plenty of brushed steel and well placed glass and mirrors. The restaurant is busy with a charming intimacy that comes from smooth operations and confident staff. The timing of the entire evening was impeccable, and our lovely Isabella had no trace of the San Francisco over cool wait attitude. She cared as did her fellow servers and bus-people.

1760 subscribes to the small (shared) plate model, and Isabella was quite clear explaining which were the larger and which were the smaller, appetizer-like plates on the menu. After ordering two great cocktails (Bob sanely ordered a mango/rum drink and I had chose the wonderful bourbon-based buck), we opted for two small plates, two large plates and one dessert. Soon an amuse bouche of celery topped with a pungent bleu cheese arrived and was quickly gobbled up.

Our favorite dish was next: Dungeness crab “siracha.” This artful salad of very fresh crab, tiny dots of siracha around the plate, with nuances of celery and yuzu fruit is a perfect starter, so perfect we nearly re-ordered prior to dessert.  Next out (timing was perfect) was Crispy Octopus and Squash Ravioli and both were excellent.

Refreshing bourbon Buck at 1760

Refreshing bourbon Buck at 1760

 I had my second bourbon Buck.

Knowing we wanted to finish this lovely evening off with the right sweet, we went back to the menu for warm pears and goat cheese friseé salad alongside a Milk Chocolate Ganache plated with hickory ice cream, bourbon caramel, and marshmallow. We certainly had enough food but 1760’s sweet finale was a complimentary Brown Butter Sponge Cake, apple-bourbon gelato and cheesecake mousse birthday dessert.

Our evening finished up at The Royal Oak bar for a nightcap. The Addams Family Values movie was playing on the big screen TV, and all around the young locals were dressed up as pirates and Wookies. Even the Pope was there.

Bob & A Pope

Bob & A Pope

 Glad the festivities culminated a few days prior to my birthday: with an ill husband, a rushed work project going sour, and the age of 57 hard for me to grasp, the rest of my birthday week has felt quite like a Moldy Pillow.



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