Even Pest Control

I always expected to miss my Dad. I expected to miss his “dad jokes” and his subsequent full-bellied laughs. I expected to miss seeing his name pop up on my phone and hearing his voice on the other end. I expected to miss his gourmet cooking and the contented look he got as he sang along to Bob Dylan. I expected to miss how I felt when he’d put his arms around me, kiss my head and whisper “I love you, Kiddo.” And I really expected to miss his incomparable way with words, paired with his hearty, rhythmic voice. Somehow, amid all my other expectations, there are some things I never expected to miss; things like…pest control. Yes, I really miss my Dad’s ability to control pests.

This new way of missing my dad came to me just as I drifted off to sleep last night. I heard a faint, but unmistakeable, high-pitched buzzing. I flipped on the lights and set out on an extremely serious 30-minute mission to find the perpetrating mosquito — but my efforts were in vain. When I’d finally fallen back to sleep, I was more than a little annoyed to hear scratching and gnawing from every pet within in 10-foot radius (which was approximately 6 pets). Again, lights on, in fully-agitated-inspection-mode. FLEAS. Visible, numerous, hateful hoards of fleas. So, naturally, I began an immediate round of militant-style flea baths. 90-minutes and a mild-to-moderate case of scoliosis later, the sun was just peaking up in the East and I instinctively went to the kitchen to make some coffee. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I began to tear up a little when I saw a small army of ants marching single-file along the kitchen counter.

At the very moment I began making drastic considerations (such as shaving each pet bald and burning the house to the ground…just to name a few), a familiar, colorful paper-back book caught my attention. There it was. As if it was a sign from above, my dad’s book — Dead Snails Leave No Trails.

I opened it up. Page 63: Mosquitoes. Page 82: Fleas. Page 10: Ants. And just like that — problems solved.

I miss my dad. I miss him for who he was. I miss him for what he did  — and I certainly miss him for how he did it. In fact, each day I find new ways to miss him. But, just as he did in life, my dad continues to teach me how to solve all of life’s problems, both big and (in this case) very very small.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is…here are some helpful organic remedies from the late, great Loren Nancarrow, a man who sure knew a lot about a lot — yes, even pest control.

xoxo

hjn

hannahbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loren Nancarrow Fleas Remedy from 10News

Wishing

 

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is a 14-year-old-girl (let’s call her “L”). “L” makes me feel special. She tells me I’m pretty. She tells me she wishes she were “classically pretty”.  She tells me she wishes her teeth were whiter. She tells me she wishes her hair was longer. She tells me she wishes she was thinner.

When I was her age, I wished a lot too. When I was her age, I wished I was somebody else.

I wished I was somebody pretty. Somebody with thinner thighs, bigger boobs and longer hair. Somebody with clearer skin, whiter teeth and, preferably, blue eyes. I wished I was somebody with style. Somebody who wore size zero jeans and who could share clothes with friends. Somebody who won “best dressed” and never wore the same thing twice. I wished I was somebody who all the guys liked. Somebody who won homecoming queen and who was asked to the prom. Somebody who had a boyfriend and who exchanged love notes. I wished I was somebody fancy. Somebody who drove a nice car and carried a designer purse. Somebody who wore high heels and Tiffany jewelry. I wished I was somebody popular. Somebody who didn’t ever have to make outgoing calls or send the first text. Somebody who was invited to all the cool parties and who was greeted with cheers as she walked in the door.

When I was her age, I wished I was somebody else. I spent so much time wishing to be somebody else, that I never really enjoyed being me. Today, I enjoy being me (for the most part), but I still do a lot of wishing — albeit a different kind of wishing. I wish I could tell my 14-year-old self not to wish her life away — instead to hug her dad tightly and to share her feelings with her mom. I wish I could tell her how fantastic she is — and I wish the same things for “L”. I wish she could understand how special she makes me feel just by being herself, exactly as she is.

My dad used to say “wish in one hand and spit in the other — see which one gets full first.” I never understood what he meant until now. I wish I could tell him I finally get it.

oscarwilde

 

 

From a Father to His Daughter

An array of e-mails, a smorgasbord of commercials on every TV channel and radio station, a plethora of fancy cards and decorative balloons haunting each checkout line at the grocery store — all reminding me of a day I could never forget: Father’s Day.

I’d usually spend a full hour picking the perfect card, and several more hours hand-selecting songs for my annual Father’s Day CD (which he always kept in the CD changer of his car for the entire year or more). This year will be different. It will be my first Father’s Day without my dad — and it aches more than I anticipated.

Feeling nostalgic and a little lost in all the Father’s Day bustle, I thumbed through some old photo albums and boxes of keepsakes. Then I found it, tucked in the back of an old shoebox. A note from a father to his daughter, handwritten on a scrap envelope addressed to weathercaster. It was from my dad — and it was written for me.

“Boy is that a pretty purse. It’s packed so full. What did you bring today? Lipstick, blanket & the dress of a princess. The objects so important to a young lady. Lipstick for the confidence that comes with presentation — looking your best helps you do your best. A blanket for warmth & security — so necessary to feel your feet adorned on this planet. When you wrap yourself in its grip — think of mom & dad’s arms holding you, laughing with you, loving you for the wonderful force you are.

Oh that dress… when you slip it on, your dreams play panovision in your head. That knight on a horse like Picasso — the vision of what you will become, an artist, a thinker, a leader, a strong individual as loving and trustful as we all wish we could be.

It’s only been 3 years since you were that squishy faced little mystery that so puzzled mom & me. You’ve always made me wonder. Who are you? How’d you get so special? How’d I get this far without you & most of all, will you always make me feel as important as you make me feel today?”

His note made me wonder —  how’d I get this far without him?

I think I will put together that Father’s Day playlist (with all of his favorites, like Petty and Dylan and the Stones) — and I’ll turn it up as loud as it will go, so I know for sure, that he can hear it all the way up there.

xoxo

Hannah

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We are the Phoenix

In Greek mythology, the legend of the Phoenix tells of a bird that is cyclically destroyed by fire, only to be born again, more powerful and vibrant than before.  As wildfires burn violently in the hills, valleys, riverbeds and neighborhoods of San Diego, I envision the silhouette of the Phoenix, rising above the ash and ember, as a beacon of hope. We are the Phoenix.

We are the Phoenix, not only in that we will undoubtedly emerge from this fiery tribulation, but also in that we will emerge with a renewed sense of hope, gratitude, love, understanding, and strength. We are the Phoenix in that each time we go up in flames, amidst the sadness, terror, and ruin — together we are reborn.

Although the fires continue to burn, the Phoenix has already begun to rise from the flames. The Phoenix rises as dauntless emergency crews give themselves to protect and serve our community. The Phoenix rises as volunteers, journalists and local leaders ceaselessly and strategically advise and inform. The Phoenix rises as neighbors offer aid to neighbors. The Phoenix rises as friends and strangers alike open their hearts and homes. The Phoenix rises as animals are fostered and pets are reunited with their families. The Phoenix rises as parents hug their children a little tighter. The Phoenix rises as loved ones take an extra moment to say “I love you” before hanging up the phone. The Phoenix rises with each prayer and kind thought sent from across town, across the nation and across the world. The Phoenix rises as we give thanks for one another. And if you look closely, you can see the Phoenix rising at this very moment.

The Phoenix is an emblem of hope, endurance and revival. We are the Phoenix, ascending from the smoldering remains of catastrophe to regenerate — now stronger, wiser, more grateful, and more magnificent than ever before.

We are the Phoenix — and we will rise.

 

xoxo

Hannah Jane 

Photo Credit: K.C. Alfred Photography - San Diego

Photo Credit: K.C. Alfred Photography – San Diego

The Struggle

I’ve had two great struggles in my life; The first was growing up feeling “un-beautiful”. From elementary school through college I struggled with my weight — I’d even go as far as to say I was the fat girl. I also had acne early on and it’s something I battle to this day. I don’t have to tell you that girls are mean —– and I admit, until recently, I was no exception. Girls are especially cruel to one another, which can make high school a brutal time for anyone,  but I know it’s particularly brutal for a girl who’s ashamed of her body. I’ve worked hard to shed 60+ pounds since college and have outgrown the worst of my teenage skin troubles, but weight and self-esteem issues will always be part of my journey.

When I lost the weight I felt like I had won my battle, overcome my odds, passed my test. At 22, I felt like my struggle was finally over. But then it happened…my second great struggle came along and made me dream of days when weight was utmost concern. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the struggle became more real and more terrifying than I ever knew possible.

Since my dad passed, the struggle hasn’t even begun to fade, but from here I can see the good in the struggle. From here, I can see the struggle has given me a sense of purpose. Watching my dad’s vibrant life slip away gave me an appreciation for the short time we are given.

The struggle has enlightened me and encouraged me to pursue what is new, exciting and even downright terrifying. This year has already been incredible! I was a keynote speaker at San Diego Women’s Week, ran my very first half marathon and had the privilege of mentoring a teen girl. This year I’ll also climb Mt. Whitney, and rappel a skyscraper to raise money for cancer research. All of this is far beyond my comfort zone, but I’ve found that outside of my comfort zone is where the struggle is —  and that’s where I flourish.

While I’m not doing this for my dad, I am doing this because of him. My dad taught me to embrace the struggle — and losing him is has been the greatest struggle I’ve ever known.

Above all, I’m doing this for girls of all ages who have struggled and who are struggling. I’m doing this for those that have struggled financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually. I’m doing this for who have lost someone they love; For those who struggle to pay the bills or lose the weight. I’m doing this for those who have felt rejection and loneliness. I’m doing this for all of us who just want to feel happy and beautiful in our own skin. I’m living outside my comfort zone to help all girls realize that beauty comes from the struggle.

The struggle strengthens us for the journey. The struggle makes us powerful, brave and bold. The struggle is what gives us purpose.

xoxo

Hannah Jane

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”

-Rumi

Hannah Jane Nancarrow

You are the World

Happy Earth Day, Dad!

The Nancarrow Project

bestsd_17You have always been a friend of nature, but now, more than ever, you are of this Earth.

Today, on Earth Day, I celebrate not just the planet you loved so dearly, but I also celebrate you, its protector. Now, as you look after it from above, you participate in its dance, making each ordinary occurrence, anything but.

For you are the rustling of leaves on an old oak tree. You are the sweet, pure fragrance of a pink rose in bloom. You are the deep, rich color of freshly-turned soil. You are the shadow of a hawk as it flies overhead. You are the honey bee, humming as it toils.

You are the delicate silver clouds just passing through. You are the glow of the sun as it ducks beneath the horizon. You are the waves colliding under the stained glass sky. You are the sea foam left bubbling and twinkling ashore. You are the little golden specks in a landscape of sand. You…

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8 Lessons From My Dad

The Nancarrow Project

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Earlier this week, I had the honor and privilege of speaking at kickoff night of San Diego Women’s Week. It was such a special night for me and it excited and ignited me in ways I didn’t know were possible. My dad had hoped he would be able to attend the event — but, (without trying to sound too cliché) I know he was there, surrounding me and encouraging me as he’s always done.

So, here’s my speech from Monday night. The whole process was truly cathartic for me, and I hope it touches you in some way too.

XOXO Hannah Jane

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Wow! What a ride!

— San Diego Women’s Week 2014 Speech — 

This moment that I’m in is so bittersweet. It’s also ironic, because I’m here tonight, living out my dreams, the opening speaker at San Diego Women’s Week, surrounded by brilliant, creative and dynamic women…all because of…

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We Ain’t Got The Time

The Nancarrow Project

A couple years back my dad was in contact with singer-songwriter, author and friend, Alex Woodard. Alex had been working on a project called For the Sender, a collection of real-life letters woven into an incredible book and an album. From each heart-wrenching letter, Alex teamed up with Grammy Award winning musicians to create an original song. My dad had planned on doing a story about the For the Sender project but, in a bittersweet turn of events, my dad became sick before his idea came to fruition and he, instead of doing a story on the project, became a integral part of the project.

In April, just 3 months after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, my dad and I sat down and wrote a letter to my brother, Graham. My dad had lost most of his dexterity by that time, so I typed while he closed his…

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Let Your Freak Flag Fly

The Nancarrow Project

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Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to be on T.V..  I had even been working towards that goal for 22 years…but when I got even remotely close, I panicked and retreated. What if I suck at reporting? What if I embarrass myself? What if I look like a freak?

I can’t stand it when I’m just bad at something. Even the words “constructive criticism” make me cringe. That’s probably because I have this nasty habit of becoming discouraged when I’m not innately good at something — which is a total disadvantage since I can only think of a couple things I’ve ever really picked up quickly. And it’s that fear of failure that has stifled some potentially big opportunities for me in the past.

Just one of my dad’s countless admirable qualities was that he was never afraid to let his freak flag fly. He always did what interested him…

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28

The Nancarrow Project

To say that today, January 28th, is a significant day would be a vast understatement. Today marks one year since doctors found the blob in my dad’s head and one year since my dad and I wrote our first blog post titled “Tumor Humor”. Today marks one month since December 28th, 2013, the day of my dad’s “graduation” (if you will). And today has aptly been declared “Loren Nancarrow Day” in San Diego.

The number 28 has come to us recurrently this past year — which is fitting, really. In numerology, the number 28 creates the number 1 — if you believe in that sorta stuff (we certainly do).  Let me share with you a little bit about the number 1:

The 1 is a doer, a powerful force that produces results and does not allow anything or anyone to limit its’ potential. The 1 is always in the forefront:…

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