Monday, November 29, 2010

Do I?

I was ordering a skinny latte at the local coffee shop ....ready to start an informal meeting...when the cashier....a young woman ....looked up at me and you know you look like Meryl Streep?

Really? I said..... the last month....two people have mentioned this to me.

My hair is long enough to wear up now....and I've been wearing it more often piled up in a loose bun.

Perhaps? I favor her?

I looked at Meryl-with-her-hair-up-images and thought I'd post it.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Eve

Hub is knocking around the turkey...chopping ....dicing...stirring......making lots of racket with the pots and pans.

Here's my job champagne in fridge.

I think I got the better

Videos I haven't seen with millions of hit on You Tube

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today.....a date.

I was a little embarrassed in class when people started clapping.

Today, my two teachers in Hebrew class announced that I will become a bat mitzvah student.

They asked me my date.

Oct. 20th, 2012.

I could feel my heart jump and my stomach clench.

This spring....after the silent auction....after the literary festival....I will pare my life down to study, my daughter's wedding and going through the last of my parents estate. No more big volunteer more studying when I get a chance.....but devoting specific blocks of time to study.

I am actually looking forward to working with my tutors....I'm happy to unlock the read the debate and talk about what it means with my Rabbi....and I'm happy to aim towards a particular type of competency in the faith I have adopted and which has adopted me.

I never expected my life to change so much.....I never expected to be given so much by a group of people and a community.....this is a effort show my respect for the traditions and rituals I now embrace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Trip to the Delta

I needed dining room chairs.

For almost two decades, my grandmother's Jacobean table...with thick dark oak legs, was graced with large ornate cherry Queen Anne chairs.

In other words....for 20 years my dining room table and chairs looked odd and out-of-sync.

I loved my grandmother's dining room table and chairs....I had sat around the table as a kid....devouring hearty Lithuanian meals....drank tea and "medicine" (whisky and honey) when I was older. When my grandmother entered a nursing home ....I begged my parents not to give the dining room set away. I knew my mother disliked old furniture and beautiful cedar chests and bedroom sets exited both sides of my family in a blink of an eye.

My father saved the table but not before my mother gave the chairs to Goodwill or some other charity. I was devastated. How could she have given those beautiful perfectly matched chairs away? I never knew why she did....but one day the dining room table arrived courtesy of a moving truck. I ran my hands over the smooth surface and loved it....thinking of my small spirited Lithuanian grandma.

I didn't know much about furniture styles when the table arrived...but I knew I wanted to use the table...and that meant having chairs to sit around it.

So a friend gave me a furniture catalogue from a company in High Point North Carolina. I found a picture, placed an order and weeks later a huge truck pulled up in front of my California home and deposited 6 huge cherry chairs. I looked at them in disbelief. This was what I ordered? I looked back at the picture and realized my grandmother's dainty table was in stark contrast to the huge photogenic rectangle the chairs hugged.

The chairs did fit under the table ....but just barely. The weight of the wood which the catalogue highlighted as a sign of quality proved also to be a sign of my folly..... as one could barely move the chairs. Children were stuck in place....unable....despite swinging their legs and squirming and pushing with all their might... to free themselves. Adults groaned and strained trying to move them.

And so we fought with the chairs every time we sat at the get in them and out of the Queen Anne legs bowed out and scraped the neighbor's chairs. Every year I shook my head and wondered why I purchased them.

One day, when I was prep-ing for my parent's estate sale in Chicago, I realized this was the perfect opportunity to finally free myself from the dining room chairs and other pieces of unused furniture stored in our house. It was hard to just sell 6 dining room chairs without a table...but at an estate sale someone would surely be eager to buy them. So I packed them on a truck...and waved goodbye to my big bulky never-did-fit chairs.

Of course, now I had a dining room table without chairs.

We had a party...we asked people to bring extra folding chairs. We had another party ....we asked people to bring extra folding chairs....we hauled the kitchen chairs into the dining room for family events....we asked people to bring extra folding chairs again.

With the holidays approaching, I decided it was TIME. I had to find chairs somewhere in my state.

So I drove two hours to an antique warehouse in the foothills. Tons of chairs...mostly European...mostly needing lots of repairs.

My husband liked a set of chairs from Germany. Each chair had two guys carved into the back of each chair ....fighting each other with one hand..... and holding a beer mug in the other.

I don't think so.

So last week I set off to the a famous antique warehouse. I was surprised how quickly the landscape less than an hour....I was driving on uber flat roads through cotton fields reduced to stubble.

This fighting guys with beer mugs....but many beautiful excellent shape and in styles that might compliment grandma's table.

Within an hour, I had a three chairs wrapped in blankets and in my car....ready to go home for a trial.

10 minutes down the road....I braked.

I saw a shack off to the side of the road....and recognized the town's name.

I was passing by one of the most famous hamburger joints in the state. So I pulled into parking lot next to a rather worn looking building ....sitting on stilts above a bayou.

Lunch was over in 10 minutes and the place was nearly empty. The waitress sized me up and laughed. "You think you can finish off one of our big burgers?"

The burgers were supposed to be as big as hub caps.

"I doubt I could eat half....but I 'll take a normal-sized burger and three hub caps to go."

I smiled at how happy my men folks would be seeing those burgers for dinner.

A rather large hamburger arrived with a heaping side of fries. It was good....and I ate slowly...savoring the famous burger.

Afterwards, in the warm late afternoon sun, I drove around for a while....looking at houses....and feeling the river land. Lots of places deserted.....lots of places....on stilts or cement blocks....waiting for the next flood.

Finally, the angle of the sun warned me it was getting late and I better hustle home.

I hoisted the chairs into the house and placed them around the dining room table.... it was like was too was too small....and one was just right.

I packed the not-rights back in the car and made one more trip out to the Delta.

Now I have 6 old modest chairs.....they look like they actually like the table.

They are fancier than my grandmother's original chairs....but not too much.

There's room between the chairs....and you don't have to be a steroid user to move them. The seat cushions need to be replaced....but you can still sit on them....even though the seat cushions are funky blue and almost flat.

Finally....finally ...a place to sit that is just right. Grandma would approve.

Small house in the Delta

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who Knew....Maru?

Late on this bandwagon...Maru has been getting 500,000 to 2million hits on You Tube for at least a year now. Here one of the latest and a devilish one to follow.

Who Knew?

One big Kitty

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall has arrived in the South

The house is quiet....the cats and dogs are all snoozing on this gray yet colorful day.

I took out a small step stool and placed it in my closet so I could fetch my soft old sweatshirts from the top shelf. It felt snug and comforting to push my arms through the worn long sleeves.

Fall is finally here and the leaves turned just a few days ago.

Fall in the South is luscious....there's just no other words to describe the chilly nights and the warm sunny days. 78 degrees during the days.....50 degrees at night.....the early morning chill of the house often replaced by blue sky sunny warmth. The humidity is gone....which is still a little surprising....soon you forget about damp...until spring when it returns and surprises you again.

My cats and animals all seem snoozy this week. They find shafts of sunlight on the oriental rug or a block of sun by a window and stretch out to purr or dream with their little feet running and skipping after something in their dreams.

In our congregation we had several deaths this week and just yesterday I learned that my friend's mother's almost as if the very ill have taken their cues from the leaves outside......and are just letting go. It somehow seems appropriate.

I wish too I could relax in the sun.....and just slow down....but my two big events....the literary fest and the silent auction are in gear....and I have a thousand emails, letters and drafts to do this weekend it seems.

But I think I will do that later....I think I'll warm up the HoneyCrisp apple cider I just bought the other day at the store....and sit with one of the cats or dogs....and just dream in color.....even if its for only a little while.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Any box will do

Fancypants quickly jumped into an old tax box from my parents which I just emptied.

Once she claims a box....she sits in it for a day or two....then on day three she starts tearing it apart with her teeth.......she whittles the box down into a million shredded pieces then patiently waits for another box to appear in her she can claim it....squatter's rights.

Yikes.....She's got me

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Why the Rally?

Ever since I came home from my trip.....people have been asking me about the Sanity Rally.
Mostly, they want to know why I went.....was I a rabid fan of Jon Stewart? A fierce flaming liberal? An angry anti-Tea Party-er.

I find it difficult to succinctly explain why I was driven (but actually flew and train-ed) to the Rally.

Last night, I finally found an analogy that expressed part of my feelings.

Did you ever see the movie.....Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

In this old popular movie from the 70's, several people have an experience which draws them.....actually compels them to find their way to Devil's Tower....a tall squarish lump of rock in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming.

Richard Dreyfus, one of the stars of the movie, sees lights, a potential UFO, and from that point on....he discovers he's fascinated by a strange image....drawn to a squarish lump of something which he paints...draws.....and even sculpts his mashed potatoes into. He sees a picture of Devil's Tower in Wyoming, realizes the Tower matches his images....and decides that is where he must go. He faces incredible challenges to get there. His reward? He's selected to enter the Mother ship.....a huge alien UFO which lands on the top of the tower.

Although I didn't sculpt the likeness of Jon Stewart into my mashed some way....several things triggered feel like I had to go to The Mall to gather with folks and make some kind of statement.

The negativity about our President plus the personal insults (I consider questioning the man for the 1000th time about his birth certificate an insult)......the business of negative which makes money for people and shows that often stray from the truth....the dismissal of reason, sanity and intelligence having a place in politics....where all trigger points.

And like Richard Dreyfus....after all these trigger points where touched.....I felt the need to go....felt the need to somehow stand up and say.....all this exaggeration and mud slinging isn't going to get us anywhere.....

I believe also....because I have worked as a project manager in a hospital plus worked on several community projects....that people are totally underestimating how long things take to plan and organize. No matter if the President was a Republican or a can not possibly turn an economy around in less than two can hardly plan a literary festival in a year...a wedding in 6 months....and people consider it reasonable that in less than 2 years....10 million jobs would be recreated? Hardly....things do not move that quickly in life especially if you have a diverse group of people which see different ways to get to the goals.

And so I decided a few minutes after Jon Stewart announced the rally....that I needed to go....I believe in reason...and intelligence and discourse and team efforts....things which I don't see happening in our society....any time you start demonizing opponents/ create roadblocks towards progress. You can't even organize a pot luck if half the group is angry and combative.....

So off I went.....and when I arrived there and talked to people....I met people who where in the same boat that I was.....there wasn't one sentence that described exactly why they was a feeling....a need.....a plea for people to think about cooperation and reason.

Current estimates put the rally around 200,000 people.....nothing sinister happened....people picked up their litter.....they left one was angry or shouting or spitting....signs where was was said.....thousands of people got along on a warm fall day on the Mall in Washington DC.

It was encouraging...a small a lot of chaos...and I am glad I was a part of it.

Great signs and shirts

Basically.....the Rally was about this.