Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Musings

In an extraordinary burst of energy, I spent the entire day organizing 'stuff.'  Almost as if I were ready to drop a baby any day, or caught up in spring cleaning fervor (if only it were spring).  Every molecule in my body was screaming for order.  It must be the general air of disorder that is reflected in social media and 'journalism.'  My husband would probably prefer I not view 'the news' at all.  It drives us crazy and there's not anything we can do about the myriad predicaments we see.

Without order, the human race would not have survived. We have few natural defenses, and our ability to organize has allowed us the opportunity to create safety and stability for ourselves.  And so, the spices are now all accessible and in easy reach.  It was a simple joy last night to cook and have spices right there.  These little magnetic tin boxes are just the thing to sooth frayed nerves. No more frantic digging in the cupboard while working over a hot stove.  Peace and stability restored.

Next up: the pantry.  I moved the heavy items from the top shelf to the bottom.  Makes sense, yes?  I have been experiencing a bum arm for a few weeks and each time I reach for the gin bottled water, I pull something in my shoulder.  Ouch.  Of course, the gin bottled water takes care of the pain.

And the labels?  Yes, well, that is so I (and my husband) can remember where things go, after a few drinks of gin bottled water.

I tackled the freezer, where the martini glasses meat and frozen veg live.  I won't bother with a photo, it was just a necessity.   Turns out, we can eat from the freezer for weeks now.  We shall BUY NO MORE MEAT for weeks!

Last, but certainly not least, a small corner space of storage in the garage.  This is where I off-load the 9 of ten Pyrex dishes and the 16 out 15 non-stick fry pans (some day I will need them, really). And the paper goods.  Learning my lesson from the pantry (we do live in earthquake country) I put all the heavy stuff on the bottom after cleaning the shelves.  Paper goods up top.  No more spider webs and dust bunnies clinging to the plastic packaging on the toilet paper. 

Seemingly simple, the tasks of the day completely wore me out.  I slept like a log.  No gin bottled water for me last night.

I'd like to thank news coverage of Donald Trump, African refugees, gun violence, ISIS, and the latest emails from Hillary for driving my efforts.  Next time my home gets well out of order again, I'll pry my eyelids open and watch what we call "news and information" until the need for order kicks in again.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Musings (He's Four now)

I'll say it again, being a grandparent is one of the most lovely, fun, endearing things I've ever experienced.  My grandson was here for 3 nights and I loved every minute of it.  We had him all to ourselves one night, while his parents were at a wedding and stayed at a hotel.

We know his bedtime routine -- his folks have it down pat so that he hardly ever fights it.  As I was steering him towards tooth brushing and potty going, I knocked on the bathroom door to give him his night time disposal underwear, otherwise known as "pull ups."  He balked a bit when I opened the door, and I asked him if he wanted privacy.  He did.  So I told him he could have his privacy and I just wanted to give him the pull ups.  I dropped them inside and closed the door.

I took just a few steps down the hall when I heard him calling for me.  I walked back to the door and, staying outside, asked him what he wanted.  His reply?  "Bubbe, you're the BEST!"

Good Gawd but my heart melted.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Happy Friday!  This week my husband and I drove to Reno, Nevada, to see Bernie Sanders at the University of Nevada.  It was a gathering filled with young and old, LGBTQ and straight, families, college students, retirees and every skin hue under the rainbow though whites were the majority.  It is Nevada, after all.

This family, below, represents the many families with infants and small children that were at the Joe Crowley Student Union.  Chubby babies all around with none crying at all.  I guess they were caught up in the excitement and the music.
 There were an estimated 4,500 people there, and when the venue filled up, the parking garage next to the outdoor venue was the perfect spot to get a great view.  Bernie said this was the first time he'd spoken to a parking garage full of people!
These buff older gals were whooping it up and dancing to the music.  I saw a lot of women my age and older.  They smiled when they saw me coming with my backwards baseball cap and my camera.  A lot of us were dressed inappropriately for our age.  Snicker.
It was a bleedin' hot day and the skies were dusted with smoke from the many fires in Northern California, but I'm so glad we went.  I think I know his speech by heart, now.  But some of the most inspiring words were from 2 college students who spoke before Bernie.  They spoke of their struggles, and their dreams that this country would live up to its potential.  They are our future, and they deserve a country that works for everyone, not just the top 10 percent.

If Bernie comes to your area, I recommend getting out to hear him.  I'm so excited by his candidacy, and his belief in the common sense and intelligence of our people.  He's practical man, and so he asked for continued support when he is in the White House.  It will take millions of hoppin' mad people to make the changes that we want to see.  We're up against powerful big money.  But we do have our voices. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Musings (On Photography and What it Means to Me)

My great great Grandfather, Lyman Bigelow, was a photographer of some note.  His daughter, my great aunt Lou (Louise) was also a professional photographer all of her life.  My dad took up photography in earnest in middle life.  He does remember, however, working with his aunt in her studio and darkroom, rocking the pans full of chemicals as the photographs developed.
LG Bigelow, studio portrait 1871.

My dad bought me my first 'real' camera, a Nikon FM, when I was 20.  I've been making pictures ever since.  My first husband was/is a photographer.  My daughter is quite a good photographer.  My husband now, is an excellent photographer.  Gee, I think there might be a theme here.

Today I had the great pleasure of loaning a young man one of my older digital cameras.  He has been our dog sitter for the past year, has just graduated college and is trying to figure out what to do -- he has so many options, actually, and that's part of the problem.  He loves all the photos hanging on our walls, and expressed that he would love to learn the art.  So I set him up with camera and sundry equipment.  He came over today and we went through the camera operations.  We stepped out into the bright sunlight and he took some shots.  Light.  Shadow.  Close up.  Far away.  Back inside, sipping our water, he reviewed them and had a couple of very sharp insights as to what he could do with a camera.

He's searching for his voice.  I think the camera will be an excellent vehicle for him.  I suggested he go sit in Central Park and observe people.  Make some pictures.  Walk around town.  Take the camera everywhere, not just out in order to make pictures.  Pictures are all around us every day.  If you leave the camera at home, you've missed opportunities. 

By the time he hopped on his bicycle to ride back to campus, I was feeling like quite the proud mama, sending my boy out into the grand world of photography.  I look forward to working with him, being his sounding board.  His excitement is palpable.  What fun!

Making serious photographs has been a constant in my life for 38 years.  Few activities can match the pleasure of photography.  I love that I am one in a line of artists in my family.  I'm carrying on what my ancestor started 150 years ago.  Thank you, Lyman, for kickin' it off in grand style.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Another Friday.  Sheesh.

I'll share a couple of good Friday stories with you. 

I met with a new endocrinologist today to review my diabetes care.  I almost bailed on the appointment because, truly, endocrinologists can be the worst sort of wet blanket on the planet.  I have been managing this disease every damn day for nearly 25 years.  Sometimes I know more about it than the docs do.  Often times I have been confronted by dour-faced docs asking me if I want to live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow up.  WTF.  A tiny Iranian woman doc actually 'tsk tsk'd' me after looking at some labs.  I didn't go back to her.

So imagine my surprise and delight today when I met young Dr. Mark, who breezed into the exam room, shook my hand enthusiastically, reviewed my info and began to tell me what a remarkably good job I've been doing over the last quarter of a century!  I have no diabetic complications whatsoever and he was thrilled.  Really and truly thrilled.  He spent 45 minutes with me, in conversation, going over my history and making a few recommendations that were meaningful and helpful.  He even changed my insulin to something that he assures me will work better. The stuff I was on, his said, is really antiquated and he's surprised doctors still use it.

If you want to assess your risk for diabetes, go to this link.  Millions of people who have it are undiagnosed, with serious life threatening consequences.

Thank you, Dr. Mark, for restoring my faith in endocrinologists, and for providing a consultation that was illuminating and motivating.

Story #2:  We took my car into the car was today to have the interior detailed.  We left the vehicle there and walked down the street to have lunch.  When we returned, I opened the door to get in and saw the big coffee stain on the seat that prompted the whole detailing in the first place.  I asked staff about it and they asked to see my receipt.  They looked it over and -- oops!  They gave the car an external detailing instead.  They quickly vowed to make it right, and they did.  30 minutes later we got into a car with the cleanest damned upholstery you've ever seen.  So, I got a two-fer.  And a senior discount, since that is what they offered me right off the bat.  No questions asked, no age requirement apparently.  At 58, I do not look like a senior citizen, except my kids in their 20s who think every person over 30 is a senior.

Yay for a sparkling clean car, inside and out.

Hope your Friday was even half as good as mine!  Here's to a great weekend!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Musings

That was the fastest July in my memory. August is here, and my grandson is now 4. We had an amusing Face time chat on his birthday, and it seemed so strange not to be with him on his day. I was there at the beginning, and every August 2 since, but not this time. I gotta give a shout out to the technology that allows us to talk and see each other on a tiny phone screen. I also thank technology because I can view a digitized version of a video taken in 1992. I was a cast member in skit performed at a community fundraiser for our local Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender center. I've been wondering over the years if this performance still existed on tape, and a couple of emails to the right people got a speedy reply. It's so much fun to watch this again! I was not a performer at the time, but was lucky enough to be asked to join the ensemble. An enormous amount of rehearsing went into this thing, and we performed it for 2 shows. It was thoroughly exhilarating. It revived my childhood dream of being a star of stage and screen. Hell, it was just plain fun. No performances since, and maybe never again, so it is especially sweet to have this little gem to look at. Enjoy!

You Can Go Home Again

 I took a vacation in the first week of May.  I went back to my high school and college stomping grounds, still populated by many friends of...