Recipe for Stew/Melancholy

It is autumn, and we are purging and nesting and steeling ourselves for the onslaught of the holidays and the grinding tedium of the coming winter. And in the midst of it all, we continue apace slo…

Source: Recipe for Stew/Melancholy

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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in General


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. I found it interesting, however things really fell off the end of this year. There’s s reason. I’ve embarked on a new endeavor. I am deeply entrenched in my first fictional novel. Stay tuned as I look to publish in late 2016. Happy new year to all.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 580 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 10 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in General


Why Do We Never Get An Answer?

Forgive me for stealing lyrics, once again, for a title to a blog. It just seems so perfect when pondering the question as to why, when I turn on the local news, I constantly hear about people killing each other over drugs or money or domestic issues, with absolutely no regard for the sanctity of human life.

Yet, I among many others live in a world, right now, of total devastation and grief over the untimely death of someone who lived an altogether unselfish, altruistic, noble, zealous, generous, compassionate, and beautiful life. This person died way too soon, unexpectedly, and long before he was finished his work here on earth.

My question, although I’ve been told a thousand times not to ask it, is why?

This is now the second time within five short months that we, as a family, have observed a family close to us, lose their sons, who we felt were part of our family. My husband and I watched each one of our children lose one of their closest friends at a very young age. One was ill, and the other was sudden.

My mother’s answer is, and always has been, “their number was up.” She is clearly a fatalist. If she believed anything else, she couldn’t have the positive outlook that she does. Even the mothers of these two young men are trying as hard as they can to maintain their faith.

I cannot. I do not understand why. As a Jew, I just went through what is known as the “Days of Awe,” or the High Holy Days, when we ask forgiveness and ask to be written and sealed in the book of life for another year. I asked for forgiveness. I heard a Rabbi talk about the fact that throughout the year, we say to ourselves, “I’m a good person, but on the one Day of Atonement, we ask, am I a good person?”

I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter whether you are or you aren’t a good person. I am beginning to think there is a random chaos going on. I spent my lifetime following the rules. I’ve always thought of myself as a good guy. Now, I don’t think it matters if you drive up the median to beat traffic, or whether or not you give back the extra change the cashier gave you, or return the wallet you found full of cash. Now it doesn’t matter if you hold the elevator for someone, or help an older person with a heavy door, or let someone merge into traffic. Now, it doesn’t mean a thing if you share your spare change with a homeless person or give money to a charity.

G-D, if there is a G-D, doesn’t seem to delineate. He steals the thugs, criminals and thieves as well as the angels, children and good guys. And we never get an answer to that particular question. Because there is none. And if there is none, then what does it even matter what we do here on earth?

All I know is that I made a promise. I promised to Live Like Devon. That means, for those unfortunates who didn’t have him in their lives, I will, I guess, continue to be me. (That was my last advice to him. I told him to “continue to be you… that’s all I want”). I’m going to give someone a hug today… do a random act of kindness… forgive a grudge… and reach out to a total stranger.

Rest in Peace Devon Grimmé

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in General, Phase 2


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Out of the blue, the lightning strikes, starting a forest fire or knocking someone off their feet.

In an instant, the car veers off the road and into a post, the engine exploding, the passengers crushed.

After months of remission and hope, the tumor overtakes the body.

Abruptly, the body defies the lifestyle, and a tiny embolism explodes.

 Suddenly, is God dead.


Posted by on September 22, 2015 in General, Poetry


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Does This Fit Here?

My grandmother did crossword puzzles. So did my dad, in pen. My one brother would photocopy both the morning and afternoon newspaper puzzles and we would sit around the dining room table doing them, almost as if it was a race to the finish. Another brother used to pore over jigsaw puzzles. Still a third brother liked the logic puzzles that came in the Dell Puzzle books. Mom likes Sudoku. I was fascinated by the Rubik’s Cube. I like them all. In fact, I like word games, puzzles and just about anything that challenges my mind, that is, except for the puzzle that is my mind, which is the greatest challenge of all.

Even the artistic expression I’ve settled into has been somewhat fractured. I choose to blog about anything and everything that pops into my head. There’s no stream of consciousness and it would be impossible to put the individual posts into any semblance of order that would make any sense. I dabble in mosaics: cracking up pieces of tile and glass, and attempting to create a masterpiece of recognizable images. Most of the rest of what I do is graphic art, at best. Even when I sing, I do parodies of some of my favorite songs, never singing them the way they were written, but always in an attempt to make someone feel touched, loved or when it’s really good, embarrassed.

It should be no surprise, then, that I am, in middle age, attempting to piece together the splintered elements of the puzzle that has been my life. Now, I suppose, is the time when most women go through this: when their kids have grown and gone, when they’ve settled into a new normal with regard to their body, their health, and their sex life; when they have a whole lot less time in front of them than they do behind them. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t an easy thing either.

Having discovered much about myself through honest introspection, and having overcome some of my demons (we all have them); I have survived the hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes of life. And now, when things have finally settled down, it’s the aftershocks that have to be put into place… like the last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, or that one last word you can’t get, even with the crossword dictionary or the internet.

What I have learned is that when you try too hard to seek happiness, you are often disappointed. When you attempt to please others to validate yourself, you do yourself a great disservice. I think the best way to find that happiness, to validate yourself and feel real and complete peace of mind is to live your life authentically. Listen to and follow your heart and the pieces of your own puzzle will fall in to place naturally.


Posted by on July 16, 2015 in General, Phase 2


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Lobster in the Sky

Day dreaming, for me, has become my great escape.  There was a time in my life when other things were my way of gaining attention, avoiding unpleasant situations or simply numbing myself to the harshness of the world.  Today, I can happily say that my path is well defined and much, much safer.

Most little girls dream of being movie stars or brides.  I didn’t have that luxury.  I was a kid who was self-absorbed and fearful, self-doubting and uneasy, insecure and apprehensive.  I tried too hard to fit in, and it never seemed to work.  The only place I was comfortable was on the stage in a play, and I was good, but then, I was acting as if I was somebody else.  Singing into a brush with me as the only audience…

There were very few people who understood and accepted all of this in me.  My parents had to.  It was a time when emotional and mental health in children was not on the front pages.  They didn’t recognize it and they didn’t know to help.  If they did know, they didn’t know how.  Making angels in the snow, but knowing they would melt away…

As a young adult, when my theater days were behind me, I took to drinking.  A lot…  Not a good solution.  There were very few dreams then.  Mostly nightmares…

I stumbled through a few years of this, maintaining a job, a marriage and parenting.  Somehow I emerged unscathed legally, financially, professionally and my marriage intact.  I had a guardian angel that interrupted my path.  This was no snow angel.  It was someone who reminded me that it was okay to dream again. It was then that the artist in me began to unfold.  I started work in mosaics, and the pieces began to come together…

The daydreams today are no longer filled with angst and fear.  Worry doesn’t take me to dark places.  In fact, since I live in Florida, there is no opportunity to make those snow angels. I write, I sing, I play musical instruments, I read, and I cook. I also have a new pastime. My nephew used to do this with my mother.  I’ve taken to lying in the grass and being at one with nature.  Staring at the sky, I try to see what the clouds look like.  Yesterday, I saw a lobster in the sky.

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Posted by on July 9, 2015 in General, Phase 2


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My Book is a Short Story

I don’t know what happened to chapter one and chapter two.  All I know is that I had a taste of reflection on chapter one when I attended my summer camp reunion last month.  Camp song lyrics came flooding back to my memory and rolled off my tongue as if it was just last summer that I was swimming, playing volleyball, sailing, skiing, performing in a play, competing in color war, being homesick, and then crying because I didn’t want to go home.  I also had the opportunity to reflect back on who I was then, and see who I am now, understanding that life changes you; sometimes for the good, and sometimes it’s not so good.  Thankfully, most of it has been great, and that you can’t go back and rewrite once it’s been published.

Chapter two went just as fast.  My children are no longer children.  They are both young adults making their way in a challenging world.  Hopefully, we gave them a strong enough set of morals and values, sense of right and wrong, feeling of confidence, affinity for family and respect for mankind.  They both live far enough away from us now that I have to depend on that.  I long for the days when I could toss a ball with my son in the front yard, or help my daughter with cutting out flowers from magazines, sitting cross-legged on the floor in her room.  And now, every time I see a family with small children, I say to the young parents, “Don’t blink.”

People always told me Chapter Three would be my time… or our time.  We haven’t quite figured it out yet.  While we have had the blessing of falling in love all over again, we don’t have the energy or the interest to pursue the life we had before children.  We’re much older, and it takes some getting used to.  We’re still working, and certainly not financially independent, so all of our dreams have to wait a little longer, so I imagine you could say Chapter Three is really just a prologue to Chapter Four.  We do laugh a lot.

I am not permitted to discuss what I want to happen in Chapter Four.  I made a promise and I intend to keep it.  The one thing I have learned is that there are no guarantees.  I stay appreciative of every subplot and every page of my story, hoping that once in a while it’s a real page-turner, but that most of the time, its slow and steady, and ultimately, my book will be considered a short story classic.

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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in General, Phase 2


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