Monday, February 22, 2010

Roots Music Of A "Hip-Hop" Beat, Hadag Nachash

Yesterday on Sunday afternoon, my husband & I traveled to Trinity College, to see what for me was a "roots concert", the performers all the way from Jerusalem to Hartford, Ct.,-- Hadag Nachash; a *"Middle Eastern tinged, hip hop, rock reggae, funk, ensemble". We found them to be-- energetically talented, with excellent stage presence, & unique sound. Not your typical Hava Nagiela klizner band. Though all but one song was performed in Hebrew, it didn't matter, the audience definitely "got it", as Hadag Nachash is known for promoting the message of human rights, with excellent rhythm & time. A good time was seemingly had by all, & we thank the Hillel House of Trinity College for bringing this version of world music to our home state, with the message of hope & fun, along the way. A special thank you goes out to, the *Jewish Ledger of Connecticut, [independent weekly newspaper], who had so prominently promoted this event & did an excellent job of getting the word out with the great front page photo of these talented young men, & feature article of whom I quoted [*] here.

Good concert of a different drummer!

[Hadag Nachash or Hadag Nahash two different spellings in English, probably because it's a Hebrew name & the English is a meer transliteration. We American Jews are used to that one; ch or h ? We deal with it every- Chanukah or is it Hanukah ? , oye- whatever works.]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Something To Smile About, With Yet So Much "To Do"--

This beautiful blossom displayed is of the Peace Lily given to me this past May, when we hosted a Garden Party, for fam.* & friends. I really haven't had too many house plants bloom inside on their own, so this is quite special, especially since it was a gift from our eldest son's best friend, of childhood days. Thank you "G".

A new week, with much on the; to do list, I'll keep on keeping on, & let my heart smile along the way.
I do think getting up in the early morning with barely any sunlight, along with the extreme cold, will make any New Englander yearn for springtime, which thankfully we're getting there, one day at a time.

Monday & Thursday evening of this week I'm already booked, [besides my daytime work schedule] with Town Meetings of which representation from our Conservation Commission is required. Our Commission is working on obtaining protection for the stone walls in our quaint little town. Three other towns in our state already have this sort of protection, along with some other states in New England, but we're still lagging behind on that one. As human nature & actions have proven time & time again, we tend to not appreciate or value something until after it's gone. So for those of us who love the winding, sculpted, irregular texture of these walls, we've only just begun, in urging for legal protection of these local antiquities.

Dolly continues to grow & do well. She's been getting a lot of use out of her cute igloo doghouse this winter, & also staying put inside her double locked kennel, when she's outside, [the little wanderer]. Spring won't come too soon for Dolly, for her first Birthday we'll be installing an invisible fence. That way she'll have more space & freedom to move about, which will make her & all who care about her, very happy, indeed, as she's very sweet & truly deserves it.

Well, that's it from this neck of the woods, busy, but good busy, with our soon to be published children's book project slated for attention this week, with a contract that needs reviewing between our artist, & my good friend & I, who have co written this cute, heart warming book. For updates on this unfolding project just go to; [] , we're getting there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Is Black History Month & Here Is Rosa Parks Bus, What A Brave Woman*

We got to see & sit on this bus when we were at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mi., right outside of Detroit. Detroit was of course one of our cities also greatly affected during the Civil Rights Movement.

Some thirty three years ago when I experienced a mind opening stint in college radio [91.7fm, whus] , I learned about Black History Month. I was very young during the crux of the Civil Rights strife's in this country, so far removed that all a concerned young person could do back then was to anguish at the reports of; the innocent demise of young children when they sat in church, the people that went missing, later found & destroyed in the most horrid of ways, the famous "sit-ins" one being at the Woolworth's soda counter, the marches, the wonderfully inspiring speeches, & the continued, seemingly never ending, taking of lives. The respond throughout this country's cities were mass riots, & more violence, which seemed to go on, & on.

I rode a city bus to work during that era with people of all incomes, backgrounds & color, of whom worked & lived in the neighborhood where I worked. At the cafeteria in the city hospital where I was employed we warmly joked with one another that beyond the walls within which we were then sitting, others were out there doing bodily harm to one another. We remarked to one another as to why individuals could not just get along "Look at us.", we said, "We like each other, we're friends, we wouldn't think of doing such things." On each trip to work, or home, never was there an incidence of which would cause an once of concern.

Everybody knows the known heroes from that era, but there are a lot of heroes less known on the national scene, one of them is my friend's father; Johnny Duke. Johnny Duke was a former professional boxer. An energetic, compassionate & charismatic man who worked very hard in his dedication with the youth of Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford was the city in which I traveled back & forth to my job as a newly graduated nurse to Mount Sinai Hospital, in the north end of the city. It was Johnny Duke who was just about the only person who could be trusted by the youth of the city, as these young boys had lived to see so many generations upon generation of their families growing up without hope & living in poverty & despair. It was he who defused any potential violence in our capitol city, he was a true man of the people, my good pisan's Dad.

Time has passed of course, we have a President now who is of the February History Month, but ultimately, if we want to make it, not only as a people, but as a species, we must put aside conceived notions, & give the respect that we all so deserve. It begins of course from within, as it is an extreme exercise of the collective human condition, with each step building upon the next. We have this potential to do what is right, it's practical, yet always spiritual too, no matter the size, color or creed.

On A Day Such As This, No Cookie Cutters Needed--

This goofy eggplant pepper shaker was one of our souvenirs from a cross country trip my husband, son & I did almost 27 years ago. The incredible piece of wood it is placed next to was given to us by his brother, who eventually did his own unique version of a
trip to the southwest, with a friend.The above eggplant rounds with crystals glistening, a seemly ugly vegetable once the skin is removed, but oh it's hidden glory, if one is brave enough to explore.
Kosher salt, used for ages, by not only the cooks of my heritage, but gourmet chiefs world wide.
Some tools of the trade, though I don't cook a whole lot, I do enjoy the tools that make a kitchen a home, & my husband & I are forever looking for that-- just right one,
of course this gigantic spatula is really out there cooking, now that's a kookie comparison!

I must have a very strong nesting instinct, as many of us do, & periodically whenever there's a bit of snow, I indistinctly go for the cooking. I've done this as far back as high school. We'd be snowed in on one of those "yeah, it's a snow day, no school day!", & my brother "D" who is two in a half years younger, would volunteer to walk to the local neighborhood supermarket & get us chocolate chips. I'd then take the Bisquick we'd usually have on hand, add the sugar, eggs, vanilla & usually milk, I think, & then with his chocolate chips we had an excellent batch of cookies to make our snow day even better.

I sort of continued that when our own children came along, baking or cooking something of a comfort food nature. Those were the days.

Now of course it's way too risky for me to do the cookie, brownie or cup cake bit-- danger*, danger*, is the silent call at the back of my mind when it comes to sweets, as I really do have a problem with then, as yes I do love them, but they don't love me of course, as I don't burn off enough of their calories to make it a wise choice at all. So for today I've peeled, sliced & am draining some eggplant rounds. They are draining the gourmet cooking show way with a sprinkle of kosher salt, my grandmother Anna would be very proud, though I don't know if she ever cooked with one, or even had ever tasted an eggplant. In about an hour or so I will turn these eggplant slices over, change the layer of paper towels, & re sprinkle them. I really do enjoy eggplant, though the jury is out as to whether it is an appropriate food for me, as they are in the night shade category of plants, but I really do enjoy their bitter-sweet taste, crispy from the oven, fried in the pan, or stewed with sauce, either way to me eggplant is divine. Even the color speaks to me, purple a favorite from long ago, so rich & regal.

Enjoy your day, & if you're dealing with a snowy one [again] as we are, do your best, & follow those basic instincts, stay safe, dry & warm, wherever you are.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Boundaries For Landlubbers--

A shoreline & the sea, it's either one or the other, but on land, boundaries take on a whole new concept.

In any one's life sometimes we just have to take care of, some of that S/stuff, it's never pleasant, but necessary, besides on a scale of tasks humans have to do, it's downright normal & important. Here's a minor, yet all too annoying one in that category, of definitive lines:

I was out cleaning Dolly's kennel late this afternoon, & all I can say is, there certainly was a lot of the stuff. As the weather goes, the snow only covers it up for so long, & then nature does her thing & it begins to get; downright dirty, ugly, stinky & unhealthy, but isn't that life too at times.....

Sometimes it seems a problemo repeatedly crops up, different circumstances & characters, but all the same the essence of what had made the problem a problem, the essence of the issue is there as plain as the nose on one's face, & if the inner conflict, of what makes this conflict reappear, if not resolved, keeps repeating.

So with that said & done, the path some of us landlubbers walk does get involved, for sometimes when another steps a bit too closely & there they are, on the other's foot. Not necessarily a bad thing, for it usually happens by accident, but if it becomes a repeated occurrence by the said same person, then truly it is up to the individual who's extremity is getting a bit messed up in the process, to say something, so the other knows that the steps they are taking, are causing the other harm. For some, this is an extremely difficult & challenging task, the landlubber setting boundaries.

There are pleasant & respectful ways to express to another just how we feel in given situations, for if we allow another to repeatedly violate this sanctity, then we are doing an injustice to the very essence of who we are. These are never easy life lessons, a bit like cleaning up the mess in the dog pen, but essential for a pleasant, clean & healthy environment, for a healthy life. The phrase, "this is gonna hurt me, more than it hurts you", when raising a family comes to mind, for out in the vast world at large, adults, are just plain people. People of a larger size, playing out their assigned roles in the pecking order of the families in which they were cast. In a sense, we are all children, still learning, still growing, as some lessons are harder than others to sink in. It's taken a lifetime, but I remain grateful, as opportunities to learn & grow come from various environments, & creative thinking on matters such as these, though painful at the time, ultimately, the benefit of growth, so out weighs a little annoyance of cleaning up.

Practice of course does not make perfect, but will make things better, & if some of us, become overly concerned that in the process of speaking up, in order to get some relief from the encroachment of an individual, who may not realize they are steping on an other's foot, then I must remind myself when this happens again, for it will, for we are only human, that it is a task that is no less important then cleaning up a beloved pet's dirty kennel. And if we address it early on, the project will no longer feel messy, but wholly the right thing to do for all involved. We all want, deserve & need, a clean & healthy environment, & feelings like the tides-- come, go & ebb, creating & maintaining, the peace within. God I believe has given us our nature, & when we listen to it, we respect it. To be fully human is an ongoing process, "So help me God." , as we do need God's help, as we walk this earth & beyond.


*Post Script: 2/16/10 } Just yesterday I was going through my emails, some of it more interesting than others. The radio program Democracy Now, which broadcasts from 91.7 FM, an excellent source of alternative news & information. I could not believe it when I read the enclosed program transcript, as one of the topics of the day was the "body/mind/ connection", dealing primarily with individuals who have a hard time saying "no", who want to be seen as "nice", but the heavy duty price the individuals have paid, when they allow this situation to go unchecked, such an ongoing health problem in our society. If this is a topic that interests you, just go to: gabor_mat_when_the_body

To those of us that have this challenge, we just need to stay aware & to keep working on it. The up side is that with this awareness we can choose to not teach this to our children & grandchildren & if we have this situation in bedded in us, well then a first step is to explain to the people we love & care about that we are working very hard to change this, & they need not be of this elk, that they need to be fair & true with themselves. We teach this reform because we love them, & they need not carry this aspect, for their own good heath. I do believe that this topic would be a King Solomon lesson, if this was his time.

I do not have the talent to cut & paste yet, so of course this is not a link, but if you type it in you should find the interview with the Canadian physician Dr. Garbor, who has researched this & other topics, & is a know & respected author.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Torch Is About To Be Passed & The Flame To Be Lit, "Let The 2010 Winter Olympic Games Begin!" 12:02AM EST 2/13/10

World peace comes in beautiful snippets. Let there be truth, good sportsmanship, & honor in these Olympic Games.

The tragic death of Nodar Kumaritashvili from the Country of Georgia's, Luge Team, was a heart stopping, reminder of just how dangerous some of these winter events can be. The world community mourns this young man's sudden passing, as our prayers of comfort go forth to his family, teammates, friends, countrymen & lovers of, these great Olympic Games.

As the UN has taught & honored, there are fallen warriors to not only war, but to our most precious prize & aspiration-- world peace. Warriors come in all shapes, sizes, colors & creeds. The passing of this innocent & brave sporting warrior, will remain with us, for as long as we live to experience the message of these games.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moods Are So Like The Seasons, Even In The Gray, There's A Certain Beauty

One must be a warrior to brave these elements at times....,
as ready as we're gonna be, with all the essentials at hand....
even a fresh batch of tasty dog food & chewy treats obtained just in time. Dolly, you sweet pup, yes, you are so welcome.
Ti's the ongoing season....

They say it's a nor'easter heading in, for now it's on the mild side. Schools have been closed & events are being canceled, it's coming our way, & no matter what, it will be, what it will be. Stay safe & warm, & step gingerly, this is a slippery one.

Welcome to our world, winter in New England.


Post Script; Winter days such as these, aside from the challenges that one encounters back & forth to work, of which I am home today, so no commuting on my schedule till tomorrow early morn. We have a Net Flick movie, or two, all cued up, but besides a movie & catching up on some cooking I had, had in mind, reading is always the best. I just finished "The Shack" the other day by, Wm. Paul Young. It's a book with a Christian philosophy & faith & very good. Being I've loved learning about the religions of the world all my life, this book was a perfect read. It was recommended to me by our eldest son, & daughter in law, & I would like to recommend it to you, too. It brought to mind another author I had read decades ago, Carlos Castaneda. These two writers are so different of course, but I found a common thread. I'd be interested in learning your opinion of this. Religious related story's will always intrigue my mind's imagination.

Certainly nothing compares like a good book, nothing, & if we don't loose our power, I will add, a good movie often fills the entertainment bill for me. I think we'll hold the pop corn, but a coffee or tea, that's perfect for a snowy night, in our neck of the woods. Truly.

Oh the timer just went off, my "pumpkin cinnamon ginger pudding" is almost done. I've been planning this since after Thanksgiving as I never get enough of the pumpkin based recipes, & this one is most special as it is baked with fresh eggs that my co worker's son raised. Truly we have the best of all worlds, this modern day, quasi rural life. I just had some, it's sweet, light & perfect.

So goes the gray.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

*Forever A Thought & Prayer

This year we left our holiday cards up a bit longer than usual, as part of our celebrations were extended due to our son, who was a long distance away from our home. Usually I have the cards up in the area of the dining room over the entrance into our more causal family room. It's a wonderful location in this small quaint house, as they then colorfully show themselves for all to view with greetings of good will & peace, from family & friends near & far, for a particular season.

Over the years we have received snapshots of times past & present. Some of the faces I've known far better than others, some I have yet to meet, nonetheless all are most precious in my heart, some who's time with us have been most fleeting, & others who are on paths to chapters yet untold.

So with the days of February inching across the weeks of this calendar page, may it always be of the discretion & the individual fashion of each interior designer, to decorate with the message of-- "Peace on Earth", whenever it so suits one's taste.

Shalom, Salam, may peace be with you, as prayers for Peace On Earth is never a passing phase, or out of season.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

On Theatre

Sharing some late summer views of the Greek Theatre at Cranbrook in Bloomfield, MI, of which you can visit at []. A most beautiful collection of architecture, art & formal gardens. Yes, the Greeks, what a civilization, what a culture, they gave us so much. Where it all began.

Last night my husband & I joined a group of friends for dinner & a play. We went to see an excellent performance of community theatre in downtown Putnam, Ct., at the Bradley. Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward would have loved it. Who would have thought that a story regarding three widows, who's main monthly agenda, to visit a cemetery together, would prove to be, so meaningful & downright hilarious. It certainly had all the essential elements, good acting & timing in a theatre that was once part of the vaudevillian glory days.

"The Cemetery Club" by, Ivan Menchell
Director: Jim Weigel / Asst. Director: Carole Hayes
Produced & Performed by: the Theatre of Northeast, Ct.
Cast: Rosemary Mercier, Diane Reilly, Marian Marchesseault,
Bruce Adams, Sandra Jackson

Long live Community Theatre, the-- "Theatre of the Arts"!