Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What Happened to the Fidget Spinners?

They were everywhere.  Kids had them on the playground, unless the teacher had already confiscated them.  They lined the checkout counters at the grocery store and the car wash and the hardware store.  They came to dinner with the grown-ups, a means of keeping the kids occupied, obviating the need to include them in the conversation.  They were a fad.

The Cuters went through a variety of collectibles - round discs and printed cards, saved in plastic sleeves held in three ring binders.  Some were used in a tiddly-winks like game, but most just sat there, being looked at.  The cards were often disgusting, in a fourth grade blood-and-guts way.  As long as it was just yucky, I let it go.  There was no sense in judging a fad that would vanish before permanent psychological damage could be done.

Hula Hoops were a fad when I was very young.  Bubba and Zayde and I went to John's Bargain Store on East 93rd Street in Brooklyn and we each bought one.  Why?  They were rationed.  I remember the cashier looking askance at my grandmother as she approached the counter.  Was she really going to shimmy in the middle of a plastic wheel?  In retrospect, she was probably annoyed that we were walking out with three of them. At the time, I just thought I had a very cool Bubba.

I had to Google fads in the 1950's to see what else constituted a fad.  Davy Crockett - I had a coon skin cap with a tail, I named my bicycle Betsy after Davy's rifle, and I was furious that  my family wouldn't name my newborn sister that, too.  The Mickey Mouse Club - I was in love with a few of the Mouseketeers, wanted Annette to be my best friend, and waited impatiently for Friday's Spin and Marty episode.

I thought I would remember more of the 1960's, but I sat, staring at Lenore the Lenovo Laptop, for a long time trying to come up with what constituted a fad.  I could only come up with one:white go-go boots.

White go-go boots were a fad during middle school.  My family didn't have a lot of extra money, so I must have been exceptionally persuasive to have convinced G'ma to buy me a pair.  I remember her making me promise that I would wear them; the fad ended before I out-grew them.  There they sat, a sad reminder of the folly of following trends.

Google thinks that Rock and Roll was a fad; I think it was a cultural shift.  I'm not including it in this review.  By definition, I think a fad has to have a limited life span.  I'm still listening to Rock and Roll aren't you?

Was being a hippie a fad?  Longing for peace, brotherhood, sisterhood, and multi-cultural understanding, fueled by recreational drugs and home brewed beer, we toppled a Presidency and ended a war.  Was that a fad, or a cultural revolution?

Was marching on Washington or the Dean of Students Office a fad?  Some of us certainly did a lot of it, and then we didn't.  And then, decades later, we were at it again.  That's not a fad, that's a statement.

Was wearing tie-dye and bell-bottoms and my hair in long braids a fad?  I've shucked the pants, but the tie dye is still in my wardrobe.  My long hair fell victim to TBG's pleas that he loved short styles, but I was an adult by then, too mature to be influenced by fads.  Or so I thought.

The Prince scholars are my quick go-to group for that which is trendy among the younger set.  Affirmation T-Shirts seem to be all the rage these days; everyone is Mommy's Best Daughter or certain that I am a Rock Star! or a Hero for the Ages.  In this case, I am an anti-fad follower, as my new favorite tee proclaims:

Like the fidget spinners and the pogs and the Mouseketeers, fads fade away.  They live in the boxes of memories your parents store for you, and then you open the boxes when your mother sends them to you when you buy your first home.  You hold the painted plastic Rat Fink and wonder why????

That's the definition of a fad - years later you look at it and wonder why????

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Are You Registered To Vote, vol 2

The young woman behind the counter was waiting for me today.

"I didn't get to the website you gave me, but I have the next few days off and I'm on it." will be there when she's ready, I assured her.

"There are a lot of people running, and a lot of propositions."  She did not look thrilled.

"Pick an issue you care about and google it with a candidate's name.  That's a good place to start."

A smile lit her face; this was within her wheelhouse.

I gave her some stickers, for herself, her friends, and their cars.  She agreed that it was her generation's responsibility to care for their future.  She was grinning as we talked about rallying her friends to go to the polls.

I left with a big smile on my face.

Now, I'm off to write postcards to get out the vote for Stacey Abrams, my own small contribution to counter the voter suppression tactics of her opponent.  I'm still showing off the felt #InvestInEd emblem JannyLou gave me to show that I'll vote-against-the-vouchers.  And I have a sticker on my car, just like the ones I gave the girl behind the counter:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Beauty and The Beast, 1946

Scarlet and I spent a truly surreal afternoon together.  Really.  Though he denied any connection to the movement, Jean Cocteau appears in every scholarly explication of surrealism that I found this evening.  He inspired it, he created it, he reveled in it - whatever he called it.  And today, celebrating European Art Cinema Day, Scarlet and I joined him in fantasy, watching his black and white masterpiece, La Belle et La Bete.

The Loft's Program Director had much too much fun making fun of Disney's animated remake in his opening remarks.  I'm not sure as he is that Cocteau's candelabras, muscular men's arms protruding from the walls, moving with Beauty as she runs through their shadows, are any less creepy or amusing than 1991's dancing and singing torchiers. 

Yes, along with a magic mirror and a transporter-equipped, jewel encrusted, right hand glove, there were living body parts in usually inanimate objects.  We got used to the arms pretty quickly.  The statues with eyes that ogled brought giggles from the crowd; perhaps we are jaded, 70 some years later.  On some level, it was creepy.  Then, again, so are talking light fixtures. 

The subtitles called her Beauty, but the actors, speaking French, said Belle.  There was a square jawed suitor and a wastrel sidekick and the father and daughter loved each other very much, just like the story is supposed to be.  Cocteau threw in some annoying sisters, but coming from a Cinderella-driven childhood they didn't seem out of place to me  Their presence made it feel more like a fairy tale. 

And the audience reacted as if it were. We sighed, we gasped, we smiled together.  Story time for grown-ups on a Sunday afternoon, with a good friend by my side.  Life is good.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Medicare Open Enrollment - A Snippet

"You get the Humana plan from AARP.  Everyone does."

That was the advice TBG got when he turned 65.  From everyone.  That was the advice I got, too, two years later.  So that's what we got.  And it was good.

We have simple needs.  The plan met them.  And it had a fabulous feature - Silver Sneakers.

Do you know Silver Sneakers?  You give your name and address and the staff at any affiliated gym looks you up on the computer and gives you a access to the facility.  For free. 

And there are lots of affiliates.  LA Fitness.  The Y. 

The Fit Stop 5 minutes from Little Cuter's house kept me sane while awaiting Giblet's arrival. Silver Sneakers let me follow my yogi to Planet Fitness one Sunday morning.  All at no cost, with minimal paperwork and a welcoming attitude from everyone, every time. 

I'm using it just the way it was intended - it gets me moving in situations where I might otherwise not.

And so, because I use it and I love it and it saves me a monthly gym membership, because it's effective in the most basic way, the way every doctor talked about with G'ma as she aged, because those who don't move, die, that plan that everyone gets will no longer include Silver Sneakers as a member benefit.

It's replaced by 50% off our LA Fitness membership, and a discount at affiliates. 

That's $360 a year we'll have to add to the cost of coverage in 2019, unless our adviser can suggest a better solution. 

That's vacations where working out will be behind one more obstacle, if the opportunity exists at all.

That's the first step in forgetting why I chose the apartment furthest from the dining room when G'ma moved to The Old Folks Home; it was the only exercise she got, and then only because she was hungry. 

Sigh.  Just when I thought things couldn't get worse. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Such a Big Girl

"Why is Thomas orange?" 

SIR was concerned. The big people were relaxing on the couch, watching videos on the phone, on the iPad, on the television, after a hard day at work and pre-K.  The dog, with his now orange fur, strolled by. 

The parents wondered.

"Orange?  Why is he orange?"

"He must have gotten into something in the garden."


"Sure, it could be pollen.  Let me look."

And then, without lifting her eyes from the screen in her lap, not missing a beat, came FlapJilly, participating in the conversation as a fully fledged member of the team.

"Guys.  Guys.  I spilled my mac and cheese on him."

Being a Big Sister has propelled my grandbaby into Big Girlhood.  

She's learning about the planets, because pre-K has a curriculum that includes such things.  She announced that Saturn is her favorite among them, "because it has rings, just like me!"  

She's riding her two wheeler around the neighborhood, propelled by her Daddy on roller blades, kept stable by his steady hands and her training wheels.  They zoom down the driveway and she squeals with glee as Grampa and I gasp.  She took a spill when we accompanied her to the park; she checked for blood, got back on her bike, and rode home to report to her mother: "I fell off, but I was brave."

She said yes to the offer of a bandaid, but that might have been a fashion statement,
just as it was here.

Did I mention that she wants to be Merida for Halloween?  Since they costume as a family, that means her mother has to be a huge black bear with a crown, while her Dad and Brother get to be Vikings.  Still, when your daughter wants to be the hero from a film called Brave, it's hard to say no.

In real life, she's also a girly girl, one who spreads blue eye shadow on her forehead (look to Wonder Woman's makeup for her inspiration) and a different pouffe of blush on each cheek, one whose vanity table is covered with bling. 

"Are you blogging?  You're giving off a very nice vibe."

Yes, about FlapJilly, I told my husband, and we smiled.

This feisty little human lights up our world.  
Photos by

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I'm Still Jittery

Scarlet and I went to the movies today, wending our way through parking lot construction to  The Loft.  Our membership renewals came with 4 free passes; we each used one to gain admission to Love, Gilda.

It looked like it would be a private showing until the lights went down.  By the time the previews were finished there were two other women sitting at opposite ends of the theater, and a gentleman down in front.  Theater One, the biggest, renovated auditorium, was ours for the enjoying.

Until the jackhammers started.

Gilda had a miscarriage, and the pounding was intermittent.

Gilda went through chemotherapy, and the pounding got louder.

After ten minutes or so, I went out to the lobby, seeking redress.  I told the ticket seller that the movie was becoming unwatchable, what with the construction going on right outside.  He nodded.  I went back to my seat to see the end; I'd already invested an hour or more in the film and I was bound and determined to see it through to the end.

The credits rolled and Scarlet was out of her chair and into the lobby  By the time I caught up with her the ticket seller was emailing his manager, handing us replacement passes, and apologizing.  As first one woman and then the other came past I I encouraged them to get their free passes, too.  The older gentleman couldn't have been more delighted.

We walked out past the jackhammer on the opposite side of the wall by our seats.  It was only marginally louder.  Then I drove home. 

My hand were shaky, but I put it down to the flu shot I got after the film.  I had trouble sitting still, and I thought it was because Prince is on Fall Break and I miss my routine of stories and gardening and hugs.  My head hurt, and I was anxious, and then I realized that I had been sitting beside concrete destruction for nearly an hour.

No one would choose to do that, especially someone who thought she was going to the movies. 
The movie was sweet, poignant, reminiscent of my young adulthood.  I recommend it.... without jackhammers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Happy Thoughts

I've been avoiding the news since Susan Collins. It's really been quite lovely.

It helps that the temperatures have been in the low 80's, that the rains have cleared the air of pollen and dust, at that the clouds, fueled by tropical storms and hurricanes near and far, have led to spectacular sunsets. 

And the pool is still warm enough for laps.

The risk of triple digits has passed, so I feel safe putting plants directly in the soil.  I'm going to risk planting another rock rose bush to supplement the ones the javelina had for brunch one Tuesday last year.  I'm going to amend the soil in some small areas of the garden, the dead zones where nothing has grown (and I've tried everything) for the 49 seasons we've lived here. 

If the soil won't come to me, I'll bring myself to the soil. 

I will not be defeated.  The yarn storage has gotten totally out of hand; I'm on Pintrest looking for suggestions.  I have the world's widest array of plastic bins and plastic bags and wicker baskets, in all shapes and sizes, covered and bare, handles optional on most.  I have a fancy label maker I've never un-wrapped from the impossible to destroy plastic covering. 

I'm all set, once I make a decision about what to do. 

My desk is, once more, a disaster zone.  I won't take a picture, because it's embarrassing, even by my standards.  And that's a very low bar.  But in order to find the label maker I'll have to dig through the layers, and so, it seems, I will have to approach this task as well.
I'm being ruthless in the kitchen.  I bought a new loaf pan to replace the ones Nannie handed down to me from Paw's older sister and my banana bread just slipped right out, bouncing on the cooling rack with reckless abandon.  I'm not used to shouting Hey, come back here to my baked goods.

Out go all my no-longer-non-stick, never use them even thought Someone Special gave/bought/handed it down to me.  Others can use them; I don't need them taking place.

I want everything I touch to make me smile, or at least not make me groan. 

And this is the prescription I've set for myself, to counter the overwhelming sadness I encounter when I try to face the world outside my house.  I'm listening to the DJ's on KXCI, our community radio station, because I can't bear to hear NPR rehashing the same sorry state of affairs,, program after program after program.  This morning I rolled down the car windows and sang along, loudly, to music that's been mine for decades.

Life is much happier here in my little shell.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Minimalist Decor

I used to go all out.  I carved pumpkins, I painted pumpkins, I stacked pumpkins on bales of hay next to scarecrows, I piled plush pumpkins beside plastic pumpkins overlooking ghost candlesticks.  Amsters kids helped me decorate, and then went home to complain to their mother that she didn't have enough stuff to celebrate the season.

Year after year, I stuffed those scarecrows myself, with help from whatever child happened to be available.  When the Cuters were both in college, TBG and I rented a house next to a young family.  Shyly, their third grader asked if she could help.  Her enthusiasm for the project outside prompted me to continue decorating inside, even if only TBG and I were there to enjoy it.

We were in transit; renting while searching the country for our forever home.  Almost everything was in packing boxes; I laughed at myself when I saw that the holiday decor was in the front of the storage garage.  The movers must have known that I'd need it, that it would make me happy.

And so it went, with helpers and without.  Even here in Tucson, when it was only the two of us to admire it, I went all out. 

And then FlapJillly came along.  It was much more entertaining to watch follow a toddler through her neighborhood than it was to sit in Tucson, waiting for trick-or-treaters to ring our bell. 

They never did.

Thus began what has become an annual pilgrimage to the Midwest for Halloween.  This has had a serious impact on my need to fit out my environment to suit the seasons. Blithely assuming that it would make a difference, last year I divided up the decorations: Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving.  This year I opened all the boxes because what I wanted could not be found where I thought it ought to be. 

And through it all I repeated a new mantra. Whatever I take out, I have to put away.  I was judicious in my choices.  I don't have much of an emotional attachment to most of what I've been carting around for decades, back and forth across the country.  I feel like I'm on the brink of a New Year's Resolution, something to do with trimming the edges of my living space.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Soothing My Soul

I'm emotionally exhausted. I've emailed Jeff Flake twice today, and I'll go into the office in person tomorrow.  I don't want to think about voices being unheard, about bad behavior - in the hearing room, not 36 year old allegations if you must disbelieve her - and that bad behavior being rewarded, about a frustratingly limited FBI investigation that wasn't much of an investigation at all.  I didn't want to think about it this afternoon, and I don't want to think about it tonight.

So let me share the loveliness of Grandma's Gardeners, who, upon hearing that the irrigation system was the victim of institutional interference (there's a leak somewhere in the middle school field and the water's turned off until it's repaired), happily built a bucket brigade from the water fountain in the cafeteria 
to Grandma's Garden., where,
under the supervision of my newest Garden Leader
they carefully watered the surviving plants.
The watering cans have to be small so they are not too heavy. 
All those big drink cups from Great America and Marine World and Cornell that have been languishing on my gardening shelves at home have finally been put to use.  They fill up quickly, and the kids love the adventure of going in-the-out-door because Grandma Suzi said it's okay.

Did I mention that they were very careful? 
Watching these kids tending tiny growing things warmed the cockles of my heart.  
They really needed warming.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Judge Kavanaugh's 10 year old wanted to pray for the woman.  He said that he was proud of her for that, though his behavior didn't reflect it.  A lot of wisdom from children, he went on.

Today, Garden Club at Prince proved the last part.

A womanly 5th grader, matured earlier than her peers and carrying more weight than looked optimal, was hanging out with me as her classmates carried cups and watering cans from the cafeteria to the garden. She made one run, and that was enough.  We agreed that irrigation without water is less than wonderful, and then she began to talk about bullying.

I'm not sure why, but she did.

She told me that bullies have bad home lives and that's why they act the way they do  She told me that bullies won't grow up to be successful, to be rich, because they have bad attitude.  Sweating and wiping our faces on our shirt sleeves, we pondered the mysteries of why, as I directed the hand irrigation behind her. 

It was a moment.

And then the football thrown by the big, early maturing, raucous, popular  boys, the ones who were going to play on the high school field at 5:30 that afternoon, that football landed squarely in the middle of one of my garden beds. 

You've assassinated my marigold!

They came into the garden, abashed, laughing loudly and nervously, and wondering What is a marigold??  I showed them, breaking off the damaged flower and securing it behind the left ear of one as another gave me a hug and said how sorry they all were.  They moved their game to the other side of the swing set, calling out 'Bye, Grandma!  Sorry, Grandma!

The boys and the marigold were gone, but my smile remained.  And I couldn't help comparing these kids who truly have no connections, who go to an admittedly fabulous but certainly not exclusive or elite school, these multi-ethnic teammates to the picture painted by those who were there of Brett Kavanaugh and his. 

I was very proud of our Prince Scholars today.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Random Thoughts on This Week (and it's only Tuesday)

"Remember there was a time where you could not be a nominee and potentially lie to Congress and be voted in to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court."

I heard this just after putting dinner in the oven.  In Tucson, 84 and drizzling counts as pot roast weather; I had three hours to develop a post that would counteract the gloom outside. 

I failed. 

I kept coming back to the heartache I saw on Ashley Parker's face as she was describing the disintegration (okay, a girl can hope) of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination. She looked like I felt.

Hollowed out. 
The good men I know who are trying to reach out are uncertain of the reception their overtures will receive.  They are worrying about striking the right tone, not wanting to offend. 

Welcome to our world, we reply.  Welcome to our world.
My first real job interview included "They grow them will brass ones back in New York, don't they?"
I smiled and agreed. Coming to know him later, I realized that it was an inappropriately sexual remark; at the time, I took it as a geographic insult, and showed him exactly what a short, Jewish, girl from Long Island looked like. 

I was young and naive and convinced that he needed me more than I needed him, and I was enjoying the game.  His mid-western provincialism was no match for my snarky New York attitude.  I got nearly the salary my outrageousness had requested. 

I wonder if I'd have been as brave if I'd been responding to his innuendo-laden smile. 
So we're at an interesting place in our world right now. 

Whether they believe Dr. Ford or they don't, men are thinking about what she said he did.  Their sons and daughters are hearing it, too, and are watching their reaction.  Women are used to having their reactions judged and, too often, found wanting for no reason other than gender.  The good men I know are spending time apologizing for the misdeeds of their sex, feeling dishonored by the bad behavior of others, being judged for no reason other than gender.

It's mind bending.   

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Early Bird Special - A Snippet

Did you have lunch today? 
Yeah, I made a hamburger.
I'm hungry now.  Do you want soup?
And grilled cheese?
We have ciabatta and a good tomato.  I'm on it.

It was 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  The rain had finally stopped, the air smelled of creosote, and it was 4pm.  Not my usual dinner time.  Not by two or three hours.

G'ma and Daddooooo spent 6 long weeks in Florida, researching it as a retirement option.  Along with the absence of anyone under the age of 100, it was The Early Bird Special that put the death knell to their becoming Floridians. 

"What do you do with the rest of the night?" G'ma wondered whenever the topic came up. 

What's the opposite of I have become my mother?  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Are You Registered To Vote?

That's what I asked the 20-something behind the counter, after I placed my order.  With a big smile, she nodded and said YES!

I leaned over and asked the girl beside her.  She, too, was registered.  The boy to their left just wasn't sure if he'd ever registered, or why he would bother.  I went into my "All those girls you don't get 
pregnant?  That's because birth control is legal, now.  I bet you care about that, right?" spiel, and he laughed and agreed that he did. 

His colleague was flummoxed.  What did voting have to do with that?  And anyway, didn't we just have an election?  Is there one in this state?  Why?  The President is in for 4 years, and it hasn't been 4 years... has it?

I smiled.  I nodded.  I tried not to think about what she hadn't been taught in school. 

I explained about the House and the Senate and why they might be important in the overall scheme of things.  I wondered if they would be interested in paying a little bit more to have well-paved roads.  Did they think that our public schools deserved a little love and attention?  This was their chance to have their opinions counted; how often did that happen?

During our conversation, another customer entered the lobby.  When I paused for breath, he chimed in.  Governor Ducey did not fare well in his estimation, nor did those who chose not to exercise their right to vote.  The kids were caught up in it, too.  By the time I collected my order, I'd promised to bring them information on how and where and what.  As I left, one called out.  "Thank you for your passion about this."

A trip to the League of Women Voters is in my future.  These kids have yet to experience my passion.

Friday, September 28, 2018

I Was Mesmerized- Random Thoughts on a Nomination Hearing

I rolled out of bed and onto Douglas (the couch) at 7am.  I made us breakfast during one of the breaks, opened a yogurt for lunch, but mostly I sat, mesmerized, in front of the television until I realized that it was over, it was after 4 o'clock, and I was still in my PJ's.
While I watched, I wondered, I squirmed, I reached out, I sighed.

I wondered if the Republicans were unhappy that their Female Assistant finished her questioning and then walked to the table to shake hands with Dr. Ford. 

I wondered how Kamala Harris's fingers managed to be as expressive as her words, those fingers opening and closing and pointing and have I mentioned that I was mesmerized?
I texted with my sister just after she had donated to Dr. Ford's GoFundMe. 

I heard from JannyLou, who was in D.C., meeting John Lewis.

Big Cuter checked in, wondering how he could use his privilege to ameliorate the problem. 
I watched an angry man call out Senators, interrupt Senators, refuse to answer questions, equate a hearing with an FBI investigation, and never once offer to take his all in, immediately attitude to get Mark Judge to answer questions.  He likes beer, and wondered what Senator Whitehouse drinks, wondered again, and then, again.  He asked Sen. Klobuchar if she had ever blacked out from drinking.

This was a job interview.  I'd have thrown him out of my office after five minutes.
It's possible that all of these women have, independently, decided to smear the character of this nominee.  It's possible that booting and ralphing have nothing to do with drinking and everything to do with Judge Kavanaugh's delicate constitution.  It's possible that church and working out and going to the movies with Susanne kept him so busy that he couldn't possibly have gotten drunk on a weeknight in the summer. 
It's possible that the product of a Catholic boys' school, valedictorian and varsity team captain, might feel entitled when it came to sex with a younger girl he barely knew.  It's possible that he would have enjoyed showing off for his friend, laughing uproariously as the friend jumped into the fun, tumbling them all to the floor. 
It's possible that a person with all this swirling around himself will soon have a seat on the highest court in the land. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I've had a lot of false charges brought against me.
I've been a famous person for a long time.
I've had a lot of false charges brought against me.
People want money, fame, whatever.  
That's what our President had to say about the allegations against his Supreme Court nominee. 
 I'm wondering if Dr. Ford's whatever is what he had in mind.  

It's a very dangerous period in our country
That's what our President had to say about #MeToo.  
I don't think he's talking about the women who are being harassed.  

Y'know what we're looking for?  Role Models.
That's what someone said on MSNBC.   
Do we have to spell it out?  
Shouldn't that be the basic pre-requisite for government service?

......shoved a woman up against a wall aggressively and sexually
......there were at least four witnesses, including my daughter
....the victim called my daughter last night; they decided to remain anonymous
That's from the anonymous fourth accuser.  
Aggressively and sexually are not terms I use interchangeably. 
I love the fact that her mother couldn't keep her mouth shut.  I can hear her brain cracking - she knows they ought to speak out, she knows how it will wreck their lives, they are adults and should be able to decide for themselves, and finally, This Cannot Be Allowed To Stand! 

I'm setting my alarm for 7am.
This is better than House of Cards.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Not In My House

We've read all of Bob Woodward's books, finding them compelling and accurate and intimate pictures of the people and events in the headlines.  We lived in D.C. during Watergate; the Washington Post was our hometown paper.  Reading about it in Woodward's series of books brought us deeper into the minutia.  Then, as now, we reveled in the details.

So, when TBG asked me to reserve a copy of Fear at our neighborhood Barnes and Opal, I didn't give it a second thought.  I picked it up the day it was revealed.  This is what I was given
I had to ask for a bag. I couldn't have that man, that face, staring at me, sharing my space, in my car.    I certainly couldn't have him in my home.  

We took off the dust cover, but the binding was rough and TBG uses the inside flap as a bookmark.  I could have made one out of a paper bag, or wrapping paper, but my bookshelves offered many better options.
Has it come to this?
 Too easy.
 A Strong Possibility.
 The irony was too much.
 I was going to go with this one,
.   until I found the one:
You can thank me in the comments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In Defense of Fraternity Men

In response to yesterday's post, wherein Rain grrr'ed thusly:
..... aren't they supposed to be the best of the best??? And some surely are but in our nearby university town, when they have the fraternity days, with the dads coming, it's drunk partying all the way. What the heck has gone wrong? I don't know about Kavanaugh but it sure paints a picture of a culture that was not very admirable and they end up running our nation or in high courts! 
Even as a freshman, I knew the fraternity houses with that reputation in my university town. 

My sorority was across the street from one of them; as pledges and then living in the house we were cautioned to avoid partying there. 

I helped a sophomore classmate with Sociology 101 and he invited me, and any and all of my girlfriends, to his frat parties.  We always had a great time, and he or someone we knew always made sure we got back to our dorm, if we wanted to go.  I heard stories about wild parties, but, if questioned, I couldn't say more than that.  

Years later, that same house was banned for a time for outrageous behaviors.  In its reincarnation, its members called a friend to suggest that she come and rescue her son.  She did. They saved her son, watching over him until she arrived.  

TBG and his fraternity brothers were just that - brothers.  Different in many ways, but similar in those that mattered.  They valued the trust that brought them together.  I know lots of them now, as adults; they are among our closest friends. 

They spoke of honor in the way that young men on their own are wont to do.  They held doors and chairs and enjoyed getting dressed up to do so.  Those who drank too much were escorted out of the way, and while some were crueler to others than they needed to be, it was, over all, a very civilized environment.  They were proud of their house, of their membership, of their reputation and they acted that way.  

It all felt very grown up, including the way I was treated.  

Most of his brothers were the product of elite public schools. Most of their families were well-to-do.  I was neither, and I never thought about it as an issue until my fingers started typing it right here.  There was no sense of entitlement, no need to exercise power for the sake of power, and certainly no sexual posturing.  They were Parent Presentable.

None of them resemble the Brett Kavanaugh described by his accusers.  
Now my husband can stop flinching every time frat boy enters his consciousness.
The media has now recognized his perspective.
He has been heard.

Isn't that what everyone wants, in the end?

Monday, September 24, 2018

And Then There Was This

I spent the weekend trying to forget it was happening.  I exercised and saw Berthold Brecht's Gallileo and read a novel and thought about Billy Collins poetry and then, as a go-to-channel when his football game was at commercial, we saw that there's another one.

Deep breath. 

He flipped back to football as I scrolled through Twitter (how 21st century of me, right?) for the details.  College boys delighting in a naked penis thrust in a young girl's face.  Ugh, on behalf of decent men everywhere.


I spent a moment hoping that the women are telling the truth, though I have no reason to disbelieve them.  Dr. Ford's career as a psychometrician focuses on resilience after trauma.  She surfs, pitting herself against the ocean, surviving where others might drown.  I'm unable to believe that's all coincidence.

At the next commercial, we read that there's a third one.  And that Michael Avenatti is representing  her. We remember that everything he alleged about the Cohen/Daniels/Trump bucket of slime was proven to be true. My doubts are evaporating.

What's the opposite of guilt by association?  Is there such a thing as truthful by association?

Senator Patty Murray shook her head in disgust, wondering if the younger reporter remembered what  the Senate did to Anita Hill. No wonder she kept quiet. Still shaking her head, she hoped that another generation would not learn that same lesson.

#MeToo, only a feel good moment?  #MeToo, a catalyst for real social change. 

A  girl can dream.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Random Thoughts On A Very Odd Day

The Cleveland Browns are charging down the field, impressing my boys.  This display of prowess is a rare and delightful occurrence.
I drove to an even that didn't happen, went to Costco and found the organizer in the pharmacy line.  We wondered whether I'd been notified of the change in plans; we agreed that it really didn't matter.  It was a pretty drive and life's too short to sweat the small stuff.
I came home with a trunk filled with basic supplies, having stared down the last roll of toilet paper in the house, willing it to procreate and failing miserably.  TBG and I carried and put away and in the middle of it all I realized that the heat was on. 

It was 75 degrees this morning, which by Tucson standards is cool, but by the afternoon we were nudging triple digits. Sensing my confusion, TBG pointed out the HVAC kid traipsing across the patio, reminding me that we were having our bi-annual check up and that it required turning on all the systems.   

True.  But the heat was on and I was in sandals and a sleeveless blouse.
Chuck Grassley the Younger is on my tv talking about the appropriateness of an FBI investigation.

Chuck Grassley the Elder is tweeting that there's no reason for the FBI to get involved in an investigation.
I can feel the women screaming.  Perhaps it's the outrage in my own head, unable to be contained by my skull, bursting out like Medusa's snakes.  #MeToo is all well and good, but the reality is that a woman spoke out about a sexual assault and now she and her family are unsafe in their own home. 

I haven't heard that the Kavanaugh's are receiving death threats.
It has been a very odd day.

Still, I was here to be annoyed by it.  So, by definition, it was also a good day. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Listening to Anita Hill - A Snippet
Do you remember these?  
The Sport Walkman was self-contained, had 5 radio pre-set buttons, and stayed in place as I jogged and power walked along the Chicago lakefront.  

It was on my head on that October afternoon, as Anita Hill testified.
I was watching Big Cuter play flag football, wearing a parka, gloves, and a scarf because, y'know, it was October in Chicago and they were, of course, playing on the field closest to the lake, the coldest, windiest place in town.  

I don't remember if it was a practice or a game.
I don't remember much beyond the grey skies and my outrage.
What is she saying? the other moms asked.
And so, watching little boys running somewhat aimlessly toward a distant goal, I said words like Long Dong Silver and pubic hair.

I feel as dirty now as I did then.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Are We Accountable?

Am I responsible for my actions when I was 17?

Whatever your stand on the validity of  Dr. Ford's assertions, the larger question remains.  Can you be called to task today for things you did in high school?

Some would say YES, boldly and in italics.  Some would argue that change is inevitable and that an unruly teenager could mature into a responsible adult.  

And that is where the real apology comes in.  I don't remember it, but I was an abuser of alcohol in my high school days and, I am embarrassed to say, I am missing many weekends of my youth.  I don't like to think that I would have done such a heinous thing, but if her memory is better than mine then I apologize with all my heart.  It was unconscionable, inexcusable, and reprehensible.  Tell me what to do to make amends, and I'm on it.

I'd have an easier time with him were he man enough to man up.

It's not easy, but it's been done.  I know.  I was on the receiving end.  Here's an excerpt from my October, 2009 post about my high school reunion.
Then I heard my name - my childhood name, the name no one has called me for 4 decades - in a voice I would have recognized even out of context. Her freckles, her sparkly eyes, her hair (a little less red, but still thick and enviable), her just-like-her-mother-had perfectly polished nails and that voice, that voice that tormented me on the playground and on the street we shared and in our hallways and suddenly she was hugging me tightly and expressing joy at our meeting and telling everyone in earshot that we'd known each other since we were 1 year old and how great it was to see me and then she looked me in the eye, hugged me tighter and shook my world: "I was sooo mean to you when we were young. I am so sorry. I am so not that person anymore. Will you forgive me?"

I realized that I had nodded agreement with her admission of guilt - yes, you were mean to me. Like a ton of bricks it hit me that I had never, in all my life, admitted that fact out loud. We were friends. We lived on the same street. We played together as kids did back then, ringing doorbells at friends' houses up the street until you found someone at home to do something with. Our parents liked each other. I always knew she was mean to me, but we were still friends.

If anyone holds the key to the intricacies of a young girl's mind, please enlighten me. All I know now is that a knot which had been hiding in a storage locker in my soul is now sliced through. Vanished. I've been carrying around the little slights and the bigger hurts and she looked right into my eyes and brought it out into the open and squished it like a bug. I cried. She cried. People noticed and smiled as we hugged and laughed about her "12 Step Friendship Program" and from then on it was perfect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Snippet Or Five

The President of the United States is declassifying documents which will put at risk those engaged in keeping us safe.

Drunken teenage partying is delaying the confirmation of that President's nominee to the Supreme Court, a nominee called a fine person by that President, who also thought that there were some fine people on the alt-right side in Charlottesville, too. 

Wilmington, North Carolina is completely cut off, and those who stayed have run out their cell phone batteries and have no way to recharge them.  Terrifyingly, they have resorted to board games for amusement.

Dr. K and Not-Kathy arrived yesterday.  Thirty hours later, they've stripped their living room wall to the studs, with only one broken thumb nail on the casualty list.  We sent them home after dinner with beer and brownies, reassuring her that 9 o'clock was not too early to go to sleep.

And so, I leave you with this question from TBG last weekend:
One can hunker down.
Can one hunker up?  

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Second Thought on Football

Sitting beside TBG this afternoon, reading a book I realized I had read before, I was distracted by his quickened breath.  I looked up at the screen and witnessed his hapless Cleveland Browns running successfully across the goal line.

He whooped.  He hollered.  He shot his fist in to the air.

Then, we laughed together as the phone rang; we knew it was Big Cuter calling to congratulate his paternal unit.

And, as I listened to two of my favorite men reviewing and recounting and retelling and smiling and sharing I had to admit that football is good for something.

If it creates opportunities like these, maybe it's not all bad.  I was able to reassure my son that I no longer found him to be of questionable moral character for watching America's blood sport.  Instead, I lauded him for bending his principles enough to allow him to share the love with his father. 

This parenting stuff is complicated, no matter how old the kids get.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Garden Club at Prince Elementary School

I'd say we were oversubscribed, but I was thrilled with the turnout.
I went in with a flexible lesson plan in mind; forty some kindergarteners sent that flying. There was no way they were going to make name tags; they wanted to garden.  So, I regrouped.

I went over the rules :
Be Kind  (Obviously.)
No Shoes on the Raised Beds. (Do you want people walking on your bed with their shoes?) 
No climbing on or over the fence.  (Grandma will get in trouble if you do that, and I don't want trouble).

Then I set them to weeding the entire garden area. 
Their enthusiasm was delicious, but there were so many of them that taking pictures was impossible.  I was the only grown up, and I had to admire the collections of tiny leaves and small stones and sticks presented to me by many many many proud, little hands.  

The bigger kids came in the next wave.  There were just as many of them, and they were bigger. They took up more space, and made more noise.  But they were eager to learn, so we took a tour of the irrigation system, following the indentation left from the trenching.
UofA volunteers covering the trench containing the main irrigation line
It was a treasure hunt, ending where it all began, with connections and roaches and my voice calmly saying that they were all living creatures but no, I was not going to pick one up so they could see.
The hole beside the box was filled in when the system was installed, well before the kids gathered there..
We walked the main line back to the drip lines
 in the raised beds
They were less enthusiastic weeders than their younger friends, but their collection of the bigger stones (for a cairn) is neatly organized in a specific corner.  Then, they left.

The biggest kids were respectful of the process
and strong enough to lift the bags of soil (so I didn't have to).
Some held the bag, some scooped out the soil, 
and ML, a Leader, guided her peers as they amended the beds.
The little green wagon in the foreground collects our trash.  I'd never seen such eager barrow pushers.
There are two beds in the garden, with plenty of opportunity to get your hands dirty.
 No gloves (the school does have sinks, right?), just fingers digging deep into the soil, mixing the old with the new.
They were so proud, so determined to leave it perfect 
(they are beginning gardeners.... they have time to learn the truth)
that they lightly smoothed the surface to an even plane before they left.

And then there was this bit of hilarity.
What are you doing? I wondered.  They were weeding.  
And this weed was stuck.  Really really stuck. 
So they were getting down low to pull it or break it but it was really really stuck.
Perhaps that's because it's a root.  See this tree?  This giant tree looming over the roof of the school?  
This is one of its roots.  It's connected to all that tree-ness.  It's not going anywhere.
And yet, they kept pulling.

That optimism will stand them in good stead as they learn to be desert gardeners.
Garden Club meets every Wednesday in the hour around noon.
Come and visit us, if you're in the neighborhood.
We're quite proud.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I'm Exhausted

Today was the first meeting of Garden Club at Prince Elementary School.
These kids were a small part of the third group to work on getting the space ready for planting.

I took many pictures, so many that my phone died.
It was as tired as I was.  
Apparently, someone took my picture.
I share it with you as a teaser for tomorrow's post; I promise photos and giggles galore.

For now, I'll leave you with my candidate for Best Job Title, found on a Science Channel explication of the space time continuum:
Planetary Defense Engineer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I ordered a print of this.
 I framed it and placed it in the center of my house.

Giblet's eyes follow me everywhere.
This is especially true since it's 16x20.

That turns out to be a lot bigger than I expected.

And yet, I am not at all tempted to move it.
It's an uber-status.  I am nothing else.
I am so happy.

Monday, September 10, 2018

And Then There Was This

I'm back on a regular routine in the gym.  I'm noticing changes and so are others.  I look forward to it. These are all good things.

The fact that I cannot get up off the weight bench is not a good thing.  Bench presses are easier than fly's; I can use the bar to hoist myself up.  But lying flat on my back, my knees bent and feet on the bench because they don't reach the floor, I have trouble getting to sitting.

The best I can do is to roll to the side, press my palm to the end of the dumbbell, and swing my legs around.  It looks like I'm falling off.... which I am.  But I'm in control of the fall.

The 20-something spotting his friend on the bench beside me noticed my maneuver.  I recognized the look:  a good deed needs to be done and I'm the guy to do it.  Big Cuter wears that look; it warms the cockles of my heart. 

I finished my graceless ascent, smiled at my would-be rescuer, replaced my weight and walked on. 

He smiled at me as I passed.  I took out my ear bud and thanked him for noticing what might have been distress but wasn't.  Since I was shot, I have trouble with my hip.  That's the only way I can ....

His face was fabulous.  YOU. Got SHOT?  With a GUN?

Yes, a 9mm Glock.  Yes, Gabby and Christina-Taylor.  Yes, My bullet wound peeking around the strap of my tank top.

And then, his friend:  I had two heart attacks and three surgeries.  Before I was 21.  Now I'm going on a bike ride with him.  You do what you have to do.

We talked about tomorrow not being promised, about making the most of every day.  We introduced ourselves, shook hands, and I left.

It was a moment, denizens.  Surviving brings me connections I'd never make otherwise.  Another reason to feel grateful that the sun came up today, and I was here to see it.

Friday, September 7, 2018

I'm Almost Optimistic

I was watching when Cory Booker realized that he was being threatened.  His body reacted before his face did; he was upright and focused as he stared Senator Cornyn down.  Bring it.  Bring it on.

Then Mazie Hirono said she was in, too.  And she had some reasons that Alaska's Lisa Murkowski ought to look twice at Judge Kavanaugh, based on documents the Committee started out withholding and belatedly de-classified.

Kamala Harris just makes me smile.  She's so used to being a prosecutor, to staring down the defendant, to hinting at information, it was fun to watch her leave the nominee squirming and worming his way around not answering. 

John Kyl is my new Senator.  He was a friend of John McCain.  I'll send him an email reminding him that he's holding a maverick's seat and that, perhaps, he might want to have a maverick moment himself.

Yesterday, I visited Jeff Flake's office and called out the crassness of turning your back on a grieving father.  I sent him an email today, reminding him that he represented me and that I was not thrilled with a prospective defendant appointing his own judge.

For the first time in a long time, I'm enjoying watching my government at work.  The system seems to be functioning.... lurching.... finally.... and November elections are less than 60 days away.

I'm going to hold those thoughts over the weekend.  I'm tired of being tired of my elected officials.  I'm enjoying watching them work through the night.  I'm hopeful that they might get something right, for a change.

I'm almost optimistic.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

It Seems Pretty Simple

You don't get to choose your judge.

You especially don't get to appoint the guy to a lifetime position, the law's most prestigious honor, before you, un-indicted co-conspirator that you are, appear before him, at the center of issues likely to unseat you.

I just looked it up: it takes 51 Senators to make a quorum.  Without a quorum, business cannot be conducted.

There are 49 Democrats.   If they and two other Senators who care about our country flee the scene, the Senate cannot advise and consent.  The flawed logic that led to Merrick Garland never receiving a hearing can be invoked once again:  let the voters have their say first.

Like I said.  It seems pretty simple.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I Can't Watch It

I just can't do it.  Being an informed citizen requires that I listen, but I cannot force myself to pay attention.

Judge Kavanaugh is naming the girls he coached on his daughter's 6th Grade CYO Championship team, and I wonder how he'd feel if he lost a few to a school shooter.

I hear him praise his mother and his wife, calling them strong and courageous.  Have they ever faced a back-alley abortion? 

I'm sure he's a fun-loving guy who adores his family and gives back to his community.  It's not his fault that Sen. Grassley is a pompous ass.  But the Republicans dropped 40,000 pages of documents on a holiday weekend night and began deliberations the next day.  Weeks ago, he ought to have stood up and said I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Release it all.  I'm proud of every word.

Condi Rice's smiling face over his shoulder sent me to the NFL and the flag and the Boycott Nike campaign because an ad featured Colin Kaepernick and we all know that he is ..... what?  An advocate of free speech?  A man of conscience?  A voice for the voiceless? 

As you can tell, I was getting nowhere.  I wanted to tell him that he wasn't running for Student Council President even though he managed to name every high school and college he and everyone he ever met attended.  He patted himself on the back (As I said when I gave the graduation address at Catholic University....) and looked smug.

It's not fair to the man and it's not fair to me.  I cannot bear it a moment longer.  I'm casting aspersions based on fury that my daughter will have to fight the fights that I fought for her all those decades ago.  I'm abdicating my civic responsibilities and going to swim laps.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Am I The Same?

Little Cuter wonders how I've changed since my adolescence.  Totally and Not At All is the most honest answer.

I'm still among the shortest people in the room.  My long, dark hair is now short and mostly grey.  Others see me as fit and trim today; I used to be just skinny. 

I was the fastest girl in my grade school classes; now I gimp along, struggling to keep up with the adults, giving up on catching FlapJilly.  That's the change that I notice the most.  Nannie used to laugh as she heard my footsteps; "Doesn't that girl ever do anything but scurry?"  Those days of quick movements were perforated, but the impetus behind them remains.  I'm moving fast in my soul, even if my body is lagging behind.

I was a voracious reader then, and I am one today.  Picking up a novel after the end of classes Freshman year remains one of the most satisfying events of my Summer of 1970.  I had time to read for pleasure.  Life was good.  Today, as The Burrow has reported often enough, spending all day with a topped off ice tea and a one-day-read is as near to heaven as I can get.

Then and now, I'd rather be outdoors than watching tv.  I would rather write you a letter than call you on the phone.  I need a solid breakfast and a decent snack in the late afternoon to maintain my sanity - both G'ma and the Cuters will attest to that.  "Mom, do you want to eat something????!!!!???" was their gentle reproach when hunger got the better of my after-school greeting.

I'm more comfortable with myself now than I was at 16.  I thought I was pretty special, then, and I wondered why no one else noticed that fact.  Could I be wrong?  Now I don't worry so much about whether others notice my wonderfulness.  As long as I make myself happy, I'm fine.  In Psych 101 terms, I have more of an internal locus of control as I age.

And that is funny, because the sources of my discomfort are, for the most part, external these days.  Trump.  2008.  Climate Change.  Our current president was merely a tabloid joke in my teens.  The financial markets were humming.  We were concerned about regulating smog, not boiling the entire planet.  As a teen, I felt much more in control of the outside world; student protests stopped a war and convinced a sitting president not to run for reelection. 

As an adult, I have a more realistic appraisal of my ability to secure lasting change.  I am still protesting a war and its consequences.  Access to birth control and abortion services are once more under attack.  With the other grey haired women similarly situated, I cannot believe we are still fighting these fights. 

I wish I had had Ruth Bader Ginsburg to look up to when I was a teen.  I wish Sally Ride and Serena Williams and Martha Pollack had been there to show me the way.  I was willing but didn't think I was able.  I didn't think it was possible.  After all, Della Street was an able assistant to Perry Mason, but she didn't get to search for clues very often.  Beaver Cleaver's mother wore pearls and did hand sewing.  The adventurous women on tv were single girls looking for a man to marry. 

I'm less certain about some things and more convinced than ever about others.  My politics are still progressive.  I'm marginally less judgmental.  I still leave piles of unfinished projects everywhere I go and cannot remember where I've left my keys and my wallet.  I have the best handwriting in my family.  I have more money now, less strife, a home with a better view. 

Inside, though, I'm still the girl who wonders if anyone would like me if they really knew who I am.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Here's my Labor Day post, recycled and improved every year since 2012

My Zaydeh was a paperhanger. So was his son, my uncle. They belonged to the Paperhanger's Union. When he retired, my Zaydeh got a lapel pin and a photograph of himself and the also-retiring Union Rep. The Union Rep got a pension and health insurance. No one knows if he got a copy of the photograph, too.

It was that kind of complicated relationship to Labor, with a capital L, that dominated my growing up years. Daddooooo's father owned a business. G'ma's father was a worker. In the same way that her parents' accented speech and his parents' religious devotion were there, so was management/labor, bruising the edges of their relationship.

On the one hand, I sat on my Zaydeh's shoulders as he bounced me around the living room, singing Zum Gali Gali, a Zionist/Socialist work song.  When I needed a biography for a book report in second grade, his daughter, my mother, suggested Eugene Debs. I was the only one in the class who wrote about the Wobblies, who knew that, before Bernie Sanders, a Socialist, a man who understood the plight of the working man, ran for President, albeit from prison.

On the other hand, Daddooooo inherited his father's bridal shop, working alongside his brother and the cutters and pressers and seamstresses he'd known his entire life. He took care of the girls, the worker bees, the ones who created what he tried to sell. He struggled to make a success, and failed, and among those he held accountable were the Union Guys.

He was unable to make a go of a business he'd rather not have owned.  He was living a life unlike that which he'd imagined in college.  It was not making him happy, nor was it paying the oil bill.  The generalized angst was unassailable; the Union Guys were real.

Yet I knew that we needed unions - the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire proved that protections were necessary and that management had no interest in protecting the welfare of the worker. Without collective action, nothing could be achieved.  I was still the 8 year old in love with Eugene V. Debs.

Those feelings didn't seem incompatible with the boss's daughter piece of me, the one who loved seeing her Daddy's name on the showroom door.  The ladies did piece-work, but always had time to smile and chatter at me, in Italian.  The cutter, an imposing fellow with a gigantic pair of scissors, shared a small corner of his even more gigantic table with me, as I worked beside them, trimming lace, doing idiot work in my father's parlance, completely content, with a foot on each side of the divide.

G'ma told me stories of her parents marching in Solidarity Parades, though never when Daddooooo was around to hear.  Daddooooo railed about union bullies, but rarely in G'ma's presence.

The battle between labor and management, waged, silently, over my kitchen table.

Friday, August 31, 2018

John McCain's Message to the World

I was reading and watching the coverage of the Senator's funerary processions, of the speechifying and the weeping and the saluting and I spent the day trying not to cry.  Something was making me smile, too. 

It was more than missing the  man himself.  It had something to do with the pomp and circumstance and the genuine sorrow and the ever-present absence of the President. 

Joe Biden, mourning his friend, comforting the family, all while not so subtly sticking his finger in DJT's eye.  Larry Fitzgerald comparing his dreadlocks to the Senator's, and letting the laughter finish the sentence.

It came to me, in a flash.  His final goodbye is a message to the rest of the world.

America is still here.
We are strong and resilient and look pretty good in our uniforms and pretty powerful up here on Air Force Two.  So don't worry.  We'll be back as soon as the system works its magic and we get rid of this guy.  No violence, despite what He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named predicts, will accompany the transition of power, in the halls of Congress or in the White House itself.
We are the world's oldest democracy.
We're not going anywhere.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


I laughingly remind my family that Ruth Bader Ginsburg can have any and all of my body parts she might need to live long and prosper on the bench.  A Jewish girl made good, sitting on the highest court in the land, holding plank for minutes on end, decorating her serious robes with decision appropriate collars, living on after a long and loving marriage to a man who cooked - she's a true superhero.

FlapJilly says that Wonder Woman is her favorite superhero.  Pterodactyl is her favorite dinosaur and she likes all the Princesses, but Hippolyta's daughter lives within her soul.  With jewelry and makeup in place (eye shadow leaving blue lines across her forehead, a different color blush brushed on each cheek), her sparkly, pink dancing shoes on her feet, a twirly dress covering her nakedness, she dons her serious, powerful, Wonder Woman face and takes the stance.

Fists cocked, arms akimbo, strength emanating from every pore, she dares me to do battle.  She's got the moves, the terrifying shrieks, the knowledge that she is making the world safe fueling every blow.  Then, she laughs and hugs me.  Being powerful is hard work.

As she grows up, she's reading more grown up books.  I Dissent is the picture book biography of RBG, and it's part of her permanent night time roster.  We've talked about strength and power and being in charge, whether you are a superhero or a Supreme Court Justice.  She knows that she can grow up and be one, too.

That's the background to the joy Little Cuter felt when, on an adventure to Barnes and Opal last Saturday, her daughter took off, flying across the store.  She caught up with her at an end cap.  
Look, Mama, Look!  It's ROOF!!


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