Wednesday, August 31, 2022


Do you have a basic morning routine?  Roll out of bed, brush teeth, drink water with pills, make breakfast, check calendar.... or are you more focused in the afternoon, with secure dinner ingredients, check and deal with the mail, write a blog post on your list?

I don't do it consciously, but the list is there in my head.

Except when it isn't.

TBG is still dealing with surgical recovery.  He hurts.  His pills are a cornucopia of analgesics and anti-inflammatories and blood thinners.  Some are twice a day.  Some are thrice.  Some are every 6 hours (although they can go to 4 if the need is intense).  Some cannot be taken at the same time as the others.  My small yellow legal pad is a mass and a mess of notes and reminders - next, taken, not before.

Sometimes he takes the pills in the middle of the night and doesn't wake me to record the dosage.  Sometimes I leave a pill on his nightstand, to be taken after x o'clock, without the need to get me out of bed to struggle with the child-proof (adults with arthritis in their hands-proof) bottles.  Both scenarios require a modicum of awareness.  Usually, he manages to remember the when.... usually.

Yesterday was pain filled.  Weaned off the day-time oxycodone, the lesser medications were not having any effect at all on the aches and the ouches and the swelling and the it hurts, dammit.  He wasn't hungry then he was starving then he was nauseous.  The pain moved around, from his knee to his ankle to his Achilles tendon to the surgical site itself.  Nothing helped.  We tried ice and gentle rubbing and  brisk calf massage for the cramps which are a new addition to the scene.

Nothing helped.

With old Law'n Orders on as background noise, the night wore on.  I tended and consoled and rubbed.  I kept track of what went into his mouth at what time.  I counted the remaining pills and wondered how we were going to get through the remainder of his recovery as the medications ran out.

What I didn't do was write a blog post.

I apologize.  I had a great idea, and spent some time driving the neighborhood for photos to flesh out the prose.  You'll see it tomorrow.  For now, with this apology written, I'm going to try to nap.

Caregiving is exhausting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I spent the early afternoon in kindergarten.  The teacher introduced me as her friend who was shot, the friend she mentioned that morning as she was explaining why she didn't like guns, and why she didn't want guns to be part of the pictures they were drawing..

I explained about the young man who didn't know to use his words instead of his gun, and I made them laugh when I admitted being shot in the butt.  They are only 5, after all, and the lesson is best delivered gently, over time.  

We went right on to read Caps for Sale; they were excellent monkeys.  Afterwards, the teacher drew the illustration they described on the white board, emphasizing that the monkeys had eyes and ears a body with the appropriate number of appendages.  They got to vote on the length of the tail.  The grass and the sky were important, too.  

There's so much to learn in kindergarten.  Where you are in the world is just one small part of it.

I sat at a table with 4 scholars, chatting them up as they drew their own illustrations.  The boy with the green eyes didn't want to draw the monkeys or the tree or the caps; he wanted to draw a car.  After determining that he really and truly did want to draw a car and only a car, I moved on to more important matters..... like where was the yellow crayon?

Sharing is an important part of the lesson, so when the green eyed darling showed me his vehicle and invited me to watch as he finished it off  the whole table began to pay attention.  

And this is the gun.

I took a deep breath and put on a sad face.  Oh.  I don't like guns.  Neither does Teacher, does she.

But it's a tankIt has to have a gun.

Oh.  I get it.  But I still don't like it.

Thinking.... staring at the drawing.... then erasing the long weaponry tube atop the tank he smiled and asked for help finding the white.

Okay.  It's an ambulance to help people.

And on they went to a heated discussion about the efficacy of using a white crayon on a white piece of paper while I sat back, amazed at the lessons learned.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Small Beasties

There are always water beetles floating on the surface of the pool. They are alive when transferred by the skimmer to the desert beyond.  Most of the animals we find in the pool are dead, usually a small bird or rodent dropped from a beak on the way to be dinner for the kiddos.  Last month a frog took a fatal plunge.  They too are sent flying into the great beyond.

They don't impede my swimming.  Fred, the yellow jacket of the order Hymenoptera, and his buddy (also called Fred because who can tell the difference) come for a drink in the early afternoon.  We are respectful of one another.  I pause my laps so that they can sit and drink.  In return, they do not buzz me nor sting me.

This negotiated peace, which began with flailing and swooping and various attempts to dominate the other, has lasted comfortably for a decade.  There's no dilly dallying on either of our parts - they drink and fly away, I stop as soon as I see them.

Apparently, the orange dragon fly did not get the memo.

I went out to skim and found this beautiful, bi-plane of a beastie circling the pool  I sat back in the shade to watch.  I moved to the sunshine to watch some more.  I went inside to get my camera when I realized that the beastie was carving the same figure-8-with-a-twist over and over and over again.

The polar bear at the Lincoln Park Zoo exhibited the same psychotic behavior.  He had an excuse, sequestered in a small, uninteresting pool.  But this dragon fly was there when I came out with the phone, continued his dance for the 44 seconds of video I attempted to take, and showed no signs of stopping.

At a certain point, I had had enough.  I used the skimmer to create some waves and off he went.

Google tells me that dragon flies are dying out because the wetlands are shrinking.  I suppose my pool was a private oasis for one poor creature until I asserted my mammalian prerogative.  I didn't feel guilty about it at all.  I swam and fought the concomitant boredom, willing myself to finish the last 5 minutes on the clock when something dive bombed my temple.

I swatted.  It fell.  It was large (for a bug) and bulbous and flew away after righting itself.

I got out of the pool.  I can take a hint. The animal kingdom was showing me my proper place.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Flowers in the Desert

They begin to close up as evening falls.
They are fecund.
And then the sun comes out, and one by one
they begin to open, exposing the pollen in all its glorious stickiness.
You can see it in the blossom lower left above.
and all over below.
These are very unfriendly plants.  Even the javelinas don't eat them.
Those curved spines are very sharp and very strong.
After all, their job is to protect beauty in the desert.  
I'd say they are doing a very good job.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

That Face

I think of Laurence Harvey as a one-dimensional actor.
He broods.
He also evinces a raw sexuality every time he enters a room... especially the Room at the Top.
As TBG said - he's effortlessly commanding the space, while doing nothing.  

Simone Signoret is brilliant and the photography is often very special, but the best part about the movie is that face.  
We paused for a bathroom break with this on the screen.
TBG came back to the couch to find me staring, rapturously, at the frozen image.
I took a picture so that we could continue watching the movie.... and so that I could share that face with you.

His acting doesn't do much for me, but, oh, that face.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Happy Anniversary to Us

August 24, 1975
It was a hot, humid, wonderful day.
Hard to believe it was 47 years ago.
The same things annoy us about one another today as they did then.  We just don't notice them any more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Hot Times - A Snippet

I sat in the sunshine, waiting for the bbq to cook the hot dogs.  They required very little tending.  My attention wandered.  My eyes closed.

I was feeling the sun on my skin,  reveling in the warmth and the peace.

An airplane flew overhead and I was immediately transported to the beach, on any summer afternoon, lying on a blanket, feeling the sun on my skin, listening to the waves and the airplanes.  

There were always airplanes - we lived and played under the approaches to JFK and LaGuardia airports.  But the beach airplanes were often propeller planes.  They flew lower than the commercial planes that carried passengers to far flung destinations.  These dragged banners behind them, promoting sunscreen and radio stations.  

I could feel the sand.  I could hear the ocean.  I was a teenager once again.

It only lasted a few moments. 

It was wonderful.

Monday, August 22, 2022

First World Problems

Auntie M has been searching for help with the house cleaning ever since her former helper retired after 25 years of caring for them..  She, herself, was irreplaceable.

But the need did not vanish with her.  Houses do not clean themselves.  Auntie M has no business being up on a ladder or bending down to mop a floor.  She struggled to find a reliable source of labor.  

Down to the last 4 of the dozen or so names on the list she gleaned from friends and acquaintances, she stumbled upon a woman who showed up on the appointed day, at the appointed hour.  That, in itself, was a surprise; her last potential employee insisted that she would arrive the day before Auntie M expected her.  Auntie M's No led to her being ghosted.  

This woman was friendly and energetic and there they were,  Auntie M and her new house cleaner, on a sunny afternoon.  Cleaning was happening.  All was right in the world.

And then, Auntie M went into the kitchen.

In one hand, her new helper was holding a strip of what later turned out to be paint from the cabinets and the wall.

In her other hand was oven cleaner.

Look! The paint is just peeling off!  I never saw this before!

Auntie M is a mild mannered woman. 

Of course you haven't!! Who uses OVEN CLEANER ON THE WALLS???!!!!

And then Auntie M looked at the other strips of pain, lying well below where they were intended to be, and she had to wonder aloud, and yet you kept doing it.

Cue much laughter over the phone.  

And then there was this, said as only something can be said between a brother and a sister who know each other all too well.

So, you hired her to come back, right?

Of course.

Friday, August 19, 2022


My son prizes efficiency.  Wasted effort annoys him.  

His wife grew up in a Soviet Socialist Republic.  She wastes nothing.

At dinner, he laughingly decried the cost/benefit of her waste free method of cutting an apple.  Halving it then cutting out the core in a close circle seems less efficient than cutting around the edges of the fruit, leaving the core encased in a protective rectangle before landing in the trash.

Queen T never knew when the next apple would appear in the market.  Every morsel was precious.  She would never waste a single bite. That disposable rectangle hurt her in her heart.  Because of that, he undergoes the arduous process with love in his heart, and snark in his eyes.  

I love them both.  

I had an apple corer in the drawer.  After a brief description and evaluation each was satisfied.  I was happy to have had a solution at hand.  The conversation moved on.

But I was struck by how an apple core can exist in two very different planes.  My heart ached for the little girl who ate every single bite of the apple she felt lucky to have.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Nursing, Not So Much

The surgery went well.  The experience was totally satisfactory.   As with any interaction with a large institution, some parts were better than others, but the patient came through alive and repaired and we were home by 2pm.

Home with a pile of medication, a stack of paperwork, and a list of instructions buried somewhere in there.  At least, I thought that there would be real instructions, written down, in an easy to follow format.  After all, that's what the dentist sent home with LiLou today.

Instead, I relied on the notes I had scribbled on the instructions, as the nurse ran through them, quickly, efficiently, but with a purpose and she was going to get there no matter what.  TBG was on the bed, ready to leave as soon as I signed the papers.  No pressure.  None.

I remembered a lot from my own surgery, and that helps me now.  I know that 1 pain pill every 3 hours - rather than 2 every 6 hours - evens out the effects, eliminating the crash at 5 hours. I know that staying hydrated -  even when you know it means a trip to the toilet - is good for healing and forces you to move - especially when it hurts even to breathe, let alone exercise in any way, manner, shape, or form.  

I understand doing it because you are not surprised that rehab hurts and that the hurt is not destructive, but creative, and then you get better and are so glad that you did that.  I have total sympathy with the emotional toll that takes.  

The toll goes both ways.  I haven't been in charge of another human since Little Cuter left home.  I'm out of practice.  Getting the medication schedule written down in an intelligible form is complicated by the overwhelming need to make him feel better..... now.

And I am not naturally a gentle person.  I do not move slowly.  These traits do not bode well for nursing.

On the other hand, I made excellent chili from scratch and corn bread from Joy of Cooking circa 1975, which resembled cement in all relevant variables.  Worrying about it from the get-go, I had the foresight to heat up the last Costco baguette.  

Dinner was at the table, in stages, as international phone calls and family phone calls and surgical pain drew people to and from the table.  The meal was ideally suited to the circumstances, if I do say so myself.  And, not surprisingly, I do.

Queen T vacuumed and Big Cuter did surfaces yesterday.  TBG and I came home to a clean house and welcoming arms and I woke up this morning able to create jello and popsicles and bring home a Whole Foods, fresh from the oven, hand tossed, personalized pizza to clean counters.  

I took on the refrigerator which was in a state of delightful chaos from the additions and cooking and drinking and snacking of our guests.  I did the dishes, twice.  I served warm, fresh, from scratch banana bread on the gold embossed Limoges dessert plates I inherited from Nannie to my family on the couch and in the easy chairs.  

We spent the night with a muted tv showing a bike race in Spain and then a Lana Turner/Zachary Scott/Spencer Tracy epic as background to a wide ranging conversation with very interesting people we love.  I can't remember the last time we stayed up past 10; it's 11 as I'm typing this and no one seems interested in sleep, even the patient.

I like this part much more than the nursing part.


Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Checking in was easy and quick.  There was no time to fret over the mask-below-the-nose guy sitting across from us. 

Registration was simple.  Verify who you are and what you're here for, turn over your Advance Directive/Living Will, attach a wristband, find the elevators (they were on the left, not the right as we were directed), and go to the Surgery Area.

The mask-below-the-nose-guy followed us here, but turned around and left so there was still no need to fret.  Kellie, our nurse, came right away and took us back to #15, a large, curtained roomette.  She explained the further cleansing required (6 warm, coated, disposable washcloths) and left us to it.  

Dressed in his hospital gown, he lay on the bed and waited.

And waiting is the hardest part.  

The surgeon came in.  He was ready.  The anesthesiologists came in and did their poking and sticking and prepping  

And we waited.  I just want this done already.  It had only been 5 minutes between the surgeon and the anesthesiologists (there were a lot of them) but it felt like forever.  The Goal Gradient Effect was in full force.  As the time approached, the minutes got longer.

Once he makes up his mind, TBG is ready to start.  Waiting for the middle of August.  Waiting for tomorrow.  Waiting to wake up.  Waiting to be wheeled into surgery.  He was understanding but READY.

And now I am waiting.  The hospital is bright and airy, with floor to ceiling windows bracketing every corridor and exterior wall.  The waiting area is comfy and well appointed; there are plugs and desks and tables and padded chairs.  There's even a Quiet Room I may use if the ladies in the next area continue to laugh uproariously.

But, for now, I sit and type, using my time wisely and well.

After all, how often do you have several hours with nowhere to go and nothing to do..... but wait.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

I Have A Surfeit of Olive Oil, I Said

I don't know if I've ever heard surfeit said out loud.  In fact, I think that is true.

Thus sayeth my son.  He cooks.  He certainly didn't learn that talent from me; I like to eat, so I learned to cook was his answer to my inquiry about the origins of his skills.

We spent one memorable early evening discussing the differences between slicing, chopping, dicing, and mincing.  Why in the world would that make a difference turned to a deeper understanding of how the bigger bites took longer to cook/imparted more crunch/changed the color of the dish/took less time to prepare.  There have been times when he's called to ask which is bigger - dicing or mincing?

I  love it when calling mom is faster than watching a YouTube video.

He introduced us to Blue Apron, the ingredients-and-instructions-in-a-box service.  Their recipes are simple to follow.  Their spicing is often unusual.  They encourage creativity.  After a while, we both decided that it was too expensive and often inconvenient. 4 meals arriving at 8pm on Wednesday night -their delivery date to Tucson - meant I was cooking in all weekend; before Pandemica, that was a definite NO.

But my son did not stop cooking.  He created Big Cuter Chicken and a cabbage salad dressed with  za'atar infused EVOO.  Although he likes his spaghetti al dente if you're a shark (ie severely undercooked) last night his meatballs disappeared from the serving plate with surprising rapidity.  

Having him cook for us is an extra added benefit of his visits.  

Calling me out for excellent vocabulary is another.

Monday, August 15, 2022


Good Morning from #LiLou_sfpig
Yes, she's a bit startling, but what can you do.... she's a pig.

She and her Pig Parents have been delightful distractions.
I had no time to blog.

I promise to be more diligent tomorrow.
Today, I spent enjoying some of my favorite people on the planet....
and, their pig.

Friday, August 12, 2022

The Healing Power of Film

TBG had a rough time last Friday night.  He was antsy and angsty and angry.  He was confused and befuddled and annoyed.  It was internal, solving a problem of his own making, tossing it around, waiting for the aha moment which never seemed to come.

Sleep wasn't on the agenda.  For either of us.

To say that we were lethargic on Saturday morning would be giving us more credit than we deserved.  With the sun out and breakfast in our bellies, the solution slid right out in front of us.  We were happy to have a plan, but we were exhausted... in our minds and our souls.

We were never mad at one another, but the yucky aura was still floating around the house.  We ordered Chinese food to be delivered and, of course, TBG turned on the television and began scrolling.... until we both yelled STOP at the same time.

Charade.   Roman Holiday.  How to Steal a Million.

Cary Grant.  Gary Cooper.  Peter O'Toole.

Audrey Hepburn.

The air was suddenly filled with light and joy and smiles.  We know all three films by heart.  Usually, I knit or play on my phone while they provide pleasant background but on Saturday I just sat on the couch with my sweetie, watching Audrey with hers.

When Gary Cooper kisses her for the first time, absurdly in love in an impossible situation, that act of impulse and desire brought us to tears... though we've seen it a dozen times before.  Cary Grant's shadow in her doorway,  Peter O'Toole entwined with her in a closet - she's vulnerable but resilient and the very best dressed person in the film.

(Okay, I'm shallow.  But Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn did very well by each other, as G'ma would say.)

Each one has A Great Last Scene, a new category TBG and I have created.  I like the bittersweet one best (if you don't know you'll have to watch them all to find out.... you can thank me later), but I could make a case for the other two.  

And that was why eight hours of movies and commentary soothed our souls.  Adults dealing with adult situations (okay, movie-adult-situations) in adult voices and words.  These films have expectations of their audiences, even as they present themselves as accessible fluff.  Like Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas, they are about duty and love and honor, with a touch of mistaken identity and incidental buffoonery on the side.  

By the end of the night, there was peace.

And sleep.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Rest in Peace, Mrs. B

FAMBB and I were locker partners, in each others lives, every day, by choice, for years.  We decorated our little spaces together; Gone With the Wind held a distinct place of honor for quite a while, as I recall.  

We grew up side by side, stumbling through our teens, she, a Catholic girl with 7 siblings and I, a Jewish girl with attitude.  There were many things which held us together, not the least of which was that I found her stories about home as interesting as she seemed to find mine.  

Most of our stories were about our mothers.

We loved our mothers and they loved us, no doubt about it.  We knew that deep down they were fine women.  It was just all the stuff surrounding the wonderfulness that got in the way.

You remember, don't you?  Clothes (That's a short skirt, isn't it?)  Hair (Do your bangs have to go into your eyes?)  Dating (What's wrong with your cousin's friend's brother?  He seems like a nice boy....)  One of us could start and the other could finish.  We could be aggrieved as she drove us up one street and down another and around and around and around our town.  No, we could assure our mothers, we were not joy riding; we were complaining riding.  

We shared advice and late night snacks at the diner, but never stayed out too too late.  We knew our moms were waiting up for us.

And now her mom, having lived 94 years, having known 27 grandkids and 30 great grandkids, having raised my life-long friend, has died.  There's another rent in the emotional universe, because losing your mother is, well..... losing your mother.

I'll remember her smile.  I'll remember that she recognized my voice, from behind, after 20 years, across a parking lot (okay, I'm loud) and that, rather than tease me about my volume, she congratulated me on grabbing her attention so that she could say Hi!

Did I mention a hole in the emotional universe?  

Rest in peace, Mrs. B.  You always knew there was a God; I know, for sure, you are with the angels.
May your memory be a blessing, now and for always.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Best Laid Plans

TBG is having a knee replacement next Tuesday.  Big Cuter is bringing his whole crew (wife, pig, work materials) on Saturday for some hands on loving and help.  We don't think his father will require heavy lifting, but it's good to know that someone larger than I am will be around should the need arise.

In preparation for the arrival of guests whose food preferences differ from ours, I've been cleaning out the refrigerator and the freezer.  There were many interesting discoveries pushed behind taller containers.  Several of those discoveries introduced me to new colors.  I researched mold spores and found that soft cheeses allow for invisible-to-the-naked-eye strands of unhealthy-ness.  All of that is gone.  

I read the Use By labels on everything and discarded appropriately.  

I discovered that I should have bought more hot dogs at Costco.  I found the sour cream I knew I had but couldn't find ... a long time ago.  I consolidated my frozen fruits and tossed the dead ice cubes at the bottom of the bin around the roots of the lemon tree.  

I took out a frozen flank steak (well within its 6 month use-it-or-lose-it status), the last dinner I found.  It sat happily getting softer and readier fir the bbq all afternoon.... all afternoon as the clouds rolled in, bumping and thundering and preparing for the deluge.

I will not carp about rainfall in the desert.  I will hide my grilling frustrations and cross my fingers.  I will wait as long as I can, until the clouds gather above our house, but I will put that steak on the barbie this afternoon.

In fact, I think I'll go and do that right now, while there is still some sky to be found behind the clouds.  It's early for dinner.... but the steak can be cold on a salad with fresh veggies and a home made dressing ... and I won't have to worry about being hit by lightning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What A Day

Donald Trump has a very big house in Florida.  It keeps showing up on the television, aerial views of red tile roofs and parking lots with perfectly marked spaces.  I'm having a hard time figuring out if the circular driveway is to his own personal front door or the door of the golf club.  

I don't know a lot of people who have paved parking lots for their guests.  Then again, there aren't a lot of people like Donald Trump.

And this wasn't the best thing that happened.  The IRA (Inflation Reduction Act.... or DRC, the Democrat Retention Act) passed the Senate and will go to the House on Friday and suddenly the future does not seem to end in our planet burning up in my grandchildren's lifetime.  It's a really big deal and I wish it didn't have to share the news cycle with Donald Trump.

Not one Republican in the Senate voted for this bill.  I wonder how many of them will campaign on the good it does.  Probably the same ones who threw a hissy fit last week and voted against the PACT (burn pit poison) bill before John Stewart shamed them.

Do these people have no soul?   

Certainly,  Kevin McCarthy calling out the DOJ and Merrick Garland is petulant and absurd.  The man who burned documents in his White House office fireplace is telling someone to guard his documents?  

But it's so on brand for him that I could just laugh, especially after one of the talking heads explained that a conviction regarding the records the former President stole would preclude him from holding public office ever again.

I don't see anyone putting a former President in prison.  Would the Secret Service have adjoining cells?  An ankle bracelet and banishment from public pronouncements would suit me fine, but mostly I want to protect the USofA from having him anywhere near a position of power.  

I don't think our democracy could stand it.  I know that I couldn't.

But I'm not thinking about another Trumpian nightmare, nor am I thinking about Indiana's near total abortion ban.  I am focusing on the wheels of justice turning slowly in the right direction, on Chuck Schumer quoting his father's advice.  Don't give up.  If you work at it, God will provide.  And so he kept at it and never gave up and in the end the Senate did provide.

The world will be a little bit better after today.  That's something to smile about.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Last Week in Politics

Kansas.  Oh, am I in love with Kansans right now.  I want to send a donation to Kansas voters who decied that changing their State's Constitution was just not something they were interested in doing.

What makes me even happier is how surprised the pundits and the Forced Birth Folks were by the outcome.  There they were, thinking that the Supreme Court's majority seeking to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us was just the world righting itself on its axis.

Not so fast, honey bunch.  Apparently, voters in Kansas want to be able to make their own decisions about their own bodies, without the government intervening.

I am, once again, struck by how small government conservatives have no problem inserting the government between me and my body.


My friend, Daniel Hernandez, was the only one of his siblingss who didn't win on Tuesday.  

He's a good hearted young man with lots of potential..... and he would have picked up the phone to talk to me if I called.


Kari Lake is the Republican running for Governor.  Her opponent, Katie Hobbs, is the current Secretary of State.  Through Fast Eddie and JannyLou  I met her well before she announced her run for Governor; I was impressed.

But even if I didn't know her, I'd vote for her, just to spare my state from being run by someone who knows there was fraud and who has the evidence but who won't turn it over to anyone but the authorities.  She has yet to identify who, exactly, those authorities might be.

She wants to arrest Katie Hobbs for malfeasance of some unspecified dimension.  Donald Trump thinks she's great.  Her Republican opponent in the primary, conceded by saying that she was going to return to her family and her business interests.  She made no mention of support for the woman now carrying her party's banner.


Peter Thiel, the tech squadrillionaire who does not believe that democracy and freedom can coexist, has invested tens of millions of dollars to promote his one time colleague, Blake Masters's, run for Senate. 

Masters has called abortion a sacrificial ritual, likening it to genocide as he calls for a nation wide and total ban, with no exceptions.  Apparently, living breathing moms are quite unimportant.

Masters has plastered the town with posters.  Reflecting, I suppose, his apocalyptic view of our country, the posters have his name in white letters on a totally black background  I'm not the only one who finds them vaguely menacing.

Mark Kelly runs to the center, touting the good deeds he's done with the power bestowed upon him.  Republican mayors in bright red Maricopa County have appeared in tv ads supporting him.  Without a contested primary, he goes into the general election with lots of money.... but not Peter Thiel money.


And then there's Mark Finchem, our very own Oath Keeper and election denier who is the Republican nominee to be Secretary of State.  

He's already on record disputing the November, 2022 election results.

That's right, the election that hasn't happened yet, for which the ballots have not been printed, with or without bamboo in the paper.

It's gonna be a wild ride.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Their Wedding (The End)

I managed to squeeze out more than a week's worth of posts from this event.  That, in and of itself, made it a success.  But it was so much more. 

Everyone was on their best behavior - a feat rarely accomplished with this group.  

Everyone looked lovely and felt lovely and the weather cooperated.  After a couple of hot and steamy days, the event was held under sunny, blue skies.  The cool breeze was welcome and not chilly, though we were on a rooftop near the water.  The sun set behind the Statue of Liberty

as we went inside for dinner.
It was perfect.  Just like the happy couple:
And, because she's my niece and she designed and sewed her own dress and I think you should see it, here they are:

Chic nudity..... she nailed it.

Thanks for revisiting the event with me, denizens.  I'll be back next week with comments on Kansas and election deniers and my return to Prince Elementary School.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Hair and Makeup

Before the Big Event on Saturday night, Sister treated her female relatives to A Complete Makeover.  There were seven of us.  It took all afternoon.  We were told to arrive with wet hair (shampoo and conditioner, please) and clothes that did not go over our heads.  

This was serious.  We each received a goodie bag of product, just in case. 

Sister booked a second room in the hotel.  She imported her hairdresser (who also does Nancy Pelosi's hair, a fact which makes Sister inordinately happy)


and a makeup artist and his (sister) assistant from Manhattan to Brooklyn for the day.

A/B with hairdresser assistant and makeup and blown out hair.

She ordered food from a Mediterranean restaurant, because there was no way anyone in our family could go for an entire afternoon without eating.  We define hangry.  

Only Sister deals with professionals like these on a regular basis.  Little Cuter cuts her own hair.  My nieces are allergic to every product designed for the face and hair.  I haven't worn mascara since I can't remember when.  This

was foreign territory.

We were fussed over and brushed over.  I had fixative on my eyebrows and a fixing mist on my face.  I had a variety of creams and lotions and potions and colors patted and swept and blotted onto my pores.  My eyelids weighed 1000 pounds.

Once the lights went down at the reception, the makeup was stunning.  But my hair needed no special lighting at all.  I asked for a Cindy-Lou Who topknot with curls all around, and that's what I got.

There were dozens of bobby pins, none of which I noticed going in, most of which I noticed when I tried to remove the pony tail before going to bed.  It was cool and fun and I didn't have to bother with it.  It just sat up there, looking exactly the way I wanted it to look.

How often can you say that?

If only we had remembered to bring a makeup removing substance.  I ought to apologize to the Holiday Inn's laundress for the mess I made on my washcloth.... and I still woke up looking like a racoon.  

But that was the only downside.  I spent hours with my family, getting glamourous, feeling the love.  Every once in a while, Sister has a great idea.  This was one of those whiles.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Family and Friends (Their Wedding, part 3)

We were worried.  Or, as Sister said as she opened her toast to the new bride and groom Be afraid!  Be very afraid!

There were a lot of people who didn't speak to one another - like, really didn't speak to one another, like for years.  In the run up to the wedding there was great concern about appropriate behavior, or the lack thereof.  Years of anger, anguish, frustration, fury, disappointment, heartbreak, misunderstandings, and miscommunications had the potential to create a Housewives of Brooklyn scenario.  

In some way, I was kinda looking forward to that.  Being around a storm, not of my own making  but involving people I love and am connected to and cannot avoid forever - it had potential for weeks of blog posts.  

Happily, there was none of that.  People were on their best behavior.  Emotional intelligence shone from those least likely to exhibit it, based on past circumstances.  Those who didn't like one another managed to avoid one another.  Greetings were extended (and sometimes ignored) but hostilities were far from everyone's mind.  

There was so much love in the air.  All the evil vibes were vanquished.

Instead, we spent four days wallowing in family.  Memories were everywhere.  Do you remember when.... started so many stories, most of which devolved into raucous laughter as we climbed over one another to tell the tales as we remembered them.

Brother's bar mitzvah with the deaf, elderly aunts' running commentary, louder than the rabbi and the cantor combined.  Trips to the beach, with Daddooooo holding an important role in every story.  Explanations and commentary and helpful hints were sprinkled throughout as we revisited everyone's childhood.

The festivities ended Sunday with an afternoon at Brighton Beach.  Uber (our preferred mode of transportation all weekend long - the subway was just too much) dropped us off at the sand.... the sand..... and our toes were happy happy happy.  I have only wonderful memories of long days by the ocean with my parents and siblings.  This was that ... on steroids.

That's just part of the crew - from the alte kockers (Yiddish for old people) to the nursing infant - shading under the big blue tent, sitting on blankets that were older than the bride and groom.  Leftovers from that morning's brunch (bagels and lox and melon squares), veggies from Brother and Family's garden (is there anything better than a home grown tomato?) were shared and admired.... but the hot dogs SIR carted back after riding The Cyclone
were exactly the right taste.... and it didn't matter one bit that they were cold.  One bite and I was a kid again.

Everyone was interesting.  Everyone was interested.  Everyone was determined to be happy.  Old faces (the bride's childhood friend I remembered driving home in the rain) and new faces (the bride's studio assistant, with whom I text and email about the couture but whom I've never really met) and faces I've heard about but never seen - it didn't matter.  

It was a wedding.  There was love.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022


The view from our room at the Holiday Inn on Schermerhorn Street in Boerum Hill in Brooklyn. 
It was supposed to be a view of the Verrazano Bridge.  Obviously,  that didn't happen. 

Instead,  we saw the top of the Hare Krishna Temple. 
There is much praying,  of a solitary nature. 
There will be more details as the week unfolds. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Their Wedding (part 2)

They were aware of all the potential drama but were not dissuaded from making a public statement of their devotion.  

They are kind and thoughtful and respectful  - coming to the other's aid when the chaos comes too close.  They see what they don't want to repeat, but that's not what you see when you look at them.  What they exude, from every pore, is love.  

Not the overwhelming, touchy-touchy, lovey-dovey, somewhat nauseating displays of affection that make me cringe, but resting a hand on an arm or a leg, unconsciously, just trying to be closer, positions that say confidence in the relationship, warmth from the relationship, comfort and safety and stability and joy and surprise at having found someone she actually wants to marry.

TBG and I spent a long, lazy, lovely afternoon with them here in Tucson; our delight in their relationship has only grown.  

It's that surprise that makes me happiest.  She was never going to marry.  She was never going to have a wedding.  She was never going to be a parent.  Well...... surprise!!!  She is as delighted as we are at this change of heart.  The love flows through her, palpably.  She glows the way a pregnant woman glows and, in a way, that's appropriate.

She's birthing a new person, one whose life is now entwined with a person she's chosen, and who has chosen her in return.  It agrees with her.