"The 411"

My photo
A small, luminous portal, somewhere on the western edge of the Atlantic, northern hemisphere, 3rd rock from the Sun
When I was about 7 years of age, I stood in the middle of Robin's Field Primary School's playground on a glorious, cloudless, autumn day in London. Gazing up, a burst of ceruleun sky seared through me. I had been awakened from a deep, protective state of numb. Future decades jerked me back & forth on the teeter- totter of life. Great ups, miserable downs, nanoseconds of breathtaking joys, infinite hours deep inside pain. A couple of years ago, I began to hit the mercurial Wall o' Menopause. True to self, I went at it, head first, in a pool of icy hot sweat, the proverbial sledge hammer. Spiritually & emotionally, I was drained. Empty. As in "this well was D-R-Y." Of everything. Time passed & I began waking up again - just like on the playground. In reality, I must say, I really like this side of 50. "The best is yet to come ... "

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring - in all its glory ...

It's been a quiet winter, here in da gadda.

Then, all of a sudden -
Despite a couple of cold blasts,
the lifecycle prevails.
Lots of juicy, succulent food.
Survival of the fittest -
from the seeds of all wombs.
For now, the joy of sitting,
Mother to Mother
Nature & me

Saturday, January 10, 2009

You're invited to MOONDANCE

(music playing ... start singing)

"Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance,
With the stars up above in your eyes.
A fantabulous night to make romance,
'Neath the cover of January skies"

Indeed it is ... a magnificent night ... clear & bright ...

satellites streak across the night sky, swift, faint glows ...

there's a crispness in the air tonight ... the crisper the air, the juicier the fruit!

I do hope you paused to look up tonight ....

I certainly did

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Wasp it all about, Alfie?"

It's full pollen alert here in Juicey town. Red eyes, runny noses & sneezing abounds.

The flip side to the discomfort is that the vegitation is exquisitely verdent & plentiful.

Plump, red berries call to the froliking squirrels. Precariously dangling by their tails, they pick off the last juicy bunches at the farthest ends of the willowy limbs. Bellies full, they chatter to one another in cheerful clicks.

The gadda is also full of eager insects, polinating everything they touch.

Come & take a quick peek inside a couple of sista k's bloomers today ....

"Wasp it all about, Alfie?"

This lucky chap gets positively drunk on delicious, sun-warmed nectar.

"A la salud!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to school nirvana & my first mistake of the year ... maybe!

"It's all about balance," they say.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out ...


I have this photo on our bedroom wall. Whenever I look at it, the message I used to hear is "Get centered. Get grounded."

Then it became "Be centered. Be grounded." Right now, I am holding at: "I am centered. I am grounded."
Less rolling stone, move mindfully stacked rock-Jenga.

Why the musing? Well .... Sunny-Brooke, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes & yours ever so truly must have been overcome by a hefty dose of New Yearitis when we reconvened at the gym the other day. Elated that all off-spring were securely sequestered at their various schools, bleary eyed & wiped out from the 24-7 party which made up the majority of school break, we found ourselves almost heady with joy & full of the promise of a life back in routine.
Clearly, however, something was out of whack. Before you knew it, we had signed ourselves up for the "eat less, exercise more" January thru March gym challenge which translates loosely into humiliation, deprivation & determination!

All that really eclipsed my mind: I just wanted to know if it involved public weighings or would we use those defunct Florida voting booths complete with black curtain for added privacy ...

By Sunday night, sista k began to panic. She put in an emergency call to Sunny-Brooke as Sweet JBE was having a nap. Once she established that S-B was in a supportive frame of mind, I hardly had the opportunity to launch into my Socratic thesis as to why I was panicking, feeling like I am setting myself up to fail etc. A simple, terse interruption cured me: "Just don't do it then!"

Wow! Imagine that! FREE!!!!!! Could it really be THAT simple? Fugeduboudit .... Never once did it even remotely occur to me that I had a choice in backing out of my foolhardy committment. NOT ONCE!!! E- V- A!!!!!!!! I found myself totally gobsmacked to find that "just saying no" was a viable option after all.

Naturally, now I am totally committed! At least for the first week - can't possibly drop out before we even start ....

I LOVE food! I HATE to exercise! But what is worse?

Simply put, an innate allergy to Lane Bryant coupled with a Himalayan fear of the next ominous size up which is spelled "mu-mu" I think ...
So when things are looking impossibly huge, back we go to nature: just when the caterpillar thought it was all over, it became a butterfly ....
Breathe in ... breathe out .... breathe in .... breathe out ...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The future's so bright, I've got to wear shades!

We've almost completed yet another rotation around the sun - another year under of multiple experiences, all woven into the fabric of our existance. Our lives.
Enjoying the daily spectacle of the emerging dawn sky, I was serenaded by the this morning's chorus of Cardinals, Blue Jays, the ever inquisitive & chatty squirrels. My eyes lazily slid towards a grouping of cobalt balls which lay in the middle of what we refer to as either our "crop circle' or our "intergalactic hot lz".
Leaning over, I actually realized I was hoping to catch a fleeting glimpse of the future reflecting through the magical crystal balls, as dew dripped down the side like cobalt tears. All I could be sure of is that my future seemed to contain lots of palm trees!

I stopped making resolutions years ago. The partying ended long before that. Nothing could ever quite top the New Year's Eve extravaganza's in the tiny, magical alpine villages where most of my childhood and teenage holidays were spent. Halcyion days.
My favorite way, pretty much ever since then, has been to spend NYE sleeping or else have everyone else sleeping so that I can just enjoy the peace & stars, safe on the deck of our tropical nook of the milky way.
It does not mean, however, that I do not to take to pause & reflect on what has been, what I learned, heaven kn0ws how I can improve or at best, maitain ... I do. Being Jewish, I get TWO chances at wiping the slate clean each year!
I ask you, why have one new year when you can have two!!!!
Anyway, all of this to say, that I really can't think of a better prayer for all of us as we roll in the new year ... it's a lot easier than the 10 commandments & a bit more fun too!
A 17th Century Nun's Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself, that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains.
They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people.
And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
HA P P Y N E W Y E A R H A P P Y N E W Y E A R 2 0 0 8
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Of tangerine skies & marmalade dreams ...

The sun setting on another year
Hibiscus at sunset

Papayas at noon

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In-a-Gadda this morning

I simply can't find the right words
to describe these colors ....
GORGEOUS comes to mind!

"This morning"


Raymond Carver

This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk -- determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted. Kept going
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
far below. All lovely. All bathed in a pure
cold light. But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander. I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else. I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other. (And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong -- duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife. All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day. What
I've trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did.
For when I turned back I didn't know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You are invited to The Matzoh Ball - it's not just for "The Fever's" anymore!

With an artic blast of wind blowing in from the bone-chilling north, my "bring a party dish" predicament was quickly resolved. What would be better to bring along to Sweet Judy Blue Eyes new year's day, multi-family rendezvous than chicken soup with matzoh balls! I know, that is what springs forth to everyones mind first, right?
"Oy," you may thinking. "Was she out of her mind? Here in the middle of the deeeeep, confederate flag honoring, pick-up truck driving, meat hunting south? How about a simple fresh fruit salad, arroz con whatever .... but SOOOOP?
"Balls", said the queen, "If I had them, I'd be king!"
(I just HAD to throw that one in!)
Fact is, I was thrilled to have brought in the new year by introducing many new people to a great traditional food of my peeps. It was get fun explaining what matzoh is, ("crackers? flatbread? Lavosh")?. A simple biblical reference to the Old Testament's epic saga of the Exodus & how this was THE unleavened bread described the eponymous book was all it took!
Okay. Let's face it. No one really knows what makes chicken soup (sans balls) a universal panacea - from scorcerers, to witch doctors,shamanic healers to mothers everywhere. Whatever it is, when paired with a discretionary amount of love & matzoh balls, the healing process is significantly accelerated.
The key to a great matzoh ball is that is should have texture, be light & have flavor.
With that, here is sista k's ultimate matzoh ball recipe.
One Box of Streits Matzoh Meal.
Follow the instructions on the back!
I use Perrier instead of Selter water as this adds to the lightness.
I also add all different seasonings including fresh dill & parsley, Badia Adobo seasonings & garlic powder.
All to personal taste.
Listen, this is an excellent vegetarian (not vegan) dish lends itself wonderfully to a simple vegetable based soup, carrots, onions, celery, leaks ... just add balls & a smile.
As always, ENJOY! A la salud!
(Look out for our delicious vegetarian pasta i fagioli ....)

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Twas the fourth night of Chanukah ....

Twas the fourth night of Chanukah,
Christmas Eve was finally here.
The family was pissed off & cranky,
Wondering what kind of gifts would appear.

The roast beast was seasoned to perfection with care.
The matzo balls were exquisite & lighter than air.
The menu transcended foods of both Christian & Jew
In one corner, a range of digestivos,
though Pepto-Bismol will certainly do.

I cannot believe that we're here once again.
It seems just like yesterday I was so young,
at Christmas in London surrounded by love,
mother, grandmother & lots of clouds.

A grinch I had been, for many a year,
until Vic got so sick, now it's a smiles, hope & cheer.
So when you sit around tables, brimming with family & friends,
Think how lucky you are - great "universal" blessings for health
& love to you we send!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Most relevant movie of the season; Monty Python's "Life of Brian"

Time to takes things a little less seriously.

Did you get the right gift for the right person?
Did someone give you a gift, now you feel obligated (guilty) & have to go out get them one too?  
Did you have to give anything at all???

Ah, the joys of another Hallmark card moment ....

To that end, I am committed to keeping things light & lively
over my holidays this year.  There is so much doom & gloom  everywhere 
yet also lots for which to be very grateful.  Health, a roof over one's head & food for one's family are great starters.  I do think, however, that there is NO 
better gift, particularly this year, than the gift of laughter.

Check out the You Tube link for loads of video highlights from the Python's timeless, brilliantly hysterical, "The Life of Brian".  Just imagine, all those many, many years ago in Bethlehem, the three kinds went to the wrong house ...  this movie is also a poignantly accurate & simple synopsis of all situations middle-eastern ... 

Did ya know .... that George Harrison, yes, THE George Harrison
was slated to play the lead role of "Brian" & deliver the Surmon on the Mount? 
George meditated long & hard on the offer, was guided to invest Beatle Buck$ instead & 
produce the movie, thus creating lot$ more good karma for him &  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  

"And always look on the bright side of your life .... "

Now here's da link:  hope it works!


Druid Moon returns after attending solstice festivals around the planet!

After attending a whirlwind of annual global winter
solstice celebrations, Druid Moon safely returned home
in the predawn hours of Monday morning.

"Breathtaking", said a local witness.

Druid Moon is reported to have been following long time
companion, Sun Set, as they circumnavigated the planet last Sunday.
This year's party themes included dreidels & group chanting as they
attended both Chanukah & Winter Solstice festivites.

Druid Moon, exhausted at the end of night, spotted laying down in
her exclusive bed of palms
somewhere in the southeastern horizon ....

"Father Sun & Mother Moon
Bless this, the fruit of your
Sacred womb."

December 21-22 2008

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Memories of Chanukah

Ever since I can remember, the tradition of  Chanukah centered around the menorah at my grandmother, Mimi's flat while growing up in London.  
I loved it when Mimi would say the blessings then light the candles. What made Mimi's menorah special was because, when wound up,  it played the traditional song of Chanukah "Rock of Ages" - "Ma'oz Tzur".  I never really remember all the words but both my Mother and Grandmother would go into a type of trance singing chorus after chorus until the song slowed down to a single, dwindling, plucked note.

I also love the Manischewitz wine - when "traditions" got boring, a few more sips for God & angels & I was a happy little camper among predominantly septuagenarians.

When I started a family of my own, Mimi passed her menorah on to me.  It is certainly one of my most treasured gifts.  It still remains seasoned like a good frying pan, imbued with decades of "mishpaha" - family. "Naches" - Joy.   Love.  Togetherness.  Tradition.

As I lit the candle this evening, I again felt myself transported back to a place in time where the walk to the front door through the garden was a siren-like temptation of heady aromas from slow, simmering soul foods, the sounds of long departed family friends,  laughing & arguing, a time when I could afford to always eat the last matzo balls, or brisket,  piece of fresher than fresh challah bread or Mimi's magnificent apple strudel.

Halcyion days.

I hope inadvertently, I may have stumbled over a few traditions that our children will one day recall with the same warmth & affection that I do.

I miss Mimi so much, but never as much as over these holidays, which she loved so very much.

Wishing everyone happiness as religions of the world converge at this time of the year.


Ha! Ha! Ha! He! He! He!

To the tune of "Little Brown Jug"

(sans the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra)

Ha! Ha! Ha!

He! He! He!

I've finished all the shopping.

Am as broke as can be.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

He! He! He!

I think I'll take a Xanax,

Dream of life that's debt free!!!!!

Yes, indeed. By 9.38 this morning, I handed over my last 2 dollar bills along with 35 cents for a much needed morning caffeine jolt, namely diet-soda-on-tap & a spare.   Over.  Just like that!

Shopping done, wallet totally empty, conscience clear, I headed home feeling just a trifle smug. While nearly everyone was in the church of their G0d, I was worshiping in the near-empty Temple of Wal-Mart, loving every little yellow ball reduction. I was just so grateful for Sam Walton's vision, while also feeling that my necessity to fullfill the annual bi-denominational guilt shopping extravaganza is indeed helping some 3rd world workers, who one day may be our employers, & I will show them their still wearable clothes, remind them that I supported them once in the day & ask them to treat me kindly ...

I know, many of my friends groan in birthlike agony at the mere thought of a Wal-Mart adventure. I went from Needless Markup (aka Nieman Marcus) to Wal-Mart in less than 6 months.  Now that was one WICKED, WICKED wedgie! Time & necessity & humility & gratitude have a tendancy to turn things around. Lemons became lemonade.  Ironically, some of most favorably commented upon outfits have come from Sam's Club & have long outlasted any Sak's Fifth Avenue garb.  

Quick shout out, however,  for Jaeger.  My black, wool jacket is nearly 20 years old, is as fab & chic as the day I got it & miracle of miracles, it STILL fits me whereas nothing, but nothing else does!  Not that's quality of design & workpersonship for you.

I digress ...  Back to praising Wal-Mart on this, the busiest shopping Sunday before Christmas ...

"Where else can you get a poster frame, Matzo Meal, a patriot pillow to sew as a gift,  some batteries, a spanish dictionary, dog ear cleaner, Osmocote, jeans, cuttle fish, new" cauliflower" for Toby (dog collar in Vicar speak), wine, I-tunes gift card, lactose-free milk & a dvd?

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!! Thank goodness for Wal-Mart.

Hope you get through these last couple of days ...  just wrap & B R E A T H E ...  wrap & breathe .... or do as we did - gave our kids their Chanukah gifts in large trash bags!!  

Recycling, baby, recycling.

Friday, December 19, 2008


"Morning has broken,

Like the first morning.

Blackbird has spoken,

Like the first bird ... "

"The miracle is not to fly in the air,

or to walk on the water,

but to walk on the earth.

Chinese Proverb

"Just living is not enough.

One must have sunshine, freedom,

and a little flower."

Hans Christian Anderson

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Enter my dreams ...

'The time has come,'

the Walrus said,

'To talk of many things:

Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --

Of cabbages -- and kings --

And why the sea is boiling hot --

And whether pigs have wings.'

Welcome. You have just taken a tiny peek into my tiny little url on the ethernet.

A mere splat on the blogosphere.

Like the Walrus, I have decided that the time has indeed come to speak of other things. Join me as I commence on an off-road journey, seeking to circumnavigate & articulate via words some of kaleidescopic phantasmagoria that makes up the labyrinth to which I occasionally refer as my "mind".

Sometimes, I might put up a "Dramamine alert". Other times, "Oxygen Zone." The trips through my head can be very fast, unpredictable, not for the faint of heart, narrow of mind or those with vertigo!

Who knows, after a spin inside my world, an isolation tank might be the only cure ...

Now that you have taken a teeny, weeny peek In-A-Gadda-Da-Vero, you are invited to return often, bringing your own unique perspectives well.

Together, let's nudge the world a little more out of its comfort zone, proudly splatter vibrant hues as we joyfully color outside the lines, sing out loud, garden in the rain - naked!

Some say a prayer at the beginning of a new journey, asking for guidance & protection. Even as I write this, all I can stammer is "Higher Power. Protect me from committing, atrocities against the English language, misquoting sources, Miss Shadlock's hateful red-lining, taking self or life too seriously. Oh, one more thing, am I NUTS?"

A predictably ominous, theatrical voice responds, "Was that ever in question?

Time to "drink me" & tear off down the rabbit hole!!!