Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Wonderful Documentary Film

Dancing in Jaffa is a lovely story about a famed ball-room dancer who goes back to the place of his birth (Jaffa), to teach dance to Palestinian and Jewish children. At first the children are very wary; not only of getting to know other children whom they consider their enemies, but they also have the usual reluctance of young boys and girls to be so familiar with each other as to touch in preparation for dancing.)

Seeing how they change over the course of the classes; gaining self assurance and physical ability is heart-warming. It is wonderful to see them gain acceptance of each other, realizing that their "enemies" are just kids like themselves. It gives one hope for the future of the Middle East. 

If you have an opportunity to see this documentary, I recommend it!!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

It turned out well.....but

Our guests arrived a few minutes late - the perils of trying to find a place you have never been.  I saw them 2-3 weeks ago, but Jim had not seen them in over 20 years. We used to be good friends, but a work relationship went awry (as many do) and we lost touch with each other. It is nice to "re-make their acquaintance".

The Publix  lamb chops were excellent; tender and juicy and mild-flavored. I topped them with lemon zest, minced garlic and chopped rosemary (just cut in my garden.) I also had a Caesar salad and sauteed asparagus, along with yeast rolls (not home-made.)

Dessert was lemon cake with either pistachio or chocolate caramel ice cream. It was a satisfying meal and an enjoyable visit.

However,   (you knew there was one, didn't you?), I could not for the life of me sleep last night. My eyes were open until sometime after 4:30 am, which was the last time I looked at the clock. I got up at 8 am and began to work in the kitchen and dining area. By the time we sat down for luncheon, my eyes were drooping, although I managed not to fall asleep at the table. 

After they left, I got into my recliner, hoping to have a long nap. I woke after 90 minutes, refreshed but hungry again. We nibbled, and I watched the UNC-VA basketball game (now I'm sad.) As I write, it is 11:15 and I'm not sure I could fall asleep easily tonight either. What the heck is going on?  I usually sleep like a  rock.

Wish me luck. The fact that we are losing an hour tonight will not help my sleep patterns.  

Friday, March 09, 2018

A Frustrating Day

Yesterday, I went to my usual grocery and while there, I looked at some lamb chops, which looked a bit old to me,  so I decided not to buy them. They didn't have the number I needed anyway. I asked a butcher if they would have fresh chops tomorrow (Friday) and he said yes.  We are having guests tomorrow and I wanted to serve chops at our meal.  I purchased everything else I needed, and expected to finish out my list today.

So today, I go back to the store, and (lo and behold) there are no lamb chops. I asked another butcher, who told me that they don't get a delivery of the chops until tomorrow. Was I ever upset?!  You bet! 

Then I went to a new Whole Foods that I had not been to yet; expecting them to have nice chops. They had four in a package that looked as if it had been there a week or more. I was beginning to get very frustrated. My daughter advised me to go to a store closer to her home, which I did. They had no chops either. I bought enough chicken salad to have sandwiches, along with some good bread. My daughter then offered to go to a Publix that is about 8 miles from my house, and I took her up on the offer.  She found 8 chops - just the number I need. I will forever be in her debt (for that and many other things.)

Before I got back home, the woman who is supposed to come to lunch tomorrow with her husband, called and asked if we were still expecting them tomorrow. I said most assuredly so and asked if she didn't get my email (in which I expressed my pleasure that they were coming, and gave her directions to our new home.) She did not. I think it may be due to the fact that she has a very old account, which is not supported any longer.  Either that, or she gave me the wrong email address or I wrote it down wrong. 

They have my address, but they don't have GPS, so I hope they can find me. I think I won't start to cook the chops until they arrive, just in case.

To end on a better note; last night our son, his oldest daughter and her coworker and friend, came for dinner. We enjoyed seeing all of them and meeting her delightful friend, Chloe, who is originally from New Jersey, but now works in Pittsburgh, with my granddaughter, in a psychology lab at UPitt.  They came to Raleigh because their lab is participating in a research project, along with NCSU. It is great to have them here to visit!  

A side note:  I am surely cooking a lot more than usual!!  That doesn't do much for my thought of losing weight before my class reunion in

Sunday, March 04, 2018

A Very Special Performance

A neighbor asked me to attend a charity event with her, and I am so glad I went. The performance was given by a number of people; both children and adults who are disabled in some way. It is conceived and directed by a man who lives across the street from me, and I am pleased to know someone who gives of himself so unselfishly with a group that no doubt requires infinite patience.

The TOCS program (the link takes you to a former show) promotes inclusion and community spirit. It is committed to building performance skills, discipline, responsibility and positive values through the creative arts. 

The program reads "Although this show is an outcome, the bigger picture is of people of all abilities working together in a truly welcoming environment, gaining self-esteem and building socialization skills."

This program was modeled after "Annie", the Broadway play and included the cast singing along with pre-recorded music from the show. Movie screens on the sidelines showed slides and video of the cast in rehearsal, I think.  The secondary theme was bullying; identifying it and finding ways to stop it. 

My friend and I enjoyed the performance and look forward to the next!

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Very Special Day

Our grandson, the one who just returned from Ethiopia, was asked to visit to NYC to see about applying to graduate school (at a consortium of schools) in anthropology. The interview was to take place at the Museum of Natural History (one of our and his favorite places.)  

He went to NYC last week and met with the people and 7 other candidates from across the United States for the two openings in grad school. He learned where he would be taking classes and attending labs, and suffice it to say he was eager to learn and happy to be there. 

Among the questions they asked him was how he felt about the possibility of living in New York City. He replied that his grandfather was from there, his aunt had lived there and he had visited a number of times, so he felt comfortable with it. 

He returned to Raleigh on Saturday evening and told us all about it; excited and proud to be in the group of possible students.  We were all so proud of him and happy for him.

Sometime on Sunday he got a call from one of the professors, asking if he was the J_____C____ (person of the same name) who had been arrested in NC sometime recently. He told them that he had never even had a traffic ticket, let alone been arrested! That scared us all; not knowing if they would be able to determine that he was not a criminal in time for the selection process. 

But apparently they learned the truth, because he was selected to attend grad school there next fall. Can you say "PROUD GRANDMA?"  This kid carried a huge hard-backed book about prehistoric animals and dinosaurs around when he was 4-5-6, memorized the dinosaur's names and even slept with the book and hard plastic animals for a few years. He talked about them to anyone who would listen.  It seems inevitable that he went on to study bones and body morphology with such zeal. 

J_____, we could not be more proud of you or happy for you! We know you will go far in life and in your field. Good luck in the future!

Monday, February 12, 2018

One of the Perks of Living Where I Live.....

is getting to see a free movie every Saturday afternoon. Not all of them appeal to us, but there are enough that I have seen more movies in the last two years than in the previous ten. The movie this past week was "Me Before You", about a paraplegic guy and the young woman who becomes his aide. It seems sad, at first glance, but it was not a tearjerker. I really enjoyed it and the women around me did too. 

Another perk is the documentary or foreign movie that is shown about once per month. This past Sunday, we saw "The Women on the 6th Floor"  (check it out here). I loved this one and I recommend you see if you can find it on DVD. Delightfully acted, with some nice scenery and amusing dialog - it is a lovely way to spend a few hours. 

I have been able to see two different "old folks" homes in the last month; once to visit a former resident here who has moved to as assisted living and once to re-connect with a former friend whom I had not seen in almost 20 years. They are both nice places to live, and the one thing I like about them rather than where we live is that you can get meals there. My friends eat breakfast and lunch in their own apartments and take the evening meal in the restaurant.  There are many restaurants within 5 miles of my home, but it would be great to be able to go to the clubhouse and have a meal, especially for lunch (which I hate to eat at home.) I guess it was all the years I was working, and being used to getting lunch out somewhere (even in my car.) Oh well, perhaps when we need  to be in an assisted living, we can go to a place that serves food. I DO hope that is a long time away. We are blessed at the moment with good - or tolerable - health.  I wish the same for you!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Thirteen Years in Blogland!!

Today is my 13th anniversary of writing this blog. I did stop this one and write under the name of Imagine (what I'm leaving out) for a few years, but after that one got zapped by a virus, I came back here.

It seems unbelievable that I have had enough to write about for that many years, but since I've been told I talk too much ever since I went to kindergarden, maybe it isn't all that odd.  Of course, I don't write nearly as often as I used to. 

I'm on my fortieth Keurig coffee pot  (or so it seems). Last March we got a new pot, one with a touch pad for instructions. The touch pad began to malfunction and finally it got to the point that it wouldn't turn on, so we returned it and got a new one. Care to take bets on how long this one will last?  My daughter has the first one she ever bought, probably 10+ years ago. It still works fine. The family says I drink too much coffee and the pot is reacting to that overuse. I doubt that.

Book club in the old neighborhood is tonight. We read a good book titled "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry", which sounds silly, but turned out to be meatier than one would imagine. I recommend it.