Category Archives: Uncategorized

Themes

As to interior design, I’ve no experience but have made good decisions according to our parameters.

For several years I’ve been working with a framer. What good is art if it is in a box in storage! In the front entrance it’s mostly yellow, orange and red. Two of my father’s works of Tuscan and Maori origins, and one a wood block from Japan, the first artist to ever do full-color wood block prints in the 1700’s. Something about a letter to a courtesan. If a kid comes in here and asks, I just say her little sister is delivering the mail.

Then you see the kitchen, a mash-up of culinary memorabilia and one homage to dance from the Stuttgart Museum, just a Degas fan print currently in a plastic frame for over thirty years.

The living room ended up mostly blues and browns and charcoal. I had a charcoal drawing taken out of the cheap “uni-frame” it came in nearly 30 years ago, a gift from Dad from a winner of an art school review. My inspiration came from Dad. The owner was at the shop, not K, my usual consultant who throws ideas at me to consider and has a great eye for framing art.

I decided on everything myself with no consultation except to use a fillip. It is a charcoal sketch of dancers and I wanted to evoke the movement of the dancers with a dark red mini-matte, beaded fillip, charcoal matte and undulating frame. Five layers. I called K the day after and wanted to ask if I made any major errors without her. She didn’t let me ask, she just said that she loved my choices and she couldn’t wait to work on it.

Dad’s charcoal gem was done two days after his funeral so he never got to see it. It is a focal point of our living room along with a quilt which portrays the seasons, a gift created by my mother-in-law. Most of the colors are blues and browns. The blues include small paintings from an artist in Florence.

The only thing in the den worthy of note is a gift to my husband, a B/W photo of the Brooklyn Bridge that I had framed for him that one sees directly upon entering our abode.

The hallway and entrance to the master are the “greens.” Mostly photos I, family and friends took. Each photo has a different green hued matte. Our bedroom has a large Tuscan scene painted by Dad in his 80’s, when he took up art. My husband’s favorite is a crayon drawing from me, of me at age five, of me/Dorothy with the scarecrow, lion and tin man. I’ve also one for him waiting at the bus stop with his old dog who brought the brothers there in the morning and picked them up in the afternoon.

There is also a collage of a play book for a theater event I created and had funded. In the hallway to the bedroom there are also framed collages of my parents’ wedding, and one of me and my sister as little kids.

Yes, I’ve things to add. Dad gave me artwork from southern Italy that shows the seasons. Once I get those framed they’ll go in our room or the den, I’ll figure it out to echo his Mom’s creation. I just didn’t know that my individual choices became themes until now. Two more walls to go. I’ll work on it.

I had a cooking toolbox, red metal, that I decorated in culinary photos. It now holds small office equipment and looks cool next to my desk. All we need now is to move to the country on land with a view and use all our shared experience to build the right home. Cheers! Dee

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WordPress

The first week my husband started this blog for me WordPress placed us up for the best of the newbies. I got in touch with her to say congrats and hello and we’ve had a relationship for many years yet have never met.

Before my time is gone I would like to meet her. We know about our families and friends yet have not ever had the chance to greet each other in person.

We’re both “foodies” and I’d love to meet her in the market in her town. Cheers! Dee

What Would They Say?

Mom has been gone nearly nine years. Dad died over the holidays. They separated on their 35th wedding anniversary then divorced. Mom was Catholic. Divorce was not allowed. I still got her a Catholic Priest for Last Rites at hospice. For more info on that search on this site Fr. McGuinness. It’s a great story.

They called us in for the separation announcement, brought us to a patio table and told us. My brother said “It’s about time!” It’s just like him, which is why I love him. He’s the one that as a kid when Mom asked him to set the table, he’d say “Wrongo, moose breath!” And she’d laugh and have us do it.

I would hope that now, meeting on another figurative plane, they would ask about the kids, and perhaps mend some fences. Both of them made errors, as my husband and I do in our marriage. Everyone makes mistakes in life. It’s a given.

One of these days I’ll meet my brother and we’ll go to Dad’s grave where the stone was recently placed. We had a family, home cooked meals and family dinner, required every night

and there were no cell phones or laptops in those days. “How was your day, dear?” It’s 6:30 Sunday morning and I must take the dog out. Cheers! Dee

He Knows

My husband has been home writing a book for the summer (and driving me nuts) so it won’t be anything you can get at your local bookstore. It’s a software training book. I’m waiting to read it to edit fresh, and may ask later that you place it on your bedside table instead of warm milk, to sleep.

I’m glass half-full, he’s more analytical and skeptical so he’s half empty. In certain times it is the reverse. He knows things will work out and I worry. Reversal of roles. In certain times I make him steak with chimichurri, or Mom’s orange chicken (my version) when I would make for myself grilled cheese or a toasted peanut butter sandwich and eat it over the sink.

Luckily our old dog Zoe doesn’t remember her first four weeks of life with fleas and worms. We’ve had her over 13 years and she knows the present, a bit of the past but no future.

I know past, present and future because I think about and dream about things and look forward to a log cabin on a lake with a view of mountains. Sometimes I know things my husband does not. As a woman I’m more intuitive although I’ve taught him a lot over the years! I just can’t tell him my conclusion or how I came to it. No, his mother will read this and he’ll know it in an hour! Cheers, Dee

Cute, Sharp Knives

and Chimichurri. I ran into several folks early this morning. One said I looked “cute” and I thought of the year I turned the dreaded 40 and waited for the day a store clerk asked for proof of age for me to buy a bottle of wine. A few days before I turned 41 and met my husband for the first time, I was asked and I thanked her because they said they only “carded” shoppers who looked under 30 and I’d been there nearly every day for years.

Now on the cusp of another age change, a woman said I looked cute. Nearly 60 and cute. I like it and don’t like it because on one side it says I’m young and vibrant. That’s her. With others, they don’t take me seriously, including my husband. I was a consultant years before he was one. I gave it up because he was dragging me around the country and world. I no longer have the support for a private practice, not that one can be built in two years and move elsewhere. The internet doesn’t work for my kind of business.

Before dinner, if we want to stretch time, my husband eats an apple. He cuts it his own way and uses my favorite knife, a paring knife I bought for cooking school nearly 30 years ago. He sharpened it. I was used to a certain feel as I cut and seeded the jalapenos but it was different. I was talking with him and cut my thumb, deeply. It was bleeding and throbbing so I stepped out.

Ordinarily he is not allowed in my kitchen except to get water and Dr. Pepper. He followed my instructions and finished the chimichurri. He had steak, tiny multi-colored potatoes and was supposed to have part of a large heirloom tomato. In the middle of the night my “dinner” was 1/2 cup of chocolate milk.

We made a full recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/gaucho-grilled-steak-with-chimichurri-sauce-recipe-1941631 of this so we could give some to a friend. He must know that when I took myself out of the game to hold my cut finger over my head, my rookie line cook came on and finished the job. He just happens to be a genius, physicist, mathematician, software engineer and consultant. Friend, you are lucky!

We’ll  check my bandages later and see if I need stitches. It was a clean but deep cut. At least I’m cute! Cheers! Dee

Making a Difference

I think Dad instilled it in me. Two of us learned to read way early, and when our school wanted to change to phonics our parents rebelled. We were placed in the back of the room, together, and he was reading sports books and I was reading The Diary of Anne Frank.

We were made May King and May Queen because smarts were respected back then. Steven and I made a difference. A few years later we used to have to go to religious school every week. My younger sister and I, a sister and brother used to walk with us. They used to make fun of him. He was my friend and we walked together. I found out years later that he was gay. I had no idea of anything sexual at that time, only knew he was a good friend.

Years later his sister reached out to me to say she was sorry about all the things she said about her little brother, that they are best friends and she thanked me for being so kind to him.

I have made change in many areas of my life, in business and personal matters with people and pets. I have a side that engineers change. On the flip side folks call on me all the time for advice or care for their pets.

There are many stories but that would require a book. Cheers! Dee

ps  My wrist is getting better. I’m making burgers for lunch and skirt steak with chimichurri for dinner. Get the grill on!

Leftovers

He is eating them. My husband hates leftovers. Ask his mother. Two days ago I made my version of my mother’s “orange chicken” with fresh orange juice.

We shared one chicken breast and saved the other. Yesterday we shredded the other, added mayo, s&p, tarragon, halved black seedless grapes, halved multi-color cherry tomatoes, a nut mix and served it on small sesame rolls. Oh, I added orange zest and a bit of juice to reinforce the orange flavor. Also 1/3 of a lemon for freshness.

My husband is eating leftovers. They’re re-made but yesterday he helped re-make them, to my specifications. I need to tell his mother that reading a book is not like learning from vision. Taking a rubber boat down a fast river, nothing to know except you do it with a guide the first time. That’s how I learn. We did a five-hour run in two hours because the water was so fast, Class 4 rapids. It was scary and he read a book and thought he could do it alone. No way I will go or let you go alone. I’d been through Class 5 rapids, was thrown out of the raft and almost died and all the rescue boat people almost died as well in an eddy. I did that with my brother when he was 17, once. My husband and I learn from each other over the years. I know that when he says he’ll take our old dog Zoe out in the morning he has to brush his teeth, shave, shower, comb his hair and dress and that will take an hour. Sorry, Zoe has her “routine.”

Of late I’ve been going out with a jacket over my silk long undies, and FIDO tee-shirt. Save Fiesta Island Dog Park! Plus a jacket. I get up early and take her out. That is the priority. I’ll take a shower later, after I feed her and she takes a nap.

Sometimes people think the two dogs and two cats I’ve had from shelters over the past 30 years are “leftovers.” They are not. Each has a particular talent and no matter how damaged they were when I/we adopted they were fixed by love, attention and training.

In 1987 I was sent a five-week old kitten 3,000 miles, who had fallen off a 7′ shelf and his mother would not feed him. My sister sent him via my brother by plane, to me. Surprise! I had him for 13 years. He was a leftover. I made him not so. I named him Nathan, Hebrew for “gift.” I didn’t know anything about cats, but learned quickly and ended up running cat programs for adoptees, and spay/neuter for ferals later for many years.

No-one is a leftover. Those that may be deemed “leftovers” need a second chance. Nathan was a talker, I never got a last word in until I held him in my arms and they gave him the pink shot. Chani was so abused and at the end the community got together and gave a tree to our park in her memory. Mick was a retriever (post-it notes over the sofa) after spending a year in Chani’s bed, and a dog magnet. Zoe is a lover who is a mascot around here. She was never interested in birds for 13 years but tried to chase “Tom The Turkey” last week. He is the only creature that lives free, and for free, in our neighborhood and we “pardon” him on Thanksgiving every year.

My husband is a prize, not a leftover. When it comes to pets, please adopt from your local shelter. Cheers! Dee