Celebrating my dad

I’m publishing my blog a day early this week because today’s my dad’s birthday. He’s been gone a long time, 31 years. Hard to believe. I never missed his birthday, even after I moved to Toronto.

From as far back as I can remember, my mother and I always drove ourselves into a frenzy trying to figure out what to get for him and how to celebrate. He was hard to buy for — not because he was picky — because he never wanted anything. He always said he had everything he needed. Same thing with parties. He liked to keep things low key. Except when the shoe was on the other foot and he was doing something for others — and then nothing was too good or too much trouble. He threw himself into the task with absolute zeal.

That was my dad. Kind, sensitive to the needs of others, caring and generous to a fault. He embodied all the values that are in such short Continue reading

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Up to my ass in alligators again …

I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for the work. But I’ve just been too busy to think of blogging. I know I’ve been MIA a lot lately but I’ve been up against deadlines. There’s a lot on my mind I’d love to share, but there are only so many hours in the day. So if you don’t see me around for a week or two, don’t count me out. To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”

I just don’t get it

Last week I saw a Levi’s commercial urging Americans to vote. It’s a great spot and bravo to them for doing it, but that they should have to, makes me crazy. Theirs is the only commercial I’ve seen — at least so far. But apparently, they’re just one of many companies doing it.

The Skimm has also been pounding away at trying to get people to vote. For those of you unfamiliar with it, The Skimm is a quick and easy-to-read daily digest of news stories.

They’re so concerned about low voter turnout among female Millennials, for months leading up to voter registration for the upcoming US midterm election, they launched a “no-excuses” campaign, with daily tips, apps, info and even a link to register.

For the life of me, I will never understand why people are so ambivalent about voting, how they have no compunction Continue reading

If at first you don’t succeed …

There was a lovely story in Sunday’s New York Times. I laughed out loud when I got to the part where the author wrote, “my mother used to track me down in the event of my untimely murder; lord knows she has imagined plenty of gruesome ends for me. I can’t tell you the number of times that public safety officers showed up on my doorstep in college because I hadn’t returned her calls swiftly enough.”

She could have been writing about my mother.

While she never went so far as to call the police, she did manage to convince a friend of mine to become a search party of one. She (my mother) was convinced — because I’d been working late and was alone in the office — that I’d either been attacked, killed and shoved into the coat closet or was lying helpless, bloody and injured at the bottom of the elevator shaft, the result of an accident involving snapped cables. Yes, Continue reading

Glass half full …

Read this article over the weekend in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. The author is talking to parents about how to raise optimistic children in pessimistic times, but I think it’s a great message for all of us to keep in mind as we navigate our way through life.

Happy Days — http://time.com/5370788/raising-optimistic-kids-pessimistic-times/

 

 

Something I haven’t done in a while …

I went through a period when I was writing about US politics all the time, both here and on Huff Post. I finally ran out of steam, though, and tried to find more positive topics. Tempted as I was sometimes to revert back, in the end, I resisted. Too much negativity and toxicity and I think we were all feeling pretty much the same way. I have the feeling that most, if not all of you, were relieved I stopped.

Like so many, I watched Senator John McCain’s memorial service on TV last Saturday. If I was an American, I wouldn’t have ever voted for him, you’d find me on the other side of the aisle. But I have Continue reading

Go on give it a try.

I think this is a message the world needs to hear more now, than ever. So today I’m turning my blog over to Chris Black, “the poet’s poet,” who I’ve been following here on WordPress for six years. Enjoy, and do as the man says: “Smile.”

Today from the Man Shed

Live life with a smile

This will assist you

As you walk that weary mile

A door never closes

But another opens

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Bring happiness with you as you go

That burden may be heavy

Stand upright, face that foe

Turning your back is not the answer

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Learn not to recoil

As you step out into a new dawn

Smile instead of yawn

You have made it through another night

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Although at times it’s burdensome

That cross we have to bear

There is always someone less well off

Their cross they may wish to share

Live life with a smile.

 

Live life with a smile

Spread the happiness within you around

Put a spring in your step…

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Let them eat cake and plenty of it …

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I wish the photo was that recent, but both she and her twin sister, with whom she is celebrating, have both passed.

In fact, it goes back quite a while, because my mom moved to Toronto in 2000, after my aunt died. And when this was taken, she still lived in Montreal.

Clearly, they were surprised and happy. They loved birthday parties, everyone’s parties, and particularly their own. And most of all, they loved birthday cake. So I fully expect they had plenty of cake yesterday. And, if my Continue reading

Summer in the city …

The weather’s been so lovely, still hot, but without the humidity, we’ve had much of the summer. Can’t get enough of the outdoors. Last Friday I had to go to the bank and the tailor. Ended up walking for more than an hour, just didn’t want to be inside.

That night I had a fabulous dinner with a friend at an Italian restaurant in Yorkville (CIBO). It’s so interesting, there have been several restaurants in that spot and none of them have lasted that long, but this one is packed all the time.

I had farfalle with shrimp, spinach, capers, and lemon, it was delicious! It’s the second time I’ve had it there and I’ve tried to duplicate it at home. Mine is good, but theirs is better.

My friend had vegetable risotto and she said it was marvelous. Her Continue reading