Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giving Thanks

I know Thanksgiving is still a week or so away, but that holiday is on my mind lately for several reasons.  

Thanksgiving has always been a "Mom" related day, because her birthday regularly fell that day (every six years or so) and it was probably her favorite day of the year, since it had all of the "family" of Christmas but none of the stress of gift buying/giving/getting/returning.  And so I give thanks every year that this provides a perfect occasion to celebrate Mom, although I try to do that every breathing minute of my life.

This year there's an added wrinkle.  For the first time since I was in the Peace Corps (and that seems like another lifetime ago,) I will not be sharing the day surrounded by my sisters and their families.  I am having foot surgery and Achilles tendonitis surgery the day BEFORE Thanksgiving, and that will preclude any travel plans for me, not just for this holiday, but for 6-8 total NON-weight bearing weeks.  My aunt will be tasked with caring for me (she of course volunteered graciously) for some of that time, until I can safely navigate the confines of my house without a personal assistant.  For that I am exceedingly grateful.  

Josie has really stepped energetically into the surrogate Mother role since 1999, and she is always fun to have around.  For a time.  We are both Pisces.  We share many characteristics.  And after a bit, we get on each others' nerves and say so.  This time, she will not have the luxury of hying herself to her apartment when my crankiness meets her stubbornness.  Or vice versa.  So I am hoping I don't abuse her good generous nature during my convalescence.

I am also grateful every one of my Delaware circle of friends (all of whom I've met in the last two years) has called and offered either support or help or a kind word or a getaway car if I change my mind.  It is heartwarming and illustrates the tenor and mettle of the community of women I have had the good fortune to meet since my emigration to Delaware.

And at the other end of the spectrum, I'm grateful that I have the wherewithall (read: health insurance) that will cover this surgery and the "turning leg caddy" that will enable me to get around more easily here at home after the surgery, and live without pain (hopefully) after  I'm fully recuperated for the first time in over three years.

It is true that my convalescence will wipe out Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years as I've previously enjoyed or experienced those happy holidays, but given that many are in far worse circumstances AND FAR MORE DANGEROUS PLACES, I've got quite a lot to be thankful for, and I'm very very grateful for that.

PEACE.    And Happy Holidays!

-- HeartSleeve

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wine Imitating Art

      Eiffel Tower at on an unseasonably warm spring night, how romantic!

Among the 2,000 photos of Bordeaux and Paris I took in April 2007 (many of which will grace this space eventually and some which are already up on PBase), a few begged for a bit of artistic license.

I could easily become a "cellar rat!"

As I wandered in awe through cellar after cellar, the scent of ripe fruit mingled with the crispness of new oak like incense in a cathedral after a high mass... and the vessels took on almost sacramental properties.

View from the Vineyard! Bordeaux, That Is!

All I can say is "C'est Magnifique'!"
This was truly a fabulous, hopefully-not "once-in-a-lifetime" trip, because there are many more global wine regions to experience. But the bar (pardon the pun) has been raised to an incredibly high level, given the generous and very special entre' we received at every Chateaux we visited.
We came to Bordeaux on the draft of our friends at Calvert-Woodley Wine shop in DC, and between lucking into that favored airspace and due I'm sure to the savvy and likability of Greg Poirier, our own personal WINE GUY and guide, we were certainly given special treatment and tasted some of the world's most famous (and famously guarded) wines.
These pictures are just a tiny slice of what is still to come, and I have much more to write than this about my magical 10 days in France, but here's a sip to get you started!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Riot of Color @ the Philadelphia Flower Show

It was a gorgeously frigid day Tuesday here at the beach when I boarded a charter bus that would take me to the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. At the end of the two-hour ride up Route 1, Philadelphia proved why it is named the City of Brotherly Love. When the bus stopped to allow us to disembark, the city swallowed me in a big hug and dazzled me with its kaleidescope of sights and sounds and smells.
Across the street from the Convention Center, another wonder to behold, the Read Street Market, which is reminiscent of Pike Market in Seattle or Lexington Market in Baltimore -- an adventure for the senses and a reminder that beach life sometimes can be a little sterile.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

All I am saying is... GIVE WAR A CHANCE!

Yesterday, thousands of peace-activists marched on Washington, DC in opposition to the Bush "Surge Strategy" for the war in Iraq.

It was no surprise, then, that the old Republican war-horse, former Navy Secretary and notorious political fence sitter, Senator John Warner, decided that public opinion had sufficiently gelled on this issue to the point that it is now safe for him to take a position on the Iraq War. In today's Washington Post, Sen. Warner thusly reflects that:

"I regret that I was not more outspoken" during the Vietnam War. "The Army generals would come in, 'Just send in another five or ten thousand.' You know, month after month. Another ten or fifteen thousand. They thought they could win it. We kept surging in those years. It didn't work."

I'd call that ironic. But there is plenty of irony to go around, these days...

It is ironic that Bush, like many of yesterday's war protesters, is a Baby Boomer who came of age when another unwinnable war, the VietNam war, was raging and claiming lives of thousands of young Americans, while many of us chanted,


It is ironic then for Bush to frame his latest request for 'cannon fodder' to fuel the war in Iraq, and the wanton waste of life and destruction of more American families, by insisting,


It is ironic that to THE DECIDER, his losing face is of greater national consequence than America losing 21,000+ more American lives.

I'd call that the height of irony.

P E A C E ...