Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

In Norway yesterday, a guy picked up a high-powered bow and arrow and started shooting people inside a supermarket. Four women and one man were killed, several more were injured.

In England today, David Amess, a conservative Parliament member, was stabbed several times by one of his constituents in a church. The world news media would like to look for a reason, what prompted these men to run amok?

Just imagine if they had access to assault rifles for a minute.

Because in my humble opinion, and I’ve said this before, GUNS are a uniquely American problem. Crazy isn’t at all unique – the percentage of people who hear voices telling them to do harm is most likely similar across the planet. Most people, when they are fired from a job, quietly pack their belongings in a box and stroll out the door. A very small percentage might think to walk back in with a weapon… and an even smaller number might do just that, if they owned or could easily steal a gun. And in America, gun sales are booming!

Just this year, two Kindergarteners in Florida found a loaded handgun in their back packs!

“The 26-year-old mother had placed the case and loaded handgun in her son’s backpack while cleaningouther car the night before, she told police, but then forgot to remove it before he went to school. Now, Carroll faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge for allegedly failing to store the weapon in a secured locked box, allowing a minor access to the firearm, court records state.She is also facing a second charge for missing an October court appearance.

The incident is at least the second recent case of a Florida child finding a loaded weapon in a backpack. Earlier this week, a Florida father was arrested after his son fatally shot his mother during a Zoom call with her co-workers. Prosecutors said the toddler found the gun inside a “Paw Patrol” backpack at the family’s home in Altamonte Springs.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/15/florida-mom-charged-placing-gun-kindergartner-backpack/

OK, you might say well, that’s Florida. But it’s not – it’s two Nashville teenagers being tried as adults for gunning down a musician in East Nashville outside his home. It’s a father shot dead in his car over a road rage incident outside of town. It’s a 16 year old girl killed in South Nashville when she and her cousin found themselves “in a dispute” with several young men. What if they had just thrown a few punches and walked away?

Well, our great Volunteer State is in the news once again. And no, not for arresting children and sending them to jail because they simply watched two kids fighting without intervening. And not for that big hair pastor who died in a small plane crash near Franklin, TN after making millions selling her faith-based-diet-scheme.

Nope. The preeminent gun manufacturer in the world is relocating to Tennessee! Gov Lee must be so proud for bringing new jobs to the area.

“Smith & Wesson, which has been making firearms since before the Civil War, said Thursday it will move its headquarters to Tennessee, after legislators in its home state of Massachusetts proposed gun control laws that the company said could hurt 60 percent of revenue.The decision to relocate from Springfield, Mass., coupled with the closure of some facilities in Connecticut and Missouri, means that more than 750 jobs will be moved to Maryville, Tenn., the company said in a statement to investors. Smith & Wesson has been based in Springfield since 1852.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/01/smith-wesson-moving-maryville-tennessee/

We Americans are dying: – we’re dying from gun violence because our Second Amendment said we can. We’re dying from Covid because our First Amendment lets us speak whatever nonsense we want to without repercussion. Because a certain ex-president started out with birther/racist rants, and ended embracing another Big Lie; and dragging nearly half of our republic with him.

Our democracy is dying when the Congress’ January 6 committee cannot or will not enforce a subpoena. Our so-called “freedom” – to threaten school board members, to carry permit-less handguns, to ignore public health warnings, and subpoenas – will be the death of us.

Just a dog in a fenced dog park

Read Full Post »

My first text of the morning was from the Bride: “Breaking News!”

BREAKING NEWS! These two words flashing across any screen used to get my heart churning, but now I just wonder what else Niki Minaj’s best friend’s cousin is up to… but wait! It’s a New York Times article – our Grands just may be vaccinated by Halloween.

“The need is urgent: Children now account for more than one in five new cases, and the highly contagious Delta variant has sent more children into hospitals and intensive care units in the past few weeks than at any other time in the pandemic. Pfizer and BioNTech plan to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for authorization to use the vaccine in these children.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/20/health/covid-children-vaccine-pfizer.html

What a joyous, rainy, overcast Monday. You see the Bride inherited her Father’s lungs, and kindly passed a little reactive airway disease down to the Pumpkin, who’s not so little anymore. As a baby, he would get rushed into a shower with croup late at night. It’s almost like having asthma; during allergy season he may need to use an inhaler. With children’s cases of Covid going up 250%, I was particularly worried about this little First Grader.

Bob and I decided to walk in our fancy, indoor mall yesterday after several days of rain. My medical consultant tells me I must keep moving after a fall, so we donned our Happy Masks and set out on an adventure. I’m just guessing, but probably less than 50% of shoppers were wearing masks. And each store had their own policy about masking hanging on their door. This is Nashville yes, but the rest of Tennessee helps keep our Covid numbers up; Tennessee is Number ONE in the nation for new Covid cases!

I keep wearing a mask indoors not because I’m afraid of getting sick. After two jabs of Moderna, I could easily not know I was infected, or be asymptomatic, and unknowingly pass the virus to a friend or loved one. I keep wearing my mask so that I can still hug my Grandchildren.

I keep wearing a mask indoors and don’t understand people walking through a mall with young children all unmasked.

I’ll keep wearing a mask indoors just as long as my daughter tells me to, along with my other medical consultant who will keep reminding me to bring a mask with me wherever we go. Bob has successfully passed his Emergency Medicine Boards this month, HOORAY!!! (docs have to re-certify every so many years). Hope reigns supreme at my city farmhouse. Maybe he’ll start doing remote medicine? Or Urgent Care? Or something medical?

Yesterday as we sat outside a cafe in the mall, Bob told me he’d been doing the math.

One out of every 200 people in this mall has Covid and doesn’t know it.”

It was not at all reassuring, but that’s why I love him. He will always tell me the truth and doesn’t mince words. He knows whether I broke a hip or not. He even does the dishes. He wants us to get booster shots soon, and our flu shots today!

I’m hopeful he’ll keep making sourdough bread and keep me laughing and walking and Covid-free for years to come. And I’m hopeful our Pumpkin and Bug and all the kids in that age range will stay safe for just another month or so.

Read Full Post »

“This town is a make-you town
Or a break-you-town and bring-you-down town” ole Blue Eyes

Landing back in Nashville, we were assaulted by the humidity. After a week in LA, I almost forgot that dewy glow; the sticky, sweaty, summer ‘situation normal’ of living in the South. Bob and I wore Envo masks throughout the airport, mainly because we didn’t want to expose the Grands to Covid. The masks are like N95s, only a little more comfortable because the perimeter is rimmed with a soft gel that molds to your face. https://envomask.com/

Which was fine at LAX, but even our Envo masks were no match for the saturated, humid conditions of the Music City. My mask kept slipping and sliding down my nose!

I couldn’t help but notice another big difference – people actually wore their regular, cloth masks everywhere in California. There may have been 99.9% compliance inside buildings, and most wore their masks walking down the street too. Restaurants had set up outdoor dining in parking lots and on sidewalks. Gov Newsom even issued another order for mask wearing in large crowds just before we left!

Bob and I went to Whole Foods downtown last night and we guesstimated about 30% mask-compliance. At WHOLE FOODS… Oh, and all those dog walkers in our neighborhood? Not a masked face in sight, but neither are we masked outside, since we manage to stay six feet away from people. That social distance isn’t always possible in the streets of LA.

So, can we legislate moral responsibility?

It seems that the art world can – a museum in Texas is trying to hold onto an 18th Century Bernardo Bellotto painting, “Marketplace at Pirna,” that a Jewish German citizen, a department store magnate named Emden, had sold “under duress” in order to escape to Switzerland in the early 1930s.

“Juan Carlos Emden, the Chile-based grandson of Max Emden, said the family has been trying to recover “Marketplace at Pirna” for about 15 years. He said that in November 2011, a lawyer for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts wrote to a representative of the heirs threatening legal action if the family did not “immediately cease and desist” from contacting the museum and required all correspondence to be sent via its lawyer.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/17/arts/design/duress-bellotto-painting.html

Mr Emden originally sold three Bellotto paintings – two have been returned to his heirs by the German government, but the marketplace painting mistakenly landed in the Netherlands, and they sold it to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. TX curators believe it was purchased in good faith. But the Edmen estate argues that “…Nazi-looted art determined that Emden was a victim of the “systematic destruction of people’s economic livelihoods by the Third Reich as a tool of National Socialist racial policy.

Should his heirs be punished simply because Edmen was smart enough to see the future demise of his country, and rich enough to leave Germany before war was declared? Were it not for the rise of Hitler, his heirs would still be German citizens and millions of Jews would have survived.

The legal SNAFU here is the question of what constitutes a “sale under duress?”

The Terezin Declaration was signed by the US and 46 other countries in 2009. It states that “Just and Fair” solutions must be applied to art that was confiscated or sold during the war; and Germany has extended this to mean works that were sold “under duress.” So is the moral criterion for a country different than it might be for a private institution like a museum?

And this is exactly how we find ourselves right in the middle of a military slang acronym – Situation Normal All F-ed Up! The term found its way into our speech during WWII, a soldier could satirize his life without offending his commanding officer.

And just like Afghanistan was a country full of warlords and mini-feifdoms before and after Russia left, and before we tried our luck 20 years ago, the US is a country divided into some states that mandate mask wearing and maybe even vaccines to attend public school, and other states, like TX that don’t. And TN too. Some states, like FL, will give your kids a voucher for a charter or private school if they are being bullied into wearing masks…

The Grands got some bad news. Their school was now requiring them to wear masks OUTSIDE, can you imagine? The Love Bug said: “That’s OK Mommy, we wear them outside anyway.” I’m pretty sure children are more altruistic than most adults these days.

Masks on lariats

Read Full Post »

When you have no control whatsoever on the people at Publix who are choosing not to wear masks during this Delta surge, or the parents at a Williamson County School Board meeting, the wealthiest county in TN right outside of Nashville, verbally attacking a physician and calling him a “traitor.” Oh I’m sure you’ve seen that video by now.

“Even more disconcertingly, Tennessee journalist Matt Masters shot video after the meeting showing anti-mask demonstrators harassing doctors and nurses who had spoken in favor of the mask mandate as they tried to leave the parking lot. (The clip was later reposted on Twitter by Tennessean reporter Natalie Allison.)

“We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we will find you,” one man said, as police officers separated the crowd so the public health experts could drive away safely.”

https://www.vox.com/2021/8/11/22620254/williamson-county-school-board-meeting-franklin-tennessee-mask-mandate

Luckily the Bride wasn’t there. She was in an earlier Zoom call with other doctors that day, trying to persuade the elementary school board to mandate masks as it will save children’s lives. Imagine wanting to save a child’s life. That TV segment, on Fox news, aired one or two seconds of all the white coats on Zoom, with one doctor interviewed, followed by three angry, anti-mask parents being interviewed.

On the one hand, I’m proud of my physician activist daughter; on the other I’m worried about her safety.

When the world has just gotten so out of whack, the only thing to do is organize!

I used to bake when life threw me lemons. And I’m not a baker; I’d bake carrot cakes and banana bread. I’d deliver them to grieving widows, new moms, and the emergency department at Bob’s hospital. Anyone who needed a pick-me-up could count on my simple baking skills. I’ve also made pretty mean chocolate chip cookies in my day.

But lately, I’ve felt compelled to declutter, and the first place to start, of course, was the entry. But in this “open-concept” city farmhouse, the entry leads right into the living area and the kitchen. It wasn’t easy. The kitchen is a landmine of emotions. During the past year and a half, it has become the Pilates Zoom station, the mask-making sewing room and also the scene of Bob’s sourdough bread making experiments.

I must say that the only small appliance I was conflicted about letting go was my avocado green hand mixer from the 1960s.

It still works! But I hardly ever use the old green, steady Sunbeam. Is Sunbeam still in business? I always liked that name “Sunbeam.” There’s a part of me that loves greeting the sun flowing into my kitchen every morning and bathing my orchids and plants with light. It’s essential for my happiness to have sun beaming into my home!

But I told Bob I’d be willing to part with the mixer because it represents the “old me” – the Harvard Law School wife who met Julia Child in a grocery store. The girl who felt trapped in her first marriage, and bravely sought one of the first no-fault divorces in the country.

I still have a vintage, multi-colored Delft plate we bought on our honeymoon to Amsterdam hanging on the kitchen wall. My children can do whatever they want with it when I’m gone.

The wine rack has been replaced with an electric tea kettle. I don’t know why I’ve never had one before; maybe I was afraid it would be like a rice cooker or a George Forman grill – used a few times and tossed away. It feels good knowing where everything is in my kitchen, and being able to reach for the things I use frequently, easily. Taking a news sabbatical is also good for my health!

Today is the last day of Nana Camp! Our Grands start school next week, and yes their university school requires masks and they also require all their teachers be vaccinated. One tradition is we buy them new sneakers, which I ordered online unfortunately. The Love Bug is out of children and into a woman’s size! It’s a funny thing being the blue dot in a red state. But it’s remarkably calming to know my grandchildren will not be at risk while they play and learn with their friends at school.

Read Full Post »

As soon as I ended the call with my son, I wanted to call Great Grandma Ada. The Rocker and Aunt KiKi are buying their first home in LA, a glorious mid-century with a view of the valley. No longer will the newlyweds have to work at opposite corners in their living room. The young child who always heard music in his head, has put down roots in the film industry. But in even better news, they had just received their second Moderna shot!

In two weeks they will be fully vaccinated…

I was filled with joy! My instinct was to immediately call Ada. I loved giving her good news about her grandchildren. She would “kvelle” (which means feeling happy and proud in Yiddish), she would say “poo poo poo” (which translates to not letting the evil spirits hear your good fortune). And best of all, her unbridled delight was contagious – she multiplied happiness for everyone within her circle.

And in a way, I did call her yesterday. I made small sandwiches to honor the Fifties Housewife she once was, I picked pink peonies for a gorgeous arrangement because she loved painting flowers, and I wrote about her devotion to knowledge and her career as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

With three of our Nashville friends, we memorialized our loved ones at the Cypress Tree Grove we’d planted in our local park. In 2020, Ellen lost her father, Yoko lost her mother and Rick lost his sister. With our neighbors and friends, AND with everyone vaccinated and mask-free on a sunny, balmy 78 degree Sunday, we listened to Finlandia, by composer Jean Sibelius, and spoke about our collective losses. Here is a snippet about Ada and me:

Years later, when she bumped into me again, she insisted I come back to her home to reconnect with her son, Bob. We married under a canopy of trees in that same office parking lot (outside of her home/office).  She swore she would always take my side, and she kept her promise. A woman of valor, one who was always giving and kind, we were lucky to have her for 96 years.

Yes, if Ada didn’t drag me into her son’s room at the hospital after our chance meeting in an elevator, would I even be here in Nashville? Serendipitous events always seemed to follow Ada; she may have been “Older than the Queen” but her insatiable spirit will never die. I see it in the Bride as she tends to her family and her career with finesse. I see it in the Rocker, who can make twelve notes of music into spine-tingling compositions with alacrity. And her Great Grands love learning, just as she did.

We chose the Bald Cypress because it’s native to TN: it’s adaptive to dry and wet conditions and can withstand flooding; it will develop “knees” with its roots jutting out of the soil; and it’s the only conifer that sheds its needles, ie “bald”. So it’s unique!

But not as unique as our Adala. Bob was a teenager when she went back to graduate school in the 1960s, and she always left dinner for the boys during the week, even though many of her nights were filled with school and clients. “Misery is optional” was one of her favorite quotes. My wedding present from Ada was a gravesite in their family plot – I wasn’t sure how to respond, but remembered a rabbi telling me that we never really grow up until we have our own gravesite.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s taught us to double down on the fragility of life. We are all molecules of star dust, and we were damn lucky to be in Ada’s orbit for so many years.

Read Full Post »

To all my Jewish friends celebrating Passover, I just hope you could sleep last night. We’ve been having some severe thunderstorms here in Central TN for a few days now, and tornado PTSD is real y’all! Ms Bean and I tossed and turned all night. Bob can sleep through anything.

Yesterday, thanks to the Bride, we stuffed ourselves with delicious matzoh balls, brisket and tzimmes and had a wonderful time up close and personal with the Grands and their other Grandparents too. Mike and Shavaun flew in from VA, and since we are all vaccinated, it was almost like a return to normal. We could all eat inside, unlike last year’s Zoom Seder. There was just one mishap.

I had put a stack of matzohs on the buffet behind the dining room table. When it was time to make the Hillel sandwich, I turned in my seat and picked up the platter full of matzoh. Unfortunately, these light as air unleavened Kosher wafers had been resting on a very heavy ironstone platter. You guessed it – my first matzoh injury of 2021!

Between bouts of back spasms and very loud, very close thunder, I was awake all night.

When I told Dr Jim and Aunt Kay about my back this morning, I was told to beware of the BLTs of aging:

  • Bending
  • Lifting
  • Twisting

Gone are the days when I could proudly display a skiing injury. All it takes now is a slip on the stairs or a twist in my seat. I sit at my desk writing, watching the squirrel I’ve named Kevin, contort him (or her) self into amazing acrobatic stunts to attack my bird feeder. Upside down, torqued into fantastical positions; and I think how lucky he is with his flair for the dramatic.

And I remember the snail grocery store I stocked with lettuce and papaya skins with the L’il Pumpkin in Hawaii. It was built out of lava rock. We learned these big snails are gastropods, and laughed about our only literary reference – the children’s book, “Escargot.” This was a favorite when he was little, about a French snail who wants to be your very favorite animal! Except, he doesn’t like carrots.

https://www.amazon.com/Escargot-Dashka-Slater/dp/0374302812

So we are slowly re-entering real life, and I’m thankful that I didn’t twist an ankle on lava hikes. The Rocker and Aunt KiKi have received their first shots in California. And this week we are having our first “all are vaccinated” dinner party. Life is progressing, love is winning. And Bob’s lettuce and kale are coming back in the garden – now I just need some tomato and bacon!

Happy Spring! And BTW, our Pumpkin lost his first tooth on the Big Island!

Read Full Post »

Do you ever find yourself sitting in your car, in front of your own house, listening to NPR and glued to your seat? Well, since I’ve received my second jab in the arm, Life has opened up beyond my neighborhood. I’m getting out alone, strolling through a bookstore and yes, I admit I went to Target. Still masked and keeping a good 10 ft distance from humans, I felt like a prisoner just let out of a cave, blinking into the sunlight fluorescent light. The other day, rooted to my car seat, time stood still as I listened to Terry Gross finish interviewing the author Tim O’Brien.

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/24/970880767/tim-obrien-on-late-in-life-fatherhood-and-the-things-he-carried-from-vietnam

O’Brien wrote the Hemingwayesque anti-war book, The Things They Carried in 1990. This was required reading for the Bride’s high school AP English class, and I believe her teacher knew the author. O’Brien was drafted into the Vietnam War and later went on to study at Harvard. After loading some grocery bags into the car, I was excited to hear that Fresh Air was live on Nashville Public Radio… then just like that I morphed into an awkward feeling.

Gross pointedly asked the author if he was still smoking, and he said he was, and in fact he was at that moment in the one room in his house where he can continue to smoke. He didn’t smoke in front of his young children. And even though he’s had multiple trips to the hospital for COPD, he used the same old trope to justify his behavior, “You’ve gotta die of something, right?” I know all about this kind of reasoning since the Flapper continued to smoke until her death. But Gross wouldn’t let it go, she pushed him about being a good father, and staying alive to see his children grow up.

She pointed out his contradictory thinking – telling her that if he stopped smoking he may stop writing. What was more important, being a writer or a father? She put O’Brien on the hot seat, and didn’t let him up.

Then, O’Brien said he’d been doing some research about madness lately, about whether war is just simply codified lunacy.

The definition of madness is having a disordered mind, or exhibiting foolish behavior, or being in a state of frenzied activity. Personally, I was hoping for a much calmer state of activity with our new President and Vice President, only to wake up this morning and find out we bombed Syria.

“While the exact death toll remained unclear, Mr. Biden appears to have calibrated the strikes, hoping they would cause enough damage to show that the United States would not allow rocket attacks like that on the Erbil airport in northern Iraq on Feb. 15, but not so much as to risk setting off a wider conflagration. “He is kind of putting his first red line,” said Maha Yahya, the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/world/middleeast/biden-syria-iran.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

Maybe war is simply a bunch of crazy red lines over territorial conflicts. If you bomb me, I will bomb you by proxy. I lived through Vietnam, I was actively against the war and watched two brothers head off to that conflict zone, now it is full of eco-tourists. Or at least it used to be, before Covid. Now the Bride is learning how to roll sushi, and we get take-out from our local Vietnamese restaurant. Our grandchildren wield chop sticks with impunity.

I think we need more French clowns in the world. These clowns practice the medieval art of buffoonery; they were the poor and disenfranchised, the gypsies, gays and Jews, who were allowed to put on a play for the Noblemen every so often. And in so doing, they would point out the most ridiculous, contradictory happenings in their culture… in a funny, slightly smart and sarcastic way. Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat is a classic buffoon.

I’m not saying that Terry Gross was calling O’Brien a buffoon, but she did embarrass him, and that was not called for IMHO. Today, people who still smoke are dwindling, they have become pariahs. Still, I’d like to see some anti-war PSAs like the kind of attacks against smoking, where a woman is talking through her esophagus. Let’s try and change public opinion about war, and guns. You know, this is a guy with his legs blown off by a drone. Here we have the damage a Glock can do to a brain.

Send in the clowns.

Read Full Post »

It’s been raining here in Nashville. Not a soft rain, but windy downpours that make dogs cower in doorways. Ms Bean never liked walking in the rain, and since she received a new LL Bean orthopedic dog bed for Hanukkah this year, she’d rather curl up into her burrito pose and snooze. That familiar pup snore immediately makes me want a nap, so things are getting off to a slow start here for 2021.

We lost our AT&T internet for three days after the Christmas Day bombing that wasn’t an act of terrorism. I’m still not so sure about that, but y’all know I love a good linguistic fight. If that man from Antioch had been a Muslim, it would have been labeled terrorism. If he had been Black? Well then BLM would have been assumed to be his ideology, and it would have been labeled terrorism. But he was a 62 year old White guy, a native Nasvillian, and believe me there are not many natives left who can afford to live here anymore.

The bomber seems to have been concocting this scheme for over a year. His girlfriend reported him to the police last August, but you know she was deemed suicidal, not credible, and he never opened his door to the police who tried to investigate. Dead end. Here’s a good question: where does our individual right to privacy intersect with the public’s right to safety? Again, IF he had been a person of color, and the police were told he was building bombs in his RV, would a judge have issued a search warrant last year? You betcha!

We stayed home on Christmas day because we had no idea if there was another bomber. We didn’t know it was a suicide. People called and texted, and luckily our cell service is Verizon, we weren’t entirely cut off from the world. Then, just as Bob and I were getting caught up on the news, when our TV started working and I could open my laptop and fire up the newspapers, I heard a CNN news commentator discussing the motivation of the bomber. It seems this guy believed in some “conspiracy theory.” With a perfectly straight face, the anchor said:

“He believed that politicians and Hollywood celebrities were reptilian aliens trying to take over the country!”

This was CNN, not FOX!

Well isn’t that a fitting end to the year we’d all like to forget? I threw up my hands in disbelief and started yelling at Bob, “He was crazy!” Honestly, poor Ms Bean came running in full protection mode. But I was beside myself. When a trusted news outlet like CNN airs a piece about a suicide bomber in Nashville believing in conspiracy theories (well maybe Marcia Blackburn is slightly lizard-like) with the same amount of interest and intensity as he may have said Mrs So and So won the pie contest at the county fair, our country is in trouble.

Because words DO matter. Conspiracy theories have been around since we first learned to write on stones. But now, with social media, they can spread exponentially. A guy can walk into a pizza parlor in DC with a gun. And Mr T can say that Q is concerned about pedophilia with a straight face. In fact, we’ve elected two Q-believing representatives.

“What started three years ago as a conspiracy theory born on the internet’s dark fringes has moved into the mainstream with candidates like Greene espousing and promoting QAnon theories and phrases as they seek political office on a major party ticket. QAnon’s main theories claim that dozens of politicians and A-list celebrities work in tandem with governments around the globe to engage in child sex abuse. Followers also believe there is a “deep state” effort to thwart President Donald Trump. Another QAnon theory is that Trump will arrest all his wrongdoers like Hillary Clinton and send them to Guantanamo Bay. There is no evidence for these claims.”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/qanon-congressional-candidates/index.html

During this pandemic year, when we are all semi-isolated and stuck in our homes, conspiracy theories are ripe to infect vulnerable minds; ridiculous aka CRAZY notions are bound to take root. We’ve had four years of governing by presidential Tweet, and reTweeting of false narratives. Now, the coronavirus has a new, mutant highly contagious strain. President-Elect Biden has a hard road ahead of him. I’d like to suggest we start by calling out these conspiracy theories as lies and delusions.

I’d like to think this weather is like the wind before a storm of political credibility and sane public health policy. Happy New Year!

Read Full Post »

The 2020 holiday season is about to get weirder. For instance, last night was the first night of Hanukkah and I almost forgot about it! It felt like I was just recovering from Thanksgiving. The laundry was done along with the turkey and scrumptious leftover sides . The garden area returned to its normal seating arrangements, and Bob replaced the fire pit’s can of propane. And last Sunday, just before popping on a plane back to LA, Aunt Kiki performed a little wizardry on my holiday card! Shhh, it’s a secret.

Then just as the Groom begins his shift in the Covid ICU, and we are all going back to being a socially-distanced-outside pod, which is our “normal” for the year, and the kiddos are back in school, the Bride lets me know that Hanukkah is coming right up. I know Jewish festivals fall on a lunar calendar, but come on, just a few days after Thanksgiving weekend? In years past, I would take each Grandchild on a separate trip to Nordstrom; we’d listen to the live piano music, have lunch and pick out something special to wear. One year it was a pair of Ugg boots.

We would also all visit Phillips Toy Mart, a family owned specialty toy store in Nashville for over 70 years. We’d watch the model trains steaming around their quaint tiny villages, and pet whatever animals were visiting, and then they could each pick out one toy. Another day would find us at another local shop in our Hanukkah tradition – Parnassus Books. And I must admit, I’d buy them whatever books they wanted. Remember, we have EIGHT crazy nights of lights and gifts for children. My trips with the Love Bug and L’il Pumpkin only covered three nights, I had five (well 10 counting 2 Grands) gifts to find yet!

This year I quickly found some books online for curbside pick-up at https://www.parnassusbooks.net/ but I still miss meandering in our famous book shop. The Bug likes mystery now, and my little guy prefers ninjas. We’ve been avoiding the mall, so I had to pull up my account at the evil empire of Amazon. Only one gift has arrived so far, a game called “Invasion of the Cow Snatchers,” it’s a magnet maze logic puzzle and thank goodness it was next day delivery! Think magnets and hilarity – “You’re the pilot of a flying saucer, sent to Earth to capture cows for scientific study. You have to negotiate your way around and over numerous obstacles — a grain silo, barn walls, crops, fences, and hay bale — to get the bovines onboard.” 

I told the Grands it was a “family” present for the first night, and since I had a huge bag of M&Ms ready to play the dreidel game after latkes, they were happy as clams. I thought of Ada while frying latkes, she gave me the recipe, but I’d barely ever made them because she always did. Yesterday it was 70 degrees! The Bride brought the children over early, since the Groom sometimes doesn’t return home until after they are in bed. He’s been working 15-16 hour days, and taking phone calls all night, he forgets to eat. The Bride has been smart to take his ICU shifts off, she will return to the ER next week.

Last night we sat distanced outside to light the first candle. We won’t be baking holiday cookies together, or shopping. I guess I will just drop off gifts whenever they arrive because it’s getting colder this weekend. We already ordered Little Passports, https://www.littlepassports.com/ so that’s two nights done.

This was us at our Thanksgiving in the garden, and our menorah last night.

slide along from right to left!

Read Full Post »

We live in a hot spot. Let’s face it, TN hospitals are starting to fill up with Covid-19 patients, and the number of infections has been growing. Temperatures hovering in the mid-90s haven’t helped – we can’t even have a socially distant lunch in the garden with the Bride because a) NES chopped down our neighbor’s trees leaving us with very little midday shade, and b) it’s just too damn hot!

This past week the Groom has been on call in the ICU, and the Bride has been working more shifts than usual in her ER. They are lucky to have employed a wonderful nanny who is available at all their odd working hours; if something ever happens to this delicate arrangement, I am ready to volunteer as tribute! The garage would continue to be their red decontamination zone, and I’d move into the guest room.

But so far, so good.

Even though my hot flashes are long gone, or should I say my series of self-immolations have stopped, I still manage to melt in the heat and humidity of a Southern summer. I turn bright red, sweat drips down my back, even my feet get clammy in sandals. Sunscreen burns my eyes and I twitch and wipe my neck and wonder aloud how anybody ever did summers without air-conditioning. I like a cold New England climate – it must be my Irish heritage.

The L’il Pumpkin agrees with me, he hates the heat too!

The Love Bug and the Bride take after their Father – the hotter the better. Once I tried hot yoga with my daughter and I thought I was going to die. Who in their right mind would love contorting themselves in 92-105 degree temperatures?

But last week we were all sick of staying at home, walking the dogs, Same. Old. Same. Old. And on a rare day off from the ER, the Bride decided we should all go to the Nashville Zoo. Since we are members, we knew they were limiting visitors, you’d have to get timed-entry tickets, everyone had to wear masks, there were hand sanitizers everywhere, and all their paths were one-way. When she told the kiddos they were so excited, the L’il Pumpkin said,

“You mean the REAL zoo, not the Zoom zoo?”  

It was a success! Yes, it was hot and humid but we were there in the morning and stayed six feet apart. Meandering through trees and hearing monkey cries made me feel like I was in a rain forest. We had packed juice boxes and string cheese and stopped for a rest after watching the lemurs swing and groom each other. The Andean bears were playing for our enjoyment and the kangaroos were chowing down. They put on quite a show.

It was almost as if the animals were happier with less people around?

I’d like to believe that we all want to care for one another, but we still see people not wearing masks, and bars are still open. No more pedal taverns though. I hope that Gov Lee issues a mask mandate and that everyone is taking steps to slow the progression of this virus, and that TN starts to cool off. That my daughter and her husband stay safe as they treat seriously ill patients.

Our heat dome became more tolerable for a few hours last week. Notice the tiger cooling off with his paws on the glass.

IMG_7995

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: