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Posts Tagged ‘Weddings’

Yesterday, after listening to yet another sycophant rant about our Deflector-in-Chief, how “something” must have happened at Trump Tower if Mr T says it did, I turned off the TV and downloaded a book on my Ipad. It’s getting harder and harder to watch our democracy self-destruct from within, in 140 characters.

I was going for some peace and quiet with my morning coffee. I wanted to read about the Danes, and why they are considered the happiest people on the planet. Their winters are long and brutal, still they remain upbeat, they have a sense of “Hyggeness,” which loosely translated means cozy intimacy, well-being, or feeling tucked-in as if you haven’t a care in the world. Hygge is pronounced “HOO gah.” Now I know one can achieve this with a Zanax, but I’ve told you before I’m not a pill person.

So I opened my browser, went to Amazon Prime and bought “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking – which was more expensive in its Ereader form than in hardcover? Then I opened my Kindle App and voila! I stopped the noise inside my head and started to read.

Instant hygge is possible. All you have to do is light a candle. Danes use twice as many candles as the rest of the world combined. So get a candle from a candle shop and light it. You may also want to switch on a lamp. Lamps can also make you feel hygge. Danes use twice as many lamps as the rest of the world combined. Make sure that if you do get a lamp, you don’t buy one from Ikea. Swedish lamps are a bit rubbish and won’t make you feel hygge.           https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/11/the-little-book-of-hygge-by-meik-wiking-digested-read

That little bit was a satirical piece in the Guardian. But it is pretty funny to think of a group of Danes sitting at a table under a fluorescent lamp fidgeting like they are being burned alive. Not the actual torture part, but thinking about Danish designers and how they love diffused light. When you consider how long the winter nights are in Denmark, it makes sense. In the way that indigenous people of North America venerate snow, the Danes love fire. Wood burning fireplaces crackle and candles burn every night in just about every Danish home. And not the scented kind either.

Being surrounded with family and friends is also key to Hygge. Feeling like you are safe and at home. One night during the Rocker and Aunt KiKi’s wedding week in California, we were all gathered around a fire pit. My Sister-in-Law Jorja was there, and two of her oldest friends. And even though the fire pit was fueled with gas, so we didn’t have the smell or the music of wood burning, it was essential Hygge. Great Grandma Ada came out and started to sing. If only I had known the term at the time!

How could it have been more Hygge?

So I bought a candle and I’m determined to capture some of this Danish serenity for myself. And Bob has been pruning away around the yard; I might suggest a fire pit down by the Buddha garden. We have bluebirds flying all over the place these days, making nests and calling and dancing for mates on our deck. Luckily, nobody is knocking on any of our windows, like that cardinal a few years back. Obviously, pruning shrubs below the window ledge works for our territorial wildlife.

And speaking of migratory animals, I wish someone would point out to Mr T that flying away to his FL mansion every weekend and Tweeting away with his tiny fingers in the wee small hours is not very Presidential. Making paranoid, delusional remarks about his predecessor, ditto. He might benefit from some Hygge with the grandchildren, under a parasol, don’t you agree?       DAVECAITLY-231

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The Bride and the Original Groom are trying to decide if the Love Bug should start Kindergarten early. On the one hand she IS ready, but on the other hand she would be among the youngest in her class. With her summer birthday she is just two weeks shy of the deadline for turning five. Oh, and she would be the tallest.

Right before our four year old Bug was scheduled to stroll across the lawn throwing flowers this month at Uncle Dave and Aunt KiKi’s wedding, my daughter was having second thoughts. Maybe this is too much, she might suffer from performance anxiety. She might refuse to walk, or stop mid-stream and run away, or maybe just collapse in a puddle of tears. These things have been known to happen. Like me, my daughter likes to examine every scenario before plunging into deep water.

Probably she was remembering her own walk down an apple orchard hill to her Groom. Her flower girl at the time, three year old cousin V, was so immersed in her task, it took her quite awhile to find the Officiant, her Grandpa Hudson. V was steadfast in her circuitous route, and eventually placed flowers on Hudson’s feet! It was a magical beginning. So spontaneously, the Bride asked our little flower girl if she wanted her to walk alongside her as she was throwing her petals.

“No Mom, I’ve got this!” the Love Bug said. And she pushed her little hand out, palm up in the universal sign of “Talk to the Hand.”

And I thought of my four year old Bride, who always stood with her hands on her hips. The leader of her pre-school pack, a determined future collector of bottle caps on the schoolyard playground, and later, much later a healer of any and all people, young and old, rich and poor.

Our little flower girl did an outstanding job!

When educators evaluate a child’s readiness for school, their ability to listen and take direction, to be attentive, is rather low on today’s list. In fact, it’s rated #9 of the “Ten Kindergarten Readiness Skills Your Child Needs:” right after #8 “Reading Readiness,” and #7 “Cutting,” aka playing with scissors.

# 9 Attention and Following Directions
Read lots of stories with your child and work up to reading longer chapter books, one chapter each night or as long as she remains interested and focused.
Give your child two and three step directions. For example: “put on your pajamas, brush your teeth and pick a book to read.”
Play Simon Says with two or three step directions. For example: “Simon Says jump up and down and shout hooray.”
 https://www.education.com/magazine/article/kindergarten-readiness-secrets/ 

But I wonder if maybe we should be evaluating the parents’ readiness to part with their child for Kindergarten. Some parents never do, and home-school their children. Some parents wait a year, until their child is six or even seven to start Kindergarten, particularly for their sons. As Malcolm Gladwell has pointed out in his book “Blink,” this gives a boy the decided advantage in sports. He will be among the biggest, and strongest of his team members. The advantage to waiting for a girl is not so clear.

Will the Bug become a world-class volleyball player? She loves gymnastics, and enjoyed ballet lessons. I remember dancing with the young Bride every year in the Nutcracker with the Berkshire Ballet. Traipsing out to Becket, MA with her for Friends of Jacob’s Pillow meetings. Wanting her to love dance the way that I loved movement of every kind. But one day she came to me and said, “I can’t take any more ballet lessons.” She had too much homework, and she was riding horses at a stable near our home. She was almost afraid to tell me since she knew how much dance meant to me, and she also knew this would not be her passion.

Parents cannot see into the future, we can only take our best guess when we make life-altering decisions. In hindsight, I wish I had held the Rocker back a year for Kindergarten, until he was six, but then would he have become such a talented musician? Would his life have taken a different path? At times like these it’s best to turn to your heart and read poetry, like Khalil Gibran:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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OK, so we’re all getting plump on comfort food. We’ve participated in a peaceful demonstration or two, or three…we’ve made calls to the Hill asking that our already “Great” country stop pissing off the rest of the world. Too late, even the Terminator is tired of his tirades. What’s a girl to do?

Retail Therapy of course! I had lunch with Anita this week in the Heart of the Confederacy; which may be second in fervor only to my town, the Capital of the Resistance. And since a certain Rocker Wedding is coming up, I thought I’d do myself a favor and find a good concealer. You know that magical make-up tool that can take ten years off your life. I’ve tried every drug store variety to no avail; too raccoon-like, too cakey, too too.

Nordstrom is my cathedral of choice ever since I stepped foot into their San Francisco store with live piano music in the lobby (and it wasn’t Christmas). I met the Real Cher at the jewelry counter, it was really her in a cowgirl hat, and later found myself treated with dignity and respect by the shopgirls. Today, the Richmond Nordstrom lives up to its name, and has shopboys to boot.

The cosmetics section was hopping after lunch when Anita stopped for some creamy blush. That’s when it hit me, my total concealer fail. Here is my warning to all women of a certain age – NEVER sit down at the cosmetics counter in a fancy department store. Bobbie Brown had me at “Hi, my name is Judy, how can I help you?”

An hour and a half later I had an entirely new face and the smallest, most expensive grey Nordstrom bag stuffed with serums and elixirs and creams promising immortality. Honest. Oh and that thing I wanted, concealer, it was being mailed to me because they were out of it…that Judy could sell Finasteride to Mr T to grow hair…wait.

My therapy continued at the Verizon store where I purchased a new Iphone 7. Since Judy had wrangled all my contact information out of me, and I almost never give out my email, I was shocked to see all the buzz about Nordstrom in the news on my new cellphone. I finally remembered my Twitter Password when all these heart-felt apologies started scrolling down my palm.

“We’ve always said our buying decisions are guided by brand performance and based on that, we decided not to buy it this season.” 

That sounds strangely like “We decided not to renew his/her contract,” like “You’re Fired” in a nice, democratic tone. What was all the hubub about?

Ivanka Trump’s brand of course. Before I sat down at the Bobbie Brown counter, I had picked up a pair of Ivanka Trump shoes, and had a visceral feeling when I saw that name. Like my hand had been burned. I put them down immediately, and felt the blood rush to my cheeks. I knew enough not to buy Mr T’s wine, but hadn’t heard about this:

“The “Grab Your Wallet” campaign has now targeted more than 60 companies — a group that includes Trump’s golf courses and hotels, those that sell Trump-branded goods, and other businesses whose leaders endorsed Trump or donated to his campaign.”

Now this is a Buycott I can get behind. Thank you Nordstrom! https://grabyourwallet.org

Next week we’ll be headed to the desert for Ms Cait and the Rocker’s big day. Continually beading bracelets in shades of green has given me solace as well. African turquoise, jade, Dragonblood jasper and jade are spinning round and round in my hands, like Rosary beads that once offered redemption and courage.  img_0006

 

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Last night I met a stranger at a wedding. In the midst of glamor and cocktails,

We stood our ground and spoke profoundly about our journey.

Maura arrived at this spot, beneath the mountains via a sandy beach.

Still it wasn’t the sand that held us captive here.

It was our heritage, our ancestors from Ireland. She wanted to go back,

That longing was our introduction, so I told her about Deirdre;

Who runs a hostel on Achill Island, and Deirdre’s beautiful, old Mother

Who once taught Irish – the real Gaelic tongue – to schoolchildren

And their black and white working sheepdog howling at the TV,

Eating leftovers from the table, who must be gone now.

Maura’s two girls were Irish dancers, but without the wigs.

Caitly I must bring you there, to meet our family, your family,

To be surrounded by the warm and loving cousins

My Great Grandfather left behind in County Mayo “God Help Us”

When he was 19 years old in 1854 with four pounds sterling.

Can he see where we are now? Are the fields of Ceide missing his bones?

Last night Maura became a friend, and we hold a small piece

Of each other always in our hearts     IMG_3384

This is the poem I’m submitting to the Library of Congress’ Juan Felipe Herrera’s Poet Laureate project La Casa de Colores! You can enter too, just write about your Familia:

Theme for Oct. 15-Nov. 14, 2015
“Migrants: Portraits and Friendships”
Every inch of this land is woven with migrant trails. These are pathways from family to family, country to country, and most of all heart to heart. For this month, find a trail and travel through it to a new dream. What do you see in your travels? And how do you make friends along the way? Describe for me in the language of poetry—migrate into new words, use new landscapes of images.

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This is my 500th post as MountainMornings. I did start out in 2010 under a different pseudonym, trying to make sense of the wedding industry and how it would apply to my family. I wanted to stay in touch with friends I’d left behind when we moved South. There was a snarky edge to my writing.

And then I took a different course, and here we are. More than weddings, and more than 500 subscribers later, I’m not famous for food or mommy blogging; I lost my camera and take pictures with my phone; in fact I’m not famous period. I haven’t monetized myself or even considered branding, in fact, I’m pretty sure any babyboomer/emptynester/grandmother brand would fall far short of anyone’s ideal business plan.

Bob tells me whenever people ask what I write about, he says, “Anything that’s on her mind.”  And like most writers, it just feels good to sit down and type away. I can’t wait for inspiration, I learned that lesson writing for a newspaper (remember those?) with a deadline. But lucky me a little perspiration always pays off. Very rarely will I sit and look at a blank screen, and that never lasts long. The world is always throwing zingers my way, and my mind is always trying to connect the dots…connect my family and friends… and now you, my “followers.”

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This is what’s bothering me today – the news out of the CDC and Doctor’s Without Borders that the Ebola virus is not being contained – did anybody else hear this news or are we all worried about nudie pictures in the Cloud? Here is the headline that is one day old already:

“Global Bio-Disaster Response Urgently Needed in Ebola Fight” http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news-stories/press-release/global-bio-disaster-response-urgently-needed-ebola-fight

Yesterday I watched a PBS short of a man with Ebola dressed in a red shirt escaping his clinic, running around a town while men in Ebola protected spacesuits were trying to capture him. It seems the clinic had no food or water for its patients so he made a run for it.

Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,” said Dr. Liu. “Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat. The WHO announcement on August 8 that epidemic constituted a ‘public health emergency of international concern’ has not led to decisive action, and states have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news-stories/press-release/global-bio-disaster-response-urgently-needed-ebola-fight

We are a part of the coalition of inaction. We are leaving this crisis to the NGOs with church affiliations to trust in the Lord and pray that everything will turn out for the best. Well maybe praying will help, but it was that special serum and a ride back to Atlanta that saved Dr Kent Brantly and his colleague. And now another missionary doctor has the disease in Liberia. Are we going to wait for another “miracle?”

Both Bob and the Bride have received instructions on identifying the Ebola virus, containing it and reporting it should the virus show up in the US, in their hospital, and yes the new ER has 4 of those infectious disease rooms that can be sealed off with the air only going one way.

I used to worry about the threat of HIV/AIDS from needle sticks when Bob and I were first married. Often he would be called in to draw blood or start a line on these emaciated patients in the 80s because techs were either afraid or couldn’t stick a vein. It seems so naive now.

Here is another wedding picture of the Bride and Groom, with Grandpa Hudson, their officiant. He was once a medical missionary in Ghana.  J&M  0622

 

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I’m flying solo at home for a few days as a Nana. Bob helps out at night thankfully. With back to back Cville weddings, the Bride and Groom are taking a mini second honeymoon this week, leaving the Love Bug with us. What an awesome responsibility. I guess when you’re having your own babies in your 30s, theres no time to think about it. And also car seats and strollers somehow just seemed easier to handle…in fact, i don’t think we even brought the Bride home in a car seat!

I can’t get enough hugs and kisses. The first night was rough, I kept listening for her cry, but she slept right through the night. Guess she likes her new/used crib, a super find on Craig’s List. photoWe take life slow here, we’re on baby time. We walk around the property with Ms Bean, pointing out hawks and clouds. We climb in and out of her rocker and practice going up and down stairs. We have picnic lunches and feel the wind in our hair.

As usual, baby time means I’ll catch up with the news next week. But I did hear about the possible government shutdown, and how President Obama was using “soft power” to try and work with Congress. Fancy dinners and phone calls to gently cajole or persuade those recalcitrant Republicans.

But the White House cancelled their annual picnic. And that may be the problem. Everybody knows, even a baby, you don’t cancel picnics!

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