Thursday, 27 May 2010
Here is where I was able to run for the few days in Philadelphia - brilliant! While it is true I have a blister on my right heel to show for overdoing it, it was so worth it! The temperature in the sixties and a great trail run beside a river - hard to beat in my book.
MY lovely daughter and I had a nice visit. I stayed at Spruce Hill Manor, and it was most pleasant. Janet, the owner was gracious and went out of her way to make it an enjoyable stay. The location could not be better, as it is easy walking distance to my daughter and her husband's home.
Q had a meeting in NYC with her advisor at NYU so we took the opportunity to make a day of it in the city. But oh my gods the train fares were more than twice my airfare from Houston to Philadelphia! Why can't America run a dependable, affordable rail system? I don't understand that.
As Q is the 'food person' in the family, we had some yummy meals. One of the most outstanding was at a small Italian restaurant in NYC called LUPA at 170 Thompson Street. The appetizer, an assortment of delectably prepared vegetables, left me what I thought was too full for my entre’ - until I tasted the most decadent pasta I have ever had! It was just al dente with cheese, olive oil, and garlic but oh my! What they did to it I don't know, but the last time I made those sounds was after a particularly ecstatic lovemaking session with the adorable husband! So when you are in NYC next- GO, by all means!
Friday, 21 May 2010
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Friday, 14 May 2010
My magical ball for the garden; because you can never have too much magic in your life.
I placed her next to the bamboo tree as it is very good luck; and a good spot for our frequent visitor, the bluejay, to drink from her nectar cup.
My Garden Faerie. Isn't she lovely? AND she has RED HAIR!
As I ordered her on line I had no idea she would be as lovely or as large as she is; I"m very pleased.
This day the Houston heat and humidity have me hiding indoors and the adorable husband came home from a day of work and night on call at the hospital to plant (after asking just how I want it done; and requesting I rein in my OED) my elephant ears plant for me - talk about having magic in your life!
Saturday, 8 May 2010
Happy Mother’s Day to all of us fortunate enough to have that role.
I don’t think it is age or years that give us the wisdom to be grateful, but our experiences and how we react to them. His Holiness the Dali Lama said the coolest thing when a reporter asked him if he thought the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese was karma for some past evil act. He said, “Sometimes stuff just happens. It is how we respond to those circumstances that forms our karma.”
I have the joy of being someone’s mother. I know that not every mother and daughter have the sort of loving relationship we do. I am grateful for that relationship every day, and we both work to make it so. To have had her as a child, to watch her grow into a compassionate, curious, involved, brilliant young woman is a journey I would have paid any price to be on.
She is a steadfast and loyal friend, a faithful partner, and bloody hilarious. She is a respectful, loving, and kind daughter. We argue, but never for long. We get on each other’s nerves, but it can be solved with an afternoon away. We disagree, but always agree the other might be right. We love each other. She knows I always have her back, and I know she has mine. She cooks for me, and I buy things for her she thinks are extravagant. I clean for her, she reminds me to not take the world so seriously. She thinks I am “cool”, I think she is perfect. We laugh, a lot.
Years ago as she was preparing to leave home for university I began a letter of gratitude to her. While she was in school I updated it and re-sent it every year. Now I update it and send it on Mother’s Day. Here follows part of that continuing missive:
I am grateful that:
You have an amazing work ethic
You love animals
You are the most forgiving person I know - without being a doormat.
You like museums
You like science fiction
You are physically affectionate
You laugh easily and often
You liked London, but you love Venice
You know that listening to a friend who needs you is more important than cleaning your room
You never give up.
You can say, “I am sorry” when it is needed
You don’t watch television
You love music and art.
You know evil exist
You know goodness exist
You know that you do not always have to agree with someone to love them.
You understand quality is superior to quantity - in all things, shoes to friends.
You decided to allow me to be your mother this time around
You have borne the difficulties in your life with great dignity
You like Eddie Izzard and Monty Python
You have forgiven me my many mistakes in parenting
You decided to learn to play the clarinet when you were nine.
You decided to learn to play the violin when you were seventeen.
You make such good choices for your friends and have chosen a good man for your husband.
You are curious.
You think learning is an adventure.
You want to contribute to the well being of the Universe.
You are tall.
You like flowers.
You do not have my kinky, frizzy hair.
You love to read.
You find my foibles amusing rather than distressing
You can appreciate Beauty without being seduced by it.
You can tell a good wine from a mediocre one
You love me even when I am wrong.
You love me even when you are wrong.
You are funny.
You know and appreciate the taste of excellent whiskey
You know even though things can always get worse, things can always get better.
You continue to persevere on your journey to your doctorate with persistence and great joy.
You have become an athlete! In addition to my being happy about the positive contribution this will have for you physically and mentally, both now and in your future; it relieves me from those last lingering threads of guilt I had about spending time away from you to train and climb mountains when you were a teenager. Perhaps in some way I set an example…
You have the slim and gorgeous ankles and neck of an Audrey Hepburn - that I always wanted.
You have excellent posture.
You wear quality undergarments.
You are taking the time to plan adventures for your life (adventure takes planning!) and execute them.
You have done such a fine job of making a place for yourself socially as an independent woman, and as part of a couple.
You make me feel appreciated.
In this past year you have begun to speak to me as both your mother and your friend. We have passed another landmark in the evolving mother-daughter relationship.
For the past twenty-six-plus years you have given me joy and laughter. I gave you life, but in many ways – you saved mine.
Thank you. I love you with all my heart. You are the best part of me.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
I am normally forbidden from posting photographs of my daughter - she has a right to her privacy but these are on Facebook of her in her friend's wedding, so I'm taking a liberty because she looks so ravishing and she is MINE. And today is the celebration of her birth, and I was most certainly there! Happy Day my Dearest!
(just look at that wonderful posture!)
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Is America next? THIS above graph is terrifying
April 30, 2010
In and Out of Each Other’s European Wallets
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
Despite the best efforts of the International Monetary Fund, the financial crisis in Europe seems full of suspense. Will Germany and the European Union actually cough up the money to help bail out Greece, which is on the edge of a financial meltdown? Will the contagion spread to other vulnerable countries, like Portugal and Spain?
But like some mystery novels where the ending is telegraphed in the opening pages, the denouement will probably be unsurprising. For all the handwringing, the reality is that the Germans, the French and the rest of Europe have little choice. In the decade since the introduction of the euro, the economies on the continent have become increasingly interwoven. With cross-border banking and borrowing, many countries on the periphery of Europe owe vast sums to one another, as well as to richer neighbors like Germany and France.
Like the alliances that drew one country after another into World War I, a default by a single nation would send other countries tumbling. If that message was lost on anyone, there was a reminder last Tuesday when Standard & Poor’s downgrade of Spanish and Portuguese debt hammered stock markets everywhere, including in the United States.
The first domino is Greece. It owes nearly $10 billion to Portuguese banks, and with Portugal already falling two notches in S. & P.’s ratings and facing higher borrowing costs, a default by Greece would be a staggering blow. Portugal, in turn, owes $86 billion to banks in Spain; Spain’s debt was downgraded one notch last week.
The numbers quickly mount. Ireland is heavily indebted to Germany and Britain. The exposure of German banks to Spanish debt totals $238 billion, according to the Bank for International Settlements, while French banks hold another $220 billion. And Italy, whose finances are perennially shaky, is owed $31 billion by Spain and owes France $511 billion, or nearly 20 percent of the French gross domestic product.
“This is not a bailout of Greece,” said Eric Fine, who manages Van Eck G-175 Strategies, a hedge fund specializing in currencies and emerging market debt. “This is a bailout of the euro system.”
Solutions are also not easily forthcoming. “In the end, we’re all saying we don’t know how to deal with it,” said Dirk Hoffmann-Becking, a bank analyst with Alliance Bernstein in London. “We don’t know how the channels work, or where the problems will pop up next.”
These problems in Europe and Britain are already affecting the economy of the United States and the economic problems here in turn affect the rest of the world due to the size of our economy. I think that President Obama and his assistants need to rethink some of their policies and their emphasis on big government, and take a look at what is happening in real time.
Big socialist governments don't work. We have seen that time and again, this is not news. Capitalism, for all its faults and messiness, much like democracy, works – laboriously, but it is better than any alternative – other than the best form of government, proved historically to be a benevolent monarchy - but that doesn't work because of inbreeding, political revolts, and some other messy problems you can't assure the country of a line of smart and benevolent leaders - that leaves us with democracy.
I’m not saying I have the answers. I’m just saying that I have begun to worry that the U.S. President thinks he does. Now I know it takes a certain amount of megalomania to even contemplate running for that office, but come on.
There was no one more anxious to see George Bush out of the White House and away from International Policy making than myself, but I am not happy with what I have seen from the Obama administration so far. One difficulty is that I always prefer a different party in the majority in the Congress than is occupying the White House. That provides some balance.
I believe that history has proven there is some sort of spatial anomaly that surrounds Washington D.C. (could be in Downing Street and other areas as well) that infuses the occupants of the area with a god-complex that leads them to confuse their judgment and opinions with hard fact and not-to-be-contested or questioned decisions. This can be unfortunate.
As citizens it is our duty to use our votes to remind them of these facts and opinions.
And boy was that one muddy but exciting Kentucky Derby or what?!