Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It is an odd time - out of pattern. I have all the furniture moved away from a big wet spot in my carpet at work (to keep the wood from being damaged by the moisture) and will be getting new carpet Monday. Apparently the roofers made a mistake with the new roof, something about the gutters, and water seeped down inside the walls when it rained last week and made the floors wet. Bob is working hard on a script for an Alamo battle reenact ion for his kids to do at the PTA meeting Thursday night. I'm sitting up late waiting for him to send me a draft to edit and admire. K.K. and I are both looking forward to the weekend, when we will have some time alone together, visit Katz' (which never klozes) for the first time this year, go clothes shopping and book shopping, visit the farmers' market and go to an original ballet at her company's studio theatre. I have trash cans full of weeds lined up by the curb and plan to do a little more weeding in the morning before work. The garden, so far, grows and the babies' trees thrive. Tomorrow begins the April poem a day challenge on Poetic Asides, a writing blog I follow. I intend to write my poem a day to the prompt of the poet in charge of that blog, Robert Lee Brewer. I'll post my poems here - and have one from today for a head start.

In Justice

Justice is a valuable concept,
essential in human affairs,
crucial in creation and mediation
of games, rules, laws, structures.

Justice is a dangerous concept
when applied to cosmic questions
irrelevant to who starves, feasts,
suffers, dances, cries, lives, dies

Victoria Hendricks March 31, 2009

I also want to start posting quotes again and will today, with one new to me:

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.
Bob Dylan

Monday, March 30, 2009

Amazing weekend. We planted the name trees for the new babies - apples - Israerli apples for Liam and Fugi apples for Andrea. It was wonderful having a hoie house and yard full of three generations of local family. We also got the garden laid - The kids are great help, especially Danny. I hope we have a more productive garden than last year. I need to keep at the watering after it gets hot.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quiet tonight. I worked a long day - sad health news from both friends and family members. Beautiful weather though, clear blue after yesterday's storm and a morning and afternoon of hard rain. I'm beginning to see more kinds of wildflowers in more plces - still not nearly full spring. I hope for more bursts of color after all that rain. My brain is tired tonight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I didn't get to finish preparing the garden today because it poured rain - but didn't hail like at the girls' houses. Joanna described piles of ping pong ball sized hail on the swing set and all over the yard - striking looking and a little alarming.I learned that both of the new babies had ingrown toe nails this week. Joanna fixed Andrea's and, at Ruth's request, also fixed Liam's. I don't remember ingrown toenails on babies.

Bob and I are planning a big road trip for July. I've pretty much decided to take the whole month off. We have reservations already at Yellowstone and he north rim of the Grand Canyon! . We will also go to Bryce Canyon, which I have not seen. I'm really excited. We will take the KDZ with us, Bob's choice for his sixtieth birthday summer,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good work day and good evening - tired now but happily tired. I got most of the weeds out of the garden in preparation for planting this weekend. Drizzly rain made the soil easier to work - and I hope we are moving out of drought. I've mostly put away the beautiful clothes Ruth handed down to me and wore a yellow and peach outfit of hers/mine today that made me smile.

I had an interesting conversation today with a younger therapist friend who says that her teen age clients seem to have a whole different culture around electronic communication. Now I'm sitting here on my blog - obviously a lover of electronic communication - but some of what she said was odd to me - cell phones always on, including at the table at meals, constant IM's, a "rule" that if you don't respond to a text message in fifteen minutes you are ignoring the sender - not good manners. She says some young people communicate mostly by text, more than in real life.

I'm very much aware I have a twentieth century mind.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to work in the morning. I had a great time at Ruth and Chris and Liam's house last night and today. I was "hands" for Ruth while she nursed Liam - helped pull up bushes as I wote last night and then today did closet reorganization and garnered some gorgeous Ruth hand-me-downs. She has great taste. I also got to cuddle and play with sweet Liam - asleep and awake - to see the way Ruth reads his texture books with him, talks to him, adores him. We had a very happy day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm writing tonight on Ruth's amazing fast computer. I came over after lunch(wonderful birthday lunch at Ruth's favorite Hula Hut) and helped her dig a bunch of dead buches out of the front flowerbed - hard to do with babe in arms. She needed extra hands. Chris was very busy pouring concrete to improve their front walk. We got all the sticks and roots out - Go us! Liam is more darling every time I see him - looking around at his world with increasing interest. Six weeks old - a real baby, not a neonate. I was in this hhouse as they set up to have a baby live here, item by item and now it's such a treat to see little Liam using the swing, the boppy pillow - all the things chosen for him with so much love.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's Ruthie's birthday. She doesn't even think of herself as Ruthie anymore than I think of myself as Vicki. We've both outgrown our childhood names. She is two years younger than I was when she was born. SHE IS A MOM!!!!!! Last birthday with her and Chris was sad - honored but sad - just ten days after Mira died. Bob and I took them out to dinner. Tomorrow we will take them out to lunch and LIAM will be with us - live, sweet or grouchy, LIVE, present. I love you Ru-hoo. (You'll never outgrow that one) And I respect you immensely Ruth, wife of Chris, mother of Mira and Liam. You are a blessing every day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring break is half over and I am chasing my tail (very happily though). I have so much to write and don't want to take the time to write it. I want to keep enjoying having Bob home, and I will, of course. I probably should have just canceled work this week, but I wanted to save my opportunities to be out of the office for summer. If I'm gone too much it's hard on my clients. Anyway, I'll hit a few highlights here - hope to fill in details later.

Saturday - Morning walk in the neighborhood with Bill Mary Lee and Lobo - great conversations, and Bill can still balance on curbs with ease and grace! Afternoon, Mary Lee and I observed half of K.K.'s jazz dance class from the glass cage above - lots of stretches and then some dancing. Mary Lee got to meet K.K.'s beloved teacher, Rocker, and to observe other beloved teacher Danny teaching a kid's tap class. While we were at ballet Austin, Bill visited with Ruth, Chris and Liam. Later in the afternoon Joanna, Tracy, the boys and Andrea Grace joined the party - much eating, talking, play, laughter, and passing around of babies. At one point I sat on the bench in the front yard with a baby in each arm and several cameras aimed at us - Fun. After the young families went home Bob, Bill, Mary lee and I had more good deep talk.

Sunday - Again Bill, Mary Lee and I started with a morning walk (Lobo too). This time some of the talk was about the shooting almost two years ago at Virginia Tech, and the responses to that horror. The young families joined us later in the day for food, talk and play.

Monday-Bob and I took Bill and Mary Lee to the airport early, then drove out to Round Rock to get the big grand kids and the van so we could have K.K.'s friend Ian join us for a hike. We went out to Pedernales Falls State park and hiked along the "green glass river." Spring is still elusive - just the barest promise of needles on a few of the bald cypresses and no wild flowers yet, even after several days of good rain. It was a joy hiking with the kids, all four. Ian fits well into our family group - likes doing what we do - and he and k.K. are sweet together.

Tuesday - WORK! WORK! WORK! I was dead tired by the end of the day and Bob took me out for Indian food - madras soup is my current favorite comfort food I think. Or maybe ginger snaps. At this moment I'm craving ginger snaps big time. After I revived a little Bob and I watched the movie Milk about the gay San Francisco supervisor who was killed in the seventies - strong film. Sac news was that Mort Satten, psychodramatist, friend, mentor - one of my personal heroes, died of his lung cancer after a long fight. Mort deserves his own blog entry and he'll get it, but tomorrow, not tonight.

Today, Wednesday - Really great day. I'm so glad I took it off. We slept late, had breakfast at home, went to my office to get jewelry together for the friend who is taking it to a motor cycle race in Del Rio to sell as much as she can. Joanna and Andrea met us at the office so Joanna could pick out some jewelry and we had lunch with them at Soup R Salad - such a treat to have that relaxed time with them. Later in the day Bob and I watched the movie Pearl Harbor, which moved us and solidified our knowledge of the events of that "day of infamy." Bob checked details on the Internet after the film and confirmed the correctness of the history. We had a simple supper, made a dent in our pile of laundry, and took an evening walk down at Town Lake - enjoyed reflections of city skyline in the water.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It is spring break! Bob is home and Bill and Mary Lee ( his brother and wife) are visiting from Virginia and we have already ad some deep talks - such good people to be related to Tomorrow they will meet the new babies - Hooray! THey smile so softly when they hear about those little ones. Even though it was cold and wet today, I saw more blue bonnets. I hope the rain really brings out the wild flowers.

I hear stories of peple's anxiety and suffering around economic issues every day at work. And yet I feel hopeful. I keep seeing this crisis as something to push off against, not something that will swallow us. The following story 9from the White House blog both highlights the problem and feels solution focused.

courtesy of the LA Times:

Chris Schultz breaks down as he worries that his younger brothers will become homeless because his family is four months behind in rent.

Evelyn Aguilar's home was foreclosed, so her family is among a dozen people sharing a one-bedroom apartment.

Victoria Gonzalez may delay college for a year to support her family.

These students, all 17, and 14 of their classmates tell their tales in "Is Anybody Listening?", a nine-minute video made by students at Village Academy High School in Pomona. The production quality is minimal; students speak directly to the camera in front of a blue background, laced with footage of foreclosed homes, abandoned storefronts and others advertising going-out-of-business sales.

But the tales of families dealing with the economic crisis are deeply personal.

This week, in his first major speech on education since taking office, President Obama described the video and spoke directly to the Pomona students.

"I am listening. We are listening. America is listening," the president said. "And we are not going to rest until your parents can keep their jobs, your families can keep their homes, and you can focus on what you should be focusing on: your own education."

Although the subject is dispiriting, the story of how the documentary came to be made at a low-income yet high-achieving public school -- and ended up in a speech by the president -- is extraordinary. Read the rest, or watch the video.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The moon is one day past full - was beautiful last night rising pink, then lemon yellow. Redbuds are just past peak - beginning to leaf out. I saw my first blue bonnets yesterday in a yard - not wild, watered. Today you'd think it was still February - forty three and raining. The next few days will be the same.

Mira died a year ago today. I keep reliving the days around her death - the sadness - especially the sadness and strength of Ruth and Chriss on Ruth's birthday and at Passover. Now those events are coming up again, and we will have Liam with us, warm, sweet, live (I trust). So much changes. This year particularly has brought so many changes. The first flock of grand children is really growing up and this second flock, I'm just getting to know (barely).

I'm changing my blogs at this time of changing seasons and changing family structure. I'm closing the "One Step Removed" blog which I started after Mira's death and starting a new blog Family Forward and Back for grandchildren stories, memories, recipes, old letters, I'm not sure quite what. This blog, AND NOW, I'll keep, and will keep it's content more general, philosophical, poetic, quote filled, literary (again, who knows exactly?) I'm in the mood for change.

Monday, March 09, 2009

It's a good disjointed evening here - time feels out of joint with time change - just finished writer's group. i'm making jewelry, catching up with emails - feel out of sync a little, but happy. It's also Purim , Jewish holiday of irony, not taking oneself too seriously while taking injustice in the world seriously. i wrote a Purim poem.


I didn't grow up in an Orthodox neighborhood
where at Purim every little girl dresses in purple
and parades as Queen Esther. I don't have
seven recipes for hamen tashen, or even one.
I don't tell jokes and don't get drunk and can't sing
well enough to parody bad singing in the Purim spiel,
but I know paradox, irony, mystery, humility,
don't take myself so seriously, know there is no
one right way and yet know that evil does exist
does threaten, and demands identification.
But when? How? Purim calls me to take
that question seriously. More irony. Purim.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

This weekend was so busy I didn't sit to type and now I'm tired and full of memories and almost don't want to try to bother to capture them - but it feels wrong to let so sweet a time flow through my fingers and memory - so I'll hit the high spots. Ruth and Chris took Liam to synagogue on Friday night and the rabbi asked us to come forward and receive the beautiful certificate of naming he had made for our little guy - Liam Chaim - loved in his congregation Our community, like every other group, is feeling the anxiety of the economic downturn, talking of shortened hours, jobs lost or in danger, valuing every success and every relationship. I bond slowly with congregations, but I am feeling more bonded with this one than I have with any in a long time. Ruth and Chris are so easy with Liam, and he with them. Joanna's whole family just wraps little Andrea in love - Bob and I had time with both babies - time to appreciate them still so tiny new but growing ind more complete than even last weekend - so sweet. We also hiked with the bigger grand kids today, a pleasant, though warm, three miles at McKinney falls - a trail we usually don't choose and enjoyed. The lack of wild flowers is a little disturbing in that park given the warm temperatures - Bob thinks it has just been too dry. it's supposed to rain this week and I hope it does.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I saw blue eyed grass today and mealy sage - think I want to make a list of wildflowers I see this spring with the dates of first appearance. My work day was more challenging than usual - a need to reprogram our phone system was pressing, but was completed. Several friends are ill or facing difficult diagnosies, which has me in prayerful mode. I saw pictures from Liam's naming - WOW! Life is so rich and varied and I'm not in profound mode - just here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The last several mornings I've awakened to Inca doves cooing in the yard for the first time this new season. Increasing numbers and shades of wild flowers dot my path as I walk - cut leaf daisy now, Mexican hat, beggars' tick, along with the prickly poppy. No bluebonnets yet, but soon. We've had beautiful pink sunsets the last four evenings and last night I got home from work in time to take a work in the neighborhood, Now I almost wish I hadn't because of a distressing sight in the neighborhood - a poster board taped to bumper of pick up truck on the street behind my house. It was handwritten with the horrible slogan "God damn Barack Obama - Socialist Pig destroying America. God bless true Americans," It was all decorated with American flags. The hate in it freaked me out. I don't like it that my back yard touches the back yard of someone with such a hateful attitude. It bothered me more than a commercial sticker would have, because of the degree of effort involved in creating it - though I guess a commercial sticker would imply that more people shared the sentiment. The pink sunset and Venus setting, half moon high touched me deeply - but so did the hate. Part of me wants to knock on the door - ask questions, but I won't. Odd that the doves live in my yard and in the yard of the person who wrote those hateful words - no fence or feeling confining them.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I really enjoyed today - domestic day - cleaning, cooking, a walk up the hill to the store (Cut leaf daisies are out - bright yellow - new addition to our early spring palate.) Tonight I fixed a simple supper for old friends Jean and Mark - chili, salad, strawberries, cornbreat, chocolate cake. Mark had been craving chili. I really enjoy cooking for friends and getting out the good china - want to do this more often for more people - just not huge roups at once. Tonight was sweet - nothing like forty year friendships!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What a weekend! Yesterday Joanna brought baby Andrea over while K.K. danced jazz, so now both newest grandchilden have been at our house. Andrea was an utter pink bundled joy of cuddly baby. Jo and I even took her - ll wrapped up in the cool afternoon - on a walk to and back from the elementary school her mommy used to attend. I like living in the same neighborhood across generations, having familiar landmarks. It was especially sweet that Bob came home while Andrea and Joanna were here and got to snuggle the former and talk movies with the latter.

Yesterday evening at the symphony with Lord and Lady Galway playing their golden flutes was just incandescent. I am astonsished when anyone does anything that well. And the additional joy of sharing the symphony experience with K.K. and her friend Ian put it pretty much over the top. We were anxious about being late, the evening was COLD and the walk long in our light coats and with K.K. in uncomfortable shoes which she eventually kicked off on the stairs, but in the end the performance and the experience of sharing it with the two young people was just great. I felt so tender toward K.K. when we brought her back to our house after taking Ian home and she changed out of her gorgeous black dress into pajama pants and an oversized jaguar T shirt to be more comfortable on the ride back to her house and bed. Bob put more Mozart flute music on in the car, and K.K. dozed and smiled, smiled and dozed - just a magical evening.

This morning Bob and I watched an excelllent performance of Chekov's "The Seagull" on video - such a sad play about people making poor choices out of ego. It startles me a little that when I first read the play as a young woman I didn't react as strongly as I do now against the choices, didn't see as clearly that they were choices.

This afternoon Bob and I watched the Texas Longhorns win a no hitter against Penn State - slways a kick to see excellence at that level. I laughed at myself because of the extent to which I subscribe to the superstition that talking about a no hitter jinxes the pitcher. The man behind me kept talking loudly about NOT talking about what was clearly (he he) happening and I had to resist strongly the urge to yell at him to SHUT UP!