Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pocket Change

Why is it that men feel compelled to create piles of change, as if those coins aren’t worth a thing?  At least the men in my family both seem to be coin hoarders.
I decided to turn what my son left behind into fun money tonight.  Those 4 piles of coins represent about $20.  A nice lunch perhaps?
In addition to the US coins, there were foreign coins, a battery, a key, and some garbage.  I do wonder what the key would open.  Everything but the key has been recycled.
This behavior would have been quite foreign to my father, who accounted for every penny that ever crossed his path.  He did save silver dollars, but only because he thought they might be valuable some day.  And so they are.
I’ve put all of Dan’s coins into wrappers which I will take to the bank tomorrow.
How do you deal with loose change?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Fun

It’s my turn in a couple of weeks to plan a read-aloud at the homeless shelter.  As I was reading my friend Gary’s post yesterday about his kindergarten class’s top 10 picks for this school year, I suddenly decided to make “summer fun” the theme.
There are so many things these kids have never experienced.  Most of them have probably never been to the beach or seen the ocean.  They probably don’t get a lot of chances to just play in water of any kind.
So my plan is to ask the powers that be at the shelter if we can meet in the back yard and have the children wear either bathing suits or shorts and shirts that can get wet.  
We can read books like the #1 pick of Gary’s class, Otto Goes to the Beach by Todd Parr.  If you go to Gary’s post, you will notice that two of his authors left comments.  How cool is that?!
For activities, I thought we would play with water balloons, tossing them back and forth until someone fails to catch the balloon.  I also have 30 pounds of very white sand left over from making yoga sand bags.  I’m hoping we can add water and let them make sand castles on paper plates.  Do  you think this will work?
As a snack, we could have grilled hotdogs with lots of ketchup and lemonade.  What could be more summertime than that?  Maybe some slices of watermelon as well.
Each child will take home a book of his/her choice (as they do each week) and a jumbo piece of sidewalk chalk.
The way I see it is if you can’t go to the beach, you can at least bring the beach to you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Jewels

A couple of years ago I wrote about a rather remarkable reconnection with an artist whom I had never met.  She just happened to have fashioned a pair of earrings and I desperately wanted to replace one that had been lost.  Now living in Portland, she recreated a perfect match a full 10 years after I had purchased them (with a matching necklace) at Appalachian Spring in Georgetown.
Every time I wear that jewelry, and I wear it a lot, I think of Denise Althea Graham, an artist I have yet to meet and wonder what other things she is creating.  I decided to contact her on her Blog and find out.  It turns out she has moved on from beads to other art media, but she still has a stash of beads left over from her days of jewelry making.
So we exchanged a few messages and she agreed to make some things I might like, based on what I had originally purchased.  She sent me photos asking me to choose a set if I liked either.  I quickly agreed to buy everything she had made, at a price about half of what I had paid originally.
My new jewels came today and they are even more beautiful than the photos lead me to believe.  Denise also enclosed a very personal card, which made me want to meet this woman who seems to know me quite well despite the fact we’ve never met.
I shot off an e-mail message declaring my delight with the pieces she had made.  I almost said “I will enjoy them for the rest of my life,” but those words are just a little scary to me, so I opted for “a long, long time.”
I really love the idea of connecting on a personal level with cooks and artists, of which I now have several in my life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kushi Sushi

As sort of a final family night out, we took our son out to dinner and a movie tonight before he heads off to San Francisco later in the week to look for a job.  We ate at Kushi Izakaya & Sushi, a new restaurant near 4th & K NW.  
From the outside and even the decor I was not prepared for the food that awaited us.  We ordered a combination of grilled dishes and sushi and every bite was delectable.  The portions were sort of Japanese tapas style, so we ordered a lot of dishes, including miso soup, grilled garlic scapes (pictured above), grilled Japanese eggplant, grilled sweet potatoes, grilled leg of duck, an eel-avocado maki roll, a fatty tuna-scallion maki roll, and lemon sorbet for dessert.

The kitchen is prominently displayed in the middle of the restaurant, where busy chefs prepare all the many dishes.  There is a separate area featuring a raw bar with mounds of fresh oysters.
The service was impeccable but subtle, just the way it should be.
I couldn’t help but think how great the red floral futon would look in the large red ladies’ room.
I used to think Sushi-ko was the best sushi restaurant in DC.  I think it now has a rival.  And the prices are definitely more affordable.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pigging Out

Tonight I went to an annual luau hosted by people I used to work with.  It’s now a mostly retired group who come to eat roast pig and to remember the old days.
For 15 years I worked in this international office of a government agency.  We mostly worked in third world countries.  There were some colorful characters along the way.
Most of them now have gray hair or no hair and the scales weigh a little heavier.  
There was a lot of “Do you remember...” and a collective effort to fill in a name as we searched the far reaches of our memories with a description of the person.  By the end of the evening we had filled in all those blanks and had a lot of laughs over people and incidents from the past.
We stuffed ourselves on great food, including the roast pig whose face we tried to overlook.  All 50 pounds of him (or her) seemed to simply disappear.  We had vodka-laced watermelon and other more decadent things for dessert.  
It was finally time to tuck away the memories and deal with the present and future.  We kicked around the idea of another reunion, but no one volunteered to plan it.  Instead we’ll reconvene at next year’s luau to pick up where we left off and probably to tell the same funny stories and laugh as though it was the first time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

No Work and All Play

Why does this keep happening to me?  I inevitably find myself behind religious zealots who are acting like mobile missionaries.  No, I don’t GOT Jesus.  I respect him, but he is yours, Mr. VW, as a religious icon.
Enough about religion.  I am so excited because I am finally going on a trip.  My daughter and I are going to Thailand in August for a 10-day cooking tour with Brock, ex-chef and instructor at Hill’s Kitchen, who has taken up residence halfway around the world.
I’m not even thinking about all the walking through airports and markets, but rather focusing on how much fun it will be to experience days on end of Brock’s humor and half-full attitude.  We will probably sleep very little because we are going to a place that looks like this (credit to Brock for the photo).

Instead of sleep, we will focus on food, experiencing the best of Thailand's street food, $5 dinners in upscale restaurants, and "home-cooked" cuisine as a result of our classes. We are promised a lesson in basic Thai phrases as well, but I'm sure I will manage with sign language as I always have in places where I didn't speak the language. 

We will also be going up-country to see life outside the bustle of Bangkok and to enjoy the beauty of rural Thailand.  
It will be great to have almost two weeks of my daughter’s company.  I haven’t yet broken it to her that if we are renting motor bikes, she is driving.  She is quite adventurous, so I’m sure that will be fine.
I’m just waiting to hear back from Jason at, the source of cheap airline tickets that cost the equivalent of our 11-day stay in Thailand.  I haven’t traveled internationally for a while other than on miles, so I wasn’t prepared for the sticker shock.  
But, hey, you only live once, so why not go and enjoy something new and different?  I’m sure Bangkok has changed a lot since I was there for work almost 30 years ago.  This time it’s no work and all play!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Choosing When to Wait

I had a reservation for a new iPhone4 today which entitled me to go to the Apple Store in Clarendon and pick it up.  It sounded so simple.
I figured I would let the crowd thin out and show up around noon.  But when I arrived the lines were as far as I could see in either direction and many people had been waiting for 5 and 6 hours for their new phones.

I took a free sandwich and a cool apple (since it was pushing 99 degrees) and left.  There was no way I was going to wait for hours for something that was by no means a necessity.
I called a couple of times during the afternoon and in each case the lines were shrinking.  So at 8:00 I ventured back out to see if I could use my reservation which expired at 10:00.
When I arrived and “checked in”, the enthusiastic Apple employee told me it would be a 45 minute wait.  Meanwhile I drank their free water and watched them assemble a barrel of umbrellas in case the predicted rain came.

After about 25 minutes I was introduced to a vivacious recent college grad Kelly, who was charged with providing my new phone and as many of the add-ons as she could convince me to buy.
I opted out of most everything but the phone and its docking station.  Then Kelly activated my phone, swiped my charge card, and handed me off to Chris, whose job it was to transfer things like my address book and calendar to my new phone.  (Chris said he had been there since 4:30 am.)  It was all very slick and typically Apple-efficient.
I asked Kelly how many phones they had sold at Clarendon today.  She said they never tell the employees, but I can guarantee it was an unbelievable number.
It was an interesting model, weighing the line size against the availability of phones.  Apple had pretty much promised that if you had a reservation and showed up before they closed the doors you would get a phone.  I took them at their word and walked out with a new phone at a bargain since my plan was soon up for renewal.  
My new iPhone4 is slimmer than my old phone and yet it promises all sorts of new features like 3G, more speed, better camera, video, and on and on and on.  Smaller is definitely better in this case and well worth a 25-minute wait.  But 6 hours -- I still say NO!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Different Strokes

Last week I passed a church with a prominent sign out front that said “Fully Rely On God” with the acronym FROG.  Does that mean to trust that God will provide employment, put food on your table, assure that you pass your exams?  I can’t imagine fully relying on anyone, including God almighty, to deal with all the challenges life throws at me.
Then tonight I pulled up behind the above car at a stop light.  I always have to laugh at anything that starts with REAL men, wondering how they are distinguished from other men and from women.  Does this mean the driver is looking to Jesus to substantiate his masculinity?  
As far as Jesus being the ANSWER, that seems entirely too simplistic.  In fact, what is the question?
I have a personal relationship with my God.  We talk frequently.  But I in no way am relying on God.  And although I acknowledge that Jesus was a great teacher, he is definitely not the answer to any question I might pose.
I always wonder about people who have to advertise their religious beliefs on the back of their car.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some Very Big Flowers

I admit this Marimekko print in my new futon cover is a little wild, but it makes me feel happy just to look at it.  Unfortunately it screams at my husband and he wants to shut the door.
Last year when my friend bought a condo, I was able to buy her Ikea futon for $100.  It took up residence in my son’s old room upstairs with its neutral boring cover.

My friend actually told me about a company in Lithuania that makes replacement covers for Ikea furniture.  Unfortunately there is not a big selection of fabrics for the Allerum futon on their website.
I had wanted a bright print to jazz up that otherwise dull room.  I have always liked Marimekko prints, which reflect the best in Danish design.  So with a little persuasion I ordered the red floral print with its very large red flowers.
The trouble is the yellow walls are just too pale for all that color.  So I had this thought last night as I was going to sleep of painting the walls navy blue to match the blue in the print.
My husband is ready to pitch the new cover in the trash and eat the cost of it.  But I’m not so ready to give up.  I think with the right paint combination it could be an exciting room.
The decorator who suggested the paint colors we ended up using is coming over for a consultation on Thursday.  My bet is that he will love the print and have just the right suggestion for how to make it feel comfortable in the room.
Jake is checking it out as a potential new place to stretch out.
How do you feel about all those big red flowers?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lesson in Furniture Building

This hardly looks like a rocking chair, right?  It actually includes all 22 pieces of wood that will be needed for our new chair which is being built by Hardwood Artisans in their workshop in Woodbridge, Virginia.
When we purchased our new family room furniture almost 3 months ago, they told us it would take about 3 months for it to be lovingly made by real people in their workshop.  They also said they would let us know when our pieces were in production so we could come see the work in progress.
Today was our day to visit.  We were escorted by Edwin, one of the foremen at the workshop.  He seemed to know the exact status of every one of the 6 pieces we ordered.

We started off in are area that contains piles and piles of lumber in the various woods they use.  Ours happen to be natural cherry.

We met Beth, a woman who will make our rocking chair from start to finish.  She described in minute detail the entire process.  I was immediately struck with the degree of precision that is necessary in doing this kind of work.

We saw our footstools and one of our chairs that are mostly finished.  The finishing area had a rich smell of the finishes they apply to the assembled pieces.

Then we met Aurora, the woman who is making our chairs and loveseat.  She was building a couch at the moment, but our loveseat was sitting in a pile of pieces waiting to be assembled.

This is a company with a high retention rate.  Many of the employees have been there for years.  They have such perqs as the encouragement to make their own furniture for the cost of the materials only.  This gives them practice and allows them to own fine handmade furniture.
I was actually quite surprised at the diversity of the workforce.  Not only were there women, but there were also African Americans and Latinos among the otherwise mostly white male employees.
In a couple of weeks when the construction is complete and the upholstered parts have arrived, we will accept delivery of the furniture.  I will always remember this visit behind the scene when I sit on any of the pieces we are getting. 

Infernal Beeping

It was pretty wild around here tonight for a while.  Something was beeping, Jake was peeing everywhere in crazed fear, and we couldn’t identify the source of the beeping.
My husband disconnected the carbon monoxide detector and the beeping continued.  He took the battery out of the above smoke detector and the beeping continued.  He totally took the smoke detector off the ceiling and the beeping continued. 
Meanwhile Jake had made quite a mess of the family room and dining room.  So he was banished outdoors while we continued to try to silence the beeping that was really driving him quite to distraction.
Finally my husband realized there was another smoke detector in his office only a few feet away from the one already dismantled.  Once that battery had been removed the noise stopped.
Jake refused to come in for at least another hour.  When he did, he was still quite nervous. 
Fortunately the smoke detectors have never gone off to signal a fire.  But the occasional  dead battery beep is a sound I have come to dread. 

Jake has finally calmed down once again.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Today’s bar mitzvah was a bittersweet occasion.  The boy’s mother is dying of brain cancer and has given it her all to stay alive until she could see her son celebrate this rite of passage.  
She had been a vibrant, engaging woman in her 40’s just a few years ago when she was in my husband’s adult Hebrew class.  But then her world changed forever.
The boy was the first student to plan his own party, meeting with the Micah Cooks representative himself.  He chose an Italian menu in honor of his father, who is not Jewish but who was definitely there in support of his son today.  We catered the beautiful luncheon as a small token to this family which is struggling with the reality of impending loss.
The boy’s Torah portion was about burying the dead, a little scary given what is ultimately in store for them.  He sang the trope flawlessly, never breaking down as he looked at his turbaned mother in her wheel chair.  
It must have been so difficult for the entire family, but they carried it off with dignity and respect for the mother who was there for her son, her only child.
The choir sang a beautiful piece by Charles Osborne:  L’dor Vador, which translates “from generation to generation.”  It seemed perfectly fitting for a day when generations were such an important focus of the service.  It was a good feeling to add joy to a service that could have been somewhat somber.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Musical Evening

While I should have been home finishing the sewing projects that never end, I was being entertained by the NSO at The Kennedy Center on comp tickets in the 8th row of the orchestra section.  It was an evening I will remember for a long time.
I managed to come up with 2 tickets to tonight’s performance.  I knew it would appeal to my good friend Doug, who has another good friend who is a professor at Oberlin, the alma mater of Jennifer Koh, the guest violinist who was also one of her students as an English major.  So we met up for dinner and the concert.
I’ve never thought of myself really liking most 20th century music, but I’m starting to come around.  For starters, my son Dan gave me a book for Mother’s Day:  The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross.  It chronicles that century of music, starting out with a chapter on Mahler, the composer of the second half of tonight’s performance.
Jennifer Koh was there to play the first violin concerto of Karol Szymanowski, a Polish composer who would have been a contemporary of Mahler.  She was absolutely mesmerizing as she played, showing a passion for music like no one I have ever seen.  It is a colorful piece in one movement with a lot of extremes.  The good news is Jennifer Koh will most certainly be back because her long-time mentor is Christoph Eshenbach, the new Musical Director of the NSO.
We recently saw a documentary from 1984 “The Little Drummer Boy,” an essay written and presented by Leonard Bernstein about Gustav Mahler.  Featured prominently in the movie was Mahler’s first symphony, which in one movement has a curious mingling of Jewish and gypsy melodies, despite the fact that Mahler rejected his Judaism.
Tonight I got to hear all 52 minutes of the symphony, which saw every chair in the orchestra filled and working hard.  As with all of Mahler’s music, it is very demanding to play.  The end builds and builds to what almost seems orgasmic.  
The cushion projects will have to get done some other time.  Tonight I soaked up some much needed culture and the price was definitely right!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Initial Delivery

I delivered the first two of eight chair cushions to my piano teacher today and she was ecstatic.  
She said, “You missed your calling!”  I replied that I could never have made any money sewing because I couldn’t bring myself to charge a proper rate for my time.
In her case, the project required $105 in materials.  But by the time I am finished, I’m sure I will have put in around 10 hours of labor.  At the rate she charges for piano lessons, that would come to $650.  But I never let on just how much time was involved.
She said she would either give me a couple of free lessons or buy something nice for me.  I’m thinking about going for the latter just because of the element of surprise.
This is nothing new.  When I was a teenager, I made Barbie doll outfits for $1 each.  Granted it didn’t take much fabric to wrap around that curvy little plastic body, but it took hours to make a bridal dress, something everyone wanted.  I was obviously not in business to make a lot of money.
And so today I occasionally sew for friends to save them from paying a professional the going rate.  There is not much I can’t do with a sewing machine.  But I could never have made a living with one!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sleeping Like a Baby

I have become accustomed to getting up multiple times a night to empty my bladder.  Or so I thought that was why I was waking up.  But maybe not.
Two times within the past week, I drank a cup of one of these two caffeinated teas at about 5:00 in the evening with the thought it might help me stay awake to work on the sewing projects that never end.
In both cases the caffeine kicked in slowly and not only allowed me to stay up late, but made me feel somewhat happier.
In both cases I then slept like a baby for as much as 7 hours at a stretch.  Wow!  I had forgotten what that felt like.
So I’m wondering what it is in these teas that has this wonderful unexpected side-effect?  
I was out to dinner with a friend tonight.  I had a cup of Earl Grey with my meal.  It will be interesting to see if it’s just any tea or the particular brand I have at home.
Who knew that caffeine could actually promote sleep?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shaving Off Foam

I had no sooner bragged to my husband, “I’m pretty good at this” than I realized the foam piece I was trying to shove into the cushion cover was just too big.   Mistakes like this are humbling.
I am working on this little project for Anadel at the same time I’m trying to make the window seat cushions.  She has 8 dining room chairs with very old, tired, stained seat covers.  I checked on what it would cost to get the work done professionally and it came in at $1200.  So I offered to do it for her.
I brought home one of each size cushion.  I started by cutting a diagonal hole in the bottom of each cover where I inserted a zipper to facilitate laundering in the future. 

Then I washed them with a lot of soap and Clorox to try to remove years of stains.
I made a pattern for the foam inserts and went out to The American Foam Center to get them cut, always a trip in more ways than distance. 

After carefully encasing the first foam piece in dacron (by hand), I went to put it in the cover.  That’s when I discovered my patterns were too big by about 3/8” on all sides.
So back to the TAFC where I had to twist Stewart’s arm to drop what he was doing and shave off the extra foam.  We agreed on $1 a cushion.  I put the dacron back on and tried it before leaving this time.  A perfect fit.
So now I have 2 out of the 6 done and ready to return when I go for my piano lesson on Thursday.

Most people never think about what’s inside a cushion if it’s reasonably comfortable.  I now know exactly what’s inside and what size it must be to fit properly.  Useful information if I ever take on a job like this again.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Apartment Living

I’ve heard stories this week that make me glad I’m not a renter with or without a roommate.  I know both of these people well and have their best interests at heart.
The first is soon moving to San Francisco.  He would like to rent an apartment before he goes so as not to waste time upon arriving.  He found an ad on Craig’s List for what looks like a nice place in a good neighborhood.  Before agreeing to rent to him, the owner requested that he have a friend come take a look at the apartment.  She didn’t ask for a character reference, just a friend to show up in person since he isn’t there.
He has no friends currently in SF, but said perhaps one of his sister’s ex-housemates could stop by.  Then he started to wonder why the owner was so intent on this step before offering a lease.  I’m guessing the place may smell either of smoke or cat pee.  Any other thoughts?
The other person recently moved into an apartment in upper Manhattan with someone she had never met before.  They seem compatible enough.  But recently the housemate suggested they buy a 40” TV.  Fine if you are making lots of money or have a trust fund.  But if you are on a student loan, that’s an unnecessary stretch.  I’m sure she’s torn, but it’s a tricky situation.  The easiest decision is to just go along with it and cough up $250 or whatever half of one of those monster TVs costs.  If she doesn’t, she will probably feel funny about watching it.  I think she had been sort of hoping for no TV at all.  
Living in a house we own with a roommate that I have had for decades has its share of issues, but none like the two above.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Secret of Awesome: Reprise

I’m already missing cooking classes and he hasn’t even gotten on the plane yet.  But tomorrow chef Brock is off to Thailand for what promises to be another action-packed segment of his life.
Today he hosted a little farewell party for himself at Hill’s Kitchen so he could say goodbye to those of us who had grown to love his wit and culinary creativity.  Everyone who stopped by got a little take-out box filled with spicy Thai noodles and a chocolate cupcake with something very adult-tasting in the middle.  To wash it down there were endless mimosas.
As a parting gift I decided on a tee shirt with a phrase from the taco class.  Not that he is going to be making a lot of tacos in Thailand, but just because it seemed to characterize his cooking in general.
Part of Brock’s Thai adventure will be offering cooking classes in -- of course -- Thai cuisine.  It’s a package deal with an incredible price.  Check it out on his website.
I’m seriously thinking of going.  My daughter has volunteered to go along since the first series of classes will be during her school break.  I have some concerns about how I will manage with lots of walking and a hectic touring schedule, but I figure you only live once so why not take advantage of an opportunity like this?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cushion Covers Again

It is clear that the flowered window seat cushion covers are not going to go well at all with our new family room furniture, which will have a lot of color of its own.  So it is once again time to recover those cushions.  
It’s not a particularly fun sewing job, but one that will save us hundreds of dollars.  I can cannibalize certain things, like zippers, from the current cushion covers.

The hardest part of this job is the prep.  Finding the right fabric is never easy.  This time I found a solid dark teal at G Street, which was half the price of anything else I saw.
There is a whole lot of cutting out before any sewing can begin.  Every one of those 20 pieces must have the edges overcast so they won’t ravel.  I must cover around 90 feet of cording with strips of fabric cut on the bias to be inserted in the seams that attach the top and bottom to the sides of the cushion covers.  

The actual construction goes fairly quickly once all the prep is done.  I’m hopeful to have clean, new cushion covers by sometime early next week.
Then I can move on to a job that might actually allow me to trade cushion-covering skills for piano lessons.  More to come on that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blowing Off Steam

Families are somewhat like volcanoes.  Much of the time they lay dormant or produce a low rumble.  But every now and then they erupt.
As the words flow like hot lava, you wonder when it will be over.  And finally when it is calm is restored.
I think I once heard that the ground is much more fertile after it has been singed by molten lava.  And so it is with families.  The release of tension and anger brings on a new level of understanding and willingness to get along.
We’ve weathered a recent eruption and I feel much better about the future as a result.  I continue to learn important lessons about respect for the individual.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Using my iPad to create a blog post

Hi everyone -- I am looking2live's husband and guest blogger today. Recently, I bought two iPad's - one for me and one for looking2live. Our plan is to use the iPad's to essentially replace our laptops when on the road.

One of looking2live's main uses of her iPad will be blogging of course. So, I am experimenting with how best to do a blog post including photos using only the iPad.

Here's the equipment (shown below):
* an Ipad
* the camera connector kit to connect camera to iPad
* camera or iphone for taking pictures

* Either Pages or BlogPress to compose the post. For this post, I am using BlogPress since I hope to avoid having to compose on Pages and then import to the blogger interface in Safari.
* (optional) Photogene for photo editing on the iPad. I actually used Photogene for this post to rotate the picture 90 degrees. It was very easy to use.

Well, so far, BlogPress is a piece of cake. It is dead simple to embed a photo from the iPad's photo library.

Now, let's try to publish and see what happens. Hope iPad bloggers will find this little post useful. I will also try the Pages/Safari/Blogger tango soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A Bite of a New Apple

I have moved up the technology ladder.  I now have an iPad, purchased with the intention of having a lightweight computer for traveling.
It is definitely compact and attractive.  In fact it is thinner than most paperbacks and smaller than most notebooks.
Since we don’t seem to be going anywhere these days, I’m mainly using my new toy for reading books.  I’m currently reading our book club selection, The Tinker by Paul Harding.
It is remarkably like reading an actual book, even to the way you turn the page -- both moving forward and moving backward.  It provides the ability to search for a word or phrase.  I can easily increase the size of the font.  I can view one or two pages at a time simply by turning the iPad 90 degrees.
I had steadfastly refused to succumb to reading books electronically, telling myself and others that I liked the feel of the pages.  
But I must admit I’m hooked.  Today as I answered phones at Temple Micah, I periodically checked my email and read The Tinker.  I wonder if an author makes more money from someone buying an actual book or an electronic book?  
Prior to the advent of electronic books, we always needed two copies of the book club selection.  Now we can both be reading electronically after purchasing just one copy.  And we will never have to pay another library fine.
It will be fun to load up the iPad and go on a trip, leaving all that space previously occupied by books free for other things.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Refrigerator Art

We used to have magnetic frames on our refrigerator to display the various artwork our children brought home from school.  But it’s been years since those days.
I finally have a piece of refrigerator art once again, given to me by a precocious little boy named Jack.  He happens to be the son of the person who teaches me yoga at her house every couple of weeks or so.
One day as I was arriving Jack was on his way out to go to Target with his dad, where he would get to choose a 99-cent Matchbox car.
So the next time I came to yoga, I brought Jack a similar car (they are 97 cents at Toys R Us).  Apparently he liked it so much he took it in the bathtub that night.
Today when I went to yoga, there was a hand-made thank you picture from Jack waiting for me.  His mom asked him why he had chosen those colors when the car was actually blue.  He said all girls like purple and yellow is his grandmother’s favorite color, so he figured I would like them.  His parents wrote down the words he wanted on the picture.
I hope some day to have a grandchild who knows my favorite color (it isn’t yellow!) and who will keep my refrigerator colorful.