tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:/posts On Out & About 2017-10-07T15:18:17Z tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1196638 2017-10-07T15:18:17Z 2017-10-07T15:18:17Z Science, my lad, has been… (Jules Verne)
Science, my lad, has been

built upon many errors.

But they are errors which

have been useful to make

for they have been stepping 

stones to truth.

Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth
tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1196055 2017-10-04T20:38:19Z 2017-10-04T20:38:19Z Fred's Choice

On Tuesday morning it was Fred's suggestion we get a picture for the blog!

Probably difficult to discern in the morning light, but I'm wearing a black short-sleeve top under the jean jacket (Gap). The black top has sentimental value; it was my Mom's, and has alternating diagonal cutouts down the middle and along the sides. Pants H&M, scarf a souvenir purchased in Brugges, Brussels, shoes Hush Puppy (gift from my daughter-in-law and her mom). Jean jackets, especially ones not overly frayed and worn, up the ante of just about any outfit, and black and cream make a classy combination. I guess it all worked because Fred insisted we get a picture for the blog. :-)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1194862 2017-09-29T19:21:03Z 2017-09-29T19:21:10Z Color x2

Last week there were two outfits I wore to school that made me feel comfortable and upbeat. Each consists of a pair of pants that I enjoy wearing when not wearing jeans, and each consists of a favored top, the colours of which always make me smile. 

Red pants and red belt are from the Gap, top is Land's End, sandals are Earth Origins by earth.

Cream khakis are H&M, top is from modcloth, scarf from Brussels, a gift from my daughter-in-law's mother. Earrings a souvenir from a  Montréal road trip a few years ago. Do not recall if I was wearing my Danskos (red sandals) or my red hush puppies (Mary Janes) from Belgium, both comfortable and favorite pairs of shoes.

I purposely wore clothing that cheers me, as it was a tough week at school. Being used to spending my days with children and colleagues, due to a second year division head who has changed the rules of engagement for those in integrator roles (which includes me), I now have to follow protocols (that were nonexistent prior to his arrival) that have slowed down the spontaneity of what I do. Coupled with another new initiative the division head has instituted, massive testing (where before it was minimal) for Fountas & Pinnell literacy levels, the entire first month (and now edging into the start of the second month) of school has been focused on assessment (to soon be followed by Math assessment), which has also slowed down the rate of engagement and interaction with children. 

I have typically looked at my "job" as getting up in the morning to play with children and colleagues, so it was a stultifying September. I had barely any time with children, other than assisting with two sessions in each of the three third, fourth and fifth grade classes to introduce students to their Chromebooks so they could log in and set up passwords. My Makerspace colleague and I have turned our space into an amazing place with the introduction of new workbenches we have built and an array of improved organization. However, spiffying up a space does not provide the satisfaction that being with children provides. Hence, the need for cheering. It is going to be awhile before schedules permit the joy of learning and exploring to begin in earnest. Sigh.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1194686 2017-09-28T22:33:53Z 2017-09-28T22:33:54Z Yard Sculptures

I've surely mentioned the colorful, whimsical yard sculptures that grace our front yard and greet me daily as I return home from my day's outings. My husband has created them all, the 3D sculptures that sit atop wood poles, each one a silent flowering among the flower beds, and the twinkling sculptures that combine wood and 3D pieces, responding to breezes as they float suspended in air from the branches of trees. There is one additional pole sculpture in a flower bed further to the right, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

I have taken many pictures of these, yet most have been taken on sunny days, making it difficult to get any sense of them in the photos. The set below were taken later in the day, when the lighting worked to highlight the sculptures. Still, the images do not do the sculptures justice, as nature takes precedence. :-) But just to give you an idea…

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1194161 2017-09-27T00:08:57Z 2017-09-27T00:08:57Z Homemade Desserts…Yum!

Our daughter-in-law is a natural cook. She enjoys the chemistry of cooking, the way ingredients interact, how spices impact flavor, how the method of cooking impacts the outcome. Even more, she enjoys baking. I have stated several times that if ever she wanted to open a small bakery or, even nicer to my mind, a dessert cafe, I would happily help fund her. Okay, maybe that's just a gustatory dream of mine. ;-)

The first dessert made by her that I ever had was a phenomenal Chocolate Almond Raspberry Torte from Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner's The New Now and Zen Epicure. This was made for my son's birthday in 2011, when they were living in Brussels. I was visiting and had the delight of assisting (in a very small manner!) with the preparation and the delight of eating (in a not quite as small manner!) Alas, I could not locate the picture I took of the finished torte. However, it was more radiant than the one below, which comes from the cookbook.

Fast forward a few years to our granddaughter's first birthday. Having moved from Brussels to Ecuador, they were visiting us for two weeks in the summer. Nobody expected much to be eaten by a not-quite-one-year old, but the occasion did provide opportunity to experiment with making a cake out of favored vegetables… tomato and avocado. This cake was the result not of a recipe but of an interest in trying out an idea, from a baker who was, and continues to be, inspired by curiosity and a willingness to try come what may.

Eventually the family moved from Ecuador to New York, and then to Maryland. Along the way, either at our home or theirs, birthdays and holidays were celebrated together. Keeping in mind that all desserts have tended to be vegan (our son is vegan) or at least have vegan components, and that the most recent dessert was also gluten free to accommodate a relative who cannot eat gluten, and you will likely understand that to our baker daughter-in-law these just provided room for further inspiration. Plus she always takes birthday-cake requests from her children.

Cake for our son's 32nd birthday. 

It's not just about the food, it's also about the presentation, especially when children are the recipients! These are the requested cupcakes for our grandson's first birthday. Some were vegan and some were not.

For my 62nd birthday, knowing that I am a chocolate lover, and with November and December holidays just around the corner…

Then came the family Christmas that included my daughter-in-law's parents as well as her sister and her sister's children. A full house, 11 people, 4 of whom were children. So of course, that meant hot cocoa, but not just any hot cocoa. This came from a recipe which was altered to include vegan chocolate and marshmallows, plus a cookie bottom. Just imagine it with the hot almond milk added, chocolate starting to melt, the chocolate cookie underneath starting to get appropriately soaked…

More recently, in April of this year our grandson turned 2. You might notice a theme here – he likes cupcakes.

And finally, this past September, when our granddaughter turned 5. She is a big fan of ice cream. The cake and ice cream are home made and are vegan gluten-free. And none of it came from a recipe or style book. 

I didn't want to forget any of these desserts; to me they are akin to an artist's paintings. And they were delicious. Okay, perhaps the avocado and tomato cake wasn't exactly delicious, but it represents a willingness to experiment, to try something new and see what happens. And I admire that entrepreneurial spirit in the kitchen. I had a similar delight when watching our other son and his girlfriend make pizza in our kitchen this past summer. Hmm, maybe I simply like homemade food and spending time with family. :-)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1193255 2017-09-23T11:23:19Z 2017-09-23T12:38:28Z Grace Farms

About two years ago my cousin told us about a place in New Caanan, CT where it was lovely to walk around and, more interestingly for him and his wife, where they had gone to share a community dinner that takes place once a month. Fred and I have had it on our calendar to visit and kept pushing it off till yesterday, the second day of a a 4-day weekend, when the weather provided a sunny, windy 80+ degrees and we were eager to finally make the visit. After lunch we made the approximately 45 minute drive north and inland, and arrived for two hours of calming, walking the River plus a longer path around a pond, picture taking, and relaxing.

Grace Farms speaks for itself on its website, and the image of the River (a building) and their physical site is highlighted in the opening images. Nonetheless, below are our photos. [PS My husband was curious to learn more about the people behind Grace Farms. A little web searching led to Grace Community Church. On our visit to Grace Farms we were told that a church had a long term contract to use the auditorium. You can read more about the association between the building of Grace Farms and the Grace Community Church on the our history page for the Church.]

And of course, I always like to take a selfie of the two of us!

Most impressive to us was the inside of the 700 seat auditorium. The seats are perfectly aligned in a gentle downward sloping curve. Turns out that not only is each set of chair legs bolted to the floor, but depending upon where a chair is in a row its legs are customized to fit the location, i.e. curve and position in the row. Amazing. And the views from the auditorium's windows, the curved glass for which came from Spain, are quite intriguing.

Afterwards we ambled thru the town of New Caanan, stopping at a wood shop that sold various items made of wood as well as wood-like items made from recyclables. I can just picture my grandchildren (and all of the adults in my family!) playing with this elaborately crafted marble run. To complete our outing we had dinner at Farmer's Table (a cup of mushroom soup and 1.5 servings of the Beet Salad for me; a cup of crab/lobster bisque and Chicken Quesadilla for Fred.)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1191270 2017-09-14T21:39:33Z 2017-09-14T21:39:33Z Pictures for School

Last week all faculty were invited to submit a photo of themselves on the first day of school, ideally from a lower school grade (also known as elementary school). Our lower school covers Pre-K through Grade 5, so I submitted a photo of me at age 10, which was in 1964. The picture is actually of me and my brother, but since students would have no idea who my brother is I cropped the photo to be just me. 

We were also asked, by a different teacher, to submit a picture of ourselves that we subtitle by completing the statement: I am… Submitting the first picture was fun; submitting the second picture required me (and 9 other faculty) being sent a second and third email, the last one reminding us that we were the only ones who had not submitted a picture and surely we did not want to be left out of the slide show. I succumbed and took this picture in the Makerspace, which is where I spend a large portion of my time. And my statement: I am playful.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1190171 2017-09-10T17:05:22Z 2017-09-10T17:05:22Z A delightful little art museum

This past Friday afternoon we went to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. This was a planned visit, as we were spending the weekend with my brother-in-law who lives in West Chester, PA, and then with him visiting family in Baltimore for the day on Saturday.

That's my husband, me and my brother-in-law draping ourselves over a bronze pig on the museum grounds after having walked through all the interior exhibits.

The Brandywine is a small, easy and comfortable museum to navigate, situated in an old mill overlooking the Brandywine River. We were interested in seeing the Andrew Wyeth retrospective. I was only familiar with one of his paintings, the one that is perhaps his most iconic, named Christina's World. The exhibit provided extensive background information on Wyeth, his family of prolific artists (beginning with his father), and the story of Christina. Early on in the exhibit I learned that, for the most part, Andrew Wyeth's paintings are deeply personal studies. And my response to the vast majority, in fact almost all of those paintings is they are dull, drab, and often sad. That's not to say that Wyeth didn't have amazing technique, for he surely did, it's just that his topics and how he saw those topics never resonated with me and my life experience or outlook on life. Nonetheless, since I had a response to his paintings, that alone speaks to his artistry and his ability to provoke and share via paintings. 

I enjoyed having the time to browse the galleries on my own time and my own terms, to read descriptions or not, to pause and linger or not, to be moved or to question or to appreciate or nod in understanding or disagreement. A testament to the power of art. 


Back in January 2016 I completed the first #Make30Photos Challenge with Emma Davies. She is running another online class and over the summer posted a new set of challenges – 30 Days of Composition. I may (or may not) eventually post them all on one page, but for now am just sharing them as they happen. In this case, these pictures were taken at the museum, and while most of them appear to focus on patterns, shadows and reflections, they could meet any number of the proposed challenges. The fun for me is being prodded to pause, and to look at something with a non-typical perspective.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1189095 2017-09-05T22:48:49Z 2017-09-05T22:48:49Z First Day of School

Back to school on a sunny day in the high 80s – a gentle reminder that summer hasn't left us yet! My school has a comfortable dress code, meaning faculty may wear jeans, shorts, leggings and tunics, pretty much anything that counts as appropriately modest, clean and neat. 

I did not have any classes today, and actually will not have any for at least a week since my role as an Integrator means there have to be projects that lend themselves to STEAM integration. Since the first two weeks of school are given to assessments and getting routines established, those of us with the title of Integrator use the time to prep spaces and attend meetings.

I looked forward to wearing this outfit because it is the first wearing of one of the two tops purchased from ModCloth. Ever since Sheila (of the blog Ephemera) extolled the delights of pattern mixing, I have been a BIG fan, as you will see with the top and the shorts.

The top was quite comfortable, is made of soft, light weight material that does not bulk up when tucked in, and has a longer hem so it can also be worn untucked over leggings. The shorts are my favorite, oldies from the Gap, same for the orange sweater; belt is probably from the Gap or LL Bean many, many years ago. Sandals from Lands End. Earrings, of seeds, made in Ecuador and gifted by the sister of my daughter-in-law. I felt springy and comfortable all day long.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1188842 2017-09-04T22:50:56Z 2017-09-04T22:50:56Z 102nd Street

We went with one notion – to see Michael's bench, to sit and share a sense of grace. Ann and I remain stalwart fans of author Louise Penny and her Three Pines family, brought together by Inspector Armand Gamache. In July of 2016 Ann and I adventured to Canada to see first hand the places that inspired Louise to create this world of fiction, mystery, and murder, and powerful friendships.

Along the way we grew to know Louise Penny, receiving her monthly newsletter where she writes to us as if we were each her neighbor in a close knit town. This meant we also grew to know Michael, her wonderful husband, who died last September after living with dementia and Alzheimer's.

And so it came to be that Ann and I met at Grand Central Station this past Friday, September 1, having each traveled by our local Metro North line into the city. A perfect city day – sunny, blue sky, gentle wind, clean air, not overly crowded. We ambled and walked north, with minor detours to the west and east, from 42nd Street all the way to 102nd and Central Park. Stopping to purchase food for a picnic lunch in the park, serenaded during lunch by an impromptu jazz band, we eventually made our way to Michael's bench. And from there, after paying our respects, we walked onwards to 125th Street and the Metro North Harlem stop, parting to board our respective trains and wind down a wonderful day spent in the company of friends.

We began with a full on visit to the reading rooms of the 42nd Street Public Library, with Patience and Fortitude guarding the entry. No pictures taken because I was too busy "oohing" and "ahhing" silently over the wondrous interior. (Hard to believe this was my first visit there!!!) The first picture has Rockefeller Center in the background, a bit washed out in the light, perhaps looking less familiar than in winter when the ice skating rink is in full mode. We detoured through the Cooper Hewitt gardens and museum store, stopping just long enough to play in Alice's tea cups. Michael's bench speaks for itself. And on our walk north from there we passed multiple community gardens; the heart on this one summed up our day.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1188203 2017-09-01T23:56:49Z 2017-09-01T23:56:49Z Chuang Yen Monastery, Carmel, NY

Thirty-three years living in Westchester County, NY, and I continue to be surprised by how much there is to see in the surrounding area. The Buddhist Association of the United States, Chuang Yen Monastery, located in Carmel, NY, in Putnam County, is just shy of an hour's drive north and slightly west. Fred and I spent time there a week ago, Friday, August 25, walking the grounds and exploring The Great Buddha Hall, where the western hemisphere's largest indoor buddha resides.

Several years ago, when querying friends about interesting places to visit, I received this reply regarding the Monastery: It's not far, the grounds are beautiful and lovely to wander through. The temple is interesting, calming and on the weekends there is an opportunity to join for a vegetarian lunch. It's such a gentle place.

We, too, found the Monastery interesting. However, ten years ago we traveled to Todaiji in Nara, Japan, home of an extremely large bronze statue of the Buddha, which is housed in an extremely large wooden temple. Our expectation for Change Yen was definitely influenced by having our Japanese experience in the back of our minds. As a result, we were underwhelmed by the grounds, even though our friend had described them as "beautiful and lovely to wander through." We did appreciate the calm, and the sense of having stepped into a place that was off the beaten path and seemingly nestled away in the woods. And ultimately we were glad to have visited, to have given our senses a rest from the daily intake of sights and sounds.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1187232 2017-08-29T09:24:35Z 2017-08-29T09:24:35Z Opening Faculty Meetings 2017-18

This was me last year on the second day of opening faculty meetings. And here I am a year later.

This was a fun outfit to put together and, as Sheila often writes, a dress is the easiest item of clothing to style. The sandals are from Land's End several years ago; the sweater from Ann Taylor. Earrings, which you cannot see, are blue and green inlaid on silver drop earrings, a gift from a friend many years ago (maybe 20 years ago!) The bracelet and necklace both are hand beaded and were made in Mexico. The bracelet a gift from my daughter-in-law's sister; the necklace a gift from the sister of a colleague at school. Both are beautifully crafted pieces.

The backpack, a red Mountaintop Kid Backpack, is the same one that each of my grandchildren have (they each have different colours). It is the first backpack I have tried as an adult that actually fits the contours of my back and lands in all the right places. Most adult backpacks tend to be too long or too wide for my shorter torso/back.

And then there is the dress, a simple cotton sleeveless dress that is fitted till the waist and then flows to just the right length. This summer I discovered ModCloth, and this is one of two dresses I purchased. It is comfortable to wear, and I like the easy print and bold blue colour. Am saving the second dress to wear for the first time on my birthday (in November). And then there are the two tops I bought, which will surely make their debuts within the coming days or weeks.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1185125 2017-08-20T13:15:24Z 2017-08-20T15:22:14Z Early Morning Walkers

Earlier this summer I read an article about the beauty and benefits of rising between the hours of 4 and 6 in the morning, not an uncommon occurrence in our house as my husband is up between 4 and 5, and I rise between 4:30 and 5:30. We are avid walkers, though summer's hotter temperatures usually cause us to take a break from long walks. After reading the article, we decided to begin walking early in the morning, starting our day with the sunrise while benefitting from the quiet, calm, cooler hours of the day.

Recently, my favored walking outfit consists of long pants and sleeves to provide protection from early morning hungry insects! Years ago, perhaps in 2008, after his multi-year sojourn in Japan as a student, our older son traveled home via stops in SE Asia. One of the gifts he brought back were these Thai fisherman pants. For awhile they sat in a drawer as I wasn't quite sure what to wear them for or how to wear them. In the past four or so years I discovered how wonderfully comfortable they are for practicing yoga, kayaking, and walking.

As for the glory of mornings, even during winter my husband and I are early risers. We appreciate the quiet and calm before the sun rises, before the neighborhood awakens. In summer we listen to early morning bird song; in winter we cuddle in fleece blankets while reading. Year round, when not walking in the morning, I practice yoga while my husband reads, side-by-side, enjoying the quiet time together.

And now, off I go to join my husband for a kayak! (PS He also has Thai fisherman pants and just this morning decided to finally start wearing them as they are perfect for kayaking.)

Lastly, I am linking to Judith's Style Crone even though I missed the most recent linkup for a Hat Attack. When the next Hat Attack opens I will return to this post and add the link. My hat is from LL Bean, was once my husband's till he bought himself a similar one from some place else, and has been my go-to kayaking hat for the vast majority of our kayaks because it is lightweight, permits air flow, is unsusceptible to salt water, dries quickly, and has a strap that 99 percent of the time keeps the hat on top of my head in stronger winds.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1184836 2017-08-18T23:03:42Z 2017-08-18T23:03:42Z SUP & Lavender Labyrinth

We live on a tidal creek that flows into Mamaroneck Harbor and from there into Long Island Sound. Multiple times this summer I have seen stand up paddleboarders heading out from the Harbor to the Sound. Turns out that SUP Westchester is based in the Harbor at the entrance to Harbor Island Park. I also have a friend in the neighborhood who launches her SUP from her backyard, much like we launch our kayaks from our backyard.

No surprise then, that SUP has been on my "I'd like to try that" list for the past few months. This week I had the delightful opportunity to try SUP at my brother-in-law's home in Lewes, DE, thanks to our niece who keeps her paddleboard at her parent's on their backyard dock. Their backyard abuts a long narrow finger-like branch of a large manmade lake created as a Mill Pond.

Not only did I try SUP and remain upright the entire time, but my husband tried, as well, and had the same satisfying experience. We are both rather pleased with our accomplishments! Okay, so the Mill Pond is quite calm, though filled in places with lily pads. But it wasn't all calm when I first went out!

The sky was cloudy and the forecast was fine, so off I went on the SUP with my sister-in-law joining in a kayak with my niece and her almost 4-year old son in another kayak. We reached the end of the "finger", with my niece having turned around earlier, amidst tiny raindrops. The raindrops began to turn to a light drizzle, then a stronger drizzle. Around this time a flotilla of niece and her son, my husband, and his younger brother joined us, each in their own kayaks. And then the stronger drizzle became rain. Not just simple rain but full force, in your face (and on our eyeglasses) rain, thumping down in large drops that I kept thinking might turn to sleet!

So back we went to the dock, arriving soaked from the rain. And then the sun came out! And it was my husband's turn to try SUB. And off he went, able to explore a bit further in the Mill Pond thanks to the sunshine lighting the way. Would have included a picture of my husband but there wasn't anyone around to take one.

During our visit we saw much of the Lewes-Rehoboth area, including stops at several beaches and swimming in one of them. We also visited Lavender Fields in Milton, DE, where my sister-in-law and I walked their peaceful and calming labyrinth. 

And for posterity, here we are on their back deck, content as can be :-)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1184684 2017-08-18T13:48:51Z 2017-08-18T13:48:52Z Sax Motors Studebaker

Look what we found online!

My Dad's father owned a Studebaker dealership during the 1920s and 30s, as noted by my Dad in his memoires:

My father, as was common in those times, and owning his own business, spent most days at "The Place", which meant the Studabaker car showroom, located a 350 South Broadway, a short walk from the Park Hill Gardens.

[From The Yonkers Herald: First photo "is the exterior of the new car showroom and service station at 350 South Broadway" and the second photo "is an interior view of the same showroom." The exterior looks the same today, many years later, though the interior is now subdivided into multiple stores. There is also a vacant lot to the left of the building, and I wonder if it was used as a driveway in and out of the dealership.]

My Dad did a number of things for me that I never knew about until years later. To allow me to go to summer camp, he paid for it by paying the camp owner in the form of a car. He suffered through the years of financial depression, which contributed to his demise 16 days before his 52nd birthday. He, as others of his age, lived at a time when all the things we now know about healthy eating, exercise, smoking (cigars every day) and other health measures were unknown. These things plus the immense pressures of the 1929 market crash and the great depression of the 30's made Dad and his peers prime candidates for early death due to heart attacks about which doctors knew little. Thus, Dad and I only had 17 years together.

Last week I pulled out a box of clippings and papers stored in our attic, and found what I was looking for – copies of newspaper stories about my grandfather from The Yonkers Herald in the 1930s!

My grandfather was the president of Burton Motors (named for my Dad), located in Manhattan and the Bronx (though the area of the dealership is now part of Yonkers, which is in Westchester County, so perhaps the overriding locale changed over the years.) The images below are photos I took of the newspaper clippings, and the clippings themselves appear to be copies made of the originals.

From The Yonkers Herald, Saturday, January 9, 1932

From The Studebaker News, March 29, 1935
From The Yonkers Herald (date missing from the copy I have); take note of the lower right hand corner blurb; it attracted my attention simply because the paper found it newsworthy (and I took a picture to make it easier to read)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1184674 2017-08-18T12:49:48Z 2017-08-18T12:49:48Z South Broadway, Yonkers, NY

My Dad grew up in Yonkers, NY, a city in Westchester County (though for a long time I thought it was part of the Bronx, and thus part of New York City.) Sometime in the 1970s or 80s my Dad took me on a drive to his former neighborhood. I do not recall much of the sight seeing, but a recent visit caused me to dig out old newspaper clippings about my grandfather and his business.

My Dad and his family lived at 272 S. Broadway in an apartment building named Parkhill Gardens. (These many years later, I teach at a school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. On occasions when the highway is backed up, I exit in Yonkers and take the local roads, not far from my Dad's old haunts.)

Recently I traveled with my older son and grandchildren to scope out the apartment building as well as the location, a few blocks south, of the Studebaker dealership owned and managed by my Dad's father.

Of the three photos below, the two without the street entrance were taken on our visit. The one showing the arch from the street is from a Redfin real estate page. The Redfin page answered a question I had, which was curiosity over the street level entrance. On my recent visit, that lovely arch was no longer in place. Instead there is a white metal arched gate that appears to get locked in the evenings, a different set of steps leading to up the building's courtyard, and a small elevator on the right to permit access for anyone unable to navigate the steps.

In his 1995 single-spaced, typed memoire, here is how my Dad described the building.

They were called the roaring 20's, but by the time we hit the 30's, the market crashed and the great depression took over. The family was living in Yonkers, NY, and my Dad ran the Studebaker auto dealership there. We lived in a brand new apartment house on the 4th floor. Every apt. had a "dumb waiter" (a shaft that had ropes that went to the top floor into which each family could access by opening a door.) Newspapers could be placed in the dumb waiter and at the appointed time, with the signal of a bell a worker in the basement would pull on the ropes and pull down the papers to be discarded. Our Apt. house was called The Parkhill Gardens (272 So. Broadway).

We lived in the ParkHill Gardens for about 8 years, moving to a rented house at 68 Ridge Road. That move took us to the Park Hill section of town and a new school. [You can learn more about the Park Hill section of Yonkers here and here.]

In 1934 after 5 years in our house, we moved back to the Park Hill Gardens into the same size apartment and wing that we had been in before, being on the 6th floor in place of the 4th … The "Great Depression" took it's toll on many, including our family. My parents were suffering the same financial strains that everyone else was experiencing, but I at 9 years old was blissfully unaware of these events.

Indelibly etched in my mind is a story my Dad shared of antics on the roof. My Dad and his two cousins (siblings around the same age as my Dad, and whose family also lived at 272 So. Broadway) would scamper to the roof of their apartment building and toss water balloons down on unsuspecting pedestrians. However, no fun deed goes unnoticed by neighbors, and upon descending back to their apartments they were reprimanded by their mothers. Having visited the building, I think the "roof" in reference is the area directly over the storefronts, rather than the roof above the top floor of the building.

The picture below is of my Dad and the two cousins noted above. The photo was taken by Ada, my Dad's mother, "from the roof top building at 272, South Broadway, Yonkers, N.Y., shortly after the return of Burt [right], Paul [left] and Harvey [center] after 'all the boys' came home" from World War II. 
tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1183268 2017-08-13T16:34:12Z 2017-08-13T16:34:12Z a Documentary

Last week I met one of the two young women who produced this documentary and did the interviews. It is a poignant, relevant and important 20 minute film focused on opiate addiction in Mason County in the state of Washington. While this particular story is a local one, the topic is a national one. 

"Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody, or they really don't know that they know somebody that is affected by this epidemic."

"You've got to have support of law enforcement, you've got to have support of city management, you have to have support of community groups."

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1183261 2017-08-13T16:15:46Z 2017-08-18T23:46:15Z Pizza

There is no pizza better than one handmade at home by people who know how to make pizza. About two years ago my husband began making homemade pizza using a vegan crust and making three pizzas – one with mozzarella, one with tofu (for the Vegans and cholesterol watchers in our home), and one mini marinara pizza for our grandchildren. The result was tasty and became quite yummy when he made some subtle changes to how he prepared and cooked the dough. Our taste buds agreed he had mastered the art of pizza making.

Last week we had two professional pizza makers visiting from Olympia, WA, where they make pizzas at Vic's Pizzeria. Not one, not two, not three, but four pizzas did this duo make for our group of eight, each pizza as good as the other. (Okay pizza makers, if my count is off, please let me know!) 

Pizza making tips from the pros:

  • use plenty of flour (even more than Fred typically uses) so the dough does not stick to the large wood pizza spatula 
  • and the flour can be cornmeal instead of flour 
  • use hands instead of a rolling pin to form the pizza shape
  • start with a ball of dough, flatten with palms, then use fingers to roll out the dough in a circle (I have video of Katryna doing this but haven't yet figured how to export from my phone and upload to here)
  • if the dough rips, use your fingers to "glue" it back together
  • bake in a 500° oven (they started with a higher temperature and then decided to turn it down; it cooks in a 600° oven at Vic's)

Katryna showed us a video taken by her Mom of her flipping a pizza dough three times high above her head as the dough spread out in a circle, growing in circumference with each toss in preparation for making a large pizza.

Definitely a fun experience watching the entire pizza prep! And the pizzas were delicious, each topped with different combinations of spinach, Shitake mushrooms, avocado, homegrown tomatoes, onion, mozzarella, tofu, cashews, red peppers, and broccoli. (Did I leave anything out?)

Pizza accompanied by Jacques Brehl, what could be better!

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1183248 2017-08-13T15:35:45Z 2017-08-13T17:12:55Z Nail Polishing - saga and success

On what looked to become a rainy summer afternoon, I checked with my daughter-in-law to see if it would be okay for my  granddaughter (almost 5) to have her toenails polished. My thought was we would walk to town and purchase some polish. This is when I learned about Piggy Polish, a less odorous brand that was suitable for children and adults. My granddaughter and I walked the 1.3 miles to town and purchased two polishes and polish remover. Then the saga began.

As we walked home, my granddaughter dragged the paper bag along the grassy area by the sidewalk. Two blocks later I noticed the bag was wet and when we investigated, the bag had a small hole. At that point, we should have looked in the bag! Alas, we continued on our journey and upon returning home went to show our stash to her Mom. Oh dear, one bottle of polish was missing! Despite me and then both of us retracing our steps, we never located the bottle of polish that had escaped thru the small hole in the wet bag.

We soon moved on to other activities, including conjuring up multiple stories about the adventures the escaped polish was having, and I put the remaining bottle of polish in a safe place where it would be available to us when we decided to polish our nails. Days passed. Rain came. We decided to polish our nails. Uh oh, where could that one bottle be? We searched, asked others in the house, all to no avail – the bottle was lost. We sighed and went about our day.

A few weeks later my daughter-in-law surprised us with a 4-pack of Piggy Polish. Yippee! My granddaughter polished my toenails and I followed suit polishing hers the same colours; a few weeks later we repeated the process. 

During the last week of family visits, Katryna asked if the three of us would like to have our nails done, so off we went to Pristine Nail & Spa where we each received a manicure. This was easily my first manicure in more years than I can recall, and it was a special treat for each of us - Katryna because she has a job in food service and cannot wear nail polish at work, my granddaughter because it was her first time in a salon (and she handled it with finesse as if she was a long time patron), and me because I satisfied two interests – French Manicure and a picture on my thumb nails. The pictures tell the story. :-)

We had a delightful time (Thank you Katryna :-)) and then headed off for a second treat at Chocolations only to discover they were closed, perhaps just as well as we had a tasty dessert planned for after dinner that evening.


As of yesterday evening all our family and friends have departed for their homes. In cleaning up (not much to do since everyone had already done laundry and vacuuming before they left - thank you all!) look what I discovered on the shelf behind our bed. Ah, the most obvious of spots and one I never checked. The missing bottle of Piggy Polish!

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1183237 2017-08-13T15:35:27Z 2017-08-18T13:52:23Z Summertime 2017

As a school teacher, I have long enjoyed gloriously relaxing summers. In my early years of teaching I typically taught during part of the summer, but in the past six years I have savored up to twelve weeks of work-free vacation filled with relaxation. Relaxation, even during summers when I worked, is swimming, kayaking, reading, one or two weeks vacationing elsewhere (Cape Cod; Maine road trips; visits to Olympia, WA to visit our younger son), taking workshops, seeing family near and far, and indulging in pastimes or whatever tickles my fancy without the constraints of time.

This summer was a glorious hodgepodge of nine weeks of non-stop houseguests! The constant was our older son, his wife and their two children. During the first five weeks our visitors also included my daughter-in-law's mother, and then her father joining us for the last of those five weeks. The following three weeks we settled into a household of six. And the final week was hands down the most heart warming week of all, as our younger son and his girlfriend flew in from Washington State. It had been almost two years since my family was last together, and the reunion was all the sweeter as it provided ample time for reconnecting, and for our grandchildren to get to know their uncle and he to get to know them.

Summer highlights…

  • Stamford Museum and Nature Center
  • Greenburgh Nature Center (amazed it took till being a grandparent to visit!)
  • Tibbetts Brook Park (twice! and see the end of this post for my almost-86 year old Aunt's recollections of when she and my Mom went to Tibbetts Brook!)
  • Rye Playland (where I made a goof and went on a ride with my grandchildren and agreed completely when my 28 month old grandson said "Grandma, this is dizzy!)
  • games of Hearts with the Olympia contingent
  • lunches and a dinner at Sal's Pizza (especially when my daughter-in-law's parents were here, including multiple stops for Sal's devilishly rich gelatto)
  • delicious family meals, including pizza by the pros! (all but one cooked at home, and almost all eaten on our deck)
  • lots of conversations, some in French (with my daughter-in-law's Mom, who also speaks English so we both were able to practice our conversational language)
  • a kayak or two with our grandchildren
  • Nail Polishing
  • plenty of visits to Mamaroneck and Harrison Libraries
  • having my younger son and his girlfriend practice yoga in two sessions that I led (he followed my journey to becoming a yoga teacher with encouragement and support)
  • long mornings spent on the beach at Rye Town Park (where we discovered we are considered Seniors - 62+ - and each purchased a 20 dollar pass providing unlimited free parking and beach access)
  • numerous (some weeks daily) afternoons at our neighborhood pool and beach
  • occasional bicycle riding, with our granddaughter graduating from her balance bike to a larger bicycle with pedals
  • walks to CVS, Lord's Farm and Mangone's, all less than a mile from our home
  • with my older son and grandchildren, visiting the neighborhood in Yonkers, NY where my father grew up in the 1920s and 1930s (my Dad lived at 272 S. Broadway [more on the visit here] and his Dad owned the Studebaker dealership [more on that here] just a few blocks south at 350 S. Broadway) followed by brunch at The Corner Cafe
  • going with my grandchildren and son to attend his graduation after three summers/two years of study with the Montessori Training Center Northeast in Hartford, CT (Master's of Education studies and AMI Primary Training certification; AMI is Association Montessori International), and while there visiting the home in West Hartford where my husband lived for many years (that's the house, below)

At times my husband and I felt wiped out by day's end, sometimes even before day's end! We found ourselves having to acknowledge our energy depletion, both physical and mental. Eventually, when our son's four weeks of studies were completed and he was no longer spending Mondays thru Fridays in Hartford, our days found a summer mellowness. We quickly saw that having Papa home provided a consistency and stability that two sets of grandparents, despite our collective best intentions (or perhaps because of best intentions ;-)), were not providing, and the consistency and stability resulted in fresh reserves of energy for Fred and me.

What brought our family to spend nine weeks with us (and ten weeks next summer!)? Our daughter-in-law is studying for her AMI Assistants to Infancy certification, and the program is based in New York City, just a 40 minute train ride from Mamaroneck.

We have had priceless time with the people we love. We have glowed in the gathering of our two sons and the people they care about. Happy Sighs. 


My Aunt Joan's memory of going to Tibbetts Brook Park:

Memories.  We used to go to Tibbetts Brook for canoes and swims.  Lived in the Bronx but probably wasn't for Westchester residents only or had to pay an admission.

You can tell this to A. & E.  Go back 80 plus years.  I figure I was about 4 or 5.  Mother packed salami sandwiches and we would pick nick and eat lst.  Then, because old fashioned idea of don't go in water till1hr. After you eat, my dad would take out a canoe.  Eileen and myself went with him - of course only one who could swim and not well at all was dad.  No such things as life vests or rules in those days.  My mother would sit and watch and worry.  One day she realized that if the three of us went under she would be frightfully upset - but she still never got into the boat.

Then into the most gosh awful ugly suits for swim time.  We had to wear sneakers so as not to get germs on feet - ha! And also walk through a foot bath/basin of disinfectant (with the sneakers on) when leaving dressing room.  There were fountains spaced out in the pool and kids had a lot of fun under them.  Men wore bathing suits with tops to cover the chest.   We were only kids wearing sneakers - mother was super cautious. I think bathing suits were wool.  Women wore heavens knows what - maybe there was a corset built in, I remember a lot of hooks.  Sorry, no pictures from that era but I recall it vividly, especially asking "Is the hr. Up yet" because swim time was the main attraction.

You mentioned it and brought back memories.  Now you're taking your grandchildren to the same place.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1168894 2017-06-29T18:26:11Z 2017-06-29T18:27:55Z Niece's High School Celebration Luncheon

This past Sunday we were guests at a luncheon to celebrate our niece's graduation from high school. This was an informal luncheon in a lovely location – a second story outdoor, covered deck overlooking Plandome Bay on Long Island Sound. The weather was glorious, and across the Sound we could see a small flash of rain, right over the area where we live.

At first I was going to wear a new dress with these wonderful shoes. After seeking my husband's opinion, I thought a different dress might work better, but he had the same reaction. Last change was to switch to pants. Then there was the small matter of which top to wear. The one I wound up with was the third option. And all that mulling over of an outfit paid off handsomely as I received multiple complements on my outfit, including one woman who went deliciously gaga over the whole ensemble. And of course, the shoes remained the same throughout all the clothing switches. Scroll down to see the completed outfit from head to toe.

I rarely receive such effusive complements, let alone quantity of positive comments, so all that mulling over was well worth it because I felt like the proverbial "million bucks" and apparently I looked it, as well! I've long believed that if you feel good about how you look then you will shine and others will feel you look wonderful. 

The handsome gentleman with me is my best friend and love of my life, my husband of 39 years (though if you count how long we've known each other, it's closer to 45 years!)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1168888 2017-06-29T18:12:24Z 2017-06-29T18:36:13Z 1 Year Yoga Anniversary!

On June 23rd we celebrated 1 year of yoga at my neighborhood community center. It was an especially heart warming celebration for me because I am the person who teaches/leads our yoga practice. Indeed, just days earlier I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of becoming certified as a yoga teacher.

To commemorate our yoga community, I suggested we have a breakfast celebration following our 8:00 to 9:00 morning practice. Here I am nibbling on a homemade cookie and standing next to our table of communal goodies. And below that you can see all the treats, many of which were homemade. I contributed apple cider and homemade vegan granola bars from the minimlaistbaker.com. I have been searching for such a bar for months, having followed at least three or four other recipes but never liking the texture of the finished bar. This one was perfect! (And I had the added delight of making them with my grandchildren!!)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1156949 2017-05-24T10:42:19Z 2017-05-24T10:42:19Z 2 Day Yoga Workshop

I have taken two days off from school to attend a Restorative Yoga Level 1 Teacher Training in Westport, CT at Kaia Yoga. This will be my third workshop with Jillian Pransky and I am eager and ready for this next level in my training and learning.

Stephanie of Sound Body Yoga is my friend and fellow yogi who encouraged me to pursue my 200-hour teacher certification. Among other modalities, she is trained in restorative yoga, having taken her training with Jillian Pranksy. I am an admirer of Stephanie's approach to teaching and how she leads her classes, so it made perfect sense to pursue my training in restorative with Jillian.

This is what I looked like yesterday morning before leaving for the first day of the workshop. This isn't posted for a fashion statement; just as visual reminder for me in years to come when I glance thru my blog posts. :-) The only fashion note is the skirt, purchased from Athleta online last year as a birthday gift so as to have a cover when needing to wear my yoga clothing out in public beyond just a quick entry or exit from a place of practice. Turns out I did not need to wear the skirt, but given that my drive would be on the highway, about 35 minutes in light traffic, I'd much rather have the skirt on if I needed to exit my car.

Come to think of it, for sentimental reasons the yoga top and leggings are also worth noting. The leggings were a gift from a colleague at the beginning of my first year (five years ago) at the school where I currently teach. She retired at the end of the year, but not before enlivening my life with her personal stories. French by birth, she lived in the U.S. and returned to France every year, which is where these leggings came from. The leggings are all cotton and as comfortable as can be, and she kindly gifted me two leggings, both the same color.

My top is by lululemon. My Mom died in 2010 and had wanted to be cremated. On the day I picked up her ashes I determined to bolster my spirits in some manner. As it turned out, I was driving past a lululemon store and decided to go in and see what all the fuss was about, lululemon at the time being a popular yoga brand. I wound up purchasing this top and a pair of capri gray bottoms. The top turned out to be comfortable, easy to move in, and long-lived (it's going on 7 years and still in good condition). The bottoms I do not wear that often as they are only comfortable at the end of the summer and early fall, when my weight is 5 pounds less than it is by the end of the winter! 

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1154542 2017-05-16T21:09:11Z 2017-05-16T21:11:31Z Blue on Deck

These Land's End seersucker shorts may not be the *most* flattering on my belly, but they are fun to style, quite comfortable to wear, and appropriate for work. I wore them not too long ago with a pink-purple top and sweater and below is today's style.

Given what I did at school today (climbing on a stool to stand upon a counter to tack numerous items to a wall that was all cork), I couldn't have dressed more efficiently except, perhaps, for wearing sneakers!

A sure sign that spring has arrived is the green of the grasses upon the marsh and the lushness of the trees. In the earlier photo there is still brown upon the marsh.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1150978 2017-05-02T10:09:15Z 2017-05-12T18:15:38Z Hat Attack!

I have always liked this style of hat. This particular hat was a gift from our daughter-in-law to my husband. It was handmade in Ecuador, where she, our son and granddaughter lived for almost two years. They spread their time between Quito (where her sister lives with her family), Ibarra, and their home in the Chota Valley. (Our son blogged about their experience at living off the grit.) I was also the recipient of a multi-colored wide-brimmed hat, and am laughing now because either my head has expanded or the hat has shrunk, but my husband's hat fits my head more comfortably than my hat.

I also quite liked this outfit, and tried to persuade my husband to take a second picture to highlight what was under the much-loved Gap jean jacket, but as you can see, I did not prevail! To accompany the beige (off-white?) straight-legged pants from H&M was a gray Gap ribbed tank top, over which was a short sleeve, V-neck, yellow and gray striped Gap tee-shirt, and over that was a light weight gray button down Gap sweater, in case extra warmth was needed. 

The green patterned scarf comes from Brugge in Belgium, purchased in 2007 when we traveled to Europe to see our son (who popped over for 8 weeks while he was living in Japan) and meet his then-girlfriend (now our daughter-in-law, they met in Japan, both being on the same language immersion program at the Yamasa Institute) and her family, (her Dad is Belgian and her Mom is Peruvian.) Long distance, cross-continent romances run in this family. :-))

Am wearing currently favored gold colored earrings, and silver and gold bracelet from The Turnover Shop, and lotus flower necklace, a gift from a friend (and the person who encouraged me to be on this journey) in honor of my 200-hr yoga teacher certification last June.

Hooking up with Judith Boyd's Hat Attack on The Style Crone. I am an admirer when it comes to Judith's blog. Her elegance as a writer, dresser, and artist is always inspirational, and reading her posts is soothing while also being creatively stimulating.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1150216 2017-04-29T01:15:46Z 2017-04-29T01:16:34Z Classily mature

I felt classically mature Thursday morning in this outfit! Sweater is by the Gap, pants are Talbots from years (and I mean years!) ago, and art tee is Land's End. Shoes are the amazing character shoes by Capezio. Orange earrings are a gift from my daughter-in-law (which her sister brought from Ecuador, where she lives.) I've always thought it was amazing how a simple sweater (or jean jacket) can pull an outfit together. Simple. Grown-up. Comfortable. And the day ended in sunshine. :-)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1149771 2017-04-27T11:13:37Z 2017-04-27T11:17:32Z Mid-week

Yesterday was Wednesday, what we sometimes call "hump day" for being the middle of the week. This has been a week of overcast and drizzly days, continuing as I write this Thursday morning before school. The temperature has been slowly rising, making it easier to go without socks, for instance.

I wore an international outfit Wednesday - tunic purchased in Belgium from the Spanish shop Desigual, French Souleiado leggings given to me years ago (at last 15) by a British-French friend, silk scarf gifted from my younger son on a trip to Laos, and Belgian-bought and gifted to me blue Hush Puppies. (WHY are the Hush Puppy styles different in Europe from the styles in America?! I much prefer the European heels and styles.)

And I wore a sentimental outfit Wednesday - lace tank top, turquoise necklace and turquoise-silver bracelet were my Mom's, turquoise earrings are gifted from my older son. Only non-international, non-sentimental piece is my Gap polka-dot sweater.

My husband (kind photographer even when I may forget to give him credit :-)) and I continue to giggle over some of my "poses" such as the one of me without a sweater or scarf. I think just plain "standing" is not my cup of tea, and much prefer the pictures of me when I am doing something with my body beyond a simple standing in place. Hence, I prefer the sweater picture. :-)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1149034 2017-04-24T23:39:18Z 2017-04-24T23:39:18Z April Overcast

Wearing my hair pulled back with a kerchief as a headband has always reminded me of I Love Lucy episodes. I sometimes think my inner style maven is 1950s, which would make sense as I was born in 1954 and grew up admiring my mother's outfits of the 50s and 60s.

The day was damp with a chill in the air, and after a weekend of wearing pants and sweatshirt snuggling on Saturday, all I wanted to do was wear a dress. Tomorrow the forecast is for chillier and much damper (think: rain) weather, so it may be pants but either way I get to wear my new polka dot boots (gotta have something to keep the spirits up!)

I have had this patterned Eddie Bauer leaf dress for probably 15 or 20 years. It has held up wonderfully thru machine washing and on-hanger air drying. Being it is sleeveless, I am wearing a J.Jill short sleeve green tee underneath and J.Jill knitted bolero-type sweater on top. Grey leggings by Uniqlo.

Turquoise earrings a gift from my older son about five years ago, blue and green stone bracelet a gift, also about five years ago, from a friend of my younger son's, and lotus flower necklace a gift from a friend in celebration of my 200-hour yoga teacher graduation last June.

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1148633 2017-04-23T18:04:49Z 2017-04-23T23:40:44Z Smoothie - Kale & Friends

Last week I had my annual ob-gyn check-up. My most wonderful (I have always had kudos for this doctor) gynecologist recommended the following smoothie, which she has almost daily.

  • Kale
  • frozen or fresh strawberries
  • frozen or fresh blueberries
  • frozen or fresh blackberries (basically, any berries can be added)
  • coconut or almond milk (I currently use almond)
  • almond butter
  • apple (optional)
  • flax seed
  • and I add tumeric

The main point of this smoothie is to blend into one delectable drink calcium-rich kale and those ingredients that help with calcium absorption. Quantities are to suit one's taste for flavor and consistency. I was initially surprised by the lack of yogurt and banana, both staples of the smoothies I indulged in every day for many years, and was delighted to discover they weren't necessary for making a smoothie. (I stopped the yogurt and banana in order to cut back on sugars and dairy as a means of naturally managing hereditary cholesterol levels. And guess what – success!)

tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1148586 2017-04-23T16:07:42Z 2017-04-23T16:09:49Z March with me, I'll march with you…

March with me, I'll march with you, and so we will march together, as we march along
For we are marching for our basic rights, our basic rights, our basic rights
For we are marching for our basic rights, our basic rights, Hooray!

That's a paraphrase of a song I used to sing in camp, and it explains my participation in two marches (so far) since January 1st of this year. The first march was the Women's March, and I was one of over 400,000 (and some numbers suggest close to 500,000) people who marched in New York City the day after Mr Trump was inaugurated as President. I marched in solidarity for multiple causes to show my support and as a way to cope with my demoralization. My fear then, and still is, that basic human rights, health care, and social policies will be eroded – drastically eroded – under the current administration.

I marched this past Saturday in Philadelphia, along with 125,000 others, in support of Science. Heck, I am a S.T.E.A.M. Integrator (Science Technology Engineering, the Arts, Math), so I marched to practice what I preach, and to express the need for policy makers to incorporate fact-based, peer-reviewed Science into their decision making process.

In both cases, I felt it was simply important to stand up and be counted. A silent majority is a DOA majority; if we do not speak up and out, if we do not become involved and engaged, then we are, in essence, rolling over and saying "kick me", and that isn't my style.

Women's march pictures (I marched with numerous neighbors)

Science march pictures (I marched with my husband and his brother)
This last picture is of a mural on the side of a building just off South Street in Philadelphia. I was struck by the amazing juxtaposition of tile and paint and perhaps other elements. I took the picture rather quickly and did not spend time up close feeling the mural.