tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:/posts On Out & About 2018-04-19T10:18:51Z tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1273321 2018-04-16T09:24:12Z 2018-04-19T10:18:51Z Because it happened

Tuesday, April 10, a fire broke out in a row of eight row homes in Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland. Thankfully, there were no injuries. Alas, one of the row homes is our son's and daughter-in-law's. It has been a surreal week, to say the least. I debated about putting this out here, but then, as the post's title says, because it happened…because it happened it needs to be acknowledged. I am learning that from yoga. The article below comes from The Baltimore Sun

The latest news, almost a week later, is the City of Baltimore is going to tear down what remains because the roof no longer exists for any of the eight homes, there is extensive water damage, and there were no fire walls between the homes, this being an 1880 building that was subdivided inside at some point, likely before there was a fire code stipulating the need for fire walls. 

There was a helicopter and news live feed as the fire was burning, and while my husband and I were watching we had to smile at one point because who should be interviewed but our daughter-in-law's father. His presence on film was so unexpected, and he was so true to himself in the interview, that we found a reason for a smile amidst everything that was going on.

And one last comment, thank goodness for homeowner's insurance. At the most pressing moments the assistance is the most needed. Friends (classmate of our granddaughter's) put our son and his family up for the rest of the week so the children could continue attending school. And a representative from the insurance company arrived the evening of the fire, presented our son with a debit card for necessities, found them a short term rental (at Home 2 Suites, which is like a hotel but with some kitchen amenities), and has found them a long term rental where they anticipate moving today or tomorrow.  [4/19/18 UPDATE - After 6 nights in the hotel, today they move into a long term rental that is 1.5 miles from their house.] My heart goes out to the renters who lived in some of the row homes, as my understanding is some did not have renter's insurance. The community of Hampden is rallying around any of the folks who need assistance. 

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Talia RichmanTalia Richman, Contact Reporter, The Baltimore Sun

A two-alarm fire heavily damaged as many as eight rowhouses in Hampden Tuesday.

About 70 first responders with the Baltimore Fire Department arrived at the blaze in the 3900 block of Roland Ave. just before noon, said department spokeswoman Blair Skinner. By 3 p.m., the fire was contained.

The fire started in the area just below the roof in one of the rowhouses and spread down the block. There were no injuries, Skinner said.

"Because of the intensity of the fire and the heavy wind conditions, it just spread down the row," she said.

The investigation into the cause is ongoing, Skinner said.

In aftermath of Hampden fire residents assess loss of some memories revival of others

Roughly an hour after the first call, heavy smoke and fire were visible from the roofs of about a dozen homes. Most residents evacuated on their own, though firefighters had to rescue some people and pets.

Amy Miller and her three siblings grew up on this block, in the rowhouse with octagon windows at the center of the line of burning homes.

Four of her family members still live there, including her 71-year-old mother, who had to be evacuated in her wheelchair with the help of firefighters. Miller rushed to the scene from Dundalk as soon as she heard about it on the news.

"Years and years of memories are gone," she said. "This house was our foundation."

Still, she said, she feels lucky her family members and their puppy made it out of the home without injuries.

"We can get another house," said Miller, 31. "I can't get another mom."

Oscar Decombel, 69, is visiting from Brussels, Belgium, and housesitting for his son-in-law, whose home caught on fire. He stood with his wife and a group of other neighborhood residents behind police caution tape, across the street from his son-in-law's burning home.

He watched as powerful hoses sent water across the smoking roof and into open windows, blasting pieces of the structure into the air. He and his wife had evacuated more than an hour earlier and had begun thinking about where they'll spend the night.

Decombel comes to visit from Brussels a couple times a year, often helping his son-in-law fix up the house. He recently replaced the carpet with hardwood floors.

"That will be ruined," he said. "We'll have to start all over again."

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke stopped by Tuesday evening to survey the damage and meet with residents. Red notices were affixed to several front doors declaring the structures “Condemned.”

“We have a lot of work to do,” Clark said. But at least, she noted, everyone got out safely. “Even the pets.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Christina Tkacik contributed to this article.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1264864 2018-03-24T20:42:18Z 2018-03-25T14:48:52Z #MarchForOurLives
This afternoon, on a gloriously sunny Saturday, we marched in our local neighborhood. Gathering with some 2,000 others at our MS/HS campus, we then trekked to our upper elementary school, followed by walking past our lower elementary school on our way to Florence Park. (image above thanks to mailing list shared by a neighbor)

Unlike the two January marches (2017 and this year), this march had a different vibe, partially because of its size but more so because it was local. It was my husband, our neighbor across the street and her daughter, our neighbors one block away and their children, our neighbor five houses away, our former neighbors (now in another neighborhood), another neighbor from our block and his daughter and their dog, a neighbor "up the hill" a few blocks away…and so on. Like many of the small town marches that took place today around the country, this was a march of regular people in small communities who share a belief that our children should be safe and our politicians should be responsible and take action.

This is not a democrat or republican issue; this is a family, people, human issue.

Students were handing out orange "tickets." Take a look. I asked one student what the $1.05 represented. He responded: That's the amount per student in Florida that Florida State Senator Marco Rubio has received from the NRA. Imagine.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1264822 2018-03-24T17:06:49Z 2018-03-24T17:06:50Z Fond Farewell to Flannels

My flannel lined Land's End jeans have saved me, probably for 15 years, from freezing during long winter walks. Alas, they were bound to wear out. About a year or two ago I tried to replace them, sampling flannel lined jeans from Land's End and LLBean. All were stiff and too high waisted, none were comfortable. I know that denim softens up with repeated washing and wearing, but was not prepared to go through that process again.

This year I had no choice but to finally bid a fond farewell to those flannels. There were too many holes – in both knees, under both rear pockets, and at both sitz bones, along with extensive fraying at the hem of both legs. The first three photos show the truth in my claim!

A few days ago I began the search for new flannel lined jeans, first looking at, and deciding against, Land's End and LLBean. Then a light bulb went off – instead of going with the knowns, just type in a search for womens flannel lined jeans. And look what I found! Eddie Bauer Women's Boyfriend Flannel-Lined Jeans on sale for a substantially lower price than otherwise. You can see them in the last two photos. An added perk is they actually are a whole lot less baggy, indeed they are not baggy at all, than my previous flannels. Am wearing them now as I type this post, and besides being warm and comfortable, for the first time I don't feel like a stuffed panda in them! Yippee for flannels that fit my frame!

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1264817 2018-03-24T16:44:05Z 2018-03-24T16:47:32Z First look at the Behomoth

The mighty oak was felled this past Fall. A magnificent tree, close to or just past 100 years old, was cut down to make way for a developer-built home, better known as a spec-house.

Here we are months later, having just entered Spring, and the spec-house is rising. This is the view from one of our living room windows. Yes, Spring was ushered in with snow. This new house will be 4,000 square feet; more than twice the size of our home.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1264028 2018-03-22T11:39:09Z 2018-03-24T16:48:39Z Spring 2018

I know it has snowed in Springs past, having always been on Spring break during the last two weeks of March (that's when independent schools tend to have vacation, rather than one week in February and one in April.) I can recall one Spring taking our young sons to Washington D.C. amidst snow, and one Spring hoping to begin gardening only to be foiled by snow (hmm, just like this one!)

Here, for posterity, is this morning's scene, snow begun yesterday and continued through the night. This is the view from our kitchen window; the colors are a reflection of the light sculpture made by my husband which sits atop a shelf over the refrigerator. Our backyard abuts the Westchester Land Trust property of Otter Creek and surrounding salt marsh (formerly Nature Conservancy property.)

There's about 8 inches on the street side. This photo was taken early in the morning looking diagonally across the street. Our red cars are in the driveway..



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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1241961 2018-02-02T17:05:49Z 2018-02-02T19:34:22Z In Pursuit of Silence

My husband and I ventured out on a weeknight last night to our local Emelin Theatre for a Larchmont-Mamaroneck Center for Continuing Education screening of the movie In Pursuit of Silence. The film explores the human relationship with and response to silence. It is a film of inspiring images and interesting interviews, which made me think about the beauty and importance of stepping away from the "noise" of a busy life and into the refined silence of the natural world around me. 

Is silence the absence of sound? Or is it the absence of noise? Or something else?

At the conclusion of the screening we were invited to remain seated for approximately 20 minutes and participate in a video chat with the director and producer who were out west in California (we were in New York). Moderated by Cheryl Brause of 2bpresent, we learned that the young man in the film who took a vow of silence and walked across the country from Nashua, NH to San Francisco, CA, was intercepted by the filmmakers during the last portion of his journey. They had heard about the young man thru an acquaintance of the producer and were eager to learn more about him.

The director contacted the young man's family and were told that the young man's father was able to track his son's progress by logging in to his credit card account to see where charges were being made. The father gave the last known contact information to the director, who then headed with his crew to the convenience store. Making inquires at the store led the crew to attempt to track the young man which, somewhat to their amazement, they successfully did in a relatively short time.

The young man, who appears in the film several times, hand wrote his responses (in a lovely print that I admired). The director told us that to be respectful of the young man's vow, the director decided to hand write his questions. Soon thereafter, the young man explained via a note that it was not necessary to hand write questions, that the vow was taken by him and not by the director, and that it would be more expedient for the director to verbally pose the questions.

The audience was curious to know if the director knew what happened after the young man arrived at his journey. It turns out, he decided to rest briefly and then begin his return by walking back home to Nashua.



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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1240445 2018-01-30T22:00:43Z 2018-01-30T22:00:43Z Quite the Excitement.

My nephew (my brother's son) is a pilot and a flight instructor. Yesterday he had quite the excitement, giving his family quite the excitement. 

That is my nephew in the light gray sweatshirt and that is the plane that he landed after a mechanical failure in the engine. Nobody was injured, which is why there was quite the excitement. Not the "yippee" kind of excitement but the kind that you really don't want to have to have, but if you have to have it at least it has a positive resolution. Whew.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1240437 2018-01-30T21:42:56Z 2018-01-30T21:42:56Z Given the Boot

Given the boot, hmm, well, given the fact that I already had two pairs of boots, perhaps it is a bit over indulgent to now have three pairs of boots. I'm not talking about snow boots or rain boots (I have both of those, as well.) I'm talking about leather boots. I went from 12+ years of non-leather (a $39 purchase) boots that eventually gave out after multiple repairs to within the past year having three pairs of leather boots. It does sound indulgent, I admit.

However, the first pair was purchased upon the demise of the $39 pair, one knee-high substituted for another knee-high. The second pair was purchased in Baltimore this past fall, striking, slightly higher than ankle height, dress boots. And the third pair were a gift, sort of. A colleague at school had purchased them and they turned out to be a size too large. After I complemented the boots, she suggested she should give them to me if they fit me better than they fit her. Well, they did fit me better, so she gave them to me to try out and I wore them for a weekend and decided the fit was perfect and the wearing of them quite comfortable. However, my conscience wouldn't let me just take them since they did cost her money and she was intending to replace them in the proper size. So they became mine for half the original price. Considering they had been worn perhaps five times, it was a win-win for both of us.

Along with the boots, the outfit received several complements, most likely due to the way all the various patterns of blue – in the dress, long sleeve top, leggings, boots and earrings – blended in harmony. 

And the light on the right – that's the newest light sculpture by my husband. It is a prototype for a light he is planning on creating for my Aunt. (Good thing she doesn't know about this blog, so the surprise has not been spilt!)

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1239007 2018-01-28T00:05:55Z 2018-01-30T21:53:12Z The C.I.A. (not THAT one, the OTHER one!)

Delightful outing to Poughkeepsie today to meet Ann and Ave at the C.I.A. – the Culinary Institute of America. We had lunch at the American Bounty Restaurant, one of many restaurants operated by the students as part of the C.I.A. Restaurant Group. The meal, service, and ambiance were delicious, friendly, and unhurried, causing us all to agree we would eagerly return to try out another restaurant.

The menus change regularly to reflect seasonal and local offerings. For today's lunch Fred and I had:

Cannellini Ricotta Ravioli - Acorn Squash, Pecan Crumb, Carrot Emulsion

Pan-Seared King Salmon - PEI Mussels, Sunchokes, Baby Artichokes, Saffron Cream

Grilled Meiller Farm Striploin - Sweet Potato Purée, Heirloom Baby Carrots and Turnips, Black Garlic Jus

Pumpkin Panna Cotta - Poached Pears, Spiced Oat Crumble, Pear Sorbe

Spiced Pineapple Napoleon - Coconut Meringues, Rum Ice Cream

Hot Scotch - Hot Chocolate, Kahlua, Dewar’s Scotch Whiskey, Whipped Cream (minus the Whiskey at my request!)

The first image is the Napoleon (Fred's), the second is a Chocolate Tart (Ann's) and the third is the Panna Cotta (mine).

And now for the people pictures, with thanks to Ann for the one of Fred and me with our desserts!

Afterwards we perused the gift shop and then headed off to visit The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar. We were all quite bowled over at the gallery's impressive art collection and particularly appreciated the lightness and brightness of the gallery, and the manner in which the various works of art were grouped together. The art was varied and included a large number of well known artists that we hadn't anticipated seeing. Much like the restaurant at the C.I.A., the gallery offered a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that added to the positive experience of the space. (Again, thanks to Ann for these pictures.)

Just a few steps away was the Main Library, another interior that wowed us both for the extensive collection as well as for the interior layout and light, bright settings. We four all found it interesting that in our many years of living just 90 minutes away, and in having college age children at one point in our lives, Vassar never crossed our line of reference. The college was a pleasant discovery as adults in our 60s! (Yup, thanks to Ann for this collection of photos from the Library!)

I leave you with this photo of Spring from one of the pieces at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.


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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1238382 2018-01-26T18:21:48Z 2018-01-27T23:29:33Z 2018 Women's March Last year's hat, this year's March! (And this year's best marching buddy ever!)

Last January I marched in the 2017 NYC Women's March. Fast forward to this January, where just this past Saturday Fred and I marched in the 2018 NYC Women's March. Both marches were blessed with glorious weather, calm crowds, upbeat feelings, and an amazing sense of camaraderie and purpose.

Fred and I took the 9:37 morning train into the city and had ample time to stroll our way from 42nd Street northwest to 68th Street and Columbus Avenue. Along the way we marveled at the ultra-tall, ultra-thin towers that have been, or are in the midst of being built along 57th Street; it's been awhile since we had walked in this part of the city. With plenty of time till the 11:30 start of speeches, we decided that rather than continue walking for what could be many blocks and a limited view of the happenings, we would turn around and head into Central Park, eventually finding a sunny bench across from 61st Street where the stage was set up. Turns out we made a good decision as the marchers were spread north from 61st to 86th, and the speeches took approximately 90 minutes, making our seats a nice respite in between the walk we had already done and the march we would soon do.

The highlight for Fred was Batala New York, an awesome all-female drumming band that began the March and led it all the way to its conclusion at Bryant Park. You can see videos here of them performing and learn more about them and their music here

An absolute delight and surprise for me was the final performer MILCK. Her song Quiet was the break-out anthem of last year's March in Washington D.C. I first heard it on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and then went down the rabbit hole watching numerous videos since then, including this one and this one. This page has a number of the videos plus the lyrics and a kid-friendly version that swaps two lines.

I Can't Keep Quiet is also the name of the site (and fund) that MILCK created to champion the rights of others or, as the site states:

The #ICantKeepQuiet Global Community is made up of Gentle Rebels who bravely express themselves on behalf of the Misfits, the Survivors, and the Dreamers. We are dedicated to celebrating our unique voices and identities, in an effort to break the cycles of oppression and fear perpetuated by today’s state of affairs and media.

The video below is of the entire speaker set from the 2018 NYC March, and MILCK begins her performance at the 1:35 mark. (In case the video doesn't embed, you can view it here.)

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1228866 2018-01-09T01:05:41Z 2018-01-09T01:05:42Z Back to School

Today was the first day back at school after a 17 day winter vacation. I had to mark the day in some way as it seemed rather daunting to return to school after such a long, refreshing, rejuvenating and satisfying vacation. During the first week our older son and his family came for a splendid visit that included celebrating holidays; seeing the Bronx Botanical Garden train show; a visit from and meal with my brother, his family and my Aunt; and a visit to Long Island to see the newest member of the family, a 7 week old.

For most of the second week my husband and I huddled indoors, aided and abetted by frigid temperatures, almost a foot of snow, howling winds and wind chill that made it difficult to walk more than half a mile. Nonetheless, we found ourselves contentedly reading, feeding the birds and watching their comings and goings, and munching popcorn as we watched a movie or two. With intense dedication to completing the job, I went through every single folder on my laptop resulting in a better-organized, less "bulky" laptop.

Making the switch to a schedule no longer determined by me, I chose an intentional outfit to make me feel comfortable and uplifted!

Speaking of uplifted, and it being winter, I am looking up at Fred's most recent sculpture: The Four Seasons. And in a nod to Sheila of Ephemera, I looked up the last wearing of this outfit and it was in November 2015. Scroll down for a closeup of the sculpture.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1226474 2018-01-04T15:04:44Z 2018-01-04T15:04:44Z Voting Day 2008

The national weather service has upgraded today's weather to Blizzard Warning. What better way to spend the day than perusing and organizing files on my laptop! (Plus occasional hot cocoa with marshmallows.)

 I came across this Keynote presentation made after the 2008 election. The head of the middle school where I was then teaching had asked if I'd be interested in sharing how I spent election day. (I had asked for the day off in order to help get out the vote in Pennsylvania.) 

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1226176 2018-01-04T00:29:29Z 2018-01-04T00:29:29Z The Hudson River Museum

Second week of winter vacation, yippee! My husband and I took a drive cross-county to Yonkers to visit the Hudson River Museum, a first visit for each of us. I had been interested in seeing the permanent exhibit of the Hudson River that several teachers at school had told me about and my husband was interested in seeing the art.

What wound up interesting me even more than the exhibits was Glenview, the building next door to the museum. Alas, it was closed for removal of holiday decorations. I was curious about the home because it initially housed the museum, which opened in 1924 one year before the birth of my Dad (who was born and raised in Yonkers.) My husband and I realized there was a possibility that my Dad's parents might have taken him to the museum when it was housed in the mansion. Fun to ponder the possibilities!


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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1224565 2018-01-01T13:20:52Z 2018-01-02T11:02:01Z The Books I Read in 2017

I read a lot, as perhaps my list of books read in 2016 and this year attest. I've been keeping a list on Goodreads because I like to be able to check back and see my thoughts about a book, remind myself of books I've forgotten about reading, and because I enjoy writing about my responses to a book.  


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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1220650 2017-12-23T01:29:50Z 2017-12-23T01:29:51Z Ridge Road, Yonkers, NY

This past August I wrote about my visit to the South Broadway apartment in Yonkers where my Dad grew up during the second half of the 1920s and second half of the 1930s. In between, the family spent several years living in a house. Sandwiched below between my Dad's words, from his 1993 single-spaced 37 page memoire, is a photo of the house taken this fall. I teach in Riverdale, which borders Yonkers, and often will exit the highway early to avoid traffic and take the local roads. The Rumsey Road exit takes me past Wendover Road, which intersects Ridge Road.

We lived in the Parkhill Gardens (apartment at 272 South Broadway) 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. It also brought me into contact with some rocks across the Street that harbored a stand of poison oak. Aunt Celia, the mother of cousins Paul and Harvey visited us one day and asked me to cross the street and pick some "of those nice flowers", and I began a multi-yeared trial of poison oak suffering. However, I recall it also kept me home from school at World Series time, when I could listen to the Giants play on the radio. The driveway to the house was entered by making a right angle turn down a steep grade and then a right angle turn into the garage. The garage door also had a latch. If you threw a rubber ball at the latch, it would result in the ball bouncing in a variety of directions. Especially intriguing was a stone wall to your left as you stood at pitching distance facing the latch. If you hit the latch in the right place, the ball would veer to the left and either hit the wall, or even go over the wall and end up in the field below (for a Home Run!). I spent many an hour as I pitched imaginary NY Giant games playing the role of crowd, batter, pitcher, announcer, and probably hot dog vendor--and of course, ball retriever--all played at my own private Polo Grounds, home of the Giants. (That latch remained just as it was when I was a schoolboy until about 2 years ago when I drove by, got out of my car, walked down the steep grade and saw that the occupant had replaced MY LATCH.) (about 1993.)

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 floor. ... 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. A great advantage to me at the time we lived on Ridge Road was the geological fact that we were located on top of a hill that led into another bigger hill (Wendover Road) that went all the way down to the start of a wooded area, all of which is another way of saying: GREAT SLEIGH RIDING! In later years the section near the bottom where the sleigh ride came to a gentle stop, slowed by the wooded area, had the name of the street changed to Gene Krupa Avenue. Gene Krupa was the legendary drummer for the big bands of the '30s, including his band, as well as Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and more--who had bought and lived in a house there--of which Burt was unaware until he discovered it on one of his tax-season trips to the area. The hills also made bike riding an adventure, in which I participated on my Jr. sized two wheeler, which had great brakes!

The two pictures below are of the street signs. The wooded area my Dad mentions is visible just across the road from Wendover. I can imagine him sleigh riding down the hill! Beneath these photos is a current aerial view from Google Maps of 68 Ridge Road, Wendover, and Park Hill Avenue. The road I come south on is Rumsey Road. Each time I take the local roads thru Yonkers I wind up thinking of my Dad, his childhood, his stories, his life, and every time I wind up with a smile in my heart.
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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1219101 2017-12-19T21:57:58Z 2017-12-19T21:57:58Z December 19

My Dad would have been 92 today. Just thinking about him and smiling. :-)

And yesterday my colleague Rachel gifted me a lovely scarf, so of course I wanted to wear it today, along with my once a year wearing of a comfy long-sleeve pajama top that I wear because it has a red snowflake, which is perfect for the week before vacation. Add to that my jingle bell earrings, necklace of sea glass gifted from my sister-in-law in Lewes, DE, and Fred's sparkly gold 3D printed miniature ball suspended within a hollow 3D printed triangle, plus a warm, cozy red sweater, my favorite boots, and comfy gray corduroy jeans, and it's a perfect outfit for sitting on the floor with 1st graders!

The pictures, taken of course by Fred, are in our basement, which is mostly his studio space. The structure I am leaning on is a climbing wall he built several years ago when our now 5 year old granddaughter was not quite 2. She still climbs on it, along with her 2.8 year old brother.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1218792 2017-12-19T11:08:50Z 2017-12-19T11:08:50Z Messiah in Mamaroneck

Several weeks ago, when driving past St Thomas Episcopal Church (a drive I have made hundreds of times in the past 30 plus years) I noticed a sign advertising the upcoming performance of Handel's Messiah on Sunday, December 17th. Upon arriving home I mentioned it to my husband, and we both immediately agreed we should purchase tickets, so we did!

The concert was this past Sunday, and what an experience it proved to be! Inspiring, melodic, joyous, heart tingling, smile-producing, head nodding, body wanting to sway…this production mesmerized us from the very first notes, all played on period instruments, including "a large, French 18th century style double-manual concert harpsichord" that Eric J Milnes, music director for the Church, is hoping to purchase for the Church.

Solos were sung by eight professional singers, with the very able Choir of St Thomas Church providing the Ensemble. In scanning the list of choir members I was struck by one name in particular, Rachel Duval. How many singers could there be with that name? And why did it even matter? Well, the Rachel Duval I know of is married to the head of the lower school where I teach, and yup, as soon as the Ensemble walked to their spots I knew it was, indeed, her!

The music was played by the Ensemble L'harmonie des Saisons, a Period Instrument Orchestra that hails from Canada. Alas, I do not know which baroque violin playing member of the Ensemble had the solos, but her playing was inspired. And I smiled profusely to watch Danny Mallon contort his body to have a line of sight to the conductor so he would know when to play his baroque tympani in the last portions of the performance.

My husband stated "they did a spectacular job" with the performance, and he is not given to superlatives! There was something magical about Sunday's performance. Walking to the Church, a mile and a half from our home, taking in the winter's air and not driving all added to our delight. Upon returning home I sent an email to the head of the lower school sharing our experience and asking that he share our message with Rachel. The next morning he replied that his wife "came home last [night] beaming about the performance being one of the most powerful musical experiences that she has had in recent years." So it was, for us as well!

Below are pictures from most of the paper program, added here as a memory inducer for when we look back on this post in year's to come.


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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1217003 2017-12-15T00:41:41Z 2017-12-15T00:41:41Z What I Do at School

Tickled to see the publishing of a video that highlights what my colleague and I do during part of our time at school. We are at the lower school campus of a PreK through grade 12 school. The video below cannot be embedded but if you click the link you will be taken to vimeo, where you'll be able to watch the less than 3 minute video. Having (obviously!) been present for all the filming, it's fun to see how it all came together. 



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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1216358 2017-12-14T00:30:46Z 2017-12-14T09:45:10Z Warmth

Saved for those bone chilling cold mornings when the thermometer registers under 20 degrees and I have to head out before 8 in the morning to drive to school, this dress is the perfect "blanket" to stave off the cold. Over the years it has probably been worn between three and four times each winter since being purchased some 20 years ago from JJill, the exceptions being those winters when my weight did not comfortably fit into the sleek not-quite-form-fitting line of the dress.

This morning the temperature was 17° and my Toyota Camry, as did the Toyota Highlander before it, had a dashboard light come on to register its discontent with the cold! In this case, the sensor that lit up dealt with tire pressure, which registers as low when the temperature goes substantially below freezing. I pulled the car into the driveway so my husband could add air to the tires, and just before leaving for school looked up to see the sun rising between the tree limbs. What strikes me is the color of the sun as photographed from inside the car looking through the windshield.


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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205799 2017-12-10T15:39:50Z 2017-12-10T15:45:56Z The Mighty Oak

[Oops! Thought I had published this several weeks ago. However, discovered this morning that it was still a draft. I do not know how to set a publish date (or if it is even possible) so here it is, posted in December rather than on November 12.]

A towering oak, close to 100 years old by our count of its rings, was cut down last Friday to begin the process of clearing the land for the building of a house. This neighborhood was first begun in the late nineteen-teens; our house was built in 1925 and we have had the honor of living in this house for the past 29 years. During all that time the oak tree stood across the street, part of an extra-wide lot that actually consisted of three lots, with a stately house and its side deck taking up a little over one lot and the remainder of the property landscaped with the trees untouched.

In the wider photo below, the oak is the tree on the right.

The owners, their daughters grown and no longer living at home, recently sold the house to a family with children, and the oak tree's land was sold to a developer. And so the tree came down.

I had no idea it would touch me as much as it did. While the tree was still standing, Fred and I wrapped our arms around it and gave it a big hug. And last Sunday I alighted onto the oak's stump and shared with its spirit a poem by Mary Oliver followed by an homage I wrote. Then I scooped up some of the saw dust and released it to the air, as if it was fairy dust blessing the ground. Had I done my research sooner, I would have learned that Native Americans bless their trees before they are cut down.

When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oak and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness, and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, "Stay awhile."

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again "It's simple," they say,

"and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine."

The dinosaur (well, it does bear some resemblance!) was not the tree chopper, but it has been parked on the property since the weekend, portending what comes next. And the small piece of wood is a bit of the oak tree, sitting in a new harbor on a small stone wall by the oft-used side entry to our home, a reminder of the mighty oak.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1214358 2017-12-10T15:39:07Z 2017-12-10T15:43:58Z Half Moon

December 10, 2017

What we saw this morning 

Which inspired this

And the sharing of these



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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1209186 2017-11-29T00:51:09Z 2017-11-29T00:53:41Z Another Husband Favorite

This morning was the second time (first time here) this Fall that my husband strongly suggested we needed a photo of my outfit. Indeed, as he took one and then another photo, he exclaimed "this is fun!" Ah, my fellow blogging buddy is now, dare I say it, hooked! Well, he is responsible for just about all of the outfit pictures. :-)

We had fun with this picture because, especially in the first one (nope, not posting it!), I was clowning around with holding aloft the mobile sculpture made by my husband and hanging above me. Also on the ceiling, at the opposite end of the room, is another sculpture by my husband, only in that one he has programmed LEDs. I will try to take some photos of his LED sculptures and post them because they are quite enjoyable to look at. More about them in another post.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1207235 2017-11-23T15:15:09Z 2017-11-24T11:30:19Z The Hudson River School

Last Sunday we entered the world of Hudson River painters Thomas Cole and Frederick Church. Cole was a founder of The Hudson River School of painting, a style that was tied to the eastern American landscape. Our interest in visiting the historic homes of both these artists was due to my husband's interest in art. 

Cole and Church lived across the river (the Hudson River, of course!) from one another, Cole in Catskill, NY, and Church in Hudson, NY. Back in their day they would take long hikes together to sketch, and traveled across the river by boat (now there is the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.) 

Cole lived in an unassuming home with a welcoming yellow exterior; Church lived in a self-designed house on a hill that is among the more curious homes I've yet to see, in particular due to the front entrance. Church named his home Olana, and I took more photos there simply because of the unusualness of the building.

This first set of Olana pictures is of the exterior including a southwesterly view of the Hudson and the Catskill Mountains beyond.

These last two pictures from Olana include a western view from a window that Church intentionally framed with decoration to look like a picture frame. At the time he built Olana there was no Rip Van Winkle Bridge, but how perfect that the bridge can now be viewed from the window as if it had been placed there on purpose. The second picture is of a window that consists of two glass panels with cut out paper nestled between the panes. This type of scissor cutting art is a German style called scherenschnitte.

Leaving Olana we headed across the bridge to Catskill for lunch at HiLo, a funky place with yummy food. And from there it was a few blocks to the home of Cole. The first picture is of a soothingly-colored mural hanging on the wall at the landing between the first and second floor. The second photo, of the chair with the candle holder, caught my eye for the lighting technology of their day. The final photos are from an exhibit in one of the second floor rooms that has been turned into a studio.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205787 2017-11-16T23:35:53Z 2017-11-16T23:35:53Z Crystals

Purple and red. Mystery and fire. 

The unknown swirling of the cosmos and the deep heat of the earth. 

Orange and red.

My younger son wrote those words in his birthday card to me. I know how he enjoys crystals and am deeply appreciative that he chose to share that delight with me in two sets of earrings. This pair touched me as graceful and rather different from any earrings I've seen. And I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover that over the course of the day they actually felt lighter and lighter. 
The other earrings are purple and will find their way to a post within the next few days.

Smiling-from-the-heart Mom :-)
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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205570 2017-11-15T21:10:12Z 2017-11-16T01:16:14Z November 15

Today was my husband's final day of jury duty, and he just happened to park in a significantly numbered parking spot, for today is also my birthday, and I subtly step from 62 to 63. :-)

And to kick off the morning, my email icon tallied at 63 right next to the recently opened calendar app, 63 on the 15th. :-)
To honor my Mom today, my Dad too but mostly my Mom because she is the person who gave birth to me, I wore three pieces of jewelry that she used to wear and gave to me – earrings, a necklace, and a gold bracelet that has her name on it. This is me with Mom in 2010, and I believe that is her Mom in the black and white photo on the bureau behind her.
And finally, the day in a dress I've been patiently waiting to wear for the first time since it arrived this past summer. It is a swirly dress from ModCloth, meant to be worn sleeveless in the spring, summer or on a warm fall day. Today was a bit too chilly for sleeveless so there is a cream short-sleeve tee underneath (a souvenir gift from Ecuador) and a burnt sienna sweater on top. I am certain that this dress will be worn again, and eventually it will be worn in warm weather where it's burgundy details can better be highlighted.
And the dress speaks swirls for itself. :-) 




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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205381 2017-11-15T01:15:30Z 2017-11-15T01:15:30Z Season Mixing

A spring-to-summer dress saved just so I could wear it at least once in late Fall accompanied by leggings and my new red sweater. Not much more to say other than how much I like wearing dresses at this time of year. All that's needed for a blend of comfort and warmth is a good pair of leggings, a pop of seasonal color in the way of a warm sweater, and then the dress can shine!

I am wearing much appreciated yoga jewelry given in celebration of my 200-hour yoga teacher training graduation in June 2016 – the earrings from my daughter-in-law, son and their children; the necklace from my friend and fellow yoga teacher Stephanie, who strongly urged me to pursue my yoga studies.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post – it's the outfit I've been building to, newly purchased just this summer and not yet worn!

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205380 2017-11-15T01:06:01Z 2017-11-15T01:06:01Z Autumn Colors

This outfit received many complements on Monday, and you might be able to tell from my smiles just how comfortable and pleased I felt to be wearing it. Everything felt perfect, from the textures to the lengths to the colors to the drape of the dress. My wonderfully kind husband, who has been taking the vast majority of the pictures of me for this blog, smiled when I asked for a second picture: The boots have to be included!

I have worn all of these pieces before, and they have each been mentioned in a blog post sometime in the past. Suffice it to say that the dress is a delightful reminder of a road trip taken to Montréal a few summers ago with my friend Ann. 

The wearing of a dress for the month of November, at least for the days that I teach, is all part of celebrating my birthday month. There was a slight glitch last week, however, with no photos because I didn't wear any dresses. And I didn't wear any dresses because I didn't go to school! 

A week ago Saturday I woke up with a rash on my front torso. Figuring it might have been bug bites (spider bites), I dealt with the discomfort, knowing that on Monday I would be heading to the doctor for my annual physical. During the physical I gave Dr George a heads up so she wouldn't be surprised when examining me. Lo and behold, not a split second after mentioning the rash, she told me it was not a bunch of bug bites; rather, I had shingles!

Further, after letting the school nurse know my diagnosis, it turned out I was not permitted to return to school till the rash had healed because there are several students who are unvaccinated. Shingles is contagious to anyone who is not vaccinated and pregnant women. In both cases, the exposure could cause chicken pox. Home I remained until this past Saturday, when Dr George gave me an all-clear and I returned to school yesterday. So there you have it, the explanation for why no dress posts from last week.

Now onwards and upwards to my birthday!

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1203097 2017-11-03T20:20:34Z 2017-11-03T20:24:12Z Burnt Sienna of Autumn

My favorite Crayola crayon color was burnt sienna, and this sweater – purchased years ago in a no-longer existent Eddie Bauer store in Manhattan – caught my eye purely for the color. It has been a stalwart, go-to sweater every fall, being warm, easy to wear and easy to wash. 

The dress is another purchase from years ago, this time from J.Jill, purchased for the fall colors, leaf pattern, super soft cotton, ease of wear and ease of care. This is the second in my November campaign of wearing a dress each day that I am at school, at least till my birthday, though likely will continue through the entire month. I even managed a dress today, though Friday is my day off, but since I plan on reprising the outfit on Wednesday will wait till then for a photo.

Lots of jewelry with this outfit so may as well identify the pieces. The orange earrings are dried seeds from Ecuador; necklace was made by my next-door-neighbor's daughter; orange-black-gold bracelet on my right wrist also made by my neighbor's daughter; lighter beaded bracelet on my left wrist was my Mom's, and the darker, multi-hued wood bracelet is from Peru. (Jewelry from Ecuador and Peru were gifts from my daughter-in-law's family.) And yup, those are the fabulously artsy and comfortable new boots from Baltimore, Hampden to be specific. 

And not to be left out, on the counter are two light sculptures made by my husband!

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1202570 2017-11-01T19:46:01Z 2017-12-06T18:00:21Z Red accents

November is my birthday month, and I have decided to wear a dress every work day up till and including on my birthday! This is a Gap favorite that I always keep out thru as much of Autumn as possible. It is short sleeved so there's a blue tee shirt underneath, paired with leggings and a new red sweater (from LLBean's Signature collection). Coupled with my red hush puppies and, for outer wear, red gloves and a Land's End red hat, and there you have the red accents!

The hat has been a long time favorite, with the red crocheted flower being added about three years ago. It was a gift from a colleague, her mom made it for her to give to me. The red flower represents the celebration of St George's Day in Spain. My friend and her family are from Barcelona, and they would always stroll the markets to buy books and flowers, hence the red flower.

Linking up with Judith at Style Crone to join in the hat sharing fun, and because I find her writing and the photographs inspirational.

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tag:onoutabout.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1200549 2017-10-24T14:33:33Z 2017-11-27T11:35:44Z Hampden, MD

A little over a year ago our son and his family relocated to Hampden, Maryland, a funky neighborhood in northern Baltimore. WikipediaHampden Village Merchants Association and Live Baltimore provide an eye into this colorful town. (Last two links thanks to Brenda at Hanging On A Whim, described below.)

During the school year, we visit every other month. While visiting, our focus is entirely on our family, especially our grandchildren. We have been in Hampden for their annual Miracle on 34th Street lights, a sight to behold. My pictures from last December hardly do the street justice, but perhaps they suffice to give you an idea of the magnitude of the display. The entire block is aglow!

The main street of Hampden is called "The Avenue", and it houses the vast majority of the neighborhood's stores and restaurants. Our two favorite eateries are The Charmery, bastion of Charm City's homemade ice cream, including Maryland Mud and usually three vegan options, and The Golden West Cafe, best spot we've found for delectable breakfasts, including vegan choices, and our grandson is a fan of their decor.

All of our visits to The Avenue have always included our grandchildren. On our most recent visit we arrived while they were still at school and took the opportunity to stroll the street, walking along one side and then the other, with the other half of the block awaiting another visit. Well, it wasn't exactly serendipitous – I had been planning this stroll for several weeks! My destination?

Ma Petite Shoe is one of several shops in a cluster of colorful row houses, long since transformed to stores. Their sign has always caught my attention: Shoes & Chocolate. Seriously, what better combination! And of course, I had to go inside. And, for those who know me, it will come as no surprise that I had to try on something. I actually tried on two somethings, and purchased one of them, a brand completely new to me, L'Artiste.

We arrived home Sunday; I wore them to school on Monday. Turned out to be much warmer than anticipated, but still worth the wearing!

Another shop next door, which caught my husband's eye, is Hanging On A Whim, an artist-owned store and gallery of custom painted furniture and objects. I was immediately attracted to the whimsy and color of the furniture, some of it children's size but other pieces accommodating to grownups. I left Brenda's shop imagining a screened porch decorated with some of her furniture or a few surprise accents dispersed around corners in a future home.

There is also a yoga studio across the street from the shoe store. I will check this out on some future visit, and leave you for now with the aptly crafted exterior building art on the second floor of the studio.


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