February 25, 2006


"If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you ... I came to live out loud!"

-Emile Zola

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Two days ago a package arrived with all kinds of info about the history of my family. My friend Anita sent a note with the paperwork. "Be careful. This can become addictive." Just what I need ... another addiction!

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February 20, 2006


New Red Chair.
Sienna actually.
Come. Sit.

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February 19, 2006


Anita and I met in Junior High. We were 12 and 13 years old. Best friends for a while, we were in and out of each others homes throughout our teens. As we got older, we saw less and less of each other until we lost complete contact.

Some years ago Anita found me. Very few of my friends made the trip out to Topanga for my Dad's funeral, and even fewer came to the gathering held afterward at my brother's home. But Anita did.

I remember the moment I looked up and saw her. Surprised and touched that she had come to offer her support, we reconnected. She and I don't see too much of each other these days. We don't live close to one another. But I can count on hearing from Anita on a regular basis since the advent of the Internet.

My friend loves to laugh and appreciates a good joke. She regularly forwards humorous stories which circulate on the internet. And once and a while, we exchange bits of news.

Last week I's sent a card to Anita and her husband to wish them a happy anniversary. Yesterday, the mailman handed me letter from her. I eagerly opened the envelope as personal mail is rare these days. After thanking me for the card, she laughingly wrote; "When I saw the envelope, I was hoping it was an engagement or wedding announcement."

Of course that merited a phone call to tell her the good news ... that "yes indeed, there will be a wedding later this year!"

We got to talking. When I asked what she's been up to, she told me she'd been working on genealogy. I was surprised because I thought that our families would be difficult to trace. She said that it is now surprisingly easy, and asked a few questions about my family history.

I told her the little I knew, which wasn't much. My Dad and all my grandparents immigrated to the US from Russia around the turn of the century. Anita asked. "Where in Russia?" I didn't know. All I knew were the stories my grandmothers had shared and a bit of what I now call family legend.

I knew that my Mom's parents came here as teenagers. They were betrothed in Russia as children. My grandmother told me that they 'tipped toed' out of Russia, and traveled though Europe before settling in Minnesota where they married. I mentioned that the story is that they came though Canada. She asked me for my grandparent's names.

Within moments after giving her this information, Anita told me that they came from Odessa. "How do you know that?" She said "it's easy."

As Anita and I continured to chat, she continued her search and then she began to give me more information. She confirmed that Grandma Fanny and Grandpa Oscar did enter though Canada. They appeared in the 1910 Census when they were 18.

On the 1920 Census there was 8 members of there household. She read me the names. There was Grandma and Grandpa, my Mom, Uncle Paul, Aunt Nell, and Aunt Janette ... and two others. I recognized the name of my Great Uncle Bill, but I don't remember a Great Uncle Al.

(Pete said that Odessa was an embarkation point, so it was possible that this was not actually where they came from... But, no one ever mentioned the Ukraine, except my Dad's mom who once told me that the family had originally come from the Ukraine. I always thought that she was talking about passed generations. Odessa did have a large Jewish population at the time, so who knows.)

Anita also found my paternal grandparents and read the names of all nine of their children. Very cool. We marveled at how things had changed ... and wondered how we ever lived without computers?

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February 16, 2006

Mom's Review of The New World

The New World is a long movie.
It moved slowly.
Like a piece of art or like a poem, you have to look at it from different angles ... and let yourself just sink into it.

Enticed by the trailers ... and the beauty of the young actress playing the lead, I didn't want to miss watching it on the big screen.

Pete didn't like it. I doubt that it will be a big box office hit, but I would watch it again. I'm glad that we spent an afternoon in the theater.

I just wish that they had allowed for an intermission ...for a bathroom break. :-)

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February 14, 2006



Love is working in the world.
Even amidst the travail and turmoil.

I have a reason to be happy.
Hope you do too.

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February 9, 2006



Today was a very good day. It was one of those days when it just feels good to be alive. Lots of nice things happened. I will tell you about one of them....

At the Apple Store today, I had another ProCare class with a very nice young man who is quite kind and patient with this slow learning Mom.

Because Pete was out of town, I had no one to carry my computer into the store so that Charles could finish loading and installing the rest of my software. Since this couldn't be done today, I asked Gilbert to show me how to work with Microsoft Word on the Mac.

It appears different than it does on the PC. My stalwart instructor said that he would do his best but he wasn't very familiar with Word. Nevertheless, because Charles is a talented young man, he was able to show me the basics.

I asked how I could set preferences to use a particular font as my default font on Word. Of course, I didn't ask him this question using the right terminology, but since he is used to working with clueless people like me, he translated Judi-ese into the proper words and tried to help. After attempting to do this, Charles finally concluded that it was not possible.

Surprised that he wasn't familiar with Microsoft Word, since this program was even on my ancient Mac, I asked him what program he used to compose documents. He said; "I use iWork", and then proceeded to show me how this program works.

Wow. iWork is wonderful! I ask Charles if I already have iWork loaded onto my computer. He said "No". I asked how I could get it, naively thinking I'd already bought all the software packages I would need. Charles explains that I can buy it for $79.OO. I laugh. Every time I go in for another lesson, I end up spending more money.

I didn't buy iWork today. I decided it would be best to actually start working on the Mac before I buy any new software.

After leaving the store, I passed another Mac Genius, who had answered some questions a few weeks ago. He said "Hi. How are you doing on you new Mac?" I was surprised that this young man even remembered me, and would stop me to say hello. I smiled and answered, "I am learning."

He seemed to want to talk, so I asked him if he knew how to set a default setting for word documents. This young man told me that you can't actually do that on Word. He explained that in Word, the next document will use the last font I used on the previous one. I guess that is the way it always was on my PC. But, how very nice that he didn't roll his eyes, or otherwise imply that I was asking a stupid question. He just helped me remember and understand.

As I said before, Mac People are nice.

Of course, I can just imagine the amusement jokes about their 'interesting' senior students.

So here is my very first post from my new Mac. Unfortunately, the little buttons which allow you to link is missing here so in the end, I had to move over to my PC for this function. Maybe Chales will know how fix this when I go back for my lesson next week. Of course there is always the posibility that my local computer expert can help.

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February 8, 2006



OK. So last night Pete and I were watching Boston Legal. One of the characters said something that now the government is now spying on political blogs. And it doesn't take much to make someone a suspect.

Matt tells me I don't have anything to worry about. They are not looking at blogging moms. Still!

I comfort myself with the thought that I'll soon lawyers on both coasts.


A few days ago, I was listening to Public Radio. It may have been Science Friday. Apparently a company has started marketing a new crime fighting tool to police departments. It's a little flying camera that can zero in on a fleeing suspect better than a helicopter. Even through narrow spaces, fog and other conditions which would stop a helicopter.

I tried to explain this to Pete and Matt on Monday night, and compared it to something I'd seen in a frightening Science Fiction movie or TV show. Neither of them had seen anything like this.

I remember it vividly. It was round and flat, about the one foot across with a big electronic 'eye' that blinked as it tracked people all over the place. Anyone else hear about this?


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February 2, 2006


1. We should go back to calling it
the War Department

2. "Tax" is not a dirty word!

3. Mac people are cool!

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