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Where Are My Glasses?

Where are my glasses?

These aren’t the ones I was looking for.

Where did I put my glasses? No, not that pair. My reading glasses. Nope, not them, those tortoise-shell looking ones. They’re progressives and I can’t read the greatest with them.

How about those ones there? Nope. That’s my last prescription that I just keep around in case I can’t find my glasses. I’m looking for the oval reading glasses I always wear on the tip of my nose ’cause I have to look over them to see anything. They’re a little twisted, sat upon, stepped on. Check between the sofa sections.

Hey! Where did these fake-o sunglasses come from? For that matter, where are my prescription sunglasses? Although… aviators haven’t been in style since…. They were in a big, hard, red case that snaps shut really, really hard.

Pink. Metal. Oval. Smallish. Bent. Mine. Where?

I wish I could find my glasses. Kitchen? Not on top of my head or tucked into my shirt’s neckline. Where did I use them last? Hmmm. They could be on the shelf with the extra glasses case. Couldn’t they? One can hope.

Coffee. Need caw—aw—aw—feeeeee. Need it now.

Oh, here’s an old pair hubby wore when we were dating. Wow, these are heavy. How did he stand it? Odd: why are they on the top of the desk? He’s had two new pairs since then.

Perhaps my glasses are by the computer. Or on the floor. Did I fall asleep with them on? Better check the bed. Under the bed. In the wastebasket. By the computer. Oh–I already checked there.

Wait, I have another idea. There’s a pair on the bathroom window sill, Michele’s old ones I keep there in case I need to stop in and read. Her prescription was similar to mine. Hmmm, didn’t remember how similar her frames are similar to my old ones before I got the progressives.

I remember I had them this weekend. Where could my glasses be? Didn’t put them in my purse, did I? Hey, here’s a £10 note! Wonder what that’s worth.

Concentrate. Glasses, glasses, reading glasses………..

Ramadan Hours

image

Ramadan commenced on Thursday, June 18, and will end on Friday, July 17. No grand commercial barrage accompanies Ramadan in the USA quite unlike the December holidays. The only evidence I’ve seen of it was this modest sign posted inside the fabric shop’s window:

Due to Ramadan
Store Hour
Mon – Fri
9.30 AM to 6.30 PM
Sat 10 AM to 6 PM
Sun 11 AM to 5 PM

I was hot. The turbaned shopkeepers greeted me with smiles and went on conversing in an Asian language I didn’t recognize (why I think I’ve an ear for languages is another story). The store was not icily air conditioned, unfortunately for me, but the men didn’t seem bothered. Although it was one of the hottest days we’ve had, they showed no discomfort. I, on the other hand, patted my face with a drooping tissue. When Ramadan occurs in the hottest months of the year, the fast must be a sure sign of devotion!

As a sewist (the latest term for someone who sews), I let my fingers do the looking. Every bolt of fabric, every roll of upholstery begs to be smoothed, pinched, and petted. Some fabrics, sirens like velvet, call out louder. “Hello fingers,” velvet croons. Others desire to be admired under different light conditions. Brocades, silks from China, and dichroic fabrics that appear to change color depending upon the incident light beg to be wiggled. I like to hold my hand under sheer materials, observing  its outline.

The Garment Worker.jpg

The Garment Worker” by Beyond My Ken – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikipedia.

I thought the Garment District would have Jewish shopkeepers, reminiscent of the famous statue of a tailor, “The Garment Worker” by Judith Weller at 555 Seventh Avenue. Not so. The majority of stores I entered on 39th Street were populated by Asian men, many wearing turbans. When did this happen?

I picked up a bolt of 45-inch wide stretch fabric with rainbow metallic threads. Yum. They hovered while I scanned my smartphone, trying to mentally calculate the yardage I’d need for an outfit while trying to Google a half-remembered pattern I sewed 22 years ago. I switched to a 60-inch wide roll of Indian embroidered cotton eyelet.  “Three-and-a-half yards,” I confidently said while not feeling so confident. At least the wider yardage will give me some leeway.

The shopkeeper calmly measured out the fabric while I dreamt of the creations I could make. I haggled for “$5 worth” of a coordinating rayon. I haven’t measured what he assured me was a greater length than I would have gotten for the quoted price per yard.

My purchases in hand, I headed to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for an icy coffee confection. Decaf, but with whipped cream. I followed no Ramadan restrictions and golly, I was hot.

Dodging a Bullet

Broken Auto Glass

The car next to mine wasn’t so lucky.

Parking in Washington Heights, and I assume in all of Manhattan, plays like a game of roulette. Sometimes you win, sometimes you just have to try again. Closer to home is better, naturally, but I have parked nearly a mile away (20 minute walk without bags) a number of times. I can usually assess when parking will be found without cruising around. Certainly, after 10 p.m. you can forget about a parking space. That’s when I cruise over to my favorite lot and say ¡hola! to the guy who knows me (or my car) already. Gracias por tu ayuda, and hand over $12 in the morning.

I had parked Freddie Ford on the Friday side and today is Friday. I hastened up the hill to rescue Freddie before the parking tickets would begin to multiply. Sweating profusely, I walked along Amsterdam Avenue, nearly ¾ of a mile from home, where I’d placed my car the other day after a fruitless half hour of riding around (before 8:30 p.m. yet!).  I noticed broken glass glistening in the street in already empty spaces. A frisson of fear ran along my back and I walked further down the row.

The car next to mine had been broken into, apparently. I feel like I dodged a bullet. Already on three occasions I found Freddie’s driver’s side mirror missing. I didn’t need to deal with broken auto glass.

Could it be that the thieves had compassion because there was a crushed liquor mini under the rear tire? Maybe they sensed that the CD changer doesn’t work and it frequently doesn’t play CDs either. It’s probably more so that my car is older and uninteresting. (Sorry, Freddie.) Blah. I keep the interior clean-ish without anything enticing peeking out. Likewise the trunk space is empty. There are some maps in the door pockets and a snow brush (in June!) on the back seat floor.

Freddie Ford now sits patiently in a Wednesday side of the street space, waiting for his next big adventure. I’m glad “he” is patient!

Watch Gears

The Gears are at the Heart of the Work

Question: When is a job not a “job”?

Answer: When the job is doing something you love.

I recently re-entered the work force. I found a job that will not be a “job” but a labor of love, working at a social service agency. The co-workers are pleasant, the hours great, clients interesting, and it’s a meaningful job. The organization aids needy people and therefore betters the world. That’s a good foundation for a labor of love. I’m one little tooth on the gears in the mechanism that makes the agency work more effectively. That’s me!

I’m glad to have a place to go every day and contribute something positive. I can change someone’s day just with a happy greeting; I can ease stress with a well-placed assist. What better than to make many peoples’ days become more pleasant?

Satisfaction (i.e., happiness) can be gleaned in the small things. Happiness is doing a good job and recognizing that to be the case, contributing to a group effort, getting a pat on the back, sitting back and pondering the good feelings. For isn’t pleasure gained from the sublime, what we’re here on this earth to collect?

An ice cream cone or a glistening glass of iced tea on a hot day brings great pleasure. So does scratching an itch. As much as I like my physical pleasures, I’m looking for something more holistic. For me, being a tooth on a small cog of the works suffices and pleases, a spiritual kind of pleasure.

Up the Steps!

Fit Friends on W 187 steps

Fit friends on the steps at West 187th St.

I’m from the city that has the most “stair streets” in the USA, Pittsburgh. I understand their utility. Too steep for a street but gotta go there? Put in steps.

“On some of the steepest hills, steps even double as legal streets. Known as ‘paper streets,’ these staircases appear on maps as valid thoroughfares – an often consternating surprise to unsuspecting visitors.”(1)

I don’t have to like them, though. <grumble, grumble>

Like those in my hometown, the steps at West 187th Street are not for the faint of heart. I chug up and down them reluctantly, when I really need to… because I’m too lazy to walk three blocks to take the elevator. Despite being the venue for an art project commemorating the Revolutionary War—for which I fail to connect to the historical past—these steps harbor a pedestrian functionality. At best they are a shortcut from Fort Washington to the valley (Broadway) below. At worst they are an insurmountable obstacle. For the thousands (my guess) of people who use them daily, they are just another way to get from low to high or high to low without detouring south to the A train station to use the elevator or walking up/down the long, bleak hill on Overlook Terrace between West 190th Street to West 187th St. So you see all sorts of people there: old, young, pregnant, and occasionally those with shopping carts or strollers.

Among these (primarily young) people are fitness buffs, determined souls who actually decided to run up and down the staircases! I’ve counted the steps (135) and the landings (8) and usually cannot walk up the entire staircase without stopping for a breath about two thirds of the way there. HOWEVER, I have a new world’s record to announce: I walked all the way up on Wednesday morning without a break! After coming all the way down I stopped to photograph these brilliantly glowing young people(2) with their own camera when they were trying to use a water bottle as a tripod. Then I asked to take my own shot and use their picture in my blog. New friends. How happy they made me!!

While my old knees won’t let me aspire to running up and down, and my lungs protest asthmatically, I can still aspire to climb and breathe freely! Care to join me?

 

/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*
1. Albrecht Powell. Steps of Pittsburgh: Explore Pittsburgh’s Many Steps & Staircases. http://pittsburgh.about.com/od/about_pittsburgh/a/steps.htm, accessed June 6, 2015.
2. If you know these people, please shoot me an email so I can thank them again.

batya7:

Today is another day to think about happiness. Especially #30.

Originally posted on J'adore Journey:

IMG_9056

  1. “Science of happiness lies in our understanding. The secrets of happiness lie in our capacity to expand our heart.” – Amit Ray
  2. “Whoever is happy will make others happy.” – Anne Frank
  3. “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” – Ashley Montagu
  4. “Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius
  5. “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” – Benjamin Disraeli
  6. “If you have not taken the time to define what happiness means to you, what have your spent your whole life pursuing?” – Bo Bennett
  7. “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.” –…

View original 1,470 more words

Laughter

sloth - Thowra_uk

“Hi there. Ain’t I such a cutie pie?”
sloth” by Thowra_uk, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Nothing fills the soul with pleasure the way a good belly laugh does! 

Memory 1: A close friend accompanied me to a lecture one evening several years ago. On the way home, I decided to stop at the supermarket for milk. We walked through the aisles toward the very furthest corner at the back of the store where (naturally) the milk was kept. On the way we passed the greeting card display. So we did what women do; we paused to look at a few.

You wouldn’t ordinarily think that greeting cards would be a source of great amusement.

However, some are good for a giggle. Maybe you’d get a few chuckles over a good quote from a “Shoebox” card by Hallmark. Or perhaps Maxine would get you grinning. I’ve dwelled over a few funny cat cards to be sure.  ….. sooooo … (pause for the punch line) …

greeting cards

cards” by Tom Magliery, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Luckily for us, few people shopped at that particular store at that particular time on that particular date or 9-1-1(1) would have been inundated with calls to rescue the two middle-aged ladies who were rolling on the floor(2) laughing for over an hour!!!

That was a great belly laugh!

spoon

“Speak into the microphone!”

Memory 2: My sisters and I had only one first cousin (our father was an only child and my mom’s sister had only one child). Needless to say, family was small but precious. It was the night before our cousin’s wedding and we four girls went out for coffee and cake without the parents. No bachelorette party but something nice. We were reminiscing, swapping stories, teasing our cousin about marriage, comparing lipstick, etc., and all of the things girls talked about in those days. We were jolly but not outrageous. I remember playing the interviewer, holding up my spoon as if it were a microphone, and asking an interview question around the table. The bride and my sister #2 said something into the “mike” and we were laughing. When I held the “mike” to my sister #1, she was laughing so hard that she burst into tears! At that point, the rest of us lost it and started howling laughing, too. For years afterward, the phrase, “Speak into the microphone,” would propel #1 into paroxysms of tears and laughter.

Now, that really was a great belly laugh!

Have some joy this week.

PS – Doesn’t that little sloth just make you want to smile until your face hurts?  Cuuute!

**************
1. American emergency contact telephone number. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9-1-1
2. Only in the idiomatic sense; but afterwards, our sides ached from the laughter as if we had been rolling on the floor!

Petrichor and Me

As an observer, I’m always cataloging my experiences. Even at a tender age, sights, smells, and sounds became embedded in my memory. Sometimes I tap into those sensual impressions and am transported to a different time and place. Here’s an experience that brought me much joy. I wasn’t quite dancing like the dog in the photo, but maybe some other time I could join him.

 

As the building’s porter hosed off the warm sidewalk last week, a particularly welcome scent tantalized me. “Wet pavement” is one of my earliest scent memories, slightly metallic, with a tinge of the organic. The smell of wet pavement or rain is called petrichor. It’s caused by the aerosols released by water droplets–plant oils, bacteria and their products, organic  matter from soil, and perhaps ozone. The calcium in cement, too, may contribute to the smell. Yum!

The scientist me wants to analyze  the smell and quantitate the sources. The observer me wants to smell and sniff and breathe deep, never stopping. It’s heady, like Chanel No. 5. It’s sensuous, like the first bite of a ripe fig. It’s the smell of the city at her best.

I’m waiting for a promised thunderstorm to bring on the sharp smell of ozone to the air. Aaahh, one more summer scent to anticipate!

Memorial Day

American Flag

American flag, proudly waving.

I got married on Memorial Day. A Monday holiday’s convenience for time off and travel made that the most feasible choice. No barbecue,  but lots of sunshine… and humidity. The food was good, the guests had a good time, and we did what we set out to do. Now we are guaranteed a day off to celebrate the day every year, too!

Memorial Day has devolved into a day of national leisure and big $ale$. I sense we’re less concerned about remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces than we are interested in satisfying our own indolence. The grand parades of earlier times are figuratively replaced by red, white, and blue bunting on some stores. How many of us make the effort to go to the big parade in town?

Grilling

Getting ready to fire up the grill! “Grilling” by Adam Henning, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Rather than sounding like a crotchety old granny, I’m happily remembering Memorial Day last year. We spent the afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park. It was packed! So many families came to enjoy the day together. Grills, bags of charcoal briquettes, picnic baskets, coolers, blankets, chairs, games, balls, and radios magically appeared. How was all of this stuff transported? Did people actually drive there? If so, where did they park (parking being my perennial concern)?

I have a humorous vision of people pouring out of the A-train burdened with all these chattels. Plus babies, toddlers, strollers, and diaper bags. Also sports equipment like bats, soccer balls, badminton nets, and whatnot. Picture that flood erupting and spilling down the steps at 242nd Street!

A beautiful orchid to grace our home with its lovely blossoms in honor of Shavuos.

A beautiful orchid to grace our home with its lovely blossoms in honor of Shavuos.

This year Memorial Day is coincident with the two-day Jewish holiday of Shavuos, or Pentecost, which starts after the Sabbath on Saturday night. It is when we celebrate the bringing of the law down from Mount Sinai. We traditionally eat dairy meals, as opposed to the meat meals of typical holidays. Imagine a holiday where people wax poetic about cheesecake! Not only that, but  we have flowers and plants in our homes because tradition says that Sinai bloomed with beautiful flowers and greenery while waiting for God to give the Torah to Moses on the mountain. I bought a gorgeous orchid for the occasion to enjoy for some time to come.

Whether shopping, picnicking, grilling, or just being lazy, I hope all have a wonderful Memorial Day! That’s one of the freedoms our soldiers fought for. So if you grill this weekend, enjoy a hamburger for me. I’ll be having quiche and cheesecake!

This gallery contains 3 photos.

I bought some lovely crystals on Sixth Avenue in “my” colors and decided to practice crimping at the same time as making a bracelet for the holidays. I’m pleased with the results. First attempt at a complete bracelet with my new tools and colors! I made the silver links myself, making me realize that if […]

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