Sunday, December 31, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links: New Year's Eve Edition

Others take notice of your radiance.

(I think I post this every New Year's Eve.) 20 questions for the new year.

About simpler times by the wonderful Dera White.

Things to do to make life better in 2018.

What Should I Read Next is a brilliant idea.

My genius friends Angelika and Anton playing a beautiful holiday piano song for four hands.

And a sweet little bat named Mrs. Pants. 

Happy Sunday and Happy New Year. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Joy

This year wasn't all bad. But still, I'm calling this photo "2017."

Friday, December 29, 2017

I Need a Little Christmas

There are people that keep up their Christmas lights all year round. Some even keep up their Christmas trees all year. I don't think I would ever be one of those people, but sometimes I think... maybe.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cough and Cold Chaperones

It's my turn to have The Rosenberg Cold. These two delightful knuckleheads are following me around, shepherding me back to the bed if I stray too far into any of the non-sickness approved house areas. They've been training for this all year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Chair. Mine.

To be clear, I was in the chair first.
I am usually in the chair.
(In the family it is known as my chair.)
I was just sitting there, minding everyone else's business (as usual).
Suddenly, this 65 pound lap dog wormed his way behind me.
(Don't let the perspective of this photo fool you, the dog is an adorable behemoth.)
He lay down on his side and then punched me with his sweet paw-fists until I was forced to evacuate the chair.
This aggression would not stand.
Large brown dog was ordered out of (not his) chair, displaced to floor.
I returned to the chair alone.
My chair.
I can never leave the chair (vulnerable) again.

Monday, December 25, 2017

And So This is Christmas

Christmas has come and gone. Nothing went according to plan except for the most important plan which is: Love.

Best plan ever. Hope you had a lovely holiday.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

Watching A Christmas Story

The secret life of "um."

Ann Patchett's year of no-shopping.

How to change someone's holiday season.

Christmas in Twelfth Century Wales.

5 Old school classic Christmas movies to stream.

And a baby deer and his dogs.

Happy Sunday and Happy Christmas Eve.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Santa's Workshop Annex

For fear that the pillow/dog bed/throw-blanket eating dogs in our family might find it difficult to resist delicious Christmas presents, we are shoving packages in a lot of hard-to-reach places.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Winter Concert

Parents: No food or beverages allowed in the auditorium.

The elementary school performed their Winter Concert today and of course because Bob's a fifth grader, it would be his last. Mr. Rosenberg got to the packed auditorium before I did and secured two seats. He stood waving me to my spot in the dark theater. As I got closer, an elderly Chinese gentleman, the great-grandfather of one of the students, slid into one of our seats. I took the other seat and Mr. Rosenberg shrugged and stood against the wall. During the seat shuffling, it quickly became apparent that the older man spoke no English. He smiled and nodded and seemed confused. His adult granddaughter, leaned over from her seat in the row behind us and whispered to him in Mandarin. 

The school principal introduced the show. The kindergartners performed "The Merry Hula" with sign language and "Let's Go Fly a Kite," waving pastel homemade paper kites overhead. When the first graders took the stage, the elderly man sat up in his seat, craning to see. A boy from the Mandarin/English dual-immersion class introduced a poem called "Big Panda, Big Panda." The students from the class recited the poem together in Mandarin. I glanced at the man. His smile was wide and his eyes were shining. And then I tried not to cry watching him try not to cry. We sat together in the dark, mostly not crying. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I Had a Little Dreidel

Bob insisted we play dreidel last night to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah. I agreed because I do enjoy a little gambling now and again. Especially when I win. (I won.) Oh yeah, and family togetherness and tradition and everything. (And winning.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Potential Snacks Situation

We are right here. Here we are. Right down here. And we enjoy snacks. Do you have snacks? We enjoy them. Down here, please. Right down here.

Monday, December 18, 2017

On to the Post Office

A perfect holiday card tableau: stamps, holiday cards, address book, coffee, veterinary meds. You know, the usual. (Everyone's cool.)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

Mr. Rosenberg took this pretty blue photo in Seattle last week. 

Why you should surround yourself with more books than you'll ever have time to read.

Simplify your food, simplify your life.

And a puppy on his first road trip.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, December 15, 2017


"Are you a Jedi, Bob?"

"No, Coach."

"Only a Jedi is going to get the ball in the glove if he's not looking at the glove. Look at the glove, son."

"My bad."

"There you go. Good pitch."

Thursday, December 14, 2017

8th Annual Bob's 99 Cent Store Holiday Shopping Trip (*spoiler alert for immediate family)

It's back! Bob's Annual 99 Cent Store Holiday Shopping Trip happened. And-a heeeeere we go!

MeeMee (my mom) - Small candy dish decorated with a snowman's head wearing a Santa hat. " This is the happiest plate ever. MeeMee will be really into it."

Mr. Rosenberg - Stuffed animal style hat in the shape of a Teddy bear. "He needs to keep his head warm because of the no hair plus the bonus is it looks sort of like a puppy."

Aunt Jill - Travel cup with color-it-yourself mandala paper inserts. (It's hard to explain.) "I know she likes coloring these papers with the designs and also drinking drinks."

Ba-Jan (Mr. Rosenberg's mom) - Small candy dish decorated with a silver snowflake. "Because it could double as a Hanukkah kind of thing maybe or something but it's not too Christmas-y but still enough Christmas-y."

Aunt Jen - Jewelry dish in the shape of a snowman. "Aunt Jen LOVES snowmen." 

Me - Holiday salt and pepper shakers. (Bob saw me looking at them and made me look away so he could pick the style. He put them in a gift box and only he and the checker at 99 Cent Store know what shape they're in.) "Don't look. Did you look? I mean, I know you know, but you don't REALLY, FULLY know. You know?"

Pops - Hostess Snoball™ flavored ice cream. (Yes. It exists.) "Pops favorite thing is ice cream and this one looks really good plus it's the only flavor they have."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Snapshot

Last night Bob and I drove to Atwater Village to return an accordion to an accordion store. Our friend Dave played the accordion in a band here in LA on Saturday but he returned to New York on Sunday and the accordion place isn't open on Sunday and you get the picture. The place where we returned Dave's accordion is actually called Dave's Accordions.

Dave's is located in an old back alley storefront. The main room we entered through was long and narrow, the walls covered with accordions on both sides. When we got there, Dave was in the middle of a lesson. He and his young student sat side by side on folding chairs playing Lady of Spain.

Dave directed us to the back of the room where another guy prepared the rental return paperwork. While we waited, I noticed a small framed photo on the wall of a younger Dave taken in the early 1970s, sitting in that same room, giving a lesson to another young boy. Time stands still at Dave's Accordions.

I signed the paperwork and Dave nodded and smiled to us as we left. As we headed to the car, we could hear the opening strains of the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean ride theme song following us down the alley.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hanukkah Night One

Mr. Rosenberg is out of town so we celebrated Hannukah with him on Facetime. Mr. R sang the Hebrew blessing into his phone while standing outside of a bowling alley in Seattle. I couldn't find the menorah candles so we used birthday candles. It was a slapped together first night, but the lights shine brightly just the same.

Monday, December 11, 2017


At the end of every year since she started her blog, my terrific friend Nancy Davis Kho has her posts from the previous year bound into a keepsake book by the company Blog2Print. (This is not a paid post.) I've often thought about following her lead, but never got around to it. Finally, I started the process.

My first book showed up today. It is from 2009, my first year of writing Smacksy. It is hardbound and glossy and beautiful and it is 341 pages long. It is the first in the volume of the story of Bob's childhood and our family and when I first opened the pages, I cried.

I can hold all of this time in my hands.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

How a single message changed 10,000 lives.

What "self care" really means.

You can help fire victims in Southern California.

This poem is absolutely worth watching until the end.

And Hamish the Scottish Highland Bull gets a brush.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: 79 Cents Worth of Happiness

I didn't need this happy little package of birthday candles from the Thai market, but I kind of did. 

Friday, December 8, 2017


I haven't quite captured it in this photo, but the tree is, as Mr. Rosenberg calls it, "copping a lean." It's currently hovering around a 60° angle and headed towards 30°. These two are responsible, of course. I'm not exactly sure what happens when we're out of the house, but that's probably best.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Today I volunteered at the Holiday Craft Workshop for the last time in my Elementary School Volunteer Mom career. My assigned table was dedicated to the creation of pet rocks. I did my time with felt squares, pompoms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes of assorted sizes. And it was grand.

(I've been getting some questions about the fires. The wildfires here in southern California rage on, but save for a little smoke, we have been fortunate to not be affected so far. XoXo)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How Lovely Are Thy Branches

I usually end up decorating the tree by myself. Mr. Rosenberg will hang the lights and Bob will put up an ornament or two and then move on. This year was a new deal. Since ye olde shoulder is not great, this guy took it upon himself to decorate the whole tree. There was hot chocolate and Christmas music and a little story about each ornament. Assuming my shoulder is 100% next season, I still might fake it anyway.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


The smoke detector went off tonight due to another battery situation. Teddy hates the sound of the smoke detector. (Who can blame him?) He ran out to the back porch as soon as the door opened and wouldn't come back in. He wouldn't even come in for a dog snack I waved wildly in the air while I encouraged him to come in an annoying sing-songy voice. (Who can blame him?)

Levi went out to get him and ran in and out four times to show him it was ok. Teddy wouldn't budge so Levi gave up and just stayed out there to keep him company. Now neither of them will come in.

Have a good evening.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Tinsel Tree

For quite some time, I've been looking for a little tree to house the glass bird Christmas ornaments I've been collecting for the past thirty years. Last summer I found this little tinsel number. I set it up this evening on the piano and it's making me very happy.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Super

I am always astonished that wherever, whenever we are, we look up and all see the same moon.

Friday, December 1, 2017

I Still Dream I Live in the Villa Carlotta

In 1992, I was looking for a new apartment. I was specifically looking in Hollywood near my job on Ivar Ave just south of Hollywood Boulevard. I found myself looking at an apartment in a building called the Villa Carlotta on Franklin. It was beautifully shabby in an artsy old Hollywood way. The apartment that was available had a murphy bed and a Juliette balcony overlooking the garden patio in the center of the building. Pets were allowed. I wanted it.

I was offered the place. Then I told the manager I had a labrador. They only allowed small pets. Stella was too big for the Villa Carlotta. I soon found a place in another old building that would accept me and Stella, six blocks away on Argyle Ave. It was fine, but it wasn't the Villa Carlotta.

Since then, a handful of times a year, I have dreams that take place in that apartment I never lived in. I had another of those dreams just recently. I searched for more information about the building. This article describes it well. This one is fascinating.  This has some great photos. This article gives an update.

Oh, Villa Carlotta. I wonder if she dreams of me too.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bob Doesn't Have a Phone

Bob doesn't have a phone but sometimes I let him use mine to text his friends. When he does, it looks like this.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


This grassy path was more beautiful that the linoleum path from the waiting room to the MRI room at the radiology place. I've been on each in the past two days and so grateful for both.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Me and Dr. H: Today's Appointment

"So, how'd you hurt your shoulder?"

"Lifting my carry-on into the overhead compartment."

"They have a thing now called checking your baggage."

"I don't know. Sounds fancy."

"It's very fancy. And you have a torn rotator cuff. I'm writing a prescription for an MRI."

"The last time I had one of those I sort of freaked out. I swore if I ever had to get another MRI, I was going to need you to prescribe some heroin."

"I'll do what I can."

"I don't understand how this happened. I'm still in my 20s."

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Silver Smile

"Your mouth might be pretty sore again after the orthodontist, babe. Maybe we should pick up some soft food for your dinner."

"Yeah, we definitely should."

"What do you have in mind?"

"How about macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and ice cream? Maybe some strawberry yogurt. Oh, and that banana smoothie juice drink."

"Isn't that just a list of all your favorite foods?"

"No. I didn't say tacos. Oh! And soft tacos. Let's get those."

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

These Two

When these guys aren't busy eating upholstered items, they're really quite delightful.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

This Year

"Bob, when you're older and you look back on this Thanksgiving, and you might, I hope you'll say, 'When I was eleven years-old, my mom decided for the first time ever, she couldn't cook Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday and she loved cooking. We had gone shopping during the week to a bunch of different stores to get all the right ingredients. She had made Thanksgiving dinner so many times before, she didn't even need a list. That year, on the Wednesday when she would always make the pies, she just couldn't. She said there was no real reason, she was just tired and didn't have it in her. 

"So that night, we went to the store as it was closing and picked out little plastic cartons of pre-made Thanksgiving food - enough for ten people. We filled up a whole shopping cart. My mom wanted her friends and family over and she wanted the celebration even though she needed to change her part of it. I was disappointed because I thought I would get to help out in the kitchen. I was sad and afraid it would all be different. The one thing she didn't buy pre-made was the whipped cream. She let me pour the carton of cream into the big blue bowl and use the hand mixer to whip it up. I got to lick the beaters.

"On Thanksgiving day, everyone came over and we sat around the big table on the back porch and Pops said grace and we talked and ate and laughed and it was just like normal. It tasted a little different but we were grateful and people we love were there. It was still Thanksgiving and it was still good.'"

"Yeah, mom. I will totally say that."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's Mademoiselle Magic Stuffing Time

In 2009, I first posted the recipe for my beloved Mademoiselle Magic Stuffing. It has become an annual tradition. Enjoy the original post here. I'm off to try to figure out where Von's is hiding the dried currants this year.

Monday, November 20, 2017



"Good morning, Mrs. Rosenberg. Robert was scheduled for an appointment with us at 9:00am."

"Oh. What time is it now?'


"I'm so sorry. It's the first day of Thanksgiving break and I... uh..."

"Are you available this afternoon?"

"I think we...?"

"We'll see you at 4:00pm."


"I'm making you another coffee, Mom."

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Tri-Fold

Thursday 11:11pm

"Bob just found out about this when?"

"He came home from school today and told me the project needed to be on a tri-fold. It was in the instructions we read a few weeks ago but we both forgot."

"Wait a minute - I thought we were going newer photos to older photos."

"I did. That's me at the top of my side. I'm just older so everything's in black and white."

"I need to re-do my side."

"I think we should have used construction paper under the photos for more color. Old color."

"Was 'midnight tri-fold' in our vows?"

"I did the Island of the Blue Dolphins diorama last year when you were out of town so technically the tri-fold should be all you."

"I love you forever for not enforcing that."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

7 Minutes

Dear Lady,
So, we just want to say thanks for getting us these glorious couch blankets to eat. The seven minutes you were gone dropping Bob off at school just now were long. Like, really long. We were super bored without any delicious throw pillows or dog beds to jam into our canine mouth-holes. The blankets aren't as bouncy and rippable as the pillows/beds were, but we made do. The fun tassels on the corners were especially chewy and delightful. In a show of our appreciation we've redecorated a bit and we hope you'll enjoy what we've done with the place.
Forever your servants,
Levi and Teddy

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


There was a time I used to think baseball was boring. That was before I understood all of the slow moving parts are just a build up for when The Most Unbelievable Play of All Time Happens. And sometimes it just keeps happening. You just have to wait for it. This makes baseball the opposite of boring.

Now I know.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday Night

"Mom, why can't I stay home alone tonight? That thing's not for kids. I don't get why I have to go to a school board meeting."

"You don't have to go, you get to go."

"Really, Mom? That's how you're selling it?"

Monday, November 13, 2017

Back in the Bleachers

I took two excellent trips in the last two weeks. "Excellent" in this case is the strongest word I can think of without sounding hyperbolic, even though saying things like "life changing" would be true. I am also happy to be home.