Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Introducing, Levi Rosenberg


We adopted this darling boy over the weekend and we are thrilled. I follow a lovely woman on Facebook who has a pet rescue and pet sitting service called Foxy and the Hounds. I have been watching this little guy's story play out for the last two months since they rescued him from a shelter in Barstow. He was taken in by the shelter as a stray. He was severely underweight and definitely the worse for wear. They think he's anywhere from 2 - 4 years-old. The name the shelter gave him was Sid.

Foxy and the Hounds got Sid patched up at the vet and brought him back to health. He was fostered out a few times but kept coming back through what seemed to me to be no fault of his own. Last week, I saw Sid's photo back up on Facebook and that he was available. I told Mr. Rosenberg and Bob about him. I had been carrying Sid's photo around with me on my phone since March.

On Sunday, Sid came to visit. They told me that he was a bit of a loner and not very playful with other dogs. He and Teddy met. They did the sniff-down and immediately their tails were wagging. We brought them into our backyard and after a few minutes, Teddy had him playing.  Teddy was obviously a fan. I knew Sid was home.

One of the first things we did was change his name from Sid-from-Barstow, to Levi. For many years our friend Carol had a beautiful and very special rescue dog named Levi. Sid reminded me of dear departed Levi and his sweet soul, so we had Sid's new name. Now, two days in, Levi already comes when we call.

In Hebrew, Levi means "joined in harmony." We are. And Levi Rosenberg is a mensch.












Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day and Remembering the Nurses


Today we remember our fallen soldiers and the brave nurses we lost in war time.

We remember them for their service and ultimate sacrifice.





Sunday, May 28, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links


Eighteen summers - it's all we get. This idea can be applied to so many things.

Advice vs Feedback.

They're one of the best parts of Los Angeles.

A handy tip for the easily distracted.

This artist made me gasp out loud.

Central Park in the off hours.

And a fox and her dog.

Happy Sunday.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Sort of Solo


"Mom? What are you and Teddy going to do for the next three days while dad and I are gone at family camp? Run around the house in your underpants?"

"That sounds about right."



Friday, May 26, 2017

Our Missions



"You know, Bob, when I was in fourth grade, we had to actually build scale models of whatever California Mission was assigned to us."

"We had to draw them and then do a report thing and then build them on the computer using Minecraft."

"Ours was sort of like a competition between the parents. Your grandpa Ed was an engineer so I lucked out."

"You didn't do any of it?"

"I think I painted the roof."

"That rules, Mom."










Thursday, May 25, 2017

No One Sings Like You Anymore


The majority of the crowd at the U2 concert on Saturday, looked to be around my age. Before the band came on, people ate pizza and drank beer and took selfies. When they heard the opening notes of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun, everyone quickly stood and began singing along. Cell phone flashlights, the cigarette lighters of the new millennium, were held up and waved in the night air.

After the first verse, I had to sit down. I closed my eyes. The stadium crowd of 90,000 people were sharing the sorrow of the death of Chris Cornell. His voice was an integral part of the soundtrack of our younger selves. We sang and said goodbye. It was painful and overwhelming. It was sad and it was beautiful. And we were all together.



Fell On Black Days (Official Video) by Soundgarden on VEVO.




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Luck is Luck is Luck


"Hey, Bob. Look at that tiny rainbow. It's just on that one cloud. I've never seen one like that before."

"Whoa. I'm taking a picture. Do you think a tiny rainbow only gives a tiny bit of luck?"

"What do you think?"

"I don't think it matters if it's big or small or medium - the good luck is all the same."




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday Night Practice



"Coach? Who's your favorite team besides the Dodgers?"

"The Dodgers. You can't have two girlfriends, Bob."




Monday, May 22, 2017

On Monday


There are those days when the only next right thing you can think of to do is to go somewhere serene and beautiful. Some days you have to go inward to try to create that spot in your mind. Some days you actually get to go that spot in the outside world.












Saturday, May 20, 2017

U2 at the Rosebowl


"Mom? I know my first concert was dad's band playing, right? But this one tonight kind of counts as my first concert too because I wasn't old enough to remember then."

"Correct."

"Have you ever sat in one of those special box things up at the top of the stadium?"

"Yes."

"Was it really good?"

"It was nice, but I was so far away from the action up there, it almost felt like I was watching it on TV. The music is only part of a concert. The rest is being a part of a group of people who are sharing an experience."

"Oh, yeah. I totally get that. That's really important. But do they have couches and snacks up there?"


Friday, May 19, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When I'm a Passenger

Photo Ashrafal Arefin

When my mom still lived up north, she would take the train down here to visit. She would invariably step out of the station with scraps of paper in her purse with the emails of the new people she'd met that day. She's got a gift for making fast friends.

I've read that most people using Uber or Lyft sit in the backseat, as one does in a cab. Three out of four times when I'm using a ride service, I will ask to sit in the front. I get into conversations with drivers. On longer rides, like to and from the airport, I usually walk-away with the life story of the person behind the wheel. Like mother, like daughter.

Last week, I met three interesting drivers. There was Robert, a truck-driver from Lakewood who'd been laid off at the beginning of the year. I heard about his wife, who was originally from the Philippines, and their struggle to have children. I heard how his in-laws have never forgiven their daughter for marrying a caucasian and about his childhood growing up in Santa Fe Springs.

Miguel is originally from El Salvador and is the lone accountant in a family of physicians. He had hopes that his college-age daughter would follow in his footsteps but she announced that she was going pre-med. He tried to pretend he was disappointed. He absolutely wasn't.

James is moving to Atlanta in two weeks with his daughter. Neither of them have ever been there but they are going to be close to James' son who was just drafted to the Falcons. His daughter lost her mother two years ago and he was not looking forward to the next day, Mother's Day, because of how upset his daughter would be, missing her mom. We talked about grief. I shared some of my experience. We hugged when he dropped me off.

All these beautiful stories and fascinating people. Why would anyone ever want to sit in the backseat and miss all that?



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This Book

I heard through the family grapevine that there was a book on Amazon written about my paternal great-grandfather, Francis Nelson Page. The book arrived today. I'm overwhelmed with all of the stories and family history that I've only seen the edges of before, and photos that I'd never seen at all.


My grandmother Sofia Padilla Page
My father was the youngest of her eight children.



My great-grandmother Albinita Mares
This is the first photo I have seen of her as a young woman.



My great-grandfather Francis Nelson Page

I am still reading through the book. I just finished a chapter about Frank and Albinita and Billy the Kid.

This is all so very wonderful.










Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Eight Year Smacksy Anniversary


On May 16 2009, I wrote my first Smacksy blog post. Today should bring me up to 2,920 days in a row of posting something here.  (2,921? Leap year? I'm unclear exactly.)

Smacksy means so much to me.
It's a daily writing practice.
It's a commitment to myself.
It's Bob's baby book.
It's a calling card.
It's the place where I have found remarkable friendships.
It's the story of our family.
It's a connection to the outside world.
It's a backup for my faulty memory.
It's encouragement and support from you guys.
It's eight-years-old today.

I am grateful for all of this and grateful for all of you.




Monday, May 15, 2017

Gams


Just today, I got around to going through the pictures I took last week in Florida. I found this photo of lovely legs belonging to a few of my girlfriends. It was an accidental photo that I must have inadvertently taken when we were trying to take a photo all together on the dance floor.

I kind of love it.
And definitely love the people attached to those legs.






Saturday, May 13, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: I Woke Up Here


I woke up here. But tonight I'm going to sleep in my own bed. Beautiful trip. Happy to be home.



Friday, May 12, 2017

Unwrap Your Day


I saw a commercial today for a cancer medication. The actress plying the cancer survivor in the commercial ends the spot with the words, "Now, everyday is a gift." Now. Not before, but now that she had to contemplate her own eminent death, now everyday is a gift. This is an old theme we've all heard before: Once you have looked death in the face, only then do you really appreciate the days you have left. I get it, but let's not do it that way.

Please don't wait. Open the gift. Open it now.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sweet Dreams

When I'm out of town, I FaceTime the guys before Bob goes to bed. Sometimes after Mr. Rosenberg and I are done saying good night, things get a little weird for no apparent reason.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Florida

The view from my room.

For the next few days I'm in lovely Florida hanging out with some of my very favorite people. This trip is such a gift. I'm delighted to be here.

And of course I miss these guys.




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's Finished

The New Version 

When we moved into our house three years ago, the back porch was a mess. The previous owner had used it for storage and a place for her cats to hang out. It was a wood frame covered in chicken wire. Hanging from the center of the ceiling was a frosted, 1970s dinner-plate-sized light fixture with dead moths resting on it. There were tweety bird stickers and American flag decals stuck to the screen door. We didn't hang out there much.

Yesterday, our favorite handyman/carpenter/electrician/plumber/gardener/fantastic/magic person - Mr. Jerry, finished re-doing the porch.


Welcome to my new office.




Monday, May 8, 2017

Minutes


There is a mindfulness teacher who has been coming into Bob's class to teach the kids tools for mindfulness. Bob has told me he closes his eyes and concentrates on his breath and it calms him down. He uses it when he gets stressed out about a test or a baseball game.

I took a tip from Bob and I did a little mindfulness today at the park. Bob was having a batting lesson. I put my phone away. I took a deep breath in through my nose and looked at the grass and the other kids playing. I slowly let the breath escape through my mouth and listened to the sound of the bat hitting the ball. Inhale and exhale and clouds moving across the sky. Inhale and exhale and two hawks settling onto a tree branch. Inhale and exhale and sun on my face.

It was a lovely hour.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bob is Eleven


Ten years-ago, at Bob's first birthday party, Bob slept. Mr. Rosenberg carried him around the party and Bob snoozed the whole way through. He woke up for cake, and then he went right back to sleep.

Today, Bob turned eleven. We went out for pancakes this morning before school. He got a birthday card from his class. Bob and Felix and Desmond went to the movies after school (Boss Baby - They gave it an 8.) and got frozen yogurt. Tonight's Bob's friend Caleb is spending the night. There is a small chocolate cake with chocolate icing and vanilla ice cream. So far today, Bob hasn't fallen asleep once.

We're hoping the guys will knock off some time before midnight. Mr. Rosenberg and I will be sleeping long before that.

Bob is eleven.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

About Your New Favorite Podcast: Midlife Mixtape

Nancy and Me (Serious Writers)

My friend Nancy Davis Kho is smart, gorgeous, funny, and she can Cha Cha Slide like nobody's business. As you may know, she has been writing a terrific blog for years now -  Midlife Mixtape - For the Years Between Being Hip and Breaking One. 

Starting right about today, Nancy is launching a new Midlife Mixtape Podcast, where she'll "celebrate Gen X at midlife with humor, heart, and a really good beat." Now you can take Nancy and her genius with you everywhere you go. 

You are so lucky to be alive at this moment in time. 





Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Night Lights



Tonight, it was a good game. It was a long game. For #2, Bob Rosenberg, it was three at bats: One single, 2 doubles. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday

Ended the day at a school district art show.

"So, Bob, after you wiped out on the bike, what did Felix do?"

"He made sure I was okay and he got off his bike and then when I stopped crying we both walked our bikes the rest of the way to school."

"He's a nice friend."

"Yeah. The day got better after that."




Monday, May 1, 2017

The Field Guy


When you get to the baseball field so early in the morning that this is happening, it's a sign you would have had time to stop at Starbucks after all.