Summer Work

for your eyes only012

Unless something incredibly amazing happens during August, we’re taking the month off from blogging. I’ve been trying to launch the Elder Beauty Project and it just hasn’t happened.  Why? Beats the stuffing out of me… Fear? Well yeah, there’s always that. Not knowing where to begin?  Absolutely.

What if?  I’ve been through enough what ifs to last a lifetime and haven’t come up with a decent answer yet. So now is the time to start asking for help.  Did I say that out loud?  Yes, yes I did.  There are brilliant people in my circles that would be more than willing to tell me how to get started, stay motivated, shut up about the what ifs and on and on. Why the hell do I think I always have to reinvent the wheel?  On my own? You know why…

Ida Ravioli (65)

I believe in this project so what’s the holdup.   I envision it to be a cross between Humans of New York and On the Road with Steve Hartman with a culinary twist.  Make sense?  Fine, you’ll see, it will look a lot like this; one of the most satisfying days of my life on a creative level, culinary level and humanistic level.  I will never forget it and crave so many more of them.


So I’m going to channel my inner Jeanette (in whose honor I dedicate the project) and get off my ass and talk to people about their people or other people’s people and get this thing going. The overriding fear of these stories not being told should surpass the fear of getting started.  You can get involved, you know, at the Elder Beauty Project. Just sayin.

I’m also going to take part in the August Break 2016 with the incredible Susannah Conway, to make sure my brain doesn’t completely explode, along with a host of other incredible bloggers and creative souls and just plain humans.  Look for the Ordinary Legacy images on Instagram #augustbreak2016

See you in September, when the summer’s through…with a plan, renewed enthusiasm and all the courage I can muster. Can’t wait.



Superpower (1)

The concept of superpower implies seemingly impossible abilities. According to Wikipedia: There is no rigid definition of a “superpower”. In popular culture, it may be used to describe anything from minimal exaggeration of normal human traits, magic, to near-godlike abilities including flight, superstrength, projection of destructive energy beams and force fields, invulnerability, telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, super-speed or control of the weather.

 Doesn’t mean a mere mortal like myself can’t have a superpower, doesn’t mean you can’t have a superpower. My superpower is pulling together a meal for anywhere between two and eight people at a moment’s notice using nothing other than what’s in my pantry, the magic fridge (as my sister calls it) and a bit of Sunday afternoon mise en place. Or as I call it chop/roast/sauté therapy.

So while Sunday morning looks like this:

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Sunday afternoon looks like this:

Superpower (2)Superpower (3)

The result of this is the ordinary legacy moment of the week. That moment when my neighbors and I are chatting on the deck and we decide we’re all hungry. Minutes later we are dining on slices of lasagna made the previous day in a loaf pan, tomato-zucchini-mozzarella-basil salad with dark chocolate balsamic and olive oil dressing and for dessert the now famous angel food-blueberry-gelatin concoction that tastes exactly like you want summer to feel. Cool and refreshing. Nothing makes me happier.

Have a good week.






Ordinary Legacy Moments – week of July 10, 2016


Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you…Jon Bon Jovi

I’ve been talking about ordinary legacy moments forever, but this quote helped me put them in a completely different context. These are the moments that just make you smile, you’ll remember them, they will validate something you didn’t even know needed validating and they are all around. Once you change your perception of the ordinary moments in your life you’ll see them all around you.

The animated chat with three total strangers in William Sonoma on the trials and tribulations of women’s clothing. See, last week’s post was spot on but they reminded me there are even more issues: bra straps that don’t stay up, tagless shirts for MEN…old fashioned bra stays, you know those little loops that snap over a bra strap so it stays in place. Before that a lengthy comment from a reader on the blog with even more trials and tribs. Apparently these will just keep on comin…stay tuned.

Clothing Pet Peeve

Marlon, the cashier in Michael’s that took my phone and zeroed in on a 50% coupon. I thought I already had a fabulous score for Carly’s birthday present but he saved me ten bucks. Yep did the survey, yep spoke damn highly of Marlon. And yes Marlon I will check for them in the parking lot before I come in. Love that kid.

An interesting conversation with himself that proved once and for all we have a very different recollection of how certain things actually went, nough said. Sent my mind into quite a tizzy but in the end I wound up forgiving MYSELF for everything I’ve ever done…ever. Amen to letting shit go already.

A long overdue dinner with friends that never disappoints, you know you’ve been doing this for a while when one of us can order for all the others. When you laugh for hours, when you encourage and cajole and pick up where you left off no matter the amount of time that’s passed. The ordinary legacy moment when we know something the other didn’t…there is still room for a first!

Sandra 6-3-2016005

The power of a good photo, especially if you took it, and it sparks conversation at the camera store where you’re picking up the print. That moment you were looking for to confirm it’s safe to have conversations with professionals and that you might actually have a decent perspective…might…or it might just have been that face of mine that people can’t help but talk to.

one speaks one listens

One speaks, one listens. That is the title of one of my favorite water colors done by artist Carol Grigg. The title resonates with me always but especially this week when trying so hard to convince someone that …she is kind, she is smart and she is incredibly important… I won’t stop till she believes is too.

These are all fabulous but the number one ordinary legacy moment of the week was a conversation with a neighbor toward the end of our longer Saturday walk. He was sitting on a bench as we walked by. When I said good morning he stopped us. Didn’t really say all that much but pulled the ear plugs from his phone so Toti and I could hear the music. Yep dancing on Mark Twain Way is now a thing. If you had to get a song stuck in your head all day, this was a damn good choice.

Have a good week, look for the ordinary legacy moments.





Clothing Pet Peeves List

Clothing Pet Peeve

As illustrated so beautifully by Sarah Andersen, are clothing companies aware that bras exist?

Or that not all women are size extra small/double zero/you should eat something?

Or that the ones that actually do eat something may require something called a dart in their clothing. Anybody remember those?

Or that larger women do NOT require the arm hole in a sleeveless top to measure 22 inches and fall somewhere around their waist.

That what they do require is a larger width between those arm holes……Yes that might require an inch or two of extra fabric, which we are already paying for if we are plus sized.

Do you think they realize that larger women might also be petite at the same time? You know short…

They might want to rethink the longer-in-the-back styles for big breasted women because those girls actually require more length in the FRONT. You know that beautiful shelf that’s created when you’ve got a bust, yeah it hikes things up in the front.

Does anything get cut on the bias anymore, you know the most flattering cut for every single body type under the sun, on the planet?

No, none of this. Think it will ever change? Not likely. Why in this trend-a-minute, use the cheapest-fabric-and-labor-possible would any clothing company want to raise their awareness? They wouldn’t. So unless you’re willing to spend triple the price you’re paying, find yourself a good tailor, or drag out the sewing machine invest in yet another wardrobe of camisoles and suck it up.

Aggghhhh but find yourself a tailor anyway.


Say Something



I have spent the better part of this late afternoon listening to mothers go live with their raw emotion and fear imploring us to say something. Brandi Riley, Amber Dorsey, and A’ Driane Nieves; by mothers I mean black mothers, by us I mean white people. By say something I mean, they mean, what has been true for decades of change must be true now. Only when the people opposite of the oppressed speak up will anything change. It was true when men spoke out for women, it was true when straight people spoke out for gays it will be true when whites speak out on behalf of blacks.

Had you thought the civil rights movement alleviated these issues you would be wrong. I learned much listening to these women bear their frustration and fear and anger and desperation and pain. Not so much for themselves but for their children.

I’m not a mother but I can recognize heartbreak when I see it. To applaud these women for breaking from the sending of prayers and cliché comments and emoji and moving to the “proverbial” cyber streets is to applaud acts of desperation. There is something inherently wrong with them needing to do that. Why? Why? This is the question they ask over and over. Why is it necessary to take to the live tearing of one’s clothes in agony? I don’t know. I don’t know what I don’t know, I admit. I can only feel their pain by watching and bearing witness. By bearing witness I must say something.

File Jun 26, 8 10 54 PM.jpeg

They speak of white privilege, rightfully so. When my niece and nephew are with me I don’t think about it. When they are with me, they are with me. I’m not naïve I know what that means, I know that guarantees a certain amount of security. When they are not with me and the news is teeming with one after another after another lost the fear rises in my throat.


When my sister’s God son is bullied and pushed around and harassed the fear rises in my throat. What do I do? I stay close, I listen, I do what I’m asked; please share, take to the internet. When it’s resolved what do I do? I remain mindful. I represent what I want all my people to be, kind, inclusive, loving.

There is little bigotry spoken around me as I’ve long ago made it clear that I can’t listen to it. When it starts I remind people “I’m in the room…” and it stops…in front of me…but does it stop? Likely no. It’s only a small thing I can do.

This past Independence Day I reread Night in honor of Elie Wiesel. The New York Times said it was a slim volume of terrifying power, they were right. It was filled with grief and the reality of not intervening, bearing witness and the lament of so much still to be done. Listening to my heart break at the sound of these women I must do more. I don’t know what I don’t know. I can’t do anything for Alton Sterling but I hope someone will trust that I will learn more and do more. Will you?