Thanksgiving hopes to share a slice of the American pie

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Another Thanksgiving has come and gone.   The leftovers have been doled out to company and casseroles washed and put away.    The dogs got their annual treats and we gorged on an extra helping of stuffing and a second slice of pie.   Our lives are marked by these cultural traditions.  In America Thanksgiving is our premier holiday for families.  It’s a time when children and in-laws get plane tickets and take time off from work to gather at the family home.   We shop carefully for special items and construct a dinner meant for double the number of guests.   Because you never know if an additional guest or two may need a seat at the table. Continue reading

Now on the American menu: hate as the new normal

A softball dugout In Wellsville, N.Y. spray painted with a swastika.   Photo from The Huffington Post’s US edition.

I have been struggling with this post for a week now.  It has been written and rewritten a dozen times.  I am torn between expressing the anger and disappointment I’m feeling and a contrary pull to wait and see.  In the end the need to speak out won in my internal battle.  Some of my readers will agree with me, while others will not.  This is not a political missive.  It’s a call for decency and tolerance.

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Making a difference

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As we recover from the past few months of intense emotions and inflammatory speeches, we wonder what the future holds.  Larry and I both worked as volunteers for the Clinton campaign, knocking on doors and talking to people about the candidates and getting people registered to vote.  Now it is over.  The financial markets have settled down, but we remain numb.  We spent long days with like minded people who believed and gave up their time and energy to get the first woman in the White House.  Now we have to pick up the pieces and move on. Continue reading

Women and the workplace: the journey to full equality

Anyone who has been watching or reading the news knows that there has been a lot of talk this year about sexism and assault of women.  One event that is likely seared in many women’s minds was the light sentence meted out this year to the Stanford University student after being found guilty of sexual assault.   Most women have experienced some kind of harassment from men, sexual or otherwise.  We endure it, we tell our friends about it, sometimes we report it, and often it feels like the system is unfairly tilted against us.    I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what it’s like to experience harassment.  First I’d like to share my own story with you.

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A geological tour of Iceland

 

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Here is another guest blog from my husband, Larry.  When we got back from Iceland he said he wanted to write about the geology of the country.  His post is below:

Marla and I have been asked about our recent trip to Iceland.   In an earlier post, my wonderful wife described some of the dining and lodging we enjoyed.  I am going to talk about Iceland’s incredible geology.   When visiting Iceland, it is impossible to ignore the country’s dramatic vistas and unusual geologic formations.    Even the non-geological-minded cannot help to be impressed. Continue reading

Get out the vote 2016

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Deadline coming up soon in Pennsylvania. What about where you live?

Hi friends.  This is not going to be a post about my travels or my thoughts about work or my garden or friends.  This is about something much more important.  It’s about being a part of the democratic process and voting.

So today I want to urge all my readers who are American citizens to make sure they are registered to vote.  Here in Pennsylvania the deadline is next Tuesday, October 11.  While every state is different, most states allow you to fill out forms online.  Alternatively you can pick up a form from the friendly people who are out in your neighborhoods handing out forms.

We live in a democracy and are fortunate to have the protections of rule of law and freedom of speech, and the ability to elect officials to represent us.  Whether or not you believe that our political system is working the way it should it is my opinion that we have a duty to ensure that our system endures.   Each of us makes our voices heard in that most private of places, the voting booth.

Here is a link to registration deadlines by state, or go to http://www.rockthevote.com.

Iceland: views from the road and a museum that honors a body part

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I promised I was not going to try to duplicate the professional travel books that have photos and information about  visiting Iceland.   Having said that, I do want to share some of the more awe inspiring and unique sights and experiences we had.   Full disclosure:  at the end is something that is probably not suitable for children.   So, if there are any  young children here that you don’t want to explain this to, time to turn the page and move on. Continue reading

Traveling in Iceland: food, drink and sleep

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One of the guesthouses we stayed at near Budir in western Iceland.

During our one week vacation in Iceland, we only stayed in an actual hotel once.   That was on our first night in the country.  While often spartan and always unique, we enjoyed the diversity of our bed and breakfast choices.  We ate delicious food and drink everywhere, even in the most isolated places.  By the end of our time we came to appreciate the ubiquitous cod and potato meal, and to yearn for Skyr, a yogurt like dairy product made from whey.  Our trusty guide book pointed us to places where we could get a reliable meal in the most out of the way hamlets.  Continue reading

An Icelandic knitting odyssey

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Icelandic sheep hanging out by the side of the road.

Larry and I just returned from a one week vacation to Iceland.  While we saw a lot and I took many photos, I want to start with a post about knitting.  Why, you ask?    I am an avid knitter — that was one of the draws to Iceland.   Also, it’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter and the evenings have a crispness in the air that lends itself to all things wooly.   On top of that, Rhinebeck is coming up next  month, the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.  I am in a knitting frame of mind. Continue reading

A first place ribbon at the Quilt Show!

 

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Look at that winning smile!

The past week or so has been jam packed.  Larry and I went on a vacation — more on that later.  My friend BJ came for a few days and we attended the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza at Oaks, PA.  BJ is a master quilter and had entered one of her quilts in the Show.  I felt very fortunate that I live close to Oaks so I got a nice visit with her.  I went last year —  without BJ — and did a post about it with a picture of her quilt with a ribbon.  This year we went together, and, yes, another ribbon.  I was not surprised because BJ is one good quilter.   BJ retired a few years before I did and decided to pursue her love of fiber and become a professional quilter.

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