Saturday, June 28, 2008
growing up hawk babies + a birthday tease

This picture above was taken on May 2oth....The three Baby's were still spending quite a bit of time longer in the nest, though they may have been there at night, but on these two trees on my neighbors property which is much much closer than the nest tree.....
I love catching the baby's taking off or landing or just flexing their wings......This picture above really pleased me because the sun was going down behind the baby's and the light was so interesting coming through the feathers.....

I am just looking at all my Birthday pictures and it will take a little bit of time to get everything arranged the way I want it. Then I will post all about the "Ladies Who Lunch"....Meanwhile, here is a little teaser..... This is the most creative beautiful Flower Arrangement I've ever seen....This was sent to me by dear Terri, at Island Writer...(Cedar Key, Florida) and she sent it from my favorite Artist-Florist Van, from 'The Conservatory'....It is so original in this BEAUTIFUL Box....And all Pastel Colors---my favorite...! Here below is a side view..... Aside from the fact that the flowers are just gorgeous, this box is a work of art, too! Such a lovely wonderful gift, dear Terri....Thank You, Thank You, Thank You....This is just a little tease to whet your appetite about the "Celebration".....So, very soon, there will be......

More To Come.......

Friday, June 27, 2008
today is my birthday

Yes, today is the day! And I will be celebrating with a little "Ladies Who Lunch"....I am so looking forward to that. A couple of people who have not been in Los Angeles for a while will be here....Joyce Van Patten, my dear dear pal since 1962 and the "Spoon River" days.....And the wonderful Kim Hamilton, who had gone back to Manhattan on Thanksgiving Day, 2007, and just returned a few days ago..... Oh yes, there will be a Birthday Cake......But not one that looks like the one above, oh no! It will be one that looks more like this one, below from 2007.....!And it will have another name on it this year too. Because one of the people coming has a Birthday very very close to mine. And though it probably will only have three tall thin tapers on it like the one above, it will look like this, to me! Here is what is very very weird: What I thought 77 was, was very very ancient. Well, it is, in many ways, but what people have always said about how they feel inside---in their hearts---is true! Young At Heart! I just wish my body felt the same damn way.....Oy! It is not fair. Truly. The "Golden Years"? They Suck, Bigtime!Never-the-less.....We Will Celebrate! And I will pretend that I am as young in body as I am in spirit and in my heart, because I will be surrounded by some pretty great women----All good and dear friends!
So, as always........

More To Come.......

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
george carlin

And now George Carlin, too? NO! No, No, No! I mean, come on...It's enough already!

Gee, I liked George Carlin so very much. He was a true "Original"....Not afraid to tackle any subject and point out the Hypocrisy of it all! A brave wonderful soul, who truly made me Laugh Out Loud, like no one else.

He will be more than missed. He will be deeply mourned.

It is kind of strange and eerie in a way that the last HBO Special that I saw of his...the setting was a Graveyard.....Now I wonder if he had some premonitions about this, or if, like so very many of us getting to 70 and above, started thinking about our own death more and more, especially when so very many people we know are dying?

He was completely irreverent about death and dying and was utterly hilarious while being relentlessly brilliantly so....!

He said many hilarioous irreverrent things about every subject there is....

Religion: "I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two peices of wood..."

Marriage: "I Am", is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I Do' is the longest sentence?"

Sex: "If God had intended us not to masturbate, he would have made our arms shorter."

Death: "I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it."

But my very favorite gem of dear George Carlin:

"One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor"

God, I will really really miss him.
RIP, dear George C.

More To Come......

Monday, June 23, 2008
five hundred, and counting!

Yup! This is my 500th post! Amazing to me to think that there have been that many things I wanted to write about since early November, 2005!
When I think back to when I began....Danny Miller of "Jew Eat Yet", and his lovely wife Kendall Hailey were the ones that encouraged me to start "a blog"....! I barely knew what a "blog" was, back then. And actually, I started my first blog around October 6th or 7th, 2005. (That was called "Old Lady Of The Hills") computer crashed and I was so new to it all, I didn't know how to get back into my "dashboard" so, I started all over again....And here it is, Five Hundred Posts Later as "Old Old Lady Of The Hills"! And why not? And considering that most of these 500 posts were pretty wordy and were filled with umpteen plus me, this 500 posts thingy is quite an accomplishment.
Blogging has had so very many wonderful things about it, for me. Life-Saving Things, really. Meeting so very many wonderful dear sweet bright people----some of whom have been my "commenter's" going back to that very first month---The three that come to mind are, dear wonderful Rachel, ("Sliding Through Life"), and the amazing Judy, ("Imagine"), and the fantastic Chickie ("Skittering Thoughts")....ALL of whom are on my Blogroll and ALL of whom still come and read my blog, (as I still read theirs,) and all, give me wonderful loving support. And there are so very many others....Craziequeen, that special rare CQ, from the United Kingdom--who has been such a loving supportive blog buddy, in every way, and the dear Wendy, ("WendyWings", from New Zealand, who I actually have met 'in person'---both early blog friends and still, very much dear and great friends. Sonia, in Brazil...another dear early blog buddy-friend---who is still a regular here, as am I over on her fascinating blog...I else would I ever get to see Brazil and the incredibly special beautiful place she lives, plus have the gift of her humanness; And Mar, dear dear Mar, in Spain, another early blog buddy, who is still a dear blog friend....And again, I get to not only see Spain, but The Alps, and France, and Germany, and Chile...! I tell you, this blogging thing is such a gift!Karin, over at "HeartSongs" who has this special child she refers to as 'Little Girl'....And, "Jane's Insane" formally known as Jane Loves Tarzan, a blog friend and a phone friend, too...Yellowrose, who was in Georgis and is now back in Texas, and Chatty, who is a dedicated teacher and loves her dogs with all her heart and who speaks her mind without reservations---refreshing and funny, too---all early blog buddies. And Crimson, who comes and goes and comes back again---my Montana buddy. And, Colleen, in Floyd, Virginia...another early Blog friend, who, it just so happens, is a very very talented writer of prose and poetry. And Annie of "One Thing I Hate About Today" who has always insisted she is not a writer, but writes magnificently....Oh My...there are so very many many more wonderful dear blog friends....Jamie Dawn, who's humor and heart shine out of every post and another blogger that I have actually met 'in person'....Deana, who gave me my first Blog Award and who is one of the brightest sweetest people you will ever know----who worships pets---Her dear dogs, her sweet cats, and her wonderful horses and her special Rooster---She is a fabulous photographer as well as a loving supportive wife to "Toonces", aka Martin.....and, Terri, another fabulous writer who lives on a magical Island called Cedar Key, Florida, and who sends me chocolates brought back from her beloved Paris because she knows I love love love, chocolates.....Panthergirl, another very early blog buddy...a bright interesting woman with strong convictions and much love in her heart...SRP, who is a devoted mother, and daughter and sister, who takes BEAUTIFUL pictures and has boundless energy for everything she does....Vancouver Voyeur now Dancing Madonna, an amazing young woman...and her dear sister Pat, who comes and visits though she doesn't have a blog, herself. And Suzann, who has taken us on her "Journey To A New Life" as she has gone through the grief at the loss of her dear husband....And, Dara, and Dak-Ind, and Dena, and Sara, and Joarad, and Linda from Australia, and Tan Lucy, and Lucy Stern, too. And dear dear Mamacita, and the ever wonderful Ribbitticus, and two more darling young women from the UK, Fizzy and Le laquet.And dear dear Bob-Kat, too, another lovely person from the UK, who created and gave me one of the most beautiful presents last Christmas----I am still overwhelmed with what she did.....And Charles, AKA "The Queer Chef", who lives in Norway but is from The Philippines....a delicious young man if ever there was one....And, Pat, aka Deslily, who is a ferocious reader and writer, too....And the delightful Tan Lucy, (I think I mentioned her already) and the very dear Pearl in Toronto, and Teena in Toronto, too. And Carli, who loves classic films & Shoeaddict who is a TV Junkie and writes wonderfully about it, And the two Diane's---Vogel and Standiford.....And Loving Annie and Twilite and Smiler.....I could go on and on and on, and will....So many of the above mentioned have been along on this blog-ride with me from early early on in that first year...Some others come to mind too...Carmi, from London, Ontario, for instance, that wonderful Carmi and of course, the one who brought us all together to begin with....the dear and special Michele and those amazing Meet & Greet Weekends....And dear Bud At Pinehurst, a fascinating man who lived in New York and worked at NBC for years and years, and with whom I share many memories of Manhattan, 'back in the day'; And Rick, "The Palm Springs Savant" who loves the Desert and writes about it and many other things, too....And someone I hope to meet fairly soon cause he comes up to L.A. quite often.Given my Health Issues, which have truly changed my life-as-I-knew-it in huge HUGE ways....Blogging has kept me involved in the world, and, miraculously, kept me meeting new people from ALL over the world, from day-one.....What A Great Great Gift! And this is still true. I meet new people because of this blog and because of all those bloggers I mentioned already---almost every day. There is Jammie J., the last of the 'I-met-her-in-person' bloggers as of this moment....a delightful young woman and her sweet husband Tony---living right here in Southern California....And dear Lucy....84 years old and so much fun, An "The Fat Lady" my anonymous visitor who won't reveal herself to me though she seems to know an awful lot about me and my life----I love a blogging mystery--lol!Over on my sidebar are many many more really special people...and there are some other special people who are not on my blogroll...Forgive me, dear dears....It is not is that I am old! (lol) Remember I will be 77 in just a few days and I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, if I haven't mentioned you, please do forgive me....and also, I'm not done!I have met so many wonderful caring sweet and fun people through this amazing phenomenon we know as blogging. There is the beautiful Pat of "Past Imperfect"...a treasure of a woman, who inspires with the writing of her life story; Anne, who writes about her struggles and triumphs living with MS....a brave wonderful woman; And Shephard, another dear blogger I have met 'in person', who also inspires with his writing and his love of Musical Theatre---He is right Up My Alley....And Rain, who shares her deep thoughts about the beauty of nature and writes so wonderfully about the state of our Country and the problems we face.... And "Old Horsetail Snake", a man the gives you a laugh every time you visit him; And TorAa and Renny, both from Norway and both very interesting life-loving men---Again, I get to visit Norway, where I have never been, and what a gift that is....(Dear Tor just lost one of his sons quite might drop by and wish him well in this difficult time)And Dana, over at Awareness, who's writing is always provocative and stimulating and who's heart is so very big and open....And so very many other newer Blog Buddies: The ever delightful Scarlet from Florida, the fun-loving Geewits from Texas, and Randall, and John G., and more and more and more.....Each and every one of you are 'treasures' to me. And whether you comment or not, your visits mean the world to me. Now, let's hope there will be another 500+ posts and counting and let's also hope you will all be along for the ride....cause if my blog brings you pleasure or a laugh or even some tears....I am happy!

So, as they say in AA...'Keep Coming Back'......

More To Come....For Sure.....

5:25pm NOTE: Already, here are some dear people I neglected to include...Dear Lyn....a new friend from Mass. who always visits and often comments; Cyberkitten...Oh Dear CK.....from the UK...A darling sweet man who has very strong feelings about the U.S. and our Politics, and an early blog buddy, too; And Ex-Shammickite ad VioletSky, two newer Blog Buddies...both very interesting and dear people....And, there are no doubt more....Forgive me, please.....

And Shionge from Singapore...Oh, my. How could I havd left you out, my dear...Next time you come to Los Angeles, you better come on over to see me....!

Saturday, June 21, 2008
debra winger

I have always admired Debra Winger as a very talented actress and as a very unique woman, too. She has never been your usual 'Film Star' in any way shape or form. She is not of that 'mold', shall be say. But what she has always always been, is true to herself and she has always followed her heart and her convictions, and I think I admire that is a person almost as much as the talent they possess.

There are many memorable performances from this special actress...of course the first one that comes to mind is "Terms Of Endearment", for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. A brilliantly funny and touching performance.....And then, of course"An Officer And A Gentleman" with Richard Gere...and the film that made her a star, "Urban Cowboy" with John Travolta....She was like a young colt unable to wait a moment longer and bursting to get out of the paddock; it was something to see!My personal favorite is a later performance---a more mature performance, with Anthony Hopkins in "Shadowlands". A very beautiful complex film about many many things, not the least of which is love, and how love can open your heart in ways you couldn't have possibly imagined.

A beautiful film that I have seen many many times and never tire of it.

Now, Debra Winger has written a book. It is not really a memoir, but it certainly is filled with her memories...It is a slim volume, beautifully put together, and dense with many ideas and feelings, and I loved it. In the very beginning---the prologue actually, she quotes a scene taken directly from the script of "Shadowlands" fact, it is from my very favorite scene and one that I have paraphrased recently in a comment on someones blog.

This scene is where Joy, who is in remission from cancer, is with her husband Jack (C.S. Lewis, of "Narnia" fame and much more....) in this magical beautiful place called The Golden Valley...They are just taking it all in and he has said how he doesn't want to be anywhere else anymore...How he is not waiting for "anything new to happen. Not looking round the next corner, nor over the next hill. I'm here, now, and that's enough."

Joy says: "That's your kind of happy. isn't it? It's not going to last, Jack."

Jack says: "We don't need to think of that now. Let's not spoil the time we have together."

JOY: It doesn't spoil it. It makes it real. Let me say it, Jack, Before the rain stops, and we go back.

JACK: What is there to say?

JOY: That I'm going to die.

(Lewis finds this very hard)

JOY: I want to be with you then, too, Jack. The only way I can do that is to talk to you about it now.

JACK: I shall manage. Don't you worry about me.

JOY: I think it can be better than that. Better than just managing. What I'm trying to say is that the pain then, is part of the happiness, now. That's the deal.

Profoundly touching and true.

And so is Debra Winger's beautiful little book.

More To Come........

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
huckleberry hill farm

Since I have a Birthday coming up in about nine days, I thought it might be fun to share my 7th Birthday with you...Well, the Cake & Candles, anyway....These two little snapshots were taken on The Farm where we celebrated my Birthday that year, and that is it for my 7th Birthday. I guess I should be grateful that I have these two little snapshots...well, I am grateful, believe me. I have written a little bit about Huckleberry Hill Farm in the past....It was a wonderful wonderful place in Angels, Pennsylvania, (The Pocono Mountains) that my parents built starting around 1935. Below is a picture of the front of the house...And as you can see, the landscaping wasn't even done in this picture, other than a tree or two over on the right......What a wonderful house it was, too....I think we were the first Jews that any of the people in that area of Pennsylvania had ever seen. In fact, I know we were. My father always loved breaking new ground; being 'the first' in anything, and moving to places where he would be the first Jew...well, that was even better.....Not because he was ashamed of being Jewish, but because I think he and my mother both felt it was basically wrong that there were places that kind of looked upon Jews as if they had horns and did not want them living near by---which a lot of people actually believed, back then.......But more than that, in this case, they chose this area to build this special amazing home because it was beautiful, beautiful country...And, I think they thought, well, 'no jews' what? And I guess it didn't hurt that he could afford it. And building there gave lots and lots of local people work, during a time when 'The Depression' was in full swing. So, though they looked at us as strange-creatures-from-another-planet, who were sort of invading their territory....(It was ever thus, wasn't it?) I think most of the people were happy to have the work and also, hopefully, they were happy to learn that we were really nice people and, in fact, we Jews didn't have horns. 70 odd years ago, give or take....Let's hope things have changed there, just a little bit.In this picture above....that is 'Jen The Hen' in the center, and good family friends Dr. & Mrs Bill Kaplan.....he is the doctor that failed to recognize I had, at nine years old, pneumonia, among some other horrific infections, and ultimately---that undiagnosed Pneumonia set in motion the Lung Disease problems I am dealing with now....In the background at the piano are Robin and the very wonderful Stanley Glickman...He was Robin's first love. I think she was Seventeen.

We not only spent summers on The Farm, but in the Winter, (You can see it says Happy New Year on the fireplace in the background of that picture above....), we would spend The Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years Holidays there, too, as well as any time we could get away during the year---like Easter Vacation. It was a great place for entertaining and my parents did a lot of that, I'm happy to say. That is probably where I got my love of entertaining....I have some wonderful memories of The Farm. And it was an actual 'working' farm, with Cows and Horses and Chickens, where we grew our own Corn as well as other Vegetables, too. We had an actual "swimming hole" there which we all loved! Here below is a picture of our diving! At the top is my sister Gene....then me, and standing up---our little cousin Junie who is one year and one day younger than me....And the woman in the foreground was our Piano teacher and great family friend, Francis Druckerman---affectionately called "Drucky"....(Drookie). She had been teaching us Piano for as long as I can remember....the picture below is of a little recital we had at our home in Great Neck...I believe I was no more than 4 years old there. I have posted this before, but in case people haven't seen it is again. In the back row, "Jen The Hen"---my Mother, "Daddy Joe"--my father, "MaaMa"---our dear Grandmother, (My mother's mother, who lived with us at that time....). Then the front row...Right To Left: Drookie; then my oldest sister Robin, who was eight years older than me, and who died in February, 2005; my sister Gene who is five years older than me; and my brother Gordon, and then me. I have no memory of what anyone played or who was there or why we did this...but the picture really speaks for itself...all of us dressed up and even bouquets for the girls and a boutonniere for Gordon....I love that mother and MaaMa and Drookie had on long dresses....It looks like this was a really big deal, doesn't it.......? A closer look at Gordon and me.....Weren't we cute? Hard to believe I will be 77 years old on the 27th of this month...(Well, one could say I am pretty much 77, already...) and Gordon will be 79 years old on September 20th.

Back to The Farm.......

As I said, it was called Huckleberry Hill Farm. Why? Well, because the entire hill was covered with these wild and delicious Huckleberry's. I have, I believe, written before about how one of our daily chores was to spend a couple of hours picking these wild berry's.That is me over on the left and my dear sister Robin, way over on the right....I have no memory of who that is in the middle....But, I know we were picking Huckleberry's.....And in this next picture below, that is "Jen The Hen", (My mother) on the left and a friend of my parents, Hattie Grauer on the right....They were picking Huckleberry's, too...That is the back of the house behind them. It had a huge patio off of the Living Room/Dining Room---it was such a special beautiful house.

After we finished picking those luscious delicious Huckleberry's, we would wash them and let them dry and then we would box them up in those little square boxes---like the box Hattie Grauer is holding--- Then we would put a piece of cellophane over the top held down by a rubber band, to keep the berry's safe and secure, and then, when we had enough boxes, we would sell them to a place called The Buck Hill Falls Inn......It was a very big posh Hotel there in The Pocono's that was very popular in the '30's and 40's and 50's....and it was "Restricted" as were all the Summer Hotels in that area....There was another huge beautiful big Hotel named The Skytop Lodge that we sold our boxed Huckleberry's to, as well.It too, was "Restricted".....In case some of you are too young to understand what "restricted" meant back then....well, it meant no Jews. (Of course it meant no "Negro's", too...that was a given back then, and I don't believe any Black people even tried to stay in these places.....) In order to get to our Farm one would have to pass by a lot of little Summer Hotels on the main road there in South Sterling----places that now would probably be considered Bed & Breakfast type places....I don't remember the name of this place but I remember it had a lovely sign out front on the street, right under their Hotel Sign, that said, "No Dogs Or Jews". Second billing to Dogs. For all of the years that we went to The Farm, that sign was always there. It was pretty awful, to say the least, but a true reflection of how people felt in that area of Pennsylvania back in those days. Some of these smaller places had signs that said "Gentiles Only"...a slightly nicer way of telling you, You were not wanted or acceptable.So we learned that this was the reality of 'the times'. Not a pretty lesson, with all that was happening to many of our relatives in Europe at that time. But, what was great about selling our Huckleberry's to these places there in The Pocono's was this: The money we collected went to charity, and it was always a Jewish Charity. The lesson here was greater than the actual activity of the entire process. We learned about the reality of the world around us. We learned about the importance of giving to people less fortunate than we were, and in a funny way, we learned that sometimes there are ways to take the most horrible things that confronted you, and turn them around just a little.

No, those places did not change their policies---for all I know, if they continue to exist today, they may still be 'restricted' in that "Gentleman's Agreement" kind of way....."Gentleman's Agreement". Ohhhh, what a film. If you have never seen this picture or read that book by Laura Z. Hobson, it is a truly wonderful and important film. As relevant today, I'm sorry to say, as it was back when it was released in 1947. All you need to do is change the names of the objects of the prejudice----it could be Jews, or Blacks, Or Gays, Or Latino's, etc., etc., etc.....The brilliantly talented Gregory Peck played the lead magnificently, with extraordinary performances by Dorothy McQuire, John Garfield, Ann Revere and Celeste Holm, who's particular performance in this picture won her The Best Supporting Actress Oscar that year. The incredibly talented Elia Kazan won for Best Director that year and the film itself won Best Picture---Plus it garnered 5 or 6 other nominations. If you have never seen this film, it is very much worth renting, believe me. I think it is one of the most honest films ever made about the insidiousness of prejudice and Racism......

More of Huckleberry Hill Farm in Part 2, which will be coming along soon......

And, as always......

More To Come......

Monday, June 16, 2008
a many splendored thing

"LOVE.....Is A Many Splendored Thing------" "It's The April Rose That Only Grows In The Early Spring-----" "Love Is Nature's Way Of Giving....""A Reason To Be Living....." "The Golden Crown That Makes A Man A King--------!" "Once-----On A High And Windy Hill....." "In The Morning Mist, Two Lovers Kissed, And The World Stood Still........" "Then Your Fingers Touched My Silent Heart And Taught It How To Sing-------!" "Yes, True LOVE'S-----A Many Splendor'd Thing..........!"

(Key change, go up a whole step........)

"ONCE-------On A High And Windy Hill......."
"In The Morning Mist, Two Lover's Kissed, And The World Stood Still.....!" "Then Your Fingers Touched My Silent Heart And Taught It How To Sing---------!""Yes, True LOVE'S----A MANY SPLENDORED THING-------!"

(You take your bows to Thunderous Applause.......And Humbly Thank your audience...... )

More To Come.........

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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