Monday, March 31, 2014

My baby turns 23

Naomi at 10 minutes being held by her sister

Naomi holding her own baby

Naomi and Shanna. Naomi is 10. Shanna had just graduated from college.

At 6 in Disney World
Tempus fugit. Despite using midwives for the first time, Naomi's birth was my most medicated one. My waters had broke on Good Friday 2 weeks before her due date; they were giving me 3 days to go into labor spontaneously. Supposedly  had a 90% chance of going into labor within 24 hours but this did not happen. Early Easter morning, I thought I felt mild contractions which of course stopped as soon as I was in the labor room. So I was induced. For two hours, absolutely no contractions and then suddenly it felt like end stage labor. On contraction two, I was begging for something, anything...make this stop!!!! I had just bragged how I had a 10+ lb baby with no pain medication (sunny side up at that) and 5 minutes in, I am whining. In my defense, there was no break between the contractions and they reached their peak intensity quickly and for a long time. I was given laughing gas, which I found helped a lot though when I was pushing, it was hard to suck it in and push at the same time so I threw the mask off. Although laughing gas is used extensively in Europe, it is isn't used hardly at all in the US though the midwives are trying to bring it back. When I asked (not that many years later) Naomi's OB what the problem was, she said it was bad for the baby but I have found no studies to back her up. About an hour later, I started to push. The midwife stopped me as she thought I had at least 4-6 hours to go but checked..the head was right there. Five minutes later, out popped Naomi. Shanna, almost 12, quietly observed the birth. I had told her that I might need her to leave if things became too intense. It wouldn't be a good strategy to get grandchildren if she saw me scream in pain. I was relatively quiet for the first two and third births should be easier, right?

Did her quick birth lead to learning disabilities? Was she oxygen deprived because there was no break in contractions? Is laughing gas to blame? And her learning disability was so subtle, it took me and her teachers 7 years to figure out something was not right. She had reached all those milestones early. In first grade, she was a fluent reader. She tested all over the place. Very high in some areas but scarily low in others. To most people, she is an outgoing, beautiful woman but then, she gets into a mood and its teenagerhood all over again. Right now she is concentrating on being a mother. In the past, I've come up with plans to follow, which she follows to a certain degree but then gives up. It's up to her now. Slowly she is growing up but she is my biggest worry by far. When will she be self-sufficient?

Spring finally arrived. It was sunny and in the high 40s yesterday when Maya and I went for a walk. Lots of sun deprived people out and about. Maya petted numerous dogs. I stopped to speak to a former co-worker while Maya looked down at her feet. Strange adults are so scary to her. We went to the playground which is still snow covered as it is shady there. Still Maya was thrilled to go on the swings.

I spent hours yesterday trying to use a Groupon for a photomagazine. It is due to expire. However none of my work could be saved..such a waste. I finally got a hold of them today and they admitted that everyone using their groupons at the last moment crashed their site. They gave me an extension and will e-mail me when the site is repaired. Too bad this info wasn't on their site before I wasted so much time.

I will take Naomi out for a special dinner tonight. Maya will stay with Steve.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Twins and Jetpacks

One of the twins trying to break into the forbidden computer

Daniel asleep from a story I told him

Maya and the jetpacks: silver painted 2 liter pop bottles rigged in a harness A favorite with the boys in her school

Josh and Allie at lunch today. It's her 6 month birthday

Maya at school

The wonder twins and I
Despite my life of leisure, I still find myself busy with too much undone. I went with Naomi and Don'tae the other day to school for a teacher conference concerning Maya. It wasn't as elaborate as the IEP meeting a few months ago with all the specialists weighing in with their opinions and setting goals: this time, only the head teacher was there. Basically she is still far behind where she should be but is making a lot of progress. As her skillset is very similar to 4 year old Josh's only with better enunciation, I am not too concerned. She also needed to be enrolled for the next year, which the process was unduly difficult and impossible for Naomi to understand on her own. There is a possibility of her going to the local school for preschool, no long bus trips, but she would not have the support staff there so she will stay put with hopefully the same teachers.

Wednesday night: dinner with a good friend. I return to find Steve in his annoyed mode and Naomi in our house doing laundry. She managed to break, probably by overloading it, a washer that we had bought about 18 months for her.

Still spring is a disappointment. A veneer of ice coated everything Thursday. Today: mid 30s but the shoulders are finally clear enough for me to run out into the country. So many deer carcasses! The vultures just returned last week: plenty for them to eat.

Recently a neighbor posted in FB guidelines for visiting Stage 4 cancer patients in treatment: basically remembering how easily fatigued they get  so don't overstay your welcome (and you have to be welcomed: no drop bys) and how easily they can become infected due to probably suppressed immune systems. If you have been exposed to any disease recently, don't come. Wear clean clothes: not just clothes that look clean because you haven't spilled anything yet but any clothes that have been in public, especially not worn to hospitals or daycare centers or even supermarkets as infective agents may be hitching a ride. No false cheer (you can beat this!), no morbid stories, etc. So this neighbor and I communicate by email and FB even though our doors are less than 50 feet apart. I don't want to disturb her husband with stage 4 prostate cancer. I kept these guidelines in mind when the sweet lady from my cooking class and yoga invited me to lunch yesterday to meet her now one year old twin girls. One baby is a lot of work as it is but two when you have Stage 4 BC!!! Fortunately she has plenty of  help. Her mom stays one month on, one month off. Her 6 siblings take turns the rest of the time. She has a nanny during the day that changes diapers so basically all she needs to do is watch and love her precious little girls. I felt that I should have brought the lunch but she said she had plenty of energy to make it. She is between chemo treatments right now. No tumor progression, so that is good and her markers are down, also good. But she will need treatment for the rest of her life. Hopefully they will keep finding treatments that keep extending her life. She is only slightly older than Shanna. I like her a lot despite  the differences in our ages and cultures, we find plenty to talk about. We clicked immediately. The little girls have stranger anxiety and eyed me suspiciously for the first hour. I took a picture of one and asked if she wanted to see her picture: she came running over demanding to be picked up so she could see my phone. As it turns out, she isn't allowed to see screens (TVs, phones, computers) but she jumps at the chance to see one even if it means having to face down a scary lady. Eventually her smaller sister warmed up to me too.

Afterwards I visited Shanna and her kids as they live just a few miles away.

We took a walk with Josh and Allie today along the river. Coots and Buffleheads were in the river, which I had not seen before there. And so many swans! More and more each year. And then out for bento boxes.

And both UM and MSU have survived by the skin  of their teeth to the Final 8.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Cockeyed Circus


Both images above from the Palisades.com website. Not sure if "Laughing Sal' will laugh once I publish.

My idea of heaven when I was a child would have been non-stop access to amusement parks. Here in Michigan, we had Edgewater Park, a mere 3 miles from home and Boblo, which technically was in Canada, an island in the Detroit River accessed by 2 multistoried river boats (The Columbia and the St. Clair) which were manned by Captain Boblo, an elderly, energetic midget who would dance for us as we left the downtown Detroit docks for our one hour cruise. Both places are long gone.

Back in New York, I often went to a small amusement park in Elmira, NY which was at least partially manned by my father's friend Ernie who was legless due to being in the Battle of the Bulge (couldn't forget that name). I think we had passes due to him. I watched in amazement as he climbed ladders as part of his job. There was a much bigger park in Canadaigua , NY, which had better rides that I went to at least twice before moving to Michigan.

However my all time favorite place (this included later visits to Disneyland, Cedar Point and Kennywood Park) was Palisades Park In Fort Lee, NJ. I was reminded of this recently when we drove over its former site as we exited NY on the George Washington Bridge. Right after that, someone posted its jingle heard all over the NYC metropolitan area in the 60s, on Facebook for Throwback Thursday.

During the summer of 1963 we visited NYC, a first for me. Convenient for my father, one of his best friends from high school (the other being this man's identical twin) recently moved to Englewood NJ where we stayed. He had a son my age, who was my companion for the duration. I remember taking a walk one morning with him to a large pond that was posted with an impressive amount of Toxic! skullbones signs. Also we were served reconstituted dry skimmed milk to which my father remarked I am cheap but not that cheap. He never understood the difference of being thrifty by necessity versus his strange compulsion. I remember a Circle Tour Ride, a trip to the UN building, and a lunch at an automat in which one selects ones food from refrigerated small compartments. As soon as you grab a plate, a carousel replaces it with another. So cool! But in return, he took his friend's kids to Palisades Park, a wonderland that I had dreams about long after. Fahrt zum Mars! (loved that name), my first Wild Mouse ride but the best of the best was the Cockeyed Circus Funhouse. After you climbed a stationary staircase, you had to negotiate going through a large rotating barrel. Of course I fell. Then on to constantly shifting walkways and staircases all lined with distorting mirrors, the cackling laughter of Sal, air holes which would blow your clothes in all directions, leading you to a darkened room where there was a lit-up red couch. An operator urged you to take a seat. As soon as you did, the seat collapsed and you found yourself on a long conveyor belt that ultimately dropped you to a mattress,. Ride over. So cool. I never saw anything like it anywhere. I heard shortly thereafter, the ride burned down and the park didn't last much longer. Sometimes I thought, maybe this ride was conjured up in my Dreamland because I never heard of anyone else having seen it. But after someone posted that blurb about Palisades Park, I found others that visited it. Steve never went there. Coney Island was right beneath his window and besides, they really didn't have the resources to go there. Also he was not a fan of amusement parks. On our first visit to NYC together, 14 years after I had gone there with my family, I was dazzled by the bright lights of Coney Island and insisted we go there immediately to go on some rides. He was much more accommodating in those days. We went on some whirling, twirling thing that got him sick.

Record colds again! Snow! When will winter end? Tomorrow it seems. I am holding off on my run until after I go to Maya's teachers' conference. And then a birthday dinner with a good friend.

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chineasy

A gecko made up of discarded CDs in Madrid where one of my nieces is temporarily living. Despite having a mom from Taiwan, she passed on learning Mandarin or Taiwanese. She did learn Japanese and hopefully Spanish.
I've always been fascinated by how quickly children learn a foreign language, especially languages that use different alphabets or use ideograms. I am also fascinated by how some people can speak a language yet not read it. My son-in-law can speak Arabic but I don't believe he can read it. I once was travelling with a Hong Kongese-American who didn't learn English until he went to school and asked him to translate some banner in a Chinatown where we were. How do the F should I know what it says? Um..it's written in your first language. He never knew how to read ideograms. I can read, poorly, several languages but I read them much better than I speak which I think is common for learning foreign languages that at least share the same alphabet.

During my first month as a Brownie Leader of first graders, I had two recently landed Japanese guests. One already had been here 6 months and already spoke English as if she always lived here but the other only came here in the past month and hadn't picked it up yet. Their moms were even further behind in their English lessons and lacked the 6 year old mind that seems so adept at language acquisition. I needed the one to translate for me when I needed to communicate with the moms. She offered to write notes. Well OK. I know what type of notes my other 6 year olds were capable of..and these girls were no academic slouches (PhD in nuclear physics from Stanford, anyone?) and this girl quickly wrote an elaborate note with what appeared to be excellent calligraphy. Was she exceptional? My sister-in-law said not. The ideograms are very logical and concrete, much so than forming words from an alphabet, which is fairly abstract, so young children can write fluently. If a child sees the word 'man', does a picture of a man instantly form?  If they see the pictogram for 'man', well it looks like a man.

Chineasy is a system of learning Chinese ideograms developed by Taiwanese-American ShaoLan Hsueh. She married a non-Asian and had children. None of her children had any interest in learning her language claiming it was too hard. She analyzed her language and decided that it consisted of 100 building blocks. If one could learn these blocks, then one could decipher the meaning of all that it is written. Some blocks are used much more frequently than others so Chineasy, as she calls her system, starts with them. One won't be able to speak Chinese after learning her system (all dialects use the same pictograms but the pronunciations vary so much that a Cantonese speaker can not understand a Mandarin speaker) but one should be able to read it at a low level without much trouble. Any google search will lead you to her pages where one can see how this works.

Should I learn this? Or should I work on bettering the languages I already studied.

Oh so much that I can do or should so. First step, massive house repairs. We spent some time yesterday learning about everything one needs to know about roofs and then some. What I would rather do with this money...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mud slide

Whitehorse Mountain just a few miles from a deadly mudslide Saturday between Darrington and Oso WA
killing 8 people. Some are still missing

 
On the last full day we were in the Pacific Northwest last August, we went for a long drive looking for Mt. Baker, the tallest of the mountains in the North Cascades at 10,800 ft. Even though it was sunny the few clouds seemed to always obscure our view. We had spent a few hours in the beautiful town of La Conner (probably even more beautiful now as it is surrounded by fields of blooming flowers-dormant when we were there) and then went for a long loop that looked short on the map but long when you are crammed into the backseat that consisted of Rte 20 aka North Cascade Highway and Route 530 stopping to take photos of the non-volcanic peaks, above being the prettiest. Despite an unusually dry winter (not for us at 91 inches now), the NW is now getting plenty of rain, so much that the ground became saturated causing a mudslide that swept over at least 8 houses and an unknown amount of vehicles on route 530 (our path!).

The high will be 20 something today. At least it won't be windy and despite our sump pump going noisily around the clock, it should be dry. Today is the first step towards fixing our house. First obstacle: the workers want access to our attic located in a crowded closet and a painted over shelf that needs to be removed.

Yesterday was a very low key day. No exercise, no getting things done except for some minor house cleaning. A visit from Naomi (no Maya as she was at a party on Dontae's side) An uneasy talk with Naomi to what she's been up to. Do I really want to know? Just hope, hope good decisions are being made. A good talk with an old friend.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dreamscapes

I have been one acquainted with the night
ROBERT FROST
 
 

Tessa's dress and purse combination. Will buy pretty pink ribbons for her pigtails. I love seersucker dresses

 
There is day world and there is night world. Thanks to insomnia, I inhabit night world more often these days though I haven't taken to wander the streets as Frost's subject has. Some of the time I spend somewhat productively by reading: the latest read is Dreams of Joy about some idealistic Chinese American returning to Communist China during the late 50s...ideals meet reality. Unproductive time includes bettering my score at Bejeweled Blitz and running the bad thought treadmill: what if, what if...
 
Then there is dreamworld: I awake confused whether this or that just happened. Latest dream that I can remember: I walk to the podium to give a talk about interesting children in science (I have done this in 'real' life) but I look down dismayed to find my toes are poking out of my socks. No thought to where my shoes may be but to trying to stretch the thin material over my toes, don't know if said toes are neatly manicured or not. In real life this happens all the time but I don't care. Steve does and advocates throwing the sock away. We aren't that poor. But usually the dream is the same one over and over. I am moving yet to another house but already miss the old house. Always they have interesting architectural details in sharp contrast to the boring sub model we have been living in forever. This house never is featured in my dreams. In my dreams I run far (fifty miles or more) from city to city on roads that probably don't exist. I am back in college trying to really earn my degree this time. I have roommates; I don't have dates: why is that? I keep forgetting to go to classes.
 
I find myself driving alone at night. The long drives in which I am sliding around in the icy Berkshires hoping the semis don't run me over as I listen to Pearl Jam caffeinating myself at regular intervals. The other night listening to non-stop Bach (it was his birthday) trying to remember where those axle busting potholes were as I drive on a now deserted road between towns after an evening of House of Cards viewing. Who is slimier? Claire or Frank?
 
Back into day world, it is very cold outside but hah! this is my day off. Spring might really happen in a week or so. Meanwhile I have plenty of things to do. It amuses me that people are afraid of retirement because they don't know what they would do with all that free time. We had a visit from Shanna's family yesterday. Tessa did not seem too impressed with the presents but was enthusiastic about saying her new age: TWO!!!!!! And a call much later from a desperate new father: why is she still crying?
 
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night. 



Friday, March 21, 2014

Tessa turns two

 What to get for a sweet little girl? I remember the disappointment Shanna felt a long time ago when she received just clothes. But it is so fun to dress little girls..so in a compromise, a dress with a cute little purse to match. I won't picture it here until she actually receives it lest she reads my blog..she's getting close; already she knows all the letters.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Soy Easy!

Braised tempeh in coconut curry

Daniel yesterday before I left with the iPad. Not happy about that

Almost two Tessa
Ah spring! Well that's what the calendar says but per usual, it is awful outside. But it is a Y day so I don't have to brave the wind chill. The other day, instead of parking as I have for the past 3 months on icepack, one of my tires actually touched bare pavement! Things are melting; the sump pump goes on nonstop. I guess it's a blessing that things aren't melting too fast or we would be flooded.

I would have missed my cooking class due to travel, but another break. The snow last week cancelled it so we had everything soy yesterday. Since Komen partially funds the class, they have a breast cancer specific class every year..and soy is the usual topic. Should estrogen positive BC survivors avoid this stuff? In lab animals transvected with ER+ tumors, components of soy spur tumor growth. No such studies in humans but cultures that rely on soy for protein tend to have much lower rates of BC. This could be because their dietary fat intake is much lower (and fat is no good). In our teacher's opinion (a registered dietician who has had both ER- and ER+BC) soy is a non-issue but she understands the nervousness of some who are taking estrogen blockers not to increase estrogen-like substances.

For the past year, we had a sous-chef (in charge of slicing and dicing) who was 'giving back to the community' after his father died of cancer. His term is up so now, Sue, the sous-chef. Years of cooking, including cooking for 70 in the co-ops have made me quite handy with the knife. Brownies with soy milk inside and avocado for the fat: tofu stuffed shells, and the best: braised tempeh with coconut curry (recipes under my posts in FB). As usual, we tell our cancer stories. Saddest: someone who has Stage 4 BC just found out her daughter has stage 3 of a different kind. Just another reminder not to sweat the small stuff (which my whole week has been filled with).

And I have been seeing the grandbabies (except for Allie though we go over there later today). Maya hasn't made a potty mistake in a month at school and is becoming so much more articulate. I've spent the most time with Tessa, who is so adorable and eager to please. Although none of the grandbabies really look like my children, Tessa reminds me so much in her behaviors at least, of Shanna. So quick to learn though maybe Tessa is more co-ordinated. But beware of puberty....

I was playing 'acting' with Daniel and Tessa. Make a happy face; make a sad face, make an angry face.. Tess's not happy faces could only last for a second before she burst out in smiles. She is also the easiest to photograph(OK maybe Allie with her immobility might be easier) and loves to model.
She turns two tomorrow. It seems just yesterday we spent the month in Massachusetts awaiting her arrival.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Interesting toilets that I have used

cleaning options: note pressure and temperature of water can be controlled

The throne itself. Seat is heated
I have written about my stand up toilet adventures in Europe: the Swiss one in which the whole floor is washed down at each flush and the no frills Italian ones from which I can tell, never get washed. You stand on foot pedals and hope for the best, which is  to NOT get your clothes in the way. But last week, a different adventure.

Back home on the ranch, Maya is now potty trained: yay for that but she feels compelled to discuss every aspect of it. Still attending to lots of little things. For instance, our home insurance was cancelled due to the inspectors not being able to complete their inspection. Why was that? the four feet of snow surrounding our house. Inquiries are being made....

Monday, March 17, 2014

From shorts to polar fleece

After my run Saturday morning, Steve and I took a walk  around the neighborhood though things were closed due to the Sabbath

local graffiti


This bizarrely named cafĂ© was near where we ate Saturday lunch (back to the crepe place to try a different crepe). It is  across from the Good View Bakery, so named for the nearby train or maybe this cafe
Later a long walk along the Straits of the Verrazano. We attempted this a few days before with 10 degrees and 30 mph winds
Winds were still 30 mph but at 60, more tolerable




Then a stop at Spumoni Gardens for rainbow spumoni, a mix of cremolata, pistachio, and chocolate

Last breakfast. Hamantaschen for Purim. Whitefish and lox for the bagels.

Our ride home: all photos from a moving car. Sparkly Gehry building in eastern light

Normally we don't take the FDR drive and then the George Washington Bridge because it is out of the way but our access to the Holland and Lincoln tunnels were blocked by a race. Glad for the detour as all was beautiful

Bridge in Toledo
It was sunny and warm Saturday morning for my run in a short sleeved tee shirt and shorts. Much less traffic as theoretically, no one should be driving. A sharp contrast to today where I was greeted with minus one temps and some wind. Steve and I then went for a walk around the neighborhood and then later to lunch.

A small family sat across from us as we waited for our food, the child, a girl of about  12 was nimbly editing photos for her Facebook page. I was impressed with her adeptness with bent thumbs. Although she was quite pretty, many of her photos showed her with grossly contorted grimaces or kissy faces. Why do young people find this attractive? But the funny thing was when her crepe arrived, her mother silently went over and cut it into little pieces for her. She had no obvious motor difficulties (quite the opposite) but yet....

We walked along the water under the Verrazano Bridge, a 5 mile walkway ( in the olden days, I'd run the length and back) Very breezy but pretty (we did only 3-4 miles of it) The rest of the family was out at Jones Beach further out on Long Island but it would have been a pain to go in 2 cars and we had water and beach right here in Brooklyn. Then on to my favorite Spumoni Gardens, which surprisingly,is more known for its pizza (always in the best lists) but the family does not agree. We had gone to his brother's favorite place, over in Sheepshead Bay, for the real stuff the day before (where I contentedly slurped my pasta fagoli instead). Spumoni is sort of a cross between gelato and ice. Not as rich as gelato but has milk in it. The place makes ices of all sorts too but rainbow spumoni is what I came for.

A few hours later, the family returned for one last dinner at Steve's favorite Italian restaurant, a stop for some baked goods to take home to Michigan (who has the best rainbow cookies? Cuccio's or Elegante?) and then movie night, this time with the NYC classic Goodfellas. I fell asleep during it but woke frequently during the night due to Purim festivities nearby which seemed to include firecrackers and drunken shouting and singing. Oy! Our Purim activities included me eating hamantaschen though my sister in law got a 4 day weekend because of it from the yeshiva she teaches at.

After bagels and all the Brooklyn fixings, the long ride home commenced. Good driving weather though and our detour due to the NYC half marathon blocking our usual path was pretty with the buildings sparkling in the early light.

Still the snow covers all the lawns and still the snow mountains but the street are mostly clear of ice so I have a path now. A visit from Naomi and Maya as soon as we got home (couldn't wait for those rainbow cookies) and then today I delivered a package to Shanna.

It's Josh's birthday today but he wants us to celebrate it later in the week.

And don't forget the cherry cheese knishes.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Walking to Manhattan

A cherry cheese knish
Over the many years and visits to NYC, I've run across most of the major bridges though all were in races: the Verrazano, George Washington, Henry Hudson, Queensboro and a few into the Bronx and back but not the most pedestrian friendly: The Brooklyn Bridge. Well cross one off the bucket list.

We were dropped off at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, the latter being an acronym for down under Manhattan bridge overpass, not sure of that last word and most of it seems under the BB. Lots of piers and vista points to see lower Manhattan, the bridges, Statue of Liberty along with ferries, public art, native plantings, art galleries, etc. A pretty day, much better than the previous day when we had aborted our under the Verrazano walk due to really uncomfortable wind chills.

It was late in the day when we decided to walk across the bridge. The sun was starting to set, the lights on the bridge came on. The walkway is suspended over the car lanes and is divided into bike and pedestrian lanes though both yesterday were quite crowded. Aside from the many tourists, commuters were hurriedly making their way through the slow sight see-ers. The buildings sparkled in the light especially the new World Trade Center. So pretty! Photos to follow but the good ones will have to wait until we have access to a computer (soon!).

We made it to lower Manhattan. What to do? The stiff wind had been on our backs but now we would be facing it. Plus it would be at least 2 miles to the train in Brooklyn though seeing all the buildings light up during the sunset would be great. Still Steve had no gloves ( nor did I but I am much more tolerant of cold). 
Trains are plentiful in lower Manhattan but ones going in a useful direction for us, not so much. There are two systems, the numbered trains and the lettered trains without convenient points of intersection. The closest lettered train still was closed due to Sandy damage. After some walking in circles, we were finally able to get a hold of Steve's brother for advice and soon we took the A train which crosses the desired F somewhere in Brooklyn. After our slightly late Shabbas meal deliciously prepared by my sister in law, I was exhausted. I had run for more than an hour earlier in the day and then walked for almost 3 later.

It is the middle of the night. Just because I am somewhere else doesn't stop the insomnia. It is quiet though I can occasionally hear the train. When the downsized storm Vulcan came a couple of nights ago, the strong winds set off car alarms. so sleep, fuhgetabodit!

This is another world much different than Michigan. Appetizing is used as a noun often such as Avenue P Appetizing. It's a store to buy lox and other things to serve guests. We've gone out for babkas and cherry cheese knishes, the latter to bring back to the kids. I am not sure if one could still buy egg creams at the diner. Somethings are changing.

 Drivers honk incessantly. Someone followed my brother in law the other day honking to prod him to go over the speed limit. As soon as traffic stops for any reason, the honking begins. Ramy's brother brought his NYC ways back to Michigan and got a ticket for honking too much. There is no turn on red because drivers can not be trusted not to run people over. My runs up and down Ocean Parkway crossing-the Alphabet avenues are scary sometimes with cars zipping cross my path with no regard for my safety. And drivers are just crazy dangerous..a car stopped suddenly in the middle lane of the Belt, cut Cross a lane to drive on the grass to get to the exit he missed. At night, we have been watching movies, the last movie being Dallas Buyers Club. Good acting but mixed messages in the plot.

Getting tired...finally.
It was so cold walking along this facing the wind. We turned back in a NY minute

My swiss chard/bacon quiche at The Farm restaurant in Ditmas Park

My running path. Ocean Parkway goes north from the ocean for 5 miles lined with trees and paths on both sides.
The alphabet streets are perpendicular

chocolate babka. I prefer it without the mystery yellow stuff


sculpture next to bridge  Not sure what they are pointing at

locks at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Lovers throw away the keys

Interesting Dumbo pizza building
Our ride home. Should have taken the photo when we first got on and were packed in like sardines but couldn't move my arms The further from the city, the less crowded



View from the bridge Largest building: new World Trade Center


Me on our walk

From the park
Looking north back into Brooklyn. You can see the BQE and The Esplanade where I first wanted to go for the views but this park is so much better 
Dumbo bench

Tiny spot is Statue of Liberty
Gehry building looks the tallest here but just is closer than the WTC


My new favorite which we called the wavy building.
Designed by Gehry








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