I spent much of the day preparing for their arrival: shopping, checking the child-proofing,

cooking up a butternut squash soup and some fresh wild salmon. Then they arrived!

Oh my: Meshullam is walking around, picking things up and putting them down, opening cabinets and looking inside. (Note to self: find the small bungee cords...) He is curious, intelligent, grounded.

Shlomo Barya and I got a chance to catch up some after Ahava and Meshullam had gone to bed. Mishka came out of hiding and joined us.

I am so delighted and grateful for the visit.

Now I'm the elderly relative that those in their prime may come to visit. I can offer them my witness and my love, my delight in their presence, healthy food...

and the imprint of the memory of their father, who was my beloved.

Good night.

Cat tail tonight

...draped on the keyboard.

She's dozing and purring.

Further baby-proofed the house: stoppers in the electrical outlets, fragile clay pots in a closet. Electric radiator warming their room; I will have to turn it off tomorrow. Oops, a vase on a low shelf: into the closet.

Cleaned out the refrigerator of forgotten things; will shop in the morning.

Oh, need to get more fragile things off the coffee table in the living room.

I've already placed the matches near the wood stove out of reach, and the hatchet on the high shelf in the closet.

(Cat stretch-and-yawn, followed by cat-snore.)

I'm in the stretch-and-yawn phase myself, and should take myself off to bed.

I will try to write while the family is here, but do not promise, because--you never know.

Blessings, blessings---


Good night.

Cat ear on the keyboard

Mishka is curled to the right of the laptop, snuggled atop the edge of the keyboard, paw over her eyes, fast asleep. Who knows why a cat likes what she likes? She twitches in her sleep.

I will be going around in an attempt to baby-proof the house. I have gotten enough plugs to stop up any unused electrical outlets, and tomorrow will duly insert them. I have replenished the bulb for the Himalayan salt night-light for downstairs. I discovered as I put fresh linen on the bed that the room had been thoroughly baby-proofed.

It also seems like the heat is not working so very well down there in the zone of the bedroom; I will have to check that out.

I just dozed at the keyboard: a sure sign that it is time for me to sleep.

I know what is drawing me: I see the eye doctor again tomorrow, and I am somewhat anxious.

Or maybe it's the strong pull of the cat-fast-asleep vibes.

In any case, I will take my own body's hint and sleep, and hope to dream, and waken early.


Cat bath

---taking place here on the desk, by my right elbow.

Now she has curled up on her side dozing, snuggled up to my forearm lightly purring, one paw over her nose.

The day began with an appointment with the eye doctor. One eye received its monthly injection. Then, a surprise: the doc has a concern about the other eye, and thinks it might need a surgery.

I will get a second opinion as well, before deciding.

No getting around it: I am a sissy, and this scares me. The idea has not yet found a place in my mind to settle.

And isn't it funny how our minds work, because the very next thought is the shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner, and how to child-proof the house, and pray that the toddler is not inclined to try to taste the cat food (not kosher.) Then on to the purring cat herself, and my appreciation for her company. From there to the laundry waiting to be turned on (morning), and reminding myself to put the trash out early...

Anything but think about a surgical knife headed towards my eyeball. Even typing the words makes my teeth feel loose.


I wish us all a good shabbos, in which things sort themselves without our interference.

Good night.


It is quite wonderful how a big snowfall muffles the sharp sounds, and everything is soft for a while.

This afternoon I joined a group of elders for lunch; it has finally occurred to me that I will turn 70 in a few months, and I am beginning to sniff the air for the place that I belong...

These are very awake and interesting people, and I hope to stay in touch with them.

I am aware that I am swimming, in my mind, in uncharted waters now. That awareness has mostly been served up to me by my body, which is showing wear and tear---particularly by the diagnosis of wet macular degeneration. With treatment, one eye is beginning to improve; the other is not, so far.

I seem to be dealing with this new reality with equal parts practical optimism and denial.

Of course the medical treatments; and of course, prayer. (You are welcome to add yours, if you are so inclined: Chava Rochel bat Batsheva.) Then it also seems likely, to me, that nutrition would make a difference; so out go most simple carbs again.

I am remembering the relative grace with which Zalman faced what he called the inevitable diminishments. I watched him do this over the years...and I am now older than he was when we first got together.

Now that's food for thought!