Archives for category: Daily life

Friday, off to Germany, Frankfurt House of Worship, see Vera, meet Dom her husband, go to Weimar, visit Bach’s House, listen to concert, then go to Haifa, and will try to put pictures of all on this post!


CRAIG’S list had an ad and I troll thru morning pages, thinking i can find my work place, my work pace, somewhere in this distant land of our fathers, and I came across an ad (under legal) which advertised for receptionist in medical office (go figure) and thought Spanish helpful, and wanted resume and instructions on how one described fixing their breakfast. Well, don’t think i am really up to working, but couldn’t resist the breakfast description. I had fun with it!

I can send my resume, which is 98 years of being a legal secretary, and delightful epochs of teaching creative writing, and references that would be quite telling in my affability, friendliness and reliability. But, I am not sure, as I do not speak Spanish, that I would serve you to the best of your needs.

But I would like to tell you how I make breakfast. First, the night before, I pray for the golden light of dawn to shine upon my coffee pot with exceptional rays of sun and warmth, Then when I lift the top to my iron lung where I am encased in the deepest slumber, I look up, swing my legs over the end of the bed and stagger (2 seconds) to my nook of a kitchen and flip the switch. I feel like Ayn Rand, author of I am powerful type books, men running railroads, women loving those men.

Then, knowing coffee or the like will be sludging happily through my rather long body, I survey my breakfast possibilities:

1. Trader Joe’s breakfast bar, “sweet, savory, tart trail mix, and so much more, blended with organic oats and crispy rice,” and think “Why not,” and proceed to a flick of the wrist, a sound of tearing cellophane green packing over bar, and voila, breakfast is accomplished, with that consumption and a lonely half banana crying out to become one with me.

2. That’s Monday. But wait, Tuesdays, after two cups of coffee (nonfat cream and pink sugar substitute) I haul out my large Quaker Oats box, and scoop a half cup of oatmeal into a plastic measuring cup. But first, and I explain this, in case you are from another planet and wouldn’t know our utensils or what a pan is, first I would take a small sauce pan, fill it with a cup of water, and maybe a small slop of apple juice and bring this liquid to a boil (bubbles appear on surface-of the pan, not my brain). Then slowly I pour the lovely flaked, beige and paper thin oatmeal gently into this liquid boil, and stir with a wooden spoon, all the while ambidextrously turning the flame of my gas stove down to a low output.

The oatmeal is cooked, and it sits cooling off as I search for a bowl, large, curved, and dig raisins, walnuts, and maybe a blueberry or two out from confines of my kitchen. A little nonfat milk is poured upon this offering to the Gods, and I top it with not frosting, no frosting on the cake for me, but maple syrup, a simple one tablespoon (well it spills over) serving, and I go to my living room which is an inch away, settle my expectant body down on a black leather couch, and lift the spoon towards my mouth-a spoon filled with promise. Pepsi moment has nothing on this. Crunch, crunch, sip, slog, sounds Gulliver like in Lilliputian land fill my head, and my head lifts, and then I go to Craig’s List on my computer and hit this ad!

This is my writing voice. My regular earth school tell it like it is; speak, be friendly, kind and helpful is sort of a low nasal New England twang in the background, soothing to people when reading my literary work, annoying once upon a time to a son, when this same voice said “clean your room,” and so goes life.

Wishing you well

Esther Bradley-DeTally

Donna’s, aka South Lake Italian Kitchen, Lake Avenue, East Side, between California and Pasqual, gathering place of the diverse who love to laugh and share. Donna, whose love encloses us all. How lucky can we be?
Be still my heart – Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:25 PM
Subject: SLIK Updates December 19th and January 3rd, 2007

HI Friends Of SLIK,

Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I love it because it’s a holiday we all can all share together. You can be Jewish or Catholic or Bahai or Pentacostal or even Athiest. You can be from any ethnic group or any social class….from uptown to downtown ………old as dirt or a babe in the woods……You can even be a Republican…..but the best part of it is that none of that matters…not important….insignificant…… It’s just a holiday that asks you to give “thanks” with people you love while fighting over a drumstick. That is a beautiful holiday and I wish I could be fighting over that turkey leg with each and everyone of you. Grrrrrrr.

I also want to give you our updated SLIK Legal News. The arbitration has been set for Jan.3, 2007. All I have to say about that is …..and Happy New Year to you too!

And finally, some good SLIK news to share. Blossom (our basset hound) will be celebrating her 12th birthday on December 19th again. But this year she’ll be sharing the red carpet with Jeanette and Steve Lamb who will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Needless to say this year’s theme is silver. I am very much looking forward to this fun party. I hope you all can come over. You know we’ll have ton’s of dessert out front to share with everyone in the neighborhood….and champagne on the inside for the many toasts I plan to make.

Until then, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving day.

Paws For peace,

Bill is 80% better, and we went for an early dinner at Donna’s SLIK (South Lake Italian Kitchen). We are really a crowd there, like Cheers, without the alcohol. Donna is a basset hound devotee, and has fabulous photos of her dog Blossom whose birthday party is December 19th; we all go, she rents a red carpet, i tell you. The pictures of Blossom grace one wall: Blossom with big hat and pearls; Blossom with this, and that, what a beauty. Sort of like a Vogue gallery for bassets. I first met Blossom 5 years ago, as she sat outside of the restaurant, belly sagging to the ground, an unashamed woman, and I said to her, “You look like you’ve had a full life Blossom,” and she agreed. 5 years later, Donna with another Basset, Blanche, and a thousand stories and events in our memory bank, i thought, I have been selfish. Put up a pic of a basset for goodness sake, so in honor of Donna, a pure lover of humankind; here’s a picture. Now i am going to put it in; this is an art i just learned today!

Martine is there now, John is working there. He bumped into her today at the Gardens, wrapped in a haze of beauty and peace! March 5th I will commence my 9 day Pilgrimage!

Leave February 23, 2007 for Frankfurt; arrive Feb 2, wait for Vera and Dom (be still my heart). Stay with them in Manheim? maybe see Lena and Fema from Berlin? That would be a wow. go to Frankfurt House of Worship; meet maybe horticulturalist there; she’s in my computer writing group. Go to Haifa March 4, maybe i can track down Helen’s nephew – start Pilgrimage March 5; leave Haifa 14th, stay one night hotel in Frankfurt, and fly next morning to LAX; wow; a biggy!

Taking a course through Wilmette Institute. I was hesitant, but it’s great as they encourage comments re imagry in the Writings. Reading Tablets of the Divine Plan, and various letters from the Universal House of Justice. Bill has hepatitis, we think caused by a bad sandwich, obtained unbelievably from a hospital cafeteria where he went to grab a bite as Sue and Ralph and I sat upstairs in an emergency room to get Sue admitted and also people had square plastic buckets to urp in and it was unbelievable; but we are relieved, it is not a blood disease.

Just finished Wake-Up Call Kirstren Breitweiser, one of the 9/11 widows. she had been Republican and the book details the journey and struggle a small group of 911 widows incurred. The writing is intelligent, honest, and very good. It was quite insightful.

John called from Haifa; he said a prayer for Bill at Bahji; had coffee with Amelia and then violetta joined us; i went home to check on bill. I walked two miles today; hooray; violetta came by; now have to stop nd study and hopefully get a netflix dvd to view in an hour or so. Soccer game of Jessica’s tomorrow; Nick came by with Border’s card gift and a card for Bill on his birthday; wow, so sweet!
He will pick me up at 8.15 so I can go see Jessica play soccer! hooray

Still at Ralph and Sue’s. Sue is out of the hospital, but Bill has had fever and touch of tummy flu so he is in bed. Hope to leave her Monday, and i will drive. we rented a PT Cruiser, not the most comfortable but quite zippy, and zippy is what we need.

Saw an interesting interview of Elizabeth Edwards last nite on PBS; genuince, intelligent, heart felt. She has recently published a book about her experience with breast cancer. She’s coming to Pasadena, but I don’t know when.

In Caldwell, at my sister’s in March or so, I discovered black pugs, and had one particular one who was needy (i loved her) and now like them as much as white and black or fawn and black pugs. Jezebel that I am. Bidwell Park is beautiful this time of year as is the neighborhood; hoofing around a bit. Ralph and Sue’s family is terrific and loving, so that’s good. Want to get to Pasadena before John goes to Haifa. okay love to all, esther

… Thus shall a sorry gnat become an eagle in the fulness of his strength, and a feeble sparrow change to a royal falcon in …

I fell in love with that quote years ago, and in fact, I laughed out loud when I read it, and said to myself, “That’s it! I’m a sorry gnat,” and today I can say I am the happiest Sorry Gnat. email from David re Melanie who is on second part of presenting modules of her curriculum in Africa, and then she goes to Haifa for a brief visit. It turns out Johnnie will be leaving for Haifa next Wednesday and I gave Dave his information to tell Melanie and will tell Johnnie also. Two of my soul friends will meet. Hooray!

We walked second day in a row along the paths of Bidwell Park. Some days you see deer, not today, tho Bill said he saw 2 vultures. Some trees knocked down, huge ones, and there’s a feathery lack of care over the whole scene so we can appreciate it in its blowsy nature look, not like the clipped manicured paths and surroundings in urban areas. It fills us, me and Bill, and we have to get back in shape. Walking with very low blood pressure mine (so as not to stress my aortic valve) feels somewhat like moving a truck up hill slowly, but i am sure things will get better. we are with sue and ralph, our dear dear friends, frail and into the final frontier of agedom, and valient; a good example. We will toot downtown and go to one of the best used bookstores around! If i find any good images, I’ll put em up.

A week of intensity. A writing group member experiences loss, someone dear or more than someone dear struggles. It seemed as if 90% of my hang-out-love-em-to-pieces was experiencing struggles of the push-a-rock-up-the-mountain kind last week. Sunday, today, air clear, we are off to see Jan from New York, with whom we rendezvous once a year in some coffee house and motor mouth about life. Then we go to a reptile place in Huntington Beach for Jessica, our granddaughter’s birthday,” oh be still my heart. My heart skips rope at the thought of doing so.

Friday night, we went to Kathy’s house, and she deals with conflict resolution and arbitration in her work world at the Western Justice Center. She hosted a Devotional for Racial Unity, and her oak floored apartment, was lit with small candles; two gemoetric clear vases filled with flowers sat like bookends on the coffee table, and across the back of her white couch were stewn tiny little red petals of Chrysanthenums, and there was more. We had a great group, all younger than Bill and I. Konjit is from Ethiopia, Kathy from Trinidad, Violetta from the Congo, and recently from Paris, Laura, also from Western Justice, Latino, said a prayer in Spanish, David, from China, me from Boston, Bill from western New York. Did I miss anyone, yes, John, born here, first generation Persian-American. Laughter and intense conversations vaulted the walls, and I thought, “If we all held race unity devotionals around the city, wouldn’t it be a different city, a beginning, a tilling of the hard earth of hurt and misinformation.” Oops; news from Cardiologist; heart valve good for another 25 years on Earth’s great big track; I have to adjust to new meds which keep my blood pressure slightly above lying still moth, barely breathing, but that’s nothin!

Kathy and Laura are friends of the Faith, and I was so touched by Kathy’s offering. We have begun walking together and as soon as I can really hoof 3 miles, will be back on soon.

Saw a friend in the hospital; older, soo beautiful, the way her white hair swept off her face, a tiny little thing, needs someone to stay with her at home, day and night, but she’ll recover!

Piece de resistance, Jim took Bill, myself out to dinner to join John at Parkside Grill, and I had a wonderful fish, as did Bill, topped with flowers, and felt, if i were to have a last meal, “I’d choose this.”

The theme of Children of the Half Light played out a lot this week, and it first came up when we were fortunate to hang out with Rod, and we really are on the crust of change. “The world’s equilibrium” has been “upset” by the emergence of this new order, and I think, “you bet your sweet bippy it has,” and I am also on the theme of our tests, personal, perhaps collective (if it works on one level…) are divine calibrated, not from a punitive God. I have found that whatever darkness i have to face and go through, there is some light or blessing, or insight at the end, and I emerge, deeper, more carved out; a barnacle or two off my soul, and so it is i suspect for a lot of us.

okay enough for now; did I mention that Kathy has mud pie and i ate a hefty piece?
oh dear….tomorrow is another day!

Bill and I walked down to Wild Oats, a half an hour walk and met Jamie a friend and a Jazz musician, and just great guy. It got hot, but I did it. Bill out of energy too. Met a fellow reading book on Redneck Blacks and White Liberals, and chatted. Conversation went on to deeper historical matters of race, and then to Russia. He lived in Norway or somewhere as student; speaks Russian; has son who graduates
from West Point this year. His wife must be Chinese as the son is Chinese-African-American. His son speaks Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Not sure of latter. This guy plays a Russian instrument and is in amateur orchestra that practices up at the McKinley schoolin Pasadena on Monday nights-he and his wife live in San Marino; he gave me his card and told me to call someone and get on the list of happenings. I did. I also promised to “gift” him my book. Then he met Bill and Jamie, and he and Jamie talked musicians. He had met Dizzy Gillespie. Great fun; interesting!

Hi, Carolyn Strickler gave me this card last night.It says “Take 2 flies and feel better.” She’s one of the gang at South Lake Italian Kitchen where we hang out, and Donna, its owner and lover of humankind par excellence has been bringing us dinner the last few days; Carolyn also created a US postage stamp; not real, but it’s a cartoon of a round face guy in long or tall cowboy hat! i love the frog stuff. life is busy; not writing yet; reading wonderful quotes; just wanted to publish this picture and say how much i loved everyone in my life.

I love putting images on this blog! I still am awaiting a friend’s help as I want to also put on this blog helpful websites, of which I think will be: Baha’i International Website, Jack Grapes Writing Class Website, Little Angels Pug Rescue in Pasadena, Powell’s bookstore in Portland; be still my heart!

I walked the Rose Bowl this morning with new friend from Trinidad; and it’s great to return to getting up early and heading out to walk 3 miles. It’s been 100 or so these days, and we walk the early mornings. i find pressure on my sternum increases, and I think “oops- heat, whatever,” and will check with my cardiologist maybe in October. Women can’t read heart discomfort as well. It’s not as clearly defined. However, i only feel this pressure when i walk up the slight incline at the Rosebowl; after a mile or more, i hit my stride when we walk down a bit. I stayed up too late last night fooling around with posting pics. Okay, i’ll find a good quote and insert it here, and then be off for the day; desk littered high: Am teaching a Ruhi Course; or faciliting it this afternoon; more about that later; going to Baha’i Feast tonight; have the Writings prepared; Amelia has put music on her IPOD; have about 6 library books piled up; one is Gail Godwin the Making of a Wreitr; one is Flatland, Friedman, the others; and then my miscellaneous stuff; i have a bumper sticker to my right which is upside down, but it says Wage Peace, and I have a greeting card in front of me from Margaret which shows a pug on a leopard skin pillow infront of a huge tasseled, looks Islamic type throne of a hat, and the dog has two palm trees in green and white striped conainers like bookends to either side; he’s a he; i kow it; Every dog has its day” is the slogan and i howled when receiving it; you have to be a pug devotee to understand this; my calendar says “don’t feed the Pug,” and I think it’s owner too; it has a caption,Round Mound of Hound and to the left, Kevin, wonderful Kevin who has graduated from Cal Tech was down this weekend and gave us something, a print from El Salvador, which is art produced on a father, vivid colors, greens, reds for red tiled roofs; little white houses, dirt streets; incredible.

“Know that you are where you are
not by chance but by the design
of your Creator,
for your development
and for the development
of those around you.”

‘Abdu’l Baha
Son of Baha’u’llah, Prophet Founder of Baha’i Faith

It is 11 p.m. and am learning to do pictures; thus have 2 Obey the Pug pics; time to call it a day; fantastic Fireside. Jim Nelson spoke – brilliant; too all encompassing to repeat; incredible, walk tomorrow; met man who taught post modernism and we talked books at Peets; talked to Jessica today; had first day in first grade; liked it!

September 6, 2006 – wrote short story last night, basic question of why was the dog wet and huffing and puffing, which I forgot to tend to – so much for completeness; Walked the Rose Bowl today; chatted about affluent happenings of some, and in my mind’s eye thought of those who struggle. Am figuring out this blog; and i almost approach it as I do the DMV line when renewing my license, i.e., with trepidation, but hey yea, it’s just a new thing; “aint no big thang, just a chicken on a strang,” via Nick my son; below is an interesting quote from Pearl Buck:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him…a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create–so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange unknown inward urgency, he is not really alive unless he is crating.

Pearl S. Buck, novelist, Nobel laureate (1892-1973)

Relief coursed through me when i read that; i remember being at a point where my dendrites were hanging out and the Virgo in me was hissing back; and lo and behold, the quote came in; so i offer it for others.

talked to attorney i had worked for 100 years ago; we still hold each other in our minds and feel well being; he knew me before Nick was 5; and I worked for him at Rutan & Tucker, and he was selling his rubber canoe. I had precious little money, but bought it off him, and it was blue and orange and we lived on Balboa Island in a little apartment upstairs; which I called “My Robinson Caruso House without Robinson Caruso,” and that canoe was terrific fun that summer; except when Nick didn’t want to carry it back; But we all rolled around the sand laughing at our escapades. Seems symbolic, no matter how rough the times can be, seek a joyous moment.
okay, ta ta for now

September 5, 2006, Sorry-Gnat enters hyberspace life letting those who are interested know that in the Baha’i Writings one can go on the path of transformation and be a sorry gnat and become a giant eagle.

right now, i have had lunch at Tuohey’s Restaurant in Alhambra and had dinner there last night, and I don’t think i should try to be a giant eagle physically, so I must think about this blog and i will be inputting poetry, prose, wonderful quotes, book recommendation; thoughts from one person’s perspective of life on the planet; i haven’t filled in my all about you, well, i did, but couldn’t save it properly. Have a lot to learn on this blog, and will consult with my techy friends as to how, what, why, when! Am reading The Earth is Flat, Thomas Friedman, excellent. Very good writer; just saw Jessica, our granddaughter at an early socer practice; she’s almost 7-going into first grade and all the little girls are not aggressive players at all, but very cute.