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Hello October

I do love this crazy, orange month with it’s hot and cold flashes and … hopefully… some changing leaf foliage soon.  We’ve been building a sukkah at our synagogue and enjoying the last of the Jewish New Year holidays and atoning.  Our synagogue is in Flushing Queens, surrounded by Chinatown which – as it turns out – Chinese Harvest Festival is going on at the same time as Sukkot.  And if you haven’t seen all the crazy Halloween costumes on social media lately, you must stop in at Target to try them on.  Zoe can’t get enough of dress up:

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Chinese Harvest Festival – dancers at the Flushing Queens MallIMG_9753

You know you wanna try one!IMG_9760IMG_9761IMG_9764IMG_9769

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In East Hampton NY lies the house that painter Jackson Pollock and his prolific painting wife, Lee Krasner, bought in 1945 for $5,000. Pollock’s art dealer, Peggy Guggenheim, loaned him the down payment of $2,000 in exchange for artwork.  It came with this protected land and stellar view of an inlet – now a bit overgrown with trees on the edge:

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It also has a little barn-studio out back and best of all, this move to the ‘country’ took Jackson away from the temptations and stresses of frenetic city life.  He was able to quit drinking and stay clean for 2 years .. possibly the most productive period in his life.
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It’s pretty amazing to be in the room where it all happened:IMG_9591Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 4.19.06 PM Lee Krasner at work

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and Jackson flinging paint

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Pollock and Krasner reused everything. They used old masonite game boards given to them by Jackson’s brother as flooring in the barn studio. After Krasner’s death, the boards were removed and the original floor, covered in splattered paint, was visible. (We all got some fun slippers to walk over the floor – as you can see it’s a Pollock underfoot!)

(this pix and info from nicolevismara.com)
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Krasner outlived Pollock. Everything in the house is original and intact as it was at the time of her death, including their books and Pollock’s record collection.

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What never ceases to amaze is how much Krasner and Peggy Guggenheim supported and fostered Pollock’s creativity, even when his alcoholism threatened to get in the way.

One last grasp at summer…

We were hellbent on frolicking in waves while we can … even Louie enjoyed the beach in Sagaponack and smelled like sea air for a weekend.  Zoe loved having mosquito netting .. er, ‘princess canopy’ .. on her bed.  I don’t think we could find a better spot of ‘moving water’ for Tashlich!  (Don’t know what tashlich is? Click here).  The waves were huge like the day we got married in this same spot and – I’m not lying – the sky really was that pink during sunset hour:

 

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(this pix of my loves by Greg Kessler)IMG_9621IMG_9647IMG_9669

End of summer in the country

Well, before school started we ran off to Connecticut again (and to the Hamptons too but that post is to come). Trying to get as much lake, beach, outdoors as we can before the weather shifts. School has been gently ramping up again – I’m pleasantly surprised by how responsible Ezra is being about his work and Zoe always loves the challenge. Let’s hope it continues. Meanwhile we let the kids choose their ideal meal on this dreamy weekend…

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the kids have a dream dinner of grilled pizza, burgers and dogs!

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Tom doles out treats to Louie (left) and Jem

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Zoe and Luca put their life vests on, jumped in a canoe and paddled off! These little adventurers forgot to ask their parents about this…

Enjoy this season of renewal and beginnings.  As my rabbi so aptly put in an email to me this a.m:

“Dig down and give – to your partner/spouse/child/parents/extended family/ lover/ friends/community,
The Big World Out There that Needs Your Help SO MUCH!!”

 

Photo from Design Megillah

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Sleep Issue…

Ok how many moms out there cannot stand the question “are you getting enough sleep?” when you first had your babies?  At first I thought this was a kind gesture; making sure mamma is taking care of herself.  But then it very quickly dissolved into the always berating topic of whether or not you ‘properly taught your child how to sleep’ – as if sleeping is teachable? Of course I say this NOT coming from a place of researched science but instead from experience: I’ve always been that person who – as soon as my head hits a pillow – I think of everything going on in my own world, as well as in the world at large.  Anxiety? Creative imagination? Too much or too little exercise?  It shouldn’t have been at all surprising that my own babies didn’t love sleep – and then being tortured with all the expectations via books, well meaning friends/relatives, and forgetful older parents who insisted that their kids ‘slept just fine’ (and did their own homework without prodding, and were potty trained by age 1) – well it was just pouring salt on the wound.

My mamma friend Nia posted this gorgeous shot (below) of her little princess found again basking in the warm luxury that is the adult bed (my kids seem to think my bed is infinitely softer and warmer than theirs). She posed the question: “anyone else dealing with this?”  Many of us are, and many of us know the day will come that they won’t be so close and warm in our cozy beds anymore so … why fret the occasional tip toeing in after a nightmare?

Since our playground is made up of parents from everywhere, I often was reassured by a mom from Ghana or Columbia or India that ‘this sleeping alone thing is purely an American obsession, where you have the luxury of a big house’.  Hmmm – a new way to think about this.

Now I just have to get our dog Louie off my pillow.

 

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Mocha Mommy found her little one in the big bed again!

Remember when I started this blog and this little nugget was starting kindergarten at age 5?  Well now he’s headed to middle school and well – in all the summer craziness I forgot to post anything about his August birthday.  But being the now older and cooler kid that he is, he’d be ok with that.  In fact, he’d prefer that because nowadays anything is ’embarrassing’ and social media with his baby pix on it?!  A tween’s nightmare.

BUT I just have to post a little before (at age 5 nervously chewing on his helmet strap) and after – and a lovely quote that our friend at Mount Custard blog put on IG account about her own son (who is very much like Ezra, and in fact they are good friends). img_1253Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 12.30.08 PMattachments

“Eleven is trying on sunglasses in the H&M men’s department and knowing exactly what you want. Eleven is hugs that also serve to check your height against mine; eleven is catching up. It is capable of laughing at yourself more than you laugh at me, and being more gracious than I am at times. Eleven hungers for joy, for independence, for an iPhone. Eleven is still waiting, but it waits with style.”

I would add that Eleven will still hold my hand while walking, kiss me unabashedly before running into school, and tells me he loves me often – thankfully.  I’ll enjoy it all for now … because I know it won’t last forever.