Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Under control

There has been little of substance on this blog in quite some time. In years past, I would be spending much of this break preparing for the next semester for Yakov and Shoshie, choosing books and reading ahead. I don't have much need to do that with Noach. There are no mid-course corrections needed. He is reasonably happy with his studies this year and he is moving toward our goals for the year. In fact, I need to control my tendency to tweak and meddle.

Beginning in mid-January, I expect to start a middle school age group to do the previously mentioned free chemistry curriculum. I am looking forward to that. And the experience may provoke a blog note or two. PRM

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow Day

The snow started yesterday at 11am. Yakov made it out in time but his first flight, to Atlanta, was canceled. The lady at the Delta desk was absolutely dogged in getting him to Dallas. She made phone calls, cajoled, begged other carriers to get him on a plane, a true example of good customer service, not often found in the airline, or any other, industry today. PRM

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to those

who celebrate it.

Generally this is a boring time for us but this year I have enjoyed having Yakov home from college. He came home Wednesday and is leaving this morning to join some of his friends from his year in Israel for a 10 day reunion.

While he has been here, I have loved watching him, JP and Noach jam after dinner each evening. Noach received a banjo for Chanukah and he has been working hard trying to play it. An envious Yakov tries to play it as well. The guitars come out and music swells, cooperative and competitive. I love it. PRM

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Wayback Machine

Taken just before the photo for the Abbey Road album cover. PRM

Friday, December 10, 2010

Out the other side

I started this week facing a dental appointment for a cleaning Monday morning. While there I mentioned some recent discomfort with a tooth. Before I knew it, I was scheduled for a root canal on Thursday. I couldn't do it earlier in the week because I had a screening colonoscopy planned.

Now it is Friday morning and I can relax. I will spare you the pictures but no problems were found during the colonoscopy. I suspect I talked quite a bit and who knows what I said? The root canal was essentially painfree yesterday. Love those endodontists; they are good.

This is what you have to deal with when you get to a certain age. And well beyond a certain age. PRM

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Wayback Machine

For this next to last day of Chanukah, we remember 2007. Now the younger brother is the tallest kid in the family. And I miss Shoshie. PRM

Monday, December 6, 2010


in Chapel Hill with Yakov. Noach, JP and I drove in the snow to CH to have dinner and give gifts to Yakov Saturday night. We had a deliciuos dinner at a Thai/Malaysian restaurant where the server kindly provided me with a piece of aluminum foil on which we could place this tiny menorah. We lit the candles which were essentially birthday candles and chanted the blessings. The candles burned very brightly for about 3 minutes and then went out. Lovely evening. PRM

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Franklin and Eleanor

Recently I read a review of Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage and also heard one on the radio. I have read several books on Franklin Roosevelt, including Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meachem, which I highly recommend by the way, and had Yakov read for American History a couple of years ago. I want to read Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency Of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H. W. Brands but have been intimidated by the 912 pages. Franklin and Eleanor is a more manageable 368 pages. I know, I am embarrassed that it mattered but it did. I recently finished a very large book that took me 6 weeks to finish plus, I was checking this one out from the library and would only have 2 weeks to read it. I could read 368 pages in that time frame and in fact it only took me 5 days, 5 very enjoyable, can't-wait-to-get-back-to-the-book days.

The focus is, as the title suggests, more about their marriage than his presidency. And it is a marriage that, as they say on Facebook, is "complicated." Franklin was a very needy man, who was accustomed to great attention from his adoring mother, and thus wanted adoring people around him all the time. No one person could have met Franklin's needs. Eleanor who grew up without loving parents always felt the need to earn any affection she received. Both wanted lots of people around all the time and the White House almost seemed like a boarding house and their property at Hyde Park like a commune or summer camp.

Despite infidelity on his part and quite possibly on hers, Eleanor and Franklin were inextricably linked and dependent on each other. There was a shared sense of purpose and trust in the judgment of the other. BTW this book is not a repetition of juicy gossip but an examination of the marriage, the alliance of two prominent people and how they respected each other and worked together but also worked around each other at times. PRM