Sunday, July 24, 2016

Review: The Nazi Officer's Wife

When asked by Amazon to review a book, the first question is how many stars do you give it? How do you rate a person’s true life story any less than a 5? “The Nazi Officer’s Wife” by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin is Edith’s life story of a young Jewish woman in Nazi Germany. That fact is enough to give it 5 stars. 

Edith finally lived under the Nazi radar as an Aryan Christian including marrying a Nazi officer. Even though you know her outcome, after all she lived to write her story, the tension is high and I found myself eager to know what happened next. 

I was fascinated with the little details of life under the Nazis and following the war under the Russians. I am not sure how people lived with all the tension of watching every word you said, every step you took. It is hard to imagine having to think about the answer to every question: was it asked by a friend who was just curious about your life or was it asked by someone  who was going to turn you in to the Gestapo? 

The story is Edith’s narrative and because it is true, it may not be written with the dramatic flourishes a fictional account would have. That doesn’t matter. Her story is amazing and incredible and tells itself in all its wonder and intensity. I highly recommend “The Nazi Officer’s Wife” for anyone interested in the ordinary life of Nazi Germany. 

That's A Fresh Orange!

Last week Dean spent several nights at our daughter's home in San Jose while she and her family were out of town. They have lemon and orange trees in the back yard and the fruit was ripe and dropping while he was there. He brought home bags of both. Thank you, Mindy!!

This morning we had fresh squeezed orange juice. Wow!! Oh we have it from oranges we buy at Costco and this time of year even at the grocery store. And this batch was literally right off the tree. I'm not sure I need to say more. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Akira's Ad

Well, it's not really Akira's ad. It's an ad featuring Akira. And I post it for you with permission from the Asante Medical Facilities in Ashland and Medford, OR.
If you remember, our Akira in the spring of 2015 had a Very Serious bout of pneumonia - very serious. It took hospitalization and dedicated respiratory professionals to pull him through. And he made it. Several times since, he and his mom have made appearances at fund raisers for The Children's Miracle Network. In that process, someone did a photo shoot and made an ad. 

I am very pleased that Akira is in the ad and even more that he is well and healthy, playing in three bands and singing in school musicals. Good lungs ~ and for a while we were really worried. 
I will take this opportunity to say, if you are wondering where to make a charitable donation, you might consider the Children's Miracle Network. As Akira says, "next time it might be your son or daughter."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lamb and Mint Jelly

So, blogger friends ~ here is your question for the day. Why do we serve mint jelly with lamb?

We don't serve raspberry jam with chicken. Nor strawberry jam with roast beef. At least not in any cultural cuisine I know. Why mint jelly with lamb?

And why mint jelly and not some other kind?

Any ideas? Or any ideas where I might research the question? Of course I could Google it. You can Google anything these days. I just thought it might be more fun to ask and see what comes up.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Leafy Greens

Susan: explains to daughter how a neighbor’s chopped salad has helped her eat leafy greens which are really good for you but which Susan has never really liked.

Daughter emails back: - mom, you could have fooled me. You’ve always eaten salad. You fed us salad.

Susan: my salads were made with lettuce. 

Phone rings. Cell shows it’s daughter. Susan answers: Hi, darling. 

Daughter: Mom, what do you think leafy greens are?

LOL!! I explained that I had never thought of lettuce as a leafy green. My 

eye doctor told me to eat more leafy greens and lettuce wasn’t on the list. My neighbor made a big deal over the fact that her chopped salad had all sorts of leafy greens and NO lettuce. I haven’t used ice berg lettuce for years but lots of other kinds. Now that that’s cleared up, I will enjoy my dark greens in a chopped salad and my lettuce on sandwiches or also chopped. 

Monday, July 4, 2016


We live in a resort town. Tahoe City sits on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, a rather quiet little town whose most crime is bears in the dumpsters. It is all rather peaceful until the tourists come to town. Now, I've nothing against the tourists. We need them to swell our population during the summer and winter seasons so that our economy stays strong and our restaurants and stores stay in business. We are glad to have them around.

Statistically though the larger the population, the more chances there are for things to happen. Like I said we tend to be quiet and then suddenly the sirens starts and we know it is summer and there are more folks around. Some times the sirens are the simple final whirr as a cop pulls over someone who has broken a traffic law. More often than not though the sirens go on and on and you can tell there is more one vehicle answering an emergency call - heart attack, something broken, traffic accident, someone in trouble. The need for sirens and first responders increase exponentially as the population grows. Some times there is no fault involved. Sometimes it is because someone does something stupid. Vacations are a time for fun and relaxation. Enjoy yourself. Be careful. We don't need any more sirens.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Question for this Weekend

                                                                                             (from the movie 1776)

“Who is your favorite founding father?” Not the kind of question usually asked at our rather quiet breakfasts on the deck. This morning, however, Dean asked and I attempted to answer. 

John Adams. But then of course he fits so closely with Jefferson and Franklin. Then there’s Washington, who answered the call of the other three and was in the field for years, fighting for what the others had so carefully crafted from their hearts to paper. 

We don’t hear a lot about Hancock and yet, there it is, his signature bold and large and first across the bottom of the page, declaring his support for this amazing step, one that had never been taken before nor since. 

One layer away and we have a group of men, a congress, many unknown names, who sat and struggled and voted and debated and finally said Yes to splitting from their mother country as an independent nation. 

Radiating out from Washington particularly were all the thousands of ordinary men and women, farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, innkeepers who were willing to give up their lives in order to be free of the oppression of the crown. 

And where and how did they all come to be present in that one point in history? 

Who is Your favorite founding father? Dean’s by the way is Franklin because he was such an innovator, inventor and creative thinker. Ask the question this weekend. Enjoy the answers. Celebrate the real reason this is a holiday and join me in my yearly toast: To Thomas, Benjamin and John, the founders of our feast.