Thursday, June 30, 2016

Car - Walnut Street Theatre - Sister Act - Tour of Broad Street, Part I

Koochie koochie koo.... baby preying mantis about three inches long on front door

Jeff the claim adjuster from State Farm came out to look over my car and assess the damages.

Before he arrived I got an early morning phone call about a client of mine who is not doing well. It was very distressing.

Reminds me of a book I just finished

Image result for breathing in air book   He's a cancer surgeon and must decide on a course of action with the patient. You go into deep focus and then go home to be with your wife and kid.

Craig Fisher picked me up and drove me to the Walnut Street Theatre - celebrating its 200th year - the oldest theater in the U S.

Craig is like the dad I never had. Oops, I used to have a dad but he died so long ago. There are certainly older men, Craig is 76, not all that old, who just know how to do things.

He's a great driver and we inched along Broad Street - hey, I was gonna say, Broadway - my granddaughter would've loved that slip up - in very heavy stop and go traffic.

I've driven with him before and feel safe with his driving. His wife Ingrid was unable to go.

Craig, I said, it's wonderful how the two of you are so 'into' culture.... concerts at the Kimmel Center.... and they also attend local H S concerts.

They have a real thirst for entertainment.

We were 45 mins early for the concert so we sat and waited in this atrium. A former board member of ND is the daughter/law of Jack Farber.  On the wall.

There was an adjoining eye clinic and people would come out blinking their eyes.

 At intermission I sat on a bench and snacked on my pretzels and peanuts. Gathering my courage, I went up to James, the croupier (sic) and asked for a tiny glass of water, which he gave me. I poured some change into the tip jar. Oh, he said, you didn't have to do dat.

Snacks were $5.

BTW, my laptop is acting up - as usual - so you may find some strange letters of the alfabet scattered throughout this post.

 Finale of Sister Act. Wrin in 1978, Whoopi Goldberg starred in the film, and may have produced it said Neighbor Patrick.

Quite good and thrilling, esp the finale, which was very exciting with great flashing lights and goosebumps.... they were mine.


Paint Torch by Claes Oldenberg, then 82, erected in 2011. Read Times story here. It's his fourth large art object in the City of Brotherly Love.

Image result for claes oldenburg           Let's give it up for Claes born in 1929.

 The Packard Building. Luxury condos.
Look at these tiny windows. Looks like a peon to bureaucracy. All the same. What then is the I M Pei Building downtown.

Look how much we learn together at 1o:07 pm when I'm trying to hurry so I can go upstairs and read.

Image result for i m pei building phila  Society Hill Towers.  I guess it was the block appearance that reminded me of Pei.

We enter the T U  complex.

Tho I graduated from there, I have no pride whatsoever in the school. Same goes for Hahnemann University, where I got my MGPGPGPGP.

Master, Goop Therapy and Goop Process.

BTW, I am being influenced by the new book we're reading for the Upper Moreland Book Club. My friend Elaine groaned when she told me about it. This morning, tho, I wrote her and Adam, book club leader saying how much I love it.

 Used to be Dropsie College. Its huge library is now housed at Penn.
Image result for december tenth book

Housed at Penn. 0

 train station. I took the train to T U.
scene over a bridge

SO. I walked Scott to the train station tonite.

Ruth, you gotta hurry, he said. I was exhausted from the show - I slept thru the first 20 minutes, darn! - and said, I'm coming, I'm coming.

Then sat down on the bench at the train stop and showed him my Playbill. He couldn't care less.

Coming home, I cut thru Keystone Screw as usual, and could not stand seeing all the debris its workers throw in the parking lot - their ear stoppers, par example.

With two huge sticks I picked up some of their CRAP and tossed it on the staircase taking them from their parking lot to their workplace. I also put some big sticks that management should clean up.

It will do absy no good, but I had to try. Again. Ten years ago, I put buckets there to use as trash cans.

There must be a word to describe me..... fool, certainly.... but something more specific.... send me a note if you think of it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Who says I need a new kitchen floor? Poem: Missing Walter Straus

 Look! I got my kitchen back.
All's right with the world.

Four guys arrived while I was making my morning omelet.

They're hard workers. They don't sit around all day reading John Sandford novels.

My mother will never know.... and we won't tell her!

Scott came over to view the results. Bob W will take a look at some work Scott wants in his own house. That should lower the price for me.

This dessert is called Chia Pod Pudding. For a person w diabetes, it satisfies my love of sweets, but doesn't raise my blood sugar much.

Went upstairs to read my John Sandford book when who should call but my friend Iris from CT.

She loved the poem I wrote for her. She went to the Dunkin Donuts for Iced Decaf - oh, screw it, Iris - go for the Real Thing - and was all choked up.

Thing about writing poems for people is that it embarrasses them. A few people have done it for me but you know what? From now on it's fine.

Lemme print out a famous poem. My friend who disappeared, Walter Straus, born in 1918, told me about this poem.

Click here for Evelyn Hope by Robert Browning.

Here's an analysis of the poem,  which is described as creepy and grotesque.

I will now compose a poem for my departed Walter.


How I remember our visits
at the Regency Towers
Oblivious of your age
you felt insulted when
you fell a few times
then got pneumonia
and almost kicked
but Amy saved your life.
Now you dwell with her
and her family in
Germantown. You have
forgotten me

I want to remember you
when I'd come over and
you'd set the table with
placemats and serve me
a fruit salad, with tiny
cherries, and a glass of
red wine, "just a tiny
amount, please, Walt."

We'd go out on your balcony
where breezes would blow my
dyed red hair and you'd adjust
your black glasses, then
bend down and pick me some
cherry tomatoes to take home
in a baggie.

Walter I miss you. A man so
learned, a great judge of character but
life made a fool of you.

If only we could go back in time.
You'd pull out a book of poetry
and read to me in a soft voice I
thought I would have forever.

Walked Scott to the train station. Stopped at Kremp Florist and bought a begonia for $5 and found this shimmering blue bottle of Bud Lite in the trash.

Gotta make an art project with this bottle and others I have.

Good work, the Walmsey Crew - catching up with my poetry - WHO WILL I BE TODAY - PAIN - HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRIS DELIGHT

They're making very good progress AND they took a lunch break.

My lunch break was eating a salad on Scott's park bench on his front porch.

Insteada using Tyvek insulation they use Saint Gobain.

And of course you wanna read my Tyvek poem! Scroll way way down. Or not.

As you know, my bashed-in car is in the driveway. Jeff from State Farm will come out tomorrow.

Am sitting here on my red couch among the racket the Four Muskateers are making as they fix the damaged kitchen.

My mom doesn't know about this or she'll keep asking me questions about it, on and on and on.

Hey! Maybe I don't have to mention it at all tho I told my sister Donna.

Poetry please!


Droplets of mist
surrounded me as I
turned right instead
of left for my
morning walk

The old familiar houses
Patricks, the Ugandans
and the Littles with
their shiny black sedan
with misted windows

all old hat. Not till
I rounded the bend did I
see things anew. Huge
houses,like castles,
swam before me,and I was simply
a little girl, Little Ruthie

wandering in big people's clothes
a stylish blue dress nearly
certain I could find my way home.

And then I saw it. Red bee balm.
Over by the front porch. Might I
knock and ask if I could sit in
the rocker and watch the bees
swarm around like Mojito drinkers
at a party. Two straws are nice
for maximum-
ization of buzz.



I ran out the door barefoot
knowing I was doing wrong
even knowing in advance
something bad was going
to happen

But I wanted to feel
intimate with the grass
my feet touching the
carpet of green that
led to my car
where I needed to fetch
a white book I was
returning to the library

The pain seemed like
something I was born with
that unraveled like red
hot knitting needles as
I opened the handle of
the back door

Though the pain was
localized in the bottom
left corner of the foot,
the way a person goes
to his seat at a concert
Row this, Seat that

I said not a word as
my mind slowly began
to die.

That it had come to this
a small hot patch of venom
in my award-winning feet
that carry me around
every day since the late

Upon occasion the pain
ran up the same leg
this was nothing like
sciatica or stubbing the toe

This was wrecking the entire
leg as if shot in battle
the Civil War where the wounds
and blood ran deep

I was awaiting amputation now
in the stuffy canvas tent where
my fellows lay moaning and
asking for mother

I said not a word. No need.
Had no desire to tell anyone
or express my burial plans.
Just get it over with, I
mumbled to myself. In that
my father and I are the same.

Suffer my bones
suffer my soul
and then snuff out my light.



Poet, Mother, Wisdom-seeker
Gift-giver, Faithful
compatriot who, though
miles away, knows me like
my own sister.

Am drinking to you now
with my Iced Starbucks Coffee

We are survivors still
from all the terrors that
asault the world. Your
beloved Kim is not here
to view them all.

Once in San Francisco we
walked the Golden Gate Bridge
gazing down into the wild
waters, knowing nothing
of what would become of us

O innocence of children. Of
all the children you have
placed into fine homes. On
your own, after Kim left.

Write on Poet, write on, thrill
us with your Visions and may
the stars, the sun and
the moon protect the brilliance
of your ever-lovin soul.


It was not the food I picked out -
Starbucks Unsweetened Coffee on sale
for five bucks
Goat cheese in a round plastic circle
soft as a peach in my hand
New Olive Oil Triscuits raved about
on Facebook by my daughter-in-law
Or Sweet Red Cherries from the
Pacific Northwest where the sea
breezes crept into each plump
cherry that made its way into
my bowl that I ate while watching
Frontline's report on the Newark
Police Department. Horrific! 

The quality of light in the
Giant rained down on me as
I pushed my cart and
marveled at the beauty of
every little thing
Succulent apricots
Green furry kiwis
Shimmering beer bottles

Walking quickly in this
stadium-sized store I
inwardly saluted
The Weinrich baker in his apron
Bearded Erich the pharmacist
in his white lab coat
And remembered a friend of mine
Joseph V Bondi, a Roman Catholic,
who believes there's a Heaven
Indeed there is. And I've found it.
Right here at the Willow Grove


You might say I'm buzzed a bit on the coffee. So, I'm going downstairs in the coolness, and gonna continue reading the John Sanford thriller, a real page-turner.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Heidi King - thanks for saving the day and getting me outa my house - Poem: Girlfriends

Heidi King chose this Ugandan basket. I had two of em sitting over in my chaotic house. Was so happy I could give her something since she brought me this striking piece of jewelry.

Am gonna find a place to put it right now.

How's this? On the lamp on my bedside table. Sarah and Ethan will visit in a couple of days so they'll see it.  A little angel hangs on the bottom.

Can't wait to see what it looks like when I turn the light on with my clicker.

Sarah and Ethan met me this April at Reading Terminal  for our Fifth KidneyVersity.

Old pic of Dan hangs downstairs in my family room. Taken at Gram's house.

Heidi King and her then-husband Jason King were Big Brothers and Sisters to Dan.

They were very adventurous and Dan always had a great time with them.

Heidi and Jason's son, Linus, just graduated from Temple University with a degree in Emergency Medicine. Heidi did an amazing job documenting it on FB.

She could be a reporter!

Before we hopped in her car to go out for lunch, we stopped over at our new neighbors. Ava is retrieving Charlotte - aka Chuck - from under the van. 

 Chuck and her sibling Emmet.
These puppies are getting used to their new home.... only been here for about four days.

This is a dog-luvin community. Kalie the Barker lives across the street, Daisy lives next door, Logan lives down the street, and the Massers, across the street have two hyperactive tiny dogs.

I love it!

 Here we are at Colonial Quy Bai a ten-minute drive.

Elaine Klawans and two female friends - Bernice K and someone else - were already chomping away.

This amazing soup has matzoh balls filled with goat cheese. Shrimp and yummy green things.

OMG... you know what they're playing on WXPN now?

I only have eyes for you by the Flamingoes. I am instantly lifted to Cleveland when I worked for my dad at Majestic Specialties. We went out to eat across the street, well, I think we drove, and this was on the jukebox.

Jukebox! What's dat!

But they all disappear from view... and I only have eyes for you.... cha bom cha bom

 Spring roll in peanut sauce.  Heidi got one too but in sweet chile sauce.
 When Ryan brought this to our table, I was full and had forgotten we'd ordered this last course.

We chatted and chatted.

Then she drove me home.

HEIDI, I love been driven, I said. It feels so wonderful to have someone take c/o me.

I felt like a baby or an old lady being driven and passing all this lovely scenery.

Gonna compose something right now


You know, Heidi, it is quite a pleasure
gazing into your beautiful young face, and
your long blonde princess hair
and those hazel eyes that have
seen more than you ever
imagined while growing up
in Glen Ellyn Illinois.

Boundary-hopper, you are
that person who considers
all people equal and when
we are with you, I feel
privileged, yes, I believe
I can do anything as your
love shines down, God-given,
I think this is what is meant
by Grace.

It matters not that you
don't know yourself -
neither do I - just that
your legions of admirers
gain strength and
equanimity by being
in the wide umbrella
of your arms.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Car don't work - neither do my kitchen - Poems: Walk around the Block - Drinking Coffee While Listening to the Rain - Relaxing about Steve Hamilton Book

Hello Daylillies!

 Went to my son's thother night. Put Grace Catherine to bed, had a couple sips of a fabulous Mojito Dan made, and when I left, a neighbor across the street had bashed my car with his pickup truck.

Scott and I walked at Pennypack Trust. I picked this flower which Beatriz identified as Bee Balm. It is a native flower.

I finally emailed in my Guest Column to the Intell. My last column was rejected by the editor. So am anxiously awaiting his decision.


We have a major problem in the kitchen. Water damage. Bob Walmsey came home from a cruise in Bermuda, knowing he would arrive here today to diagnose the problem.

He did. Water comes in from the window and has ruined the wooden underpinning of my kitchen floor.

But, as my friend Freda says, This too shall pass.

  Here's my darling Freda Rose Samuels!

For a snack I had a fruit and cheese platter. As a person with diabetes, I had to make sure I had enuf protein with the meal - I finished off a jar of Vita Creamed herring - and injected.

For dinner I made scallops for me and Scott. Went over his house to eat em with brown rice as there's no where to sit at my house.

The house is in disarray until Bob and Steve fix my kitchen.

Hey, can you think of any songs with 'kitchen' in them?

Robert Johnson sings Come on in my Kitchen.

He was so shy, that when they came to record him, he sang with his back turned.

 I really had a hankering for coffee.  Finished off this great coffee that my Goddard friend Iris and husband Art brought me when they visited.

The Michael Moore film - Where to Invade Next - was excellent!

Am watching Gueros right now as a tribute to the Roger Ebert review.

The Supreme Court struck down a Texas law about abortion clinics.

Thother night there was a PBS show about this very topic. Then-Governor Rick Perry was saying how terrible abortion is. That the population will INCREASE if abortion is legalized. The guy has the brain of a  pea. A major idiot who won't listen to reason.

I stood on the front porch listening to the rain.


The coffee must be hot
and so it is
I stand at the door and
listen to that unmistakable

Pla pla pla pla
pla pla pla pla
pla pla pal pla pla!

At last the yard gets
a good soaking, the tomatoes
will grow taller as will the
peppers, cukes and chives

Grow peaches grow, I beseech
taking another sip of coffee
The squirrels are confused since
Scott blocked them out with

They stand atop the chicken wire
gazing at the growing peaches
can you hear them complain?
Chee chee chee chee

We all have voices!
We all communicate!
We all have things we
love and can't give up

What are yours?


Am still watching Gueros.


Before I had a chance to stop
myself, I walked around the
block this morning to get my bad leg
working again

Oh, Gepetto, please
make my wooden Pinocchio
leg a real one again

Slowing on the Greyhorse Hill
I crossed the street
as a green moving truck
with those huge storage
containers backed into
a slot, I thought,
There's a camel on wheels.

Some neighbors appeared and
I said, Their eyes are always
downcast, they never say hello.

At the summit of the hill
it could be where Jesus gave
his Sermon on the Mount
I headed on home, then
grabbed the hose and
began to water the
garden, the one pepper
blushing red

When I looked up, and I
swear this is true, the
couple who never look
up as they walk their
German shepherd passed
in front of my house.

Hello! I shouted.
The man and the shepherd
looked up.
Fine, he said. And you?

Great! said I, thankful
for a second chance. For
sometimes I am the
Prodigal Son.



I bounced onto my downstairs bed
where cool breezes flowed in
from the back porch, the exhausted
firelies, lying in wait for
tonight's midnight forays

Spread, like a wedding feast, on the lavender
bed spread, were all my library books
clamoring to be read

It's your turn, Nick Mason, I thought
and picked up this book about "dirty
cops" and betrayal and Glocks and
sawed off shotguns
the blood staining my
fluffy pillows bright red.

Oh, it's a dreadful book. Its
author - Steve Hamilton - looks
from the book jacket like a newly
minted Bible preacher.

He's garnered every crime fiction
award there is and Stephen King
blurbs: Read Him!

Agog to know how the book ends,
I mop my hot brow and, like a
swimmer on the Delaware stroking
toward shore, pump and kick and
gulp and spit as I finally
touch home.