Thursday, March 21, 2019

WORLD POETRY DAY - The Hasids of Chernobyl

Just saw Friendly Dave at Staples, where I lugged my downstairs laptop out in the rain.

All is well, he said, and it is.

Correction. It may not work right.

Rem Murphy nominated me to be part of MARQUIS  WHO'S  WHO.

Danielle called me up this morning and we were on the phone for 20 minutes, while I prepared my morning omelet.

She asked me great questions, what I'm most proud of, am I involved in volunteer work. The longer we talked, the prouder I got.

Twenty minutes, a total waste of time.

There's a huge fee to appear on there.

I told her I'm not spending a cent to promote myself and New Directions. She kept pleading with me.



There's music all around
on this drizzly day
Close your eyes
and hear the harp notes
on the roof
the jazz trumpets
on the jonquils
in the back yard
and your steady
playing the most
important music of all.

THIS IS YOUR THING, wrote Ed Quinn. He painted part of the interior of my house with bright colors.


At the end of the day
I retire to my pink bedroom
It embraces me like an old friend
Everything I need is in this
master bedroom, and everything
is painted.

The border of the television
The two closet doors
The wall behind the bed

From the ceiling fan
hangs a painted mobile
made from a styrofoam insert

My pink bedroom
tells me it's time
to sleep. I yawn,
lean back and am gone.

* * *

Finally am listening to a wonderful audio book in the kitchen, THE MONUMENT MEN. Ooh, I have to tell my friend Tree!

Am making pear sauce with three ripe Anjou's. Took forever to ripen. Am shoveling peanuts in my mouth.

Hey, that's a chipmunk not a squirrel.

Click here for pix of Hasidic Jews from Chernobyl.

Anything else Ruthie?

 Yvonne works for her BF Bob Walmsley and came over to pick up a check for $3,000 as a down payment on a new roof.

As long as it rains, they can't work.
I asked her to take a picture of me, also.

Dyou think it's too late to email Tree?  Amazing bc we don't need to know their email, you just type in a couple of letters.

I'm going up to my room and start reading on my bike.

I'll tackle the Beaver book.

Oh! I signed up to receive the Glenside Chronicle, which comes out every Thursday.

Gonna sit on the living room carpet and read read read. Maybe with a cuppa tea or coffee at my side.

What are YOUR plans, mes amies?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Purple Heart - Lunch at Tim and Terry's - Poems: A Sky-Watching Tip from Sandy Wood - Mom at Ninety Six

Scott put out our Four Boxes of taped-shut goods for Purple Heart yesterday.

How good it feels getting rid of unwanted stuff. Where did I get all those sheets? Dozens of them.

Plus a Kandinsky-style carpet in the laundry room. They're all on Scott's front porch now.

Purple Heart will return next week.

Went to Mark's at Buxmont toe get 100 copies of my Letter to the Editor in the Glenside Times and Public Spirit.

I had told the editor, whose name I forget, that I had written dozens upon dozens of Op-Ed columns for the Daily Intelligencer while Alan Kerr was in charge. He retired a couple of years ago. I've never met him though I worked at the Intell/Record which is now closed up on Easton Road.

Tried something new and delicious at TNT. First, when I walked in, I called the owner Terry. That's his wife.

Rowan was my helpful waitress. I refuse to call them servers. Whose idea was that?

French toast with raisin bread and plenty of whipped butter and syrup.

I injected a lot in my belly.

Drank cold water which they served w/o a straw - good for them! - and drank their delicious coffee.

Finally I finished the book BECOMING by Michelle Obama. I probly sat there a good two hours.

When I returned to Mark at Buxmont Stationers he thought I had forgotten.

I can always count on you, I said to Mark.

Sun rises at 7 06  And sets at 7 11

For years I have listened to Sky Watch
the way as I kid I listened to The Time Lady
and The Weather Lady.

I must present a portrait
of Sandy Wood, though I only know her
by her plain but trustworthy voice.

At home now in her high rise in Houston
She goes to her window and views
the silky bayou with big swaths of
green. She wears yellow silken
pajamas and has a dry martini in hand.

She's been up all night recording
and is ready for sleep. Her bed is
fluttered with fan letters from
all over the world, including
one from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.


Like we did in Cleveland, our ancestral home,
we viewed the Christmas lights. Time disappeared.
Mom became an athlete again, playing tennis with Lenore
whose husband recently died of dementia.

Her dog Snappy Lou, a gift from her father, was a
barking and petting delight. Mr. Lucas from down
the street was knocked down by the exuberant terrior
and Mom was forced to put him down.

How we loved the Christmas lights. Reminded us
of the neon lights at NELA PARK in Cleveland.

Every color of the rainbow, especially Blue lights
on roofs and dangling from real Christmas trees
made the world feel young again.

Driving up the driveway of Mom's huge house
with white mailbox and huge front porch
I cautioned, Stay in the car until I come get you.

Her white hair gleamed like the moon.

When I came to get her after opening the house door
she was nowhere to be found.
Mom! I called. She had toppled to the ground.

When you're that old every fall is like
an arrow to the heart.

Sure, she delights in visiting her doctors
Sister Ellen, surely a saint, takes her after
folding up her walker, brilliant invention
for the Hobbled Ones

We meet on Sundays, with sister Lynn from New Hope
prancing in with quiche and cupcakes, and chocolates from Asher's.

It's important to pay attention.
To remember Mom's words, though her
heart is strong, and we expect her to
celebrate her centennial.

I never appreciated the woman. Her fortitude
and refusal to die is now an inspiration. Finally
I can say - and it took me over fifty years -
I love you Mom.

* * *

Mom has a great appetite and so do I.

Scuse me while I raid the refrigerator.

Should I make something?

It's nearly four o'clock.

One more thing. I wanna watch the trial of "The Butcher of Bosnia." He eluded capture for 16 years.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Great concert at Annenberg, followed by dinner at Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill

March 15-16  Dance Heginbotham Easy Win in Philadelphia at Annenberg Center.
Both sold out!
Here we are at the Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill PA waiting for our orders to arrive. We ordered Perrier Water which made me thirsty so I switched to regular water in bottle on left.

 Mary Creamer one of the most lovable people you've ever met.

 Here's her husband Tony. We drove from their house near Morris Arboretum in his white Porsche SUV. Very hard for me to get in with my bad left leg. I do exercises every morning and am hoping the leg will improve.

 Tony couldn't find parking, so he parked and kept his parking lights on.

Mary and Tony made us appetizers at their home. I believe they have about six cats now. One named Grayson is a dead ringer for our Blank except he is fatter but has the same green eyes. I reached out to pet him but he tried to bite me.

They also have a huge painting of a black cat, as if he rules their house. True, perhaps.

Forty degrees now, says Bob Perkins on the jazz station.

 Mary ordered a salad and shared some with me. I tasted arugula, as well as the usual greens and tomato. Very subtle dressing with a hint of lemon.

Trout Almondine with haricot verts - green beans - and some taters. I cleaned my plate and injected in my belly. When I got home my sugar was normal. 

Mary's order. Delicious mashed potatoes, devilishly high in carbs.

Mary's friend Lisa.

When I got home I got a 'fraud alert' call from my credit card company.

Someone tried to charge $6.06 at a restaurant in Virginia.

baI brought 4 copies of the Compass in my huge backpack.

The first copy I gave to Catherine the Uber driver. We had a very intimate discussion on the way to Annenberg.

Sarah found us - we were early - so we stopped in at a little bar across the street. We split an order of everyone's favorite - Deviled Eggs.

Earlier today Scott and I watched HIGH SIERRA on TCM's film noir.


Ida Lupino was b'ful. Bogey paid for a club foot operation of a woman named Velma, played by Joan Leslie.

Remember. movies are available at your local library!!!

Like Columbo, I always remember one more thing.

When we were about to leave the cafe, I said, Wait a sec. I have gifts for everyone.

I reached into my backpack and pulled out an envelope filled with tea bags.

   This is what I sipped on while watching Film Noir.

Ethan just sent out his blog with a great photo of the Dance Heginbotham Easy Win

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Off to the concert tonight! Wait for me, Ethan, Sarah and Guests



Pleasure seeker that I am
was going to say hedonist
but it doesn't jibe with
a simple cup of coffee

For days I've wanted to
sit down somewhere
with a cup of coffee
and finally I got my wish

Welcome! said a smiling
Indian at Dunkin Donuts
near the Staples Shopping Center

Medium sized, black, no cream,
I said. In a moment my styrofoam
cup arrived. (Not recyclable,
I thought)

At home I placed it on my wooden
Ikea tabletop that once belonged
to Sean and then to Dan, pried off
the lid, stared at my favorite
elixir, inhaled, as if I were
Julie Christie in McCabe and
Mrs. Miller - she was an opium
eater who would stare longingly
into space -

and finally finally I took
a tiny sip. I looked at
my purple African violets
basking in the afternoon sun
on shelf.

Soon I knew everything would
look beautiful, so I carried
the steaming cup around the living room
then sat on the Red Couch marveling
at my good fortune.

A cup of my own.


I made the 11 o'clock free show at the HV Library of A STAR IS BORN, with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Right away I didn't like it. Rowdy characters, drinkers, druggies, foul language, disrespect for women. I waited half an hour for it to get better. When it didn't, I pulled off my driving glasses - to see better up close - got my backpack from under the seat - and stiffly walked out.

When I told Mom about it she said she probly saw the original with Janet Gaynor, tho she didn't remember it.

Told her I am reading BECOMING by Michelle Obama and that it's very good. She asked me if it deserved to be a best seller. Absolutely, I said. Good question, Mom.

Finally talked to Nancy across the street. She was on her front porch sweeping. I had walked up the hill in clogs, not the best of shoes, and we talked about half an hour. Her daughter Linda broke her back. Nuffin to do about it but rest and go for physical therapy.

Then we shared stories of the dead. I couldn't think of the name of the Adams' family dog. Daisy.


76 degrees, said Blitz Nicholson of WRTI-FM. "I just like saying that," she said.


WHY I'M GLAD I WENT OFF FACEBOOK. Stealing my data is one thing, but, of course, anytime I go online, they've caught me like a wiggly fish in a net. Fine. I've gotten used to that. There are a few folks I miss. Carl Yeager. Bill Hess of Wasilla AK. C'est ca.

What I really can't stand is the mockery on FB. People make fun of everything. In words, certainly, but also in images.

In 40 minutes dinner will be ready from Scott. He's getting his second floor deck Eand got the final total from Bob's Home Improvement. Bob came over today to take a look at my roof. I signed a contract to get it done. He'll get the paperwork from the Township.


On page 300 of Becoming by Michelle Obama there was a sentence of import on the day of their inauguration: Barack and I felt a kind of sweet relief (in their Beast, limo). We were the first family now but we were ourselves.

FACEBOOK FRIENDS    I highly recommend this book.

When I read those words, I had an idea for my next short story. "We were ourselves."


My downstairs laptop is FIXED.

It was free due to a promotion.

UBER is picking me up around 12:30 pm.

So amazing that now I'm here on Friendly Dusty Red Couch and in 90 mins I'll be at the Annenberg Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Went to Mom's hoping she'd enjoy painting with KWIK STIX. She had no interest but I painted this TREE OF LIFE.

To the concert I'm wearing this top plus black n white pants, a gift from Ada, in a herringbone tweed.

Did I tell you I went shopping earlier today? Bringing a list is tres important.

At the orders of my diabetes doctor I'm losing weight.

Doubt I'll be able to fit into my size 5 white thigh-length wedding dress from Evan Piccone. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Photos - Poem: Air Force Pilot 1943

I finally figured out how to upload photos to my blog.

Scott and I watched great nature shows. Did you know orchids are the largest species of plants in the world?

Photo no. two above is an orchid Scott bought me for Valentine's Day. It did well for awhile but is now fast asleep with its long dog tongues.

And of course Winnie's Philodendron is doing well, long after she died.

Scott also bought me this unusual plant he found at the Giant. It's on one of my old Johnson Brothers' plates with a Laura Ashley Design.

Here's one of my altars. I have many in the house, my sacred objects.

PHOTO 1943

Great grandmother Julia
How proud we are of you.
Though I never met you
As you died before I was born
Your legacy lives on in my
piloting career.

For a while I flew commercial
jets all over the world. London
Bangkok, Belize - and yes my
friend Stephen Weinstein was
aboard - and ecstasy is the only
word that describes the beauty
of flying on top of the world.

Helipcopter pilots were needed
for rescue missions. The bleeding
the wounded in car crashes, the
stroke victims with their twisted
faces and useless arms belonged
to me.

Off they went to Abington Hospital
or when things were dire, downtown
to Jefferson, landing safely
on the roof, hoping for a
recovery. The surgeons
took over then with their
green surgical scrubs
as I piloted onward
to my next rescue mission.

The controls of the helicopter
were as complex as the John Wanamaker
Pipe Organ, located now in a court yard
of Macy's Center City.

If I pass, my legacy lives on.
Forget me not!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Driving the Horsham Clinic to Deliver the Compass - Poem: Hire Me at Burdick's Newstand

My son Dan routed me to Horsham Clink so I could deliver two cartons of the Compass to Dave Mauermann. They had given us a nice donation for the Compass.

I found it with no problem. For long drives - 20 mins there - I wear shoes that won't fall off my feet.

Gardeners were working nearby.

I walked over and asked the first one if he'd help me carry my cartons inside.

NO, he said.

Jose, on the other hand, said he would.

Michelle at the front desk remembered me from last year.

I asked if the food was good here and she said Yes, quite good.

People were waiting in the former living room of this former home. All I saw was someone's pocket book tho I longed to look in.

When I worked as a therapist at the late Bristol Bensalem Human Services, I actually drove a mom and her daughter, Hannah, to the clink.

Once you have a record, your life is never the same again.

1984 Ruth Z Deming was committed against her will to MCES, Montgomery County Emergency Service, and there I stayed for the three worst days of my life.

But that was yesterday. At 9 tonight Henry Louis Gates Jr will present two hours of history. Fifteen minutes to go.

Hurry Ruthie Hurry.


Did I tell you I met Carl Burdick at the Giant?
He of the iconic Hatboro store, nearest thing to
the old Woolworth's that no one's heard of anymore.

Magazines? Hundreds
Newspapers? From the Wall Street Journal to
the Times Chronical in Jenkintown, PA.

This is a store where I'd love to work.
A cash register with its dozens of
rings, that only Carl and his wife Lillian
can operate.

She's out temporsnarily, as my dead boyfriend
Simon would say. Hip operation.

You can smell the aroma of newsprint
and see-gars all the way from Cuba.
Boxes are free as long as they're
not from Cuba.

I took a couple home with me.
Kept them on the bench in front
of the living room window Mom bought
me ages ago from Bloomingdale's.

What can you do with an empty box?
Save it perhaps for your burial chamber.


On my upstairs bulletin board
their business card. Ellen and I
stopped by one hot summer morning.

Hiring? I asked.
Sure, said a portly woman.
Can you cook?

You tell me what to do,
and I'll do it, said I,
mopping my brow.

I wasn't fast enough
and Dautcher's went under
the wrecking ball.

Not another condo
on smothered farm land.
The pumpkins were large
as tiny planets,
the tomatoes cuddly
as baby does,
and the cinnamon buns
were weighed on the scale
and packaged in boxes
white as the winter sky.

Sure, they made a fortune,
and now they have time
for themselves. Sitting now
on the rocking chairs
on the porch, with Uncle Joe
calling, "Babe, how bout
some of them cinnamon buns?"

Just a sec, she says, going
into the house where the phone rings.
"Always wanted
to hire this woman."

I HAVE BEEN ORDERED to lose weight by Cecilia, my diabetes nurse.

Lost two pounds when I weighed myself on Scott's scale.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Op-Ed Published by Montgomery Media News - Fog Poem

We'reWe're having a problem here. The left margin cannot be seen by me. Click here for my Op-Ed.

I'lle print out the entire column

Many of us watched the Oscars on Feb. 24 with the beautifully dressed and coiffed men and women in designer clothes and jewels. It reminded me of the many individuals in New Directions, a support group I founded in 1986.
Despite being attractive and well put-together, we suffer from the challenging conditions of depression and bipolar disorder.
With a combination of medication and psychotherapy, many of us do fine and go on to live healthy lives.
A few of us in New Directions, myself included, were surprised to learn that our illness vanished. It disappeared like a fast train speeding through town.
We strongly urge you to stay on your meds. Sadly, nearly 15 percent of people with bipolar disorder die by their own hand.
When bipolar disorder assaulted me, I was faithfully taking my medication. Yet, mood swings still occurred. I would wake up leaden, as if I were chained to the bed, and could barely take care of my two young children.
When psychosis — or out-of-reality thinking — bore down on me, I felt people were spying on me, as if this was an episode of “Homeland” with Claire Danes.
Over 219 million people in the U.S. suffer from bipolar disorder and depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Illness.
Many famous individuals come forward to publicly announce their illness.
The latest individual is Michael Gerson. He is a political columnist for the Washington Post and a contributor to the “PBS NewsHour.” On Feb. 17, he delivered a sermon at the Washington National Cathedral that focused on his battle with depression.
“There should be no stigma about having depression,” he said.
“Right on, Mr. Gerson!” I say.
Shortly thereafter, a comic book character named Nadia Van Dyne revealed her own illness. In issue No. 5 of the “Unstoppable Wasp,” Ms. Van Dyne cries, “I need help.” I think I have bipolar disorder — “and I don’t think I can handle this alone.”
She writes that if mania is not treated, “a person can have episodes — intense changes in mood — especially in times of stress.”
How wonderful for young people to learn about these treatable illnesses from a format they love and trust.
With a combination of medication and psychotherapy, many of us do fine and go on to live healthy lives. Our support group boasts a house painter, a mail carrier, homemakers and social workers.
A support group or family support is vital to keep people healthy and hopeful.
Believe it or not, the symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder have been recognized as long as humans have been around. We learn from that Aretataeus of Turkey detailed symptoms in the first century.
The ancient Greeks and Romans were responsible for the terms “mania” and “melancholia,” which now are the modern-day “manic” and “depressive,” according to The term “manic-depressive illness” is an earlier name for bipolar disorder. The early healers discovered that using lithium salts in baths calmed manic individuals. Today, lithium is a major medication used for people with bipolar disorder.
A word of caution, however, about lithium. While many people do well on the drug, others find it damages their kidneys. I personally took lithium for nearly 17 years, and it ruined my kidneys. Fortunately, my daughter, Sarah, was a match, and I had a kidney transplant in 2001. If you are on lithium, be sure to get lab tests once every six months.
Today, we’re aware of hundreds of artists and writers with mood disorders. They include Ernest Hemingway, Jimi Hendrix, Jane Pauley and Mariah Carey.
Take heart! Scientists are working diligently to come up with newer and better drugs and treatments.
If you need a psychiatrist for yourself or a family member, visit this website you
As you remember, The Intell refused to publish me. Long story. At Giant I sat in the cafe and and got a copy of the Times Chronicle. Good paper. That's how I decided to write for it.
I continue listening to In Their Father's Footsteps by Danielle Steele. There is not one original sentence in it. Yet I will read until the finish. In the car I listen to Fear by Bob Woodward - a book about Trump. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and put it back in its darling plastic case, which is the best thing I can say about the book, carefully wrin by journalist Bob Woodward.
I wrote a lovely poem about the fog when I was coming home from Mom's. I stayed with her all day while my sister Ellen went to the Flower Show. I have enormous patience when I'm wirh her, unlike at home where I do this - do that - and the other thing. Well, my fingers can type fast so that may be the start of it.
This could be the start of something good, I sing in my operatic voice. I can't see a damn thing. 

Lights on
Go slow
Who knows what will drive by
A yellow schoolbus coming home
from a hockey game
An ambulance tearing across
the road
A black Ford truck
heading home from
fishing in the Poconos

All I saw was beauty
Abstract outlines of
giant trees
They could have been
Sequoias in California
Standing the test of time

How can I remember the
astonishing beauty
I think I am. 

— Ruth Z. Deming, founder/director, New Directions Support Group in Abington and Willow Grove