Friday, June 29, 2012

Goodbye Nora. Thanks for Everything.

I loved Nora Ephron’s work.  She had such a gift for finding universal humor in mundane encounters.  Her sense of romanticism was so seductive, if unrealistic.  We bought it because we wanted to.  She ripped our hearts out when she discovered her husband’s infidelity.  She raised our hopes that someday we would meet our own Harry and have what she was having.

I was so sad when her death at the age of 71 was announced this week.  But the accolades from her friends were so touching, so warm that it was almost a pleasure to read her obituary.  Now I know it was pretty unlikely that someone was going to say to The Times “She was a total cow and I couldn’t stand her.”  But still, if I receive even a fraction of that kind of praise when I go, I will be a happy corpse.

In her book “I Remember Nothing”, she wrote lists of things she would miss and things she wouldn’t.  I think one of life’s important lessons when we lose someone is being reminded how little time we really do have and how precious this world is.  So I have written my own two lists.

Thanks, Nora.

What I Won’t Miss

Multiple sclerosis

Doctor’s visits of any kind

Always being unhappy about my looks


Rampant social injustice


Those horrible big buzzing beetles that somehow get past your screens on summer nights

Actually, all bugs.  Screw the ecosystem.


People with no sense of humor

Knowing there is an audience for programs such as “Housewives of ….[fill in the blank]

Customer service reps who clearly hate people and don’t give a rat’s ass about your problem

Mean spirited, ugly comments after newspaper articles online

Chris Christie

Glen Beck

Job interviews

Heat waves


What I Will Miss

My children and grandchildren

My sweet little dog

Writing and the sheer joy of words

My spectacular, funny, giving, loving friends

My cousin Steve, the embodiment of kindness to me my entire life


The sound of the ocean


Fabric and the potential in every yard


Macaroni and cheese



Lemons piled in a blue bowl

Bruce Springsteen

Conan O’Brian

Dick Cavett

Lily of the Valley



The New York City skyline

Getting a package unexpectedly

A fresh pedicure with bright red polish

A soft, pastel linen shirt on a hot summer evening

Cuddling under a quilt I made myself, made in colors that simply make me happy

The antique pearls my mother gave me


What would your lists be?


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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's Just a Phase

The past few weeks have been a real transition phase for me and I have had a hard time writing about it as my ability to function independently continues to slither away.    I have now officially been declared ‘disabled’ by the United States government.  While this means some physical assistance and a steady, if poverty level, income, I am overwhelmed by the finality of the label. 

I am grateful for the fact that this benefit does exist, but it is tough to adjust to.  Even after six years, I am still relatively shell shocked by the whole chronic illness thing.

One very exciting development that occurred, however, is an opportunity I was given to write for the National MS Society Blog.  My first post, which I considered pretty simple and matter-of-fact, was so well received that at one point I was literally reading the comments with my mouth hanging open, I was so flabbergasted by the response.  With over 500 “likes” on the MS Society Facebook page and over 120 comments, I am humbled at the impact my words have had on readers, who apparently really related to my post on “The Five Worst Things I Have Done Since Being Diagnosed with MS” .  I’ll be contributing to the blog once a month.

Otherwise, trying to keep from being too wretched, I have been doing a lot of sewing, experimenting with projects and techniques I had never tried before. 

I made fabric texture books for each of my youngest grandchildren.  

Maddy's was first, so it is the the one I worked the kinks out on.  Also, it was well played with before I remembered to take pictures.

I haven't sent this yet, so don't tell him.  :)

I finished two memory quilts for a dear friend using squares cut from her late father’s shirts.  I am working on a third on for her brother and pillow shams to match for her nieces.

I am learning to make little things out of wool by needle felting.  This is a process that requires stabbing a clump of wool three hundred kabillion times over and over with a long barbed needle and shaping it into…something.  I am proud to say I only stabbed myself once.  Ok, twice.  Alright, alright it was really four times, but I only drew blood once.

The first one I did.  Got a little acromegaly going on, but I was just following the pattern.

Just finished this little bunny.

I learned how to make fabric yo-yos, little circles of scrap material that you then fashion into objects no one would want in a million years quaint crafts, such as table covers or toddler toys.  I chose to make a little caterpillar for my grandchildren because it was one of the few patterns that did not require about one thousand little circles, just a mere one hundred each.   

I also did a lot of embroidery, am experimenting with watercolor quilting (using graduated colored squares for effects), made aprons for my girls and my granddaughter (Paris-themed for the new bride who honeymooned in Paris and cupcake fabric for mommy and granddaughter, as mommy is a cupcake aficionado) and I’m making new curtains for my bedroom.    I’ll post pictures next time.  I also have joined a new site called Craftsy, where people post pictures of their projects.  It is fun to see what other people are making.  There is an incredible amount of talent out there!!  You can find my page here.


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