Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Photobucket

I have created an online photo album at There you can see examples of the greeting cards I have created recently, as well as photos of other things that are important to me. I expect to be creating more sub-albums and adding more photos in the future so please bookmark the site and visit from time to time. The link is Thank you.

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nightmare - Revisited

My daughter just called me on her way to school. Who should she happen to be on the train with but the young lady whose mother called looking for her a couple of nights ago. I didn't get a lot of details since extracting credible information out of a teenager is a little like trying to get Bush to pull out of the Iraq war, but I did glean a few tidbits.

Essentially this young lady says she got out late from the bookstore and was unable to call home since she had forgotten her cell phone. Furthermore she apparently did not have change to call from a public phone (do those things still exist?). Upon hearing this, I started asking my daughter some questions. She asked if I wanted to speak to the girl myself. I declined, deciding that interrogating this child would be inappropriate of me and was the responsibility of her parents.

I was very upset and annoyed. How flimsy can an excuse get? I don't believe that a) she was at a bookstore that late, b) she accidentally left her phone at home or c) she didn't have change for a phone call. I think d)she was messing around and deliberately didn't want anyone to be able to contact her. When I think of the anguish that her family must have gone through, not knowing the whereabouts or well-being of their child, I become all the more infuriated at her behavior. Yes, I know... I'm projecting my own fears. But that's what we parents do when we don't know what else to do.

The happy ending is that the girl is fine and safely back at home with her family. I am glad for that, at least, but my gladness is tempered by the knowledge of the panic her disappearance caused. Hopefully she got an earful from her mother. Hopefully her mother can see the red flag waving.

Ballo ergo sum,

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Parent's Worst Nightmare

I received a call at 11:00 PM tonight. Everyone who knows me knows I'm one of those people who doesn't like receiving phone calls after 9:30 in the evening so when the phone rings at that late hour, it had better be important. It was. The caller was the mother of one of my daughter's high school classmates and she wanted to speak to my daughter. Every mother knows that if you receive a late night phone call concerning your child's classmate, something is wrong. I let my daughter speak with her in the hope that perhaps she had some information that might prove helpful.

Apparently the young lady had stepped out of the house after returning from school and had not returned. To make matters worse, she had left her cell phone behind so there was no way to reach her. I didn't speak to the mother much myself but I didn't have to. Nothings grips your heart and feeds the worst nightmares you can imagine than not knowing if your child may have come to some harm. I knew exactly what this woman was feeling. I felt it as acutely as if the child had been my own.

The thought crossed my mind, "There but for the grace of God go I". I looked at my child and said a silent thank you that she was safe at home with me, secretly grateful that she was still around to vex me with her teenage attitudes and outrage. Since receiving that phone call, I have been inwardly agonizing over this missing child whom I don't even know, praying that she will return safe and sound. Needless to say there will be two mothers who won't get much sleep tonight; the one who called my home and the one who answered the call.

Ballo ergo sum,

Friday, May 4, 2007

In the season of the sun...

Spring has finally arrived and my garden rejoices in its company. For many years I have been an avid gardener and am proud to say my whole family has reaped the benefits of my labors. In addition to the beautiful perennials that return each year, we have had the pleasure of eating fresh fruit and vegetables right out of the garden. Few things are as fullfiling as eating a freshly picked peach, picking a salad straight from the yard to the dinner table, or inhaling the aroma of an apple pie made with apples picked from my own tree.

This year promises to be a little different. The perennials that have peacefully coexisted for several years have outgrown their boundaries. They have flourished and multiplied to the point where my garden has become the floral corollary of a housing project... too many tenants and not enough room. The irises are encroaching on the Stella D'Oro daylilies, the Rudbeckias (Black-eyed Susans to you) are slowly closing in on the tulips, and the hostas... well, let's just say that in sociological parlance, the hostas would be considered the dominant culture. They are everywhere. Over the years, they have grown from five little fingerlings to over 50 mature plants, the smallest of which is about 30 - 36 inches in diameter when fully opened. My garden looks more like an angry jungle. It is time to thin out the herd.

Getting rid of a plant that you have nurtured from a rootling is something akin to kicking your child out into the world. It's not the easiest thing to do but you know it is in everyone's best interest. I wanted to donate my plants to an organization that would place them where others would be able to view and enjoy their beauty. I am fortunately connected with and live very close to Brooklyn College, known across the country as one of the most beautiful campuses in America, thanks to dedication of its talented ground crew. It takes a lot of time, money and effort to keep that campus looking beautiful and the current budgetary constraints don't make it any easier. A few emails later, the prinicpal park supervisor for the campus, Steve A., came by with a truck and picked up 20 of my over-eager hostas. He already has a spot waiting to receive the plants... none other than the famous Lily Pond, one of the most tranquil, beautiful and most photographed places on the campus. I'm thrilled that my plants will be on view in such a place of honor, just in time for this year's commencement exercises.

In addition, one of my children attends the Green School, a new high school dedicated to environmental studies and ecological sustainability. The school is in the process of upgrading their (for the most part non-existent) landscaping and is in need of hardy perennials. Once again, my garden will come to the rescue, providing irises, daylilies, rudbeckias and, of course, hostas. If I'm in a good mood, I may throw in a few dozen daffodils. I've got over a hundred of them.

In this manner, I am sharing the beauty of my garden with the public at large. I am also giving my garden some much needed breathing room. Once I have thinned out my plants to the point where I can actually see the dirt they are planted in, perhaps I'll put in some new and different varieties. Then, when they outgrow their space, I will start the process all over again and share nature's wealth.

Ballo ergo sum
Always and all ways,