A Night at the Garden

Must – see. This has happened in America. I think it proves first, that no nation, no country is pure and innocent, and it also proves that a country can stop at the edge and not “fall over a cliff”.
Be sure to visit a documentary website https://anightatthegarden.com/ for Q&A

Yip Abides

That’s Madison Square Garden, to be specific. This is a short video produced and directed by Marshall Curry documenting a 1939 pro-Nazi demonstration held in New York’s Madison Square Garden. It was attended by some 20,000 New Yorkers (what? you say they were all from New Jersey?) and, yes, by a few 1930s vintage “antifas”.

We’re a divided nation these days, but that, by itself, is nothing new.

For more information about the film and the history, check the video’s web site.

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All is Right

It was really cold yesterday. I came back home after the Night Ministry Youth Christmas Party and felt the warmth of my home. I paused for a moment and got this definite feeling that everything is going right with my life. I sat down on the floor, which I like to do in such moments of tranquility, and listened to the inner self again. Everything was right. Nevermind, I am still behind with my Christmas cards and presents, nevermind I have a cold for several days, nevermind work. My life is right. All around.

I was thinking about all the conversations I had at the Youth party, all the laughs, and hugs. I thought about an important presentation Boris is giving the next day, and how great is it that he was invited to present. I thought about my daughter and all the big changes which are coming to her life next year, and I thought about my new hire and how happy I am with his progress even though he has been at work for just a couple of days.

i thought how right it was that I decided to bring my Mom here two years ago, and how right it is that Igor is going to New York for Christmas to brighten his friends holidays.
I smiled when I remembered email my friend Lena sent to me the other day, that she comes on Friday night after all so that we have more time for baking, and that she misses me. And then I was thinking of how she will help me with a couple of house projects for which Vlad does not have time. And then I remembered how Vlad came to visit my Mom last week, on one of his only two days off for the whole month, because he could not make it for Thanksgiving, and grandma was missing him.

My life is right. All around. And I will figure out the rest 🙂

A Christmas Carol

Yesterday, when I entered a Red Line station, I heard somebody singing carols. Not playing the recording, but actually singing. I started to walk towards the sounds and saw three older men, one with crutches, standing in a half-circle, and singing The Silent Night. I do not know how to say it, but they were singing in a perfectly right way. Not too loud, but clear and with a perfect pitch. The bottom of the bucket in front of them was already covered with dollar bills and coins, and I stooped to dig out my purse from the bottom of my backpack. I saw a lady stopped by the carolers, reaching into her pocket and saying: wait, here is more…

I thought that this is such a rare scene these days – the carolers doing what they were initially supposed to do: collecting donations :). It was beautiful, and I felt it would be a sin to take a picture or record them…

Making My Christmas a Happy One

My Christmas is made of a million small things, which can be hardly called traditions – they are too tiny for the word. In any case, I am doing every year, for every Christmas, and which make me feel that the holidays are approaching. 

I buy my tree from the same farmers for something like 17 or 18 years. They know me, I know them. We ask each other, “how are you,” and we mean it:). We were chatting with the owner’s daughter-in-law about how busy we are and how Thanksgiving was late this year, and everything is so compressed… and she said: I know I won’t have time to do everything and I am trying to concentrate on important things. Tomorrow I need to drive to pick up my daughter from the airport, and this is important. I know I won’t have the Christmas tree put up on time, but that’s OK! I can’t even describe how it felt to hear from a person from the Christmas Tree farm such kind of complaint!

Today, I was shipping the first several boxes of cookies, the ones which will travel the longest distance. Because of the train delays, I ended up going to the post office not after work, but before. I was first in line, and a post office clerk was not yet exhausted by demanding customers. So we chatted a little bit. She told me that I only needed to fill in one form per package, not two, and that I can do it online. Then came the usual conversation: yes, I want the most expensive option, yes, I know how much it costs, I do it every year.      

  • So — cookies?      
  • Yes

One the third box she asked:

  • So…these cookies… Did you buy them or did you make them?
  • I make them! Every year. And no worries – I know how to pack them so that they won’t break!           

I do, indeed!           


Greetings from the Knox College

I always thought that Anna has chosen a great school to attend, and the greetings I’ve received today is another proof.

The email from the college president said:

At Homecoming this year, we asked members of the Knox family to share a moment of cheer with you this holiday season. Watch the video (and turn up your sound)!

Very best wishes to you for a joyous 2020

Here is the video –

The reason I received this email (which means that I am on alumni list) is that I am a monthly donor. And the college has a beautiful way to say thank you – sending personalized video messages from the students who benefit from the college fund.

Catching up with Work, Life, and Christmas

The conference left me a week behind with work and a week behind with Christmas. And one of the things I do not like doing is rushing through the “Christmas things”. I like doing all that I am doing for Christmas, and I like doing it with no rush, preferably with time for blogging.

I do not have the latter one that year, but I am doing my best to do all my favorite things:). Doing these things is a priority, and I will show them if I will have time 🙂 For now – just my newest things from IKEA:

P.S. – I thought I published this blog post Saturday morning, but turned out, I didn’! Now, there will be two in a row 🙂

What was Going On with Me

Not like the whole world needs to know, but for a benefit or my friends who are following my life events here. Now, that the worst crisis is over, let me describe what was happening in my life starting from last Wednesday.

Last Wednesday was a Thanksgiving Eve, and my daughter’s family and Boris were arriving almost at the same time, and I had to be at two different places simultaneously. It ended up being not so bad, the planning was close to perfect on my side, but it was an intense day, and the previous three weeks were pretty loaded.

As my friends may remember, I am going to have cataracts surgeries soon, and in preparation, I had to switch from hard lenses to soft lenses. I wore hard contacts for most of my life (since I was 19), and since my prescription is high, I can’t wear glasses without significant vision decrement. Because of that, I do not own a pair now, which would be up to my current prescription. When I switched to the soft contacts, the doctor told me that my vision would be changing, because the eyeball would be returning to its normal shape. Because of that, she didn’t want me to order a whole box, but rather have a pair and then come back to her and see whether the prescription needs to be changed.

Since the start of the process, I’ve already changed it twice; and I was supposed to come in on Saturday morning after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday night, when I took the lenses off, I did something really stupid – since I do not have all the soft lenses process in my fingertips, I accidentally washed the good pair off! I was scared for a moment, but then I thought – fine, I still have one good lense, and one of less strength and I can manage for these two days.
It was inconvenient, but OK, I could not drive, but my daughter and my son in law were here so that they could do all the driving. Then on Friday, when I put to lenses in, it started to hurt, We went to the city, as planned, but it was getting worse. While we were watching the Wreathing of the Lions ceremony, I got a call from my eye doctor’s office. They said: you know, the doctor ordered several lenses to try, but they didn’t come. Do you still want to come in? I was crushed! I told – of cause! Maybe, she had some of the previous prescriptions left, because now I can’t see a thing! My daughter insisted we go to the nearest Walgreens. I bought the solution and tried to switch the lenses. It was still hurting, so after another half an hour of struggle in the Museum I announced I am going home. I walked to the train station, and then in Palatine Boris walked to the station to meet me, and we headed home together.

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A Thanksgiving Eve

Here is what I have on the eve of Thanksgiving. The training is completed in terms of it is written, but I still have several examples to rework because they bear too much of the company specifics. Also, it needs more proofreading, formatting, etc. And one rehearsing together :). Also, I still have to prepare my big talk on the second day of the conference, And also, there are several important tasks to complete at work, and if they aren’t done today, they will spill into the long weekend.

Other than that 🙂 … Both fridges are full and barely closing:). I took the turkey out of the freezer to defrost on the lower shelf of the fridge, but as of last night, it was still stone-frozen. Moreover, since two boxes of mixed greens were placed close to it, they were utterly ruined by being frozen!

It’s our family tradition, that no matter how hard we try, we need to run to the store at least twice on Thanksgiving morning because something got forgotten. This time, it started even before Thanksgiving: I already made two “forgotten stuff” trips to the Eurofresh store. We’ll see whether there will be more:)

I’ve ordered outrageously expensive but also outrageously good pies from Vanilla Chicago, and they are already in my fridge (yes, apparently, my fridge is elastic :)). We had a Thanksgiving lunch at work yesterday, Anna and her family, and Boris are coming tonight, so it’s all good except for (or because of:)) life is so busy.

Four Vanilla Chicago Pies in my trunk
I have an elastic fridge:)