All Posts for June 2012

Wall-to-Wall Sunshine: July-August 2012

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

(Note: This is a small painting I own that seemed perfect for the Home Page,  but the artist never signed it, so I cannot identify the painting.)

Summer is definitely upon us! We have had one heat wave in which the temperatures went to 100 degrees and we have had the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, so I am gearing up for the onslaught of hot weather. Summer is not my favorite season, because I don’t like temperature extremes, but I do like the longer days and lack of the threat of snow and sleet. Mother Nature is in charge; thus, I succumb to her wisdom.

Because the summer seems like one large block of time, I like to combine July & August. I also don’t have to worry about what to post for August that’s different from July.  Since the Summer Olympics start at the end of July and continue into August, my combined postings should fit perfectly.



What I plan on doing is posting recipes that can be used all summer: articles that reflect warmer weather, such as sunshine and skin cancer; outdoor food/easy eating (ex. the Summer Squash Slaw shown right (with added beets that turned it red); and perhaps another series of health digests to capture some of the health-oriented tidbits I have been reading. Also, August 3rd is National Watermelon Day, so I will have to do some research on this delicious summer melon.



Of course, we have July 4th coming up. Also, during July (and maybe August) I will continue with my trip out West under Travel Tales. Below is a photo of The Madonna Inn when we visited my daughter in San Luis Obispo (SLO), CA. It is not named after Madonna the singer, but is so outlandish inside it might as well have been!

In Nobody Eats Like Me, I will post information on the Paleo Diet, also known as the caveman diet. I find the basics of this eating plan very interesting and will be using this book as my guide.

There are other “holidays” and national celebration weeks that I hope to incorporate in the postings, such as National Smile Week in early August and National Lefthanders’ Day in mid-August. I found these on

Finally, in early August, we will also be going to see my stepson Jay in his one man show, Mental Creatures, which will include some of the songs from his new CD, Peace at Last.  (See photos & links below.)

Here’s the cover and the link to order Jay’s CD: When you click on the link and go to his website, you also have the option to click on the songs and have a preview of the entire CD:

And, if you just happen to live in or be vacationing in Los Angeles, you may want to purchase tickets for the show for an entertaining evening. Here’s the PR photo for the show, Mental Creatures, and the link for the show:

Have a great summer with lots of R & R, a stress-free vacation, and healthy eats!

Postscript for June: Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I had not planned another posting for June until I read Nora Ephron’s obituary in last night’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Actually, my husband showed it to me or I would have missed it altogether. When I posted in Profiles last month for American Jewish History Month, I used a wonderful book called Great Jewish Women by Robert & Elinor Slater.  I never posted all the names I wanted and Ephron would have been on that list as one of my favorite authors, screenwriters and directors. Sadly, now I have to say that she is one of my favorite non-living writers.

My love for Nora Ephron’s work started with her book Crazy Salad, short stories with which I identified strongly. Soon after that, in thelate 1970s, I wrote a note to her about my efforts to be a freelance writer and received a warm, personal, handwritten note back. Her encouraging words inspired me to continue writing.

Her movies and stories and books were sharp, and sophisticated, witty and funny, and as one article noted, “edgy.” Everyone is familiar with Meg Ryan’s display of how to fake an orgasm from When Harry Met Sally, the poignancy of Sleepless in Seattle in which she resurrects the movie An Affair to Remember, and her movie Heartburn about her marriage to Washington Post Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein (half of the famous duo Woodward & Bernstein). The Philadelphia Inquirer described Heartburn as evoking “simultaneous laughter and tears.” Very accurate! I remember reading a story in Crazy Salad in which she cried to her mother after breaking up with a boyfriend. Her mother told her to save this event for her writing, noting that “Everything is copy.” Heartburn was definite proof that she took her mother’s advice.

More recently, I enjoyed the movie Julie and Julia, which explored not only the young love of Julie Powell, author of the book by the same name, but also the mature love of Julia Child and her husband Paul. So the movie tackled both young love and old love, and Ephron seemed to have her pulse on both.

If you like the wittiness and sarcasm of Dorothy Parker, as I do, and the nostalgia of romance in our youth as demonstrated by many of Ephron’s movies and stories, then I recommend you Google Nora Ephron to read about her from the San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and others.

Almost forgot: In the Philadelphia Inquirer obit there was one mention of her Jewish background. The article said that Ephron liked to joke about the fact that “although she was raised Jewish, her religion was butter.” Typical Ehpron— irreverent, yet funny!

Last year read Julie Salamon’s excellent biography Wendy and the Boys about the “uncommon” life of playwright Wendy Wasserstein (another Jewish woman in the book Great Jewish Women), who died of cancer six years ago. I was very moved by her life story. The death on Tuesday of Nora Ephron at 71 has also touched me, and I will be exploring the books and stories she wrote that I never read to get the full impact of this incredibly creative woman of my generation. She frequently collaborated with her sisters Delia, Amy, and Hallie.  I hope they will write her biography.