Anne Notations

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A bright, sunshiny day

Have you been to the Google home page today, May 22? The lovely graphic above will greet you – for one day only.

I have Google set as my default home page when I open a browser, so I see it first thing. I love the way on holidays and random special days Google artists make the logo – which they call a "doodle" – into something appropriate, like this one for the 50th anniversary of Legos.

Today the site features a contest-winning logo by a California sixth-grader, Grace Moon. She wrote of her entry: "My doodle, 'Up in the Clouds,' expresses a world in the sky. This new world is clean and fresh, and people are social and enlightened. Every person here is treated as family no matter who they are. The bright sun heats this ideal place with warmth, love, and brightens everyone's day."

Thank you, aptly-named Grace, for beginning my online day with your art and your optimism. I wish Google would leave your logo up for longer than 24 hours. In these times of economic crisis, worldwide instability, and generalized anxiety, we could all benefit from a bracing dose of hope, springing eternally from the heart of a child.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dude ... That's sick

Live and well at last!

There is nothing like being awfully sick to make you appreciate your (otherwise normal) good health.

One night last week I came home and, before I could begin to make supper, a 500-pound gorilla sat on my chest.

Well, not really. But that's how it felt. I was gasping. My bronchia were squeezed tight. I sank into a recliner and stayed there for an hour or so. And I began to cough. Deep, chest-rattling coughs.

A day or two later, I got home on a Thursday night, put on my pajamas, sat down, and basically didn't get up again for the next four days. To say I had a chest cold is like saying Hurricane Katrina was a strong breeze. Not even close.

I didn't leave the house until late Tuesday, and I stayed home from work until Wednesday, two days ago. For three nights, I slept in the recliner, swathed in Polarfleece blankets; if I tried to lie down in bed, the resulting wet chest cough made me sit right up again.

So yeah, I was pretty sick. How sick was I? So sick that Saturday night, I missed Kevin's confirmation at St. Sebastian's, and dinner at a restaurant afterwards. So sick I couldn't eat anything but broth the next day, Mother's Day. Who knew May still had flu germs lurking about?

I'm back, and while tired, I'm really glad to have that unpleasantness behind me. I managed to read two lightweight page-turners by Jodi Picoult and do several dozen crossword puzzles and untold Sudokus.

Meanwhile, the kids gave me cute cards for Mother's Day, and Michael brought me two Reese's peanut butter cups, which I saved until yesterday to eat, since I couldn't taste anything until then.

Caroline came over today and we had fun with Photobooth again.

Yesterday I got a nice haircut from Eileen, so I'm ready for some very busy weeks to come. Bring on Brown's Commencement and Melinda's graduation.

Miss Caroline, you are sweet enough to eat! Nom nom.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Meatloaf (and a yellow rose)

This blog entry is for busy cooks: my foolproof, easy, low-fat turkey meatloaf recipe. Actually, it isn't mine; I got it from But I've made it so many times, it feels like my own.

Basic Turkey Meatloaf

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped raw onion
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Mix all ingredients well – I begin with a spoon but end up using my hands, like making mud pies – and shape into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan or baking dish (I prefer Pyrex or other ovenproof glass) for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Before baking, you may squirt some ketchup on top and spread evenly with a spatula. Allow turkey loaf to cool slightly before slicing.

Do you like the beautiful golden-yellow rose in the meatloaf photo, above? It's Melinda's souvenir from the Honor Society banquet held Thursday night. A good time was had by all the smart kids, like our daughter and her friends.

Friday, May 02, 2008

To my daughter on Yom HaShoah

Dear Melinda,

This prayer was found on a scrap of paper during the liberation of the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany in World War II. It was written by one of the prisoners, all of whom were women.

Lord, remember not only the men of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us.

Remember rather the fruits we have brought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown out of this.

And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits we have borne be their forgiveness.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I'm glad you are reading so many of Elie Wiesel's books – not just in school, but also on your own. I'm also glad that as a hopeful future lawyer, you possess and articulate a fierce, innate conviction of what is right and wrong, fair and unfair.

In 1945, an American soldier (above) gazed into a mass grave near a German concentration camp where children's corpses – including a baby's – lay awaiting burial. This is a horrific photograph, but we need to see and remember what evil looks like. As the singer Chana Rothman says, "The truth hurts, but it opens our eyes." (Thanks to Neil Fleischmann for that.) The prisoner who wrote her prayer on a scrap of paper had greatness of heart indeed to contemplate forgiving such slaughter of innocents and the needless suffering of so many. (National Archives photo)

We must always defend human rights in order to avoid repeating the horrors of Hitler's camps on any scale. Our generation has tried but not always done so well in protecting history's scapegoats du jour in our country and throughout the world. I hope your generation will succeed where we have fallen short. You are our hope.