February 27, 2008

I Opened The Windows Today!!

The sun came out today, for real. It's been hinting here and there for a few days, but today it was HERE! If you're in Los Angeles, this means nothing to you. But if you're here in Portland, you're one happy camper!

I actually opened the windows in the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. There's oxygen everywhere! Not sure if I remember how to breathe this stuff, but I'll do my best !

Good job, Big Guy!

February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

I almost forgot about the lunar eclipse last night! But when I was driving to the JCC around 7 pm, I noticed a lot of people standing on various sidewalks and looking up at the sky. When I arrived, I realized what they were all looking at. And the view from the parking lot was perfect! The moon was almost fully eclipsed at that point, and it was mesmerizing. I had that familiar sci-fi-movie feeling again, almost unable to move, filled with wonder.

The situation was virtually opposite of our last eclipse, but the feeling was similar. Last time, about a year ago, the eclipse ocurred in the wee hours of the morning here on the West Coast. I stayed up for it, and stepped quietly through the sliding glass door to the backyard deck. Standing in the silence, I heard throughout the neighborhood the soft sounds of sliding glass doors! It was so sweet. We couldn't talk to each other, but we all knew the others were there with us, fascinated and thrilled at this amazing occurence.

This time, I was in the midst of the hustle and bustle of people coming and going, but once again everyone was connected by this incredible thing, fascinated and thrilled again.

As I've said before: Good job, Big Guy!

February 20, 2008

Milestone Project

I'm starting to cogitate about a potential project. This summer will be the 15th anniversary of my "career" in beadwork, and I'd like to create something special to commemorate it. I have no idea yet about what form it will take, but the traditional gift for a 15th anniversary is Crystal. So I figure I have to do something with crystals, right? Funny thing is, after all the crystal I've used throughout these 15 years, nothing is whispering to me.... yet! But I'm sure that the beads will begin to speak... stay tuned.....

February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today was a funny birthday. Gershon's still out of town, so I was left to my own devices. When I realized that this was the only night this week that I don't have any outside obligations, I decided that staying home would be a good celebration, and Nacho would appreciate it. So I picked up some dinner and a single-serving treat from the bakery, and partied-hearty with Nacho. Heh-heh, we had fun!

Plus, all day I received birthday greetings from all over the world: from Manila to Colombia, to Boston, to Los Angeles, to Oakland to Eugene... the calls & e-mails kept coming. It was heart-warming... nothing could mean more!

So thank you, everyone, from a really OLD person in Lake Oswego.

February 8, 2008

Opening Night

People are wonderful! So many people came out to join our opening night reception last night! It was lovely.

This was the first time we've worked with a theme, which was a challenge. But our members rose to the task beautifully. So many of the works are so impressive, and inspiring.

If you haven't seen the exhibit yet, get over there!! It's there until Feb 24th.

"Exodus: Our Journeys"
An exhibit by ORA: Northwest Jewish Artists

February 7 - 24, 2008

Oregon Jewish Museum
310 NW Davis St.
Portland, Oregon

February 3, 2008

A Wonderful Musical Experience

I haven't written much lately, because I've been so busy with this Sefardic weekend our choir was producing. A lot of pressure, stress, and frustration accompanied our hopes, hard work, and rehearsals. By Thursday evening, when we finally met our guest performer, Cantor Ramon Tasat, I was pretty much a frazzled wreck. I guess the rest of the choir was too, because frankly we didn't sound so good at rehearsal that night. But this guy, Dr. Tasat, was a wonder. Setting aside jet-lag and disappointment, he stepped up and took over guiding the choir, spending 3 exhausting hours lifting our performance in a most gracious way. I was amazed.

The weekend's events included Cantor Tasat leading services on Friday night, with the choir singing, followed by a huge congregational dinner, Sefardic-style, then Cantor Tasat participating in Saturday morning's service, and concluding with the big concert performance on Saturday night, with the choir joining him on a number of songs. Every part was a wonderful success.

It's not just that Cantor Tasat has a lovely voice, or that he plays beautiful Spanish-style guitar. It's not just the selection of songs, or his lovely commentaries about the songs and about Sefardic life and culture. It's about his spirit; it was amazing. His dealings with our choir, our congregation, and our audience were generous, graceful, and inspiring. The concert lifted my soul; the experience of dealing with this human healed some of my wounds.

In our daily lives, we meet so many challenging people. But once in awhile, we meet someone special, who enhances our lives, and it's so gratifying. At those moments, I sometimes look upward and say "good job, Big Guy!"

Wow, That Was Easy!

We put up all of our art at the Oregon Jewish Museum this morning. Why was it easy? Because we had a design angel,
Fred Harwin, helping us arrange the displays. It's always exciting seeing everyone's latest work. But it's usually difficult to
coordinate our display needs, and make it all look good. But Fred stepped in, at our request, and just made magic! We were done in two hours! Eleven people!

So, THANK YOU to Fred. And to everyone else: come see our show!! Details below.

February 2, 2008

Evolution of a Project

I hate deadlines! But they are a part of life. Deadline for new projects to be included in our upcoming ORA exhibit at OJM: February 3rd. I've been working on this Yizkor candle cover during the past 2 weeks.

What an odyssey! Started in Los Angeles at the in-laws' house, with intrigued nieces, nephews, and cousins looking on. Trying to explain what that thin blue strip would eventually become. Continued through days of sitting at my Mom's bedside in the hospital. Spilling beads as I worked on the airplane. Frantically finishing tonight, after our big choir concert. Dunking in water and blow-drying it on the glass, hoping fervently that the thread would shrink to eliminate that little bulge. (It worked - thank you, HaShem!)

This Yizkor candle cover is a memorial to the prophetess Miriam, as part of our Exodus exhibit. Come see all of our offerings:

"Exodus: Our Journeys"
February 7 - 24, 2008

Oregon Jewish Museum
310 NW Davis St.
Portland, Oregon

'First Thursday' opening reception this Thursday, February 7th, 5-8 pm. Free admission.