Sunday, January 28, 2007
  Manners

Twice in as many days this memory has popped into my head. Once when Sarcas-sis told the CP that people like you more when you use your good manners. The other was when the Girl Scouts showed up at work to sell their cookies. I figured twice in one week meant I should share it.

I was a Brownie Scout, which means I was somewhere between 6and 8 years old. My friend Carol and I were dressed in our uniforms, bundled for the cold , and all set to go door to door with our cookie order forms. Back then it was safe to go by yourself, to a neighbors house. We set out from my house, which means that we got our marching orders from my mom. Had we left from Carol's house we would have gotten the same speech from her mom. Be respectful, be polite , and always say please and thank you. It was hardly a tough sell. All the neighbors were expecting you. And how can you say no to two little girls whose knees were knocking together from the cold as they sing-song in unison "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?"

One door was answered by a woman we were not familiar with. This was the time when women wore house dresses to clean in, but this woman was more formally dressed than was usual for a Saturday afternoon. We gave our pitch., and the woman simply said "no" and began shutting the door. "Thank you anyway" we half said,-half sang as we moved on. We were coming out of another house when the woman, standing outside her door with a coat thrown around her shoulders motioned for us to come back. She invited us inside her house. She said that she was sorry she had been rude to us earlier. She said she was sure when she saw us at the door that we were going to be annoying and bratty so she shooed us away. But when we said "thank you anyway" she realized that we had been more polite than she had. She ordered cookies and off we went.

My house was in the middle of the block so we stopped in to tell my mom that she had been so right! How often does a mom get to hear that!


Monday, January 15, 2007
  Lost and Found

I found it. And you were right Uisce, I found it when I wasn't looking for it. It was in a desk drawer , not on top of the piano Vis, but I did look there when you mentioned just in case. Thanks for the prayers the vibes and the pleas to St. Anthony. I am sure they all worked. And you are right Practigal. Such important things shouldn't be left to chance.

When I was searching high an low for the book, I remembered back when Sarcas-Dad brought home our first computer. A Commodore 64. For you youngins, the 64 bears as much resemblance to todays computers as my old transistor radio does to an IPOD. If you don't know what a transistor radio is go look it up. You have a computer.

Anyway, Sarcas-Dad, in an effort to prove to me how innvaluable this device would be to our household told me that I could put all my recipes on it. I scoffed. Why would I want to retype all my recipes (there were no scanners kids) when they were already in a book. And what was I supposed to do? Haul the think into the kitchen(they were not what you would consider "portable" back then) or run back and forth the whole time I was cooking. (No we did not have a printer either. I told you- go look it up)

The irony that the computer at least is backed up on a regular basis and the book is a one of a kind, was not lost on me. I suppose I should make use of that scanner we have now.


Sunday, January 14, 2007
  Take Your Props Where You Find Them

Earlier today. Sarcas-Dad was single -handedly maneuvering a Queen size mattress from a bedroom at one end of the hallway, to a bedroom all the way at the other end. In transit he kicked one of the CP's toys with his foot,resulting in tumultuous applause usually reserved for the little plastic race car driver as he crosses the finish line on the Little people Lil' Movers Race track.. He deserved it. YEA SARCAS-DAD !!!!!


Saturday, January 13, 2007
  My Mother Always Said I Would Lose My Head if it Wasn't attached

My green book is missing. I know you have no idea what I'm talking about. But I assure you that Sarcas-sis and Sarcasmo Jr will, upon reading the news, go into a swoon."Not the Green Book", they will cry. But yes alas, it is missing. Only misplaced I hope. The green book, a journal of unlined pages given to me by Sarcasmo Jr., into which I have painstakingly taped and pasted every recipe I have gotten from a magazine or a relative. It's not where it should be. Or anywhere else that I can determine. I am lost without it.

I can lose things without moving from the spot I have been standing in. Add to that talent, the holiday madness and it's not surprising that the book has gone missing. It was in fact a recipe for disaster.That book has the recipe for the Cinnamon bread we make at Thanksgiving, our recipe for Trifle, and a really good meatloaf I got online.

I am hoping I don't have to unpack the Christmas decorations to see if it got swept up with the pine needles. And I really hope it didn't fall unseen into the wrong pile and go out in the trash.

If any of you happen to be praying to Saint Anthony, will you put in a good word for me? Thanks.

And yes, my mother did say that about me. Often.


Monday, January 08, 2007
  Kiss the Frog

This is a story about a frog. So I know I have at least Kenju's attention. This frog sits is a lovely lily pond know as Rittenhouse Square.

About a year and a half ago, Star decided to downsize from her two floor, two bedroom center city apartment to an efficiency a few blocks away. In typical, "Always look On The Bright Side of Life" Starness she fended off questions about her lack of living space, by pointing out that she had all of Rittenhouse Square as her back yard.

When you walk past, or around Rittenhouse Square, it is just a long city block all the way around. But once inside one of the angled entries you could swear the space has quadrupled. On a sunny Sunday you can find people walking babies and dogs, young lovers cuddling and street performers practicing. The young , the old, the well to do and the not so well off. It is quite the copacetic gathering of the human element. It is glorious. And there is always a spot on a bench to sit and read. I spent some time with Star and a book on a bench in Rittenhouse Square. Not nearly enough I would say. And, invariably we would end up at the bookstore across the street, with the intention of just browsing.

So said frog is in Rittenhouse Square. Along with some other statuary,. Star had a an affinity for the frog. She was known to kiss it. I don't know why, although some have theorized she was testing that old frog/prince theory. Could be she just liked frogs. When we were at Longwood Gardens we were in the gift shop and she kept picking up and putting down a ceramic frog. He is kind of cute. I said "you obvioulsy like it, why don;t you get it?" and she hemmed and hawed . She hsitated to collect '"things" that would take up valuable living space. But she seemed so attracted to it, that I bought it for her. She emailed me later that night and said she had given him a home at on the marble hearth of her fireplace. (Yes . An efficiency with a fireplace. that didn't work. Welcome to historic Philadelphia).She said he needed a name. I suggested Dupont, and so he was christened. Dupont has since taken up residency on my desk. But I digress. Back to the frog in Rittenhouse Square.

When Star passed away some of her friends and family simultaneously had the same thought. To donate a bench in her name to the Square. We were quickly told that all the avaialbe benches had been taken. Undaunted, family and friends pushed on, calling on friends, and friends of friends until we found someone who gave us options. We can buy a tree in Star's name. Or we can buy a section of the Square. There is apparently one section left tha no one has claimed. And it's right next to the frog.! Everyone who heard that news ahd the same reaction. That was the good news. Then we learned the purchase price. One that requires several zeroes and a comma. Once we got over the sticker shock we decided that maybe it was the thing to do.

What sealed the deal was Star's sisters , and Star's friends. Not one person said "How much?" "What are you nuts?" or" How much for a tree ?" Nope. There were offers of money and time. Vows to sell blood if necessary. And a plan was floated to raise a zombie army (don't ask) although I don't know to what end. So how could we not ?

So forever in Rittenhouse Square, there will be a fence with a plaque that says "Star C. Foster 1973-2006 Geek-Writer-Gadabout " It'll be easy to spot. It's right next to the frog.

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