An Upbeat and Then Dreadfully Down Day: Blatant Defined: Blatant Defined; Province of Alberta in Trouble, Orthodox Jews Trampled to Death by Other Orthodox Jews; Texts From Jolly Day that Preceded the Bad News; Becoming a Mystic, Rather Than Traditional Muslim; Photographs of a Flower Arrangement; Face Mask and a Candlelight Dinner

Unlike my usual fashion, downbeat shall come first. The Province of Alberta is now in the midst of a covid crisis with huge numbers of variants on the loose and a dreadful vaccine rate. Cannot imagine what people whom I know (and love) are going through. They have been on lock down over the dreadfully cold winter, unable to customarily travel to warmer climes and now further restrictions loom. It looks like it is out of control, but perhaps not. Sent word that I was praying for them, which must be unusual as they know me as an atheist. Heard back to learn with relief that many have received their first vaccine. Phew! Looked it up to learn that it is’ exclamation informal expressing a strong reaction of relief. There are no entries in the thesaurus. (That was a rather useless journey.

The other frightening news came from Israel – the trampling death of dozens of Orthodox Jews and the hospitalization of hundreds. But the implications may be worse than these figures because there were masses, hordes of people and, unfortunately, Orthodox Jews appear to have a horror of vaccinations and blatantly ignore restrictions such as social distancing and face masks. What is blatant? It is an adjective with this meaning: (of bad behavior) done openly and unashamedly. Israel as a whole has an excellent vaccination rate, one of the best, if not THE best in the world. But the ultra orthodox Jews are not, as we might say, on board with the program. They are, to uses the synonyms of blatant flagrant, glaring, obvious, undisguised, unconcealed, overt, shameless, open, transparent, patent, evident, manifest, palpable, unmistakable; unabashed, unashamed, without shame, impudent, insolent, audacious, unembarrassed, unblushing, brazen, barefaced, brass-necked, brash, bold, unrepentant. The men are placing their wives and children at terrible risk as. Women’s Rghts are not alive and well in ultra orthodox communities, not in Israel nor even, in these United States. A very interesting new book by a New York woman who finally was able to leave the restrictions of her arranged marriage and subjugation is a recent best seller. Helicopters are carrying the wounded to hospitals in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities. That may cause the spread of the virus to other parts of Israel. I am safe from criticism on this blog – not so on Instagram, where responses are allowed. Therefore, I can say with impunity that this may contain a solution to the expansion of settlements on the West Bank in Palestine. If the Orthodox community is weakened there may me less growth, less expansion. The United Nations may not be able or willing to enforce its Resolution relating to the protection of Palestine despite the urging of the Emir of Qatar, in speeches found on YouTube on two separate occasions. Perhaps the coronavirus might halt the continuing expansion. .

But back home, where I live, I am most grateful and thank Allah, for my protected status – vaccinated in an area with enormous vaccination rates – daily opening up more and more with no lock downs in sight. Tomorrow promises warn weather, so I shall jump in the heated pool with my noodle and splash to my heart’s content. My warm, I mean hot for this area. It shall reach eighty degrees Fahrenheit.

Prior to learning of the plight of Albertans and Orthodox Jews I was having a very jolly day, well weakened by fasting but still fine as able to stay in bed and not waste my limited energies. Wrote the blog (of yesterday) sending it to be posted and then took advantage of Google, watching videos and images of my hero, Jean-Paul Langlois. Then texting him – did I feel special! We had delightful conversations with one another – we make each other laugh. Here are some excerpts:
He: You are the best.
Me: No, you are the best! I will be second best. Writing the blog from bed, of course, I spend more time in bed than a prostitute.

Another conversation:
Me: It is finally posted. Hopefully your fame will abound.
He: Hey. Thanks so much…that’s amazing. It will spread the word. Much appreciated. “Sexless rhymes with Alexis: Hilarious.
Me: I hope it does spread the word. You deserve much recognition for your amazing work! I want my blog to do some good. There has to be a reason it became what it has become!

Now there was a wrinkle yesterday. The blog was not posted upon its receipt which sometimes (rarely) happens. But I became a bit testy, shall we say, because of hunger pangs and sent an email that was not, altogether kind. Woke up to the posted blog and sent a message of thanks. I did mention to Jean-Paul that his murals would look fantastically fabulous on some of the building edifices that surround this courtyard. Perhaps not a good suggestion as apartments would be in very high demand and the rents would dramatically increase.
At this moment, in time feel well nourished and nurtured due to the effects of a hearty breakfast consumed before sunrise of 6:12. I did read that it is possible to take a ‘day off’ of Ramadan, then make it up at the end. I may just do that next week, will see how it goes. I am thinking of labelling myself as a Mystic Muslim as my practice of the faith is solitary. Mentioned that to a very traditional Muslim mosque attending man and he did not, at all, understand the concept. Mosques were on lock down when I became a Muslim and, by and large, continue to be. But even when open and ‘operating’ they are not the same Mecca for women as they are for men. Moreover, I have little in common with a traditional Muslim woman who is typically a stay-st-home mother raising her children. I, by no means, criticize that life style but in fact encourage and support those that raise their children full time. I do wonder why some women have children as they never see them – the children are raised by nannies and day care centers. I was around, and about, during the early days of the Women’s Movement. For the first time women could have a career, not stay at home and have children. But it was either/or. Have a career or stay at home. That was subverted as soon as the next generation. The women of the stay-at-home mothers had careers (as expected by society) but also children (as expected by their mothers). Incomes rose with both parents working but so did the price of homes and living expenses making women working a sheer necessity. Enough of the soap box.

I do worship Jean-Paul’s creativity. I retired at an early age (61) as I wanted an opportunity to explore my creative gifts. I have and it has been the most wonderful time of my life – educating myself, exploring and furthering these gifts. I was able to do all of this because I did not have children. Many people say:
They: Alexis, you would have been a wonderful mother.
Me: No I would not have! I was abused, I would have abused them, ever hear of Freud’s Repetition Compulsion?

But on the other hand, other young women are grateful, and saying.
They: Alexis, you are a role model and an example. Thank you!!

It is so expensive to live in Marin County – there are few stay-at-home mothers here and it shows. Poorly disciplined children, looking rather lost and clinging to each other for approval, often inappropriately dressed. My teenage daughter would never be allowed to dress in such attire. AAA is always informally but well dressed. Her mother does work, almost three jobs but she and her husband have raised their children well. AAA’s mother has a new nickname, it is WW which stands for Worry Wort. The family laughs and she does worry. I am attempting to get her to stop worrying but her very smart daughter said to me.
She: Alexis, you are worrying yourself to death trying to get my mother to stop worrying.
Me: Oh my goodness, you are right!! How funny! I shall stop.

WW is coming to clean my apartment. I have never lived in such a clean apartment my whole life. It is one of her three jobs, but a tiny one and we laugh the whole time she is here.

The photograph attached to this blog is a flower arrangement made the other day. Flower arranging is a creative gift but a learned one. Took Ikebana flower arranging for over twenty years, many of those years were when I was gainfully employed as an attorney.

There is also a photo of my vast collection of face masks hung on a rack placed in walk-in closet by Kind Man. New sparkly delights brought to me by Kim. I have 36 masks and shall wear them even after they are out of fashion. Then a photo of my candle light dinner – after sunset, of course. Those are scalloped potatoes. They were SO good.

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