Monthly Archives: October 2009

Charting a life course for yourself as you get older is an incredible gift to yourself and to those you love. Also, think of yourself as a gift even to those you haven't met yet. When you look in the mirror, or in your closet, what do you see? What else would you like to see? What else would you like to do? to learn? Where have you not yet traveled to? IS there a color you've never worn? Are you wondering how you would look in glitter? Could you see yourself in a net enclosed tent wearing white gauze and khacki- perfect for a safari? Are these the clothes of a daring artist? A cook? A globe trotting celeb? A monk? I have found that this time of life is a wonderful time to explore not only alternate identities, but without using any of your 'miles' you can cover a lot of ground by just looking at color, texture, shape and form. And what better way to play out all the possibilities than through art- or, in this case possibly a craft.
Even if you can't thread a needle, you can get a glue gun, a doll form, and all the fabrics that capture your imagination. Cut, wrap and glue- and viola! You are a doll maker- and if you can tell stories, the theatre arts are about to unfold around you.
Children love dolls, puppets and stories. Truth is, adults love them as well. It is great fun even to lay out the elements of a 'potential wardrobe' and depending on the age, interests, and skills of those around you, you can involve them in the development of your dolls and stories. OR, for your own sanity and a great deal of fun, treat yourself and your friends to a night of imaginative dressmaking, and a new way to think about 'character development.' Trying on the world is how children learn their place in it- as adults we too can try on worlds we've never encountered, or cultures we have yet to see. Try beginning a fabric collection (you can buy 'fat quarters' which is about a quarter of a yard depending on the width of the fabric- it has nothing to do with waistlines or hips! Exercise your imagination- it's good for ever part of you!
I remember once reading a poem, something about women, and there was a line in it- maybe it was, 'when I am old, I will wear a purple hat' Well, my fabric collection is well beyond purple, and the possibilities of designing my life are wide open to new color, new textures and new ties of all kinds. Try to imagine....

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Almost thirty years ago I met Harriet Heany, who, along with her husband Hal, had the most marvelous, enchanted garden I had ever seen. We lived around the corner, and over the years I would bring my very young children to their garden. If the gate was open, it was a sign that you were welcome to enter the garden. (great pre-reading experience) Behind that garden gate were all varieties of perennials flowers and all sorts of vegetables- including asparagus, which I had never seen growing in a garden- especially a garden in a residential neighborhood in the city of Philadelphia. In fact, all those years ago, until I met Harriet, I think I could only identify Dandelions and Roses, and the smell of lilacs comprised my entire portfolio of gardening knowledge. However, as I listened to Harriet explain to my children how Lady Slippers and Jack in the Pulpit got their names, and as she shared her ‘pulmonaria’ and forget-me-nots, my own garden began to blossom along with my Latin, and vocabulary of ‘common names’ of all things floral. And she also showed us how vegetables grow, from her seeds, to her cold frames, to the giant asparagus which grew each year, we learned not only where vegetables ‘come from’ but how you could plant them yourself! She was also a genius as far as I could tell- because in addition to vegetables and flowers the garden also featured ‘sponges’ that grew on vines, and friendly insects which had their own names too. For me, Harriet and Hal were like a warm neighborly personification of Mr and Mrs MacGregor who inhabi
ted the Tales of Peter Rabbit. The day that Hal show my preschoolers how to build a low cement wall- by using the giant watering can to get just the right consistency, he was forever ‘cemented’ in my mind as the timeless literary figure come to life.
Harriet and Hal were well into their 80’ when I would visit them. They were Presbyterians and had no children of their own. However, by opening the gate to their garden, and sharing the joys of gardening from the depths of their hearts, they gave life to generations of gardeners who learned to love the earth, because of the love you felt when you entered the gates of their garden. Their memory as well as the thousands of perennials they ‘split’ over the years live on in gardens and hearts of all who took root in the richness of their Mt Airy garden.

I’d like to introduce you to Mirele Goldsmith, PhD.

Mirele is a perfect Green Bubbie- she is passionate about the environment, passionate about sharing all that she knows, is always learning- she can even chart your carbon footprint. And she is devoted to making new friends- of all ages. Along with her wonderful husband Rick, their home is known form welcoming singles, marrieds, and even families with young children to their home. Their Shabbat and Yom Tov table is always a meeting place for diverse minds and lively souls. Mirele's dissertation was all about WATER- and she has been speaking internationally on the topic- so turn your water off, and value every drop, and invite the neighbors over for a cup of tea.

Mirele is a Green Bubbie!

Are YOU a Green Bubbie- let us hear about you, and let us learn from your example, contact us at

Or, would you like to tell us about a Green Bubbie in your life?