Karima's 2011 List

As I sit here and attempt to compile my list for this year, my head is swirling with things/aspects of my life for which I am grateful. I will touch upon a few.

Things like:

  • living in a house that I love, in a city that I love, with a man I adore
  • our bountiful table and all who come to it AND their lusty enjoyment of our fare

Simple, ordinary (for me) items that make my life easier, healthier and/or more beautiful:

  • fresh drinking water (2.5 BILLION do not)
  • a flush toilet (40% of the world’s population does not)
  • an amazing array of food choices (local, organic, conventional, heirloom, GMOs, not GMOs,etc.)
  • fresh herbs in our backyard
  • post-it notes/a variety of writing tools/papers/art materials/rubber stamps and pads/white-out, etc.
  • unexpected guests at our door:  Examples: a former resident of our house-delightful!; an unknown neighbor returning items mistakenly left at his door-meant for us (St.joseph’s 7-day candles! He then joined our St. Joseph’s table!)
  • glowing candles
  • the smell of a just-snuffed candle
  • a second refrigerator in the basement
  • a garage
  • a green bicycle with vines painted on the crossbar
  • orthotics
  • an SRL camera
  • the public library
  • The NY Times on our doorstep every Sunday morning
  • airplanes ~ that transport me to loved ones far away
  • weddings  ~ which infuse us with hope

(above list barely scratches the surface)

What I am really trying to convey is that I realize that much of what I have is due to dumb luck and the good fortune I have had to be born, and continue to live, right here, in Buffalo, New York, U.S.A.

People that enhance:

  • Urban cyclist Bill Cunningham who sees so much that is “marvelous”
  • Young people (especially my granddaughters and my students) who keep my eyes open to amazement and my heart open to wonder
  • Poets like Cynthia Rylant who renew my awe of elephants and spaghetti
  • Artists like Maira Kalman who  expand my  sense of humanity
  • Politicians like Barak Obama who try so hard to be brave
  • Protestors like the “Occupy Wall Street” people
  • Our own “Occupy Buffalo” people who are camping out in Niagara Square
  • People with good manners. (Bless their hearts! We need more of them!)

And best of all (as Cricket ended her 2010 list with) there is Love, Sweet Love.

Favorite saying of 2011“Don’t let assholes rent space in your head.”                          ~Cory Doctorow

Favorite books:

Poetry: GOD WENT TO BEAUTY SCHOOL by Cynthia Rylant because of all the enjoyment we have shared reading it together at “Friday Friends”


Fiction:  WITH A HAMMER FOR MY HEART by George Ella Lyon

Karima's 2010 List

  • antibiotics
  • ibuprofen
  • people who DON’T steal
  • car beeps that tell you your lights are still on
  • clotheslines
  • contractors who do what they are contracted to do when they are contracted to do it
  • REAL books
  • paper
  • the public library
  • good intentions (even if they’re NOT implemented; they’re still GOOD!)
  • photos that keep me in touch with my grandchildren
  • being in a place where we can share what we have
  • our bountiful table
  • YouTube for short clips that help me when I’m stuck with something (knitting instructions)
  • Dances of Universal Peace
  • Singing with others
  • Time change: when we “fall back”
  • goodreads
  • my children’s blogs
  • Preservationists who help save/restore our city’s heritage
  • the ordinary
  • silence
  • all of YOU. My cup runneth over and over. Grazie and so much more.

Favorite book:

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Favorite Film:

Maltese Falcon

Saying:“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Karima's 2009 List

I am thankful for:

  • fresh, crisp, snowy white linens (TY Nika & Gordon)
  • my husband (!) who comes with (among other things) a beautiful set of family china (TY Aunt Betty)
  • my GROWING family ( a new granddaughter, Beatrix Jane, born 11-16-09, new(step) daughters,brother-in-law, parents, etc.)
  • flickr
  • United States Postal Service
  • Bill Cunningham-his bike and his camera
  • wireless
  • The New York Times at our front door every Sunday morning
  • a driveway
  • a garage
  • friends who know how to cook (well!) and offer their talents (TY Norman…Stephen too)
  • airplanes that bring my children to me and me to them
  • family recipes
  • kitchen items that belonged to family members before me
  • aprons
  • comfy slippers
  • a fireplace
  • knitting
  • audio books
  • bells (church, jingle, door,bicycle, etc.)
  • students who tell me when my clothes are on inside out (yikes)
  • working and living in my home town
  • friends who shop for me (wedding dress-TY Ardvisura)
  • friends who take care of ALL the details (TY Sandra)
  • ALWAYS, the public library

Kay Ryan(16th Poet Laureate) and her thoughts on libraries:
“Keep the libraries open; cherish your branch library.  Don’t let a single library close.  Have the maximum hours.  Libraries are our freedom.  Libraries are truly democratic.  Anybody can go in there, and teach herself, and be free.”

the above from an interview with Grace Cavalieri in September 2008.  Published in THE AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW. July/August 2009 issue.

A few favorites of 2009:


  • A Map of Home by  Randa Jarrar
  • The Help by Kathryn Sockett
  • Flight by Sherman Alexie
  • The Animal Family (children’s) by Randall Jarrell

every Sunday

Never be the brightest person  in the room; then you can’t learn anything.

James Dewey Watson
discovered the structure of DNA.

– Show quoted text –

A Toast from our Pal Dave (Sipos)

I drive a ’94 beater
in piss-poor condition
it’s a gas eater
and it needs a transmission
my attic’s a wreck
my basement needs bailing
I could user a new deck
and a new front porch railing (…or 5 or 6…)
my roof is a mess
aesthetically speaking
it’s anyone’s guess
when it will start leaking
I’m hounded by debts
hated by banks
yet I have no regrets
and I want to give thanks
I’m pretty healthy
from what I can tell
y’know I’m not wealthy,
but then – what the hell!
my wife is a dish
my kids are first class
the food is delish
so let’s raise our glass
here’s to my car
and the roof up above
to things as they are
and the people I love
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tess's List

having a fan club….thanks everyone who came to cinderella!

also cinderella related having a fantastic partner who could press me!
friends that have no problem working around my schedule

meeting people you should have known your entire life and realizing you could have
camping and being outside

free time

sleeping in
due dates being pushed back


realizing how big and small the world is

making clean breaks and having it turn out just fine and better
passionfruit gum

finding jeans that fit the right way

being stopped in the hall by friends

leaves of any colour …… working on being grateful for the snow not yet though

and the generosity of others esp my family

music: well the same as last year plus the weepies regina specktor, raconteurs the white stripes, the strokes the who, yeah yeah yeahs, 311, sublime, mgmt, bob marley and damien marley, modest mouse, led zepplin,pearl jam,radiohead,smashing pumpkins, flobots devandra banhart, joplin,black lips,flaming lips,cake, and  wow cannot list them all but thats what comes to mind right now

Karima 2008

Dear Ones,

This is an abbreviated list. I would tax time and space if I listed all I have to be thankful for. Know that YOU are on my list, not so hidden between the lines.

Karima’s 2008 List
memories of Albert

kind veterinarians

having a Sweetheart who is open to adventure

seeing the world anew through Lucy

Lucy’s layers (if you aren’t sure what I’m referring to, check out Nika’s blog at machaggis.net)

brussel sprouts on my doorstep (some woman get flowers, I get produce!)

blogs (esp. my children’s, which keep me up to date)


my new green bicycle
good tenants

being able to VOTE

being (yes, I really mean it!) a citizen of the United States of America

the U. S. Postal Service

service people who show up on time

comprehensive health care (God! Do I sound old!?)



small, family-run farms

The Peace Bridge

summer cottages and family to fill them

sandstone street curbs

Enrique Penalosa-former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia
believes that when you construct a good sidewalk, you are constructing democracy.

the raspberry bush at the corner of Delevan & Argyle (the owners seem disinterested in their berries, thus I have been plucking them since 1984)

folks that work so hard to ensure that my quality of life is BETTER, but for which I put forth little effort (preservationists, health care practitioners, musicians, translators, bloggers, airline personnel, beekeepers, and on and on….)
Favorite Book(s)

THE LIZARD CAGE: Karen Connelly
BLUE STAR: Tony Earley

Favorite CDs-Valentine cd from Greg & birthday cd from Norman
Favorite saying: uttered by Gordon while playing scrabble, “I often win, but I’m rarely winning.”

Best Performance: Raul Midón at The Tralf
Favorite movie: Juno
Best meal: I have decided that I can’t do this one, there are just TOO MANY!

Tessa's List

Yumiko leotards yes indeed they are yumi

new tights

new kind of pointe shoes that so far have worked out so much better than i thought they would

coffee after rehearsal with the ballet girls

partnering class especially when i don’t punch my partner in the face…. it was an accident i swear.
passing my driving test even without proper proof of my corrected vision… yay for doing a vision test in the middle of the road. and for a driving test guy that had no problem driving for me during the test … i think i won him over with my smile  haha

corrected vision…. tyerrifying experience overall but overall great results… i am finally starting to get out of the habit of reaching for my glasses evry morning.

Leftovers from the amazing cooks in my life …even if i can’t eat half of the stuff they make

youtube once again for ballet videos

oddly enough cabbage soup

extensions on papers

getting to work at a library

taking as many dance classes as i want for free…well almost as many

Driving instructors that are patient when im not

having time to read at my job  at the library

Christmas decorations

finishing a term paper ..ahead of time

having friends that live in different places and the open invitation to stay there


most importantly
having a supportive network that enables me to follow my heart, no matter how crazy it is or how crazy it or I get

hrmmm well as far as books go ive been so busy the only types of books iminterested in reading are nonsense books, which can be nice too

music red hot chili peppers the doors wolfmother robert plant etc

movies: ummm haven’t seen too many darjeling express was the last pretty good a little weird but good

Karima's 2007 list

Being a grandmother !!!
video ichats
photos of Lucy
photography in general
having such a fabulous extended family (you know who you are!)
getting the NY Times delivered to my doorstep every Sunday morning (Thanks Greg)
an abundance of high quality, locally grown produce
getting comped something at a restaurant
finding money unexpectedly in a pocket, or anywhere for that matter
sharp scissors
my clothesline
the public library
good reads
flowers growing in sidewalk cracks
people who hold the elevator for you as you run to make it
knitting and happy recipients
heirloom tomatoes in the garden
food blogs
amber body oil from Sabon (Thanks Tess)
getting a real letter in my mailbox (Thanks Sandra)
putting on a meal together with Greg
having children that love a good meal AND create many of their own
that Luna is still with us and (barely) kicking
airplanes that bring us to loved ones and far-away places
my neighborhood
That Gordon spells “favorite” with a “u”

Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Movie: Sweet Land
Live performance: Detroit Jazz Festival, esp. Regina Carter and
Stanley Jordon
Blog: of course, my children’s, which include
Gordon and Danika’s at machaggis.net
Laila’s at http://riceandbeansandcollardgreens.blogspot.com/
( check them out! ) and smitten kitchen at http://www.smittenkitchen.com
meal: Le Maurice-Paris; for the theatrics of it all
Saying: “Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits. ‘ Robert Louis Stevenson

Thanksgiving Day

Hello Everyone,

I appreciate all of you that contributed to our post.  You give me sustenance.

I am in Chicago at the home of my Joe & Beth, along with the WHOLE Bondi crew, spiced up by a Mirthful Muldoon and two Mighty Millers. Here is part of our Thanksgiving Blessing, to be prayed togther before we dig in.


As our hands are joined

so are we

joined together.

Bless these gifts,

for food lovingly prepared.

For loved ones

and the nourishment we give each other.

For seeds

and the buds of new life.

Make clean our hearts.

Keep us mindful of the needs of others.

Fiil our souls with good and joyful things.

Amen. Let’s Eat!


Karima's 2006 List

utilities and people who share theirs when you have none (e.g. Greg)
saws and people who know how to use them (e.g my next door neighbor)

all the noble folks who worked so hard to bring us LIGHT and HEAT

food in the larder, money in the bank


clothespins (such brave little household attendants)


ancestors that gave me a strong footing

people that NOTICE

polite people
all my daily fumbles (that keep me humble)

minor adjustments that change everything

finding stuff I thought was lost

the public library

digital cameras


writing/receiving real old-fashioned letters (e.g. Sandra)

being cooked for, and quite majestically (Greg)

leftovers (extending the savor)

the rustle of the unexpected

And to all my Dear Ones who are as gorgeous as eggplants, as vigorous as morning glory tendrils and have hearts as big as hubbards.

A tall sunflower nod to you all. May your seeds spread far and wide.


Yearly favorites:


Fiction: Heartbeat by Sharon Creech

Nonfiction: The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher
Short Story Collection: The Last Lovely City by Alice Adams


The Big Sleep

Little Miss Sunshine

Going to the Italian Film Festival with Greg, Laila, Tessa, John and Cynde and seeing and loving, once again, Moonstruck.


@Au Pied de Cochon (Montreal)


Soundtrack from the movie Transamerica


“You can’t patch every hole.”

~Grandma Gullo

“If you let things go, what you get is gone.”

~John Lloyd