Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

WOOHOO!!! What a Weekend!!

This weekend I competed in the Fred Astaire 2009 Sundance Classic (dance competition) held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Palm Beach. It was so much fun. Friday night I competed in the category Novice Bronze Closed International Foxtrot and took 1st place. I bought my dress in a bridal shop and, while it was not the typical flowing ball gown, it was perfect!
On Saturday I danced Intermediate Social Bronze American Cha Cha - 3rd place; Intermediate Social Bronze American Rumba - 2nd place; Intermediate Social Bronze East Coast Swing - 1st place; and Intermediate Social Bronze Bolero - 2nd place. For this I wore an outfit that I bought at the Gold Coast Ballroom. I got it half price but then had to buy rhinestones which took me several hours to glue onto the top, so...there went my bargain! But it was cute and effective. The camaraderie at the competition was wonderful, supporting each other and cheering each other on.
I didn't have to stay at the hotel, thankfully, since I lived only 20 minutes from there, giving me time to go home, chill out and regroup. That night (Saturday) there was a banquet. Starting from the time we all met in the lobby to the dinner and dancing, it was nothing but fun and friendship. I sat with Eric (my partner/instructor) and others from my studio. The dancing was so much fun since it was just social dancing. Besides Eric, I dance with other students, with Armando (who heads up the studios in FL and NY) and the best was when I was asked to dance by Philip, who is a 17 year student of dance in NYC and is close to becoming the Fred Astaire National Champion. He and I danced the mambo and I kept up with him all the way, and he gave me several compliments on my dancing and ability to follow. That made my night! I can't wait until the next big competition.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary!

Tonight the Fred Astaire Delray Beach Studio celebrated it's one year Anniversary. We had a wonderful party with about 50 people in attendance. They had a buffet dinner, wine-tasting and dessert. The students who are competing next week each did one or two dance performances - a good way to get used to dancing in front of others. I danced my foxtrot and swing, but unfortunately the swing music was unexpectedly fast and, as Eric had just changed our routine THAT MORNING, I was thrown off a bit. To anyone watching it looks me...yuck! But still, it was fun, and at the end I danced swing with Armando who is the "big cheese" at F.A. Florida/NY and was able to 'hold my own.'

Monday, August 17, 2009


Yesterday I went with my friend Lois, her brother Robert and friends of his to Broward Performing Arts Center for Hippifest. It was a celebration of music from the 60's and 70's. I had never been before and so was happy to go but not overly enthusiastic. was GREAT!! Dressed like hippies we were entertained, danced at our seats, sang along to songs we grew up with and just had a ball! Thanks, Lois and Robert, for inviting me. It was a wonderful night!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

On The Road...AGAIN!

***(If you are reading this today, my apologies for not having my Atlanta pix. I uploaded them to Alison's computer but forgot to burn a CD, and I am still waiting for Alison to get it to me. When I do, I'll edit and add them).

Two days after returning from NY, Mom and I drove to Atlanta. We stopped in Orlando along the way and had lunch with Jeanette, her husband and son. I was the kindergarten teacher for their other son WAY back when, and I have had an online connection with Jeanette for the past year or so. We met at Cracker Barrel and had a really fun time reminiscing - about school, the Bronx, our childhoods. I even got to talk to David (who was my student) on the phone.

In ATL I helped Alison prepare for Talia's baby naming. We went to shul Saturday night for the official service. Talia was given the Hebrew name Talia Ziva...Ziva means "radiance" which is so fitting, as she is a very happy, smiling baby. That night I had dinner with my brother Jon (who had flown in the night before for the weekend), my brother-in-law Jimmy and his wife Pat (great in-laws, even if they ARE from my ex's side) and their grandchildren Cameron and Ashlyn, my son-in-law Phil and Mom. We had a great time together. The next day, Sunday, was the second service at the house. The rabbi was so good, very personable, and Talia came through like as champ (as did Avi, who was unbelievably well behaved for having to deal with so many people, kids, relatives).
Mom flew home on Tuesday and I moved from Becca's house to Alison's. We went blueberry and blackberry picking, baked cobblers and breakfast bars, and (Alison) canned jam and syrup. I spent HOURS with Avi, playing an reading to him - he is SO addicted to books, and taking him to the park or gym. I loved being with Talia, savoring every moment as I knew that she would be growing fast. It was such a wonderful two 1/2 weeks.

I left ATL on a Sunday morning and drove to Tazwell, VA to visit my "other son" Shawn and Michelle, his missus. Shawn and I worked together in SFLA for 3 years and he and Michelle are just the nicest couple and good friends. I got to see that beautiful part of VA, visited the school they work at, the farm where Shawn works on his off-school hours, and met some of his extended family. I also taught Michelle how to make burp cloths and wipes, baked lots of breakfast bars, and she taught me how to make 'puppy chow' from wheat chex, chocolate, peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar...mmmmmm! After three days I drove back to ATL, spent the night at Becca's (dinner at Alison's so we could all be together) and began my drive home. I stopped in Central FL for dinner with my cousins and enjoyed their company and hospitality, and then...on the road to Delray.
That day was the one year anniversary of Gerry's death. It was a good day for me to be on the road with hours just felt right. When I arrived in Delray I went straight to the beach where Gerry and I would go to view the full moon, and spent 5 minutes there to "chat" with him. After all, just 3 miles off that spot is where his ashes (and those of our dog Cocktail) were scattered.

On a sad note...while in ATL we put our dog Tiemann to sleep. I say OURS because he was bought by Alison just before we moved to FL in 1995. She took him to college with her but he was not easy to housebreak, so she gave him to me and Becca. When I moved out in 2000 I took Tiemann and our poodle Ricky with me. Once I started working a second job and was gone from home for long stretches of time, Becca took the dogs back to live with her and her dad. Over the next few years and a few family moves, Tiemann went to live in AZ with Alison for a year and then back to Becca in Ocala. Gerry and I took Tiemann a few years later (Ricky had gotten sick and been put down). Gerry promised Tiemann that this was the last house he would know. Unfortunately, when Gerry died I could no longer take care of the dogs, so Becca thoughtfully and generously took Tiemann back (she already had two other dogs, too). At least Tiemann was kept in the immediate family. This year he turned 14 and had health issues, and the dr. said it 'was time.' So on 9th the deed was done. We'll miss you, T!
In the remaining weeks that I have been home I have kept SO busy. I spend time with Mom, see my friends, enjoy my own company. I have been to the beach a few times, saw a couple of movies, but best of all...I have been dancing!! I belong to the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Delray Beach and I LOVE it!!! I am there 3 - 4 times a week. I am competing at the end of August in Palm Beach. No cheap endeavor but what the is short and as long as I can do something to make myself happy, why not do it? I am so fortunate to have a decent job and good health. I see/hear of so many people who die young or suffer I count my blessings and dance on.