The first flower of 2015!

When I trudged out to the garage today to get birdseed and a bag of icemelt, I got a wonderful surprise—-my witch hazel was in bloom! This really lifted my spirits—the start of the first serious snowfall of the year and first flower of the year on the same day. Witch Hazel can start blooming any time from mid-January to mid February ....more

The theme of today’s Reclaim MLK Canpaign really resonated with me.

TThe theme of today’s Reclaim MLK Canpaign really resonated with me. The Martin Luther King “Day of Service” always struck me as a distortion of King’s legacy. I don’t mean to denigrate traditional service oriented volunteerism—it plays an important role in our society, but King’s legacy was primarily about social change, not individual charity.I wanted to support a march that sought to reclaim King’s true legacy but I had that coming down with a cold feeling and wasn’t sure I wanted to drag my 70 year old body out into the cold ....more

Florence Cohen, Social Justice Activist and Committed Feminist

We lost Florence Cohen on January 10, 2014. Her obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer described her as a life-long civil rights and community activist. I would have added “and committed feminist.” Although the obituary cited her work as project director of the Pennsylvania Program for Women and Girl Offenders, her passionate commitment to women’s rights was not mentioned ....more

The not so democratic Philadelphia Democratic Party

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that young progressive Democrats are organizing. The Philadelphia Democratic Progressive Caucus has the potential to become a real force in the Democratic Party and Joe Driscoll’s recent efforts to organize committeepeople is another potential game changer ....more

The last flower of 2014

The last flower of 2014THE last flower in my garden this year is an early Fall blooming camellia that decided to put forth just one more bloom. Sometimes the last flower is a rose and I did have a few roses in early December. But a flower in late December is special ....more

Thank you Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren!

Thank you Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren for fighting the good fight and for alerting us to the poison pills in the $1.1 trillion spending bill dubbed the cromnibus bill.Maybe it is the best bill possible, and as many Democrats claim, anything passed by the new Republican Congress would be far worse. Yes it contains funding for the Affordable Care Act in what will be a critical year for the future of Obamacare. This is could be the year when ACA becomes an integral part of the safety net with a growing constituency who will fight to expand it ....more

I finally saw Fruitvale Station

I finally saw Fruitvale Station, a documentary about the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old who was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer named in Oakland early on New Year’s Day, 2009. The film came out around the time of the killing of Trayvon Martin and I felt I just could not take it. Since then we’ve had the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Akai Gurley ....more

My bulbs are still not in the ground!

My garden on November 30, 2014.My bulbs are still not in the ground! Wednesday’s snowfall really set me back. While the snow has disappeared in most of the city, it is still hanging on in my Mt ....more

November is the cruelest month

What a difference a week makes! All my beautiful leaves are on the ground and my trees are "bare ruined choirs.” The poet was wrong—November is the cruelest month. Winter is getting harder for me with each passing year ....more

The Glorious Fall of 2014

This has been a glorious Fall. And although it’s kind of wild and unkempt, my Fall garden has never been more beautiful. For some reason, the reds seem more intense than usual and the golds more luminous ....more