Close Encounters at The Grocery Store: Thanksgiving

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I’m grocery shopping. Pushing a cart through throngs of people looking for that special can of yams, I wish I’d pinned a sign reading, “Don’t follow, Makes frequent stops,” to my rear, so people might stop running into me.

photo: jparadisi 2012

photo: jparadisi 2012

Surprisingly, most of the shoppers are in good moods. I hear the words, “Excuse me,” “After you,” over and over. Only the very young adults, shopping for holiday meal preparations for the first time, I presume, express out loud their bewilderment at the crowds. Suddenly, their attention to space and time is required. This means they have to get out of the way while text messaging, instead of stopping abruptly in the middle of an aisle where more seasoned shoppers will trample them.

In the produce section I pull a thin plastic bag from a dwindling roll to fill with Brussels sprouts. Another woman poises to do the same. I’m sure she’s a nurse, like me, although I will never know. Simultaneously, we pause at the large bin of loose sprouts, realizing we have to gather them with our bare hands, because there is not even a rudimentary tool for the task. We eye each other, smile, then I say, “Wow, how many pairs of dirty hands have been in this bin before mine?”

She laughs. “I know,” she says, “I’m thinking the same thing. I’m going to have to scrub these well, and remove the outer leaves.”

“Me too,” I say.

I’m sure she’s a nurse.

Happy Thanksgiving from JParadisiRN

*This post was originally published on JParadisiRN in November 2012. 

Velcome to My FrankenMess: When Art & Food Go Awry

Velcome to My FrankenMess. photo: jparadisi 2012

Welcome to my FrankenMess. For Halloween, I tried dipping pretzel sticks into melted icing to make them look like candy corn on a stick, à la Pinterest. This is what they turned out looking like before I gave up. I’m an artist, damn it! Curse You, Pinterest!!!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Merry Christmas and Thanks for the Wings

photo by jparadisi 2011

“Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence.”~

Clarence Oddbody, It’s a Wonderful Life

Merry Christmas to the friends and readers of JParadisi RN blog. Wishing you joy, health, love and prosperity in the New Year.

Snowbound for the Holidays


Portland in a water-glass. photo: JParadisi 2009

     While drinking my morning coffee, I noticed a perfect reflection of Portland in a water-glass on the window sill. The glass is holding a start of a cactus I’m hoping will root. My imagination lit up to the concept of a city, held in a drinking glass.

  I have a dear friend, living in Nebraska, where there is a recording-breaking snow storm.  The drifts of snow in her front yard stand up to 10 feet high. She’s snowed in with her animals, waiting for snowplows to remove the snow.  Her  Christmas cards wait on a table for mailing.  A woman and her pets, held in a home on a prairie, surrounded by snow.

     Here in Oregon, I have the flu. (Those of you following this blog know I had the  H1N1 vaccination).  An artist held in the soft blankets of her bed, or sometimes the sofa. My Christmas cards remain unwritten this year. Figuratively speaking, I’m a little snowed in myself.

     My friend in Nebraska is also an artist, and in an email to her, I wrote:

     I’m itching to get back to the studio. The balance between family and creativity is always tilted one way or another. But it’s family that makes us human, and art should serve humanity, not the other way around.

     A life can be snow bound for many reasons. It’s not an accident that the western New Year falls on the heels of Christmas, giving us an opportunity to start over, following a holiday season that sometimes leaves us feeling depleted, or bloated, for a variety of reasons. The snow will melt, the flu will pass.

     And sunlight shines on Portland in a water-glass.


I Wish I’d Said It

Room 6 photo: JParadisi

    My hope that I would have a whole series of empty days, days without interruption, days in which to think and laze, (for creation depends as much on laziness as on hard work), was of course, impossible.

                                                                  May Sarton


Thanksgiving Day 2009

photograph by Adriana Paradisi

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life…a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedling and harvest, the ripe product of the year-and the deep, deep, connection of all of these things…

David Grayson

     Wishing safe travel for everyone on the roads today.  Thanks to all of the nursing and medical professionals who are missing holiday meals with their loved ones so that patients can  receive care in hosptials and nursing facilities.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!