Department Of The Partridge Of The Week
It’s that time of year again. As has become a much maligned anticipated in our ‘hood, moiself is hosting a different Partridge, every week, in my front yard. 
Can you guess this week’s guest Partridge? 
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Department Of Getting Nostalgic As The Year’s End Approaches
Yep; it happens. Thus, I checked out a sample of what moiself was posting around this time, three years ago:
Department Of Authenticity
Next week I am hosting my annual Ladies Lefse Party. Well, once upon a time it was an annual event. After a hiatus of two years, following my mother’s death, I’m ready to get back in the saddle – or lefse griddle, that is.
After my paternal grandfather, a full-blooded Norski-American married to a full-blooded Irish-American,  died, my grandmother no longer felt up to making the lefse her husband had so adored and that she’d come to love as well.  My mother’s eldest sister, my late Aunt Erva, lived in Spokane, and after Erva’s husband died  Erva would drive south every year in autumn, ahead of the first Spokane snowfall, to spend the winter with her mother in Santa Ana. Thus, Erva assumed the mantle of lefse maker in our family. She made meatcakes (Norwegian-spiced meatballs, a traditional lefse accompaniment) as well.
Like many traditional ethnic dishes, lefse has foundational ingredients, and also variants in composition, preparation, and serving. Every family I’ve met who also “do the lefse thing” have their own favorite recipe which, of course, they consider the most authentic way to make and eat lefse.
I’ve been making lefse for longer than I can remember. I took Erva’s recipe and evolved it over the years (or made it “kooky,” as Erva would likely say  ). The lefse is still delicious, if dairy-free, and the “meat” cakes I make are now sans meat (a plant-based version, main ingredient either lentils or tempeh). Back when I did eat (some) meat I used ground turkey when I made meatcakes, instead of Erva’s more traditional, pork-beef blend. But what with my using the distinctive/traditional spices  my parents, when they were guest at my Christmas Eve table, said that they couldn’t taste the difference. Still, moiself always felt my version was missing that certain tinge of maternal family authenticity, which, I came to realize, had nothing to do with the kind of ground meat used. Here is the “flavoring” my versions of meatcakes have always lacked:
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Department Of Back To The Present
In a recent No Stupid Questions podcast (“Why Can’t Baby Boomers and Millennials Just Get Along?” SQ Ep. 76) The podcast’s subtopic, prompted by a listener question, was how phone cameras affect the way we experience live events; specifically, does recording them increase or interfere with your engagement of the events being recorded? Both sides (recording an event leads to more engagement; recording an event leads to less engagement) were presented and briefly discussed.
I put videotaping – remember that? – in the same category (of phone camera recordings), because all-but-bygone technology was the recording milieu of choice when MH’s and moiself’s offspring were in elementary and junior high school. And I developed strong opinions then (surprise!) as to those recording devices’ deployment.
For three years in their respective late elementary school/early junior high years, our son K and daughter Belle attended the kind of school (Waldorf-y) which had a media policy – which translated into, basically, a Media Forbidden policy. Computers and digital technology were not part of the early grades curriculum, as per the school’s conviction that such technologies are not age-developmentally appropriate until…
“… a young person has reached the intellectual maturity to reason abstractly and process concretely on his or her own, which is at around the age of 14. Society might challenge this principle, as many young children are well able to complete sophisticated tasks on a computer; the Waldorf perspective is that computer exposure should not be based on capability but on developmental appropriateness. While many applaud adult-like thinking in young children, we observe that a child’s natural, instinctive, creative and curious way of relating to the world may be repressed when technology is introduced into learning environments at an early age.”
( from Waldorf Education, FAQs )
The premise for the media policy, while seemingly extreme to some people, was (is) one that I found valid. I mostly concur with this phrasing, from one Waldorf schoo’sl website (my emphases):
“…healthy emotional development and meaningful relationships with their environment and other people are undermined by encounters with media that separate children from authentic experience and promote a distorted, developmentally inappropriate, and consumerist view of the world.”
The technology and Electronic Media listed in our children’s school’s media policy included television, movies, computers, and all other video and audio devices, including cell phones, video games, and music/MP3 players. None of that was allowed in the classroom, and parents, while attending school events, were forbidden from recording their child’s performance in a school play, music recital, etc. 
I was in favor of most – but not all  – of the aspects of the policy. I particularly appreciated that policy when, during K’s and Belle’s school years before and after that three year Waldorf stint, I attended school student performance and/or presentation events and noticed that I couldn’t get a clear view of, for example, the stage, what with all the parents standing up/leaning over/jumping into the aisle – and by parents I mean, Video Dads ® – their various devices clicking and whirring as they conferred with their spouses…. Then, when I spoke to the vidiots parent videographers afterward about their child’s presentation, I realized that they didn’t seem to remember exactly what had happened, only that they had recorded it (“I’ll watch it when I get home,” one Photoparent actually said to me).
Apparently even the most visually and aesthetically challenged of us now have camera technology at our disposal – via our smart phones – which are the equivalent of the $14k Hasselblads Ansel Adams and other renowned photographers used in their day. But, Some Of Us ® sometimes wonder whether the ease of taking sharp, professional-looking pictures paradoxically reduces their value (as in, now there are so damn many of them)?
Well before my offspring started attending the afore-mentioned, camera-free school, I had, with a few notable exceptions, mostly stopped taking pictures (with either my own or someone else’s camera). I did this after realizing, one day while looking through a batch of recently developed pictures of some event I’d attended, that I’d mostly forgotten the experience I’d photographed.
I do use my phone to take pictures of a sight I find particularly noteworthy (or amusing). But sometimes, most of the times, I want to experience the experience in my heart and head, and not in my phone’s circuit board.
Case in point: Dateline; two weeks ago, early on a Saturday morning. Moiself was returning from a walk, and as I strode by an empty lot between two houses I saw two adolescent male deer grazing amongst the manzanita and other shrubs covering the lot.
I slowed my pace; the deer looked up from their grazing and kept their eyes on me. As my species is prone to do, I anthropomorphized, imagining the deer were the Jets and I was a member of the Sharks.  They radiated that flighty, adolescent male energy; they looked ready to rumble, and for a moment, I thought I’d better be careful lest one or both of them comes after me. I assured them I was no harm to them; I’m just a biped passing by, going on my way.
Later that day, when I described the encounter to someone, they asked if I’d taken any pictures of the deer. It had occurred to me, but I decided against it, for three reasons:
(1) It – the movement of reaching into my pocket for my phone – might have startled the deer. 
(2) I was in the moment, as they say. Yeah, a picture and/or video of the two deer’s heads, their eyes suspiciously following my every moment, would have been nice. But I took, and stored, the picture here.
And again, here.
BTW, as you may have noticed, there is no third reason. The first two are sufficient.
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Punz For The Day
Photography and Cameras Edition
I had to give up my career in photography.
I kept losing focus.
When using my smartphone to take pictures, I only think of its positive points.
There aren’t any negatives.
Q. How does Santa take photos?
A. With his North Polearoid.
Q. Why are paparazzis like aggressive dogs?
A. They may snap at any time.
I told my son that if he behaves nicely, I’ll gift him an action camera.
He said that’s Quid GoPro.
My new self-developing film camera is depressed and has mood swings.
I think it has Biopolaroid disorder.
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May you be in the moment more than you are in the picture;
May your finest pictures be in your head and heart;
May you annoy your Aunt Erva equivalent 
with your kooky adaptation of a family tradition;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 Specifically, in our pear tree.
 Moiself missed including The Partridge Of The Week ® feature the past two weeks, in this blog. Don’t worry; Keith and the little one may make another appearance.
 That was considered somewhat of a mixed marriage in Northern Minnesota; however, “Bapa” (my Irish grandma) told me that her husband’s parents would have considered it “worse” if he “had married a Swede.”
 No great surprise that an Irishwoman took to loving something which is essentially a potato tortilla.
 In late 1969.
 “Kooky” was Erva’s catch-all descriptor for things of which she did not approve, which could range from one’s choice of life partner to haircut or clothing to your career or political opinions . Deciding to open a boutique, which the wife of one of my cousins did, was, according to Erva, “a kooky thing to do.”
 Nutmeg; allspice; white pepper.
 She swore that’s the only way you could tell if they were “done.”
 More than once I “caught” Erva in grandma’s kitchen frying the meatcakes, a cigarette clenched between her lips, the cigarette’s inch long ash column precipitously dangling over the frying pan.
 Due to parental requests (read: pressure), parents were allowed to take a group photo of the students performing in a school Shakespeare play, but only after the play was over, and with the supervision of teachers and the play director making “not too many” pictures were taken and shutting down the picture taking session after three minutes.
 The exceptions included when a teacher of K’s 7th & 8th grade class, herself not a Waldorf fundamentalist, wanted to use a National Geographic video to enhance a subject that the class was studying. She made the request of the school’s administration to allow the exception. The video was to be used as per what was the most appropriate use of such media – a use that both the teacher and the students’ parents had agreed upon – as a supplement to – not a substitute for – the more direct personal/visual learning experience. Still, the administration quashed the request. Slippery slope, and all.
 You’re going to see the new, Spielberg-directed version of “West Side Story,” aren’t you?
 Nature Girl® that I am, I know that consuming as many calories as possible to bulk up for the upcoming scarcity of winter is the deer’s main focus now. Moiself causing them to unnecessarily expend those calories by making them feel that I might be a threat and so they need to bound away…not nice.
 Everyone has an aunt Erva, no matter what you call her.