Will the ebola outbreak affect the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit?

As I have followed the news of the awful ebola outbreak in West Africa, I read more about the upcoming and important U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.  It made me wonder whether, with at least one country closing its borders, the Summit would go forward. As of yesterday, the answer was yes. According to White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz:  “I would tell you that we’re working closely with regional governments to stem the spread of the virus. We have no plans to change any elements of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, as we believe all air travel continues to be safe here.”

Hoping that this outbreak is stemmed soon and that all those affected recover.


When will the musical Allegiance go on tour?

Ever since hearing an interview with George Takei a few years ago I have been eagerly anticipating seeing the musical Allegiance, which explores a sad part of our history, the Japanese internment during World War II.

It is opening on Broadway soon but I may not be able to make it to New York so am eager for a local production. According to the Allegiance website, a tour will begin at some point after the Broadway run starts, so we may be waiting for a while.

Why did Ford pardon Nixon?

As a followup to my initial question about President Nixon, I also immediately became focused on why Ford would have pardoned Nixon.  I will leave my commentary out for now, but here are some reasons…

Here is the original New York Times article about the pardon.

Here is a 2011 New York Times retrospective about the pardon.

And here’s the History Channel’s take on it. 


Why did President Nixon record his conversations?

Yesterday I listened to a very interesting interview on the Diane Rehm show with John Dean, former White House Counsel during the Nixon years about his new book about Watergate.  Nixon resigned a couple of weeks before I was born so I wasn’t around when it was big news. I’ve never studied much about Watergate but have always been intrigued by it.  I plan to read more about Watergate soon, but my first question was why the recordings in his office existed in the first place.  The answer is complicated and long, but I was especially interested to learn that many presidents, both before and after Nixon, have recorded their conversations.  More information is available here.



Vanderbilt Family Tree

A couple of weeks ago I posted a question I had about the Biltmore estate following a visit there that raised many questions. I  have since started reading the captivating, if sensational book, Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt.  I’m loving the book but it is hard to keep all the family members straight, so I went online in search of a family tree.  I found this very helpful page and have been referring to it as I read the book.



Baruch Dayan Emet

In reading about the horrific, senseless murder of a renowned law professor, I noticed that many people used the phrase Baruch Dayan Emet when writing about this news.   I don’t remember hearing the phrase before, so I looked it up, and it does seem appropriate in a situation that is as sad as this one.


How to get wax off of crystal candlesticks

On Christmas Eve, I burned candles that dripped wax all over my favorite crystal candlesticks.  I have been meaning to clean them since then, but life keeps getting in the way.  But I am now determined to clean the candlesticks, in part because I want to display them on my new table runner on my dining room table.

This technique looks super easy. Hopefully it will work!


UPDATE:  That was so easy! If I had known that it was as simple as just aiming the hair dryer at the candlesticks for 30 seconds, I wouldn’t have waited 7 months!