Dolly's Blog

What a clown!

Dolly Baruch

Dolly Baruch
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
April 23
The Matriarch
Just been writing forever and I always thought I was a better writer than I am but no matter, I write. Never thought I could paint but I love it so I do. Dancing and writing and painting fill me up. Some people think my kids are the most interesting part of me, and pretty much so did I until my late sixties. Now, I'M the most interesting part. I crack myself up! And I don't care so much whether I'm a great writer or artist or dancer or not, just so I do what I need to do - which is keep on writing and painting and dancing and living. To life! is my motto.


Dolly Baruch's Links


I teach ESL in a lower middle class neighborhood library. When I lived in the next town over, I used to go to that library. It was one of the original Carnegie Libraries, tiny and Gemütlichkeit, befitting its population, primarily working class Germans. Unfortunately, this charming building… Read full post »

MAY 20, 2012 9:51AM

My D'var

For those of my friends who asked to see a copy of my d'var (from my Anshei Mitzvah class).



I am grateful to Rabbi Weiss and Cantor Green for their dedication, their humor, and the generous hours they spent to help me achieve my goal of becoming bat mitzvah… Read full post »

“Your tune is a ter’ble ‘boice’.”

Notwithstanding that pronouncement I made at four years old beside the piano where my mother sang in her whiskey (or more likely scotch) tenor, I loved my mother’s singing. She sang the songs of her own childhood – not the YRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 18, 2012 2:45PM

What I Learned from My Father

What I Learned from My Father


Dolly Baruch

April 18, 2012




There were some awful things I learned from my father - how angry one can get, what gambling and drinking does to a family, how to walk on eggshells.


There were wonderful things I learned… Read full post »

MARCH 14, 2012 2:56PM

Whence Cometh the Propensities

sones pictures -Rose and Barnett

Shiny black faceted bicone beads (my favorites), gloriously multicolored rainbow sequins changing color as I looked, feathers, fringe, tassels, braid, soutache, lace, crystals of every hue and shade, and thousands, maybe millions of colorful beads of every description, bugle beads, seed/… Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2012 2:39PM

Two Years Today

Today is the two year anniversary of my heart attack. The top picture is at the Parthenon last December.  The bottom picture is at the Hermitage a little more than two years ago, before I had the HA.

 At the ParthenonBefore the HA

 You'll notice my son-in-law hasn't changed a bit - but I've… Read full post »

DECEMBER 20, 2011 5:28PM

A Jewish Girl's Christmas Trees

schoolgirl tree 

Episodic Christmas Trees

Dolly Baruch

December, 2011


Again, with the 4th grade – that year was important in my life – a boyfriend for the first time (I was in love with a boy named Romeo when I was nine years old). In 1948, a polio scare. I had awakened… Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2011 2:36PM

On Camelback (not the mountain)

Atop a camel 

Yup, that's right, that's me on a camel. Not my idea, I can tell you. Seems that Thanksgiving week I was in Cairo at the Giza Plateau. All I wanted was to have my picture taken NEXT to a camel.  I figured the vendors, who are incredibly aggressive, would take my… Read full post »

DECEMBER 7, 2011 4:26PM

Blagojevich gets 14 years

“I have nobody to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions, words, things that I did, that I thought I could do,” was Blagojevich's comment on his sentencing. The former governor of Illinois was sentenced on Wednesday to 14 years in federal prison for 18 felony corruption convictions… Read full post »

OCTOBER 20, 2011 3:22PM

Saved by a Song


Saved by a Song

Dolly Baruch

Rotund jovial Mr. Blankenship hated and loved my mother. Mother more often than not inspired only love among men. She had that deep dimple in her left cheek. Her curly hair was cut in the latest postwar style. Her short and voluptuous figure, so… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2011 3:56PM

Fourth of July


Fourth of July

Picnic and Stock Car Race – 1950’s Peoria


It’s the Fourth of July, early in the morning – only 5 o’clock. I wake to noises from the kitchen – mama is up already, bustling around downstairs. I can hear the pots rattling and can sm… Read full post »

APRIL 8, 2011 1:07PM

My Amazing Adventure in Natchez

My Amazing Adventure in Natchez: A Northerner’s Introduction to Southern Hospitality

On tour in the Deep South, checking out Jewish historical sites, synagogues, museums, civil rights history, and even some plantation mansions, with my Rabbi and 23 members of my temple, we stopped overnight inRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 7, 2011 2:53PM

Exactly One Year Ago

Two weeks after my heart attack 

 This is me about a month after my heart attack. Everything is gray! To see me in silver, look at my profile pictures. (And I'm about 40 pounds lighter in that shot).


Exactly one year ago, I had a massive heart attack. I am lucky to be alive. More… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 16, 2010 3:38PM

As serious as a heart attack (updated)

She fell down in stages, not so much as a falling down but more a crumpling down or maybe a slow motion folding down, like when you fold more flour into your dough mixture. Not a faint because she was conscious. It was, after all, a heart attack.


It… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 3:51PM

My baker's dozen

1) I make a mean chopped liver that everybody loves and I can no longer even TASTE it any more (not because I've lost my tastebuds) to see if it's salted properly.

2) I found a ridiculously restrictive food plan that really works for me and I don't even believe in it… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2010 2:23PM

Sorla keporla

Ever hear of sorla keporla? Probably not. It's mostly likely Yiddish, doubtless means a mixed up mess. I’ve never heard anyone else but my own family use the term.

It's a farmer's salad - sliced cucumber and tomatoes right out of the garden. My mother used to make it on hot summerRead full post »

JULY 9, 2010 5:08PM

I Love My Daughter

Because she wanted to go on a mother-daughter trip with me

Because she worked out the whole trip to Alaska using all my suggestions

Because she chose a wonderful time and cruise ship and excursions

Because she understood my tears and snuffles on the helicopter glacier trip

Because she took aRead full post »

JULY 5, 2010 3:21PM



The first thing she thinks about is watering her shefflera. She’s been gone two weeks, her bags are still sitting in the corridor, the key is still in the lock, and she rushes into the kitchen, to the cupboard below the sink, takes out the pebbly beige plastic two gallon… Read full post »

MAY 14, 2010 3:51PM

Clothing Through the Ages

1. The favorite dress of my California childhood - a shiny cotton chintz dress printed with splashy flowers on a sunny yellow ground (my favorite colors as a child - "brown and yellow").  It had a yellow sash - and my sister got to wear it after I grew out of… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2010 4:33PM

Random Mom


I don't often write about my mother. That's because she was a "a flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!" It seems impossible to capture her essence or any of the wildness she embodied - it changes with my own maturity and with the simple/complex details my iffy memory dredges up.&nRead full post »

APRIL 21, 2010 1:26PM


Today I took a 30 minute walk. It might not seem like much but for me, it's a triumph, a pleasure, and an inspiration.

 Monday was my last cardiac rehab class - 12 weeks completed. I "graduated," 25 pounds lost, 5 inches from my waist, and three points lower in BMI… Read full post »

APRIL 17, 2010 11:26AM

My Little Soup Scooper

 “You know she’s a Jewish girl don’t you?” Royd Weinstein whispered to Donald as they stared at my uniformed rump waggling over the varnished table top I was swiping clean with a wet rag. Before their eyes I expertly whipped the paper doily (“it’s all in the wRead full post »

MARCH 19, 2010 12:33AM



“This is a hat I’ve been wearing a lot lately.  It was from my grandmother, who loved life ‘til the end.” There are also some cryptic words about Kaiser Wilhelm in her notebook, but for the life of her, she can’t remember why she wrote that down, what they reRead full post »

MARCH 16, 2010 3:43PM

THE PROMISE (update with pictures)

sones pictures -Rose and Barnett 

 Rose and Barnet (c. 1916)

Max and the Ford 1945_0001

Hilda and the girls 1945 (me and my little sister)


Max and the Ford 1945_0002

Max and the Ford 1945 (Salinas, California)





Think of that industrial town,Read full post »

MARCH 11, 2010 2:40PM

Looking at Death


Death comes in threes they say and that is how it has seemed to me 

First his mother.

They wouldn’t help her die.

So when called by the police to come, the family was advised not to look

And they didn’t. 


“My mother has died”

sheRead full post »