Monday, May 11, 2015

My yard in spring...

I could look at this stone wall, resting place for an old watering can (that belonged to Auntie Edie,) all day. The blue sky, the singing birds, all reminding me that I am very lucky, that I should count the tiny, daily, blessings in my life.

Checkerboard frittilaria, difficult to find and so charming. I look forward to seeing them every single spring. Every single fall I say I'm going to plant more...then I forget or, more likely, a busy life waylays the best of plans. I haven't yet planted more than this one, exquisite plant, and I look forward to it's springtime coming out party every single year. Perhaps one is enough.

I think this is viburnum. Glossy green leaves and clusters of tight while flowers against a blue sky. Lovely, and free...free bits of beauty just outside my front door.

Wherever you are, I hope you're having a beautiful spring day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

FALL, MY FAVORITE NEW ENGLAND SEASON

Fall is gorgeous pretty much any place one the planet. I love the foggy mist of warm earth meeting cool fall morning air.
credit: imgur.com


credit: nucu

credit: javier de la torre

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Peonies

Peonies
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?
 from New And Selected Poems by Mary Oliver 

I have read Mary Olivers Peony poem over and over and over again. I cannot get enough of her words, her thoughts, her feelings. They resonate with me. It seems to me to be a poem about all this is possible in the world, all that is possible in our tiny selves and all that is possible in our one small life. At the same time telling us (or perhaps reminding us) that we are everything, every thing, every single small or large or medium sized thing. Every bit, every parcel, every single thing-large or small-on this planet. 

We are every thing…

and then...we burn out in a trice!

In a flash! 

POOF! 

we are done.

I so hope the Buddhists are correct and we return…and that karma is true and we find ourselves in a better, happier place. I have a feeling I am almost there, just not quite yet, that, perhaps, the next lifetime, will be it.

So far…so close.

I love that she wrote “Do you adore the green grass with it’s terror beneath?”

Reminding me that with beauty and happiness-which open your heart, indeed give you an open heart, you must “gird” yourself to the inevitable sadness, badness, cruelty, inequity in the world. Gird yourself to all things that are unfair. To adore the green grass you must adore the terror beneath. If you cannot adore the terror, you close yourself up-avoiding the terror for sure, but also avoiding the green grass, the peonies, the buttery fingers of the sun, the fragrance-tipped air.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

MALASADA? YES PLEASE!

Thank you Holy Mother Mary of the Malasada!
Have you ever had a Portuguese Malasada? It is like biting into a sugary cloud. I was instantly hooked. 

I think this is Portuguese for "Incredible deliciousness sold here today."

I will never forget the first time I tasted a malasada. I'd lived in Providence a few years and was aware that there was a large Portuguese community, but I didn't know about their "feasts." Feasts are  a celebration of a holy day in the Catholic church. It was at the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence, R.I. that I had my first malasada.


I found streets around the church closed to traffic, lights strung pole to pole and tree to tree lighting up the evening sky, carnival rides whirring and whizzing, and the pungent smell of wood smoke and fresh cooked food wafting through the air.

After tucking into a pile of sardines, grilled over an open fire and anointed with a holy mix of olive oil and crushed, hot peppers I was looking for something to turn down the heat. Something sweet. My friend steered me to the malasada booth.


Holy Mary Mother of deliciousness! It's a Portuguese Malasada...

Let me be rightly clear, a malasada is NOT fried dough. It is a yeast dough with lots of egg, milk and real butter. I've heard some recipes have some lemon in them but I'm not sure if that's true. I do know that since I took a bite of my first malasada I've never eaten a dunkin' donut again. I wait the entire year for the feast at the Holy Rosary Church in Fox Point for my annual Malasada fest and it's  worth the wait.

I got some Portuguese insider information from my friend Helen (her mom is a parishioner at Holy Rosary and SHE MAKES THE MALASADAS!) I was told if I show up at the church rectory at 7 am on Sunday morning (the weekend of the feast) I will get malasada hot out of the fryolator...

I set my alarm, I drove into Providence (husband and daughter in tow) and I found the church rectory.
Sure enough, a small army of malasada makers were hard at work. A well-oiled machine, each of the ladies were busily doing their part to keep malasada lovers happy.

There was the holy lady of malasada beginnings, grabbing gobs of pillowy dough from the giant silver dough bowl, squeezing and pulling, gently coaxing them into the airy pillows...

There were the holy ladies of the fry-o-lator, turning the bobbing bits of dough as they dunked and swam, swirled and twirled in the hot oil...

There was the  holy lady of sugar-coating...I imagine that would be my job if I were to help make Malasadas.


The holy lady of malasada packing loaded bags of fresh, hot, sugary Malasadas into bags, telling each customer "Careful, these are still warm."

Barely 7am and already a line...

Sophia and Steve tucking in to a fresh, hot Malasada...

Thank you Our Lady of the Holy Rosary!





Monday, July 28, 2014

Tiny Antique French Day Bed

Too darling...available in my etsy shop

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hot Butter Poppin Eggs
One of my best girlfriends, Roberta had a big family just like us (11 kids in hers and 8 in ours). Her Dad built a windmill on the edge of pond and Roberta and I would have "sleep outs" there on summer nights. It was probably a mile or two on foot from our houses to the pond. We'd trudge up the hill, hauling those big, unwieldy sleeping bags in the hot summer sun. Rather than go all the way around to the road that went into windmill pond, we'd climb a fence and make our way down the other side of the hill through the bushes and prickers. By the time we got to the pond we were a dusty, dirty mess with bloody scratches crisscrossing our scrawny legs and our hair (mine dirty blond, hers chestnut brown) plastered to the sides of our sweaty heads. Heaving the sleeping bags up onto the porch, we'd run down and throw ourselves off the end of the dock into the fresh, cool water. I was always careful not to touch bottom-it was muddy and silty and I'd heard snapping turtles would take your toe off if you weren't really careful. I remember watching the sun set and then the moon rise over the windmill. Listening to the wind in the trees I lay on my back and looked up at the inky black sky littered with thousands of glittery diamond-shaped stars before falling into a deep sleep.

On very special mornings we would wake up to popping sounds and find Roberta's mom squatting by the side of a campfire, frying eggs-hot butter popping-in a dented and battered skillet.


I found the photo of the boys on the internet-it really is the windmill on Leahy pond in Whitney Point. I don't know who the naked kids are, but what a great photo! Nothing like swimming in the buff when your a kid.