Sunday, August 31, 2014


Whenever, in the course of our day, we might come upon a scene that is strikingly beautiful or sublime – the black thundercloud with the rainbow’s glowing arch above the mountain; a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge; a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red of sunset – we pause for an instant in an attitude of worship.

Jane Anne Staw

Excerpts from Unstuck

Working to step away from the role of our own harshest critics is pivotal to overcoming writing blocks. The role is one we learn from those around us; we take to heart our lines, originally provided by those in authority, and eventually we perform as if these lines were our own.

To write you have to take writing seriously. And to take writing seriously, you have to take yourself seriously.

Think small. From a single, finely rendered plant, an entire garden will spread before you.

No matter what else you do, clear away the emotional and material time and space—to write. Then no matter what else you do, show up for yourself. Even if it’s just a tiny corner or a quarter of an hour, I hope that you will meet up with yourself there and begin to listen to your voice, making it possible for your own words to find their way onto the page.

If you sit down each day and write, no matter how little, you are a real writer.

Write for eyes that approve of you. Eyes that you respect, but that also look upon you kindly, lovingly. Eyes that have not spoken to you harshly. That have not disapproved of you. Eyes that encourage you. Eyes that want for you what is best.

To write, you need to practice deep compassion for yourself.

For us to be fully fluent as writers, to access all parts of ourselves and all of ourselves, we need to make our writing world safe. To do all within our power to help us feel completely at ease, protected from interruptions, insults, distractions, demands, and unhappiness. To work with ourselves, our family and friends, our environment so that nothing comes between us and our ability to express ourselves on the page.

-Jane Anne Staw, Unstuck

Light As A Feather: Buckwheat Buttermilk Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes

It seems counter intuitive but whole grains mixed with buttermilk and sourdough starter make the lightest pancakes around. If you mix up too much, save the batter in a jar for the next day. Or make a bunch of pancakes and freeze them between pieces of waxed paper so you can pop them in the toaster when you need them.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gypsy Boots

Gypsy Boots (August 19, 1914 – August 8, 2004), born Robert Bootzin (and also known as Boots Bootzin), was an American fitness pioneer, actor, and writer. He is credited with laying the foundation for the acceptance by mainstream America of "alternative" lifestyles such as yoga and health food.[1] His books Barefeet and Good Things to Eat and the memoir, The Gypsy in Me,[2] gained him a cult following.

Bootzin was born in San Francisco, California to Russian Jewish immigrants. His father, Max, was a broom salesman. His mother, Mushka, raised Bootzin and his four siblings in a vegetarian household,[1] while also leading the family on hikes in the hills, performing Russian folk dances and feeding the homeless with her homemade black bread.[1]


The Uses of Enchantment

If we hope to live not just from moment to moment, but in true consciousness of our existence, then our greatest need and most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives.
― Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

The child intuitively comprehends that although these stories are unreal, they are not untrue ...
― Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

The unrealistic nature of these tales (which narrowminded rationalists object to) is an important device, because it makes obvious that the fairy tales’ concern is not useful information about the external world, but the inner process taking place in an individual.
― Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

Since there are thousands of fairy tales, one may safely guess that there are probably equal numbers where the courage and determination of females rescue males, and vice versa.
― Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

Cianci Sauce


Italian Workingmen's Club to the Rescue!

Latest News Headlines
IWC comes to aid of shut-off church
August 29, 2014
Russ Olivo

WOONSOCKET – After hearing that The River United Methodist Church couldn’t afford to keep its lights on and appliances running, the Italian Workingmen’s Club decided there was only one thing to do: Give the church a check to pay the overdue bill.

“We voted to pay it in full,” said IWC Chairman Mike Kind.

IWC members handed over a check for $1,000 to Pastor Rebecca Lambert on the steps of the Federal Street Church on Friday afternoon.

Caring for the Unemployed until Recovery is Attained

Article about WAR on the POOR.


How can we put Woonsocket on the map? I want to see our City thriving again! We have history, diversity a great Mayor and fabulous team at City hall and we have what many cities lack, the cozy city adorability factor.
I think we need to make a 600 foot table that would make a huge rectangle down town Social Street and Clinton street where we can all come together and break bread. This would certainly put us on the map! We have this already, AUTUMNFEST!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Perfect One


Gregory Orr

I was on the cusp of adolescence. Just a kid participating in a popular American ritual: hunting, firing a gun. To hunt, to fire a gun is to have your imagination tangled up with fantasies of power. A fatal accident makes a mockery of these fantasies, leaving the unlucky fantasist exposed to the deeper randomness of life and the terrifying fact that so much of our experience is beyond our control.

It’s as if the world you inhabit (in my case, a rural field; in hers, a shooting range) is suddenly shown to be only a stage set with one of those old-fashioned painted backdrops, and your inadvertent, violent act has torn a gash in the scenery. “Accident” steps through it. “Accident,” which is such an innocuous and useful term in most contexts, but now for the child is suddenly a terrifying word, perhaps even the name of the grim and mocking god who rules this new reality.

With the accident that took my brother’s life, my whole world was changed, utterly and to its core. I survived, grew, and perhaps even thrived. But I never healed. And my survival had as much to do with luck as anything else. Part of my luck was to discover poetry, which has sustained me through a lifetime.

As a writer, my faith is that words can help us connect and make sense of our lives by bringing out our secrets and shames as well as our joys. And yet, when I try to think of what I might say to that girl, I think also of the danger of words used as premature consolation and explanation. I lost a (naïve and conventional) religious faith the day of my brother’s death, because a well-meaning adult assured me that my dead brother was already, at that very moment, sitting down in heaven to feast with Jesus. How could I tell her that my brother was still near me, still horribly close to me — that every time I squeezed shut my eyes to keep out the world, I saw him lying lifeless at my feet?



More than a century ago, blue-collar workers fought for a limited workday with an activist anthem: “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.” It’s a heritage that, this Labor Day, we need to restore.

Nin Andrews: Alphabetical Muses or Why I Write Poetry

by Nin Andrews

Writing poetry is a strange addiction. I have never been able to explain it: this strange desire to sit alone in a room for hours with nothing but a pen and pencil to entertain me. I have friends and family members who simply do not understand it. Sometimes they resent it. Or regard me with suspicion. One friend suspected me of having an affair, or perhaps a series of affairs. As she put it, why else would I disappear for hours at a time and not answer my door, my phone, or my email. Why else would I look so exhausted at the end of a day, as if I had had a disagreement with a lover? Why else would I have no appetite, and want to sip wine and brood, my mood sour, my mind distracted.

But most who know me know the sad truth: I lead a truly boring life. Whatever affair that exists is between me and poetry. And it makes no sense. Why? my mother used to ask me every summer, would anyone spend her spare time inside when she could be hiking or swimming or having fun with friends? My father nodded. Is there any money in this hobby? he asked. My friend, a yoga teacher, chimed in, Is there some kind of glory one feels, or enlightenment one attains after writing a great poem?

No, I answered. I rarely finish a poem. Eventually, I just feel finished.

Sometimes I, too, wonder. I think of all the invitations, especially morning invitations, I have turned down. When pressed for an explanation, I say that the muse might stop in for a visit. And she usually visits in the morning. I simply can’t take the chance that I might miss her.

Muse? Really? they ask, and I nod.

I don’t explain that it’s not just one muse. Actually there is an entire alphabet of muses who visit, and they change over time, from the alpha muse, or the first muse I ever met, to the zed of muses, or the end of all muses, and the one who will be end of me. The zed keeps me stuck in my desk chair, hours at a time, with my neck burning, my head aching, my mind blurring. Just one more try, she whispers.

But the best are the 24 muses in between the alpha and the zed, from the blond muse, also known as the bitch, with her long flowing hair, red boots and fuck-you smirk, to the cartographer-muse who keeps a map of my soul in her pocket, to the deceptive muse who tells me only a lie can save me.

There is also the ethereal muse, who offers glimpses of immortality, the feline muse who purrs when she likes me but suddenly bites, sinking her teeth in my skin, and the ghostly muse who hangs out with the dead.

There is the happy muse who likes to quote Camus: One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

And the illusive muse, who appears only if she wishes, though I am never sure she is really there, and the jealous muse who looks at all the poets who have accomplished more than I. Putting her hands on her hips, she glares at me. Are you ever going to write a real poem?

There is the klepto-muse who steals others’ lines when I am not looking, and the lunar muse who wakes me at night and begins reciting my unwritten poems before I can grab a pen. And the mischievous muse who inspires me to write terrible poems, which I love only while composing them, and afterwards recoil in shame.

There is the Nike muse, with her perfectly toned body and new running shoes, calling out, Let’s go for a run. I keep a pen in hand as we jog together, and once we start moving the poems flow more naturally. (But it’s hard to run and write at the same time!) There is also the orgasmic muse who equates great poems with great sex, and the peaceful muse who is as soothing and memorable as warm milk. And the queen of all muses who dictates exactly what I must write, and I write it, word for word.

There is the red muse who is like the flag bulls charge at, though she disappears just when I arrive, and the sacred muse who prefers prayers to poems and often equates the two. And the tardy muse who arrives when I am about to give up hope.

There is the urgent muse who tells me, you must write this poem now. And the vain muse who thinks she is my raison d’etre, that without her, I am no one. And there is the weeping muse who watches the world from her window in heaven.

There is the xenophobic muse who has no use for those who do not worship her, or those who are not writers or artists or dancers. And there is yesterday’s muse who keeps writing the poems I wrote long ago, especially poems about orgasms. And there is the zed, also known as Zeno’s muse.

Zeno’s muse knows I will never be done with her, though sometimes I imagine an end-point. A life without this kind of suffering. I look forward to that day when I will no longer be sitting at this desk, no longer spellbound by an invisible world, no longer composing words no one will read, no longer imagining a perfect poem, a little sliver of heaven that is not yet swallowed by the dark.


He Thought the Tree was Mad at Him


Conquer your Fear

Last year, a harsh breakup with his girlfriend left him depressed. He took inventory of his life, concluding, “I had a lot of self-confidence issues.” He vowed to get out of the specific gravity that held him, start a human-improvement project. “I don’t want to just be alive” is how he phrased it. “I want to be living my life.”

He began running, and shed 40 pounds. And he determined to rinse himself of this fear that took up space in his life. On the whole, he didn’t paint himself as cowardly. True, he could not abide heights. He used to fear flying but got over it. As a precaution before every flight, his mother calls and insists they say a prayer.

Otherwise, he was good. Not claustrophobic. Fine with spiders and the dark. He didn’t fear baths or rain, as some aquaphobia sufferers do.

It was swimming he had to conquer.


Jack Ridl Poem

Take Love for Granted

by Jack Ridl

Assume it's in the kitchen,
under the couch, high
in the pine tree out back,
behind the paint cans
in the garage. Don't try
proving your love
is bigger than the Grand
Canyon, the Milky Way,
the urban sprawl of L.A.
Take it for granted. Take it
out with the garbage. Bring
it in with the takeout. Take
it for a walk with the dog.
Wake it every day, say,
"Good morning." Then
make the coffee. Warm
the cups. Don't expect much
of the day. Be glad when
you make it back to bed.
Be glad he threw out that
box of old hats. Be glad
she leaves her shoes
in the hall. Snow will
come. Spring will show up.
Summer will be humid.
The leaves will fall
in the fall. That's more
than you need. We can
love anybody, even
everybody. But you
can love the silence,
sighing and saying to
yourself, "That' s her."
"That's him." Then to
each other, "I know!
Let's go out for breakfast!"

"Take Love for Granted" by Jack Ridl, from Practicing to walk Like a Heron.
© Wayne State University Press, 2013.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sicks and Stones by Emily Bazelon

By the book’s end, Bazelon had won me over to the idea that so long as we don’t use the concept of bullying to foreclose discussion of other problems, so long as we think not just about individual bullies but about social climate change, this too might join other public revolutions in how we view formerly privatized cruelties like sexual harassment and child abuse. Bazelon closes by calling for a newfound focus on teaching character, empathy, and respect. No matter what the latest concept of cruelty, isn’t that always the lesson?
–E.J. Graff, The American Prospect

Emily Bazelon

Important Article


The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1953

Urban Kids and Food Allergies

Exposure to certain microbes early in life helps protect children against asthma and allergies.

Ragweed, Grasses + Sagebrush

Oh my! The pollen count is sky high.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Powdered Soap

I love my gigantic box of powdered laundry soap. Liquid soaps are heavy and expensive to ship which makes them extremely wasteful. Think twice about buying liquids!

Also, try to avoid buying plastic applicator tampons they end up floating in the ocean! Beach whistles!

Push Mower

Today I carried out the push mower and cut the grass. I don't have much to chop and it was lovely to make a simple sound.

Pear Tree

I found a pear tree today on Clinton Street walking home from City Hall. I ate a pear from it! Delicious!

Trick Labeling: OLIVITALY

Last night we bought a 3 liter bottle of OLIVITALY extra virgin olive oil, at Job Lot. After using it to cook supper I was unconvinced that this was olive oil. Lo and Behold the tiny type read 80 percent sunflower oil. Dare to beware!

Elephant Detectives

Smithsonian Article
NPR StoryArticle
Bloodhounds on the Beat Article in Grist.


What we are is God's gift to us; what we become is our gift to God.

Genius + Courage

Anyone intelligent can make things more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
- Albert Einstein

Ganesh Festival

Mysorekar lifted the coconut above her head and dashed it against the gray granite floor of the temple, shattering it into pieces.

A riotous orchestra of ringing bells, thumping drums and the oboe-like shehnai reverberated in the cool predawn air. A piercing call emanated from a silver-tipped conch shell. And a semicircle of onlookers, draped in magenta, saffron, violet and burgundy, clapped as if in chorus.

At the Hindu Temple Society of North America, in Flushing, Queens, this week is time to worship Ganesh, the elephant-headed, many-armed deity who is believed to remove obstacles. Here, as at temples in over a dozen countries, Hindus are celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi, which marks the god’s birth (and rebirth).

“The coconut shell is like the human ego,” said Mohan Ramaswamy, who teaches at the temple on Bowne Street. “You have to crack it open before you can let in the lord.”

“The goal of all of these rituals is to gain the power of the vibrations,” said Dr. Mysorekar, a gynecologist and the temple’s president. “A temple is not just brick and mortar. It’s filled with energy.”

Like Easter for Christians or the High Holy Days for Jews, Ganesha Chaturthi can be as much about the community as it is about worship.

“Ganesh is my favorite god,” he said before explaining how he learned the mythology behind the deity’s elephant head, and how Ganesh saved the river goddess by tricking a dwarf.


Jane Kenyon

Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer

by Jane Kenyon

We turned into the drive,
and gravel flew up from the tires
like sparks from a fire. So much
to be done—the unpacking, the mail
and papers ... the grass needed mowing ....
We climbed stiffly out of the car.
The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.

And then we noticed the pear tree,
the limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass;
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.

"Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer" by Jane Kenyon, from Collected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2005.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Runaway Growth

Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report.

Salvation Army


Help, People!


North Dakota Grain Trains



Peniaphobia is the fear of poverty. The origin of the word penia is Greek (meaning poverty) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear).

It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events (i.e. traumatic events) and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics). Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time. It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combine with life-experiences to play a major role in the development of phobias. (Wikipedia - phobia).

As with any phobia, the symptoms vary by person depending on their level of fear. The symptoms typically include extreme anxiety, dread and anything associated with panic such as shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, inability to articulate words or sentences, and shaking.

Crime Decline

Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?

Roasting Vegetables

Yes it was 95 degrees yesterday and I was inside with my oven blasting at 450. I love my oven and can't be away from her for more than a day no matter what the temperature is. I roasted cauliflower and okra drizzled in olive oil and salt and adobo. We ate it on macaroni elbows with my super simple marinara sauce. Divine!

Clive James Poem

Tramps and Bowlers

by Clive James

In the park in front of my place, every night
A bunch of tramps sleep on the wooden porch
Of the bowling green club-house. They shed no light.
No policeman ever wakes them with a torch,

Because no-one reports their nightly stay.
People like me who take an early walk
Just after dawn will see them start the day
By packing up. They barely even talk,

Loading their duffel bags. They leave no trace,
Thus proving some who sleep rough aren't so dumb.
Tramps blow their secret if they trash the place:
This lot make sure that, when the bowlers come,

There's not a beer-can to pollute the scene.
And so, by day, neat paragons of thrift
And duty bow down to the very green
Which forms, by night, for scruffs who merely drift,

Their front lawn. If the bowlers only knew,
For sure they'd put in for a higher fence.
They'd have a point, but it would spoil the view
More than the tramps will, if they have the sense

To keep on cleaning up before they go,
Protecting indolence with industry:
A touch of what the bowlers value so.
Which way of life is better? Don't ask me—

I chose both, so I'd be the last to know.

"Tramps and Bowlers" by Clive James, from Opal Sunset: Selected Poems 1958-2008. © W.W. Norton and Company, 2008.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Choking Ocean


Robert Lustig

Article about sugar.

Numbers make me Cry

When I was seven and in second grade I had to learn addition and subtraction. Whenever I had to solve math problems I would break into sobs. My mother took me to a shrink and she hired a tutor to pay me in black and white jelly beans to learn arithmetic. At 53 I still cry over numbers and I still imagine the jelly beans.
Friday I went to deposit money after hours and the bank machine ate my cash and didn't acknowledge doing so. Today I went to the bank to straighten things out and they said I had to go home and call the Jupiter branch of the bank to ask for help. When I did the voice was having a hard time understanding me. I was having trouble understanding her.
I said "Since I was seven, numbers have made me cry,"
"Now numbers still make you cry! She laughed.
"You make me laugh, thank-you, so stress-full." She said.

I like Nonsense

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.
— Dr. Seuss

Paul Krugman

Americans are being pushed out of the Northeast (and, more recently, California) by high housing costs rather than pulled out by superior economic performance in the Sunbelt.

Human Cannon Family Reunion

Our MARCHING MILKMAN band performed at a family reunion Saturday with David Smith the human cannon.

Bill Hayes

I never lied. If someone asked, I’d say I was not working on anything, and no, had nothing on the back burner, in the oven, cooking, percolating or marinating. (What’s with all the food metaphors anyway?) I wasn’t hungry either.

Julie Metz

Olivia remarked recently, “When I care for Eden, it’s like taking care of myself.”

Dog God


September Breathing




Swimming the Channel

On this day in 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel. In twenty-one hours and forty-five minutes, he swam from Dover, England, to Calais, France. Nine years later, he drowned in Niagara Falls, trying to swim across and under the churning water.
-Writers Almanac

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Easy Ice Cream

If your great grandmother made ice cream on the farm you know it wasn't that hard to do. I had leftover cream and sugar formula from the batch we never made. Today I put it in a plastic container in the freezer and forgot about it. Just now I checked on it and stirred it. You really can make ice cream this way. There's really no need for any devices except a freezer! Freeze a little and stir a little. Repeat, and eat.

Circus Family Pasta Sauce

Last night we performed with the human cannon. Today we are at home making tomato sauce, a simple sauce using 3 cans of Price Rite crushed tomatoes and a few Tablespoons of my homemade pesto. Sometimes simple is most spectacular.

Hot Dogs for Breakfast

Dad would at times, make hotdogs for breakfast.
Child that I was, aghast but curious and content to be in the kitchen alone with him,
wood stove behind, water splattering from the pan at eye level.

Who said no hotdogs for breakfast?

- T. Scobi

Friday, August 22, 2014

Deborah Klinger

The national obsession.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps


Shrimp Etouffe

I was amazed when my friend made this. She served it over brown rice!

Chiles Rellenos

My friend Sally used to make these with bigger cubanelle peppers. They were fantastic!

Big Italian-Jewish Family

I grew up in a family that loved food and the table was sacred. I do not understand the food phobias and land-mines approach to food. It seems to be the illness of our current culture.Article

Slogan Slinging

How you eat is how you live,
Let's eat well together.

Love People,
Cook them tasty Food.


We had leftover vanilla-sugared light cream from our ice cream formula and I used it in my coffee.
Half and half (10.5–18% fat)
Light cream (18–30% fat)
Light Whipping cream (30–36% fat)
Heavy cream (36% fat or more)

JAR Baker's Supply

We finally got to stop at JAR Baker's Supply to buy FRESH almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter. On the next trip we'll buy flour. We love this place!

Emily Matchar


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't Invite them Back!


Last Night

On our walk last night we found three mini muffin pans and a Chicago pizza pan and two pie pans in a recycle bin. I gathered them up and washed them. I can't wait to use them. Monday I found a tool bag stashed behind my mother in laws shed during a party. We were looking for a stick for Lily to chew and we found this instead. I dished out the contents to the three mechanics present and took the bag for myself. I washed it and I will use it as my new purse.

HPV Vaccine

Given current rates of immunization, somewhere around 2,000 adults every year whose parents had chosen not to give them the HPV vaccine will probably die from a preventable cancer. It’s unconscionable. And doctors will have only themselves to blame.

Grandmother Sheldrick's Biscuit Recipe

Tea Time

You describe in your book, Love, Life, and Elephants, how teatime was a special ritual:

Teatime was a fixed routine in our home, much loved by all the orphans because not only did the rattle of teacups indicate that the afternoon walk was imminent but it also meant the appearance of the teatime biscuits I baked, made from a recipe handed down from generation to generation in my family. Most of the orphans viewed these as a treat, particularly Jimmy [a kudu] and [his best friend] Baby [a feisty eland]. Gazing over the verandah ledge with drooling mouths and looks of such longing in their large liquid eyes, they pleaded with every fiber of their being and were impossible to resist, even though feeding them the biscuits was rather like posting letters, so rapidly were they downed. After observing this handout for some time, Shmetty [an orphaned infant elephant] decided she should have one as well. It was hilarious to watch, as she clearly had absolutely no idea what to do with a biscuit, waving it around in her trunk, popping it in and out of her mouth and her ear and finally sucking it up in her trunk until it got blown out in an elephant sneeze, making us all jump.

Could you divulge your biscuit recipe?

Teatime during our Tsavo years was indeed a special ritual. The biscuit recipe is that of my grandmother:

Sheldrick’s Tea Biscuits

½ lb sugar

½ lb margarine or butter

1 lb. flour

1 dessert spoon baking powder

pinch of salt

2 eggs

Cream together sugar and butter, add the eggs, work in the flour, baking powder and salt to a rolling consistency. Roll the dough out. Add either nuts, raisins etc., if wanted, and cut into shapes. Bake in a moderate oven until lightly brown.

Daphne Sheldrick


Nin Andrews poem

My Life after Super Woman

Each night before I go to bed, I tell myself, Do not think of Super Woman. Hardly have I rested my head on the pillow then I think of her rising hips undulating beneath me. I think of her long, long legs. I think of the wind in her hair as she flies, and oh, how she flies. Do not think of that, I tell myself again. And again I think how we climbed the air together. How every level of heaven was our own. How she gathered me to a point. I became like a musical note going higher and higher than I could ever sing
before. Do no think of her, oh please, do not think of her, oh please, please, I think again, and again I think how many others wanted her.

Me! They cried. Me, too. The longer she stayed with me, the more emphatic their words. They could hear our shouts and sobs of ecstasy, and were driven wild. This isn't safe, I told her. This isn’t safe, I told her. This cannot last. You must go. But I could never free myself from her strong, pink arms, her long black hair, her fragrance and salt and sea. Me! I can still hear them cry. Come to me. They flung themselves at our door. They filled the streets below. They brought ropes to catch her with. And chains with locks and keys. And every kind of food and drink as lures. But she remained faithful to me. Only me. She waved happily to those fans but stayed just out of touch and reach. She didn't mind that they licked their lips like hungry dogs. That they engraved her name and face, on their arms and thighs. But at a certain point their enthusiasm reached such a frightening peak. Oh, to be loved by Super Woman, to kiss her red, red cheeks. That became the global fantasy. That was when the hunting and fishing company, Gander Mountain, invented a human-sized butterfly net, especially designed, or so the ad claimed, to catch the super woman of your dreams.

We both knew what that meant. By then the search lights were regularly crossing our ceiling. Soon she would have to flee or die in a net. We huddled beneath our sheets. She had to leave mankind forever to his creepy longing and loneliness and laments. For this is the way of planet Earth. Men trap what is good and true and hold it like a hostage in their hairy hands until it breathes its last.

She was right to go then, of course and alas, because Super Woman is always right. Super Woman who fled. Super Woman who left me with all those horrible hands. Super Woman who said, just before she left, I will be back, love. I will be back for you and all that is true and good. But do not think of that. Whatever you do, do not obsess. Now all I do is yearn and ache and moan. Every wish I say and every yes is for Super Woman alone. Every page I write is written for her, my Super Woman, the love of my sleepless nights, my lost dreams, and last romantic gasp.

Published with permission from the author.

~ Nin Andrews is also the editor of a book of translations of the French poet Henri Michaux entitled Someone Wants to Steal My Name from Cleveland State University Press. She is the author of 5 chapbooks and 5 full length collections including Why They Grow Wings, Midlife Crisis with Dick and Jane, Sleeping with Houdini, The Book of Orgasms, and Southern Comfort.

Elephant Babies

The bond between a baby elephant and its mother can be correctly described as the closest of any animal on earth. If it is a female baby, she will typically remain together with her mother right into her own adulthood and will likely never once be separate from her until the mother dies in old age.

Male baby elephants also stay similarly close to their mothers when they are young. But in their case, this bond is not for a lifetime. When a adolescent male reaches puberty – around the age of 12 – he gets too rowdy for the others to tolerate. He repeatedly feels an uncontrollable urge to wrestle and fight with other elephants, or to court them sexually. And whenever this happens, his mother and grandmother clearly become irritated with him and escort him to the edge of the group to get him to stop. This goes on month after month throughout his puberty until the disapproval by the females becomes so intense that he is chased away altogether. He then becomes what is known as a solitary bull elephant.

Elephant babies typically get to their feet within a half hour after birth and are able to follow along with the herd not long after that. Like the one splashing and chasing egrets in the picture below, they spend much of their time playing and exploring their world.

An elephant calf nurses with its mouth (not its trunk) just behind its mothers front legs. It nurses very often throughout the day and it is entirely dependent on its mother for all of its nourishment for the first year of its life. After that, it gradually begins to nibble on plants and tapers off its nursing. Complete weaning usually occurs by the age of two or three.

Cultured Butter

We live near a dairy farm. I look for any excuse to get up there and visit the cows and farmers. I've been making my own yogurt since I was 12, but culturing my own cream to make butter and buttermilk is the best! When you are done you have buttermilk and butter.

Loretta LaRoche

Look Up That’s Where It’s At

Every day we wake up and preform our rituals, many of which are quite satisfying. I rather enjoy sitting in my cozy chair, drinking my cup of coffee while I gaze out the window at my garden. even though I’ve heard that standing on my head is healthy and brings blood flow to my brain, it’s not something I’d prefer to be doing in the morning. That really wouldn’t help me get a new spin on things…it would just make me dizzy.
Our rituals can be good for us, and they can be comforting, too( I certainly have no intention of giving up my morning coffee in my cozy chair). But an unyielding reliance on ritual can be destructive—not only to ourselves, but to society as well.
When we become inflexible, we start to feel as if we’re living our own version of the movie Groundhog Day—the same thing, day in and day out. And that sort of inflexibility in ritual and thought, in its most extreme, can lead to cultish behavior.
It’s exciting to realize that some of the latest brain research shows that if we develop new ways of thinking and being, we may actually be able to stave off the effects of dementia. If we could stop spending so much time on our exterior world and spend more time on our interior world, there’s no end to the good it would do us. People are always talking about going to the gym and doing their “workout”, but shouldn’t we be giving our minds a workout too? How about a mind gym?
In his book Aging With Grace, Dr. David Snowden, shares his studies on a group of nuns he’s been tracking for a number of years. many of them live well into their 90s, and a surprising number of them are 100 years of age. they also suffer fewer and milder forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and brain afflictions. Snowden found that the sisters challenge themselves with crossword puzzles, vocabulary quizzes, and debates; hold current-events seminars, and write in their journals. Snowden, who examined more than 100 brains donated at death by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, maintains that axions and dendrites that usually shrink with age branch out and make new connections if they receive enough intellectual stimulation. The old adage “Use it or lose it” really applies here.
There are many reasons why we become trapped in our routines, and most of us are masters at coming up with reasons why we can’t change. But, try to break out of some of your patterns even if it’s once in awhile. You’ll find yourself feeling renewed and more able to see the world through a brighter lens.

Loretta LaRoche

I LOVE Loretta LaRoche. Read

Use your Hands

Make a carrot cake and mix everything with your bare (clean) hands.

What Color?

What color is your appetite? What color is your fear?

Draw your Appetite

As a food therapist the first thing I would ask people to do is draw a picture of their appetite or write down its "voice". Then one by one I would see what people came up with and to have them share it with the group ONLY if they wanted to. There is a slow process of trust built by reliability and conversation. Changes might seem glacial but they are happening faster than you know.

The Table

I forgot how difficult it is to feed my women friends. To me the table is an altar. To them it is a prescription for loss of control.Article

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Food Therapy for Women

If you want to get help having a healthy relationship to food feel free to contact me. If you live in the area we can cook together.




My sister in law gave me a bouquet of basil. I just tossed it in the blender with olive oil Romano cheese, roasted sunflower seeds and a dash of white wine to make a quick pesto. It is delicious on everything.

Enjoy rather than Fear Food

I had a friend who would rather let her daughters help themselves to the pantry at will than engage in preparing a meal for them. Not only was food not prepared but the nurturing and love was also left out. There is more than just food being prepared for a sit down dinner. The three women household of mother and daughters ended up with a lifelong battle with substance abuse and eating disorders. The girls father was a gourmet. Such a tragedy.
Healthy alternative.

The French

The French aren't obsessed with counting carbs, fat grams, or calories, she says. To them, eating is about enjoying all kinds of foods in moderation.

Multi-course meals of filet mignon, crème brûlee, and wedges of rich cheese don’t sound like diet-friendly dinners. Yet, many French women manage to revel in this style of fine dining without adding unwanted pounds.

Multi-course meals of filet mignon, crème brûlee, and wedges of rich cheese don't sound like diet-friendly dinners. Yet, many French women manage to revel in this style of fine dining without adding unwanted pounds. French-born Mireille (Meer-ray) Guiliano, a busy New York City executive, wants to share their secrets, ones she had to painfully relearn. As a teenage exchange student to the United States in the late sixties, Guiliano scarfed down brownies, cookies, and American-style meals that packed an extra 20 pounds on her petite 5-foot-3-inch frame. It took a trip home and rediscovering her old French eating habits to help Guiliano shed that excess weight and keep it off for more than 30 years. The French food secrets she shares are mainly daily eating habits, ones she says French women learn early on and practice all their lives.

Because Mireille Guiliano has lived in the United States for many years, she definitely knows how eating habits differ between French and American cultures. And she writes about these differences in an entertaining and thoughtful way. Some critics suggest that cigarettes might be the real secret to why French women stay so thin, but as Guiliano points out, American Cancer Society statistics suggest that the number of female smokers in both countries is surprisingly similar. Regardless of this debate, it's obvious there is something to be learned from the French attitude toward food-one that focuses on pleasure and controlling weight through small changes in eating habits. While her book is technically not a diet, there's a lot to be learned from Guiliano's approach to savoring good food.

Guiliano's plan is based solely on her own observations and beliefs. According to her, French women typically don't skip meals or replace them with prepackaged diet shakes. They don't count calories or slip into the Zone. Instead they cultivate a balanced relationship with food-what Guiliano calls a "French Zen." To adopt this attitude, Americans need to emphasize quality over quantity and learn to slow down so that they savor meals instead of eating on the run.
How the diet works:

In the first phase, dieters jot down everything they eat in a food journal for a few weeks to pinpoint where they are overindulging. (Problem areas usually show up within days.) In the next phase-which lasts about three months-dieters gradually adjust their eating habits. For example, they may temporarily give up certain foods and cut back on portions. After dropping the pounds, dieters work to keep their weight stable.
What you can eat:

Anything in moderation. French meals typically contain several courses, but the portions are small and the foods are high quality. Guiliano suggests searching out fruits and vegetables that are in season and packed with flavor. Enjoy a few ounces of baked salmon rather than half a pound. Discover that one small piece of high quality chocolate is much more satisfying than a stack of run-of-the-mill candy bars. In other words, it's all about checks and balances. Guiliano says French women allow for indulgences by cutting back somewhere else. So a dessert at lunch might mean a lighter meal at supper or an extra-long walk around the neighborhood in the evening.
Does the diet take and keep weight off?

Mostly the author offers herself as proof that the plan works. No scientific studies are cited—yet medical research seems to bear out her beliefs. Only about 7 percent of French people are obese, compared to 24 percent of Americans. And while it wasn't mentioned in the book, a University of Pennsylvania study comparing the eating habits of people in France and the United States finds that even though many French foods are high in fat, the French typically eat smaller portions and most likely end up consuming fewer calories by day's end than most Americans.

Probably. Technically it's not a diet but rather an assortment of strategies geared to help dieters eat moderate portions and maintain an active lifestyle. As behavior tips go, they're definitely good ones.

Psychologist Paul Rozin, Ph.D., who conducted the University of Pennsylvania study, finds Guiliano's book a fun read. If dieters take her advice, it will probably help them lose some weight—as most diet books will, she says. "I guess my biggest problem is that the author is asking dieters to behave like the French, but to do it in the United States." And that can be tough. The same environment that makes it easy to live the French lifestyle (daily farmer's markets, less access to snack foods, exorbitant gas prices that discourage unnecessary driving) isn't going to be found in the United States, except possibly in some urban areas. Dietitian Chris Rosenbloom, a professor of nutrition at Georgia State University, agrees. Still, she thinks Americans could learn a few things from the French when it comes to dining. "The French aren't obsessed with counting carbs, fat grams, or calories," she says. "To them, eating is about enjoying all kinds of foods in moderation." Rosenbloom also likes Guiliano's tip of balancing an indulgence by cutting back somewhere else. "We just don't have that kind of mentality in the United States," she says.

This book is meant for women who have 30 pounds or less to lose, not for those whose weight is so high that it's a health risk. Urban dieters who walk a lot and make frequent trips to the market will find it much easier to adopt a French lifestyle than folks in rural areas.
Bottom line:

This plan sure beats all those extreme diets that call for shunning certain food groups, slurping only soup, or planning meals around your blood type. It may be too open-ended for some dieters, but learning to enjoy rather than fear food is definitely a good place to start.


Socializing on a Screen

No Enemy Foods

My wish is that there would be no enemy foods and people could enjoy a dinner without presenting their food rules, diets, and allergies. One of the things I LOVE about Sally Sampson's magazine CHOP CHOP is they understand this. Teaching families how to eat and enjoy making fresh healthy food is the secret to life. I am also thinking of Nina Plank.

Lemon Ice Cream

The lemon ice cream was a hit. There's nothing like Wrights Dairy cream, fresh from the cows, and a summer day to make it all come together. We used the antique ice bucket ice cream machine soliciting help from the nephews, who did all of the churning. We didn't have time to make the vanilla ice cream so we brought the cream-vanilla-sugar formula home and served it in iced coffee to our guests.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Family Picnic Today

This morning I made the syrup for my vanilla ice cream by melting sugar in the cream with vanilla and a pinch of salt. I am thinking of making a lemon batch too. My chicken legs have been marinating in buttermilk yogurt sauce with Adobo seasoning. They are excellent baked, broiled or grilled outside. The bread is rising in hamburger roll pan and hot dog pans. I have my wicker basket with flowery cotton cloth ready to bring the baby breads while they are still warm.

Cabbages of Chekov

The Cabbages of Chekhov

by Robert Bly

Some gamblers abandon carefully built houses
In order to live near water. It's all right. One day
On the river is worth a thousand nights on land.

It is our attraction to ruin that saves us;
And disaster, friends, brings us health. Chekhov
Shocks the heavens with his dark cabbages.

William Blake knew that fierce old man,
Irritable, chained and majestic, who bends over
To measure with his calipers the ruin of the world.

It takes so little to make me happy tonight!
Four hours of singing will do it, if we remember
How much of our life is a ruin, and agree to that.

Butterflies spend all afternoon concentrating
On the buddleia bush; human beings take in
The fragrance of a thousand nights of ruin.

We planted fields of sorrow near the Tigris.
The Harvesters will come in at the end of time
And tell us that the crop of ruin has been great.

"The Cabbages of Chekhov" by Robert Bly, from The Night Abraham Called to the Stars. © Harper Collins, 2002.

Sunday, August 17, 2014



Host and Guest, Performer and Audience

Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor
I spent the past few days reading a fabulous book that I feel applies to teaching and painting and living in the world. I must buy a copy to refer to again.

Quotes from Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor

On your career:

Don't get lost in the fantasy of how your career should be. It's good to have heroes and inspiration, but not good to compare yourself to others, and the career progressions of others. Each person's path will be different.

On nervousness:

Remember that your audience means a lot more to you than you mean to them. Your performance is more than likely one small part of their whole time out. They may have been out to dinner, may be celebrating a birthday, may be talking closely with friends. If you don't perform at your all-time best, it will not matter to the audience, especially not nearly as much as it matters to you.

Sometimes the worst does happen, and in spite of your best efforts and wishes, you wind up being absolutely awful. This is normal. Don't be so hard on yourself.

On the audience:

They want attention, and they want to feel that their presence is special to you, that it makes a difference in the course of events that make up your show. They want to believe you are glad to be with them. If you're focused on yourself and caught up in nervousness, you're taking attention away from your audience- the attention they want and deserve...Their attention is a gift. Don't throw it away. Even if you think you don't deserve it, receive it graciously.

Look at, and pay attention to, your audience.

If you are tense, your audience will be tense too, and will become exhausted.

Expect that the unexpected will often happen. Work with material that is basic enough to your skill level that, if an unexpected event occurs, you will be able to respond to the event, while still maintaining your composure.

The performer has the absolute right to be on stage. The audience also has the right to not like what the performer is doing. Sometimes people will love what you do, other times not like it at all. Just do your best at the time, and be patient, and enjoy performing to the end of your show.

Ask yourself where you can add to the audience's enjoyment. If you do something once and the audience likes it, do it again. If they don't like it, don't do it again.

Be patient.

Let your audience know when it's time to respond.

Periodically you need to be still, or at least slow down, as with dancers, or your audience will become tired out.

It's okay to be human on stage...They love you to be normal, to make a mistake, acknowledge it, smile, shake your head slightly, forgive yourself, and move on.

The key to your success lies in making your audience comfortable.

Do not beat yourself up for not being 100 percent. Do the best you can with what you have at the time.

Do not rush the music. This tells the audience you are nervous.

Accept compliments graciously.

Tool Kit

Keep a crisis letter: When anxiety and irritability drive her to tears, Terry pulls out a letter she wrote to herself. She quotes the opening lines: “If you are reading this you must be in a really bad way. Just remember that you are a good person. This won’t last forever.” After reading the letter, she usually comforts herself with a cup of tea.

Host and Audience

We've recently hosted a series of dinner parties and this article says it all.

Taking Care of Your Voice


Beer and Tea

I lived in the south and two things my friends loved were beer and tea.

There is a cocktail that combines them.

combine equal parts sweet lemony iced tea and beer.


Mike Irish

(I still prefer orange juice and beer)

Slow Cooked Tail Gate Pork Butt

I am always hungry and so I am always dreaming of my next meal. This will be great with my coleslaw and sourdough breads.
Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
By Christine Gallary
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 30 mins, plus 6 to 10 hrs cooking time | Makes: 6 servings

The whole point of using a slow cooker is to get the ingredients into the cooker quickly and then be able to walk away. For this easy pulled pork recipe, just coat the pork shoulder with a spice rub of dark brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, then cook it on a bed of garlic and onions covered with chicken broth. When you come back six to ten hours later, you’ll have juicy pork that’s ready to be shredded and served atop nachos, alongside cornbread, or in a sandwich with your favorite barbecue sauce. This no-fuss, versatile recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, and the leftovers—should you have any—freeze well.

Click below to watch the CHOW Test Kitchen’s Christine Gallary make this simple pulled pork in an episode of our Easiest Way video series.

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)


Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Another peach Pie Recipe


Falling Fruit

Mapping the Urban Harvest.

Peach Pie Tree

"I acquired this delicious recipe some 40 years ago, when my husband and I first moved to southern Iowa and had peach trees growing in our backyard," writes June Mueller from Sioux City, Iowa. "It's been a family favorite since then and always brings back memories of both summer and those happy early years. We like it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and cup of tea."

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + standing Bake: 50 min. + cooling
MAKES: 6-8 servings

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4-1/2 cups sliced peeled peaches
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, combine sugars; add peaches and toss gently. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge. Set aside. Drain peaches, reserving juice.
In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; gradually stir in reserved juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice and butter. Gently fold in peaches. Pour into crust.
Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 400° for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Originally published as Peach Pie in Country Woman July/August 2005, p42

Read more:

What is Depression


Saturday, August 16, 2014

20 Chicken Legs!

It's a party when you purchase 20 chicken legs and marinate them. I am excited. I spotted them on sale for 79 cents a pound when walking Lly today. Now I will be able to feed an army at the reunion. I am comforted to know that while I'm asleep the garlic buttermilk yogurt Adobo marinade will be working.

Tiny House

Cute design.

Worried about This


Enamel Obsessed

When we were kids we had special enamelware plates for dining outside on the patio. It's all coming back to me. This is one of my rare happy childhood memories.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Monastery Cook

Fluffy Light Waffles

These are amazingly light and fluffy because the sourdough starter and the buttermilk are leavening agents.

4 large eggs
1 1/3 sourdough starter liquidy whole wheat mixture
1/2 c corn oil
2 T sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
kosher salt to taste
more wheat flour and cornmeal to make the consistency you like
1/2 cup buttermilk

On this recipe I winged it according to the ingredients I have on hand. The waffles came out fabulously.
We ate them with butter and syrup and fresh peaches from the orchard and fresh coffee. Yesterday I spotted a peach tree on my street and concord grapes on my walk. Both fruits were not ripe yet but will be in a few weeks. I plan to harvest.


I made waffles this morning and they were so amazing we've decided to use the extension cord and make the next batch at the picnic table. We ate them as they came off the griddle and had fresh peaches from the orchard.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Greek Festival

August 15-17, celebrate Rhode Island's Grecian community and culture at the 2014 Greek Festival, happening at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Walcott Street, Pawtucket.

Downtown Farmers Market TUESDAYS

Woonsocket Farmers Market

Tuesday: 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
July 1 to October 28, 2014

This Week at the Market*
This is our guess based on our Harvest Calendar and information about what each vendor produces. Every season is unique.

Apples • Blueberries • Watermelons

Artichokes • Arugula • Asian greens • Beets • Bok choi • Broccoli • Brussel sprouts • Cabbage • Carrots • Cauliflower • Celery • Collards • Corn • Cucumbers • Edible flowers • Eggplant • Fava beans • Garlic • Green beans • Kale • Kohlrabi • Leeks • Lettuce • Onions • Parsnips • Peppers • Potatoes • Radicchio • Radishes • Rhubarb • Salad greens • Scallions • Shallots • Summer squash • Sweet potatoes • Swiss chard • Tat soi • Tomatoes • Tomatoes (cherry) • Turnips • Winter squash • Zucchini

Basil • Chives • Cilantro • Dill • Fennel • Lavender • Lemon Verbena • Lemongrass • Marjoram • Mint • Oregano • Parsley • Rosemary • Sage • Savory • Sorrel • Tarragon • Thyme

Dairy + Eggs
Cheese (cow) • Cream • Eggs • Milk (cow)

Nursery + Flowers
Bedding plants • Corn stalks • Cut Flowers • Hanging baskets • Herb plants • Nursery stock • Straw • Sunflowers

Jam + Jelly

Indian Corn • Pickles

Baked Goods
Bread • Cakes • Cookies + Pastries • Pies

Waffles for Dinner

Batter ingredients

2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups milk, yogurt, buttermilk or sourdough starter or combination of all three
¼ cup corn oil
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour corn flour, rolled oats or buckwheat flour can be substituted for some of the flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

warmed maple syrup for serving
fresh fruit for serving

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine. A few lumps are okay!

Follow instructions for using your waffle iron. Top with freshly whipped cream! We have a dairy farm nearby.

Freeze leftovers to reheat in toaster.

Mini Breads

This has been the summer of baking whole wheat sourdough mini breads using my hamburger and hotdog roll pans. I love to make small breads and people seem less afraid of receiving them as gifts.


I love to swim but I do not like stinky hot swimming pools. I am hoping someday there will be a clean cold pool in our area otherwise there's always pond swimming in fall and spring.

Lunacy Speaks for Itself

Tea Time Troubles: Placement of the Iced Tea Spoon

Q: Where do you put an iced tea spoon after you have stirred your tea with it?

A: If there is a plate under the glass, you put it there. If not, you may put it on another plate if you have a place setting. If there are no other plates, you may put it on a paper, but not cloth, napkin. If there are no paper napkins, then you can do nothing but hold it for a moment over the glass until it finishes dripping and put it on the placemat or tablecloth.

The Bunn-O-Matic

Everyone loves the Bunn O Matic!Here.

Black +White Checkers China


I love and collect diner ware.

Culinary Tools outside the Box

My beloved butcher uses a mortar bag to fill dozens of stuffed mushrooms. I've seen the mini cement mixers filled with masa dough at the tortilla factory. The dairy farm bakery uses big Rubbermaid gray trash barrels, mounted on wheels to fill up with whipped cream and icing. They use potters wheels to decorate their cakes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Surreal Picnic


Vacation Spot


Summer Swims and Horseback Riding

I wish I could scoop up all of the kids in my neighborhood and teach them to swim and take them horseback riding. Maybe there would be a way to build a pool and bring a few horses to the WWII State Park on our street. I am brainstorming with my friends.

Poor Women Have Children



Mental illness isn’t a marketable disease. I’m sure there are many celebrities who suffer from it, but we don’t have a celebrity spokesperson. There are no ice bucket challenges for depression. Cancer survivors can proudly show off their scars, but no one wants to see ours. We don’t have a ribbon or color. Anyone want to buy a gray Kitchen-Aid mixer for mental health research? And depression is one of the more acceptable mental illnesses to have. Imagine a 5k run for bipolar and borderline personality disorders.

Repairing Humans

Science Fiction Becomes Science-Fact: Two Strategies for Repairing Humans
New breakthroughs in the field of regenerative medicine are allowing us to live longer, healthier lives.

Let there be Light!

Mayor’s streetlight restoration program hits milestone
August 12, 2014

WOONSOCKET – Never mind the Supermoon: If nighttime seems brighter than usual in your neighborhood lately, chances are it’s because all your street lights are on for the first time in nearly four years.

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt says more than half the street lights that were dimmed by the previous administration in a money-saving move have been reactivated since late February.

“This is something I’ve really enjoyed doing because it makes people so happy,” said Baldelli-Hunt. “People want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. They want to go out at night. They want to take walks.”


Fresh Food Bank


Sandwiches are Poetry

Red onion sandwiches with avocado on my sourdough with beefsteak tomato and mayo.

Jamie's home made hot Italian sausages grilled, sliced on my sourdough toast with mustard.

My German potato salad with my kale and beans chili.

Memoir: Little Failure

I am reading Gary Shteyngart's memoir and loving it.
Read more here.

Urban Farm

When my husband and I bought our house 19 years ago, he asked me what we should plant. Anything edible I said. Why mow the lawn when you can cut asparagus. Let's grow crops and fruit trees, I said. He laughed and planted flowers and shade trees and lilac bushes.
My friends down the street agree with my approach and they harvest food off of their tiny plot. They also raise chickens and have bunnies along with cats and dogs.
Now that corn and tomato season is here I am obsessed.
Article and recipe about corn, here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Watermelons by Charles Simic

Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

Root Beer Float

And a cola float here.

Failing and Flying

by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights
that anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe that Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.
"Failing and Flying" by Jack Gilbert, from Refusing Heaven. © Knopf, 2005.

Round Ice Cream Sandwiches

Famous chocolate wafers are my favorite cookie!

Favorite Picnic Potato Salad

5 pounds red potatoes, cubed (keep skin on)

2-3 large chopped white onions

6-8 stalks chopped celery

1 cup olive oil

1 cup red wine vinegar (seasoned with garlic)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

tablespoon of prepared mustard

1 cup of water

Mix the oil+ vinegar, mustard salt and sugar in a measuring cup to dissolve. Pour over the veggies. Add the water.

bake in a heavy lidded casserole dish for 90 minutes at 350 or simmer in slow cooker.

refrigerate and enjoy cold.


My friends make their own apple juice from the orchard next door to them in new Hampshire. They gave me a few bottles and I mixed a glass with seltzer. It was excellent.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A glass of Apfelschorle.

Apfelschorle (pronounced [ˈapfəlʃɔʁlə] ( listen)), also Apfelsaftschorle, is a popular soft drink in Germany. It consists of carbonated mineral water and apple juice. The broader category Fruchtschorle consists of any fruit juice mixed with carbonated water, but Apfelschorle is by far the most common. Spritzer (that is wine mixed with carbonated water) is called Weinschorle.

Apfelschorle contains fewer calories and is less sweet than pure apple juice. This makes it popular in summer and among athletes. Commercially available Apfelschorle generally contains between 55% and 60% juice.

Brands of Apfelschorle in Germany include Lift (a brand of the Coca-Cola Company), Gerolsteiner (which also sells mineral water) and Bizzl. However, in most bars and restaurants, Apfelschorle is mixed ad hoc from apple juice and carbonated water.

In Australia, Apfelschorle is also named a "Chrissy".

Poetry in Police Blotter


Swimming in a Cool Pool


Monday, August 11, 2014

Smoke Map

Click on the active fires to see the smoke map.


My new name for our backyard picnic table is Tuscany. We've had every meal outside since we completed Tuscany, last Monday. I have been taking out my tablecloths, place-mats and fabric making plans to sew some more outfits for my table. I'm having too much fun. Can we keep this up all fall and winter, I hope so. I love fresh air. Although today the smoke from fires in Canada has flowed our way making us asthmatics struggle to breathe.

I took a walk with Lily and noticed nobody was parked at the library. I forgot today is a holiday in RI. One boy came running over to say hello to Lily and me. He was a guest when I brought Lily to Harris school a five years ago. "Do you remember me?" He asked. 'I do!" I replied. Nate was his name and he is in 7th grade now. We crossed the street together so I could say hi to his mom.

Chard deNiord Poem


We were in bed when a knock came at the door. Our bed was next to the front door since we had given up our only bedroom to our two children and partitioned off a part of our large living room with standing book cases into a second bedroom for us. It was ten thirty on a Sunday night. The knocks resounded hard and quick. I was reading Czelaw Milosz's The Witness of Poetry in preparation for a seminar the next morning. My wife, Rachel, was reading Soren Kierkegaard's The Concept of Irony. "Who could that be?" I asked, rising naked from bed and putting on my kimono. I opened the door onto two police officers. "Come in gentlemen," I said. The uniformed men entered and stood over our bed. Rachel pulled the sheet up to her neck. I stood at the end of the bed. "We're here because a Mrs. Little called. She said she's been trying to reach you since yesterday, but the phone's been busy." I picked up the phone by the bed and heard a faint static through the receiver. "The phone is broken," I said. "We got in this evening, officer, from a weekend trip, and haven't used the phone since we got back. Maybe it was that tornado that knocked it out." The policemen stood sheepishly together. Rachel smiled with embarrassment for her mother. I, on the other hand, had a strange impulse to invite the two policemen into bed with us, but said instead, "Would it be too much to ask one of you to call Mrs. Little back to assure her that we are O.K.?" They were kind Midwestern policemen who said they would be happy to do this. I imagined them climbing into bed with us and falling asleep, while we stripped them of their uniforms and put them on ourselves and held their empty weapons to our necks and heads and groins and kissed each other over their veteran bodies while they slept deeply in their exhaustion. We thanked these men for their prompt response to my mother-in-law's concern for us. I wanted also to tell them, You have given me a larger sense of myself as well as assuring me of something I wondered about before, namely the inherent goodness of the police whose abruptness and armed appearance and lack of tact and laconic style I forgave this time because my mother-in-law was concerned about us and had nowhere else to turn except to you. But I knew also that they didn't expect this and probably wouldn't have understood my sentiment exactly. Strangely, what I think they would have understood and probably responded to if their duty had not prevented them from getting too close to their public was an invitation to come to bed with us fully clothed, for it was late, they were tired, and this is what we wanted.

"The Police" published in AGNI 37.

I Scream

My husband went to the farm and bought two quarts of heavy cream and to the hardware store to buy salt for the hand cranked ice cream maker to make ice cream.

Our guests never showed.

When I was 5 I had my tonsils out in the adult women's ward on Christmas. I was promised ice cream.

The ice cream never showed.

Ruth Stone

I’ve been writing poetry or whatever it is since I was five or six years old, and I couldn’t stop, I never could stop. I don’t know why I did it.… It was like a stream that went along beside me, you know, my life went along here, and I got married and had three kids and did all the things you have to do, and all along the time this stream was going along. And I really didn’t know what it was saying. It just talked to me, and I wrote it down. So I can’t even take much credit for it.
- Ruth Stone

Ruth Stone Foundation

2 Ruth Stone Poems

Compulsive Organizer

When you. as they say, pass on,
all of your files and categories
will go blind. For who reads
method that figures the invisible
structures of the dead and gone?
Even your cabinets, your hungers,
your decisions to take a bath
or a shower, or use perfume,
will crash into chaos. Order -
exquisitely tuned to your gastric juices,
to your tactile cravings, to the mad
lurches of your infancy, to your need
to consume it all and be forgiven.


I started out in the Virginia mountains
with my grandma’s pansy bed
and my Aunt Maud’s dandelion wine.
We lived on greens and backfat and biscuits.
My Aunt Maud scrubbed right through the linoleum.
My daddy was a northerner who played drums
and chewed tobacco and gambled.
He married my mama on the rebound.
Who would want an ignorant hill girl with red hair?
They took a Pullman up to Indianapolis
and someone stole my daddy’s wallet.
My whole life has been stained with pokeberries.
No man seemed right for me. I was awkward
until I found a good wood burning stove.
There is no use asking what it means.
With my first piece of ready cash I bought my own
place in Vermont; kerosene lamps, dirt road.
I’m sticking here like a porcupine up a tree.
Like the one our neighbor shot. Its bone and skin
hung there for three years in the orchard.
No amount of knowledge can shake my grandma out of me;
or my Aunt Maud; or my mama, who didn’t just bite an apple
with her big white teeth. She split it in two.

Backyard Umbrella

I wanna be a hostage negotiator
I want to teach old men how to bake bread.

The picnic table has changed my life,
We even have a red and yellow striped, 1950's beach umbrella, the one I kept after the divorce, stuck in the drilled hole in the middle.

Charlie + Detroit

Yesterday I ran into Charlie. "I heard your band playing Stevie Ray Vaughn songs the other day! Sounded great! I said.

I met Charlie last month, a few days after he moved in when I saw him with his dog; a pure bread 100 pound coonhound named Detroit.

Yesterday we spontaneously walked Lily and Detroit together. They are the same height and build.

On the walk Charlie told me his bones fused when he was 12, overnight from juvenile rhumatoid arthritis. He had his knees replaced so he can walk but his wrists elbows and fingers have severe damage. He is a sculptor and musician and painter.

I want to help kids that have this but it is too emotionally painful, he said.

You ARE helping people by doing your art. I told him

I told him about Tanya who lives behind him, who also had a rare childhood condition and her frozen knee that recently had surgery. He said please introduce me.

On East School Street I found the peach tree loaded with unripe peaches. We turned onto Pond Street and came back on Social Street and stopped at his driveway. He lives in the former Lauzon Funeral home. He said the landlord gets pressure to sell the building but everyone in these apartments are disabled.

He invited me to come back on Sunday with Bill. I will!

Sunday, August 10, 2014