Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Autumn Kitchen Exuberance

I am baking a pumpkin pie. I made a wholewheat pat-in oil crust. I roasted sweet potatoes and Massachusetts-grown white potatoes and then cut them up and put them in a mixed greens salad with homemade dressing: buttermilk, olive oil, vinegar, salt, Adobo, sugar. The greens were half price at Price Rite: manager's special for quick sale. Now I am baking brownies using the leftover pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cocoa Brownies
15 oz of pumpkin
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄4 splash of buttermilk
bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so.

Loretta LaRoche says STRESS spelled backwards is desserts.

Fish Tank

When I was in 5th grade I got a ten gallon fish tank and a bunch of tropical fish with live plants. At night I would turn off all of the lights except for the tank light and sit mesmerized for hours watching the fish swim. I made arty collage back drops. On Saturday mornings I would clean the filter and scrape the algae off the glass with a razor blade. My tank had catfish, kissing fish, neon tetras, and guppies. The tank calmed and soothed me.

I've decided to set up a fish tank again. I've been thinking about it for 15 years. It's time! My friend Craig who has many fish tanks, has offered to give me an extra one he isn't using. My sister in law has also offered to chip in unused tank supplies. I can't wait. Yesterday I went to see the fish I might get, at OCEANS of PETS on Diamond Hill Road. I fell in love with the LOVE BIRDS but my house is 45 degrees in winter, too cold for love birds.

In a few years after we fix the roof and plumbing, we will install a wood stove in the office so I can bake and cook on it and keep warm. The animals (and I) will be so happy to be able to have a warm place to be.

A Day in the Life

Whenever life gets tough I reach for May Sarton and Laurie Colwin books. I own three copies of HOME COOKING and JOURNAL of SOLITUDE, scattered about the house for easy reach. These books are more important than band-aids or my police and fire rescue phone numbers.

This morning I woke with a killer headache the kind that is incurable unless I get up and take a hot shower and hope the coffee works otherwise it's time to take antihistamine, Excedrin and decongestant- the arsenal of three and say my prayers because they hit hard and make me nauseous. I usually cut each pill in half and make toast to hold myself together.

This is the most beautiful time of year. I want to be out there breathing the air walking and listening with my dog Lily. Many of us suffer severe allergies in Spring Fall Summer and Winter. The cure is laugh a lot and count your blessings and carry the medicine in your bag. When the pain escalates it is much harder to cure it.

Yesterday walking home from THE CALL I met a woman who was admiring Lily and just lost her job. She was in a panic. We stood in the parking lot of the library and talked about how to attract the right job for her. She worked with disabled adults and suffered a back/hip injury on the job and can't lift or restrain people anymore. Her disability got shut off and now she's worried about making rent and keeping her dog.

Keep your dog, I said.
"I wouldn't give him up for anything" she replied.
"I'd live in my car with my dog if I had to," she said.
Don't worry, things will work out. I said.

I gave her a few names and contacts. In this City we have over half a dozen organizations that can help in situations like this. Stay in touch and I will get thinking on it too, I said.

How old are you, you look 30. 35, she said.
Don't panic, life begins at 40.

You have huge eyelashes, I said, watching them bob up and down as she spoke. She laughed and said all of her teachers were jealous and threatened to cut them off.
Don't get a job pouring coffee, if you have been working with disabled adults then you have a very special heart. Use it.

I LOVE Sam Sifton

And Florence Fabricant? You could hand her a Twix bar, three rutabagas and a carton of buttermilk and she’d come up with something good.

Where do you cook?

A. I cook at home, on a four-burner gas stove of no particular awesomeness. Food editors: They’re just like everybody else!


Jeb Bush and President Obama, who declared that peas shouldn’t be in guacamole.

Our position: Put whatever you like in your guacamole, so long as it makes for a delicious feed.


Q. Is there a Times palate?

A. We stand for the delicious in all forms, though you won’t see too much in the way of processed ingredients or pre-made shortcuts in our cooking, or in Cooking.

There are exceptions of course. There is a place for jarred mayonnaise in some recipes, and some of us believe strongly in the power of a peanut butter and pickle sandwich on white bread.


Q. How could all this not involve constant cooking, constant eating? Isn’t it exhausting? Do you all weigh 300 pounds?

A. It’s not a good bet to complain about writing about food for a living. We’re doing what we love to do, in the service of readers. That’s pretty great. That the work occasionally involves having to eat duck confit again for dinner is not a reason to grumble.

Yes, sometimes we need to fly to Malibu to check in on these glam vegan people, or to bake a third or fourth pumpkin pie in advance of the Thanksgiving rush. There are trips to Ischia in order to figure out how to cook in hot sand. Sometimes Pete Wells needs a tablemate when he’s deciding if a restaurant deserves its fourth star. And then the next morning we need to test our recipe for béarnaise sauce before heading in to the office to write newsletters.

This is a trial? It’s an awesome living. I hit the gym in the afternoon to make sure I’m hungry for dinner, just as a conflict reporter might check her flak jacket in advance of a trip into a war zone.


Live to tell the Tale

Too many suicides. Even one is too many but I understand suicide. Sadly, I get it. I have been there in my emotions and thoughts many times. I'll say "I want to die, I want to cut off my head" then I'll take a long walk or a long swim and write in my journal. Sometimes the dreaded feeling lasts weeks, months but I continue. There's a part of me that wants to live to tell the tale. My salvation is my dog and my public library and my little City where I walk each day and howdy people. They have stories to tell me and I listen. It's a beautiful thing. By the time I am back in my kitchen I am writing like mad, feeling a little better, baking loaves of bread.

Orion in the Sky

Orion in the sky this morning. Stars so bright and Venus up there too. My apples are rotting in the basket. I dreamed my friend Jon moved into Ann's house and painted the kitchen red. The paint was still wet, and I got paint on my clothes. The kitchen windows were filled in with granite blocks, shades and an air conditioner painted red.

I Love this Bly poem today on Writer's Almanac:

Nailing a Dock Together
by Robert Bly

The dock is done, pulled out in the lake. How I love
Putting my wet foot
On the boards I sawed myself!
It is a ladder stretching back to land.

So many secrets are still hidden.
A walker digs up a tin box with secrets
And then joyfully buries it again
So that the night and day will remain fresh.

The horse stands penned, but is also free.
It is a horse whose neck human
Beings have longed to touch for centuries.
He stands in a stable of invisible wood.

- Robert Bly from Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life. © White Pine Press, 2015.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Keep Moving

Advice from Dick Van Dyke


People think I am always in a good mood but what they don't see is the work I have to do to charge up my batteries.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Yale Psychologist's Memoir, Smoking Cigarettes: Eating Glass


Giraffe Bananas

When the bananas are ripe and look like giraffe's it's time to bake banana breads. I have two loaves baking now. They are not overly sweet or gooey. They are like pancakes in the form of a loaf.

2 eggs
3/4 cup corn oil
2 cups of buttermilk
3/4 cup of sugar
three ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of raisins

Mix wet and dry separately and then combine.

preheat oven:
bake at 350 in two greased loaf pans for 55 minutes


Gioachino Rossini The Barber of Seville

The Barber of Seville, or The Futile Precaution (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione [il barˈbjɛːre di siˈviʎʎa osˈsiːa l iˈnuːtile prekautˈtsjoːne]) is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione) took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome.[1]

Rossini's Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music, and has been described as the opera buffa of all "opere buffe". Even after two hundred years, its popularity on the modern opera stage attests to that greatness.[2]


Leftovers for Breakfast

Lily's nails have grown over the months my foot was healing. Last week she cut her pad on our walk to the soccer field. Now we are both fine and so we took a 4 mile walk this morning. When I got back I was HUNGRY. I warmed up leftover supper for breakfast: savory rice pudding, broccoli, olives and tomatoes.

Silas D. Bunker

Silas has lived across the street in a pine box on top of the hill for 100 years. He has the best name ever.

They Should've Behaved Better

Carved in granite on my desk.

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
― Anne Lamott

Swimming at Dawn

Swimming is my meditation.


When I call they say we can't talk now. When I am in town they say you can't stay here. When I write letters they say someday I'll tell you. When someone in the family dies they never remember to tell me.

Rescue the Rescue

Yesterday at our performance we ran into a drummer we know who used to be an ambulance driver but has since retired at 61. I asked him how he dealt with the day to day horrors of his job. "I played music, and I still play. At the blues jams nobody gets hurt and nobody dies. Not everyone is so lucky to discover this outlet, and some of my colleagues have taken their own lives after suffering from PTSD. Back then we didn't know about that and the guys kept it all inside."

Common Scents

I never imagined a world where people didn't cook or bake but purchased scented trash bags.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Daily Bread

We had a great performance at Saint Mary's Church. I am baking 6 loaves of sourdough bread. Here's my bread hero.

Farmer's Phone

What's that, my husband asks. It's my farmer's phone. What does that mean? It means I never use it except to call out.

It's Saturday

This morning I woke in horror "It's five forty-five" I told my husband, expecting him to bolt up and grab his clothes. "It's Saturday," he said.


I started picking up trash in hypo-manic burst years ago. Now I make it a daily habit. It's a workout I do with my dog bending down to pick up crushed cans and tissues. I tell people "The city looks very clean so I am just upholding it. I take the downtown loop each morning and don't want to pass that crushed can every day." I've had people stop to chat and thank me. I've had kids ask me what I'm doing and when I explain they join in. I've met lots of great people in our city. "There's the trash lady and her dog Lily." I'm thinking of making gigantic leaf bags that has I LOVE WOONSOCKET printed on them.

Teach us About Complex Trauma

I' on the email list for the GoodTherapy web sitewww.GoodTherapy.org and every Friday two articles arrive and I am rarely disappointed.
What Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Can Teach Us about Trauma, Part I
September 22, 2015 • By Sarah Jenkins, Topic Expert Contributor

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a two-part series that explores how the Pixar movie Inside Out offers a compelling and accessible way to look the impact of trauma and dissociation. Part II appears here.

It’s rare that I give homework to people in therapy. In fact, as a trauma therapist specializing in complex trauma, I find that more often than not some homework assignments can be triggering. So it is a very conscious choice when I ask people to do homework in between sessions.

Abuse Within Families

It is the nature of abuse within families to be as behaviorally nuanced and emotionally complex as the individuals involved. Relationship abuses nearly inevitably reveal a life-draining and self-perpetuating dynamic of power and control. It is within this dynamic that abuse is perpetuated.

The Dynamics of Abuse Within Families and Relationships
By Blake Griffin Edwards, Family Therapy Topic Expert Contributor

I LOVE Father Dennis: The Pope of Rathbun Street

Pope Francis addressed Congress on Thursday of last week.He is the first pope to do so. He singled out four great Americans marking anniversaries this year whom he referred
to as "men and women of good will". He acknowledged "the complexities of history and the reality of human weakness" but went on to say that "notwithstanding, these men and
women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self-sacrifice-some at the cost of their lives-to build a better future. These men and women
offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves" The four Americans mentioned are Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. Lincoln and King are familiar to all of us but Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton may be less familiar or unknown entirely. Pope Francis said of Dorothy Day: " In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints." He went on to say of Merton: " A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a 'pointless slaughter', another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: 'I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him;
born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self contradictory hungers'. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time
and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions." Pope Francis concluded: "Three sons
and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God. Four representatives of the American people." The complete text of the pope's address to Congress can be found online and is worth reading. Another commentary on it can be found at :
http://www.cruxnow.com/papal-visit/2015/09/24/thoughts-onpope-francis-and-his-american-fan tastic-four/

- Fr. Dennis

Friday, October 02, 2015

Paul Theroux: Hypocracy of 'Helping' the Poor

But if there was one experience of the Deep South that stayed with me it was the sight of shutdown factories and towns with their hearts torn out of them, and few jobs. There are outsourcing stories all over America, but the effects are stark in the Deep South.
-Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux's latest book is Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads


Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Taste Memory
I just realized that my molasses granola is triggering a taste memory from childhood; Cracker Jax. Cracker Jax had molasses.

My granola recipe:

1 cup of corn oil
1 cup of Grandma's Molasses,
1 container of Old Fashioned Oats (measured as 42 OZ, or 2 LB 10 OZ or 1.19 kg)
1 teaspoon of real vanilla
1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a big pot heat the oil, molasses, vanilla, and salt, stirring gently. When bubbly add the oats, stirring madly. When the goop is distributed over the oats pour the granola onto two trays. I use cast iron frying pans and I bake them at 300 degrees. Once the oats start to toast I stir them every 5-10 minutes. I use a timer because the browning happens fast. Then, when lightly toasted I let the oats cool off before I store them in sealed jars. Allow 35 minutes to an hour of baking time.

Preventing Asthma

By Lauran Neergaard
The Associated Press

Posted Oct. 1, 2015 at 9:40 AM

WASHINGTON — Gut checks suggest that not having enough of certain "good" intestinal germs early in life may increase babies' risk of developing asthma, according to a new study of more than 300 children.

Wait: What could gut bacteria have to do with a lung disease? We share our bodies with trillions of microbes that play key roles in keeping us healthy — and different combinations of bacteria in the gut are thought to shape the immune system in ways that can affect the risk of a variety of diseases.

Wednesday's study raises the provocative possibility of one day altering tots' buildup of protective bugs, maybe through probiotics.

"I want to emphasize that we're not ready for that yet," cautioned study co-author Dr. Stuart Turvey, a pediatric immunologist at the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital. But a "vision for the future would be to prevent this disease."

Asthma has been on the rise in recent decades, and is estimated to affect 300 million people worldwide and nearly 10 percent of U.S. children. While medications can help control the wheezing and airway inflammation, asthma is a common reason for childhood hospitalizations and severe attacks can be life-threatening at any age.

Babies begin accumulating their own custom bacterial community, or microbiome, at birth. Which bugs they acquire is a haphazard process, starting with whether they were born vaginally or by C-section. But previous studies have shown that babies treated with antibiotics before their first birthday were more likely to be diagnosed later with asthma; the drugs can kill good germs as well as harmful ones.

In the new study, the University of British Columbia tracked health records of 319 children from birth to age 3, and analyzed stool samples taken during infancy to check their gut bacteria.

The first clue: There were 22 youngsters deemed very high risk because of early asthma warning signs — and at 3 months of age, all of them harbored much lower levels of four specific gut bacteria than the other babies.

That doesn't prove the missing bugs are protective. In a first step to tell, the researchers infected germ-free mice with an at-risk tot's stool sample alone, or with a supplement of the four supposedly "good" bacteria. Restoring the missing bugs markedly reduced airway inflammation in the mice's offspring, they reported Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"This is a really important study" because of that mouse evidence that altering bacteria affects symptoms, said Dr. Rachel Rosen, a gastroenterology specialist at Boston Children's Hospital who wasn't involved with the research. "Just knowing that's possible opens up a whole field of using bacteria as a therapy for lung disease."

Researchers don't know much about how people naturally acquire these four bacteria groups with tongue-twisting names — Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella and Rothia — that the Canadian team abbreviated the FLVR combination.

But stool samples from 1-year-olds didn't show much difference between the at-risk group and the rest, suggesting the first three months of life may be a critical time period, the researchers concluded.

"There's this really early dance in the gut" that influences the immune system, said University of British Columbia microbiology professor B. Brett Finlay, a study coauthor.

For now, the consumer message is to stay tuned: Much larger studies are needed to prove the bacterial role, and that timing theory, Rosen cautioned. Plus, gut bacterial checks are part of research, not routine care.

Already, the British Columbia team has begun testing samples from 500 more babies who are enrolled in a larger Canadian study exploring factors in the development of allergy and asthma.

Still, the study "provides new pieces of the puzzle," New York University microbiome specialists Martin Blaser and Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello wrote in an accompanying commentary.

Pope Francis

NAME: Jorge Mario Bergoglio. As of March 13, 2013, Pope Francis.

BIRTHDAY: Dec. 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born the eldest of five children to Italian immigrants Mario Bergoglio, an accountant, and Regina Sivori, a homemaker. His youngest sister, Maria Elena Bergoglio, still lives in Buenos Aires.

DAILY ROUTINE: Francis rises on his own at around 4:30 a.m. and spends the next two hours praying, meditating on the Scripture readings for the day and preparing his morning homily. He delivers it off-the-cuff at the 7 a.m. Mass in the chapel of the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel where he lives. After Mass, Francis greets the faithful in the atrium outside the chapel, then walks a few meters into the hotel dining room for breakfast. He often will have fresh-squeezed orange juice (a papal indulgence since other diners are served only packaged OJ) and membrillo, a gelatinous paste made from quince that is popular in Argentina.
After breakfast, Francis takes Elevator A up to the second floor to his home: Santa Marta's Room 201, though he has actually converted the entire second floor of the hotel wing into a home office. He then gets to work, either staying in the hotel or heading to the Apostolic Palace if he has formal audiences. Occasionally he takes a break to recite the rosary. After a 1 p.m. lunch in the dining room, Francis takes a siesta of about 40 minutes to an hour and resumes working into the evening, often taking care of correspondence. He tries to get in an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament before dinner, though he confesses to sometimes falling asleep while praying. Dinner in the dining room is self-service, cafeteria-style at 8 p.m. and Francis has been known to microwave his own food if it's not warm enough. Before taking the elevator back upstairs, he will be sure to thank the Swiss Guard, Vatican gendarme and reception desk clerk on duty in the hotel lobby, and say good-night. He's in bed by 9 p.m., reads for an hour and is asleep - "like a log" - for the next six hours or so.

VACATION ROUTINE: Unlike his predecessors, Francis has never used the papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo in the hills south of Rome, preferring to stay home and just lighten his schedule. During vacation, Francis says he wakes up later and does more reading for pleasure, listening to music and praying.

HOBBIES: Francis is a lifelong fan of soccer and has kept his membership in his beloved San Lorenzo club (Member No. 88235N-0). But he doesn't watch it on TV - in fact he says he hasn't watched TV since 1990 when he made a promise to the Virgin of Carmen that he would abstain from then on since TV "just wasn't for me." For news, he reads the middle-brow Rome daily Il Messaggero.

FAVORITE FOODS: Francis adores mate, the typical Argentine tea, and readily sips from mate gourds handed up to him from fans. He prefers meat over fish and has a sweet-tooth: Friends from home bring him alfajores, the Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche and covered in chocolate. But visitors to the Santa Marta dining room say he's not a finicky eater and consumes pretty much anything he is served. He has said he misses going out for pizza and recalls fondly getting pizzas after watching San Lorenzo games at Buenos Aires' "Gasometro" stadium en famille.

FAVORITE THINGS: Francis has read "The Betrothed" by Alessandro Manzoni multiple times and is a fan of Dostoevsky and Gerard Manley Hopkins. He lists Caravaggio and Chagall as painters he admires most. Like Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, he enjoys Mozart, though he is a huge fan of tango and milonga. His favorite film is Fellini's "La Strada" and he has seen it multiple times. Other films he has seen since becoming pope include Benigni's "Life is Beautiful."

Mary Poppins' Candy Corn

Childhood denied. Delayed gratification. I must go buy some candy corn and share it with the kids of the hood. My husband, the kids call Santa calls me Mary Poppins.

Pulp Fiction Cover Art

I am crazy over the pulp illustration paperback covers.



Buckets of Rain

I have five five-gallon buckets to catch the leaks when the next storm hits. This last storm I spent the day emptying buckets on the cruise ship. it felt like the Titanic. I got them from Wrights Dairy. They originally had Autocrat Coffee Syrup in them. In Rhode Island it rains coffee syrup.

Battleship Gray

The Helene family moved to Uxbridge. I walked past their former Harris pond house only twice since the new owners moved in. The new owners painted the barn red house battleship gray and they tore down all of the enormous fur trees and pulled out the row of rose bushes and got rid of the cute wooden fence. They hung an American flag over the window and parked a Harley on their lawn. They have a black truck nearly the size of the house with spikes poking out of the hubcaps. They are very young tattooed and pierced. And I am very middle aged and sad.

Urban Cowgirl in Love

I'm an urban cowgirl without the cow, just the milk. I need to embroider two red roses on my black cowboy shirt and wear purple cowboy boots and leather chaps. I need to hang out at Champs diner and leave a red lipstick imprint on my coffee mug. In my dreams.

I'm in love with Pico Iyer.

“It’s not our experiences that form us but the ways in which we respond to them;”
― Pico Iyer, The Virtue of Stillness

“You go into the dark to get away from what you know, and if you go far enough, you realize, suddenly, that you'll never really make it back into the light.”
― Pico Iyer, Sun After Dark: Flights Into the Foreign

“Finding a sanctuary, a place apart from time, is not so different from finding a faith.”
― Pico Iyer, Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World

Lonely Places Attract

“The open road is the school of doubt in which man learns faith in man.”
― Pico Iyer

“A comma . . . catches the gentle drift of the mind in thought, turning in on itself and back on itself, reversing, redoubling, and returning along the course of its own sweet river music; while the semicolon brings clauses and thoughts together with all the silent discretion of a hostess arranging guests around her dinner table.”
― Pico Iyer

“So it is that Lonely Places attract as many lonely people as they produce, and the loneliness we see in them is partly in ourselves.”
― Pico Iyer, Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World

Apple Schlumpf and Black Coffee

Autumn in New England!

Two Things

Two things will never go out of style: detective work and translating poetry.

An intimate letter to a Stranger —Pico Iyer

“Writing is... that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”
—Pico Iyer.

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
― Pico Iyer

“A person susceptible to "wanderlust" is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.”
― Pico Iyer

“Writing is, in the end, that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”
― Pico Iyer

“...home lies in the things you carry with you everywhere and not the ones that tie you down.”
― Pico Iyer, The Man Within My Head

“What more could one ask of a companion? To be forever new and yet forever steady. To be strange and familiar all at once, with enough change to quicken my mind, enough steadiness to give sanctuary to my heart. The books on my shelf never asked to come together, and they would not trust or want to listen to one another; but each is a piece of a stained-glass whole without which I couldn’t make sense to myself, or to the world outside.”
― Pico Iyer

“As Thoreau famously said, it doesn't matter where or how far you go - the farther commonly the worse - the important thing is how alive you are. Writing of every kind is a way to wake oneself up and keep as alive as when one has just fallen in love.”
― Pico Iyer

Handsome Dan's Rescue

Free spaying and neutering vouchers for pit-bully dogs.
Contact Danimal1@hotmail.com

Please meet some of the Handsome Dan's Rescue favorites at Cranston Animal Control. Cranston does not have a Petfinder Page (We are working on it!) so it's up to you to help us get these dogs seen online.

This is just a few of the wonderful dogs waiting for their forever homes with our friends at Cranston Animal Control.

We have only recently partnered with Cranston and are so very grateful to the town and the animal control officers and staff for the trust they have placed in us.

Handsome Dan's Rescue Dot Org

The Beauty

Suicide is, after all, the opposite of a poem.
—Anne Sexton, Paris Reveiw

The beauty of routine is lately I am waking at 3:40 AM, ahead of the alarm. My New England neighbors are up early too, driving off in the dark. The health club next door opens at 5 but I won't go that early. In the late afternoon I am delirious with exhaustion. By 8PM I am barely able to keep my eyes open

I always plan my dinner while I am swimming. Last night it was boiled wide egg noodles (my ultimate comfort food because I think of Grandma). I threw 4 gigantic peeled and sliced carrots into the boiling pasta water. We ate our bowls of carrot and pasta with fresh tomatoes that a neighbor down the road gave us.

I just read Anne Lamott's new book: Small Victories and I loved it so much I had to stop a few times to jot down notes. Now I feel sad that I'm done. Maybe I'll start it over again. YES, it was that good. Thank you Anne Lamott, my inspiration.

We are bracing for another storm. I better get the pears today from Robin's tree! I have a stack of cardboard boxes and buckets.

My bathtub is full of apples. Maybe I can make apple schlumpf for a neighbor in need.

I am thinking about the narcissism and subsequent denial in my family and how it destroyed so many lives. A suburban house of cards!

The Wrentham nuns have sheep and send off the wool to have blankets made and sold in their gift shop. Their chocolates are a booming and automated business. They have to wear hair nets booties and smocks over their clothes just like the cheese makers.

I saw Mike yesterday in the lobby, after his hand surgery. He's all bandaged up, his arm is covered with gigantic yellow foam that has holes in it like Swiss cheese.

My fingers are damaged so I have to become more ambidextrous and resume my right handedness.

The man in the pool said his 5 year old son loves the water too but he can't come swimming because he has a hole, a tube in his chest from cancer treatments.

It's Friday.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Real Betty

Betty Tokar Jankovich dated the illustrator Bob Montana when she was 18. A few years later, the “Archie” comics introduced her namesake character.


Vests are the secret to my clothing life. Now I must learn how to sew them myself.

Apple Schlumpf

3-4 apples, peeled, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar or white sugar with 2 T molasses
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
orange juice to moisten
salt to taste

rolled oats
corn oil and shortening combined

Pre-heat oven to 350°F grease glass baking dish spread apple mixture in baking dish.
Sprinkle oats over filling.
Bake 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple Surprise

When I got home from my trip to the library I found a laundry basket overflowing with Paula Reds; apples on my back stairs. I lifted the heavy basket into my yellow bathtub and started hosing them down. Let the applesauce-making begin!

Pear Trees

It's pear season and Bill and Robin let me take as many boxes as I'd like. "Candy that grows on trees!" I say.

L.M. Montgomery

“Oh, sometimes I think it is of no use to make friends. They only go out of your life after awhile and leave a hurt that is worse than the emptiness before they came.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

“Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them.”
― L.M. Montgomery

“True friends are always together in spirit.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“And if you couldn't be loved, the next best thing was to be let alone.”
― L.M. Montgomery

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

“You may tire of reality but you never tire of dreams.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Road to Yesterday

“There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.”
― L.M. Montgomery

“My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

“Anne laughed.

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Apples Peaches Pears + Pumpkin Pie. Why don't we have Thanksgiving today?

Buttermilk, My New Pet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Buttermilk (disambiguation).
Buttermilk (right) compared to fresh milk (left). The thicker buttermilk leaves a more visible residue on the glass.
Buttermilk, low fat Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 169 kJ (40 kcal)

4.8 g

0.9 g

3.3 g
116 mg

μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. This type of buttermilk is known as traditional buttermilk.

The term buttermilk also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates (e.g., the Balkans, the Middle East, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua and the Southern United States) where unrefrigerated fresh milk sours quickly,[1] as well as in colder climates, such as Scandinavia, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and the Czech Republic. This fermented dairy product known as cultured buttermilk is produced from cow's milk and has a characteristically sour taste caused by lactic acid bacteria. This variant is made using one of two species of bacteria—either Lactococcus lactis or Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which creates more tartness.

The tartness of buttermilk is due to acid in the milk. The increased acidity is primarily due to lactic acid produced by lactic acid bacteria while fermenting lactose, the primary sugar in milk. As the bacteria produce lactic acid, the pH of the milk decreases and casein, the primary milk protein, precipitates, causing the curdling or clabbering of milk. This process makes buttermilk thicker than plain milk. While both traditional and cultured buttermilk contain lactic acid, traditional buttermilk tends to be less viscous, whereas cultured buttermilk is more viscous.[2]

Buttermilk can be drunk straight, and it can also be used in cooking. Soda bread is a bread in which the acid in buttermilk reacts with the rising agent, sodium bicarbonate, to produce carbon dioxide which acts as the leavening agent.

Traditional buttermilk

Originally, buttermilk referred to the liquid left over from churning butter from cultured or fermented cream. Traditionally, before cream could be skimmed from whole milk, the milk was left to sit for a period of time to allow the cream and milk to separate. During this time, naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria in the milk fermented it. This facilitates the butter churning process, since fat from cream with a lower pH coalesces more readily than that of fresh cream. The acidic environment also helps prevent potentially harmful microorganisms from growing, increasing shelf-life.[3] However, in establishments that used cream separators, the cream was hardly acidic at all.

On the Indian subcontinent, the term "buttermilk" refers to the liquid left over after extracting butter from churned yogurt. Today, this is called traditional buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is still common in many Nepalese, Indian and Pakistani households but rarely found in western countries.[2] In Southern India and most areas of the Punjab, Saurashtra (Gujarat), buttermilk with added water, sugar or salt, asafoetida, and curry leaves is a must-have in daily food while also given at stalls in festival times.
Health benefits

Buttermilk prepared in the traditional way is considered beneficial to health as it contains probiotic microbes and is sometimes referred to as "Grandma's probiotic".[1] It is also soothing to stomach and skin.[1] The fat content of buttermilk is far lower than that of milk or curd as fat is removed during churning. The probiotic nature of buttermilk is purported to be beneficial to the gut and improve immunity when taken regularly.[4] One cup of whole milk contains 157 calories and 8.9 grams of fat whereas one cup of buttermilk contains 99 calories and 2.2 grams of fat.[5] Buttermilk contains vitamins, potassium, calcium, and traces of phosphorus.[4] In some countries, such as India, it is a favourite traditional drink during summer as it is soothing to the stomach and alleviates minor stomach upsets.[4] In India, flavoring ingredients such as asafoetida, coriander leaves, ginger, curry leaves and sea salt are mixed with buttermilk to enhance its digestion-aiding properties.[4]
Cultured buttermilk

Commercially available cultured buttermilk is milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized (with 1% or 2% fat), and then inoculated with a culture of Lactococcus lactis (formerly known as Streptococcus lactis) plus Leuconostoc citrovorum to simulate the naturally occurring bacteria in the old-fashioned product. Some dairies add colored flecks of butter to cultured buttermilk to simulate residual flecks of butter that can be left over from the churning process of traditional buttermilk.[2]

Condensed buttermilk and dried buttermilk have increased in importance in the food industry.[6] Buttermilk solids are used in ice cream manufacture,[7] as well as being added to pancake mixes. Adding specific strains of bacteria to pasteurized milk allows more consistent production.

In the early 1900s, cultured buttermilk was labeled artificial buttermilk, to differentiate it from traditional buttermilk, which was known as natural or ordinary buttermilk.[8][not in citation given]

Pack Rat in the Kitchen

You cook like an immigrant my friend Lisa tells me. It's true! And she knows firsthand. "We've been through three major recessions, and I've been rewarded mightily by not throwing anything away. This past recession we raided the attic and had all the shoes and clothes we needed from the 80's. This week after roasting a chicken, I chopped up the skin to use in the greens and broth dish I made. "I couldn't bear to throw it away!" I told my husband. Keep the Alka-Seltzer handy.


Yesterday I started up my 1995 maroon Subaru wagon after a four month hiatus. I don't like to drive. I'm a terra firma girl. I walk everywhere that I can go with my dog. I had to pump up my slow leak flat tire, check the oil and see if she would even budge. It was raining buckets but the air was so warm I didn't mind getting wet. It felt great. I was thrilled that she started right up. I drove off. As I left the city I meandered through the country roads. Some trees had orange and yellow leaves. I didn't turn on the radio fearing distraction. In the rear view mirror I spotted car driving close behind me. When I turned left the car behind turned too. I noticed his profile. He looked familiar. Alfred Hitchock. Maybe he was off to visit the chocolate nuns but he vanished as I climbed the hill.

Tim O'Brien

War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because war is mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.
- Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried (1990)

- O’Brien’s most famous book, a collection of linked short stories about the war, is The Things They Carried (1990). The stories blur the line between fiction and memoir; they feature a character named “Tim O’Brien” — but O’Brien the author insists it’s a work of fiction. He wrote: “I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.” The Things They Carried was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Chef at Large: Michael Smith

Chef Michael Smith is one of Canada's best-known chefs and the winner of the James Beard Award for Cooking Show Excellence. He is host of Chef at Home, Chef at Large, and The Inn Chef on Food Network Canada and in 26 other countries. Smith is an award-winning cookbook author, newspaper columnist, and roving Canadian cuisine ambassador.

Brené Brown Connection is Why

“Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Worrying about scarcity is our culture's version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each other's throats.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Numb the dark and you numb the light.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Even to me the issue of "stay small, sweet, quiet, and modest" sounds like an outdated problem, but the truth is that women still run into those demands whenever we find and use our voices.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“I only share when I have no unmet needs that I'm trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“The real questions for parents should be: "Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?" If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn't exist, and I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Worrying about scarcity is our culture's version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each other's throats.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Wholeheartedness. There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Hope is a function of struggle.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Spirituality emerged as a fundamental guidepost in Wholeheartedness. Not religiosity but the deeply held belief that we are inextricably connected to one another by a force greater than ourselves--a force grounded in love and compassion. For some of us that's God, for others it's nature, art, or even human soulfulness. I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Everyone wants to know why customer service has gone to hell in a handbasket. I want to know why customer behavior has gone to hell in a handbasket.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow—that’s vulnerability.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“After doing this work or the past twelve years and watching scarcity ride roughshod over our families, organizations, and communities, I'd say the one thing we have in common is that we're sick of feeling afraid. We want to dare greatly. We're tired of the national conversation centering on "What should we fear" and "Who should we blame?" We all want to be brave.”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Overwhelm and Stress Busters

As the days get shorter the stress level climbs. Article

I Love My Old Subaru Wagon

I just filled up my leaky tire with air using my little red bike pump. It's just like using the nautilus machines at the gym but I had to hold my umbrella with one hand during the downpour. Then she started right up and purred like a kitten. Only a little bit of gas has evaporated out of the tank over the four months since I've driven her. I prefer terra firma in the form of walking preferably with my dog, but on rare occasions I have to drive.

Franz Kafka’s Letter to His Abusive and Narcissistic Father

The main thing was that the bread should be cut straight. But it didn’t matter that you did it with a knife dripping with gravy. Care had to be taken that no scraps fell on the floor. In the end it was under your chair that there were most scraps.

It is, after all, not necessary to fly right into the middle of the sun, but it is necessary to crawl to a clean little spot on earth where the sun sometimes shines and one can warm oneself a little.


Monsoon Day

The last time I drove my car was May 6th of this year. Today I have to use it and I hope she starts up. First I have to pump up the flat tire with my bicycle pump. If she doesn't start up I will call triple A, but on a monsoon day like today everyone is calling triple A.
I boiled the chicken carcass at 5AM and made 2 quarts of stock. The air is so humid and hot it is ridiculous even my dog and cat are lounging. We closed the windows and put out the plastic buckets to catch the various roof leaks. My basil plants are happy. My tomatoes have ripened. I ought to rescue the picnic table umbrella.

solve major national problems

One recurring theme is Mr. Kennedy’s belief that the Senate in the 21st century was not working hard enough to solve major national problems, continually limiting debate and amendments or avoiding issues entirely if passage could not be guaranteed in advance. When he was elected in 1962, he said, the Senate would be busy five days a week and stay on a bill as long as it took to pass it or defeat it.

Alive when Alone

“The first thing that distinguishes a writer is that he is most alive when alone.”
—Martin Amis

Talk about Walking

by Philip Booth

Where am I going? I’m going
out, out for a walk. I don’t
know where except outside.
Outside argument, out beyond
wallpapered walls, outside
wherever it is where nobody
ever imagines. Beyond where
computers circumvent emotion,
where somebody shorted specs
for rivets for airframes on
today’s flights. I’m taking off
on my own two feet. I’m going
to clear my head, to watch
mares’-tails instead of TV,
to listen to trees and silence,
to see if I can still breathe.
I’m going to be alone with
myself, to feel how it feels
to embrace what my feet
tell my head, what wind says
in my good ear. I mean to let
myself be embraced, to let go
feeling so centripetally old.
Do I know where I’m going?
I don’t. How long or far
I have no idea. No map. I
said I was going to take
a walk. When I’ll be back
I’m not going to say.

- by Philip Booth

from Lifelines: Selected Poems 1950-1999 (Viking Press)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lentil Hunter Michael Smith


Joshua Fields Millburn: Why I Wake at 3:30 A.M.

First Thing in the Morning: Why I Wake at 3:30 A.M.

By Joshua Fields Millburn

I like to wake early, before the rest of the world—often as early as 3:30 a.m.

I don’t wake to an alarm clock, however: I simply follow my body’s cues. I like to fall asleep by 9 p.m., but life happens, so sometimes I go to bed later. Some nights I sleep three hours, some nights nine: I wake when my body tells me it’s rested. As soon as I’m awake, no matter the time, I get out of bed and start my day.

Getting out of bed: that’s the secret. No snooze button, no lying around, no tossing, no turning—as soon as I wake, I’m up and moving.

For the longest time I didn’t know why I enjoyed getting up so early—my days just went better when I did; during my twelve years in corporate America, one of the few things in which I found solace was my early mornings spent in solitude.

I discovered a few reasons I enjoy the morning—while there is no routine, my pre-sunrise time typically involves three activities that fuel my productivity and add value to my life:

. I love to read literary fiction. For me, fiction, unlike any other art form, demonstrates what it means to be human; thus, I read to better understand my life and the world around me.

Write. Writing is my passion. I write fiction to convey the feelings and emotions that can only be told through the lives and consciousness of characters within a narrative, and I write nonfiction to add value to other people’s lives.

Exercise. My health is important to me: everything I do depends on me staying healthy. Plus, exercising first thing in the morning—even just 18 minutes—gives me momentum and sets a positive tone.

Whenever I do these activities in the morning, the rest of my day flows freely.

More Solitude

She wanted to be a detective and catch the bad guys while wearing a flattering red lady-suit and carrying a mother-of-pearl-handled pistol. She was the beautiful buxom bottle blonde. She lived alone in a walk up tenement with dusty venetian blinds and a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling, swaying whenever the L train roared by. She played La Traviata and Ray Charles on her phonograph. She painted her nails red, and sometimes played solitaire while baking biscuits, greens and gravy. She sometimes went undercover as a male taxi driver, overheard everything and wrote it down. Eventually she reinvented herself as an undertaker to have more solitude.


When I was 4 I rubbed the webbing between my fingers until it bled. I dug at my gums until they bled. I wrapped my leg in toilet paper and tried to get my sister to sign my "cast". I spoke with a fake speech impediment to be like my friend Lori, telling my sister it was how I really spoke. I wore a long blonde "fall" wig from Woolworth's with a pink head band told my neighborhood friends it was my real hair, while hiding my short brown curls. I told these same kids I had a nail polish factory in my basement and I could make any color they want if they gave me all of their nail polish first. It worked! But then I got busted by my parents. I was seven. I remember being obsessed with Colorforms especially the weatherman you could dress to match the day. I wanted one! I really wanted a carrying-case record player to play 45's and dance. No dice. I remember deciding it sucked to be a mother at home and being convinced that my stepfather had a better life going to his midtown Manhattan office by commuter train every day. His office was full of art supplies and artists and photographers and a lady switchboard operator. His secretary was a Judo expert and a black belt in Karate. There was even a Chock Full O' Nuts downstairs on the street level and my sister and I sat at the counter and ate brownies wearing matching dresses (we were 5 and 7). I remember at age 11 slamming my thumb between two hard plastic-topped school desks so I'd have ridges on my thumbnail like Jacob had. Well, I do have those ridges on my thumb now.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician and composer. He was sometimes referred to as "The Genius", and was also nicknamed "The High Priest of Soul". Wikipedia

Ed Shea, Actor, Theatre Director

"The peaceful place for the meditator is the creative place for the artist."
- Ed Shea

Ed Shea: Beginner's Mind

How meditation changed everything for 2nd Story Theatre's Ed Shea
Shea says he is just a beginner when it comes to meditation and Buddhism. But he is a very enthused beginner.

Ed Shea, on set at 2nd Story Theatre, says he sees Buddhism as psycho-spiritual
By Andy Smith

Journal Arts Writer Posted Sep. 28, 2015 @ 12:01 am

WARREN, R.I. — About a year ago, Ed Shea, artistic director of the 2nd Story Theatre in Warren, picked up a book at Books on the Square in Providence.

"I was looking for a little something, a little peace of mind," he said. "I guess you can say I felt a 'spiritual urgency.' "

The book was called "The Power of Now," by Eckhart Tolle, and it led Shea into a deepening interest in meditation, and beyond meditation into Buddhism. As Shea learned more, he saw parallels between the techniques used in meditation and those used by actors.

"I frame things in terms of what I understand about acting and theater," Shea said. "I kept thinking how related [meditation] was to the theory and craft of acting. Being in the present moment is where actors need to be. ... In meditation, you focus on the breath. Actors need to focus on what they are saying at that moment. Focus on the line."

Shea said the same focus even applies to audiences, and their ability to suspend disbelief long enough to concentrate on a theatrical experience.

The enemy of that focus, Shea said, are all the handy devices with glowing screens that we can use to access everything from our work emails to Angry Birds.

"So much is available at our fingertips that the idea of going into a room and experiencing just one thing for two hours is a lot for people," he said.

Sitting in a patterned chair on the set of "Dangerous Corner," the current production at 2nd Story, the 57-year-old Shea said he is just a beginner when it comes to meditation and Buddhism. But he is a very enthused beginner.

After reading Tolle, Shea wanted to learn more. He began researching online, and found a book called "How to Sit" by Thich Nhat Hanh, which he said is a very pragmatic guide to meditation. "It's just about finding a quiet place to sit and breathe."

Now he meditates for about 45 minutes each morning, and sometimes more later in the day. He said you need to work up to it: "At first, if you sit still and pay attention to your breath for five minutes, it seems like eternity."

In February, Shea began attending sessions at the Shambhala Meditation Center in Pawtucket. He also attended a week-long silent meditation retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass.

He'll attend another week-long silent retreat in October, in West Virginia, and late next year he's planning on a three-month silent retreat in Barre. Shea said that his interest in meditation has progressed to the study of Buddhism, particularly a form of meditation called Vipassana, which means "clear seeing."

Shea said he sees Buddhism as a psycho-spiritual process, a way of seeing how your mind works and being able to break old patterns of behavior."

On Thursday, he'll be speaking at the Shambhala Center, talking about the similarities between the process of meditation and acting. "The technique of acting is uncannily similar to the state of meditation," he said. "The peaceful place for the meditator is the creative place for the artist."

But Shea has not been on stage as an actor since he discovered meditation. "I haven't hit the stage and seen how it affects me," he said.

That will change in February, when Shea will perform at 2nd Story in a play called "Hysteria," a farce about an encounter between Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali.

In the meantime, Shea said meditation has changed his life.

"I'm happy. Genuinely, authentically happy," he said. "You find it within yourself. You don't need outside stimulus to make you happy. There's no greater happiness than peace, and when you meditate, you find peace."

Shea said it has changed him at work, as well. The challenges of running a small nonprofit theater haven't gone away, but Shea said he is dealing with them differently.

"I see things as they are. Not as they were, not as they're supposed to be, or as they could be, but as they are," he said. "I try to talk less about the problem, and more about the solution."

As artistic director for 2nd Story, Shea said he incorporates elements of meditation into his theatrical world — but cautiously. "I'm not forcing it on anyone," he said. "It's not like we're sitting in a circle at rehearsals chanting and breathing."

Shea said he wants to continue studying meditation and Buddhism. Someday, he said, he would like to teach, although he acknowledges he still has a lot to learn.

And he remains intrigued by the connections between meditation and theater.

"Just as there is a practical approach to creative inner peace, there is a practical approach to creative theatrical expression," he said. "I could think of nothing better than combining those two worlds."

Shea will speak at the Shambhala Meditation Center, 541 Pawtucket Ave., Pawtucket, on Thursday at 6 p.m. The talk is free, although donations are welcome. Find more information online providence.shambhala.org.

— asmith@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7485

on Twitter: @asmith651


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A stroopwafel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈstroːpʋaːfəl] ( listen)) (English translation: syrup waffle, treacle waffle, or caramel waffle; lit "syrup waffle") is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle.[1][2] It is popular in the Netherlands. They were first made in the Dutch city of Gouda.

Ingredients and baking

The stiff dough for the waffles is made from flour, butter, brown sugar, yeast, milk, and eggs. Medium-sized balls of dough are put into a heated waffle iron and pressed into the required uniformly thin, round shape. After the waffle has been baked, and while it's still warm, it is split into thin layered halves. The warm filling, made from syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, is spread between the waffle halves, gluing them together.[1]

The stroopwafel originates from Gouda in the Netherlands. It was first made during the late 18th century[3] or early 19th century[1] by a baker using leftovers from the bakery, such as breadcrumbs, which were sweetened with syrup. One story ascribes the invention of the stroopwafel to the baker Gerard Kamphuisen, which would date the first stroopwafels somewhere between 1810, the year when he opened his bakery, and 1840, the year of the oldest known recipe for syrup waffles.[1] In the 19th century, there were around 100 syrup waffle bakers in Gouda, which was the only city in which they were made until 1870. After 1870 they were also made at parties and in markets outside the city of Gouda. In the 20th century, factories started to make stroopwafels. In 1960, there were 17 factories in Gouda alone, of which four are currently still open.[1]

The Happy House is Empty

I hope someone wonderful moves in. It is the cutest house green pea soup colored on the corner of Oak hill ave and Rathbun Street.

Secret Gardens of New York


Interview with Colin Dexter


The Feast Day of Saint Michael

It's the Feast Day of Saint Michael in the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches, which was a very important day in times past, falling near the equinox and so marking the fast darkening of the days in the northern world - the boundary of what was and what is to be. Today was the end of the harvest and the time for farm folk to calculate how many animals they could afford to feed through the winter and which would be sold or slaughtered. It was the end of the fishing season, the beginning of hunting, the time to pick apples and make cider.

Folks in central Pennsylvania make it a point to have their annual goose dinner tonight; a local tradition that grew out of the old English proverb: "If you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will never want money all the year round."

-Writer's Almanac

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chef Michael Smith: Make Ahead Meals

Chef Michael's warm voice draws the reader in and encourages them to get in the kitchen, play with flavours and have fun. Recipes are simple, but crammed with flair." --Aimee Wimbush-Bourque, author of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars and creator of the Saveur award-winning blog Simple Bites
About the Author

CHEF MICHAEL SMITH is the bestselling author of eight cookbooks, including Family Meals, Back to Basics, Fast Flavours, Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen, and The Best of Chef at Home. He is the popular host of several Food Network TV shows, including Chef Michael's Kitchen, Chef at Home and Chef Abroad, and is a judge on Chopped Canada. He lives on Prince Edward Island with his wife, Chastity, and their children, Gabe, Ariella, and Camille.

Web: http://chefmichaelsmith.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chefMICHAELsmth
Instagram: https://instagram.com/chefmichaelsmith/

Ram Dass: A Journey of the Living Spirit

A Journey of the Living Spirit

Welcome! It’s so graceful to share the Journey. We’ve been on the journey a long time together. We’ve gone through a lot of stages. And just as in any journey, some people have dropped along the way, have had enough for this round. Others have been waiting for us to catch up. The journey passes through the seven valleys, the seven kingdoms, the chakras, the planes of consciousness, the degrees of faith. Often we only know we’ve been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we’re in it, we don’t have the perspective to know, because we’re only being. But as the journey progresses, less and less do you need to know. When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be. It’s a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It’s a journey out of time, leaving behind every model we have had of who we think we are. It involves a transformation of our beings so that our thinking mind becomes our servant rather than our master. It’s a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body, through identification with our psyche, on to an identification with our souls, then to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification.

Because many of us have traversed this path without maps, thinking that it was unique to us because of the peculiar way in which we were traveling, often there has been a lot of confusion. We have imagined that the end was reached when it was merely the first mountain peak — which yet hid all of the higher mountains in the distance. Many of us got enamored because these experiences along the way were so intense that we couldn’t imagine anything beyond them. Isn’t it a wonderful journey that at every stage we can’t imagine anything beyond it? Every point we reach is so much beyond anything up until then, that our perception is full, and we can’t see anything else but the experience itself.

For the first few stages we really think that we planned the trip, packed the provisions, set out ourselves, and are the master of our domain. It’s only after a few valleys and mountains some ways along that we begin to realize that there are silent guides, that what has seemed random and chaotic might actually have a pattern. It’s very hard for a being who is totally attached and identified with his intellect to imagine that the universe could be so perfectly designed that every act, every experience is perfectly within the lawful harmony of the universe — including all of the paradoxes. The statement, “Not a leaf turns but that God is behind it,” is just too far out to think about. But eventually we begin to recognize that the journey may be stretching out for a longer span than we thought it was going to.

We in the West seem to have become very reactive toward traditional religious forms, which I think comes from the way we’ve seen rituals and ceremonies used as ends in themselves — as a mechanical, ritualistic priestcraft, with the living spirit gone out of it. That has certainly happened in the East, and it’s happened in Western religions as well.

A lot of us now have come through a time of throwing one tradition after another. In this culture, we’ve thrown over sexual traditions; we’ve thrown over traditional social relations concerning marriage and the family; we’ve thrown over traditions about economics and working conditions; we’ve overthrown all kinds of political traditions. In most cases, that’s come out of a healthy awakening to the deadness of the existing structures. But somehow we’ve gotten a little lost in thinking that traditions are per se bad, when maybe what’s needed is not to throw them away, but to reawaken them. I think that one of our challenges now is to become sophisticated enough not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I have gone to a lot of traditional religious communities in both the East and the West. You go into a church or a temple, and often what you see is that everybody’s going through the motions: they go through the ritual as if they were checking off their shopping lists at the supermarket. They may be singing wonderful songs about resurrection and rebirth, but nothing’s happening. The ceremony and the ritual originally came out of the living spirit, but that’s gotten lost in the shuffle, and what’s left is just the mechanical stuff.

But now if I come back to it with eyes that are tuned to other planes of consciousness, and if I can center and not get lost in my own reactions to the situation, suddenly there it all is: Living Spirit again. I think that we are all being prepared — all of us — to serve in that capacity of reinvesting our society with Living Spirit. And that happens through our becoming Living Spirit — because the only thing you can really transmit to another person is your Being. The fancy words don’t mean a thing.

-Ram Dass

Local Summer: Block Island

“We call it local summer,” says Shannon McCabe, who was raised on Block Island and works at Rustic Rides Farm, her family’s guided horse ride business.

Bill Greene/Globe staff

“We call it local summer,” says Shannon McCabe, who was raised on Block Island and works at Rustic Rides Farm, her family’s guided horse ride business.
By Bella English Globe Staff September 21, 2013

BLOCK ISLAND — In mid-September last year, Howard LeFevre and his wife, Donis Tatro, stayed here a couple of nights, their first trip to the island. The days were warm and the traffic light, great for biking and hiking. Sure, fewer restaurants and hotels were open than during the height of the summer, but there were still plenty to choose from.

As they were checking out of their inn, they rebooked, a year in advance, for late September this year.

“Fall is the best time of the year to go,” says LeFevre, a house painter who lives in Milton. “There aren’t many people there, and it’s cheaper.”

Though “the season” on Block Island is, like in many New England resort areas, Memorial Day through Labor Day, autumn here is ideal for tourists, with good weather and good deals.

Gone are the cars and the crowds, and the vibe on this scenic spit of land 13 miles off the Rhode Island coast is decidedly more relaxed.
If you go to Block Island. . .

If you go to Block Island. . .

“We call it local summer,” says Shannon McCabe, who was raised here and works at Rustic Rides Farm, her family’s guided horse ride business. “I always tell people it’s the best time to be out here. Hotels are usually flexible on rates, and it’s the best time to do nature walks and hiking because it’s less congested. It’s much, much more peaceful in the fall.”

About that flexibility: LeFevre got a special fall deal at the Avonlea bed-and-breakfast, where he stayed last year. If he booked for two nights, he’d get a third one free. The inn is right on Crescent Beach, with a big porch overlooking the ocean.
Moderated by the Atlantic, the island’s temperatures can indeed edge into the 70s into October.

Block Island Tourism Council

Moderated by the Atlantic, the island’s temperatures can indeed edge into the 70s into October.

Few locals know Block Island as well as Howard Rice does. In the 1920s, his grandparents bought land here, and Rice moved to the island as a kid in 1945. He’s the school-bus driver; the island, with a year-round population of about 1,000, has one school, which graduated seven students last year.

“It can be in the mid to upper 70s in the fall,” says Rice. “I know people who have swum up until Christmas time. All the kids wear shorts till then. They go bike riding on New Year’s Day.”

Moderated by the Atlantic, the island’s temperatures can indeed edge into the 70s into October. Nearly half the island is conservation land, and there are 27 miles of meandering greenway trails, 17 miles of beaches and dozens of ponds. The island, with its flat, paved roads, is also beloved by bicyclists.

On a recent visit, we took our dog, Gumbo, and stayed at the Darius Inn just down the street from the ferry terminal in the Old Harbor historic district. The cedar shake inn, built in 1803 as a pharmacy, was recently bought by two sisters from Philadelphia who have worked at other inns on the island. In the attic, they found leather invoice books for prescriptions written in beautiful, old-fashioned hand and costing just pennies.
The South East Light on Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island.

Paul E. Kandarian for the Boston Globe

The South East Light on Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island.

Becca Zendt, who is 26, laughs at one prescription. “It said, ‘If your wife is still bothering you, give her the whole bottle.’ ” Her sister Christy is 28 and responsible for the happy-hour wine and nibbles and the breakfasts served to guests who don’t rent a suite with a kitchenette.

When traveling, it’s never easy to find a decent place to stay with a dog, but Darius fills the bill for a $50 dog fee. Dogs are only allowed in the five suites that include a kitchenette and porch; there are also five motel rooms. The sisters provided us with a “dog towel” for wiping Gumbo off when we returned from Crescent Beach, just across the street.

Most places that will accept dogs require that Fido leave the room whenever you do. Not the Darius. They’ll even walk him if he’s barking and you’re at the beach; just leave them your cellphone number.

The Block Island beaches are mostly dog-friendly, and Gumbo loved wading in the water and digging for whatever it is that dogs dig for. An added bonus in the fall: There are fewer dogs, which is good news for both dog lovers and those other people.

The Darius, like many of the hotels and inns here, will decide its closing date depending on demand. “We’ll close either Halloween or Thanksgiving,” says Becca Zendt. “We’re not winterized. But the season is getting pushed further and further into the fall every year.”

Don’t come here looking for fall foliage, though. The island doesn’t have the leaf-peeping colors that many associate with New England. Elizabeth Connor, who oversees nine properties, including the iconic 1661 Inn and Hotel Manisses, says she has regular customers who swear by the off-season.

“September, October, and early November are a nice compromise,” she says. “It’s my favorite time of year. Our spring may come a little later than the mainland, but the flip side is that fall extends a little later.” The rates all go down after Labor Day, and a few of her properties are open year-round.

Old Block Island was a fishing and farming community without a good harbor until one was dug in 1875, ushering in tourists — and the stunning Victorian homes and hotels that remain today. At the Block Island Historical Society Museum, Ben Hruska shows short videos about the Victorian years when horses and buggies carted people around, and sun bathers posed on the beach, the ladies in long dresses, the men in long pants. The Block Island Ferry, which runs from Point Judith and Newport, celebrated its 100th anniversary this summer. Ferries run every day of the year except Christmas Day.

No trip to Block Island is complete without a visit to the Southeast Lighthouse, built in 1873 atop a 150-foot cliff. Due to erosion, the lighthouse was poised to fall into the sea when a group of volunteers raised the money to have it moved several yards back in 1993. We walked down the road from the lighthouse to Mohegan Bluffs, and more than 150 wooden stair steps down to the ocean. It is a stunning vista, good for both your soul and your calves.

Food, in particular sweets, is good for the soul, too, and my soul soared once I wandered into Blocks of Fudge, a charming candy shop run by Sheila Fowler. She’s open through Thanksgiving, with a warning: “I might not have the Creamsicle or the Amaretto Chocolate Swirl after Columbus Day.”

Not to worry. Fowler makes 20 kinds of fudge, and it’s creamy and creative. (“I came up with Chocolate Fluffernutter Fudge during a 2 a.m. hot flash in February,” she says.)

September is her favorite month, October a close second. “In September, the weather’s gorgeous, not so humid. You can stand on Front Street and see the lights of the Newport Bridge. We don’t usually get a frost until November.”

Fortified by my fudge fix, I wandered into Block Market, a cool clothing boutique run by Sean Dugan, who grew up in Lenox, Mass., and summered here as a child. An island resident for 16 years now, Dugan travels to Indonesia where he buys fabric and jewelry and has his signature logo — the shape of the island — embroidered on clothing. His own Block Island Brand has men’s shorts bearing the logo, sort of a play on the whales that adorn those preppy Nantucket threads. Block Island Market is open until Columbus Day and on weekends until Christmas. It’s the place with the colorful batik sarongs hanging outside.

Nearby is the fantastic Farmers’ Market, where arts and crafts — all made on the island — are sold, along with organic flowers and produce from farmers, and honey and beeswax candles from Littlefield Bee Farm. The market is open Wednesday and Sunday mornings until Columbus Day.

The Glass Onion is another great shop that has been around a long time, selling clothing and gifts. Owner Mary Anderson keeps it open until December, but only on weekends in October and November. She loves autumn on the island. “You can walk the beach and see 10 people,” says Anderson. “It’s also better for biking, and the ocean is still warm.”

Fall is the high season for one population: birds, which of course attract bird-watchers. Block Island is on the Atlantic Flyway, the “avian superhighway” for migratory birds, and 150 species stop here on their way south. “In October and November, the Audubon Society people go to conservation land and set up nets to trap and band birds, and check those that have already been banded,” says Rice.

Life on the island slows down markedly after Columbus Day, though the annual Christmas Stroll on Thanksgiving weekend still attracts tourists. The stores are decorated and offer deals, hot chocolate, and cider. There’s the Christmas tree lighting, and as of last year a new tradition: the building of a towering Christmas tree made out of lobster traps in a local park.

After that, the island gets some hard-earned sleep for the winter.

Bella English can be reached at english@globe.com.

Skating Away: Hans Christian Andersen Fantasy

I always wanted to skate to school. Now I can!
Skating Trails in Rhode Island

Blackstone River Greenway (RI)


State: RI
Length: 11.8 miles
Surface: Asphalt
The Blackstone River Greenway (previously known as the Blackstone River Bikeway) represents a big undertaking in this tiny state: The 11.8-mile trail is the largest open segment on a nearly 50-mile corridor that will eventually connect Providence ...
Burrillville Bike Path


State: RI
Length: 1.2 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Burrillville Bike Path runs for just over a mile through its namesake rural community in northwest Rhode Island. It connects the villages of Pascoag and Harrisville through a corridor that once belonged to the York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. ...
East Bay Bike Path


State: RI
Length: 14 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Rhode Island's best-known rail-trail, the East Bay Bicycle Path, hugs the shores of Narragansett Bay, from Bristol in the south and north to India Point Park in Providence. The 14-mile paved path accommodates a wide variety of users. Markers ...
Ten Mile River Greenway

State: RI
Length: 3 miles
Surface: Asphalt
The Ten Mile River Greenway follows the winding course for 3 miles along the James Turner Reservoir (Ten Mile River). Though short, the trail is quite scenic and runs between the Kimberly Ann Rock ball fields in East Providence and the north ...
Warren Bike Path


State: RI
Length: 0.9 miles
Surface: Asphalt
The pleasantly tree-lined Warren Bike Path, built along the former Warren-Fall River Railroad, runs just under a mile from Long Road west to the Kickemuit River. The trail ends in an 18-acre park along the river known as The Meadows, which offers ...
Washington Secondary Bike Path


State: RI
Length: 18.9 miles
Surface: Asphalt
The Washington Secondary Bike Path actually comprises four trails along an old Hartford, Providence, & Fishkill Railroad corridor. Together, the Cranston Bike Path, Warwick Bike Path, West Warwick Greenway and Trestle Trail create nearly 19 ...
William C. O'Neill Bike Path


State: RI
Length: 6.8 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Named for the late state senator who spearheaded development of the trail, the William C. O'Neill Bike Path (a.k.a. South County Bike Path) follows the route of the former Narragansett Pier Railroad, which connected the coastal village of South ...

Anne Lamott from Small Victories

The reality that most of us lived our first decades feeling welcome only when certain conditions applied: we felt safe and embraced only when the parental units were getting along, when we were on our best behavior, doing well in school, not causing problems, and had as few needs as possible. If you needed more from them, best of luck.
It also doesn't help that the planet is not nearly as hospitable as one might have hoped.

In the beginning there was implantation which was either the best or the worst news, and then God or life did some voodoo knitting that created each of us. We came into the world one by one. The next thing we knew, we were at the dinner table with delusional unhappy people, who drank, or should have drunk,and who simultaneously had issues with rigidity and no boundaries. These people seemed to go out of there way to make it clear that we were not the children they'd had in mind. You were thwarting their good intentions with your oddness and your bad posture.

They liked to think their love was unconditional. That's nice. Sadly though, the child who showed up at the table for meals was not the child the parents had set out to make. They seemed surprised all over again. They'd already forgotten from breakfast.

The parental units were simply duplicating what they'd learned when they were small. That's the system.

It wasn't that you got the occasional feeling that you were an alien or a chore to them. You just knew that attention had to be paid constantly to their moods, their mental health levels, their rising irritation, and the volume of beer consumed. Yes there were many happy memories marbled in, too, of picnics, pets, beaches. But I will remind you now that inconsistency is how experimenters regularly drive lab rats over the edge.

Maybe they knew the child was onto them, could see through them,could see the truth,could see how cracked, unstable and distant they were. We knew there most intimate smells sounds and vulnerabilities, like tiny spies. The whole game in the fifties and early sixties was for no one to know who you really were. We children were witness to the total pretense of how our parents wanted the world to see them. We helped them maintain this image, because if anyone outside the family could see wo they really were deep down, the whole system, the ship of your family, might sink. We held our breath to give the ship buoyancy. We were like little air tanks.

They knew deep down they were manic depressive crazy people, but they wanted others to see them as good family men and women, peaceful warriors,worker bees,and activists who were making the world safe for democracy. Their kids knew about their tempers and vices, but the kids were under the wizard's spell and also under the constant threat of exile or hunger.

The silver lining to this is that since the world we came into is an alcoholic, sick, wounded, wounding place, we also ended up with an owner's manual for dealing with craziness. We knew how to keep secrets. Also our parents came with siblings who adored us, because we were not theirs. They actually got me. When I'd come through the door, the expression on my uncles' and aunts' faces would be so happy. There she is! There's Annie. Isn't she something? The way the looked across the table at me, with pleasure and wonder, taught me what love looked like.
- Anne Lamott, from Small Victories The Book of Welcome pg 18-20

Hard Bop Sax Quartet

"Gospel Fever!" - performed by the Hard-Bop Sax Quartet ...
Video for hard bop sax quartet▶ 3:07
Oct 25, 2006 - Uploaded by Russ Peterson
Performed by the Hard-Bop Saxophone Quartet Concordia College Recital Hall Moorhead, Minnesota USA ...
"Wade in the Water" played by the Hard-Bop Sax Quartet ...
Video for hard bop sax quartet▶ 5:09
Jan 15, 2012 - Uploaded by Russ Peterson
Arranged by Russ Peterson played by the HBSQ Jan, 2012 At Concordia College, Moorhead, MN Contact ...

Inspiring Saxophone on Michelle Willson's WICN

Michelle Willson picks the best tunes at 6:AM~9AM morning blend. WICN jazz out of Worcester!

his father made him buy a dictionary

W.C. Handy published “Memphis Blues” on this date in 1912. William Christopher Handy came from northern Alabama, the son of a Methodist preacher who didn’t approve of secular music. The boy saved his money to buy a guitar, but his father made him buy a dictionary instead. Mr. Handy agreed to pay for organ lessons only, but his son wanted to play the cornet. W.C. Handy went to college and was teaching music by the time he was 19. He eventually made his way to Kentucky, and was asked to lead the band for W.A. Mahara’s Minstrels in 1896.

Blood Moon and Counting

Last night Bill woke me up at ten PM to see the amazing blood-red moon. it looked like a bloody eyeball in the sky. "Next time this happens again will be in 18 years," he said. "I hope we're alive and together to see it," I said. "How old will we be?" I asked. I'd be 78 and you'd be 72, he said.

Kate Douglas Wiggin

It’s the birthday of Kate Douglas Wiggin (books by this author), born in Philadelphia, (1856), who wrote Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903) and many other novels. She also started the first free kindergarten on the West Coast, in San Francisco. She spent much of her own life working as a teacher, and she once said, “Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility.”

The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama by Pico Iyer

In the altogether magnificent The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (public library), writer Pico Iyer — who has known the beloved spiritual leader since adolescence and, by the time he began writing this book, had visited him in his exile home for nearly thirty years — describes how the Dalai Lama begins each day:

[By] nine a.m. … the Dalai Lama himself had already been up for more than five hours, awakening, as he always does, at three-thirty a.m., to spend his first four hours of the day meditating on the roots of compassion and what he can do for his people, the “Chinese brothers and sisters” who are holding his people hostage, and the rest of us, while also preparing himself for his death.

Compressed into this humble and humbling morning routine is the entire Buddhist belief that life is a “joyful participation in a world of sorrows.” This daily rite of body and spirit is the building block of the Dalai Lama’s quiet and steadfast mission to, as Iyer elegantly puts it, “explore the world closely, so as to make out its laws, and then to see what can and cannot be done within those laws.” He writes:

To understand the Dalai Lama … especially if (as in my case) you come from some other tradition, perhaps it’s most useful to see him as a doctor of the soul.

As someone deeply invested in the crucial difference between information and wisdom, I was particularly fascinated by the Dalai Lama’s information diet — that is, what daily facts he chooses to fuse with ancient wisdom in his dedication to unraveling the nature of reality and making use of it in fortifying the soul. Iyer writes:

As a longtime student of real life, ruler of his people before the age of five, he listens every morning to the Voice of America, to the BBC East Asian broadcast, to the BBC World Service — even while meditating — and devours Time and Newsweek and many other news sources (I think of how the Buddha is often depicted with one hand touching the earth, in what Buddhists call the “witnessing the earth” gesture).