May 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment
To all the beautiful, hard-working and hard-loving Moms, daughters, best friends, grandmas, and aunts ~
Happy Mother’s Day! and
ROCK ON !
My Mom in Central Park (I think it is Central Park) with her four babies
Liv and I in hats from my hat collection
Alex the way he used to hug me when he was little, until he almost broke my ribs
Liv on the Schooner Lannon from last year’s GMG Rum and Cigar event.
April 19, 2013 § 1 Comment
Cincinnati is typically about a week and a half to two weeks ahead of us in spring bloom power.
This past weekend my dear sister-in-law, Amy, remarried a super great guy, Arnold. The reception was held at the Cincinnati Country Club where we also stayed for several nights.
The early spring flowering trees were in full glorious bloom, including hawthorns, magnolias, and cherry trees, and all looked luxuriously lush and brilliantly fresh–
March 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Liv and I had lots of fun shopping the flea market and shops at Chelsea Market the afternoon that I left.
Adjacent to the market is an entrance to the High Line. Don’t you love the chaise idea? They are really comfy and relaxing.
The architects of the High Line intentionally left little patches somewhat wild to show what the elevated rail looked like after years of disuse. The rail had reverted to a a native wildflower garden, which then became the inspiration for much of the park’s plantings!
We met leopard-wearing fashionista Kira at the Blue Bottle Coffee shop on her way upstairs to a photo shoot at MILK Studios. She was showing us her ballet moves, which she does with her eyes closed. When we asked why, she said it is because she has not yet studied ballet, but dreams about someday becoming a ballerina, and that is why she has to dance with her eyes closed as she is only “dreaming.”
Here’s My Dreamer
There is nothing like spending time with your daughter and I am so looking forward to our next visit. I hope it’s not too long a wait!
March 3, 2013 § 1 Comment
Snapshots from visit with my darling daughter Liv
We walked and took the L everywhere and Liv showed me some of her favorite spots in Williamsburg and surrounding neighborhoods.
184 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn–gorgeous waterfront residential building and one of the few adaptions of Egyptian Revival Style to modern commercialism in the United States.
We saw the fabulously fun and playful Gutai group at the Guggenheim, which is an exhibit about the Japanese avant-garde Postwar artistic movement led by Jiro Yoshihara.
Liv snuck this photo of Atsuko Tanaka’s famous Electric Dress at the Guggenheim (read more about the Electric Dress at the bottom of this post).
Liv’s record producer friend always recommends the best restuarants. Next door to the utterly charming Juliette Restaurant is the hipster restaurant “egg,” and with an hour long wait for brunch, we decided to take Dave’s advice and go with Juliette. We were more than delighted–French cooking at its most delicious, from Brittany owner Thierry Rochard. I’d love to go there on a warm spring night and enjoy starlight dining on their roof garden.
Dutch Pancake with lemon zest, blueberries, and creme fraiche
Jeff, the manager, at Juliette Restaurant
More photos of my trip to Brooklyn to follow.
Atsuko Tanaka wearing her Electric Dress
To Read More About Atsuko Tanaka Electric Dress
March 1, 2013 § Leave a Comment
January 3, 2013 § 1 Comment
For Christmas Liv gave me an early edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems. I cried. The poems of Emily Dickinson play a beautiful role in my book, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities, but the sweetest poem of all found within the books’ pages is the poem written by Liv, when she was only twelve.
Emily Dickinson, published 1892
When Liv was twelve I hired her to transcribe the first draft of the manuscript for Oh Garden, which I had written in longhand, to our then new computer. I had not yet learned how to use the computer and she was quite proficient. The original manuscript included recipes and illustrations, but no poetry. She took her job transcribing very seriously and one day, about halfway through the project, announced that I needed a poem for the book. She dashed upstairs to her bedroom, returning only half an hour later with her contribution, “My Mother’s Garden.” Her tender poem suggested to me that I include more poetry and it was a joyous experience searching for just the right poem to illuminate each chapter. The book grew to comprise many poems by Emily Dickinson, along with works by Federico García Lorca, John Keats, Amy Lowell, Chinese painter- poets, and even a funny and sweetly sarcastic poem by Dorothy Parker titled “One Perfect Rose.” When the time came, I showed my publisher, Mr. Godine, Liv’s poem. He was delighted to include “My Mother’s Garden” and it can be found on page 206.
Now I keep this cherished gift of Emily Dickinson poems by my bedside table and each time I reach to read it or simply when the cover catches my eye, I am reminded of Liv’s gentle, thoughtful love and of the most cherished gift of all, my daughter.
My Mother’s Garden
An exotic sunset-tinted rose
Intoxicating breath of a magnolia
The small windy brick path
Leading to a hidden paradise
Butterflies flutter their own petal-wings
Over the smiling face of a daisy
A hushed lullaby to the garden sings the stream
Honeysuckle vines twist their elegant tendril,
Grasping the delicate lattice
Gorgeous, vibrant hollyhocks stretch their faces
Towards the radiant sun
Drinking in the soft light
Soon the sweet mellow silence is broken
By a joyful cry of children,
Two, three, now four
Suddenly the garden is a place of singing and frolicking and dancing,
Youthful and inviting.
This blessed garden’s soul shines forth in each and every existence
From the flitting butterflies
To the smallest thriving plant
To the noisiest child that finds peaceful comfort,
In the gentle haven.
-Written by our Liv when she was twelve
July 26, 2012 § 2 Comments
I loved this Macy Gray song from the moment I first heard it. The lyrics are full of hope. I found the song to be perfect for creating a montage of my favorite clips, filmed in and around Gloucester over the course of the past month. The footage is from works-in-progress butterfly films, 2012 Greasy Pole shorts, and random footage from a family picnic. The film showcases just some of the natural beauty found in Gloucester, from sunrise til sunset. Is it too crazy–butterflies and Greasy Pole Walkers–you tell me because I see beauty in everyone and everything.
Filmed at Niles Beach, Pavilion Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Eastern Point, Brace Cove, Gloucester Harbor Walk, and Plum Street. Created for Good Morning Gloucester. Dedicated to Joe Ciaramitaro and his beautiful family and to our beloved Gloucester community.
Thank you Ciaramitaros for your help with my Monarch film!
Thank you to my darling daughter Liv; as Craig said, “a trifecta–beautiful, smart, and funny!”
Beauty in the World Sung by Macy Gray
2012 Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers
“Beauty in the World” is by American singer Macy Gray from her album The Sellout, which is Gray’s fifth album and first since her under-performing 2007 album, Big. The Selllout is her return to musical form after almost conforming when her last album didn’t take off. “I thought after Big flopped maybe I should do what everyone else was doing,” she said. “Go out and hire the hottest producers, the best writers, get real skinny. But none of those people called me back.”
The song was inspired by hearing her daughter’s laughter on a down day. “I didn’t even know what she was laughing at. I thought ‘at least she’s happy.’ And I felt at least I hadn’t failed there, because my daughter’s happy.” -wiki
The Greasy Pole Walk is a competition that takes place over a three day period and is an integral part of the Saint Peter’s Fiesta. The Greasy Pole Walk and Greasy Pole Walkers are unique to Gloucester, Massachusetts.
May 19, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We had a very successful move and my daughter Liv is loving her new apartment. See her blog Boston to Brooklyn for several photos. For a lovely belated Mother’s Day treat, she took me to one of her favorite restaurants in Brooklyn, a sweet and authentic French cafe, Le Gamin. The charming patio was open, despite the soft evening mist, and we dined in the garden under the arbor. On Monday nights they serve the most exquisitely fresh and sweet, all-you-can-eat mussels, poached in Chardonnay and fresh herbs, along with a glass of wine, along with absolutely the most perfect fries; crisp outer skin, tender and hot inside–and all for only 20.00!! Liv and I shared the mussels and salade Niçoise and it was ablsoltuely perfect. She had her favorite mousse au chocolat and I had the most divine crème brûlée ever tasted. I am so taken with Robert Ardor’s recipes, I’ve just this moment ordered his cookbook, in its third printing, Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living.
Brooklyn balcony above Le Gamin garden, with fresh herbs. Cleverly, the dweller of this flat has draped a bag of soil over the balcony’s edge, reinforced the slashes with industrial tape, and planted four different herbs; with what looks like oregano, thyme, parsley and dill. I am reminded of the beautiful story A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
We assembled four pieces of Ikea (table, bureau, desk, clothes rack) and although it took approximately 8 hours, we are so proud of ourselves!
April 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
You’ve heard me talking about my butterfly documentary (for Months now!). I began filming the black swallowtails last July and am only now close to premiering my film. I am so excited to share this project with you and hope you enjoy the trailer.
My daughter Liv and our dear friend Kathleen Adams collaborated on a beautiful rendition of “Simple Gifts.” The music in the background is an improv interlude from their recording session.
Coming soon: Documentary about the Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly, from egg, to caterpillar, to chryrsalis, to adult. Filmed in a garden and along the seashore, Gloucester, Massachusetts. Featuring the black swallowtail butterfly, wildflowers, pollinators, the sun, the garden, and more.
March 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
In looking for music for my butterfly documentary I heard a very beautiful folk version of “Simple Gifts,” then found the John William’s recording, “Air and Simple Gifts,” with YoYo Ma and Itzhak Perlman created for Obama’s inauguration, which led to discovering Aaron Copland’s score for Martha Graham’s Applachian Spring (1944). The melody is perfect for my film. I then fortuitously ran into Kathleen Adams, the music director of the Annisquam Village Church, and Liv’s former teacher and mentor, at a cocktail party, and asked her advice. Kathleen graciously volunteered to share her talents and offered she and the church to record “Simple Gifts.” While Liv was home over spring break she very sweetly offered to sing.
Finding copyright free music is difficult and costly. I am eternally grateful for Kathleen and Liv’s generosity and for sharing their gifts. Kathleen recommended Phil Davis, who is an expert in recording classical music and artist in his own right.
Kathleen Adams and Liv standing next to the gorgeous organ that Jeremy Adams, Kathleen’s husband, built for the Annisquam Village Church
I can’t wait for you to hear Liv and Kathleen’s rendition, played as written and with their beautiful improvising!
Although many people think that the tune of ‘Simple Gifts” is a traditional Celtic song, “Simple Gifts” was an American Shaker dance song written in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett. The song has been widely adapted. Perhaps the best known example is “Lord of the Dance,” published in 1963, which was then used without coyright permission for Michale Flatley’s dance musical Lord of the Dance.
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
- ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
- To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
- Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.
March 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The photos of Grace Church and Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) were sent by my daughter Liv- a preview of blossoms to come (NYC is several weeks ahead of Gloucester in spring flowering).
Grace Church, a gothic revival masterpiece, was designed by James Renwick, Jr. when he was only 23 years old. The church was consecrated on March 7, 1846. Grace Church is located at 802 Broadway, NY, NY.
March 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
My husband Tom gave me a new iPhone for my early birthday present, while Liv is home, so that she can show me how to use it. My previous phone, a fossil from the Stone Age (as my son Alex often referred to it as) was not fun to use. When Siri started talking to us, I was just on the floor laughing in amazement.
January 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
Photos of our daughter Liv taken by her photographer friend Dave Krugman. Dave says “My favorite way to shoot is to wander through the streets with a close friend, follow the good light, and let the world show itself. Give it a try…” Liv is a graduate student at NYU Steinhardt, studying opera and vocal performance; Dave is a professional photographer based out of Boston. They met while at Boston University. Click the last image to see their Brooklyn album.
Click last image to see Liv and Dave’s photo album
December 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws. Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in. Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good. Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace. Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be. -Alfred, Lord Tennyson Our daughter Liv posted this poem on her blog Boston to Brooklyn. The sentiments expressed befit our times equally as well as when Tennyson wrote Ring Out, Wild Bells in 1850. Jonathan Dove (1959), the contemporary British composer of opera, choral works, plays, films, and orchestral and chamber music has written a beautiful arrangement to Ring Out, Wild Bells, performed in this video by the Antioch Chamber Ensemble.
December 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Both our children are at last home for Christmas! Read Liv’s “Home for the Holidays” post at her delightful blog “Boston to Brooklyn.”
Live writes: The Christmas spirit runs strong in our family, mainly due to our mother’s dedication in making our home a joyous and decadent celebration of the holidays. No room in the house is left without some unique Christmas decoration and our abode smells of paper whites, clementines, and pine needles for the entire blessed month of December. I’m finally home for the holidays after my first semester of graduate school, and nothing makes me happier and more relaxed than being surrounded by Christmas joy and familial love. Read more, with lots of photos, at Boston to Brooklyn.
December 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
My darling daughter, away at graduate school, is missing home and missing especially Christmas-making. She called last night to request a snapshot of our Christmas tree. My wish for Christmas was that both Liv and Alex could come home for Christmas. Alex we knew for sure would be home (if for no other reason than he misses home cooked dinners) but Liv started a brand new job with a crazy schedule and is mired in papers and finals. I learned yesterday that she will be traveling home on the 21st and son will be home Thursday of this week. Happiest of moms am I!
Click any photo to see slide show