Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A 5-Minute Break

Remember the time to relax is when you don't have time to relax.
~Sidney Harris

For Wellness Wednesday, here's a stretching video that my teens and I like. Only five minutes long!

Doing a brief stretch like the above fits in really well if you are doing the Pomodoro Technique. My oldest offspring gets the credit for introducing our family to Pomodoros. Have you heard of it? You work intently for 25 minutes (on whatever) and then take a 5-minute break. Working with intent can help you focus better, and taking regular, timed breaks can help you be more productive (and keep you from getting stiff!).

Here's an online Pomodoro timer, in case you want to try it. (You can change the time lengths if you want, elsewhere on that site.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rigó Jancsi

A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.
~Edmond de Goncourt

Today's music was inspired by a cake:

Rigó Jancsi, photo by Antidiskriminator,
not a cube, but should be

Rigó Jancsi is a traditional Hungarian cube-shaped chocolate sponge cake and chocolate cream pastry. It gained popularity in the former Austria-Hungary and is named after Rigó Jancsi (1858–1927), a famous Hungarian Gypsy (Romani people) violinist who seduced and married Clara Ward, Princess de Caraman-Chimay, the only daughter of American millionaire E. B. Ward and the wife of Belgian Prince de Caraman-Chimay. [Wikipedia]

I couldn't find any videos of Rigó playing violin, but I did find this photo of him and Clara...don't they look sassy?

Clara Ward and her second husband, Rigó Jancsi,
from a photograph on a German postcard from about 1905

Here's how to make the cake.

Lastly, Hungarian Gypsy (Roma) music in honor of Rigó:

P.S. Rigó was the second of Clara's FOUR husbands. "The idyll was not to last, Rigó being unfaithful to her. They were divorced fairly soon after their marriage, either shortly before or after Ward met her next love, one Peppino Ricciardo, sometimes stated to have been Spanish, but who was most likely Italian. He is believed to have been a waiter whom she met on a train." Clara died at age 43. Wow, she was a corker!

Saturday, January 14, 2017


A rag-and-bone man collects unwanted household items and sells them to merchants. Traditionally this was a task performed on foot, with the scavenged materials (which included rags, bones and various metals) kept in a small bag slung over the shoulder. Some wealthier rag-and-bone men used a cart, sometimes pulled by horse or pony.

19th century rag-and-bone men typically lived in penury, surviving on the proceeds of what they collected each day. Conditions improved following the Second World War, but the trade declined during the latter half of the 20th century. Lately, however, due in part to the soaring price of scrap metal, rag-and-bone men can once again be seen at work.

Human by Rag'N'Bone Man:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Woman of Letters

Forever is composed of nows.
~Emily Dickinson

Sharing a poem from Emily Dickinson, Woman of Letters: Poems and Centos From Lines in Emily Dickinson's Letters by Lewis Turco today. Thanks, Lew! A bit about the book:
Buried in Emily Dickinson's letters are many lines that are stunningly beautiful, as beautiful as any to be found in her poems. Lewis Turco has taken some of these lines and written poems from them, on them, and around them. This volume, then, is a collaboration between two writers, one a 19th-century woman whose work became known to most readers only in the 20th century, and the other a post-modernist man of letters--an award-winning poet, critic, and scholar.

photo by baerchen57


    Who is approaching?
Oh, arctic February
    wading through snowdrifts.

    I have heard birds sing,
but I fear their bills will be
    frozen closed before

    their songs are finished.
Not yet has old King Frost had
    the cold pleasure of

    snatching them in his
frigid embrace. Would that we
    might spend this year, now

    fleeting swiftly by,
better than the one that we
    cannot now recall.


You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at Keri Recommends. Thanks, Keri!

Monique Passicot

Possible reality [is obtained] by slightly bending physical and chemical laws.
~Marcel Duchamp

When I ran across Monique Passicot's artwork, I immediately thought about sharing it here. Thank you, Monique, for giving me permission!

Eye of the Storm
by Monique Passicot

by Monique Passicot

by Monique Passicot

The Beholder
by Monique Passicot

Still Life With Glass & Pencil
by Monique Passicot

by Monique Passicot

by Monique Passicot

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Stocking up

“My father once said to me when I was younger, ‘If you see two people arguing and you want to figure out who’s losing the argument, just listen to who’s shouting the loudest. The person who begins to devolve is the one losing the argument.”
~Chad Marlow

Since his entry into the political scene, Trump has made public discourse a lot more contentious, uncivil, unreasonable. Between that and his conflicts-of-interest, his cabinet choices, and his backers/hackers, it's hard for me to have peace of mind. In difficult times, self-care is especially important.

This Wellness Wednesday, let's focus on nourishment. Gotta keep your strength up! How about a nice stock? I love making stocks -- they make the house smell great and they make soups taste wonderful. I even drink them plain. (I don't think any of these recipes call for it, but I always add fire cider -- apple cider vinegar with hot peppers, etc.-- to the mix.)

Alton Brown's Chicken Stock recipe
Emeril Lagasse's Beef Stock recipe
Rick's Ham Stock recipe
Fish Stock recipe from Epicurious
Stone Soup Veggie Broth recipe

A bonus: Warm Spiced Ginger Tea

If you have a favorite stock tip or recipe, let me know!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Yellow Albatross

Passionate about everything you do? A little bit of The Yellow Albatross this morning: