Monday, January 30, 2017

Sierra Hull & Justin Moses

The sound of the mandolin is a very curious sound because it's cheerful and melancholy at the same time, and I think it comes from that shadow string, the double strings.
~Rita Dove

For Music Monday, we have Sierra Hull and Justin Moses:

For fun!

Just saw this one and had to add it. Wow! Amaaaazing playing.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sticking together

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
~Audrey Hepburn

Turning something bad into something good...

Kal Penn was told by a troll that he didn't belong in America, and Penn turned that moment into a fundraiser for the International Refugee Committee. I'm not sure how much his initial goal was, but the donations surpassed anything he could imagine. Right now, it's at $302,000. Amazing!

If you're interested in the fundraiser: Penn's International Refugee Committee campaign.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Free Press, Free Society

Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.
~Thomas Carlyle

from the European Council of Journalists

I've talked about the Committee to Protect Journalists before. If you're interested in keeping up with their efforts in the U.S., visit here and for an overview of their work, visit here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Poem Potpourri

Love is the most ferocious and strongest force on the planet.
~Greg Cipes

This week, I did an experiment instigated by Donna JT Smith. I used fourteen lines (listed farther down) as my springboard for a poem about "ferocious women." Thanks for the fun, Donna!

No Exaggeration
by Tabatha Yeatts et al

When the wild song has rushed by in a blur of green and gold,
Leaving behind the gray-awful, like smoke from a fire,

Dreaming women wake the world
To wear a little chest to put the Alive in.

From their concentrated, radical core --
Fearless women reach out,

Drink the wind, eat the masks,
Bring you Truth, not coffee,
And soft smiles for dessert.

Intertwined, we exalt--
Ferocious women
Tell the stories.


Here are the Poem Potpourri lines that I used wild and ferocious poetic license with:

Buffy S: "ferocious women who never bring you coffee" - refrigerator magnetic poetry
Donna S (me): "always leave a wild song" - refrigerator magnetic poetry
Linda B: "dreaming women do art in poetry" - from her pile of poetry blocks
Buffy S: "where wizards and wolves rush by in a blur of green and gold and gray" - patched together from Kate Dicamillo's Where Are You Going Baby Lincoln
Kay: "ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones" from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five
Linda M: "waking the world to a new day"
Margaret S: "steam that climbs like smoke from a fire" - this was in the comments the first week, and I'm not sure if it is a comment or a line... but I'm using it!
Carol V: "fearless women reach out, connect, and find joy in life's intertwined moments" - Connecting the word "fearless" that April had used last week.
Tabatha Y: "little chest to put the Alive in" - Emily Dickinson
Joy: "wear loose clothing and a smile" - from a thought and some connections
Jan GA: "I feel like there should be more stories out there for girls, and I try to tell them" - a quote from Hope Larson from the book COMICS CONFIDENTIAL.
Mary Lee H: "ferocious women do not exaggerate" - from Mary Oliver's UPSTREAM on page 109, "I do not exaggerate."
Brenda H: "make a ferocious dinner that eats masks, drips truth and saves softness for dessert"
Keri L: "radical at their core" from her husband's magazine, "Guns & Ammo"
Kiesha S: "ferocious women would rather drink the wind" - a line from Mary Oliver's (Why I Wake Early) titled "The Arrowhead"
Diane M:"Out of endurance, exaltation" - a line from the poem "Monadnock" by Robert Francis.



Beyond Literacy Link has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Denim Art by Ian Berry

I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes.
~Yves Saint-Laurent

Ian Berry uses denim as his medium. Plain old jeans. Aren't they amazing?? Thank you, Ian, for giving me permission to show these!

Behind Closed Doors
by Ian Berry

by Ian Berry

by Ian Berry

The Cheyenne (Diner) has gone
by Ian Berry

Debbie Harry
by Ian Berry

by Ian Berry

Duck-Pin Bowl
by Ian Berry

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Serendipity is the faculty of finding things we did not know we were looking for.
~Glauco Ortolano

For Wellness Wednesday, poetry, romance, friendship, book love, and serendipity:

How can we make the most of the unexpected? How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity

An interview with Susan Piver about serendipity

P.S. William Boyd coined the term zemblanity to mean somewhat the opposite of serendipity: "making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries occurring by design". A zemblanity is, effectively, an "unpleasant unsurprise." [Wikipedia]

Monday, January 23, 2017

Under Its Spell

As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to re-fold it no matter how smart you are.
So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it, never fly as cargo.
~Jim Henson

Joseph Vincent:

I know that it's easier to portray a world that's filled with cynicism and anger, where problems are solved with violence. What's a whole lot tougher is to offer alternatives, to present other ways conflicts can be resolved, and to show that you can have a positive impact on your world.
~Jim Henson

Here's a song that reminded me of "The Rainbow Connection":

La La Land on iTunes

Saturday, January 21, 2017


OK, so what am I doing?
~Leonard Shelby (Memento)

Recently, I've seen some movies that I especially liked: Arrival, Memento, and Train to Busan. Arrival is quiet, Train to Busan (a South Korean zombie movie) is not at all quiet, and Memento is backwards (literally).

Train to Busan reminds us that love can bring out the best in us, and that leaders who don't love anyone but themselves can bring out the worst.

What movies have you particularly enjoyed lately?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sighing for wings

With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I know, I already did new year poems, but I'm not done yet. This one spoke to me still:

The Year
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1910)

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.



Today is also a good day to revisit A Blessing for One Who Holds Power and Take Care of This House.

Violet Nesdoly has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Violet!

Rob Bridges

People who really appreciated animals always asked their names.
~Lilian Jackson Braun

Playful, imaginative illustrations by Robert Bridges today. Thanks, R!

The Hypnogogic Reveries of Charles Hamm
by Rob Bridges

The Black Rider of the Iron Hills
by Rob Bridges

The Cloud Thieves
by Rob Bridges

Quartermaster Black Moggy Bill
by Rob Bridges

The Vagabond Milliner
by Rob Bridges

Escape from the Meadow Party
by Rob Bridges

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:

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Commander-in-Chief and friends

There’s this revelation that if you put in work on something you can’t do at first, eventually you can do it. And the first time that happens it is kind of like an addiction. You want it to happen again. And the more it happens, the more you’re confident that it can happen. So you start chasing your potential.
~Tosin Abasi

Mixing electric and acoustic guitars beautifully today. I planned to still be on vacation, but these are something I was going to send to my dad and decided I might as well share here :)

Norgwegian guitarists The Commander-in-Chief and Thomas Valeur:

"Por Una Cabeza" performed by The Commander-In-Chief & Craig Ogden:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Scrubbing the windows

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.
~Isaac Asimov

Hey! I'm not starting up again quite yet. I just wanted to share something I was thinking about.

There's a young man I know, a college student, who wants to be a lawyer. If someone were to just look at him from the outside, they might assume he is "privileged," "entitled," what-have-you. He actually is putting himself through college because his mom doesn't have any money. He grew up poor in a one-parent household, had family members die of AIDS, has mental health issues, and has been seriously assaulted. He has a full plate to deal with, and you wouldn't know that from looking at him.

Here's a quote from the Chicago Tribune, 1965:
Most of us are acutely aware of our own struggles and we are preoccupied with our own problems. We sympathize with ourselves because we see our own difficulties so clearly. But Ian MacLaren noted wisely, “Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.”
Back to kindness, always...

My blog break has been extended, but I hope to return to your regularly scheduled programming by next Wednesday. :-)