Sunday, June 26, 2016


In Italy--especially in Piedmont, in Germany and Austria, and in Westfield, Massachusetts
where I was with friends...
Umbels of the elderberry are batter coated,
with a light batter like for Swedish pancakes,
fried in coconut oil, then served as a dessert...
...a sweet lunch, or a snack,
with a powdered sugar topping.
A light white wine compliments them.

All about the Elderberry:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

TRAVELING TODAY where light bends through Massachusetts mornings
and the welcomes come in roses.
 Where digitalis quickens the pulse of everything,
the Monarda didyma
feeds bees and butterflies...
 and tiger-lilies toil not,
but bless the gardener who does.
 Where 'round each corner...
there's an open invitation for reflectiveness.
The Summer Solstice arrives on Monday June 20th marking the first day of Summer in the northern hemisphere, when the North Pole of the Earth is angled at its greatest toward the Sun. It happens precisely at 6:34 PM EDT. The Full Moon rises just after sunset, tracking low across the southern skies. This is the first Full Moon on the Solstice since 1986, and won’t happen again until 2100.
(No virtual-All actual)
Back on the 27th


Two parts of a memoir first published in 2012

His Dad
For D. M. S and W. J. S.

A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar Guest
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip
There is a glorious fellowship!

Father and son and the open sky

And the white clouds lazily drifting by,

And the laughing stream as it runs along

With the clicking reel like a martial song,

And the father teaching the youngster gay

How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.

I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who's with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.

Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.

He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
Builders of life's companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,

For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life's truths from my father's lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.
Her Daddy
by Ms. 

She didn't 'go-fish' with her giant of a father, except when she could get him to play cards, but he hoisted her up six feet to his shoulders at the much anticipated end-of-week arrivals. She'd never be so tall as in those days long ago when three familiar families joined together, sharing one communal Summer vacation rental.  It was a time when working class wives were home.  Fathers disappeared weekdays into the wider world with it's mysteries never revealed at suppertime.
School closed for three whole months!  It meant freedom, screened in sleeping porches, ice cream cones, beach sand everywhere, waves to plunge through, or lakes to float upon, woods to explore, staying up late, easy board games, drive-in movies in our pajamas, the company of cousins, suddenly permissive adults, space to dream, ocean scenes, shooting stars and fireflies.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Had a simply wonderful date at the local Laundromat (clean, efficient and all the machines work).  I listened to Prairie Home Companion on my little portable with headphones while waiting and was thoroughly entertained.
 At one point I stepped outside and witnessed an incident.  The man in blue shirt near the blue awning at the back of the photo had been swearing at people coming out of the Italian eatery (he's from the neighborhood and often angry).  Then the couple in the foreground (man in blue shirt and the woman with a cane), phoned the police to report him when He said he was going to blow the place up.  The man in the green shirt with his bike commiserated with them, said he knew the guy was disturbed.  So the police came, talked to him awhile and to the restaurant owners who said he harassed them regularly.  They took him away to Bellevue nearby for a mental assessment.  There was no violence.
On the way home with my clean sheets and comforter, I ran into these two beautiful neighbors just returned from their day at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
Life is I'll pack.


Little Teddy Sending Bear Hugs-thinking Kind Thoughts.
There's comfort in compassion when big tragedies arrive.

Tripped off to the High line for Stargazing
The night was cool and bright. Thanks to the NY Astronomers club volunteers sharing their telescopes, I saw Saturn as a tiny white oval with a single ring.

Wandered among stargazers lounging on beach chairs along paths where summer plants are coming into bloom:

 Forgot the name
Life size sculpture called "Sleepwalker".  Various people posed with him for selfies.  To me it looked like violation, and I had an interesting conversation with two older men also waiting in line.  They agreed, and we talked a bit about how nakedness make us uncomfortable, nervous.  We three identified with the vulnerability.
Read what the sculptor says:
(link at the end)
A cool-Jazz trio serenaded at one end, and a disco DJ at the other where a film was in process with mostly men dancing.  Emerging near Christopher street I headed back North along 10th Avenue where many stores are closed or closing. 
Then a brief sweet encounter with a beautiful drag queen on her way to an event, her costume of cleverly draped stiff cellophane was worn over shorts and top, and she was quite happy to pose.  I didn't ask her name and she didn't offer it.

After a Zazen at the Zendo,
I headed West on 23rd Street.
Walking leisurely until the sun set, then
caught the bus back East to home.
Mask at the Opera Thrift
The hand of a metal plated Buddha on display
A homeless man napping on 21st Street


Unwell, but bumbled through the day doing chores, getting my notice to the post office to hold mail while I'm away for a week in Massachusetts
(Clover and Ialanthus in neglected street tub)

Cooked and froze all foods that might spoil.
(Potato, cumin and coriander in broth)
 Did some hand laundry and pre-soaked sheets and towels. 
Now ready for a trip to the laundromat.
On the advice of a trusted wise-friend, I tuned in to this Omega session with a favorite teacher, Pema Chodron and found it most helpful.

The number of notes in the traditional Western diatonic scale (major or minor), there are seven musicians in a septet or a septuor, and today is the seventh day.
(Read about the many meanings ascribed to it)


Sunday, June 12, 2016


Exot Blue Treasures
(See Links)
A small sample of the seemingly endless hand dyed creations in cotton, linen, silk and cashmere
Anonymous ballerina posing on point

A rich Silk with a lovely stone

Julio, one of the dynamic creative duo

A Stone he covets from Australian Opals

The afternoon was hot, hot, hot, and moody with intermittent storms

Headed home via Subway and Bus

My new Indigo cotton-weave cap
It's so, sooooo soft

If you've seen something you like at this link


Friday, June 10, 2016


 Vernita Nemac with Stacey Clarfield Newman

Friend Wendy enjoying Prosecco

Young Sam Kim
"Past, Present and Future"
 The Trio from Boston