Sunday, April 29, 2007

and then we took a bike ride

down a dirt road to a pretty place.


it's been a fabulous sunday thus far. after homefries, turkey bacon and flax-yogurt- berry-smoothies, there was apple cake with caramel frosting.

and then there was the vintage book about san francisco, which tashi read to us.

and there were more seedlings, purchased at the farmer's market yesterday, planted today.

sunflowers, cosmos, calendula and nasturtium planted along the house. this trough was full of rocks, dead leaves and onion grass before.

the beginnings of tashi's fairy garden. an old pumpkin, hardened through a winter at the yard's edge. more calendula. and some scarlet phlox (not shown).

dappled shade with lupin and bachelor buttons.

a carpet of cherry blossoms.

lemon verbena, an ally.

morning glory in an old chinese medicine teapot.

i garden very spontaneously and without much planning. the results are mixed. i would like to plant many more medicinal herbs. there were far more dandelions and violets this spring. joy! i haven't quite found the place for a vegetable garden. much of our yard looks like this.

and within that wonderful, wild, chaotic mess, is a whole lot of this.

i don't have a good relationship with poison ivy and have had many uncomfortable months infected by it. in fact, i've a feeling it's just a matter of days before it appears on my skin after the game of hide and seek i played with tashi yesterday. i so would like to make these wild corners of our yard safely accessible. and would like to landscape some of the space with useful plants. but the battle with poison ivy is one i dread and fear.

in the mean time, here is our guard cat. he runs through the poison ivy freely and with glee. and passes it on to me.

Friday, April 27, 2007


it's a lunchblog update. today's meal is palak paneer with brown rice. followed by a donut. yes, indeed, a donut. there was a box of fresh donuts in the main office, and i just couldn't resist.

right now the decemberists are playing on pandora. and the sun is trying to break through the clouds. i think it might be a very nice weekend.

i am featuring the cow picture because of the dream i had last night. i dreamt that goji berries somehow had a psychotropic affect and i was enjoying this experience on a gorgeous farm. there were cows and horses all around. despite the clean, open conditions of the farm and the luscious tree line skirting the edge, i could sense an intense suffering amongst the animals. free range or not, they were there for the sole purpose of meeting human demand. it was such a conflicting experience, so much beauty and so much suffering. i woke up with the word samsara on my tongue.

so i am featuring the picture of the cow because it is such a beautiful cow, but it is tagged as some ranch owner's possession.

cows and goji berries and idylic farms aside, there is some serious change in the works. i'll let you know once the wheel spins and i'm on the other side!

Monday, April 23, 2007

dogwood festival

yesterday was another remarkable spring day. we treated tashi to an afternoon at the dogwood festival. carnivals are always a bit surreal. i was really blown away by this beehive hairdo.

dan and tashi were in car #1 of the zipper. definitely the wildest ride tashi's ever been on.

i resisted the urge for funnel cake. tashi didn't even ask for cotton candy. i'd say the day was a success.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

tea time

it's a gorgeous spring weekend in our parts. such a relief. yesterday we had tea time on the deck. that is my lovely tea pot from lemba village in cyprus.

tashi wasn't feeling well so spent all day at home. she and dan gave me permission to go to a matinee. i saw the namesake, directed by mira nair. i had read the book last fall and while i was somewhat disappointed with the book, i knew it would make a good movie. and indeed it was good.

loki had a nice spring day too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

on the other side of wednesday

this morning we watched tashi's class play about moses (third grade in waldorf school focuses on jewish stories and tradition). tashi played miriam. she was so good. and oh so beautiful.

it was a fine start to a rather unremarkable day.

a friend sent this link. hold onto your seat. it is mind bending.

tomorrow evening robert randolph and the family band are playing for * free * at the charlottesville pavilion! wow!

Monday, April 16, 2007

dark day

it's a dark day in virginia. the clouds are gathering. the wind is blowing. the electricity is flickering. the tree limbs are falling.

when i came home i found the chimney shield in the middle of our walkway. it sure is an ugly thing.

and the sun umbrella had blown off the deck.

and the hammock had twigs in it.

well, just a little twig. but it's a nice hammock isn't it?

the darkest saddest news is that some nutter killed over 30 students with a gun at virginia tech. that is pure sorrow. and it is a grave reminder that this many people die violently every day in iraq. i hold our government accountable. i despise guns. it should not be this easy for anyone to obtain a gun.

my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

this violin is a gas

tashi just started taking violin lessons at school. one of her first exercises was to pluck the notes of twinkle little star. she was practicing this the other night and getting super frustrated, to the point of complete resignation. i was trying to support with nuggets of wisdom about patience and perseverance and non-anger and how some of the greatest lessons we learn in life are the ones we have to work the hardest at and, and, and. i was beginning to sound like the dad in "little miss sunshine."

dan was doing a great job, of course, at working out the musical technicalities. at some point when she was about to give up because of the weird sounds that sometimes twanged out of her violin while she was trying to play the tune, i told her to just imagine that the sounds were farts. nothing like third grade humor to change the course of things. suddenly she had a sense of humor about it, and stopped losing her mind every time a weird sound emitted from the instrument. after several attemps, she pretty much had the tune down. and she squealed, "i want to play violin all night!!!"

the next morning she was up at 5:30am practicing. and now she is at the ready with bow in hand, playing the entire song. so when ever you're feeling really stuck about words of advice to offer your child, remember that sometimes humor is the wisest choice, even if it's potty humor.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

dogwood days

ah, the beauty of dogwoods. white dogwoods. pink dogwoods. dogwoods down the center median of a road. bright dogwood splash at every turn.

speaking of dogwood, there is a devendra banhart song called korean dogwood that just melts my heart. here are the lyrics, but without the mesmerizing voice it's a little out of context. plus each lyric site i went to had a different take on some of the lines. this sounded most accurate to me:

Korean Dogwood

Red oak sugar and Korean dogwood and Korean dogwood
Vibes turn to rubbed rum
Lit by mission moonlight
Kangas on that hillside
You are my life
And you baffle me some
Like vanilla's maple
Inca cornflower
You’re my baby’s blue eyes
And when you're gown dissolves in a prayer
You’ll hear a sound
That rings true and fair
Black King lightning
The dawn of orange blossoms and orange blossoms
My friend Keegan
Drawing endless love songs, endless love songs
Calm breath, sweet being, show me what you’re seeing
Show me what you’re seeing
And though right and loud and proud
Every little word
It still ain't heard
Strange prayers looming
Over all our brothers, over all our brothers
Prison life served
But Navajo Gospel
Is a rope thrown helpful
But for sure all that we’ve made
Will be swallowed by the Earth
For it’s got no worth

Sunday, April 08, 2007

sweet home

happy spring, easter and passover to all.

we had a fabulous week in new york. a complete showcase of our adventures can be found here.

i would say it was more of a culinary experience this time around, with so many good lunches and dinners and cups of espresso. we had tibetan momos, thai noodles, lebanese kibbehs, cuban rice & beans, french crepes, true new york bagels, delicious kosher feasts and a few good desserts. time to read, "french women don't get fat," again!

we did a lot of walking through various neighborhoods -- chelsea, greenwich village, midtown, the east village, the financial district, upper east side, upper west side and williamsburg, indulging in a few touristy attractions along the way. i actually had the opportunity to check out some of the chelsea art galleries this time around, and discovered the uplifting work of julie evans and the compelling work of amy cutler. it is a blast to be able to visit gallery after gallery within two blocks of my dad's digs. i also visited the guggenheim while dan and tashi were at the natural history museum.

on friday i took tashi to an off broadway production of anne of green gables. she had just finished the book the night before. it certainly wouldn't have been my first choice in new york city theater, but the things we do for our children! it was a well done tear jerker, and i think she enjoyed every moment of it.

our last morning we went to the chelsea antique garage and flea market, where i foamed at the mouth yet contained my urges, mostly.

danny and shirley and my dad were generous and jolly as always, taking time out of their usual routines to follow us through chinatown, the central park zoo, the south street seaport by night and the rubin museum of himalayan art, to name a few. our vacation ended with a birthday cake for my dad and dan (both april 26) and shirley (april 30). many happy returns to all!

and now we are home on easter sunday. really this holiday is about spring to us, and while i know it would be most consistent with my belief system to celebrate it on spring equinox, i somehow completely missed it this year, realizing it was the first day of spring at about 7pm while in the shopping mall parking lot. so today tashi hunted for eggs and received a basket full of candy in shapes of pagan iconography. she is currently dancing around to hindi soundtrack "lagaan" (a favorite) while dan reads an issue of the smithsonian and i consider baking hot cross buns.

time to sign off and be home, sweet home.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

bright bleak

yesterday we saw a 13 year old red panda named gladwynn at the central park zoo. he was the sweetest little guy.

we also had lunch at a cozy upper east side eatery called follow me caffe. it had dim lighting and orange walls and lots of cushions and a big open window.

we took tashi to fao schwartz, which was more like a museum than a store. she got hooked on the idea of purchasing a doll, so with her own money she bought a baby that she named molly. here is my brother danny babysitting molly.

yesterday was a bright sunny day but today is rainy and bleak. we're off to the rubin museum of himalayan art and then we might just bum around chelsea, the local hood, full of galleries and good eats.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

chelsea morning

we are in new york, city of surprises. we arrived sunday evening on amtrak, three hours late. we're staying at my dad's place in chelsea, where it is currently foggy and cool.

yesterday we explored chinatown where tashi bought trinkets and we ate puffs filled with sweet yellow bean paste. we wandered through little italy, the east village, greenwich village, and hung out in washington square park.

larry (dad) and shirley (his wife) put together a passover seder for us in the evening. it was pretty special and i even ate all of my gefilte fish.

today is all about tashi. we're taking her to fao schwartz, where surely there will be some angst over expensive toys we can't purchase. then we'll go to central park and wander aimlessly for hours.

i love new york!