May 1st, 2017

May Baskets

Happy May Day, everyone.

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CakeLilyValley

Mary

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Josiah

April 28th, 2017

This Fight is Our Fight

The amazing and inspiring (and very funny) Elizabeth Warren reading from her new book, This Fight Is Our Fight, and answering questions from a packed house at Politics & Prose’s Sixth and I event on Monday. Thank goodness there are at least a few members of Congress who are intelligent, well-informed, straightforward, and genuinely concerned about the welfare of ordinary human beings.

ElizabethWarren

March 26th, 2017

Loveliest of Trees

I am experimenting with the eBay auction as a venue for my paintings, and I am beginning with “Cherry Blossoms,” a seasonally appropriate work. It begins tonight and ends April 2nd. (You can find it here.) And with this painting I include my favorite cherry blossom poem, from A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.

CherryBlossoms

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

–A.E. Housman

March 23rd, 2017

Waldorf Early Childhood Reader

Here, one of the graphic design & illustration projects that have been occupying me over the past few months. Recently released, Waldorf Early Childhood Education: An Introductory Reader (edited by Shannon Honigblum) is a wonderful collection, by 30 different authors, of essays related to the education of the young child: practical activities and the power of play; development of language, thinking, consciousness, and the will; music and circle time; the stages of early childhood; the history and essentials of Waldorf education. You can learn more on the WECAN website.

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March 20th, 2017

Turning from chilly winter ways

For the first day of spring, a poem by Linda Pastan, and a painting.

Crocus&LaceF

Spring

Just as we lose hope
she ambles in,
a late guest
dragging her hem
of wildflowers,
her torn
veil of mist,
of light rain,
blowing
her dandelion
breath
in our ears;
and we forgive her,
turning from
chilly winter
ways,
we throw off
our faithful
sweaters
and open
our arms.

—Linda Pastan

CakeWedding

Lynn & Donald

March 17th, 2017

St. Patrick’s Soda Bread

Up early this morning, to prepare the St.Patrick’s Day table and bake soda bread for breakfast. There are many choices, and this recipe (below) is my current favorite. But I was out of wheat germ, so I substituted bran, resulting in a gutsier product. Great with Irish cheddar, or yogurt and jam (or all of the above, if that is to your taste). Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Brown Soda Bread

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (or bran)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 T cold unsalted butter cut into bits
1-1/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (I’ve tried both)

Preheat oven to 425º.

Sprinkle baking sheet with a little flour.

In a large bowl whisk together flours, oats, wheat germ/bran, baking soda, and salt. With fingertips rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk/yogurt and mix quickly until dough is evenly moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Turn dough onto floured surface and shape quickly into neat sphere, sprinkling with more flour as needed. On prepared baking sheet pat dough out into 7-inch round. With sharp knife cut shallow X in top.

Bake 25 minutes or so (depends on your oven) until bread looks set in center. Cool before serving.

CakeGreen

Simone

March 14th, 2017

Two Pies for Pi Day

For Pi Day, two pies for dinner: my husband’s tomato-mozzarella-chèvre pizza, followed by my apple pie. Afterward a pi-inspired game with lots of laughs. Love my nerdy family.

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Kara

February 17th, 2017

Morning Ritual

Click twice to enlarge.

MorningRitual

CakeEiffel

Walter

February 14th, 2017

Take Love for Granted

A painting and a poem for this Day of Love. As the poet says, Wake it every day… Happy Valentines Day, everyone.

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Assume it’s in the kitchen,
under the couch, high
in the pine tree out back,
behind the paint cans
in the garage. Don’t try
proving your love
is bigger than the Grand
Canyon, the Milky Way,
the urban sprawl of L.A.
Take it for granted. Take it
out with the garbage. Bring
it in with the takeout. Take
it for a walk with the dog.
Wake it every day, say,
“Good morning.” Then
make the coffee. Warm
the cups. Don’t expect much
of the day. Be glad when
you make it back to bed.
Be glad he threw out that
box of old hats. Be glad
she leaves her shoes
in the hall. Snow will
come. Spring will show up.
Summer will be humid.
The leaves will fall
in the fall. That’s more
than you need. We can
love anybody, even
everybody. But you
can love the silence,
sighing and saying to
yourself, “That’s her.”
“That’s him.” Then to
each other, “I know!
Let’s go out for breakfast!”

—Jack Ridl

CakeStrawberries

Jack

December 25th, 2016

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Wishing everyone a joyous, loving, and peaceful season. And, in that spirit, here is a poem by Tennyson for Christmas Day.

bellsiledelacite

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
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 darkenss of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

—Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Ann

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Stephanie

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Noah

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Tony

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Nevin