Beach Memory


A sketch of the beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where we were at this time last year. But we knew back in January when we replaced our ancient furnace that there would be no summer travel for us this year. So, instead we attempt to go swimming every single day, before breakfast, or before dinner. Or sometimes both! That’s two vacations per day.

To see the dangers you risk when you return from an actual trip out of town, please see Bananas.



Eat Your Peas


Today is the birthday of Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), whose study of the humble pea led him to deduce the existence of what he called dominant and recessive traits, thereby perplexing and confusing his fellow scientists with a concept we all take for granted today. For his story, and pictures, please see Peas of Mind.


Bastille Day


In honor of the day I post this painting, featuring, among other things, our ratty yet beloved old Paris guide to arrondissements. This morning we hung from the porch our homemade French flag and put Edith Piaf on the CD player. For dinner I will make a soufflé (not exactly a dish suited to July, but definitely a family favorite) and we’ll watch “Casablanca” and sing along during the Marseillaise scene. Vive la France!

This image is available as a high-resolution print on 8.5″ x 11″ archival paper.

Birthday Pie


Of the pies my mother made, our favorite was apple, but she could also make a terrific and unequalled lemon meringue pie: tart, deeply lemony, with high white peaks. On her own birthday, of course, she could sit down to pies made by others. This sketch is from a birthday lunch at which she decided to go for the Key Lime. Alas, her illusions were dispelled: it was too sweet. Someone else finished it and she was obliged to make do with the profiterolles. Happy birthday, Mom. In a perfect Heaven, the clouds are fluffy edible meringue.



Palisades Parade


An event we enjoy just as much as the Fourth of July fireworks is the Palisades neighborhood parade, which begins with a rousing group of bagpipers and concludes with cowboys on horseback (an arrangement cleverly designed to keep manure off the marchers’ feet).

In between are families riding their decorated bicycles; dressed-up trucks from the local firehouse, plumber and grocer; a group of fabulously energetic Peruvian dancers; local politicians distributing flyers, jewelry, and candy; the GLBT Different Drummers, with their Big Band/Swing sound and exuberant drum major; vintage cars driven by their vintage owners; home-grown George and Martha, Uncle Sams and Statues of Liberty; a huge float bearing summer campers belting out Broadway show tunes; patriotically attired dogs; and a crowned and smiling Miss Millwood, the currently favored teen queen of Millwood Place.

We wave, we cheer and clap for everybody, we go home feeling a love of country and a connection to all humanity.