Friday, February 27, 2015

treasure house

How delightful - but uncannily unsurprising - to learn that thesaurus means "treasure house" in Greek. And that people "snatched it from the shelves like a new kind of candy" when Peter Mark Roget first published his creation in 1852. There's so much to treasure about The Right Word, a new picture book that is as layered and vivid visually as it is linguistically. The story by Jen Bryant is perfect throughout every single syllable, a retracing of Roget's life beginning with his childhood heartbreak and how making lists helped bring order to his world. That is the why and a reason to care deeply, which gives the book its initial greatness. Then, the drawings by Melissa Sweet. I needed a thesaurus to find a word to do them justice and the closest I could get is wondrous. The language, the meaning, the art - this book gets it all so very very right. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Role models come in all shapes, sizes, ages and hair colors. Madeleine will always be one of mine. Ludwig Bemelmans, too, for dreaming her up and bringing her to life on paper. The scary tigers of life will always lunge and roar. A little Parisian girl helped me learn how to respond.  

Monday, February 9, 2015


Hello first Valentine, essence of Italy, gift from my friend who loves Florence as much as I do. Wish the heavenly soft scent could waft over the internet so you, too, could be swept away.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Some people call it winter. I call it citrus season. Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, tangerines . . . they'll get you through the cold months with their sunny, zesty, juicy goodness. Vitamin C, providing color and cheer and so much  more, just when we need it most. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

the word

An advocate of choosing a single word for the new year rather than a resolution, I've chosen word as mine. Why not begin at the beginning, right? Maybe it's something you need in your life or a concept you just want to explore. But once you choose a word, it seems like that little combination of letters starts to appear at every turn: in quotes, book passages, conversation, visuals. And its true meaning and importance for you, with myriad subtle nuances, gradually takes shape. There is something about "word" or the idea of words, that is going to show itself to me this year, I just know it. Something already jumped out at me this morning that put into words what I have felt but never been able to articulate. Until now. What is your word for 2015?

Friday, January 9, 2015

the butterfly effect

These beauties did not get put back into the ornament box after the holidays because they have so much new year significance. Isn't to be transformed in some way - whether monumental or miniscule - what we're really seeking when we make resolutions? The outer goal may be to lose a few pounds, but inside it's about wanting to feel lighter, to get rid of what weighs us down. A commitment to exercise may just be answering a call to use your amazing body, to stir up some energy, to have more fun. Setting a budget is less about rigid accounting, more about honoring what you have and how your heart wants to use it. Maybe a better word than resolution is intention. The road to a sparkling new year is paved with them.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

a batch of love

Before Ina and her cadre of beautifully designed cookbooks, there was the humble recipe box stuffed with 3x5 cards and memories. The more worn out and smudged the card, the more loved the recipe. And the person who gave it to you. Like Coma Rayburn and her cheese daisies, a New Year's Eve recipe if there ever was one. What I wouldn't give today to see that angel making a batch of these through her kitchen window on Middleton Drive. Sometimes I think that's how heaven may work. That you get do-overs, whenever your heart desires, of all the things you've loved most in this life - the people, the places, the moments. Today I'll settle for a savory little treat warm from the oven, from the heart, from the recipe box of life.

Friday, December 26, 2014

birth announcement

Born:       December 25 at 12 am
Weight:  the whole world
To:           hearts everywhere

all aboard

(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


A creature was stirring before dawn this morning, coughing actually. I got up to see if I could bring her anything, but she drifted right back to sleep. Which is how I found myself in the kitchen at 6 am with the most beautiful ancient carols on the radio, coffee in hand and cards to savor. So still, so bright. Everything else fell away and Christmas floated in.