Sunday, May 29, 2011

ticket to a better life

It's not a feel-good movie. The main character, an 84-year-old African man, has too many excruciating memories for that. But I would call The First Grader a feel-hopeful movie. Based on a true story, it opens with Maruge, a Mau Mau veteran, receiving a letter from the government which he cannot read. Hoping to become literate, he tries to attend the free primary school just opened by the government and all kind of problems ensue. There is tragedy, drama, beauty, humor. The two main actors are marvelous. The soundtrack is haunting and exquisite. For the price of your ticket, you'll leave cherishing a free education, great teachers, the gift of being able to read and write, and - above all - freedom.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

love letters

Don't you {heart} these brand new love stamps? They came out on Monday, just in time for graduation announcements, June brides, summer birthday cards. Maybe even a long overdue love letter or two.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

still life

Like Matisse, and maybe you, I have a pink tablecloth, a cake stand, a blue and white ginger jar, lemons and flowers. The only thing I need is the gift of seeing it all through an artist's eyes. And that's something that can be cultivated.
(The Pink Tablecloth by Henri Matisse, 1925)

Friday, May 20, 2011

immediacy

I'll admit to being a tad rattled this week with new puppy, poison ivy (again!), car trouble, a work deadline. Nothing unmanageable, just life coming from every direction at its usual warp speed. Then I remember my friend Suzanne who thinks of author and artist Tasha Tudor when she feels overwhelmed and tries considering the world right around her at the smallest, most immediate level. How mountain-y cool it is this morning from last night's rain. How good the coffee tastes. How sweetly exhausting the puppy is. How nice it feels just to sit and relax and watch her play. How the hydrangea bush seems to have bloomed overnight, an even brighter shade of purple than last spring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

curry favor at the dinner hour

It's the eternal question. No, not "What is the meaning of life?" but rather 'What's for dinner?" Today I have a great answer for you, a recipe that never fails to perfume the house with fragrant goodness, win compliments and make happy those gathered around the table. I like to serve it with bright yellow rice and roast a tray of sliced carrots in the oven while the chicken is cooking. Somehow, when we're together, eating and enjoying each other for a moment of time, it really is possible to catch a glimpse of the eternal.

Chicken Diablo

3 lbs. chicken breasts, skin on
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt

Melt butter and stir in remaining ingredients. Arrange chicken in 13 x 9 casserole dish, meaty side up. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake 1 hour in 375-degree oven or until richly glazed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

puppy luv

Not all surprises that show up in life are as sweet and snuffly as Rutherford. Found wandering lost and alone in the woods of Tennessee, she now has a permanent home here with us. Having a new puppy is similar in many ways to settling in with a baby, from trying to sort out a feeding schedule to getting up in the wee hours to take her out. She even managed to find the few vestiges of plush and pink still remaining in our house of teenagers! Cocoa seems to be coping, something that Chocolate Labs do so well, despite a steady barrage of ear-nipping. We secretly think she's tickled.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

may morning

Saturday morning in May. A good cup of coffee is a must, and a pair of trusty sneakers. A corner of the patio works fine as an al fresco cafe. Put a leaf of soft, silvery green lamb's ear to your cheek and a pink peony in a vase. Oh, and don't forget the blueberries.
(click on image to enlarge)