Archive for April, 2017

Do you like the title of this post? It makes me smile and remember that quote which Winston Churchill may or may not have uttered, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”

But we have been up to quite a lot, culminating in the three days just past when our family and a small army of friends moved my daughter Emily and her family from their house on Partridge Road to their new location on Thistledown…(I am not using the real names of these roads for privacy.) On Partridge they were renting but for nearly three years they have been looking for the house of their dreams, which may not be everyone’s dreams, but are certainly dreams that make everyone in our family smile, sleeping or awake.

I am past the time of my life for carrying heavy boxes – which seemed to number in the thousands – but made food for the movers. I made my mother’s Johnny Muzette from the 50’s. (And another vegetarian casserole with the same Penne Rigata, many vegetables, and Al Fredo sauce.) I am pretty sure this is just a riff on Johnny Marzetti, an old Ohio recipe. For a completely off-topic divagation, you may read about it here:


This is a recipe that is great to make for large numbers of people. I served it at Chautauqua for decades! My mother’s version has a lot of mushrooms and finely chopped bell peppers in it and no sausage.  It is served in her enormous red dansk ware round casserole dish.

But you don’t want to read about ground beef casseroles, do you? You want to see Emily and Ingmar’s new home. And here are some photos my son in law sent me last night since I seem to always forget my camera.

em apr 2017 new house

It sits on nearly four acres and borders the National Park. The neighbors seem wonderful. It was one of them who told Ingmar about the house before it was on the market.

Em apr 2017 new house 2

My grandchildren are in the same school district and their old bus driver introduced them to their new bus driver.

Em apr 2017 new house 3

There are bird houses everywhere! And birds, too. We all love the natural world and here you are very close to it….May they have many many years of happiness in their new home.

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Animals lambs grass

Art stones in a river




Mysteries, Yes
by Mary Oliver

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.


Art bowed heads


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A Week Ago Today

A week ago today I was still enjoying the luxury of 80degree weather and sunny skies. It was the last day of my week on Siesta Key on the Gulf Coast of Florida and the day I drove to Fort Myers Airport, turned in my rental car, and flew back to Ohio.

All was not totally smooth. I managed to leave my Ohio key chain (which I didn’t really need to have taken with me) attached to the rental key. Last Monday, after many phone trees and investigations, I talked with the woman who runs the lost and found there and she said she had my keys, had packed them up and printed the label and that FedEx would pick them up on Tuesday. I still do not have them. One lives in hope. And it was my own fault. I was quite nervous by the time I got to Fort Myers. I hope that is not a mistake I shall make again.

And yesterday we had the most glorious snowfall of the winter. It was almost alarming in the morning. The snow was so wet and heavy it made every branch and limb appear to be closing in on me! But gloriously. My grandson Stephen made a snowman whom he named Fred. Today, when the snow is melting away, slowly, he brought his snowman to the house so he could “save it”.

Stephen apr 2017 trying to save his snowman

And the remains of Fred the snowman:

Stephen apr 2017 the remains of snowman Fred

As Alice said, “R.I.P., Fred”.

But perhaps you would like to see a few photos of the week in Sarasota? It was so busy! I didn’t always have my camera with me, either…Boo……However, a lot was packed into one week. We visited one of my favorite places anywhere, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants anywhere, Rosebud’s, in Osprey. (Ingmar and I had the wonderful crispy duck.) We had lunch at Snook Haven in Venice, and listened to a local group of banjo players, and saw the amazing Rookery, a small island in a large pond behind the Municipal Building (also in Venice) where all manner of exotic birds nest peaceably together. Emily and her family saw the wonders of the Mote Aquarium on Wednesday and I visited my friend Nancy and saw a fun exhibit at the Venice Art Museum where members  were showing paintings based on the theme of homage to famous artists.

Usually I have stayed at least two weeks, and usually a month, but we packed a lot into a week, this time.


Our house had a heated pool which the girls adored and used often more than once a day.


Em and Ingmar enjoying a restful moment at the Selby Gardens.


Lunch at Snook Haven, beside the Myakka River. Alas, we were not able to get reservations for the boat ride. But fun, anyway! The State has taken this “Old Florida” place over as a park to preserve it. It has a very different feeling from any place else I’ve been….


You can order alligator if you want to, but none of us did this time.


Scenes from The Rookery.


After the incredible snow yesterday, tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s. I welcome it. The garden is becoming exciting. A crab apple tree I thought had died last year is full of buds. I have no idea what happened last summer, but it seems not to have been lethal.

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Stephen apr 2017 sleeping with pepper

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