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A few photographs have surfaced of my grandfather, Pierre Menager's work. I am always charmed by his informal paintings...they have so life in them, and so little social distancing. A barn dance and a wedding...They make me happy these dark... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2020 at In the Labyrinth
Hi Sharon, thanks for this! It was such a different time, wasn't it? I love my two small sculptures of a knitting woman and her husband. I also have a pair of sculpted pekineses Ole did for my grandmother.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2020 on The Primitive Art of Ole Olson at In the Labyrinth
I totally understand that kind of concern! This reminds me of yesterday's reading from 2 Kings 14-16A which offers hope for the future even when it seems impossible: Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.” Elisha said, “Call her.” When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.” I will add you and your family to my prayers this year. As for where the best place to live? Ah...I have to say Boulder is pretty darn beautiful. And yes, I crave the seasons, the changes, the colors, the rain...all of which doesn't happen in Tucson. But...I will be there for a few of the winter months (never thought I would be a snow bird!!) when it is gorgeous and cool in Tucson, and the sunsets spectacular. Plus, I miss good Mexican food! And my favorite bar and coffee shop!
Hahaha -- that's hilarious! It is such a remarkable union of food and culture and what food is intended to say about not only the individual, but the culture from which those signature dishes and comfort foods arise. What flavors do you love? How does what you grow and eat reflect the place, the world in which you live? How does what you eat also describe your relationship with those familial ancestors, the way you care for yourself, the way, as Proust so famously did, remember the family and the past. And now, I think I need to make some madeleines...seriously, I've made myself hungry for French soul food. (And funnily enough, my husband made a little pasta with olive-oil and butter to calm his stomach just yesterday! When in digestive doubt, return to the basics!
Toggle Commented Jun 26, 2020 on Plank'd and Research at In the Labyrinth
I remember being of two minds... relieved that we were freed up to go and do whatever we wanted...and then when grandchildren came, it was a call to return to the tribe-mind! Being and active part of that...we lived in Tucson for 12 years, until one day we just upped and moved to Boulder to be involved in the life of our children again, and their children. We still have our own adventures -- the hiking here in the mountains is thrilling and meeting up with a karate school for training at 9,000ft is literally breath-taking and fun. There's talk of building a homestead farm, of getting sheep, and garden beds full of vegetables, helping with's crazy, but most pleasurable to contemplate, especially in this particularly painful and destructive time we are living in. Circling the wagons -- I suppose. But, I taught my five year granddaughter how to weave on a simple cardboard loom I made for her and now she wants me to teach her everything about textile-making. It's lovely as the grandchildren pull us forward into the future with them.
Hi Mark, to call someone in Sweden a "halibut" is an endearment I think because halibut traditionally is an important and favorite food among Swedes. It could be dried and salted and kept through the winter (long winters!) The French call a loved one a little cabbage. The Germans have quite a few as well, based on sausages and plum cakes. I think all cultures have versions of turning food items into expressions of "consuming" love. And Italians and food! yes, yes -- especially good food! How many different kinds of pasta there are! When I was researching "The Innamorati" I was living in Italy for a year. I had read for fun an Italianate novel written by two English women. Half way through the novel I realized that not one character in 100 pages had stopped to eat anything. I mentioned this to my Italian friend and she looked at me horrified, and said "not even pasta???"
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2020 on Plank'd and Research at In the Labyrinth
Fantastic! I love the conversations with your mother, as there is nothing better than passionately talking over food and recipes! My father was French and food examples abounded in his everyday conversations -- even in his translations of French-speaking African poetry and Swedish poetry. Food references were carefully calculated, so that the physical sense of the food image could translate from one country to another. An "over-ripe Camembert" with it's nuance of an off smell and too soft and squishy, became in English "a rotten tomato." The "halibut" (an affectionate term for a loved one) became something more familiar -- a lover, I think. I can't seem to find the poem in my papers! I would also recommend a small, but gorgeous book on food and art in the Renaissance: "Tastes and Temptations" by John Varriano. I've posted on him before in the blog -- but cream, raisins, and spices seem extravagant, you should read the descriptions of whole peacock, stuffed and cooked and reassembled to look as if it were about to fly off the plate!
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2020 on Plank'd and Research at In the Labyrinth
And P.S. Friendly comment bombing is always welcomed!
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2020 on Plank'd and Research at In the Labyrinth
Hi Mark: I got this description from the cookbook "The Splendid Table" by Lynn Rossetto Kasper, page 168. She offers a recipe for Lasagne Duchi di Ferrara -- and here is how she describes it: "Inspired by a 16th century banquet dish, sheets of sheer pasta are layered with a ragu of chicken and sprinklings of nuts, raisins, spices, cheese, and a touch of cream..." Now...I seem to remember hunting down alternate versions of these sumptuous recipe -- and which at the time must have be exotic and expensive to make with all those spices. I'll see if I can more on it.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2020 on Plank'd and Research at In the Labyrinth
Hi Mark -- a great question indeed! I had not thought about that (though how to interpret A.G. Robinson's card created from a slice of birch bark? Intriguing!) though I suspect that there most likely wasn't a specific attachment to the flowers -- these were commercially made which might have picked pretty images rather than meaningful ones --on the other hand, since you mentioned it, I can't stop thinking about it either. Let me do some research on both the calling card and the language of flowers!
Hi Mark, hey, thanks for this wonderful comment. I am glad that my Dinotopia book found you all those years ago and again in this present moment. I had a lot of fun writing it and it is always great to hear from readers (and fellow Madison/Milwaukeeans!). I will definitely search for a recording of the Carter version of the song -- I am always moved by folk songs that have an amazing capacity to create deeply felt images within the tightly controlled frame of the song. Goods ones always evoke both what is revealed, and also what is left unsaid. Such an economy of thought -- close to poetry -- where the tune and the singer voice give it depth.
It is a yearly pleasure --as those of us with family heirloom garments know to clean and mend a beautiful garment, such as this summer dress that belonged to my great grandmother Jennie Wedin-Westegaard. She was raised on a homestead farm in the North Dakota Territory, married well and became... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at Handwork and The Craft
It seems to me these days that we live in a world that condemns everything and forgives nothing. It is rare when making a mistake -- even an honest one -- that we are allowed to fully repeal it or get past it. Except here in this sampler I started... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at Handwork and The Craft
Working on a new pair of socks for my daughter, an overdue present for her birthday. I am so enjoying knitting this lovely crisp yarn and beautiful blue-colored speckles from Plucky Knitter Hand Dyed Yarns. Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2020 at Handwork and The Craft
Because this is so much more beautiful, poised, and calm. Next pandemic, I am going to strive for loveliness... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2020 at In the Labyrinth
We hike a lot across the Colorado Front Range as it is something almost every one is compelled to do here; the chance to be so completely surrounded by a magnificent landscape that invites one to enter into its beauty.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2020 at In the Labyrinth
So, here's the new plan: knit the first sock of a bunch of pairs.Then, when I finish the last of six single socks, start over from the beginning and repeat. Just trying to experiment with lots of different socks, different techniques, and hopefully a range of new patterns. These are... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2020 at Handwork and The Craft
I love these! I feel a challenge coming on!
Toggle Commented Apr 28, 2020 on Insults: How Do I Detest Thee? at In the Labyrinth
Hi JoAnn, I would recommend that you directly email Jerry -- he has given his email address out freely (see above) JERRYDIMAS43418@ATT.NET He loves to communicate with the younger generation about life in Madrid. And he has a great memory for names and faces. All best, Midori
For anyone looking for this page, it sadly no longer exists. Not sure why Yale decided to remove it....
It seems the right day to read this story again. I am writing in the near dark, just the illumination of candles and a friendly pair of glowing pumpkins looking over my shoulder. Jack Straw was one of those rare... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2019 at In the Labyrinth
I am happy to announce that I have finally taken the plunge and created my own independent small press, Leaping Hart Press. It has been an exciting process, watching as each requirement for an LLC falls into place (though not... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2019 at In the Labyrinth
I have been working on a new warp for a set of really interesting tea towels from Amanda Rataj, which have lots of interesting weaving elements in them. I am hoping it will stretch my skills at just about all aspects of the weaving process. The set up was challenging... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at Handwork and The Craft
I recently came across this beautiful and haunting folk song -- sung here by Tim O'Brien, whose mournful fiddle is as haunting as the song. It is an odd combination of of martial spirit, the soldier's success in battle, pride... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2019 at In the Labyrinth
Yes, it's a bit past the actual date for the first day of fall, but as we rose before dawn and did a four mile walk, the cooling air, the clouds over the dawn seemed to inspire my husband to bake great things....all at once. A molasses whole wheat loaf... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2019 at Handwork and The Craft