Thursday, March 31

My friend Eliza throws a wonderful Easter party every year. Everything is so beautiful. Passing by the dining room where the buffet was laid out I heard a small girl asking her mother,"Mommy, is this food to eat or just for decoration?"

Wednesday, March 30

Peter was recently invited to be part of something called StringsFest, a day when a diverse group of chosen kids get together for a full day of intense performance coaching. Culminating with, of course, a performance. I have to say, I went that evening with the expectation of ear mangling ahead, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was VERY impressive. Henry was so thrilled that he kept bouncing up and down gently in his seat and turning his "I'm surprised!/I'm delighted!" face to us. He was quiet though, thank goodness. When it was all over he actually leaped up and darted away from us to rush up to the stage. He kept staring up at the arc lights and gleefully slapping the stage, obviously wanting the music to start all over again. Afterwards Peter was very tired, but happy. He felt, I think, that satisfaction you get from doing something really difficult and really beautiful.

Every now and then Henry stops what he is doing and stands there, listening to something unheard by those around him. My spiritual minded friends would say he is listening to the voices of the angels. My scientific minded friends would say he is just picking up some high frequency to which average ears aren't attuned. Maybe they are both right.

Friday, March 25

At the museum recently it was very dear to come across this little patent leather party shoe a child had left on the artifact table amongst the deer shoulderblades and chunks of brain coral. Of course, I'm sure the parent of the one-shoed child didn't find it touching at all.

Wednesday, March 23

said my neighbor Nina, handing me this box of pansies and tissue paper. A jolt of spring color straight to the optic nerve! And they smell great too.

Henry got into a bad mood yesterday and it took some time to get him out of it. Very unusual! I think this week off from school, with his TSS (helper) off too is hard on him. No scheduled activites, and a chaotic round of playdates (for the other boys) and errands.

He finally started to lose his equanimity while we were standing in line at the Post Office. One of those things: when we walked in there were only two people in line so I thought it would be a fast errand. BUT, postal workers were going on break, new ones took a long time logging in, the one person actually being served had an endless list of complicated postal services required etc etc. It took a long time and Henry got more and more restless, and as we finally left he burst into anguished crying which could not be assuaged. When we got home the storm continued unabated and I eventually thought to give him a big bowl of (uncooked) elbow macaroni: aaah! It took some time, but his anguish receded in the bliss of momentary sensory integration. It was well worth the ensuing mess.

Tuesday, March 22

Monday, March 21

When Hugh set to work on his homework shortly after getting home from school the other day I was surprised and asked him why, as he usually waits until after dinner. His stoic reply, "I HATE today's homework and I want to get it out of the way!" I was impressed: he sure did not get that bulldozer work ethic from his mother!

Friday, March 18

When I made this cake for dessert last night Peter stared at it in awe and said, "This is the most delicious cake you have ever made!" Of course, he hadn't tasted it yet.

Sounds like a lipstick color but in this case it is just a scattering of dried apricots catching a slant of light on my kitchen table.

Thursday, March 17

My friend Carol has a fascinating collection of water glasses. Each one is different, although they are all goblet shaped. They all seem to have their own personalities. I think that at a dinner party Carol likes to see who picks which glass. Kind of like a set designer's version of "The Dating Game"!

Wednesday, March 16

It was really great. Cute, funny, touching and entirely in Spanish. Hugh was so relaxed and confident that he didn't even take his hands out of his pockets but still managed to project perfectly well.

Monday, March 14

Paul's cousin Lisa and her family were visiting this past weekend. We were walking around the garden and I was saying how great the neighbors are around here. The words had barely left my mouth when my neighbor Lynn from down the street yoo-hooed over the fence and offered us pots of flowering bulbs. Lynn is an avid gardener and had been forcing hundreds of plants for the Philadelphia Flower Show. Some of them just didn't make it, peaking too soon or not maturing fast enough and these were the ones she was giving away. This lush muscari armeniacum is a bit past its prime but still fascinatingly beautiful. Not bad for an "also ran"!

Sunday, March 13

in the onion basket. He must have just fallen off the windowsill where he was perched, but it looks as though he is happily visiting his onion friends.

Friday, March 11

of a baby: inquisitive, interested, very slightly alarmed.
Actually, this baby's father is into photography and he seems to have inherited the gene. Whenever this little guy sees me his attention is riveted by my camera. I keep expecting him to say "And how many Mega-pixels is that one?"

Thursday, March 10

I have been enjoying.
The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas. A happy re-read. For some unknown reason I think this book is great despite never having quilted, farmed or visited Kansas.
Pieter De Hooch: 1629-1684 by Peter Sutton. The best book on De Hooch I have ever read with the most reproductions too. I'd say De Hooch is my artistic role model except that he became an alcoholic and ended up in the madhouse, a pauper. So I'll just say that his work really speaks to me and I love it on some deep level that I can't even explain.
Crystal Clear by Jane Heller. The opposite of deep but totally satisfying fun. A new genre I really like: women's detective/romance/humor/adventure.
Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott. Lists of things you had no idea you would be interested in seeing till you see them. Perfect for browsing before bed or at other odd moments.
Publishing A Blog with Blogger by Elizabeth Castro. I have to confess straight away that Liz is my old college roommate and friend and that she use Genre Cookshop as a "How To" example on pages 16-17 ("Linking") which totally blows my mind. But, all pride and prejudice aside, if anybody is looking to start blogging themselves, this would be a terrific book to have on hand! Thoroughly illustrated, clearly written and easy to use. Liz is just so amazing.

Wednesday, March 9

Looks like a painting by Hopper, but it is just a photo by Miller. This is a route I often take going downtown to Pearl Paint, a store where I get most of my art supplies. There is amazing light in winter.

Monday, March 7

My neighbor Hiroshi is a skilled craftsman, and about once a year he turns his attention to the medium of snow. The neighborhood is always in awe of his creations.

Saturday, March 5

Another original recipe from the autism cafe. Chef Henry not only thinks outside the box, there isn't a box anywhere in sight! Come on down for a little taste of culinary outsider art.

Friday, March 4

My friend Eliza Auth and I went to Ocean City yesterday to check out the Ocean City Arts Center which has invited us to have an exhibit there in May. It was a nice place, and I am really looking forward to it. Of course, Eliza and I both wanted to go look at the ocean while we were there. The beach in winter is beautiful, bare and sparkling. The near empty boardwalk with its closed shops had another feel, somewhat ominous, despite the bright carnival colors still in evidence. Kind of like an american "Last Year at Marienbad"!

Wednesday, March 2

During the recent snowstorm I was seized by a primitive, atavistic impulse to bake chocolate chip cookies. Preparing for possible famine and loss of calories due to freezing temperatures. Anyway, our ancestors would have been baking cookies in their caves if they had had chocolate chips and vanilla, you can be sure of that. Lack of oven mitts might have been part of the problem too.

A new game thought up by Henry. I think he has a touch of cabin fever as he is not a big fan of all the snow we are having lately. If only we had a gym or a swimming pool in the basement (well, we sometimes get quite a bit of water down there but it'd be hard to swim without bumping into floating boxes and boots and empty pots and the like)!

Tuesday, March 1

Two hour delayed opening of school this morning meant lots of time for burying your brother in the snow.

Poor Hugh came downstairs on tenterhooks this morning hoping for a snow day off school because of the big storm that hit yesterday. When he heard there was only a two hour delayed opening his despair was intense. But pragmatically he went right to work on his homework from yesterday that he'd put off doing, only stopping every now and then to give way to his disappointment. Of course, he soon cheered up and is now running around outside throwing snowballs with the neighborhood children!