Musing with Max

Musing with Max

April 20, 2015

April showers

I just realized I haven't written a post at all this month and it's almost over. Guess I have nothing, or in the least very little, to say. Maybe it's April, not my favorite month. Every day is different, one day warm with the promise of Spring after a long hard Winter, then suddenly it's cold again. Anything can happen, a heatwave, downpour of monsoonal proportions, a freak snowstorm. The month of uncertainty. Last weekend we started cleaning the yard during a beautiful warm spell, I was excited to see my daffodil and tulips that I bought in Amsterdam pushing through only to find a few days later that most of their tops had been chewed off. Deer. Why me and not everyone else, so I doused them with some God awful smelling concoction I dreamt up, hopefully it'll work and we'll see blooms. This weekend was in the 70's so I planted my Morning Glory and Moonflower seeds and envisioned all the other things I'm going to do, I switched my clothes then the temperature dropped 30 degrees and Max and I walked in a cold bleak rain this morning, the heat went back on. My face took on the pasty gray pallor that comes with bleak rainy days and my hair looked like crap no matter what I did. My perfect job is no longer perfect, reorganization, shake it up. Some of my favorite people are gone and the new hires are robots, everybody's miserable. I bought tickets to the ballet and accepted an invitation to a stupid party. Thinking of planning a trip and dreaming of far away places.

Kept cooking, as usual

 Stuffed Cabbage

Salt Cod from my Portuguese Cookbook

Pate Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes and Mushrooms

 Fillet Mignon with roasted Cauliflower

Vegetable Lasagna with Arugula and Prosciutto Salad

Watched all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad in a month and a week. Started watching Peaky Blinders all the while wondering what Cillian Murphy will look like when he gets old. Watched Gone Girl and wondered why it got such good reviews, it was just as bad as the book. Read all of your blogs which made me laugh, smile and cry.

Spent time staring at this

and wishing April away.

March 29, 2015

S’Wonderful Part deux


I grew up watching musicals

I have probably seen every Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie at least 10 times, probably more. The King and I, South Pacific, On The Town, Singing In the Rain, Can Can, The Music Man, The Sound of Music...I could go on and on and on. Coming home from school my first thought was what was playing on the 4 o'clock movie, hoping for a musical. During the Summer when there was no school, my friend Maria and I would stay up until all kinds of hours watching the late night movie on PBS, which a lot of times turned out to be a musical. I never ever tire of them. Nothing could transport you for a couple of hours to a magical place where people just broke into song and dance on a whim and there was always a happy ending

For some strange reason I always resisted "An American in Paris". I think I thought it was some dreary movie about some guy trying to speak French and it was in black and white and it had something to do with war. Then one day there it was on PBS in the late Saturday night movie and my lonely little night owl 10 year old self was wide awake and bored and so I watched...and fell in love. It is perfect. The music, the setting, the cinematography, the costumes, the singing, the dancing, the dancing, the dancing. It is magic.

So imagine my pure delight when poring over my Sunday New York Times a few months ago I read that "An American in Paris" was being mounted into a Broadway musical! I immediately signed up for ticket alerts and once they came bought two for a preview performance which was this past Friday. All day long I fidgeted, couldn't wait to get going, then once in the theater I couldn't believe how perfect our seats were and I was nervous. What if it wasn't any good, what if they couldn't sing (the principals are ballet dancers), what if they couldn't act, what if my perfect fantasy would be deflated forever? And then it started.

Immediately my face broke into a smile, which stayed there during the entire show and I was 10 years old again watching it for the very first time and being transported to another place...


...just where I want to be.

March 20, 2015

It's Spring!

It's snowing-----again. Spring tonight at 6:45 PM. I will fake it!

Happy Vernal Equinox!

March 5, 2015

In a blaze of glory

Winter's last hurrah is here, the biggest storm of the season. Weirdly and wildly predicted by all those meteorologists who seem to have nothing to do but be wrong most of the time. First it was 2 to 3 inches, then 3 to 6, starting last night around 7 pm, over by noon----blah blah blah. It rained all day and night yesterday because the temperatures were a bit high, close to 40, then this morning it turned to snow, a steady beautiful snowfall that just takes your breath away. 
Max and I took our walk somewhere around 6 am and all I could think was, "If this were the first snowfall we would all be awestruck by the sheer beauty of it", but it isn't; it is one, two three, four too many and we're tired. At 2:30 PM I thought we were done, went out shoveled and cleared the car only to see it start up again, 6 inches and then some, who knows. Now I look out the window and see cotton candy on my lilac bush when all I crave is lilacs


I admire your resilience and wish I look this beautiful on my last hurrah, really need to go.

(I realize that my friends in New England are saying "what a wimp!" :))

March 2, 2015

Cabin Fever

Winter doesn't want to leave. I'm sick of being in the house. And I'm not the only one.

Lying around gets a little dull so he tries other positions,

other corners,

it's still boring. March roared in yesterday with another dump of fresh snowfall on top of the two feet of ice which makes it hard to walk around, sometimes it's solid, sometimes you go right through,

so it's best to stay inside and not deal with it. Luckily I love to cook so I can spend most of the day on one dish and enjoy it, like my favorite chicken pot pie,

or this incredible pasta Genovese in the New York Times Magazine,

except we served it with polenta.

I've started to experiment with smoothies which is a good thing since I'm a terrible fruit eater and this is one way of getting them,

the one on the right has yogurt, blueberries, pineapple, almond butter and kale. The one on the left I invented, it has chocolate almond milk, raspberries, yogurt and kale. I put the kale in because I think kale and or spinach are a smoothie staple, I guess it's to get people to eat their greens. I don't have a problem there as I am a big greens fan but I like that I'm getting my fruits. I may experiment some more, bananas or something, we'll see.

I have a pile of books I'm trying to get through.

I've, or should I say we've, become addicted to binge TV watching. Have gone through one season of Lillyhammer, one season of The Blacklist, 2 seasons of House of Cards and are now racing through Breaking Bad. We are almost at the end of season 2 and need to step it up to complete then entire 5 seasons because House of Cards season 3 is ready to be streamed!

I'm reminded of a very sad song by Phil Collins, "The Roof is Leaking"

"Spring will soon be here, I hope we can wait"

I think I need an intervention

February 15, 2015


The deep freeze is here, temperatures in the single digits and a scary howling wind which is making the windows in this old house rattle. The wind chimes are loudly playing their song, hopefully they won't fly away. We are surrounded by a foot of solid ice and the snow flurries predicted for yesterday turned into a pretty snowfall that left about an inch on our cleared out walkway and sidewalk, it will stay that way since I don't plan to step foot outside. On weekends Frank has walking duty, which is quick, Max wants no part of this. Shouldn't complain, we could be living in New England (sorry JenShelley and Steve)

I'm not complaining actually, after all it is the weekend; a long one at that. We have food, we have wine, we have music, we have firewood. No need to go anywhere. The Sunday Times is scattered all around me for lazy reading, then I can move on the new Saveur and Travel & Leisure that just arrived. I'll read a few pages of my latest slow read The Expats, which I'm really enjoying but find little time to get to during the week since my brain comes home a bit atrophied from work and Frank and I have found the joys of binge TV watching, we just completed two entire seasons of House of Cards, or as I like to call it Macbeth-Richard III, in two weeksBreaking Bad may be next, we'll see

In the meantime we'll take the hint from Mother Nature and do some recharging while icebound with no place to go. I am redecorating in my head, when we finally bought our new TV and hung it on the wall in the TV room the armoire that housed the old one was moved to the guest room which meant the desk needed to move out, put that in the library which is very small so now nothing looks right. All of a sudden I'm looking at pieces I've had for years and I hate them, some things need to go. I want to repaint our bedroom, I'm thinking a light olive, something soothing. The basement needs some serious clean out

This is why God made Winter

And, of course, there's cooking!

Frank's favorite lamb dish, which I've written about before and you can find the recipe here.

Beef shank stew over polenta

And for Valentine's, Frank's favorite meal, Rosemary crusted rack of lamb, garlic mashed potatoes with a simple salad...and of course, something chocolate,

Dark Chocolate pudding from The New York Times food section this Wednesday which was dedicated to Chocolate. A redemption of their declining content if ever I saw one!

No Max you can't have any.

Well OK, if you put it that way.