Musing with Max

Musing with Max

May 22, 2015

Poppy Love

My next door neighbor has self seeding poppies on her side of the shared flower bed. Since they are self seeding and sway in the breeze due to that crepe paperiness of theirs some of them have self seeded my way...along with a little coaxing. So imagine my 10 year old shouts of glee when I came home yesterday and found this blooming in my flower bed,

which I immediately brought inside, and took zillions of pictures of. Lucky you, only three for your viewing pleasure.

And speaking of swaying in the breeze, a couple of years ago while replanting a side garden with coneflowers and rubdekias I planted something which I could of sworn was labeled as a Shasta daisy. It didn't bloom for two years but I didn't pull it out because I didn't want to make that "oh that's a weed (not really, $30 plant)" mistake. And I have to say this time around patience has been a virtue!

My very own

breezy Japanese Anemones!

Gratuitous Max picture, cause hey, it's all about him.

May 10, 2015

Lilac Time

This is what is outside my kitchen window.

When I open the windows and it is swayed by that just perfect breeze, that incredibe aroma just comes right through and I breathe as slowly and deeply as I can so I can savor it. Last year we needed to trim it but missed the window of time to ensure that it woud continue blooming so this year it is massive which means more blooms; all the better the dining room

...the foyer

... the bedroom where some of us nap all day

with the sweet scent that is never around long enough.

Wish I could do scratch and sniff!

May 4, 2015

Flowers for Jane

It's been a while since Jane hosted one of her fabulous FITH parties. So when the call came on Friday I panicked. Most of my flowers aren't ready for cutting yet. Lilacs are coming in beautifully but not ready. The tons of tulip bulbs I bought in Amsterdam and planted last Fall got a bit of a chomping from the huge deer population, by the time I noticed and sprayed them with the concoction only five buds were left. Next year I'll get them sooner....she said.

Sooooooo, Trader Joe's it is.

Hope all goes well!

May 3, 2015

Native New Yorkers

On Friday evening we went to the ballet

at the beautiful David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

It was a beautiful performance of 3 works from the Balanchine Black and White Series with two intermissions. And as is my wont to do during intermissions in the theater, rather than get up and go get a drink or stand in the usually very lengthy line in the ladies' room, I stay in my seat and intently people watch

As I sat there studying the audience with close scrutiny a couple of things occurred to me. One was that they had no idea, or cared, that I was staring with such sharp attention.

The other more revealing observation was that these were the real New Yorkers. The audiences who attend the ballet, exclusive of the tourist packed Nutcracker during Christmas, and for the most part the theater; again exclusive of all the Disney mega musicals, are the inhabitants of this great and glorious city.

And the third, OK that's more than a couple, was how different they are than the common perception. By common I mean how people throughout the rest of the country and many parts of the world perceive New Yorkers to be from how they are portrayed in movies, books, media, etc

i.e. It is the finance capital of the world so everybody's rich and obnoxious. Wrong, yes there are a handful of people like that but for the most part although pretty upper middle class there is nothing obnoxious here at all, they'll talk to anybody, about anything at any time any place. And it's just because they want to.

It is the fashion capital of the world, after Paris, so everyone is young, beautiful, sophisticated and decked out in designer duds. Wrong again, and here's where I have the most fun spying.

Demographics show that the majority of the population falls into the middle aged category, and by middle aged I don't mean 65, we won't live to be 130; I mean somewhere between 40 and 60. They're pretty normal looking, ranging from gorgeous to downright ugly but mostly somewhere in-between. Just like the rest of the world. And the fashion, well here they get really interesting and such fun to watch. They are, in a word, unique. They will wear whatever they want regardless of whether it is the latest style or whether it's this designer or that designer, if it's appropriate for this event or that event, mix and match quirky colors, an evening gown when everyone else is in jeans or vice versa, open toed sandals in the dead of Winter, boots with shorts in the Summer. Diamonds and pearls with jeans, winter hats have a life of their own. And they carry it off with a confidence and aplomb that somehow says "I don't care, I like it, it looks good!" Which brings me to sophistication. With an attitude like that, I would say they ooze it.

Is this a love letter? It didn't start out that way, but I guess it is.

Ooh and who's that beautiful, sophisticated, fashion plate?

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.