Thursday, January 30, 2014

That's A Lot of Magic

"I've had a lot of magic in my life."
"Tell me something magic."
"When they were young, my parents met an American couple in a sunday school in Shanghai. Over the years, they kept running into this same couple, as they traveled through different parts of the world. So they jokingly made a pact that their firstborn children would be married. Then my parents had me, and the other couple had a son. I didn't meet the man until late in life, when I was already deeply in love with another man. But I fell in love with him and we got married."
"Wow, that is cool."
"That's not even the craziest part. Want to hear the craziest part?"
"My husband had three previous engagements. And the morning we met, he was cooking three eggs, and each of them had double yolks."- From Humans in New York

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where Have All The Flowers Gone

- Arlo Guthrie on Facebook Jan. 28, 2014

Pete Seeger: I usually do a little meditation and prayer every night before I go to sleep - Just part of the routine. Last night, I decided to go visit Pete Seeger for a while, just to spend a little time together, it was around 9 PM. So I was sitting in my home in Florida, having a lovely chat with Pete, who was in a hospital in New York City. That's the great thing about thoughts and prayers- You can go or be anywhere. I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly, like a father in some ways, a mentor in others and just as a dear friend a lot of the time. I'd grown up that way - loving the Seegers - Pete & Toshi and all their family. I let him know I was having trouble writing his obituary (as I'd been asked) but it seemed just so silly and I couldn't think of anything that didn't sound trite or plain stupid. "They'll say something appropriate in the news," we agreed. We laughed, we talked, and I took my leave about 9:30 last night. "Arlo" he said, sounding just like the man I've known all of my life, "I guess I'll see ya later." I've always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. "Pete," I said. "I guess we will." I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away. "Well, of course he passed away!" I'm telling everyone this morning. "But that doesn't mean he's gone."  

Pete Seeger : balladeer was America's conscience

An advocate for peace and civil rights, Pete Seeger helped spark the folk music revival with his five-string banjo and songs calling for justice.,0,191963.story#ixzz2rilkwQjS

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Taking Time To Listen

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
Ralph Nichols - Author


Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Something to Remember

"New beginnings are often disguised as
painful endings." -Lao Tzu

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Depth and Dimension

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or 

usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tea Anyone?

"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage." -Catherine Douzel

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Letting Go

"The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and the fears, the clingings and the disappointments, of the past that bind our spirit."
-Jack Kornfield

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Simplicity of It All

"What is Elegance?
Soap and water."
-Cecil Beaton

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life Saver

"Often I couldn't keep up with myself, and there were times when I nearly drowned under the weight of my own enthusiasms.  Fortunately, passion is an amazing flotation device." - Liz Winstead

Monday, January 20, 2014

Only You

"I've flown around the world in a plane
I've settled revolutions in Spain
The North Pole I have charted
But can't get started
Without you..."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Moments of Joy

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us."Ashley Montagu


Friday, January 17, 2014

A Touching Tribute

I love reading holiday family news letters.  This year I was especially touched by a particular passage, the last paragraph of an especially witty and well written letter. This is what it said:

     "Fifty-five years ago, a single woman welcomed her sister and her two fatherless boys under her roof.  We would call Aunt Kay's home our home for the next half-century.  Aunt Kay freely gave her time and treasures to help my struggling mother raise her two boys.  She never stopped giving throughout her 91 years and she never asked for anything in return.  In June, my Aunt was reunited with my mother in eternity.  If they were ever to reenter the ark with the other animals, two-by-two, it would surely have to be in each other's company. They were dedicated to each other as few marriages are.  How do you respond to a sacrificial gift like that?  By the grace of God, you pass it on."  - Brent Hanson*

*Thanks so much to Brent for allowing me to republish this portion of his family's holiday letter.  I so enjoyed every word written but it was this last paragraph that grabbed my heart..  I would have liked to have known Aunt Kay.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You Open The Door

"Gratitude opens the door to...the power, the wisdom, the creativity
of the universe.  You open the door through gratitude."  -Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And the Snow,, Snows

Snowy Day, Central Park, New York City

Snowy Day Central Park Photo by: Brian Tuchalski

"I think when you're young
you should be a lot with
yourself and your sufferings.  Then one 
day you get out where
the sun shines and the 
rain rains and the snow
snows and it all comes
together." -Diana Vreeland

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Drop

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless 

ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” 
― David MitchellCloud Atlas

Saturday, January 11, 2014


"I wish we would realize the "good old days" are when we are living them."  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chocolate Eclair Torte

Recipe Chocolate Éclair Torte
Note: This cake was one of my very favorites from Carl Andersen’s Chatam Restaurant
Westwood Village. The Chatam was a wonderful jewel of a place but sadly is gone now. For decades it attracted movie stars and people in the know looking for great food by a wonderful Danish chef. When I was a student at UCLA in the early 70’s this was the place we would gather for a special lunch. 
The following recipe is from the book: STAR FOOD by Carole Andersen Travis (Carl’s daughter). PS It looks complicated but it's really not and tastes great!

1 recipe pate a` chou (recipe follows)
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 recipe Quick custard (recipe follows)
4 Tablespoons. (1/2 stick) butter
6 Tablespoons Powdered sugar
4 squares semisweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons butter

Lightly grease three 9 inch cake pans. Make pate a` chou and divide it equally among the pans. With a rubber spatula spread the paste evenly. Mix the sugar and walnuts together in a bowl and sprinkle this mixture over the three pastes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 20 min. or until the paste is well puffed, golden brown and light in weight. Remove the layers from the oven and cool them on racks. The cake layers will be uneven, puffed more in some places than in others, but don’t worry. (Note: I did up to here the day before and just covered the cakes with saran wrap overnight. It was fine. Then all I had to do was assemble the next day).

While the layers are baking, make the Quick custard and cool the pan in a sink of cold water, stirring occasionally to prevent a crust from forming. Beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and add the custard a spoonful at a time, beating all the while. When the custard cream is smooth and the cake layers are cooled completely, melt the chocolate and butter over very low heat. Don’t stir the chocolate-butter mixture while it’s melting. When completely melted, stir it with a rubber spatula and drizzle it over the three layer cakes. The object is not to cover the cake layer completely, but to grace the tops of all the puffed areas and drizzle chocolate in between. ( Note: Mine gets pretty well covered. I decided before hand which layer I would use as the very top and make that one look drizzly not totally coated and used up more of the rest of the chocolate on the two hidden layers.) If you allow the chocolate-butter mixture simply to run off the end of your spatula, you can do a beautiful job. Allow the chocolate to cool and set.

Place a layer on a cake platter and spoon half the custard cream onto it. Most of it should go in the middle; don’t spoon any custard around the edges. Top with the second layer of cake and spoon the other half of the custard cream mostly onto the middle of it, as you did on the first. Place the third and last layer of cake over the second layer of custard and gently settle it on. If any custard oozes out, scoop it cleanly off with a knife. Chill the cake for at least 2 hours. At the restaurant they piped whipped cream up the sides of the finished torte. I did this an hour or so before serving. I think it is a wonderful addition to the cake and prefer it with. You can decide. Here’s the recipe I use for the whipped cream which holds up nicely. ( would not use a canned whipped cream or cool whip but that’s just a personal choice. For one thing the canned whipped cream seems to melt but the homemade whipped cream really lasts even on the cake for hours in the fridge.) I've used cool whip on the sides right before serving and it works great.

Whipped Cream Recipe

Place 2 cups heavy whipping cream (I like Trader Joe’s in a bottle)
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Put all the above in a metal mixing bowl and chill with attachments for blender in fridge for 30 minutes. This somehow helps it whip or so they tell me.

Whip everything til it peaks. Don’t overbeat or you’ll have a thick butter. Ice the sides of the cake or pipe in the sides of the cake. Refrigerate til you serve.

Recipe Quick Custard
¾ cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 ½ cups milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan (not aluminum). Gradually whisk in the milk, making sure the mixture is smooth. Beat in the eggs and whisk until completely combined. Cook over med. Heat whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches the boiling point and thickens. This is easily done if you scrape the bottom of the pan with the wire whip constantly! Be sure to use a heavy saucepan. When the mixture begins to thicken and boil, lift the pan from the heat with one hand and continue whisking with the other. If the custard isn’t thick, put the pan back on the heat, whisk and cook until the proper consistency is reached. Remove form the heat and cool slightly then stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier. Cool it completely. 

Pate a` Chou recipe

As much as I love my food processor the best outcome for this is beaten by hand. Consider it good exercise.

1 cup water
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs

Put the water in a fair sized saucepan that will be good to beat by hand in. Add the butter, cut into chunks. Bring the water to a boil, and when the butter has melted, add the flour all at once. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the flour with a wooden spoon. When the flour has been absorbed into the water and butter mixture, return the pan to the stove and beat the mixture over moderate heat for approximately 1 minute or until all is combined and of a very smooth consistency. Remove the pan form the heat and allow it to cool for about 2 minutes. The mixture should still be hot. 
Break in an egg and beat with a wooden spoon until all is combined. The basic roux will break into scallop type pieces before taking in all the egg. Just keep beating until the mixture is smooth and has lost its shine. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Beating them in one at a time. Divide finished dough as directed in recipe to three cake pans. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Free Wheelin'

"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."
~Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906, abolitionist and leader of the American women's sufferage movement.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering 'it will be happier'...” 
― Alfred Tennyson

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's My Birthday Today!

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  

~ Author Unknown

Looking forward to a lovely new 365 day adventure!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another Chance

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to 
get it right.” 
― Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas in Ohio Dec. 24, 2013- Jan.1, 2014

We spent the Xmas holidays with Mike's family in Ohio.  It was a special time for us visiting with Mike's mom, Lucy at The Welsh Home (her residence since her stroke in January 15, 2013). Here are some pictures of our Xmas in Ohio.  
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Ringing In The New Year

"Wishing you all a Happy New Year! This is the time of year that many of us 


resolutions, or rather, reinforce the notion of living in the future, when really, 

the important 

question to be asking yourself is “How am I going to use my present moments 

this year?” It 

is simply a matter of asking yourself at the beginning of the day, “How do I 

want to conduct 

my life today?” When you get good at living your present moments one day at a

 time, you’ll 

see yourself changing right before your own surprised eyes. Remember, anyone 

can do 

anything for just one day, so tune out the sentences that keep you locked into 

your old self-

defeating ways and begin to enjoy each day of your bright new year."

-Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's Up To You!

Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book.

Write a good one! 
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