"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Remember When

Remember when our towns were smaller and had a main drag?  On every street children were outside playing, skating or riding around on bikes, jumping on a pogo stick or walking on stilts.    When I go to the city these days, I don't see kids outside playing.   Too busy with school and activities?  Too many bad people?  On their iPhone and computer games perhaps?  Even my own grown children are always looking at their cell phones. I now hear that email is out, people just want to text.  What will be the result of this kind of faceless interaction?  I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Parade's End Trailer (HBO MiniSeries - 2013)

If you didn't get enough of Downton Abbey, HBO has a miniseries out now, Parade's End.  The same era as Downton, it has some of my favorite English actors.  Anne Marie Duff, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rufus Sewel - they just don't get any better.  I have followed Anne Marie Duff since she acted as Queen Elizabeth I with Tom Hardy in The Consort - The Virgin Queen. It is one of my favorite movies.  Rufus Sewell was in The Pillars of The Earth and Benedict Cumberbatch is in just about everything of late.

Beautifully filmed with sumptuous locales and interiors; it has it all.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Walk

As I walked by myself
And talked to myself
Myself said unto me
Look to thyself
Take care of thyself
Ask none to take care of thee.

- Old English rhyme

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bye Bye Birdie

How did an ornery ole bird steal my heart?  Can't be that can opener of a beak that has drawn my blood more times than one could imagine.  He could bark like the dogs only louder if you can believe it. But, then he'd say, "good bird". Yet, we two got used to each other.  My little buddy stole my heart and I guess he loved me too in his own birdy way. We'd sing together. He loved a song I made up and sang to him each morning.  "It's a Birdie kind of day...it's a Birdie kind of day ay ay.  Just a singin' and a preenin' and a wingin' in a Birdie kind of way..." He loved to sit on my shoulder and blog with me.  Hated water though I made him take a shower with me from time to time.  He thought he was king of the manor - lorded over the dogs and cats and us.  Loved popcorn, blueberries and macaroni.  He woke me up last week right before he left on a journey.  Don't think my heart can break many more times from the loss of my pets. Oh Birdie, I'll miss you so. 

"Now cracks a noble heart.  Good night sweet prince.  And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."   

And I can just hear Birdie's loud squawk above the angel voices.

Dandelion Greens

While most gardeners are already wringing their hands about how to banish those loathsome weeds from their lawns and gardens, I ordered some dandelion seed from Pinetree Gardens and Seeds.  You see, dandelion greens and roots make the most delicious salads, tinctures, tea and jellies, liqueurs and cordials too.  Not only tasty, but very healthy for you.  Smoke that in your pipe; oh no, I don't know if that is legal or not.  By the way, I am already gnashing my teeth about crabgrass.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Downton Abbey Blues

This Sunday is the last installment of season 3 of Downton Abbey.  Not only have I been watching this season, but I have also been catching up on seasons 1 and 2, though not in order. It has been all Downton since January. I am going to go through withdrawals.  Let's hope they don't take too long to put out season 4.  I am such a fan.

Peter Beard

Peter Beard.  I've been a fan for a long time. I recently saw a short interview on another blog with Lee Radziwill.  She spoke of Peter.  He is endlessly fascinating, (moreso, I propose, than Hemingway). You hear the phrase, a man's man.  Well, I say that Mr. Beard is a woman's man.

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Peter attended Yale as a pre-med student, but quickly learned he wasn't interested in it.  Photography, journaling and art were his passions and he pursued them to the nth degree.  He was the darling of the jet set - Capote, Warhol, the Kennedy clan, Mick Jagger et al.  He was once married to Cheryl Tiegs.  But, his love and passion was for Africa and her animals.  He met Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) and bought land next to hers.  Though wealthy, he railed against Western capitalism and its effects on Africa.  

 Whether being trampled by an elephant, posing with crocodiles, painting with his own blood, or photographing the world, Beard has lived life to the fullest - more than most I suppose.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who Knew?

Will wonders never cease?  It seems George W. Bush had a side no one knew about.  His portrait of his beloved Barney was published recently.  I think it is good and the President could benefit greatly from some formal training.  Guess the peevishness and the 'doesn't suffer fools gladly' attitude was because of his creative side.  Go George.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Half Empty/Half Full

One of my favorite books is CANDIDE by Voltaire. While staying in St-Germain-des-Pres in Paris, I had to go aound the corner and have a look at the building where Voltaire lived and died.  It is on the left bank of the Seine. Just for a little backstory, Voltaire, the great French philosopher, amassed a library of more than 21,000 books with his favorite subjects being metaphysics, moral philosophy, physics, history, critical deism...  He wrote his satire, CANDIDE, in 1759, during the Age of Enlightenment.  It was considered his magnum opus.  

Voltaire rejected a common theory of the time, that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."  He argued that this theory of optimism was wrong - that if this were the best possible world, then it would surely be better than it is, citing natural disasters, war, catastrophes etc.  Thus, Candide was born of Voltaire's writings and discussions on this subject.

Candide did set out and travel the world, full of hope and optimism, looking for the good in man.  An epic journey, the end finds Candide returning home, "to cultivate his garden."  I won't give more away than that.

And, about another modern credo, the glass is either half empty or half full, I've always said, it's half.  Guess that makes me a realist.