Thursday, August 30, 2007


Well, I had a wonderful lunch with a friend today and as an ending to our meal (and because I didn't want it to be over) I encouraged my friend to order (well, we encouraged each other, really) a dessert. The dessert we chose was a berry cobbler...juicy and full of dark berries with a buttery crust shaped like a tiny loaf pan. It had a huge pile of whipped cream on the side, of course. We tried, we really did, to eat the whole was sweet, smooth, rich; just delicious but we still could not eat it all. It prompted my friend to tell me a story about a tiny loaf of bread that he used to eat as a child. It was a charming story...much like him. It was a good time and left me not only wanting more (needless to say) but opened the afternoon up for me to remember how much joy resides in simple things . The simple act of talking with another human being, of laughing, of discussing whatever...what a wonderful human gift.

Oh, and just the other night I went to Vin de Set, a roof-top restaurant on Choteau in the city. It was a brilliant afternoon with perfect temperature for sitting out. Everything was good, really. I guess since I had a drink, some bread and condiments and a salad that's not saying much. My companions, however, had various chicken and other dishes and reported hearty "yums" so then..everything was good.
Especially good was the sitting on a building top enjoying the air, the sun on it's daily Western demise and the other diners enjoying themselves.
I went with two work mates and we just laughed and ate and talked and had a great ole time. It makes me miss my friend, Halla, who lives in England and who I haven't seen in several years. We used to have such fun together. It also kinda made me miss having a sweetie who I can go out with. I used to do that with an old boyfriend and together we enjoyed such laughter and fun.

I wanted to share with you a wonderful recipe for a really delish-sounding, if a bit unusual, salad...give it a try. I am going to make one for this Saturday evening. Come have a bite.

It's from

Grape and avocado salad

3 cups chopped seedless grapes
2 diced avocados
1/2 diced red pepper
1/3 cups diced sweet onion or scallion
1 diced Anaheim pepper
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
salt/pepper--to taste
1 minced clove of garlic
alfalfa sprouts--as many as you want

Mix all in bowl. Cover & fridge for 1/2-1hr and serve.

Until next time, then...thanks for reading

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Got a free pass for this movie and went this evening. The Eleventh Hour is a movie by Leonardo DeCaprio and is well done. It is a dire warning about how we are destroying ourselves through our lack of care and concern for our environment. Some powerful images and words from a large variety of people. Go see it, I say. It speaks very highly of frugality.

While waiting for the movie to begin, I was so very tempted to touch a bald man's head in front of me. His head was slightly pointed toward the back. He was quite old with huge ears and earlobes. His head had some scars, some dents and some interesting black spots. Sounds groovy, huh? Uh, no. But...I really wanted to hold his head in my hands to see what it felt like. I talked myself out of it, however, so you can rest assured that I have not yet lost my mind. What an interesting feeling, however. He had a very appealing head...shiny and bald as a billiard ball. Don't ask me.

When I arrived home, it was to a very hot house as I'd forgotten to open any windows. I needed everything open for awhile to cool it down to a reasonable level. So, I sit here writing in my own sweat but it gets cooler and cooler as I sit. By the time I bed down, I'll be just right.

Well, there was something else but what??? Oh, I know. I spent a good deal of time organizing my poems. I have almost all of the entered into my computer and it really feels good to have done that. I go to a poetry meet up group and have been having so much fun with that group. They are not only helpful in encouraging each of us to write but they are just a lot of fun, too.

Ah, of course, the moon. That's what else I wanted to mention. Such an incredible full moon was smiling at me as I left Plaza Frontenac after the movie. As they say, it was "Awesome" and in this case the word really does mean that.

Go outside and see it. It's lovely.

Last and certainly not least...Visit this Youtube movie for a really interesting take on the UFO question: =

Oh and a very goodnight to you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Floors and More

Just a couple of things tonight.

1. I was sniffing around in my yard late this afternoon and came upon a four o'clock that I had planted this spring. The scent was intoxicating...heavenly. It was fresh and floral and exotic all at the same time. Such a simple little bush but with a powerful scent. I wish I could capture that scent but I don't know that even the big aromatherapy type oil producers can do that. It's elusive and divine.

I will never forget as a child sitting under the commanding bank of four o'clocks that our neighbor, Mr. Hastings had planted on the border of his yard. I sometimes went there to wait for a friend, whom I met halfway between our two houses. I would sit there waiting and suddenly become aware of the delicious and sweetly floral scent that enveloped his bushes. It was wonderful. So happy that my little yard has produced at least one...I hope it comes back next year and multiplies.

2. I just had a bamboo floor installed in my tiny cottage and I am in love with how light, fresh and clean it looks...a very nice improvement. I shall share a couple of photos (above) with you so you can see for yourself...I can't share the scent of the four o' clocks with'd have to be there for that. They open just at evening and begin releasing their wonderful scent.
But...back to bamboo...whaddaya think?

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I sure wish I'd known earlier about the farmer's market in Tower Grove park. Actually, I did go there last season and somehow was not as impressed.
When I went yesterday, I was so enamored with the vendors, the atmosphere, the music, the foods available and the people that I decided to drag out my ratty old blanket from my car trunk and spread it out in the shade within view of the market where I could enjoy the remarkable tunes of singer/songwriter, Leslie Sanazaro.

I lay there enjoying the perfect air upon my skin, the unbelievable voice and piano playing of this young, lovely singer, and the milling about of the folks buying food, (organic produce, free-trade coffee, pastries, omelets, jams, honey) chatting together and just enjoying the morning the way people have done for centuries at farmer's markets the world over.

I felt a certain unnameable contentment. I wondered why I had not felt that the first time I visited but felt it so strongly this time. Then I just gave over to the enjoyment of it rather than figuring it out. It was such a pleasure.

I watched the dogs being led by their owners. Several dogs were in attendance, all on leads, and I found them interesting and enjoyable to watch. There were kids, many and especially little ones, who were running and chasing one another with gleeful abandon. There were moms and dads gathered in small groups discussing, I'm sure, everything from their kids to the neighborhood to what they were going to do in the evening. All in all, it was a picture of urban contentment and the simple pleasures that can be had on occasions like this.

I have a certain, somewhat variable, list of Saturday rituals that I do and I thought I'd add this to my list of Saturday certainly was one. Oh, and you've gotta Google Leslie Sanazaro to hear some of her tunes...she's amazing.

Til next time...hope you enjoy your Saturdays.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My friend and I went for a student dinner at L'Ecole Culinaire the other evening. It wasn't exactly L'Ecole Ordinaire but it was not world class either. Of course, I understand that they are students. Yes, for people learning about food, it was quite good.

What occurred to me after I was done is that the cuisine of a cooking school in a certain city will necessarily reflect the the cuisine of the city that that school is in. So, in St. Louis the cuisine is what it is. We who live here and eat out here know what the food in St. Louis restaurants generally tastes like...with many exceptions, of course. But mainly it is a meat oriented, not whole grain, not health-oriented cuisine. I wish so much that it were more health-oriented. St. Louisans seem to think that healthy can't taste yummy. That is just not so.

People who travel extensively know that food in other cities tastes differently...some better, some not as good. I think that L'Ecole Culinaire is producing good chefs/restaurant people/caterers and hospitality people who will work well in St. Louis. When these newly minted chefs move to other cities, they may need additional training in order to produce the foods that people in other cities are embracing.

As most St. Louisans know, the Midwest (with the exception of Chicago) is where trends trickle to after both coasts have enjoyed same trends for months and sometimes years. Oh, don't get all bent...St. Louis has many wonderful things to recommend it.

I was struck lately, after a trip to Seattle, at how many vegetarian restaurants there are NOT here in St. Louis. Yes, great restaurants, like Trattoria Marcella and others, will make a wonderful vegetarian meal. But is there even one all vegetarian restaurant besides Eternity Deli (which is good but sometimes not open)?? No. There isn't. In Seattle, I counted nearly 20 totally vegetarian restaurants. Cafe Flora in Seattle is world class strictly vegetarian and very healthy AND is well supported by the community having been in business for over 15 years.

See, that's what I mean. I wish that L'Ecole Culinaire would teach more healthy, vegetarian, vegan and whole grain cooking. Whining....I miss the Sunshine hoo.

Wake up everyone...healthy eating is not just a trend. I believe it's here to stay. Look at the bucks places like Whole Foods and Wild Oats are pulling in. Trend? I don't think so.

A nice part of the evening at L'Ecole Culinaire was a delightful couple my friend Steve and I had the pleasure of dining with...another Steve and his lovely wife Jan. They were great.

And, yes, of course, thanks to L'Ecole Culinaire for the meal. I am always thankful when I am blessed with a gift. My hope is that my comments would only serve to raise the level of total quality of any meal I have in my home city, St. Louis.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I wanna see if I can insert a photo or image so here goes...hey, it worked. Cool! Now I shall take more photos when I am out and about and post just for you, whoever you might be.


I returned late last Friday from my wonderful, if a bit sad, journey to Seattle. I have always loved Seattle...there's just so much attractive about that dang place. (Try over 20 vegetarian restaurants to St. Louis' ZERO. It's call may be too compelling this time, with my son and daughter in law now there...ah, time will tell. I'll not make any REALLY fast moves, like next week, but may act pretty quickly if the call keeps beckoning. I might just be writing a restaurant review for the lovliest of veggie restaurants, Cafe Flora some time soon. Wow! Do they have great food. When I ate there last time, the people I was with just couldn't stop moaning about how good everything'd have thought we were all in the throes of some crazy lovemaking.

SO delicious.

I've much to chatter on about this time so wake up.

Since I have returned I tried something I've never before tried. A gimlet. I know, this drink is an old fashioned, sorta pre-cosmo era. But I was so enthralled by reading about a woman and her sweetie and how they'd have a gimlet when they finished all their work at the end of the day. It just seemed like so much fun. Well, it really was delicious...not quite as much fun alone but fun, nonetheless. And it was made for me by that shockingly handsome young bartender at Acero, in Maplewood where, I might add, I had a wonderful, light dinner...salad and a special veggie pasta that the chef cooked up for me. Very nice evening. Now I just need a sweetie to share those evenings with. Ah well.

I'm reading Elizabeth Berg and love her. Her writing is so accessible and so funny and so touching. I read today in her book one of my favorite-sounding phrases "in perpituity"...when you say the word aloud it sounds like a whispered song sang to a lover. Silly how words affect us or feel to us. I love that perpituity...I could hear it over and over. I know, I know, it's weird. So what?

I'm bearing up well under this crazy St. Louis heat. I've always liked heat and humidity. I must admit, though, that this is a tad beyond the pale. Fall will be a beautifully welcome transition time.

Tonight I have a date with my friend Steve. We shall go to L'ecole Culinaire to see what kind of fish dinner they can cook up for us. It'll be fun to see the school and see how the students do with their cooking skills.

It's been an interesting day thus far...talking to my friend, Will as well as Ben and Rebecca (he has a job, she's interviewing and they have found a groovy apt in a cool woman's house. Hooray), carrying in all my boxes of bamboo to sit in the house for 48 hours. Damn!! Heavy!! (I am way stronger than I thought, at least physically), getting the trim board at Home Depot, having a pleasant time sharing a light lunch and white tea, and as usual, thinking about what I might do next. All in all, a good day, for which I can only be deeply and continually thankful.

Now tomorrow in the afternoon I have to move all my living room and bedroom furniture outside so that the fellas can do the flooring early on Thur morn...where shall I sleep? The tent is too hot...Oh, I guess I'll take everything out, cover it all and then just throw the mattress on the floor on Wednesday night. Hey, think of the fun...anyone want to help me move it all? I know you're just dying to do this in the heat. Me, too. No, it'll be fun, trying to figure out how to consolidate everything onto my back deck. In the morning I'll have to get boxes and pack my books and cd's and's good.

You know, I may be turning into someone who is like that guy I read about a few years ago...nothing was real to him until he wrote it down. He had boxes and boxes of journals and diaries where he had written everything, and I do mean everything, down. He started writing about what happened from waking until going to bed again because he said nothing seemed real unless it got written down. His wife was pissed because the boxes took up so much room. So, anyway, maybe that's how it's getting with me and bla, bla, bla. Enough for today.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I guess I may have just visited one of the big mamas of all libraries. Cool! The Seattle Library is truly a wonderful place to go. Ten stories of nothing but books and books and books....hundreds of computers....a coffee/sandwich shop....a gift store devoted to all things "library"! I was impressed. I wanted to move in.

Check out part of their mission statement, "Our mission is to become the best public library in the world by being so tuned in to the people we serve and so supportive of each other's efforts that we are able to provide highly responsive service."

Pretty lofty goal this library has, I'd say.

Below is a bit of information I've taken from their website regarding the building itself, very unusual, bordering on slightly less than beautiful (my opinion, of course). The building is unlike any of the other buildings I've seen in downtown Seattle...a real eye-catcher, for sure.
When Cletus and Maude drive on in off the Montana plains to enjoy some big city life, they are likely to be a bit bumfuzzled by this decidedly unusual building.

Quote from their website follows.
"Twenty-nine major national, international and local firms sought the opportunity to design the new structure. The Library Board's architectural choice for the project was as bold as "Libraries for All" itself. The surprise winner was Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, in partnership with the Seattle firm of LMN Architects. The iconoclastic Dutch architect had no major buildings built in America when the Library Board selected him over two other finalists, but the board's choice seemed insightful a year later when Koolhaas was awarded architecture's highest international honor, the Pritzker Prize.

His 11-floor, 362,987-square-foot library, a dazzling avant-garde symphony of glass and form, has many innovative features, including:

A "Books Spiral" that displays the entire non-fiction collection in a continuous run;
A towering "living room" along Fifth Avenue that reaches 50 feet in height;
A distinctive diamond-shaped exterior skin of glass and steel.

So there, that's what I did for part of a day in downtown Seattle. I so enjoyed visiting this library. If I had money, that's who I'd give it to...libraries. I could just lay down my bedroll and bunk down in just about any of them.

Someday I'll tell a story about how several ladies from a library in a small town in Illinois took such good care of me when I was researching an interest I had at the time, that I actually did something for them when I left the town...not much, mind you, but something...another time, though, I must get my beauty sleep I need it : )

Saturday, August 04, 2007


If all goes as planned...I'll be sitting in my lovely little cottage this time next week (dammit!...since I have still not gotten tickets to Gillian Welsh, I won't get to go see her) but I'll be in the home of my heart. And I can attend to problems.
I love my tiny little cottage with all it's simplicity and sweetness. And, oddly, I miss St. Louis and my friends, acquaintances, kitty cat and all. I'll also miss my son and daughter in law when I return...since they'll be staying here.

But today I was able to enjoy the view of Mount Ranier as I drove down the highway...quite a sight! However, not like the sight of my tomatoes growing ever fatter in my tiny, little garden.

Happy, light and wonder-filled Friday night to you all.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I watch the news while I am here in the great northwest on vacation and cry for the people whose lives were altered hugely, if not ended.

We go along in life thinking that everything will remain as it is. It'll be all safe and the same as it was....SO not true. We can be whistling along having our fun and suddenly the Grim Reaper takes a swipe and badda boom, badda bing...we're outta here. We are gone to our final reward (or not)...sometimes it seems like life sucks. And sometimes it's so beautiful I simply feel like weeping is my only response.
It just makes it seem so important to me to do the things I love doing and not to worry about whether someone else approves or not.

Today, I spent the day shopping, of all things. I bought some new clothes (Goodwill new) and had a drive with my friend, Will, to the May Valley area just outside of Seattle. It was a fun and new experience so I, of course, enjoyed it. What a nice area to be in and so close to Seattle proper. Might be a good place for Ben and Rebecca...but they'll decide that.

By the way, they are off to Portland to see the offerings of that fair, apartments, houses, etc. When they return to Seattle they'll have some additional information on how they feel about Portland. They have big decisions to make...thank God they are their decisions, not mine.

Honestly, I long to be at my tiny, sweet, uncomplicated home to make all things right and to see what's what with people that I know. Those mysterious ones who hold my attention right now.

We always wonder what the future will be, don't we. We'll never know, of course. We just hope that it might be the interesting and very, very sweet things that reside in our dreams. The things that seem that, if we had them, how swell life would be. Not that we know, really, but it's the things we long for, isn't it? I think of smiles and eyes and words tonight...ahhh...the height of wonderfulness.

As I drove across the Montana plains the other day, I saw the electric poles staggering in haphazard rows into infinity and it gave me a feeling of being tiny, tiny, much happens in this big ole world that I simply know nothing's quite humbling.

So, until I return, I deeply enjoy the possibilities of tomorrow and respect the reality of today...and wish well to all those who love me and to all those who cannot.

Bless those souls who found their watery grave in the Mississippi river in Minneapolis and let their loved ones find some kind of comfort during their loss. always, thanks for taking a peek at my thoughts.