Cosmos

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Like when Horton heard a who…this Cosmos sent a “BOO”… WAKE UP!…Corn is as high as an elephant’s eye…crickets soon we will hear…the Ides of july…August is near…what to fear… seize the day…make hay while the sunshines and the flowers bloom…tis summer! a time to be gay!

 

 

 

 

 

For Sure A Dash Of Whimsy

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Once upon a time, not too long ago, actually June 28, 1973, my little sister got married. She and her husband were both 19.

Now, 40 years later they are celebrating this Wedding Anniversary up North! Danny rented three cottages this weekend at a lovely spot in Michigan for he and Irene and his mother and their four kids and spouses and 10 grandchildren. A true celebration of their love.

Their two poochies stayed home and I dog-sat.

On one of my visits to let GINO and PAOLO outside to do their thing, I meandered around Irene’s home. Inside and out. It’s beautiful…full of charm and so joy filled in its decor. There is no design category for Irene’s style and taste because like Irene, her home reflects a one of a kind “soul”. Seriously, there are many areas where the magical and mystical with a dash of the whimsical make your heart overflow with a sense of, “I want to live here.”

For example, over Irene’s kitchen sink is a lovely window where the view takes you immediately outside to pale pink begonias blooming. On the inside of the window’s generous ledge which is just above the sink’s faucet parades black metal ants holding tiny American flags! One is carrying a drum, another is riding a bike and all of them are wearing old fashioned newspaper hats! It’s soon to be the fourth of July! And, yes, in Irene’s home six inch tall ants march in parades for the 4th. of July!

Then as I was adding dry dog food nuggets to GINO and PAOLO’s breakfast food, my eyes caught a SECRET GARDEN in the corner of Irene’s kitchen counter top! It is about 15″ X 15″ and depicts a walled garden of climbing ivy complete with mini red and green garden lights…like a mini TAVERN on the GREEN. Little mice are the “caretakers” of this magical square which comes with a garden bench for imaginations to rest upon and potted flowers the mice tend so dearly.

Paintings of our Blessed Mother hanging here and there, some old some new, remind me of Irene and Danny and who my family is…and where we are going. There is the one old painting of Blessed Mary very similar to the one my Grandma used to have in her bedroom and another one Irene found at a garage sale, knowing instantly she had to rescue this wooden icon of Mary, too. Then there is the print of an oil painting by Jean-Francois Millet depicting two peasants bowing in a field over a basket of potatoes to say the Angelus prayer at noon. Every time I look at this painting I am there, in that field, grateful for my faith…the faith of my father and mother and Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Grateful for Irene and Danny and all of my brothers and sisters and their husbands and wives…

A row boat full of taxidermied wild animals sits on the fireplace hearth calling out for me to row with them a bit down the whimsical river of life! Irene’s dining room table for 18 invites me to dinner and to break bread with so many of the people she and Danny and I love! There is a niche or corner or view from an overstuffed chair to inspire everyone who enters this home. Everything is wonderfully beautiful! But it is the little magical spots in Irene’s home, the mystical spaces and tiny hidden places that pop out at you around a corner or up a staircase! It is a home that reminds me of the unique way Irene loves and inspires LOVE.

I never meandered through a home more full of LOVE! All the little (and some not so little!) things that make a house a home are there along with the recipe for making a marriage not only work, but make it a feast to behold and emulate!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Irene and Danny!

My Country tis of me, oops, I mean Thee

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WHAT IS GOING ON AMERICA????????

People cheering on a woman who is rambling on and on against Texas abortion limits?

ABORTION LIMITS?

Who would ever have thought there’d be the day when a child could be ripped from its mother’s womb and they’d call it “CHOICE”!

Against human nature. Abortion is a crime. Evil incarnate.

Red, white and blue…some have made a mockery of you.

Amazing grace…one nation under God. What have we become.

The Black Dress: chic or evolution?

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It’s Monday. LAUNDRY day.

While hanging my Sunday dress to dry under my bedroom ceiling fan, the thought occurred to me that I’ve become the lady in black…at least on Sunday when I don my polyester black dress. Bought it four or five years ago for a wedding and have been wearing it on Sundays ever since.

Unintentionally and with no designation intended, my “Church uniform” has become me…or I, IT?

But, how did this happen? When did I become this older woman who is now so comfortable wearing black…now so content wearing the same black dress every Sunday?

I recall being irritated by the elderly women in my family who, once reaching the ripe old age of fifty, would only wear black. I excused the women who lost their spouse as it was customary to wear black for one year after one’s husband or a dear loved one passed away. That was for respect! What other sensible excuse could there have been for maturing women to wear black, for donning the same black “Hey, I’m over 50” dress for every occasion for the rest of their lives! Maybe the black dress thing was in their genes! Evolution?

These beautiful women were apparently not interested in being chic. They figured that window of opportunity had passed and they accepted that CHIC was for the young and that DURABLE and DEPENDABLE was what they needed now in their closet. Time was precious. They knew who they were. There were more important things to do than shop for trendy outfits. For some it seemed like, whether their spouse passed away or not, between the age of 50 and 60, black was where it was at. The black dress was a blend of rayon or polyester, no iron, durable, and inexpensive. It usually went well with black shoes or tan sandals.

My Grandmother never wore black because for her it did signify sadness and mourning. She loved color and floral prints and white sandals and bright red hair! I loved her for that because that’s who she was! I am so grateful for all the wonderful things she passed on to all of her children and grandchildren, yet a part of me doesn’t mind the “black dress”. I must not have inherited the vivacious color gene.

I feel very at home when I wear my Sunday black durable rayon dress…my Sunday uniform. It makes me feel like I have an entourage of all my beautiful women from the past following me all day on Sunday reminding me to “Stir the pasta sauce” or “Use the embossed white linen tablecloth.” My Grama is always right behind me wearing an aqua shift fancied up with a string of oversized pearls saying, “Don’t forget to pick the Peonies”, or “Use the fine china today”.

The black dress…

I’ve got to think about this a bit more.

My window of opportunity for being CHIC has passed. I have evolved into a woman of simplicity. I am content to wear a dress that happens to be black every Sunday. I have other things going on in my life that I’d rather spend my time and money on. And when all is said and done, it may not be about wearing the same black dress Sunday after Sunday. It may end up being more about the dear women in my life who wore a lot of black, and the dear women who did not wear it.

It might be about knowing who I am, and never forgetting who they were and how they loved.

Yup, the black dress.

Look, it’s a bathroom, no, it’s a kitchen…no, it’s my Garage!

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Sunday. Sunday dinner. We gather together to reconnect and to enjoy each other’s company while relishing something delicious from my kitchen.

Normally we gather around tables in my dining and living room area. But in the summer, if the weather permits, we will eat outside or in the summer kitchen, aka, the garage.

Yes, usually a garage is for protecting your car from the elements, but if you have an ounce of Italian blood running through your veins, a garage is for entertaining…

While I was on my way to my “l’estate cucina” (summer kitchen in Italian) to set things up for this afternoon’s Sunday Dinner, I had to chuckle at this big room that makes no sense from an INTERIOR DECORATOR’s eye. But, how poetically beautiful it is to me and my family.

How to describe this place…this room…hmmmm…

First, there are two big tables. Both from my childhood home on Teppert St. in Detroit. One is a huge Duncan Phyfe table given to my Mom from a dear neighbor, and the other is a more modern formica topped round table Mama had purchased in the late 60’s. Then there is Grandpa Pete’s antique 1912 National Cash Register he used for many years in his Barber Shop. That hefty relic which only tallies a grand total of 3.00 adorns the countertop while a plethora of used San Marzano tomato cans (I use these for vases!) grace the shelves which store even more trinkets necessary to run a smooth kitchen. A POTATO RICER which is a must for making GNOCCHI, a FOOD MILL, favorite bowls, and wooden blocks that spell out BABE and THERESA. BABE and THERESA are my parents who have passed away physically but spiritually remain alive in our hearts…especially when we are in the kitchen…in the garage…eating spaghetti with Mama’s sauce and tossed salad with ceci beans!

Also, there is an Antique stained glass window depicting St. Bartholomew (patron Saint of hospitality) which hangs in the 6X9 foot picture window my Uncle roger gave to Daddy because this room needed more LIGHT. Then why stop with one window…Daddy knocked out another wall and installed a bay window…and a door wall! This room is well lit! For festive days there are lights, Christmas lights (strategically hung on the rafters with care) the old fashioned 4 watt bulbs that glow colors and feelings which say in their beaming, “Yes, this is what life is all about.” Actually, AMORE is what life is all about, but lights have a way of saying that in a special way. In Italy, instead of saying it with flowers, they say everything with lights…and flowers, too!

There are chandeliers hanging from the tall ceiling in the garage which were no longer needed inside my home. One is from a famous restaurant from the downtown Detroit area which closed and had a GARAGE SALE! Like, it was meant to be hanging in our garage…Mama carried this monstrocity four blocks to the car…it was something she had to have! We love it, too!

There are bookshelves filled with books, no! Bookshelves filled with bar glasses and games…

Well, I only meant to post a pic of an old bathroom sink sitting in an old Italian spirited garage. The beauty of the worn porcelain sink being used as a potato bin struck me hard this morning. The rose painted mural Emily painted around the door for Theresa’s Wedding Shower with the sink my father-in-law used in his barber shop and then used in his garden to rinse his vegetables every summer (Yes, this too, was in the garage!) made me realize the whimsy of life…the beauty of some old things used in lovingly new ways.

YIKES! It’s time to get ready for Mass and check “Mama’s sauce” simmering on the stove…

I’ll set the table later…wondering which linen tablecloth to use today. The white one which echoes cheers from the past, or the red, white and blue one which will hide the sauce dribbles…

HAPPY SUNDAY…from my garage, my beautiful Italiano cucina, to yours!

’twas the afternoon before summer

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It is the afternoon before summer officially begins. Lots of creatures are stirring, and not just mice. The laundry isn’t hung on the lines with cheer; it’s against the township; they made it clear. I’m sure the Grandkids aren’t all nestled in their beds because it’s too early…

It’s almost three in the afternoon. I carried up a bunch of folded clothes to put away in drawers. Saw my comfortable bed. Dare I take a 20 minute snooze?

Yes!

This is nice. I’ll take a pic!

Nice breeze. Pretty view. Birds chirping.
Sixty-four…naps are good…a chuckle escapes with this afternoon indulgence…

I close my eyes…

Visions of loved ones who have passed dance in my head along with the lyrics from an old lovesong…

“TIME IS SO OLD, AND LOVE SO BRIEF! LOVE IS PURE GOLD AND TIME A THIEF.”

Row row row your boat… Sometimes life seems but a dream.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.