I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately ~ maybe it’s all this back-to-school business or something.

Here’s a throwback photo of sweet baby James and Furiends, decades before cute cats ruled the Internet.


Scan 58

So, about those cats. I read a hypothesis that posits a link between them and human babies that might solve the mystery of their Internet stardom. According to Michael Newall, a philosopher of art at the University of Kent, our exaggeratedly intense interest in cats may derive from their resemblance to our kids. He suggests that their big eyes, smallish noses, and dome-shaped heads trigger the evolutionary nurturing instincts that we have toward toddlers.


There’s also a new study that shows the time you spend watching cat videos can actually be good for your health.

Purrfect. Go ahead and click. Procatstination is healthy.


Toni 9/3/15

#TBT: Throw Back Thursday: China dresses up to show how it could make war and this reminds me of the wars we’d have prior TO being this dressed up.


#TBT: Throw Back Thursday: China dresses up to show how it could make war & this reminds me of the wars we’d have prior TO being this dressed up.




Guest host Shane Francescut says go photograph a stationary subject from three different angles. Check out his photoblog The Weekly Minute, it’s so inspiring.

Where Creativity Meets Good Taste 

This is the ultimate cooking school and party space near me in Tequesta, Florida.  It’s Foodie Heaven. And Lenore is its Goddess.

She has a swellegant demonstration kitchen where you can learn new techniques, improve your skills, or just sit back and watch. She offers hands-on interactive classes and demonstrations. I attended the demo ~ Lenore did all the cooking, I did all the tasting.


In The Kitchen serves real food.  Fresh, natural ingredients.  Seasonal, local, organic.

For you gardeners and farm share holders, here’s my idol, Lenore, with a timely demo.



Toni 9/2/15


COULD FRIDAY GET ANY BETTER? (Spoiler alert: Yes it can, people)

A billet-doux to Friday.  The Berkshires beckon.  Lenox, in particular.


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A fiercely popular place to fribble the day away. In addition to the bookstore, cafes, wineshop, restaurants, leafy lanes, library  ~and, oh, the views! ~ there’s Tanglewood.

The grounds are pleasure-dome dazzling. Sigh-worthy lawns, mossy-soft music in the air.

The show?  A Fan-my-brow Fabulous Foursome.

At the meet-and-greet, the Piano Guys are introduced to Golf Guy and me. The Other Guy?  Leonard Bernstein.

Al Van der Beek (producer/songwriter/fashionista), Steven Sharp Nelson (YouTube rockstar in a cellist-sort-of-way) on left;  Jon Schmidt (pianist/songwriter), Paul Anderson (producer/videographer) on right.  



Their story is a miracle.  Just like their music.  They are a bunch of ordinary guys that play classically-influenced instrumental music in profusely cool videos at spectacular places. And it all started in a piano store in St. George, Utah.  (I wish I knew that when I was driving through it.)


Waggish, jocular, rompish singer/storytellers. The Piano Guys. You’ll get a bang for your click here….. 



…and here…


…and here… 

..and especially here.



Your day just got better too, didn’t it?


Toni 9/1/15


Gardening with herbs, which is becoming increasingly popular, is indulged in by those who like subtlety in their plants in preference to brilliance.”

Helen Morgenthau Fox



Ah, basil. I stand amid the waist-high plants and tear off leaves.  Stormy winds and chilly nights are coming and I’m not taking any chances. My basil is besiegingly lovely. Beyond Utterance. A bull moose bumper crop of Biblical measure.

Basil was so revered in ancient civilizations that only kings and priests could gather it.  My Italian grandmother taught me to tear basil and Never Ever cut it with a knife.


In ancient Rome, basil was called Basilescus, meaning the Basilisk~  a fire-breathing, half-lizard, half-dragon creature with a fatal piercing stare. This creature had the head of a rooster, the body of a serpent, and the wings of a bat. Basil leaves were said to be the only cure for its bite as well as its withering breath, which could kill plants and animals. The Romans ( and my father) believed you needed to rant and swear while sowing the seeds in order to get the most potent plant possible.


There’s good basil and bad basil.  Basil was considered a powerful protector, planted around temples and laid with the dead. But, in Sicily, they say that basil dropped between two bricks transforms into a scorpion. (I recently learned that babies have something in common with basil.  Listen to the candidates take on the issue of anchor babies. There are good babies and bad babies? Dropped, not born? Sigh.)

I say escape the stormy political hysteria.

Get yourself some basil.

Make pesto.

Cheering effect guaranteed.


2 ounces of parmigiano reggiano cheese

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 cups packed fresh basil

some parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

Place the cheese and the garlic in a food processor and whirr until fine. Add the basil and pine nuts and drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the pesto is thoroughly processed.

Add the pesto, a little pasta water, and a few grinds of black pepper to the serving bowl mixture and toss well.

Pounding fragrant things — particularly garlic, basil, parsley — is a tremendous antidote to depression. But it applies also to juniper berries, coriander seeds and the grilled fruits of the chilli pepper. Pounding these things produces an alteration in one’s being — from sighing with fatigue to inhaling with pleasure. The cheering effects of herbs and alliums cannot be too often reiterated. Virgil’s appetite was probably improved equally by pounding garlic as by eating it.”

Toni 8/29/15