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


Chief Semicolon Advocate at WordPress Michelle W. says share an image of something creepy. Unsettling. Eerie. I dare you to look at her babies.

erice16An abandoned castle on the breath-abating vertical trail to Erice, a small medieval town in Sicily prized for its defensive position by Carthaginians, Romans, and Normans.


Toni 8/19/15



Story wrangler and editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands says show the world beneath your feet.

Hiking across Sicily is a literally-off-the-beaten-path trek through both a mesmerizing landscape and a turbulent history.

The Villa del Tellaro near Noto was a country residence during the late Roman Empire, in the middle of the 4th century AD.  The ruins of the villa were hidden beneath an 18th century farmhouse.  Thanks to illegal excavations in 1971 and a l-o-n-g restoration stalled by Sicilian bureaucracy, the villa opened to the public in 2008.

I saw sections of the original floor mosaics ~ floral and geometric patterns, panels illustrating the ransoming of Hector, and lavish hunting scenes.

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Recent excavations near the main farmhouse/villa have unearthed water cisterns and medieval tombs.

Who knows what else lies beneath Sicilian feet?

Toni 8/11/15


WP Blogger extraordinaire Krista asks ~ What is your inspiration? What moves you? What is it that never fails to motivate you, to get you going, or make you happy? See her avant-garde photo here.

My inspiration? Nature. Inspiring. Inspiriting.

Ancient sites. Dizzying heights.

Just plain grand. 

Toni 8/3/15


WP designer Brie says get up close and personal with your subject this week.

Percebes at the Festa do Marisco de Vigo

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Percebes are tube-shaped crustaceans that cling to the granite rocks of the storm-bashed Galician coastline. Pollicipes cornucopia, or goose barnacles, are cartoonishly inelegant but fearfully tasty.  Ask Spanish gourmets.

Knife and fork are not required for this impossibly ugly, extremely expensive delicacy. You pinch the foot between your thumb and finger, pull the inner tube out of its scaly case, twist off the claw, and eat the flesh.

Harvesting percebes is hazardous business.  Collectors, called percebeiros, have to maneuver down steep rocks or jump from boats in crashing surf to reach them, risking death. The very best goose barnacles are found on the Costa da Morte — the Coast of Death — in north-west Galicia. Not likely to be confused with the Costa del Sol.

These punks of the crustacean family thrive in violent waters. Watch  daredevil percebeiros torqued to the limit. Click hereHoly percebes!

My first encounter with briny-sweet percebes was in the fishing port of Vigo during the Festa de Percebes. Everyone tucks into mountains of this exotic gourmet gold accompanied by plenty of Albariño, the local white wine.


The best of the sea in a mouthful.

Quite the swashbuckling swallow.



Toni 7/28/15