Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Art I'm Owning #3

blackcrownaples, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Recently became interested in the movement of Daily Painters on blogspot. From there I began to follow the art of Michael Naples of Wheaton, Illinois. And after loosing a couple of ebay auctions for his works, I won this one: "Black Crow". It's so a pro pos on various levels. Michael is a published artist and I am happy to add this work to my collection.

My Quilting Ways #09

newquilt, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

With a return to the hot weather, I am again inspired to quilt--go figure. This latest creation is based on a random set of serial numbers used to track test booklets at my school for the annual 2nd grade assessments. Bazaar? Clearly! Interesting? Absolutely.

I'm using batiks and that adds even another layer to the design.

Recipe #01 - Red Soup!

redsoup, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

I love cooking. I believe anybody can cook and cook well. And one of the easiest things to make is soup. Soup is the quintessential "comfort food" for any circumstance.

This one I call "Red Soup" and here's how to make it.

#1 ~ Start a large pot with a gallon of water and add a teaspoon of Kosher salt, a heaping teaspoon of canned or fresh minced garlic, a dozen churns on a pepper mill of fresh ground black pepper, and 3 cubes of beef boullion. Let it boil gently while you complete step 2.

#2 ~ Chop up the Following vegetables:

- A medium head of red cabbage
- A bundle of scallions
- 2 medium large Jalepeno Peppers
- 1 lb of organic peeled carrots
- 2 medium sixed beets, peeled and then cubed
- 2 8 oz cans of fire-roasted tomatos

Add them to the boiling broth and simmer for 2-3 hours.

#3 You can also add browned stir fried cuts of beef if you want a meet component, but it's yummy as just vegies.

You can serve it hot as is, or with a dollop of sour cream a la Borsch style. Either way, it's robust, healthy and full of nutrients.

Bon Apetite!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Quilting Ways #08

roadtotherainbow, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

In sharing some of my quilts with a friend through this blog, I realized that I'd never uploaded one of my favorites. The pattern is tradiitonal and is thraditionally called "The Road To...." ergo my version is called: "The Road To Rainbow."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bea Arthur RIP

beaarthur, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Just learned that "Maude" has died.... The actress Bea Arthur was an icon of my growing up years; as the acerbic matriarch on the TV sitcom "Maude." Not simply for her feminism, but also the way in which that persona advanced gay issues.

Maude was real. Maude was now. Maude took no prisoners. She was one of my few adolescent heroes.

Bea, may all you did for kids like me illumine your crown in the here-after!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What I'm Watching #195

straightboysgayboys2, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

I can't imagine why I purchased this DVD, it must have been on the dime Sale table....a waste of 10 cents. I got better, more compelling home movies of 9 and 10 year olds performing plays at my elementary school. Would that I were a tri-pedal being, so I could All-on-my-own rate it with 3 thumbs down!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ornamental Trees #1

cerciscanadensis, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

cercis canadensis - "Eastern Redbud" is a weed tree really. They grow fast and tend to dye at a relatively young age for trees. This one grew from a twig that I got from the city of Takoma Park one Earth Day some years back now-- 2000? I fear the picture does it no justice as it positively glows in the back light from the late afternoon sun.

And here's a fun fact: you can eat the flowers. They are tart and sweet with a mild aromatic quality. They really bring magic to a salad of mixed field greens.

Ornamental Trees #2

prunusserrulata-kwanzan, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Prunus serrulata - "Kwanzan" is one of the lovely Japanese Cherry Trees that tends to bloom late. There are several in the neighborhood and this one in my back yard was planted at the grave of my dear cat, "Buster, the Usurper" may her feline soul and canine heart blossom in whatever heaven her tender energies now inhabit.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Random Quote #104

frandrescher, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

"No one leaves this planet unscathed. What we do with it, how we work through it, and what becomes of us as a result makes all the difference."

~ Fran Drescher, 1957 -

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Ressurection

joanncastleandboblido, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Easter is a time for families and Church and children, but when you're on your own, don't believe in Christianity, and have no progeny, how do you weather the Holiday?

Well, while folding my 5th load of laundry, I stumbled upon Lawrence Welk on PBS and became almost immediately transfixed. A staple of my childhood Saturday evenings, Lawrence Welk has been dead to me for many years now. And then there he was again. Stilted with his German-lilted English, flat effect, eyes glued to some invisible young man holding up the cue cards and introducing one after another of the performers in his unique, kitchy, campy circus of "Americana Plasticata": The world we were all told that we ought to believe in in the 1960's & 70's.

A world of hope, sunshine, tom-foolery, and silly-innocence. A world that no one living actually inhabited, and even those being used in his company to offer it's effect to the rest of us seemed at times quietly, efficiently, pained to portray.

Then enter into this Jo Ann Castle (nee Zering)!--and OMG!--she's like the embodiment of sunshine on crack! A big boned gal with all the power to play any tune on the piano ragtime with any other member of the cast for a "drop of the hat" reason. Here she bellows out a version of "Put on Your Gray Bonnet" with Bob Lido. You can watch it for yourself at:


Jo Ann, many THANKS!

Today's Sermon #14

rowanlecompte, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Yesterday, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, host Paul Simon interviewed one of the most amazing, gracious, and generous people you’ve never heard of. His name is Rowan Lecompte; and for lifetime now he has been the creator of the stainglassed windows at the National Cathedral here in Washington. The entire interview is utterly amazing, and here’s one example.

Paul Simon asked, “Do you believe in God?”

And Rowan LeCompte replied: “I believe in kindness and love. And there are those who say that those are God. I don’t know, but I respect and love kindness and love, and worship them. And if I am worshipping God; I am delighted.

“And I want very much for all of us to have another chance of life, at life after we die. I don’t know that that’s possible. And I don’t know that I’ll ever find out. But I hope I will. And rejoice totally because there are a number of people that I have loved so much in my life that have died.

“I’d love to see my dear, dear, scientific professor brother. I loved to see my mother again. She was so kind, she was the embodiment of kindness, goodness, and love. And they both of them died long before their time: mother from cancer, and Stuart from dispair.

“...enough of my private life. But I love love, and I love kindness. I wish churches would emphasis more kindness -- kindness to everybody.”

You can hear the entire interview at:


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Art I'm Seeing #37

moranditpc, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

I went to The Phillips Collection today to tour the current exhibition: "Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life". Morandi is an italian artist who was active from the early 1910's through his death in 1964. He made the bulk of his career out of painting the same set of bottles, jars, vases, pots, bowls, and other domestic elements for about 40 years. Over than span the quality and complexity of the paintings gradually waned; they flattened, the colors fleshed out, the number of objects lessened. And while earlier times included a few landscapes and organic components like flowers, for the most part the latter work grew more and more stark.

As it happened, I toured this modest exhibit in reverse chronological order.

This....inspite of some Dutch women who would not SHUT UP and her boyfriend who egged her on with a flurry of "uh hughs" and "okays" while all the time manuevring her to allow him a better view at the art on the walls.....proved very interesting.

My initial reaction to the later paintings was disdain. They're really poorly executed. I found myself asking whether or not Morandi drank. Especially, as the earlier works grew more complex and aesthetically appealing.

And then I did a time check and toured the exhibit in the correct chronological order. His early works are clearly derivative of the Impressionists, and from there you see influences leading all of the way up to a pre-minimalist sensibility. The works offer more than the casual eye can see, and much for me to ponder.

At The Phillips Collection through May 24, 2009

What I'm Watching #194

japanjapan, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

"Japan Japan" is an Israeli film that beggars description. More a serious of vignettes featuring mostly pedestrian characters than an actual film. It's not tightly contrived and has no real point except perhaps dreams are sometimes only dreams.

It is also not a film that you like or dislike....it was simply interesting.

5 Views of a Good Friday Ritual, View #1

goodfriday1, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Every year on Good Friday the parishners from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church on New Hampshire Avenue in Takoma Park put on processional commemorating Christ's march to the Golgotha and crucifixtion. They walk in solome procession from the church to a location about a mile and half away, where the crucifixtion will be re-enacted, too.

View #2, Good Friday Ritual

goodfriday2, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

The focal point is the actor playing Jesus who is taunted and jerked back and forth by the actors playing the Roman soldiers, while children keep pace on a drum and women sing lamentations in a wobbly, slightly flat Spanish.

View #3, Good Friday Ritual

goodfriday3, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

The crowd of hundreds stretched half a mile or more up New Hampshire Avenue.

View #4, Good Friday Ritual

goodfriday4, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

As in times of yore, the money changers are in the crowd. Ice cream has replaced doves and goats and unblemished lambs....

View #5, Good Friday Ritual

goodfriday5, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

The procession turns off of New Hampshire Avenue at Gardenside and disappears into the neighborhood. Eventually it will stop on the far end of the neighborhood and Christ will be "crucified" on the back of a flatbed truck.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Again

ginger, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Been a weekend/early week full of yardwork. I'm digging, weeding, planting, etc.. And discovering. Here my ginger arrives again and blesses the wild garden.

My present project is to recapture this area of the yard. I'm digging, weeding, and have planted one River Birch cluster. I have plans for ferns and am on the verge of even ripping out the hellaborous that dominate that part of the yard...they are wild and without semblence.

More pictures to come.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Room With A View of Spring!

tulipmagnolia, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

The blossoms from my tulip magnolia sing and sway, bob and applaude the present Spring on this most windy day. What great companions as I work at my desk!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Who Are We?

missliberty, originally uploaded by Randuwa.

The news out of Binghamton, New York today stated: "A gunman invaded an immigration services center in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday, fatally shooting 13 people to death and critically wounding four others before killing himself in a paroxysm of violence, the police said." after an act of xenophobic violence both tragic and despicable.

Whatever happened to?:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Have we forgotten that that is how our ancestors arrived? Have we succumbed so utterly to the idea that we are entitled to our largesse and privilege that it can only be sustained by denying it to others? It makes me so fucking sick. Those who deny opportunity to others do not deserve it for themselves. That's my bottom line.

My progenitors arrived in this nation in waves. Thomas S. (my Gx11 grandsire) left a London destitute to join with the migration of settlers under John Winthrope in 1637, Both Richard P. and Samuel M. found themselves living in or near to the original Jamestown settlement in 1622; and both came for a future that would be better than their past only to die in the Native American revolt of that same year--and their lineage continued through their infant children who survived to meet, marry and procreate. And there's James M. who fled the famines and oppressions of 19th century Ireland.

My ancestors came to this nation in a time span from 1619 to 1884. They came here form town and villages now scattered across the nations and kingdoms of Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and France.

How are they any more ambitious, daring, creative, conniving, ignorant, needy or hopeful than those who today risk life and limb to become Americans from Mexico, China, Guatemala, Cuba, Ireland, Croatia, Viet Nam, Pakistan, etc. etc. etc.....?

We can no more stop this phenomenon than we can stop the tides. It's time that we revamped the process and imagined what and why and how to the degree that our embrace of immigrants becomes an invitation to emigrants to leave and return and spread the ideals of democracy to the rest of the world. Just saying.....