Monday, May 16, 2011

NYC Celebrates US

Northeast Spring
It is the beginning of a new week and I find myself back in Kingston, listening to the frogs and the chickens rather than the human and mechanical voices of  the CITY: all great sounds- so I am very lucky to have time for both. The internet weather reports tell me that we are all having the same day- cool temperatures and rainfall everywhere! I suspect that is the way of our world this year so if you have a chance to escape ANYWHERE, do so for your own sake!

 My escape to the East  Coast was great on all levels. I escaped the rain in Seattle, escaped daily life patterns for awhile and returned with new inspiration in all areas. With enough coffee I will be able to carry through with at least some of the new ideas and creations.

Jim and Carol retired!
Just a little review of the the journey so I can relive it myself for a moment and share it with you as well! I rented a car for most of the week, which was an entirely new way to see the Northeast. Driving into Manhattan during rush hour was my initiation and I must brag about how successful I was. It really is not all that difficult to read the road signs when you are traveling at 10 miles an hour! Driving through Connecticut to see Jim and Carol was a real treat. I saw a new perspective on the space I have visited often. The Spring colors were amazing. Everyone praises Fall colors in the Northeast but the Spring, with its' new greens and pastels is every bit as spectacular. Carol and I shared ideas and experiences in our respective lives and walked through the reservoir park, recalling the high school years when we did much the same thing.

Vanderbilt Mansion
I returned to New York in time for the weekend and a great excursion to the Hudson Valley to celebrate Mother's Day and Erin's birthday. Again, the landscape was gorgeous and relaxing. We stayed in a great little Bed and Breakfast in Hyde Park (for you foodies, across the road from the CIA). We visited mansions from the Golden Age of American industry - the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, etc- and small,old, factory towns now struggling to become scenic tourist centers until something better comes along to aid the economy.

Valkil, Eleanor Roosevelt's retreat, was especially inspirational since we had our own personal tour given by an woman who had known Eleanor and had been Eleanor's guest at Valkil. The DIA Beacon is perhaps the most unique Modern art museum I have visited, largely because of it LARGE size and the thematic curating of its shows. Marvelous-really! And of course, with any successful adventure there was great food that we were able to discover on our very own- ignoring the poor advice locals tried to offer. We returned down the west side of the Hudson River which is more agricultural and rural and therefore more beautiful to my viewpoint.

Beacon, NY
Since we returned on Erin's birthday we made an entire day of relaxing with mani-pedis at the local Williamsburg shop, under the subway. It always offers a great look into the local community and certainly did not disappoint,  with a group of Latina ladies and children getting ready for a celebration and a second group of young Hasidic Jewish school girls getting the "beauty treatment". Really much better than the theater or cinema. Dinner at Bianca's was great, as it always is, both food and experience. I think Erin's birthday was a success.
Jenny and Erin

With all that traveling,  my time in Manhattan seemed very short indeed. I took some time to shop for a shoot with Erin which was great fun. We had eyebrow threading in Nolita, saw great shows at the Design Museum, world renown tapestries at the Cloisters and great art at the Met- more that I can review but less that I wanted to see. Of course there was lots of good food and wine and coffee and treats to keep the energy level up! The wonderful thing about New York is that is it always there for a return visit and there is always something you didn't get to see to draw you back.
Spring HOPE

As a mother, I am thankful daily for my three wonderful children who all live in wonderful locations and let me come to visit!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rain, rain go away...come again some other day?

Just a little shout out to you all before I travel across the country and DRIVE into the Big Apple! Yes, you heard right- I will be driving into Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon. It turns out that it is much cheaper to rent a car for a week than for 3 days and since I am also traveling up to Connecticut, it make financial sense to rent the car to do both the trip to Avon and the adventure with Erin to the Hudson Valley. "Now don't be scared!"

Aside from planning for the next big adventure, there has been lots of garden work in the rain here in Kingston. I have planted everything- including tomatoes and squash on the theory that I will need the absolute longest growing season possible with the weather averages around 50 degrees. All of you in California and even in New York, remember the realities of the Northwest. We are in the rain-side of the 10 year weather cycle. I know the scientific community doesn't recognize my 10-year weather cycle but back in 1970 the medical community did not recognize stress and large amounts of sugar as problematic for womens health issues. I am always ahead of the curve on these scientific findings but no one remembers my first impressions-remember this!

I know you have mostly all heard about the amazing Easter meal shared on Tulin Rd. Radishes and nettles were two of the amazing hits. I will pass on the nettles recipe later, but I suspect no one has the available source that we do here in Kingston, so for now I will share the roast radish recipe which is outrageous and comes to us by way of Kyrsa.

It was also a bit of a birthday celebration for David so I made the celebrated Italian Cream Cake- one of MY favorites. Rather than the traditional cream cheese frosting,  I made the 7-minute icing with coconut topping as a lighter options- we all know that sugar is so much healthier because there is no fat!

Kyrsa will be visiting the Pacific Northwest this weekend and I will be sad to miss her but know she will have fun seeing other family and good friends. There will be lots of  laughter going out into the universe so be sure to add to it where ever you are. It is the needed relief from all the rain we in Seattle have been enduring and all the fear mongering the media seems to be pursuing. I think the wet weather has made me realize the paralyzing affect that constantly negative message has on people. I am REALLY walking away from the media news and deciding to live in a small cocoon of my own making. What is wrong with wrapping yourself in silk (unless you hatch into a tent caterpillar!-ugh)?

So that is the word from the home front. I will report on the garden progress when I return in a week. I hope the mildew has not taken over the roses by then ! Have a great week and weekend. I am sending you tons of love and reminding you that you make my life more hopeful every day by your creative living and your positive energy into the universe. You are the examples of  hope and change that I give everyday, to counter the negative message people absorb so easily. Go-Seek-Laugh!

Love you always but especially this Mother's Day.
Mama Llama