Saturday, May 21, 2016

Thursday evening dinner

Before we went over to Burlington to see Raffi, I looked on the internet for a good place to eat. I found one that I knew we would love, and made reservations. It is called Istanbul Kebab House. I had the very best meal I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant. You may read more about Turkish food here. This is my favorite food. I could eat it every single day and never tire of it. 

I had
Turkish red wine
Red Lentil Soup

Falafel with yogurt sauce for dipping

Blurry, but I wanted you to see the inside.

Tom had
Shepard salad

For the table:

Lavash bread to scoop up the hummus. It's a little like pita bread, but puffy.

Baklava made with Vermont apples and maple syrup

And Tom had Turkish coffee afterward. So thick he could spoon it up when the liquid was gone. The white square is some kind of sweet which you eat, and then take a sip of coffee.

Afterwards we met Hazel, Margaret, and Matt’s sister at Ben & Jerry’s. 

We had gotten Hazel Nina a Peppa Pig at Barnes & Noble.

We walked around Church St. 

until it was time for Raffi. Honestly, one of the happiest evenings of my life.

I don't think I've ever done a restaurant post for Weekend Cooking, and it is fitting that it be the best one I've eaten at!

Friday, May 20, 2016


Both Tom and I feel there are two great men whom we ‘met’ when our children were young. One is Fred Rogers, and the other is Raffi. Sadly, Mister Rogers has left this earth, but happily, oh how happily, Raffi is still with us, and we saw him last evening in Burlington, Vermont!! It was a lucky happening in that Margaret and Hazel were heading over that way to stay a couple nights with Matthew’s sister, and Raffi was going to be in town. And in one of those unexplainable, cosmic sorts of things, May 19 is the day that Margaret’s adoption was finalized.

Raffi was the man, the artist in the 1980s at Windy Poplars Farm. Oh, I was aware of Men At Work, Huey Lewis, Boy George, The Police, and even bought their albums, but the main music in the house and in the car for those years was sung by Raffi. He brought humor and fun and warmth and caring to the lives of little children. As we heard those songs in person, I smiled and I cried with joy. The years slipped away and I was a mother of little children again. And then I’d look over and there was one of those children holding her child, and the tears would just flow at this wonderful circle of life. 

Raffi calls the people like Margaret ‘Beluga Grads’ from probably his most famous song, Baby Beluga.

The video was from 1988 when Raffi and I were both 40. 

He sang a couple new songs, but mostly he did the songs all those ‘Beluga Grads’ came to hear. We were his back-up singers. Everyone knew the words to The Wheels on the Bus, Down By The Bay, Apples and Bananas, and my very most favorite, All I Really Need. No video, but the music and lyrics. It is like a meditative mantra to me.

I put the words up on my 67th birthday post here. And I featured his Christmas album here

The show was about an hour long, perfect for all the little ones in the audience. He chose the line-up of songs just right. Lively and interactive, then a couple slow lullaby-like songs, and then some move-your-body kinds of songs. He got a standing ovation. We were in the presence of a holy man, I truly believe. His life is devoted to children, through music, and through his Child-Honouring.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Today's cd/Moon Whale - Keven St-Ours

I just today heard of Keven St-Ours on my local public radio station. From the website:
All the music in this story, by the way, comes from Moon Whale, the debut piano solo album of Canadian composer Keven St. Ours. Keven is 29, and lives in Quebec.  He spent the last three years recording his first piano album and at the moment is trying to figure out how to get people to listen to it. “He’s working mostly by himself,” Keven’s girlfriend Sarah told me.  “He’s using mostly YouTube and Soundcloud for people to hear what he’s doing.  Each time he has a new piece, he’s putting it on the web.”Another thing Keven has been doing – he’s been sending public radio reporters links to his music and asking them to make use of it.

Credit Keven St-Ours

I so loved the music that I went to iTunes and bought the album. I find it very, very beautiful. 

Here is one of the pieces. No video, just the pure music.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mrs Bale pops up on the blog for the first time in three years

The last time Mrs Bale appeared in my letters was three years ago this month. She is here to say that before Tom went to bed he read on one of his many weather-geeky sites that rain would begin at 11 pm tonight. I was absolutely flabbergasted when I heard it at 10.54.

I'm watching As Time Goes By again, and thought I'd post a picture of the very first time the 'Plantagenet face' makes an appearance. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mid-May flowers at Windy Poplars


Violets are everywhere

We moved the forsythia bush away from the patio and over with the other smallish trees - crabapple and plum. By the way, I learned in a garden book by Anne Raver that it is named after William Forsyth who is said to have introduced the plant to England from China. And that it should be pronounced - for sigh thia not - for sith ia.

We were so pleased there were any flowers at all because Lucy thought we hired her to prune it, and pulled off most of the branches.

One of the sweet smelling plum trees has blossomed.

May is just so wonderful! There should be some more flowers by the end of the month.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Today's picture - Last day of a tee shirt

On Friday, Tom went down to pick up Hazel Nina, and I asked him to bring up a spare shirt and pants. This is the shirt he grabbed. It was Margaret's tee shirt when she was Hazel's age, so we're talking almost 32 years old. Sadly, I think Friday was its last day on tee shirt earth.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Today's poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Love’s Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle - 
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea - 
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)