Saturday, August 29, 2009

PhotoHunt; Surprise

This corona, like in sun, not beer, was a surprise. At least I think this phenomena is called 'corona'!

I was surprised to turn around at Citifield in NYC and find the sun setting over the skyline of the city. An added benefit to being at a Mets game!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Diana,, has initiated an idea that I love. Will complement my meditations.

This week's entry is something more mundane than my obvious gratitudes. I'm grateful for the fragrance of flowers, which fill my senses and emotions. Ever smell a flower that evokes certain memories? Lily of the valley and peonies do that for me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays: RIP Ted Kennedy

Not so wordless. Last evening, MA Senator Ted Kennedy died after a valiant effort of dealing with brain cancer. He was a catalyst for change both on the local and national level. He always brought an electric charge into a room. Controversial, yes, but you were impressed by his passion and honesty. He always put 'humanness' in his issues.

I don't know if he will ever know how many people's lives he affected by his public service. He was given a huge weight of caring for his brothers' children as well as his own family. He walked with prime ministers and leaders of other countries as well as our own presidents but he still remembered names (even mine) when he walked in a room. I had the privilege of meeting him professionally a few times; my sister was helped by his direction in her seeking services for her developmentally challenged son; family members sailed against him in the Figawi. He was larger than life yet still remained a humbled servant to his public.

Speech excerpt (Tennyson quote) from DNC in NYC in 1980. Ted Kennedy was the keynote speaker:
"I am a part of all that I have met....
Tho much is taken, much abides....
That which we are, we are--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
...strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

(Photo courtesy of the CapeCod Times) The Mya, Kennedy's boat in the Figawi

Monday, August 24, 2009


The Wikipedia definition is: “Benevolence means much good for others. As such, it is a form of love. But some theologians, such as Thomas Jay Oord, have argued that love involves both giving and receiving. A loving person must, then, be both benevolent and open to receiving good gifts from others.”

It’s a word that I’ve always been attracted to – conjures up such positive images – gives me a warm feeling. My definition: a choice; a lifestyle, in many ways. The antithesis to violence; the warm spirit of generosity of attention and deliberate caring.

Still reading DeBlasi’s “A Thousand Days in Venice”, and she, too, uses this word.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

PhotoHunt: Ripples

Taken at the Public Garden, Boston = the swanboats. Under peddle-power these wooden boats ripple the waters of the pond.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Quote

Courtesy of Marlena DeBlasi, A Thousand Days in Venice

"It's an unknown quantity of days from which one is permitted to withdraw only one precious one of them at a time. No deposits accepted."

That prose is an example of why I enjoy her writing so much.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August mean Italian feasts

in the North End.

In my younger years, I spent many Sundays in August at these feasts. It made August more palatable. Sometimes Cape vacations were shortened or planned around these events, as uncles and aunts were generally a part of the planning. Now, they are teeming with tourists and families who bring the next generation back to the North End to be a part of their family's tradition.

Each summer weekend, beginning in June, a particular saint (St. Lucy, St. Rocco, St. Anthony) is feted with a procession of the statute. The more 'important' the saint to the Italian community, the larger the festival.

In those days it was The Roma Band that played while barefoot admirers, atoners, parishioners, march in quiet prayer behind the statue. The statue was hoisted on the shoulders of some of the male parishioners and parade throughout some of the major streets of the North End. People attached dollar bills, some decorated on strains of ribbon, and lower their contributions slowly down to the awaiting hands of the parade chaplains, who would drape the donation over the head of the statue, which the men dutifully and excruciatingly would lower for this offering. This parade of homage was the most sacred and generally took place on the Sunday of the weekend. But the feast generally began on Friday night in a carnival-type atmosphere with games, prizes, families gathering, and stalls of food vendors - unsurpassed with the quality of the Italian offerings - sausages and peppers, calamari, pizza, calzone, and of course, the incomparable Italian slush, and continued throughout the weekend.

The Fisherman's Feast was celebrated this past weekend. Began in 1911, it is the longest running festival of the 12 saints who are feted throughout the summer months in the North End. Our Lady of Help is taken from her place at the Fisherman's Club and placed in an outside chapel on North Street. There she resides until Sunday evening. The feast begins with the blessing over the ocean, the fishing waters, and culminates with the traditional 'Flight of the Angel'. A girl, previously chosen, dressed in the costume of an angel, is lowered from a third story window down to the saint, while confetti dances from the rooftops of spectators. I'm not sure why or how this tradition began, but it is still alive today.

Next weekend's feast, St. Anthony, is the most familiar, most crowded, and largest of all.

Photos courtesy of

Saturday, August 15, 2009

PhotoHunt: Artificial

Well, I do work at a university and it is the start of the college football season (well, almost). Artificial turf, of course!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quote for the Day

From someone who is having a trying day - lovely thought:

After the rain
the moon rises like a pearl
~ Japanese haiku

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boston Blitz - #8 Marion, MA

Not really Boston but located in Massachusetts = in Buzzards Bay to be exact! There is an ongoing local discussion about whether Marion is actually on the Cape - you see it really isn't considered by many Bostonians to be the 'on the cape' until you crossed over either the Bourne or Sagamore Bridges which span across the Cape Cod Canal.

A little history - Marion was first settled in 1679 as "Sippican," the Wampanoag name for the local tribe. The town was mostly known for its many local sea captains and sailors whose homes were in town, although there were also some small shipbuilding operations on the harbor as well.

Marion seems to be untouched by progress. The houses here, even Front Street, the street which runs through the center of town, seems unchanged.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

PhotoHunt: Low

Quahogging at low tide on the Cape. Quahogs are large clams - generally diced, and prepared in a bread crumb stuffing mix with bacon and baked. Yum.

The best way to quahog is in waders at low tide with a rake. You end up raking the mud from the bottom or if in a shallow spot, bending with your hands and 'yanking' the mother (I mean 'quahog') out of the muck.

I know it sounds almost barbaric - and altho I never personally did it because I used to sink in the mud, my uncles did this as an annual ritual when I was small, and my grandmother patiently awaited their return from their outing in the marshes to begin dicing and preparing these succulent bivalves....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boston Blitz #6: Charles Street and Beacon Hill

If ever there was a 'historic' section of Boston (Historic Landmark), it's Beacon Hill, specifically running from Charles Street up to the State House. It was the only street connecting Boston to Cambridge when it was called the Shawmut Peninsula.

This is the area noted for antique stores, sophisticated shoppers and 5 star dining. The Boston Brahmins lived here in colonial Boston. The Cabots, Eliots, Endicotts, Adams, Jacksons and Lodges and Alcotts made it their playground. There is a famous quote in Bostonians' local folklore: "In Boston, the home of the bean and the cod, Where Cabots speak only to Lodges And Lodges speak only to God."

The architecture here is typically New England - brick, cobblestone streets and lots of ironwork. Louisberg Square epitomizes the area with its bow front windows, neatly painted facades, gas lanterns and a green 'square' in the middle of the street.