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One More Sunday


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This is my final bonus Sunday post for April. Yes, the last day of April is a Sunday, but it’s also “Z” day.  So, with a respectful nod to my blogger pal John Holton at The Sound of One Hand Typing, I’ll offer up a playlist of Sunday songs, and YOU decide which one you like best.

“Sunday Will Never Be the Same” ~ Spanky and our Gang

“Easy Like Sunday Morning” ~ The Commodores

“Pleasant Valley Sunday” ~ The Monkees

“Sunday Morning” ~ Maroon 5

Is one of these your favorite? Or maybe you’ve got something different in mind….

 

A to Z Musicals ~ ♬ “S” is for SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE


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Inspired by the painting entitled “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The Broadway production opened in 1984, and won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and two Tony Awards for design.

Starring Broadway stalwarts Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, Sunday ran for 604 performances. There was a 2005 revival in London and a 2008 revival on Broadway. There is a scheduled two-month run at the Hudson Theatre (closing on April 23) featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as George.

Here is Mandy Patinkin, ‘finishing the hat.’

Bonus! And here, on the occasion of Sondheim’s 80th birthday, here are Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin to reprise “Move On.”

Sunday Bonus!


Happy Easter! Happy Passover!


Here’s a favorite for today, from Brooks and Dunn.
https://youtu.be/X5z-jjWyAJQ

Find Your Own ‘Way’


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By Aracuano – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2956595

Last week I watched The Way for the first time. It’s a film about grief, family, and faith and stars Martin Sheen and his son, Emilio Estevez (also the director, writer, and producer). The movie was released in 2010, but I had never seen it. Well, it’s not the kind of movie that you’d find in a multiplex cinema (but it should be there!).

The Camino de Santiago is a thousand-year-old walking trail that has more than a dozen routes, hence this symbol:

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The French Way, the most popular of the routes, is the one depicted in the movie, and begins at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the French Pyrenees. All the routes end at Santiago de Compostela, where the same-named cathedral stands.

Thousands of people walk (or bike or ride) this route every year. In the summer months, the route can be unbearably crowded, with ‘pilgrims’ racing ahead, hoping to secure a bed in one of the hostels along the route. This defeats the idea of a pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage is defined as a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Although it often is a journey to a shrine or place of religious importance (think Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Shikoku in Japan), a pilgrimage also can be a metaphorical journey into someone’s own beliefs.

Will I ever walk the Camino de Santiago? Probably not. I’m 58 years old, and the time for me to have made this journey was thirty years ago. I know my limitations, and walking for ten miles a day for nearly two months isn’t practical.

Estevez says the message of The Way is that “…it’s okay to be exactly who you are, that God loves you no matter how broken, no matter how imperfect you are.”

A fitting message for all of us.

Watch The Way on Netflix or buy your own DVD here

 

Irish Stew, 1908


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This recipe for Irish Stew comes from the Rumford Complete Cookbook, 1908. The Rumford Baking Powder Company was founded in 1859 and was situated in East Providence, Rhode Island.

IRISH STEW

  • 3 lbs. mutton, suitable for stewing (mutton is lamb that is more than one year old)
  • 8 medium-sized potatoes
  • 6 small onions
  • 1 small carrot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pints of water

Cut the meat into pieces of convenient size for serving. Remove some of the fat and put the meat into a saucepan with the water, which should be almost at the boiling point; add the onions, peeled and cut into thin slices, also the carrot, scraped and sliced. Cook very gently. The water should only simmer, for hard boiling would toughen the meat. At the end of an hour, add the potatoes, peeled and cut into thick pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, then serve all together on one dish.

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According to the Smithsonian, you won’t find green beer, leprechauns, or corned beef and cabbage in Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day. These traditions are very American. In Ireland, bacon and pork are more popular, and the Irish aren’t about to throw green food coloring into their pints. Furthermore, the corned beef we think of today is actually Jewish corned beef! The Jewish population in New York City typically tossed corned (salted to preserve) beef into a pot with cabbage and potatoes.

And, though the hordes of American tourists have changed Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland into a day of celebration, traditionally, March 17 has been a religious holiday. So, Irish in your heritage or not, pin a shamrock to your lapel and…..

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.

 

 

 

New England, March 1883


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Now that I’ve discovered the Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner at the Pawtuxet Valley Historical and Preservation Society, I’ve become a devotee. It all ties in with my love of local history and genealogy. Looking back in time can help us see more clearly, understand our shared past, maybe even foretell the future. So, what was going on around New England on this day in 1883? Have a look:

CONNECTICUT

  • ‘Henry C. Robinson, in a speech at Hartford, said that many of the mill owners of New England were educating their employees in virtue, domestic comfort, intelligence, and all good things; but he also knew of a man who was laying up $72,000 a year while paying little children 15 cents for ten hours’ work.’cartoon-or-sketch-of-mill-woman_0

VERMONT

  • ‘R. Smith, of Essex Junction, has a cow from which, within eight months, has been sold 610 quarts of new milk and 105 pounds of butter, besides supplying a family of three persons.’glass-1587258_960_720

MAINE

  • ‘The hotel to be erected at Mount Kineo is to be able to accommodate 400 guests.’kineo_cdv_1885

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • ‘It is rumored that a new cotton mill is to be erected at Hooksett, where there is considerable idle water power.’manchester-cotton-mill-manchester-new-hampshire

MASSACHUSETTS

  • ‘A ruralist at a recent Millbury festival ate seventeen plates of ice cream.’vanilla-ice-cream-17809427
  • ‘A young man of 28, said by the Worcester Spy to be Alvin E. Ross of Blackstone, was found dead in bed in a tenement house on Mechanic Street, Worcester. About a week ago, the young man hired the room in company with a woman somewhat older, who paid for the room in advance. The woman disappeared Sunday. Ross had apparently been dead about thirty-six hours.’

RHODE ISLAND

  • ‘Newport has, it is estimated, ninety-five licensed and unlicensed rum shops, and 1,200 male adults who visit them.’
  • rum
  • ‘A three-year-old son of James Brown, of Pawtucket, pushed a sleeve button up his nose. The family was unable to remove it, and a physician was called, who found it necessary to make an opening on the inside of the mouth in order to remove it.’
  • ‘The East Providence probate court on Saturday probated the will of George F. Wilson, despite the opposition of his youngest daughter, Alice, who received in trust $22,000 in Rumford stock, and who claims her father was of unsound mind. An appeal will be made to the supreme court. By his first will, in 1880, he left $500,000 of his $800,000 to Alice, but subsequently quarreled with her because of her relations with a certain person. An unpleasant family skeleton will probably be revealed.’

Winter Rules


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As we march toward spring, take a look at these Winter Rules, as published in the Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner, February 5, 1881.

  • Never begin a journey until the breakfast has been eaten.
  • Never take warm drinks and then immediately go out in the cold air.
  • Keep the back – especially between the shoulder blades – well-covered, also the chest well-protected.
  • In sleeping in a cold room, establish the habit of breathing through the nose, and never with the mouth open.
  • Never go to bed with cold or damp feet; always toast them by the fire 10 or 15 minutes before going to bed.
  • Never omit regular bathing, for unless the skin is in an active condition, the cold will close the pores and favor congestion or other diseases.
  • After exercise of any kind, never ride in an open carriage nor near the window of a car for a moment. It is dangerous to health, and even to life.
  • When hoarse, speak as little as possible until it is recovered from, else the voice may be permanently lost, or difficulties of the throat be produced.
  • Merely warm the back by a fire, and never continue keeping the back exposed to heat after it has become comfortably warm. To do otherwise is debilitating.
  • When going from a warm atmosphere into a colder one, keep the mouth closed, so that the air may be warmed by its passage through the nose, ere it reaches the lungs.
  • Never stand still in cold weather, especially after having taken a slight degree of exercise; and always avoid standing upon ice or snow, or where the person is exposed to a cold wind.

So, are you a rule follower?!

Are You Ready for the April A to Z Challenge?


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It’s coming soon! This will be my sixth year participating.

What’s the Blogging from A to Z Challenge? It’s just what it sounds like – a challenge to blog each day in April (except Sundays), with each letter of the alphabet featured on a day. For example, April 1 is “A” day. Your blog post topic should start with “A.” If you choose a theme, then you follow it through the alphabet.

The first year I participated, my theme was ‘Writers, Poets, Lyricists.’ From W.H. Auden to Warren Zevon. I didn’t do much advance planning and found myself struggling to keep up with the pace of a daily blog. Lesson learned. The following year, 2013, my theme was ‘Oh! The Places I’ve Been!’ From Austin to Zermatt, I covered some of my favorite travel destinations. And I planned! By the end of March, I’d written each of the daily posts.

In 2014, my third year of the Challenge, I chose a food-related theme. Cheese! Yep, ‘Smile and Say…’ A to Z of cheese. Asiago to Zamorano and everything in between. By then, I’d learned to pre-schedule my posts, setting them to publish around four in the morning. That way, even if something came up that deterred me from getting my daily post out, it was already done.

In 2015, I wanted to do something musical, so my theme was ‘Listen Up!’I featured a different musical instrument, along with a short video of said instrument, from the Accordion to the Zither. This theme was a lot of fun and seemed to be very well-received.

Last year, I challenged myself with a theme that required a lot of research. ‘Paris Between the Wars’ was based on the same-titled book, and featured a different individual (artist, designer, architect, musician, poet) who lived and flourished in Paris during the years 1919 through 1939 (from the end of WWI to the start of WWII).

So what about this year? Well, I’ll reveal my theme next month – for now, I’m still researching and writing the posts. Just know that my favorite themes involve food, music, books, and travel. So stay tuned!

Plus ça change…..


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

(Rue des Epouses, Fribourg, Switzerland)

I recently returned from an all-too-brief writing trip to my beloved Switzerland. 38+ years since I first traveled there as a wide-eyed college junior, bound for life with my classmates on a journey of discovery and appreciation. I’ve been back numerous times, with my sister, my mother, my husband, but this solo trip gave me space to contemplate.
A lot has changed in Switzerland, and I noticed it more this time. Certainly, technology plays a huge part. Mobile phones are attached to everyone, train schedules are available on the phone, tickets are scanned by the conductor’s phone. 


(Rue de Lausanne, Fribourg, Switzerland)

Tastes change, and reflect the demographics of an area. This restaurant used to be known for its raclettes (from the French verb racler – to scrape – it’s a meal of melted cheese, boiled potatoes, and gherkins). Now it offers gourmet burgers. The Lucerne train station has plenty of takeaway food shops – Indian, Middle Eastern, vegan.


(St. Nicholas Cathedral with the Schweizerhalle in the foreground, Fribourg, Switzerland)

And yet, some things remain. A cathedral dating back to 1430. 


(Pizzeria Mary, Lugano, Switzerland)

This café in Lugano, exactly as it was when my husband and I dined there in 2009. Even the  same gruff waiter was there!

(Atop Mt. Rigi)


(Marie and Marcel, proprietors of the Chemin de Fer in Fribourg, 1979)


(Brian Falzetta, Terry Cook, Mike Sirius, 1979, Fribourg)

Some friends have passed, too soon. We can hold onto memories and smile at photos.


(Martha and Fabiola Abbet-Dreyer, 2017, Chernex, Switzerland)

And when we have the chance to reconnect, we take it. ❤❤❤

I’m Here, Not There



This morning I’m here, not yet there. By tomorrow morning, I’ll be there, not here. For a time that seems not long enough, yet is the only length of time I dare be away. And I’ll be by myself, not with the man who’s been my travel partner for nearly 23 years.

There were a lot of trips abroad, mostly to Switzerland, so I do know my way around. This time, on my own, I have a purpose – to continue with a new novel I’ve only scratched out so far, but have written in my head. And I’ll be meeting up with two women – one I haven’t seen since that first year spent at the university in Fribourg, the other someone I’ve never met in person but who found me through my books. How great is that?!

And on Friday, I’ll be there, not here. Yeah, I’m okay with that, as I had no intention of watching the inauguration. It’s going to happen with or without me. And I’m not going to say anything else about it. Instead, here’s ‘there.’