Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Architecture

This mature tree--what a beautiful, orderly system of branches and twigs that are both rigid and flexible, divergent and harmonious; complex and simple. Love this winter architecture. (Or should I say: I'm obsessed?)

Growing up with seasons, it's natural, normal, expected and comforting to see this cycling of trees bare, budding, greening, changing colors, then crumpling and letting go. As a New Englander, I've learned that this going inside--the appearance of silence or inactivity--is sleep and protection, and preparation for the next growth spurt. When I lived in Miami, FL, I felt a strange loss when leaves didn't drop-but they do, of course. Palm tree leaves turn brown, curl, shed and grow anew all the time. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Full Wolf Moon

Did you know that January's full moon in a few days is called a Full Wolf Moon? Also, the Old Moon, according to this link.

Here's tonight's rising moon (outside our kitchen window).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ice Curtains = 10 degrees

Once again, ice curtains this January morning.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Plans Change

When plans change, the unexpected can bring something more wonderful than you would have imagined.  These pictures of the Italian Alps are from 1990s. My husband and I went to Europe to ski one winter. When we arrived, we learned that most of the ski slopes were closed due to lack of snow! Funny. We didn't plan on that. We soon discovered these breathtaking walking trails into the mountaintops and clouds.What a memorable experience.

And a tiny town with less than 200 residents.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Falling in Love with a Painting

On our last day of vacation in Budapest, Hungary, way back in the early 1990s, I took a walk down the avenues near our hotel and passed by this Kiosk on the street. This painting of  a woman--chased, pursued--running ahead of a man who looked like Marlon Brando, intrigued me. 

I kept going and within a block or two, happened upon a gallery where the artist of this painting was showing his work. I walked in.

What great fortune. The artist himself, Laszo, greeted me, offered me a cup of wine and, in his wonderful English, went from painting to painting telling me about his work and his love of America.  I was smitten with Laszo’s paintings and utterly charmed by Laszo.  I returned with my husband with the hope that, he too, would fall in love.

He did. We wanted to buy the painting of the running Marlon Brando but it had already sold.  So, we spent more time considering and bought this one. You can see a peek of it to the right of this picture (above.) It’s hanging in our dining room now.

That evening, we three celebrated by going out to Laszlo's favorite music club. It was the beginning of a life-long friendship. I look back at that moment that seemed so random at the time. But was it really?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Skype 50 States with Night Swim

To celebrate my 1-year anniversary of Night Swim's publication, I'm taking Night Swim on a Skyping book club trip to all 50 states. Will you join me? It's easy and fun.

Here's how.  If you belong to a book club or know someone who does and can Skype, leave a comment here or via Facebook or Twitter or email me to set up our Skype date. You'll receive signed bookplates for your club members as a small token of my thanks. Below is a list of U.S. States. I've checked off five--only 45 more to go! (Of course, multiple bookings in one state are great.) I'll keep this list updated. Looking forward to meeting you on my Skype cross-country book club trip! Thank you!

And thanks to the Jewish Book Council who coincidentally tweeted this lovely review of Night Swim on the eve of my anniversary: "@Jessica Keener4's writing is lovely, she manages to build sentences that are both precise and ornate."

o     Alabama - check     
o    Alaska
o    Arizona
o    Arkansas
o    California - check
o    Connecticut
o    Delaware
o    Florida - check
o    Georgia - check
o    Hawaii
o    Idaho
o    Illinois
o    Indiana
o    Iowa
o    Kansas
o    Kentucky
o    Louisiana
o    Maine
o    Maryland
o    Massachusetts
o    Michigan
o    Minnesota
o    Mississippi
o    Missouri
o    Montana
o    Nebraska
o    Nevada
o    New Hampshire
o    New Jersey
o    New Mexico
o    New York
o    North Carolina - check
o    North Dakota
o    Ohio
o    Oklahoma
o    Oregon
o    Pennsylvania
o    Rhode Island
o    South Dakota
o    Tennessee
o    Texas
o    Utah
o    Vermont
o    Virginia
o    Washington
o    West Virginia
o    Wisconsin
o    Wyoming

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Green Bids You Welcome

With so much wrong in the world, sometimes you need to rest your eyes and heart on a small plant by the window.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Grandmother Power and Matzo Ball Soup

January, 1980. In this bone marrow transplant room where I lived for 2.5 months, all food had to be sterilized first to kill bacteria before I ate it.  My 88-year-old grandmother kept me in constant supply of her homemade matzo ball soup, which she delivered in a glass jar to the hospital. I drank her soup for lunch, every last drop, several times a week. It was my favorite meal and one of the reasons I'm sure I did so well. Maybe that's why I had such a strong yen for some yesterday and why I wandered into a Jewish deli to order a cup.  (Sorry for the fuzzy, green picture. This was an instant Polaroid shot. The kind you had to wave in the air to dry out.)

This is the cup of soup I ordered. It was perfecto! But not quite as magical &
great as my grandmother's.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Break in the Firmament Last Night

Brings warmer weather today. Snow is melting.

And our resident turkeys.

Thursday, January 3, 2013