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I may be devoting most of my blog to the mystery and vagaries of why and how Donald Trump was elected AND why he should be removed – BUT Ice Cream supersedes most everything and when I saw this post, I knew I had to share it. And you can probably expect more soon!

Jonah Mendez

Sweet Potato Ice Cream

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Well they’re not really here, in fact they were Ukrainians.  Yesterday afternoon, we went to The Lehman Arts Center and watched the most amazing performance of Russian classical music expertly performed by The National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine.

The land of the Czars and Tzars has given us some of the greatest composers in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  To name a few and some of their more well known concertos and symphonies: Pyotr Iliyich Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, 1812 Overture.  Igor Stravinsky – Rite of Spring, The Firebird, Petrushka.  Dmitri Shostokovich – Suite on Finnish Themes,  Sergei Rachmaninoff -Rhapsody on a Theme of Pagagnini, Monna Vanna, Piano Concerto I and II, Sergei Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, The Love of Three Oranges, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsokov-Capriccio Espagnol, and my favorite Scherherazade.  So much talent!

The first piece was Rachmoninoff’s Symphony No.3 and it was an elaborate production with full orchestra and three movements.  From where we were seated, I had a full-on view of the whole orchestra. Besides the usual violins, violas, cellos, oboes, French horns, clarinets and bass fiddle, Rachmoninoff included a harp, a triangle, symbals, a tambourine, and percussion.  Most of Sergei Rachmoninoff’s work is complex, especially his piano concertos, and in this Symphony it was quite evident.


Dima Tkachenko – Violin Virtuouso

The real highlight of the concert was Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Dima Tkachenko.  He was a child prodigy playing the piano and the violin before he was six!!  He has won numerous competitions and was awarded the Guildhall School Concert Recital Diploma (Premier Prix).  I was overwhelmed and swept away by his mastery of his instrument.  Like most virtuosos, in his hands the violin becomes an extension of himself.  Pure genius.  Under his expert manipulation, the violin sang, I mean really sang.  In his intensity, he broke at least 8 strings on the bow.  The violin is a wondrous instrument capable of producing an unbelievable number of sounds and notes in rapid succession.  The standing ovation lasted long enough to convince Dima to give us an encore.  And OMG, he played for at least another 10 minutes.  I don’t know what he was performing but it seemed to incorporate every nuance of sound and technique known to man and violin.

The Firebird Suite is one of Stravinsky’s better known compositions.  I have heard it many times however, the technical proficiency and emotional commitment of this orchestra is quite extraordinary.

Lastly, we were treated to a brief and informative talk by the conductor, Theodore Kuchar, who gave us some history of the conflicts his country has undergone for 100 years.  He explained that pure Ukranian music existed outside of better known Russian composers and proceeded to introduce a famous Ukranian piece.  We also were treated to a beautiful excerpt from a movie soundtrack created by Ukranian born Myroslav Skoryk.

All in all, I can’t think of a better way to have spent this gray, rainy and chilly Sunday afternoon.  It was a peaceful and joyful break from the daily stress of the political shenanigans going on.


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Me and my posse of committed, determined “sisters”

Also more widely known as Inauguration Day, this IS a day of mourning for the almost 3 million Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump.   This IS a dark day – the rain clouds have bestowed their blessing on this travesty.

How did we ever get to this point?  We now have a full-fledged narcissist, misogynist,  pathological liar, bankrupt businessman, egotist, thrice-wed husband and thin-skinned night tweeter.  I am so disturbed, angry, upset, sorrowful, distrustful that I actually spent some time thinking of all the horrible adjectives and characteristics that spell out his name.

D is for Despicable and Dictatorial                                 T is for Tyrannical and Toxic

O is for Odious and Obnoxious                                        R is for Rude and Racist

N is for Narcissist and Negative                                      U is for Unqualified and Unethical

A  is for Arrogant and Absurd                                          M is for Malevolent and Mediocre

L is Liar and Loutish                                                           P is for Pompous  and Peevish     

D is for Dangerous and Degenerate

I’ve been watching movies all day in an effort to escape the reality of this day.  I couldn’t watch my beloved President and his family leave us.  What will the world be like without Obama?

Admittedly I’ve never voted Republican for president and other than Nixon I’ve  never verbalized my dislike (and in his case, downright disgust).  George W was not my choice and I didn’t think he was very bright but he wasn’t evil.  But for me, Trump represents everything that is evil and wrong with our society. He is NOT my president and I’m sad to say that but that’s how I feel.

Tomorrow I will join my “sisters” around the country as we walk in peaceful protest to the election of Donald Demagogue Trump and to the imminent disgrace of the highest office in the land.

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2014 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.  Thank You Word Press!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Recently I started following this VERY interesting blog. New York City is a great place to live and a fabulous place to visit and you see it ALMOST FREE! – If you read and follow this blog. We’re off to see the lights of Dyker Heights just after Christmas.


If you’re still not in the Christmas spirit, just step into the neighborhood of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.

Every December over 100,000 people from all over the world, come to see the over-the-top Christmas lights of Dyker Heights.  Whether you think excessive Christmas decorations are festive or tacky, Dyker Heights is still a must-see for the whole family.

The Dyker Heights Christmas lights have been a tradition since 1986 and have become progressively more extravagant and excessive each year.  Most houses get their lights and decorations done professionally, with the intention to outdo the house next door.

You think your electricity bill is high? Rumor has it that some home owners are spending up to $10,000 on their electricity bills in the month of December due to the decorations.

Dyker Heights is completely free, but be sure to plan your visit between 5 and 9pm until Dec 31st.  The lights go from 11th Avenue…

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Back on the if it’s from Tuscany it must be good bandwagon.  Not because I believe that Italian food from Tuscany is the best but because Wegman’s latest Menu magazine is themed on the Mediterranean Diet and the flavors of Tuscany.  So now I’m exploring and experimenting with these recipes. 

This is a great soup for a Sunday night supper, served with a great baguette or with Miche bread which is a blend of whole wheat, rye and white flour. 

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Makes 6 cups – Active time 15 min – Total time: 55 min.

1/2 tsp Wegman’s Tuscan Seasoning Shak’r **

1 TBS olive oil

1 1/2  lb cauliflower florets

Salt and pepper to taste

1 carton of vegetable stock (32 oz)

Italian grated Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350º

Add Tuscan seasoning and olive oil in a large bowl; mix to combine.  Add cauliflower florets ; toss to coat.

Arrange cauliflower in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Roast 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned and tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add roasted cauliflower to stock in large pot.  Bring to boil on HIGH; reduce heat to LOW; simmer 5-8 minutes until cauliflower is soft.

Purée soup to desired texture; season to taste.  Garnish with grated cheese.

recipe from Wegman’s Menu Fall 2014

** I bought a bottle of Tuscan seasoning and I would have to cook with every day for a year to use it all I’m sure.  And if you don’t live near a Wegman’s, you can make a version of your own.  I’m  going to list the ingredient list and I think if you pick out what you think are the essentials you’ll be fine.  I was going to do that because the shelf was empty where the shakers were but Nick, an employee on the floor went in the back and found a case and brought me one.

2.82 oz.


Salt, Mustard Flour, Turbinado Sugar, Black Pepper, Allspice, Chili Pepper, Coriander, Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper, Nutmeg, Fenugreek, Cardamom, not more than 2% Silicon Dioxide added to prevent caking.

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Six Word Memoirs

Last week I received some great responses to my call for contributions to this blog segment known as Six Word Memoir Monday.   I LOVE the inspiration for this project – Ernest Hemingway’s six word novel: ” For sale, baby shoes, never worn”.  The  more you think about how he distilled so much into so little, it’s amazing!  Each time you read it, another version of what happened, was it a tragedy?

Look what was sent in:

Started therapy,ended therapy,began living. – Anonymous

Letting off steam with my tennis team -Lynne

Pink sunsets, don’t want to leave. – Gail

Away three months now happily home – Heather

Sold the boat, sad day indeed – Heather

This week, since the last day of official summer was yesterday, I thought the end of summer, the beginning of Fall would be great inspiration.

Warm sunny days, cool, crisp nights

Longer shadows, earlier dusk – Hello Autumn

Summer flowers fading, colorful mums now

Beach beckons, school commands, tough decision

I hope to hear from some readers on this topic OR any other that inspires you to put your life, your thoughts, your love, your sorrows, your ideals  into Six Words, No More, No Less

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