tunes : free coldplay

Hi All -

For those of you who live in the US, you can get Coldplay's new video for Lovers In Japan for free on iTunes for the next week. Not sure why we get it for free, but no complaints from here. I'm so pleased as I love the song and I'm very happy to have a music recommendation today after all ;). Happy weekend!

xo, Cindy
Photo Credit : Coldplay

life : vote

if you can vote : but choose not to : then no complaining

Hi All -

I'm still listening to the new albums from The Guggenheim Grotto and Keane, so I don't have a music recommendation this Friday like I usually do. Actually, my eardrums could use a rest, although I do get lonesome and disconnected when I'm by myself without some kind of noise.

Voting this Tuesday, November 4th, is at the top of our agenda, so if you can, don't forget to vote. It's strange, but the closer the big day gets, the more emotional I feel about it. I guess it's because we have the potential to make history in a big way and that is terrific! Earlier this week, I heard a very interesting interview on NPR about Barack Obama as possibly the first Asian-American president - read the article here.

Happy Halloween - be sure to see Sandra's inspired post. Have a treat-filled weekend!

xo, Cindy

bake : apple pie

apples : pie : home

Hi All -

Well, I finally got around to making Scott a pie from our apple picking in the Berkshires. It took me over a week to get to it as I don't bake as much as I used to. Throw in taking photos of the end product on a rainy day with only natural light from the window (or, lack thereof) and it's even more daunting. I really admire the talent of Aran and Helen in the kitchen and behind the camera.

Growing up my Mom did just about all of the domestic stuff in our house. She was a a great cook and made all kinds of fancy dishes, but sadly she never thought they were good enough. I was a domestic goddess in training at an early age though with an easy bake oven, pretend vacuum cleaner, sewing machine, and all kinds of craft projects. When I married Scott, I didn't know anything about real chores like food shopping, cooking, laundry, etc. I didn't go away to college, but he did, so he taught me. I would tease him and complain that I was 'burnt out' from all the stuff I did as a kid.

Then, I became a Martha-wannabe and turned 180° in the other direction. Although I didn't really have an interest in the day-to-day cooking, I would take care of the holiday feasts. I even went so far as to make that crazy puff pastry-wrapped turkey one year, which I think Martha even laughs about, now. It looks great until you try to carve the darn thing! I still enjoy reading the magazine Martha's team creates, but I have other things I like to do, lately.

In the interest of full disclosure, this pie was made using an improvised recipe and I didn't make the pastry crust from scratch. I was going to, but decided to just buy a frozen one - B. Smith's favorite from Pillsbury. While it was frozen, I transplanted it into my baking dish, added the apples and spices, and then put on the top crust. It tastes just fine and with those apples, you can't go wrong.

xo, Cindy

pics : 'roid week 2008

Hi All -

Although my purchase of the Polaroid SX-70 didn't work out (it arrived broken, but the seller gave me a full refund and let me keep it), I still have my Polaroid OneStep. It's Polaroid week and I'm happy I had photos taken in the New York Botanical Garden and Wave Hill from this summer to share. There are some terrific photos in the group. Have a look see.

xo, Cindy

garden : kiku

singular in number : creates many : incredible blooms

Ohayo : Good Morning -

The best gift Scott ever gave to me was a $35 membership to the New York Botanical Garden. Over the years, we have spent countless hours exploring the "Disneyland" of botanical gardens. Currently, they have a magnificent exhibit featuring kiku, which is the art of the Japanese chrysanthemum. This is what they say about it -

"The chrysanthemum, known as kiku, is perhaps the most revered of the fall-flowering plants in Japan. For centuries the secrets of its cultivation were carefully guarded. But during a five-year cultural exchange, The New York Botanical Garden learned the time-honored growing techniques and display styles to become the first garden outside of Japan to showcase the art of kiku in the Imperial style."

We visited the exhibit this week (luckily, before the winds and rain this weekend) and I wanted to share some photos with you. There was also a wonderful Bonsai exhibit in the Conservatory and I'll have those pics next time.
Hope you all had a very nice weekend!

Matane : See you, Cindy


Bamboo sculpture by artist Tetsunori Kawana

A web of bamboo.

Shino-tsukuri : driving rain. Each color group = one plant!

So tall and straight.

Ogiku : single-stem.


Chrysanthemums and stones.

Feels like an ocean of blooms hitting the breakers.

Fall color.


Delicate bloom.

Ozukuri : thousand bloom. Each color group = one plant!

This is my favorite style.

Kengai : cascade. Each color group = one plant!


Chrysanthemums and stones.

Fall color.

film : a short love story

oh, if life was so simple : to stop and start : on command

Hi All -

Once in a while I'll post about something to keep it close {Stereophonics}. Today, I saw the stop motion film, A Short Love Story from Carlos Lascano, mentioned on Please Sir and just can't stop watching it. The story is 'a couple of pencil-outlined birds escape from a little girl's drawing, leading us through the life she dreams of'. I adore the way the girl often looks askance at the boy. Pure magic! Thanks Diana & Carlos. Have a lovely weekend everybody.

xo, Cindy

Photo/Film Credit : Carlos Lascano

tunes : the guggenheim grotto

rolling melodies : lyrical mastery : grateful eardrums

Hi All -

I don't have a formal top ten album list, but these would surely be included: The Joshua Tree by U2, Parachutes by Coldplay and Under The Iron Sea by Keane. I think these are incredible albums because they have a cohesive sound and story.

Now, an album usually has to prove it has some staying power to be considered great, but the new album Happy The Man by the Irish band, The Guggenheim Grotto gets a pass because it is really wonderful. When I recently heard the first single Fee Da Da Dee I was so thrilled. Although the album is lyrically melancholy with songs about love and loss the melodies are upbeat and bright.

This band seems to be old school and really wants you to purchase their music, so I haven't found any other full previews available online for this album. But, I'm pretty sure if you like Fee Da Da Dee, you'll love it all. In order to make sense of the metaphor from the photo above, here are some lyrics from my favorite sing-along song Just Not Just. It reminds me very much of the experiences of many during this financial crisis. They've done everything right and it's just not enough. I've been there in the past and who knows what the future holds.

Just Not Just
so there’s this girl on a hill
with a kite strapped to her back
she’s crying ‘come on hurry blow
hurry pick me up and throw me skywards’
she’s got a prayer in her mouth
and she’s done all of the math
she’s got a feather for a heart but
it still doesn’t guarantee her ...

cos not everything you run to wants you
(it’s just not just, it’s not just, it’s just wrong)
and not everything you love will love you...
(it’s just not just, it’s not just, it’s just wrong)
it’s the tragedy of dreamers
like me and you ...

I wish I could convey the beautiful harmonies in Lost Forever, which is about the loss of romantic love. Amazon is the best place I've found to listen to all album previews without having to select one at a time. I hope you love this album. Let me know either way!

xo, Cindy

life : imprint interview

what to do : who to be : still figuring it out

Hi All -

Sweet Jessie interviewed me about the career change I made from legal to marketing a few years ago. I'm excited and really nervous, too. If you're interested, you can read all about it at Imprint Magazine. Thank you so much Jessie!

xo, Cindy

trip : the berkshires

she spots them way up high
just out of his long reach
they continue on and find plenty

Hi All -

Thank you so much for the Happy Anniversary wishes! Although we were 'thisclose' from missing the beautiful fall foliage, we managed to sneak it in just under the wire and ahead of the snow that was in the forecast for this week. Most of these photos were taken between Williamstown, MA (northern Berkshires) and Pownal, VT.

xo, Cindy & Scott

Fall foliage in gold, orange and green

Three content horses

Fence post

Frozen dew was a surprise

Love farm (see the word just in front of the white house?)

Majestic view

Green acres moment

Berry field awaits winter

Good morning moon

Peck of apples from Green River Farms

Melange soon to be a pie

One to keep the doctor away

Williams College, Old Architecture

Williams College, New Architecture

Louise Bourgeois, Eyes

Leaves fallen on grass

MASS MoCa, Jennifer Steinkamp
Incredible new media piece swayed and changed color

MASS MoCa, Window
The Clark, Degas

The Clark, Henri Fantin-Latour
A favorite floral artist