Monday, December 30, 2019

A Trio of Farmhouse Cheeses

Ages and ages and ages ago, during the years Mistah and I were driving around the country in our Volkswagen Westy, we had the unique opportunity (and believe you me, we took advantage of every unique opportunity that came our way) of staying in an awesome studio apartment above a garage in a beautiful West Asheville home (thank you, Monroe and Lupe) in exchange for some work. (We are really good at painting rooms. Mistah hates doing it but he nails it, much to his eternal and deep chagrin).


We walked up to what would be our apartment for the next few days or weeks or whatever, and turned on the tv, as one does.

Somehow we landed on C-Span, and somehow C-Span was covering a State Dinner at the White House hosted by George W. Bush.

I know. I'm writing about Dubya.

But apparently Dubya never had state dinners; he never entertained at home -- he never had anyone over, and he lived in the White House! Where everybody else does everything for you! I would have had people over all the time.

What a chump.

But we were riveted by the coverage. We were riveted by the guests filing in (they invited the Kentucky Derby winning jockey who was very small and very adorable) (unless that was another year), we were riveted by the hushed tone of the announcers . . . But mostly? We were riveted by the menu.

In the same hushed tones, the announcers told the viewers what was for dinner that fateful night.

There was wine . . .

There was salad . . .

There was, I assume, an entree . . .

. . . but to start it all off?

The White House served A Trio of Farmhouse Cheeses.

Bill and I looked at eachother in incredulous awe. A Trio of Farmhouse Cheeses?!

Nothing has been the same since.

We now always -- always, for all these years -- never just serve cheese.

How plebeian.

When we serve cheese, we serve A Trio of Farmhouse Cheeses.

 See? Christmas morning breakfast . . . 

And closeup of the last cheese standing.

And we're not the only ones.

We got our Christmas / Hanukkah present from Rachel and Michelle this weekend . . . and as Billy texted them in thanks yesterday . . .

It was "a fine day for a Trio."

It may be the only thing Dubya -- nay, Dubya's staff -- got right.

Thank you, R&M. Thank you, cows and sheep and cheesemakers from England, Holland and America.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Hollyus Jollyus

It's here.

It's time.

We're spending a lot of time and heart and love talking about and thinking about James and Mumsie and so many others who aren't with us this Christmas . . .

. . . at the same time that we're thankful for those who are.

And in the meantime . . .

. . . we're girding for the day.

We're getting ready . . .

We're lit up . . .

. . . in so many ways . . .

 . . . so very many myriad ways.

My Mistah and I wish you peace and joy this week. We hope you can find it -- we hope we can find it.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Peace and Joy in 2020.

Monday, December 16, 2019


Some people have outdoor cats.

We have an outdoor tree.

There are myriad reasons why and we do not need to go into them right now. The thing is . . . we just do. We got one last year. And we have one this year. And that is the end of that story.

Sort of.

Yeah, I'm not buying it either.

The reason is . . . 

. . . we don't have any room for a in-of-doors tree . . . 

. . . and we have the ornaments from our outdoor tree last year . . . the ones that survived the tree falling down one million times. . .

 . . . and so this year we bought another outdoor tree.

"Buy an outdoor tree, they said. It'll be fine they said . . . "

It's not fine.

Nothing is fine.

But it's ... okay.

We're muddling through and trying to figure it out.

In the meantime, our OutdoorTree still needs a star . . .

But . . .  

. . . it does have guy wires.

Monday, December 9, 2019

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
 fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

When Great Trees Fall
--Maya Angelou

James Joseph Kennedy 
February 27, 1999 -- December 11, 2018

Monday, December 2, 2019

The T-Day

Now that was a self-respecting weekend.

We were so happy to have this kid with us this weekend . . .

. . . and this kid too.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Shall I start from the top? And give a quick, one-word-each chronological Thanksgiving-in-Photos?

Let's do it.







*Okay. I've changed my mind about this whole one-word business. Let's be reasonable, people. Let's go with two words. Or maybe even three ...

Turkey Carving.

(Yes. I have approximately two skills on this planet and one of them is Mad Carving Skillz. I know.)

Welcome . . .


Soup Victory.

The next day.

Dutch Luncheon . . .

. . . best lighting in New London . . .

. . . Ma Peeps.

And then . . .

Art Shopping . . .

. . . combined with Art Buying . . .

. . . combined with shenanigans . . .

. . . combined with uncle-and-niecie-poo-cuteness.

. . . combined with mom-and-dad-cuteness . . .

. . . combined with getting a lot of time with these knuckleheads all weekend . . .

 Photo by MB.

. . . And what a weekend it was.

This was a tough one for our family -- for my sister. We here on the East Coast had a lot of fun while also being fully aware and fully cognizant and fully empathetic and fully heartbroken.

I'm personally so thankful for my rock solid beautiful mom and my eldest kickass sister and that they trekked up to New London to be with us.

I hope you guys all did okay. I'm thankful for the good stuff.

Peace out.