"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities." So said the magical Maya Angelou

Sunday, September 27, 2015


There's a Supermoon Eclipse tonight.  I'm reading that it hasn't happened in 33 years, and it won't again for another 18.  There's a sense of moment, of capture, nature is giving us a once-in-a- blood moon show.  

A real blood moon

That crazy, bloody color. Makes me think of a limited edition silkscreen I found for Dallas, where it hangs and evokes many a conversation.

Who is she?  Why the bold red background?

And then there's Mark Rothko's Proof Kiss.  These are colors that don't calm, they provoke. 
Painted by an American of Russian Jewish descent.  Imagine. Painted in 1947.  

Supermoon Eclipse will be moving, it will be fleeting, sort of like summer is feeling this late day in September.

like the heirlooms

Here's what's important about this Super Eclipse, according to my go-to source, foreverconscious.com.  
Supermoon Eclipse.  It is, truly the New Now.

Blood Moon Eclipse #4
This is the last of the Eclipses in this lunar year, it's falling in Aries tonight, September 27-28, 2015.

Pay Attention.  

As you look back over time, there may have been significant events brewing around these dates that will now need to come to a close or resolution.

You may have also been feeling strong shifts in recent months that have perhaps lined up clues for you as to what may be in store on this very significant date.

Energetically, this final of the Blood Moon Eclipses is going to open a new doorway that is going to give rise to a new way of being- a new Earth that is higher in consciousness and more evolved.

In order to reach this stage, the old, the outdated and parts of the ego need to be shed, released and let go of.

It is up to us how we want this rise in consciousness to change our world. Either we can flow with the changes or fight them. Regardless, however, they are happening.

Think of this coming Eclipse as a gateway into a new world where we will all have a deeper understanding of humanity, our purpose, and what life is all about.

The message for you is to dive head first into these changes. To be proud and assertive over what you want and to lose all attachments to the ego mind and body.

There is absolutely nothing to fear, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Pleasant Dreaming.

Friday, August 28, 2015


I'm painfully aware of the summer wane, and with it that elusive inspiration to bring forth "nature's bounty on a plate".  Summer where we go, a loose but earnest group of us celebrates Thursday's Farmers Market with a dinner, every Thursday night.  It's pot luck, so (as we say) if everyone brings kale, we eat kale for dinner.  Amazingly, the concept hasn't failed us in the 6 years since inception.  The dinners get more delicious and the company more dedicated.  

It's Friday and I missed Farmers Market Dinner last night, because I'm not on Pleasant Street.  But I brought home Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook,  "It's All Good".  It's great for virtuous recipes heavy on the bounty, it's one I use a lot on Pleasant Street.  

(About Gwyneth. I think it is that she's someone who has brought a pretty good idea to life.  Yes, with fame and fortune, but she's sharing it with all of us, in her most perfect way.  There are people like her everywhere, folks.  I'm not a hater, and in fact, she eats a lot like I eat, so I appreciate her attention. That's it on Gwyneth.) 

But today, over coffee, I have everyone home and only for a few minutes more.  I've leafed through every page of Gwyneth's gorgeous cookbook and the only recipe I can see fooling with tonight is the Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas (pg 173). 
Elusive, elusive, elusive...

So, what inspires, what transports, when life is changing and children are leaving and the only thing that stays the same is that in the evening, we eat dinner?  There are a few places I like to go for less elusive help.  One is 101 Cookbooks, a stunning "journal" by Heidi Swanson (who's cookbook, "Near & Far", came out a few days ago).  She too is pretty virtuous, but does food in a way that sounds like art and looks like art and doesn't slay you in the making.  Here's the recipe that's perked me up today.  

Broiled Saffron Dates
Because:  I love dates, I love saffron and I love Morocco. 

So, for dinner this Friday night, it's Gwyneth's Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas with shredded rotisserie chicken, 101 Cookbook's broiled saffron dates, some arugula drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  Maybe a glass of Moroccan wine.  More on that after I find one.

"The past is buried deep within the ground..., although the ancient walls in the old city are still standing, painted in electrifying variations of royal blue that make the winding roads look like streamlets or shallow ocean water."  
- Raquel Cepeda, "Bird of Paradise"

Pleasant Dreaming.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I'm struck by what some of us remember that others simply cannot place - even when they're events or moments that happened to us both.  Like, there was a time, sometime in my aspirational adulthood (mid-80's), that my parents got very hip and they and their friends would go hang out and drink in hotel bars. The new, sexy Princeton Hyatt had sculpted comfortable chairs and cool stools.  I'd go with my parents and order a drink and it became for me a new way of socializing.  Here's kind of how I remember it.  My parents don't remember it at all.

Cool people cocktails.
As my daughter gets ready to go to college she asks about how it was for me and I think hard before telling her - I can't remember.  Disbelief, how can I not remember?  It is all so pivotal.

She'll see.  We remember what we need to, to stay vibrant and hopeful. 

Pleasant Dreaming.

Here's an amazing article about memories and the telling of them.  From the Atlantic, "How Many of your Memories are Fake?"  A line from the piece is this: "We all have narratives," (he) said, explaining that people form beliefs and values, and then develop explanations within their memories for these beliefs and values.  "We're all creating stories.  In that sense, our lives are stories." 

Monday, August 17, 2015


In 2009 and 2010 I wrote a blog called the Daily Now as a way to capture creativity, aesthetics and all the work I wasn't doing as I looked for a job in our nation's Great Recession.  I've been looking at the Daily Now again and holy cow, it should be a book - if I do say so - it is the real Eye*Full.  Check it out!

a Quotidian Source for Inspiration in the New Now
Daily Now entry from 6 years ago today: August 17, 2009

That was a time, for sure.  John and me, both without work and beating every bush.  Sort of like, um, right now.  Implausibly enough though, YES the circumstances are similar, but it will be, IS, different.  It ISN'T 2009, and we aren't the we of that time. 
"History doesn't repeat itself, it just rhymes."

I came across this entry in the Daily Now that speaks to me today as we leave our Pleasant House and lean into the rhyme.

When we move from one residence to another, we often get so caught up in the forward thrust of where we are going that we forget to properly say good-bye to the home we are leaving behind. Yet saying good-bye is an important part of moving forward. It gives us a sense of completion so that we are able to fully inhabit our new space, having left nothing of ourselves behind in the old one. In this way, we honor the space that has held and nurtured us. At the same time, we cleanse it and empty it of our energy so that the new residents can make the space theirs.

Plan a walk through your home that begins and ends at the front door. Ideally, you will be alone or accompanied only by a person who shared the space with you. Prepare yourself mentally to be as present as you can during this process. As you enter the house, you might say, “I have come to thank you for being my home and to say good-bye.” You might touch the walls with your hands as you move through the house, or you might burn sage as an offering, as well as an energy cleanser. Spend some time in each room expressing your gratitude and gathering or releasing any lingering energy from the room. As you do this, you are freeing your home to embrace its new occupants. Remember to visit your outside spaces as well. Plants are especially sensitive to the energy around them and will appreciate your consideration.

As you make your way back to the front door, know that you have completed your final journey through your home and that you have honored and blessed it with this ritual of farewell. As you close and lock the door behind you, say one last good-bye. Now you can walk freely into your future and fully inhabit the new spaces that will keep you safe and warm.
- excerpted from Daily Om

The last of a gorgeous summer arrangement.  

Pleasant Dreaming.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Spotify is pretty amazing. 
I get to look into your lives through the songs you're tuning in to, listen and borrow and listen to my own.  Unimaginable what life be, without a soundtrack.  How would we define the moments?  My friend Shelly is who I emulate on Spotify, she's also been a big part of my life's soundtrack.  I wonder if making a Spotify playlist of all the songs that make up my soundtrack:1964-2015, the songs that bring me back a time or a feeling or a person, if that would be too painful to listen to.  It might be --

The Spotify playlist I'm working on now is titled, of course, 19 Pleasant.  
I'm picturing myself in 6 months or so, sitting in my urban, putty-colored Dallas kitchen with a coffee, clicking onto my 19 Pleasant soundtrack, and coming back to this very moment.  
Pleasant House Dreaming.

This moment.  
Coffee: my favorite one from Nespresso, Kazaar, in my favorite coffee cup.  And a mason jar of water, mint and some blueberries.  

And it's Joni, definitely.

Play it.

3 songs that slay me with their poetry.

I'll ply the fire with kindling now
I'll pull the blankets up to my chin
I'll lock the vagrant winter out
and I'll bolt my wanderings in
I'd like to call back summertime
Have her stay for just another month or so
But I get the urge for going 
When the meadow grass is turning brown
And summertime is falling down

Out on Carol's lawn
This girl of my childhood games
With kids nearly grown and gone
Grown so fast
Like the turn of a page
We look like our mothers did now
When we were those kids' age
Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long

I just heard that Spotify is finally free on your phone and tablet as well as your laptop.  Download the app and follow me.  I'll follow you.  I love being in touch that way.  

From Amelia

People will tell you where they've gone
They'll tell you where to go
But til you get there yourself, you never really know.

Pleasant House Dreaming this morning.  

If you love Joni Mitchell like I do, go to her site, www.jonimitchell.com.  

Friday, July 31, 2015


When we bought this big beautiful Pleasant House we agreed that it had to be: Coastal. Clean. Simple.  Getting it that way was work enough, neither of us had band width for more.  So we went with Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Which I love, but really, I'm a sucker for a pattern. As homage to my suckerness and also to Mrs. Stearns, the genius engineer - solo sailer - artist who died here, we left these two patterns intact.  

Guest room closet
Guest room closet, close up
middle staircase at 19 Pleasant
Middle staircase close up
 There's history in these patterns.  Someone thought about them and chose them, thought they implied taste and fortune and good breeding.  I've learned that in/around 1850 when 19 Pleasant was built, "more was more".  Even in hidden places, like our attic stairs.  Look at this:

The staircase to the front attic

Pleasant Dreaming.

(I love Design*Sponge and they love patterns.  It's a great source for pattern inspiration.  And nobody does it like Tricia Guild.  Look. )

Tuesday, July 28, 2015



Clear water in a brilliant bowl, 
Pink and white carnations. The light
In the room more like a snowy air, 
Reflecting snow. A newly-fallen snow
At the end of winter when afternoons return.
Pink and white carnations - one desires
So much more than that. The day itself
Is simplified: a bowl of white, 
Cold, a cold porcelain, low and round,
With nothing more than the carnations there.

Say even that this complete simplicity
Stripped one of all one's torments, concealed
The evilly compounded, vital I
And made it fresh in a world of white,
A world of clear water, brilliant-edged,
Still one would want more, one would need more,
More than a world of white and snowy scents.

There would still remain the never-resting mind,
So that one would want to escape, come back
To what had been so long composed.
The imperfect is our paradise.
Note that, in this bitterness, delight,
Since the imperfect is so hot in us,
Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds.”

- Wallace Stevens

Water.  Never enough and always the answer.

Water with mint & cucumber, always on the counter.

Flowers. Earth connected with you on a bridge of beauty.  

Newest Hydrangea blossoms in an enamel pail I found in the basement. 
Here are wildflowers and mint.  Not just any wine bottle can stand in for the vases we don't have.  (Love the wine, too.  Opici, $10.50.)

Pleasant Dreaming.