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May 2009 Archives

May 1, 2009

PhotoHunt: Walking

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This week's theme is "Walking."

Walking with a book on your head is supposed to help you learn good posture or at least that's what they told us in grade school when I was a kid.

When I saw this sculpture on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, I flashed back to Health Class when all of us kids would walk around like this with books crashing to the ground. It's not that easy to do!

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a nice weekend. Happy May Day!

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.

-- Buddhist saying


May 3, 2009

Sunday Salads: Black Bean Salad

samplersThis recipe came from Slow Talk moderator Judy (Tour Mama) who selected it in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

It's quick and easy (if you use canned black beans) and very tasty. The recipe makes a ton so you might want to cut it in half like I did.

The cumin-lime vinaigrette is delicious. I thought this salad was better on the second day after it'd had time to soak up the dressing. Recipe and my notes are below.

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And speaking of salads, here's the first lettuce harvest from my spring garden that I planted in March. I planted peas, radishes, and broccoli raab too but they're not ready yet. And this weekend, I'm putting in more summer crops - tomatoes and herbs mainly.

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Black Bean Salad" »

May 4, 2009

Introducing Buddy!

Back in January, I wrote about how my nephew Mason was going to start taking after-school art lessons. Well, he finished his first class and got lots of praise from the teacher who thinks he has some real talent. He was very enthusiastic about the whole experience and did some nice work. That first class was a Color class and now he's taking a Drawing and Pencil techniques class.

Here's one of his works from the Color class. The subject matter didn't surprise me at all since both Mason and Davis have been wanting a puppy for quite a while now.

Mason's Art Work

And the good news is that the Easter Bunny brought them Buddy, a black lab puppy! Oh my gosh, is this little guy sweet. We are all so in love with him. It's been a while since we've had a dog in the family so everyone is gaga over him. I'll be doing lots of dog-sitting when my brother's family goes on vacation which will be fun. LuLu and Maria haven't met Buddy yet....Buddy came from a home with cats so we think he'll be fine, and I'm sure LuLu will love him because she was crazy about my late dog Buddha and my brother's late dog Jordan. But Maria is the big question mark - as far as I know, she hasn't met a dog yet. Will be interesting to see what wild child Maria thinks about the new puppy!

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Mason and Buddy

Mason and Buddy

Continue reading "Introducing Buddy!" »

May 8, 2009

PhotoHunt: In Memory

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This week's theme is "In Memory."

August 2007 was a very sad time because we had to say goodbye to Jordan, my brother's dog. Jordie was a Chocolate Lab and one of the finest creatures I've ever known.

No matter how many times you go through it, it's never easy to say goodbye to a beloved pet, and losing Jordan was my young nephews' first experience with the death of a loved one. We read several excellent children's books about losing a pet (listed below) and planted a tree in Jordan's memory. The boys painted this memorial stone to put under Jordan's tree.

So even though we're happy to have a new puppy in the family, I'll never forget Jordan and every time I see this stone under the tree, I remember how much I loved him.

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

I have a feeling I may need to get a box of Kleenex ready for this week's theme.

Continue reading "PhotoHunt: In Memory" »

May 10, 2009

Sunday Salads: Raw Asparagus, Pea and Arugula Salad

samplersThis recipe came from Amy of Destination Anywhere and wow, it's an amazing salad. I'd never had raw asparagus before and it is seriously good.

I have to admit that I paused at the thought of peeling a bunch of asparagus spears because basically I'm a lazy cook, but it was worth the trouble and went much faster when I figured out that one side of my vegetable peeler was sharper than the other, duh. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that I added some sugar snap peas (I blanched them along with the asparagus tips).

All the vegetables in my salad were local, either from my garden or from the Farmer's Market. My greens were mainly arugula but I added a few other things from the mesclun mix I'm growing. The asparagus and peas came from the market.

I've made this one twice now - I tried it out earlier in the week and then made it again for Mother's Day brunch today. Everyone loved it but the big surprise was that even my picky eater nephews (ages 6 and 8) liked it. They wouldn't touch the peas or asparagus but they loved the greens and the dressing. Go figure.

Recipe is below. Thanks Amy!

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Raw Asparagus, Pea and Arugula Salad" »

May 12, 2009

The Heels Go to Washington

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The National Champion Tar Heels went to the White House yesterday where President Obama praised them in a speech, and they gave him his very own Tar Heel jersey. This was all over the local news last night and it was fun to hear Obama's speech; he was really funny.

He thanked the Heels for "salvaging my bracket and vindicating me before the entire nation" and remembered that he had played ball with them in Chapel Hill last year during his campaign.

"I'm not sure whose luck rubbed off on who. There was just a good vibe going on there, because they're now national champions and I'm now president," Obama said. :) And after they gave him the jersey and an autographed picture, he said, "Now, if somebody could just present me a jump shot. I need one of those."

Continue reading "The Heels Go to Washington" »

May 13, 2009

Putting the pigeons to work

There's been a bit of controversy in Venice this year about advertising and the marketing of the city. Here's an article, Venice Mayor Backtracks on Coke Fizz Up that addresses the hubbub about a deal with Coke which would have allowed vending machines to be placed around the city. And every few years it seems, there's a depressing "Venice is Dying" article like this one (Venetians Fear for their Cultural Heritage) which addresses marketing and tourism as well as the declining population.

As I said in my post about the restoration sites (and the ugly ads on the scaffolding of many of those), I can see both sides of this issue. Venice needs the money and while yes, the ads are an eyesore, at least they're temporary.

But really, less-than-tasteful ads in Venice (and deals with Coca Cola) aren't a new thing. Here are a few examples where the pigeons were involved. :)

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Continue reading "Putting the pigeons to work" »

May 15, 2009

PhotoHunt: Painted

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This week's theme is "Painted."

This week was tough because I have so many photos that would work for this theme. I ended up choosing some recent shots of a community art project at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance where people were putting their painted umbrellas on this bamboo dome. It looked pretty cool.

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And a couple more from the same festival:

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

May 17, 2009

Sunday Salads: Thai Chicken Salad

samplersThis recipe came from Jerry who has an excellent blog, Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants.

What a great salad with tons of flavor and spice! I followed Jerry's advice and roasted the chicken and made the dressing on one night, then put the whole thing together the next night. Delicious and healthy!

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that I added some mixed greens from my garden to a small head of Napa cabbage. I'm growing some Thai basil so I threw that in too along with the mint and cilantro. I didn't have bird's eye chilies so I used some chili-garlic sauce - it was pretty spicy. :)

Recipe is below. Thanks Jerry!

Other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Tuna Salad Nicoise.

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Thai Chicken Salad" »

May 18, 2009

Corte Sant' Andrea

A pretty little corte in the sestiere of San Marco with a vera da pozzo used as a planter. The corte is named for a demolished church, Sant' Andrea della Certosa (or Sant' Andrea of the Lido), that was out on an lagoon island close to the Lido. The Sant' Andrea monks owned a hospice in town where they would stay when they rowed over to Venice for business. The hospice was built in 1272, and this relief (showing St. Andrew and worshippers) was added in the 14th century.

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Continue reading "Corte Sant' Andrea" »

May 19, 2009

A few more big shrines

This one, filled with geraniums surrounding Michelangelo's Pieta, is in Cannaregio.

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This is a strange one. The reliefs on the tabernacle seem to have some age on them, and that face on the wall above looks exactly like the gatekeeper in The Wizard of Oz. :)

It's very rare to see a shrine that's been vandalized but this one has a busted window. Perhaps the vandal is responsible for the lurid orange color of Baby Jesus' face? It's a bizarre image inside!

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This oratorio is listed on the Patriarch of Venice website which says that it has two small rooms inside. Built in 1829 by workers from the Arsenal and dedicated to Beata Vergine Addolorato (Our Lady of Sorrows). Restored in 1995. I've never found it open. It hardly looks big enough to have two rooms.

Beata Vergine Addolorata

And this one is in Castello, in Campiello del Figareto, and it isn't on the oratory list so I guess it's a shrine and/or private chapel. There's a Madonna and Child inside that you can barely see and I couldn't photograph because it's so dark in there. The inscription says that it was built in 1842, restored in 1979. In the second photo, you can see where someone has stuck a single long-stemmed rose in the grate of the door.

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May 22, 2009

PhotoHunt: Plastic

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This week's theme is "Plastic."

It was kinda funny when I started looking and realized that everything I had that would work for this theme were photos of plastic TOYS. :)

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

May 23, 2009

San Gallo

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Some call it a church, some an oratory – either way, San Gallo is no longer open for Mass but is used occasionally for art exhibits. I walked by this sweet little church many times before finally finding it open this past December.

The most interesting thing about this place is its connection to Doge (and Saint) Pietro Orseolo I, the only Venetian Doge who was ever canonized.

Pietro Orseolo was Doge for only two years in the 10th century, but he was a wise ruler who’d inherited a Republic on the verge of bankruptcy and a city center that had just been devastated by fire. He had to set up government in his own house while the Doge Palace was being rebuilt, and much of his own personal fortune went to rebuilding the palace and the Basilica di San Marco.

Continue reading "San Gallo" »

May 24, 2009

Sunday Salads: Salad Nicoise

samplersThis Sunday's recipe for "Grilled Tuna Salad Nicoise" was contributed by Slow Traveler Debrah. I like tuna in a can and love raw tuna in sushi, but I'm not that crazy about grilled tuna so I substituted some marinated beans and ended up with a vegetarian version.

I roasted fennel, an orange pepper, spring onions, and cherry tomatoes, and added those to steamed green beans, boiled new potatoes, the marinated beans, and an egg. Debrah gave us a choice of dressings and I made the traditional one and also put a few capers on top of the whole thing. It was very tasty and quite a beautiful salad, plus it was fun to make.

Wikipedia tells us that "Salade Niçoise comes in many different forms and its 'true' ingredients are often debated" so I don't feel too bad about tinkering with this except that I forgot to buy Nicoise olives and used Spanish instead, so maybe I should just call it composed salad. :) My version is in the photo and Debrah's original recipe is below.

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Salad Nicoise" »

May 26, 2009

Maria: The First Year

It's hard to believe that it's been a year since the little whirlwind entered my life. Raising a kitten has been such a wonderful and fun experience, and I love this cat with all my heart.

Here she is last Memorial Day weekend:

Maria with shoe

And here's a recent shot. My friend Joan saw the photo below and said, "Maria is becoming quite a beauty, isn't she?" It's true. Maria is now in a stage somewhere in between goofy kitten and adult cat, and when I see her hanging out looking all gorgeous and regal, it makes me do a double-take.

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One minute she looks grown up and beautiful and then two seconds later, she snaps back to her funny kitten intensity:

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Her little head-tilt just melts my heart.

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Continue reading "Maria: The First Year" »

May 28, 2009

Silver stars

A wall in Castello with bright blue paint and a San Antonio of Padua shrine with three silver stars painted above the shrine. One thing I've noticed about San Antonio shrines is that the saint is almost always holding Baby Jesus and sometimes, the baby is reaching up to touch his face. I don't know why but it's sweet.

Blog friend and fellow Venice lover Maria I of My Place in the Sun recently posted a few more San Antonio shrines that she found in Venice last fall. She noticed that he often has lilies around him too.

Just a note: I've been having some comment weirdness the past couple of days. If you get a message saying that your comment is undeliverable and you need to resend it, ignore it. The comments are coming through okay!

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Continue reading "Silver stars" »

May 29, 2009

PhotoHunt: Book(s)

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This week's theme is "Book(s).

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has for this theme. I've got one from Venice and one from North Carolina.

First up, Venice - a marble relief of an angel holding a book.

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On the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, a girl carrying a huge stack of books.

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You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

May 30, 2009

Sunday Salads: Fajita Salad

samplersThis week's recipe for "Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce" came from Kim of What I Really Think. The original recipe called for chicken but I made it with shrimp because I had some that I needed to cook. It's a great salad.

I used the same spices on the shrimp along with a shake of cayenne, and also added some chopped pickled jalapeno to the Cilantro sauce (I like heat!). I roasted the onions, peppers, and tomatoes to make it more "fajita-like" and threw in some mushrooms too. Kim found the recipe in "Cooking Light" but it doesn't taste light or low calorie at all. The original recipe (made with chicken) is posted below. Thanks Kim!

Other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Deborah's Wild Rice and Roasted Corn Salad.

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Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Fajita Salad" »

May 31, 2009

San Magno and his eight churches

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Sometimes I like legends better than facts especially when it comes to Venice and its churches. I tend to snooze a bit when I read long architectural descriptions but perk right up when a story comes along especially a magical one.

And as I’ve been reading about these churches, over and over again I’ve seen references to San Magno (St. Magnus) along the lines of “this church was founded by San Magno in the 7th century.” The writers seem to assume that Magno needs no introduction but I had no clue who he was and decided to poke around further.

Well, what a guy! There’s not a lot of info about him since he lived in the 600’s but he does seem to be someone who really existed, unlike some of the other “saints with an asterisk” like George and Christopher who are probably myths.

And San Magno was a Venetian, sorta. Venice as we know it didn’t yet exist as an organized city/state (the first doge wasn’t elected until the early 700’s). In Magno’s time, there were people scattered across the lagoon islands – fishermen and salt farmers – the original Venetians who some mainland bureaucrat described in a letter as “sea-birds” living in wooden huts on stilts. No mosaics, marble, or government yet. But Magno was born in the Veneto somewhere and became a priest and later a bishop, which meant that he was the religious head of a very large area that included mainland territories as well as the lagoon colonies.

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But most importantly, San Magno was a visionary. He founded eight churches in Venice and the best part is the way he founded them. These are his churches:

Continue reading "San Magno and his eight churches" »

This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in May 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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