"Pongáio" was the name my Aunt Mona gave to a long, green, cool room where we gathered at her home —
replete with comfy chairs, a rocker, sewing machine, sewing goods, beautiful beads, shelves, books, bibelots, photographs, odds'n'ends, mementos of a life, treasures —
a gathering of all the useful & 'useless' things that so make life a pleasure.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Religion and Spirituality

Dalai Lama I believe an important distinction can be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with faith in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another. Spirituality I take to be concerned with qualities of the human spirit, love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony, that bring happiness both to self and others.

From the Cold

An excerpt from todays Planet Waves blog, by Len Wallick, Shake Up Day
In her treatise on the Taurus New Moon last week, the Finnish astrologer Kirsti Melto made the Sedna conjunction her focus. Of all the things we know of that orbit the Sun, Sedna is the furthest out with the longest orbital period. It makes Eris seem like the girl next door, it’s so far away.

As distant the astronomical object is in space, so is the ancient myth is in time. The Inuit people have dwelt in the arctic regions for thousands upon thousands of years. Adapting both culturally and physically, they knew the wisdom of existing as part of their environment rather than seeking dominion over it. The unlikely but abundant source of their survival was the cold and icy sea. Sedna was the daughter tragically sacrificed to that sea for the sake of her father’s survival. There she became goddess supreme. From there she demanded to be acknowledged and heard. The Inuit people know this and honored her for the sake of their own survival.

Just as Sedna called the Inuit from the cold, dark depths of the Arctic Sea, so she now calls us from the cold distance of the Oort cloud, the borderline between our solar system and the rest of our galaxy. In an averse semi-sextile to Eris and a square to Mars are expressed the anger and alienation that our own planet must certainly feeling towards its most precocious children – us.

Is it really necessary for us to assume the role of being the infection of this world? Is is really possible for this planet to respond to us as if we were? Sedna knows. The mythical fate of the child sacrificed so that the parent might survive is part of that ancient knowledge. But so is the abundance that, paradoxically, the cold and dangerous realm of Sedna can yield. We are in no position to argue. It’s time to listen. Either that or face the biggest shake up of them all, a new order of which we will not be a part.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Son² came back from Paris last month with a raclette, grill and crepe-maker that his friend, who lives there, suggested he buy.
It has actually become a very handy appliance: melting cheese, toasting bread, making pancakes, and the other day I even fried an egg on it (well, it came out more of a poached effect).
It even makes crepes!

These are the photos of the debut, a few weekends ago.

Son² in action

 The delicious result:


I wanted to make the crepe-making photo with a photoshop action, The B&Big Picture by Panos. The freebie version automatically divides the image in 5x5 "polaroids", with no way to change (at least, I couldn't figure out a way!)... my collage would have to be 5x5 images, and not 3x3 as I was able to make..

This was the result: cool, but rather confusing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

May and Mother's Day

Lovely song by one of my favorite singers/composers, Almir Sater.

The video was made by a good friend who went to this special Mother's Day show held at a resort about 1301 km away (808 ½ miles). I had very much wanted to go, but was unable to... c'est la vie!

Thanks, Lu! Through your video, even if virtually, I'm able to "be there" also!

Almir Sater singing his composition Month of May.

Lyrics, in Portuguese, here

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh, dear.....

Oh, dear!

Will miss my pilates session... again.
These days I'm missing too many of them, with the appointmants I have to attend to (Mom, me, etc...) and too many times, just plain can't get out of the house on time.

Well, time for picking-up-by-the-bootstraps.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Little More Pachelbel...

As written in the previous post, Pachebel's Canon & Gigue is one of my favorite pieces of music. Buuuut.... my favorite version, or rather, the Canon & Gigue that I truly love is the one from the compilation album of the Academy of Ancient Music.
I have both the much loved and played LP, and when cd's came out, Hubby brought a copy from Europe.

From the Academy of Ancient Music website:
Canon & Gigue
Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba;
Handel: Overture, Minuet & Gigue from ‘Berenice’;
Handel: Air & Hornpipe from ‘The Water Music’
Vivaldi: Concerto for 4 violins & cello;
Vivaldi: Concerto for 2 trumpets
Gluck: Dance of the Furies;
Gluck: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
The Academy of Ancient Music
Christopher Hogwood
Decca L’Oiseau-Lyre 410 553-2OH
There are no videos of the Academy of Ancient Music on Youtube, but this one at least comes close, if not exactly in sound but in their intention.

Performed on original instruments by Voices of Music. Featuring Katherine Kyme, Carla Moore & Cynthia Freivogel, baroque violin; Tanya Tomkins, baroque cello, Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ; David Tayler, theorbo.

About the performance: the canon is played using not only the instruments but also the bowing techniques from the time of Pachelbel. As you can see from the video, especially if you look at the high definition version, the string instruments are not only baroque, but they are in baroque setup: this means that the strings, fingerboard, bridge and other parts of the violin appear just as they did in Pachelbel's time. No metal hardware such as chinrests, clamps or fine tuners are used on the violins, allowing the violins to vibrate freely. A good example of baroque bowing can be seen in the extended passage of repeated notes: the musicians play these notes on one bow—the shorter & lighter baroque bow—to created a gliding effect. The players also hold the bow very differently which affects the balance and touch. Both the style and the amount of vibrato are based on baroque treatises which describe the methods for playing, bowing & articulation in the late 17th century. The narrow, shimmering vibrato blends with the baroque organ. The organ used is made entirely of wood, based on German baroque instruments, and the pipes are voiced to provide a smooth accompaniment to the strings, instead of a more soloistic sound. The large bass lute, or theorbo, provides a complement to the organ not only in the texture of the chords but also the long strings which occasionally sound the bass notes an octave lower. The continuo players play supporting chords and voices to the canon, carefully avoiding parallels and doublings of the parts.
Another feature of the video is the subtle differences in not only the sound and color of the instruments, but also the different techniques of the players. All three are playing baroque violins with baroque bows, yet each person has her own distinct sound and bowing style—each bow has a different shape and balance. If you look at paintings of 17th century players you will see that they are all different, because that individuality of sound and technique was highly valued. This allows the players and the listeners to hear and appreciate the "Voices of Music."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well, sorry, Rob...

... but I love Pachelbel's Canon & Gigue!

Rob Paravonian's trauma:

Rob Paravonian's Pachebel Rant

Now for the antidote...

I guess the cello part is not just Rob complaining!...

As I said, love the Canon & Gigue.
A beautiful, and funny, guitar version-plus:

Mother's Day

A very nice Mother´s Day this year.

Hubby made two delicous lasagnas - shitake and champignon, ham and mussarela. Both with yummy white sauce, fresh tomato sauce and other goodies.

Son² picked up my mother and one of my brothers who was up from the country visiting her, and Son³ brought his new girlfriend, as her parents live in another state.

After, we watched Julie&Julia dvd.
All and all, very pleasant, comfy and tranquil, with good moments of laughter.
Just as I like it.

No pictures, though... didn't remember at all to get the camera!

Here is a photo, though, of the flowers I received.

Just four....

A young cousin posted this on Facebook:
Love it!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

First Light

From Minas, a short hop to our Sun....
Courtesy Nasa's Sun Dynamics Observatory - SDO First Light

The Heart of Minas

Below are links to two videos, both with the music of singer-composer Paula Fernandes, Seio de Minas (Heart of Minas). Paula is a young artist from the nearby town of Sete Lagoas, who now becoming better known.

The first video is a promo for the state where I live by the local tv affiliate.... beautiful.
The second is the same song with other photos, from around Sete Lagoas, I believe.

Seio de Minas
Paula Fernandes

Eu nasci no celeiro da arte
No berço mineiro
Sou do campo da serra
Onde impera o minério de ferro

Eu carrego comigo no sangue
Um dom verdadeiro
De cantar melodias de Minas
No Brasil inteiro

Sou das Minas de ouro
Das montanhas Gerais
Eu sou filha dos montes
Das estradas reais

Meu caminho primeiro
Vi brotar dessa fonte
Sou do seio de Minas
Nesse estado um diamante
Neste estado amante...