"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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Yesteday I awoke to the news of the earthquake in Chile.

I called my friend who's son is at his girlfriend's home... in one of the most affected regions, Maule.
She hadn't heard from him yet, and of course, the whole family very worried.

A few hours later, he managed to call that all was well.
Thank the God/dess for him and his family, but so many lost family: my prayers go out to them.

With spending most of the week out of the house, running errands, etc, then this tragedy, not much in a blogging mood.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Here are some photos of food, and a recipe, that I organized last year for my facebook.

This one below, from a trip, a cavalgada (calvacade-trail ride), that Hubby and I took in 2007.
While the others rode horses (8  h-o-u-r-s!!!), I went by delicous, wellsprung, airconditioned pickup — the 3 minute try-out on the back of one of the horses was proof enough, again, that definitely I DO NOT know how to ride!

 Hot pão-de-queijo in the very early morning sunlight, 
at the stop-over fazenda

* * *

Bread! I love bread!
I didn't bake these though... (I wish!)
these are from a bakery near our home; photo at our table

My cousin Karen's pumpkin pie recipe that I begged for!
I made up the graphic presentation below... the pie in them is the actual pie she made/makes!
( I wish she lived nearby........)
click images for legible size

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ah... sleep!

Last night I finally was able to get a [better] night's sleep for the first time since having a bout of the flu,.

It left me with a very annoying, pesky, irritating ... you can see the drift... cough.
cough... cough... cough... cough... cough... cough... cough... cough... cough... cough... cough...
It has been geting better — at leats during the day; but just lie down, and there it was again.
Poor Hubbie. Poor me.

Just having this one night of sleeping better made me wake up with a whole different disposition and energy!
To celebrate, here is this video that just came in the mail for me:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

(I'm here...)

I've been doing some fall-cleaning here at my blogs; and tweakings fonts, etc.
So, though not "appearing" in posts, I AM here! Have been during this weekend.

Yesterday was the last day of Summer Time.
I do love Summer Time, but I'm always happy when it's over... and then anxious for its return when the end of the year comes around again.

Although still very hot during the day, especially in the sun, at night it's beginning to cool down.

Enough of computer and cyberland for today!
I'm off now some food & movie: new dvd's are in the living room.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Detective and The Sugar Bag

I grew up reading detective, or mystery, novels.

Every year, my father would bring home the new Agatha Christie, as well as any oldies that we didn't already have. My mother also grew up reading Agatha Christie, so I guess it was already in the dna.

Of all the different authors/books we had, and still have, I think Margery Allingham's, and her "people" — gentleman detective Albert Campion and the all — are my favorites.

Sometime in the early sixties, my father found and started buying Allingham's detective novels; I still love them. Every once in a while, I'll go on a binge, a marathon, and read them in chronological order, or whatever order.

Being true to their period, and of a time and and age that basically doesn't exist anymore, and of another country, many a times I come up against expressions and... things that I know nothing of, but have had to wing it in my imagination.

So, much to my surprise, a little while ago looking through a catalog of vintage miniatures, one mystery was solved! My thanks to Google!
     The soft light spread feebly over the small room, making the bed a pool of colour in the dark surround. On it, stretched diagonally across its wide expanse, was sleeping a sandy man. His compact and powerful body was fully clad save for his jacket, and his cheek was cradled against his shirt-clad arm. He had removed his shoes, and his feet, in discreetly checkered socks, were folded over one another on Minnie's print dress for the party.
     'Tonker!' Minnie stood staring at the apparition. 'When did you come back? Tonker wake up.'
     He opened one eye, as blue as a sugar bag, and smiled with singular sweetness.
     'Hullo, Minnie darling. I'm having a zizz.'
     'Tonker! What have you done with the child? Where is he? Tonker, wake up.'
     A delighted giggle behind them settled the main problem. Rupert, with Choc behind him, came in from the larger room whose fresh decorations Emma had displayed so proudly earlier in the day.
— page 70

     Mr Campion caught a glimpse of popping sugar-bag eyes as Tonker fielded this gift from God.
— page 123
from: The Estate of the Beckoning Lady, by Margery Allingham, my well-loved, dog-eared Macfadden paperback edition, 1972.    © 1955 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.

Sugar-bag Blue

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Carnaval II

On Monday, Hubby and Middle Son took the afternoon off, and we went to his friend's parent's sítio, country place.
Lovely people, lots of laughter, and a... cottage!!!

The wife, two years younger than I and also an artist, remodeled the run-down, simple house into a cozy, beautiful, welcoming cottage.
They have there all I've been collecting information/pictures/desires about the last years...
   • pink dappled walls
   white washed beams and panelling
   roses, real and pictures
   lavender bushes!!!
   stone balls!!!
   Neem trees!!!
   and on... on... on...
Mama, I waaaaaaaaaaaant a sítio just like it, tooooooo!!!

Roosty with young galinhas d'angolas — guineafowl (Numida meleagris)

Leo The Brave facing the Guineafowl Gang
Who will run this time???

Lavender!!! My dream!
* one of them... ; ) *

Carnaval I

This past weeked was Carnaval.
A de facto holiday, if not official, so you never know what will be open or not.
The government NOT, of course!... or banks...
Some supermarkets didn't open on Monday, much to my surprise.

Youngest Son went off with friends to a beach last Thursday.
Middle Son went to a friend's country place, a sítio, alternating time spent at the factory with Hubby.
Even though we worked "normally", we did manage to get away a bit to the countryside, away from Very Noisy Neighbors that are leading me into madnesssss, and to get some good revivifying energy from Nature.

Sunday Hubby and I went to have a late lunch at a town about an hour's drive away. The restaurant is situated a few miles before the town is reached. Very simple but well prepared food, interesting conversation with the owner, and lovely views.
* Click on images to see large format!

Over the top of the Moeda Mountains, the view of the valley
The restaurant is way down there....

A waterfall, on way down the mountain

 The restaurant, Pé da Serra

 View from the varanda: mountains, roses, mandioca (the pointy-leaved plant);
in the background, waterfalls near the buildings

Drive back: horses in pasture & Serra da Moeda

Drive back, over the mountains again, view to other side

On the way back, we stopped at a friend's restaurant, visited with them and had dessert.
Hubby, strudel with chantilly and me, chocolate mousse.
(No dieting this weekend... it's Carnaval!!!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Here in Brazil we don't celebrate Valentine's Day, but have a Sweetheart's Day, Dia dos Namorados, that is celebrated on June 12th.
For my family and friends who are in countries that do celebrate it, the following, with my love.
(... and, what the hey, also for those who don't! Love is always good)

from: The Cloud Appreciation Society  © Angelo Storari

Friday, February 12, 2010

Crochet Jewelry

My good-bestest friend from college days, Mariangela Sorbilli, is making gorgeous crochet jewelry-plus.
(the mystery of why she missing from msn answered!!!)

Here are some photos:

I don't know if/how she is selling them, but more can be seen here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Goodbye

Yesterday, some rather sad news. A great violeiro, one who plays the ten-steel-string guitar typical of Brazilian folk music, the viola, passed away.
Thank you, Pena Branca, for all the good music you shared with us!

O Cio da Terra
Pena Branca e Xavantinho
Composição: Milton Nascimento e Chico Buarque

Debulhar o trigo
Recolher cada bago do trigo
Forjar no trigo o milagre do pão
E se fartar de pão

Decepar a cana
Recolher a garapa da cana
Roubar da cana a doçura do mel
Se lambuzar de mel

Afagar a terra
Conhecer os desejos da terra
Cio da terra, a propícia estação
E fecundar o chão

 Heat of the Earth
(my translation)
husk the wheat
gather each grain of wheat
forge from the wheat the miracle of bread
and satiate oneself with bread

cut the sugarcane
gather the juice of the sugarcane
steal from the cane the sweetness of molasses
smear oneself with molasses

caress the earth
know the earth's desires
heat of the earth, the propitiuos season
and fertilise the ground

Tea & Ladybugs

Today I haven't been able to do any whatevering for the "20 minutes"...
so far, at least.

BUT, in the spirit of doing something enjoyable that I haven't done in a looong time, I made myself some tea.
I believe I haven't made any since moving...
I mean some nice black tea, that I have been avoiding as it tends to keep me awake at nights. I do drink tea all the time, but herbal, and in a practical way... in a plain glass.
To make it a special treat, I used the rose mug my sister gave for my birthday last year.
I did have to make the tea in my old hideous teapot, and being hideous of course Does Not Break!
I used as a cosy, and to hide it, a dishtowel I got a few years ago in the town of Araxá, where there is a lot of sewing handicrafts. I just couldn't resist the ladybugs. So fat and roly-poly.

I do wish I hasd a scrumptious cupcake to go with it, and not the cloth kind either!

She did it!

By george, she did it!

That is, I did it!
I sewed/darned my shorts!!!
(Sort-A-Sew™ and Sort-A-Darn™ are my trademarks!)

I have to explain: I'm not a sewing person.
I learned some stiches as a child (a ve-e-ery grubby sampler which followed me in my moves for years), which I have already long forgotten how to do.
When about fourteen or so, I taught myself some embroidery, and embroidered a drawing I had made as a gift for my friend's mother (I framed it... the back was an unbelievable mess).
Ah, yes! There was Home Ec when thirteen: a green jumpsuit, and a dress with miles of very-slipery-cloth self belting, that the teacher had to finish as it was Too Much for me. Those were the days of the minis and micros: micro-short jumpsuit and a minidress, with those godawfulll trillion miles of "ribbon" ties.
I actually wore them quite a bit!

So, since the last millenium, my sewing basically consist of sewing back on fallen buttons (a bloodbath, as always pricking my fingers), sewing the inner seams of  my trousers, pants for us in US, and sort-a-darning/sewing of little holes that decide to appear in well loved garments. Sewing , therefore is a major psychological undertaking, if not in practice.

When I finished yesterday, I felt happy, and so saintly!
There are no pictures, as with the very hot,  HOT  h o t  weather, I've been using them direct. From the fixin' they went directly in the washin'.

So, Fiona, thank you for the 20 minutes... if nothing else, I got my shorts back!

But I'm already thinking of what I'll do today!

PS And thank you, Fiona and Gerry, for the comments... they are also inspiring!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Not punk, nor punk....

Neither of the punks!
Came down with a full-blown case of the flu!
Summer flu... which should be a contradiction of terms.

Yesterday, finally awoke feeling a human being again. To be sure, a weary, noseblowing, coughing being.
Better if a coffee bean.   haha... humor also severely affected.

In the meanwhile, all the stuff taken from study, piled neatly, and not so neatly, is  s t i l l  in the living room, as well as the half-opened shelving packages.
Shall I put in another *sigh* here? I do sigh a lot.   *sigh* for this, too.
Tomorrow I hope to be up to finishing the org-orgy, started last week. Today, I see I'm still a bit low. (NOT another *sigh*!)

Yesterday, I finaly made it to the comp, and visited some lovely blogs, that make one feel even less-abled-bodied, as all very crafty, and making-of-things.
I found Attic24, where Lucy is going through those not-unmixed-joys of the first month of a new baby. (Babies made also in these crafty blogs!)

I especially enjoyed looking through Laundry Etc, with her many recipes for jams.

Today, I found SilverPebble. And discovered through her the existence of metal clay! Something exciting to think about, and perhaps the means to get those pendants out of imagination and into reality.

The last blog of yesterday, and the first of today, Marmalade Rose, gave me a boost, and is really inspiring — to do 20 minutes a day of your craft/art/whatever.
Plus, she has the most delicous non-fattening pastry!

images © MarmaladeRose

20 minutes a day is something reasonable, possible, even in a end-of-flu nothing-in-its-place state.
Not quite my art, or craft, but right after lunch, I AM going to sew my beloved shorts, coming undone at the seams!

Off to a late lunch now.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Feeling Punk

Feeling punk today.
Not this punk
but this one:

Yesterday, I came down with Mr. dP's cold!

In the morning yesterday I awoke feeling a little off, but not anything to worry.
I promptly started The Great Org of the deposit/study/studio, as Hubby bought the new steel shelves. It was supposed to be one, but as he brought two, I decided to put the studier one, already in the room, into the Chaos Corner #1. Thus, I had to take the two small white steel shelves OUT, that I had just put in there. They weren't doing the job, as too small to hold the dinnerware, etc, that have to be in here till more cupboard-room materializes.

So, that meant talking everything OUT, and into the living room:
1) everything from the white shelves, AND the white shelf-units, + whatever else had already accumulated, hiding in the chaos corner #1
2) everything, and clean dust-of-ages, from sturdy grey shelf-unit in Chaos Corner #3, to living room
3) remove everything along Chaos Wall — from corner 3 to 4 — to be able to get unit OUT, and put units IN
4) clean wall, floor, spiders from CC Wall 3-4
5) Clean Sturdy Grey shelf unit. Move heavy (as good) unit into CC#1, body-shoving the chest of drawers a bit, to get past
6) Bring back stuff and organize on shelves in CC#1
7) reorganize stuff in living room so possible to have lunch, move around, not be buried by avalanche

... and LUNCH!

What, you may ask, is in Chaos Corners # 2 and 4?
#Two: the door, which had stuff hiding behind, but was cleared, cleaned, and only the excersise mats were returned (yea!)
#Four: Aahhh! Well, yours truly, braving galactic-disorder at the shelf-cum-computer-and-artwork-desk. Chaos.

By lunchtime, already feeling crappy & punk.
Hubby and Potts, Honorable Son², came for lunch, and the boys' surprise for their father's birthday arrived!
A HUGE BOX ... with a 42" LCD TV!!!!!

I knew they had said the present would arrive on Tuesday (which I had forgotten) but had no idea of what it would be. Totally unexpected.
Papi Hubby thrilled!

After lunch, with the new member of the family resting in its... its... MANSION, I cleared a space in the "hallway" of living/dining to assemble the new shelves.
Then I saw that the holes are all misalighned... Talk about and El Cheapo! And they weren't cheap!
Today, feeling awful, I still don't know if return them or not. Hubby not too keen. Will ask help of the boys.

Last evening, Good'Ole'TV (with fantastic sound) was removed from its place, and Newbie-LCD installed.
Now, only have to reorganize that wall also!
And pack up oldie, as still goldie, and send to "attic".
I have planned some new units also to be made by the carpenter. But will have to reorganize before they come as the situation not too stable right now — shelves behind the tv: not good!

A Rare Before Photo*
tv, TV, mess, BOX

*Before what? Actually a Now, but before what I'm planning to do to this room!!!
There won't be too many "before" pictures, especially of my cave, er, studio/study, as my self-esteem would be totally mortified!   ... cringe....


The title above is from Jane's post at her blog, Posy, and below is a bit that I found beautiful. She had been musing on her life and that of her dear Grandma who had passed away very recently.
"My wish is that when it is my funeral and if I have been privileged enough to have the same roles as Grandma; that my children and my children's children will know quite simply, whatever my failings, how deeply they had been loved."

A beautiful post, and a good reminder when the "children", whatever their ages may be, are making us pull our hair out! And, most important, I believe that it is what mothers wish to say, but often don't, or can't.
So, thank you, Jane, for putting this into words and sharing with us.