Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone—
and how it slides again

out of the blackness
every morning,
on the other side of the world,

like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance—
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love—
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough

for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you …

from “The Sun,” by Mary Oliver


As another Valentine's Day passes, I start to think ahead for what I'll do for next year's event. I can hardly believe that it's been 3 years already since my first anti/alternative V-day extravaganza occurred. It started as a chocolate and wine party...the perfect setting for friends to come over and share stories, relax and enjoy each others company. Oh, and I remember that we burned items that our ex-lovers gave us. That was a nice highlight. Just a side note: chocolate Hershey's lips don't burn and give off a strange glow when on fire.

So on this day, during this week, I celebrate all things lovely - and with that, all the things that I love and am grateful for in my life.

This year, 12 close friends and family gathered at my house for a dinner party. I prepared a meal for everyone; about 80% of the food came from local farms or the Market. And everything was Italian-inspired. Since most of us were going to run the 1/2 marathon the next day, I thought pasta was a good option. Here's the menu:

Caprisi Salad
Bruschetta with sun-dried tomatoes and olives

Mixed greens with Sheep's milk cheese and heirloom tomatoes

Lentil and Chard soup

Prima Piatti:
Spaghetti with tomato and mushroom sauce

Secondi Piatti:

Blanched snow peas with garlic and heirloom tomatoes
Sicilian pan-fried cauliflowers

Canoli with Chambord

Love is:

- my books (read and soon-to-be-read)
- my friends that make me laugh and keep me young
- my sisters that reminds me that no matter how different we are, we are still capable of loving each other
- hearing my mother's voice on the phone
- my mother
- cool weather
- love letters on my pillow
- my hammock that I lay in after a long day's work
- rosaries
- Jack, my new love
- long weekends
- days off
- Saturday Farmer's Market
- roasted beets
- hot cup of coffee
- summer days
- rainy, summer days
- daily crosswords
- long, slow walks with Nerina
- dinner parties with friends, new and old
- making my moms recipes and having my friends love them
- red wine
- nieces and nephew
- weekends away
- weekends in town
- the desert

I hope you continue to have a lovely and relaxing year filled with love.