I Can’t Take Another Picture of Snow

2-28 riley dish garden

Here’s the challenge of the blogger in the throes of winter.


I stand here in the morning after I’ve had my coffee, holding my camera, searching for something, anything  to capture with my lens. Something that you haven’t seen before? Almost impossible after seven years of blogging. A new view of the inside of the cottage? Equally impossible. (Unless I do something like hang upside down while photographing the kitchen…)

For example, you’ve seen Riley’s Dish Garden before. Many times. The plants have changed a bit, but I’d bet money that this particular configuration is the same as the last time I took a photo of it. The morning light makes it look interesting, however, so I’m going with it.

It’s friggin’ cold out there. Unless there’s a great sunset, I’m basically looking at snow. I’ve taken hundreds of photos of snow over the years. It’s white, there’s a lot of it out there and, quite frankly, unless I tromp through the woods, I’m not going to come up with anything new. And maybe not even then. I’m sick of the snow at this point. Don is sick of the snow. Scout is sick of the snow. End of snow story.

And I’m not tromping through the woods.

We’re suffering from cabin fever here. I’d love to take some photos of little green things emerging from the ground, but I don’t think that will be happening for another month, at least.

2-28 Riley Dish Garden 2

I think I need to dust this plant. See the little cobwebs? That’s something that a camera lens can do for you – help you to see tiny details that you might miss otherwise. I cropped this photo into a close-up of the jade plant and there, right before my eyes…little cobwebs.

Maybe I should do this with all the areas in my house. It would bring a whole new level of dirt and dust awareness to my cleaning regimen.

Don has a gig tonight. I’m staying home with Miss Scout, who cannot be without either Mom or Dad for any length of time these days. I’ll treat myself to a long soak in the tub, bubble bath included.

We watched the first two episodes of House of Cards  last night. We’re wondering if this season will bring the same excitement, brazen behavior and ruthless actions as the first two seasons. So far it doesn’t seem that way, but it’s early on in the 13 episode season, so we are refraining from any conclusions until we see more.

I call the Underwoods (the characters played by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright) the Macbeths of Washington D.C. Very Shakespearean, this series.

An Octoroon  received a rave review from the New York Times. Huzzah! (Don’t look for my name in the credits in the review. I didn’t come on board until the last moments in the process. I am  in the program, never fear.) I’m so honored to have been a small part of this incredible production. This play is an important, powerful work. It’s heartbreaking, wildly funny, and tragic. It’s daring and beautifully written. You can read about it in the review, if you’re interested.

Happy Saturday.



When Favorite Bookshops Go Out of Business

2-27 morning view

Thank goodness for the sunlight that creeps in and fills the house with light. Gray winter mornings are not nearly as welcome. But bright winter sun, bouncing off the white of the snow on the ground, is very welcome indeed.

I was looking at some books that I’ve had for a long time the other day and these bookmarks were buried among the pages:

2-27 bookmarks

Sigh. A blast from the past, a past that included more independent bookshops. These bookmarks represent two of my favorite bookshops, one in Philadelphia, one in Cambridge.

On the left: Sessler’s. Oh, how I loved this bookshop. It was on Walnut Street in Philadelphia and in the early to mid-eighties, when I was living in Philadelphia while attending graduate school at Temple University, I stopped in there several times a week. It was what you would like a bookshop to be – lots of floor to ceiling bookshelves. Cozy. Books of all kinds, on all subjects. Classical music playing in the background. And the manager, Hayes Hibberd, was the quintessential bookseller. He knew books. They were like family members to him. There wasn’t much he didn’t know about books past and present. He would often put books aside for his customers, books that he knew they would like, books to expand their reading horizons.

And his voice! Obviously, in my line of work, I am very aware of the sound of the human voice and I have my preferences. Mellifluous, rich, resonant? Yes and yes and yes. Hayes had that kind of voice. It’s been over 30 years since I lived there and I can still  hear his voice in my head.

Sessler’s started to go out of business while I was still living there – in 1986  – one of the early deaths which came about because of competition from chain bookstores. It broke my heart. I was a very poor graduate student at the time, but when I heard the news that they were closing, I went into the shop and bought a large copy of an atlas, which had been marked down. I needed something to commemorate the occasion.

I still mourn the passing of Sessler’s.

On the right: WordsWorth Books. Oh, my heart. WordsWorth was situated in Harvard Square. I lived just about 5 blocks from Harvard Square, so as you can imagine, I made sure I visited that bookstore often. It had everything. The Boston area loves bookstores, and in those days there were a lot of them. WordsWorth was my favorite. It had a knowledgeable staff, large windows, sunny corners in which to peruse a book or two. You can read their tag line on the bookmark: “For the voracious reader.” And I was, and am, a voracious reader. “More than 100,000 titles in stock in 95  subject categories.”


WordsWorth went out of business in 2004. By the time I had a chance to revisit Cambridge and Boston a few years back, it was long gone. I didn’t know that at the time and I went to Cambridge to see my old haunts, the apartment building I used to live in, and WordsWorth.

It wasn’t there. I remember thinking, “Am I remembering the location correctly?”

But I was. And it wasn’t.

Favorite bookshops are like beloved friends. When they go out of business, due to the economy, due to competition from juggernauts like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, we mourn their passing. Our hearts break a little. And just like the big box store or chain restaurant makes every town  look like every other town, the loss of the mom and pop store version of the bookstore eliminates the unique and quirky. They fade out of sight.

Thankfully, independent bookstores are still going strong, in spite of the competition. Many have been lost, but many have also survived. Let’s make sure we help them along the way by buying books from them when we can. Yes, I use Amazon at times. I definitely use my local library. I buy used books. But last year, I made a vow to buy books from independent booksellers when I can. And I’ve done very well with that vow, I’m proud to say.

Oh, almost forgot. I sometimes get friend requests on Facebook from people whose names I don’t recognize. Some of those requests I dismiss immediately. If you send a friend request to me, please let me know who you are. I might not recognize your full name. Thanks.

Happy Friday.


What We’ve Been Up To (Not a Whole Lot)

Not a whole lot to report from our little igloo. February is almost at an end and it’s been a doozy. We broke out yesterday for a short time to do exciting things like buy stamps and mail bills. Whoo hoo! And then we ran to the grocery store to stock up on a few things.

Then we drove up the driveway that has become a tunnel surrounded by snow, and nosed the car into its increasingly smaller parking space.

We watched Arthur on TCM last night. I love that movie. Just what we needed – a lovely, laugh-out-loud, beautifully acted movie. Dudley Moore is brilliant. John Gielgud is also brilliant. Liza Minelli is wonderful, as is all of the supporting cast. What’s not to love?

And this weekend? Oh, boy. Netflix releases the new season of House of Cards. I’ve told Don that we cannot binge watch…we have to limit our viewing to two episodes a night, so that we can stretch out the pleasure of watching that amazing series.

What else are we into lately?

2-26 meyer's soap

We love this soap. We have an ongoing bath soap dilemma here. One of us likes one kind of soap, the other doesn’t. So we keep switching brands. But I think we’ve hit on something we both like. The scent of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day soap is herbal and light. It’s not too perfumey, just clean and subtle.

I use the lavender. Don likes and uses the lemon verbena. That way, we’re both happy. Order has been restored in the bathroom.

I like to use scented candles when I’m away from home, especially when I’m staying in a small apartment. Candles are not only comforting, they also help to eliminate cooking smells. (I have a very sensitive nose!) So, though a bit pricey, I bought this candle from a neighborhood shop in Brooklyn.

2-26 meyer's candle

I’m glad I did. It came home with me.

No, this isn’t a sponsored post. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day has no idea who I am. I just like their products. I use their liquid soap in the kitchen, as well. Have any of you tried this line? I ask this knowing that each of us has our own personal preference as to scents and soaps and scented candles. What do you use?

Oh, don’t forget! Today is the last day to leave a comment on the book review post. I’ll draw a winner tonight, so you have until about 6 pm EST.

Happy Thursday.


On Books and Snow and Mini Books

2-25 christopher fowler

Happily, I was right. I did  have the first book in this series, Full Dark House, on my bookshelves in the bedroom. I knew I had a book by Fowler, but wasn’t completely sure it was the first. Don’t you love the font that is used for the title and author’s name?

They are now on the To Be Read stack on the very top shelf, as opposed to the To Be Read stack on the second shelf from the bottom. If by reading that sentence you have sensed an implication that I have far too many books ‘to be read’ – you are right. Or in the words of Ed McMahon, “You are correct, sir!”

Gosh I miss the Tonight Show of the Johnny Carson era. I love Jimmy Fallon, don’t get me wrong, I think he is a wonderful host and wildly funny. I just miss the days when Bob Hope might appear one night, or Gregory Peck, or George Burns, or Dean Martin. Ah, well.

The snow is piled so high around here that it feels like we are in prison. The shoveled/snow blown area where the car is parked is getting narrower and narrower. Pretty soon, we’ll be squeezed out!

We are yearning for Spring. At this point, the advent of Spring seems to be an impossibility, but we know it will come. When? That’s another story.

In all of our discussion on this blog and on Just Let Me Finish This Page about the ‘new’ Harper Lee book (and I have another link about that on JLMFTP today), we neglected to ask Caroline what she thinks about it.

2-25 dollhouseTKAM

There it is, on her coffee table; always on display, well-thumbed, read and reread. Caroline, by the way, is a Professor of Literature. She specializes in Twentieth Century Literature, so her opinion on all of this would be interesting, to say the least. I did hear some mumblings and grumblings emanating from Hummingbird Cottage on the day the news of Lee’s lost manuscript was announced. I was too busy to stop and chat with her. Besides, Caroline is rather private and I respect that. When she wants to talk about it, she’ll let me know.

New post up on Just Let Me Finish This Page today.

Happy Wednesday.


Back Home, Plus a Little Rant

2-23 little paws

Sweet little paws; photo taken just this minute as my girl sleeps deeply in Mom’s “tunnel.’

I missed her so much. And her dad, too. I got home around 2:00 yesterday afternoon. Within an hour or so, I was vacuuming. Don did a great job around the house, but he doesn’t see what I see, you know? He made a wonderful dinner and we cuddled on the sofa.

Sigh of happiness.

What a lovely experience working on An Octoroon  was. It was such a gift, out of the blue, and I’m very, very grateful. Yes, it’s nice to earn some money, but even more, I was exposed to a powerful new play that is simply stunning. I wouldn’t have seen it, otherwise. Every night, I looked forward to watching it again. The actors are very talented and perfect in their roles; in the case of some actors, multiple roles. The director is amazingly inventive. This play was mounted last year at Soho Rep, which is a well-known off-Broadway theater with a house that seats maybe 40 people. Theater for a New Audience is remounting it in their new theater, which is about 10 times the size of Soho Rep, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for the play to be seen by more people. It won the Obie Award for Best New Play of 2014. The director of the play is also the Artistic Director of Soho Rep.

As always, I leave one place and leave a part of myself there, while I sit here at home wondering how the Press Night tonight will go and how rehearsals will go this afternoon and tomorrow, ahead of Opening Night on Thursday. Such a lovely group of people – starting with Jeffrey, the Artistic Director of Theater for a New Audience.


And now, a little bit of a rant about the Oscars. First, let’s just agree that there can’t really be a “Best” anything. It’s all subjective. It’s all a matter of taste. Every year, I find myself feeling the push-pull to watch the ceremony, all the while knowing that this kind of competition is flawed and, in the end, unfair. That’s a given.

Sunday’s telecast brought some familiar complaints, along with a few new ones.

1. The tendency to play music and cut off an award winner’s acceptance speech. This is nothing new, it’s been happening for years. But it’s insensitive. This is an award show, after all, and for the winners, a dream come true. It well may be the greatest moment of their professional lives. They deserve to be heard. Is an inane joke from Neil Patrick Harris more important than 30 more seconds of an acceptance speech? It shouldn’t be. Pawel Pawlikowski, director of Best Foreign Film winner, Ida, was interrupted twice by ‘play-off’ music from the orchestra – fortunately for us, he ignored it. The winners of the award for Short Documentary, in this case, a film about suicide hotlines, were interrupted by play-off music as one of the winners was speaking about losing her own son to suicide.

Could the producers be any more insensitive?

2. And, in that same vein, right after that winner was interrupted in the middle of her heartfelt words about her son’s suicide, Neil Patrick Harris made what he thought was a humorous comment about her dress. Totally inappropriate – was he even listening to the speech? In a night full of not-very-funny jokes and in some cases, insensitive ones, this one really ticked me off. Listen, I know Neil Patrick Harris, I’ve worked with him. I’ve coached him. He is a lovely guy. So I’m not saying anything about his character. I’m speaking to the whole Oscar Show mentality – where gimmicks and jokes and not-very-good production numbers and constant hype about Lady Gaga or Neil’s Oscar predictions seem to take precedence over the the actual awards.

3. Yes, Lady Gaga sang beautifully. I wasn’t at all surprised because I know she’s a trained singer. Good for her- she did a great job. It’s lovely to see her show her quite impressive chops. But, it says something about the show itself when the appearance of Julie Andrews brought a sigh of relief. She is a true multi-talented movie and theater star, gracious, elegant, and as classy as they come.

4. In Memoriam. I don’t even want to go there. So many artists were omitted. I advise you to go to tcm.com and watch their In Memoriam tribute, which is much, much better and heartbreakingly beautiful.

Okay, I’ve ranted long enough. I’m happy for the winners, all of whom are immensely talented. But the Oscars are getting to be just another awards show: all glitz, ratings-driven, badly written and misdirected.

Just some thoughts from a movie lover.

Happy Tuesday.


Book Review: The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney


Today I am reviewing The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney for TLC Book Tours. As always, I am provided with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

About the book (from the publisher): In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were brutally killed in an armed robbery. Then a teenage girl vanished from the annual state fair. Neither crime was ever solved.

Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases continue to echo through the lives of those devastated by the crimes. Wyatt, the one teenage employee who inexplicably survived the movie-theater massacre, is now a private investigator in Las Vegas. A case unexpectedly brings him back to a hometown and a past he’s tried to escape – and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead.

Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past – specifically, the day her beautiful older sister, Genevieve, disappeared at the fair. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.

As Wyatt’s case becomes more complicated and dangerous, and Julianna seeks answers from a ghost, their obsessive quests not only stir memories of youth and first love, but also begin to illuminate dark secrets of the past. Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened and why they were left behind that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free – or ultimately destroy them?

My review: I had the pleasure of reviewing an earlier book written by Lou Berney – Whiplash River – for TLC Book Tours. I liked it enormously and became a fan. So when the opportunity to review his latest book was presented to me, I jumped on it.

The premise – two people haunted by the past, with a desperate need to find out the truth – is haunting. After heartbreaking loss, life somehow goes on, and both Wyatt and Julianna have careers and lives. But they are damaged. The past is never far from the present. It is this struggle with the past that fuels the story.

Berney writes characters beautifully, with great detail and a dash of humor thrown in the mix. He weaves together the individual story lines with ease. Wyatt, brought to Oklahoma City to investigate a case of harassment, pursues that case while also searching for answers to the murder of his fellow movie-theater employees – always with the question, “Why was I spared?” At the same time, Berney tells us Julianna’s story. There is a thread here that connects both stories, happening at the same time: the need to know the truth. And, perhaps, to find healing.

Berney’s depiction of Oklahoma City is richly detailed. I really got a strong sense of that city and its environs. He’s a wonderful writer. With a rich cast of supporting characters, Berney’s story of Wyatt and Julianna and those loved and lost is a great read. I don’t think you’ll be able to put it down.

When I was at The Mysterious Bookshop the other day, this book was sitting right by the cash register. The man writing up my order hadn’t read it yet and I happily gave it a huge thumbs up and urged him to read it.

I finished it a couple of weeks ago, yet the characters remain with me. What more could you ask for?

If you haven’t read Lou Berney yet, I urge you to. This man knows how to write and you will be caught up in the story immediately, as I was.

Lou Berney

About the author: Lou Berney is an accomplished writer, teacher, and liar who has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, and Fox, among others. His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and other publications. His first novel, Gunshot Straight, was named one of the ten best debut crime novels of the year by Booklist and nominated for a Barry Award.

One of you will win a copy of The Long and Faraway Gone. Just leave a comment on this post – it has to be on the post, not via email – and I will pick a winner on Thursday evening. Good luck!

Happy Monday.




Lots of snow, sleet and rain here in the city. I do love watching it fall outside my window, knowing that I don’t have to shovel. Apologies, Don! But really, it’s so nice to know I can enjoy it, without wondering how I’m going to clear everything out and drive on the slushy and/or icy roads. Reminds me of my apartment days in Philadelphia and Boston, both of which accumulate a lot of snow in the wintertime. Yes, I have to walk in it, but hey, that’s nothing!

2-22 more cupcakes

I went back to The Mysterious Bookshop and then, as if my feet had a GPS of their own, found myself at Billy’s Bakery. It wasn’t open. Oh no, I thought. Not open on Saturday? Then I saw someone inside and looked more closely at the posted hours. They didn’t open until noon and it was about 11:50. So I contented myself with finding the address for Whole Foods in Tribeca. I wanted a good lunch from their food bar – I’ve not been eating as well as I usually do – it’s a  problem with being on the road for a relatively short time on a budget and with no per diem. Then the door to Billy’s magically opened and I bought three more cupcakes. Yellow daisy. I had one yesterday, will have one today, and – you guessed it – will have one tomorrow. Ummm-mmmm good!

Back to the bookshop. I want to work there. Wouldn’t it be heavenly to order books, sort them, put them on the shelves, and have lovely chats with customers about what books to buy, about recommendations, about the authors? All in that wonderful shop with tall bookshelves made of darkly finished wood? With a glass case full of rare books? With a leather sofa to sink into?

The only drawback: a three hour commute every day. That does put a damper on things.

I bought three more books:

2-22 more books

The books by Christopher Fowler are part of a series about two men, Arthur Bryant and John May, called the Peculiar Crimes Unit Mysteries. I believe I have the first one in the series at home – still unread. They are supposed to be wonderful and the man I spoke to yesterday confirmed that. He said he loves them.

The Last Detective  by Peter Lovesey has an introduction by Louise Penny where she says that this book “changed to the face of detective fiction when it was released in 1991. It broke every template, every tradition, every ‘rule’ of the genre.” She’s a huge fan of the series. So, of course, I bought the book.

When I’m going to get the time to read all of these with my list of “To be Reviewed” books quite lengthy, I don’t know. But they will be there, on my bookshelves, waiting for me. Meanwhile, I finished the Olen Steinhauer book yesterday. I think I’ll start Cara Black’s Murder in Belleville. Not sure yet.

I’ve sent off a note to the director to find out if I can leave tomorrow. Fingers crossed. My family needs me. I need them. I need to nuzzle my nose into the hair on Scoutie’s head. I love her scent. I need to hug my husband. I’m grateful for this job and the opportunity to spend some time in Brooklyn, but I need my sunny little cottage.

You understand.

A review of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry  on Just Let Me Finish This Page today.

Happy Sunday.


On the Road: Coffee, Reading & Snow

2-21 Billy's

I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday. Isn’t this the best diner-like mug? I couldn’t resist. It’s very heavy and solid. Why is it that coffee just seems to taste better when it’s in a mug like this?

Don’t know. But it does. And it’s helped by that gorgeous shade of pale aqua on the logo.

I’ve read two books since I’ve been here: The Swimmer  by Joakim Zander, which I’ll be reviewing in a few weeks for TLC Book Tours, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  by Gabrielle Zevin, which I’ll talk about on the book blog. Now, I’ve moved on to All the Old Knives  by Olen Steinhauer. Being out of town with a certain amount of free time on one’s hands and frigid temps outside that make walking more than 100 feet painful seems to be conducive for reading. Now, if I only had a fireplace…

I am going to venture out today as I don’t have a rehearsal to attend.  I hope I can swing a visit to The Mysterious Bookshop again. The shop isn’t open on Sundays, so this may be my last chance to spend some time in that little slice of heaven. We’re also due for some snow this afternoon, so I’m going to try to get going early before it really starts coming down. Poor Don – 4 to 8 inches due in our neck of the woods. Where the heck is he going to put it? Really. I’m serious. I don’t think there’s anywhere else to put it. (This reminds me of last winter, when I felt actual panic about how I was going to lift the shovel high enough to dump the freshly shoveled snow.)

I’m assuming that I’ll go home on Monday, but I have to confer with the director to get her take on how it’s all sounding. I believe I only have the apartment through Tuesday and Monday is the day off. I’m homesick and really need to see my husband and doggie again, but if I have to stay one more day, I will, of course.

That, my friends, is it. I’ve arranged to see the matinee tomorrow, so I can watch the Oscars in the evening. I suppose Mr. Sparks and I will be watching it together via an ongoing conversation on the phone. We’ve done that sort of thing before.

Happy Saturday.


On the Road: Performing Arts in Brooklyn

I haven’t checked in with Don yet this morning, but I hope all is well there after a night of wind chills that went down to 25 below zero. Crap. Same thing here, though not quite as low; about 15 below. Thank goodness I only have to walk about 100 feet from the theater to the apartment building!

This February has been one for the records. Literally. The temperatures in my neck of the woods have broken records that are over 25 years old; in NYC, over 50 years old. You have to hand it to New Yorkers, though. Nothing stops them. All of the warnings about wind chill did not keep a full house of audience members from watching the show last night and giving it a standing ovation.

It’s pretty powerful theater. I can’t take credit for any of it. It’s the incredible work of the playwright, the director, the designers and the wonderful actors. I just do a little tweaking.

2-20 TFANA

This is the theater at night. Theater for a New Audience moved to their new home a couple of years ago after years of using other spaces in Manhattan. It was a dream come true for the Artistic Director and the TFANA staff. Beautifully designed, the front of the building is glass and incredibly striking – which is why I wanted you to see a picture of it at night. The theater space can be converted to just about any configuration. It’s a wonderful, wonderful space for this particular theater company. And it’s an acoustic dream come true, as well.

Right across the street is the beautiful Brooklyn Academy of Music, or BAM.

By day:

2-19 BAM

By night:

2-20 BAM

Those white lights in the tall windows move in a constant circular motion.

This is an amazing three or four block mecca for the performing arts. BAM, TFANA, and two smaller BAM theaters – all within a hundred feet or so of each other.

Today? More coaching work, another preview tonight, then a four show weekend. I’m not sure, just yet, when I’m heading home. I expect it to be on Monday, unless something comes up. I’m only booked in the apartment through Tuesday and Tuesday night is the Press Opening, so I want my work to be finished by then.

Happy Friday.




Yesterday was a full day: coaching all afternoon, taking notes on the performance at night. I can’t complain – I’m working and I have a nice apartment to stay in.

2-19 apt

I’ll only show this view, as this is someone’s home and I don’t feel comfortable showing anything that would be too personal. That table is the dropping off point for all of my stuff; books, hat and gloves, glasses, theater ID, water bottle, sunglasses. The sunlight pours in the windows. Not bad at all.

The other night at the theater I ran into one of the young actors I coached last summer in A Raisin in the Sun, as well as a former student from my Old Globe days. It was so nice to catch up with both of them. This play, The Octoroon, is selling well; every performance is packed and the audiences are loving it. The play is very, very powerful and I find I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s always tricky coming in late in a production, which is the position I’m in with this show, but the cast is very talented and welcoming. I’m doing what I can to clean things up vocally.

Do you ever obsess about a piece of music you hear? I do that frequently. If I don’t know the title, I’ll search high and low until I figure it out. Well, I’m a huge fan of 80’s era R & B – Earth, Wind & Fire, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, James Ingram, Stevie Wonder, Jeffrey Osborne, Chaka  Khan, the young Whitney Houston…. I love the sound, the lush arrangements, everything. A lot of the music was produced in Philadelphia and that sound is very distinctive. I also lived in Philadelphia in the eighties, but that’s neither here nor there. Or is it?

There is music playing throughout intermission and the other night I heard a piece that I loved. It sounded like the great Deniece Williams – one of my favorite R & B singers, with the voice of an angel and a vocal range that would put Mariah Carey to shame, sung cleanly and honestly, without Ms. Carey’s need to perform vocal gymnastics. Last night, I heard it again, so I pulled out my iPhone and recorded it via Voice Memo. When I came back to the apartment, I stayed with my instinct that it was Deniece Williams and started to search for the song on iTunes.

Bingo. I hadn’t listened to more than 3 songs when I found it. It’s called Silly  and was recorded in the early eighties. I immediately downloaded it and now I have it playing on an endless loop on my earbuds. Love, love, love it. Love that time, those arrangements, the incredible voices, the romantic, lush quality to all of the songs.

So if you’re wondering what I’m doing, I can be found listening to Ms. Williams. If you’re unfamiliar with her work or think you’re unfamiliar with her work, think of Gonna Take a Miracle, Free, and her duets with Johnny Mathis, including Too Much, Too Little, Too Late. She also had a big hit in Let’s Hear it For the Boy.

I already have Gonna Take a Miracle  and Free on my playlist. Why do I have a feeling I might be adding even more?

The cupcakes, the cupcakes – I don’t remember the flavors, my friends. I am not one that likes to sample a lot of different flavors. I like a basic yellow or chocolate cupcake with the frosting being the thing. Let’s face it, that’s where the fun is. So the cupcakes I picked that day? Three were yellow and one was chocolate.

Okay. I just looked up the names: Yellow Daisy Cupcake and Classic Chocolate Cupcake. I have one more left. Will I have to get some more? You tell me.

Happy Thursday.