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James Galway, 2014

James Galway, 2014


I dug up the last of the dahlias, and tackled my  first attempt at dividing and storing. The results were not pretty.  A bucket full of rejected bulbs (thin, soft, shriveled) stood at my side while a paltry number of possibly productive tubers emerged for labeling.  I am thinking I don’t have a storage space to keep them at the recommended 45-50 degrees F.  I am thinking could I not be spending my time better? I am thinking I need better tools. After digging and dividing, my fingernails black with compost, for who wants to wear gloves when one is already in the thick of it, I leaned back, and swore to forgo this bit of alchemical puttering in the future. But  I loved the way Hamari’s Accord spread its pointy pale yellow blooms, and the Edinburgh kept flowering.

Once again, I am uncertain where I will live in the fall, where I will write.

I distracted myself with bulbs last month.  I devoured rare tulip catalogues which offered twelve and twenty-eight dollar specimens which would yield one perfect bloom the first season, and more the following. These are legacy bulbs.   I let my pocketbook rule, and opted for handfuls of the lower-priced and popular choices. Intuitively,  I wanted to root, lay a semblance of permanence on rented ground.  For two years I resisted planting roses thinking I was a temporary boarder at best until I rescued three end of the year throw-aways.  This fall, I bought an English Rose, David Austin’s James Galway, dreaming of Gertrude Jekyll and Constance Spry for the summer.  

Now the garden will rest, unless I get restless and plant a few more bulbs.  I will let it rest as it gathers its strength, with roots growing quietly.

Birthday Kale


Indira Ganesan, Birthday Greens, 2014


Three kinds of kale arrived at my doorstep, together with a bag of arugula, and two kinds of parsley.  A Birthday cornucopia from an unknown well-wisher!  I set to washing, and prepping, and with the flat leaf (Russian) kale made a saute with oyster mushrooms, cumin, turmeric, and  salt.  Later in the week, I will add wheat berries and other grains to create a pilaf, and spice it up with chili pepper and curry leaf.

Three kinds of kale and no one to take credit!  Lacinto, known as dinosaur, curly kale, and the aforementioned.

From this website, in addition to learning that eating steamed kale helps lower cholesterol, I found a recipe for braised apples and kale, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Is Kale the New Prozac? asks this website, an article worth reading for the title alone, and the mention of a Harvard  journal called Psychosomatic Medicine, which seems an oxymoron at the very least.  Yet I admit I am happy to believe that kale can lead to optimism.

Three kinds of Kale and parsley, so a kaling we will go then into this new year! And Thank You, Mysterious Bringer of Greens!

All Day, Now Night

Rosebuds against Rainstorm

Rosebuds against Rainstorm

It has been raining.  Gusts up to 45 mph, or is it 65?

At one point the rain turned to slush, frozen snow-like crystals, and a brief white drift formed to disappear.

All day I have been working on the new novel, and all day yesterday.

In truth, today I stopped a few times to correct papers and read A Room Lit By Roses for tomorrow’s class.

What will they think of this fierce brave writer, Carole,who is so open with her emotions in a way that is no way sentimental?

The screens are shaking like kodo drums.  Will the calm actually arrive tomorrow?

I gathered my rosebuds, literally this morning, to see if I can see them bloom, and picked a surprise delphinium, which has been steadfast all summer long.

Chocolate cosmos are still blooming so I brought them in, too.



The other night, my brother received the Award of Hope for Leadership and Patient Care at the 19th Annual Award of Hope Ceremony at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

It was a wonderful night. My dad and an old friend discussed math problems, I caught up with family, and in a quiet corner, my niece worked on her biology homework.

Anyone who knows me knows how proud I am of my brother.  He is a bit of a genius, who graduated, I continually point out graduated from Princeton, Yale, and Harvard. My geeky funny brother who wore flannel shirts over T- shirts, played D & D endlessly,and to this day still keeps up with computer games.

His teachers told my mother very early he was a distracted student, and despite his good grades later on, discouraged him from applying to the Ivies. This was when being South Asian was still an unknown quality. He is now an oncologist, an MD/PhD,married to a brilliant specialist in infectious disease ( who even as I write is most likely fielding a question about Ebola).

Shridar specializes in breast cancer, and I am going to reproduce part of the speech he gave, after thanking his clinical care team, as well as his students, post-docs, and family:

“Most importantly I want to thank the people who inspire me the most and from whom I ultimately learn the most: my patients and their families. Many people say being an oncologist must be a depressing occupation. I respond that No, on the contrary, it is a greatly inspiring field. Each day, I meet people who have to deal with outrageous fortune and circumstance: a cancer diagnosis that makes them suddenly confront their mortality, and leads them down paths, physical and emotional, never anticipated and that often feels beyond their control. And yet they and their family mostly deal with this with a grace that is hard to imagine, and is both humbling and inspiring. Though it is gratifying and comforting to see the results of successful treatments and outcomes, it is my failures that drive me. When someone has their cancer progress and they die despite our best treatments and the loving care of their family, I grieve; but then I feel it is our duty to understand why this happened, why this cancer did not respond and how can we do better in the next case. These questions are not easy to answer; though the goal is clear, the way is long and very difficult and we have much learn. These challenges are vast and can seem paralyzing. But it is our duty to not stand still, but to move forward, to learn more about these diseases, to learn from every failure and craft better treatments. I thank you all for your help in supporting our efforts to move forward.”



Dr. Shridar Ganesan at The Award of Hope Gala, 2014


Rosie and Indira

Rosie and Indira

Rosemary Marangoly George

Rosemary Marangoly George

Rosie, Rosie & Badri, Rosie & Jaishree

Rosie, Rosie & Badri, Rosie & Jaishree





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