Michelle W. says take the humble grid out of the shadows and make it the star. 

Traitors’ Gate was a watergate beneath St Thomas’s Tower at the Tower of London.




The gate was built in the late 1270s to provide easy entry by barge. It earned its present name as the Tower evolved into a place of impris­onment – and sometimes torture – for those accused of treason during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.


Impris­onment and execution at the Tower continued until the German spy Josef Jakobs was shot by firing squad in 1941.

The archway was ultimately bricked up because the embankment works caused the river to run deeper, making the gate of little practical use for visitors – traitorous or not – at most phases of the tide.

On through that gate misnamed, through which
Went Sidney, Russell, Raleigh, Cranmer, More,
On into twilight within walls of stone,
Then to the place of trial; and alone …


Toni 9/18/2015

COULD FRIDAY GET ANY BETTER? (Spoiler alert: Yes it can, people)

A billet-doux to Friday.  The Berkshires beckon.  Lenox, in particular.


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A fiercely popular place to fribble the day away. In addition to the bookstore, cafes, wineshop, restaurants, leafy lanes, library  ~and, oh, the views! ~ there’s Tanglewood.

The grounds are pleasure-dome dazzling. Sigh-worthy lawns, mossy-soft music in the air.

The show?  A Fan-my-brow Fabulous Foursome.

At the meet-and-greet, the Piano Guys are introduced to Golf Guy and me. The Other Guy?  Leonard Bernstein.

Al Van der Beek (producer/songwriter/fashionista), Steven Sharp Nelson (YouTube rockstar in a cellist-sort-of-way) on left;  Jon Schmidt (pianist/songwriter), Paul Anderson (producer/videographer) on right.  



Their story is a miracle.  Just like their music.  They are a bunch of ordinary guys that play classically-influenced instrumental music in profusely cool videos at spectacular places. And it all started in a piano store in St. George, Utah.  (I wish I knew that when I was driving through it.)


Waggish, jocular, rompish singer/storytellers. The Piano Guys. You’ll get a bang for your click here….. 



…and here…


…and here… 

..and especially here.



Your day just got better too, didn’t it?


Toni 9/1/15



Story wrangler and editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands says show the world beneath your feet.

Hiking across Sicily is a literally-off-the-beaten-path trek through both a mesmerizing landscape and a turbulent history.

The Villa del Tellaro near Noto was a country residence during the late Roman Empire, in the middle of the 4th century AD.  The ruins of the villa were hidden beneath an 18th century farmhouse.  Thanks to illegal excavations in 1971 and a l-o-n-g restoration stalled by Sicilian bureaucracy, the villa opened to the public in 2008.

I saw sections of the original floor mosaics ~ floral and geometric patterns, panels illustrating the ransoming of Hector, and lavish hunting scenes.

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Recent excavations near the main farmhouse/villa have unearthed water cisterns and medieval tombs.

Who knows what else lies beneath Sicilian feet?

Toni 8/11/15


WP Blogger extraordinaire Krista asks ~ What is your inspiration? What moves you? What is it that never fails to motivate you, to get you going, or make you happy? See her avant-garde photo here.

My inspiration? Nature. Inspiring. Inspiriting.

Ancient sites. Dizzying heights.

Just plain grand. 

Toni 8/3/15


All of Sicily is a dimension of the imagination.

-Leonardo Sciascia

Hiking across Sicily in the off-season


Toni 6/15/15