The cherry on top.

Or, as the straightforward folks at Oxford Dictionaries explain it, “a desirable feature perceived as the finishing touch to something that is already very good.”

Oodles of lessons and hours of practice and the drone of the metronome.

Ah, but that cherry. 

PLAYING the piano at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.

Looking on: Patience and Fortitude, the famous stone lions named by Fiorello La Guardia.




Thanks, Luke Jerram, for this random act of music.


So. What’s the finishing touch In your life?


Toni 7/25/16


In Italy, everyone loves pasta, il primo piatto.  North, south, rich, poor, it’s a shared gastronomical religion.  Each region stakes its claim to a distinctive design. ( I know, I’ve tried them all.)  When I stayed in Trappani, I devoured the local handmade pasta called busiate, Sicily’s most famous pasta lunga. Knobs of dough are formed into ropes and rolled around a ferretto, or thin iron rod, something like a knitting needle.

image image


The curves hold the pesto Trapanese, one of Sicily’s traditional sauces, that soars with the flavors of garlic, basil, and almonds.

busiate trapanesi con pesto ai capperi

In Sicily, point your car in any direction and you’ll find pasta, it’s such a part of Sicilian life.   As I hiked across the island, I read through Andrea Camilleri’s mystery series. His fictional detective, the astute Montalbano, is always in a state of silent ecstasy while enjoying a dish of busiate.

Sound marvelous?  It is.


What’s your favorite pasta?

Toni 6/24/16


As a kid, I spent a lot of time with Changeable Charlie’s Aunt.  This rotating block face wood puzzle makes a megamonstrous 4,194,304 different faces. In 1952, some laugh-launchingly clever pixies mathematicians at the Gaston Manufacturing Company created this toy, a bit of whimsy that helped cement a generation.  (I wonder if they still send ‘postal cards‘.)


The blocks are removed by poking in the holes on the bottom of the box.  You rotate them to change the face.  A mere 11 wood blocks ~ paper sides, different face parts ~ continue to attract and distract me in my Boomer years.

Want your own vintage Changeable Charlie’s Aunt game?

Want to make her laugh, cry, glare, or stare? 


Time keeps running out


on my brow, from playing

…………………………………………….Jack Kerouac

Toni 5/17/16