Posts Tagged ‘Kate Pfeiffer’

Pendle Hill Witch #10-

Pendle Hill Witch #10-

It  is  irrelevant  how I  ended up   staying  at  a  ritzy hotel in New Jersey  back in March of  1990.  Suffice it  to  say, I  was  sick with a  head  cold  and  was ordere  by a  doctor not  to fly  back to California.  My  first night on the East Coast  had been spent in a  chain motel without  incident.

So I  was  very  sick with a severe head cold, sore throat  and  fever when I  checked into  the Victorian era, ivy -covered stone building.   I was dizzy and fatigued  and  craved soup and sleep.

I  was sharing a  room with my  mother.   As  we  made our  way down  the corridor, I  noticed  the  Laura  Ashley  motif  covered  everything from  the walls  to  the  seat cushions  to the  comforters  on our  beds.   I  ordered   room service: duck  wonton  soup   and   lemon- lime  soda  for my  throat.  I took a hot  shower, put on my  pajamas  and  crawled into bed.  My mother  was  concerned, but let me  be.

In  the  darkness hours later, I  awoke to  find  an old  woman with long grey  hair  in an old fashioned  night gown  trying to smother me  with a pillow.  Behind her  were  four  other  women  dressed in similar nightgowns. The look in this woman’s  eyes  was frightening.  She  seemed possessed.   The  women behind her were chanting “kill her! Kill her!”  I  struggled  with the apparition and  screamed “NO! NO! NO! NO!”. I knew  my mother  was asleep in the  bed next to me, and  when I screamed “NO! ”  the third  time, she  turned on the light  and  rushed to my side .   I  pointed  and  said ”  there  was a woman in this  room  who  just tried to kill me!”   My mother shook her head and said  “No.  You were dreaming.  You  have a  fever and a head cold.”  I  responded ” I  know I am dealing with a  head cold, but  what I experienced was real.”

The  doctor  had explicitly  told my mother  I  was not  to fly  for another  four  days.    My step father  was coming to meet us  after attending a conference in Boston,  which  meant I  had  to  move  into my  own  room  down the hall.  I  was scared.  I  told my mother ” this hotel is haunted.”  She   laughed  at me.    My new  room in the  hotel was  decorated  exactly  like the  first  one;  patterns of   blue  peonies  and pink  carnations  were  everywhere.   My mother had told me  I  could order  room  service and watch cable  T.V.  News of the  tragic Happy land  Dance hall fire   in Brooklyn, which  killed  several  dozen  people,  was  splattered on all the  stations. I kept going  back to watching music  videos  to forget what had  happened the night  before.

Maybe it  had been a bad dream.  Tonight  would be better,  I  told myself.   I  turned off the  T.V. and  then the lights.  I  don’t know  how long  I had been  asleep  when I awoke to  find  yet  more women  with the  same night  gowns in my room. I  quickly  turned on the lights & the  T.V. Splashing  water on  my  face , I  realized  the  next few  ays were going to  be rough.   There  was  no way I was going to  be able  sleep without the lights on.

I  asked  someone  in the hotel   if the place  was haunted.  They  just  shrugged.  I vowed  that one day I would find out the truth.

Maybe I could  discover it  in Public Records, some kind of history of the building  before it was a hotel.   These  were the  days before  the Internet .  The  incident  never left my psyche.  Someday.  Someday.

Several  years later I  moved to the East Coast.  I was living in Philadelphia and was at a church rummage sale.   I noticed two older women  who appeared   to be in their  early seventies sitting  in a  corner of the room.  I went  over  and sat next to them.   They smiled and said hello. I asked them  where they lived.  They  mentioned the  town  where the hotel was located.  I asked them if  they  had heard  of the hotel.  They nodded.   I paused, unsure if  I  should tell them  the story.    But I  knew what  I  had experienced  had not been the result of a  feverish head cold or a common  nightmare.

I  expected  laughter to  erupt.  Instead the faces  of the  women had a look of  compassion and kindness.  “We  believe you” they said  in unison.  The hotel  had been a  residence for homeless and mentally ill women at the turn of the Century.   As they shared the history of the hotel,  I felt  myself go pale and my legs started  to  shake.

Several  years  later   I moved to  the  suburbs.  One of my neighbors  was fascinated  by the paranormal.  I  shared  my  story with her, and when I  mentioned  the hotel and  it’s  location, she  got very excited.  ” I have  a cousin who lives  in that town! I ‘m  going to call her right now and    find out  if she knows anything about this hotel.”

For  years I had tried to  do research on the hotel.  A  well -known  travel rating  site  didn’t mention the hotel being haunted , but it did mention  the lovely  rooms..  Ten minutes  after  my  neighbor left  to go home, she called me on the phone  ” I  just talked to my  cousin”, she  said. ” That  hotel is  VERY haunted.! It’s an open secret.  Everyone who lives in that town knows that.”

Since that time, I  occasionally  google the  hotel to see if  anyone has mentioned if  it is haunted.   No on has.  I toy with this idea of going  back  for  an overnight stay at the hotel.

A  few weeks ago, I  created a series of witch paintings   I dubbed  THE PENDLE HILL WITCHES.  The last  witch- witch number ten closely  resembles the  apparition who tried to smother  me with a  pillow.

Happy Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 May  is my favorite month.   I 'm a  Taurus  and proud of it.   I'm so Taurus- five planets in Taurus.  To many, that  might mean I'm stubborn.  I like to think of myself as cautious or slow to change.  I can and do change.   Recently, I have  had a major change of heart about Indian food.  I had some unpleasant Indian food experiences when I was  young and decided I did not like the spices.  Well in the last 3 months, I have done a one eighty and now I  am loving Indian food.  I mentioned Chana Masala ( Chickpea stew) in my  last entry.  Tonight I   finally made a fantastic mango lassi ( yogurt drink)   after three attempts .  Mango lassi  is a nice love drink.  Made with  fresh mango & cardamon, I added a dash of Vanilla extract.  I  also used the plain lassi   (base drink)  from Trader Joes.  Add some sugar and blend  for  30 seconds.   My next  step is going to making homemade chutneys.  After years- no make that decades of fearing the idea of gardening, have finally started  a tiny herb garden.   I 'm always buying basil and it is  time for me to grow my own.  

 

After seeing the  Korean film POETRY last month ( twice), I started thinking about  writing poetry again.   A week later I saw a notice at one of the libraries in my area for a poetry slam.  In my personal life, I'm dealing with a few people  with whom I'm having serious communication problems.  I  guess I could write yet another letter to the Universe and offer it up as a prayer.   Since my art  comes from my life and personal experiences, I decided  that  I was going to write poems  instead.  I also wrote  a poem about  my  relationship with sugar ( a very dysfunctional one).   The event was video taped and is on the internet so there is no  point in me hiding  what I wrote.   My purpose for attending and participating in the poetry  slam was to speak my truth  out loud  and  release the  pent- up feelings  that have festered  because I cannot communicate with certain people.  I look  at the poetry reading as public purging of  my personal demons.   This is my personal journey with  Pluto at the moment.  It is all about communication; writing and speaking my truth as a way to step into  the light from the darkness.  More therapy- awesome! The healing journey continues.  Therapy and I get fame too.  Definitely a win-win situation ( ha,ha).

 

It is obvious  that I love films ( movies).   I like to think it may be for this  secret I 'm about to reveal ( although  I don't think there really is a correlation) .   My paternal grandmother ( whom I named  after and died of breast cancer two years before I was born), had someone who was madly in love with her and wanted to marry her.  The person was Louis B. Mayer ( before he  moved out to California).  My grandmother didn't marry him  but married my grandfather instead.  My grandfather was a French and Spanish teacher at Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.  When he passed away in 1974 from a brain tumor, they dedicated a wing of the  school in his name.  I  interacted with my grandfather a few times when I was young. In my opinion, he resembled Louis B. Mayer.  Interesting.   Speaking of  the film industry, I  loved the HBO documentary HIS WAY  about legendary film producer Jerry Weintraub.   The best part of the documentary was the shocking twist  about his love life.  Mr. Weintraub is a great salesman  but his greatest score is definitely his love life.    He may be the envy of most men in America.  After seeing the documentary I ran to  google Mr. Weintraub and find out his  astrological sign.   He's a  Libra so  he is naturally very charming and graceful.  Libra, an air sign  have the gift of gab.  

 

 

 For the following original poems by me  here is an Artistic Disclaimer from me, Katie Pfeiffer :

Any  resemblance, likeness or similarity to any real or living person or persons is purely coincidental

 

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GROUNDHOG DAY 

 

Groundhog day

At the post office 

Cupid is in the air

Unseen 

I feel him

Cinnamon infused

Body,breath & hair

Yet something’s amiss

Squirrels dance in my tummy

 I walk out,

Crash into you

My head

Your chest

Here you are

The Karma King

Reawakened

King of Cups & Hearts

Cancer man

Broad shoulders

Brown eyes

Hold my hand

Not a handshake

An electric shock

Pulsates 

Thru my body

Angels,flowers and hearts

Swirl around your head

Confused

I unintentionally

Spit on you

Groundhog Day

Just like the movie

Obviously our karma

Isn’t finished

Round & round we go

What’s the lesson?

Still don’t know.

 

 

——Katie Pfeiffer 

       4/21/2011

 

Copyright 2011 Katie Pfeiffer All Rights Reserved

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SUGAR

 

Sugar you are not my friend

You tease and taunt me

Seduce my tastebuds

You promise me energy

But I always end up crashing

Fill me with dreams 

But I’m left with empty calories

and body fat

Sugar I love you 

Why are you so cruel?

You mess with mind

Appear in many guises

Pastel colors & pretty packages

You lie still

Wait for me

You know I’m weak

Especially during that

time of the month

You know I crave you

You’ve got the power

Chocolate crunchy

Creamy smooth

You are everywhere

but you are nothing

I’m addicted to you

Sugar, you Devil

Why can’t you just 

leave me in peace?

I’ve tried so many times

to end our relationship

but I keep coming back

 

———Katie Pfeiffer

            April 20, 2011

Copyright 2011 Katie Pfeiffer All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballerina

Hi Everyone!

     I’m excited about the revamping  and the updates on the website.  Thanx to my wonderful web mistress who  understands my vision and was patient with me.   A great start to 2011- Happy New Year everyone!

     Therapy can be expensive.  I think I have discovered a  free and wonderful alternative.  Although  I’m Jewish and have studied Buddhism, I was raised celebrating Christmas.   About  10 years ago,  I  noticed the mailbox  for Letters to Santa at  one of the main post offices.  I decided to write “Santa” a letter about  a relationship issue I was dealing with for many years.    I felt a sense of relief  as I dropped the sealed envelope in the box.  I realized  a few months ago that the matter I had written  about had been resolved.  So I decided to do it again.  This time, I chose a different location.   No not the post office.   My letter was totally anonymous.  I  assume I   gave  some vastly underpaid employee  ( or employees) a voyeuristic thrill into  my personal life.  As I dropped my  letter into the “mailbox” , I felt a sense of relief and “letting go” of the issue.  I don’t know when  the issue will be resolved. It might take months or years;  maybe not even  in this lifetime. However.At least in that moment, I felt  a sense of relief and feeling better than I used to feel is always a constant  goal for me.

  

     Speaking of this past holiday season, I  stumbled  upon more wonderful art created by children.  I was attending the  annual Paper, Book  & Scissors event at the Central Library in Philly. I wandered  into  the Children’s library and discovered  sculptures based on the characters from the Nutcracker Ballet  created by students at the Cecil B. Moore School in Philly.  I loved all the sculptures and took a ton of photos.   I  was a little sad there were two long rows of sculptures on high book shelves that were  difficult to look at from the ground.  I feel the library should have exhibited them  differently but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see them.  I have posted a few on this blog.

      I  enjoyed  the first season the HBO  series  BOARDWALK EMPIRE  .  I was  especially loving the  presence of a store front  fortune teller  who appeared briefly in one of the first few episodes.  However, in the  episode which aired   October 3, 2010,  a fortune teller  was featured giving a tarot  reading to the  character  (played  by Gretchen Mol ).  I screamed out loud  when I saw the deck  was the  Luigi Scapini Medieval  Tarot Deck.  This deck  was created  by Mr. Scapini ( a sculptor from Italy) who is very much alive.  It came out I believe in 2001.  Not during  the time period of  BOARDWALK EMPIRE .  I own  this deck and use them all the time.    The cards are gorgeous  but are not of the right time period.  I have  uploaded a photo of  my Scapini tarot cards .

     I  just finished reading  ” JUST KIDS” by Patti Smith which   won the National Book award and is a fascinating  account of her  relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe before they both achieved fame  and success.   Ms. Smith’s writing style  is so smooth and easy that I devoured it like a box of chocolates.  Reading  this book made me want to write more.   I saw an exhibit of Mr. Mapplethorpe’s photographs  at UC Berkeley Museum  in the late 80s while I was still in art school.   The  images were intense, disturbing and  haunting.

     The 1971 John Cassavette’s film MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ has been playing frequently  on cable.  When I first saw the film  ( last year), I hated it.  But  then I  watched it  several more times and I  think this film is brilliant.   I love this film  for so many reasons.   Cassavettes cast his own mother in the role of the mother of Seymour Moskowitz (  the iconic Seymour Cassel) and  Lady Rowlands, Gena Rowlands real life  mother played her mother in the film.   The film is full of humor and  Pathos.  The funniest scene of the whole film occurs in a restaurant  towards the end of the film when the main characters and their mothers all meet each other.  The film explores loneliness and  the attempts to connect to another person.   Mr.  Cassavettes   focusses on this in many  if not all of his films.   The characters in this film are  carrying  heavy  emotional baggage.   if you keep in mind that they are  struggling for   freedom from their past ( especially Gena Rowland’s character Minnie), then you begin  to see the genius of Cassavettes.  His film becomes a therapy session which  compels the characters to move forward and conquer their inner demons.   It is only  then, when Minnie  becomes empty that she can let Moskowitz into her heart.    On the superficial level I love this film for its small moments of style and fashion.   Ms. Rowlands is undoubtedly  one of the most stylish women of the cinema.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her tiny  red rose barrettes, her oversized Italian smokey tinted  sunglasses or her black turtleneck sweater  and   matching cigarette pants that she wore with ease.   Her  ensemble was  very reminiscent of  the  outfit Audrey Hepburn wore in FUNNY FACE when she did  that strange, funny dance in the  underground  boho cave nightclub  in Paris.  I also loved the giant eye mural in her apartment and the raven in trees with apples  mural in the house the character  John Cassavette ‘s character lives in.    The final scene of this film is so beautiful that it reminds me of the Sun card of the tarot deck.   Celebration with children,love, laughter and happiness in visual motion.

      As far as  cooking and eating  is concerned, this March  will mark my first year  anniversary of going meatless.  I couldn’t give  up fish and seafood.   I also decided going  Vegan  was  too extreme for me.    I’m learning to make peace with tofu.  I’m going to be honest.  I  will never love tofu-ever!  I did buy a food dehydrator and have made tofu jerky a few  batches  using a homemade Teriyaki marinade.  It tastes pretty good but not as good as real beef jerky.   I have had several  dreams of eating Korean fried chicken ( the best tasting fried chicken).    When I awoke, my pillow was covered with drool  and I felt   guilty.  My reasons for going meatless have solely been driven by health issues, not politics or morals.  I love animals but  I will probably eat chicken again at some point in the future and when I do it will be Korean fried chicken.  I don’t miss the massive amounts of  meat, pork, and lamb I used to eat.

      I love homemade  Ceasar Salad with homemade croutons.  I know this sounds a bit egotistical but  my Ceasar salad  makes me swoon.    One of the issues I was concerned about was using a raw egg in the dressing.  Luckily , I discovered an easy way to coddle ( partial cook) the egg  to avoid any i  possible health concerns.   I put the egg in a small ceramic dish  ( an  individual ramekin or a glass pyrex pudding dish).  I then put that dish in a large pot.  Meanwhile I bring a large saucepan of water to boil.  I then SLOWLY pour the water in the pot  until the ramekin and egg are completely submerged.  Timer is set for  exactly 60 seconds .  When you crack the egg, the white will look like it is just starting to form.   I add a few dashes of hot sauce into my salad dressing mixture and  I use  the best  bread i can find for the croutons ( from Metropolitan Bakery here in Philly).   I usually get a french baguette or sourdough loaf.

     Well that’s it for now.  I hope to  write this blog more frequently.

Santa and Me

Love,

Katie

Children’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyHi Everyone!It’s been awhile since I  have last blogged.  I’m always immersed in seeing plays, art exhibits, cooking, making art, reading, watching films and studying astrology. I have had to decide what would go into this particular blog. Although I titled this blog Play, romp and be happy, I think a better title would be ” WAKE UP CALL!”.  Several months ago,  I had a serious personal wake up call.   Don’t you just  love those?  First  you get hit with a tiny pebble and the it becomes a rock , then a brick and finally a boulder.

I decided  one morning it was time for a  major life style change.  I have made extreme changes  to my diet.   Although  I buy most of my food from the Farmer’s markets ( go local!) and  walk  almost every day, I knew deep in my heart, I needed to make  changes.  I have given up meat, coffee, refined sugar and most dairy.  I also  am working out on a daily basis in addition to walking and biking.

I  have been immersed in learning to cook vegetarian gourmet and find  food substitutes.   Some things food switches have been relatively easy;  which brings me to Turtle Mountain.

If I were investing in a food  company, it would be Turtle Mountain.  Based in Eugene, Oregon ( I used to live there),  this company makes the most delicious   line of  coconut milk based ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and yogurt.

I just bought their  coconut drinking milk today and coconut creamer.  Their Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream with big chunks of walnuts and ribbons of fudge is as good in my opinion as my former lover, Haagen Daz.  Their products are sweetened with agave .   They have another line of ice cream which is soy based  and  many people already know this but their Peanut Butter Zig  Zag is like crack and I don’t even like chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.Several weeks ago I saw a documentary film of Outsider artist Purvis Young ( who sadly died at the end of April).  The documentary, PURVIS OF OVERTOWN.

Purvis was a self taught artist who  lived life his way and did not cater to the art world.  His  focus was making  paintings and helping out  his friends and neighbors in the impoverished area of Miami called Overtown.   I feel it take courage to follow one’s own heart and path.    Mr. Young’s work is amazing.  Raw and full of soul and color.

While  at the film’s screening, I heard about an art exhibit that was happening at the Russell Byer’s Charter School in Center City.

I  went the next day to find an incredible display of artwork by the children at  the school.  The exhibit was inspired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s retrospective  of  self taught  outsider artist  James Castle (whom  I wrote about in an earlier blog).  Led by art teacher Amy Jerrod, the children made their own version of specific works by Mr. Castle- watercolor paintings based on a little girl, cardboard birds and animals,  chest of drawers and  furniture ( also constructed from cardboard & string  as well as handmade books from ephemera and houses from cereal boxes.  I consider the exhibit of the children’s art exhibit  to be the  considered the next step beyond  James Castle.

I have included a few  photographs I took of the show.Last week  I saw the Otto Dix Show at  the Neue Galerie( museum)  in NYC.   I love German expressionism.  Especially from the 1920s and 30s.

Dix’s watercolor paintings of prostitutes, sailors  and widows  are incredible.  I liked his watercolors better than his oil paintings.

Also last week  I got to see the documentary film EXIT THRU THE GIFT SHOP directed by controversial UK  street artist Banksy ( I love his sense of humor).   Although this film  has a great title, it is misleading as to the nature of the documentary.  The documentary chronicles the rise of a French man ( Thierry Guetta)  living in L.A.  and his rise to fame and fortune in the art world.  In many ways EXIT THRU THE GIFT SHOP is in direct opposition to  the Purvis Young documentary.  Purvis did not care  about money or fame.   Mr. Guetta’s focus is solely for publicity and  money.  Because Thierry suffers from  what I would  consider clinical obsession, I found EXIT  THRU  THE  GIFT SHOP  fascinating and  hilarious.  I was laughing so much I was crying and sweating.   There was an older   couple sitting in front of me.  Every so often the man would turn around and look at me.  I was worried he was going to tell me to shut up.  At the end of the screening, he turned around and thanked me for laughing.  His wife  nodded as he explained it made the film even better.   I couldn’t believe it.  An  atypical response from someone on the Mainline!   All the laughing, crying and sweating  felt  cathartic.

Speaking of obsessions, I’m currently  obsessed with a few things.  I missed the Iris Apfel  fashion show at the Met in New York.  I love Iris Apfel.  She is a style maven.   I have a pair of giant round  ( prescription) glasses similar  to hers which I have only worn out  in public a few times.  I got snickers and sneers from the  young Amish women  working behind the bakery counter when I wore them once to the Farmer’s market.   I bought them as dead stock  vintage on eBAY  but lately  I have noticed they have developed this weird white  ectoplasm   which I have tried to remove which various solvents  but it  keeps reappearing.

Several months ago, I finally finally bought a pair of incredible red, blue, tan  and white wide  striped  vintage 70s  Big Smith overalls.   The fabric is a very soft cotton and  they are very big on me.  My friend’s have commented  that they look like clown circus overalls.  I doubt Mrs. Apfel would think so.  She would love them.

I’m patiently waiting for the  fashion industry to  bring back my favorite piece of clothing- the cotton one piece romper ( or playsuit).  I bought  one many years ago from a thrift store in Philly  that was fuchsia  bold white  flowers on it, big pockets  a big zipper in the front.  Total 60s Miami Beach kitsch, I  wore it on a trip  I won to Hawaii.   The romper costs me  five dollars  and brought me much joy.

Short sleeved and sleeveless cotton rompers ( short length)  ( some   inspired by auto mechanic jumpsuits)  with a front zip and big front and/or side zip pockets  will be  everywhere in the next year or so.  Add to that graphic designs on these rompers  inspired by eighties imagery and pop art as well as neon /glow in the dark strips.   Jumpsuits- redux  will be big also. No I don’t work in the fashion industry.  I own a sewing  machine that continues to gather dust.

I used to have a copy of a fabulous book CHEAP CHIC by Catherine Milinaire and Carol Troy.    It was my fashion  bible in the late 70s /early 80s.   The soft cover book is sadly OOP and a used copy  on Amazon now  is around $137.

My major lifestyle change is in full swing ( It has been almost two and a half months now), I’m experimenting with cooking Vegetarian gourmet meals now. I finally tried Quinoa ( pronounced Keen- wah) and liked it. It is the only grain which is also a complete protein, and have dived deep end into eating tofu. I have to be honest and tell you all that previously I was NOT a fan of tofu. In fact I have a magnet on my fridge depicting a 50s style house wife in an apron with the phrase ” TOFU! Looks like wallpaper paste, but tastes much worse! I bought that magnet at Whole Foods and now I’m eating tofu or tofu based products at least four or five times a week for dinner. I still don’t love it, but I’m trying to make peace with it.

I had a Vietnamese tofu hoagie from Fu Wah Market ( in West Philly).   The classic Vietnamese hoagie sandwich is called a Banh Mi and many recipes exist on the internet.  My version is made with tofu ( not meat and pates) and  I start off with  a really good french baguette ( from Metropolitan  Bakery).  I make my own  teriyaki sauce and I soak the extra firm tofu for many hours in the teriyaki  before dipping it in an egg wash and coating it with seasoned bread crumbs. I then lightly fry the tofu .   I also marinate thin strips of carrots and cucumbers in a  sweet vinagrette and add tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and baby romaine salad mix ( which has my own special house dressing on it) to the hoagie.   The secret to  a great sandwich is the bread ( of course) and the fact that every component  is well seasoned.   Each  item in this sandwich is seasoned in a different way  so that when you bite into the sandwich,  the marriage of flavors comes together.

I’m also loving and I mean loving the tea blend by Divintea called PEACE ON EARTH.   As I mentioned in a previous blog that the Good Earth  Cinnamon tea was magical, so too is this tea blend. After drinking this tea, I have had some lucky things happen.

Anyway play, romp and be happy! And again I apologize for putting up three of the same photo image and the fact that the paragraphs aren’t showing up in this blog despite putting in the manual html code.

P.S.   TAKASHIMAYA- R.I. P. Update- I was in NYC again last week to see THE ADDAMS FAMILY  and I  thought I would stop by Takashimaya briefly before the show.   It  has gone out of business ( at least the NYC location).  I was sad.   Takashimaya to me is like Tiffanys to Holly Golightly.  It was one of my many ( thankfully!) happy places in NYC.  It was a five floor department store unlike any other.  To me, an artist with so many planets in Taurus, it was the ultimate  merger of art, culture, luxury and style  in one place.  I bought this cool umbrella from  the store a few years ago with Asian people head drawings.  I never use the umbrella  for fear it will break.  I recently broke my I LOVE YOU Lulu Guiness umbrella.  By the way, they were selling a very cool umbrella at the ADDAMS FAMILY show with the characters  drawn underneath the umbrella  instead of on top.  But  it was $45.   Because  I’m always  busting up my umbrellas, I bought several recently at IKEA for $2 each.

 

Flowers in My head- original painting I made last month.Hi Everyone,I'm writing another blog which follows closely on the heels of my last blog. I keep editing and updating the last one. I ended up going to Washington D.C. on March 9th to take part in the Tibetan Rally and March for lobbying President Obama to help with the Tibetan crisis. I was early. I knew it was a good omen when I met a Tibetan Couple who lives on my old street ( what a coincidence). The weather was beautiful and sunny . The rally and subsequent March was satisfying. I pray everyday that the U.S. Government will step up to the plate and take a more active role in helping the Tibetans in Tibet . The situation is heart breaking. Free Tibet!!!!!!!!!!I meant to include the recipe for my mother's AWESOME Mondlebrot cookies ( I have seen Mondlebrot spelled several different ways on the internet). I consider it a Jewish Biscotti as it is a twice baked cookie in the shape of a biscotti only thicker. I did an internet search for other Mondlebrot recipes but my mother's recipe is by far the BEST. Warning these simple cookies are addictive. Great for dunking in coffee, tea or milk they are both moist and crunchy.Francine's Mondlebrot Cookie Recipe*1/2 lb. unsalted butter*1 cup sugar*4 Cups of  unbleached white flour*4 Eggs*Pinch of Salt*1 Teaspoon Baking Powder*1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract ( I use more as I love Vanilla)*1 Cup Toasted and Chopped Pecans ( you can substitute Walnuts but Pecans are better for this recipe)Cinnamon & sugar mix- equal parts of cinnamon powder and sugarPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs & Vanilla to the creamed butter & sugar mixture. In a separate bowl- Mix flour with the rest of the dry ingredients (salt & baking powder). Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add toasted and chopped pecans. Shape the dough into two thick loafs on a baking sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of loaves. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.Remove from oven and cut the loaves into pieces. Put cut up pieces on the baking sheet for another 7 to 10 minutes.Yield: about 80 pieces.**********************************I know I'm always writing about movies and DVDs to watch. I do enjoy reading. I'm currently savoring Mindy Lewis's memoir called LIFE INSIDE which chronicles her life as a teenager inside a mental institution when she was just fifteen in 1967. The way Ms. Lewis writes is engrossing. Her descriptive narrative style makes you question the whole issue of sanity. This book is brilliant. There is even a website devoted to this book ( and rightly so). Ms. Lewis is an artist in every sense of the word. A MUST READ!***************************************************************************I have refrained ( up until now) from writing about astrology or my metaphysical interests. Venus ( the planet of love and the planet which rules my sign of Taurus), is currently moving backwards starting in Aries and moving backwards to Pisces. All I can to everyone is wait to get married until after April 17th. Don't buy any big ticket items, make any new starts ( job, move) etc. If you want to contact a former love interest- go ahead and do that now if there is unresolved issues. Declutter; get rid of any old items from former flames if you are looking for new love. As I have said before, love is really an inside job so I highly encourage meditation and self reflection.Spring is almost here. I can't wait to get caught in a petal storm.Tashi Delek!Katie

My “Tony Duquette” Copper Leaf Mystic Eye Tree

Hi Everyone!

Well it has been a few months since I have blogged. It is difficult to narrow in and talk about all the cool things I have seen in the last few months. But I will try my best to give recommendations of interesting things to watch and eat.

Back in September, I went to the last Flea Market of the year at a nearby High School. During the weekends in the summer, their huge parking lot is filled with vendors selling anything and everything. A friend came to visit me and I had long talked about the bountiful treasure hunting of Philly. A week before, I had been thinking of beefing up my money corner of the dining room with a fake plant or a small tree ( Sadly although I have 5 planets in Taurus, my green thumb is only a fantasy at this point) . At the same time, I had been also drooling over the book on artist Tony Duquette which I asked my local library to buy. They did and I have been checking it out & renewing. As I looked at all the incredible sets, furniture , jewelry etc that Mr. Duquette designed, I closed my eyes for a moment and wished I could have something that would resemble one of his creations in my house- in my money corner ( Feng Shui). Around the same time I had the thought I would like something made out of copper since the metal for my sign Taurus is Copper. I let both thoughts go. Well getting back to the Flea Market ( which was 2 weeks after my wish thought), I was walking around looking when I spotted an enormous, vintage ( I dated it from the mid to late 60s), almost 7 foot tall copper tree with the copper leaves. In addition to that, the leaves looked like eyes ( too cool!). A few years back, I had bought some items from the same seller. She remembered me. I knew as soon as I saw " The Tree", I knew I had to have it. But Mercury, the planet of communication and money was retrograde on this day. I pondered the purchase. The price of $40 was ridiculously LOW. It wasn't about the money. It was the idea of being more stuff into my house. I have this ongoing battle with clutter & stuff. My friend who was with me, knows this. We have had previous discussions on "stuff" and getting rid of it- for spiritual reasons. Stuff clogs up your living space but it definitely can clog up your life. I want to have a flowing life. Since my friend and I both study Buddhism, I realized at that moment, I need to actually let go of my fixation. Within 5 minutes of spotting this tree, a random material object, I realized I had become obsessed. Obsessed with having it- wanting to possess it. When I find things- especially one of a kind things, I want it.

Well to make a long story short, the tree has become mine. The tree has become an evolving art project. I keep adding items to it's branches and leaves. To me the tree symbolizes the manifestation of a wish. I have dubbed this my Wish Tree.

A few days ago ( Valentine's Day), I was driving Philly. My goal was to find cool Valentine's day windows. I knew just where to go- South Philly. I have uploaded a few of my favorite windows. The last two windows are actually from a stationary store in Bala Cynwyd.

.Valentine’s Day Picture Window- Somewhere in South Phillyvdaywindow21.jpgvdaywindow31.jpgBala Cynwyd Valentine’s Day Window #1Bala Cynwyd Valentine’s Window#2
Now on to films: I have seen several of the Oscar nominated films and the theme for most of them is about INTENSITY. I highly recommend THE WRESTLER with Mickey Rourke & Marisa Tomei. If Mr. Rourke doesn't win for BEST ACTOR, I will be very upset. Ms. Tomei was very good too. I feel Kate Winslet must win this year for THE READER . I saw REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and she was good in that film but THE READER is in a catagory all by itself.

My DVD film recommendations are as follows:

A must see documentary A MAN CALLED PEARL ( available on DVD) about self taught outsider artist/ topiary sculptor landscape architect genius Pearl Fryar. Even if you aren't into plants, this documentary will open your eyes to the power of LOVE and the ripple effect of obsession and devotion. An ordinary man who turn some dead and discarded plants from his local nursery into a three and half acre wonderland will leave you filled with a restored faith in man kind and miracles. I give this documentary my highest rating!

Two more documentaries about obsession on DVD worth watching CRAZY LOVE( 2007) about the real life relationship between Linda & Burt Pugach. I actually remember finding the book in our home growing up ( my mother obsessively collected books) that Berry Stainbeck wrote about their relationship called " A VERY DIFFERENT LOVE STORY" ( 1976) when I was 13 or 14. I read the dust jacket and quickly dropped the book; recoiling in horror. If you are looking for a feel-good romantic documentary- this isn't it. But I am fascinated with male-female relationships ( blame it on all my planets in Taurus being in the 7th house of relationships) so this documentary & story is so fascinating to me. Sick but fascinating. This documentary should be seen with some friends or a group as it will promote a heavy group discussion. This is definitely a DVD that will make you think.
If CRAZY LOVE is not what looking for in a love obsession documentary than you might like MY DATE WITH DREW ( 2004). This is Brian Herzlinger's hilarious documentary about trying to get a date with Actress Drew Barrymore in 30 days. This documentary is really about a unconscious spiritual journey and is great for anyone who has been pushing or pulling for a goal. The documentary for me, personally is a gentle reminder that after taking action, it important to LET GO. I think Mr. Herzlinger is really cute and now that Ms. Barrymore is single again, she just might want to watch this documentary ( again)- just kidding! This documentary will leave you feeling good- happy.

Before I end this blog which has taken months to write, I will talk a wee bit about food.

I have been watching many episodes of Anthony Bourdain's NO RESERVATIONS and Andrew Zimmern's BIZARRE FOODS on the travel channel. Both are very entertaining and informative shows. I can come out now with one of my secret food (dare I say obsessions?)- I love marrow bones and have since I was a kid. Anthony Bourdain proclaiming Veal marrow bones would be included in his last meal request has given me the courage to second that desire. Having discovered I had a severe B12 vitamin deficiency a few months ago, I have happily increased my meat consumption ( sorry Peta) along with B12 shots from my doctor, I have regained my energy ( about 60% as I write this blog).

*Update: March 1, 2009- Well I'm sad Mickey didn't win the Oscar for THE WRESTLER ( I haven't seen MILK so I can't comment on Sean Penn's performance) as I knew his acceptance speech would be off the wall. A few nights ago, I caught most of the Independent Spirit Awards on IFC ( repeat) and saw Mickey's hilarious acceptance 6 minute speech for winning BEST ACTOR ( for the WRESTLER). I was laughing so hard I was crying and peeing in my pants. Right before that, was the side splitting performance by Rainn Wilson as Mickey's character in the Wrestler singing a parody of the film to the tune of James Brown's I FEEL GOOD. Both these film clips are on www.youtube.com If you are needing to laugh, go to YOUTUBE now and type in "Song Wrestler Spirit Awards". I recommend watching the clip of Rainn Wilson first as Mickey refers to him in his speech. I'd like to thank Rainn and Mickey for making have to do extra laundry. I'm still laughing about both performances. To appreciate how funny it is you should see THE WRESTLER first before seeing the clips. I don't know who was responsible for the parody song & dance numbers at the Independent Spirit Awards but the person or people are GENIUS- pure GENIUS! By the way I feel an extra kinship with Mickey as we both have chihuahuas. I was sad to hear his Chihuahua Loki passed away a week before the Oscars. Everytime there has been a nominee whose relative passes right before the Oscars, they always seem to win. Wish Loki had that kind of influence.

I keep adding to this blog. Forgot to mention a film recommendation currently playing in Independent move theaters now which I saw ON DEMAND on cable. TWO LOVERS with Joaquin Phoenix is a must see film. Loved it. I'm definitely not a big Gwenyth Paltrow fan but she is good in this film. Vinessa Shaw is good too.

March 10th is coming up and I will be Marching for Tibet. Free Tibet!

Tashi Delek,

Katie