Sunday, March 11, 2018

Flooding Along the Little Miami

When the Ohio River began to flood, the water also flowed out into the tributaries. Even as it all began to recede, there were still long stretches where the trees, normally well away from the banks of the Little Miami River, stood knee-deep in the water. Luckily, houses are not allowed to be built along the flood plain. During dry seasons, this swath of land may seem to be wasted, but in times when the river rises, those trees are a reminder of why we must allow, to some extent, for the natural ebb and flow of a river.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Two Cheese Coneys

The first stop for many returning Cincinnatians is their favorite chili place. Ours is Skyline. Two cheese coneys, no onions, please. Cincinnati is home to a host of chili parlors, all serving a concoction very different from what most of the nation thinks of as chili. Although there are disagreements over who invented it, all the versions have a fine, almost soupy texture and include a hint of cinnamon in the mix of spices. Ideally, the hot dogs are Kahn's and the American-style cheese is shredded and piled on so generously that you can barely see what's under it. A recent foodie trend is for what is sometimes called Ugly Delicious. These messy, aromatic coneys definitely qualify. And what, you may ask, are those oyster crackers for? They are for nibbling on while you wait for the cheese to melt enough for you to be able to pick up the cheese coney, of course. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rainbow Umbrella

During the winter, many people use lights to combat the effects brought on by the lack of sunlight. A full spectrum of light invigorates people and helps ward off depression. Artists rely on the full spectrum of colors to create their work. It's amazing how restorative it can be to spend a couple of hours choosing and cutting colorful fabrics or spreading washes of watercolors. This is my full spectrum umbrella. What a treat to be out on a dark and gloomy day and yet be sheltered by all the colors of the rainbow.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Unwanted Valentine Chocolates

On February 15th, a heart-shaped box of chocolates is as desirable as a pair of wooly mittens on the Fourth of July. Tossed in a grocery cart, shoved into a corner of the store, it’s a sad sight. I look at them and try to analyze why they were not chosen. Too large? Too small? Too ugly? Who was the anticipated customer for a box upholstered in quilted fabric reminiscent of a bandanna? There they sit, bathed in cold fluorescence better suited to revealing blemishes on avocados. I hope that all the unwanted boxes find homes before Easter.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valentine's Day Chocolates

As February 114h approaches, all sorts of Valentine-themed treats crowd the shelves of stores. Reds and pinks abound. The holiday comes during that final seemingly interminable stretch of winter, when gray days, dirty roadside slush and the occasional blizzard makes it seem as if winter will be here forever. We need cheery red heart-shaped boxes, velvet bows,  glittery pink foil and the chocolates wrapped in that foil. This year, Valentine's Day is also the first day of Lent, the season of fasting and sacrifice. What to do?? Perhaps unwrap those chocolate hearts early and enjoy some of them now.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


A pile of neatly split and stacked wood is a necessity for those who live in a log cabin with a wood burning stove. On a day that is not cold, I can admire the patterns, the horizontal and vertical lines of the logs and siding contrasting with the jumble of split log ends that are trying to be orderly but not quite succeeding. It's a perfect collage...well, actually it's a perfect assemblage, art waiting to be noticed.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Parallax Gap at the Renwick Gallery

Climb the stairs to the Renwick's Grand Salon then look up to discover the latest transformation of the ceiling. Inspired by architectural drawings of nine historic buildings, architecture design firm FreelandBuck has created a many-layered, lacy installation that starts with traditional one and two point perspective then skews it. The "drawings" were cut from fabric, stretched on frames then suspended, one above another like a stack of airy, floating pancakes. In some spots, you can see the "normal" architectural view. The overlapping colors and forms change as you move around the room. The installation will be on view through February 11, 2018. Learn more about its creation here: