Hey ho!

Here in Portland, along with springtime scraps of blue sky, we’ve got a Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism exhibit at Portland Art Museum. It’s a terrific show and if you’re in town, do go. One of the joys of attending is watching a mural bloom in the lobby.



Another, of course is the gorgeous work of Frida and Diego. I’m hugely enamored of Kahlo’s self-portraits, all of which are honest and unflinching and actually make me a little nervous. I feel intimate with her emotional life when I stand before her work. Of course part of that is what I bring to the viewing, what I know of her life, her physical pain. But it is also that she doesn’t sugar-coat. She doesn’t smile, her eyes aren’t soft, she is intensely present, staring at me as much as I am staring at her.


When I was a teenager, my mother commissioned a local artist to make a portrait, a large pastel, of the two of us sitting on a flowered couch, surrounded by the ferns and philodendrons that populated our late 1970’s home. We sat close together and the artist, Kitty Wallis, did her best to capture the love and vinegar of our relationship. My mother had the portrait framed, and never hung it up. Why? Wallis truthfully depicted our facial hair! We are a Jewish and Italian family and, like Frida Kahlo, our upper lips had fuzz. My mother and I used bleaches and wax to eradicate the unwanted adornment, yet Wallis revealed our embarrassing feature. We hated it! So much so that when my mother ran into Wallis at our local grocery store, she asked, sheepishly, if Wallis would “fix” the portrait. Wallis gave a firm no.

When I left the art museum I called my mom and yes, the portrait is still stashed in the back of her closet. The next time I visit I’m going to bring it home and hang it up. We are no longer mustachioed. (Thanks laser hair removal!) I am a little sad about the torment I felt about my upper lip. God love Frida Kahlo’s take no prisoners expression. I wish it had been a skill of mine.


I’ve been watching LIFE & BETH from Amy Schumer, and I’m all in. It’s about a women in her late 30’s trying to get back in touch with who she is in her core. It takes a minute to get caught up, so please, stick around beyond the first, even the second episode. It’s funny and real, with stakes higher than the easy laugh.

There’s a bit of Beth’s past, and how we all struggle to recover from events in our teens. There’s a Plan B scene in a pharmacy that is hilarious, and before getting an MRI, a technician asks Beth if she has any pre-existing conditions. “I’m a woman,” she replies.

Episode four is terrific, with Beth coming full circle, healing from some body shaming that happened to her in middle school. Does it take three decades to break free of middle school crap? Sometimes. Sometimes longer. Consider the painting I just told you about, huddled in the back of my mom’s closet. 😏


Sheesh, was I ever moved by the ON BEING podcast with Kate DiCamillo. I read her books to my children and we all three loved them. Listening to this podcast had me bee-lining to my local bookstore to buy a couple to reread (BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE and LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME). DiCamillo takes very seriously her job as a beloved children’s book author. Her mission is to respect and honor the intelligence of her readers. She doesn’t believe in dodging the harsh events in all our lives, but she does believe in making the truth bearable. Hope and heartbreak live side by side, and she won’t hide that in her work. The podcast is full of so much wisdom and laughter. DiCamillo tells us that life is chaos, art is pattern. She also recalls a little boy who came to a reading. He was leaning against her as she signed his book. His mother said to the boy, “Honey, don’t lean on her.” and the boy responded, “It’s okay, Mom. She knows me.” Please do listen, you will be lifted up.

THE HIDDEN BRAIN has a recent terrific episode with Psychologist Naomi Rothman who studies  ambivalence, the discomfort and benefit from being uncertain. Does revealing thoughtful indecision benefit us in our lives, or cause detriment in some of our interactions? Yes and Yes! The conversation is fascinating and personal, funny and enlightening. How can any of us be absolutely certain about, well anything? 🙃 Plug in your earbuds, lace up your walking shoes and give a listen.


We are all about the Momofuku Chili Crunch at our house. Here’s a fantastic dip to try with crudités, chips, or to spread on a bagel.

Whipped Lemon Ricotta Dip with Chili Crunch Drizzle

  • 1-15oz pack of ricotta (get the best quality you can, and before you make the dip, put it in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl to remove some moisture)
  • lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • lemon juice (about 4 tablespoons or 1 lemon)
  • 1t Salt
  • 2 – 3T good quality olive oil
  • Momofuku Chili Crunch to taste
  1. Place then (drained) ricotta into a food processor and add lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and mix to combine. After the ingredients are blended, slowly stream in the olive oil.
  2. Place whipped ricotta into a serving bowl and drizzle Momofuku Chili Crunch on top, adding more to taste. Or, spread on a piece of grilled or toasted bread with chili crunch and fresh parsley. Serve with your favorite chips or veggies, on avocado toast, or a toasted bagel..