Saturday, February 28, 2015

Purple Passion

 Precious in purple babies all in a row...

 Bold purple Crocus bursting
 through the snow...

Wild purple Wisteria blooms
 in late April and early May...

While the soft purple air
at sunrise
brings me peace
at the start 
of a new day

The full moon sailing across
the velvet cape
  of mysterious night...

is the time for

and a little
song and dance!

"Walkin' My Baby Back Home"
Sung by Nat King Cole

Pretty purple roses look stunning with pink...

 while Harold, with his purple crayon,
draws things to make you think...

When I was a little girl
first learning to read,
"Harold and the Purple Crayon" 
was one of my favorite books!
It still is!

I also remember...
...not only wanting
my very own race horse

after seeing the
wonderful movie classic,

National Velvet

but wishing my
dark brown eyes were
 the same lovely
deep blue violet color
as the eyes of
beautiful child star,
Elizabeth Taylor.

Lovely Elizabeth Taylor and a furry Friend

Today I am happy
to look in the mirror
and see that
my eyes are still
dark brown!

And now for something purple and
sweetly delicious...


I love to pick wild blackberries
which grow in my back yard every summer. 
 These beautifully sweet,
 deep purple berries 
are usually fully
ripe by the beginning of July.
Great for both cobblers and pies
or to eat freshly picked
off the bramble bush!

Just be careful of the thorns!

From my kitchen 
to yours...

A Classic American Summer Dessert

Wild Blackberry Buckle
(You can also use blueberries in this recipe,
or mix the two berries together)

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups blackberries
washed and rinsed

Crumb topping:
Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour,
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 
1/4 cup soft butter.
Mix with your fingertips
until mixture looks like
coarse breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together sugar, butter,  and egg.
Stir in milk.
Sift together and stir in 
flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir in berries.
Spread batter in a greased and floured
9 inch square pan.
Sprinkle with crumb topping.
Bake 45-50 minutes, until
toothpick inserted in center
comes out clean.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream
or whipped cream


The Lord God Planted A Garden

Carousel Rose

The Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light unfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,
That a hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even'
God walked with the first of men.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
 The song of the birds for mirth-
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
 -Dorothy Frances Gurney

Rose Garden
Florence, Italy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Sound Of Music

Can it really be so?

This year marks
the 50th anniversary of
one of my all time favorite movies,
"The Sound of Music"

My favorite scene
from the movie...

Maria and the Captain
falling in love
beneath the summer moon.

The Story Behind The Movie...

The real life 
Von Trapp Family

  In 1938,

the forces of 
Adolf Hitler's 
Third Reich
 invaded neighboring

To escape the Nazis,
the Von Trapp family 
dressed as
if going on one of
their hikes into
the mountains,
 and just walked away
from their vast estate
near the city of

  Later by train,
the family traveled
from Austria
to Italy, and then
 on to Switzerland. 

 They eventually

made it to London,
where they boarded
 a passenger ship to the
  United States of America.
They arrived here in
September, 1938.

  As the talented

singing group, the
 "Von Trapp Family Singers"
they toured extensively
throughout America and
in parts of Europe. 

In 1949,
Maria Von Trapp
 wrote a book
about her family's
adventures on the road,
which became
the inspiration for
 the Broadway musical,
and later, the movie,
"The Sound of Music"

Leontopodium alpinum

A member of the sunflower family,
Edelweiss is a well-known Alpine
wildflower made even more
familiar to many people
 through the beautiful song,
 sung in
"The Sound of Music".

Medicinally, the plant has
been successfully used
to treat abdominal
and respiratory problems.

However, due to the
fact that this pristine
white wildflower
prefers to
grow in high altitudes,
more than a few

 unwary mountain climbers
have unfortunately
fallen to their deaths
or have been seriously
injured trying to
pick these starry
blossoms which
 grow in the
 steep rocky terrain
of the rugged Alps.

Quite a few years ago,
I naively tried
to grow Edelweiss
in my front yard
flower bed.
 southern New Jersey's
 hot and humid summer weather
and sandy soil
proved to be too much for
this delicate mountain
(But we do grow some
great tomatoes here!) 

 I wanted to grow this
particular flower
 not only because it
 reminds me of
"The Sound of Music"
but because 
I am certain
dainty Edelweiss
also grows in the
mountains surrounding
the beautiful Val di Nom,
in northern Italy,
which was once
part of Austria.

The Village of Tres
Val di Non
Trentino Alto Adige Italy

My paternal
Marco Brida
immigrated from Tres
to America 
in 1912.

The two
church bell towers
 seen in the background
 of the picture above
 were built by
members of
his family in
 the 1800's.

During the
Second World War,
the church towers
served as landmarks 
 to guide planes flying
over the mountains.

My brother visited
 Tres several years ago,
and found these
two beautiful towers
 are still in great condition.

  Sant’Agnese Church
Tres, Italy 
(My grandfather's parish)

San Rocco Church
Tres Italy


 Returning To
  "The Sound of Music"...

The Von Trapp Family Singers

I always loved
 the family performing
their songs at the
 Salzburg Folk Festival,
especially, the scene when
 the proud and patriotic

 Georg Von Trapp
 begins singing,
and is overcome
with sudden emotion,
knowing that both
he and his family
and their country
are about to lose 
their freedom.
 With the help of Maria,
he continues singing to
 the listening audience,
who then begin to
sing along with them,
much to the chagrin of
the Nazis seated 
in the auditorium
waiting to take
Georg away
from his wife and
children to serve in
the naval forces
of the
Third Reich.

A beautiful act of defiance in
the face of tyranny!

 Just say "NO!" to the Nazis

"Bless My Homeland Forever"

The wonderful story of 
 "The Sound of Music"
not only brings back
many happy memories
of a more simple time
  in my life,
but reminds me
to have courage,
but more importantly,
to lean on my faith
in God
 in these perilous
and uncertain times.

"Climb Every Mountain"

"A dream that will need
All the love you can give
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.
Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream."

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills
From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beating The Wintertime Blues

Laughter is truly
the best medicine!

Number #10

"John Wayne's Teeth"

Number #9

"A rooster to a hen
with one shot!"

Number #8

I Left My Heart
(And My Shocks)
In San Francisco

 Number  # 7

"They call me Mr. Pig!"

Number #6

"You mean like Democrats?"

Number #5

"You see I'm a bit of a poet,
and you did not know it."

Number #4
Party Like It's 1961

Number #3
Southern Cooking Lesson

Number #2
The Natural Art of Self Defense

Number #1
Uncle Buck's Taxi Service

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Deer Tracks In The Snow


The crimson sun is swinging low
 a flaming red chariot in the sky,
the wind, turning bitter cold,
 stirs the tops of the trees
 with a lonely
 and mournful cry.

The swaying old cedars
 and towering pine
casting their long
stark shadows
across the lawn...

The gathering darkness
 of the coming night,
makes me sigh,
as I realize
  another afternoon
will soon be gone.

 I zip up my boots
and head outside
determine before
 the last hour of light
to take in my daily stride.

I  remind myself
to step careful as such,
for the snowy woods
are deceptive at 
the coming
of dusk.

  The familiar trail
of bridal veil white
winding between
the bare naked bush,
has melted into
 one long pool
of camouflaged,
mud-spattered mush.

As I walk in silence
struggling to keep upright,
I am aware of hidden eyes,
alert and ever watchful,
bold and black as night.

 I look down
to see imprinted across
the frozen ground
the dainty tracks of deer
in their flight.

I wonder why they run,
surely it cannot be
the setting sun...
 or possibly the threat of
some hunter's gun?

And no windfall fruit,
or tree bark nibbled,
seems to keep them here,
at least
none that I can see...

Yet, I know the deer
will keep running away,
especially if
they catch a glimpse
of me!

Deer In The Winter Woods

"Deer Tracks In The Snow"
Written By
Pamela Denise Brida