A Little Art History: Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone

If I had to name one, and only one, painting in the world that takes my breath away each time I see it, it would be Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone, the lesser known of his “starry night” paintings, painted in September 1888. Later, in June 1889, he would paint The Starry Night,…

The Best Part of Summer…

… is planting flowers and watching them grow. I got a late start this year, but this is how my yard is shaping up so far. My yard is so shady that to get much color in it, I rely on annuals. Maybe I should rethink that, though, as the flowers that seem to do…

Boxer Gets His Portrait Drawn

My next door neighbor has enjoyed seeing Boxer recently in his outdoor playpen, and she came running over one day to present me with this picture she drew of him. The computer scan doesn’t quite do it justice. She did a beautiful job capturing the delicate pink inside of his ears, and I like that…

Outside My Window

Our weather in central Pennsylvania has veered toward the gloomy in the last week of May, and under the canopy of the newly-leafed oak trees that tower over my yard and those of my neighbors, my house feels too cool and grey for my tastes. Everything inside feels too “close” to me, if that makes any sense….

Perfume and a Movie: Musc Ravageur and Stranger Than Fiction

There were many times in the past when I thought about writing a review of Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur — an iconic fragrance among perfume lovers. The last time was at Christmas, when I roughed out my ideas for a post which I had planned to title “In Lieu of Eggnog.” Wearing Musc Ravageur was a…

Happy Easter!

It has been a lazy Easter at The Curious Rarebit. My husband and I slept in late and, after having coffee, thought we would entertain Boxer by creating an elaborate maze (including a series of jumps that we recently acquired) in our bedroom. But as it turned out, Boxer wanted to spend Easter relaxing as well and…

Easy Comfort: My Recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup

Spring is finally here and oh, does the warmer weather feel good! Yet I won’t be putting away my soup recipes too soon, as this is a bumpy season where bright-lit days easily give way to damp and chilly ones. It’s nice to come home on a chilly spring evening and get warmed up with…

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

In as strong a photograph as any taken of the brothers together, they sit side by side on the back porch steps of the Wright family home on a small side street on the west end of Dayton, Ohio. The year was 1909, the peak of their fame. Wilbur was forty-two, Orville thirty-eight. Wilbur, with…

Do You Love the Place Where You Live?

Do you love the place where you live? Its backyards and alleys, its houses and people? Do you love its weather (physical, political, and otherwise)? Is it a place where spirits soar? Can you identify its colors, its faults, its charms? Does it accommodate art and embrace differences? Does it know where the wild things are and…

Forget-Me-Not, from “100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names”

March came in like a lion this year, and the weather here is quite wicked at the moment, but I’m thinking of gardening and, particularly, of flowers. One of the most fascinating and charming books ever written on the subject of flora is Diana Wells’s 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names.  I have…

A Little Art History: Picasso’s Family of Saltimbanques

I’ve been thinking a lot about art lately. Back in December, I wrote a post about being an avid art lover in the first half of my life, and how that passion had basically faded to the degree that I’m no longer keen on going to museums — my tastes having narrowed to the point where I…