Thankful For Books, Facts and Future Plans

In the Middle East, the steam from boiled roses is used in hair products, in cosmetics, in perfume and even for cooking… I’m delighted to learn rosewater is even used to flavor ice cream! Imagine that. I researched this process for the book Reborn Through Fire (which I wrote in 2006) and I came across rosewater ice cream just last night in Khaled Hosseini’s book The Kite Runner.

Picture from wiki of the steam-distilling process of crushed rose petals:

I had this to say about author Hosseini on my author FB page:

“Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, & And The Mountains Echoed) has got to be one of my topmost favorite writers. He weaves fiction masterfully alongside truth. Stories that are at times heartbreaking. And other times breathtakingly beautiful. He writes humbly, respectfully and with an earnest hope for positive changes to come in the Middle East. He tells tales other writers might shy away from or handle with less grace. I will remember characters like Mariam a long time to come. My only complaint is that Hosseini does not have another book forthcoming. At least I don’t think so. I have an enlightened new perspective on ways of life (Afghanistan, Iranian customs, oppressed women, the Taliban, domestic violence, etc.) so different than my own and yet getting down to the heart of the matter – all of us so alike. Our simple joys, hopes for our children, belief in the good in people will prevail… From A Thousand Splendid Suns: Planting flowers in empty rocket shells from bombings… And rebuilding war torn cities with small things- like ‘rocket flowers’ on windowsills…” I found a random picture of this online-

Hosseini says in an interview, “They never say I am speaking about things that are untrue. Their beef is, ‘Why do you have to talk about these things and embarrass us? Don’t you love your country?'”

Along with (treating myself) reading Hosseini’s gripping books, I’ve been to Cambridge Massachusetts and back. I’ve been scrambling to finish and frame 20 art pieces for a show March 5th. Goal met!

I catalogued my 2 hour and 40 minute trip with pictures taken with my iphone and then realized my pictures are very lackluster. Nevertheless here they are:

My son found this cart for me at a secondhand shop. It was useful for carting paintings out to the van. Luckily Elizabeth had a flat pull cart when we arrived to bring them up on the elevator in one trip.

I set the GPS and off we went. Al is a very good driver. It was a rainy day, the calm before the storm as it turned out because the following day (Friday) dropped 10 inches of snow on us.

I liked the curly limbs of this tree.

There was a star hanging over the road in Cambridge (this is synchronicity which I love) and which made me smile as it reminded me of the cd cover to one of my favorite music CDs. Seen below:

At last we arrived. I met Elizabeth and two of her colleagues. Nice people indeed. She showed me the gallery and explained that the college bookshop would be ordering my memoir Under The Banana Moon. I’m scheduled to give a reading and sign books at 2:15 on March 5th. I’m getting there early though to hear autism advocate/author/fellow Autist Stephen Shore speak at noon. This is Stephen:

My paintings were insured and put in lockup. I took these pictures as we parted ways with Elizabeth to find the elevator. “Art is everywhere!” Said Al.

Al particularly liked this display of a hand carved wooden chess set:


Here is a  piece of art we saw along with the unique signature. I once blogged about the flourish of signatures. Look at me in the reflection!

I can’t read that signature. Can you make out the name of the hair salon (the brick building)? It’s Judy Jetson. Which I found mildly amusing.

And so my studio of arts room is much emptier with my paintings away visiting Cambridge.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the alpha state the brain achieves (7hertz?) while engaging in an activity such as painting… similar to meditation. I’m all painted out presently. Perhaps I’ll have to achieve that effect by throwing myself into my puzzle art. Elizabeth was happy with the  three framed pieces of-

 puzzle art I brought her (albeit marked not-for-sale) and I want to do more. Here are two of them. One is Youth and the other is Old Age who can be seen looming over middle age. The third one was titled They’re Watching! And portrays a gallery of faces with the theme of anxiety. I must’ve neglected to take a picture of that one…

Speaking of “watching,” I just read a study about ravens having theory of mind.

Not surprising really because they’re so intelligent but scientists had previously thought only humans had the ability to think about what’s on others’ minds.

The study showed that ravens in a box tried to hide their food stash when a peephole was open but did not hide it when the peephole was closed. This means they have a perception that they could be perceived through the hole

It is a much more fascinating study than I am making it sound and the link follows this blog entry.

I’m sure I will blog about this in depth at a later time  …right now I leave you with this image. Something I MUST try one day:

Flowers in rocket shell image from

Raven study about theory of mind:

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