All posts by mangiamillie


 NYMysteries  Jan. 16,  2021

Welcome to vaccine madness. It reminds me of the Guy and Dolls floating crap game. 

A bright spot was my first time Tarot reading. It was a Zoom Tarot session. I was a little nervous but Victoria Gardina guided me sweetly and smoothly through the 60 minutes. I wanted guidance about the way I’m my own worst enemy. In other words, how do we get out of our own way?  The beautiful Tarot cards were visual tools that helped me see what I couldn’t see on my own. Victoria recommended taking notes. I’m glad she did. I scribbled down Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, highly recommended by Victoria. 

Victoria Giardina’s Tarot cards
Victoria Regina’s Tarot cards


 NYMysteries  Jan, 8,  2021


So much for dry January. Jan. 6 – The Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the three wise men at the creche. It will also be remembered for the horrifying vandalism assaulted on the U. S. Capitol. 


 NYMysteries  Jan, 2,  2021

The New York Mets Home Run Apple Wikipedia

 While reading Liane Moriarty’s “The Husband’s Secret” for the second time, I came across an Australian character wondering why NYC is referred to as the big apple. Who knows? Wikipedia knows.

It was used by John J. Fitz Gerald who wrote horse-racing columns for The New York Morning Telegraph. He first heard two African Americans in New Orleans referring to New York’s racetracks as the big apple. In 1929 Fitz Gerald wrote, “The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There’s only one Big Apple. That’s New York.” By the 1950s the term was considered old fashioned, out-dated. It was revamped in the 1970’s during NYC’s financial crises and has been popular ever since. 

Big Apple Corner – West 54 Street Wikipedia


 NYMysteries  Dec. 26,  2020

George Lloyd Courtesy Ben Crum Law

 A tribute to George Lloyd.

“I can’t breathe.” were the only words I heard George Lloyd say before he died, murdered by members of the Minneapolis police. On May 25, 2020, Mr. Lloyd brought home to me how difficult and dangerous it is to be black in  the USA. His suffering forced me to examine my own prejudice. A black family lives in my apartment building. The father always gets into the elevator first, smiling and wishing all a Good Morning. He shields his big black son from the white passengers’ hostile, frightened expressions. Minute by minute, day by day Blacks have to watch their step wherever they are: in their own homes  (Breonna Taylor), driving a car, existing. “Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Minneapolis Mayor Frey said. But it is. Thank you, George Lloyd, for waking me up.


Ramallah Friends School was founded over 150 years ago. Its goal was to educate girls. Well done, Friends. As usual you’re ahead of the rest of us.

 Adrian Moody, Head of School, sent this email. I travelled to Palestine two years ago.It was thrilling and heartbreaking. 

  A challenging year has come to an end with the uncertainty of what is to come. All over the world at this time there are many people suffering because of Covid-19. Here in Palestine families are struggling through financial stress, the pandemic and military occupation.   At Ramallah Friends School (RFS) we have had the most unusual beginning of the new school year after our students spent 6 months at home due to the declaration of a state of emergency in Palestine. Our community of 1500 students, 200 staff and hundreds of families have had to adjust to the immediate transformation of school from face-to-face learning to full distance (online) learning to blended learning- back and forth on a weekly basis since March. We have had to adjust and improve all of our educational and community programs to follow Covid-19 safety regulations. Wearing masks at all time oncampus, our students and staff have marvellously succeeded together through the first semester without skipping any RFS traditions.    All school events were cancelled and so our art and music teachers insisted that we transform the traditional Christmas Performances virtual as well. This year, instead of parents coming to watch their children singing Christmas Carols, they will watch them online from the safety of their own homes. As a part of our wonderful community, you are welcomed to subscribe to our You Tube channel to share the joy with our families and their children.   At 151 years of age, Ramallah Friends School has faced numerous challenges as the history of the school is closely tied with the history of Palestine. Over the last century, the School has experienced Turkish, British, Jordanian and Israeli occupation, world wars, closures and has served not only as a school but as a center for refugees and hospital.   Today, our goal is for RFS to remain a safe home for our students and their families. Since the outbreak of the pandemic many of our families have lost their jobs, and we tried to include all of them in our Student Financial Aid Program for 2020-2021, but unfortunately the school has lost funds as well and we are struggling to help our community. You can make a difference. Help us keep our community safe and in school.   At RFS, Community has always been a core value and Quaker testimony cherished by all. And it is these values that are bringing together all members of our community together as teachers, administrators, students, alumni and parents. And all of us are working very hard to get through these difficult times and we know that RFS will get through yet another challenge, as always.
Says it all
Look who’s on the WALL
Palestine viewed from a ski lift

NYMysteries Dec. 5, 2020 Do you love cookbooks? I’m addicted to them. In addition to recipes, they’re filled with attitudes and memories. I have a tiered and tiny bookcase near the kitchen. I combed through it looking for the Judson 1981 Cookbook. No luck. However, pawing Il Talismano della Felicita that I carted back from Italy in the seventies ignited memories of fancy dinner parties complete with triumps and disasters. Chinese cookbooks were bought when I met my Chinese companion. After going to Sicily, I cooked with. Simeti’s Pomp and Sustenance. The photos in 1960’s Women’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery are gorgeous. Remember that wonderful magazine, Gourmet? I have a stack of them on the third tier. This is from the Judson Memorial 1981 cookbook. It’s an Apple Pie recipe from a 4 year old. I have not included the child’s name because I didn’t have time to ask permission.  

First put applesauce in a cake, then squish it and squash it, then put strawberries and hot peppers in it. Mix it all up, then put 2 vitamins in it. Make a crust with crackers.Plop in the filling. Cook

Women’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery. Christmas Cookies Vol. 3
Shelf #1
Shelf #2
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Shelf #4

 NYMysteries  Nov. 27,  2020

Jane’s Carousel
Manhattan Bridge
Five of the best

Last night when I was young… as the song goes…I spent Thanksgiving at Ceccione’s in Dumbo. To state the obvious, Dumbo is a pricy Brooklyn neighborhood. Its name stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It’s known for cobblestone streets, parks and  the East River waterfront. Imagine wending your way on Cranberry Street or Orange Street then heading down Dock Street toward the East River. Nearby is the Brooklyn Bridge Park and right in front of you is Jane’s Carousel. We dined on the terrace. Instead of having to pretend that we liked rain, we had perfect fall weather. Our view was evening turning into night time on the East River. Way, way above us the Manhattan Bridge teemed with trains chugging back and forth between Manhattan and Brooklyn. My  five friends are all conversationalists. Anything goes: politics, memories, murders. We had a huge dinner: from ravioli to kale salad to pizza and then the main course, followed by an assortment of desserts accompanied by lots of lovely red wine.

We went to the Brooklyn Museum on a sunny, chilly fall day. I hadn’t been there in twenty years. It was like visiting old friends. I’m going to indulge my taste and share with you a few of my favorite paintings and a new discovery, the Choctaw/ Cherokee artist, Jeffrey Gibson. Gibson has an entire room dedicated to his work. I had hoped to reproduce a gigantic sculpture that resembles a vulture clothed in bright, sharp materials. The photo can’t be reproduced for security reasons. HUH?

SPEAK TO ME IN YOUR WAY SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOU is composed of driftwood, wool, canvas, glass beads, quartz crystal, glazed ceramic. Run do not walk to the museum before the exhibit closes, please.

This is A Storm in the Rocky Mountains. The artist is Albert Bierstadt. I apologize for trimming it.

The Mellow Pad by Stuart Davis

I love Davis’ work. Is it because it’s jazzy? Mellow Pad is jazz talk for a cool place.

The Virgin by Joseph Stella

I’ve always associated Stella with his painting of the Brooklyn Bridge so was touched by this gentle portrait of the Virgin, surrounded by flowers and fruits and with the Bay of Naples in the background.

It’s a wonderful museum and I can’t wait until they remove the name Sackler from the name of one of their wings.

New York Mysteries,com

 NYMysteries  Nov. 13,  2020

Bob Thomason died at home the night of Tuesday, Nov. 10. He was 92. Bob was a  member of Judson Memorial Church. He loved to talk about the books he’d read, sing Moon River at church, in the hall and in taxis. He cycled all over the world. Judsonites in China looked off their balcony and saw Bob on his trusty bike. He had a wonderful family: Jane, an Ohio girl who kept her courteous midwestern manners with a keen and amused eye on NYC; his two daughters, Caroline and Katherine. He and Jane married in 1960 and were married for sixty years.  Jane’s and his daughters’ devotion to him was unstinting. These words conjure up Bob: Moon River, dancing, moving into a Black-American neighborhood and talking about it during weekly Concerns at Judson, love of life, love of people.

Both Bob and Jane exemplify Amos 5:18-24: But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Bob rarin’ to go. Photo is courtesy of a Judson parishioner.
Members of the Thomson family. Courtesy of Sharon Woolums