Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let me digress from food for a moment...

I met Karen almost a year ago, on-line at first. We both belong to AWAR, a club for American women in Rome. Although there aren't many events I participate in with this group it does have one great thing: a list serve. For those of you who don't know what a list serve is, it's a way to put a question or comment out to a closed group and receive input back. It's a great thing. Especially if you live overseas and have questions about your new environment: restaurant advice, housing, local events and so forth.
Karen is a loquacious, curious and sometimes quirky American woman (married to a lovely Japanese man) living in Rome now for almost a year. She posted so frequently on our AWAR list serve that I eventually teased her about being a list serve spammer. Her insights and curiosity about everything Italian have made me notice things I'd never taken the time to contemplate.
Karen is now part of a monthly cooking group I run and I've gotten to know her quite well. She is a warm and insightful person and her posts to our list serve are often thoughtful and touching, like this one posted for mother's day, which she has allowed me to share with you:

Most of the time, the news is just terrible.

And New Yorkers are thought of as a pretty tough bunch, their thoughts concentrated on making it in a crowded, pushy, fast-paced, competitive place.

But this spring, all of New York has been watching the webcam of a Washington Square nest of a red-tailed hawk couple, named Violet and Bobby. The city (with untold watchers around the world) has been waiting for their eggs to hatch, watching the parents dutifully incubate and turn the eggs. They waited, and waited, and were collectively grieved when on Tuesday the eggs were termed by the experts to be duds.

But then, the unexpected happened....and all of NY has rejoiced! A baby hawk, the rather unattractive ornithological term for which is eyeass, emerged on Friday! Siblings are expected momentarily!

A happy Mother's Day for Violet! And just think of how this avian maternity and this little bit of new life has brought pleasure and smiles to millions!

I hope you human moms have a good Mother's Day, too!

You can read about Violet and Bobby and see pictures here.

(I love the fact that the parks department has stopped poisoning rats in the square so that the babies will have healthy food! And that the strawberry festival planned for the square will have signs up asking people to keep the noise down to be less stressful for the newborns and their parents! What a town!)

So that's Karen. I read her post first thing this mother's day and it started my day off just right. I've been rejoicing motherhood, birth and renewal for the last few weeks of our marvelous Roman spring. Births have been happening everywhere around me and here are some pictures I have captured that celebrate what mothers everywhere, of all species, bring into the world.

These six baby birds were born two days ago on my terrace; right next to my cooking group as we sat and dined...

These two kittens are part of a large litter; the mother is breast feeding her own, plus kittens from another litter who lost their mother.

Baby lambs are everywhere on our hillsides this spring:

A brown and white, spindly legged baby donkey with its mother.

Baby Alfredo was born ten days ago to a dear friend and his wife. Newborns aren't always beautiful but this baby boy is exquisite.


  1. Lovely post, Wendy! Happy Mother's Day to you too!

  2. Yes, indeed, it is a lovely post. How is your daughter and where is she now--England, Italy?

    I enjoy your food blog enormously and am very happy for you that your foodie bsiness has taken off so well.

    I am a stager for residential housing sales and aninterior design in home transitions. Fun work which I enjoy very much.

    Keep up the good work,and keep in touch! Joan