Tips using Oats – ChatterTip April 2014

Tips using… You Guessed It – Oats – ChatterTip April 2014

Before I get into the tips, here’s a nibbly little tidbit for you – as I mentioned earlier I was born in The Year of the Horse and I love Oats, and we know that Oats are one of what we call the Cereals. In Astrology, besides the Planets, we also have what are known as the Asteroids, and Ceres is one of them. The word Cereal comes from Ceres, who was the Roman Goddess of Agriculture (and in Greek Mythology she was Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, who presided over Grains and the Fertility of the Earth). Ceres is connected with the 2nd Earth sign of Virgo and is associated with all Cereals including Barley, Oats, Rye, Wheat and Grasses. Now, here’s where it gets even more interesting…

Horse with Cereal Snack

I have the Asteroid Ceres right on my Rising Sign (or Ascendant), which explains why I love all things Cereal! I can quite happily eat Cereal for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but I always used to feel guilty because growing up in England, one only ate cereal at breakfast-time, one was supposed to eat “breakfast” foods at breakfast, tea-time foods at tea-time… and that was that, but for me, a bowl of Cereal or a slice of Toast was always a favorite snack at any time of day or night. So once I learned that Ceres was literally right on my Ascendant, I realized it was perfectly natural for me to enjoy all those foods. Now I eat a bowl of Cereal or a slice of Toast whenever I want – totally guilt-free!

According to the Bach Flower Essences: Wild Oat is for capable people who have ambition to do something meaningful in their lives but have not yet found their true calling. They may have several choices or directions they could follow and may be working hard on a given path, but fundamentally they are dissatisfied and frustrated. Somewhere deep down they know that they have not found their vocation in life, and are emotionally or spiritually unsatisfied. Wild Oat helps to tune the heart (ruled by Leo) to what will bring true meaning and purpose. It helps us the make choices, sometimes difficult, which unite all aspirations. It also helps us to balance the needs of spirituality and making a living. [Excuse me while I run out and get me a bottle…]

No big surprise that I am giving you 5 Tips using Oats this time…

Oats for Convalescents

According to my old Herb Book, although Oats are used primarily for their nutritional value, they are also particularly helpful for certain convalescing patients. In Europe for example, Wild Oats (which are picked whole as a young green plant and known as Oat Straw) are used to make a tea to help with Chest complaints, and Oat Straw is also used in various baths, which aid in healing a number of ailments including Rheumatism, Lumbago, Gout, as well as Liver & Kidney problems.

Oats for Menstrual Cramps and More…

Eating a daily bowl of Oatmeal can help to end Endometrial pain, making Menstruation less miserable with fewer cramps, aches & pains. Oats can also help to control Hormonal activity, lower blood Cholesterol levels, ease Constipation, as well as aid with Fatigue and Depression. Who knew?

Oats for Poison Ivy

If you happen to have a bad case of Poison Ivy, or even the Chicken Pox, grind 1 cup Oatmeal (or Oats) until fine and wrap in cheesecloth. Place the cheesecloth in the end of a stocking or pantyhose leg and tie it so it hangs under the faucet when you run the bathwater. It’s best to go with lukewarm water and soak for about 30 minutes. You can also apply the Oatmeal pouch directly to the infected areas to help soothe the rash as well.

Oatmeal Facial Mask

Make a simple face mask by combining Oatmeal with a little Warm Water until it forms a paste. Especially good for oily skin, and rubbing Dry Oatmeal directly onto the skin will remove any flaky or peeling skin. If you want some thing a little more tasty, then combine ½ cup Hot Water with 1/3 cup Oatmeal. After about 3 minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons Plain Yoghourt, 2 tablespoons Honey and 1 small Egg White (optional). Apply thin layer of the mixture to your face and leave on for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with Warm Water.

Oatmeal Dry Shampoo

For those days when you don’t have time to wash your hair, this can apparently be a great solution. Take 1 cup of Oatmeal, place in blender and grind to a fine powder. Add 1 cup Baking Soda and mix well. Rub a little of the mixture into your hair, give it a minute or two to soak up the oils and then brush (or shake) it out of your hair (preferably over the bathtub or a towel). This can also be a great solution for bedridden patients who cannot bathe or wash their hair in the shower. And, it can even be used to deodorize your dog’s coat!

ChatterLog September 2011


Virgo, the Virgin

Greetings everyone and welcome to the September bulletin! Summer is well and truly over and we have moved from the sunny sign of Leo into the cooler sign of Virgo. We’ve had an earthquake and a hurricane and the air has already begun to feel a lot colder as we continue to lose one minute of light each day and head towards the Autumnal Equinox. As with each of the 12 zodiacal signs, there are a number of characteristics (and therefore topics) that I could write about, so for this month and the sign of Virgo I decided to go with the theme of “Pets” because Virgo rules over pets and small animals. Virgo is also the sign of “service” – so how do our pets serve us humans? Back in the day, animals were domesticated for the purpose of “serving” mankind, from a pack of hounds used to hunt in the forest, to the oxen in the fields pulling the farmer’s plow, to the horse and cart for transportation, or the cows in the barn providing us with milk – these animals aided in man’s survival and were the next step from being hunted by primitive man solely for their flesh, bones and skins. So how did they evolve from that point to what we now see as a modern-day fashion accessory? I wonder what primitive man would think of people nowadays who carry their dogs around in designer bags!

 A pet is essentially a household animal, (usually a dog or cat) kept for companionship and a person’s enjoyment, as opposed to wild or domesticated working animals such as livestock… So even though your dog may not be a working dog, it is serving you by bringing you companionship and unconditional love 24/7. Pets provide their owners with health benefits, not just because they are pleasing to look at or pretty to listen to. Have you ever wondered why a doctor or dentist’s office had a fish tank in the waiting room? Mine did growing up – and I can see why, it was definitely calming for the patients to watch the fish. Pets are great. They don’t answer you back and they do love you unconditionally, especially if you are the one who feeds them! Young children can learn the responsibility of what it takes to care for a pet – they have to be fed, cleaned and walked, constantly, so parents must be just as responsible when buying a pet for their child. How many stories do we read about abandoned puppies who seemed ever so cute when they had that Christmas ribbon round their neck, but once it started to grow and chew on a few pairs of shoes, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea after all. There is an alarming number of animals that are mistreated or rejected by families. And because they were not taken care of properly, look at how busy all the animal shelters are as a result?

© Michael Brian

We couldn’t resist showing you this image of Jason Goodrich with a brand new puppy taken by photographer Michael Brian on a shoot for Cesar’s Way magazine at the North Shore Animal Shelter. Jason was assisting Michael Brian that day, and Michael was thrilled to have captured this unexpected moment and wonderful juxtaposition between the gritty Jason and the innocent and irresistible young puppy, less than a week old.
 How can you not love this image?

Growing up in England, there was no shortage of dogs. Everyone had dogs. We did not have cats, hamsters, or guinea pigs growing up, it was all about dogs. Actually, I am a cat person, but one of the positives about having a dog is that it does require you to be outdoors and walking, which is not only great exercise but also gets you into the fresh air and interacting socially with other people and their dogs. Pets are a wonderful source of comfort and cure for loneliness, for people of all ages, from young to old. There is now a medically approved class of “therapy animals” (mostly dogs) that are brought to visit people who are confined. Speaking of confinement, there are programs, such as “Puppies Behind Bars” which trains prison inmates to raise puppies to become service dogs (note the word “service” again!) for the disabled and explosive detection canines for law enforcement. – so from faithful companionship, to guiding the blind, or guarding our property – dogs have a strong attachment to man, and man to his dogs. We have all heard the expression that a dog is “man’s best friend” – not a hamster, not a snake, or a parrot – but the dog. According to Wikipedia, the popularization of the term occurred in a courtroom speech by George Graham Vest in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1870, who said, “The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.” The phrase was later shortened to “man’s best friend”.

When I was very young, my mother had a black Labrador called Marcus, but he disappeared one day, never to return, and was most likely shot by the gamekeeper for poaching the pheasants. She was so upset, we went for quite a few years without another dog, until one day when my father returned home after surveying a property, where the owner had poured his heart out to my dad about how on earth he was going to cope with his wife, 4 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats and whatever else was in his menagerie. So he had decided to begin by getting rid of one of the dogs and asked my dad if he’d at least consider it. After he had told the sad story, my father suggested taking this dog on but my mother was set on saying “no”. That night she had terrible dreams about this dog having to be put down because there was no home for it, so when she woke up the next morning, she sat up in bed and announced, “That’s it, we’re taking the dog.” And thus Fred the Bassett Hound became a part of our family. He was quite a character and one stubborn dog – he literally ruled the household. For instance, he wouldn’t drink water from a bowl – I mean, who knows how long it had been standing there, it was obviously stale… so Fred preferred to drink from a running tap. He had figured out that if he stood in the bathroom and barked endlessly, eventually someone would come and turn on the bathtub tap so he could jump up, hook his front paws over the edge of the tub and drink from the running stream of cold water. Delicious!

left: Fred Bassett resting on the front lawn of Cuckoo Hill House
right: Fred Bassett sticking his big wet nose into our family friends’ very young child’s face!
From left to right – John Bell (family friend), myself (with very short hair!), my mother and Laura (John’s wife)

There are many hilarious stories about Fred, including when we mated him with our friends’ Bassett Hound “Lucy” but Fred wasn’t too bright when it came to matters of procreation (he was more interested in food) and was quite unsure as to what he was supposed to be doing with this “horny bitch!” After a couple of confusing hours he eventually succeeded in impregnating Lucy, who a couple of months later proudly produced a litter of cute little puppies. Our father’s eldest brother (who lived in Nairobi, Kenya at the time) decided he wanted one of them and so “Fred the Lemon” went in the plane with him to Africa and he spent his life living there! Ironically, this particular uncle was a journalist, and after he divorced his first wife, my aunt remarried another newspaperman who happened to be editor of the Daily Mail. At one point he was approached with a new cartoon for the paper by the Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham about a Bassett Hound based on his own dog. My step-uncle loved the idea but said he would only put it in the paper if they changed the name to Fred – and thus the famous Daily Mail cartoon “Fred Bassett” was first published on July 8th, 1963 and ran for many years! And although it was based on the cartoonist’s dog, and named after ours – the stubborn character portrayed in the comic strip was very much like that of the real Fred.

Mum with Julian, the Budgie. Photo by Louisa J. Curtis

When our mother lost her last dog, she herself had become too frail to cope with another one so back in 2005 my sister came up with the brilliant idea of an alternative and low-maintenance pet – a budgie! Little did we know that she had in fact kept budgies as a child, outside in a big aviary, but they had apparently died in a frost? She had never mentioned this to us before, not until we plopped “Julian” on to her lap. We timed the presentation during one of my visits from New York, my sister picked the budgie up from the pet store and then picked me up from my father’s house, which was only a few minutes drive away from our mother’s. The budgie was in a small cardboard box, so when we got to the bottom of the hill, we pulled over to transfer it into the cage for the rest of the journey. We didn’t think it would look very nice if we were to present her with a bird in a cardboard box and an empty cage, besides, the budgie didn’t have much room in there to breathe…

Transferring the budgie from his box into the cage was not such a simple task as it sounds either, but eventually we managed it. We then drove literally at a snail’s pace down the road while the poor bird clung to his perch for dear life, leaning slightly from side to side as we navigated any bends in the road! By now my sister and I had started to have one of those fits of uncontrollable giggles and we had to work very hard to keep it together and not drive into a hedge. Finally we crawled into the yard at our mother’s and crept into the cottage with her gift. The look on her face was priceless – which is why I am sharing it with you. She named him Julian after one of her favorite irreverent and very “camp” English comics, Julian Clary. Julian subsequently became a firm and very noisy fixture in mum’s little house from that point on and kept her entertained until she could no longer cope with living at home and had to move to the nursing home. So whatever your pet preference might be, remember to treat them with just as much love as they bring you pleasure!

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all you Virgos!

ChatterNews September 2011

Monkey Business
In July, this story made the rounds and some of you may have seen it. When I saw the photos and read the story I could not stop laughing, it was so absurd! It goes something like this – award-winning nature photographer David Slater was photographing in a national park in Indonesia. At some point, he left his camera unattended and a macaque monkey wandered over and took this hilarious and jaunty self-portrait, amongst others! So now, the question is – who owns the copyright? In the article, no copyright is assigned to this image, but 2 others were strangely assigned to the News Agency, Caters? As we know, if you press the shutter button, then you own the copyright, so surely the monkey wins! 🙂

Self-portrait by macaque monkey in Indonesian National Park

LAND Studio & Gallery

From monkeys, we now segway nicely to gorillas, because back in May I went to the NY Photo festival in Dumbo, and while I was there, my friend Julie Grahame took myself and Stella Kramer to visit her friend Matthew Bede Murphy, Curator for the LAND Studio & Gallery – &
It was the highlight of our day, to be honest, and both Stella and I purchased something from the gallery, joining other notable collectors such as Spike Lee! These inspiring artists include the wonderfully talented Michael Pellew – to read more about Michael “The Pop Culture Pro” click here –
I purchased one of his cards entitled “The Jacksons in their New York Knicks Basketball Uniforms” (see below) – bet Spike will be jealous I got that one – while Stella purchased an adorable and minuscule aluminum foil animal sculpture by Dean Millien. Since then, I was looking forward to mentioning them in my newsletter, but when Julie emailed me this image showing a giant sized sculpture of a gorilla from the same artist, I knew had to include them in my “pets” bulletin!

Tin Foil Gorilla by Outsider Artist Dean Millien – Photo by Paul Yandura

The LAND (League Artists Natural Design) Studio & Gallery is one of the creative programs founded by the League Education and Treatment Center and is Brooklyn’s 1st studio and gallery featuring the work of 16 artists with developmental disabilities. LAND provides them with life skills thru the modality of art, and markets their work to the community in a vibrant and inclusive manner. Matthew also mentioned that they will have a show up for the DUMBO Art Festival later this month Friday, September 23rd – Sunday, September 25th, 2011 – So be sure to stop by!
Current shows include MAKE Skateboards at i20 Gallery in Chelsea, organized by Jonathan Lavoie and film maker & artist Scott Ogden – – and LAND artist, Kenya Hanley is also showing at the Museum of Everything in London –

The Jacksons in their New York Knicks Basketball Uniforms
© Michael Pellew

Agency Access
Big announcement from my friends over at Agency Access! President & CEO, Keith Gentile announced this week they have acquired both ADBASE and FoundFolios. Click here to watch a short video where Keith talks about the key acquisition details –
Don’t forget, Virgo is the sign of “service” so it is perfect timing they announced this acquisition and exciting changes to their “services” this month! Congratulations guys!

Cyndie Burkhardt
As you’ll see from our recipe this month, Virgo is the sign connected with healthy eating and many of them are vegetarians. So it was no big surprise that my friend Cyndie Burkhardt just happened to send me this recent press release, in perfect timing for our September bulletin:

“As of August 25th, 2011, both and are successfully launched. Working in nutrition, people constantly ask me about a variety of health and eating concerns. It’s amazing how much confusion there is and, how much people stress about “eating right.” Mostly, people just need help figuring out what to do. The upside for me is, I’m happy to have found a career where I can be of service.”

Ironically, Cyndie uses the word “service” – she has found something she loves to do where she can help other people – the sign of Virgo is the “servant” so it feels good when they are “serving” other people, it is natural for them. Some of you might notice as you read the newsletter, how many “V” words are associated with the sign of Virgo, so while we’re on the subject of service, how about “volunteer?” Just this past week, I met up with some old friends of mine, whose son James was celebrating his  21st birthday. And as James is a Virgo, it was no big surprise to me when he mentioned at lunch that he was interested in doing some volunteer work overseas at some point!

Arlene Gottfried – slide presentation & book-signing for “Bacalaitos & Fireworks”
Saturday, September 10th, 2011 @ 2:00pm
@ Word Up Community Bookstore
4157 Broadway @ 176th Street

It’s a small world and you just never know where you’re going to run into people. I first met photographer Arlene Gottfried last year at the SPE conference in Philadelphia when I was reviewing portfolios, but even back then, we thought we had run into one another before. I discovered that she lived not far from me in the West Village but little did I know that she also swam at the same outdoor pool as me! So then this summer, not only did I run into Arlene, but I also met another photographer there swimming in the lane next to me (!) Tequila Minsky, who turns out to be a friend of Arlene’s as well. Tequila then sent me the information on the PWP group show at Calumet this month as well as this wonderful photo she took of Arlene at a recent book-signing.

Here is an article about Arlene in The Villager by Lincoln Anderson:
And this is a link to her LightBox on Time Magazine:

Arlene Gottfried at the recent book-signing of “Bacalaitos & Fireworks” published by Powerhouse Books
Photo by Tequila Minsky

Elliott Erwitt: Personal Best @ ICP, New York
I know this exhibition has now closed, but I wanted to mention what a joy it was to see – my friend Julie and I spent a truly inspiring and entertaining afternoon at this retrospective of Mr. Erwitt’s brilliant career. And of course, I had to highlight one of his classic “pet” images!

Photo Plus Expo – Registration
Registration is now open for PPE 2011! For more information and to register please visit:
And Louisa J. Curtis will be presenting her Wonderful World of Websites panel on Friday, October 28th, 2011 @ 3:45pm!

ChatterRecipe of the Month September 2011


Photo by Louisa J. Curtis

This month, I wanted to bring you a “healthy” recipe because Virgo is the sign associated not only with the harvest, but also with eating healthy foods in general. Many of them are vegetarians or vegans, for example, so I was toying between a few of my favorite vegetarian dishes, from Indian Spiced Vegetables (appropriate not only because of the vegetables but also reminds us of the Spiritual side of Virgo that is connected with the Yogi), then I thought about a delicious Caponata from Italy, or even a Gazpacho from Spain, but finally I settled on Ratatouille from France! When I lived in Paris, I made a lot of this delicious eggplant and vegetable stew, which can be served either hot or cold. In fact, I was a vegetarian at the time, and ironically, the city of Paris is ruled by the sign of, yes, you guessed it, Virgo.

2 large Zucchini (Courgette)
2 medium to large Eggplant (Aubergine)
5-6 large Tomatoes
I large Green Pepper (Orange or Yellow)
I large Red Pepper
I large Onion
2 cloves Garlic
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
Parsley (chopped)

Before we begin, there is no hard and fast rule with this sort of a dish, so if you prefer Orange or Yellow Peppers to Green (which I do) that’s fine, and if you want to use more Onion or less Eggplant, that’s fine too! We’re basically making a “Mediterranean Eggplant & Vegetable Stew” and this particular version comes from my favorite old Reader’s Digest cookery book. Begin by cutting the ends off the Zucchini and Eggplant, wash well and then cut into large slices or wedges. Place them in a large colander with a little Salt and cover with a plate. You can also line the colander with some paper towel to help absorb the excess moisture. Place a heavy pan on top of the plate and let this sit for at least an hour. While that’s doing its thing, prepare the remaining vegetables. This recipe suggests peeling the Tomatoes and one of the best ways to do that is to first of all score an X on the bottom of each tomato with a small knife, then put them in a pan of boiling water for about 30 seconds, and then pop them into a bowl of iced water right away. You will then be able to peel the skins away easily before roughly chopping them. Wash the Peppers and remove the stems, seeds & white veins. Then chop the Peppers, as well as the Onion and Garlic– none of this has to be small & dainty, it should be rough-chopped.

Heat the Olive Oil in a large pan and fry the Onion and Garlic for about 5 minutes over low heat until transparent. Add the Peppers and cook for about another 10 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and season with Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste (careful with the Salt as you will have used some to drain the liquid from the Eggplant and Zucchini). Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat for about 35 more minutes, stirring from time to time and adjusting the seasoning, if necessary. Garnish with lots of fresh chopped Parsley. As I said, this dish is delicious served either hot or cold, as an appetizer or a side dish and the flavors continue to improve the next day – if there’s any left! When I was in Paris I would eat a bowl of this with some cheese and a crusty baguette. And years ago I used to work at a French restaurant and we served Ratatouille au Gratin (with grilled Cheese on top) as a side dish (delicious!) We even experimented by making Ratatouille Quiche, which was surprisingly tasty. Just add some of the vegetable mixture to your Milk, Cream & Eggs and then pour into the Piecrust and bake!

ChatterLog Fall 2010


Greetings everyone and welcome to the Fall ChatterBulletin. Some of you may have noticed that we did not have a bulletin in September, and so now having moved through the sign of Virgo, we find ourselves in the month of October and the Astrological sign of Libra. This is quite fitting really, because back on September 21st, when we reached the Autumnal Equinox, we experienced a day of “equal light and dark,” marking the halfway point between the Summer and Winter Solstices. And from there the symbol of a “perfectly balanced day” is continued on into the sign of Libra, whose job in life is essentially to attain balance and harmony, not just for their own benefit, but for all mankind. This “balance” is clearly seen in their symbol, the scales of justice, and why many of them are associated with or work in the legal profession. And so, not surprisingly, the theme for this bulletin is Balance.

Balance is something that we certainly all need in our lives and if something is out of kilter somewhere, we will surely suffer. It might be your health (mental, emotional or physical), or perhaps your environment or your relationships, but whatever or wherever it is, there must be balance. We can go back to the basics of yin & yang, night & day, black & white, but the whole idea is that there are two equal and therefore “balanced” and harmonious halves. For example, let’s look at the idea of “black & white” for a moment. Some of you may already be aware that Libra is the sign associated with partnerships, and why it is also associated with marriage, and the color white – does a “virginal” bride not wear white for her wedding dress? What some of you may not know is that this sign is connected not only with weddings, but also with funerals, and therefore the color black. There’s our yin & yang balance yet again. And so we complete the couple’s marital promise, “until death do us part…” and continue the cycle of life. The sign of Libra is also known to exhibit “grace under pressure” which is why they also make great wedding planners and funeral directors.

Another reason for choosing the theme of Balance this month is because it reminds me of a certain quality that my father used to bring to our family when we were growing up. And, it also brings us back to the reason as to why there was no September bulletin and why I am dedicating this one to my dear papa, who passed away on August 25th. When we were younger, my father was often the “voice of reason” for any type of emotionally charged outburst or family chaos. It was pretty much a sure bet, for example, that following an argument between my mother and my sister it would always be our father who was dispatched (or perhaps self-appointed) to calm the situation down. He possessed the necessary patience to talk calmly with my sister and persuade her to come back into the family fold after running away, yet again…

So when the source of that balance, that “equalizer” was taken away, unexpectedly, the loss we felt was enormous. And when I say loss, I was not talking so much about when he died recently – I am talking about when he left all those years ago, when our parents split up, and subsequently divorced, and the very person who had kept some sort of a balance in our household literally jumped ship, and left us in the lifeboat without him. That was a long time ago, but no matter how many years have passed since then, and how many more marriages there may have been, how much therapy and how much talk has been devoted to the subject, and given that we have all grown up now and can be adults and forgive and move on, those old wounds never really go away. And what was interesting is that losing my dad when I was 56 reminded me of how much I had missed him since I was 14 years old.

This is a “family” photo, probably from the early 1980’s, that was always one of my sister’s and my favorites. What I find especially fascinating is that it was taken some time after our parents had divorced, but looking at it, you’d never know? Despite their divorce, and despite the family craziness, my parents always had an undisputed friendship until the day they died. And even though Mum would usually say something derogatory about him the minute he had turned his back, she had, after all, given birth to his two daughters and still had an unbreakable attachment to him. So on this particular day, for some reason, we were altogether and as usual we went for a walk in the forest with the dog. The energy was good between everyone so I took out my camera, balanced it on a large log, set the self-timer – and there we are!

In closing, and back to our theme of Balance, Libra and the Scales of Justice – who else could illustrate this topic more perfectly than TV personality “Judge Judy?” To begin with, Judge Judith Sheindlin was born on October 21st on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio, and you can see how she combines her legal brilliance (Libra) along with her no-nonsense approach (Scorpio) inside the courtroom. If you have never watched her show, it is a fantastic study, not just of her, and of how her mind works, but also of people and humanity in general. After a while, you can tell who is lying, who is listening, or which ones are just plain stupid. But you wouldn’t want to cross her – she is too smart and quick-witted for most people. Just look at the titles of her books, for example, and that should give you some idea as to her way with words and her colorful character. Her 1st book was called, “Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining” (love it!) and the 2nd one was “Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever!” And finally, while my sister and I were reading about Judge Judy we found to our amazement that 4 out of her 5 children have the same names as our cousins on our father’s side! Gregory, Jamie, Jonathan & Adam! How strange is that?

ChatterArtists April 2010

Diane Arbus

First up is Diane Arbus, who undoubtedly provided me with one of my first inspirational moments with photography. I was still a teenager when I went to see her provocative exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London. This was unlike any photography I had seen previously. It quite literally “blew my mind” and opened my eyes to a world where apparently not all art was “pretty.” I was fascinated by her documentation of the unacceptable, the rejects and the “freaks” in our society, and who better than a Pisces to do that?

Photo by Diane Arbus

Garry Winogrand

Garry Winogrand, a native New Yorker and a Capricorn, was best known for his portrayal of American life in the early 60’s. Similar to my teacher Etienne Decroux, Winogrand also observed the connection between humans and animals, as seen by his photographs of the Bronx Zoo and the Coney Island Aquarium. Many copied his visual style but his wit and distinctive imagery remains unique. Coincidentally, or not, one of his main influences is my next photographer.

Photo by Garry Winogrand

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered to be the “father of modern photojournalism” and whose birthday happens to be the day before mine on August 22nd on the cusp of Leo & Virgo, is one of my most favorite photographers of all time. He helped develop the art of “street” photography and who cannot love his ease of expression and subtle sense of humor? Cartier-Bresson started out as a painter, but when he saw Hungarian photojournalist Martin Munkacsi’s photograph “Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika” showing three naked African boys, caught in near-silhouette and running in to the surf, he was so “inspired” by what he saw, he gave up painting and took up photography. He followed his heart!

Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson

ChatterRecipe of the Month September 2009

We are now in the month of September, and the Astrological sign of Virgo, representing health, harvest and vegetarians – so let’s start with this one:

Photo by Kurt Wilson

Homemade Hummus

Have you noticed how much they are charging these days for a little container of Hummus from the grocery store? Save yourself some money and make your own!
This is an easy-peasy recipe that can be thrown together quickly and served with drinks or a nice cold beer! And, as it is Vegetarian, everyone can enjoy it. You can vary the ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

1 can (14 – 16oz) of Chick Peas (garbanzos) – rinsed and drained
About a third to a half cup of fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice
2 small cloves Garlic – minced
About a quarter cup of Tahini (sesame paste)
A quarter cup of Water
About a teaspoon of Olive Oil
A half-teaspoon (or more to taste) of ground Cumin

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender.
Season to taste and add a half-cup of chopped Parsley.
Serve with warm slices of Pita Bread (crackers or corn chips) and slices of assorted raw Vegetables. A bowl of good Olives goes wonderfully alongside this as well.