sunday bear: paul child

Martin and Cornelius now have their own cooking show, “Bearly Cooking.”

It’s Julia Child Week!

No better way to meet Julia than through Paul Child’s eyes. This excerpt from a letter he wrote to his family when he and Julia were first dating is the best analysis of her character, according to biographer Noël Riley Fitch:

She never ‘puts on an act,’ or creates a scene. She’s direct and simple about natural functions such as defecation, urination and belching, and has no measly Mrs. Grundyisms concerning sex. She frankly likes to eat and use her senses and has an unusually keen nose. She appreciates the special local overtones of both places and people and never gravitates toward the stuffy and safe. She is unusually strong physically and marvelously healthy. She has a firm and tried character in seeing a job through and is naturally very clean and sweet at all times. She has a cheerful, gay humor with considerable gusto as well as subtlety, and appears not to be frightened easily and is therefore emotionally steady rather than hysterical when things get tough. She has a frank and warm liking for men, and no apparent bitchiness about other dames. She loves life and all its phenomena, a quality which shows to great advantage in traveling . . . She has a deep-seated charm and human warmth which I have been fascinated to see at work on people of all sorts, from the sophisticates of San Francisco to the mining and cattle folk of the Northwest. She would be poised and at ease anywhere. I should say; she tells the truth, and for the most part uses balanced rather than extravagant language. In this connection I believe that her thinking has become much more careful, logical and objective in the last two years, and I find her interesting and fun to talk to at any time. And I love her dearly.

~ from Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child by Noël Riley Fitch (Doubleday, 1997).


♥ This week’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you by Martin and Cornelius, who think everyone should always have at least one rubber chicken on hand. A kitchen essential, like trick mustard.




Monday, August 13: Julia’s Favorite Chocolate and Almond Cake

Tuesday, August 14: Minette’s Feast with Susanna Reich and Amy Bates

Wednesday, August 15: Bon Appétit with Jessie Hartland

Thursday, August 16: Julia the Ham and Her Recipe for Cherry Clafouti

Friday, August 17: Paul Child’s Birthday Sonnets


Copyright © 2012 Cornelius Bawk Bawk Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

sunday bear: georgia douglas johnson

“Colette” by Muriel Townsend (Yes-No bear, tan merino wool, antique baby dress, velvet necklace, brooch, 1990. One of a kind.)


The Heart of a Woman
by Georgia Douglas Johnson

The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o’er life’s turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.
The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.

Source: The Heart of a Woman and Other Poems (The Cornhill Company, 1918)


♥ Today’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you, as ever, by your loyal friend Mr. Cornelius. His heart soars whenever he thinks of you. ☺

(((((((((((((((((((((BIG HUG))))))))))))))))))


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

sunday bear: li-young lee

“Chad” (Bialosky by Gund, 1985)

The Gift
by Li-Young Lee

To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he’d removed
the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.
I can’t remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.
Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy’s palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife’s right hand.
Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he’s given something to keep.
I kissed my father.
~ from Rose, copyright © 1986 Li-Young Lee  (BOA Editions, Ltd.).
♥ Today’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you by Mr. Cornelius, who wishes everyone a Happy Father’s Day. He would also like you to have a piece of lemon meringue pie, favorite of Jama’s father James. ☺
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

sunday bear: deng ming-dao

“Little Bear Blue” by Donna Hodges (champagne mohair, velveteen jacket and beret, antique lace collar, 1986)



Hilly village lanes,
Whitewashed sunlit walls.
Cerulean sea.
The laughter of children.

No matter where in the world you go, no matter how many languages are spoken, and no matter how many times cultures and governments clash, the laughter of children is universally uplifting. The mirth of adults can be variously jealous, insecure, sadistic, cruel, or absurd, but the sound of playing children evokes the ideal of a simple and pure act. There are no concepts, no ideologies — only the innocent pleasure of life.

We as adults dwell upon our grizzled complexities, our existential anxieties, and our preoccupations with responsibilities. We hear the merriment of children and may sigh over our lost childhoods. Although we can no longer fit into our old clothes and become young again, we can take comfort in the optimism of children. Their rejoicing can gladden us all.

We are too often in a rush for our children to grow up. It is far better for them to fully live each year of their lives. Let them learn what is appropriate to their time, let them play. And when their childhood is spent at adolescence, help them in a gentle transition. Then their laughter will continue to resonate with cheer and hope for us all.

~ from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao (Harper, 1992).

♥ Today’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you, as ever, by your handsome friend Cornelius. Well-practiced at play and laughter, he wishes you small moments of joy to lighten your busy day. The only thing he doesn’t laugh at is a broken cookie; he is too busy eating every crumb.

Feel free to wear blue today. You can be the sky.

((((((((HUG))))))))(((HEE HEE))))(((HA HA)))))(((((HO HO))))))(((((HUG))))))


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

sunday bear: rainer maria rilke

K.C. Beariphone II by Teleconcepts (Speaker phone; caller’s voice activates eyes and mouth, 1989)



A New Morning

And today, once again, a new morning: bright, with close, rounded clouds that frame expanses of the immeasurably deep sky. Agitation in the treetops. In everything else, restfulness. Windfall of apples. The grass softly invites you to walk out of the house. The dimness inside is alive with lights on antique silver, and their reflections in the looking glass confuse the eye as to what is enclosed within the mirror’s frame.

There are so many days here, none like the other. And beneath all their differences is this great similarity: the gratitude in which they are received.

~ from Early Journals (A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke (Harper One, 2005)


♥ Today’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you by Mr. Cornelius, who is thankful for today and for you. He would also be grateful for any strawberry tarts you might like to send his way.



Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.