Green Frog Cafe

"Living in nature, listening to the rain, Green Frog Cafe, that's where I want to be. The hemlocks are green, the creek is tricklin, there's geese on the pond, the forest sighs. Green Frog Cafe that's where I want to be, home of my soul, spirit of the mountains." Ruminations of Rhona McMahan

Friday, September 24, 2004

Another view of Colin at the baby party.
Rhona McMahan

Colin seemed to be happy at the baby party.
Rhona McMahan

Here is Gabe carrying the cake made by "2 Little Red Hens" in the Brooklyn bakery.
Rhona McMahan

Here we see pictures of Amanda and Gabe as toddlers, overlooking the cake incribed with the words "Red Boots, to the new baby #1." The tray to the left of the cake holds pieces of baklava from Sahadi's deli.
Rhona McMahan

Jonica, Amanda, and Gabe are focusing in this shot on the setup of the cake for Red Boots. We shall have to wait for Jonica's pictures before we see the other side of the scene. Note the picture of the Brooklyn Bridge on the wall, in keeping with the DUMBO theme of Steve's apartment.
Rhona McMahan

Jonica was instrumental in making the baby party happen, especially in the weeks before the party when enthusiasm was low. She likes to organize parties, and we are all developing expertise in putting on parties in some else" home. Jonica took a lot of pictures at the baby party which we may see someday. This shot is the first in a series of pictures of candid shots of Jonica which will be posted on this blog with a discourse on her life and character.
Rhona McMahan

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The entrance hallway at Steve's apartment has a blackboard along one side. Here are the images people drew of the Zugmoore-Soria family at the baby party. I do not know who drew the images of Amanda and Gabe, but I saw Jonica drawing the red boots between them.
Rhona McMahan

Monday, September 20, 2004

Amanda and Gabe seemed so happy at the baby party for Red Boots. This picture is the best one I got of the two of them, but there were a lot of flashes popping so I am sure someone got better ones.
Rhona McMahan

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Red Boots' Baby Party

Yesterday, Saturday, September 19, 2004, we participated in the baby party for Red Boots Soria. The party was held at Steven's, a friend of Gabe's (the father of Red Boots), in a beautiful apartment with a sight line view of the Manhattan Bridge, in DUMBO. It took some little preparation for the party, shared by Amanda, Jonica, Gabe, and me. A lot of Gabe's friends came, and a lot of Amanda's friends came, and one of Sara's friends came. Amanda was beautiful as the center of attention. She radiated an aura of young woman in full biological reproductive bloom. Earth Mother Goddesses seem to run in the family. People have treated Amanda with Red Boots in utero as if they were a spiritual public utility through which they could touch the renewal of the species and the hope which that brings. They talk with her on the street, saying "when are you due" and even "you shouldn't be running through traffic, you should be careful." Sometimes they touch her, sensing good luck or a nearness to the holy, like kissing the Shamrock.

At one point in the party, after many had left and it had changed to a quiet conversation kind of small group, with interesting music playing, Amanda said to me "you look pensive." I guess I may have been pensive, and if so it was probably because I was thinking of Amanda's mother in the months before Amanda's birth. I was thinking about how Sara would have participated in the party, how she would have laughed at some of the gifts and suggested names for RB, and how proud she would have been of her daughter. I remembered how it was when a baby is coming, with books to read to find out what it will be like, things to buy, changes to make in rooms and furniture, and the sense of mysterious anticipation. What will he be like?

I was very withdrawn at the party. I like to sit quietly by myself at these parties, observing and listening. I find that as the oldest person in the room by far that I have an agreeable license to stay in my own bubble if I wish. I had a sense of family, increase and continuity, as I interacted mainly with Chelsea, Jonica, Colin, Amanda, Gabe, Amber, and Shari during the party. At one point Colin, Amanda, and Jonica were sitting together on the sofa, and I on the arm of the sofa next to Colin. I looked at my children, and at Chelsea, and at Gabe who seemed so happy, and felt a kind of wondering peace. I sensed that it was a memorable moment for me, a high point, and I was conscious of how one's life rushes on into the unknown.

Many people ask me if I am "excited" at being a grandparent. In my waspish controlled way it has taken a while to come around to using the word excited to describe my feelings as I anticipate the birth of Red Boots. But I definitely am excited. I like being around children, although I sometimes take a few moments to get out of my space into a shared space with them. I like to play with children, and tell them stories, and laugh with them. I like to teach things to children. I like to get in touch with myself through children. I am somewhat concerned that RB will not like me and feel comfortable with me. My models as grandparents are my father's parents James Russell Moore and Emma Olive McGeorge Moore. They were totally grandchild oriented, loved to be with their grandchildren, doted on them, and gave them nice little gifts all the time. Other models are the grandparents of my children on my side, my mother Mary Catherine Long Moore Carr and Hugh Carr. They had a special place in their house for their grandchildren stocked with toys, and they had a beautiful 5 acre yard for them to play in. I hope that I can be as good a grandparent as the other people I have known in our family have been.

Red Boots is starting out ahead of the game with parents like Gabe and Amanda, and an aunt like Jonica, and uncle like Colin, and grand parents like Chelsea and me. That's in addition to all the family on Gabe's side out there in California. As they used to say in the Christian baptism ceremony in the Presbyterian church in which I was raised, "the congregation committs to nuturing and raising this child..."

Friday, September 17, 2004

Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy

And if you feel froggy jump--Eddie Guerraro

"Stend by your Frog" Miss Piggy

"It's not easy being green." Kermit T. Frog

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Commissioner Straight Jacket practicing her stride piano style in the upstairs room at the Green Frog in late July 2004. I love to hear the sounds of music as I walk through the forest with Kiva. The tinkle of the piano mixes with all the other forest sounds, and the visual image of the forest makes a lovely frame for the sound.
Rhona McMahan

Chelsea plays the keyboard for hours in the upper room at the Green Frog. As I walk through the forest with Kiva is is nice to hear the sound of a piano mixed in with the other forest sounds. I have stopped playing the guitar at Paddy Mountain because my repetoire has not grown for 20 years, and everyone is sick of it. I am eagerly awaiting the advent of Red Boots, as he will be a new listener for me.
Rhona McMahan

Chelsea and I worked on digging a foundation for the hot tub for several days. We had to create a level base in the side of the mountain which would hold the 5,000 pounds of water without settling. Five timbers will go on top of the level ground, then four chimes which support the cedar floor of the tup. Gabe's red hand truck was a lifesend as we moved the heavy timbers from the Jeep on the logging road 100 down the hill to the hot tub construction site. I hope this works, because the alternative is to schlepp in 80 pound bags of concrete to mix a 6 inch pad on site. I am not up for carrying much concrete at this stage of my life, and neither is Chelsea. The hot tub will be about 30 yards from the house, filled by an upstream syphon placed in the stream which runs by the Green Frog.
Rhona McMahan

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I finally reconstructed the loftbed which I built for Amanda's room in her 2001 apartment in Park Slope. The bed is in Jonica's room at the Green Frog Cafe. I have been planning to put a loft here since I designed the house in 1974-75. My plan is to winterize this room so that the weather tight space in the house will be doubled. This means that I must build at least two doors and several wondows and walls. The heated space in the house will be increased from the current 230 square feet to 360 square feet. Total floor space of the house is now 840 square feet, so the house is currently about 27 percent winterized. The wooden trunk in the picture has followed me from Boston to Sao Paulo to Phoenix to Austin to New York to Paddy Mountain over the past 35 years.
Rhona McMahan

I was working hard on the excavations for the hot tub foundation when Chelsea called my name and snapped this picture. I have always loved to shovel. This work to build the hot tub foundation was very hard, through dense and rocky forest clay, but I felt renewed. I felt revitalized to feel muscles being used which had been unchallenged for months, and I felt that I could still achieve my goals at Paddy Mountain for a few more years.
Rhona McMahan

In keeping with the theme of the Green Frog Cafe I have added this scan of the cover of a book which is for sale by Direct Link Marketing, my micro company. Direct Link's book inventory is currently available through Our inventory comes largely from freebies off the street and selective purchases from neighborhood garage sales. I am focused on the children's books and romantic novels, while Chelsea handles the music history, queer studies, and great works of literature.
Rhona McMahan

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Looking at my morning image in the mirror at the Green Frog, late August, 2004.
Rhona McMahan