Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


Rome Day One

In September, Eric and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. In honor of this milestone in our lives, we decided to celebrate it in Italy. Our week long visit took us to Rome, Florence and Venice. Our trip was filled with astonishing artwork, historical buildings, 300+ pictures to edit, a lot of wonderful food and way too much gelato!

I’ve been slowly (emphasis on slowly) editing our pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras and photo editing software. In order to maintain some sanity with all the pictures, I’m sorting them into categories. Today I’m sharing my favorite images from our first day in Rome.

I was once told that Rome was like New York, jacked-up on espresso and with a prettier language. Surprisingly, I agree with that analogy. Enjoy this tour of our first day in Rome.

Rome Skyline

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain Statues

Trevi Fountain Small Details

Trevi Fountain Statues

Trevi Fountain-Ladies Too

In Italy, it was quite common to see small and medium size altars or shrines erected on buildings. Some were situated so you couldn’t miss them. Others were more subtle. Many, unfortunately, were covered in the grime of an ancient city. All were intriguing.

Altar or Shrine near Trevi Fountain

Of course Italy is replete with churches of all sorts. Big, small, ornate, and simple. As we walked around the city and got closer to the Tiber River, we came across a church with a rather morbid facade. A woman exiting the church told us we had to go in and see the crypt.

Curious, we went inside. The interior was a little dark. The age of the church was evident. We found our way to the stairs leading to the crypt. Down into the dimly lighted room we went. And in this room we saw chandeliers created from the vertebrae of the dead. The walls were lined with skulls. It was, quite frankly, bizarre.

A little research after returning home revealed that we had visited the Saint Mary of the Prayer and Death Church (S. Maria dell’Orazione e Morte). The church was built by a confraternity that assumed responsibility for interring abandoned corpses in Rome. The church was originally built in 1575 and rebuilt in 1733. The facade, decorated with skulls and a winged skeleton, explained the purpose of the church. Above the front door is a “klepsydra” (Greek for “water stealer”). A klepsydra is a water clock which symbolizes death.

Well that explains things! (These little off the path adventures make traveling quite fun.)

Plaque Outside S. Maria dell'Orazione e Morte

In Rome you’ll also find numerous piazzas. People gather here with their families and friends and street performers entertain. Many piazzas have fountains as well. Fountains are also great hang-outs for birds. I wonder if the sculptor of the fountain in Piazza Navona knew this.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona Fountain

Piazza Navona at dusk

A Little Classical Music at the Piazza

Eric Enjoying Piazza Navone

The trick when you travel overseas is to take a short nap after arrival and then stay up as long as you can so your body can start adjusting to the time change. A little melatonin before going to bed helps too.

And that is where we’ll end our first day in Rome. A little jet-lagged but happy to have arrived.

In a future post: Do you like gladiators? Rome’s ruins and the Colosseum


On The Road Again


Of course, just as my body gets readjusted to being home and rested after shows, we’re heading out again. This time we’re visiting Eric’s mom for a few days. We wanted to see her before we head to France later this month. Thanks to everyone who has sent well-wishes on Gwen’s recovery from surgery. It has been a long journey with ups and downs. I’m happy to say that she is expected to return to her home soon after several weeks of rehab. I’m sure she is really looking forward to sleeping in her own bed!

I have two more quotes to post in the guest artist Monday Reflection series. So check out the site on Monday, 6/8 to read a new, inspiring quote.

In the meantime, can you guess which bridge this might be? If you know our final destination this weekend, you might know the path we take and the bridge we cross over to get there.


I love bridges. They are such astonishing structures and feats of construction.


On The Road Again

We arrived in New Jersey yesterday.  We’ll be here for a few days to visit Eric’s mom and to take in the Cezanne exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum.  Eric’s mom continues to make slow, gradual progress in her recovery.  Our thanks to everyone who has sent positive thoughts and well-wishes.


This is also an important week for Eric’s sister. She is at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference conducting the National Honors Choir, which is comprised of 320 of the best high school singers.  Cris is the music director/teacher at Cherry Hill West High School. This is quite an honor and we’re all very proud of her for this achievement.

A Little Brag

Last year I started to put together several vision boards; one for spirituality, one for home and garden, and one for my art/business. On the art/business vision board, I glued a picture of American Style magazine.  American Style is a great arts magazine launched by The Rosen Group in 1994. With my vision board, I set an intention to have my work appear American Style magazine.  And earlier this year, that happened.

In all the hustle of everything else that was happening this winter, I did not acknowledge the fact that one of my spirit messengers was featured in a Polymer Clay Co-Op ad in the April 2009 issue that arrived in stores mid-February. It is an honor to be featured in this co-op which features the work of more than 40 polymer clay artists, including Gera Scott Chandler, Luann Udell, Judy Belcher, Barbara Sperling, Tejae Floyde, and Tish Collins. This issue also has an article titled “Arts Focus: More That Meets The Eye” that spotlights polymer clay artists such as Kathleen Dustin, Dan Cormier, Jana Roberts Benzon, Ann Kruglak, and more.