Category Archives: Book of Days Calendar

Blossoms & Bridges, or Your May Book of Days

It’s May and the world around us is bursting forth, bursting into new bloom, new green, new life. It is the story that never grows old. Here in Lake Worth, where we have constant green, the green is a new shade of bright, and the flowering trees begin their annual blooming, most abundantly with the Tabebuia Argenta, or Yellow Tabs. This one is blooming right outside our front door right now, even as I type this. Fittingly enough, our Yellow Tab is the cover star of your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for May. Our monthly gift to you is a printable PDF, so you can print it and pin it to your bulletin board and keep it as a fine companion to the Book of Days blog.

May Day has come and gone, and next up is Cinco de Mayo this Sunday, and come sunset that same day, it’s the start of Ramadan. We were inspired this year by our friend Manal Aman of Hello Holy Days! to add some new items to our Convivio Book of Days Catalog: Manal’s lovely cards for Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, which she designs herself and sends to us from her home in Canada. Manal came to Canada from Pakistan as a baby, just like my Aunt Anne came to the United States from Italy as a baby. Pakistan, the same homeland as Tara and Sami, the folks who run The Pelican in downtown Lake Worth on Lake Avenue. During some of my lowest days, it was Tara who would welcome me to her restaurant for breakfast and send me on my way afterward with dinner for later on, as well. For sure, Seth and I are sending Tara and Sami one of Manal’s Ramadan cards this year, to thank them for their kindness.

Manal’s idea is simple: to bring Ramadan and Eid to the mainstream through companies like Crate+Barrel and Martha Stewart Living. As she says, “We live in a time and place where there’s a lot of misunderstandings about Muslims.” Her goal is to help build understanding between communities. Which sounds an awful lot like ours. And sometimes the simplest thing––like sending someone a card––can go a long way toward building that understanding, building those bridges. And bridges are so much better than walls. In this home, anyway, we feel this is true and this is right and good.


Two of Manal Aman’s beautiful cards for Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, new to the Convivio Book of Days Catalog. You’ll find many to choose from, and free domestic shipping when you spend $50 across the catalog. Image above: The yellow spring blooms of the Tabebuia Argenta.



Daffodils, Leeks, & Your March Book of Days

If you should see someone wearing a daffodil or a leek on his lapel today, that’s because it’s St. David’s Day, sacred to Wales, and leeks and daffodils are part of the tradition for the day. While I do love leeks, I can’t quite imagine wearing one on my lapel. St. David’s Day ushers in March each year, and this year, March ushers in Lent. It’s a few more days of carnival parties, which will all culminate on Tuesday, which is Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday. There will be pancakes for supper that night, and then the next day, it will be Lent. It’s a busy week to come.

But here on this St. David’s Day, this First of March, comes now your Convivio Book of Days calendar for March. It is, as usual, a printable PDF that you can print out on standard US Letter paper. It’s a fine companion to the blog. The month’s cover star is some billowing Florida grass, harbinger of spring… which will be arriving later this month. Enjoy!


Hearts, & Your February Book of Days

The 8th of February and here, finally, comes your Convivio Book of Days calendar for the month! It is, as usual, a PDF document, printable on standard US Letter size paper. Half the red letter days of the month have already passed, I’m afraid, and what’s next is Valentine’s Day… and just so you know, we have so many delightfully odd Valentine gift ideas for you in our Convivio Book of Days Catalog. If you see something you like, order today or this weekend and you’ll have it in time for the big day. We ship via US Priority Mail, which takes two days to most destinations in the States. Spend $50 and we’ll even pay your shipping on domestic orders.

All that being said, you have my apologies for the belatedness. It’s been busy as all get out, mostly with things at work––markets, workshops, gallery concerts––and admittedly all things of my own doing. As a result, not only is the month’s calendar late, but I’ve also missed writing to you about St. Blaise’s Day, when throats are blessed, and St. Agatha’s Day, when we eat cream filled pastries that make us blush a bit, for they are meant to evoke a certain aspect of the female anatomy and it is hard to see them and to eat them, remembering that it was the chaste nuns of Sicily who first began making these delicacies centuries ago. And I missed writing to you about the Year of the Pig, this new year in the Chinese Lunar New Year cycle, although last night we celebrated––my mom and sister and Seth and me––at the beckoning of Joy, of Joy Noodles in West Palm Beach. We had her New Year dumplings and I had a pork soup that was Joy’s grandmother’s recipe, and we finished our meal with custard buns made of rice flour that looked like round little pigs. All this and yet February is not one of my favorite months. I have a lot to learn, I think, if I am to come to love it again. I keep busy busy busy and yet in the back of my mind I remember things like the 7th was the night two years ago that Seth and I sat in a box at the Kravis Center with friends listening to Rachmaninoff and Berlioz, even though my thoughts were elsewhere, with my dad in his hospital room. It was the night I first thought that maybe he would not make it through this ordeal. And today, the 8th, I will have to keep thoughts at bay that remind me that this is the night two years ago that I last spoke to him; the night we all kissed him goodnight and told him we loved him, and who knew then that that would be our last time to say these things?

I look back and I’m glad we did say them. We are not, by and large, a family that does. We are mostly loud (not me, so much… but these are my people) and a bit rough around the edges and not terribly emotional, at least not in obvious ways. We express our emotions through the kitchen and the table and we yell across the house at each other, just in conversation, and we often sound mad even when we are not. I would most likely never tell my family that I am thinking the things I think––keeping track in my mind of where I was on this date or another in Dad’s journey––but they’ll read it here, of course, and they, I imagine, will understand. I don’t need to tell them these things face to face. They know I ponder things a lot and turn thoughts over in my head and that I don’t talk much. Still, they love me as I am. They understand me, and I understand them. We are a terribly loyal bunch. We all miss Dad a lot. And we all continue doing what we do as best we can. This is what this time of year brings for me, and for them, too, I know, and perhaps for some of you, as well, for your own reasons––for the people that you miss, too. Which is all amazingly ok. We always have been and always will be well.

The cut and sewn paper hearts illustrating this month’s Convivio Book of Days calendar are by Merike Van Zanten.