Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost Christmas + Recipe

Yikes - Christmas is almost here, can you believe it?  Seems like we just got over summer.  No snow yet in this part of Maryland - just cold then warm then cold again.  Actually I am not in a tither yet - tree is up and decorated, presents wrapped, gingerbread houses baked, wheel of fortune game ready to go, Christmas Eve menu done; handcrafted gifts done, just caramel chocolate pretzel rods and apples to go.  I know I am forgetting something because I am never this organized this early.  Last night I baked 4 gingerbread houses for my husband's grandchildren to decorate this Saturday.  (I'll post pics next week)  The grandchildren have been decorating these houses since they were 3 and now they are 15, 14, 12 and 10.  Needless to say when they were younger they needed a lot of help, now they are on their own and do come up with quite some elaborate creations.  I have taken pictures over the years and you can definitely see the differences.  As for wrapping presents, I usually wait until the last minute but this year I wrapped as soon as the gift was purchased or arrived from the big brown truck.  I think I like the wrap as you go, doesn't seem so daunting. 

Here is a quick and delicious recipe you may want to try over the holidays.  It always receives great reviews.


1 can shoepeg corn
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 container Feta Cheese (plain)
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil (or vegetable)
¼ cup sugar

Mix first five ingredients together. Then mix the last three ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Mix all together and chill about 1-2 hours before serving.  Serve with Frito or tortilla scoops.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

26 + 69 + 43

Happy Birthday to all the birthday boys.  It has been a long standing tradition to celebrate three birthdays over Thanksgiving.  Two are on the 26th and one is on the 30th.  Every now and then the 26th actually falls on Thanksgiving.  We did celebrate this past Saturday.  Paul decidied he would make martini's - turns out only two of us drank them - I had far too many along with wine - but boy they sure were good!  A good time was had by all.  German chocolate cake is everyones favorite. 

Here they are on the left, posing as they should.  Can you see the smoke from all the candles on the left?

Eric (our son) is an Instructor at the Navy's Nuclear Power School in Charleston, S.C.  He had an opportunity this summer to go out to sea for 5 days on the USS Eisenhower.  The ship was in port at Norfolk and was going out for pilot training excercies .  Plus the team who went awith Eric also saw how all the nuclear power reactors start up.  He took many videos of the pilots taking off and landing (the pilots were all being tested) and the videos are all very interesting to watch.  Below he is showing off this videos and explaining to those watching what is going on.  He had them captivated.  The really cool ones are when the pilots are landing in the dark.  I'm sure he will show it again at Christmas, one of my husbands daughter and family could not make it this year and they will need to see this as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Philosophy of Charles Schultz (something to ponder)

I received the following in an email from my husband - it did make me take pause.  Maybe you have seen this once before mayb not.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

You don't have to actually answer the questions.
Just ponder on them.

Just read this straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday.

These are no second-rate achievers.

They are the best in their fields.

But the applause dies..

Awards tarnish.

Achievements are forgotten.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!

5 Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials..the most money...or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!  Turkey day is here and Christmas is right around the corner.  Spending a relaxing day with all the trimmings with immediate family, husband and son.  Our son came home yesterday to spend the holiday and weekend with us.  It is always a pleasure to see him.  He is in the Navy so we do not see him much during the year, but he does make time to be home for the holidays.  Up to this day I have been busy taking online workshops - well "taking" is subjective - I've been downloading and watching videos, but haven't accomplished a whole lot of "hands-on".  I'll post about all the workshops later.  My current muse is cleaning up work spaces and organizing.  Organizing means more containers and discovering how many duplicates I have.  Is giving a duplicate as a gift considered re-gifting?  I don't think so.  There was once upon a time I loved to shop - wander the malls for hours.  As the years passed I found shopping not so much fun anymore.  Now it is, go to a store for the item you want purchase it and leave as soon as possible.  Today I reviewed all the shopping ads - sales start at 10PM tonight - I do not really want anything but I have the urge to go out tonight to shop.  What's up with that?

Have a blessed day and take time to reflect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Squirrel Buster

I finally have found a bird feeder which is true to its name, Squirrel Buster, purchased from Duncraft.  Expensive, but well worth every nickel.  I have had this feeder for 3 weeks now and not one squirrel has been able to penetrate it.  I can't tell you how many bird feeders I have gone through, money wasted, and still the squirrels find a way to gnaw into them.  This one is perfect and has a guarantee, with the exception of racoon's, bears and deer.  I do not have any of those animals so I'm safe.  I am positive over the years I have spent more than double the cost of this one feeder.  I highly recommend this feeder.  The squirrel buster is on the right.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tranquility of Sunday Morning

I love Sunday mornings.  For some unknown reason they seem to be peaceful.  My trainer called early to cancel our appointment because she was sick.  She feels bad when she cancels but me I smile and say yippee!  I am so bad.  If it wasn't for my personal trainer I'm not sure how often I would go to the gym.  Today was different, rather than saying yippee I went for a walk along the Magruder Trail, 3.4 miles.  It was so nice, the cool weather, sunshine (soaking in the vitamin D), and so tranquil.  Just the birds, squirrels, a couple deer and a few other joggers now and then, but mostly quiet.  It felt so good.  It was a great way to start the day.  Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Whose "poop" is it?

Normally I would not write about "poop", but I am in a bit of a dilemma and I need my Ranger from South Africa to assist.  A few weeks ago my husband and I spent relaxing time in Myrtle Beach.  During our absence an unknown creature decided our deck was a good place to leave its 'poop'.  This present was found on an adriondack chair cushion.  All I can tell you it is large enough for a dog or cat (cat maybe) and a lot of it.  My first reaction was to check if all my fish were still in the pond, which they were.  My dear husband took care of removing the remains but put the cushion back on the chair - ugh.  A couple of days later the same present was left in the same place.  All was removed along with the cushion.  It has been three weeks and no 'poop'.  Well so much for that, this morning the 'poop' was back and a lot of it.   Has this animal been storing it up for weeks?  I sure would like to know who or what is leaving these unpleasant presents on our deck!  The reason I need my ranger is when we were on safari in South Africa earlier this year the Rangers could track the animals based on footprints and poop.  I may have to resort to other measures - maybe a trap would work.  What do you think?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Artomatic Update - Only a few days left

Artomatic in Frederick MD has been a huge success and for me as well!  The opening night of September 28th was memorable and I am excited to see what this last week brings.  Artomatic has brought in over 6000 visitors to the Frederick area.  If you haven't attended Artomatic, put aside some free time to check it out.  This event ends Sunday November 6th at 6PM.  There is one last closing "meet and greet" the artists November 5th from 5PM-8PM.  I would love to see you there.  My work is displayed on the third floor, room 48.  There are many amazing Artists displaying their work.  My favorite display is by Devonne Ross.  Her display is a amazing and is work of art.  It should not be missed.  Devonne is located on the 1st floor (basement) hallway.  It is hard to capture a good picture of her display (not enough room to maneuver to hone in on the display).  Devonne is a photographer, mostly black and white, there is back lighting which really sets it off, antique cameras, antique typewriter, dress form, collage shoes, unique photos, etc.  Some visitors have added to her display by leaving unique objects which fit right in.  (http://devonnerossartmedia.wordpress.com).

A local Maryland resident visiting Artomatic is blogging about her experience and asked if she could post a picture of my books/journals - why of course!  You can see her post at: http://staciejewelry.blogspot.com/2011/11/artisans-of-month.html    There are a few other pictures posted as well.  Check it out.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter in October

I can't believe we had snow before Halloween!  Not all has melted since Saturday, my deck still has a couple of inches which is now frozen ice.  Flowers exposed to the snow/rain have now been laid to rest.  I snapped a few quick shots Sunday morning before I was off to Artomatic (Artist Market - more on that later).  It is still winter cold here with the promise of warmer, sunny days ahead.  Let's hope so, otherwise it will be one loooooooooooong winter.  Not the greatest pics I've taken - like I said they were quick shots.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I owe it all to Jen and Laura

My blog has taken on a new look thanks to Jen from http://jenjuddrocks.blogspot.com/.  We skyped last Saturday for a couple of hours for her to spruce up my blog and give me lots of pointers and help.  Jen created my header for me which I just love!  I know I have more to do and will get there eventually if the wanting to be a perfectionist in my type "A" personality doesn't get in the way.  I'm still debating whether to thank Laura (just kidding) for getting me started on this blog thing.  We were at Artbliss in September when the final push came and during lunch one day we checked out blog names and created the blog.  So here I am.  In all honesty I will be thanking Laura for this.  Check Laura out at http://www.souvenirsfromlife.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back from R&R

I just spent a wonderful week  in Myrtle Beach with my husband - it was truly R&R and our 28th Anniversary.  Long walks on the beach, watching the sunrise, dinners out and laying by the pool and hot tub was all the doctor ordered.  I did bring projects with me, but they never left the bag I packed them in.  I guess I really needed to relax.  We spent a couple hours one evening at the Carolina Oprey for a "Good Vibrations" show to bring us back in time (our era) which was music from the 60's, 70's and 80's.  We went to an historic restaurant in Little River called Parson's Table for our Anniversary.  The building was constructed in 1885 as the Little River Methodist Church and was converted into an unusual fine restaurant. The entry doors are made from local cypress and are over 150 years old.  The floors in the main section is the actual siding from a farm house built in 1850.  There are many pieces of stained glass throughout the restaurant which came from various churches in S.C.  Oh yeah, the food was excellent as well!  It is very quaint and lovely.  We just may go back there for our "'29th".
Parson's Table Entrance


Church windows inside Parson's Table

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Artomatic - Frederick, MD

Whew - my first "real" entry. Last night I was dreaming about writing this entry and woke up far too early this morning (5:50AM) thinking about it. Way too early for a Saturday. Granted I am a morning person, but I would prefer a couple more sleep hours for a Saturday.
Yesterday I volunteered for Artomatic in Frederick, MD. http://www.artomaticfrederick.org/is an art venue displaying the creative works of hundreds of local artists for 6 weeks. The venue features 27,000 square feet of space on four floors showcasing visual arts, theatre, music, dance and poetry. I am one of 300 plus artists with a display. All artists must volunteer 15 hours. Yesterday was my first 5 hours which also provided me the opportunity to give private tours and view all the art. All the art is a sight to see - it is all fantastic and many have said this is one "fine art" venue versus craft. If you have a chance you really should take an afternoon (or day) to view. Artomatic opened its doors September 28th and runs through November 6th. Go to the Aromatic web site for more information. (http://www.artomaticfrederick.org/). Tonight is the ribbon cutting ceremony and "Meet the Artists". I am excited to be part of this wonderful event. Mark your calendars and I hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm new at blogging so please bear with me while I learn the "tools of the trade", so to speak.