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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One thing leads to another in the re-decorating of homes!

New colors for the bedrooms too.....butter yellow and a soft kiwi. Lots of work the last few days and we're (friend, Lizzzie is helping me as Mr. Pear is at fact he is in for quite a surprise when he gets home !) still painting! (the quilt is a bit out of focus...which is how things are looking after going up and down the ladder all day!)

I do just love the fresh clean world of newly painted rooms!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Before April is over I must watch this again!

"Enchanted April"

A wonderful movie based on a 1922 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim.

It tells the story of four dissimilar women in post-war (WWI) Britain who leave damp and rainy London to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal villa in Italy. Two housewives, who belong to the same club but have never spoken, become acquainted. Each in her own way is suffering through an empty marriage and faces the prospect of a lonely and almost isolated middle age. After seeing a newspaper ad for a villa for rent on the Italian Riveria, the women set about finding two other ladies to share expenses. Joined by a beautiful young socialite and an elderly dowager, the four find rejuvenation in the tranquil beauty of their surroundings. (Based on Wikipedia article)
It is the beautiful scenery of the villa overlooking the sea in Portofino, Italy which is the real star of the movie...everything in the movie moves at a leisurely, slow pace!
(This story has also been a Broadway play.)

When I am not "escaping to the movies" this week, I will be savoring my "real life".

Friday, a good friend from my high school and our college years, Cheryl, came for dinner with her son. (We had Chicken Jambalaya...spicy and good!)

Saturday, we struggled to find the paint for our living room...ending up with this (the taupe isn't really that rosy?!!!).
Our new drapes are going up and I am still painting walls and trim....getting ready for that new carpet!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

[BTW, I just realized this is my 400th post! if I am counting, hmmm.]

Tuscan Pork Chops

or "What's for dinner tonight?"

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
4 (1-inch-thick) boneless pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced*
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (or use sun dried tomatoes which have been soaked in the chicken broth and balsamic long enough to soften them)
2 tablespoons capers
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish; dredge pork chops in flour mixture.
Cook pork chops in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chops from skillet.
Add garlic to skillet, and sauté 1 minute. Add vinegar and broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet; stir in tomatoes and capers.
Return pork chops to skillet; bring sauce to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until pork is done. Serve pork chops with tomato mixture. Garnish, if desired.
*1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic may be substituted.

Originally from Southern Living, with my idea in contrasting color! I have all of these ingredients as well as fresh spinach and artisan bread to accompany it, so making this recipe is my plan.


I read wistfully about art "vacations" in Italy, remembering the fields of poppies which I saw there years ago. The experiences the author writes about in "Eat, Pray, Love", take my thoughts there, far from Arkansas.

Of course, making foods from various countries (even if the recipe comes through a southern American magazine, LOL!) is a wonderful way to "go without leaving home". For more of Italy, maybe I'll rent "Bread and Tulips" or Il Postino" (this is the hotel from the movie) and watch them again! And/or read some poetry by Pablo Neruda....(who was exiled to Italy.) [ I can reserve all of these things from our public library!!]

Back to "Eat, Pray, Love"....I may not be able to spend a year traveling to exotic locations, but I can support our local yoga teacher. Classes in her beautiful studio and garden are an escape and visual feast for the senses. I think this is part of "Bloom where you are planted!"

I could also get a used copy of "Eat, Pray, Love", make an "altered book", filling it with collages of my imaginary experiences. No reason to be limited by reality as we perceive it!

Note: The pork chops were wonderful!!!!! I highly recommend this recipe!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Of homes and houses...

I'm cleaning out and de-cluttering....making way for new carpet which is coming next week (I think).
Now, I am easily distractable and found myself getting mentally "lost" in come of the things I have come across....
1) I found my copy of "Anam Cara, a Book of Celtic Wisdom" by John Donohue. I had never stopped to read it. So last night I began.
It is beautiful, about being a friend to yourself and all of creation.
I can relate it to the "non-resistance" and "acceptance " (as in "Thy will be done." The prayer that never fails ...Jan Karon) I have been hearing Eckhart Tolle speak about.
One quote from the first chapter I really loved, "To be holy is to be home, to be able to rest in the house of belonging that we call the soul."
SOOOOO....I did a collage of a house. This one has four rooms. Body. Mind. Emotion. Spirit. According to wisdom from India, one should visit each room of the home each day for a balanced life!

2) Something else I came across while moving all these "things" was this photo.

It is connected to a moment of synchronicity.
My mother and I were going to a quilt show in June, a few years ago. She had just told me that she had talked to my brother, and he had been cutting hay. However he was concerned because it was such a rainy week.
When we looked at the raffle quilt offered by the quilters holding the show, the theme was houses. There were many wonderful blocks of special, sheltering homes. The last block however, was of a small home in the distance, a tractor in the foreground, a hill with hay lying over it and a dark stormy sky. The maker had embroidered a verse about "Hay on the ground and rain in the forecast!" I told my mother to purchase a chance on the quilt because it was surely her quilt. She did and of course, her name was drawn!
She then gave the quilt to my brother and his wife!

Monday, April 21, 2008

We started with the old black and white photo....

I call her "Bella", ....a "friend " from the past, who, on a breezy Sunday afternoon, stopped to pose for her picture in a park over-looking the Hudson. The wind is catching her skirt and she has tilted her head so that her hat shades her eyes from the bright sun. She carries her gloves and handbag. The photographer is her brother from Italy who has come for a visit. What tales he'll have to tell of his time in America!
These collage pages were done yesterday, with friends around a kitchen table, sharing scissors, glue sticks and magazine clippings. Our hostess provided various old photos...from a flea market...who were these people, did anyone still care? So we each adopted someone and made a world for them!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tomorrow is April's full moon. It is called the "Pink Moon" in North America.

You can read more about full moon names here .

The name comes from the flowers called "pinks" by the English settlers in New England. [Gardener, artist, Tasha Tudor still speaks of her "pinks"....dianthus and sweet william.] These are sometimes called "clove pinks" (because they do smell wonderfully of cloves, as do carnations) or moss pinks because they are low growing.

Notice the sawtooth edge of the flowers? Thus the name "pinking shears" for these special scissors used to cut a sawtooth edge!

Wild phlox is also called a "pink" and appears in early spring...

["Wild Phlox" by artist Gordon Mortensen]

So when you see that moon this weekend, it may or may not appear "pink" to you...depending perhaps on the state of your "ROSE-COLORED" glasses!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some photos from last week at my daughter's....

Almost 5 months old, the grandson!

He is a very happy, smiling baby!

His big sister watches over him, while watching TV! (Quilt by Grandma Lila on the guestroom bed!)

Baby's newest playstation!

Just out of his bath, baby does a perfect yoga pose...called, what else? but "Happy Baby Pose"!

My daughter gets a night out and those of us at home enjoy "breakfast for dinner". Which was hashbrowns, eggs, sausage....everything organic of course! [No, the baby is not on solid food yet!]

Much loved family dog, Gage, waits, hoping something will fall his way as Lilia eats her supper in another yoga-type pose!

We had a wonderful visit. My mom went with me and was able to see her great grandchildren, and do a lot of baby holding too!

Atlanta was wonderful and we missed a lot of storms here in Arkansas!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Springtime in Georgia

It had been a week of sunshine and of things other than rain falling here at my daughter's, creating blankets of pink (cherry blossoms from trees all along her street) which took our breath away and blankets of green (pollen) which made it hard to breathe!

Last night, we finally had a "rainy night in Georgia" and more showers possible today. At last my little black car will be black once more for the trip home tomorrow!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lilia and Katya, her neighbor. (photo by Katya's mom!) Stone Mountain, Georgia (photo by Lilia!)

We have a guest blogger granddaughter, Lilia writing about her trip to Stone Mountain, GA!

It was so fun!! I loved it! When we went on the sky lift It was a little scary at firt! At the very top of the mountain it really was not that cold. It was a good thing that I left my coat in the car so I would not have to carry it. It was grate even though she is three years younger then me.I had so so so so so much fun.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I'm on a forced blogging break here in Georgia.(There is just too much going on with the baby and granddaughter too...not to mention my mother came along!)

I'm listening to the sound of 3 girls helping my daughter plant some herbs and flowers!

Which reminds me of this delightful mystery series from the BBC.....

If you love English gardens and genteel sleuthing, you will love these ladies!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Just a rainy Thursday, random blogging day today....

I "closed my eyes" and uploaded this detail of a watercolor...not knowing what it would be until I saw the upload!

I took this blogging "test" after seeing it on Mary Timme's blog.

[It says here"Your Blogging Type is Logical and Principled"]

Your Blogging Type is Logical and Principled
You like to voice your well thought out opinions on your blog.
And if someone doesn't like what you write, you really don't care!
Serious and blunt, sometimes people take your blog the wrong way.
But you're a true and loyal friend to those who truly get you.

HMMMM.....They only ask 4 questions (I think) how can they make a true judgement...BUT, it IS all in fun! LOL!
[However, I will now comment on how I see my blogging!
~I have kept my written blog to a minimum...preferring visual images to rambling words .
~ I don't think I am too serious and blunt, and I am very careful about what I write...keeping opinions to myself...for I believe we all see reality and truth from our own perspective and that's OK .
~I hope my blog updates my friends and family on the little "goings on" of my daily life and helps me to share the joy and irony of life!
~I love the instant built-in audience and feedback for my artistic expressions and hope that I am allowing myself to post them in an uncensored fashion...not that I am drawn to the dark side even in my artwork!
~Now, I was actually relieved to read that I am "logical" !!! After some of the foggy, mushy brain things I seem to be doing lately! So I will accept that.
~Principled too....that oldest girl/ goody two shoes thing again!
~Last but not least, I just can't resisit playing with all the color choices for the text...usually trying to match something in the photo or artwork I am using!]
Update from a rainy afternoon...I was just over at the Lavender Loft...Janet's blog and found the "thinking" test.
It was no surprise to me to come out as "Abstract Random"...(after all, that's just what this post is about!)
Your Thinking is Abstract and Random
You are flexible, adaptable, and creative.
There's many ways that you can learn - and you're up for any of them.

You relate well to other people, and you do well working in groups.
You can help people communicate together and work with each other's strengths.

You don't work well with people who are competitive or adversarial.
You prefer to work toward a common goal... not toward conflicting goals.
What Kind of Thinker Are You?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's ABC Wednesday at Mrs. Nesbitts! Today's letter is "K".

"K" is for kids!

My children coloring Easter eggs a couple of decades ago!!!!!
NOW a fun little related perhaps?
Your Dosha is Pitta
You have a quick mind, a gift for persuasion, and a sharp sense of humor.
You have both the drive and people skills to be a very successful leader.
Argumentative and a bit stubborn, you have been known to be a little too set in your ways.
But while you may be biased toward your own point of view, you are always honest, fair, and ethical.

With friends: You are outgoing and open to anyone who might want to talk to you

In love: You are picky but passionate

To achieve more balance: Be less judgmental of those around you, and take cool walks in the moonlight.
[Don't know if I agree with my results...I am NOT argumentative, hmmmph!]
What I am baking this afternoon.....and I will use an antique bird cookie cutter to cut these out....


1 c. butter (cold)
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 T. dried lavendar (optional)

Cut butter into sugar and flour with pastry cutter until well blended. Roll about 1/3 of dough out on floured surface to about 1/8 inch. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 on ungreased light colored cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes. Bake only until set and slightly brown on bottoms. Very good plain, or frost with butter cream frosting if desired. Makes about 4 dozen.

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