As I'm sitting inside with a cup of tea and wrapped in an afghan, all warm and cozy, Ernie is outside frolicking in the snow. He no sooner comes in and he wants to go out again - he loves winter weather. Did I mention it's 20 degrees?!
What Is This I Believe? A public dialogue about belief - one essay at a time. This I Believe is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.
There is a data base on the website of over 20,000 essays, written by people in all walks of life about a variety of subjects. I've just started reading the essays on creativity, which I am enjoying immensely.
This 1993 movie version of this classic is just breathtakingly beautiful. I found it on one of the movie channels tonight, and just finished watching it. Such a welcome respite on this frigidly cold winter evening.
One of the things I brought back from North Carolina with me is an immense appreciation for banana pudding! It is comfort food at its finest as far as I am concerned, one of those dishes made often in the south. Wanda, one of the women who worked in the deli at the store where I worked, made alot of her down-home favorite recipes each day (thus earning what I believe to be the title of best grocery store deli ever), and knowing I lived alone was always urging them on me to either eat there for lunch or take home for dinner - or both! Incredulous I'd never had this before she'd given me a taste, it took about one spoonful of this and I truly believe I acquired a life-long addiction '~) It is such a southern tradition, Blue Belle ice cream makes a banana pudding flavor that is absolutely the best ice cream on earth - and we can't get it up north here (most likely a blessing in disguise for my waist line, their vanilla also the best in the universe - and when used in a root beer float!?!**).
So, imagine my delight today when I found the lastest Southern Living magazine in my mailbox with a recipe for a banana pudding pie in it - wowza, this something I have an immediate urge to make! However, given I do live alone and have not an ounce of doubt I'd eat the entire thing, am wondering if anyone wants to invite me to a super bowl party so I can whip up a couple to take along?!
And, it is already January 27th down under where Marie is spending some time home with her boys - Happy Birthday to you!!! Hope you have a safe and fun day - lots of love up here, where we are freezing! Enjoy your beach!
I am participating in the Oh-So-Charming Art-e-Zine Exchange, this picture (courtesy of Dawn Sellers, hostess of swap) is one of the 35 charms I made. I'd bought a couple sets of these teeny tiny (they are under an inch in size, photo certainly deceiving) stencils at least a year or two now, if I recall they are made by Making Memories and found with scrapbooking supplies at Michaels or such. For this project I rusted, stamped, and glazed them, then added beads and wire for hanging. There are over 70 participants in this fun exchange, I will get 35 back for the 35 I sent to her. This is a huge undertaking on her part, not only in organizing and swapping them out but in maintaining the blog, my hat is off to her!
After I receive them I am thinking I will put them onto a bracelet which can also be turned into a necklace as you can find, from another swap done (of which I was not involved) earlier last year - if you scroll down you will find Deryn Mentock did a great job of making this piece so versatile.
This shrine is the result of a workshop I've taken the last two monday evenings at ArtBeat Gallery entitled, Gathering Spirit Guides on Your Soul Path, facilitated by Karen Godfrey and Linda Griggs. We explored these questions - Have you ever wondered about your higher purpose in this life? What exactly are you on this earth to do? Are you shining your light in the right places? Are you living in the shadow of someone else's expectations? Does your daily life support who you really are? The last few years of my life have been such a journey of discovery, and the timing couldn't have been better for me to take this workshop - at exactly a time I am needing to make some serious decisions.
I learned so much in these six to seven hours, and feel so much more confident about who I am and what I need do. Just an amazing and rewarding experience.
What's my favorite food group? COOKIES. My friend Deb came over this afternoon and brought cookies for me, and we all know - I love cookies! These are scrumptious (do you see the bites out of one of them), a new favorite - chocolate chip with walnuts, and dried cherries, yummy. We went out for a very l o n g lunch, time just got away from us. And what are the chances, when we got back to my house the phone would ring and it would be our very dear friend Janet, calling from Shreveport, LA?!! A very good day.
You know how it is when you're feeling yucky - have a head cold, the weather is gray and dreary, that post-holiday time has arrived? That's me, I just have the blahs. Today I went out to the mail box and found a package all wrapped in vintage wallpaper mailed to me from Katie Kendrick. We met for the first time at ArtFest 2004, I think it was? Anyway, there was instant rapport between us. She is the most delightful person under the sun to be with and talk to. We both came to this mixed media art scene with no formal training, and I have been so amazed and proud of the growth she has had taking her art to higher and higher levels. Just love her and everything single little thing about her. She sent me this incredible collaged and painted box she'd made just for me and tucked inside a few treats as well, including tea and chocolate, all wrapped up in cheery hot pink! There couldn't be anything better I could have received today than all the love she sent my way. Thanks Katie!!!
One of my least favorite things to do is dismantle the christmas decorations. I don't ever contemplate taking them down until the day after New Year's as I like to keep the holiday feeling going as visitors drop in and out and the season officially over. The last day, New Year's itself, has traditionally been spent lying around in sleepy mode, football games on the tv, books and tea or coffee in hand and soup on the stove, while I gaze at all the twinkly lights and candles for the last time until next year - a totally comfy way to wind it all down. Well, things are slightly different these days all the way around, but not my putting this off and off and off. My procrastination seems to invade in full force the next day and true to form what's been happening here, I take a thing or two down, dust here and there, rearrange this and that - this goes on for days. It was always my goal to have it all boxed and stored again by January 7th, my youngest, Joe's, birthday so he can have his own celebration with things back to "normal". And even he is no longer living with me as he'll be22 in just a few days (!) I realize I now have three days left - and alot still to do, ugh! Once accomplished I do though have a sense of relief and a sort of excitment about the clean slate so to speak, and ideas about new pillows or paint or whatever begin flowing. Today I am quite draggy as I seem to have the distinct possibility I might have a cold coming on and feeling more languid than ever. The sun's gone today, too, my energy with it apparently.
I just went outside to get my mail at the exact moment formations of military jets flew over the houses, group after group after group of them just as the sun is beginning to set. My entire body was instantly covered with goosebumps and tears came to my eyes. As many of you know, I now live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where at the Ford Museum the final farewell and burial is taking place of President Ford this very moment. I've been busy with alot of things this afternoon and somehow it had slipped my mind as to timing, but I came in and turned on the TV and they were taking the flag off his coffin, handing it to VP Cheney who then presented it to Betty Ford and I saw the fly by as they reached downtown on tv. What I just heard is that they are F15's from Shaw AirForce Base in South Carolina. Seeing them go into the missing man formation, a tribute to a former President, was beyond words. You know, sometimes we do not seem to be all that much a patriotic country these days, what with cynicism and anti-war sentiments raging (and I do not agree with it myself) - but for you to see this town with all the flags half staff and what has been reported as over 60,000 filing through the Ford Museum to pay their respects over the last day, military helicopters parked in the fields all around the National Guard Armory which is just around the corner practically from me and which my dad and I drove by today - it does make me, at least, proud to be an American. This was a very powerful and emotional experience for me, totally taking me unawares.
This has been a very difficult end to another couple chapters of my life. Here's to hoping I develop enough strength and conviction to stick to my beliefs and to begin writing a few new ones. I just came across this quote, and leave it here as inspiration to keep on going, “From what we get we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life" (Arthur Ashe). Happy New Year.