Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rain



I live in a dry dusty sunny wonderful place. I am amazed at the amount of days that the sun is present and if there are clouds,it makes the headlines. I like the climate and I am certainly spoiled by the lack of strife involved in weather conditions that have plagued our country this year.
Today it rained. I was so happy because, well for one thing we are having a drought but mostly the smell of humidity reminded me of home. Home meaning NJ. There is a unique smell in the west and southwest when it rains. It comes from Creosote. Although most of my rain associations are Northeast varieties I have come to love this weird and unusual smell. Smells like rain.The Creosote bush is an amazing plant. It can live for thousands of years. The leaves contain chemicals making it unpalatable to most animals. It can grow in the hottest, driest deserts where no other shrub can grow. 
So yet another sign of this east coast girl adaptation. Regardless, I am happy for the change and hope there will be more to come. 
As for the east coast, I sympathize.


Cr

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Free Spirits

“I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.”
Charles Dickens

I didn't know Jacquie Angove very well. I only had a few occasions to spend time with her. But that didn't matter. Jacquie had a way of letting you in, not in an over the top way;but in a way that made you feel really comfortable and aware that you were in the presence of a very interesting and creative spirit.She spoke openly about her struggles to be her own person and the expectations of being a wife and a mother.She endured a great deal of trauma as a young child growing up in war time and she was able to overcome that and heal herself through artistic expression. Her courage to step away from tradition and go off on her own  caused major ripples in her life. I am in awe of people who know themselves so well that they can overcome their fears and break away from what they are expected to do; and then find solace and peace in a new life far from the one they had. 
Jacquie passed away early in the morning of Friday, February 21st ,8 days shy of her 75th birthday.
I imagine her spirit now; free from the concerns and worries of trying to live and survive as an artist in a confining world. I imagine this never ending canvas filled with stories and color and light expanding across an open and beautiful horizon.
 I am grateful  for all that she shared with me in a very short time. 
Peace to you Jacqueline Angove.
 
 

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Just stopping to take a moment to say Happy Birthday to my blog. It has been two years since I began this little journey and many many miles..... Although I don't stop by too often I know what has been documented here is all apart of a very wonderful adventure.
Thanks to my loyal readers and to my friends who continue to inspire me.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Reinvention of Self

I am constantly searching for context. A difficult task when you keep starting over. The funny thing is, I have adapted pretty well to the unfamiliar- that it has become what is familiar. I live in a self invented world in the context of a real world surrounded by a new world and immersed in a challenging situation that provides a great deal of inspiration but in many ways becomes unreal. Am I making myself clear? I didn't think so. 
Someone recently made a comment on my Facebook page that made me smile; "I don't know how you still do this." was her comment to me regarding me starting a new year in a new school. How does one continue to find motivation to do whatever they do?

It's an interesting question and one I ask myself quite often.  The motivation is the method. That by discovery; whether it is within the three year old that I am teaching or in my own daily rhythm,  there will always be something to learn or cherish or notice or be grateful for. That is how I still do this. In gratitude  you can always find motivation because without it all you will find is a void. 

I am here to say that I have been tired lately and grumpy and less then joyful and I want to apologize to anyone who may have caught me in one of those moments. But here's the good news, not once did I let those feelings consume me. Not once did I say "I give up" ( maybe I thought it) but the point is I remembered I am very grateful for all that life has given me and in that split second of self doubt and self pity I pushed through, spun around, took a deep breath and went on with the reinvention.



Friday, June 28, 2013

Hooray For the Red, White and Blue!

This salad has everything I love in it and it looks beautiful and tastes delicious. I am so making this for the annual Fourth of July party here in town. Enjoy and Happy Fourth!

Red, White and Blue Salad
thanks to The Noshery


Ingredients

    Salad
    1 pint blueberries
    3 beets with stalks
    4 oz goat cheese
    Dressing
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup grapeseed oil
    1/4 cup white wine
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons minced tarragon
    1 egg yolk
    1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the stalks off the beets, reserving the leaves for later. Place the beets cut side down on a rimmed sheet pan. Fill the pan with water, just barely covering the cut ends of the beets. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for 1 hour.

While the beets are roasting, combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small resealable container. Shake until well combined and emulsified. Refrigerate to let the flavors develop.

Place the beets on a plate to cool. Using paper towels in both hands rub the skin off of the beets. Slice the beets into matchsticks. Roughly chop 3-4 beet leaves.

In a bowl combine beets, chopped leaves & blueberries. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle goat cheese over salad and serve.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hummingbird High: Supernatural Brownies

I was lucky enough to have a mom that baked everything from scratch. She baked bread, pies,potpies, brownies, cookies, cakes and even the most delicious doughnuts-the best I've ever tasted. I literally did not know that you could make a cake from a mix in a box until I was a senior in high school. I still do not use mixes unless they have been taste tested and proven to be worthy! The rewards of fresh baked goods are countless, if only for the wonderful aromas that linger in your home for hours after.
My first attempts at baking were a bit rocky. I had my Home Ec. class recipes in hand but did not know that the chocolate I was using for the brownies was unsweetened ...oops. My skills have improved over the years thankfully.
Here is one of the best brownie recipes out there. I plan to make these for the annual Fourth of July party here in Sandwich NH.
Oh and don't forget the sugar!!!



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blessed with Patience





I have to say that I enjoy remembering. There was a time when it was hard to imagine saying that because most of my memories were painful. With age comes wisdom as so many scholars have written.
The best part of a memory is how it gets triggered. For me it could be a dream or a smell or a song or some line in a movie or a view from a window. I never know. But when it happens it’s as if I have been transported back in time and it may last a second or a few minutes but it is powerful.

Smell has always been my strongest trigger. No surprise I love to cook, garden, mess with art materials and of course eat. I can’t handle lavender without going back to my Grandmother’s house, immersed in English Lavender by Yardley and surrounded by her favorite color-purple. In a few short moments I am standing next to her in the kitchen, she is wearing her violet printed apron and I am helping her make custard….vanilla another trigger, wafting through the air. I have an equally strong reaction when I smell oil paints. I see my mom with her palette in our utility/studio/laundry room painting and singing the Andrews Sisters “Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree” while I harmonize. The list of smells in my memory log is a long and winding road.

Our memories are unique and personal. Rewritten and revised over time, we tend to put on our rose colored glasses when taking a trip down memory lane. I believe they are imbedded in our souls like fingerprints. They are ways to identify us in the event we get lost. I am always amused when I speak to my brother and he recalls an event that occurred in our childhood. Either I have no recollection of what happened or I have remembered something completely different.
Music has always been a big trigger for me too; I’m sure for all of us. This morning I came across this song that someone had posted on a blog I follow. I hope you’ll take a moment to listen. The most wonderful part was the memory that I conjured up was old and new, sweet and sad and I was grateful.
I will be humming this tune all day long….