Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to All...

Happy Thanksgiving to All.  Here in the states we celebrate the fourth Thursday of Novemeber.  It is a day of taking a look at all of the wonderful things, people, events that have happened in your life and being grateful for them.
This year I have so much to be grateful for.  My beautiful children. A few nights ago one of my boys was in a car accident - a deer ran out in front of him, he hit the brakes, it was raining and slippery, he ended up wrapped around a tree, his car totalled, he had minor injuries [thank goodness for searbelts] . I am so thankful that he is going to be all right.
I am grateful for my family.  I know you can not always pick your family - this family I would pick.  I am so lucky to have both parents  to celebrate with. My father is 91 and for 91 he is doing quite well. I would tell you how old my mother is , but she would be horrified. Let's just say that she runs circles around me. I am thankful my brother and sister are well and my beautiful nephews are a treat to be around. I am so lucky to have them all in my life. They are my life cheerleaders.
My girlfriends that are always there for me. Who listen to my troubles, share their troubles, always have encouragement and support. Who have opened their homes and lives to me. Thank you I could have not made it this past year without you. Thank you for being you.
After being homeless for over a year I have finally found an area I love and a house that suits me to a T.  I have a contract and close in December. I have finally made a committment. Aghhhh. A little scary but very exciting. I am sure the next few months my blog will be full of pictures. I will have a studio and workshop!
As I think of all of the things I am thankful for I have to say how grateful I am to have all of my blog friends.  You have all snuck into my heart with your art and grace. Thank you for you support, your comments, and letting me be a small part of your day.  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Freebies...

Thought I would share these old Thanksgiving postcards with you.  I like to print these out and make placecards at my table with them.  This year I will be sharing a feast with my parents, brother and his lovely family. I leave today for Virginia.  It is a really fun ride with lots of history around every corner. I will be checking in this week and have some things to share. Hope you all have a great week.

Brief Encounter in the Mountains...

I have been looking at houses in the mountains this week.  It is time for me to nest.. At one of the houses I looked at yesterday this flock of wild turkeys were in the woods in the backyard.  There were 8 or 9 of them. The hens are hard to see. The Tom's stand out with there dark coloring. They are beautiful bird's with their shimmerinig feathers. They are also very curious birds.  One came right up to me.  We came out from looking at the house and they were in the driveway.  Boy are they fast runner's. What a hoot. I had to share these pictures with you. Gobble gobble.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Mums for You...

Each season has it's own flowers.  In the fall I love the Mums. They remind me of cool, crisp days. They remind me planting bulbs in the fall. I would always throw in a few new mums to bloom for the next fall. I love the rusts and bright yellows matched with lavender. They remind me of days gone by.

Biggest, Creative Turkey...Ever

Driving through the mountains heading for Boone, North Carolina I spotted this large turkey at a garden center. I decided to stop and take a few pictures and pick up some apples. I was so impressed with the originality of using a large rolled hay bale to make this turkey. I often wonder what inspires someone to make the things they do. What do they see? Any way this delighted me in its simplicity and its size.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some Knitted Friends...

A sweet little lion with a monkey friend.

Bees and chicks, skunks and friends. Aren't they all sweet?

An Owl and rat.

At the beach I picked up a friend to ride with me.  I needed a pet. Something easy to take care of  So, Suzanne, who knitted all of these wonderful animals graciously gave me this owl.  I have a real thing for owls. I thought he could possibly give me some wise advice as I travel. Oliver now has a place of honor in the front seat.  Isn't he just the cutest? 
This all started with knitting dish towels at night. I have been trying to make a bunch for my new kitchen when I get a new kitchen. My friend Miranda said I should see all the friends Suzanne was knitting.  One a day. So, while at Miranda's Suzanne brought ove this large shopping bag of little animals. Now I want the book with the patterns so I can knit a few. I think they are all darling. Thank you Suzanne!

Rainy Days call for Cauliflower Soup...

I woke early this morning to the sound of rain.  Yesterday I had driven hours through the pouring rain and wind. Tornadoes and storms all over the South. Finally when night came threw in the towel and got a hotel room.  Hoping today would be full of sunshine.  Not to be.
When there are days like this I want to make a big pot of soup, some bread and cuddle up with a good book or hang out with my art supplies for a few hours.  During my stay in Alabama I found this delicious recipe for Cauliflower soup.  I wish I was making it today.

Cauliflower Soup

1 large cauliflower
1 onion - chopped
1 or 2 stalks of celery - chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup [60g/20z.] of butter
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups [500 ml/16 fl oz.] of chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated cheese - optional

Divide the cauliflower into florets.  Plunge the floret into boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain.
Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add onion and celery cook till soft. 
Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute, then gradually stir in the stock.
Bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain into another pan, add milk, cauliflower, salt and pepper, and nutmeg.
Simmer for about 10 minutes.
With a slotted sppon remove and reserve avout 1/3 of the cauliflower florets.
Pour the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pour in cheese. Puree.
Return to pan. Add reserved cauliflower, reheat gently.
Add a little grated cheese on top of soup for garnish.
Serve warm with buttered bread. Yum! 

Digital Photograph...Restoring

I found this beautiful barn in Western North Carolina. The owners are in the process of restoring it.  The logs are ready to put the chinking in. This is a mixture of ash, lime, plaster and in some cases they use concrete. I have been looking for a formula for this. If you have one please share.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Freebies - Evelyn Nesbit

This week I thought I would share with you these fabulous photographs of Evelyn Nesbit.  She was a model, actress, and femme fatale.  A brief history... Evelyn was a beautiful child. At fourteen she found herself in New York City modeling for several painters and photographers, supporting her mother and brother. Several older men fell in love with her. It was quite a scandal when her husband killed one of her supporters and possible lover. Several books and plays have been written about the affair. She is thought to be the model for the Gibson Girl. Her hourglass figure, red hair, were quite the thing. I have found her life to be so tragic. So much beauty and so much darkness.

Digital Photograph - A Rainy Morning...

I am in the mountains after a lovely week at the beach.  It is warm and rainy this morning.  I woke before daylight and went out and took some pictures. I found this little barn sitting proud on a hillside over looking a creek.  Hoping you all have a great week.

Four Letter Words...Look

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Several people emailed me and asked me how they got cotton that was pink, green , or beige. Well they took cotton that they found that had those tinges to it and cross bred them and cross bred them till they came up with strain that grew pink or beige. Then they gave the seeds to farmers and have them grow the cotton for them. Then they are able to use the organic not dyed label on them.
It is the same if you want a deeper purple, or bluer iris. A day lily that is pink. You just keep cross breeding with the traits you want and sooner or later you get a blue iris, or pink cotton.

An Afternoon on the Tennessee River...

Last weekend I had a free day to do anything I wanted. My friend I am staying with had a visit from her husband who is working out of town.  I thought they might like some privacy so off I went to take pictures. The Tennessee River is the main water supply and recreational center for Northern Alabama. On a previous visit I had driven to several cities that rest along the river.  I decided to go back and do some exploring. This is the river with a large train trestle that spans the river. There are huge plants and factories that sit along the river. One after another for miles and miles.

Like most rivers they have a tide just like the ocean.  Everything drains and finds a way to the ocean. I happened to be there during low tide.  The shore was this thick brown mud. Thank goodness I keep an extra pair of crummy shoes in my car for such adventures.  Several times I thought I was going to walk out of my shoes.

This is what the shore looked like. I was amazed there were so many shells.  All of these are fresh water shells. Mussels etc.

This is an old guy I met. He is a mussel fisherman. He did not find a lot but they were much bigger than I thought.  He complained of new regulations on catching and selling mussels that Obama had passed.  He said most of the mussel fishermen in Alabama had been put out of buisness. He was catching his dinner. One of the things I have really enjoyed this past year is all the interesting people I have met.  Everyone has a story.

After my walk on the shore I had to find some water to wash off my shoes.  I headed to the local marina in search of a hose.  There I met this sweet woman and her dog. They live on this boat.  She divorced and sold everything and decided to hang out for awhile on the boat she got in the divorce.  She said it was alot of fun. The small space does not seem so small on the river she informed me and her dog was better company than her husband.  She had real spirit!

The bridge at sunset. Note the large plant to the left of the bridge. I was so amazed at how many of these there were.  It does make for a robust economy.  One thing about Alabama is they have pulled in all sorts of different type of buisnesses.  It was a lovely day on the river.  I will share more pictures of the wildlife areas at another time. Hope you enjoyed my mini tour.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Digital Photograph - Blue Door 127

It has been a while since I posted a door.  I have a great fondness for blue doors.   Enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daylight Savings...

There is something delightful about turning the clocks back an hour.  Knowing the next day you get that one hour of "extra time". I always think I am going to do something different with that hour.  Every year I tell myself "make it count". Savor it, read a book, watch a sunset, have a meaningful conversation. Enjoy the quiet. Then I turn around and the day is over and I wonder if I have used my time wisely. Telling myself next year I will do better.  So tonight remember to fall back and turn those clocks back one hour. I hope you have a great time with your extra hour!

Digital Photograph - Cotton A Closer Look

Thought you might like a closer look. The cotton looks like cotton balls you buy in the drugstore.  Actually, there are seeds in there that need to come out and a few more processes before it is ready for market. The cotton is seeded, cleaned, and woven into thread. Then we get those wonderful sheets and cotton clothes to wear. In some areas of the South they are growing organic cotton in colors - pink, green and brown.  I have not run across any of those fields yet.  If I do I will have my camera handy!

Digital Photograph - White Gold

A few days ago I was driving to my friends house when all of a sudden I came upon this field of cotton.  For miles this was all you could see. Big, fluffy, white, balls of cotton. It was beautiful. I pulled over and got out my camera. I felt like I had gone back in time when cotton was king here in the South. Then I was reminded of all of the lives cotton changed then and now.

Still Fall in Alabama...

First I would like to Thank everyone who has sent my friend prayers and goood thoughts. We both really appreciate it. Fall is in full force here in Northern Alabama.  The crisp cool air and the beautiful fall colors have helped quite a bit. Who can't feel good when all around them is such beauty? This is my last weekend here for awhile.  The sound of the ocean and smell of salt air are doing their siren call.  Time to buy a house.
Meanwhile I am caught up in the Louisana - Alabama rivalry.  The big game  - here on the radio and TV they call it the game of the century. Oh my! I hope they are not too disappointed. So, red flags are a waving here, and everyone is in red, the Crimson tide is everywhere. It is hard not to get caught up in the moment. I think it is a good weekend to be in Alabama.