Saturday, December 31, 2011


It is indeed a mixed bag to have a December birthday.
My kids wanted to celebrate in a GRANDE MANNER!
 Not quite my style.

Rather we had a Jingle Bells Birthday Party!!!
So much fun.

At the very last minute we bought the last commercial Gingerbread Haus Kit
at World Market. Yes, it rattled a bit.
Hmmmm shouldn't be surprised that every piece was broken!
Okay we would have fun decorating the cracked pieces; it is the frosting and candy that is the most fun!
Putting gingerbread slabs in  box tops
kept them from flying around and corralled the bits of candy.

The Funny Bunnies took this VERY SERIOUSLY!

 Meanwhile at the other end of the table, 
the men were decorating my chosen birthday cake 
Angel Food !
Looks pretty cool doesn't it.
Thank's Hunter.

The party continued, we played kid's Bingo....everyone wins at kid's Bingo.
Pizza dinner.
The most fun of all
an outdoor bonfire to makes
yummy s'mores!!!

Forgot TWO things,  to keep taking photos,
and to eat the Angel Cake!!!

I hope your next birthday is as fun as mine was!
Warmly, Sharon

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What More Can I Share?

Like layers of ribbons, we all carry 

Silent Prayers in our Hearts.

May your celebrations of 

Hanukkah and Christmas

be deep and meaningful.

What more can I share?

You are welcome to click on this link
and read of my own Silent Prayers.

Warmly and with love, Sharon

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Moment of Reflection

After the frenzy of too many
candy colored decorations, blazingly lit Christmas trees, 
snappy sales slogans,
and the bustle and push of shoppers with glazed eyes,
it was time.

It was time to leave the glitzy side of Asheville
and seek out the balance and sense of proportion that
nature openly gives each of us.

As the sun slipped low in the gray-cast sky
we discovered the fallow grounds of
the Biltmore Estate greenhouse and gardens.
Here was the hush of quiet, the fresh fragrance of earth and flowers
....... welcomed refreshment for the soul.

May there be the gift of  reflection and refreshment in
your life this day. 

Warmly, Sharon

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photographing Babies....YIKES

Funny Bunny Three-Three just turned ONE month old!
My daughter and I thought we would take some of those 
dreamy, sweet, soft skinned photos that are so popular.
In complete honesty, anyone who does baby or child photography has my full admiration!

Gathered props galore: blankets, basket, jewelry, head bands, fluffy pink tutu, red velvet dress, jingle bell cap.....we were prepared!
First, FB3-3 needed to be fed followed by diaper change. Then her skin went blotchy with only a pink tutu and daisy headband on. This blanket bundled baby was going into hypothermia shock!
Dress swamped her, fluffy collar covered half her face and the jingle hat covered the rest.  Shoes popped off like ricocheting
 pop corn.
Pink tutu made marks on her skin, goose bumps continued to spread.
Then there was the sweet, calm face but wiggling feet. Still hands with a half opened get the idea I am sure.
Nothing held still at the same time!

We won't even go into actually taking the photos, the light would shift, a bulb burned out from my lighting, we tried the floor, couch, basket, table and my daughter's long arms to get a good perspective.
Something, including big brother was always in the way.

 Test Shot

Mom I am freezing, I want my blanket!!!!!!

I am smothering in all of these clothes. But at least I am warm and holding STILL!

If I had known you were going to take a photo of my feet, I would have gone for a pedicure!

Okay I will hold still, but i will not smile!
Hey what is that over by the big green tree?
An Angel Elf?

Well there is a good ending despite the beginning and the middle.
We managed to get a dozen or so rather nice photos.
Maybe she will end up on People magazine and her parents will get paid thousands of dollars?
She is sweet enough!
Welcome to our world, Little Funny Bunny Three_Three!!

Heart Thought: a newborn baby is the best of all presents!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mortar and What?

When we were visiting Indonesia, it became very apparent 
that chefs/every-day cooks used a mortar and pestle.
Thus started my intrigue with this heavy stone vessel.
Since the beginning of time, starting with the cave-people, mostly women, have used a stone vessel
to grind their berries, seeds, tubers, corn, spices into edible quality.
There are few things as ancient as a mortar.
You can locate mortars online and in speciality stores. They do give an "air" of "serious" cook when placed on the kitchen counter.
Beware: never let "looks" fool you!

Does this give the appearance of a "serious" cook?
Stay tuned.

Now what I didn't know before I carried this big "baby" out of the store was the work it would take to "season" it!  Season I thought that was for cast iron skillets?

Fill mortar with REAL RICE and start grinding every which way. Up and down, all around, over and over again.

I had a little helper because this was "BIG MAN" work.
Hours came and went.
Many hands ground the rock hard rice kernels.

"Are you sure we aren't finished? Smells pretty good to me!"

Finally a fine, deeply ground rice powder. 
If it is grayish, guess what, you do it AGAIN!
It was definitely grayish.
Now my helpers disappeared altogether.
So working a bit each day the rice powder became more light and white.

Silly me, I reread the directions and WHAT ANOTHER STEP?
It is true. Now flavorful spices have to be worked into the rough, stony surface.

This was easy peasy after the salt episodes!!!

What a paste? The kitchen SMELLED like a serious cook was stirring something up.

Then I discovered something profound:

It was much easier to just SKETCH the silly thing!!
Truth be known: there are now TWO crater-weight mortars on our counter. Use: seldom. But fun when put to work. Makes me FEEL like a serious cook!
But I will go back to painting, thank you.

Heart Thought: have you gone through periods of time simply craving certain foods...after pizza that is? 
What would you simply "die" for dinner tonight?
Me...anything that requires a mortar and pestle in its preparation!!!
smiles, thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Farewell Autumn

Our winters are quite mild,  nevertheless, autumn's resplendent beauty
eventually becomes cloaked in icy blue frost.

To preserve the memories of weeks past, I am joining
Photo Art Friday
at Pixel Dust.

Original photo

Converted to Black and White