Friday, November 30, 2012


If your family and friends are like ours, 
everyone takes lots of photos, and prepares lots and lots of food through out the holidays.

Looking back--- what is one of my most fond moments, besides stuffing, loading and basting a 22 pound turkey and preparing enough stuffing to feed a battalion?


And I didn't BAKE a single one.
I remember pies the best because our daughter, Sarah, sent photos of her amazing pies she created. 
She has decided that her latest undertaking is to make every type of pie possible.  Pies and Photography a great combo.

It should be mentioned that Sarah is very petite, yet having an Asian style kitchen, even she can barely fit in.  Yet out of that tiny space with no dishwasher or disposal, comes a WEALTH of delicious foods.

All in our family loves creating tasty food.
Our son, Hunter, loves to bake cakes and pies.
His specialities are coconut cream pie and pecan pie.

My favorite, Hunter's Pecan Pie

Hmmm, I am not sure. I also ADORE Hunter's Coconut Cream.

These little monkeys are just working up their appetite for dessert!

And this little rascal, must haven eaten ALL of the BERRY PIE!

The only PIE claim I can make this year is sketching! Not nearly as appealing!!! 

Our entire family loves to cook...bake...and eat.

Our family is blessed. No one goes hungry, abundance is piled upon our plates: an embarrassment of riches.
All the more reason to donate to our favorite charities that help those who need a "hands-up."
In our local community we have over 1,000 children who do not get enough to eat on a daily basis. 

These Vietnamese children are smiling, happy, content in their world.  But feeding and clothing them is very difficult.
It is like this in too many places all over the world.  

I am so grateful for the many organizations and charities and those who run them,  that give us the opportunity to donate and be a tiny part of feeding our brothers and sisters. 

I know that you join us in donating to local food banks, churches who serve others on a daily basis, any opportunity to share our bounty.

Today, November 30th, is our daughter's birthday.  Her birth ushered in the Christmas and Hannukah Season.  
So tonight we have a family celebration, for which Hunter baked a luscious chocolate cake, smothered in raspberries.  We are rather

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Art During the Festival of Lights

Back again to share the fun art projects the GrandKiddies did for Deepavali, Festival of Lights.
The actual festival started just AFTER we left Singapore. But these cute kids with their mom's blessing did some fun art projects.
Mama-Sarah sent me the photos.
(Sarah's photography skills are superb, she knows how to get down to the essence of the scene. Thanks Sarah for always sending me wonderful photos of the GrandKiddies.)

A few on-the-street scenes to start with.

Usually the children dress up and go down to the festival. This year they explored the art that goes hand-in-hand with the festivities.

Here they are working  on the floor putting a paper design together.

" Hmm are you sure that piece goes THERE?"

Got it.  Now to get the beans, lentils, rice and all the colorful mosaic pieces to glue onto the design.   Actually I believe the design came with colorful plastic pieces.

A gorgeous, full size mandala.  Wish I had been part of this really fun day. Didn't they do a super job?  
Way to go!!!!

On to another project.  Ella is applying a faux-henna paste to
decorate brother's arm.

Years ago she and I had this done professionally.  It takes great skill to apply henna.  Ella did a fantastic job!

Saving the best for last......

Perhaps you recall from the previous blog, a photo of the clay vessels that hold oil and a wick, to be lit and placed in a holy place.
Right in their own home;
a  beautiful shrine for the Festival of Light, a time of renewal and forgiveness.

Way to go!  Thanks kids for being a part of our story of Deepavali.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Festival of Lights: Deepavali

Deepavali is a Hindu Festival celebrated around the world. 
It falls between October and November.
Diwali means "a row of lights."
It was just to commence when we were in Singapore with our family, Mateo, Sarah and their children.

I hope you enjoy a portion of the pre-celebration activities.
(Photos were taken with my cell phone camera...not the best but good enough to catch the flavor of this wonderful celebration.)

On the day of Deepavali, everyone wakes up early in the morning, 4AM to be exact. There is a deep happiness, an inner joy, a radiating light as people greet one another, forgive those who have wronged them, and instill charity in the hearts of all.

There is an atmosphere of good cheer, joyfulness, forgiveness and freedom.
Hindus in different parts of the world have variations on this Holy Season, but the basics remain the same.

As a tourist, it is so much fun to walk through the markets, which consist of temporary tents stretched across streets.  Once this festival concludes, all will be removed and the street put back in service.
Pretty practical in a city that is strapped for land.

Every holiday has its special foods, traditions and customs. One main staple are crispy, fried foods found in packages large and small.  They also love their sweetmeats.

I love the label that states: Taste not to be Missed!

Candles, statues to deities, are found in many market stalls.

Rows and rows, as far as you can see....trinkets, beads, jewelry, purses, items I haven't a clue what they are used for.

Deepavali is a time when everyone purchases new clothing. It is a time of cleansing, some taking oil baths.  
Some employers even purchase new clothes for their workers.

All Hindu Deities are a manifestation of Brahman. Brahman plays a role in the creation of the world.
The Elephant headed Ganesh, shown above, is the god of Good Fortune.

Streets are lined with clay vessels intended for religious offerings at temples.  Simply pour oil and add a wick for lighting. 

Couldn't resist this car.....not unusual to see HIGHLY decorated vehicles--cars, bikes, buses and trucks.

My next post will be loads of fun, Sarah, sent me photos of their children celebrating Deepavali in their home.
The charming activities will make you want to be a kid again...until then...hope you enjoyed a tiny tour of Singapore's Hindu area in preparation for Deepavali.

A time when everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others!!!