Friday, October 20, 2017

Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly Pear Cactus is a beautiful fuchsia color that makes drinks and syrups striking. Prickly Pear Syrup makes for a beautiful margarita and the tangy flavor goes very well with the lime and tequila flavors.
Prickly Pear Syrup is sold in glass bottle, but be sure to look at the ingredients label for syrups made with the actual prickly pear - as opposed to just food coloring and artificial flavors.
2 oz agave tequila
1 oz triple sec
2 oz sour mix
1 oz lime
1 oz prickly pear syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and serve over ice.
Some people like a salted rim on the glass. I don't think it needs it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What I'm Working On

I make an effort to do artwork every day. Most times, I can actually "do" art: painting, sketching, drawing, cutting glass, or designing. But other times, I spend time being inspired, observing, or thinking about art.
  
I've been working on fused glass bowls. Before they are slumped, they have to be fused. I'm learning that the color of the glass plays a factor in the end result.
I'm working on some trophies for a Halloween party. I found some plastic skulls that I wanted to alter. I'm covering them with black paint, then gilding them, before turning them into trophies.
I've been researching Acrylic Pouring as an art form. It's similar to marbling and it is addictive.
 
I love palm trees. I love how they look against the blue sky. The shapes are beautiful and the colors are striking. So inspiring!
Some quick daily sketches while thinking of Halloween.
Here I'm taking photos of my glass work on the beach. The light is great and makes for a clean picture.
And lastly, I'm working on a couple's costume for a Halloween party. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Taco Crawl 2017

 When the girls visited this summer, we wanted to do something fun as a family.
Typically, a "bar crawl" is where people walk from bar to bar trying their specialties and then by the end of the night, people are "crawling" to the final ones.
Instead, we thought we'd try something less debilitating.
St Pete has a lot of great restaurants and we love trying new places, so we planned a taco crawl for their last night.
We found three places and plotted our course.
That night was pouring rain and this affected the crowds. In two of the restaurants, we were the only ones. We tried a few new flavors - my favorite was a cauliflower filled corn taco. It was delicious, crispy and unexpected.
I took pics of us at each place and we had to rate each taco. We had a lot of fun.
And then I recorded it in my journal. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Battle of the Sexes Movie 2017

Most Fun I've Had In a Tennis Skirt Off the Court
 The Battle of the Sexes Movie came out a few weeks ago and my tennis friends and I went to see it. The movie tells the story of Billie Jean King's tennis match against Bobby Riggs, the first match of it's kind where the victor gets equal pay, be it a woman or a man.
The actual match took place in Houston, TX in 1973 and was met with fanfare, etc. It was one of the most widely watched tennis events and the premise of a female vs male competitor was hyped up. Could the number one ranking female tennis player defeat a former male pro? There was far more to the plot which made for a very interesting movie.
Since I am a tennis addict, along with a group of my friends, we eagerly awaited the movie and had plans to all go to dinner, dress up as 1970's players - ideally Billie Jean King, and have a great night out.
Well, to say we had fun was an understatement! We had a fantastic time. 
It started out with a small group of us getting ready with our "costumes" and ended up with a large group laughing all night!
Here I am before leaving the house, as Ms Billie Jean King.
My friends in the theater! People asked to take our picture!
Here's part of our group! Don't you love the wooden racquet?
My friend, Susan, surprised us all when she dressed as Bobby Riggs. She told me to squat down for the picture, so she would be taller. It was all I could to do stop laughing while someone snapped the picture!
We had a fantastic time together. I can't remember laughing this hard for so long. The theater was packed with other tennis players, who admitted that they should have worn tennis clothes!
The funniest part was when our team went to our Tuesday match. An older woman came up to us and said that she heard some people from our club went to the movies... and she wished she had been invited!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blessings

I am blessed.
Life is full of ups and downs with hardships and joys popping up in the strangest of ways. I strive to see the blessings that are all around me, and yet sometimes, I struggle to see what is right before my eyes.
I have had many blessings these past weeks:
-Our life-long family physician made the decision to close her practice. She will be missed more than words can say. She was a genius in her field, found medicine to be her calling, and practiced a healthy  life. We are saddened by her news, but grateful for all she has done to assist, guide, and teach our family.
-One of my tennis partners returned from a six month hiatus. She was sorely missed and now that she is back, we are "getting our groove back".
-My Tuesday partner has been on fire lately. We've been partners for three years now and I am impressed with her positive attitude, great sportsmanship, and humor on the court.
-I have continued working with fused glass. I've run into some hurdles as I've been working with larger pieces that have cracked in the kiln. I've had 8 breaks and 3 successes on the same piece, but I haven't given up. I am grateful that the manager of the studio continues to try and remedy our predicament. I've learned a few valuable lessons from these issues and feel like I'm making progress as an artist.
-Speaking of being an artist, I have had a few challenges in the past few months that have taught me that being an artist is my calling and truly a gift. I am blessed to get so much satisfaction from doing art and blessed to feel such a sense of achievement through my work. Art is more than a passion of mine, it's in my thoughts all the time. I see miracles before me in nature, and try to recreate them in my artwork.
-I have been calling on my daughters during some stressful times, when I'm discouraged, or just when I want to share some of my thoughts. I have been blessed by them since they were born and continue to be blessed by them each and every day.
-I have been thinking about artwork for Advent and the Christmas season and am inspired by my new surroundings (Christmas at the beach this year!) and also by fantastic memories of Christmas past with my fabulous family. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Blessings

We've recently moved from our long time home in New England to our new home in Florida. It makes me happy and is what I've wanted for a long time, yet I felt some unexpected sadness that gave me reason to pause. It took me by surprise and affected me in ways that I wasn't prepared for.
I am grateful and energized by this chapter in my life, by new opportunities and daily chores, a hotter climate, sunshine, humidity, activities, and lots more people.
When I look back on my "previous life" I feel both pangs of awe - How can all that have happened already? Where did the time go? My daughters were born, raised, went off to college, graduated, and started their independent lives.  And pangs of uncertainty. Did we make the right decision to leave?
We were so happy in New Hampshire for so many years. We were close to family and we have so many memories.
These things weighed on my mind and caused me sleepless nights. I knew I was working through my thoughts and finally I was able to see my blessings. I have wonderful, truly blessed memories from our first home. I am grateful that we can make this move, that we enjoy our "new life", and I am embracing the challenges that our unfamiliar environment offers.
I am blessed. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Things I Am Curious About

Life has been super busy and challenging. Before I get back to posting, I thought I'd touch base with some things that I am interested in:

Wheatgrass- I've been drinking this at least three times a week.

Roasted Corn -Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh corn from the farm. Rather than steaming it, or boiling it, I've been oven roasting it. Try cutting it from the cob and adding toppings - vinegar, shallots, parmesan, salt and pepper.

Farro Recipes - I've been enjoying chilled farro, mainly from leftover farro recipes that I eat straight from the fridge. Here are a some form Bon Appetite.

Homemade Red Onion Pickles - these are great on everything from salads, to burgers, to fish, to steak