Sunday, April 30, 2006
A Lovely Day (think Bill Withers)
We start with the "Life of a Marsh" trail.
Low-tide. Not much going on.
We then moved on to "Life of a Forest" trail. Lots of Loblolly pines.
I do love a loblolly pine. I learned about them over and over on a field trip to another local park. All the children take this field trip in the 6th grade. I saw my first real Lady Slipper and learned about hognose snakes on that field trip also. Very informative. The hognose snake, if I remember correctly, isn't dangerous. If you come across one it will first make itself look like a cobra to scare you. (That part I know for a fact is true because we once had a huge one in front of the house. Michael was a little boy and was walking by it w/o seeing it. It immediately reared up and hissed and spread it neck out like a cobra. He came running in the house yelling "Cobra, cobra!" which of course we don't have around here.) If that doesn't work it will vomit (I guess to gross you out?) and if that doesn't work it will play dead.
Back to Assateague. We spotted some more ponies off in the marsh while walking through the "Life of a Forest" trail.
They were too far away to get a good picture with the digital although I think I got a good one w/the other camera. On our way out of the "Forest" the same ponies intersected our path. Delightful.
Lisa and I knew to keep a safe distance. Keyword: WILD. These ponies bite and kick people. The signs are posted everywhere. Yet each year the tourists come and walk right up to the WILD ponies and try to feed and pet. Well, they pay the price my friend. But Lisa and I obey the rules. This did hold us up a little especially when they stopped to get some water.
Whitey didn't want any so he smiled for the camera...
Then Whitey and Brownie had to wait for Spotty...
Ah...here he comes. Git along. Not exactly the angle we were hoping for.
Next up...oceanside. We saw these backpackers laying in the parking lot. All I could figure was the wind, which was blowing sand everywhere, drove them out of the backcountry camping. If you have ever been on a windy beach for any extended amount of time then you could imagine the appeal of a parking lot.
Sure enough the beach was deserted. (My favorite kind of beach.) The wind was blowing so strong I could barely stand still to take a photo.
Scenes like these give me a great sense of calm and inspire me...
I had come to Assateague looking for that calm that comes over me and looking for inspiration and I got both. This painting I did a while back was inspired by Assateague and it's wide-open sea and sky and sand.
And now the money shot...
HE was perfectly posed on the other side of the dune when I came over. Okay one more.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
It's All Good
It didn't take too long before I got him...
Which reminded me of another time when I was trying to get a toothless shot. It took me many shots before I got this...
Usually he is very willing to pose...
Here's one of his favorite poses...
It comes up again and again...
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Teapots and Braces
I've been working on nothing but teapots in class. That's how I get it into my head how do a thing. Focus on one thing. These are the first two and I had a lot of help. Last night I started another. Practice, practice.
Long day ahead. Johnny gets braces today. Not fun. He will need a little extra tlc today.
Been keeping up daily w/Michael Yon Online. Thanks to Guyana Gyal for turning me on to that.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Now my garden is maybe a quarter of the size it used to be. If even that. I grow tomatoes, herbs, peppers, lettuce, strawberries,eggplant, beans and flowers. Much smaller quantities than before. No corn. There is a farm with a roadside stand right down the road so why?
That picture is from last year. I didn't plant anything yet but I did get it cleaned out. I also planted my window boxes.
Finally I got out in that studio. I worked on finishing the exercises from the pastel class. I definitely have a better understanding of the technique but I can't say I like these paintings. I will definitely try using pastels again though.
Hey, it was the end of the day. It was a very long class I told you. This was the last one I did.
I also managed to do more work on my mosaic which has still got a ways to go before it is finished. I do feel like I accomplished a lot though.
One last thing. Today, April 24th, is the day we commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Let's hope that one day the Turkish Government will also acknowledge it so that it will not be repeated.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I did have this lovely surprise yesterday which perhaps inspired the whole trip to the nursery....
My Christmas Amaryllis which didn't bloom last Christmas has finally decided to grant me the gift of it's beauty and she doesn't seem to be holding anything back. I could have used it in the bleak winter but now is just fine.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Lazy Easter Day
and the lasagna which was awesome of course.
I love having a house-full of people but sometimes just my children is very nice. We run around so much in different directions it is rare to spend a day together with no distractions. Of course I only had half my children there but it was still nice.
So now I have to stop procrastinating and go work off all that good food...
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Making Traditional Easter Lasagna
Just kidding. It's just my copy of my mothers recipe for the pasta. On the other side is the sauce recipe and filling. You can see it's been used a lot. I should retype it and put it in a page protector don't you think?
Here is Johnny with the pasta machine. The machine allowed us to make really long and really thin noodles. I needed long ones for the new method I was trying.
The machine really does save you a lot of hard work and time. After we had the noodles all made we put some sauce in the bottom of a pan.
Then you lay in the LONG noodles lengthwise and width wise and let the hang way over. This is a new method for me. Then a layer of tiny meatballs, romano and sauce. I am straying from my mother's recipe but that's because I am trying something new. A new twist on an old tradition.
Then a layer of noodles that don't go over the edges followed by a layer of italian sausage, romano and sauce....
Another layer of noodles and then cubed mozzarella and romano and sauce...
Finally the last layer of noodles, a ricotta mixture and sauce...
The final step, and my favorite is pulling all the long hanging-over noodles up and across the top of the lasagna. So orderly. Everything nice and tucked in. I put it in the fridge until I cook it today in the oven. I will but some sauce and mozzarella on the top after it cooks some and let you know how it goes. I hope they will like it.
After I slaved in the kitchen all day yesterday (I also made vanilla cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and strawberry chiffon pie) it was party time! Once again we hooked up with Bill, Debi, Maggie, Jimmy and Paula and Darrell who were visiting from the D.C. area. We had great dinner out and laughed, laughed, laughed. I couldn't seem to get a good shot of us with the mirrors and low lighting. This was the best I could do.
Then Maggie started composing artistic shots while she was waiting for her food.
She was collecting the marlin stirrers? for nichos. Maggie gets these nichos from Mexico and then we paint and fill them. Sometimes. It's fun. Lets see if I have a pic of one...