Just a few words and photos to share

It’s been awhile but it’s been a busy year. Thought I’d share a few photos with you.

While working at Kansas State University, the hubby made a couple of shelves so I could place some of my memorabilia and a couple of pieces of artwork out to enjoy every day. He also made a wonderful tea-light shelving arrangement that which adds such a calmness to the room. Love them. I posted a picture of them when I was still living in Kansas, but this is how they look now – just a little different.



Then there was the day not too long ago when I just could not get warm. I decided to get out the heating pad and rest it against my tummy while I sat on the sofa with my computer. So I go to the other room, retrieve the pad from the bedroom, plug it in, set the temperature, and then went to prepare some hot tea and get my computer. When I got back to the sofa here is what I found:


So glad he is not spoiled!

And earlier this summer I went to stay with my brother for a few days in a beautiful neighborhood that made for some great early morning walks before the Southern heat began to blast with that mandatory humidity! (Was that what we call a run on sentence? While yes I think it was! 🙂  ) I found these two plants at a neighbor’s home and had to take a picture.


Until next time!



Spring has brought us a mixture of weather all around the USA. Of course, I try to adapt as best I can. Which means on one of the colder weekends I tried a new soup recipe of barley, mushrooms, and lentils. Vegan – and tasty! However, the next batch I made I left out the lentils, and I found that batch even better than the first:

First mushrooms, then added barley and lentils, finishing off with carrots, onions, and thyme.

In March the hubby and I took a hike in the woods near our house with the grandchildren. It’s one of my favorite places in the spring, one we discovered a few years ago. In the woods is evidence of an old homestead. No foundation left, but the daffodils that were most likely planted by the mom, bloom every year. You can tell the location of at least one corner of the house by the arrangement of the flowers. Deep in the woods near a creek. And oh yes! In one picture you see the boys have discovered the oven of an old wood cook stove. Noting but the oven left. I can only imagine the delicious meals that came from that stove!



Flowers near a monument


Then there were walks in a nearby park.

And another special treat?  A baby goat!

January 17. Not exactly the beginning of a calendar year, but still in the first month.

I recently returned from Boston, MA, where I attended the American Library Association MidWinter (ALA) Conference. My plane landed on a Friday morning, and after checking into the hotel around 9am, it was time to find coffee and a nutritious breakfast!1 Breakfast

After registration and taking possession of my ALA badge, I wandered through the conference center a bit. Look at the sign I found – love it!3 research

And yes – they do! A web search is surely part of research, but just one part.

Then I took a shuttle bus to another hotel and enjoyed an informative, educational, and delightful lunch with four colleagues from across the country. After that there were two afternoon meetings and discussions, then a walk back to my hotel. I’m not much for staying out late (I’m an early-to-rise girl!) unless there are good friends and conversation waiting for me, but not tonight. Back to the hotel for an artisan mushroom pizza and going over my notes from the day at M.C. Spiedo. Oh. My. Gosh. Delicious!

2 mushroom pizza

Then reading in a comfy bed and off to sleep for another early start the next morning.



Early morning walk

This past weekend I decided to explore a small section of the Maryland coastal land, not too far from where I live. I went early in the morning in hopes of experiencing our world before the chaos began. I was in luck – passed only two people crabbing. They were enjoying the quiet as well.

Here are few pictures I took with my new camera!

On the “woodsy” trail, I passed a duck box hanging on the side of a huge tree

Then there was just beautiful calm water (with a bit of a gazebo caught in the frame)



A few daisies peeking out from a thorny bush

The smaller boat in the middle has netting that hangs from one side to the other. The perfect place for a wonderful night’s sleep with the water, fresh air, and no mosquitoes climbing into one’s ear!

A small marshy area off to the side

Still amazed when I see a tree that apparently grows right out of a huge rock!

More pictures to follow in my next posting …..

Just enjoy

Back to knotting pearls. I truly love the look of the perfectly colored glass pearl.

No real counting once I’ve laid out the design. Just take the thread, add the pearl, and proceed to make the perfect knot! Each time.

After knotting for a bit there was lunch. This Southern girl really loves fried okra. I usually rinse and pat dry the veggie. Then cut off the larger tougher end and just throw them plain into a hot cast-iron frying pan. No water, oil, or anything extra. Just toss it around for a few minutes until it is really toasty. Just before removing this green morsels from the pan, I add a little salt, toss 20 seconds longer – and perfect okra every time!

There were also some baby potatoes from a recent farmers’ market purchase and leftover salad from the day before.

And how about a few pictures from my February 2015 NYC trip, beginning the day with a banana quinoa muffin from Smile to Go on Howard Street. I understand this breakfast goodie is a favorite of a very popular young singer. 🙂

Then it was off to Bleeker Street to get a glimpse of the historical building where Margaret Sanger worked during the first half of the 20th century

There was a quick stop at Lincoln Center to see a little of the happenings of Fashion Week. Most of us were just bundled up in warm coats! But I liked this picture because it almost appears to be a black and white picture, but then you see the powder-blue coat, bright orange shoes, a child’s hat, and there is pink! Even on the the little doggy there is color. The photographer seems to be posing – but he is not. He was actually looking at something behind me (don’t remember what it was).

Catching up a bit

My weekend began Saturday morning with my usual gathering of cohorts at my favorite Annapolis Starbucks. We talk about current events, recent remarks from various U.S. presidential wannabes, the economy, our global education successes and failures, films (recent and older), and whatever other thought that flies through someone’s head. Then it is out there for all!

Now enjoying the weekend at home, cooking a little, cleaning a little, watching a movie or two via Netflix, and creating a few new things to add color to my world. Here are pictures of some of the recent items I am eager to “play” with:

Wooden and seed beads

Unakite and red sponge coral
A few weeks ago I took my first try with making vegan phớ. Not as tasty as I’ve had in a restaurant; didn’t season the broth very well and it didn’t have quite enough flavor. Ah …. but a new culinary quest in my future!

Like movies?

My camera broke beyond repair this past February. I just purchased another and pictures will soon begin again!

I love movies focusing on food. It seems the movie industry is making more of them. Or at least putting them out there were I can find them.

Recently I watched The Hundred Foot Journey. With Helen Mirren, the French countryside, and Indian food that I have not yet learned how to master in the kitchen. A little bit of possible romance, camera closeups of chefs at work … why even the whisking of eggs in a glass bowl made me swoon. What’s not to love if you like a sweet (and sometimes sad) good story.

And there was Chef. Jon Favreau was great, but I particularly enjoyed seeing Oliver Platt – one of my favorites. And John Leguizamo, whom I believe to be a terrific actor. For me it was a story about a man who appreciated his connection to food, the importance of sharing that connection, and the relationship he builds with his young son.

A few years ago there was Today’s Special. Aasif Mandvi makes me laugh and I love to see the way he takes on a character, but here he also brought more than just laughter. Why was it not released on the big scale? Don’t know. Again, Indian food and the heart of food bringing people together.

For me? Starting a pot of vegan creamy broccoli soup – making the veggie broth with all these goodies. The potatoes easily provide the creamy I adore. And after the creamy base is done, I add more fresh broccoli for the …. well, the fresh morsels of broccoli!

And one more favorite? Julie & Julia. Yes, I realize this movie came out in 2009, but I’ve seen it three times and am ready for another. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci in the same movie??? OMGosh – such amazing talent!! And if you really enjoy food and the connection it brings to people, the scene where Julia first tastes sole meuniere? I know. Simple and short. But I could feel Julia’s amazement in my heart as she shared her discovery with her husband. Really, it was there 🙂