Sunday, April 29, 2007

Monday Giveaway!!!

The little blue birdie is back with a giveaway today! The giveaway is a box of my original spring photograph cards, signed and dated and this large size pink rose box. The quote inside the box is one of my favorite Emily Dickinson quotes... "Who has not found the heaven below will fail of it above. God's residence is next to mine, his furniture is love..." Emily Dickinson.
Details about my boxes and notecards and other little things can be found in the Love Boxes Etsy Shop.

As before, any little comment on this post will enter you in Fridays drawing, which will end at Midnight EST. You are welcome to enter as soon as this is posted & and everyone is welcome to enter so if you'd like to tell a friend.. no need to ask permission. I would love it!
Good Luck to Everyone!

Niki's Artichoke Dip Recipe...

Niki has brought this to a lot of fun parties with neighborhood friends, and now that I've made it, I really need to thank her because not only is it really delish... it's also kinda expensive to make. But make it you should because it is soooooooooo good.

1 80z can non-marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonaise
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic minced
dill weed to taste

Mix together all ingredients except artichoke hearts and beat until smooth. Add artichoke hearts, place in greased pie or quiche pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min. and serve with the Tostitos Flour Tortilla Chips in the post below.

**Notes... Niki says the dill is optional. We had dill in ours and it was great. She also said that greasing the pan could be over-kill. We did not grease the pan and it was great. Lilli made mention that water chesnuts might be delish in the dish, Niki thought so too. We did not have any water chesnuts on hand, but we are trying that next time. Niki actually makes hers in a really shallow tart pan, which looks very cute when she brings it to parties. I was bugged that I couldn't find a tart pan as cute as hers; mine is some kind of casserole dish, but it was still great! Did I say it was great? It was great!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Just a couple of little things...

I got the Artichoke Dip recipe from Niki and I am going to make it and show everyone tomorrow or Monday. I don't know if any of you follow Father Jonathan Morris, C reads his posts regularly and often shares them. I found this one interesting. Lastly, be watching Monday... there is going to be a Mother's Day Giveaway.... also don't forget to sign up for Michelle's giveaway if you haven't already. I have one of those cute elephants and I adore it! Thanks Michelle!

Pink Tulips...

When we experience enthusiasm, we feel a new kind of freedom that can profoundly change our personality. There is an awakening, a light that transcends our consciousness. This mysterious force is a god within. This gift is given to human beings, inspiring us to create a life of significance. Live and celebrate in appreciation of this motivating inner force, this effervescent blessing. Enthusiasm urges us onward and upward. Open, receptive, aware of the highest and finest within us, we "dance to a mysterious tune" that is uniquely ours.
Alexandra Stoddard from her book Time Alive

Tostitos Flour Tortilla Chips... or how I don't get out much...

Just let me ask you now to forgive the next few posts. I sit in my little studio for lots of days and when I finally get out, I get quite excited about some of the silly things I see. This is one of them. We had a few last night with our Taco Salad. They were really delish, but I was thinking what would really be great with them is my friend Niki's Artichoke Dip. MMMMmmmmm.

Purple Pens...

OK... this post should have gone after the next one instead of before, but this is the other really fun thing that I found at Target. Why do I get really excited about purple pens? Who knows really... :)

Circo Bermuda Short...

I had such a difficult time finding age appropriate summer clothing last year for little c. I was so happy when we found these darling girls shorts shopping yesterday. Target has them in khaki, white and denim. They fall just just above the knee and come with the all important adjustable waist. See them here. They cost $9.99 per pair.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Mother's Day...

Sorry, it took awhile for me to get this box in the shop.. I kinda forgot. It actually has one of my favorite Mother quotes ever... "I remember my mother's prayers...they have clung to me all my life... Abraham Lincoln" See it in The Love Boxes Etsy Shop.

Giveaway at Michelle's!!!

Don't miss. You can get there from here! She also has a fun Etsy shop... visit her shop here.

Big Stone Gap... And Book Club...

Big Stone Gap is just a really fun read. I love Adriana's style and her characters are all so three dimensional they seem like real people, even the minor characters. This is the third Adriana Trigiani book that I have read. I also have read Queen of the Big Time and Lucia, Lucia... I recommend those as well.
I have recognized a common theme in all three of these books. She explores the idea that there may be just "one true love" for each person. Not all of these books turn out happily ever after, so some of the "true loves" are the ones that got away. I'm a romantic and so I love this idea. What do you all think?
Book club was delicious! We have a very bright group and so the discussion is always really fun. Then, Katherina's home was so beautiful. Pale yellow paint with blonde floors and beautiful bright blue and yellow Spode plates decorating the walls. It was like taking a happy vacation to sit around in all that pretty.
She also made us Shirley Temples in beautiful champagne flutes and we had Chocolate Coca Cola Cake.... which we ate with little antique silver and ivory forks and the cake was amazingly fabulous! A grand evening indeed!
Adriana has a fun website, if you are interested see it here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Busy Day...

I am hoping to make a dent in these and a dent in my voluminous piles of laundry and read the last third of Big Stone Gap for book club tonight... that is a really fun book!

Fishy Dinner...

This is one of my 5-6 quick dinner recipes. It's amazing that people around here will still eat it. But since it takes about 10 min. to make the whole dinner, I thought I would share. You can brush the fish with a little egg white or milk, then you combine a bit of flour (I bet it would work with rice flour for gluten-free... what do you think Michelle?) ... so a bit of flour and a bit of corn meal and a bit of Cholula Chili Lime spice. I bake it for awhile at 350 and then broil it for a few minutes to make a crust on the top.
I garnish it with limes so that everyone will have a lime to squeeze on their bit. I think it makes a fairly healthy dinner with a fresh green salad.

A Present for ME!

Thanks Mom! Love you!
Love this quote....

“Love is the only bow of life's dark cloud. It is the Morning and Evening Star. It shines upon the cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb. It is the Mother of Art, inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart, builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth, It was the first dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings of common clay.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mother's Day...

This box was added to The Love Boxes Etsy Shop this morning...
inside it reads, "Mother, I love you..."


Where flowers bloom so does hope.- Lady Bird Johnson
Sorry about yet another picture of pansies, I am so in love with them.

Summer Of Love...

Summer Of Love aired last night on American Experience, a PBS program that we always find interesting around here. This program was no exception. It chronicled the summer of 1967 when many young people across the country went in droves to join The Hippie Movement in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.
I had read several things about this movement before and so I was amazed that many of the people who participated in this movement still had positive things to say about it. Peter Coyote, who is extensively interviewed in the program, makes the point that The Hippie Movement was not able to end Capitalism and Imperialism as it set out to do, but it did accomplish some good things. His list of good things included, organic food, yoga, and alternative medicine.
Some of those things are good things, but the film footage provided makes it difficult for me to judge the movement in a positive way. Film footage of the Haight-Ashbury area before the Hippies cames shows a lovely and well kept neighborhood that quickly became filthy while they were there.
The Hippies themselves were filthy bringing back diseases that had not been seen since Medival times because they had been cured by soap. Venereal diseases were spreading through the area rampantly.
Art Gerrans, a San Francisco police officer durring that time said, "These people were supportive of the anti-war movement, but on the other hand, back in the Haight-Ashbury, where they were living, their culture there -- having sex with minors and committing statutory rape and using dope and murders -- they were violating the law, so we were arresting them. I guess they were rebelling against authority."
The idea of rebelling against Capitalism in reality turned into living with out working. Subsequently, funds soon ran short for hippies. Young people as young as twelve and thirteen were roaming the streets filthy and starving.
One of the women spoke glowingly of what the hippies called, "the free store" where you could go in and just take what you needed. The problem I saw when they showed film footage of this store, was that no-one would want anything in it. It was all garbage. It made a great summation for me of the whole movement.... You get what you pay for.
If you are interested, the next program will be a co-production with the program Frontline. This program airs April 30th & May 1. It will be a four-hour program called The Mormons. You can also learn more about the Mormons right from the source, here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Trees I Covet...

Lord, the air smells good...
by Rumi
Lord, the air smells good today,
straight from the mysteries
within the inner courts of God.
A grace like new clothes thrown across the garden,
free medecine for everybody.
The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise,
the first blue violets kneeling.
Whatever came from Being is caught up in being,
drunkenlyforgetting the way back.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Bouquet For Mom...

This box will be in the Love Boxes Etsy Shop today...

This box is still in the shop and is my favorite one of the Mother's Day boxes... Inside it reads... Mother's love is peace... Erich Fromm...
The little house box that was in the shop sold this week, but this one, although a bit different than the other one, has the same quote, "your heart is my home..." and will be added today.
All of these will be included in a small shop update in the Love Boxes Etsy Shop today...

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Princess Academy... by Shannon Hale

... a report by little c.

Brilliant! I think if you click the pictures that you will be able to read the text. She worked a long time to get this put together for the due date this morning. Good job c!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

On a more cheerful note...

My original floral photographs like this one...
...have become a line of seasonal note cards... this one. They are original photographs mounted on good archival cardstock, signed and dated. This first series is entitled, Spring...
...and I am hopeful that they will be successful and available for each season. They will arrive picture perfect in a cute box with a bow as shown above and would be a great Mother's Day item. See them in the Love Boxes Etsy Shop.

True At First Light... Ernest, Bill and The Great Liberal Ideal...

I mostly like to post about the bright and happy, but I did promise to review this book and I did finish this morning on schedule. The book was published posthumously in 1999 and edited by Patrick Hemingway, the second son born to Mr. Hemingway. I felt that the afterword included by Patrick was the only part of the book with any emotional value.
It was soon after Hemingway wrote what is included in this book that he ended his life by suicide in Ketchum, Idaho on July 2, of 1961. Last time I was in Ketchum, I visited the lovely memorial that was erected in 1966 to his memory.
His family has quite a terrible history of mental illness something that his own behavior must have exacerbated greatly. If you take his view of himself at face value from this book, he was a faithless, debauching, alcoholic who was emotionally stunted and selfish. He reminded me so much of Bill Clinton, it was difficult not to compare them.
Bill Clinton claimed to be part of and spoke the language of what I like to think of as The Great Liberal Ideal. Equal treatment under the law for every human being, respect for all people and cultures, you know THOSE great liberal ideals. These are the people who came up with and passed sexual harrassment laws that are meant to protect women in the work place. But, no spoken ideal can speak louder than the way a man treats his own wife.
Hemingway had been married four times. In the book, he talks about what makes a really loving wife... one that will hunt lions with you.. great. Also on his list is one that will allow, even encourage you to keep a concubine. His mention of women in the book makes them more like a consumable product, to be used up and thrown out.
Bill Clinton liked to support those tired and old social programs that originated with Johnson's Great Society and now have shown to be a recipe for keeping the poor in their tenaments for how many generations and those who promise to keep them on the dole in power.
Ernest Hemingway mentioned the poor treatment of Native Americans in the book and yet his own behavior and example toward the East Africans would make them tribes of syphilitic alcoholics.
Why is his writing so famous? It is difficult not to admire his clear prose and unmistakable style, yet, his content fails to inspire me. In college I read a paper written by Marilyn Arnold called Art and The Noble Idea. The article argues that it is not good enough to have great truth or great style. Great writing must have both. I really don't find any truth in True At First Light.

Do you have a different opinion? I would love to hear why.

Oh, What a Busy Day!

Design Mom posted about a favorite childhood book of mine. It brought back a lot of fun memories. Read her post here.

America at a Crossroads... PBS

America at a Crossroads is just about the most timely television you can get. A documentary series by PBS that shows the history of the United States path to war in Iraq, the history and culture of the Middle East, and actually far more topics than I can list here. As President Bush fights it out with congress over budget that will allow troops to stay in country in Iraq or force them to abandon their mission there, this is program shows both sides of the debate and much more and is something I think every American should see. If you haven't seen it, see it. I missed the first part myself and I am going to find a way to see it. Part 4 airs tonight and I don't think it's necessary to see them in order.

PBS steps up again... this is really great television. Read about it here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another Pineapple...

Available in The Love Boxes Etsy Shop...

Two-Part Invention...

Though I am not a fan of fantasy or sci-fi writing, A Wrinkle in Time is among a very few exceptions for me. It seems that whatever Madeleine L'Engle chooses as a subject she fills the pages with truth. This week I am reading True At First Light by Earnest Hemingway, which I will review on Thursday. In that book Hemingway's character makes a speech that I like where he says that fiction can have more truth than non-fiction because it includes emotion and perspective.
Two-Part invention is the true story of Madeline L'Engle's marriage, but it still includes so much of emotional truth. And, it is a great love story. The book reminds me of the kind of love that you hope for, the kind of love mentioned in protestant vows that say, "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health." We all want to be loved in every part of our life, even when we are not our best self. We want there to be someone to know us for who we really are and forgive those little annoying things, to stick with us even if the going gets tough for awhile knowing that we are greater than our weakness and faults.
In that spirit, this book is a real love story, the nitty gritty if you will, of really what we all hope for... a love that lasts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hand Painted Love Boxes for Mother's Day...

There have been several requests regarding Mother's Day Love Boxes... This is the deal. There are quite a few in the Etsy Shop and the Ebay Shop already that may be perfect for your specific kind of mom. I will be adding a few more over the next few days and highlighting them on the blog to give everyone a few ideas. If you remember something that isn't listed, let me know and I will look through my stock. Thanks for your support everyone, it is much appreciated.
The quotes in these deep plum boxes with red roses read:
Box 1. A mother's arms are made of tenderness... Victor Hugo
Box 2. I remember my mother's prayers... they have clung to my all my life... Abraham Lincoln
Box 3. A mother's love is peace... Erich Fromm

My Mother is like Midas...

...only instead of turning things into gold... she turns everything...
These are pictures of our belated Easter dinner that took place yesterday because of scheduling.
Everyone had a marvelous time! Thanks Mom! You have always been a great Easter Bunny...