For the Love of Art

Last night I had the privilege of attending Don Marlowe’s art exhibit at the Graham Arts Council.  I have purchased a few of his pieces over the years, but I have never had the opportunity to view all of his works on display at the same time.  The diversity and range of his pieces definitely offers something for everyone.  For me, I am enamored by them all.  I like my art like my furniture…eclectic.  I’ll start with my favorite piece of the night.  This piece is called “Persephone” and I am putting it on my list of things I really want and need to buy.  After telling him how much I loved it last night, he told me he had won an award for it.  Clearly, I have great taste in art. 🙂 
DSC_0017

I was an art major, long before I went to design school, and my passion for art has been mostly life long.  Unfortunately, I found in art school that my talent to draw and paint was far beneath my eye for its beauty, so I changed things up a bit. I have a desire to fill all my walls with great, personal art. I have a decent collection started, by my personal standards, which basically just rules out hanging anything that I haven’t bought from an artist I have met. Some of the pieces may have cost as little as 5.00, but it somehow spoke to me at some point in my life. These are two of Don’s most recent works. They are a close second to Persephone. You see another side of this artist in these pieces.
DSC_0020
These next two are of his daughters. They graced the hallway walls in an old barnhouse that he converted into a living space. You can’t help but want a friendship with this artist. He’s just that interesting.
DSC_0002
The exhibit was very personal, from the choices of pieces displayed, to the open arms and sincerity of the artist. To my delight, the venue was packed with jovial patrons. With weather outside in the teens, it was all the more impressive that such a large crowd was drawn. It just goes further to validate my feelings on the talent of this artist and the hospitable nature of a Georgian man turned North Carolinian. The following is a little more of a taste of the exhibit:
DSC_0008

DSC_0006

DSC_0011

DSC_0012

DSC_0013

DSC_0015

DSC_0016

DSC_0018

DSC_0020
I was disappointed in myself that I had not taken the time to visit the local Alamance Arts Council. The arts council is located in an orginal Queen Anne House. There’s an incredibly interesting history worth reading here:
http://www.artsalamance.com
We were greeted by one of the volunteers with a large, happy grin and a wealth of knowledge to guide us. To our right was a musician playing beautifully and beckoning us into the show. In the original Queen Anne dining room was an antique table overflowing with delicious nibblies and wine and beer on the sideboard.
DSC_0001
And finally Don Marlowe! (With my friend Jennifer)
DSC_0019
For the love of art, go see him and check out his sweet, red, Converse sneakers.

What’s for Dinner?

Okay, this question torments me almost everyday. I wish I was one of those people that could plan out meals for the week…lay out your clothes for the next day kind of gal. In theory, it’s brilliant. I have made calendars with meal plans and I still can’t stick to it. I guess mostly because I dress and eat by mood. So how in the world can I plan around that? Some days I feel really creative and need to write out a new recipe. Those same days I could be feeling the need for comfort food, or spicy food, or I have a memory of something that I have tried before or…well you get it. Am I alone in this? Anyway, I thought it would be fun to start a series on it. Please let me know what you are having for dinner in the comments. Monday nights seem to scream out, “Comfort Food!” Last night, I really wanted pasta and my husband loves an alfredo sauce. I decided to throw him a bone and create a basic alfredo sauce recipe. I served it over fresh raviolis and to make it even healthier…a sirloin on the side. Nothing green allowed tonight. (Except garnish)

Basic Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter (Do not use margarine)
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbps. flour
2 cups milk (I used 2% milk)
2 oz. cream cheese (1/4 of a block)
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of salt and pepper
Dash or red pepper flakes
5 oz. of freshly grated romano cheese

First Step:
Combine the butter and olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spatula until melted.
image
Second Step:
Add the flour and make a roux. Stir over medium heat until combined and golden.
Third Step:
Slowly whisk in milk. Once combined add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Continue to stir until thickened and sauce coats your spatula.
Fourth Step:
Add spices and remove from heat. Immediately add all of the cheese and stir vigorously until combined. It will look like this:
image
Immediately serve over pasta. Garnish with a little parsley. Yummy-you will not feel skinny afterwards. So what are you having for dinner? What wine will you serve? What wine would you have served with this heavy dinner?

PS-I posted this earlier and something dreadful happened and it disappeared. My apologies for losing your comments. 😦

The Perfect Weekend for an Introvert

How Do You Relax?
Most of my friends are under the illusion that I am an extrovert. I have a tendency to talk a little too much when I am with people, especially if I have had any coffee. I was a cheerleader in high school, too. So it makes sense that people could think this about me. The truth is that I relish my alone time.
This past weekend, my husband was out of town. Friday night I rushed from work to the local Co-op and picked up some yummies, listened to a couple of songs by a local band playing there and then rushed home to feed and play with Mr. Sugarbears. I prepared myself a plate of crackers, cheese, pepper jelly and a couple of slices of Giacomo’s hot Soppresata. It was delicious. I snuggled with Mr. Sugarbears for a while and then decided to call my sister. She had company in for the weekend and I wanted to see them for a few minutes. I pulled a good cabernet out of my stock and threw it in my purse. I had a good hour of visiting, watching the kiddos run wild playing with there friends, and I had a glass of wine with my sister and friends. It was just enough interaction to fill my cup.
The following morning, I found myself in new territory. The house was quiet and I really had little scheduled. I tiptoed downstairs and put on a pot of coffee and fed Mr. Sugarbears. After pouring myself a decadent treat, I returned to bed. I turned on my bedside lamp and pulled out my laptop. I spent the next few hours reading, writing and sipping on coffee. I had a small commitment to help my friend’s daughter start a traveling blog, so I finally put myself in the shower and dressed. I spent a few hours with Ella creating her private travel blog and snacking on yummy cured Italian meat and brie. Afterwards, I stopped by to check on my parents and to visit a little. After the visit I realized that I was done for the day and it was only 2:00. I went home and went back to writing and reading and a little bit of cleaning. It was perfect. I think I am going to do great one day when I retire. 🙂
I made the mistake of turning on the TV sometime later in the evening and found a movie starting that I just could not resist watching. I don’t know if anyone else reading this had a passion for VC Andrews books in the eighties, but I did. I loved her books. Sometime in the late eighties or early nineties, a movie was made about her first book, “Flowers in the Attic.” I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this movie. It was my first experience watching a movie that had been made from a book that I knew of…and I was terribly disappointed. It was crushing. Since then I have had many of these experiences. We all have. It’s hard to recreate in a movie the fantasy worlds that have come from a writers mind and even harder to make it work for all of the readers imaginations. Occasionally, I am blown away with the way a book was recreated on the screen. So Saturday night, I saw a quick preview for “Flowers in the Attic” that was getting ready to start. It was new. It had Ellen Burstyn and Heather Graham in it. Surely, this second attempt to recreate VC Andrews book on screen would be a winner. A few minutes into the movie, I knew I had been duped again, but instead of turning it off…I watched the movie in its entirety. Another two hours of my life wasted.
Sunday morning I started my day in a similar manner with my dessert coffee, reading and writing. It was heaven. Mr. Sugarbears spent a lot of time quietly hanging out with me, too. I invited my sister and her friend over for an afternoon glass of wine and some yummies to snack on. I had a Boucheron, a Brie and a stinky Blue with honey drizzled all over it. My intention was to serve a fruit tart with the cheese, but the dough did not cooperate in time, so I was forced to have it all to myself later in the day. The perfect weekend for this introvert was filled with reading, writing and cooking. My cup has been replenished. How was your weekend?

My Maple Tree

My Maple Tree

In my front yard lives this maple tree. It beckons me in the spring and fall to climb up into its majestic arms. I am approaching 6 years of living in this home and I have yet to answer her call. As the weather has continued to plummet, I am saddened as I watch her slumbering naked in the yard. Her leaves have long since fallen to the ground. Her skin reveals years of time on this earth. She stands strong accepting the added wrinkles and marks of the life she has lived. Yesterday, I watched her welcome a lonesome winter bird of some sort. The air was warmer and this lovely bird sang softly to the tree as if she was thanking her for the companionship. I am enchanted by my maple tree.

A Laid Back Morning

A Laid Back Morning

I’m off today and things are quiet. I have attended to Mr. Sugarbears. He’s been outside and had his breakfast and now he’s content and chilling. I ground some great “Love Buzz” coffee beans and made a pot of deliciousness that is now heavily laden with cream and sugar. Now I am back under the covers of my bed making plans for the week and enjoying this luscious cup of coffee. I have at least another half an hour before I need to get showered. It’s a laid back morning. Peace.

Successfully and Gleefully Adverb-Free

I have so much to learn. Thanks Andra.

The Accidental Cootchie Mama

Back when I set off on this journey to write a novel, I had an appallingly awful writing tick. I used to gaze adoringly at words that end in -ly, those deliciously clumsy things called adverbs. They’re supposed to be insufferably bad in the context of writing, though I was indecorously ignorant of that fact prior to beginning my little writerly adventure.

I felt horrifically inept when parsing the simplest of sentences. How could I constructively cajole thoughts together when I could not gracefully use words ending in -ly?

Hmmmmm. It was a hideously fatal conundrum for which I seriously had no solution. Other than to write a ponderously imperfect blog post in an effort to exorcise the glaringly bad adverb demon once and for all. I peppered them thickly into a post, hoping they would studiously avoid my main project.

Inexplicably, I now look…

View original post 167 more words

Secret Santa Wine Review-Yummy!!

ImageImage

Hmmm…where do I start. I guess I will start with how the Secret Santa happened in the first place. Due to my love of wine, I follow a lot of wine bloggers and sometimes, I not only like or comment on them, I actually participate. Jeff, of thedrunkencyclist.com had this wonderful post: http://thedrunkencyclist.com/2013/12/10/tis-the-season-part-deux/ In short, he invited those who were up to the challenge to send a lovely wine to someone he would choose in America. Woo Hoo for Secret Santa winos. This was definitely for me. I thought hard about what I would send, and felt good about what I sent to my secret santa. I began to get excited about what surprise I would receive in the mail. A couple of days before Christmas, it arrived! Check out the blog of this duo: http://foodandwinehedonist.com/about/ They had visited my site and knew that I loved Pinot Noir and that I loved to support local and used that as a guideline. Oh…this wine, so wonderful. I waited for the right moment to open it. I waited for a special night with my wino friends to open this bottle. My palette is far from perfect and I asked everyone for their opinions as we all took our first sip. Immediately, and in unison, was a big, Yum. Next was the pepper. Everyone tasted the pepper. My sister immediately pointed out how nice the earthiness of the wine was and another thought they tasted currant. It wasn’t currant, but it was Raspberry and dark cherry. It was really good. The only problem was that we only had one bottle of it. The wine is 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot. At 40.00 per bottle, it’s not your everyday wine, but I might order a bottle for Valentine’s dinner with the hubs. Cadia 2011 is a bottle you should try. My review…It’s Yummy! Thank you!

The Right Time for this Book

The Right Time for this Book

One of my dear friends gave me this lovely book for Christmas. She told me it was her favorite book. I stayed up late last night and finished this gem. I couldn’t stop. Many times throughout the book, I would stop and say, “Honey, I have got to read this one little part to you.” My husband totally understood my love for this book, just from the tidbits of wisdom I chose to divulge to him. This book was poignant for me. I seem to be at a crossroad in my life and receiving this book came at just the right time. All I can say is, “READ IT!”

A Fresh Start

Image

 

Happy New Year!  I ended 2013 with some of my dearest friends toasting each other in my home.  It was perfect!  I didn’t really make any resolutions this year, but I do have some areas that I would like to improve upon.  For instance, I want to schedule my time better.  Write every day. Give my blog more attention.  Give more of my time to people that are less fortunate.  In general, work on being the best that I can be in this life.  Life is short and it really does speed up as you age.  

So yesterday morning on January one, I awakened a little sluggish from the combination of staying up late the previous night and partaking in the festivities a little much.  I reminded myself that I needed to follow through with my intentions, so I jumped in the shower, dressed and made myself a smoothie.  My sister and niece picked me up and we went to help set up for the annual “Feed the Homeless New Year’s Day Lunch.”  I sliced a lot of ham and made some new friends in the kitchen.  As I saw the less fortunate entering humbly for their lunch, I knew that I had made the right decision to help.  Afterwards, my sister’s mother-in-law had me over to join them with our own New Year’s Day lunch.  She made Hoppin’ John’s, collards and corn bread for us.  It was delicious.  After lunch the kiddos asked me to help them make puppets.  We made a few and then we had a puppet show.  

Image

After the puppet show I returned home and read a little and then took a nap.  It truly was a perfect day.  I am ready for a fresh start.  Happy New Year!