Monday, June 9, 2014

"And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art" Neil Gaiman

Saturday, June 7, 2014

So today I changed my blog name, as I am officially out of my 50’s.  I have reached the half way mark!  If I live to be 120, and with medicine being the way it is, I may just do that.  So, I thought I would take some time and not reminisce (because I have already done that over the last month as I worked my way through a million photographs from birth to present)  but instead, I am going to set up some goals for the next couple, 3-4 decades. 

Where I want to go is a list that keeps changing from year to year, but I think the following are realistic for my pocketbook. I have been to every state in the union except Alaska so I would like to see that. I would like to visit Britain, France, Italy, and Germany.  I never got around to visiting mainstream Europe and would like to do that soon.  As far as the USA, I want to see Yosemite National Park, which means another trip to California.  We can definitely do that!  Acadia National Park in Maine is an experience I have wanted to share with Gary for a long time. I want to see Glacier National park in the summer or early fall.  I want to go back to Charleston South Carolina because it was the most magical city I have ever visited.  The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island would be on the list.  Everyone should see Mackinaw Island even if you can’t afford the Grand Hotel. I want to see Vermont in the fall.  There is so much here in the states, so much beauty.  Have I ever mentioned that I love this country?

What do I want to do?  Even though I joke about retiring I don’t have any plans to end my nursing career anytime soon. I would like to stay in the position I am in for the time being and continue honing my craft.  As I approach 70, dropping down to part time would be preferable to quitting work. I get so much satisfaction from caring for people. On the other hand, my art means a lot to me and having just started working towards my BFA at NIU, I hope to hone those skills as well. I don’t think I could make a living at it but I love to paint.  It’s good to have a passion.  I guess I plan to stay busy.

Mostly though, I just want to continue growing with Gary.  Notice I didn’t say grow old.  The parts may start wearing out but many are fixable.  Our brains though need everyday stimulation.  I think we can become as lazy with our brains as we do with our bodies.  I want my brain to function as well at 80 as it is at 60, God willing.  I want to stay abreast of current events.  I want to read every book I can get my hands on.  I want to move somewhere that doesn’t have as much traffic but not to a 55 and older community.  I want to build my own house.  And I want to find a church that fits.  I want to continue to help others whether it is with my nursing skills or with other life skills that I have. 

This brings me to my final statement, because my husband is waiting for me to soak in the hot tub.  We all love to give advice and I am no different.  My advice is a saying that rings true for me and really you should try it.  “The more you give, the more you get.”  Always be generous to others and do it without expecting anything in return.  The joy of giving outweighs any joy you get from receiving.  There you go, sage advice from a woman celebrating the 21st anniversary of her 39th birthday. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

 This is a bit of Holland Mi summer dreaming.. I call it "Coming Home"

And these are "poppies"  I am going to give this to a friend who asked me a year ago to paint her some poppies but I did not have the confidence.  I have improved with practice.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Deconstructed

      St. Patrick' Day?  I’ve seen a few.  I remember a few too. In my youth the date was synonymous with green beer, party till dawn, Dance the jig until you fall from exhaustion. It was gaiety, wildness, the North’s answer to Mardi Gras.  Although, I recall, I did spend one St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans.  I remember that one, It was fun. 

      St. Patrick’s Day slowly dwindled to date nights with limited celebration.  When the boys came along it became green decorations in my home.  As the boys grew it became the annual corned beef and cabbage dinner.  Although it was many years before my husband and sons would eat the cabbage, I persevered.  After the boys disappeared to college, Gary and I would have the meal at home or if we were travelling we would stop at the local eatery to enjoy someone else’s recipe.  Then it happened.  When I thought we could not get any further from my original crazy St Paddy’s day festivities, this year we are celebrating by having corned beef on rye. Really?  
However, this year my eldest had a wonderful experience.  Dan and Liz were part of the St. Patrick’s Day that is Chicago.  If you are a St. Patrick’s Day aficionado you have to see the Chicago River turn green at least once in your life.  It is Chicago at its finest.

Deb’s Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner

2 cuts of corned beef, flat cut, lean
10 small red potatoes, more if you have lots of potato lovers to feed.  Clean well and remove some of the skin before adding them to the pot.
1 head of Cabbage,  regular or savoy (If no one likes cabbage, try the savoy) Cut into quarters going through the core to keep each wedge intact.
½ jar of McCormick Pickling spice
6-10 cloved of garlic peels and cut in half

1.      Put both cuts of meat in a very large pot with the spices and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours
2.      Add potatoes and boil until tender when poked with a fork.  About 20-30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in colander.
3.      Remove corned beef, cover to keep warm
4.      Add Cabbage to the boiling water and cook until done.
5.      Melt a bunch of butter and pour over both the cabbage and the potatoes.  The corned beef should be ready for slicing. 

  Enjoy!  And Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Monday, March 10, 2014

hummingbird 3/6/14

My picture from my last watercolor class.  Can't wait until the next class starts!  In the mean time I think I will just keep on painting.

3/4/2014 Carnival Gal

Carnival Gal  Watercolor on Arches 140 lb paper

So there I was on Fat Tuesday thinking to myself " Self, it's time to celebrate Carnival!"  And I thought, well... my drinking and Salsa days are long gone but the spirit still thrives.  So I made this picture.  I worked on it all day and had fun doing it!