Showing posts from 2018

Meditation 12.30.18

Dear Henry,

Calligraphy enthralls me, as do fountain pens, and while I will never make a career with hand lettering, I do enjoy playing with word art and find it an incredibly fun hobby.

Even if you aren't into hand lettering, much can be said for the beauty of handwriting produced by the nib of a fountain pen, and the sophistication a letter written by steel possesses. 

There is no need to fear the fountain pen, according to The Fountain Pen Network, fountain pens require less pressure than a ballpoint pen, and while there is still the problem of wet ink, the situation is similar to the problem with gel pens now.

I am intrigued enough to want to begin writing with fountain pens and to incorporate the art of calligraphy into all of my correspondence.

Hmmm..... it is something to consider.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.29.18

Dear Henry,

I have decided who I want to be when I grow up and that is Jean Jacques Savin.

Mr. Savin is currently floating the Atlantic ocean in what amounts to a well-stocked bucket.


Why not?

No really, why not?

Mr. Savin, who has traveled the Atlantic Ocean three previous times by sailboat has decided that on this trip he would go where the ocean currents take him and he is bobbing through the Atlantic at the mercy of the ocean currents. While not the purpose of the trip, he is also dropping markers in the water to aid in oceanic studies about Atlantic water currents.  The trip is expected to take approximately three months and will include a special bottle of wine and foie gras celebration for his birthday.

I love the thought of exploring the world in such a casual manner, and to do so well fed.  My world exploration will have to take place in something more traditional, however, I am prone to sea-sickness and Mr. Savin's pod sounds as if it would definitely bring that on…

Meditation 12.28.18

Dear Henry,

Have you ever wondered how words come into the lexicon?

I do, all of the time.  Today, for example, after realizing my lettuce's prime has passed, I contemplated the word "wilt".

Wilt is a great word. It is one of those words which immediately brings a picture to mind, in this case, the word "wilt" automatically causes one to picture sagging greenery or English ladies falling into chairs.

According to Merriam Webster - Wilt is the anglicized version of the German "erwelken" (same meaning), first appearing around 1691 and becoming an increasingly popular verb at the height of the salad bar craze of the late 1980s.

Today, wilt accurately described the salad mix in my refrigerator.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.27.18

Dear Henry,
This Spring I will be on a hunt.  
There are dragonflies, called the Green Darner, that are an iridescent green and blue.  They aren't very big, only about 3 inches, but they look stunning and I want to photograph them.

According to this great article in the Washington Post, they migrate (like birds or butterflies) from Florida and should arrive in NW Arkansas about the end of March.  
Stayed tuned for pictures.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.26.18

Dear Henry,

The Christmas holiday was lovely and I was fortunate enough to have an abundance of treats, snacks, and really good food.
I ate entirely too much.
The treadmill is calling.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.24.18

Dear Henry,

I think almost everyone is familiar with the tale of Silent Night and how the lyrics, written by Joseph Mohr were put to the music of a guitar by Franz Gruber because the small town of Oberndorf Austria didn't have a working organ.

What I didn't know was that the style of the melody also reflects the location of the hymns creation.

Gruber used the Siciliana musical style to create the melody. Siciliana is often associated with Italian gondoliers and fishermen and contains a rolling feel, much like the movement of water.  Oberndorf Bei Salzburg is a town located on the river Salzach and most of the residents at the time would have worked with the salt traders who, because of a boulder in the river, had to unload their barges and reload their barges. By using this style, Gruber gave a nod to the importance of the river and its meaning to the congregation.

Little did the two of them know, their hymn would become a smash hit, and, ultimately, become one of the most bel…

Meditation 12.23.18

Dear Henry,

All of the Christmas preparations are done - more or less anyway - the presents are wrapped and all the pre get together stuff has been finished,  and today is becoming a much needed day of rest.
We are also looking at another amazingly warm day.
I have a book and a chair in the sun.  I may rest there for the remainder of the day.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.22.18

Dear Henry,

I believe I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

I love Southern Winters. 

Today it is supposed to top out at 60 degrees, with clear skies, and a brilliant sun.

I am going outside.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.21.18

Dear Henry,

Still cleaning - Day 3 of the Christmas Cleaning Circus. 

I grumbled a bit yesterday when I looked around and realized how much stuff I still needed to clean and then immediately felt sheepish that I grumbled.

I am fortunate - I have a house to clean and furniture to put in it.  I have enough food to eat and clean water.

In other words, this season's housecleaning has become an exercise in gratitude and I am happy I am doing it.    It has been a great activity to prepare for the New Year.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.20.18

Dear Henry,

It's Christmas Cleaning Circus day two  - Living and Dining Rooms - it is amazing how much "stuff" collects on bookcases, the end tables, and within the coat closet.

I am looking forward to clearing it out and having a fresh slate for 2019.

Wish me luck and a short line at the recycling center.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.19.18

Dear Henry,

It is time for the Christmas Cleaning Circus.  Today, because it is overcast,  I will do windows. 

Windows are not my favorite thing, but, I am armed with plenty of Windex and an audiobook, so the fun starts now.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.18.18

Dear Henry,

This morning I was jolted awake at 3 am with one of "those" questions.

What is the difference between an algorithm and a math problem? 

You see, I have often wondered how we could have computer algorithms that were developed prior to the development of computers. 

According to Merriam Webster, an algorithm is a "procedure for solving a mathematical problem". In other words, algorithms are the "Math Rules" we were taught growing up.

Computer programing is ultimately the art of stating the problem mathematically and then creating an algorithm to solve it - or rather, just Google it, many problems have already been solved!

There is a book series -  "The Art of Computer Programing" by Dr. Donald Kuhl - that explores, in incredible depth, the algorithms that define computer design. 

I am not sure that I am brave enough to try and read that.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.17.18

Dear Henry,

Today I learned that President Grant loved to speed and race through the streets of Washington D.C. in the style of  The Fast and the Furious.

Yes, yes. The hero of the Union would race through the streets like a madman - giving his horses "free reign" to see what they could do.

Speeding carriages were actually quite a problem in the capital, there were many reports of carriage-pedestrian injuries and fatalities and the local police were continually being called upon to "do something".

One of D.C's police officers, William H. West, actually began arresting people who were speeding.  Officer West even arrested President Grant.

He didn't appear in court.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.16.18

Dear Henry,

For about a month, I haven't heard a single hoot from our resident owl.  We were guessing that the owl moved on and it actually made me quite sad.
It appears, however, the owl was just on vacation, perhaps a sort of singles cruise.  Last night whilst taking Ziggy for a walk, I heard the owl and then I heard a second owl.
Maybe soon, we will have baby owls.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.15.18

Dear Henry,

I made fudge for the first time in years.  
I used to make it all of the time, but then, I grew up and got busy.
You hear horror stories about fudge, about how challenging it is to make, and because it had been so long since I had made it, I was concerned.
Turned out, I didn't need to be.  My recipe still works and turned out beautifully.
It is:
2 C. Brown Sugar 1 C. White Sugar 1 C. Whole Milk 1 TBSP. Butter 1 Tsp. Vanilla 4 oz Unsweetened Chocolate 1 C. Walnuts
In a heavy saucepan mix the sugars, milk, and butter over medium heat until it begins to boil. Then stop stirring and allow it to cook until soft ball stage (about 238 F)  - Don't stir.  It is tempting.
Remove pan from heat and allow it to rest for 15 min.
Break up and melt the chocolate.  Add chocolate, vanilla, and walnuts to the sugar mixture and beat until starts turning creamy.
Turn into a buttered dish and let cool.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.14.18

Dear Henry,

I read on Quite Interesting this morning that it is traditional to roller skate to church on Christmas day in Caracas Venezuela. 

We don't have any traditions quite as exciting here.  In fact, we are at a crossroads with our holiday traditions.  We no longer have little children and our children have plans of their own.  For the first time, Fish and I are no longer responsible for the whole shebang.

A liberating feeling for sure, but, I have been a little adrift this holiday.  What am I supposed to do? 

We are working on creating new traditions and plan on establishing Christmas Day Brunch as our designated "family" time.

Until then, I am just doing what I want to do, including making fudge.  From scratch.  Keep your fingers crossed.

xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.13.18

Dear Henry,

I think I am finally ready to start celebrating for Christmas and I am ready to start decorating now.
For me, the Christmas season is a period of winding down the year and bringing everything to a close.  I don't feel ready to end the year.  
Perhaps that is the lesson of my 2018.  That no matter how unprepared I am for the future,  it will ultimately arrive.
The least I can do is decorate for it.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation 12.12.18

Dear Henry,

This morning, prior to finishing my first cup of coffee, I stumbled upon an article about science in the Washington Post.  It was quite brain-jarring. 
This article, like many other scientific articles, was difficult to understand and I had to ponder that for a moment.  
Why?  Why is it that scientific writing is so hard to read and understand?  Granted, the concepts themselves are challenging and esoteric, but the bulk of "literature" is often hard to engage in for anyone other than the truly dedicated and that problem doesn't make sense to me, because, I believe, anything can be written about in an interesting manner.
I think the problem is language. Science has its own language and those who are fluent in "science" aren't necessarily fluent in "descriptive English".    There are exceptions,  Andrew Thomas's series "Hidden in Plain Sight" was, I thought, a great "science for everyone" book and I thought that …

Meditation 12.10.18

Dear Henry,

I am incredibly embarrassed, I thought I knew someone and it turns out I didn't.  Of course, I didn't realize that I didn't know them until after I shared a rambling and somewhat off the wall story.

You see, I have a Goodreads account and for the last year or so I have been following a fellow reader named M*** who I thought was my friend M*** from Utah. We seem to have similar tastes and reading habits and, using the information gleaned from Goodreads, I would occasionally send M*** from Utah book recommendations based upon  M*** on Goodreads' reading list.

Yesterday I noticed "we" were not friends on Goodreads which I thought was odd, as we were friends everywhere else, so I sent M*** on Goodreads a friend request and answered M***'s required two questions.

Neither question seemed out of M*** from Utah's character.

One of his questions was to relate my favorite pun.  While I don't have a favorite "pun" per se, I do love them…

Meditation 12.9.18

Dear Henry,

It has been cold lately. Below freezing, even during the day.  All of the animals, spoiled creatures that they are have been cooped up inside.
They are thoroughly sick of each other and after their antics last night, I am thoroughly sick of them. 
Today promises to be in the mid-'40s, with sunny skies.  Warm enough to go outside and out they will go for a couple of hours.
I may join them.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 12.8.18

Dear Henry,

I am waiting on Diego.  The storm, not the painter.  It doesn't appear that he will be coming, at least not to NW Arkansas.

It is sort of a letdown, as the previous week has been nothing but warnings regarding the impact of Diego.  School functions have been rescheduled, parades have been canceled and the grocery store has been completely chaotic this week.

I get that Mother Nature has a mind of her own, but, seriously, there must be some science behind this right?  So, I Googled. Here is what I learned:

Your local meteorologists should be the most accurate forecasters, as they are the ones who "know" the area.
If they are talking about a storm more than a week out, the forecast will be much different than the actual weather event, so don't rely on it to make plans.
Realize that if snow/rain totals are included, and the storm is still 48 hours away, those totals are a guess.
Finally, a forecast is a prediction.  A prediction is an educated guess.
In other wo…

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 12.7.18

Dear Henry,

December 7, like September 11 is a sad day for Americans.

 What I didn't realize though, is that December 7 has, over the course of history, sort of been a crap day all around.

Within the U.S. alone, December 7th marks the day of the Civil War battle of Prarie Grove, the day Congress declared war on Germany, and, of course, the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Worldwide, there was also a devastating earthquake (Armenia), a freak tornado in London, and the date of the infamous Nazi "Nordic Dominance" report.

However, a couple of positive things also happened.  Apollo 17 successfully launched on what would be the last lunar mission and Galileo made it to Jupiter.

All in all, though, December 8th appears to be a better day.

xoxo a.d.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 12.6.18

Dear Henry,

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the known conservative and career politician said "Sh!tstorm" out loud, in public, in front of the media, and on purpose. This wasn't the first time she said it either. 
Because I am completely immature, I am still giggling like a twelve-year-old.
The term actually holds an entry in the German national dictionary - it means "storm of outrage on the internet" and doesn't carry near the same "naughty" connotations in German as it does in English, although the German dictionary does note that it is an English word.
As much fun as it was to think that she said something outrageous, she really didn't and I am sure she would never, ever use the direct translation, which would be something along the lines of "Scheisse St├╝rmt" because that would be inappropriate.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 12.5.18

Dear Henry,

I suffer from "wishful cooking". 
 Around each holiday and especially around Christmas, I go through all my recipes looking for holiday-appropriate treats.
After scouring through recipes, Pinterest,  and other sources, I generally end up with ten or twelve things that I am going to make.
Then, reality sits in, and I realize, who am I kidding?  There is no way I am going to be able to cook twelve different kinds of Christmas treats.
Then I buy fudge and call it good.
But it is fun to pretend that I will truly put the neighborhood to shame with my Christmas baking.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 12.4.18

Dear Henry,

Today in the New York Times, there was an article on animal intelligence, including that of the octopus.

While there are many times of intelligence and cunning in the animal kingdom, scientists generally consider an animal's ability to problem solve and remember things the key defining traits of superior intelligence

In the article, they listed the criteria that accompany intelligent animal life, which include a bigger brain, a longer lifespan, and a social structure so that an animal can learn from others.   These traits explain almost all the intelligent creatures on the planet. Except for one.  The octopus.

Octopuses are smart, very smart, yet most only live a couple of years at most.  They aren't hugely social creatures either, so they can't pick up knowledge from others and really, they don't have a "brain" - at least not like we think of one. They do host a central set of nerves, but then, there appears to be a "brain" in each arm …

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 12.3.18

Dear Henry,

I have just cracked open the pages of my first James Michener novel.

Go ahead, gasp, Dad did.

He does have a point, I do read a lot of historical fiction and I am also working my way through everything that has won either the National Book Award or the Pulitzer Prize.  So James Michener was definitely on the "to read" list. I just hadn't gotten to him yet.

In any case, Dad was so appalled he mailed me his copy of "The Covenant".

I must say, this is a hard read.  Not because of the writing style nor is it because of a bad storyline.  It is because the book is about South Africa, a country I know only two things about 1 - It has had a real problem with apartheid and 2- They are running out of drinking water.  So, with every page, I have to keep googling something and then try and figure out where I was on the page.

It isn't a bad process (it is actually quite fun, I am learning a lot), but a slow one and one that is forcing me to realize that the…

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 12.1.18

Dear Henry,

It was quite the thunderstorm last night. Snarly, windy, the air crackling with excitement and excess ozone.
This morning we faced the aftermath of last nights chaos.
At least we faced the aftermath after we got the tree off the road.
As loud as the storm was, we did not hear the tree fall in the woods.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.30.18

Dear Henry,

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the Sylacauga Meteor Strike.

In 1954, Ann Hodges was napping on her sofa when a meteor came crashing through her roof, ricocheted off a radio, and struck her in the leg.  She wasn't seriously injured but badly bruised and scared within an inch of her life.

Yes, yes, something else to worry about at 3 AM.  Things falling from space. I mean, of course, it can happen. A meteor strike killed the dinosaurs. But, individually, being killed by a meteor isn't very likely. Prior to the 1954 non-fatal incident, in 1825 and 1827, in India, two people were grazed by meteors and although there have been incidents of weddings, funerals, and political meetings being disrupted by meteors, the only know fatality occurred in ancient China. 

It isn't very likely to be struck, much less killed by a falling meteor.

How likely?

Well, Professor Stephen Nelson from Tulane University calculated it out.  The odds are 1 in 250,000.  Quite dismal actual…

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 11.29.18

Dear Henry,

I had been talking about Frida Kahlo and her piece"The Broken Column"and how much of an inspiration the piece is to me.

Other artists who inspire me are (in no particular order):

Edvard Munch -"The Vampyre"

Henri Matisse - "Window at Tangier"

Joan Miro - "The Air"

Marc Chagall - "Aleko" (currently up for auction?)

Wassily Kandinsky - "Dark Freshness"

This list is forever in metamorphosis. Even today it was hard to pick out a specific "piece" that was a favorite. Although "The Broken Column" will always be Frida Kahlo's most influential piece.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Measure for Measure - William Shakespeare - Summary and Review

A short summary of Measure for Measure: Lord Angelo's Authoritarian Acts in Vienna.

Questions to ponder while reading Measure for Measure: What is virtue?
Do you think the Duke will get married?
My thoughts about Measure for Measure: Relax into the flow, the language will come.
This isn't a comedy, not really.
I, personally, feel that both Angelo and the Duke are ridiculous weenies.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.28.18

Dear Henry,

During this morning's perusal through useless information, I discovered that today was the anniversary of the first car race. The race, which took place on November 28, 1895, was a 54-mile loop between Chicago and Waukegan, during a snowstorm.  After 10 hours and 23 minutes, Frank Duryea won.

Frank Duryea also opened an automobile factory following the hoopla of the race, and in 1896, the Duryea Motor Wagon Company of Springfield, Massachusetts became the largest automobile manufacturer in the country, building 13 cars by hand.

Duryea Motor Wagon Company existed until 1914 before shutting down, although infighting between the controlling partners had weakened the company significantly in 1907 and although Frank Duryea tried to reestablish the company again in 1916, he was never able to gather enough funding to compete with Henry Ford.

Who knew?

xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 11.27.18

Dear Henry,

Today I learned that reindeer like to eat bananas.  A pretty useful tip, as Christmas approaches and neighborhoods worldwide, will soon be in for a night of reindeer mayhem.

Reindeer are the only deer to be domesticated and they can swim.  They can also see in ultraviolet, allowing them to distinguish between snow and white fur.

They are also fast, running up to 50 mph and can run almost immediately from birth.

Truly Santa picked worthy animals for his Christmas trip.

xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 11.26.18

Dear Henry,

I live near two Civil War Battlefields -  Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove. I have done the standard tour of Pea Ridge when I moved in but have yet to see Prairie Grove. 

I may go to Prairie Grove this weekend, they are doing a battle recreation, the history of the reenactment should be interesting. 

I am not a fan of the battlefields, they make me sad.  I also struggle with the Civil War concept as well as the continued adherence to "the Confederacy" that occasionally takes place in the South.

After some research, I discovered that worldwide there are regularly held battle reenactments, and people have been recreating historical battles since before the Roman Empire.  Most commonly used as a "living history", they are also used to evaluate historical combat tactics and strategic plans.

They still make me sad.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler - Summary and Review

A short summary of The Big Sleep: A private investigator looks into a disappearance and discovers something crazy.

Questions to ponder while reading The Big Sleep: What is wrong with the Sherwood sisters?
How much family dysfunction is too much?
My thoughts about The Big Sleep: Drama filled.
Politically incorrect.
I love noir.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.25.18

Dear Henry,

I am always on the lookout for the weird old-timey recipe and I just stumbled upon one I want to try and work out.
It is for Ben Franklin's Milk Punch.
What is Milk Punch you ask?  Well, it's booze.  More specifically it is a punch, that actually sounds quite "Christmasy" and will provide a  bit of a change this year.  Eggnog is well, eggnog.
So - from the people at Food Republic:  Ben Franklin's Milk Punch.
6 Cups of Brandy 11 Lemons 2 Cups Lemon Juice 4 Cups Water  3/4 Cup Sugar 1 Nutmeg 3 Cups Whole Milk
Infuse the brandy with ALL of the lemon zest of the 11 lemons for 24 hours (make sure you just get the zest, not the pith, the recipe is very specific on this). Then add the zest, lemon juice (you should have 11 naked lemons at this point), sugar and the gratings of one whole nutmeg to the brandy.
Start heating the milk, just until hot, keep stirring so it doesn't scorch, then add the brandy mixture.  It will curdle and look icky. Stir anyway.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.24.18

Dear Henry,

Today was another one of my favorite kind of days.  The sun was out and it was in the low 70's. I have been basking in the sun.
Even though it is Winter, it is important to go outside and spend a moment (or two) getting some sun. 
In fact, because it is Winter it is even more important to get sun as it helps improve your mood and stimulates your metabolism.  Fortunately, I don't suffer from S.A.D. but I know many who do and the lack of sunlight during the Winter causes their moods to plummet.
It may be cold, but if the sun is shining, do your mood a favor and get some sun.
xoxo a.d.

Meditation In Ink: Meditation 11.23.18

Dear Henry, 

Everyone needs a signature recipe.  I had been searching for one for years without realizing I already had one. 
It isn't fancy, it is just frog eye salad.  It isn't traditional either.  I don't use coconut or marshmallows either.  Despite this, everyone seems to be a fan.
So - 
1 lb Acini de Pepe, cooked, rinsed, and drained. 2 cups Whipped Cream (the real kind) with 3 TBS sugar and 2 TSP vanilla whipped in. 4 12 oz cans Very Cherry Fruit Cocktail, rinsed and drained 1 25 oz can Mandarin Oranges, rinsed and drained.
Mix together.
I have yet to have leftovers.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.21.18

Dear Henry,

Fish reminds me that he is a simple man who, despite the recommendation from Food and Wine, we will not be having champagne with Thanksgiving dinner.
Instead, we will go with an American classic, hard cider, with dinner.
We are not the only hard cider fans, John Adams used to have a glass with breakfast.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: John Adams - David McCullough - Summary and Review

A short summary of John Adams: The life of the 2nd president.

Questions to ponder while reading John Adams: Did you realize the Founding Fathers were so human?
Did you realize John Adams was so stubborn and opinionated?

My thoughts about John Adams: I wish I were so well read.
I admire the principles of John Adams.
I love how human he is.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 11.19.18

Dear Henry,

I am thankful to have been born when I was.  Now is the best time to be alive, according to scientific research.

Today I read at IFLScience that scientists have decided upon which period of time was the worst.  It was the period of 536 to 636 CE.  There were some severe weather patterns that caused widespread famine, disease, and mayhem.  This was the period of the Goths, Carthage, the earthquake that destroyed Beirut, etc, etc, etc. 

Why though was this period worse than any other?  There was another, similar, climate change during the 1250ish-1350ish period.  Several empires also collapsed, famine was common, and the plague cropped up.

In any case, they are not now and now is amazing.

xoxo a.d.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.17.18

Dear Henry,

Today was a day of distraction.  The weather was nice and there were (still is) so many things to do outside that I spent the day bouncing around starting many things but accomplishing very little.

Focus was an issue.

Normally,  I do well with the "noting" technique (a meditation practice where you "note" the distraction and then immediately return to what you should be focusing on).

Today was just too beautiful to be normal and distractions were plenty.

But I have finally gotten my to-do list done - at least for today.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller - Summary and Review

A short summary of Death of a Salesman: End of career unhappiness

Questions to ponder while reading Death of a Salesman: What has disappointed you?
Are you happy with your life?
My thoughts about Death of a Salesman: A play for the ages.
Must read classic.
Just don't quit.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.16.18

Dear Henry,

This morning in the newspaper (The New York Times) there was an article by Jason Farago about Anna Atkins and her cyanotype photograms and I am inspired.  
I have already gotten started on planning next Spring, including new flowerbeds.  I plan on having flowers everywhere and I am excited to look into this process and maybe create something with it.
I love the newspaper.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 11.15.18

Dear Henry,

Today's doodle is brought to you by "sudden inspiration" - you know, that epiphany that you have when you realize what exactly you want to do?
I have been trying to decide the garden borders and I have it figured out!
I think I am going to go with wood...and paint them purple.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd - Summary and Review

A short summary of The Secret Life of Bees: Healing amongst the beehives.

Questions to ponder while reading The Secret Life of Bees:
What is a mother?
Can you heal from the past?
My thoughts about The Secret Life of Bees: An easy book to flow through.
Cliches abound by they are entertaining.
The characters are easy to love.


A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.14.18

Dear Henry,

Today is another National Food Day that caught my eye. It's National Pickle Day.   
I did not develop a love for pickles until I was an adult.  A friend of mine, who was raised in the South, and I went out for drinks, where fried pickles were on the menu.  Up until this point, I had never tried them, her response was "we need to educate you on Southern food".
A love affair with fried pickles began that day.
I found a recipe this morning on the news, I think I may give a whirl - 
Loaded Pickle ChipsIngredients
1 c. sliced pickles1 c. panko breadcrumbs2 tbsp. melted butter1/2 tsp. garlic powder1/4 tsp. cayenne pepperKosher saltFreshly ground black pepper1/2 c. all-purpose flour2 large eggs, lightly beaten4 slices bacon1 1/2 c. shredded CheddarSour cream, for serving1 tbsp. finely chopped chives DirectionsPreheat oven to 450° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat pickles dry with paper towels.In a medium shallow bowl, mix together panko, butte…

A Book to Read and Love: All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy - Summary and Review

A short summary of All the Pretty Horses: Forbidden love in Mexico.
Questions to ponder while reading All the Pretty Horses: Could you survive in a Mexican jail?
Would you have tried again?
My thoughts about All the Pretty Horses: The punctuation was a little weird.
Completely engrossing.
Not nearly as dark as Blood Meridian or The Road

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.13.18

Dear Henry,

I just read that Agatha Christie is the most widely read author behind the Bible and Shakespeare.

 Deservedly, I think.  Her books are so much fun to read (I particularly like the character, Hercule Poirot). 

While Murder on the Orient Express is probably her most well known, I think I like The Murder of Roger Ackroyd better.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Shogun - James Clavell - Summary and Review

A short summary of Shogun: An Englishman's journey from shipwreck to Samurai.

Questions to ponder while reading Shogun: Do you admire self-control?
Do you have a code of honor?
My thoughts about Shogun: Political maneuvering, samurai style.
So much fun in a book.
I love the details.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 11.12.18

Dear Henry,

Thanksgiving is coming and I am excited.

I love food.  I also love that I have a couple of chefs in the family.  We have been talking about "who makes what", which has turned into an in-depth conversation about mixing flavors and dry rubs.

Fish has tuned us out. He just wants turkey and cherry pie.

xoxo a.d.