Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I was planning on doing a craft show this past weekend, but pulled out at the last minute, due to the fact that I didn't have much inventory or supplies to make new things. I decided I should be properly representing myself or not doing it at all. I did manage to complete one painting of my horse, Dancer-its acrylic on canvas, 18x 18. I am so pleased with it I think I am going to frame it and keep it for myself.
Last week, when I visited my parents, my mom reminded me of some paintings I had given her-(One of my mom and me as a baby) and this one of eggs in buckets that I can't get to rotate-so please forgive the side view. :0)
I also had forgotten I had done this one: I went through a period where I was fascinated with figures and forms. Most of all, I love color and while I am self taught, I would love to attend classes somewhere and study theory and concepts. I consider myself to be very "primitive" in my work, but have always been warmly recieved when I've decided to sell some of it. I'm proud to say I have a few painting in private collections in Europe and across the United States. While I know I will never be a Picasso, I enjoy making people smile when they look at my pieces.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Frank's Potato Pancakes

In my life, God often shows His grace and beauty when I least expect it. While I am thankful for the income and the incredible opportunity to work at wonderful places with wonderful people, sometimes it can get a little hairy with the schedules during the peak season. I maintain a few part time positions; when needed I prepare and serve breakfast at a beautiful bed and breakfast; then a few afternoons a week I work for a lovely lady doing administrative work at a cattle registry , and most evenings I go help my dear friend with barn work at her farm. It was one of those weeks where all three positions required my assistance. Lo and behold, in the midst of all the hub-bub, I was able to share in some special moments with two of the nicest guests I have ever had the pleasure of taking care of at the B&B. They stayed for four nights and on the morning of their departure, the gentleman, (Frank) was gracious enough to not only share his recipe, but also make his fabulous potato pancakes for us!
It all started one morning last week when I met the couple for the first time. AJ (Her full name is Andrea-just like me!) came down for a cup of coffee-she has the most gorgeous red hair and a matching smile and personality to go with it! Frank was not long behind her, and he was sporting a t shirt that made me think twice about saying anything..... He and AJ immediately made me feel at ease with their warm smiles and handshakes; I realized Frank is very much like my husband-they are just not that into socializing unless they feel like it. (I think I am going to look for a similar shirt for Rick.) On the other hand, my friend teased me and said I should have a shirt that was missing one of those words. It should say: "I'm here to talk."
I discovered they were down for bike week-I guess I figured that out when I arrived for work and found this beauty parked out front: I am all about my horse, but I suspect if I were to ever get a bike in my lifetime, it would look something like that. Come to find out, Frank is quite a chef. He loves to cook. His wife admits she is really spoiled with all his great recipes. AJ shared with me how everyone especially loves Frank's potato pancakes. They sounded so good, I of course had to have the recipe. And, much to my surprise and delight, Frank offered to be "guest chef" in the kitchen on Sunday. (I thought about making him wear one of our aprons for the event, but then I figured I wouldn't push it.) They were indeed worth waiting for-I can't wait to make these for my family; I brought some leftovers home to the girls and they were fighting over who would get the last one. I really wished I'd had a video camera to follow along with him as he was explaining everything to me-or written it down-unfortunately I was trying to multi-task at the same time Frank was doing this, so forgive me Frank if I don't get it quite right. (I am hoping he will jump in and help me with amounts if they aren't correct.)

So here it is:

Frank's Famous Potato Pancakes


3 cups of Bisquick

approximately one cup of half and half

4 eggs

1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)

a pinch of salt

a pinch of pepper

a dash of garlic powder

3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil

One bag of shredded potatoes, (found in the produce section of most grocery stores-except for Gettysburg where we called three different stores and found they didn't carry them. I ended up getting unseasoned hash browns in the frozen section)

Mix all ingredients together in the order listed above. Heat skillet, coating with Pam or comparable vegetable oil spray. Frank likes to use a rectangular skillet. Pour batter into approximatley 6" rounds using a ladle or measuring cup for ease. Flip when bubbles appear; cakes should be golden brown when done. Serve with syrup, sour cream or jam. (Fresh fruit and eggs make great accompaniments,too.) Enjoy!

Sidenote: This recipe would serve about 6-8 people, so adjust accordingly

Thanks to Frank and AJ for visiting-we shared a great time and some good food .......
I told Frank I fully expect to see his face on the cooking channel or in the bookstore very soon. I think "The Biker Chef" would be a great title for his show. We're looking forward to more recipes soon, Frank! Until next time.......

Genesis 33:10
"what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Juliette from Honeysuckle Faire presented me with this award; each recipient must disclose ten things about his or herself that their followers might not know-then, pass it on to 10 others including the thoughtful chap who awarded it in the first place.

While I am completely enthralled with this whole concept, it also requires some thought, and this week, it has been a challenge to even figure out what cereal to eat for breakfast, let alone think of things to share that might offer some insight into the window of my soul. Once again, thank you, Honeysuckle Faire, for all your inspiration that pushes me to step out of the limitations I create in my head to visit unexpectedly wonderful places that I never knew I could reach. In the short time we've known each other, Juliette has helped me to jump start the creativity I had set on the back burner for a while in the midst of dealing with "life".

So here goes:

1) I am incredibly proud of the fact that I am a first generation American; my mother is from Scotland and my dad is from Burma, which I hope to visit someday. (I realize this is next to impossible, but I still think about going to see where my dad's childhood home was.) I am very fortunate to have visited Great Britian twice and did get to see where my mother grew up.

2) I yearn to play a musical intrument really well-like maybe the guitar or the drums and perform in a really great jam session or a concert. And, in the spirit of concerts-I wish I had a good voice so I could break out into song spontaneously and be really good; right now, my dog gets up and moves to the next room.

3) Its my dream to own a farm someday; just a litte one, a "farmette" where I can keep my menagerie. I so enjoy my time with my girl, Dancer.

4) I would like to ride really well in at least one race at a race track and live out my fantasy of being a jockey.

5) I would like to learn how to skeet shoot or use a pistol. Why? I just think its a great skill and I would look really cool doing it.

6) One of my favorite things to do on a rainy afternoon is listening to vintage jazz-i.e. Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, etc. and working on my paintings. or a craft project. I also love rearranging the furniture, curtains, decor in my home-I think its the only place I have a little control in my life-my poor husband never knows what he is walking into when he comes home from work.

8) Like Juliette, I too, have a photographic memory, but only for phone numbers. I never have to write one down.

9) I am constantly thinking about death and all the things I need to do before I leave this place; I always feel like God is trying to speak to me through daily experiences and share the meaning of life with me-but I rarely understand. (I think the reason I am always involved in so many things is, I am always asking myself the question "What if? What if this was the one thing I was supposed to do that would help in discovering a solution to world peace/ ending hunger/ curing a disease, etc? I realize this can make a person crazy-so I have been trying to make a huge effort to just focus on things like spending time with my kids, husband and family-after all, taking care of them definitely goes under the headings of "world peace" and "ending hunger"-so maybe I am making strides after all.

10)I want to take my family across the United States in a big RV and visit as many small towns as we can-just taking in the beauty and charm everywhere-meeting people and and having loads of fun!!!!!

Wow, I guess that's it. And now my brain needs a rest, so I will pass this award on to:

Juliette at Honeysuckle Faire
Holly of Highbridge Farm
Jo Diebel of Angel Acres
My brother Ian
My sister Jenni
Carmen from Life At Star's Rest
Minda from "The Buzz" Bakery and Coffeehouse
My sister in law Michele
My friend Sandy
My Uncle Gordon

On a sidenote I did have one more wish that I would like to achieve in my lifetime; and that's being able to wear a beautiful designer evening gown and wellingtons at the same time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Little Magic Hat #9, Maggie and Italian Sausage

We went to my brother's for our Fourth of July Celebration; we can always count on interesting beverages as part of the menu. This time it was Magic Hat #9-(I am going to use the commercial description for this this beer:)
"A Beer Cloaked in Secrecy; An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A beer brewed clandestinely and given a name whose meaning is never revealed. Why #9? Why, indeed. A sort of dry, crisp, fruity, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it. Fermented with our 150 year old strain of top-fermenting English yeast."
Need I say more?
The menu consisted of out-of-this-world grilled turkey burgers, pasta salad and spicy italian sausage cooked in beer.
One of the highlights of the evening was playing with their sweet Westie, Maggie. While the fireworks were the big attraction for the evening, it was nice to kick back and enjoy watching the kids play, and spend time with our family. This is how a Fourth of Celebration is meant to be!