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Good Morning

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I can’t leave well enough alone. Most people who know me would agree. It’s my fate. I tempt it. We had a good environment with three nutty kitties. Characters, one and all, they and I – me and them, we had an understanding… But we go into the pet store to buy food… And right there were a pair of sisters waiting to be adopted – rescue kitties. Too cute! Darn! They got me. The one on the right hopped right up and put her paw through the cage and patted me. Yup! Let me out! Her or me? First day, first morning, they were sleeping atop one another in the sink. It wasn’t hard. I put a towel down inside. Welcome to the world. Now… to see if the others get along and welcome them?

Good Luck

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Well, we started the New Year with a bit of good luck. To celebrate it is customary in the South to eat black eyed peas and pork. And in the North it is lucky to eat cabbage – sauerkraut. I got to eat both.Yes, it’s a strange menu.

Who knew? I’m not in Jeddah anymore. We were making a black eyed pea pie. Yeah, it doesn’t sound so great. But it was. Great! Lots of folks wanted the recipe. It very much resembles pecan pie. Sorry, no picture. It was so good we ate it. Maybe it was the whipped cream on top but I kind of think it was just a good pie. Anyway, the recipe calls for eggs. We got a double yolk. That’s lucky too! Here’s hoping….

Polar Bear Plunge

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There was no particular signature image for this event. People gathered well over an hour in advance. The event was over in moments. (They went in – they came right out!) The day was sunny and almost warm. Well, if you stayed in your coat and kept your good sense, you were okay. Otherwise as the title says, you went into the cold cold Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day. It was cold but not nearly as bitter as it might have been. So, you could indeed plunge and have a tale to tell.

Me? I’m a chicken all the way. The Red Sea is not this cold/warm on the warmest day of summer in the Atlantic. Nope. Not going. Not me! I just took the photo op. I prefer to be warm. Not hot. Just toasty.

Less Is More

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After houses and decorations, there was not much interest in decorating a few dozen cookies. So…. One two three… Done. They are not burnt. The dark ones are gingerbread to contrast the butter cookies. My kids would do works of art in Christmas’s past. But I was abandoned and tasked with a few dozen unadorned cookies…..And less sugar actually is better sometimes. It’s still yum.

Too Much

So, after the sugar rush of Xmas, it was time to go for a haircut. Some days you wake up with bad hair. Mine is okay now. Yay! No more Xmas till next year. The tree is very dry…. I would have to say this was a good one (holiday with family and friends).

Gingerbread Houses

Professional? Yeah. It’s not hard to tell the difference. But when kids make ‘em it’s a unique experience with loud squeals and a whole lot of sugar icing all over the place. You can do a “kit.” It goes together fast and looks great. But it’s not the same as individual personal construction. Icing dries slowly and I don’t have patience.

So I used a foam board construction underneath and built the thing one two three. (That would be – construct a foam board house underneath all the ginger bread walls.) Licorice sticks hide a multitude of sin. Of course, I am not responsible for the decoration. There is a time when too many cooks… There is only one rule: no blanks space should be devoid of confection.

Follow This

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Great ideas! At Christmas each family comes and distributes their gifts into the waiting basket with your name on it. There are a bunch of variations on the scheme but it makes chaos so much more organized.

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And for an even better scheme – use ribbon. String the ribbon from a central point and let the recipient follow his/her color to their gifts. You can put a few in the interim and make it even more fun. Either way, it’s a good idea. Too late for this year and there are a lot fewer kids around these days. But keep this in mind if you still entertain hoards for the holiday.

Dutch Baby

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I did this! It’s dead simple. I failed in my first attempt. (Note to self: “Read the freakin’ instructions.) … as in I did not turn up the oven to the right temp. It was good to eat but it looks much more impressive if you follow the instructions. It’s called a Dutch baby. I don’t know why. It was a hit both time I made it. That’s all you need to know.

Back

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My camera (the “big one”) took a hit in October and has been in repair for a couple months. Yeah, it was a major injury to body and lens. Major surgery was done and the cosmetic damage repaired as well. And it works like a top again. Yay!

Mandala

Monks came and did their magic one day – maybe it was longer. The mandala is ephemeral.

“The Sand Mandala
Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. Monks then begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing from memory. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains and dispersing them in flowing water.”

https://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/mandala/mandala.htm

Lucky for me they kept this one intact for me to inspect and marvel over. Look at the textures. Elaborate! Oil on canvas is forever. This is like food art. Eat and enjoy. Heal!