Family Bake Off

Oh, what the heck!  It’s a blustery winter afternoon…-16 here in Calgary, not factoring in the wind chill.

Dad left a voice mail this morning saying that he was making Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies and that I should be jealous that I’m not in Belleville, Ontario to share them.

I started making my own batch after he e mailed me this recipe.

Kay’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1/3 Cup shortening

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1 Egg slightly beaten

1 Cup Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

Sugar for coating

Cream together shortening and sugars, add peanut butter.
Mix in egg.
Add dry ingredients.
Roll into balls, then roll in sugar.

greased cookie sheet , press flat with a fork.

350 oven for 10 minutes.

 

(True confession…after doing a mass message out to the family, with this recipe, Dad revealed that this is, in fact, my sister-in-law, Ann-Marie’s recipe…that Mom always used butter instead of shortening…but, regardless, these cookies are delicious!)

I’m including any participant photographs here…and giving credit!

The first dozen of my cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies Kath

I got two and a half dozen, in the end.  I used dark brown sugar.Peanut Butter Cookies 2 001Cliff and Grace used three eggs…this is how they turned out.  No fork?

Peanut Butter Cookies Grace and CliffMy cousin Anne,  living in Kansas, made a lovely batch.  And…it turns out that her mother used to criss-cross the fork marks while flattening. :0)

Peanut Butter Cookies Anne

I’m waiting for the rest of the photos to come in and will post here…thanks for participating! I love you all…on warm days and cold days and in-between-days!

April 22, 2015: Beautiful Rumblings

No grand stories this morning about the Rumble House experience, just that Bana and I car-pooled from the south end and intend to do that from now on.  It was just so fun chatting away on the trip to the core.  We’re hoping that our friend, Louise, will be joining us soon in our vehicle.

While the wind seemed to pick up ‘like a hurricane’, as described by Frank, everything was calm in the cozy studio-gallery-extravaganza space.  Zach did an awesome job as M.C. and we enjoyed some excellent readings at the microphone, performed by Matt…one from Alexander Eliot (so bang on) and the others from Morgan’s book, Break From Reality.

I completed another glam-girl painting and have decided I really want to take a class or two in portrait painting.  I love exploring the face so much, but want to create more mass and structure.  In the meantime, I’ll keep on pushing through.  I was so happy painting with one of my art besties, Jenn on the left and then Bana, on the right.  There was a beautiful calm spill over the place last night, like a bucket full of light blue paint.  Thanks, Zack, for purchasing my piece at auction.

Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 020 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 019 Happy Earth Day, every one!Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 014 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 013 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 012 YES!  We have fun at the auctions!Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 010 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 004

Loretta

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The elevator repair has gone on a tad longer than expected.  Wendy Lees and her band of creatives from create! at the Golden Age Club, have spent some time relocated to another space while renovations and such were taking place, but…now, back at home in the Golden Age Venue, the elevator is still not fixed.  “Soon”, everyone hopes.

Sometimes when I read what people struggle with or what they take issue with, I have a tricky time feeling empathy.  Sometimes we are each ‘devastated’ by such benign issues and so in order to withhold judgment of ourselves and the other, it is important to consider each issue as it relates to current conditions/variables.  An example: We can celebrate that Target closing down can be a problem for someone because this means…their health is good…they live in a warm home…they have the food and water they require and they likely have family and friends for company and support.  They ALSO have the cash in their pockets to go shopping.  But let’s simply look at the very first…GOOD HEALTH.

Loretta told me that she didn’t mind me telling her story. I explained that she’s just so inspired me this week, that I wanted to try to capture that inspiration in a post!  Loretta is a woman who has such a positive attitude about her life and is willing to do almost anything in order to express her creativity, whatever form that might take. All is done with a sense of humour.  Over time, Loretta has suffered six different strokes, but the fact that this has impeded movement and function on her right hand side, has not stopped her from being a dancer with MoMo Dance Theatre or making paintings, mosaics and recently, papier mache! (That’s Loretta on the left.)

MoMoOn Tuesday, I was witness to Loretta’s climb of the stairs to arrive at our papier mache experience and I have to say that her determination caused something more than awe in me.  I guess that’s why I’m writing.

?????????? ??????????She began her bowl project, with enthusiasm…and with the use of her left hand only. By the time that the class had ended, she had applied three layers of Handel’s Messiah, in strips, to her form and with some assistance from me, applied a pedestal stand as well.  We all gave one another hugs good-bye after our clean-up and one last cookie. :0)

As the story continues, Loretta came into the Golden Age Club yesterday, thinking that it was art day…looked at the stairs…and said to herself, “I just can’t do it.”  She went home, she said, and had a good cry (at this point in the story, we embraced) because she really really wanted to paint her bowl.

Well…if she didn’t run into Michael at some point in the afternoon and she told him that she couldn’t get up to create!  He gave her the news that, in fact, it was scheduled for Friday…TODAY!!   Loretta made it up those stairs again, to her waiting project and created spectacular transparent layers of paint!

I cherish my friends at Create! and every one of us also has a story.  Each participant (I include myself here) in the experience is vulnerable in their own way, but we carry on, especially cherishing good health and creative experiences that find us sharing positivity, good laughs, support and friendship.  Thank you to Georgie, Michael, Brian, Marian, Patruch (can’t say it…can’t spell it…and he knows it!), Tony, Joanne, Patrick, Leslie, Nicole, Margaret and Loretta…and our other Loretta.   Charcoal sketching with Gary next week!

??????????DSC_1931 DSC_1930 ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????We missed you, Wendy…but you reveal yourself even when you’re not in the room with us.  See you soon! ?????????? ?????????? DSC_1912 ?????????? ?????????? ??????????

 

The Art of the Jack-o’-lantern

The last few years, the pumpkin has been transformed in ways that it really hadn’t ever been before.  I suppose it started with the sale of special carving tools that went beyond the basic carving knife utilized by our parents.

Just yesterday, I saw one of these contemporary carvings posted by friend, arts educator and artist, Jen Dunne, a depiction of Edgar Allan Poe.  Absolutely fantabulous!  I would guess that the carving happens, much like the process of batik, where you have to think ahead to what general forms you wish to read lightest in value all the way to darkest or black.  The light will glow through the various layers revealing a number of glowing orange values/greys….very coolio!

Photo Credit: Jen Dunne

Photo Credit: Jen Dunne

While the Tell Tale Heart is my favourite, Edgar Allan Poe is most known for his poem, The Raven.

Back to pumpkins.

When I was a child, it was Dad who gathered us around the kitchen table for the carving of the jack-o’-lantern.  Mom was always busy harvesting items in the house that we could use for our home made costumes.  She also salted and placed in the over, a tray of seeds once separated from the heap of yucky pulp.

2006 pumpkin

2006 pumpkin

I’ve carried on the tradition with my children all of these years, but consistently carving the same grinning face that my father carved out for us. I missed my Dad last night…I do every year on Halloween night.  He is and will always remain a part of my memory when I light up the candle in my jack-o’-lantern.

DSC_1053HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY!

 

May 8, 2014

I’ve looked forward to every birthday…feeling so blessed for every year, even when those years weren’t so easy.  I am just so filled with gratitude for the mix of experiences.  God has woven his heart in and out of mine and I have never felt alone.  Yesterday was a beautiful day.  The sunshine was lighting up a brilliant blue sky.  I got up early to a birthday phone call from my friend Bob on the west coast and then many messages of love throughout the day.  Happy birthday…sung with my Dad on morning Skype…and later, Bonne Fete sung by my Fiset family in Ottawa over the phone.

Breakfast was shared with Kate at Cora’s…always eggs benedict, coffee and great conversation.

P1160470 P1160472My first crocus of spring on the ridge above the city…exercise, deep breath, time with my pooch.

P1160474 P1160477 P1160478 P1160485New old E.O Brody Co. Cleveland OH short vase for $2.00 at the Women in Need shop.  I didn’t have this one.

BrodyConversation with a neighbour-friend about shrubs that grow well on the north side of houses.  A wander around a green house, after a long bitterly cold winter…enjoying the smells and sights of so much green!

Dragon Pearl dinner with my children and so grateful that everyone could make it.

Dragon PearlFloral arrangement brought over to my home by another neighbour…gift from Dad for my special day.  Conversation about flowers and flower beds as we stood out in the warm evening air.

P1160486Happy birthday cupcake delivered by my daughter as I read over Facebook birthday messages…again, we sang Happy Birthday!  May 8, 2014 was quite a day!

P1160502

 

 

Calgary Folk Festival: Jumbled Musings With Iron and Wine

Initially, I thought that I would search out alternative music to place over top of this short film, taken at the closing of the festival last night, but in listening to the shared-experience with my daughter, I found bits of it to be so endearing…I know that I will treasure this account forever.  Love you, dear girl of mine!

The Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine

Please remember me, happily
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin, the time when
We counted every black car passing

Your house beneath the hill and up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range, a piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention

But please remember me, fondly
I heard from someone you’re still pretty
And then they went on to say that the Pearly Gates
Had such eloquent graffiti

Like ‘We’ll meet again’ and ‘Fuck the man’
And ‘Tell my mother not to worry’
And angels with their great handshakes
But always done in such a hurry

And please remember me, at Halloween
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white, by midnight
We’d forgotten one another

And when the morning came I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world and then returned
And now you’re lit up by the city

So please remember me, mistakenly
In the window of the tallest tower
Call, then pass us by but much too high
To see the empty road at happy hour

Gleam and resonate just like the gates
Around the Holy Kingdom
With words like, ‘Lost and found’ and ‘Don’t look down’
And ‘Someone save temptation’

And please remember me as in the dream
We had as rug burned babies
Among the fallen trees and fast asleep
Beside the lions and the ladies

That called you what you like and even might
Give a gift for your behavior
A fleeting chance to see a trapeze
Swinger high as any savior

But please remember me, my misery
And how it lost me all I wanted
Those dogs that love the rain and chasing trains
The colored birds above their running

In circles round the well and where it spells
On the wall behind St. Peter
So bright on cinder gray in spray paint
‘Who the hell can see forever?’

And please remember me, seldomly
In the car behind the carnival
My hand between your knees, you turn from me
And said the trapeze act was wonderful

But never meant to last, the clowns that passed
Saw me just come up with anger
When it filled with circus dogs, the parking lot
Had an element of danger

So please remember me, finally
And all my uphill clawing
My dear, but if I make the Pearly Gates
I’ll do my best to make a drawing

Of God and Lucifer, a boy and girl
An angel kissin’ on a sinner
A monkey and a man, a marching band
All around the frightened trapeze swinger

Family Reunion: Canada Day 2011

Welcome to 'The Campgrounds'

It is a day to look forward to…a gathering of my Dad’s side of the family, south to Raymond,  Alberta.  Today we decided that it has been 26 years of July 1st reunions…and they have all been ‘magical’!  We meet for the Rotary Parade downtown Raymond at 10:00 a.m.  We take up the same corner each year, a short walk from the Fast Gas, where we can take the little ones to the washroom or purchase an ‘alright’ coffee. 

Then we head for the Witbeck property and a BIG mingle, lots of laughs, candy-throws, good food and family!  I am so grateful!  I appreciate the generosity and love that goes into throwing this event each and every year and feel such love and happiness this evening, at home…tired and sunburned, but oh so content!

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I felt very emotional, as I thought about my immediate family members who were not with me today, but very much with me in spirit.  I also remembered years gone by, times with Linda, my Grandparents, Merle and Margaret and their kids…I remember us listening to Grampa singing Froggie Went A Courtin’ and the family being silent and spellbound as he slapped his thigh and sang every verse, like a grand story.

We have added to our repetoire over the years; Cows With Guns, being one!  There are many many laughs when ever so many of our family members gather together!  I really treasure our Family Reunions!