Here it is July, 2018 and this is my first post of the year because this year my art activities have been slim. I’ve had nothing to write about. But I’m coming back to “life” and enjoying new discoveries every week that I hope to share with you in the future. My blog will have a broader focus drawing from my encounters (recipes, books, movies, places, gadgets, art-making, programs,) – whatever I find interesting. I hope you’ll find it worth the “read” as I know your time is precious and there are many ways to spend time on-line.
I looked up the definition for potpourri and when I read it, I thought this is just what I want my revisioned blog to be – a mixture of thoughts, ideas and actions. So welcome to my journey. I hope you decide to stay on for the ride.
Working On Depression
Depression has been my driver for the past two years and frankly I’m tired of it but it’s a hard demon to conquer and I seem to be one who can not tolerate the anti-depressant drugs offered by modern medicine. As a result I’ve spent way too much time sitting in my chair with “poor me” thoughts or staring at the TV or an open book. I don’t want to be an old lady “stuck” in a chair. I want to be the “youngest” active and involved old lady you know!
In March I decided to give up the chair. The most important thing I started doing was writing morning pages every morning before the day got rolling. I learned about morning pages from Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way” and I did them when I first moved to Arizona. I stopped doing them years ago but I never forgot how helpful they were whenever I lost my focus.
Morning Pages Are Transformative!
Every day I write three pages (two pages if they are college ruled!) of whatever comes to my mind. When I begin I have no idea what will turn up on the page. But what I do know is that when I am truly honest with myself helpful thoughts emerge. I write about problems, disappointments, feelings, frustrations and progress.
My pen reveals alternative solutions that I wouldn’t have thought of sitting alone in the chair. Writing like that is like talking a problem over with a best friend but instead it’s me! The result is that my days have become brighter and interesting. My life is becoming manageable and actionable. I look forward to starting the day!!!
If you are stuck inside your life, I encourage you to journal daily for several weeks. See what happens. You may find new ways of dealing with your problems and solutions you never thought of before.
Re-discovering Sketching and Watercolor
One of my art interests has been watercolor sketching. Years ago when Ed and I traveled, I did watercolor journals to record our trips. It’s been at least 8 years since I’ve done much sketching or painting. I realized that wanted to “dive” back into sketch-booking.
I’ve been especially inspired by Barbie, my sister who does amazing watercolor journals. So, one of my new goals is take taking on-line classes to develop my drawing and painting skills.
Recently I’ve found YouTube to be a great source of free lessons and I’ve also started taking Craftsy art classes. www.craftsy.com I signed up for their “Unlimited” version so I can take all the classes I want from their catalog for a full year. They have 600+ classes to choose from! Now I don’t have to wonder what to do with myself when I have free time.
Right now I’m enjoying the Craftsy class offered by Marc Taro Holmes. He is a well known Urban Sketcher and a very sharing person. I subscribe to his blog. https://citizensketcher.com The international Urban Sketching group has a monthly magazine “Drawing Attention” which I enjoy. Each month it features articles from sketch artists all over the world. https://Urbansketchers.org It’s a good place to view many different styles of rendering with ink and watercolor.
The Joys of Cooking
One of my favorite activities is cooking. I don’t do it every day, but I do cook several times a week and experiment with new recipes and food combinations. When I discover a winner I like to share it with friends.
Recently I had lunch with my friends John and Barbie. They are both great cooks. John fixed us broiled salmon and it was terrific! This past week I tried his technique, and it was fast, easy and delicious! Thank-you John!
John Nemo’s Broiled Salmon
fillet of salmon (about a pound) — the thicker the better; preferably consistent in thickness if possible
chopped preserved lemon (about 2 Tbsp.)
Preheat the oven to 400.
While waiting for the oven to fully heat: prepare a flat baking pan or sheet by covering it with a piece of foil. Lightly coat it with olive oil and sprinkle on a bit of coarse salt and pepper to add flavor and prevent sticking.
Place the salmon on the sheet with the skin side down
Spoon or brush a thin to medium layer of mayonnaise on the top.
Sprinkle with the preserved lemon.
Once the oven has reached temperature put the fish in the oven and and bake for 4 minutes.
Turn on the broiler.
Blast the fish under the broiler for two or three minute until the mayo bubbles.
The duration of broiling depends upon the thickness of the fish and your desired level of rare to well done eating of salmon. I like it very tender so I do it for 1 minute!
Remove from the oven and let it sit for 2 to 10 minutes before serving.
Note if you don’t have preserved lemon use grated lemon rind in the mayo and maybe a some lemon juice for additional flavor. Don’t worry if the mayo and lemon ooze all over the foil on the baking sheet.
A Problem Solved! Garbage Bucket Cover
You never know what kind of creative solution lurks inside your head. Morning pages to the rescue!!!
I have an under-counter slide-out rack for a garbage pail. It’s very convenient and I use it many times a day. But in the summer in the desert, it gets smelly. One way of dealing with this is to take the garbage outside every day. That means a daily trip to the dumpster with a mostly empty large trash bag. I can put the food waste in a counter-top container lined with a plastic bag and remove it. That works but I don’t like the garbage on the counter where I see it. I much prefer the under-counter solution BUT what to do about the odor.
I’ve found a solution! I made a lid out of mat board with a duct tape handle. Now the lid covers the container and minimizes the smell no matter what’s in it. When I need access, I simply slide and dump. When it’s filled I remove the lid and tie up the bag and take it to the dumpster!!
I’m already working on the next post, but I do welcome your feedback. Is my new approach interesting? useful? What kinds of topics would you like me to write about? What can I do to serve you, my audience better? You can get back to me using the contact page. I’d sure like to hear from you.
Share with Others
Putting this together always takes more time than I think it will. This post consumed about 10 hours to plan, write, edit, take photos and proof. I enjoy doing it, and I’d love to share it with a wider audience. It would help if you could forward the link to friends who might also enjoy receiving it.
Thanks, in advance.