Mmm, Mmm Good!

March 20, 2013

“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.”  Laurie Colwin, ‘Home Cooking’ (1988)

soupcanSoup became popular with the invention of canning in the 19th century.  For thousands of years prior to that, there is evidence early civilization made forms of soup, they just didn’t have a vessel that could hold all the liquid as well.

This week, as LIFE’S simple pleasures, I’m highlighting comfort foods, and when I think of that, soup and sandwich come to mind.

Rachel Ray coined a phrase other than her famous Yummo… but she makes Stoups… which is a stew and soup together.  The main difference is that a soup normally has more liquid.  Soups can be clear, which is a broth base or they can be thick soups, which are often milk/cream base. In 1897 the first condensed soup was developed by Dr. John T. Dorrance.  I currently counted about 82 varieties listed on the Campbell’s website.

In 1962 Pop Artist Andy Warhol created one of his famous pieces of visual art… the soup can which sold for $1,500.  His picture depicted 32 soup cans which was the same amount of varieties of soup sold by  the Campbell’s company.  At the time, he was the most renowned pop artist and the highest-price living artist!

It’s amazing, food is art, art can be food…. LIFE’S simple pleasuresWEEK #12comfort foods.

Trying to understand modern art is like trying to follow the plot in a bowl of alphabet soup ~ unknown

 

No Soup For You

March 19, 2013

Hello there!  If it’s your first time, welcome to my blog!  If you are a returning friend or family member, please excuse my mess of colors and ever-changing headers and blog layouts.

Once again, I’m trying to find the ‘perfect’ way to combine and highlight LIFE’S simple pleasures and my unique and whimsical paper craft hobby, and I’m trying to do this while I’m in the middle of an online Bloom your Blog class by Jessica Sprague…. so honestly my ideas and designs are all a bit jumbled.

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It’s Week #12 of 2013 and I didn’t think about this topic for this time of the year, but since the calendar reads that it is still winter and the temperature reading 17 degrees with a windchill hovering at 0 degrees… I think it’s okay to talk about something that can warm the body! (Last year at this time it was spring break for the college boy and it was an unusually warm week with temperatures in the mid-west hovering at 80 weird and wonderful degrees!!!!)

Week # 12LIFE’S simple pleasures ~ comfort foods

Nothing is better than a bowl of Campbell’s’ tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, with of course a dill pickle and a nice cold glass of milk!  Take it up a notch and to the soup add some fresh basil and a bit of fresh garlic, oyster crackers and pour it in a fun huge mug… and for the sandwich add Franks Red Hot sauce and make a Buffalo Chicken grilled Panini 3 cheese sandwich. Instead of a pickle add a juicy pepperoncini and a tall glass of Passion Tea Lemonade full of ice.  Yummy!!!  This is not your ‘mother’s’ tomato soup and grilled cheese!!!!!  Comfort foods Ten point Oh(my)!!!

See you soon in my next post…. don’t be too surprised if you see some new features…. like I said, I’m temporarily under construction!!! :0)

PAUSE, for a moment please

March 18, 2013

uglyweek11Okay, my active verb this week on DO52 is pause… it’s only Monday of Week #12 and I’m not quite ready to post a simple pleasure… and I’m in the middle of taking an online class to work on the layout of my blog… so, in the mean time… you can enjoy one of my UGLY paintings… yes! I meant to paint this and I’m learning to embrace my inner UGLY… and yes it is that!  I like pretty things… this was quite a challenge to be UGLY!

So, please excuse my dust as I try to create even MORE fun on my blog!  Have a great Mondy…Peggy :0)

The Bird is the Word

March 15, 2013

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song ~ Chinese Proverb

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Who would have thought that exploring LIFE’S simple pleasures, that you could find out so much about ordinary every day things.  In Week # 11 I’m exploring birds.  Well, if I was a real scientist I would be a Orinthologist, which is the study of birds and one of the branches of Zoology.

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There are over 10,000 different species of birds in the world.  I’m sure there are just as many books about the topic and as many sites to google search as well.

Anyone can be a bird watcher.  Just thinking back when the kids were small, it was always fun to go to the park and watch the ducks swimming in a pond;  at the zoo it was always a treat when the peacocks would cross our path; on a bike trail in the conservatory it’s always a breath-taking site to see a loon or swan coming in for a smooth landing into one of the reservoirs. You can watch birds from a park bench, standing on the corner or walking through the woods.

mache2I love finding a twist on things too… so many bird analogies and names, there are Angry Birds, you can flip the bird, we’ve got Big Bird and Larry Bird, Lady Bird and other famous people with bird names… Sheryl Crow,  Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Russell Crowe, Lynn Swann, Joaquin Phoenix, musical groups the Byrds, the Eagles, counting Crows, Dixie Chicks… sports teams Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Eagles, Alanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals.

Someday, there may be a simple pleasure 11.1 on birds, because there are so many ways to see and hear them.  Come back and visit me real soon!

Gliding on air streams,
travel forever upwards,
on top of the world.
~ David Darbyshire ~

 

Enjoy the View

March 13, 2013

When you are out on a limb, the whole world is at your feet.

bluebirdIn Week #11 – LIFE’S simple pleasures, I am exploring the variety of birds that visit my back yard.

Yesterday I mentioned how ‘noisy’ they were on my morning walk through my neighborhood. Today I will show you what I see most mornings while sitting at my kitchen table, enjoying a nice cold Iced Coffee with fuzzy socks on my feet*. (*A few of my simple pleasures that I have already highlighted here on my blog).

feeder1The birds around our house are a bit plump it appears.  They are fed quite well by my dear husband.  Although the above bird is not tiny, he blends in well with his surroundings.  Our winter, like all weather has been quite strange.  We went over 335 days without measurable snow.  And then when the snow fell, we got 5-8″, mostly of heavy wet stuff.  17th snowiest February or something like that!  I love how the snow sits on the branches, with the bird!

feeder2I don’t know much about birds.  A bird is a bird, right?  But we think that the ones who come visit our bird feeder are House Sparrows.  House Sparrows are noisy sparrows that flutter down from eaves and fencerows to hop and peck at crumbs or birdseed.

feeder3I tried to get pictures of the pretty Cardinals, but I tired standing still on a kitchen chair to get a view above the window screens.  They certainly are fun to watch every day, however, they make a grand mess which attracts our local squirrel friends!

feeder4Well, I guess that’s better than this article I just saw…

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont  Fish and Wildlife Department is urging people to take down their bird  feeders to avoid attracting hungry bears emerging from their winter dens.

If you find yourself out on a limb, have a seat, enjoy the view.

 

 

Dude, that’s a little Pitchy

March 12, 2013

He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing his song
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

bird-day

While on my walk today I noticed the sounds around me.  I was almost acutely aware… but that’s because I made a point to listen.  I heard tweets, chirps, cheap-cheaps, whirring, trilllllls, pretty bird, birdie-birdie and honk, honk, honk…. words we humans use to duplicate the sounds of the songs the birds sing.  It was amazing that in my twenty-minute walk I could hear so much.

Week # 11 – LIFE’S Simple Pleasuresbird songs

I found many sites about birds on the internet, if you are interested check this one out —> http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=1059  the recordings are so real (well yes, they are REAL)  that my doggies came running to the window expecting to see all these birds fluttering around the bird feeder.  They know exactly where to go to see the daily show!

bird2I think American Idol Judge Randy Jackson might have a few complaints if he heard the birds in my neighborhood…  they can be pitchy, they repeat the same syllables,  their tone can be off, sometimes they don’t have rhythm and they often squawk loudly so they can be heard over each other.

bird3Books and movies often depict the city kid who goes to visit the country folk and he is rudely awaken to the sounds of birds singing outside his window in the bright morning sunshine!  I guess if you are not used to it, it could be a lot of NOISE!

But what a beautiful sound it is on one of the first days of spring when you can open the windows and listen to everything chatting away, excited to be outside enjoying the new day!

Every little swallow, every chick-a-dee
Every little bird in the tall oak tree
The wise old owl, the big black crow
Flappin’ their wings singing go bird go

PS: birds are a fun part of my art as well.  The top picture is a special birthday card, tiny doodles of Birds on a Wire. The next pictures are paper mache` birds with wings and tails painted with fun colors and stamps, mod podged with wise words. They free-stand with some funky wire coming out as their legs!

 

Birds of a Feather

March 11, 2013

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best ~ Henry Van Dyke

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Week # 11 – LIFE’S Simple pleasuresbirds

I’m very fortunate!  The window to my world backs up to a field for our local electric power towers… before that, our backyard has lots of trees that house natural beauty and closer yet are my patio and garden.

When I sit to type my blog post I always have some company.  It could be my fur babies sleeping at my feet, squirrels running up their jungle gym of tall trees, or birds feasting at the feeder.

bird1The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

We have house sparrows, woodpeckers, cardinals, morning doves, black birds and on occasion… our resident hawk.  I will have a few more pictures to post soon.  I’ve stood still for 15 minutes trying to get the pretty birds… but it’s hard to get a good picture behind the windows, I have to be above the screens.

A simple pleasure is just to take a moment and watch the birds.  What a bonus it is to hear them sing! Pretty bird, pretty bird!

I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth.  Then  I ask myself the same question ~ Harun Yahya

Yellow Envelope Project

March 8, 2013

Sometimes, the easy things are very hard to explain.envelopes_edited-1

This week I posted about my reasoning behind sending FuN MaiL. If you haven’t read my posts, just scroll down a bit to see what I’m soap boxing about!   There is something good in every day to send some FuN MaiL.  An easy way to Brighten Someone’s Day is to send a note that you are thinking of them.

Week #10 – LIFE’S simple pleasuresmail … is good for both the sender and the recipient!

But now I need to step it up a notch and tell you more about the Yellow Envelope Project.

nov29 023The Yellow Envelope Project is House of Shine’s initiative to recognize ordinary people who shine, and reward them for their out-of-the-ordinary efforts. In a world where negative news dominates newspapers … it’s a simple way to make someone else feel good!

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For a few years now I have contributed to sending anonymous greeting cards in decorated YELLOW envelopes to unsuspecting people all over the United States.  We have recognized people who selflessly go out of their way to help others and let them know that we recognize their attempts to SHINE and make their corner of the world a brighter place for others they come in contact with.

shine2I am fortunate enough to be able to create a FUN creative greetings!! that I seal up in my anonymous envelope.   I scribble out my signature on the back, or eliminate it all together.  Although I wish I was making a bigger business for myself sending my cards off to Texas, Georgia, Alabama, New York etc… it’s more about the heartfelt thanks I send to the worthy recipient!

mail3Can you imagine this person opening their mailbox and flooding out are 2,3, 7 or more YELLOW envelopes  (or white envelopes doodled with yellow markers, stickers and other fun stuff) addressed to them, and inside are notes of encouragement, recognition, validation and thanks for just being them?

In some ways I hope the recipients don’t think we’re stalkers, because often the person who nominated them tells us a bit of what this wonderful person did and how they SHINE!

My reason for posting about this topic is my hope that I sparked some further interest for you about the Yellow Envelope Project. Although it is a very easy and simple thing to do, it is somewhat a little involved for a full explanation.

You can click on any of the links I posted here and it will take you directly to some great places! It’s possible you know someone who should be nominated to be a recipient of some positive mail, you may want to forward my post to a friend who enjoys doing Random Acts of Kindness, or maybe when you check out the House of Shine you want to be that someone who helps Brighten Someone’s Day!

Weeks #10 – LIFE’S simple pleasuresmail…. and more important the YELLOW Envelope Project.

Good Mail Day

March 7, 2013

Sending mail at times can be very tricky!!

If it’s not flat, I highly recommend sending it in a padded envelope.  Then the prized vacation necklace that broke and was needing some ‘mom repair’ wont break the post office machine and send puca shells flying everywhere!

le 001The post office does have rules and regulations about the size and weight of what you can send in a ‘regular’ envelope… after you exceed their limits… the cost of postage increases beyond the normal persons comprehension! My heart sinks if by some chance I thought they wouldn’t notice that extra ounce, and I open my mail box and see this huge message on one of my pieces of FuN MaiL….’return to sender’…. postage due!

letters 003I’ve realized in my card making that sometimes you can push the envelope.   I’ve made them (envelopes) out of wall paper samples, heavy wrapping paper and magazine ads.  I’ve pressed on stickers and rubber stamp images and even doodled massive names and tiny addresses with colored markers.  My ideas and thoughts about sending little masterpieces of FuN MaiL all changed recently. There is even more I can do!

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Some “Good Mail”  came my way a few weeks ago! Much thanks to a friend who understands my mantra! Send FuN MaiL…. Brighten Someone’s Day!   I didn’t even know people would write a book about creating good mail.  But I guess if I can write numerous post to encourage people to send FuN MaiL, someone can design a book at the next level and show me how to really create some eye-popping postal art.

mail 002leftovers001le 001

There is nothing wrong with just sending a correspondence in a lovely white envelope or plain box!  But there is something extraordinary about going the extra mile and creating some FuN MaiL or making it so someone has a Good Mail Day. We are only limited by our imagination (well and time… and of course the postal costs!!!)

However, there are a ‘few’ mailing rules that the post office has, but beyond that, sending and receiving FuN MaiL is  really one of LIFE’S simple pleasures… the thought and time behind it all, could really Brighten Someone’s Day, don’t you think?

PS – I just want you to feel a tiny bit sorry for me.  My original blog post was more amusing when I first started… but for some reason when I went to publish it, I had lost more than 3/4 of it.  Almost an hour of writing time… gone…. where did it go!  So, I apologize as I tried to re-write and recapture my original witty self! :0)

 

Send some FuN MaiL today!

March 6, 2013

phoneNOV 051Being a creative greetings!! card maker, I realized that I myself really loved receiving something in the mail other than a bill or junk mail!

However, that said, being a card maker most of my family and friends really don’t want to send me mail because they think it’s not ‘good enough’….pshaw!!!  If something is sent from the heart ♥… isn’t it grand that God gave us all so many different talents!!!   I decided  that FuN MaiL really can brighten the outlook for someone’s day!

nov29 023You don’t have to write a lot of words in a greeting card or note card.  Sometimes it’s very hard to know the right words.  The internet can lead you to so many wonderful quotes and poems: google search… happiness quotes, spring quotes cheer up, you are special… there are so many endless options.  And if you don’t have access to the internet, write what comes from the heart… or a simple thinking of you and I hope you are having a great week…. will do!

tucky 007This large padded envelope is a little boring… don’t you think???

I have a lot of competition out there.  There are so many different ways to send and receive MAIL.  There is snail mail, hot mail, hate mail, fan mail, junk mail, e-mail, air mail, voice mail… you can be a pen pal or a pen friend, you can send letters, post cards, packages… and now I just found out… you can send Mail Art* (check out yesterday’s blog post by scrolling down, to find out about Mail Art)

mail2This is my return address label.  Promoting FuN MaiL wherever I go.  When someone has had a rough day, I think it would be simply fun to have something peeking out their stack of mail that is either a brightly colored envelope, a fun doodled master piece, or even a return label that tells them some FUN is to be had inside THIS envelope.

By no means am I an extremist in any form, a doodle here, a bit of colored marker, a sticker there…. but you gotta wonder what the post office employees think when they see stuff like this coming!  Does it put a smile on their face?  Or do they think, oh crap! Where do I put my priority mail sticker on this stupid box?

Week # 10 – LIFE’S simple pleasuresmail…. step it up a notch and make it some FuN MaiL!!!!  It will Brighten Someone’s Day!!