Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tucson Festivities - Casey & the Desert!

Our son Casey arrived in the early hours of Dec 24th to share our first holiday in the Sonora Desert just west of Tucson. This magic area is new to all of us so it was a perfect time to explore while sharing time together.

Phil & I are both amazed at the 'forest' here... the unique desert plants, the rolling sandy desert floor and a star studded sky to gaze up at. To share both this divine time and new world with Casey made for a very delightful week. Our Christmas eve desert walk was made all the better when the sun burst through.. casting bright light across this rolling world framed by the shadowed mountains behind us.

Once back home Casey made us a delicious Fish Soup for our holiday dinner!

A delicious Christmas miracle indeed!

Umbrian Fish Soup

Casey left out the garlic
Added two sprigs of fresh rosemary
A large teaspoon of thyme
He would have added red pepper flakes early on if available.
"don't measure the oil,
just make sure the bottom of the pan is coated generously"


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kayaking Anyone?

Hi Bloggers!

Welcome once again. A few days ago I was wearing my CafePress Graphic Artist-Want-To-Be hat and wa la happened. I must confess I wish I had more talent then I do however and very glad that I am tenacious and long on effort.

Here is a new graphic for both light and dark backgrounds. It's my first pass at combining wandering and kayaking...as you will see it's easier said then done. While I like my first attempt I still plan to add some more magic! Till then it's a start.

Happy splashing!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gluten Free Eggs Benedict

For as far back as I can remember I have enjoyed a delicious meal of Eggs Benedict as a way to start the day of celebration for the Christmas and Easter Holidays. About three years ago my our house became gluten-free.... Now that I am not working, and instead am living in an RV full-time, I have the delightful thing called time. This new found luxury has allowed me finally start learning the joy of cooking.

Thankfully three days ago, it occurred to me look on the internet for gluten-free English Muffins
thus allowing Phil to join in too. Sure enough I found a recipe! Our son Casey, home for the holidays, by some miracle loves to cook! He made the delicious gf Hollandaise Sauce ... turns out sauce made from scratch is gluten free. I was a previously committed package Hollandaise Sauce chef however they are not gluten-free. No worries with Casey here to save the day!

Marie's Beautiful Muffin Recipe! Here is the modified version from the glutenfreesoxfan.com recipe from the link above. Makes 6 muffins
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum (which I forgot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 scant Tablespoon quick rise (1 packet gf yeast like Red Star)
  • 1 teaspoon Canola oil
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon warm water.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Use a greased & lightly floured muffin pan
  3. Add dry ingredients
  4. Mix then add the wet ingredients
  5. Beat for 2 minutes (my batch was very watery...but still set up great even without the xanthem
  6. Let rise for 20 minutes
  7. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes...I used my convection microwave for the same time.

  • My muffins were on the small side so each of us had two muffins opened with the ham and one egg for each of the muffins.
  • Toast the muffins
  • Dab of hollendaise on muffin under the ham
  • For larger groups I use a big frying pan with about an inch of water. Then I just fill it with two eggs per person...and have a steamed egg instead of poached. Makes it easier on the cook when feeding a larger group.

Happy Holidays

I have a holiday heart.
Grateful for Phil and Casey
Grateful for my beloved family of origin too.
Heart full of my chosen family and friends as well.
After eighteen months of not being driven by work
I finally am settling into myself.
Blessed be!
I hope today you feel wrapped in blessings too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Desert Friends

I come from a family that loves snow. When we walk, we ski, when we count we play cards! We come from Maine. Even today my beloved dad, now in his eighties is a ski bum. Having said that, I must confess that I am falling in love with the desert...not just any desert but the Arizona-Sonora Desert.

... no snow...no cold wind... no people driving toward me with no experience driving in real snow... ;) add back sunshine, desert cactus and birds galore... It's magic here.

Everywhere I turn I am making new unexpected friends like this Yucca tree. I can't help believe that Theodor Seuss Geisel lived in this desert and met these many characters first. I am in awe of the birds, plants and people here. All welcoming and colorful in their own unique ways.

A Baja Fairy Duster - Tabardillo ...
I didn't know that Fairies dusted the desert?

and Mr and Ms Cardinal absolutely gorgeous good company.

I never know when the unexpected will happen here. Yesterday when we were about three miles out in the desert walking, along came two horseback riders crossing the trail. What followed immediately captured our fancy. Can you see our new friend peaking back at us?

A delightful sight followed...Along came a large dog, one big white shaggy billy goat gruff...and lastly a very curious horse ... all three following freely...no leashes, no bridles, no nothing, just trotting along after their owners. Much to my dismay I did not capture the billy goat with my camera .... luckily for me this cutie pie horse was enamored with us and could not help but stop and gaze back longingly a number of times. Before long he had to make haste and off he trotted down the trail to catch up with his family. We were sad not to have made a formal introduction. Maybe someday we will see them again.

Sunsets are our friends too... Steadfast and strong they bring comfort at the end of the day.

It's a good time for me to be here in the desert. To accept this time of change, to let go of my worries. I don't know what tomorrow will bring but for today my heart is full. New friends surround me.

Casey, our 26 your old son, is due in tomorrow... We hope the snow gods will pause as he travels south from Michigan for his own first desert experience. What a joy to share an introduction to this land with him! It should be a fun week as we get out and do some exploring together.

Happy Holidays to You and Yours... May love guide you and keep you and the sun shine on your always! Marie

Friday, December 19, 2008

San Xavier del Bac Mission

San Xavier del Bac Mission

A place of angels
Of time passages
I must suspend my heartfelt care of the damage
the new world did to the old
like the Tohono O'odham
And attempt to sit with today.
Being in today.
I can't change yesterday however
Today I can give more, do more, sow more
Lean more, give more, feel more
Be more

So many have touched my life
I hope you know the angel you have been

The glow of candles fill this building
The heat flows outward
Prayers and reflections spread to the universe
To ones god and/or spiritual world
From our hearts out to the world

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bumperstickers Part Two

Hi All...

Seems like just about every time I do new new designs I end up redoing them. Granted I am a Cafe Press Newby however... I would still like to be a bit quicker on my own learning curve. There is a lot to remember when making new designs.

  1. Double check the template and be sure to understand 'bleed'. If your internet is not working and you don't have access to the template why not wait a day or two... in case you want to make your life easier.
  2. Contrast is very important.... even if you like the pretty lighter colors how will they transfer on the clothing or gift items. It's a good idea to do a rethink before you final a graphic.
  3. Footer? Did you add it?
With that being said I have kept the old and brought in the new. Please check out my graphics and by all means smile if you see something that touches you! I love ideas and request... feel free to toss them my way!

If you are new at CafePress too please feel free to share your most challenging moments. I am sooooo happy to learn the easy way instead of the hard way. (go figure)

Last but not least I have a bad case of Tick-itis. My first sister visit in Arizona!!! Yeah have those who have significant others in the neighborhood! Tick's Tom lives in Phoenix!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bumper Stickers!

Greetings Bloggers,

I have been working a way on my CafePress Store. Who knew how complicated everything is. I am still struggling with driving traffic (visitors) to my sites. The good news is I finally successfully added my store to google.base (googles shopping area) however google has stoped 'crawling' my site due I think to such limited traffic. grrrr.

On the other hand more good news is that when people do find my site I get some sales here and there....

Marie Discovers Bumper Stickers!
(click on sticker to go to store..)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Walkabout Desert Trails RV - Fabulous & Funky

Do you have time for a quick walk with me around our new fabulous and funky RV park?
We needed a little funky to really feel at home and luckily we found it!
See what you think...

Once again the moon joins us as we wander around.

The highest point in the park... the top of the old water slides

We are tucked in at the bottom of these water slides. Nice buffer!

Easiest pet's in the world! ;)

Why it takes us 2 hours to go pick up our mail.

Another day in paradise! All good souls welcome here...

(just click on picture to go to check out my store)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Moon and Balloon Dance

Moon light is everywhere in the Sanora Desert
It looks over my shoulder
and often comforts me as I walkabout shadow casting
It whispers to me... feel my strength... learn my lore...explore my energy
a magnet out there in the universe quietly speaking my name

And then a morning walk brings a nudge...
In case I am not paying attention the moon calls out to me again...with a friend

Our first moon balloon dance.
Phil and I watch and wander!

See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...we need silence to be able to touch souls.” ~ Mother Teresa