I love learning. I love the feeling I get during that Eureka! movement when something finally clicks inside my head and makes sense. I've found that even though it might take a long time coming to that point, it is usually a strong basis for continuing to learn.
For example, in tennis my coach will repeat a strategy to me, fifty or a hundred times. He'll try and reword it in an attempt to explain it, but until something clicks inside me, it's direction, not knowledge. Once I am able to comprehend what he's referring to, BAM! I can do it! It's an exciting feeling and it helps me to grow as a tennis player. This is true for me in life as well.
There is so much for me to learn and so much I want to learn... and learning takes time. But, when it does, it's rewarding and strengthening.
Luckily, not all lessons require me to actually do something. There are times (few, though they are) that I can learn from observing and then incorporating that knowledge into my life.
Observation, alone, does not create learning, you need to reflect on that which you observed and really see it in your own life.
One lesson I learned, and I mean truly learned, was what that you don't scrimp on birthday cakes. While this may sound rather frivolous and silly, like all lessons, it has greater meaning.
When I was a child, we a Bunny Cake Fiasco of '86. In short, August was a month with many celebrations, in addition to back-to-school preparation, and closing up the woodhouse for summer. It was a hectic time as that time of year is for many people. My mother thought she'd be shrewd and celebrate everything on one day. She looked through her freezer and removed a cake shaped like a bunny face that she purchased back at Easter time.
The cake came out after dinner and was quietly divided into seven teeny tiny pieces. No one said a word, but ate the few bites of cake that was offered. We were taught to be polite and never complain about a gift, but to be gracious and appreciative. Then, one day, my grandmother (who was one of the recipients of the cake) let out a chortle and made a funny comment about the lack of cake. We all laughed, relieved that she said something.
Through the years, my siblings and I have retold the story and the disappointment from that day is still evident. In fact, none of us can see a bunny shaped cake without giggling like fools.
But, what is the lesson here?
It's not to criticize something that was done twenty + years ago, but rather to embrace the opportunity to make a birthday (or anniversary) a celebration. Making a birthday cake for the birthday celebrant is a gift, a simple acknowledgment that they are loved and worthy of a simple gesture.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
2 flour tortillas
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (sliced or grated)
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
1 pat butter
Heat oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the flour tortillas into wedges (like a pizza) and place each wedge on the cookie sheet. Drizzle the slightest amount of olive oil on top (or spray if you have a Misto sprayer) and then sprinkle salt on top. Bake for 10 min until crisp... or more if needed. Remove pan from oven and turn chips over. Place back in oven for 3 more minutes to firm up underside.
Meanwhile, in a pan, melt butter and add chopped apples. Sautee' until the apples begin to become fragrant. Add butter and cinnamon, until the apples begin to brown on the edges.
Place by the spoonful onto the chips. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Working on another sketch of the Clown Trigger Fish and studying photos.
Learning the ladder stitch to make these wrap bracelets.
- Sketching in my journal
- Researching my next book
- Working on my two-handed backhand
- Planning a dinner for a joint 86 year old Birthday Party
- Planning on the family boat cruise to celebrate the publication of Death on the Water
- Getting the girls ready for another year in Boston
Monday, August 18, 2014
Here's a drawing in stages that I did for a friend. It started as a sketch in my journal in colored pencils.
I took the image and scanned it into the computer.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Allie and I saw wild dolphins playing, splashing, and jumping in a small cove. It was the most beautiful sight and our excitement at seeing them was tremendous.
Allie took me to a little restaurant that is operated by a cook who owns a fishing boat. If he catches something that day, the restaurant is open. If not, no food... pretty simple formula. We lucked out that he was open the night we went. I had scamp for the first time. (Scamp grouper is a delicious, sweet white fish).
We found a new-to-us restaurant and had to have my picture taken with the mascot. Love a man with an eye-patch!
Friday, August 15, 2014
I am so thrilled (and surprised that it happened so soon) to announce that Death on the Water is available for pre-order from Amazon. The pre-order is for a downloadable book, hard copies will be available in the near future.