Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bits and Pieces from the Book of Life

I'm somewhat happily dividing my life between two houses right now -- home and up north, for those last weeks of summer and early fall. Life at home has not been dull! Rick welcomed a client passing through Michigan for a lovely lunch. Burgers were on the menu with Rick's homemade buns!


I have been dealing with the bushel of tomatoes I bought last time at the lake (and I might even buy more, though I'm really getting sick of making pasta sauce!) Looks grotesque here, doesn't it, like something in a witch's cauldron. But this mixture of peeled Roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, garlic and in some batches, mushrooms will keep us very content when the snow begins to fall and a bubbling pot of noodles is comfort food. We'll probably add more fresh herbs, maybe Italian sausage, artichoke hearts, kalamatas and/or capers when we cook it off then!


We have gallons of sauce in the freezer. I also came up with a very zesty gazpacho, a tomato cuke salad...


...and a wonderful tomato tart. (So, should I get another bushel?!)


I've been savoring the last of summer's blooms. It was an extra treat to go to the massage therapist, who let me have some of her hydrangea blooms.


And from Pam, whose garden never ceases to amaze me, I got this wonderful idea to save some sunflower heads for a small platter. I love how they look -- there's beauty, even if their end state. Thanks, Pam!


In an attempt to work on a more free and loose painting style, I've been experimenting.


I rather like this one!


On September 11 I went to the wonderful musical, "Come from Away," about the community in Newfoundland that welcomed the thousands of passengers stranded after planes were grounded on that terrible day. It was so heartwarming and inspiring. Someone on my FB page posted how if only we could go back to September 12 when strangers took care of others, there was hugging and support and religion or politics didn't matter. (If it comes to your town, I recommend it. Listen to the CD first to max your enjoyment.)

Earlier that week our Friends of Theatre at MSU held a gathering at a local art gallery to kick off the season.


The art was gorgeous -- so many different things and in all media.


Also included was a group of actors who explored "Arts or Crafts" in a series of vignettes. We all laughed as three "Puritan quilting ladies" gossiped about Goody Proctor as they stitched hidden messages into their quilts.


And pretty much everyone could identify with the frustration and bafflement that Mona Lisa felt -- if only she could share her thoughts as others passed by!


It was the perfect blending of the arts -- performance, sculpture, painting, photography and more.


There have been walks to the Ditch (more on that in another post)...


....and a longing for fall apples. (Can't wait for the Honey Crisps!)


We'll be headed to the lake again, making this drive past a sunflower field growing in the median.


Oh, I hate to whiz by so fast! They are a blur!


And I'll see my favorite windmills. I can't look at them when I drive -- I'm too captivated. Always good when Rick can take the wheel!


Life really is good right now. You can never tell what a week or two or three might bring.


But right now, it is very good.

Sharing with:    Best of the Weekend     

42 comments:

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Here's to a continued good life, spread out all fall with wonderful surprises. You sure have a great start with your harvest-time activities. Love your approach to life.

I went to a lecture about the Newfoundlanders who welcomed the thousands of passengers stranded because of 9/11. A warm, feel good story coming out of such tragedy.



Latane Barton said...

Your post was very fallish... I am ready for the cooler weather and the soups, fall leaves, hot tea. How about you?

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have to confess, Jeanie, that I didn't think that at this stage in my life I would develop such an appreciation of Rick's buns. I couldn't help but admire their rotundity, and their golden-brown healthiness. I found myself lusting after them! I may have to lie down for a while to recover from this sudden obsession. In the meantime let me tell you that we too make pasta sauce at this time of the year and can it so that we can enjoy it through the winter. We don't do as much as we used to, but we also canned pickles, beets, and baby corn in the past. A couple of years ago I discovered a little Polish deli in Kitchener and they have beets at a very reasonable price and they are excellent, so we buy them now. They also carry excellent marinated mushrooms which we enjoy and sauerkraut, and pickles, from the barrel. Perhaps not as exemplary as doing our own, but I am afraid it is one if the concessions to advancing years. As always, your blog is filled with verve and the enjoyment of life. What a pleasure it is to read.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

It sounds like you are enjoying this late summer!

Evi Erlinda said...

Yummy dishes and nice atmosphere, I agree, life is good :)

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Looks like you are enjoying life to the fullest Jeanie! I know where to stop if I find my way to your neck of the woods for a delicious home-cooked meal!! Enjoy your weekend.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful post, beautiful art and photos. And the food....can I have one of those rolls, or 2 or 3, please? And the sauce and tart....off to the fridge now to look for something edible as a consolation! Hugs, Valerie

natalia20041989 said...

Yum, yum! Those buns are perfect and I love tomato tart☺ I admire the art also, so so pretty☺

Sandra said...

Everything looks and sounds wonderful.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Great post. Love the sunflowers, my favourite flower. When I have a glut of tomatoes, I turn to my Auntie Nancie's Tomato Chutney recipe which, with a couple of tweaks turns into the best tomato salsa to see me through Winter.

Deb in Wales

Carol said...

Such wonderful photos. I love sunflowers and I think that these are the best way I have seen them used. Laid on that platter just makes me want an entire garden of them.

William Kendall said...

You certainly have been busy! Terrific shots.

Joyful said...

OMW, that tomato tart jumped out at me. It looks so delicious. Just last night I stayed up watching a documentary called Come From Away about the people of Gander and how they assisted about 7500 air travellers who were diverted there during 9/11. What a story. I cried a few times. I had heard the story before of course but there is nothing like seeing it. I'm so glad you got to see the musical. They showed a bit of it on the documentary and it looks fantastic.

Sandi said...

That rainbow block thing--- wow!

DUTA said...

Food and Art go very well together, as can be clearly seen from your great pictures. The same applies to Nature and Art, Nature and Food.
Food and Health, though, are not always good pals.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Lovely post about all good things! You have a busy life full of wonderful happenings. Sunflowers are such happy blossoms. I like them nestled in the platter. Enjoy a nice weekend.

krishna said...

After reading your post I'm also longing for fall, but here the temperature is in 90s.. :(

Lynne said...

Like hearing that life is good right now.
For sure . . . life changes in a flash. .. .
Enjoy this good time.

Love your paintings . . . thankful that you have that cottage time.
Love your support and love of the arts . . . music, drama, sculpture, watercolor, oil, performance, dance.
And love hearing about your attending, enjoying.

And I like seeing the ditch happenings and critters . . .
Life is good, isn’t it . . .

My name is Erika. said...

Your free and loose art really looks fantastic. And your have been cooking up a storm of delicious looking food. I have to say I have had a no cooking week this week, well minimum cooking, and so when I say it is delicious it is making me think I need to find some time to go get groceries and to make some yummy looking food also. And looks like you've had a fun and busy times. Happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Ah, those tomatoes look good enough to eat. The gazpacho and the tomato tart look especially good. And those sunflowers make a great centerpiece.

Lovely watercolors and I really LIKE that looser style.

What a fabulous tribute to 9/11 and a beautiful match of art and photos at Friends of Theatre.

You have certainly been out and about and created a fabulous post, dear.

Sami said...

I make sourdough, but Rick's homemade buns look delicious and so does the tomato pasta sauce.
What a lovely idea to use the sunflower heads in a platter.
I had never heard about the Newfoundland community that welcomed stranded passengers after 9/11, what a wonderful heartwarming story. If only that happened more often as you say...
Enjoy your trips to the lake with the sunflowers and windmills flashing by :)

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, shoot, I still have artichoke hearts in the cabinet (in a glass) and have no idea what to do with that! I bought them cause they are said to be "so healthy"...

The salad looks very yummy! And the hydrangea so fresh, like it was still summer...

Too late, I gave my dead sunflower to the compost bin already. Great idea (yours, not mine).

The boat-painting is so cute, aww, I love it!! Sail away and dream. Just the two of you.

I´ll keep the musical in mind.

Hmmm... the cheese!

Glad to hear life is good! :-)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie, I just love all your art work. The hydrangeas and sunflowers are beautiful. The buns and food all look delicious, I would love to try the tomato tart, YUM! Lovely photos and post. Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

R's Rue said...

Can I come for dinnER?

Lynne said...

I forgot to mention those homemade buns . . .
The fragrance alone most be out of this world . . .

And the dried hydrangea . . .
I think I will make an arrangement for my front door planter box,
and add some cattail, gourds, baby pumpkins for October days..

Thank you . . . you are always treating me with ideas/reminders . . .

Lynne said...

I enjoy reading your comments . . .
David’s was especially wonderful . . .

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeanie,
My favorite is tomato sandwiches in the Summer!!
I so admire your art...
I could really go for the spread that was put out at the art gallery...
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Hugs,
Debbie

Pam said...

Wow...you have been BUSY again. Look at that food. Yummy. I need to make myself sit and paint. Been so long.....will have to get on it though since I have a paint party coming up and I try to paint the pic ahead of time for folks to go by....gotta get move on. Great pics.

Joanne Huffman said...

I like the new paintings. I have to tell you that after reading this post with the great photos of food, I'm very hungry.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Love your slices of life. The sunflower heads look great, and the foods from tomatoes enticing (even the cauldron, perhaps especially that brew, as I love pasta and sauce....and Rick's bread would be a welcome addition for ANY meal). The vignettes combining arts and crafts and performance sounds like something that would be enjoyed during our local ArtWalks. I may have to pass along the idea as a hint or suggestion. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, what a great post--may life continue to be "very good!" Rick's homemade hamburger buns look perfect, and I envy you having that sauce in the freezer. I didn't manage to get any of my tomatoes in the freezer, but next year I'll have a plan. Love the art. I included one of my little paintings in this week's post (I feel very bold when I do that!). Showed Mr D the restaurant with the hot dog on top in one of your recent posts; he enjoys (nostalgically) that sort of thing!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, I love this post and everything you are doing. I would so enjoy your pasta sauce and Rick's rolls. He is certainly a talent, Jeanie. Looks like you are having fun, keep it up. Have a great weekend.

Victoria Zigler said...

Yes, you should get more. You can never have too many tomatoes. Make some in to sauce for chilli, just chop and freeze some so you can throw them in things later, make your own tomato puree, and enjoy them fresh now while they're plentiful and at their most juicy!

Anyway, glad life is good with you right now. :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yum, that buns definitely look amazing!! You should see the sad hard GF buns that I resort to when I want a bun with my burger... I usually go without! I should grab some from our local GF bakery so I have something tasty when burgers are on the menu!

It's been a wet, cold, windy week here but there are 80s on the 5-day forecast! I love it when we have an Indian Summer. Especially since there isn't much humidity at this time of year so 80 feels glorious! We are soaking it up since we know what's around the corner!

Olka said...

This post is so amazing! All these tasty foods! These buns, tomato tart, your beautiful art and the garden!

crackercrumblife said...

It looks like you have been having a great time, just enjoying the bounty from summer's harvest. I love putting away things like that for cold winter days, it is liking eating summer all over again.

The musical production sounds really good. If only, I agree.

I need orange said...

So good to appreciate the good times when we have them! Thanks for sharing yours with us. Love what you did with all the tomatoes. Those buns are gorgeous! I can see the progress you are making with your painting. Love that most recent portrait of your favorite model. :-)

Tammie Lee said...

It looks like you have had a wonderful summer!
Lots of tomato goodness!
Your art is sweet, keep on having fun with it Jeanie. I wish I could get back in the groove.

Carola Bartz said...

I like your "loose painting" - my favorite is those bare trees. Beautifully captured. You have been very creative in your cooking with tomatoes, that tart looks super delicious. I love the heirloom tomatoes from our local farmers and most of the time just eat them with some mozzarella. They make a great lunch to take to work. I almost envy you for the art gathering - so interesting!
Thank you for telling us about "Come from Away", I'm not sure it will come here, but if it does I will make sure to see it. I saw that post about September 12 on Facebook as well and shared those feelings with my whole heart.

Red Rose Alley said...

The homemade buns, the pasta sauce, the tomato tart - it all looks so Yummy, Jeanie. It seems that we cook and bake more during the Fall season, doesn't it? Those deer are a wonderful sight! And there's just nothing like apples in the Fall. So many delicious goodies to make with apples. Your honey crisps sound good. So glad to hear all is right in your world right now, Jeanie.

~Sheri

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I am sorry I am so late to this post, let’s just say that life is full. Oh my that pasta sauce will be fabulous during winter and we all crave comfort food on cold winter nights. Thank you for the mention, your sunflowers look perfect even through the end of their short life. I always enjoy your ditch visits and your art. I am so glad that life is good right now, savor every moment!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

First, anytime Rick wants to visit and make homemade buns is ok with us as his look wonderful. Second, the cauldron of sauce looks delicious too and the tomato tart had me looking for a recipe. Life is indeed good😀

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