New Activity – WINDOWS TO NATURE Art Exhibit

Barbara: Fighting my naturally lazy nature, and thanks to the ABC Life, I pushed myself to go to an art exhibit titled “Windows to Nature” being held at the Lover’s Lane Methodist Church. They have quite a nice ARTREACH Gallery and this month it was filled with lovely paintings celebrating nature. The two artists featured were Donna Chambers & Elaine Jary. According to the artists, the paintings “reflect our interpretation of the restorative quality of nature in our lives. Taking time out from our day-to-day activities to observe the miracles in nature that are all around us provides much needed calmness and reminds us to be grateful for the beauty we find in nature; beauty that provides moments of peace in our busy lives

I totally can relate to what they said and so can Laura, who from time to time would take a walk and find at least one thing in nature that made her smile. As a matter of fact, on the way to the exhibit I happened to hear a song by one of my favorite singers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, which had a lyric in it that went “today would be a very good day just to have a good day all day long.” That, combined with one of Elaine Jary’s Robins in a gorgeous background of orange, which seemed to call out to me, led to a new purchase for my office so I can “have a good day all day long” while I’m posting!

Nature art3 (2)


Laura: Ever heard of the recipe called “Neeps and Tatties”? Well I hadn’t but when I did, I knew I had to make it.  I came upon it last week, as I was browsing through my “Recipes from the Root Cellar” cookbook – and who could resist this smile-inducing recipe title! I had never heard of a Neep nor a Tattie, so N month was the perfect time to get acquainted.

It’s a mashed potatoes and slightly mashed turnips (or rutabagas as they are also called) combination popular in the American South.

Neeps and Tatties (2)

However, it gets its name from the Scots, who traditionally serve it as an accompaniment to haggis (a dish that will never grace my table…yikes!). I chose to serve it as a side to my bison burgers – and it was quite tasty!


Laura: Our quest to keep traveling prompted me to visit The Netherlands. I truly regret not having been there in person but rather than miss out altogether, I enlisted the help and guidance of Rick Steves in his Europe series. I saw two episodes: Amsterdam and The Netherlands beyond Amsterdam. I loved seeing, hearing and learning about this amazing country and its fascinating cities. I was particularly struck by how many bikes there are in Amsterdam. There are a million people there and as many bikes! I was also intrigued by the attitude of the Dutch people and how they are so relaxed about life. It reminded me of when my son returned from his year spent at Utrecht University as part of the University of California’s junior year abroad program. We were eating at a restaurant and he noticed a “keep off the grass” sign and he scoffed, stating that we would never see such a sign in the Netherlands since they didn’t have such “rules.”

Masterpiece Project – 1984

Barbara – While Laura continued her virtual travel, this month I decided to continue our “reading the old classics” by seeing the movie version of the classic 1984. While I did actually read this book years and years ago, I really didn’t remember anything but the idea of a Big Brother. I thought it appropriate because sometimes I feel like Facebook and Google are like Big Brother in that, the minute I search for something, ads and emails appear on that topic. The movie was very creepy and depressing and I think in this case I should have let well enough alone. I can still understand, though, why it is considered a classic.

Activity –  NOSTALGIA

Laura: With so much time spent at home these days, I have found myself watching more than my fair share of tv shows. Hulu has been my good friend, as it offers many successful older shows that are no longer being produced – offering a second chance to revisit some of the shows that were mainstays of my past – in other words I devoted some time to making N month my Nostalgia month. Wikipedia defines nostalgia as “a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” I rewatched several episodes from the The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Wonder Years and The Golden Girls. I enjoyed all of them but discovered that out of those three, the show that made me feel particularly nostalgic was The Wonder Years. That program was produced during the 1980s when I was raising my children. I find myself increasingly missing those days and The Wonder Years brought those feelings forward more than the two others shows that were not connected to my family. Not surprising when I realize that those years were among my favorite time periods in my life and any time I can revisit those memories is a joy.

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