Monday, January 19, 2015

Bone Soup

The cobweb in my brain seemed to be there forever. There was not the big enough broom to clear it.

On the other hand, it seemed that I reach a state of Nirvana. 

Maybe not Nirvana, but an emptiness.

A strange feeling.

I guess, that the tank (my brain) is empty and I needed refill.

I am trying to nourish my body, so that my mind can revive.

I understand there  is a new fad, Bone Soup.
Yes, soup made with bones!
Well, I thought that was old news. We always knew that Chicken Soup was good for everything. Right?
I, being China-bred, knew that all soups are Good.

I heard that people are ordering a cup of Bone Soup instead of a cup of coffee for breakfast.  
Now, that is News!

Now what they mean by Bone Soup is really Stock - A stock is the liquid obtained from the simmering for hours, together of meat, bones, with vegetables, seasonings, and water. This liquid, strained, and boiled down to concentrate its flavor is the basis for soups.

This meat stock can be made with bones only, but it has more character if made with both meat and bones, about half and half.

So, get out your stock pot, and brew a pot of Bone Soup.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Winter Colds

They say that we are in for a severe winter this year. 

As a matter of fact, many parts of the U.S. are already experiencing this extreme cold weather. Lots of snow. Merciless winds.

This morning, our temperature was down to eight degrees. Not counting the wind chill.
My furnace is working overtime.

When I first moved to Oklahoma, I thought that I was living in a mild climate. I was wrong, of course.

People here say that if you don't like the weather, "stick around for a little while and it will change." Temperature in this place where I am could change drastically within a short time - a drop of ten or fifteen degrees in a few hours sometimes. 
We have hot, hot summers and cold winters. Not much in between. Spring and autumn days are fairly rare. We do treasure them when we have a few mild and windless days.
You heard about the Oklahoma Winds, of course.

The flu season is here. some of my friends are suffering from the flu even after taking the flu shots. The Bugs are winning? Chin up. You will beat the Bugs!

I don't have the flu, but I am fighting a beastly Cold.
My brain does not work too well.

I remember that I had a really bad case of flu years ago when I was in England.
I was more than miserable for about three or four weeks, with fever and the works. I thought I was going to die. 
I was staying in a hostel at the time. Isolated in a room for many long days. My friend, Joyce, was my sole sometime visitor.
It took me many more weeks to truly recover.

I hope you stay well, my friends.
Drink a lot of fluids.
Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.
I am doing that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In And Around San Miguel

San Miguel has many great schools. 

Instituto Habla Hispana is an excellent language school,

Instituto Allenda is a famous school that offers arts, writings, and language classes.

Bellas Arts is San Miguel's premier school for the arts.

Ingnacio Ramirez Center is a school that offers instructions in both dance and music.

We visited a number of them and we also visited some of the museums.

Bellas Arts is located in an convent, with pretty patios. It was open to the public.
Sitting at one of the patios, I wished that I could stay on and be a student at the school.
We did have the opportunity to spend the day there.

The Garden at the square was a popular place for visitors and locals alike. 

The group of us painted in front of the church facing the square. 

There were vendors selling their wares to tourists. The balloonman caught my eye with his many balloons. It was quite a sight.

We also visited the market. The many colorful stalls displaced various interesting food items and handicrafts. We painted at the market.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Poolside Art Lessons

Rob had arranged to have models posing for us at the Villa.

There were a number of models in colorful outfits.

I painted this little watercolor.

                                                my painting

We also had a feast by the pool.

It was great fun!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Villa Xichu

Villa Xichu sits on top of the hill.

Bev, her sister, and I stayed at La Casa De La Bugambilia, one of the many buildings at Villa Xichu. We had the whole building to ourselves! 
The view from the living room was awesome. 

And the bougainvilleas! A profusion of reds. pink, magenta, lake, scarlet, fuchsia . . . It takes your breath away.
The grounds were tended by a host of gardeners. They worked there all the time, it seemed.

We sometimes, painted at the Villa. Rob hired models who posed for us around the beautiful pool. 

                                       La Casa De La Bugambilia

                                             the colorful bathroom

                                              my bedrrom

                                    part of the grounds,  lots of trees

Saturday, January 3, 2015

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

I enjoyed Rob Erdle's Painting Workshop in Portugal so much and I totally trusted his wise choices, so I signed up for his San Miguel de Allende workshop in 2003.

San Miguel de Allende, an artists' colony.

For the group of us, looking to make art, what more could you ask? 

To think that you could spend two weeks in this wonderful place, with its beautiful central plaza, the well maintained Jardin, and the pink stone 18th century church.

The Paroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, a pastel pink and orange church built in 1683, is the city's most recognizable landmark. The church can be seen from miles away. 
It was at its best at sunset, I thought.
I did a beautiful little watercolor of it. 
Wish I had kept it - too bad, I sold it years ago.

I loved the cobble-stone streets, the colorful buildings, the picturesque churches, the many specialty shops, the interesting market, and the food.

My friend, Bev, and her twin sister, and I shared a beautiful two-story Casita. We each had our own bedroom with attached bathroom. 
We had a large open-concept living-dining room and a large kitchen, where we merely make an occasional cup of coffee or tea.
We did not need to cook ourselves, since the meals were provided. 
Our Casita was one of the many buildings in the compound. 
The garden was well-designed and well-maintained. There was a building for all of us to eat our meals in. There was a large swimming pool. A host of maids, cooks, waiters, and gardeners waited on us. 
We were pampered.

Every day, we went some place to paint. 
Every evening, we gathered around the pool for critiques of our works by Rob.

We worked hard. 

We played hard.
                               the Paroquia

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Are you one of those who make New Year's resolutions every year?

Do you make a list of what you would do for 2015?
You want to lose weight.
You want to save money.
You want to see the world.
you want to help fight hunger . . .

Did you make the same kind of resolutions last year and never did anything about your resolutions? Most of us fail to follow through what we intend to do.

They say that in order for you to succeed, 
      You have to be specific,
         You have to take small steps,
      You have to be realistic,
      And You have to have a plan and stick to it.

Is it not the way life is?
You make a plan.
You break it down into parts.
You have a time line.
You take it step by step, accomplish one step at a time within the time line.
Don't forget to write it down.

True, life has a way of interfering with our plans. But get up and keep going if you were knocked down.
Keep going.

I don't have any earth-shaking resolutions for 2015. 

I do want to shed some weight - five to six pounds.
I will do it in three months. Certainly, I should be able to lose two pounds a month. I would not eat sweet desserts for three months. It is doable. Don't you agree?

I will try to remember the word "moderation" - doing everything in moderation. 

We will see how this would affect my life.

I wish you and yours all the happiness in 2015.