Thursday, March 31, 2011

Choices...

Do you ever feel like this little snail? Out for a crawl across the sidewalk… just trying to make it to the other side before the big runner’s foot of life steps on you?

You have three choices to make…

Turn around and go back until you are brave enough or strong enough to make the trek..

Get half way and give up…

Or haul shell and complete your journey…

What are you choosing today?

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Might Also Like

It is so hard to keep up these days, now we have Social Media added to our list. Blogging, FaceBook, Twitter, Linked In, Business Page for FaceBook, HootSuite. Just as you think you have them all under control and manageable they change a feature or add a new gadget.

Now that my new website is up the next item on my list is to update my blog. I have been thinking about what changes that I want to make. What do I want to keep, remove or add. I have already removed my Project 365.
I have been noticing the little boxes under blogger's posts that suggest other "likes". I  find this to be a fun feature. I was going to wait until the major redo to add this gadget. I was not sure how to accomplish the task and I did not want to spend a ton of time trying to figure it out.

Then I found Laura Otero Cook. We are both readers/followers/fans of Kelly Rae Roberts. We are now FaceBook Friends. She recently redesigned the Kelly Thiel's Blog and I love it. I spent some time on Laura's  blog and website learning more about her and I especially enjoyed her Thursday Tutorials.

Guess what? This tutorial shows how to add these fun little "you might also like" boxes.

Ta Da...it was fast, painless and now I have a new gadget on my blog!

If you have any suggestions for my blog... send them over...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yes...it Does Rain In California

This year it really does rain in California, even Southern California. I was going through some photos yesterday and realized I had taken shots of French Onion Soup to share with you. With this rain and dampness I give you my recipe for French Onion Soup. Well, it is not my recipe, it was given to me by my college roommate Heather.. I wrote about her here. This was her Mom, Judy King‘s recipe. I am not sure if was an original or not, I have had the same card that it was written on for almost 30 years!

I love French Onion Soup… the good stuff. When I was a teenager, I would go to the Careless Navigator in Eastern Hills Mall with either my Mom or my boyfriend (now my husband). They had the best soup. Great broth in those cute little bowls with the handle. The melted cheese would ooze down the sides. YUM.  Some of the French Onion served now is basically broth with a slice of cheese slapped on the top and melted by the heat of the soup!

Not this one:

Enjoy… I feel warm inside already…

Judy King’s French Onion Soup - serves 6 to 8

6 Red Onions….over time I have cut this down to 5 onions
¼ Cup Oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
1Tablespoon Sugar
4 Cans Beef Broth (not Consomm√©)… I prefer Campbell’s… but use your fav
4 Tablespoons of Brandy (I do not use brandy in recipe)
1 Loaf of French Bread, sliced in ½” thick slices
Slices of Swiss Cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese



Thinly slice the Red Onions


Cook onions in oil gently



when they begin to get tender add Butter and Sugar, Salt and Pepper lightly

 
When onions are limp, add the Beef Broth


Simmer about 20 minutes

While the soup cooks, slice the French Bread into 1/2" slices

butter and sprinkle parmesan cheese on the French Bread slices

Broil until lightly brown
Turn bread slices over and repeat on the other side

Fill bowls with soup

Place a few slices of the prepared bread on top of the soup


Top the bowls with 2 slices of Swiss cheese… let the corners hang over the sides. 
Sprinkle the top with more parmesan






Place the bowls on another pan to catch drips, place under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns slightly



Serve and watch the smiles of inner warmth on everyone’s faces.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do You Believe?

In Synchronicity or as summarized by Carl Jung…“Meaningful Coincidences”. I do believe. I was having a discussion with my 10 year old one day and it really was a discussion this day. Most times it is a debate with him. A future prosecutor in training, but this day was different, perhaps synchronicity in and of itself! He asked what synchronicity meant, so I was trying to give examples that would pertain to his life. Now every time a meaningful coincidence occurs we both call out “synchronicity” at the same time.

The past few days I have experienced 2 such occurrences. Sometimes I get down on myself and I wonder if the path I am on the path that He wants me on. Is He giving me answers but I am not hearing, or hearing but ignoring? For almost 5 years I have been on a new path. It started with my diagnosis in April 2006. One thing led to another and I found myself creating art, lots of art and blogging about my art and my cancer and my life after cancer. I love the creating and the blogging, but I wonder am I making a difference?  The Ferris Bueller's Day Off classroom scene comes to mind. ”anyone…anyone”.

Then Synchronicity!

A relative of a very close friend was just diagnosed with breast cancer. My friend reached out to me, her relative reached out to me and her daughter reached out to me. My cancer experience and those of my fellow mothers with cancer can bring some answers and comfort to others. I have a whole other post brewing on this subject but now to meaningful coincidence number 2!

Now that my website is up and running, I have can get back to creating some new art. I sketched this idea awhile back.



I decided to move forward with this piece. Yet while I was working on it, I was questioning its exact message.

Then meaningful coincidence number 2:

I received an email yesterday from someone who has been following my blog for a few years:

“I follow your blog and it brings great joy. 

You have persevered, kept your faith and keep looking forward instead of backward.  God Bless you and keep you cancer free to spread your love your love of art and God.  You are an inspiration to many.

Please keep up the good work and know that your blog brings a smile to many many faces.  Thank you for sharing your time and talent.  It is appreciated. “


That is synchronicity. There is no way that she knew that I was questioning my path. That I was wondering if time it takes to post and keep up with my blog is worth it? Does anyone want to hear what I have to say? See what I have created? Can I make a living at this?

Granted one comment does not pay the bills, but it does make me feel like He is guiding me on His path for me!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Flower Fields


When we moved to California I thought that I would be going to the beach all the time. But life gets in the way and all of a sudden you realize that you do not get to places that you say you will all that often. Sometimes it takes visitors to remind you what is in your backyard so to speak.

My Sister came to visit for a week. It was a much needed break for both of us. We went to the beach, three in fact. We went to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  I finally had someone who likes to walk so we walked… the Back Bay a few times and Balboa Island.

She was a willing participant to drive an hour away to see flowers.

Her last full day here we drove to Carlsbad to see The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Fields of beautiful Ranunculus blooms, Tecolote Giant Ranunculus to be exact!. It is early in the season but it was still breathtaking.
















I love these orange ones standing proud!



When you walk to the top of the fields you can see out to the ocean.


This view will be amazing when they are all  in bloom.
Rows and rows of color. Can you imagine what it must look like from the air? I would love to go back in a few more weeks when the fields are at their peak… I may have to start the bribes now!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My New Website

It has been a long time in the making. 

Many ideas, phone calls, emails, photos, words, artwork, PayPal buttons and a large effort by a number of people. 

In the end the hard work was worth it!

Announcing (drum roll please)….


drawn to color the artwork of mary beth volpini

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or brew a nice hot cup of tea (preferably Ginger Peach) and spend some time perusing my new site.

Sign up for my newsletter on the contact page!

If you like what you see, please tell a friend…

Thank you so much!

MB

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flip Flop Color

 
If you have not heard I love color... you may even say I am drawn to it!!! The past few weeks have a been a little trying. On the 4th of every month my favorite chapel on my favorite Island offers a Day of Adoration, uninterrupted adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I find it to be very peaceful, not that sitting in a quiet church is not, but this is even more special, sitting in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance. Last Friday I went to the Island and spent a bit of time in the chapel then I proceeded to walk the Island. I usually save the main street...Marine Avenue as the final street of my walk. Mostly because this street is filled with adorable shops so it is easy to lose track of time.

I walked by this little shop Sydney Michelle..and these flip flops were in the window. I found myself automatically putting a smile on my face. I tend to smile when I see colors that I like... which is most of them...but when I see a rainbow of colors my heart just skips a beat. I walked past the store and then I stopped, went back and asked the clerk if I could take a photo. She looked at me a bit strange and said "sure". I left with a smile on my face. 

Bright, sparkly, colorful flip flops... in that moment, life was good!
What color or colors make you smile?

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