in the moment…

“I wrote so I could truly say I was paying attention” -Sarah Manguso. 

I think I take pictures for the same reason. I see. I am aware. 

George’s Island, Halifax. 7:40am

Alice’s Album

This is my grandmother Alice whom I named by biz after:)  AliceinParis! Here she is about 16 years old. I recently found a small Autograph Album of hers buried in a box of old photos. This album is almost 100 years old! There is a tremendous innocence to some of the entries by her pals.and incredible talent! This book must have been kept overnight in order to do this water colour sketch of the Brig o Balgownie in Aberdeen, Scotland.

And this corner of a page folded over:)And check this one out. Wow. There were bits of red pencil scribbles throughout. My father’s handiwork as a kid. Ha ha. I had an autograph book when I was 12. I can still remember what some kids wrote in it. Are they a thing of the past? What a great memento to have.

March 15

Big rainstorm last night! High winds and very noisy. March being a lion. This is Monty, completely unaware how spoiled he is. Try spending the night outside my wee lad and you’ll find out soon enough. I suppose that covers the majority of us here in North America! We live finer lives than the ancient Kings and Queens and most of the people living on earth now. We really are spoiled in our easy lives. Running water, hot/cold, warm houses, safe houses,  televisions, laptops, cell phones, cars, internet, medicine, abundant clothing, food, school, so many things we don’t  think about. Let’s spend a moment today to look around and be grateful. 

Almost Spring….

lemonlentils2 We are still in the clutches of winter! One more week until Spring…. I went for a walk yesterday and the lakes are still skimmed with ice. Tonight we are getting a huge rain storm which will start as snow and then fingers crossed  will turn to rain. It is pummeling the East Coast of the US right now as snow. I am going to make this Lemon Lentil Soup to warm things up quickly:) I make it without the feta and dill but those would take it over the top! It is still DELICIOUS without.  Here is the recipe sent to my by one of my painting students, Judy. Thanks!

lemonlentil3To be honest, I just dump everything in the pot together. No sauteing, I don’t use the oil and I also use a generous squirt of Siracha instead of the chili flakes:) Because I don’t add the feta and dill, I  only add the juice of one lemon. And I use the zest of the entire lemon, haven’t measured to see how much it was. Sooo very good. Enjoy!lemonlentilsoup

Starts with a Sketch

Actually it starts with an idea… then pencil to paper. I was looking through an old sketchbook and had a little trip down memory lane. I remembered doing these and it was interesting to see which ones became paintings. This one below for example…became this one! Available to buy here in my Etsy shop. There are loads of mini sketches and scrawls and ideas and things yet to be painted. I also have lists and thoughts and info I want to remember jotted down. Do you have a sketch book you drop your thoughts and creative bursts into?

Breakfast of Champions…..

or losers….haha. Tea and toast!  (with peanut butter no less) The clocks sprang forward last night. One of the harbingers of Spring, hooray. But sadly we are in the vicegrip of an Arctic freeze at the moment. -26 windchill this morning!!  The poor wee birds and animals…. It is very demoralizing. I find it almost impossible to motivate myself to do anything that requires being outside. I spent last night at a friend’s house and she has branches of forsythia blooming on her table. Very uplifting. I think I will do that when I get home. Pick some and plop in a vase of water. They bloom and lift ones spirits! Other peoples houses always seem more interesting! Here’s a mortar and pestle in her kitchen. I love how the light hits it just so. 

Seaport Market Today! 

This is a test post from my phone! I hope the picture is large enough. Won’t be able to tell until I get home.

It is freezing here today. -22 with windchill. I saw a robin on my lawn the day before yesterday and got all excited. Poor thing is probably half dead today! Ack. This is a weather anomaly and soon it will be warmer:) Clocks Spring forward this evening so that’s a sure sign things will change for the better soon:)

I am upstairs at the market. Forgot my traveling mug so made do with a paper cup of coffee and delicious pesto scone. Having a wee break before the day gets started. Hope yours is grand:)

Mexican Ole Soup!


Yum, this is a fat free totally yummy high nutrient good things soup! You can add a can of drained  beans for extra protein…  also maybe top with crushed nachos, add grated cheese, blob of sour cream (not fat free then but oh well…) It is just as good naked! Pretty much a dump and simmer soup.

Mexican Style Guilt Free Soup!

6 cups vegetable  broth

14 ounces canned diced tomato, Mexican-style preferred

blob of tomato paste 1 Tbsp (freeze the rest in 1 T blobs, wrapped in saran wrap)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped

2 cups fresh green beans ( I used frozen)

2 small zucchini,chopped

1 cup cabbage, chopped (optional) Changes the flavour a bit)

1 carrot, diced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 medium jalapeño (membranes and seeds removed, minced) OPTIONAL, OR dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce ( Siracha cha cha)

2 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoon dried oregano)

2 roasted red peppers packed in water, drained, finely chopped (optional)

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons lime juice( optional but really adds to it))

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional but so yum!)

You could also add some canned corn  if desired.

Put a large pot or Dutch oven on stove and heat to Med-High. Add broth and tomatoes and everything else except cilantro and lime juice,  and bring to boil, cover the soup, reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until everything is tender. Stir in salt, lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.  You can also top with crushed nacho chips and some grated cheese but then it would not be no fat:) Also can be topped with sour cream. Perfect for these cool days!

Elephant Magic…

 


The elephant is a symbol of strength, honor, stability and patience. In the Hindu tradition,, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck, fortune, protection and is a blessing upon all new projects.

This beautiful elephant painting is for sale:) 18 x 24 x 1.5″ Acrylic on birch wood. Send me an email for more details if you are interested. shelaghduffett@gmail.com

Also available as a print HEREhttps://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/513286519/elephant-with-flowers-and-starry-sky