Saturday, December 20, 2014

Snowflakes, Christmas Carols and Mistletoe...

Popping in from my short blogging break that continue's until after the start of the New Year. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and much cheer, soon midnight clocks throughout our World will usher in 2015. I'm excited entering my second year of blogging and look forward to sharing more thought provoking posts, Poetry and writing from my heart. It energizes me to leave you with a post to ponder, while I weave my poetry into the story line.

I will start off with a handmade (by me) double giveaway as my 1st anniversary appreciation gift, plus what I do every year instead of a New Years resolution. Something of a promise that I never break and feel honored to do.

John and I embrace the serenity of Wintertime as our Christmas/winter decor reflects. I couldn't resist sharing this photo that encourages relaxation and peace. I snapped it as Max^^ was trying to catch a little cat-nap early today. He often lays near our antique Tibetan Buddha who greets visitors into our home. For winter Buddha wears a vintage white rabbit fur scarf as our precious little fur-kid slumbers.

Thank you for all your blogging support, encouragement and the endearing friendship's that formed. It's been one amazing first year! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support and kindness.

Below I leave you with my two favorite Christmas quotes. Be Merry and Bright!

"Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone."
~Deborah Whipp~

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year."

"Charles Dickens"

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Gypsy Ballet

I along with four other blogging friends have joined together on today, December 5th in producing our Holiday theatre presentations. I Hope you enjoy my Gypsy Ballet and at the end of my post please click onto the links to see Doré from Burlap Luxe, Anita from Castles Crowns and Cottages, Violet from Create Beauty and Lin from A Tiny Cottage in the Woods theatre presentations.

This has been a fun idea for all five of us to link our creative efforts into a French themed Holiday show, not knowing what each of us had planned only added to the excitement. So without further ado ... Here we go into our world of make believe.

You might remember my petite sweet Violet from last years blog post of December's Holiday Wintertime Ballet.
Violet's the mouse who has inhabited a centuries old abandoned Opera house of decay.

Believing she's a Prima ballerina our cute mouse with the Purple tutu stages seasonal performances with her very best friend.
Where they work together staging imaginative set designs for their ballets... well it's opening night, so please join in and pretend.

On a snowy early December Parisian star filled evening, headed to the Medieval Castle in the Bois de Vinceness park, 
the glistening freshly fallen snow covered ground guided Violet to a Gypsy caravan unexpectedly parked in the dark.

Encountering a vividly painted gypsy van and gathering of nomadic travel to our sweet Violet was sheer delight...
While the gypsies joined together in dance and morphed into a kaleidoscope of color under the bright starlight.

A vitality of energy as they swirled and whirled engaging sweet Violet that night in the park as they all seemed aglow.
The following day Violet was inspired that a Gypsy ballet in the park would be perfect for the Christmas holiday show.

Producing a ballet of Gypsy wonderment in uninhibited prancing and dancing just wait and you will see...
The audience's hearts will be lifted in wondrous Christmas magic to enjoy and please remember to just ... believe!

© Vera

While helping to stage our little Michel looks on offering his direction. The chandelier soon came down and a bottle brush wreath went up. Trees and snow would provide the feel of the park. The park gate was placed outside the theatre suggesting the main gate into the Bois de Vinceness Park in Paris was a grand entrance.

I found a gypsy caravan on Google. It was printed out and glued onto cardboard and then it was cut out, very similar to paper dolls.

A close up of the gypsy van. Visually a hand painted, embellished and decorated nomadic artistic statement in their journey of travels.

Our French theatre is placed on our credenza in our Dining Room. Offering all our guests who arrive "dinner theatre" with their meal. Of course said "tongue-in-cheek"!

A side view of the theatre on our credenza. Every season I stage different ballets and write a poem to tell the story line. 

Where ballet mice dance and entertain.

Bravo, Bravo sweet Violet your dance was sheer delight.

In this photo is a charming book my Cousin Wayne gifted me with one Christmas many years ago. A pop-up book entitled The 12 Days of Christmas. I have opened it to the eleventh day of Christmas ... Eleven ladies dancing. I carefully pack it away with our Christmas decorations year after year and open it with delight to enjoy the stunning pop-ups that have become a Christmas decorating tradition in our home.

Traditions are essential I find for a happy heart, happy life. But we never loss sight of the true blessed meaning of Christmas during the merriment of the season.

A vintage ice wreath for this year has been placed on our dining room mirror. For the past several years we have enjoyed a white and cream, snow and ice theme in our holiday home reflectively expressing our cold winters in Philadelphia. In the mirrors reflection you can see the French theatre.

A icy snowman vignette is underneath the wreath and along side a vase with iced birch branches creating a little wintertime scene.

Enjoy all the wonder and magic of the 2014 holiday season and wishing you a very Happy 2015 New year. I will return back to blogging in the New Year, kicking off my second year with a double giveaway - creativity handmade by me. But for now It's time to take a little blogging break and enjoy Christmastime.

sources: All photos taken by me - Vera
Theatre was created from salvage and vintage pieces and purchased from Doré Callaway of Burlap Luxe.
All needle felted wool ballet mice were custom made for me by Penny White from Angelsdoor blog.
All the set designs by me.
Theatre curtains and gypsy vests designed, created and sewn by me, the vests were cut and glued to fit each tiny mouse. 
The columned park gate redesigned and faux painted by me to fit this productions needs.
All bottle brush trees are from my personal collection of many years.
Admit one ticket was made and sent to all of us bloggers who have participated in this production by Anita of Castles, Crowns and Cottages. I thought displaying it in many photos lent magic to the presentation. Cute idea mon amie Anita.

Please click onto the links for the other holiday shows:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Messengers ... in our Row-home

source Google free images

The word Angel is from the Greek word "Angelos" which means "messenger".
In this photo in Slovenia a Putto sits on a building. Often seen in Art and Architecture Putto's are usually a naked chubby male, sometimes appearing with wings.
The word Cherubs or Cherubim comes from a term "to guard". Cherubs are always winged, attending to God.

For our Christmas and Winter decorated home we stay away from the Holly Jolly full of Folly Christmas decor, but I will admit to buying the Jingle pillow from Pottery Barn for this year. Suddenly I've fallen in love with the word Jingle, I even purchased a towel for the kitchen with the happy word - Jingle! Oh yeah and gold jingle bells on top of food picks. OK, I've been kind of jingled! 

For years now our Holiday decorations are geared more towards a spiritual peaceful wintertime theme. White and creams, faux snow and ice, (handmade crystal icicles) sparkle from silver and Mercury glass and reflective of our winters spent in snowy cold Philadelphia. But as of this post I am only starting to deck our Christmas home. I will have a winter theme represented in every room of our row-home hopefully completed after Thanksgivings day.

In this post through my photos I will show you pictures taken during daytime and at nighttime, you choose what you enjoy more. I felt this post lent itself to both. Since I'm a Virgo and an artistic moody and dramatic type of theatrical girl (just ask John!) you know what I enjoy more. To me evenings take on a magical glow in our row-home, lighting brings out nuances and imagination abounds.

In our upstairs a sweet Cherub is engaged in a little wintertime mischief and play. Our Cherub found an old vintage canvas bank bag and filled it with snowballs he had just made. The beautiful book leaning against the exposed brick wall was a Christmas gift years ago from my brother and sis-in-law. It is Cherubs Angels of Love by Alexander Nagel. The door leads to the guest room the doors French style artwork was painted by me.

Our Cherub wears a twisted wire crown I purchased on etsy from Doré's shop Burlap Luxe. The Cherub I purchased and it just seems I couldn't leave it alone. I repainted him a faux finish to look like antique garden statuary. He was purchased from Anita Spero Design on etsy. In the summer he wears his original designed crown he came with that is a Sea Horse faux rusted crown. He was purchased after I wrote my poem Wondrous Sam because the crown reminded me of the boy in my fable. That post appeared on my blog May 7th.

I sprinkled him with faux snow as you can see in this closeup. 

"It is not known precisely where Angels dwell. Whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode."~Voltaire~

Under the steel table on the floor is a very old vintage seltzer bottle wooden crate. I believe it is from the 1930's, I've owned it for 2 decades. Inside it holds 4 of my favorite seltzer bottles. I tried to google S&S for additional information on the crate but S&S Baltimore is no longer in business.

I have always gravitated toward messengers as in cherubs, Angels and Fairies. Many (as in nearly 18 years ago) on a Black Friday John and I headed up to Rices Flea Market in Solebury Township in New Hope, PA. It is a very large Antiques and collectibles outdoor market on a 30 acre farm founded in 1860. In the 1950's It grew from Tuesday's livestock auctions to over a 400 vendor's outside flea market. Walking around on Black Friday I spotted a big wooden bin with damaged items offered at 1,3 and 5 dollars. From a distance I spotted a cherub with clipped wings, a small white porcelain piece. Drawn to her I gently picked her up, wiping off the dirt and grime on my scarf as I turned her around noticing her broken wings and announced to John I'm going to restore her, I love her.

I noticed as the woman in the booth said to me "3 bucks" on the bottom she was marked Friedel handgemalt, Bavaria. Afterwards frozen and finding ourselves at the "Cock and Bull" restaurant in Peddlers Village trying to warm up with soup, John asked me  "do you know how to restore her." My response was well no, but I have patience, I love her and no one will keep her from flying by clipping her wings.  I did restore her and she year round is displayed in a built in bookshelf in our sitting/reading room with other whites. But at Christmas time she is proudly displayed in our wintertime decor.

Years ago curious I took her to be appraised, apparently I did a good restoration because I was offered $150.00 for her, not bad for a 3 dollar broken bin purchase, but to me she is and will always remain priceless.

In our sitting/reading room. The lovely star banner on the mantle was handmade by my blogger friend Carol from the very fun blog "Art and Sand". I can't even express how meaningful this banner that says STAR on it is. Carol gifted it to me for my holiday display. You may remember last Christmas I purchased in memory of my son Chris who passed in November of 2013 a bright star in the Big Dipper ... meaningful banner oh my yes! I love the black tassels on it. Carol sewed a white fabric bag with a cool initial V on it. 

I love the color of the banner, in our home I have decorated in a neutral tone on tone palate with adding the color of our exposed brick as a rustic accent color. When I took out the banner from the little precious cloth bag I noticed it had creased a little. I was thinking hmmmm take the steamer to it - but after admiring it awhile I realized the little creases added depth and were reflective of the light on it's dusted lavender grey silken fabric. 
Serendipity often is magical I find.

On our mantel sits a recent etsy purchase from Rosemary at Villabarnes. Such a beautiful angel shelf sitter and in our case, mantel sitter.

"Music is well said to be the speech of angels"~Thomas Carlyle~

The Angel altar I purchased from Doré at Burlap Luxe. For this holiday season it has a small rustic star Garland with miniature bells on it. Stars will be appear in our home this Christmas. Other than the Angel Altar and the musical angel all faux painting and decaying on the mantel, candlesticks and Harlequin wall were aged and faux painted by me. 

Angel altar simply adorned for Christmas.

A close up.

I purchased a paper handmade Fairy from Sea Angels on etsy for the season. I photographed her on our settee but she will be placed in a birch iced wreath soon.

Magical don't you think? The fabrics on her are all vintage.

source of photo is from - Angels in the sky

Personally I believe not all Angels are winged and some walk Earth amongst us. For you see, I believe I have been blessed in my life to have experienced a couple who have protected and graced me. 

source is from artwork by Javier Charro

Warring Angels are the Princes of Heaven sent down to Earth to help in extreme and dangerous situations. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel are "God's hero's". The name Michael means who is like God, and Gabriel means God is my strength.

source from google images
This is a drawing of Gabriel. During this Holiday season of magic and wonder give time to reflect and believe...

"In this Theatre of man's life, it is reserved only for God and Angels to be lookers on."~Pythagoras~

I hope you have enjoyed this post which was meant as an ethereal start of the Holiday season. I leave you with my poetry ... See you on Dec. 5th with a very special Holiday presentation.

"Peace is the first thing the Angels sang."~John Keble~

If by chance, you believe like me, in the spiritually divine and in mystical beings,
you too are a whimsical soul looking for answers from the heavens in the evenings.

We all have life questions, many remain unanswered as we're always looking to discover the truth. 
Searching deep within me, trying to understand the spiritual divine and always seeking proof.

Angels, Cherubs and Fairies ...

Mystical beings sent down as messengers with magical powers and unwavering virtue.
When we accept beyond the physical body, it is then inspiring messengers imbue.

Our spiritual soul is the divinity, the voice of truth inside of genuine faith we all have dwelling within.
Always changing from birth to death, open up your imagination and allow the answers to begin.

Have you ever heard your name whispered gently, gently as you go forth in your average normal day?
It's the voice of a Fairy messenger to guide you with reassurance and help you along your chosen pathway.

Angels, Cherubs and Fairies ...

Messengers delivering love and protection, our struggles and burdens released,
Warring angels who fight our spiritual battles and help us achieve inner peace.

Angels can be our own personal guardians, delivering prayers to the divine and guidance back to us.

Nurturing, counseling and healing our spiritual needs while gossamer winged Fairies sprinkle magical glittery dust.

© Vera

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dream a little dream ...

Seems funny now, trying to explain the inspiration for this post about dreams.  Ironically it came to me very poetically on a restless and sleepless night only a couple of weeks ago. First poetry arrived, filling my thoughts and suddenly I knew what my direction and writing would include in this entry about dreams. 

"Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing".

~Marsha Norman~

I grew up with parents nightly announcing it's bedtime Vera... Mr. Sandman will soon arrive".  Mr. Sandman is a fairytale, a mythical character in European folklore associated with sleep and dreaming. Mr. Sandman has magical power just by sprinkling sand into children's eyes to lure them into sleep. Sure... Seriously sand ... Oh the land of make believe. Although in the book Mr. Sandman it is also referred to as sprinkling a sleep dust into children's eyes.

But what you don't know about me is as a child bedtime was an enjoyable end of a perfect day, actually still is. Creativity bursts forth in my dreams, the simple fact is our brains are more active while asleep than during the day. 

Mr. Sandman first appeared in 1941 in the fairytale "Ole Lukoje" by Hans Christian Anderson. Photo is an illustration of Mr. Sandman from the book. 

Dad was a true crooner and he loved to sing. My Dad worked shift work and having him home to tuck me into bed every third week as a child was always a fun awaited event. I would hear my Dad walking down the hallway -

Bung, bung, bung, bung, bung
bung, bung, bung, bung, bung,
Bung, bung, bung, bung, bung,
bung, bung, bung, bung, bung
Bung, bung, bung, bung, bung

Turning the corner and appearing in my doorway now in full verse...
"Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream (bung,bung,bung.bung)
Make him the cutest thing that I've ever seen ...
Give him two lips like roses and clover (bung, bung, bung, bung, bung)
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over.
Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own... 
Please turn on your magic beam
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream."

I loved that song sung by the Chordettes, still do! Want to hear all the lyrics?  Click on the You Tube video below, live from 1958. But here's the disclaimer, I can not guarantee it won't lock in your brain! If it does, remember to make it exit with singing a loud and big finish. Although I'll admit it's still in my head!

It is said that we dream between 1,460 to 2,190 dreams a year. Our brains are more active while asleep than during the day. For the simple act of sleeping recharges our creativity.

Photo In our bedroom at the end of our day just about to dive into a freshly made bed... 

A little inspiration to inspire Parisian dreams tonight. Our bed is a modern redesign of a 1940's French sleigh bed, it sits in the corner. I have always enjoyed an angled bed, to me it's dramatic and welcoming.

"Sleep is the best Meditation."

~Dalai Lama~

90% of a dream vanishes during the first minute awake. As a child and even into my 20's I kept a dream journal. 

"Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy."

~Signund Freud~

Bizarre dreams still have meaning. According to Harvard Medical School dreaming can help you learn. When the brain dreams it helps you learn and solve problems. Which accounts for the saying "Sleep on it."

Plus reoccurring dreams are your brains way of telling you something. 

You can actually control your dreams. An awareness that you are dreaming, is called "lucid dreaming". With training lucid dreams can last upwards of 30 minutes. 

Guess what? Have a fantasy dream - you don't need to be asleep to dream! Recall a dream you had and bring it back into your waking awareness, surely it will play out.

"Dreams digest the meals that are our days."

~Terri Guillemels~

Surrealism ... Using dream like images
Salvador Dali would wake himself up the moment sleep came to him to capture in his paintings his surreal dream images.

"Give me two hours a day of activity and I'll take the other twenty two in dreams"

~Salvador Dali~

"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision."

~Salvador Dali~

We dream every 90 minutes throughout the night. Which equals to more than 100,000 dreams in a lifetime and we sleep 1/3 of our lives away. 

Nightmares occur more in children. My belief is that children are just learning to expand their understanding and acceptance of their imaginations.

"Dreams are answers to questions we haven't figured out how to ask."

~X files~

Dreaming recharges our creativity and guess what - our pets dream very similar dreams to ours. 

Now to explain this photo ... After an enjoyable weekend meal and a bottle of wine while we were in the kitchen loading the dishwasher and making cappuccino and serving up dessert Max >^..^< jumped up on the dining room table. Yeah, OK tables are for glasses and not cat asses! But he seemed deep in a dream and was snoring while we sat down and enjoyed coffee and dessert as his whiskers flicked in la la land.

Best ever dream fact? Our bodies burn more calories sleeping than awake! 
Very worst fact - Avoid sleep for more than 10 days and you will die!  Also just for your information the colder your house is the worst your dreams are. Plus thankfully only 12% of us dream in Black and White. My dreams are full vivid color!!! I strive for 8-9 solid hours of restorative sleep nightly, but still need to count calories!

So until my next post, dream sweet dreams. 

Dreams can be magical, allowing our creativity to freely take flight in the middle of night...
Empowering our abilities and then - pouf - dreams disappear in the mornings bright light.

Chasing our memory and trying to recapture dreams with a fantasy gossamer butterfly net.
As you process remaining fleeting glimpses of your technicolor dream trying hard not to forget.              

Some nights we dream of an illusional fantasy we think makes everything crystal clear,
but oftentimes when we awaken our beliefs and desires just seem crippled by ones own fear.

A kaleidoscope of wondrous colors flash by in REM sleep with closed eyes, but with an open mind.
Answers we seek while sleeping, perhaps because of a mentally relaxed state is always what we hope to find.

Why is it in dreams our heart can sing a joyful song, a rhythm of our soul that knows no bounds?
Realization that eminent dreams can accomplish unlimited possibilities in achievement  just truly astounds!        

Harnessing the power of the subconscious during dreams to guide our thoughts throughout a normal hectic day...
A destined potential that our awakened minds retain illusive dreams in memory that can linger and stay.

It is the ultimate uncharted territory of our mind scape that we all want to stake claim.
Remembering and learning from our answers in our dreams is what we all hope will remain.

© Vera

Photo sources 3,4 and 10 me, Vera

All others Google free images

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One of our country's oldest farmer's market... and who won the giveaway

Reading Terminal is an enclosed historic public market. Located in Philadelphia at 12th and Arch Streets. Established in 1893, the market occupies the first floor and basement levels of Reading Terminals train shed. Reading Terminal is one of the oldest farmer's markets in the country with over 80 unique merchants in a food bazaar setting. Along with many Culinary treats, there are also Amish merchants from Lancaster County.

Reading Terminal has been a filming location for several movies including Trading Places, National Treasure, Blow Out and 12 Monkeys.

Reading Terminal is one of John and my favorite markets and in this post I will take you along with us in a photo essay during a shopping trip a few weeks back. I'll weave in a funny true story and leave you with a competing chef's challenge poem. 

But first who won the Poe giveaway! 

The blogger who won is Nana Diana! Congratulations Diana,
please email me your address and this is off to you.

The reflection in the window is of the Pennsylvania Convention Center directly across the street at 1101 Arch Street.

Walking into Reading Terminal is always exciting. It's where the worlds diverse foods and tastes await, where ethnicity and cultures combine on the plate.

Interesting spices and seasonings combine for a treat and leaves your appetite satisfied with the savory and sweet.

John and I turn our weekly food shopping into an adventure. Creating dinners is fun for me and I never plan out a menu in advance. Instead I buy the freshest of what's available and locally sourced if possible. I delight in the creativity of inventing on the spot recipes for our meals be it just us or for dinner guests.

Because we both believe ... Drive throughs that serve fast food in a wrapper, isn't really what your tastebuds are after!

We bought the two Red Snappers on the left, had then cleaned and filleted and it became our dinner that evening. Dried rubbed with Cajun spices and blackened. Red Snapper is a delicate flavored fish that can take on spicy seasonings. When cleaned the two fish equaled 1 pound.

Many, many years ago when my son was in his early teens I spent three weeks away in Chicago because of my work. I love Chicago, it is a splendidly beautiful city which I did get to enjoy sightseeing. It was the first time I was away more than a week from John and Chris. I'm a nurturer and I love to cook, to me it's just another artistic expression and a way to show people I care. So imagine being away worrying about them eating nutritiously. I figured the first week they would be eating Philly Cheesesteaks and Pork sandwiches every night for dinner ... But I also knew it would grow old quickly and John would eventually cook something out of necessity.

Every evening I would call, first I'd talk awhile with Chris, discuss his day, address any homework questions and ask him what he and John had for dinner. My suspicions were correct and on the 9th day the allure for takeout was over. The following night when I asked what they ate for dinner I was told John cooked Cajun. CAJUN ... I thought, I didn't even know John could cook!!! John and I love Cajun food, matter of fact we are regulars at an authentic Cajun restaurant that I swear inside you feel you're in New Orleans, so my reply to Cajun was - COOL.

Following evening, once again Chris told me John cooked Cajun for dinner .... I asked leftovers? Nope, Chris said, John cooked Cajun. Hmmm I thought, perhaps John was planning a surprise Cajun meal on my return and he was trying out recipes. Next night when I asked once again ... you know it, Chris's response was Cajun! Suddenly I knew Cajun was code for burnt! I asked Chris if the meal was blackened, he said as blackened as you can possibly make something! That evening Chris, John and I laughed ourselves silly over it and I knew just how much they were missing me and anxiously awaiting my return home making dinner requests for their favorite meals.

Even now after all those years when John is asked by friends if he cooks - his answer is always, YES, CAJUN! True story and John gave me the OK to share it.

A basket of cuteness

Turkey slab bacon, sliced chicken steaks and chicken cutlets came home with us from Godshall's Poultry.

For the past 30 years I haven't eaten Beef or Pork. But not for any other reason than I have difficulty digesting it and I become extremely tired afterwards. My system hasn't the enzymes it needs for digesting it. So I mostly eat things that swim and fly. But around 10 years ago I added Lamb into the mix, giving me my red meat fix. Lamb is the easiest meat to digest and in Italy they even serve it to small children and invalids! 

At the Border Springs Lamb stand - pâté, ribs and ground meat for lamb burgers was purchased. It's USA raised lamb. But I will honestly admit I prefer Icelandic or New Zealand lamb over domestic.

Salumeria International Cheese in the terminal. Smile and say cheese.

We love cheese!

Picked up both Cow and Goat cheese and it was enjoyed by us and dinner guests that weekend.

At Lancaster County Farm Fresh - Canned foods, honey, jams anything you can name.

All things beeswax, check out those sweet pumpkin candles.

Iovine Brothers where we choose to shop. Locally grown and always the freshest veggies and fruits.

In the Bazaar setting you can even find fine French linens, Portuguese and Italian pottery too.

Roasted right on the premise, only the freshest coffee beans at Old City Coffee, Inc.

Always a stop for us.

We love Duck and this place won a "Best of Philly award". 

A Creperie ... 
Hey, here's what I say...
To awaken your palate of global culinary pleasure, experience dining adventures at your leisure!

Pearl's Oysters a weakness for John and I. Ever have an Oyster shooter? Pepper infused Vodka, hot sauce and a you guessed it an Oyster. 

Love me a Po Boy ... pretty please!

Termini Brothers is a famous Philadelphia Italian Bakery. A third generation, 90 Year old Philly tradition. During the holidays we make a stop at their flag ship store at 1523 South 8th Street located in South Philly. There's always a line half way around the block and even entertainment during the holidays. Which usually is a guy playing the Accordion.

I have a suggestion to make ... in our busy active filled days ... Please nurture yourself, enjoy traditional cultural taste. Because to hurry a meal in haste is truly a waste. 

I leave you with a poem I wrote - Nola versus Dan. Both John and I love watching Food Network's food challenges late Sunday night in bed ... Hey are there calories consumed just by looking at food??? Hope not, other wises we'd be in a whole lot of calorie laden trouble!

Awhile ago a fierce culinary battle of the states started on a very stormy day,
Competition in opposing cooking styles and palate tastes from states far away.

First competition matched lovely Nola from New Orleans, Louisiana,
up against ruggedly handsome Dan, from Big Sky - Montana.

Nola's a chef in the French Quarter and has a sexy southern drawl,
with her restaurant diners she would instantly charm and enthrall.

Nola's Praline confections are widely known to cause grown men to drool,
Dan owns a wild game steakhouse and decided he should just play it cool.

First challenge was Nola's Oyster shooters and popular savory blackened Cajun Red Fish,
Dan's signature drink the Montana Tornado was served with braised Bison short ribs as his dish.

The judges were expecting each one would prepare their prized recipes to win for their beloved state...
But judging a competition between a couple with sexual tension really turned into a huge debate.

Seems funny now it all came down to five judges who would determine their culinary fate ...
Each inventing creatively delicious offerings on each and every tasty, yet diverse plate.

But in the end it was Dan who won the highly desired red chef jacket in this battle.
Months later Nola flew out to visit Dan at his Montana ranch where he raises cattle.

Much in love, Nola agreed to stay in Montana and together they formed an unexpected union.

Together creating new dishes combining cajun & creole with wild game in a unique food fusion!

© Vera