National Coloring Book Day

Today is National Coloring Book Day – August 2nd is the day set aside to have fun with your colors and patterns. Nowadays, it seems that everywhere you turn, you see coloring books, and not just for the little ones, but for grown-ups too. This adult coloring trend is rapidly growing across our nation and who knows if it will stick around or would fade, as in the case of some other trends.

As a child, I didn’t have coloring books. I’m sure some children had them, but we didn’t have extra dollars for such luxuries. Instead, we made and colored our own drawings. As a result, I don’t have any particular inclination toward coloring books. I’m sharing this bit of information because I was surprised when I decided to start coloring bits and pieces of Nandi’s coloring book (Nandi is my baby, my last grown-up, 23 year old child).

Last week, I decided to color an entire page in Nandi’s book, instead of one or two drawings. I must say that it was very relaxing. I hear a lot about practicing mindfulness, but I did not expect to experience such inner quiet while my Crayola pencils glided slowly along the curves of the flower pattern and across the page.

There was no rush with the coloring – I took my time to audition the colors for each flower and once I got started, the minutes just rolled away and lulled me into a state of calm and peace. I was wrapped up in my quiet thoughts in the world of coloring. 

It was a good decision when I picked up Nandi’s coloring book and her colored pencils! Little did I know that I would enjoy coloring so much, or it would have given me the opportunity to write a blog post. I now have a deeper appreciation for adult coloring books!

Have you done any coloring recently?

Here is picture of my coloring.

Coloring

Celebrating National Coloring Book Day!

30 years…

Thirty years ago, on a warm July 4th, I came to the USA. I am in gratitude for all the experiences and opportunities I’ve had over the past 30 years. I look forward to growing old in this beautiful country, my home, the land of the free, the place where dreams are made possible.

Here is an excerpt from HistoryMiami of my Miami Story that I submitted to the Miami Herald last August. “Miami is my home. I love the cultural, flavorful diversity here. I love it that nobody notices our Guyanese accent! Miami and all those with whom I’ve come in contact have nurtured me into the woman I am today”. Happy July 4th!

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Photo credit: Google Images

Vivid Apples in the Big Apple

The theme for this week’s photo challenge is vivid. I like taking photographs. I’d like to share vivid apples taken in the Big Apple in front of the Trump Tower. At first, my niece and I draped ourselves on the apples for dramatic photos, but got a serious warning from the security not to touch the apples! We were under the watchful eye of the security for the duration of our photo-taking session, so we simply stood as close as possible to the apples…boring poses:)

apple 1

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Scrumptious, Sweet Scones

Today’s Daily Prompt: Write about a time you had a Goldilocks experience, exploring different choices and finally arriving at the “just right”.

Many people like to eat scones with a little bit of jam, but I prefer to have the “sweetness” baked into the scones. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a basic recipe and finally came up with this “just right” one.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Scones

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

¾ cup raisins

½ cup white chocolate chips

1 large egg

½ cup milk

2-3 tablespoons condensed milk

Dash of grated nutmeg (optional)

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg, milk, sugar, condensed milk and nutmeg together in another bowl.
  4. Drop the butter into the flour. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is like course pebbles
  5. Pour in the milk mixture. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moist.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and raisins. Mix with a fork or the tips of your fingers. Dough will be sticky.
  7. Spoon about 15 tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy these scrumptious, sweet scones with tea or coffee.

Elaine's Sweet Scones

Elaine’s Sweet Scones

Easy as Pie!

The last post I made was in September and it is now November. Now, this is what I call total neglect of my blog and the blogs I follow. What have been doing with my time? Busy? Yes. Busy doing what? What can I say? Life has been happening!

This week’s wordpress challenge is to write about pie.

As a child, my mom didn’t bake pies. She made the best sponge cakes and Christmas cakes. I can still see myself licking the batter off the spoon. Yummy! Mom baked her cakes in a box oven that she placed on top of our kerosene stove. It was a complicated process. I’ll have to get all the details from her and make write a separate blog post on our oven. Oh, I must say that a sponge cake is what folks in the USA will call a pound cake.

I learned about pies here in the USA. I have two favorite pies  –  key lime pie and pumpkin pie. I have never baked a key lime pie. My children and their friends love my pumpkin pie! Here is the recipe I use…it is as easy as pie! What is your favorite pie?

My dear readers, I look forward to hearing from you.

Credit: Bing Images

Credit: Bing Images

Simply Delicious Pumpkin Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine ingredients in large bowl, pour into shell, bake 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35-40 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Longer than a School Day

I walked my endurance event in seven hours, 13 minutes, and 24 seconds. However, those afflicted with incurable illnesses are the true examples of endurance. I lift my hat off to them!

This week’s photo challenge is about endurance. Here is my finish line photo of my marathon (June 6, 2010) and an excerpt from my marathon training documentation. Saturday, May 15, 2010.

finish line photo

It felt as if I had just gone to bed when I was startled out of my sleep with the noise of the radio at 3:06 A.M! I quickly sat up, rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and sprung into action. My clothes for today’s training were already laid out since Thursday night. Yes, Thursday night. Hey, it was my first 20 miles of walking (at one shot) ever in my life. Armed with my bag with all my gear, peanut butter sandwich, and my coffee, I left home for Kennedy Park (Coconut Grove, FL).

The 20 miles training was a character building experience for me. It took me 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 54 seconds to complete the distance. This time included: bathroom stops, water stops, stretching, shaking tiny grains out of my shoes, and rubbing my covered cheek with biofreeze. Oh my goodness, I didn’t know that someone’s behind could experience such intense pain.

At about mile 14, my left cheek started to hurt so I began massaging it- yes, in public. We stopped. My coach showed me a stretch which I did on the bench at a bus stop. We walked on some more but the pain just won’t stop. I stretched myself out on the sidewalk and did the “glute stretch” that I know works. It didn’t. I applied the biofreeze on my cheek while someone gave me cover. The biofreeze cooled the cheek, but the pain still radiated down the hamstring. The only thing that stopped/eased that pain was a light jog.

Although the sun was hot and it felt like 125 degrees, I did not give up nor did I think about how much longer I had to walk. I simply put one foot in front of the other. It was when I saw the “Montys” sign I knew that I was almost there. Strange, I didn’t feel tired at that time. I was on a “total high”. My cheeks (the exposed ones) were toasted, the sweat washed off my hair color (just kidding), I smelled like a goat, but I did it. Yes, I did! I now know in my heart, for I have experienced it, that training for a marathon is more mental than physical. I truly have to let my body travel along with my mind.

For those who are afflicted with blood cancers, my 20 miles of training pales significantly when compared to their daily battle.