Category Archives: Challenge

Yoga (a poem)

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Inspired by a Wild Whimzy Writing Prompt:

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One with nature
I lift my face to the warmth of the sun
My back arches
My knee bends; my toes point upward
My aching muscles stretch and loosen
Hold; reach a little farther
Release and relax

Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Blue Bells

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My offering for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge.

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#DC345 Christmas Star

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My offering for the Diva Challenge. Patterns are printemps, cadent, paradox, ahh, and variations of luv-a, cool ‘sista, Dutch hourglass, and nipa.

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Incomplete

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In response to today’s Wild Whimzy Writing Prompt:

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How do I climb out of the hole
where my heart used to be?
Once I was complete,
two joined together to make a whole.
Now I’m a fragment, jagged, broken.

Christmas Recipe Challenge

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My parents were German immigrants, and my father was a professional baker, so my childhood memories of Christmas include Springerle, Pfeffernüße, and Stollen. I’ve never baked any of them myself, but Trader Joe’s always carries Pfeffernüße and Stollen starting in November, so I buy three packages of each. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them.

However, there is one traditional goody which I do bake for Christmas breakfast every year, which my children ask for as they come through the door later in the day:

Marsha’s Easy Cinnamon Rolls

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Photo by stacy-spensley-on-wikimedia

1 stick of butter, melted
¾ C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ C. chopped nuts
1 bag frozen dinner rolls
¾ package butterscotch pudding (the kind you cook, not instant)

Mix together: melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Use a well-greased angel-food or Bundt cake pan. Place nuts in the bottom of the pan and distribute frozen rolls around the pan. Sprinkle the pudding mix over the rolls. Pour the butter/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the rolls and cover the pan with a clean dishtowel. Let the pan sit on the counter overnight. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and carefully turn over onto a large plate.

Disclaimer: my children will always remember 1999 as the Christmas Mommy almost burned the house down. I made these buns for the first time in an angel-food pan and didn’t think to put the pan on a cookie sheet. As it baked, the brown sugar coating leaked out of the bottom of the pan and dripped onto the oven floor. Reasoning that it would be bad to cook the Christmas turkey in a sugary oven, I started the self-cleaning feature of the oven. Within minutes, the sugar ignited, the house filled with smoke, and flames shot out of the oven! My husband saved the day by turning off the cleaning cycle, and scraping the burnt sugar out when the oven cooled. The moral of the story: Put the pan on a cookie sheet!

Christmas ballsThe other Christmas food tradition that my husband and I have is potato pancakes for dinner on December 23. They’re labor intensive, or I’d make them Christmas Eve. (Since we go to church Christmas Eve night, we eat take-out pizza for dinner.) Greg’s dad always made potato pancakes for Christmas Eve dinner, and Greg hated them. He described them as “gray,” and said they tasted horrible, which surprised me, because the only potato pancakes I ever had were delicious, made by Hanna, an au pair from Germany who worked for/lived with a family in our neighborhood. So I make them similar to the way Hanna did, from hand-grated potatoes with chopped onions and red and green peppers (to make them look Christmasy), fried crisp, served with applesauce. Greg loves them.

What about you? Is there a special family recipe that you always make for Christmas? Take the ARHtistic License Christmas Recipe Challenge—post the recipe on your blog, and share a link to your post in the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just share a link to an online recipe or describe the food in the comments section. Then share on social media with the hashtag #ALCRC so others can find it. And, everybody who likes to try out new holiday recipes (or eat them), check back here frequently between now and New Year’s to see what others post. Happy eating! And happy holidays!

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#DC344: Afterglow

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My offering for the Diva Challenge. Looks like Christmas stars.

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Wordless Wednesday: The Lemons are Beginning to Ripen!

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Blue Skies

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My offerings for the Photo a Week Challenge:IMG_0804

Acacia (?) against blue skies.

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Blue skies above the Trinity Cathedral bell tower in Phoenix.

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Blue skies above the San Tan Mountains.

#ALCGC2017 December Check-In

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The end of 2017 is approaching at the speed of light. So, how are you doing on your creative goals for this year? Have you accomplished what you expected to? Time for the final sprint.

I’m bogged down with my blog in that I am working only six days ahead as of this writing (though I have posts scheduled here and there through next Thanksgiving). I prefer to be completely scheduled at least four weeks in advance. Sigh.

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I’ve made progress on the two major writing projects I hoped to finish this year, The Unicornologist and The God of Paradox, though it’s safe to say they won’t be finished by December 31. Maybe by mid-2018. At least one of them.

I’m also getting ready to submit a bunch of my poems to a chapbook contest.

Speaking of poetry, I wrote five new poems in November. I put two of them on ARHtistic License, here and here.

And I made a bunch of small pieces of art. Some I posted on the blog; others will make it into a post closer to Christmas.

I’m still working on the last pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book 1 and I’m up to page 60 in Essential Elements for Guitar. I’m practicing piano about four times a week. In December my tradition is to spend my piano practice time playing carols.

I danced once this month. I don’t think I’ll be dancing again soon. Arthritis in my hip is giving me a lot of grief. I start new medical insurance today, so I’m planning to make appointments with a new PCP and my orthopedist to see if I need a hip replacement.

Sadly, the other two women who usually lead our folk dances are also having hip and leg issues. Jo-Ann is having hip replacement surgery on the 13th. We’re hoping some of our accomplished dancers in the club will step out of their comfort zone to lead in the meantime.

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. The final check-in of our challenge will be January 1, 2018.

I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Oh, Oh, Oh!

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The prompt for this week’s challenge is Letter O–needs to have letter O anywhere in the word.

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Oleander

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PlaygrOund

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ErOsiOnFun Foto