Aug 31, 2011

The Daffodil Poem

"The Daffodil Poem"
(by Sherwood's Mother, as recited by Sherwood)
High up grew a daffodil,
I couldn't hardly reach her
Said I to me I think I will
get it for my teacher
I clumb to get the daffodil
out on a limb so thin
I tumbled down like Jack and Jill
and skinned my little shin
And here's the pretty daffodil
I brought to my new teacher
I love her dear and I always will:
I'm awful glad to meetcha!!
From the Little Rascals

Aug 29, 2011

Pigeons of Egypt

Here in America pigeons are considered dirty birds.  They hang out on roof tops leaving their droppings everywhere.  People have been enthralled with the pigeon since it was first domesticated, shortly after our other best friend the dog. Who would have thought that they could be so beautiful?  Did you know that the ancient Egyptians used them to carry information about the Nile's flood levels?  They were worshiped as ferility goddessess in Mesopotamia.   Pigeons delivered the first Olympics results in 776 BCE. I can go on and on about what they have done in history. 

But then there are the pigeons of Egypt.  Above is the Crested Frillback Pigeon.  Its feathers are twisted and turned round.

This is a black English Longface Tumbler

Egypt, too, has pigeon houses

This is a Englilsh Longface Tumbler

This is a Jacobin Pigeon.  Some people raise these birds as a hobby while others try to do it for a living.  I am including a video which I found fascinating. 

Aug 27, 2011

A Taste of the Arts and Bellydancing

Today a friend and I went to "A Tast of the Arts".  It is a small celebration for the Arts here in Indiana. There was food and then there were the dancers...

They swayed with the music  

Some were young

Some looked like Shakira

Some were a vision of lovliness

Some were older

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth."
William W. Purkey

Aug 24, 2011

Kielbasa (Smoked Sausage) with Potatoes and Green Beans

This is a northern dish.  I have lived in Indiana for a long time and didn't have this recipe until a few years ago.  Now, I make it all of the time.  It is simple, healthy and most of all quick to make.  You can bake this or cook it on the stove.  I prefer to bake it.  Of course, the southern girl in me has cornbread along with it.  I usually crumble up the bread and mix it all together.  It looks like slop but tastes so good.

14 oz package of Kielbasa or smoked sausage, I use turkey
6 oz frozen green beans
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks
salt\pepper to taste
1\2 - 3\4 cup water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks.  Next slice the sausage diagonally, it looks pretty this way.  I try to balance the amount of green beans and potatoes.  You don't want too much of one and not enough of another.   Place all of the ingredients in a baking dish.  Add water.  Salt\pepper to taste. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve with a salad and crispy bread or cornbread.  Enjoy!

Aug 22, 2011

Spaghetti with Ground Lamb, Yogurt, and Mint

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a very long time.  I can go along with mint in my tea, but in my food is something very different.  It is almost as hard as geting used to eating meat with a sweet\savory flavor.  But like all humans we adapt and our palate is no exception. 

Spaghetti with Ground Lamb, Yogurt, and Mint

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup of packed mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup of yogurt
¾ cup of heavy cream
½ cup of parmesan cheese
½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1 ¼ lbs ground lamb
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup of pine nuts
12 oz of spaghetti
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs butter

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.  Set aside once cooked.  Mix the yogurt, cream, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and half of the mint together in a large bowl. Place a large skillet on medium to high heat.  Add the oil, onion, and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent.  Add the pine nuts and butter and cook until the nuts are golden.   Then mix this with the yogurt mixture.  Use the same pan to brown the lamb.  Once the meat is brown then drain the fat.  Make sure the meat is cooked through and no traces of pink.  Place a large pot on medium heat.  Place the meat and the yogurt mixture until it has been warmed through and the mixture starts to thicken.  Add the spaghetti and toss until everything is coated well.  Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the remaining mint.  Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!

Aug 20, 2011


I just recently came across a movie called "The Stoning of Soraya M.".  Since I am interested in other cultures, I thought that this movie would help me to understand more about the world in which I live. Soraya was married to a man for about 20 years. Their marriage was on the rocks. They were poor and had four children. The husband had his eye on a 14 year old girl that he wanted to marry.  He needed to get rid of his wife. So, what does a man do to get rid of a wife who will not accept his divorce proposal.  Well, he made up lies so that she would be executed. This is a true story and hails from Iran. 

The first time I ever heard about stoning was from the Bible.  A group of people brought a woman to Jesus who was caught committing adultery.  All of the men had stones in their hands and were ready to pelt her until death.  But Jesus said "he who is without sin throw the first stone". Here is what happens when someone is stoned:

The prisoner is buried either up to his waist (if male) or up to her shoulders (if female) and then pelted with stones by a crowd of volunteers until obviously battered to death. Under the terms of most fundamentalist courts, the stones must be small enough that death cannot reasonably be expected to result from only one or two blows, but large enough to cause physical harm. The average execution by stoning is extremely painful, lasting at least 10 to 20 minutes. The entire community gets in on this, so that not one person has blood on their hands.  As I watched the movie, I was filled with anger and swore at the characters, especially the husband.  The stoning was gruesome and I had to look away.  How did that man think the foundation for which he was trying to build on with lies and deceit will be able to stand?  A liar never wins!  

Aug 18, 2011

Turbines are not just in Morocco...

Turbines are popping up all over the place.  Sometimes while driving to work I would see the "wing" of one of these turbines heading east towards Ohio.  I couldn't imagine what they were used for as I looked at them going down the road.  Then a friend of mine at work told me she went to look at the turbines.  She told me that they were close to Van Wert, Ohio, which isn't very far from where we live.  So, I jumped in my car to go and have a look. 

While I was on this road, some guy told me that I could take pictures from the side of the road but not on his land.  Really?  What kind of damage am I going to do with a camera?  

  Turbines generate electricity with the use of the wind. I had written about turbines in Morocco and I am glad to see that the United States is making good use of them too.  Now, we need to invest more in solar power. 

Aug 16, 2011

A new "vision" for life

I have been having a hard time trying to re-vision my life.  I had dreams and goals that I wanted to achieve.  Now that I am starting over, I had to take a long, deep, and hard look at what I really want. The purpose of the vision board for me is a reminder of what I want in life in a visual form.  The old pictures\dreams have been thrown in the garbage and new images\pictures have appeared.  I guess my dreams were there all of the time. I just wanted to share them with someone else. 

I cannot pretend that I am happy, because that would be misleading.  We all have our up times and down times.  I still cry about my life. The old me is there but underneath the sadness that I feel.  She is longing to come back out again to play, to love, to be loved, to do all of the things that she enjoyed doing before.  The time to healing seems to drag on. But that is the way God set it up for us. At least, for some of us. A year from now my story will be different, a much happier and contented one.

Aug 14, 2011

An umbrella is not just for rain

The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. We have seen evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China. Umbrellas are more than keeping one dry when it begins to rain, they can be a work of art.  The umbrellas below are located at the Al Masjid-al-Nabawi in the city called Medina. 

Umbrellas at the Al Masjid-al-Nabawi

 Then there are Burmese umbrellas, whose colors are rich and inviting.

Burmese umbrellas

But the umbrellas of India outshine all of the rest.  Their bright colors and various patterns are so inviting. Who wouldn't want to walk underneath one of these beauties?

Umbrellas from India 

The umbrellas in the above picture are for weddings in India and are still used today. 

Aug 12, 2011

Strange looking things

My brother showed me a couple of items that were the strangest things I have ever seen.  

This kind of looks like something from the Mayans era. Could this be a god of some sort?  I am curious to know what this is exactly.

It almost has a animal looking nose, huge ears and what is it holding?

This is a stamp with a primitive handle on it.  Do you think that it could be a monogram stamp from centuries before?

Aug 10, 2011

Egg Curry

I just love egg curry.  It is so delicious.  This is a great vegetarian dish.  Serve with a salad and you have a complete meal. The key to any dish is the sauce, in Morocco, it is all about the sauce, it is the same way for India too.  The smell of the spices fills the air and can be intoxicating.


10-12 hard boiled eggs, don't cook longer than 10 minutes
4 TBS oil
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
1 inch stick cinnamon
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1\2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander powder
chili powder to taste
1 can of tomato puree
2 onions, chopped
salt\pepper to taste
1 1\2 - 2 cans of coconut milk 
Cilantro, for garnish

Boil the eggs until the middle is firm.  Peel and set aside.  Heat a large pan on medium heat, add oil and then add the spices. Simmer for about 2 minutes until you can smell the spices mingling together.  Then add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent.  Next add the coconut milk, tomato puree and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick.  Lastly, cut the eggs in half and place yolk side down in the pan or you may leave them whole.  Simmer until the eggs are warm through. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Polao.  Enjoy!

Aug 8, 2011

Roasted Chicken Curry

Yesterday, I had my first attempt at cooking Indian food.  It was good, but not nearly as good as what I had at my friend Sabrina's house.  At least I tried and will continue making it until it is perfected.  My biggest mistake was putting too much oil in the pan. I cooked this for my brother, his girlfriend and a friend to all of us.  We ate until our belly's were full and we talked and laughed and laughed. This is Sabrina's recipe, so, please try it and let me know what you think. Cooking is like anything else, practice makes perfect.

2 chickens, skinned and cut into about 6 pieces for each chicken.
salt\pepper to taste
1 TBS ginger paste
1/2 TBS garlic paste
3 onions, finely chopped.

Place all of the above ingredients in a bowl and let it marinate for about 1 hour or overnight.  

Ingredients for the Curry:

1-2 tbs ginger paste
1-2 tbs garlic paste
1-2 tbs tomato paste
3 tsp coriander
3 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper powder, optional or to taste
salt/pepper to taste
1 - 1 1/2  cups of plain yogurt
6 cloves, whole
2 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/3 - 1/2 cup of oil for frying chicken

Use a large pan or even a wok when cooking this.  Warm the pan on medium to high heat until the oil is hot.  Place the chicken in the pain and cook lightly on each side.  Then remove the chicken from the pan.  Add the spices and simmer for about a minute then add the onion marinade and let it simmer for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the yogurt and place the chicken back in the pan.  Cook on medium heat until the chicken is tender.  Serve with Polao (Indian Rice).  Enjoy! 

Aug 6, 2011

Life is...

Life is more than just breathing

more than a religion

more than traditions

Life is about living it to the fullest and biting the boy who gets in my way.

Aug 4, 2011

I am just a girl...

Last night, I finished reading a book called "The Story of my life: an Afghan girl on the other side of the sky" by Farah Ahmedi.  I was deeply impressed by the strength that this young woman posseses. Farah lost her leg when she walked across a field to take a short cut. Her father and her siblings lost their lives when a bomb hit their home.  Only Farah and her mother survived.  They put their lives in danger trying to find a way out of a country that was trying to keep them in.  She lived a life of extreme poverty, was handicapped, illiterate, and a female.  There were so many things against her, yet she persisted.

One paragrah spoke to me and I want to share it with you:  "And I still feel how important it is to pay attention to God, to recognize God, to believe in God, to live with a pure heart and let only purity and truth come pouring from one's soul.  That's the way to live.  Such is my belief." While looking at the night sky one evening, she had an "aha" moment with her creator.  This was when she knew that God was with her and guiding her steps. 

Her goal in life is to help those less fortunate than herself in her home country.  Education for women is still severely lacking in that part of the world.  Women are groomed to have children and take care of the home.  Nothing more is to be expected from a woman than this.  A lot of women can read just enough to get by.  Education is the key for a successful and more fulfilling life.  I am talking not about college, but basic education. Of course, college would be better. Can you imagine your life without being able to read or write?  Reading is my passion and I cannot imagine my world without words or being able to write down my thoughts. Yet this is a luxury for a lot of these women. 

Aug 2, 2011

The Wise Woman's Stone

The Wise Woman's Stone 

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. 

The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. 

But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.'

 An Indian Parable