Fabulous Friday 17

John here. Today is the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, which is known as “Black Friday” or the beginning of the holiday spending rush before Christmas. No, we didn’t brave the hordes of people to get a deal. We actually waited until around 10:30 to venture into town to see if there was any chaos. I was quite surprised there wasn’t any. Thank goodness.

I just counted and there are four more Fridays left in 2013. Man this year has flown by. Well without further ado, here our my Fabulous Friday shout outs. The first shout out for this Fabulous Friday is for a YouTube channel I’ve come to really like. His tutorials are really easy to follow and very informative. His YouTube name is BakaArts and he can be found here . He also has a website called Bakaarts.com. Check out his stuff if you want some really good Photoshop tutorials (and other cool stuff).

As you may have seen, I love storm chasing. I just really started chasing a couple of months ago with the help of Cajun Weatherman Andy Thibodeaux. Here is his Facebook page. Check him out, give him a Like. He is a really good guy and helps out Acadiana with weather updates.

All art requires courage.  ~Anne Tucker

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.  ~Patrick Young

I was perusing my Facebook timeline when a friend posted this video. It’s Pentatonix – Little Drummer Boy. This is the best version I’ve heard of this song.

Just a quick note…

I moved my personal blog from blogger to WordPress. If you are interested in reading that blog, you can check it out here: Muddled Mawkishness and Murky Musings. I’m not entirely certain how WordPress does everything they do but I’m sure there’s a note somewhere which states that I blog at such and such a blog. So this may be a bit redundant, since this may be mentioned in the email notifications. Please forgive me, if that is the case.  Since both blogs are now here at WordPress, I’ll be limiting topics concerning school activities to the personal blog unless they have something to do with crafting or artisan work. Thanks for reading! See you next time.

Looking Forward To It!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love gathering together with family for a day of feasting, memories, and good conversation. Some of our usual dishes at the Thanksgiving table are cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, cheesy broccoli rice, homemade cranberry sauce, turkey, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, black and green olives, mom’s homemade sweet pickles, rice dressing, potatoes (either as potato salad or creamed potatoes), and we usually have some variety of vegetables that change according to what we have access to. This year, I’m in charge of making the corn bread for the dressing, the green bean casserole, the cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pie. I’ll start making some of it today. What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving? If you’re a reader who is from a different country, do you have a special day set aside to give thanks? If so, what is your favorite tradition related to thanksgiving? I really think we are all more alike than we are different. Don’t you?

As the winter holidays are right around the corner and usually keep us hopping in preparation, you’ll probably see shorter posts from me more often than usual. I’m sure when January rolls around, I’ll be back to my usual post length. Kittles Family Artworks wishes you all a happy Thanksgiving!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Cold, Wet, Rainy…Winter Has Arrived

Black and white photo of a bejeweled spider's web after a rain shower. Taken by J.D. Kittles Photography & used with permission.

Black and white photo of a bejeweled spider’s web after a rain shower. Taken by J.D. Kittles Photography & used with permission.

This photo was so very appropriate for today. John took this last year and it’s still one of my favorites. Today has been cold, windy, gray, and wet…a true Louisiana winter day. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and cold. I’m looking forward to the sun but the temps will drop even more tomorrow. So what is the best thing to do during this kind of nasty weather? Stop in at the local coffee shop, of course! In the midst of all the hustle and bustle in preparation for Thanksgiving, the quiet of the coffee shop offered a pleasant atmosphere in which to take a short rest. Speaking of rest, I need to get some. I hope you’ll enjoy this photo and that your weather is better than ours has been today.

One kind word can warm three winter months.” ~ Japanese Proverb

Cold Weather, Warm Drinks

One nice thing about colder weather is the opportunity to try new cold-weather recipes. We’ve never had mulled wine before. We were able to try some mulled mead yesterday. A very good friend brought some along when he stopped in for a visit. How yummy! I wasn’t sure what to expect. I like mead cold but wasn’t sure how that would translate into a warm beverage. I’m pretty sure it’s a new favorite! We enjoyed a bottle of Chaucer’s Mead but I know there are others available. Winter is a great time to try new soup and stew recipes, too. I want to try a butternut squash soup recipe soon. We are having nasty winter weather somewhat earlier than usual this year so maybe I’ll have more opportunities to try more recipes.

This kind of weather makes me think of blankets and heaters. I wish I was more involved in textile arts. I’d love to be able to sit down and knit or crochet but I’m rather scatterbrained. I frequently lose count and end up with more frustration than accomplishment. Both my mom and my grandmother crochet and Nojo knows a bit about knitting.  It’s a tradition in my family that when a new baby is born, the grandmother crochets a blanket for the new Little One. I guess I’ll have to quilt my offerings when the time comes.

What is your favorite thing about cold weather? Is there a particular cold-weather tradition you would like to share here? Feel free to post your comments. Wishing you all the comforts of a warm and happy home!

The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain.  This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you’d just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency.”  ~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

Quoteful Saturday: Liberty

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  ~Abraham Lincoln

The fact, in short, is that freedom, to be meaningful in an organized society must consist of an amalgam of hierarchy of freedoms and restraints.”  ~Samuel Hendel

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are two freedoms – the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.”  ~Charles Kingsley

I hope you enjoy these quotes on freedom and liberty which I found on this page at Quote Garden.

Fabulous Friday 16

Welcome to another Fabulous Friday! Is it just my perception or do Fridays seem to come around a lot faster than they used to? I had in mind to promo for our local theaters but I decided to wait until the new season starts so I can give out the list of upcoming productions. Our season just finished so we won’t have another play until March/April of next year. So I suppose, for now, I’ll promo for one of my favorite things in the world…COFFEE! We have at least two local coffee roasters in Louisiana. I’m sure there are more but these two really stand out from any others I’ve tasted in a long, long, while. And while I may have sent shout-outs for these folks in the past, I believe with Christmas coming up, it’s perfectly fine to promote them again.

First I’d like to introduce you to Rêve Coffee Roasters. They are really local, with the owner being from my hometown. He started by opening our favorite cafe in Eunice and went on to roasting his own coffee, getting a wonderful line-up of products out to the public just this year. You can find out more about them at their website. Our favorite coffees so far are Salted Caramel (my number 1 favorite) and Southern Pecan (John’s number 1 favorite). Red Velvet is also a nice choice and all this is saying something special since I’m not a huge fan of flavored coffees, in general. Reve’s Breakfast Blend is nice and mild. If you prefer a stronger brew, check out the Sumatra Mandehling. The variety they offer is large enough to ensure customers will find a favorite among them. Please do check them out and try their wonderful products!

The other Lousiana coffee I’d like to promo is Community Coffee (on facebook) (on YouTube) (website). You folks up north have no idea what you’re missing! Our favorite from Community is the Dark Roast, for certain. The chicory blend, which some folks do prefer, is not one of my favorites. I’ll drink it but I really prefer the Dark Roast. My second favorite from Community is their cinnamon hazelnut, which I believe must have been a special edition for Christmas one year. I haven’t seen it in stores very much. It’s possible one could purchase those specialty brews through their website and they /do/ deliver through the mail with their Coffee Club. It’s worth it. Trust me. Another wonderful thing the website offers is the option to purchase gift sets.  I hope you’ll check them out!

What goes great with coffee? Doughnuts! If you’re in our area, then you should definitely stop in at Ray’s Bakery and pick up a dozen doughnuts. Or better yet, try their cinnamon rolls. They are so good and are my favorite item at Ray’s. We’ve also tried their apple fritters and enjoyed them. John’s favorite item from Ray’s (and something we almost always never leave without) is their peanut butter cookie bars. Those are too sweet for me! We’ve also ordered cakes from them in the past and were not disappointed. So be sure to check them out! They have a wide variety of baked goods that are sure to please any set of taste buds.

I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.”  ~Flash Rosenberg

Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised.”  ~Star Trek: Voyager

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”  ~Voltaire

I found this song by checking out some playlists on YouTube and thought I’d give it a listen. I’m glad I did! It’d make a great addition to any coffee house playlist, in my opinion. I hope you’ll enjoy “Fix You” by Coldplay.