~~ "It's All Life, until it's Over" ~~
Kilgore Trout

~~ " In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”" ~~
Saint Augustine

~~ “Nobody would do anything if they knew what they were in for.” ~~
"Amarante", in "Milagro Beanfield War"

~~ "May you Walk with Beauty All Around You" ~~
Navajo Blessing

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bits and pieces of my life...

I'll show you my favorite brushes first.  And no, I sure the heck am not knitting at the moment.  I'm hoping for something to light that fire, and soon!  Anyway, I introduce you to my hands down favorite brushes.

These are my go to brushes for ceramic painting and for watercolor.  I have big mops for the washes and for  clear glazing but they aren't very interesting at all.  The only other brushes that I use are Chinese Calligraphy brushes that I really love, and I use those for Sumi-E painting.  It looks spectacular on ceramics as well as on paper.

Then some favorite vegetables that no one even thinks of as vegetables.  But they taste like asparagus when properly prepared by boiling and then get even better when sautéed with green onions.

Here's how to make them. 

Sorry about the white letters on black.  It's a guy, what can I say?  But he doesn't do the sissy thing about heavy gloves, etc.  If you get these young enough to eat them, they have few spines and you can see what you are up against the instant you see them.  And, he cooks and serves them the proper way, meaning the way I was taught to.  He doesn't call them Nopalitos like my Aunts, but many foods have regional names.  I think it means something like 'Little Paddles" or something.  The Opuntia cactus "leaves" are called paddles in the botanical literature. 

Anyway, boiled then fried with green onions, they are delicious!  We grew these. 

And the last thing for the day is these little darlings:

Yellow flowering mammillaria elongata
They are like the pinks, same cactus but are yellow flowering.  Make everything big when looking at these flowers so you can see how enchanting they are.

Today the big ceramic piece comes out of the kiln and home.  I am going to work on it the rest of the way, here, where I have an air brush to do some shading.

I wish you a very good week, with enough of the good things like friendship, laughter, smiles, sunrises and sunsets, and enough things to eat, and a roof over your head.  You know what I mean, all the important stuff.  Blessings!  And good night!  I have to be up early!  Well, relatively speaking.


  1. NYC hispanic community has changed over the years. It used to be 90+% puerto rican, but now, there are many more south americans, and even mexicans are making an impact--Nopalito's are available locally!

    Cactus pears have always been around (there is a variety of prickly pear cactus that is native to NYstate)but not cactus pads. I know the local cactus pears are very small (and most of the ones sold are not local) but..it not new to see them--(but a huge selection of chili's? that's new!)

  2. Hi Helen. Wow, chilis from all over now, that's really got to be lovely. Fresh Thai chilis are now sold here, in addition to all the regular ones from Mexican and South American cookery. I love it! I'm glad that, when people come to America, they bring their traditions and cuisine with them. America is richer for it.

    Prickly pears are so delicious to eat when fully ripe, and there was a man in Arizona who built and worked at a big complex near Bisbee, fabulous place, who made cactus pear juice that was sold at the gift shop. I used to eat prickly pears all the time because where I grew up, the hills were covered with Opuntia cactus. His buildings and artwork are still there as , though, sadly, he passed away several years ago. I found him, and the garden!


    He put out a newsletter and called himself El Jefe. He was a good comedy writer. Very interesting man. I have two Opuntia cactus growing,here, from his garden -that's where the nopalitos come from. He would send you the paddles if you asked him for them. He was a very lovely person.


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