The view from the bathroom….and more

Last night, I sat near a window watching the full moon rise over black pine trees. As I sat there, sipping a glass of wine, the flames from the furnace created a wild pattern of light on the ceiling while the moon slowly began showing her face. The stars were hiding under the brilliance of the moon. It was a night where anything could happen. Bears, coyotes, wild turkeys, rabbits, and deer might possibly show their faces if I was willing to wait long enough. But I didn’t. It had been a long day, starting early in the morning with a trip to my parents farm.

Full with dinner and wine, I sat and enjoyed the stillness. Earlier, we had enjoyed a wonderful pastie—the traditional meat, potato, and onion pie Bob had made as a present for my parents. I was amazed, the pie was still frozen solid even after hours of driving, plane travel, and even a couple hour stop for breakfast and book store browsing. My mom cooked this pie in a parchment paper bag—something I had never seen before. What a great cooking tip, you create a bag using staples and parchment paper. The pie cooked for two hours, coming out of the oven with all the smells I remember from special events in the years past.

When I was growing up, a pastie was the biggest treat of the year. Traditional Cornish miner’s dish taken for lunch in the gold mines, my mom learned as a little girl how to make them. My mom would only make it one or twice year, usually for Christmas eve. Mom taught me how to make them and I started cooking them a couple of times a year. The pastry shells were always the hardest part and for a long period I only used premade pie shells. Now Bob has learned how to make these meat pies with incredible pastry shells and no mess. He is the king of pastie in our house and I am blessed to get this special treat more than once a year. Last night was no exception – Bob had made an excellent pie and my mom did an excellent job of cooking it.


Earlier that day, my parents and I attended a fun lecture on nature photography at a local winery by David Wong. Lots of fun, I learned a few photographic tricks.

  • First, fog can be an excellent way to bring out the colors and mood of a scene. Black and white is a great for portraits.
  • It’s ok to have things blurry, that can help define a mood.
  • To capture birds flying, move the camera with the birds. Let the background become a blur.
  • Use a tripod to get really good nature shots.
  • That way you can control the lighting and aperture without moving the camera. Most of his great shots are taken using a tripod.
  • Look for the lighting and turn around. What seems to be the “IT” picture can be overshadowed by the unexpected.
  • Change the angle. Get down on the ground and shoot upwards.

He did an incredible shot of some shorebirds standing in water on a foggy day. The reflections look like a painting. I wanted to buy this picture, but it was more than my budget would allow this week. Perhaps some other time. Check his work at:

david wong

After coming back from this lecture, I did take a couple of fun pictures. First was the tree outside with the light shining on the moss. I like the contrast between the green moss and green grass punctuated by shadows. I want to paint this.

tree with light

The second great photo was taken while sitting on the throne on the bathroom. With the low afternoon sun, the little bird on the sill had some great shadows. That was my view from the bathroom.


Pastie Recipe

  • 1 lb beef chunks
  • 2 onions
  • 2-3 potatos
  • Pastry Dough for two layers

Line the bottom of pie pan with pastry dough.  Put a layer of meat, potato, and onion.  add another layer of meat.  Use parsley, salt, pepper for spices.  Cover with another layer of pastry dough.  Bake in parchment bag for 1.5 – 2 hours at 375 degrees until delicious smell fills the house and the pie looks done.



Author: Heres to ART not Cockroaches

Welcome to my life. My life as a mom is changing as the kids grow up, leave home, and build their own lives. This gives me a chance to rebuild myself as an artist, develop a spiritual path, and most fun of all, start going out on dates with my husband. Come here the stories about the small things in life that can make one very happy. Dogs running on a beach, great breakfast dates, kids and their adventures, and my own adventures in this wacky life. I'll share some of my progress in learning art while juggling a full time job as an engineer. And best of all, it's a chance for me to practice writing stories while keeping in touch with my kids. I look forward to hearing from you. Comments, thoughts, and invitations to meet for coffee are all welcomed. Enjoy the stories.

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