A Word…..

I exchanged emails with a friend over the weekend in which we discussed things that are happening in our lives.  She described what I am experiencing as “iterations”.  I knew the term, yet had to look up the definition just to make sure I was correct.

I am a person of words.  As a writer, it is my life, my calling to give meaning to the written word, to explore the very depths of my being and find ways of making words into pictures…..sentences into movies that engage the reader, bringing words to life.

I’m sure you are familiar with the word….Iteration….repeating a process with the aim of reaching a desired goal.  Such is the life of a blogger.  We write, day after day, week after week and so on.  But so is life.  don’t we repeat the same exercises in survival, in self expression, in working to attain the goals we set for ourselves?  I have long loved the nautilus shell for this very reason.  The swirls and curls that repeat themselves so perfectly in sync with nature, with their very being.

I have taken to sitting in the morning and writing my thoughts, hopes, dreams and, yes, even my fears.  Each day brings fresh pages and new beginnings.  Won’t you join me on this Monday in letting your mind wander a bit.  Let yourself imagine what could be…..what you long for…..what your dreams express.  It’s a new week with lots of possibility!  Swirl like a nautilus and find your core….express yourself in new and different ways…..LIVE!  Here’s to life, to experience and….to Iteration!  (thank you, dear Nancy)

Simple Sundays

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is a wonderful celebration of the changes we experience as days pass.  Today I’m sharing “Summer”, the third movement in the work.  This video was filmed at  The National Botanical Gardens of Wales; Julia Fischer on violin; accompanied by the fabulous musicians from the “Academy of St Martin in the Fields”  Beautiful music to stir your soul and begin a Sunday of enjoyment and relaxation!

Sizzling Saturdays – A Rainbow of Colors

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Photos by Nancy Kirkpatrick

“Life is a canvas, you are the brush, and all the colors lay before you. Paint your portrait.” – Chris Mott

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Vibrant reds.

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Orange.

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Yellow.

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Green.

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Blue.

Beautiful Blue

Purple.

Water Lily Purple

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Pink.

Nancy’s photography can be seen and purchased via:

Facebook: Nancy Kirkpatrick Photography

www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com

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Finally Friday!

Simplicity is key when it comes to summer cooking.  I like to prepare a one dish meal in the morning that will be served that evening.  This recipe is quick and delicious.  We Southerners love our pie!  This is a savory pie filled with sweet Vidalia onions and heirloom tomatoes from Uncle Don’s Local Market!  I think you’ll love it!  Pair is with a crisp green salad and you’ve got a delicious meal that can be prepared the morning of or the day before you plan to serve it!

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Southern Sweet Vidalia Onion and Heirloom Tomato Pie

Crust:

1 1/4 cups organic, all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning, I use Sangre de Cristo Spice Company’s, organic and so delicious

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed

4-5 tablespoons ice water

Place all of the ingredients, except for the water, in a food processor.  Process until you have a crumble, corn meal like mixture.  With the motor running, slowly pour the ice water through the feed tube until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the processor bowl and forms a firm ball.  This can happen very quickly so be prepared.  Place the dough on a floured surface and shape it into a ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.  Return the chilled dough to a floured surface and roll out into a circle that is a couple of inches larger in diameter than your pie pan.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the rolled dough into a 9″ pie pan and crimp the edges.  Prick the crust with a fork, line it with foil and place pie weights of a small, oven proof plate onto the foil.  Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush the crust with one beaten egg white, reserve the yolk for the filling.

Filling:

2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced

1 large Vidalia onion sliced

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dry)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle the bottom of the prepared pie crust with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs.  Top with half of the onion slices and half of the tomatoe slices.  Whisk the mayonnaise with the egg yolk until pourable.  Drizzle 1/2 the mayonnaise mixture over the onion and tomato.  Sprinkle with 1/2 the thyme and 1/2 the basil.  Top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat this process again.  Top the final layer with the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and spray with olive oil.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for one hour and ten minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about ten minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

When Was The Last Time……

St. Marys Georgia | ExploreGeorgia.org. According to Coastal Living magazine, it's a great place to live.

St. Marys, Georgia via Pinterest

One of the things I love so much about Coastal Georgia is the history.  And I like the fact that within less than an hour I can drive to a charming little town, like St. Marys, and relax, take it easy, walk along the riverfront and eat a great meal.  If it’s been a while since you visited St. Marys, now is the time to go!

Reachable only by ferry or kayak, with a limit of 300 visitors daily and only one small inn, Cumberland Island, GA maintains its reputation as one of America's most pristine seaside regions.

Cumberland Island

I love the setting, the architecture and the folks who call St. Marys home.   The fact that I was raised on the Gulf Coast of Texas makes me yearn for the salty smell of the ocean and cool sea breezes. Living inland has never worked for me.  St. Marys offers the coast and boasts its status as “Gateway to Cumberland Island”.  Cumberland Island is still on my list of places I want to visit and I will, sooner than later.

Crooked River State Park in St. Marys, GA

Crooked River State Park in St. Marys, GA

St. Marys is an easy weekend getaway from the Brunswick area.  Once there you’ll be enchanted with the river and the easy living atmosphere you’ll experience everywhere you go!  You’ll find quaint bed and breakfast’s as well as other accomodations.  This is a city where unique shops line the streets, you won’t find the usual strip centers and cookie cutter chain stores.

St Marys, Georgia -- Coastal Georgia Experience.com

The city was founded in 1787 when a charter was signed on Cumberland Island by 20 members.  At the time the town did not have a name and their is question as to how the name originated.  Most think it came from the St. Marys river.  Known as “The New Town” until the Georgia legislature recognized it in 1792, St. Marys finally incorporated in 1802.

Crooked River State Park in St. Marys, Georgia is a nice place to spend the day or the week if you want a quiet and relaxing atmosphere close to the river.

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I’m going to share other easy destinations with you over the next few weeks.  Summertime is the time to explore and enjoy this wonderful area we live in.  Start at the southern most point and visit St. Marys….you’ll always feel welcome!

Walk-About Wednesday: Darien

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Photos and story by Nancy Kirkpatrick

Walk-About Wednesday – Darien, Georgia

We are a costal community. In love with our shrimp and the shrimp boats that quietly grace our salty waters. We know where to dine on the best fried shrimp, where to buy it fresh. There is a season for shrimping. We know when it starts and when it ends. We attend the “Blessing of the Fleet” yearly. And if we hope to see the shrimp boats collectively docked, we trek up the road to Darien, Georgia’s second oldest city, founded in 1736.

Darien Yellow Shrimp Boat

The marsh grasses part as if from the hand of Moses, giving permission for the Altamaha River to slide its way through. We are lucky. The trawlers line the docks, a sweeping arabesque of bobbing, gritty vessels.  With names like Mayflower, Smokin’ Joe and Gravedigger, we scout for survivors. For shrimping is hard. It’s tenuous. But the tradition of handing down from generation to generation is a proud one. And with the “Georgia white” shrimp considered by some to be the best in the world, our shrimpers continue to fulfill a significant role in the shoreline economy of our state.

Darien Shrimpboat Docks

And if not at the docks, look for these celebrities of the Georgia coast just before sunrise in the St Simons Sound, close to the beach, near the pier. A ghostly silhouette gliding into the silver gray landscape of morning. Or near sunset. When the sky sinks golden and sweet peach into the brine, you might witness the etching of masts and nets against the disappearing day.

Shrimper's Sunset

Read more about Georgia shrimping on:

facebook.com/CoastalGeorgiaShrimp

wildgeorgiashrimp.com

Nancy’s photography can be seen and purchased via:

Facebook: Nancy Kirkpatrick Photography

www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com

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Travel Tuesdays – Paris

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Photos and story by Nancy Kirkpatrick

Paris. A good friend told me the way to experience Paris is to slowly stroll its streets and parks. Stop often. Sit along the Seine. Take your time. Let Paris take ahold of you. And only then will you know the real attraction of Paris.

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Good advice for most anywhere, this is especially true of Paris. It is stunning. Magnificent. There is so much wonderment. So much evidence that the human spirit is capable of great creativity. I was awed by the architectural detail. Simply and completely enthralled.

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The Louvre Museum is massive. The statuary incredibly endless. Being the seat of Gothic architecture, ornamentation is abundant everywhere.

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At the Notre-Dame Cathedral I see the intriguing flying buttresses. I whisper the term out loud. Miraculous. Harmonious.

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And the cuisine! Traveling is always about the delights of dining in special places and in special ways. There is absolutely nothing more important than what one is doing at the moment and it is truly evident in the way Parisians dine: slow and pleasant.

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Next time – or the first time – you are in Paris, take your time. Yes, it is the Eiffel Tower, Seine, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées. But while there, take your time. Let the realization seep into your soul that you are seeing human greatness. Savor the difference. That is the real Paris.

Nancy’s photography can be seen and purchased via:

Facebook: Nancy Kirkpatrick Photography

www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com

Fine Art America

Oh To Be……..

It seems that summer has hit us full blast over the past few days.  I always begin counting the time until late in September when things will cool off a bit.  But I also realize this is NOT living in the present.  Humor me if you will as I recall bygone days when I was younger, times were simpler and summer was something we looked forward to!

San Jacinto Monument, Baytown, Texas

I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas.  We lived in a suburb of Houston called Baytown.  Home of the once Humble Oil Company and now Exxon, our home was not so far from the plants that we could not hear the whistle when shifts changed or smell the smoke let out by giant smokestacks that reached into the sky.  I now wonder what that sort of pollution did to our respiratory systems.

5. Playing in the sprinkler - favorite summer activity

But I digress.  When school let out every May my brother and I shouted YIPPEEE, threw off our shoes and practically lived outdoors with other kids in the neighborhood.  From sun up to sun down we  frolicked in the sprinkler……

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Swam in Burnett Bay……

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Or a real treat, visiting a friend’s farm and swimming in the irrigation water tank…..what fun!

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Leap frog, cowboy and Indians, World War II and all of the other make believe games….we playedthem all!  Being the youngest I always got to be whoever was “killed” in the day’s play.  Nazi…bam!  Indian….bam!   You name it, I became a master at grabbing my chest and falling to the ground.  I looked to forward to playing “Tarzan” because I got to be cheetah.  Are you getting the impression that I was trained to be the underdog?  I say that in humor, but some might think it so!

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I think of these times as summer gets underway.  I think of how children stay indoors more than outside about summer camps and art classes.  We were taught to let nature be our guide which we fully embraced, calloused feet, baggy cut off blue jeans, ala Scout in “To Kill A Mockingbird” and all.  No wonder I have always identified so clearly with that character in one of my favorite books.

Tangerine or mandarin mojito - Latin Cocktails - Laylita's Recipes.."A refreshing tangerine or mandarin mojito recipe made with fresh mandarin juice, lime juice, sugar cane juice or sugar, mint leaves, sparkling water, and rum. Cheers!"

It’s a hot week coming up!  Stay cool….plan meals that require no cooking indoors and enjoy!  Have a fancy rum drink and savor the warmth of the sun.  It’s summer everyone!

Simple Sundays

Southern Living Photos

It took me quite a while to decide what an appropriate post would be for today.  It has been a week of sadness, shock and broken hearts as we’ve witnessed an unthinkable crime that took the lives of nine incredible people in Charleston.  I rarely mention religion or politics on this blog, it just isn’t my way because I feel we are all free to think and be what we believe.  I have worked not to use this blog as a platform for anything other than my love for this wonderful place where I am blessed to live and to share my love for the written word.  But I have to say something today and I hope not to offend anyone.

I was raised in Texas in the 1960’s, my father was a Southern Baptist minister.  The scenario could have been one of prejudice and racism, but my upbringing was anything but that.  My father helped those in need, no matter what their color.  He saw to it that a woman who helped my mother clean our home got a college education so that she could better herself.  Not once was a racial slur ever thought or said in our household.  I was never taught that there was a difference, even though the “negroes” as they were then called sat at the back of the bus and had to use a separate bathroom.  My parents taught us to see all people in the same light, not to judge and always to respect others.  So, today, on father’s day, I not only honor my father, I honor all that he taught me.  And I remember those lives that were cut short so senselessly.  I remember hearing Mahalia Jackson on recordings when I was growing up and today I’m sharing one of my favorites.  I believe each of those nine souls were met with an outstretched hand of love when they reached the other side.  Our souls have no race, they are not from any origin other than of our Creator……we are all one, joined by love and I pray for the end of violence in our world.

Sizzling Saturday!

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Photography and story by Nancy Kirkpatrick

Falling in Love with St Simons Island is easy. You need only experience it once and the magic begins.

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For some it is the call of the ocean. Or the childlike lure of the beach.

Sailboats on the Beach

Lively play or serious sport…and the liberty to take one’s own sweet time.

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Find your summer place. For a day, a week, a month. A forever place in your heart.

by Nancy Kirkpatrick

www.nancykirkpatrickphotography.com