A Saturated Sunset

A few friends and I spent an evening camped out on a beach blanket last summer, surreptitiously drinking wine from polka dot plastic glasses and eating red velvet cupcakes in honour of my pup’s 4th birthday. At the end of the beach party, I took a photo of this intense summer sunset. I love this photo because it instantly takes me back to that fun, sugar-high, wine-buzzed, doggie birthday on the beach.

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Welcoming Summer’s Ghost

Wandering the beach, barefoot in the sand, waiting for the fiery sun to paint the sky as it sinks into the Pacific is the only way I want to spend my evenings before the summer fades away.

Below is a collection of photos I took the past few weeks while saying goodbye to sweet summer breezes, warm ocean waves and beach bum evenings.

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better. – Henry Rollins

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost. – Henry Rollins

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I am the pool of gold when sunset burns and dies you are my deepening skies; give me your stars to hold ― Sara Teasdale

Stillness

Learning  how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes  a radiance. – Morgan Freeman

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An Afternoon in Chinatown

Hoping to improve my photography skills without actually entering a classroom, I recently joined a photo-walk group and  it’s turning out to be an amazing opportunity to get my creativity flowing, meet fellow photography buffs as well as see my town through brand new eyes.

On last weekend’s walk through Chinatown, between the scents, sights and sounds of the market and the beautiful, peaceful zen of the Chinese Gardens, I slowly but surely fell under the neighborhood’s spell.

At the end of our walk along Pender Street, underneath Chinatown’s dragon-gated entrance, sits what once was Vancouver’s first opium den, now reincarnated into another life as a slightly run down diner. I peered through the smudged windows with my nose against the glass and I swear I could hear, in the shadowy corners, the stories whispering through the layers of flowered wallpaper. Stories waiting oh so patiently for someone to finally stop and hear them. I thought for a moment, then swung open the restaurant door, making the bright, hanging bells jingle and dance, found a tiny table in the corner, sat very, very still…and listened to the whispering walls.

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How to Be a Free Spirit

 

  • Never silence your inner voice.
  • Cultivate your inner artist.
  • Trust in the universe.
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
  • Find work that makes your soul smile.
  • Go on epic adventures.
  • Walk barefoot in the grass.
  • Look for beauty in everything.
  • Believe your life is unfolding exactly as it should.
  • Live in gratitude.
  • Realize that relationships are way more important than things.
  • Accept and love every single thing about yourself. Light, dark, strength, weakness. Love it all. Be brave enough to show the world your beautiful, weird, wonderful, magnificent self. You’ll be amazed at how the people you need enter your life when you have the courage to let your authentic self shine through.

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You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody. – Maya Angelou

Fried Green Tomatoes

The other night I watched the movie Fried Green Tomatoes for the umpteenth time. I’m a little obsessed with this film and have watched it so many times that I have all of the dramatic scenes completely memorized.

On the off chance you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend you watch it as soon as you possibly can. Set in the south, the story moves back and forth in time with an eclectic and uber-talented cast of characters. It will mesmerize you, make you laugh, break your heart, inspire you and have you feeling like you are sitting in an Alabama parlour, listening to a tale spun by a true, eccentric, Southern raconteur. It also contains what may possibly be my favourite scene in cinematic history.

The Scene

[Evelyn is cut off in a parking lot]

Evelyn Couch: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!

Girl #1: Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster!

[Evelyn rear-ends the other car six times]

Girl #1: What are you *@# doing?

Girl #2: Are you *@# crazy?

Evelyn Couch: Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

Watch video clip here.

And, speaking of green tomatoes, many, many of these are hanging heavily from my vines. They look plump, juicy, delicious and not even close to turning red. Since it’s nearing the end of September and I’m getting just a tad impatient waiting for them to ripen, I scoured the internet for fried green tomato recipes and I think I found the ultimate one.

So, in honour of one of my all time favourite movies, with the all time best movie scene, Kathy Bates dealing gracefully with losing her parking spot, I proudly present:

Towanda’s Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3-4 green tomatoes sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • Olive oil for frying

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • Pinch of cayenne, or more to taste

Cut tomatoes into thin slices, cover with flour, cornmeal, buttermilk mixture, place in hot oil and fry for 2 – 3 minutes.

While savouring the rich, delicious flavours of the fried tomatoes, close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself in the land of southern accents, porch swings, hot, balmy nights, sweet, homemade lemonade and… Towanda.

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Love Apples

love ap·ple

Noun – an old-fashioned term for a tomato.

Synonyms – tomato

I love my tomato plant. I really, really, love my tomato plant. I love the way the leaves smell like fresh, green aromatherapy. I love how sweet the little, yellow flowers look before they morph into baby tomatoes. I love how I never put a stake in it and it is turning into a clinging vine, with stalks and leaves taking over one entire side of my balcony railing. I love watching the rows of tiny, bright green globes turn into juicy, red mature tomatoes. I love how there are currently over fifty “love apples” growing on it. I love how my plant has proven wrong everyone who said I couldn’t grow tomatoes on a Northeast balcony. Yes, I love everything about my tomato plant.

Now, it’s time to share the harvest of my prized plant. So I asked Chef Pedro, my advisor on all things food related, for his best, most kick-ass salsa recipe and here it is:

LOVE APPLE SALSA

  • 40 cherry tomatoes, from the balcony garden ( or 4 regular tomatoes)
  • ¼ med. red onion, finely diced
  • 1 med yellow pepper finely diced
  • ½ squeeze fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • I tsp. fresh garlic, diced
  • a few pinches sea salt
  • Fresh pepper

Add tortilla chips, a couple of friends, margaritas and you have a perfect Friday night!