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Sunday, 25 December 2005
My Christmas Tree of 2004!
Topic: Seasonal/Holiday

This year I have not put up a Christmas tree. In recent years it seems I only really bask in a tree's atmosphere the night I put it up. Here in Maine, Christmas seems to be over with a bang at the end of Christmas Day. Many people have been dealing with Christmas rush so long that the moment the day is done, their tinsel comes down and the tree is out the door. (Not all folks, but enough that is is hard to feel the spirit in the air of the twelve days of Christmas, as much of the meaning of Christmas is that it is a shared feeling, a shared story, mystery.

Several years ago I decided to make an artificial Christmas tree from scratch. I wanted it to look a bit like those feather trees they used to make around the turn of the last century. I made my tree with coat hangers, green tinsel garland, and lights. About 3 feet high. I decorate it simply with some fancy ribbon and a series of paper angel ornaments I made years ago for another Christmas when I had no tree. These angels now come out every year rather than the huge box of wonderful ornaments that are sitting in the attic somewhere. I just have such a hard time putting things away that I'm not bringing those ornaments out anymore. The angels are simple enough to put up. Except this year. They too now may remain hidden. You can catch a glimpse of some of them here, as well as my homemade tree as it stood last year.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 12:22 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006 3:14 AM EST
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Christmas Card and Poem - 2005

Rain becomes River, becomes Ocean,
	becomes Rain;

Seed becomes Tree, becomes Seed;
Egg becomes Chicken, becomes Egg;
Child becomes Man, becomes Child;

To Be, each part will hold Itself,
	and yet give way to Destiny.
The nature of the Ocean
	lies within the Drop,
The essence of the Tree
	within the Seed,
The truth of the Chicken
	in the Egg,
The spirit of the Man the Child.

Each IS the Other.
Within is without.
And Now we remember - 
	That the Peace we want without,
	Is born from within.

		Catinka Knoth
		Christmas - 2005

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006 2:34 AM EST
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Tuesday, 29 November 2005
Winter Cats to Color
Topic: Seasonal/Holiday

winter cats thumbnail
Click the links for the coloring pages:
Take Your Places
Cats Sledding or

More Coloring Pages - animals, birthday, get well 

remote Posted by Catinka Knoth at 1:02 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007 9:43 PM EST
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Saturday, 29 October 2005
More Halloween Stuff
Topic: Seasonal/Holiday

pumpkin paintingpumpkin and cat painting

I've had some Halloween fun ahead of time. These are samples I made this week for the group of homeschoolers I do an art class with. We did some exercises drawing spherical forms, then cross section views of pumpkins, and finally cat faces and a cat silhouette. Then I showed them these pictures. Can we do our own? Yes, by all means. You can do these if you want to, use them for use them for ideas or for reference, or not at all. What a range they came up wiTH: Jack-O-Lanterns on the bank of a pond - How do I make reflections? Oh, boy. Everything is opposite and a bit darker, with a bit of wiggly around the edges if there is any ripple in the water. Jack-O-Lanterns with cats and Halloween greetings. Pumpkins in the fields with lots of vines. A simple arrangement of large and small pumpkins. Pumpkins on a hill with vines. A jack-o-lantern in a moody landscape. A large jack-o-lantern like a mask. A small pumpkin - and then- how about making one for me, either a big one or a page with lots of little ones? I'll just make a big one. Oh thank you. A pumpkin in the grass vignette almost like botanical art. And finally three large pumpkins spread across the paper in bright orange with sturdy stems. I wish I had time to take pictures of their work. Words will have to do for now. I love to see the kids enter the world of the paper, just like any other play world - dolls, legos, cars, trains, mud!

Visit my Halloween Page! 

remote Posted by Catinka Knoth at 2:30 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2006 5:39 PM EST
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Monday, 17 October 2005
Squash for Dinner and Recipe?
Topic: Recipes
I've had a plate of delicious sauteed squash three nights in a row. How this came about: A mother in the group of homeschoolers I'm giving an art class to came dragging in a milk crate full of squashes. They're from my husbands garden and no one likes them but him. What kind are they I asked the young son. That's buttercup and thats peanutbutternut squash. No, such a thing doesn't exist! Well....I think so...? What is this? That's acorn and that's butternut. No, acorn is shaped like an acorn with ribs. Well that's butternut there. OK...I took home one of each. My Joy of Cooking told me the 'acorn' was buttercup or turban? and the 'peanutbutter' was butternut. But I was too hungry to go through the trouble of cooking squash. It would have to wait. The next day on NPR someone did a piece with a famous New York City chef known for his Italian cooking and restaurants, Making a Meal With Mario Batali They went shopping at the market, the reporter watched him prepare antipasto while giving his tips and philosophies on cooking and food. And then he gave me my answer. He told how important it was to use things at hand and foods that are freshest wherever you happen to be shopping. One could go into the grocery store and find a pumpkin now and do with it just what he'd done with the warm antipasto he'd just cooked: dice it up, and throw it in the pan with some oil, (olive oil?!), sautee til done and put a little seasoning on it. Perfect, that can work as well with peanutbutternut squash as with pumpkin. That evening I chopped off a hunk of the squash, sliced it into 3/4" slices, easily cut out the seeds, peeled it with the same knife (easily done when squash is in slices), and diced into bite size pieces. Olive oil? I didn't remember if he'd actually said that but he'd used it on the other food and that was all I had. Go ahead, try it, a puddle about 3" by 1 1/2" into the heated pan. Careful not to smoke. Throw in the squash when oil is hot. Toss the squash in the oil so it gets coated. Heat is low medium flame, where it browns but doesn't burn except after a long time. Stir around a few times in the initial stages, then cover and let brown a bit, stir periodically to let other areas cook and/or brown. I don't remember how long it took, 20-25 minutes? I kept testing til I thought the squash was soft enough. Tonight I got involved with something else and cooked a lot longer - I let it blacken and caramelize (pan roasted). When cooked, season with sugar and salt. I used about 1/2 t. sugar and a good sprinkle of salt for this plateful, which was 1/3 of the squash. And yes, the olive oil worked fine - this was the best squash I ever had, and so easy.

remote Posted by Catinka Knoth at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2006 4:27 PM EST
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