Archive for May, 2011

I decided to go official and buy the domain name for Musings of a Hennaphile.  It’s still a WordPress blog, just hosted instead of the freebie.  This should give me more freedom to install cool widgets.

Thanks for being so patient with all my changes!

See you there!


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May Play!

Last year I bought a packet of sunflower seeds from Target.  Burpee’s Chianti Hybrid.  They were amazing!  And then, in January of this year, I noticed little plants sprouting where the sunflowers had been last year.

And yes! They had reseeded themselves.  And now they are blooming full on gorgeous!

Burgundy Sunflowers

Sunflowers blooming in May!

bee in sunflower

Sunflowers love bees

a hennaed sunflower among real sunflowers


Sunflower backpack

And I was inspired to make a sunflower bag, too.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Day lily

A Mother's Day bouquet

Thanks, Mom! You were always there when I needed help.  You nurtured and pushed and encouraged me.  You taught me the value of reading and learning and loving.

You have dedicated your life to helping others and your students have gone on to become the first college graduates of their families, doctors, dentists, engineers, teachers.  You may have thought you had no creativity, but your life and your work are living testimony to your ability to think beyond limits and create new ways of solving problems.

You discovered new artistic ability when most people started thinking about retiring.  You learned everything you could about photography.  You took photographs and played with them in the darkroom.  And you achieved excellence — with your own exhibit in the Parthenon! among other notable places.

You are now at a crossroads where your time as an active faculty member is winding down (and after 40 years, it’s about time!).  Your artistic vision is changing and you now have a house and cat to care for.  And yet, you continue to care deeply about the transforming power of education, about art, and about helping people.

My Mother

I salute you, Mom.  I appreciate you.  And I look forward to finding out what happens next!

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Today is the 5th of May.   It is not a holiday, but it’s celebrated like one!  Especially in border towns like our San Diego.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican effort to rid itself of the French with some help from it’s next door neighbor, los Estados Unitos (who weren’t very united in 1862). Victory was achieved on May 5, 1862.  Hurrah.  (Mexico had already established independence some 52 years earlier).

And like any good holiday, along with rejoicing comes good eating.

Today, I am making a Mexican feast for Cinco de Mayo.  On the menu is: Enchiladas Las Cruces, Black Beans con New World Veggies, Wild Rice and fresh sliced avocados!

Enchiladas Las Cruces*

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can refried beans (vegetarian-style, no lard)
1 large bag Mexican-style shredded mixed cheese
1/2 tub Bueno Autumn Roast Green Chiles (found at select Albertson’s in Spring Valley, La Mesa and San Diego)
1 bag Carb-smart tortillas
1 small can Hatch medium red enchilada sauce
1 9 x 12 baking dish, sprayed with PAM (although it will still be a pain-in-the-patoot to clean)

1. Take 1 tortilla and lightly slather with refried beans.

2.Sprinkle on some shredded chicken, cheese and green chiles.  The Autumn Roast Green Chiles are seriously hot, so use with caution.

bueno autumn roast green chiles

The best green chiles found outside of New Mexico!

3. Roll tortilla and place in pan

4. Fill more tortillas in the same way until your pan is full.

5. Drizzle with enchilada sauce.

6. Top with cheese.

7. Bake at 350F for about a half hour, or until the cheese gets all melted and toasty on top.

*Why Las Cruces? Las Cruces, New Mexico is the home of the  Chile Pepper Institute, which is nestled on the campus of New Mexico State University.  My dear Heart and I visited Las Cruces a couple of years ago on our way home from Austin, TX after a AAS meeting.  Alas, the Chile Pepper Institute is not open in early January, but we had a great time in Las Cruces, ate some wonderful food and stocked up on Bueno frozen green chiles since they weren’t available in San Diego at the time.

A simple side dish of New World Vegetables can be easily whipped up:
1 zucchini,
1 bell pepper,
1 can of drained black beans,
1 small bag of frozen corn,
1 chopped tomato (or 1 small can, drained)
1 tsp ground cumin
2-12 cloves garlic, crushed
dash olive oil

Mix well and heat through.


An ice-cold cerveza is the perfect accompaniment.

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I got a challenge this morning.

Can you draw a lotus with an om on a backpack and make it seem like it was sprinkled with pixie dust?

Wee haw! Yes, I can!

There is nothing like a creative challenge to get the juices flowing and the ideas rolling.  I make a sketch of a few ideas.

drawings of lotus flowers

a few lotus ideas

She made her choice and then I got the bag, coned up the fabric paint, pulled out the glitter and started drawing.  It was so much spontaneous fun!  I even added a few Swarkovski crystals.

Mehndi-inspired, but done Natasha-style.

backpack with hand-drawn lotus flower

A lotus flower with an om and pixie dust!

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