Special K Loaf on the Menu

For supper tonight I made a Seventh Day Adventist staple: Special K Loaf.  When I mention this I usually get the wrinkled facial expression that's followed with, what?!  That's right.  The spot on the plate that's usually reserved for steak is replaced with this odd (but super tasty) cottage cheese loaf.  I was raised on this stuff.  It's one of my favorite comfort foods. 

Here's my Mother-In-Law's recipe.

Special K Loaf

1 Large Onion Chopped (I love onions so I usually add 1 and a half or 2 small onions)
1/4 Cup Oil
5 Beaten Eggs
4 Cups of Cottage Cheese
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
4 Cups of Special K Cereal
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Beef Seasoning

Mix well in a large bowl. Place mixture in a greased 2 quart casserole, 9x13 Pyrex, or loaf pan and Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

You'll love it!

Social Media Detox

Photo by: Gordon Plant

Hi Friends,

I've decided to detox from social media the rest of December. I'm sure with all the holiday hustle 'n' bustle nobody will even notice. But for my special blog friends, you are different. I'm promising you new work on the blog in 2011. I'm hoping I'll have gotten a good start on a new series--maybe paintings?...maybe not...could be another medium? I don't know what this time will bring. So, I'm off, retreating to my special studio space. I'll blog with you again in the New Year. Happy Holidays.

Peace & Love,

Thank You!

Still, in 2010, I am abundantly rich with blessings to be thankful for ( in no particular order )...

1) Supportive family and friends.
2) My revitalized attitude towards health, exercise, and nutrition.
3) Collectors of my work.
4) Discovering what I am passionate about and learning more about myself so that I can put it on canvas.
5) Incredibly convenient and affordable studio space.
6) Being able to do what I love.
7) Lastly and most important, my amazing husband.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.  Thank you, as always, for reading.

Diapers for Triplets

Photo by: Funky Shapes'

Yesterday I received a email from my mother-in-law, Trudy, it's a request for triplets' diapers. She writes: 

"Dear Friends and Family,

Some weeks ago as Andrew and I were leaving his doctor's office I met a nice lady toting 3 beautiful identical triplet girls - quite a handful !  I admired them as we walked by but as I was climbing into the car I was impressed to go back and speak further with her.  I discovered that she was the grandmother and the guardian and that the babies were nearly 10 months old.  They received assistance for formula and were well fed and growing.   Furthering questioning revealed that  in spite of county assistance, keeping up with their needs was a tremendous challenge for this grandmother.  "Although I don't have a lot, I'd like to help in some way," I said.

 "The Lord must have sent you!" was her response.  I discovered that many people had helped at first and provided plenty of summer clothing, but now as it grew colder they had nearly nothing warmer to wear for the winter months.  Someone had recently provided two snowsuits, another person had sent a coat but it had no pants.  They would still need mittens, hats, and daily outfits with legs and long sleeves.

However, their greatest need was for diapers .   At ten months, the babies use about 10 diapers per day.  Do the math and we are talking about 900 diapers per month!  That is 3 large boxes of diapers per baby or 9 large boxes of diapers for all three babies per month!  They are wearing the size 3 diapers for babies 16-28 lbs.  Walmart sells that size online, Parent's Choice seemed the best buy,  in a large box of 96 diapers, delivered free to your door for $13.97 or 3 boxes for $41.91.    For $125.73 we could provide a month's worth of diapers.  I'd like to take her two months worth or 18 large boxes.  With my daughter Rachel's help we have 5 boxes right now.  I need 13 more.  Would you like to help me?

If you feel able, perhaps you and two friends could purchase 3 clothing outfits in a size 9-12 months.  I'm going to go shopping this week and get the first set of three sleepers.  Also,if you know of anyone who would be willing to donate girls clothing that their baby has outgrown, we could add that, too.  Wouldn't hurt to include some toys, either!  Maybe I can also think of something nice for the grandmother who has taken on this trifecta challenge.   A nice scarf, some holiday treats.  Any suggestions?

Times are tight, I know.  May the Lord richly bless and multiply your resources as you share whatever you are able...

Love, Trudy"

If you'd like to help, please contact her via email at, teachertrudy(at)hotmail(dot)com.  

Work in Progress

I started this painting 5 years ago, never liked it, and hid it behind other paintings. I decided to play with it and resolve my issues with it. It's probably bigger than just an aesthetic reason. But that's a topic for another day.

The photo above is when I delved back into it a couple weeks ago.

Day of the Dead

Time Flies, 10 x 12", Acrylic on Canvas by A. Canada Hopkins
Little to do with Halloween, this day is really a celebration--celebrating a life lived. There are lively festivals, colorful parades, and fun parties. Family and friends gather at the grave with offerings in remembrance and a belief that the soul of the loved-one can be communicated with.

The Day of the Dead originates in Mexico. It has been a ritual for thousands of years to celebrate an ancestors death, to remember them, or honor their reincarnated soul. The imagery, customs, and beliefs of the holiday are a blend of diverse cultures giving unique meaning to the celebrations.

Of course, I'm fascinated with all the imagery and it's symbolism. I've never gone to Mexico or a Mexican-American community to celebrate this occasion. But I imagine it would be wonderfully healing to build an altar of tangible remains, a time to speak and remember the loved one with happiness and celebration.

Dulce Catrina, Photograph by Greg Hero
I came across this poem, by Henry Scott Holland, shortly after my dad passed away in 2001. I think it exemplifies how he'd like me to remember him.

Death is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

By Henry Scott Holland

Website Update

I made some changes to the website over the weekend. Let me know your thoughts. www.CanadaHopkins.com

It is a website hosted through Artspan. Like other hosted sites, I do have to stay within their template options. But I've been really happy with them. Their tech support has been amazing because they are really fast about getting back to me or just fixing the problem. Even though I haven't chosen to do it (I'm using my website as more of a portfolio), they do have a shopping cart option. Plus they have a "Prints on Demand" feature where on-line shoppers can order prints straight from your website. I've used this company for about 3 years now. One of these days maybe I'll be able to afford one of those fancy-designed just for me websites, but for now, this works just great.