Great Gatsby! It’s a Roaring Twenties Macbeth Halloween Party!

In my book it is never too early to start planning your Halloween party. I’ve had a genius son with Asperger’s at home for the past eighteen years and have had to come up with creative low-cost ways to keep him entertained and off the street during the summer. Collaborative projects; gardening, creative activites have been the ticket for him. And for my sanity, well, I’ve written.

I’m working on publicity for my Halloween book and came up with a fresh idea for this year’s party. With the release of The Great Gatsby, no I haven’t seen it yet, maybe a throwback 20’s style Halloween party…My BFF’s sisters-in-law who own a costume and gift shop in Tarzana and supply gifts and glitz the for the studios, are gearing up for the Roaring Twenties and I think its the bee’s knees. Among my all-time favorites for Halloween are the original Wizard of Oz books with the gorgeous authentic 20’s illustrations that show the fashion of the farm folk and the Emerald City elite.

One of my favorite Shakespeare tragedies is the dark tale of the Macbeths. Being related to the Bard is like having an uncle in the trade and I don’t mind borrowing liberally from his creative genius,
I don’t think he minds.

So what would be the result if we take the Macbeths, King Duncan and the Scottish entourage and placed them in the 20’s?
There are already castles aplenty at Halloween so that’s easy, speak easy that is. Lady Macbeth could be a flapper hosting a Halloween tea. And BTW King Duncan, I wouldn’t get too close to these folks if you know what’s best for you. There will be more details later, but the menu is in place and the evening’s entertainment is being created as we speak, easy that is.

La Toussaint – An Evening of Remembrance

The French have a beautiful tradition of remembering departed family members in autumn; La Toussaint.
After taking flowers to cemeteries to honor their dead, they return home to enjoy one another’s company and a feast; giving thanks for the blessings of the harvest.
As we celebrate Memorial Day, let’s show our appreciation for the sacrifices which have given us freedom and preserved it, and for those who gave us life. Thank you parents and soldiers, ministers
and teachers, policemen and firemen and all who sacrifice on a daily basis that we might live and have joy. We love you all!

It’s not too early…

Just as the weather is beginning to warm up – I’m thinking about Christmas. I’m putting together a retro Christmas party article – 50’s style. I’d love to hear your favorite memories from your past merry Christmases.

A Discussion for Families; Why Save Sex Until Marriage?

Here is a piece written for FamilyShare based on a message by David Bednar. I hope it will help protect children from the difficulties of life choices not in their best interest.

Why Save Sex for Marriage?

Sex is the most intimate way to connect to another person. How can we help our children choose to save sex for their marriage relationship with all the attention on sex in our culture?

Human beings need fulfilling, intimate relationships to thrive and to be healthy and happy. To love and be loved is a basic human need. I’m an artist and have observed that many times the desire for satisfying intimacy, to know and be known, is mistakenly replaced with nudity and even sex. I heard one young woman, an accomplished and talented artist talk about the regret and “fracturing” she felt after engaging in in premarital sex and the pain of the lengthy recovery process.

How can we help children have the ability and understanding to keep the normal and healthy desire for sexual intimacy “under control” until a good marriage is established?

When man was created, God gave him laws and commandments to guide him safely through life, to protect and bless him and ultimately bring him home to heaven. People are complex; we have physical, spiritual, emotional and mental dimensions. Just as a baby learns to control its arms, then hands and fingers to satisfy its purposes, we must learn to control the impulses and natural desires we have to create a satisfying and rewarding life and eternal destiny. As we learn to discipline our passions, to use them for good, we find ways to live and serve that are pleasing to our Father in Heaven.

God commanded us to love Him first, as He loves us and puts our welfare first. When we do this He is able to protect us from harm and evil. He instructed us not to commit adultery, or in other words, not to have sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant. He created men and women with attributes that complement one another – creating wholeness or state of “gestalt”;  “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord, ” 1 Corinthians 11:11. God gave us families to love and protect us. The family was instituted to bring children into the world and rear them until they were mature and ready to establish their own families. The sexual union strengthens the relationship between a husband and wife and enables the creation of children to love and nurture. The whole process is satisfying and enriching when performed under the proper guidelines. But engaged in illicitly,  at the wrong time or with the wrong person, regret and illness; mental, spiritual, emotional and physical  result.

Young people are constantly tempted to engage in inappropriate physical intimacy. Loving, healthy relationships can help them avoid the temptation of experimenting with sexual relationships and stay on the path of moral purity and good health. Having attainable goals and family support, as well as the influence of good friends helps shield them from abuse, selfishness and regret. Children need healthy intimacy, especially emotional and spiritual, physical activity, the time and ability to explore wholesome passions and develop talents. They need the examples of parents and adults who live and express love in mature and successful ways. The need to serve, receive and find satisfaction from accomplishments and hard work.

For those who have experienced pain, regret or loss from inappropriate sexual relations, including experimentation, rape or incest; they can find forgiveness and healing and that all is not lost. They need a safe place, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual to recover. Jesus Christ paid an unfathomable price to “purchase us” and restore us to wholeness and happiness. For young people experiencing unexpected pregnancy, aborting the baby is not the answer. Compounding adultery with murder often destroys the mother (and the father) as well as the child. Adoption is a loving solution to a very difficult problem.

As we control our passions, and learn to have clean thoughts and pure hearts, we can look forward to a good life and the day when we meet our Savior. When we report on our actions and lives, we can look back with gratitude and satisfaction on the things we learned and experienced and His help in navigating the complexities of mortal existence.

Mother’s Day Brunch

Honor Mother with a delicious Mother’s Day brunch.
This easy blintz souffle can be made ahead and cooked just before serving. 

Top with fresh cherry or strawberry sauce and hearts or lemon curd.

BLINTZ SOUFFLE  Serves 8 – 10

Blintz Soufflé Batter
       In a blender or 11 cup capacity food processor*, blend
6 eggs
1 ½ C. light sour cream
½ C. orange juice 
zest of 1 orange
1/3 C. sugar
1 C. butter, room temperature 
2 tsp. baking powder

            Add and whirl until smooth
1 C. all-purpose flour
            Pour half the batter into buttered 9 x 13 casserole, bake at  
            350 degrees for 10 minutes, reserve remaining batter.

*If you have a 7 cup food processor, divide the ingredients and
make the batter in two batches.


           Mix together and spread over soufflé batter in casserole
 2 –  8 oz. pkg. light cream cheese, softened
1 C. light cottage cheese
1 egg
1 TBSP. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 
            Pour over remaining batter. May be refrigerated up to 8  
            hours before baking.  Bake uncovered in a 350 oven until  
            puffed in center and golden brown about 45 – 55 min. Serve 
            immediately with strawberry or cherry sauce or  
            lemon curd garnish with strawberries cut into hearts.

Strawberry or Cherry Sauce
            In a 3 quart saucepan, stir together
6 TBSP sugar 
3 tsp cornstarch 
3 tsp lemon juice 
3/4 C water 
4 1/2 C strawberries or pitted sweet cherries
         Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce
         is clear and thickened.

Strawberry Hearts
         Cut a v-shaped notch at the top of each strawberry to create a
         heart and remove the hull. 

xoxoxoxo The flowers were a gift from my daughter Heather and her daughter Ellyza, the baby dress was my Mom’s and the teacups belonged to my grandmother. The quilt was made by my husband’s grandmother, this is a multi-generational fete!xoxoxoxo