Tuesday, August 31, 2010

“We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

“We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
 Chuck Palahniuk quotes (American freelance Journalist, Satirist and Novelist. b.1961)

There has been a death in our family this week.  My husband's last living aunt died peacefully in her home after a heroic fight against Pancreatic cancer.  His aunt and uncle had no children of their own.  They generously chose to lavishly shower love, attention and financial gifts to their nieces and nephews.
Aunt Katie's death is a time when family will gather together, remember happy times, begin to heal from the recent loss and promise try to spend more time together despite nationwide domiciles we all now call home.

While I was in graduate school at Savannah College of Art and Design 2008 -2009 I spent as much time and energy learning about myself as I did on the course work.   Professors feedback during my Reviews commented how deep, dark and tortured my artwork communicated to the viewer. 

  • I was constantly questioning, writing in my journal, researching metaphors and symbolism of my inspirations.
  • What had I done with my life for the past 50 years? 
  • What really is important to me?
  • How did I plan to spend the remainder of my life?  

 I read the Ten Things to do Before You Die then made my own list.
In my searching I found this interesting challenging website

" Here’s what to do:

Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).

Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”

Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.

Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a counselor or an engineer or a bodybuilder. To some people this exercise will make perfect sense. To others it will seem utterly stupid. Usually it takes 15-20 minutes to clear your head of all the clutter and the social conditioning about what you think your purpose in life is. The false answers will come from your mind and your memories. But when the true answer finally arrives, it will feel like it’s coming to you from a different source entirely.

As you go through this process, some of your answers will be very similar. You may even re-list previous answers. Then you might head off on a new tangent and generate 10-20 more answers along some other theme. And that’s fine. You can list whatever answer pops into your head as long as you just keep writing.

At some point during the process (typically after about 50-100 answers), you may want to quit and just can’t see it converging. You may feel the urge to get up and make an excuse to do something else. That’s normal. Push past this resistance, and just keep writing. The feeling of resistance will eventually pass.

You may also discover a few answers that seem to give you a mini-surge of emotion, but they don’t quite make you cry — they’re just a bit off. Highlight those answers as you go along, so you can come back to them to generate new permutations. Each reflects a piece of your purpose, but individually they aren’t complete. When you start getting these kinds of answers, it just means you’re getting warm. Keep going.
It’s important to do this alone and with no interruptions. If you’re a nihilist, then feel free to start with the answer, “I don’t have a purpose,” or “Life is meaningless,” and take it from there. If you keep at it, you’ll still eventually converge.

When I did this exercise, it took me about 25 minutes, and I reached my final answer at step 106. Partial pieces of the answer (mini-surges) appeared at steps 17, 39, and 53, and then the bulk of it fell into place and was refined through steps 100-106. I felt the feeling of resistance (wanting to get up and do something else, expecting the process to fail, feeling very impatient and even irritated) around steps 55-60. At step 80 I took a 2-minute break to close my eyes, relax, clear my mind, and to focus on the intention for the answer to come to me — this was helpful as the answers I received after this break began to have greater clarity." 

*For those who are very entrenched in low-awareness living, it will take a lot longer to get all the false answers out, possibly more than an hour. But if you persist, after 100 or 200 or maybe even 500 answers, you’ll be struck by the answer that causes you to surge with emotion, the answer that breaks you. If you’ve never done this, it may very well sound silly to you. So let it seem silly, and do it anyway.

What is my true purpose in life? Carol Ann Rice Rafferty April 2009

to give to everyone and never count the cost
to give and give and give until there is nothing left of me
to make everyone around me happy
to take care of my family’s needs
to enjoy a good sex life
to have children

to reproduce myself  in my art
to take care of the earth
to be a good teacher
to make the world a better place
to smile at everyone I meet along my path
to take care of my body
to protect the innocent children, animals, old people, those with disabilities
to make as much money as I can
to show everyone how smart I am or am not
*to share a smile with people who look sad
to admit how afraid I am so others are not so alone
to be a friend and care about other people
to listen to a lonely person tell their life story
to share a smile as I pass along lifes journey 

*to bring happiness by being present to other souls who are lonely
to help people feel as if they matter
to learn as much as I can about myself
to learn about the earth
to learn math no just kidding

As an Artist each object I create is in a very real sense an offspring of myself.  My work has been evolving and growing exponentially since Barry and Kara are adults. Soon after I wrote my lists for the True Purpose of  my Life and Ten Things to do Before I Die my need for attending graduate school was fulfilled.  I emancipated myself to live my dreams of creating a cottage industry with my daughter Kara.


As our family mourns the loss of Aunt Katie, gives thanks and celebrates her life, I realize her death is an invitation to living that we celebrate each day with an Attitude of Gratitude.

When Jos Mart named the things that every man ought to do before he dies, the list did not include “Liberate a country.” The hero of Cuban independence named three more important tasks: " Plant a tree, write a book, have a son. That’s an excellent start. " 
 Make your own list if you have not done so already. 
Give thanks for the gift of life and begin to check things off your to do list today ...
 Wishing you a VERY CREATIVE DAY ;~)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

" For all that has been ... Thanks. For all that will be ... Yes! " Dag Hammarskjold

" For all that has been ... Thanks. For all that will be ... Yes!"  Dag Hammarskjold

This summer I have been taking long walks or riding my bike several times a week in search of  peace through natural surroundings.  My journey has been inside myself as much as it has been in the physical world. I am always open to the creative spark. When I see a vision in my minds eye of the next object I need to create I make sketches to hold the image then begin working. 

This summer I has been visualizing a vessel or bowl shaped object.  Looking through my collection of paper and used coffee filters I worked intuitively letting the materials speak to me.  The image on the left is a detail of Blessing Bowls inspired by a chalice and paten or diskos. 

The paten and the chalice are each made of three layers of recycled paper.

The number three is a symbolism of magic, intuition, fecundity, and advantage.
  • Three invokes expression, versatility, and pure joy of creativity.
  • Three is also a time identifier as it represents Past, Present and Future.
  • Consecutive Threes in your life may symbolize the need to express yourself creatively, or consider your present directional path in relation to past events and future goals.
  • Three may also represent promising new adventures, and assurance of cooperation from others whom you may require help.

 Three typically symbolizes reward and success in most undertakings.

The Symbolism of the Bowl form is the circle, an ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness and infinity. To earth-centered religions throughout history, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos, a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space with generative and regenerative powers

While I was working on this object I had the strong feelings that this piece was both male and female.
Looking down on this image from above I can see why.

As I was making the bowls and paten it was very important to me that the perimiter was burned around all edges with fire.  Again, I was working intuitively so I followed my urges then researched the symbolism of fire.
  • "Traditionally, fire represents the active and masculine Yang of Chinese symbolism.
  • It is most closely related to the sun and the powers of change and purification.
  • Contrasting to water, fire moves upward with rising energy; therefore, the alchemical symbol is an upward pointing triangle.
  •  Fire can also be represented by a sword. "

A bowl is a container of beneficence and the site of transformation.. Throughout history it’s various forms have manifested as the holy grail, the goblet and the chalice, the magic cauldron, Persephone’s Golden bowl of healing that can regenerate the dead and heal the sick, and Demeter’s Cista Mystica or magic basket and the Alchemists crucible.

Blessing Bowl made of recycled coffee filters

What is the Blessing Bowl?

 The Blessing Bowl is a vessel to share caring, love, thoughtfulness, compassion, joy, feelings, gratitude, and more.   It can hold representative objects or written acknowledgment of the blessings in your life. The most meaningful gift you'll ever receive, the Blessings Bowl is a gift of gratitude, a way to connect with our spirituality, a customized gift that celebrates life's blessings. So often we forget to tell people in our life how much they mean, the Blessing Bowl gives you the opportunity to tell them how important they are.

Attracting Wealth and Blessings

The idea of wealth can mean a lot of different things. To many of us it means money, however, being in a state of wealth is not limited to just a financial state. To me health is true wealth. Feng Shui can be used to increase the wealth of our non-material assets as well. This includes helping to foster a calm, clear, relaxed state of mind, as well as a joy for life. The wealth of clarity and consciousness is real wealth.

Paper Bowls

Paper is the most widely used around the world of all the materials that people have employed down the ages.  Crude papers were being made in China by c. 100 BCE. Its name derives from papyrus the material used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

These papier mache bowls are visually enticing as well as practical. They can be used as decorative objects or containers.

The bowls are made out of 100% recycled papers, used coffee filters or handmade papers and then coated with a water-based finish to make them sturdy and usable.

If you do not care to use the bowls for ritual purposes, they can be used as beautiful containers for any of the following; jewelry, office supplies, shells, stones, buttons,  business cards, keys, dried flowers, pocket change, natural gemstones, guitar picks, slips of paper with inspiring quotes, fruit, marbles or potpourri.

Place what you want to achieve inside this bowl; to renew a friendship place a telephone number; to help get a job place the advertisement; to smooth difficulties with your children place something that belongs to them; to reaffirm a marriage place a piece of jewelry with a special meaning.

Of all the possible meanings that these bowls can have, it is what they mean to you that is the most important.

Monday, August 23, 2010

" You Can't Go Home Again" novel by Thomas Wolfe.

 "You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."  from novel by Thomas Wolfe.

My family home was sold in 1993, my parents are deceased 15 years and my brothers are not living in Pittsburgh anymore.  It really is impossible for me to go to a physical home in Pittsburgh. Thomas Wolfe was speaking about how we are different as we mature. Growing up in Greentree living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh for 42 years makes going back to Pittsburgh a homecoming for me every time I visit.
This visit was unique as I had an opportunity to see many of the people I attended Sts. Simon & Jude Grade School and Canevin High School for the first time in 36 years. Since I was 17 when I graduated from high school and this is our 36th year Reunion we have been apart more than twice the years that I was in age when we went out into the world to make our separate ways.

That's me in the second row standing to the left of Sr. Isabel with the other tall girls.

If you don't see these old classmates all the time may be best to begin with a warm up Pre Reunion dry run the evening before or a brunch the day of the Reunion. 
Here I am standing in the second row left of Fr. Carey again with the tall girls

Sts. Simon & Jude the way we are now ;~)
Name tags with images from the yearbook are a nice touch.  Even with the name tags there were still plenty of names and people who I never met while we were at Canevin for four years. I made a point to walk around the ball room a few times throughout the evening reading names to see if I missed anyone. 

Dan Blankowski , Me and Ken Frazier

Karen Keane Janes and me, now facebook friends, share a quick picture.
Pat Topal Shank and I take a break from all the mingling. Pat a fellow Artist now a facebook friend said it was good to finally see me in 3-D ;~)
The 36 year Class Reunion felt like a cross between our Freshman Mixer Dance and a Masquerade Ball.  The Freshman Mixer was held at Canevin on a Friday night a few weeks after we began classes in 1970.  During the Reunion I realized what an intuitive 13 year old girl I was.  I was using the same skill, looking into each persons eyes to find nice people to speak with that night.  It is said, "Eyes are the windows of the soul."   Even if the person did not look the same at first as we spoke I could see in their eyes why some of those classmate I had chosen as friends in high school.

I'm in the middle again, second row, right of center, tall ladies are asked to sit.

I am seeing a pattern of me liking being in the middle of the group ;~)
Here is a nice touch video for our class picture so we can remember who was there and where we live now made by our classmate and Master of Ceremonies Dan Blankowski  and his wife Conni http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629182980#!/video/video.php?v=1416929906723&ref=mf

Since you can't go home again as the same person you were when you left it is best to assume you need to get to know your past classmates as the beautiful and new people they have grown to be also. 
Here is a James Taylor version of the song Getting to Know You

Tips to make your Reunion or any social gathering more comfortable;

Wear something comfortable that expresses who you are.  I chose plain black legging, a black tank top under my black bathing suit cover up.  To dress up a very neutral canvas I accessorized  my look with sparkley beaded slip on sandles, a vintage glass beaded glass shoulder bag and of course my own work by ricerafferty.  Nouveaux Antique Gorget Style Silk Charmeuse Adornment Bib Statement Necklace is super light, comfortable and will make you memorable  in any gathering.
see   http://www.etsy.com/shop/ricerafferty              or               http://ricerafferty.com/

Don't ask a lot of personal questions when you see someone after years of being apart. 
Instead allow the person to open up like a flower blossom revealing what is comfortable for them to share about themselves.

Don't assume anyone has missed the opportunity to grow in 36 years. 
Look into their eyes and allow them to share what is on their mind with you.

My husband was previously engaged for the day so I attended my Reunion solo.  It is not a bad way to fly as you don't have to fill a date in on a lot of events they have no clue what you are talking about.
 It is your Reunion don't be afraid to attend alone.

Relax, enjoy yourself and get to know old classmates in a new way. 

Honestly, even if reunions are not your thing, all too soon the weekend will be over and it will be time to go back to the life you created for yourself. 

Right now I am enjoying these images and the memories.

I look forward to helping Dan make our 40th a warm and welcoming event on July 19th, 2014 ;~)
I won a PRIZE from Frank Daily gift certificate from his business http://www.bpwp.net/burghs/htdocs/index.php

Pat, Me and Tim Killmeyer
Linda and Wayne Caruthers, Pat, Me, Steve Grohowalski and Al Opzynski

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. "Oscar Hammerstein from the musical The King & I 1956

" Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me. Getting to know you, putting it my way, But nicely, You are precisely, My cup of tea. "
 Oscar Hammerstein  from the musical The King & I  1956

Little did I know my last blog entry about high school reunions would cause such a big commotion.   Obviously, high school reunions are a bit of sticky wicket for many as that blog entry has had hits from people around the world who must be trying to make the decision, "should I stay or should I go" ???

High school was an alright time for me. Being a bit of a wild pony the dress code rules were pretty lame. Canevin is a Catholic school where the girls wore a grey pleated skirt that was supposed to be to the knee when you knelt on the floor. Not a problem as most of us rolled those skirts up until we had two more cheeks to powder.  Uniform also had a navy blue blazer that was fine because it the a classic design and having pockets is always a good thing.  We wore a white blouse under this blazer and that was the place I pushed the limits of the dress code by always wearing colorful  knee socks that coordinated with my bra.  Many times I was stopped in the hall and given a talking to by some well meaning nun.  As a girl with an eye for fashion & design I not going to dress like the rest of the pack. I always listened very nicely, nodded my head and kept expressing my individuality with those colorful bras and knee socks.
A girls got to do what a girls got to do ;~)
I don't remember anyone being mean to me in high school, however, the ones that were kind will always have a prominent place in my memories.
As I said in the last blog;

  • Five Year Reunion was too soon, besides I was pregnant with Barry and involved with different interests. 
  • Ten Year Reunion Kara was an baby, I was still nursing and didn't want to leave her. 
  • Twenty Year Reunion was 1994 the year my mother died followed in death by my father seven  months later.  I was the primary caretaker for them during the three years before they died as well as a wife and mother.  Reunions were the last thing on my at that time.
 I did not avoid  my reunions for any other reason than I was busy with my life.
After my last blog entry Wayne Caruthers writes a retort in his blog about why he enjoys attending the Reunions. Evidently our blogs were making a buzz on face book.  Dan Blankowski calls me out a deep sleep one evening last week asking me what he could do to get me to attend the 36th Reunion, Saturday night.  Dan was so sweet, we chatted for an hour.  I had info on many of the students that were on the MIA list.   How could I refuse the "Red Carpet" treatment from Mister Personality, Dano ???  

Next day I shot him an email,  OK,  count me in;~)

At Dan's suggestion I am going to request you respond to my blog.  Who are you ???

 I told him it would be interesting too see what we all look like now and that I was not so much interested in your degrees or how financially successful you are.
I am very  much interested in WHO ARE YOU ???
  •  How do you make this world a better place??? 
  •  Do we have anyone in our class who invented something to improve the quality of life??? 
  • Any medical researchers with break through discovery??? 
  • Do you help feed the hungry in a soup kitchen or sew blankets for the sick??? 
  • Are you volunteering to teach someone how to read that would otherwise struggle with being illiterate??? 
  Who are you ???

 The opening brunch the morning of the reunion was a good way to us get to know each other as adults.  When I told the ladies I had invited my grade school/ high school friend Wayne and his lovely wife Linda to the lunch they said, "Carol, how could you invite a guy to our hen party."

                   Pleased to say we all had a great time and they are all now friends on face book too.  

Above Pat Topol Shank, Joan Plouy Goyke, Wayne Caruthers, his lovely, wife Linda who listened to a weekend of stories about people she did not even know and  she took many of the group images for us. 
Thank you Linda ;~)
Trish Mullen Riani, Karen Keane Janes, Mary Jo Mariani Bondi
Hard to pull ourselves away from the Getting to Know YOU Brunch...
One last quick pic outside until we saw each other again that evening.  At the brunch Pat decided to attend the Reunion also.  Some people follow the crowd with ease, they don't want to be left out. Others are busy dancing to their own beat and need to see something interesting to move us out or our zone into the crowds. 
We decided that going to at least one class Reunion was worthy of the list Ten must do things before I die
Sorry I missed the official get together sponsored by class mate Frank Daily the night before @ his establishment Burghs'
 News is PREUNION ... at Burgh's in Bridgeville was a ROUSING success, thanks to '74 classmate FRANK DAILY and his staff. The service was impeccable ... the hospitality was extraordinary, and the pizza & wings were SUPER!!! You can visit Burgh's online at www.bpwp.net
 If you haven't been to Burgh's yet, please visit soon (and often) and try the food and the service!!
THANK YOU to Frank for the Preunion party!!!  
I know I'll be going to Burghs's soon as I won the gift certificate he donated as a  prize at the Reunion later that night.
Next blog will be about my experience of attending a class Reunion after 36 years.  Waiting for more images before I write the post. You can tell you right now.  I had a WONDERFUL EVENING ;~)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school It’s a wonder I can think at all.“

“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school. It’s a wonder I can think at all.“      Song: Kodachrome      Artist: Paul Simon

This weekend I am driving into Pittsburgh for my 36th Canevin High School  1974 Class Reunion.   To tell the truth I have never attended one of my reunions before.   I passed the offer to meet after five years it just did not seem like enough time had passed.  I was still in contact with a few of my good friends from high school. In 1979  I was married one year and pregnant with my first baby.   

Ten year reunion in 1984 was more tempting.  That time I actually sent the check to make my reservations then later called to cancel after giving the entire event more thought.   Kara was an infant I was nursing without a bottle or baby food @ that time.  Still totally in love with being a mom more than needing to check back in with people I never see from high school I opted out of that reunion also. 
I didn't know what happened to many of my high school class mates until a few years ago when everybody and their grandmother joined face book.  Through the magic of technology I have been reunited with a few school classmates from Canevin.   One guy, Dan Blankowski found me on face book in  Jan 2009 then told me he was planning a 36th reunion would like to be on the planning committee.  YES !!!  How fun would that be???  Imagine having a non reunion person think of things that might appeal to the other non reunion going segment of our class of 1974.

Dan went on the plan a POWER HOUSE of a Reunion http://www.bishopcanevin1974.org/reunions.php

Thank you Dan for all of your hard work !!!
Honestly, most of the people I went to high school with never saw me in unless they hung out in the art studios too.  

So we have a date & a website for the reunion. 

http://www.bishopcanevin1974.org/index.php   Isn't technology wonderful ???

 I never went to a prom so the best I can offer is this image of me at the Greentree Nature Center a place I enjoyed hiking in the woods that was pretty close to my home.  

and the website asked for an image us now

   I uploaded this image of me @ Niagara Falls one of the best producers of negative ions in the world (with approximately 600,000 US Gallons of water going over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls per second).

" Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy."

   Two of my favorite movies are Peggy Sue Got Married http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091738/
and Romey & Michele's High School Reunion   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120032/
 are about high school reunions.

Those movies are as close to a high school reunion as I have allowed myself to get, UNTIL, this weekend.
  I am going to drive into Pittsburgh to attend the Unofficial Brunch that a few of the ladies planned for Saturday morning around 11:00 am.    Someone insisted we meet at the
 IHOP   Robinson Twp.   1002 Sutherland Dr   Pittsburgh, PA 15205

http://www.ihop.com/    Ihttp://www.urbanspoon.com/r/23/1444450/restaurant/Robinson/IHOP-Pittsburgh

I voted for their other option @ the Eat & Park which is a Pittsburgh intuition and has a big salad bar of veggies, but that was over ruled so I HOP it is. 

I can't wait to see who show up for this Unofficial Brunch.  What will we all look like now after 36 years away from Canevin?  What does everyone do with their time now?  Are they grandparents? Volunteer for great charity work ?  Did any of us invent or create anything to make this world a better place?
Are they retired or plan to keep working until they drop...  

Can't wait to see who shows up for Saturday Brunch ;~)

Maybe next time we  have a Canevin Class of 1974 Reunion I'll attend the Official Functions ???
Maybe not ;~)

 For now this is close enough ;~)   I'll post images in a later blog

Do you attend your high school reunions??? Why or Why not ???  Was it different than you expected ???

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Taste of HONEY - Nectar of the Gods

“Nectar” is derived from Latin nectar "drink of the gods", which in turn has its origins in the Greek word (néktar), presumed to be a compound of the elements nek- "death" and -tar "overcoming".

"Honey, a pure, natural sweetener prepared by bees from nectar collected from wild and cultivated flowers, was the first sweetener known to man. It is frequently mentioned in the Bible and depicted in cave paintings from prehistoric times. Early civilizations, like the Greeks and Romans, called honey, "the nectar of the gods". It has been said that honey bees were not native to North America; and that early settlers brought bee colonies to the East Coast States. Native Americans termed them the "white man's fly".

How does a trip to Quebec City end with a plate of Baklava & Espresso in Clarence, New York???

Outside of Quebec City when you cross the bridge over the St Lawrence River going north east to visit the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupr%C3%A9  make sure you stop at the Musée de l'Abeille.
The museum has a nice collections of bee hives from around the world.

 Products made from honey or bees wax.  and
My favorite, a classroom surrounded with glass walls that allow you to see the live bee hives in action.
We were told these are Italian bees. The Queen bee, you can see her in the center, was marked with a white dot on her wing.  Unfortunately, this hive too was affected by the infection that has been depleting the bee population around the world.
To support Musée de l'Abeille, I bought large jar of honey with the intent to make Baklava when I got home.
As always I began by researching the history of Baklava.

Read numerous variations on recipes for Baklava then make my own version, this one is not easy to make into a health version so just make the tray, cut it into small pieces and share the bounty with friends and family.
I just bought the frozen Phyllo Dough in a one pound package. Thawed one half lbs and keep the other half frozen for another day... 

Melt 1 cup fresh, unsalted butter. Paint the bottom of the pan with butter then begin by layering one sheet at a time of the phyllo leaves onto the pan surface quickly painting each layer with butter between each layer until you have eight layers down on the pan.  Important to keep a clean, tea towel that has be dampened with water over the remaining phyllo leaves at all times until you are ready to coat it with butter. 
Don't follow this directive and good luck with your broken, cracked, dried out phyllo leaves.

 " Two principal ingredients, the pistachio and honey, were believed to be aphrodisiacs when taken regularly. Certain spices that were added to baklava, have also helped to fine-tune and to augment the aphrodisiac characteristics of the pastry, depending on male or female consumer. Cinnamon for females, and cardamom for males and cloves for both sexes. "

I used fresh, chopped Walnuts, better still if you can find the pistachio nuts. 
 Add spices to the ground nuts.  Repeat layering process, Phyllo, melted Butter, Ground Nuts, HONEY... 
until all of the ingredients are consumed.  

I like to finish the top layer with a final painting of butter and dusting of the nut spice mixture. Cut into small pieces, drizzle with a mixture of more honey, fresh lemon juice and spices into all of the cut sections.
 Place into a 350 degree oven for around a half an hour until crispy and browned and the fragrance of the sweet honey, nuts, spices and butter blossom into a delightful pastry.
Be sure to call a friend to enjoy this lavishly rich pastry with you.

                                          Enjoy with a fresh hot Espresso capped with Frothed Fresh Milk.
                                                                                Bon Appétit !!!
                                      Please leave a comment. Tell me your favorite recipe for Baklava.
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