ramblingtart » sharing stories and art with the world from Australia

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Hidden Art, Soul Recovery, and Maple Spiced Roasted Hazelnuts

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Pablo Picasso

After a rather dreadful bout of glandular fever, I’m finally returning to the land of the living.

It is wonderful, I tell you!

Yesterday I pulled on a flannel jacket and went for a walk. Not a bustling walk but a restorative one, one where I could amble at my leisure and soak in the beauty and fresh air of all I’d been missing while curled up in bed.

Much to my delight, I found art. Not the usual art of a human artist, but art formed by the elements on old bits of timber and iron, weathered into something beautiful.

What is it about cracked paint and rusted metal that evokes such a feeling of nostalgia and peace?

Seeing them makes me want to hide away for a while and read old books and watch old movies and drink Earl Grey Tea with honey and milk.

There’s something encouraging about finding beauty in old weathered things. Maybe it’s because we feel so old and weathered sometimes, and it’s nice to be reminded that we’re still useful, still valuable, still worth something.

“A man should hear a little music,
read a little poetry,
and see a fine picture every day of his life,
in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful
which God has implanted in the human soul.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I love these words by Goethe. This lovely nudge to notice beauty and take time each day to rest in it, to earnestly, willfully, purposefully find that which reminds us that no matter how bad or painful things get, life is not all darkness, loss, and grief. There is always beauty and light and goodness to be found if we look hard enough.

I don’t mean a silly blinding of ourselves to the genuine hurt and badness in the world – it is there and if we don’t acknowledge it and wrestle with it, we cannot change it. I mean a gentle balancing of the bad with the equally valid and important good.

I’ve been very sick for a long time and it’s going to be that way for a while until my immune system is restored. It is what it is.

Some days it feels like it is my life, but it isn’t.

Yes, the pain is real, the frustration and anxiety are real, the fear, grief, and suffering are real, but there’s also much, much more.

There is my Bear and my dear friends who love me.

I get to recover and restore on our beautiful little farm in Australia, a place of quiet and peace and hammocks and campfires and coffee on the porch and sunsets and walks in the bush and animals that entertain and bookshelves full of stories and movies and music.

Yep, I get to have my weepy moments and my scared ones and it’s totally OK. It really is, because I know I won’t stay weepy and scared. I know that those emotions will pass and even though the illness may be here to stay for a while, there is so much more to my life than it.

I will still love and be loved. Still cook and create and photograph and travel and explore and read and rest and be.

I’ll be OK. And so will you. Whatever you’re going through. You are so much more than “it”. So much more.

Today is my Bear’s birthday and we are celebrating with all sorts of good things to eat. Tonight we’ll have Porterhouse steaks, au gratin potatoes, and garlicky greens with big slabs of Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake for dessert. Then, as we cozy in for a movie night, we’ll be nibbling on these beauties: Maple Spiced Roasted Hazelnuts.

Wishing you a beautiful day, whatever you’re facing. May you find art in your life that cheers your soul and reminds you that there is light in the darkness.


Maple Spice Roasted Hazelnuts


2 cups hazelnuts, shelled
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1/8 tsp each ground coriander, cumin, ginger, smoked paprika
finely ground sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
  2. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet in single layer (use baking paper to limit clean-up).
  3. Roast in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven but leave oven on.
  4. While nuts are roasting, in small saucepan combine remaining ingredients and heat over medium-high heat until simmering. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour roasted nuts into saucepan with sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with more salt if necessary and return to oven for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely before eating as nuts will be very hot.
  8. Serve at room temperature and store any remaining nuts in airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
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Krista - Thank you so much for your never-failing support, dear @katyabroad:disqus 🙂 XO Love you!

Krista - Thank you, @9d73767d10227efff04c7307e331304c:disqus 🙂 Bear tells me it was his best birthday dinner ever, and that made me very happy. 🙂

Krista - Weathered IS like life, @4051406338aaef5dd8bf9775f8ab662d:disqus 🙂 I’m so glad you like the pics. 🙂

Krista - Oh @OrgasmicChef:disqus , your comment made me burst out laughing. 🙂 Thank you!!

Krista - You are so welcome, @9756e9fc8da19ec11098d66b18e4216a:disqus 🙂 I always love to hear from you. 🙂

Krista - That is a lovely idea, @twitter-372728890:disqus 🙂 Perhaps I shall get a print made for my office when it’s ready. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, T.D. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by. I’d never heard that quote by Dostoevsky before, but it is so good.

Krista - I’m so glad you like them, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 They really made my day. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @TuulaR:disqus XO I’m so glad that we both have found loving souls in our new homes in foreign countries. We are so lucky, aren’t we?

Krista - Thanks so much for the birthday wishes, @facebook-100001665607063:disqus 🙂 I passed them along and he was quite chuffed. 🙂 XO

Krista - Awww, thanks, @google-636022e23c27f48cb4ebfe215d5049c0:disqus 🙂 We had some great cooking times, didn’t we? 🙂

Krista - Thank you, @twitter-82747769:disqus 🙂 They are REALLY good. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad these thoughts mean something to you too, @71eb07213759ab4e5611e1dd9f1df8a7:disqus Somehow, sharing them here makes them sink in deeper for me. 🙂

Krista - That is so beautiful, @0fc123c6eec7f205cb5913bb6aee9b4f:disqus 🙂 I love the story of your tree, and I’m so glad we both have things like that in our lives to give us courage. 🙂 Thank you SO much for the hugs!!! XO

Krista - You make me smile, @google-01bbdd9fc7f53cd54265810538a0c5c5:disqus 🙂 I’m honored to be your one, crazy friend who sees these things. 🙂

Hunting for Beauty and A Mexican Feast in Australia » Rambling Tart - […] few weeks ago I went hunting for beauty and found it among rusted and neglected […]

katyabroad - You have a truly wonderful gift of finding art in everything! And yes, you will be ok 🙂 You will get better, in body and soul. As one heals, the other will too. And you are doing everything right to get there. xo

mlleparadis - wow! what can i add? except that these are beautiful, beautiful pictures and i feel sure that somebody had a very good birthday.


Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine - Love the weathered pieces-It is like life.

Hope you enjoy the cool fall weather.


Maureen | OrgasmicChef - I’m in love with your photos AND your nuts 🙂

Neil Larsen - Your words and pictures bring to life all that you speak of………..I always look forward to seeing your letter in my mailbox…………..it is always a peaceful read……thank you

Budgettraveltalk - Happy Birthday Bear. I would like to see the first collage adorning someone’s walls – they are great – I especially like that you can see through the keyhole 🙂

T. D. Thompson - Enjoyed your photos and could almost taste the hazelnuts by just reading. Your quotes reminded me of what Dostoevsky wrote: “Beauty will save the world”,

Cathy - Your photos are just fantastic Krista. This post is so beautiful and pensive. Thank you for writing it. I hope Bear had a lovely birthday. It sounds like you spoiled him with a yummy dinner 🙂

Tonya Renee - I miss your cooking:)

Breanne Mosher - You are so loved, Krista. I love how you see life, discovering the beauty of the weathered wood. Those are really beautiful details. Thank-you for this reminder, today I needed it. And Happy Birthday to your Bear!! XXOO

TuulaR - You are loved Krista, and I’m so happy that you have dear ones close to you… and of course your lovely Bear 🙂 Thinking of you across the miles and thanks for sharing that thoughtful poem, words to live by 🙂

Lindsay Hogg - mmmm this sounds delicious~!!

Jamie - We all need to hear those words. And every walk, every day, every activity should be restorative. Cooking, walking, shooting photos can and should all be therapeutic. I’ve discovered the calm and happiness that comes with taking my camera for a walk and looking for art everywhere around me, and where we least expect it to be. Beautiful, isn’t it? You always write the perfect post and say the words I just need to hear. I hope you heal well and quickly. You are in the best place to do it. And this is a tempting recipe. xo

Ayelet - All Colores - LOVE this post! Love this art 🙂 There used to be a little tree that seemed as if part of it was cut off, and it had no leaves. It held its head up high anyway. It was on my daily path and it gave me courage every day. Then, after a long time, it started growing a bit of leaves and growing a little bit taller. I still love that tree 🙂

And having dealt with illness myself, I think your way of living the complexities of life – allowing yourself to feel the fear and pain while still looking and creating for the full half of the glass – is inspiring. Sending you big, big hugs. Hope it gets better soon, sounds like you’re taking wonderful steps toward it 🙂

Ken Powell - How many people do I know that could find art & beauty in run down old buildings? One. You’re it.
Just amazing, Krista.

Krista - Thank you so much for your support, @disqus_2LQ5qLN5aY:disqus XO I’m so glad you’re in my life. I love your recipes and photos and trips and dreams and the way you always find something good to do in your life. 🙂

bellini - Living in the moment and enjoying the small beautiful things in the world is something I am working on. You see the beauty in the small stuff which is a gift. Keep looking at life through this lens and every thing will always be right with the world.

Krista - Thank you so much, @twitter-383932800:disqus 🙂 I absolutely loved taking them – just can’t get enough of how beautiful the details are. 🙂

Judith Works - Absolutely fabulous photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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