Hiking Toward Home » Hiking In Grace & Capturing My View

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I have never been a sushi fan.

It is raw fish.

Otherwise known to me as BAIT that you catch other fish with.

I could never get past the RAW part of “raw fish”.

It sounds nuts, but…

I have been craving sushi.

I said it’s nuts.

But I have.

I had a small taste of some tasty sushi on Christmas Eve that I just had to try it again!!

It was so yummy! I know it had shrimp tempura in the center with avocado and rice and cucumber maybe? I don’t remember exactly but I do remember the shrimp and the avocado and a brown sauce, which I found out later is called “eel sauce,” drizzled over it.

Since I was craving sushi, my big brother took me out for some amazing sushi at Joss Cafe & Sushi Bar, in Annapolis, Maryland.




(Please excuse the weird color of the photo; it was dark and we were sitting in front of a glass window that had neon signs hanging in it.)

He has been eating sushi for years so he was an old pro at ordering.


We decided I would pick a few things I felt were “safe” and then he would order some stuff he liked that he thought I should try.

For appetizers I ordered “safe” items (read:mostly cooked), shrimp and vegetable tempura,


and beef negimaki, which is thin sliced beef wrapped around scallions and grilled with teriyaki sauce.



I ordered a shrimp tempura roll, which was delicious, and Escolar nigiri.

The Escolar nigiri was at the suggestion of my mother. She told me that there was a fish I would like that was pure white and melted like butter in your mouth. Talking to the waiter of her suggestion he figured that Escolar is what she was referring to. Not sure if it was but it certainly fit the description she gave and DOES IT EVER MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!  So tasty!


We had Chesapeake Rolls which were rolls stuffed with tempura shrimp, crab meat, cucumber and avocado. Those were very good but a bit big and cumbersome to dip and eat.

My brother ordered the Sushi & Sashimi Combination with a Dynamite Roll (which consisted of  salmon, yellowtail, flounder, crabmeat, mixed with creamy spicy sauce with cucumbers and scallions.)


The Flounder Sashimi was good but not my favorite. It was the one I chose not to have more than one piece of. When we both put it in our mouths and tried to describe the flavor to each other, my first thought was, “it tastes like dirt” but then my brother chimed in with, “but really good dirt”. We decided “earthy” was a more proper term for it.

The Tuna Sashimi was my favorite. If you have ever had good raw beef, that is what it tasted like.

My second favorite was the Escolar Sashimi. It truly tasted like butter and melted in your mouth.

The Yellow Tail Sashimi was sort of nondescript and the Salmon Sashimi tasted like … well… salmon.

None of the fish tasted fishy.

Which was a good thing.

There are a few things that I learned while eating out with my big brother.

  1. I eat way to fast on a normal basis.
  2. Sushi, sashimi, etc., need to be eaten slowly to enjoy the mix of flavors in your mouth.
  3. Sushi is rolled.
  4. Sashimi is a chunk of raw fish.
  5. Nigiri is a chunk of raw fish over a wad of rice.
  6. Bait isn’t bad; it can be quite tasty.
  7. I have a new food addiction.

Have you ever had sushi?

If you have, where is your most favorite place to get sushi?

What is the best sushi you have ever eaten?

Do you have a favorite roll or ingredient?

Tell us about it in the comments! (You never know when me or another reader will be in your neck of the woods and in search of a good sushi restaurant.)

I highly recommend Joss Cafe & Sushi Bar on Main Street in old town Annapolis, Maryland.

This is my first post on eating sushi.

Yes, there is another one coming…

(I have not been compensated for this post. Joss Cafe & Sushi Bar has no idea who I am or that I wrote about my experience in their restaurant.)


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Back in the autumn I did a lettering project and I really enjoyed it. I combined my love of watercolor with a verse that had really spoken to me.


I was inspired to do it by an artist I found through Instagram. She has a lot of tutorials that are easy to follow if you need a push.

At Christmas time I was inspired to do another wreath and lettering project.


I enjoyed the simplicity of it.

Now, I am excited to be working on another one that was a request. That one won’t be quite so simple but I am up for the challenge.

But you will have wait to learn more about that one. Pray for me that He leads and guides my brush.

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  • Dottie SimonidesFebruary 8, 2016 - 2:32 PM

    Lovely, Sharon. I like the variety in colors, and I like the contrast in lettering. So glad you can use your gift of art in this way. Thanks for sharing.
    Lord be with you on your upcoming project.ReplyCancel

    • SharonFebruary 10, 2016 - 9:04 AM

      Thanks Dottie! I appreciate your prayers.ReplyCancel

  • MarleneFebruary 8, 2016 - 6:52 PM

    Excited for the unveiling!ReplyCancel


In my first post of the year I mentioned that I was going to get back to gratitude listing here again. I am starting afresh with a clean slate.

  • A house to live in
  • With heat that works
  • Laughing hard, so much so that my face hurt, with Trisha and Beverly
  • Bryant fixes lunch, such a huge help
  • Hoar frost
  • She has her diploma in hand, “graduating” a semester ahead of time
  • Pastor T. W. helping to process her diploma faster than usual
  • Hot water
  • Face-timing the Messersmiths
  • PVBC taking on the Messersmiths as their missionaries, such a huge blessing on so many levels
  • Two full double rainbows in the sky on the same day


  • Brilliant blue sky contrasted against the dark storm clouds that were rolling through fast


  • Driver’s ed… FINALLY.
  • Trisha pegs me hard in the face, between the eyes, with a hackysak ball…
  • …and we laugh long and hard about it.
  • Listening to father explain to growing tall son – the ins and outs of shaving
  • The grass is still green and it is January
  • All four kids hanging out in the kitchen, laughing and singing and quoting lines
  • Mango has blond eyelashes
  • They invite me over to chat, they know I’ve had an emotionally hard day
  • Elizabeth tagging me in a post about friendship, that no matter how long good friends are apart, it is as if no time has passed when they do get together again. So incredibly blessed that God preserved this friendship.


  • Barb, continues to encourage me to pursue my art
  • Shelter from the howling wind
  • Mango lays on the landing waiting for sleepy heads to come down and play


  • Finding mouse turds on my drawing table leads me to cleaning it off so I can finally use it


  • When it is only 12 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat pump is keeping the house warm
  • Jason’s aunt finds my son’s Bible at her church, it has been missing for years, lost at a tent revival apparently
  • M asks me to design some custom art for her…
  • …she is ever encouraging me forward
  • A sits and folds clothes with me, “to help Mom”
  • He asks for a haircut and we chat, mom and son
  • B tells me my soup is his favorite
  • Reading The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to the kids…
  • …as they are all snuggled up close around me
  • The puffed out white chest of the red-tailed hawk, observing the traffic from his perch next to the roadway
  • God provides for her spring semester of college…
  • … and the downpayment for a new laptop
  • Spending time with Dawn, each of us working on separate projects…
  • … the friendship that is at ease and where silence isn’t awkward at all
  • SNOW!!!  (more than two feet worth)
  • New friends who show up to help dig you out
  • Bryant was home to enjoy it, being snowed in together providing special family time
  • Bright blue sky with lots of sunshine
  • Several offers to drive him to work when the cars were still buried under snow
  • He is able to make it to work – on time
  • Good friends who pray
  • Mango is a very happy snow-dog
  • Blue jay



  • Brilliant red cardinals


  • Sparrows with “yellow eye shadow”


  • Brown birds with striped bellies
  • Dark gray birds that look as if they’ve been dipped in white paint


  • Snuggling on the love seat with my girls
  • Kids who enjoy doing art projects at birthday parties
  • She realizes she said something she shouldn’t have and has the courage to face it and apologize
  • She listens to my ranting and casts no judgment
  • They bless me with time to blog uninterrupted


In the future, it is my hope, to post this listing at the end of each month.

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  • LisaFebruary 4, 2016 - 10:54 AM

    I like this on so many levels! Missing you!😘ReplyCancel

    • SharonFebruary 4, 2016 - 6:30 PM

      I miss you terribly and can’t wait to have you here again… on so many levels.ReplyCancel

  • MarkeneFebruary 8, 2016 - 10:00 AM

    So good to see your beautiful photographs and see you “praise recording” all the goodness of the Lord! Glad you had the uninterrupted time:)ReplyCancel

    • SharonFebruary 10, 2016 - 9:04 AM

      Thanks! Having 3 hours of uninterrupted time to blog is definitely a blessing. Too bad it ends this week.ReplyCancel

  • JoanneFebruary 22, 2016 - 2:11 PM

    What a wonderful walk through God’s blessings. Thank you for sharing. Listening to you has brought me to tears twice this month friend. So thankful for your tender and artistic heart.ReplyCancel


So here we are in the beginnings of a new year.

As I sat and pondered the coming year and the year that has passed, I have a few focus areas for the new year. I am not setting myself up for failure and setting goals I know I will never achieve. I just want to focus and work on a few areas.

There is an old habit I am bringing back this year.

Gratitude Listing.

I used to post my gratitude and gifts on a fairly regular basis and then after hitting 2000 I decided to just do it privately in a journal.

Guess what?

I never did.

So to keep myself in check, I am going back to where I started and posting it right on the old blog.

Another thing I want to focus on this year here is more ART.

Painting, Drawing, Sketching; not just Photography.

My parents gave me an easel for Christmas and I am looking forward to using it, which means acrylic painting is in my future not just watercolors. I got a great deal on a new starter set of Liquitex!

So. More ART.

Decorating our home.

And I am trying really hard to get my house in order. It has been a mess since we moved in …four years ago. I never really decorated. I just unpacked a few boxes and shoved stuff on to shelves but with no thought process and at some point life took over and not all of our boxes got unpacked.

This year, I want to unpack the rest and get rid of what I don’t want and put out what I truly love.

When I lived in the Philippines, my home decor was very coastal beach house and I still want that theme. Though I am not so much the tropical coastal but more of a New England coastal look. So I am hoping to move forward on that. (Maybe I will dig up some old photos of our home in the Philippines and post them.)

Our furniture is the same with a few new additions but the main pieces are still here and for the most part are in good shape. The slip covers on them are not in such great shape. So my project for the new year is to recover my futon and my love seat and ottoman.

I was very excited to find the same fabric I used for the original cover on my futon (from back in 2002) so I am looking forward to sharing my journey through that process.

Lastly, I am looking toward getting healthier.

My weight and fitness has bounced all over the place in the last few years. I want to get that back on track and stable, and not just my physical health but my all around health; spiritually and mentally too. I’m tired of feeling “blah” all the time.

So to sum it all up…

2016 will focus on:

Gratitude Listing

Taking time for Art

Decking out the house

Getting healthy


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The third painting I did in that group of three was of the beach in Boracay, Philippines.

We visited Boracay in October of 2008. The trip was a gift to our family.

Boracay is a beautiful tropical island with palm tree lined beach and turquoise water.


Though this painting looks a bit abstract it is exactly as the photo I took to use as a reference. I especially like the texture of the leading edge of the wave.

The simplicity of this painting and the blue of the water is very calming and makes me long to sit on that beach and fall asleep listening to the lapping of the waves while soaking up the sunlight.

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  • VickiNovember 11, 2015 - 9:29 AM

    Sharon – this is beautiful! I love the colors and it makes me want to sit on a beach somewhere.ReplyCancel

    • SharonJanuary 5, 2016 - 11:03 AM

      Thanks so much Vicki! It is nice to have you visit here and share your thoughts. (Sorry I didn’t see this until late. I stayed off the site over the holidays.)ReplyCancel

  • BarbNovember 11, 2015 - 7:50 PM

    That is incredibly beautiful. It doesn’t seem abstract to me at all!ReplyCancel

    • SharonJanuary 5, 2016 - 11:02 AM

      Thanks Barb! I only wish I had maybe painted it on a larger scale. (Sorry I stayed off the site over the holidays and didn’t see this until now.)ReplyCancel

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