Mark Ballard

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    BALLARD: Beauty waiting to be rediscovered

    All my life I have been amazed by the beauty of nature. I always take the time to pause and lean in for a closer look. As a youngster, after a summer rain I spent several minutes watching a single water droplet slowly slide down the edge of a green leaf before it dropped to the ground. I gazed toward...


    MARK BALLARD: Young in the memory

    I wonder what my mother would look like now had she lived. How much would almost 21 years have aged her? What is the first thing I would say to her if I were granted that opportunity? What would she think of what I’ve done with my life since she left? Would she be proud of me? These are some...


    Spreading love in the checkout line

    It didn’t take me long to feel the tension in the air. Like an annoying fog refusing to leave, it lingered, casting a dense negativity.


    Don’t sweat the small stuff

    Recently, as I was leaving our house, I glanced over at the side yard and noticed something appeared to be missing. At first I couldn’t decide what it was, so I slowly stopped the car. Upon closer observation, I realized an entire portion of our stacked brick fence had collapsed -- sending...


    Never too old to learn

    Without a doubt, the cake I have made on stage most often is caramel. Time after time, I’ve whipped up the batter and spread it into pans. While it baked, I entertained the audience while preparing the icing by caramelizing white sugar in a cast iron pan. Perfectly timed as the cake layers...


    Keeping my hands clean and my creativity flowing

    My hands were covered with paint. Various shades of color were randomly smeared on my skin. Looking at my hands and then back at the painting I was working on, I wondered how the paint had jumped all the way from the tubes, brushes and palette and landed on my hands and lower arms. “How could...


    Easter memories in full bloom

    The shimmering sun flickered though the dogwood tree, pausing for a second to dance on each petal. I stood in amazement.


    Friendships forged with porcelain plates

    Our phone was still ringing as my wife unlocked our door and we entered our home later that evening. “Who would be calling us at this hour?” I asked Debra. “Something must be wrong!”


    Cherry Blossom Cookies

    Mark Ballard bakes up a batch of Chocolate Cherry Blossom cookies just in time for Macon's signature festival. See how easy it is to whip up a treat for the spring season. Video by Liz Fabian. RECIPE: 2 sticks of butter, softened; 1-1/4 cup powdered sugar; 2 teaspoons Maraschino cherry liquid; Red...


    Creative Thinking: Memories of Carolyn Crayton’s favorite color

    The shiny black BMW convertible slowly approached the conference center under the clear blue skies of a beautiful spring day. The wide glass doors opened allowing the driver to proceed into the building where more than 500 ladies and gentlemen wearing every shade of pink imaginable were seated in...

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