May 31, 2010

Rainy day snacks

It's been raining forever today! Really! We're working somewhere between 7 and 8 hours, I can't believe there's so much water left in the sky still. I've had to pull some of my potted plants up on the porch, so they wouldn't drown! (which may be over reacting, but I'm new to all this planty business, and am trying very hard to keep everyone alive and happy. (so I can eat them later...)). hm. :)

The thunder has let off for a bit, though it was strong enough that a crack of lightning cut the power for a few seconds while we were lazing about in bed this morning. There's not much better than that, snuggled into bed, listening to the rain and having a kitty who is a bit freaked out and wants you to be awake and about the house now, please. Poor Fidge spent the morning under the bed when she wasn't trying to get us up.

At one point the rain let up so we ran out and bought provisions; pizza supplies, breakfast goods, milk, and at one point some blackberries threw themselves at me and I just couldn't leave them there, now could I?? After lunch, knitting, and reading, I decided to make shortbread. It's pretty good, but the next batch will have more vanilla and a touch more salt. Dangerously easy to make, and even more dangerously easy to consume.

Didn't my snack turn out pretty? It looks so dainty.

May 27, 2010

Fish, fish, fishy fish.

It was delish, this little fish.

It's when I make meals like this for lunch on weekends that I find myself pining to work from home more than usual.

le siiiigh.

Fidge thought the water was divine. In case you were wondering.
I did not set out to share on purpose. greedy kitty.

May 25, 2010

fun with fractals

This amazing sculpture is outside of the new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. It is well worth the money (only $8) just to look around the building. The art is the icing. And so much of the collection was simply thrilling!

May 21, 2010

Tea is for the mornings

Summer time is nearly upon us. I can tell, because in the mornings lately I’ve not wanted the comfort of hot tea that I’ve been enjoying for the past months. I miss it, but am usually too warm already to even think about hot water. But I missed the quiet minutes while I drank my tea, so I took matters in to my own hands (as we all so often must, and should). I brewed some chai tea, added some brown sugar, let it steep for a lot longer than normal, added some cream and popped it into the fridge overnight.

The morning was blissful with my glass of cold, spicy sweet comfort.

I miss the moments of tea when I don’t have the time or the temperature to drink some at home. At work it just doesn’t seem as lovely, as quiet. It’s mostly a way to keep warm in the icebox I am lucky enough to work in. There, it looses the peace and the ritual. So, for real tea I must drink it quietly, at home in my sweet cave of plaster and wood.

Sweet milky thoughts

Crowd my brain, crown my tongue.

As morning creeps up and over my toes.

Mornings are for tea

A place to wake.

If you have any, I'd love to know what your rituals for the mornings or evenings are... especially if they involve teas or coffees. The drinks that have certain steps that you must partake in to enjoy a cup.

May 20, 2010

The season changes

Saturday was the first day for this market's season, and ever. I was searching for one that used to be close to downtown (or "up"town as the fancy folk around here like to call it) and while it was closed, a new one was opening. Bonus, new market opens at the most reasonable time of 9am. I like. So I put on a summery orange sherbet colored skirt, grabbed my camera and some cash and headed out to see what there was to eat.

For it's first ever showing, I was pretty impressed, it has grand potential to be MOST awesome! There were plenty of new plants to buy for your garden.

And a few butchers, lots of farm-fresh happy chicken eggs, some delectable looking chocolates and soap even! And a pickle man. Well, let's be fair, THE pickle man. :)

I ended up with a bucket of growing lettuce (on the cheap! I mean, think of how many salads I can eat between batches growing!!! hooray!!) And some beef short ribs that I cooked up in the slow cooker, which was the first time I've come close to "making" BBQ sauce. It passed the Shawn test, so I'm pretty happy with that!
Did not take a photo of the cooked ribs, they probably wouldn't have looked as yummy as they were, and we ate them before i could even think about taking a picture.

As I was leaving I ran into some of our friends who were setting up to play some music outside the market area... If they keep doing it this will be the BEST market. perhaps ever.

I also succumbed to some strawberries. And ate them all within 2 and a half days. Delish. Summer does have its sweet spots.

May 19, 2010


I wish I could type a letter on my new old typewriter.

my kingdom for a type ribbon.


May 13, 2010

This may become more common

I got this recipe in the mail the other day from a good friend. It is YUMMY! So I thought I should share with you! I meant to take a photo of the meal on our plates, but it was too late by the time I thought about it, and rice and lentils all mixed up in a tupper-ware is not so pretty.... Instead you get a photo of the Berbere spice getting measured out.

May I present
Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew:

2tsp oil of your choice
2 cups chopped red onion
1 tbsp minced and peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp tomato paste
1.5 tbsp Berbere Spice (see below...)

3 cups veggie broth

1 cup dried small lentils

chopped fresh cilantro

cooked Batsmati rice

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over med. heat. Add onions, and cook until tender (15 min) stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic, cook for 5 more min, stir frequently. Add tomato paste and Berbere spice, cook 1 min more. Gradually add broth, stirring to combine with a whisk until blended. increase heat to med. high and bring to a simmer. Rinse the lentils in cool water, drain and add to broth misture, simmer, partialy covered for 35 min or until lentils are tender. stir occasionally. Stir in some salt to taste. Serve warm, over rice, sprinkle with cilantro. Now. I am going to add some diced tomatoes next time, it needed a little more... texture or something but was quite good! And I was very proud and surprised the Berbere spice worked out so well!

There are a millionty-one opinions on how to make Berbere spice, so I'd recommend searching around and choosing one that pleases you the most. I used chili powder, ginger powder, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, black pepper, turmeric, ummm... crushed red pepper... I think I wrote it down, and if anyone wants my "recipe" for the mix, let me know!
It was yum, vegetarian (which I'm not, but was searching for something to serve to my friends who are) and pretty healthy I think. It would be easy to add tofu or maybe chicken.... not sure. but I will make it again!

May 12, 2010


I spent a few glorious hours out on my front porch. I love my glider. It is heaven. The breeze was cool, the sun was out, the book was as good as ever (I was re-reading the Narnia series... I love them, have I told you that lately? Next up on the re-visit list is probably the Wrinkle in Time series. I adore the books of my not so distant youth)

I mean... who wouldn't want to sit here all day?

I had brought out my sketchbook with me too, but got so into the book I finished it and then realized I had been sitting long enough that my keester was half numb... so I got up, ate and went out with some dear friends for a drink or two. I loved this Saturday, it was breezy.

May 2, 2010

Thar She Blooms!

One of my favorites.

And since they need ants' help to open and bloom, it does make me appreciate the little buggers a whole lot more! (did you notice the one in the first photo?)
I planted a few more in the front yard, and will have to move this one in the fall, I think she's not getting enough light, there's only this bloom, and no other buds to speak of.

And look what I got this weekend!
Next month, the workshop! Hooray for learning new things! I can't wait to share this new project!
Hooray Hooray Huzzah!

May 1, 2010

The morning view

As I was driving home last night, the moon was low, large and light orange. I love the moon, I thought to my small self, almost as if I had forgotten how terribly I adore that rock in the sky. And I do. It comforts me somehow, whenever I see it. Especially on the nights she brings out her best dresses. The night I first saw the moon as a red giant, I was on top of a mountain and was totally blow away at the majesty. I feel that way about small rocks sometimes, in a smaller way. I always try to find an interesting rock when I go places like the beach and the mountains, or just somewhere new. They remind me of the place, yes, but also, of being outside. And have you ever seen a prettier stone than agates? Now, I've not found one of those on the ground, but do own some. One in a ring, others from when I was a young rockhound. (Which meant every time we visited my grandparents we went to Old Towne Rock and Gem and I was allowed to choose one or two polished stones to bring home). I need to take their photos, I just rediscovered them unpacking the other week. Seeing old friends is always such a reward.

Here's a glimpse of my morning. This is the table in what was once the dining room in this house. We've turned it into the record& book library with an eating nook. I never have been one to want a formal dining room, so this is perfect. And it's in the heart of the house, so the music goes everywhere when Shawn puts on his DJ hat and plays the records. I love it here. I love my table cloth, and my aqua cup. You've probably seen it before, if you've been reading a while.
I adore it.
You will probably see it again.

I've also made another blog-me-how-to-write-truthfully- decision. I've been writing letters to a dear friend (yes, the kind with stamps) and I've realized how open I am, how easy it is to say whatever it is I wanted to say. And that's how I was trying to write here. But I was feeling blocked and untrue when I was trying to write as myself here... Not sure why I was blocking myself, but hey, when don't we all do that at?? So. I' m going to try my best to pretend I'm writing a real letter. And we'll see how that goes from here. I think it will work. I'm excited.

A bonus photo of Fidge, she had been laying quite relaxed when I brought out the camera... Now she just looks too snooty not to share!

I did retouch this photo, it had come out too blue from my camera, evening light is still tricky for me. But relearning how to use a "real" camera is SO much fun! I uped the saturation and sharpened it a bit, just so you could see what it was I saw when I took the photo.

Now we're getting fancy!

I put the Merci Beaucoup shawl pattern into a pdf format!! I noticed that whatever it was that I had done trying to format it in a a pretty way just wasn't working nicely in the blog post, so here's a polished version! All the bold type in the right place, all the information looking swell. I am quite pleased.

I've loaded it up onto Ravelry.

If you do not have a Ravelry account, check it out, it really is a valuable tool. But if you still don't want it, but need the .pdf, please let me know and I'll be happy to email it to you, it is free after all!!