Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween on the Homefront...
Before heading over to the MonkeyGrinder's at Velour, a swashbucklin' Liz decked out the front porch and handed out loot to the trick-or-treaters. without her, the kids' would have gotten nada! Every year Halloween means a LOT of work. And this year was no different. I helped my former co-workers with the downtown events...and then when things were finally over and all 1100 trolls, princesses, and masked what-have-yous had made the rounds...and the carnival games and pop-up tents were down...we hit the road, carpooling to Salt Lake...for our annual fix of Halloween at the Hayes'.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday Dinner...
Lace bell-sleeved shirt?
gift from designer/seamstress Becky Neely of Mode Boutique.
5 delicious curry dishes? made by Janice.
Amazing conversation with featured guest Joseph Tainter? organized by Charles.
2 nights of sleepless panic? ALL MINE.
Hmmmmm...when Ollie & i have the privilege of sharing a meal with one of the foremost experts in the fall of civilizations (who was interviewed in the film the 11 Hour) we have opposite responses. i head for the corner, hug my knees to my chest and plead with my brain to rearrange its anxiety-laced thoughts while O'lover...he gets excited & rolls up his sleeves. do you react to all of the peak oil and global warming news?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More from last night's halloween rounds.i'm wearing a costume Becca Mae made for me and Natalie went as a sexy Swiss chic (aka herself).
we didn't shoot any more pix but here's a dark video of O'lover, Duane, and James shaking it.

O'lover's Halloween Costume...
He wanted to go incognito.
With peels of laughter this is what we came up with.

Isn't he lovely?
Doesn't he wear it well?
There's something about my husband complaining about his makeup and how hard it is to walk around in a dress that's very very beneficial to my sense of wellbeing! Where is my sympathy?

endlessly and thoroughly amused

Friday, October 26, 2007

Great find of the day....a black crow with pin cushion from Man in the Moon Antiques.
i love felt and i love black crows and i love sticking pins in things. oh and the dangling basket has been removed. didn't like the wicker-on-felt look.
Can you tell what's taking shape?
the principal builder and his second-in-command call it the "pirates nest...argh".
i call it a room with a view or...a sanctuary....or a platform for a zip line...or a way to spin around and induce vertigo...or... "hey, ollie does the tree house count as increasing our square footage and maximizing the value of our home?"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Pops!

instead of a cake we made 8 quarts of lacto-fermenting apple cider and then belted out our version of happy birthday. the farmer doggie joined in by whining and jumping on us. he looked pained.
so my Pops passed away unexpectedly four years ago. i was with him.

RRRRRRandom Dad Things
first off- he was great with languages -he spoke 7. word from our argentine familia was that he could speak better than natives.
I wish he'd gotten to meet the O'lover. He would be ecstatic to see how rrrrrrrare a trrrreasure the lover is and that Ollie and i are the perrrrfect match. Ok i'm rolling all the rrrrr's just to annoy the hell out of Ollie because he can't roll his rrrrrrrs and i'm a jerrrrk.
I think about how my sons are genetically destined to be bald. I liked my dad's head.
The O'lover is massaging my back right now trying to help my melancholia let up already. It's working...but keep massaging...
My Dad always used to say to me, "
Raquel, you have the hands of a milkmaid, can you loosen up my shoulders?" as a dorky kid i was ridiculously proud of my strong peasant hands. ok still am.
mom and dad at their engagement party in Argentina.
We were raised on cross-country road trips. Once we took 18 months to drive around central and south america in a baby blue VW bus. Dad excelled at being instant best friends with people of any age or background. He was very approachable.
Me and Pops in Panama.

He was frequently picking up hitchhikers. The last time i was with him we picked up a family that had walked all the way from guatamala to tucson. we took them to the quaker church where they'd receive good care.

Dad could speed-read novels and drive cautiously at the same time and i swear you would never be scared to be in the car with him while he was doing this. he was a pro.

I'd call him and put him on speaker phone so my friends could hear him S I N G. He'd take requests. He knew some mean latin opera.

He'd always sign letters he wrote to me, "
God speed beautiful lady." that made me feel good.

he was a hard core fan of his kids.

I love you my Numero Uno Dad in the whole world.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

once upon a time, or rather a week ago, i offhandedly mused "i want a hot tub."

in the room were unusually resourceful people who said, "ok!" and then proceeded to discuss stuff about super duper insulation and energy efficient ways to heat lots & lots of water.

and today we have a wish-come-true hot tub!

it sits 10 people. but i bet we could fit more...

thanks hot tub elves! (aka reo & jaime)

now what should i request next?
Last night buckminster fuller was on my mind. he left a life of privilege and everything he knew to live in the ghettos of chicago for a couple of years. he sought a new way of speaking and thinking.

and i thought, "Me too!"

so i packed my bag, borrowing a bivey sac from the stikas, left my cozy home on a cold rainy night and headed for the hills. oliver, riding his bike, caught up with me twice. once to give me some raw melissa coconut macaroons and once to bring me our large puppy Farmer.

later, with farmer off his leash roaming, i was on my own. far above the buzzing power lines with a very exposed view of the city i laid out my bed ready to snore and dream a new vocabulary. but where's farmer?

Farmerrrrrr! FAAAAAAARMER!

tromping all over the dark mountain, through the drizzle, looking for the over-stimulated bugger... i discovered him rejoicing over a carcass. yum. way past the normal hour of slumber i tugged him over steep hills back to my bed perch where i mistakingly thought he could SLEEP. what i quickly learned is that Farmer needed his own pad and blankie, and cover from the rain, and more drinking water. and since i wasn't going to snuggle with a bloody carnage mouthed dog we went home.

to a very happily surprised O'lover and a very warm bed and a promptly fresh minty-breathed Farmer. (don't worry, we didn't listerine burn his taste buds.)

but Bucky Fuller, you're still in my thoughts...

p.s. i found this cool pic of Y-mount on a ufo site! click on the link and then do a search for "Provo" . the article claims the blur is evidence of alien visitation and that the Y, with all of its symbolic meanings, is a clarion call to aliens. Do you know what this means?! I could have been abducted on Y-mount last night! Farmer saved us! hee hee hee heee. huh, actually DARN i could have definitely learned a new vernacular amongst the 3 eyed green folk. another missed opportunity... =)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

been waiting for a settled time to finally tell you...
you won't find me hanging out in this windowless office anymore.

the scariest thing ever is quitting the rockinest job you've had. the dream job. the job in your field with the coolest co-workers in a positive atmosphere that allowed and encouraged being VISIONARY. the job that had you marvel, how did i get so lucky to land this rare & important job?

but i did get that lucky and i did quit. quietly announced 9 days ago, effective TODAY.

i'm super proud. before me this position didn't exist and the public arts program is now a crucial part of the downtown Provo revitalization. someone with fresh blood can take over. they can pour their heart and soul into it and make the art scene in Provo continuously better!

i'm super relieved. there are excellent things on the horizon. i'm inspired by the future.

and the truth is i'm not so scared. (what's way more frightening is not listening to your Fierce Guiding Self and sticking with a job you know you need to leave behind.)

the blur galloping off into the unknown

p.s. not to water down the fact that i quit...and not to diminish the awesome fact that i'm jobless...and definitely not to comfort those poor unimaginative practical souls who would ask "how are you going to pay your bills?"...but i'll still be consulting on a project by project basis.

Many thanks to Char, the interim director, and all of the active members of the Downtown Alliance committees and board of directors. Much love and appreciation to Susan Bradford for believing in art (and me!) and to Teresa. You guys rock and withdrawals from every day interaction with you are rough!

the city council threw us a curve ball last night. we're tired, they're tired, everyone's tired. so the city will foot the bill that had previously been the responsibility of the business and property owners. thank you city council. we didn't see this coming but we're grateful.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We've neared the final hour before the city council decision on my job! Will they choose fabulous public art, flower baskets, and parties in the street? or will they listen to Mr. Burns (not his real name, think the Simpsons) and his miserly compadres? regardless of the argument details, tonight promises to be a bloodbath at the city council chambers. at least some sanity is guaranteed by the presence of councilwoman cindy clark (her real name).

if you're up to witnessing the verbal fisticuffs come to 400 west center street at 7 pm tonight. or you can watch from the comfort of your home on channel 1 or 17.

Let the good times roll!

p.s. the good news is that at 8:30 this morning the Provo Housing Authority board of directors gave their stamp of approval on pursuing the next phase of the artist live/work space! YAY!!! we may soon be calling on you artist/musician folk to give your priceless input.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's Blog Action Day!
15,000 bloggers have signed up to write about the environment today.

(but first of all Happy Birthday! to Chris Foster, Sturat, and Friedrich Nietzsche.)

Two thoughts:

1) Slowing down is the most important thing we can do for the environment.

2) This gives me hope! We'll be there this weekend!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

we came home from tending a sleeping angel (Susan & Brad's babe) and look who was waiting on our back stoop. YAY the icky cat is home! (her real name is icarus nobel) Smooches kiss kiss kiss smooch, smooch, SMoOOOCHThis cat is so kissable. she tries to escape but i catch her and kiss her some more. and more. and then i try to spit out all the fur i just inhaled. spit spit spit.
thanks for forgiving us for upgrading your food icarus!
we promise to never feed you that healthy crap again.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Baffled and Pleased
Usually O'lover does what I want. If i want him to give me an enema... Ok just kidding. but he does give me methylcobalamin shots in the butt, ok really upper hip. the guy runs circles around me. he's still going strong long after i've capped my day with doing the dishes and putting in the last load of laundry.

for instance, today while i was leisurely making smoothies he efficiently emptied out my three clothes closets, sorting out weird things like a framed tiny brian kershisnik painting that had been hiding amongst my shawls, a mike mahoney bowl, and a very well articulated plastic man wearing blue swimming trunks. don't ask.

So i brought O'lover a smoothie, climbed over the mountain ranges of clothes piled on our bed and nestled amongst some pillows to watch O'lover perform the feat called operation organizing Raquel's clothes. meanwhile i was going to write a post about how i'm going to invent some friends to comment on my blog and say nice things to me like "Raquel, you are so NOT narcissistic." or "Raquel, we're coming over to braid your hair into cornrows" or... but all that was rudely interrupted by the alien who has taken possession of my lover's body.

"OK, Raquel. you know how i just made a blank canvas for you?" and he pointed at my now empty closets.

"You mean for you?" I asked.

"well, now that i've cleared out your closets you can put everything back in but i'd recommend wiping your shelves down with a wet rag first."

And he left. just like that.

and now i'm STUNNED. Oliver usually does things for me, what are the implications of this mutiny? This task was nowhere on my Saturday to-do list, but i'm adaptable...i mean, i can sleep anywhere, under any conditions, like by the side of the road, or on a slanted rooftop or WHEREVER I LAND. certainly tonight i can curl up with all these hangers.

But then Oliver just called to me from upstairs and announced that he's researching more about tantric love, and gosh darn it if i won't have this bed cleared off as fast as you can say SIGN ME UP AND I"M THERE.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last night AJ and I attended the Utah Humanities lecture by artist Tony Ryder.
This is a painting Tony did of his wife Celeste.
And a model named Justine.
Tony was an open book about his palette, his process, he was generous with his hard earned secrets! I feel as if i've taken part in a master's atelier. This makes me very excited to try some new techniques in my own painting. soon.

i've been busy waiting to find out if the city council reapproves funding for my job. things have been up in the air. Which has been unnerving. Uhhh...In lue of the pills i've been requesting of late (last week i asked for speed, this week tranquilizers), O'lover has been administering daily vitamin B shots in my butt. or maybe i should call the horse shots "smooth liquid platinum" for this sad junkie. ahhhh... all this because i'm like a pair of blue jeans, really quite durable for many seasons and then a tiny tear becomes a ripping gaping hole that needs to be patched NOW because this is not the mid-nineties and sadly grunge is out. I'm definitely OVERTHINKING this.

We've been porking out this week. Sunday night Kirsten made us delicious split pea soup with a wild boar bone. Last night AJ brought us yumyum chili soup with a pork bone. and now i want bacon. oink.

Today i thought "i'm going to break a sweat" but during yoga i couldn't remember to breathe and when i took farmer running around memorial park i found myself leaning against a tree daydreaming without remembering having stopped for a break. but then sophie took me for a hike up Rock Canyon. we picked rose hips and almost got trampled by galloping horses ridden by people i was sure were celebrities. especially that handsome guy who stopped his horse and asked if we were ok after we had to dive into the bushes to preserve our lives.

despite all these diversions the upcoming verdict is always on my mind. have you ever CARED SO MUCH about something that you've considered Buddhism? is it valid to swap religions so you could CARE LESS? (not to knock buddhism with my naivety.) i'll be buddhist in my next life. but i suspect even then i will be a poor student of surrendering desire.

In the canyon we met my old relief society president from the oak hills singles ward. she asked how marriage was. (she's anxiously engaged.) i said it was AWESOME. and it's true. despite all my whining and my squeaky wheel tendencies. my life is peaceful. my home is peaceful. My O'lover is the only oil i'd go to war for. (and TamTam & Torin & H & G and Sabrina and Bito. ok i'd go to war for peeps. but not for oil 'cause walking and gardening is the bomb.) But would you go to war for art? like the ancient sumerians? no? Me neither. but i'd die for art. or without it.
These pics were on my desktop. Can't remember the name of the main proponent but there's a movement to lessen the heat island effect by encouraging more plantings and less paving over the earth.
AFTERYAY for less asphalt and more plants! Remember reading in the paper about how it was a blazing 136 degrees in the Walmart parking lot in Orem this summer?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Poop Party
The second coat of plaster for the straw bale greenhouse was made from one part Hobble Creek Canyon clay, one part sandy subsoil from our pond bed, one part straw from Harward's farm in Springville and one part cow dung from Palmyra. Everyone agreed that the steaming manure was the favorite ingredient on this cold rainy "crappy" day.

Downtown Provo Gallery Stroll - Every First Friday

The highlight of the evening was meeting artist A.D. Maddox from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her oil paintings of large fish (like the one eating my head) are currently being shown at Coleman Studios.
I found out that A.D. is a model for Ducati Motorcycles. And she knows the producers and instructors for my favorite show- yogatoday.
And the fact that A.D. straps wet canvasses to the front of her red Ducati and collects the bug splats that she gets from going 120 miles an hour...that's the sexy icing on a true original american cake.

The textile show at the Covey Center for the Arts was diverse and enjoyable. I love being inspired by fabric!
But...shhhhhhh... and a quick scan to see if anyone is within earshot...
this pounding wrecked heart beats loudest for Gallery OneTen. Their Coney Island Show by Zach Taylor was fun. (sorry no pics).

And damn my concrete shoes and lead pants but when we drove past Terra Nova and the Utah County Gallery the windows were dark. It was past closing. Three hours are never enough for me to make the rounds.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

the best thing just happened! i opened a carton of Alden's vanilla-hum-drum-bean ice cream, while muttering under my breath about why do we own background ice cream... when...dismay!'s really mislabeled chocolate! my life just went from i'm growing a migraine and will my gray misery know no end? to singing and counting my remastered full color blessings! i'm so glad the misunderstood chocolate ice cream made it to the right home...where it can be fully appreciated.

and now on to why i am in need of ice cream therapy and a truckload of forgiveness...

it all began with wanting a lot of poop. i'd been sourcing cow manure (needs to be fresh!) for two days. phone calls (even to the spanish fork chamber of commerce who laughed at me and said they'd never been asked for cow dung for the books) and visits that had us u-turning from salem to palmyra. when finally, we got our pure wet dung, clouds of flies free of charge.
it runs in my family that if you're getting your picture taken, you S M I L E as if you don't have a massive head ache accompanied by shit stench forever imprinted in your nostrils. is there a way to sever my olfactory receptors... where's my sautering knife? (Tam Tam are there such things as olfactory receptors?)

so o'lover had to go to salt lake for work and i'm supposed to be emptying the trailer. because i'm tough and because i HAD TO HAVE all this cow manure for our plaster mix. one wheelbarrow and test application later and i'm hiding in the house...wondering if i can be my own hero or if the lover will come to my rescue. forgive me lover!

earlier, my faux wellie and the friendly dairy dog's tongue strike a pose and share a shade.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

according to the weather forecast for our zip code, Friday night will be the big freeze. so ready or not...we've picked everything. including itty bitty watermelons. i was sadly sure that size mattered and they'd end up in the compost bin. we tried one for dinner anyway. lo and behold...SIZE DOESN'T MATTER after all! That melon was ripe and flavorful and we had juice dripping down our greedy faces.

Here are some leftovers after we invited friends to play "pumpkin patch" at the Smith Callis's.
If i had a really nice camera and some training these glorious "fruits of the soil's labor" would have softened light and halos around them. Please pretend.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

pumpkin pie with arrowroot crust

Monday, October 1, 2007

i was teetering on the edge of "not-thinking-at-all." when the dude in the other room requested a post about "regenerative urbanism". and that reasonable suggestion almost sent me sliding into a catatonic state. (familiar territory) So I'm going to spit some words out right now and then treat myself to a full fledged staring off into space session.

btw, does the fact that someone could spend hours contemplating "Duhhhhh..." make them more spiritual than most or have they sniffed too much casting resin in the crandall house?

remember how we live on a homestead? well, tonight we've acted like it. our freezer is full of diced vegetables on metal trays (to be bagged once individually frozen). we're also taking care to save the seeds. all our veggies are heirlooms. which means we could be lazy during planting. because the garden from last year REPLANTED ITSELF. the ladies
Bridget, Honey, Beverly Simone, Khaki, Campbell, and Pewter conveniently spread seed through their wandering. we had tomatoes, sunflowers, melons, mustard greens, etc. everywhere. Happily, our blackberries spread out by the bee boxes. the ever-bearing and june-bearing strawberries carpet our very back garden and try to choke out the raspberries. garlic, onions, green beans, carrots, spinach, arugula, zucchini, zapatillos (sent by a relative in argentina), spaghetti squash, crookneck squash, horseradishes, bee balm, lemon grass (courtesy of shannon), bergamot (great for tea), oregano, chocolate mint, sage, lavendar, parsley, SORREL (how i love the sweet tasting perennial sorrel), italian parsley, the most delicious apples.

So all that supplemented by earlier harvests of apricots from the cutries, cherries from the van wagonens, grapes from the jensens, plums from the ramseys, PLUS the CSA from Zoe's Garden...

And the FULLNESS of the pantry, the cellar, the fridge, and freezer...
...hibernation anyone?