Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear Reader,
Do you have any friends that in your eyes could ne'er do wrong? That no matter WHAT you ADORE them?
Well, my talented, brilliant, and idealistic friend Ardell has merited "pedestal status" for ETERNITY.

Ardell has probably had more influence on me than just about anybody.
If she says, "start composting" I say "how high." haha.
no really.
If Ardell says "plastic is tacky." I say, "hmmm...a wooden toothbrush. right on. "
I can trace many of my favorite habits and preferences back to Ardell.
A free lance editor by trade, she places emphasis on organization and coordination of everything. If Ardell takes you under her wing, your paper/manual/whatever will read flawlessly and she will facilitate breakthroughs you never imagined possible. I wish I could take a peek in her brain to see how she's filed away all those hundreds of dissertations she's written cough cough i mean "edited." I swear, she deserves some honorary degrees for her rewriting cough cough i mean "editing."
Thanks to Andi, for hosting the very fun Ardell-is-in-town party.
In this pic Ardell has just earnestly sought input on an OCD color project she's doing.
This is her precious daughter with moi. Darling Miss M was born the day before Gallery OneTen opened its doors. It's how I remember the age of the gallery.
Ardell lives on six steep acres in a tall house in a narrow Colorado canyon. Very picturesque.
If Ardell's location choice could be settled by a good game of tug of war... I would win! because no matter what i would not let go of my end of the rope until she was BACK because...I wish Ardell were around always.

girl tearing up the cottage looking for a non blurry pic of Ardell to accompany this post.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy (full)filling Thanksgiving Y'all!

After the family feast O'lover and I retreated to our cozy home for an important session of some long overdue truth telling about a matter as significant as any other matter...What do you want for Christmas?

But first. really quickly, i'm putting on my gratitude attitude for a stream of consciousness what-i'm-thankful-for list:

-O'lover's kindness and strength
-my family. They're good people.
-thoughtful friends
-folks who extend themselves to make things better
-the word "rucksack" and random words strung together
-pretty door bell rings
-homeopathic meds
-hot homemade applesauce (apples from our tree) with walnuts (gathered from the park)
-living outside of the rat race
-the clicking of knitting needles & whirrrrrhummm of the sewing machine
-"Pushing Daisies" on www.abc.com
-and to go full circle...I'm so so grateful for O'lover, the holiday season. and the fact that what we want for Christmas is delicious times with delicious people sprinkled with some "good will for all" on top.

But, hey if we must have gifts (and admittedly we must)...i'm voting for original art or anything homemade or used.

What do you think about "concocting" gifts from materials at hand rather than buying them? Raw truth please.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Provo Downtown Alliance has been asked to take on the flowerbeds on Center Street this next year. With our currently very modest budget this new mandate has been...entertaining. Because you just have to laugh when more and more (and more) is expected of a very small staff. I joked and said we should resort to casting zucchini seeds. Zucchinis have flowers...
Little did I know how truly brilliant this idea was until roaming the streets of Chicago! Vegetables! I wish I had more pix. But there was cabbage, broccoli, chili peppers, rainbow chard, arugula, and other leafy greens EVERYWHERE. It looked beautiful and for the survivalists...there's no security like food security.
What do you think? Pray tell!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

when i was just 3 years and 3 days old my parents had me take a seat in preparation for receiving my belated birthday present. even then i understood i had hit the jackpot when they handed me my newborn baby sister. she brought color into my life. i believed them when they told me to take care of her and seriously thought she was mine. mine to spoil rotten or boss around; mine to mold into a left-handed artist; and mine to draw designs on her bald head when she shaved it at age 16. Tammy didn't speak until she was 4. She would mutely point at whatever she wanted and we would fetch and deliver. she finally started talking (in full paragraphs) when we unintentionally fell short of anticipating her every need. i thought i had her figured out. her high level energy comes from our mom and the platinum singing voice is from our father. we used to play conductor. she was the talent and i would make her belt out simon & garfunkel hits hundreds of times until every note had bounced off the walls to my exact specifications. growing up she was a talented poet and all around creative type.
she moved to san francisco when she was 17 to work in the theater and then as a peace activist. She was employed by California Peace Action for years, opening an office in LA, and traveling around the country at their behest. she is very known for pulling well developed completely persuasive, nay, deadly, arguments out of her sleeve. If you've witnessed this about her raise your hand.
...my artsy, humanitarian sister switched brain hemispheres,
she decided to be a mathematician at SF city college. She ended up graduating with a masters in materials engineering from UC Davis. And now she's doing her M.D. PhD. in Chicago. WHERE DID I GO WRONG??
TamTam's a momma. She gave birth almost a year ago. During labor while I was passing out from my sister's travail, she was playing the perfect hostess to everyone, including the entire engineering lab who had come to cheer her on for the final pushes and help welcome Mr. T to the world. She is a great mom and has done well with a difficult balancing act of full time school and mommy hood. the love she has for Mr. T is tangible. he knows his momma is his #1 fan.
i've learned that when i talk to Tam about her thoughts & about what she's studying, i must take notes. they help me to stay focused and participate and then i get to turn around and regurgitate stuff like...well, never mind...since right now Tam is studying everything you don't want to know about the perineum. for her histology class.
yup, i'm proud of my sister. and i love her, her husband, and Mr. T. I'm super thankful for the relatedness.

So...Happy Birthday Tammy!
I'm lucky to have you as my sis.
You're the birthday gift that keeps on giving.

p.s. And Tam, I know you've paved your own path...but i appreciate seeing that you continue taking some cues from me, like your keen shoes, and mrs. meyer's products, etc. =)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The next couple of pix are from their building's roof top garden.

Good Night! xoxo!
I love being with this guy and with his momma, my little sister Tammy. Because of TamTam's cheerful disposition from birth we have called her "Sunshine." Her son takes after her (well his Dad is very good natured as well). I've had Mr. T all day while Tam's been at school and seriously...nothing but giggles and jokes with this kid.
Even while i'm in Ludite mode, I LOVE airports. And just to continue mentioning art professor Peter Everett's name every post i write - he makes large paintings of airports. Did you know that?
A clue about my destination: While standing in line to board my flight I kept fantasizing that Billy Corgan was around and I could kiss his elbow. The Smashing Pumpkins are from...Chicago. And you neverknow...people do have layovers in SLC. Like the person sitting next to me in the plane. Who brought the same library book as me! What are the chances?

Monday, November 5, 2007

So as we get older our noses grow, right? Every time i tack "right" with a question mark at the end of a sentence i hear Peter Everett's voice in my head. Well, my nose has blossomed to full snort-while-laughing capacity. O'lover likes it. Thank heavens. What if he thought my snorting was rough or rude? I'd have to punish him with loud guffaws and slapping my knee for emphasis and maybe some drooling. But he thinks the snorting is cute and so we're all spared forced dramatics.
Meanwhile, another new physical development has been allergies, particularly a susceptibility to my beloved cottonwood tree. And for the past two days I have lived in the crotch of that cottonwood as I help install a salvaged oak floor for the second story of the tree house. The entire time ringing alarms have sounded to my deaf ears. I ignored the tell-tell repeated sneezing with pressure building. Preventative homeopathic drops have been forgotten for months. Today my ten ton head was pillow bound with sinus headaches that have turned to a full fledged migraine. Resorting to desperate defensive tactics I've been downing apple cider vinegar. I ate WASABI until I thought I'd go blind (but it felt sooo good). Finally, after having to miss my favorite little boy's 3rd birthday party -HAPPY BIRTHDAY "A"! (of the Susan and Brad clan)-I finally...and here comes the most excellent part....took some Maximum Strength Exedrin for Migraines. And praises with loads of glory! legions of angels are holding me in their arms and massaging the crease in my brow...oh wait, that's Saint Oliver.

P.S. I'm almost 34. That's older than Jesus. AND WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE. This is a video of a song I made up about my upcoming birthday realization. I'm sure after the lovely meds wear off I will take it back down. when one is sick where does one's pride hide? Far far away.
P.P.S. Don't fall for watching this video. It's just as boring as all of my other videos. And it's sideways. And what is the deal with youtube always making the videos way darker than they really are?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Our homestead includes a dungeon-like basement which has too long been ignored. The immediate future calls for an overhaul. We're thinking "5 star root cellar". But what do nice root cellars even look like? How can we make it inviting... so we don't just open the hatch, throw our food down there, and close the hatch? (like we have been.)
This is what turned up on an idea gathering google image search...I love repurposed school buses and i absolutely LOVE doing things i never thought i would do- like burying a large vehicle for what could be another residence in our eco-village...LET'S DO IT!

i'm kidding.

no, but really, if anyone has some good ideas for root cellars, please share.
since i quit my director position i've liked it so much better...and keep working. it's kind of like saying goodbye to an exquisite sunset or a soon to be ex-flame. yes, our time together is almost over...but boy do i like you and want to hold on. and this is where an ability to remember your reasons for choosing something else would come in handy. unfortunately, that ability is not at the top of my toolbox. so this might sound a bit kindergartenish to most but hey, didn't we learn all the important stuff in kindergarten?
Put your own oxygen mask on first.
to keep yourself from being a shallow puddle about to evaporate you need to do what it takes to replenish your own waters before trying to water anyone else. (for me this means...MAKE some ART and hang out in the hot tub.)

Look at the big picture.
get an aerial view of your life in its proper context. figure out why you are where you are and reassess. (for me, i realized i was acting on very old ambitions that needed a serious update.)

Map it out. this is where Oliver alters a gardening solution and brilliantly applies it to your non-gardening complaints. with his mesmerizing wavy lines he draws a super cool diagram. you divide your life into zones- which are slightly different for everybody. zone 0 is yourself and includes spiritual and physical health. zone 1- your immediate surroundings, your family and closest friends. zone 2- your garden and other important relationships, zone 3- work/community life. the zones also have sectors which would definitely vary greatly from person to person. all zones must be balanced and addressed frequently and zone 0 has priority over zone 1, zone 1 over zone 2 and so forth. if you place too much emphasis in one zone the rest will suffer. (for me this means going on a project by project basis at work and putting more emphasis on zones 0-2.)

Now Get Your Groove Back.
this is the most exciting part.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Abroad...
it ain't hallowed without a trip to the Hayes'.
Their art-filled house; homemade donuts, brewed rootbeer, and stew; the scores of walking dead...
oh! and the art projects! this year we carved plaster heads on a stick.
more to come...