Thursday, January 31, 2008

melancholia is spanking me big time. i know what i gotta do to climb out of the dark bleak pit. give up my addiction to shadow delving and well...sometimes a scorpio just can't give up the shadow delving.

So O'lover studied things out in his mind and then went shopping.

Here he's explaining the melancholia recovery strategy.
he bought some spices, some supplements, and my favorite...little red goji berries!
he also picked up some st. john's wort.
in my herbal pharmacology class at byu we were taught that st. john's wort plus chocolate causes hypertension.
i'm still life without chocolate even possible?
o'lover kept talking about adrenals and thyroid and mind/body connection and get this... A WOMAN"S CYCLE. for my husband being the oldest out of five brothers and zero sisters i am so proud that he can lay it all out about a woman's cycle. Thanks Ollie.

Monday, January 28, 2008

1. have you ever tasted aloe vera juice? 'cause it is good.
2. thank you edward kennedy for supporting barack obama. and thanks oprah and scarlett j. now let's just hope and pray obama stays safe. 'cause the man is creating a righteous stir.
3. the cousins at the cousins party always wear artful stockings and shoes. thank you cousins.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

it's one of my top JOYS to learn that others have a passion for growing food. Even if it's "just" a potted aloe vera plant in your kitchen, i LOVE talking/hearing about it!

D/B/C/M just introduced a brand new local group blog on backyard farming. i will be watching as it develops! Looking at their blog has inspired me to record more about what's going on around here. That being said, i'm a slice-of-life person and not a *topic* slave. If anyone wants to know what's REALLY going on with our homestead you can check it out at UrbanHarvester.

our farming story in a nutshell.
Once upon a time, O'lover and i crushed out on each other while discussing our ideas of a perfect life. We'd talk, and draw, and kiss, and dream, and we always agreed that what we wanted was to have a homestead. Miracle of miracles, six months after getting hitched things fell into place to buy our cottage!!

We immediately set to work planting vegetables and reshaping the already very established and gorgeous gardens.

And now, three years later, i must again shout to heaven,
"Thank you, Florence!" (the previous owner and avid gardener, who passed away at the age of 97). Thank you for the rich soil & abundant worms! And all those perennials!

Every year we have so many projects. The warm weather never lasts long enough! (which is good or we'd never go inside to work on our house.)

Last summer O'lover drew a sign at the front of the flagstone path to our home. The sign says the name of our homestead, "UrbanHarvester", and includes a map of our watershed. It's very visible to all who walk by and i frequently catch people stop in their tracks and stare at it. Since it's written in concrete there's no going back now!
The following is a link to our favorite urban homesteading site. The Dervaeses are a Jewish family with the most amazing farm on only 1/5 acre in Pasadena.
Last summer we worked on diggin' a pond. We filled the deepest part with H2O and when the ducks discovered it...PARTY CENTRAL! The ladies have such individual personalities. Campbell is always the first one in and the last one out of the water. Pewter is the most cautious and hesitant.Yesterday it was warm enough to let the ducks out of the strawbale greenhouse which has been their winter home. With no heater it was a comfortable 70 degrees in there! Outside it was a refreshing 48 degrees.

In the pic below, Pewter is the last in line. Khaki will do whatever Campbell wants to do, while Pewter needs to be convinced first.
Pewter is all healed up from Farmer trying to play with her (as his chew toy) last November. Sometimes having animals can be very expensive. Ouch! those vet bills!
Here they're trotting back to their summer home. It's so funny to see their little tracks in the snow.

Remembering when they slept in the chicken tractor... Good times.

The hens didn't come out of the greenhouse even though i left the door wide open for them. I guess they were so glad to have the place to themselves!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dear Reader,

Much of my life has been spent laughing and playing with these hysterical women. I am so happy that their blood is my blood.

Here's Momma Mia y La Abuela in their classic mode.

In this video my mom really really wants me to help her with her computer woes. She's writing about what it was like for her to grow up in the Antonini compound in Argentina (where she was spoiled rotten). She doesn't want us kids to forget that Don Juan Antonini would let anyone in need come stay at their campesino. Don Juan would assign the drifters crazy nicknames such as "the leaky sink" or "the can of worms hobbler" so that when the police came around asking about so-and-so he could honestly answer that he didn't know them. All i remember from those days was that my Nona (the woman who raised Abuelita) would take out her false teeth to try and freak us out and she would steal my mom's nice dresses and refashion them into adorable outfits for me. Nona died right before my little sister Tammy was born. She was weak for a while and then she'd get better and would tell us about her delightful conversations with Tammy's spirit. She was the first (but not the last!) to describe my sister as sunshine.

There are so many stories and when i feel colorless i just ask Abuelita or my mom to TELL ME MORE.

thanks for letting me tell you a bit.

This post is also an invitation. If any of you ever want to drink yerba mate, play cards, and learn choice phrases in castillano...

a big beso on your cheek,
la media gringa

p.s. i am so proud of being half-latina. and if one more person complains to me that Provo pioneer neighborhood schools are being overrun with spanish speakers as if its a bad thing...(ok, only one person has said that to me and then apologized.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This is a movie we made this weekend based on one of our favorite people who creates enchantment wherever she goes.

i wrote and art directed, the o'lover edited and music directed. for a contest.

here 'tis.

OOPS! I TOOK IT DOWN & now put it back up

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

i need a donut.
the kind that's a pillow to sit on.
as i broke my ass yesterday. (dear reader, i really hope this has never happened to you.)
while falling instead of snowboarding.

"hey oliver, did you know i could whine sooo much?"

"honey, you broke your butt."

yesterday, pre-broken cola, i organized the downstairs painting studio. 'cause we are getting into gear around here.

trying to limit the whining but OWWW!

p.s. i know i'm being super self-absorbed lately. my posts will become more entertaining. soon. i hope.

p.p.s. read this post from azucar.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

here are some stills from a short that won us that prize & that went with the song that bjork sang.

i have mountains of respect for film makers. especially after o'lover and i got a tiny taste of their world when we had a wild idea to participate in one of those film contests. the kind where you pick a genre and a mandatory statement out of a hat and run around trying to come up with any half-baked idea and return a few hours later with SOMETHING.

the genre that chose us was "science fiction"

our statement was "excuse me sir, is this your pancreas?"

our idea was that everyone on the planet died except for one lady who miraculously survived, kinda went crazy, and decided to repopulate the world with little dolls. so handy that i happen to have a bunch of dolls.

it was so much fun traipsing around Satan's Land (graffiti central). and it was super fun to spray paint our outlandish statement onto a concrete wall.

but it was not fun wincing and holding my breath while viewing our movie on the big screen during the showing
and in retrospect i do think i could have ACTED a little sad that i was the only one left alive after the apocalyse.

would have been so lonely without you

Sunday, January 6, 2008

a room of my very own

secret passages and hidden rooms are high on my list of favorites. sometimes guests are surprised when they find out the cottage has a second story because the stairs are tucked away in a very unlikely cabinet. it's a steep winding climb up to two cave-like rooms in the attic with all kinds of cubbies and hidden storage compartments.

but one of the rooms i almost never enter. every time i see the door i just want to BACK AWAY. like my whole life will crumble if i go in there.

maybe my life will unravel if i let myself have my own space. maybe i'll forget to come back out and pay the mortgage or feed the chickens or kiss my husband.

maybe i'll make some paintings and sew some stuff and imagine all sorts of things from the comfort of my very own safe haven.

come what may i'm daring myself to go in.

closing the door and still...breathing...

"Oliver can you hear me from in here?"


Saturday, January 5, 2008

fat slice of yesterday. drank "throat coat" tea at breakfast.
entire body is feeling it from snowboarding session with O'lover the day before.
thought about infatuation with hugh laurie (started loving him pre- dr. house when he played wooster).
thought about diagnostics.
thought about how andi is a fabulous mom.

at work helped Jen Harmon Allen dismantle her show.
scoped out potential sites for a bronze sculpture that Jen's planning. her son jack loved the inside of the covey arts center in a be-still-my-beating-three-year-old-heart sort of way.

Below Jason Lanegan, is setting up his reliquaries.
made a really fast dinner. liver and onions. thought about how when i was younger there was no way the mashed potatoes wouldn't have been sculpted into towers and ponds. went to the gallery stroll. started with the nola dejong sullivan show. then back to the covey arts center. it's fine that male artists revere and explore the pregnant female form. But i'd so much rather see women artists -who are mothers - who know - sculpt what its like to BE pregnant. and i prefer the venus of willendorf.
at mode boutique.
jen suflita drew the above portrait directly on the wall.
itty bitty dog.

thought about how i love the quote on cass's blog header.
thought about how we all have untold stories.
smiling 'cause mystery and stories are pretty cool.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

ringing in 2008!
On New Year's Eve we took a tiny break from our latest bout of construction projects for a fancy dress up party. We were there so we could see D/B/C/M in real life! (first time to meet the D and he is nice with great hair and lucky to have B who is just as otherworldly shockingly lovely as always and the C and the M...they are gentle and good souls, and immediately triggered gush mode. they are sooo cute!)

the house was dimmly lit, as you can see in this picture of legs. hopefully it was dark enough for no one to see the bits of joint compound and splatters of paint in my hair.
most of the time people were passing the guitar around and playing the songs they used to play before they got married and became responsible. i nudged O'lover and asked him when he was going to be in a band again.

and hmmmm...interrupting this story to ask again. "Oliver when are you going to be in a band again?!"

i don't think he can hear me.

but i might soon sound like a broken record. as i'll keep asking that question.

creating 2008-
just. want. to. drink. from the marrow. oh yeah. and have a rock star husband.
Still wringing out 2007

One of my favorite things about this last Christmas was that my mom

canceled the presents.

She felt inspired by the story of stuff. (a shout out to Suzy G who talks about the story of stuff on her blog.) I'm sure limited Christmas gift giving will resume next year. But for now, it was a relief. It felt heavenly to relax at home all together and not play bumper cars in the mall parking lot.

Torin did open one present. and was not interested. all he wanted was to check out the piano.

And my sister and i have a long standing tradition that whenever we're at each other's house we raid closets and cabinets and take what we like. everything is fair game. my ambition is to make sure i'm stocked with something she'll want! this time it was a pair of pants from mode boutique.

our favorite phrase this season was "regift!" as in don't you want to regift that box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts to me?

Now if only she would regift me Mr. T. but she's stingy that way.

A simple and really good Christmas dinner
by Ollie

It's funny (as in huh not ha) that I'm posting recipes. 'cause lately I take a back seat in the kitchen.

One of my favorite food books is "like water for chocolate". Know the book? The recipes in it contain ingredients like (paraphrasing) two leaky wooden buckets full of salty tears and blood stained handpicked petals from 150 roses, that sort of thing. The recipe below is not labor intensive but still theatrical enough, because beets have a certain lasting effect.

Beet Fritata

1 cup beautiful red purple beets, chopped into small pieces and steamed until tender
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 eggs (yay for the ladies bridget and beverly simone who had stopped molting!)
1/3 cup piima cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
pinch dried oregano
pinch dried rosemary
sea salt and pepper
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

In a well seasoned glossy black cast-iron skillet, saute the onion in 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil until soft then remove with a slotted spoon. Beat eggs with cream and seasonings. Stir in onion and then beets. Melt the remaining butter and olive oil in the pan and pour in egg mixture. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until underside is golden. Sprinkle cheese on top and place under broiler for a few minutes until the fritata puffs and browns. Cut into wedges and then serve with wine sauce.

Spiced Apple Fig Wine Sauce

1/2 cup wine (we used the spiced apple fig wine because it tasted like Christmas)
4 cups beef stock or broth (add gelatin if from can)
2 tablespoons arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Add wine and stock to the cast-iron skillet you just slightly scraped out after making the fritata, bring to a boil and reduce to about half. A spoonful at a time, add the arrowroot mixture until desired thickness is obtained.
And i forgot to mention the bottle that the wine comes in must be handsome.
Why Christmas was so great...

featuring Abuelita and her dancing cow, Mama mia, TamTam, Chris, the Callis gents, and Mr. T himself.