Monday, June 30, 2008

House Concert

pics from the colby stead house concert a while back:
thoughtful group.
Many thanks to beautiful Colby, Amy, and Steven for their incredible original music.

dear reader,

It's at times like this that i wish i could write like her because then i'd aptly describe the effects of colby's music on my heart. and you'd understand.

but instead i'll write like me and just thank James T. Russell, the inventor of CDs. Because of him i can listen and listen and listen to Colby's music any time i want!

you never know who'll show up...

...on sundays which have become an informal open cottage & garden day. You're welcome to come. It's best around dusk.

(disclaimer: this is not THAT garden show. if you need the garden to be perfect before you see it? uhhh... call first! and i'll tell you what i tell myself. PERFECTION is a myth manufactured to make us rely on drinking copious amounts of calming substances such as kava kava. which is really very tasty. but might have adverse effects such as turning skin green.)

Your kids will be put to work eating strawberriesfeeding the ladies...snacking on sugar snap peas...
and if you're a slightly older monkey you can climb into the pirate's nest.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lumina was here.

and it was a dream.

and it's taking me ten billion years to try to paint a picture of what Lumi is like.

i haven't touched the room she stayed in because that could be bad luck against my secret plan to have her return. Plus that room now has the most pleasant beautiful scent. AND IT MUST NOT BE DISTURBED. Some people have the most amazing scent. AND THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW IT. and i am reminding myself that i just read the twilight series. but still need to back off the whole scent-of-a-human thing.

But it really was nice to have lumina here. she is the most fun you'll have. and she has so many stories because she does all the things i dream about doing. like wouldn't it be nice to teach at a university in Seoul and then get to know everything about Asia because you're always on an excursion and you just ran the half marathon on the Great Wall of China. and you have thousands of friends because everywhere you go people see your vivaciousness and want to be near you.

Lumina and Sus at Gallery OneTen where Lumina taught us how to do Korean brush painting.

Here's she's planting a "lumina" plant in our garden. It will produce white glowing pumpkins. And i swiped this pic from lumina because i love it!
she's off to boston, her new home, where she will undoubtedly make her mark in the art world as an artist and gallery owner.

Pomelo maté

In the summer it's nice to drink some yerba maté using a grapefruit as the gourd. O'lover brews mint tea, adds ice to chill, and mixes in agave nectar to sweeten. We add the "yerba" to the cored grapefruit, pour in the mint tea, and drink it while squeezing the sides of the grapefruit and releasing more juices into the mix.

It's delicious!

Abuelita assumes that we use sugar. But today there was no fooling her.

Does Abuelita like it?
No! She does not like it! Too "amargo" (bitter).
Crap! She really doesn't like it! What are we going to do ?! (We had run out of agave nectar!)

Abuelita! I'm taking pictures. Please smile for the camera! Pretend you like it!So we added some "miel" (honey) but Abuelita would not touch it. I don't think we'll get away with using a sugar substitute ever again.

But the rest of us, including AJ, really liked it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The inside of my fridge

Actually looks a lot like this. (although our fridge hosts some lurkers: a large jar of kombucha tea that we "feed" daily and O'lover's fermentation experiments which we're holding hostage until they develop frontal lobes and petition us to be set free). this pic found from Designers' Block UK
my girlfriend Ardell (by her beautiful example) influenced me to not use tupperware (no plastic!) so leftovers are stored in ceramic bowls with plates as lids. all of my gorgeous baskets? used to be Ardell's. She is a minimalist with fantastic taste and few possessions. But Ardell is a magnet for all things beautiful and watching her in action is like watching a martial arts master in tune and ready to strike the right person at the right moment. Watt...CHA! This rare and artful waffle maker is!

speaking of all things edible...these are some of my favorite posts about food:
my sister's lemon lush
azucar's food manifesto
and this lois denominator post makes me nostalgic.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Loving Neighbors and O'lover is the best shrink

My dear kind sweet generous neighbors gave me this vintage apron and some still warm homemade granola. Well, like Jethro Tull sings "i'm as thick as a brick" and i ate the delicious granola. Will i never learn?? (schmallergies...)

Also, Richard and Claudia Bushman, the famous LDS writers and Columbia profs, came over. We chomped on fennel from the garden and talked about their latest research projects. They are writing about farmers. How cool is that? I almost asked Richard to sign my copy of Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling... next time.

And today NO KIDDING, Ollie said this off the cuff :

[first me, feeling very anxious] Oliver? Am i flippant?
No. Why?
I really know i'm waaaaay tooooo flippant.
Ok, you need to suck the chi out of that story and reanimate it into something that empowers you.

I offer up Ollie for hire as an amazing therapist. Man-o-man can he nip insecurities in the bud (while kinda giving you homework to be a better person.)

My Girl

My girl Rachel sent me this pic from our recent pre-party before the open garden before the house concert that we recently had (more pics of that are on their way).

Rach does not read this blog. This means i'm talking about her behind her back.

Rach always complains that i'm not as fun as i used to be. i agree. i'm pretty much nose to the grindstone these years (or sometimes its like i've been injected with sleep syrum). But Rach still loves me. How do I know? Because recently when i had my cashed paycheck stolen from my bag Rachel insisted i come up to the Kura Door Spa in Salt Lake where she treated me to a massage and oxygen facial by a woman named Isis. How could i be sad after that? Not possible.

That being said, i'm a greedy unsatisfied wench who would be really really happy if Rachel started reading my blog. 'cause that feels like a million bucks!

editor's note: for the first time EVER ollie doesn't like my post. he doesn't want me to use the word wench. but i like the word and have to use it sometime.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

because it's a contest

salt lake is ollie's territory. he graduated from the U. he knows EVERYONE. including the super talented guy who painted this enormous self-portrait.
Artist Ben Wiemeyer and Ollie. It's important to notice the wooden bar at the bottom of the painting. It is loaded with razor blades. everyday the bar is raised a foot and the razors slice through, until by the end of the show the painting has been shredded. How do you feel about that? disturbed even a little?

well i wasn't at all as disturbed about that as i was when the barista asked me if i was a missionary.

i laughed so hard. but seriously, what gave her that idea???
do i look righteous?
what do you mean by righteous?
i think i need a better hat!

Present Tense

Ollie's bro has work at the Salt Lake Art Center.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Today in the Studio

Hey ollie?
I’m turning into Bob Ross.
Fine. then I’m turning into Thomas Kincaid.

And then Ollie gave me a high five.

Did you know that high five’s could be sarcastic?
Did you know that I could paint happy gardens (instead of the usual trouble.)?

birds' view

this pic is from the tippy top of the Covey Center roof. it was tons of fun climbing up there. lots of wires, tall ladders with itty bitty rungs, and hatches.

for more views of downtown please check out what awesome guest bloggers such as Zina, Ryan, Rob, and Enoch have written on the downtown blog.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Check your horoscope here.

I won't make you read my horrorscope but its uncanny how Rob Brezny, of Free Will Astrology, is infuriatingly right. Damn him and his freakity freak charts!

Anyway, my sun sign calls for me to do a sort of confessional (not in so many words).

Here goes.
If i can manage it.

Forgive me bloggers, for i have withheld.

have you forgiven me yet?

ok, thanks, bye!

let's begin again. i can do this.

Hey Ollie? What should I confess?
Why do you feel like you need to confess?
(i hand him the City Weekly with astrology reading.)
tick toc.
Uhhh. you do withhold a LOT.

k, people in all seriousness. i wish my blog were the kind of blog that helped me feel closer to people. like so many of your blogs. truthfully, my own intensity scares me shitless. but i've never experienced anyone else's intensity being too much for me.

so once upon a time, i got divorced. did ya know? and i was such a mess. like of the worst kind of mess. i went to stay with my sister in san francisco. and she picked me up from the airport. and i was such a mes (really!). but there is something inside of me that will not allow me to be a mess in front of little kids. and Tammy picked me up with her friend's 9-year-old kid in the car. so we sang songs from the Carpenters and you would have never in a million years guessed i was a disaster area. faker, that i am. i ended up staying with the nine year old in her house near the Presidio while all the adults were at school or work. It was my salvation!

This awesome kid took me (who was i fooling? i must have been like a zombie!) to a circus for Kaiser Permenante employees. And she totally lied that we were related to one of the doctors and got in! Then we went from booth to booth and she told everyone my story which her parents told her (which i would have never done) and pretty much every single person at that fair hugged me and told me their sad stories and gave me their e-mail and phone numbers and hugged me some more.

and i thank ashley (the then nine year old). because she made sure the universe embraced me and made me a coping human again.

Here's Ashley now.

"[the] mandate in the coming months is to overcome those challenges as you learn to express yourself with ever greater candor

and clarity

and clout." -Rob Brezny

Mercy! Okay okay!

p.s. i hope to hear from all you other scorps soon!

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
How well are you capitalizing on this year's unique opportunities, Scorpio? Now that we're halfway through 2008, let's take an inventory. One of the most important things you're doing, I hope, is increasing your effectiveness as a communicator. What do I mean by that? While it's true that you Scorpios gather information more skillfully than any other sign, you aren't necessarily as blessed when it comes to sharing information. In part that's because you believe that keeping secrets enhances your personal power. And in part it's because you sometimes forget that other people aren't as clued in to what's happening below the surface as you are. Your mandate in the coming months is to overcome those challenges as you learn to express yourself with ever-greater candor and clarity and clout.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the statute of limitations long passed

the contrast between the beautiful old and the new fugly. makes me choke with emotion. i love provo.

this pic triggers a revealing memory.

once ames and i were sunbathing on an old roof in downtown provo. but we had quite forgotten that we were stark...uhhh, fully visible from the nuskin building. don't worry, when we realized our accidental full exposure to dozens of offices we were able to reposition ourselves behind swamp coolers and vents so the pervs couldn't see much. maybe.

photo credit: troikkonen

answer one or the other:
do YOU love p-town?? yes, no, maybe so?
have you been nude in broad daylight in downtown Provo?

Friday, June 13, 2008

calling a truce

mostly i like to hide away and enjoy my meals 40 feet off the ground, in the treehouse. where i can't be tempted.
by grains.

seriously, one crouton and call up an exorcist.

but i've made a pact to treat my gut right and be patient with its custom needs.
and i thank the garden for providing!

this is what we've been eating lately...
kale, turnips, eggs, butter lettuce, rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, radishes, mezclun mix, mustard greens, mushrooms
and fat stubby carrots.

a friend recently pointed out that ollie and i are not on the 100 mile diet, we're on the 100 foot diet. its heavenly to open the back door and have all you need for a fresh meal.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This and That

On Friday
On Saturday:

O'lover and Momma Mia will be having a joint booth at the Farmers Market for the sheer joy of it. I will be there selling fair trade organic cotton long-handled totes with the Provo's Farmers Market logo in non-toxic ink. Cause its my job.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

so it goes

hey blog friends,

Come over to our casa this Sunday, June 8th, K?

the garden is pulling all sorts of edible tricks; luscious lumina* is in town (back from 3 years in Asia) and she's staying at our place; ; PLUS colby stead and amy robinson (who just released their new CD) will play some amazing music. come early at 6:30 to hang out/feast in the garden or climb into the tree Pirates' Nest aarrgh. Music will begin at 7:30.

our address will be disclosed if you e-mail me at raquelsmithcallis(at) Or i suppose you could wander the streets until you come upon our "florence green" cottage (thanks, geo). either way we will be delighted to see you there!

*you can meet Lumina at her opening reception this Friday, June 6th from 6-9 PM. Her show is called "A Modest Distance" and is installed at Gallery One.Ten. (110 South 300 West, Provo)