Sunday, August 31, 2008

i really really like her... here she is again. this time with heirloom tomatoes- the runts of the abe lincolns and brandywine pinks that we sold at yesterday's farmers market. 2 rows deep.
bottling blisses me out. asian pears from mcmullin orchards are next.

painting update: buckling down. i love paint. the losing-track-of-time-and-space flow is happening. i'm mostly thinking about lusciousness and lick-ability and indignance and all the things i love. and i doubt i'll have a drop of paint left over.

and every time i agonize about friday's due date oliver orders "compost that stress" or asks "have you tossed your anxiety into Pluto's cauldron?".

i stick my tongue out at oliver a lot these days.

and mutter "compost THIS" (in a good natured way that may not translate well in a blog post)

and flip him off behind my back.


Friday, August 29, 2008

not even spandex and a cape could save me now

On the left we have a pigeon-toed superhero with ripe tomatillos; on the right we have O'lover cutting a panel of forest stewardship certified wood from the Home Despot.

behind the scenes we have mwah, painting faster than i've ever painted, thinking "wouldn't art professor Wulf Barsch shake his head at my current mantra 'more art faster'?"

but in my defense, i have a show on September 5th at Coal Umbrella, and have just gotten around to making the art.

it's necessary to fling paint like a whirling dervish.

our dog farmer just sat on one of the very wet paintings. his butt marks look kinda cool.


p.s. the superhero painting, a gift from Colby Stead. Thanks Colby! the tomatillos, courtesy of our garden.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NieNie auctions

Design Mom has declared it...

Nie Nie Day!

All proceeds from 165 + auctions will go directly to the Stephanie & Christian Nielson fund.

Here's what we're auctioning:

A day, an evening, a night stay in the 3-story pirates nest, argh. It'll be all yours. Complete privacy, mosquito netting, hammocks, magical lanterns and white lights. Perfect place to propose, to repose, to compose, to conquer foes. A relaxing get away and yet you're within walking distance of La Dolce Vita. Better yet dine in! Order pizza and make them deliver to your ships ladder!

Designed by a general contracter, this enormous tree will wrap you up in a safe birds eye view of downtown Provo. There's a porch, a commodious lounge, and a sleeping loft.

And if there's a chill in the air just lower the pail-on-a-pulley and Ollie will load you a pot of his heavenly hot chocolate. You've got to see this place glow at night! In the leafy treetops!

Bidding ends on Sunday at midnight.
Please bid in full dollar increments.

more pics: (adorable kids and random items in photos not included. power available, and one bar of internet reception.)

inspiration central

In the next few weeks before the autumnal equinox i'll be blogging about beautiful local gardens and the people who tend them.

i'm starting this project without one iota of neutrality but will still try to be scientific about measuring inputs and outputs to determine the true cost of gardening.

(especially weighing in factors such as IMMENSE PLEASURE. of course.)

I already have a list of gardens to visit but you can send recommendations to grittyprettyatgmaildotcom.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

harvesting and putting away

Have you heard of the book, The $64 Tomato? -where the gardener had one expensive failure after another. Well, it's an oddity, not the norm. The truth is you can save a lot of money by growing your own food. And it's leisurely and enjoyable, thus far, knock on wood. Another truth is eating eggs from your own hens is safer and healthier than eating the eggs of industrial farmed chickens. (And the eggs are prettier not to mention the good karma of happy hens.) this experiment in backyard harvesting has given us far more returns than what we eat and i would garden regardless of cost effectiveness.

So now that the garden is grown what will we eat all winter??

NPR interviewed a woman who had one disaster after another while trying to preserve fruit. I laughed at the stories and then worried. Until now, I've always been part of an assembly line of canning, I've never been the mastermind. Could I manage by myself? Would my kitchen be subject to exploding glass jars and flying arcs of ruined syrupy produce? That would stick to the walls and floor. Shudder.

And though my manual put the terror of botulism in me i proceeded. It helps that I live in Provo, Utah, the capital of canning where you can knock on almost any door and there is someone who can ease your mind and encourage your efforts. I promise. (Thanks Carr family!)

Between Ball jars and Kerr jars, the Kerr are the loveliest. The glass looks old and wavy.
The jars could have been filled with more apricots but they are sealed! Victory! (thanks for the fruit, Cutries!)

Since then i've canned peaches and tomatoes and the dehydrator has made us tons of prunes. o'lover packed a freezer full of his plum ice cream (thanks for the fruit, Ramseys!)

All this good fortune has gotten me dreaming. And someday, someday i want to enter the Utah County Fair. Until that thrilling day i lust after the skills of others for canning and growing. check out this cabbage:

that 20 lb bowling ball should be in the olympics!! what a winner!
(thanks to Adrian Hinton for letting me handle that glorious cabbage, what a privilege!)

my bros...

...have cute kids and game-for-anything wives.

my bros are quality people. they are hilarious, loyal, and excellent fathers. they've got the perfect balance of machismo and tender-heartedness. Growing up they were so protective of me and Tam that it makes me look forward to witnessing the fear of anyone who tries to date their daughters.

me and my older, very buff bro, smitty
last month at the is my bro-in-law Bubba.
Bubba is everyone's indisputable favorite. favorite what? I don't know but he just is...favored. Sometimes when he blesses supper, his cool prayers rhyme.

i love my bros!!

(subliminal message: please move to utah. please move to utah. please...move to utah.)

Besides being carried around by your adoring aunts...

...there are other ways of getting around without touching the ground.we had such a great time doing this as kids. but i tried the other day and...i can't do it anymore. my limbs are all the wrong lengths for frictioning off a standard hallway.

on the lookout for some pixie dust (or a wider than standard hallway)

Monday, August 25, 2008

she is 9 (yikes!) but...

...if Aunt Tam & i had our way the Scootch would never touch the ground. we would pass her from arms to arms in a relentless scootch love fest!
(she's very lucky we refrain from pinching her cheeks and squeezing her too tight. BWAHAHA!)

Totem Pole

My little brother isn't... little. In this photo he had just come from behind and swooped me on his shoulders before i could protest.

and then *breathe and blink* miss acrobatic H was on board. she has absolute trust that her daddy wouldn't drop us.

I second H in her complete faith in her pops. Marcos didn't "drop us" then and the best thing is... he never will.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Scootch Toot Tale

Squeezing the ScootchWhat was that? Could it be? No... (doubtfully)
Uhhh...maybe i won't squeeze this one.
Acting and Captions by Auntie Quellie, the Scootch, & H.
Photos by Smitty

hugs & interminable squeezes,
auntie quel

photo taken at 5 a.m. this morning- she's gone now

and i miss my dear sunshine sister. like... profoundly.

atleast i've still got this lady:

i want to be just like her.
(at Provo's Farmers Market)
energetic, fun, indomitable spirit. those traits plus the impulse to lift ones arms while having a photo taken must be dominant in her genes because all her grandkids inherited them.
Happy Birthday tomorrow Momma Mia!
We LOVE YOU like crazy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

cradle of love

he's my edward and i'm his bella.


no, but really. o'lover "completes me".


"oliver?? Please think of something i could write to convey how much i dig you!"

"as you wish."

"very funny, ollie."

well, i really like him like that but for those of you who haven't read Twilight or seen that renee zelweger movie, or the Princess Bride let's just simply say:

this is a picture of handsome O'lover on that blessed August day we married.


when i started blogging -SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE- so i gave up the nightly 10 o'clock news; there's no time for both. plugging into the blogdom as an alternative for information has brought a lot of laughs, sweet satisfaction, and a better sense of community.

And i got to discover deLIGHTful, heavenly blogs such as the nienie dialogues. and what would have been a tragic minute and half news story about three people in a plane crash, a little blip on the screen, is now much much much more.
to me. and to all of us.
because we LOVE her through her beautiful blog.

my visiting med school sis is explaining and assuring everyone about recent quite miraculous advances in burn treatment.
my twenty month nephew goes around saying "nie nie?" "nie nie?"
my nine year old niece, hours before she had to hop on a trans-pacific flight, was planning a bake sale to help.
and the rest of us cry and pray and hope and laugh with cjane. and are so glad that their family is very strong. and we read the comments, coming in from all over the world, on cjane's blog and are so proud to be a part of the blogdom.

there are so many wonderful people out there.

if you want some enchanting inspiration visit the nienie dialogues. read the archives.
if you want fantastic humor and the latest updates on nienie's recovery visit cjane's enjoy it. take a look at those rockin' archives.

with all my emo half-latina heart,

p.s. see you at kiwanis park on saturday evening! with our best wishes and orange and green balloons.