Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Merry

No we didn't get a new puppy... But I am feeling pretty great about the holiday, so I would say this was a new puppy kind of Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Favorite Holiday Link #3

ELF Yourself....

Talk about hours of fun. I just received one of these as an email Holiday greeting and I don't care how many times I have seen, it still makes me laugh!

Wanna see my elf family?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Favorite Holiday Links #2

Okay, I am totally supposed to be sending out my holiday cards, but as of 9:35pm, I have only two addresses and no idea where my address book may be in the mess of boxes called my basement. I realized that with cell phones and email, I don't have a single address other than my Nana's.

My new favorite link (as of 9:37pm) is...

30 second bunny theater!!!! They reenact Hollywood classic in 30 seconds using animated bunnies!

Frigging Brilliance!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

The C in Christmas stand for Create and NOT Consume!

Today against my better judgment, I hit the stores. The first store, Target, was after the rush, so I managed to get in and out with my sanity intact. Not so lucky with the next 3 stores and by store 4 I had decided to make or find alternative sources for all of my gifts and promptly headed home.
{All the cards lined up to dry on the windowsill}

Despair turned to jubilation when my honey and I spent the better part of the evening watching Elf and making our own Holiday cards. It is amazing how productive and energizing creating can be...

{Our Holiday Monkey is stamped onto recycled National Geographic pages }

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Post Later...

November has been a rough month and I am just now getting my equilibrium back. More post later...

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Our beautiful boy Linus passed away this week and we feel lost and full of sadness once again... My partner and I have dealt with some really big losses in the last few years, most recent her father earlier this summer. Throughout it all the dogs have been a constant comfort, reminding us to laugh and love no matter how bad we felt.

Linus has been with us for 9 years and part of me just assumed he would always be there. I take comfort knowing that we spoiled him rotten, that he never wanted for kisses, chest rubs, new toys, homemade food, and a warm bed (our warm bed).

I believe that pets are angels and we are blessed for every moment we get to love them. Our vet said Linus was a "once in a lifetime" dog and I am thankful for that "once in a lifetime" chance I had to love and be loved by such a wonderful friend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Project for this weekend

I just love this idea, over at Design Sponge. The local wine store Esquin sells all their boxes for $3 each. This past summer, I purchased several as planters for herbs. But this idea is perfect for the empty wall in our kitchen.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Space to Breath, Space to Create, Space to Grow

Help, I am drowning in clutter. We moved from a large house to a smaller one with "more usable space". The problem is, at the old house, I had plenty of places to stick junk where I did not have to deal with it. At the new house, anything that does not have a place is in the way. I have given away or sold hundreds of things from our old house and our store (we closed more than a year ago). I find myself feeling scattered overwhelmed and hopelessly unproductive. More stuff has got to go. Loving this office at Design*Sponge.

October begins my kick to finally purge the clutter, so today as I was moving boxes around, I came up with this new mantra.

Everything I release gives me more space to breath, more space to create and more space to grow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Counting Calories

After an eye opening visit to the nutritionist, I was shocked to learn that my average daily menu is over 1000 calories more a day than I need. Lately I had been forcing myself to down snacks of Honey Crisps apples and cheese, only to discover that my apple was 3 times the size of the average portion and the cheese was 4 times the amount (a whopping 450 calories for a snack).

I always thought that dieting was just straight forward, but today I realized it is all about strategy; getting the most bang for your buck or taste for your calories.

I decided to create a Happy Good Guilt Free Food List of items that are good for me an allow me to stay within my calorie limits.

Happy Good Guilt Free Food List

  • · Cucumbers
  • · Broccoli
  • · Lettuce
  • · Any Steamed Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • · Popcorn (100 calorie bags)
  • · Red Pepper
  • · Shrimp (in moderation)
  • · Garbanzo beans (in moderation)
  • · Roasted Garlic
  • · Hummus (in moderation)
  • · Jicama
  • · Frozen Grapes (apparently these are supposed to be amazing)
  • · Blueberries
  • · Egg Whites
  • · Celery
  • · Watermelon
  • · Cheese (low fat or small piece of high flavor)

I love the structure of this list; it is almost like a Project Runway style challenge. The combinations are endless and so much more satisfying than my usual stand bys.

For instance I can have:

  • · Watermelon Blueberry Salad
  • · Steamed Broccoli with lemon (this is heaven if you love Broccoli)
  • · Sliced Cucumbers with Poached Shrimp and a little touch of rice vinegar
  • · Scrambled egg whites with herbs
  • · Red Pepper slices and Hummus

Mind you these are just snacks. I still get my regular meals (which are always to be ½ vegetables, ¼ protein and ¼ (good ) carbs. So really there is no reason I need to ever feel hungry and according to my nutritionist, two of these snacks a day will still be much less than my one apple and hunk of cheese.

Just wanted to share… this is such good info, I wish someone had told me this before I packed on the pounds.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Good Mornings

One of those work weeks that seems too impossibly long to have only been 5 days. You know the feeling where logically something should work, but it doesn't. The feeling where you are working something out in your mind and until you can physically manifest it, in your mind it will stay. This of course means, that even though you are snug at home, your mind is still at work. All adding up to one terribly long week.

Also did I mention I kicked my Mountain Dew habit. I was up to 3 cans a day. Even though it was diet, it left me awake, but puffy with bad skin and just an unhealthy feeling. I have been clean now for 6 days. And I hate to say it, but I feel 100% better.

This of course brings me to my good mornings. I love love love early mornings. I used to be one of those crazy morning people that jumped out of bed with a smile at the crack of dawn. Soda, caffeine and late night TV slowly ate away at my morning time, until suddenly, I found myself struggling to get out of bed at 9. This led to late nights at work and a vicious cycle. So I am retaking my mornings.

I believe the perfect morning starts early with a deep breath and happiness at being awake. Throw in a healthy breakfast, a relaxed pace and a sense of accomplishment by 9:00 and I am a happy camper.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember 9/11...

I remember where I was when I heard. I remember the helplessness I felt. I remember my pledge to be a better human being and practice kindness at every opportunity.

Car Shows

Spent the weekend at two different car shows and then walked the Labyrinth at Seattle First Baptist .

Friday, September 7, 2007

Maps help us find our way...

Whenever I feel a little lost, I consult a map. And if a map does not exist for the place I want to go then I create one. The map, I am speaking of, is a sort of metaphor for getting from the place you are in your life, to the place you want to be. I have made these maps for as long as I can remember and they have been immensely helpful in helping me find my way.

Life Map Tutorial

  1. You will need scissors, magazines, a glue stick and some sort of poster board. I normally cut one of the large size poster boards in half. Now a word about magazines... select magazines that contain pictures that speak to you or inspire you. I also like catalogs, particularly ones that contain items I frequently drool over, or lifestyles I covet.

  2. In selecting images, it is a map not a gift list, so focus on more than just objects you would like to own. I like words, views, colors, and especially facial expressions.

  3. Don't limit yourself to printed material. I often find myself incorporating buttons, single earrings, ribbons and wrapping paper. Anything can trigger an emotion, I once found myself inspired by a napkin.(I kept it for years, I swear it was the softest disposable napkin I ever saw... it made me think of practical indulgence.)

  4. Arrange items on the paper until you have a pattern you like. If you are a perfectionist or have other issues, give yourself 15 minutes to arrange things and then just glue it all down.

  5. Place your finished life map in a prominent area where you can reflect on it daily. Ask yourself: What does this map say about where I want to go? What do I need to do right now to get there? I have found these maps quite good at seeing me out of hard or depressing times.

It is amazing how when you know which direction to go you can find your way out of hard times.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Up River...

The Duwamish river winds its way through the southern end of West Seattle and her many neighbors to the south. You won't see it on any travel brochures or quirky "Welcome to Seattle" postcards. Actually years of contamination have left the river an active superfund site, with murky waters and strange bits of beached debris. But it is getting better.

What a perfect way to end a melancholy summer floating down a contaminated river seeing beauty at every shore. A giant reminder that although life may not be perfect, there are countless opportunities to find beauty and joy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Profound Discovery 1-4

Profound Discovery # 1

Nothing gets you from where you are, to where you want to be faster than action.
Saying I want to do something, planning to do something, even buying things in preparation to do something far fall and pathetically short of actually doing that something.

Profound Discovery # 2

Consistently perform any action and you will see results.
These results can be positive or negative, depending on the action, but rest assured if you perform something consistently you will see results.

Profound Discovery # 3

Action * Consistency = Change
If you seek change; determine what you want and the best action taken to get there and then perform that action consistently until change occurs. Once change has occurred you will need to consistently perform that action to maintain.

Profound Discovery # 4

How you live is essential to your happiness.
It does not matter how much money you have, where you live, your social standing or marital status. It is how you live, love, laugh, breath, absorb, navigate and exists in the world around you. Ignore the HOW and nothing else will matter.

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's ME!

Don't ask me why, but I have always wanted to go Parasailing... the opportunity arose, and I jumped in with both feet. I suspect if I had stopped to think about it, my little inner voice would have talked me out of it. Instead, I listened harder and I was shocked to hear an even smaller inner voice that I have been ignoring for some time. This voice whispered "you can do anything you set your mind to". So I went Parasailing... IT ROCKS!

The amazing thing about accomplishing something you have always wanted to do, you feel empowered to keep reaching for those dreams. It is like high octane for your self confidence. The trick is to keep trying new things and never let that can do feeling subside... So what is next on my list? Stayed Tuned!

*Note: Any discussion in this post about hearing voices is metaphor. As a general rule of thumb, I do not hear voice!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tomato Centipede

I love the thought of starting every morning in my garden. In reality, I start most morning cursing the snooze alarm and running for a shower. But this morning, I woke up almost on time and took the time to enjoy a cool morning stroll amongst the weeds, grass and fading flowers that so lovingly encircle our home… A good thing I did, the one little tomato that had escaped my accidental vegetable killing spree ( I forgot to water for a week) was now bursting with tiny delicious jewels.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Share = Good

Surfing the net is like finding money on the street. I am always tickled at the cool things I find and then wonder immediately if anyone else knows they exist. Do I share them? Really not as often as I should, so here for all to see are the Internet finds that are rocking my boat this week.

100 Great Tips to Improve Your Life

Number 1 of this list was so brilliant, I can't wait to read the remaining 99.

Frazier and Wing Mobiles
I love the concept of recycled art, but often feel I would never have it in my home. Until I saw these mobiles. Now I am eagerly awaiting the next rainy day when I can spend 6 hours flipping through and cutting up old magazines to make my own creations. I think I may try some vintage National Geographic. You know the ones with the really cool tint on the pages.

FD's Flickr Toys

100 more reasons to start uploading to my long neglected Flickr account. (Check out the cool pass I made for North)

Color Hunter

Color makes me happy. So if you don't yet have a personal color palette, this is the place to go.

It's like having an incredibly hip cool decorator friend who sends you link, pictures and advice all day long.

Happiness Project
Not totally sure what to make of this site yet, but one thing for sure, I can't stop reading it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

If that's soup you're cooking it must be fall...

I don't care what the calendar says, what the weather looks like, or how many leaves are on the ground, the moment I start craving soup, it must be fall. And so after two weeks in which we have had Turkey Chili, Tomato Beef Stew and Chicken Soup I now pronounce that Fall is here. "August" you say, mere details... It is Fall.

Last week, I harvested the rest of the onions and despite their petite size, they are delicious and perfect. I have been caramelizing them in butter as a base for each of the soups I have made recently. And although it is a strong flavor, it makes for a warming savory broth, without a having to add too much salt. When it comes to soups, I use vegetables for everything. Carrots minced for sweetness (great in chili), hot pepper and tomatoes for a little extra bite (beef stew) and puréed potatoes to thicken the stews (much tastier than corn starch).

It has been such a treat to have so many fresh vegetables available for cooking. We get a few things from the garden (onions, herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers) but the local fruit stand and grocery store have been stocked with some of the best produce I have seen in years. Happy to report I am definitely getting my 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Craving Crafts...

Despite my best efforts I caught my partner's summer cold and I am miserable. But to make matters worst, the weather has turned colder (60's) and I feel it in my bones that we are in for an early fall.

Deep breath.... I LOVE FALL... The weather begins to cool after a hot summer and I am practically giddy with anticipation.... Fall is the season for home arts... redecorate the house, prepare for holidays, knit a scarf, sew a hat, cook a stew... I could go on and most likely will in the coming months.

My studio/craft area is still under construction and I am in a mad dash to have it up and ready to go by September 1st. Meanwhile, I am taking classes, to master the many skills that have eluded me... Last week jewelry, next week sewing and the week after knitting.

This year my goal is to make all of my holiday cards and presents, (with the exception of a few things for my sweetie and my family) I have enough yarn, fabric, buttons,beads and assorted dodads to stock my own craft supply store.

In years past I have done scarves and bath salts. My plans for this year blow these old stand bys out of the water... I have page after page of sketches and plans for stuff the likes of which many would easily pay real money for....

But first, I must get better *sniffle* and dig out my craft room..... In the meantime, I am really digging this site and drinking lots of Theraflu.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

P-Patch # 2

P-Patches are the community gardens in the Seattle area. I love the concept of a community garden and personally I feel that gardening should be a required course for all children in grade and high school. Gardening teaches compassion for living things and an understanding of how truly precious plants are to our survival.

This summer I have challenged myself to visit and photograph 10 P-Patches. When I walk through one, I am so totally relaxed. I just click (my camera), smell flowers, sigh a lot and breath (very deeply). The people I meet are always extremely friendly and seem to understand the sense of peace I feel. There is no loud music, yelling etc.. just the occasional bark of a dog and the sound of a rake on gravel or peas being picked.

Note: I think it is almost impossible to take a bad picture in a P-Patch... Almost like it is some Digital Camera Bermuda Triangle. So these shots are just a sample of what I saw today.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Heat Induced Mania

Like some flammable gas, heat brings my drama up to all time dangerous levels. As the temperature rises just like water, my little drama molecules begin to speed up banging together and eventually escaping, not as steam, but as projectile drama and heat induced mania. This is exactly what happened tonight...

The first night in a long time I found myself not having to work into mid evening. Not wanting to waste a second but totally agitated by the heat I did the following between the hours of 6-9pm

  1. Watched CSI- (seen this one 50 times so it barely held my interests)
  2. Yanked out painting supplies and canvases
  3. Convinced reluctant partner to join me for a Pollack inspired painting session
  4. Painted lovely picture called four seasons- (guess what it is about) hers much more Pollack like than mine
  5. Cleaned up supplies and set out paintings to dry
  6. Watered garden- (front bed needs to be mulched but I am holding out for cooler weather)
  7. Ate dinner- (My wonderful partner made a casserole with chili (homemade chili, rice, salsa, cheese and guacamole) - ate too much...
  8. Grabbed magazines and designed Thank you card scrap book project for my grandmother- (must find time to actually make this over the weekend)
  9. Vacuumed house (upstairs) loving our new million dollar Oreck (not quite a million, but almost!)
  10. Back outside to pick remaining onions and garlic from garden (lord forbid they stay in the ground another second)
  11. Impressed the hell out of myself with how lovely garlic(very tiny but edible) and onions look- set them out to cure in the now setting sun
  12. Turned on computer- called guy from craigslist on a whim about a 1962 Nash Metropolitan- convinced myself and partner (although she might just be humoring me) this is a great deal.. (yes the middle of a remodel is a perfect time to buy a project car) then proceed to make arrangements to see car, possibly tow and find help to restore it
  13. Download and send digital pictures from our weekend trip to Partner's Aunt's Farm (vintage tractor is killer!)
  14. Silently berate myself for not getting anything done
  15. Decide I am exhausted and go off to shower and blog

Did I mention I hate the heat!!!! Got to go, think I can get in a few more things before I loose consciousness.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Garage Sale War Stories

I love stories and stories of garage sale finds are some of my favorites... Check out Antique Road Show Stories for some great inspiring tales.

My Personal Favorite Finds of All Time:
  • 1918 Knitting and Crochet book complete with patterns to make for soldiers
  • 1950s Knitting Pattern book with amazing hats and sweaters
  • Vintage 1950's table cloths in their original packaging
  • Box of ladies vintage handkerchiefs for 10 cents each
  • A bulldog hat pin 1960's for only 25cents (my sweetie collects them and loves dogs)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Where have I been? Why celebrating ...

Strange how easy it is to lose oneself in a world of expectations and societal norms… My birthday came and went, so disappointed was I with the state of my life, I ate the cake but did not truly celebrate. But the true gift came later… it was not wrapped, or bought or made. It came from experience (age is a blessed thing) and I am quite sure from things my mother tried to tell me (and finally succeeded)…

The true gift was realizing that it is not the why of life, or the what of life, the when of life, the where of life or even the length of life. Rather… it is the how… specifically, how you live

So… to make up for my sad little birthday, I am celebrating everyday…practice so that next year and the years to follow I can do it right!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Julia Child Kicks Ass!!!!!

My lovely partner doesn't just read biographies, she studies people. Rather than just read a single book about a person, she reads a variety of books about the person …biographies , autobiographies, fiction, music, movies, recipes, art work… anything to really get a better sense of the person and a better understanding of their life and work. I used to find it quirky and amusing and just go my own way, but lately I discovered if I go along for the ride it can a mind-blowing learning experience along with just loads of fun.

I am not sure how she got on to Julia. But this journey has included Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell , My Life in France by Julia Child and Appetite for Life by Noel Riley Fitch. Of course we eventually found ourselves watching the original (1962) The French Chef with Julia Child.

Now, I am your normal consumer of food porn. I get my jollies by watching the food network and checking out the centerfold of Bon Appetite. I use only real sea salt. I know the difference between Panko and Pancetta. I own a Kitchen Aid mixer in a trendy color. And my cook book collection is… well let’s just say size does matter and mine is way bigger than yours. I always considered Julia Child an out dated, PBS relic, who just didn’t stand up to the Emerils, Nigellas and Marthas of the world. WRONG!!!!

On her worst day, Julia could cook circles around an entire army of celebrity chefs and make Martha, Nigella, Ina and Rachel cry for their mommies. The woman yields a knife like the Bruce Lee of the culinary world. In one episode she chopped potatoes so fast I was spell bound. She actually tasted the food with her fingers. She uses butter and olive oil, (because FAT is good). She champions carbs (did you know that a cup of potatoes has the same calorie count as an apple) And my favorite… which I always suspected, if you drop something in the kitchen and no one sees it, it didn’t happen. All this of course in an era where tomatoes did not exists out of season, nor oranges. (no oranges… I can’t even fathom a reality without oranges 24/7 and I hate the things), crappy table wine, no artisan cheeses (she uses Swiss for a substitute for everything) and hold on… no microwaves!!! Oh and wax paper… real wax paper. It was like watching MacGyver cook a presidential dinner with only a stick of gum, bobby pin and a pound of carrots… In short, Julia Child is a cooking goddess… I mean THE Cooking Goddess . So do yourself a favor, do the world a favor and watch and worship the original… and in her own words remember… cooking is about “courage” and “not cutting off your fingers” - Bon Appetite-

Friday, May 25, 2007

Awesome Time Waster

You have to try this game. You are Jimmy Olson and your goal is to get a camera shot of Superman... Just try it :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Food Porn Tuesday: Asparugus Crunchies

Asparagus is lovely this time of year and over the last few weeks we have enjoyed it in Quiche, plain and my new favorite, Asparagus crunchies (okay this is strictly what I am calling them). I found this recipe at my local grocery store and it tastes as good as it looks!

  1. Take the freshest asparagus you can find. Wash and then snap it, fresh asparagus will naturally snap at the point where it is toughest, so no need to chop off the ends. Pat it dry.
  2. Whip up 2 to 3 egg whites, enough to dip the asparagus spears. Dip the spears
  3. Take Japanese bread crumbs (Panko). The finer the better, if they are too big, just pound them a little with a mallet. The recipe said to add sesame seeds which would be great, but I had none and the recipe came out fine.
  4. Dredge dipped spears in the fine bread crumbs and lay them out on a cookie sheet that you have lightly covered with olive oil.
  5. Set your oven to a high broil. Place cookie sheet with spears in the oven for 2-4 minutes. Roll them over to the other side and do another 2-4 minutes until they are lightly browned.
  6. Serve with a dipping sauce; I used a store bought sauce of Vidalia onions and figs.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

So many choices and just one weekend

I am practically giddy about the coming weekend.

Seattle Area Yarn Store Tour
20 shops 3 days and all the yarn you can knit... did I mention the free patterns... Last year I only was able to make it to 2 stores.. This year I am shooting for 7.

Seattle Cheese Festival
This time all the cheese you can eat... I used to hate cheese until I really tasted the good stuff.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Wonderful Mother's Day Gift

Mother's day is a little hard for me… My mother passed away several years ago and I feel resentful of the people callously complaining about spending time with their mothers... something I would give anything to have just one more time.

I will be 38 next month and still find myself struggling with whether to have a child adopt or continue on my current path with a loving family made up of a partner and 5 wonderful pets. We are child friendly people with lives very compatible for children; to top it off my partner would love to have children. So what is the problem? Not a problem exactly, more like a hundred little questions, a thousand what ifs.

So mother’s day has become this weird anxious, bitter, sad day… where I question my choices and miss my mom. I was just trying to get through it and then I received a wonderful gift from my partner.

I haven’t started reading it yet, but it is comforting to know that others struggle with these questions as I do…

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Shafted Flicker

I think birds are totally amazing and I am constantly surprised by what flies by the window. This is a Red Shafted Flicker and he is a woodpecker. I have named him Piglet, although I am sure his real name is much more regal sounding.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Food Porn Tuesday

In honor of this wonderful post by my dear friend suttonhoo and this killer recipe from Anali, today is Food Porn Tuesday.

This recipe was created for my sweetie who wanted pancakes without the hangover. She dubbed them Pan Khakis and we have them at least once a week. The pictures are all mine, I think food porn may be my gift. :-)

Pan Khakis or Cloud Cakes

(The Light Fluffy Almost Flour Free Pancake)
This is a recipe I adapted when we were trying to find a light healthy alternative to carb laden pancakes. They can be eaten savory or sweet and don’t weigh you down or tire you out like normal pancakes.

1 cup cottage cheese (Any curd size- I prefer small)
4 eggs
1/2 cup flour ( this can be any kind of flour I use organic wheat)
6 tbsps butter (melted)

For sweet ½ to 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
For savory 1 teaspoon fresh chopped herbs or chives

1. Melt butter
2. In a blender combine cottage cheese, eggs, flour and butter. Add extra ingredient for savory or sweet and then blend until smooth.
3. Heat griddle (I use butter or light olive oil)
4. Pour out small amounts and cook pancakes

Makes 12-15 pancakes depending on size ( I like them small 3 inches across)

To Serve

For Sweet
1½ cups mixed berries sweetened with 2 tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup
Chocolate shavings and whip cream
Fresh fruit

For Savory
A dollop of cream cheese with smoked salmon ,
or fresh salsa

Note: These reheat nicely and will last 5 days in the fridge, I store in container in wax paper.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Blink and it's May

Not sure where the time has gone,but I am still here. Knee deep in dirt and loving every minute. I am searching for ways to reclaim my time, so I have what I need for my favorite activities including Blogging and gardening. Speaking of which, here is one of my favorite plants in the garden, Euphorbia.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Green Days

My plants from Logee's arrived and I am just on cloud nine. Two days and countless hours before I could get my order down to a respectable size (meaning price). I wanted everything, but settled on Giant Papyrus, Passion Flowers(2 types, one is fruiting) and these.

If you decide to order, be prepared things are small and dainty when they arrive, but according to everyone they grow like wildfire and are giants by mid season. I unpacked everything and nestled them in one of the terrariums in my office.

I planned to garden tonight but ended up walking a few doors down to my friends to covet and drool over her lovely front yard. She has a Eucalyptus to die for and tons of lavender. Plus a rose that looks like it is on steroids... *dreamy sigh*

Prior to this, I made an amazing dinner.. as follows:

  • Scallops and Prawns with leeks and butter
  • Asparagus risotto with spring peas (recipe from here)
  • Wild greens salad with strawberries, walnuts and balsamic vinegar
In keeping with our healthy eating, most vegis were organic and portions were tiny (by my calculations) and lovingly arranged on the plate. Tomorrow we are having Yum Yum Turkey Curry ( A Bridget Jones inspired creation) with roasted Cauliflower. Totally loving this healthy eating thing....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie....Unless you have your camera handy

Cruel, I know, but our little pup Milo is so cute when he sleeps I just can't help but snap a picture. Coincidently, sleeping is the only time he is even remotely well behaved. What can I say, we love the bad ones.

I have never seen this much personality in one dog… perhaps because there are probably 2 or 3 of them in there. My favorite look I have yet to capture on film is when you call him or tell him to get off the couch and he gives you this look, like “Milo isn’t here right now”. Just as quickly the look will disappear and Milo is back… Where he goes and who is looking out from his eyes at that moment I really don’t want to know. Then of course there is the staring thing he has recently combined with a complete lack of personal space. (He likes sit very close to people)

Isn’t love grand? Anatole France said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

If you would like to awaken your own soul I recommend Petfinder (this site is currently prohibited in our house). If you want your very own Milo, I recommend searching for pets described as “special” or pets on their third and fourth homes. (At 10 weeks of age we were Milo’s third owners and the people at the pound waived all the fees, because we promised to never return him.)

I really believe that there is no such thing as a bad dog, just good dogs who make bad choices. And no matter what the choice, every creature just wants to be loved and cherished.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Political Humor for Your Ipod

Looking for a little fun political humor to grace your MP3 player? Check out the Capitol Steps http://www.capsteps.com/

PS: Awesome Card Generator at http://www.blyberg.net/card-generator/

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Best use of an appliance to create a web site

All these years I have been using my appliances to cook on or store food, when I could have been using them to create amazing web sites....

Friday, April 13, 2007

Everything but the pink flamingos

There is something so amazing about the act of planting. Perhaps it is one of the few chances we have, to give something back to the earth…

Last weekend, I started a vegetable garden; a small part of my larger Peace Garden. I prefer to grow edibles in containers and raised beds, but I will also be using edibles as ornamentals in the front yard. The raised beds will contain a rotating crop of beets, kale, chard, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, carrots, garlic and edamame.

The metal containers are from the local chain hardware store and they are excellent at reflecting light and keeping the soil hot. They will be home for raspberries and strawberries. I am still scouting locations for my tomatoes. Not completely sure which part of the yard gets the longest amount of sun.

I am most excited about the front yard. The color scheme is hot pink, orange and chartreuse. In addition to euphorbia, roses, bamboo, New Zealand flax, Green Envy zinnia, pampas grass, Heuchera, honeysuckle and this really cool shrub with pink tinged leaves, I am also using rhubarb, Swiss chard, runner beans and lettuce.

Am I going a little overboard..? Most definitely…but how often does one get their spouse to agree to a hot pink, orange and chartreuse front yard.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Something Alarming is Happening to Me....

You know how they say big changes start small and then one day you wake up and you are different…? I am afraid it might be true.

So today…

  • I started my morning with a flax seed, strawberry yogurt shake
  • ate an energy bar before happily tackling my lunch time training session
  • did 30 minutes on the treadmill even though I had forgot my IPod and there were no good magazines
  • thanked my trainer for a great workout instead of calling her a sadist under my breath
  • selected my sandwich at lunch based on the calorie and carbohydrate count
  • went to Starbucks and left not with my favorite Frappuccino with extra whip, but with a Venti Passion Fruit Ice Tea without sugar (just a little Splenda)
  • worried on the drive back to office that Splenda might be the devil
  • left work on time to go to PCC (local food coop)… at the market, I
  • Selected organic strawberries over the perfectly good on sale strawberries from Venzuubekpakistan or wherever…
  • purchased 9 pounds of organic sweet potatoes for the homemade dog food I make for our dog (he’s allergic to gluten)
  • Bought organic fair trade light brown sugar, because “if I am going to eat sugar it is going to be the best!”
  • Came home and cooked a vegetarian Mexican casserole with brown rice, sweet potatoes (not just for puppy), corn, salsa, guacamole, organic black beans and cheese… (super amazing and like a million servings of vegetables in every bite)
  • enjoyed the meal even though it had no meat or corn syrup
  • finished cooking for the night, by making organic blueberry muffin loafs with (the really good fair trade organic sugar) yogurt and assorted healthy stuff


Exercise, organic healthy food… If it weren’t for the fact that I also had an Easter Peep and diet coke I would swear I had been replaced by some pod person…

On the good side in the six weeks I have been exercising, even thought I have only lost 2 pounds, I HAVE reduced the indicator levels for my blood sugar, lowered my blood pressure to normal and can do 30 minute of cardio without puking… Plus I am totally eating better and actually like some of the exercise stuff…

Big changes start small…

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Photo Fun

I am having the greatest time with my digital camera. Not sure why I waited so long to get one. This is actually 5 photos laid together to create a panoramic view of my back yard. Consider it a before shot gardening season officially began for me last weekend.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Growing a Movement: The Peace Garden

Despite the rain and occasional blasts of cold air, it is quite clear that spring is about to explode all over the PNW. At this point I am pretty sure that the early spring has been brought about by sheer force of will; a collective wish from the thousands of us weary of the winter.

I am fond of planting plants in memory and honor of the people I love. For my mother I plant Lilacs and for my great aunt roses. As an ode to my childhood I plant Lady’s Mantle. (I think it looks like clusters of Chartreuse fairies when it is in bloom and that reminds me of being a little girl). I planted an Olive tree in a pot one year, a horticultural cry for peace. It is not fairing so well in its lonely little pot, so this year I think I might give it company by planting a Peace Garden.

During WWI and WWII Victory Gardens were planted throughout the US and UK as a way to boost the morale of citizens, supplement rationed food stores and take some of the pressure off of food supplies stretched thin by the war effort. But I don’t want to support the war. Don’t get me wrong, I support our troops but want them home rather than fighting and dying.

A Peace Garden is about life. It is about celebrating the things that bring us all together. It is about earth, air, water, food and sun. It is about memories of the past, hopes for the future and the ability to be present in your own environment.

Imagine this…

What if everyone with space (yard, patio or windowsill) planted a Peace Garden?

Tending those gardens would lower their blood pressure and relieve stress. Children who tended these gardens would learn compassion reducing their likelihood for violence as they grow older. The food they grew would be a healthy addition to their diets; extra food (like Zucchini) could be donated to local food banks reducing hunger. Some of the flowers grown in these gardens could be shared with neighbors, strengthening community. Of course Peace Gardens are organic and the greenery would provide an environment for backyard wildlife. Collectively, all the good Karma from these Peace Gardens would elevate humanity to a higher state. And finally Global warming would be completely reversed due to the abundance of new plant life. Okay I am totally reaching here… but it would still be amazing…