Sunday, February 27, 2011

Munching on roasted brussels sprouts. I cut them in half, sloshed a little olive oil in a baking pan, threw the sprouts in, sprinkled them with thyme, rosemary, and salt (forgot the garlic, not a big deal) and roasted them at 350 until the outsides were toasty brown and green. They are sooo good. Some of the leaves fall off and are sort of like potato chips!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

cat stevens - Hard Headed Woman - Tea For The Tillerman

Listening to this!

Had a good day hanging out with two of my sons, my friend and her son, and her goats! :-)

The Pink Floyd CD I not in, so I put a hold on it and got Cat Stevens instead. Actually I put a hold on a few things...but did not have the nerve to put one on the book I really wanted to read. I read it about 8 years ago and although it isn't for women, I still found it fairly informative and learned a lot from it....they have one for couple that I want to get my hands on, too....but the basic idea with any kind of tantra seems to be that you have to do the exercises and invest the time and work yourself in order to reap the benefits cooperatively.

And the other book I wanted had to do with Waldorf education. I am fascinated by Waldorf/Steiner stuff, from the schools, to Camphills villages to biodynamic gardening, and have seriously considered seeing what it would take to teach art in such a school...but every time I try to read one of these books, I get turned off by what seems like spiritual philosophy to about "astrality" and crap like that. I like what they do, a LOT....but the spiritual aspect is what scares me away from this lifestyle. I guess I feel that with what we already know exists, we have plenty to deal with and work with. There really isn't a need to speculate about other stuff when we don't utilize what we have or already know about. If I could get past that, I could totally see myself living and working at a Camphill Village. So my solution is to take what I do like from this school of thought and use that....I know it's cherrypicking, but the whole thing of packing cow manure into a cow's horn and burying it to get extra good compost for the garden by mixing a tiny bit of that with water.....that kind of thing just seems like a lot of hooey to me!

The turkey stew turned out incredibly well...mmmm.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Is it just me or do the guys from Dire Straits sound like they're drunk and or stoned?? I wanted the Pink Floyd, the album that has "Shine on You Crazy Diamond"....but I couldn't find anything at the library that I didn't have checked out already (dark side of the moon). Love k.d. and Melissa and Elton, but I needed something different....and they didn't have Metallica either. I could have tried the Robert Plant, because I loved the album he did with Allison Krauss.....maybe tomorrow.
Cooking....(I feel better now...100% better..)...I had a turkey in the freezer that I had to take out to make room for half a venison. I am not a huge turkey fan, but it had to be used, soooo....what to do with the dumb thing?

I cut the breast off and am stewing it with rosemary, garlic, onion, thyme. The legs, thighs and wings are roasting. The back is being used to make broth, with the stems from the fresh rosemary whose leaves were used for the breast and the roasted pieces, and leaves from leeks and carrots, and the stems of parsley. The back will be boned, of course, don't want to waste that meat, but the primary purpose is to make a nice, rich broth, so that pot is stuffed full of veggie leaves and scraps along with the meat.

I like the breast meat, but I don't like how dry it turns out when roasted, so that is why I thought something like a nice herbed white wine sauce with mushrooms and wild rice would be nice....I can't find the mushrooms yet, but I am not done looking! The plan was to cook the carrots, celery, leeks, and parsley once the meat is cooked, because I don't want dead looking veggies....and am still deciding on the wild rice. I could just as easily use quinoa. This does away with the big turkey carcass dessicating in the fridge that happens when I roast the whole thing.

Gotta love having an anxiety attack while surrounded by people in a public place....Ugh.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Here is what a Saanen dairy goat looks like. I should clairfy that this is not my image and I have no idea whose goat she is, but she's lovely!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sigh....what else....

I'm getting better with using the spindle, making stronger yarn and at a much faster pace than before. There is a hat I want to make, and it requires yarn in black and 6-7 other colors. I'm not following the colors that the pattern asks for exactly, because I like blue far too well to have it appear only once! So far I've made pthalo blue, violet, and red, and now I am working on a deeper shade of blue. I already made that beautiful, beautiful shade of blue that I like the best, but it doesn't go into this hat. I'm almost done with the hat that has that shade. For this hat, the colors have to sequence like this: black, red, violet, blue, green, yellow, golden-orange, black. Or I could, green, blue (pthalo), blue dk, violet, red, orange, yellow, black. Yeah. I think I will do it that way.

So I washed the wool and it's drying on a rack above the bathtub. Then a friend came over with half a deer. Most of it was in chunks but some of it needed packaging. Then we cut up the rest using a Saws-all, which was a new experience for me. I spent about an hour talking on the phone to a lady who I called looking for fiber goats, and she has Saanens....and by the time we were done talking, I had my heart set on getting into Saanens instead! Saanens were my first love in dairy goats...they have such a calm, gentle personality, so mellow, quiet, and easygoing but still intelligent. There is something soothing about a Saanen. The only thing is, I can't have a goat here. I would have to board her with my friend, so I couldn't just walk out my back door and go cry on my goat like I used to.

And I bought garden seeds to plant. I don't really feel like it today, but the seed rack was there....and I can't resist seeds. Tomorrow I'll try to post what i want to plant and what I have.

And I am coming up with all kinds of wacky ideas for structures made with cattle panels. :-P

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Melissa Etheridge - Breathe (music only)

So I ran out of milk (organic, fat-free, cow) to make my morning coffee with. The usual procedure is to heat a pint of milk, make espresso, and add the espresso and Ghiaradelli ground sweet chocolate. Milk is essential. Damn! Then....then I remembered that you said coconut milk was good. I don't think you said it was tolerable, you said it was good in coffee. I am trying hard to enjoy this concoction, but it is not something I would ever do again unless I ran out of milk Maybe it is the brand of coconut milk (cartoned, SO delicious brand).

Speaking of food and health and all that jazz, they ran a cholesterol/lipids test on me last weekend. My HDL was 66 (they said that's good) and LDL was 122 (apparently not so good). I cannot figure out why my cholesterol is not better.....but with a history of high blood pressure and heart disease, it has to come down. sigh.....and frankly, I really don't want to give up the meat because now I am truly enjoying it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Elton John - Recover Your Soul (single remix) (1997) With Sing-a-Long Ly...

Elton John - Blue Avenue

I can't believe it!!!!!!!!! Elton John is coming to play at the Spokane Arena on April 8th!!!!!!

I have got to be there. Have to be. I have wanted to see him in concert for over ten years now. This is on my "list of things to do before I die" list! I can't believe it! Elton John! :-D

This made my day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If - Bread

I couldn't get the ones that load faster. Sorry. Anyway....I've always liked this song.
MMMmmmmmm.......... I am eating the best dinner right now. Plantains with cold jasmine rice. Doesn't sound very good? Well, I like jasmine rice soooo much that I will eat it cold. I will even eat it for breakfast sometimes.

What I did:

Cut up 4 plantain bananas, diagonal slices. Melted 3-4 Tablespoons of butter in a skillet and put the sliced plantains in it. Then I poured orange juice to cover and sprinkled a few dashes of saigon cinnamon and I simmered it for awhile. Then it seemed to be missing something, so I thought I would get rid of one of the last cans of horrible "lite" coconut milk, so I dumped it in there. I mean, bananas, oranges, and coconuts are all tropical, so they must go together right? lol.... And I simmered it until the sauce was caramelized onto the slices of plantains and the plantains were tender but still firm.

And am eating it with rice. Mmmmmm.......

Monday, February 07, 2011

I have finally come up with a rendition of tapioca pudding that is close to the one at Winter Ridge, although mine has a stronger coconut flavor and not as much chai spice. Mmmmm.

In ceramics class today, a successful ceramic artist, Gina Freuen, did a demonstration. It was really interesting to watch her work, but after 2-3 hours I thought I was going to go mad if I didn't get up out of my chair and move around and do something. My mind doesn't shut up and I have to constantly pull it back to the task at hand. So for the second half of the demo, I went into the back room and ugly fish. It looks like a sculpin crossed with a catfish. I feel ugly right now, and making something ugly and feeling sympathetic toward it as it's creator was cathartic somehow. I felt 100% better by the time I was done, and because evryone else was watching the demo, I had the room I was in all to myself.

I know it was a waste not to watch the whole thing, but I just couldn't do it. It was interesting, but...yeah. Just couldn't.

I used a different approach on this fish. Instead of laying more or less flat and in profile, its head is turned full face towards the viewer. this necessitated making the head separately rather than as an extension of the body, but it also made for much cleaner, smoother head seams, and the fish is looking right at you. It also gives the fish more movement, more flex, especially since the tail is propped so that it curves down and then out. It has a big gaping mouth, popping eyes, whiskers/tentacles protruding from its lower lip and above its eyes, and sculpin like fins. Oh no!!!! I forgot to add fish scale texture! Dang! It will be a miracle if this thing comes through the bisque and glaze firings intact with all the small delicate tentacles and fins. If it does....I will have to post a picture of it here.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Goals for the next 2-3 years

  • Figure out what the heck I am majoring in and go for that. OK, that isn't very clear cut. So how about....finish my 2 year degree and explore possible mentoring activities in the direction I want to go in (once I nail down what that is, exactly). It would be nice to get the 4 year degree as well, but I really don't want to move.

  • See my son succeed in high school, help him do whatever he has to do to get to that point.

  • And of course, the other kids...but that's more complicated, because I am only half the parenting unit.

  • Start bringing in some money somehow, whether it's a job or selling pottery or growing market crops or whatever, and start eliminating some of the debt I am carrying.

  • Work on personal issues relating to abuse, etc, so that I can live proactively instead of feeling like life is something that happens to me that I then have to react to.

  • I would really like to get rid of a lot of the stuff I don't want or use, and upgrade to things that are made of natural materials and or are handmade or high quality. I am sick and tired of crappy plastic stuff.

  • Get my body back...the physically fit body I used to have. I don't want to be just lean, I would like to be toned and strong again. Also, exercise reduces the risk of osteoporosis. In order to do this, I will have to come up with something that can be done all year round.

  • To grow my hair out longer and see if I can live with it that way. (totally shallow, pointless goal...sorry).

  • I want to resume doing the stuff I used to do; spinning wool, making things, trialing vegetable varieties and saving seeds, collecting herbs for tea, art, maybe even quilting. The stuff that made me, me, if you know what I mean. I need to find all the little pieces of myself and put them back together.

  • And it would be really nice if I could come up with some sort of a viable plan for having an apple orchard and a stable place to grow things, even if this involves a long term lease rather than actual land ownership.

  • Also would like to explore more in the area of food, in terms of cooking and eating it. Son #2 likes this sort of thing, so it is a good mom/son activity.

  • Find some kind of guide to the trails around here and get out and hike/climb them. Would be really nice to learn how to rock climb!! Then I could do Chimney Rock. This would be a good thing to do with my oldest resident son.

  • Get a reliable vehicle...because by then, my poor old truck will be toast! :-(

  • --> Read some of the classic books that I have been meaning to read, the sort that all literate people should read. (according to who?) well, you know what I mean.
Took me 5 hours to go to the top and back....actually I went further than the top, because I wanted to look on the other side. Not very good speed for 7 miles, but it was uphill on ice and through snow... Sandpoint is ugly (although interesting) from above! And there were some beautiful and interesting ice formations.

Anyway, now I am tired. I was the first one to make it to the top today, and no one had been all the way up for a while.
Movie recommendation: Kiterunner
I am going to go back up Mickinnick today...unless I can find a different trail.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I just made a kick ass salad! It is soooooooo goooooood! :-)

And as you can see, I am in far better spirits now, thanks to the Laughing Dog beer tasting guy at Winter Ridge. :-D What was it...the Dogfather? Yeah. That was really decent. Not sure if I like it as well as hard cider or oatmeal stout. Hmmm. I would have to compare them all to know. But I didn't think Laughing Dog made anything dark enough to appeal to me, so I'd never tried anything of theirs before. They had me sample several much lighter beers, and the guy seemed to be gradually increasing the level of darkness. The first one was so light it was blechy. The 2nd one, hoppy, bitter. 3rd one, had a slight dark flavor, but not really worth my trouble or $ (I think that one was Dogzilla). But the that is one I could be tempted into buying.

First though, I need to go and get myself a drinking buddy. LMAO.... far as I'm concerned the bottles are too damned big for me to finish off and I hate to waste good beer! lol. Oh, life isn't so bad after all. :-P

k.d. lang & Elton John "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"

This one won't stream and will take time on dial-up...but I promise it is worth it. I mean, k.d. and Elton? How could you go wrong? ;-)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Blue & Elton John - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

For what it's worth, I try to post only videos that are so small they can be viewed on dialup. I'm pathetic. :-(

Anyway, I actually kind of like this version better than Elton's original in some ways. I must have listened to it twenty times already at the library today.....
Why, just as my wings were healing, just as the bones knit together tightly enough to hold, as the muscles gained in strength, just as I felt the beat of the air beneath my feathers and the exhilirating power of the wind.... I had been healing for a long time, my wounds worsened by the cruelties of boys and men, but finally, I was able to fly again....and you cheered for me, so that even when my new wings were tired, when they ached, I kept trying. When I plummeted to the ground in exhaustion, I would sort my feathers out, preen my wings, and flap into the air again triumphantly.

I had been wary of you at first. I knew what men were all about, could still feel the cold balls of metal lodged deep in my flesh. I hid beneath branches, crept into safe spots, when you were near one day. But then I saw you at the stream, kind to the fishes. To the fish! I had never heard of a man who was gentle to fish before. This intrigued me more than my fear kept me back. But I saw that it was true; you were scolding boys who would have hurt those lovely, flowing fish. The fish were bleeding and battered, missing their fins. Some of them had chunks of flesh torn out of them. I knew how they felt. And I saw that you were different. Very different.

So I hopped along from tree to tree, watching you, wondering what sort of a man this was. I hid in the grass, curious, but still afraid. A child pointed me out to you, said that a bird was following you, and fear cramped tightly, convulsively, in my chest. I could hear the gunshots, feel the sticks thrashing me, already. But you turned and looked at me, not moving, and I heard your quiet voice and felt safe again. Sometimes as I hid in the brush when you walked by, you would stop and look right at me. And in time I gained the courage to venture a few feet out from the edge of the forest when you were near. And I began to see that you carried neither stick nor gun. But there were often other people near you, so I was careful. I knew what people were about, with their rocks and waving arms and hard shouts.

Meanwhile, my wings were growing strong again. They were still sore, they still ached, but finally, I could fly for a few feet. And when you came out I could hop-fly from fencepost to fencepost beside you, and you spoke gently to me. Yes, you were different. Boys came, threw pebbles to frighten me. You yelled at them, and I was surprised. Every day, I stretched those wings, beat the air with them, flew as far as I could. And in time, between flying and hopping, I could perch in the highest trees. But I always came down to see you when you were near, and you smiled. I flew harder, soared on the breath of the wind, smelled the fine sea air. Flying was good. But never as good as landing near you.

I heard their human voices saying that this was wrong, that a bird and a man should not be friends. That I should be wild, that you might hurt me, or that I might hurt you. Humans. Always meddling. Besides, I had never once perched on your shoulder or pulled on your shoelace, although those thoughts had occurred to me. And you had never put a hand out to capture and cage me. I knew that that was not like you, because you were different.

So why, my friend, when they shot me from the fencepost because I chirped near you, when I lay bleeding on the ground, my new wings broken in all the same places...why did you just turn and walk away, not even looking back?