Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a few words as september passes

on sunday evening we attended a lovely baby blessing ceremony for aurora echo dawes. as her parents' doula, i had the honor of seeing aurora come into the world one full moon in may. it was wonderful to be part of her special ceremony too, where i got to ring a tibetan bell and read a lovely quote about krishna's mother looking into her son's mouth and seeing the entire cosmos before her.

doesn't aurora look charming in her snowy handmade duds?

aside from that bit of excitement, i have very little to write about these days. except that i just scored a brand new oster deluxe rice cooker on freecycle. we eat a lot of rice around here, so i think it will be quite helpful.

the weather is lovely. the squirrels have knocked down all the sunflowers. the cats have fleas despite their flea medicine. the house is dusty. the lawn is freshly mowed. and once again, we have been tempted by another rental home out in the countryside. oh this one may be irresistible. and i am crazy with indecision.

stay tuned!

Friday, September 26, 2008

the dampening

it's cold, wet and dark today, after a night of heavy rain. i welcome it. i'm ready to pull out the cold weather clothing and hunker down. though i'm sure we have some balmy indian summer days ahead. and oh the leaves. i look forward to the beautiful transformation ahead.

i did manage to pull off some of my autumn cleaning. tashi and i performed a thorough dusting and purging in her room a couple of weekends ago. it felt so good to attack some of her grungy corners and clear out some old toys left neglected for a long a while. i also did a thorough dusting of the living room, but of course, it only took a day before a nice fresh layer had settled in. it is very difficult to keep this house dust and cobweb free. my workroom remains cluttered, but i at least cleared the path so one can enter and get to the desk or sewing machine without risking their life. i have been on a sewing hiatus for a while, but have some projects in mind and just need to begin. it is the first step that is often the most difficult.

we remain completely unsure of what is ahead when it comes to a residence. after having a carpenter friend with some inspection experience come over and point out all the external cracks in our concrete block house, we are discouraged and have decided not to make an offer on it. we've been noticing increasing signs of settling & water damage in this house, and it really doesn't seem like a wise choice. so the residence of our future days remains uncertain, as does whether we will be renting or buying.

i have been largely entertained and haunted by the election. i have been counting the days to the debates, and now mccain might not even show his chunky cheeks full of lies. have any of you seen the katie couric interview with sarah palin? particularly the outtakes where she talks about the proximity of alaska to russia and her confused response to a question about the bailout.

ah, interesting days these!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

tape dispenser inventor

today i found two empty tape dispensers in the craft supply basket and unceremoniously threw them in the trash. a little while later, tashi inquired on their whereabouts and was soon digging them out.

after some focused coloring and cutting, she presented me with this: mama and her baby carriage.

see baby inside? mama sort of bobs along.

if that wasn't enough, she also fashioned this sleigh driver with elfin passengers and reindeer.

that is the creative genius of my daughter, friends. she will salvage just about any mundane item, and turn it into something delightful.

here is a box masterpiece in the works. a sea stage of some sort.

Friday, September 19, 2008

groovey purpose & politico thrifting

i haven't been thrifting much as of late, but this morning felt the calling. so i bundled off to salvation army where i found a couple of treasures, the above dish being one. i am a sucker for the atomic snowflake. also, unlike other dishes, we could use a serving platter or two around here.

but my question is, what is the purpose of the grooves? is it to capture drippings so that they all pool up in the little bowl at the end? is it just decorative? the little bowl at the end is too shallow for dips and the like. and so i am a little mystified.

the dish has no name brand stamp, so i can't look it up anywhere. and you get a funny combination of things when you google "serving dish with grooves." please do leave a comment if you think you know what the grooves are all about.

while i was at the thrift store i heard this conversation.

irrational, gruff voice: "you should vote for mccain."
calm, rational voice: "it's against my principles. i want someone who is honest and consistent with their opinions."
irrational, gruff voice: "if obama wins, i'm going to put a sign up that says, 'i told you so.'" (meaning, he thinks everything will fall apart if obama wins?)
calm, rational voice: "well, i don't think we would do too bad with either, but it is mccain's running mate that concerns me."
irrational, gruff voice: "oh palin, i just love her."

it is the, "i just love her," that completely makes me want to double over and vomit. i can see maybe (though it is a stretch) if she is sitting next to you at a pta meeting, or she works down the hall from you, or if she is a fellow hockey mom, and you "just love her." but we're talking vice president!!! we're talking, potential president if old man mccain drops. i just can't believe people think that, because they "just love her," she is a capable world leader.

hopefully, we will not have to put her to the test.

scenes of the week

from the bread machine to tashi's plate

my neighbor claims that the mushrooms have been chasing loki around the yard

tashi and i went to see michelle obama, jill biden, lilly ledbetter and tom perriello speak in front of newcomb hall at uva. unfortunately, i didn't bring my new fancy camera with the telephoto lens. or my flip video camera. gots to get my multi media world coordinated!

oh, and earilier in the week i pulled a doula all-nighter for a great birth. but those photos are confidential!

michael palin for president

Sunday, September 14, 2008

avgolemono love

this bowl of white froth might not look like much, but it is my ultimate comfort food. avgolemono is a greek soup of chicken broth, rice, egg and lemon. one can take the long route, and make the stock from scratch from a whole chicken. or one can take the short route, like i did today.

quick avgolemono soup

precook some rice, or use left overs. i used white basmati.

boil a quart of chicken stock. i made mine by adding 1.5 tblspns of better than bouillon paste to four cups boiling water. add a bay leaf and a little pepper.

add in 1/2 to 1 cup cooked rice, depending on how rice-thick you want it. if you have some cubes of chicken you can add them too. but frankly, i like the pure and simple broth.

blend three eggs in the food processor for ultimate froth. or use beaters. or a whisk. i find that the food processor makes an amazing froth though. some people use just the yolks, but i use the whole egg. add in juice from one lemon, about 1/4 cup, and blend.

take about a cup of warm broth from the soup and very slowly add it to the egg lemon froth while continuing to blend. add very slowly so the froth doesn't fall flat.

slowly add the froth back into the soup, stir, and heat for about five more minutes.

eat, and find comfort.


yesterday i woke up to find little mushrooms in our yard.

today i woke up to find that they had grown considerably.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

let's hear it for small family business

i've discovered a new vendor the last few times i've been to the farmer's market. a family, making fresh tortillas on the spot, is serving up tacos and quesadillas at $2 a pop. i've had the steak taco, topped with onions, cilantro, cheese and salsa verde, with a lime wedge on the side, a delectable little fresh morsel. i don't think they have a name on their booth, but they are hard to miss, what with the tortilla making and all. they have little quesadillas also, and some other options for taco fillings. everything is $2 and well worth it.

that was how my saturday began.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

testing out the new toy

i read through the camera manual, mostly. sometimes my eyes glazed over. it's been so long since i've used my old 35mm manual film camera, that i've forgotten about f-stops and apertures and iso's. i certainly can set this camera to auto and click away, but sometimes that feels like cheating. i think i need a class! here are some of my first shots with the new camera.

any photographers out there have tips for working with a D-SLR?

Monday, September 08, 2008

monday moment

that is not a picture taken with my new camera. we just picked up a memory card today, and now i am reading through the manual and learning about all the complicated features. it might be a while before i really feel like i know what i'm doing with it. in the mean time, my wee camera will keep on clicking.

i am so over the humidity. i'm ready for lots of rain, and brisk fall days. this heat is making me sleepy. all day long.

i'm pretty sure that tomorrow a tirade of fall cleaning will commence. out with dead bugs and cobwebs, old books and softies, 1,000 origami frogs, dust, dust and more dust, clutter in each corner, dead electronica, and cardboard boxes that hold air. tashi has a thing for cardboard boxes. she'll color them. and then they will just float around the house with no real purpose. if she finds that i've disposed of a masterpiece, she will be scarred for life. it's a sensitive business, this.

as for the country home i posted about below, we've decided against it. sad, but true. our current landlord is willing to be reasonable about the rent increase, and is also willing to negotiate the selling the price of the house we're in. so we're going to give it a chance. in the mean time, the sweet rental by the river will find another family. it just wasn't the right time for us. sniffle.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

lucky lady

i am still in disbelief that my fantastically supportive hubster gave me this incredible gift for my birthday. my little digital fuji will always hold a special place in my heart, but i think this new camera will enable me to take photography to another level. thank you so very much, dan. it is a big gift, from a big heart. and he did it knowing that, while everyone sits around patiently starving, pictures of dinner will only increase!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

first day fifth grade


i just wanted to show off two knit things that have recently arrived at our doorstep. first there is the adorable sweater from yia yia. she made this while recovering from detached retina surgery and declared legally blind by her doctor. the striped square on the body of the sweater is a pocket. tashi would model it, but it's just way too hot for that!

and this hat is from our friend, poet extraordinaire, lisa jarnot. it is one of several that she knit for her 100 hats project. each hat was created in memory of a soldier who has fallen in iraq. i asked that she knit one with an endless knot in memory of tibetan american, lance cpl. tenzin dengkhim.

om mani padme hum.