Sunday, October 29, 2006

samhain bread

there have been some magnificent gusts of wind this weekend. yesterday i swept a knee high layer of leaves off of the deck. the night sky has been perfect for star gazing. lately on our various drives to and from this and that i've felt incredibly blessed to be living in such a gorgeous place.

this morning i baked bread. this is a big deal for me. i've had a history of bad luck with yeasted things. once i tried to make hot cross buns that turned out hard as river rocks. another time i made a bread in the shape of a spiral that was so huge we ended up feeding most of it to the wildlife in our yard. usually unyeasted quick breads are the way for me. my patience for kneading is about as high as my patience for knitting. i'm just not the perfect hippy mom.

but this morning i baked bread. it was really the first time trying to bake a basic loaf of bread. and it turned out fantastic. i enjoyed the whole process of puttering around the house while waiting for it to rise, and rise again and rise a third time. i loved punching it down. and i had a great bonding experience with tashi as we took turns kneading. an awesome aroma filled the house while it was baking. and the pleasure tashi expressed while eating her first warm, butter slathered piece was the ultimate reward. i think we'll do it every weekend.

a note on the walls

being of mediterranean origin, i have a real love for the whitewashed wall. the house that we rent was freshly painted by our landlord before we moved in. many of the rooms are a bright daffodil yellow. i know that it is fashionable to have brightly colored walls these days. blood red and edible avocado are all the rage. but i do sometimes miss the elegance of the white wall, the possibility that it holds, the simplicity, the beauty of light and shadows on its surface.

i also have an appreciation for peeling paint. the whole "shabby chic" furniture craze. an old house that is perfect but for its paint. a mouldering barn that can barely be called red. yet as the paint begins to peel in our house, just after a year of its application, i often feel dismayed. huge layers of paint ping to the floor. the ceiling boasts bubbles. where ever a nail is driven in for pictures, paint begins to crack and separate.

today i was taking note of the smooth layer of soft yellow that exists under the peeling paint in the living room. it's as if our landlord knew the paint would be peeling, and left us with an alternate color to look forward to. i'm beginning to have curiosity about how it will all look once the house is peeling more than it is painted. maybe i can help it along.


range of the land

bluffed up against

pine and cedar

massive oak delirium

bearded and strong

Saturday, October 28, 2006


window shatters

double hung

tree same color as building


Friday, October 27, 2006


five days

flannel pj's longer than her

"i can't sleep because my tooth keeps making me wiggle it"

thrum thrum explanation

then a look that says every thing

this treasure box found at the bottom of the stairs

gold wrought
lined in velvet

Saturday, October 21, 2006

ignite the candles at twilight

it is early evening on a relaxing saturday. after a lazy morning of eggs and bacon we rode our bikes downtown. recently dan's sister passed on to us her alleycat, a children's bike (minus the front wheel)that attaches to an adult bike. dan and tashi rode in tandem while i followed or lead, depending on the stretch of road. sometimes i would feel like the surprise parade when we would pass folks amused or alarmed by the two seater.

once downtown we locked up our bikes and did a lap around the farmer's market admiring beautiful pumpkins and multicolored corn husks. tashi was treated to an absurdly decadent caramel apple. i was saving the space in my backpack for the booksale, so i didn't purchase any of the expiring harvest's treasures.

the sale was at the book cellar -- a store that lost its lease in the midst of the sale of the historic building it's housed in. the book cellar offers tons of great used books, some collectors editions, and lots of brand new cut-price books. today their books, which are already half price or less, were reduced an additional 40%.

we compiled a pretty big stack of books which is a bit nutty considering we haven't even an inch of space on any of our bookshelves. we picked titles as far ranging as, "A Pictorial Anthology of Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy" to "The Ultimate Muffin Book." tashi also picked out a nice stack of chapter books including an old hardcover about a cat called "Pyewacket.

i digress but it seems like so many good things in downtown charlottesville get sold to this one rock-industry individual and then the good thing changes. i've only lived in charlottesville a year, but am often told how wonderful the grassy bowl at the end of the downtown mall was before the concrete slab covered by an imposing tent was erected. i managed to squeeze in several $3 movies at the funky jefferson theater before it shut its doors for rennovation. and now he's bought a building called the hardware store, where there is a galley of shops which includes the book cellar, the only place i care about. the saddest part is, after 18 years in business, another independent bookstore must fold its walls and liquidate its books.

we spent the rest of the afternoon in the twisted branch tea bazaar, the beloved slice of india teahouse on the downtown mall that is not owned by coran capshaw. at least, i don't think it is.

far away friend blog

keep an eye on this one! there are sure to be some good stories, songs and photos emerging from it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

(text)ure, (text)ile

the way the weather is today reminds me of oakland, ca, in autumns past. the difference being the mad explosion of leaves.

i am loving it, and i am able to appreciate it even more because i was released early from a work training. i came straight home to be at home. it’s a spiritual experience.

i am alone, the windows open. i am assembling things and feeling writerly. loki is flat out in a pool of sunlight on the wool rug. luna is smiling at me with her best green eyes.

last night i pulled out my basket of fabric and made a purse. i’ve never made a purse before. it turned out pretty well for my first -- hippy rag bag though it is. i enjoyed clunking away at a machine leaving thick tracks of burgundy thread. i used denim from well worn garments. i made an external pocket from a sparkling indian mirror pouch. the inside is lined with a segment of dan’s ripped up old sexy jeans. i kept the trouser pocket intact making an internal compartment. i love it that I can slip my hand into dan’s pocket even when he’s not beside me.

i’ve piled up a group of textile projects that i’m determined to complete. a skirt for tashi made from (more) jeweled indian fabric combined with black velvetine and a red gauzy cotton. a purse that tashi has requested made from faded denim and old cloth napkins embellished with bright images of mod shoes and peace signs. and a curtain panel-shade made from a vintage skirt i’ve had for over a decade, a romantic mixture of geometry and paisley in earth tones.

the leaves are lime and yellow and burnt and red. the sky is blue-before-samhain. the breeze is calling us out to unfurl the kite i found at a yard sale three years ago. there is a warm balm, a cool breeze, birds, crickets and chrysanthemums.

happy autumnal weekend!

reggae rant

reggae music takes me to my island. but i feel deeply disturbed by rastafarians who are homophobic.

stay out of other people’s bidness. we are all jah’s children. the only lesson is kindness.

i walked away from a reggae show the other night feeling so incredibly uplifted. the famous musician and his great band were energetic, passionate, very gifted. there were lyrics advocating non-violence, tolerance, self-respect. the audience was a lovely mix of colors, shapes, sizes, hairstyles and body odors. and the only smoke in the air was that of ganja.

after dancing my heart out i walked away feeling like i’d just seen the best reggae show of my life.

the next day i surfed the internet to learn more about this musician. i read the lyrics of a song he wrote about shooting gay people in the head. i saw a clip of him performing it on stage. and i read that he’d been tried – though acquitted – for gay bashing. good people are protesting this very tour he’s on. and i just spent a blissed out evening under his song.

it makes me feel more than a little icky.

i can only hope that he will find the way of wisdom. repent the injustices he's advocated. beg for forgiveness from those he's hurt. and use his gift without discrimination.

but i can be pretty idealistic.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Congratulations Suzanne and Kevin!

Chilled Update

frost hit charlottesville early saturday morning. at 7:30am i found a thin layer of ice on some things.

i was volunteering at a yard-sale-fund-raiser for a third grade farm trip that my daughter will embark on in spring.

i brought coffee cake and herbal tea and another brewed strong coffee and we sold books and baby clothes and puzzles and bikes and things. there was a raffle to win an artisan crafted concrete sink. there was set up and first rush and tear down.

it was a great success.

i bought a cool old camping trip coffee percolator and the moosewood low fat classics cookbook, clothing items and trinkets for tashi, and a still-in-its-shrinkwrap bjork cd: vespertine. tashi has been obsessed with her magic eight ball. yard sales can be like stumbling upon hidden treasure.

somewhere in there tashi and i drove off to scottsville to see dan and the band he's in play vintage surf music at the james river festival. my heart exploded.

at night a couple of dan's co-workers came over to watch "the life of brian". i watched it too except that i fell asleep sometime after brian wrote "romani ite domum" all over the governor's palace and awoke just before his crucifixion.

today we went up to humpback rock's where we saw another band that dan's bandmate is in, a terrific celtic ensemble called king golden banshee. the leaves in all their golden umber alchemy against an ever so perfect blue. a glorious sun that softens the bite of the bitter air. tashi, dan and a mandala coloring book. the sweet sounds of flute, banjo, bodhran, and acoustic guitar.

on that note, i will end my busy but beautiful weekend.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

tent love

today’s lunch is a warming combination of chicken dumpling soup and fresh italian herb bread baked in the religious studies bread machine.

it was a fab weekend at carter’s caves state park.

dan and laura rolled in late friday night after dan and i drank most of the beer. we were able to hand them our last two wolaver’s organic brown ale. we sat around the fire under the harvest moon and exchanged stories and smiles. saturday included strong coffee, turkey bacon, two cave tours, chicken sausages, an awesome hike around dramatic rock formations, guyere cheese, romps around a meadow, fair trade red wine, surreal underground waterways, kindling collecting, baked potatoes w/ flourishes, a flat tire, jarlsburg cheese, plant identification and mattar paneer. we were all pretty tired by saturday night.

sunday was all about breakfast, packing up camp and a morning hike that fooled us. we were the last to leave the campground after disco bellydance lunch bagel dandelion delight. we followed dan and laura and their temporary tire to the closest slave-mart where one can get a new tire on sunday in god’s country. you can also find some fine $1 hats and $4 sunglasses.

and then we said goodbye.


monday was all about exhaustion, seasonal affective disorder, missing kindred spirits, and fiscal frustration.

tonight is my new vinyasa yoga class that kicks my brittle butt.

that is the lunchblog update for this typical october tuesday.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

moon trip

tomorrow night is the harvest moon and we're going to be in kentucky.

that's right.

tomorrow morning we're packing up the car with all our camping gear and canned food and heading west over the appalachians.

we'll be meeting our pals laura and dan from ann arbor at a campground in carter's caves state park. we'll pitch tents and worship the moon. and on saturday we'll check out the caves. one has a 30 ft waterfall!

i didn't go camping at all over the summer so i'm beside myself with excitement. i love hanging out under the big starry sky until the wee hours. i love to emerge from a tent on a crisp morning and rekindle embers from the night before. i love to share the wonder with my daughter, my hubs, and a couple of dearly missed friends.

but i don't love camping in the rain. so everyone, think good thoughts now. please.

we'll be back on time for columbus (was a crook) day.

enjoy the full moon blog stars.

Monday, October 02, 2006

cat tails and dorsal fins

it is a fine charlottesville evening. tashi is in bed finishing her 800 page book. dan is at band practice. luna is purring next to tashi and digging her claws into the duvet. and loki is staring at the front door with longing.

loki has a shaved tail for the second time this year. once again he was bitten. this time we have a much better vet. no hysterics about the possibility of rabies. no head cone. no stitches even. the bill was 1/5 what it was in january. loki is well and looks like a punk rock kittie with his shaved tail. we have to give him an antibiotic pill every night and limit his outdoor time. he is none too pleased.

aside from cat-astrophe, we had a fine weekend. on friday we drove to williamsburg where a couple of good pals moved recently. they teach hinduism and buddhism at william and mary. they bought a nice house and adopted a sweet dog. their boy jakob and our girl tashi play very nicely together. we all ate two kinds of chocolate cake before bed and hung out at the farmer's market in the morning. the william and mary appalachian string band was very enjoyable.

after our too short visit we launched ourselves to virginia beach where we had scheduled a ride on the dolphin boat. tashi is obsessed with dolphins so we thought this would be a nice treat. we first checked out the neptune festival but it was way too crowded to be considered fun. we saw a world record breaking (for height) sand sculpture of neptune's underwater palace.

the dolphin boat was chock-full-o-hillbillies smoking cigarettes while holding babies in their arms. we saw lots and lots of dolphins. they didn't show off for us, but they would all come up for air in unison. when the boat turned around and picked up speed for the return we saw a couple of dolphins leap in the wake. and then when we got close to the boarwalk area we had a bunch of para-surfers visit our wake. they were desperate for any kind of wave.

after all that fun we ate fish at a seafood place that is probably not worth returning to. and on the way home we stopped by our nearest trader joe's, two and a half hours away from charlottesville in newport news. i stocked up on black beans, olive oil, whole wheat pasta, whole grain cereal, balsamic vinegar, tom's of maine toothpaste and other miscellany. we sure wish trader joe's would come to charlottesville.

on sunday we cleaned out our dank root cellar and discovered mildew on many favorite things. we should have known better. now i feel like i have black lung.

time to sing a goodnight song to tashi.