Saturday, June 30, 2007

calling all fairies (and toy soldiers?)

after all the fun out and about, we came home and built a fairy house.

we included a bathtub of lavender.

and a toilet. but of course.

oh so auspicious, we found a cicada shell right on the spot, and placed it on the throne.

then tashi saw a face peeking up from the soil nearby. she dug up this soldier. we're not much into toy soldiers, but this one seems pretty vintage. he's made of some sort of metal. we hope it's not lead. we're thinking he probably did battle in ww1. i'm going to do some searching around to see if i can't learn more about this guy. tashi named him adam.

maybe he's a fairy now.

all things hip on a saturday

saturday blog break.

it's been a good day. started with the farmer's market. moved on to the bridge for an arts & crafts fair. lots of cool, local, indie stuff. i purchased two prints from the bees knees, erika vess, which aught to give our sorta frumpy living room a bright a lift. and i totally fell in love with a skirt by nicole lee, soleil rouge, but i think i'll have to put that one on my 40th birthday list.

afterwards, dan, tashi and i went to milano for gelato. i love the lemon gelato with real mint leaves, pictured above. we sat inside the main street market, a trendy gourmet food mall (once auto dealership) with exposed ceilings and specialty shops. it's like a tiny slice of the chelsea market in manhattan.

tiny, i say.

Friday, June 29, 2007

purple pleasantry

the director of my workplace brought us chocolates from san francisco. i nabbed one before leaving today. when i bit into it i was shocked and delighted to find a purple center.

hint of lavender. some tiny crunchy bits of. . . berries?

what ever it may have been, it was one of the best chocolates ever. had to stop right there in the middle of the sidewalk and take a photo.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

coming in over the ridge

not that i want anyone to suffer storm damage, but after the humidity of the last several days, this sounds delicious:


plus storms are exciting. this household thinks so anyway!

devendra in dc

if anyone needs me on october 1, i'll be in dc.

Devendra Banhart - 2007 Tour Dates
Sat Sept 1 Vancouver, BC at Commodore Ballroom
Sun Sept 2 Seattle, WA at KEXP Stage- Bumbershoot Festival
Tue Sept 4, Portland, OR at Crystal Ballroom
Thu Sept 6 Santa Cruz at Rio Theater
Fri Sept 7, Berkeley Campus at Zellerbach Hall
Mon Sept 10, Denver at Ogden Theater (Native American benefit)
Wed Sept 12 Omaha at Sokol Auditorium
Thu Sept 13, Lawrence at Liberty Hall Theater
Sat Sept 15 Minneapolis at First Avenue
Sun Sept 16 Milwaukee at Pabst Theater
Tue Sept 18 Chicago at Portage Theater
Wed Sept 19 Detroit at Majestic Theater
Fri Sept 21 Toronto at Danforth Music Hall
Sat Sept 22 Montreal Theatre National
Sun Sept 23 Burlington, VT at U of VT Davis Center Grand Ballroom
Tue Sept 25, Boston at Roxy Ballroom
Thu Sept 27 New York City at Grand Ballroom
Sat Sept 29 Philadelphia at Theater of living arts
Mon Oct 1, Washington DC at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
Thu Oct 4 Nashville TN at City Hall
Sat Oct 6, Dallas at Granada Theater
Sun Oct 7 Austin at La Zona Rosa
Tue Oct 9, Albuquerque at Sunshine Theater (Native American benefit)
Wed Oct 10, Tucson at Rialto Theater
Fri Oct 12 Phoenix at Marquee Theater
Sat Oct 13 Los Angeles at Orpheum

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

something sweet something soothing

who bakes in 98% humidity? apparently i do. the nice frosty smoothies helped to balance things out. but really, i'm ready for a nice cooling torrential rain shower. i love summer. i even like a little bit of tropical humidity. but the humidity of the last two days has been pretty gross. and so something sweet and something soothing was necessary. get ready for tomorrow charlottesvillians! says a high of 97 (with a "feels like" of 105). eeek.

Monday, June 25, 2007

our luna

this is luna, the very sweet cat. she is loki's sister, though they look nothing alike. she's a bit shy and fast and so it is often difficult to get a good picture of her. i thought she looked especially cute this evening in the jungly yard.

things are progressing in my messy office. i'm afraid it is always going to have the aspect of clutter to it, as there is just too much in too small a space and all the furniture is mismatched and even though i'm not exactly a pack rat there just isn't room for all the books and papers and craft supplies and collage materials and piles of tashi's artwork-over-the-years. but i'm making headway and freecycling some things and finding fresh new spaces on the recently acquired shelving units.

i also have my seasonal big bad dose of poison ivy. at first i thought it was a secondary rash from the cats and believed it would pass and be a non-issue. i was sooo wrong. and i am sooo itchy. and my arms are gross.

here is one of the poison ivy meadows that the cats (and apparently i) like to run through:

photos m.i.a.

does anyone else have this problem with blogger? i'll post photos. they'll be there for a day or two. and suddenly they will disappear from the post. this just happened with the below "fire in the morning post," and i had to repost all the images. what a pain in the butt!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

fire in the morning

tired day after the backyard camp out. the cats didn't let us sleep; instead they took turns scratching at the tent or plaintively crying at the zipped door. we would let them in and then luna in particular would do nothing but pace around the tent, extending her little claws and testing the texture of all the things that could easily be punctured. we could have locked them in the house, but figured it was a cruel thing that the humans got to stay outside all night while the cats were locked in. we paid for our genorosity! but still it was a fun evening of cooking out and sitting around a campfire and reading and relaxing.

it was also nice to look out into the trees upon waking. a woodpecker drilled at a tree. two squirrels chased each other around a tall trunk. and then a bagel fell from the sky.

it was an old stale bagel i had thrown into the backyard for critters to devour. apparently a squirrel carried it up a tree but threw it down in disgust.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

camping close

tonight we are participating in the great american backyard campout. it's our belated summer solstice celebration. the tent is pitched, the bugspray is applied, the souvlaki is ready to be grilled and the wood for the fire ring is being gathered as i type. loki wants to participate too, though he prefers being under the tent, rather than in it.

let the fun begin!

eight more things about me

I've been tagged for the "eight things about me" meme that has been floating around blogland. Elizabeth from Charlottesville Words got me!

The Rules are:
Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) I have three half-brothers, one in Washington state, one in Michigan and one in New York City.

2) My Maternal Grandmother (Zoe) was from Russia and my Maternal Grandfather (Michael) was from Cyprus. My Grandmother went to Cyprus with her family during the Russian Revolution and my Grandfather was the translator for her family. That is how they met.

3) I never met my paternal Grandparents but this is what I know about them: My paternal Grandfather (Abraham) came to the US with his father during the holocaust. His mother and siblings perished in the concentration camps. He stayed with my paternal Grandmother (Dorothy) and her family here in the states, and that is how they met. His father ended up dying in the flu epidemic. They were all Polish.

4) All the places I have lived:
Nicosia and Kyrenia, Cyprus (until I was four)
Bradford, Pa (until I was 18)
Meadville, Pa (during college)
Buffalo, NY (for one year after I graduated from college)
Seattle, WA (one year)
Oakland-Berkeley-San Francisco-Oakland (eight years)
Dharamsala, India (one year)
Corvallis, OR (three months)
Ann Arbor, MI (four years)
Charlottesville, VA (almost two years to present)

5) When I was a baby I lived in Beirut, Lebanon, for a few months. My mother went there because Turkey was threatening to invade Cyprus at the time. Turkey ended up invading shortly after a visit I had in Cyprus during the summer of 1974. Turkey is still there, occupying a third of the country, which includes land that my mother owns.

6) Countries I have visited: Mexico, Jamaica, a variety of Caribbean islands, Bahamas, England, Spain, Italy, Malta, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, India. Oh, and Canada.

7) My Mother, my Father and my Stepmother are all raging liberals. Way to go!

8) I used to work for an Anarchist Collective in Seattle called Left Bank Books.

ok, eight people to tag that haven't already done this. . . that could be hard. i'm going to think about it and edit this later, adding their names in. plus, it's gorgeous out and i want to get out there before the day is too hot!

Friday, June 22, 2007

part three: write

i had three main reasons for leaving my full time job. one was to focus more on building a doula practice. two was so i could spend more quality time with tashi. and three was so i could focus more on my "other" creative endeavors. these might include: collaging, crafting, gardening, fixing up the house, photographing, and mostly - writing.

right before the i left the bay area in 2000 i was invited by elizabeth robinson to do a poetry reading in her backyard reading series. it was one of the more validating experiences in my wayward career as a poet. backyards are lovely places to hold readings and i couldn't help but feel honored that an awesome and established poet had taken notice of me. well, that was seven years ago.

while in dharamsala i participated in many open mics and when we returned from india i wrote a book length manuscript, set for publication. but the publication fell through and i have since continued to wrestle with my commitment and confidence.

the main thing at this point is that, aside from a few small zine-like publications, i am unpublished. i have to write, of course, to have materials for publication. but the step more difficult for me than writing, is sending the stuff off to literary magazines.

and so today i begin my work as a writer. again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

part two: the pieces are finding their places

that's my new used storage unit that i scored at salvation army. it's not full of all the stuff it will soon be full of, but i had to take a picture anyway. and the drums will go elsewhere so that i can have an ever changing scene on the surface.

that's my tiny pile of cute fabrics. there are also a couple of other tiny piles of not so cute but perfectly functional fabrics. this is a much better set up than having the fabrics stuffed in a basket stuffed in a closet where i can pretend they don't exist. now i will be constantly faced with the fact that i should learn how to sew. and even if i can't get beyond herbal dream pillows, at least i'll be doing something useful with the sewing machine currently gathering dust in the corner.

that's me and my papou in cyprus. he died at the hearty age of 98.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

permaculture gardening

i somehow failed to mention that on saturday i began this great transition in my life with a permaculture gardening class with herbalist kathleen maier at sacred plant traditions. i've been wanting to take a class with kathleen since i moved here, and am so happy that it finally happened and at just the right time. she's awesome and is running an incredible school.

it was a terrific day of drinking nettle lemon grass tea and hanging out with people that get really excited about plants. we talked about the various herbs in kathleen's gardens, went over some of the principles of permaculture, talked a fair amount about protection of waterways, and learned how to sheet mulch. we gained hands on sheet mulching experience, as displayed here:

it looks a little like a bear skin, doesn't it?

sheet mulching is a great way to prepare a garden bed. did you know tilling breaks up the mineral content of the soil and simply doesn't make the most of what is at hand? i've held off on so many gardening projects because i think that i need to go rent a tiller and just can't seem to take the step. now i know, sheet mulching is the way. the ingredients are card board or newspaper, compost and mulch or straw. you should lay it all down several months in advance and eventually you will have a deep soft rich bed of soil, ready for planting. it's easy!!!! but it takes some planning ahead.

dan and i did something like sheet mulching in our hammock area last year. but we weren't really trying to prepare a garden bed, we were just trying to clear the area of poison ivy and scrub. we layed down newspaper, covered it with dead leaves and then eventually poured on mulch. it worked pretty well. but dead leaves take a long time to decompose, so aren't exactly expedient when trying to prepare a garden bed.

it was such a peaceful day and i met many nice people. i am so grateful.

part one: picking up the pieces

i have promised myself i will not lose the day to blogging and surfing, so i'll try to make this quick (already spent the morning at salvation army where i scored a great storage unit. more on that later).

my first day at work yesterday went fabulously. amongst other things, i got to see a presentation by a couple of the directors on an undergraduate class they took to san salvador to learn about women activists in a place of intense political unrest. tomorrow i will begin trainings. there is a lot to learn and i'm excited about it. currently i am working just two and a half days. that means i'll have two and a half days of the work week to myself, at least while tashi is in day camp.

today the goal is to straighten up my work room/guest room/overflow linen closet toy storage room. it is a complete disaster and i cannot focus on anything until it is in working order. there will be some major changes due to the above mentioned storage unit. i won't have that until tonight or tomorrow, as dan will have to help me transport it. it's going to be awesome. in the mean time, this is what i have to contend with.

a desk that has actually seen messier days:

thou shallt not pass. this is a disorganized eruption of collage/sewing/crafting materials.

this is a guest bed. would you like to come and stay at my house? on top of it are freecycled & thrifted fabrics, linens that don't fit in the linen closet, clothes that need to be hand washed, and hidden but present - a pile of papers and magazines. underneath the bed are toys, games, musical instruments and milk crates full of stuff. beside the bed are a more magazines (collage materials all), a couple of boxes of things from my previous workplace, and a bag full of strange items i need to give away.

this is a bookshelf full of poetry books that is going to move elsewhere so that the new storage unit can go here. don't ask me where i'm going to move it because i don't yet know. the old sewing machine stand will have to move as well. and then there are the bags of misc items. you can't even see some of the small disastrous piles.

i guess it could be worse. it actually has been.

i'm really not a slob. i have five planets in virgo for goodness sake! i guess this is a sign that my life has gotten unmanageable (or that our house has poor storage. or that i should quit scoring collage magazines from freecycle).

ok, here i go. . .

Monday, June 18, 2007

virginia towns

a ren faire father's day photo essay

first breakfast in bed for the dad

welcome to the queen's court.

dan got to ride an invisible horse

and save a princess. hmph.

are these alpacas cute or what?

tashi carded the wool

and spun

the great sashenka became a basket and charmed the handy snake

and then we floated away

Sunday, June 17, 2007

happy father's day dads

to my father: writer, actor, teacher, loyal new yorker and husband to shirley. thank you for your good humor and your loving heart. i admire your creative lifestyle and your commitment to your work. you are an inspiration.

and to the father of my child: brilliant, handsome, humanitarian, scholar, internet guru, musician, playmate, lover. you are my best friend.

dig that threadless t-shirt?!?!

Friday, June 15, 2007

life's greatest blessing is a happy heart

today was my last day as a full time administrative assistant.

and how do i celebrate?

by going to goodwill and buying dishware.

someone, please, put on the brakes! my kitchen is the size of a walk-in closet and our china cabinet is about to implode.

but lately, for me, dishes are bordering on fine art. like this one:

and these dishes are so pretty i could eat them alone:

all of these dishes, including the syrupy little cup at the top, came to a whopping total of $1.70. who could resist?

and the big score of the day was a free pair of red danskos from freecycle. in my exact size.

now that's celebration.

but really. i feel a little bit anti-climatic right now. i thought i had all my ducks lined up when i said my farewells at the workplace around 1pm today. i thought i had everything tied up and neatly stacked in a row. but after i left a feeling crept over me, a sense of things undone and askew. boxes half open. mouths gaping.

but i think it is just the sudden opening in my own life staring up at me. all the things in my own world, all the dreams, hopes and goals that i must now start piecing back together and ordering.

i think i'll walk over to the china cabinet in my soft new shoes and start there!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

tasty halloumi

halloumi is the cheese of cyprus, my birthplace. rebecca's natural food store recently had a sale on halloumi, so i stocked up. this cheese is usually grilled or gently fried. it is a favorite around here. this morning we had fried halloumi accompanied by cucumbers and tomatoes marinated in vinegar, olive oil and fresh basil grown on our deck. we also had multi grain toast with fresh raspberry jam from the farmer's market. and coffee and orange juice too. what a nice weekday morning.