11–20 of 29 entries from the month of: September 2009

Washington St.

September 19th


Mick Kelly?

Farmers' Market

Washington Street Signage

Beer, dust, art

Out for a spin

Come and get it!

Drink it or bank it?

I'm a believer

Price tag included

Neighborhood exploring

City river



Posted in
Happy Hippie, Photography, Travel
Comments (14)

Pesto Pizza

September 18th

Homemade pizza in process

Fluffy crush

Homemade Pesto Pizza

Mozarella, portabello, onion and pesto

Pesto, portabello, mozzarella pizza from scratch:: paired with red wine, good conversation and a board game (kinda)

{I meant to take a photo of the cooked pizza, but alas. See red wine, above.}

Winner, winner Italian dinner,


Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Kitchen Talk
Comments (7)


September 18th


I recieved an email this week from my friend Leslie over at Littlebitsoflovely. I’ve long since enjoyed Leslie’s creativity and even followed her quest to chart the amount of peanut butter her family was consuming. The way she wrote about it was hilarious. It sounded like their family requirements were water, shelter, food and Skippy. Leslie and her family have taken normal, American suburban life and added charming creative spin.

She knows a 12-year-old who is pretty darn sick. He has cancer and this form in particular runs in his family. His younger sister died of the same illness. As he faces treatment for this brain cancer, and in an attempt to boost his and his family’s spirits — they’ve created a blog and hope everyone will head over for a quick hello and good luck! www.jalensjourney.org

Please do me a favor, share a bit of love and let’s let this little one know that the world is rooting for his swift recovery.

Thank you!


Posted in
Comments (4)

{Cheap} Lasagna Gardening Tutorial

September 17th

Where we started

Find the space you are interested in gardening. Survey this for type of soil, etc. Is the soil horrible? Is there no soil — such as this space? Then consider starting on top of the existing ground.

Not sure what the ramp is for

Even this can produce.

Supplies gathered

Gather shredded paper, cardboard, coffee grounds and kitchen refuse.

Layer 1 of the lasagna garden

Layer 1 — cardboard. Cover your space with one layer of carboard

Layer 2

Layer 2: shredded paper

Layer 3

Layer 3: garden refuse — in this case left over palm fronds

Layer 4

Layer 4: coffee grounds. Ideally you want about 10,000 times what I was able to produce for this project today. We’ll be adding more. You can’t have too much.

Layer 5

Layer 5: Kitchen refuse. Granted, it is better if it is added as compost, but considering I am traveling tomorrow — I went through the pantry and fridge and got rid of everything that wasn’t going to be eaten in time. So, we’ve now got whole fruit and vegetables out there in the process of decaying. With 100+ degree heat, this shouldn’t take long.

Layer 6

Layer 6: Water.

Now we must add a considerable amount of soil. I’m going to buy as much manure as my little car will haul so we have a layer to actually plant. We’ll plant on top of this soil and water top down. Within a full growing season, ideally this will all decompose causing the compacted earth beneath it to become great, healthy soil.

Jalapenos set out to dry for seed

And so the salsa garden begins!

{These were placed in the sun to dry for their seeds, but I couldn’t help but note the humor.}


Posted in
Community, Happy Hippie, Tutorial
Comments (5)

Last Flavors of Summer

September 17th


Delish -- for days



Double chocolate chunk

More pesto with basil fresh and warm from the garden — for portabello pesto pizza

Strawberries fresh from the market — for my sweet tooth

Double chocolate chunk cookies — as bribes for good behavior with the gardening kids

Yesterday, a friend on Facebook posted she was having Slimfast for dinner. I cringed. I’ve had such things for dinner before and probably will again, but ew. The chalkiness, the complete lack of satisfaction, the nonsense behind such products that make us think they make us healtheir. I cannot pronounce the majority of the ingredients.

I simply feel incredibly fortunate to have this hunger for real, whole foods. You know, with ingredients such as strawberries. Basil. Garlic. Walnuts. Olive Oil. No fine print required.  It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time I very happily lived on $.69 bean burritos from Taco Bell. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I ate fast food, other than the occasional Rubio’s splurge. I’m no where near the sustainability and domestic creativity of that Finny, but I’m hopeful those meal-in-a-can/bar days are behind me.


Posted in
Domestic Art, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
Comments (6)

Enchiladas, it is

September 16th

August 2009 001

I’m working with a charter high school on creating a community garden. I started last week working with the students and it was a culturally clueless experience. We are going to lasagna garden their small plot of land because at the moment, it is compacted dirt and unwilling to grow even tumbleweeds. When trying to explain the layers behind lasagna gardening, the kids looked at me like I was from the moon.

Finally, a boy in the back piped up. “Like enchiladas?”

“Yes, like enchiladas. So the cardboard base would be our tortillas, the shredded paper our shredded cheese, the coffee grounds our ground beef, etc…”

A light bulb turned on and they not only got it, they were — against all teenage instincts — a little excited.

August 2009 002

“Could we grow bananas?”

“No, guey, let’s grow ground beef.”

{I’m not kidding. They wanted to grow ground beef. }

“I want to grow flowers,” whispered the aptly named Dahlia in the back of the room.

“Well, how about spicy food? We could grow salsa.” Now I really had their attention.

I realized I needed new teaching techniques if I was going to make this project work. I hit the library and checked out a handful of books with basic elementary education plant experiments included.

August 2009 003

We are going to start by building our garden enchilada tomorrow. Ideally, we’ll plant vegetables for a salsa garden. They were even more excited by the possibility of making, canning and selling the salsa to fund other projects. I knew when to shut up and not ask about what that funding really would be used for. One step at a time.

I am excited to see them tomorrow and to dig into what could become a great community project.


Posted in
Community, Happy Hippie, Journal
Comments (16)

Pooch Pouch, minus the paws

September 15th

Pooch Pouch

Dear Finny,

So, I whipped up a half dozen pooch pouches last night. This project was very simple and I like the idea of dogs and their owners hauling their waste baggies in style. Nothing says American culture like pet accessories — right?

Pooch Pouch

I decided on the bear and forest patterned fabric because I’ll be bringing a few of these with me next week to Colorado, were dogs simply won’t wear gingham. My “nephew” as Cody tells me, will be receiving one. I’m sure Cody will laugh in my face at the idea, but Raja will appreciate the handmade love.

Pooch Pouch

I’d like to try making dog leashes. I think I’m going to add that to my list of crafts to conquer soon. As for the tote bag? Would you believe I own one canvas tote I just got at a refugee conference and it has wonky pockets on the front that are going to make this project quite the challenge. The good news? I’m up for it.


Posted in
Domestic Art, handmade, Sew Along
Comments (11)

Why, hello

September 14th

Sacred Rim Hike

I’m officially calling it Fall.

Yep, it is still 100+ outside and yes, I’m still wearing tank tops and flip flops like they are my version of desert couture. However, I’m ready to shed the skin of this summer, crawl out from my rock of self-pity and return some color to these cheeks. I’m much prettier smiling, so my mama says. Care to join me in this new life of happiness?

Several things happened in the last few days to encourage harvesting cheer with both hands:

1. I’ve been speaking with the book publisher folks and you know what? I’m this <———> close. Really! My biggest hurdle at the moment is embedding fonts. For the love of all things holy, if I can write and edit for 6 years, I can figure out fonts.

2. Bowling. I had forgotten how much fun getting everyone together for bowling league is. We invited new friends and mingled with teams I hadn’t seen all summer. We sang, danced, ate too much Mexican food before and there was plenty of Homer J. Simpson-approved beer drinking during. Oh, I love having friends who have absolutely no qualms about throwing themselves into something as silly as league bowling.

3. Matty returned temporarily to Oz. I miss him. I actually woke up twice last night and wasn’t able to explain weird creeks and bumps to his half of my home. Knowing he is coming back soon has given me the kick in the pants necessary to get that room sorted and provide a proper guest/Matty room.  Deadlines. I love them and apparently need them.

4. Colorado. I’m going back soon. Hiking, dogs, a porch with wireless, time to think and breathe and wander without a single commitment to mind.

5. Teaching a group of high school misfits how to garden. It’s a long story to how I was asked to teach a dozen-plus high school kids where their food comes from, but imagine every cliche naive teacher/rough classroom movie you’ve seen and put me at the front in the dunce cap. Our first class wasn’t great, but they were happy to hear I was coming back, especially after I dove into, “Well, you know — plants have sex.” The fun thing about not being employed by the school is you really can say all the things that would otherwise raise eyebrows. We ended the class by me asking them why Twinkies were less expensive than produce at their market (which I visited before class). Why would the government, the systems at hand, want them to be unhealthy? We dig in again soon. I plan on bringing a Coolio soundtrack.

6. And most importantly, learning how to ask for help and being better about apologizing. This summer has been ugly emotionally and when I don’t know how to deal with something, it bubbles up in other ways. I haven’t treated my friends and family with the respect they more than deserve. And so, I’ve been replacing pride for honesty and telling them as much. It’s making me feel better and I think in a way makes me that much more human to them. We’ll have cracks. They are how the light shines in.

Here’s to creating a sweet, peaceful and happy autumn!


Posted in
Happy Hippie, Journal
Comments (22)


September 12th

Holy moses

Pretty giant garden

Pumpkin flowers

While a bridge over troubled pumpkins was temporarily considered, instead I opted for Finny’s suggestion of tomato cages. The pumpkins? They’ve been wrangled.

Tomato cages at work

Much, much better

Pulled back

Pumpkin flowers

I may try frying these

So easy! And with supplies I already had. I had one of those Laura Ingalls Wilder moments this morning when I was hanging clean laundry on the clothesline to dry, watering the garden, pulling muffins out of the oven and realizing I so missed my calling of being a pioneer woman. Although I’d probably have 12 kids by now and be pretty close to death, statistically speaking.

baby beets

So, thank God I wasn’t born in the 1800s. I like being able to drive a car (not a wagon), grow food for the hell of it, (not the necessity) and I’m fond of sports bras  (not so much with the corsets).

The winter garden is sprouting and while I am now watering this by hand thanks to a minor dispute with the neighbor, I am so optimistically happy about its progress. Beets! Baby beets!


Posted in
Domestic Art, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie, Journal
Comments (8)

Ooooh la la

September 11th



The details

Vive le France!


a toast!

I hosted a small birthday party last night for my friend Shoshana. She loves all things French and having never spent time there, I did what I could to accommodate her francophone ways with a bit of cliche food: croissants, cheese, bread, wine, chocolate, nuts, and of course girly pink wine.

Vive le France!

She was tickled rose.

Sweet birthday group

Happy gang of girls

By the end of the night, I had a gaggle of girls laughing hysterically and listening to stories about everything from Costa Rican adventures to living as an Orthodox Jew in college and what we really think of the statue David. Ahem. It was a breath of fresh air and I felt my hostess spirits renewed.


Posted in
Celebrate!, Domestic Art, June Cleaver
Comments (10)