summer solstice!


Friday, January 30, 2009


Will smama brings us today's 5 about my "home past, present or future..." and given my passion for and preoccupation with color, line, pattern, design and related, I figured this would be a great day to play.

1) If you could, what room in the place you are currently living would you redo first?
My kitchen (please see #4) is okay, but that's what I'd change first. Or maybe non-BR, non-LR floors, though they're also within more than acceptable limits (see #5).

2) What is the most hideous feature/color/decor item you have ever seen in a home?
Although I can't cite anything specific, I remember ROTFLOL so many times checking out various living spaces, almost aghast that anyone would imagine renting such a place. Including comments from managers such as, "this is where that girl was murdered—I'm sure you read about it."

3) What feature do you most covet? Do you have it? If not, is it within reach?
A deck and possibly a yard! Those features cannot happen where I am (hey, I don't even have the balcony about half the units in this complex possess!), but if I decided or was able to acquire one of the duplexes that are so popular around here, many of them already have or have the potential for a deck plus really nice landscaping whilst remaining quite urban in sensibility.

4) Your kitchen - love it or hate it? Why?
Inbetween both. It was in moderate condition with newish appliances when I moved in, and many coats of medium golden yellow paint to cover the ultra dark green cabinets helped a lot, as did the sideboard I got very on sale (with free shipping!) at JC Penney, something I totally prefer to all built-ins. But walking around the 3 floors of this complex I notice how lovely many of the upgraded kitchens are, though I don't at all care for the more formal ones with dark wood, etc.

5) Here is $10,000 and you HAVE to spend it on the place you are living now. What do you do?
Having already gotten rid of all the relatively new, medium gray carpet (as well as the high-end electrolux vacuum someone had given me) that was here when I moved in and replaced it with oak laminate in the bedrooms, and wonderful (really!) sheet vinyl in the LR, I'd begin with stone or tile floors to integrate the rest of this about 1400 square feet all on 1 floor from kitchen to DR, through halls into both bathrooms. Although the bathrooms are okay and I detest tub baths, or soaking, I'd also upgrade and modernize the bathrooms, more for appearance than function.

For my own bonus I'll mention I've (re-)painted all the bedrooms and LR non-white and also repainted all the paintable furniture in a huge variety of hues; I LOVE painted furniture! I'm passing on the ugly bathroom tile bonus, since I have no need to cringe again today...thanks, Will smama!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

poetry party 30

invitation to poetry icon

poetry party 30 - wings/taking flight

angelAs always, Christine hints at a possible focus and direction:

"In the US, today is of course Martin Luther King, Jr. day ...And tomorrow is Inauguration Day... So I invite you to enter into the image below. ...Write a poem about the process or the moment, or perhaps in honor of the significance of this day or tomorrow. (Photo taken at St. Bart’s church in NYC last spring)"

the angel
an ev-angelical
a messenger
"good newser"
announces fear not
to us has arrived a God-spell
a whispered do not be afraid
lift every voice and sing
our new day begins!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


  • cucumber, diced
  • several roma tomatoes, diced (remove seeds if you’re not lazy); I often use halved grape or quartered cherry tomatoes, too
  • Parsley, finely chopped 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup bulghur wheat
  • 1 or 2 or 3 or 7 or 8 green onion(s) that some people insist on calling scallions...
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • allspice (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • salt?
Pour hot water over the bulghur and let soak until soft and most of the water has been absorbed. Mix the diced veggies and then add the bulghur and mix some more, add lemon juice and olive oil to get the right flavor and consistency. Add the spice(s) and salt and mix a bit more. Refrigerate, eat and enjoy.

Friday, January 09, 2009

poetry party 29

abbey of the arts: epiphanies!

invitation to poetry icon

Christine suggests: poetry party 29What if this year one of your resolutions was to create enough space for epiphanies to happen? What if you made a commitment to slow down enough to see the shimmering web of connections that exists everywhere, just waiting for us to notice? I invite you to write a poem this week in celebration of epiphanies, of new beginnings, of new ways of seeing. You can write directly from the image below, which was taken on a very foggy morning in Seattle, or let it simply allow intuitive connections to stir.

today I'm prosaically thinking of possibilities

We hear about the power of all kinds of webs and networks; for instance, maybe I can't put out my hand and touch you directly but I can touch my neighbor who in turn can reach and touch ripples from the stone thrown into still water, life begets life begets life. But in business, creative and professional worlds sometimes it looks as if the higher on the food chain consume and kill those lower ones rather than touching and healing them.

The world wide web has become part of everyday, an inter-net intertwining countless lives, birthing new named communities amidst pervasive anonymity and alienation. How many once strangers have become friends? What ideas have we exchanged? What dreams have we helped each other recognize and grow?

Holding a web close to my face I can focus on a discrete part of a whole. Viewing through the net at arm's length I clearly see separate facets containing countless variation within its own bounded yet interconnected space.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pancakes Friday 5

RevGals Pancakes Friday 5

Today seemed like a good day to play the 2nd Friday 5 of this new year 2009 and besides, I love the subject, from Sophia. I'm going for both real and ideal examples.

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?
real: Bisquick or any kind of buttermilk mix and
ideal: 1/2 buttermilk, 1/2 buckwheat (both mixes)

2. Pure and simple, or with additions cooked in?
real: pure and simple and
ideal: cultivated or wild blueberries mixed in

3. For breakfast or for dinner?
real: anytime of any day for any meal or snack and
ideal: breakfast or brunch

4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best side dish?
real: Country Kitchen or Eggo or similar syrup and
ideal: Grade B Vermont Maple Syrup (a preference that marks me as an outlander) plus lots of lightly cooked bacon. Whipped cream is a nice addition and a whole lot of sweet cream butter goes without saying in either case

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?
real: any restaurant or eating establishment anywhere and
ideal: we don't have them locally, but I always enjoyed the Village Inn when I lived in Utah and when I visit Arizona

Monday, January 05, 2009

spaghetti salad

  • 1 8 oz. bottle Italian salad dressing
  • 1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing (dry)
  • 1 large tomato (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 8 ounce? 12 ounce? 16 ounce? (not sure) package pasta (cooked to taste)
  • 1 can sliced olives—choose your own size
  • Cook pasta and drain (do not rinse)
  • Sprinkle the dry Good Seasons dressing over the pasta and mix well
  • Add chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions and sliced olives; mix well
  • Toss entire mixture with 1/2 bottle Italian dressing and coat all ingredients thoroughly
  • Cover and refrigerate
  • Toss again just before serving with additional dressing (if needed)
Additional Advice:
  • Make up the night before so everything can marinate well
  • Sprinkle and mix in Parmesan or Romano cheese to add extra flavor

pizza salad

You can alter and improvise this basic recipe I first discovered at the grocery store deli counter; when I turned out to be about the only person who ever bought it the deli folks gave me the recipe so I could make it myself, then a while later I found a similar one on an Italian salad dressing jar! Make it however you desire according to taste and available ingredients, but the main thing is to assemble it – except for the cheese – at least 24 hours ahead of time. This is one of my favorite things to take to a potluck and I like to save a serving for myself and eat it about a week later, though I'd never take anything that aged to a polite gathering!

  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red pell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper (I vary the peppers according to current price)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 container cherry or grape tomatoes–cut each into halves or quarters
  • 1 or 2 4-ounce cans of sliced black olives
  • 1/4 ellbee sliced pepperoni (optional)
  • Italian salad dressing

slice all the above ingredients either coarse or fine, but for appearance and mouth-feel I'd advise being consistent; pour on Italian dressing, toss, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

before serving or taking to event, drain excess Italian dressing, add and toss to blend well:

shredded mozzarella cheese - I buy it already shredded in those bags and use about 1/2 of the bag (not sure what weight, but not the giant size—maybe 4 or 6 oz.) per regular-size salad

1/3 cup grated parmesan or parmesan and romano cheese