Saturday, June 22, 2013

who EXACTLY does 'lawncare' in the middle of the night?

apparently people who don't want to be video-d while they are vandalizing an adjacent property!

ok a friend sent me this following funny by email
and boy is it apt to me--- i hate lawns
God and Lawn Care...

Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets,  milkweeds  and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers 'weeds' and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

No, sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

Yes, Sir.

These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

And where do they get this mulch?

They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

Dumb and Dumber', Lord. It's a story about....

Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

we have discovered the joy of enchiladas

AND experiments with tortillas will follow....................

actually bernie and i talked about how much the enchiladas i made last night tasted like pot pie!
so i'm thinking...... WHAT IF????

what if i use tortilla for the 'pastry' of a pot pie?
i'm thinking it's worth a try no?

lately i'm doing total dinners to freeze, in addition to all the other stuff we have raw or partly cooked in the freezer
it's helping when he has to be gone on a two day trip.
he can take it and just reheat it at whatever terminal he lands at
and days when either i am not doing too well or i am painting a lot etc...... we can just heat up supper

i used to do things like this when i was working outside the house, because i never knew what time i would be getting in, so it was easy for bernie to throw something in the oven and eat, saving me a plate.

with his new schedule, we never know from one day to the next what is going on so this will work well for us too.

meanwhile i am working on the reindeer herder, she's almost done, i am not liking her as much as the last one....but we'll see when i am finished with her
i may redo her
originally i saw her with a tattooed face! but i didn't want to paint her that way, sometimes i think she's gotten back at me for not doing that by giving me a hard time painting her

i am considering the next in the series as well

and that is our little corner of the world right now......(yeah i know--- abrupt change of pace but hey)

Sunday, June 16, 2013


i bake muffins at least every other day or so, in this pan-
bernie takes two of them a night and has them for his 'breakfast' at about 6am or so, when he's delivered his last load-
(i pack him sandwitches, a banana, and two muffins along with his thermos of tea every day)

today's muffin is banana oatmeal, with cinnamon and allspice
sometimes i make him blueberry orange, or carrot pineapple, strawberry etc........
all of them include oatmeal, along with freshly ground whole grain flour, two duck eggs (thank you my beloved muscovies) and sometimes coconut, granola, and 85% cacao chips....

his favorites are the blueberry, the banana and occasionally the carrot ones.......
i experiment a lot, and when i have apples he'll get apple in there, or apricots, in the fall he gets fresh pumpkin ( i get small pie pumpkins that i bake ahead)

i feel a bit better about him eating them since they have oatmeal, whole grain flour, cinnamon, olive oil and fresh fruits in there - i am not crazy about the sugar in there but he wouldn't eat them without it
i tried

anyway, i am trying to find some other different muffins for him... stuff that is fast for me to bake as i throw this batter together in two bowls and in ten minutes then bake for 20 minutes

it has to be fast cause it's in between everything else i do
so i have a bit of time to paint around chores.

i am considering sweet potato muffins in the fall...... we'll see
i didn't plant zucchini so they are out

really i would like a rotating roster of maybe 10 or 15 different ones
and then i plan on a baking week to stock them into the freezer

any ideas?

ok here is the basic muffin recipe
now mind i don't actually measure

1.5 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
oatmeal..... about 1.5 cups ( i grind it up a bit too)
cinnamon ......i use vietnamese and i use about a tablespoon or so (probably more)
dash of allspice
dash of ginger occasionally (usually with the carrot muffins)

mix that all up in a bowl really well-- if you are adding granola or chips or nuts or raisins add them here

in a separate bowl
1 cup or so of milk ( never measure) to which you added tablespoon or so of lemon juice to curdle the milk
 2 duck eggs beat the daylights out of them before you add them to the wet stuff
(or two HUGE chicken eggs but the duck eggs are much better)
1/2 cup of oil (we use olive oil)

then the fruits
3 bananas mashed well
or about 1.5 cups of grated carrots mixed with 1/2 a cup of crushed or chopped pineapple
or 2 cups of blueberries with about 1/8 a cup of fresh orange zest/juice
if you want to use molasses throw in about a tablespoon or so here

mix the wet ingredients thoroughly--- seriously do all your mixing here
the put the oven on at 350

now mix the dry into the wet until JUST combined....don't over mix
there will be flecks of dried stuff here and there
that's ok
fill your muffin pan and bake for about 20 minutes
test with a toothpick - if it comes out clean- take them out of the oven and let cool a bit
then cool on a rack

these are wonderful ............ and bernie loves them (so do i but i don't usually eat them, preferring to save them for him)
he said with a bit of cream cheese he's in heaven

so there you go
let me know if you make them ok? and if you experiment let me know what you did

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

i hate lawns

 if you look carefully in the center of the photos there is a baby fawn... out back.
see the baby?
it's momma was browsing out in the second backyard and left the fawn safely in our care.

then bernie mowed the front and side yards
and disturbed a nest of baby bunnies... i didn't see if he'd gotten any but we did have scared bunnies running around like crazy and now they have no weed cover......or food

needless to say i am upset
i am upset that the asshole neighbor got away with forcing bernie to mow- at least while the baby season is upon us
here i have tall weeds, that are alive with bugs, birds, frogs, toads, bunnies, fawns and other living creatures ............ no chemicals are dumped..... mother nature rules as she should

it's so worth seeing a tiny new born fawn still wet struggling to stand
or watching a cardinal pair raise their little babies in the rhododendron right outside the front windows

now if i had a say, the lawn would so be jettisoned and just stands of native wild plants would be there.... i may reserve a small patch for beans or something like that..... but really i can't see the sense in a lawn. trees........yes absolutely even dead ones.... our native animals get short shifted these days by stupid developers, even stupider homeowners, invasive non-native species, and overly aggressive application of chemicals- to control our native plants!
and then people get mad at me!

the neighbor said our property was a 'shithole'
i don't understand's alive with all sorts of wonderful life...... see that baby fawn???
does this mean that all these birds, and animals should be killed? that their habitats should be annihilated? because one uneducated person thinks that i need to listen to their opinion of what MY property needs to look like?

this is america?

Thursday, June 06, 2013

just some odds and ends

first some observations:
karma is the universe's loving way of allowing you a second (or third or fourth) way to get it right

we all are learning..... but i suspect while we're at it..... we are teaching and setting examples-and some of that at times could be divinely inspired (or whatever your world view of the universe is)

watching ducks bath quietly in the dappled sunlight on a day that is not too hot, and not too cold is one of the good times, even if you get splashed a little - or splashed a LOT

sometimes, you really need to come down on the side of kindness, even though you get shit on for it,
because, you understand the deeper problem. that doesn't mean you are a victim, you can defend just means that you don't go any further then retaliation, no 'teach them a lesson they will never forget' .............

destruction seems to always be followed by CONSTRUCTION, both in housing, nature and human experience
i didn't say any of that was easy, or pleasant, or fun-- although it could be

i am back painting, when i paint, my brain goes into some odd sort of meditative mode, sometimes it's 'out there' seeing the universe from a different vantage point, sometimes it's asking some 'big' questions, and getting some interesting answers.....
i think that's why i keep painting too, because for me it's very healing to be 'out there'
i really do feel better after a few hours of painting
i also find my world gets into a better (most of the time anyway) balance
unless of course the painting is not going well

i've started the reindeer herder/ elen of the ways in earnest now
and let me tell you every part of this has given me a hard time
studies for the aurora borealis (which i also learned to spell properly during the research) took a while
finding her face took a while (the face she kept showing me kept changing)
researching reindeer took a while
then i dreamt the process
which actually worked out a bit better then i thought .....(with the exception of too much 'starry' maskoid)

i am actually on to her face now

i found myself scrubbing the watercolor just like i used to scrub the oil paints.....
adding hazes of transparent color not washes..... but hazes
i'm thinking that may not be a traditional way of doing watercolors........
don't get me wrong, i also use washes...... some very wet juicy ones......but i let them dry a bit then i've been scrubbing over them with color
i'm thinking that is probably part of who i am as an artist, since it's something i've done with oils, acrylics and now watercolors

in addition i've been listening to audio books lent me by a friend.
the only time i can listen and hear them is while painting!
not while knitting or doing housework or in bed.....
and i'm not in a car much so not there

at this point...... this is about it for this post, if i think of something else later, i'll update (most likely in the observations part)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

just a fly by posting

since that incident yesterday, roland the dove hasn't been back
we fear something has happened to him
but we still put out some bird seed for him
i didn't sleep at all
so bernie is putting the AC in the bedroom today
he didn't sleep at all yesterday either so maybe this will help him

i decided that due to the extreme hot weather.....i would make sure all the animals are kept in and cool

in painting news.... i am closer to the layout of the reindeer herder
i still mourn the loss of that thistle as i have that second goldfinch painting for susan to do

it's so hot here
the heat is way too much for may/'s more like august heat
i also noticed that another big maple is dying
i am thinking that it's in the water that fed that one and the 300 year old one that died already
we need to get the well checked

and a filter on the drinking water i suppose
it's all a bit overwhelming at the moment