Thursday, April 29, 2010

Virgin Islands!

I'm going to St. John Island of the US Virgin Islands for 3 weeks as a visiting textile artist!

I will be on the north side of the island at Maho Bay cottage resort in their trash to treasures art center doing batik, sewing, dyeing, and possibly book binding!
I am very excited.

I have been gathering ideas, sketches, supplies:

and making lists and lists and lists:
I only have 1 week to get everything ready.
I checked out "The Flora of St. John" and saw that Indigofera grows as a roadside weed. I am totally going to harvest some and make indigo dye!
I can't wait to have endless craft time in a tropical location. Sun, warm water, snorkeling, coral reefs, batik, dye, tropical's too wonderful!
...AND: Adam is coming at the end for about 5 days so we can turn it into a vacation for the both of us :)
...or should I say an Anniversary Trip?!
Can you believe we have been married for nearly 1 year! Amazing.
May 8th, 2009.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Here is Adam with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.

An old friend used to say "Farmin' aint easy, farmin' aint easy."
But it can be fun!
Last week, Adam and I went to two lectures by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia. He is the "grass farmer" featured in The Omnivore's Dilemma.
On his family's land, he has a system of rotating chickens, pigs, and cows in succession over the field to raise both animals and healthy soil in a way that maximizes the qualities of the animal, provides a rich healthful diet, and minimizes purchased feed and fertilizers. It's simple and amazing.
Check out the Polyface site.
I think what we liked best about meeting Joel Salatin was the kinship we felt to him. He described himself as a "Christian-Libertarian-Environmentalist-Lunatic Farmer," and we can identify. He farms, goes to church, owns guns, homeschools his kids, votes for Ron Paul, and wants the government out of his personal life :)
Everything on his farm is open access and all ideas will never be patented. He's an open source guy.
He totally reminded me of Adam.
It was fun to be in a Seattle audience with people who respect him but you could tell they were a little uncomfortable/surprised he wasn't a Democrat or as "progressive" or "politically correct" in other parts of his life like they might have expected.
Yay for farmin'!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Peanut butter and venison!

We've been eating primarily peanut butter and venison over here at the homestead.
And we are not complaining one bit :)

Several weeks ago I won 3 packs of ground venison in a raffle at a gardening convention on Vashon Island. Yahooo! Free food!

We've feasted on venison pasta sauce with mushrooms and gunsmoke chili (delicious!)

Also in the kitchen:
Adam baked peanut butter cookies. He doesn't like baking and I have rarely seen him as stressed as he became...the poor man.

And last but not least:
Peanut Butter "shakes"
Mmmm, I could eat them everyday! (And I actually do)
2 doublehanded handfulls of ice (3 cups?)
1 frozen banana (soon you will keep bags of frozen bananas in your freezer like I do...)
1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup or more chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup sweetener like maple syrup, agave, brown sugar, etc
ground Chia seeds - for fiber :) (I get free samples from a vitamin shop over here)

blend it up!

Here's me eating 2 peanut butter shakes before I decided to make them myself!

The Sacrament of Birth

This just in!
My friend Analiesa, over at The Cotyledon, writes wonderful essays.
They are often on a mix of botany, birth, and Earth topics.
Her newest article, "The Sacrament of Birth" is excellent, inspiring, enlightening, and can be found at Square Two's site.
Here is the intro written by Square Two:
Third is one of the most beautiful essays we've been privileged to publish here at SquareTwo. It's by Analiesa Leonhardt, who helps us to recast the international issue of egregiously high maternal mortality rates into the spiritual issue it really is. Leonhardt does so by providing a exegesis of scripture concerning the earthly ordinance of birth. We promise that you will never think about birth the same way after reading this eloquent article."
Yay Ani!
Thanks for putting into words what women all over the world have internally understood but not verbalized. You are a talented spokeswoman :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The dogwoods (various Cornus species) have been blooming lately.
I love them!

Botanical factoids:
Dogwoods have 4 large bracts - special leaves at the base of a flower or group of flowers - that happen to be brightly colored and look like petals.
At the center of the 4 bracts - where we would expect to see stamens and pistils if the bracts had been petals- is a group of small, non-showy flowers.
...pretty cool :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

catching up

So many things to post about!
I mentioned my sister, Briana, came to visit and we re-arranged the entire house...
We also did some other things :)
Explore Pike's Market (for the 6th or 7th time...)

Sushi night!!!

Briana has hosted many sushi nights in Salt Lake City that I have recently missed. We made up for lost time :)

Our friends Chad and Wendy invited us over for Easter dinner

...not only was the food delicious (curried ham, salad, scalloped potatoes, steamed nettles, asparagus), but we had SO much fun.
Wendy and Chad are awesome.

We dyed Easter eggs

and laughed ourselves silly over rocket balloons and sticky hands!!!

They also let us eat all their special chocolate:)
While at Wendy and Chad's for Easter dinner, Wendy showed us her secret stinging nettle patch.

We picked so many nettle leaves it was a feat to wash and dry them without getting stung. But well worth it. Bri went home with a large bag of dried nettles (high in protein, iron, and other vities) for tea for her midwifery clients.

After Bri left, we still had a lot of raw tuna (I love raw tuna), so Adam made a wonderful seared tuna dinner :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring in Ithaca

I haven't posted what I've been up to for quite a while...
First, some photos from March, from my birthday trip to Ithaca, NY to visit Adam's mother and sisters and nieces!

It was a sister reunion and I'm so glad I could be there :)

The sisters all went to the spa for massages....

And met the boys for dinner at Maxie's Supper Club, a delicious New Orleans-style fish house :)

Had an Easter egg hunt with the cutest Barlow grandchildren!

Tirzah made a lovely Sichuan noodle dinner - she is a great cook!

Grandma, Grandpa, and all the little ones!
Eliza, Addie, Morgan, Jude, Oliver, Savannah, Jane, Elijah, and George:

Addie, Elijah, and Jane:

Tirzah and Jude:

I loved spending time with you all, thanks for a great trip.
It is wonderful to have such fun and friendly in-laws :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

My bike is gone :(

One of my most favorite things is gone :(
My special bike that I rode almost everyday for 5 years.

It's an old, rusty blue Schwinn mens bike. Very heavy, but I still want it back....
It was stolen from the Montlake commuters bike rack.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Cleaning!

Spring cleaning has struck our house - initiated by a visit from my sister :)
The kitchen:

The main room:

There is still more work to do, hang paintings, etc. but if any of you had been to our house before you would know this is a significant improvement :)