Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Game

I hae been playing a game for quite a while. This is unusual because I don't usually participate in games. It is just not something I like to do. However, this one is special and I'd like to share it with anyone who might be interested. Here's the link:

The game is at the bottom in the center of the page.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanskgiving

I haven't made a Thanksgiving meal in years. I used to make huge meals every year for people who, quite frankly, did not appreciate my efforts. I would slave for a day and a half only to have at least one person complain loudly that this or that dish was not made the way grandma used to make it. One of the things I am most thankful for today is that I no longer have any those people in my life. I eventually retired from making holiday dinners and have had some varied and fun experiences since. Thanksgiving dinner at Threadgill's is something everyone should try at least once. A couple of years ago, we went to San Antonio and walked around the river walk on Thanksgiving day. The weather was warm and most of the businesses were closed so we got to walk and look at everything without having to deal with a crowd. It was Stephen's first trip down there and we has a blast. Happening upon a hotel that had only been open for two weeks and had very few reservations for their Thanksgiving meal, we got to eat from a gourmet buffet with no planning what so ever.

This year is a little different. I have a chicken roasting in the oven and will roast or saute some of the vegetables from last Saturday's trip to the farmer's market. Since I made mozzarella a few days ago, I had whey with which I made bread yesterday. I have been doing this on a regular basis because store bought bread has way to many things in it that I can't pronounce and the last loaf we bought stayed in the cabinet for a month without going bad. That scared me!

I found meyer lemons at the farmer's market and Mistrel Boy reminded me of this recipe that I had been wanting to try whenever I was fortunate enough to find meyers. I had tried making a Shaker pie years ago with a recipe that I had come across somewhere. It tasted like citronella and left me thinking that I would never make another one. I have to agree with MB. It Rocks. Out. Loud.

I cheated on the crust but the rest of the recipe is exactly what is on his site. Next time, I may put some candied ginger in it or substitute some ginger syrup for part of the sugar.

soundtrack: Joel Raphael's Lemon Grove or anything from his Woodyboye or Woodeye cds 'cause it is good to remember that not everyone is fortunate enough to eat like this.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Eating Local

In her new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingslover and her family chronicle a year of eating only things that were locally grown. They made a few key exceptions, such as olive oil, coffee and flour, for which they could not find local sources. The book is a very interesting read. I don't think that it is practical for most of us to try to get that much of our food locally but Stephen and I were inspired to try to increase the amount of locally grown food in our diets. Not only does this mean that the food we buy from local producers will have more nutrient value, it means we are making a smaller carbon footprint. We saw a program on TV the other day in which it was stated that the average meal in our country travels 1500 miles by the time it gets to the table. That takes a lot of that stuff that a war is being fought over right now.

I have been trying to include at least something local in every meal. This has meant making an effort to get to the farmer's market every Saturday. Last night a friend came over for dinner and most of my haul from the farmer's market was sitting on the table. It is just to pretty to put in the 'fridge until I have to. Most of it won't last long enough to need to be refrigerated anyway. My friend said that I should take a picture of it and I decided that she was right.

I have been overjoyed to find so many fall tomatoes. We had very few this summer due to too much rain. I have eaten so many that my mouth has gotten sore and I have had to stop eating them. I got some last Saturday anyway along with baby eggplants, various colors of sweet peppers, apples, and Meyer lemons grown only a few miles away. I also scored some wonderful oak leaf lettuces, sweet basil and garlic. I missed out on eggs and mushrooms this week. When I got there just after 11:00 they were already sold out. Oh well, there is always next week.

If I really did not want to get out to the market, I could have Greenling deliver local organic produce to my door. We can also get locally produced olive oil, although right now it would be cost prohibitive to buy enough for cooking and soap making. Texas wines have come a long way in the past few years and if we chose, we could get as much wine as we could drink from no more than 70 miles from home and not feel deprived. We don't drink enough wine to make that an issue. Wheat is also grown here but I am not sure where it is processed into flour so I will do the best I can for bread making.

Of course, the best way to 'eat local' is to have a garden of your own. So far, I have not had a place to do much of that. I hope to remedy that in the next year or two. In the mean time, I have a blast at the farmer's market where I can take Lani if I choose and listen to live music while munching an organic pastry as I do my shopping.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thirteen Goofy Signs

1. The sign on the lawn of a local church recently read:
Stomp the Devil

2. Another church sign: Jesus is your only life insurance.
(Does he work for Allstate? Prudential?????)

3. Yet another church: Eternity:Smoking or Non-smoking?

4. Another: Give Satan an inch and he'll be a ruler.

5. Yet another: Stop, Drop, and Roll doesn't work in hell.
(How does anyone know?)

6. Another church:Forbidden Fruit Creates Many Jams

7. Common on several church signs that I have seen:Join us for a new beginning
(Can one have an old beginning?)

8. On a plumber's truck: We'll get you out of a jam

9. On a porta-potty truck: Austin Outhouse
(This one is not really so goofy but it pains those of us who have been here long enough to
remember a really cool club by the same name.)

10. Hair salon: Mane Event

11. Another hair salon: Scizzors of Oz

12. Anther hair salon: The Greatful Head
(This could also be on a porta-pot is any one ever thought about it.)

13. A steakhouse that is now long gone: A Raw Deal

Just thought of the perfect soundtrack for this post: Berkley Hart's 911 Jesus

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lani's Obsession

At first glance, it appears that there is a red oak tree two feet off out patio. A closer look reveals two trees that have become one, their roots intertwined and their trunks wrapped together never to be separated.

It has provided wonderful shade for us this summer and our electric bills have been low . It also provides homes for squirrels, toads, snails and fairies.

The fairies have lived high in the branches during the summer sheltered by thick leaves. As the days have grown shorter, the leaves have begun to fall affording less cover for the fairies. They have been slowly moving down to their winter home at the base of the tree and under its roots. Lani is keeping a sharp eye on their movements through the space at the bottom where the trees have stayed just far enough apart to remind themselves of their individuality.

I think the fairies have enchanted her because she cannot stay away from the trees. She is so obsessed that she can hardly stay indoors long enough to eat. As soon as we open the door for her, she races around the trees to look into the hole from the other side then creeps back around to look in from the side nearest the house. She will chase the squirrels who are feasting on the bumper crop of acorns but always comes back to the patio where she lies on the concrete and stares at the gap between the trees. We have peered into the gap many times and can see nothing. However, if I listen closely, I can sometimes here the faint flutter of tiny wings.

Soundtrack for this post: Into the Mystic, Van Morrison

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We Might as Well Laugh About It

We saw a bumper sticker the other day that cracked us up.

It apparently got started here:

It seems that the Democrats are now have a candidate of equal standing:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Natural Faces

I think the Ent Wives live in my back yard. What do you think?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Manifestation Happens

If you have been reading this blog for very long, you know that I have been studying the Law Of Attraction for the past few months and trying to consciously implement its principles into my life. Basically, you have to get clear on what you want and allow yourself to have it. It sounds simple but it takes practice. If I create my world then I have to take responsibility for everything in my life, even those pesky back-up beeps. I'm still working on that one.

For quite some time now, I have wanted a kayak. Women who paddle a lot have fabulous upper bodies. I can always use more upper body strength for what I do for a living and I don't particularly like working out. When we moved into this house, I knew I had a good place to store a kayak so I started looking for one on craigslist. I did not really want to buy one, I wanted to barter for one. I had a couple of 'nearly got one' experiences. Yesterday it happened. I manifested a kayak!!!! I am very excited and can't wait to take it out on Town, I mean, Ladybird Lake.

The thing I like most about the kayak is how it came to me. I am serious when I say I manifested it. I also say that about the house we live in, which is a mansion compared to the place we moved into when we first moved back to Austin five years ago. We have moved three times since then, each time to a better place than the one before. This house is a quantum leap from the first one. It took five years to get this house but only a few months to get the kayak. Both times, I was very clear about what I wanted and just waited for it to come to me in the way that it came. The rent on our house is a couple of hundred dollars a month less than what we thought we would have to pay for a house with a lot less yard for Lani. I got exactly the car I wanted in the same way for a little less that what I thought I'd have to pay as well. That took less time than the kayak. I think that was because I was more focused on it.

When I started working with the Law Of Attraction, it was all about my financial situation and things that I wanted. It is becoming more a way of life with me because it works on all levels. I am becoming much more aware of my thoughts and the thought patterns that govern my life. Once I become aware of a thought pattern, I can usually figure out how it is affecting me and make an effort to transform it into a pattern with which I am more comfortable. I look forward to attracting more wonderful people, things and feelings into my life.
Soundtrack for this post: Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary 'cause I'm gonna be rollin' on the river real soon. Feel free to substitute Tina Turner's version if you like.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Reasons To Stop Complaining

1. It just calls attention to things you don't like.

2. It can make people think you are a negative person.

3. It can make you feel that you are a negative person.

4. Focusing on negative aspects of a situation attracts more negativity to the situation.

5. Focusing on the negative aspects of a situation may very well attract more negative situations.

6. It's a waste of energy and you often feel guilty about it later.

7. Complaining about what you don't have just emphasizes to your self that you don't have it.

8. People get sick of listening to you complain.

9. You get sick of listening to yourself complain.

10. Getting sick of listening to yourself can cause you to actually get sick.

11. Most of the time, things are not as bad as we make them sound like they are.

12. Focusing on the negative makes it easy to overlook the positive.

13. It really is not very much fun. It does not make you feel good and
nothing is more important than feeling good.