Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 and a New Blog

HAPPY New Year, everybody.

3 years of blogging.

Be sure to visit my food blog, Not Just Any Dish

Thursday, November 26, 2009

No More Anonymous Comments

I like getting comments, I really do. However, I have gotten really tired of anonymous comments directing readers to commercial sites. Therefore, I have disabled anonymous comments until further notice.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Making Crystalized Ginger II

I have decided to make crystallized ginger again. This time, I am going more for the syrup than the ginger. I am making bread pudding for Thanksgiving and I think that a ginger syrup glaze will really put it over the top. Thanks to Minstrel Boy at Harp and Sword for the original recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds fresh, peeled ginger, cut into medallions (should be about a quart by volume)
3 cups sugar
1 lemon, sliced thin and seeded
1 cup light Karo® syrup (usually when I use a brand name it is because I've tried another label and not have had good results. Go ahead and use an off brand if you want, but there's something about the Karo® that works in this one)
large granule sugar for dusting


It takes four or five days to make this and I will do it in three this time by doing a step every morning and every evening.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Greyhounds Needing Homes

I got this information from one of my Facebook/blog friends. If you or anyone you know is in a position to help, please do so. Also, feel free to pass this on.

Dairyland Greyhound Racetrack in Kenosha, Wisconsin will be closing on December 31, 2009. 900 Greyhounds need to be adopted or they will be euthanized. Please help me get the word out; there is only 6 weeks to get this task done. Contact Joanne Kehoe Operations Director P: 312.559.0887 Or Dairyland Race Track Adoption Center direct at (262) 612-8256

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Questions

I try to keep it positive on this blog but the men in Congress carrying on about abortion are pissing me off. I have some questions I'd like to hear them and any other men who think they should have a say regarding this issue answer.

Have you ever had a one night stand?

Have you ever convinced a woman to have sex with you and then never called her again?

Have you had sex with a woman without it ever crossing your mind that she might become the mother of your child?

Have you had sex with a woman with whom you would never want to have children?

Do you know a mother who has had to take the father of her child to court to get child support?

Are you capable of carrying a child in your body and going through all of the discomfort of pregnancy and childbirth?

Are you naive enough to think that making abortion will stop it from happening? Have you ever heard of back alleys and clothes hangers?

As long as you can have sex without thinking about any of these things, how can you think that decisions regarding pregnancy and its management are not yours to make?

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Snow of the Year






We had a tiny bit of snow last week but it was really wet and didn't stick. It did leave quite a bit of snow on the mountains. Last night's snow decorated cars, rooftops, trees, and these flowers next to a wall in my neighborhood.






















Soundtrack for this post: Townes Van Zant's Snowing on Raton because is really has and we are all hoping for a good ski season.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Not Quite as Good as I Thought


It seems that the bill that passed the House which would expand the range of the mustangs and make the BLM free the thousands that they have in holding pens has not made it to the Senate and it may not ever. We need to contact out senators NOW. One of the senators from Wyoming strongly opposes the bill and will do her best not to pass. THE HORSES MAY BE KILLED unless the senate takes action. The Senate will only take action if we let them know that we want them to do so. Please take a look at this site and take whatever action you feel is right for you.

Photo borrowed from http://tinyurl.com/kvgrrw

No soundtrack for this one. It just makes me sick.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Great News!!!

The House has passed bill 239-185 which expands the range of wild horses by millions of acres and stops a plan by the BLM to kill thousands of them now held in holding pens. It appears that they will be set free. I have been following this story for a long time and I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I hope that the BLM will get the message and change some of its other policies.

Read more here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Help Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

If you are interested in this issue, you can go here and sign a letter from Lt. Dan Choi to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to help do away with this ridiculous piece of bureaucratic BS.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Bloomin' 'Hood

Garden in front of the trattoria


Mormon tea (Gnetaceae Ephedra)


Day lilies


Neighbor's roses




Yellow hollyhocks



Lavender and a blue door

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Moe

I just found a couple of videos by my favorite blues band. If get to the Houston area, check them out.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It at Least Got a Shot in the Arm

The Austin City Counsel, in an unusual fit of common sense, voted last night to retroactively reinstate Shady Grove's outdoor music permit.

In other news, since it is the anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, I'm gonna listen to me some Hendrix.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Music is Not Dead,Just Mortally Wounded


I have written several posts describing the reasons I love Austin. However, the Austin that I love so much seems to be on life support which is one of the reasons I moved. One of my favorite venues, Shady Grove, was shut down last Thursday night before 8pm because a 'neighbor' complained and the police showed up to enforce the cities new noise ordinance. It appears that this ordinance is only used against live music venues. You can make all the noise you want with your power tools, motorcycle, construction equipment, whatever, just don't play your music any louder than you can talk.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/8854/unplugged-at-the-grove-shut-down-due-to-noise-complaint


photo from Austin Daily Photos http://austindailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 5, 2009

John and Nanci

I just found one of my all time favorite music videos on Youtube.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Here's Waldo

We have been taking drives on Saturdays and Sundays to help us get our bearings in the area around Santa Fe and just to see the sights. We took I25 south to exit 267 then turned east/south on the road to Los Cerrillos. The road soon turns to gravel as it winds through Waldo Canyon.






















Here's Waldo, or what is left of it. It was once a mining town and a railroad stop. You can still see some foundations. (click on the photo for a better look.) The town was bought in in the thirties and a salvage operation was undertaken in which just about everything usable was removed. If you look under the trees, one of the foundations is visible. Someone was stopped under the trees in a truck and he did not particularly look as though he would would welcome the presence of a couple of extra people and a dog so we parked farther away. We observed a lot of broken glass, indicating that Waldo may now be a party spot.








The road continues on to Los Cerrillos, another mining town. It is considered a ghost town even though people live there. The downtown area is designated as a historic landmark. This $40,000 painted horse was in front of an antique shop.

From there we took HWY14 to Madrid. (The a is pronounced like the a in cat and the emphasis is on the first syllable.) I can see why Lauren loves it so much. It is an old mining 'ghost town' that has become an artist village. We did not stop since it was a little crowded and we had Lani with us.









We took the road that goes from HWY 14 to Galiesto. It turns into a gravel road for a few miles and we were looking for a place to let Lani get out and run around. It is easy to feel that you are out there in a private place where few if any other people stop. We were reminded that that is not always the case by what we found in the grass. It could only have been there a few hours since it had rained in the area yesterday and this was dry. I was going to leave it where it was but Stephen picked it up and turned it over. On the back was written: Look who's picture was on the mirror?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Observations on Santa Fe

I am seeing my new hometown with fresh eyes.This means that I notice things that people who have been here for a while don’t notice quite so much.Before I get to the point where some of these things seem passé to me, I want to make note of them.

The Subaru seems to be the official car of Santa Fe.(Matilda, my Outback, must feel right at home here.)Half the cars here must be Subarus and two thirds of those are Outbacks.I have been making a game of counting them at red lights and in parking lots. Today I took Lani to a trailhead in the national forest so she could get some off leash time.There were four cars in the parking area when we got back off the trail. Three of them were Outbacks.

Santa Fe is the most dog friendly town I have ever seen. I can take Lani almost everywhere with me.There are shops downtown that have water bowls and dog treats inside their doors.I have been told that I can take her into Home Depot, Lowes and even the dreaded Walmart. I went to a little touristy mall today and left her in the car while I went into a little pet supply/gift shop to get some poop bags and the clerk told me I could have brought her into the mall with me. I saw a couple of shop owner’s dogs in there.

I can walk to two, soon to be three, grocery stores from my house.I can walk to two malls and downtown to the plaza as well as to many other shops and restaurants. I go several days at a time without moving my car.

I thought that there were no black people here until I went to the massage board office today and had a meeting with a wonderful woman who happened to be black. I wonder if she feels isolated here.This is kind of a culture shock to me having grown up in northeast Texas.It feels like something is missing.



Scott Cadenasso is not only a wonderful performer but is one of the best cooks on the planet.


I have never seen a place in which so many women seem to dress exclusively in purple.

People seem very polite to each other here.They make it a point to hold doors open for each other and wave to each other spontaneously from their cars. The drivers seem pretty polite to each other as well.

Hippies are alive and well in Santa Fe. This makes me very happy.

I don’t think I will ever take the views of the mountains for granted.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Leaving Texas

I left Austin, Texas on April 16 just ahead of a good old-fashioned Texas thunderstorm. It had started to sprinkle just at the last of my things were loaded into the containers that would be transported to Santa Fe in a few days. I had intended to take the northern route up through San Angelo and Big Spring before heading due west at Brownfield. I was leaving Austin in the afternoon and figured I could make it to Big Spring and find a hotel for the night. However, one of my movers, Justin, told me that his brother was driving a truck in far West Texas and that he had called saying that there were really bad storms all over the area. Having experienced enough of West Texas storms to know that they can contain not only extremely high winds but also large hail stones, I decided it would be prudent to take the southern route which would take me down IH10 to Ft. Stockton where I would head west on US 285. (I found out the next day that Lubbock had experienced an awful hailstorm).

My drive that afternoon was pretty easy. It was cloudy and the wind was at my back. The sun came out about the time I got to Sonora where I had thought I might stop for the night.It was only about 7pm then so I decided to go on to Ft. Stockton. I had sort of dreaded the very last part of the drive because I thought that I might be driving right into the setting sun. Just as the sun started sinking toward the horizon, a big dark cloud settled in just in front of it and a little off to one side. The result was that I saw some gorgeous colors in the sky and did not have the sun in my face and got to watch a wonderful display of lightening just to the east as I walked Lani around the motel grounds later on. I got to Ft. Stockton about nine o’clock and checked Lani and me into the Motel 6. (I have to recommend the Ft. Stockton Motel 6 if you are passing through and need a place to lay your head for the night. It was clean and felt very safe. There are several motels and hotels along I 10 in Ft. Stockton and I was a little bit overwhelmed with the choices. I chose the Motel 6 because they were the only one that posted their rates on their sign. I only paid $40 for a non smoking room and they did not ask for more money for Lani even though I am sure the staff could see her in the car. There were several other guests who had dogs with them and no one seemed to mind.)

I took my time getting out of town the next day. I slept in due to being tired from all of the work of packing and moving and attempting to sleep on a no-air mattress the night before. Then I drove around Ft. Stockton until I found a car wash and still had to do some work on my windshield as I had run into a swarm of large bugs of some kind at sunset the previous evening. I did not get out of town until around 10:00 am central time.

I am always amazed at the way the landscape changes immediately when you cross the state line into New Mexico on 285. The drive up until that point is pretty flat even though you are steadily gaining altitude. As soon as you cross the state line, the road starts to curve and wind up and down the hills. The plant life seems to change as well. Cactus and chaparral seem to be spaced at somewhat equal intervals. The road surface is a lot quieter and smoother as well.

The drive north was gruesome. There was a steady wind from the west that grew stronger the further north I traveled. By the time I got to Roswell, I was getting pretty tired. I drove around behind a convenience store to find a somewhat sheltered place to let Lani out of the car. It was miserably windy even there. I had to coax her to get back into the car with a piece of beef jerky. Our next stop was in Vaughn.(Follow the link and you will see that it is almost listed as a ghost town.) By then my hands had started to hurt from fighting to hold the car on the road. The wind hitting us from the side was pushing us to the right. I found a small building to stop behind and let Lani get out for a few minutes. Again, she did not want to get back into the car and I did not blame her. If there had been a decent looking hotel in that run down little burg, I would have considered stopping for the night. I tried to talk Lani into driving for a little while but she ignored me and stretched out on the back seat for a nap. I made up my mind that I was not stopping again until I got to Santa Fe.

Stephen had called to tell me that it was snowing in Santa Fe. I did not see any snow until I crossed I 40 at Cline’s Corner. I could see a strange fogginess around the mountains in the distance that I knew was snow. When I drove into it, the flakes were big and wet and smooshed on my windshield. That only lasted about five miles. Then I was back into the flats of the high desert with more wind than ever.

By the time I got to Santa Fe, the snow had just about stopped and the roads were fine. (I had come through a construction zone that Stephen had been a little worried about without having to stop.) The city was covered in a white blanket. There was still a little bit on the trees and roofs the next morning. We drove up near the ski area the next day and let Lani get out and run around in the snow. She seemed to like it.

Things I learned during this move:

Rachel, Ann and Colleen just ROCK! I already knew this but it was reinforced by all of the help they gave me with packing and helping me stay somewhat sane.

Lani is a wonderful travel companion, even if she won’t take her turn at the wheel.

I don’t ever want to have to pack up and do all of the nuts and bolts of moving again while Stephen goes on ahead and picks out a house by himself.

Leaving Texas always feels a little sad to me when I know I am not coming back for a while.

Soundtrack to this post:

Jerry Jeff Walker’s Leaving Texas.




Photo from

http://rvdreams.smugmug.com/photos/157219111-S.jpg

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Moving Manifestation

It is one of those things that we have dreamed about, concentrated on and worked toward for a long time, at least 2 years. Now that it is happening, things are moving so fast that it seems as thought we have had no warning at all.

Three weeks ago, Stephen's job ended with no severance pay, unemployment benefits or anything. Last week, he went to Santa Fe for a job interview and on Thursday, we found out that he had gotten the job. He has to be at work a week from today. We are busy packing, selling furniture on Craigslist, giving stuff away, seeing friends for the last time in a while........ I an feeling a little over whelmed as I close down my practice and say goodbye to my clients. I don't know what awaits me in the way of work in Santa Fe. I do know that it will take a month or more to get a massage license out there. I am open to finding some other line of work, at least for a while. That would take the pressure off of my healing work and let me just enjoy doing it without worrying about making a living at it. I know that something wonderful awaits me.

It is a little bit hard to leave the community of which we are a part here in Austin but I know that we will always be a part of it and Santa Fe is only a days drive away. I imagine we will be back often to visit and I expect a lot of people to come and visit us.

I had better get back to packing now.....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The wind is up and the hawks are screaming. It must be March.

When we moved into this house two years ago this month, one of the first things I saw was a redtail circling about a foot over the top of the house with prey in his beak. He flew to a live oak in the neighbor's yard where he was joined by his mate, the biggest hawk I have ever seen. We soon realized that they were raiding squirrel nests that had been left exposed when the live oaks lost their leaves.

A day or two ago, I took Lani for a walk through the neighborhood. At one point, we heard the hawks calling to each other at close range. I looked up and saw the female light on a utility pole. She called out to the male who swooped in and mounted her. I stood still and watched the birdie porn, totally amazed at what I was seeing. Hawks are messengers and visionaries as totums. I always try to be vigilant regarding things I see and hear after I see one. I choose to believe that observing a pair of hawks in such an act of creation is an omen of good things to come, possibly the fruition of a long held desire. I am sharing this with you along with the hope that you will have your most cherished wish fulfilled soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Hit the Double Nickels and Take Up with Blues Musicians

House concerts are the most intimate way to hear an artist perform. They got started in the early 90s as a way to provide a listening environment for traveling folk musicians and their audiences. You can't get a lot closer to the music than sitting in a living room with the musician a few feet from you. I have attended lots of house concerts and hosted my first ones in San Angelo, Texas in the mid 90s.





It has been a while since I have lived in a house with the size an configuration needed to host such an event and now that I do, I have decided to celebrate my up coming birthday by inviting my favorite blues band to do a show here.





Way back in the day…before people brought canopies and circus tents, before the RV slots, all the campfires at Kerrville were out in the open under the stars. I camped at Camp Stupid then. (Did you know that I am actually a charter member?) It was on the other side of the road from where it is now, up against the fence where the RVs park. We had the most amazing song circles. On the most magical of many magical nights under the stars, I found myself sitting next to a tall, skinny National guitar player from Houston. He had me laughing so hard I could hardly breathe with his lyrics while absolutely blowing me away with his musicianship and vocalizations. I have been a huge fan of his for more than fifteen years and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my slamming into the double nickels this month than to ask him play in my l! iving room.


Announcing a house concert featuring Moe Hansum Band


Saturday, March 28 at 8:00 pm.


The Moe Hansum Band has been together in many incarnations since the early 1990's. It ignited from the songwriting, singing, and guitar talents of Mike Durbin and Chuck Schwarz. The instrumentation currently consists of two acoustic and resonator guitarists (Mike Durbin and Chuck Schwarz), an upright acoustic bassist (Sandy Buller), and drummer (Stephan B. Miller). They have performed at festivals such as the Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville, Texas) and at many other locations in Texas including Atones (Austin), the Continental Club (Houston) and Dan Electros Guitar Bar (Houston). They have also entertained at house concerts and private parties throughout Texas.


The Moe Hansum Band has an uncanny ability to personally move their audience. Songs like "My Old House" transport audience members to the memories of a childhood home complete with the childhood dog. From being moved to tears on one song to stomping their feet on the next song, Moe's audience deeply experiences their music. Moe's music can be healing and therapeutic for those longing for an authentic voice in traditional and modern folk blues. Mary Harris, of Ken & Mary's Blues Project, calls Moe "the John Stein beck of music...When you hear the rift of the guitar in 'Poor Boy' your body starts to sway, you see the screen door slam as it closes on your broken heart...Time with Moe is like visiting your best friend to rejuvenate your soul, to laugh and dance, to drink from the fountain of words...you leave feeling nourished in body and soul and smiling...wanting mo'e..."





For more information about Moe Hansum Band please visit their website



Please email for reservations and directions. Suggested donation is $15.00. Please bring a folding chair if you have one and carpool if possible. We will provide some snackage but feel free to bring your own. We will have water and non-alcoholic drinks available. You are welcome to bring any other beverages you wish.




****The vocalist in the video is Sonny Boy Terry. Moe Hansum will be a three piece band for the concert.*****

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Update on Yesterday's Post

I just got an email from Rene' and Danny Britt informing me that yet another Austin resteraunt is jumping on the band wagon. As I said, gotta LOVE this town:

The Cannoli Joe’s “Tex-Italia Wine Celebrations” have been such a success, the owners of Cannoli Joe’s have decided the “Tex-Italia Wine Celebrations” will run throughout 2009. The wine events are held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6 – 9 p.m., with free wine tastings, jazz music and food.

Cannoli Joe’s has chosen Artz Ribhouse to be the beneficiary for four evenings. (March 4
& 5) and (March 11 & 12). Artz Ribhouse will receive 100% of all profits from each night.

Four wineries will be represented each night, offering free wine tastings (two wines or one wine and one Texas Spirit). Bottles or “by glass” purchases of their wines/spirits will be offered at highly reduced prices for all guests. Wineries, wines and spirits include Robert Mondavi, Clos Du Bois, Llano Estacado, McPherson Cellars, Messina Hof, Fall Creek Vineyards, San Angelo, Esperto, Flat Creek Estate, Capezzana, Centine, San Juan Capistrano and Tito's Vodka, among others.

The wine events are open to the public, and there is no additional charge for the wine event or the wine tastings.

Free performances include: Larisa Montanaro Jazz trio (March 4 & 5); Sarah Temple trio (March 11 & 12)

Guests will also enjoy Cannoli Joe’s’ new menu items, some of which include more heart-healthy and vegetarian options. New menu items include Bruschetta dal Giorno (Bruschetta toast topped with garlic-white bean puree and roasted wild mushrooms); Pork Medallions Fiorentina (grilled pork loin cutlets topped with a wild mushroom, sage cream sauce, served over sautéed spinach); Spicy Pasta “Texinara” (whole grain penne pasta, mushrooms, scallions, zucchini, red bell pepper, and broccoli florets tossed in a spicy roasted jalapeno marinara sauce); grilled salmon; Stuffed Polenta Cake (Italian cornmeal cake filled with basil pesto, sun-dried tomato puree and a blend of Italian cheese) and Grilled Vegetable Lasagna Verde (mixed grilled vegetables between thin layers of pasta and a creamy pesto filling).

These events are in addition to Cannoli Joe’s extensive wine list that features 30-plus wines (with 17 of those from Italy), chosen by Bob Hauser, Cannoli Joe’s chef /owner and graduate of New York’s Culinary Institute of America.

Cannoli Joe’s is located at 4715 Hwy. 290 West in south Austin, near the Berger Center. For more information, contact Bob Hauser at (512) 892-4444 or
bobh@cannolijoes.com, or visit the website at http://www.cannolijoes.com/.

CANNOLI JOE’S: Cannoli Joe’s has seven separately themed dining areas, each with its own eclectic Italian personality, ranging from the Marco Polo Room with its giant mural of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Mambo Room with the walls plastered with photos of the Rat Pack—Dean, Sammy and Frank. A fully stocked bar features an extensive wine list with 17 Italian wines, Italian and domestic specialty beers, and signature cocktails like Joe’s famous Texas Bellini Swirl, and the Caesarita margarita.

Cannoli Joe’s is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekday lunch is $9.99. Monday through Thursday dinner is $13.99. Friday dinner is $15.99. Saturday brunch is $13.99 and Saturday dinner is $15.99. (Extra items are added to the list of offerings on nights and then more on weekend nights). Sunday brunch is $13.99 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and then regular offerings from 3 to 9 p.m. for $15.99. Children three and under are free; those 12 years and under are half price. There is no additional charge for the wine event or the wine tastings.
- 30 -

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gotta Love This Town


Having lived in a couple of 'music towns' and spent time in several others, I can say with a little bit of authority that there is no place like Austin and the music community that makes its home here. Despite of all the changes and growth taking place here, the heart of this community within a city still beats strongly. Whenever a musician is in need, it pulls out all the stops and comes together in ways that I have never seen anywhere else. It seems that there is always as benefit for someone happening somewhere and I have attended quite a few of them. The one I went to last Sunday stands out from the others in several ways.

One of my favorite funky South Austin spots is ARTZ Ribhouse. This place is so cool that even some vegitarians I know go there. To a rib joint!!I have been going to ARTZ since before I moved to Austin and it is one of the first places I took Stephen to when he moved in with me. It was also the first place he played here. Paul Barker made a place for him on the Bummer Night schedule. This happened because Kerry Polk was kind enough to give him some time from her set. ARTZ is special for so many reasons. It is South Austin funk at its best. It is home to interlocking circles of music and barbecue fans who show up on different nights to support their favorite musicians, enjoy each other's company and chow down on some of the best babybacks around.

The crowd changes from night to night. Sunday afternoons they host the Central Texas Bluegrass Association. Monday night is owned by Sarah Elizabeth Campbell and the Banned. They play a long set and then there is a break set called the bummer set played by a guest artist. Tuesday is the Old Time Fiddler's Jam where everybody plays. Wednesday is usually Shelly King and Carolyn Wonderland. They bring the south Austin hippie crowd with them. The other nights are booked with semi regular artists such as John Emery, Eddie Collins, Danny Britt, George Enzle and many others. Each night is a little like going to Cheers. If you make it a habit to go on a certain night each week, pretty soon, everybody knows your name. Monday night has always been my favorite. ARTZ closes at 10:00 and you can go on over to Don's Depot after that and hear Chris Gage and the same people will show up there as well.

Due to some tax problems, the sagging economy and huge medical expenses for Z (Art and Z are the owners), Art had to close the place down. It closed on a Sunday and by Monday night, the first benefit was in full swing. The staff went in to work for free. They prepared and served what food was there. Musicians lined up to play. There were way too many people showing up to get into the place or to be able to park so at one point, there was a woman on the parking lot with a donation bucket t so that folks could drive by and contribute. This raised enough money to keep the place open temporarily. Meanwhile, a larger venue was searched for so a bigger benefit could be held.

Here is the really cool thing about this particular benefit. It was hosted by Scholz Beer Garten, another food, beer and music venue. How cool is that? Scholz' could have said no. After all, Scholz and ARTZ are competitors in a way. I every other town in which I have lived, that is how they would have viewed each other and there is no way one would have hosted a benefit for the other. Make non mistake, Scholz did very good business for itself. The money for the benefit came from the door charge and the silent auction and other sales activities. I took my massage chair and started to do massages to raise money but the place was soon so crowded that I had no room to work and had to put it away after making only $40. This was OK with me because that meant that there was going to be a huge take at the door.

I have yet to hear an amount for the day but I am sure that it is sufficient to keep this treasured piece of South Austin afloat for a while longer. ARTZ sits on what I am sure is prime real estate right now and some developer would most likely love to get it and turn it into yet another condo complex or trendy, generic restaurant the likes of which we already have plenty around here. It seems that the places that helped make Austin the city to which everyone wants to move are being rapidly torn down in favor of the kind of places that the people are leaving behind when they move here. At first glance, the ramshackle building that houses ARTZ doesn't really look like much. A closer look and a trip inside reveals its character and a piece of the soul of Austin. I am glad that we will have it around a while longer and am I even more happy that things will be a little easier for Art and Z.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tres Sopas


My great uncle used to say that he was fixin' to put the little pot in the big one and make soup out of the dishrag. I feel like that is what I have been doing today.


One of my closest friends had an emergency(is there any other kind?) appendectomy day before yesterday. I have not gone to the hospital or called because I remember what abdominal surgery feels like and from what I hear, she has had plenty of people stopping by when she would most likely prefer to be left alone to navigate her morphine dreams as they come and go.


She will be coming home late today or sometime tomorrow. She is fortunate that her mother can come and stay with her. Just the same, I doubt that they will feel a lot like cooking and she needs some healing foods that will go down easy and not tax her digestive system. Therefore, I spent the day making soup.


The soup on the right is a mushroom/barley concoction loosely based on a recipe I got from an issue of Eating Well magazine. I loaded it up with portabellas, shitaki, porcini and white button mushrooms along with onion, sage, and celery. I saved the water that I used to rehydrate the shitakis and porcinis in and, after straining it through a coffee filter, used it for stock. It has a half cup of sherry in it to cut the earthy taste of the 'shrooms. The barley is cooked seperately (small jar on the left) and added to the soup when you heat it up.


The middle jar is tomato soup, the easiest to make. I used canned tomatoes, diced and crushed, that I added to the pot after I had sweated the onions and added dried basil, a tiny bit of turmeric, a kiss of cinnamon, four scrapes of nutmeg, and a hint of cumin along with salt and pepper. Then I added a fresh bay leaf and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes. After that, I took out the bay leaf and blended it with the stick blender until it was just a little bit chunky.


The soup on the left is traditional chicken and veggie. Carrots, celery ,onion and garlic were sweated in a little olive oil then chicken stock was added along with salt, pepper, lots of thyme and sage. This simmered until the veggies were tender and the chicken that had be cooked to make the stock was chopped and added back in along with some left over ginger tea with some small pieces of the ginger still in it. Lemon juice will be squeezed into the bowls when the soup is served.

These soups were specifically chosen and put together with ingredients that have specific healing properties. The begonias are going with the soup.

There is plenty of soup left for us. Some of it will surely be frozen for a time when we don't feel like cooking.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sage for Our Country

If I could have gone to DC this week, this is the event at which I would have most wanted to be present.

http://www.voicingouropinions.com/2009/01/gw-bush-sage-cleansings/

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Great Sites

I have just discovered a couple of sites that I really like and want to share.

68 Second Video has fifteen different 68 second videos for timing your positive thoughts about money, freedom and relationships. If you are a students of Abraham-Hicks, you know that focusing on something for 68 seconds creates a powerful attraction for it. A lot of us use this technique consciously. We all use it unconsciously. How many times have you focused at least 68 seconds on something you were upset about? Did you feel better or worse about it as you 'focused' on it? Law of Attraction of all about the feeling you have about anything, whether it is something you have, something you want,or something you don't want or don't have.

Life Unfolding Beautifully is a blog I just discovered and I've added it to my blog roll. If you are wanting to lose a few pounds, the most current post is a must read. The second most recent post is a must read for everybody.