Friday, February 25, 2011


I often lay down in a patch of sun and dream of a different life.
A life where my work starts at sun up, ends at sun down and is a 365 day commitment.
A life of manual labor, joy, and heartbreak.

I am talking about farming. Not agro-industrial farming, but the kind of farming that is a return to working with the land and the seasons. Not the kind of farming that tears up soil and plants in straight rows and uses chemicals that drain downriver to poison the Gulf*. The kind of farming that makes good use of space, and compost, and rain.

Which is why I love to read Cold Antler Farm. She is farming on 6 acres with sheep and chickens and geese and rabbits. One of her heros is my hero too: Joel Salatin. He believes in healthy farming. And he doesnt just TALK it, he LIVES it.

So I like to warm myself in a patch of sun and dream that one day I too can provide my family and myself the food we need by the work of my hands. It will be hard work, but the reward will be glorious.

*The Gulf of Mexico holds a special place in my heart. Growing up, my Nana had a house there and we used to go and eat pancakes and play on the white sand beaches and splash about in the tide. My heart floats in the salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was my second love--specifically the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The wind, the sand, the water--all of this resides in my bones. So much so that I get disoriented & lost when I am not near large bodies of water. Me and Sante Fe? Lets just say I was lucky to have cab fare.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In progress

This is in progress...
It came from 2 different phrases on scraps of paper in my studio.
Phrase one: a swaying trio
Phrase two: yellow crowned night

And that's how my brain works.
Puzzle that one out.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's next?

Bloodwork results in!
It's not my thyroid. More tests Wednesday.

In the mean time, I am making chicken stock (and later minestrone! or a version of minestrone, with beans & spinach & deliciousness)
Planning an art lesson (I have invited my fellow Witches Next Door members over for an art brunch!)
And trying not to think about how dizzy I feel.

I am working on 2 paintings, one large one small. I have also been commissioned to do an art piece for a friend's living room. And another friend wants me to teach her daughter art lessons.

Busy is better!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Best guess...

The doctors best guess is that my health wackiness is a result of an improperly functioning thyroid. Bloodwork was done today, will know more in a week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Probably it's nothing.

Well, 2011 started out promising but it seems determined to surpass 2010 on the suck-o-meter. Generally speaking in my own personal realm of experience I have experienced annoyances more than catastrophes: misrecorded tax ID numbers, flat tires, stupid disagreements over stupid subject matter (or: what happens when 2 stubborn people get married!).

But this weekend was a whopper.
In the course of 2 days: my uncle (maternal aunt's ex husband--does that make him an ex-uncle?) passed away. In a house fire. A house fire so severe that they had to use a rake to go through the remains of the house. My little (in their 20's, so not so little) cousins are now having to come to terms with the finality of life. Which is double crap because I am so far away I cannot help in the ways I usually do.

And I am having some health issues. As in my body is behaving in ways it really shouldn't ought, and the doctors want to see me TOMORROW. I called for an appointment this morning. Probably it's nothing, but how often do you call the doctor and they say you have to come in the very next day?

So I am all inside my head, trying to figure the best way to help people from 650 miles away and repeating the mantra: probably? it's nothing. probably? it's nothing. probably? it's nothing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hi ho, hi ho

Off supply shopping I will go.

I should be cleaning for the impending arrival of my in laws, but will wait until after the kids return home from school. They are at the age where they are REALLY KEEN to help out, and I plan to exploit that as long as I can. Also, I torqued my right arm helping friends move furniture 2 days ago & am trying to only use it when necessary (typing 1 handed here!), like at my job...where I draw on people.

So i have this gift card to a supply store in my wallet, staring mournfully at me. I received cupons in the mail & want to make the kid's teachers a gift for Valentines Day.

I'll post the gifts & process next week, fo sho.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cleaned up

All ready for tomorrow's art hour!
Now I just have another 6 feet of counterspace to clear off....

Cleanin up

Studio workbench-middle of progress. (There is NO WAY you will ever see it at it's worst!)

Needed: More art. More music.

I was reading Neil Gaiman's blog, and there is a video of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Lumenescent Orchestrii discussing & making music together. It is sublime. And it made me miss something I hadn't thought of in years: Friday Nights at The Iguana.
Back in 2002/2003, I was an Americorps VISTA in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. (The reasons behind this are another blog post entirely) I was working at the Cherokee Heritage Center and had the opportunity to meet some really amazing, wonderful, fascinating people. (Thus reaffirming my belief that there are more amazing people on Earth than I will ever have the chance to meet) Tahlequah is a small town (population 10,000ish), with a University, and the Capital of the Cherokee Nation. It is deeeeeeep in the bible belt. There are 2 bars in town, 1 grocery store, and a super walmart. There is no bookstore in Tahlequah. The closest book store is in Muskogee (pop 30,000) which is a 30 minute drive. There is a local hangout/coffeeshop called the Iguana and it is located right next door to the storefront studio of Murv Jacob. (And TRUST ME Murv is a blog post all on his own) Murv Jacob is an artist, local historian, unofficial ethnographer, collector of oddities, and all around unstoppable force for creative types. I met him through a colleague and friend, the one and only KLM (herself a blog post in her own right).*
Being that I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights shooting pool (very badly) at one of the local watering holes, I saved Friday nights for the Iguana.
Once the sun had set and the heat of the day had begun to dissipate, musicians of all kinds would gather on the front porch of the Iguana. The porch itself was rather large--it could easily accommodate 25, but there were evenings when 40 people would be crammed together making music, laughing, talking. And the instruments that came were as varied as the people: guitars, fiddles, drums, harmonicas--I remember a tuba at one point, although I don't think anybody played it. And the songs were new, old, improvised--some made for singing, and others just to be listened to, lived in.
I myself have played flute, oboe, and guitar--but I have found that what I love most about music isn't the playing, but the listening. Every Friday I would trot out my eager ears to hear what the Iguana brought forth.
These gatherings were held Spring, Summer, and Fall, every Friday unless it was raining. It was like watching magic--songs being born and shared and loved.
When the seasons got cold, KLM, Debbie, Murv and I would retreat to Murv's studio. Debbie & KLM would bring their guitars and their voices, Murv would paint, and I'd bring my sketchbook and draw. Various others would float in and out of the studio as their wanderings brought them through town.
I loved being tucked into the warm light of the studio, smelling the paint, and being surrounded by music and art.
I miss Friday nights in Tahlequah. I miss the art and the music and the company. I miss being able to share that with my children.
In short; I need more music and more art in my life.

*I should at this point let you know that I am usually the youngest person in the room. I find myself more at ease in the company of people older than I am. At 30, I should just say that as an adult I prefer the company of adults...but I have always been this way.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Calling Spring

She's finished...
For now.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

What to do on blizzard day?

Make Heart Tarts!
We got the recipe out of the February Family Fun magazine.
We filled them with grape jelly, apricot jam, and pumpkin butter.
An enthusiastic thumbs up, all around.