Tuesday, March 4, 2014
march, i love that (just like october and of course january) you feel like beginning to me.
march, i love that ideas and plans and dreams simmer with electric energy just beneath my surface. just like the fruits of the plum tree are growing and expanding but not yet visible as either bud or bloom.
march, i love you. let's do this.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
we are in the home stretch to spring! i really do like these transition weeks. goodbye winter. even though i love your crisp sunny days and coats and soup and stuff, i am ready to feel the warm grass on my bare feet.
you guys, i am addicted to image transfers. the block above is my first piece where i am partnering my images with bold color statements.
a sweet breakfast table while on the road. (red truck bakery, warrenton virginia)
yes. spring is coming.
my collection of vintage art supplies continues to expand. i see a giant collection photograph in the making.
the napping simon.
Friday, February 14, 2014
in case you don't know, luca would like to remind you that a wire fox terrier won best in show at westminster this week.
that's right, top dog.
it snowed a bit this week. i'm trying to keep it all in perspective, but i am over this winter. more on the way tonight.
i love a good sale. and i could use a few rainbows.
new carnival letters for the gypsy hill meditation altar. because this girl likes a little funk with her serenity.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
the gypsy bed mr. parks made for me.
sometimes when i get homesick, he takes me for roadhouse steak and blues.
i really really like stripes. rainbow stripes, to be specific.
so....i ate a rainbow sprinkle donut immediately after yoga this week. just felt like i needed to confess.
other times when i get homesick, i have to paint it out.
i want all of these recycled sari and jute rugs.
a few incredibly talented muralists are painting richmond. this one is my favorite. (but of course i have not yet seen this one.)
Sunday, February 2, 2014
“i used to think i was the strangest person in the world but then i thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways i do. i would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. well, i hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true i'm here, and i'm just as strange as you.”
Friday, January 31, 2014
i am celebrating the end of january over here. because it was ridiculously cold. luckily, it was sunny most days despite the cold. this helped immensely.
it also helped that i spent a lot of time in the art studio playing with paint and stencils and drawing and such. i am taking mati rose's daring adventures in paint and i am loving it. i especially love the weekly assignments to seek out color.
even on a brutally cold day (you guys, it was no degrees out. NO degrees!) these happy prayer flags down the street kept smiling and waving.
learning new art techniques means more trips to the art store. hello happy place.
when the virginia winter gets to be too much for this california girl, i make myself a cup of super spicy mexican hot cocoa, languidly peruse frida kahlo's unbelievably beautiful diary and daydream of the sun and the color and the spirit of mexico.
i was doing a bit of organizing and ran across the little yellow cloth bag of mia's old winnie the pooh game pieces. a kind woman gave them to her while we were at a yard sale when mia was four or five (which was a good thing because i had no money to buy them at the time). there was never a board or instructions, mia just made up her own rules each time we played. these pieces are so old, they are made of wood and paper, absolutely no plastic. i love this happy colorful memory.
Monday, January 27, 2014
for me the only thing more comforting than wrapping my hands around a hot cup of soup when it's eight freaking degrees outside (this week in virginia we are between the second and third polar vortex of the season which are seriously testing this native californian's cold hardiness) is the actual making of the soup. i am one of those people who gets all zen when it comes to chopping and dicing and sauteing and caramelizing and simmering. i want to convince everyone to never ever ever eat canned soup again (because ew). plus i love it when the kitchen smells like love.
lentil soup is pretty much my all-time favorite. i also love a spicy spinach-white bean soup that i wrote about here. either one can be made vegan or vegetarian or animal by choosing vegetable or chicken broth or even adding in some chicken.
french lentil and potato soup
use organic ingredients if you can, even the olive oil, butter and broth
one tbsp. olive oil
one tbsp. butter
one sweet onion, finely sliced
six cloves garlic, finely diced
two carrots, diced
one-half to two lbs. potato, diced (any kind of potato, skin left on. i like sweet potato or fingerlings)
one cup french lentils, rinsed (green or puy lentils, they don't mush out like other lentils)
two 32 oz. cartons low sodium vegetable or chicken broth (or six-to-eight cups homemade stock)
two tsp. turmeric
one tbsp. herbes de provence
one tsp. roasted chili powder
one tsp. cumin
two bay leaves
salt and pepper
- heat olive oil and butter (you can use all oil if vegan) in large soup pot (you may need to add more, you want to cover the bottom surface of the pan
- caramelize onions on medium-low heat (about eight to ten minutes)
- turn heat up to medium-high
- add garlic and cook about three minutes
- there should be a tiny bit of oil still in the pan, if not add a bit along with the turmeric, hdp, chili powder and cumin; stir until spices are incorporated into onion-garlic-oil; season this layer liberally with salt and pepper
- add the carrots, lentils and potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes before you add stock (this is my favorite part, it's so pretty here because i used white, red and purple fingerling potatoes)
- add a bit of stock and carefully deglaze the pan
- add the rest of the stock, stopping at your desired spot on the stew-to-soup spectrum
- bring to a boil
- cover, reduce heat and simmer on low for twenty to thirty minutes
- potatoes and carrots should be soft, but lentils will still have a chewy bite to them
- salt and pepper to taste
curl up, get warm, feel loved.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Saturday, January 11, 2014
don't you love it when you hear a message, perhaps one you've heard a million times before, and it suddenly resonates and shifts your thinking? maybe this time it is presented with language that speaks to you or it is delivered by just the right messenger, someone you respect and admire. or maybe this time life events have swirled into the perfect magical vortex of time and space and experience and in this moment the message radiates with glowing truth in the center. maybe your mind became quiet and still and open enough to finally hear it. maybe it's grace in action.
a big part of my focus on aliveness this year involves paying attention to and exploring those things that keep me from living the life i want, from being the human i intend to be. a resource that has been extremely helpful to me is jen louden's book, the life organizer. jen was one of the facilitators at the creative joy retreat i attended last october. especially resonant for me in jen's work is the concept of shadow comforts, those things we dive into when we are overwhelmed, bored, anxious, sad. food and sleep are two of my comfiest shadow comforts; they tend to get the most airplay around these parts. but as i explore more, i am noticing other more subtle, more insidious shadow comforts i run to on a regular basis. one that i'm paying particular attention to is being right.
what i love about jen's message it that we don't have to abandon or give up our shadow comforts, because often they are valid components to a life well-lived. what we need to do is pay attention to when and why we choose them; partner with them for understanding rather than battle them for domination. this mind shift is a pure moment of grace for me.
jen louden is teaching the life organizer navigation course starting later this month. i'll be there, doing the work, paying attention, soaking up grace and wisdom, moving into aliveness.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
my first week of 2014 was a good one...i hope it was for you too.
the first wild unknown card draw of the year was the six of wands, which asks, "where will you go with your new set of wings?" (i have a regular practice of drawing a focus card once a week to guide my intention and thoughts.)
i indulged my inner 10-year-old with rainbow shoelaces and some puddle-hopping. trying to rev up my walking practice.
here is the newest ganesh to play at the altar. i love his spirit also...seeing a curvy fellow execute scorpion makes me happy and hopeful.
i put a bit of the sea on my kitchen windowsill to remember the wildness of the ocean.
simon prefers the beds unmade. i can live with that.
luca is experiencing seasonal affect disorder. he's been quite curmudgeony lately. weird thing is, the grouchier he is, the more i love him.
i've been craving and devouring so much citrus. i am listening to my body and it is telling me to eat more fresh organic oranges, clementines and grapefruits (or pamplemousse, as the french would say and i like to say too because it's kind of the most awesome word ever).
i started a new sketchbook for the year. is there anything better than a clean blank book? i am joining moorea seal with her 52 lists project. click over if you are interested too. our first list was words that touch my soul.
thank you first week of the year. i hope things continue in this colorful, peaceful, lively vein.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
a lovely word, a token for a thousand more: a l i v e n e s s.
i was pretty pleased with myself because i thought i made up this word (this is not unusual for me, the making up of my own words). the word enters my mind now and then when i work to describe a moment or feeling, bright and shiny and safe and vibrating. and even though it felt a bit silly using a concocted word, it also felt very very right.
alas, it's a real word, official, in the dictionary and all. who knew? and its definition is almost precisely how i was using it. it's my spirit word for twenty-fourteen.
a l i v e n e s s of spirit: present, aware, mindful, recognition, conscious, connection, bodhi, sentience, enlightenment, adventure, diversity, equanimity, daring, creating and loving art and story.
a l i v e n e s s of body: movement, breath, groundedness, yoga, ease, lightness, being rested, energy, fingers in paint and glue, feet on forest floor and in pacific tidepools, clean and beautiful food.
a l i v e n e s s of mind: intuition, knowledge, discernment, curiosity, reading, attention, experience, writing and hearing stories, focus, learning learning learning.
these are the things that make me come alive. i'm ready to have/do/live more of them.
i painted a wee reminder of my word on a wood block and it's hanging right next to my bathroom mirror.
do you have a word for the year? i'd love to hear it. whenever i read/hear someone's word, i whisper it aloud and envision them being/having/experiencing it. i love the idea of a million little whispered words floating through space like tiny white downy baby bird feathers.
Monday, December 30, 2013
i tend to avoid the ubiquitous. one exception is the foot photo/standing-here self-portrait, which i have been doing for several years. i love taking these photos because 1. they provide space and time to stand still and be present and 2. create a lovely end-of-year snapshot of where i've been. if you'd like, you can see previous years' collections here (just scroll past this current one).
a few things about 2013:
- i happily became accustomed to a slower pace of life, with more precious space and time
- i became a better traveler, mainly due to the gypsy job
- i fell in love (again) with nyc
- i spent a lot of time barefoot
- ditto staring at the sky
- i struggled with being vegetarian and had to balance nourishing my body with my strong opinions on meat-production (ultimately reintroducing organic/local/humanely-produced animal products, which turns out to not be a lot around here)
- i embraced meditation
- i avoided most crowds, too much noise, those personalities that drive me over the edge (passive-aggressive people, narcissists, fear-and-rage-mongers) to the extent possible
- i had a lot of time to think, daydream, plan and try new things
wasted a lot of that timelearned the value of doing nothing
as i reflect on the year, i consider it to have been really good overall, if not somewhat non-eventful...a resting year.
now face north.