Friday, September 28, 2007

Can you do the chicken dance from inside a can?

One Whole a can
  • Begin in a large circle with everybody facing in toward the center of the ring.
  • At the start of the music, shape a chicken beak with your hands. Open and close it four times, during the first four beats of the music.
  • Make chicken wings with your arms. Flap your wings four times, during the next four beats of the music.
  • Make a chicken's tail feathers with your arms and hands. Wiggle downwards during the next four beats of the music.
  • Clap four times during the next four beats of the music.
  • Repeat this process four times.
  • After the fourth time spin to the right for eight counts with your partner
  • Switch directions and spin to the left with your partner for eight counts
  • The dance repeats, progressively getting faster and faster, until the music stops.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Seasonal transition

tree of the northwest
Fall sneaks up, yet I have not transitioned the wardrobe or shoes. Getting dressed this time of year is a weird combination of tank tops and short sleeved shirts with corduroy or jean jackets. Fall over summer or something. But I think this week will mark the full cross over into a fall wardrobe.
AdRi bought a fire bowl on clearance this past week, and we’ve been spending an hour or so the past few evenings sitting outside around the fire. Last night I looked up and saw the full autumn moon through the leaves of the tree, felt the cool chill on my body facing away from the fire, and breathed in the evening air. Inhale. Exhale. It’s a nice time together to talk about the week to come, to talk about work, to talk about whatever. I’m loving it.
self portrait and yes, it's blurry, but i like the composition
I know Winter is around the corner, and I feel like I need to prepare. Make sure I’m taking my vitamins, and finally get around to getting one of those lightboxes. Planning for a vacation to sunny southern Mexico in February helps too, and soon we’ll book that sweet trip. I learned this summer that millions of women in this country are misdiagnosed with depression when actually, they have underactive thyroids. While I haven’t been diagnosed with depression, my thyroid isn’t up to speed. So I’m getting some help with it and hope to have a bit brighter of a winter. I’ve been so surprised to learn so many other women have too. We just don’t talk about it.

I have some new mad skillz and projects I’m working on, and I’m sure I’ll share them here on the blog when I’m a little further along. The seasonal transition takes me out of the garden some, and inside to work and different kinds of creating. One thing I’m trying to get in as much as possible before a freeze shuts everything down in the garden is harvesting the herbs.
harvesting lemon verbena
Lemon verbena is such a fragrant one. What I’ll do with all of this is unknown, but I suppose I’ll figure it out. Tea and potpourri is one thing. Dried for culinary use I’m not so sure.
apple pie
I made some apple pie this weekend, and brought some down the street to our neighbor. He’s 94 years old, and AdRi and I stop in to see him every other day or so. He’s spent his summer sitting in a rocking chair on his front porch and we’ve gotten to know him pretty well. I love hearing his stories about growing up on a farm in Washington, and moving to N. Portland as a child in the 1920s. Living in the Albina neighborhood, he’s told me of the huge Polish and German population that lived there, the houses with the big porches and being in a family with lots of kids. He’s become a good friend of ours, and while we don’t usually both see him at the same time because it’s either me walking Wink or AdRi walking Wink, he always asks about my partner and what she’s up to. I love that this 94 year old man doesn’t even blink when it comes to us being partners. A month or so ago I told him to ask AdRi next time he sees her what she does for a living. He did, and the next time I saw him, he was just beside himself to know a female police officer. (Actually, I think he called her a police woman. Love that.)
picasso kickin' it in the garden
Happy Autumn, peeps.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yar har har, uh, ahem, woof?

This whole Talk Like a Pirate Day thing I don't get. But good thing is that if I was really into it, so could my dog. Remember, Halloween is right around the corner, and last year, Wink was quite the hit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

For the kindness of bloggers: Tomatillos!

(This is the second of a series on the kindness of bloggers and blogreaders and how incredibly kind they are.)
I've been a fan of Scuff Productions for awhile, reading about birdwatching, gardening, farming and lots of other good stuff in between. Mark is a serious preserver. Roger and Mark make jam and can like crazy, and they have the space to have a really big garden. Well, bigger than what we have in the city, at least. And I love that all of this canning and preserving is by two men.

So when I dropped them a compliment for canning who knows how many jars of tomatillo sauce, never did I imagine I'd soon be the recipient of two jars of the stuff, their famous apricot jam, and a bag of extra homegrown tomatillos. Delivered. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
homegrown tomatillos from mark
Too. Frickin'. Nice.

You know what I did with the tomatillos, right?

And I'm saving those jars and jam for a taste of summer this winter, courtesy of my friend Mark. You're the best.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grilled figs and other decadent joys of late summer

My favorite fruit
I’ve been experimenting with stuffing and grilling one of my favorite fruits: figs. And I kicked myself today when I read Mark Bittman’s story in The New York Times about discovering stuffed figs. DOH. I knew I should have blogged about them earlier. But he’s onto something, you know? And right now in Portland, figs are plentiful and available, and even on sale at New Seasons. Two weeks ago I paid a ridiculous $6 for a small pint of figs from Whole Foods, and last month while in San Diego, I payed $1.69 for the pint but local and seasonal figs. So seeing them on sale at New Seasons this week signaled me they are fresh and available and local now, go for it. It’s time, people!
Figs and rosemary
You know the saying that everything tastes better wrapped in bacon? It’s not true with figs. I tried it. (prosciutto wrapped figs) But I have found the perfect way to stuff and grill figs, and now is the perfect time of season to do so, and you can do it with all locally grown items.

The secret combination is figs (duh), and a stuffing of chevre, honey and chopped rosemary. Sweet mother of god.
Honey....and rosemary and chevre
Cut a slit in the figs, and stuff them with the combination, and then grill them until they’re oozing.
Stuffed figs
Really, it’s one of the best things ever to eat of the summer. No, it is summer.
Grilled figs comin' atcha

For the kindness of bloggers and blogreaders: a series

I’ve recently been touched by the kindness of fellow bloggers and those who read this blog. Some of it I’ve blogged about, some I haven’t. And I really need to. So for the next couple of days, I’ll share little stories about the glimmers of sweetness and wonder this blog brings.
Toes and community and a salon full of wonderful women
Trixie's Beauty Bar
After the Little Red Bike Cafe connection wonders, I received the sweetest invitation from a blog reader: to come in for a pedicure on the house and talk blogs. Sweet. I love a good pedicure, and I’ve been meaning to check out Trixie’s for months. Just around the corner from me and next door to Little Red Bike Cafe, Trixie’s Beauty Bar obviously had a great design aesthetic and looked fun. And a free pedicure? Hells to the yeahs.

I got to meet the ladies at Trixie’s in their adorable space, including Jodi and Tracy, and can I just say how much fun they are? Fun.
Tracy of Trixie's
It’s a little place, but the kitsch design and color and just good energy fills it with good times. I popped in yesterday for a refresher on that pedicure and talked nonstop with my peeps there: neighborhood, Britney Spears VMAs debaucle, gun control, fashion, you name it.

My toenails are now a delightful shade of deep purple, coated with formaldehyde free polish (if I buy organic produce why would I coat my body with formaldehyde?!). Oh, and you should know they sell a little handful of fun products, including the best retro aprons.
Gifties at Trixie's
I had to buy one (how could I not?) and I love it. Our 10 year old neighbor told me it’s a very cool apron when she saw me with it on. See? Told you it’s cool....
My new apron
I love watching new businesses popping up in the neighborhood, built by local folks and tended to with lots of joy and passion. Spending some time at Trixie’s is catching up with friends and taking care of yourself and community building all at the same time: shout out to my girls at Trixie's Beauty Bar.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In salute of a queen: RIP Anita Roddick, founder of The Bodyshop

I think about my introduction to social activism. The stereotypical white liberal entree: Amnesty International. I found a way to speak up, to have my voice, my belief, my opinion, about injustices heard. Or so I hoped. (I could write about this topic forever...) A direct informer to me of injustices that which I could then act—by writing a letter. I found empowerment to the injustices I knew but never spoke of.

And then there were my multiple introductions to environmentalism. And green products. And retail that could be responsible.

What a concept.

Using a retail space (The Bodyshop) to spread environmental activism, or simply, environmentally responsible choices. The ability to vote with your dollar. And to buy products that were environmentally produced, and were environmentally sound: what a concept!

Anita Roddick (a powerful woman!) was a business owner with a belief that ran so deep it ran through her business: I understood what this meant. To live your life through your values (or my desire to). It’s easy to simplify this down to buying mango body butter with justification. But it wasn’t that. It was demonstration of instilling your beliefs into your business and I was hooked.
Anita Roddick died yesterday of a brain hemorrhage at age 64 and I’m sad. A woman with this strong of a belief of values and business, I wonder what she would have done at age 70. And age 80. You know she would have.
For more about Anita, here’s a link to the AP story.
Thank you, Anita: your belief in personal activism, business ownership and demonstration, made this woman in Portland, Oregon a believer, and an evangelizer..even when evangelism is a dirty word. You inspired me to be the woman I am today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Matching the right outfit to the right activity

First of all, let's clarify that this is not featuring photos of my dog. Nope. Not my dog. However, my dog is part maltese. And in the flickr maltese group, these photos appeared. And I do believe they demonstrate, for all of us, furry and not so furry, how to match your apparel appropriately to the place and activity you are partaking in. Am I wrong?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Get your burger on

There's a new blog in town. must refer to me as Whataburger! from now on.

Bon appetit!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Link love

It's Friday, it's time to get random with links. Here you go.

Every lesbian's worst nightmare.

Inspiring eating local (Portland) stories, recipes and ideas

Little Red Bike Cafe has opened, and it's even better and more fun than I thought it could be. If you're in Portland, you really should go--you can even bike up after hours. If not, you can always check in on their blog.

Yes, I went to the KATU blogger meet-up and yes there was a photo or two.

I may not like Condi Rice, but this still pisses me off. Hello, it's 2007, and she's the Secretary of State. I am liking this website by the way: why has it taken me so long to find it? I don't know.

I've been keeping my eye on the photos here.

Here's a gift for my gay boy readers. Enjoy.

Gangstas with decorating skillz.

You know it's true. Not all babies are cute. Especially this one. No really. Did you see that?

Oh. And one last thing. Mooseknuckles.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Summer camp with an 11-year-old foodie

SoRa at the market
We’ve been putting on "camp" in our backyard for awhile. Come every summer (or so), our nieces and/or nephews bring their sleeping bags and we have a few days of total kid immersion. This isn’t just any camp. Oh no no no. This camp has a logo, official t-shirts, brochures and registration. This year, registration for camp took the form of a website. People, this camp is hard core. There’s swimming, camp outs, biking, museums, siteseeing, arts and crafts—the whole shebang. And of course, don’t forget the s’mores. It’s fun.

This year we had just one camp participant. SoRa is eleven, and is the youngest foodie I know. She’s always been a foodie. For her 10th birthday she wanted to go to Chez Panisse and her family trekked hundreds of miles on down to Berkeley so she could experience the famed Alice Waters restaurant. I told you she was a foodie. She bakes, she cooks, and she critiques. Once you just accept it, it’s fun.

So we added a trip to the Portland Farmer’s Market to this year’s camp. And it was so much fun to experience the market through the eyes of a young cooking enthusiast who had never seen a market as expansive and beautiful as Portland’s. It really is beautiful...
High time for tomatoes
So many choices
So beautiful! Camp was a success this year, and even involved a podcast. And while our niece never admitted to us she had a fabulous time, murmurs have gotten back to us that she hasn’t stopped talking about it. She can tell everyone she knows that she’s seen purple peppers and tomatoes bigger than her hand...
Tomatoes so huge!
And a woman who showed us radishes so gorgeous and explained they taste better the bigger they get...
Huge radishes!
This is the official camp pledge:
I, (insert name here) do solemnly pledge, from the beginning to end of Camp, I will…
• smile more than frown,
• laugh more than cry,
• be helpful more than stubborn,
• say yes more than no
• have good times more than bad
and have a kick butt time!
I think that's a pretty good pledge, don't you?
More photos here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The first day of school, 50 years ago

In 1957, Dorothy Counts walked to and attended school as one of the first black students at Harry Harding High School in North Carolina. What she did that day was incredibly brave, and must have been terrifying. Taunted and spit upon, she had rocks thrown at her and the teachers ignored her. All because she was black. And throughout it all, she was calm.

Take a moment and look at the photos documenting her first day
. How far have we come from this day? I hope far, but I think we both know I'm fooling myself if I believe that. Dorothy Count at age 15 did a breathtaking thing. 50 years, 50 years. I hope no one has a walk like that again. Ever.

Monday, September 03, 2007

For the love of dogs

wink at the dog park
PAGent has written such nice things about having a dog, since the lovely Gus came into their lives this summer. I read this one this morning and it's been making me think how my life is different with a dog, and how much better it is with Wink in it.

Our friends recently became a first-time household with a dog, and it's fun to now share our dogs with each other (even though they have some kinks to work out between them, we're confident Maddie and Wink will become friends).
maddie chillin' at the dog park
Wink brings us closer to our neighbors (in good ways), and has introduced us to so many neighborhood kids (she's totally a kid magnet) and gets us out and about more to Portland's really stellar park system. Sure, she's a maltipoo, and doesn't bound with crazy energy and abandon like a lab or terrier, but don't let her "purse dog" breed fool you. She's as happy-go-lucky as they come. And we continually tell ourselves how lucky we are to have her in our family.

The other night she was barking like crazy, running from window to window and then to the back door. Sure enough, an opossum was working its way through the garden and Wink thought she better let us know. Thanks, Wink. We feel much safer now.