Sunday, August 18, 2013

School lunches, going back, and acorn squash |currently

That's an acorn squash from my garden. I'm hoping to get more like her soon. 
I missed the deadline for linking this week's list to the other currently posters, but I will write anyway because I am about to embark on grad school drudgery and will have less time to write. T has moved back home and things are difficult as we navigate our way through parenting, seeing each other everyday, relationship expectations and living in a small place with nowhere to hide from each other.

This weeks currently:

Spending as much time as possible planning dinners, lunches, new routines, routes, schedules, meetings, and downtime in anticipation of a crazy first year of graduate school. I am having doubts that I want to go on with my schooling. I'm not sure what it will get me in the end, but onward I move. I am sure that when I get into the groove of this crazy, hectic schedule, I will know that I made the right decision.

Saving sunflower seeds. One of the big sunflowers that I had planted last year dropped seeds before I could collect them, so I had volunteer sunflowers in the garden this year. Tomorrow I need to go to the garden and cut 'er down so I can save those seeds, or eat them, or both. Some of my fellow gardeners have let their food go to head, so I am hoping to save those seeds as well.

Speaking less and less these days. I am finding that I don't have much to say and listening is a much better option for me. Don't get me wrong, when you get me started, I will talk your ear off. As the weather cools, I return inward.

Going to meeting after meeting is exhausting. I have a book study tomorrow regarding A Course in Miracles, then another meeting on Tuesday, then a garden meeting on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday are chock full of meetings for grad school orientation. I am already missing my weekend as I sit here on a Sunday night and prepare for all of these meetings! Good golly!

Sharing the blog 100 Days of Real Food. This blog has inspired me to get back on the healthi(er) train. I am a vegetarian who (very) occasionally eats fish (wild caught) but mostly likes vegan faire. This blog has made me a better lunch packer already! Tomorrow's lunches include egg and cheese burritos, smoothies (almond milk, banana, flax meal, and peanut butter), an apple, and dried coconut. I will be making tomato bisque for Tuesdays lunch tomorrow (in between meetings). This will also help me eat better because I can pack my lunch at the same time as I pack the boys.

I am hoping to get a few more awesome posts in before my classes begin.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Garden 2013

I am finally posting pictures of our garden. I gave spent about 5 hours the last two days pulling weeds from around my bed and from others beds. The rains have been crazy awesome this year; just downpour after downpour. The garden eats are loving it, but so are the weeds. Yesterday, I spread alpaca poo on the beds for a little extra midsummer nutrition. That was foul! It and I smelled so bad! Alas, it will all be worth it! Without further ado, the Garden 2013!

At the beginning of the season, nothing that I planted was coming up. Rather than waste the space, I planted a ton of beans. I was so frustrated that I didn't write down what beans I planted. So...surprise! 

Crazy pumpkins! They are taking over. Hopefully these are half pie pumpkins and half jack-o-lantern pumpkins. At the bottom right corner, you can see the watermelon fighting for it's share of the nutrients and solar energy.

After I planted all those beans, I decided to lay straw down and BOOM! The parsley, carrots, lettuce, and chives decided to make and appearance!

Corn! Blue, white and hopi corn. Based on a friend's recently posted garden pictures, I should be getting ears in the next month or so. A harvest just in time for tofurkey day.  

A baby pumpkin, tucked in its manger of straw. So happy to see this little guy thriving! As soon as he is a bit bigger, I should be able to tell which of the two kinds he might be. 

One of my favorite patches: Hutterite soup beans, strawberries, and borage. We ate all of the strawberries last month. The borage is blooming like crazy and next week, I will be making conserves from the flowers. Borage conserves are good for curing fever.  

We have an over abundance of wild sunflowers in our garden. I pull them like weeds, but other gardeners love them! 

Last year I couldn't get a tomato to grow in our garden (the potted tomatoes did fine), but this is a tomato year! So many flowers, so many tomatoes. I hope they ripen soon. I'm getting hungry. 

Our first tomato is looking good! 

An overview of Plot 14. 

I started sweet potatoes today. I was hesitant to grow anything in a tire, but I don't even know if they will grow. I am super hoping though. 

A closer view. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

currently: eating, running...

Wow. This week has been a doozy. It's the first full week that the boys have been home since Tris moved back. Talk about navigating through some issues! Let me tell you, after three years of long distance, short distance is much harder than I ever thought it would be. When I was married, I didn't have any of this compromise crap, I made all of the rules and life was simple. What I said went, which meant that the world of home was peaceful and harmonic.

Alright! Enough of the lies already! It was full of repressed anger on both sides and pretend harmony. I just like to remember the good times of me being the master of my domain, an only child, a rule maker and breaker, not a sharer or a discipliner, or a partner! I know I am whining. It's just been a sucky week. Without further ado (or complaining) I present to you this week's Currently.

Reviewing my crappy week on a public blog. This will probably not help the home situation. Some of you may know that writing has gotten me into trouble before and I am sure it will again. So in reviewing my week, I should probably look at my part in the situation. I probably won't do that online though.

Wishing that this move home was a little smoother. Like wish on a star wishing. Like throw money in a well wishing. I know it will just take time for things to work themselves out. I am also wishing for a big plate of waffles with fresh strawberries and whip cream and an egg, cheese, and potato burrito from the local -bertos (there's not a Fillibertos here, but they are all a -bertos of sorts, right?). Also I would like a piping hot decaf vanilla almond milk latte, super sized. Now that my drowning-myself-in-my-food-wishes has run it's course, the biggest wish I have is that the past would not have happened. That reminds me of my favorite quote from poet Buddy Wakefield. (Click on his name to see him talking about Free Air at TED and then click on the link to read the poem the quote came from. I guarantee you will not be wasting your time.)

Forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past. 
~Buddy Wakefield, Hurling Cowbirds at Mockingbirds

Eating fish. Many of you know that I usually go between vegetarian and vegan, but lately I have been craving fish. So yesterday, I went to the local natural food store and talked to and learned from the fish guy. Last night I made mahi mahi for the first time and it was GOOD! I am not surprised that the fish was good, but that I made it good! I may try another kind next month.

Carrying an extra pound from all of the carrot cake I ate this week. Our Safeway makes a carrot cake with the yummiest cream cheese/raisin/toasted coconut frosting ever!!

Running from the rain all week. We have had the craziest monsoon season ever! In previous years, we have had afternoon sprinkles that could be hiked in and gardened through and driven in. This year, one could be sitting with a blue sky overhead, then three minutes later, one will be pelted with nickle sized hail and a torrential downpour that has been washing parts of mountains down onto main streets. I am not complaining. We need that water and the garden loves this! I just want a 75° day with sprinkles and light rain.

Wow. Kind of a heavy post this week. I'm not sure if the last sections are even close to grammatically correct because I was listen to Buddy Wakefield tell me to be present and breathe. So whatever I write stays where it is, how it is. Peace and love y'all.

You know your kid's Waldorf when...

This week I drove down the mountain a bit to take the kiddos to Wet Beaver Creek. It boasts a great swimming hole, fresh blackberries (in the right season, which is now), and awesome wild grapes (not quite ready). While the kids swam, I went blackberry picking. They are just starting to turn and I am tempted to drive down the mountain again this week to get more. Next time I will be clad in more than shorts and a bikini top. That outfit hindered me a bit.

When I arrived back at the swimming hole, this is what I found...

Who needs neon plastic rafts when there are logs downstream? The boys played for over an hour on these large logs and had so much fun! 

Here's one more picture of the creek for you (at least my enjoyment). 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This giant radish was harvested from our plot at the Izabel Community Garden. It's huge and lovely and T said it tasted awesome! We've been harvesting them for about a month now, but this is by far the biggest one.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ART's, Research, High School, Prison, Gardening

Portland State University joined forces with Oregon's only women's prison to build a garden. Read about it here
I start grad school in a month. Everything I have been dreaming about is just coming into fruition. I am attending the School of Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University. Let me start by telling you about my project thesis.

I believe gardening with at risk youth will lower their risks and raise their grades. 

I first came up with this idea to garden with at risk students while I was looking for an undergrad internship that was required for me to graduate. I had to find something close to home because of the kiddos. I was having a hard time so as a last resort, I decided to try and make up my own research project. I contacted the high school by my house and asked if I could garden with some of the kids. The principle was ecstatic. Then, as luck would have it, I found another internship. And so the story goes...
It has not always been an asset to talk a lot. In fact, sometimes it's downright annoying to other people. Over the years I have learned to tone it down a bit, but this project is so exciting to me that I have blabbed. And that blabbing has paid off! I was talking with a man who will be in his second year of the Sustainable Communities program and mentioned what I wanted to do. He has heard that a teacher from the same high school I had contacted before had just received permission to build a garden at the school. I contacted the teacher and wouldn't you know, she's the teacher that works with the at risk students! We met and I'm in!

The first few weeks that I am there, I will be teaching the kids how to knit as I get to know them. Then I will be bringing guest speakers. Gardening involves biology, geometry, calculus, chemistry, the environment, and reading and comprehension. She has allotted me time during her Thursday sessions to  teach the kids about composting, grant writing, companion planting, all things garden. I am hoping to stay with the students the whole two years I am in the program.

The next big thing to fall into my lap was the ART's facilitator. ART's stands for Action Research Team. There are several teams and I will lead the gardening team. My team will consist of grad students in my program and also incoming NAU freshmen. I have so many things that I am looking forward to doing with them. I have the high school garden. I want to take the team to another high schools green house and let that high school's students teach us. I am acquainted with a woman who runs a behavior health clinic in need of garden help. There are also the community gardens in need of our help. And the neighborhood association in my hood. There is the elementary school garden. And lastly, an this is a huge dream still waiting to be realized, a prison garden. Seed to table for men, women, and youth in the correctional system.

My goal is lofty. Made even loftier by the fact that I need to still raise three amazing boys, hold down my job, and get good grades. Oh, and on top of all of that, Tris and I decided to get married in August of 2014. So add planning a wedding to that. I now I have the drive to get all of this completed, I just hope I have the energy everyday to fulfill my obligations.

First things first, I need to get a fingerprint card, look up laws governing gardening in public schools, read up on Nature Deficit Disorder, and get donations of yarn. Anyone feel like they want to raid their stash?

Big things are aloft for this queer hippie. I will do my best to keep y'all posted.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Night Pizza and a Movie

Friday nights are always pizza and movie nights. This week will hopefully be the first of many Friday nights that we make our pizza from scratch. I am tired of store bought oven crap or expensive take out. Tonight we made one cheese and one sauceless margarita pizza. Success! 
Number Three mixing the dough.  

Old Fashioned 
Yummy dinner

The margarita 

Losing, remembering...

It's time for this weeks Currently post. I know that's all I am writing now, but I have a few things up my sleeve. Right now, we are waiting for our pizza dough to rise, so we can have fresh pizza for dinner. I will post a recipe later. Tomorrow, there is a bokashi composting class that I am attending. I am buying my kit while I am there, so I can get started right away. As of now, we are composting with our worm bin and also we are saving bigger scraps for the community garden. Now, I will have a third tool in my composting arsenal. That may be the highlight of my week.

I only have two of my littles home with me. The other is helping his dad prepare for his (dad's) wedding, which we are attending tomorrow afternoon. Chances are good we will be the only queers there. I am not quite sure what I am going to do with my big hair, but I am determined this time to grow it out for my dreads, so I will figure something out that doesn't involve scissors.

Loving the smell of yeast-y dough, the thought of a perfect pizza made by our hands, the thought that I have a week to be with my littles and cook them amazing food, and my new huge basil plant. We have a great basil plant already thriving on our balcony and now we will have two! Did you know Safeway (Kroger for some of you) sells potted herbs that transplant well? Also, you can use your food stamps to pay for them. Tris and I are also loving Orange is the New Black on Netflix. It's funny and smart and gay and makes us happy!

Losing sleep talking to T before we go to bed at night. Pillow talk is so much better when the person's head is on the pillow right next to you (and even better when their body is connected to their head...just sayin'). I also think I have been losing weight. Tris and I have been eating awesome meals with fresh produce from the Farmer's Market or our gardens at almost every meal. The other night we ate grilled cheese with raw cheddar, basil, and pears. It was so friggin' good!

Remembering the way it used to be. I had a very long talk with my mom a couple of weeks ago. What she said is really starting to sink in. All I have left are memories now. It is clear that there is no hope. This hope I speak of is something I didn't know I was holding onto. Needless to say, I have been a lot in my head this week, but I have been able to articulate some of these feelings to T. She's been a real trooper and told me that she loves me. That was the only thing I needed to hear and it was perfect. She's pretty amazing and I am lucky to have her as my partner.

Clearing out the past, one hurt at a time and making room for a future of smiles, laughs, tears, joys, new hurts, dreams, pain, life on life's terms.

Picking makes me think of my nose. I like choosing better. Is that allowed, Linz? I am choosing my dress to wear to my ex-husbands wedding tomorrow. When he got married the first time, picking out a dress was much harder. Ha! I am happy for him, although I am not convinced that he is happy. I like his lady, she is kind and smart. I am hoping for good food and many smiles. His family still likes me and that makes everything easier.

So much going on this week. I am loving re-reading this post. I cannot wait for pizza time! In the meantime, I will go out to the garden and take some pictures to post later. Our garden rocks!

As an aside, Number Two just told me when puberty strikes, he striking back...with a Bic. He plans to shave every bit of man-hair he grows! That's awesome, but I doubt that will last...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trying, wearing...

This weeks Currently list includes trying, wearing, choosing, laughing, tasting. This week has been really interesting because it is the first full week that Tris and I have lived together since 2010. t has been fun discovering all of the mundane things that I take for granted daily are things that I have missed doing with her. With the exception of two nights, I have cooked full meals from scratch and tried a few new recipes. When the kiddos aren't home, I don't do this normally; I usually eat cereal or nothing. We have had a few bumps in the road, but only small ones. I think this may work out well.

Right now I am trying to think. Maybe I could modify this to tried. I tried a new crockpot recipe. I made potato soup. It was amazing! And probably really fatty, but I will just have to hike a bunch this week.

Crockpot potato soup:
Bag of frozen hash browns
Can of cream of whatever you like soup (I used asparagus)
Box of broth (I used veg)
Half of an onion
Salt and Pepper
Block of cream cheese

Cook everything but the cream cheese on low for 5 hours. Add the cream cheese (cut in small chunks) for the final half hour. Boom! Easy soup!!!

I am wearing hiking clothes. We are about to go hike Little Elden Trail to Elden Springs. It's a short hike (4 miles), but I haven't done it before, so I am pretty stoked to hit the trail. Tris and her friend, Nicole, are also going. Yay for hiking buddies, since I usually hike alone.

I am choosing a positive attitude. Yesterday was a bit of a trying day and I am not sure how well I slept last night. I dreamed a lot so I am still pretty out of it. Those of you who know me personally, know that my dreams are avid, intense, and seem so real to me that I feel like I have been running all night. Or in the case of last night, crawling slowly and painstakingly to a destination that never gets closer. No, I don't want to evaluate this dream.

I am laughing at my hair. I am trying (yes! I found something!) to grow it out so I can dread it, but it is thick and awkward. Today I look like I have a combover. A wavy, thick, disgusting combover. I am hoping that in a few more weeks, it will be long enough in the back to make a full ponytail, not just one that has to be re-tied every time half of the hair falls out. I have an unnatural fear that I don't look gay enough when my hair is like this. I know it's dumb!

I am tasting my crunchy, granola cluster cereal. It's some maple pecan something that I bought for half-off because it was going expired. Tastes fine to me. And it stays crunchy in my almond milk.

I'm off to my hike. I will be posting pictures of the garden soon. I just planted the beans in the Three Sisters plot yesterday. I am excited to watch them grow up the corn. They are called Rattlesnake Pole Beans.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Again with the lemons and blueberries??? Yes.

I can't help myself. I made lemon blueberry muffins for the week this morning. I haven't tried one yet, but I'm about to. I got the recipe from Gimme Some Oven. Thought I would share because, like most recipes, it can be modified to meet your dietary needs.

Loving, craving...

My friend Linz, of Ot and Et, from high school and beyond writes a weekly link-up called Currently. In order to encourage myself to write a bit more, I thought I would join her. This week's theme is loving, craving, missing, listening, wishing.

This week, I am loving having T and the boys home. Wednesday was particularly awesome because the boys came home two days earlier this week and T came home for good. She got a job here in town, so no more long distance, no more traveling to a good-foresaken town in the desert, and no more stressing over who will watch the kids when my classes are scheduled late.

I am craving vegan food. I have been eating such crap lately. I just want to eat fresh, homemade, delicious, vegan food. Last weekend, our friend Scout came up for a visit. He is an amazing vegan cook and baker. We ate thai and mexican and fresh strawberry shortcake. Later in the week I made Lehsuni daal with rice and naan. That satisfied my craving for a little while, but I need more!

I am missing the boys. T, the boys and I went up to Page this weekend to visit my folks and my sisters. The boys wanted to stay with them until Thursday and I grudgingly relented. Even though my parents live relatively close, we don't get to see the family very often. The boys are probably already up and hoping at least one cousin is awake to play with. You'd think I would sleep in when they weren't home, but no, I was up at 6:25 this morning and T is still sleeping.

I am listening to our parakeets chirp and sing, the traffic on the road below, the fish tank bubbling and wash machine spinning. The birds outside are chirping also and Antigua and Makaha are diligently answering.

I am wishing T would wake up! Man, can she sleep! All of the apple butter is going to be gone from the market again and I don't think my heart can handle that!

In other news, the veeerrrryyyyyy slow-growing garden got pummeled by quarter sized hail last Tuesday, but seems to thrive on beatings because it has bounced back beautifully! This year, I have tons of different kinds of beans, strawberries, chives, tomatoes, chili peppers, leeks, corn, watermelon, pumpkins, and more. Hopefully all of this summer rain will really boost their growing potential!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Dear Friend Needs Your Help

Until now, what I knew about anorexia and bulimia was learned from After School Specials and biology classes. What I know now is that my very lovely friends daughter may be dying because of these eating disorders. What I know now is that mom and daughter and sisters are suffering. What I know now is that our community is suffering.

I am pleading for anyone who may read this post to follow this link to her fundraising page. If you can't donate money, please consider sending love and light to them. This mama and this child are our sisters and daughters, our wives and mothers, our friends and members of our community. Her story may be yours, her daughter may be yours, her mother may have been yours, struggling to save your life. No amount of support is too little.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Goodbye Facebook

Or at least I am really thinking about it. I mean what do I really use it for? I keep in touch with my really good friends via phone calls, text, and letters. The rest of the people on my Facebook are people I don't really know anymore. I do like seeing T's updates now that she is back on, but really that's about it.

During the elections, I had a hard time even getting on because so many of my "friends" were voting with their wallets and not their hearts or even their brains. I wasn't one of those people who said we couldn't be friends anymore, but I certainly was thinking it. I was also thinking that having a diverse group of "friends" could open my eyes and let me see things from their perspective. That being said, I never friended Mitt Romney, but I did write to him.

Seeing what everyone is up to fills up space in my day that I don't really have time to spare. I do love the networking aspect of Facebook, but in the interest of spending more quality time with our kids, frugality (with my time and energy), saving my eyesight, and saving my voice (from yelling at stupid posts), I am going to shut my Facebook, at least for a while after this weekend.

In return for not being on Facebook, if anyone wants to know what's going on in my life, I will post on here as often as I can. Starting now.

I just began my last semester at Northern Arizona University as an undergraduate. I will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science with an emphasis on Biology. I am looking forward to a river trip down the San Juan River after graduation, but still for a class. When I finish with this degree, I have two choices, get a real job or go to grad school and stay at my bookkeeping job, that I enjoy. If I do decide to get a job, I hope it will be with the US Geologic Survey here in town. If I go to grad school, I will let you know what I do when I think of something.

Tris is still working for Harley two hours west of here, so we are still doing the weekday long distance thing. Although saying goodbye on Monday morning will never be easy, the weeks slip by quickly and we are reunited faster than five days actually feels like. She and I just flew to northern Minnesota and picked up a truck that her Dad and Mom gave to us, sort of a long time loaner. We drove it back last weekend. I sure do love being on the road with her. Before she got the truck, she was still riding her motorcycle back and forth, even when the temp was below zero. Talk about being on edge until she arrived at work! Having the truck will ease a bit of anxiety for both of us. She has been applying for jobs in this area and I just know one will come up that will suit her perfectly.

The boys, oh my sweet babies, are growing up so quickly. A1 started the 9th grade in August. He likes to remind me that he will be driving sooner than not. He is loving his art class and hating jazz band. Although, I think he really does love it. He has a real passion for drawing anime. He's looking forward to learning French next year, in addition to Spanish. He is also rocking at the saxophone.

A2 moved from Waldorf school this year into an arts school, the same one as A1. He is playing the trumpet and looking good while doing it. He likes skinny jeans, alright, loves skinny jeans. I would love for him to rock a cardigan or two, but baby steps, Mommy, right? He is looking forward to taking choir, tap dance, and African dance next year, along with the rest of his classes. He is no longer the shy boy who hid behind his hair in the second grade. Ms. Jessalyn Hall would be so proud of the boy he has become.

K-Man is in the third grade at the local Waldorf school. This year, he started the shelters block that has him doing a five paragraph writing assignment, mostly working on it at home. He is terrified of missing the due date. All Christmas break he stressed about having to work on it. He's be chugging along ever since. His project is a gypsy wagon. Not only does he have to write about it, but he has to build a small replica of one. He's been painting and planning and building. I will post pictures when he completes it. It's been hard for me to let him do it on his own. Those times he feels overwhelmed and stressed, I just want to hold him and tell him what to write or how to build, but that won't teach him independence. So I help, but not as much as my heart is screaming for me to.

That's the quick wrap up. I will try and post some sort of status weekly, at least. Next week, Sunday to be exact, Tris and I are starting the Whole Living magazine 21 day detox diet. I'll have to change a few things to accommodate our vegan lifestyle, but it should be amazing. I'll post a few of my favorite recipes. Happy new year, ya'll! Say no to Facebook in 2013!