Thursday, April 29, 2010

local. organic. gorgeous.

I signed up for organic produce delivery from a local family farm.  I mean, we've been talking about doing this for months, since we saw the movie King Corn even, but by then we were making weekly trips to our amazing local farmers markets and it seemed beside the point.  And then we read In Defense of Food and saw Michael Pollen speak and it just reaffirmed our healthy choices.

And then, you know, things happened. Medical things. EXPENSIVE things. And we stopped being able to afford quality, local, organic produce and meat.

And then, of course, we watched Food Inc on PBS last week. And I remembered. And got re-enraged. We really do vote with our dollars. And we really do need to remind our governments, big food industry, and local farmers alike that what we put into our bodies matters to us.

Oh. And even though organic and local is more expensive, I have a new mantra I repeat in my head while shopping. The cheaper food is a LIE, I tell you, a lie. It's cheaper because it's empty. Just like you won't buy white bread, just like you don't shop at Walmart, you shouldn't buy factory farmed chicken.  And that's working for me this week.

(This week.)  But, like my last post says, we gotta do this stuff one day at a time.  So wish me luck. And I'll do the same for you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

and on we go.

Some days feel like they're never ending. Some times I wonder if this day-in-day-out ritual is really all there is to adulthood: my hour-long commute each way to work; a nine-hour day spent sitting in a windowless office; walk the dog; make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner; sort, wash, fold, and stow laundry; read three pages of a novel before falling asleep; sleep; wake up early.

Rinse. Repeat.

And then I remember the tiny slivers of joy that sneak through the cracks in this ritual life: the flop of my dog's tongue out the side of his maw when we walk the two miles to the coffee shop; the hour we spend nightly at the dinner table, just me and Joe, talking about the day...before we break the spell by rising to wash the dishes; the great blue herons flying like prehistoric monsters over the ship canal bridge as I drive home; the long, luxurious weekends filled with waffles and art shows and lazy afternoons.

And on we go.  One foot in front of the other. One day at a time.  When the student asked the monk what he should do, the monk replied, "Have you eaten?"  The student said that he had. "Then wash your bowl," replied the monk.

And on we go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stencils and tshirts and turning six

My favorite blond gal turns six this month. (SIX! That's old.  We met right before her third birthday, so we go way back.)

And because I made a commitment to myself awhile back that gifts would always be handmade (by myself or another artist), unless of course, they're art supplies or books(!), Joe and I decided to stencil some t-shirts for her.  Stenciling is easier than screenprinting, which is good, because I'm OVER things that are hard and stress me out.

I designed a number six made of squares, stars, and hearts, Joe posterized a photo of Lily's dawg Wryly's sweet face, and then we used a (cheating!) stencil we had around the house of the best swallow ever.

I do believe they were a hit. It wasn't too long ago that Lily was all pink and purple and tiaras and sparkles.  Today, I learned, she's very much more into ripped jeans with wild embroidery and animal prints.

(Also, please note the yellow dawg in the top photo, my constant crafty companion.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Number 4, Drop 2

This adorable rabbit in a skirt, made again from the same book as this monsterey guy, began her day with a photo shoot in the backyard.  She photographs, well, I do think, though she seems to feel the need to wave in every photo.  

(I guess I didn't let her watch America's Next Top Model enough, to learn the importance of poses and versatility. Oh well. Next adorable rabbit.)

The best part of the photo shoot? The sun. It graced Seattle for a full three-fourths of the day yesterday. A real gift for this time of year.  

It was so warm I wore sandals to West Seattle's Lincoln Park, where we left adorable rabbit in a skirt in a highly visible location.  

A lengthly walk in the sun with my favorite person and my favorite dog later, (where we saw an enormous pod of harbour porpoises lolling along the coast) and adorable rabbit in a skirt was gone. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

♥ Fourteen ♥

It broke my heart to say goodbye to them outside the terminal at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport.  B was strapped in to his car seat, blue monster-truck ("Mocky truck! Blue one!") from the Easter bunny in hand, asking for a hug. (I gave him three. After each one he sang, "kiss too!" but I couldn't make out the words. I finally deciphered them and planted a slobbery kiss on his cheek.)

He was full of language and pride and still that unrelenting joy and awe at the world. Calling me Auntie and taking me by the hand to see the landscape through his eyes.  

We blew bubbles and picked up rocks. We played with the dogs and baked my great-grandmother's caramel rolls (his great-great-grandmother's!).  We read books and more books. Mostly about firemen, firetrucks, race cars, and bugs, although Curious George did make a few cameo appearances, too.

On the day I arrived, we stopped at the library to refresh the pile of books his parents had been reading to him. We filled a tote bag with the books, and from then on B would drag it through the house (it was much too heavy for him to carry) and announce "I got books!" any time there was a lull in action. 

He says please after EVERY request, even when whining. (The first morning I was there he started the day with, "Need waffles please, momma." The second day was, "Need candy please, momma." By day four he greeted the day with: "Need turkey sandwich please, momma.")  

He loves colors and numbers and letters and describing the world.  He loves lining up his cars and driving around his dump trucks. He's smitten with announcing that things are broken, and turning them over to commence repair. 

On the drive home from the airport, he identified something purple. And then I began a game: What else is purple?  We named purple things (mostly his mother and I): grapes, wine, plums, blackberries, heather flowers, bruises, etc. And thereafter he's been saying, "Let's play game, momma."

When I got my suitcase out to pack to go home, B said, "What doing, Auntie?" and I told him I was packing to leave.  He squealed with delight and said, "I got case too!" and ran to his room. Moments later he emerged with his suitcase, a backpack with an extend-able handle and wheels.  

How could I say goodbye to this?

And then there was baby A. At just three months old, the world is already spinning around her tiny bubbling smile.  She is all tongue and grunt and kick; snuggle and suck and sing. And some crying too.  But mostly just snuggle and grin.

And then, of course, my sister. Beautiful mother to B & A, awesome wife to a man suffering through colon cancer treatment, and dear friend.  A woman who knows my history and gets it on a gut level in a way no one else can. Someone my heart literally aches for when I can't see her often enough.

Seeing her  in her element--parenting, care taking, homemaking, baking, exercising, wiping twelve muddy dog paws, and living--was lovely. Exhausting too, but lovely most of all.

So! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for buying the ticket that made 14 possible.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Finally!  I rode Seattle's famous, and the world's first full-scale commercial monorail.  Built in 1962 for the World's Fair (along with the ever-epic Space Needle), the monorail is a feat of...well...kitsch.  

I mean, I've lived in Seattle for over six years and never once needed to board it. 

Here's what's fun: When you ride the Link Light Rail from my house in South Seattle into downtown, it drops you off underneath Westlake Center, which is, for lack of better terminology, a floundering mall.  A mall? 


But! The monorail also leaves from this same mall.  Simply ride the escalators up the four floors to the food court and monorail ticket booth! Huzzah! You never had one rain drop fall on you!

Here I am posing in front of the ticket booth. Is there anyone selling tickets at the booth? Look closely. 

The answer is no.  

No?  On this day of monorail ridership, tickets were sold inside the train itself while we queued up to hand over our cash. (Did I mention that they only take cash? Also note the extreme inefficiency of this methodology. This must be why only tourists use the monorail--they don't have appointments or jobs to get to.)  

The trip costs $2 each way for each adult.  Given the fact that the ride takes about 2 minutes, this is approximately $1 per minute, or $60/hour.  Quite the expensive transportation mode. But it's elevated, so you can't complain. Plus, it's older than I am. AND, it only has ONE RAIL.

Here's the moral of the story. (Or morel, if you're into mushrooms.) If you're a tourist and you're staying downtown but need to see the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project and have an urge to visit an old-school outdoor amusement park or run through the world's best fountain, plus you love a little overpriced nostalgia, this is the ride for you.

If you can walk a mile, you might want to save your $4.  But just once, ride the monorail. That way you can cross it off your list.