Thursday, August 30, 2007

oh how clever

Good morning beloved ones--Do you get Sierra magazine? It's fun to read in the crapper. So they have this little sound bite on page 15 of the Sept. issue. (WHY? do magazines send their publications out for the month that has yet to happen? If it is July I would prefer to read the July edition..ya know? The FREEP does a similarly annoying thing; they put the Sunday comics in the Saturay paper, with all the coupons and shit... Whatever...We do not read the Sunday comics til Sunday thank you very much.
anyway this little idea from Sierra. Go to and check out how to be annoying to republicans and lazy Americans in general. On Sept 21 they want you to act out (ooh I'm good at that) and reclaim some concrete. I think I may do it. AT EMU--they have too many empty parking spots'll be easy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

well that explains a lot--

My horrorscope this a.m... "It's unrealistic for you to hold back the flow of your feelings with the Full Moon Eclipse in your sign. You are expressing yourself, whether you intend to or not. Your emotions can change faster than circumstances, so what you say may not be how you just a few hours later. Remember, you don't have to justify the shifts of your emotional tides. They are what they are."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Total lunar eclipse on Tuesday

This morning in the Freep...

Oh my freaky darlings-- we need to get up early on Tuesday because the moon's surface will darken as the earth's shadow creeps across it to create a partial eclipse just before dawn, (Zoli and I will set our alarms for 5:45) we won't get to see the very end because the sun will be up by then. The night she does decay.
Although it will be a total eclipse the ring of light around the earth's edge is enough to illuminate the moon's surface.
If there is enough dust in the earth's atmosphere the surface will appear blood red--how cool is that?

I woke up this morning and lay there till Venus flickered out.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

beautiful sunday

1. The NY Times has yet to make the move successfully. GRRRRR.
1b.) Ray treated us to breakfast at The Bomber.
2. Matthew has started his last term as a Sparty sophomore. He'll be a junior at the holiday break. *whimper*
3. I finally broke down and bought a replacement pair of new gloves. Now the old ones will turn up. Right? Upon getting said gloves home, Zoli helped me tear out all the ancient grape vines and sturdy maple seedlings that had tried to eliminate the massive hostas and the ostrich ferns along the back of the garage. That bed had been screaming to me to get it cleaned up. By Pass loppers to the rescue. Damn that tool makes me feel butch.
These hostas are HUGE. They must be like 40 years old. They are easily 2 ft across. The variegated kind (both yellow & white) and the biggest most beautiful blue, I'm not a big hosta head, in fact Eric will remember helping me "get rid of" (roflmao!) the ones at Wallace. I have a new respect for hostas. In fact I amd going to go so far as to say..I am fond of them.
4. We used the membership discount and saw Duck Soup at the Michigan Theater this afternoon. It was wonderful. Zoli was ecstatic. He is such a big fan of the Marx Bros. It was fun to hear him and Evan laughing. Poor Zeppo--it must have sucked to be him.
5. I finished Book Three of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Wow. They are so beautifully written. They are heart wrenching and so ...thoughtful. I am going to find my Milton and re-read Paradise Lost. These books also reminded me of my love for William Blake. This one is from his "Songs of Experience"

The Voice of the Ancient Bard.

Youth of delight come hither:
And see the opening morn,
Image of truth new born.
Doubt is fled & clouds of reason.
Dark disputes & artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze,
Tangled roots perplex her ways,

How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead;
And feel they know not what but care;
And wish to lead others when they should be led.

Friday, August 24, 2007

find my path

I had an old friend; Rob Demented. (sadly--We have grown apart despite Timmy consistently trying to poke us back together) who once gifted me with a book titled "A Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment." It was my first serious look at Zen Buddhism and my feeble spiritual journey. Prior to any internal contemplations I was a very vain, greedy and shallow little girl. I was horribly selfish and unthinking. I made rash decisions like getting laid, getting pregnant, getting married and getting divorced (all in about 18 months) with about the same effort I put into deciding how to dress my hair for the day. In fact, (ages 17-19) back then I may have put *more* effort into my hair color. (variations included pink, blue, burgundy, & of course uber goth BLACK)

Carrying in utero Matthew and watching him grow was profoundly awakening for me and I realized that my soul is not the only one of any significance on the planet. Then I met people (mmm... Pete) who used multi syllabic words and encouraged me to not treat friends as objects. To realize that words like "love" & "respect" and "ego" can have multiple meanings. Perspectives other than my own. The older I get the more I embrace my walk on this path. Gleaning experiential wisdom—progressing toward the attainment of awakening and understanding the concept of "journey". This philosophy, zazen; de-emphasizes theory (I'm all over that) in favor of direct individual experience of one's own true nature.

The past month has been so full of action & experience. Thoughts swirling, milestones checked off a list. Life altering changes, thrilling moments of pure friendship and disappointing discoveries that while sad, are not the end of the world. To quote my friend Jane,

"There is always something to look forward to."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My favorite Baron

Garth is a god. He is checking shit off the "honey do" list that are like six years old. Kassia is a very lucky girl. Here is a pic of him making some firewood. (He doesn't like mushrooms.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Things we learned from the Orselli/Costello Clan

1. Yes, whatever it is it will blend. yes, even golf clubs (okay but not the Mommy's little helper--which I am sure in "normal households" is referred to as a "crow bar".
2. Sushi "on the boat" is brilliant.
2B.) milky saki is nummy as is the clear stuff..BUT NO WARM SAKI!
3. Tomatoes need the same amount of water everyday. not huge rain storms every three days.
3B) tomatoes can heal their own stretch marks
4. Croq-Croq is the new "it" game
5. singing makes everything more fun--even washing your hands to "we are the champions"
6. rain is not a deterrent when you have good friends
7. Bats are very consistent
8. everybody likes cheerios
9. sleeping in is good
10. six kids are not hard to cook for if you bake every morning and your dear friend is on the other side of the kitchen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

'Ro and the toad

Lisa's baby girl meets a friend.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Go Ken Go!

Apparently Mr. Branagh has a new production--and it's gonna be so cool! According to the

"As You Like It" also could be set almost anywhere and whenever. But 1880s Japan? A prologue note tells us Europeans established treaty ports in Japan, and European enclaves grew up around them like tiny private kingdoms." and with Kebin Kline no less! NINJAS!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Lisa will be here tomorrow!!! EEEEEEP!!! BOUNCE! BOUNCE!

Lisa and Paulie used to live on Grant street (right across the street from Kif & Jamie--next door to Lisa & Beth; in fact that is how I met RenewableLisa and Beth--they shared gardening stuff with Lisa C.

We didn't fart with out each other. But Paulie got an amazing job offer in New Jersey and it was back to NY-- so much closer to Grandma Trini & the compound. so they moved. When they left they only had Joey (who is Zoli's age) now Lisa has the record for friend with the most kids...Peter, Phillip and Caroline (aka 'roro)--three boys and a fairy girlchild. That baby is so pretty. I have a tremendous crush on her.

I had some crappy bestest friend luck there for a few years. Gretch has been my constant for well over 20 years--then I *married* Pete so that shifted things a little. But I still have Timmy. Anyway my point is that I bonded tighter than sibs w/Lorine and then she moved to Fargo. THEN I bond tighter than sibs with Lisa...and then they move...took me a while to make real friends w/ antisocial as I is! (snort)

BUT dear one we must focus on HAPPY THOUGHTS! Cuz we have gotten into a lovely habit of switching visits every summer, and this we year we host The Orselli/Costello clan in T-minus 36 hours!!! eeep!! I gotta buy groceries! (and drink mix!)

I have totally lost my gardening gloves. My beloved leather "women's work" size small. I have had them forever. I made my first bow in them because my hands were too "soft". They are broken in and I miss them horribly. Not a good time to misplace soemthing so functional. I hope they are at WMS. Maybe by the scale? I'll check this morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

so many things

I knew, that in this past 15 days I should have kept a list of things that inspired a well turned sentence, but it seemed that once I got past the daily to-do list I was just too beaten down to consider anything beyond primeval grunts. I wanted to tell ya'll about "King Bat and the Haz Mat suit", or babble on about the mailbox being across the street. Maybe get a decent paragraph out of the Barnia Lightposts. We are still struggling with what to call this place. It isn't a yard, way too big. It isn't an estate, too laid back and really not big enough. Farms actually produce stuff. A retired farm??

We have lots of wasps. In fact we have lots of wildlife that we didn't have at Wallace. Tons more butterflies, dragonflies, toads, frogs and itty bitty frogs. Maple trees too massive to hug. Bunnies, ground hogs, an owl--oh don't forget the bats.

Bree has mellowed at least 65%. She is much happier here. Less barking. In fact she hasn't "gone OCD" at all here. Still no recall and she is still pretty spaz when visitors arrive, but overall I see a big improvement in her behavior. Our morning walks have morphed into evening "perimeter checks". I can't find my pedometer but I know it is less than her accustomed 3-4 miles. Pete still takes her running tho.

We found some old crates that had been used as wall in the tool shed-ette that are stamped "Belle Farm" but Pete hates that idea, Big Purple Farmhouse is more of a descriptor than a name...I feel like Mrs. Fairfax trying to keep tabs at Thornfield Hall.

We still haven't even got an idea how to re-decorate the lobsters in our bathroom. BUT! we agree that "Japtorian" is the new scheme for the library. The Victorians were enamored with Japanese art & culture and my adoration of the Edo period just touches the Victorian age. So off we go with Victorian/Japanese decorating plan.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm In!!

Food by ShakespeareTwo culinary adventurers turn to the Bard for inspiration

By Cindy Sutter Camera Food Editor
This quarter, the challenge is a little more theatrical, but not in the personal sense. They're taking on Shakespeare, in particular, the play "All's Well That Ends Well," which they attended Saturday with a menu inspired by the Bard's words, mostly metaphoric.

A sampling from which they created the menu:

" 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady; we may pick a thousand salads ere we light on such another herb.

"Indeed sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad ..."


"Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach."

"Your date is better in your pie and your porridge than in your cheek; and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears ... "

Note to up-and-coming restaurateurs: Shakespeare may not be the best menu consultant.

Bloom and Magee, however, have managed to come up with a tasty and tasteful bill of fare.

"I think it's really going to be fun," Bloom said last week as they prepared for the feast. "This is the first time we've made up our own recipes. This time we had the ingredients and had to figure out how to put them into stuff."

References to pie, cheese, egg, marjoram and woodcock, were to be stirred together into a gruyere-saffron quiche with squab (standing in for woodcock). A pear mincemeat pie with dates and pecans embraces pie, pear, date and nut. Creamy truffled polenta fills the bill for porridge. A green salad completes the meal with the beverage of choice: Cava and pomegranate cocktails — the latter piggybacking on a reference to the fruit that was apparently trendy even in the Elizabethan era.

Both women agree that one of the best parts of their cooking adventures are the trips to various markets in the metro area.

"You end up going to little areas of Denver or Longmont or other places you would never otherwise go on a quest for ingredients," Magee says.

For this quest, however, they found everything they needed at Whole Foods.

"But we went to the Asian markets on Federal anyway," Bloom says. "Pennie picked up a package of duck tongues to show me, and I said, 'I've eaten those, in New York in Chinatown!'"

The challenges began in 2003 when the two decided to learn together how to make tamales.

"We got some masa from a tortilleria, came home and made tamales," Bloom says. "We had so much fun exploring a challenging culinary adventure, we decided to do it again." She can't remember exactly when they formalized the idea into a quarterly event. The two are keeping notes from their work and taking pictures. They hope eventually to write a cookbook.

Their most memorable adventure so far?

The Ethiopian food. In that case, they learned to make the injera from an Ethiopian woman, whom they met through Slow Food — Bloom is on the steering committee, and Magee is a member — by way of the Cultiva!, the local program that teaches teens about growing food.

"Several people were living in the home," Blooms says of the visiting the family. "She was sitting in the living room making injera on an injera grill. We got to meet someone in the community, we otherwise could never meet."

Also memorable was a French food challenge.

"We made French onion soup that had an egg. We had triple-creme cheeses," Magee says.

"That dacquoise we made," Bloom says, as she looks through the lists of menus.

"Oh, the dacquoise!" they say in unison.

The two agree their least successful challenge was what they called "antique" recipes, those from old cookbooks ranging from early 1900s to 1950. One of the recipes they chose called for an aspic, in which the gelatin came from bones.

"We couldn't find veal knuckles," Bloom says. Likewise they couldn't find calves' feet. They found cows' feet. "We ended up with pigs' feet from a Mexican market."

And then there was the food. Nothing you'd particularly want to eat again, although Magee allows that she might make the yeast-based election cake again sometime.

The two met for lunch at the Kitchen last week to go over last-minute details for their Shakespeare extravaganza.

"I hope it doesn't rain," Bloom said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Cindy Sutter at 303-473-1335 or

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

my grandpa: Raymond Joseph Gouine

My grandpa died last night. I want to say something amazing but I can't. My gran is gonna cremate him today. No service. I'm not quite sure what to say.

Can I just make a list?

He was 84. antique dealer. he was afraid of water & swimming. he had red hair. he liked vodka & sweets. he taught me how to make change. he fed the barn cats. he let me drive the tractor. He grew beautiful tomatoes. he liked to weld things together. he was a pack rat. his eyesight had deteriorated so completely he was blind. He was very proud of his kids. He didn't talk a lot. he liked babies. he taught me how to make fried egg sandwiches. he was pretty cool for an old grouch.

i need another kleenex.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pete's grandma Olah's sewing machine

Yes it works. but it needs a new leather flywheel belt.

vacation is over

Poor Petey had to go back to work this morning. He found a silver lining in the cloud. He found his clogs. They were under the bed at the Wallace house. He was a happy guy, well-- his feet are happy.

My folks came down to check out our new old house and Mom rescued me on two counts. She brought her flower books and we got almost everything Id-ed in the garden. AND she loved the lighthouse paraphernalia from the master bath and she adopted it all. YAY Mommy!

Daddy was a priceless treasure. I kept asking him shit and he kept answering. I felt like a 12 year old, but he had all the answers. Sump pumps. Barn doors. water softeners, aquifer levels, dryer plug grounds. fridge door hinges. My dad is the shit and the shizzle. He may *think* he is the bastard love child of Henry David Thoreau and MacGyver, but I've seen my grandparents and they are perfectly normal. No anti social tendencies or even super human skills of repair-osity. My dad likes our farm.

He is pretty sure we need to buy Zoli a riding lawn mower. I agree completely but there is that cash flow thing. We all kept teasing Z that he was gonna have to mow 3.8 acres with the push mower. Prior to finding this house Zoli and I were sorta shopping for an old school push roller--not so much now. (oooh I should find the sonnet I wrote for Eric. I think it is on the desk top harddrive.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Are ya sick of the house yet?

I'm not.

But we did do something non house related last night. We went into a2 and while Petey hung out with Carl and learned Jazzy guitar stuff I went to Orchid Lane (1/3 head shop, 1/3 dress shop 1/3 import store) to look for a new toe ring because the old one died. (somebody get Trex a tissue--he loveded the toe ring) The toe ring died because a.) it was about two years old and was worn every day b.) Brooke and I scraped an air conditioner across it. I was able to re-shape it. c.) I dragged a box of books across it and it finally was warped beyond redemption. Apparently toe ring technology has become very advanced. The new fad is a bit of elastic fishline holding a single charm. cute but not what I wanted. I was unable to locate a "real jewelry" one that went all the way around and wasn't a pinchy "C" shape. Both Middle Earth and Orchid Lane had lots of little glittery flowers but no "classy celtic spiral" designs. sigh.

Our "date" perked up when we got to the "Peak" and had a lovely bite of dinner in the bar. I got the Salad Nicoise. A perfectly proportioned hunk of seared tuna and that amazing citrus vinaigrette dressing. boiled egg & tater, lots of haricort vert and huge (and pitted! yay!) black olives. NUMMY! (Petey got a lamb burger and a couple of porters he was pleased also Grizzly Peak is a grand place.

THEN we toddled over to Ann Arbor Home and Garden because it seemed to be the thing to do. We got a doorbell. I love it. A lot.

THEN we drooled on Matt Damon and Julia Stiles in the new Robert Ludlum book--er I mean spy thriller movie. Two thumbs up but be warned--it is so NOT a chick flick! (giggle) I liked it. It was fun and I totally stopped thinking about water softeners, roofers and chimney sweeps.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Suck o Lux

Okay no sooner do we get the Wallace street house's air vents sucked out then we move here and discover the pine needles and bulldog* hairs from three years ago. So today John and his truck sized o suck o'lux (A2 Air Duct Cleaning) are doing the ground floor. The Wallace street house is almost empty. It will get a 4-SALE sign soon. Pete has gone for a run. He is on an adventure. Once we get past Textile Rd-- Crane turns into gravel. He is looking forward to that. Running in the country. Happy boy.

It was with great melancholy we left Emery's ashes at the Wallace yard. BUT! we did inherit the strangled bulldog grave site. Do ya wanna hear how the bulldog got sat on by Lula and strangled?/ It's kinda funny!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

only three boxes left

in the kitchen to get unpacked. well that and half the baking cupboard from Wallace still has to get packed and Matthew still has to fetch his broken skateboard decks (apparently they are trophies?!?) & hockey shit. Oh! and he promised to break down the movie set . It seems that not only did Izzy have a cameo scheduled to shoot in Beluga Productions latest endeavor last night; but they needed half of her playset. FT! yer lame!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

maybe a normal morning?

Good morning darlings,

It is Tuesday. I have coffee that we can't taste the well water in! (Either we are getting used to the taste or the water softener is finally working.) Our bedroom is complete and together (no boxes). Izzy's room is all good. Matt's room looks like a laundry drift which is pretty much how it looked at the Wallace house, Zoli's is chaos but at least it is cool chaos as we finally got a window AC unit for that end of the hall. OH! The AC! we broke the flux capacitor or whatever it was-- but $115 bucks later the guy from Al Walters Heating & Air saved us. He got us down to 75F just in time for the heat & thunder to humidity up to "I would much rather sit and read than unpack those goddamn boxes). No. I can find my zen. The rain is awesome for the grass & trees but the lightening last night was pretty spectacular. There are two remotely powered ceiling windows in our room. They are about 5x8 and when it is clear we can see the moon & stars. When it is flashing lightening, the whole thing smacks eerily of South Dakota. Between the ceiling skylights and the wall of windows to the east it was very much like sleeping in a glass tent.

EXCEPT--I KNOW that the massive oak support beams, & the two ton fieldstone fireplace have been sitting here for 107 years. Anchoring this house thru tornados and snowstorms for over a century. This is a sturdy old farmhouse and I LOVE it.

Today we get a smaller truck and finish emptying the Wallace house. Gotta get Zoli's dresser and most importantly-- Pete's grandma's sewing machine. The machine that she seamstress-ed the fam thru the depression on. It gets a place of honor now instead of being stored in a closet.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sunday dinner

oooh we like this indoor grill stuff!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


So I have this amazing house, and it comes with 3.8 acres of rolling lawn, a birch grove, beautiful maples and spruce & smoke bushes mark the property line and a mulberry tree, some funky little pine I can't ID and over grown, neglected, drought stressed perennial beds. I have identified so far: tons of climbing roses, peonies, pink lilies, several massive hosta, but Kassia had guessed sedum and I don't think so--plus this creeping kinda green mossy thing?? Yikes. I know. I have to get pics up. Syl I am so gonna need your brain. I'll post pics of the mystery plants and ya'll help me identify them okay? Jane are you listening?? help? Tarrach let's use that degree for something besides making bionic plants eh?

early Friday morning when I stepped out on the patio there was huge black butterfly with blue dots on the bottom of his wings
he just perched there on the overhanging tree branch--like an ornament

eight Canadian geese flew over--just above the barn roof it was pretty cool

yestrday Isabel met a very large woodchuck

this morning when I put Bree out to pee there was about six bunnies in a group under the clothesline

Saturday, August 4, 2007

fishnets & paddles

Wow. Hi. My darlinks--Okay so obviously busy & exhausted moving, but then we were supposed to get internet on Thursday but didn't actually get it till Friday. Now it is SATURDAY! Sorry the only pictures I have taken so far is one of the prairie dog wasps for Bogdan. I want to get a picture of our bathroom before Pete pull its all down. The seller had a thing for stencils. She stenciled the master bath in a "Maine lighthouse" motif. Complete with lobster trap and it's plastic inhabitants. Shells, coral and "drying fishnets" (NOT the sexxy kind--the food gathering kind!) a blue wooden row boat paddle is part of the window treatment. It is suspended between two 3D light houses. Petey wakes up singing his filked SpongeBob theme song, "Hi Kids Are ya READY to SHOWER???" "AYE AYE Cap'n!" Oi. *rolling eyes*

1. So the AC died. sweaty bummer. Repair dude on Monday.
2. The spiffy new dryer is here but we have to have an electrician swap out both the fuse and the outlet cuz the dryer is so hi tech and the house is 107 years old-- so the plug in the basement is from like the late '60's (as was the washing machine we deep sixed.)
3. My new couch is freaking awesome.
4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this house.
5. The well water is rusty (specially in the terlits--and still smells faintly of ...well water.
6. The garden is gonna be an adventure for quite sometime.
7. the kitchen as some of you may have heard; was designed by a very tall left handed person with great taste in flooring but who doesn't really cook. with double ovens I can forgive anything. we are working on forming a relationship. I need a step stool.
8. Blue Sky Carpentry is gonna build my library shelves.
9. The bats seem pretty tolerable so far despite the guy in the haz mat suit (is Haz Mat one word??) and the"king Bat" who gets his own story
10. The cats are doing well enough. Things mellowed after Alice decided not to hide under Izzy's bed anymore.
11. Doggies are pretty clingy and cuddly.
12. Kids get better the more the boxes go away. Seriously direct ratio! the number of empty boxes to kid's happy level is about four empty to one notch of positive attitude. Isabel was a little overwhelmed living in the cardboard fort.

things are going pretty damn well so far.

gonna go have a glass of wine and watch some crazy ass cartoons.