Tuesday, September 30, 2008

squirrels and such

as autumn approaches, leaf work begins ... these children are doing the "obcordate" leaf. working so hard. love it. it's beautiful to see that.

here are some pictures ... reminder to self (and to my readers!) of what i'll try and post this weekend: (yes...that IS me taking a hammer to a coconut!)

fried green tomatoes and hot peppers
homemade shampoo with baking soda and jasmine oil
peanut butter hummus
the approach of fall with colder temps here in KY
paint splattering incidents
brown rice with eggplants and such goodness (pictures of below)... and semi-local greens
update on the green scarf

yes we were lucky to have a baby squirrel visit us this week! see you sunday.

love, karen

i'll end with three cats it's rare to see in one room at the same time. they've been acting crazy lately. not sure what's up with that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

update, and a little waxing philosophical.

hi, all ....

here is my weekly-ish update, as promised. let's see what's been going on around here ... well, i needed the week to pass quickly, and it did. here's some of what went on:

... as you can see, i went for my sunset walk. the louisville waterfront is so pretty just before twilight, especially given the amazing weather we've had lately. It was a little gloomy yesterday for the block party, though .... but it was a great time. Free vegan chili (though i doused mine with cheese and sour cream), local organic coffee ... reusable (real) dishes ... and some great tables by local organizations committed to improving the community. coalition for the homeless, a booth about the potential for light rail in Louisville, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Amnesty International ... all great great groups. so much to be a part of in this community. It was organized by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, check them out, my friend Colette is very active with them and they do great work.

here is just a sampling of the greatness that went on:

this is Nathaniel playing guitar. I met him at the debate party the other night. Very involved with Earthsave Louisville... his motto: eat more vegetables! his solution: just ... eat more vegetables! great soul. Check out Earthsave here

These are Kentuckians for Green Jobs.

Just after this last night, I went over my friend Marybeth's ... and had a beautiful, beautiful dinner of goodness from her garden: a vegetarian feast of crusty bread with olive oil, garlic and rosemary, and topped with hummus; a colorful salad; and a vegetarian stew. amazing! Marybeth is a Waldorf teacher, and she taught me about the Michelmas tradition, which is being celebrated this weekend. Very, very interesting. It's all about acting on your intentions.

After the dinner, we went to what is normally a country-western bar to see these awesome guys. completely worth the $20 i moaned about wasting. the trip was not wasted ... the man i'm currently enamored with was there ... and two other friends i didn't expect to see! much fun, singing, and dancing was had. Afterward, we went to my favorite, the Nachbar, the place that always makes me feel like I'm in in a European novel. Strangely, though, I felt the vibes were off and that I was just kind of floating about ... and so I was glad for the solace of home once back, and stayed up until almost 4 a.m. "living with intention" and writing a letter to he who I am currently enamored of. I can't get a read on him, and my feelings for him have been preoccupying my time...a little annoyingly, as I like always to feel independent and spirited. So i thought a letter, even if he never reads it, would help. I will probably give it to him, eventually, though. if nothing else, wouldn't it be a nice thing to feel that you are meaningful in someone else's life? i know i'd love to receive such a letter. i also think it's being honest, and pursuing friendship without hidden agenda. what do you all think?

i know i haven't talked too much about the week. well, it was fairly uneventful, except for seeing dad mid-week and being the lead teacher on friday. i really enjoyed that. i didn't make much food, either, just some veggie hot dogs and potatoes with olive oil and spices (thyme, oregano, fresh basil):

here's me doing my first-ever "birthday" circle as the lead teacher on friday.

and how can i leave without posting Rhonda's AMAZING cranberry-walnut scones? i didn't have the right sugar to make the icing ... but i did sneak 2tbsp. of wheat germ into the mix. These are absolutely delicious! i've showed them cooling, and on a plate ... thanks rhonda!

I changed my cats' litter ... so far, no accidents outside the box, a problem i've been dealing with lately. I'm also going to get them some toys, and start switching them over to canned food so there is more water in their diet.

Here's me before the presidential debate ... you can sort of see my obama t-shirt ... and then me just goofing off really:

here's what i bought for myself this weekend, at the farmer's market and then the yarn store. thanks to the vegetarian knitter i link to for inspiring me to locate some "tongues of fire" of my own! i've been trying to buy almost everything more local: my successes this week, though it took three stores to do it, were: KY made bread, KY made flour, IN baby greens (next state over), KY hot peppers, KY eggs. KY peanute butter. this is harder than you might think, unfortunately. But I'll keep at it, and eventually have my house and garden to sustain myself. It helps to have Holly, a new friend who's a biodynamic farmer. .. and I'm hoping my volunteer work at the farm will also yield me some great tips.

I am still knitting the wonky green scarf and reading the Omnivore's Dilemma. Looking forward to some upcoming festivals, camping, and volunteer work. Trying not to let my feelings for a man overwhelm me. (why DO they do this?) Trying to feel like I make a difference to my friends here, as I still feel like I'm the outsider looking in to all these friendships they have established. Oh, I did send my graduate school application yesterday, and plan to fill out my financial aid form tomorrow night. For the rest of today, well ... it's all mine. I'm not sure what I'll do, but would at the least like a long walk all to myself. Maybe a movie. Maybe yoga. Maybe neither. Just trying to flow .... and not have too many expectations, both of others and myself. Living always ... with intention.

by the way ... VERY special thanks to SADGE for giving me some blogger posting tips. as you can see, I'm working out the kinks! Not perfect ... but not bad!

love and peace to all of you,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

wednesday in the States.

Today I ate at a restaurant ... but Dad was here on business treating so that doesn't count. I only ate half of what I ordered and feel like a sludge ... and bloated. goes to show you what happens when you get so used to only eating your own food! gosh ...it was yummy food, though. with leftovers for lunch at school tomorrow.

I am fairly upset that even though I was excited to see Dad (he lives 18 hours away!), I had to miss most of the last "waterfront wednesday" which is free music and just hanging out time on a blanket with friends. the weather here has been AMAZING, and tonight there was a glorious sunset behind me the whole time I drove away from it to the restaurant. blah ... so i thought ... maybe i'd be a rebel and go out tomorrow and watch the sun set .... even though it'll be deserted tomorrow night. Was going to attend my first women's meditation session ... but how many more glorious days will there be like this? September is truly a glorious month for weather in Kentucky. I also have a couple of special birthday cards to get made ... so I'll try to do that tomorrow, as well.

Can't believe how quickly this week is passing. So glad. I really needed another weekend, quick. Must be these nesting instincts I've been having now that fall is really coming on ... it's almost (but not quite yet) cool enough to try the bread endeavor. mmmmm homemade bread! i also want to get some loose leaf tea and start making it rhonda's way.

i'm off this thing to knit up my first-ever project ... the green scarf ... because i already have fanciful ideas for new projects. knitters, is this a good sign i'll keep at it? i'm also hankering and hankering to sew clothes ... but I'll try and be patient and work on the knitting bit first. one thing at a time, karen, slow down!

i'd really like a jenny wren doll for christmas ... and a yoga video or two ... and a good knife set. and a printer for my birthday in november. i also want my dad's sewing tips, my grandma's canning tips, and a bunch of bookstore gift cards. also the book Putting Food By. Hope this isn't asking too much. ; ) .... i usually tend to think about christmas way too early so this is nothing new for me. i'm especially excited about it this year, because i've decided to give up on making/buying 90 percent of what i usually make/buy in the interests of saving money and stress. and just enjoy the PEOPLE when i'm home.

peace to you all.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i posted this from my blog on myspace because i thought it might help for "giftless christmas" ideas ...

piggybacking on yesterday's post tangent about christmas:

here are some ideas for my friends and i: (tell me what you think, or add your own!!)
we each take a book we really love from our bookshelves, and give it to another of our friends (we could designate swap partners in advance), wrapped prettily for christmas, with a little note about why we love it so much and why we are giving it away. it might be nice to even inscribe the front cover! if you don't have extra christmas wrap lying about, why, i find that paper grocery bags are beautiful and can be embellished with craftishness you already have lurking about.

we all spend a day volunteering somewhere.

we have a potluck dinner with plenty of wine! that lasts long into the night and is just full of talking and laughing and catching up.

we have a crafting night. and maybe tea and tea snacks ...

we write a very heartfelt letter to one person (again partners designated in advance) describing the influence she's had on our life and why we love her, what we hope for her, how she's changed us, etc. We make it beautifully written so we can cherish it forever.

we have a kickass but CHEAP new year's gathering!!

another idea: we all make our own "recipe book" based on 1-2 of everyone's absolute favorite that they've tested and tastes. maybe we can call it, " tests and tastes! a cherished recipe book from friends." even if you made the recipe yourself. who cares, write it down, and then we can all get together to craft our own books that all have the same recipes in it ... we can all cull together craft items we already have (i'll bring a box special in my suitcase) -- i.e. markers, scissors, paper, ribbon trimmings, glue, tape, hole punchers, yada yada -- or maybe we can make each other's.

we should have a fun photoshoot day where we take confident, sexy photos that we can later bind into an album.

clothing swap.

i love you friends ... bestests and oldests of course you know who you are!! life is just not the same without you always here.

A few notes

*I am going to disappear for a few days inside The Omnivore's Dilemma. Very engaging and enlightening (in many ways soberly) book. Suggest you read it, too. Giving Anne of Avonlea a break, but I finished Green Gables! Yea! I'll try and keep good on my promise to post at least once a week about the goings-on here in this life of mine ... with pictures coming as often as possible.

*Dad is coming to visit tomorrow night. And it's the last waterfront Wednesday here in Louisville (free music by the water, wonderful always, and there are always friends around). Weather is scheduled to be beautiful, and warm.

*I am currently on a one-month, self-imposed fast from eating anything out anywhere (even a bagel) until Oct. 18. I am nervous about it because my consumer habits still itch me bad sometimes but I know it will be worth it. I make exceptions for tea at the coffeehouse where I have the Internet.

*Speaking of the Internet, I miss it very, very much at home. But I keep telling myself by getting rid of the package with cable I am saving a lot of money. And after all, I can still blog...just at a slightly reduced rate. Still .... this one is hard to see go.

*Am writing the recipe for Rhonda's cranberry/walnut biscuits and eagerly awaiting her post on the teatime tradition. Why DON'T we do it in the States?

*Am sending prayers on my buddhist flag for a very beautiful family very recently affected by tragedy. and for my grandmother, who recently had breast cancer.

*Am planning for my first-ever Christmas without Gifts with friends. Already in the planning stages: a potluck, volunteering, offing one of our very best books on to another. A letter of love and gratitude. Looks like I won't be missing too much after all ... even the frenzy of crafting which I normally so enjoy.

Thanks for listening, thanks for loving, and see you soon

fond regards,


Sunday, September 21, 2008

the weekend.

silly computer, posting my pictures backwards ... this first one was supposed to be me saying "great post, don't ya think?" weeeellllll ... that's life. i'm lucky there's a wireless signal here at home at all ... as i don't pay for one! anyway ...that's me goofing off with the camera earlier tonight ....

i thought the lighting was really cool in my kitchen .. pardon the mess.

thanks for the fair trade decaf coffee, sarah! it went extremely well with the salad, post walk in the park: romaine, tofu (if you freeze it then thaw it it has a more meat-like texture, yum) marinated in sesame ginger dressing (Annie's Naturals), black beans, onion, sesame seeds, a sprinkling of random nuts. Delicious! oh and fresh basil from my basil plant. and olive oil.

beautiful walk through cherokee park here in louisville. ... my camera takes beautiful pictures, and still could not capture just how perfect, absolutely perfect, this day was!

i thought this looked a bit like a clothesline .... don't you?

here's the unfrizziness of my formerly very dry and brittle hair, thanks to just a week or so of apple cider vinegar/water rinses!! (NOT every day) ... actually the rinse stays beneficial for days.

here's normally camera-shy tigger, enjoying the weather.

and a very rare, excellent photo of Loca.

here is the eggplant tortellini recipe from Real Simple magazine, in reverse lol: it was delicious, even though i made mine with green bell peppers instead of red. this will last me through the week!

here's what theirs looks like:

oh. my. god. this hummus is to die for: homemade! chickpeas, garlic (a LOT of garlic), a ton of black pepper, few pinches of sea salt, raw tahini, juice of one lemon, a bunch of olive oil and water for consistency, and ... voila!! it was amazing. had it on a sandwich for lunch today. next recipe to try: Peanut Butter Hummus, from the book Peanut Butter Planet by Robin Robertson. GREAT book if you're a huge PB lover like me.

have a great week, my lovelies!! see you on the flip side. be well.


What a perfect, lovely day. A day sent right from heaven, truly ... and this from someone who doesn't even believe in one. Sunny, light breeze, warm temps .... I must say I do truly love the fall in kentucky. it comes on so much more gradually than New England's! It's a shame I'm going to have to get some work done today. But I'll set myself a time limit: two, maybe three hours ... and then I'm going back outside! But I got zero homework done yesterday, even though i did all this :

walked to the library, printed a form there i needed for my financial aid process
sat at the coffeehouse and dithered on the internet three hours (not so good!! but relaxing)
called a friend in need
housecleaned like the dickens for an hour -- three out of four rooms, anyhow
cooked up a delicious eggplant tortellini (pictures to come) -- i also made hummus friday night -- wow!! that easy?! never buying it again!!
knitted a bit
wrote three long letters to friends from home
then .. pretty much did nothing the rest of the night.

sometimes it's tough still getting used to being "okay" with "not doing anything." we are so conditioned to think (especially as women, i fear) that if we're not always "go go go" there is something really wrong. But yesterday I drove nowhere, and spent no money (except spare change on the coffee), and did lots of little things close to home. Isn't that what life should be about? i know the answer: a resounding YES!! but it's incredible to be awakening to just how brainwashed we as a society (at least here in America) really are. how really rushed we've all been for so long, despite the invention of so many things to make our lives "easier." ridiculous!! the revolution continues ....

unfortunately, there'd be those who would have it continue unchecked. look at this misery of an article from a Yahoo! health site this morning. of COURSE the corn refiners would say HFCS is okay in our food! UGH. I suggest reading Michael Pollan's thus-far excellent book on the subject and more about the unecessary junk in our food, The Omnivore's Dilemma. Please. Continue using whole grains and whole foods in your life, and cook the majority of it up from scratch! This trend of laboratory-created food is just ... killing so many. Thank you.


To leave you on a positive note, I wanted to recommend two great books:

A Child's Book of Poems
A Child's Garden of Verses

excellent reading for quiet, television-less nights (which is every night for me!)

love and peace to you all


Thursday, September 18, 2008

potato salad and some knitting

i feel really, really guilty about doing what i did last night: throwing away two large buckets of store-bought potato salad one couple i babysit for gave me to take home after a party they threw at their home last week. i was going to bring them to our school's annual fall picnic, but that got canceled due to hurricane ike. i HATED this food going to waste, but i kept trying to tell myself . .. It's NOT food. it's science lab food! i mean, come on ... who puts YELLOW 5 in potato salad for chrissakes? answer: major american supermarket chain, of course. also there was partially hydrogenated/corn syrup and some other weird-sounding things. so what did i do? made my own, of course! you tell me which one looks better (mine: organic red potatoes, green pepper and onion from the farmer's market, fresh organic basil leaves, dried parsley, organic dijon mustard, black pepper, Vegenaise, and a few pinches of sea salt. THAT's IT. and it tastes ... amazing.) ... why would anyone want to eat anything else? farewell, "potato salad." i'm sorry i could not in good conscience give you even to people who need it. because poor and homeless people deserve healthy food, too. Thank goodness for people like Food Not Bombs who do their best to supply this for them when precious little else (except junk!) is often available. it's also why i'm getting so very excited about volunteering at the local community co-op farm ... to teach children where indeed our food comes from, and so they can learn that they can very well grow it themselves! and not rely on "potato salad" shipped on a big carbon-footprint truck ride from hundreds of miles away.
here is my knitting ... first EVER project! this is just a quick pic from the cafe i'm always at .... it's a little ragged and there's nearly a gaping hole in it at one point ... but i'm pluggin' away and loving every minute of how relaxing it is.

i hope you all had a great day. we're hoping to have the power back on at school tomorrow. and ... it's friday. i'm hoping to attend a yoga class with a friend after school ... and then i have the weekend all to myself. i'm hoping to get some long-postponed homework done, but i also hope to spend a fair amount of time outside, as the weather is supposed to be beautiful.
peace to all of you, and THANKS to all the increased traffic on my blog -- from all over the world! i hope i can help deliver a little inspiration myself, after all that i've received from the links on my home page.