Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekly update.

pizza, homemade (crust from trader joe's, whole wheat ... haven't gotten around to making my own yet): basil pesto, mushrooms, tofu sprayed with Braggs, hot pepper, onions. AMAZING. and yes ... no cheese. didn't miss it a bit.

Well, all ... here I am again, as promised. I am glad that you are still reading. I am still reading you all .... of course! Rhonda -- made your scones again this week, adding wheat germ and soy protein powder this time -- they are so fabulous! I did learn that 1/4lb. butter is about half a cup of butter here in the U.S. Anyway, I have lots of pictures to share, most of them from the St. James Court art fair here in Louisville which happens each year. I'll get to that in a minute. First, let me address the points I promised last time:

fried green tomatoes: oh. my. amazingness. I simply sliced up a whole green tomato, and fried it up in olive oil with the following spices: pinch of sea salt, black pepper, thyme, oregano, fresh basil. and some local fresh hot pepper. boy a little bit of that goes a long way! regrettably, no picture ... but they were very good!

homemade shampoo: having grown increasingly annoyed at what little there is out there in the way of vegan shampoos, that doesn't contain SLS and Tetrasodium EDTA (yes even at health food stores!!), I decided to mix up some water and baking soda until I got a paste that somewhat lathered when I rubbed it between my hands. I added some jasmine oil to it for fragrance, but curiously the fragrance didn't last once in the shower. at least i didn't notice it lingering on my hair afterward, and I purposely didn't apple cider vinegar rinse it afterward so i could check. Hm, well I'm still not sure what I think of it. It felt a little weird going into my hair, like gritty. But let me tell you, my hair, which my whole life has been notoriously oily after just a few days of not washing, hasn't had to be washed in days and days. in fact, maybe it's been more than a week. i also thought it would dry it out, because of the salt, but ... nope! Happy to report normal clean hair for days on end. I think it's very telling that these chemicals are very clever ... the marketers get it so it works by making your hair luxurious for a day or so ... then you need more to maintain. meanwhile you're getting continual long-term small exposure to carcinogenic compounds ... and wasting your money/hurting the environment. hm. no thank you. anyway don't have a picture of the paste, either ... but I recommend giving it a shot. I'll post on it again the more I use it; it's still an experiment in progress at this point.

peanut butter hummus: not as good as i'd hoped. the garlic and chickpeas kind of killed the PB taste, which is what I was hoping it would taste more like. Still, it was very good, and lasted a week with crackers, veggies, and in sandwiches. next time I think i'll stick with the tahini, though, and save the PB for other recipes.

the approach of fall: leaves are just starting to turn color here...but the weather has warmed up again, considerably. i did take one of the AC's out, thus giving more light again to my kitchen. i like that. i'm waiting on the two in my bedroom. i hate turning them on to begin with, but it gets sweltering up there in the loft because ... well, heat rises. so i'll wait a bit ... also not looking fwd to lugging four air conditioners (APPALLED at my sometimes energy use here... gah) into storage closet solo .... but also grateful for the opportunity to live alone for once and have to learn to just do things on my own, rather than depending on some man to do them for me.

paint-splattering incidents: ah, yes. was preparing paints for the children the other day when a purple one splattered all over my hair, shirt, pants, shoes, neck ... you name it. the kids thought it was hilarious. i rolled with it. after all, it's good for them to see us make mistakes, too. wish i had pictures ... but was too busy cleaning up! ; )

brown rice with eggplant: was very delicious. I sauteed onion, garlic, eggplant and probably some spices (can't remember, it's been a while) together. meanwhile in my blender i pureed a can of black beans, tomato paste, and a can of diced tomatoes. ah actually this is where i put all the italian spices. Then when the rice was done I just mixed it all together. very healthy and hearty, and lasted a week of school lunches. I'd make it again.

the semi-local greens: came from indianapolis, a couple hours north of us. not half as bad as all the organic greens i usually buy from california. i'm trying ... but it's hard. anyway they made a couple of good salads. Thanks to vegetarian knitters' suggestion to pair vegenaise with olive oil and balsamic. it's like ranch! yummmmmmmmmm...........

the scarf: see pictures below. almost ready to bind off! I spent part of my morning coffee time watching a couple of how-to YouTube videos. We'll see if I can pull it off. My next project will hopefully be good enough to gift, so I may not post pictures of it until after the fact. But I'm excited. I'm finding that knitting makes me have this incredibly calm state about me. I just listen to public radio, which plays awesome music, or the BBC newshour (i LOVE the british accents), and last night, why my, three hours went by like, snap! while i knitted happily. my hand also isn't cramping as much; I'm finding better ways to hold and maneuver the needles. Knitting is great meditation; just as with focusing on your breath, you are focusing only on what your hands are doing. it becomes soso nice. i think knitting probably works wonders on blood pressure, too.

the letter: I wrote it, and didn't end up giving it, and what a cure it's been. Thank god. I was getting a little worried about myself. I feel free again. I mean, why waste my precious time?

a surprise: i got the chance to reconnect with someone from my very distant (high school) past this week ... a really old friend. that has been wonderful. it's great to see how people you still think of from time to time have grown up, and not just fallen into the black hole of your past dreams ... and to have him validate the decisions i've made along the path. that was so refreshing, because i sometimes do feel like the odd girl in the crowd ... i've actually had people kind of laugh off the lifestyle i'm trying to lead, and it really really annoys me. i mean, do you really think you can greedily consume everything forever? it's ridiculous to be so materialistic, and selfish to not take small, everyday measures (such as not drinking bottled water) to conserve our planet's ever-dwindling resources. it's OKAY to be young and enjoy the pleasures of a simple, well-kept home (or apartment, in my case). so, anyway ... talking to him was a reminder to myself of how much i've grown in the last decade. and i hope i can help inspire him to reach for what makes him happy ... i think so many more people could adopt "the simple life" if they just "took the plunge" (actually it's more like climbing a ladder out of blackness if you ask me)...and they'd never look back for all of their increased happiness. i certainly have not.

well, enough philosophizing for the moment. without further ado, here are the pictures I've promised you!!

coffeeshop where i'm always blogging:

St. James art fair ...

Suzuki student concert ... can't believe the pieces they were playing!!

asleep at the helm ... lol

shakespeare sampler

sights and sounds .... lots of great (and sometimes interesting/unique!) music to be heard. and some beautiful old victorian-era mansions, some of which are for sale ... and for only $200-400K!! hm .... lol.

grown up mac n cheese ... to take with me to school observations in neighboring lexington this week: this is annie's organic mac n cheese made with soy milk and vegan butter (earth balance), edamame, veggie hot dogs, some wheat germ and some chili powder. YUM. the rest of the week, i'll eat rhonda's scones for breakfast. as for the rest ... well ... i'll fudge it. i don't know if i'll be eating with the family i'm staying with, or whether i'll have to get my own meals. i'm hoping the former; I have no cash really to spare again until payday.

there was a church flea market nearby the art fair. here are the books i scored for just 75 cents. i couldn't resist. i LoVE the one by the naturalist. The orange one is a handbook for gardening with kids from the early 1980s. i love it. The cookbook is from 1961 and is encouraging a move away from the processed foods industry and moving toward cooking from scratch. more than 40 years later and most people still aren't listening. so sad. ....

here is the scarf (nearly done!), and i'll end with some cats!

so ... i may be somewhat scarce next week, but if i can get online at the house where i'm staying i'll be sure to read all of your lovely, lovely updates. I'll try and take a good amount of pictures, as Lexington is beautiful and more rural than Louisville ... after all, it's the horse capital of the world! I am looking forward to observing new children, and having a mini-vacation to knit, read, relax in someone else's nice home, and hopefully to watch the second presidential debate on tuesday night. The weekend I'm back here promises to be a busy and fun one ... I'm responsible for the crafts table at the local farm's Family Farm Day Oct. 18, so I'll need to brainstorm ... there will also be local garden day, a fall festival, and some great live folk music by a musician and wonderful older gentleman i know personally. and a vegetarian potluck for Earthsave Louisville. and maybe more music at that ... looking forward to all of it. I'll try and keep the camera snapping!

love and peace to all of you ...



  1. Cute mirror picture; you look great. :) Ohhh you always pack *so* much wonderful stuff into each post, it's impossible to remember all the things I was thinking as I read them! But your cooking looks absolutely delicious; I hope it will inspire me to move back to the kitchen a bit more (since you make everything sound so easy!). That, and the colder weather, of course...yum warm meals. :) The scarf looks AWESOME, I'm so impressed!! I hope the binding off goes well - don't forget you can also probably consult the Stitch N Bitch book for some suggestions on that. Once you get the hang of it, it'll be a breeze. Um...what else? Oh the festival looked lovely. And this coming week sounds exciting for you! I look forward to hearing about Lexington - especially because I love horses! ;) Please be sure to snap a couple photos of some for me!! Hehe. Anyway, as always, a great and fulfilling update. I look forward to the next one! xo

  2. Oh,wow, looks like you've been keeping quite busy. The shampoo sounds interesting. Let us know how it goes as you continue to use it. The scarf is really coming along. I love crocheting for the same reason... it is so completely meditative... for that reason I didn't bother to learn to make anything but scarves for the first couple years of crocheting... which is silly, but I liked that I was just doing one thing over and over again. I've finally gotten past that where it can still feel meditative doing other things and I'm starting to branch out. Great to hear and SEE about all your happenings!

  3. Hey, for shampoo without real shampoo, I mix 1-ish Tbsp baking soda with at least 1/2 c of water (so it's really not pasty at all) and pour on my scalp. Massage massage massage, leave in 60 seconds, rinse out. Sometimes I'll do an acid rinse (diluted lemon juice or cider vinegar), but I haven't found that I need it.

    After my hair went through its weird greasy period, I've only needed to use the baking soda every few weeks!