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ever a time

is there ever a time

when everything comes together in your mind

the perfect tug unravels the yarn ball tangled thoughts into a single line

clear vision lays before you

crystalline in acceptance of everything?

deserving of anything?

I get glimmers,

though any attempts to hold on,

only makes the clarity retreat more swiftly

so i must settle, for now, for here, for this

for it is all a gift.

i will try to remember on days long forgotten,

that there was ever a time.

“we”

“We” are special until we think we aren’t.

It still takes two to tango, even if we never learned how.

faults are natural, they occur.

they occur in the streets, in quiet spaces, in blank faces, in every nation.

no one can explain it all, nor understand it all.

but traveling widely it seems the world’s majority people are seekers of good, are good.

may “we” not fall into their hatred

may “we” be bigger than that.

 

shame

it is the number one thing I feel writing this, after being so absent for months. I would hope I was digesting, adjusting.  perhaps that is true.  I would like to see it so.

in truth, i hesitated even finding the words, as my mind searched to remember this place.  only to find that the key was already unlocked. it has just sat here, waiting for me.  patiently, as good things seem often to do.

but right under that feeling and maybe even pushing up from under, like a child using his arms to hold up the top of the fort, I feel joy.  Joy that I remember the feeling of contributing, that I can get better at it.  That love is worth sharing. That telling stories is part of who we are as people. That art affects.

Realizing this, I will try to begin, bare chested. Forgetting heaviness, letting go, filling up light airy lungs with good, with truth.

 

 

 

 

 

For my grandmother (poem)

For my grandmother:

There is somebody who will remember

the map of your skin

and the candy you chose

to fill the heavy lidded,

solid fitted,

multi- faceted

bowl of your life.

I will remember

the powdered rose scent

of your bathroom

and what you chose

to surround you.

your unmatchable smile,

the way you giggled,

your love,

all still keep me company.

 

 

Easy D.I.Y.- Making a Sign

It was a fun project to help a friend problem solve and remind her of how special she is~

I have a good friend whose parking space at school was always taken because she has to travel between schools.  In Alaska this is a big deal in winter because there are a limited number of spots that have plug ins that interior Alaskans mush have to heat up the oil pan, engine block and battery blanket to keep our cars chugging through down to -50 F temps.  So while she was away to a conference celebrating the wonderful Librarians of Alaska, I wanted to do a little to show how much the people right here appreciate all she does to keep us revved up to visit the library.

I had some wood pieces that had been cut flat on one side but left bark on the back.  They had been tunneled through under the bark by some critter (spruce beetle?) so my first job was to remove the rest of the bark and the debris from their chewed up tunneling.  It actually makes beautiful designs so I didn’t mind. IMG_6714

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Then I sanded down both the front and back sides and realized I could also handsaw off a few bumps from limbs gone by.  Luckily my boyfriend had a power hand sander that worked great.  I love painting so I whipped up a design in pencil then painted it on (as seem on featured image).  Once that dried I applied a layer of shellac, and (pressed for time as she was due back) I didn’t wait quite the full 4 hours recommended before adding another layer.

While that was drying I moved onto the post portion.  Her husband supplied me with a small 1x 1 that was perfect for the job.  I first tried sawing but was shown this handy chisel tool and away I went carving one end of the post into a piercing point.  This was actually pretty fun.

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While that was drying I moved onto the post portion.  Her husband supplied me with a small 1x 1 that was perfect for the job.  I first tried sawing but was shown this handy chisel tool and away I went carving one end of the post into a piercing point.  This was actually pretty fun.  To attach the post to the sign I wanted to make a third piece that would attach to both the sign back and the post.  So using some scrap sheet metal from her husband, I used a tin snips to cut out a piece to fit. IMG_6722

Clamping the post in an anvil, I used a small hammer to shape the metal around the post on three sides.  The remaining metal would lay flush to the sign.  My boyfriend showed me how to make dents with this tool to start the screws easily. I forget the name of that tool (shown below) but I will check. IMG_6727

Then after the shellac wasn’t sticky to the touch I screwed it to the post using the metal bracket I had made. I’m sure there are lots of other solutions you could make up for this connection.  This was just what worked out easily for me.  I also left more of the post above, because it was winter time and the sign would then stick only in the snow. In spring she may want to shift the sign further up on the pole when more of it would be driven down deeper into the dirt.IMG_6728

But this is it for now. She said it worked great for keeping her spot free and didn’t have a problem again until she took the sign down when the snow melted and the ground was still thawing.  It was a fun project to help a friend problem solve and remind her of how special she is~IMG_6732

Easy D.I.Y.- Sewing FiX

The whole process took less that 30 minutes or so, and now I have a flattering cute top rather than a saggy baggy mess.

So I found this extra large top that I loved the feel and the pattern of, but no way could I wear it in public.  So instead of hauling out the sewing machine, I came up with this quick fix.  I’ve always liked empire waists that emphasize the bust line, so I simply pulled the front sides of the shirt back behind my arm til I found where it overlapped the back panel of material while still covering my bra line.  IMG_7159

Then I pulled the remaining fabric forward while keeping the front material tucked in the fold.

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After that I just started from the inside of the back hold point and sewed along my bust line.  I actually did that while I was wearing it, but just because I didn’t have any pins on hand and I was just kinda caught up in the moment.  IMG_7170

I did the same thing on the other side, just checking the the arm holes seemed about the same size.  The whole process took less that 30 minutes or so, and now I have a flattering cute top rather than a saggy baggy mess.  This of course would need to be a stretchy knit probably to start with for it to work, but I was pretty happy with the results.  As you can see I’m wearing another tank under, just because I didn’t want to worry about revealing too much in pictures, but it is definitely a stand alone piece.

The flesh of this fish (poem)

From the moment I felt too close to you

Blushing at touching

Overlapping and apologizing

There was no denying

As we were filleting

More than the flesh of this fish was

Going to be exposed.

Because your eyes on me

Made me fumble

I was jumbling words

and stumbling for sentences

Everything got slippery

Scales shifted

You showed me the way

And made me try it for myself.

 

 

(I liked it.  Even if I don’t remember how to do it again in the future.)

(artwork by me in Notan Printmaking tradition)

Kombucha Fireball Cocktail

So this may be too simple to even call a recipe, but I wanted a little sip of something and didn’t have any soda to speak of.  So I just mixed my homemade kombucha which has great zing and some fireball whiskey.  It tastes pretty much like a very smooth straight shot of fireball.  Of course a bit weaker than straight, which I enjoyed.

Just a cocktail idea for you~

Beet Juice Quinoa

This recipe is so simple I probably can’t call it a recipe, but thought it was worth a share. I had some beet juice and water chestnut liquid left from another food preparation, so instead of throwing them out I used them to replace half the water for my quinoa.  It not only gave the quinoa a nice tinted color for an interesting plating, but also was a nice twist on the taste buds.  Also if you live in a dry cabin like me, it’s an easy way to use a little less water and utilize available liquids instead of them going to waste.  This experience has made me more open to trying this again with some other veg. juices.

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Pickled Salmon Sushi Roll

For me the key to sushi enjoyment is the right balance of dry and wet and mingling of flavor components. This one was a hit.

I started using seaweed wraps while I was living in Hawaii.  They are the perfect travel food because they serve as a catch all container that you can carry 100 of in your backpack without even noticing they’re there.  That’s my secret backpacking tip.  Now onto this dish.

My boyfriend’s family gave us a jar of their wonderful homemade pickled salmon.  It’s one great way Alaskans use to save their fish catch of the season.  This was my first time trying it, and it was delicious.  The salmon was pickled with slices of onion, peppers, lemon, and peppercorns.

I know I am not a trained or traditional sushi maker, but I love how it’s such a fun way to combine flavors.  For me the key to sushi enjoyment is the right balance of dry and wet and mingling of flavor components.  This one was a hit.

Pickled Salmon Sushi

I spread a little mayo on a flat seaweed wrap and then made of bed of Calrose rice over this.  (I had previously cooked and seasoned the rice so it was more flavorful).

Then I spread pesto generously in a wide line next to the rice and spread chunks of creamy goat cheese along the line of pesto. Then I cut the pickled salmon into bite sized pieces and lay them perpendicular to the direction I would roll the wrap to ensure clean easy bites.  Then I drizzled some of the juices from the pickled salmon jar onto the rice and added a few onion and pepper slivers out of the pickled jar.  Wetting the points of contact on the seaweed I wrapped it up… this is the hard part and just takes practice…and Voila! Yum time