A Breath of Fresh Air

Those who know and love me understand that I am going to let them down at the holidays. It’s just not my thing – not that I haven’t tried. Not that I haven’t tried to do it up, that is, not not that I haven’t tried to let folks down. It’s inevitable that I let you down, because even though I try, I’m not that good at doing it up. Huh?

Point is, I suck at holidays regardless of my intention, but I’m a spectacular holiday voyeur. If I were to do Valentine’s Day for all ya’ll, I’d give you the gift of clean, fresh air. TreeHugger just posted a list of the plants I would consider for you. How cute is this Philodendron oxycardium (in lay terms, heartleaf philodendron)? It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day and a good air filterer to boot (whatever “to boot” means). Incidentally, you can buy a whole book, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office, on this subject. Maybe you could even pair the plant and book.*

I’m sure that I’m breaking some bloggy rule by reposting for a third year in a row an excerpt from a Valentine’s Day past post, but no one is paying attention anyway. This year, I think I might rather like some Garbage Soup.


February 12, 2007

Please don’t go out on Valentine’s Day and drop a chunk of change on flowers that were coated in pesticides, kept in a green house, and shipped across the country. What is that supposed to say? “I love you so muchly that I’m giving you something unnaturally begotten. Also, in its making a part of the world was poisoned. Lastly, even with the aspirin dissolving in the water, it’s doomed to die leaving nothing to show for the cash. THIS is the symbol of my love for you.” Please. Save your money.**

I am compelled to request that you forget the expensive roses! Instead, share this recipe for Garbage Soup, from Dining with the Desert Museum* (with editorial). It would be good for your wallet, the environment, and an honest statement about the longevity of love.

water (the elixir of life)
vegetable waste (eggplant sounds like elegant fare for a Valentine dinner, but gack!)
coffee grounds (from the pot you shared over morning breath)
eggshells (you already walked on them so they are nicely crushed)
other similar kitchen waste (so not the shit you sling at each other like monkeys after the kids are in bed)
not grease (this is about living plants not the yummy goodness of slaughtered lambs)

DIRECTIONS: Chop waste in food processor or blender with equal parts water. Mix it up until it’s as convoluted as your fights. Bury soup around outer edges of plants along side the hatchet.

Commercial fertilizers can kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil. This recipe for plants can be used in lieu of those fertilizers. Can you feel the love?


* Did I mention I am a sell-out, er, Amazon Associate?

** Populist, perhaps you could illuminate for us the reasons why guys buy temporary tokens of their love as you told me outright last year, “Your understanding about why men give Valentine’s gifts is obviously different from mine.” I’m willing to wager dollar to dime even in this recession that you know a damn sight more on the subject than I do. What would Grace think?

Warm and Creepy Fuzzies

Warm Fuzzies

So I strong armed Populist Pugilist into posting a new poem – AND HE SURE DID! (Price is Right jumpin’ ya’ll!)

Listen in:

Make room. Make room.
Do not discard the runts of the litter.
Do not leave behind the slow, the old or
the blind. Find a place at the table for
them beside the better able and give
them an extra forkful of food.
Make room. Make room.

Alright, I like this poem and it reminds me of the present with a presence story he posted in under Grateful Jew. I’m not saying the two are connected, but I am saying tables are cool. If you are a poetry liker, go read the whole poem.

Creepy Fuzzies

I strong armed my good ol’ buddy Todd-o into a tête-à-tête today during which he expressed dismay that I haven’t posted a photo that’s been making me giggle for DAYZ! Well, it sorta sounded like approval.

You could go in multiple directions with this photo, but if you know ANYTHING about Todd-o, you know that hair is ALL WRONG. He’s had a haircut since then so all is back to Normal. After this photo, the driver side door of that beautiful Jeep got crunched. Sad memories for Todd-o and HI-larious photo for me.

Journalisticy Caption-like Explanation: After repeated requests for something useful to use as a wedge, Todd-o grabbed a bone. Something told me a photo opp was in the making.

I obviously have the best friends of any one ever in the whole history of time.

Cool Buddies Doing Cool Things

Populist Pugilist just started a poetry blog. He promises an entry a week with his first being a partial glimpse at a collection titled Grace Poems. Here’s what he has to say about it:

Grace Poems is a cycle of individual pieces unified by the character of Grace. Hopefully each poem can stand on its own, but they also hopefully all compliment one another and form a whole greater than the sum.

Grace herself is partly inspired by certain real people and is my tribute to them and to what (in my mind) they stand for. I also model Grace on poetic figures that may be a bit obvious (Dante’s Beatrice and Yeats’s Cathleen, Crazy Jane, etc.). My intent was to create in Grace a symbol of ideas, values, beliefs, emotions and myths. But I also wanted to give Grace a certain reality and personality.

I’m not saying that these poems have anything to do with me, but let’s face it, I’m nothing if not graceful. Irregardlessivity, this is my blog where everything is about me and therefore I’m telling you I am “certain real people” and also the woman Dante had in mind for Beatrice. What? We were close. Ask Shirley McClain.

Populist knows I am not smart enough for poetry. I hate that because I don’t wish to lend my idiocy to the built-in snobbery of the literary world where novels are marginalized for spelling things out for the women who read them. I do offer my mother and mother-in-law (Yeats is one of her faves) as women who can appreciate and interpret poetry. For my part, I will continue to presume I’m Grace. In fact, I will presume all Populist’s good poetry is about me and all the bad poetry is about my antagonists because they are the way most evil.

Guess what else is also about me? Tracy’s cool new stuff. She’s shared with me her current inspiration. Anyone would be privileged to own one of her fans. Perhaps she won’t hate me forever if I let you in on her current work. I’m very excited about it.

Don’t you just ADORE that pop of teal (blue, turquoise – as with poetry, so am I with color). These here feathers are causing Tracy quite some tortured artist feelings in terms of involuntary bodily tingles, urges, and so forth. I think she enjoys the physical symptoms of longing and waiting while mulling over the possibilities. On the other hand, so much of her is in her craft that she says, “I feel like I am putting children on the orphan train headed west every time I mail a fan off.”

Tracy is just good with words like that. Here’s what Tracy says about this photo, “These are the sticks I use to violate the quills for my fans.” Hee hee. Sometimes I’m overly in touch with my inner 8 YO boy. That may be another reason for my stunted poetic understandings and also why Tracy is the artist and I am the friend.

My cool buddies are doing cool things that the world views as “art” while I muddle away with shrinkey dinks and kids’ paint and this blog. I’ll update you when Tracy’s next fan comes up for sale (if she manages to convince herself to orphan another), but you should really sign up to follow Populist.

WOW Review Premiere

Worlds of Words proudly announces the premiere issue of WOW Review: Reading Across Cultures. WOW Review is an electronic journal of critical reviews on children’s and adolescent literature that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives. The review journal is one of two online publications offered by WOW and made available to you without subscription, membership, or fee requirements.

(Disclosure – I work for Worlds of Words and believe in their mission. On the other hand, the organization and/or its partners may not share my views as expressed here.)

Obsessing Green, Blue, & Red (but mostly green)

I’ve modified this entry from my “other” blog. It’s old, but I was thinking about it recently and wanted to share.


I haven’t read Walden yet. I don’t have to feel bad about that since I am a grown woman (I swear I’ll read it before finals). In some ways, I hope that reading Walden will heal me of my obsessions. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I’m detailing some of my adventures in moving away from consumerism, diminishing my waste, culling info from creative greenies….

One creative greenie I continue to go back to is the Little Brown Dress experiment. The new revolution in almost ready to wear from the little brown dress experimenter is to rehabilitate her crappy old wardrobe. Hey! I’ve got one of those.

Here’s a whole book about rehabbing those old t-shirts we can’t part from. I’ve been coveting this book, but can’t pay retail for anything. Plus, Urban Outfitter was a red company last I checked . Oh! I’m so going to see if I can find it at the library. Sorry Walden. SCORE! I have it on reserve.

I’d like to say that I wear and buy hand-me-downs. But that isn’t entirely true. I just bought two swimming suits, which in spite of the vanity that forced me to purchase them new, will make me look like an old lady. Even so, I like them because they are tankinis and therefore make going pee easier. I tried to pee in the ocean once, but got pee-shy. I guess I’m just a pee in privacy kind of girl, therefore tankinis are a practical purchase because they prevent UTIs. My regular clothes are gifts, hand-me-downs from my babysitter (thanks Jen), or … okay just one of those two things so my washer is of crucial importance.

When Jesse bought my new washing machine, I thought I’d finally found my soul mate. The clothes go in dirty and come out clean. The washer uses less than half the water my old one did and a fraction of the electricity. Glug. Thinking of it makes my toes tingle. I had no idea the love I could have for an inanimate object. And so you can’t imagine my exponential lust for my washing machine after we hooked it up to a gray watering system that keeps, among other things, my pomegranate bush flush.

Jesse puts up with my eccentricities, but tonight his mind boggled at the frugality of resources I managed. Though maybe he was humoring me. Here’s the story – I made baked rigatoni for dinner. I used the stockpot to boil the noodles. I rescued the noodle water and boiled eggs with it for tomorrow’s lunch. The water had already been boiling, so I didn’t waste any gas while the water heated up. Of course the egg shells were a tad slimey. Then I collected that next generation of water, and used it to water my nearly xeriscaped yard.

This behavior isn’t taken into account when figuring out one’s ecological footprint. Even so thinking about ways to lessen my impact upon the blue planet can take up the rest of my evening. It would be tragic for anyone to see me as a greenie. While I think green, I don’t behave that way. I need at least 10 acres and 2.2 planets to sustain my lifestyle.

Brave New World

Prior to retrieving the babes from school today, I pulled through the Starbucks at Campbell and Broadway for some Soma. Those folks are so happy! Chemical mood alteration helps a great deal with boosting consumption, which as you know helps the World State. I think the folks at that particular Starbucks are sampling their own product just a bit much.

This is George and me at the first Starbucks in Seattle, WA. See how happy we are? See how we bought stuff? I later poured half my iced cafe mocha on her, but she was so full of whipped topping she scarcely noticed.

“And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there’s always soma to give you a holiday from the facts.”