Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The Inn at Northrup was a hip place to stay - SO convenient, right on the streetcar lines. We'll be back.

Someone's secret garden - this tree was in full bloom with GORGEOUS, vibrant pink blossoms (and it was early March!) The trim color on the house was chosen to reflect the tree, I'm sure. The fallen petals cast this crazy pink glow to the stairs and this "scene". The moss, the overgrown vines added intrigue.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Day 1.


Mid winter is the perfect time to think about the garden. Since laying eyes on this house, I have dreamed of turning a space out front into something magical. There would be no "secret garden" as it will be seen from the street. The back yard has mysteries of its own, and we have "sunday morning" already there - a tree sculpture named for our favorite program. I order a book on line - with historic photos, drawings references, and dimensions with stories to go along. There are countless great looking gates on line and I pull up a few to stay inspired. Barnwood ? Oompah collects it effortlessly. Copper ? Perhaps. Love the patina from the weathering process. Hammered steel ? Can I figure that out? There's a welder in the garage. There are pieces of old houses, furniture, the capitol building hanging around from Tom's days of antiques, flea markets and estate sales. There's a re-sale store in town. When I open my eyes to possibilities, the world becomes a canvas.

Sleeping at Last's song "Turning Page" plays as I finish up a steaming bowl of Sweet Potato and Black Lentil Soup with Andouille Sausage and Anaheim Peppers. Cumin, turmeric, curry, garlic and ginger linger in the house. A loaf of ciabatta bread from the Park Bakery makes it all better.

Tools to help with the project. Sketchbook. Portfolio, Journal. Life. Is. Good.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Today brought about a culinary odyssey. Craving pizza and wondering what to do about that. When in Rome, don't be eating Paleo, mostly. LOL.

However, at Real Foods I managed to read my way through options to consider - Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix. Several options. Picked one. Dairy free "cheeze" was another story. Soy? Globs? Some made from oatmeal? Did Goat Cheese Mozzarella count as dairy free? I could have Googled it from the smart phone, but decided to grab a Daiya "Mozzarella Style Shreds" and give it a whirl.  Their ad states you can get it to bubble atop a pizza; I wouldn't go that far, but it stood its ground.

With enough spices (garlic, onion, fresh ground pepper, fresh basil leaves) and sauteed mushrooms, this worked just fine.

My first attempt at a Gluten Free- Dairy Free Creation Formerly Known As Pizza
POST SCRIPT: March 21 

Forget what I said. I lied. "Worked just fine" is nowhere near "great".  I just discovered BOLD ORGANICS Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pizza.  I am no longer in Italian Culinary Cuisine Deficit and I will never again need to attempt a home-made GF/DF pizza. Case closed.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The new mega-stove was installed a few weeks ago, and for my birthday, I was gifted this gorgeous Wok. Last night I  christened it with a yummy chicken, bok choy, broccoli, crimini mushroom, scallion, water chestnut, red pepper stir fry.

Monday, March 4, 2013


'twas the night before a trip out of town. And how did THAT happen - so quickly? I swear it was months ago I booked this trip. And now, boom! It's here. I'm busy trying to catch up on the day, prepare for the trip, print maps, get tickets squared away, shower, straighten my hair, pack, and golly! 

I'd much rather just go tuck into bed. But that's not the right thing to do. Darn it.

Spent time today whipping up a meal of yummyness. I had ingredients and if I didn't use them tonight, they wouldn't be used. And I'd come home to the fridge and be sad they weren't.

Artichokes are a LOT of work for a little return - but they are a fun occasional treat. The curry dip is worth the effort. Probably not really what I needed "the night before".

This trip is a much needed "away" time for my daughter Emily - the college senior. Her Spring Break. Time to spend together - challenging the notions of Nursing School for the future, exploring a new city. Stepping out of the comfort zone and exploring along the way.

Time to get cracking. And get my butt in bed.

Artichokes Steaming away ... curry dip awaits

A little healthy appetizer .... blackberries, hummus, cukes,  genoa salami

Roasted cauliflower and garlic coup - onion, carrots, celery, thyme, free range chicken broth and coconut "half & half". AMAZING flavor, healthy and happy. Grilled flank steak skewers for a little iron and protein.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013


Today held a few good moments. More than a few. But a few good enough to reflect on.

When life sends you down a raging river, sometimes your instinct is to kick and scream and reach and paddle your heart out - it's a fight or flight response to imminent danger. But, any person who has been given instruction before setting out on a white water rafting adventure has been told differently. If you fall out of the raft, your flotation device is your friend. So might be a paddle, if you're able to hold on to it and take it with you. If you keep your feet downstream, and make sure your head is somewhat protected (maybe by the collar of the flotation device and/or a helmet), the water will carry you. I'd be screaming, most likely, but kicking and screaming could be counter productive. Kicking can get your legs caught in rocks or limbs or who knows what. Pray the boat you just got dumped out of isn't far behind. Wait for the spotter in a kayak to send you a rope, or a hand, or a paddle. Don't panic. Stop resisting. 

So it is with other things in life. Acceptance doesn't always come easily or naturally. Kicking and screaming sounds like the right response. Stop the panic. Stop resisting. And go with the flow.

Adding "color" to the food I eat - if this doesn't make the grade, I don't know what might!
Leeks soaking - awaiting introduction to the Chicken - Cannellini Bean - Leek Soup