Sunday, April 1, 2012

It was a gorgeous April day at Honeysuckle Hill

 Here's what's been keeping us busy the past few weekends. These 5 beds are about 25-30 ft long and about 4.5 feet wide. In the top picture the bed is probably about 35 ft long and 5 ft wide.  There's yet another bed out front that's smaller...I'd guess it to be about 10x10 maybe.

  We don't put manure on the potato bed, only leaf compost, but the other beds all have horse poop on 'em and are waiting for their share of leaf compost that will be coming next weekend.  I put the seed potatoes out in the sun today to encourage more sprouting...the bed isn't quite ready yet, but it's close. We both needed to take today off, and so we did.

  It was crazy today...temps hitting 90 and supposed to be even hotter tomorrow.  You can really see how dry the dirt looks in those beds. We're supposed to get rain on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday...hope it's the good steady stuff. We had almost no snow this year and the rain has even been pretty sparse. Hopefully we'll catch up in April.  However, even though we all know that "April showers bring May flowers"...the flowers have already come.  lol  Oops.


  The Irishman made a wonderful supper tonight of tempeh and broccoli  in a Hosein sauce. It was good, although a little heavy handed with the sauce. Turned out the recipe he used actually called for a pound of tempeh and the package we had was only half a pound. Still, it was the right amount for the two of us, and I told him to make a note on the recipe in the cookbook. Cut down the amount of the sauce--we are sensitive to salt anyway, and I think that was the long and short of it. 

  I watched a chef named Ann Gentry on the Veria channel this afternoon make a Turkish lentil soup that I really want to try. It has fresh rosemary in it, as well as tomatoes and spinach...and it looked so good I was salivating. She also made some spinach and tofu cheese phyllo triangles which looked scrumptious, not to mention the Mediterranean  salad with the goat cheese and fresh figs.. She is owner/operator of a restaurant in
Santa Monica called Real Food Daily.  It is a vegetarian (maybe Vegan) place and I know that she is a vegetarian herself. She has written numerous cookbooks and magazine articles on said cooking.


  I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about finding the Creative spot in our lives, and how much we need that.  We talked about how our lives get so crazy when we are working outside the home and we have no idea that we are missing such an important part of our existence.  I always thought I had no artistic vein in my body. If you asked me, (or even if you didn't, lol) I would tell you that I had no kind of artistic talents at all. A lot of my problem was the way I defined art.  If I couldn't sit down and paint a realistic portrait of you, I was nothing.  If I couldn't play piano, I was no musician.  And that was pretty much the parameters of it. One day someone said to me that I was crazy if I thought I had no talent. I was shocked. She said--look at the things you create every day in the kitchen!  I pooh-poohed that--everybody does that--it's called cooking, not art.  She said--I've read some of the things you write.  I said--well. anybody can do that.  She said--No, they can't. Not everybody.  And she talked to me for a long time about finding the things that I was passionate about and throwing myself into them with wild abandon. THAT, she said--is art.

  Years later I got hurt and could no longer work. I thought I would go insane at first. Then I started playing. I got a magazine article out of a craft magazine that showed me how to make home made paper.  A friend of mine worked at a hospital and they had big bags of paper they threw away every day, she said if I promised not to tell anyone, she'd get me some.  I scavenged other paper--colored, patterned, etc and started cutting it into strips. The Irishman made me a mortar and deckle out of 2x2's and screen.  For a whole season, I played with making different kinds of paper and card stock and put leaves in it and colors in it and had it laying all over my front yard, drying in the sun.  LOL  I'm sure the neighbors thought I'd gone quite mad.  It was so easy, you just put the strips of paper into an old blender with a little water and puree it. The you pour it onto the screen and let it drip and dry until it's of a consistency that you can pull it off the screen and finish the drying process.  It was a hoot, and I still have a few pieces of it somewhere. But I honed some calligraphy skills and made cards with it. And the people I gave those cards to were ridiculously astounded by them. And something in me started to shift...

  Anyway, I tell you this, because I was telling my guest this story, and she needed to hear it and I needed to remember it.  We all have ART genes.  We just have to find out where they are hidden. In the years since, I have played with all sorts of different things...I got paints and started painting a little.  I hope to work on that more in the coming year. I got a dulcimer and tried to learn to play it. I made wooden magnets and painted wine glasses and vinegar bottles (that I filled with home made herb vinegars) for gifts.  One year (when I was particularly broke) I got a whole butt load of wooden utensils that came in little cylindrical wood holders, but had somehow gotten wet and were being disposed of. I salvaged them and put them in a bath tub full of bleach water to get the mold and stains off (they looked ruined).  They came out amazingly clean and then I bought a childs wood burning kit and I put flowers and vines on all those spoons and things and the container as well. I embroidered small muslin dish towels with old transfers I got at a flea market and made baskets for Christmas...with jellies and such and the utensils and a dish towel inside. Voila.  A one of a kind gift that my friends and family will never forget, because every time they stir the soup with one of those spoons, they remember.  And it opened something up inside me.  And it was satisfying and I was proud and there you have it.  A gift of love.  That's what art is..a gift of love to the world.  I have piddled with watercolors and painting flowers and making things pretty and I will never be a Freida Kahlo, or a Georgia O'Keefe... but I am the happiest Annie Kelley I have ever been.  And that is enough for me.


  More on this another time. I just felt blessed to get to have that conversation with her and to be reminded by the Universe that it's important to play, and to love and to have a happy life.  And maybe that's what this time of life is all get to do all the things I never had time for, all those 50-60 hour a week work years. To finally get to play like a child, exploring new venues and magical places and laughing out loud.

  Every single day.



Mary LA said...

Loved this Annie -- we are all creative in different ways and that makes us live more deeply and joyously. I think of you as tremendously creative.

Turkish soup with lentils, huh? I must Google.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Thank you, dear Lady, I really needed this today. To wake up and find this encouragement towards all sorts of creative endeavors, well, you're an angel with a valuable message.

Andrew said...

Oh yes, you do have a way with words.

DJan said...

You are incredibly talented. Your writing always takes me away from my own home and into yours, and it seems like you do it effortlessly. The cooking is definitely an art, not one of my favorite things (except eating good food). It is amazing to me that it's so hot there and so cold and rainy here (in the PNW).

Beth said...

A great post Annie. Thanks!!

the wild magnolia said...

I love how you wrap your life in words and share with us.

I am excited to keep up with your garden.

The Irishman cooks. Splendid, and not just everyday food. How cool is that? Way cool.

Creativity. I agree, we all have art inside of us. Nudging us to try it is good. Very good.

I think play is definitely missing from my life.

Thanks for the heads up. Wishing you a happy week.

Petit fleur said...

Yay for acknowledging your artistic side!

That soup DOES sound yummy!

And I like your new look here at EB. Nice job.

Rita said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Cooking is an art many cannot manage. You have a gift for words. You are passionate about what you love and it comes across beautifully. All those things you have made and played with--ahh!--such delight! Don't think of it as art. Think of it as being creative. You are extremely creative!! :):)

Annette said...

The happiest Annie Kelly you have ever been. I love that. That is all we can hope for huh. To be the happiest "us" that we can be. :o)