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“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

November was exceedingly strange.  Here are a few pictures I’ve taken this month of things that happened.

There was this…

trump-wtf

 

Moving on.

 

 

tired-bear

“I just can’t” said the bear in the Costco parking lot.

 

 

(I was waiting on a friend in the car when the bear showed up seemingly unaccompanied.)

 

 

dino

“Rawr” said the dinosaur.

 

 

(The dino was my contribution to a SoKaN event for #901 Rocks – a delightfully fun community craft movement taking the city by storm. These are some of the other SoKaNers’ painted rocks…)

901-rocks

[And finally, coming home fr0m this mad, funny, heartbreaking, and beautiful world to  retreat (not to be confused with retweet) and recharge.]

 

cat on my book.jpg

Mad Catter crashing my tea party

 

 

 

 

moonflower20161

*Yogi Goaty Goodness*

I’m not making this  up.

It’s something that exists in the world now.

Just….LOOK!!

yoga goatsNosowitz, D. (August 29, 2016). Goat Yoga: It’s Yoga with Goats. Modern Farmer. Online

 

T

 

My pickle journey began on a crisp January day this year. I was flipping though Annie’s Heirloom Seed Catalogue, while fantasizing about warm weather and all the stuff I wanted to grow in the garden.

Me: “Hey! We could grow corn and make our own popcorn!!”

El-D Squidward: “No.  The deer will eat it.”

Me: “Then we need to plant enough for the deer to eat too! What could be better than homegrown popcorn!?”

El-D Squidward: “Being dead…or anything else.” (ok, maybe he didn’t say that part exactly, but the sentiment was expressed in the look he gave me.)

I continued flipping pages in the catalogue and came to the page with cucumbers.  Homemade pickles! I kept this thought to myself, lest I be told a plague of cucumber-eating locust were expected this year.

I pondered pickles for few months, then ordered the seeds for Boston Pickling Cucumbers.  The date was March 24th.

I planted them on May 6th. Little fuzzy plants began pulling themselves out of the ground a few weeks later.hanging on

 

El-D saw them coming up and built them a fancy trellis.  On May 11th it occurred to me that  I really needed to be growing dill if I was going to make pickles, so I planted some.

As the cucumber blossoms started turning into fruit, I realized  that this pickle thing might acutally happen.  The search for recipes began in earnest. I watched the Good Eats episode on pickle making as part of my research because Alton Brown is THE MAN.

cucumber 2016

After painstaking research, I finally decided on  Curbstone Valley Farm’s Classic Dill Pickle recipe.  Four stores later, I had managed to acquire almost all the ingredients.  (Where the heck does one find juniper berries??).

Today, pickle preparation began. Today alone was a 5 hour labor of love.

pickle fixins

I have the scalded skin to show for it.  Seven months after the pickle idea popped into my head, I have this…

pickles

<cue angels singing here>

 

 

Sing it with me y’all!

…and now I only have three weeks to wait.  This batch will be ready August 2. *sigh*

When not summoning sea creatures, El-D has been in Artist mode, busily creating music this week. When not in the garden, the Linguist Yogi has been busily badgering the Artist with relentless questions about his compositions:

What are you trying to communicate?

Is it a worthwhile message? Is it good? and/or is it true?

Are you expressing your message fully and clearly?

Is it being understood by your listener in the spirit you intended?

Will you take feedback into account to modify your message?

There have been intense philosophical debates about whether such questions are relevant to the creation of art. The Artist proclaims that art is what it is; what flows through is what flows through.  Listeners will interpret as they will, so the message itself is of little importance.

The Linguist Yogi maintains that authenticity take a lot of time and work. One must consider the noise and distortions that get in the way and lead to confusion. Clarity in the head and heart of the Artist is the fine-tuning of the instrument. What flows through the fine-tuned instrument is refined, pure, and more potent.

~~*~~*~~*~~

 Two versions of the same song are here for your consideration in this debate.

First is Emeli Sande’s  “Where I Sleep” as it was originally sung by the song-writer.

And here is a very different interpretation remade by Voces8:

Where I Sleep

There’s nowhere that I wouldn’t follow
There’s nothing that I won’t do for your kiss
I love you like there’s no tomorrow
Cause nothing ever felt like this

There’s nothing I won’t steal or borrow
I’ll travel on a boat or aeroplane
I’ll explore a world of sorrow
Cause when I find you I know, I know I’ma be OK

See the times are changing
And I’m sure of nothing that I know
Except this is us, and this is love, and this is where I’m home

In a world that’s breaking, where nothing is for keeps
Oh this is us, this is love and this is where I sleep
This is us, this is love and this is where I sleep

I’m from a generation undecided
I’m restless and I can’t help changing lanes
But in all the noise and the excitement,
you’re love is all that will remain
I’ve said all of my goodbyes to ego
I gambled all I got, there’s no plan B
It’s the first time that I’ve learnt to let go
It’s the only place I feel, only place I feel like me

See the times are changing
I’m sure of nothing that I know
Except this is us and this is love, and this is where I’m home

In a world that’s breaking, where nothing is for keeps
Oh this is us, this is love and this is where I sleep
This is us, this is love and this is where I sleep

This is us, this is love, this is where I’m home.

Emeli Sandé

We’ve been on staycation for the last week. It’s all my fault. How can anyone be expected to vacate when the moonflower is unfurling all her Love across the fence? I mean really!

moonflower 2016

the moonflower leaves sweet Valentines

I can’t possibly tear myself away from this. Someone must remain present to witness it all.

 

Time tending the garden must be subtracted from time in transit, from time absorbed by electronic screens, and from time preparing agendas and itineraries.

Planning a vacation sounds like work in comparison when there is a Magic Queendom just outside the doorstep…

squash 2016

a squash blossom forest

 

…amusing sights abound at every turn.

cucumber 2016

this from a tiny seed dropped in the dirt!

 

Ants parade around accompanied by birdsong bands. A lizard mama skitters away-quiet as a whispered secret-when the hiding place for her glowing eggs is suddenly revealed to a startled human female, who quickly restores their cover.

lizard egg

Over the course of the week, we did venture a short distance from home. Just around the corner is an enchanted land where fairies frolic and gnomes make homes.

Sherry's fairies

And just a little further out, though still remaining firmly rooted in the City of Kings,  there was another garden to visit.

20160705_130440_resized

El-D commands the sea creatures

 

And that is what I did on my summer staycation.

 

 

 

 

 

EarthdeerHobbit1 (2)Fairy.jpg

hanging on

You reach out with any little part of yourself and rise from the dirt to be what you are.  How you make my heart ache with your sense of belonging.

Vanity of vanities!  We all have the same breath.

(Solomon was right.)

 

 

 

6-11-16

roses & arugula intermingle

cucumber6-1-16

cucumbers bloom

blackberry 6-1-16

blackberries ripen

photo (4)

Me: Wait! Where are you going?

Him: To pick lettuce.

Me: What?! Do you have your lettuce picking kit?

Him: Well, I have a knife…what more do I need?

Me: You need scissors and you need a bowl.

Him: How much lettuce do you think I need?

Me: It’s not just about you anymore. I need lettuce too.

Him: Well get your stuff.

Me: Ok, but I need light. There’s bugs. And I can’t see in the dark.

Him: Whoohoo! It’s Friday night, let’s go pick lettuce!

Me: I need the light here! EW! LOOK! SEE? There’s a nasty slug slime-ing up my
lettuce! GROSS!

Him: Well don’t pick that piece.

Him: This is cool…go out in your back yard and get your groceries….

Hobbit (wings a-fluttering): ER-er-ER-er-ERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Me: He’s such a good boy.

Him: We have a watch rooster.

Me: Yeah, he makes me feel safe. Nobody is gonna sneak up on us!

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