Thursday, July 31, 2008

Public Serivce Announcement

Sorry I have not been around this week. It has been a pretty crazy week. So far, since I last wrote the following events have transpired:

3 days of work
1 vet appointment
1 kid doctor appointment
1 car doctor appointment
1 car inspection
1 car registration
2 trips to mall
2 grocery trips
2 afternoons of helping a friend in crisis
2 overnights with 3 extra teens (and cleaning up thereafter)
1 sore throat (mine)
five thunderstorms replete with electricity outage

I will get back you y'all soon, I promise!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

You Go, Girl!

Erin O'Brien makes me giggle almost every day. I have ants, too. Due to the never ending rain storms we have had for the past few weeks, much of my landscape is a-puddle. What is not is fair game for the ants and their relocation attempts, I suppose. What I will NOT put up with, however, is the ant crawling on my butter stick, as I found this morning. That ant learned about space flight, but quick. I don't mind bugs, in general, with the exception of flies, which, being a chef, and knowing what those buggers DO when they land on food, disgust me.

On an entirely different note...I cannot be the ONLY person around who thinks that McCain looks remarkably like a rabbit, or a guinea pig. Am I? And, yeah, Obama behaved rather presidential overseas. So what. At least he wasn't trying to pander to the Dali Lama. I rather liked the Dali Lama's response to Mcain, and I paraphrase: "You are a nice guy but I ain't gonna endorse ya." No flags waving there, dude. No screaming masses of Europeans.

Let's get this popularity game over with and get on with fixing things. M'kay??

File this under WRONG, Very WRONG:

Click Here to see more Cake Wrecks

Have a pretty picture to add to your Sunday!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye, Johnny

Jazz saxophonist Johnny Griffin passed away yesterday in his home in France. I am pleased to say that I was able to see him play in Cambridge at the Regatta Bar on my 30th birthday. I feel very grateful that I was able to see him before his passing, and also to have had the experience of seeing Ray Charles and Sarah Vaughn before they left this mortal coil as well.

Farewell old friend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I have not seen 8 inches in a long time. (long pause here....)

But that is what we are getting today.

8 inches of rain. In fits and starts. Fits and stalls, too, I bet.

Good thing I got the dog out for her Administrative Walk early, when it was just a MINOR deluge.

And the other great thing? The weather map for NEXT week is rain, too!

So my morning began with Lux wretching on my bed. It was productive though! Red string. From a rope toy. Wet and gooey. On my bed.

Only to be followed with a back porch strewn with nice juicy trash because I forgot to close the outside door last night.

And the half bathroom sink was cracked when I went in there this morning. Apparently, one of the kitties knocked over a mug on a shelf above the sink, which fell INTO the sink, shattering and also cracking the bowl of the pedestal sink.

This has been the BEST vacation ever!!!!

Time to sedate the dog and finish the book I started yesterday.

Calgon, Take me Away!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


How Keen is THAT????

Like, Whoa!

I just looked at the weather for the week. Hey! Looks like it is going to be just like the last week. In case you missed it, that means RAIN. Every. Day. Do you have any idea how hard it is to deal with a dog in a cast in the RAIN???

Cast, with a wrap to keep it dry and a Very Down Dog

Sad, Sad Doggie

I have a week a year without my kids, and they are currently in Maine with Dad. And, guess what??? It has rained every day but one since they left. At least it is remaining in the 80's temperature wise. And that is totally Keen for me!

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here for more about these cool things made from factory scraps of wood

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

"Life is made up of moments and choices. We can choose to do the small things we must do with great care, or we can choose to stay focused on the "big things" and miss everything in the process. It's the small, step-by-step, creatively and beautifully engaged act that changes us and ultimately changes the world. " - Todd Henry

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Crispy Crunchy Veggie Chips

My cousin was here visiting from Austria. At one point we ran to Whole Foods and he grabbed a container of these crispy veggie chips. I think I ate most of the container before it made it's way home. While not low in fat or salt, at least I feel that I am getting some nutrients. Here is a link so you can order your own batch!

Click Here to Order your own batch of Veggie Chips

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The bill arrived for my Birthday Stitches...Emergency room visit, six stitches and 7 novacaine injections..................$1,237.00.

And I have a $2,000.00 dedctible.

Holy Crap.

Guess Lux will have to wait for her surgery for a while.

*rambles off swearing and gesticulating*

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuffiing Ice Down My Pants...


Clearly, due to my Scottish bloodlines, I am more suited to the temperatures between 52 and 72 degrees. I can swing 80's with low humidity. I long for the snow. Thus, today I shall stuff ice down my pants on a semi-regular basis. If you see me waddling around the area, rest assured, that is ICE in my undies.

Today I am too busy to post a real Keen post. I have dog walks (ugh) to do. I am getting ready for a visit from my cousin who lives in Austria, getting my girls ready for a vacation with their Dad, getting ready for my friend, Jenny's, birthday dinner tonight AND dealing with my injured dog-baby.

Last night I had to give her kibble for dinner, as I had forgotten to thaw out her raw diet portion. SHE WAS THE CRAZIEST DOG EVAR. SHE WAS HYPER, YIPPING, DEMANDING AND FUSSY. Wow. What a difference. And, I noticed a huge difference in her , um, out-put, this morning. Clearly, her tummy did not like the kibble either. So, another resounding confirmation that the raw diet is the way to go for a while.

Off to conquer the to-do list. Krikey! It is as long as Rasputin's beard!

Keen Thoughts to you all!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Brain in Love

Drop it like it's HAWT...


Today, that hot dog breath weather I sensed was on the cusp will be breathing fully down our necks. Back to over 90 degrees and over 70 percent humidity. I will likely be snarfing lots of coffee granita and laying about in the shade, fanning myself. There are books to be bought for school summer reading. Lots of books. The Demon Spawn are going with Dad to Maine for a vacation. Oh, how I wish I were able to traipse somewhere *special* and visit friends afar.

Click Here for Why I love Chris over at Rude Cactus aka: Why toddlers are like magic 8 balls
And for the record, I am living SQUARELY in the middle of that last frame in his post.

Speaking of Fuck You...I just heard on the radio that the estimated 15 BILLION dollar bill for the state of Massachusetts for our Glorious (sarcasm intended) Big Dig? Now estimated at 22 BILLION. Must. Leave. State. As. Soon. As. Possible. I guarandamntee you that they will be taxing the very air we breathe here soon. And, to ad insult to injury the company which managed the construction is in deep squish for taking shortcuts and now, if you have not heard yet, we have tunnels which leak, and tiles falling off killing people.

Gimmie that dirt-mound hut in the wild, a stream, some books, a case of wine, fresh veggies, turkey jerky and no cell phones for miles. And a dog that does not limp. And a set of paints and canvas. And a certain Someone. *sigh*

And now your Hot Side-Order of Keen.

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Click Here. You know you wanna!

From the blog of Wil Wheaton (yeah THAT Wil Wheaton, of Stark Trek fame)

Come Out and Play! New York gets Real (what a great idea)

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Keen Lamps from Global Lighting

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meaness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whomever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

"First of all, this is a lambic style ale. Lambic comes from "Lambeek", an area in Belgium that is the place of origin for this amazing beer.

What is done is that malted barley and unmalted wheat are brewed in open casks in barns. The windows are left open where natural yeasts blow through the barn and settle upon the casks of the beer to be.

The substance begins to bubble and brew. Once this happens, huge amounts of fresh raspberries are added to the brew. This is then put into sealed casks with a hole in the top.

The brew bubbles and oozes over the outside of the casks sealing them up with hardended brew. The contents inside can still breathe, yet is sealed from being ruined.

The wild yeasts that are used in this brew are similar to those that are used to make yogurt.

There is no additional sugar added to this ale. The ingredients are simply water, barley-malt, hops, yeast (wild) and fresh raspberries. " from

I have tried this ale numerous times, but the very BEST time is on a hot summer day with your feet in a stream. If you have no stream, just stick your toesies in a bucket of cold water. Swill. Sip. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Edge of Dog-Days

Bristle Brush on Blue

Today *feels* like we are on the edge of something. The air *smells* different, *feels* different. The heat, at over 90 degrees, is dryer at this point in the day today, though the humidity is forthcoming I hear. Still, I can almost hear cicadas swishing, almost feel the dog days of summer coming hot and heavy upon us. Slower walks, longer drinks of water, resting in the shade, sleeping without the covers, salt on our lips, these portray the stifle, the ice-cold- glass-to-the-forehead heat of summer.

Nature's Fireworks

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

I love, love, love Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. I first saw a show on PBS about them a few years ago, and I have been following their progress ever since. I hope to spend some time there one day.

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Calf and Half

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:


Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago - the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider.... It doesn't seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we've traveled. ~Jane Mersky Leder

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:


Coffee Granita

2 cups lukewarm espresso or strong black coffee
1/2 cup sugar/(I used Honey)

Topping in photo:
1 teaspoon fat free half and half
1 teaspooon raw cocoa nibs or shaved chocolate

Optional Toppings I have tried and enjoyed:
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely ground toasted almonds

Combine coffee and sweetener and stir until sugar melts. Pour mixture into 9 by 13-inch metal pan and place on level shelf in freezer for half an hour. (Mixture should only come about 1/4-inch up the side of the pan.) Remove and use a dinner fork to scrape any ice crystals that have formed on the side or bottom of the pan. Return to freezer and repeat scraping every 20 to 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours. Once mixture is thoroughly frozen, fluff with a fork and allow flakes to "dry" in freezer another half hour before serving. When served, the granita should look like a fluffy pile of dry brown crystals.

Scoop into goblets (or mold as I did in a small container) and top with barely sweetened whipped cream, add additional citrus zest (or pour onto a saucer prior to placing and add fat free half and half and cocoa nibs which *I* prefer!) if desired. Allow it to sit for just a minute or so until the white soaks in a little...pwetty!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nets and Buoys


Lately my life has been, well, complicated. All in all, things are fine, but the day to day of an injured dog and teens home for the summer is full of responsibility. Lux is doing really well, mind you. She is not in pain, and she has learned to hop on three legs very well. She is sweet and loving and our bond is growing as we go through this. The kids are doing okay, too. But, still, the constant mess of cleaning up after overnights (they *help* but, you know, teens are not as clean as I would be) is daunting. They whoop through food like a herd of buffalo on a binge. I have been making bread like crazy, and the girls have been keen on quinoa, so my rice cooker is full of it every day. They have also discovered rice pasta. Who would have thought that MY kids would be snarfing down quinoa and rice pasta????

Lux has been adjusting remarkably well to the raw diet. She now gets one muscle meal with a little organ meat in the morning, rice milk with flax oil and a sprinkle of a mixture I made of equal parts bone meal, psyllium husks and dulse seaweed flakes. She ADORES that!!! The evening is meaty bone dinner, either a turkey neck or a serving of ground raw chicken necks and backs and meat from Whole Foods.

There are a few things that keep me sane these days. My "nets" and "buoys", the things that keep me from going over the edge, those parts of my life which lift me up, are my friends the woods and books. I met a new friend this week, Megan, a history professor at Phillips Academy. She has a new puppy named Moose, a Red Tailed Coon Hound, who is all gangly and adorable. Lisa and I bonded with her right away, and we have all our cell phone numbers and are planning to get together often. I see some serious Scrabble games in my future.

One of the best parts of my day is the evening, just before bed, when I shower and crawl into my nest with my dog and a good book. Just the other day I passed a big bin on the sidewalk with a sign that said: "Free Books and Toys" and I looked in and scarfed up these:

Literary Keen!

I have already blown through Piggy Sneed/John Irving and Naked/David Sedaris. I will be diving into Russell Banks tonight. I hope he enjoys it as much as I will.

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Click HERE learn about making your own "old time" photos!

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here to see more about this wonderful shelving system from J1 Studio

Click Here to see more of Joseph Alleman's AMAZING work

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:


To vibrate, to accept, to expand… this is the new duty. To give oneself as is, to let life meet us as it really is, to live for the moment and extract from each moment all that it holds of truth, beauty and goodness, without scruple, without vain questioning, in the spontaneous desire of life, in childlike purity of heart… to be able to be oneself, to dare to be happy and at last allow one’s soul to spread its wings. - Jeanne de Vietinghoff

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Pinto Bean and Chick Pea Salad

1 cup chick peas
1 cup pinto beans (I used dried/soaked/cooked for firmer texture)
1/2 bell pepper
1/4 medium red onion
fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
cracked pepper
1 lime, juiced
1/3 cup olive oil

Rinse beans and place both in a bowl. Slice the pepper and onion thinly. Add to the bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. De-sprig (heh) thyme and drizzle the oil and lime juice. Toss and let sit for at least an hour before serving.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vibration is showing up all over the place today...

Fuzzy Wuzzie

(I grabbed this from Erin O'Brien, jussoyano)

Woofy Update

I am always amazed at the resilience of animals. Lux has quickly figured out how to hop on three legs, not even letting her cast touch the ground. The vet told me that she should stay quiet for a while, and I laughed. I am giving her the maximum dose of tranquilizers for her weight, and her pain meds, but she made it clear to me last night that she could and would walk around the block on three legs, looking for squirrels. I have yet to get her to poop, though. I know that the anesthesia (she was under general for about half an hour) and the pain meds are constipating, so I am giving her a raw food diet for now, possibly from now on. She is getting muscle meat (and 10% organ meat), eggs, meaty bones, glucosamine/chondroitin complex and as much water as I can get her to drink. She is enjoying the turkey broth ice cubes, so I must make some more of those, too. I figure the protein will be good for regenerating the soft tissue and the meaty bones are great for the calcium. A raw diet is much better for controlling inflammation, among other things.

Last night she slept without whimpering, which was a huge improvement. I hate it when people or animals are in pain. I am doing everything possible to facilitate healing so she won't have to have the surgery. We should know more in two weeks.

My arms are getting stronger carrying a 47 pound dog around. I should look like Popeye by the end of this ordeal!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Broken Bones, Torn Ligaments...

I was walking in the woods with Lux. All of a sudden two huge dogs come barreling around the corner and blow by me, knocking me right over ONTO LUX. She screamed. And screamed. And screamed. I carried her back to the car, that wonderful mile and a half I carried her the last time. We drove to the vet.

Many hundreds of dollars later they tell me her xrays show a fracture of her "thumb" and a blow out of her carpal joint, luxation (I know...her name is Lux...not funny). So a cast it is for 6-8 weeks with limited to NO activity other than peeing and pooping. In 2 weeks we go back to see if surgery is needed to pin her foreleg joint back to position and tie up the ligaments and bones with some newfangled wires...several thousand of dollars and an additional 6 to 8 weeks immobility. They tell me she will always have arthritis in that joint.

I cannot even describe what I am feeling right now...I have enough doggie downers to get her through the next week, but none for me.

I need to find some full time work now to pay for the surgery if it is needed.

So, I may be intermittent with my posting for a while, or perhaps not sticking to the format I usually do, because that takes me hours to do every day. I hope that is okay with you readers out there.

I am really, really sad and upset.

I love this girl more than I ever thought I could. To not have her able to run like the wind in the woods with me is a huge heartbreak. For us both.

Send us all the good healing vibes you can muster.


Just a Nibble

A day without Dooce is a day without, ah...oxygen?

Along the lines of the blog from Dooce today, I was getting into my car (my black car, the one with the sensors that register Solar Flare Level Heat...) the lady next to me, who was shopping at Whole Foods alone, was clambering up the ladder to get into her Mega SUV with her one bag of foodstuffs. I said, out loud, "Lady, I just hope you are off to pick up the seven dwarves because it is downright ridiculous and otherwise irresponsible for you, one person, to be driving that vehicle"

I don't think she heard me.

She did however hear me a laughing at myself after I said it though. Cause, day-um I tickle my own funny bone sometimes.

Today I am living on fine organic chocolate, fresh cherry and raspberry juice popsicles, a small piece of steak, avocados, greens and amaranth. In a dark and air conditioned room. Watching old Frasier reruns.

More Keen when my brainstem cooperates more fully. Cause right now, mmmmmnot so much.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008



Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K
8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%

K-N-O-W-L-E -D-G -E
11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%

A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E
1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%


Yesterday when I looked at my odometer to check on my gas mileage for the last fill up I saw, at the exact moment: 111.11.

Today, this:

Very strange...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lila!

My new buddy, Lila, turned 4 this week!!! Hip, Hip, Hooray!! for Lila!!

The Birthday Girl!

Dad (Ken), Lila, and Mom (Lisa)

Lila and me with the birthday cake I made for her. (banana sweetened, whole grain and organic! She has not had a birthday cake before now due to food sensitivities. I was really happy to make one that would not drive her crazy!)

Lisa, her mom, and I picked blueberries up on Weir Hill. There were so many of them! So sweet and tart at the same time.

The weather here is too disgusting to mention. So I won't. So there! Yesterday was a fun day for me. I took over by boss' personal chef gig for her while she is in Manhattan taking a Natural Gourmet Baking class. I had a blast doing the cooking and an even better time meeting Mrs. M., an elderly woman who lives on Brattle Street in Cambridge. We sat and chatted for a good long while. She reminds me of my own Gran, who has passed, and we talked about a great many things. I love her old and wonderful home, too.

Today is dog walking day and I shall resemble a melted candle upon my return home. I shall sit in front of the AC unit with a glass of Chardonnay and watch Ghost Hunters, feeling the salt crystals form on my skin. Then a cool shower and slipping into my new 400 count cotton sheets (butter yellow even!) which I got ON SALE!!! A complete full size set for, get this, $29.00!!! Very High Count Keen!

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Click Here For: Comfy Collars!

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here for Fossil Wash basin

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

Image Thanks to Kevin Fields

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. - Rachel Carson

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Amaranth "polenta" with charred peppers, cilantro and a Lime-aid sauce

1/2 cup amaranth
1 cup water
(cooks as you would rice)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese ( I used romano )
2 red peppers
1 bunch of cilantro
1 can lime-aid (frozen juice section)

After the amaranth has cooked, add the cheese, salt and pepper and stir, then spread it on a cookie sheet and place it in the fridge to cool and stiffen. When cool, cut rounds out with a cookie cutter. Amaranth is very gloopy, so you may want to dredge the rounds with a small amount of flour before putting them in the oil. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the rounds until crisp, turning to brown both sides. Drain on paper towel or paper bag. (or coffee filters!)

Place the peppers on a skewer and hold them to flame (grill, stove or otherwise...hell, these days just put them on the roof of your car) until the skin begins to blacken. Attempt to do so evenly on all sides, then place the whole peppers in a paper bag for 5-10 minutes to soften. For this recipe I did not peel off the char. Slice into thick strips.

Plate the amaranth polenta with fresh cilantro leaves between each layer, placing the sliced pepper on the plate. Sever with a small dish of lime-aid (or make your own with lime juice and sugar or honey). There is enough oil in the polenta that when tasted with the lime aid it forms a lovely "dressing" in your mouth.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Smokin' Joe Bonamassa

One of my ill-fated dates last year was with a bass player who used to play with Joe Bonamassa. Unfortunately, that did not make up for the leather pants with the fringe, the long greasy hair (bald on top) and the van that leaked from the windshield as we sat talking in a rainstorm.

I love the blues. I love white boys playing the blues, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, and Tab Benoit.

Just thought you might like a little music to get you through the day...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yes, it is still grey and rainy...

It never ceases to amaze me that people in my neighborhood manage to carve out little spaces for their private oasis. Down the street, the man from the Czech Republic has fruit trees, pear, apple, plum, cherry, and a garden, and chickens. A woman who lives behind one of the multitude of "salons" in my area has a wonderful container garden. I saw it once as the walled in yard has a gate and she was standing with it ajar once. I was stunned. I never knew it was there.

On my morning "Administrative" walk with Lux I pass a home with lovely flowers and a huge rose arbor. The also have a marble turtle statue:

(another phone camera image, sorry for the crappy quality)

Yesterday as I was walking by I saw a man sitting on a kid's chair, weeding the corner patch. I giggled and told him he had a great chair. We started talking, and I asked him about the statue. He guided me to the right side of his garage, which was fenced in. In that yard he has created an amazing turtle environment, with a pond, hatching houses, and an electric fence. He apparently studies this particular breed of turtle, which is on the edge of extinction. I never would have guessed that this magical space was there.

It made me wonder about spaces, about sacred spaces, about making magic in tiny spots, places to go to renew and refresh yourself. It made me think about my own spaces. Last year I made a sacred space of my back porch. I have not spent any time there since last September.

I guess for me the truth is that I take my magic times in the woods, walking through the misty blueberry bushes, the muddy and root-laden lake front, the resinous and deeply wooded ravines. Sure, I could hang some Keen paper lanterns around my back yard, plant some flowers, make a colorful and peaceful place. But, for me, I find it is already made to order less than a couple of miles away.

Maybe someday when I find a spot where I am truly happy, a homestead of my own, not rented, I will make a special spot for myself, but so far, I am really happy with what Nature is offering me. A bounty of Keen.

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Geninne's Art Blog

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here to read more about tableware by Kathryn Hinton (via Dezeen)

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:Whacky Word Edition

Moll-buzzer: n. a pick pocket who picks on women.

Hamartithia: n. mistake-prone.

Potvaliant: adj. courageous when drunk.

Oxter: n. the armpit.

Forjeskit: adj. exhausted from work.

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Millet with asparagus and goat cheese on baby arugula

This was my dinner tonight. I heated up the millet and asparagus which were leftovers, with the goat cheese for just a minute to bring everything to a warm temperature. I placed it on a bed of arugula and topped it with a balsamic vinaigrette.