Monday, March 28, 2011

Wild Geese

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good
you do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting,
you only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across landscapes
over prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clear blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Man Power

This commercial from Errol Morris is hilarious. Watch more well-written commercials at Errol Morris here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

salon-style wall

we finished our salon-style wall. two tries set it right. i'm enjoying it quite a bit.

future-planning inspiration

I am supposed to be working on my future. Instead I find myself admiring the beautiful craftsmanship of Blair Sligar, who builds furniture and sculptures using salvaged and local materials. I guess it works. I'm sick, I'm future-planning and I need some inspiration. And inspiration he provides. Drink it up, drink it up.

See the full feature at grain & gram.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It was

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...

excerpted from Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities

How striking it is that this passage, penned more than a century and a half ago, remains current.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Slipcover: The Easy Way

I decided the other night at 9:30 that I was tired of my rusty-yellow Victorian chair and wanted to cover it with a slipcover. My goal was to add a bit more coolness to the room. Our wooden floors add quite a bit of warmth and I wanted to tone it down.

I set to work making one with a large oatmeal-colored heavy canvas drop cloth that I had. They are very inexpensive at the hardware store and the heavy-weight canvas is similar to upholstery fabric.

I documented the process as I went along. I am not very talented in the sewing department so I used a technique I learned about a while ago. It is fairly easy for a slipcover but you need a lot of fabric to drape over your chair. I think the traditional method for making a slipcover includes lots of measurement-taking and pattern-making which is too difficult for my novice skills. Here's how I made a slipcover the easy way:

Drape material right-side in over chair and pull it flat along the seat and back.

Pinch the excess fabric together where the seams on a slipcover would be(just guess) and pin where the seam would be. Keep going. You may have to redo seams as you go along and re-figure your method. I had to pleat fabric along certain parts of the chair, such as where the arm meets the back to make it work.

Cut off excess fabric from the seams that you pinned. Adjust the pins as needed to keep the fabric taut.

When all seams are pinned and trimmed, cut off the excess fabric along the bottom. Make sure that you leave a few extra inches for folding over and hemming.

Carefully pull the slipcover off the chair and sew along the seams that you pinned. Sew the hem on the inside of the pins.When all the seams have been hemmed, remove your pins. Fold over the bottom of the slipcover once and then again so that the raw edge is hidden. Pin along your fold and then sew the hem.

Flip your slipcover right side out and pull it over your chair. Voila!

My slipcover is less than perfect but I am happy with it. The imperfections work with the slubby natural-colored canvas. It has an organic feel and is a nice contrast with the dark carved claw feet.


Pizzeria LOLA has the best dessert: homemade soft serve ice cream with olive oil and sea salt. We've been recreating it at home with vanilla bean ice cream, a drizzle of good quality olive oil and pink Himalayan sea salt.


Those who want to help Japan can go to and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


enjoying GAYNGS immensley.
members include bon iver, megafaun, doomtree, solidgold, the rosebuds. nice line-up.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Plant Pole

We had an old floor-to-ceiling pole that we used to hang our bikes on and white porcelain drop pots from IKEA that we used to hang utensils in our previous kitchen. Since we no longer needed these for their original purposes, we decided to repurpose them. We placed our pole by a sunny bedroom window, filled our pots with plants, threaded them with twine and hung them up. I love how they turned out and how they liven up the space.

Cemetery Walk

We visited a large cemetery this weekend. The sun was shining bright for the first time this week and it was such a peaceful walk.

Friday, March 4, 2011

MIA Adventures

Visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is always a good time. It's even more fun when you're silly and it's the middle of the day on a week day and no one is around.

I always enjoy the masks and Chuck Close's 'Frank'. To see it in person is amazing.


Barley Almond Pear Waffles

Serve 'em up hot with pure maple syrup. Hearty and flavorful.

Barley is an excellent source of fiber, niacin and iron, and is incredibly versatile. We've been trying it in a variety of ways. Barley as an addition to waffles is the latest test.

Barley Almond Pear Waffles

1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
3 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
4 T butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 c finely chopped or slivered almonds
3/4 c cooked and cooled barley
1 pear, diced(no need to peel)

Combine all dry ingredients.
Whisk together milk, eggs, butter and almond extract.
Add wet ingredients to dry; mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. It will be quite lumpy.
Fold in almonds, barley and pear.
Ladle spoonfuls into a hot waffle iron and enjoy pipin' hot with warmed syrup.

{These are also great as leftovers. Today we toasted them in a hot pan with a little bacon drippings after the bacon was finished and had been set aside.}