Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Food Revolution?

Have any of you watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? Apparently it airs on Friday nights on ABC, but I just watched the first two episodes on Hulu. It's somewhat sensationalistic, being a TV reality show, but based on the data regarding obesity and diabetes related deaths in the United States, and the food that is typically being eaten on this show, it should be sensationalistic. There is not a green or fresh vegetable eaten in the first episode, and in the second only grudgingly, and this is amongst adults and children. Its really appalling, but not all that surprising. I watched it with my mother, and about half-way through I turned to her and thanked her for always having been a good cook, vegetable gardener, and natural foods co-op shopper.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Garden Update: Self-Seeders

I'll get to the self-seeders in a minute, but first this shot of my make-shift attempt at protecting our apricot blossoms from frost. Apricots are one of those fruits that are delicious home grown, but almost always terrible when purchased from the grocery store. In the fall we planted three small trees, and they were loaded with blossoms over the last couple of weeks. Of course during that time we had weather that ran the gamut from sunny and warm, to snowing, freezing, hailing, and gale force winds (currently-- argh!). All of which is completely normal for New Mexico in the spring time. Since the weather has been mainly warm, and the snowing and freezing was supposed to be just for a couple of days, my mom and I erected these tepees over the little trees last weekend. I have no idea if our row cover actually helped or not, but we tried!

Our daffodils are also blooming. Our plan is to plant 100 or so every Fall, until the area between the meadow and future orchard is covered in bulbs each Spring. The reality? We've planted bulbs exactly twice, and therefore have about 75 bulbs blooming.

Okay, now on to the self-seeders! I'm also adding in the over-wintering plants in the garden. Our last frost date is usually set at April 15th, so we're not ready to plant out any tender garden plants, however those that self-seeded and over-wintered are starting to produce again. The swiss chard...

This red leaf lettuce that self-seeded last Fall and popped up early this spring...

This flat-leaf Italian parsley which over-wintered. Its stunted so far, but still pickable!

This arugula which self-seeded...

The tarragon (my favorite herb) has come back from dormancy, as have the garlic chives...

And although these do not grow in my garden (thanks TJs!) these lovely apricot tulips have been brightening my kitchen counter along with the little wire skeleton I made one day while procrastinating in the studio...

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Renovation: My kitchen (or alternately more embarrassing than cool)

Wow, I thought about not posting these since they really show off all of the dirt (it rained this morning and I have dogs = lots of mud) and the clutter-- you can probably see the shelving sitting on the counter in that first picture that is destined for the wall on either side of those mirrors... well, all of the cookbooks also sitting on the counter have no permanent home until the shelves are up. And in that second picture... all of those pictures leaning against each other will go elsewhere on the walls... but there are a few more plaster repairs & caulking to be done still, so they haven't been painted yet and therefore no permanent picture hanging has occured. The cabinet doors need to be painted and the new drawer pulls attached, eventually the ceiling beams will be widened and sistered together, but that's awaiting the bedroom reno because its going to need the same treatment, and you get the point... a lot of work has been done, but a lot still remains. I decided to post the photos to kick my own ass into gear... I can get the shelving up next week, I can paint and install the drawer pulls. Then in the next round of photos I can style the kitchen up a bit so that it doesn't look like crap, because its actually kind of awesome and deserves to look better in photos!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ridiculous Wishlist Item of the Day

OMG, my life and my desires really don't match up. I just saw these shoes on Bluefly. On sale for $509 if you have a magical shoe fairy in your life. Not only could I never afford these, but I couldn't walk in them for more than five minutes thanks to their 4.5" heel. The fact that I can't even leave the property without walking at least 75 feet through dusty, sharp gravel wouldn't leave them looking very nice either. Sigh. Goodbye beautiful but completely impractical Prada shoes.

[edited to add...]

Oh, look! Dolce & Gabbana have solved the walkability problem without sacrificing the jewel. Awesome, except I don't have $397.49 either.

And this Prada sequined slide doesn't suck for a mere $337.49. Walkable, sparkly and green. I don't know why, but that shoe just reminded me that I have been to the (one of??) Prada store in Milan during August sales month, and it was amazing. What with the huge sales and the prices all being in euros, it almost made you believe that it was all affordable.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Unreachable Wishlist Item of the Day

In light of the snow this morning, the greenhouse sale email from High Country Gardens was extremely well timed. I would love a greenhouse for the back of the property. Being land-rich and cash poor makes fixing up your HUGE yard a bit of a hassle, and starting plants from seed is pretty much the only affordable option. Our windowsills are already booked for the tomato and pepper seedlings, so I've yet to try planting perennials, shrubs or flowers. Thus, I dream of a greenhouse. And will keep dreaming... maybe someday.

Not expecting this...

Woke up this morning and was faced with snow upon opening the curtains. Totally took me by surprise. Its still falling a couple hours later, although its not that cold out and its more like rain by the time it hits the ground. Luckily the bulbs are still sheathed and the apricots haven't yet bloomed, so no damage will be done. Living in such a dry climate I can't really complain about any form of moisture, but I really hope that we have another warm sunny day soon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weekend Edition: Birthday!

First off, I just want to revel in the fact that I am sitting in my kitchen with the doors and windows open because it is such a beautiful day outside that its warmer outside than in. So happy about that!

This past weekend was my birthday. (36) I wasn't feeling the excitement the week before, but my lovely friends made the weekend really fun and filled with delicious food, lots of flowers, and awesome little presents on both Saturday and Sunday. Then, the friend whom I made the stuffed animal for, had her baby-- a little girl! I've yet to hear the details, but it added to the overall happy sense of the weekend. Yay for birthdays!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chairs, chairs, chairs

Wow, I'm fighting to stay awake this afternoon. Some sunshine at lunch seems to have sucked the life right out of me, and with no incentive to work on something useful, I thought I'd post about furniture. I always joke that my mom's favorite kind of chair is one that you're more comfortable looking at than sitting in. She is definitely one who would rather have no furniture than ugly but comfortable furniture. (Or even okay looking comfortable furniture). With that in mind, I'm always on the lookout for pieces of furniture that I feel might tempt her to buy, while sneaking some comfort in for those who come to visit her. A couple of years ago I saw these chairs from the Conran Shop, and fell in love with them. They would be perfect for my mom, but honestly they'd do just fine at my house too. Unfortunately they were $6800 each. Um, yeah.

Bassam Fellows leather chairs.

This morning, via Desire to Inspire, I saw similar chairs. They look even better with the worn in seat cushions. I've been eyeing this fairly close substitute, the Norton chair from Room & Board. I don't like the color of the brown legs, and wish that the crosspiece wasn't wood, but for a tenth of the original's price? I could compromise.
Norton Chair, from Room & Board $799.

Another inspirational chair for my mom's house is this chair that I saw while in San Francisco. It had a matching ottoman as well, but I couldn't find a picture. The chair alone rings in at $2025. It's beautiful, and comfortable in a non upholstered way, and being handmade with fine craftsmanship, totally worth a couple grand, I'm sure. However, way out of our price range.

Lounge chair made by Richard Patterson, from Propeller in San Francisco, $2025.

Sevilla chair and ottoman, $398 and $248, plus shipping.

And so I suggest this substitute from Anthropologie. Minimalistic, with woven (leather) seat and a shaker like back, it's kind of reminiscent of classic Wegner chairs (even further out of my price range than the one above). I like it a lot, and its fairly affordable. Or at least comparatively affordable.
Antwerp chair in Bloom, at Anthropologie.

I saw this chair in the background of one of the Man Shops Globe episodes, I think the one about India? And although its completely of a different style than those above, I really like it. I've always classified my style as eclectic, and I'd say this proves it. Its on sale now, for $800.