farmer maggot’s mushrooms

11th Annual Fish, Farm, & Forest Tour! My little family, and a bunch of much, much older other people!

Slightly Carsick

I do not have a problem with older people. Some of my best friends are senior citizens.* I do slightly resent a publicized “family-friendly” activity designed with about zero consideration for small children. The small children there – our Nels, and the sole-other young family P.’s two little ones – nevertheless had a good time together (in part because we moms missed some of the adult-activities to play outside on tractors etc).

Beauty

The tour was great and opened my eyes to the almost 500 farms in our county.  We visited an oyster farm, a cranberry bog (this was seriously interesting!), a ranch with a presentation on forest management and their sustainable forage farm paired with pulp industry operations (I had to miss this for abovementioned reasons), and a fish hatchery. My favorite was the oyster farm. Ironically (or probably not, I am not so good at identifying irony) even though I’ve lived here off and on for many years I learned more about oyster farming from an episode of “Dirty Jobs” than living alongside such endeavors. Saturday I learned a tiny bit more while other tour participants gobbled up grilled and smoked bivalves.

Oyster Seeding Demonstrated

Oyster Seeding Demonstrated

Oyster Seeding Demonstrated

The tour was also a bit disturbing because many aspects were completely and unflichingly pro ag-business; independent farms (like the one we support) were not mentioned nor was there much mention of what I’d consider the future of food – local, decentralized ownership and smarter, less chemical- and process-intensive practices (such as the raw milk movement – although it’s always funny to me when we go back to principles quite established in human experience it’s called a “movement” or “trendy”)**.

As a bonus at one point one fellow got up and started talking logging history (gee, living here twenty-five years of my life I’ve never heard any before! P.S. we have entire MUSEUMS dedicated to this and in-county not one Native American museum I know of) and before long he was using strong language to condemn the environmental movement, which he said is completely controlling everything in forest and fishery managment. He got very upset talking about this lovely boss he’d had and the beautiful shiny log trucks that used to be in the now-empty lot. These fellows often speak in terms of decades – the time a logging business existed. I understand the pain that’s been lived in my community and I live and breathe this reality (and I completely loathe the over-simplified charicatures of residents in this area as knuckle-dragging rednecks – as I do worldviews of “progressives” who pretend they do not live off the backs of the US working class and the overseas slave class). Seventy years of a logging operation now gone, very sad, it really is. So is killing off wildlife species, and whatever happened to those Native cultures that lived here for not decades but – guess how long? No, guess. 10,000 years. I don’t second-guess nor criticize the anguish of those suffering our long-standing bottomless economy legacy – I only wish for a little more of that seasoning called Perspective.

So the trip was really awesome but it was also kind of the story of white guys just trampling and eating everything they see.

We saw some lovely mushrooms. This little one was about the size of a quarter.

Tiny Mushroom

We saw her brothers and sisters nearby – larger than dinnerplates, but with this classic toadstool shape. Nels and I were really into these big mushrooms.

The weather was that breathtaking misty shroud which turned into a soft rain.

Oops

More mushrooms: today’s lunch, the chanterelle (sautéed in butter and garlic), avocado, and (local raw milk aged) goat cheese sandwich. Awwww yeah.

September 27th, 2010

Today I worked very hard on sewing (I hope to post awesome pictures very soon!), helped the new indie bookstore brick-and-mortar operation move some shelves, cooked for everyone which meant about five or six extra kids running in and out (food included crumpets with whipped cream and preserves and, for dinner, a lentil, sausage, rice, carrot, potato and spinach stew; it was entirely gratifying to see several children devour this with much gusto***), then went for a late-night spooky and dark run (so spooky I had to call Ralph and ask if he’d come escort me – like a total hero he did!).

Lovely fall times.

Cow-Handlin'

* This was a bad joke. I’m sorry. Read comment #1 & #5 for clarification. Thanks commenter lizzie for (indirectly) bringing it to my attention.

** There was however a lot of discussion of home gardens and the tour leader Don Tapio just about floored us with his knowledge on most every ag-product subject you could imagine.

*** “That’s the best thing you’ve ever made,” my daughter tells me just now as I type.

pwnage, linkage, oh my!

This was an awesome spider. My camera is lacking. You will have to settle for this mediocre photo.
Hard At Work

Today went better than yesterday, energy and emotional-health wise. I cooked most of the day and I went running even though I wasn’t sure if I had time – I made the time anyway. I ran against the wind and I ran in gravel. I am the least ankle-twisting person I know. Because I ran in the gravel while fucking around with my iPod a lot. I have much music I need to cull so I had to continually skip to goodness. Today I ran to an assortment including “Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd and “Armchairs” by Andrew Bird. Not exactly the running music for everyone but because I find the whole thing wonderful and emotional and like to sing while I run (if no one’s around to witness) songs like that work for me (also: Jazmine Sullivan’s “Fearless” – favorite running album right now).

Cooking proceeded while kids (my own and others) ran in and out of my house and sampled cake batter and played with chickens. We had dinner guests and another friend besides whom I got to pack some food for. Seriously, there is too much awesomeness to list; click on the picture if you’d like the run-down.

September 14th, 2010

In other news – oh internetz. Why are you so rad? Don’t you realize I have OTHER things to do with my time?

Still, how about I spread the love with all this awesomeness? ‘Cause this young woman Rose? She’s pretty heartfelt and fabulous. I found her words kind of fiercely awesome. I wish she lived in my neighborhood!

Pop culture: Michelle at bitch writes pretty much exactly how I feel about the television show “True Blood”. Thanks, Michelle, and well-done.

Pop culture part 2: I didn’t follow the VMAs, and Lady Gaga’s much-talked about meat dress is snore-inducing (like most stunts are for me), but I had a little “go Cher!” moment: “If I Could Turn Back Time: Ageism Is Alive Today” at WomanistMusings.

And please – how could I not post the classic (Jen G., you reading this)?

“Your breast is obscene” – I’m so glad I re-found Hathor.

In other news, a fat lady eats more than half a pizza. ZOMG! Tangentially, guess what, diet talk is really fucking boring (despite the hostile-sounding intro, a very compassionate and awesome post at Spilt Milk).

This was a lovely, heartfelt, and fabulous essay from an online friend: “Treasures in Heaven”.

Finally – Bitches Ain’t Shit:

wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’

The last few days have included much I’ve photographed but have not otherwise documented. A walk from our house to Casa Mia, a cool two miles, to meet my brother and his ladyfriend for dinner while they were in town. Along the way we experienced many illustrious things. Like:

The “Lowered Expectations” bridge tour:
Loud

Rod’s Diner (gone now fifteen years but we remember it fondly):
Gone Now 15 Years

A lovely bloom (as-yet unidentified because I haven’t made the time to crack my book and look it up!):
What Bloom Is This?

Outdoor couches:
Outdoor Couches Right after I took this photo I looked up and was startled to see a young man on the porch with a very large knife. But he was merely seeding a melon and throwing the remainder into the yard. I thought of how much my chickens would have loved those melon scraps.

Today? Like the immortal Ren McCormack said in that wisest of films Footloose, “We sewed our asses off,” except he said “dancing”, but who are you going to trust, it was not some stunt-gymnast in my sewing room today but me, for realz, and I sewed so very much, of which I shall show only one photo. Today’s installment is brought to you be Dusty Springfield whom I listened to for the afternoon (followed by Adele), stylish diva with impeccable vocal stylings somewhat squandered on perhaps the most pathetic torch songs ever committed to record.

Practical

And finally – more pickles! So many different kids I’m making. These look to be extra-awesome. Because of that motherfucking jalapeño you’re getting a glimpse of. It’s saying to me, “Hey, guess what, I’m going to be delivering some awesomeness to your face soon.”

Pickles!

Life is almost leaving me in the lurch; time to collapse into bed. It’s my nine-year wedding anniversary today (the 8th) and as of yet I have nothing much planned.

the secret ingredient is LURVE

Last night, playing “school” at the kids’ request:

This morning, first thing when Nels woke up. And by the way. You might think this is boring but I am on the EDGE OF MY SEAT for every second of this film.

Now this? This is some trifling shit.
August 15th, 2010

Earlier in the day: chicken soup from leftover roast chicken and garden veggies (I cooked down the breast bones/remainder along with veggie goodness as bone-broth to freeze):

Chicken Soup For My SOUPTAKER

It was my mother’s birthday today: she turned 61. She was so pleased to see we didn’t forget her day and rather came bearing gifts and spaghetti and meatballs and a fancy dessert (trifles are decidedly not fancy but look and taste gorgeous). I had a couple glasses of wine and soon I was tearfully talking about my longing for another child (non-bio) and she was tearfully telling me to go for it. Ralph looked and listened on and didn’t seem too annoyed with me.

We left the kids to sleep over and Ralph and I came home and spent our evening in a pleasant enough way (note: TOTAL SHAG-ATHON) and now? It’s just about bedtime.

I almost forgot in the excitement of everything the last few days I was featured yet again in Sew Mama Sew! My sewing, with the heat and the last few days’ various excitements, has fallen to the wayside. We leave for our vacation tomorrow and it’s anyone’s guess if I’ll get my sewing projects finished before we go – my original goal.

For now, it’s close to midnight and time to fall into bed with my spouse, who is currently being chewed up by our two very frisky little kittens.

Two years ago: my father was dying. I’ll be re-visiting those writings over the next week. I wasn’t able to read them last year.

δU = δQ – δW

August 14th, 2010

(Sprout like a sonovabitch! Above, one of my creepy daily green smoothies.)

The heat is oppressive. In some ways it’s worse than the cold because in our home we can always make ourselves warmer (down blankets, layers, body heat, heaters, fucking cats). But this? We’ve got the window blinds down like normal on hot days – but today it’s too hot to even open them (so it’s stuffy and dark, ugh). I rigged up a swamp cooler which made me feel wistful for my Engineering school days when I knew stuff in my brain (reader, I am not even kidding, I recently realized I have been feeling very Stupid lately) and that really did help.

Sure we could go to a restaurant (air-conditioned) – except we kind of can’t, having a pathetic little stack of bills for next week’s mini-vacation and it’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I’m still panicking over that. The vacation we are all very excited about, except me, because it’s mostly just even more cooking for more people, but I shall enjoy the fact everyone else is having such a good time, and I hope to sew some gifts while we’re there if I can finish up my current project.

We went to the Young Artists’ Show at Six Rivers Gallery. The substantial breeze while biking was hot enough it didn’t help much.

On Our Way To The Art Show

At the Gallery. Doesn’t Phoenix look like a flower?

Phoenix Flower, Waiting

Phoenix Flower, Waiting

Ralph played music for atmosphere.

(Small) Pedal, Feet Of Father & Son

Rock Star. In Dockers.

He’d done it as a volunteer effort but was, surprisingly, paid in cash. That’s very nice for our vacation stash!

Details of Nels’ and Phoenix’s work:

I love this series of Nels. You can see him as he begins to fall deep in thought:

Nels Moves Into A Deep Thought (1)

Nels Moves Into A Deep Thought (2)

Nels Moves Into A Deep Thought (3)

We got home and did what cooking we could – heating up roast chicken in coconut oil and serving it atop basmati rice, alongside simmering fresh peas from the farm and strawberries cut with a little cane sugar and topped with cream. I sewed a bit. Ralph and I were crawling from the heat. He gave himself slight heat stroke mowing the lawn. He went out to bring home gin and ice cream. I refreshed the swamp cooler setup. Slowly the heat backed off.

Hey and anecdotally, this spider we found on our kitchen sponge was so horrific it made me feel angry and sarcastic. Ralph said, “It needs a haircut.” It seriously had really shaggy pedipalps. Here’s my hand too, all casually giving you a sense of scale.

I Have No Words

And some kind of goddamned venom sacks!

Great. Venom Sacks.

Dear Nature: FUCK YOU. I am totally serious.

stuff we’ve been up to

My husband is making a drum machine. But not like you might think. Like a physical drum set that is beat upon by a robot. A robot he powers from a MIDI-sequencer and arduino and hand-built circuit and solenoids. I’m not even making this up. It took a while for his friends and admirers to catch on he’s actually building a goddamn amazing robot and after he’s done with this maybe I’ll tell him to build another one to terrify the hell out of you mere mortals.

Robo-Drummer

Brilliant Man

I made a pair of pants for Phoenix that were PERFECT in every detail. Here’s a picture of the pocket bags. Yeah I know. You stitchers want to punch yourself in the crotch that this is the INSIDE of the pants and looks so good (I am feeling cocky and all about the CAPS LOCK tonight). You’ll be seeing the rest of the pants soon enough. For now, weep at the preview of awesomeness.

Pocket Bag

I cooked down all our extra CSA veggies yesterday (and we had a lot) and made a resultant slow-cooked organic veggie puree and froze it in batches and gave one batch to my mom and used a batch in tonight’s dinner and will be making up some soup this week (for my SOUPTAKER daughter) and have a little more besides. Tonight’s dinner was amazing, because I have finally hit on the perfect spaghetti and meatballs recipe and it’s good every time. We had my mom over to share and she baked brownies and covered them with Tillamook vanilla ice cream. I haven’t had any dessert yet because I’m still recovering from MEATBALLS AND RED PEPPERS.

August 8th, 2010

Our kittens found another place to perch, prairie-dog, and sleep. When the living room carpet is entirely dry from shampooing THIS rug will be rolled back out and they’ll have to take their shady business somewhere else.

ON THE RUN

Also: bike rides, friends over for music recording and talking and tea, lunch date with my husband, many snuggles, my son sneaking under the covers to the bottom of the bed last night to gently massage my feet and then pop his blonde head up and smile at me, my daughter opening her eyes first thing this morning and saying dreamily, “The nights go by so quickly…”

Good times this weekend.

of flannel and warm fuzzies

Breakfast!
August 4th, 2010
(I have three whole followers on my little food-update Twitterstream – and one of them is my own husband! Make no mistake at just how much of a nerd I am who does a bunch of stuff hardly anyone else cares about!)

Today one of my ladyfriends L. came to visit. She’d been a student of mine at GHC winter before last. I really like her. She’s sweet and funny and since she likes sewing and fabric well, we have plenty to talk about. I was a scattered hostess, trying to cook up the daily fare and talk sewing and try to keep my wits about me under duress because the neighbor kids were in and out and they were a little rambunctious. Within their first five minutes in my home they’d broken my back screendoor and put their hands in the goldfish bowl and smeared the results (combined with the extra stuff on their hands, a few of them are routinely very dirty) on my front door. While L. was here I made a chicken pot pie for the kids tomorrow and a devil’s food cake with fresh strawberries and cream for the lot today, which incidentally when I served the kiddos I only got back three out of seven forks; the rest are outside God-knows-where.

I enjoyed L.’s visit very much as she’s a person I genuinely enjoy. She brought me fabric gifts and I cut off a length of a lovely deep-purple satin for a project for my daughter.  Before she left I asked her what she might need. Her eye fell on three yards of a lovely Alexander Henry flannel I had on my shelf (dear reader, I image-searched to find you the pattern and now I am weeping and gnashing my teeth with fabric-lust! And I didn’t find the fabric anyway). It was a wonderful bit of yardage and perfect for the pajamas project she was contemplating. I rarely have more than a yard of any particular fabric anyway, as I am rather quick to sew up what I buy. Seeing this L. asked if I was sure I wanted to gift it. But I felt like absolutely; I’d had the yardage for about four years now and had stashed it away as one of those “precious” items but had not cut into it. It felt wonderfully freeing to gift it, part of this was happiness at giving a present that was well-received and part was happiness at letting go of my hoarding impulse.

In other news I am buried under email despite my best efforts. Some email provides a respite, something lovely to read. Some is designed specifically to get my goat. For instance, my husband and my brother Billy like to call me Bird and make fun of my beak and dirty feathers, delivering various pathetic attempts at wit and commentary now and then or emailing me pictures of fat and/or clumsy birds. They especially like to tease me if I’m sleepy or have had something alcoholic to drink.

So Billy writes, “Hey, I found a clip of you online.” and sends me this:

And finally. There’s something insulting about how much I run around trying to get shit done with THIS under my nose at every turn:
KITTEN DECADENCE

You probably aren’t even noticing Laurence’s back leg extended at maximum pleasure-stretch while he sleeps!! WHO LIVES LIKE THIS?! The only thing they like more than sleeping on my down comforter is sleeping on a pile of warm laundry on the down comforter. They get up to this about twenty hours a day. The rest of their time is spent eating food and liberally pooping in the litter box. Then once we’re in bed they form a rift in the Space-Time Continuum to make MORE time to fight viciously, usually in my hair, until my just-fallen-asleep ass has to re-stumble out of bed and throw them in the bathroom to sleep. And I am not even joking, they immediately stop horsing around and sleep. All night.

It’s a good life. (For them.)

alimentary, my dear Watson

My more proficient stalkers know you can follow me on Twitter at kellyhogaboom or underbellie – the latter being a little more social-justice oriented, the former being Just Me, although obviously there is a bit of overlap. Today I started a new account and project – alimentaries. I’ve been thinking (or re-thinking) food lately – especially now that another summer is here, the kids are older (and bigger, and need lots of sustenance), and more kids than ever run in and out of my house. Family eating and food preparation is a subject that can be either fraught with anxieties and struggles or experienced with joy and creativity. I’m here to help families of all stripes move toward the latter – if they’re interested. This afternoon: sliced kiwi, carrot sticks, gluten-free homemade banana bread, peas from Helsing Junction CSA, fresh pineapple & local blueberries, uncured beef frank (submerged in just-boiled water for about 10 minutes then seared & cut), hardboiled eggs from our hens, horchata. Alimentaries 2010 07 24