Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dining Delights

I have had numerous dining delights the past several days while inhabiting this house. These people are definitely foodies and I've enjoyed partaking in their arsenal of kitchen supplies. Let's just say that these people have about 10 different random half, quarter or crumb loaves of bread in the freezer. Makes for great accompaniments to my dining delights.

I'm in love with this spoon.
See that cut-out on the handle for resting on the pot?

My breakfast delight: Muesli with yogurt, fresh strawberries, and almonds!

Here's a note about eating fresh, local food. I may have just made this realization, but see how those strawberries are bright red throughout the berry? When slicing down through they are completely bright red, no white centers that most people are probably used to from the strawberries bought in a typical grocery store. Why the difference? These were picked a few days ago from my very own garden and they were picked when they were ripe. They did not have to travel several hundreds or thousands of miles so they did not demand picking while un-ripe. I bought some strawberries in the grocery store just a couple of weeks ago and it is indeed berry season so they were even on sale. However, upon inspection, they had lighter colored cores and some even exhibited green tips. Definitely not ripe! Their flavor lacked something fierce and compared to these beauties I've been dining on this week, Shame!

Note to all mankind: EAT LOCAL!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Hello friend! Where did you come from and where are you going?
Wake up surprise snail just going for a cruise.
Life is rough for Fizbo.
Fontella can't wait for Mom & Dad to come home.

Urban Garden

I planted two gardens this year. I planted my garden as usual at the family homestead and then when given the opportunity to plow up the back yard of my quad-plex apartment I jumped! Thus births my urban garden. It's small to me, although in comparison to the few I've noticed in my neighborhood, pretty large. My first attempts at planting resulted in a nice deconstruction by the neighborhood rabbits. I was so mad, they demolished everything. I then replanted some tomatoes, put up some makeshift cages and left for a week of vacation. I was delighted to come home from vacation and still have a garden. My tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash are doing quite well now. I have also planted corn and plan to put in some okra and more beans soon.
I'm really enjoying my little cucumber bed I created.
Rain barrel installed thanks to landlord Bob!

This picture is horrible. I must mulch in the next 5 minutes as well.
A few pots just to be safe and up and away from critters. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Highlights of Home

It's hard to believe I've been in my new home for over a month now. I still have yet to put things on the wall but I do have a full house of furniture. I am still proud to say that I bought nothing new and actually purchased very few items. 

A look into the small kitchen, definitely my favorite:

The reconstruction of this piece gave me the opportunity to breathe in some toxic lead white paint that I had to sand off. I then repainted with fabulous red paint found in the Lindahl basement. 

This pot rack was purchased new but it was a part of my extra late birthday present from the parents. It was crazy difficult to put together and install, but I succeeded. 

A fabulous garage sale find. I think a dollar? Painted to match the table. Those are some major antique glass spice jars I found in the Lindahl basement as well. 

Courtesy of my Great Aunt Helen, I present antique foil, wax, paper roll dispenser.  

This was my Great Grandmother Ruth's table. I sanded it, stained and varnished it. Fabulous piece.

My thrift store $6 chairs. I reupholstered them from the nasty orange vinyl in their previous life. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Different kind of vacation

I returned safe and sound from my time away in Cali. It was definitely a vacation in the sense that I left life in Abilene, took time off of work, and traveled away. However, it was not the kind of vacation where you spend tons of money, go site seeing, and eat out every meal. My time spent in LA was definitely some of the most eye opening, discouraging and encouraging all at the same time. The society we live in is generally discouraging to think about all the junk that goes on, but then again it was so encouraging to take part in the lifestyle of the Catholic Worker with the general purpose to love people.

I will say that there were three highlights of the trip besides serving at the Hippie Kitchen: 1- matching tattoos with my best friends. That's right I have a permanent, for real tattoo of a bison on my left ankle. Alecia and Shoff have the same tattoo that symbolizes strength and prosperity, a complete way of life and heritage of the state of Kansas. 2- authentic Mexican tamales and champurrado from a random lady on the street. She drives down the street, parks, gets out and yells at the top of her lungs for lucky people like me to purchase amazing food out of the back of her minivan. Definitely passes health department code. 3- walking tour of downtown LA. This tour started with a jaunt through skid row, past some amazing architecture buildings, up many stairs, through the Disney gardens, and complete with a ride on the shortest train in the world.

I still feel like I am trying to sort through all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that I experienced while visiting. Serving homeless people on a daily basis and offering smiles, hellos and free food can put life into a whole different perspective.

One thing that I am struggling with is my place of living. Due to some recent events that drastically change my life in community I am so very uncertain about living in this town of Abilene. It's so crazy how fast life changes and circumstances change. Less than three months ago I was so excited to be moving into the town of Abilene, being closer to friends, and the life that I really thought was growing with purpose there. Today I know there is still great purpose but the difficulties and trials are definitely showing themselves. Such is life, if we were in control of everything and everything went the way we wanted it to, then we would think we were God. I suppose it's a lesson in surrendering my plans for the plans of God. Nonetheless, I'm not sold on my present location and actually have had many thoughts of being elsewhere lately. There's something about hanging out in a giant Victorian mansion for a week with 20ish other people to make living solo seem completely lame!

This weekend I do get to spend time on another little mini vacation. I'm actually house/dog sitting for friends in Manhattan and do count this as a vacation. I think that any time I'm out of the normal house it counts as vacation. I have plans to do lots of sewing with the random free fabric I brought home from work yesterday as well as read several books that I've been carting around. The dogs, Fontella and Fizbo, and I shall take many walks as well and I'm hoping to catch some thrift stores and the farmers' market. That's my agenda for the weekend and stay tuned for some long overdue blogging updates!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Today marks my third day visiting the Los Angeles Catholic Worker house. It has been an amazing experience thus far for many reasons. First, I came here to visit my long lost friends, Alecia and Shoff. Alecia has called this place home since last summer when she came for a four week internship and ended up deciding to stay for two years. Shoffner flew out here from Philly earlier last week for a visit and luckily our visits were able to overlap for just a short while. I love these girls and being with them even for a few short days has been amazing. While we were together we managed to do a few crazy things, one of them being getting matching tatoos!

Life in the Catholic Worker house has been amazing to be a part of. The combined effort and work toward peace and love for all is simply beautiful to see. I've had the opportunity to take part in serving at the Hippie Kitchen and also serving breakfast on the street. There are so many resources in this world and people that need just a little piece of the love.

As I sit in this giant mansion of a house, people are generally milling about, going about their individual tasks yet all intermingling. I love the general hum of activity and knowing that there is always somebody close to talk to or share a cup of tea with. I could definitely get used to this community lifestyle, working together with others to show the love of Christ on a daily basis to those marginalized people of society. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

other side of the fence

Yesterday I had an interesting interaction with our neighbors to the west. There was actually no real interaction but a funny interaction went on in my mind. In order to give you a better picture I'm going to describe this action. You see, the four-plex building that I presently live in faces the east street and directly behind this building is the empty lot that used to have a house on it. This is the space that I am attempting to turn into a garden space, but am presently stuck because I need to find a tiller. Last night as I was out digging away the crabgrass in a certain section beside a fence so I could plant cucumbers, I noticed the neighbors to the direct west in their backyard. I know there are people there and a couple of dogs but I cannot see anything because there is a giant privacy fence. (I could tell you how I feel about privacy fences but perhaps that could wait until a later post.)

As I was down on my hands and knees digging out the grass and putting in some bricks to mark off my space to grow food, I realize that my neighbor is out watering something because there is definitely water trickling down the wooden fence. As I think back, this weekend I did notice people traveling through this empty lot with fresh sod in wheel barrels. After I peered through the slit in the fence I also realized there was pretty green grass surrounding a large cement slab. This memory leads me to realize he is watering his new green grass that offers a nice sponge bed for the dogs that hang out back there.

I just think that it was quite interesting the contrasts on the opposite sides of the fence. Me, trying to grow food and working to get my rain barrel put up so I can trap free water from the sky while my neighbors hide behind their fence, watering their bright green grass. I really need to hurry up and get my kitchen put together so I can get to baking, knock on their door, and ask them to take down the privacy fence. Ha! Well maybe just ask if I can join the sweet patio parties I'm hoping they have? I'll bring the veggies!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Goat Drama

The past several days have been a whirlwind. As I think about all that I have been attempting to accomplish it is quite overwhelming. Hauling furniture, continuing to work on projects for my new home, house/dog sitting for my parents while they're in Portland, planting a garden, and preparing another garden space have all been on my brain's to-do list.

Tonight as I was outside being a pyro burning a brush pile while sanding and spray painting my new bed headboard and frame I kept hearing this annoying goat. The goat kept bellowing loudly and in between bellows was breathing all funny like it was gasping for breath. By the time I actually realized something was probably wrong and went over to see what was going on it was dark. So here I am out wandering around in the dark with a flashlight and realize that this goat has wire wrapped around her neck and leg while her punk pen mates are butting her like she wants to play. Goats are so dumb, seriously. Luckily it wasn't as bad as it could have been and I was able to pry the wire off her neck without needing to get wire cutters and she was freed. This wire issue has been the ridiculous project of my father in attempt to get them used to electric fence. It has obviously not worked.

Tonight I decided it's time for these goats to go. My father certainly does not have time for them and they are long past due to move along. I can't handle goat drama anymore nor do I want to do any more life saving attempts in the dark. I just might have to charge more for this house/dog/goat sitting business and I better be getting a really good present from Portland when they return.