Friday, August 29, 2014

This is What Camping Food Prep Looks Like

This is what Tammy camping food prep looks like. I’ve got 2 or 3 meals of pasta salad – which will be eaten first since it has cheese in it, a couple meals of tofu and cous cous, granola/juice/fruit for breakfast, these snack bars that I made and then more snacks and peanut butter (always great for the last day) in the bag.

It takes a lot of time to prepare for camping. Sometimes while I am doing it I ask myself, “Why do I camp?” But I prepare all my meals before I go, so once I’m there it’s done and it’s magnificent. Today was nice as I originally thought I’d be leaving today, but now I’m leaving tomorrow so I had the whole day to prepare without feeling rushed (#1).

The reason I’m leaving tomorrow is after at least four years of recruitment, I finally got a friend to go attend the Labor Day music festival that I love. It’s been raining off and on all day, so I’m actually glad we decided to leave tomorrow anyway.

I went back and forth to the garden to get cherry tomatoes, an heirloom tomato, green peppers, green onions, parsley and basil all fresh available and ready to fuel camping (#2). And the rain always seemed to let up when I was ready for another ingredient.

Similarly, I told myself I would bike to yoga this AM rain or shine, but I didn’t have to test whether I meant it. It wasn’t raining when I woke up so it was easier to motivate myself to go. Though it started thundering not too long after I came back. I hadn’t been to one of Sheila’s classes all summer and I really enjoy her as a teacher (#3).

Every once in a while I get on a children’s lit kick. The last couple times at the library I searched for Newbery award winning books that were currently on the shelf. Yesterday I started, and today finished, one called Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. It is a historical fiction book that takes place in Oklahoma during the dust bowl and the whole thing is written in poems. I was skeptical, but I started reading it during dinner last night and finished at least half in one sitting. The author does an exceptional job of drawing me into the thirst for the rain and the dust everywhere. I especially love the way she describes the rain on p. 177. (#4)

I was looking for a Wendell Berry poem in an old journal. Then I started looking through the journal. . I wrote in journals for over six years before I ever put an image in one. The journal I was looking through is when I began to mix up images with words. Now, over 10 years later, I can see how an image can capture something in a way that words can’t. This drawing brings me back to a very special day, unclouded by the interpretation that words would have provided. I haven't taken the time to do that for years, I’m glad that day I did (#5).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh Pickle Relish

#1 –I’d like to have some sort of creative default word that comes out of my mouth when something unexpected goes wrong or I get hurt. But it’s a standard swear word that holds the spot in my brain. Today, in the children’s section of the library I heard another version. The volunteer replacing books on the shelf exclaimed, “OH PICKLE RELISH!” when part of her stack hit the floor. I looked over to see if she was joking, but she was seriously upset.

#2 – “Help! I’m Trapped Under Sidewalk,” written with chalk at the foot of the library doors.

#3 – The effortless and silent way my 5 year old friend's hand, slipped into mine, as we began walking home from the beach.

#4 – The echo of my flip flops off the wall of a short pedestrian tunnel.

#5 –

You know how to get what you love?

Love what you have.

Monday, August 18, 2014

There is Still Some Time

This is beautiful.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wild River

#1 - I didn't have any exercise planned today and then I got an email asking me to sub on a soccer team tonight. Perfect! Especially since I missed my usual game on Sunday. I was coming back from camping at Wild River State Park (where all these photos were taken) and I had the opportunity to try rock climbing outdoors. I didn't realize how long it takes to set-up etc. It makes perfect sense, I'd just never really thought about it.

#2 - My adventure-some brother. Instead of driving somewhere to swim, he has started swimming in the lake near his home, which does not have a swimming area.

Last summer my friend and I used his kayak so I could go on a longer swim while she kayaked beside me. We've wanted to do that again this year and I was trying to arrange for this Sunday afternoon. The kayak is free and my friend is free, but my brother has plans with his car (which has the kayak carrier). I was planning to go to a nearby lake with an official swimming area but my friend was eager to try the kayak trailer. So I guess we are walking to the nearby lake, which slightly sketches me out, and I certainly wouldn't even try if my brother hadn't already multiple times.

#3 - I also found a friend (the kayak friend) to go to a play with me.

"TigerLion Arts presents Nature, the mythic telling of Emerson and Thoreau’s mutual love affair with the natural world."

I saw their production of "The Buddha Prince" a long time ago at a park in Minneapolis. It was a tale about the life of the Dalai Lama, which in itself is enough to make me love it, but it was also done outdoors and "walking". We moved to different locations as a cast and audience. I'd never seen a play like that before and I immensely enjoyed it. This play will have a similar format and I would like to learn more about Emerson and Thoreau anyway.

I was happy to go alone, but I'm glad I thought to ask this friend as she sounds excited too.

#4 - "Think small," the classic thing I say to myself when I'm not coming up with more gratitudes. Then I went out to the garden and saw the beginnings of my first cantaloupe. This is as far as I've grown a cantaloupe (well the sun, rain and soil do all the growing - I just offer a little bunny protection.)

#5 - Speaking of bunnies, my meals have felt a little lonely today. Most often when I'm eating out back, one or more of the bunnies is also chomping in view. Today none were to be seen. I was pretty sure mamma was still around though. Then I went back inside to get more of my dinner and she appeared. She did seem a bit more skittish as she completely left the area when I got up to take a photo in the garden. I don't think she used to do that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I brought my lunch and a book into the backyard. I was thinking about how the character in my book was made aware of danger by the actions of birds. How cool would it to notice if something was different from them? Right after I thought this I looked up and asked, “What is going on?” There was quite a cacophony of birds, making noises such as I had never heard before. One of them literally sounded like a warning siren. Rrrrrrr. RRRRRrrrrrr.

Then I spotted it. Sitting on the lowest power line nearby, yet until it moved, difficult to see – a hawk.

“Oh they WERE sounding the alarm!” They continued to sound it for quite some time, though the hawk seemed more concerned with preening his/her feathers than lunch.

There is a mother and 2 or 3 baby bunnies that hang out in the yard quite a bit. Well, it looks like hanging out, but rather sustain themselves with clover and occasionally things in my garden. Some they leave alone, some I gave up on completely, and some I tried to protect with netting.

While eating breakfast one day, mama bunny came so close to me I could have easily reached out my hand to touch her. When she moved within a foot of my bare feet, I instinctively flinched and she hopped off. Maybe she was trying to endear herself to me (which she did) so that I didn’t get too upset with her pesky children. “You’re lucky I like your mother,” I said to them at least once while I chased them out of the garden.

“You might not like this but the little bunnies are gone,” my father said to me when I told him about the hawk out back.

“How do you know?”

“I saw a hawk get one the other day, and I haven’t seen the little bunnies around.”

Hmm. Well, maybe my cantaloupe is safe now. I had just taken the netting off them last Thursday because they didn’t have room to grow and that very night the bunnies went to work on it.

I saw mamma bunny this morning scurrying across the neighbor’s lawn. It’s funny - I did notice it as odd. I think the bunnies are so used to being safe here they move pretty slowly. I wonder if she knows her young are gone? I wonder if she cares? I wonder if she regrets teaching them to be so easygoing, not on guard all the time? They were always more skittish than her, but still showing by example that there is little to fear. All that work getting them going in life and then… They all hang out in the same area, so she must at least be aware.

Despite my empathy for the bunnies, I’m also grateful for the “natural pest” control, the bunny population stabilization, and for hawks which seem to have healthier numbers than when I was child. The beauty of the predator.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sweetly in the Night

#1 - How I felt when I woke up this morning - which I couldn't express, so I picked up the guitar and attempted to. It came pretty fast and easy after not writing anything for a couple months. Creativity is mysterious that way. So this is a draft - but the point is not to share a finished song, but to share my gratitude for creation.

#2 - I emailed a guy I met recently. We both agreed there wasn't any mutual chemistry, however he's a more advanced guitar player, so I said I might consult him for future chords suggestions. I emailed him today about the bridge on this one and he just wrote back, so I'll play if that makes it better.

#3 - I went to my National Night Out block party (which scares me as I don't know anyone well and it's a social thing). Just like last year it was completely fine and I enjoyed myself. There was an interesting discussion about living in/visiting the Middle East and also a peek inside the surface of my neighbor's life.

#4 - I made my item (Thai Noodle Salad with Green Beans) for the potluck last night so I wasn't in a hurry today.

#5 - The first 3 times I tried to upload the video to this it didn't work. I almost gave up.