Saturday, March 30, 2013

SOFT KITTY, WARM KITTY, LITTLE BALL OF FUR

HAPPY KITTY, SLEEPY KITTY, PURR PURR PURR

here is an example of a wonderful friend: the one who knows you like cats and want one so badly that she invites you over while she’s cat sitting so you can take pictures. This crazy feline is a Bengal!?! (found on craiglist none the less) and is the sweetest most cuddliest most adorable cat in the whole world (it even comes when called by name). We rudely awakened her nap under the bed to play with her. She’s like a tiny cheetah.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CARROTS for your HEART

 

So lately I’ve been spending time with one of my best gal friends Anne and she has inspired me to be eating better. I mean, it’s a stretch but we’ll see how it goes. So I kicked soda about two weeks ago.  I had mean insane cravings for Coke and Dr. Pepper since it was my habit to throw one in my purse for lunch at work. Then it got better in week two after we bypassed a few caffeine headaches. It made me crave fruit over sugary desserts. We’ll see if my non-disciplined self can keep it up. ( And there’s no way on God’s green earth that I’d give up coffee so we’ll just take it in baby steps with caffeine).

Anne and I have been meeting at whole foods to take advantage of their hot food/sandwiches/salad bar and sushi for dinner. Ever since going for the first time to the Charleston one, I’ve been obsessed with that store. Heaven forbid I go hungry because my starving self would buy way to much and it ain’t cheap. That’s the downside of eating healthy….realistically you can’t go nuts because it’s just to expensive.

Anyways we like to wander the store and explore the strange items, perchance the 79 dollars-a-pound woodland mushrooms to the fancy pastry flours and coconut whey.

Charley and I have always preferred fresh produce over frozen and canned anyways..but it’s been fun to try new foods that have great benefits that I had never even heard of.

However there were two things that kept being recommended by various friends that were on my NEVER EAT list. Reason being I worked in our college cafeteria for 5 years and you learned to survive to avoid certain things. For instance our salad bar was a constant battle between multiple workers who seemingly had no idea what rotten food looked like. During prep they’d chop all new toppings and fit them right on top of the old ones in the containers. You’d get your plastic wear with sludgy moldy vegetable goo on the bottom mixed in with the good stuff and poured right into the Bar. The desserts: woebegone dry aliens with condensation on the top because they’d been in the refrigerator for a month and a day. Added to my list were two other foods I labeled non-foods.

TOFU: collected in a watery tasteless mass in a bin on the salad bar. I always just assumed it was inedible based on it’s appearance of having wet itself.

KALE: not the edible portion of the salad bar, Our cafeteria used it as homage to 60’s d├ęcor. It bordered our salad containers to add color and keep the cooler cleaner. Each night I would wash bits of salad dressing and condiments off of it and put it away for the night. It lasted for weeks…and even when it got old you could shock it from hot to cold water and the color and life would return. Surely this decoration could not be edible!?

It’s been hard to shake my preconceived opinions…but low and behold they’re edible!? not only that, tasty!? I’ve been missing out…not that I’d have known how to cook them without a little help anyways. YES I’m like the kid who finally tried his peas and realized they weren’t so bad to begin with.

So tonight for dinner I pan fried some tofu in a little oil, garlic and red pepper. Threw in some carrots, kale teriyaki sauce and honey whiskey and beef stock and let it get soft >>> Plopped it on some sushi rice and took it’s picture while it got cold and then charley had to microwave it. (his mean wife thwarted him getting a hot dinner because she got all camera happy).  We ate it with the spicy kale salad with lima beans and red onion and mushroom (leftover from whole foods).

oh and I happened to see the heart carrots on pinterest this morning and thought they would be annoyingly lovey-dovey to serve to charley who could care less if I had carved each one into a unicorn.

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Then I took pictures of eggs. because eggs is just eggs and dem good ol eggs. Actually I just wanted to practice with modeling light and moving it all around and keeping the subtle tone instead of overexposing stuff like usual.

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TINY TINY PAINTINGS

 

Nothing like a freezing Tuesday to trap you inside and hunker you down to projects. Really, can it be spring yet? I decided that instead of trying to finish stretching my big canvases while it’s cold out, I’d go small. Tiny paintings for  a tiny gallery for a tiny art auction. Their terribly terrific tiny selves make smile simply because anything tiny is like 95 times cuter than the real version. Case in point, puppies, kittens, need I say more?

Also since I haven’t been painting much, this was a much needed kick to get back into the paint. I’d forgotten how relaxing it is…until I got fed up from painting so tiny with little dabs. My non time oriented self decided that I could whip these out like fast food burgers, fast and fatty. WRONG. I’m so slow.

Someone asked me “hey, I’d like like 3 or 5 of those” and I saw the flaw of my plan. Most people would want to group the tiny things. Hopefully I’ll just get faster so that phrase won’t be so intimidating!  I guess I should take it as a compliment that people think I can whip these out as easy as breathing…but reality people, reality.

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So here’s the thing. I have a friend trying to work overseas this summer in South Asia. She’s going to be helping teach children in an orphanage. I’d love to paint you something specific or sell you one of the tiny paintings with the profits going toward her trip. (hence, tiny auction).

SO:

  1. tiny cheerful art
  2. pocket sized for your convenience  (in the words of Mushu)
  3. goes to a good cause

 

Add one to your cubical? refrigerator? locker? tiny awkward walls? dollhouse? Do I sound like an Info Commercial?

Just contact me (see sidebar on right) or leave a message in the comments. I will sell to the highest bidder since they’re for charity. Smallest squares are 2x2inches. Small rectangles are 2x3 inches. Larger panels are 8x12inches.

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I’m still finishing up some and I’ll be adding more, so keep checking back.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

HAZE AND SMOKE

 

We decided that we should commemorate Bruno by doing what Bruno loved best: Eating.

What's not to love about a little back yard campfire and a steak? We through some turnips, butter and onions and herbs into some tinfoil and enjoyed a few baby greens and vinegrette on the side. Charley brought us some hazelnut gelato from work yesterday too. It was a nice little break to spend with my husband whom I see like once a month because the restaurant makes him so tired.

…and of course Juneau was ever so thrilled that we were dining out with her on her turf. She makes an excellent pillow for lounging in the grass. Charley and I took turns giving her little bits of steak. Spoiled pup, but we felt especially appreciative of having her for a pet today. We stayed out well into dark not saying much, just enjoying the fading embers.

 

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REST IN PEACE BRUNO

Today was the farewell of our little spiny friend, Brunelleschi the hedgehog (Bruno). He’s been a really great pet. He was interesting, adorable and incredibly low maintenance. Unfortunately because of inbreeding, pet hedgies are prone to cancer and tumors. The little guy got a really nasty tumor on his tail a month ago and had surgery. We thought he was going to be alright and was doing really well with recovery. I kept him really clean and came home on lunch breaks to check on him and give  him medicine.

But then only two weeks later he had another tumor develop in his stomach. He lost a lot of weight and wasn’t interested in eating. Today we went to check on him and he refused to eat/drink entirely and was shuddering from the pain. It had grown almost overnight and was the same size as his  head. His doctor was out of town but we knew  scheduled surgery for Wednesday was out of question. Thankfully Charley had today off and we could talk to our other doctor together. Since he was in so much pain and there was no hope for successful surgery, we put him down. It was really sad to see him suffering so much in his final hour.

He lived a pretty long life for a hedgehog and while he wasn’t particularly affectionate, he liked Charley a lot. He would uncurl and be comfortable with him whereas he was rather grumpy and unforgiving to the rest of the human race. He brought many smiles to some of the kids he’s met when I brought him to work. He was little man’s favorite thing to ask about and look at on my phone (the kiddo I nannied).

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We will miss him a lot…as our house is pretty full of Bruno. There’s the giant poster print of him in our living room and a lovely little print from yellow brick home in our bookcase. He is even the opening photo for my photography webpage. He was our “first child” as married people and definitely a part of our little family.

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