Team Madeline

I'm gearing up for the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Walk again.  The walk will be held May 2 and we'll be walking around Lake Calhoun.  It was mighty cold and windy last year but we raised a lot of money for CF so it was well worth it.  

Huge breakthroughs are being made right now with CF research.  Clinical trials are in the second phase for a drug that actually addresses the underlying genetic cause of CF-very exciting.  Recently, the CFF helped to develop new specialized antibiotics, and they are also working on a new pancreatic enzyme therapy.  Let's make sure that scientists can keep moving ahead with this research and make CF stand for Cure Found.  Let's not let the recession affect the CFF, they rely on these walks to pay for the research.

As you remember, my niece Madeline was diagnosed with CF just a  couple of days after she was born in 2008.  She's doing great thanks to the specialized antibiotics for CF patients, her vest which she puts on twice a day for chest therapy, and the enzymes she takes before each meal.  She's a cute and happy little girl!

To donate to Team Madeline please go to my Great Strides page:

Thank you for your donation!


Milk and Coffee

Getting the boy to eat is very interesting.  After a visit to my parents' house, I discovered something he WILL eat, almost always.  Bread and butter.  Wow!  What a revelation.  That classic combo reminds me of one of my favorite scenes of one of my favorite shows.  I love Curb.  This youtube link is too long, the milk and coffee part is like the last 10 seconds.  It's worth it.
We are netflixing again and I have all the curbs on my queue intermixed with other "flix" like this one from last night, Let the Right One In, a swedish vampire movie.  Yes, you heard that right.  It was quite great.  Think of it like Fanny and Alexander meets Interview with a Vampire.  It was very touching with the right amount of blood (that's weird to type) and fantasy- for me anyhow.  Those Swedes really know how to do it.  Time and time again I'm drawn to things only to realize that they are Swedish.  Like this and this.  I love swedes.

Enjoy the links!


Chiles are Good

On the farm, we became obsessed with chile peppers.  We grew quite a few heirloom varieties, sold some of them and sent some in CSA boxes.  Once we even smuggled a variety of varieties in from Oaxaca and saved their seeds (which worked!).  We grew so many hot peppers that we usually just left them on the plants to dry up, I mean, we're talking like 100 plants of just the hot ones.  It seemed wasteful but we just couldn't stop growing them until one year I had an incredible idea to make hot sauce.  Over the next two growing seasons I think we bottled and sold about 400 bottles.  Our most popular being the garlic-thai blend.  It was a good start to a little value-added product (value-added is farm-speak for a processed version of your farm's raw product).  I sold all of our empty bottles at a garage sale before we moved into "the cites" which is unfortunate because I'm considering making more this upcoming season to sell at the Farmers' Market with my friend Sarah along with some other stuff.

Anyway, I used some delicious heirloom green chile powder tonight that I picked up in NM at the park ranger station near the petroglyphs.  It tastes really sweet (they roasted the chiles first) and has just a hint of hot.  I cooked it up with some carrots, celery, cabbage, garlic, and onions. It was quite tasty and made these non-Mexican type veggies suitable to accompany mexican rice and refried beans.  The powder is from the Native Seed Search non-profit.  We've been getting their catalog but I hadn't ordered anything.  They specialize in desert compatible seeds -things native to that part of the country.  I also bought some blue corn and amaranth baking mix, heirloom beans, and a red "hatch" chile powder.  Our lone souvenirs were food, of course.  


Little Accordions

These aren't in my shop yet, but I thought I would take a few snapshots of these little guys that I've been working on. Each one is made of six 2" squares. I think they'll be good easter basket stuffers.  I've been drinking coffee (and cocoa) too late in the day so I've been staying up working on stuff. I'm just so tired the next day...and then I start all over again. I think I'm chronically overtired. Is that a thing? I haven't slept well since before we left for our trip: worrying about the trip, craziness during the trip, worrying FGH will have another febrile seizure and checking on him every two seconds during the night... He seems to be doing better so I hope I sleep well tonight. I need it. I guess nobody gets enough sleep so I should just shut up.


Sucky Economy

I'm so depressed.  I've had enough.  I've been trying to pretend that this economy isn't all that bad, it's just a bunch of media hype, but really, it sucks. I know too many people that have been laid off or have suffered pay cuts. This morning, someone knocked on our door to tell us our house is in foreclosure. True, we are renters so it's not really a call for alarm since we'll just find somewhere else to go, but I feel bad that it's happening. Our landlord is a nice guy and times are obviously tough for him. It's kinda fun to look for a new place so I stumbled right over to the internet. At first I was excited to see so many places on craigslist to be rented, but then I realized that behind many of those houses were foreclosures or some other desperate situation. Blarf! Other bad signs of these glum times:
1. We are selling our veggie-hauling van for $1000. That's so cheap.
2. I went shopping at goodwill for a coffee maker...they wanted $10. What!?! It probably didn't even work.
3. I hesitated spending $.49 for something.
4. I'm having a hard time finding any sort of job.
5. I'm getting 40% off coupons from various retail giants.
6. What else are you noticing?
I just have this bad feeling that things will be dull for awhile (how long?). I guess they will get better eventually. It's just a bit awkward when I sit in my studio thinking of what direction this whole book-binding thingy is going to go right now.
SOOOO...chocolate is the answer.
After FGH was tucked into bed I needed chocolate. We were out. I made some hot cocoa on the stove and as I was sprinkling the cocoa into the pan I decided to just dump the remainder of the jar into the hot milk. Giggity. Chocolate really helps.

Oh, and I'm working on some every-so-dainty little accordian-style books. The obsession continues. Photos tomorrow perhaps.


New Mexico!

FGH at the Albuquerque Art and Culture Museum (I think that's what it's called...I'm very sleep deprived).

We made it.  Wow.  Four flights with a 12 month old.  Eating out constantly.  Wow.  There were great points of our trip and low points as well, but one thing is  certain; we learned a lot about traveling with kids!  
High point: Hiking around the Tent Rocks Nat'l monument near some Pueblos between Albuquerque and Santa Fe in gorgeous 74 degree sunny weather.
Low Point:  FGH got sick on Thursday (but is on the mend now).  
Best Food:  San Pasquel's in Santa Fe.  Perhaps the best food I've ever eaten...and I've eaten a lot.
Worst Food:  Breakfast in the Albuquerque airport.  The gluten-free option was the grossest eggs ever...I'll stick with fruit, please.
Biggest Surprise:  The Aquarium in ABQ was very fun for all three of us.
Best Travel Gadget:  The tomtom saved us many times.
Sum it up:  New Mexico is a great place to travel, especially with kids.  I will return.


Out and About

I'm sitting around playing with books and the internet despite the fact that we are leaving for the airport in the morning.  It has been much too long since we've traveled and we have planned the heck out of this trip.  A great deal of planning will make the trip go smoothly, but I'm afraid we left little to be discovered once we get there...darn this world wide web and all of it's google earth images.  Since we've been packed for two days we took off for a day trip today.  We saw Peter's Grandparents' former hometown of Lindstrom and the surrounding area.  The river is gorgeous and I want to move there...so now our plan is to look for work/home somewhere between Winona and Taylor's Falls preferably around Stillwater because their co-op is AWESOME.  Granted, our life plan changes about every 4 days, but it's nice to pretend that we know what will happen in a couple years.
I added a few more books to my shop tonight.  I am obsessing about the accordion style books and have about a million more ideas of weird sculptural books to make.  My studio is a disaster.