Monday, April 26, 2010

quote tree

i just finished a project that makes fun entryway decor for guests and it's free! all you need:

cut branches, various lengths in bundles (curly willow is great)
smaller sticks (vintage paint brushes also work well)
3" green irridescent wired ribbon
metallic thread, natural fibers/yarn
old scarves
clear glass beads

cut 12-17 leaf patterns from various textured papers. write a favorite quote on each. can be a theme or leave blank for guests to write on/add. (i chose st. john of the cross and another poet i pulled at random from a shelf while waiting for my viola buddies at coffee cottage--if you find the book he's quite good, this d.d. which is all i remember but i'm giving him credit!) paper punch and thread.

cover smaller sticks with wired ribbon, assembling 3-5 leaf mobiles which can be wrapped into the larger branches with scarves. counterbalance as needed with beads & embellish at will.

i staggered my "trees" up the stair railing to the loft, but they could be bunched in a pot or even creatively attached to a coatrack. a whimsical "welcome" that brings the outside in!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

farm to fork renewal

yesterday was a good day because i learned so many new things! concepts, words, and facts...watching "food, inc." for the first time was hard, but very informative. this was followed by a short film on the history of milk and a documentary on dirt. (yes, dirt.) the timing was great too, just having attended the local food meet.

the movie shows how farmers, no longer allowed to save natural seed for new crops, are losing their fields to large industrial corporations who genetically engineer our food. chickens are being "grown" in less than half the time they should be and modified to produce more meat=more money in ways that are unhealthy not only for them, but for the land and us as well. most companies declined interviews for the documentary.

it wasn't all bad news. i learned about how alive dirt is on a molecular level and how it is the very foundation of our lives, even to a spiritual level. i've never been a "tree hugger" or anything per se, so it's hard to explain just why this is all so exciting to me. but, in pursuit of health, it seems an integrous plan to steward the earth by consuming food that energizes us to be our best. healthier food options only seem more expensive because of convenience and apparent "low expense" of fast food. i used to think i couldn't afford to eat well. now i know i can't afford not to.

the mass-produced way can end up costing us more in medical bills and prescriptions. (pay the grocer now or the doctor later). what was sad, however, was to see that many people/different demographics truly are stuck in a vicious cycle, having to make a choice between their diabetic medicine OR healthy food. with more organic choices, the consumer really does have power and can bring back a more cost effective and widely accessible "farm to fork" system (also the name of a really great local restaurant.)

at the end of the shows, i grabbed my concordance and it just happened to open to the word "renewal". the only thing i could think of at midnight that might help? starting a small bucket for kitchen compost. i'm looking forward to the new heaven and new earth of course. but in the meantime renewal here, even in small things, seems worth it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the dirt on food meets

coming from a long line of pastors, teachers and farmers, i can't help but notice that three professions have the act of "cultivation" in common. no wonder i get so excited about people's spiritual journeys and adventures in learning. i also love to cultivate the land.

now i wish i'd paid more attention when i was growing up. seriously, my parents were "green" and "organic" long before it was cool to be that way. we've had gardens ever since i can remember. composted. bought in bulk. bob's red mill was our mascot. oh, and made our own yogurt and experimented with textured vegetable protein. i can live without that last one, but now that i'm older and live in prime farming community with like-minded friends and neighbors, i see what valuable experiences these were. how much i have to learn!

"raise chickens, keep bees, learn to can, drive a tractor and practice espalier tree techniques" are freshly-written on my bucket list. and, tonight's newberg food meet taught me almost everything i need to know about each one of them (except for john deer). my friend kristen gave a talk on chickens within the city limits. canning tips with lacey. maybe i'll even audit dan's earth-keeping class.

i never thought i'd say this, but joining a food co-op sounds fun. and my goal for the end of may is to put in a french intensive layered garden. but first, i'm going to watch "dirt: the movie" a documentary about soil around the world from the perspective of scientists and farmers.

i'll be hitting up coffee shops alright, but for nitrogen-rich grounds, not just lattes. and, if you need me for anything, you'll find me out back with my overalls on.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

symphony in D

what do you plan to do with
victory when it calls you into
a great lesson?

sooner or later, as sibelius knew,
sudden flares invite happiness;
a procession of messengers
marching in an otherwise
indigo night

and, tears cold upon your dream,
you discover smiling as
more than finale

waking your bones to win
this world's broken trick of light

Friday, April 9, 2010

like dough, rising

as counter-intuitive as it sounds, i bake bread when i'm exhausted. on purpose. something about how long it takes and that yeast actually works somehow relaxes me.

the week following good friday and easter is my time of year to most identify with weakness and the inability to do things on my own strength. the creative output leaves me feeling as empty as the tomb itself. but ironically, just when i feel most flattened, more demands seem to come my way.

i am reminded that the forty days after easter, however, was a time of rich teaching; words about God's kingdom that we don't even have written down for us. add to that the ascension and the disciples' patient waiting...voila: fifty days to pentecost.

yeast works quietly. a little kneading goes a long way. and it has to be covered, hidden out of the way. this fresh loaf of bread lets me know that i will be ok. that we too will rise.