Sunday, August 28, 2011

How the West was Won, Part One


Hello friends, I am home again. 
I didn't really tell any of you that I was leaving because of that little voice that tells me not to broadcast too much over the internet until it's over... or close to done.  And we are now close to done.. relatively. 

And there is a story to tell.  It will probably take me a few tries and a few parts to tell it.  It involves a cross country trip, an ending and a new beginning and some events that can only be viewed as little miracles.   :::note: 'little' is not to scale:::

.....


Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I loaded our three dogs into my truck along with the basic necessities needed for a two week cross country trip, with plans to go visit my family out in Oregon. Well, Oregon and just across the border in Washington, too.  We would take a week to drive out, stay for a few days, and then get back quickly.  We wanted to take Interstate 90 across, as I80 is just plain boring, and so off we went, early Wednesday morning.  By sunset we were already in Indiana and took turns driving through the night and into morning so we could be across the Mississippi as soon as possible.  Everything really just changes instantly after you cross that River.  It's amazing.





 









Day two brought rolling fields as far as the eye could see speckled with old barns and beautiful farm houses.  I wanted to walk through each one and listen to its stories, hearing the years unfold as I fondled it's weathered frame and painted skin.  I wanted to pick soybeans and smell sunflowers while walking through the waving wheat.  And so we did... collecting treasures as we went.


 


 


 



 Soybean fields are amazing.  They look incredibly soft as they blow and bend in the breeze, flipping their leaves upside down.  Their color patterns shift and spread like the sun tagging the wind on the surface of the ocean, sprinting up and down the fields in green waves.  It's amazing to watch and it eventually called us in.





We picked interesting little plants and flowers to add to our soybean sprout and during our trip we watched this bouquet gain more and more species, and grow and bloom with memories that seemed years gone by, and yet were still as fresh as the smell on a babes head.  It meant something to us.
And life was good.








 We were already in South Dakota as day two came to a close.  We were pretty close to the Badlands, which is where we planned on spending the entire next day, and the sun hadn't set yet, so we drove down some back roads not worried about getting lost, because you just don't worry about things like that when it's so amazingly beautiful out and all you need to do, really, is head west anyway and what's the rush when there is so much beauty everywhere and no where to be.. really.
And life was good.




















We let the dogs out of the car so that they could run and it was amazing to watch them each choose to do something completely different.  Chopper stayed right with us, Riley ran a mile down the road and then wouldn't cross a cattle guard, and Oliver ran for about two miles before he willingly jumped in the truck as we came up on him.  They needed some leg time!  After the run and dinner, we hunkered down for the night and dreamed of the wide open canyons of the badlands and speed goats and nothing but the wind and the earth and the black hills in the distance and Yellowstone not too far after that. 
And life was good.


to be continued...
...
sj*
...


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's good to be busy

It's been nice being back in my studio.   My fingers are remembering how to move again.
Here's a look at four new pieces.  And there is more to come at the end of the week.
First dibs here, and then I'll list them on Etsy.  Send me an email if one of them belongs to you.


:::Charlotte:::
Sterling Silver Cut Out Necklace
16"






:::Bonded:::
Smokey Quartz and Sterling Silver
size 7







:::Shine Your Light:::
Turquoise and Sterling Silver, oxidized
size 7-8







:::Swallowtail:::
Sterling Silver Cutout Necklace
16"




I will be adding these to the Shop through the evening.
Send me an email if one of them needs to belong to you.

Have a lovely evening.

...
sj*
...



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cooking with Karma

There are myriad reasons that I love living in the Hudson Valley of NY.
One of which is the great food and the many forms it comes in.
We have big fancy restaurants, small mom and pops places, little coffee shops,
big bakeries, and best of all, we now have a Tapas Lounge.

I love Tapas most of all.  You see, I believe in the perfect bite.  The amuse bouche.
I want a little bit of every flavor on the plate in one forkful of delicious goodness.
I want a chef that I can trust to not waste one ingredient.  A chef that carefully chooses his
ingredients, flavors and spices so that when my fork grabs a bit of everything and then gently
dips into the sauce on the plate, I know it's all going to work.

And we now have a place in Poughkeepsie that does just that and more.
It is called Karma Lounge and it is a slice of heaven.

::::Let me just mention that I have no affiliation with the place at all...  they didn't ask me to
write this, in fact, I've only just recently met the owners.  I just really love good food, good service, 
 good owners and atmosphere and I like to pass that info along::::





Karma Lounge is on Main Street in Poughkeepsie, NY right near the park with the 
art installations and just up from the train station.

Their menu is creative and sleek, and very well done.  And they serve a full food
and drink menu until 2am every night which is far beyond any even decent eatery around here
except for the diners, and I'm not knocking the diners, but I would rather have  a Duck Crouton
Salad or Asparagus fries and Roasted Rosemary Fingerlings then anything on a diner menu at 1am.




Michael and Sally, the owners, are one of the best things about the place.



They care.  They hang out.  They pay attention.  They love art and it shows in the food,
in the design, in the backyard patio complete with water feature...






Sally is a mixologist and her cocktails are delicious and unique.  From Thai Chili Blood Orange Margaritas to Strawberry Coolers with Jalapeno Simple Syrup and a great wine list too, I am 
always pleased with the selection.  Even if you just want a beer, it comes in a chilled Mason Jar, 
which just makes me feel right at home.   



You can sit and have great service outside on the back patio, inside in the loungey dining room,
complete with big soft chaises and cozy chairs, or even at their amazing bar.
It's big and solid and has enough overhang for your legs to fit comfortably, and the 
hand made copper top is gorgeous and right up my alley! 
Watching it patina is like watching a Guinness settle... mesmerizing.






_______________________ *** _____________________


I do also love cooking at home though, too.  There is nothing like the smell of a house with
comfort food being chopped, stirred, fried, baked, eaten....

Especially breakfast.  Even if it's for dinner, which is my favorite time.




When you cook at home you know that Paprika is the best spice to put on potatoes, and that 
some salsa and cheddar in your eggs is absolutely fantastic with those paprika potatoes
and you can make a whole package of bacon just for one, i mean, two people if you want too.






It's the place where you can eat an avocado right out of the skin while everything is 
cooking and still save some for your salsa eggs because no one is coming around  trying to
take your plate too fast.  It's where the coffee can have as much Bailey's in it as you want
and the Mimosas don't cost $8 each. 













And it's where there is always someone there to get out the metal splinters from when you've
been working so hard. 




 I take food seriously and enjoy what I put into my body.  
It makes me feel good and look good and think good and play good.
And when all of those are good...
life is good.

I hope life is good for you too.

...
sj*
...


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