Sunday, April 27, 2008

Trying Something New

I'm now a member of the community, a website devoted to handmade art and art supplies. I thought this would be a great way to market my jewelry and scarves to people who are looking for such items. My address is Stop on by and see what's what. I've only got a few things listed to date, mostly because each listing takes so darned long to enter. A friend told me before I started getting set up that if I list a new item each day, my work will come up at the top of a search page. That sounds good, so I'll pace myself.

I've spent the better part of today tweaking the site, adding a picture here, changing wording there. I can see this being a huge procrastination device if I'm not careful!

New piece soon to be seen on

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Love Is In The Air...

Unrequited plant love, that is. Pollen. Great swirling yellow-green clouds of pine pollen that gets into, and onto, everything. The bane of my (and MarbleMan's) existence at this time every year. I know the pollen you can see is not what causes allergic reaction, but the stuff you can't see that causes my baby blues to itch and swell, and my schnoz to drip like a faulty faucet. I never had allergy issues until we moved South. I vividly remember the first Spring we spent here - I thought I had the flu it was so bad. So while I revel in the burgeoning beauty of early flowers, I pop a Claritin and prepare for the ensuing discomfort. Luckily I only resemble a troll for a week or two.

Pine pollen settles on a puddle surface

The pollen issue has put my outdoor walking plans on hold for the next two weeks. This is a great time to head back to the gym for a walk on the treadmill to nowhere.

The good news is my garden is showing early signs of life after several months of extreme drought conditions. We weren't allowed to water outside at all during this time, and I despaired to see so many plants wither. Thankfully, many seem to be rebounding. Makes me want to go out and frolic!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Incredible Lightness of Being (Bread)

I'm pleased to report The Great Sourdough Debacle is at an end. I went back to the directions that came with the starter, and found I'd been skipping an important step during the feeding process. I'd been giving the starter it's weekly rations of flour and water, then popping it right back into the fridge. I forgot the step of leaving it out for a couple of hours to get good and bubbly. After it has a good burp, then I'm supposed to park it back in the fridge. I fed it several times this week to build it back up again, and... Voila! A couple of gorgeous, light, well-risen loaves. They're baking as I type (Hurry up, hurry up, HURRY UP!). This weekend: sourdough pancakes. How many do you want?

As I made the bread today, I took the time to really enjoy the zen of the process. I made the sponge last night so it could do it's thing. When I woke up, I peeked under the towel and felt thrilled by how much it had grown, and the smell! God, the smell. Pure heaven. Now for the fun part: As I mix in the final ingredients, I watch my new KitchenAid mixer do all that muscle work I used to resent. Technology working for me. Yay! Then, I turn the dough out onto the floured counter and get down to kneading. I love the feel of the dough, silky and elastic, as I turn and press. I know it's alive under my hands - I can see bubbles coming to the surface with each turn. After it's risen and been divided, I pop it into the oven and the exquisite torture of smelling freshly baking bread sets in.

I don't take the time to enjoy getting from Point A to Point B very often. So many things in life are on autopilot these days. I need to remember to find roses on each of life's paths and take the time to smell them. Especially if they smell like bread.