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my training is progressing nicely. Yoga again today, and some attention paid to diet over the last week.
I spent a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen, allowing my heart to choose ingredients. I made a lovely pot of greens and beef enough to last for three days. And I can wait patiently to try this winter pickle, with onions, yellow beet, and dried nettle. In a hot pepper brine reused from a friend’s pickle that I was saving.

winter pickle

There hasn’t been much stitching going on, but lots of play, lots of dance, and good company this week!

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well, golly I think it has. Must be time to post to the blog. I actually have this task on a list for the weekend. I don’t know how many times I have come out to the computer to post and gotten distracted, and then gotten distracted from that… and so on. Do it, now, Bramble.

Nothing like the smell of fermenting cabbage to let you know it’s a good day.
nothing so beautiful as a bowl of wilted greens
Our local farmer’s market has started up and I bought everything for making kim chee, baby bok choy, daikon radish (I use the greens in the ferment, too), garlic, green onions. The ginger, salt, and chiles needed had to come from offsite, but it’s going on now. I could make up a gallon a week and then have some for a few months! Oh heaven.
Speaking of local, last night’s dinner was comprised of food that was almost all grown or at least processed in this region. flour, olive oil, and vinegar were the only imported items. Wild caught salmon, salad greens, potatoes, blackberry vinagrette, locally baked bread. I’m no foodie, but, damn that was good.

Alice knocked me out with her combinations of knitted textures today.
knitted textures
I made the shawl but not the sweater.

I love wool! I love wool! I love wool!
There, I’ve said it.

Speaking of wool, I have been knitting knitting socks. The end is in sight on this pair of socks for a swap, and it needs to be. I got my partner’s socks in the mail Friday, so now I feel abashed. I can’t show a picture of my knitting til I get them sent, I suppose, although I said right out what I making several posts back. let it suffice to say that I am extremely happy with the progress, late-ish though it may be.

Thursday I wrote a bunch of notes for a blog entry and then scrapped them as being too self-deprecating. Worth keeping is the clarification of the aesthetic that inspires me/I am striving for. It went something like “organic outcroppings from structured technique.”
Look at kjoo’s shop for example.
My work seems flat, but I think it because I have looked at it way too much. Plus, it is a bit flat.
I am praying to break through my aversion to trading my work for money. What’s up with that? I am sure I subvert my success by being unable to imagine myself succeeding.
Wow, that’s profound.
It’s okay if people pay people to make what they do not! Or more specifically, if I am one of the people that gets paid!
Anyhoo, my problem is really that I imagine myself successful in an entirely different economic paradigm, and I need to get out of my hobbit hole and rewild the world I live in.
Which is, incidentally, what I am already doing. :)

It’s my sabbath, and I have been in the moment all day. On my sabbath, I take a break from Time, not from work…
I thought I would offer up this up for today’s entry.

This is one of my favorite passages in any book. (Let it be known, I really don’t read fiction. I pretty much read my same old reference books over and over.) In this case, the book is Carla Emery‘s Encyclopedia of Country Living.
This bit is about food and growing it, but one could be creative and apply these thoughts to other areas of life perhaps.

“The wonderful magic at the heart of a food-growing household is the magic that turns your home-produced turnips and cream, apples and meat into your meals. The moment of triumph is when you say to the family, “Here’s what we worked so hard to grow, and isn’t it good!” I think you cook most happily, freely, and independently when you make good things out of what Providence is giving you!
Lane Morgan, author of the Winter Harvest Cookbook (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1990), says, ‘I agree entirely that cooks are spending too much money at the supermarket and at the gourmet supply store. But I think we would profit by spending more time looking at cuisines of other cultures, to help us better use what our particular gardens can grow. Country people around here will eat canned green beans and carrots all winter, which are considerable work to put up, because that’s good Amereican garden food. Meanwhile they could be eating fresh kale and leeks and Japanese mustards from that same garden, which would be tastier, more nutritious, and easier all around, but they don’t because that’s foreign stuff and they don’t know the Greek or Indian or Japanese techniques to make them wonderful. They’ll make clam dip from a package, but they wouldn’t consider an Indian chutney made of garden mint and chutney, served with garden spinach and potatoes. Too strange.’
Making menus out of what you can grow is the way that Great-Grandmother did it. Each week she looked in the larder and the cellar and took a walk through the garden to see what she had to work with. Then she made menus. When she had eggs and milk aplenty, a little honey and some stale bread, the family had a bread pudding. In May she served rhubarb in it, in June strawberries over it, and in September peaches — because that’s the way they grew.
To have 365 days of independent eating, you’ve got to learn to eat what you can grow, and you’ve got to learn to grow what you want to eat. At first it will be hard, but stick to it. If you don’t like what you have, eat it anyway and use the energy of your distaste to figure how to get what you’ll like better. If your only meat is elk, eat elk until you can raise something else. If you miss bacon, get four little pigs. In six months, they’ll be 200-pounders. and you’ll have a year’s supply of bacon plus a sow to breed and keep the bacon coming. If you’re still living in the city and you don’t have anything but dreams, try for fun buying only what you imagine you could grow — in a natural, unprocessed state — like whole grains, and see if you can learn to live off it.
When lettuce is in season, have a salad every day — you can’t preserve it. If you miss it in the off-season, contrive a way to raise winter lettuce in the house. If you miss sweets, learn beekeeping. If you have barley and corn, make your bread, pancakes, and pie crust out of barley floour, cornmeal crust, and a bear-meat filling. If you have some tough old hens past their laying time, 3 extra male goats, and 100 rabbits, then learn good ways to cook tough old hens, goat meat, and rabbit.”

for the record, I don’t like turnips, I have eaten bear meat (and it is good), and I am so not there yet.

It is spring break, which means that Opal is home with us all this week. Alice, of course, has scrubbing vacation every day, smart girl that she is. (Oh, okay, O’s smart too, she needs public school and she knew it before I did…)
It does mean a higher noise level for sure, what with the constant litany of book and movie plots, dream details, and just general O drama. Not to mention her penchant for music. We have been on a Magical Mystery Tour for a while now. And when the tour bus has to stop for gas, we switch to Marit Bergman, the Ramones, Yma Sumac, Mary Poppins, Deanta‘s rendition of Willie Taylor (scroll down to read the lyrics…) For the most part, I like the child’s musical taste. Alice on the other hand does not.
So, what about it? There have been a few good homeschool moments in the last couple days… Alice wanting a quick fiber project in which to channel her enthusiasm for color (see photo below), Opal learning a bit about pattern drafting (for use in future doll clothes), as well as whipping up a nice if slightly lumpy crepe batter this morning (infinitely expandable ratio: 1 cup flour to 1 cup milk to 4 eggs with a bit of salt and oil thrown in for good measure, let sit for at least 15 minutes). Plus the kid learned how to use the washer finally and did two loads of laundry!
here’s A’s pillow:
alices first log cabin
It’s stuffed with some fleece that felted in the degreasing. (Future pillows will be stuffed with the washed and cut-up “skins” of thrifted plushies, left over from the girls’ brief project, “Animal Rescue Plushie Purses and Packs.”)
The girls’ favorite websites are also worth mentioning. Opal spends a lot of time at Spatulatta, which is a cooking site for kids. (She learned how to separate eggs from one of the videos. We had to make cake to practice this skill, only when you haven’t an oven the cooking of cake gets a bit tricky. We ended up steaming cupcakes in the rice cooker.)
and then there’s MuseBlog for Alice, the writer in the family. MuseBlog is for fans of the great magazine, Muse, which is absolutely A’s fave mag. A joint publication of Smithsonian and Carus Publishing (think Cricket magazine). We had a sub to this for one year and the girls have read those 6 issues (or whatever) so many times. Anyhow, MuseBlog is the ultimate answer to a 13-year-old’s search for a suitable internet forum. Bravo!

‘kay, that’s all for one night. I promise you some non-kid content the next time.