Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A House With No Home

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I know that you all probably want to hear about California, but even thought the good news is that I am now in possession of my mother-in-law's (Thank you Dawn!) old computer, it's still damn near impossible for me to upload photos onto it; and anyway, there are some other things I have to report on before we move onto those golden hills.
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It has been a month of birthdays, and even though nobody got me a giant red rabbit to ride, I was still showered with lovely gifts ranging from hand-crafted baskets to owl mugs, mittens and embroidered asparagus ferns. What luck to have friends who know what you love!
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As I mentioned before, we've traveled far and wide, even before my California sojourn, always on the move, busy with fun things to do.
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It being birthday season last month, we received a wealth of packages and cards, from near and far, California, New Zealand and Finland.
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Missa and Clara (alias Clover, alias Abbi Cadabbi, alias Elmo, alias Kitty...you know the drill) sent me this bundle of birthday goodness.

Check out my new fox shoes. That's right. Fox. Shoes. I wore so many of my goodies to California that you've probably already seen them in action, but you'll be seeing a lot more of those bad boys come spring. Right now it's a little muddy for fox shoes. Or any other shoes for that matter. We're all about rubber boots.
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More goodness from my mom and Teeny, both of whom sent us some awesome woolens. Pretty mittens from my mama and warm booties and a cute hat from Teeny.
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Too bad that I'll mostly be seeing that hat on someone else's head.
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Perhaps that last shot got you wondering where on earth are we now?
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Well, like I said, we're a couple of hoboes at the moment. Besides sleeping in the back of our car, planes, trains and crashing on Missa's couch and relative's guest rooms and loitering at my sister's, we are currently staying at the those lovely next door neighbor's little cob guesthouse and coming home only to cook, feed the animals and gather supplies.

Our little house by the sea, you see is full of toxic mold. As you may remember, last year both C and I suffered a number of different, somewhat inexplicable illnesses. While I was more affected by these health woes, we both felt pretty crappy for most of the year, especially during the rainy season of spring.

It wasn't until my bout with pneumonia that we finally put two and two together and demanded our landlord do something about it. A few expensive test later it became clear that we could no longer continue to spend large amounts of time in this unhealthy structure.
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Enter super-generous new neighbors and now we split our time between their guest house and our home-base, while the landlord figures out how to fix it. Their little house is but a short bike ride away, and we've learned to appreciate our night time and early morning rides and walks together as a natural time for some family togetherness.
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And it doesn't hurt that their little cob is simply adorable, cozy, unadorned and natural, with beautiful flowing lines and details, light and small loft to sleep in like a treehouse.
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Being away from our own abode, as inconvenient as it can be at times, as given us a new appreciation for taking time and not always rushing to complete the numerous chores that are ever-present at the homestead.
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We're studying and doing more crafts, spending time together and even squeezing in a few games of our old favorite, crossword cubes (a scrabble brand game-possibly a failed experiment, but we love it.).
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Oh, and for a while we had this humble decoration of a native-style wood bowl valued at many a thousand dollars and priceless to its owner. I do appreciate the beauty of its presence and that C. was trusted to take care of it. With his carving coming along in strides C. was happy to have it as a model for something he's carving, but man, its made me nervous.
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As I mentioned before, my favorite blond person is back on Island and we've been enjoying hanging out with her, educating her on the joys of Twin Peaks and dressing her like a compound bound wife in some religious cult. The usual, you know.
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Lots cats have been petted by the three of us, you better believe it.

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One of the movies we watched during our time was Taking Woodstock, based on this book and possibly the weakest of Ang Lee's efforts, but still worthwhile for the wardrobe.
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Witness that one girl's hat!
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Mali's been making books and C.'s finished yet another mask, which I'll be posting more about at a later date. Not having a computer on hand has definitely allotted more time for crafty activities, but since it's all about a healthy balance, I'm glad to be back here, sharing stories with all of you.
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I am however happy to announce that in the meantime I did invent the greatest oatmeal of all time:
Steel cut oats for the oat meal
1 -2 soft boiled eggs
apple sauce or some other fruit preserve (our neighbors apple butter in this shot)
seeds and nuts (I use sunflower, flax seed and sprouted almonds)
berry powder (I used some blueberry powder my mom brought but have been experimenting with rosehips and other local berries. This is a really good substitute to vitamin supplements. Pemmican-a native travel food relied partly on berry powders.)
maple syrup
butter
brewer's yeast
pepper and hot sauce (if you prefer those on your eggs)

1.prepare eggs and oatmeal
2. add berry powder and preserves side by side
3. pour a generous helping of maple syrup over the powder
3. cover the oatmeal with seeds and nuts
4. dig a little hole in the middle for the butter.
5.sprinkle lots of brewer's yeast onto the butter
6. pepper your eggs and drizzle on hot sauce then place on opposite side from preserves and berries.
7.take a leap of faith and be prepared to be amazed! (this oat meal is NOT for the faint-of-heart)
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I also started a little something, with my friend Callie, C. and Mali. Idle hands and all that...
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I have a feeling it will grow and make for an exciting adventure.

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Finally, C. and I celebrated our fourth (!) wedding anniversary with a little trip to Seattle, where we rambled around town, ate, drank coffee and saw much native art, including a show of a friend who's and amazing glass artist.

Oh and of course, visited the Filson store, or olden-time-y-outdoorsman-heaven, as I like to call it. Since Filson is an old-fashioned enterprise that actually closes at 5PM, we only had a few minutes in the store and I didn't get pictures of their awesome decor and the workshop that's right at the back of the retail outlet, behind big windows, but I did snap these two fishing beauties from the teens.
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And a men's version of my mother-in-laws coat, now mine and a favorite garment, one that I happened to be wearing on the day (we were both wearing Filsons, in fact.). It garnered an admiring crowd of employees, since it hasn't been in production for years.
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C. of course got a rather dapper little wool vest, which would have been quite the dandy-prized purchase had he not had something to trade in. American labor and quality fabrics and life-time-guarantees sure aren't cheap, but since the coat I have is from the late 60s. early 70s and still looks like new, I think they're rather worth it.
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And my husband does look very smart in them ;)
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So much so that I was almost sad to leave him behind as I headed out to a certain California town the next day.
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I don't fly often, and when I do, I try to savor the magic of it, for it is not a mundane act in the least; strange, uncomfortable, but not mundane.
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For we are defying gravity, seeing things barely two generations of humans have ever seen before us. Living the dreams of billions before them.
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And more magic, surely, lay ahead.

That's all for now folks! But I'll see you soon again.