Monday, November 29, 2010

Home for now...

We are homeless for about two weeks, and during this time we are staying in our friend's spare bedroom.

Home for Now

The room is draped in yards and yards of muslim and has the giant paper globe lamp that they used as a decoration for their wedding.

Home for Now

Add our white bed, white linens, white pillows, and all our possessions not fit for the storage unit and you have an incredibly relaxing, mellow, and warm.

Home for Now

I could not have planned a better sanctuary and asked for more gracious and amazing hosts for this stressful time. Thank you Morgan and Steve!

Home for Now

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Detroit Part 3 - Eastern Market + Friend's Thanksgiving

I'm running behind on everything here - blog posts, schoolwork, moving...If I'm still posting about Thanksgiving at Christmastime, you'll know why!

...

But, anyways...here's the last Detroit post...

At Eastern Market we picked up the last things we needed for the Dinner Party - Flowers, Fresh Fruits and Veggies, Wine, and Cheese...

Friends Thanksgiving...

Detroit Friend's Thanksgiving

Friends Thanksgiving...

Friends Thanksgiving...

Detroit Friend's Thanksgiving

And when we were finished, we cooked up a storm and fed 65 of our closest and most wonderful Detroit friends.

Friends Thanksgiving...

Friends Thanksgiving...

Friends Thanksgiving...

Detroit Friend's Thanksgiving

(oh, and arranged flowers, too...)

Simply put, my life is richer every day, even at a distance, because of these two women. B and A, I love you both!

Friends Thanksgiving...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Prayer

Golden evening

November Evening by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Come, for the dusk is our own; let us fare forth together,
With a quiet delight in our hearts for the ripe, still, autumn weather,
Through the rustling valley and wood and over the crisping meadow,
Under a high-sprung sky, winnowed of mist and shadow.

Sharp is the frosty air, and through the far hill-gaps showing
Lucent sunset lakes of crocus and green are glowing;
'Tis the hour to walk at will in a wayward, unfettered roaming,
Caring for naught save the charm, elusive and swift, of the gloaming.

Watchful and stirless the fields as if not unkindly holding
Harvested joys in their clasp, and to their broad bosoms folding
Baby hopes of a Spring, trusted to motherly keeping,
Thus to be cherished and happed through the long months of their sleeping.

Silent the woods are and gray; but the firs than ever are greener,
Nipped by the frost till the tang of their loosened balsam is keener;
And one little wind in their boughs, eerily swaying and swinging,
Very soft and low, like a wandering minstrel is singing.

Beautiful is the year, but not as the springlike maiden
Garlanded with her hopes rather the woman laden
With wealth of joy and grief, worthily won through living,
Wearing her sorrow now like a garment of praise and thanksgiving.

Gently the dark comes down over the wild, fair places,
The whispering glens in the hills, the open, starry spaces;
Rich with the gifts of the night, sated with questing and dreaming,
We turn to the dearest of paths where the star of the homelight is gleaming.

...

To my American readers, happy Thanksgiving! May it be filled with food, family, and lovely memories...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Detroit Part Two - Streets

Desolation...

Detroit in Fall

Detroit in Fall

intermingles with hope and grace here...

Detroit Friend's ThanksgivingDetroit Friend's Thanksgiving



Detroit in Fall
(This was the house across the street from my old house in Detroit. For the entire time I lived there it was abandoned and we watched it to make sure nothing would happen to it or in it. Now, someone's purchased it and they are fixing it up!)

Detroit in Fall

...


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Detroit Part 1 - John King Bookstore

Note: There are many pictures from Detroit so I will be spreading them out over a series of posts in the next few days...expect Friend's Thanksgiving, Random Detroit Street Scenes, and who else knows what...)

When we left Michigan to move to Colorado, I promised my two best Michigan friends here that I would always return for the party of the season here in Detroit - Friend's Thanksgiving.

True to my word I booked a ticket out to Detroit to see them. I arrived on Thursday, and had Friday to wander around the city for the better part of the day while B and A arrived home from their respective business trips. Luckily, B left me her car keys so I was able to do a little "Best Of" tour of Detroit and hit up most of the places that I love in Detroit Proper.

Detroit in Fall

The first thing on my list of any trip to Detroit is a visit to John King Books. I'm a sucker for used bookstores and John King is a used bookstore I have spent entire days in before. It's four factory floors of books on any topic you can imagine, similar to Renaissance books in Milwaukee, for those of you who are familiar with it. John King is more organized (Detroiters won't believe I'm saying that!), has older stuff for a lot cheaper, and keeps a bucket of haphazardly stacked daguerreotypes in the back display case that I always dig through.

Detroit in Fall

Detroit in Fall

I've found a lot of treasures while shopping there - old photographs and wedding invitations tucked into books, most of my original Grace Livingston Hills were purchased there, and even a tiny silk and leather bound new testament from the 1820's that I purchased as a gift for my Dad. This trip I picked up three new vintage Grace Livingston Hills...all ones that I had never read before!

Detroit in Fall

The giant factory windows are covered in a thick, heavy plastic and let in this soft, filtered light, so on sunny days you can wander around the stacks of books, staring at endless rows of spines without even turning the lights on - John King keeps the lights off in the stacks - as you go in you have to pull the cords for each aisle to illuminate what you are looking for.

Detroit in Fall
If you ever find yourself passing through Detroit, venture on over to John King - you will not be disappointed at all, if even just for the fact that you are surrounded by billions of works and words, and millions of ideas. I'll bet you the sum of human history is held in places like that and we don't even know it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tree of Codes


There are certain authors that I keep track of like I keep track of bands and their releases - Jonathan Safran Foer is one of them. I respect Foer's way with text and his ability to manipulate text in a concrete way, as well as create winding, wonderful stories that evoke thought, emotion, confusion. I don't know exactly how to explain it but his books are the most physical that I've ever read - I read Everything is Illuminated in the course of an afternoon in bed in my second story flat, and by the time I had finished the book I had felt like my bed and I had sunk through the floorboards of the house and I was reading in the basement.


I've had the pleasure of meeting Foer and he was incredibly gracious, encouraging, and kind (as most authors seem to be...). One of my most prized possessions in my house (well, in a box now...) is an invitation to my 21st birthday party that he signed to wish me a happy birthday. In every house I have had since he signed it for me I have hung it somewhere around my desk to remind me to keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.


Foer's new book, Tree of Codes, looks incredible. I can't imagine the work it took to make this happen, the hours of convincing publishers to do this, the team of typesetters who knew how to get this to happen.


When this gets released, I will most certainly be in line to pick this one up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Packing, Moving, Moving, Packing

We are packing the house for my 26th move.

Will we ever stay somewhere?

Moving Chaos

And in between packing and moving, I'm heading to Detroit and Philadelphia to see friends and family, and remember cities I used to live in.

All our stuff will be in a storage unit.

And then we will be homeless for two weeks, and will depend on the mercy of our friends to sleep on floors.

Moving Chaos

And when the semester ends we will head out of town for a few days to take a long drive south to the desert so we will not overstay our welcome.

And if God sees fit to put us in the apartment we have been dreaming of and are in love with, then we will move everything from the storage unit there in the first two weeks of December.

And this is how our life will be like a prayer of dependence - knowing that we are always transient, always moving, never settling, but that all these fragments that are in the air will come together in seamless, beautiful ways.

And it will be good.

Moving Chaos


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Simple Gifts

In spring my friend M taught me how to knit. I've always been intimidated by it but as it turns out it's not too hard. It's quickly become my favorite thing to do while riding in the car, or during downtime when I have to sit still somewhere for long periods of time (like church).

Fisherman Scarf

I just finished my first knitting project ever, something I nicknamed "The Fisherman's Scarf." This scarf was really started as something that was meant to help me drill in the idea of Knitting and Purling - simple scarves are a good way to start!

Fisherman Scarf

As soon as I had finished it and blocked it, I wrapped it up - it's a gift for a friend who is moving away.

Fisherman Scarf


Friday, November 12, 2010

Winter, I had forgotten how lovely you are!

This Vast and Quiet Space

And just like that, the snow fell and the temperature dropped...

This Vast and Quiet Space

Which suites my mood just fine...

This Vast and Quiet Space

This Vast and Quiet Space

Winter, I have been waiting for you!

This Vast and Quiet Space

I appreciate the changing landscapes that Colorado has for me, and as I discover each new season I fall in love with it again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Endless Light...






I can't understand a thing on this blog from Reykjavik, but the pictures are so beautiful it's worth a look...



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Go Places...

Morning Fog

Morning Fog

(Song Lyrics from "Go Places" by the New Pornographers...the song that has been stuck in my head for weeks!)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Palak Paneer - evenings at home...

Ever since JR has come home from San Francisco we have made an effort to have a home made sit down dinner together every weeknight. Dinner usually is with candles - but always with wine.

When 7:00 comes around I put away my homework, clear my crafting off the table, and we spend the next hour and a half cooking, eating, and talking. Dinner, at our house, is served around 8:00 or 8:30 - we eat late by American standards.

Kitchen TimeKitchen Time

Palak Paneer, the classic Indian Cheese and Spinach recipe, is one of JR's Favorites to make and eat, so it makes sense to include it here for you to try! There are hundreds of variations of this recipe but this is roughly how I make it. I never measure, so it's not exact, but trust your taste buds and add the Garam Masala at the very end and you'll be fine.

Ingredients:

- 1 Package (two cups) paneer
- Ghee for frying
- 2 bunches of spinach - washed and torn roughly into bits
- 1/2 tblsp cumin seeds
- 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
- One Jalapeno Pepper, finely chopped, seeds removed
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1" piece of ginger, grated
- Turmeric (about 1/2 tsp)
- Ground Cumin (about 1 tblsp)
- Garam Masala to Taste (about 1/4 tsp for us...)
- 1 tiny can of tomato paste (here's a secret - I use the "Italian seasoning" variety in my Palak Paneer for added zing. One time I had no regular left in my cupboard and I used the Italian seasoning type and my Palak Paneer tasted awesome...I've been using that type ever since for this particular dish.)

Part 1: Prep the Paneer
- Cut the Paneer into cubes
- Put Ghee into a frying pan, and throw in the paneer cubes. Let them brown, flipping occasionally while you start the sauce.

Part 2: Wilt the Spinach
- Throw the washed, torn spinach into a sauce pot, and let it wilt - you will need to stir occasionally.
- When it is finished put all wilted place the spinach into a blender and puree.
- Set aside...

Part 3: Make the Sauce
- Put a tablespoon or two of Ghee into a frying pan - I prefer cast iron for this, but you can use anything you like...
- Throw in a half a tablespoon of the Cumin seeds and when they start to crackle add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and Jalapeno. Fry until the onion is translucent.
- Add the Turmeric and ground Cumin and fry to "open up the spices" a little bit - it should smell fragrant and spicy!
- Add the pureed spinach and can of tomato paste to the onions + spices and stir.
- When that is simmering nicely on the stove, add the garam masala and give it a taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

We often eat this over rice, but you can have it with home made nan or just by it's self!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Autumn in Colorado

Not cold enough for coats, but perfect for sweaters!

Old Town in Autumn

Old Town in Autumn

Old Town in Autumn

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