Saturday, January 19, 2008

Everyday Life 30 :: 13 Our Pizzeria is Open!

Technically this post is more accurately a reflection of things that do not happen Everyday. We do not make pizza or coffee Everyday. And I certainly do not meticulously rip-out quilting that is too wonky... more on this in a moment.

With dough from Trader Joe's, a great deal of enthusiasm, and some naivete, we launched our home pizzeria enterprise. Don't expect a public debut for a time. We still have some kinks to work out. Ah, but we had fun. Lots and lots of fun.

First, I created a playlist on iTunes, so we could set a Euro-Italian-Slow Food-Mood. Think... "O Mio Babbino Caro," "Buono Sera," Tino Rossi, Louis Prima, Vivaldi. With our pizza tunes playing we rolled up our sleeves, washed our hands, and began slicing and dicing. Everyone made their own creation. Well, Geoff came too late to make his own and Maria was still too drowsy from her late nap.

Alex's pizza was a deep dish pie with cheese, sauce, pepperoni and pineapples all layered between the divided dough. He added a face to the top. It was deeply delicious.

William's pizza was more traditional. I must commend his patience with the stretch and retract dough, which is hard to work with. I did call Anna Banana at this point... they know pizza at her house, and I got some helpful suggestions and some new ideas and news about UU events in Florida... ooops! Back to the kitchen! LOL... So, William's pizza had basil and sauce, extra garlic, spicy Italian chicken sausage, cheese and pepperoni. It came out scrumptious! Trader Joe's crust might take some time for us to learn to work with, but the flavor and texture are worth it.

Max wanted an altogether unique pizza experience and he achieved this with his pepperoni surprise, stuffed crust pizza. He kept laying stuff on, then rolling and pounding the edges to hide all the saucy-cheesy-pepperoni goodness. It came out round and perfect, just like he worked for, and it tasted just to his liking. Another good cook.

My pizza came out of the oven first, and it sustained and inspired us. We kept sampling it as we cooked the rest. Mmmm it was good. It was a plain crust smothered in chopped garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, onions, crushed peppers, and a little cheese... really just a small handful... oh, I really should write this one down. Oh, the wine was tasty too.

Slowly rousing from her evening nap, Maria took her veggie pizza in her tent, her castle, her personal space. Sweet are the luxuries of youth.

Behold: I make the worst coffee ever. I threw out the first pot and tried again, and the second was only half as bad as the first batch, but certainly not worth drinking. Blech. I do not make coffee everyday, or even once a month. At this rate I may never make it again.

I have not gone into any details about this... I have not disclosed the absolutely awesome nature of my Christmas present, but you may be able to guess what I am trying to learn how to master from this picture.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Everyday Life 30 :: 12
Maybe I should take photos, and post, later in the day. Maria and the cats are the only ones up. Chango is a reluctant subject... a captive subject, because he was waiting to be fed. Geoff is waking-up with his laptop, cruising the news, still drowsy after working until 11 last night... an early night, but coupled with 7 day work weeks, fatigue is definitely setting in. Alex, Max and William are lingering between dreams and the brand new day.

It is mommy and Maria first ones up today. Feeding the kitties. Checking the thermometer. What's for breakfast? Did I run the dishwasher? How soon before I should leave for the appointment? Everyday thoughts and everyday preoccupations. And looking for something quintessentially Everyday to point my camera at, and then I see her, my daughter, my muse, my shadow, my little morning bird.

We point our cameras at each other, and click, then we laugh. We laugh everyday.

"Feed me, you fool."

And we feed the kitties everyday too.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Everyday Life 30 :: 11 A Thankful Thursday

Maria is flitting around the house and declaring with an earnest and delighted air, "It's Christmas." She repeats it, as if she knows you might be doubtful. "It's Christmas."

We made it to the Park yesterday, where we had a thoroughly educational, stimulating, affirming, healthful and happy excursion through the Railroad Museum, the Botanical Gardens and all around the artists studios in Spanish Village. We ate our sandwiches beside the giant fig tree. It's such a blessing to be surrounded by opportunities, to take full advantage of meeting people, seeing the world, playing, exploring, learning new things and realizing there are other people with similar interests too. I am never disappointed by our adventures and excursions. Balboa Park is obviously a gold mine resource, but we find satisfaction, value and appreciation in a multitude of destinations.

You know, I would not mind if it were Christmas. I've had my fill of shopping and other consumer hang-ups, but I could go on listening to Christmas music and it would be fun to get a whole new round of greeting cards and family news. I would love to continue creating and playing, exploring themes of winter and wonder. I have not been able to take down the evergreen wreath on the gate. I would miss the hit of pine that fills my senses every time I walk passed it. And I have not finished saying thank you to everyone that extended their love and kindness to us during the holidays. We received so much... it's almost embarrassing, but the whole truth is: I love it. I love gifts and surprises and cards, and treats and packages. Giving and receiving, and saying thank you. Thank you!

My friend Jennifer made this pretty little doll quilt, with the antiqued red fabric with snowflake doily print, and the vintage tree dripping with icicles. I love it. I love the delicate lines of hand quilting and the I love the made with love and skill feel of it. Her blog, "Infinity More Monkeys", is a place of quiet distinction where thoughtfulness, beauty and inspiration mingle. I am looking forward to the Alphabet in Nature photo project she is taking on.

Remember my Quilted Joy? Last summer when I joined the Doll Quilt Swap, I had no idea I was going to gain a sweet friend in the swap. Pamela, of MamaSpark's World gave me my beautiful "Spicy Chicken" doll quilt and ever since I have had the pleasure of seeing even more of her amazing quilts and following her adventures on her blog. She leaves me encouraging, happy comments on Chickenblog. And then this too... fat quarters! Fat quarters with farm scenes, which hello? couldn't suit me better! That was them in the wash yesterday and now they are folded and waiting for me to play. Oh joyful anticipation!

It is a Thankful Thursday. Thinkful too... I am thinking of all the Everyday things waiting for me to attend to, and so I must sign-off. Thinking of you, thanking you too. Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Everyday Life 30 :: 9

Maria wraps presents everyday. If she gives you a present be sure to remember to sing, "Happy day, happy day, happy day to you."

You may get a bouncy ball, or a pencil, or a tea cup. She wraps markers, tape measures, a doily, lego blocks, puzzle pieces. She needs help with the tape, but she prefers to do all of the cutting herself.
"I can do it all in minesulf." Benjamin likes to watch.

I am going to say this only once and then I will deny everything. Just this one time, I will admit something that has been slowly occurring to me, quietly shaking my foundation, upsetting balance: Maria and I are the messiest residents of Garage Mahal. Everyone here contributes, but my daughter, Mini-Me, and I hold a certain distinction that I will never profess or confess again. It's too painful.

In search of tidy views and uncluttered surfaces, I point my camera in many directions, including up:

I do not like this light fixture. It hangs in the grand entry, above the curving stairway. I do not like the grand entry, or the curving stairway with its rickety railing. Let's face it, Everyday Life is not always pretty.

I like the angels that have been gathering at our front door.

I like our broomstick closet and my hat, and the braided reed basket.

I like our fruit crate, with the hand painted strawberries, done by a local artist. I like pictures, familiar faces, and pointing my camera.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Everyday Life 30 :: 8
... and 8 10 Things Meme

Everyday I get to hold my children.

Tag. I'm it. Sabine, of "Cats and Quilts," thinks I am a good candidate for an "8 Things Meme." How can I deny someone who calls her blog "Cats and Quilts."? I did put this off for several days though, because as simple as it is to make lists, the content requires deep thought and introspection. Here goes...

8 Things I am Passionate About
1. My family
2. Creativity
3. Photography
4. Fabric
5. Road trips
6. Laughing
7. Kindness, Respect, and Compassion
8. Friends
9. Maps
10. My family

8 Things To Do Before I Die
1. Make a home of our own
2. Live within 30 minutes of everyone I love
3. 1 summer on a house boat
4. 1 winter in an old farm house
5. Have chickens
6. Make cheese
7. See my children fulfill their dreams
8. See my grandchildren fulfill their dreams
9. See my great-grandchildren dream
10. Follow my husband around

8 Things I Often Say
1. Mother of Pearl
2. I love you
3. I'm going to the market
4. Game over
5. Where are my glasses?
6. 2 minutes
7. What do you guys want for dinner?
8. Good morning
9. Sweet dreams
10. Thank you

8 Books I Have Recently Read
1. Watership Down
2. Ernie: A Photographer's Memoir
3. Kaffe Fasett's Quilts in the Sun
4. The Higher Power of Lucky
5. No Reservations: Around The World On An Empty Stomach
6. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
7. Thomas Bros. Maps
8. Blogs, blogs, blogs and more blogs

8 Songs I Could Listen to Over and Over Again
1. Emmanuel
2. Winter Wonderland
3. Ku'u Aloha
4. Límon y Sal
5. Amazing Grace
6. Rayito de Luna
7. Mahk Jchi
8. New Morning
9. Pi'i Mai Ka Nalu
10. Better Together
... and about 2,000 other songs.

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friends
1. Interests in common
2. Fresh perspectives
3. Humor
4. Kindness
5. Patience
6. Intelligence
7. Curiosity
8. Compassion
9. Tolerance
10. Surprise me

8 People Who Should Absolutely Do This Game...
Anyone might enjoy thinking about what they've done, what they believe, what they care about. It's a fun exercise.
1. Anne
2. Janece
3. Jennifer
4. Julie
5. Missy
6. Lesley
7. Anne N.
8. Julie C.
9. Pam
10. Laura...
11. Monica already got tagged.

Uh. I am laughing so hard! Anyone else notice what a dork I am? How about "8 Things You Don't Do So Good"?
1. Count

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Everyday Life 30 :: 7
Past, present and future.

I see my former life on these shelves. The chicken books and gardening gloves, the seeds I thought I could plant. I see this day. This moment, when there is a neat and tidy corner of the house. I think of how I am trying to assert our aesthetic, our order, our worth in someone else's space. And sitting amongst all of these things is hope, or else why would I still have a jar of seeds?