Monday, December 28, 2009

On Writing and Mom.

Since I started school at LCC back in September, I've found myself not really having time to do much blogging. In one class, I've grown custom to writing constantly in a journal. I've been told to write about an essay I was assigned to read, reflect on a dream, or free write, among other topics. Sadly, writing on my blog was set aside to focus on these more pressing demands. So, my journal became my outlet.

In English 101, my writing began to transform. I began to learn how to express myself with more clarity and focus. What I wrote became more enjoyable, expressive, and personal than what I had ever written. There were times I stressed about a few of the essays I had to create, but the free writing and reflecting became very therapeutic. I wouldn't understand how therapeutic it could be until recent events in my life concerning my mother and her recent passing.

Writing about her has helped me to let out this overwhelming flood of emotions and all these shocking realizations that now fill my mind and heart. It is hard to process at one time this aweful event that has occured. My heart is overfilled with sadness, yet at the same time there is some joy. My memories of her conjure up laughter and happiness that overcomes the sorrow. They're full of all the great times that Mom had created. Some memories are from my childhood of watching her dance and sing to Aretha Franklin or Mo-town.  She'd even make me get up and dance and we'd start to laugh. We had alot of fun. I also remember when I would help her in the kitchen.  She'd be making fried green tomatoes or pork chops.  I'd help with making the mashed potatoes or stiring the gravy until it had thickened.  Sometimes my small fingers found their way to snatch a few fried tomatoes or a small piece of a pork chop.  Those times in the kitchen are why I know how to cook today.
It's been a long time since my last blog, I know. Some day soon I'll post more blogs of food, my trips, and the lighter things of life. I'll post of school updates (I will go back) and even blog about the books I read. I've realized recently this blog could not go on without at least lightly touching  the issue of my mother passing. Everyday it will effect my whole life in some way. Everyday I will think of her. I will always miss her. I will never forget her. A part of her will forever live within me, as I know I am forever with her.
My family: Jesse, Marcy, Mom, and myself at Steak 'n' Shake on 10-22-09.
Jesse was making a face right before the camera went off. lol

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Lotus Festival

Thinking about the Lotus Festival lately and thought about this song. Back in '07, I was coming out of The Vintage Pheonix (my fave comic store in B-town) and started strolling towards the library when this distinct reggae ryhthm stopped me in my tracks. It resounded down the whole block. Then I heard this soft spoken slightly raspy voice start singin' the song below. It's not a cheery song at all, but it's great hearing it live. Here's a few links too if your interested in the festival, Vintage Pheonix, or Taj. (Cara Dillon, The Horseflies, Huun Huur Tu & Carmen Rizzo -I would like to say WOW on what I heard from the site-, Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa, Los de Abajo, Parno Graszt (white horse in Romani, can we say awesome gypsy music?), Rupa and the April Fishes (best video from the list of artists), and tons more. The great thing about Lotus is that you learn about all these artists you would not normally ever hear about. (their web site isn't as great as the actual store at all, but I listed it anyway.)


Looked out of my window and into the street got no money in my pocket no food to eat cry out for a hand but no one will hear this be my burden lord then I shall bear

hurts me I hate it this is my life hurts me I hate it I’ll pay the price

pockets of hope a suitcase of dreamsmy only redemption from life it seems strumming so hard hope wears thin my dreams are worn by the cold night wind

bow abide in strength relieve me arches sorely grieve me bow abide in strength relieve me archers everywhere

two lights are gleaming in the cold Rasta hesitates which way to goone is a cottage lantern the other a ray my destiny seems a million miles away

bow abide in strength relieve me archers sorely grieve me bow abide in strength relieve me archers everywhere

by Taj Weeks and Adowa

Friday, August 7, 2009

Something Really Good. Yum!

I've been trying to not eat out as much to save money and maybe eat a little healthier. I've been stocking up on basic staples along with fresh veggies, fruit, and easy to put together ingredients to keep myself motivated to eat at home instead of eating out. Yesterday I made something that I couldn't believe I made. It was so good! I thought to share it because this was something I just made up that I'll be making more of in the futur with different tweeks to it just to see if I can make it even better.

This was the initial mixture that was going to be the stuffing. Cashews, bell pepper, herbs, a little feta, a little sour cream, olive oil, garlic, and some sun dried tomatoes.

I later decided to put a little lemon zest and grated a half of a small potato to the mixture.

This is what the chicken looked like before I baked it. I drizzled a little olive oil and lemon juice on it and sprinkled some Italian herbs on the top.

Ths is what it looked like when it was done. Yum!

I wasn't sure which picture I liked better so here's another one.

I decided to throw this one in just to show you something else I made a few days ago. Fried green tomatoes with spaghetti pesto and feta. The fried green tomatoes may not have been too healthy, but over all I think it was ok. lol

Friday, July 31, 2009

My First Travel Bug

So my travel bug dog tags came in the mail yesterday! I was so excited. I already knew what I was attaching them to. It's a copy of the very first trackable item I ever found. I found a copy by accident and have placed a few in caches as I go along. I'm excited to see the places it goes!

The goal is gonna be to visit my hometown of Bloomington, IN hence the pic with the IU symbol.

After the initial goal, I want it to go around the world.
And this ,my friends, is the original with some pirate booty I later placed in my first cache.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Green Thumb Kinda Life

So I've spoken before about having a green thumb. I decided earlier to take a few pictures of my balcony garden. I wish I had more room but I've tried to make due with what I got. I've also learned a thing or two about container gardening. The plants have been through a rough few extremely hot days, but I've been trying to keep everything watered well. I also think they look pretty good for what they've gone through.
This is the left hand side of everything. Tomatoes to the far left, phlox that's done flowering the ding it's 'fading from the spotlight' thing, some herbs in small light colored pots, glads, and some strawberry runners that are establishing themselves.

To the right there's a few more things like a Japanese maple, honey suckle, and some veggies.

This is a closeup of some tomatoes that are growing. They're going to be big!

One big tomato and it's not even ripe!

This zucchini was a surprise to me. I've never grown it before, but I thought the zucchini would need 2 flowers.. one male and one female to produce fruit... Well, this looks like fruit to me and all I saw was a female flower. Can't wait to harvest this one!!!! Yum!

Some pics of my baby lettuce.... second round. This time instead of actually planting the seeds I scattered them on the soil and let them sprout. I've had better results this way by far! I guess that's one lesson learned for me.

I may have to divide this but I'm not sure if I will.

I love herbs and I love to cook with fresh ones when I can. I've got several types of thyme, some rosemary, basil, mint, oregano, cilantro, chives, and parsley. Yum!

And here's a plant my room mate is trying to grow, a pumpkin plant! I hope it'll produce!

the Smokey Horizon Kinda Life.

On top of these record high temps we've been having to deal with wildfires around the area. They're far enough away to not directly affect our safety but we see the evidence of them in our horizon. Huge pillars of smoke have risen to the sky. Some of it looks like clouds, but our skies have been pretty cloudless lately in these 100+ deg. days. . It's made our horizons very hazy also. I've taken the liberty to take a few pics from the past few days to share some of the amazing billows of smoke.

So I thought this was a very interesting picture I took on the 28th of this month. I've never seen plumes of smoke like this before. Last year we had a few fires, but I never saw it look like this. This looked more like a volcano eruption than some wildfire smoke.

This picture was taken right outside my apartments. Actually I'm on the second flight of stairs when I thought I had a pretty good shot of this.

Driving down the road on Industrial Way I believe.

This a picture of some smoke from another wildfire.

In a very small amount of time you could tell how quick the smoke was rising up.

Some more smoke on the horizon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The New Litter Kinda Life.

The cats are getting bigger everyday. It's insane that they're about almost 4 months old! They're very curiouse, playful, and loving. I'm really glad we got them and don't know how I did it without their unconditional adoration. lol Really though, these cats love to be loved.

This was taken just a few moments ago. Max was asleep on my lap (one of his fave. things to do). The flash kinda woke him up.

Fanta reminds me of a black panther. She's very agile and does acrobatics and runs off walls. No joke! I love to see her when she gets all wound up and running everywhere! She's also the more timid one.

This was taken a few mornings ago.

And THIS is one of the new arrivals. Max and Fanta's new siblings.

This is the whole litter! Rosa had them right outside my friend Meghann's room!

This is a cousin to mine. I think he looks a lil like Max.

This is house we got Max and Fanta from. It's becoming a cat house indeed. 15 cats, mostly kittens! That number comes after getting rid of 4 already (the father of most of'em being one) ... btw, if you would like one I'm sure I can hook you up! They need good homes! lol

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Worlds Tallest Totem Pole

So yesterday I went on a little geocaching tour of southern Cowlitz County. My friend Kyle and I hit caches from southern Longview to Woodland.. hitting everyone in Woodland and finally doing one I've been wanting to do for months in Kalama. These are some pics I took along the trip.

Southern Cowlitz County is kind of a farming area. Especially in Woodland you find alot of berry farms and such. Reminds me back home in our country areas.

Out of all the pictures I took that day this one is my favorite. I think I got a good mix of some cool colors that contrast against the reddish browns and the warm glow fo the setting sun.

This is looking over by the Port of Kalama. A very busy and well known port in our area.

Another picture looking over the Columbia River.

This, my friends, is the world's largest totem pole. *hears gasps* I know impressive isn't it? ;)

One of my favorite designs on the totem pole.

I like this fish as well.

Another fish.

This is some farmland in Woodland very close to a geocache! :)

Some sweet peas and a form of dill... I think.

This is a really old log book! This log was all filled out after Kyle and I signed our names. We left another log in there for more cachers to sign in.. This cache originally was posted in 2003. Alot of people have visited this since then.