Sunday, June 28, 2009

Miss Spelled

Poor spelling bothers me, especially with resources like dictionaries and spell check at our disposal.I find most people spell poorly. When we write we leave something behind, something that can be viewed again and again. If part of that is misspelled I feel like one would if they went outside without their pants on, exposed, perhaps vulnerable. Maybe it is laziness. I still manage to put my pants on.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sometimes Spaghetti Likes to be Alone

I am an American. I have always been an American and yet I do not eat like an American. When I think of American food I think of some of the most vile, detestable food in existence.

Sara Boo

Tae Kwon Do Belt Test

Francesca doesn't like Tae Kwon Do. She doesn't hate it. Once she gets there she has a great time. When she asked to sign up Clint and I decided she could do it if she committed to two years. That WAS asking a lot of a four year old but we thought it would be good for her. Her two year commitment will be up in September. Today she had a belt test. She earned her brown belt.

Guess What?

Guess what these are and I'll buy (or make) you lunch...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Night and Day

This is night...and this is day...or so Francesca says.

A Play in Four Acts

This morning Francesca staged a play for her dad.

Act 1: The Cleopatra Romeo Story

Act 2: Angels and Fairies

Act 3: The Firemen

Act 4: Santa and How the Elves Helped Him, the Musical

I must admit, I did need to remind Clint more than once that she would only be little once and he'd better sit still and watch the play in its entirety, or else.

Traveling Man

When my dad was 16, his parents sent him to Italy. It changed his life. I believe it connected him with his roots, his beginnings. He spoke of the trip often.
It gave him an opportunity to see the world beyond his own backyard, which was in itself, pretty interesting.
He used to say he left as a boy and came back a man and I believed him.
Today I remember my dad. I think I would have liked him even before he was my dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bread Winner

I stopped eating wheat for health reasons about four weeks ago. It has been excellent for my health but terrible for my spirit. I miss it so. No more bread, pizza, burritos or naan. I still bake it for the rest of the family. Here are two mini loaves and a fougasse stuffed with olive oil, garlic and roasted red peppers. To make the fugasse you roll out the dough and make slits in it, folding it over the chosen fillings. It's easy and impressive. It's rather like the French Version of Calzone. Fougasse is typically made in Provence. Often times it is made to look like a tree with the bottom being the trunk and the top the branches.

Suki Found a Home

The Humane Society has been coming to the market each week to promote their cause and to find homes for homeless pets.
The rules of the market do not allow for the selling of live animals but it is the perfect venue to introduce prospective owners to these wonderful dogs.
Suki was fortunate. He found on a home after spending the day at the market.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kids Like the Market

I have been impressed with the number of kids who visit the market. They come wide-eyed and ask lots of questions. Some are country kids and know where food comes from. Most are not and are fascinated that carrots have green tops and are not born in a plastic bag.
I have been trying to come up with ideas that will keep the kids coming back.
The Skiffle Band Workshop is next week and the Bookmobile is coming. Can't say I have ever experienced the Bookmobile. It seems odd to me there are people with no books in their homes. I suppose a mobile library is pretty good.
All kids like face painting or body painting as it were. Girls pick butterflies and kitties. Boys pick skulls and sports.
I remember getting a strawberry painted on my face when I was six at The Strawberry Festival in Bolivar. I thought the artist was the coolest person in the whole world.

It it wasn't for the Weavers

The Weaver's are a local Amish family that has decided to become regulars at the market. They farm in a sustainable manner with three Weaver families tending to the responsibilities.
They brought tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, squash, green beans, peas, lettuce, bread and maple syrup, all produced on their family farm.
As they don't want photographs of themselves taken , I asked if I could photograph their products. They kindly agreed and seemed delighted I was impressed with their food.
Mrs. Weaver and I discussed lettuce and its ability to bolt overnight. She was generous in sharing her knowledge of growing, harvesting and preparing meals. She explained her family ate seasonally and was just about tired of strawberry pie and strawberry jam.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Daddy and Me

As Father's Day approaches I have been thinking about my dad a lot. I have noticed I am more like him than I ever thought I could be. I use all the dumb one-liners he used. I would rather entertain then be entertained. I become obsessed with my passions. I try to be my daughter's best teacher.

The last father's day gift I bought him was a radio controlled boat so he could play with Francesca without having to physically exert himself. He died two months later and never got the chance.

I am still learning to live without him.


I was a bartender for a million years before I decided to work my butt off at things I care about receiving no paycheck whatsoever.
It wasn't always so bad, in fact, sometimes it was downright enjoyable.
I worked in nice places and hole-in-the-wall places and usually made decent money that went into my pocket and not the corrupt governments. I evaded taxes like crazy because, well, I could. I feel no shame about that either.
I was performing a customer service. I listened to peoples joys and sorrows and pretended to care. There were times when I did care. I saved marriages and ruined even more. I cleaned up vomit and feces and urine and some other substances I still have not identified. I was forced to listen to music I hated at volumes that are incomprehensible. I called cabs or dropped off drunks at three in the morning just so the customer wouldn't get their fifth DUI. I mostly listened and for most people that is all they needed beyond the drink or the beer.

My Favorite Childhood Cookbook

I learned to cook mostly from watching my parents and grandparents but this book played a big roll in gaining my independence in the kitchen. It is a Betty Crocker cookbook for kids that my mom bought me when I was about five. I had graduated from the Easy Bake Oven and was ready to move on to the real kitchen. The recipes in this book are things I would never consider eating now but at the time it taught me about proper measuring and oven temperature even if it meant making canned pears look like mice. I was especially fond of the sugar cookie recipe and the pancakes shaped like circus animals. Today I refuse to make any recipe that calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup but back then I followed the instructions to the letter.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Opening Day

The Tuscarawas Valley Family Farm Market had a terrific opening day. I was shocked at the number of people expecting more produce and had to explain how food is seasonal. I was also shocked at how many people came before the market had opened and expected to be permitted to purchase items while the vendors were setting up. This is going to be an issue. While we don't want to turn people away, we do want to allow enough time for vendors to set up their booths. We are still in the red but with hopes, this market will be self sustaining. We have received two grants but it might be sometime before that money actually lands in the TVFFM bank account. Hundreds of people showed up for opening day and I thank each and everyone of them for their support of our local farmers and producers.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Counter Coalture Coalition

I don't like coal. I don't like relying on it for electricity. I don't like the mining required to bring it to the surface and I don't like the burning of it to generate power. I don't like coal. is a great project where one dedicates their garden to counteract the hideous destruction of the planet caused by the coal industry.
Lavender has been known to symbolize Love, Protection, Happiness, Peace, Purification, Sleep and Longevity. I dedicate my Lavender to this cause.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Last Day Of Kindergarten

This is the last year St. Joseph will be called St. Joseph School. Next year it will be called Tuscarawas Central Catholic Elementary School.

We attended a wonderful prayer service and ceremony for the kindergarten class and yes I cried. I was proud of Francesca but also saddened at the changes taking place at our school.

Father Bill suggested we embrace the change and know that all will be well in God's hands. Give up on trying to control things and let God move us forward in a direction that He intends.

Father Bill has been reassigned to a parish in Columbus.

The kids will start the new school year with Father Matt.

The name is changing, the uniform plaid is changing, the priest is changing.

It's a shame the school lunches aren't changing.

The Dumb Hillbilly & The Cherry Tree

We have a patch of pokeweed on the northwest corner of the property. Over the years I have tried to get rid of it. Pulling, cutting and smothering hasn't worked and I have accepted that it is there for a reason. It provides nutritious berries for the birds and bunnies in late summer. The owner of the adjacent property wants it gone as it tends to come up in his yard as well.

He took it upon himself to spray it with toxic chemicals even after I asked him not to do so. We have well water and the idea of drinking or cooking with Roundup doesn't sit well with me.

He sprayed the pokeweed and the wind must have carried it across the yard.

The cherry tree is where it landed.

A friend who is an arborist suggested mulching the tree heavily with compost and watering deeply once a week. The tree will probably survive, I hope.

The dumb hillbilly way of life is to kill anything you don't like and if you don't kill it the first time...kill it again.

I wore gloves to remove the brown, curled pokeweed and placed it in the back of the pick up. I'm not really sure what I will do with it. It will grow back. All the Roundup in the world won't kill it.

I have considered purchasing some Roundup myself and using it to write Dumb Hillbilly in the lawn of my neighbor.

Do you think he would suspect it was me?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The End of an Era

The end of school is bittersweet. It is great...summer vacation...get to spend lots of time with more waking up at 5:30 am.

I'm not going to get a damn thing done this summer, am I?

She actually made it through kindergarten without telling Father Bill to go to hell.

She learned how to read for Pete's sake.

She had perfect attendance.

I am so proud of her.

I'm not going to get a damn thing done this summer, am I?

Well, she graduates from kindergarten on Thursday.