Things have been hectic at Holy Scrap. Between Tarp Surfin and cooking with the anti-griddle we have been preparing for the release of my book which includes a significant book tour. The Good Life Lab comes out June 5th, that's when it will be available just about everywhere. The tour starts in May with a launch at the Maker Faire in the Bay Area. Then its 20 bookstores and hacker spaces in the north west, then Denver and Boulder, LA, NY etc. Mikey is presenting with me in the tech areas. I'm happy that the tour starts in those areas. He is a great support.
The book yanked me from the familiar and the comfortable and plopped me down in nervous, a sure sign I'm being stretched. I welcome the new and the uncertainty it brings. But I notice that this time around while being prompted to be a beginner again, I'm also gathering 40+ years of living and standing on that solid ground. The beginner will fumble and make mistakes while the expert stands ground. Change and newness also seems to ask that bear what we can not change. All this feels like being calibrated.
Its has been a long time since I've been in the business of creativity. I don't much like the biz part anymore. In these last weeks before the tour we're readying our homestead to be in the hands of a sitter, shutting down systems that have been running for a long time: wine, cheese, ferments, and there's rhythms around land and our gardens, bees and pets.
It may seem odd but this leads me to the outfit that I made this afternoon. Noting that the stress in my life has increased, I am doing more yoga, taking longer walks with Sesame, and limiting my computer time and caffeine. Most importantly, I made time to be creative. Today I made an outfit to wear while touring. A while back I pledged to do this. Hardly a great sewer it was a hefty pledge!
I made a wrap skirt and simple top from raw undyed knobby silk and silk thread. Sewing felt like a life raft. Sewing brought me right to the moment. For several hours laser beam focus transformed me back to delight.
Tomorrow I will dye the two garments. with acid dyes I purchased in mauve and brown. I'll post the results.
All our cool and hot crops are coming in fast. We have seeded nearly 400 square feet of raised bed already. The grey skies are making it a pleasure to be out side and the plants are not getting cooked as they usually would. I've been using up our 1200 gallon rain water storage in anticipation of a extremely wet monsoon season which normally starts at the end of June.
I'm desperate to recreate the delicious salty / sour taste of Kettle's Salt & Vinegar potato chips. Last night I tried putting rice vinegar in a atomizer and spraying it on popcorn then sprinkling with salt. This kind of worked. The popcorn was not wet and the sourness was coming through, but not strong enough. I think I'm going to repeat this experiment, but using malt vinegar next time. Has anyone else tried this?
I found the works of John R Lee, M.D and Jesse Hanley, M.D., authors of best selling books about hormones. According to them our environment and lifestyle causes estrogen dominance in men and women. Our water supply and the animal products we consume contain hormones they shouldn't. Our stressful lifestyle and toxins suppress our own production of progesterone that would normally balance out the increased estrogen. Estrogen dominance means rapid cell growth, early aging, higher cancer risks, Lupus, osteoporosis and menopause symptoms ten to twenty years before menopause. It is why young women today are menstruating and developing breasts early and boys are developing androgynous qualities.
The rescue started with information, a book titled What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life From Thirty to Fifty, and then a plant based over the counter cream that within a week relieved me of joint pain, memory loss, painful swollen lumpy breasts, papery skin, greying hair, fatigue and 10 pounds of water weight. The cream is applied anywhere on the body and is called Pro-Gest by
Occasionally I learn something that I want to shout from the rooftops. This is one of those occasions. I can not count the people that I know who have symptoms like this and others that I did not have and who have no idea why. Some get surgery. Others go on scary pharmaceuticals with awful side affects. Doctors won't tell you what this book delivers perfectly clearly because pharmaceutical companies can't patent and profit from natural plant based progesterone.
Cheers to good health friends!
More Flyers : Swap-O-Rama-Rama and The Good Life Lab, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
It is mid-March and so far the following fruit trees are showing blossoms at our place.
Plus all of them lettuces are coming in strong. In particular kale, green onion and arugula can be eaten daily.
Cold crops are always tricky for us. Each time we successfully grow a cauliflower or broccolli it's a big deal. Tomorrow I'm going to sous-vide the cauliflower into steaks which is my favorite way to eat them. Wendy likes to blend it into a fake mash potato.
Cory Doctorow in Albuquerque - Spyware * Freedom * Connection, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Cory dives to meat of the matter, we must keep the internet free and open. He described internet regs as about as logical as plugging a waffle iron into a fax machine. He asked if we want technology to be like Hal, "I'm afraid I can't do that Dave," or if we want it to serve the individual.
I left the talk feeling grateful to Cory for his willing to stand up. He knows that to do so could be dangerous. Aaron Schwartz played a creative role in Cory's new book and in his life. One can still feel the thread of connection between them.
As I drove home I wondered what I can do to support people like Cory. Cory answers this question in the talk he gave:
Use open source and creative commons. Do not trust the machines that are not open. Spyware is an example of how machines can be used against us.
Stand up for digital rights. When SOPA was being fought against a winning strategy was used. Web based pop ups directed people to their local congress people. This action helped tip the scale.
Corey reminded us to connect heart to heart with one another and ask others, "how do you feel?" Ultimately the world we're fighting to keep free is one of living creatures. Connect.
While hiking in Palomas Gap the other day we found a claim that amounted to a stick in the ground with a tupperware bowl on it that contained a piece of paper with a claim. The person making the claim claimed an old mine and the area around by about 600' in each direction.
Last week I was the happy recipient of an invitation to learn about Asian ink painting. The invite came from painter and friend Susan Christie. After showing me her collection, much of which revealed the masters she has worked with and her influences, including the small vintage book that tipped her off to a desire to work in this medium and sent her to the other side of the planet to study, she took me to her studio to play.
For a while the two of us painted together sharing a single sheet of receptive rice paper. While we talked as neighbors and friends do it seemed that what was being shared was documented by the ink and paper between us. Like an ancient copy machine it held the stories in speckles of drip and smears of brush strokes from watery to densely black with expressive liquid charcoal.
As a conceptual artist I use people, places and life events as mediums. Tangible materials like paper and paint feel an odd fit. When I left her home I felt closer to my friend and more able to appreciate the ancient form of expression that until now escaped my attention.
Open Call: Swap-O-Rama-Rama @ Maker Faire May 18/19, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Kyle's flip-flop broke and we managed to get him back to the truck using some yucca fibers as strapping. His shoe fell apart within 100' of the truck.
honey + lime chipotle
blood orange + cream + honey
balsalmic vinegar + vanilla + cream chocolate ganache
kashi cereal adds a nice puffed crunchy texture
pretzels sticks can be used in place of popsicle sticks for handles