Category Archives: domesticity.

filez el Cinco de Mayo!

Though we know the lifestyle is easier on the environment and our arteries,  being veg’n takes a lot of will power many don’t have.  Like me.  Chocolate milk and steak are delicious: though I used to identify as both vegetarian and vegan for times in turn my new fav date is going to my in-laws to spend a pleasant evening and eat what is always a delicious meal including some sort of delicious meat entree.

But meat is expensive and the many arguments against meat and for veg’sm make too much sense for this former student of reason and ethics to justify meat consumption at the average North American rate. (**somewhat related book I’m dying to read) Instead, my darling husband and I have chosen to eat in various permeatations  of weekday/weekly veg’sm.  At least we’ve tried to.  (see: no will power)

But Xtine ‘smelly girl’ D. of Peeling The Yellow Wallpaper, and Feedback: Women’s Edition fame wrote a thought provoking blog about veg’sm the other day and it gave me new resolve toward making delicious veg’n food for dinner at least 4 days a week.  Mostly, this will take a lot of strength to avoid eating our fav indian food.

this has nothing to do with anything but came up in the google images search i did looking for a painting with the ghosts of meat.

this has nothing to do with anything but came up in the google images search i did looking for a painting with the ghosts of meat.

In celebration of my rededication to a vegetablier lifestyle, I have made a delicious Cinco de Mayo salad, named more for its date of birth than relationship to latin food:

Feliz el Cinco De Mayo Salad!

4 ears of fresh corn, sliced     from cob
one sweet pepper,                    chopped
1 can of black beans,              drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 mango, firm is fine, diced
4 green onions, diced
juice of 1 lime
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
oil/butter
hot sauce to taste
3 tbsp barbecue sauce
2 cups TVP prepared with taco seasoning (pork or beef can be substituted)
1 cup of quinoa, prepared 

**optional: (ie. I didn’t have these but it would taste good) avocado, diced and jalepeño, minced. 

  1.  heat non-stick or oiled heavy bottomed pan over high then add corn,season to taste, stir occasionally until corn is browned – – about 8 – 10 minutes
  2. reduce heat to medium and add mango, pepper, and red onion, stir until soft
  3. add green onion and optional jalepeño, stir until soft then remove from heat
  4. stir in hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and lime juice
  5. set aside to cool to room temperature then add tomatoes and avocado right before serving
  6. serve layered over quinoa topped with taco seasoned TVP
  7. optional topping: sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro

For the record, I ate this, not with the TVP and quinoa, but with half a barbecued sausage.

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wooly bully.

wool hanging on the wall.  wool hanging on the wall

The other day,my mother-in-law gave me some beautiful hand-spun naturally dyed wool she made  that is now older than my old man.  It is gorgeous yarn in beautiful colours and is well documented textile experimentation:  I now have a general idea of how certain natural dyes look and a bunch of yarn to keep my idle hands away from the  devil’s work.

Each bundle of yarn was labeled with a hand written note of the organic matter used in the process and stuck through with a straight pin.  The notes read things like ‘hickory husks, which made a beautiful gray-green, and ‘black current berries’, which made the deepest Van Gogh blue. 

in the beginning, there were several rows completed.

scarf-in-progress.

My step dad taught me to knit many years ago and now I’m muddling through my  seventh-or-so scarf.  My tendencies to drop a stitch every 9th or 10th row and poor technique in changing colours are forgiven by the beautiful rustic wool. I restarted several times and am learning that those things they animate about cats and yarn are true. 

Still, the act of creating something from raw materials is empowering and satisfying. I feel assured that when the revolution comes, I will be able to knit my family warm scarves, as long as my mother-in-law is there to make the wool.  More important then the ‘revolution’ in my head though, with times as they are, what is painfully obvious to me is that we cannot consume the way we are used to consuming. 

Brown-bag lunches are really just the minimum of what any conscientious consumer of the new socio-econ-eco reality can start to do to begin the process of reimagining cycles of production, goods, consuming, wearing,and using.  I think the future of personal goods production is going to find its way back into the home as we increasingly turn to secondary economies and new/old ways of being consumers. Picking up skills like sewing, knitting(etc.) and mending help in the creation, reusing, and longevity of clothing that sticks it to the man, in a good way.

In this spirit, I have decided to have a contest to give away the scarf I am making as there are only so many necks in my family and I am excited to interact with readers through a contest.  Somewhat unrelatedly,  the contest is to email me (a.g.bushfield at gmail) or comment with websites you read everyday and I will pick my fav and the person who recommended it first will get the scarf!

And this is my other cat who was especially photogenic today. ❤

oo-wee-oo, his name is buddy holly. meow.

oo-wee-oo, his name is buddy holly. meow.

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living room, where i live.

My main man and I are in the middle of redoing our  living room.  It was always OK, but a little dark and had weird doors in the archway between it and our front room.  Also, we bought this with stale wedding money to go with this, our fav wedding gift, which we do in fact refer to as “The Nagouchi” , and needed to make room for ‘The Eames’.  So we took down the doors and put them in the front hall closet, which gave us about 4 cubic feet more floor space and about 8 more cubic feet of visual space, and started the rearranging yesterday.

We have a lot of furniture and a lot of art because we are design junkies and pack rats.  It has been a real adventure fitting everything into our three bedroom apartment.  But in redoing the space we’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff and realized that we needed more art than we already had.  But we are broke.

Solution: inventing art with stuff we have in the house.  I spearheaded the project and decided that high art was the way to go.  A few years ago I won an essay contest and in addition to cold-hard cash I got an art textbook.  But we already had one art textbook and I spilled coffee on the prize one.  We also had a bunch of small old frames that we bought at an auction sale and have been keeping around in a box ‘just in case’ (pack rats).  I now feel totally justified in purchasing these frames, keeping them around for two years, and moving them at least once as I have turned them into beautiful art! artblog

As per my plan to become as much like Martha Stewart as possible, here are the instructions for the project:

1. Prepare old frames of many sizes and styles by cleaning the glass and cutting off stand flaps.

2. Cut out pictures of famous pieces of art to fit the frames from a superfluous textbook, or print some favourites off the internet, mixing portrait and landscape, styles, and don’t be afraid to crop.

3. Put pictures in frames and glue on hanging devices with hot glue gun and glue or tape description of art to the back. 

4. Trace outline of all of the pictures-in-frames onto paper, marking whether the picture is landscape or portrait and making a description of the art so you know which one is which, also marking the precise location of the hanging device.  Cut out.

5. Arrange cut-outs on wall by taping them on.  Make sure to vary colours and styles in layout.

6. Hammer in a nail on the hanging mark you’ve made on the cut-outs, ensuring to leave the nail far enough out of the wall to accommodate for any stand flap leftovers.  

7. Place art over appropriate cut-out and rip traced cut-out away from the wall. 

Voila!

This one is my fav  because the frame and image work so well together <3.

The Treason Of Images by Magritte

The Treason Of Images by Magritte

And this is one my cats on my newly laid-out bar/plant stand.  Aww<3

georgia 'georgie'

georgia 'georgie' peach, in the jungle

peace,  

-a.b.

p.s. I’m going to start adding suggested listening for my blog entries:

Living Room, Track 8 on Tegan and Sara‘s 2002 album If It Was You

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