June 27, 2010

 locally grown blueberries given to us by local friends makes for a good pie...
...and did I mention my landlord Junco is Japanese? 
Leftovers are for the dwellers of the cabin ;)
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June 26, 2010

garden peas and a city adventure

Jamie is volunteering at a local CSA called Breezy Willow Farm. He says the place is amazing and for only four hours of work, he brought home the bounty shown above. (Including homemade ICE CREAM!) It's nice to cut money out of the picture. He likes the work and gets paid in healthy food!

We also got our new (FREE) car yesterday. It's adorable. Has those goofy flip up headlights. I can't believe the kindness that keeps coming around here. I hope one day I'll be fortunate enough to return the favor.

Last weekend we visited the city. A vacation for us! It was so nice that we didn't even sleep! Stayed up all night drawing with friends. City apartments are beautiful in ways different than log cabins. The night-time views are so peaceful and the fire escapes are such a luxury around 4am. The birds chirp and the sky remains slightly orange with street lights. Humans have burrowed deep inside their brick boxes and you don't see the good or the bad that goes on within. Nature is emphasized then. You can witness it all around, sneaking its way through the concrete and overtaking row home backyards. The grass dances with the rhythm of the wind and if you look closely from high above, the dew magnifies each blade so that each strand can be studied. Even the moisture on aged cedar shingles creeps around like fungus. It's true that if all humanity vanished, nature would tear down these cities in a blink of the universal eye.
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June 22, 2010

handmade teepees with the kiddos

I am having such incredible fun at work! We painted cloth for tipis. Splatter painting seemed to be the most popular technique... Then we set them up, strung UV reactor beads, and I painted their little faces in tribal fashion. :)
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June 18, 2010

I've been yearning to share the drawings I've been working on for a special project. Soon, they'll make up an entire website!  This evening, we had some very wonderful friends over for dinner and dessert. Robin remarked that this particular painting registered in her mind first as a sobbing elephant. (Look at the yellow space as her trunk and ear, and the girl's hat as her eye.) I've been aware that my drawings are only partially created by my own conscious mind. They're usually summoned forth by some illusive muse that occasions the depth of my subconscious mind. I envision this being sort of like those jellyfish I spoke of. It weaves in and out of creative moments, carrying a message that must manifest itself in the material world. Robin's comment really validated this for me. What beautiful duality!
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June 16, 2010

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Very busy June. (But in a good way!)

  • canned more cherries
  • baked and froze three spinach quiches 
  • started making creamed spinach. too much sea salt. diluted with ricotta. baked as pie for lunch. mmmm...
  • canned radish relish
  • dehydrated spicy mustard greens (maybe they'll make a good spice or mixed with water, a spicy sushi paste)
  • harvested raspberries. baked cookies with them. 
  • painted tipi cloth with kids at school. miniature Jackson Pollacks, they are! will build tomorrow.
  • Jamie made our chicken coop really neat. new nesting boxes, roosting perch, and ladders.
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June 9, 2010

epistemology: epistemology

1. what is knowledge?

2. how is knowledge acquired?


3. what do people know?


4. how do we know what we know?

Sincerely Yours,

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June 8, 2010

"When they see a drop of pond water under a microscope and see the myriad of minute variety of life and then they look up and see the planets and the stars and they begin to feel the awe and wonder and beauty of life and the theory of the even beyond..."
 -Phyllis Wallbank Washington
excerpt from the 2006 Montessori Centenary Lecture
She's talking about how microscopes and telescopes should be freely available in every school, and how night walks should be taken to explore the starry expanse of our universe.
Listen here.

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June 7, 2010

theory, research, wisdom

I have some fun news to share! My friend Laura will be a regular guest blogger here at Oliver and Abraham's, sharing her collection of found photographs that really make you think. (The three photos in this post are some of her gems!) I love looking at her online album called "theory, research, wisdom." I won't give you much more of an introduction than some of her very words:
"i believe this [learning for the sake of learning] is how as humans we come into fruition. unless we think for ourselves, we are sort of like unripened fruit. existent, but tasteless. and we must be enjoyed (our thoughts explored and applied) before it's too late and our minds are rotten (our thoughts wasted, we become stagnant and spoiled.) our being cumbersome and meaningless to the universe until our bodies decay in the earth and we are given a second chance, born again as the blueberry bush for the bears to feast on, the sapling of a giant oak for the squirrels to seek refuge in, or the dandelion for the babe to pluck and ponder at, the very action we should have participated in before our deaths. i might sound all hippy-dippy, but hey. this is true. this is the circle of life."  
And she's right! Often I catch myself saying "hippy-dippy" things too, but who cares?! That's just my social training alarming me to conform or be judged. I'm through with that. Research is important, even if it doesn't take place in a laboratory. I like what he said:
"If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.” 
-Henry David Thoreau

(Did I mention she doesn't especially love capital letters? "They need to get back in line with the rest of the letters." Fine by me!)

She should be surprising us with a post this week, so look out!
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June 6, 2010

I would like to buy lots of CDs, including one by The Tallest Man on Earth (Kristian Matsson). This is the myspace page where you can listen to lots of his pretty songs. Maybe you could listen in another window as a "soundtrack" to the blog posts below? They all go pretty well with the life I share here.
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Little Brother's Graduation

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dinner last night, accompanied by cherry pie
our new rooster, a Blue Copper Maran 
  friendly neighbors gave us homemade honey and boysenberry jam
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cherry peach pie

 We have a 35 foot tall cherry tree in our yard. Before last night, 
I had never made a cherry pie from cherries  that I'd picked myself. WOW... is it something I recommend trying. I don't really have an exact recipe, but here's what I did and it turned out great.

I use the good ol' Martha Stewart recipe for Pate Brisee.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small bits
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
Mix the dry ingredients, add butter, incorporate until it feels like rough cornmeal. I use my hands instead of a food processor since I don't have one.  Add the water until it forms a ball. Refrigerate covered for at least an hour, then roll out into two rounds. 


  • gather a big bowl of cherries (you can eyeball this depending on your pie pan depth)
  • wash, remove stones and stems by hand (keep all juice)
  • three peaches (they were getting soft, so I ripped them into chunks)if you want a gelatinous filling, add powdered tapioca

  • divide the dough in half
  • placing plastic wrap on your rolling board beforehand helps it not stick
  • roll out one half of dough
  • place in buttered pie dish
  • add filling
  • pour about 1 cup of sugar on top
  • roll second half of dough like the first
  • make vent holes now with a sharp knife (I was feeling crafty and made cherries)
  • place on top of pie
  • use a fork to mold bottom and top shells together
  • cut around the pie pan to trim the extra edges
  • brush top of pie with one mixed egg yolk, sprinkle with sugar put pie on a baking sheet (it will drip)bake in 450 degree oven for 10 minuteslower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on size)

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