A random babbling on creative spirits-

Random babbling on the creative spirit~painting, sewing, baking, boys, an irresistable God and the next 200 feet~

Friday, July 31, 2009

what's love got to do!?

I'm not ready: That's my determination. I'm just not in a place that is conducive to receiving romantic love in my life. In the world scheme of things, one could say it's much too soon anyway-it's just two years that I've been completely on my own. I am working at developing my career, muddling through the miasma of children making choices and feeling where this life is headed....time is not on my side right now for a relationship! Search though I may, it will not come if the time is not right-I am engaged in building myself and this is SO good. Therefore, I plunder on. Loving every minute. Investing in my moments to find greater self acceptance, richer connections with those in my life right now, and a fuller understanding of what I'm doing here on earth. Every step does not make sense. Every foothold does not remain true. But positive, progressive, fulfilling forward motion is happening: And that is enough. That is more than enough! It is a tremendous blessing and an eye opening joy each morning. It is the reason for living and breathing and my thrill in smiling and thanking God each and every morning. And, if a romantic partner should enter the picture while I am so thoroughly soaking up my life, then more power to him! He can join me on this ride and revel in the joy of finding the next foothold alongside. Jump in! in love. trish.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

chutney love

I have a lifetime resistance to chutney. I think most people who weren't born in england or one of the british colonies does. What exactly is chutney after all?! Chunky jam? Mushy spiced fruit? Apple sauce gone terribly wrong?!

Alas, I broke down my inhibitions and delved into the wide world of chutney thanks to a recipe in More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin. Simple and delicious. And now I'm armed with an understanding of the world of diversity that is chutney and all of its uses! A bit tangy, usually with some heat and yes, a chunky jam thing, chutney has become a house favorite of mine; and I'm working on convincing the guys of its virtues!

This recipe originally called for pears. I've adapted it to use the market fresh blueberries I can't resist! I think any fruit would work beautifully and tasting and playing is only going to make everything better ;)

I will be eating it on fish and chicken-and imagine someone would love it on a pork roast!-dipped by crackers or pita and shmeared on sandwiches. Yum. Just yum. in love. trish

Blueberry Chutney
3 lbs blueberries (about three pint baskets)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp ground coriander seeds (buy whole and get your pestle out again :)
1/2 c prosecco, lime juice, or lemon juice
1/2 c white vinegar (or any combo of liquid that sounds appealing to you!)
1 1/2 c chopped dried apricots (prunes?)
2 TBLS minced fresh ginger or 1 tsp dried/ground
Cook all of this together in a large pot over medium heat. Stir every once in awhile to keep things moving. Once the berries are broken down and the liquid begins to thicken (1 hour?), add 1/2 c brown sugar. Cook and stir until it is sludgy but not liquidy (10-20 more minutes). Scoop into sterilized 8 oz jars (I used three) and process in boiling water to seal correctly for storage (see canning jar directions or google canning fruit)
Store for two months before opening-it's worth it I promise! Think Christmas hostess gifts....

pear chutney

Friday, July 24, 2009


Tell me please, have you had in your life a package so beautiful, so tantalizing, so enticing that you spent days, weeks-heaven forbid-months, imagining the glory it must contain within? For, how could such a perfectly wrapped package possible hold anything but the most scrumptious, enlivening, richness on the inside as well?! And yet, once open the contents are uninspired, ill-matched trinkets that soon tarnish all the tantalizing wrapping that held so much promise and intrigue.
Or, perhaps you tell just the opposite: That your packages have all been wrapped in plain paper; boring grocery store gift wrap that blends into the background and is nearly unnoticable. Yet, on the inside, if time is taken to open these plain wrapper gifts, you discover that the contents are glorious; a wonderful surprise of synchronized harmony and perfectly placed parcels.
Is there a place, a time, a package that comes together? The wrapping beautiful, enticing beyond imagination and once open, the contents more wondrously harmonious than could've possibly been dreamt?
Tell me, does it exist? If one is working toward creating the best packaging for themself while honing the contents to meet the delicious expectations of the recipient, can the gift exchange occur?
Perhaps we just have to continue to open them all. No hesitations. No limitations. Until we receive a glorious one and find equally wonderful interior to match :) in love. trish!
contents perfected. Just right.

Monday, July 20, 2009

my wish

That the choices I've had to make for myself-that directly effect him-will be seen as building blocks, not brick walls. That the anger he feels will manifest into learning and growing and appreciating; not 'chip on my shoulder', 'glass half empty', 'world's out to get me' living. That my inability to protect him, to nurture him, to carry him is not seen as an inability to deeply love and care about him. That some burned bridges can be rebuilt. That he will see his gift, the one born to him alone, and he will not just walk his path, but fly! That he find love for himself; and trust in himself; and faith in himself. That he believe. in love. trish.

theo chocolate, freemont district gem

(Yes, we got to wear cool hats! :)
Oooooh. Chocolate. Dark. Milk. Coco nibbed. Cardomom infused. Oooohh. Chocolate. I feel a limerick in there somewhere! My sister treated me to a tour of the Theo Chocolate factory in Freemont last week. Treat is the operative word here! With my preschool niece's warm hand tucked into mine, I strategically picked each delectible morsal offered...and then some. For those of you unfamiliar with fare trade, the basic premise is that the product comes from a country that is child labor free and the world base pay is met, rather than a meager wage. Theo is the only chocolate factory in the US that supports both of these and also works the chocolate from bean to bar. A wonderful experience with two of my fav people on the planet :) in love. trish.
(I'm wearing the lelli kelly's :)


Sunday, July 19, 2009

take time

today. to lie in the grass and feel the july sun soak your skin. to gaze up through the canopy of a sky-reaching tree at the passing, gentle clouds. to listen, really listen, to the summer soaked laughter of children dancing through the sprinkler. a toast to summer. to this one and only day. in love. trish

Friday, July 17, 2009

on my horizon

the Dalai Lama believes that when everything seems to be going wrong all at once, something wonderful is attempting to come into being and is protecting itself by distracting us so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

book it

I mentioned in an earlier entry that I had gone to Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast to participate in a workshop. I think I even managed to hint at it being a bookbinding workshop...yet the results of this time have been mysteriously absent from this blogging....
(I'm using natural beeswax from my local beekeeper!)
It takes time to process new information and techniques! I've been playing, one could say, and call it a truth. :) Spending good time and energy cutting, sanding, stitching and waxing my scrumptious coptic bound wood covered books. Just what I hoped to achieve in the workshop. And just what I had hoped I'd feel about them once I found my way around their creation by my own hands; oh so yummy! More diversity to play in. More experimentation to mess with. More stuff to explore! And, more to come, I assure you!!! in love. trish

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

prayers to perseverance

Sometimes the best we can do is whisper a prayer and hold on.
I need to hear it. The arguing-the jabs of sibling rivalry-the commanding claims of big brother superiority. Oh, I need to hear it.
But for now, this quiet. Peaceful at times, in some manifestations. Currently-deeply resonating and achingly absent.
My blessing's in discord: I need to hear it. Bring on the noisome brawling dear Lord. Give me my peace. ____________________________________________________________________

Hope springs eternal. Where God closes one door...
My self leveling state of being, of living, has had the plug pulled and spills haphazardly around the ticking of my minutes. Patch work has been performed and holds, provisionally, fast. A new life level is needed. A new 'normal' defined. A new 'trish is....'
The absence that in its infant days was a 24 carat gold wrapped gift full of discovery and wonder has become a burdensome anxiety and need. The tender pain of life changes is compiling much too quickly in this all at once of my summer. Minutely controlled breaths, exhaling, inhaling, from my first waking moment through to my final nightly sigh hold the patch fast.
Definitively clinging to 'To Dos' and walking with my faith forward. Facing the quiet, the compiling, the sometimes hollow anguish, with regulated resolve. Plundering forward until it all makes sense. Stepping where the road leads until the light illuminates. 200 ft Lord God. Keep my walking. in love. trish
Sometimes miracles occur only when you jump.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I really, really like to bake in the early morning. I come downstairs before the birds; before any hint of sunlight begins its creeping over the horizon; before the late night roaming wildlife have settled into their daytime hiding places. If I am not found in the studio at 3 30am then I am in the kitchen, flipping the oven temp to 350 and turning on the mixer. I like to imagine my neighbors awakening to a faint hint of sugary, fruitfully filled goodness engaging their senses. Who needs an alarm clock?!

Today I needed to use up some peaches. I get a weekly delivery from Full Circle Farms. It arrives via a wonderful program called a CSA (community supported agriculture). If you have any inclination to keep your food local and organic, I encourage you to check them out! I have two CSA's of which I am a huge fan: Full Circle Farms(fullcirclefarm.com), and Blue Bird Grain Farms(bluebirdgrainfarms.com). The premise is that these farms coordinate with buyers and communities to bring us the freshest, local organic products-think milkman-resulting in the farms gaining more exposure to the community and the community benefiting from the fresh product being delivered to their doorstep!
For me it's a bit like my birthday every Wednesday-I get to open my big waxed corrugated box and luxuriate in the chard, beets, snap peas and yes, peaches! This afternoon will find me pillaging the monthly delivery from Blue Bird Grain Farms where I do believe I am going to find a lovely package of rye flour...mmmmm. Rye sourdough bread tomorrow! Perhaps a turkey Reuben is in my near future....in love. trish.

Peach, even though it really calls for pear, Upside Down Cake
(my alterations in parenthesis)

1 c blanched almonds (1 c toasted whole skin-on almonds)
2/3 c all purp flour (2/3 c BBGF white whole wheat cake flour)
2 t baking powder
6 T butter, room temp (6 T olive oil)
1 c sugar (2/3 c sucanat-I also added 1/2 t almond extract)
2 eggs
1/2 c fresh orange juice
2 anjou pears, cored and sliced 1/4" (2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced 1/4")
2 T butter, (1 T olive oil)
3 T brown sugar (2 T agave nectar)
If using pears, place 2 T butter and 3 T brown sugar in a skillet and allow to melt and caramelize( 2 min). Layer pears over this caramel and brown (4 min).
Both recipes begin here-While pears caramelize pulse almonds in a food processor until the consistency of bread crumbs. All flour and baking powder and pulse to blend. Set this mix aside in a small bowl. Again using the food processor, blend butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs until light and fluffy. In halves, add flour mixture and orange juice until dough is formed. Spiral pears or peaches in a buttered 9" cake pan. If peaches, over them pour the oil/agave blend. Spread dough over fruit layer and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn out onto plate and allow to cool or serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, July 13, 2009

guest room

I've never had a guest room before. When visitors would come to stay the boys got condensed into each others rooms to make pillow space for the temporary bodies. I've acquired one this summer. Furniture is being rearranged, carpets deep cleaned, windows washed in this hollowed out space. It's beginning to look like a blank slate rather than a vacuous hole that is missing its true substance. Where are the football jerseys?! Where are the tossed wrappers, dirty clothes and discarded golf cleats?!

It's not a pretty place; I am having trouble establishing a personality for the space. I can't seem to get myself around cleaning away the red, panther pride wall color or the collection of Jolt cans on the shelf. Three walls remain pristine in their boring bland white. The alchemy of teenager and visitor worthy space is still in process.

But there is definitely some pleasure in this creating. In the cleaning out corners, dusting desk tops and lying on the floor gazing at the ceiling in this uninhabited region of my cozy home I feel warm joy seep into my cells. God has a plan. The world carries a guidance system. I trust the enfolding of a life; touched by the unfolding of others' lives-fleetingly or forever-to take one where the path leads. And, creating a space in an empty 10'x12', envisioning its use in the coming years, blissfully musing my eternally positive thoughts for the future, brings me peace in the changing of life. I think I will come to enjoy my room for a guest~ in love. trish

Thursday, July 9, 2009

zen quiet

I am painting now a days. Lots and lots of painting. With wax, with tar, with plaster, with oil, with glue, with fire. Painting. All this painting is being punctuated by regular dusting, organizing, scrubbing, pulling baby beets from my 4'x10' garden plot and mowing my lawn of similar dimensions. Yet mostly painting and painting and painting. Just as I desired my days to enfold this summer: To fall gently into the peace of not being beckoned to fill a belly or find clean socks. After the first day of stabbing anxiety at the emptiness in this change to alone, I have found the zen that has been suggested exists in the acceptance of quiet.

Waking at 4am to plug in the palette, organize the papers, listen to the bird chirp and sip the coffee. Eating lunch over an arrangement of carving tools and watching the sun set while hitting firing up the propane torch. Doing, seeing, acting, feeling, being-just as I want. Just as I need. Just as I feel. Selfish. Entirely, self indulgently selfish. Yet, accepting this and simply moving with it is giving me so much learning, so much feeling, so much accepting and so much love. Recognizing the value in alone; and the deep necessary value of every rich, difficult, blessed, challenging bit of life. in love. trish

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Today I made my favorite biscotti. These have been in my recipe file for many years; a zeroxed copy that no longer reflects its origins. I am a big fan of black licorice. When I go for candy now a days, it's either dark chocolate with almonds or coconibs, or black licorice. It follows then that I would have a soft spot (no pun!) for anise seed anything!

Not long ago I found out a far away friend has similiar weaknesses; her's joined by an infinitely stronger love of biscotti as well! It just goes to follow that, as she embarks on a life change-a path I am all too familiar with, that my desire to walk with her and help hold her up as she treds along the unchartered path, that I do what I can at this moment and make her anise seed biscotti :)

From the mixing bowl, to the oven then gently packed into a priority mail shipping box. With loving care and delicious indulgence I hold her hand. in love. trish
Hazelnut anise seed biscotti
(my alterations in parenthesis)
4 egg whites
1/2 c sugar (1/3 c sucanat)
3 egg yolks
3/4 c sugar (2/3 c agave nectar)
1/4 lb butter, melted and cooled (1/2 c olive oil)
1 T lemon zest (2 T lemon zest)
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t anise seed (3 t anise seed)
2 t vanilla
3 1/2-4 1/2c flour (ww flour)
1 1/4 c whole almonds
1 c whole hazelnuts
3/4t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in the 1/2 c sugar. In separarte bowl, beat egg yolks with the 3/4 c sugar. Carefully fold in egg whites.
Mix the next five ingredients together. Fold into egg mixture. Mix flour, , nuts, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into egg batter in fourths, adding more flour if needed, so dough is stiff but not sticky.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Form each into 3"x12" rectangles about 1/2" high. Bake on buttered baking sheet 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to cutting board and slice diagonally in 1/2" widths to form traditionally shaped biscotti. Raise heat to 400 degrees and bake, sliced side down, for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

wearing the right fit

I find that I get better at standing in my own shoes the more I do it. Makes perfect sense, I know, but let me explain. For most of my life I've trod the path of others-in borrowed shoes if you will. I never realized they were shoes on loan; I thought I was wearing my true fit when I was taking steps in them. But in bits and pieces over the years I began to feel that missteps and stumbles along my life's path weren't happening because I had made an incorrect choice but rather because I was trying to make someone else's shoes fit my form. My feet, my soul, was trying to move me on the path true to it while the shoes I was wearing were trying to keep me pointed in the direction they had laid for me. A clashing of finality occurred nearly six years ago now and the ability for the two forces to coexist on this one set of ten toes became definitively impossible. The stumbles and missteps of previous years came back to me for what they were-attempts by my true soul to carry me instead of the borrowed imposter's. Sometimes it takes a sledge hammer to the side of the head to come to this realization and send the borrowed, incorrectly fit sneakers flying off one's feet. Sometimes one is gifted with the ability to chose and wear the perfect fit from birth.

Little stumbles and missteps still occur today, two years after complete assimilation to this true set of walking shoes designed just for me. But the stumbles are recognizable as my own misguided steps and I am quick to take notice, listen and realign the direction the toes are pointed.

To come to be wearing my size as I have-after being directed by a surrogate set for so long-the walking now a days has a brightness, an intensity and passion in each and every moment that still stands to astound me. Awake. Smiling and fueled by life. in love. trish

tapestry and textiles

creations in wax. back to the fabric love:)

in love. trish