Saturday, March 18, 2017

365 Project #371 Third LEAF

The third annual Llano Earth Art Fest was held on March 10, 11, 12 and 13 this year and it was a mighty fine festival. There were rock stackers in artistic and competitive activities from all over the world and the US, organic art and fine art, food and vendors, music and festival entertainment, camping, all on the beautiful Llano River. There's nothing quite like it anywhere.

Here is Don's and my album combining the photos we took during the festival.

I was asked to contribute an art installation and decided to paint the rock spiral I have maintained in Grenwelge Park for the last couple of years. Marcus Hammons has been maintaining the beautiful stack in the center (it falls down from time to time).

Since I wanted it to be organic and washable, I made a paint from constarch, water and liquid watercolors. The result was an Easter-egg colored spiral. We've had a few light rains, so the colors are washing away gently. Then, imagine my delight when the spiral was featured on the front page of the Llano News!





Photo courtesy Worth Green






Friday, February 17, 2017

365 Project #370 Sketch Night

I'm still having Adventures but not writing about them quite so often.

A few months ago I heard that Lee Casbeer, one of my favorite artists, was hosting a monthly sketch night at his studio in Johnson City, TX. I was about in the mood to shave my head again so I contacted him and asked if he'd like a bald woman as a model. His answer was a resounding YES and so we set a date and did it. It's the first time I've modeled in 55 years, the last time was when I was 5 and wore a little white frilly dress, an Easter bonnet and white patent leather shoes. 

To entice Don to go with me, I offered to buy him dinner at a restaurant we like in Johnson City, Pecan Street Brewing. At the studio, the session was one long pose, 4 segments of 20 minutes each with a 10-minute break in between. The music was good so the time didn't drag too badly. Now I can say I've 'been sketched' by a lovely group of people and the famous Lee Casbeer!






Tuesday, December 27, 2016

365 Project #369 We Shall Overcome

Grenwelge Park in Llano, TX is a pretty special place. The park is located on the Llano River adjacent to the beautiful Llano Bridge. The river cuts through solid granite as it winds through the park.  It was the site of the first and second Llano Earth Art Fest and the third one will be the second weekend in March.

The festival has become a magical blend of Earth and Art, attracting stackers from all over the US and getting inquiries from as far away as Yemen.  Home of the World Rock Stacking Championship, the event has something for everyone, from stacking to art to music to food and activities. The stacks are works of art that are shared photographically all over the world.

After the first festival, a heroic undertaking in itself, a group of people came under cover of darkness and knocked all the stacks down in an excess of religious zeal. Within days, the community and visitors were repairing what they could and building their own stacks. Also within days, plans started for the next festival. 

Since the first and second events, locals and visitors come to the park for serenity, family activities and to stack. This past weekend vandals once again knocked down other people's work. We understand that this is an ephemeral art and it's the doing, not the keeping that's the point. But, still... On Monday, the community was repairing and stacking, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW WE ROLL.

This is one work that was destroyed after the first festival, that Marcus Hammons and I maintain at the park. Whoever built it the first time may be happy to find it's still there.


Update; a little further along



  

Sunday, December 25, 2016

365 Project #368 Christmas At Fuel

Today was the second Annual Christmas Day Open House at Fuel. James Smullins' inspired idea to open the place on Christmas Day to friends, travelers and extended family was once again a soul-satisfying experience. 

We had the pleasure of meeting and playing with our up-to-now-online friend Gloria Brayshaw, a wonderful upright bass player, guitarist and singer from Austin, TX. The fabulous cooks of the extended family of Tommi Burney brought their family Christmas celebration to Fuel. They cooked and served home made Tamales, beans, rice, salad w/cheeses & dressings and lots of desserts. Many friends of Fuel stopped in to eat and/or bring dishes, too.

The afternoon was filled with music, friends, fun, games and friendship. It's a solid tradition already, one that will last. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, my Friends.








Tuesday, December 20, 2016

365 Project #367 All The News

Inspired by the recent dramatic elections accompanied by a blizzard of fake news (a term that has some ironic implications), I realized I don't read news much anymore. In a search to discover the more reliable sources, I came across THIS graphic and THIS article with a chart that pretty much sum up the current wisdom. 


I decided to use Google News, a news aggregator that lets you specify what kind of news you want to get and the sources you'd like to access. In the Personalize section there are many news sources and subjects you can choose, click on the plus signs and 'advanced' to add subjects and sources, then when you're done click the Personalize button to get the settings out of the way. Here's a basic outline on how to use it.

 




Thursday, November 24, 2016

365 Project #366 Thanksgiving At Fuel

It's an official tradition now, Fuel Coffeehouse has hosted a holiday meal when most places are closed because employees are home with their families. Our friend James Smullins had the idea of opening the doors to whoever would like to drop in and spend some time or the whole day last Christmas Day. It was such a rousing success he did it again for Thanksgiving and Tommie Burney and her whole family cooked and served the meal. Friends also brought in dishes and so did we. 

Don and I and our friend Pat as Turnabout provided the music and a wonderful time was had by all. Old friends and new stopped in, stuffed themselves and visited. We know we're blessed by our friends and community. We Llove Llano!

















Saturday, November 5, 2016

365 Project #365 Pigs' Feet

A couple of weeks ago I finally picked up a jar of Pickled Pigs' Feet, but they were so vinegary they were almost inedible. I soaked the rest of the jar in clear water, drained it and ate them. I had a pretty good idea that I liked them so I decided to make my own.

Some research on recipes led me to three major types, Down-Home Southern American, European and Asian. Asian sounded good to me this time so I tried a variation of THIS RECIPE. Here's my version, using what I thought would taste good.

I eat Chicken Feet for their medicinal properties (you can believe that if you like) and it seems the hardest part about this whole adventure will be to eat just a serving of them each day. For their medicinal properties, you see. I've already had a plate with Chinese Glass Noodles, put the container in the fridge and planning my next meal. Perhaps breakfast...

ASIAN STYLE PIGS' FEET


Almost 3 lb. feet, cut in chunks
Water to cover
1 onion, cut in slices
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 
2 Jalapenos, coarsely chopped 
1/4 C. rice wine vinegar
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/8 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger

Boil feet in large stockpot full of water 15 minutes, discard water.

Transfer to soup pot or put back in stockpot.

Cover feet with water, add all ingredients.

Simmer gently 2 1/2 hours, gently remove feet from liquid.

Reduce liquid to a thick, clingy sauce, add feet back in and stir gently to coat feet in sauce, simmer 20 minutes to 1/2 hour longer at very low heat.

Let rest a bit to let flavors mingle and eat warm. Sauce is wonderful on noodles.

These are from Miiller's Smokehouse in Llano, TX,
frozen, very clean and attractive-looking.
After first boil, drained
Cooking liquid with all ingredients

Sauce reduced and ready
Dinner!
Leftovers are all mine, Don won't eat them.
Bwahahaha!







Sunday, October 30, 2016

365 Project #364 Picker's Circle

Today we attended the Picker's Circle at The Llano General Store, a new store in Llano. It's been held for a few Sundays lately and is getting popular, we had a nice crowd in today. We had a yummy potluck dinner, met with old and new friends and had a real nice afternoon.

I played percussion and Don played guitar, keyboards and bass.








365 Project #363 Nasty Woman

In the 3rd Presidential Debate, after the Democratic Candidate offered an opinion as to the willingness of the Republican Candidate to pay his taxes, he stated that she was 'such a nasty woman'. Of course, that's code for the b-word, the c-word and other demeaning terms meant to stifle women who have opinions about themselves, their world, their life and most especially their bodies. 

I hereby vow to ALWAYS be a Nasty Woman, and, as long as I can drag myself to the polls, to vote my conscience on matters I care about. I ordered pins and am giving them out to my Nasty Friends, too.



Thursday, October 20, 2016

365 Project #362 Cooking Big

I've been craving Halupki, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, but I was craving the taste, not the work. First, you blanch a head of cabbage, removing the leaves as they soften and loosen from the head. Then, when you get them all off, you make a filling from ground meat, an equal volume of cooked rice, onions, garlic and spices. Rolling a large tablespoon of filling into every leaf, you set the rolls into a baking dish, cover with tomato sauce and bake slowly until tender and done.

There had to be a better way. I looked up Cabbage Roll Casserole and found the answer. I used 2 heads of cabbage, 3 pounds of meat, several cups of rice and 6 cans of tomato sauce. A layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, a thick layer of cabbage cut up into 1" squares, filling, sauce, cabbage, sauce and into the oven for 2 1/2 hours. It took that long to bake because I filled 2 large aluminum pans and another smaller casserole dish.

One large pan went to the Soup Kitchen on Wednesday, we ate the smaller casserole yesterday and today and are working on a larger one. When we get sick of it, we'll throw single-size servings in the freezer for another day.

I love to cook big.