Friday, June 26, 2015


I got a beautiful assortment of heirloom tomatoes in my Bountiful Sprout basket this week, as well as a couple of these interesting cucumbers.

If I remember correctly, the farmer I selected them from called them a "sweet slicing cucumber." The great thing about them is that they are long and slender, so each slice is a perfect mouthful. Plus, they are solid all the way through, so no need to scoop out the seedy, watery center to keep it from diluting your dressing. Oh yeah, and they taste good too!

So, what do you do when you've got fresh off the vine cucumbers and tomatoes, and a bit of feta cheese and some good Greek olives in the fridge? Why, you make Greek salads, of course!

GREEK SALAD (4 servings)

Stem and wedge 2 small tomatoes, sprinkle with salt
Peel, halve (or not, if yours are thin like mine) and slice thickly 1 medium cucumber
Peel and thinly slice 1/2 small red onion, or 5 green onions
Halve, core, seed and slice 1 small, sweet red pepper
Rinse and pit 1/4 cup good black Calamata or Nicoise olives (not the icky canned kind!)
Break up 4 oz. feta cheese

Whisk together:
2 tsp. red wine vinegar *
1 tsp. lemon juice (opt.) *
2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Then add in a slow stream, as you continue whisking:
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil **

Season cucumbers and onions with salt. Taste and add more salt to tomatoes, if needed. Gently toss veggies with 3/4 of the vinaigrette. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if needed. Can sit for a few minutes if desired. Toss again just before serving and garnish with feta and olives. Spoon remaining dressing over.

* I didn't have any lemon juice, so I used all red wine vinegar and, since I like my salad dressing on the tangy side, I used twice as much as they called for -- about 2 T.

** One of those little bottles of flavored olive oils Hubby brought home recently was flavored with oregano, so I added a dash of that in with my regular olive oil.

Apolambano! (Greek for Enjoy! Feast!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I am a wordy girl. Not orally -- we introverts have to know someone awfully well to be comfortable enough to have real conversations with you -- but I make up for it in other ways. I keep agendas, and make to-do lists. I write recipes out by hand, and letters. I choose emails over the phone every time. I devour books and magazines, then fill notebooks and folders with stuff I have gleaned from them. I take notes in class, at lectures and on the job. Then save them all. Just in case. On top of all that, I journal and write stories. Needless to say, keeping it all under control can eat up a lot of time. You can thank my hubby for this blog. Once we found this place in the Hill Country, and started spending our weekends here, the journaling and story-writing suddenly kicked into high gear. I was filling up spiral after spiral until, one day, my hubby sat me down in front of the computer and said "Here, you have a blog now. What do you want to call it? OK, Seasonality it is. There, start writing."

So, as you can see, the "paper" stage of the purging process I mentioned yesterday will not be an easy one. Yesterday I tackled magazine detritus. Actually, I have a pretty good system when it comes to the magazines themselves. I have pared my subscriptions down to just two -- Art Journaling, and Cloth, Paper, Scissors. I do occasionally buy others at bookstores, but only if I flip through them and find several projects that I'm just dying to delve into. I've usually read each one cover-to-cover by the time its replacement shows up, so all that's left is to tear out any pages containing  techniques I really want to try, then take the magazines to the free-for-the-taking rack behind our little library. Unfortunately, that's where my system bogs down. I hadn't really noticed this until I started looking around for paper problems. That's when I realized that all of those torn-out articles were still sitting in a big basket, along with a bunch of other stuff that needs to be filed. Why? Well, because that basket sits on top of my little file cabinet, making it difficult to open. Plus, the files are already full!

I haven't tackled the file cabinet yet, but the magazine articles have been sorted through, pared down, and slipped into protective sleeves in a 3-ring binder, now sitting right next to my art table. Two of the articles were left out on the table, as they are variations on a Paint-Out technique I am dying to try.

You see, I used to buy brand new blank art journals to work in, but then I discovered altered books and fell madly in love with the way words float up through my artwork. In fact, when I am working in a blank journal, I often collage old book paper to the pages first, before I begin painting. The two articles I saved out are both about taking pages or canvases that you have covered with loose handwriting, sketching a focal point or words onto those, then painting out the negative space around those shapes, to make them pop out from the background.

One of my altered book journals -- this one uses a spare copy of Simple Abundance, one of my all time favorites!
Now here's the part where I start to understand what Kondo means when she refers to the "life-changing magic of tidying up." As I was standing there staring at that cedar chest full of old journals, wondering what on earth to do with them, I suddenly had the most brilliant little brain fart. Why not use my old writing journals just like I do those altered books. Instead of buying art journals and adding words to blank pages, just so they can float up through my artwork...

why not turn these pages, which are already filled with words, into art journals?

Woohoo! Synchronicity For The Win!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Why yes, as it turns out, one can! When I picked up my copy of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it was idle curiosity more than anything else. I had no intention of jumping on board with the program. After all, I'm already quite good at purging. Just ask my husband! My only closet is 5 ft. wide by 2 ft. deep, and in it I have both my summer and winter clothes, several cowgirl hats, all my purses and underwear, 12 pairs of shoes, two pairs of boots -- with room leftover for an iron and ironing board, a suitcase,  a basket for mending and ironing, and all of our boxes of old slides! In other words, I keep just what I need and nothing more. However, as it turns out, purging one's clothes is easy, which is why Kondo makes that the first step in her book. Apparently I'm not so good at purging everything else, like books, photos, old journals and papers, art supplies, and especially anything that was gifted to me.

I thought I was good at purging books. I got rid of a ton of cookbooks when I first started art journaling, so I could use this hutch as my Wee Little Studio. Then I got rid of a ton of other books when I later created the Bedroodio, and needed space on my bookshelves to store my ever-growing collection of art supplies. But, just for the fun of it, I did as Kondo advised and pulled every book I owned -- including cookbooks, gardening books, and art books -- off the shelf, and piled them all on my living room floor. Guess who still had over 200 books?

And that's just my books, not Hubby's!

That number has now been reduced by half. Yep, ten bags holding at least 10 pounds of books each are now on their way to be donated to our library.

Next up? Papers. This may take a while.

Monday, June 22, 2015


My hubby's been shopping again. A couple of weeks ago he came home with this sculpture/trellis for the garden.

I have to say, I was downright shocked when I saw it. It's quite a departure from his usual gnomes, flamingos, and sea serpents. I think it's pretty classy, don't you? I might even go so far as to call it elegant, and it will have quite an impact as you round the curve in our drive. Have my hunny's tastes undergone a drastic metamorphosis?

Nah, probably not. Last week he came home with...

a new flamingo!

Let's just say his tastes are becoming more eclectic.

P.S. Reckon he'll notice if the flamingo migrates down to the Cantina Garden?

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Today I'm grateful for the kind of friends whom you can go weeks, or months...

sometimes even years without seeing...

then pick right back up where you left off.