Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

Epic Road Trip #10: Petroglyphs and ruins

Petroglyph Rock was impressive. I hiked 2 1/2 miles down a jeep trail to get to the trailhead. I got on the wrong trail and spent a couple more miles following false paths. I did a thorough search of the parking area and found the trailhead clearly marked and a short hike to Petroglyph Rock.

It’s a paleolithic artifact 8-10,000 years old. Very nice piece. I found one other petroglyph on another rock after a pretty exhaustive search. I hiked most of the trail twice but it’s really just a connector to a nearby campground and some exposure to the ecosystem which I’d already done on my misadventures on the Rio Bonito.

I did see what I assume is a horny toad. If anyone knows more, please chime in. I then drove over to Fort Stanton and checked that out. It was a fort built for the Indian wars and had some parts of it burned by Confederate sympathizers. It then was used to ensure the Mescalero Apache stayed on the reservation.

It was the best built of the western forts and in spite of being a tool of genocide was quite beautiful. There were lots of intact buildings from the late 19th century. It got a new lease on life as a CCC project and German sailors were interned there as well as some Japanese Americans during WW II.

It got its final makeover as a hospital for turbuculosis patients. The climate is really sweet and they added some buildings and upgraded almost everything. When we got better treatments then hanging out in the desert it was closed and is a historic site. It seems really underutilized and would make an awesome resort.

I camped in the next canyon over on some BLM land. It’d been a pretty full day. The next morning I started driving north towards my next historical site. A tip from Ray who I had met at Bridal Veil Falls and a historic sign map gave me my next 3 stops.

After breakfast, at the Smoky Bear Cafe where I finally got one of those Mexican breakfasts with beans and tortillas (It was in the area where he was rescued from a fire, I skipped his park because they wanted $2.00), I went to White Oaks a former ghost town which is now about half occupied.

I stopped by the graveyard it being Memorial Day and paid my respects to a deputy gunned down by Billy the Kid. They also have a little historical museum you let yourself in with little dioramas of settler life.

I then drove down to Valley of Fires, which was really cool. It’s a 4-5,000 year old lava flow and had a cool interpretive trail. A thunderstorm blew in with some serious hail and I got soaked in the second wave.

I then drove out to Three Rivers Petroglyph National Conservation Area. I was going to camp in the nearby National Forest and explore it the next day but the road was closed because of flooding from the storm. Even a quarter inch of rain can flood some arryos I learned and we got much more than that. I did some serious backtracking to find camping in the National Forest but the site was beautiful.

I drove out to Three Rivers the next morning and wow, just wow. It’s the largest collection of petroglyphs that is publicly accessible. There were so many I spent the day there hiking and taking pictures and meditating.

I then made a serious drive and got my second hotel room in Santa Fe. Again out the door for $43 and wifi problems on one of my devices. Today I got up and poked around downtown some but was scared off by the price of parking. I went to the National Cemetery and then further up north to the Pecos Pueblo ruins.

It was pretty cool. It’s an archeological site where this dude figured out layering and dating sites by pottery. The Pueblo folks sent Coronado on a wild goose chase to Kansas figuring he’d get weakened or killed on the plains looking for cities of gold. It worked but they got conquered by the Spanish anyway.

They had a revolt and destroyed the church and had 12 years of freedom but the Spanish won out who became the Mexicans who got pushed out by the Americans. The Pecos Pueblo traders dwindled until the remnant joined a nearby pueblo.

There were some reconstructions and foundations. The second church ruins were built in a smaller footprint then the first one. There is a kiva in the church which there’s only a couple of those. I did my meditation down in it which was cool.

The park closes at 5:30 so I didn’t get to do the Civil War hike. Texan militia tried to conquer the area to open up Colorado gold fields and Californian access to the Pacific but got their asses handed to them by Colorado and New Mexican militia.

That’ll be tomorrow’s hike. Now I’m at a great dispersed site in Dalton’s Canyon in the Santa Fe National Forest. I’ve got some split peas cooking on a fire for a late dinner. Didn’t expect to get to make a fire out here but all this rain has been a Godsend for droughtland. My peas are old and are taking forever which has allowed me to get this written.

Rest well faithful reader. I’ll get this posted tomorrow and hopefully have enough signal for petroglyph pictures.

I forgot to post this yesterday when I went into Pecos for coffee and was looking for the Civil War trail. I couldn’t find the trail and drove up into the mountains and hiked a trail. They wanted $8.00 for a day use pass so I just hiked the one and relaxed at camp (in the evening drizzle again).

I decided to take a slow day today and push on to Bandelier tomorrow. I found the trail in Google maps I couldn’t find yesterday so I’m going to hike that. Been reading Leaves of Grass, the deathbed edition; a book on the Apostles and studying Book 4. Good stuff for a deep dive both into America and myself.

the more you do the harder it is to sleep

July 19, 2012 1 comment

Its been a weird week here at Leslie Lane. City Council has slowed a bit and our meetings have been getting out at 9ish. There were some appointments to boards and commissions and I had done a bit of politicking and wrestling with all of the issues with their various players and demands on information processing and decision making it leaves me more then a bit spun when I get home. The last 2 meetings I haven’t had dinner before because of a big lunch and rushed for time so I’ve stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. Not a good habit to get into, I’m sure the soda is not helping the can’t sleep after Council phenomenon.

So didn’t really sleep Monday night, made it through a bustling and involved Tuesday. My Co-Occurring Disorders groups have gone up to another level. Its close to the only clinical thing I do and the clients treasure it because its the only time we get to interact and I have been a tour de’ force of random facts, inspiration, and some critical knowledge on getting better. Its been very engaging and very fun and was again this week.

I only had a 1/2 hour after work before my next thing but came home and Flow had made a nice dinner, ham and mashed potatoes with a pineapple/cranberry compote. Quite delish and very much appreciated. I ate that and rode my bike (I am still an every day bicycle commuter though I am close to getting Dad’s truck out of probate) over to Lange Middle School and met with a homeowner’s association. I was only marginally sweaty for day 25 of 90 plus temps (the record is 31 and we are going to crush it in the worst drought of my lifetime). I introduced myself and fielded questions. It was an older crowd and I am sideways to most of them with our job creation scheme that involves a blight decree of their really nice neighborhood and my unabashed support of changing the trash to a roll cart system. But I explained my rationale and listened and we had a very nice dialogue and I remembered why I got into politics and it was fun.

I got home and went upstairs laid down to read a comic book (early 80s MoonKnight) read a page and passed out. I overslept the next morning which was today. I had an all staff training on suicide prevention which went very well. This is how the universe watches out for me. I have done these the last few years and have asked around on a fresh angle with no response. I come home from Taco Bell on Monday and there is a talking head on TV talking in depth about suicide prevention. Flow has a little job teaching suicide prevention classes and had all the materials. I bummed her QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) booklet and taught out of that and our newest policies. I also told the story of the Golden Gate Bridge I had heard just as I walked in the door. 1,400 people have jumped off the bridge with 14 survivors. A pretty lethal attempt and survivor interviews gives us a little insight into “completers” a group we know little about. 13 changed their mind about dying immediately after jumping. It demonstrates the ambivalence of suicidal folk. I didn’t share the 14th jumped again.

After work today I was pretty cashed. Had leftovers, just as yummy and got caught up on my email correspondence, most of it. I may answer one of my troubling emails on that committee thing. I like time stamps of 2:22 am and such and I’m still a little wired. Putting it down on virtual paper helps me get rid of the stuff and I might get some more winks tonight. My laptop gave me the low battery warning and it does not fuck around. It will shut down and I will lose my shit. It feels good to swear, between work and politics I self censor constantly.

So went to bed early and woke from a complex dream. I had gotten a new apartment and married the co-worker I have a crush on but she was on vacation for a coupe of weeks and sometimes morphed into my ex-wife. I was trying to settle in, make plans with friends but managed to get nothing done beyond blow someone off. She got home and I had forgotten about it had other plans I’d blown and was generally befuddled. We lay down in bed, had our first chaste kiss and then I needed to get something out of another room which was a long slow muddle in the dark and down some stairs I had  forgot about. I had to be quiet as another co-worker lived next door and he has mentioned “sleep is hard to come by” for him. I ran into a female friend and we were making out until I remembered I had a wife in bed in the other room which is when I woke up. Weird huh? Well I’m getting low battery warnings better put this up. Good night faithful reader.

dill pickles

Had a request for my dill pickles recipe. From a real foody like Jeff I am flattered. I’ve poured over old blog entries but only documented my variations on bread and butter pickles. Probably won’t do pickles this year with Sarah in St Louis and myself busy. I hope to primer the kitchen and dining room today instead. I also haven’t blogged for a while. Plan to get more on that a bit and still hope to bring the old blog public again. I found a bunch of links to spam sites on an old post so I need to go over the thing from bottom to top and put on a good edit and re-read and make sure there is nothing to damaging there. Next month. Things have at least settled down a bit where I get some down time. I’m getting lazy and responsive, frittering away any time I don’t have constant demands.

For dills though do as follows: Bring to a boil 8 1/2 cups water, 2 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup canning salt. Put the equivalent of 7 quarts of jars mouth down in an inch of water and bring to a boil. Boil your your lids and rings in a separate pan. Boil all of them for at least 5 minutes. Stuff your jaw with cut up cukes, 2-4 garlic bulbs depending on size and a sprig of fresh dill (cosmos  leaves work as an adequate substitute) and cherry leaves, asian basil and grape leaves are acceptable variants. Garlic and dill is the old school way. Stuff as much cukes as you can to make your brine last. Pour the brine up to 1/2 an inch of the lid. Put on hot lids and rings and sit on the counter top down for a day. Let them sit a month before eating to get up to flavor perhaps 6 weeks. Crisp pickles come in two ways. Pickle them the day or the day after they are picked or you can lime them. If you buy a pack of pickling lime directions are on the container. It changes the flavor a bit but even elderly cukes come out nice and crisp. Fresh is best.

Categories: cooking, diy, friends

Decoration Day Weekend

Hello Faithful Reader,

I was just looking around for how to make the blog public again. With a few tweaks I think I can live with it being public. I was just looking and haven’t posted in almost a month. Maybe with knowing I have more readers again I will feel like posting. I feel like, and someone reaffirmed this is a time in my life worth documenting. Its Saturday night a little passed bedtime but I napped hard so I expect I will be staying up later then usual. It was good to sleep, certainly the most solid one in 2012. My thoughts have been rushing since January with the frenetic activity and deep thought of newly minted political life. Overall I am pleased.

I haven’t had a good nights sleep this week. Monday Council ran late with two hours of public comment on this controversial tax incentive/job creation thing we are doing. I didn’t get home until 11:30 and I was pretty wired. Probably should just start taking people on offers of beers afterwards as its pretty stimulating. I work the next morning though and don’t want to give up an evening to get a late night on Tuesday as I had thought I would do during the campaign.

Its hot on the first weekend of Summer. Mid 90s. Still mowed the front yard. We put in a scoop of cedar mulch, mostly Flow. Got the roses and mailbox beds and the beds along the privacy fence in back and a path to the compost and the dirt outside the back porch. Flow mulched the strawberries  and garden beds with straw. I cultivated a little but have been hard pressed to do more then mow. I weed whipped the back and skipped mowing its been hot and dry. I mowed the front lawn, mostly because it was longer then the neighbors.

The girls in the basement apartment moved out and the owners have been scurrying around on projects. New neighbors. I thought I was going to start a community organizing project but there is a hitch with my intern starting and I want to involve someone else. I told a neighbor I would start in May but I’m not quite there.

Had about 800 pages of reading for the last Council meeting. All the usual stuff plus trend statements and data for Strategic Planning. We did small groups with Council and department heads and the like. Rotated groups and topics, it was interesting. Got to know a lot of folks. Been on a name learning tear.

Everything has a steep learning curve with all the background information and the level of detail to make informed decisions. I have been sideways with my base early on which makes for a bit of consternation. I also get a lot of positive feedback and bounce ideas off whoever which is fun. I’m going to start doing my prep reading in the dog park and getting feedback from the folks out there.

Didn’t do much with the nap and all. I went to the market and got a lot of stuff since I am helping Harry move next week and won’t be able to go. Got a nice deal on big fresh white onions, a giant purple cauliflower, asparagus (I was surprised at that), a couple of nice looking lettuces (everyone agreed this is pretty much the last week for that with the high temps), kohlrabi, some yellow turnips, kale, carrots, sweet cherries, a couple of big beautiful hybrid tomatoes (seconds even), and some trout for my luncheon tomorrow.

Made some fried cabbage for supper. Cabbage I got at the market last week, an onion with some of the green tops, some of the turnip greens, garlic scapes (I cut those earlier in the week), lightly toasted sesame seeds, fried in olive oil with a lot of crushed red pepper and a splash of Worcestershire. It was good and Flow made crab cakes and naan. We were pretty grateful because we have been living large.

I called in sick yesterday. Hadn’t slept right all week, a little free floating anxiety when I am supposed to be slumbering and stayed in bed late and felt sluggish and dumb. Couldn’t nap and slept poorly last night as well but I feel like my 2+ hour nap today was a break through. There’s been so much change with City Council, the new position at work which is learning a bunch of new programs and trying to wrap my head around a few defuse projects, plus adjusting to being an everyday bicycle commuter.

I have advanced the probate situation and have a meeting on Thursday to sign affidavits and go forward so it will be nice to get the truck on the road again. Going on a float trip on Monday. Trevor, a friend of his, Jesse and myself going South out of Coopers Landing to Millersburg I think. I’ve never done passed Coopers and am looking forward to seeing something new.

Jeff and Vicki, Trevor and Lisa and Harry are coming over for trout. Reminds me I need to look up how to roast garlic. I am going to baste the trout in a yogurt sauce with roasted garlic, lemon, parsley, and chervil, maybe a little mace. I am also going to do the cauliflower in a foil pack with olive oil, turmeric and nutritional yeast. Might grill the asparagus as well. I think I will put one of the trout packs in the freezer. I got 3 packs (6 fish) and Brian isn’t coming and Lisa is a vegetarian so probably can get by with 2 like the trout lady suggested.


Quick Update

I haven’t blogged in a while. I was going to work on the Second step of NA translated into simple concrete English but when I tried to make the link it deleted my post again. I don’t have that much time and will set that aside, perhaps tomorrow.

Overall things are a little slower then the campaign. I have my busy days of constant meetings, events, reading and responding to emails, and calls that go from rise to bed but yesterday I got out in the garden and played some Spades with Flow and her friend Brian after dinner. Tonight I will garden again and make some Spanish Rice. I have some local grass fed ground round and some saved from the dumpster (go Flow!) tomatoes and I will add some chard or kale or whatever it is I got at the market on Saturday.

Its all engaging and a lot of it is fun and I am learning a lot. I am getting better about just surfing with the business. Actually instead of gardening I will take Fido for a walk to the dog park. He has been a good and patient dog but he slept with Flow last night. If I don’t watch it he’s going to be her dog. She makes him cuddle which he doesn’t like but she’s home all the time and I am hardly home at all.

I have abandoned the every other day walk. Its just not feasible but I have to find more time for him. I at least got his medicine ordered. Living carless has been a new challenge. It segways nicely into the Wellness grant I am working on at work. It also makes sure I get my exercise and time to think whether I want to put it in my schedule or not.

I have decided to bring the blog back public again in August, for my birthday. I will invite some more folks to join. I don’t think I am bringing back Facebook. I don’t miss it and I don’t have time for it. I would end up posting and not reading but mostly its the time thing. It also allows me not to look at stuff that is just there.

I have been going to bed early and even got up early today. Did some gardening, I transplanted some lillies to make room for the chocolate mint I got at the market. Yesterday I put in four new strawberry plants. The strawberries have done well and I had a nice bowl of them yesterday. Oh so yummy. In place of my evening bowl of cereal. That was no sacrifice. I’ve had some giant Sam’s Club strawberries at work, wooden by comparison.

I also pulled the grass around the flower beds and shook its seed on the barespots. Better to put it to use then let it fall and become a problem for tomorrow. All of the flowerbeds have looked great. The spring flowers are largely done already with the early spring though there are still some irises coming online. The coreopsis is getting ready to go. Everything is accelerated.

Flow has been concerned she put the tomatoes in to early and they will be stunted by the chill. I got another one to put in and am waiting. The ground is supposed to be warm enough to sit on. We made plans with Brian to get a truck load of mulch. My clay is so hard to work with. We are pulling compost out of the bing one as Flow used the other and the horse manure. I used the bucket of it Ann gave me for Fido’s birthday. It was nicely broken down and I think the strawberries will like it.

Flow broke the washer washing rugs with loose junk on the bottoms. She had it repaired but couldn’t do laundry. I have enough clothes where its been better then 3 weeks and I still look respectable. Had to wear dirty pants though.

I’ve been dating that has been new for me. I kind of like it. Think I will stick with that for while as my life shakes out. Don’t have the time or energy for much else. Going out to a nice place in Fulton on Saturday. Also have to get the suit altered, which is a good thing. I have a wedding in Baltimore in Mid-May to go to. The place where I bought my suit was investigated for human trafficing. I hope my alterations are not made by a slave. What a world we live in. With all of our good things and knowledge and power there are more people in slavery now then ever in history. But they promised to alter it for free when I bought it and I spent a lot of money. What do you do?

Categories: cooking, dogs, gardening, health

Return to Valleyview

If I am posting it must be insomnia. They’re go the 2:00 am Baptist bells, two minutes late, like clockwork. It seems somehow unBabtist to be two minutes late, two minutes early maybe. But these aren’t your parents Baptists, judgmental and strident, but bland with projection screen throwing up bland hymns. Yawn. A little of that and I could sleep. Instead I have Organic NightyNight tea, still to hot to drink. And blogging my thoughts. See if I get them out of my head to make room for sleep to come in.

I didn’t end up calling in sick the day after I was up posting in the middle of the night. I did sleep in and take some time to wake up. Got my mumps vaccine. 43 years old without getting it, not to bad. The vaccine used to only last 7 years so I never got it when it became available. Now with a booster it lasts your whole life so it makes sense. I didn’t want to kick that can down the road when I would be even older when my immunity failed.

Today started early. I had to get going early and take Fido to a dog park friend’s house to spend the day with Ru the Standard Poodle who likes to hump. I think all poodles do. Fido likes him though, he’s pretty tolerant of such things. He’s easy going to a fault. I had to get there early so Cindy could get to her exercise class but she skipped it to have coffee with me anyway. I brought her some of the dark roast Sumatran I had made. It was good. Best of the lot at its peak this morning. She had broken out the French press for the occasion. I was a little sorry to have given it all away. I roasted a light roast Rwandan tonight so I’ve got something to look forward to. Cindy was dog sitting for a spastic little dog. He humped Fido too.

Tea’s still to hot to drink, had a sip anyways. I came home and dealt with returning some of the phone calls I needed to make. I started to write most but some is more accurate. I still owe my friend Amy and brother Bob a call. Still have an email to family to write as well. I called and did an interview on crime in the second ward with the Trib political paper. He had a 12:00 deadline but it wasn’t in the paper tonight. Maybe tomorrow. That Friday night to Saturday morning is a compressed news cycle. Saturday would be better anyway. It helps door knocking to have been on the paper that day, though you pretty much need to be on the front page and/or have a big picture if you want to get into people’s consciousness. My doors tonight I’d sent them 2 pieces of mail, been in the paper twice a week for a month, and had already knocked on their doors before and no one knew who I was.

Made an appearance at work, mostly just checking email and messages and off to Uprise to meet with the Fire Department Association president. He was meeting with the incumbent from another ward but I got to update Scott, an early supporter who owns an ice cream shop downtown and touch base about not having an event at his place. To much to do not enough time. Its hard to beat doors for voter candidate as far as efficient use of time.

I met with the Fireman, didn’t get endorsed but got a donation and the promise not to be organized against. Still a victory. They don’t want their endorsement to be meaningless and their candidate got beat last time. Drove down to Jefferson City for a meeting of the Missouri Cadre for Co-Occurring Excellence. Been a minute since I’d seen those peeps. I was late because of the fireman thing. We’re planning a peer review process in conjunction with the state. Promising. I picked up a committee assignment again and bragged up my campaign. They’re very proud and miss me on facebook. Nine days and I’m back.

Tea’s yummy. I put in my Michigan honey, the honey of my youth. Sleepy now, but not enough. I drove back to town and caught a couple hours in the office. Not real productive, tired and mind racing. Picked up Fido, he’d had fun and sacked out early and didn’t even get out of bed when I got up to blog so he had a good day. I’ll do it again next week.

Did doors with Ann. Drank the last of the Sumatran dark roast. It threatened rain and had a whole street of no one at home. I wondered if there was a tornado warning and everyone was huddled in their basement. Got a couple signs on the next street. “Bitchin'” a young woman said after I gave her my spiel. The listening tour is over, I’ve been to all 13 precincts and asked what was their concerns. Now I’m pitching myself. Starting back where I started so long ago was interesting. I am a different person. I have a comprehensive knowledge of the neighborhood and its issues, a confidence and a huge array of talking points.

Getting back my old walk sheets for my turf tomorrow. Will be nice to have my notes when I follow up with people for a second time. Even just to know if I talked with them before or not. Stopped by Jeff’s when it started raining. Did a couple houses in the rain but then my sheets got damp and its no fun any more. Got a better tour of his awesome house. Built in 1906 by a biologist who testified in the Scopes trial. Its a 3 story built of concrete forms 1′ x 1′ x 2′ with rock facing on one side. He has a pond with frogs and his fruit trees are in bloom. Very lovely.

Gave me the night of, and I do what my advisers tell me. That was a good strategy. We’ve had remarkably smooth sailing.Allowed me to do dishes and clean my kitchen. I’d had ants, so it needed to be done. No more stacking up dishes for days. Flow has a scrubber that holds dish soap and will start washing them as I go. Ants are God’s way of telling you you are a slob.

Made some fried rice. Was going to do salmon patties but had leftover rice to eat from Fido’s party. Waste not want not, Grandma Trapp always said. Watched a little news and went to bed. Now its time to try that again. A little sleepy and some Spiderman ought to do the trick. I’m down to the Annuals so soon there will be no more. I also finished The Order of Things, only took me 7 years. Have to pick  a new book out. Maybe finish that book on the origins of intelligence I borrowed from John in the Spring. I could return it on my cross country odyssey.

Hope to mow, do a load of laundry, straighten the house, do an interview with a Missourian editoraiist. He writes on issues of religious liberty (the freedom from not freedom to do perspective [hope he’s going to slam my stridently Catholic opponent who criticized Catholic politicians who don’t act like Catholics claiming they’re following the will of their constituents] all before 10 when Vicki comes over. I have a public radio interview at 10:30, oh and I’ll need a shower. Seems ridiculous when I write it all down but you never know. Oh, and I saw a rainbow.

red faced and wind blown

February 12, 2012 1 comment

Life continues at a pretty fast pace. Been rolling hard since 5:00 am and its a Sunday. Feel good though and found time for some fun. I woke up bolt awake pretty early and didn’t fight it but just got up. Made my first batch of the new batch of coffees and started with a Light Roast Sumatran. It was pretty good but made it a little weak. I didn’t have much gave 1/2  the batch to Jane for coming to my house yesterday for another photo shoot. We did some torso shots and got some with me with the dog. We have plans for the dog photo but I want it to be a surprise. Jane also brought Ursula her Pyrenees 11 month old puppy and she plays good with Fido. He led her on a merry game of chase being his home turf and he practices his routes. He enjoyed that more then photos.

I did some busy work on the computer and emailing photos took a lot of time and effort because the file size was so large. Watched some Laurel and Hardy while I was doing that and This Week with George Stephanopolis. Bout the best thing on the handful of channels I get. Read the paper too but selectively, reading the whole thing cover to cover is a luxury I can no longer afford.

I also made stew so I would have food to eat this week. I took some stew meat and rolled it in whole wheat flour and browned in olive oil. Cooked a couple of local onions in the drippings and scraped all that in the slow cooker. Added a can of green enchilada sauce, maybe a 1/4 of jar of spaghetti sauce and the rinse water from the containers. Chunked in 3 russet potatoes, 4 smallish local turnips and 4 carrots plus some dried tomatoes I got from the Sellmeyers. Added 4 big cloves of Michigan garlic, going to be sad when that is gone. Its a ways until fresh garlic comes in. Added some Braggs, Worcestershire sauce, Oregano and fresh ground pepper and let that cook a few hours. Then I added a can of green beans and some frozen peas and corn. and let that cook while Ann and I hit some doors for a few hours.

I’ve been doing the Vanderveen neighborhood and finished that today. Its been interesting hitting a high poverty area. People just look really flattered that a politician would come and ask them about what they want in the city. Few of them have complaints or issues. I come back with that’s OK they were’nt planning on a pop quiz on their front porch and tell them a little about my approach of focusing on neighborhoods. Did two trailer parks, the projects and a former trailer park that was brought into the city. Found a number of folks who don’t speak English. They’re is a Rising Sun social club in the neighborhood and they must facilitate civic engagement. Seems worth reaching out to. There is also a Hindu Temple. I love Columbia.

Still struggling to find hosts for yard signs. Its hard to go from I’ve never heard of you to I’ll advertise for you in 5 minutes. Had a couple long conversations and still couldn’t win a yard sign commitment. The burly guy with no pants on I thought was a shoe in. I came in when he invited me but stayed close to the door. It was a trailer so I knew he didn’t have a cage in the basement. He had some issues though and seemed like a player in his neighborhood so it was worth taking the risk and the time to make a connection.

Anne was outside, started calling me after 5 minutes so I would have an excuse to step out but I didn’t notice. Finally gave up on vibrate and am going to learn to live with the phone ringing. Doesn’t do much good to have a cell phone if I never know when I get a call.

Worked hard to get maybe 80 doors. There is no concentration of April voters, a house here and a house there. Plus we took a break for stew and coffee. Made the damn coffee week again and gave the rest to Ann. I roasted a Rwandan this morning when I did laundry. Hung it out to dry even though the weather was calling for not getting above freezing. It was breezy and sunny and ended up being kind of nice. Though 2 days outside and my skin is dry and my face feels warm from being wind blown. I skipped a shower, starting to get dry skin. Will try to move to every other day showering but I’ve got appearances this week. Labor Club Meet and Greet, Valentine’s Date. At least two other meetings to go to possibly a third tomorrow.

Knocked off just a tad early, wasn’t worth going out to start a new neighborhood. Allowed me to get my clothes while it was still light. Then I did some follow up calls. Still back on last weeks. Gotta get caught up, maybe a 1/2 hour after the Labor Club, maybe I can get some in before that if I don’t have to go to the transit public meeting. Only got a half hour of calls in before I went over to Harry’s for dinner and The Walking Dead. The second part of season 2 is off to a strong start. Impressive stuff. It was nice to relax and do something like what I used to.

Categories: coffee, cooking, politics

i heard there was a game on?

February 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Getting up and getting a glass of tea and writing a blog post was a good move last night. Got those thoughts out of my head and I was tired by the end, holding off sleep for a good break in the narrative. Sharing the parts of the tale I didn’t want to forget. And then sleep. Grand total of 8 hours, first time in weeks and I felt good. Not the sleep deprived dangerous kind of good but well rested and normal kind of good. I might have a new strategy going.

I got up moving a little slow. The rain scheduled for today was cancelled so washed a couple of loads and got them on the line. Got some local grass fed ground beast out of the freezer so I would be obligated to cook, best day of the week to do so, even though still have leftovers back. Did some dishes and read the paper. Then I got a couple of phone calls and lost my window to call power brokers before having to get ready for the daily canvass.

Left a note on the front door to come on in and was in the shower when my driver arrived. Started in the most distant part of the neighborhood and what I thought would be the awkward to walk spots. Then I did this area I didn’t really know existed. Off the beaten path and this suburban wonderland of adequate infrastructure and comfortable homes. A beautiful day with lots of kids outside playing. Unknowingly hit the house of one of my clients, which hit home the wisdom of giving up my clinical load.

I’m getting faster and no one had issues. Got some houses of folks who had signed my petition. Arranged for more yard signs. Nice having consistent success with that pitch, I’ve been slack on it, not wanting to go from never heard of you to sure I’ll advertise for you in five minutes. Meeting people who know me from the paper. Someone from the dog park, big supporter, big hater of my opponent the “dog nazi” and she waffled on a sign, but came through.

My driver had a meeting so I came home dealt with emails and had some leftovers for lunch. I had made a big salad for breakfast (leaf lettuce, cucumber, with local spinach, broccoli, & fenugreek sprouts with swiss cheese, salami and my homemade mustard dressing). I also brought in the laundry as Fido wouldn’t go outside without me.

Still got out and got some doors, met people who were glad their neighbor was running, getting a lot of signs. It was nice being able to leave from my front door and getting comfortable off my usual rap since some I’d asked to sign my petition. Second to the last door, the guy with the antique firetruck who wasn’t on my list but I wanted to touch base said to get home to watch the game. Then I realized why that one house I skipped was having a party. Still stopped at my progressive friends and chatted some but they were expecting pizza and had the game on.

I would’ve watched it myself but its not on the one channel I get (gotta get some triple A batteries). Would have ordered pizza but my earlier self knew my weak willed self really wanted to cook dinner after a long and hard day of door knocking. Its ground round so I browned it in a little olive oil and added a big onion from the market and half a yellow pepper as well as some broccoli, spinach, and a couple of local roasted jalapenos out of the freezer and some garlic from the Monroe market. Added some spaghetti sauce as I am living largely can free thank you very much until they stop putting BPA in the liner. Then I added Mrs. Dash, fresh ground cumin and mustard seed, and a chipotle’ bullion cube. Thought about thickening it but didn’t. Ate it on toast with some of my homemade hot bread and butter pickles and some garlic olives. Pretty yummy.

Then I took Fido for a walk because he was acting like a spaz all evening. Today was his off day but tomorrow is a nightmare day (for him) of work, door knocking, dinner with Trevor, City Council meeting. I would have had to gotten his walk in before work to stay on schedule and I can’t count on waking bolt awake at five every morning, or four or three as the case may be. Some day all this will feel normal and I will just sleep like a normal person. right?

Categories: cooking, dogs, politics, work

its all downhill from here

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Good morning faithful reader. At least for now that’s all that gets to see these words as we travel down the campaign road largely in privateblogstealthmode. I had the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum yesterday afternoon. I wasn’t as prepared I would have liked. I got my intro and closing written but didn’t put together any notes to refer to in the general questions section. All in all it wasn’t terrible. If I picked a winner I would have said Bill Pauls. He seemed pretty comfortable, hit on his experience and came off as an affable insider with majority views. In the newspaper coverage I got tagged for supporting the hotel tax increase to expand the airport. A candidate in the other race got the line about bringing in partners which I was advised to take.

I still feel like spending my time talking to voters, getting organized and mounting a serious door to door to effort is better then the meeting with city officials and working on your sound bites approach of the other candidates which seem to be some of the other candidates approach. I suspect I won more votes in my 1/2 hour of furious door knocking then anyone did in the Chamber Forum or the newspaper coverage after. We shall see in April.

I am getting better at this being furiously busy. Was up a little early so made dinner in the crock pot before work. I took a pork loin and rolled in whole wheat flour and browned in a little olive oil. Rubbed it down in the spice mix my sister Betty made for Christmas presents and threw in with some black eyed peas I’d soaked, a couple carrots, garlic, a green and a yellow bell pepper, and some onion powder (my last onion was rotten). Put in a pint of water (less would have been better, I thought the beans would absorb more) and some “better then bullion”. It was good in my post door knocking rest break.

After that I went to a Legislative Forum by the League of Women Voters. Met a few folks and renewed relationships with some Democrats I had chatted up at the Chili Supper. Took grief for my muted tie from the same guy who gave me grief for my loud tie at the Chili Supper. I told him at least I bought this one new. How long before people notice I really only have one nice dress shirt? I’ve got a number of short sleeves but my Anarchist “A” on my forearm might give some of the electorate pause.

The forum was pretty fun. We have a funny and smart state house legislative delegation. I even like the Republican Kurt Schafer and Chris Kelly our house guy is really hilarious. They cross the aisle and get shit done which I appreciate why Stills and Weber make the lonely good fight in near supermajority Republican state which I also appreciate.

Came home and slept the sleep of the just. Continuing to read some Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, my political hero. Was considering using a piece of his for my final Ed Group this morning. Its been hitting me hard and challenging me to be less of a slave to passion. I am working on new piece based on his ideas, let me see if I remember the opening stanza I wrote yesterday morning. Living alone gives the great pleasure of being able to walk around house singing nonsense to yourself. If you haven’t tried it, please do.

“Anything done without intention

Can do damage to the soul

From the harsh word said when you are angry

To eating a doughnut when you’re full”

Tough words to live by, but the promise is freedom and serenity. Well worth having bouncing around my head. Might keep me from swinging through the Taco Bell drive through when I feel entitled.

rocked on through the weekend

January 29, 2012 2 comments

Its Sunday night at 9:22. I’m pretty tired but mind is spinning a bit. I made a jar of sun tea and put in one pack of the Organic Nighty Night tea that was snowing me. I also put in a ginger and a couple of chai. Thought it might be good at night. Thinking about a doctor’s appt. on the insomnia. There is a sleeping pill called Trazodone, a tricyclic anti-depressant they mostly use as a sleeper these days. It builds up a level in your system so it doesn’t have the problem of tolerance and dependence that goes along with all the other sleepers and why I even use the tea sparingly.

I’m tired though and expect to sleep well. Got a load of laundry done and another on the line and pretty much caught up on that front. I don’t have a large array of dress clothes. This week the big night will be Thursday with the Chamber candidate forum and a Legislator forum where I will have to try to meet people at the Library. It will also allow me to see what to expect when I do mine with the League of Women Voters.

I knocked on about fifty doors today. It was sunny and in the 50s I think. I was in a jacket some, in a sweater some, and put both on for the final push. Didn’t win a lot of commitments but had lots of positive interactions and only one “We’re not interested” before I got half way up the driveway. I think they thought I was a Jehovah’s Witness or something.

I’m a little congested and feel like I fought off a cold or the flue. Tomorrow I have a site visit at work with the Missouri Institute of Mental Health so I need to go in a little early and pull some charts and do a quick walk through. It’ll at least be a day off  the grind. Monday night is big night, doors if I can swing it, phone calls to local power brokers, follow up calls to the weekend doors, and need to write my intro and closing.

I got up early today and made bean soup. Its vegetarian and a little bland. It seemed better at lunch. Jeff brought homemade bread that was just incredible, better then Uprise, and Vicki made an apple pie from scratch. Trevor and Lisa made a nice salad so it was the deluxe spread. Long meeting afterward. Think I used up all my focus up.


Categories: community, cooking, politics