Sunday, September 12, 2010

As Summertime Wanes In Texas

I have been back in Texas for a little over a month now. Life is returning to a quiet pace, yet is still rich with wonder and adventure. In brief, this is what I have been up to:

I finally made it to Austin for the first time, where we swam in the refreshing 68 degree water at Barton Springs on a 105 degree day, as well as to the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk:

There have been lots of trips to swim in the nearby rivers:

I have been honing my new skills of hula-hooping, wall texturing, and rock painting:

It should be noted that I have also acquired a bag of clay, and have big plans for a few projects! I am so excited to return to one of my passions!

I spent a little time working with a family while they searched for someone who could make a more long term committment than I am able to. They are a family with a 20 year old autistic son, a 14 year old very independent and musically talented son, and a 3month old baby boy, who they just adopted. It was fun to learn a little about autism, and lovely to hold a sweet little baby, falling asleep in my arms, once again. I have also been working at Lucas' dad's house for a little extra cash. Louis is in the Peace Corps in Panama, and while he is away, we are doing some remodeling for him. So far my tasks have included painting trim, picking out paint colors for the rooms, peeling ancient wallpaper and paint, and texturing walls, my newest skill to enjoy.

Lucas and I have been daydreaming about our Healing Arts Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center. We found the perfect location: An entire island in the caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua is for sale for a mere $575,000. There is already a house built on the beautiful tropical island, fruit trees growing, and enough room to build individual bungalows and other outbuildings. If you feel inspired to throw down for us, by all means, we would love to realize this dream and share the island with you! ;)

Speaking of Lucas, here is an amazing picture that my sweet man took:

Several of Lucas' family members have been visiting Kerrville this summer. It has been great to get to know the family better, and to be a part of their fun times together. They are a wonderful group of people, and having them around gives us all the social excuse to sample good wines and beers and eat amazing homecooked and Mexican restaurant meals.

Yes, I love to eat well! I have been doing lots of experimenting in the kitchen, myself. I have been making my own yogurt from raw milk that we get direct from a farmer, dehydrated raw crackers and cookies, baba ganoush, and lots of random yummies. The following are my newest recipes for a delicious asian-style meal:

* 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
* 3/4 inch chunck ginger, peeled and finely grated
* 2 tsp. sesame seeds
* 1/8 cup lemon juice
* 1/8 cup water
* 2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp. agave syrup
* 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
* 8 oz. tempeh, cut into bite sized pieces
* fresh cilantro, chopped, as garnish

Combine first 7 ingredients. Mix well. Add tempeh, mixing enough to coat all chunks with the sauce. Marinate tempeh for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Saute tempeh and sauce over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro. Serve with my delicious Eggplant-Miso soup.

* 3 cups eggplant, skinned and chopped
* 4 shitake mushrooms, chopped
* 2 small carrots, chopped
* 1/4 red onion, chopped
* 1 stick burdock root, chopped
* 3 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
* 4-5 cups water
* 1/4 cup miso paste
* salt
* 1/2 sheet nori, torn into inch pieces

Saute all chopped veggies in oil for 5 minutes. Add water, salt, and nori. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add miso. Blend. Serve up and enjoy!! Mmmmmm.

Despite all of my healthy eating, I somehow happened upon a nasty food-poisoning incident that knocked me off my feet for almost 4 full days. I am so glad that is over! I recovered enough to catch the tail-end of the Kerrville Wine and Music Festival ("Little Folk," as compared to the "Big Folk" festival that I wrote about in May/June). Performers included the amazingly talented 21 year old John Fullbright (who I also saw at a house concert last night), Kevin Welch, The Trishas, and Snarky Puppy. An awesome night of music! Soon I will be seeing one of my favorite musicians, Michael Franti, in Austin! Woo-hoo! Read about him on his website, for not only is he a good artist, he also uses his music as a vehicle for charity work and raising awareness of social issues. He is an inspiration.

Well folks, other than all that, I have been doing lots of writing. I am already working on my next blog post. It will be carrying a different tone than most of my posts, as it will focus on the subject of water use, rather than on me, and things we can all do to help preserve healthy water for not only future generations, but for our own future as well. This is increasingly becoming a very very important issue. So, please please.....Stay tuned! In my next post, reader participation will be invited!

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