Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

RINNE ALLEN

I received the most lovely pack of 3 x 5 photographs from Rinne in the mail a few months back. The photos were like a photo album from the last three years of my life and included our old offices, my daughter at three weeks old, and my grown son. But the loveliest of all was this picture of Butch’s installation:

Birds of a feather will fly together.

I have this photo pinned above my desk to remind me each and every day that we are here to fly.

See more from Rinne here.

And all of her work for Hable Construction

 

CEREMONY

I am obsessed with ceremony these days: rites of passage, moments to reflect, moments to celebrate and moments to join inspire me. I occupy my mind with details, images and processes.

Imagine my delight when Angie Mosier told me the story of cooking a wedding cake in New York City for Ted Lee (of Lee Bros. fame) and artist E.V. Day.

The story of Angie flying a cake to New York and icing it in a friend’s kitchen inspired me to look at E.V.’s work more closely. On her website I laughed at finding a most beautiful celebration of ceremony:

E.V. Day Bride Flight, 2006

THE GIANT POOL OF MONEY

 

 

 

 

 

This American Life is one of my all-time favorite programs. I subscribe to the podcast from iTunes that I can enjoy it any time I get the chance to listen for an hour. It is free of charge, inspiring and automatically loads to my library each week.

Their episode “The Giant Pool of Money” is hands-down one of the best programs ever done (and there have been many, many, many exceptional programs – “The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar” being another one of my favorite favorites.)

You can listen to their report about the “The Giant Pool” here:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=355,

Thanks go out to Ira and all the staff at WBEZ Chicago.

THE HILLARY LESSON

I have debated for weeks as to whether I should post this, or not:

I am political, in my own small, grass-roots way and I do not want to become involved in grander (capital) POLITICS that I cannot have much direct influence upon. Don’t misunderstand me: I know that my voice can make a difference and has made a difference; this is why I fight to be heard each and every day. As Helen Keller so aptly wrote, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” I know that this is my role as grass-roots activist.

However, the more I think about it, the more I understand that this story is not about politics, not about a candidate, but about the future of our girls and their dreams. And, for this reason solely, it is worthy of our discussion and thought.

Here is the post:

I tore this article out of The New York Times Sunday Magazine back in May. It has been sitting on my desk since 5.18.08 and I keep coming back to it over and over again. It has been folded, unfolded, folded again, dog-eared and pinned to the tack board. You see, Peggy Orenstein so clearly describes my feeling as an American, a woman and a voter that I have just not been able to shake my feelings that something was just not right.

So, as my daughter grows, what will I tell her about my history as a woman, about running a business, about the path I have walked to become who I am today? What will I tell her about our past as a nation and about a time of change?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/magazine/18wwln-lede-t.html?ref=magazine

I asked my friend Sara what she thought about “The Hillary Lesson,” and here was her reply:

I read an article the other day – I will link to it – that just about sums it up. Even though I didn’t plan to vote for Hillary, I could feel the misogyny all around, throughout the campaign.

Hell, Fox News has stooped to calling Michelle Obama ‘Barack’s Baby Momma.’ Indeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-IrhRSwF9U&eurl=http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2008/05/27/sexism_sells/

READING THIS WEEK

I actually found some time over the weekend to sit down and read. Yes, it seemed rather shocking. Between digging potatoes, playing games, baking banana cake, laughing, loving, and a slew of other things, I just sat down, picked up a book that has been on the shelf for some years and started to read.

In the chaos of life (and with the help of friends), I have recently been thinking a lot about the kind of business I want to have and run. What makes a good business? What are my goals? What are my goals as a business woman? What are my goals as a woman? Where does my personal life intersect with my business life? Where do we go from here?

It was a pleasure to sink into Paul Hawkins’ book Growing a Business.

With joy and laughter, I was reminded why I love being an entrepreneur.

CHARLEY HARPER’S ABC’S

 

And in reference to actually being able to read…

The new favorite book at our house: ABC’s by Charley Harper

It is a stunningly beautiful book of alphabet and animals seen through the eyes of Charley Harper. We read it each day front to back, back to front and then front to back again.

I am inspired to make a pattern of lady bugs, clover, luck and more.

ROSES LOVE GARLIC

It has been a really busy week. I had intended to post every day about the wonder and beauty of our simple garden. Now it is Thursday and here you have the second post of the week. Perhaps there will be time to elaborate as the weekend approaches.

This is the first year that I really concentrated on companion planting. What seems a complicated subject matter to me is demystified by Louise Riotte in her two books:

Roses Love Garlic & Carrots Love Tomatoes

I love how my blooming garlic mingles with an old rose bush that was a part of my house the day I moved in. Maggie and I have enjoyed watching the garlic blooms pop their little ‘hats’ as the blossoms open from their little paper shell.

I have to admit that I have not been able to wait until the fall harvest and have been sampling our garlic since the stems emerged last autumn.

I recently came across an article with recipes for young garlic in a magazine which I simply cannot recall this morning. However, a simple Google search provides scores of young garlic recipes from Shrimp Stir Fry to soup.

And be sure to watch Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers by Les Blank.

Enjoy!

THIS WEEK IS GARDEN WEEK

I am inspired by my garden. These small beds that run around and behind my little house will feed my family this summer.

Thanks to our compost, we are pleasantly surprised by all of the volunteer tomato plants that have sprung up in every spot that we spread this luscious soil.

Maggie and I watch as flowers mingle with the rogue tomatoes, sunflowers and cantaloupes willy-nilly.

Our backyard composter and worm bin, the Biostack:

http://www.composters.com/compost-bins/bio-stack-bin_91_1.php

YANCEY CHAPEL

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of being able to visit the Yancey Chapel in Sawyerville, Alabama. A part of the works from Rural Studio, this chapel has been closed to the public for some time.

The work and life of Samuel Mockbee is a yardstick for us to hold up to our lives each and every day to take measure of the road that we walk on this planet. Learn more about Samuel, his life and legacy here:

Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee

Rural Studio

Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency

THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

From the Associated Press:

MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. – High gas prices have driven a Warren County farmer and his sons to hitch a tractor rake to a pair of mules to gather hay from their fields. T.R. Raymond bought Dolly and Molly at the Dixon mule sale last year. Son Danny Raymond trained them and also modified the tractor rake so the mules could pull it.

T.R. Raymond says the mules are slower than a petroleum-powered tractor, but there are benefits.

“This fuel’s so high, you can’t afford it,” he said. “We can feed these mules cheaper than we can buy fuel. That’s the truth.”

And Danny Raymond says he just likes using the mules around the farm. “We’ve been using them quite a bit,” he said.Brother Robert Raymond added, “It’s the way of the future.”