Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grapes and Sophy the Cat

Every year, our grape vines look like they've given up the ghost.  And every year they manage to give us a few bunches of sweet, tiny grapes.  These are still hard and sour, but will be delicious in a few weeks.  I hope to get them before the birds do...

This is Sophy, our little rescue kitty.  A student brought her to my husband's school when she was only 3 weeks old.  She was handed around the school the entire day with no food and was pretty traumatized by the time David got her.  She was so tiny, she fit in the palm of my hand.  I took her to school with me every day for two weeks because she had to be bottle fed every few hours.

     Now she's 5 months old and one of the Wild Things.  I think it has something to do with being orange.  She is extremely affectionate, which also may have to do with orangeness.  (She behaves exactly like Teacake, another orange cat we had years ago.)  We had her spayed on Monday and she must wear the dreaded cone because she keeps fussing with the incision:
 Poor kitty!  I wonder how many channels she picks up with that thing...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Antiques and Tea

My daughter, Morgan and I escaped the heat this week and visited the antique mall and Market Tea Room.  We had fun poking around in all the different stalls and wondering about the people who owned the things that now reside in this building.  I found some beautiful cobalt blue glass bowls that I could easily live with, but resisted.  If they are there the next time I visit, perhaps they are meant to come home with me.  Instead I found the perfect birthday present for my dear friend.  (Randall, if you're reading this, you'll just have to wait until July to find out what it is!) 

Morgan made a friend:
Then we rounded the corner and discovered this dramatic lady:
She was obviously ready for her close-up, so I took it:
Then we went to the tea room and had a delicious lunch of sandwiches and soup (the soups there are incredible and different every day).  There was still a little room left, so we split a carrot cake.
All in all, it was a splendid day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Litha, Everyone!

At this time of celebration, may the blessings of the God/dess manifest abundance in your life!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Garden Surprise

I went out this morning and discovered that the pumpkins and cucumbers have sprouted!  I guess I won't doubt the master gardening guide again.  I purchased a couple of watermelon plants along with a couple of penstemon yesterday.  They're in the ground and looking happy.  Pruned the olive tree this morning, and -- wonder of wonders! -- there's actually a space now to plant things.  This seems to be my mantra this summer:  plant more things, plant more things, plant more things...

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Clarence Clemons, what would Bruce have done without you?  You will be sorely missed...

The Market Tea Room

My aunt, daughter, and I lunched the other day at a lovely place nestled in an antiques mall.  It is locally owned and operated, which I think is important in this day of chains and big business.  Everything is made from scratch and delicious.  I had a chicken salad sandwich with cranberry mayo and lemongrass soup (heavenly!).  They also serve high tea (my daughter and I are already planning to come back for that).  We even got to meet the chef, Carolyn Geiger (how often do you get to meet the owner/chef of the place where you eat?).

If you live in, or are traveling to Las Vegas, I recommend The Market Tea Room located at 6665 S. Eastern Avenue.  And when you've finished eating, there's the antiques mall to explore!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Art Stuff

I haven't posted anything lately about the art I'm doing, because until school ended, I'd been too busy tending to my students' art.  But now the summer stretches in front of me, and I have a few things that I want to work on.

Is anyone else doing The Sketchbook Project 2012?  You can read more about it here:  I learned about this last year, but too late to sign up.  I'm intrigued by the idea and have already begun work on mine.  I chose the theme "Time Traveler" which applies to so many different aspects of my life (drumming, dancing, gardening, evolving...).  As things progress a bit more, I'll post pictures.

As I was watering the garden yesterday morning, I came up with an idea to use some copper sheeting that I inherited from somewhere ages ago.  I'm going to try to make some pinwheels to put in the garden.  The copper is thin enough that I can emboss, cut, and bend it easily into a pinwheel shape.  I might need to get a soldering iron to attach the bits and pieces to a metal rod.  Or perhaps I can put them on a wooden dowel, except that wood doesn't last too long in the desert.  Just kind of thinking out loud here.  This is a "to be continued" thing, too.

And summer is the time to think about winter, specifically my holiday cards, which I always make during the summer.  I finish them, tuck them away, and then it's so nice to pull them out around Thanksgiving and address them.  No ideas for these, yet, but the summer is young...

And I'll be finishing up odds and ends of projects that I've neglected.  I'm feeling pretty energized about all this because it's the first time in 4 years I've had the summer off.  I wasn't happy about the pay cut I took when they changed the schools from 12 to 9 months, but now I'm thankful to have this large chunk of time in which to rejuvenate on so many levels.


How is this for an odd looking group of plants?  Succulents come in such an amazing variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  They remind me of things that might grow on distant planets.  Invasion of the Body Snatchers, anyone?  I find myself alternately attracted and repelled by them.  I have them sitting by our front gate, so if they begin to "pod" perhaps they'll get the pigeons instead of us... 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I saw a bee...

this morning, buzzing around my volunteer squash plants.  I was excited and depressed at the same time.  Depressed that I should be excited by the appearance of one bee.  Excited by the fact that there was one.  I remember bees by the hundreds when I was a child.  Now they are so rare.  Last year, when I went camping in the Valley of Fire, the desert was a-buzz everywhere I went.  This year, there were so few.  It makes me want to take up bee keeping, but I don't have the first clue about such a thing.  Here are my lovely squash plants that appeared out of nowhere this spring.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Welcome to the south side of hell...

The outside temperature gauge on my car said 108 degrees today when I was driving to the store.  Every year I wonder the same thing:  WHY am I living here???  Of course, there are a multitude of answers to that question, which I won't go into here.  Suffice it to say that the three month battle to keep everything in my garden alive has begun.

This is the view from my kitchen window (I love having a window over my sink!):
My aunt and I went to the nursery today and purchased a number of succulents to put in a planter, which I will do tomorrow morning when it is still relatively cool.  I planted cucumber and pumpkin seeds yesterday and will plant some corn tomorrow.  I don't know how much luck I'll have, but it's worth a try.  It seems crazy to be planting stuff in a blast furnace, but my master gardening guide says now is the time.  Updates to follow...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Desert Blooms

This is a cleome, or spider flower.  I remember seeing them in my great-grandmother's garden when I was a child.  I thought they were so strange and exotic looking.  Years passed, as they do, and I forgot about these funny flowers until I saw them one day in a seed catalog.  Well, nothing would do but that I had to have some for my garden.  And best of all, they are drought tolerant!  So I sent away for some seedlings this spring and now they are beginning to bloom.  I love it when the past reaches into the present...