Friday, July 15, 2011

The Reverend

Don't Hate The Rev. from

T-shirt designed by a friend to support The Reverend, our slightly illegal backyard family member.

More information on The Reverend's Facebook page.

Friends of The Reverend

Full text of a letter delivered to our neighbors (along with a jar of strawberry jam):

July 14th, 2011

Hello Neighbors,

We wanted to extend an apology to anyone who survives the morning cacophony of crows, stellar jays, raccoons, car alarms, sirens and the occasional fire truck visit only to get the morning sermon from one of our chicken flock – The Reverend Green, or “The Reverend” as we call him.

Seriously, a sincere apology.

He is a most unexpected part of our family, but one that we have become quite attached to. We have been hoping he would stay quiet (and was until last Thursday), and so far we’ve only noticed a 15 or 20 minutes max sermon around 5:45 – 6:00 AM (we are usually up after the Crow Festival of 3:30 AM) but realize that can still be annoying, especially to those who aren’t feeling the LOVE of The Reverend and his Congregation first thing in the morning.

Since we spend about half of the year living on a street that feels like it is doing a reenactment of the Tet Offensive and American Civil War COMBINATION 24/7, we thought this would be a minor inconvenience at best. Who knew America got a six month birthday celebration, and just ending in time for the World of New Year’s Celebrations? Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like having our largest dog try to crawl under our legs and watching the windows wave back and forth all night long and looking at the clock to see it is 3:00 AM and we still haven’t slept and need to be up in two hours.

We wanted to let you know that we are attempting to put in some sound proofing and ways to delay the sermon until most folks are on their way to work. We’ve been doing research. If that still doesn’t work, and we are hopeful that it does, we are trying to come up with a back-up plan that we hope we don’t have to do. We have contacted folks that we know just in case. But we hope you notice a big difference after this weekend.

Our hens have not started laying eggs yet, but they should be doing that soon – within a month we expect. We will have more than we can eat and would love to share them with you. In addition we are over-run with strawberries, raspberries and soon blueberries that we would like (to bribe you with) share with you. We know we have a HUGE WOODEN FENCE and usually are overrun with mean looking teenagers (we are down to one plus a girlfriend and he is harmless), but we really aren’t nearly as stand-off-ish as we fear we might appear. We are nice guys. We have references and Moms. You can come and meet the girls; Nina, Nico, Aretha, Bobbie Gentry, Yva II, Etta, Yoko and Bessie. And you can have a word with The Rev too. We often invite folks from the trail (especially those with kids) to come on over to see the chickens and pick berries – feels odd we haven’t had many of those we share a street with do the same. Heck, if you catch us on the right day we might even have some homebrew (Rodney makes his own) to share.

PLEASE let us know if our efforts to be peaceful and good neighbors are not working. We really do love living in this amazing home with our creek and the forest and the coyotes and the kids and the library and the Taco Truck and the Pho and the birds. We feel so fortunate.

Thank you

(signed with our names, address, emails and phone numbers)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beat The Heat!

Summer is here and while most folks enjoy that bright sky and warm temperatures, I'm not most folks. I like images of the sun, but the real thing is a bit intense. I don't do well in heat. Heat to me begins around 60 degrees with the brutality multiplying by 10 for every five degrees above that.

There are some things I enjoy a great deal about summer; ice cream, outdoor music festivals, fresh tomatoes, men with nice bodies strutting around half naked and now this new beverage favorite that I created after having something similar at a Happy Hour a few months ago. I had to use the Power of Google to give me some ideas, but really it is just kind of an improvised drink, because anything that requires more than improvisation in the summer heat just isn't going to happen.

Here then is a step by step on how to make a Watermelon Margarita

Start by chopping up a fresh watermelon into cubes. If you want it to be slushy, freeze those cubes, but if you want to serve it over ice you can just get right to it. I like the taste of the frozen ones, but I'm one of those folks who get the dreaded Ice Cream Headaches, or Brain Freezes, so I prefer over ice most of the time.

Stick the cubes watermelon in a blender. You just have to kind of eyeball how much you want. Easy Math - The more watermelon = the more drink.

Next up comes Lime Time. One or two, freshly squeezed, should do you. Hold on to those squeezed limes for the glass later.

Add a little sugar to taste.

Now add a little kick. I use a jalapeno, avoiding most of the seeds so as not to overpower the drink, but it all depends on how lively you like your refreshments. Chop the sucker up and toss it in the blender.

Now GET THE PARTY STARTED. You want to add some Tequila and some Triple Sec. Probably two shots of Tequila for every shot of Triple Sec, so say three shots of Tequila and one and a half of Triple Sec. Or double this.


You can just gulp it straight from the blender, but it pays to get a tad more fancy. First get out that box of Kosher Salt you have up in your cupboard, and if you don't have Kosher Salt, why do you have a kitchen?

Take one of those limes that you squeezed a minute ago, and coat the rim of a glass with the juice. Then dip the glass in the salt (which you've placed on a plate for ease with this step).

Add the Watermelon Beverage and you have just made one of the true delights of summer! Congratulations and CHEERS!
(Best served with a plate of nachos or ceviche)

Of course you can not freeze the watermelon, as I mentioned above, and pour this over some ice. Still delicious. I'm going to try a Strawberry version soon. Really any fruit plus booze plus ice equals good summer fun! Enjoy your summer!

Monday, July 4, 2011

My America

I hear it singing, too. I hear it in my blood and in my experiences. I hear it in my heroes and from the earth and from the sky. It is a place, but not a place, a thought but not just one thought. It is not made from boundaries or a period of time, but a constant shifting and constant revolutions, some small and some large. It belongs to no one and it belongs to everyone.

Walt Whitman, Olympic Mountains, Yellowstone Scrabble, Cornel West, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Woody Allen, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Washington D.C., The New York Times, Loraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gil Scott-Heron, White Night Riots, Mattachine Society, John Coltrane, Daughters of Bilities, Gay Sunshine Press, The Croatan, Broadway, John Rechy, Alice Waters, Edgar Allan Poe, Moby Dick, To Kill A Mockingbird, Badlands, Truman Capote, Barack Obama, Cesar Chavez, Marlon Brando, Tupac Shakur, Stonewall Riots, Bessie Smith, Boston, Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka - Kansas, Tucson, Yosemite, Breakfast Cereal, Divine, WAR, Woolworth’s Lunch Counter Protest, State Fairs, Candy Corn, Radical Faeries, Hippies, Planned Parenthood, Bubble Gum, Mount Rainier, Drive-In Theaters, Smithsonian Institute, Lassen, National Geographic Society, Andy Warhol, Spike Lee, National Audubon Society, Roadside Attractions, Film Noir, Life Magazine, Suspension Bridge, Westerns, Jazz, Charles Mingus, Harry Hay, Benjamin Franklin, Saguaro Cacti, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Cage, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington Carver, Joe Coleman, David Foster Wallace, NPR, Greil Marcus, Stan Brakhage, Paper Moon, James Brown, Howard Zinn, Patti Smith, The Grateful Dead Carlsbad Caverns, Henry David Thoreau, Edward Hopper, A Streetcar Named Desire, Draft Card Burning, Feminist Movement, The Ramones, Grand Canyon, X, Odetta, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Mark Twain, Petrified Forest, Miles Davis, Ernest Hemmingway, Tom Waits, Postcards, Mason Jars, Candy Darling, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, Executive Order 9981, Rosa Parks, Little Rock Nine, Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, NAACP, Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Black Panthers, Huey Newton, William Burroughs, Roe vs Wade, Julia Child, Tyler Florence, Gumbo, Grinders, Apple Pie, Bourbon Whiskey, Bob Dylan, Bobby Seale, Pecan Pie, The Beats, Dan Savage, Delicatessens, Bagels, Mickey Newbury, Waylon Jennings, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, Elliott Carter, R. Crumb, Janis Joplin, Morton Feldman, Woody Gutherie, Lou Harrison, Velvet Underground, Harry Partch, Mission Style Burritos, Allen Ginsberg, Harry Smith, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Stevie Wonder, San Francisco, New York Marriage Equality, Cinderella Liberty, Taxi Driver, Robert Altman’s Nashville, Charlie Chaplin, The Wizard of Oz, Sonoran Desert, Dan Clowes, City Lights, Midnight Cowboy, Jack Kerouac, The Chicano Movement, New England Clam Chowder, All In The Family, Tex-Mex Cuisine, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Timothy Leary, The Civil Rights Act of 1968, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Gregg Araki, Anna May Wong, Immigrants, John Cassavetes, Women’s Suffrage, Boudin, The Emancipation Proclamation, Declaration of Independence, Ratification of the Constitution, ACLU, The Marx Brothers, La Raza, BBQ, ACORN, William Faulkner, Bless the Beasts and the Children, Jambalaya, Tabasco, Langston Hughes, John Steinbeck, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Herman Melville, Route 66, Jasper Johns, Rebel Without a Cause, Austin, Texas, Baretta, I Love Lucy, Cape Cod, Modern Times, The Harlem Renaissance, Georgia O’Keeffee, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Pop Art, Man Ray, James Broughton, Hernandez Brothers, Charles Schultz, Eightball, Adrian Tomine, Woodstock, Human Be-In, Evergreen Review, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Susan Sontag, Charles Bukowski, The Whole Earth Catolog, Back-To-The Land Movement, Southern Poverty Law Center, Van Jones, Gone With The Wind, The New York Times, Home Colony, Oregon Country Fair, Angela Davis, Love and Rockets, Frederick Douglass, Freedom, Equality, Happiness