the couple we play on tv

Once when we were discussing the differences in how people sometimes perceive us and the reality of us, Clark said, "It's like the couple we play on TV." It just stuck with me and still makes me laugh. So here goes:

Season 4 of Clark and Lindsay in Love came to a close on July 28, 2009. The Landmark show has provided audiences with memorable moments, laughter, tears, learning, and lots of good food. And how could we forget how it all began?

The seeds of the popular prime-time show were planted late in 2000 when Clark and Linds met on the campus of Snow College and became fast friends. In summer of 2001, they started rehearsals for the dating sequence, which wouldn't be filmed until winter of 2005. Fans still talk about the pilot episode, titled 'Coming Forward' when Clark revealed to Linds over a late-night telephone conversation that he liked her "more than friends." And who could forget her stunned response . . . 'that's big'. And it was.

It still is. In fact, regulars from seasons 3 and 4 have now started a spin off and are leaving the show. "The show just won't be the same without those quirky, fun neighbors and their cute baby,"one fan complained. Frankly, co-stars Clark and Lindsay feel the same way. However, you can catch the paul, jess, and ella show here or you can watch it live, if you live in or visit College Station, Texas. Following are scenes from the season 4 finale.

Fans are waiting anxiously to see what develops in season 5.

(Okay, we really didn't spend our anniversary with Paul and Jess; they moved the weekend of our anniversary. Clark and I went out to dinner - twice, made some yummy dessert, and bought ourselves a nice piece of art - good times.)


growing and growing

Remember these?

Now they look like this:

Plant your own; it's fun.
It's still not too late to plant lettuce varieties, radish, peas, and some types of beans (and probably some other stuff, too).


thank you, idaho

Dear Idaho,

Here in the Gem State, we try to enjoy ourselves. After almost three years, only this summer have I begun to love what you have to offer. If you asked me in February, I would probably bemoan the sub-zero temperatures and your months of gray skies; I might even cry (i mean, can't the sun shine a few times between December and April?). But today, I'm feeling the love. Summer in Idaho Falls is a beautiful thing. These are a few reasons:

"I picked these yesterday"
-cute farmer boy at market
, looked about 15ish

  • Easy-to-find yummy local produce
  • Rarely gets above ninety
  • Easy camping
  • My garden = amazingly prolific
  • Hikes within a 20 minute drive
  • Greenbelt - a stone's throw from home
  • Walking to the farmer's market
  • Daytrips to Teton or Yellowstone = F-U-N
  • The drive to pick up our CSA vegs is incredible
  • This old house and the work we are doing with our own hands this summer (watch for pictures!)

beautiful, shiny zuke fresh from the garden!

So, thank you Idaho for your abundance. We've always known that we won't be here forever, but we're enjoying your spoils while we can.

And thanks for our kitty; we love her.

. . . and a job I love, my paychecks, and grad school tuition.
You're the best. XO


fun times on the fourth

It was another sunny Fourth of July. A few days before the actual holiday, Mom H and long-time family friend JoAnne came for a visit and saw more of Idaho than they bargained for. We drove and drove and saw some amazingly beautiful country. On Friday, we visited the Tetons and then stopped over in Victor to pick up the veggie share (This week: baby greens mix, garlic curls, sage, spinach, bok choy, and . . . real tomatoes!).

Despite the load of food then in the car, the fact remained that the lucious vegetables were unwashed and we weren't prepared to fix the raw materials into a meal. So, we stopped in at the Knotty Pine for a spot of supper. For a tiny-town restaurant, the menu was impressively diverse and featured a mix of traditional (turkey & potatoes w/cranberry) and more interesting dishes. Mom and I each ordered "mushroom blue" (which is mushroom soup with melted blue cheese - de-lish), and shared the seared ahi tuna over bok choy and wasabi mashed potatoes. It was amazingly tasty with just one exception. If I ever get an itch to experiment with wasabi and potatoes, I now know I don't need to scratch that itch.

String Lake in Teton Nat'l Park
(Top - JoAnne, Mom H; Bottom - My uber-cold feet in String Lake)

cute Mom H relaxing by the lake

Then we had more guests. In fact, the visits overlapped. Unprecedented! Joel, Katie, and Carolyn-Kate migrated north for a summer visit. Thanks to the chill nature of our fams, we were able to sleep five people comfortably (i hope).

We had ever so much fun:

eating ice cream,

a bubble-gum 'kiddie' cone


going to market,

playing music,

Joel on tamborine, CK as lead vocalist, jclark on guitar


and eating.

waiting for a table at Brownstone
while listening to live, jazzy blues

Oh, yeah. We watched some fireworks, too.

Families: thank you so much for coming to visit. We love to see you. We also love to be home. It's nice we can do both simultaneously once in a while. Thanks for the good times. Love you!


the social problems of a sometimes vegetarian

Okay, I'm not actually a vegetarian; it's just so much easier to wear the label than to than to explain that healthy, nutritious meat from acceptable sources is just too expensive to buy and eat regularly. You can say "vegetarian" in a breath; the other, not so much (and most people don't really want details, anyway).

But vegetarianism, even my benign version, is not without stigma. Instead of asking questions, some people tend to make assumptions . . . broad, sweeping assumptions. These assumptions are not often articulated, but subtly implied. Despite the occasional alienation, it's been kind of fun to decode people's responses.

Assumption #1 - "You are a militant who wants to steal my steak and bacon and turn them back into animals."

My mental response: Do what you do, dude.

Assumption #2 - "You are an anarchist. What's wrong with McDonald's, KFC, and Taco Bell? Abundant, cheap meat is part of our heritage."

My mental response: Unfortunately, so is obesity.

Assumption #3 - "You don't eat meat, so you must be an animal rights activist. That's weird, but whatever. So you have a soft spot for chickens, just please don't spray paint my leather jacket; it was expensive."

My mental response: Animals taste good; I simply prefer them to have been happy while they were alive. Free range animals are much, much, much healthier while they are alive, not to mention healthier for you, for the earth, and more delicious to eat. Also, if you are going to eat a cow, you may as well use its hide for warmth or something.

image from blog.citypages.com

Maybe these are extreme examples, but they are real (if you can believe it). Sometimes Clark privately considers playing to the stereotype(s) just to mess with people, saying things like, "The swine flu is a scourge sent to punish those who eat the flesh of the Lord's fallen beasts." It kills me every time. Really though, do you have thoughts or know of any good writing on the social aspects and acerbic reactions to vegetarianism?

image from mychildhealth.net

All kinds of people boycott all kinds of things; it's the oldest form of protest (homespun, anyone?). Some quit sugar for health reasons, others refuse to shop at a certain store because of its business practices. So, why is it that quitting meat is so socially and politically charged? We give individual stamps of approval in so many ways: money, time, attention, laughter. It can be a powerful form of boycott to withhold support by withdrawing any of these resources. It is not a new idea. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, "I refuse to participate in this recession." I'm not sure how that could be accomplished (spending rather than saving money?). More power to him, I guess.

Another conundrum is the dinner invite. I love to eat with friends and to feed people, but there are a few inherent obstacles. I don't want to be accommodated and the alternative is equally unappealing. I can't stomach the idea of sitting in front of a plate of chicken; I want to be a gracious guest, but I just can't eat it (at this point, I'll get physically ill - part of the reason for quitting meat to begin with). Also, people generally expect some sort of meat dish for dinner. Our default is to serve pizza. Clark makes wicked-delicious sauce and, even without meat, our made-from-scratch pizza is usually a crowd-pleaser. (Now I can even make the mozzarella!) Want some? You can even BYOMeat, if you want; we genuinely don't mind. And I won't even confiscate your leather jacket.


say cheese

In my quest for achieving a respectable level of domesticity, I have recently made my first batch of delicious mozzarella cheese (quest currently limited to making delicious things I can eat). I will probably never rival the creative craftiness and stellar sewing ability of the amazing Gardner sisters (sisters-in-law included. See example here), which makes it a good thing it's not a contest.

Making cheese is so much fun; each time it's a revelation that I can make something that often comes in plastic pods that have been sitting under winking fluorescent-lights for days, weeks, or months. For example, this

used to be MILK - just minutes before this picture was taken - and I made it into yummy CHEESE with some assistance from my friend Jessica. I love that you can trace the short line of where this milk/cheese has been - cow's udder to jug (with some pasteurizing step in between), jug to stock pot, stock pot to my mouth. Incidentally, I also made this bread and nourished the Basil leaves. Many of the best meals are so simple and hand/home made; Y. U. M.

Thank you, Jess, Barbara Kingsolver, and Ricky Carrol. And thank you, Reed's dairy cows, for your locally-produced, artificial hormone-free, creamy goodness.