Muir Fresh Harvest

What I made with my Muir treasures
What I made with my Muir treasures

I’ve been fighting making this confession for a long time. . . but I’m a foodie. And like any good foodie, I put a lot of effort into finding local food that costs less.

This past month I tried out two fantastic options.

The first is Muir Fresh Harvest. My friend Laura Muir runs this litte co-op type thing. You can pick up a bundle of food, which is 99% produce, on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

The bundle costs $35 plus tax, and there are several pick up locations throughout the valley. I love it for so many reasons. First, its fun to have someone else provide you with a grab bag of produce, and I like searching for recipes to use those ingredients. It also means less time spent at the grocery store – a task I HATE. Third, I’m supporting my friend Laura and local farmers and grocers. Fourth, it’s a big cost savings. The majority of my food budget goes to fresh produce so I’m excited to have a less expensive option.

Here is what is in our bundle for the coming week.

Taylor Gold Pears (6)
Strawberries (1 lb)
Heritage Blend Lettuce (1 lb)
Clipped Green Beans (1 lb)
Red Pearl Onions
Russet Potatoes (#5)
Green Cabbage
Yellow Squash (2)
Zucchini (2)
Grotte Caputo’s Artisan Cheese (8 oz)
White Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pullman Style Loaf, Stone Ground Bakery

And this is what I’m planning on making –

Waffles with fruit topping
Coleslaw (and bbq beans)
Lettuce wraps
Tempeh Curry (recipe –
Green Beans and Pearl Onions

This is  our second bundle, and the only item I haven’t used up is the lettuce. I need to get busy making more salads.

I love the Muir Coop. It’s exactly like Christmas for a foodie! On Thursday I’ll tell you about another food coop option.


Editor’s note: Laura is taking the next six or so weeks off for the delivery of her second child. We wish her all the best and can’t wait til she gets back. So wait to place your order til January.

Doug Snow at the UMFA

Cockscomb II

Last weekend we were able to make it up to the UMFA and take a look at the paintings on display by Doug Snow. I’ve been meaning to go for a while now, but have been busy busy, so I’m glad we finally made it. The show will be up until January 8th, 2012. As far as I know, this is the first real retrospective of Snow’s work since his death in October of 2009, and my advice to everyone is to stop in and check it out. Doug Snow has been one of my favorite Utah painters since I became aware of his artwork, and the exhibit up at the U of U is the best representation I’ve ever seen in one place.

I don’t always like landscape painting, but I love quality Abstract Expressionist painting. Doug Snow blends his landscapes with an abstraction in a way that is just about perfect. The paintings at the top and bottom of this post are by far my favorites, but all of the artwork is fantastic.

University of Utah
Marcia and John Price Museum Building
410 South Campus Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0350

Road to Teasdale

The Circle of Life

Armor of GAWD
Armor of GAWD
Big Head
Big Head

It’s been six years since my first pet as an adult, an Airedale Terrier named Mimi died. She was my social lubricant, 99% of my friends were her friend first. She was my cross fit gym, my workouts weren’t just trail runs, but trail runs accompanied by the rhythmic squeaking of a stupid carrot toy.  Airedales hate anything that feels like work, but she did love her carrot. She was my fashion accessory, too. I know the hard core dog people will find this irksome, but there is something about walking a dog so beautiful that traffic stops. Everyone seems to look at you and sing: “She’s got legggggs! Sheer energy legggs!”

And the circle of life goes on. I have Amy Wicks, City Council Woman in Ogden, and Airedale owner to thank for finding my new friend. Amy told me a 14 month old “little” Airedale boy was homeless in Idaho Falls. Within just a couple of hours of hearing about him I got in my car and I drove. I left at four p.m., got him, and was back in the SLC about 9 a.m. I witnessed a heart-breaking parting, his owner was a good guy, but couldn’t afford to keep and house the pup. His loss is my gain. Jared had taken him through the hard part – the crying at night, teething and housebreaking. Terriers are not easy to house train.

I’m glad he is a boy, because if he weren’t I know I would drift back in time and mistake him for Mimi. He spooks just like her, like a horse. He leans like her – leaning on a human’s legs is the highest compliment in big dog language. He plays like her, big paws punching me in the face. He sniffs crotches just like her, no hesitation, wet nose all the way up. Just like Mimi, he is the official welcome wagon of the dog park, smoothing out conflict to prevent fights and being the “rabbit.” He relies on brawn and bravery to “win” the games rather than speed, a tactic I thought was all Mimi.

And like Mimi, we named him a name that no one else likes. His name is Armor-of-God Sampson Horatio West. Armor-of-God is a character in an Orson Scott Card book I read when I was 12. Horatio, of course, was Hamlet’s best friend. And Sampson was his original name, which we liked, but it seemed a bit too obvious. You can call him Armor, or Army, or dipshit. If you look at him and smile when you say it, he will prance on over.

I’m grateful that his original owner is still involved. I text him photos and he is going to visit over the holidays. Army is taller and thinner than he was two months ago when we brought him home. His physical stamina is improved. He is a beautiful boy who always needs a bath. I have to admit, I feel so much more like myself with a sexy, bad ass dog at my side. It feels so right. That said, you never, ever forget your first love.  I think of “Big Orange” the original often, especially when I watch my tall, curly friend bounding ahead.

Leaping Airedales
Leaping Airedales

The Death Mask

People have probably been making death masks since civilization began. In the ancient world, these masks were usually buried with the dead. At some point though, they became a keepsake, something kept in the house to help remember the dearly departed. In the West, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face. The death mask became very popular during the 19th century and some famous faces from that time, like Beethoven, became common household decorations. Here are a few people you might recognize, and a few you probably wont:

Abraham Lincoln


William Blake

Ancient Chinese Death Mask


Walt Witman

Veroica Giuliani

Benjamin Franklinstein

Bruce Lee

Unidentified Drown Woman



Isaac Newton


Joseph Smith

Julius Caesar

Leo Tolstoy

Mayan Death Mask

King Tut

Mary, Queen of Scotts

Aerial Arts Performance Lab Class

Hannah in Air
Hannah in Air

Aerial Arts of Utah will present a student showcase called “Aerial Rendezous” on Saturday.  Performances are at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The 4 p.m. performance includes the youngest students.  The event is free, but donations are accepted. My friend, Hannah Mount, will perform in the show case. I’m super proud of her.

Here’s the deets:

Saturday, November 19 · 4:00pm  and 7:00pm
1301 E. Miller Ave. (3128 S)
Salt Lake City, UT

I asked Hannah about her interesting hobby and here is what she said:

“I was looking to do something different shortly after I moved to Utah,” said Hannah.  “What’s awesome about the show is we each have a different style and each piece is very reflective of our personalities. My piece is very introspective and shows a side of me that not very many people get to see. It’s a peek into my mind and the emotions that drive me.”

I’m a dog I’m a workin dog I’m a hard workin dog

Sampson Working
Sampson Working

I met a working dog not long ago.

He’s not a cow dog. He’s not a rolling over dog. And he’s not a watch dog.

He’s an accounting assistant! Now that’s a recession proof choice, boy. Good boy!

The dog’s name is Sampson. And he’s very cute. And he doesn’t crunch numbers. What he does, when people come to the accounting office where he works is this – he says hi. He lap sits, and he licks their hands. Sounds like a job I could do. Do you think they have any openings?

Sampson Sampan Ampersand is Barton Moody’s dog. Barton is living the dream in a historic duplex at 9th and 9th where he does taxes. Barton does taxes for a lot of artsy fartsy people like me and Todd.

Here’s the story of how Sampson found his job, and his forever home:

“I met Sampson on the shoulder of a guy that I barely knew and I fell in love instantly. He was just barely weaned and I said to this guy (whose name I don’t even remember) ‘If it doesn’t work, let me know.’ The next day I received a phone call from the guy and this unnamed dog evidently had spent the entire night destroying the guy’s girlfriends shoes. ‘It is me or the dog’, said she.  Now, after a few pair of shoes and glasses, the problem is now regulated to the past.

Sampson comes from dachshund and shiatsu roots. He is an elongated beastie and he can curl around upon himself, hence “ampersand”. His middle name is from the Sampan restaurant, which was the take out treat at the time. We are more Chanon Thai folks, now. But, Sampson’s favorite food is the jellybean. He likes meats and cheeses, like dogs do. But when I go for the jellybean jar on my desk, he is right there.”

Sampson is a good boy, and maybe around tax season you will look Barton up, take your receipts over, and get introduced.

Moses’ Horny Head

“And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tablets of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord,” Exodus 34:29. “And they saw that the face of Moses when he came out was horned, but he covered his face again, if at any time he spoke to them,” Exodus 34:29.

It’s known that these two verses from the Bible might not have been translated correctly. The word horned should be something like ray of light instead, and some versions of the Bible have changed the verses to read that way. Personally, I’d rather have horns. I think it’d be pretty sweet if all of the ancient prophet’s foreheads started to calcify and sprouted horns. Maybe they did. One thing is for sure, Michelangelo deliberately carved two short ram horns on the top of Moses’ head in his statue which is now in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli at Rome.

Tomb of Pope Julius II

Horns are an interesting symbol. Sheep are surefooted climbers, and remember, Moses had just come down from the mountain after visiting with God. When domesticated, sheep are so gentle that religions all over the world have  incorporated them into their art forms. Apollo, Hermes, and later Jesus were all pictured as Good Shepherds with lambs either resting at their feet or carried on their shoulders. In ancient times, horns were also a symbol of divinity and physical power. When Alexander the Great was initiated by the oracle at the Temple of Amon, he accepted a great horned headdress so all would recognize him as a leader and conqueror. There were the Celtic druids, whose god Cernunnos was known as the “Horned One”. Or Pan from Greece. Even the marauding Vikings wore horns on their head to symbolize their power.

At one point, symbols were wielded by wizards and priests, symbols were worthy of respect and sometimes caused superstitious fear. Simply drawing an icon or writing a word was a magical act. Dressing like an animal could make you that animal. These days, it all seems so mundane. Symbols are so common and ordinary today that we hardly even think about them, and we tend to overlook their power. Maybe this is off-topic and should be the subect for a different post, but think of all we’ve accomplished through language and art. Pretty much everything we do, especially when communicating with others, relies on symbols. Even science uses language and images to communicate ideas. As I spell these words, you could say I’m casting a spell. We all do whenever we write. The words you’re reading right now are made from symbols that create ideas in your head. The icon you clicked to open this webpage was a symbol. And on and on and on. So damn common! And still, the words we use, the art we make, and the faith we might have all use symbols to communicate and express ideas.

As the adopted son of the Pharaoh and heir to the throne, Moses would have been educated in Egyptian philosophy and worship, and he would have been very aware of all the symbols that they used. Michelangelo, who was well educated in Neoplatonism, Christianity, and mythology, would have also understood the meaning of this symbol. With these horns, Michelangelo showed Moses to be a man of power and station. Moses had stood with God, and had the inner strength to become one with his own divinity.

WHAM, those horns did grow! I think they are fantastic! Someday, I hope to sprout some horns on my own head.