Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Days of Orange and Cream Thoughts, 2011

                            Cinderella Wore Orange Slippers  

In my mid forties I find I still live with the common and famous fairytales from my youth as viable guides of morality and wisdom. Like my girlhood favorite Cinderella, to this day it still effects me and over time perhaps even more so but in a more positive way. As I grow older I begin to realize the effects various fairytales have had on me and how they have grown with me over time. It seems to me that these fairytales tend grow beyond the original tellings and in each of us becomes it's own voice which grows with us, morphing into a continually useful psychological tool. With Cinderella, I came to realize that my cinder maid wore magical orange slippers. During these summer days of orange and cream I will illustrate the effect Cinderella and her orange tinted glass slippers have on me. It is apart of my life work as an artist and introvert to look at what is driving my psyche aiding me in either function or disfunction.

This summer is all about orange and cream. Recipe's, art, clothes, thoughts, cars, it's all in orange and
cream.

We all must eat and those of us that cook, eat well and our lives are enriched by creative cooking. Below is a wonderful vegetable dish, that goes great with ginger chicken and fresh baked rolls. It's a dish Cinderella would have been proud to serve.




Broiled Asparagus with Orange Slices
Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus
1 shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings (I didn't have a shallot so I used a red onion)
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp orange zest

Directions:
Heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the asparagus and onion slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the orange slices on top of the asparagus. Broil for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the orange zest. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


Source: Fine Cooking Annual Cookbook


      
Above is an original watercolor by Julie Koski. Painted on 6/27/2011




The Mercurial Slippers of Cinderella were orange not  clear glass. And if glass, it was orange glass. Hot molten glass made with a touch of Venusian copper. An artful pair of slippers produced by one's Fairy God Mother with the intentions to carry Cinderella over the moon and into the light of the sun where she might find her Prince Charming.

In such dreams. I say, dreams because it is in the attic she dwells, not a basement. In the attic where one keeps the cobwebs cleared and the clarity of vision polished on the panes of glass intricately set in small unique windows Like the ones only found in attics. A window leading out from the superego making a pilgrimage into the night of the soul and the higher conscious. These are not dreams of ambivalent haze they are dreams with sight. Wakeful dreams that transport the mindful soul to it's magical castle inhabited by it's Prince Charming. ~J.K.



Orange MuffinsThese muffins are so fluffy, barely sweet, with a fresh orange flavor. They really just melt in your mouth. Perfect for breakfast or a mid afternoon snack. You can even have one with tea after dinner.  The recipe calls for sour cream which I believe is what makes these muffins cake-like and very moist. You will really enjoy this one.


Ingredients:
For the muffins:
1 cup milk
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 sticks (16 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
Zest of 1 orange 

For the glaze:
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tsp. orange zest 


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pan with paper liners.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs and melted butter.  Whisk together to blend.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend just until incorporated.  Fold in the orange zest with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  

To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, confectioners’ sugar, and orange zest in a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth, adding more juice if necessary to achieve your preferred consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the muffins while they are still warm. Allow the glaze to set before serving.  Store in an airtight container.





Monday, July 25, 2011

Kabu, the Japanese Word for Turnip

Maybe not quite a turnip but most definitely a turn-up. A cute little chub of a turnip/turn-up. Our newly acquired Dachshund came with the unfortunate name of Paris which with it came some nasty insinuations. It was apparent that the previous family that owned her named her Paris as a reference to Paris Hilton. This was made even more apparent by the nine or ten year old boys who use to own or know her while walking past her in her new fenced in yard would on their way home from school, call out her name and make lewd humping movements while giggling and slugging each other.

Poor girl, no wonder she did not come by that name when I called her. It was an absolute,  her name had to change. We were calling her a little turn-up since she starting coming into our lives. We had already nic named two of our other Dachshunds with Japanese words. Rain is a toasted sesame seed, Go Ma and Wolf was called a fat man, Ho Tia. Once I made eye contact with her and tried out the new word Kabu as possible name on her, her whole demeanor seemed to change. She got perky and wiggled her whole body franticly and acted like the word sounds to me. It was a take, she accepted the name and has joyously responded to it ever since.

Awe, our sweet little Turnip!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sunsets on the Old International to Paris

 I'm not as astute as my husband is, I tend to walk around with blinders on but because I now know her, I start to see Paris around the neighbor hood. Usually free and unattended, under cars around tires, scrounging around trash bins, rolling in the stinky and nasty.  Because of her masculine silhouette once I mistook her as a male Dachshund and pointed her out as a new male Dachshund in the neighborhood to my husband on one of our drives out. To which he gently reassures me that no, it is actually Paris. I'm in a little disbelief. We muse on what might have come of her puppies. She looks different to me. Perhaps she has just grown up more. I can feel my husband bristling some as he comments on how she is out again and that she is going to be picked up by the dog catcher. It's obvious he loves her. I feel a little bad for him and his attachment and the feelings of helplessness he must feel. We drive on in silence.


A couple months later we slip into summer, the streets are filled with kids, especially our street on the one side of our home because it is one of the only long flat straight roads to play on. Along this side street we have our 1975 International school bus waiting for renovation into a motorhome. When we came back from our camp trip, we found our bus had been vandalized. The bus has had it's time of attracting the on the run criminals and curious opportunists, so every time someone is on the run the police come to inspect it for this reason. We wondered what happened while we were away. We have no clue as to what happened.

The next weekend we go away again for entire weekend. When we get back  there is an even more damaged bus awaiting us. It is clearly being vandalized and my husband has a feeling it is neighbor hood kids. With-in a few hours of being home the teenage girl across the street from us who does allot of baby sitting comes over and tells us our bus is being vandalized and that she knows who is doing it. So, off goes my husband and the babysitter. 


Rescued by Daddy Bones
Due to the fact that supposedly the police can not hold a child responsible under a certain age for the vandalizing that they would not allow my husband to file a report on any of the guilty children and also because they said he got verbal agreements from the families that they would be responsible. Well, no-one stepped up and made payments, though my husband went rather routinely to collect. On one of his attempts to collect trips around the neighborhood the mother of the boy who owned Paris and was a main culprit offered Paris to my husband, saying that her eldest son came home to live and he is allergic, so they need to get rid of her. So, came home my husband with his little golden charm dog. My husband never went out to collect again after that and then shortly sold the bus for scrap metal. I think my husband felt like he got payment enough once he got to bring Paris home and seemed to just let it all go after that.

More later about our lives with Dachshunds.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dachshund, In Through an Open Door

About a year after we had acquired our half Dachshund half Kelpie brother and sister pups, Rain and Wolf that upon arriving from one of our car rides a sweet little blonde colored Dachshund jumped into our lives through an open door. Rain and Wolf loved her straight away. She jumped in the car like she owned it, wagging her tail excitedly, licking us franticly as if she had been long awaiting our arrival. She greeted us home. She fit right in. My husband, holding her like some long awaited golden charm asks me with those big irresistible puppy dog eyes of his, "Can we keep her". I was slightly hesitant because we already had two and I did not think I wanted any more animals in my life when we got them. So, as if I never had a reasonable thought or any will of my own which it seems I do not when it comes to the charms of my Husband and the pound of his beating heart, I hear myself say, "Yes". Yes it seems is a good answer for me as well because as soon as I say yes, I feel excited I accepted her into our lives. 

I'm convinced now, me and my husband are really easy.

We carry her into the house and let her loose. She scarfs up food and laps up water franticly. We notice that she has developing teats. She's pregnant! No collar and her fur is coarse, a sure sign to me that she needs more nutrients in her diet. I'm on the phone to the vet in an instant. and my husband is introducing her to the doggie door and the fenced in yard. Once the vet appointment is made I'm happily attending our new family member and witnessing her introduction to our family  when I hear children calling out in search of a lost loved something down the road. My head cocks a little to one side looking towards my husband with my body slightly collapsing in disappointment. I ask him if he thinks they are looking for her. Booming from down the road we hear, "PARIS", " PAAARIS". My husband with his head pointed down, I hear him growls out his guilty admittance, " Yes". Now my head cocked in judgment and disbelief because I can tell he knew she was not as stray as he was allowing me to assume she was. We hold a moments steely stare between us and he manages in his gruff defiant biker guy type way, " Yes, but they don't deserve her". I roll my eyes at him and narrow in my hawk eye on him. Considering her condition and our concern for her, I did know what he meant by his comment. Still, I can't believe it. I mean how would we explain our having her in our yard when these children walk by in the future. I tell him we can't just keep someone else's dog we have got to return her. I wave to the children down the road from us. Yelling the question, are they looking for their dog. They came quickly to retrieve her.  I ask my husband to lift her over the fence to them. They are very happy to receive her and tell us they can't seem to keep her in the yard, she is some kind of Houdini dog.

After the children are out of earshot my husband grovels so that I might hear, "Houdini dog, my ass".

Later that week we went to our favorite bar, "Horses to Harley's" (where we got our two original pups, Rain and Wolf and also got married a couple years before) and had a good 'ol time sharing with our buddies there my husbands' soft hearted animal loving antics.  

Color Wheel Of Perception, Cinderella Story Examination

Out from my early childhood years and into young adulthood, at this stage the development of my mind translated some of Cinderella's story into a poor poor Cinderella who suffers a grave injustice with so may unpleasant things being done to her. I correlated her story to my own life experiences and the exposure I had to spiritual teachings. I looked at her story as a moral example of Christian values like being a servant to God, which also translated itself to servant to man, about forgiveness and a mild temperament. In spite of the fact that our subconscious is in continual process with all life accumulated materials we can only interpret stories especially elusive stories like fairy tales with the information we are exposed to in life. For me it is comparable to a color wheel. To begin with, we are given the basics, the four primaries plus black and white and we see color for a time as these colors but over time with the help of a teacher we learn we can mix the colors and new shades of color are explained. We knew that the primaries and black and white did not quite explain the multitude of shades we were seeing but life and light is stimulating and also distracting from deeply delving into why the color wheel does not stand up to true life perceptional experience. Well, not until we are shown and given permission to look at that question, permission to have that question answered. Now we begin to see the vast array of admitted color perceived by most people. We start to marvel at peoples interpretations of what they see expressed in art which further helps expand our personal perceptions. So, I feel as we grow our interpretations of such childhood stories our interpretations are apt to change as well as I am finding. And just like our introduction to the color wheel we are introduced to different awareness by others as we grow in life. And through our personal experiences and cultivations by others and later our own self cultivations in the back ground of our subconscious minds there turns a new revelation derived at through a favorite childhood story. Throughout this journal I plan to turn up what is going on behind the scenes of my subconscious and see first hand my own personal growth. I trust that if there be truth in these findings that it should also relate to others as well. My pursuits here are my very own and will not rest on popular psychological determinations, however, at times, my conjectures may parallel with other' famous hypothesis which only helps aid me to see the universal truths and perhaps you as well.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thief of my Heart, Dachshund Love, Paintings

                                                              


  A short funny story about a punishment doled out by two dachshund pups'  to their owners. by Julie Koski






       Short End of the Bic


           We expected the worse. On our way home we joked about what sort of destruction we faced as a form of punishment for having abandoned the two of them for the evening. In the past Rain would dole the punishment out to Dad and Wolf out to Mom. It was evident who did what and to whom because of our dachshund pup's varied tastes in items enjoyed and destroyed and to which one of us by who's chosen bed fellow we were. And to the world our punishments were made evident; My husband parading around in ink stained clothes, toeless socks and dirty gum splotches on his derriere and for me a yard near daily decorated with brightly colored scat, mostly panties but also precious sewing fabrics and of course abused shoes.  WIthout a doubt each punishment was painfully felt.


            We greeted the wildly excited pups and cautiously looked around our home. Enlarged smiles and with pride in our hearts to find no immediate damages to house or stuff made. We lavished them with praises. It was not until we got into the bedroom that we saw our absences indeed were greatly missed and with trepidation approached the disheveled bed where upon I found a sole shoe twisted up in the bedding and on my side of the bed. There was no apparent punishment from Rain left for my Husband. This pleased my husband something fierce and due to some strange competitive game we play my husband spends a little time gloating how well behaved his Rain is and gleeful over my punishment. I took it somewhat gracefully but not without reminding him of how badly he had gotten it from her in the past. Finely exhausted, we slip into bed thanking our lucky stars we had avoided the worse.

          About three A.M. I awaken to my husband yelling in pain, "Oh, my ass, my ass! Theres something horribly wrong down there!". I'm startled, panicking and without my glasses on I quickly rip the bedding back and look at his back side and see nothing.

                 "Where sweetie, what is it. I don't see anything"?

                  " No, in there, in my crack, the pain!!!!". 

          Okay. I quickly spread his buns. What I see is like some nightmare. I can't believe my eyes. What is it? What Am I looking at? It looks like silk webbing or cotton stretched from cheek to cheek covering his crack with something white sticking out of the web like mess. I try to focus in the dim light and without my glasses. My heart is beating fast and I'm truly scared and say to my husband in as calm a voice as I can, " I don't know what is going on, I think we are going to have to take you to the emergency room". 

                 "Why",  the tension in his voice whines out, " Why"?

          With hesitation I begin again as calm as possible, "What I see is", choosing my words carefully, " What it looks like is", slowly I say, "Maybe an infection" , hesitation again "Maybe thrush". 

                " WHAT"? His voice boomed. 

         Nervous, "I don't know"! Even more nervous now I deliver the final uncertain ugly detail, " And perhaps a piece of tailbone sticking out". 

         I hear my husband's muffled voice speak into the pillow, "Oh my God". 


         I really can't believe my eyes, it's like something out of an Alien film. I keep trying to focus as I hold his buns apart leaning in and pulling away, leaning in and pulling away trying to focus. My mind reels with scary movie images. It's like some alien insect cocoon nested in my husband's crack! In my dizzy dream like hazy feeling I wonder, Is this for real? It looks so unbelievably bad. My poor Hubby!!!! Well, upon my leaning in to get a closer look I catch the scent of mint. This time I lean in and sniff the unsightly infection and clearly it has the scent of minty fresh spearmint. 

                "Why does your butt smell minty"? I ask my husband. 

                " Huh"?
          Sniff, sniff, "Yes, minty"!  ….."Okay, hold on, let me touch it". 
          He lifts his head from the pillow and says, "Okay, but be careful". 

          Once I touch it, it's obvious, "Oh, for Peet's sake, it's gum", I exclaim with relief!

                " What"? 

          I start to remove the gum all the while my husband wincing as his hairs are being pulled with the removal of the gum and dislodging the piece of we don't know yet what from deep in there. "Ah, there now" ! Victorious I hold up the the evil bone like shard intruder, still removing bits of gum from it. Grabbing my glasses and switching the bedroom light on we peer in and closely examine the mysterious white flake. It is still unclear as to what it is until I notice that my husband also has blue bruises on his hip and cheeks and as well the bottom sheet.  Almost at once and at the same time we knew exactly what it was. To our dismay, the bit of evil is a piece of Bic pen chewed flat. And upon closer inspection of Rain we see her muzzle is also inked.


        Teasing my husband I pat and kiss on Rain saying, " Who loves her Daddy Bones".

                        
       -Julie Koski


Each glance of everyone of them, steals my heart away.  Peanut, the character in this watercolor is a nuzzle kisser. Where he learned the art of gentile, non obtrusive kissing is beyond me. He is unique in the way he nuzzle kisses. I think he came out of the womb as a secure individual, creative and knowing exactly how and who he wanted to be in life. Loving Peanut!

Little Lotus, the only girl pup out of the litter. My husband named her Lotus Pod (his choice completely surprised me). She loves her name and she is my shadow. Me and lotus are tight!