Monday, May 31, 2010

*beans-n-potato salad*

beans and potato salad, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i used to be so gross...i would eat cold pork & beans cold, straight out of the can, although i avoided the little white "thing". *shudders* now that i am happily free of weirdo animal ingredients i am also happy at the selection of vegetarian baked beans you can find now. nothing is better than my own (veganized from the way mom would make it. nothing low fat about her version with all that mayo!) potato salad paired with a can o' beans. the two side dishes must be touching and mixing on my plate for the ultimate picnic/bbq/summer meal experience. i think it would be very easy and delicious to make the baked beans from scratch but there is something about the canned version...reminds me of opening cans with the automatic opener as a kid trying to be a helper in the kitchen with mom. her from the hip, working class dinners were always delicious, if not always the most healthy in our 70's and 80's dolly madison and wonder bread influenced world. i think she would approve of my potato salad and of all of the other things she taught me unknowingly in the kitchen. :)

happy memorial day, i hope yours was as relaxing and interesting start to summer just as it was for us!

Friday, May 28, 2010

*the BIG salad*

shawn's salad, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i don't want your puny side salad...i am with elaine from seinfeld and i want the BIG salad. i want it to have quinoa AND tofu...edamame, tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, shredded {insert any kind of misc veggie here. i figure if it's a veggie, can be cut up or shredded and eaten raw it belongs in ma face} and a really good dressing like either goddess or a good miso flavored one. if the croutons are vegan i will take some of those {if not i will have some crunchy chinese noodles} and those fake bac-o bits, too. and you know what else i would like is some daiya vegan cheese and cut up tofurkey, too. yes, you read that right. all of my salad.

if i can get all this at an all you can eat salad bar, that would be just fantastic. over in the arden area there is fresh choice which is pretty good. it has everything labeled with allergy information and had veg and vegan labels, too. did i mention it was all you can eat? i want to go back for thirds, is that bad? there is also the coop, which has a decent salad bar {not all you can eat, though and it ends up being pricey, it's by the pound and it's easy to pile up on your plate and it's the dressing that weighs it down so much anyway!}

clearly i am having a salad deficiency even though i make then on a regular basis for myself. i never have all those ingredients at my fingertips for viola the big-assed all you can eat vat of salad i want to be having right now. the deficiency may be perceived, and not actual but this what is known: sometime in my near future a honkin' big salad is going down the hatch. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

*cadet lucy*

that's my girl, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
in the vegan police academy, that is. see her little name on one of the "no" faces? she may be on the autism spectrum, but she definitely knows her stuff. last night was her open house, and all day long she was excited up until two feet from the classroom door. this is where she realized a hole from our universe was about to be punctured into hers and she was not so happy to share her world with her family. fair enough, but we still stayed for a while and collected all her work, chit-chatting with other parents and her teacher. she has made us all proud this year with her progress and i am scared and excited for her kindergarten next year...she is going to regular class with pull-outs for speech. yay!

we were lucky enough this year to have a classroom staff that supported lucy's veganism, i pray next year we are as lucky. lucy is pretty good at 5.5 yrs at knowing the inherent vegan-ness of most things ("marshmallows have cow" and "gummy worms are NOT VEGAN" haha she's funny. i end up sending a box of annies vegan gummies, and hope for the best. apparently gummy-chewy treats are great for speech therapy, not so great for their teeth!) and she loves her laptop lunchbox bento system for the lunches i send. she tells people about being vegan and says "some people eat animals but we don'" *aw my little vegan warrior-in-training!*

as for other vegan warrior...our soon to be 6th grader, if the school district gods smile upon us there will be room (at the school lucy attends now for her special ed) for both her and her sister (the school is k-8). lyric's independent study is going ok, but this 6-8 program is right up her alley. i won't know for the next month or the indecision and uncertainty is KILLING me. even the contact at the school district said our home school "would probably not meet lucy's needs", and just so happens to be the SAME school i pulled my gifted girl out of. it certainly didn't meet our needs then, and i don't think lucy's will be addressed with satisfaction.

the whole intra-district procedure is making me a crazy lady. let's hope hard it works out...i don't have a plan b! DOH!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

*snailpocolypse 2010 part deux*

snailfriends, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
this light warm rain has brought out hundreds of snails. my front porch and back stoop, both lawns, and even up the sides of the house itself is being overrun by the slimy little guys. what they think they are going to find up the siding, i will never know.

guess where they aren't? that's right: my garden! the penny trick is holding up...i have been on my usual vigils to pluck them from the bed but i have come up empty since the very first night. {thank you mother nature, seriously. thank you.}

i am torn about this weather system. on the one hand it's very spring like and quite pleasant if you get right down to it. on the OTHER hand, it's gray, chilly and generally depressing. i don't want to drive anywhere, go anywhere or do anything really. however, i did quite a bit of organizing and cleaning in the girls rooms so not going anywhere worked in my favor. i got stuff done and i got to think about stuff that needed thinking about.

just two days ago i was by the edge of the creek, sitting in the sand, relaxing and getting some major sun. i am going to summon that feeling now to get me through this week of drippy dreariness. it will be sunny {and too hot} soon enough!

Monday, May 24, 2010

*cache creek*

cache creek, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
when i lived in woodland, the best thing about the whole experience was being so close to the foothills and being about to explore all the county back roads and day trip spots.

taking woodland's main st. through and follow the signs to highway 16...cache creek is probably my favorite little drive through the area. you roll out of the back of woodland to BAM!  hills, vinyards, pastoral scenes, mountain cliffs and rushing creeks. really really pretty. i have driven all my good friends out to check it out over the years and even been to a wedding held there eons ago. it's really very pretty this time of year. i always make the same lame joke about pulling over at the casino for an hour and i'll be right never gets old. yesterday i sweet talked the camp ground host and he let us play without the day-use fee. {sorry i didn't feel like paying the $6 but you probably won't be so lucky so come with some cash lol}. just be sure to choose the middle campsite to access the "beach" and there is a playground for the little ones. there is also some great hiking but i would do that with adults only, personally. with kids it's just the right amount of time in the car with a great payoff at the end. plus we stopped at sonic for tater tots and a cherry slush...we don't have a sonic in sacramento and apparently i needed that sugar water and horrible brain freeze. :)

happy monday and go on a sunday drive with some people you love soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

*busy saturday*

today i really wanted to sleep in longer, but i am glad we got up on the earlier side to walk down to the farmers market again. we got more fava beans, dill, beets, onions, lettuce, garlic, chard and bok choy. we had one helluva salad for lunch! shawn made the dressing, and it was delicious. <3

then we packed up the girls and went to our friend jessica's grad party, and she always has the best parties. kid friendly, fully stocked, bands...i knew only a handful of people but it was nice meeting new folks. my proudest moment when lyric started talking about what it might feel like *when* she graduated. not if, not maybe...but *when*. i told her i would throw her the biggest party on the planet i would be so proud of her. and i would, too.

we came early and left at just the right time, and i am so happy for my friends and family. things are just feeling right, just like spring should feel. happy, hopeful, harmonious.

happy saturday and something tells me tomorrow is going to be another good one.

Friday, May 21, 2010


lucy , originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
it's friday. so, happy friday to you. i hope you are out doing something fun (why would you be reading this if you were!), or just relaxing at home. i am doing the latter on this fine friday evening. we did an old person early-bird dinner tonight since jasper is here late. with a toddler, it's just not worth it to risk the indigestion if they are not having it and decide to ruin the meal for everyone--it can happen even to the most well behaved. so we went to our favorite chinese place that offers a veggie menu who just happens to be lightening fast, too. doubling my chances for a successful meal, and quite possibly not irritating a whole restaurant full of people. most importantly, not irritating me :)

happy to say it was just the right amount of time to actually enjoy the food and have the toddler not incite a riot. everyone did great, as i was half-assed predicting they would.  (on their own my girls are great, but sometimes the lucy-jasper combo can be explosivo and i am having flashbacks from earlier in the week when a fun trip to the car wash turned into a nightmare of doom with those two.  yikes!)

tomorrow we are looking forward to the oak park farmers market in the AM, and in the afternoon we have a graduation party to attend. i think i will pick up some fresh flowers her from the market. that would be a nice gift, i think! mostly i am going to enjoy my days off, my girls and shawn's company. this was a long and winding week and the month's not over yet...


Thursday, May 20, 2010

*soldering WIPS*

tiles, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.

my current work-in-progress is wrapping and preparing these cool tiles to be soldered (possibly patina-ed black) pendants. i got a box full of these from elisabeth who got them from god knows who. perhaps she was going to tile a table or something...but i talked her into passing them on to me :) i like the leaf shaped ones with the agate, and the black tear drops are really cool too. they are light enough to be perfect for earrings...nice!

on an unrelated note, where in the world is my lip balm?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

*snailpocolypse 2010*

crocheted snail, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i know you were totally on pins and needles to find out if the penny trick worked. (ok, perhaps i am just speaking for myself here.)

i think it did! let me tell you why i think so. i put pennies around all plants except one. it was the control plant lol. i went out to do my usual rounds of snail patrol. first of all i see the BIGGEST GRANDDADDY OF ALL SNAILS OF ALL TIME's snail trail...up and over the lip of the raised bed. i follow it up to my basil plant, it touches the pennies and then makes a complete 180 and banks straight to the plant with NO pennies (happened to be my cilantro). i caught that bad boy totally munching and going to town. i am not kidding when i say this snail was the biggest snail i have ever seen. bigger than a silver dollar. and tall, too.

anyways, my snail adventures continue. i will put pennies around the control cilantro, to ward off the slimy intruders. i suspect more will come out tonight if it does sprinkle like the forecast says...and i will be out in the garden plucking them out...rain or shine!

now my next venture is to get some praying mantis to eat the little leaf miner type bugs that i suspect are winged, plus they look damn cool and i want to look at them closely. to be continued!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

*snail patrol*

pennies, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
the internet told me that copper repels snails. hmmm. my quest for organic gardening while practicing ahimsa has been a challenge due to our apparent snail infestation. my cantaloupe plant gave up the ghost today due to the slimy little buggers. i know they are natures custodians, but they need to slime right on by my crop if you know what i am saying. you should see my patio and front walk after it rains. i mean it's kinda...gross. and these aren't just wee little lads--i have never seen such sizes on regular garden/yard snails in my life. EW.

so i made little copper fairy rings around the smaller plants that are getting the brunt and said a little prayer. however, my night time vigil of going out and stalking them in the act will continue until i actually see this penny thing working or they seem to go just away. i said today i could use one of those hands-free little miner hat lights so i can tweak around my garden efficiently in the dark night, and i am kinda not kidding. i really could use one :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

*lovin' in my oven*

vegan drop biscuits, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
mondays need baked goods. chilly over-cast mondays need daiya vegan cheese baked goods! :)

basically i have a thing against perfect circle biscuits, so in our house we do "lazy drop biscuits" that take less time to mix, bake and snarf up in my face until all gone. i used the recipe from the new farm cookbook (four pantry staple ingredients thank you for simple cooking) plus a heaping handful of daiya chedder shreds mixed in at the end. literally 15 minutes later i am rubbing my food baby and hella happy on a food high.*

*i feel kinda bad, these weren't GF so shawn just tasted them. but he gave the thumbs up and reminded me we were out of gluten free flour for the 10th time today. :)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

*soldered pendants*

new soldered pendants, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i think hell just froze over, or perhaps i just am sick of not feeling well and not feeling like doing any WORK. or maybe it's that i just can't stand myself moping around here AND/OR hating myself for not creating anything and neglecting my websites.

whatever it was i finished up most of these pendants outside under my patio umbrella. and i feel great. i hope that i get these listed and sold soon :) that would make me feel even better.

UPDATE:  i went ahead and listed them so i could feel even more accomplished to the max.  i bet one would tickle your fabric fancy if you check them out!

*lazy sunday*

flowers , originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
these flowers from yesterday are really helping things around here. i spruced up my kitchen and fondled my pyrex collection...rearranged a bit to make room for the growing numbers. making coffee, refereeing between the girls, tucking shawn back in for a late morning nap since he let me sleep in. these are the things that make for a lazy sunday around our ranch. i am working the back of the house today, which includes my craft space. i have half-finished works-in-progress up the wazoo and i am so over it all. i need to set up my sewing machine and do some soldering. just like the last four or five weeks...*le sigh*.

bad news: the cantaloupe plant isn't going to make it. i think i have to give up the ghost. the snails won that one, but i am beefing up my efforts around the basil because now that the bugs got the cantaloupe they are turning their jaws (or radula, as it were) on my sweet basil. noooooo!

good news: elisabeth is swinging by some more empty cat litter containers for some more starts we have sprouted. i thought i was going to till up and plant along the fence line, but under the circumstances i think containers will be the better way to go. the pole bean starts are huge! i have little mini-trellises for them to climb and i think i will need to rig something for the squash plants too. vertical is the way to go in our world. there is only one way to go, and that's UP! :) i will pick up some soil and we will be ready to go. seriously, this garden is one of the things that is keeping me keeping on there is so much fucking stress and negativity i am battling. see me now: *OM*.

friday's court got pushed back (again) until july with some efforts from the "other side" to "settle" but they are weak and for show. probate is a bitch much like my experience with family court X10, and people never cease to amaze me with their greed and selfishness. i will keep a chin up and toward the sunshine, though. that makes the shadows fall behind me. everything is going to work itself out, i have faith. justice is real. it happens, just very very slowly.

so for today i feel blessed for the girls, their health, shawn and his true love, the animals and their silly ways, the garden and it's growth and zen, the sunny warm weather and simple joys.

happy sunday all, and i hope you are gearing up for a great week...what are your plans?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

*oak park famers market*

flowers flowers, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
our neighborhood farmers market is up and running on saturdays at broadway and 35th from 9-1. i cannot tell you how happy we are to have a farmers market within walking distance! shawn and i strolled up with the girls who ate their fill of cherries and strawberries, while we got some cauliflower, fava beans, snap peas, daikon radish, and cucumber. if i hadn't just got some bread i would have picked up some up, but i didn't feel like freezing any. i also got some beautiful happy sunny flowers for the house, because well, i deserve them :)

go to your local farmers market, here's a guide if you are in the sacramento area :)

happy saturday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


birthday week continues, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
if there is any kind of superior being she would allow for me to get one of these to eat to my fill sometime in the next few hours. i may even get the 3 scooper just because i am feeling needy like that. it's just been one of those afternoons where you find out the those pesky wheels of justice aren't exactly at a grinding halt, just moving less than a slugs pace. it gets old.

you can read more about here's the scoop on my vegan eating guide for sacramento, sackoftomatoes. please check it out and tell a vegan sacto-friend :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

*magical fruit*

beans, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.-anais nin

in this case, it's pole beans. i don't know why they are so squiggly, but i think they are going to straighten out. i have a place in the second garden bed for these with a trellis for them to climb and i am feeling pretty good about them. i also have corn started from seed--but for those and the sunflowers i need to till up some hard-as hell clay by the fence and fix the soil. perhaps this weekend? perhaps. it's supposed to be gorgeous and hot for both days.

last night i was like a crazy person with a flashlight out in my garden at two different times trying to catch the slugs and snails in the act of trying to eat my cantaloupe. i found a few--unceremoniously tossed them in the yard to go eat something else--just not my vegetable garden. i have been doing lots of coffee grinds and i got some bark/mulch to bar them out from around the plants but i read yesterday that they do not like ginger so i plan to get some fresh and dried to see how that works. i don't want to kill the little buggers, just ward them off my bounty! i have worked too hard on this little garden, it's my zen.

have a wonderful weds! friday is somewhat of a personal D-day for me, hopefully i will have wonderful news to report on a personal front. here's to hoping!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

*i heart carbs*

angry pizza tomato man, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i ate a lot of pizza this weekend. i mean, i was depressed-sick-blue and after all it WAS mother's day. it's my party and i will eat like a pig if i want to, right?

i am working on a blog for sackoftomatoes vegan eating guide for sacramento, but we need to get the GF pie first before i can post it. i think that will happen sooner than later because the "berkeley" vegan pizza from zpizza did not disappoint. in fact, to quote lyric--this was the best pizza she has ever eaten in her life. she asked if this one was so delicious, why would anyone opt to eat abused dead animal? good question, my little vegan warrior. good question.

doesn't the tomato look like a little angry man? we thought so. with a little seed tear, even. like "i'm mad--don't eat me!" (but don't vegetables have feelings? aren't you killing them, too? NO ASSHOLE, they don't and no, i am not. next!) if this tomato man with the most delicious "sausage" eyes could talk he would say I DARE YOU TO EAT ME ALL IN ONE BITE. which i would gladly have done, that was one fine pizza pie my friends.

shawn gets home from his vacay tonight, there will be some kind of joyful reunion at the airport just like out of the movies, i'm sure. i missed his face because their ain't no sunshine when he's gone :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

*made it through*

poppies, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i made it through this week, the weekend, mother's day...all in somewhat of one piece. huzzah! both lucy and i were too sick on saturday to really even think about vending at 2nd saturday, so i look forward to next months installment to get me back on track.

shawn is coming back from visiting family back in ohio tomorrow--i can't wait to pick him up at the airport! he is not allowed to leave me for so long, especially when i am tripping on what's going down at the moment! i am a strong woman but i am not an island--i need my support system in tact. he is a huge part of it. he tells me how strong i am even when i don't want to hear that shit and feel like punching him in his handsome face for daring to believe in me. now, that's true love :)

happy monday! enjoy the little may showers if you are local.

*my thyroid looks swollen in that picture, along with my regular gobble and neckula situation going on. i pray i feel some benefits from my new thyroid med dosage. it's a slow going process for sure. stupid thyroid! die out already and leave me alone.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


youngmom, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.

happy mother's day to all the mothers. every day is a type of mother's day when you have lost your mom, not a day goes by without me wishing i could talk to her on the phone and dish about the goings on in the world, just like we did for so many years. as a young teenager i had a rocky relationship with my mother, i viewed her as too strict and out of touch, stogy and up-tight. i could not wait to get out of my parents house to live my own life and that was fine and good. it happened without a hitch. but as i married, divorced, had children, married again with more kids...became older myself we became closer. i could view her for who she was with respect. her perceptive nature often astounded me, her advice was sound and solid. i miss it dearly. sometimes she bordered on telepathic and psychic all at one, and has more than once predicted an outcome of a situation so far down the road i thought she was crazy. not crazy, just right. you wouldn't believe what that woman called years before that turned out to be true!

we had our ups and downs, times where we didn't speak for months. i know i disappointed her from time to time, but at the end of the day she was my mom and i know she loved me and my kids up very much until the very end. on her deathbed she told me how good a man shawn was and with my track record (and her forewarning about my other marriage of which she didn't approve. she said a person could change their behavior but they can't change who they are--the leopard can't change it's spots kinda thing--she is right. i trust her word!) that means the world to me. she loved my children unconditionally. i wish she was alive to give me advice about what's going on in the family now but i hear her voice, i know what she would be saying. so in essence she IS here with me now. and for her struggles and joys in life i can only salute her and reflect on how much she endured in her life.

happy mother's day mom! and to all the other mothers and strong women out there, too. it's your day as well. enjoy.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

*family affair*

indiesacramento 3/20/10, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i just got confirmation i got in to the june 6th inde mart in SF. i can't tell you how excited i's just what i need to get me going. i have plans for the whole weekend and it coincides with shawn and my 6th wedding anniversary and my (muffledcoughlalala) birthday. look, i am staying 38 forever, just like patsy stone. just so you know. anyway if i can swing the get a way for us i would be the happiest camper ever.

today was a hard one, i was weepy, mopey and a general sad sack. shawn is with family in ohio, i miss him. mothers day is coming and i thought i would be ok with it and i am not. but getting good news like about the indie mart approval made the day's stock really go up. i got to talk to shawn on the phone and got counseling from two good and dear friends. i have tomorrow to myself (well, some of it anyway!). it hasn't turned out to be a bad day after all, even if i do miss my mommy. :) that will never change.

hmmm now, what to bring to the june show? :))

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


carded bow pins, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
after a loverly night with the mr. we said our short-term goodbyes this morning at sacramento internation airport where he is leaving on a jet plane back to OHio for the big skate jam/mothers day. when he went last year he got a days long lay-over and was asked to give up his seat the new flight out, so they gave him a voucher (that paid for this trip) plus they upgraded him to first class. (and he didn't even take all the free stuff they had laying around...he just grabbed me the skymall magazine. don't get me wrong he will be bringing me home the new one this trip too, but they had all kinds of shwag he should have nabbed last year. hello!) so, he is off to OHio for the week and i am left to fend for myself. it's ok, i will miss the hell out of him but i will live! i am an independent woman, after all...i just have to remember he is lucky to see all his friends and family. i am happy for him, it means a lot for him to get to do so :)

in news: i did finally finish the hand-sewing of the pin backs to the back of the mini-bows. i covered the silver and sewn part with eco-felt and they are just sweet/cute/little. i hope they do well at this weekend's 2nd saturday. i also posted them on the site...take a look won't you?

happy wednesday!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


bow brooch, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
it is decided. the little crocheted bows are becoming brooches, sewing the pin backs on as we speak. er, read. whatever, they will be available at second saturday's in the usual spot at park your art, in a few cute colors to choose from.

(still snickering at the title of this post...)


jensurftoes, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.

ahem. if i don't get a little of *see picture above* in my life soon you are really going to start hearing about it. that is all.

Monday, May 03, 2010

*here comes the sun...tea*

suntea, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.
i love a glass of strong brewed sun tea*, with lots of ice cubes and a sprig of mint. frankly between this and my growing garden i am having a hard time coming up with things to complain about. (today. thank you for noticing.)

*here, it's easy!  grab a handful of tea bags, preferably the cheapo lipton-y kinds. then  a few of your better tea bags or a full infuser and have a bit of both to mix up flavors:  it's your tea, make whatever flavors you want. fill up your glass jars with lids with good water. (plastic jugs just seems wrong for this. don't do it!) i love STRONG iced tea, so when you think you are over-doing it with the bags, you are probably not even close. close them up, let the jars sit in some direct sunlight for as long as you can.  at least 4 hours, preferably the full 6. sweeten to your liking  (SWEET TEA OH YES PLEASE), pour yourself a glass, over a bunch of ice cubes.  garnish with fresh mint, because that churches it right up, real nice. feel free to add some lemons or limes. if you do a half iced tea half lemonade, an arnold palmer, i would shake your hand. that is some fine beverage choice right there. you sly dog. (you know what this post has me in the mind for? mint juleps. mmmmm.)


Saturday, May 01, 2010

*dream about cloudy skies*

21st and T, sacramento, originally uploaded by neverfeltbetter.

everywhere i looked up from today looked something like this. blue skies and tree lined streets. it was an amazing day, filled with bike riding, friendship, drinks, and posi anti-depressive living :)

i was bestowed a bunch of succulent starts that luckily i have some pots for, and exactly three huge plastic containers (up-cycled cat litter buckets!) for the three squash starts i was gifted this week (coincidence? i think not.) . it might be a bumper crop for yellow crooknecks this year! i just need some good soil for everything and i can start seeds for the corn as well with the peat post she gave me. it should be really amazing and it's just what i need.

i also helped her organize her belongings in the basement, and get a kick-ass yard sale pile going. she has been wanting to do one for a while and it was nice to help her get everything busted out. we kept singing "that's what friends are for" and "thank you for being a friend" LOL.*

*this post was brought to you by the letters PMA or Positive Mental Attitude. and the numbers 5, 6, and 7.