I found that some of life's greatest revelations can discovered on the open road with nothing more than an evening breeze, jazz on the radio, and a 5lb bag of gummi bears. I've also learned that I'll always have more questions than answers (and that's okay!). May this be a written and visual documentation of this crazy journey we call life.


Last post?

I'm making a transition. I'm moving away from "Musings of a Wandering Artist" blog and moving to a new one, called "Ranger Mike Designs." This one is a bit more focused and a bit more work-related. I guess this represents this shift in my life from a rootless, college student to a more settled, career-oriented adult. The first two posts (at the bottom of the page) are a pretty good explanation of why I'm starting this.

I'm still not sure if I'll keep adding to "Musings of a Wandering Artist." Regardless, it will always remain an amazing documentation of the last four years of my life.

Check it out, I've added a lot of posts today and have many more ideas for future ones:

I can't express how much everyone's support and encouragement has meant over the years.

You can also follow me on Flickr:


Random Summer Photos


Hozomeen Homage

Music: "Hommage" by Patrick Watson


Food for thought

"Cooking something delicious is really much more satisfactory than painting pictures or making pottery. At least for most of us. Food has the tact to disappear, leaving room and opportunity for masterpieces to come. The mistakes don't hang on the walls or on shelves to reproach you forever. It follows from this that the kitchen should be thought of as the center of the house. It needs above all space for talking, playing, bringing up children, sewing, having a meal, reading, sitting, and thinking... It's in this kind of place that good food has flourished. It's from this secure retreat that the exploration of man's curious relationship with food, beyond the point of nourishment, can start."

Jane Grigson from Good Things

This feels particularly appropriate tonight, after the dough in my first bread machine attempt failed to rise. I've never had much luck getting the right temperature to activate the yest (granted, I've never used a thermometer). Fortunately, I'm stubborn and will try again tomorrow!


Ode to Basil

How do you cut your basil? For me, I like to pick off a dozen of leaves and arrange them from smallest to largest. Folding each in half, I tuck one into another, and then another, always increasing in size so that they’re fitted together to resemble something like an artichoke or one those Russian wooden dolls. Then, with a few deft motions, I slice into them so they fall apart into thin green strips. And there’s something about this precision and the sound of crisp leaves being cut against a wooden board that brings me much satisfaction in the kitchen.

It’s one of my simple pleasures in life and it only costs me $1.50. Each Saturday, I’ve made it a habit to buy a bundle of fresh sweet basil at our Bellingham Farmer’s Market. The fistful of leaves is enough to last me a week of adding basil to scrambled eggs, a red sauce, or maybe a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping Italian bread. Just when I’m about pick off the last and smallest leaf on the stalk, it’s Saturday again, and time to head down to the market.

The joy of cooking with fresh herbs is something I discovered for myself while in college. Previously, I relied on dried flakes while cooking and I now realize they pale in taste, texture and overall aesthetics. I now derive the same amount of pleasure in cooking with dried herbs as I would cooking with paper confetti.

My growing love affair with fresh basil coincided with my own personal summer of love. The house of my then-boyfriend had bushes of basil growing along its side and I spent many hot summer evenings preparing meals for the two of us. Scent and memory are closely tied together and that first sweet smell of freshly chopped basil still brings back those memories of romance.

Basil has a warmth to it and its taste conjures up images of leaves basking in the summer afternoon sun. Since I can no longer deny the superiority and delight of fresh basil, I must deny its usage in its off-season. But that limited seasonality is what makes it so special; for the more I frequent our farmers market and purchase higher quality produce, the more I’m learning that eating seasonally is well worth my wait.


This Much I Know

I have just returned from a week of website training in Flagstaff, Arizona. I can now speak the programming language of the internet and have officially earned my geek stripes.

One of the aspects of travel I love most is the opportunity for personal reflection. When flying 20,000 ft above the earth, we’re afforded a rare perspective on “the big picture.” Mostly, about how tiny our lives are and just how many people share this planet together. It’s a humbling but necessary exercise to do from time to time.

On one of my flights between FLG to LAX to SEA to BLI, I jotted down some notes about future projects. This was my last big trip of the season and, believe it or not, I think I’ll be settling into some sort of routine for the rest of the month for the foreseeable future. Hence the planning. Planning can only really occur when there are more controls than variables in ones life.

I’m not going to fully explain how these relate to each other just yet, but hopefully these statements will reveal themselves in the future:

This much I know:
1. Anything worth is worth doing well.
2. I need to write more.
3. I need to practice reading aloud.
4. I need to practice reading my own work aloud.

So check back again soon and hopefully I’ll have updates!


Solstice Backpacking Weekend!