you may have noticed that my last post here was towards the end of april, just about 10 or so months ago. my goodness. oh how i have missed writing here. and oh how the time has changed me.
we shared the news with few folks, and kept close to home throughout the pregnancy. it was a time of waiting and hoping and praying. i was not sure my body could do it, but it did. emotionally--i have never been through anything so monumental. but here we are. tomorrow she will be one month old.
thank you to our friends and family who have supported us through this journey. we could not have done it without you. and there is so much more to come. welcome, zineb.
yesterday my dear turned 32.
he worked all day, and didn't complain. while he was at work, mum and i went in search of the perfect maine sweatshirt, to add to his growing collection of maine gear. his original maine sweatshirt, worn so many hundreds of times by now, is stained and stretched and thinned. very well loved. he has had his eye out for a new one for a long time now, and had described it to me innumerable times. the moose wasn't part of the original description, but he was pleased, put it on right away, and wore it for the whole night.
and after we finished our sweatshirt expedition, i got to work making this totally silly and kind of sad looking cake. nabil's cousin alae had posted birthday wishes on nabil's facebook page with a photo of a soccer cake. how could i not make one of my own? our tongues are green (as much as i would have loved to have colored the frosting naturally, i didn't think spinach or kale flavor would work--any suggestions for the future?), and the cake turned out a bit overdone, but of course we managed to eat some anyway.
my babe is 32. he was 23 when we met; the numbers now reversed. it's been a good nine years of knowing you, dear. looking forward to the many more.
three years ago nabil and i began coming into this house we now call home, slowly sifting through the tangible anne-and-irwin-robbins-ness that filled every corner; their home for well over 50 years. my grandparents were special and dear, and left so many memories. of the things we kept here in the house, there remain items i have yet to fully appreciate. this small shelf of books is an example.
the other day i was sitting on the couch and looked up to the shelf, noticing the lovely mustard binding and simple title, 'folk medicine.'
and as this year is for restoring health, i opened it and began reading.
written from the perspective of an old-time vermonter practicing medicine many years ago, his common sense approach to well-being is easy to adopt, backed with a lifetime of anecdotes and observations. from the very start, D.C. jarvis extols the virtues of apple cider vinegar and honey, a simple combination. rich in minerals. purifying to the body. i always remember my mother telling me that her own father, hailing from 30 miles or so outside of portland, would often drink a teaspoon of cider vinegar in his morning glass of water. (or was it simply a capful on its own, mom? i can't remember). and so this old wisdom was right there for me to read, in medical terms.
i came home a few days ago with this bottle of bragg unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with "the mother" -very important aspect!), and jar of raw unfiltered honey gathered in hope, maine. nabil eyed the honey and when he tasted it, he told me of childhood memories in morocco, when honey was a staple but an expensive, rationed, and well- guarded staple. his mother would give him just the tip of a spoonful in the mornings, the rest carefully saved for sweets and guests.
a glass of water with 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey tastes somewhat like apple cider, and helps to alkalize the body. it can't hurt to try.
there has been a lot of spring happening here. the scurry to soak it in. we've been out and about. feeding the ducks...
walking to the beach with gus...
wandering aimlessly outside the house for hours on end while electricians replace antiquated wiring in the house...
celebrating health care reform, waiting in long lines to get tickets, seeing presidents...(or just one specifically)
sharing moments with fellow mainers...
hiking...and liking it...
reaching the top of the mountain not as tired as i thought i would be...encouragement!...
taking rests whenever we feel spent...
and on the way home, eating american fare...
including four berry pie from moody's diner.
this year is for slowing down a bit. for settling. for being healthy. there are still a few very exciting shows and trips to look forward to, but we are enjoying the time close to home. thanks for hanging in there with us. we're still here.
i had knit so many baby aviatrix hats that i decided it was time to size it up and knit one for myself.
these photos are actually 1,000 times more flattering than reality. i knit the hat quickly while watching a very painful and awkward film called 'humble pie' (pretty fitting for this hat), and when i finished it i put it on right away, without even looking in the mirror, and said to nabil "look!"
he laughed. and that was all the mirror i needed. then i laughed.
and then the other day my sister and nieces were here, and i put on the hat again. my sister walked into the living room and said 'aw.' and then she laughed. she said she liked how it looks like a vintage football helmet. and then oldest niece said 'take that silly hat off.' and she laughed.
sadly, i no longer have a baby head.
about three or four times a day, gus will come into the computer room and wedge his head under my arm, flipping my hands off the keyboard. if i try to ignore him, he keeps doing it until i give him the attention he is seeking. sneaky little feller.
last night we had a massive rain and windstorm here in southern maine. the house shook and moaned in the wind. when we went on our walk this morning, perfectly round hailstones littered the edges of the street and dusted the front lawn. a large limb was down on the next street over, taking two power lines with it. nature is powerful.
it started a few weeks back with a very strong craving for cooked spinach, without the limpness. enter kale. i've made it almost every day for a few weeks. the sun is hiding but my body refuses to admit it, stocking up on all the green leafies it can to make up for the darker days. someday not too far off we can grown our own kale if we like, and brussels sprouts (is it brussel or brussels? i've seen it both ways) and all the other things my body just can't get enough of right now.
when we were living in morocco i craved broccoli. all the time. i am pretty sure i saw it once in marjane (the box supermarket chain throughout the country), but its appearance did not rock my world. not one bit. so for a couple of years i don't think i had broccoli at all. granted, i had many other lovely fresh organic fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, so i didn't suffer too much.
this is how i have been cooking the kale:
one big bunch is good for about three servings for me. i like to eat a bit plate. and so far, nabil is not interested. too bad for him.
so, i take about one third of the bunch and pull off the green leafy parts. the stems are no good for cooking, unfortunately (or at least i have yet to find a way to prepare them). i then rip up the leafy parts into bite sized pieces. i throw them in the colander and give them a good shower--extra water helps in the cooking process.
heat up 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or hot sesame oil. toss in 2 chopped cloves of garlic. sautee on med-high for just a bit, until the garlic starts to sizzle.
throw in the kale, no need to dry it off--the water helps.
stir around until the kale is cooked but not overdone--it will be crunchy.
toss on some sea salt and a bit of vinegar (i like plain old cider vinegar), and serve. yum.
in other news, gus had his annual physical a few days ago and the vet told us that he has one rotten tooth. although a bummer, this was not too surprising as most greyhounds end up toothless in their old age. dental health is not one of their stronger points. i do try to be vigilant about brushing his teeth (yes it's true, i do. i should really make a video of this), but the tartar keeps on building up. and so later this year, in the fall, gus will have to have a dental cleaning for which he will have to be put under general anesthesia, and will have toofer number one removed. it's just a small one on top, but i will still mourn that one little toofer. the vet made light of it by suggesting that gus could stick a toothpick in the void.
sorry for the graphic photo if you are squeamish. keeping it real here.
in december, we were contacted by nima samimi, whom we had met at boston bazaar bizarre. nima is a musician heading out on his first tour in early 2010 (now underway!), and was interested in having some custom shirts printed up to take with him.
it was a fantastic collaborative process during which nima and i exchanged many emails discussing our connection to/love for north africa and the middle east. nima's father is iranian. he wanted his shirts to include his name in farsi (written with the arabic alphabet and read the very same way). and so. after watching a video clip of nima playing one of his songs, i set to work.
nima is full of sentiment and grace.
a few weeks ago, nima came up from boston to pick up his shirts and share a cup of tea.
during this visit we took a mini tour of our basement studio, and nima made a little video of me rambling on about my own quirky silkscreening process.
so there i am. in my awkwardity. (officially a word, i say).
thank you nima, for spending time with us, for supporting the work, and for your beautiful music! nima is playing TONIGHT at hogfarm studios in biddeford, and nabil and i are going OUTSIDE THE HOUSE PAST 7 PM for this event. we can't wait to see nima and the sandman.
we are so honored to have been interviewed by fen mag and buy permaset inks! these interviews joined the interwebs a little while back, and i have been meaning to post the links here. alas. here is the link to the fen mag interview, and here is the buy permaset inks blog feature.
we met lori goode from fen mag at crafty bastards and she contacted us a few weeks after the show. fen mag is an online magazine celebrating arab americans--a great resource. thank you to fen magazine for your support and your amazing publication. on a side note, i saw an ad on the front page of fen mag a few weeks back for the film amreeka, which i then found on netflix watch instantly. it broke my heart and brought back so many old feelings from nabil's first months here. it also made both of us laugh.
buy permaset inks is an online permaset distributor based here in the u.s.. we have been printing with permaset inks for about a year now, and were thrilled to find these folks, carrying every color we need. thanks much, bpi!