About Me

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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm back! The little respite from trying to figure out what to post on a daily basis has afforded me a creative burst of energy. That's what meandering Saturdays are for - days few and far between for me as I seem to always schedule my 'free' time away doing volunteer work, arranging hike outings for friends and new acquaintances, or running in circles trying to catch up with the must-dos around my home. This particular weekend, however, I gave myself permission to not be in charge of anything but me.  And, amazingly, much was accomplished - including some nothing-in-particular restful time at my favorite place - home.  All in a day...

Saturday morning found me wandering the farmers' market for fresh goodies with time thrown to chat with dear friends over Aztec coffees (and a vegan date shake for breakfast for me....yum!) in the warm spring sun.  I love this little place in Joshua Tree - Ricochet Gourmet. Fabulous, homemade food and drinks. Hip vibe but not pretentious at all. Definitely one of a kind. A place that makes you want to linger....

One of my favorite reasons to hit the farmers' market on a Saturday morning is to buy myself an armload of fresh cut flowers. The grower hails from San Diego. He comes up every weekend with a truck load of whatever is in season and happily growing on his acreage. An armload (literally) costs the same as one sad little bouquet from the local grocery store....and these last me 2 weeks, sometimes more. They make me happy and I'm helping to keep a private farmer/grower in business.

 Usually I don't buy too many fruits or veggies. It really depends as this farmers' market is not all certified organic nor does the food look fresh and inviting every time I go. This Saturday, however, something happened from one week to the next because practically every vendor had beautiful fresh and tasty foods to offer. Prices were still higher than I'd like but the flavor and quality were worth the extra bucks.

Know what I did with what I scored? I roasted ALL the veggies (what remained from raw snacking - SO tasty...)  Here is a simple recipe my good friend, Ann, turned me on to. It was my dinner tonight: (I would have posted a photo but I was famished ...sorry....) 

  • Slice / quarter 4-5 different types of veggies. (I used turnips, brussels sprouts, beets, parsnips, and carrots.)
  • Drizzle olive oil over them. (Mix with your hands to make sure everything is covered with oil.)
  • Sprinkle over coarse sea salt, pepper, and rosemary.
  • Put in a cast iron skillet or stone baking dish and bake for about 50 minutes @400 degrees - stir every 10 minutes or so. (Don't use glass or metal baking dishes...not as flavorful, I think.)

That same evening, I headed "down the hill" for an art opening and dinner with a girlfriend. A change of scenery, even if it's for a few hours, changes perspective and rejuvenates the soul and that is what I needed to get past a creative road block. Maybe it was sipping champagne at the opening of Edward Cunningham's works from the early 1900's or the walk down the block to dinner or the one martini (shaken, not stirred, extra dry with 2 olives) with a sumptuous seared ahi salad or the open hearted, engaging conversations my friend and I were having. Maybe it was all of that....  

Whatever it was, I am now a few clicks away from a calendar prototype of my images - a test sample is ready for this year to see how the quality of one printer I selected is. I will launch a variety of calendars for 2013. One, in particular, is earmarked as a fund raiser to buy art and science supplies and, hopefully, honorariums for an after school enrichment program I am developing for the younger students at my school. I have hopes this venture will be successful enough to fund additional programs. We'll see. Continued budget cuts are stripping not only the fun but the necessary content and subject matter that makes real learning meaningful and life long. The arts. The sciences. World geography. History. Anything that doesn't involve filling in a bubble......  

Ah, but I digress....wasn't I talking about meandering Saturdays? Good food? Friendship? Rejuvenating the soul? I'll save my soapbox for another post....

(All images © Diana Shay Diehl 2012)