Excerpt from Virbius (vi)

An absent light shines; may you find my lantern
with glow installed for the moments stalled
like a train between electric rails, no momentum

carrying forward our walled desires. Lit as if
green sea glass rolled by sun, the luminescence
of eyes on a porch looking at river and
cliffs slung opposite, black rooking crows
among black outcrop of rocks, and the red

poppies sway to sweep of wind like erogenous
flesh tingled by soapy fingers of humidity,
over time we wet mopping air swamp
and linger breaths, swim currents too strong
to invented be, too much the courseway spills
us out or drowned we’d leave.

A weigela sprouts roots as its limbs lay down,
unstaked, only weight of leaves and length and contact
are needed for tentacles to grip exposed ground

so like a stranger’s eyes upon another, sending
    out probes, did mine always seek and spill
      of loss and suspicion. The exile’s tell leaks

from iris to iris a shooting batch of what lustrum
   meant, like ancient music on a soft batch
     off moss from gate front thick were each

little licks which titivate the flesh.

The Doctor, Part 23

Contaminated me:

I am
working the floor,
pushing against the earth
only
eighty times,

I push against the drugs,
each push,
a shove,
a shotgun blast
against the
sinister fatigue,
at the end
everything in me
is tight,
my mind like a wheel,
fury trembling through
the last pushes,
circles of water
drop from my eyes
to the blue mat beneath me,

eighty-one,
Cecilia,
eighty-two,
Tess,
eighty-three,
did not
sign up,
eighty-four
for this,
eighty-five,

I let go,
fall
and wonder on the floor
if I would work
so hard
if it was
just me.

 

The entire The Doctor series can be found here.

birchbox find: macadamia professional flawless cleansing conditioner

Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner

Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner

I have come across quite a few products in birchboxes that I love, so I'm going to start writing them up. For the past month I've been using Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner. It's an all-in-one conditioning cleanser (or cleansing conditioner, as the name says). It sounds a bit scary and I was pretty sure it would leave my hair an oiled-up, heavy mess, but it didn't. Not even close. My hair was bouncy, happy and almost singing it was so perky, not the sort of behavior that my heavy, willful hair often displays post wash. It was a bit shocking really. This no lather mouse-like formula is applied and rinsed off (you can keep it on for a few minutes if you wish), that's it. It's so fast and easy, you'd think nothing much would happen, but it does. It manages to soften and smooth even my unruly hair, adding volume and that happy bit of perk mentioned above. It was pretty impressive after the first use and continues to impress me every time I use it.  Supposedly, it also cutes drying time, aids in styling and increases hold, but I haven't needed to do anything other than let my hair air dry and enjoy the benefits with no effort on my part so far. You can find Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner at birchbox or visit Macademia's website for more info. 

to do list: {short} curtains

our office windows before

our office windows before

We are having certain window covering related troubles. In a nutshell, we hate almost every item that is currently being used to cover our windows. Hate. Before we moved into the house last year, we assumed that we could live for awhile with the blinds etc that were already in place, so I made no plans or provisions for replacing any of them. However, once we moved in, we realized that all needed to go as soon as humanly possible. Some were falling down or fell out immediately, others were inoperable or just too scary in the strangulation-risk category for my overly nervous brain and all were just flat out gross. So, we quickly ran out and replaced all of them with what could be quickly found on hand and that meant Home Depot and IKEA. The roller shades from Home Depot constantly fall on our head, the majority of the shades from IKEA are a bit too sheer for our busy street facing front windows. Several have already stopped working. None really do what we want them to do when we want them to do it. As much as I'd love to spend about 5 million dollars having new shutters. blinds, curtains, etc, etc made to my exact preference for each and every window in our house, that is not a possibility right now. So, it's endure or come up with clever alternatives that we can live with and make use of what we have when possible.

our office windows, before

our office windows, before

For many of our windows, especially our office, it looks like going short on the curtains is the best option. Though I've never been fond of short curtains, in some cases, it just makes sense. (Or at least that's what I'll tell myself every day until I can have what I want.) In this case, we already have roller shades that help a bit, but do little at night when the lights are on and do nothing to help insulate the room. I don't really want to toss them out, because much of the time, they do what we need and I don't like wasting anything if I can avoid it. We have furniture, bookshelves and a heater all along the walls under the windows, so long curtains are not an option. Custom shades or shutters would be way too expensive for the 7 oddly sized windows that already have a set of shades. Short curtains allow us to use what we have, add a bit of insulation over the windows and add more privacy at night. So, I've been looking at images of shorter curtains, hoping to make them seem like a happy option. 

The key will be to come up with something I like while keeping the cost way down. My plan is either to make or alter an existing curtain. I also want to keep the work factor low as well. I've also been looking at curtains that I really like to see if I can adapt that to a shorter version. My favorites, that keep coming to mind are the final set of long yellow curtains above from Little Green Notebook. It doesn't hurt that they are altered IKEA curtains, which is likely where I'll be starting from as well. 

The test run- a drop cloth to get an idea of how the short curtains might look.

The test run- a drop cloth to get an idea of how the short curtains might look.

Right now the plan is use an IKEA curtain or some fabric (probably the IKEA AINA linen). Right now top contenders are the IKEA RITVA, AINA or MERETE. I need to decide how hight to hang the rods, white rods or black rods and whether to go with tabs, grommets or rings. For the moment, solid white is the goal to keep it simple and fast, but that might change. We have the IKEA MERETE just outside the office door in the living room, so that might be a good choice, but I do like the idea of linen. Decisions, Decisions.  Results to come soon. 

At the green table: Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Serves 6 in a 5 oz. ramekin or cup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup whole milk

6 oz. fine-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 large egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons brewed espresso or 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, or to taste

1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar, or to taste Sea salt

Whipped cream, shaved chocolate, or coco powder and fresh fruit for serving

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Method

Preheat oven to 300oF.

Add the cream, milk, espresso, vanilla and a pinch of salt to a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk the mixture until just before it comes to a boil. You will see a few small bubbles around the edge of the pan. Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate, whisking until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

If the chocolate mixture is to hot when you incorporate it into the egg mixture, the eggs may cook and the pot de crème will have a granular texture.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg yolks, and a pinch of salt, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is a light yellow color, about 3 minutes. Then gradually add the some of the chocolate mixture, whisking until it is incorporated and smooth. Continue to slowly add the chocolate mixture, whisking until it is all fully incorporated and smooth. Strain into a large bowl and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Carefully fill 6 5oz ramekins, or 8 smaller pot de creme cups and place them in a shallow baking pan on top of a folded kitchen towel. Poke several holes in a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to cover the baking pan.

Add enough hot water to the baking pan to come halfway up the side of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with the aluminum foil and bake the custards until they are set around the edges, but slightly wobbly in the centers, about 30 to 35 minutes. (The custard will continue to set as it cools.) The actual cooking time can vary for a number of reasons, so it is a good idea to check after

20 to 25 minutes. In some ovens it may even take 45 to 50 minutes. An oven thermometer will help you achieve the proper result.

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Chocolate , Espresso Pots de Crème

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let the custards cool, uncovered, on a wire rack for about 1 hour.

Then cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 or 4 hours hours or up 2 days.

Remove the custards from the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before serving for the best texture. Top with some whipped cream, shaved chocolate or cocoa powder on top, and perhaps some fresh fruit.

This recipe is adapted from Gourmet, February 2004