Freitag, 11. April 2014

Look what I ate!

I'm so excited. Two days ago I picked the first batch of MINI-mini carrots. The ones that were standing far too close. Yeah, I guess I should have done that like weeks ago, maybe even months, but I thought that spacing them was a waste of plants. Whatever. Now I got lots of tinys but I don't care!

Carrots. And carrot greens. And kale. And "Postelein".

Since it's less than three weeks until us on the boat my goal is to empty the pantry and the yard. No more store bought lettuce. And trying to cook off everything that's already there. My sister was of great help with that goal. We managed to rid a couple of jars. On top of eating that batch of eggplant. And on top of trying a lot of things that you gotta try when you come visit. Like tofurky sausages. Or ice cream.  Or that bunch of other delicious things that you can buy here but not there. You got the idea.

But as I said we still ate a lot from the pantry.

(On top you got some variation on tomato soup with the rest of home made sauerkraut and some vegan bologna topping. Underneath israeli couscous with carrot green - macadamia - kale pesto, tomatoes and postelein.

Donnerstag, 10. April 2014

Inconsiderate critters

What have mosquitos, fleas and mice in common?
Right, they're keeping me awake.

It's a little past three in the morning and I have been sitting in the bed, hoping to not wake the person sleeping next to me while waiting for fleas to tickle and mosquitos to "ssssssssssssssssssss". So that I'd have the chance of catching them before they get to me.

And while I'm restlessly awake a very inconsiderate mouse is rumbling around the kitchen. What the heck? -
Three days ago we knew we had a rodent again after our two peaches both had bite marks. Thanks for nibbling each a bit. We put everything we thought they'd eat in the fridge.
Two days ago one of the unripe mangoes had a huge hole.
Yesterday they ate a whole banana which we had forgotten to cover. -
So tonight while not being able to get to anything they make a big fuzz, with things falling and such.

I just wish time was going a little faster and I was already a little further away,
from all those damn "botherlings"!

Sonntag, 6. April 2014


Three busy weeks lay behind us. We've been around quite a bit: hiking and visiting St. Pete and the beach, going to Gainesville, cooking and baking. All with my little sister who made it across the ocean in a spontaneous trip visiting us in Florida while we're still here. Too much to write much more than we had a great time.

And we've reached our last weeks here in Florida and the U.S., soon we'll be on a boat that takes us back to Europe...

Sonntag, 9. März 2014

Circus - Please share:

There's two things I wanted to share with you here. One is a very nice set of artwork that will be published throughout the month of march. The images are designed to encourage people to "do the green thing". And I just peeked at the slideshow and was really amazed. HERE it is.

More importantly however is an accusation made at the moment towards some good friends of our friends. They are threatened by a huge lawsuit filed by Alanis Morrisette who claims they stole her dog.  What media says? But I'd like to oblige them by posting their statement over here because I feel it deserves to be heard:


Hi Friends & Family
You may or may not be aware that Patrick & I are being sued by Alanis Morissette & her husband Mario Treadway over our beloved dog Circus.
Media outlets have taken the story and misrepresented us as lowly thieves. Our statement given to TMZ was chopped up and distorted. We are now going to publish the full statement that we presented to TMZ.
Please help us to make it VIRAL! Please use your networks to help us spread the truth and encourage everyone you know to REPOST.
Please everyone help us spread the truth and make this story VIRAL! Our little family's wellbeing depends on it!


I, Maria Garcia, was formerly employed as Alanis Morissette and Mario Treadway’s personal assistant and house manager. I was at no time employed as their housekeeper.

As an employee inside their home, I was privy to all that went on. After my employment was suddenly terminated, without explanation, in January of this year, I have honored my personal and professional commitment to respect the family’s privacy. The family has filed suit against me and has falsely accused me in the press of stealing their dog, Circus. I am now being forced to defend myself in court – and in the press. For that reason only, I am giving this statement. I am not receiving compensation for this statement nor would I ever “sell” information about a former employer for personal gain – even under these unfortunate circumstances.

Alanis and Mario’s accusation that I stole Circus from them is false is every sense of the word. Their accusation is not only false, it is malicious and extremely hurtful as I was a loyal and dedicated employee and worked in a close, personal capacity with the couple, their child, all of their pets, and multiple staff. I never imagined I would be in the position of defended myself against accusations Alanis knows are false.

After completing Alanis’ tour at the end of 2012, they returned home in January of 2013. By March 2013, Alanis and Mario asked me and my fiancé, Patrick Murch, to take Circus into our home because Alanis was allergic to Circus, he was relieving himself in their home, was very food aggressive (resulting in him being obese and having hip and other physical problems). Alanis was frustrated with Circus’ behavior and said he was disruptive to the family; posed a risk to their other dogs and their child; and was “too annoying” to continue in their home.

Alanis’ claim that she was on tour in 2013 and that I was asked to take Circus because of a “hectic touring schedule” is blatantly false. A simple Google search will confirm when Alanis was on tour. To my knowledge, Mario has never had a tour of his own. Alanis made this and others misrepresentations to an LAPD detective several weeks ago. The detective at first stated that the couple planned to press criminal charges against me. The detective spoke to my fiancé and my attorney and to me. The detective verified my version of the facts, and the matter was dropped.

During Alanis’ 2012 tour, I house sat for the couple, looked after their house, did several special projects and took care of their dogs. Circus lived at their home with their other dogs during the tour in 2012. When Alanis returned from the 2012 tour and Circus’ behavior was so “annoying and insufferable”, Alanis said that she “could take it any more” and to “get rid of him”.

Since March of 2013, Circus has lived exclusively with me, at my house. Over the course of the year, Circus became a part of our family. We worked hard to make him comfortable in our home and to help redirect his nervous behaviors. Circus is closely bonded with our other dogs, Jaoquin and Pony as well as with us. Based on our verbal agreement with Alanis, our long-standing family relationship (Patrick’s stepmother was employed by Alanis for 16 years), and the fact that Circus had lived solely with us for that year, it was obvious by their action that they too saw Circus as our dog. During the last year, Alanis did not visit Circus or ask after him.

Alanis saw Circus once, for 15 minutes, when I housesat for the family in September of 2013. The family went on a 3 week vacation to Bowen Island, Canada and I was house sitting. With Alanis’ permission I brought my dogs with me while I stayed at the house. When the family returned, Alanis saw Circus. She petted him and said hello. I gathered up my things and my dogs to return to my home. At that time, I asked Alanis if she wanted Circus back. She said no - and that it was better for everyone – including Circus that he remain with me. At this moment, it was clear that Alanis did not and would not ever want Circus back. I was happy as Circus was loved and happy at our home.

It came as a shock to us when, upon getting fired, we received a demand that we “return Circus” to his “proper owners”. I did not request Circus as a part of my severance. I believed, in good faith, that Circus was our dog. Alanis knew that Circus was well loved and cared for in our home and had grown inseparable from our other dogs. It was clear for a year that she had no interest in Circus.

In February 2014, when Alanis’ business manager demanded that we return Circus, we made several attempts to reach out to Alanis personally to ask for transference of the papers so that we may take legal ownership of Circus. Alanis has suddenly become extremely adamant about wanting him back, claiming that Circus is her “property”. During these exchanges, Alanis acknowledged that Circus is unlikely to reintegrate well as the issue of her allergies, Circus’ food aggression, loud barking, and urinating in the house continue. Alanis said that I must give Circus back, and that if he doesn’t integrate well, she will give him to someone else (not back to me).

We fear that Circus (a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix - incorrectly labeled in court paperwork as a Chihuahua/ Pug mix) may be taken from our loving home only to be dumped again if his “unfavorable” behaviors return.

Over the last month, we have been accused of being disrespectful in our correspondence with Alanis and Mario; endured private investigators and police coming to our home, Alanis’ assistants making false statements in our neighborhood to our neighbors accusing us of being “dog-nappers and animal abusers”. Now we are being hit with a lawsuit demanding $25,000, plus punitive damages.

Both Patrick and I served Alanis and Mario faithfully while in their employ – as did Patrick’s stepmother for 16 years. We, like Circus, have been unceremoniously discarded. Alanis’ sudden interest and demand for the “return of Circus” - a dog she told her employees to “get rid of” in March of 2013 – speaks to the truth.

We trust that the world at large will see this situation for what it really is. We are not wealthy and we cannot afford to defend this lawsuit – but we feel that we have to. We have to defend this lawsuit to clear our names and because Circus is our dog and as Alanis has said before, it is better for everyone – including Circus.

Please share and help those folks to keep their family member and not being ruined by a crazy and unnecessary law suit. Thanks!

Samstag, 1. März 2014

Aubergine overkill

I'm knee deep in eggplants and eggplant recipes. Actually I prefer the french name aubergine much better, thus I'm going to use it, as they do in germany and the UK.
Where did they come from?
My in laws found them. Four huge boxes filled with huge aubergines were sitting next to the free food building, up for grabs. I'm glad they took only one box since it contains already maybe 30 big pieces of eggplant. Oh yes. And since they don't eat a lot of fresh / don't cook much and Sisto doesn't either it's pretty much up to me to keep up with them.
Alas, aubergine it is. - No time to write, they are waiting for me in the kitchen...

Montag, 17. Februar 2014

Big time yardening

For the last two days chances were high you'd find me in the backyard. The weather was really beautiful and inside it was still chilly, so really, what is the best thing to do? Yes, taking care of mother nature. - Well, she's able to take care of herself pretty well I guess, but providing her with a little space and profiting by extending "my garden" goes hand in hand.

First I removed our little water hole (a plastic box that Sisto and me had put in the ground last summer to rescue a couple of tadpoles we had found in a shrinking roadside puddle) - a pledge to remove it because of the mosquitos was out by my mother in law for a little while now.

Then I took care of the compost bin. The compost wasn't good, it was gooey and had a lot of larvae, but just a few worms. I don't know why. The last time I turned it it was the same. Only the first time did it smell good. But since it wasn't completely broken I put it back then. So I never really got my own compost into the ground.

This time I didn't wanted to put it back in the bin. So I used some of it as organic matter to fill that big hole in the ground. Worm cantina. When I went through the dirt I found two nicely sprouted avocado pits. I saved them, planting one next to the dead tree in the yard, so it cannot be mowed over. 

Mowing is a big time problem here. Just a day after we talked about the wild blue flowers in our front lawn looking so nice because it hadn't been mowed for a while, the guy who does it came around and I was too late to ask him to spare the spot. 
Only one small spot still held blossoming wilderness. The space around that former water hole. A couple stones plus the dug out dirt from the hole separate it a little, making it hard to mow. 

I had already planted a couple of garlic cloves that had sprouted over there. Some of them were lucky, others got shorter. To protect them and some to be planted sweet potatoes I made a little brick outlining. Then I wrote what I had planted - garlic, sweet potato and  one of the earlier found avocado pits - onto palm leave stems and made it even more clear: this is a no mowing zone! Flowers saved. Bees welcome. 

Today I further transplanted two kale plants and a couple of the small lettuces of which I still keep a lot in empty salad shells. A work in progress...


You're not tired yet? Here's more: Protecting my mallows after the mower had cut of the biggest of them with a little wall. Dug out the stones for that wall between some palm tree roots behind our room. Sowed amaranth and flax, some in the back some in the front. Finally, I guess, that was it...