Wednesday, July 30, 2008

photos 08

Yet more 08 photos

More 08 photos

Colestin Photos 08 part 1

Colestin Gratitude

Greetings Campers!

I got email from Louise today (some of her photos will be posted here soon). She said that she’s feeling a bit of a letdown after the camp out and I couldn’t agree more. The camp out was sublime this year; there was plenty of everything for everyone, no-one got hurt and nothing caught on fire. I can’t ask for more than that. Tom informally counted 60+ folks in the meadow on Saturday, and that didn’t include the people who were hiding up in the hills. (We know you were up there; we could hear you howling when Jimmy sang “Oh I Wanna Be A Dog”.) It was such a perfect weekend that I’m having a hard time readjusting to the “real” world. I’m even suffering from some physical aftereffects, although I think that has more to do with the massive amount of calories I consumed.

What can I say? Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it. I’m deeply gratified to know that the camp out is so special to so many people. You all feel like family to me, and what is better than that? And so, although I’ll inevitably forget someone important (and PLEASE let me know who I forget!), I want to acknowledge the following people:

To Sequoia, the only 50 year old I know who looks good naked on a slip and slide;
To Kiva and Arly, for putting up with a lifetime of silliness;
To Dogboy, chef extraordinaire and court jester;
To Noah and his friends, Aidan and his friends, Tom, Stephanie, Phil, Shawna and all the other 20-somethings, for taking the torch as it is being passed;
To Lauren, Claire, Sierra, Grace and Kincaid our sweet little sisters. What a privilege it is to watch you grow up;
To Louise for radiating calm kindness in everything she does and for spearheading the recycling center;
To Peter for radiating crazy energy in everything he does, and for constructing the recycling center;
To Elaine for rolling out 51 pizzas while keeping Pete in line;
To Dr. Jeff, one of the few people I know who is knowledgeable, committed and fun all at the same time;
To Ruthe for her luminosity, calm and deep quiet;
To Cooper, the nicest young man I know;
To Dutch for his unparalleled energy and amazing service in the name of disc golf;
To Kat, sweet mama, for smiling while keeping Dutch’s feet on the ground;
To Finn for being so darn cute;
To Eli for saving the lizards;
To Lynn for her genius in wrangling kids, dogs and amazing snacks;
To Jesse for knowing every song ever written in the history of music, and for playing tunes that prompted the 20-somethings to sing along around the campfire;
To Ellen for making me laugh;
To Ezra, my brother, for every little thing you do, every instrument you play, every breath you take;
To Manda for showing that a woman can be beautiful AND kind;
To Maeve for sitting on my lap in perfect contentment;
To Steve and Michael for Pico de Gallo in the face of chaos;
To Michael Buttercup, a genius with a trowel and pure poetry in motion;
To Dave, ditto on the poetry/motion thang, AND for his photojournalism on Joe’s behalf;
To Cousin Allen and his sons (Tal and…I’ve forgotten his name!) for slip and slide virtuosity;
To Tim, Erin, Elib, and all the other Scene Shoppers for your beautiful, skilled selves. Viva Los Techies!
To John and Michelle for keeping the Deadhead faith alive and making it manifest in your daily life;
To Michael and Maryann for healing, the Free Mexican Airforce the world’s sweetest soprano;
To Jimmy for 14 years of fellowship;
To Konnie for beauty and truth;
To Zoe, my sister under the skin, for baking babies;
To Papa Chris for his deep wisdom;
To Dr. Serena, the smartest woman I know who can also get a groove going;
To Maia and Jasper for beautiful neighborliness;
To Dave Bob for fish and harmonicas;
To Danny and Matt Feltz and Chris Meyers and Sasha and Ed Willy and all the other folks who worked so hard to build the oven in May
To Joe, who was with us in spirit;
To Jon Bates for the songs we’ve sung in the past and the songs we’ll sing in the future;
To Tom Green for everything he does;
To Cathy, for neighborliness and salads;
To Jim, Hope, Sky, Greg J, Debbie, Greg S, Phyllis, and all the other Colestine Campers who couldn’t make it t his year;
To whomever I’m forgetting;
THANK YOU from the depths of my heart.

Monday, July 21, 2008

News from the campers

Hello Stephany!! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the campout!!, Since we're all into recycling I wanted to ask if it's okay to bring up a recycling center of sorts?? I would bring up a bunch of bins to seperate out our recycling and then I can take it away on Sunday afternoon. Any thoughts on this?? We could even have a seperate bin for compost if you guys are interested?? Look forward to all the madness! xoxo. Louise

HI Steph and Lowell,

I will do a dessert on Friday and a Chile Relleno casserole on Saturday.

Can't wait! Ruthe

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July 25, 26, 27

Greetings Campers,

A couple of folks kindly pointed out that I have not posted the DATE of the campout on this blog. Getting old is a bitch, ain’t it? Mark your calendars for July 25, 26, 27. I’m a little leery about posting detailed directions to my house out here on the wide world of web for anyone to see. If you need directions, please email me at

I’m posting a couple of sweet photos of the oven in action. I loved the original, organic color shown here. Unfortunately, Sequoia had to apply a coat of paint after this photo was taken, a sad necessity to prevent cracking. What wasn’t necessary was the color he chose, a shade my Aunt Lula once memorably referred to as “titty pink.” He’s dialing down the drama on the second coat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Message from the Chef

Howdy Campers,

The message I'm replying to is quite good. I don't have much to add but I do have a couple things to throw in the pot. Since I am now "head chef" I guess I got the right...

I am pullin' my big bread bowl out of retirement and will fill it at least once with dough for pizza. Maybe twice. If anyone else wants to contribute dough that's fine by me. We can have a taste off...

I will also have red sauce. If you want another colored sauce on your pizza, bring it.

A note here: the reconstructed oven holds heat well. I'm envisioning midnight snacks of pizza bread. If that sounds good bring a loaf or two and we'll see what's left over at midnight to go on top.

One beautiful thing about the wood-fired oven you all are about to be introduced to is that my Webber gets filled with coals when the oven gets emptied of it's fire. The rest of the fire goes into the new fire pit. This means BBQ technology will be available when we are firing the oven. For other times, I'll bring some charcoal. So bring on the flesh if you want. Between my Webber and the new firepit, we got plenty of grill space to burn anything short of the whole hog.

On Saturday I'll fill my bean pot full of veggie beans and will talk to Steph about a dutch oven full of Spanish rice to round out some of the meal. I'll also make a pan of enchiladas - no meat so I make sure Sequoia gets full. Steph is makin' up a pan as is Louise Mccullom to prime the feedin' machine. I'll also have red and green sauce and extra corn tortillas so we can keep 'em coming if you bring some fillings.

A note here: we are not limited to enchiladas. Tacos and tostadas are also possible. Enchiladas first though...

And finally, what Steph didn't mention 'cause she didn't know... Ifin I don't get too trashed Saturday night there will be sticky buns for breakfast on Sunday morning. If I get too screwed up, we'll have 'em for brunch or lunch. They will show up sometime though. I promise.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's Alive!!!!

We launched the newly reconstituted oven last week, and baby, did it ever perform. After being fired for about 3.5 hours, we scraped out all the coals, swept out the ashes and cooked on the firebrick for HOURS. Have you ever been to one of those upscale eateries that advertise wood-fired pizza? We got it going on in the meadow friends, and it is way better than anything Wolfgang Puck ever imagined. Even though the cement is still curing, the oven creates a beautiful even heat that cooks everything to perfection. There was room for a pizza and two casserole dishes inside. The exterior is cracking like crazy and will have to be sealed with latex paint when it is completely cured, but that’s a small price to pay for the upgrade in our standard of living. I shudder to think of the food crimes waiting to be committed.

I suspect Dogboy will be pumping out pizzas at the camp out, so we’ll need pizza dough & toppings. We are interested in hearing other food suggestions. We could bake breads, beans, casseroles – you could roast a damn turkey in the oven and have room for yams and dressing. The possibilities are endless.

Update on fire season: I don’t have to tell you, it’s a bad one this year. We’ve had periods of thick smoke, but the air has been clear for the last couple of days. I’m not going to veto a campfire, but it will have to be very small and we can’t light it until dark or the fire marshal will have my hide. The oven has a stove pipe with a spark arrestor, so I think it’s OK to fire it early in the morning, as long as we watch it like a hawk.

A little more than two weeks and counting my friends!