Kentuck Knob ~ Dunbar, PA

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The entrance to Kentuck Knob.


THE EXPERIENCE OF VISITING

A visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob is very different from going to his more famous Fallingwater.

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A view of the stunning Fallingwater at dusk, in summer. (Photo courtesy of Fallingwater.org)

Fallingwater is the extroverted older sibling with 5,000 Facebook friends and multiple daily Instagram posts.  Large and tall with splashing water sounds.  A full parking lot with loads of visitors and museum staff.  An enormous structure with giant cream-colored cantilevers.

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Kentuck Knob is the introvert who prefers to hide behind her kindle.  A much smaller hexagonal house tucking itself into the mountainside, like an animal’s den.  The roof is low with a downward slope.  I found myself squinting as I looked at the house, as though I wasn’t sure I was seeing it.

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View of the al fresco garage with the owners Packard parked inside. The entire driveway/courtyard is covered with small pebbles. The soft crunch of the pebbles beneath your feet lends a comforting soundtrack to the visiting experience.

The current owners (Peter and Hayat Palumbo) rescued the house in the mid-1980’s.  Soon after, they opened it to the public and still have personal items in the house, as they stay from time-to-time.  It was delightfully surprising and felt very special to be welcomed into their home amongst their things. Continue reading

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Fallingwater ~ Mill Run, PA

DSCN8181In high school, my secret afternoon retreat from the noise, bullying and stress-inducing social demands of the other students, was the Art Room.  There my young introverted self could sit in peace by a window, gathering my thoughts and focusing on my breath, concealed by a mound of art supplies.  It was in that reflective space that I first encountered Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece in a book.  Nearly two decades later, I had the immeasurable privilege to step into those glossy pages.

DSCN8212Fallingwater was designed with conscious intention to celebrate nature as an ally.  Although I’m not particularly taken with the interior decor, the minimalist philosophy of living only with the possessions one actually uses strongly resonates.

DSCN8166Wright’s brilliant, interactive art installation enhances the natural environment.  A rare achievement.


THE EXPERIENCE OF VISITING

Crowds do my head in.  Never have I been in such a populated space that vibrated with such an intense peace and tranquility.

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The Visitor Center at Fallingwater

The unique meandering design, of both the path through the forest to Fallingwater and the structure itself, prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by the numerous other bodies in the space.

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The tranquil boardwalk path from the visitor’s center to the house.

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TDI Vegan Product Review: Field Roast Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage

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Photo courtesy of FieldRoast.com

In my pre-veg days I never liked sausage but everything Field Roast touches manifests into Vegan Gold.  Since I love imagining myself as a Vermonter, I’m always one purchase away from buying something with maple in it.

Like all of Field Roast’s products, the texture is dense yet pillowy, crumbly yet hearty and chewy yet tender.

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TDI Vegan Product Review: So Delicious CocoWhip

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So Delicious has blessed us with Coco Whip, a whipped topping made of coconut, in the style of the mainstream non-vegan product “Cool Whip”.

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Coco Whip is a significant boon for the vegan community.  Now we have a soy-free creamy product to use as an ingredient for mousse, tiramisu and a fluffing frosting.

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A topping for ice cream, sundaes, cocoa, pies, strawberry shortcake, fruit tarts and pumpkin pie. Continue reading

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TDI Vegan Product Review: Soyatoo! Rice Whip

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I can’t say that I’ve fully missed “whipped cream” since going vegan 13 years ago but there have been times when I’ve purchased Soyatoo! Soy Whip, which is a vegan Whipped Soy Topping in a can.  We usually buy it for Christmas/Yule morning to top our traditional Cinnamon Poached Pears on Homemade Belgian Waffles (recipe coming soon).  Like for most people, soy doesn’t agree with my stomach so for the rest of the year I simply go without.

But today, my gorgeous and brilliant husband arrived home from the co-op with a can of Soyatoo! Rice Whip.  I immediately put it to use by making a Morning Mocha. Continue reading

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Capsule Menu

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(Photo courtesy of aliexpress.com)

I’m sick of thinking about food.  Measuring it.  Making decisions 3 or more times a day on what to put into my mouth, purchase or prepare.  I’m over it.

I love food.  Vegan-organic-gourmet food!  Local, fair-trade and sustainable.  Hipster, Artisan and Foodie.  Creating recipes to share with you and pinning them on Pinterest.  I love farmer’s markets, cupcakeries, co-ops and specialty food stores that only sell 50 types of one thing like small-batch-vinegars or infused olive oils.

I watch documentaries and YouTube videos about the horrors of modern-day agriculture.  I’m opposed to GMOs and Monsanto.  I avoid the mainstream section of the grocery store like they’re literally selling cancer in a box.  If I do venture in to buy something I have the decency to feel shame and guilt while hoping no one I know sees me.

But, I’m sick of thinking about food.  I need a break.  Not forever but for now.

So I’ve decided to apply the principles of my very successful, and beloved, Capsule Wardrobe to the way I eat.  Obviously, everything will still be vegan and will align with the majority of my belief structure illustrated above.  It will just be simpler.


 

CAPSULE MENU

Breakfast

adfSmall-batch locally roasted organic coffee is a must to keep me happy.  I drink 2-3 cups everyday with almond milk, although usually not Silk brand.   Occasionally, I try to cut back on my coffee intake or switch to decaf but it never sticks.  I’ve been a semi-managed addict since working at an espresso bar at 16.

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TDI Vegan Guide to: Henna Your Hair (toxin-free hair color)

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(Photo courtesy of searchhomeremedy.com)

Henna is the most natural and cruelty-free way to alter your hair’s color.  Traditional hair dyes are tested by corporations by pouring their chemicals into the unprotected eyes of rabbits (and other animals) who are stuck in a trap with their eyes pulled open against their will. Continue reading

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Catskill Animal Sanctuary ~ Saugerties, NY

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ARRIVAL

The view of a lush narrow valley and lovely hillside as you turn into the driveway of Catskill Animal Sanctuary adds a level of pageantry to your arrival.  We chirped like excited children as the landscape dipped to reveal free-range roosters, a goat, a pot-bellied pig and a timid sheep on a knoll.

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Many farmed animal sanctuaries have chosen to imitate the classic red barn farm-style look.  They do this to further instill the message of “this is how farms should be” — a humane environment where animals are protected rather than harmed.  The public has been fed the “happy American classic red barn family farm” image by Agribusiness for half a century.

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Centralia, PA

THE ROAD

Like a house which has stood witness to an infamous gruesome murder, Centralia has become a tourist trap.  Once a tragic smoldering monument to the capitalist rape of Mother Nature, today Centralia is descended upon in droves by people looking for a sideshow.  The No Trespassing signs, so heavily documented all over the internet, have come down and the shoulder of route PA-61 has eroded under the gnaw of decades of tourist’s tires.

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First violated by the coal mining industry.  Then ravaged by the idiot(s) who started the fire.  There are plenty of theories online regarding the origin, as you would expect all are careful to blame someone else.

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TDI Vegan Guide to: Easter/Ostara/Spring Equinox


PAINTING “EGGS”

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(Photo courtesy of Flickr.com)

As a child, I loved the messy ritual of coloring Easter eggs.  Admittedly, much of the fun came from dropping Paas tablets into Dixie cups to watch them fizz.  When we feel the urge to decorate eggs these days we go outside to gather some roundish egg size stones and paint them with toxin-free biodegradable acrylic paints.

It’s fun to unpack them each year or to return them to the garden.  The best part of this cruelty-free choice is that, less egg-layer hens are suffering in a battery cage and less baby chicks are suffocating to death in a dumpster while being crushed under the weight of the chicks, discarded by humans, on top of them.

 

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(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)


LIVING & EDIBLE CENTERPIECES

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I love these potted daffodils as a decorative choice. Save the bulbs and plant them in the fall. (Photo courtesy of tasteofhome.com)

After a long, dark and cold winter a bright fresh display of cut flowers is a welcome decadence.  Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, Ostara/The Equinox or another holiday, the universal spring celebration is that of welcoming back nature from its frosty sleep and reveling that we survived the earth’s dormancy period.

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