Grandad, Grandma, Mom in the Eel River

My grandmother was born on Java, Indonesia.  Our family’s (my mom’s side of the family) celebratory meal was the Rijsttafel, the Dutch word for rice table, which consists of a table full of side dishes to go with rice.  When others were carving turkeys and hams, we were scooping small spoonfuls of delicately assorted concoctions out of hand made ceramic bowls onto rice and eating with folded banana leaves.  

From the vegetables grown in the garden to whatever food was drying on metal sheets on the roof, the small tract house and garden on Maple St in Ventura was the production site, and my grandparents the workers.  Preparation began days in advance, the roles well rehearsed in a usual high-pressure atmosphere.  Grandad in charge of the dirty work, the draining and shredding the coconuts, while Grandma energetically chopped, mixed, and cooked in the kitchen. 
My favorite of the Rijsttafel is Serundeng Kacang garnish.  This dish was so well loved at our last gathering that my mom ended up making multiple batches, one after the other as the bowl ran out.  This can be made in a double recipe & stored in a jar.  Also useful with Indian curry dishes
Serundeng Kacang
3 cloves of garlic sliced
2 tbls sliced onion
2 tbls sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tamarind dissolved in 2 tsps of water
2 cups fresh grated coconut
2 tbls peanut oil, corn oil or safflower oil
1 cup roasted peanuts broken in quarters or crushed in blender
1.In a mortar or blender crush the garlic, sugar, salt, and tamarind into paste.  Mix with the grated coconut.
2.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan and toast the coconut mixture over low heat, stirring often.  When light brown add the peanuts and toast more for 5 minutes.
Makes 2 & half cup.  (This can also be toasted in the oven instead of fried)
Alternate recipe for Serundeng:
This recipe can be used with roasted soy beans instead of peanuts
2 cups fresh grated coconut or sweet & bought grated coconut
1 tbls. Coriander
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 clove garlic crushed
2 tsp sugar (if using sweetened prepared coconut then reduce sugar)
2 tsp salt
2 tsps tamarind dissolved in1 tbls water (lemon juice can be substituted for tamarind and water)
1 salam leaf or grated lemon rind
½ cup dried roasted soy beans or sunflower seeds or peanuts
1 Mix together all the ingredients except the beans or seeds  put on a lined cookie tray.
2.  Bake in 250degree oven for 30 minutes.  Stir frequently until light brown.  Add the soya beans or seeds.  Turn off heat & continue to dry in oven for 30 minutes.
The garden at the Maple Street house was an exotic utopia of seeds, root starts, and cuttings brought home from my grandparents’ years of world travels.  Many conversations admiring the garden ended up revealing the story of a treasured something that grandma had nurtured for the duration of a trip and smuggled through customs to get it into the fertile soil at home.  Once established, she would pass the plant or seed on, along with its story of origin.  I can’t imagine how many passion fruits have flourished from cuttings because passersby couldn’t help expressing awe at the vine-covered fence bursting with purple flowers.  They ended up going home from my Grands’ with an earful of foreign adventure and their own something, waiting to be planted.
Grandma’s Punch served at Rijsttafel
½ gallon black tea brewed strong and chilled
½ gallon pineapple juice
½ gallon orange juice
gingerale or soda water added for fizz
fresh passion fruit
Mix liquids together and make sure each glass gets at least a scoop of a ½ passion fruit…. will sink to the bottom for a crunchy, tasty crescendo.
My granddad, as I said before, did the dirty work.  I think he would have preferred to read the newspaper, but he ended up happily weeding the garden.  Often times there would be a squabble because he uprooted what to him was an unfamiliar, but which happened to be one of grandma’s newest babies.  And often times the weeds were what she was nurturing in order to get an abundance to make a meal.  I have had quite a few “Borage Partys” based on grandma’s recipe.
Large, fresh Borage leaves
A batter of flour, egg, water, favorite spices to taste.
Dip leaves in batter and fry.
In my minds eye I see my granddad on his knees, face hidden from view by his wide brimmed hat, keeping balance with his thumb and knuckle on one hand and combing the dirt with the other.  To his side, my grandma with her cracked bare heels sunk into the ground, limberly bending at the waist to pick up a fallen avocado.


Cork ricocheting off the neighbors ceiling.  Wild aim at ribbons of laughter.  Independence of the first apartment.
Silent movements stream from sounds plugged into my ears.
The impatiens continue to breath.  


A huffing and a puffing with all my might, I’ve been trying to be the woman.  Little did I realize, she has been here all along.  Not dormant, no, not grieving, nor healing- here, just here, the entire time.
Aries moon frothing from the hard ride-
Cracks?  Ah those!  Perfectly filled by Virgo as she rises-
Swelling, again, returning, Jupiter pulls, illuminating the click, click, click into the moon’s refection off the tide, Cancer sun, coming home.
the pages that you read to me)



by  on October 28, 2013 in Fall 2013Online Magazine
 By Teal Rowe
Recently I was looking at childhood photos. There are rifles and fishing poles leaning against the trees in the background. As a family, we focused on food: hunting it, fishing it, preparing it.
We had chickens as well as a vegetable garden and fruit orchard. I can hear my dad’s enthusiastic chime, “Two fistfuls, Teal. Eat up—you need your ‘go power,’” a persuasion directed toward me to eat the cooked meat, freshly skinned and slaughtered in our front yard. But after staring into the dead black eyes of the deer hanging from our oak tree, I wasn’t too eager.
At 13, I mustered up the nerve to declare myself vegetarian. It was truly going against the habits of my household, though it wasn’t completely out of the blue, since my mother’s parents had been lifelong vegetarians.
Although the culture was also changing at that time (remember Solar Winds, the Ojai health food store?) I still became the target of constant chiding and “vegetarian” jokes—barbs that I had previ­ously watched my grandmother turn her head and ignore.
In my 20s, my lifestyle was that of party hardy. I drank. I smoked. And my “go power” was a vegetarian diet of carbohydrates drenched in cheese. It was around that time, I clearly remember, that my stomach started to ache. I became concerned when the pain wouldn’t go away.
A friend recommended that I see a colon hydrotherapist and “get cleaned out.” Elimination isn’t something that I really wanted to even think about, much less share with someone else. So I was the most surprised, and terrified, when I actually made an appoint­ment. My first colonic led to a seven-day juice fast, which became a yearly ritual that to this day I gratefully continue.
If my mind were running the show, I would never be able to fast. It is my body that knows how great it feels to give it a rest. A few weeks before a fast, I prepare. I notice my relationship to food at a deeper level. I lighten up my schedule. I lighten up my meals. I’ve been known, upon thinking about what is to come, to change my mind and postpone the time and effort for a later date. At times, I’ll fast for a few days and then stop, though I absolutely love to spend at least a full seven days allowing my body a com­plete hiatus from the job of digesting.
Colon hydrotherapist Bobbye Rotello has explained to me that digestion begins in the mouth. We eat food, we absorb the nutrients, we eliminate. Even when we brush our teeth regularly, we still periodically have our teeth professionally cleaned to remove the built-up plaque, which can cause bacteria, which can lead to disease.
The colon, at the other end of this same digestive tract, builds up too. The colon houses both good and bad bacteria, and a buildup of the bad bacteria can prevent absorption of the nutrients we need to sustain a healthy balanced system. A hydrotherapist uses water to “wash” the inside of the colon and help move out stagnation and debris. Along with an alkaline juice diet in the system, the old stuff gets the chance to let go. We soak up nutri­ents easier, and the “go power” becomes readily available to the bloodstream.
For me, each cleanse has been different—yet there is a similar underlying structure. The first couple of days are usually the most difficult. I miss my food! Once I overcome the sensation of want­ing to eat, I am home free. Time to let the mind, body, emotions and spirit roll. And that, they do! I am referring to the many ups and downs of a detox. Anger, sadness, the gamut of emotions as well as headaches, rashes, irritability, a spectrum of physical symp­toms that can go on for minutes, hours or days.
As the negative symptoms subside, I begin to see and feel clarity around life. Life in general becomes so incredibly beautiful. Juicing fresh veggies and simply breathing more deeply become revered events. Being led to insights, answers to unresolved questions and nudges to change are some of the benefits, as well as an ultra-keen­ing of the senses. And gratitude. The utmost feeling of gratitude is probably the most treasured reason why I go through the trouble to cleanse.
While coming out of a fast, I allow my body to show me the way. Usually it steers me toward a raw vegetable and nut diet, sometimes for months. Then, bit by bit, cooked food. Over the past 22 years, I have slowly omitted things from my diet that I never thought I could live without on a daily basis. The dairy that I depended on for protein, I’ve replaced with nuts. The ever-present sugar and wheat no longer appeal.
In recent years, I have had the fortune to serve as a guide to others as they venture into their first cleanse. My passion around this ritual doesn’t exactly rub off, say, around the third day of not eating, as they scowl at me with a look that begs, “Exactly why did I want to do this?” That is when I hand them a fresh green juice, clink the edge of their glass with mine and remind them that the only way out is through.
Teal Rowe was born in Ojai and raised with ranchers on one side of the family and mystics on the other. Today she can be found making and selling her artwork at 1623 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura; 805-660-4605 TealRowe.com

The Grace Card

My grandmother grew, dried, and cut the top of a gourd to make a lidded vessel. This is where I keep my Angel Cards, 52 little cards with 52 different words and tiny paintings illustrating that word.  Today I choose the “Grace” card.  The smudges of paint and fingerprints that cover it take me back to “the halls”.
Back to a time when I guided 15 different artists in Juvenile Hall at a time.  There seemed to be a revolving door that constantly shook up the flow of attendance, so I would meet many new faces, as well as re unite with the recidivists, while trying to keep some kind of continuity for the guys who were really into what I was offering through the class.   Essentially it was 2 hours, twice a week, space to express whatever spoke, sans sex/violence, on huge pieces of paper with brushes, a full spectrum of colored pencils and liquid paint.  Truly a privilege if you are locked up and the usual is 6 colors of pencil and an 8 &1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. 
We finished class with a ritual of choosing an Angel Card from the gourd.  Many of the guys recognized a gourd saying that their grandma had grown them as well.  A connection in the garden, nature so far removed from the cinder block and heavy mechanically locked doors we were sitting behind. 
Typically someone would choose a card and look at me with question.  What does it mean?  This one word pulling past the “Dawwwg” and “Hommie” climate we were accustomed, into a place of inquiry.
As the card they chose became personal, things got serious.  “But WHAT does it meeeeaaaaan?”  looking straight into my eyes, an intent forehead furrowed.
I remember this question coming up once with the Grace card.  I asked what does it mean to you?   Amazing Grace, the song, grace at the table, a ballerina is graceful, etc.  Exactly, now, leave those great ideas there in your head, and take the feeling that you feel from them and somehow in your very own way, look into your heart.  Feel what grace feels like to you, without the words, and we will talk about it next week.
There were many more “next weeks”.  Though we never talked about “grace” again, the atmosphere became soft….kind of like a whisper….well…..it was grace.  The energy of the class surged with quiet enthusiasm.  And regardless of the revolving door, there was usually someone who eagerly requested “the gourd”.


Again, I am so grateful to the guys in Wheeler One for reminding me of what I need to know.



I WILL BE SELLING MY VASEs, SCULPTURE, EARRINGS, ETC….which include the Glass Paint Brushes, Assemblage, Anchovy Can Altars, Bath Salts (the kind you soak in), Etc. OH yeah!…. I have making these bitchen crowns that everyone loves….know any royalty you want to make official?

THROUGH NOVEMBER 24, 2013….Please note this, as I still have people wanting to come to the studio to watch me blow glass……and I haven’t been there since 2009!  The calendar pages continue to blow in the wind as graceful as the sycamore leaf!

Location: 1623 E. Thompson Blvd. Ventura
Hours:  Thursday-Saturday 12-5 
             Sunday 12-4
                          By appointment  805-660-4605

SHOP EARLY as you know……all is one of a kind, and the stock is abundant.

Tall Vase, Earrings, Fluid Vase

All the best,


“I’ll give you a sign” Cindy said.  At the time she was well and we walked Shelf Rd. together most days.  The sign she referred to would come after her death.  Something she could relay to me to say that all is well.  I think we had the space to talk about death of the physical because I was in a grand delusion.  Until the day Cindy died, I never believed that she would. 
She and I had a routine.  We would walk Shelf Rd. in the morning, then go to Bates beach to search the shore, collecting glass, eating bag lunches, soaking up the sun, and talking into the afternoon until we wrapped it up to get ready to go to work.  We worked in the same place.  Cindy was manager, I a food server.  When I think back on the stress of that job, I realize that the mountain walking and searching for beach glass was a needed remedy.  It was a way to unwind, to vent.  I don’t remember doing much else for those years that we worked together.  We were bonded by the stress and the de regulating of the stress.
The foundation of our conversation was astrology.  Cindy lived by the stars.  That is how I met her.  She did my astrology chart.  We have many ties in our charts.  We both have roots in Dutch Indonesia and Theosophy.   And we both are really into our relationships, gardens, and houses.  I could listen to her go on about astrology, her husband Milton, and country music till the cows came home.  She showed me manifestation as I watched her happily trade out her much loved Carmen Ghia for the Cadillac that she had talked and dreamed about getting for years.  Her car was always a big thing for her.  My favorite Cindy quote: “Clean car, clean life”.  She had an incredible garden and a house that welcomed everyone.  She shared her truth with those she met.  And she was fuuuunny.  Her sense of humor was a blast.
Somewhere along the way, for Christmas or a Birthday, Cindy gave me a rose bush.  I remember reading the name of the rose on the little metal tag, “Fragrant Memory”, and then giving her a glaring look.  No words, just shooting her my vibe of denial, “You are not going to die!” and I went out and planted the bare root.  
She had a tumor in her arm.  The rare diagnosis was a huge long word that I could never conjure up.  I’ve never been that great at death.  I don’t like it, much less, repeating a diagnosis.  I can go to the dark side with the best of them and when it comes to actual death, I am usually not around. 
I remember visiting Cindy in the hospital just before I was leaving on a trip.  She had been in and out of the hospital frequently by this time.  That night she was pretty drugged up and talking about keeping the kitchen counters clean and the fresh tomatoes out in the yard.  She didn’t make sense.  I told her I’d see her when I got back.
A few nights later in a hotel in Santa Fe, NM I was having a dream.  In the dream, a North American Indian man and I were pounding an infinity symbol out of silver.  The symbol of an 8 on it’s side.  We weren’t just making a jewelry piece, it was a much deeper thing that he was showing me at a feeling level.  I don’t have words for it.  As we were working at his jewelry bench Cindy was in the background, she didn’t want to bother us.  The man and I were so focused on what we were making, I couldn’t take my attention off of the task to acknowledge Cindy, though I knew she was there, I could feel her intensity, she was keenly watching us work.  Then in the dream, our mutual friend, Sharon came up to me grabbed me by my arms and started shaking me, “Wake up!  Cindy died!” she screamed in my face.  By the time I felt and heard Sharon, I looked up, and Cindy was walking away.  In real life, I opened my eyes and the clock displayed the time that she had died. 
That morning, I called Sharon in CA.  I just said, “It’s Teal” she said the exact same words, though this time sad, “Cindy died at 10:22 last night”. (the time maybe different, I have forgotten the exact numbers)
Before I had left for NM there was not one bud on the Fragrant Memory rose.  It was essentially a bush of leaves, it had not previously bloomed.  When I got back 5 days later the plant was in full bloom, covered with beautiful pink, smelly roses.  I took the bounty of roses as the “sign”.
Then each time Cindy’s sister Dottie came to visit me, we would go up to sit in the garden and low and behold there would be two buds on the rose.  One for Dot and one for me.  At Cindy’s memorial, as to her wishes, all of her friends received a vase from her vintage collection.  So for months after her death, I had a bloom from that Fragrant Memory rose in my vase, one sign at a time.
Today is hard for me to see a hawk , Cindy’s declared totem, and not think of her.  Once sitting on the shore of a San Juan Island noticing a hawk on an updraft, at the same time combing a perfect, beautiful, rose colored arrow head out of the sand with my fingers.  This year on my birthday there was the hawk perched on a car in the middle of my urban landscape.  
Sign after sign.
Today marks 21 years since her death.  I write this for Cindy’s sisters and brother, Erik, Milton, Nita, Sharon, Hattie, Jan, Rain, Heather, Martin, Alan, and everyone in the world that loves Cindy…there are many of us!

Elenore Ellie Cindy Goudriaan Heise Kelley (my spelling may be off) thank you for beautiful photo Erik  


How long does it take?
To come up with the idea
To learn how
To get it all together
Until it will be ready
To allow it a life
To let it go
A lifetime I say, a lifetime.


Austin and Her Art

Update on “Austin and Her Art”-  Austin has just published her own blog.  



This is Austin in her dining room…..

This is her art:


Most of these pieces are large oils.   Some are collage.

I DO have some great stories to tell about my travels with Austin and I WILL.  O.K.  I’ll tell you now.  

Of the time, 
it was June of 2007.
I met Austin’s plane at the Malpensa Airport.  
We had a plan to meet so that she could fulfill her lifetime dream to buy an entire wardrobe in Milan.  She had saved her hard earned pennies in order to make it happen.    I was the translator.

We had a week.

We spent each day filled to the brim.  From train to trolly. From the flea markets to Prada.  We scrounged around basement bargain shops.  We ate great food.  With strangers and interesting conversations.  We spoke Italian.  We wandered the streets through the night into the wee hours. We LAUGHED!  We laughed so hard!  And piece, by piece the wardrobe evolved. 

Into a busting at the zipper bag….as Austin continued on her way to Sienna.