ginger wits

a salad of musings about learning to wear lipstick and growing up, politics, life, culture, and sometimes food.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie

A great, all-day read that incorporates some of my favorite things: American lore, roots music, and murder ballads sung by women. If you haven’t heard of Geeshie Wiley or Elvie Thomas, you’re not alone. They’re not as widely known blues women like Mamie Smith or Big Mama Thornton. In fact, there’s no evidence that they ever even existed — except of course for the music they left behind. 

I remember being lovestruck by Geeshie Wiley’s story in college. My college radio station, V89picked up a copy of Smithsonian Folkways: The Blues Masters (2007) and a great box set of rare 78’s called The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of (2006). I played both on-air regularly, especially Wiley’s tracks. 

How could someone create hauntingly beautiful music - three records in the 1930’s - and leave absolutely nothing else? Not even a tombstone. Maybe it’s the ultimate artistic coup: If you’ve never lived then you’ve never died, and your music goes on. 

psychedelic music from thailand, so fucking goooooooood

Graham calls this An ode to our unruly backyard. I call is sweet. Dandelion greens for dinner.

Graham calls this An ode to our unruly backyard. I call is sweet. Dandelion greens for dinner.

"Worms are actually pretty, Mama."

"Worms are actually pretty, Mama."

Near Frederick, md yesterday

Near Frederick, md yesterday

crawfords confectionary restaurant guns and ammo

crawfords confectionary restaurant guns and ammo

Busy morning! Roasted coffee, baked coconut cardamom granola, and these lemon rasp muffins. Now off to md to find a pig to roast. And eat more cake.

Busy morning! Roasted coffee, baked coconut cardamom granola, and these lemon rasp muffins. Now off to md to find a pig to roast. And eat more cake.

The finished product. Dressed w flax, wheat germ, and some mystery seed from Afghanistan.

The finished product. Dressed w flax, wheat germ, and some mystery seed from Afghanistan.

No knead sour dough a la Jim Lahey. I Used to make this every few days. But today was the first time in months. I’m happy to report the starter is still bangin, and it is still de-licious.

No knead sour dough a la Jim Lahey. I Used to make this every few days. But today was the first time in months. I’m happy to report the starter is still bangin, and it is still de-licious.