Monday, October 29, 2012

it's monday, monday

wishing it was warm & sunny outside,
but enjoying the cozy parts of fall
(i have some more fall recipes to post! hopefully this time wound-free!)

what are your favorite rituals or traditions in the fall? 
or at halloween? 
my family didn't celebrate halloween when i was growing up 
(well, until i was really too old for trick or treating; my younger siblings did)
so i'm always curious what fun traditions other families had.

happy monday!
(even if it's dreary)

stay safe and dry if you are on the east coast!

Friday, October 26, 2012

oh! happy friday!

happy weekend from all of us at our casa!
a full, fun fall weekend awaits!
(attempting to channel johnny & june carter cash last weekend at a costume party- not pictured; my autoharp & "johnny's" guitar)
happy weekending from these two cuties too!

any fun plans in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

dreary outside, cozy inside plus some minor injuries

i know there are lots of people who like rainy, gray days. once in a while i appreciate a good snuggle on the couch under a blanket while the rain pounds down outside, but for the most part rainy weather is not my favorite. telling perhaps is that the rain song i taught my daughters is "rain, rain go away, come again another day." so much for not passing along biased perspectives! :)

{sidebar: yes, i know that the rain is good for my garden, and cleans up our air, and we need it. i know, i know. but i still don't love it}

to me, rainy days equal soup and grilled cheese to eat. but sometimes that doesn't even turn my house cozy enough. my friend courtney gave me this apple crisp recipe almost ten years ago + it's a perfect vehicle for driving the drearies away. it calls for granny smith apples, but since matt and i just got a bunch of different apple varieties when we went to the philo apple farm last week, i used a mix of those apples.

if you are angling for mom of the year, (or maybe if your standards aren't quite as high, if you'd prefer to skip a trip to the ER,) don't do what i did when we made this the other night.

yes, let your child help. but no, don't trust that even though you say about 68 times not to put his or her little hands on the cutting board or near the knife that they will actually listen to you. let's just say it was an act of god that as i was industriously slicing away at my pretty apples and m simultaneously stuck her hands out to grab some of the slices laying on the cutting board that i didn't chop her ring finger off. (or you can chalk it up to my catlike reflexes if you prefer.) when i saw her fingers reaching out in slowmo and my knife going chop chop in not-so-slowmo, i froze as quickly as i could, and managed to only slice (ahem, pretty deeply) into her fingernail. i won't reenact all the ensuing drama, but there was a whole lot of blood that didn't let up (and that honestly freaked me out because it didn't let up), equal amounts wailing and sobbing, and about 400 band-aids plus some pseudo gauze (ok, it was toilet paper). in my defense the excessive use of band-aids has less to do with the severity of the wound and more to do with my daughters' collective obsession with band-aids. but i digress.

back to this recipe, which you will really like. i'm way more of a chocolate kind of girl, but this takes all the best parts of an apple pie and loads it down with crumb topping. i doubled it, because i knew we'd go through it pretty quickly. (in retrospect that was a bad idea, since i ate way too much of it yesterday, so keep that in mind as you bake this.)

after the finger slicing incident i wasn't so much in the mood for play by play photos, so these two preliminary photos will have to do; you'll have to use your imaginations for the rest of the steps and for the final product.

dreary day apple crisp
preheat oven to 375.

*4 cups peeled & sliced granny smith (or other tart/firm variety) apples

(Grease an 8x8x2 pan -or 9x13 if you double this- and place sliced apples evenly in pan)

mix the remaining ingredients together until mixed thoroughly & the consistency of pebbly sand:
* 2/3 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1/2 cup oats
* 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup room temperature butter

sprinkle mixture evenly over the apples 
bake for 30 minutes

very yummy warm or at room temperature

happy baking! here's to clear skies and injury free cooking for you & yours!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

of recent weeks

i've been in a bit of a rut the last few weeks in this space. 
i had some super fun adventures over the last month or so, 
including an awesome karaoke party with a live backup band, 
a weekend getaway with my besties 
and a ten year anniversary adventure with husband,
all which i have been meaning to share on here. 

(oh and lest you get too jealous there's been plenty of plain old regular life too which isn't as picturesque - a massive leak into our bedroom and my studio that we thought we fixed earlier this year, the juggling of freelance deadlines, trying to catch up on the mounds of paperwork that i can never keep up with, way more 4 1/2 year old temper tantrums {oh my goodness, quite the spectacle} than i thought possible, playdates and the routines of laundry, cleaning, re-cleaning, washing, etc.)

mixed all up in the midst of the escapades and the mundane, i've had some friends wrestling with pretty heavy health stuff recently. it's the kind of stuff that breaks your heart, even if it isn't happening to you or your own family; things we've all been touched by somehow- cancer, newborns in the NICU, miscarriages, depression, emergency surgeries, chronic illness.
i've felt at a bit of a loss lately; how do i post "look at all of this fun stuff i'm doing?!" or "look at the 68th pile of laundry i'm folding!" when i've felt the weight and sadness that comes with friends and family facing struggling. it always takes me longer to write about the broken parts of life than it does to post a bunch of fun pictures about my weekend. 

don't get me wrong- life is made up of the glorious as well as the crushing. the reality that our bodies fail us and that life doesn't always look the way we want demands that we celebrate the beauty of human existence too. so thinking today of how much we have to be grateful for in our lives, and how it is easy for me to dwell on the deficiencies i perceive in each day rather than counting the gifts of goodness that surround me. i mean that is really why i first started this blog, to talk about the good as well as the hard and about how all of it hopefully changes us, softens us, makes us more human and more able to know each other. 

grateful too, for those of you who take time to read my thoughts, to respond, and to be another little community in my life whether you live a few blocks away or across the world, and whether we are old friends, close family, distant relatives, or blogging friends.  


Friday, October 19, 2012

right now

**note: i started this at the beginning of the week and never posted it, so here it is, better late than never!

{also, for some reason the formatting is wonky on this post; it looks as if it ends halfway through because some links pop up mid-post, so bear with me! i couldn't fix it}

(on sunday matt and i stole away to the mendocino coast 
for a couple of nights to celebrate our tenth anniversary)

i haven't done a post like this in a while, so thought i'd start the week out with one! 

outside my window...the rugged beauty of the northern california coast. so much water + so much sky; such a dramatic and yet peaceful space to be in

i took these pictures from our balcony at the timber cove inn, where we are staying! for. reals. our room is epic, and the surroundings, crazy amazing.

i am thinking...that it never fails- i have time + space to blog and i draw a blank(!), that i am grateful to be married to my best friend, that i rarely have time just to sit and be still like i do today, that i am content

i am thankful daughters' laughter, a flexible job, for a mother-in-law that comes to watch our girls, the sunshine today, the actual nap i took this afternoon!

from the kitchen...this mama isn't cooking anything tonight! and soaking up the luxury of staying away from home

i am very favorite boots, skinny jeans (even if i'm not so skinny :)), my favorite super cozy red and white striped scarf, and a kelly green cardigan

i am creating...a marriage that is ever evolving and growing, but it is always a safe space for my heart. time in the midst of a busy schedule to enjoy my family, to paint, to work on ideas and hopes

i am keep this short so i can go join my husband and watch the sun set over the pacific ocean!

i am reading...the whole-brain child (good for my parenting), tattoos on the heart (good for my soul...i highly recommend it) and i am about to begin a hologram for the king (good for book club)

i am hoping...that as matt + i enter another year of marriage that we will discover new things about each other, and that we will love each other with kindness and patience

i am hearing...the waves outside of the inn, the clink of glasses at the bar, the flickering sound of the fireplace, the hum of conversation in the background

around the children are probably wreaking havoc and tiring out matt's mom! 

a few of my favorite things...a clean house, laundry folded and in their place (not sitting ready to be put away!), text messages that make me laugh outloud, when my mom stops by to say hi for two minutes on her way home, the sound of my girls calling, "mama!", the beauty of the 1 highway along the california coast, rasberries and yogurt, watching ruby sit on m's bed when she is at school looking through picture books + of course, our chickens

a few plans for the rest of the week (in no particular order)...naps, long talks with matt without being interrupted by my sweet little ones, time in the studio, a bit of deep cleaning, winetasting with my sweetie, reading the whole sunday paper

what are you doing right now? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

(ten years)

(what treasures i have in this life)

The Country Of Marriage by Wendell Berry

I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.


This comes after silence. Was it something I said
that bound me to you, some mere promise
or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death?
A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood
still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,
like the earth's empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.


Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.


How many times have I come to you out of my head
with joy, if ever a man was,
for to approach you I have given up the light
and all directions. I come to you
lost, wholly trusting as a man who goes
into the forest unarmed. It is as though I descend
slowly earthward out of the air. I rest in peace
in you, when I arrive at last.


Our bond is no little economy based on the exchange
of my love and work for yours, so much for so much
of an expendable fund. We don't know what its limits are--
that puts us in the dark. We are more together
than we know, how else could we keep on discovering
we are more together than we thought?
You are the known way leading always to the unknown,
and you are the known place to which the unknown is always
leading me back. More blessed in you than I know,
I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing
not belittled by my saying that I possess it.
Even an hour of love is a moral predicament, a blessing
a man may be hard up to be worthy of. He can only
accept it, as a plant accepts from all the bounty of the light
enough to live, and then accepts the dark,
passing unencumbered back to the earth, as I
have fallen tine and again from the great strength
of my desire, helpless, into your arms.


What I am learning to give you is my death
to set you free of me, and me from myself
into the dark and the new light. Like the water
of a deep stream, love is always too much. We
did not make it. Though we drink till we burst
we cannot have it all, or want it all.
In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill, and sleep, while it
flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning
to its rich waters thirsty. We enter,
willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.


I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark,
containing darkness: a night of rain, an early morning.
I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:
a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,
the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life
that we have planted in the ground, as I
have planted mine in you. I give you my love for all
beautiful and honest women that you gather to yourself
again and again, and satisfy--and this poem,
no more mine than any man's who has loved a woman.

Monday, October 8, 2012

sick day

is happening for this mama, right now:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

it's thursday, thursday

these little loves are at school this morning
 so instead of invading my studio with their cuteness, 
 they are busy working hard on making and playing and exploring
in my studio
it's just me, my brushes, and a few podcasts for a couple of hours!
i stayed up til the wee hours last night working on freelance 
so that i could paint this morning, so gotta get to it y'all.
happy thursday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

our girls

i'm slightly obsessed with our chickens.
want to meet them?
(if you need to catch up, you can peep old chicken posts here. yes, pun intentional)

here are swimsuit (on the left) + lemon tart (right)
according to m, lemon tart is the sneakiest chicken because she's hard to catch- 
she says she flaps and runs away the fastest! i tend to agree.
 (swimsuit again...thanks, vivian for the name suggestion! it stuck!)
 my personal favorite: sweet rose cake. 
she lays pale greenish silver eggs and she is such a sweet chicken. 
ruby loves to pick her up and she obliges my not-very-gentle daughter 
without pecking or fighting her.
she also gets picked on a little bit by the other hens,
so i feel a little protective of her.

 tulip, who along with her fellow rhode island red variety friend, 
can be a little pesky and likes to peck feet sometimes 
(and tomatoes and kale and anything in sight)
molasses cookies, formally known as jacob & renamed by m this week:

 here's lemon tart again!
three of her sisters (also buff orpington variety like her) went up to live at a coop at my mom's house, where they are finally starting to lay eggs for her too!
 she was kind of elusive so all i could catch was her head (above) 
and her bum stuck into the corn scavenging for snacks.
 come visit our girls anytime!
(not kidding.