Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bookended by beauty

Yesterday was bookended by beauty. I strung a strand of crystals in my window and when I woke up the sunlight cast splashes of rainbow all over the room. "Mom, look! A rainbow here, and here, and here!" Amelia said. 

The middle of the day was lonely and monotonous. I was coming off the high of my college roommate's weekend visit. She is a kindred and we see each other rarely. We stuffed two years of conversation into two days, laughing and crying together over life's turns. Her departure heralded the return of normal, and I was short with the kids and out of sorts. 

Bryan came home and took us out for burgers, then showed us this trail he and Watson had found the week prior. To the right was Crescent Lake, a little slip of a thing in the dry season and swollen with fish, frog's eggs, and water lilies when it rains. To the left was a fallow, furrowed field that will grow corn eventually. The living hedge along the path was brimming with lifefoxglove, blackberry brambles that hid rabbit and coyote dens, ancient towering maple trees, a whole sudden grove of wild rose bushes, and grass taller than our heads. The diversity was stunning. The light of the low-slung sun shone perfectly: Those magical hours between dinner and darkness are definitely my favorite. 

A promising beginning and an idyllic ending with a little bit of mess in the middle. Isn't that life?


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Restyle



I love finding things around my house that need a new home. I also love antique and thrift shopping. This morning was my weekly morning out alone. My sister watches the kids and I go to a coffee shop to write and often stop by a shop or two. This morning I saw that the local antique store is going out of business and everything is on sale. I went in and found a southwest wool rug, an industrial pendant lamp, a woven basket, a black walnut bowl, a Windsor chair, and a midcentury wire shelf for very minimal cost. 

I had also been eyeing the African woven market baskets at Tolt Yarn & Wool in Carnation, so when I went to pick up chicken feed in Fall City yesterday I stopped in and snagged one. I love it so much. 

Amidst the monotony of dishes, laundry, and disciplining children and puppy, restyling gives me a little creative lift and makes me happy. I'll take it!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Coconut Mojitos


I thought I would share one of my favorite cocktail recipes as the weather warms up here in the Pacific Northwest. I first had a Coconut Mojito of the virgin variety at a restaurant in Edmonds when I was pregnant with John. I tried to recreate it with canned coconut milk and coconut water, but those didn't work, although coconut syrup might do the trick. So I never perfected the virgin version, but the real deal is divine. Here is what you will need for one drink:

Ingredients:

  • Malibu Rum
  • 1 Lime
  • 6-10 mint leaves
  • Lemon Lime sparkling water (Talking Rain, Perrier, Pellegrino)


Directions:

Tear the mint leaves into small pieces to release the oil and toss them in a pint glass. Cut the lime in half, and cut one of the halves into four wedges. Put the wedges in the glass and muddle to release lime juice (if you don't have a muddler, the handle of a wooden spoon works). Fill the glass with ice. Pour the Malibu Rum in until it reaches an inch or inch and a half from the top of the glass. Using a citrus press or your hand, squeeze the other half lime into the glass. Top off with the sparkling water. Stir, and enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ten on Ten :: April 2014











*Amelia took the picture of John and the picture of me.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Busy bees

We've been busy little farmers the last couple of weeks. The kids helped me plant tomatoes and onions inside, then a heather and hellebore outside, along with ranunculus, cyclamen, and a peony start in a galvanized tub, and rhubarb starts in a new bed. The tomatoes and onions sprouted a week later, right on schedule (if not a little early). Seeing my lovingly planted seeds germinating into life is akin to becoming a mother, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. I'm so proud! 











Last Monday I had a rare day to myself. I got a good night sleep since the kids were with the grandparents. The weather that day was close to 70 degrees and sunny. My theme for the day was Read and Weed. I spent intervals on the porch swing with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle interspersed with forays into the garden beds where I dug up dandelion roots and planted three year-old peonies and three more hellebore.





The salmon berries are blossoming and the apple trees are about to burst into bloom. I can't wait!



Thursday I picked up some cactus mix and this huge glass bowl to transplant my aloe starts. They make a cool centerpiece on our kitchen table. We had an aloe plant in our yard growing up in Phoenix, and we would break off pieces and rub the gooey insides on burns. Unfortunately they don't thrive outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. I also picked up some peat pots and planted basil, sage, thyme, dill, oregano, chives, and green onions. They are germinating on my kitchen island in wine boxes I found in the shop. I can almost taste the pesto and pickles I'm going to make this summer.



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