High summer is a scattered time. We’re getting work done, but in the gaps – late nights or early mornings, with days spent at the park or pool, on the road, in a plane, or wandering just about anywhere. It’s how it should be. [Read more…]
The girls really wanted a watermelon and against my better judgement, I bought one. A cool watermelon on a hot summer day is a joy, of course, but getting through a whole one when you’re don’t have company is a challenge. I used part of it in a batch of watermelon salsa over the weekend, gave a few slices to the girls, and ate some more of it myself over the sink, but still found myself with more than half of it in the fridge. If eating this enormous watermelon wasn’t in the cards, I was sure we could drink it. And so we did. [Read more…]
We’re sitting down to dinner late again. The girls are genuinely hungry, not to mention exhausted after staying up late the night before for fireworks. Brian’s made flatbread pizzas. Thirty minutes ago, I told him I’d be done taking pictures in 10 minutes, so they’re getting cold. Our littlest, still only three, grows restless and jostles my precarious photo setup just as storm clouds rolling in from the west swallow the evening light faster than usual. In these moments, I’m not at my best. Making a living as a blogger means blending real life with work life. Right now, trying to get the shot – holding my breath as the camera shutter opens and closes, begging my three year-old not to touch anything, fretting about a cold dinner – I need my real life to pause. But life with kids (or even without, really), doesn’t work that way.
In my heart, I’m a meanderer. During a quiet morning at home, if things are going well, I’m fully immersed in at least three tasks at once, wandering between each one as my interest shifts. In my art, I gravitate toward the endless possibilities of oil painting and fell hard for process-driven printmaking. I even made photography complicated, opting for handmade paper, pinhole cameras, and painted-on emulsion. [Read more…]
This past week has been a series of minor inconveniences building on one another to form one massive nest of problems. I’m trying to step back and remind myself that, on a global scale, I’m pretty lucky to have a car or a dishwasher (even if they do suddenly have a dent and broken hinges, respectively). And if my littlest one is sick, at least I’m in a position to get her back on her feet soon. Dealing with all these little troubles is just what life is. By taking troubles as they come and seeking out the small pleasures that balance them, we can build a pretty happy little life in spite of everything. [Read more…]
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There are lots of little ways to reclaim our kitchens, and those I relish most are the daily battles and small victories. One of my favorite kitchen triumphs is the MacGyver dinner. You know that one –– you realize you have nothing to eat for dinner: no plan, no protein, and hardly any time. But then, with a bit of ingenuity, or at least a nicely chopped onion and some olive oil, a good meal is suddenly underway. Home cooks know the braises we’ve planned or the pasta sauce that’s cooked all day will be delicious, but these surprise meals, these takeout near misses, these dinners that make use of all the odds and ends, are always the most gratifying. [Read more…]
Peanuts were first. I’m not clear on exactly how it was discovered, but as long as I can remember I’ve been allergic. I was also allergic to tree nuts and avoided them, mostly. There was that one time on a plane when I ate that white chocolate almond-studded ice cream number. It was a cross country flight, I was alone, and a kid, so I ate the thing (though I did my best to pick out the almonds). Things turned out fine, but even then I knew I’d made a bad decision. [Read more…]
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I (really) love to put out a spread of great food and drink, but the last few times I’ve hosted a big party, I’ve felt like I spent the whole party taking coats, mixing drinks, getting appetizers from the oven to the serving tray, instead of actually, y’know, spending time with all these people I like. So lately, as part of my ongoing quest for more meaningful interactions, I’ve been throwing smaller parties of four or five where I really have the time to enjoy the festivities. A few close friends, some good food, and a couple great bottles of wine is always the best.
I’m pretty sure that the work week after Thanksgiving is the longest of the year. And this one, especially. Christmas preparation and hard news are a strange and terrible combination.
Brian and I have been staying up late discussing the week’s news, exchanging links, and sharing social media discussions. After such a long, heavy kind of week, I’m looking for holiday escapism –– getting our tree, ice skating, making cookies, and all that. But first, my weekend links. [Read more…]
For the squirrels, it started a month ago. The first day of September, before the acorns fell, panic washed over the animal kingdom. Squirrels were more furtive and skittish then ever. Either a deer or a groundhog decided to eat all of our late strawberries, leaves and all. These days, it’s the birds who are nuts; the blue jays have returned from wherever they summer and the crows are back to making a ruckus.
In the human world, early October is a more appropriate time to freak out. [Read more…]