Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ten days ago...

Armeria maritima var. californica, 2011

transcribed from my Moleskine, shown above:

November 20, 2011
close to 7 AM

I am 44 years old today, officially in about an hour.

Again, my dreams were filled with wild cats.

The sky is a white tending toward a very light grey tending toward the lightest of blues. There was a little rain, but it has stopped, for now. The tree branches on the east side of the house wave, the branches on the west side are still.

The heat is filling the glass house, the sun is rising, and I sit here upon the Jetsons-style sofa taking it all in through transparent walls, documenting with sleepy hands and thought patterns.

Chris is asleep.

I believe I saw our grey owl again, but he disappeared into the trees before I could confirm.

The large moth was searching for light in the kitchen this morning while I poured my first glass of sparkling water. We've been drinking sparkling water exclusively because the orange-tinted tap water, although promised to be perfectly fine, does not appeal to us.

Yesterday Chris suggested I give the large moth a name so he would seem less menacing. He thought Bernard might work. I agreed. Bernard has now followed me into the living area. Last night Bernard was in my shower. I think he likes me.

The heater pauses and the cold sets in quickly.

This beautiful home was not constructed for heating efficiency. Understood. This is California. But there is quite a chill up here.

The local paper leads me to believe the National Park Service will reclaim this land, along with this glass tree house, in April of next year. What will the park service do with a glass studio perched on stilts, accessible by small tram? A meditation space for rangers?

I think I'll crawl back into bed.

The Jetsons

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Me

@76-A, 2008

I'm missing her today...

photograph: Christopher Parsons

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Are you preparing for Thanksgiving?

March of the West Marin Wild Turkeys, 2011

What will be on your Thanksgiving table this year? I'd love to know what you're up to today. I'm about to begin shopping. Yes, It is probably way too late, but just think of all of the excitement that will be buzzing around the farmers market, grocery store, and wine shop. I am making my lists and listening to Bob Dylan's Desire album. The song Black Diamond Bay is playing and I'm in a very good mood.

Wish me luck out there.

turkey breast (bone-in - hope I can find one...)*
gravy (toasting my flour this year)
stuffing (inspired by Mom's cornbread stuffing)
cranberry chutney (inspired by Nicole's recipe)
brussels sprouts (roasted w/ pancetta)
carrots (roasted)
pie (sweet potato - inspired by Joy the Baker's recipe - I'm going to try her no-roll pie crust too)
ice cream (vanilla)
whipping cream (a 2nd pie topping option?)
wine (red)

turkey breast - bone-in*
chicken stock - at least 6 cups
onions x 2
apples x 2
cranberries - 4 cups (1 lb.)
ginger - fresh
raisins (seedless) - 1 cup
carrots - nice bunch
brussels sprouts
pancetta - just one thick slice
sweet potatoes x 2
cream cheese
evaporated milk - two 5 oz cans (1 1/4 cups evaporated milk)
eggs - 6pk.
ice cream - vanilla
whipping cream (maybe?)
wine - red

Did I mention this is dinner for two? Plus leftovers, of course.


Back from Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (special holiday market hours today). *Turkey legs at Golden Gate Meat Co. looked better than breast. Bought two giant legs, and a thick slice of their pancetta.
Also, found a beautiful Weck Globe Jar at Heath Ceramics for our chutney.


I did buy the whipping cream. Done.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Making Memories (this one in Brooklyn), 2011

I've been working on cultivating a few new habits lately, good habits, thanks to the blog named habit. Are you familiar with it? It's about making memories.

I want to tell you more about my experience with habit so far, but I'm so sleepy (yes, it is 3pm) and have too much else to do, so it's going to have to wait. Until then, you should head over and take a peek.

I'll be there along with a long list of others documenting special moments in their days. Each person in their own unique way. You'll find me on the posts dated November 14, 15, and 16.

I hope you are enjoying this autumn afternoon moving too quickly into evening, wherever you are.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One foggy morning...

Flowers and Fog, 2011

I woke remembering a good dream. I was attending a writers retreat and hanging out with Vendela Vida. She borrowed one of my spaghetti strapped tops to go out one night (Yes, I writers go out at night while attending retreats? One might assume, no, they are too busy working or fretting about not working, but I haven't attended such a retreat, so I don't really know. For me, the act remains completely plausible). She liked my top. I felt a little starstruck, but played it cool and pretended it was no big deal.

Monday, November 14, 2011

There are only so many.

Simple Stuff, 2011 (also on habit)

“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one's home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.”
-Barbara Pym

It was around noon today when I read this quote. I was reading a Sadie Stein piece on The Paris Review blog. I liked the form. Isn't Sadie Stein a great name? I think so. The quote was in her piece.

I like reading about, watching, and discussing the trivial things that happen to people as they walk through their days. I realize Sadie Stein's days are far more interesting than mine, but she inspires me to relive some of my own little things.

Things such as waking up and still feeling the salt in my hair after a long walk beside the bay yesterday. Observing a man in a white t-shirt early this morning, carefully straightening the interior of a closed restaurant. The light he worked in was so beautiful. Too bad they only open for dinner. The feeling of having an unknown person just behind me, nipping at my heels as I descend a hill. Writing with my grey Le Pen because I cannot stand the new mechanical pencils I bought.
The taste of a slice of pear cranberry tart. Like it or not, such small things make up the bulk of our lives.

Lately I've been thinking about the way I sometimes allow my days to happen, to take me away. It can be nice. I want to allow a little of the taking to continue. Relinquishing a small amount of control holds the possibility of being presented with something I wouldn't have pursued on my own. But I also want to make more choices and achieve a balance that makes the regular days feel rich and full and chosen. There are only so many.

A Week in Culture: Sadie Stein, Editor

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today I read a story about grief.

The story was intimate and fragile. The stiff pages fought against me. I knew they'd rather be closed. The words still unsure if they mistook their need to be set free for value.

And then a poem, about an idea for a poem that vanished.

It reminded me of talking one's writing away. Is it possible? I should cease speaking, until I know. But will I ever? Probably not.

And a few more of her poems.

But I have to leave my table with watery eyes. The words are too real. Especially the imagined meeting with her teenaged self, so close to ending my year.

Teenager by Wislawa Szymborska

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What are you doing today?

Inspired by pages 162 & 163 of The Gentlewoman Issue nÂș 4, 2011

I believe I've finished a poem, but it is always difficult to know for sure. A celebration will be had in the form of flour, butter, sugar, and such. Thank you, Nicole, for letting me peek inside Grandmother Ruth's recipe box. This afternoon will involve an office with a red chair and strategic branding discussions. Not of my own brand, someone else's. A girl's got to earn a living.

What are you doing today?