Saturday, June 30, 2012

There's this thing I do...

June 24, 2012

There's a little something I do that makes me happy.  I thought I'd share it with you today.  It seems a Saturday sort of thing to do.

I started a private blog about a year ago.  I don't think anyone knows about it, well, anyone besides my husband.  It is used for only one thing.  Whenever I think of it I write a post listing a few items I am thankful for.  I don't insist on a daily post.  There isn't any pressure.

When I remember to post, I simply jot down the first few good things in my life that come to mind.  Those things needn't be special to anyone but me.  It's a great way to pause and appreciate the life I have and it is wonderful to look back at the string of thankful posts, especially on those not-so-fun days.

For instance:


Homemade kimchi fried rice.
Little vases bursting with fresh herbs.
The Three Cornered World.

If you do anything similar, or start anything similar, tell me about it.

Enjoy today.


Sunday, June 24, 2012


Sunday--June 24, 2012

I love findings entries such as the following in my journal.  A prototypical scenario one might find if they burrowed their way into one of my fantasies, or peeked in my journal.

Monday--March 8, 2010

Today I looked in three cookbooks before finding Amanda Hesser's recipe in The Cook and the Gardener, pages 372-373.  I'd forgotten how much I adored this book.  She used crushed coriander seeds in her recipe, something I'd never done.  Also, I just love the way Amanda Hesser writes about food.  She has a way of combining smug with charming.  Oh how I'd like to sit in her kitchen and share a bottle of wine and some casual conversation with her.  I imagine her husband has scooped up their kids and gone to visit some relative.  It's just us girls, in jeans and t-shirts.  There are glasses of wine, olives, and toasted nuts.  No cooking, just talking.  We get a bit tipsy, laugh like hyenas, and I take a cab back to my hotel.  I fall asleep watching an ancient episode of That Girl that has somehow shown up on cable.


A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


 cotton, 2012

After adding book number 413 (yes, 413...) to my to-read list, the last activity in a short satisfying string, I feel completely settled.  I need nothing else.

The feeling reminds me of my junior year as an undergraduate. My roommate and I, as pedestrians, had been struck by a car and received modest settlements.  I call them modest now, but at the time they seemed very large, large enough for my roommate to purchase a used car.  I however had no interest in a used (or new) car.  The only things I wanted at the time were some fresh white t-shirts, a Walkman, and a good bicycle.

Today my lunch hour has consisted of what seems to me a similar simplicity.  I've eaten two slices of sesame wheat bread with a smashed avocado and a single ak-mak cracker topped with my new favorite cheese, knit a few rows with a soft cotton yarn, and listened to an author interview streamed from the local radio station's archives. 

The author mentioned a book of poetry that had been meaningful to her during difficult times in her life.  This book of poetry, The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich, is my #413.

New Favorite Cheese
Author Interview

Monday, June 18, 2012


6:10 PM

In the library today...

How old are you?


3.  I'll be 4.


When are you going to be 4?


On my next birthday.


7:08 AM
Drinking a tall glass of water while looking out at this day.  Grape-Nuts are next.  Then writing.

How about you?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sometimes I Like Shade

Anna and Marilynne, 2012

I've switched to tea, but decided to drive into town this morning for a cappuccino.  Whenever I ease into a comfortable rhythm I feel the necessity to break out, but that is a topic for another day.  Right now I'd like to discuss a few other things.

First, the morning pace here.  It is special, and somehow even more enticing in town than out.  It sweeps you away, but in a way opposite to what one might imagine when thinking of being swept away.  It does so with its slowness rather than its speed.

Today this pace reminds me of a bit of Thoreau Anna Quindlen referenced in her latest book.

It is a great art to saunter. 
                Henry David Thoreau

Indeed it is.  I'm going to try and hold on to these words.

I'm also swept away by the mood created by the author I am reading.  It filters the way I see all that is around me, even when I am not reading.

I've just finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson and am beginning Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, a title for some reason I cannot stop transposing, by Anna Quindlen.  I don't often read memoirs, but found this one displayed on the front table in the library and decided to do something different.

Beginning Anna Quindlen's memoir is like lounging on a sofa with a good girlfriend, chatting, and sharing a bottle of wine.  Finishing Housekeeping, even though it was my second reading, was like being lost in a haunting dreamscape, one that demanded empathy for situations far from my own reality, and prompted me to see similarities between the characters and myself where at first it seemed there were none.

When I read Anna Quindlen's introductory words after being immersed in Marilynne Robinson's world, the shift is so abrupt it is almost disorienting, but I don't mind change that creates such feelings of twist and turn in life.  They deliver me from the dull and unimaginative.

I'm enjoying my time with Anna while feeling somewhat nostalgic for Marilynne's darker landscape and characters.  I do believe I might be more of a haunting dreamscape type of reader, but who wants to do the same thing all of the time?  I can't even eat the same breakfast for more than a couple of days in a row.

Then there is the matter of my mother’s abandonment of me.  Again, this is the common experience.  They walk ahead of us, and walk too fast, and forget us, they are so lost in thoughts of their own, and soon or late they disappear.  The only mystery is that we expect it to be otherwise.
Marilynne Robinson
It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone, and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally I was what I was again. 
Anna Quindlen

Friday, June 8, 2012


spicy, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Throne, 2012
Things are different here, very different from the city.  I once lived just a few miles from this cottage, but I've learned that you cannot go back.  Each experience is different, its own, and I like it this way.

Everything seems more peaceful this time, inside and out.  I'm not sure if it is the place, or me. 

The natural landscape to residential buildings ratio is the reverse of what I am used to seeing.  As I sit here, in the tiny loft style bedroom, I look out the window at rolling straw colored hills and dark green trees swaying in the breeze.  The sky is pure blue today, not a cloud in sight.  A horse strolls past every so often and the birds sing with gusto.

When we lounge in the living room I often sit in the chair above, Chris calls it my throne.  He stretches out on the sofa.

There are bees and hummingbirds darting about our little yard.  We even managed to grill over charcoal in a sturdy Weber grill.  This is not something we do often.  We opened a nice bottle of wine.  Chris prepped vegetables.  I was the Grill Master.  And eventually, we ate outside.

One morning we took a nice drive to the coast, ate huevos rancheros, and then perched upon some rocks to look out at the ocean.  It was so soothing we almost fell asleep.

Visiting our favorite trail, we spotted a large orange and black snake, a small brown and yellow snake, and a little burrow filled with the sweetest baby mice.  Hopefully the snakes will not meet the mice, but I know these things do happen.  

The weekends are busier with tourists, but the weekdays are slow and easy.  There is no line for coffee or the post office, the bread is fabulous, and I've discovered a cafe with a very nice BLT.

Today we ate breakfast on a chilly front porch and listened to the neighboring chickens start their day.

Working in the same space is new for us.  We are finding our rhythms and feeling lucky to have planted ourselves in these inspiring surroundings.  Where you are does make a difference.

I'm considering a Sky Scarf

All of our seeds are in the ground, a few starts too.  Now we wait.