Posts Tagged ‘home’

Trooper is very patient in the bath, even when I splash his ears, but once he’s out, oh, my.

He shakes & whimpers (of course, there isn’t much too him). I bundle him up in multiple towels–always as wet as he is–then scurry him off to the space heater and the blow dryer.

Zephyr checking out what all the fuss is about.

Look at that forlorn face! Oh, the suffering!

Once, he’s warm enough he squirms away like a two-year old, frumping and scratching, barking and shaking, then scampers down the stairs to roll on the carpeted landing in great flourish, before he starts the process all over again. 

Once I coax some food into him, he’ll acquiesce, let me carry him back upstairs to his bed, where he burrows under his blanket.

Life is rough for our new little prince, but we love him–well, I do anyway. Zephyr will have to speak for himself.

d, xo



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I like this shot. It just speaks to me about good food, time gone by & basic living.

I suppose it’s really a strainer. Too me, it’s a good-food spoon: big, green, enamel, meant to serve up stew or steamed vegetables.

Plus, I love old utensils. They were made to serve the whole life of your family, and in avocado green, it just feels priceless. 🙂

d, xo

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Night has arrived; the construction guy has left & Zephyr is curled up snoozing on the couch. It’s New Year’s Eve and although I’m still sick, I’m happy in my quiet nest.

I rented  Julie & Julia and am enamored with Meryl Streep playing the perfect Julia Childs, and dreamy over Stanley Tucci as her sweet  husband. I’d like one like him, please.

Romantic cooking movies always make me want to bake so I stirred up my favorite Rosemary Pop Overs and my sweet little nest smells all the more homey.

This is a perfectly lovely  new year’s eve. I hope yours is too.

d xo

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I had a rough day. I took a bubble bath and to warm the house I’m baking easy Irish Raisin Bread. The recipe came from a Raley’s Simple Magazine several years ago. It’s great toasted with apricot jam and good coffee. 🙂

Irish Raisin Bread (2 loaves)

5 Cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter

2 1/2 cups raisins

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans or two 9-inch cast iron skillets. Sift together flower, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in raisins.  Add buttermilk and egg to mixture, mixing only until flour is moistened. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.


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It’s summer. I was tired of looking at the misty autumn river scene on my banner. So I edited in my favorite view in the whole world. It’s a bit grainy, but I don’t mind.

The pier on the left is our family pier. It’s fairly new, 10 years or so. My grandfather built the original sometime in the 30s. It weathered a good long life, then got traded up for steel pylons. No more walking from wood hand post to wood hand post. Now it’s a clean, straight walk to the end. A balancing act if vertigo is an issue, especially at cocktail hour.

The whole view w/my kayak

The whole view w/my kayak

I miss the old pier. It smelled like fish and bait and suntan oil. It had history. Still, the new pier works.  Eventually, it will assume the summer odor appropriate to all beach cabins. It will take on the patina of dropped ice cream cones, Popsicles, clam dip, wine, sodas, lotion that have baked in the sun crusted with sand.

I don’t get enough time looking at this real view anymore. The family has grown, everyone wants their time there. And who could blame them. Look at that view!

I was blessed to grow up on the other side of this grand lake, way up on a mountain over looking the lake from what seemed like a  far distance. Really, it was only a mile, if that. Still, nothing was like driving the miles around the lake to spend time at the cabin. It is the only family home I have left. It is the only place that still holds onto my childhood, no matter how long I have been away. I walk out on the beach and down the pier and I am a kid all over again. “Welcome home,” it calls. “Thank you,” I say. A hundred, blessed thank yous.

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My postings have been down–depressing and in small number. What can I say, I just haven’t felt like writing. But things are swinging up again.

Last week, I was feeling a bit like Icarus; remember your mythology? I took a ride, had some fun, got too close to the sun, and nearly lost it . . . . Crash and burn? Been there; done that. WAY overrated.  So, instead I tried breathing, regrouped and slowly backed away from the man–the sun–and it was a very wise retreat.  I not only saved myself, I hopefully saved a tentative working friendship. Also good.

On the western front, I also landed a new job. 😉 It will hopefully give me what I need right now–income (always good), some creative conjuring and a way to stick my professional toe back in the water without drowning (lots of metaphors tonight!). I’m also getting some freedom, open scheduling and I can walk to work AND my cafe.  Plus, I’ll be working with some really nice people. Thank you universe.

Now I live, play and work in my own neighborhood. I’m smiling about this. Some of you may say: How dull! How small! How repetative! And somedays i tell myself this too, but mostly I don’t. I have lived in so many places with so little attachments, few people, few assurances, no ground, a lot of air and wind. Mostly what I’ve always wanted is roots. Me and the earth have just had a hard time keeping connected. Too much separation. Not enough . . . water? Nurturing? Fertilizer? Love? (I’m going to drag this metaphor all the way through 😉



So, I’m working on getting what I need right now, which, I’ve been seeing is not always what I want. Men, need, men, want, men, confusion, distraction, air, wind, woosh, gone. Yep. That’s not good. If you don’t understand, again, what I’m talking about that’s okay. I do and this one is for me.


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As you can tell from my lovely demeanor last week I am not someone who always plays well with others.  But my knees are feeling stable today, although last week I was benched AGAIN after my grand ONE night return to tango lessons. Yes, I know, weights. . .

Anyway, I’m feeling more human today, shot some new photos for Dahlila Found and was just writing up details when the doorbell rang. I rarely answer the doorbell. Welcome friends use the side door. The front door seems reserved for annoying folk selling God in an array of faiths; lost drunks from the liquor store down the street; people with BIG stories about cars out of gas, kids at home, lost husbands, wives, girlfriends, if only I’d donate $1. 67 all would be well–back down at the liquor store.

This time, however, it was the kid who is selling tamales. He came ringing last week after dark and I shooed him away through the peep hole, not kindly. And yet he’s back. What? Didn’t get the hint the first time? But for whatever reason, daylight hours, hunger, family on the street, I started w/no and then said yes. What the hell. If you’re going to eat tamales, wouldn’t you rather eat them from grandma’s kitchen? Grandma looked very grandma like, hair tied back in a scarf, very round and bosomy as I imagine friendly grandmothers to be. She waved. She even had business cards–I don’t even have business cards–“Homemade Tamales: All Kind, Everyday” w/a logo of an Italian chef holding a pizza.    

So, I bought six chicken tamales for $8. They were $7.50 but the kid was looking more miserable than what I saw in the dark last week so I’ll call it a cheap tip. When grandma handed me the tin foil wrapped package it was hot, not microwave hot, or reheated hot, but just-out-of-the-tamale-pot hot. They were individually wrapped in paper over corn husks, folded, not tied.

There really isn’t much to say about a chicken tamale. It just is. Whatever you cover it w/is what flavor it takes on and all I had was cold pineapple salsa from Trader Joes. Not my first choice. I ate more than half, gave Zephyr a piece of chicken and declared myself done. I actually had eaten earlier, so I wasn’t famished, more curious. I’ll share the other five. Five is a lot of tamales. If they come again I’ll try the chili, I think he said. Now, that should have a flavor all its own. Suddenly, my neighborhood feels just a tad bit better. Just a little! So, now the only people I will answer the door for are Grandma’s tamale posse and the girl scouts wheeling cookies. That’s it. Everyone else, keep on walkin’, there’s sympathy down thata’ way. 


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Last week we had a neighborhood wide yard sale. Apparently, it was huge and went well. I never got out to see, as I was stuck manning my own yard. I did okay, cleaned out the garage some, the book shelves (always hard to let go), clothes (also difficult–what if I want to wear that someday!)


At the end of the day if it didn’t sell, it got sent off to the SPCA thrift store, the library or the front curb with a big ol’ FREE sign on it. That evening as I was rewarding myself w/dinner down at my neighborhood cafe, I noticed a lot of other houses had done the same thing. And that, in a moment of weakness, was how I ended up with this:

At the time it had all nine drawers. It was the color that caught me, the white porcelain knobs, the free sign. All my favorites. But once home–in the driveway you may notice, not the house–I saw upon further inspection it’s a wreck. There’s a reason it was free. It’s severely cracked along the top, drawers are missing bottoms, paint chipping (but not in a good way.) I still love it, but now it’s becoming my newest art project, which is where that first drawer went. Now it looks like this:

This is “June.” Her brief story is written on the wall. I don’t have a super artsy name for this project, something fancy in French or minimalist by number; I hate that. All I come up  with again and again is Shelter.  So this is something like The Green Desk Shelter Project. It could change but I’ve got work to do and if I don’t get to it I’ll sit here and goof around with names all day–I’m easily distracted that way. Focus, focus, focus.  

June is accompanied by Dream, my first shelter box which hangs next to my desk (notice the similar keepsakes.) New owners can decorate w/their own mementos.

Now, back to the dismantaling. Green Desk is getting a major upcycled recycle. In the end it will hopefully be spread around the map to anyone in need of a little shelter.


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Today I was out in the world, a place I don’t always like to be. It’s evening now and I am happy to be back home. Yeah, home. Zephyr is a big furry curl upon my bed. I’m nestled in at my desk, Anna Nalick on the play list. As soon as I’m healed (knee injury–slow recovery) I ‘m dancing w/C to “Breathe (2 a.m.)”.  Ah, C. . . C is savory, and has ruined me for dancing w/anyone else.  Sigh.

Tango dancers (not me, not C, not anyone I know, but lovely.)

 Meanwhile, I craft. . . crochet, sew, button, cook, bake and walk. And when I’m good I do yoga and try breathing. . .

I’m reading Appetites: Why Women Want, (how apropos) by Caroline Knapp. She was a brilliant woman, (she died in 2002) insightful, elegant on paper and terribly wounded. The quintissential story teller of the secret lives of women. (No one wants to read the underbelly according to Martha Stewart.) You want an eloquent voice who was there, and Knapp was. Her bestsellers, Drinking: A Love Story, then Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs were amazing, but Appetites is sending me through the roof. In a nut shell, it’s about how women have learned to deprive themselves of what they really want–love, compassion, understanding, comfort, power, sex–by trading these in for more socially acceptable desires–food, alcohol, shopping and sex.  (note: sex is on both lists. You secretly want sex, so you ravenously eat; you yearn for love but settle for sex.) Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but it’s pissing me off.

Excerpt: “The great preoccupation with. . .food, shopping, appearance, in turn, is less of a genuine focus on hunger–indulging it, understanding it, making decisions about it–than it is a monumental distraction from hunger.”

So, basically all the women you see perusing malls, glutting on cinnamon rolls, maxing out their credit cards are starving for something else entirely. . . and I understand this completly. Sigh. . .

Not that anyone cares, now, but the sun came out and I shot lots of photos. So more Etsy scarflettes and scarves to post.


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I love this snippet. I have it taped to my fridge. It makes me sigh with happiness:


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

Barbara Pym, Less Than Angels

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