Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We ran into Indecision this morning after our plans were dashed. I had back-up plans, but for some reason they were not appealing first to one child, then to the next (after the first child finally agreed to them, and so on...), which vexed and confused me, leaving me at a loss. The kids and I went round and round with other ideas, back and forth, until I was sure I would spin right out into the atmosphere from the sheer chaos of it all. (Either quickly, because of that spinning feeling in my head, or slowly, because of that mud-like squish I felt I was walking through.) Not that not-knowing-what-to-do is a bad thing, per se. It's simply that particular type of not-knowing-what-to-do that I was feeling this morning, the kind that breeds lashing out and head spinning and desperate attempts to fill time that most probably won't work anyway. The type that require a quiet mind and {often} commitment to overcome.

So I committed to OMSI. And the kids came round with me and off we went. We haven't been in ages and we went to see- specifically- the Egypt exhibit and the shell exhibit I had heard about. I was pleased with both, I'm happy to say. I was also pleased with how everything began to fall into place once I had made my decision- lunch, the hologram exhibit (which is so rarely open when we go to OMSI I often forget about it entirely) and our trip to the serve-yourself-yogurt place near out house afterward. And tonight- lots of cooking, a chance to blog, photos to upload. Not all flowers and butterflies, to be sure, but still quite a bit less chaos than this morning.

And see- at least one child clearly enjoying herself at OMSI. And Samuel? Even he said he was glad we went, after we bought gummi space ships, of course. (Even before we bought gummi space ships, come to think of it.) Because who can resist those? And we all saw a mummy today. (Don't think it didn't get me thinking about how the Egyptians probably didn't imagine they would end up in our museums one day in the distant future...)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


{Textures and colors from our walk this afternoon} We've had sunshine the last few days for at least part of each day with yesterday being mostly sunny I was surprised to wake up to rain this morning, not being someone who normally checks the weather report {with any regularity}. I guess the Easter Bunny didn't check the weather report either (either that or he was overly optimistic about how waterproof our plastic eggs were) because we lost more than a few jellybeans to water log. No one wanted the squished together jelly beans (or the chocolate eggs, for that matter) after they'd spent the night in a leaky plastic container outside. And who could resist an egg hunt outside when the weather has been so perfect?

On Friday, one of my children told one of my other children about the Easter Bunny. And each one of them spent time feeling sad {for different reasons} for a good part of that afternoon. (And one even into the evening.) I feel pretty good about my part in the matter, showing up and being present as best as I could. Explaining what I could in a way that I felt good about (the spirit of Easter and Springtime inspiring each of us to celebrate and enjoy this time of year...) I'd been thinking about this for a while now, preparing myself for what I would say but everything really is a dress rehearsal until you actually say those words out loud to your child for the first time. And I wanted it to be good and kind and gentle. And real. In it's own way.

It felt awkward at times this morning, the kids not knowing what to say about continuing the same rituals that had so obviously been altered just a few days before. It seemed they didn't know quite how to proceed at first and it took them just a bit to get in the groove. Once there, though, they seemed to enjoy themselves {as usual} and it looked like we could stumble along to find a newish way. I'm curious about the magic that I'm sure will linger.

We've been going to the farmers market regularly since it started last month-

And- I made a cheesecake {for Eva} for Easter. Imagine the cutest, sweetest puppy. Walking down the street, enjoying life and the smells and joys of a dog-filled day. That level of cuteness is exactly how delicious this cheesecake tasted.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

galette inspiration

So I've made 3 galettes this week, inspired by the fruit still in my freezer, the fruit starting to show up at the farmers market, and the fruit picking season, which does not seem quite as distant as it once did. I used a new recipe for pate brisee with corn meal that I found on Martha Stewart when I went searching for how to cook rhubarb in a galette. I was struck by how different each galette turned out, depending on how long I left the dough (or did not) in the refrigerator and how dry (or moist) the dough was. The first was a rhubarb-raspberry galette that turned out picture perfect. The second was blueberry and had much drier crust and therefore didn't roll out nearly as well. (Still tasted good...) And the third was peach-strawberry-blueberry. It ended up being fantastic, but was a bit concerned during the cooking process because of all of the liquid. The dough was also a little soft, due in part to me not having time to refrigerate it at all. All were equally tasty, though, regardless of their form. I'm leaning toward a savory one next, with the extra dough currently in my refrigerator. I've got some extra greens lingering that would be perfect, I think.

Here are the galettes and some chocolate covered raspberries thrown in for good measure-

Also- two recent pictures {I liked} of Samuel, age 11 (with bedroom light behind him) and Eva, age 8.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


We got a die cut machine recently and Eva has been having the best time making paper dolls.

knit knots

I'm writing this out on the patio, squinting to better see the computer screen, so that I can be-out-in and enjoy the lovely sunshine we are currently having...

I have been doing quite a bit of knitting- some satisfying, some knot-so-satisfying. I knit the Movie Star Scarf from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson for my sister {and forgot to get a photo. oh well.} (Finally, after over four months on the waiting list at the library!) I loved the first Last Minute Knitted Gifts and am finding the second one to be a lot of fun as well. (I'm trying to decide if I am going to buy this one {now} or knot.) Knitting the little loop to tuck the scarf into was thrilling- I love learning that sort of new (to me) knitting construction. It makes me want to make several more just for the thrill of that loop. (As an aside, I had made my sister a pair of fingerless gloves several years ago and she recently gave them back to me because they had stretched out quite a bit. Turns out the yarn I used had something in it silk? cotton? not sure...that gave a bit too much to be good for fingerless gloves. I ripped them out and re-used said yarn for this scarf. I blocked the scarf *severely* and you absolutely could not tell the yarn had been re-used. I'm hoping the yarn holds up better as a scarf than it did as gloves.)

I'm also currently knitting the Big Lace Scarf with a bulky cotton yarn (for Spring!) by Punta yarns in a whitish-creme color because I love my warmer creme scarf and wanted something in a similar color but a lighter weight for Spring. I'll try to remember to get a photo when I finish.

I also finished the Oatmeal Pullover, which I enjoyed knitting but which I do not enjoy wearing. I even ripped out the bottom seven inches or so and re-knit it to get the sizing better. I am finding it is still not a flattering sweater for me. What I like is the neck line. I also changed the sleeves to long sleeves because 3/4 length drive me batty. I've thought about ripping it all out and re-knitting it at a tighter gauge because the pattern is really nice but am now leaning toward an entirely different sweater. It's the kind of thing where I keep looking at patterns for bulky yarn and nothing seems quite right. And yet I have the yarn. Or rather, will have the yarn {again}, after I rip this sweater out (that I bought the yarn for....) Oh well. I'm setting it aside a bit to reconsider its use. I've thought of knitting hats and mittens and blankets with the yarn as well but feel a little sad because I like the color quite a bit for a sweater.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


We've been able to get out and about a bit lately, what with all of that Springtime in the air and all. My only sadness is that Jack isn't able to join us for much of it. He joins me on the patio, in our backyard, for a bit of sunshine and Springish smelling, but is really needing to rest after his recent hip injury. I'm hoping that after a little more rest and some of the treatments he is receiving, he'll be able to take a short walk down the street again {soon}. I'm afraid walks in the woods are out for the time being and I have found that I have been {unconsciously?} choosing places that don't allow dogs. I used to feel sad when we went to those places without him but knew he couldn't join us anyway. Now it seems to assuage my spirit a bit. I know he can still smell the woods on me when we return. I'm sure in his good-hearted-doggieness that he understands {mostly}. While I'm sad I can't take him with us now, I am happy that I took him as often as I did in the past.

Eva by the creek and some of the first trillium of the season!

Eva checking the water at the Audubon Society for newts.

Samuel and our one brush with frog-ness on Sauvie Island. I think we missed the frogs this year. We did see several snakes, though, out basking in the sunshine with the rest of us.

Eva and Samuel at Smith and Bybee Lakes. We heard frogs here and ended up seeing dozens? hundreds? of tadpoles on one of the flooded paths. I tried to photograph them but they were having none of it. Who can blame them. The herons were also plentiful that day. We also saw two black tailed deer and a bald eagle!