When All Else Fails, Put Them to Work

Blueberry Hand Pies

When I decided to undertake publishing a book, I made my best guess on how long certain aspects of the project would take. Some parts of the project are moving along as I predicted — knowing my work habits and my propensity to kick into high gear as deadlines approach. Other parts of the project, […]

My 2014 Goal Drawn from My Childhood Loves

Chester Blackberry Picking

As my high school graduation date neared, the more I was asked by adults, “What are you going to study in college? What are you going to major in? What do you want to be?” I had no idea, but replied with statements such as, “I’m majoring in Telecommunications and Film. I plan to study […]

What Can You Do to Feel Lighter?

Peaches, Basil and Baby Greens

Sometimes because of my father’s military orders, and other times, just for kicks, my parents moved us at least every three years. The benefit of this peculiar habit was that we had no clutter, no closets full of unused “stuff’, and no junk piles since we sorted and purged every 1-3 years The first 10 […]

Bored to Death

BORED

I had a post lined up for last week. And this week. Posts I thought you’d enjoy. About spending long summer afternoons considering your life’s desires. Prepping yourself for the new beginning that September brings. And then, a child shot and killed another child in a high school locker room thirty minutes from my house. […]

Why I’ve Moved to the Back of the Line

A rose so lovely

Every year, our school carnival rolls around a few weeks before school is out. And every year, I dread it. Now, if I were still a kiddo, I would count it among the highlights of my year. What is not to love? Besides a gazillion other small people running around having fun, you have cotton […]

La Pomme is Graduating

Camellia blossoms

Last fall, La Pomme de Portland quietly turned 4 years old while I was cherishing final bits of time with my mom. I’ve spent as much time coddling and growing La Pomme de Portland as I did earning my college degree. And yet, I have learned much more about what makes me tick and fills […]

Those Knuckleheads Really Were Paying Attention

Knuckleheads

There is no way to be a perfect parent, but there are a lot of ways to be a good one. Steve Martin, Cheaper By the Dozen   I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t say to my kids, “Look, I’ve never done this before. I’m doin’ the best that I can.” […]

No Words

Me and Mom

Yes, there are actual words to account for my absence here in this space over the past six months or so. And words to account for why over the past year, I haven’t been posting in any regular fashion. Strings of words even. Sentences such as… The whole thing started almost three years ago when […]

Sometimes Mothers are So Misunderstood

As an elementary school girl, I had a fetish for the paper fortune teller game. Remember the one that was folded like origami and involved numbers, favorite colors, and ended with predictions on which boy you would marry? Or, what you would be when you grew up? Or, horrors, how you would die? I can […]

Green Smoothies for Spring Cleaning

I’m in the thick of “spring cleaning.” My “cleaning” is different than the one you may be envisioning. No, I’m not beating my rugs with a broom, or dusting my refrigerator coils. What I’m doing is giving the insides of this ole body some TLC now that the hibernating months are over. Each spring, I […]

The Wonders of a Little Jar of Coconut Oil

A cup of green tea with a spoonful of coconut oil

On Tuesday of last week, I was hunkered down in the usual afternoon routine and failed to take my 7-year-old to his after-school excursion to the Audubon Society with some of his best buddies. On Wednesday, a door in the life of my children closed. I upset someone who is affected by that door closing […]

A Late Winter’s Screensaver for You

Don’t ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  -Howard Thurman A new screensaver/desktop photo for you, my friends. Thought it might lend a bit of calm and clarity to start the week. Use the […]

Just Do What??

As part of my goal to say YES this year, I have developed a fleet of YES phrases. At the top of the list is, yes, I will MOVE every single day. Notice that I didn’t say EXERCISE every single day. No, the word exercise doesn’t work for me. Exercise implies color coordinated athletic wear […]

A New Year, A New Word…Never Mind that it’s Mid-February

  Photographing Truffle Country Yes, I’ve been quiet for awhile. How to explain it? Every year around October 15th, I feel as though someone tosses me in the washer on the spin cycle and leaves me there, spinning faster and faster, until about January 5th. Abruptly, the washer stops, the door opens, and I’m tossed […]

I Was Caught. My “Simplify the Holidays” Secret is Out.

Two days before Thanksgiving, I’m standing in the check out line of one of my favorite grocery stores thinking, “I sure hope no one sees me here.” I’m about halfway finished unloading my cart and mid-way through a turn from the cart back to the conveyor belt, when I catch the eye of this darling […]

In Celebration of Three Years…a Gift for Each One of You

Apple Garland

    When I think about it now, it seems silly that I was nervous. That my heart was racing. That my stomach was fluttering. But three years ago, I had never done this before. I had never put anything I’d written out into the World Wide Web. And I didn’t know whether those little […]

What We Pass Along

I remember Mr. Burke’s small, perfectly formed, all-caps script he used to write the date and reminders above each song. I remember that he was rather tall without much hair and that he lived with his mother. And I remember, that in the din of the small lamp in our living room, he taught me […]

My Summer Office

Summer Office

I realize this seems a bit…hmm, strange…but when I was a child I liked to weed. Actually, I relished it. The same was true for deadheading my grandmother’s azalea bushes. Sure, the 25 cents an hour she paid me to do it was nice, but that wasn’t my sole motivation. I treasured the rhythmic motion […]

A Quick Jaunt through Boston, Connecticut, and NYC

Quick Note: Portlanders, I’m taking the Knife Skills class at Williams Sonoma on NW 23rd, Tuesday, July 24,  from 6-8p. Would love some pals to join me. More info at bottom of post.   Our family spent a few weeks on the East Coast in late June early July. Instead of me writing about our […]

Something Lovely to Look At….

  Love, whose month is ever May, Spied a blossom passing fair, Playing in the wanton air. – Shakespeare   My lovely Cecile Brunner…the ole gal finally made it up the trellis.   Currently, I may or may not be involved in a project that brings to mind the St. Pauli Girl. I wish I […]

Sometimes It’s Not About the Plan

When I asked Molly O’Neill if I should rent a car for my trip to Santa Fe in April to attend her Food Writer’s Retreat, she replied, “Nah, we have plenty of cars.” When I asked how I should get from the Albuquerque airport to Santa Fe, Molly said, “You can ride in with my […]

Serendipity? Hard Work? Or a Little of Both?

  About three years ago, at what felt like the exact moment the publishing world imploded, a new magazine showed up on shelves here in Oregon: 1859 Oregon’s Magazine. I was immediately smitten and have been a faithful reader ever since. I love that they cover our whole state. I’m inspired by their stories about […]

A Little Diddy to Say Thanks….

My guy after his Lacrosse game. He was so wiped he didn’t even make it past the couch before he was asleep. Shhh….those of you who know him, don’t tell him I put this pic up.   I feel full of gratitude. Many of you emailed me or called me or sent “get well soon” […]

Seeking Sunlight

Sun streaming through cherry blossoms

    My twelve-year-old, inherited it all – the allergies, the sensitive stomach, the asthma. And somehow, it just doesn’t seem fair. He’s my athlete. My sporty-guy. The one who will stand out in the rain shooting baskets for hours while the rest of us stay dry inside. The one who will use the twenty […]

A Peek Back Twenty Years Ago

Last week, February 15th to be exact, Dave and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary. I spent the afternoon watching our wedding video. I wanted to watch it before everyone got home so I would be able to better anticipate the parts I could fast forward through…the parts I thought the kids would lose interest […]