in the clematis.

hi all, i do realize this picture is no beauty, but i didn’t want to linger and disrupt the activity that’s happening under the eaves of the guest house in the backyard: excitement! two tiny grey birds are building a nest in the clematis! (maybe that’s the reason i forgot to prune it back this year.) we’ve been watching them work from the kitchen window, flurrying about, collecting their softy mosses and working up their architectural plans. maybe there’ll be babies out there come summer? that would sure be swell. i’ll keep you posted.

xo

use it all.

when i eat meat, i try to get real about what i’m doing, and that is, i am eating an animal. maybe one day i’ll go vegan, and likely not. but i can’t in good conscience roast a chicken and then just throw it away, without extracting all of the nourishment it’s got to give. i grew up living alongside the animals we ate… pigs, chickens, and sheep. they were friends of mine, and slaughtering days were hard on me as a kid, but you can bet that once the salt pork was cured and ready, so was i, willing to reap the benefit of someone else’s sacrifice. nobody took that lightly in my family. closeness brings appreciation, you know.

i live in a city now, and don’t keep farm animals in my backyard, but when i eat meat, i do try to make sure it’s sourced as ethically as possible. and then… try to not waste any. here’s the usual route of what happens to a chicken at my house: clean it, roast it, eat it for dinner the first night. make a big pot pie the next night. eat that for a couple of days. then it’s time for either soup or stock.

i made stock yesterday, and then froze it in little mason jars. i don’t know why i’ve never thought of doing so before, since i use jars for, oh, everything, but typically i just pour all the liquid into a big ziploc bag, freeze that, and when i need stock for a recipe, take the bag out to the back porch and chip away at it with a knife and a hammer. i kept a hammer in my kitchen for this very purpose… so dumb! but those days are over, people… individual portions of chicken stock is where it’s at. use it up and make it easy! those are words to live by.

xo

day off.

hello, and happy monday! yesterday sure felt like a real sunday, and i needed that. sorry my posting around here has been so erratic, these weeks have been busy in the way of taking care of business. nose to the grindstone. overscheduled. i’ve been acting like a grownup, slogging through a list of chores. juggling two jobs, relationships, taxes, springtime house maintenance, and mounting responsibilities involving my father’s care… well, i’ve worn a bit thin. tips on time management welcomed, folks!

yesterday, though, i acted like a little kid and did exactly what i wanted and nothing else. and i was not sorry. slept till eleven, walked the dog, made pie and roast a chicken. bobbled a crochet hook around in more granny squares. watched tv. it was glorious and revitalizing.

today is glorious, too, in fact. i’ve been working in the yard in the sunshine. there’s a truck full of compost parked in my driveway, & i’m about to go and shovel it around. if the plants aren’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. that’s what i think.

i’ll be back soon.

xo

love and afghans.

i think what these two are saying here is let’s snuggle together under the afghan once it’s finished. good idea, my sweet girls! these two have been doing lots of bonding lately. it’s fun to watch.

they’ll have to wait a good long while before the afghan’s done, but progress? it is happening.

happy monday, people. xo

a thing i think you’ll like to eat.

for most of my life, i thought i didn’t like coleslaw. but back then, i didn’t know it could taste like that stuff up there does. my guess is that if you’re like me (if you don’t like coleslaw, that is), you might change your mind once you’ve eaten this. no promises! it’s just a hunch.

let me enumerate a few awesome things about this shaved salady thing, okay? it isn’t gloppily sogged with mayo (eew! no!!). it’s cheap! it’s freshy-tasting, kind of zingy! it’s better once it sits around in the fridge for a day or two… or four. it thinks outside the box. it makes you remember summer! it’s fast to make. it’s healthy! we all like those things, no?

ingredients:

for the dressing…
* 1/2 big dill pickle, minced super small
* salt & pepper, to taste (you’ll probably want more salt than you’d expect)
* a couple/few tablespoons each of canola-based mayo and brown rice vinegar and olive oil (you can use whatever mayo or vinegar you’ve got on hand; these are just my own favorites. i use less oil and more vinegar.)

for the salad…
* one smallish head of cabbage, sliced and diced
* 4-6 large carrots, grated

directions:

mix everything together with a big spoon. done.

this makes a lot of coleslaw, folks! (probably 10-12 generous servings.)

the thing with my cooking is that i don’t measure things, and i apologize for the vague instructions. this is a very forgiving little salad, though, and it wants you to use your imagination. throw a little bit of minced red onion if you like, use some lemon juice and honey, if that sounds good. capers are great in this. i like to change it up. if you don’t have enough dressing once you’ve mixed it all together, toss in some more vinegar and oil. taste it and add more of whatever seems right. then have yourself a bowl of crunchy goodness, and wait for tomorrow, and have some more.

have a great weekend, everyone! eat your veggies!

xo

inside and out

i’m loving these longer days, the open curtains, the lapses in rain, puttering around this little plot of land. why does the sunshine feel warm yellow some days, and cool blue on others? it’s strange. i’m sure there’s a science to explain it all, but i rather prefer the secret mysteries of march. don’t you?

xo

spring uniform

my heart and my wallet battled it out over this one, folks, & my heart won… as it should, sometimes, i think. will you back me up? i got a new dress!!! i found it at tumbleweed, which is not the place to “just go browsing,” so be forewarned, should you venture to portland and do a bit of boutique shopping. everything at tumbleweed is just good, like this dress is good. it’s linen, cut on the bias, and makes my boobs look awesome (read: perkier than they actually are). belted, with boots or vans (plus tights & a cardigan on chilly days) this is it: hello, springtime uniform!

tell me, what are the must-haves in your spring wardrobe? the sun has been shining here. i’m ready for a little inspiration!

xo

minor, inane disasters

hello, people. today i thought i’d share a list of selected events from this morning:

♥ water spewing wildly from a bolt on the kitchen faucet, all the way into the bedroom

♥ unrelated, but in the same sink… one of my grandmother’s good silver spoons mangled in the disposal

♥ disposal removed and replaced

♥ disposal replaced with dish scrubber inside of a gasket

♥ disposal removed and replaced again

♥ twenty-four minutes spent on hold with insurance company… before getting disconnected.

♥ an unpaid, late, credit card bill unearthed in a pile of papers i should’ve gotten to weeks ago

also. today is the day i have carved out for doing my business taxes, which makes it just about my least favorite day of the year. it’s time for deep breaths and om-ing. watch my step, indeed!

the good news is that the sun is shining, and it’s only ten o’clock, and the coffee’s on. and so is the bachelor on hulu.

be careful out there, honeys. xo