30 September 2010

coast to coast

farewell to max

farewell to max
~photos by Toby~

This has been a year of of change. Change that happens, change that looms, change that's contemplated. Some exciting, some difficult, some disheartening. People gone, excitement that fades, but also new ideas that spark and burn bright, new journeys begun. The connective tissues of life... tested, stretched, broken at times.

Change. Isn't there a song?

Tonight, we had my youngest brother Max over for a farewell dinner. It was like any other: we gathered, played with Jacky, who danced around in his diaper and played peek-a-boo and talked about kitties and tools and kisses... then we ate and talked. And then Max started his van up and coaxed it up over our hill for the last time... for a good while. In a couple days, he'll point that van onto the highway and drive to the other side of the country. For a bright, shining new chapter in his already interesting life.

We've lived in the same adopted city for a long, long time. I remember helping him move into the dorms at college up here, and I was both excited for him and astounded that my "baby" brother--who we joke I still sometimes think of as 4; he's almost 30--was making such a big, important step. 

Tonight, I'm having deja vu all over again. Only I'm not helping him find his dorm room, I'm waving good-bye as he heads off down a road that I can't really make out from my vantage point. It's a path that he'll have to discover for himself.

I hugged him tightly and thought about the excitement of a cross-country drive, which I've always wanted to do. I thought of the lure of living in other cities, which once captivated me. I was excited for him. I am excited for him. I told him not goodbye but that I'll see you soon.

I wished him a safe journey, and that he would find what ever his heart yearns for in New York. I smiled as he walked down our steps. And then I cried as he drove away.

21 September 2010

things I learned on saturday night

wedding photo booth!
~sister-in-law Tory, moi & Toby~

1. Where exactly all my jewelry has been hiding. (basement)
2. We can hire somebody to come to our home to watch our sleeping child while we leave and go somewhere else! (thank you excellent nanny)
3. Wearing heels and a dress can be an event in itself. (pre-pregnancy Marimekko dress and gray heels -- hooray!)
4. Dancing to silly pop songs I've never heard of can be fun. (it's still dancing after all)
5. It takes me days now to catch up on missed sleep. (worth it)
6. All weddings should have photo booths!

20 September 2010

ta-da--i baked bread!

~European Peasant Boule~

You know when you buy a cookbook and you're REALLY excited about it, can't wait to get started, read it cover to cover in bed? And then you get sidetracked or intimidated or some other book arrives?

Well, let's just say that the loaf of bread you see above was a long time coming. I think I bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day ages ago, before we moved houses. Perhaps even while Jacky's biggest activity was Tummy Time. Long time coming.

Since buying it, it seemed to me that everyone was already cooking out of this book. And I was still eyeing it, thinking that baking really good bread was going to be a big pain in the behind. Yeah, somehow "5 minutes" seemed complicated.

Well. If you also own this book or are thinking of getting it, just do it. Go on, start cooking! It's so easy and the bread is so good.

PS: There's also a healthy new installment.

14 September 2010

summer falls into autumn

So, it's been a weird summer. Understatement, huh? And, with our usual Indian summer, who knows if it's over? We probably have a couple more scorchers in store, book-ended by cool fog.

But, one thing's for sure: the light has changed. It feels a bit like Fall out there... the light is a little sideways, the air is a little crisper. I get incense whiffs of fireplaces outside. And, I've been eyeing my nubby sweaters and favorite tall boots. It's a little too soon for some of that (see above about Fall heatwaves), but the garden is marching forward. It's in transition. Our first harvest season has begun.


Summer artichokes, from outdoors to in:

early Sept harvest


Cucumber (and squash) patch... from sprawling vines to brine:

first pickles!


blackberry patch: snacking & freezing

freezing blackberry harvest


sunflower giants: from skyward-bound to bird snacks

sunflower harvest


and, baby Delicata squashes...


and bee balm...

summer flowers & winter squashes

make an unlikely mantel: summer flowers and winter squashes. 

I love Fall.
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