Saturday, March 29, 2014


my morning started like this

then proceeded in this fashion
have you ever tried these?!
chocolate croissants from trader joe's.
i had to show you the way they look
when they come out of the freezer,
like a small, pale brick.
you let them "proof" on the counter
for 9 hours {overnight}.
then bake for 25 minutes in the morning.
they are $4.00 for a box of 4.
well worth $1.00 apiece.

there was a break in the rain,
so ned & i took a walk.
it started to rain again
& the wind started blowing.
we froze.
but we found this little nest on the ground.
it is made mostly of mud.
ned wants to know how birds carry mud.
do you know?
in their beaks?

happy saturday, everyone.
it's my favorite day.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

♥ missy's mom, missy's son ♥

today is missy's mom's birthday!
happy birthday, bonnie!!
this photo is from when she was
just barely pregnant with missy.
see those sunbeam blessings?

missy's son's birthday is in one week
on april 3rd.
myel will turn seventeen.
if you would like to send myel a card,
here is his address:

Myel Gilkerson
3555 Thorpe Lane
Kneeland, CA  95549

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

i made a stamp

and you can, too!

this all started with loving
hand carved stamps on etsy.
riyo kihara's shop talk to the sun
is by far my favorite.
i have several of her stamps & stamp pads.

riyo is a contributor to this book,
called stamp it!
which i found at my library

was even more helpful.
this one was found via inter-library loan.

i bought two things at the art supply store:
1. a lino cutter, $12
2. a carving block, $3

a peek at making an impression
cutting my block to size
making my design,
then tracing it onto tracing paper
rubbing the traced design onto the block
{face down so it's a mirror image}
carving my design
first stamp...
made a few tweaks...
made a few more tweaks...
i had planned to carve the entire stamp
into a circle, but i really like the way
the circle-in-square looks.

a few things i learned:
curves are more difficult than straight lines.
the speedy-cut block is SO soft,
which i didn't think would be a problem,
but was very easy to nick and crumble.

next time, i'll try something more durable,

so cool, no?
i'm so excited to try more designs!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


that's how i feel.
finally emerging from the stress & chaos.
this has been such a relentless few weeks.
like we've been swimming upstream.
i would like to now simply float with the current.

here's my list...
spring break
yesterday, marian flew by herself to santa cruz
to spend the week with emily.
so now this is happening:

last night, ned and i saw muppets most wanted.  it. was. amazing.  it's like the universe is righting the "henson imbalance" from which we've all been suffering.  hilarious, never-ending cameos.
i loved ty burrell's good-natured caricature of europeans {tiny coffee, tiny car, 6-week paid vacay}.

having our roof inspected & assessed for the damage caused back in september by this:

still haven't dealt with this.  ugh.

traveling mercies
recommended by our librarian, miss ruby.  i'm loving this book.  it is anne lamott's memoir of how she came to find faith - not a graceful "leap" of faith, but a series of staggers.  i want to meet her & be friends. 

this video
they are selling a leather duffel, but the story is really beautiful.
in case you have an extra $1000, the bag is here.

missy's son.  one week from thursday, on april 3rd, he will turn 17 {seventeen?!}.  would you like to send him a card? thereby helping missy send her son a tidal wave of love from beyond this physical plane?  i just knew you would.
here is his mailing address:
     Myel Gilkerson
     3555 Thorpe Lane
     Kneeland, CA  95549
and if you are inclined to send a present, well...
being 17 and a new driver, i think the best gift is money for gas.
i'll post another reminder on thursday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

greetings from eyer-land

that's my grandma grace
in her garden,
in goshen, indiana,
in the early 70s.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


she won!
that's madame president
in the baby pajamas with a blue lolly
nancy, rachel, marian & ned this afternoon,
making a film for french class.
nice that things are back to normal, non?

Monday, March 17, 2014


feeling very thankful
for these great friends of hers

Sunday, March 16, 2014


we survived a stressful week and a busy weekend.
here's another random list.

the campaign
despite a few juvenile kids at her high school who seem to be lacking impulse control and common decency, marian has surrounded herself with a group of funny, smart, caring friends.  she is weathering the drama of this student council campaign with dignity.  this week was full of teachable moments & character building & being thankful for her true-blue friends.  we had a few of them over this weekend for pizza & button-making & tshirt spraying & just hanging out.  the election is tuesday & i will let you know the results on wednesday.  please keep sending your good vibes.

interesting challenges
i don't recommend doing any of these, but the girls had fun trying.  each one was a race.
cinnamon challenge: eat a tablespoon of cinnamon {they did this outside & this morning we found one of our spoons in the street - ahem}
lemon challenge: peel & eat a lemon.
minty gum challenge: put an entire pack of gum in your mouth & drink a big glass of ice water.

tiny ice cream cones
i found these at trader joe's.  they were a big hit this weekend.

cream cheese coffee cake
this weekend, i made TWO of these - one raspberry, one blueberry.  yum and yum.

using up everything in the pantry
this was one of those weeks where we held our breath until payday.  it meant that i got very creative with a few odd things i had on hand.  these two dishes were surprisingly delicious:
polenta with a little bit of every cheese we had.
barley + red lentils + a can of good tomatoes - this turned out like a very thick tomato sauce & it was so good with the polenta.

must get this prepared & sent off this week.

the beekeeper's quilt
i am just about ready to begin this quilt in earnest.  apologies in advance to my color-loving friends, but i have decided to make this all white.  the yarn i found is some homespun alpaca - soft & strong.

today was the warmest day we've had - 72°F  {22°C}  windows open, birds singing.
{the birds were going NUTS - so trilly, so sing-songy, they sounded like pretend birds}
the warmth combined with the scent of daffodils & strawberries really made me feel like missy was sitting at my table.  she smells of sunshine, flowers, & fruit.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

the campaign, so far

marian has some really sweet friends.
they are supporting her in her campaign
for sophomore class president.
they have helped her put up posters.
they have fliers taped to their lockers
that say "i'm voting for marian."

unfortunately, there are other kids
who are not so supportive.

tuesday after school, marian hung her posters.
on wednesday, before school even started,
her photographs had been vandalized.
the vandals were caught & punished.
{hidden cameras caught them in the act.}
we worked with the school to replace the photos.

today, some kids asked marian
for her fliers to hang on their lockers.
after she handed them out,
the kids tore them up in front of her.
what the hell?!

honestly, it's hard enough to get up
and go to school each morning.
why do kids have to be so mean?
what are these kids learning in school?
i'm really hoping they have a
"golden rule" discussion tomorrow.

i am proud of marian.
i'm proud of her resiliency
and also her sensitivity.
she is honest about what hurts,
and she is really brave
to put herself out there like this.

one of marian's friends
came over tonight for dinner
to make her feel better, and to
remind her of what's really important.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

★ marian for president ★

marian's posters are BiG.
like, 3 ft x 4 ft big.

today after school, she & her friends
hung ten giant posters and lots of fliers.
{thank you for helping, nancy, rachel, mackenzie, lauren, ashley, & sara!}
{thank you grandma, for the colored paper you gave us years ago!}


here's a behind-the-scenes look
at the cardboard stencils
the stars were cut from cereal boxes
and spray painted gold
{all spray paint used was just what we had in our garage}
for this project, we used materials that
were recycled {cardboard boxes}
or things that we had on hand
{leftover spray paint & colored paper}.
the only things we bought were the photos.


there were lots of artistic imperfections
and happy accidents
that we thought were especially cool.
do they qualify as wabi-sabi?


for president!

she has given so much of her time
to student council this year
as freshman class president.
she wants to continue 
as sophomore class president so much,
and i really hope she wins!

the election is tuesday, march 18.
i'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

paper airplane

ned & i made this today.

the directions claim it's

fold your own here
and see for yourself.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

time for a list

i have so many thoughts & ideas
swirling around in my head.
instead of a well-composed post,
how about a super-fragmented list?

marian 4 prez
marian has loved being freshman class president this year.
this weekend, she'll be busy making posters and writing her speech.
her campaign for sophomore class president begins wednesday.
positive thoughts are most welcome.

odd coincidence? 
i have been reading redwall to ned for weeks.
in it, there is a hedgehog named ambrose spike.
a few weeks ago, at the same time, i was reading the signature of all things.  in it, there is a man named ambrose pike.

the baby orchid from this post has been living with my mom & dad in las vegas.  this week, my mom sent me a photo of its very first bloom.

anne lamott
i just finished reading stitches, and just starting reading traveling mercies.

weeks ago, i requested the goldfinch at my library.
i am now number 111 in line.

minor tweak
in the 6½ years we've lived in this house, we have rearranged the family room furniture {big couch, 2 big chairs, ottoman, coffee table, 2 end tables} several times, almost always putting it back the same way.  i have been craving something new, and we finally have a slightly new arrangement that everyone agrees is an improvement.

i love making a big pot of soup, then having it feed us for days.
i've been making minestrone and my own version of this potato corn chowder.

my email server has randomly decided this week that all emails i send will now say they are from "centurylink customer."  awesome.

ned is in 3rd grade, and this is our first year of homeschooling.
needless to say, we have good days and bad days.  so far this year, he has read an astonishing number of chapter books, and has nearly memorized his times tables.  he has started doing a weekly p.e. class that has been really fun.  in february, we took a backyard beekeeping class and a stargazing class.

since last fall, i have really pared down my closet.  like everyone else, i had lots of things that i never wore.  after accidentally finding a few nearly perfect pieces, i started to really consider my "uniform."  this allowed me to let go of the less-perfect things and focus on what works for me.  my "new wardrobe" has yet to be finished, but i am beginning the process of making some linen dresses.  i'm finding inspiration herehere, herehere.

garage sale
last year's garage sale never happened.  as a result, our garage has been stuffed with stuff all winter long.  add to that, purging every closet & drawer, and we are ready for the mother of all garage sales this spring.

spring break
in a couple weeks, marian is flying to santa cruz to spend her spring break with emily.  the two of them will fly back home together and emily will spend her spring break here.  we are all looking forward to seeing emily, and you can imagine how excited marian is to fly out to california to spend a week with her.

other things on my mind
the princess & the pea
dryer balls
dog collars
the beekeeper's quilt
spoon butter
homemade deodorant
little dishes
daylight savings

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