Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Tradition...

A long, long time ago, when I was about 10 years old, my mom taught me how to make bread. She taught me with my grandmother's recipe:

"For every package of yeast use 2 cups of warm water, two teaspoons of salt, three tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of sugar, and approx. 4 cups of flour - bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes."

I usually double this recipe - and it will make two loaves. Delicious! This recipe is also the base for the most amazing cinnamon rolls. I make them on Christmas Eve, and then that is our breakfast Christmas morning while we open our presents.

1 package of active dry yeast
2 cups of warm water
2 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of sugar
4 cups of flour (approx.)

Put warm water in a bowl, add yeast (Fleischmann's "active dry" yeast) and let sit for about 5-10 minutes until yeast expands a little. Then add salt, oil, sugar and stir. You will start adding flour until the dough is ready to knead...then you add a little flour as you knead it on the counter. I usually knead it for a few minutes, then pop it right back in the bowl I mixed in, put a towel over it and let it rise. After it rises, push it down and split it to roll out your rolls. Flatten out a slab of dough (see photo below) and slather with butter, sprinkle with lots of sugar and cinnamon....roll into a long log. Prepare your pan (I use a glass pyrex lasagna pan) with butter and sprinkle it with sugar....cut the cinnamon rolls (maybe 1/2" thick) and put in the pan. Let them rise until doubled and then bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Make sure and take them out of the pan and onto a wire rack (with a paper towel under to catch the melted butter) right away....the bottoms will be gooey, but get harder as it cools.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"...and Super Monkey saves the blog!"

Oh my dear blog...I have really, really missed you! While I have a huge list of things to "put on my blog" (just ask anyone who is ever around me and my camera) this will be my first post since peaches this summer (sigh). What a better way to start again than with a post about this sweet little Super Monkey? Oh how I love my little monkey...running all around the living room doing tricks, his cape flying, and then stopping to hug me really tight and say "It's a great day at Christmas time mama!" I couldn't agree more. xo

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peaches and Fedoras

My sweet neighbor Dolores left a bag of peaches on our door step the other day. I love peaches and I love things left on my door step! Anyhow, I had just gotten a fedora hat for the summer, random connection, right? But, peaches and a fedora, all while tinkering around in the kitchen making summery is that? Anyhow, back to the cobbler, I go between recipes, but always come back to my mom's recipe for Apple Crisp. It works with any kind of fruit, and for me it's perfect. In fact, we just made it in Oregon with fresh Marionberries!! (The official blackberry of Marion County, Oregon).
Sometimes I double the topping, just for the pure joy of it. xo

Peach Crisp
1 cup of flour
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cube of butter (1/2 cup)
Mix this together until it forms a crumbly texture...

Fill a 13 x 9 with fruit (any kind really), sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of water over it. Pour the brown sugar topping over the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes, until golden brown on top.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Charlie's toes...

I really love summer...and I
really, really LOVE these
tiny little feet!! xo

Monday, June 27, 2011

a summer wish...

i send you tiny seashells in a toddler's hand
jewel tone glass bottles
a private poetry recital, just for you
homemade biscuits with soft butter
and the applause of your ancestors...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

This little light of mine...

There are times we are called to be a light in the darkness.

Now is that time. Be a calm presence of love.

Let your heart shine like a beacon in dark times.

It is surprising what a difference one light can make.
-An inspirational reminder this morning from my brother Tony. He is a gift in my life and I was most definitely INSPIRED! xo

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

lime green

A second grader at my school was "star student" this week, and was asked to fill out a poster all about herself. In typical second grade fashion, she answered every question very well with lots of really good information. And then there it was: What is your favorite color? You know what she said? LIME GREEN. Not just green, but lime green. First of all, I have to agree that lime green is right up there with the most amazing colors, but the big thing for me was this: she was so specific, so clear. I had to ask myself when was the last time I was that zeroed in on what I like best? In fact, in my sometimes much too busy life, when was the last time I even thought about what my favorite color might be, much less elaborating on it? So...I pose this question here...what is your favorite color? Does this answer come to you easily and if not, can you tap into that little person inside of you that once knew the exact answer to that question (and many others) with all kinds of swirly details?

Sunday, March 27, 2011


She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.

I saw this quote and it spoke directly to me. I was so insprired by the words. This was Friday. I brought this home and knew I would share it here. Saturday morning little charlie and I were at a garage sale (one of our favorite places to be) and he found a mermaid doll with a star on her chest that lights up, plays music, and goes in the water. He said I had to have it. He actually went to the guys running the sale to get the price (one dollar) and insisted that I really needed this doll. As we walked home, I realized two things: one...I really did need that doll in my life. And two: I am so humbled and astonished by the powerful love I receive from my beautiful little boy every day. To him I am the mermaid, the princess...i am stargirl. He somehow reminds me of something I may have forgotten...and for that, I am forever grateful. xo

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scenes from a hibernation...

Hibernating is wonderful. I have photos to prove it. I have spent the last six glorious days in my house with nothing but my boys, Lola, warm socks, and lots of good food.

Our courtyard looks magical...

My baking partner who dressed himself and is my biggest helper in the kitchen. I can't believe how much baking we did...brownies, cookies, chocolate cake, granola, banana bread, and other stuff too.

We stayed very busy gathering snow for our homemade snow ice cream. Yes, just add sugar, milk, vanilla and of course snow.

We discovered that while the seagulls can walk around and sort of huddle on the icy lake all day long...the ducks, not so much. They were a little disoriented.

Little one loves to throw snow balls. He also apologizes after each one.

This sweet bird visited us at our breakfast table. I think he lives with his family in the bird house around the corner. Could he be any fatter or cuter?

Add one iced in front door, and a dance party with my two super get me...a deliriously happy girl.

Iced all the way in...what to do? Build a fort, put on my monkey suit, and put on a talent show for my proud parents.

Yes, hibernating is simply wonderful.

So is Silly Cow hot cocoa by the way....

Here we are....six days later...the snow and ice is gone, but....this six days will never be forgotten. xoxoxo

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The ABC's

Cuddled up on this cold snowy morning, watching Winnie the Pooh, I was seriously not prepared for the ending. It's time for Christopher Robin to go off to school to learn his abc's and about places like Brazil. He tells Pooh that all he really wants to do is stay in the hundred acre woods and do nothing. (His favorite thing to do) I looked over at my sweet, sweet four year old boy, who's favorite thing to do is the same...(as is mine) and began to cry. He hugged me really tight, and I of course could not give a good explanation as to why I was crying....I just said I am so happy and sometimes people cry when they are really happy. I was reminded at that moment that he will go off and need to learn all of those things soon too. But....and this is the really important part....he is here with me now and just four years old. So there we were, me crying, him comforting me and drying my eyes with his precious blankie, and what else was there to do but jump up to make pancakes? Life...all at once so incredibly beautiful and yet tender, sometimes sad, and so very dear.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My boys

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root, and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or the mind can hide and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart...
I carry your heart - I carry it in my heart.

Friday, January 14, 2011


This photo was taken about 25 years ago. This is my sister and me. She is coming tonight on a big jet plane to see me and I am so excited to see her sweet face.

These are some things we may do this weekend:

Ride bikes with little c. in the trailer...maybe to the Barnes and Noble for a coffee.

Go to the Arboretum...yes, a definite must.

Make Valentine cake balls.

Have a SNO (sister night out) on the town.

Take a long winter's walk with little c. to wind chime park.

Do a super cool, very hip photo shoot with my super cool, very hip photog husband.

Or maybe just sit at the kitchen table drinking tea, eat tons of pancakes, stay in our pajamas all day, watch little c. dance around the kitchen, and tell each other all of our secrets...xo.

'Tis a gift...

"'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free...'tis a gift to come down where we ought to be, and when we find ourselves in the place just right, we will be in the valley of love and delight."

I don't know if this will translate, but it's worth trying. I had the honor (and I do mean honor), this week of taking one of my students who really wants to be in choir to his first practice. It's late in the year, but the choir teacher agreed to let him join, and off we went. We got there, sat down on the cold gymnasium floor, and this song began. It was one of those moments for me where time just kind of stopped, and I was totally present. It just hit me....truly. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since...I even hear little one singing it. Think about the message, because we are always on exactly the path that is our own...we are always finding ourselves in "the place just right". There are no mistakes and everything has it's purpose. How comforting and beautiful is that? Meanwhile, I continue to strive for the gifts of simplicity and freedom...and of course love. I wish the same for you. xo

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What endures?

On this fabulous New Years Day, with a big, beautiful new desk in my life, I find myself sorting and sifting through photos, clips, quotes, sticky notes, and other memorabilia trying to make my writing space more functional. I am a person who keeps everything, and I mean everything. I have finally asked the much needed question...what endures? What do I need to keep? What to throw away? Will I remember the moments and days of my life? After looking through boxes and boxes of things saved, you know what I think truly endures? Love. To quote the Beatles, "...and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make." Beginning today, I will be simplifying, and reaching for every corner, in every moment. I will box up all that is undone, forgive myself for not having done it, and create a simple plan for one sweet scrapbook for each brilliant year of this amazing life I have been trusted with.
This will endure....happy new year! xo

Happy New Year!

The possibilities for the new year are absolutely endless...isn't the new year divine? The slate is clear, the page is blank...what will I write?