A little break

July 30, 2011

I will be away from this space this week as my family takes it annual camping trip. I should be back by next Monday with lovely tales of our camping adventures. Happy Summer Fun!






July 29, 2011

Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey

Reading is very important to this Momma. As a child I could always be found curled up in a corner with a book in hand lost in the pages. II could be lost at sea, in the woods, belonging to different families and cultures. Coming from a pretty turbulent childhood filled with many moves and instability, reading provided a safe haven – a place where no matter what, life was controlled within the parameters of a story.

Recently I have discovered the wonderful works of Robert McCloskey. We received one of his works, Make Way for Ducklings, as a baby gift before Gerhard was born and have enjoyed it immensely. During a trip to the library, I discoveredBlueberries for Sal,  and  One Morning in Maine  and unknowingly check them out.

I love the timelessness of these books and Mr. McCloskey’s whimsey. The stories include animals, childhood creativity and the natural joy of discovery that children have. In Blueberries for Sal, Sal (a little girl) is picking blueberries with her mother, wanders away and starts following a bear mother who is also eating berries with her own cub. The sheer surprise of the bear and little girl to realize that she is not following her own mother is wonderful – and a bit silly.

We have been enjoying reading and rereading these books. I enjoy the lithographs, the language and how lovely it would have been to be a child in one of his books.


July 28, 2011

A fabulous deal on raspberries this weekend called for a lovely afternoon of jam making. Making jam smells and tastes like summer to me, the tang of the berries, the simmer of the water, preserving the bounty of summer for a later season.

Somehow I see many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that taste of summer – the fresh taste of berries in the cold winter months.

Weekend Baking

July 27, 2011

Weekend breakfast is often a cause for excitement around this house. After an afternoon of jam making we felt ready for a good, warm cinnamon roll morning.

Making things from scratch is a joy in our small kitchen. Both Rudie and I enjoy the whole process, measuring, spooning, weighing, mixing, proofing and forming. We both enjoy getting dirty and trying to get it perfect. This recipe was no different.

Sometimes when I am most tired and done with my day getting my hands around a ball of dough gives new energy. The feeling of a smooth, round, yeasty dough become a shape under my hands just gives a reason for revival – a new life being formed.


Summer Sewing

July 26, 2011


A few weeks ago a Momma friend asked for help throwing a surprise baby shower for a soon to be Momma of three (in fact, said baby joined our world today!) who had never, ever had a shower before.

After planning what to make and getting the details down, I started thinking about what to create. For me, a baby gift calls for a chance of a created item, something that thought and attention went into. I enjoy creating things for the newest beings in our world – giving them something interesting to look at, feel, touch and smell.

I made this little banner by spacing it out over a week – I have a tendency to work on projects until I get frustrated. I attempted to give myself an allowance during naptimes – an hour a day to get something done. Day one, I traced and cut the fabric. Day two, stitched all the letters to the backing. Day three, I took off – we didn’t sleep much that day and it was a rough one! Day four, trim and attaching to the rope. By the time the baby shower came around, I was finished!

I found that by only allowing myself an hour or so at a time I did not allow myself to get overwhelmed with projects, frustrated with mistakes or lack of finishing time.  I found I really enjoyed the process much more when it was spread out over a few days, allowing for time to really think it through and dream up ideas.

Yes, this little baby project was easy and simple.  Hope the baby it was made for is just the same!



In the garden

July 21, 2011

This week in our garden we are:

~ Watching our blossoms turn into slowly blushing fruits…

~ Anticipating the *first* squash of the season to be had in just a few day’s time.

~ Twining crazy beans into a managed fence row.

~Eating lettuce – lots and lots of fresh, tender lettuce.

~ Smelling the tomato blossoms and stems – when you brush against them, walk near them, think of them…

~ Remembering that a few rainy warm days in Oregon tend to bring about our best local crop – crabgrass

~ Removing said crab grass – from everywhere.

~ Enjoying fresh flowers in all nooks and crannies.

~ Waiting for the fall fruits to ripen.

What is happening in your garden this week?

Mixing and stiring

July 20, 2011

One of the perks of being a parent is baking with the little ones. As a child I loved baking with my mom and grandma and now I am enjoying sharing this joy with my little one.

This little boy has discovered a love of cooking – a love that he shares with both parents really. The only problem is that now Momma can’t make a single meal without the pitter patter of little feet running into the kitchen asking, ” Up, up, make, make!” He sits in his corner and helps me measure, sift, stir and mix.

And what do little boys love most (besides steak that is!) – cookies.



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