Thursday, December 31, 2015

do something beautiful

...and other story telling inspirations found in moving pictures today

Monday, November 23, 2015


Muddy butternuts, glowing persimmons and community. I hope to write more on that soon, but for now it is a harvest from my old journal...An inspiration from Rilke:
"Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers, which cannot be giving you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Thank you Rilke and muddy butternuts.

Hello, again

How could I have forgotten this classic eighties movie?? So good! And where or where is Shelley Long these days? 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

back on the trail

to salmon butte. 8 m out and back. 4000 feet up up up and down down down. 

through a foxglove forest

mushroom hunting off trail and found this creature...

Lucy the champion pin took on that hill 

mt. adams over the salmon huckleberry and mt. hood wilderness areas 

blooming beargrass with a view

nothing like that dusk afternoon light

Monday, April 13, 2015

Seeds. It's time. Let's do this.

It's that seed time of year...let the adventuring begin! 

I love a good seed packet, give me an illustration of a an early wonder tall top beet and I'll be tempted to frame it. I swoon over the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog every time. I cherish my new Christmas tradition of pouring over the Johnny's catalog with Ben's Dad. It happens in the down times, while dinner is cooking, or while we're driving to the next hike, he kindly responds to my endless questions about cheddar cauliflower and tokyo turnips. he never gives a much of a hint about what he might experiment with in the new year, and then, come spring I discover he's actually putting in those cheddars after all... I get so excited to open a seed packet and see what a vegetable looks like from it's start. from a whisper of a carrot to the big knuckly beet seed.

A seed is limitless possibility and a history book. prepare the soil. watch the sun and clouds, maybe even the moon cycles and definitely for a good day to plant. fingers crossed for the winning combination of little sunshine and a little rain. keep one eye out for your local predators, cats in my hood, birds in another. 

But before all the stories. Before all this cloud watching. There is the buying of the seed. You guessed it, my favorite kind of shopping spree. It's been a year and a complete life changing purge since I've had a garden to plant, so instead of rummaging through my old seed box, the shopping for NEW SEED!! was on this year. 

Where to begin?

BUY LOCAL. yep, there are seed companies that grow seed for where you are. buy it if you can, because those seeds will like it where you are. You might find the seed rack tucked away in the corner of your natural food grocery store, or at your local nursery (and what's a better way to lift the spirits on a rainy April day than taking a trip to a nursery?). 

In Oregon, I have two seed companies to choose from: Territorial (better seed packet design) and Nichols Garden Nursery (more varieties at my local spot and a lot of good reading on a tiny packet). No local options? Go regional. I hear good I couldn't resist some of the asian vegetable varieties sold by Oakland's Kitazawa Seed Company. And for my desert-dwelling friends, get drought tolerant varieties at Native Seed/SEARCH. Dying for that one-of-a-kind heirloom? have to have that wierdly nobbly winter squash that looks like you'll need a crowbar to cook with it? Go with Seed Savers Exchange or Baker Creek. And you can't go wrong with Johnny's of course. 

And DONT WORRY ABOUT GMOS! Really. Seriously. Don't. I've spent many of my hours in the past few months getting the low down on genetically modified food, for work. And, there are currently, in the year 2015, almost no genetically modified vegetables at your grocery store and even fewer to buy in a seed packet for your home garden. (There are only a few commercially available GMO crops currently on the market, most of which you probably won't grow in your home garden : corn, cotton, alfalfa, canola, papaya, some summer squashes, and soy beans--there's also new non-browning apples and potatoes that just got approved, but I'm not sure how commercially available they are yet...) If you are still worried, buy seed with a USDA organic stamp of approval. Whatever you think of the organic label, it really means there are NO GMOs. for real. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

the poetics of fruit trees, recipes and freebies

It's spring spring spring here in portland. Everything is in bloom. We have leafed. We've moved from the pinks and yellows of magnolias, the stunning dog woods not just white but pink too, oregon grapes, and shocks of bright tulips, now into the lilacs and the irises unravel, into deep purples, some with wagging white tongues, others, instead, a full pale yellow. Time to get into fruit trees, and bees, and dust off projects shelved in the darkness of winter. Here's a smattering of my spring streetscapes...

hello first true leaves!!! of beet and lettuce to be

a portrait of a carrot

I'm finding myself on craigslist more and the free list gets me every time...

2 TVs and a dentist chair
original manual and operating instructions 4: Nordic Trac Elite
hot tub (lots of hot tubs...)
bathroom sink - cracked
an armoir and a sumac tree
small bag beaded necklaces
4 55 gallon drums
electric organ
1 stack martha stewart magazines

Saturday, March 28, 2015

inspired by Red Buds farm

Every trip to CoMo I look forward to seeing how Emma and Scott's Redbuds Farm is taking shape. So inspiring. It is a special place. A place about place, that defines reuse and recycle, and the use of cycles. A place to create and innovate. And most importantly, a place that imbibes community.  

We first visited the land just after they purchased it. It was an old row crop farm that laid fallow for 10 yrs, Emma's dreams for it big. 

Today, just over a year or so later, it is home to a new orchard, beautiful lashed tabacco pole teepees for veggies that like to trellis, raspberry vines, a pond, a sand mountain for the kids, and so much more. It's hosted bonfires and bbqs, work parties and workshops. 

I loved seeing it in winter-on-the-cusp-of-spring. it's rich browns and grays, with spring greens barely hidden beneath the surface ready to sprout. a quiet hush before the spring peepers. I was quickly obssesed with the newest addition. The insect hotel, so named by my friend brooke, the Grand Bugapest Hotel. I don't know what I loved more, the fact that it was made by kids out of recycled materials, or the fact that it will bring beneficial bugs to the farm to help with pollination and pest management.  

and yes, more photos of the bugapest hotel...

the site of a summer market to be. the barn was built with all recycled materials! the roof collects rainwater for the farm. 

I love all the details of the barn

all of them: 

a portrait of summer. in seed. to be. 

Thank you Emma, for making us part of the family. And for being such an inspiration! Let's do this! Dream big people. 
More from Emma here:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

cause we know how to picnic

much needed trip to SF included visiting with this crew, familia! 

we know how to picnic. no utensils necessary.
cheese, bread, sunshine, ocean view--this is all you need. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

snap crackle pop!

we closed a year of adventuring in style. hunting and exploring the unknown.

south then east. (A stop at morning glory cafe in Eugene for breakfast is highly recommended ... epecially for those with a soft spot for soysage) 

from dunes to hobbit forests. slow walks. good for breathing in and out. for finding treasures hidden to the fast and brisk. 

we spoke latin. because. . . it is the language of fungus. 
Cortinarius for dyes. Leccinum for delicious. Then, we let loose with the common names: hedgehogs, yellow feet and chanterelles. all to find. to chop. to saute. and savor. 

not to be forgotten cheeses infused with white truffles found by dogs in the woods.  followed by amazingly thoughtful meals. there were chile rellenos with butternut squash and yinyang beans. the not to be missed sweet bolero carrots sautéed with onions. 

summer visited sweet and hot: there were salsas, pepper sauces and tomato juices. the most pumpkined of bread and the peachiest of jams. all grown and harvested, chopped and preserved by the hands we joined at the table. 

there were low tides revealing such landscapes! 

then the snap crackle and pop of the living rock

fern pollen. pollen at it's best.

and the company was so very good. 

giving thanks for a time well spent. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

hobbit forest and delicious waterfall views...

xmass was good food with good company. everyone came with arms full of winter produce and canned summer goodness. the highlight was the delicata spiked nottaricotta and summer tomato sauce lasagna the only way to follow a good meal is with a good walk.....

from the hobbit forest of horsetail falls to the vista house

love how r was trying to capture an epic photo with k :) 

vista point!!!