Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye, Cinnamon

We said a very sad goodbye to our beloved cat tonight. Cinnamon had nearly fourteen years of happy, well loved life. Her companionship has been a constant for me as she has followed me around the house the entirety of her life. She showed surprising patience for Abbott and Cal as they entered her life as infants, and complete devotion to them as they grew.

We will miss you so, so much Cinnamon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

a holiday cocktail

Over the weekend we made pomegranate mimosas. This cocktail is perfect for entertaining, as it can be prepared ahead of time (I recommend making at least 15 minutes in advance; the flavor improves with a little extra time to mix).

Pomegranate Mimosas

2 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
6 ounces elderflower liqueur
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled

Mix the pomegranate juice and elderflower liqueur in a pitcher. Add the sparkling wine. Pour into Champagne flutes or wine glasses and serve.

Makes 8 cocktails

The festive red color and the pomegranate flavor make these perfect for the holiday season.

This recipe is from the Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations, a cookbook that benefits The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (via Melissa C. Morris).

Friday, November 27, 2009


We had what was probably our best Thanksgiving ever; the day was relaxed from start to finish. I made what I pretty much always make, and I think all that practice is starting to pay off. A brined turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy (made by my mother in law - I don't like gravy and don't know how to make it), cornbread-sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle and green beans. For dessert, pumpkin pie and apple pie and cinnamon streusel ice cream. Everyone ate a lot of everything. There was play with hockey trading cards, stimulating conversation about travel, politics and aspects of life in China with our Chinese dinner guest. Such abundance: family and food and friends.

The surprise of the day was Cal losing his first tooth. We'd had no indication it was even loose. He bit into a piece of salami and out it came, creating a fair amount of emotional turmoil for him (and, admittedly, for me too - my 'baby' losing his first tooth). He decided to forgo putting it under his pillow - it made him too sad to think about having it taken away. And the thought of a tooth fairy sneaking into his room while he's sleeping was also just too much for him.

I hope your weekend is lovely! xoxo

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Grateful List

Today I'm honored to have my friend Shari as a guest blogger. I'm inspired each and every day by her photos and thoughts; if I only have time to look at one photostream on Flickr on a given day, it's always hers. Her photos are here; her blog is here.

Each day my grateful list expands. Last week I was thankful for the evergreens providing much needed color in the drabness of stick season, sunshine passing through cattail fluff, a phone call from my husband inviting me to an impromptu lunch, another day of wearing only a lightweight jacket, and the indoor farmer's market. I am grateful for life, for every little bit of its goodness, and I love how I never know what may be on my list tomorrow. Puddles, chocolate cake, a red fox dashing across the field? We are so lucky to be the recipient of so many days full of wonder and simple pleasures. I try so hard not to forget it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

this man

Today is Alexi's birthday. I'm so thankful to call this kind, dedicated, capable, smart, adventurous, fun, loving man my husband.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the winner is...

I've been loving the morning sun we've been having before the rain starts midday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

second grade market

Last week the second graders at our school held a market for parents and students, modeled after the Pike Place Market. Abbott has looked forward to being a second grader running the market since he first shopped at it in kindergarten. Produce and crafts (made by the second graders) are sold; buskers perform. The kids learn about economics and many other things in the process of preparing for and running a market. The proceeds will be given to the Pike Market Community (services include a medical clinic, senior center, foodbank, and preschool).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the cucumber

Every single day in his lunch, Abbott likes to take cucumber slices. A relative just sent me the information below about cucumbers (thanks Ed!); I had no idea it is such a powerhouse food.

"Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium,Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.."

(Unfortunately the source wasn't cited in the email, so I can't properly give credit.)

It's been a wet, windy week so far in Seattle. How are things in your part of the world?

Monday, November 16, 2009

the perfect social activity

Our weekend included bowling and more bowling. At a school sponsored Parents Night Out Saturday and at a birthday party yesterday, pictured above. I think it is perhaps the perfect social activity.

Friday, November 13, 2009

random thoughts

It's hard to believe the week has come and gone already! The past few days:

We all got haircuts. Trying to decide whether or not to grow mine out a bit...thoughts?

Cal got his first two wheeled scooter in his favorite color; he's had lots of fun whizzing around the neighborhood every day after school.

After living in Seattle for 17 years, I finally bought a warm, waterproof coat (I got the vintage white) and I LOVE it (thank you Joanna for the tip!).

I am so loving these clear, sunny, cold days.

Happy weekend to you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

window shopping

I hope you all had a restful Veterans Day. We enjoyed a bit of extra sleep, pumpkin pancakes, and some extra time with Alexi. In the evening I was able to meet up with a girlfriend for dinner and a bit of window shopping at a new shopping area.

I hope you're having a good Thursday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

on photography

There are times when I'd rather not have a camera with me. It can be cumbersome. I sometimes get tired of standing out as I take pictures in public places. And yet, these pictures I take of my everyday life create a record of my days. On the rare day when I don't take any pictures, I'm left with the feeling of that day having slipped away from me. And I often think about how these images I take in so many ways are also images of your everyday life too; whether you live where I do or halfway around the world. Whether you're able to meet a friend for coffee as I am in these images, or look forward to it or reminisce about it. So I guess you could say photography also makes me feel a greater connectedness. And I am so grateful for this record of my days, and for that connection I have with all of you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

three compliments and three suggestions

One night at bedtime six or so months ago, Abbott asked me for three compliments and three suggestions about the day. I was taken aback by the question, but did my best to give thoughtful feedback. At his school there is a strong emphasis on communication. As an example, at the end of dress rehearsals for school plays the audience is always asked for compliments and then suggestions. I was quite impressed with Abbott's desire for and comfort with personal feedback. Since that first night he's had the same request almost every night without fail. I usually ask him the same question in return. It's a really nice way to end the day with him.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Yesterday the boys played in our neighborhood World Cup (really), so now we're down to one sport (hockey), and very happy about that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

stormy days

The weather the past couple of days in Seattle has been epic. Barreling down rains, torrential hail, wind, apocalyptic thunder and lightning. A couple of nights ago it sounded as if the world was ending. Mercifully, my bout of flu seems to finally be ending; today is the first day I've been without fever in about a week.

As I was rifling through my sweaters this morning to find something to wear, I wondered if there is a good solution for 'pills' on sweaters. Do you know?

Friday, November 6, 2009

a tea party

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a potluck-style tea party hosted by a blogging/twitter friend.

She provided:
Hot Water
Selection of Jams
Lemon Curd
Lemon wedges

We were to bring:
A teapot (many teas were tasted), a favorite teacup or mug (if
old or meaningful, and with a story behind it even
better) and something to share, such as:
sweet pastries
savory pastries
finger sandwiches
little veggies
an egg dish
cold cuts

A great time was had by all.

Happy Friday to you.