Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday link love

Well, hello. This week seems to have flown by - Wednesday night, already?! To put off packing, what I should be doing, a bit longer, I thought I'd share a few things that have caught my eye this week.

This makes me want to start a boycott against JCPenney.

A great interview with Nigel Slater (via Luisa).

Well said, Anne Lamott (via Molly).

OK, then. I'd better get packing. xo

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Today at the Ballard Locks

Sometimes all it takes, to forge a friendship, is someone willing to be in your secret club, or play hide and seek with you, or race you and not notice your competitive streak. Or not blink an eye when you stop, midsentence, to take a picture, because they take as many as you do.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Today, friends arrived for a few days' visit.

I made lunch. Pasta tossed with a pesto; the last of the summer's cherries; newly picked carrots. The kids ate a lot, which I considered a tremendous success (you would agree, I'm sure, if you've ever taken on the task of feeding multiple children).

We went walking, and we thought it might rain; there were a few sprinkles. Instead, it got hot. There was some complaining about the walking and the heat, though there was also plenty of running and laughing. Abbott did his first chin-up, and then did another. He decided to hold it for five seconds, just to see if he could. He did.

At bedtime, the boys wanted reassurance that the girls would still be here when they woke up. "Yes, sweetheart, they will."

The rain is gone, and so is the heat. And soon, so will be this summer.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

from Sunday night

Last night, I slept fitfully, my dreams full of searching and running. Foghorns woke me early, then wove their way into my dreams as I drifted in and out of sleep. When I got up, I had messages from my sister in Connecticut, my aunt Linda in Virginia, and my friend Eleanor in Brooklyn. Accounts of epic lightning, rain, power outages. But they are all safe. I hope the rest of you in Irene's path are doing OK.

Last night, in one sitting, I read, and very much enjoyed -- and am still thinking about -- A Reliable Wife.

Our weekend was cloudless and hot. We Pacific Northwesterners don't get much of this -- one to two weeks each summer, when it's truly hot by most people's standards. It was just beautiful. Our last weekend of summer at home, as next weekend we'll be traveling.

Last week during the boys' swim lessons I re-read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, and was rewarded by a series of small parenting successes over the past few days, thanks to some good reminders.

Best wishes for your week. xo

Friday, August 26, 2011

have a good one

Thinking of all of you East Coasters facing the threat of Hurricane Irene. Stay safe. xoxo

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Jenna and Mark are in town. They're staying in Pioneer Square for a few days; we joined them for dinner. Next week we get to have them at our house again. Abbott and Cal's energy level was crazy high; perhaps from the excitement. It was so great seeing them - we picked up right where we left off.

Happy Thursday. xo

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

in August you'll always find it here

Once tomato season arrives, there is almost always tabouli to be found in our house. Ripe tomatoes alongside the bright flavor of parsley are perfect on a summer's day. When I first started making it, in college, I used the recipe found in the Moosewood Cookbook. I've experimented through the years; here's how I like it best.


1 cup dry bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium cloves crushed garlic
black pepper, to taste
2 packed cups coarsely chopped parsley leaves
10-15 mint leaves, minced (or 1 to 2 Tbs dried mint)
4 scallions, finely minced
1 pint cherry/sungold/grape tomatoes, sliced in half

Combine the bulgur wheat and boiling water in a medium sized bowl. Cover for 30 minutes, or until bulgur is tender.

Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, and garlic to the bulgur. Mix well, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving.

(The steps above can be done a day or two in advance)

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the scallions, mint, and half the parsley.

Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, and toss them with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the tomatoes and the rest of the parsley over the top of the salad.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the way of the future

Abbott is full of entrepreneurial ideas. Whenever we pick blackberries on our street, he talks about wanting to sell some of them at the farmer's market. He regularly lobbies to turn our garage into a restaurant. Today, however, a neighbor kid blew me away with his resourcefulness, selling lemonade door-to-door. How can you say no to that?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday night.

Just stopping by to say hi.

Why You Need To Sleep On It

More tomorrow. xo

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19

In the days and weeks before Cal was born, I remember fretting about running out of milk and the garbage piling up once I was in the hospital in labor. So I spent much of my final days of pregnancy at the store and taking out the trash. Of course, these were really concerns about Abbott and the impending split of my attention and care. And then he was born, almost effortlessly. The first month of his life, I carried him from room to room in his little moses basket, and he simply slept. He seemed like a miracle.

I've thought back to being seven.
I remember a lot about being seven; being a first grader.
Like Cal, I saw Star Wars for the first time when I was seven; that was the year it came out. We watched it tonight for his birthday.

The older he gets, the more certain similarities between the two of us become more pronounced, and that is not always an easy thing.

Every time we get ice cream, he chooses a new flavor. I love that about him.

He's come home with more love notes from more girls, already, than I care to think about.

He has an almost intuitive understanding of physics, a deep and abiding love for all animals, a fierce temper, and a strong silly streak. He would always rather stay home, when given a choice. Right now he plans to buy the house across the street when he's too old to live here.

I cannot possibly imagine loving him more, but I know I will, even as soon as tomorrow. Love grows.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I made a crumble. And over the course of the next couple of weeks, will probably also make a crisp, a buckle and a pie. Thinking we'll eat the leftovers for breakfast.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

good things

Grandma's arrival
peridot nail polish
big batch margaritas
Basil popcorn!
Zinn Education Project
making plans to celebrate a birthday

Happy Wednesday. xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

what we can glean

What a great stretch of days we had on San Juan Island.

After spending concentrated time with another family, I would say that others are a great barometer for what we are doing well, as parents, and what we could be doing better. I think most of us make it up as we go along, largely, based on knowing ourselves, our children, our partners and what we believe in and value. We watch others because we can't help it. And we want to get ideas. In a more dark corner of our hearts we all, sometimes, have ideas and expectations about what others should and could be doing better or differently, but mostly this comes from our own fears and anxieties about our shortcomings as parents. I learn things every day from those of you in it with me, and am full of gratitude for the part you play in my life in whatever way, big or small.

Monday, August 15, 2011

the magic hour

The magic hour, San Juan Island.

I think they will always remember this evening. Running in and out, in and out of the icy water as the sun slowly disappeared below the horizon, and we listened to the oystercatchers, and spotted a couple of immature eagles, circling, gliding, searching, perhaps, for one last meal, or maybe just out for the joy of flight.