Jun
29

hello summer.


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hi there hot days and dusty nights. i’ve missed you (not). dreaming of beach breeze mornings and jacket optional evenings, with a little fray around the neck for good measure. from boden  on sale now …which is reason enough. xo,...

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last friday, after a 3 hour flight delay  that included an aborted take off and a presidential landing, we touched down in columbus, ohio and i proceeded to baggage claim. yes, i over packed but i was prepared… a swimsuit for the hot tub and thick wool coat for my snow search which ended up being a scrap of white plastic caught in the mud.  the columbus girls laughed at my ignorant desert dweller definitiveness  as i ran to touch the white patch  that i “just KNEW” was  snow in the 45 degree rain. we were in the woods. amanda and i told each other ghost stories as we drove the rough gravel road deep into the night. if i would have been on time we would have had daylight but like writing you must keep going through the unknown, unfamiliar, dark and scary places. it’s also good to have a friend close by to talk it out. we both questioned if we were on the right road or just a road that led to jason and then, just as i was feeling extremely grateful  we had the entire weekend’s supply of food in our car,  the road opened and the framed glow of a massive lodge greeted us, it’s welcoming arms made more spectacular by the surrounding woods that held scary unknowns that have been hidden since “lights out” at childhood bedtime. it was brilliant! the weekend was beyond brilliant and  seeing john at the airport was like a ufo sighting.  a friend had invited me to her house to watch “grease” the tuesday after i returned from the writing retreat. i wasn’t allowed to see it as a teen and never snuck out to see it against my parent’s wishes.  as an adult i would judge parental leniency by your childhood exposure to “grease”, if, when and  what age. judgement confirmed… and i loved(!) the movie. thanks janine, xo,...

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the unexpected began on the airplane.  just as my stomach was anticipating the rise of take off  my head pounced forward with the push of tiny wheels screeching on pavement and again  and again as the pilot pumped the brakes and we passengers followed suit like pigeons, our heads bobbing to  the thrust of each forward motion, time and plane slowing to a stop in perfect unison. i turned to the man seated next to me,  no words, just my face asking the obvious question,  “well, i’ve never had that happen before”,  confirmed my thought. the pilot’s voice firm and short calling us ladies and gentlemen andtelling us to stay in our seats. then silence while the plane stood still and no one spoke. i’ve always wondered what it would be like in this sort of situation, the air thick in questioning silence, the chatter of brains seen in the eyes around me.  the pilot came back on the intercom telling us one of the engines had registered an abnormally high temperature at take off. that minuscule moment assigned for checking gauges now means something to me.  back to the gate, still on the plane, we sit tapping our phones, letting people on the other end know we will be arriving late  without yet knowing any specifics. a new plane? a new crew? how long will this take? a toddler a few rows back says, “daddy, are we there?”  and my stomach sinks knowing this will be a long trip for both of them/us. off the plane we shuttle ourselves over to another gate and  wait to board again.  deja vu. same seats, same seatmates,same crew but a new plane and a new delay.  the president of the united states of america is due to land in eight minutes.  i hear the flight attendant telling a passenger  that air space will be shut down during his landing,  planes lined up on the runway, we are waiting our turn and all the while i’m wondering what the chances are that this could happen again, or worse, am i overly confident that we are now guaranteed a problem free flight? don’t they say bad things happen in three’s? this was only one. two more and where will we be? the little girl behind me is counting in spanish, she gets past ten and i’m impressed. she can’t be older than three. i focus on how calm her father is, focused on helping her pronounce  the syllables correctly, gently modeling the words back to her when she transposes sounds. uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis siete ocho nueve diez unce doce trece catorce quince… and the lift happens…  this time without notice. xo, m ps- hours later we landed in columbus, ohio  and john travolta was at baggage claim  with a film crew.  to be...

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i know i will look back and see something spectacular sitting in this bookmarked section of my life.  incubating like an egg. warm and a bit fragile, i mustn’t rustle it around too much trying to discover it’s worth before it is ready to hatch. the cracking may hurt. i’m a little afraid of that part.  no one asks for pain but i know it can be the fuel of focus, condensed intent for climbing up steep hills and  crossing over narrow bridges without hand railings for support,  all focus downward as  i step heel to toe not looking back or  forward,   my balance sure,  as  if every word depended on it. xo,...

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it happened the other night, the one i had mistakenlyassumed was “the night before my first dayback in the classroom full time”.it was a great practice run!rumor has it, this dish is one of the best i’ve ever made and it’s fairly easy…about 15-20 minutes of prep work, pour the sauce over the browned brisket andlet your slow cooker take over. hours later you will return home to the rich smoky aroma of  mexican barbeque.  just shred the meat and serve on warmed corn tortillas topped with shredded cabbage, crumbled cotija cheese  and cucumber avocado salsa (recipe to follow). the salsa is the kick! it offers a quick pleasing burst of freshness that contrasts  well against the smoky deep flavor of the beef. i love a good contrast. enjoy!  xo, mslow braised barbacoa with cucumber avocado salsa~ from karista’s kitchen...

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on thursday i will be entering the classroom as  a third grade temporary teacher for a mama of one, soon to be two,  taking maternity leave. i have been waiting for this opportunity for almost 26 years and now it’s really happening!  i student taught third grade here in mesa, arizona 26 years ago at alma elementary school,  but was subsequently hired to teach 7th/8th grade english the following fall. a marriage and family followed soon after so one semester is the sum total of my full time teaching experience. yikes! but doable now that my kids are grown. i’m on the hunt for easy, slow cooked, dinner recipes to lessen the stress  when i return home at night  with a stack of papers to grade and lessons to prepare.  i emailed my good friend, personal chef and cooking instructor karista bennett and received the beginnings of my personal “back to school survival cookbook”. i will be adding simple, delicious recipes from karista as this adventure unfurls…maybe even a few anecdotes from the classroom  to give you a small taste of my day.  please feel free to send any of your own favorites that you think i should try and i will be sure to link your site and/or give you credit! lately events are unrolling so effortlessly. maybe time actually does fly, but if you hold tight to your dreams they will follow. xo,...

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Nov
25

local love.


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years ago we took a family summer vacation to missoula, montana and i remember  my uncle directing me    not to tell a soul about t(his) little  slice of heaven! he loved his small town… and so did we. well, my friend dorie seems to have found that same magic in carpinteria. i hope to visit her this next year as part of my 50 things for me (don’t think too hard but yes, it’s approaching). to give you a hint at how ancient i am, i remember stopping to buy each of our boys their own game boy (the original!)  at a walmart somewhere in wyoming. the “activity” bag i had packed with books, crayons, paper and all sorts of fun little games and toys was depleted  and so was my patience. win for them…and a dreamy memory for me. xo,...

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my friend denese returned from her first visit to nyc and wrote the dreamiest post. it’s a must read with a real life lesson from a young dancerwho lives her dream daily.  …as if dancing in tandem, my friend andrea painted this sepia toned scene last night on facebook … “Story filed. Pirouetted home across West Broadway under a champagne-colored moon. Quiet apartment. Season Two of City Ballet.” which i immediately googled and found here. have a dreamy day. xo,...

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a toasty favorite {photo by melina hammer for the nytimes} i’ve been out of commission since the last  trick-or-treater rang the door bell friday night. i suspect a serious something snuck into me while i was substitute teaching . three days of pj’s, hot soup, nights on the couch, a fever, furious hand washing,  baking when i was feeling stir crazy and  finally yesterday a four hour deep sleep that wove from daylight past dark leaving me feeling lost and unsure of where i was when i woke.  i haven’t felt that bad for a long time.   hallelujah it’s over!   i am on call for anyone who catches this beast. i will bring you hot and sour soup from  “golden gate” (like hayden did for me)  to chase away the monsters.  xo,...

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i love the memories that  show up with halloween. growing up we always came home  from neighborhood trick or treating  with a friend or two in tow,  our mom waiting for us with hot chocolate and a pot of hot oil to make donuts. using the twist top of a soda bottle we would each punch out the middle of biscuit dough (the kind you buy in the refrigerated section and opens with a loud POP!), then taking turns used tongs to dip and then lift our golden donut  from the hot oil, setting it on a paper towel covered  tray to cool and absorb any excess.  on the kitchen table there were two brown lunch bags. one was 1/3 full of cinnamon sugar and the other 1/3 full of powdered sugar. dropping in your warm mini donut and scrunching up the top of the bag tightly so as not to make a sweet mess you would shake your donut one by one, eating them up as you went. we fried the donut holes last and somehow they were always gone by morning.   so fun. and simple.  the best things are. xo,...

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