Monthly Archives

September 2010

Uncovering The Path.

September 14, 2010
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You may remember that last spring, we moved into the house that my great grandmother spent her days in, with the full intention and ambition of loving it back to its glory life of 1925 (but with air conditioning and indoor plumbing). I do realize that last spring was about a million days ago (1 mil. = 215) and I haven’t said much about it since. This is partially because we’ve been working on it. And partially because, for whatever reason, I’ve had a bit of a hard time writing about it.

Regarding the working on it: Well, you see, there’s a lot to it. And as I sit here, it is literally surrounding me. There are so many things to do, and the list seems to be growing. In other words, this property truly is the physical manifestation of a project waiting to happen. And that can be sorta exhausting. Or exciting. Or exhausting. Depending on the hour.

Regarding the writing about it: I don’t know why this is. I do believe a lot of the hesitation stems from the fact that it really does mean so much to me. I grew up visiting this home quite often. My four-year-old self played hopscotch on the porch, my fourteen-year-old self sneaked out of the old person’s party to watch 16 Candles up the street on a neighbor’s new Laserdisc. (Oh the magic of the home video disc format!) And it’s not just me. A lot of people have entered and exited these doors in a lot of different stages of their lives. The other day, I found a box full of photos from the late 1940s. A few of them were taken around the house, in the house. People that I loved, people who are no longer with us, spent their days here. What were they really like? What were they really thinking? I think about this a lot. For me, imagination and realization have always lived hand and hand. And I’m realizing a lot about my present, the more I imagine about their past.

In fact, the past, present and future all exist simultaneously in every doorknob, in every window. And there are past memories and future hopes waiting to be uncovered in the most unexpected places. For instance, the other day we were working outside in the formerly overgrown backyard…

That’s what it looked like in April when we moved in. Just sort of jumbled, with random structures and useless fences.

The next photo was taken yesterday from the exact same spot.

Clearer. Cleaner. With room to breathe a bit. You might even notice a path that wasn’t there before.

Here’s a better look.

The next photo is taken at basically the same place today.

The barn was always there, it was just covered up by that useless, overgrown fence.

And the path was always there too.

We just couldn’t see it.

Well, we could kind-of see it in some places. Sometimes.


But it just looked like a few random bricks here and there.

So we started digging. And the more we uncovered, the more we found.

Turns out, my great grandparents laid this path together when they were in their seventies.

I love that.

And I love that there are treasures to be found with just a little digging.

Do you see how the life symbolism is literally coming out of the ground around here.

And it’s leading a path.

A path that goes straight to my new little garden.

15 by 30 feet of fertile, if not a little rocky, space. Space to grow some things.

Stay tuned.

Soundtrack: Awake My Soul, Mumford and Sons

The Perfect Purse: The Hobo Zoe Clutch

September 8, 2010
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This last weekend, my friend Shasta hauled a black Hobo Zoe clutch everywhere. And honestly, it’s the perfect purse. Small enough to easily tote around…or throw it in a larger bag as a wallet. It is slotted for credit cards, cash and other small items. And it’s so well made. Next time I splurge, it’s going to be on this.

Corn and Blueberry Salad: Go-to Recipe #4

September 2, 2010
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I guess because it’s Labor Day week, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about Summer’s End. Although, around here, Summer lasts until October. So who am I kidding? We’ll be eating summer salads until the day before Halloween. I have about 10 more to add to this list, and here’s one of them.

Corn and Blueberry Salad

4 ears of fresh corn

1 cup of blueberries

1 large cucumber, sliced

1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I like red)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

Cook the corn: Place in a pot of boiling water, covered, for 5 minutes. And when it’s cool, cut it off the cob.

Make the dressing: Combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin and a tiny bit of salt.

Put all these things* in a bowl: Combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, onion, cilantro,  jalapeno and dressing.

And you’re done.

*Sometimes I add chicken or shrimp to this. Which is awesome too.

This is What’s Happening in My Kitchen Right Now.

September 1, 2010
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And sadly, I’m not even kidding you.

Y’all these are metal butterflies. Attached to a wall that’s painted like a vine. On purpose.

Actually, it’s not just the one. There are four of these butterfly “scenes” surrounding me as I cook.  It’s a little disturbing. And it’s been like this since JFK was stressed about Cuba.

I think their time has come.

Watch for it.