November 29: toaster pastries

November 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

Thanks to my trusted Homemade Pantry book, we had delicious pop-tart-like dessert tonight. I made pie crust in the morning and refrigerated it for the day. Our friend Laura came over in the evening with two jars of homemade jam, and we made the pastries. Rich, tasty, not too hard to make, though perhaps somewhat time-consuming. It was worth it, though. Baking with friends is always a treat, especially when results are so great. Really, these can’t even compare with pop tarts. I was also pleased to find that J. didn’t know what a pop tart is. All the more reason to keep making homemade goodies!

before baking

just out of the oven

sprinkled with sugar



November 28: Clay decorations

November 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Remember those clay stars and hearts etc. we made a while ago? Well, tonight they made it onto our tree:

I didn’t do much, just put (hot pink) string through the holes and hang up the decorations, but it’s a sad truth that my babies’ sleep gets worse as they get older, and I am in desperate need of sleep.

November 27: Tins for herbs

November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

All of a sudden I am realizing it’s almost December and I don’t have any gifts made, I don’t intend to buy (m)any, and I have few ideas for what I can make. And even those ideas seem inadequate. Like this one: I stored the herbs I harvested this summer into little tins, which I planned to decorate and send to folks to sniff the goodness of herbal smells in the deep winter. But now, in December, the tins all smell a little like my grandma’s hand cream, and not much like herbs. But I will keep working on it, and this:


is just the beginning of the decorating part.


November 26: A poem

November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

When J. was born, I wrote a series of poems loosely based on him. These poems made it into the book I made for his first birthday, which is one of his most prized possessions. Here is one of the prose poems in question. The poems are not necessarily about him — he is just the child in the center of all of them. Just like my life is not about J. and O., but they are at the center of all things.

IV Cardboard Guardian

I’ll give you  a cardboard spirit for your birthday       in a  cardboard box with a paper ribbon. You will leave  it in  the rain forgotten       until the sun comes out again and birds try to perch on  the box       so tall  it lets them see over the fence but the box  collapses  under their minute weight         hollow from the inside like some people we meet. The question    can  assembly line guardians fulfill one’s deep and urgent needs?

the child
plays inside
a   cardboard
maze built by father
portable safety
keeps  him  warm

I’ll give you a cardboard spirit for your birthday          dwarf-sized  and green with  secret  pink  silk  tassels  behind  the  ears        overlooking the  garden       reminiscent of old trees         frightening daisies         stunting the  snapdragons’  growth         encouraging the lone oak to rise rise rise.  You leave it out in the rain. Cardboard melts slowly forming a river a nondescript shade of brown. The spirit fertilizes your soil          though you forget it was ever there.

November 25: Notes to myself

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our guests have left and it’s back to our daily lives, in which I get to caught up in To-Do’s that I forget some basic things like deep breathing and staying hydrated. So today I made little signs to put around the house to remind myself of certain things. I put a Relax and a Stay Calm sign in front of J’s room: it applies to both of us. there is a Dance sign by the radio and a few others in perhaps unexpected places. Let’s see if it prevents me from taking myself too seriously.

this one is above the changing table where i spend a fair amount of my time


November 24: Sketches of a good day

November 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

The day was better than my ability to get the lighting right on the camera. Tacoma showed itself today as a lively, hip city. It is not always that way.

an orchid

duck chasing


a boy behind a willow


and a man among books

All I want for Christmas is a photography class!


November 23: Xmas train

November 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

When you have guests in town whose company you enjoy, it doesn’t really make sense to take time away from your day to make arts & crafts. Instead, I took snapshots of our outing. It poured all day so the only photo op was the Xmas train we encountered by accident. I am a big fan of miniature decor around model trains, so here is some of that.

And so begins the holiday season that I usually feel at best ambivalent about — today, though, I sure enjoyed the train and the scenery, especially an Abominable Snowman on top of the hill. And how about that ice skating couple? Here is to lightheartedness.

November 22: At the nature center

November 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Holidays are great times for family hikes. We had the entire Nature Center to ourselves today. I am still trying to learn to take better photos. Here are a few.


And in the meantime, the Lego master has been busy building a mansion.

November 21: Another birthday card

November 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

A simple one for my sister, who arrives tomorrow. Thanks, Oprah, for the abundance of inspirational quotes in the O magazine! And of course, how can you go wrong with Ganesh, the remover of obstacles?


November 20: Predictable Thanksgiving art

November 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

We made hand turkeys. I like making the one whose body is a footprint and whose tail is made of handprints. Last time I did this, J. was 1.5 years old. He is 5.5 now. See the difference

To shake things up, J. also made us play pin-the-head-on-the-turkey

and hangturkey

Someone lost here.

Sorry if your eyes are hurting from the construction paper brightness.

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