The Wonders of this Week

Hello Friends,

This week I am:

Writing

I am writing more chapters for my novel. I have some time while on this trip and it feels good to focus on the writing.

Reading

Lunch in Paris

Lunch-in-Paris2

This is a complete escape and fantasy for me. A fun book full of recipes and romantic memories of life and love in Paris. Perfect.

Listening

To this.

via OregonLive

via OregonLive

I went to the Sarah McLachlan concert at Edgefield almost a week ago. My daughter, Chloe, took me there and we had a great time. It was odd though. It was a bit underwhelming. No opening band. No announcing her move to the stage. She just walked out with her band, in her mom jeans. I kid you not. And she just started playing. She started with one of her new songs that I was not familiar with being that it was from her brand new album, so it took me a minute to realize that it was her. The show was okay, but I wanted the passionate, angst filled, torch singer not the content mom. It was nice to hear her old and new stuff, but the old stuff really plays to her vocal strengths where the new stuff felt flat and lifeless. The setting was fantastic. The company, lovely. The venue, familiar. The performer, lackluster.

Thinking

There is a young man, my son’s age, who lives in our old home town and he is struggling, mightily. He is a smart young man with a ton of great ideas and skills. His home life is completely awful. I really want him to be able to move in with us to finish school but I know he can’t just get in the car and come home with us, not without written consent from his parents. So I am thinking about how to make this happen.

Wanting

A dear friend of mine and I have been fantasizing/planning a trip to Barcelona this fall. Oh, how I want to go. So badly. Barcelona Baby!!

via Watermelon.com

via Watermelon.com

Watching

The tide. We are staying in a friend’s cabin in Pacific City on the Oregon coast and our cabin is on an inlet connecting to a river so we get to watch the tide go in and out. We have seen so much wildlife. Deer walk within ten feet of us when we sit out in the back garden overlooking the river. Cranes land nearby. Herons search for fish. Schools of fish flip and splash in front of us.

Needing

A little more heart in my life. Anyone else find themselves toughening up around the edges sometimes? Yeah, I do. So, I am incorporating more self-care (namely sleep and books for now) into my life. How do you bring a little more heart into your life?

Loving

How our fireplace turned out. It was all brick with a huge built in OAK mantle. It was monstrous, but now the brick is whitewashed and all the wood is a soft gray. I will post before and after photographs soon.

Eating

Lots of clam chowder and fish and chips. Living in northern California, inland quite a bit means we don’t often get to enjoy those most Oregonian of seafood choices. So we are stocking up on rainy days, mist, cold winds, clam chowder, and dory caught fish and chips.

Drinking

A lot of red wine…

I attribute this format to  Blue Bird Baby Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring.  Go check it out.

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine and love.

Love,
S

The Wonders of This Week 17/52

Hello Friends,

This week I am:

Writing

More chapters for my novel. I struggle with some of it because it is somewhat memoiresque, but then other sections just flow. I can feel like such a writing klutz sometimes. Anyone else?

Reading

This amazing book.

nesting-place

I read it through and now I am reading it a section at a time. Such a great tool for inspiration. I am beginning the task of making our family room a place I enjoy being. I am so excited about how it will look when I am done.

Listening

Smile with me. This one feels good…

Thinking

About painting this woodwork and fireplace. The Nester and others graciously gave me some wonderful advice and I am ready to tackle this thing! A creamy French Linen White. It will be beautiful! The whole room will be redone and I will post pics when it is complete.

my current family room

my current family room

Wanting

Things to stay as they are, but they won’t. Things change and I need to trust that they will still be good. Believe in the good.

Watching

This lovely young girl grow up. It is such a privilege to be her mother. I love her to the moon and back. By the way, this picture is her Mother’s Day present to me. Really. She smiled and didn’t hide her face this time. I told her that this is all I wanted. Thank you Fiona…

Me and my girl...

Me and my girl…

 Looking forward to

The hubs and I are going to Palm Springs next week for a little trip. Four nights away. Just the two of us. I cannot wait. He is attending a conference so I will sit by the pool and write. A getaway. Yay!

Wearing

These new beauties. These are really comfortable. That little heel helps a ton.  They are kind of stylish too.  At least I think so…

Unisa Lola Sandal

Unisa Lola Sandal

Eating

Okay, let me just start by saying that these were so good! If I had any left over I would eat it now and people it is 6am! The perfect combination of crunch, moist, spicy, and delicious yumminess. Rebecca at Foodie with Family is the most brilliant cook, ever. Her recipes are my go to all the time. The recipes are not crazy complicated. Instead they are matter of fact, in your face, family pleasing, budget conscious delights.

via Foodie with Family

via Foodie with Family

Drinking

This bubbly is delicious. I was introduced to it at a Sunday lunch at my step-aunt’s house. (Is there such a thing as a step-aunt?) It was a proper Italian afternoon lunch with a bit of Prosecco to start with the appetizers. Then we moved on to a lovely Barbera with lunch. Lunch was salad, torta, gnocchi with two sauces and of course, focaccia. Completely divine. But the real takeaway was this delicious sparkler. If you come across it, buy it!

via Apricot Hill

via Apricot Hill

I attribute this format to  Blue Bird Baby Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring.  Go check it out.

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine and love.

Love,
S

W is for Wild Geese

Hello Friends,
I spent a bit of time in a deep depression years ago. I struggled to find my way out of it and in the getting out of it. In the rising above it. In the acceptance of it and the surrender to it, I discovered poetry all over again. Through the words of someone else I was able to find my way again. The poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver is the poem that sheltered me and let me know that I could do this. From the very first line, I knew I had found a place for my diminishing sorrow and my growing hope.

Love,
S

The Wonders of This Week 15/52

Hello Friends,

I am borrowing a format from an artist to use here.  Blue Bird Baby is a fantastic blog. Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring. She uses a weekly format to document. I like this method of tracking the days and the process. I have modified her approach a bit.  Every week you document and you note by the week.  She documents her darling daughter’s life in a really lovely way.  Go check it out.

This week I am:

Writing

This.

P is for Every Picture Tells a Story

2013-10-23 13.00.46

Choosing joy at the age of four

 

Reading

Believe it or not I am reading a lot about powdery mildew. My roses are afflicted. Badly afflicted. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I love my roses and want to see many blossoms this season.

Watching

So, this scene always makes me cry, but in a good way. Watch and smile, and cry…

Thinking

About my brother. He means the world to me and I miss him.

Wanting

Okay, I know I have talked about this already, but it is still what I want most.

via DJA West

via DJA West

Listening

Needing

More time. Isn’t that what we all need? Come on brothers and sisters, don’t we all want a little more time?

Coveting

This.

via Simply Seleta

via Simply Seleta

Wearing

My favorite hot pink pumps!

2013-10-31 12.10.09

something similar

 

Eating

I am hosting a cocktail party tomorrow night for about 30 people and I think I will serve this.

via Foodie with Family

 

Drinking

This for no other reason than there are always things to toast to and celebrate. Celebrate with someone you love and soon…

champagne

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of sunshine, rain, and love.

Love,
S

P is for Every Picture Tells a Story

Hello Friends,
Today’s post is a bit personal. Please be kind.
Love,
S

 

Every Picture Tells a Story

Peaches have grown in California since settlers brought them to the region over dry creek beds, vast mountain ranges, and roaring rivers. With names like Arctic Supreme, Fay Elberta, Forty Niner, Redwing, and Somerset, the dreams and joys of many people are wrapped up in the notion of a peach. Sweet, sticky, juicy and maybe most important of all, fleeting; the peach can transport, enrich, and deepen one’s experience of summer.

The peach is a member of the rose family. Peaches and roses. With all things sweet, there are thorns and trade offs. I learned about trade offs in the summer of my seventh year. My mother had just moved us back to California. We were living in Auburn as if it was a way station, a stop along the way, after her heroine addict husband died in a car wreck in Wyoming during a snowstorm. Now that he was gone she could get my two young brothers back from the foster home she had put them in shortly after marrying him.

Auburn was a place where we regrouped and learned again to be a family. I shared a bedroom with my two brothers for many years after that. I may have said from time to time that I wanted my own bedroom but sleeping in the same room with them felt safe. I could listen to them breathe, deep sleepy breaths, labored at times over some bad dream, but other dreams would take their place and restore that soft breathing which reminded me that we were all together and safe.

Anne Marie looked like Shirley Temple in the movie Bright Eyes and she was my best friend. Because she was my best and only friend, she held a preeminent place in my life. Her mother, Marta, was good friends with my mother and so there were many opportunities for us to get together and play. We created imaginative lives full of rich stories of redemption and reward. Every story featured a heroine who was wronged at first but in the end always ended up with all the riches both symbolic and tangible.

One day we were left with a teenage boy to be looked after while our mothers picked up their welfare checks and took care of errands. The house they dropped us at had many windows and a little dog. As the dog yipped and snapped at our ankles our mothers drove away in someone’s borrowed car. The boy let us go through his music albums and we chose what we wanted to listen to. The sun streamed in through large many paned windows across the floral couch and sparkling glass-topped table. We lay on the cream-colored plush rug digging our toes into the long soft fibers with our long tangled hair splayed out around us like one of those drawings of the sun with many long rays spilling out all around, listening to Rod Stewart wail about Maggie May. We listened to the song over and over, singing along as the morning lazily turned to early afternoon.

He made us lunch and we sat at a small table in what can only be described as a breakfast room. Surrounded on three sides by floor to ceiling windows, a delicately woven floral rug covered the blond wood floor underneath our feet. He placed before us a cheese and bologna sandwich and a peach. As I ate my sandwich I could smell the juicy, almost cloyingly sweet peach. The colors of the peach were only heightened by light pouring through the windows. I don’t know if I had ever had a peach before, but this peach was like no other; juice dripping down my wrists and chin. Soft and tender flesh tinged rose with summer kissed color. Sweet, rich with flavor; this peach was a song and a summer day all wrapped up in one luscious bite.

You lured me away from home cause you didn’t want to be alone
You stole my heart I couldn’t leave you if I tried

As we listened to Rod explain to us what grown up life was like, as we sang along while finishing this amazing peach; I had a new awareness of my place in the world. I knew in that moment that I would never, ever, have another peach like that one. That very peach I was greedily devouring was the best peach of all. A sunny day with my best friend in a beautiful home where we could lounge on clean floors listening to a boy sing about his broken heart I knew this was one of those moments. Those moments when time stops and you see yourself experiencing something profound and fleeting.

About six months later, by the side of the freeway, Anne Marie was held for the last time in her mother’s sobbing arms as the last drops of life drained out of her. When the car crossed the median and crashed into another vehicle traveling south Anne Marie was flung through the windshield to land far off on the bank of the freeway.

By that time my mother had moved us to an old miner’s log cabin in the Sierras. We moved in with her nineteen year old boyfriend who had found this new home for us. We brought with us twelve baby chicks all of whom died within a week of moving there. The winters are cold and the drafts that swept under the doors and through the cracked windows were inhospitable to most life.