Thursday, May 31, 2012


when my computer monitor goes to sleep at night, a slideshow of images from the past rotate through like a dream screen.  there was a glitch last night and the slideshow got stuck.  when i came into the office this morning with my mug of coffee, sleepy with an edge of defeat, this is what i saw:  an image from the 2009 archives.

i really really love it when i ask for a "sign" and the response is this clear.

thank you universe.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

one hundred things i love {51-60}

51. the wee patio outside my kitchen door.  here lives a little herb garden, ivy growing wild and free and the rusty old blue schwin.
52. chai and rainbows.
53. that i can be in a total loser mood and force myself to think about ten things i love and the funk shifts.  just like that.
54.  heading to the karma garden first thing in the morning to water.  the combination of silence and growth makes it my favorite way to start a day.
55. wanderlust.  currently dissonantly dreaming about india and disneyland and dollywood and letting the pacific rush over me.
56.  my husband has the best voice.  seriously, sometimes he can be talking about our stock portfolio or mowing the lawn or taking the dog to the vet and i get all swoony.
57.  he reads to me in bed.  i am lucky.
58.  striped maxi skirts. 
59.  eating vegetarian.  because i can live on falafel and avocado and sweet potatoes.
60.  the traditional mennonite families that sell their fruit and veg and pie at the farmers market.  they have a quiet and solid presence that is so rare.  i am intrigued by their way of life.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

dear universe

thank you in advance for my beautiful, life-changing, soul-blossoming journey to india.

and the amazing new job.


{amazing photo credits here.}

Friday, May 25, 2012

happy long weekend

in the states, we celebrate memorial day to remember those who made sacrifices for us. 

we also mark it as the official beginning of summer!

this weekend, i plan to make a ginormous list of things i want to do this summer.  i already know that gardening is on the list (wee tomatoes are popping out).  beautiful salad creating and eating of beautiful salads naturally follows.

also:  rollercoasters.

what's on your summer list?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

if i look close enough

i can see new reasons to hope.

and discover little things that may not yet be ready for full-out flight.

sometimes patience is hard.

Monday, May 21, 2012


i'm not so sure about you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


yes friends, it is indeed more green food. 

i was inspired to make this hummus a few weeks ago when i combined leftover guacamole with leftover hummus while cleaning the fridge.  it was yummy, but i knew it could be even more green and fantastic.

herb and avocado hummus
two cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup tahini
one whole head of garlic, roasted
one or two ripe avocados
zest and juice from one lemon
two handfuls herbs (i used parsley, tarragon, basil and dill)
olive oil
salt and pepper

remove outer paper from garlic, keeping head intact.  drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil.  roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until soft.  when cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from paper into food processer.  add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil.  process until smooth, adding olive oil as needed.  taste, then season with s&p if needed.

seriously the only thing that could make this better is more avocado.

and goat cheese and arugula and perfectly ripe tomatoes the color of the sun.

super fresh and jam packed with vitamins, protein and the good fat that makes your skin glow and your heart beat happy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

tiny memoir: flowers i have known

  • my dad used to buy orchid wrist corsages for my mother and i every easter to wear to church.  i used to love to sneak into the dark kitchen the night before, open the refrigerator and see them lit up in their glasslike boxes.  the contrast they provided sitting next to the jar of best foods and leftover tuna casserole was one of my first lessons in the power of beautiful things.
  • also:  the power of being fancy wearing orchid corsage.
  • there was a very large gardenia bush on the side of my childhood house on castro lane.  it was right under my window and i used to love to open my window on hot summer nights and let it scent the air in my room while i slept.  that deep sweet headiness permeated my dreams so often that even my current dreams sometime smell like gardenia.
  • it is also the scent of my first broken heart and any other personal turmoil that kept me awake at night.
  • camillias.
  • one night my friend and i snuck out of the house and smoked clove cigarettes under the stars in a neighbor's dark backyard.  the yard was surrounded by a fence completely clothed in blooming jasmine.  a thousand tiny white flowers caught the glow of the moon and made a theatre scrim of starlight.  it was a night of whispering secrets and trust and laughter tinged with danger.  to this day wild abandon smells like jasmine and clove and stars.
  • i got lost once on a family hike.  i became a bit melodramatic in my panic and feared dying in the woods or my parents grounding me for the rest of my life for veering off the trail.  after an hour, i turned to the south and came upon a valley of california wildflowers. i don't know if you've ever seen california wildflowers, but it looked something like this.  in an instant, i knew and loved and trusted being alone and independent.  i learned that a curious spirit is rewarded.   and i thought, yes, i could die here.

Monday, May 14, 2012


things just seem to be broken. 

my body is positively mutinous.  (seriously, who gains weight when they do bikram yoga and/or become a vegetarian?  um, that would be me.)

i keep telling my heart to be grateful and joyous, but it really really wants to be in a bright blue funk.

i try to smile and put a hopeful spin on things, but the thoughts and words seem disingenuous.  then i roll right into self-loathing because i hate a phony more than anything.

words i say or express online end up sounding stupid or needy or angry or basically anything other than what i intended them to be.

my juicer broke.

my bike has a flat tire.

we don't get a salary raise again (fifth year and counting).

i've written and rewritten this post several times and it never feels quite right.

okay, since i seem to be spilling it here, i don't think zooey deschanel is cute.  in fact, she comes off a wee bit moronic in the iphone commercial.  "is that rain?"  idiot.

now i feel bad because i've resorted to name-calling. and i'm not sure why i care so much about zooey deschanel.

well actually, i don't feel that bad.  i just typed that because that's what a mature caring human being would feel and i want you to think i am a mature caring human being.  i feel something like....better.  like putting all the stupid broken bits into words discharged some of their power.   it feels good to not be pretending that it's all good and to not yammer on about tomorrow being another day.

sometimes a girl just needs to nod to the broken bits.  sometimes she needs to sound pissy and ungrateful and a bit bratty and indulge in a good old fashioned temper tantrum. 

i did try to dress it up with a colorful photo.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

sunday grace

as the sun glows through the wee forest this morning, i light five sticks.  it is completely silent except for quiet birdsong and a faint rustling of leaves.

mother's day is a hard day for me.  my relationship with my mother is complicated.

my own role as a mother was not my best work.

sometimes i feel like an imposter because my profession involves assessing others' abilities and challenges as parents.

who am i to judge?

so i sit in silence and listen to my heart.  the heart that aches with regrets and missed opportunities and a thousand magical wishes for a do-over. 

one is lit for forgiveness:  for her and for myself.

one is lit for acceptance:   for lessons learned.

one is lit for gratitude:  there were really really good things too and i know that it could have been much worse.

one is lit for grace:  for its gentle comfort when history manifests in not-so-kind ways.

one is lit for truth:  that i can stand brave within it and authentically help others.

then my spirit lightens as the air is softly scented with champaca, anise, rose and pine.

and i can let go of the past and just be myself.  with my history, my wounds, my mistakes, my strength, my courage, my grace.

i can move forward, not from a place of judgment, but from this place of service and compassion.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


on mother's day weekend, i have to remind myself of the less obvious things that have nurtured me.  those things that provide sanctuary and safety and acceptance and love, like good mothering.  these do in a pinch.

Friday, May 11, 2012

picnic {№13}

a day off.

the best story i've read in a long time.

sunny and seventy-five degrees.

a girl and her backyard.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

around here, things are growing

organic goodness.

rooster wranglers.





happy family picnics.

limonataness.  (thank you feast!)

vegetarians (feast! again).

california wonderness.

grow-our-owness.  (organic green zebras!)

beautiful messness.


{at a taste of the farm festival, awesomely put together by the local food hub.}

Saturday, May 5, 2012


there are days when i feel like my skin is made of paper thin glass, transparent and vulnerable.  when things like words and people and barking dogs and raindrops and minor mishaps threaten to shatter me, leaving me pile of sparkly shards.  dangerous to those who come too close.

the weird thing is, i kind of like it when i feel like this.  i am reminded of how strong i am most days.  a bright fierce light-reflecting warrior girl. 

made by fire.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

sometimes i get homesick

and i just discovered the best cure shy of hopping on a plane:  i can go for a bike ride on the streets of my hometown.  just like when i was a kid.

click on the link to take a ride.