Thursday, August 27

with her

When asked about his definition of paradise, singer Johnny Cash gave this answer: "This morning, with her, having coffee." ("Her" being wife, June.) That quote has always struck me. How beautifully simple. The overlooked little things really are so so beautiful.
Little Miss and I have settled into the routine of sitting down to a little breakfast of eggs (scrambled for her, fried for me) once the older two leave for school. A sit down, slow breakfast. With her. Its pretty wonderful.

Paradise, really.

Monday, August 24

time well spent

Meet Rex and Sue. Aren't they cute? Not only are they cute, but they are little pulling machines. Ok, machines may be a strong word for them. What's a step below a machine? I don't even know. Moving on.
This summer Papaw has helped get Rex and Sue all ready for the horse pulling circuit. Lots and lots of training hours were spent. Time well spent. Every single hour that this little pair trained was worth it for the experience for my little Max. (Oh, and these pictures are worth gold as far I'm concerned.)





At this particular pull Rex and Sue came in last. Partly due to ill fitting equipment. Max wasn't too let down because afterward we headed to the midway for a few games, a lemon shake-up and an elephant ear.

Time well spent indeed.

Saturday, August 15

the books of june

June! I know, that was forever ago. I took these photos (in June obviously) and wanted to blog a little about them because talking about books is one of my favorite things.
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
This book had popped up a few times in my Amazon searches/book browsing so when I saw it at the library I snatched it up. It was a fun, whimsical book filled with family secrets and traditions and mystery. Two very different sisters live in the same small town: one is a chef, the other a hair stylist. The one sister (the chef) lives in the old family house that amazingly has a tree that blooms right after the first fall frost. I liked this book in June, but I think that I would have loved it in October, with a scarf around my neck and a pumpkin latte in my hand! Once I finished reading this I realized that it was actually a sequel to a book called Garden Spells. Shoot! I am kind of a stickler about reading books in order. Even thought I think it would have made more sense to read it after the first one, it could stand alone too.

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center.
I am a fan of Katherine Center, so I was super excited when I saw she had a new book out. This was a fun book, but I didn't really like it as much as some of her others. I'm not really sure why, it just didn't feel very authentic? (Maybe because I read Wild earlier this year and it is a book about hiking which was very raw and authentic?) The gist of this book is that a young women embarks on an extreme hiking trip after getting a divorce from her husband. She meets all kinds of people, and there is a love interest (who she never saw coming of course). Liked it, didn't love it.


Love Does by Bob Goff
I loved this book! I read this with my book club and we watched some of the videos that go along with it. (Think you can order the DVD that goes with this book on Amazon too.) Bob Goff is a big personality, and I kept thinking to myself, "Is this guy for real?" I think he is for real, and his life reads like a big crazy adventure. This is a book where each chapter can sort of stand by itself, so it reads like a devotional. I seriously laughed out loud while reading this, and also got some deep stuff out of it too. Highly recommend!

I hope to catch up and write the "books of July" list soon. What have you been reading? I would love to know!

Wednesday, August 12

out of practice


Oh hello!

It has been so long since I have checked in here! It appears that the non-scheduled days of summer are not very conducive to blogging regularly. Hopefully with the start of school (today!) I can get into a routine again. I am sad to see summer coming to an end so soon, but I am always one to welcome a little more structure to our lives. Doesn't it seem so odd to go back to school when the tomatoes are just now coming on in the garden? Tomatoes say summer, but the calendar says school. It may never seem "right" to go back to school so early!

Hope your August is off to a great start. I promise to not be so scarce!

Tuesday, June 9

pancakes

My recipes are a mess. I have this big binder, where I basically stuff every recipe we like in all sorts of different forms. There's magazine pages, print-outs off the computer, index cards, and my personal favorite: my chicken scratch style handwriting on envelopes and scrap pieces of paper. While I do love the randomness of all of this, it is really hard to find anything. On my "do whenever I have time" list (ha!) is to organize all the recipes. I would love to have something pretty, something personal with all of our family recipes in it. I would like lots of photos, naturally, so I have been trying to take photos as we make our favorites. I found this really neat photoshop template where the recipe page is all laid out for you, you just add in your photo and type in all the specifics. I like the idea of working on it (and maybe printing it) a page at a time, that way you could always add to it.

The other morning, one of the first official mornings of summer break, we made pancakes. I used to be a pancake mix girl--those are just so easy. Then, one day we wanted pancakes but didn't have any mix. Out came the old faithful Better Homes and Gardens's Cookbook. Come to find out, pancakes from scratch are really not that difficult, and I usually have everything that we need to make them. I always have lots of help on pancake day. It is hard to divvy up the tasks to keep my assistants feeling like that they are all helping equally, but we usually manage to find a job for everyone.
Look…fluffy!

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Combine all the dry ingredients, set aside. Combine the egg, milk and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined. Cook on a greased griddle or heavy skillet. Ada and I like our pancakes with fruit, so we add that in a few pancakes as we cook them. We've made blueberry, blackberry and raspberry pancakes--all delish! Serve up with butter and pure maple syrup.

*If you don't have buttermilk (who has buttermilk on hand, anyone?) put 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice unto a measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup and stir.

Happy Tuesday to you, gather your assistants and make some pancakes!

Tuesday, June 2

bouquet

A few weeks ago, our whole family was in the wedding of our dear friend Sarah. I was a bridesmaid, the girls were both flower girls. (You can only imagine how pumped they were to be flower girls!) Before Sarah left on her honeymoon, she gave me her bouquet to enjoy while she was gone. Her big, beautiful, flat out amazing bouquet. She asked me to take a few pictures of it because she forgot to. Of course! Pictures!

I took some "regular" pretty pictures of it in Ada's room, on the bathroom counter, in the "hangar". (The hangar is what we like to call our quonset hut. Hangar sounds like we might own some sort of aircraft. Really, the quonset is really a big storage building that resembles a large can on its side.) The hangar always has the most beautiful light, and it is often my most favorite place to take pictures. After taking tons of photos of this beautiful bouquet, I had an idea. Sarah and I had messaged back and forth about what she wanted done with this bouquet, and we talked about drying it. The problem with drying flowers is that they are never as beautiful as they were were when they were alive. I think I dried my wedding bouquet only to throw it away later. I suggested that photos of the flowers would be way better than a dusty dry bouquet anyway.

I didn't tell Sarah my actual plan, but I just went for it knowing she would be ok with it! I took snippers to that bouquet and cut all the heads of those beautiful flowers. Roses, peonies, ranunculus, succulents. It felt so awful to do it, but I knew it would be worth it!

Now for a few pictures. For kicks, first here is a photo of my assistant. This girl loves flowers, and she tells me she wants to be a florist and a chef when she grows up. This gives you a little peek into our setup in the quonset: a ladder, some barn wood, the flowers.


Here's just a few photos we took. I took so many pictures of these flowers. They were so so pretty.




Thank you so much for trusting me with your bouquet Sarah! It was the most fun I've had in a while!

Friday, May 29

arrest of attention

Yesterday, a photographer I follow posted a beautiful picture on her Facebook feed, along with this quote:

"I feel that art has something to do with the stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction."
Saul Bellow

The arrest of attention. Love that.

Does a quote ever just grab you? This one did me. Maybe because I feel a pull towards "stillness" lately. What mom of three doesn't feel a pull towards stillness? Maybe because the more I study and the more know about art it feels like (for me at least) it needs to be a form of prayer. Art and prayer, prayer and art. The two are so very linked together. So funny that I have loved art for my entire life, and I feel like I have been skirting around it, never getting to the heart of the art that I need to make because in order to get there you need to get to the heart of God first.


I know! Deep thinking on a Friday! Hope your weekend is great.