Mar 27 2012

Soupapalooza Week 4 – Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs

soupYep, I did it. Four new soups in my repertoire and they’re all keepers. Really truly. We all loved this one – it has meatballs, so ya, of course. Take a gander over at Simple Good and Tasty if you wish.

Mar 21 2012


Saint James got a phone for Christmas because it was time. It’s a cheap little phone, not a smart phone. He can only use it to text and call. This way, when he roams, we can reach him and he can reach us. For the first couple months the phone was languishing somewhere in his room, usually out of batteries. Now it’s fully charged, in his pocket or in his hand at all times.

A few days ago, Dash heard it vibrating when he was saying good night to Saint James. Saint James played dumb and pretended it wasn’t his until Dash found it on his nightstand and saw that there were texts from a bunch of girls. They had a chuckle, Saint James was a little red-faced, but no biggie. I tried to look at the messages later that night, but he had deleted everything. Foiled.

Next came the talk about not deleting messages because we need to make sure everything is kosher, followed by the talk about being a gentleman and a good guy and a good friend in person, but especially in writing.

He seems reasonably open to our talks, although the texting is definitely on the upswing. Dash and I are doing the dance – all a’dither with each other about our kid texting with girls, but totally chill about it with Saint James, because it’s no big deal – you know, guys and girls should be friends. We’re trying to convey the rules and parameters, while giving him space and respect, while still letting him know we have an eagle eye on him, while allowing him to feel like his own person, while spying on him, without him feeling like we’re spying because we’re not really spying because everything we’ve read and heard says parents need to monitor this stuff, while not embarrassing him, while embarrassing him just enough. It’s a pickle and I, for one, am floundering.


This morning I picked up his phone to see if he had stopped erasing messages per our talk and I was horrified to find that the texting with many girls has jelled into an awful lot of texting with one girl. An AWFUL lot. And aside from the purposefully atrocious spelling and grammar, these texts were surprisingly substantive. They texted about books, movies, soccer, the new kid, homework and I had to stop reading because it just went on and on and on. Dash came home from work and I was in a state.

I don’t know how to feel. I know this is normal. I know this is good. I’m happy he’s able to have a seemingly normal friendship with a girl at the ripe old age of 11. I’m happy he’s a social creature. I’m happy someone else gets to see what a good kid he is. But but but . . .

I just feel like I’m standing on a cliff, the winds of change whipping fiercely around me. And I’m ill-prepared. This is my baby boy we’re talking about.

Mar 7 2012

Love Ever After

loveeverafter3Oh, my friends, prepare for the prick of tears under the bridge of your noses.

This project by Lauren Fleishman is so beautiful. In Love Ever After, she documents Brooklyn couples who have been married more than 50 years. It’s the sweetest thing. The one that kills me is the little old man who says: Now I’m going on 88. My wife is 85 and I’m only wishing for another 5-6 years of life. That’s all we want.

I wonder – if you have lived a life so full of love, is it possible you are satisfied, filled up, complete, when you reach the end? Wahhhhhhh.

Jan 17 2012

And just like that

I became the mother of a boy who went snowboarding wearing nothing but a short sleeved t-shirt under his coat. I used to see these boys in the chalet, with their wind burnt faces and bare arms, slurping giant sodas, ravenously bent over trays of food or guffawing with their buddies. I used to see these boys and wonder about their mothers. Surely, a thermal under that t-shirt wouldn’t have been too much to ask for. A fleece neck warmer perhaps?

I don’t wonder about those mothers anymore. I’m just happy he’ll wear a coat at all. What’s next, snowboarding in a hoody? Over my dead body.

Then again, that’s how I used to feel about neck warmers.

Dec 24 2011

Merry Christmas

watertowerusI love Christmas Eve. Growing up, that’s the day we would throw the house out of the window. That’s a Spanish idiom basically meaning, have a party, do it up, frolic and fest. Tirar la casa por la ventana. Sounds better in Spanish. Something about the anticipation makes eves a little more compelling than days, in my book. We hosted a brunch with some very old friends in the morning, which was such a lovely mellow start to the day. After putting away the last folding chair and coffee mug, the day just kind of unfolded in its own rhythm. Here in the little apple, it happens to be warm enough to sit on the front stoop with a beer. Late afternoon we took a walk to one of our favorite perches in the city. Someday I’ll tell  you about how much I love a good perch. The watertower in Tangletown is a medium walk from our house and never fails to elicit sighs from on high. At this time of year you can see downtown through the trees, but it’s that heady feeling of elevation, of seeing a blanket of tree tops, that gets me every time. And those stoic, handsome soldiers, protecting our pure waters. We just love it. Happy eve, everyone!watertower

Dec 7 2011

I did not die.

peacock-info0OK, so maybe I was being a titch dramatic. It’s like riding a bike, hey! Shreddy and I had a gorgeous day. I have officially taken winter by it’s cold little balls. ROOOAAAR!. Now begins the time when I begin to shadily blow off all housely, wifely, motherly duties and blame it on snowboarding.

Dec 6 2011

Ay! Dios Mio!

You guys. I am TOTALLY freaking out. Later this morning I’m meeting Shreddy Betty at Buck Hill and I am DYYYING right now. My hands are shaking, my knees are quaking, I am completely petrified, and yet I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it. Will I remember how to board or break my neck on my first run? Oh, Sweet Baby Jesus. I knew I’d be like this after a whole springsummerfall off. Hell, I’d even get squirrely after not boarding for a couple days. Shit shit shit. Wish me luck. Poor Shreddy. Little does she know the state of affairs heading her way this morning. SHIT.SHIT.SHIT. There is a lightly falling snow. That can only be a good omen. Right? RIGHT?????

Dec 4 2011

Oh, snow!

out-of-focus-christmas-lights-110661300064676ePJIt snowed  last night and now our little corner of the world is tucked under a wooly white blanket. As I type, I hear buzzing snow blowers and yelling children from the sledding hill out front. Snowbound on a Sunday (but not really) – it’s a lovely place to be and way to be. I can’t quite decide if I want to build a fire and huddle up in the house for the rest of the day, or run around outside in my pajamas. Likely, I’ll do a little of both. The only thing I know for certain is that I won’t be changing out of the flannel shirt and longjohns I wore to bed last night. So don’t come visit. Or do. I won’t mind.

Today is the day, in fact, that we had planned to kick off our season of merry-making. This is the day I make empanadas and we put up our Christmas tree. Mama Nature just happened to oblige with a little ground bling.

Right around four o’clock, when the last child is home from the birthday parties and soccer practices of the day, we will shut the door, make a fire, crank the tunes and put up our Christmas tree. We’ll eat dinner on the rug in front of the fire while we admire our handiwork and bask in the twinkly glow of Christmas lights. Oh, man. Christmas lights. Just. One of the best things ever. Right?

Enjoy the snow, friends.

Nov 24 2011


A beautiful video of a beautiful natural phenomenon for you on this beautiful holiday. Thank you to Mamarstiste for sending it to us.

Also thank you to Lady Homeslice and Mr. Lady Homeslice for folding my little vagabond family into their celebrations on Thursday night. It was truly delicious in every way. You all know how much I love living here – how I very much feel like we choose this city, every single day. But our families aren’t here, and sometimes I wonder if that’s a huge mistake, especially around the holidays. I don’t know the answer to that – it is something that I struggle with, for sure. I miss them deeply. But I do know that we have friends here in this little apple that feel like family – no, that are family.

And today I’m thankful for that.

Nov 8 2011

Ever wonder

horse(Photo of Buddy and his wooly friends taken by Mike Braucher of Braucher’s Sunshine Harvest Farm)

what all the vendors at the farmers market do after the markets close for the season? Well, I decided to find out and boy, was it ever inspiring to chat with and get to know my fave farmers, fishmongers, bakers, ranchers, cheesemakers and chefs from the Kingfield Farmers Market. I know some of you are Kingfield luvahs like me, so you’ll find this little sneak peak behind the curtains especially interesting. Check it out!

Nov 3 2011

Sheep Lawn Mowers?

03SHEEP1-articleLargeDid you guys see this article in the NY Times about agricultural start ups? The tough economy has caused some people to think out of the box, get creative and get back to our roots. Eddie Miller is a 23 year old who started Heritage Lawn Mowing Company in Oberlin, OH. His sheep eat your dandelions and grass, no fossil fuels are consumed and he doesn’t have to feed them – a win win win. Regardless of its chances for actually working as a business, it’s a charming idea and a good reminder that while big food and agriculture is running amok, there are lots of people on the ground – literally – who understand and are working for change. Supergirl is going to flip when I show this to her. She’s been begging for a goat for ages.

Oct 3 2011

Girl Power

On Sunday night we went to see the Minnesota Lynx play game one of the WNBA finals against the Atlanta Dream. They’re the best team going in Minnesota right now and it was such a blast. LOUD music, rowdy fans, plentya hootin and hollerin, and complete, unabashed GIRL POWER. Damn!

I can’t decide if it was better for my girls to see that or my boy to see that. GO LYNX!

p.s. secretly, I’d love to go back with a bunch of ladies, drink a ton of beers and then go dancing. Maybe the Lynx would like to come with us?

Sep 20 2011

Eggplant Love

eggplant1Hey ho! After being the shadiest writer alive all summer, I managed to squeak out a post for Simple Good and Tasty about the beautiful bodacious eggplant. Check it out here, homeys.

Sep 7 2011

Change of weather. Bon Iver.

Bon Iver’s music makes me heart-achey, in the very best of ways. Last month at the Orpheum, I was expecting a stripped down acoustic rendering of those tender and soaring songs I love so much. I had a vague notion that Justin Vernon would be alone on stage, sitting on a stool with a guitar, a laptop and a crazy looking microphone – maybe something with a funnel over it, or gold chainmail, or a fluffy cotton mitten. I try not to read about shows ahead of time – I don’t want set lists or context. Wide-eyed and free of expectations works for me, and that balmy Tuesday night was no exception.

As I settled into my seat, I scanned the crowd – chockablock with bespectacled lumberjacks and their ladies. No surprises there. But the stage was set up for a band, and from the looks of it, a big one. I turned to my husband and clapped my hands. I might have even said wheee! There is nothing on this earth that I love more than being roughed up by a wall of sound – except for maybe a rockin’ male falsetto. I was definitely in the right place.

The room was practically thrumming with anticipation and frankly, unabashed fandom for the low-key and hugely talented Vernon. This wasn’t lost on him and he was almost sheepish as he took the stage in his cute Western shirt, flanked by an enormous nine-piece band. They launched into Perth and because I was seeing it with my own eyes, my ears opened to just how many instruments and voices go into Bon Iver’s textured, intricate, ethereal sound. Multiple percussionists, horns and guitars backed Vernon, sometimes singing, sometimes switching instruments mid-number, filling the songs out to their absolute richest. And his voice. That voice. Is sublime.

At times the band was rocking so hard that it begged for standing up and moving into the swell. In the next breath, Vernon would pull back and quiet would unfurl like a blanket. It was gorgeous. And like the best live shows, the feeling of having witnessed something special lingers well after the last encore and the screaming applause. I walked around for days, my thoughts straying to the show, a knot of warmth in my chest right in that spot where I felt the drums.

Complicated, variegated, moody, romantic and vulnerable, I can think of no better soundtrack for this time of year, when we turn our faces to the weakening sun and hold thoughts of winter lightly behind our backs like an old tennis ball. Give a listen to Calgary. Doesn’t it sound how right now feels?

Aug 12 2011

You feeling it?

MontistripesI’m feeling it. Best part of summer, baby. Right here. Right now. But it’s flying faster than a newly minted five year old bike rider veering wildly down a hill. Yikes! Feeling slightly out of control, but luh uh uh ving the ride.montibike

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