Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Malibu "roughing it"

There is very little roughing it going on in the hills of Malibu tonight. However, my students who yesterday were putting on their eye makeup in the middle of my sculpture class are now crowded around a fire, singing songs, and really joyful that they survived the two mile hike up here.

Something has to be said for that. I give all credit to the pacific ocean. Well done.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Home Part IV: I can tell that we are gonna be friends...

Adjusting, settling, finding home- three words that describe where I have been for all this time.

Hi, it's been a while... I know. I wish I could tell you what happens to me during the summer months that keeps me from this word box. I wish I could say I haven't had internet access or I haven't had time. Really, I've just been making friends with lots of different people and places, finding my place, and then driving away from it again (and again). From Pittsburgh to the Utah, Petrolia to Topanga, ever since I left Nashville I have been weaving in and out of the fabric of various stages of my life. And, loving the shit out of every moment of it.

I can't go back through it all. For one thing, it's just too much and I don't have the mental capacity to hash it back out again (and, I'm sure that eventually all will be told through various posts of remembering how epic the summer truly was). But mostly, it's because right now things are going really REALLY well- and I'd love to tell you about that most of all.

This is my new house. We live at the very top of it (actually you can't really even see our place in this picture but the house itself is so beautiful that I just had to share it) in a tiny little one bedroom with a back porch that makes you feel as though you live in a tree house. For us, it's perfect. The canyon holds a kind of community that is small and familiar yet exciting and vibrant. There are cafes and shops fives minutes away and in ten minutes you can find yourself on top of Tuna Canyon looking over the ocean and all of it's glory. My kitchen is the size of a wardrobe and mice eat my bread if I don't keep it in the fridge...but I really love it. Sometimes I pinch myself- who wouldn't?

Don't get me wrong...there are plenty of things that are overwhelming and scary. I miss a lot of things from my "homes" that I have collected over the past 5 years. But, as I sit at this desk writing in my little word box for the first time since June, I notice that there is a ring on my finger that was not there the last time I posted. A very important ring that probably contributes to the "home-ness" of this canyon, the apartment, and mostly of the man sitting as his desk beside me. It's a new path, a very important path, and a VERY exciting path.

So Topanga, you feel really good tonight. I can tell, we are gonna be friends.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Only in Nashville

Loretta Lynn's grandson just moved all the crap out of my house...

Only in Nashville.

The Open Road

If  I close my eyes my apartment goes back to looking like this...

But in all reality...I'm dealing with something more like this,

Needless to say,  moving is a beast. It's easy to feel unsettled and anxious. And, REALLY easy to convince yourself that you've put your contacts in the box that you won't be able to open until August. But, we're almost done and moving forward. New things... great things... exciting things all lie ahead.

Off on the open road... maybe we'll see you along the way?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I got it!

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life

I got it! 

I got the job I wanted, the one I loved, the one where I really felt at home and happy. What a big sigh of relief! What a great reason to celebrate...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Missing In Action

100 AIRPLANES Shaped Punches from Vintage Atlas Pages and Road Maps Hand Punched Great for Cards Hang Tags Decorating Journals Scrapbooks etc TRAVEL Theme Party Confetti

I'm sorry I've been so MIA recently. Planes, trains, and automobiles is my new moto when people ask me what I've been up to (except maybe take out trains and insert "moving boxes"). Needless to say, I'm busy and spending very little time here with you.

But, as I was reminded this morning- soon it will be summer. And summer equals a big sigh of relief that I made it through all of this (no matter the outcome).

I'm off to LA again! Working on convincing those educational institutions that they want to hire me... Wish me luck!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


As you are all well aware of by now...I'm on the move this summer. With only a tent for a home  and a backpack for a dresser, I will needless to say be a little out of touch during the months of June and July. I'll do my best to post when I can, but what I am more sad about is missing out on all the happenings of my internet reads!!! I know I know. Nell- you'll be in beautiful Northern California hiking, biking, swimming, and making art with friends and little Lost Coast campers- you don't need blogs! But still, I like my daily dose.

Thank goodness for bloggers who turn their blogging into books :) I can't wait to get my hands on both of these  so I can dive into little tidbits while I am out of service and in the wilderness. Since I don't have them yet, I can't give you book reports. But I can give you a little insight into what makes these ladies ideas and thoughts so worth reading...

My mom always taught me to write a thank you not for everything. Well, turns out Leah actually does. The way she give thanks to the little things in life is a true lesson in gratitude. And I have to say, the saying of "you can't be anxious when you are grateful" is hard to live by when one is waiting. But, she helps me remember- I have SO  much to be grateful for.

Oh and if you go here go can watch two lovely trailers for her book! Trailers for books??? Yes please and thank you!

Have I mentioned how thrilled I am about my future of year round fresh produce!?! I can only imagine the bliss I will be in to have fresh and local ingredients to make Super Natural Every Day food. Heidi's blog 101 Cookbooks is a bible of mine and as soon as I get my hands on it I will savor every fresh ingredient and beautiful picture she's got!

Happy reading- blog or books, whatever your style may be!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Lanyard- a day early

I'm headed out for the weekend to backpack with one of my most dearest Nashville friends. Nothing like some sweaty trail hiking to say goodbye to the ones you love.

But I had to post my annual Mother's Day poem for Mom. Especially since I won't be back till later tomorrow night. 

The Lanyard - Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite Mom's...especially to Ms. Jayne Adair the Fair.

Friday, May 6, 2011

For a good Mom's Day cry...

Raindrops Pattern Print - 8x10
raindrop print by Jaimers

Listen to his incredible

Every Friday morning I bawl my eyes out to this program, especially when parents are involved. I love NPR for never ceasing to make me feel such strong emotions about the relationship between child and parent. One I cherish SO much.

Love you Momma. Happy Mom's Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home Part III: New Old Friends Take Time

As I prepare for move #10 in my adult life (this does not count the move directly across the street that my family and I did when I was 12...) I'm thinking about the friends I am leaving and those I've already left (in physical nature of course- as most of you know, I'm a big time phone friend).

But really, it's hard...when you've got these folks that you adore inside and out. You know their mood swings, their shoe size, exactly what kind of wine they want every Saturday night, and their favorite burger at the burger joint around the corner. You know their signature lunch sandwich, their default radio station, their brand of soap, and the exact kind of chocolate they need at the end of the day. And most importantly, you know exactly how to say I love you and when you don't have to. It's hard to start over...

But! I've done it before and I can do it again. But just know that if I'm leaving you this time, I really don't want to. And if I've left you in the past, I miss the shit out of you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


There is really nothing worse than waiting. I know everyone says that patience is a virtue, but when it comes to your dream job I think that's just puff. Because in all reality when someone tells you they'll let you know in two seems like eternity. 

But in the end, that's the way it goes. So now I am waiting...

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow...
...just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
... just waiting.*

Tapping my toes, biting my finger nails, tapping my toes, biting my finger nails. 
*Quote from the oh so perfect Dr. Seuss and photo from only chair designer I'd be happy to wait in- Herman Miller.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Cuteness

I would simply be denying my childhood if I let this Royal Wedding go by without mention. I am flooded with memories of being a little girl, where Princess Diana was my definition of beauty and poise and Prince William was my husband to be...

Well, Will and I weren't meant to be for obviously reasons (thank goodness- I'm not cut out for all those flash photographs). And, even though I would love to watch the nuptials at 5am I have a big day tomorrow with some very important California business to take care of.

And anyway, we are so much cuter...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Leanne Shapton

 I have been loving the work of  Canadian artist Leanne Shapton. I just recently discovered her while reading Skippy Dies, and found myself oohing over the watercolor cover every time I picked it up. 

The classics revisited- found at the neo-traditionalist 

Then, I was so excited to find out that the NY Times has been doing a special in their op ed section called A Month of... By Leanne Shapton. Wahoo! There truly isn't anything better than being excited about an artist and then being able to dive head first into their work. My favorite "chapter" of this Month Of... is the Wednesday Patterns. I love how she takes a pattern she finds either on a towel that a house guest left or on a pillow case in a spare room to define the activities of her week. The colors are so rich and the patterns detailed and unique. I love it! 

Maybe I'll need to start making my own Wednesday Patterns? Today would look something like this one-
resembling the blisters on my feet from breaking in my spring time shoes...


Thank you Leanna Shapton! Your inspiration is exactly what I needed this week. Here is some more stuff to ooh and ahh over...

Beautiful leaf illustrations from her book The Native Trees of Canada. To learn more check out The Paris Review.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Preparing for the infestation

Cicada No.1 Original 11x15 Fine Art Watercolor As Seen In Italian Glamuor Style

I know I've been living in the future during my last couple of posts. How can I not???? There are so many changes on the horizon and quite frankly, it's IMPOSSIBLE not to think about them all the time. But yes, I know. Better to live in the present. Better to live and exist in the space that you are in.

Nashville, TN in the spring time...oh how I love the warm nights. My last month in Nashville is going to go by much quicker than I want it to. Garden parties and music shows. Dinners with friends and walks at my favorite lake. All must get done and I must do it all multiple times. Because even though it seems as though I just moved to this little town, those people and things that have touched me have touched me deep.

But then there are the bugs...BIG bugs. I just found out this week that there is this phenomenon that happens in Middle Tennessee every 13 years. A certain species of cicada's called Brood XIX infests the city of Nashville like nothing you've ever seen. Bugs in your hair, bugs plastered to your car, bugs hanging from the trees like Christmas ornaments. And of course, it happens only one month in Nashville, my last month...May. 

I guess the only thing to do is embrace the little critters. But, it's not helpful in the trying to live in the present department. Because apparently they just start crawling out from the ground...but the question is, when????

To read more about this crazy crazy event click here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

So spacious...

Dear Friends- Welcome to my new house...

...or at least the only tangible one I have on the horizon. With the big move approaching we don't quite know where we will be living once we leave our little Nashville duplex and head west. Although we keep tempting ourselves with craigslist in Topanga Canyon, we can't commit to a spot until  after we direct a camp in Northern Cali during June and July. Because honestly, LA rent makes you want to faint just looking at it, let alone paying for something that we aren't using.  

So... the only roof I have to rely on is this tent. This very large spacious tent that had two, count them 1-2- rooms (watch this amazing video to get the full experience- the accent will blow your mind)! In this tent we will live all summer amongst screaming camper, with our compact kitchen outside and our 45 lb. pup inside. The whole thing just arrived this week and we are so tempted to set it up in the backyard and test her out in the Tennessee wild. 

The pup says back room is all hers, and when she puts her DO NOT DISTURB sign up no one is allowed in. Oh, the teenage dog years can be so moody!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Part II: Premonition

Well, remember this

I must have been telling the future on that one because turns out, we're going California. To live for real. Our next Home.

COLLECTION of 3 Los Angeles Subway Sign Prints. Bus Scrolls. 11 x 17
Lovely prints to help me house hunt found here 

The boyfriend got the best job offer ever and the ocean is calling us. So we are packing up our classrooms and home to head for the Pacific Coast Highway, dog and plants in tow. Exit: Santa Monica.

We don't know where we'll live or where I'll work but the planning has begun. It's a big move with a lot of emotions. Mostly though, pure and uncensored excitement. It's hard to believe that Southern California will be the next stop on my timeline of "homes". I guess since it actually is home for the boyfriend, it feels less foreign. There is a community of love and warm meals waiting for us. Babies and chickens, avocado trees and fish tacos. Part of me is ready to go now. But I've got some lose ends to wrap up, a lot of hugs to give, and a couple of see you later's that will be especially hard. Have I mentioned how much I hate goodbyes?

But then I will be ready to head west once again. Pacific Standard Time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What an awful mother I am...

Blue Cupcake Card

...I forgot my blogs birthday!

April 1st passed by without even noticing and there went the one year birth of this little spot of rambling non-sense. In some ways though, it's appropriate that I remembered today. This 4th day of April is probably my biggest birthday day of the year. Carly, Meghann, Chas, my childhood dog Sophie, and more were all born today. SO, it's always been a favorite day for me. Happy Birthday friends, love you!

One year of blogging eh? There are a lot of things I've learned and done on this little url. and I am so thankful for all my dedicated readers.  I know most of you feel invested in it either because you birthed me (love you Mom and Dad) or you simply spent many years listening to my  ramblings and therefore want to know what's become of them. But either way, blogs would not be blogs if it's were not for you. So thanks...big time.

Tornadoes are fore casted for this afternoon. Makes me want to sit on my screened in porch and watch the lightening. I do love the month of April in the south- mysteriously turbulent.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Home: Part I

Found here

I'm feeling a little nostalgic about home today for various reasons (some of which are secret). Sorry I can't be specific quite yet but when I saw this today I got a huge smile on my face. Because Tad Carpenter (whoever you are), I couldn't agree more.

There will be more ramblings on the subject of home in the weeks to come (hence, Part I). Where is "home" for you? What makes it that?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Monday...and some gifts from Skye

As you know, my dear-and-oh-so-beautiful friend Skye Bonney came to visit me a couple of weeks ago. It was beyond lovely to have her in Nashville for a week. The ease at which we play together is remarkable. When we went to visit a friend of mine for juice and a chat she told me a week later that I looked 10 years younger with her around. Now that's the kind of person you want to keep!

We did lots of cooking things, crafty things, adventure things, and relaxing things. But most importantly, just as we used to do every night when we shared a house together, we listened to lots of new music things. Skye has always been my introducer to fine music. She stretches my boundaries and ideas, she pushes me to love things that I may not normally love, and when we see live music together man oh man do we dance up that floor!

Here are some tunes that I would love to see live with her (or anyone for that matter). I choose to share with you the ones that I had not heard of at all before her little visit. Maybe they will be new for you too!

Happy Music Monday!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bran Sunday Muffins

Stud Muffin on Brown Tshirt

When boyfriends go away for a week, a lot can happen. Dinners that are normally well thought out and planned turn into frozen pizza and veggie burgers, Glee suddenly becomes your most watched show on, and afternoon walks with the dog are longer and often quite faster. I'm not saying I hated the solitude. Having lived alone all last year there was something really beautiful about sleeping diagonally across the bed each night and blasting the radio alarm when my time goes off (15 min before his). But still, when I picked him up from the airport on Sunday- damn was I glad to see him.

Spring was here in Nashville... and now we are promptly back to winter. Temperatures in the low 40's and  have made this a house-bound-welcome-home-weekend. We did manage to take the pup to the dog park and meander through the farmers market... walking back into the house with frozen toes and fingers because we were dressed as if we were living 3 days earlier.

So, now Sunday afternoon has turned to evening. I'm still cold, the dog is chewing a bone, and the idea of leaving our heated little home sound dreadful. Then I realized- Muffins! Why didn't I think of that before???? No better way to welcome a loved one home then freshly baked goods. And this recipe has been growing mold I haven't used it for so long. My friend A gave it to the top she wrote Bran Muffins (Revised). I do not know where they are revised from, but in my humble opinion, they are perfect. The stud muffin of a boyfriend thinks so too.

Bran Muffins (Revised)
In One bowl, place...
3 cups All Bran cereal
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 vegetable oil 
3/4 honey ( if you measure honey in same cup after oil the honey slips out beautifully)
1 cup boiling water
Stir and let cool

In a large measuring cup, place...
2 cups buttermilk, beaten with
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl, measure dry ingrediants
2 1/2 cups flour (if you can use half whole wheat, half white)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add All Bran mix alternating with buttermilk to dry ingredients,
stirring until just blended.
You may cover this mixture and refrigerate it up to three weeks. 

Fill muffin cups (spray with Pam) and bake at 425 degrees, 20-23 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool on rack or serve hot.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Friday poem

4- TTV ocean prints-  5 x 5 photographs. Dark and twisty and awesome.

Lark & Merlin

By Tom Pickard

a wren,
perched on a hawthorn
low enough to skip the scalping winds,
sang a scalpel song

seafrets drift
sheer along shorelines

listening to hail spray glass
and wine
and a waitress laugh
in a cafe without customers
I fell to fell thinking

I've been thinking a lot about the ocean this week. Then I read this poem during my morning coffee and it all seemed to fall into place. There have been a lot of oceans in my life over the years. But, this one mostly reminds me of a small town on the Oregon cost. A small diner perched onto of a bluff. Gray skies, strong wind. Good people, hot coffee.

I would love to teleport myself there this weekend...this poem and picture found here helps.

Happy weekend daydreaming!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brooklyn love

James Gulliver Hancock

Mason Jar Music


For some reason all the fun things I keep finding are coming out of Brooklyn these days. Delicious bakeries, beautiful art, and incredible music. Having a couple of dear friends that live in that borough, I'm feeling a little jealous. Or, in hopes to take advice from my friend Emy and be more position this spring, I'm feeling joyful that they are there for me to visit.

For now I will just have to transport myself into this little studio (click here!) to hear these wonderful men rock my music loving soul. Good thing they are playing in Nashville next month... so I can give my own city a little lovin' too. Until then, maybe my Brooklyn buddies will send me a pastry from the goodness that is that spot Bakeri (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey neighbor- Happy Spring!

It's the first day back at school from Spring Break today. Needless to say, I'm behind. But it's the first day of spring and the day after my favorite neighbor's birthday. So in honor of Mr. Rogers and the lovely 80 degree day that Nashville is having, here is a little song to make you smile...

Won't you be my neighbor?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I learned at the Jack Daniels Distillery...

every day they make it, they make it the best they can
checkers and whiskey go hand in hand
it starts out clear
jack was only 5'2!
the whiskey soaks through coal...that's what makes it TN whiskey!
clean spring water makes the whiskey...that's why jack chose Lynchburg
the chili is really just Campbell's tomato soup!
 and my friend Skye is really beautiful.

And all of that without one sip of whiskey...that's what happens when the biggest distillery in the world is in a dry county. 

Oh Tennessee, sometimes you feel pretty special. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The evolution of a Skye Bonney pasta sauce

It all began with some Roma tomatoes and shallots...

It was a really beautiful dinner. Almost as beautiful as having her in town for a whole week.

Next on the list...homemade pizza with that sheep's milk feta. And, a  St. Patty's day feast is on the horizon.