Friday, May 31, 2013

birthday girl

I turn 24 today. Turned 24? Am in the process of turning 24? I'm not sure the proper tense but still, today is my 24th birthday and I am glad. I'm glad to have spent another year on this Earth surrounded by people I love. I'm excited about a new age and all that my 24th year brings. I know that this next year will be amazing. In September I marry Kenneth, which even if it were the only thing would foretell a wonderful year. However there is more, 2+4=6, six is my favorite number (two and three are second). It is also the year of the snake, my birth year was as well. Finally, when I reached into my kitchen drawer to pull out a new hand towel I pulled out the towel from 1989.
Clearly the stars have aligned in my favor for this next year.
Today was spent with my love. It started off with paleo waffles (thanks to civilized caveman and the paleo parents for the recipe and Kenneth for the cooking). I was beyond thrilled when this recipe showed up last week, just in time for my birthday! Waffles with pure Vermont maple syrup and fresh raspberries is a great way to start a day. Kenneth and I gorged and then cleaned off our balcony. We bought five tomato and three pepper starts this afternoon and are going to grow a little balcony garden this summer. With the plants outside and the aquaponics system inside we should be able to make delicious salads all summer long.
I loved today is a birthday because of how simple it was. Lots of delicious food, a whole day with my love, and a little home improvement. The older I get the more I appreciate simplicity and the joy in time with a loved one spent getting our hands dirty.

& this is to remind me to find my tripod. Tried to take a birthday portrait this morning and ended up with this:

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Right now, for me, life can be measured in loaves of zucchini bread. I am either eating zucchini bread, planning to eat zucchini bread, or lamenting the need to make more zucchini bread even though I baked a loaf two days ago. During my week quarantine I had plenty of time to bake zucchini bread and I experimented with two recipes. The one I prefer is by paleomg and is in fact a muffin recipe. The recipe pictured is a different recipe and was not as delicious but was certainly enjoyable especially when drizzled with grade A maple syrup my Kenneth brought me from Vermont. There is not much that can not be improved with a healthy drizzle of maple syrup or raw honey.

I have another loaf in the freezer and I was determined to wait until Tuesday to thaw it. I don't think I'll last that long.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

food rituals

 I'm sitting in my dining room with a mug of green tea next to me. I don't typically drink green tea but I need to go to sleep in four hours so I can wake up at six this evening and work an overnight at the store. When I wake up this evening I'll complete the ritual of pouring fresh water in the pot, scooping out fragrant grounds, and waiting impatiently for the cycle to complete so I can add almond milk and a drip of honey to my morning cup. I've started to wake up earlier than I technically need to before work so I can have twenty minutes for this coffee ritual. Twenty minutes to sit and savor and think and read before heading to a job where the time is not mine and there is no sitting or thinking.
For the past four days I've been in a casual quarantine due to a shingles diagnosis. I haven't been able to work but I have been able to spend time with Kenneth. We spent the first two days lazying on the couch because the steroids and the illness itself made me too tired to do anything but drink tea and drift into sleep. Yesterday, we cleaned the apartment and cooked crock pot ribs. We ate our meals at the table. Three meals a day, sitting across from each other. It feels right to eat together. To spend time in the kitchen, side by side, preparing plates of food. To pick out forks and knives and napkins and set the table. To fill water glasses for each other and finally, to sit. To enjoy together and to talk, or not. It is so rare for us to eat together but it does feel right when we do.

So we work, and wait (not so patiently on my part) for the day when we sit down to dinner every night. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Longwood Gardens, January

Kenneth and I went away to Lancaster, PA for our four year anniversary. It was our first trip since he proposed (on Christmas of 2012). It was a little bit of heaven in the middle of a cold winter. Before this trip I told Kenneth he needed to do all the planning. I work retail so doing anything besides surviving in the holiday season is impossible. I knew we wanted to take a trip but I knew if we waited for me to make decisions that we would never get anywhere.
 Kenneth found Lancaster, an industrial city in Pennsylvania. Just far enough a drive away to feel like a journey. He found a chocolate factory to tour and he found Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. In January, the gardens weren't really blooming, which was perfect because they were not filled with people. Without flowers everywhere the only thing to admire was the structure and without crowds there is the feeling of solitude and the time to slow down and enjoy.
The structured gardens with the skeleton trees and the stone gazebo by the still lake were absolutely captivating in combination. There was, as Anne says, "such scope for imagination." Walking around with Kenneth, my new engagement ring sparkling safely on my finger inside my purple gloves, was such a wonderful experience. It was wonderful to have the time in such a beautiful garden to dream a little and plan a little and wander without any real need to make decisions.
 Deep into the gardens, there is a tree house. A perfect tree house with a porch and glass windows and a dreamy staircase winding up the center. It is also guarded by dragons, which seems appropriate for a tree house built on the middle of the woods surrounded by Italian water gardens, English rose gardens, and a conservatory filled with orchids. I would have moved into this tree house in a heartbeat, if the option had been presented to me.
 And with this post, I'm back. Maybe. Returning this blog to what I started it to be. An online journal that reminds me of the adventures in life. A diary with pictures. A photo album with stories. Nothing perfect. Just thoughts and snapshots.