Thursday, September 30, 2010

this big.
lunch in nyc,
last sunday.
with my mom, and my niece, and our friend.
and me and tim and anna.
and big french bowls of hot chocolate, and pots of tea, and omelets.
and talking talking talking.
a really happy day.


and, i'm thinking about switching rooms around: moving the dining room into the livingroom and vice versa. anyone ever done that? it moves the dining table (just slightly) farther from the kitchen, but i think the livingroom would be cozier in the back of the house.

what do you think?


i swore to myself that i wouldn't talk about the weather here so much, but seriously.
"it's not the heat, it's the humidity."
nope, it's pretty much all of it that's getting to me.
i need a chill in the air and a crunch underfoot. and now.
i've got sweaters to wear, and scarves to wrap up in.
and boots! boots that are sitting, forlorn, in the closet.

ok. back to work.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


on this wednesday,
the sun is shining,
and good things are happening.

my husband's over there working
at the desk next to mine.
dinner is already on the stove,
and i get to watch the girls kick a ball around this afternoon.
anna went off to kindergarten smiling this morning,
and today, i have a new project to begin working on.

it seems that everything is going to be ok, after all.

i'm feeling all filled up with hope and promise.
and stuff.

what's cooking for you?


on bond street, nyc.

and oh!
i meant to mention,
good things happening with some friends, too:

martha's scarfshop is open! as in love with her new site as with the scarves, themselves.

and amber is featured over at etsy. her candles and soaps are lovely; she is lovelier, still.

and i simply can not wait to get the newest book from lines & shapes. everything maria + lena do is inspired and inspiring.

ok, there you go!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the crispness of fall is proving elusive;
like walking through a beaded doorway of sticky heat
as we make our way to the kindergarten.

but still,
things are shifting, i notice.

even the girls will wear sleeves and socks in the mornings.

and where in summer the end of the first pot of tea
ends up in a pitcher in the fridge,
now there is a second pot,
waiting on the counter until a late late morning break.

last night tim and i heard noises in the house.
a teaspoon clinking. the light switch flicking on with a snap.
small quick noises, but enough to wake us out of good sleep
and send tim downstairs.

in the morning, i find a teacup on its side by the girls' bed,
a book on the floor.

things are always so deeply mysterious in the night
when you don't know for sure.

the wind is up now and a wet breeze is coming in.
time for another cup.



washington square park.
no (!), she didn't jump in,
just down to the next step.

Monday, September 27, 2010



a few random things and thoughts::

i talked tim into dropping off my film from yesterday, so i should have it back soon. i'm excited, because every time i finish going through a roll, i'm pretty sure i'll never take another photo i like again. these are the end of the last roll, and although none of them seemed just right at first look, at this point, they've grown on me so i thought i'd post them after all.

one of the things that i'm learning about tim now that we are working together out of our home office is our different choices in music on pandora. i usually pick something like "iron and wine radio", or "jose gonzalez radio."

right this minute tim has us listening to "lionel richie radio." hmn.

i miss anna when she's at kindergarten. i may have mentioned this before.

it's raining and we had leftover soup for lunch and i have a lasagna made for dinner and i've folded nine loads of laundry today and the cats just came in to see what we were up to,

and i can't imagine anywhere i'd rather be than here.

ok, then.

enjoy monday.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

washington square park.
a day spent with me and tim and anna,
and my mother,
and my (beloved...hello k.) niece,
and our friend, visiting from denmark...

and we ate, and talked, and walked and walked and walked.

and tim and i thought maybe,
just maybe,
we might come back into the city,
one day soon,
just us two.

when i get my film back,
i'll tell you more about the fabulous bookstore we went to.
(more on my favorite if i can find another link...)

for now,
i'll just say goodnight.
and best wishes for a good week for all of us.


ok, found another link::
isabel asha penzlien

Saturday, September 25, 2010

things that perhaps should not be black and white.

film. pentax k1000. ilford 3200.

Friday, September 24, 2010

friday happiness::
well, this is a tough one this week.

this has been one tough week.

but i have this:
our morning walk together to and from anna's school.

and i have this, from mary oliver, :
every morning i walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, i am as good as dead.
every morning, so far, i'm alive.

and i have this:
the doors of my heart, far from closing,
seem flung wide open still,
for everyone to either stand and stare
from outside,
or to smile gently
knowing i welcome them in.

enjoy friday, and onward.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


things i like right now::

watching "to catch a thief" and noticing that cary grant is wearing his scarves like mav.

chana masala::i make molly(brandon's) recipe, more or less. i've made it three times in two weeks and had last night's leftovers for breakfast.

one of my revelations this week was when my meat-eater, lindsey, kept sneaking down to steal more chana masala.

another tip is that if your eleven year old asks for supplies to make scarecrows with the little kids in the neighborhood, just say yes.

also, you will pretty much melt and cry if that eleven year old is wearing lip gloss while putting her teeth under her pillow for the tooth fairy.

i'm also here to tell you that you will need, at some point, to let go. and settle for being a polite, caring roommate to your children, if only for a few hours every day. to start.

because in the beginning, they will come back each night and hug you hard, and ask you to tickle their back and make them oatmeal.

but it is all in preparation for the day
when both of you
will have to
live apart.

and if you think that's a long ways away,
or that you will be ready...
i'm here to tell you,
it's not.
and you won't be.
but you will have to be.
and you will have to be ok.

more soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

morning, evening.

today was so much better.
stellar, even.

circumstances have not changed.
we get up.

we wake to a warm, smiling five year old.
big girls who dress themselves and hug us goodbye.

a wooded path we can walk on our way to kindergarten.
and feeling productive in the empty hours without them all.

juggling, guiding, following them throughout the rest of the hours,
watching them move through their days of small triumphs
and well managed defeats.

and then nightfall.
and candles,
and dinner and stories and songs and bedtime.

and then time to ourselves.
and already time to think about tomorrow.

and tomorrow,
will be more of the same.

oh, i hope so.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

hi from sunday night.
i'd like to say that today was pretty crappy. if you'll excuse the term.
we've got some stuff going on, ungoverned by us, that's...well...pretty crappy.

now, i'm old enough to know that you can't blame anyone but yourself for how you deal with stuff. stuff will happen that you can't control, true. but it's up to you, and no one else, how you deal with stuff.

today was crappy.
this most perfect, beautiful day was spent, for the most part, shuffling papers and working on computers and worrying, worrying, worrying.

so what did i do?
well, what do you do when the going gets rough?

i get cooking.

i made bread.
i made pesto. about six cups; four for the freezer, one for the fridge, one for tonight.
i roasted (am, now, actually) a chicken on a bed of onions.
i toasted some walnuts and tossed them with butter and brown sugar and a.lot. of cayenne pepper.
i did seven loads of laundry, and am just quite halfway through the pile.
i folded three loads of laundry. (this is where the trouble arises.)
i made an apple pie.

i reminded tim that time is awasting, and he took anna out for a bike ride.
a friend came over for a glass of wine.
the light is softening into the perfect last summer evening.

crappy: you've got nothing over me.


Friday, September 17, 2010

friday happiness::
last night i stood in a small room surrounded by photos i had taken, and friends i was so happy to see.

my first small, self-published book arrived from the printers, just in time for the opening party.
(you can see more photos here, and more information here.)

glad to have gotten through this week of firsts for our family.

happy to have a weekend ahead of:
walking, and cooking (tiny brussels sprouts from the market! soups! cookies!);
catching up on sleep, and going for a long explore in the truck;
a fire out back on the patio, quilts over our knees, and a girl or two on our laps.

doing laundry after an entire week with a broken machine.

switching the sunhats and flip-flops in the baskets at the door for lightweight scarves and "emergency" socks.

anna in hand-me-down maryjanes.

enjoy the weekend, friends! and thank you so much for your support and encouragement about my first exhibit. i truly could hear you all cheering me on last night.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

pretty funny + my polaroids

tonight tim and i went over to our friend stephanie's store, and hung a number of framed photographs i've taken of the historic cemetery in our town, sleepy hollow cemetery.

tomorrow night, in addition to all of the fabulous vintage goods that stephanie has to offer, there will also be my photographs: original polaroids, framed. prints of digital photographs, framed. unframed prints for sale. and also (deep breath here...) a small book of my polaroids of the cemetery and other local landmarks for sale.

i am excited, nervous, bashful, and proud of this exhibit. and frankly, as i am so pleased with how it all looks-the images i chose and the quality of the framing, prints, and catalog- that i'm already counting it a success.

if you are local, please come by and see what stephanie has put together in her store for the fall.
and please walk into the back room, say hello, and look at what i consider a really lovely tribute to this place i have always called home.

best wishes.
we are back to school and getting in the swing of things.
sometimes i forget during the day where the kids are. i almost forgot to get anna from kindergarten yesterday. i guess i had it in my mind that she must be somewhere around here playing quietly.

the big girls seem to be taking it all in stride. getting themselves up and dressed and out the door on time. so far, so good.

tim and i walked anna to school this morning along the aqueduct. the weather was perfect and anna pointed out things in people's backyards along the way. i mentioned that i had gone to kindergarten in the same school anna is now going to, and tim was surprised to hear it. funny, how even after several years there are things-little details and long stories-we still have to tell each other.

when i kissed anna goodbye, she walked into the big room with all of the other kids, and then walked right back out. i had to lead her to her class line, and leave with her clinging to my scarf and crying. i don't know that i will ever be able to take that sort of thing easily. i can go get her in an hour, and i know perfectly well that she will have had a happy time in school. i've done this all before. but still...

and so it goes. we do as much as we can to adjust things here and there, to make our days go smoothly, to build some simple pleasures into the routine. but things will still break down now and then. we just need to patch it all together, keep moving forward. remember to say i love you as often as possible.

more soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

dinner around here, when it was summertime, and the living was easy::

i'm going to look back on these
and in years to come,
and remember how good
we had it.
even if we didn't know it
at the time.

the same goes,
i suppose,
for the pictures i'll take
tomorrow night,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

at breakfast time in our kitchen::

today was the end of the long lazy summer mornings.
and tonight will be an early night.

tomorrow is school:
high school for three,
middle school for two,
kindergarten for one.

and the first day for us two
at home,
at our desks,
missing girls
but looking forward
to moving forward.

is there a word for this feeling
of anxiety, anticipation, dread, excitement, wonder and worry,
all mixed up together?

oh, right.

let's get to it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


it's saturday already?!
i was so busy yesterday, i let it slip by without even thinking about a friday happiness list.

so here goes it;
saturday happiness::

cool weather. i'm talking sweater cool. doing a happy dance. (don't picture it, please.)
sourdough toast for breakfast. and leftover broccoli rabe from last night's pizza making.
tim plus five girls plus two boys off for an adventure today.
me plus one girl weighing our options. slowly.
finding a whole roll of b+w on the computer that i had forgotten about.
thinking it's time to buy some mums. (early this year, i'm thinking.)

ok, here we go. me and my girl, off for the day.
enjoy yours!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

hi friends.
bear with me, tonight.

i'm home from book club (hi k. hi a. hi b.)
one of the boys was sitting, but anna led him over saying that she missed me.
truth is, i think he was bored of sitting for her, and i think she was tired, and not only do i not blame either of them, i'm glad to be home alone, with anna asleep, and a few minutes to think the day through.

it was a long day. not hard. for really, how hard possibly could any of our days be? or perhaps, aren't they all hard? i'm not sure. it all seems relative, and i've always been a bit frightened of the implications of cultural relativism, except that i do feel that we can all always find something to be sad about, something to be grateful for. it's all a matter of perspective. it's all relative. so...

in any event, i'm glad for little things and big things each and every day. i'm practically pulled into shreds by things each and every day too. little things and big things.

i'm also happy when i don't burn my cheesey toast. when the girls laugh off an argument. when tim walks through the kitchen and kisses me on the way back to his computer.

little things and big things.

i'm feeling uninspired and restless. but i'm also feeling that we have everything we need. feeling uninspired seems a critical failing for me these two or three days. and yet i don't feel under nourished. i have so many things that fill me up with joy and health and happiness. so to complain about a little suburban or creative ennui seems practically sinful.

you must know a little bit of this, yourselves. no?
we'll all be ok.

maybe we just need the leaves to start falling to remind us to look up, look around, look inward, feel grateful.

more soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010


friday happiness::

up early, open windows and doors, the promise of cooler days.
turning the page on the calendar to find another beautiful photo.
going downstairs to switch laundry and finding callie has done it already.
waiting for mr. fedex to deliver a box of film.
starting to re-break-in last year's clogs.
new crop apples showing up at the market.
hydrangeas from a friend's yard in bottles all over my house.
feeling like i'm making some headway in our cabinets and closets.
radishes and butter on grainy bread for breakfast.
lunch out with my girls.
dinner with grownups.
walking with tim.
being home for the duration.

enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


today i ran all over the place.
i drove.
it's the first day in so long that i've had to spend so much time in the car,
other than those long lazy drives to somewhere we want to be.

we're edging into the days when i need to shuttle;
bring one here,
pick one up,
drop one off,
see about this or that.

lindsey fell asleep in the car on the way home from the orthodontist.
as if i needed
a reminder
that she's still just a little girl.
i don't.
as much as i worry,
i looked into the eyes
of the child on the computer screen
at the office,
and was sure
all of a sudden,
and completely,
that she's going to be ok.

she was sitting right in front of me,
and she was ok; better than ok.
it was such a good day.
but it was her eyes,
from the dentist's office photo from two years ago,
that reminded me
about what is in there,
that just doesn't change.
and what's in there is so very good.


callie started playing soccer yesterday for the first time since first grade.
and when i picked her up,
her knees were dirty,
and she was hot and messy,
and i don't think i've ever seen
so beautiful
and strong.

i've been thinking about callie...
about little callie.
with her bangs and her mary janes.

and that little girl is so clearly still inside
this tall, capable, challenging girl.
and girl, she still is...


tonight when i came home from driving around the county,
tim had made anna pancakes for dinner.
and emptied the dishwasher,
and cleaned up from the pancakes.

there was a row of items on the counter that could not find their place.

the top to the blender.
the juice attachment for the mixer.
the cheese knives.

and i realized that there's a whole lot about our house,
and our life,
that only i know.

that i govern.

and that it's taken a while for me to let other people try to help,
to try to find a role in this little world i've made for us.

and how lucky i am,
that they still try.


more, soon.