Monthly Archives: April 2016



Simultaneously mild and tempestuous, it is spring and April and as busy as ever. The center of our house is in disarray – although it’s a neat and orderly mess for the most part. There are no weekend projects anymore. Everything stretches out in an endless fashion. I am constantly reaching for something that is not where it was the day before. 

I am feeling weird, and suddenly old and forgetful – I schedule my runs on my calendar so that I remember them. I contemplate doing that with F’s Friday brown bag lunches as well, since I’ve forgotten them twice now. She swears it’s three times, but she’s prone to exaggeration.

She cut her hair after school one day. It took her almost two weeks to confess. We didn’t press her, but continued to talk to her about it. First she claimed that her hair was breaking off because her bows and barrettes get tangled and she pulls them out in frustration. Then she deflected blame to the woman who recently trimmed her hair – she swore that the new bangs were a result of that salon trim. We knew better, but we also know her. She’s got to get to it on her own.


Each morning, while brushing the sleeping knots out of her hair, I’d dance around the topic of her hair, trying to give her a space to talk about it without clamming up or pushing back. She said the kids are always asking her now why she got “bangs”, and she doesn’t like that. She finally told me that she’d taken a pair of scissors to them in a moment of frustration. She was working on a project and her hair kept tumbling down across her eyes and so she thought chopping those stray hairs off would solve the problem. And it did, but of course we noticed. She hadn’t counted on that, so she wasn’t prepared.

After this confession, she started to cry, big gulping sobs, and buried her head into my chest. She cried like this for several minutes, and when her breathing started to return to normal, I broke out my most maternal-know-it-all voice and said “doesn’t it feel so good to finally tell the truth instead of hiding things away?”

She wiped her forearm across her face, and afterwards it had changed. Her eyes flashed angrily, defiantly, as she replied “Absolutely not.”

I can understand that. I do things in haste sometimes, hardly thinking beyond the moment, and then regret quickly sets in. I don’t particularly want to talk about it, be reminded of it, or dwell on it. There are a thousand things I don’t do well. Let me stumble through them until I nail something, and can lift my head again. Tilt my chin at just the right angle, release the tension in my jaw, ignore the tickle of baby fine hairs as they slowly grow back down my forehead.

wednesday morning in the garden

Garden 2

I love the garden after it storms. We had some really strong afternoon storms roll through on Tuesday, and when we woke up on Wednesday, the morning was still heavy and damp. We were better prepared for the weather this week, after getting caught in the surprise shower last time.

Garden 13



We didn’t need the umbrellas after all. With the rains came slightly cooler temperatures – a bit of a relief after the unseasonable heat we’ve been having. I found a bag of fish food when I was cleaning out a drawer over the weekend, and she tucked it into the pocket of her raincoat before we left. A trip to the far corner of the garden where the fish live is a rare treat on a Wednesday – we don’t often have that kind of time, but we were focused and determined on this day.




We only saw one fish – bright orange and slow moving below the surface. It didn’t even try to eat the food. The ducks were happy though. They followed us from the head of the pond, near the waterfall, and tracked us as we made our way around the perimeter – the bow bridge, the zig-zag bridge, the fish food bridge, at least that’s how we name them.

Garden 12

Garden 14

Garden 15

She decided to save half of the food for another trip. Her legs were suddenly tired as we headed back to the entrance. They have a knack for doing that when a schedule is once again imposed. Maybe the sudden rainstorms work in my favor? I take her hand to hurry her along. Sometimes she resists, but this day she did not.

Garden 16

Garden 9

Garden 6

Garden 3

Her hand is warm in mine, and little still.

Garden 1

admiring: lacanche ranges


All photos in this post are by Beth Kirby, as featured in this article on Remodelista, and then spotted again in last month’s Bon Appetit magazine. Drool.

I realize that I’m jumping the gun here a bit on the sequencing of posts about the addition project, and I’m excited to share how things are going on it. But I sat down and made a list of all the things I’m behind on (and that I owe other people), and those posts are fairly far down the list. The first item on that list was “panic”, the second was “sweat”, and the third was “feel incredibly guilty”. Luckily the fourth was “take a deep breath, and let the first three go”. So I’ve done that, and I’ve been chiseling through the list in any spare moment I can snag.

In the meantime, I can still talk in five minute bits and spurts about what I’m daydreaming about these days. Here’s one of them.


Specifically, this range.


I realize that it’s common to think kitchen renovation = appliance planning and shopping, but this overall project, while relatively small in footprint, is a complicated little nut to crack. There a thousand steps that have to happen before an oven is ever installed.


But… there are also lots of things that help keep my energy levels (and focus) up and steady on this project. And part of it is completing some of these little steps along the way – like emailing the structural engineer with a question, or touching base with the contractor on an exterior product.

Or standing at my counter, prepping dinner, imagining the space transformed. We’ve done this a dozen times before, we’ve taken a thousand steps already to this point. I’ve fine-tuned my future vision skills. I can picture the space like it’s already done. There may or may not be a fancy French range in the final go, but it’s coming together in a way that makes me excited.

Fifth on the endless to-do list? “Allow yourself some time to get lost in your own thoughts.” My favorite thing to do.