Monday, May 30, 2011

an ode to solitude.

Yesterday I remembered the beauty of solitude and what it feels like to nuture yourself. A day of total tranquility--no husband, no child, no friends--brought me back into my own skin. I'd been feeling displaced and hungry and very, very lonely for a presence I could not name. Now I realize: it's me. I was craving me, craving time spend with the person who is supposed to love me the most.

courtesy of
I've been let down a lot recently, by those who claim to care for me, but never seem to back-up those claims with action. This has left me feeling hurt and miserable and searching. In times of lonliness, I forget that the best friend I will ever have (other than God) is the girl in the mirror. She's the only one who knows.

Knows that I love pink lipstick and that I wear clothes until they fall apart. That the smell of certain flowers fills my eyes with tears for no reason at all. She knows my favorite color is red and that I put too much butter on my toast. She knows that my eyes constantly water when I'm out in the sun and that I see patterns everywhere. She knows my heart when others make no effort to find it.

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the others welcome...

- Derek Walcott, "Love After Love"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

6 years.

He asked if I would marry him. It was the anniversary of his near-fatal motorcycle accident and he was ready for new beginnings. I was very young, unsure of myself, but in my heart I knew.

I said yes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

friday. yes.

This weekend, I will be spending some much-needed time with the papa. The boy will be off, sugaring himself up at grandma's house. Have a good weekend everyone! <3

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

spring cleaning and busy-food.


Our house has been a vacuuming, drilling (that would be the husband), teapot-whistling, scrubbing, choo-choo train-chugging (and that would be Hayden), coffee-pot-gurgling chorus. We're purging A LOT of stuff at the moment, not to make room for more, but just to make room for room. In between doing all I can--which I'll admit has been hard for me lately; I'm having several health issues--I've been in my studio/office, slowly organizing and pulling out long-forgotten treasures, and even fashioning a bare corner into an altar and meditation spot for my yoga. It's all turning out quite nicely.

Here's a truth: cleaning makes you ravenously hungry. It also makes you bone-tired. Which is why I've been making what I like to call "busy food"--good, wholesome food, done with short-cuts and downsized in scale. Which is where my Mini English Muffin Pizza's come in.

I make mine with some very expensive ham and ricotta cheese, but you can obviously alter the toppings to suite every person you're serving (an excellent bonus if you have children). And because they're tiny, they're fun. Why is everything more fun in miniature?

Mini English Muffin Pizza's


- 4 whole-grain english muffins ( I actually really like Fiber One's )
- homemade pizza sauce ( I usually have some on hand in the freezer ) OR your favorite brand of organic marinara sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese ( fat content of your choosing )
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- one garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half
- about 3-4 slices of very high-quality ham
- olive oil, for brushing
- sea salt and black pepper

Preheat your oven to 275 F. Separate your english muffins and lay out. Brush with olive oil, rub with the halved garlic, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and place in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Watch them closely--you're just looking to lightly toast them.
Remove from oven, and leave heat on. Chop the ham slices into strips. Top each muffin half with as much pizza sauce as you like, a dab of ricotta, a few strips of ham, and a scattering of spring onion. Place the pizza's back into the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is gooey, and the edges of the muffin and ham are browning. Remove and serve.
Serves 4 people two mini-pizza's each. (You can obviously up the amounts very easily, if needed.)

Nosh-nosh. :) Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I can't even tell you how much I adore breakfast. I actually go to bed the night before, looking forward to fresh espresso and english muffins the next day. As much as I love food, and all its meals of the day, I have to admit, I get excited about breakfast the most. I always wake up hungry.

My son is 5 yrs. old and is only recently starting to want his breakfast a.s.a.p. Over the years, it's been a progression from breast milk to formula to regular milk to warm milk with cinnamon and a little sugar. That last one has been his "breakfast" for the past 2 years, at least. But now he's all, "I am boy. Food.", much in the way my husband meanders around saying, "I am man. Food. Yum." So in celebration of my son's new hunger pains, I've been looking up breakfast recipes online, and buying gloriously marked-down cookbooks at Borders, searching for those that are kid-friendly. Some of these cookbooks have me mightily confused. I won't name names, but dates stuffed with spiced cream cheese? Baked french toast with caramelized orange liquor? I don't know...maybe these chefs have children with truly adventurous palates. I, to a degree, do not. There certainly won't be any dates in my son's future (har har) because really, they're too weird looking for him.

So--muffins! They're like cupcakes sans icing! Perfect. I found a recipe for Blueberry Bran Muffins in a little golden book titled Just 4 Kids. I tweaked it a little--okay, a lot--and came up with the following recipe:

Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins


- heaping 1 cup white all-purpose flour
- scant 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp. wheat germ
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup packed raw sugar
- pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom
- 2 heaping tbsp. grated unsweetened coconut
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup milk chocolate/carob chips (use at your discretion, of course)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Mix together the flours, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. In a measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the honey, egg, and buttermilk.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until JUST combined. I can not reiterate this enough: DO NOT OVERMIX. It makes muffins tough and horrible. If there are a few little lumps of flour floating around in the batter, it's okay. Then with a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips and the coconut.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until about a third full. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the muffins have risen and are a light, golden-brown. You can eat these cooled or--my favorite--fresh from the oven with creamy, unsalted butter. Makes 12.

I smell a new weekend breakfast ritual in the works. Right now it smells a heck of a lot like chocolate and spices.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

paper, thread, and glue.

I hit the mother-load of landfill-bound books a few weeks ago, and have been steadily sorting through them, deconstructing ones far too tattered for the shelf. I really am at my happiest when sorting through a big box of vintage books...their cloth covers, their musty smell, and if the pages are discolored from age or moisture, all the better.

mixed media book page; vintage book paper, wax paper, thread

Lately it has been sunny and beautiful outside, in which case I've been taking my work outside with me. It's great to sit out on the back patio, in full sun, with my stacks of paper and box of tid-bits, and maybe some tea or coffee, working away while hearing the birds chirp and watching Hayden play a few feet away.

embroidered book page; vintage book paper, thread

a peek into my personal art book
Sorry about the poor picture quality, by the way. I said it before, and I'll say it again, I am NOT a photographer. I'll leave that to my husband.

Regarding another subject:

It's amazing to see the mixed opinion after Osama Bin Laden's killing. A lot of people, some close to me, feel that there should be no rejoicing after a death, even an enemy's. I have mixed opinions on this. I'm not going to lie--I was thrilled at the news, and also relieved. I wish this had happened a lot sooner of course, as I'm sure we all do. I also feel that there are hundreds willing to take his place, so do I think there will be some amazing change hereafter? Not really.

Was I dancing and boogying and shaking my junk? No. I had a small toast, all to myself, knowing that a very, very evil man had finally left this world.

Do I think it's wrong to celebrate the exit of any sort of evil? No, I do not. I understand that we don't want more hatred in this world, that we don't want to sing and dance around a bonfire any time someone we "dislike strongly" has a hard time or dies. There isn't much good born out of hatred or bitterness. But am I going to sit around after a man--Bin Laden specifically--is killed, with my hands folded in my lap, ruminating, "Oh that's just too bad" or "What a tortured soul". No. No, most certainly not.

And that jumble is about as political as you'll ever see me get on this little space.

Monday, May 2, 2011