Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thank you for coming...

Thinking of our gluten-free friends as I post a series of pictures of food from our Thanksgiving feast that appear to be quite gluten-full. Not entirely though, now that I think of it... my mom made the pumpkin pie from Ali's cookbook and it was deliciously gluten-free... Whew! There were other dishes, including a lovely rhubarb crumble from MacKenzie and Gunlis and yummy beets from Joan, AKA Granny AKA Rob's mom. There is one picture of Lucy and her friend Tessa high in a tree. Rob took the kids to a park to ride/scoot/convene with friends before the actual festivities of the day began. No pictures of guests, we got too busy visiting once they arrived to take many pictures. But our guests included Rob's parents, Joan and Ian, my mom, Gloria and stepdad, Merrill, and Rob's brother MacKenzie and his partner, Gunlis. We also had a guest appearance from our 16 yr old neice Brianna.

The bread we've been making lately got things started, with butter, cheeses, veg and fruit.

Rob made an old-fashioned raisin pie for his dad. It was beautiful. I didn't taste it, but it got good reports even from some skeptics... but most importantly, Rob's dad enjoyed two slices of it.

Lucy takes a break high in a tree with Tessa.

Mom's apple pie and then Ali's pumpkin pie, made by mom. They tasted as good as they look.

Most of our menu came from Fine Cooking's Thanksgiving feast - this was a bread stuffing recipe from Tom Douglas.
I love Thanksgiving. I am grateful for the opportunity to plan out a meal and then have a nice, appreciative crowd to serve it to. Plus, Rob did, I'm embarassed to admit it... ALL the dishes. What a guy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Happy Biker

Perhaps Lucy was a little late to this game, but now she's a player... Up and biking on two wheels. It was literally as if a switch were flipped and she suddenly got it. Last Saturday, after less than a minute of Rob holding her shoulders, she just said, "Daddy, you can let go." End of story. Rob called me at home, I ran over the park, Lucy came around the track on her bike with the biggest ear-to-ear grin I've seen on her face ever...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Autumn Joy

We had the sort of autumn weekend that makes us wonder if global warming is really so bad (well, as long as you're not a polar bear - yikes!)... It is mid-November, but Saturday the sun was shining all day and it was warm. The kids got to have the kind of fun in leaves that I grew up with in Arkansas, but that I don't really remember being so much a part of November kid life in Seattle. The leaves are usually too wet to really pile up and jump into. It was a match made in heaven: Rob busy piling all the leaves up so that he could mow them into a mulch to put on all our garden beds, the kids at the ready to jump into the piles, throws leaves into the air, and generally have an all-around wholesome afternoon of frolicking fall frenzy. They stayed outside all the way 'til the end of a knock-out sunset, before coming in for Indian-style turkey and peas, brown basmati rice and steamed brussel sprouts and brocoli. A sweet Saturday...

Friday, November 14, 2008


Yesterday was a rare beautiful, sunny, somewhat clear-skied November Seattle day. We spent most of it inside - Lucy in her nightgown. The kids were incredibly busy all day, but somehow, at 3 pm, we busted out to a big city park - Woodland Park - to play with friends. The beautiful park is a favorite of mine and Lucy's for the big trees, but also, it turns out, the park and trees have another use as a guys-meeting-other-guys hang-out. It doesn't feel dangerous but four young children and two, well, kind of elderly moms bounding around amongst the woods while gentlemen are cruising around looking for love is a little awkward (not to the kids who are oblivious but to the moms and the guys, presumably). So we will be switching to one of the plethora of other options for city forest adventures. But kids had fun.

On our way home, we picked up Rob who works close by. We started making our way through the nightly traffic jam back home, feeling cozy, perhaps partly because of the mesmorizing sea of brake lights before us on I-5. Rob and I are chatting in the front seat while Lucy and Jasper are grooving on an old old Lucinda Williams CD I got at the library. It is good - I think called Happy Woman Blues? A younger, simpler Lucinda. But anyway, Rob broaches the topic of an upcoming party and needing to get a babysitter. Suddenly from the backseat, Jasper, who'd been pretty sleepy-headed, warns us: "Don't think about getting a babysitter or there will be a consequence." Rob: "Oh really, what consequence, Jasper?" Jasper: "My consequence."

Then moments later, Rob is snacking on the crackers I'd brought for kid-snacks, Jasper pipes up again: "Dad, don't fill up on those crackers."

Later in the evening, I escaped the house again - the kids hardly noticing - and went back out into the night for Thai food and a walk around Green Lake - with my friend Jennifer (a dear fellow INFP) and the full moon (well, technically starting to wane, but full-looking) for company. Back home to a sweet, funny husband who'd done all the dinner dishes, and two soft, sleeping cheeks to kiss.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Martinmas/Lantern Walk

At first it seemed an unlikely night to go out, with hot chocolate, snacks to share, and homemade lanterns, and gather together at Carkeek Park to hear the story of St. Martin and sing songs as we walked along through the dark park. It was wet. It was rainy. It was cold. It was dark. But truly, the idea of the man who lived far away and long ago, the singing and the sheer adventure and novelty of being out in the elements in the dark with a bunch of other families -- including a wonderful storyteller, a good song leader and an incredibly great builder of fires, gave us all a warm, cozy, sweet feeling inside. And we only reluctantly piled back into the mini-van to return home.

Lucy and I continued reading our new most favorite book ever - Meindert DeJong's Wheel on the School. I had never heard of the author, but the story is so far a beautiful perfect jewel. I want to read everything this man ever wrote.

No surprise that Lucy ended up in a tree, with her friend, Nate.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Media Fast Over

My appetite for news which waned dramatically in the last decade or so returned full force as of last Tuesday. What I crave (besides my staple diet of the New Yorker): The New York Times. It is good. I keep mentioning it to Rob offhandedly as he goes out somewhere - um, you could pick up a paper... He obliges. Hey, he loves news. Always has, always will.

Then I switch gears to revel in (well, and help create and clean up from...)scenes like these.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the photographer photographed

The Carey's came over on Saturday night. We love hanging out with them: Matt and Rob immediately are immersed in photo-speak, and Melanie and I, well, let's just say we get along. Lucy and Sophia are "best friends," which is apparently a subject of much debate among school-going first grade girls. We're still working with the Jasper/Owen connection... They do both like things with wheels, so there is potential.

A wonderful side benefit of the relationship is that we get great pictures taken of our family by Matt, who is a talented (and somewhat obsessive) photographer. He took that great pic of Rob and J.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Inspired and Happy

I am happy... very happy. My mom called last night in tears after listening to Obama's speech and talking about the civil rights work she and my Dad did long ago and far away as grad students in Nashville, Tennessee. Both my parents were raised in the deep south in families who were basically racist at a time when it was the norm for white folks to be so (perhaps especially poor-ish white folks, which they all were). But my parents both felt early on the basic injustice of racism and as young adults, spoke out, demonstrated and shared Martin Luther King Jr's vision of racial equality.

For longtime Southern civil rights activists, this must indeed feel extra amazing and hopeful... But Obama's appeal for me has relatively little to do with that aspect of him. He just brims with integrity and intelligence - and this is the first president I've ever voted for that had those qualities in the quantities and ratios that perfectly suited my taste...

And I loved this quote about Obama from Hendrick Hertzberg, which may very well not be what brought folks to the polls, but it will hopefully serve him and all of us well throughout his presidency:

"The truth is that Obama is the only candidate in the 2008 election who thinks seriously enough and analytically enough to be considered either a conservative or a liberal."

But these words from Obama's speech spoke to me loudest, hinting at a radical shift in the tone and content dominating the American national political scene. About time is all I can say...

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends... Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection." And, to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world — our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight, we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween and stuff

It was beautiful at our usual Halloween haunt.

Here are Kate, Jasper, Lucy and Maggie. I'm in the background talking to the first grade teacher from Seattle Waldorf School. I really like her. It is nice to know she's out there in case homeschooling runs its course... I'm a girl who likes options...

Lucy on her way back from neighborhood trick or treating on our street. Spooky...

Jasper at the farmer's market with a honey stick, which apparently fueled him up for some serious scootering at Paramount Park. He scootered while the women and the girls caught up - and Rob took photos. We are so lucky to have great friends Jen, Tess, John and Theo down the street.

We had an unusually social weekend - which was so fun and now I'm so tired. I'm looking forward to crawling into bed a little early for some movie-watching and knitting. I have to rest up for all the praying I have to do for the next two days. Affirm with me: Obama will win.