Tuesday, December 13, 2011

beautiful look-see for the day

photo from jeffrey bale's blog

i love peeking in at jeffrey bale's world of gardens blog

today he features mosaic whimsy from Barcelona. 

photo from jeffrey bale's blog

this one reminds me of a gingerbread house. 

his blog fuels my fantasy of having 
lots of beautiful mosaics in the garden. 

lots of fun, check it out. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

beautiful menorahs

photo from nelles etsy shop

last night many friends gathered here 
for a winter holiday vegan potluck. yum! 

i love this season - celebrating life and light 
in the midst of the darkness and depth of winter. 

today design sponge lifts up
a whole feast for the eyes 
of beautiful, modern menorahs

hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

my general store

a year ago we were in the midst of our kitchen remodel. 
this morning, as the sun was streaming in through our 
big kitchen windows (free from craig's list!) 
and i was putting vegan pumpkin bread into the oven, 
i was filled with a sense of abundance. 

i'm so lucky my basic needs and beyond are taken care of. 
we have food to eat (too much, really). 
a beautiful, warm, safe home. 
and best of all, a loving family and many dear friends. 

i was also filled with a sense of
"i'm so glad we aren't doing a kitchen remodel again!" 

one of my favorite things in my new kitchen is my 
"general store," at least that's what dear friend jackie calls it. 

i love having our staples displayed in glass jars. 
easy to see when supplies are getting low. 
and a pretty way of decorating the kitchen. 

you can almost see that area pre-remodel, 
to the left of this photo. 
the bakers bench is still there, 
but everything to the left of it has been removed. 

that space was so prone to collecting all sorts of junk. 
a small built in cabinet below became overflowing with 
random bits of everything we didn't want to organize. 

we removed all of that, and started with a clean wall. 
i saw a picture in a magazine of something similar to these shelves. 
ryan built them for me. he is awesome. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

disco garden

photo by blake gardner photography

we finally got to use our yard in the way it was intended! 

weeks of cleaning and prepping
yielded a lovely pre-ordination casual dinner party, 
underneath the LED light canopy and disco ball
hung by ryan. 

photo by blake gardner photography

you can see the disco ball hanging way up amidst the LED canopy. 

photo by blake gardner photography
my favorite outdoor office area even got a sprinkling of red LEDs. 

photo by blake gardner photography

we were super happy to host our friends and family 
for this special night under the "stars." 

photo by blake gardner photography

our friend jenna showed off her moves on the trampoline. 

photo by blake gardner photography

friends share vegan s'mores around the fire pit. 

viva la vegan gatherings! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

ryan's cleverness = bowling alley table

ryan can do pretty much anything. 
he made a beautiful table out of bowling alley lane over the weekend! 

i'm so excited about it. 
i've wanted a nice, long table for outdoor dining for a couple of years. 
the one he made sits 12. 

ryan had in mind he would use the left-over wood for an outdoor table. 

the cool thing about the table
(other than the fact people used to bowl on it)
is that all the wood is reclaimed. 

the edges are made out of wood from our friend Denise's old fence. 

the legs ... i can't remember exactly,
but the pieces of redwood used to be part of our house in some way. 

ryan cut wood, sanded, stained. 
he's amazing! 
i love that he has big visions, 
and the wherewithal to achieve them. 

i can't wait to see our friends and family 
gathered around the table saturday night, 
as we celebrate my ordination on Sunday! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

jammin' & cannin'

Friend Jackie and I had the best time today making jam! 
i felt like such a homemaker puttering around in the kitchen, 
making the jam and canning it in those sweet little jars. 
and i kept thinking "we're doing this for fun - just think about the times
when women had to do this in order to have food in the winter." 
a humbling thought. 

jackie and i started at the pasadena farmer's market this morning, 
and snagged ripe strawberries, figs, and plums. 
above is a medley of three colors of figs, and they were so sweet. 

our canning supplies at the ready! 
jackie and i had jammed and canned before, 
but a long time before - 
i think my last time was 1994 or 1995, 
and Jackie's was 2000. We still had our canning supplies! 

figs, sugar, lemon zest = super yummy fig jam.

and the plum spice jam was A-mazing. 
the color is a deep red-purple, just lovely. 

i need a pic of a piece of toast with some jam slathered on it. 

the best part (other than eating it) is listening 
to the satisfying POP of the lids sealing. 

fabulous way to spend saturday with a dear friend. 


Friday, September 9, 2011

strawberry pie!

i'm back! 
7.5 weeks away this summer. 

but home long enough to make a no-bake strawberry pie. 
and to take pictures that give it an eerie glow. 

i'm a minister, not a photographer, what can i say? 

in the midst of my summer travels we had some house work done: 

- drip irrigation installed
- exterior of the house painted
- a french drain installed along the side/back of house

pictures coming soooooon! 

can't wait to catch up on all my blog reading. 


Friday, August 5, 2011

cinnamon rolls

today i did something i've wanted to do for a long time - 
bake cinnamon rolls from scratch. 

last fall my sweet honey man gave me 
this week i am getting reacquainted with my home life after being gone 
for almost 6 weeks, and i dove into this cookbook. 

her recipe for cinnamon rolls is straightforward, 
and made it relatively easy and downright painless to get these going. 

the yeast foamed, the dough rose, it rolled out easily. 

it made 12, we've already eaten 9. 
who wants the last three? 

Monday, August 1, 2011

edible landscape, redlands, CA

kat and geoff

saturday i returned home from my 
"summer 2011 unitarian universalist tour"
the way i fondly refer to my travel-heavy summer work schedule. 

at our UU family camp, 7000 feet in the san bernardino mountains, 
i connected with kat, keith, and geoff. 
we bonded over our edible landscapes. 

they live on my way home, and generously offered to give me a tour of their place. 
i fell in love! 

they have lots of raised beds in the front and back yards, 
growing herbs, flowers, vegetables, fruits. 

the pathways are a recycled tire mulch. 
it's springy to the touch, 
and kat says it's no problem to be on your knees while weeding. 

they'd been out of town for a week, 
but thanks to their drip irrigation system, 
everything looked lush. 

check out this happy, healthy row of raspberries. 

love that they went vertical. 

more raised beds. 

tomatoes exploding out of their cage. 

their paradise has been in the making for the past 8 years. 
it was so inspirational and
helps me look with new eyes on my own garden. 

now that i'm back home, 
i can't wait to catch up on all my blog reading! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

root simple book signing!

kelly and erik, creators of root simple blog
and authors of two books!
i had a great time tonight at kelly and erik's 
book-signing at vroman's bookstore in pasadena. 

they are do-it-yourselfers, and their blog 
chronicles their journey toward self-sustainability, 
in their very urban neighborhood of 
Los Feliz, or is it Silverlake, or it is HaFoSaFo? 
(apparently they are right on the boundary). 

i've been stalking, i mean reading, their blog 
for many months now. 
i keep thinking "i can't believe they can do that, or that"

so it was extra cool to be at the book-signing, 
and see they are real people, who are funny and nice. 
and who are confident enough to show real pictures of a real working garden
(meaning: real gardens don't always look perfect). 

i wish i would have taken a pic of them tonight. 
but i was too busy mentally getting on board with kelly's 
assertion that you really can make your own face cream, 
and it's easy, cheap, and eco-friendly. 

this is their new book. 
makes me wish i had taken home ec in high school, 
instead of the agri class. 

can't wait to dive into it. 
and i'm hoping they will open up their space for a tour. 
it is so helpful to see other people's working gardens and get good ideas. 

kelly and erik, you rock! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

farmers' market flowers

fell for these at the south pasadena 
farmers' market yesterday. 

they are exuberant. 

and fill the living room with color 
and summer-time grace. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

summer office

it's not totally finished yet, 
but here's my summer office. 
under the pomegranate tree. 

my office mates are the 
neighborhood kitties, 
and lots of birds. 
the occasional bee buzzes by. 

you can't tell here, 
but the pomegranate branches
droop toward the ground, 
so this is a little hideaway space. 

love it! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011


purple is one of my favorite colors 
(ok, i like them all)
and we have lots of purple
happening right now. 

above, a lily of the nile. 

one of the artichokes 
we didn't eat, 
so we're enjoying the flowers instead. 

lavender. love these always.

happy flowers by the front door. 

and finally ... 

dutch door in the kitchen, 
painted it over memorial day weekend. 

we're almost ready to 
have the exterior painted. hooray! 

i think this purple will be 
an accent color, used sparingly. 

my son, adrian, had a 
heart attack when he learned 
purple had a role
in the paint scheme. oh well! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

new fave blog - green girl next door

this is my week of new favorites. 
and my new favorite blog is 
and that fabulous green girl
is vanessa meier. 

vanessa's just starting out, 
but she already wrote an honest, compelling post 
about the 180 degree turn 
she took with her shopping habits. 

if you're still buying all your clothes brand-new, 
and all your furniture brand-new, 
read it now! 

 fabulous photos +
delicious vegan recipes +
 thoughtful posts +
cute videos =
my new fave blog. 

vanessa, look forward to reading/seeing more! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

new fave magazine

lucky me, i got to spend almost 
the whole three-day weekend out in my garden. 

while i was picking up some seedlings
i ran across urban farm magazine
for the first time. 

i flipped through it and fell in love! 
lots of great articles on growing food in the city, 
keeping bees, 
container gardening, 
crop mobs, 
pretty photos.