Tuesday, August 12, 2008

csa day & I'm moving!

The blog is moving homes. Come visit my new blog and change your bookmarks!

Here's what we got today:
lettuce
sungold tomatoes (I think they're gone already, they were sooooo good)
Romano beans
basil
walla walla onion (we traded it for an extra bunch of basil)
broccoli
garlic
summer squash
strawberries

Sunday, August 10, 2008

yay & yum


photo by DavidDennis

yay: The Senate (finally) passed a bill to ban toxins in our kids' toys. It will make the US have the strictest policy on lead in toys and also bans phthalates, which cause early puberty, birth defects and are linked to higher rates of cancer. Also, W said he'll sign the bill. At least he's going to do something right! (Couldn't resist)


photo stolen from marthastewart.com
yum: I made these cookies this week, which were so delicious. I used nutella in the middle instead of chocolate. This was even better, I think.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

picnic in the park


Its August now and I'm starting to feel like summer is coming to a close before we know it and we have to hurry up and take advantage of the nice, sunny, warm weather while we have it. Last weekend, we hiked a bit and had a picnic at the top of the little hill. I'm hoping to picnic again at a different park this weekend.

Ruby is wearing our favorite sun hat. Brianne & Eddie gave it to her and it stays on! There's a toggle strap, so we can cinch it up close to her chin. And its cute and has great sun protection with the big brim.

Leave everything as it is in fundamental simplicity, and clarity will arise by itself. Only by doing nothing will you do all there is to be done.
(I'm not sure who said this - sorry!)

How do you celebrate summer?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

csa day


photo by 427

Yesterday was our CSA day. (Which is also a green tip - buy local, organic food!)
We got:
grape tomatoes
leeks
German butterball potatoes
green romano beans
swiss chard
strawberries
blueberries

I'm making a berry smoothie today and tonight for dinner, we'll saute the beans with some tomatoes to eat with our fish. I've never eaten Romano beans before. Have you? Any tips for them or any of the other foods?

Thanks for all the comments about your green tips - keep them coming!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

summer

Our city offers free concerts 2 nights a week at a park on the river. When my mom was here, John & I went out to see part of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy play. I love outdoor concerts, and love watching everyone dance. John & I hung out on our blanket & he drank a margarita that he made & brought with him.

Last week, Ruby took a late nap, so we took her to the beginning of Tower of Power's show. She LOVED it. There were little girls dancing near us that Ruby clapped for, babies to chase around, snacks on a blanket & music for her to dance to.


The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things...the trivial pleasures like cooking, one's home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.

Barbara Pym

Friday, August 01, 2008

green McQueen

Lately I've been getting quite a few emails from friends and family who are looking for some ideas about conserving more resources/living more simply/becoming "greener". I thought I'd post some of the things we do on the blog in the hopes that we can all share more ideas about these things. John and I are feeling a bit stuck in some areas. It seems that some of the changes we can make in our lives cost quite a bit of money and we know eventually it will pay off (money-wise) and its important for the planet, we have to sustain our family financially as well. (No replacing our washing machine that works well with a front-loader.) Anyway, we can get some new ideas from your comments, and maybe you can get some new ideas as well.


It seems odd in wet western Oregon that we need to think about conserving water outdoors, but we get little to no rain in the summers - just when we're trying to raise veggies in the garden. One way we're trying to conserve water is by installing a drip line that we got from dripworks.

Also, we try to gather as much water as we can that would normally go down the drain and water our plants with that. It's not much, (until we can legally collect our gray water) but its something. For example, we eat oatmeal almost every morning and we fill the empty pot with water to soak until we can wash the dishes. That water gets dumped on the apple tree. The water that our tofu swims in until we eat it gets dumped as well.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

someone take these away

John & I are really trying to complete our first cosmetic home project. We're stripping the wallpaper in our bedroom. But things keep getting in our way. Like, the fact that we only have a short time to work on it after Ruby falls asleep at night, we've cleaned up dinner, and before we pass out. A couple nights ago, we were ready to work, and then, we had this beautiful summer night calling us outside. How many of these do we get, right?

We have these friends that have a baby Ruby's age and somehow we've gotten into a symbiotic relationship with them. It's wonderful. We trade baby-siting occasionally, we share our CSA with them, they brew beer and give us some each time, we share our baked treats. It's a win-win. But we hit the jackpot a few days ago. We got a bunch of homemade caramel. This really shouldn't even have the same name as the rock-hard stuff you buy in the grocery store. This is creamy and light and you don't feel like you're going to have to visit the dentist when you eat it. And then I figured out how to make it even better:



Yes, that's right. Its sandwiched between some dark chocolate. Really, how were we supposed to scrape wallpaper when we could be in the hammock eating this? How?

On a completely unrelated note, I discovered a new blog: Simple Mom. I found it here. From what I can tell so far, I love it. Its beautiful and I wish I knew about it before. But you should visit it soon because Simple Mom is giving away The Creative Family that I wrote about awhile ago. Visit here to enter by Aug. 1st.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

csa day



We have:
salad mix
red onion
3 lbs of beefsteak tomatoes (wish you were here, Mom!)
2 1/2 lbs. summer squash
basil
garlic
blackberries
strawberries

We're considering trying to can some of the tomatoes. Any advice? Or resources? I think we'll have some pesto pasta with roasted summer squash too. Maybe a smoothie with the fruit.

photo by Muffet

Monday, July 28, 2008

harvest moon


Last night, after Ruby was asleep, John and I went out to our little garden to gather some food. These are the carrots we harvested: about half of what is ready. I love the way carrots look right after they've been picked - bright green, sturdy tops, lots of little hairs all over them, peeking out through the soil stuck to them.

The Austrian Crescent potatoes were beautiful, though not so much in the pictures we took. I was planning to mash them with the carrots for dinner tonight, but I decided I couldn't because their shapes were too interesting. It would really be a shame to mash them.

More than anything, though, I love the time out in the garden, working side-by-side with John, even if only for a moment, getting our hands dirty. I love our conversation about the food, especially the surprising shapes. "I've never seen legs on a carrot like that." "This potato looks like a pear." "This one like a crookneck squash."

Friday, July 25, 2008

guest post

My mom's turn to post now about her time here with Ruby. This dress that Ruby is wearing in the picture...yeah...my mom MADE it. I know. It's incredible. She took a class to learn how to smock and this is her first project! But I shouldn't really be surprised - she did make my wedding gown, which was gorgeous.
On to the post:

It is so hard to write this-the keys seem all blurry-I'm crying already Bri. I'm leaving in the morning, and will miss this wonderful family SO much. I've had a wonderful stay with Megan, John, and Ruby. I love waking up to Ruby's chatting and waving when I go in to get her up, and she doesn't stop until she is asleep. She gives lots of kisses, signs so much, understands even more, loves the garbage truck and mailman, kids, the beach, animals, swings, and is one happy and smart toddler. It is hard to say good-bye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I want...


peach & prosecco....oh that looks so delicious, doesn't it? lourdes??
the image is from epicurious

Here's a guest post from my dad who recently went back to Florida:

I had a great time enjoying our dear little Ruby and her parents. Ruby is so full of personality and a delight to be with and around. She is so happy and incredibly bright with all her ASL [American Sign Language] hand signals to communicate.
I attribute Ruby's happiness and brightness to the support, attention and, mostly, love that Megan and John provide her. She is a lucky girl and I am a lucky parent, in-law and grandfather. It was hard for me to leave:-(.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

csa day


lettuce
sungold cherry tomatoes
gold roma tomatoes
sweet onion
yukon gold potatoes
red raspberries
cherries

photo by bensonkua

yes we can


I am a member of Moms Rising and found out through them about this interview with Obama. He talks, among other things, about women and some economic issues relating to women that are right on. That part starts at 2:57 minutes in to the talk.

Monday, July 21, 2008

fun way to waste some time

I found this link and immediately was stopped in my tracks for several minutes. Its quite addicting. I found it at How About Orange.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

vacation


Ruby packed herself in the suitcase.


She LOVED the beach. We visited a couple different beaches - sandy & rocky and she loved them both. We also went to the aquarium where she got to watch the seals & sea lions swim underwater. Besides the teething at night (ugh) we had a great time in Newport.

Monday, July 14, 2008

sorry, mama


Ruby got in trouble yesterday. I know, its hard to believe how this sweet little face could, but its true. She had something that I wanted and I kept asking her to give it to me, but she wouldn't. I put my hand on it and she bit me. Very much on purpose too. I told her "no biting" and she gave up the thing I wanted. She cried and went over to John for some comfort. He picked her up and told her no biting also. Then they went to go read a book. He talked with Ruby about biting and said she needed to make me feel better. I didn't know this was happening, but just happened to walk in the room. So John brought Ruby to me and said, "Say you're sorry." She leaned over to me to hold her and gave me a HUGE tight hug. So cute!

Its been really, really hot here the past few days. We're heading to the coast (not soon enough) to meet my parents there for a few days. We'll have more pictures - some more great ones taken with my dad's awesome camera like the one above.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

the book book


Remember the book book I got awhile back? Well, I finally sat down and read it. It made me want to be Italian, or at least French, an art teacher and a kid again all wrapped into one short little book. I LOVE it. Its written for children to teach them how to make their own books, from the illustrations, to the writing, to the physical building of a book. Lourdes, you would really like this book, I think. Oh, actually it starts off by teaching you how to "massage your imagination". This is probably the most crucial part for me. I don't really consider myself a creative person. at all. I wish I was. But that side of me was kind of shut down in third grade when I was in art class. My teacher commented on my beautiful painting & asked if she could show it to the class after we were done painting. I said yes. After several more minutes, she stopped the class to show a couple of our paintings off, came over to me to take my painting to hold up & said, "You ruined it!" In front of everyone. Horrible. So I decided then and there that I was not artistic and closed off any hope of becoming artsy. Its just recently, pretty much since I had Ruby, that I've decided I can be creative and I'm trying to nurture that side again.

Anyway, this is a book that may help me out with that, hopefully will be a good resource for Ruby, but at the very least, will be on the shelf for her to discover when the time is right for her.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

vote!



My Dad is running for re-election as a school board member in Seminole County, FL. You can check out his site here. He has been a member for one term and really enjoyed it along with making some positive changes for the schools there. The election is August 26th, but I know you want to make an informed decision, (and spread the word to your friends & family that can vote) and vote early! It is expected that the voter turn-out will be small for this election so literally, every vote will count. Go check him out and let me know if you have questions about him.


print by Nikki McClure, photo from buyolympia.com

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

csa day



photo by La tartine gourmande

Here's this week's box:
lettuce
salad mix
spinach
beefsteak tomatoes
red onion
basil
garlic
celery
golden raspberries
red raspberries

We will definitely by making pesto. We have a crop of cilantro begging to be harvested outside, so I think we'll be making some salsa for tonights burritos as well. We've been waiting so long for fresh salsa!!

John was working from home this afternoon, so when Ruby napped, I went to get the CSA myself. There is no reason for the italics other than for me - I sometimes forget there is a myself. Okay, back to the story. So, being by myself, I could stop and have a lengthy conversation with the next door neighbor of the CSA drop house. She has a beautiful garden in front of her Queen Anne house built in the 1880s. I commented on her garden and we chatted for quite awhile. She gave me some local history - her house was moved in 1910! and lots of gardening advice. Oh, and an invitation to stop by when I pick up my food again for more gardening discussions. Did I really need another reason to love my CSA? No. But getting to know the community and have a conversation piece is a lovely one.

more treats



Here are the treats I made for John on Father's Day. Here's the recipe and where I stole the photo. They were really yummy. We shared them with friends and froze half of them. They were really good warm with ice cream. I think next time I make them I would melt the caramel & drizzle it on top, its a bit chewy for me and I have some paranoia about losing my teeth in a bite of it.

This weekend we met B & E in Portland and visited Saint Cupcake. Oh, so yummy.

Eddie cuddling with Ruby as she tries to sneak cupcake. But she was content with her oatios & blueberries. phew.

John took both of these pictures. We're in front of a wall that tells the story of Saint Cupcake. Maybe I can grow up to be like Saint Cupcake someday. hmmm...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

older by the minute

here's ruby showing off some of her new skills (climbing into the rocking chair by herself) -J

Friday, July 04, 2008

handmade birthday

I've been meaning to post some pictures of some of the handmade gifts Ruby got for her birthday. She is so loved! She got really spoiled on her special day and I really appreciate all the thoughtfulness in her gifts. Here are just some of them...

a hat I knit from this book



"A Dream Come True" rosebush from Nana & Papa



hand-embroidered dress from Vietnam - thanks Tina!



this huge octopus was made so fast by Nana



adorable dress from Pasquale

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

csa day

This is our 3rd summer getting a CSA (community supported agriculture). We LOVE living in a place where this is possible. The deal is, we pay the farmer up front at the beginning of the season, and get fresh - sometimes harvested that morning produce once a week. This year we switched farms because our old farm didn't have a drop in our new town. So our new farm is Denison and the CSA lasts half the year! We've had a really late start to the growing season this year with really strange weather, but we've been pleased with our produce so far. It's technically a bit of a gamble - we pay the money, but if there is crazy weather and there's no harvest, we're out the money. But its pretty low-risk.

Anyway, some of you ask what we get in our basket, so I've decided to post it here. If you don't care, sorry. And I swear (Floridians), I'm not trying to make you jealous, maybe just giving you a bit of encouragement to move closer to us - or at least somewhere with some food you can eat grown nearby!

Also, if you have any great ideas about how to enjoy the food we're getting, post them in the comments so we can all learn from it.



Here's this week's harvest:
a HUGE head of lettuce
spinach
cucumbers
grape tomatoes
spring tomato
raspberries
radishes
shelling peas
new potatoes

Monday, June 30, 2008

just keep swimming

Yesterday we went to a friend's house who had a kiddie pool set up. This is what happened:
Hmmm...what have we here?

I don't like this, take me out!

Let me try again with Mama.

I HATE THIS!!!

Today we went to the wading pool at one of our neighborhood parks to try again.

What are you talking about, I love the pool!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

5 years

John came home early Saturday morning from Kentucky. He was delayed (again), but still made it home in time for our 5th anniversary. I made these cookies:

which filled John's request of something with chocolate, something gooey, and something decadent.
We also got to go out on a date! By ourselves! A friend came over to stay with Ruby after we put her to bed for the night & John & I rode our bikes to a new Italian restaurant downtown and then walked down to the river after we ate.
It wasn't a trip to Paris, like we dreamed of for our 5th anniversary, but it was a pretty good night, all the same.

(photo stolen from marthastewart.com)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

pigtails!!

Ruby's hair is finally long enough for a couple cute little curly pigtails.

She's very mad at me in this picture because I wouldn't give her the camera. I'm a very mean mama. She's also showing off all her 8 teeth (some just poked through so they're hard to see) and the swollen spots for the other two that are working on coming.

I've been meaning to show you the father's day book that Ruby gave John. You can see a picture of it on his blog. They both think its hysterical. I'm just so proud that I found a great picture of Flight of the Conchords that I could use.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

forgetter bug

When I was writing my last post about Ruby growing up, there was one other thing that she did that meant she was not a baby anymore, but I couldn't remember it...until today. She's in her big car seat now. She faces forward and everything. She looks like a little girl in the rearview mirror.



Today I read this story about the person in FL who lost their arm to an alligator. It reminded me of the top ten list John & I made up about natural ways you can die in Florida. Here's the part of the list I can remember. The rest will come later, I'm sure.
1. alligator
2. snakes, my personal favorite
3. lightning
4. sharks
5. hurricanes
6. tornadoes
7. car wrecks, another one near and dear to my heart
8. rip currents
9. wild fires

John, help me out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

No more baby


I'm a little sad because Ruby can no longer be mistaken for a baby. She walks around the house all day long (even while reading!), can ride around in the bike trailer (thanks Grandma & Gramps), knows a crapload of signs and understands a ridiculous amount of what we're saying and has little toddler melt-downs where she goes limp & throws her head back. She spends a good part of her day pushing this cute little pink chair (thanks Nana & Papa) around the house really fast.
Its all so exciting to watch, but its hard to believe that our baby is no longer a baby.
Thanks for all the comments lately - I love getting them all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

summery

Yesterday we were heading out of town to visit friends and John dropped me off to shop by myself. I spent an hour or so wandering around the antique shops and found a few great things that I'll show off another time - a vintage suitcase for Ruby to store dress-up clothes someday, some gifts for family and some cute little drinking glasses. John & Ruby picked up this massive load of strawberries from our friends whose garden is over-producing, apparently.

I think we'll make strawberry sorbet.
You Floridians will appreciate this: I also heard several times yesterday, people complaining about how muggy it was. ha! It was in the high 70s, rained a bit off an on, was overcast & the humidity was probably 60% or so. Muggy!
Last night was our second Meet Your Maker show. We had lots of big people show up - someone from the Eugene Weekly, the owner of Deluxe - a great shop in Eugene, and a director from a design festival in San Francisco. I sat between Amy & Claire, two talented and beautiful people, and talked of motherhood. It was a good night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

we're famous!



Meet Your Maker puts an ad out in the Eugene Weekly before each show. I picked it up today to check it out and found this write up about us in there!

Monday, June 16, 2008

craft show


Meet Your Maker is happening this Saturday at Midtown Marketplace in Eugene again. We're going raffle off a Meet Your Maker tote bag full of donations from the vendors - really great stuff. Part of the money from the raffle will pay for a low income artist/crafter to have a spot at a future show.
Come by and see us and tell your friends!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!


When John & I were dating, we talked a lot about kids, in the hypothetical sense. We were both teachers for awhile & always finding ourselves in situations with kids, asking ourselves, "What would we do if this was our kid?" Of course, as much as we talked about parenting, it can only prepare us so much for the real thing. I knew then that John would be a wonderful father. He is so loving, patient, generous & thoughtful. But he has amazed me this past year. I have learned so much from watching him with Ruby and I have loved parenting with him. He has so much love for her and me that he accepts any thing that comes up with either of us easily.

When Ruby was a newborn, he would help us through the nights, by changing her diaper, helping her latch on to nurse (it seems so strange now that Ruby and I ever had to learn how to do that!), rocking & singing her to sleep when I couldn't nurse anymore or was to exhausted to hold her - all this even though he was somehow working on his thesis at the time.

Now, when I have my moments of crankiness & cabin fever when the sun seemed gone forever, John quietly would play with Ruby & encourage me out the door or make me a cup of tea.

Parenthood has changed our marriage a lot, in ways that I didn't anticipate, but John remains a devoted, respectful, funny partner through all of it. I couldn't ask for a better husband for myself or father for Ruby.

Happy Father's Day, John & to all the daddies & grandpas out there!

Last Father's Day

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


All of a sudden, Ruby is heading toward toddler-hood. She is so funny lately, but has also thrown a couple minor tantrums, and this kid is LOUD! She's started dancing, throwing food, scratching and making us laugh constantly. We didn't think the terrible twos started until 18 months or so, we're a little nervous. And I've realized that I rarely see people with toddlers out anywhere. They must keep them in hiding because they're so moody & insane & loud. But so much fun. Ruby still giggles every time she walks. And look at her in this picture, so cute!

Not much crafting going on here lately that I can mention. I'm working on a super-secret father's day project very slowly. John has been home the past 2 days, very sick, so I have to sneak away to the basement for a few minutes at a time.

Have you seen Lars & the Real Girl? So funny. We got it from Netflix while John's parents were here. He picked up the envelope & said, "Do you want to watch a movie?" Then he read the description and we decided we probably didn't want to watch a movie about a man & his sex doll with his parents. I think that was wise, but still, it is funny.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm back!


Ruby's birthday was lots of fun. She enjoyed all the festivities - especially her visitors & balloons. The cake, however, was not so great. She wasn't really into it at all. The next day, John's parents, who are visiting from FL, and the 3 of us went to the mountains to stay on a farm.

It was so relaxing to be away from cell phone service & a computer. Ruby LOVED the animals - sheep (like the lamb above that we got to bottle feed!), chickens, roosters, a peacock, horses, a burro, cats, dogs, geese - all surrounded by trees and hiking trails. Ruby makes an elephant sound for her moo, but has now extended it for sheep & horses too. I have a bunch more pictures posted on our flickr site from her birthday and farmstay.
We're enjoying a few more days of fun with Nana & Papa (and hopefully we're done passing around our cold) before they head back to hot FL on Friday.