A cabin in the woods

Way back in November, we started making plans to meet up with a lovely cousin and her dashing fiance at the Oregon Gardens. The date was set for two weekends past. Since there are two State Parks in the area, we figured, "why not camp?"

So, after a few crazy weeks and several sleepless nights, we found ourselves exhausted, excited & on the road to camp.

Since the nights are still quite cold in May, we opted for a cabin instead of the tent. Last autumn, we stayed in a yurt & Dylan wasn't sure how a cabin would measure up. You can see that she wasn't disappointed. She divided her time between playing on the bunk beds, making collections of natural objects, and running in the grass.

I enjoyed cooking with my adorable new enamelware pot & pan - robin's egg blue!!

On Saturday, we made the short trip to the Garden. After an enormous picnic, we  strolled around for a few hours. I think Dylan dipped her hand in every pool and fountain we passed. She also played in a Hobbit hole and drove a tractor with Papa. (It is clear I need a gingham shirt of my own...)

We didn't get much sleep and the sun stubbornly refused to show itself, but it was a good first trip out. Can hardly wait to go again! (And maybe I'll have found myself an enamelware kettle!)



The other day, I just had to sew. My  knitting had been growing slowly. I needed to create something and quickly. So, a little dive into my stash and here we are! So. Much. Better.



I've started baking bread again. Real bread, not a mix from a bag. Baking gluten-free bread can be challenging. It involves lots more ingredients than regular bread. Making accurate measurements with the assistance of a very young baker is frustrating all around. So, I gave it up for a while.

Like so many things in life and in parenting, timing is everything. Sometimes you need to let something go for a while. And then, one day, you get the chance to welcome it back in.

Part of my return to bread baking is due to Dylan's ever increasing abilities and independence. Part is due to the wonderful recently published: Gluten-free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I think the first book in the series came out seven or eight years ago, right about the time I became so sick and had to give up gluten in order to recover my health. I am thrilled with the simplicity of the recipes. I can find five minutes to mix flour, five minutes to shape a loaf... And the bread is good.

Today I'm enjoying the end of a loaf topped with homemade carrot cardamom marmalade (from The Culinary Cyclist) and goat cheese. The combination of chewy, sweet, creamy and tangy is making me so very happy.

And so, we come to this intention. My days need more intention - all those mindless chores that fill the days of an at home parent...  My parenting needs more intention - too many times I drift away for a moment or two to myself, but fail to use those moments to nurture myself in a way that helps me recenter or readies me to refocus on my darling girl.  Making bread is kind of the ultimate intentional domestic task. It is a step.  The first of many along what I hope turns out to be both a familiar and a brand new path.


You only turn 3 once...

In her new farm-girl birthday outfit. (So much fun to sew!)

Pennants & animals!
Perfect day. Look at that sunshine!


3 & 36

Oh my, is she really three? The two people closest to my heart share a birthday. I can't spoil them enough. We had a party this weekend, which I'll share a bit about later, but today was a quiet day spent together. Music class, groceries, a picnic lunch, a long nap, some time spent playing in the kitchen, an al fresco dinner, and a cozy dessert - and all done together.  Perfect. Man, I love these two...


My, How I've Missed You!

I cannot believe how long it has been since we last visited in this space!  Shortly after my last post, we were presented with the opportunity to move from our sweet little one-bedroom apartment to an even sweeter two-bedroom house, in a lovely neighborhood, with a great yard.  The catch?  We only had two weeks to get ourselves organized & packed!  It was worth the hustle, and the months it took to get unpacked and settled.  Well, actually, there are still untouched boxes lurking in the basement.  So, something had to give, and it was my time here.

Since, Dylan has grown and grown - really, she is extremely tall for her age!   She has certainly kept me busy.  We love to play in the garden and kitchen, to make art and music and read.  She is my constant companion, Mama's little helper, Papa's girl.

We've been knitting, cooking, baking, digging in the garden & harvesting our first summer's crops.  We spent quite a lot of time being sick last winter.  We said good-bye to our beloved Holly, who quickly and quietly succumbed to cancer.

Hopefully, I'll get to pop in here on a somewhat regular basis.  I'll not set a schedule for myself, 'cause it is so discouraging when I can't adhere to one.  Maybe I'll be here weekly, maybe monthly - who knows?  But I hope you'll check-in, leave a comment, share some inspiration.



I eat oatmeal for breakfast most days, no matter the weather. Sometimes Dylan does, too. Sometimes she doesn't. (This day she had yogurt, blueberries, and toast with homemade marionberry jam) This oatmeal is topped with gingered rhubarb compote. Rhubarb season is blessedly long here. It is totally reasonable to start using rhubarb with the last apples at winter's end and still be using it when raspberries come on (which is happening now, but more on that later...)

The compote is about all I've managed to do with the rhubarb this year, though I did make the Buttermilk Lemon Rhubarb Bundt cake from this book back in April. I also made the Rhubarb Crumble from the same book, but next time I'll just wing it rather than follow their recipe. The bundt cake is one of my very faves, and I find gluten-free cake + bundt pan = happy fun times. Anyway, the compote is my own recipe, and I'll happily share with you. In addition to be tasty on oatmeal, I highly recommend it over vanilla ice cream. I will also mention quickly that if you put milk in your oatmeal, stir it in before you add the rhubarb, or the milk will curdle & you will be sad.

Rhubarb Compote

4-5 stalks of rhubarb, washed & chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 small palm full of candied/crystallized ginger, chopped pretty fine
1 scoop of sugar to taste, somewhere in the vicinity of 1 cup
Orange juice

Put the first three ingredients in a saucepan with enough oj to cover the bottom by about 1/4-1/2". Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer 'til everything is soft, stirring periodically.

The other bit of brightness in my morning meal is my companion. These pictures are from the first of June. Looking at them I realize how much she's grown in a very short time.

Her antics make breakfast far more fun than it has ever been before! We take our time, look out the window at the world walking by, and enjoy each other's company. Is there a better way to start the day?