After many months of longing, I finally bought a set of liquid watercolors. They. Are. Awesome. Seriously. Auntie Lex paid us a visit and we pulled out the paints and got busy experimenting. Not a bad way to kill some time on a blazing hot afternoon.
I've always wanted a garden which provides nourishment for the body and the spirit - somewhere I could both get really, satisfyingly mucky and also wear a pretty dress while lounging in the shade. I have that garden now and today, we did the later.
Dylan and I put on pretty dresses, tied on our aprons, and made ourselves a lovely tea party. What a treat, in so many ways. Deep sigh of contentment here. Hope you're making your summer magical, however magic happens for you. I'm gonna enjoy chatting with my Little Miss, nibbling cake, sipping tea, and listening to the bees buzz through the flowers.
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!)
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.
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...