More often than not, this is how it begins.
I'm not making excuses, smiling. I'm just explaining.
Have you ever tried to convince yourself of something?
I have and I try today.
But I do these things instead: photograph, cook, write, and share.
All the while knowing that I have many other chores with which to busy myself.
The figs cannot wait.
After all, there are limits to how long they will remain fresh.
If this past week holds any life lessons for me, it is not to wait until there are later moments for kinship, relaxation, or an opportunity to take a deep breath and be or feel thankful for the chance to do so.
I say take the pictures, write the words, share the moments, visit friends, take the naps, and or whatever other things bring you joy.
So, today I relax into the creative atmosphere of my kitchen.
I enjoy these little snippets of sharing everyday moments with you.
I'm including the recipe below, just in case you are interested in preparing the yummy figs.
It's a quick and easy recipe that I found on Food Network and compliments of Claire Robinson.
Love to you and yours,
6-8 Mission figs, halved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch kosher salt
Fresh ricotta or fat free Greek yogurt, for serving - I didn't use those. I served two hot figs atop a fresh shortbread cookie and drizzled in the warm honey sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the figs, cut side up, in a baking dish. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, and whisk in the honey, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle the hot honey butter over the figs and roast in oven until very soft, 10-15 minutes.
Divide the fresh ricotta or fat free yogurt among 4 serving dishes and top with the warm figs and sauce. Enjoy!
Recipe credit: Claire Robinson/Food Network
The weather is
An incredibly spooky mood wisps through the open, inviting entry door. And with each set of footfalls upon the welcoming house's floor, the evening becomes more interesting.
Did I mention it's a costume party? Let the fun begin, again, and again, as each guest relishes in the next one's creative attire. At the sight of each mask, I hear giggles and gasps. From Dorothy Parker to Clark Kent encircled by lovely witches and believable pirates, the atmosphere shrieks of a Halloween celebration. Not to worry, we have a complete medical staff in-house, as well.
Tabletops lay foundations for sustenance and foods are plentiful. From Maria's amazing guacamole and chips to trays of cheeses, crackers, fruits, and vegetables, it's a veritable feast for hungry goblins.
We toast to good friends, spooky delights, and a future-full of many more opportunities for nights like this one.
Thank you, Kandice, for this spookalicious gravestone! How clever of you!
Many thanks to our wonderful family and friends joining us for an evening of memorable moments.
As we walk through the woods, I inhale breaths of nearing rain, falling leaves, and smiling critters. Is this possible? Surely, it must be. It's happening. I'm inhaling these moments.
Hang on; I spy something on the ground. Looking so very much like a bird but just as much like a dried branch, it juts up from the pathway's edge.
Gently, I gather it in my eager hands.
Raising it, getting a better perspective, and looking at this treasure with amazement, I am sure. It's a bird.
My husband agrees. It does look like a bird.
Knowing, I cannot go home without it, the plotting and planning begins. After all, I cannot carry it the entire hike. After carefully placing it on a nearby, fallen log, for safe storage, we embark deep into the woods.
Rain, smelling something like freshness swirling in the air with oxygen, is magical. Deep breathing sends this sensation from my nose to my toes, literally, smiling.
Like autumn's confetti, falling leaves join. It's easily becoming an actual celebration. Inviting September's presence could not be a more festive occasion, short of me having a cup of hot cider in tow.
The critters are joyfully gathering goodies in preparation of the approaching, cooler temperatures. I know they are smiling, because they have an extra bounce or two in their trips up, down, and around the tree trunks.
My husband and I walk, talk, and feel comfortable here. Typically averaging four miles, several times weekly, you could say we are regular with visiting the woods.
Short of stopping just long enough to gather the you-know-what, we are minutes away from home.
These days, Ms. Woodibee A. Bird is perfectly happy living in the old greenhouse. She is even quite photogenic, as you can tell.
I spent some time in the greenhouse, this morning, with my trusty camera and Ms. Woodibee A. Bird. Sometimes and more often than not, I laugh aloud when I see the outtakes on the camera. There are blurry results, misplaced hands, messy hairdos, and all sorts of differing options for a mishap. Today, I share these with you because it feels right. Hopefully, the outtakes, photography, and writing, bring you a few minutes of relaxation and repose.
All my love and friendship,
Mornings bring the kind of quiet that delivers an extra portion of mindful moments. There's a hush surrounding me.
The universe is listening.
More subtle, but most pleasing is the reverberation of absolutely nothing. This is when I hear the less obvious; my arm passing the fabric of the sofa's arm as I reach for a sup of coffee, the gentle hum of the refrigerator, the lonesome cricket that must need an invitation to my quiet-time because he's obviously asking, and my finger taps upon the keyboard as the words join bringing us together.
These are my companions this morning; shy sounds that I discover, more often than not, and typically in perfect attendance.
Glancing to the left, I see the old greenhouse. It attaches to the house, much like a visual muse, and inviting me to come inside.
My hands find a bloom, from a generous hosta plant. The tired wooden chair offers her back for support. It is peaceful in here this morning.
What does today have in store for us?
I have absolutely no idea, but the gentle entrance of these morning hours can't hurt.
All my love and kindness,
Be bigger than you think you can.
Amidst creating a home studio, my daughter and I are unpacking and sorting old boxes. Considering this lil' guy has not seen the light of day in nearly twenty years, he looks pretty good. The memories are galloping between a mother and daughter as though the gates are open and all the horses are free.
We relish those times and these moments.
"He seems smaller than I recall," she says.
"Childhood is like that, Sweetie."
"Lets keep him out, free from storage, at least for a time," I lean in and whisper.
She giggles. "Really, Mom?"
I weave through the scraps of cardboard and squish the packing papers between my hands. The trash bag swallows the offerings, bulges, and reflects a fullness that doesn't require dessert.
I bring him to the greenhouse. What else could I do? He's adorable.
Funny how something so small is a bottomless well of childhood memories.
He reminds me of the way in which anything can be bigger.
We can be bigger, without limitations to our happiness, creativity, or anything for that matter.
Be bigger than you believe you are.
Be bigger because you have endless potential to magnify your dreams.
Be bigger because you can.
Like this lil' guy, when you least expect it, someone will see you for all the glorious gifts you stow. And when this happens, life gets bigger and better. You get bigger and better.
It's just a little something to consider.
I'm returning to the studio work.
Wish me luck, smiling.