Monday, March 28, 2011


"Luke. I am your--nom nom nom..."
Vader guided me through my first batch of homemade granola. (Oh, fine, it was actually Amy.) Pecans, flax, honey, almond extract--no recipe required.

My DCoB.

Homemade feta. Not much to it, really. Especially when your job is to assist a cheese class instructor, and she gives you curd to drain, chop and salt at home. Easy peesy, lemon squeezy.

Eight thinly-sliced onions...

...for which I donned these swimming goggles. No tears and no pain! A major game-changer. (Take that, Williams-Sonoma.)

The lamb bone, pre-roasting. Made all the difference in the French Onion Soup. I kind of wanted to snuggle with it, when all was said and done.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Control...or Not

So...there's probably no inherent, real significance to dropping a splotch of tofu dip on my laptop's control key. And yet. The tiny gerbil who powers the tiny metaphor generator in my head is really a very hardworking rodent.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

•the last days of winter•

"Mom! What is that... thing?" [Fairy photos and hummingbird story after the jump!]

Monday, March 21, 2011


Some days are bad, and some nights. And then you stretch, reach out a little. And someone precious to you reaches back, offers you a hug--long distance, impossible. And though you'd like the real hug, just the offer, so genuine, is enough to move you along for now. You dissolve a little, melting the fear. You sleep.

And in the morning, there's quiet on that long distance line. But the quiet isn't silence. It's just the quiet of two friends, lying in the grass together, holding hands maybe. Long distance, impossible. And yet, still somehow, together, staring up through leaves moving gently in a breeze, faces dappled by sunlight.

Friday, March 18, 2011

•a single thread, a thousand stitches•

The bloggers' medium: in some ways, narrow. So obvious and immediate. Writing for strangers (and, well, the possibility that you are writing for no one), simplifies things. Particularly the weaving of personal history. Brevity reigns. Photos are necessary. The jump is necessary...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

•corned beef and caterpillars•

Lavender "lemolade," with seasonal garnish.

The photos I wish I had from this week include:

20 pounds of dripping-red brisket, and me, hunched over and gently lowering those giant Jabba tongues into the bazillion-gallon steel pot that currently holds the brine, beef, and promise of tonight's American/Irish dinner.

Last night's cognac sidecar with pomegranate seeds (and orange juice, lemon juice, Cointreau, and a measure of ginger/galangal/tumeric simple syrup).

Our first flight on a UFO: Penn & I discovered the half-buried spaceship in Arroyo Park yesterday, and he piloted to the moon. Then we got out, so we could fix something. Because that is what astronauts do.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Little a.m. Rilke

A dear friend sent the following quote to me this morning. I haven't read Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet in many years--I'm not even certain where my copy is now. But I recognized this bit immediately when I read it. And then I immediately wanted to share it here. It's not much in the way of a blog post, exactly, but it's most certainly worth sharing.

"I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best Rules EVER

If you are a person who has any connection to or concern for creative community of any variety, at any level, you must hurry over to read this post from my lovely new online friend, Johanna Harness. Johanna is responsible for a quite well regarded Twitter community for writers. I don't tweet myself, so I don't fully understand how it works (perhaps I'll get the toddler to explain it to me...), but you need know nothing at all about Twitter to appreciate Johanna's rules. Frankly, they're rules for life--you don't even need to be particularly concerned with creative community.

I met Johanna through the self portrait classes over the last two months, and I admire her on many levels. But even if you have no other familiarity with her, I can almost guarantee that if you're a regular reader here at Half-Assed Mama (i.e., one of our people), you'll want to get to know her better once you read this post of hers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

•playing along•

Happy weekend to all!

[This post is part of a tag-you're-it game, designed by Amanda Blake Soule. Please check out her moment, and discover the beautiful world of the Soules!]

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today at HAMAMA

Today at Half-Assed Mama HQ (or one of the HQs, anyway--Amy's house...):

Beautiful new carriage doors were delivered, soon to be installed to create Amy's new studio space (and there was great rejoicing!). As soon as the moving blankets were down on the ground, Annie Dog felt compelled to settle in to take the air and watch the passersby out on the sidewalk. She brought her bone with her. Because, like Lis, she doesn't really knit much.

Indoors, the half-assed attempted to work, and the slightly sick toddler slept in his cozy chair. Tigger Dog watched over him.

It's pretty nice to have a friend nearby when you're under the weather.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gratitude and Love

What do gratitude and love look like?

Sometimes, they don't look like bouncy, sunny, happy things particularly. Sometimes, they just look like the absence of fear, or shame, or judgment. (But there's nothing "just" about that, is there?) Sometimes, they just look like you, understanding that who you are in the world and the choices you make are both okay. More than okay, maybe. Even when you and your choices are difficult, messy, painful.

cherry blossoms

Friday, March 4, 2011

•the art of art•

(In which our heroine spares us, please, the definition.)

I'm thinking today (a period there would be so funny) that my songs are the greatest gifts I've ever given myself. Bear in mind, I have spent *more* time wishing those songs didn't exist... but. At some point, a person does manage to shove aside her own internal censor (oh, move OVER!). At some point, a person does manage to be in the moment, to let things go, to see what there is to be seen. It's just art.* There, in the world, for us, for anyone and everyone (for ever and ever, amen).

Yesterday: I was reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Then I found my music on Pandora. Then I picked up my toddler by bike in the shimmering sunlight, and on our ride home we watched sheep, racing in their paddock. We picked kumquats, and ate every last one. We went to dinner (brussels sprouts, pasta, cake), and the adults talked about blank space in literature.

Today: I played my fancy guitar for the first time in months. My fingers knew where to go. My voice knows the words, still. My horse knows the way to carry the sleigh, through the deep and drifting snow.


* This reminds me of a magnet my aunt Jane gave me. It's a cartoon of two obese women, huddled over a whole blueberry pie, with the caption, "It's only fruit." That, in turn, reminds me of a particular cooking-class evaluation from work. It was written by a teenage girl, "Instructor should be more relaxed. It's chocolate! CALM DOWN."

p.s. It's art, no matter what we do. (Couldn't resist a definition, after all.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

goodbye, little

OFFER: stylish IKEA potty, light-blue.
Just like this one: http://www.ikea.....
only light blue!
Worked like a charm (and still does) with our potty-learnin' toddler. He just
got so big so fast, and we got a sweet "new" one from another Freecycler! This
is a great starter potty, since it is eensy weensy and low to the ground.
Clean, from a smoke-free home in West Davis.

< sniff >

He used to say "Do it, self!"
And now he is too big for his blue potty.
We shall see what The Little has to say about his commode upgrade (on left). Stay tuned. xox