Monday, December 28, 2009

sporting and playing in the snow

We escaped the toy store that is our home for the wilds of Genoa, Nevada on the afternoon after Christmas Day. It was magical and mesmerizing to watch the deer, a few came right up to me and let me photograph them at close range, I then turned the camera and showed them the shot on the viewfinder.....they seemed unimpressed, but it was nice to talk to them and see the features so perfectly
I spent alot of time freezing in the cold photographing the wild deer and made the above video just from persistence, the bucks came close enough to photograph, my only missed shots were my attempts to get the deer jumping over the fence.....saving that for the next trip!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

winter wonderland

May your winter be full of wonder and your land be full of peace
Happy Solstice
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

kids are noisy!

our smallish house full of 3 loud, rambunctious kids......headache inducing.....suffice to say outdoors is best!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I am proud of this trunk baby

lots of work, phenominal taste and made me realize I like using art and food together....this is more naturalistic than most cakes!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Food as Art

I have been attempting to clear out the freezer and cupboards, too much going into a season that needs some room to store food, granted I canned lots this year but it needs to be eaten to be of value!
Why wait for the power outtage to clear it out? let's make room for the buche de noel and roast chestnuts I have in the offing!
Today for lunch I made this recipe from the pioneer woman! A perfectly crusted pork tenderloin with a cranberry onion glaze, I served it with some leftover gratin potatoes and fresh apple slices.
YUM perfectly tender and nice crust with some sour chutney......i think it looks beautiful on the plate!

Monday, November 23, 2009

my angel in the snow

We had a great time watching emerson play in the snow....he loves to throw snowballs and make snow angels....he is our sweet!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

Somehow our toddler has managed to finally go down for his nap at 3:30 has been a challenging week of sleep, so I am thankful for any time he sleeps....but now it is time to get ready to go to the Halloween Carnival and I refuse to wake him, we do not need an ANGRY bee............the carnival goes until 7pm, chances are we will catch the end of the event, all fine by me!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Natural encounter

I have been stalking the fall colors, trying to capture them at just that right we have had many sojourns into a variety of trails around our home, the light is usually wrong, the leaves hide from me, sick of seeing me I am sure.....but this day, this moment, with the sun high enough to illuminate some leaves and some trees displaying orange and gold I was happy with some of my captures of trees and shadows and leaves......then just as we were about to head back home, I heard another photographer say the magic word "BEAR" we ended up staying another 2 hours and taking tons of photographs, most a blur, badly composed or too dark to see the bear......this is my favorite capture, our 3 year old and I watched this large mama bear pluck a salmon, yes the salmon are running and there is a gate right where we were....the bears know how to fish and especially with trapped fish!.......the baby had eaten some 4 already on its own, but this moment we saw the mama put a fish in the baby's mouth......nature, nurture and noble!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Fall!

While we had an early bout of snow, we are looking forward to some semblance of fall.....I love this shot taken with the full moon over the sleepy hollow pumpkin patch, evocative of that idyllic harvest complete with pumpkins and spooky stories!

he loves music

We went to the Camp Richardson Oktoberfest for the first time this year and our munchkin loved the fun he had! in this video he is saying that he is making the music with his horn, granted a peanut butter bar, but he did have the timing and loved the oktoberfest music!

it snowed

October 3rd and October 4th of snowed a bit, enough for there to be chain controls on the highways and had us thinking of a white is the white pumpkin, charlie brown!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

pine nuts

I have been obsessed with picking them all up as they are strewn on their papery wings by the wind from the still attached to the tree pine cones that are opening, maybe from our mega heat wave, i see them flutter and everywhere I go there they are......once crushed by car tires they leave little oily stains on the blacktop from the pure nutrition mother nature is providing, sadly so much is concrete and pavement, the seeds have no chance to plant in the earth......I collect the loose abandoned nuts and have picked up about 20 cones to strip soon.....what to do with all these free foraged pine nuts?

Monday, September 7, 2009

welcome home jaycee

we went to the parade, walked and then were surprised with our son being on the end of the video above.....he is sooo cute and we are so blessed to live in such a community that out of the horror of jaycee's abduction developed a program called "a fighting chance" as well as the closing of the basins highways to stop any potential criminal from escaping the video below from cnn, features the story of how the program saved a boy from abduction as well as countless others given the insight to trust their gut.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

it begins with a color challenge

this week's challenge was to find a vintage photograph and create a life story for a stranger in the photo.......I tweaked it a little and wrote the life story of the photographer of this photo here it is (from the flickr group post)
I happen to have picked this photo for the clothes on the drew me in then you think someone in the 1940's clicked this photo to show the family members, yet there are the clothes on the line prominently displayed......seems like back then they took photos sparingly and made sure to focus on the subject......yet here we have the background more in focus than the faces
so for my challenge I am focusing on the story of the goes my fiction
this was taken on a summer day with family visiting by a woman! a woman using her husband's new fangled camera, he is at work, she is not usually the photographer, she is the mother of the baby in the photo.....and the woman holding the baby up is her sister, visiting from far away.....the photographer is a new mother for the first time and she herself is young.....under 20 and her sister in the photo is her oldest sister, she is from a large family in the midwest, and she has moved west with her veteran husband, he has taken her away from her family and familiar surroundings for his job, I suspect this is after world war 2 has ended and her elder unmarried sister has come west to see the newborn nephew on her vacation from her job, she began working soon after high school and continued to this day, now in her 30's and husbandless and childless, living at home with her elderly widowed father.
back to the photographer, her name is Katherine, her hubby calls her katy but her family calls her Kay, Kay married her high school sweetheart, he was 2 years ahead of her in school, and he went straight into the service upon his graduation, she married him after her high school graduation when he was home on leave that fall/ was like marrying a stranger, he had been away all of the years she finished high school, but she thought he was handsome in his uniform and it felt patriotic to marry him.
Kay stayed with her father and 3 older sisters when he returned to the war, she also had 2 younger sisters and 2 older brothers, they were a family of 9 children, one had died before she was born, and her mother had passed away when Kay was 10, but with the 3 older sisters she was never lacking in mothering love, she was the first sister to marry.....both boys had also married and had children and were living their lives away from the modest family homestead......Kay was 20 at the time she took this photo and overwhelmed with the duties needed to keep house, tend a baby, care for a ladder climbing husband that kept inviting suave people to dinner for drinks and cards on wednesday nights.....she was expected to keep a perfect house, prepare gourmet faire, have her son in bed and asleep when her husband returned from his day at work...all on a meager income that seemed unable to keep the lights on, she felt alone and had longed for her family to her sister was visiting and she wanted to savor the visit but still had the mounting chores to do, I think in this photo she is unable to not focus on the clothes drying since they are her work, her pride, her proof of worth to the family back home in the midwest....she had sent them birth announcement photos, professionally taken, they had seen her cherubic son, and here she can share the cuddly one with her older sister while she is able to do her housework
Kay went on to have another child, a little girl after her husband returned from the Korean War, she spent those years of his military service in the company of her older sisters, who had moved west after their patriarch passed away and it was somehow easier with the four women and children in the house and slowly they found their new house in California to be home, but when Kay's husband returned from the war the second time, it was stressful trying to balance time for him with the sisterhood time, Kay always felt pulled in every direction, there were few photographs taken of her because she was always busy tending to someone......her greatest joy was seeing 2 of her 3 older sisters marry and stay in the neighborhood, albeit late in life and without children, her sister's husbands came into the marriages with children so there were children for her 2 kids to play with at holiday parties.......and what parties they were! One of her brothers in laws, Sid, came from money and spared no expense when family gatherings occurred, he would provide catered goods and staff to let the family relax and visit, all of this seemed nice but still added stress to Kay's life having to listen to her husband complain that Sid was showing off and making them stay in their place.......but she could see how happy her sister was with Sid and that Sid was just jovial and goodnatured and never mentioned the money......but marital strife always followed these family gatherings for Kay, to the point that she began to dread the holidays.........that dread continued for 10 years, until that bright day that she became a Grandma for the first time.........seeing her first grandson be spoiled with a rented santa claus and lavished with gifts as the first grandbaby amongst the extended family....was priceless......and from that point on Kay seemed brighter and happier about the holidays
She never was a great homemaker, her sewing and laundry skills were good but her cooking and time management were always lacking, her husband discovered that he could tolerate her cooking much better AFTER 3 cocktails.....and so was their life until they found themselves nearing her husband's retirement from a middle management position where he could wield his power ego at work, as the months quickened to his time at home with her full time she began to dread every DAY......until she saw an ad in a lady's magazine for beautician's college......before her husband retired, she approached him with the smart idea that she could get training and work to help earn money while he enjoyed his retirement golfing and fishing with his veteran buddies......he balked at the cost, but she had the numbers crunched and suggested that if she worked full time she could recover the school fees in the first 2 years! He agreed, she excelled at her chosen late in life profession......she loved being with the ladies in the salon all day, chit chatting and looking glamourous, it was the 60's after all and she was still young enough looking to pass for 30, her continued education in the beauty world led her to attend many hair shows, rub elbows with Vidal Sassoon, train with him and be hit on by him, she was married and it made her smile to think that someone found her attractive of such fame and glamour....she went on to become a favored hair stylist to the stars and was soon enough not working the floor of a salon but on call to homes, studios, movie sets and award celebrations!
While she moved with the times and seemed to be gone alot, she still was there for all of her grandson's events and her children knew she was enjoying her time away from the kitchen.......funny how in the 1960's and 70's she seemed to wear ALOT of dry clean only designer clothing and mini dresses that required no IRONING, her husband never felt wanting since most of his retired buddies had wives at home that were more than happy to have another to dinner and keep their husband's out of the house golfing, fishing, playing cards.........Kay became more than she ever dreamed she could, and her grandkids still talk of the day gramma met rock hudson and doris day on a movie set, kay is still setting hair and performing makeover's in her current residence at sunset acre's retirement village, the ladies still request her, she has enjoyed seeing her grandson's have children and occassionally misses her husband, he passed away from lung cancer 5 years ago, but she does not miss that clothes line!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

seeing the forest

While we seem to live in paradise, with beautiful vistas all around us, I sometimes seem to be blind to the forest for the trees, we survived the Angora Fire and still shudder when we smell smoke.....brings the memories rushing back of the evacuation the first time voluntarily and the 2nd time while we were in Reno, 2 hours away at an appointment......I despise heights, especially precipice type forest roads on which my husband likes to drive i think just to hear me scream, but the views were incredible this weekend, seeing both the beauty and the wrath of nature from one spot on the forest service lookout road

weather and stress

We had snow in early august, not inches of depth but enough to make you know it was snow, then the reoccurring heat wave from hell, no air conditioning or insulation makes this house an oven, the cold is easier to deal with, we have a forced gas heater as well as a gas burning pellet stove and gas oven.....anyway it got hot and humid about last week and I had a HUGE amount of fresh farm stand produce that was not getting eaten fast enough and led to the lovely addition of fruit fly annoying insect things into our mix of enough spiders and mites to start a mite farm........sooooo my cooking was diminished by heat and disgust, we ate lots of fruits and vegis raw and in salads and sandwiches, but gourmet faire it was NOT and everytime I cut into something I would curse at the flying bombers attempting to beat me to my fun I think the flies are on the wane and the rain finally came sunday morning, whether caused by chem trails or mother nature I am just glad to have the humidity this same week we have had many extending family medical stress, pending results causing more stress than good, by tuesday we should know the path of treatments for the multiple family members in the care of specialists, so knowing will lesten the stress but I suspect some of this underlying waiting stress has helped the three year old discover new boundaries to push.........and saturday was a true brat fest and refuse to use the potty day, after 3 good potty days......just makes me scream louder NO, stop, please do not do that.........and more than one night of the 3 year old rolling and tossing so much in his sleep that he fell out of bed more than 3 times in 2 days.......literally moving and crying most nights, growing pains, nightmares.....all just more than normal! I have had my escapist moments into books and I watched some movie on Lifetime just to escape, somehow I neglect to acknowledge how truly lucky I am, to be able to be present in my son's growth, the mistress of laundry that never ends, the dishes that call my name only, this week ends with me on the high of a julia child story, some peaches to replenish my peach cucumber fest, blue skies revealing a lovely sunset and hopes of restful sleep for all!

Friday, August 7, 2009

my local source

I love our local south lake tahoe farmer's market, as I have mentioned in previous posts...and older posts....out of town farm a matter of fact I started my blog with a farmer's market makes me favorite farmer had beets this week, the sweetest most perfect small beets with perfectly sweet tops.......biodynamic farming....I am thrilled with the grapes being available again, pesticide free and a toddler favorite from the booth that sells organic raisins, nuts, peaches and tomatoes....I have been buying his tomatoes since the first week of this year's market, he has had greenhouse grown tomatoes since MAY....yummy and perfect both raw or cooked in tomato goodness! I was happy to get some onions, eggplant and peppers from the market and made ratatouille this week twice! I also bought a crusty loaf of bread and drooled at the pot pies and pastries! Great photo pool of tots @ the farmer's market, and a giveaway here


I think part of the reason I loved the book Farm City was that Novella Carpenter's passion is evident every word you read you can hear her breathing with passion the air of the east bay and today when the happy coincidence of hearing that she was being interviewed on KQED made me find the link and listen to the streaming audio on the laptop while I processed 3 bunches of beets and watched the toddler while doing 2 loads of was a GREAT interview, her diction and cadence perfectly beautiful in words and passion, the passion I have for eating yummy food and photographing it all needs to hear that my small world which collided with Flickr and the inspiration that is TheseDaysinFrenchLife led me to read the book written by the sister of Garlic Breath and that is a good thing!
Here is hoping I get some passion injection from seeing Julie&Julia tomorrow.....if that book was made into a movie, I totally think Farm City would make a great movie since her characters are so well drawn and from real life as well!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

shadow and light

I felt fine yesterday, bright, energy laden, and then today a dead battery....just no energy, somehow when hubby got sick I seem to have gotten it back......I love this photo with the playing munchkin and the shadows and bright sun...taken in emeryville at the city hall....yesterday this 3 year old and I dug up part of the front yard.....where nothing ever grows, not even weeds or clover......i dug some of the most concrete like earth i have ever seen.......we pulled up tree roots and then mixed a whole 20 pound bag of soil ammendment into the remaining broken up dirt.....we watered it heavily, stomped in the mud, made sure the dirt was draining and holding water rather than acting like concrete and just sheeting it off.....then we planted marigolds and sunflower photos, just 2 messy and sweaty gardeners that came back in the house for, today, I marvel that i did it, since my energy has vanished I just fear i have the cold is hoping the light returns and i am back to myself soon!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I am crabby and craving crab

I came home from the bay area, with the slightest bit of sore throat, I thought from reading aloud to the family the whole book, FARM CITY.....but in reality it was the beginning of some cold.
UGH I hate being sick, and am a horrid patient......hint number two that I was sick should have been my taking a nap with the munchkin, usually I use that time to get work done.......I went to work on Wednesday with sniffles and came home early with the desire to lay and sleep, anywhere, bed was not neccessary....just the I am just hungry, crabby and from overhearing the show deadliest catch in my on and off sleep last night, I want CRAB, fresh and now, I still have a headache, never had a fever but did get HOT then cold, for no apparent reason, kind of just been out of it.....I worried that the munchkin was sick....especially when he threw up all over me and the walls and bathroom at work......but he seems full of energy and shows no signs of illness.......granted every time he coughs I go running with a towel......I am getting dizzy again, I better go lay back down to dream of crabs and crab pizza and crab cakes and crab salad......

Sunday, July 19, 2009

one saturday in july

What a glorious saturday we had, canoeing at kiva beach on the shores of lake tahoe with our free within 4 miles from home commute, just easy parking, early enough to literally park right next to the trail to the shore......yes we got a bit sunburned and tired but it makes the living in a tourist resort seem understandable, there is a reason tons of people flock here for their vacations, there is a reason most summers we are at fallen leaf lake mid week after work, to avoid the crowds and still appreciate all the natural beauty we live in the midst of
then driving home after the birthday bar b que for hubby's birthday we were blessed with the most incredible sunset, raspberry and blue and just magical.....the magic and beauty are there all the time you just have to look for it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I awoke friday morning by noises, sure it was a bear, never saw it but knew it was here......I am overwhelmed with a sense of happiness, lucky to live in an area so rife with natural wonder and beauty as well as man made history and innovations. I am so blessed by our family situation to see my son experience new milestones up close and be home most of the time with him and living our little simple life, laundry, dishes, home cooked food, mending and stretching what we have, trying not to be influenced by the trends of the is the little things I notice most, the askew bird feeder, that has been empty for weeks, but put back on the stand since we had company, to make it look nice. This friday morning the bear had looked at that bird feeder for sustenance, but I KNEW it looked askew............later in the day a neighbor confirmed it, they had seen the bear in our yard...took photos even, but in the dark of the early morning no visible evidence........I am grateful that we spent the day together today, just the 3 of us, running errands to the hardware store, playing in the yard......watching a glorious sunset together and hearing our 3 year old tell us about things he has gleaned from his overhearing us talk or answering his questions, one small example was this morning when I was hanging the sheets on the line to dry, he was playing underfoot and picked up 4 sticks then told me he was building a see-saw car so it could be taken apart when he moved it and when i glanced at the piles of sticks.....he had two in each direction rolling along like axles supporting the top 2.....something in me just pounds harder when he exhibits this "natural" learning...not from our direct instruction but maybe just from our providing the environment for him to experiment.......

Friday, June 26, 2009

performer for a child

This is the boy at the center of his universe, he actually thought the 120 other kids at the south lake tahoe library on this friday were there to see him, when in reality all were there to see the Bubble Lady and celebrate summer reading with free ice cream on this hot afternoon!
He was spinning and not keeping his bottom on the ground like normal, he got in other kids faces and wanted to hug and kiss and perform for everyone, the loudest laugh in the room, the loudest clapping, the most enthusiastic volunteer that never was picked......he just exudes the "look at me gene" one would expect from professional performers and he did have those adults around us cracking up with his acting....but alas we had to leave early he would not stop distracting other kids!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

waking up to make pickles?

Let me preface this with I am NOT pregnant
I woke up a little early, munchkin still sleeping, hubby not up yet for work and had the ferdent desire to make pickles......why? I did buy some pickling cucumbers at the farmer's market and had made some fridge pickles last week....but today I wanted to do bread and butter pickles, and while perusing recipes found one for Branston pickle, and lucky me having some apples headed south and dates in need of use, I used up the end of my cauliflower in the branston pickle
The house smells odd, the dishes need to be done, but somehow I find the bottled cucumbers etherial and pretty......the branston is yet to be bottled still cooking.....all have to sit for 1-4 weeks before they are perfectly edible but I will be impatient I am sure!

Monday, June 15, 2009

3 farmer's markets in one week!!!

I went to our local fabulous south lake tahoe, california tuesday installment (on hwy 50), then the following day went to the carson city, nevada pony express pavillion offering at mills park (on hwy 50) and then sunday had me pushing the family to placerville, california for the founders day celebration and wagon train arrival/parade and we made it and parked and were able to attend the placerville downtown weekly offering saturday morning (on main street that backs up to hwy 50)......what a great week for me! I got some great eggs at two of the markets and peaches at all 3, I have to say the corn from carson city was not great, and the onions from south lake were super HOT......The fabulous vegetables have been great in everything and we are eating a tomato or two a day, they are just the best, how they make the horrid grocery store tomatoes seem like a whole different item, like comparing a cup of coffee to water, the flavors and scents are that different!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

trying to cook myself out of this bad mood

blame the moon or the weather, I am just in a bad mood for going on over a week, my poor family is hiding.... I can suddenly snap and start emitting dragon like fumes and just feel like I am going to explode over small trifles......of course does not help to have hormones that seem to pour kerosene on my today I baked these items, made fab food from the farmer's markets into meals.....yes i mucked up a bit and burnt some oatmeal and toasting nuts enough to make the house stink! I hate throwing away food, but the burnt nuts were never going to enhance the i made the bread without the nuts, plenty crunchy as is!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Farmer's Market finds me giddy!

The Farmers Market was FABULOUS today
tomatoes, berry bush, red onions with tops, baquette, rainer cherries, spinach, honey tangerines, salsa, nettles, peaches and eggs all found their way home with me!

time stands still for no one

I am proud of this capture, the floating fairies of dandelion puff seem to linger and dance in the shadows of the trees in our backyard on a sunny sunday morning

tears like a river

This weeks It all Begins with a color challenge • Contrast •
These pink blossoms are a local wild growing bloom, so delicate and romantic, contrasts with this rock and stone man made waterfall......the rocks are hard and stand the test of time, letting the water flow over them and keeping shape, yet the bleeding hearts easily dislodge from the stems with a brisk wind......
Both water and rocks are dense and heavy, yet the bleeding heart is almost weightless and transparent.
Those of us that are easy cries, are sometimes called bleeding hearts, and we cry tears like a waterfall....somehow the crying is a release that can relax the emotional pain, and i always find the sound of water is like mother nature knows if we sit still long enough to listen and hear the trickling flow we might relax enough and be open to hearing some healing....much like the act of crying is a transition.
I love waterfalls and bleeding hearts! The above is my idea of contrast, the challenge this week for a group on flickr that i joined, the group is anchored from this website: apples for poppy anne

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Making this for dinner, just sounds good to me on this dreary day where I wish I was in bed watching chick flicks eating popcorn, drinking citrus smoothies ... hey I might just make some popcorn and take a nap while this cooks the next 2 hours! confit byaldi recipe by thomas keller

I need to win the vitamix!

I am making blueberry sour cream muffins from coconut&lime recipe is here in hopes of winning a vita I had some blueberries heading south, so the dough is a bit thick, like a bread dough, but I read the comments and everyone said they turned out fine.....I of course had to alter the recipe a bit, I added lemon zest and crushed dried mint leaves to the butter as it melted and a whopping tablespoon of ginger juice from the ginger people, something about blueberries and lemon, and then lemon loves ginger i think! I also sprinkled vanilla sugar on the tops of the muffins before baking, since the sugar with the vanilla pod in it gets clumpy, it is the perfect way to disperse the grains by crumbling them over the tops of the muffins! the recipe is easy, just a few more bowls than I would like to clean, but I am in a bad mood There was an abundance of dough it seemed too much for the 12 normal sized muffins, but I decided to fill them evenly, which meant FULL not 3/4 full, hoping that with the density of the batter they would not run all over and muck up the oven, they pretty much stayed in the tin, just some blueberry juice of bursting berries oozed a bit, but thankfully no mega cleaning on the oven is needed! They are cakelike and moist and not overly sweet.....i bet hubby will love them! I had one with a pat of butter to taste test.....gotta go have another!