“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
― Mary Oliver


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a pizza oven

Last year when our friends Ros and Mac came to visit us, they were in the process of making a mud pizza oven in their outdoors.  They had taken a class and used a book from an author from Portland (I don’t remember his name now) and they were excited and getting ready to make it once back at home.

So it was only proper we would make pizza and use the oven while visiting them this summer.

DSC_0778-smallSiena and Ros made the dough.

DSC_0780-small DSC_0783-smallWe each put our own toppings.

DSC_0784-smallMac played guitar with the pizza-putter-in-the-oven-stick. 

DSC_0781-small DSC_0786-smallThey looked pretty even before baking them.

DSC_0785-small DSC_0790-small DSC_0789-smallThey didn’t take long in the oven, at all.  I was surprised how quickly they baked.  Once standing next to the oven, it reminded me of the ovens I saw in those restaurants in Central Chile.  We would stop with my parents, when we drove, every time we’d go see my grandma.  At some restaurant on the way to the coast, with these clay outside oven, where they were baking empanadas, and bread.  So good!


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As you can see we all loved our pizza. DSC_0799-smallI forgot to take a picture of the full plate.  Here’s just the last bite.  Delicious! Thank you our dear friends, for yet another delicious (and fun!) meal.

Posted in England, Food, friends, Summer, travels | 2 Comments

what summer is…

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* running * splashing * happiness * freedom * water * smiles * laughter * movies * rivers * lakes * grass * blue * red * snow cones * picnics * ice creams * watermelons * avocado * wet towels * fans * swimming pool * music * bike rides * melons * sprinklers * * grapes * helmets * late nights * late mornings * lemons * cotton* breakfast outside * bare feet * sleep overs * scooters * backyard * barbecues * friends * yellow * balls * stories * swim bag * shorts * sun * creeks * friends * sleeping bags * canning * camping * 

What is summer to you? Leave me a comment if you’d like to share, I’d love to hear.

Posted in family, Summer, thoughts, traditions | 2 Comments



I am not a car person.  At all.  I do know some brands and styles, but by no means, I’d say I know my cars.  Far from it, I should say.



But we heard of a Morgan.

DSC_0007-small DSC_0011-small DSC_0013-smallWhen we were in India together (three years ago) we heard from Mac his Morgan was being built. He was going to go get it soon after he returned home from our stay in India. So he got updates and emails once in a while, and we got to see his car online.

DSC_0014-small DSC_0015-smallWe received a picture in our email inbox one day soon after we returned from our trip overseas, of Mac in his car at home.  It was exciting to see him in it.  And then he invited us to come and take a ride with him.

DSC_0016-smallLittle did we know that just two short years later, we’d be standing right next to him, and some of us riding in the famous red Morgan.  The MacMobile.

DSC_0099-small DSC_0103-smallIt is a treat really.  When else do you get to wear these cool goggles to ride a car?

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A three wheel car?

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Yet another wonderful memory from our trip to England this past summer.

Posted in England, friends, Summer, travels | Leave a comment

Lunch by the Dee River

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While Mark was visiting Ellesmere College we went to meet some of our friend’s friends for lunch.  We went to a beautiful place right on the Dee River, at a border town with Wales.  That’s why the road signs and menu are all written in Welsh too.  So I guess we can say that we visited another country while in England, right?

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A beautiful place.

DSC_0233-smallAnd we got to meet three lovely ladies.

DSC_0231-small DSC_0229-small DSC_0228-small DSC_0234-smallHad some great food as a bonus.

DSC_0227-small DSC_0237-smallOh… and a lovely view too.

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Passed these buildings was the parking lot and fields.

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Before heading home we stopped by the river to splash a little. 

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That’s where we were sitting earlier having our lunch. What a sight.  Beautifully wonderful.


Posted in England, Food, Summer, travels | Leave a comment

last (two) weeks…


The last two weeks has been busy and really fun at the same time.  With summer ending, we had guests, lots of happening in the kitchen and the garden, and getting our new routines set up.


… we had a special guest.  We played.  The kids played their games with Glendie and she played Scrabble with me every night, and we all played together other games.  We went to the river.  We canned.  We pickled.  We talked.  We sewed.  We listened.  We laughed.  Oh what a bunch of days!  A fun visit.  Thanks Glendie for everything!



… cleaned, cleaned and cleaned.  The living room, the dining room, the bedrooms, the drawers, the basement (a little), the curtains… getting ready.  But not everything is put back together.  We are slowly getting ready.

… I found this picture of Mt Hood that I really like at the thrift store.  And now I think I know where to put it.


… I sewed and knitted some too.

canned, lots of produce!  It feels good to see the shelves all lined up with different colors of foods. Love it! (I started a list of foods Put Up this year, on the side bar.  It’s been fun to have it in a list like that, besides the beautiful colors lining our shelves.)

cooked too.

… have seen lots of playing everywhere.  I know the weather will turn and so will the playing.  For now, I am enjoying what I see and find spread all around.



… thoroughly enjoyed the rain we had one day and the cloudy days last weekend.  And enjoyed somewhat the high temperatures of this week as well, but wishing we could be hanging out at a creek or a lake all day though.

… we watched another movie last night with some friends in our backyard.  I really enjoyed it.  We’ll have to do a few more before it starts to rain.


… we did go to the river one of the days, while most of the kids were in school.  We are still enjoying the last of the summer days, swimming around.

… Mark’s grandma is celebrating 95 years old this month.  I really wish we could be closer to her.  It would be so special to celebrate with her.

… Lucas started Fall Ball.  Baseball playing in the fall, a first for him and us.  He had three practices this week and is so excited to be learning new things and playing baseball for a little while longer.

… we spent some time with our nephew who has lived out of town up until now.  We are catching up in lots of playing.


There were breakfast shared, and dinners and lunches, and capes being made…

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So many things to catch up with in these past 3 years.  Oh my.

DSC_0003-smallWelcome home.

… I found this link… oh my.  It seems old.  Seems from very long time ago. That makes me feel very old… was I in high school listening to Soda Estéreo! Man… time goes by really fast.

Oh and this one… brings back so many memories.  I think I had my hair like that too.  It was the late eighties… totally cool!  Right?

… enjoyed eating two kinds of grapes given by two different neighbors.  I do love grapes, and it’s so nice to be given such a delicious sweet treat.  Can’t wait for ours to start producing! (In few years, I think.)

… have loved seeing Mark and Siena come in from their trip to the garden with arms full of vegetables.  Cucumbers, zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes, basil, lovage, peppers… oh such a treat!

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… we picked the unit we’ll start with this week.  We are back to formal homeschooling days and with our new activities and classes.  We are excited to get started.

… read about Nicanor Parra’s celebrating 100 years of age.


And to celebrate I’d like to share the poem that was read in  Chile last Friday, on his 100th birthday, throughout the country in celebration.  El Hombre Imaginario (The Imaginary Man.)

El hombre imaginario
vive en una mansión imaginaria 
rodeada de árboles imaginarios 
a la orilla de un río imaginario

De los muros que son imaginarios 
penden antiguos cuadros imaginarios 
irreparables grietas imaginarias 
que representan hechos imaginarios 
ocurridos en mundos imaginarios 
en lugares y tiempos imaginarios

Todas las tardes tardes imaginarias 
sube las escaleras imaginarias 
y se asoma al balcón imaginario 
a mirar el paisaje imaginario 
que consiste en un valle imaginario 
circundado de cerros imaginarios

Sombras imaginarias
vienen por el camino imaginario
entonando canciones imaginarias 
a la muerte del sol imaginario

Y en las noches de luna imaginaria 
sueña con la mujer imaginaria 
que le brindó su amor imaginario 
vuelve a sentir ese mismo dolor 
ese mismo placer imaginario 
y vuelve a palpitar 
el corazón del hombre imaginario.

—Nicanor Parra.

image53e50c9c3f8bc7.42067244A poet, a physicist, a mathematician, one of the most influential poets in Latin America.  Happy 100th Birthday.

The imaginary man
Lives in an imaginary mansion
Surrounded by imaginary trees
At the banks of an imaginary river.

From the walls that are imaginary
Hang old, imaginary paintings
Unmendable, imaginary cracks
Representing imaginary events
That happened on imaginary worlds
On imaginary places and times.

Every afternoon, imaginary afternoons
He climbs the imaginary stairs
And he looks through the imaginary balcony
To look the imaginary landscape
That’s formed by an imaginary valley
Surrounded by imaginary mountains.

Imaginary shadows
Come by the imaginary road
Singing imaginary songs
By the death of the imaginary sun.

And on the nights of imaginary moon
He dreams of the imaginary woman
That gave him her imaginary love
And he feels the same pain again
The same imaginary pleasure
And it beats again
The heart of the imaginary man.

— Nicanor Parra

Pictures obtained from the internet.

Pictures obtained from the internet.

I should be so lucky to live to 100.

Posted in right now, Summer | Leave a comment

this week in my kitchen :: blog hop

Our kitchen this past week has been a busy one.  Lots of making and putting up but not everything got its picture taken.

Following Heather’s blog hop (from Beauty That Moves) with what’s been happening at our home.

“A weekly collection of photos from the center of my home.”       — Heather

DSC_0040-small DSC_0046-smallLucas went to a friend’s house for a sleep over and came back with the “best sandwich he’s ever tried” recipe, and yes, it was so good!

DSC_0047-small DSC_0041-smallCorn is in season now.  I love corn on the cob.

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The garden is producing like crazy.  I think this is the best year we’ve ever had.  Everything is growing amazingly.  Now, we are in putting up mode.  Drying, canning, freezing, eating, trying all of them. 


DSC_0079-small DSC_0081-small DSC_0082-small DSC_0088-small DSC_0044-smallGherkins ready to try fermenting..

DSC_0043-small DSC_0084-smallAnd canned as well.

DSC_0074-smallSiena and Lucas requested to can pickled garlic.  We’ve never made them before, but I figured we could do them like the dill pickles we’ve done before and also found a different recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. We’ll see how they turned out.

DSC_0076-smallThank goodness we had some help too!

DSC_0078-small DSC_0085-smallThey look pretty!

DSC_0083-smallYes, lots of canning.  Lots.  You can see our running list of food put up this season.  It’s looking good!

DSC_0071-smallLoads of tomatoes from our garden.  I think more than 40 pounds this summer.

DSC_0036-smallOut kitchen is a busy space these days.

DSC_0037-smallSo is the compost bin.

DSC_0042-small DSC_0038-small DSC_0049-smallThe kids are grown enough that they can help us get the canning going.  With Glendie visiting and helping us can the peaches this year, I think it has been the easiest canning event we’ve had in the last 13 years.  (Thank you so much Glendie!)DSC_0053-smallJar after jar, filled with delicious beautiful foods.

DSC_0058-smallEveryone was helping in the best way they could.

DSC_0061-small DSC_0073-smallUntil we saw all these jars lined up.  Tomato sauce, tomatoes, peaches, pickled beets, pickles, garlic, pesto… so many delicious foods ready to be eaten when the weather doesn’t allow us pick from our garden.  The freezer and these jars are what we will reach for, come the cold winter months.  There will be a little bit of sunshine in our table and some beautiful memories of canning and time spent together.

DSC_0006-smallAt the end of the day, we are tired.  My hands are dried.  My shoulders weigh and are a little sore these days.  But how nice it is to see our shelves ad freezer stocked, of all different colors. I know these will be enjoyed by my family and friends in the coming months.

And this evening, we celebrated the beginning of our new days, with the chocolate zucchini cake I’ve made before.  Because there’s always a good reason for a cake.  Right?


Posted in family, Food, home, right now | 6 Comments