in the kitchen

We’ve had lots of cooking and so much picturing them.  But here’s some.

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Mark is the baker in the family.  For all sorts of pies and cookies, breakfast, he is the one who does it all.  And they are so good! DSC_0137 copy

Thanksgiving, what a treat it was.

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And few meals have been made.  Just not pictured.

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There’s been request of cookies already, and would like to make some, but we need to get some momentum going.  It seems all of my free time has been spent in creating new things for the holiday fairs we just finished.  My mind has been in crafting mode, not so much in cooking.  Now it’s time to turn this way a little.  I’m ready.  Even though I have quite a few projects I need to finish, and few I need to get started on.  I need a couple extra weeks before Christmas comes.

What have you’ve been cooking lately?  What are your favorite cookies to bake at this time of the year?

last few weeks…


Days are going by very quickly.  They are busy but beautiful busy. I love this time of year.  There’s a little buzz in the air, but for us, it’s as buzzy as we like it.  Sometimes it gets a little out of our reach, but for the most part, we are pretty good about it all.  There’s swim meets, making and projects to be finished, there’s the cooking, driving around, the classes, playdates, the swim practices and other activities we all enjoy.  But there’s also the seasonal activities we so look forward to.  The craft fairs, the driving to the mountain to pick our perfect tree for the year. The decorating, the baking, the making, the reading, the decision making of what special show we want to see this Holiday season.  There is so much fun to be had.

The past few weeks…

… we’ve had three craft fairs this past month.  And we had so much fun at these, talking to people, seeing new and old familiar faces, seeing friends, making new friends.  It was fun.

… we had a beautiful Thanksgiving.  Celebrated just us, together, as we do each meal, but it is something so special to have Mark be home all day, hanging out with us, cooking and baking together.  A real treat we all enjoy so much.

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… it’s been cold. Really cold.  As cold as snow could have falling down, but it didn’t.  we’ll keep waiting.

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… it’s been raining so much.  So hard, we have the record for rain fall for the month of December, and it’s only the 9th.

… loved the words by Dalai Lama at an interview after the violence in Paris.

“We are human beings and there is no basis or justification for killing others. If you consider others as brothers and sisters and respect their rights, then there is no room for violence.”

And continued to say:

“If we emphasize more on nonviolence and harmony, we can herald a new beginning… … Unless we make serious attempts to achieve peace, we will continue to see a replay of the mayhem humanity experienced in the 20th century.”

… so sad to read that there’s been more mass shooting than calendar days this year.  It takes me to wonder what is wrong with our society? Where do we live? How could this be possible? It saddens me to think “where is it this time?” How could that be possible.

… found the cutest dance class video taught by a toddler.

… feel like I need to learn how to do Instagram.  Love all the photos I see sometimes, but mostly I am enjoying having the possibility of this!

… saw this article at a friend’s page.  Beautiful.

… see the kids play with friends.  Now, more inside than outside.

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Lucas here with his mask and glasses, trying to get better plays in BS.  Didn’t sound like it worked very well for him.

… we went to see a Blazers game.  With so many new players, it was a little hard to see them play, but it’s fun no matter what.

… read Niina’s post in her blog Souvenirs few days ago, and I want to move to Finland. I love snow so much, oh how I wish we could be covered in that white beautiful puff.  Some day… some day snow, some day Finland… I’ll take any!

… heard the geese fly by at night, over our home few days ago.  It was cold outside, 34 degrees.  Why are they waiting so long to go south?

… saw this video of southern Chile.  Beautiful!

… celebrated Lucas turning once again around the sun.

… found this pencil and loved it…

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… have felt thankful for so many reasons.

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playing at the park

DSC_0182 copy On a sunny day last week and a walk to the park, I grabbed my camera.

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Because these camelias, make their appearance when everything ir stunning dark, brown, and bare.  Pink is not the common shade in nature, in autumn or middle of winter, which makes them brighter, I think.

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So strong.  So beautiful. So bright and ready to share it with all of us, passers by.

DSC_0192 copy DSC_0190 copy DSC_0193 copy Benches are empty.

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DSC_0196 copy The sun, barely shining, giving the little warmth and golden light.

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Leaves falling, reminding us of a beautiful summer, and now the earth turning away from the sun, giving us the much needed time to rest.  Knowing, there’s another year to come, and so goes the cycle of life, the cycle of the seasons.

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We are really enjoying what we have right now.  I am loving these days.

last few weeks…

The days are going by so quickly.  It seems to happened to me this time of the year.  Maybe it’s the getting ready and all the making that is happening in our home.  There’s crafting, math, reading, Norse Mythology and Vikings, writing, swim meets, baseball practices, cooking, driving and riding to and from practices, breakfasts and lunches, planning, sewing, basketball practices, knitting, cooking, spinning, leaves raking, putting the garden to sleep, sweeping, writing of this blog, playing, and of course, all the cleaning, and laundry to be folded and put away and don’t let me forget the rotting pumpkins in the porch that need to be taken to the compost.

The last few weeks…

… I’ve enjoyed the rain, hearing split splat in the roof and gutters most every day.  I do love the rain and have missed it.  I am taking it all in, and I happily see it come down.

… I was surprised to see him covered in mud for the stealth game he played in his day out in the woods.  I loved it.

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… found new music I am enjoying.  This video, and I like this one too, and have enjoyed listening to this CD I’ve had checked out from the library for so many weeks.

… noticed the sun is low and barely warming up when it comes out, but makes beautiful beautiful days indeed.DSC_0144 copy DSC_0143 copy DSC_0141 copy

… watched this video of Astronaut Scott Kelly and his first walk in space to fix the ISS.

… had planned of having someone special for dinner and all of a sudden, a phone call later, we got three more sitting next to her and us at the table and a puppy sniffing around!  A little more tomato sauce added to the sauce already cooking, and another bag of spaghetti to the pot made enough for all of us.  They were in the neighborhood, haven’t seen them in few months, it was the perfect time to re-connected and catch up with their lives, a birthday singing over the phone to a grandma we care and haven’t seen in a while either.  And they even brought us pumpkin pie and whipped cream because what is it a cold fall evening with dear friends without one?  I love an impromptu dinner party in the middle of the week!

… when everyone in the neighborhood were at work, and all the kids were in school, we were in PJ’s and running around outside barefoot.  Oh… the joys of homeschooling!

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… have enjoyed using Pandora lately.  After my find of Hey Marseilles (and those videos up above), I was suggested I’d also like Blind Pilot.  And yes! Check out this video, I love the energy, the dancing, the smiles.  Might be a good one to get me started in the morning.

… some friends went to France for 3 weeks and we got this beautiful kitchen towel to brighten our days as a present from them, and remind us of that wonderful place, across the ocean, that we keep talking about and that they enjoyed too.

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A little reminder of maybe another trip some day.  It’s a wonderful thing to dream.  And these past few days when thinking of Paris makes my heart ache a little.

… had a special guest over few weekends ago.

… enjoy the golden light coming in with a little warmth.

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… had swim practices and a swim meet.  Spending many hours in the warmth and smell of chlorine.  That I don’t want to talk bad about, because there is one person in our house that loves that smell, that smell of pool.  Maybe I should get her this t-shirt.

Found online on this website.
Found online on this website.

Maybe I should make something like this for her:

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… carved pumpkins.

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… and roasted the seeds. DSC_0027 copy

… knitted. Sewed. Painted. Knitted some more.  Sewed some more.  Holiday fairs are coming up faster than I am ready.

… baked bread. Few times. It makes our kitchen warm and smells good too, and make good presents for friends and coaches.

… loved, love so much when my little guy brings me presents like these from his walk!

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… have enjoyed them on our table with other found autumn loves.

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… ate cake and celebrated turning 45.

DSC_0436 copy DSC_0442 copy DSC_0446 copy DSC_0449 copyChocolate, almond, raspberries-cake.  So good!

… got a new cup and realized that we have another lovely (and dirty) Oregon love we use every day.  My Oregon forest mug, and my heart is in Oregon for sure.

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… on my special day, was treated with breakfast in bed, a surprise morning all together, and showered with thoughtful, beautiful presents.

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My family knows me.  New, cool, purple canning jars.  A new tea and a new mug.  A new, hole-less, super-soft cashmere sweater, a coupon book.  Chocolates delivered by a friend. My mom sent me a new notebook.  I love notebooks and notepads, and pens and paper (… and of course, yarn, and fabric too!) so she always sends me a new one for my birthday (with small squares, I prefer) and this time, a new needle holder.  Perfect!  I’m all set for a long while in everything.

… got wet.  Soaked actually, and loved it.  Gosh I do love the rain.

… enjoyed a late breakfast on my own one day, when I had a whole day to myself.  And feel lucky we have some yummy (new) jams to treat ourselves.

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… the kids with friends played in the rain, in the water, in the moments we had a torrential rain, they went to the park to play in the rain.  In shorts, barefoot, flip flops, and t-shirt. Enjoying the rain coming down, but enjoying the hot chocolate waiting for them when they came back, wet and cold.

… went for walks.

… received a gorgeous autumn bouquet of flowers. and a caring and thoughtful card.  Thank you my dear friends.

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We are having fun and I hope you are too.  Have a beautiful beginning to your week.

pumpkin patch

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On a beautiful sunny, fall day we headed to Sauvies Island with some friends.  It was a no-school day, and we like those, so we can hang out with our friends that go to school.

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Duck racing… who would have thought it was that much fun! DSC_0039 copy DSC_0040 copy

I know… we are growing out of so many games at the pumpkin patch…

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But there’a always ways to have fun, no matter how much our visits have changed since those baby, toddler years.  Still fun. DSC_0051 copy

And even on a week day we got to go on a hay ride to the patch where the pumpkins where growing.  Sometimes farms are not fully “functioning” on week days, but this one it was! and what a treat it was.

I love hay rides.  I remember the first time I went on one, when I was in high school, as an exchange student in  Michigan.  There are no pumpkin farms in Chile, so I enjoyed all the traditions there were from friends and my host family.  Lots of memories.  And of course, all these years of living here now, and the last 13 with these two goofy kids.DSC_0055 copy DSC_0056 copy

And because it is more fun to go with friends, we did.

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Searching for the perfect pumpkin.

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Taking it all in.  The sights. The colors. The cooler weather.  This is my time of the year I love the most.

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Look at the colors!

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And of course.  A corn maze to complete our trip to the farm.

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A day to remember, for sure.

a fall walk in Oaks Bottom and last minute batting practice

DSC_0208 copy DSC_0212 copy A walk through the park to get to Oaks Bottom.  A beautiful sunny day in November.

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DSC_0213 copy DSC_0217 copy The plants turning brown, drying up, but wet from the rain.

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And why not!  Just find a stick and be lucky to find a tennis ball during the hike and you’ve got a last minute batting practice.

fall in full fall

DSC_0041 copyThe trees are shaking, shivering.

DSC_0025 copyLaves have fallen.  All over.  It is fall for sure.

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Today the trees are bare.  The rain came and blew the leaves off.  A much needed rain though.  Oh, how I have missed that water.

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The sun shining at times throughout the day, in between rain breaks and barely warming up.  I can feel the sun is heading south, I understand it is their turn now to enjoy.  My mom has been wanting it to warm up down there in Chile, so yes, we’ll take turns.  I’ve had enough of warmth this summer, it’s your turn, thank you.

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But there are days without rain that we are still enjoying a meal outside.  Cuddled together, with long pants and sweaters, it feels good to still be outside.

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Some flowers still blooming and enjoying them for sure. DSC_0040 copy

DSC_0038 copyAnd when the sun does come out, I pay attention to the light.  That warm, delicate light that gives that beautiful warm glow.

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And still try to dry our clothes outside when we can.  But it doesn’t dry much anymore.  It’s mostly for the looks and the feeling and the visual I need for the closure of this cycle of seasons, of spending our days outside.  Now, we are gravitating indoors, with new activities and new projects to keep us busy. I welcome them all happily.  I am ready for this season.  All the sweaters and blankets and warm shawls, hats and socks… oh my.  Knitting and woolens how I love you.  I am ready.