Friday, September 26, 2014

10 things

1. an indulgence, (a school day, no less) laying in bed a half hour longer this morning. especially after making an effort every day this week to have nice sit-down breakfasts. cold cereal it is.
2. a return to the school "science fair project" (not my favorite...sigh....) after a long sabbatical. crystal radio waves it will be. glad, though, for an opportunity for him to delve into his interests.
3. autumn light that slants golden.
4. last night's 11:00 p.m. phone call. or his random (saturday morning!) 7:00 a.m. "british coronation anthem" texts. his need to share his life with me the way he does. that we are friends.
5. this solemn reminder that death can come at anytime.
6. earth-angel(s)
7. joining with the monday night empty-nesters. sharing her heart with them all.
8. sometimes it's just easier to crawl.
9. her first date dance tomorrow. her first big-city concert tonight. my. this little puppy-love is growing up.
10. the car alarm going off in the hotel parking garage after the lecture last night. those ten minutes feeling like forever. alone, panic, frantic, embarrassed, and helpless until the kind security guard comes to my rescue. duh, lady. (if i could have read his thoughts) just press that little red button on you car-key thing. i'm almost positive he chuckled to himself as he walked away.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

around here

:: My days are pretty simple. Lots of time and focus on self-care, rejuvenation, and rest. Getting back to the practice of warm lemon water first thing in the morning, followed by a quart of green smoothie. Lots of time in the chair reading, listening to podcasts, downloading ebooks, watching movies on Netflix. It's either been that or time on my scooter in the kitchen trying out a new granola recipe or a batch of gluten-free blueberry muffins. Cooking always brings me joy, and I find that it's manageable and do-able on my scooter. At least it's something I can do, albeit a little slower and cumbersome.

In between all the days (and some evenings) of solitude, I've ventured out a few times to a doctor appointment, the grocery store, the bookstore, and treated myself to a solo lunch date. (so excited to find a new-to-me local cafe that specializes in "healthy" and vegan/gluten-free offerings) I smile when little kids point and say "Daddy, it's a bike!"

Excited that my foot seems to be healing.
(Stitches come out this week!)

:: "It's sure a good mail day for you, Mom!" Eliza said as she brought in this wonderful stack of goodies to me yesterday. Two beautiful cards from two dear friends (thank you Melanie and Renee!), and two new books I've ordered last week:

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook
Nourishing Meals
Where have these amazing cookbooks been all my life? Thank you, Jennifer, for the heads up and encouragement to seek these gluten-free, whole food resources.

 Looking forward to trying out some gluten-free breads with the pantry supplies I purchased this week, and already having a fun time trying out some of these excellent recipes. (a beautiful, Raw Berry Tart With Coconut Pastry Cream  this morning's Home-Style Potatoes for Keith's birthday breakfast, and a totally delicious autumnal salad/dressing-- spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, candied pecans-- I took to a family  dinner last night. Everyone raved about it.

:: now for some news regarding my kids:

Eliza participated last week in our community "Chalk the Block" art festival. Her work was beautiful and earned her an honorable mention award.

It's hard to believe that Sam has been gone a whole month. He's loving his life as a missionary in Mexico. He can't believe how fast the Spanish is coming for him. He's happy and excited and healthy. (mom so relieved and grateful) "
Most of my meals are arroz y frijoles, and I put them on corn tortillas with limes and salsa, or something like that. Also lots of fresh fruit. The fruit here is really really good. I don´t normally like fruit, but I have been eating a ton of it here, probably because I can never have the desserts."  He's never seen so much rain in his life, as well as the palm- sized moths and spiders he and his roommates wake up to almost daily in their little "casa".

Isaac and Keith enjoyed their camping outing and college football game this weekend.

Gary asked me if he could take some of our garden stuff to the professor he works for. She oohed and awed over the bag of tomatoes and it was nice to share the bounty.

With Jane working at doTerra (she just got asked to join the Mandarin Chinese support team!), she spent Thursday through Saturday at their annual convention. With the 19,000 attendees, you can imagine what a huge production it was. She is exhausted from working the daily 14 hour shifts (her poor feet are covered in blisters) but came home so excited and fulfilled to be able to spend much of her time translating and assisting so many Taiwanese visitors. 

:: September is birthday month around here. In both our extended families. It's been fun to gather a few nights to celebrate with everyone. 

:: where have all these curls come from? A never before experienced phenomena. Pretty much just wash and air dry and I'm good to go. So easy and a fun change.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello Again... And Making Real Life Connection


It's been a week since I posted and I've missed it. I miss capturing my life's moments and sharing them here in this space...with you. Before I get into the real purpose of today's post, I wanted to give you a little post-op update. Last week's surgery went as expected, and I'll go back tomorrow to the doctor to get the dressing changed and see how things are progressing. I've spent most of the time either in bed or in my reading chair with foot elevated. My calf is all wrapped and splinted. (Huge, huge foot = wearing of skirts, awkward, and uncomfortable.) Thank goodness I'm off those nausea, loopy, and sleep-inducing pain meds, but in a lot of ways, I'm grateful that they were able to help manage my pain for the first few, rough days. 

I've slept a lot, read a lot, Pinterest-ed a lot. Watched a few foreign films on Netflix and thought a lot. Felt profound gratitude for the help and support I've received. I'm pretty good at hopping on one foot now when I can't access my crutches or Red-Riding Hood scooter, and am quite the sight scooting my bum down the stairs (and I have no shame crawling up stairs, too, and showering while sitting on a garden bucket.). And as you might guess, I've cried some tears of frustration and have gone a little stir crazy, too. 

Today that feeling of boredom, blah, and loneliness was lifted and here's why:

After three years of back and forth emails and reading each other's blogs, I finally had a face-to-face, real-life meeting with Jennifer. A lovely woman that shares so many of my own interests, lifestyle choices, and values. (Her blog, Kidoing has been so inspirational to me in my journey towards eating a whole foods, plant-based diet.) Through our first "meeting" in Heather's (of the beautiful blog Beauty That Moves) wonderfully life-changing 30 Day Vegan workshop (and other workshops over the years), our communications and connection developed into what we both consider a dear friendship. A friendship in every sense of the word.

So you can't imagine how excited I felt when she told me we would have a chance to finally meet as they would be moving this summer from their home in Pennsylvania. Making a month long cross-country road trip to settle somewhere "out West". Using this opportunity of the move and job change to allow their sweet homeschooled children to really get an up-close, experiential, educational , and once-in-a-lifetime understanding of our beautiful America.

How lucky for me that their itinerary included Utah! Of course I would do anything in this world to make our meeting happen. I wanted so much to show kindness, love, and hospitality to her, Marc, and the children. Especially here with a home cooked meal and lots of talk and sharing around my dinner table.

I can't tell you how happy this has made me. A dream come true and an almost surreal experience. With all the sincerity of my heart, meeting Jennifer was one of the highlights of my life. (Yes, I cried.) Just like I felt a few years ago when I met and hosted another internet friend and fellow blogger, Renee (who blogs at FIMBY) and her husband Damien. (He came back the following year and stayed a few nights with us while attending the Outdoor Retailers Expo here in Utah.) 

More and more, my heart is overwhelmed with all the goodness and joy this blog, and really the whole internet, blogging world has given me. It's been an amazing tool in creating a community and connection with so many kindred souls all across the world. Out of that has come cherished and soul-sharing emails and honest-to-goodness friendship with some of you dear ones who I now consider precious friends.

Like I've said before, I'm seeing more and more just how small this world really is- 

if we give love a chance.

And it is just so amazing to me how many good people there are in this world. That through this medium of internet and social media-- connection, community, and even (real-life!) friendship can be found. 

I am blessed.

P.S. If any of you guys ever come to Utah, I'd host you and feed you and hug you just the same!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

just what we needed

i can't resist plopping myself down 
and sharing a few glimpses 
of our little weekend getaway.

the gift it all was,
just the two of us, 
off to that wonderful cabin in the woods.

leaving all the chores, the stresses, 
the distractions, and problems
all behind for a few, precious days.

oh, how we both needed this time,
individually and as a couple
to connect and share and strengthen,
to rest and rejuvenate,
to be surrounded in peaceful stillness,
and immersed like we were
in glorious autumn splendor.

each moment and experience
so perfect, 
so priceless,
so happy 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

change of plans

hi friends.

well, i had all my intentions and plans set for this month of september, but life has a way of changing things, i've learned.

i've recently experienced another stress fracture in my foot. a different spot than the one earlier this summer. my plantar fasciitis won't let up. the inflammation (and the resulting pain) problem, we saw yesterday through ultrasound, greater than when i first went to the doctor in january, and even greater after my surgery in march.

as you know, i've tried everything. it's been hard not to allow discouragement to consume me. to be able to feel hope and trust. to not be able to do something as simple as being able to walk. it's hard to not have the freedom to live the life i want and need to live. especially hard when others depend on me. a hard thing to not allow my spirit and will to be broken.

and this idea of letting go. oh, how i'm learning what that means.

considering all these factors, i've (we've) decided my next and hopefully final step will be another surgery. the one that is more invasive, and that i've tried at all costs to avoid, but one that i hope will be the solution. i go in on tuesday. i'll be looking at another long recovery with lots of down time. back to using crutches and that fun, fun scooter for six weeks, give or take.

again, i feel like a sad and sorry broken record, hesitating to continually share this ongoing trial with you all, but as this blog's main purpose has been the tool to record the story of my life, i feel it should be included. and i guess i just wanted to let you-- my family, friends, and neighbors-- know that i may or may not be present here for a while. maybe i'll pop in when i get bored or when inspiration strikes. or those days when i can hobble around with my camera. (the idea of not taking photographs just kills me.)

as i always say and i always mean, your visits and interest in my life amazes me. for this, my heart is lifted and grateful. 

life is really so very beautiful.

see you on the other side,

Monday, September 1, 2014

September ambitions, observations, intentions

I originally posted this blog entry three years ago. And since September marks the beginning of my very favorite time of the year, I sat down this weekend to plan and formulate a vision of what I want for this new month and this new season of autumn. I kept coming back to this post. My intentions are always the same, it seems. Yes, there are a few changes I've adapted (which I'll indicate and update in red), but the essence, I've found, will always remain the same.

Year, after year, after year...

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with

A morning haze."

~ John Updike, September

Are you getting excited for fall? I am. It's my favorite season of the year.

To me, September really seems like a fresh start, a new beginning. I've noticed that I tend to make a list of goals, things I'd like to accomplish three times throughout the year: Every January (obviously, with the new year), at the beginning of summer, and now with the arrival of autumn. (I know we're not really through with summer; a few weeks more.) Here's my thoughts for this new month.

(A note: You may be thinking, "Emily, how are you going to do all this in one month's time?" Well, remember, these are only ideas, friends. The possibilities, the list making, the planning...thinking about all this is as enjoyable as actually doing it all! I know I may not be able to accomplish everything here, and that's okay. I might put it off to the next month, and that's okay, too. Either way, it's still fun to think about, nonetheless.)


~one can feel a change in the air, a snap; autumn is on its way!
~cooler temperatures mean that it's time to pull out our jackets and sweaters
~the leaves are starting to change on the mountainside; pockets of red, orange, and yellow are seen from down here in the valley
~early fall thunderstorms feel refreshing after the long, hot summer months
~the sunlight starts to get that golden glow that I love
~the first flocks of geese are seen flying overhead
~milkweed pods are bursting with their silky white threads
~the garden is yellowing now; vines are starting to wither
~farmer's fields of grain are golden and ripe
~chrysanthemums are in bloom
~the peaking sunflowers bow their heads full of seeds
~first snow is seen on Mt. Timp
~the large swarms of birds that swoop across our yard are back
~orchards are laden with ripe apples and peaches
~bees are busily producing honey


~return (in earnest) to soup making and bread baking. Take some down to share with the college kids and their roommates, neighbors and friends
~peaches, so sweet and juicy, are bottled and enjoyed fresh
~tomatoes are coming in by the bowl full now, ready to be made into salsa and spaghetti sauce that we'll enjoy in the cooler months.
~basil and pesto sauce for the freezer 
~it's apple time! With that comes applesauce, cider, caramel apples, dried apples, apple pie, apple cake, and apple muffins and breads.
~ roasted root vegetables and winter squashes
~cinnamon toast for breakfast sounds like a good idea
~warm milk, chai, cocoa, teas of all sorts


~come back to order with all these bedroom switches
~the return of routine made easier with the start of the new school year (besides the family and kids rhythms, this including things like my own personal inner work such as prayer, meditation, study, yoga, exercise. Also back to a daily personal/homemaking schedule I call The Big Plan 
~time to get cozy again! Let's light a candle at table and bring out the throws
~welcome return to sweaters and wool and corduroy
~the satisfying feeling that comes with storing food for winter, just like a busy, frantic little squirrel
~canning season begins (salsa, peaches, jam, etc.)
~make a big batch of cocoa mix and restock the tea supply 
~ make up some chai concentrate to keep on hand in the fridge.
~freeze spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, pesto, and peaches
~update the 72 hour emergency kits. Store them in the new space created in my (now organized and bare) closet
~finish the family herbalist course, re-stock the wellness kit/supplies to prepare for cold and flu season
~make order in the storage room
~sew simple pillows for the couch,  sew up some new aprons
~wonderful anticipation of the holidays season that's just around the corner. Start thinking about homemade Christmas gifts

Activities and Crafts:

~enjoy an overnighter with Keith and time at Swiss Days at the cabin
~Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer season. We welcome the day off
~college football games make for fun Saturday afternoons with the girls
~visit a farmer's market and bring home some boxes of peaches and apples
~go to the state fair
~invite people over for a weekend dinner/get together
~display early fall scene on this month's nature table: focus on wheat and apples
~start gathering autumn books and poetry to place in the basket near the fireplace
~start singing the seasonal autumn songs
~mark fall's arrival with a drive up to the canyon. Let's gather some colored leaves to press and display
~ enjoy canyon hikes, picnics, bike rides, and canoeing (hoping so much that my foot is up to it)
~use our pressed leaves to make a fireplace garland, chandelier mobile, sun catchers, bookmarks, cards, and place mats.
~celebrate Keith's birthday on the 21st
~celebrate Papa's birthday on the 18th
~remember Grandma Fay's birthday on the 12th
~decorate the front porch at the end of the month with the scarecrow, hay bales, cornstalks, pumpkins, and gourds, potted chrysanthemums

What are your seasonal plans for this month of September? Autumn intentions, in general? I'd love you to share in the comments!