we planted ten tomato plants this spring. while that may seem excessive, let me assure you that it is NOT. i love tomatoes. there is nothing better than reaching toward a tomato vine, having a ripe tomato just drop into your hand, holding it up to your nose and after you are satisfied that you've smelled that that glorious smell long enough, taking a bite. because of this habit of mine, a third of the tomatoes don't even make it in the house. 

last summer i probably ate a pint of market bought sun golds every other day. this summer i've been picking a pint of those every single day. there's been a lot of salsa making. i've whipped up a batch of tomato butter. i've made a few tomato tarts. i'm going to try this recipe for tomato paste and when the cleanse i'm currently in the home stretch of (day 15 of 21), i'll be trying more than a few of these recipes.

any favorites i should try?

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good mail day

i actually didn't get anything good in the mail today. a catalog that i can't seem to unsubscribe from, a few coupons. i did, however, mail 11 letters.

its hot here in portland. so hot shawn finally agreed that installing the window unit was something that we needed to do. so last night, after we installed the a/c and it had properly cooled the bedroom, i spread piles on stationery and postage on the bed and got to work. i had some letters i needed to respond to, one very overdue. i also had a few friends i just felt like writing, just because. 

while i was looking up those addresses, i thought of a few more. then a few more after that. i ended up making a list because by my tenth letter last night my hand was cramping. but tonight, and as long as this heat persists, i'll write a few more. 

you should probably watch your mail box. 

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girl can't help it

day 55 via 365 lucky days

if you put a book in my hands, i will read it. if you passionately recommend a book to me, i will read it. if there is a book about golf in the house and i've read all the other books, i'll read it - even though i have no interest in golf whatsoever. if i read a review of a book at the salon but don't really retain any information about it and then see it at the library and remember something vague about it*, i'll read it.  i can't help it. i've almost always been this way.

when i was younger, i carried a book wherever i went and read any chance i got. i would finish my weekly pile of library books and then move onto my mom's pile - which often included horror and true crime. i remember reading the biography of nancy spungeon written by her mother, and i don't want to live this life, before i really knew who the sex pistols were. let's just say  my eight year old brain was blown. i read stephen king's thinner when i was 10 and couldn't sleep for what seemed like months.  my mom laughs about this now when i question her about why she let me read EVERYTHING. my grandpa seriously montiored and censored what she read. it was incredibly frustrating for her so she just never checked out what i was checking out. she only cared that i was reading.

i continued reading ALL THE THINGS until some time in college when i became pretentious and snobby and only read serious literature. this period is also know as the borders years.  i shunned mysteries, turned my back on horror. sci fi? pffffffft. oh good gravy, even thinking about it causes me to cringe painfully. 

something happened almost immediately after i quit borders. i stopped caring. i just wanted to read. i asked my mom what good mysteries she'd read lately and i went to the evanston library and left with armfuls of books. that harry potter book that the kids seemed so crazy about that i wrote off as crap? i went and bought myself a copy. i was working at an office for the first time in my life and my boss didn't mind if i read during downtime. also, my schedule was odd and totally opposite shawn's which meant large chunks of time to read. the biggest bonus? my office was walking distance to borders, barnes and noble, the library and bookman's alley - one of my favorite bookstores in the universe. oh yes, it was awesome.

the years at the synagogue are a bit of a blur. i probably averaged a book a month. i just didn't make time for reading or maybe i couldn't make room in my brain. bottom line? i didn't read as much as i would've liked but when i did read, i read whatever the hell i felt like. i also decided that if a book wasn't cutting it, i could put it down. <GASP> life was too short to read books that weren't doing it for me.

here we are, two years after i left the synagogue. i think i've drained all that extra information from my brain about temple members and how to, you know, do my nearly impossible job. i think there's room for book after book again. now, i just need to retrain myself to put a book down when i'm not 100% into it.

*this actually happened

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things i love tuesday (a short list)

these new necklaces and hair things i've been making with silk yoyos and vintage handkerchiefs. they're so much work but i think they're lovely. 

the west wing. i'd been thinking about it a lot lately. the election, i suppose. then, last week, kathryn joosten passed away. she played my favorite character on the show, mrs. landingham - maybe one of my favorite characters of all time. anyway, i decided i needed to watch. i started season 3 this afternoon. (i watch a lot of tv while working. don't judge.) its so good. the best actually. an episode i watched earlier today is going to need its own blog post. plus, its making me really excited for aaron sorkin's new show

diane's new bunny plush toys. i thought it couldn't get any cuter than the monsters. the girl's a genius, y'all.

these two new colorfriends. so pretty i could die.

this picture of shawn & i from yesterday. i am totally giving him a look behind my sunglasses. quelle surprise.


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toward the end of last year i decided that i wanted to visit the redwoods four times in the coming year  - once a season. i want to hike a bit, take tons of pictures but mostly i just want to look and listen. as i watched the seasons change in portland this past year after years of not noticing seasonal changes at all in chicago, i became curious. i'd only ever been there in the summer and its not too long a drive so...

we knew we would be going to san francisco sometime in the spring so that would be our first visit. we're planning on being there again in august and sometime in the late fall after kateri moves. we'll go once more in early 2013. we took the long way back from san francisco this past week and spent a day at jedidiah smith state park.

we drove through some rain the night before as we headed north through redwood national park to crescent city. there were puddles were here and there. the ground was soft and wet. everything was so green, verdant. the forest floor was a creepy crawly party. centipedes, slugs and snails were doing their thing almost everywhere we looked. the ferns were sprouting, slowly stretching out and unfurling. they looked like they were finally waking up after a long winter. the birds were busy talking in the canopy above. chipmunks darted across trails and into fallen logs. there were flowers! rhododendrens and wildflowers everywhere. it was pretty amazing. i'm glad that i decided to do this.

check out more pictures here and here


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