Finally, home.

By the time my daughter ran into the house tonight, trailing one of her brothers through a wall of flies the recent rain has seemed to revive, she was the same kind of sight she usually is these days. Raspberries smeared over a layer of sunblock, over a layer of sand, over a thorough layer of what I now know is unwashable pink marker. Her loosening blonde pigtails were matted to her head and memories of the afternoons ice cream were all over her shirt (and me). The shirt, pink at 9 a.m., now a sort of brown-themed tie dye.

We woke late enough this morning for it to feel like vacation, but early enough to let the day unfold. My oldest, Colby, came over for coffee and leftover cherry pie and a long visit. We sat outside in plastic Adirondack chairs while P zipped around and on top of us – washing dishes in her pretend kitchen, filling the driveway with chalk circles, throwing rocks because she felt like it – the fat canopy of a maple shading us. We walked around the property and lost track of time and when he left I remembered how hard, how often, it is to have him out of the house. Sigh. In the same way I cannot get enough of listening to him right now, and what he thinks about this gorgeous, dumpster-fire world and everything that lies directly in front of him. I love that he is out and I’m so proud of the life he is making for himself. Almost daily I hear these line from Ani DiFranco’s “Landing Gear” and I laugh because it is exactly as demanding as I can be, but my god: “you’re gonna love this world/if it’s the last thing I do”. If it’s not that, it’s a Maggie Smith poem.

We spent the rest of our day playing in an idlyllic Maine lake. It was warm and just breezy enough and I spent most of the day parked in the sand and talking with my brother and sister-in-law and gazing at my favorite little mountain while our girls played, tantrumed, and played some more. I was pulling Princess P and the wagon out of the changing room when my brother passed us. “Hey!” I yelled “Call me if you come to Bangor. I’ll pull the beet greens for you”. If all of my Julys are made up of this exact conversation on these exact kind of days, there will still never be enough.

After a quick stop for some local ice cream (I know, I know) we went home to meet P’s other brothers, my Bonus Boys, the youngest whom she loves more than mac n’ cheese. She loves all her boys but this guy has her whole heart. And we spent the rest of the evening fixing the garden, watching her run while we parked our butts back in the chairs, and fighting blackflies to get to the last day of viable raspberries.

This was all within an hour of my house! Sometimes I feel like I need to get out for the sake of getting out, for perspective, but I just cannot give Maine in July up. Not one second of it. I’m watching people’s Instagram stories and seeing them experience Maine for the first time and all I can feel is the most sparkling joy that even one more person gets some of this. I messaged one and told her about the Bar Island hike, and also Miss Rumphius, without one ounce of irony.

I hope this gorgeous evening finds you, too, overly sentimental and berry bursting with love for a place and its people. xo.


Surviving Soccer Season

While the end of soccer season always brings a visceral, and bittersweet, relief, the beginning sneaks up on us. A practice here, a game there, until BAM. It’s October and everyone is out of clean underwear (either wearing dirty ones inside out or none at all) and you haven’t had a hot meal before 9 pm in two months.

This is what the beginning of this soccer season looks like for me:


I change into my running clothes before every practice. I pack one work-related activity. I spend the first 30 minutes working or reading, and the rest walking or running. I was feeling pretty smug about this until I realized it’s only August. Actually, I’ve written this post before, haven’t I?

I guess the good news is that we always survive to see another season. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve this season though.

PBJ suppers- no whining allowed.

Cereal always trumps Pizza Hut. No restaurants after games.(Playoffs excluded). This will easily save us an hour and a half each game night.

Freezer meals. I’ve already planned out meals to put away for busy game/week nights.

This is my least favorite: morning work outs. I’ve been practicing since July, and think the habit is setting.

Thursdays and Saturdays are for grading (and soccer games). I will find the nearest Tim Horton’s or McDs and use their Internet while waiting for C’s game.

Piece o’ cake, right?



A Week in Pictures

I’m sitting in my car, parked outside the music studio where Colby takes drum lessons.

Mother Nature decided I was tired, so she’s watering my garden for me.

It seemed like a good day to spend a paycheck. At Target, on school supplies. The irony.



I had allergy testing done earlier this week.

Now I will know what is like to live in Maine and not eat any seafood.


Matt and I got our marriage license. I kept thinking they were gonna say no, but it turns out as long as we’re not first cousins we’re all set!



I have painted my kitchen twice in the past two weeks. *facepalm*


The sea foam green was good in theory. I like the present khaki MUCH better.


I got a college ID much different from those I’ve had in the past. I think I look better in this one too.

We’ve been canning and freezing in the middle of all of this wedding planning kid carting new (extra) job ruckus. I think I can I think I can . . .






What’s Cooking?

Head over to the Recipes page to see the newest chard recipe. I know. You could barely wait, couldn’t you?

We ate another version of this last night with parmesan, and it was super satisfying all over again.

On the sweet side, we just picked (I just picked) and pitted about 10 cups of tart cherries from our neighbors’ trees.

a sink full of cherries - if only I knew what to do with them
a sink full of cherries – if only I knew what to do with them

Dear God, I promise I won’t try to make anything with chard and cherries in it. I promise.

Coming up this week:

Cherry Preserves

Swiss Chard Pesto

Yet Another Beet Green Smoothie

What’s cooking in your kitchens, friends? Any suggestions?

Green Smoothie Brown


Thanks to my friend Catie (of who suggested using smoothies as a means to rid one’s refrigerator of excess greens.

I feel like such a brat. Like complaining about my over abundance of nourishing food is comparable to complaining about a new car for super-sweet 16, but I digress.

I had a giant bag of beet greens in the fridge, so here’s what I did:

4 ice cubes, a handful of blueberries, a tbsp of chia seeds, on chopped and very ripe peach, a splash of water, and as many beet greens as I could put in the blender. Blend for a really long time.

It was very beety ( not surprising), but pretty good for something the color of dirt. Next time I may adjust to add sweetness and manage the color, but overall this was a cool and nourishing meal. I drank the whole thing, and I do not believe in eating gross things.


I’m not looking to jinx myself, but the living really is pretty easy.

I’m sitting under my $34.99 Christmas Tree Shoppe umbrella and sweating through every stitch of clothing I have on.

This is not a complaint. It’s just fact.

But also, it is so hot and sunny that I have to sit under the umbrella or hide inside with the air conditioner on and the blinds drawn. That, my friends, is a miracle.

Matt and his father are framing out the space for the new barn floor, and it seems like every time they set aside a day to dusk-till-dawn work, it is a bazillion degrees out. I feel badly about this. We should be at camp  (and by this I mean I want to be at camp and I want all of us to pick up and go and I feel the teeniest bit guilty that my tiny work ethic only kicks in only when it is raining or snowing, but really those are good times to lay around and read, too).


Someone, thankfully, gave the Panther a new home.
Someone, thankfully, gave the Panther a new home.




My flowers are blooming. Between the frequent appearance of a green John Deere and some helping hands and flowers appearing on my doorstep, it is easy to make the call that we have the best neighbors ever. We get annuals from one side, perennials from the other. As the annuals are blooming now, I’m operating under the assumption that the flowers will not still be in bloom for our September wedding. Oh, well. That’s what supermarket flowers are for. But look at our gardens now:







I spy . . . four rows of greens. Note to self: next year, diversify.


I just dropped my baby off at music camp (keep your band camp jokes to yourself, thanks. I can’t handle it!) for his first overnight camp. I realized, with every step I took, that it would be five measly years before I did this, moved him into a college dorm, for real. Holy Holy Holy Shit.

Colby and I did get a good dose of time together today; we waited in an hour’s worth of lines for registration, drove back and forth across campus, moved him into his dorm, met his roommate, had lunch, and sat through the full-group (kids – behave, parents – don’t worry) meeting. We simultaneously realized that we were about halfway through July. And then we didn’t mention it again. Please summer, just stay. Please kid-version of Colby, just stay.

This is what we’ve done so far this summer:

I schedule stuff, drink coffee, and check email. This is how I look 50% of the day.
I schedule stuff, drink coffee, and check email. This is how I look 50% of the day.


Watching fast cars and funny people.
Watching fast cars and funny people.

We swim with friends. Colby likes babies (understatement of the year).
We swim with friends. Colby likes babies (understatement of the year).



And we swim elsewhere.

More on this local 'beach' later.
More on this local ‘beach’ later.

United Methodist Strawberry Festival. . I ❤ cheek pinchers. Really, I’m serious!

Chard pie with savory herb crust
Chard pie with savory herb crust

Oriechiette with chard, chickpeas, and smoked gouda
Oriechiette with chard, chickpeas, and smoked gouda

Turkey Lurkey!
Turkey Lurkey!

Swiss Chard Pizza - I'm sensing a theme here.
Swiss Chard Pizza – I’m sensing a theme here.

This week, more of the same. I have recipes for all of the above (up soon). Do any of you have chard/sturdy green recipes for me? I’m running out of ideas.


The Best First Day

My intrepid summer partner, Angie, and I kicked off summer vacation today with a trip to the lake.

I’m not the most graceful person I know, so I was nervous about learning how to stand up paddle board. I was surprised at how quickly I got the hang of it, though. I could spend my whole summer in one!

Once we returned I informed my father-in-law that we needed to rent a pair to try out to camp. He agreed, and I think he’ll be pleased!







Hope you all are enjoying some sunshine!

Summer Book List

What are you reading this summer? I’m waiting for the end of two trilogies: Margaret Atwood’s oryx and crake series and the finale to A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. The Atwood book will be out in September, so I can’t add it to my summer list. I’m not sure when the Harkness book will be out . . .

I’m stumped! I need a cookbook, some romance, and a couple of good books I’ve never been able to get to.

Here’s my list so far:

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

and… That’s it. Help me fill it in.

What should I read this summer?