1. the flower garden. despite the gophers best efforts, our flowers are growing and blooming. zinnias remind me of my childhood and all the gorgeous flowers my mom grew. i scored this variety called ‘state fair’ at the 2010 bioneers seed exchange (seriously, go). the plants are sturdy, full of vibrant color and continual blooms.
2. swimming in middle fork of the eel river. the temperature is just right, refreshingly cool, but doesn’t give you an ice cream headache a few minutes after jumping in. a friend showed this spot to dylan and josh. its a precarious climb to get down/up (star thistle = pants and boots), but the deep deep turquoise waters and sandy beach are well worth the effort. yesterday evening i sat on a rock by the rivers edge after swimming a few laps and watched a mountain garter snake lounge in the water, a foothill yellow-legged frog blend in with the gray sand, a turtle swim across the river and a california towhee take a bath!
4. robyns new video. prior to seeing the video, dylan found her new song on the hype machine and we’ve listened to it a bunch. i got into robyn sometime last year, and its been a love affair ever since. i purchased 3 of her konichwa released albums and was impressed by every single one. this new video is inspiring and fun, i suggest dancing along with her! btw: if you find yourself wondering, “is that the electric slide?” yes, it is!
5. our new kayak. its tandem and red: two things i love. we saved up and finally made the purchase. the paddles & roof rack just arrived and the mendocino coast is calling our name!
6. toddy coffee & whip cream. toddy is a way to “brew” coffee, with no heat. it has a lower acid profile while maintaining a depth of flavor! we purchased the actual toddy as it can be a bit of a challenge to strain a large amount of coffee on your own. topped with some homemade cinnamon and nutmeg infused whipped cream and you are on your way to a fabulous afternoon.
7. wild pets. sitting on the porch is always fascinating. there’s the elusive bobcat, who sets off ground squirrel alarms like nobodys business. the tiny fast and furious hummingbirds, never failing in their curiosity to get close enough to your head to cause a heart palpitation. hilarious gray squirrels running up and down the trees, chasing each other or even their own tails. nut hatches, walking up and down the giant oak. towhees, robins, quail, morning doves, scrub jays all in their various hops, walks and skips scouring the ground for seeds and worms and such. the new grosbeaks, just fledged, up in the pine. a constant wailing and pleading for their parents to come feed them. tiny brush rabbits and their tinnier offspring eating the petunias (they are cute enough that i don’t mind sharing). caterpillars and beetles and bees and ladybugs and all the amazing pollinators, humming among the perennial gardens bursting with mints, lemon balm, oregano, penstemon, valerian, tobacco, buddleja, skullcap, maximilian sunflowers, hyssop and so much more.
8. reading. bill bufords heat makes me hungry! i really love the way he writes. wonder how many people he has inspired to travel to italy, begin cooking or go out to eat at one of mario batali’s famed restaurants?! dreams of deserts and coyotes are recalled with terry tempest williams red. curiosity inspires jaunts into the peterson and california natural history field guides. the new yorker is always passing between dylan and i. wise tradtions, the publication by the weston a price foundations is incredible. really folks, join them and get it! my winter online class with dr. cowan inspired a subscription to the townsend letter: the examiner of alternative medicine… woah, a dense but fascinating periodical. lately i’m into reading a poem or two by mary oliver or david whyte at my ladies writing group for instigating starting prompts. all this reading has inspired writing and cooking, always good things to have more of.
9. duets. this song inspired a mini music session at home the other night. dylan on the piano, me fumbling on the guitar, singing together. this is kind of what its all about.