Back Porch Bounty!

The back porch is a lovely place these days...

We are lucky enough to have a front and a back porch at our little cottage.  We use these spaces as much, if not more than the living room...The front porch houses our dining table, and a couch, which usually ends up being the main hub for socializing when people come over.  Even when it's just us, we spend hours lounging, reading, and "computer-ing" (blogging, listing items on etsy), from the dining table out front.

Sometimes we neglect the back porch, then something will call to us and we end up spending most of our time out back rather than the front...It's like we've re-discovered how awesome it is back there, time and time again.  It has a southwest exposure and brings the most beautiful light in to the house in the early afternoon and evening.  This is where I do most of my photo taking for the etsy shop, where we watch sunsets while sipping Tecate, and where out plant collection seems to be growing larger by the day.   Last week Jo and I made it our mission to start planting more foodstuffs on our little piece of the island.  We've had trouble down in the yard with the vegetable project...slugs, snails, leaf mold, birds eating our tomatos etc...I swear we could start an escargot farm and make a fortune...the shear number of snails is ridiculous!! I resolved to grow my own darn mint, cilantro and kale so we decided to put them in pots on the back porch, which is really ideal for a kitchen garden! 

I've made it my morning routine to water then first thing...Max and I head out back to check on our babies and give them a well deserved dousing in cold water.  It's only been a few days but I already look forward to heading out there and seeing how much they've grown so far. After a few years of struggling with growing vegetables, and focusing mainly on natives it's super exciting to go out back and grab some mint for my favorite new salad creation...watermelon, grapes, cucumber and mint!  YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


More sense memories of Seattle...

I can still feel the cool of the forest on my skin,
The smell of the early morning moss washes over me in waves,
My eyes take in the color,
And all is well with my heart...

If colors can be mind medicine, then I have found my daily dose.


Fern appreciation for my PNW soul

I just had to say, that coming "home" is awesome...

And that leaving my "home" behind is hard.  I snapped this the morning I was leaving Seattle, in front of Adam's amazing lake cottage in the forest...It really is a combination of all the things I love about the Pacific Northwest, embodied in the sights and smells of a forest wonderland.  My heart aches for time with my best loved ones, for fog on the lake at 6 am, and for ferns...Oh my the ferns!  This little baby circle of ferns was so tiny, maybe six or seven inches across, something about it struck me and I had to stop and have a moment.   Amazing how such a small thing, or the noticing of how this small thing affects me can have such a profound impact.  Of all my memories of the time I spent there, my insane connection to and appreciation of this little circle of foliage remains with me daily...so I had to share.

I wish I could see how much they have grown in two short weeks, maybe I'll have to get Adam to take some update photos for me...

Until then I just keep coming back to look at the picture, close my eyes, and smell what that little piece of forest smells like.


Soul Closure

 Today, I feel so acutely the memories of my past in Seattle.  I can smell them, and feel them in my chest, my fingers are buzzing with sense memories...

Yesterday was hot and sunny, I drank iced americanos, walked the bright and sunny streets of my old neighborhoods, and fantasized (with apprehension) what it would be like to live here again.  I love the idea of being back here, in the place where my very soul is connected to the trees, the old buildings, the smell of morning...Yet I know that the chapter of my life that continues to be written in Hawaii is far from over.  How can I simultaneously love both places with all my being?  Part of my heartfelt love affair with the pacific Northwest over the past few weeks has been largely nostalgic, I realize that now. Though I have been away for almost five years, and my life in paradise has been fuller and more positive than it ever was in many ways, than my time in Seattle, I can't help but feel a pull deep in the pit of my stomach.  Driving around the city, and back from Portland yesterday I felt so connected to the ground, like physically connected, as in the palpable feeling of gravity upon my body.  These are the trees, the people, the air, the flowers, the city of my soul.  A connection that I think will never be broken, even if I never live here again.  I am shocked at the physicality of my emotional reactions, I tear up just driving down the street, seeing some of my favorite things from my past...Though I feel I should clarify these tears are not necessarily of sadness, but of connectedness.  It is a powerful feeling deep in my chest that seems to remind me of how I am connected the people an places of my past, and how no matter how far in distance or time, I will always have it.  Maybe that's what I feared most about being gone from here, that I would somehow loose it, that my love of a place that will remain in my heart forever would diminish, and that loss would mean I am not longer a part of it, and it of me...So, I suppose I am getting some kind of soul closure, a way for my mind and heart to work out the details of what all this means deep down in my heart and soul.  Whatever this process is, it feels warm, fuzzy, and also heavy, sad, and very important.  

 Today, as I sit at a favorite coffee spot, people watching, messing around on my "new to me" macbook, the sky opened up with claps of thunder, dime sized raindrops and lightning...Maybe Seattle wanted to remind me that she is not always so sunny and gorgeous as the past week, though as I sit here watching it I remember that this is also part of what I love about it here.  The heavy, cool moist air,  is so much a part of my memories and nostalgia of this place.  I have to admit my heart skipped a beat with happiness when it started raining, it has a smell and a energy that just doesn't exist in Hawaii, (mostly I'm happy about that, I was glad to leave the gray behind). As I look out the window and see the reality of the beauty of this place, I am thankful for the chilly raindrops that will wet my skin as I walk back to the car.  They will be just as awesome as the memories of sunny blue skies that I've had up to now, actually they complete the picture.  

And I am grateful
And I am full
And I am lucky
And I am renewed
I am...


Babies on the Brain

It seems the universe is trying to get me to think about some things lately. This trip has been so filled with introspective inspirations, that I find myself mulling over topics that I never expected to be considering...such as babies.

This little nugget totally stole my heart.  I went to Chicago to visit one of my best "sisters", Mollie, who became a mother a few months ago.  It's such an amazing thing to have known someone since the teenage years, through life changes big and small, and to remain as close as ever...Then to witness the many stages of life that seem to pop up faster than we ever could have imagined, namely marriage, babies, cross country moves and the general "grown-upness" that just seems to appear one day when you look in the mirror.  I am in the midst of a time in my life where all my oldest friends are coming into their own and shining like diamonds through the biggest changes that life can throw their way...My  three closest girlfriends have all married and/or had babies in the past few years.  To witness these changes in them, to share a few special moments in their company, has truly been a gift...An emotional gift, and a true eye opener to say the least.  The grace and beauty these special ladies embody as they move on to the next phase of their lives, has been a powerful thing to witness...and has made me open my mind to the possibilities of what my future may hold.  I'm not making any decisions or grand statements of what I want, I just have realized that maybe now is the time to start thinking seriously about what I see for the future of my life with my amazing partner in crime, Jo.  Mostly the idea of having kids scares me to death, and my over-active mind is going a mile a minute with the minute details of how we could make such a thing happen, and whether or not it is even something I want.  The bottom line and lesson of this trip seems to be that at least I am opening my mind to think about our future in a way I never thought I would.  I'm not even sure why I'm sharing this here, or where this is all coming from all of a sudden...All I know is that if feels great to be musing about the topic, and to get it all out of my head and onto the "page".

A few more highlights of Chicago, in pictures...

Towels at Missoni Home...drooling.

It's a lake!  It looks like the ocean...Crazy

My first Kir Royale!  Where have you been all my life?

People in Chicago really know how to do a planter box right!
I suppose it's because winter can be so nasty, that when it's springtime, you want
to get all the pretty you can!

We went to the Chicago Institute of Art, a seriously amazing museum, and I snapped a few shots of my favorite pieces to keep for inspiration...

There was a huge wall of windows by Chagall.  I don't know what came
over me, but it made me weep...Something inside me was
immediately connected to them and I felt it in the
pit of my stomach, I love that feeling!

Random breezeway with THE most gorgeous shade of blue.

My favorite Lichtenstein

My last day in Chicago, we went to an awesome antique mall a few blocks away from Mollies apartment.  There were so many treasures to be found, things that don't exist in Hawaii, and that broke my furniture and decor loving heart.  The reality is that anything I liked was too big and heavy to ship home, so it was a combo of disappointment in not being able to get the things I wanted, and the fun of just getting to browse and appreciate everything, without the "pressure" of spending money or having to battle over what I wanted...A feast for the eyes, and easy on the bank account!  I didn't take many pictures, but did manage to capture my two favorites...

RAD fabric art

AMAZING copper enameled breastplate/necklace...kicking myself for not
just getting the damn thing.
Yesterday I spent the day with a lovely lady that I have known since we were two years old!  She also has a baby...Later in the afternoon we had a reunion with a long lost friend friend who just happens to have moved in down the street from her.  Along with the theme of bonding with my "sisters" and their children, she also brought her two year old son with her...
Is somebody trying to tell me something?  Maybe, maybe not, but either way, parts of my brain have been activated, and now there are topics swirling around in there that I never expected.


I left my heart in San Francisco

Where to begin...As I write this I am enjoying a rare moment of vacation solitude.  Sitting in a coffee shop in Seattle, typing out these words on my FIRST EVER COMPUTER!!!!  You may be thinking, "that's crazy talk, surely she must have a computer".  My reality has always been that I used my house mates computer, or my girlfriends laptop...While in Chicago my friends gifted me their "old" mac book!!!!!!  Seriously, how lucky am I?  I really can't even believe that this magnificent piece of machinery is actually MINE!!!! Not on loan, and in fact 100% in my possession...RAD!

So, since I've got this great contraption, I don't have to wait until I get back home to post an update of my adventures...First up, the AMAZING Bay area.  I do not have the words to adequately describe the experiences I had, the love that was shared, and the memories made.  Needless to say, it was perfect in so many ways.  

It just so happened that my short weekend trip to the Bay Area was the same weekend as SF Pride, which seemed a bit daunting at first. I got over it quickly and was so happy to get to share the experience with my little "sister" Ashley.  Ashley and I met in Israel five years ago while living on a kibbutz and participating in a three month apprenticeship in Permaculture design, and natural building.  We were house mates, became fast friends, and that friendship quickly turned to "sisterhood".  She came to Hawaii last year for a long term adventure and spent time with us at our house on and off for a few months.

She moved to Berkeley a while back to do another program centered around urban farming, social justice and Judaism, and after completing her internship decided to stay...THANK goodness, because that meant I would get to go and check it out and cash in on her returning the hospitality favors!

My first night there, we had an unforgettable Shabbat dinner, including the beautiful melodies of hippy boys singing in Hebrew, acoustic guitars, and the most heart warming circle of gratitude for this amazing gift of life, (Woah, that was a bit much.  But I can hardly put the words together to describe this night).  My heart was so full I overflowed with tears, I absolutely was meant to be there, with these specific people, at that particular time...It was abundantly clear that I had manifested this moment, and that I needed to be there with them.  Have you ever had a moment where you think you can actually  FEEL gratitude?  Well, this was mine...And I felt so lucky to have it, in fact this whole vacation has felt like a gift.  Like some kind of amazing catharsis, that was mapped out in my heart for the benefit of my soul.  Ok, that was kind of an intense description, but so true...

I've got a million other things to say, and a ton of pictures, but I'm going to leave it at that for now.  I'll post about my week in Chicago next...

I've missed you all, and if feels good to be back in this space, sharing my experiences, both the physical travel and even more so the journey of my heart and mind that this vacation has turned in to...