one of the great things about being with jeremy and having our own little family of two is the opportunity to create our own traditions. some are pulled along from our childhoods, some are borrowed from things we've seen and liked, but some are entirely new and made up as we experience them and enjoy them and wish to pronounce them our own.

consciously creating traditions that are personally meaningful and joyful can make you feel like you're driving your own ship in a sea of sometimes-sameness. holidays become yours when you decorate with your own special bits. with those things you hold sacred. with those things you hold dear.

like a christmas eve walk in the woods. and a christmas eve farm visit. spending time outdoors in and amongst animals we were reminded how the natural world makes no distinction between one day and the next. cows don't know it's christmas after all but they do know it's a day. a day with sunshine and water and fresh hay.

being close to that kind of simplistic way of living is a charming and a gentle reminder that the things we honour are not homogeneous, but that the desire for life is.

the desire to live it, the desire to create your own traditions to celebrate it, and the desire to sometimes stop to watch a cow eat hay.

i am robot

meet arlo! he's a mister sorrell original! jeremy said he was inspired by the wooden robots i'd made as a kid. i say he's found a niche that's entirely his own.

i love his light bulb and his block feet and his right hand, made with antique calipers and a wooden spool.

i can't wait to teach him things like how to shake hands without piercing the skin and how to translate binary into common conversational phrases.

easy like a monday morning

i'm loving how vacation is ridding the days of their usual connotations. monday morning? i welcome you! sit with me on the nest chair with my cup of coffee while we create away the hours before jeremy wakes.

did you have a lovely christmas? me too. every year the gifts i get from jeremy are more and more wonderful and perfectly perfect for me. the people downstairs must have wondered what the hay as i ran through the upper octaves of my noises of delight. oh, don't mind me, i just opened a handmade robot. and a science kit. and two beautiful new dresses. and an antique chest full of art supplies. and a charcoal cable knit sweater that's hugging me still, right down to my knees. oh yeah, christmas was real lovely.

mom got us a dehydrator so we can't wait to make banana chips and phil got us a telescope so we can't wait to tour the sky and basically if you want to see us any time in the next few months be prepared to involve yourself in some sort of science craft astronomy bird watching food preservation activity.

which is business as usual i guess. but with sweeter props.

after all there's only one more sleep till christmas

i'm making mint tea while jeremy runs a secret errand. when he gets home, we'll make omelets with fresh greens and grind coffee for the press. we'll read. we'll listen to the radio. we'll marry our feet where they meet, every time as if by accident, in the middle of the couch.

later on a hike along the rouge river valley. tonight champagne and a landslide of snacks.

ONE MORE SLEEP. let us all linger in the lovely, quieting embrace of today and tomorrow.

merry christmas everyone! you are loved by a universe of festive lights.


just look at the light

lazy, hazy and orange,
casting shadows on the living room wall,
we are thankful for your morning visits.

i wonder as i wander

all the good things come in clusters

i want to tell you about pomegranate clusters. i want you to know that they're so easy and so delicious and so absolutely necessary for you to make over the holidays.

i want to add that it's a good idea to carry some with you in your pocket for sharing with strangers or treating yourself. you know, like when you're waiting for the bus.

a perfect present

tiny dancers

someone's been skating on our windows again. i recognize the criss-cross patterns of miniature ice moves, punctuated by turns, punctuated by leaps.

i imagine the quick and secret work of the tiny dancers, moving hurriedly to fill the window rink before the sun comes up to reveal their magic.


last week we went to an owl educational workshop at a local arboretum. we learned about owl habitat and owl vocalizations and what kinds of things owls eat if they’re peckish. after the learning we went out in the woods to track some owls and watched a long-eared swoop swiftly, silently off her cedar perch. at the end jeremy asked the interpreter if owls were rare or common, kept mysterious by their nocturnal habits and amazing camouflage and the guy said the latter and i’ve been walking around in wonderment ever since thinking that they’re everywhere like in one of those pictures where you circle all the hidden surprises.

then the other night i heard a screech owl through the crack in the kitchen window where i stood, making toast with peanut butter, before bed. i heard it once, then twice, then three times and yelled for jeremy to join me on the floor where we slunk with our ears to the outside and the quick, descending trill of the eastern screech.

an owl! right outside our window! has he lived there all this time? keeping quiet until now? maybe he said things before but we didn’t know the language. maybe he said things before but i thought it was the wind.

i hear you now, my little feathered friend! come in through the open window and warm yourself by the faux fire. jeremy will read the hobbit aloud while i rub your tiny neck, safely hidden beneath a cowl of red-grey feathers.

a saturday squid


for those few moments after waking when we sometimes lay in silence,
simply smiling, blinking slowly, out the bedroom window,

i'll think that i'm in heaven.

it's coming on christmas they're cutting down trees

signs of the holidays in the sorrell house include an increase in hot brandied tea consumption and a special musical guest on the picture wall.

my grandpa had one christmas decoration that he left up all year-round. it was a peanut with googley eyes and felt reindeer antlers and it hung from his lamp and every month or so he'd give it a dusting. this guy reminds me of that guy! maybe they're cousins.

i love these cards from steph. perhaps in twenty years i'll open an exhibit of all my favourite christmas cards and charge 5 candy canes for admission and make the invitations out of the hot toddy card lily gave me a while back.

we thought about a potted tree this year - something we could decorate and then plant - but it seems as though potted trees don't enjoy the indoors for very long and there's nothing festive about holding trees hostage. and dressing them up first.

so i made a tree out of pussy willow branches! and decorated it with all my old ornaments!

i love those people in the bed. one of the legs is broken off which means they've really been getting busy in storage.

i'm weaning myself slowly off christmas balls in glass bowls by resting christmas tops on window ledges. good compromise.

making wrapping paper is cheap and easy and fun and you use a potato as a stamp and any thickish paper like packing paper or butcher paper or the brown paper you mail parcels in.

just get jeremy to cut the potato shape for you. it's safer that way.


trees and me, the montage

plant party

sometimes i put all my plants together on like a friday night or a saturday afternoon so they can visit and get all caught up on each others' lives.

lookie what i found

this delightfully creative, wonderfully whimsical comic blog!

when i read someone's made up story that they preface just so:

when i was young, i placed my baby teeth under my pillow and when i woke up i'd find a shiny new quarter. but whatever happened to those little teeth? where did they go? would i ever see them again? many years later, a little tooth was standing at my door. it looked familiar. its name was ickle. welcome home, my milk toof!

i want to grab jeremy, learn to drive, get in a car, and move in with them immediately so we can all of us live together in a house of dreamers.

may we all leap boldly from the cliff of creativity.