meadow, meadow, summer.

little wing

we found a baby bird, lured her in with pastry crumbs.

then her mom, then a blanket, then a rocking fast asleep.

pit pat

rats like looking out windows. they like sniffing the air and feeling the breeze on their little rat faces.

they like to look skyward, making pictures out of clouds.

and they like looking cute on the radiator, whiskers twitching to the many sounds outside.

honey on a saturday morning

sunday picking

is there a sweeter activity in june than strawberry picking? i told jeremy that strawberries should have the slogan 'everyone's favourite berry' and he said 'they're not my favourite berry' and i said ok, how about 'strawberries. a lot of people like them' and he said 'that one's good'.

we picked them on sunday from phil's garden. i used half in the strawberry rhubarb crumble i made for desert and brought the other half home with us to eat, and enjoy, and appreciate the literal fruits of our labour.

the straw felt warm and soft on my feet.

my bounty! strawberries are crazy because it will look like there aren't that many on the plants until you start to move the leaves around and find huge clumps, hiding and hanging out together having a strawberry party.

i'd like to go to a strawberry party.

i was so proud to put my strawberry fingers on the page of our recipe book! now i'll always remember the day i first made this cobbler! and jeremy will always remember the seventy-sixth time i made a mess of something!

and here we have it - a warm crumble, some cool cream and this june memory has marked its place in my summer heart.

go strawberry picking! take your friends and your lovers and your adorable babes in white sun hats.

madelyn and the strawberries

first. . .

and then. . .

a trail marked 'up'

up the cliffside stairs we go,
the sky above, the ocean below.

what will we find when we get there?

but wind,

and view,

and inconclusive evidence of heaven.

things he has learned in his life so far

i first came across stefan sagmeister on ted talks. i liked his humour, his punchy revelations and his stylish hairdo. i ordered his book through the library and read it all this morning, stopping just the one time to grind a fresh pot of coffee.

then i wrote him a note to say thanks. now i'm writing on here to tell you.

'things i have learned in my life so far' is a collection of mini books, each one a line from a diary entry he'd written under a title of the same name. things like 'everybody who is honest is interesting' and 'having guts always works out for me' are illustrated in a vast variety of unique typographic methods including collage, photography, and large scale art installation.

jeremy and i always make wise cracks about the quote 'love laugh live' or the million other lululemon variations on the theme but truthfully, i love a good quote. something you can attach yourself to. something truthful. something said in just the right way to mean something, personally, to you.

my honest thought is that in life we are alone. we are born alone and we die alone and if we take away our need to be accepted and loved, the only person we must ultimately answer to is ourselves.

reading something that moves us or informs us or reminds us that in being alone, we are actually together, is in my opinion the highest function of art.

little love notes

today was the first day in nearly two weeks that we've been apart. you had to go back to work and it was nice to have the morning to rattle about on my own and then the afternoon came and i started to miss you. i didn't know it was possible to spend so much time with a person but still yearn for more.

i had such a good trip with you. we travel well together, don't we? you with your patience and love and kind calmness. me with my flapping arms and mania. wherever we go whether it's here or there or somewhere across the atlantic, you reach out to hold my hand and i am home.

my husband likes to make me things

31 years, an acceptance speech.

it was my birthday! i'm 31 now! for some reason this seems like a more serious age than 30. like i can say "i'm in my 30's" as though i'm seasoned at it. i'm an adult! haha whenever i say this jeremy always says "you've been an adult for a while now" but i just can't really shake the feeling that i'm fudging it. that someone somewhere is going to ask me for id.

maybe that comes from my childhood and assuming that adulthood is an all knowing phase you launch into, dramatically and all at once when you reach a certain age. i still think it might happen. maybe at 40?

my birthday was nice and english and jer's british family of 20 sang happy birthday with cake and candles and a short stack of cards, like pancakes but less edible. i felt special. jeremy hugged me in bed in the morning when we woke up and i felt so insanely happy with love for him and my holiday and being alive and healthy and becoming a person i'd like to know and for all the love i felt in the world for my family and friends and the earth.

when we got home he gave me the present he made which was a miniature diorama that you hold up to the light and look through into a little scene. there's us on a picnic blanket, trees on one side, mountains on the other and a little river that runs through the front of our yard. there's a scarecrow to watch the vegetable garden and out the chimney of our house, a wisp of smoke. he called it 'sunset picnic' and made the entire thing from scratch and if our real house catches fire i now know what one thing i'll grab to take with me.

steph got me an office set of olive owls - one's for stapling, one's for taping, one's for storing little bits that need a kitschy home. it came with the sweetest card and the sweetest brown button collection for my creating and again i thought, this life, this friendship, i am just so thankful.

this is my last day of holiday before i head back to work and i'm spending it writing and drawing and giving thanks for a very rich life. thank you for all the ways you've made it richer, for reading the little secrets i long to share.

the question of little people

we don't know if we want to have kids. and it isn't about not liking kids or not liking our friends kids or thinking that kids are a wild and crazy choice - it's just about us being happy with the way our lives are now and unsure/unready to do something that will drastically change that.

but this holiday, and maybe madelyn wooed us with that magical morning smile, our thoughts about having kids shifted.

there's still a general feeling of resistance when we think about giving up sleep and our own agenda, but there's also this feeling that we hadn't considered before about family and creating our own. someone who could grow up with madelyn. someone who could learn things and later, could teach us things. someone brand new. someone who would look like little jeremy. or little me. or little us combined.

timing is everything and living in toronto and both working full time jobs and squeezing every selfishly indulgent moment out of our down time isn't the time to have kids. but it is a nice time to consider that they may be an option one day.

if we can eventually learn to share the crayons.

a british barnyard

look away

whenever jeremy and i visit someplace beautiful we like to joke about how hideous it is. you can only behold so much beauty without surrendering to a little sarcasm so we'll see our tenth dramatic landscape, roll our eyes, and say 'gross'.



just horrendous.

every seaside walk we took, every hilltop moor we traversed, every charming, wooden post we followed to some craggy, cliffside view seemed more bewitching than the last. some days i felt like weeping with emotion, truly moved by the grand and unforgiving wildness. other days we'd joke how the sheep should manage to live in such squalid conditions.

this trip was a perfect balance of the kind of beauty that knocks you on your ass, and the light good fun that allows you to absorb it.

she sells seashells and also some rocks

tea time

devon england is famous for something called a cream tea which is tea served with scones, clotted cream and whole fruit jam.

it's served to you as separate parts and you begin the enjoyable experience of consumption by cutting and spreading and spooning and stirring and in this way you make the cream tea your own.

before you get one you imagine you'll eat it slowly, sipping tea between delightfully sweet mouthfuls and laughing with a british accent.

after you get one you are proud if you remember to chew.

mmmmmmm cream tea. we picked up the ingredients for this assemblage this morning so we could toast to england our first breakfast back.

take me to your tree

what would any trip be without a visit to the region's most notorious tree? incomplete i'd say. england's tallest tree is in exmoor national park and is surrounded by very tall friends we spent an afternoon with. family outing!

madelyn came, who's nearly two now and enjoys many of the same activities as me such as rolling on the grass, pretending to be a horse and throwing small pebbles in streams for uncomfortably long periods of time.

wise beyond her years, she already appreciates time off and the importance of spending it in the woods with her family and a gang of giant douglas firs.

across the atlantic sea

i've been to london three different times but this was the first time i feel i've really been to england.

do you picture hills? and sheep? the sea tumbling in toward towns walled with rock, and moss, and memory faded with time?

can you imagine how your hair smells like ocean when you go to sleep at night? and the breeze through the window while you sleep in that room in the house on the hill overlooking the sea?

if you love the outdoors, and wide open spaces, and dramatic landscapes to look at while you drink your frosty pint - well there's no finer place on earth than england. i'll just go right ahead and say it.