Monday, April 28, 2014


We are from Texas.  We take pictures of ourselves (our children) in fields upon fields of Texas wildflowers.  It is the law.

Monday, April 21, 2014


This picture was taken by my sister at our neighborhood's Easter Egg Hunt. You had a great time with your cousins this Easter.

Monday, April 14, 2014


You were so very excited for Rodeo Day this week.  You woke up an hour early, ran downstairs and put your shirt, jeans, cowboy hat and boots on all by yourself-no prompting!  You told me that you didn't pet the animals in the petting zoo because you didn't want any germs, but you did ride a horse!  Big news for this week-you lost your first tooth!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

the flutter of a hummingbird's wing

I grew up in the corner pocket of Texas, near the coast and hovering just above sea level.  Afternoon showers were not uncommon, rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning would put you to sleep and the rain would fall in every way one can imagine.  We used to look out our kitchen window and watch the storms approach, clouds thickening and turning black and blue-"the blue norther" my father would call them.  I experienced the wilds of hurricanes, floods, and a twister or two but I've been away from them for too long and now grow weary and uneasy upon their arrival.

It's been seven years since I lived where storms visit frequently.  Two years spent in the arid mountain desert where I had only experienced on small clap of thundersnow and five in the heart of Texas, where the drought is prominent and storms are few and far between.  But when it is decided that a storm must blow through-it is quick and powerful.  And it puts me on edge.  I no longer like the rumbles of distant thunder or the sharp crack of an angry cloud.  I must admit, it scares me a little.

This storm flew in like the flutter of a hummingbird's wing.  Quick and powerful, the sky turned from fair to menacing in mere moments.  The winds swept in on a black and blue sky.  With the flash of lightning and the rolls of thunder the storm pushed through quickly and furiously.  It was just on the cusp of sunset when the sky turned sepia, then mauve; and then a rainbow followed.  It was faint and large, bowing over a dusky rose curtain.  To the west the sun had turned in for the day, saying goodbye to the heavy, gray clouds and leaving us with a spectacular sunset.

Monday, April 7, 2014


On this fine Spring day you played soccer...wearing a Texas.  We are enjoying the unseasonably cool weather, it makes for great outdoor time before the triple digits hit us.  You, by the way, scored two legitimate goals this game.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

grains in the morning (recipes: morning orzotto and breakfast rice pudding)

My morning routine has changed a bit this year.  I wake up in the 5 o'clock hour, get dressed, throw on a jacket and head to the gym.  When I return, the house is still silent, I put on a pot of tea and fire up the stove for breakfast.

Some days I drift away from the monotony of oatmeal and will gently settle in for a stirring of morning orzotto or simmer left over rice down to a pudding.  The toppings remain the same, a sprinkling of pecans, cranberries, coconut with a drizzling of maple syrup.

After sipping tea and spooning up my breakfast, my stomach is fully satisfied and I feel like my day has begun in a solid wholesome way.

If the mornings are slow I will stir up a pot of morning orzotto.  "Barley" in Italian is translated to orzo, so please don't mistaken this recipe with the use of orzo pasta because it is all about the barley.  I simply take 1/2 cup pearl barley and give it a good rinsing.  I then add the barley and 1 1/2 cups of water to a pot and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.  When the water is almost absorbed, stir in  a 1/2 cup of coconut milk.  Gently simmer and stir occasionally, just as you would preparing a risotto.  Add another 1/4 cup coconut milk and simmer until it is mostly absorbed.  Add water little by little, if necessary, and simmer until it reaches the desired doneness.  Stir in flavorings.  (I use cinnamon, salt, cardamom.)  Pour into two bowls and add toppings (I use shredded coconut, pecans, cranberries, flax seed, and maple syrup to sweeten). Barley takes 35-40 minutes to prepare-I told you it was for a slow morning!

Once or twice a week I find myself sitting down to a bowl of rice pudding for breakfast.  The recipe is simple, quicker than the former, and uses leftovers.  I simply add 1/2 cup cooked wild blend rice (I like Lundberg's), a pinch of salt, 3/4 cup almond milk to a pot and bring it to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer until the rice has reduced and thickened to the consistency of a porridge, about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour it into a bowl.  Sweeten with maple syrup and add your choice of toppings (again, I stud my pudding with cranberries, pecans, golden flax and coconut).