My Favorite Poem

Just before Christmas, bits and pieces of this poem came to mind. I couldn’t quite remember all of the words and I couldn’t think of the name of it. For days, I kept telling myself, “Google that poem. Google the poem.”

Then one day, I was in the bathroom of our local bookstore, having done my business and was washing my hands when I looked up and saw this — my favorite part of the poem:


It’s a fabulous poem. A friend gave me a copy of it after I had finished grad school and was about to start my job as a 1st grade teacher. I had the poem by my desk and read it nearly every morning before the children arrived at the classroom. Today, the poem makes me think about being present, as a mom, wife, sister, daughter, yoga teacher and friend.


You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life.

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

 — William Stafford


Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

I know, it’s been ages since I last posted, and what has inspired me to get this blog rolling again is a fabulous smoothie I made with the help of my latest obsession…Tara Stiles of Strala Yoga.

This is a Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie — dairy free and delicious!




-rolled oats

-1 cup cashews

-1 cup almond milk



-2 tbs maple syrup

-vanilla extract

Place it all in a blender and voila!

The smoothie got a big thumbs up from Penelope!



To watch Tara Stiles make the smoothie herself, click here.


Today Cecilia brought home her latest knitting project: a girl gnome that she has named Gnomia. (She plans to make a Gnomeo and a baby Gnomie to go along with Gnomia.)


It’s intentional that Gnomia has no facial features. This is a technique used to promote more imaginative play. The children can imagine all sorts of facial expressions.





I love the braids and the cape.

New Neighbors

Over the past 2 days, I’ve been noticing an alarming amount of flies buzzing around outside of our house. I’m talking thousands of flies buzzing around my head, plastered on the side of the house, congregating on the fence posts, chillin’ on the garage doors. Disturbing, and I’ll admit, gross. So what happened?

The cows moved in, that’s what happened. The OSU ranchers have moved the cows to the field across the street from our house. We were told that the cows would rotate through that field at some point, not forever, but for a brief period of time. In fact, now that I think about it, we were also warned that with the cows, come the flies. Yup, still so much to adapt to out here in the country.

Da Cows. Not a quiet animal.

Da Cows. Not quiet animals, I must say.

A couple of shots of springtime in Oregon…


Taken by Fred


One of the best things about spring in Oregon

The Origins of Moomin

If you hadn’t seen or heard by now, we got a new puppy. And I’m simply in love with him! I think my husband is jealous.

Our puppy is 9 weeks old. He’s a mix of a standard schnauzer and a mini poodle, aka a Schnoodle, and we named him Moomin. Moomin is cuddly, loveable, playful, inquisitive, loyal. We’ve waited a long time to get a puppy, since before Cecilia was born, but it was worth the wait because Moomin is the perfect addition to our family.

The frequently asked question regarding our new dog is, “Moomin? Where did that come from?”

Here’s the story for all you Moomin fans wondering how Moomin got his awesome name! This past holiday season, Fred and I came across a children’s book titled Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson. It’s a fantasy book that caught our eye because the characters on the cover were these super cute hippopatamus-looking creatures, and it got rave reviews, particularly from one of Fred’s favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. After reading the back of the book, we decided it would be a fun read for Cecilia so we bought it for her for Christmas.

The story centers around the Moomin family: Moominmama, Moominpapa and Moomintroll.  Moomintroll (also known as Moomin in the English translation) is the boy of the family who is  “interested in and excited about everything he sees and finds, always trying to be good, but sometimes getting into trouble while doing so, he is very brave and always finds a way to make his friends happy.” (Quote from Wikipedia) After Cecilia read the book, we all agreed that Moomin would be a great name for our new dog.

The Moomins have appeared in comic strip form and in an animated series. My friend, who grew up in Sweden, told me the Moomin Trolls were very popular when she was growing up. As a kid, she used to watch the animated series quite often.

So there you have it. The origins of our Moomin.


P and Mooms


You know you live in the country when you see a herd of elk (aka wapiti) grazing in a field 2.5 miles down the street from your house.

The girls and I have been dying to see this herd of elk for the past few weeks. We’ve seen cows, a bull couple, coyotes, Bobby the bobcat, a hungry vulture, and finally the elk. 

Unfortunately, my iphone picture below doesn’t do the elk justice. I should start carrying around Fred’s fancy camera for wildlife moments such as this one. It was an amazing sight turning the corner and seeing these incredibly large animals grazing in the field. 

I can honestly say, I love where I live.

Elk - one of the largest land mammals in North America

Elk – one of the largest land mammals in North America



A Day on the Farm

For the first time since we moved to our new house, this was the first weekend during which the whole family was home for 2 days in a row. We spent the weekend working and playing in and out of the house and enjoying the early spring weather. What a treat!


The girls playing with cousin T

Crocus, crocus, open up...

Crocus, crocus, open up…


And the daffodils look lovely today…

One of many projects: Fencing. Fred spends most of his free time studying for his oral boards and planning out how to deer fence our property.

One of many projects: Taking apart and re-building fences. Fred spends most of his free time studying for his oral boards and planning out the best way to deer fence our property.

Exploring our pond full of frogs

Exploring our small pond full of very loud frogs


The girls are leading us through the Oregon State pasture across the street from our house. There are two bulls who live in the next pasture. I think Penelope is making sure the bulls aren’t coming our way.


Oregon State research ponds are a short walk from our house.


Soap Creek


Following the elk tracks with Tita Malia and Tristan…
Apparently, there’s a herd of about 80 elk that meanders through the valley now and then.