Well this is an exciting and sad post to write.
As I have mentioned in past entries, I have been working on purging my life, and getting back to what is important. The vintage (which I will always love dearly), has taken over and I am working towards simplifying life now. I originally started this blog to be a place where I focused on my outfit photos and shared my vintage finds, neither of which I do anymore. I have felt disconnected from the name of this blog for quite some time. What I am trying to say is, it is time for me to move on.
I present to you, Bed in Summer, named after my favorite childhood poem. Please be sure to update your feed readers (here is the BlogLovin link). For those who follow me on Facebook, here is the new Facebook page.
Thank you to everyone who has followed along over the years, your comments have always meant so much to me. I look forward to many more years in a new home!
(Also, a few local readers asked me to share when my garage sale will be, I promise I am not ignoring you! I am still unsure of the date but I will definitely keep you posted on when it happens).
This has been an unusual January. We haven’t seen a day under 70 degrees since mid December, with many days in the mid 80s. It is beautiful weather, but this feels more like summer than winter. I long for a nice cool day, lots of rain, and a real reason for me to have a pot of soup simmering on the stove. My sweaters are collecting dust, and I fear they will be packed away for good soon. The forecast predicts some rain and 60 degree weather is on its way, but I am not holding my breath.
In the meantime, I am going through a major life change. I am cleaning house, like I have never done. I have collected so much stuff over the years and I am finally ready to let it all go. I have packed up nearly 30 boxes of vintage things; dishes (including my Franciscan Autumn set!), wall art, nick- nacks, clothes, etc. Some of it I am going to list on ebay or craigslist, but the majority of it will be in a great big garage sale and whatever is left is going to the thrift store. It is a slightly emotional (I have put too much value into objects for too long!), but mostly liberating experience, and I am really looking forward to regaining control over the amount of stuff in my home.
Lucy has been a little trouper through all of it. She plays and paints while I pack boxes. We unearthed a few boxes of my childhood toys that have been keeping her busy for days, she loves the My Little Ponies and Wish Worlds. Somehow I have found a little time at the end of each day to start sewing a quilt. This will be my second one (my first one is here), and I am really looking forward to starting the sewing process.
Last week I whipped up three of these little dresses (the Polly Peasant Dress from Sew Much Ado). Having finished these three makes it either the eighth or ninth time I have followed this pattern, though it is the first time I have done the scalloped bottom. Lucy picked out he fabric and mama went to town sewing three dresses for three little girls. It really didn’t take all that long, which is why I love this pattern so much. It is a quick sew, very versatile, but most importantly, it is comfortable for running, jumping, and playing.
The first dress was for a dear friend of Lucy’s, who celebrated her 5th birthday over the weekend. Since I was making her one, I had to also make one for Lucy. When I got home, I realized I had enough fabric left over for a tiny dress for little baby Hattie, who we sadly wished farewell to over the weekend (though not before snapping these pictures at one of my favorite spots!).
Here are some goats. Yay.
Last week we spent a beautiful day at my dear friend Dolores’ parents house (if you have been a long time reader you may remember me posting about it in the past). Dolores was the first real friend I made when I moved during high school to Southern California from the Pacific North West. She recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Hattie, who Lucy talks to constantly on her play phone (as well as searching through my phone for ‘baby Hattie’ pictures), but is rather shy around in person. If history repeats itself, in another 14 or so years, these two girls will be chasing escaped chickens all over this property!
This has been a year.
It is a weird one to look back on, because I don’t remember any other year when I had so much awful shit happen, yet I feel a peace with it all that I don’t think I would have had the ability to feel a year or more ago.
Early in the year my grandma (and last living grandparent) suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to walk, hold a conversation, or do anything on her own. I truly feel bad saying it, but it would be better if she passed. At this point she is merely existing, waking to eat, be cared for, and go back to sleep. It is an ongoing sadness I feel for her, for myself, and for our family–but that is really no way to live.
In early October an old high school friend passed away after six years of suffering . I was two grades above her and we fell out of contact after I graduated. We did keep up a bit through social media and through a mutual friend. I had the honor of bumping into her at the farmers market during summer, where I was shocked to see just how frail she had become. We talked for a little while. I was so inspired by her incredible outlook on life and her passion for healthy eating and living (even though it had been many years since she had been able to eat a bite of food!). Our brief run in was one of those defining moments in my life where I have gone back to time and time again. Since our meeting I thought daily about writing her about how much our conversation meant to me, but running after a toddler day in and day out pushed it off. In the new year I do plan on sitting down and properly sending a letter to a parents to let them know how much she (and our recent meeting) meant to me.
At the end of October my sister, who suffers from schizophrenia, had a major break down and was found in a life compromising situation. I don’t even remember the days surrounding the event, I had just attended my friend’s funeral and I went into autopilot for about a week. I did what I had to do, talked on the phone with doctors, friends, and family for days on end, planned a solo road trip to New Mexico for Lucy and I, and somehow even packed the freezer with meals for Russ while we were to be away. It was a sad and incredibly scary thing that brought us out, but we were so happy to be there to visit and give hugs.
And here we are at the end. 2014 holds some very big changes for us, all of which I am looking forward to. I feel more prepared to start a new year than I ever have, and I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes all of us. Thank you all for following along through the years and for all your support. I have a lot to be thankful for and I hope you do as well. Here is to a new year. Clink, clink. -Cedar
The past few days have been a whirlwind. There is so much stress and anticipation leading up to the big day, by mid December I find myself looking forward to December 26th.
This year was special. Hectic, yes, but special nonetheless. Having a broken and very spread out family, it is quite easy to get sucked into feeling a little blue that we can no longer have all my family together for one big and glorious event like we did when I was a child. Our family events are always spread out, different people, different days, another big meal. It all gets quite overwhelming. This year though, I think I may be getting the hang of new family traditions. My brother came down the weekend before Christmas. We cooked pie. My dad and his wife came up from Mexico. We ate a delicious holiday spread, talked, and opened gifts. It was perfect.
Christmas day was nice as well. Lucy tore into her gifts with abandon, we had a lovely dinner at my in-law’s, and for the first time in many, many years, I felt like I could entirely relax on Christmas.
I hope that each and every one of you had a fun and relaxing holiday season as well. I am so much looking forward to a new year.
These are the last of the New Mexico photos I am going to share.
While we were in Taos I saw the first snow I have seen in some 15 years or so–and Lucy saw her first ever (beating her dad to it, who has lived his entire life in southern California!). It started with a heavy rain and suddenly turned to snow. Not much of it stuck, but it didn’t change my feelings of nostalgia. Standing in the falling snow nearly brought tears to my eyes while reminiscing about growing up in the Pacific Northwest, sledding down hills, building snow tunnels, making snow and orange juice slush, my brother running out in his snoopy underwear to do snow angels, and sculpting snow women (complete with gigantic snowball breasts, thank you mom). Snow is a magical thing.
1. Chanterelle mushrooms, I made the most incredible chanterelle mushroom gravy for Lucy and I to eat over potatoes and rolls at Thanksgiving dinner. I loosely followed this recipe.
2. Chilaquiles, my favorite breakfast to make for a crowd. I loosely follow this recipe, this time using delicious dried hatch chilies while in New Mexico.
3. Curried millet with currants, recipe from this book.
4. Purple sweet potatoes
5. Vegetable fried rice, basically just the lingering vegetables in my fridge (carrots & celery) with garlic, seasonings, bragg’s aminos, and toasted sesame seeds. This is an “I need to go shopping meal”, but still delicious.
It has been a while since I did an “in the kitchen” post, I blame the shorter days. Taking food photos without natural light is not really something I know how to do, yet. Not that I know how to do much with my camera in natural light, but I think I do a mediocre job at it. I definitely don’t have as much control over the camera as I would like, but I am trying.
Every now and then I read a tutorial I find online about using manual settings, I will usually spend a day or two experimenting, trying to follow function by function what another photographer did to achieve a certain photograph or style. I always end up going back to the automatic mode, because it never really sets in, and so many of the shots I take are of Lucy in action (it is just safer to keep it in automatic mode for that quick snap I need to get!). I suppose experience and playing around is the best thing to do, but if anyone knows of any great sites for getting better at photography, please share!
I hope you are all staying warm and enjoying the holiday season.
I hope all my readers in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was simple and enjoyable. I baked pies (as I usually do) and made up a delicious chanterelle mushroom gravy for Lucy and I to eat over potatoes and rolls since we don’t partake in the Turkey eating. We truly have so much to be thankful this year, mostly for our health, but also for all that has happened over the past year. It has not been an easy one, but it has been one of growth.
Over the weekend we took a little trip to the Christmas tree farm, where our little cowgirl had fun romping through the trees and watching animals. Watching her charge between the trees while picking up sticks and fallen branches was one of the biggest joys of the long weekend. I am thankful for these moments.
It has been a very, very long time since I took a trip alone. I had a few solo drives from San Diego to San Francisco and back about six to eight years ago to visit my best friend and my mother, who both lived in the area at that time. I have always enjoyed that drive. It takes about eight hours, but it can be incredibly beautiful if you take the longer and more scenic drive up the coast. About ten years ago I drove from San Diego to New Orleans to stay with some family and celebrate my recently achieved 21 year old status during Mardi Gras (whew, I am thankful to no longer be in my early 20s!). Back then I had such a liking for my time on the road and the solitude that driving long distances brought. That of course was during my Kerouac phase. I’m sure in my young, impressionable mind I thought I was super adventurous for driving eight hours in the car and had visions of partying with Ken Kesey and the like. Oy.
While this time I wasn’t really alone, after four hours (much less, six, eight, or ten!) sitting on your butt in the car, passing off toys, crayons, crackers, reciting five little monkeys, and listening to ‘In the Mood’ by Glenn Miller on repeat for two hours straight (seriously, that is her favorite song–the only song!), the moment she fell to sleep I felt so alone. Three hours, driving through the flat desert land of Arizona, a sleeping toddler, and no laundry to fold, no dishes to clean, no dinner to start, and no dogs to walk, a lot of thoughts can occur. Not to mention, I couldn’t crank the Blondie and sing at the top of my lungs like I would have done on past solo road trips when these lingering feelings of boredom or lonesomeness started to creep in. It was an odd sensation, and one I truly hadn’t experienced in a really, really long time. My mind was so free, I had real, uninterrupted thoughts. I had thoughts of joy and thoughts of doubt. I thought about everything I have, and much more that I don’t.
In the end, I realized how thankful I am for my busy toddler/mama life. Most days I am so consumed with our simple goings on, that these feelings of self doubt and thoughts of “the bigger picture” don’t really take up much space in my mind anymore. I have always been of the opinion that living a more simple life is the true road to happiness. Simple routines, less technology, a little time alone, and some amazing meals can real work wonders on your soul. This trip truly reminded me how important it is for me to work towards simplifying all aspects of my life.
While we were visiting I truly fell in love with the small town of Taos. Here we are at the Rio Grande bridge with my beautiful sister, and our amazing family friend Chee. They (along with my mom) showed us such an incredible time, small town style, and I loved every minute of it. I am longing to return again soon.