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Seattle was beautiful. We’re back in the flat geography of home, and already I miss the long views of water, skies, and hills. The locals assured us that the weather is not always this gorgeous and that for months, it’s gray and drizzly. Still, I felt the pull of this place. Tea & Cookies’ posts on Lake Washington and Seattle’s relationship to water capture some of the allure of Seattle, I think.

Next time, I want to jog around Green Lake, browse the stacks of the Central Library, have tea at the Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia Tower, and ride a ferry out to an island. Less guidebook stops. More absorbing the beauty of the place. Next time though, I think I should go when it’s gray and drizzly and cold. Just to be fair. Just to see the city honestly. Just to know for myself whether it was a beautiful summer day fling or a true city love.

Crossing the Line

Lately, a dear friend and I have been chatting about balance. What does it look like in our respective lives filled to the brim, overflowing even, with home and family, workplace or the absence thereof, the raising of children or gardens or dreams?

Today, we talked about crossing the line between idea and carrying out, between thought and action, between dream and fulfillment. Sometimes bringing an idea out from the safe nest of the mind into action, into our own messy hands, is the most difficult step. But like birthing a child into the world, it is only by crossing that line that we allow our dreams to breathe and grow.

Tonight I cleared my desk and office of clutter and brought out my notebooks. I’m going to write again.

This is a favorite summer potluck dish, because the veggie mixture can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated. Do remember, however, that the rice should be mixed in on the day of serving so that it does not dry out or harden.

Fresh Veggie Rice Salad

Fresh Veggie Rice Salad

4 cups cooked Jasmine rice
1 can artichoke hearts (marinated or packed in water), chopped
1 can chopped black olives
1/2 jar capers with liquid
1/2 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh, canned or frozen corn
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup fresh or canned red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
2-3 basil leaves for garnish
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
Paprika to taste
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in wok or pan. Saute garlic. Add all veggies, leaving basil to the end, and saute until tender. Do not overcook. Season with lemon, paprika, and salt. Mix rice into veggie mixture and let cool. Garnish and serve at room temperature.

The Riddle

“We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.” – Ben Okri

A year goes by so quickly. Recently, our precious little boy turned one. We have been the lucky witnesses, each day, of his zest for life, sweet innocence, silly sense of humor, and insatiable curiosity. What an adventure it has been! We celebrated our amazing son and his wild love of bananas with these cupcakes:

“Everything-free” Cupcakes

No gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, peanuts, or soy–and surprisingly yummy.

Blessing

On this birthday, I read aloud this simple blessing, which I found in one of my books. I’d like to read it again next year and each year to follow:

Our Wish for You

May you always see beauty in the world

And hear music everyday.

May you know the touch of gentle hands

And walk the peaceful way.

May the words you speak be loving.

May laughter see you through.

May you be blessed with hope and joy–

These gifts we wish for you.

- Theresa Mary Grass

Go bananas with bliss, sweet baby!


Autumn, welcome.

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. - Langston Hughes

lantern

Japanese maple

stones

Sometime recently, the first autumn rains fell. I stepped out into the sweet tea of raindrops and felt cleansed, just a little bit. We’ve had challenges along with the immeasurable joy of seeing our precious baby grow (most of them rooted in the discovery of his tongue-tie at 8 months). But we’ve persevered, and he is healthy, happy, and thriving on mother’s milk and organic foods. This is a new season. The sky is opening, the earth is washed clean. Whatever your path this autumn, may it lead to peacefulness and wisdom.

Recipe: Aloo Gobi

There are fancier and more authentic aloo gobi recipes out there. This is a quick-and-easy version that we make at our home. I’m posting this for Indian food lovers and also especially for our friends, Mike and Ellasion. :)

Aloo Gobi

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large potato, cubed
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
Tumeric to taste
Paprika to taste
Cumin seed to taste
Salt to taste
Cilantro (optional)

Instructions
• Prep cauliflower, potato, and garlic.
• Add to olive oil heated in wok or pot.
• Add water to just under vegetables.
• Let cook for 7 minutes.
• Add spices and salt.
• Let cook until fork passes through potatoes and cauliflower.
• Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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